Previous Next

Could You Check In the Back?

Posted on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 @ 1:53am by Lieutenant Commander Arturo S'Rohass & Lieutenant Xiulan Song & 1st Lieutenant Christian Rogers
Edited on on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 @ 1:53am

Mission: From the ashes...
Location: Quartermaster

After leaving the Ready Room and his conversation with the ship's captain, Rogers checked his PaDD for the next item on his agenda. Which he decided to skip because, after the meeting, he had other considerations.

"Ops," he said to the turbolift. Then, when it told him he was already at the bridge an the Ops station there, he came back and specified the Operations Chief's office. Finally the turbolift moved and, after it stopped, it was just a short jaunt to the office.

"I'm looking for Lieutenant Song," he said as he entered the area. All he knew was that she appeared to be of Terran Asian descent with startling green eyes.

"Yo!" came the response from the short Asian woman within the Operation Center, the area that oversaw many of the major life support systems like Environmental Controls, Artificial Gravity, and Waste Management, all the things that made existence in space possible. She was facing away from him and running her hands along a seemingly blank console, and after a few gestures at the console, it lit back up with its standard display and she straightened up from her hunched posture, yet she made no attempt to look at him when she turned to leave. "Kinda busy, but if you can talk and walk, then you can come with me and tell me what you need," she said as she retrieved something from her belt, a white rod, and with a quick flick it extended to form a cane which she held out in front of her and started walking.

"I'm a Marine so...I'll give it a go," he answered as he manuevered to catch up to her. "First Lieutenant Christian Rogers, Marine Commander aboard this ship. You did know Marines were coming aboard?"

"Of course I know, I'm married to the Executive Officer and our pillow talk is riveting!" Xiulan said candidly, then grinned. "Kidding, Captain gave me a head's up before you arrived, I've already designated an entire section of deck 9 as Marine territory; you'll have your own armory, training areas, a pseudo-holodeck for simulations, and offices for anything else you might need."

"We're moving in now," Rogers said but, since she wouldn't be able to see it anyway, gave a big grin but kept his tone completely neutral, maybe with just a touch of disbelief. "Are you kidding about being married to the XO or that your pillow talk is riveting? Because I don't care about the former and condolences on the latter."

"Yeah, I really am married to the XO, and actually, there's not much in the way of pillow talk, usually just more sex followed by comas," Xiulan replied. They arrived at the lift and once inside, Xiulan called out, "Cargo Bay 2," which set the lift in motion. "So have you had a chance to check things out? We can modify just about anything to whatever specifications you need," she offered as they rode the lift.

"Much as I'd love to continue this part of the conversation, I really don't want to vomit up my lunch. I'm actually here to further engage your kindness. See, when I was transferred here with this command, it shorted me about a third of my personnel. Which means I have to make choices about who stayed, who came with. In the end, I had to decide to have Fleet handle our QM duties."

Xiulan snickered at his apparently weak stomach for sex talk; guess she shouldn't tell them about the pirate game she and Arturo liked to play... "Alright, alright, down to business. If you need my department to manage your supply chain, that might be a little tricky... See, Medical and Security have their own inventory requisitions to handle independently of the ship's Quartermaster, so if you need weapons or medical supplies, I might have to liaise with those departments. Or maybe not, I'd have to check the regulations first, but I don't think there will be a problem either way, so I can see to it you get what you need. But just remember, once it leaves the Cargo Bay and is delivered to your area, you are responsible for storage, conducting inventory, managing your supplies, and most importantly, maintaining the security of your weapon lockers."

Rogers checked the sigh. He was dealing with Fleeters after all. "Okay, well, here's the thing. We don't get medical supplies anyway because if we did, they're too afraid we'll heal ourselves and take control of the galaxy. We have Fleet corpsman that take care of what we don't get from Medical. We don't use Security weapons because, quite frankly, ours are better. Which is undoubtedly a large reason why every security officer dreams of growing up to be a Marine someday. As for everything else, the problem is...we don't have the space or personnel for it. Hence why I'm coming to you."

Before Xiulan could answer, the lift stopped and the computer sounded off with the destination so that she would know it was the right stop, and so she stepped out, assuming that Mr. Marine was still with her. "Hey, I didn't know how medical supplies worked for you guys, so my bad," Xiulan said with a shrug. "And if you're worried about space, don't ask me to distribute more than you can hold; I had my people set up a decent armory, near full size, so you should have more than ample space for what you need, but I also know that it's standard practice to order more than you need and that extra will be perfectly safe in the Cargo Bay until you need it. As for going through Security for weapons, I know you guys have your own variants of weapons, but Security still needs to know what kinds of weapons and how many are on the ship, so I need to check with them on protocols since I'm not used to being the one putting in orders for weapons," she explained as they came to a stop just outside of Cargo Bay 2.

Well that would be problematic he thought, not sure he wanted Security to know exactly the type and amounts of armaments he had onboard the ship. That might make the SecTac extremely nervous. He didn't want the SecTac nervous cause that might warp relations between the two commands. "Oh, I'm not wanting you to take care of our weapons, just the regular supplies. Uniforms, rucking supplies, bedding, y'know, the general stuff. We'll take care of the weapons and let Medical take care of those supplies. Oh, and there's maintenance on our craft."

"Alright, you order your weapons; so long as protocols aren't being violated, I'll send them right through once they make it to my Cargo Bays," Xiulan said, feeling more at ease with this arrangement now. "Just work up a list of everything you need me to order and I'll be sure to keep plenty in stock at all times. As for the 'craft', shuttles fall under Flight Ops, but I can talk to them about it and make sure everything is copacetic."

"Wait, aren't you in charge of OPs?" he asked. "Wouldn't 'flight ops' fall under that category?"

"Well, technically it's 'Flight Control', so no, but I can still work with them to make sure your craft is always good to go," Xiulan offered. "Is your craft here yet? If so, they're probably already handling it."

"Ah, good, I'm sure it's here. Commander Jacobs said it was...well, she didn't actually say but I'm sure it is." He frowned. "Y'know, I should go check when we're done here."

"Unless you've got anything else you need to talk about, I think we're done, but if you're willing to wait a moment while I go check that we're full up on replicator matter, then I can go with you and make sure everything is okay; we're in between Chief Flight Controllers at the moment, so I can make sure there's no confusion about the craft belonging to the Marines," Xiulan offered.

"That sounds fine, I want to check out the craft," he said, a bit giddy since he's never had a craft dedicated to his command before. "But, I do want to mention," he said. "I could talk to you about things that would make even the XO's fur curl. Doesn't mean I want to hear about married sex."

"Oh don't worry, we were having all kinds of crazy sex long before we were married; my favorite was the pirate game," Xiulan said, and after dropping that tidbit she entered the Cargo Bay to check on the replicator matter. After a quick confirmation as well as a brief overview of how things were progressing in the bay, Xiulan was on her way back out and ready to walk with Mr. Marine to the shuttlebay. "So, what kind of craft is it?" she asked as they resumed their trek.

"A Goanna class Marine transport?" he said, checking over his PaDD. "And it's Lieutenant Rogers, not Mr. Marine."

Oh shit, he was a Betazoid?! "Okay, first off, that's not fair because I can't read your mind, and second, stay out of my head or you're going to learn just what happens when my husband wants to 'plunder my booty'," Xiulan said smoothly without a hint of shame.

"How about you stop thinking and then I won't be able to 'hear' them anymore." He said. "Y'know, it really is just another sense I have. I don't get to turn it on or off when it's convenient, like you and hearing, or touch."

"Exactly, you can't turn it off anymore than I can," Xiulan replied with a hint of a frown. "Can you also sense how I'm recalling the feel of the layout of the ship I've studied with my fingers, associating it with a step count and the pattern of the heat signatures I'm picking up from the EPS conduits in the walls, all while walking and maintaining a conversation? I'll do you one even better, I'm also committing to memory the sound, weight, and pattern of your footsteps so I'll always know who's approaching me before they speak. So you'll have to forgive me if I use a mental shorthand that helps me associate an emotional response with what I'm taking in so it all sticks better. I know your name and I have no trouble using it aloud, but until I've committed you to memory, you're Mr. Marine in my head and that's not changing, so you're just going to have to deal with it."

"Xiulan!" came the sound of the very enthusiastic, and very short, Caitian XO of the Valiant, Lieutenant Commander Arturo S'Rohass, greeting his wife. "Aren't these new craft wonderful! I am going to find an excuse to fly everyone of them! Ah! The new Marine commander! Welcome! Welcome! Our Chief Flight Control Officer has not arrived yet, so I am overseeing the on loading of our small craft, including the two Goanna's we've requisitioned for your use, Lieutenant!"

"I'm sorry, did someone's pet get loose?" Rogers asked, watching the thing that resembled the profile photo of the XO coming toward them. "Or was that profile picture 'life size'? How do you even intend to reach the controls?"

Xiulan's only response was to bust out in a full round of tears in her eyes belly laughter.

Arturo scowled. "Very carefully, Lieutenant, very carefully," he said. "Which is how you should proceed from here on out." Arturo glared at Christian a moment, then grinned, then laughed out loud. "You should see the look on your face, Lieutenant! Priceless! Don't worry, I've heard it all before. Even from my lovely wife, who I am going to seek revenge on later. If I got upset every time someone made a short joke, I'd spend all of my time either stabbing people to death or running from security so I could stab more people to death. Anyway, the answer to your question is that there are actually species in the Federation who are even shorter than me. The seats in those things can be adjusted. I've actually flown their predecessors into hot landing zones previously, and I grabbed a check ride in one of these when I found out we were getting them, so I know I can reach the controls. Can I assume you'd like a closer look at one or both of the craft you and your marines' lives will depend on?"

"Oh my god, 'life size' profile picture!" Xiulan gasped out in her laughter, then Arturo issued his warning to her and the laughter subsided, leaving her grinning on the shuttlepad. "Bring it, Fluffy!" she said firmly with a gesture of her free hand. Wiping away the moisture in her eyes, she decided it was time to get serious. "Lieutenant Rogers came to me for supply assistance since his team doesn't have a proper Quartermaster, so I guess I'll be liaising with Flight Control to ensure their shuttles are in order," she explained while they went to go see the Goanna-class transports.

Arturo ignored his wife, taking solace in the fact that he was going break out both the feathers and some roses tonight and make her regret teasing him...and they were both going to enjoy it very much.

"The Shuttle Bay Chief will see to their maintenance and upkeep," Arturo said. "I know you one set of pilots for each, and gunners, but, including you and your platoon, that's all the Marines we have room for. So Starfleet was nice enough to send us support craft pilots familiar with these craft and support craft crew who have received extensive training on the use of the door mounted guns. So there are redundancies in place."

"Be still my beating heart at all of this largesse!" Rogers said, foregoing making more jokes at the XO's height in hearing that not only did he have the craft, but the crew to man them as well? "Yes, Commander, I would very, very much like to go see what's behind shuttlebay door number one."

Arturo chuckled. "Right this way, Lieutenant Rogers! You, too, Lieutenant Song...who I did not just call Lieutenant Wife, no matter how much I wanted to, because before she is my wife, Lieutenant Song is a highly skilled, very smart, and very competent officer. Then she's my wife, which makes me very lucky."

"'Lieutenant Wife', sounds like I'm just one in a string of wives you have," Xiulan said with an amused snort as she drew closer to her husband's very recognizable heat signature. She collapsed her cane, then took hold of his elbow so he could lead her around.

"Was I wrong, then, to not mention noticing your condition or asking about it? I assumed you were capable of conducting yourself adequately if you're the Chief Ops of a starship," Rogers asked as he followed the pair, finding it best to let her walk ahead so if he had to make any sudden stops or moves, it shouldn't really affect her.

"I really don't mind new people bringing it up, especially if it's something we can make a joke about later," Xiulan said, keeping up with the men without any trouble. "The only time this kind of things bothers me is if people try to force help on me, like taking my hand to lead me around; if I need help, I'll ask for it, but I'm fully capable of getting around on my own, not to mention capable of doing my job. I'm not as hands-on as some other Ops chiefs out there, I don't go out and do repairs, but my job doesn't 'require' me to be hands-on, it's just a matter of preference for those that do, and I delegate the work well to make sure everything is covered. Before I was offered Ops, I was a Linguist and a Communication specialist, basically a console jockey, and the Captain knew this and my limitations and was comfortable with me running the department however I saw fit. So far, I think I'm doing a decent job and nothing's fallen apart yet. Well, I guess I have to say our last ship did blow up, but that wasn't my fault, Arturo was the pilot and flew us into the enemy's cannon."

"Couldn't see over the dashboard?" Rogers asked, "or was distracted by a ball of string?"

"Actually," Arturo said. "That was part of the plan, and since we weren't vaporized, and in fact blew up the enemy ship, and survived an explosion we had no business surviving, AND I saved our pet fire lizard Gerri before I abandoned ship, I think I did quite well if I did say so myself."

They came to the two Goanna transports. Arturo entered a code and one of the side hatches opened. Just inside was a mount for a heavy duty phaser Squad Automatic Weapon. The weapon was basically a rapid fire heavy duty pulse phaser rifle, with enhanced power and range. The mount was empty at the moment, but the weapons were stored in the Shuttle Bay and could be quickly loaded on. There was another empty mount on the other side of the main cabin.

"Come," Arturo said, leaping up into the transport in one bound. "The cockpit canopy can open as well, if for some reason the pilots were to become trapped in the front of the craft, but the cockpit is usually accessed from the main cabin."

"These babies were made for atmo combat," Rogers said, climbing into the transport himself. He looked around the cabin interior. Not a runabout built for luxury but for the spartan purpose of transporting into and out of hot combat zones. It felt Marine on the inside - weapons storage, group seating, racks for gear storage. It had a few concessions to the idea of it being a long distance transport, but only a few. He moved through to the cockpit, joining short and fuzzy as he slid into one of the pilot seats. Sure there were two others behind the pilots, but what fun was sitting there. He looked across the panel.

"Looks like I have some learning to do," he said, noting how different the layout was from standard Fleet shuttles. "Armaments," he said, finding those, "shields." He looked around some some more. Even this space was a bit more cramped than a normal shuttle, proving apparently, the Marine maxim of maximum space for troop transport. He turned to Bootsy, as he was already thinking of the XO. "Know of any combat hotzones that need putting out?" he asked, eager to try out his new toys.

Arturo laughed. "Hopefully not," he said. "But we will be scouting and surveying and exploring new territory and worlds. Who knows what we'll find? I have no doubt that from time to time we'll run into a situation that requires your support to get our Away Teams out of. The galaxy is wide and wonderful, filled with excitement and opportunities to visit new worlds and meet new people. Unfortunately, some of those new people will want to kill us."

"I know," he said with a big smile, still taking in the controls and cockpit. "Isn't it great!"

Then, looking up and remembering he's with Fleeters, who were usually squishy and squeamish, he added in a completely unconvincing way. "The meeting new people and exploring thing. I mean." Oh how he wanted to take this thing out, find a moon or planetoid, hell, he'd settle for a comet or stray asteroid. Just somewhere he could do some strafing runs, see how the beast operated. But he wasn't sure where the pilots were and, unfortunately, he wasn't checked out on it. But that would change. Soon.

"Of course you did," Arturo said. "There's nothing wrong with taking pride your work, Lieutenant. Just remember we are on a mission of exploration, as I said, and making First Contact with new worlds and cultures. Violence will be our last resort. I assure you, I am not squeamish about violence, whether from the bridge of a starship or face to face. I have seen my share of both. I am simply frugal in my use of it when on missions like ours."

Xiulan chuckled as the boys drooled over the new toys. For her, everything was about textures, like the the ablative armored hull or the texture of the deck plating she sat on, which was less smooth than standard deck plating to give the Marine's boots greater traction during complex maneuvers. With her legs dangling over the edge of the transport's deck, she pulled a PADD from her duty jacket and her fingers ran over its textured surface, looking up the schematics for this Goanna-class transport. "She's certainly got an interesting design, that's for certain; kinda refreshing to see new designs from Starfleet, because after a while everything starts to feel all the 'same-y', you know?," Xiulan remarked, still studying the schematics on her PADD.

"I know, and everybody wants action until they get into it, then you remember how bad it is. But, that's my life." He sighed as he swiveled around. "I better head back down to MC and see what needs to be done there. Physicals probably. Gotta prove what superior physical specimens we are." He stood then looked down...way Bootsy. "You are familiar with MC rules regarding outsiders?"

Arturo sighed. "I can't wait to hear your version, Lieutenant," he said.

"No unescorted outside visitors pretty much sums it up, Commander," Rogers said.

"Except for me, right? 'Cause I'm your main squeeze for supplies!" Xiulan said.

"Well, for you I'd assign the best looking escort, but not one that outshines yours," he said, really bad at being 'flirtatious'.

"I guarantee you, Lieutenant," Arturo said. "That you have no one who outshines my least in my eyes." Arturo reached out and gave his wife's shoulder a gentle squeeze. Then remembered something. "Lieutenant, have you met our Chief of the Boat, Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Coltan Xan? He served as a Corpsman with the 23rd MEU is the last years of the Cardassian Border Wars, and later as a SAARC with MARSOC in the Federation-Klingon War, the Dominion War, and after as well. You should find the time to speak with him. You might find some common ground between the two of you."

"Good tip, Commander, I'll look him up. A corpsman you say? Worked with Marines before?" Rogers's looked thoughtful for a minute. "He keep up his certifications?"

"With has hard as he can kick my ass, he's definitely up to date on his hand to hand certifications," Xiulan remarked, then realized that this would probably make no sense seeing as how Mr. Marine probably just saw her as 'the little blind girl'. "Oh, my father was a Wushu master and taught me everything he knew so I could one day take over his school; Colt is one of the few people I can't use to mop the floor."

"Hrmmm, that doesn't seem helpful. Have you tried using a mop instead?" Rogers asked, keeping his voice steady and neutral.

"Har har," Xiulan fake-laughed, but she was smiling; she really liked this guy!

"The answer to your question, Lieutenant, is yes," Arturo said. "He has. In fact he was still in Special Operations, attached to Intelligence, until he encountered, purely by chance, a Marine General he remembered from the Dominion War. Specifically, the Second Battle of Chintoka. Unfortunately for the Marine General, Colt remembered him as a the Lieutenant Colonel who knowingly abandoned a group of Raiders and other Special Operations personnel who were fighting a holding action, slowing down the Breen advance on the planetary operation the fleet had set up there. If he had been left behind due to military necessity, Colt would have dealt with that. But this pathetic disgrace of an officer not only left the Raiders and the others behind, but also told Command they were dead. Those men and women fought a guerrilla action for months, on their own. When Starfleet finally showed up to secure the planet a month or two after the war was over, they were shocked too discover that there were Marines still on the planet. So when Colt recognized the man, and heard him bragging to a woman about the war, well...Colt felt obligated to break the man's jaw, which he did. Prior to this little incident, he was a Master Chief. Now he is a Senior Chief. I hope to see him promoted again as soon as I'm able to make that happen."

"Hey, I have to get back to MC. Could you ask the Senior Chief to come by my office?" Rogers asked.

"Of course," Arturo said.

"Thank you, Commander," Rogers said, "And to you as well, Lieutenant Song."

"You are quite welcome, Lieutenant," Arturo said.


Previous Next