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Posted on Tue Apr 28th, 2020 @ 11:49am by Major Cornelius Tremble & Captain Larta Daughter of Shog
Edited on on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 @ 1:04am

1,347 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: The Snake Pit - Deck 9 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1900 hrs

Neil had been doing his homework.

There was always homework.

Moving to a new AO (area of operations) involved several steps and Pioneers Detachment commander didn’t want to get caught out when they arrived at Sirius.

He’d been through those blueprints, tactical notes and then began an emersion class into the Romulans, their known or suspected orders of battle (ground) and combing through a mound of intel reports that left his eyes hazy most evenings.

Neil hadn’t said more than a word or two to Tallida since the battle. They’d both been kept on the bounce: him with the change of station and getting the Cure back into combat readiness and her with the ship’s wounded.

Next on his list was reviewing the ground element structure / components of Sirius. Unlike Cardassia and Empok Nor, Sirius had a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) with a primary corp of Marines, supplemented with a Fleet fighter Wing.

Neil had a base familiarity with RDF’s and cycled through the components. Fleet had opted for a RECON heavy element (two battalions) with a Raider battalion as the primary combat unit spread through the AO. Sirius held the command elements and five Recon teams: four primary recon and one heavy weapons team. Sirius also maintained a headquarters company of Raiders.

As he read, Neil checked the time and discovered that he was officially off duty so he retrieved one of the colorful kraft cheese glasses from his bottom desk drawer and a bottle of bourbon and poured a measure. His stomach grumbled, reminding him breakfast had been a very brief affair, roughly twelve hours ago and he chose to ignore it as tasted the alcohol and went back to his reading.

Overall, the RDF was a small force meant to keep tabs and play hide and seek, with the Romulans. Fleet hadn’t seen fit to assign any suited units to the RDF and heavy weapons were marginal.

Unlike the Brigade, the RDF wasn’t a show of force. It was a place holder for troops from the UFP, Klingons, and even Ferengi (since the Cardassians had their own house to get in order) which would be brought in.

With no landing element, the powers that apparently didn’t think any terrestrial bodies would be in need taking back from anyone. Neil read enough of the political / intel reports to get the overall gist and shook his head.

It all felt like being in the black with two minutes of air in your suit and pickup being five minutes away.

An incoming message flashed in a corner of his contact as Neil pushed back from the reports, realizing he’d lost track of time. Looking at the glass, he took another drink then dropped his feet to the deck and set the glass in the bottom of the drawer before activating the comm’s suite.

A female klingon’s face flickered into view and Neil squinted slightly at her then said, “Well, hello Larta.”

“Neil. Congratulations on surviving the most recent battle at Empok Nor,” the Klingon said, flashing bright teeth at him. He could see she was in what was most likely a ship’s commander’s cabin.

“They were Maquis and Order troops, at least where I was. The outcome wasn’t really in doubt,” Neil said, knowing that being self-depreciating or modest wouldn’t cut it with her.

“I heard that if it hadn’t been for your fancy suit, you’d have been burned down,” Larta commented dryly, humor in her voice.

Now he shrugged, “That happens sometimes. I hear congratulations are in order.” The marine had gotten a communique that Larta had been promoted by the Empire and was due to take on an ambassadorial role someplace.

Her brow furrowed slighting and she nodded, “Indeed. An honor, I think they called it. Instead of a general’s posting, I am now to be ambassador to the Kitomer Accords Alliance, stationed on your Star Base Sirius.”

Now Neil’s brow furrowed, “You’re serious?”

“No.” The Klingon woman said, a wry smile crossing her lips “On Sirius. Keep up with me here, Neil.”

The marine snorted, reached down for his glass and lifted it in a toast to her. “Well, that sounds like a nice cushy job.”

“Bite me,” Larta replied, “Oh wait, your new woman might take exception to that, yes?”

Now he glowered at her and said, “Stop trying to deflect. I won’t ask what’s going on. Instead, I’ll ask what’s up that you’re contacting a lowly FMC Captain, madam ambassador?”

He could see the anger in her eyes before she got her emotions under control and said, “Yes. To that. I am scheduled to arrive on Sirius tomorrow and the Pioneer not long after. I will be requesting you and Captain Malbrooke attend the walk through and review of what is it…the Rapid Deployment Force?”

Neil nodded, “I was just looking that over, actually. They’re doing a show and tell for you?” Now his tone was turning amused and she glared at him again.

“Yes. Pointless showing the flag, but Brigadier N’vosh, son of Duvan of the House of Kor, who is the RDF’s Deputy Commander thinks it’s important that I get a grasp myself. I thought it would be good for Tyler to see it as well, and you can carry our luggage and explain things and liaise during the tour.”

“Me?” Neil asked, frowning again now, “Isn’t that the Brigadier’s job?”

“I do not know Duvan. He has a decent reputation, but may be a fool. I know you. You are a fool, but one of known quantities,” the Klingon ambassador told him.

“Nice,” Neil said, finishing the last of his bourbon. “Well of course, madam ambassador. With such a high opinion of me, how could I refuse.”

“You can’t, really,” Larta told him. “But I will buy you food after.”

At the mention of food, his gut rumbled and she laughed. “Isn’t that puny woman of yours making sure you’re fed?”

“Food’s irrelevant when you have real work to do,” Neil said piously.

“Now you’re sounding like a Vulcan,” Larta pointed out. “Eat something.”

“I’ll grab a power bar or something here after this. I need to hit the gym then back into the classroom again this evening,” the Marine half groused.

Larta looked at him, then her grin widened. “That’s right. How is your Starship Command school going?”

Wincing, Neil shook his head. “Long. It’s easier to board and blow up a ship than shepherd one along.”

Larta gave him a look of shared pain and said, “I’ll trade you. I’ve been reading briefs on the Romulans and other local species until I’m tempted to shuck the entire thing and go pirating.”

“And what would your father say,” Neil asked, his own grin returning. “He would likely wish to go with. The old fool has been contemplating getting married again. Apparently he’s seeking to forge a tie with House E’muk.”

At Neil’s blank look, she shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. And I need to get back to this. I’ll have my aide send along details and make sure the various command’s know that I’m inviting you and Malbrooke.”

“Alright,” Neil replied, “It doesn’t sound like I have a lot of choice anyway.”

“No, you don’t. Larta out,” and with that, the Klingon Ambassador’s holo blinked out and Neil sighed.

There was never a dull moment.

A Joint Post By

Captain Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

Captain Larta Daughter of Shog
Commanding Officer, Ram Cha' Par
House H'rell Bird of Prey


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