Obsidian Command
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Posted on 02 Oct 2018 @ 3:50am by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sharpe & Marine Captain Levi Drake

Mission: Character Development

It had been hard to properly get hold of Colonel Sharpe on Levi's first couple of days on the station. Scuttlebutt was that the marine commander had recused himself to spend time with his girlfriend (incidentally the station CO). It that was true, then Levi was both impressed and surprised. Typically in Levi's experience a senior officer wouldn't like the men to hear about that sort of thing, but out here on a station with a very small detachment it wasn't likely to be easily concealed.

At any rate, they'd had a passing encounter but Levi was looking forward to actually meeting his new CO.

He wasn't entirely sure why, but the Colonel had scheduled them to meet on the holographic range used by the men. Maybe he was going to test Levi's shooting. Or possibly have him run a course. Either way, a pointless waste of time proving something that wasn't required.

Richard stood on the range, watching the laughable attempts by his new company to complete the range. He knew they were rookie troopers, but this was ridiculous. One private was all over the map on his marksmanship. How he qualified from basic, he had no idea. He truly despaired, he really did.

The company was currently commanded by a 1st Lieutenant, who until extremely recently, had been an administrative assistant for the logistics company attached to the 2nd Division. He was being rotated in for his field experience, and had absolutely no idea what he was doing. All his platoon leaders were green graduate 2nd Lieutenants, and only his Company First Sergeant and the platoon gunny's had any first hand practical experience in the field.

Harper stood next to him as he reviewed the performance. "That one's O'Mally. 2nd Platoon." Harper said, reviewing his large PADD. "According to his transfer records, he actually qualified on both his rifle and pistol quals. I'm suspecting that his instructor was either drunk or pitied the fool."

"He'd be great if we were going for wild-fire suppression, wouldn't he?" Richard chuckled. "Maybe if we ask him to do a wild-pattern, he might hit his targets?"

"Reverse Psychology doesn't really work in marksmanship, Colonel." Harper said, narrowing his eyes.

"I know that Patrick, it was a joke." Richard said, then noticed a new arrival on the range. Unlike all present, who were wearing their combat BDU's, this arrival was wearing his standard Starfleet uniform with the green accents. "Oh look, fresh meat for the grinder." Richard observed.

Levi watched the rest of the squad attempting the course, though for some that word 'attempt' might have been used a little generously. He wasn't sure what he'd inherited; one of the NCOs had mentioned they had taken on some fresh faces, but he'd not expected this.

"Colonel Sharpe?" he approached the two men observing the range, offering a salute to the man who looked a little younger than he'd have expected for someone of that position. "Captain Drake, reporting as ordered."

Richard returned the salute, allowing the man to drop his own. "Welcome to Obsidian, Captain Drake." Richard said. "I trust your journey here was restful, and that you've had a few days to get acquainted with the station?"

"Gave it the once-over. Difficult to imagine we're going to be seeing a lot of action in this sector," Levi replied. "I'm as acquainted as I need to be right now, sir."

"This is Sergeant Major Harper, detachment senior Non-Com." Richard introduced the grey-haired man to his right. Harper gave the captain a polite head nod in recognition. "And this lot..." Richard said, gesturing around him. "Are the fine men and women of Bravo Company. I thought it prudent to introduce you to your new command."

Levi flinched, hoping that this was a bad joke but knowing that it probably wasn't. "They'll pass anything off as a marine these days, won't they?" he remarked. "Three weeks to get this lot combat-ready, sir. Minimum."

"You've got ten days." Richard replied, tersely. "On day eleven, you'll be leading them on a simulated boarding exercise against members of the FCPD. I expect them to win, we've not lost a exercise yet, and I would hate for you to break my winning streak against Commander Reed."

Levi scowled a little, but he knew the drill. He'd pulled it on junior Lieutenants before himself. The task was barely possible in that timeframe, but the added incentive was likely the catalyst to take them over the line. "They'll be ready, sir. Especially if they know they're up against the locals. Bragging rights at the bar are always good motivator." He glanced at Harper. "Sergeant Major, would you fall the men in? We've got some work to do."

Harper looked to Richard, who merely slow nodded once. He'd asked nicely enough, and it wasn't exactly like it was out of order. Harper returned the nod and turned, took two steps so he didn't deafen the officers, and stood at attention himself.


The men all jogged over to the empty area near the range, forming groups in platoon order, officers up front.

"COMPANY, ATTENTION!" Harper ordered, and not quite as one, it was still a bit sloppy, they came to attention.

Harper pivotted on one foot and came to attention before the officers. "Company lined up and ready for inspection, SAH!" He announced, and gave a crisp salute to them.

Richard returned the salute casually. "Thank you Sergeant Major." He said, then glanced at Drake. "They're all yours, break a leg."

Levi took a breath, then walked calmly to the fore. He didn't speak initially, he just eyed the men, noting the minor infractions, getting a feel for their personality.

"Private...Stanton," he caught the eye of one particularly young-looking trooper. "Remind the rest of your company what we categorise a marine as."

"Sir! A marine is categorised as one who possesses the highest of military virtue. He respects his seniors and strives constantly to be the best the Federation has to offer. Sir!" The words the young man barked were straight from a drill-sergeant's playbook.

"Right you are, private." Levi nodded. "There are two things I demand from any marines I have the privilige to serve with: discipline and spirit. Since you lot seem to be lacking the former, let's see if you can show me some of the latter." He paused. "You are currently standing on deck 119. The upper sensor array for this station is located where, Private Stanton?"

"Sir. Deck one, sir."

"That's correct, private. The company will fall-out and proceed to the upper sensor array on deck one. You are prohibited from the use of any of the turbolifts on the station; that means Jeffries Tubes and maintenance shafts. You have one hour to ascend all 119 decks. If any man fails to complete this task within that hour, the entire company will repeat the task until they are able." He paused, looking around the men. "Clock's ticking, marines!"

With that the company dispersed in an incredibly disorganised fashion, some pushing past the others to get a headstart. Levi looked over at Sharpe and Harper. "Tomorrow we'll see if they can manage to crawl through a Jefferies Tube with full kit. Should be interesting."

"You do realise that they'll never need to crawl through tubes in full-" Harper began, but Richard held up a hand to stop him.

"Keep me updated on your results, Captain." He said, then turned to Harper. "You never know what we might have to do at any given moment, and being prepared for just about anything - even the extremely unlikely - is a very prudent course of action. In fact, I'd like you to arrange for the rest of the detachment to do similar. I want every man and woman in my outfit to be able to reach deck one from deck four-fifty carrying full gear and weapon loadout. No exceptions."

Harper looked at him quizzically, but an order is an order. "Yes sir." He said, giving Sharpe a curt nod.

"I also want them to practice dragging one another through the tubes and up multiple decks. We could end up in a firefight, and the moving of non-ambulatory wounded through the jeffries network might be a necessity. We may not always have the luxury of transporters and turbolifts. Especially if the Hirogen's energy dampening tech is as wide-spread as intelligence believes." Richard said, looking to Drake. "You may want your guys to be able to do that too."

Levi nodded stiffly. "We'll schedule in some drills." He paused. "If you'll excuse me, Colonel, I'll need to make my way to deck one to ensure the men meet their deadline. I imagine they'll have to run this drill a few times today."

"Try not to kill all of them, okay?" Richard chuckled, then dismissed the man.

"Real marines wouldn't let themselves, Colonel," Levi replied, saluting then departing to go check on the mens' progress.


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