Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by The Badger, Apr 27, 2009.
Short, yes, but it had its moments. I liked Archer locking his cabinet!
UES Enterprise. En route to the Theta Iota system. Warp 3.89
16th May 2151.
Stifling a yawn, Hernandez navigated the corridors on the way to the nearest elevator terminus station. She'd had a busy day, sorting out the Ithenite's supply problems, and was ready for her bunk. She felt sympathetic for the little fellows. They'd been forced to abandon the damaged freighter. Someday they'd send a ship out to collect the remaining cargo, but the freighter itself was beyond repair. A few parts might be salvaged, nothing more. Despite the aliens' friendly nature Hernandez was left in no doubt that there would be major diplomatic consequences from this.
Ahead of her the sickbay hatch opened, and T'Pol stepped through. Hernandez was mildly surprised. The ambassador's aide had kept herself very much to herself, so much so that Maria had almost forgotten that she was on board. There was a large greenish yellow bruise on the Vulcan woman's cheek, and the residue of Locke's purple healing gel on her hands and forehead.
"T'Pol? Are you all right?"
A slow nod. "Your physician is most capable. My injuries are almost totally healed."
Hernandez asked "What injuries? What happened to you?"
"Several of your Marines expressed an interest in the Suus Mahna, a Vulcan martial art. I displayed a few basic moves, but they wanted a more practical demonstration." She paused. "I am returning to my quarters now."
"I'm heading to mine, too. Shall we continue?" They set of towards the station.
After a moments silence, T'Pol continued. "I of course warned them that, with my superior physical strength, there was a clear risk of injury. They behaved illogically, apparently perceiving my comments as some sort of challenge. They selected one of their number--"
"Let me guess. Corporal James?" Hernandez interrupted. "Short girl, dark hair."
T'Pol said "That is correct. She is a skilled opponent, but inevitably I prevailed. She left sickbay shortly before I did."
Hernandez wasn't too happy about this. She could see the value of learning another species' fighting styles, but not if you risk injuring yourself the day before an important mission. And there'd be hell to pay if an ambassador's assistant were injured by an Earth Marine.
Hey, since when did I get concerned with diplomatic affairs? I've been spending too much time with the Captain!
That reminded her of something. "T'Pol, do you know anything about the Ithenites? Their culture, I mean."
Hernandez shot T'Pol a glance, wondering if that were a joke about the Ithenite's short stature. Of course not. "There's something Captain Karash said to us, as they were leaving. Something about a bird, nesting on your planet, or something like that."
"The Great Bird of the Galaxy. A mythological figure common to several species in this area, often invoked as a blessing."
"Ah, a sort of 'May God go with you', then."
"Indeed. Curiously, whilst the Great Bird is invoked in this manner, it does not seem to be worshipped or revered in any way, though it is certainly respected. Members of various religions, even those that deny the existence of other deities, accept it. Most intriguingly, several cultures have historical references to the Great Bird that pre-date First Contact. Exactly how they learnt of it remains a mystery. The anthropologists Seren and T'Lonas speculate that some sort of cosmological event occurred that was visible from these worlds, and resembled a bird. So far, no evidence of such an event has been found."
It looked like T'Pol was going to go into a lecture. Fortunately for Hernandez, they arrived at their destination, and she was able to interrupt. "Going up?" she said, hitting the button to open the elevator doors. It was, she'd be the first to admit, a silly question. The elevator had no where else to go. But it succeeded in distracting T'Pol.
As the elevator began it's journey T'Pol asked "Commander. Do you know if Professor Partridge ever uses an alias?"
"What do you mean?"
"An assumed name, an alternate identity, a nom-de---"
Hernandez waved her hand dismissively. "I know what an alias is, T'Pol. What I meant was, why do you ask?"
Both women grabbed hold of the rail as the elevator flipped to orientate itself to the secondary hull.
T'Pol thought for a moment. "I overheard a conversation earlier. I was not eavesdropping, but my hearing is superior to that of humans." She gestured to her ears. Hernandez nodded.
T'Pol went on. "One of your crewmen was discussing Professor Partridge. He made several references to her skirt, particularly it's brevity, which he seemed to appreciate. His colleague was of an alternate view, claiming to prefer her customary garb, what he referred to as a 'catsuit'. Is that the correct designation?"
"I believe so." Hernandez said as the elevator arrived. The small lobby was empty. She got herself some hot chocolate from the vending machine. "Can I get you anything?"
"No. Thank you. After stating that he preferred the catsuits, he then added that he liked to see someone by the name of 'Camille Towe'. I do not recall---Commander, are you all right?"
Hernandez had spat out the mouthful of hot chocolate, and was coughing furiously. "I'm all right, I'm all right."
"Your beverage is too hot, perhaps?" T'Pol suggested.
"Yes! Yes, that's it, too hot. Yes." She wiped her mouth on her sleeve, and grabbed a paper towel to clean up the mess she'd spat on the floor. That also gave her a few seconds to think. "So, er, 'Camille Towe', er..."
"As far as I can tell that is what he said. 'I like the catsuits. I like to see Camille Towe'. Perhaps I misheard. I did at first think he had said 'Camel', rather than 'Camille', but that makes no sense."
"No! None at all!" Hernandez said quickly. "I'm not sure...I don't know her that well...but I think she may have used an alias when she started modelling. Ah, it was...." Think woman, think! "...ah, yes. When she first started modelling, she was still at university, and didn't want people finding out. Bringing the profession into disrepute. Or something."
T'Pol looked at her silently for a moment, then gave a nod. "Plausible. Enjoy your hot chocolate." Then she left.
Hernandez dropped into a chair and let out a long sigh. I suppose I'd better send Partridge a note, just in case T'Pol asks her. It'd be good to have our stories lined up. Still, it'd be fun just to watch her to try and explain it...
No, better let her know. And there's a couple of other things I want to ask her, too.
Oh, that was funny.
Ok, so how am I s'posed to get the soup out of my laptop keys?!?! Camille Towe?
"The Great Bird of the Galaxy. A mythological figure common to several species in this area, often invoked as a blessing."
Liked this very much. A great nod to Mr R.
UES Enterprise. En route to the Theta Iota system. Warp 3.89
16th May 2151.
Although the small window inset into the hatches of the personnel quarters were opaque, they were translucent enough to tell if the lights in the room were on or off. Enough of a glow showed at Professor Partridge's hatch to let Hernandez know that the scientist was still awake. She hit the door bell.
After a few moments the intercom crackled into life. "Who is it?"
"Commander Hernandez. Might I have a word, Professor?"
"Just a moment." A few seconds later the hatch opened slightly, and Partridge's blonde head emerged. "What is it? It's very late."
"This will only take a moment. May I come in?" Hernandez asked.
Partridge regarded her silently for a moment, then nodded. She stepped back, opening the hatch wider.
Due to her position as chief scientist, Partridge warranted a room to herself. Unlike Hernandez's, which were maintained in a state of military utility, there was a fair amount of clutter. Framed photographs covered the walls.A glass fronted wooden cabinet seemed packed full of trophies. A fencing mask and foil hung from hooks on the wall, over a large wide leafed pot plant. Instead of the ship issue coverings the bed sported an enormous duvet, almost hidden under a mound of soft toys. There were books everywhere.
"Cosy." Hernandez said, looking round. Her jaw dropped slightly and her eyes widened in surprise as she saw Partridge fully. Up till now she'd been hidden behind the door.
She was dressed in a long quilted blue dressing gown. There was a pink elephant on the pocket. Just showing at her feet were a pair of fluffy white slippers, with rabbit faces and ears.
"Is something the matter?" Partridge asked.
Hernandez blinked. "Ah, that's kind of a different look for you, isn't it?"
"Well, not even I can wear that stuff all the time. I have to be able to breath in occasionally. Just don't tell anyone, please."
"I get it. You have your reputation to consider."
Partridge cocked her head. "Well, there is that. I was more concerned though about the effects on shipboard morale. Most of the men and at least three women would be thrown into despair by the revelation. There would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Tears would flow. Do you want that on your conscience, Maria? Well, do you?"
Hernandez made a zipping gesture at her mouth. "My lips are sealed, your secret is safe. But it's with regard to your dress sense that I've come here tonight."
Hernandez quickly explained about the meeting with T'Pol, and the Vulcan's confusion regarding Earth slang. As she'd anticipated, Partridge found the story hilarious.
"Oh, Maria Maria Maria, you'll be dining out on that story for years! And quick thinking too, very quick thinking. An alias to prevent my modelling activities bringing academia into disrepute. Marvellous! I'll have to remember that."
There was a moments silence, slightly awkward. To break it Hernandez said "I also wanted to thank you, for that analysis of the particle weapon they attacked us with."
Partridge's face fell. Hernandez went on, in a softer tone. "I know it can't have been easy, given your pacifism, to study a weapons system. But the suggestions you made could save lives."
"Just so you know. I've done all I'm prepared to do. I've deduced that weapon's means of operation, and suggested possible defensive strategies, but that's all. I'm not going to do anything to help replicate it. I won't."
The silence returned, thicker than before. Hernandez was about to make her excuses and leave when Partridge spoke.
"Now. What did you really come here for? No, don't tell me. Let me guess." She paused, then turned and went to the bathroom hatch. "It's up there." she said, gesturing, before disappearing through the hatch. A few seconds later the sound of a running tap could be heard.
Hernandez looked round, where Partridge had gestured. There were several photographs on the wall, but one immediately caught her eye. It showed Partridge, standing tall and proud, in full dress uniform. UEMA, ground forces.
No, no, that's not quite right. Hernandez leaned closer, eyes narrowing. The woman in the photo looked a lot like Partridge, but her figure, whilst impressive, was not as spectacular. On closer inspection she was older too. "Your mother?"
Brushing her teeth, Partridge leant back into view. "Ghats right. Lug a log ligh her, dohn aye?"
"Very similar. Can't quite make out the insignia. She's a light colonel?"
"Wen tha goto wah tagen--- scoose me." She broke off, gargled for several seconds, then spat. "She was when that photo was taken. She's full bird now."
Hernandez's eye was drawn to the next photo, a family portrait. Although in civilian clothing Partridge's mother maintained her erect stance, even whilst holding a baby. Next to her stood a little man in a natty suit and a pork pie hat.
"Mother's family have been in the military practically forever. Aunts, uncles, grandparents...whenever there's a family get together there's an awful lot of uniforms present."
Hernandez asked "And your father?"
"Dad's a second hand car salesman from the East End. Bit of an unusual match, but that's love for you."
"I'm guessing you get on better with your father." Hernandez said. On seeing Partridges quizzical expression she added "You refer to him as 'Dad', and her as 'Mother'. That suggests you are less formal with him."
Partridge nodded. "Well spotted. Yeah, it's fair to say that Mother and I have our differences. She really had her heart set on me continuing the family tradition. Never mind that I've got a brother and sister already in the military."
"So why didn't you? Contrary to popular opinion, smart people are allowed to join up, you know."
"But would they want to?" Partridge asked with a wry smile. "At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I'm clever. Really clever. I knew my ABC's before I could walk without falling over, and had basic maths by the time most kids have worked out what their favourite toy is. At the age of four I was taken into the institute."
She paused. "Sorry, that wasn't nearly dramatic enough. At the age of four, I was taken into 'The Institute'. Durn durn Durn!!!"
She took a picture off the wall and handed it to Hernandez. It showed a dozen or so kids, ranging from toddlers to teenagers, seated on benches in what looked like a school hall. There were a few adults present, some in lab coats, others suits, all with the look of academia about them. Looking at their faces Hernandez found something familiar about one of them, but couldn't quite place it. Partridge herself, recognisable despite her age, was on the front bench, half turned as if whispering to the boy next to her.
"What do you mean, taken? You were abducted or something?"
"Goodness me no. It's not that dramatic. No. The Institute was a privately funded project to take gifted children and give them the best start in life. The intent was to build a cadre of geniuses to ensure Britain's future prosperity. Those, such as myself, who showed potential were recruited, and given an education specially developed for our individual needs. Experts hired from around the world monitored our progress. Plus, we got to live in a castle in Scotland, which is where the Institute was located. That was fun."
Hernandez asked "And your parents were OK with this?"
"Well, Mother was, certainly. Despite my jokes to the contrary I do know that a bit of brains is useful to the military. She thought that an officer who knew practically everything before even entering Sandhurst could only be an asset. Now as it happens I studied maths and science almost exclusively, but there were military courses available. She hoped I'd go for those."
"And your father? What did he think?"
Partridge said "Ah, he wasn't too happy. Kept saying that he'd 'miss his little princess'. But, truth be told, I was rather a handful at home. I kept taking things apart, to see how they'd work."
"Let me guess, when you put them back together again, they worked even better than before, right?"
"Sometimes, yes. More often than not once I knew how it worked, I got bored and didn't bother putting it back together. So that, and my incessant questioning, about everything, finally convinced him I'd benefit from the Institutes' enhanced teaching capabilities."
Hernandez handed the picture back. "So what happened?"
Partridge looked sad. "After a couple of years the money ran out. The team dispersed, and all us little geniuses went our separate ways. Into 'normal' schools." There was a trace of bitterness as she said those last words. She put the picture back. "I ended up in Mother's old school. Another boarding school. Didn't really fit in though. They all thought I was snotty and arrogant. I can see their point. When you're telling people ten years older than yourself that you've already got an A+ on the exam they're about to sit, and they shouldn't worry because it's easy, yeah, I guess snotty and arrogant is how you come across.
"I tried to fit in. I really did. Joined a few extra-curricular clubs, the ones Mother excelled at. I gave up anything to do with horses instantly. Those things scare me. But...."
She opened up the glass fronted cabinet and took out a couple of trophies. One caught on the chain of an old fashioned pocket watch, almost dragging it out. She casually slid it back in the cabinet, and showed the trophies to Hernandez. One was a first prize for fencing, the other a third for rifle shooting.
"That explains your familiarity with rifles." Hernandez said, thinking back to the ease with which she'd handled the Em-414 down in sickbay.
Partridge was staring off into space. "There was a shooting contest, a little competition with a nearby boys school. Not rifles, shotguns. Shooting clay pigeons. We were doing well. We won, in the end. During my turn, as the clays went up, a bird, a sparrow I think, went across my line of fire. I fired. I killed it. When I realized what I'd done, I was heartbroken, and put the gun down in disgust. Sadly it had been my last shot so this dramatic action went unnoticed. Since then I've handled guns, I've posed with them for calender shoots, hell, I've even played first person shooters. But I've not fired one since then, not even target practice. That's the only lesson I really learned in Mother's school. Guns kill. Guns kill."
Hernandez felt uncomfortable. She cleared her throat. "Sadly, accidents do occur. But what---"
"Not an accident." Partridge interrupted. "That's what upset me so. I wanted to kill that bird. Wanted to feel the power of life and death. And learnt, when you pull a trigger, that you only have the power of death, not of life. There's been studies going back to the twentieth century, that show that the greater exposure to firearms, the greater a persons inclination towards violent behaviour."
She broke off, smiled sadly. "Damn. Sorry Maria, I didn't mean to lecture you. Can I say, for the record, that yes I recognize that there may be circumstances in which the use of guns is justified. And that there are people, like yourself, and Lieutenant Reed and his people, and even my Mother, who I think can be trusted with firearms. But I decided there and then that I would not use them. Nor would I do anything to develop or propagate them. And I certainly wasn't going into the military, even in a non combatant role."
Hernandez stood silent as Partridge returned the trophies to the cabinet, deep in thought. Eventually she spoke. "I've killed. In combat, I've killed intelligent beings. I've been lucky in a way. It's all been ship to ship. I've never seen the enemies face, at the time. Though once I saw the corpse of an Axanar, recovered from the wreckage of his craft. That brought it home to me. So I pray to God for forgiveness, repent my sins at Confession, but I still feel it. A burden on my soul. Maybe you made the right choice."
"But if you were like me, who'd have saved the Ithenites when they were attacked by the Neptune?"
"There is that." Hernandez mused.
Partridge suddenly shook herself. "C'mon, this is getting maudlin. Tomorrow will be busy, we both need to get up early. Scoot! You can hear the details about the rest of my fascinating and fabulous life some other time. Goodnight Maria!"
Hernandez paused as she went through the hatch. "Goodnight....Polly." she said.
Very nice character building scene. I take it this is the beginning of Maria and Polly's friendship?
Once again I must apologise for not updating. It's been a bit hectic. What with work and everything I probably won't be able to write anything till the new year. Sorry.
We understand. Real life has an annoying habit of interfering where it's not wanted. As long as you haven't abandoned the story; like some others I could name ... <cough> ... Captain Kirk and HMS Truculent ... <cough> ... we can wait.
Oh I've no intention of abandoning this. Barring accidents, I'll see this through. Hey, I want to know how it ends!
The good guys win, UEMA and UESPA personnel develop respect for one another, Maria gets a command of her own, Archer is awarded a dual UEMA commission as a measure of respect and dies heroically during the Earth-Romulan War, Trip and Diva pair up, and Malcolm and Polly get married and live kinkily ever after.
oh, I wasn't supposed to say that, was I? Sorry.
Very good scene between Polly and Maria. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Have you been reading my notes?
Another short piece. I'm finding it difficult to get the time to write at the moment, so I'll try to do quicker pieces to keep the momentum going rather than wait 'till I've time for my usual monolithic chapters.
UES Enterprise. En route to the Theta Iota system. Warp 3.62
17th May 2151.
Marine Commander's Office.
Malcolm Reed had the look on his face of someone who has bad tidings to deliver, and wasn't sure how they would be received. He cleared his throat several times as if ready to speak, but never followed through.
Feeling sympathetic, Captain Archer said "Please speak freely, Lieutenant."
Reed took a deep breath, like a diver preparing to plunge into icy waters. "Sir, I...sir. Oh Lord, sir, this is a bad idea sir. Really bad. Dreadful. Sir."
Archer leant forward over Reed's desk. "Don't mince words Malcolm, tell me what you really think." he said with a smile.
Rubbing the bridge of his nose wearily, Reed said "We are planning a possible rescue operation. An infiltration by stealth onto a hostile vessel, to recover the Vulcan Premier from an enemy we know practically nothing about. Not their numbers, not their aims, not their weaponry, not even their race. And--"
"We know there are humans and some Vulcans amongst them." Archer interrupted.
"But is that all, or are their others? They've used these Yridian fellows as go betweens. For all we know there could be a dozen other races involved. And now you tell me that you want to accompany us on the op., along with Lieutenant Sato and the Vulcan aide, T'Pol."
"And you think that's a bad idea." said Archer, a statement not a question.
"Do I still have permission to speak freely?" At Archer's nod Reed went on. "You're damn right I do. If anything goes wrong, it could turn into a combat situation. With respect, you're really not trained for that."
"And if everything goes right, then it could turn into a diplomatic situation. And you and your people aren't really trained for that, are you?"
Reed's shoulders slumped. "No sir."
Archer said "Make no mistake about it, I intend to get the Premier back by any means necessary. But that doesn't mean we go in all guns blazing. If negotiation has a chance, that's what we'll try. If it fails, then your methods are still an option."
"So, you're our best chance for a diplomatic solution. OK, I'll grant you that. What about the other two?"
"You said it yourself, there may be multiple races involved. Hoshi is our best communicator. And T'Pol, as a Vulcan national, may be useful dealing with the Premier when we find him. She volunteered by the way. Used to be in their military."
Reed sighed. "D'you know what the most infuriating thing about this is?"
"If this was a military ship I'd have the authority, under regulations, to prohibit you from doing this. If we get through this alive that's one little rule I'd recommend be adopted for all combined service missions. Right, if we're doing this you'd better get Sato and T'Pol down here."
Archer grinned. "They're here already, in the outer office."
In fact, only T'Pol was waiting in the outer office. Burke, Reed's administrative assistant, explained that Sato had announced that she was going 'for a look around', before disappearing through the door into Marine territory.
Following the sound of laughter and loud voices, Archer, Reed and T'Pol soon tracked the Lieutenant to one of the barracks. Here, a nervous looking Dumont stood side on to a wall, an unlit cigarette in his mouth. At the other end of the barracks stood Hoshi, riffle shuffling a deck of cards one handed.
"You! Name a card, any card!" she said.
The marine she pointed at, Tipping, thought for a moment. "Errrr....seven of hearts?" he hazarded.
Without looking she held the deck out towards him, vertically. Slowly one card rose, apparantly of it's own volition. It's back was towards the watching marines. Lightning fast, she snatched the card from the deck and sent it spinning down the barracks towards Dumont. He flinched as it whirled past his nose, neatly bisecting the cigarette. There was a brief spattering of applause.
"Ladies and gentlemen, is that your card?"
Dumont picked it up, showed it to the others. "Errrrr, no. Two of diamonds. Sorry."
"What, really? Oh well, can't win 'em all."
"Good throw, though." Dumont added. "In fact----"
He was interrupted by 'Red' Grant, who'd spotted the visitors. "Officer on deck!"
"Well I'm glad to see you're all so busy." Reed said, following the pounding of marine boots as they leapt to attention. "What with a major op. being imminent, it'd be terrible if you started slacking off at this difficult time. Good job that you're all so dedicated to the job, that that would never happen."
There was a muttered chorus of "Sorry sir." from the assembled marines.
"Right. Carry on."
Giving Sato a stern look, Reed led them along a narrow corridor to a store room. From a locker he produced what looked like a child's romper suit, though clearly adult sized. It was charcoal grey, with a vaguely metallic sheen. He held it up for their inspection.
"Right, you'll all have to wear one of these under your uniforms."
Archer took it from him and held it up to Sato. "You've a good eye, Malcolm. This is almost exactly Hoshi's size."
Now it was Reed's turn to grin. "Actually sir, that one's for you."
Archer looked startled. "I'm not quite sure I could get into there."
"We've been running a few simulations." Reed said. "Using the information on record, plus the recollection of those crew members who have served on Neptune class frigates, we've created a virtual copy of the enemy ship. My men have been exploring it with the VR equipment. Making sure they know there way round. We've all been on Neptune's anyway, as part of military exercises, but the VR system lets us do a bit more training.
"There's one factor that keeps coming up time and again. Apart from the main access corridors, it's very cramped, congested. If we go in there in full environmental suits it'll slow us right down. Too many choke points. And it doesn't matter how good your armour is, staying put and letting the enemy dictate the battle is a bad idea. So we wear these."
He took hold of the sleeve in both hands and stretched it. It sprang straight back when released. "If we can't have a full pressure suit on then this is the next best thing. Worn next to the skin it applies a constant elastic pressure that'll keep your organs in place should you suddenly find yourself in a vacuum. That, normal uniform, and standard body armour should see us through."
"I assume there's a way for us to breathe?" Hoshi asked, examining the material.
"You'll be fitted for a full face helmet. It's got an integral twenty minute air supply. Your back pack will keep you breathing for twelve hours, so you should have no trouble on that score. Oh, you'll be needing this as well." Reed said, putting a small packet on the table.
Archer picked it up, brows furrowed as he read the label. "Modelling clay? My nephew plays with this stuff. What do we need it for?"
Reed tried, unsuccessfully, to hide his smirk. "If you do enter a vacuum, any concave areas on you body would swell up till they filled the gap under the suit's fabric. Very uncomfortable. You can use this stuff to fill the gaps before hand. The top brass spent millions trying to develop something suitable, only to find this commercially available stuff does the job. Typical. Anyway, you'll need to fill out your armpits, small of your back, and, ah, lower down. And both of you ladies will need some..." He trailed off, and gestured vaguely to his chest.
"Her more than me." Hoshi said ruefully.
T'Pol's eyebrow raised slightly, but she kept her silence.
"Any questions?" Reed asked. There were none. "In that case I'll get Burke to scrounge up the necessary equipment. Whilst he's doing that, we better get down to the range. I know what you said, Captain, but none of you are coming until I'm satisfied you know what part of a firearm should be pointing at the enemy."
It is a small matter, almost too trivial to relate, but while Archer and the others were being given a crash course in weapons operation, a small group of Marines went for their latest familiarisation training. As they placed their VR helmets upon their heads one of their number, Tipping, removed it in surprise.
"What the hell?"
Tucked neatly into the helmet, directly in front of the display, was a playing card.
The seven of hearts.
Now how on Earth would I get a hold of them? You're on the other side of the pond!
I just know how your deviously kinky mind works is all. And it's not all that different from my own.
Wonderful chapter too. Pity Malcolm will never get that in there until Picard's time.
One question though. This has bugged for a while. Malcolm's rank. Lieutenant is pretty low for a marine officer, don't you think Captain or Major would be more appropriate? I know his unit isn't very big, but it's supposed to be elite.
Elite, yes, but it's still only a platoon. Two squads of eight troopers each, including an NCO. Reed is platoon commander, Woo platoon sergeant. A couple of crew for each Beowulf, plus Burke for administration. As such Lieutenant is the appropriate rank.
Reed has in fact been considered for promotion many times, but there are certain factors working against him. One of which may be mentioned in an upcoming chapter,
He picks his nose, doesn't he?
Good bit there-like the touch about the card. Made it real.
No, he makes sexist remarks regarding really hot civilian scientists that are into corsets and wear them all the time.
It's a terrible character flaw.
A terrible character flaw indeed, but one that is very common when Polly is around!
I just want to apologise (yet again) for the delay in updating. Yet another RL problem rears it's head. I'm glad I don't write professionally, I'd starve!
Not a problem. I'm having minor withdrawal cravings, but nothing I can't handle.
Back to Malcolm, the size of the unit is only half of the equation. Equally important is the ship they're assigned to.
You know in the Age of Sail a First Rate ship of the line only had about 100 marines aboard but they were commanded by a Major. A Second Rate had 80 also commanded by a Major, while a Captain commanded the marines aboard a Third or Fourth Rate with 30 to 60 marines. To get to a Lieutenant commanding the marines detachment you had to go down Fifth and Sixth Rate frigates, which carried about 30.
And that concludes our history lesson for today. Tomorrow we will explore 18th century fashions by putting Polly in a gown of the period, complete with whalebone corset, stays that act as a shelf for her magnificient bosom and a plunging neckline to display the same.
Separate names with a comma.