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A difference in perspective

Posted on Wed Mar 3rd, 2021 @ 11:14am by Commander John Collins & Lieutenant Beau Ramaker

Mission: On the Verge
Location: Deck 8: Security Command Center
Timeline: En route to Sarkotis Colony

"...Crushed by a falling cargo container. Currently in medically-induced coma." As Collins walked through the corridors of the Solaria, he reread the brief report from the CMO on his PADD in silent disbelief. "Return to duty unlikely in short term."

It was with this in mind that he strode towards Security's main command center and office space, on Deck 8. After something like this, it was a good idea for the XO to check in on the junior officers and the Chief Petty Officers in the department. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, nobody would need his help, but catching that one out of a hundred time where they did could be a subtle thing, especially this early in a deployment.

Beau had returned to the security area and had gathered everybody around her to talk to them, to discuss the grapevine, and to make sure there were no misunderstandings about what had happened, and what was going to happen next.

"...then get back to work!" she finished, just as she saw the XO enter. Of course. Exactly what she needed. She headed over to him as she wasn't likely to be able to escape him anyway. "Are you checking up on me too, Commander?" Those higher ups really didn't have anything better to do.

Collins raised his eyebrows. "Too? Just me and the CO above you in the chain here, at the moment, Lieutenant." He offered, keeping his voice soft enough so only Ramaker could hear him. "Not particularly, though. I know you have things in hand. I did want to see where we stand as to training and preps for this response we're en route to, and since I was walking the decks anyway figured I'd get the details from you in person rather than through my PADD." It wasn't a lie, at least not significantly - he woulda wound up here anyway even if Lieutenant T'Revra had not been crushed by cargo. It just was a slightly higher priority to wind up here since she had been.

"Who do you think just checked up on me?" Beau replied with a snort, but then she waved her hand. "Whatever. It doesn't matter. I'm sure you're using your time the best possible way. We've got everything under control here. Preparations for getting boots down on the planet are underway, we're running continuous drills with the different teams and will continue to do so until we arrive."

Collins nodded, a bit (well, OK, more than a bit) surprised by the hostility but carefully not showing it. "OK, then. Any issues communicating with the colony's police and militia?" The colony had had the power supply to their main subspace transmitter destroyed in the attack, so comms were patchy as Collins understood it, but hopefully they were happening, at least.

Beau shrugged. "They know to expect us and they've communicated their most immediate needs. However, with communication slow and little bandwidth, we've agreed to meet as soon as we beam down to discuss specifics. I've got the beam in point for all my teams, but they're going in with the basic instruction to secure the area. It's our hope to spread more detailed orders within half an hour after entry."

That got a nod. "Sounds good, but I'm going to warn you that the personnel transporters are going to be slower than normal thanks to the sheer volume of people we're sending down all told. Might want to stretch the timeline for initial beamdowns a bit," Collins offered. "Otherwise, fair enough. Any questions you've got for me, since I'm available?"

"I'll recalculate the speed of the deployment," Beau spoke after listening intently. They all were free to think whatever they wanted about her personality, but her professionalism was impeccable. "Do you have confirmation yet if you or the skipper are going to touch boots on the surface?"

"As of right now, current planning has me as senior Starfleet officer on the surface," Collins confirmed.

Beau took mental note of that. "I'll make sure you have a team assigned to you, Commander. They'll be with you from the moment you mean down till the moment you return to the ship."

Collins looked thoughtfully at the DCSec before responding. "I appreciate being looked after, but I'm not entirely sure any of us having a personal security detail is a good idea? My thinking is that we really, really don't want to give off the impression that we're anything but equal partners in the efforts, at least until we get the lay of the land in a social dynamics sense, if that makes sense?"

"Yes, sir," Beau apparently agreed. Or not. "But as you'll be senior boots on the ground, that doesn't go for you. Protocol dictates personal security for the most senior officer, so that's what I'm going to do."

"Lieutenant, you seem to have forgotten: Protocol is a guideline, not a binding authority. I have the authority to override the protocol, so that's what I'm doing to ensure we set the proper tone for our deployment. Understood? If you still have objections, bring it to the Captain." Collins replied, his face a mask.

"Yes, sir," Beau repeated, still not agreeing, but she recognized when it was useless to push. "I'll make a note of your override in my log."

"That's fine; How the process is supposed to work, I'll be documenting my override in my log, too," Collins agreed. "If I'm wrong, the CO will have words for me later, but that comes with the territory. My plan was and is that while I wouldn't have a detail, I would myself be armed. Split on whether I want to go with the Type I mark 9, or type 2 mark 8," he explained, referring to the latest models of the type I phaser, which was more concealable, and the type II, which was the standard sidearm but was less concealable and had to be carried openly in a holster. "With the objectives I've laid out for you, which would you recommend?"

Beau looked the XO up, from head to toe, judging his build and his agility. "If you're comfortable with a concealed weapon, I'd still go for the Type 1. Gives you an extra edge if you need it. Of course, if they notice themselves and you haven't told them, a lot of shit will hit the fan. So, that's up to you diplomatic types to decide if the possible reward is worth the risk."

"Ehh. In that case, it might be best to go with a type II, since we'll be justifying ourselves through 'sorry but regs say I gotta be armed' either way," Collins replied. "Better for me not to hide it. Plus, they were just attacked by a hostile foreign power, that sort of sets the tone regardless of what we do." Then, he tapped a few things on his PADD, and Ramaker's PADD beeped. "The formal requisition for one type 2 phaser pistol with belt-and-thigh holster, just so we keep the tracking straight. I'll grab it from the armory just before beaming down." The XO was silent in thought for a moment. "Anything more we need to cover? If not, I'll leave you to it."

"That sounds like we've covered everything, Commander," Beau agreed as she confirmed the requisition on her padd.

"I'll leave you and your team to their work, then. Good day, Lieutenant." With that, Collins left as he had arrived.


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