Up To The Challenge
Posted on Sun Jul 26th, 2020 @ 5:25pm by Lieutenant Colonel William Christensen-Wright SFMC
[OS] A New Dawn
Location: Cargo Bay || Ourea Station
Timeline: MD5 || 1440 Hours
With the Marine facilities non-operational, the detachment was having to find space to train wherever it could. Today they were running hand-to-hand combat drills in a Cargo Bay that was largely, but not completely, empty. It was there that William found 1st Lieutenant Jemya Sulan, a Bajoran woman who graduated from the Academy three years ago.
“Attention on deck!” William didn’t see who shouted the words, but he recognised the voice. The Marines instantly stopped what they were doing and snapped to attention.
The Colonel didn’t break his stride; he continued towards where Lieutenant Jemya was standing. “As you were.” He called out, the Marines quickly returning to their drills. “Lieutenant Jemya,” William began as he reached the young woman’s position, “we haven’t met yet. I’m Lieutenant Colonel Christensen, Strat Ops. I understand you’re the detachment’s senior officer.”
“Yes, sir.” Jamya replied crisply.
Christensen nodded. “And where’s your senior NCO?”
“Here, skip.” Came that familiar voice again. William turned to find a familiar face, albeit older, with more lines and a few grey hairs.
William was glad that she had experienced senior NCOs to assist her in commanding the detachment. “Both of you, with me.” He turned on his heel and marched towards the Cargo Bay door, the two other Marines quickly falling into step behind him. Once they were out of the Cargo Bay and ten metres down the corridor, William stopped and turned to face them.
“The Vaadwaur have attacked again, this time in SH-22. We believe that the station will be their next target.” William paused for a moment to allow them to process that information. Both of them remained impassive, not giving anything away. “The Marines are being deployed to the surface to protect the colony. You’ll be deployed with about ten security officers that Lieutenant Ryci is sending down. Marines will secure the outer perimeter while security will handle the interior perimeter.”
Both Marines nodded but said nothing. “Lieutenant Commander Trovic has been ordered to oversee the construction of bunkers in less than five days but I have my doubts as to just how possible that will be. You have the rest of today to develop a plan for Marine deployment. You’ll present it to me first thing in the morning.” He glanced over at the Gunny before turning his attention back to the Lieutenant. “Questions?”
“Would I be presenting my plan to you if I were higher ranked, sir? Or had combat experience?” The young woman asked, defensively. He could understand her annoyance at the perception of a more senior officer looking over her shoulder because of her lack of experience but William didn’t have time to coddle anyone, nor had it ever been his practice.
“Yes.” He told her firmly. “Operational planning is part of my job as Strat Ops Officer. I’ll be Lieutenant Ryci’s deployment plan too and I’ll be co-ordinating the efforts of both Marines and Security. I’ll also be involved in the planning for constructing the bunkers. But I won’t bullshit you. Your lack of experience concerns me, so I’ll be taking a close look at you plan.”
It was clear from her face that the young Bajoran woman took umbrage at this. “With all due respect sir, that’s not fair. My scores in the combat simul-“
“This is the real world, Lieutenant.” William said, cutting her off. “Combat simulation scores mean fuck all. Lives are on the line. And not just the lives of the men and women under your command but the lives of the civilian colonists down on the planet. If you can’t handle me looking over your shoulder, tell me now. I’ll relieve you and assume command myself.”
The Lieutenant had the good grace to look appropriately chastised. “That won’t be necessary, sir. I’d welcome whatever input you can offer.”
“Good. Time is not on our side here. Work with your senior NCOs,” he pointed towards the Gunnery Sergeant, “to come up with your deployment plan and be prepared to present it to me at zero seven hundred tomorrow morning. Dismissed.”
Both Marines snapped to attention briefly before the Lieutenant turned and walked away. Gunnery Sergeant Sonoda remained behind for a few minutes. “A little hard, weren’t you Skip?”
“You know me, Tav. I’m not the ‘go easy’ type.” He reminded his former subordinate and friend. “Besides, we’re racing the clock on this one. I don’t have time to hold anyone’s hand. If she’s not up to the task, I need to know.”
The Gunny patted William on the shoulder. “She’s a fine Marine, Skipper. I think she’s up to the challenge.”
“I just hope we all are, Tav.” Christensen replied gravely. “God help us if we’re not.”