A Different Kind of Babysitting
Madison, freshly showered and cleaned up from his earlier run, during which he had an unexpected introduction to the ships Executive Officer, was now walking down the corridor towards the Minerva's main shuttle bay. The crowded deck of engineering and operations personnel, along with the odd rag tag civilian - who Victor was sure was not meant to be in this area of the ship - parted like the Red Sea as he traversed the deck. An imposing and well armed Marine Fire-team was in tow, closely following his path walking in a two by two formation. The ships highest ranking non-comm rounded out the group.
He was grumbling something about Marine's not being babysitters, and how they should be tracking down as many Jem Ha'dar as possible. As they approached the main entrance to the shuttle bay, the Marine CO signalled to the Gunney leading this team to take up position, "Two inside, Two out, Gunney. Deploy any available personnel as you see fit Calin."
As the Marines entered, and the doors slid apart, Madison caught a glimpse of the Chief of Security standing near an odd looking runabout with a security team. He made a bee-line to intercept her. "Not only are we dealing with the Dominion, but now I hear there are Borg on ship?"
La Forge was well aware of the new arrivals in the shuttlebay. As most of the Runabout systems where offline, but she kept the power online so she can us her Regeneration Chamber, sensors and transport systems. She was busy recalibrating her shoulder joint. She knew that they would be entering her Runabout with weapons. She accessed her onboard database to see if she violated any Federation Regulations. When she found none, but she figured that they where finally come to speak with her about the use of her transport to get to Engineering to render aid. As per her directive given to her by Hugh.
Most of the fire team led by Jasen was grumbling about the sudden onboarding of children to the Minerva. Well, at least under their breath. The assembled group included some from his own platoon, a cadre of humans, Vulcans, a few Bajorans and a Xindi primate.
Jasen didn't mind the temporary addition to the crew. He was used to children, having been stationed on Denobula. And for other more personal reasons. But then his small quarters hadn't been overrun yet. Of course, Captain Rau might apparently change her mind at the last moment.
But his mind was on other things as they approached the flight deck. The second the Major gave his orders, Jasen pointed to a human and Bajoran private to take up guard outside and two Vulcans to the inside.
As the four Marines took up their position, Jasen's hazel eyes fell on the strange runabout and he muttered an old Greek curse.
"Did the Major just say 'Borg?'" a Bajoran next to him asked. A newly promoted lance corporal, Dijin Palin, his new second, and not by much choice.
"Yes, Corporal, I believe he just did," Jasen said, analyzing the ruanabout and then the surrounding area as Major Madison spoke with the ship's security chief. He gave a informal nod of respect to the former and formidable Marine before he began checking his phaser rifle for the proper settings. It really was a shame the Federation never developed a "Borg stun" setting.
"Why would the skipper allow a Borg onboard, why not just jettison it?" the corporal asked. "Because, Dijin, she is the skipper and this is her boat. The Borg does not present a threat ... at least, I think she doesn't."
The corporal snorted. "Right, and I just hatched a clutch of Xindi Reptilian eggs and will make a good parent without eating them first. That Borg should be spaced before it begins going insane."
Jasen saw his Xindi primate corporal tense, but a look from the gunnery sergeant stopped any further notice. "Lance Corporal Dijin," Jasen said calmly as he calibrated his rifle settings, "Xindi Reptilians give live birth and make outstanding parents. A bit strict maybe, but still good parents. Jasen looked back up at the runabout. His voice was quiet, even. "Besides, you weren't there when Xindus Cera fell. Every Reptilian who could hold a rifle held back the line to allow children and civilians to escape the Dominion troops. Some of them were my friends." His eyes never left the runabout. "They were people, like this Borg is, so show some fucking respect or I'll bust your teeth and answer to the Major after the fact."
"Yes, Gunney," the Bajoran said stiffly. Jasen held back a sigh. The kid was going to be a problem.
La Forge finished the adjustments, and she got tired of waiting so she went to the hatch. A brown haired, silver eyed girl, who looked' to be no more then 18 years of age. Due to her various enhancements from the Borg and the Android named Lore, her body is different then those of the standard Borg. Her Exo-plating, even though it looks and feels like Human flesh, is in truth made of a Tripolymer alloy that allows her to take several direct energy blasts, as her Borg Adaptive Shielding adopts. This, also, made it difficult for her to move, but where parts where to move at, the Exo-plating had openings. This gives her an odd look with mostly black lines over her limbs, lower face, and down her spine. "Is there an issue?" She asked as her optics scanned the group. Her adoptive shielding was powered in case she needed to defend herself.
"Surely there isn't," Dina spoke up, deciding this was the right moment to do so. She'd tensed up as well at the appearance of a fully armed marine team. Something she'd not been informed of would make its appearance at this location at this time. "I'm sure if there was, I would've been informed of this fact," she added, letting her eyes wander over the group, making note of who seemed the most tense.
Madison had finished traversing the open deck of the shuttle bay and met the Chief Of Security, "Commander, I understand your teams are going to be dealing with the..." Victor dropped his head as a group of 3 small children rushed across the decking, playing a game of tag. All 3 pushed through the gap between Madison and Vossiborn, the child in the middle squealing with laughter as the end child finally got the 'tag'.
"This isn't the place for children to be running around," Madison grumbled.
"And yet here they are," Dina smiled, kneeling down to look a rather frightened kid n the eye, except that even that low she still towered over the child. "Come on, I won't hurt you, I promise. My name's Dina," The girl looked at her with wide eyes, before turning around and running away as fast as her little feet could carry her. "None of what's happening is 'right', Major. But it's happening, whether we want it or not. Most we can do is make the best of it. And that means childproofing your runabout, Ensign," she flicked an ear at the Borg.
"Childproofing," Victor snorted, "Let's just drop the forcefield and push it out." His hand reached around the grip of the rifle that he held across his waist.
La Forge looked at the large Security Chief. "There is a force field over the hatch of my runabout, so children can't enter." She stated before bring her attention towards the Marine as a clear green field appeared and disappeared around her. "I have not done anything against the crew of the USS Minerva, the remaining citizens of the Federation, or the remaining Federation Fleet." She stated as she ran a complete scan of her database upon Federation law and Starfleet regulations. "At this time, I have not been decleared a prisoner or hostile. I have already turned over my personal direct energy weapon to Security Chief Dina Vossiborn. The weapon systems on my Runabout is powered down and on locked down. I would like to know why you are here with your armed Marines?"
Jasen saw the Major's body language the instant the children swarmed through them. Two of them were Denoublan. As a matter of instinct, he crooked his finger toward the some of the rugrats. The children immediately looked toward the gunnery sergeant's position as he crooked a finger.
The children immediately ran to him as he knelt down. Jasen removed from his uniform vest pocket three chocolate-covered snow beetles. The three kids immediately grinned very widely
"Now I want you to go with Corporal Dival to the mess hall so Chef can give you each a slice of Denobulan fudge cake," he said simply, cheerfully. If their grins could grow wider, it was now. The Xindi corporal raised an eyebrow before ushering the children out of the flight deck.
"Gunnery Sergeant, the regs clearly state you shouldn't promise something beyond is beyond energy ..." the Bajoran lance corporal was already flapping his gums.
"Corporal, the dessert comes from my rations. Chef knows this because I promised as such. I eat what my Marines eat in the mean time," Jasen said as he moved away and toward the two officers.
His hearing wasn't totally bereft. "Surely, he's breaking a dozen protocols, and why does he grant children the right ... " he heard his Bajoran lance corporal say. He was cut off by an earnest private. "Because he was a father ... twice. Most Marines on this ship aren't so fortunate."
"Well, if he's so fortunate, where is his family and children .."
"Dead, Lance Corporal, just like your voice should be," Jasen said harshly. "I want my Marines around the runabout in a delta pattern now."
There was no further chatter as the Marines were deployed. Jasen, however, presented himself to the Major and the security chief.
“Sir, Marines are in place,” he said to the Major before he glanced in the direction of the Borg. His rifle was lowered, grip on it easy but ready to change. His voice was lowered, to ensure his squad wasn’t quick to hear. “But the L-C and our ‘guest’ are both correct. Most we can do is make the best of our situation …and our young guest has so far not proven to be a security threat. Otherwise, I’m sure Captain Rau would have jettisoned this entire section of the bay. The skipper doesn’t fuck around with ship’s security.”
Jasen looked at the runabout, back to the Borg girl and then two the two officers. “L-C, three of my Marines will be stationed here in addition to your security personnel, with the Major’s blessing, to watch the runabout and its pilot,” he said. “I’ll even provide the photon grenade to help blow it into Tartarus if necessary. That being said, Major, would be wise to deprive ourselves of a tactical advantage to study a Borg, even if it’s not part of the Collective?”
The Major shot the Gunney a look, processing what he said and slowly released his grip on the weapon slung in front of him. He said nothing, but gave a nod.
"Now hold on a moment," Dina stepped forward, raising her voice albeit just a little. "Major, this person, La Forge is here under the captain's allowance and order. That order included that we, meaning security, keep an eye on her. Which is what I am here to do. You're interfering in a security matter. I'm still the chief of security on this ship and gonna have to ask you to stand down your team."
La Forge remained at her hatch very confused at why the two are arguing. The Borg have never had this form of divisions. Then she stepped from her runabout and walked to where the two of them faced off. "You both are trying to protect this ship and those of the Federation Refugee Fleet." She stated. "You should be speaking with one voice, and not multiple." She said looking between the two, but something appeared in her cultural database about a pair of human phrases and it seems fitting for this situation, so she combined them. "This is not the time to have a pissing or dick measuring contest. I may not understand this hostility, but I've begun adopting to it towards my person." She looked at the Marine. "Your audio and optic sensors must have told you that I don't act or sound like a standard Borg or liberated Borg Drone."
The Major did not engage the drone in conversation, noting instead its change in behaviour. Maybe the innocent veil was beginning to drop, its response certainly out of character. Turning to the Chief of Security, "Commander. Apologies, it is not our intention to interfere, but in fact to augment your teams and provide some relief. Apologies, if I overstepped."
He shot a glance back towards the Borg, "I've had experience with them..."
La Forge tinted her head at the man before she turned and went back to the runabout. Once she stepped back a board she turned back to the group at the hatch. Then she waited for the two to figure things out.
For Jasen’s part, the Marine gunnery sergeant found it almost impossible to contain in the brief response the Borg — La Forge as the L-C had called her – provided to both the Major’s and the Security Chief’s posturing.
In every way, their guest’s response could almost be considered … Marine in its delivery. He was starting to like this young woman.
So instead of laughing, the gunnery sergeant merely smirked and gave a small nod of appreciation to the young woman as she retreated to her ship. Then his dark eyes returned to the two senior officers and quietly waited as they resolved their differences.
Part of him just wanted to yank both of them by the ear and scold them for acting like the very children sent over to the Minerva.
"Appreciated, Major. Just run it by me next ti - " Dina didn't get to finish her sentence, as her comm badge rang out.
"Pee-Oh Johnston to Vossiborn, got a situation on deck three, corridor five, gonna need your help here,"
"... Huglausi gleidr skreyja bacraut~" Dina cursed in her native tongue before tapping her badge for a quick reply, "On my way," closing the channel and turning to Madison. "Can you keep things calm here? Since you're offering assistance anyways? 'Preciate it," not even awaiting a reply, long legs and heavy footfalls carried the Sirran away.
With a salute of two fingers from his brow, Madison turned his glance to the Gunnery Sergeant, "You heard the lady Gunney, let's keep things calm."