[Erikson] Navy and Marines

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Mike
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[Erikson] Navy and Marines

Post by Mike » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:45 am

The IAS Leif Ericsson had finally taken on its Marine compliment, which could only mean that the ship were about to embark. Although the loading order seemed a bit more haphazard to Yuan than she would have liked to see out of a military vessel, it pleased her that things were going along well, if a little slower than she had become used to.

She went to the shuttle bay to stand on the catwalk and watch the progress, and was surprised to find that very little activity had been necessary. The Leif Ericsson would be conducting scientific study missions, so the actual complement of marines did not quite meet her expectations, if only numbers were to be counted on paper. But she could not feel it proper not to meet them when they came, though it would not be necessary to do so otherwise.

Yuan felt like extending the courtesy, if only for her own private sake.

The marine complement assigned to the Leif Ericcson was small, only intended to operate as the ship’s internal security force and aid with damage control parties in times of emergency. There was little need for many. So they all came aboard a single transport shuttle. The sleek marine craft had slipped into the exploratory frigate’s brightly lit shuttle bay, landing on the smooth polished deck, where it’s passengers and their belongings and supplies had been quickly and efficiently offloaded onto the deck before the shuttle had lifted off and departed. There was no need for it to stay, as the Leif Ericsson had its own complement of four shuttlecraft already aboard and parked in their storage bays.

Leading the small group of green uniformed Alliance Marines was one First Lieutenant Sakura Yamashiro, who now oversaw her people as they gathered up their stuff onto anti-grav carts to take to their living space and what would become the Marine area on the ship. Yuan made her way towards her, careful not to get into the path of the ground crew, though she found that she did not have to worry about it - they made way for her.

Sakura was a human woman of average height and build, her short cropped hair ending at her jaw was a shocking blue, accenting her fuchsia eyes nicely. She glanced up as she caught movement in her peripheral vision. A woman in the dark blue-gray of a Naval officer, with the rank insignia of a Commander on her uniform.

The Marine stood to attention and saluted, “Good day, Commander. I am First Lieutenant Yamashiro. “ she introduced herself.

Yuan returned the salute, rather than simply nodding, which is what instinct told her to do. She also resisted the urge to hunch, to spare her neck. Instead, Xiaofan folded her hands behind her back and stayed straight and polite. “Good day, Lieutenant. I am Commander Yuan. Welcome aboard.”

Yuan looked over the men, as she could see them, and what there were of them, along with their baggage, and couldn’t help but ask, “You have come prepared for the expedition?”

It was better than asking ‘is this all you’ve brought?’, but only just. Secretly, Yuan had been hoping to see more of the Alliance’s infantry forces, just to sate her own curiosity.

Sakura nodded. “Yes, Commander. We have all of our gear and personal effects. Marines travel pretty light” she replied. “Our heavy gear was already sent ahead with the ship’s supplies” she added.

Yuan paused to try and remember that, and found that she could, but that the numbers hadn’t stuck out at her as she might have expected them to. Perhaps her idea of heavy equipment had been a little different. No, she corrected herself, it certainly was.

“May I invite you to the officer’s mess?” Yuan relaxed into formal politeness again, sated. “If you can be spared from your current duties, of course.”

“Of course, Commander” Sakura replied and turned her attention to her Marines for a moment. “Lieutenant, take over here. I will meet with all of you in our section later” she said.

“Aye” replied the Second Lieutenant that was her executive, who then took over overseeingS the loading up of supplies and gear.

“I am at your disposal, Commander” Sakura said then, turning back to the naval officer.

-

The Officer’s Mess.

The Lief Ericsson, in general, boasted a certain level of comfort despite its size and compliment. The Officer’s Mess, modest in Yuan’s estimation by comparison with other ships she had served on, nevertheless proved quiet and convenient, with a long couch to the side around a series of holographic screens for recreational use, a long table where meetings might be held, and several smaller tables scattered around the small, but well lit mess.

The kitchens had a bar on this side, and they could barely hear the crew dining aft. Yuan settled in at one of the smaller tables and ordered tea, and removed her cap to set it aside and smooth back her bangs.

Sakura settled into the chair across from Yuan, removing her own soft cap and putting it out of the way. She ordered coffee with sugar and cream and set back in her chair, relaxing.

After a few quiet sips in peace, enough time for them both to get at least a little settled, Yuan offered, “I admit, I have been on only a few Alliance ships, since being commuted, and this will be my first time assigned on a science vessel, anywhere. Do you often accompany them?”

Sakura set her mug down on the smooth glowing surface of their table, raising an eyebrow slightly at the use of the word commuted, “Always” she replied. “The Marines act as the security force aboard ships like these. The navy likes to protect it’s scientists and these ships are incredibly expensive” she added, and that was true. The exploration ships were crammed with specialized and very expensive hardware, much more so than the warship variants, which, for the most part, used standardized off the shelf equipment shared between multiple classes. “This is my first time aboard an explorer as well, I have been posted aboard warships before, but mostly planetary bases or stations” she said with a shrug.

This surprised Yuan a bit, so she observed, careful of her accented Alliance standard, which did not usually hamper her. “But, there are so few marines. I wonder, as we are alone, should not there be more?”

“If we were in a wartime situation, or going into known hostile territory, I would agree” Sakura answered. “But we are not intended to be aboard as a military fighting force, just ships internal security and protection for away missions” she went on. “Command would assign us more marines if it was needed.”

Yuan considered that. The Empire had almost always been at war, or in a state of imminent readiness, and to her thinking, the Universe itself presented as a dangerous place hostile to her, and hers. But it would be patronizing to say so. She looked across to Sakura, and couldn’t help draw the comparison with the infantry officers she had met. Gou xing, built twice as large as the skinny girl, with serious faces and grim expressions, and scars from hard use. Or her own species, the Hu xing, more familiar to a Naval officer but no less dangerous.

It caused the hairs on the back of her neck to prick, and Yuan rubbed them back down.

“How do you train? Will you continue training aboard?”

“We have the simulators, of course” Sakura said, “And use the gym space, or a cargo hold if need be. With a group this small we don’t need a lot of space”

“I should like to see,” Yuan said, motioning to catch one of the junior enlisted’s attention from across the way, for more tea. She looked back to Sakura and ventured a slight smile, though out of a fit of sudden self consciousness. “When I went through the officer school, here, I was not permitted to see, or to try, so it has always been interesting to me since. Do you learn martial arts? I had heard you do not, but I can not imagine that is true.”

“Of course, you’re more than welcome to join us whenever you like” Sakura replied. “And we do learn several forms of martial arts, an important part of our combat training and preparation” she said and sipped at her drink.

“And you as well?” Yuan asked, permitting herself the license to finally look her new subordinate over. Yuan was careful not to stare, though she had wanted to, since meeting her in the shuttle bay. Sakura had not been what Yuan had expected out of a marine Lieutenant, though she seemed martial enough in uniform. It would not have been polite to say that, not out loud anyway, but she felt it a little disconcerting.

She ranged for something to say, and finally struck on, “How did you begin? As a Marine?”

“Oh yes, me as well” Sakura nodded. If there was any sense of discomfort with the Commander’s line of questioning, she did not show it. “Boot camp and basic training first, then I applied to officer school and went there for a couple years.”

Yuan couldn’t keep her tail from curling dubiously, knowing that nobody here would know what it meant or represented, and leaned forward to fold her hands on the table, interested in Sakura. “A couple of years? How long is the boot camp and your basic training?”

(Perspective Shift) -

Sakura downed the last of her coffee. “Boot is about a month, then basic training another couple months, then any specialty training after that, or officer school” she replied. She was starting to wonder how long this Commander had been in the fleet. While the Navy and the Marines were partially separated, they had a lot in common and it was interesting Yuan seemed unaware of certain processes.

If watching Commander Yuan was any good indicator of why, though, Sakura could be damned trying to find it. There were all the hallmarks of an officer, that and more; the woman, almost a head taller, had a posture that could have done statues to shame, and her words sounded carefully chosen, if a little accented. Her uniform was fastidious, as her salute had been. And yet, the questions that she asked made little sense.

“Ah,” said Yuan, her tail curling again, lazily, a lot like a cat’s might if it were interested in a nearby bird. “May I ask, why you joined, as well?”

“My parents were in the military” Sakura replied. “My sister is in the navy, same rank as you, actually” she added with a smile. She was proud of Natsumi, commander of an entire starbase now. Yuan smiled back, which seemed automatically polite.

“Was the thing to do. I’d feel a bit left out if I didn’t join up too and follow all of them” she went on. “And I wanted to do something for my country.”

That seemed to have put the Commander a little easier, and the statuesque Taianese Tigress admitted, “That is a little similar to how I came into the military. I thought, too, that it would be a good thing to do something for my country. Though I had not really had much of a choice I did not want one, either. It is, tian ren he yi, which is hard to translate.” It might have been the accent, and the sudden drop into Tianese, but Sakura could detect the break in the line of thought almost before it was out of the woman’s mouth. “Now, I can not imagine becoming pirate, even if I am adrift.”

The smile seemed a little bit brittle that followed it.

“I am not originally an Alliance officer, and I was only given a brief study of your military culture before this posting, so if I ask or do something that you think is strange, I wonder if you would be so kind as to tell me so. I do not think it is quite fair otherwise.”
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Re: [Erikson] Navy and Marines

Post by Gunsight1 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:02 pm

Sakura smiled as she reclined in her chair and stretched her arms, fingers laced together. "That's fine" she replied. "There are always bound to be cultural and professional differences between peoples from different nations." she said. "We're all here to learn about new people and all that" she smiled. "I'll let you know. I know there are lots of things we do that are strange to you as well"
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