USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Gratitude

Posted on Sun Dec 11th, 2016 @ 1:49am by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Rear Admiral David Hutchinson Sr & Major Storr Garlake
Edited on on Sun Dec 11th, 2016 @ 2:07am

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Observation Lounge; USS Vindex
Timeline: Mission Day 10; 09:30

Captain Hutchinson wanted to thank Storr personally for leading the team that successfully retrieved his kidnapped crewmembers from the USS Bozeman safely. To do so he had beamed aboard and was currently sat with Claudia in Vindex's observation lounge where he was looking forward to meeting with the Vindex's Marine Commanding Officer.

Deciding not to leave David waiting any longer Claudia called Storr up to the observation lounge.

=/\="Ainscow to Garlake. We have a visitor who would very much like to meet you"=/\= Claudia said.

---

"...why you always watch your flank!" Storr ended with a flourish, his hand sweeping over the viewscreen, the thirteen other Marines cheering as their MCO finished his heritage presentation. He wanted the 2/5 to do these monthly so that they would remember the rich heritage that they shared with several hundred years of fellow Marines that went before them. This first presentation was over the Battle of Peleliu during Earth's Second World War, also known as "the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines". While the weaponry and forces were different, there were always lessons to be learned from the past and they were doomed to repeat those mistakes if they did not learn from them.

Marine Captain Garlake pointed to Private Baxter, the newest Marine onboard. "Baxter, you have next month's presentation...now that you've seen one, I expect greatness," he said with a smile and turned from the group to tap his commbadge.

=/\= Roger, Ma'am. Your ready room?" =/\=

=/\="For once I'm not - I'm in the observation lounge, Captain. If now is a bad time we can re-arrange"=/\= Claudia replied.

=/\= Copy all, I'll be there in 5 minutes," =/\=

Nodding to the group, he addressed them as he made his way towards the doorway. "Alright gang, you're released to the holodecks. Remember to take the specific lesson of enfilading fire from heavy weaponry into whatever scenario you choose."

Storr made his way to the turbolift and exited on Deck One and took a left into the observation lounge. The large, single "pane" looked out into the inky blackness of space and was empty save his commanding officer and a Starfleet Captain sitting with her, both who rose when he came in.

"Reporting as ordered, Ma'am," Storr said with a smile and salute before turning to Hutchinson. "Sir, Marine Captain Garlake," he said while extending his hand after a quick salute to the Renown's CO.

David reached for Storr's hand and shook it firmly. The Northern Irishman was a firm believer in showing his gratitude in person rather than over a commlink. To him, nothing beat a good firm handshake.

"A pleasure to meet you, Captain. I'd like to thank you for bringing them all home safely - you and your team. You'll be pleased to know that all involved are recovering well and should be returning to duty tomorrow. On their behalf as well as the rest of Renown - thank you" David replied.

"Ah, a pleasure meeting you, sir...glad to finally put a face with the name," he said, taking the offered seat and the table. "Thank you for having Rice, Hicks, Keating and Morgan join us on the operation; their assistance was vital in its completion. Also, I hope that your Vulcan ensign wasn't too...insulted by a little necessary manhandling," the Marine said with the crack of a smile at the right corner of his lips.

David smiled. "No problem - I was keen to help out where possible. I figured strength in numbers was a wise strategy to pursue in this particular situation. I'm just glad we managed to pull it off. As for the Ensign...I think hindsight has proven useful - he asked me to apologize on his behalf if you or any of your team found his language or actions offensive or inappropriate. Knowing T'Rovek though...he can be quite stubborn at times"

Storr chuckled at Captain Hutchinson's comment and shook his head. "Not at all sir, not at all...the simple fact that a Vulcan is apologizing to ME for being offensive or inappropriate is more than enough."

Claudia watched as the two gentlemen got acquainted. She didn't intend on keeping them long but she just wanted to give David the opportunity to express his gratitude in person before the makeshift task group left for Starbase Unity.

"Can I get either of you anything before we get started?" Claudia asked.

David nodded. "A cup of tea for me please Captain"

"Nothing for me, thank you," Garlake replied. He had brought a water bottle with him and was still hydrating following the morning's PT session which had incorporated a longer set of pugilism matches than normal.

"No problem. Coming up" Claudia replied.

Claudia requested the drinks that the Renown commanding officer had requested before taking them over to the table and then collecting her own. She returned and sat down at the head of the table.

"Thank you, Captain," David said.

He then took a long sip of his tea and placed it back on the table.

"So Mr. Garlake...have you had any experience of hostage retrieval before? The team from the Renown were very impressed by the tactics you employed - so much so they want to incorporate them into their training drills. I've got say, though - I've got a lot of respect for the Starfleet Marines" David commented.

Storr's eyebrows raised at the Renown CO's words. "That's high praise, sir, though I'm sure that they won't find it too different than a modification of their current TTPs [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures]. My men are, with all due respect to your Warlords, the best blerrie [d*mn] Marines in the fleet and I simply have the privilege of commanding them for Captain Ainscow. As soon as she gave the word, we began intensive scenario-based training exercises and I just got lucky in picking one that was very similar," Of course, Garlake didn't mention HOW similar and he wasn't sure if he'd ever tell anyone about the uncanny similarity it had with his dream. "I'm just glad that we were able to get everyone out safely and though Lance Corporal Drex will likely need to stay in his medical coma until we reach the next Starbase, the new doc said that he's stable and should recover completely when he can get the level of care that he requires."

He then turned towards Captain Ainscow, who was just about to speak and quickly interrupted her with a grin. "Sorry ma'am, I know how you love paperwork but speaking of Drex, this is a gentle reminder that there are two forms on your desk for endorsement before I can send up his Wounded Lion and Gold Nebula decoration packages to HQ."

Claudia nodded. "Of course Captain - I'll see to that once we're done here. I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery. But yeah - they do a great job - that's why unlike my former Commanding Officer I was more than happy to have a detachment on the Vindex. Based on what Mr. Garlake and his team have done so far I don't regret that decision one bit"

Storr chuckled. "You do me too much honor, ma'am, and I just hope that we can continue to provide you with the support that you need."

Claudia took a sip of her tea and smiled. She meant every word - whilst the Security department had also done sterling work so far she felt the Marines had risen to the challenge and proven Claudia's opinion of them right.

Garlake cleared his throat to hopefully provide a bit of separation between the congratulatory air that the conversation had had up until this point and the business that he felt needed to be addressed next.

"Captains, on a quick shift of subject, I know that it might seem that the two-five has been sitting on our thumbs since then, but that's because we haven't gotten much in the way of information. How can we prepare ourselves for the next 'event' and what/when will it be? As I'm sure you can imagine, the next worse thing than a Marine with a rifle is a bored Marine with a rifle." Storr knew that the entire ship was rife with talk of saboteurs, turncoats, spies and all manner of morale-sapping events but if there was a need or a battle, the Marines needed to be ready and he needed to know.

Claudia smiled. "Just keep practicing as you were Captain. There's not going to be much in the way of action unless we get boarded at Starbase Unity - if it goes our way then I plan on taking a few days' R&R at Unity before we head on our way to DS11"

Claudia had another sip of her tea before continuing.

"Although on saying that...I would like to think if the opportunity comes up during the battle that I can send you all over to a Consortium ship to liberate it for our cause. Speaking of which I was thinking - in addition to the Argo I was thinking of reconfiguring one of our Danube runabouts for Marine operations. Is that something you feel would be useful to the Marine detachment?" Claudia asked.

David continued to listen and occasionally took sips of his cup of tea. He was very impressed by the work Storr carried out on the Bozeman and was pleased that his Marine CO had already started to take those lessons on board.

While Captain Garlake was somewhat disappointed at the beginning of Claudia's reply, he was not so when she finished. Boarding a vessel for interdiction was a very complex and hazardous mission set that would require a great deal of training and mission preparation. If there was anything that would get a marine's mind off of boredom and potential traitors behind every Jeffries Tube, it was hard training. And a Danube-class runabout for Marine operations? The MCO's head danced with exchangeable components in the central multi-mission module pack: mono-loads or combinations of half-load modules and up to four quarter-loads that could provide everything from transporter relays, mobile armories, boarding skiffs, training platforms, and everything in between. That and the extendable micro-torpedo launcher modules would be able to assist the Vindex in multi-angle attacks. Heck, it might even rate him a pilot slot in his manning document!

If Storr wasn't smiling before, he was now as he stood and shook both Hutchinson and Ainscow's hands. "Sir, again, a pleasure to meet you. I've no time to lose with my men if we're going to prepare for boarding actions and I think that it would be wise to have several of your marines come over for interoperability training. Ma'am," Garlake said, turning to his CO, "we'll be ready for whenever you say the word. As for the runabout, I already have several ideas that I'll bounce off Himmel...with your permission, of course. And I think that 'Puller' has a nice ring to it"

Claudia and David both smiled and watched Storr leave. They were both happy with how the brief meeting went and discussed plans whilst
finishing their cups of tea. Although the future was uncertain both commanding officers were confident in the ability and determination of their respective crews.

With that and a snapped salute, the Vindex MCO turned and exited the lounge, ready to once again prepare the two-five for battle...

 

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