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A Place For My Head

Posted on Tue Mar 28th, 2017 @ 4:20am by Major Storr Garlake & 1st Lieutenant Skryt Mrazak

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Marine Quarters(Deck 25)
Timeline: MD 72; 0700

Another ship. This would make 47. Mrazak kept a clipped strut with both arms behind his back while inspecting the Marines' area. Number 47--the Vindex, he reminded himself, which was home for now--wasn't the biggest ship he had ever been aboard, but it was the largest ship he had been assigned to.

Nobody else seemed to be milling about. Surely they were awake, but none had left their quarters yet. Mrazak had not yet taken quarters. He had surely been assigned quarters already, but tradition dictated he meet the MCO before assuming his place and position. Personal quarters were included in that.

And so he waited for Major Garlake to make an appearance, at which time he would put his best foot forward. Few Fleeters trusted one of his kind. The Marines who had seen Remans in action were not any more trusting, for they knew firsthand what a Reman was capable of. As a result, Mrazak had floated from ship to ship despite his assignments. His COs had always found a compelling reason to send him here or temporarily reassign him there.

The Gamma Quadrant awaited. Major Garlake would be stuck with him--and he with Garlake--for better or worse. This first impression had much riding on it.

The MCO sauntered down the hallway, nearly walking past the Reman before addressing him.

"Can I help you...Marine?" he asked, looking Skryt up and down with a sideways glance. The green striped uniform he was familiar with, but a Reman wearing it he was not, especially on this ship.

"Greetings, Major." Mrazak thumped his chest in salute. He had felt the human's approach, along with his suspicion, but respect demanded that he allow the superior officer to speak first. "First Lieutenant Mrazak reporting for duty."

Storr turned to fully face the Lieutenant, the two nearly equal in height and weight, though in build the human seemed to hold the upper hand. While the Major had not faced Remans in combat, he knew that their looks were very deceiving when it came to physical capabilities. Looking Mrazak over more closely again, he nodded.

"Greetings, Lieutenant Mrazak. I wasn't made aware of your assignment though I'm sure that it's no fault of your own. Come with me." the MCO turned and led the new Marine officer a short distance to the barracks and into the Team Room. It was mostly squared away, though evidence of battle still remained in several stubborn scorch marks near the corners. Pointing to the Wall of Honor, he looked at it sorrowfully and then back to Mrazak.

"As you can see, there are forty-seven slots there that have temporary didn't have enough placards and they're machining more. The 2/5 has been through hell and we're a shell, manning and morale, of what we once were. We'll rebuild and be stronger than ever but there is a gaping wound in our battalion that is going to be very slow to heal. Are you ready to take this on, LT?" Major Garlake was deadly serious; they were in a precarious position and maintaining order, discipline, esprit de corp, a warrior spirit, and physical/mental/emotional/spiritual toughness was both tantamount yet a daily trial.

"Yes, sir." Mrazak's gravelly voice underscored his conviction with a vicious touch. "You could say that is why I'm here."

The MCO nodded. "Let's also get this out of the way...I don't know if the men will trust you, at least at first. Bloedaglik vererg, I don't right now and I have no good reason for it. You're starting in a hole that you'll have to dig out of and I don't envy you for it. However, if you prove to me and my men that you are worthy of our trust and respect, you'll find no finer warriors at your side and back, willing to take a phaser blast for you. Are you ready for this?"

The Reman bared his teeth in what could have been a smile or a grimace. "This would not be the first such 'hole' I've fallen into," Mrazak said. "I knew my expatriation from the Star Empire would leave me in a... precarious position... because old hatreds die slowly. When I first served aboard the USS Constitution in the temporary officer exchange program, I saw through the veil of lies and propaganda the Romulans had spread about Starfleet. When they recalled me, I refused because, even amidst all the suspicion and mistrust, I found in the Federation what I've fought for my entire life. Freedom."

He looked around at the furnishings, the 2/5 banner, and all other signs of comradery.

"I will fight, Major. Whether or not I earn my place is secondary to preserving the freedom and justice that Starfleet has etched into an otherwise cruel and inhospitable galaxy. Yesterday it was the Dominion who threatened us, today it was the Consortium, tomorrow, who else? All I know is I will be there to face them head on. If I live only to see freedom die, then what is my life worth? Nothing."

The Reman took a breath. "Forgive me for unloading all of that on you, Major. Sometimes... I've found that Federation citizens do not appreciate what they have."

The Afrikaner slowly nodded as he stroked his beard while the Reman spoke. It was not what he had expected to hear and it boded quite well for the new MXO. "No apology necessary, Mrazak," he said slowly, taking in the Reman in an entirely different light. "With your attitude and convictions, I have a feeling that you'll be able to be both accepted AND meet your preservation desires. Now, I assume you still have a great deal of your in-processing to complete; care to knock that out so that we can get down to business?

Mrazak hesitated for a second, then said, "Respectfully, sir, I've joined enough ranks in my life to know there's always a... rite of passage... before being truly welcomed." He presented his fangs again. "Friendly or otherwise, I'd rather get that out of the way now."

Storr smirked. It was quite presumptuous to ask to be initiated into the unit so soon, especially after he hadn't even met anyone else in the 2/5. That, and given the...unique nature of the new MXO, the Major was not keen on starting their official relationship off on such a precarious note. Besides, one never asked, as it came after the respect was earned.

"Lieutenant, I'm sure you're more than aware of Starfleet Marine Corp guidance contained in MCO P1020.34G that specifically prohibits initiation, hazing, bullying, or any other entry rite. Besides, we wouldn't want to get too ahead of ourselves, now would we?"

"I will resolve to respond with as much surprise as I can muster," Mrazak said with an affirmative nod. He figured it was too much to hope for, but asking never hurt.

"Now, hand me that PADD," the MCO said as he took the device from his new First Lieutenant's grasp, "and let's get this taken care of as soon as possible. I have people for you to meet and real work to get started on."

"My curricula vitae from my former service to the Star Empire is added to my Starfleet record," Mrazak offered. "Honesty fosters trust, and that is all I can give."

Storr nodded. "I would assume nothing less and you'll get nothing less from me and my men. Again, welcome aboard."


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