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Delta Onboard

Posted on Sun Jun 21st, 2015 @ 1:06pm by Captain Julius Whitlam & Commander Elliot Drake & Captain Melody Windsor

Mission: Prelude to War
Location: Captain's Ready Room, USS Manoora
Timeline: MD01: 1910

"I don't know anything about her," Captain Whitlam was saying to his first officer. "Other than her service record, which is ... impressive."

"I still don't like it," Drake replied, deciding to just be blunt. "I know having marines on board is becoming increasingly more common, but this is still a Stafleet ship. I just hope they know their place."

Whitlam permitted himself a wry smile and arched an eyebrow at Drake. "Don't worry, Number One," he said. "I plan on leaving her in no doubt as to who is in command here."

"I hope so, sir. I still don't like it." Drake hung his head and sighed. "I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that our mission of peace is turning into a mission of war." A brief silence hung in the air before being interrupted by the door chime.

"Enter," Whitlam called.

Melody marched in, her olive drab combat fatigues in a spotless shape, crisp and pristine, every pip, medal, and patch in it's place. Her normally haphazard mess of red hair was pulled up into a tight bun that was hidden inside a duty cap, "Captain. Captain Melody Windsor, Delta Company, reporting in," She offered officially with a sharp solute. Time to kiss the brasses ass.

Whitlam returned the salute and shot a sideways glance at Drake. "At ease, Captain," he said, then gestured for the empty chair opposite and sat down in his own seat. "How are you and your marines settling in?"

Melody accepted the chair and crossed her legs, "Well, sir. We've got an loadout alteration request pending. The equipment on board isn't suited for the missions we'll be running, it's more for ship to ship boarding. That's already been submitted, though. Thanks," She replied. Sitting down meant she was about to get a lecture... that sideways glance at the XO hadn't escaped her either.

Drake kept his thoughts to himself as he studied the marine. It wasn't fair to Windsor, but Elliot's opinion of her was based on preconceptions. It wasn't her fault, but her presence on the ship meant an end to their scientific pursuits. Her presences went against every reason he joined Starfleet. And because of that, anything he said was going to be based on the prejudice. It was probably going to be best that he sit quite and not risk alienating her further.

The captain allowed the silence to linger for a moment while he studied the marine captain. She wasn’t what he had expected, but there was still a strong of purpose about her. He had no doubt that she would be able to handle herself in combat; an impression backed up by her previous commanding officers’ notes.

“Captain, I want to make one thing perfectly clear from the outset,” Whitlam said suddenly, his tone one of high authority. “We’re in this together. As far as I’m concerned, you and your marines are part of this crew. This ship is going to war and you will form a significant part of our war fighting capability.”

Something in the tone of his voice set Melody's jaw... there was another shoe coming, she was sure of it.

Whitlam paused for just a moment before continuing. “But you will only be part of that capacity,” he said, wanting to make that perfectly clear. “I know some of you marines view us fleeters as a kind of ferrying service; getting you from A to B and back again. Well that attitude will not cut it on my ship. The marines have their role to play. As do the fighter pilots. As do the security officers, the engineers, the medical staff, the operations crew. Everybody has a job to do and I expect everybody to do that job and work with the person next to them, no matter what colour they’re wearing. Do I make myself clear, Captain?”

Melody's eyes narrowed as she regarded the captain... she didn't mean to do that, but the 'I'm in charge of you' attitude that he spoke with - in stead of a mutual respect of commanders - caused it completely involuntarily. So much for her hope that Gunning would be the standard on this ship.

She cleared her throat and adjusted the way she was sitting "Captain... I'd like to make myself clear as well, if I may. For starters, I don't appreciate being lectured to. You're the commander of this ship, and I'm the commander of my Marines. I don't take orders from you, and you don't take orders from me. We're not in the same branch. That being said, I will give you the respect you deserve as the CO of this vessel, and I'll work with you and trust you. I need you to do the same with me, and not look at me as an adversary." She told him, trying her best to keep her tone from being cold. Firm, but not cold.

"I know my job, and I'll do it, and I'll do it damn well. I accept that you have your roles and I have mine. I've already talked to Gunning and we've already discussed assisting each other as needed. I'm aware that me and my boys aren't usually the most beloved group to have on a ship, but could you do me the courtesy of not judging us before we give you a reason to?" She asked.

Elliot studied Windsor closely. He still didn't like her, but she made a valid point. The main thing that he wanted was to make sure that her marines knew their place on the ship. He had no intention of being disrespectful to them, but he expected a likewise response from the jar heads. Drake glanced over to Whitlam to see how the captain would react.

Whitlam narrowed his eyes at the marine CO, entirely intentionally. This was a critical moment in this encounter. Things hadn’t gone quite as he had hoped, but he was damned if he was going to be the one to back down. His blood was running a little hot and there was a real risk that his temper could get the best of him, so he took a couple of breaths and let the silence linger.

“You do have my respect, Captain,” he replied after a moment, his voice calm and cold. “I have nothing but respect for you, the position you hold and the marines you command.” He shifted forward in his seat suddenly, an angry fire flashing in his eyes though his face remained placid. “But you got one thing wrong in your little lecture, Ms Windsor. You do take orders from me. Check your orders; you and your company are seconded to my command. As long as you are attached to my ship, I am your commanding officer and you will obey the orders I give you.

“If you can’t live with that, feel free to resign your commission,” he added, a deathly seriousness to his tone. He let that hang in the air a moment before leaning back in his chair and adding, with an unusual degree of indifference, “But you’d better decide quickly, because we’ll be at war any day now and I hear the Marine Corps doesn’t take desertion very well.”

Melody glared at the man, seething rage in her eyes. She'd not had a Captain be that flippant or defiant in her career (short as it was), "My orders, Captain, are to board this vessel for rapid transport to hot zones in the upcoming war and to assist aboard the vessel as needed. We'll work with you and we'll respond as you need us to, but don't confuse that with me being under you command from a fleet perspective. As far as resigning my commission, it'll take more than one misinformed CO for that to happen. And I. Do not. Desert. Anything," She said, standing. "Charming conversation, Captain. I can see we're going to get along just dandy. If there's nothing else?" She said, crossing her arms and giving him a look that dared him to continue the argument.

This meeting was quickly devolving into pointless headbutting and there was no sense continuing it. As much as the captain would like to have continued the argument, it was going nowhere while this pigheaded marine refused to acknowledge his command. It wasn't over; it was plain to him now that he would need to try a different approach. Just what that would be, he wasn't sure. He ground his teeth together and uttered a curt, "You're dismissed," before swiveling in his chair and facing away from her.

"You really should only 'dismiss' subordinate officers, Captain, not equals. But I'll let it slide this time," Melody quipped, casually as she turned to the door. She gave Drake a surprisingly warm smile, "Have a fantastic day, Commander Drake," She said before disappearing out the door.

The fury in the captain was boiling as he glared after the now closed door for what seemed like a full minute after Windsor had left. He used the time to control his breathing and try to calm himself. By the time he spoke to Drake, he was only about three quarters as furious as he had been. "Number One," he said in that dangerously calm voice of his.

Drake slowly exhaled. His fury had not quite built to the same level as Whitlam, but he wasn't the one directly in the line of fire. "Sir?"

"I want that woman off my ship."

Captain Julius Whitlam
Commanding Officer

Commander Elliot Drake
Executive Officer

Marine Captain Melody Windsor
Marine Commanding Officer
USS Manoora


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