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New Team, Same Plan

Posted on Tue Jan 4th, 2022 @ 4:45am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen & Major Cornelius Tremble & Sergeant Major Lachlan Barr
Edited on on Tue Jan 4th, 2022 @ 4:54am

2,855 words; about a 14 minute read

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: Officer's Mess - Deck 2 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1000 hrs

Tyler had dismissed the support staff who unusually served at functions like these. Why shouldn't they be given leave like the rest of the crew. Besides, breakfasts on the ranch in Oklahoma were always a family affair and if his new command team was going to mesh as a family there was no better way to get things started.

Quinn's departure so abruptly hit Tyler hard, well that combined with all he had been through with Vaebn. The Romulan leaving for Earth with his sister didn't take the Captain by surprise, it was what he would have done as well. But it still hurt, it felt like his family was falling apart. Tyler took a mental note to spend more time with his bride and joy. The cast iron cook ware and burners were laid out and set up for Tyler to cook a western style breakfast. He continued to go over the transfers as he waited. Masters and Calhoun would be transferred to the station. "Good at least we will get to see them from time to time and keep tabs." Tyler mused to the empty room.

Next he laid eyes on the signature from General Francis Sobel and Tyler smiled. The minute he was caught up on what happened with Quinn, Tyler knew he wanted Neil Tremble to be his Number One. The issue was getting approval from the various powers that be. General Sobel was easy enough but Commodore Rice took some convincing. The idea of a Marine in command of a starship had never been done, and yet here they were. Tyler laughed at the idea that it was he who tested the waters. Sobel had one stipulation a Master Sergeant as Chief of the Boat. This man Lachlan was completely unknown to Tyler. As was the new Intelligence Chief Lieutenant McGowen, and she was going to be the number two. "Well I hope they are both worth their salt. Because I would hate to have to take the good with the bad."

Lachlan had entered the mess soon after getting the invite. It was a surprise location given this was the first time meeting the Captain, but it wasn't just going to be him. He'd seen the other recipients on the list and one being his own CO whom he'd met earlier.

"Can promise you, Captain." Lachlan said from behind in his crisp Scottish accent. "I don't disappoint." he said snapping to attention. "Master Sergeant Lachlan Barr, at your service sir."

Tyler smiled, "Leave it to a Marine NCO to arrive precisely on time. At ease Sarge. Help yourself to some juice or some such as we wait for the rest of the team." The idea of seeing a larger splash of green on the bridge appealed to and amused Tyler to no end.

"Very kind sir, thank you." Lachlan relaxed and headed for a glass of orange juice. "My mother always said punctuality was important, not a woman you want to get on the wrong side of, trust me. Plus the marine corps frowns on lateness and they beat that outta you with a large stick... honestly, think they called it Tricia." he shrugged. "Fine ship sir. Intrepids have always been a quiet favourite of mine."

Rowena walked in to the mess hall and looked around. Noticing the captain and a marine. She took a moment to study him and then saw the rank on his collar. She walked up to them with a smile on her. "Captain, Master Sergeant. Lieutenant Rowena McGowen, my apologies if I am late, I had a transfer of codes earlier."

Fiddling with his HUD's ability to pick up comm readings through bulkheads and tag crew member's names and security checks as he passed them in the corridors, Neil was half bemused as he entered the mess. The smell of food being prepared caused his stomach to rumble and he made eye contact with Tyler, saying "Good morning, Captain. I see we have new faces..."

Turning, he greeted the two new members to Pioneer's command team, his HUD automatically pulling biometrics and verifying their visual identity. "Lieutenant. Master Sergeant. I'm Captain Tremble, 2nd Officer and Detachment commander in case that wasn't obvious. Welcome aboard."

Lachlan turned to face the voice from behind. "Thank you sir. I'm looking forward to see what the Pioneer has to offer."

Tyler smiled as everyone had finally arrived. "Please have some breakfast, and check the ranks and sirs at the door. I have called you all here to discuss some of the changes that are going on here aboard the Pioneer. Since two of you are new I would like to begin with the fact that I run a fairly informal ship. Behind closed doors in meetings we are equals and should be able to share ideas without the hinderance of rank etc... Now to start at the top. It seems that Commander Quinn O Flannagain has been promoted to Captain and given his own command. Which is a boon to the fleet, but leaves me in a quandary."

Tyler paused as he stood up and made himself a plate for breakfast. A western style breakfast skillet with coffee and orange juice. He placed everything on the table and placed a small wooden box on the table next to his plate. The box bore the insignia of Starfleet and of the Starfleet Marine Corps. "The quandary that it left me in was who would fill the void as the second in command of this ship. I thought long and hard about it and came to only one conclusion. So I have to ask a question. Neil, it is not going to be easy but the job is yours if you want it. How bout it?"

Neil had gotten himself settled with an overly indulgent breakfast of brisket hash with beans and fried potatoes, three sunny side up eggs and rashers of bacon. Tyler's words caught him with a bacon strip halfway to his mouth and he promptly returned it to his plate. Looking at the Pioneer's CO, he took a few beats to mull his words before saying, "Are you sure you really want to do that to the crew, Tyler. And Fleet is going to have a fit..."

"I have already had a chat with both General Francis Sobel over at Empok Nor, and Commodore Thomas Rice at Poseidon Station. Both of them rather like the idea, although it took a little convincing for Rice. The plan here would be to use this as a way to get the fleet and the corps to bond closer together. So before we go on, again I ask. How bout it?" Tyler spoke and then sipped his coffee with a smile. He was already pretty sure that Neil would take the job. Then he tucked into his breakfast skillet.

Neil closed his eyes for a moment. This was going to be a lot. After a moment, he his eyes re-opened. "That's asking a lot for a trumped up Gunnery Sergeant, but the Corp prescribes us to shut up and get the job done. So, aye aye Captain."

Letting his eyes meet Tyler's, Neil said, "Thanks for your confidence in this. I'll try not to let you or the crew down."

Tyler sipped his coffee and looked toward Neil as he slid the wooden box across the desk. "Well it seems that your scores are in and you more than aced the exams. So by the power vested in me by Starfleet Command, and the Starfleet Marine Corps I hereby promote you to the rank of Major and grant you the position of Executive Officer of this vessel, with all the rights and privileges due to that rank and station. Computer take a note in the ship's log. Further I have to tell you that your days of being a trumped up Gunny are officially over. You are officially and officer and no longer provisional. Congratulations." Tyler allowed a moment for this all to sink in for Neil. He was proud of the way Tremble comported himself on the last mission, and knew that he would help lead this crew to great heights.

"Don't worry Major. I'll make sure The Cure doesn't falter when you ascend upon high and forget us mere mortals." Lachlan joked. "But in all seriousness, congratulations. I cannot think of anyone else I'd rather have in the slight cooler hot seat than a fellow marine."

"Thank you, Top," Neil replied, smiling at Lachlan. "You say that now, but we'll see how you feel in a few months."

Glancing back over toward Tyler Neil grinned, "Speaking of the last mission. You know if you asked her, the ambassador would say she was the reason we succeeded. We kinda do owe her..."

"We do indeed, and you know she would be right. I do love a Klingon with a sense of timing. Thing is I am not sure what would be the proper repayment? Could arrange for her to be granted permission to use Empok Nor as a way point for her ships. Something akin to what General Martok did with Deep Space Nine. I wonder if that would do..." Tremble was right and Tyler knew it. They did owe Larta big time and this was not the first time that she pulled their collective butts out of the proverbial fire.

"It is as good a gesture as any." Lachlan replied. "As we know they do like a gesture of honour, but even more so they love a good party with food and alcohol so maybe if we are going to let them use Empok Nor as a waystation then throwing them a little thank you bash wouldn't go amiss either."

Wincing slightly, Neil shook his head. "Klingon singing. That could get painful. But, I'll put some feelers out and see what might work. Maybe a hunting trip...since they won't let her knife other Ambassadors too much."

"Sounds good. We will make sure that the Captain is afforded all honors when they come to visit." Tyler replied with a smile and then took a few more bites of his food.

"Well Number One I think the first order of business is to replace you. Starfleet has recommended the Lieutenant here. She replaces Jennifer as the Intelligence head." Tyler looked toward Rowena as he spoke. If the Captain had realized anything since Tremble came aboard it was that both he and Tyler were excellent judges of character so they had to see how the new comer measured up.

"You come very well recommended and have excellent performance reviews, Lieutenant. Welcome aboard. Are you sure you really want to do this?" Neil's tone was light hearted as his eyes measured the Pioneer's new second officer.

Rowena looked at the Major a moment and then said, "I have read the intel reports, sir, you were mentioned a lot, so I am going ahead and assume you and my predecessor were very close. And by 'this', do you mean the unusual mission you keep going on, the Rigelian informant and the ex new maquis in my department? Then, yes, sir, I welcome the challenge." She ended with a grin.

"Well, you seem to be going into this with eyes open, so don't say you weren't warned," Neil said. "And yes, Warrant Masters-Calhoun and I worked on several operations. She will be missed." After a few beats, he continued, "But, such is the transient nature of the service. I look forward to working with you. Especially with the changes the Cure is facing going forward."

Glancing then toward Tyler, then at Barr, Neil said, "According to the scuttlebutt, the Detachment is getting a new officer as well. Seems like the Corp want's to ensure I mind the store..."

"They are bringing in someone who has had past experience with Starfleet. First Lieutenant Edmund Merrick, prior to his career in the Corps, he had a promising career in the Fleet. I believe someone upstairs feels that a person with that background would be best for your second in command." Tyler replied and sipped his coffee.

"Well, it's a long time coming, fleet and marine have been working together since the start of the Federation. I am surprised it hadn't happened sooner. I have heard of commands that attempted a thing or two unofficially." Rowena smiled. "Looking forward to that."

"I agree. It makes sense and in a way they can help move us into the 25th century a little with our understandings of each other." Lachlan added to the conversation. "The fact he was in the naval side before joining us will give him unique insight. I look forward to see what he has to say."

"Well Lieutenant it seems that you are already on top of everything. That is something I for one find comforting..." Tyler began with a broad smile. "It has been the tradition that the Second Officer take command of the Delta Shift on the Bridge. Your file says you have done quite well on all of your command training courses. But I have to ask are you up for the challenge of the big chair?"

Rowena turned to the captain now. "You mean again." She closed her eyes a moment as she heard soft screams in the distance of her memory. "I was hesitant when I was offered the position. It's not the chair that haunts me, it's the past and I think it's time I closed that chapter. Thank you, captain, for the opportunity."

"Well I think you will find that the Pioneer is full of second chances. My former Intel Chief Masters recommends you highly. That is enough for me. I am glad to have you aboard and more than happy to have you as third in line." Tyler began with a smile to Rowena. Then he turned to Lachlan. "Well Sergeant you have been summoned here as the fourth in the command structure of the Pioneer. I use my Chief of the Boat as my eye and ears to the enlisted personnel that serve on this ship. At times they can get lost in the shuffle and it will be your job to see that they don't. This will be of course on top of whatever the Major has in store for you. The COB has a position on the bridge, that is how important I feel the position is. Now I know you are a Marine and therefore up to any task. However, I need to know that you can handle this. You would be leading both the Fleet and Corps enlisted personnel."

"It is a challenging role Captain. I make no mistake about that, but I come in to it with my eyes open. General Mercer and I came up with this initiative of blending ourselves, of challenging ourselves to be more prepared and understanding of the naval side of the fleet. I have experience with the enlisted marines and have done for many years. I have no issue extending my expertise and ear to those of all enlisted, the lower decks of the Pioneer." Lachlan said confidently to his Captain.

"Excellent, that is great to hear. Just be ready for some push back. There are still those in the fleet who would very much like to keep us all separate. In truth I do not see a reason for it, we are all in the interest of the Federation." Tyler said with a broad smile and then reaised his glass. "Well here is to new beginnings and a closure to the rift as it were."

Captain and Pioneer's new COB words washed over Neil and he half grunted. "It's not only the Fleet. The Corp has worked since it's inception to differentiate itself from the Fleet and not be seen as it's kid sister. A view I share. We all have the same goals and learning to work together more effectively and be seen as equals is something I approve of."

Neil waited a beat and then grinned wolfishly, "We do have an image to maintain, after all. Sometimes the threat of the FMC stops trouble before it can start. I think this is going to get interesting..."

Tyler took a look around at those at the table as they dug into breakfast. The Pioneer had grown by leaps and bounds since the ship was commissioned a few short years ago. With this group he could see that there was going to be no limit to what they could accomplish.

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure

Master Sergeant Lachlan Barr
Chief of The Boat, USS Pioneer
First Sergeant, The Cure

Lieutenant Rowena McGowen
Chief Intelligence Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer


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