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Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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The Interview

Posted on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 @ 10:28am by Captain Cornelius Tremble & Brigadier General Francis 'Judge' Sobel
Edited on on Sat Apr 18th, 2020 @ 6:21pm

Mission: Episode 9 - Empok's End
Location: Empok Nor, Marine Country
Timeline: MD005 11:00 hrs

Looking out the viewport, Neil surveyed Pioneer and the other fleet vessels as they occasioned past, the ships of the fleet orbiting Empok Nor as repair crews worked on the docking ring. The marines landing craft had force locked themselves to the station and it would take a couple of days in all to repair the damage that had caused.

The station itself was in organized shambles. All of the enemy combatants had been removed, though sweep teams would continue for a week or better.

Empok Nor’s command team had returned, including general Sobel and the Brigade. Nobel’s summoning him was why he was cooling his heels in the brigadier’s office. Neil had been invited and ordered to attend the general at or about this time.

The Cure had done well with losses mainly to equipment, though there had been plenty of wounds and stories to go around. He was distracted from replaying the battle in his mind when he General’s door opened and Corporal Xo’ Chi made his appearance and waived him into the open door.

“The General will see you now, Captain,” the Romulan corporal told him. Neil nodded and moved through the hatch and came to attention and saluted at the proscribed distance from the general’s desk. “Captain Tremble reporting as ordered, sir.”

“For the love of Mike, at ease Neil,” came the General’s amused baritone. “After what we’ve both been through, I don’t think we need to stand on ceremony. Grab a pew.”

Neil blinked at the informality, but removed his beret and took the proffered chair. The general smiled at him and settled back in his chair. The older man looked tired and worn, “How’s your command?”

“Worn, like everyone else I think,” Neil said, his eyes flickering over the general, who laughed. “I look that bad?”

“No sir. It’s just been a long few days,” Neil said, though a hint of humor hung in his eyes.

“A long few days he says,” the General shook his head. He gave Neil a long look and then asked, “Your Detachment’s ready for the new deployment then?”

“Aye sir, if needed we can deploy now.” Neil tensed slightly and Sobel waived at him. “Don’t bristle. Just wondering at your thoughts of moving to the Sirius AOR.”

Neil shrugged and feeling the Genera’s gaze on him, finally said, “One place is as good as the other sir. I’m a Marine, I go where I’m told…the job’s usually the same. The Cure will just need to get up to speed on, as usual.”

The general laughed at Neil’s tone and the Captain could only wonder why he was here. “Sir, may I ask…”

“Why you’re here?” Sobel finished for him, clearly amused. “Well you’re not shy about getting to the point of what you’re thinking. That’s a good trait.”

The general touched a control on his desk and Neil saw his service record pop up. “The corp does prefer to promote enlisted to officers, but you’re a bit old even for that.” The general commented. “You’ve only got a couple years in grade as an officer, being a Gunny gave you the experience needed to run a Detachment and Malbrooke pushed through your rank to Captain.”

The General leveled a gaze at Neil thoughtfully and Pioneers detachment commander kept himself steady under that gaze. “And you’ve grown into it fast. You’re a bit brusk and un-political, but those aren’t necessarily bad things.”

Again the General regarded him matter of factly and Neil didn’t know what to say. Given that, he didn’t say anything.

Sobel stopped flipping through his file and looked at him. “The short of it is, I’m considering having you re-assigned as my aide.”

Neil didn’t say anything but felt his stomach tighten. “ Ir’dama is due for a promotion and more responsibility. I know Malbrooke has appointed you to second officer of the Pioneer and that is an interesting career path advancement, but it might limit your advancement in the Corp structure. You might advance to light bird, but from there who’s to say.”

The general chuckled then, “You’d be the oldest aide I’ve ever had, but the training, and more importantly the experience, would be more in line for a career Marine line officer.”

Neil sat back in his chair and thought for a few moments and asked, “Light bird isn’t bad. You think serving aboard Pioneer will curtail my career? I went in being a Gunny with no thoughts to going officer to my current post.”

Nobel nodded. “And done well, as I’ve said. But Pioneer and Captain Malbrooke may not be in your best interest as far as the Corp is considered.” The general’s tone changed and he looked to his desk. “Well, I think that will do. We both have other duties. You’ll be informed if your orders change. Good day, Captain.”

Neil stood slowly, replacing his cover and then saluted, turned on his heel and walked from the general’s office, his mind unsettled.

Obviously, this interview had been for a conversation not to see if Neil was interested in the post but for the General to see if he could work with Neil.

And if Neil would be worth the effort by him and the corp.

Neil wasn’t sure he wanted to give up being in the field, but he might not have a choice in the matter either.

On the whole Neil didn’t quite know what to think.

Captain Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

 

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