USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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My House, My Rules

Posted on Wed Aug 26th, 2020 @ 10:13am by Commodore Yoshi Minawara & Captain Amelia St Lacroix

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Captain's Ready Room
1746 words - 3.5 OF Standard Post Measure

To say you could cut the tension in the room with a knife would be cliché. Also, inaccurate. It was more like a soft tension, the kind that forms from discomfort for a perceived conversation. The kind of tension when you have to call an aunt that you're not close with, but her husband died and you need to say something. Yoshi was fresh from surgery, but the day before, and his new and improved left hand drummed a beat on the table with no real cadence or rhythm, but a beat nonetheless. A PaDD was held in his right hand, and he scrolled with his thumb reading through something that was clearly more pressing that the other person in the room. Across the table from him, standing at parade rest, was Marine Captain St Lacroix. Her eyes were fixed on the wall behind, to an antique pendulum clock, painted to look like a cartoon owl. It was not keeping time, and it's black, beaded eyes stared back are her, as if judging her character. Somehow this was worse than a meeting with MacTaryn.

"An impressive history," finally the Commodore spoke. It was soft, even, and betrayed no emotion to the contrary of those words. On the surface it sounded like a compliment, the Marine suspected it was anything but. "JTF6 experience, specifically extraction and demolitions, operations in both the Romulan Free State and Romulan Republic. Activity in Breen space, two counter insurgency operation in Klingon space, very impressive." His eyes finally left the PaDD, and moved to her emerald green ones. She maintained her look straight ahead, but Yoshi watched as the twitched, tempted by human nature to meet his own. Finally she broke, looking down at him, confusion present.

"Sir, those files are restricted, most Brass outside of Marine Intelligence couldn't get their hands on them... How?" She paused, and added, "Sir," to the end, like the additional one was needed. This was in turn met with a smile, as the Commodore's eyes dropped back down to his PaDD. His smile continued, and he nodded slowly.

"True, but most Brass didn't work on classified projects for Starfleet Intelligence. I kept my friends for a good reason," he simply said, and the silence between them fell again. The Marine returned to Parade Rest, accepting the answer as truth, and left to wonder more herself. As the quiet continued to fill the room, Minawara returned to the drumming of his fingers as he read on. The fact he was able to read so much into her history suddenly made sense, and she realized she was more a bishop in a chess game bigger than herself, rather than the king of her own. She resisted the urge to frown, and settled in for another long wait. As if wanting to keep her on her toes still, the Commodore placed the PaDD down on his desk, took his own deep breath, and pointed to the chair opposite him. "Take a seat."

The Marine stiffened, and looked as though she was going to say something to the effect of preferring to stand, but realized from the look on his face that was less of a suggestion for comfort, and more of an order. Settling into the chair, she laced her fingers together on her lap. "Captain, I want to first of all say thank you, without you and your team, there is a very good chance I wouldn't have escaped my captors. Even if I had, the chances that the radiation, dehydration, hunger, and injuries would have gotten me first are way more likely. I have entered as much into your file," Yoshi started with. He leaned back in his own chair, settling in to a more comfortable position. "Which leads me to my next point, one I am sure you are more than aware of. I am not a fan of the Marine Corps. I have a team of well trained security aboard my ship, and this is a peaceful exploratory vessel. I strongly dislike the idea of keeping you aboard, and like even less the idea of you being forced upon me. I would rather handle the issues that occurred internally, and keep them from happening again through stark training and regimented security drills." The pair now locked eyes, him daring her to say something stupid to justify his position, her desperately wanting to defend the corps. "Now it's your turn," he finally said. "I want you to speak freely."

It was a trap, Amelia knew it was a trap. All she had to due was be massively insubordinate and he could ship her back to Camp Falkirk with her tail between her legs and enough justification to make MacTaryn made for a year to come. So she side stepped that. "Eight weeks ago you discovered the planet Brax. One of your shuttles, in an attempt to study an unknown vessel near the planet was shot down, and required recovery. You sent your Chief Medical Officer, a bartender, a security officer, and a Communication specialist to the surface. Your team was discovered, subdued, and possibly violated the prime directive." She paused, waiting to see if he would interrupt her, but the man remained silent. "Marine presence on that search and rescue operation could have been the difference between being discovered, and the getting away with no sign of us having ever been there. Furthermore, the chance of casualties would have been much lower, seeing as our teams are trained for combat and combat evasion." Again, there was no response from the Commodore, so she continued.

"Four years ago, a year your time, you had first contact with the Ziapteryx and their Republic of the First World. Their people attempted to impound the Vesta, you were forced to use the Warp Field as a direct threat to the station, breaking free. In that incident, Marine insertion teams could have made their way onto the alien station, disabled it's controls, and broken free, quick and easy." The Marine pushed her chin up. "Sir, with due respect, we both know I was ordered to stay here by Major General MacTaryn, added to by Admiral Sepandiyar. You can't remove me from this ship, but you can make us miserable, and we know that. We're used to that. I am not asking you to like us, I am asking you to use as a tool in your belt." She paused again, looking the man up and down, getting an idea for how far she could push this. As he sat, unmoved, she decided to push forward with her point hard. "I have studied your history too sir. You are known for your passion for the unconventional. During the Dominion War you got the Warp Reactor of the Kittyhawk back operational with materials from a collection of shuttles. You made sure a crippled ship could not only limp back to stardock, but could keep up the fight as well. That was a move no one could have considered, and you did it because your best friend in the Academy was a trouble maker known for taking apart an Admiral's shuttle and rebuilding it on the roof of the Academy itself." The Commodore's face twitched, and in that moment, Amelia wondered if she had pushed to hard.

But a smile formed, creeping slowly onto the mask of the man's face, so she pushed on. "Sir, we are an unconventional unit, our specialty is getting in and out of spots that most won't dare go. If you want to tighten your security, let us help you. Let us build a stronger team together, and let's build those policies you want. Or, you can be like every other Starfleet, put us in the corner, and only use us when you absolutely have to. You can be ordinary." With her speech done, the woman slumped a little, and a silence entered the room once more. She watched as he made a series of gestures on the desk, and a cup of coffee spun to life on the desk.

"In table replicator," he said, as she stared. "It's not that difficult of a technology, but most people prefer the traditional placement. They also like to tell their replicator what to do," he added, picking up the coffee and took a sip. "You would have made an excellent Diplomat, Captain. Hell, I think Izzy could learn a thing or two from you." He placed the cup down and waited, taking a deep breath, and stifling a yawn. He was still exhausted from all of the physiotherapy and treatments to ensure he wasn't going to develop cancer in the future. "Very well, you've made your case Captain. I will give you and your team an honest chance. That, however, comes with a cost." The woman stiffened, waiting to be told she'd have to jump through hoops, toe the line. Typical Starfleet behaviour. "My crew is loyal to the Fleet, yes, and to the Federation. But one this I strive for is loyalty to me as well, something earned, and something that goes both ways. "Any report you send to MacTayrn I also expect to cross my desk, an honest communication between myself and you. If I find you are going behind my back and betraying the trust I am going to place in you, I will put you and your entire team in one of our Danube runabouts, and shunt you off to the nearest space station. Am I clear?"

Amelia nodded, stiffening, and giving a crisp "Yes sir!" The Commodore nodded.

"Then you are dismissed Captain." The woman stood, took two steps back from the chair, and snapped to attention.

"Thank you sir," she sounded off, snapped a salute, and disappeared from the office, leaving Yoshi alone. He was going to have to work on that, the Marine way of coming and going. Or maybe she was being overly showy? Regardless, the Commodore was going to have to change his own work flow and policies to accurately reflect this new change. But the woman had been right, he had been closed minded and resistant to change, and had previous reasons not to like Marines, but times were changing. He'd be a terrible engineer if he didn't also change. Pushing another hidden button on the desk, he called out, "Master Chief, please come to my office. I have something I'd like to discuss."


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