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A Morning Run

Posted on Mon Apr 19th, 2021 @ 8:14am by Major Victor Madison & Gunnery Sergeant Jasen Calin

Mission: Little Things
Location: Deck 5
Timeline: Prior to the Plot Log - Murphy's Law

A sweaty Martian marine landed on his feet as he slid down the ladder from the Jeffries tube on some section of Deck Five. Not a second went by before he was running through the corridors, passing by several crew members and junior officers in the process.

Jasen Calin, decked up in simple running attire, didn't pay much mind to them, rather focused on the run. He'd only started seven minutes ago, and had already gone from the Deck flight bay down. If he was fortunate and he wasn't called to some last-minute incident, the gunnery sergeant might make it to Deck 15 and back up to Deck 3 and his small cabin.

"On your left," he shouted ahead to a Bolian ensign. The large blue man had just enough time to leap out of the gunnery sergeant's way. "Sorry, sir," Jasen shouted as he passed by the officer. But his mind was on the run. Most of his physical exercise involved boxing with other Marines, but the run was a monthly right to keep his left leg steady and strong.

Still, after a year on this ship, most still hadn't become accustomed to a Greco-Martian marine running through the corridors. He was already passing by another person, shouting on his left ... when he realized it was another Marine also running.

"Major Madison, sir, on your left, sir!" he said as he nearly passed the new MCO. Other than the rescue mission, Jasen hadn't really spent enough time to be acquainted with his new superior. "Care for a run together, sir? I could slow down, understandably, since officers prefer more leisurely runs."

The words, albeit breathy, were meant in amicable humor as the gunnery sergeant grinned.

Madison was in a world of his run. Much like his morning coffee, his morning run had started to become a habit. He used this time before the pressures of the day kicked it to plan out his day ahead, and process the latest development on ship from the overnight status report. His feet made a steady beat as they pounded the decking, thud, thud, thud, thud. The declaration of 'on your left' from a fast approaching fellow runner snapped him out of his thought process, he made a slight deviation to the right to make room for the incoming Sergeant.

Victor let out a snicker at the Gunney's comments, the age old banter that Officers and Non-Coms having different work ethics survived the centuries. "On your six Calin. Don't slow on my account..."

The two men continued down the corridor, eventually falling into lock step with each other, "I read your file Gunney... that's a long list of disciplinary actions. But somehow, you still managed to get high praise for the USS Forge's Marine CO."

Jasen looked sideways as he kept pace with the Major, but otherwise kept focused on the run.

“Find anything interesting in the file, sir?” he said after a few seconds. Jasen’s career was to say the least, colorful. “And I’m surprised Colonel Camden bothered to add any praise after the incident at the fall of Denobula. He defended me at the court martial, but he also didn’t object to my transfer to the Minerva.”

The pair rounded the corridor as they reached a point of descent to the next deck. “Of course, the Forge’s skipper took one look at me, said I did not fit the mold of my father, the famed Marine CWO Jesse Calin and that he’d be proud to have me under his command again one day.”

He smirked. “Coming from a Xindi Reptilian, it was a double compliment. Probably a good thing I got transferred to this barge a year and some change ago, since the Forge went down not long after I was transferred. Of course, there’s also the likely fact that my record neglected to mention I turned down an OTC opportunity about a month before the fall of Denobula.”

Madison climbed onto the first rungs of the descent ladder, and began the climb down through the inner bowels of the Minerva, "Oh, you know there was interesting reading material in that file Gunney. I unfortunately didn't get to meet the Forge CO, but I heard they put up one hell of a fight."

By this point, the beads of sweat had started to pool at the edge of Victor's chin, every so often the low whine of a drip of liquid sweat falling through the long Jeffries tube, followed by the plop of it meeting a closed hatch some decks below.

"How do you find life on the Minerva?" He continued the climb down, looking up every so often to catch a glimpse of the non-coms behind catching up with him, "What do you say exit on Deck 7? Cross the shuttle maintenance hangar?"

Jasen was always either at pace with the MCO or just clipping his heels. The man knew how to run and shimmy down a latter.

A smirk touched the gunney's lips when asked about life on the ship. "Interesting, Major," he muttered. "I've served aboard the Minerva for a year and change and ... Capt. Rau knows how to run such a ship."

"Sounds good, sir." When they had reached the next deck, he paused. In part to gather breath and in part to consider his next words. "Sir, I've had my share of issues on this ship and it's a bucket of bolts, but it's been a privilege. A full compliment of the Marines I served with aboard the Forge transferred over after I got my own orders ... and they're all loyal to skipper."

He cocked his head. "I made sure to tell all enlisted Marines to bring their issues to me ... and the Captain told me to report all concerns to my CO, or to the security chief it it was fleet personnel. :

The question also brought up painful memories ... the cost of bringing the Major aboard. And so he deflected, as Adele would call it.

"I spoke with our Borg guest not so long ago. She proposed ... integrating into our Marine detachment for shipborne or off-ship excursions to aide the Minerva per her orders from this Hugh ... " said. "I said I would give it to you with my endorsement ... " and then he was running again.

Madison grunted at the thought, "If she's going to integrate with our crew, she'll have to realize she takes orders from the Skipper now. Not Hugh. Whoever that is," they pounded the decking for a few more meters in silence, "Why do you give it your endorsement Gunney? Do you trust the drone?"

Jasen chuckled, mostly to himself, as the major spoke. Gods be good, but he actually knew something that some higher-up officer didn't!

"Sir, if my assumption maintains truth, Hugh is the likely leader of a group of former drones freed by the USS Enterprise-D under command of Capt. Jean Luc Picard sometime in the 2360s. Don't know much, but apparently, their ship crashed on some planet, they got taken over by some android or other and then freed from that control. Since then ... well little data is available."

He smirked. "Perks of knowing a few enlisted brats aboard the Enterprise before it became planetary rubble, but only smidgens of knowledge."

Jasen kept pace without much exertion. He was younger than the major after all and remained in active shape -- though it was likely Madison was also very active given the fact that he had been very capable in the field.

"And as to say I trust our Borg guest ... it's better to know what her capabilities are in the field should the time ever come when we need to neutralize her," he said simply. "Besides, I'd rather have an ace up our sleeves when the day comes where we next encounter Dominion troops."


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