STF

PreSim - It Helps To Be Cold Blooded

Posted Nov. 25, 2023, 8:31 a.m. by Lieutenant Colonel Drangon Cull (Commander, Marine Batallion) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Mar. Captain Siraa ‘IRIS’ sh’Rharror (Squadron Leader, Air Group) in PreSim - It Helps To Be Cold Blooded

Posted by Lieutenant Colonel Drangon Cull (Commander, Marine Batallion) in PreSim - It Helps To Be Cold Blooded

Posted by Mar. Captain Siraa ‘IRIS’ sh’Rharror (Squadron Leader, Air Group) in PreSim - It Helps To Be Cold Blooded
Posted by… suppressed (10) by the Post Ghost! 👻
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

Three weeks later…

The entirety of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, all seven hundred and six Marines, stood in formation in the main hanger of Starbase Twenty-Two. One figure stood in front of the assembly; the towering and massive reptilian form of the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Drangon Cull. He stood with his scaled and taloned hands clasped behind his back, looking out over his Marines.

“Raiders…” he began, “… we are about to deploy. Our bew base of operations will be aboard the USS Chimera, a Mjolnir-class Fleet starship under the command of Captain Freja Andreassen. Captain Andreassen is a former fighter pilot and Security officer, so she is knows combat. Her tenure as the Commanding Officer of the Chimera has been exemplary. While the ship will be our new home; she is the landlord. Her ship, her rules. We are not there to be part of her crew, but we will support them to the best of our abilities at all times. The crew is not there to clean up after us, so we will leave every space cleaner than when we entered it. We will also not be the sole Marine contingent on board.” The last statement caused a slight stir. “Yes, we still work alone. Raiders do, the rest watch.” and rhe Marines chuckled quietly. “There is a Marine Aviation Wing on board. Maybe you’ve heard of them… the 214th Marine Attack Wing. The Black Sheep.” That caused another stir, but in an excited way. The Black Sheep were as capable an aviation group as any in the Corps. There were as many stories about their operations as there were about the Raiders… and that made the Raiders very happy.

“We will be working closely with the Black Sheep, so make sure you read up on their personnel, their past operations, and their way of conducting Ops. I want us to fit in seamlessly… just like we are supposed to do.” Cull said. “And another thing… we are Marine Raiders. We do not get bogged down with petty inter-service rivalries. The Fleet personnel are there to do a job, so let them. If wr can help, we will. If we can’t, we’ll stay the hell out of the way. Understood?” and the hanger was filled with a single, unanimous, and simultaneous “OOH-RAH!”. Cull nodded in approval. “Good. Kit up. Transports arrive in six hours. Company Commanders, report to the XO when your Company is fully prepped for transfer. Raiders… dismissed.” and the hanger became an instant flurry of organized and well-choreographed activity. Cull watched for a moment, and then turned and went to get himself ready.

Cull, MCO

Six hours later the hanger bay doors of Starbase 22 opened. Several large shuttles glided in, turned and settled without a sound on the bay floor. They were followed by one glacial blue fighter. The fighter turned with dynamic precision and settled in front of the doors. Outside the doors the rest of Delta Squad hovered, paired off and in formation, waiting to join their shuttle.

The hatch and ladder dropped from the fighter and the aviator dropped down. A tall marine in flight gear with marine captain’s rank stepped down. IRIS lifted her helmet off and tucked it below her left arm. She scanned the crowd and strode directly to Lieutenant Colonel Drangon Cull. She knew stories about the Raiders. All marines did. She came to a crisp attention and saluted.

“Col. Cull, I am Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta Squad leader, Command Air Group 214. We are here to transport you to the Chimera.” Then by some unseen command the access hatches of the transport shuttles opened and the pilot’s stepped out to stand to the right of the hatches.

Mar Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta SQLD

Cull, dressed in the working uniform of the Corps, saluted back and dropped his hand. “Thank you, Captain. Pleasure to be working with the Black Sheep.” He tapped his comm badge and said =/\= Embarkation begins now. =/\= and a moment later a loud whistle sounded through the flight deck.

As the Marines of the 1st Raider Battalion began to board, ot was obvious these weren’t the normal troops. While most were in uniform, many were dressed in clothes specific to regions and cultures… and only a few that were familiar to the Black Sheep crews. Many also didn’t maintain the regulation Marine grooming standards. Beards, mustaches, long hair… a myriad of styles were present. Cull looked at one of the Transport crew openly staring and chuckled. “Alternative grooming standards for the entire Battalion. Helps us blend in to our target locales from jump.” he explained. “How long you been with the 214, Captain?” he asked.

Cull, MCO

Siraa’s antenna waved slowly at his comment. “Five years, Colonel, right out of Marine Academy. Before that I served in the Andorian Imperial Guard.” Her eyes scanned the shuttles watching to ensure a smooth operation.

Mar Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta SQLD

“Five years. Thats a long time to be with a single unit.” Cull said. “Especially one that is deployed most if the time. What’s wrong? You don’t like time off or somerhing?” he asked with a low growling laugh.

Cull, MCO

Siraa laughed, “No sir. Nothing like the controls of a bird to take away the stress.”

Mar Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta SQLD

“I feel the same way about photon mortars and sub-orbital free fall.” the Colonel replied. He looked down at her and said “Excellent. Loks like we are going to load smooth. We appreciate the ride, Captain. I’ll see you aboard the Chimera.” and he turned and walked away to check on some other things.

Cull, MCO

IRIS grinned and laughed a bit. “We are glad to be serving along side the Raiders, Colonel. We’ll make sure everyone is loaded and has a smooth ride over.” Siraa watched it all, walking from shuttle to shuttle to make sure everything was smooth. The only problem she ran in to was a weight limit issue. It was easily and cooperatively fixed by switching two of the Raiders around. As the shuttle hatches began to close she had made her way over to Cull. “We’re ready whenever you give the word Colonel.”

Mar Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta SQLD

Cull walked by every shuttle in silence, looking at every load before the hatches and ramps closed. When IRIS came to him, he nodded. “Well done, Captain. Take us home.” and he followed her to the lead shuttle and stepped inside. “See you, Captain.” and he smacked a giant, scaled hand against the switch and the ramp closed up.

“Aye, Sir.” Siraa jogged back to her bird, pulled her helmet on and climbed into the cockpit. The hatch rose and sealed. =/\=Starbase 22, this is Marine Captain sh’Rharror. Delta Squad, Air Group 214 requesting clearance to disembark.=/\=

=/\=SB22 shuttle bay control here. You are cleared for disembarkation. Safe flight.=/\=

Siraa switched the comms. =/\=Delta Ldr to Delta Squad. We are cleared to disembark. By the books. Slow and steady. Fall into formation with your escorts. Acknowledge.=/\=

Inside the shuttle, Cull took a seat in the co-pilot’s chair. “Lieutenant.” he said as way of introduction.

Cull, MCO

“Welcome aboard, Colonel.” The comms buzzed in, and the pilot listened and then tapped his comms. =/\=Delta Ldr this is Delta 1. Ready to disembark.=/\= “We’ll have a smooth flight, Sir.”

After getting confirmation, IRIS’ glacial blue bird rose from the deck, hovered, and then glided put of the bay. This wasn’t a rapid response action, and a standard shuttle bay wasn’t equipped to launch a fighter like that. She took position with Phantom to her port and waited for the shuttles to fall into the formation and then they took off for the Chimera.

Mar Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta SQLD

The flight over to the Chimera was indeed smooth. As the last transport settled to the deck, the ramps opened and the Raiders began to spill out and form up. Cull thanked the Lieutenant and then stepped out. “All right Marines, listen up!” and the Raiders fell silent. “Store the gear and post a watch. Those going on watch first get first pick of racks, so go find where you are gonna bunk and then post watch over the gear. The rest of you get settled in and get some food then some shut eye. 0400 ship time we are up for PT and then checking in with our Marine and Fleet ship mates. Dismissed.” Vull looked around for the ice-blue fighter and then strode towards it. “Captain. You have a minute to get to the Command Center? I want to introduce myself to the Captain first thing.”

Cull, MCO

There were Marines waiting with anti-grav sleds and strong arms if help was wanted and Bubba took it upon himself to show them where the cargo lifts were and quarters on Deck 20. Once the shuttles and birds were empty the wing nuts swarmed them all to check then over and then put them to bed.

IRIS finished talking to Ratchet and turned to look at Cull. “Of course, Colonel. Ratchet store my helmet will you?” The lithe woman nodded and took it, “Sure thing, Captain.”

“This way, Colonel.” She moved across the flight deck, “Phantom! Take over.”

“Yes ma’am!” He called from his dark green bird.

She led the way to the lift, “Deck 23.” She called out and the lift took off and then opened on the very impressive CIC of the Chimera.

Mar Cpt sh’Rharror, Delta SQLD

Cull nodded in appreciation as he looked out on the CIC. “Very impressive.” He looked at IRIS and said “Thank you, Captain. The Raiders appreciate your team’s support. I’ll make sure Colonel Lardel knows you were the epitome of a Marine Aviator.”

Cull, MCO


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