Fight or Flight
Episode 3.5 - Welcome to Paradise
Location: Deck 43, Marine Mess
Timeline: 1220 Hours, 2393, MD +1
The Arcadia was authorized 120 marines and Corporal Jennifer Muthkar figured that all of the enlisted marines had decided to eat morning chow at exactly the same time. She grumbled and she side-stepped through the chow line. One of the quirks of the marine command on the ship was that they felt actual food in the morning was good for morale. Jennifer watched a private toss some "eggs" onto her tray and silently disagreed. The Corps just liked its traditions and eating shitty food was one of the burdens the enlisted had to bear.
She took her now full tray and looked around for a place to sit. She saw a spot near Lance Corporal Hennings but she had no desire to listen to him talk about himself at 0800. Ah. There was a good spot over in sniper territory. She knew she was breaking an unspoken rule about always eating with your platoon but Hennings was that bad. She slid onto the stool at the open table, glanced at her seatmate and grunted.
"You're Charles?" she said through a mouthful of not-so-bad potato things.
George was sitting at one end of his table, while the other two sniper teams were at the other. He had yet to be paired up with a spotter, whivh put him odd man out in his platoon. During his short time on Arcadia, he had already started to hear the quiet whispered rumors about him and what had happened back in his last unit. He tried to ignore them and just do his job, but, he was starting to feel as if he would remain a pariah.
He was reading a letter from his sister, Emily, as he ate his breakfast. She had just been promoted to Petty Officer Second Class, and was enjoying her time on the USS Republic. She had even made a few good friends. He was very happy that his twin sister was having an easier time of things. He was about to draft a reply, when suddenly someone plopped down across the table frim him and spoke his name. Looking up, slightly annoyed for the abruptness of the arrival, he replied evenly, "Who wants to know?
Jennifer swallowed her mouthful of eggs. "Muthkar," she said. "Third Platoon, heavy weapons. You're the hero guy, right?" She asked, staring at him. The problem with most people was that they assumed she was being aggressive but, she was just letting her Klingon side rule her behavior. It was both her best and worst personality trait.
George sighed inwardly. Apparently, word of what happened on the Amagansett had indeed followed him. "I'm no hero," he replied quietly. Though to some people, he was. The altercation in question took place during a training mission that his unit had undergone on Aldebaärd Eight, a small planetoid situated deep in an asteroid field, which was located five light years from the Gamma Quadrant side of the Bajoran Wormhole.
His unit had been tasked with infiltrating a former Dominion mining facility, which had been claimed by the Federation following the war. It was currently occupied by a small company of Starfleet Corps of Engineers personnel. After the training mission was completed, the crew of the Amagansett was invited to stay for a brief rest and relaxation visit, before their return to patrols.
The first few days went by quietly. However, on the fourth night, while Geprge was taking an evening walk, he heard a muffled scream for help. Without hesitation, he bolted toward the sounds. He was shocked to see his platoon leader, First Lieutenant Larry James, raping a female engineer. George didn't hesitate, and jumped the officer before he could go any farther. The pair began to fight fiercely, though, as George was beginning to get the upper hand, security showed up and arrested both of them.
After the investigation was concluded, it was decided that George would not be disciplined at all. However, it was decided that it would be best to transfer him to another command immediately. That was how he found himself currently on the Arcadia.
Jennifer nodded. "Of course not, you're a marine," she said and then grinned at Charles. Maybe he's not a typical ego drenched sniper she thought. She took another bite and washed it down with some Buri juice. She always like the tart-tangy flavor the green colored liquid had. Most people thought it was too strong. "Why are you eating alone," she asked.
George shrugged slightly, looking down at his food. "They think I'm a jinx," he said tilting his head towards the other sniper teams. "I don't have a spotter yet, so they think I'm bad luck."
Superstition was something that Jennifer was familiar with. Special operations had a lot of them, many of which made no sense. Why did it matter what color boots you wore? "Ah they're just idiots. I've worked with a lot of idiots when I was on Kronos or in Special Operations. Don't let them get to you." She scraped her plate. "And if you need a spotter, let me know. I can't shoot as well as you all but I have perfectly good eyes and I am quieter than you all are by a large margin."
The claim of her ability to ghost better than him, made George grin slightly. "Well, if you want, we can talk to our respective CO's about it. Then, if they agree, I'll put you to the test. If you can sneak up on me before I get you, then I'd be glad to have you as my spotter."
Jennifer finished her plate, she was always a fast eater. "I like the challenge, Charles. I'll talk to my CO today. I could use something exciting to do. Plus, the look on your face when I sneak up on you, will be priceless."
The grin stayed on his face as he replied. "We'll see." He was about to say more, when his PADD beeped at him, signalling that he had an incoming subspace message. He saw that the caller was his sister. With a pleasantly surprised look on his face, he said, "Forgive me, my sister is calling." He then stood, picked up his tray, placed it in the recycler, and hurried out of the large mess hall. First, a possible new spotter, now, his sister calling, today was starting to shape up nicely.
Corporal George Charles
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Corporal Jennifer Muthkar
Heavy Weapons Marine
USS Arcadia NCC-89015