Ready Room - How Good Do You Look In Stripes? (TAG CO, XO)

Posted May 9, 2021, 9:18 p.m. by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Commander Garinder’Jen th’Jir (Executive Officer) in Ready Room - How Good Do You Look In Stripes? (TAG CO, XO)

Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Ready Room - How Good Do You Look In Stripes? (TAG CO, XO)

Posted by Commander Garinder’Jen th’Jir (Executive Officer) in Ready Room - How Good Do You Look In Stripes? (TAG CO, XO)
Posted by… suppressed (20) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Mardusk tapped the comms in his office right after River left. =/\= Security Chief to Skipper and XO. Ma’am, Sir… Gonna need a word with you both here in about thirty minutes. I’ll meet you in the Ready Room. =/\=

At the designated time, the turbo lift doors opened and the gigantic Orion stepped onto the bridge, PaDD in hand. Mardusk walked to the door and fist-bumped the chime and waited, nodding to the Security officer on duty. “Grant, how you doin’? Rachel and Rebecca doing ok?” The young human smiled and said “Settling in great, Chief. Thanks for asking.” Mardusk nodded once and then faced the door.

Mardusk, CoS

Jen had been looking through his logs and thinking to add another. They were not particularly different from the status reports he had to file, however, in combat situations it was typically someone else doing them and he signing them. These ‘navy’ logs were more like a diary; apparently the navy wanted to have something for others to use as cures for insomnia. When he received the note from Mardusk his antennae moved in a curious swirl; the note was cryptic at best. However, as the time neared he shut down his console and headed toward the Ready Room. Idly he thought that the human ship builders had space to spare as they designed the ships; Andorian cruisers typically made multi-purpose rooms rather than one for this and one for that. But then humans were simply odd beings.

Entering the Ready Room he found himself facing Mardusk looking in his direction. Thinking he may be looking past him Jen glanced over his shoulder to see whether there was anyone else coming, then back to the Orion. “Commander,” he said in greeting.
- Jen, XO

Mardusk looked down at the XO and said simply “Sir.” in his low rumble of a voice. “Appreciate you taking the time, Commander. Hopefully you and the Skipper won’t take too much exception with what I have in mind.” he said with a slight grin.

Mardusk, CoS

Jen assessed the tone as best he could and replied, “Well, you know us Andorians and Tellarites, we have elevated taking offense to an art form.” He glanced back before the doors swished shut to see whether the Captain was coming. “After all, everyone needs a hobby,” he continued. “By the way, what are your hobbies?”
- Jen, XO

“Punk rock and drinking heavily, Commander. I’m a simple man.” Mardusk replied flatly. He then looked around and asked “The Skipper is in there, isn’t she?”

Mardusk, CoS

Jen had heard the ‘noise’ from Mardusk’s bar. “Nothing simple about punk rock.” So that was what they called it. He had traveled through many a soldier’s bar and improvised halls in the field and had heard a lot of discordant music in his day. This ‘punk’ seemed to be more intensive, at least to his antennae. “I’m sure she’s not been kidnapped by the Borg. Woe be to them if she was.”
- Jen, XO

Kelly walked into the room with a frustrated expression on her face. Clearly something was bothering her. Seeing the XO and security chief Kelly shook her head as her scowled deepened. Kelly knew why they were here or at least assumed they had heard about the latest incident with Miss Maybelle Spunkler.

“Before you start I have dealt with it,” she moved towards the replicator. “She swore it’s never going to happen again but you know her. Best intentions but eighty pounds of choas. Maybelle said she found some weird netting outside of the Marine area and some rope outside of security. I assume that was the supplies that were reported missing by the Marines and security you planned to use in your last training exercises. They were building a training course.”

Jen seemed to have missed that in the reports .. his antennae shifted slowly.

Kelly took a seat at the table sipping her coffee. She frown was slowly turning into a half smirk. “We found her, Mikey, Raul, and Torga with a nail gun in that abandoned room on deck 41. Apparently they were playing some game called Borg Tag where they practice evading the crew as if they had been assimilated in a boarding situation. She said and I quote you can’t be too careful and Mr. Mardusk always says there is a plan for everything and if you don’t have one make one. What are you teaching that kid?” Kelly no longer could keep a straight face. Of all the problems on the ship the ones with Maybelle always resulted in the best stories.

“She claimed that they would be the last line of defense if the ship was taken over because they are tiny and can fit in air vents or ducts. That kid hero worships you and Styxx. You know that right?”

Kelly Bordeaux

Actually, that sounded like fun ..

Mardusk took a seat as Kelly rambled. He knew better than interrupt, that would just drag it out. During her soliloquy, Mardusk cast a glance at the XO that said Hope you are used to this by now. and waited for her to tire herself out. Once she was done, Mardusk grinned.

Jen caught Mardusk’s look and returned a small shrug.

“Well, first off Skipper; allow me to congratulate you. Your cardio is definitely paying off. I would have had to breathe at least twice in there. Well done.” and he gave her a wink. “But none of that is actually why I am here.” and he took a deep breath.

“So I almost threw Styxx in the brig and charged her. Now, before you both lose your s&^t, I didn’t. I said almost. Seems we had a bit of a rumble between some of my crew and some of hers. In the process of dealing with that, phasers may have been fired. And some civilians may have been hurt. Report is in both of your comms, and here is a copy for review for each of you.” and he handed each a PaDD with the report of the incident at Mike’s Place. He leaned back and gave them both a moment to review.

Jen looked through it thoughtfully, antenna focused. Security and Marines. Not that ‘that’ ever had come up in the history of competing disciplines … “May have ..” Jen offered. There was a big difference between was and may.

Once they were done, Mardusk said “In the process of trying to get Styxx handled, we came to a point where the age-old issue of Marines versus Security came into the arena. Now, I know that this issue is older than any of us. And I know that the Brass of both services have kinda set up both groups to fail when it comes to this particular issue… that being are Marines part of the ship’s defense contingent, and if they are what do they do and if they aren’t what do they do when not assaulting the Big Bad Guys? Now Skipper, you know my stance here. But for laying everything out on the table for the XO, I want to make my position clear: Marines are not part of ship security.” and he looked directly at th’Jir. “And sir, this is why I say that: Marines are not permitted to enforce the law or regulations, nor are they trained specifically to defend a starship from hostiles. Like I told Styxx… if the bad guys are on their ship, Marines are more capable of dealing with that than my Security teams. I have no delusions about that. But when it comes to defending this ship? Yes, the Marines can fight… but repelling boarders isn’t really about about fighting. It’s about systems and surveillance and working knowledge of how this ship functions… what the priority areas are… how to use the ship systems to make the hostiles impaired.” and he looked at both Kelly and Jen. “Marines spend years training to take the fight to the enemy. And they are damn good at it. But Security teams spend just as long learning how to protect… and that isn’t the same thing. Its a different priority set, different tactics… a wholly different mindset. And Styxx and I, we think, have come up with a way to put that to the test.” and he stood up and walked to the display screen and activated it.

Jen’s lips set in a thin line. Let it be security to take offense at a brawl and make it into a job fair. He was more concerned with the overreaching of weapons. Better, at least to him, to have an engagement and growing mutual respect than some kind of uneasy truce. He admitted that he looked to the screen with some skepticism.

An image of the Atlantis came up and Mardusk said “We propose a test. A contest of sorts. Marines versus Security. Holodeck program. Hostile boarding action. Marines will repel the boarders their way… Security will do the same. Exact same parameters, exact same settings as an actual boarding event. Winner is determined by a set of factors. Time to repel, contain, or destroy the invaders. Number of personnel lost. Number of non-combat personnel lost… that’s an important one. And lastly, number of sensitive or secure areas and compartments breached by the boarding force. Whoever scores best in each of these areas wins. Whoever wins the most areas wins the whole thing. In the case of tie, you two decide the winner. Styxx and I have already determined what that means, by the way. Just a friendly wager. What we want from the two of you is impartiality. We want you to referee the contest. Each group will have access only to the systems they would normally have in the event we are boarded, so no one should be able to bend the holodeck parameters to give them an edge that doesn’t exist normally. You two track and score. At the end, we will have a visual of how the groups are differ.” and he took a seat.

“And before its brought up, yes… both of us have been told that cross-training would ‘help’. That isn’t what this is about.”

“I’m not interested in cross training. That is counter productive,” Jen said in cautious agreement.

The big Orion sighed. “So? Think you both would be willing to put this on your calendar?”

Mardusk, CoS

“Okay, you say that repelling boarders is a security job while assaulting an enemy ship is the marine’s job, then consider an exercise of both disciplines doing what you say is the job of security? Is this to prove your point to the marines?” He frowned again. Evidently he was not seeing it and, perhaps, letting his past get in the way if he thought more about it. Sure, such a test could be done but to what end? “The exercise puts the marines at a disadvantage for by your own admission Security is trained to contain issues on the ship.”

He thought; evidently Mardusk had the sense that Marines were a mobile assault group alone. “That exercise would be, as the Terrans say, apples and oranges. Marines may be applicable to assault a position if they are able, but they are also exceptional in laying defenses. One may not be able to dig a trench on a starship but there are other options. I would adapt the exercise myself to the strengths of each group. In this case allowing the marines to defend sensitive areas giving the opportunity for security to marshal and repel. Both can work together, and should, but in their own swim lanes. I think each seeing the other group in action would build up more of a mutual respect than an unbalanced competition.”
- Jen, XO

Mardusk had anticipated the response the XO, and it wasn’t at all out of line. “There is a huge issue there, sir. For the Marines to effectively defend sensitive areas, they would have to have access to those areas. And I can’t do that. And I mean literally… I can’t. You and the Skipper can’t, either. Marines are not part of Star Fleet in that way. They are, by necessity, their own branch. They don’t have the same chain-of-command. They don’t answer to Star Fleet Command, they answer to the Marine Corps Force Marshall. And the Force Marshall answers to the Commander-In-Chief. And we can’t give access to restricted areas to non-Star Fleet personnel. It would be easier giving an Academy Cadet access to Section 31 archives than it would be for me to get Styxx and her Marines access to the Warp Core or torpedo storage. I’m not being argumentative, sir. Really. This isn’t me refusing… this is just the way the system is set up. And to your statement of me proving a point to the Marines? To answer honestly… but partially… hell yes. Absolutely. Because, sir, I’m quite frankly sick and tired of the Marines all over Star Fleet looking at Security and saying ‘Well, we fight too. So we’ll fight for-slash-with you because we are bored a lot.’ To be blunt, Commander… that’s bulls&^%. And it discounts the years of training and specialized skills and knowledge my teams have just because both groups can fire a damn phaser. That makes as much sense as me saying to Styxx ‘Hey, I know you guys are being sent planetside to defend that colony that has absolutely no Star Fleet personnel or facilities involved from the Jem’Hadar, but why don’t you guys chill a bit and let me and my crew handle that for ya? We haven’t had a lot going on.’ That would be insulting to the role the Marines play… just like it’s dismissive to us.” and Mardusk turned off the screen and sat down heavily.

“Roles are never black and white like that. Starfleet security has acted as defense forces in facilities and the field. Marines have defended in sensitive areas as embassies and research outposts. Really, one doesn’t have to be sitting in a computer core to defend it. If a marine was inside a sensitive area to defend they would have already lost.” He stopped; this wasn’t helping. It was the age old debate and here he was the old marine facing off in the same arguments as the security person. Both could be dismissive of one another. One marine unit was that to one another for that matter.

“This isn’t about who is better. Its not about who is more capable or more adept or more ferocious or more bad-ass. It’s about protocols and procedures… it’s about rules and regulations. And I and my teams are here to enforce those… because that is our job. Asking us to make exceptions puts holes in our security… it hinders our abilities to keep the ship and it’s crew and residents safe. And I get it, I really do. Being a Marine on Star Fleet vessel must be absolutely boring as all hell. But at the end of the day, sir… with all due respect… that’s just not my problem. And making it my problem is not on my to do list. I would love to be able to have the Marines as part of the ship’s defenses. But that would put them under the command of Security, answering to me. And quite frankly sir… I just don’t think Marines should take orders from someone who isn’t a Marine themself. And I’d be willing to bet that the Marines would feel the same way.”

Mardusk, CoS

“There is where you are wrong. Marines follow a tight chain of command for whomever is in command. This ship like a planetary venue is another venue. And they recognize situational experience - such as your people having home field advantage and knowledge and able to think more quickly on their feet there. Has there been a policy violation on an incident?”
Jen, XO
- had more to say .. just ran out of time .. ugh ..

Mardusk shrugged and said “Well… Lieutenant Styxx did fire a phaser at a civilian and knocked them unconscious. Now granted, that civilian was about to bean me with a chair… so personally I have no issue. But as the Security Chief I have to wonder why she was armed and shooting in the first place. I also wonder why she inserted herself into a bar fight on a Star Fleet vessel. I commed her and asked her to come, yes. But to be present. Again… personally I know exactly why she jumped in. Her Marines were involved. I get that. But as long as the rules and protocols exist as they do… that’s huge f&^%ing problem, Commander. She shot a civilian. Stun or not… it point blank shouldn’t have happened. AT ALL. And on arrival, she laid blame for the fight only at the feet of Security. Without even trying to investigate. That lack of objectivity and jumping to conclusions is hugely problematic. All of her actions, had it been a Marine only issue… say a fight in the barracks… would have been perfectly appropriate. But there? By the gods above… that just made things so much worse. But… that is another reason I want to do the competition. I want… no… I need Styxx and the Marines to understand why and how Marines and Security are different. Not better… not more important.. just… different. And instead of trying to force us to be the same as so many have tried to do… and failed miserably… we need to instead encourage the appreciation of those differences.” and he gave the XO a half-smile.

“We need to learn to dance better. That means understanding how each of us move. That’ll keep us from stepping on each others toes.”

Mardusk, CoS

Okay, thought Jen. Bar fight. Why wouldn’t one join in? That seemed an odd thing for an Orion to even say. Those things happen. Rather more common than not when one puts people in those disciplines together. By the sound of it to Jen, Mardusk was more ticked that he was saved by a marine and not one of his own people. A Klingon would have been armed, even without an evident energy weapon and nobody thinks twice about it. A Capellan would have killed the offending civilian. And don’t even go into the honor fights of Andorians would they have been offended in this fight. There wasn’t a large contingent of marines on board. Not like the Chimera with 600 of them. He may need to put more of a hand to the marines and give them something to do as a group. “Chief, you are making it sound like this was a security only allowed brawl.” He held up his hand. “You have three times the number at least in security than marines. Any such test is unbalanced from the start.” He looked to the Captain. It was going to be her call; his and Mardusk’s opinions were rather polarized - but then that had been a common thing with their tenure.
- Jen, XO

Mardusk looked at the Andorian and gave him a look like he was more dense than the deuterium plating of the hull outside. “No… what I am saying is one of your Marines shot a civilian. With a damn phaser. That she shouldn’t have been carrying in the first place. Especially in a public space. None of my Security officers thought the fight was worthy of it. In fact, of all the shots fired by Security, I was the only one to do so. And the Security officers involved in the fight? They’re already on report and being disciplined.” and he pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. Yeah, this migraine is gonna be a doozy. he thought to himself.

“Look.” Mardusk said directly to the XO. “You obviously have the same stick up your a$% about Marines and Security Styxx does. I thought this was a good idea to kinda work that out, and actually so did she. But that ain’t happening now. So…fine. We will keep it status quo. Marines stay in their lanes, and when they veer out I’ll just smack them down and make sure charges are brought.” and he took a deep breath.

“I hold the responsibility for this occurrence of the incident at the feet of a particularly drunk and disorderly Marine Sergeant. I also go on to say in my report that my Security patrol failed to perform their duties appropriately and escalated rather than de-escalated the situation… so both sides are at fault. Those officers of mineare facing disciplinary charges as well as dereliction of duty because they failed to protect civilians in the vicinity. I honestly sincerely doubt they will be in Starfleet in the next thirty to ninety days. With regards to the civilians… five are being charged with assault, seven with destruction of private property, and all are banned from drinking alcohol for the next 90 days, or they are off of the Atlantis entirely. But for all your talk about ‘unbalanced’… the Marines who assaulted civilians and Star Fleet officers will, apparently, still be Marines… just lower ranking and transferred ones.” and he fixed the XO with a stare. “That is how I cleaned my house. And I dropped the thirteen charges against Lieutenant Styxx in the hopes of getting to the point of at least mutual respect, if not actual cooperation. That I can see now was a pipe dream.” and he stood up and looked down at the XO.

“Sir, with all due respect, you need to pull your head out and work on your objectivity. Favoritism is a problem for someone in your shoes, and I won’t let it mess with me doing my job. Marine, Star Fleet, or civilian… don’t care. Everyone follows the rules as long as I’m Security Chief on this ship. If you don’t like that, sir; then I suggest you take a moment to consider what it means to be the Executive Officer of this ship… not just a Marine… and what happens when you start playing favorites and ignoring the actions of your entire crew.” Mardusk looked at the Captain. “Ma’am, I’m gonna step out and let you two discuss. I don’t want to be here in this office anymore. I think I may lose my cool and I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone in here.” and he turned and headed for the door.

Mardusk, CoS

“Commander you have not been dismissed yet,” Kelly said in a clear but calm voice. “Please return to the table.” Kelly took a deep breath before speaking. “No one is playing favorites here so you need to check that misconception at the door. I don’t care who does what. The only thing I give two craps about is this ship and that its people on it. I need them protected and order. That being said we are not some science vessel with only registered Starfleet officers. There are close to a thousand people on this ship which in some parts of North America is an entire city. Things are going to get out of hand from time to time. That is just the nature of the best but I can’t have my marines and my security forces at odds or staying in their own lane. There has to be a cohesion.” Kelly paused for a second giving Jen the chance to throw in his two cents. This was not the first time two officers had a beef with each other nor would it be the last. The only thing that mattered was how the situation was resolved.

Kelly Bordeaux

Mardusk looked at the Captain with genuine shock… and then a bit of hurt… and said “Really? That was the purpose of all of this, Skipper. But that ain’t happening… again. I offered -” and he jerked a thumb at Jen, “- and he declined. So be it. And you can go ahead and write me up, Ma’am. I’m really just kind of sick of this.” and he turned and walked out the door.

Mardusk, CoS

Jen kept quiet for the most part there; it was not worth butting antennae as they weren’t having a meeting of the minds very well. He had not declined as much as suggesting an alternative. Working side by side, to him, would produce greater mutual respect than to compete.
- Jen, XO

“What the hell just happened,” Kelly looked at Jen. “I know there is tension between the marines and security but that is a tale as old as time. Hell in the hey day of the military it was Marines vs. Army and the idea that they were less soldiers because they were under the flag of the US Navy. I grew up in Annapolis a few miles from the academy. It no longer produces Starfleet people but still pumps out civilian naval and marine forces for the civil defense force and they are still going at it.” Kelly rubbed her eyes with her for finger and thumb trying to push the headache back.

Jen didn’t know what it was about Mardusk that got his own blood up. In any other time he and the Orion would have come to blows. Or, in classic Orion tradition, a good ceremonial duel. His antennae moved about speculatively but in small agitation. The trouble was that he liked the green goblin and could understand his passion. It wasn’t like Jen’s personae was no less passionate. Perhaps that was the problem. Too much the same perhaps.

“I think the problem we have is who wants to be top dog. I was following Mardusk’s idea and didn’t think it was half bad until it got to needing a winner part. I was security in my youth. There are a million things we do that you as a marine didn’t do but that doesn’t me anyone is less proficient. I can take a strong hold or repel boards just the same as you except we just have different tactics and toys to do it with. ”

Moving to a chair he leaned against it rather than sitting in it. He wasn’t sure he entirely agreed though waited for his opening.

Taking a sip of her coffee, she leaned back in the chair with a look of deep contemplation. “What’s your take on all this Jen,” she asked. She and Mardusk had always been close. He seemed of of character in this meeting. She might have to follow through with a another conference after he cooled down a bit.

Captain Kelly Bordeaux

“It is not often that one has integrations of crews with both security and marines. Mostly there is the divide and the ships are specialized to their roles. There are exceptions, such as the Chimera who has 600 marines aboard. The idea with that ship is that they be used and their area on the ship is relatively segregated for command and control. In short, the roles are well defined there.” He glanced outside the window to the stars sliding gracefully by. “It is in ships like this which have marines but there is little role for them at the moment, that there is some integration but there is no role clarity, chain of command and authority levels. It is .. fuzzy. I think Mardusk’s frustration is that of the fuzzy nature of it. He wants to do something but doesn’t know if he can do it and the others don’t see it. When do the Marines deploy? Who tells them? How does that work into the authority structure aboard? Or on planet?”

“It seems easy to imagine but security and marines don’t work on imagining a rank structure. Their roles are similar but different. As you say they have different kit and different tactics. They are paid to do different things. Security doesn’t want to be a marine and marines certainly don’t want to be security. They didn’t sign up for that. But in this instance we’re looking at a civilian situation of off duty people. What is defined with open carry? That could just as easily have been the other way around but this time it wasn’t. And it has gotten into some kind of authority pissing match. That’s my take on it. I’m not excusing anyone here. I’m seeing something that falls into Mardusk’s territory and he feels he can’t act on it.”
- Jen, XO

“So any ideas on how to fix it,” Kelly asked him. Everything Jen said, she understood but it was how to fix the situation with Mardusk and Styxx. “Should we let them Thunderdome it? Maybe give each one of them a mission that is the other’s specialty and see how they fair? If we give them something within their wheelhouse they are just going to impress us. They’re the best of the best. “

Kelly Bordeaux

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