STF

PreSim - It Helps To Be Cold Blooded

Posted Nov. 24, 2023, 9:01 a.m. by Lieutenant Colonel Drangon Cull (Commander, Marine Batallion) (James Sinclair)

The two Colonel’s sat in the Officer’s Club at Star Fleet Marine Command in Starbase 1. It was a little after lunch time, and most of the lunch crowd had gone back to work. Only the most ‘established’ officers were seen in this refined space. Only those with business with the very top echelon of Marine Command were found within the walls of the facility that commanded one of the most decorated and elite fighting forces in the galaxy… The Star Fleet Marine Corps. And while elite, it was still an organization. And an organzation of a certain size finds it needs administrators. That is where the two Colonels made their way through the ranks. No, no sub-orbital drops into hot LZ’s for them. They fought a differnet enemy: lack of compliance. If there was a typo, they would hunt it down and return the document for correction. If it was late, they’d stand tall and mandate a resubmission. Yes, they knew where the real heroes thrived… in climate controlled offices with regular working hours and holidays off. Of course they heard the stories of the great combat Marines and the glory and reputation they carried. And they were quick to uphold the Corp’s reputation against the slightest insult. And if carrying that reputation led people (especially female people) to think that they were part of that elite Cadre of war-fighters, well… they were technically Marines, after all.

The level of exclusivity of the Officer’s Club was not lost on the two Colonel’s; nor was the sight of a very large Xindi in civilian attire walking into their space lost on them. They paused in mid conversation and watched the obviously lost figure walk in and take a seat at the bar. They even watched as the bartender moved down and took the Reptilian’s order.

One Colonel looked at the other. “Are you seeing this? Who do they think they are?” he said somewhat quietly. Marines they may be, but Xindi Reptilians had a… ‘reputation’. They watched the figure get a drink and pull out a PaDD and start reading. “This is unacceptable.” one said to the other. “Wholly unacceptable.” replied the other. “We should say something.” The first nodded in agreement. “Yes. Absolutely.”

Two stiff drinks later, they made their move.

Standing up, the two walked over and stood, one on each side of the Xindi. The figure didn’t look up, didn’t speak… just sat and read the PaDD. TThe two officers looked at one another and one shrugged. “Um. Excuse me. I think you might be lost.” said one.

There was no response from the Reptilian.

“This is the Officer’s Club of the SF Marine Corps Command. It’s, uh… Officer’s only.” said two. Again… no response.

“Hey. Hey! We’re talking to you. And you show us some respect. We are Colonels in the Star Fleet Marines! Just who in the blazes do you think you are, coming in here without being invited?”

The figure didn’t respond, at least not at first. But then, slowly, a scaled green hand with sharp black nails slowly reached into their jacket pocket and pulled out something in their closed fist. The Reptilian slowly set it on the bar with a soft thunk, and slid the item down the bar so it sat directly on front of the first Marine before continuing to read.

Laying on the bar was a circular bit of metal shaped like a coin.. a thing called a ‘challenge coin’. On the side facing up was a crest… but not just any crest. It was a Marine unit crest. And it wasn’t just any unit, no. This crest was unique, easily identifiable to almost any Marine, and one that had a reputation all it’s own.

The crest was a blue background with a red diamond in the center. Five irregularly spaced white stars- three on the upper right, and two off center to the right below- were set around the diamond; and in the center of the red diamond was a white humanoid skull that seemd to have a kind of rictus grin. Only one group in all of rhe SF Marines had that crest…

Marine Raiders.

Raiders were a specialized group of elite Marines tasked with roles that no other groups could do. They conducted unconventional warfare. They were dropped onto hostile planets , totally unsupported, and trained insurgents to fight against the existing authorities. For friendly governments, Raiders would conduct military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic action operations to combat insurgency. They were the ones specifically called in to deal with Weapons of Mass Destruction. On short, they fought wars in ways that many didn’t even know a war was happening… and in ways that made them very hard to stop. And if the specialized nature of the Raiders wasn’t enough; they were also one of the most formidable direct fighting forces the Marines could deploy.

The first Colonel gulped hard. The second one stared at the coin wide-eyed. Yes, he knew who the Raiders were. No, he wasn’t expecting to meet one. They were very small in number, and they weren’t even headquartered on the station. So why was… and he stopped. Even the two administrators knew that there was only one Xindi Reptillian with the Raiders. And they were the 10th Raider Batalland’s new CO. A CO that was on the station meeting the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The second Colonel gulped as well and said “Lieutenant Colonel Cull. I didn’- I mean my associate and I didn’t know- um… welcome to Space Station One.” The coin disappeared back into the pocket it had come from. The second Colonel grabbed the other and practically drug them back to their table.

A few minutes passed and then the Reptilan waved at the bartender. “Thanks.” he said in a low, deep, rumbling voice. “And put the Colonel’s tab on mine.” Yes, sir. Good luck, Cull.” the bartender said back and Cull walked out of the Officer’s Lounge and disappeared from view. Once outside, he tapped his comms. =/\= First Sergent. =/\= was all he said. =/\= Sir. =/\= came a distinctly feminine voice in reply. =/\= I am on my way to the shuttle bay. Have the XO and yourself meet me there. We have orders. =/\= =/\= Yessir.=/\= was the only response and the comms went silent. Cull took a look around the station and then began walking.

Cull, MCO


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