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Wax On, Wax Off

Posted on Sat Jul 30th, 2016 @ 5:31am by Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant JG Kevin Pittman

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: USS Vindex - Marine WarFit Room (Gymnasium)
Timeline: Mission Day 3 - 1745

The two fatigue-wearing men sat back-to-back on the padded floor, their foreheads gleaming with sweat and breaths coming in ragged gasps.

"Again!" Storr barked, the two scrambling to their knees or pivoting around their shoulders to attempt to get the better leverage on the other. While the Marine CO held a 7 inch and 70-pound advantage over the lithe operations officer, the martial arts were rarely about size difference but rather physics and mental fortitude. *Of course,* Garlake thought as he slipped under Ensign Pittman and caught him in the guard before bringing Kevin against his chest and utilizing the junior officer's shirt to implement a cross-collar choke, *experience and strength do help.* The Ensign tapped the ground with two rapid hits to the mat and Storr released him before standing and helping Kevin up beside him.

Standing, Pittman was sore, out of breath and in sore need of hydration. The conditioning phase needed to actually practice the Starfleet Marine Corps martial arts program was just as if not more intense that the physical education one receives at the academy. Simply standing up at this point with the amount lactic acid build-up in his legs and arms felt impossible. Turning towards Garlake, he nodded at him in some sort of failed attempt say that he was ready for what was next.

He really wasn't.

"To be honest, with no experience you did alright. Of course, that was simply an introduction and we'll begin the formal training itself next week. What would you say to...every other-day at 1330 for an hour? There's about 27 hours of instruction before you can earn your tan belt and since you didn't go through Marine boot, there might be some remedial to get you up to speed." Captain Garlake grabbed a towel and wiped his face before taking another and tossing it into Ensign Pittman's midsection before walking away and continuing, "let's hit the showers and you can tell me more about yourself, Ensign, and why you wish you had joined the Corp." While Storr had a great deal still to learn about all the Marines under his command, it was rare for a Fleeter to show any interest in the "dark arts" of what the Afrikaner called "bad-breath range combat" and he wanted to be sure to foster it whenever it came.

Catching the towel before it nearly fell to the ground, Kevin was still processing the words long at the marine had spoke them. His brain was soaking up all the available oxygen he had while huge, silent swaths of breath attempted to replace it.

"27 hours of introduction....nice." Walking over and grabbing a bottle of water, Pittman slowly drank from it, remembering that drinking too much, too fast could make him sick. Nodding to the shower suggestion, Kevin had bridge duty after this, but would stop by ten forward for a "healthy drink" as per the recommendation of his sister.

The semi-open bay gender-segregated showers were an oddity on the ship, as while every room had its own sonic shower, the Marines didn't have time to send everyone scurrying back to their rooms after PT sessions and then having to herd the cats back to the next event. That, and the Ops and Engineering crews didn't seem to appreciate the corridors smelling like old fried chicken from all the sweat slung into the carpeting. Storr grinned at the memory of him and two other fire teams spending two straight days sterilizing the 9th deck corridor on Benthari Prime after holding an impromptu "Fight Club" event that got a...touch out of hand.

Entering the shower area, he gave a simple nod to passing marines, one of which had a smirk on his face as the training Kevin was going though was something they all had experienced at one point. Walking to his sonic shower area, he spoke. "Me not joining the marines was by design. I have a sister, Marine Captain onboard the USS Kentucky, she told me a lot about the marines and knows me better than most. Her recommendation to pursue other interests was in my best interests."

Rubbing his neck, he added. "I'm starting to think she was very astute on her recommendation."

Storr nodded and chuckled at Kevin's introspection. "The Marines isn't for everyone, and that's a good thing because every section needs people that are the best at it. I'm sure that you've found your niche and we'll all be the better for it."

After emerging refreshed from the showers refreshed, the two headed into the adjacent locker room to return to the spit-and-polish that both their commands demanded.

"The rest is history as they say," Kevin commented, a little more alert after the shower and some more water. "Attended Starfleet academy, earned my place and found my passion for operations all at the same time." Putting on his uniform, he inquired. "What brought you to the sacred and hallowed grounds of the SFMC?"

Captain Garlake wasn't often asked concerning his Starfleet aspirations...or, in his case, lack thereof (at the time). Escorting Ensign Pittman to the doorway, he shook the younger man's hand before answering. "That's a story for another time, but suffice to say I wasn't your normal Starfleet accession. Drinks after your first successful week and I'll tell you the story. Deal?"

Kevin smiled as the pre-curser to any good marine story he ever heard of was drinks. "Deal, thanks for the conditioning too Capt. Looking forward to the next session."

Storr nodded to the Operations Ensign as his signal of dismissal and turned back to the three PADDs that sat atop each other on the desk. He almost wished for an enemy boarding action so that he would have an excuse not to complete the busy work. Almost.

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