The Calculus Recipe
Location: Garran's Office
Now that he'd been cleared by Medical, welcomed aboard by the Captain (with the surprise promotion in rank and duties), he figured that he had to go take care of another issue that he thought he could put off as just an XO - meeting with the ship's executive officer. Or in this case, the acting executive officers since the real XO was still in the hospital and in a coma, or so his sources told him.
He wondered about meeting with Garran because he'd never met a Carnelian before and didn't know much about them. Sure, he just served on a ship that had a Gorn pilot and an anthropomorphic polar bear science officer - with a very unhealthy attachment to peppermint Schnapps. To this day Chance still had flashbacks to the rotten, fetid, but minty, breath of the science officer.
But a Carnelian? That was new territory.
"Commander Garran?" Chance asked at the intelligence department, Garran's primary duty station aboard the ship. "I'm Major Chance Johnson, Marine CO here to meet with you."
"If you're busy, that's understandable and you can contact me for a time of your choosing," he stage whispered.
"I won't promise I'll always have time for the crew, but I can say that occasions where I don't have the time will be rare." Instead of a rotten and fetid but minty fresh scent there was a faint peach one. Garran loved his peach shampoo and went through a lot of it. "Come in, come in," offered Starfleet's largest officer as he rose to his full height and approached Chance, offering a large and powerful hand in greeting.
"Whoa, shit!" Chance said as he glanced at the behemoth rising from behind the desk. Along with his instinctive utterance, there was a backstep and he reached for his thigh where, normally, he'd be wearing a pistol in a drop holster. Due to getting acquainted with the ship, he wasn't in utilities today, so no weapons on him, a fact he realized when he gripped his own thigh.
Then, turning slightly red from embarrassment, he pulled himself together. "I'm sorry, Commander, completely inappropriate reaction on my part."
By now Garran had taken a step back and held his hands in as non-threatening a position as he could. "No offense taken, I'm fully aware that in human popular culture a large, black-furred carninoid is often considered one of the arch-typical horror monsters." he mused, once more approaching Chance and offering a hand in greet. "I do find myself curious though, what would've happened if you'd been carrying your sidearm."
"Well, Commander," Chance said with a grin, "I imagine you'd be chewing my arm off while I was busy pissing my pants. But, for the record, I'm not Terran."
"I have a strict rule, the no calculus rule." he said, lowering his hand again when it didn't seem Chance was going to take it. "No eating anything capable of higher math. Has served me well so far." Garran spoke as he sat down in his chair again, his voice a rumbling basso profondo. "Now, what can I do for you, Major?"
"Well, how about change your rule to no eating anything capable of doing simple math...with shoes off," Chance said, still trying to cover up the embarrassment and shock of seeing the XO. "Would make me feel much easier." He looked around and took a seat. "But, I've recently come aboard and took over the MCO spot, which means I need to schmooze more with the ship's command team which, I believe at this moment includes you as acting XO for the foreseeable future?"
A nod. "Until Commander Aalto is back in the proverbial saddle, yes. Which I hope won't be too long now." he frowned. "So you took over from Major James? Settling in alright? Have everything you need?"
"It was a surprise to me, I came here to be the second only to be told a short while ago that I'm to take over the whole command. That's not a problem, generally. As for everything I need? I'm going to go ahead and say no now and get the details later. I'm more concerned as to what the needs of the ship are where we're concerned."
Garran considered for a moment, before speaking again. "Not too long ago the ship was boarded. We fended them off, but the fighting was brutal and intimate. I still have the scars, myself. A significant portion of the crew, marines included, came down with PTSD after the event. We've rotated the majority of the worst cases out, but chances are that a portion of your marines are still working through the events of that day. I know of some in particular."
Garran sat back, steepling his fingers, brows furrowed. "Since then we've fallen under SFI, for a specific mission. I can't tell you the details yet, just that we need your people and materiel at the top of their game, ready to go. I'd like you to work on unit cohesion, more than anything. At least, for now. There's a lot of fresh faces in your department, people who've never worked together, who need to integrate."
Chance paused for a moment, realizing just how much the Mischief Gods of the universe hated him. Or worse, liked him. A new command full of PTSD and new transfers? With a secret mission they'd need to train for but couldn't know? Oh yeah, Mischief Gods all over it. "Okay, well, we Marines say how much we love training, if only because of how much we hate boredom. Integrating the two factions should become easier that way. As for what you need us for, give me what details you can without violating precious SFI 'secrecy' and I'll get groups working on training for your needs. I'm bringing new equipment with me that should help us be more quickly adaptable to situations, that'll help."
He sighed. A ship boarded. No one liked to hear that. "Are we afraid of the ship being boarded again? And if so, do I have authorization to run boarding drills, worked out with your SecChief, of course. I'd hate having someone step on my fleshy toes."
"It's less a matter of SFI secrecy and more of me needing to synchronize with the Captain, why I can't tell you the details yet. I'm not expecting anything outside of the normal operating sphere of the Marine Corps, and you have my permission to run whatever drills you see fit. Boarding drills might be a good idea, seeing as for a portion of your men, the Duraqi boarding is still a fresh event. Making sure they're on top of both repelling boarders and conducting boarding operations might help them deal, knowing that command is taking that event seriously and taking steps." Garran mused.
Chance rubbed his head as he thought about what was just said. "I wasn't here for that, so I don't have all the details. Are there any parts of the raid records that have been sealed and I'll have to get unsealed? If there's a chance for PTSD related events during training, I need to know what the triggers could be."
"Records shouldn't be sealed, far as I know." Garran pondered. "We were boarded, they had intel on our shield frequencies, they attacked us with bladed weapons in close quarters, kidnapped a portion of our crew for torture and enslaving. They targeted Starfleet personnel and civilians alike, men, women, children. We went and got most of our crew back, though it was too late for too many."
Chance sat back in the chair and thought for a few moments. "Okay, sounds like I'll be dealing with the counselor far more than I may like. Eventually that's going to be trouble for me when she realizes I'm bunchier than a banana tree."
Garran flicked an ear. "I'm not familiar with that saying."
Chance thought for a moment, "Probably the translation from Betazed into Federation. It just means that if I spend enough time with the counselor, she's going to realize how much of a patient I'd need to be." He said it with a smile, showing he was joking, hopefully it would be taken as such. "But, I'll get the training schedule updated with appropriate scenarios. Throwing the unit together that way should be helpful to building cohesion."
A nod. "I'll be looking forward to your next readiness report." Garran smiled. "How's your armory? All your gear complete and up to snuff?"
"Whoa! Commander!" Chance said, holding up his hands in a 'slow down' gesture. "I just came aboard today and got promoted in the same day. Give me a chance to get into all of that and I'll make sure you're apprised. Also, I'll ensure that we are operational ready before this ship moves out of dock."
"Alright." Garran agreed. "When you get around to it, but at latest twenty four hours before we leave dock, that would give me enough time to be reasonably certain I can get you anything you're lacking."
"Wilco, Commander," Chance said. "And now, is there anything else you need from me or mine? Other than valet service, despite the formal uniform, we don't do that."
"My door is always open, Major. Outside of duty hours, whether acting first officer or back to second officer." Garran rumbled. "We put a lot of trust in you and weight on your shoulders, only makes sense we reciprocate. Other than that, I have nothing else to add."
"Sounds good, Commander," Chance said as he stood. Then, frowning, he let out a sigh. "I do apologize for my extremely poor reaction upon meeting you."
"Apology accepted Major, and no harm done." Garran chuckled. "Don't worry about it. But just between you and me, keep studying that math." he added with a wink.