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Unfamiliar Territory

Posted on Fri Jan 8th, 2021 @ 12:03pm by Lieutenant Junior Grade Lunara Hol & Major Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Tue Jan 12th, 2021 @ 4:21am

Mission: Episode 11 - Family Matters
Location: The Snake Pit - Deck 9 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1000 hrs

Lunara looked up from her PADD. Here she was- the 'Snake Pit', home to the Marines onboard the Pioneer. She had half expected to walk into a dimly lit, Klingon-esque room full of snarling men covered with scars and sharpening their blades, but this just seemed like another normal place on the ship. There were a few Marines getting in some target practice on the range, a few others being instructed on the proper maintenance of the Type II Phaser, and a young Andorian doing push-ups in the corner while an NCO looked on. Wearing blue here definitely made her feel like she stood out. She nodded to a man as she passed him and made her way to the captain's office. Taking a deep breath and straightening out her uniform, she pressed the door chime on Captain Tremble's office.

Neil was sitting on the corner of his desk as the Pioneer's latest counselor appeared at the door to his office. He'd been forewarned of course: Shy was Corporal of the Guard today and had cleared the path per Neil's latest standing orders, which were designed to make Marine Country more friendly.

As she took a step inside, Neil said, "Welcome aboard the Pioneer, Doctor. How can the Marines help you today?"

Lunara smiled as she stepped inside. "Hello, sir. I'm Lunara Hol, the new counselor. I'm just trying to get a feel for who I'll be working with here. Is... now a good time?"

"If it wasn't, Doctor, you probably wouldn't have made it past the Pit," Neil chuckled. "Thats why I have a Corporal of the Guard. Feel away."

Lumara chuckled. "It's good to know you're on our side. And please, you don't need to call me 'Doctor'. Just 'Lunara' or 'Counselor' is fine. Anything I should call you? Captain? Sir? ...Devil Dog?" She grinned as she said the last one.

Neil gestured toward one of the padded guest chairs as he said, "Counselor will work while at work, I suppose. Marine's tend to like a more formal atmosphere, but I'm not that large of a clot, counselor so you can call me whatever you feel comfortable with: on the bridge or if you're trying to get my attention when some being is shooting at us, Captain is probably your best bet. Any other time, Neil is fine."

He thought about his words for a few beats and fixed the Trill with a look, "I expect you've already been through my jacket and will likely know I was entangled romantically with one of your predecessors. Lt. Ovaa? I know new Counselor's are always working so I can best tell you I'm adjusting to that."

Lunara sat down as he spoke, smiling up until the end. "I-" She looked and sounded flustered. Was he coming onto her? "That's, uh, good to know, Captain." She looked over his face, hoping something would give it away as a joke. Her arms were crossed across her abdomen in a slight hug.

The marine watched the counselor, took stock then stood and took the other guest chair sliding it to one side of the desk, then slid into it. "Too much information too fast, Counselor? I'm sorry if I'm abrupt but I find it saves time. Easier to just get it out and face it rather than let it lurk about. But, that can be shelved for another time. Wherever did you hear the archaic term Devil Dog?"

Lunara blinked. She had no idea what to make of this man. "Well, I, uh... one of my past hosts was in a historical action film about the MACOs, the director was a big fan of that term."

Neil's eyebrow raised slightly as he purposely slouched a bit and said, "Ah the MACO's. The term actually goes back a lot further, but most of that along with the MACO's were shed when the Federation was born. The Federation and vis-a-ve Fleet were concerned having an overly militaristic organization would send the wrong idea."

He paused, judging his audience before continuing, "When they found out the Galaxy as a whole isn't filled with warm, cozy feelings in general nor inhabited by enlightened beings, they formed the Corp based around historical organizations. The overall view is generally the same though: most peoples of the Federation don't like the idea of military minded individuals anywhere close."

"I think it offends them," Neil remarked, "Regardless. There's still a reason we're often jokingly termed as the Federation's Misguided Children,'s what we do." Then he grinned wolfishly, "We're kinda like counselors when it comes to it. Sometimes you run into a group of beings that need extreme counseling. That's when they let us loose."

"Sorry for the lecture, lieutenant. How are you finding the Pioneer?"

Lunara smirked at his last comment about counselors. "Preventative medicine, hm? The Pioneer's a nice ship so far. Not too big, not too small. I swear that I'd get lost on one of the new Sovereign classes." She shook her head. "A lot of things have changed since the last time I was in. Things are a lot bigger, more spread out. A lot more non humans than I ever saw before, too. Not to mention these new uniforms." She tugged at her collar. "And you're right, we never had Marines onboard when we were fighting the Klingons. All that stuff was Security's job." She shrugged. "It worked well at the time." She wondered what he thought of that. She still wasn't entirely onboard with the whole idea herself. They were explorers, not fighters. Still, he had a point. Between the Dominion War and the Borg, Starfleet had been forced to take on a much more militaristic mindset than the founders likely had in mind.

Neil shrugged. "Security is good at what they do, though they're reactionary by nature and decree. Reactionary to a marine only means you need to be able to take a punch. But as you say, most things change and move on. It must be interesting having a more unique, personal viewpoint on history. We marines try and be un-obtrusive most of the time, though that's a bit counter-intuitive when you consider our dress uniforms are scarlet and gold."

He shook his head and grinned, "Sounds like you've had a few run ins with the Klingons. Remind me to introduce you to Ambassard Larta sometime."

"Living through history certainly has its perks. It comes in handy during trivia nights, at least." She grinned back. "Is he a Klingon ambassador? That sounds like it could be fun. Did he have many run ins with the Federation?"

"She," Neil corrected absently, before continuing, "Newly round peg hammered into a square hole. We had dealings with her during the Cardassian mess. She saved our bacon a time or two and I believe now is living to regret it. She was promoted and sent over here as Ambassador operating off of Sirius. She has fairly deep ties to the KDF though and is a good ship driver."

"She? Well, my mistake." Lunara replied. A Klingon warrior - a female Klingon warrior at that, serving on a Federation starship. For a while, the only place she expected to see a Klingon was in the brig. "I have to say, these sorts of things still haven't sank in yet. I guess I've got a lot to get used to."

Neil rubbed the back of his neck as a grin played over his face, "Well, the Klingon's are part of the Treaty, and have been included into the Rapid Deployment Force framework they've put aboard the station. And the station is the hub of the sector, so it's where the Diplomatic stuff is dealt with.

"I'd expect to see them fairly often as they do have ship's patrolling the area and use Sirius as a port of call and resupply depot. Maybe you'll recognize a few faces."

Lunara chuckled. "Wouldn't that be interesting? Maybe I'm in a few of their songs." She paused. "They do still sing songs about fighting the Federation, right? I'd hate to see too many things change. We used to be quite fond of them." Granted, her only experience with Klingon songs had been laughing at poorly spoken and sung propaganda broadcasts, but it still made her nostalgic.

"Oh, they like to twist off as you'd expect crews hitting ports of call to do," Neil commented. "They sing songs about fighting everyone. I think there are a couple of places that have sprung up catering to their taste, so if you're looking for some fresh Gah, I think you'll find that too."

"Ugh." Lunara shook her head. "Gagh was all we had to eat when we were their... er... 'guests'. Did you know they have over 50 types of the damn stuff? They all slither down your throat differently... some even have feet." She closed her eyes, shivering. "Luckily, we only rated the dead stuff."

Neil grinned at her reaction and said, "They're better with hot sauce. The ones that bothered me were the Nuk'Na. The ones that hang up in your throat so you have to chew them. Too gritty. On New Kama, we infused some with blood wine. Those weren't too bad...nothing like having a drunk maggot stumbling around in your gullet."

Lunara winced and laughed at the same time. "Oh, stop it! Are you trying to chase me away already? I swear, you Humans have the worst taste in food..."

Neil shook his head and replied, "Now counselor. That was just marines being bored in garrison. If you want the real interesting cuisine, you need to tag along on one of our Escape and Evasion refreshers. If you're lucky, you get a tricorder. If not, you spend the first three days observing and doing tests on local flora and fauna trying to figure out if it's poisonous or not."

Shrugging, the marine continued, "I don't know about human's having bland food. Where I grew up definitely did. My tastes for more exotic foods changed after my first deployments. Too much having to subsist on replicated Marine Supplements or field rations in the tube. I think maybe it's jaded me: I don't find most replicated foods all that bad."

Lunara waved a hand dismissively. "Ugh, I've had to do that enough for five lifetimes. I'd rather eat ten plates of lasagna than have to stomach another meal of alien mystery meat... do you know how many planets made us go through their coming of age ceremony before talking to the Federation? And how many involved surviving in the wilderness for a week or more? It wasn't so bad, except for the food. Apparently cooking doesn't always kill the animals on Raynoc IV- one jumped off the plate almost bit a nurse's nose off. " She blinked. "...Sorry, I'm rambling." She tended to lose herself when talking about the old days.

"Rambling's alright," Neil replied easily. "We likely could compare notes all day long, but you'd win. You've got more stories to draw on." Running fingers through his short hair he asked, "I know it's a meet and greet with a side of analysis Doctor, but I probably should get back to my rat killing. Maybe we can compare notes on survival dining some evening compartment A-11? It's affectionately or maybe dubiously known as After-11 if you haven't gotten the gouge."

"Of course, I'm sorry to keep you." Lunara stood up, smiling. "That sounds like a wonderful idea. I'd love to hear about what you boys have gotten yourselves into." She chuckled, extending a hand.

Standing, Neil shook the councilor's hand and said, "I'll say it again, Welcome Aboard, Lieutenant. In my capacity as Second Officer, my door is always open. As the Marine CO, well I'm usually around if you need something blown up or the like."

"Thank you, sir." She smiled and turned around, heading for the door. Just before reaching it, she turned around, grinning. "Oh, and Captain? I know how macho you boys like to act, but please, do send them to me if they start having problems, would you?"

A joint post by:

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

Lieutenant Junior Grade Lunara Hol
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer


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