Lieutenant Aaron Quinn hated ceremonies. Most military folk were the same way, countless formations and award ceremonies made them that way. Long hours standing at attention, sometimes in the hot sun was some of the worst forms of punishment. However, because he enjoyed perfection, and the Commander had order it so, they would be the best they could be while the Agamemnon was show cased.
Buttoning the last button on his dress uniform, Quinn looked at himself in the mirror. He hadn’t put on this uniform since his company had been placed on board, and the outfit was slightly too big. Eating here was much different than back at the barracks, and in the few short weeks he’d been here, he’d lost ten pounds. He’d have to get the tailor to trim the uniform once his body was done with the change. For now, it would have to do. Making sure that his medals and ribbons were straight and in order, Quinn left his stateroom, and into the bay where his troops waited.
His second in command, Sergeant Wilkins was facing 1st Platoon at attention. As Quinn walked towards the group; he about faced. When he was face to face with him, Wilkins saluted.
“Sir, 1st Platoon, all present, or accounted for.”
Old Corps to the bone, Sgt Wilkins was a pain in the ass to the platoon. An old drill instructor, he would thrash out any weakness, even better than Aaron could. A great leader, and tough as nails, he had served as his second for nearly five years. He was also a very good friend.
“Thank you Jim. Post.” He said after returning the salute. Sgt Wilkins turned on his heel, moved to the left of Quinn, then turned and faced the platoon. Aaron looked at his men. They were all the best he had seen in his five years, though why they had been assigned to this ship was beyond him. It must have had something to do with the Fleet Week. He hated being shown off to civilians, hating being the poster boy. But if they had to find a platoon to do it, his was definitely the best and the brightest, and would do the CMC proud.
“Return to your posts. It’s time to get let some civilians stare at the best the Colonies have to offer.” With that, he dismissed his platoon, and started for the bridge to report.
His journey to the bridge was uneventful, even with the corridors packed with tourists. They smiled and waved, even saluted at times. Aaron returned all their gestures with a smile, knowing the XO would have his ass if he didn’t. All the eyes were uncomfortable, but he didn’t mind the occasional pretty lady giving him the twice over. Hell, if he didn’t have to return to the bridge, he wouldn’t mind giving them the attention they wanted, even at the expense of wrinkling his uniform.
Stepping onto the bridge, he nodded to two marines standing by the doorway. They were from second platoon, the only other marine platoon on this ship. It wasn’t unusual to see so few marines on board a vessel like this, unless mission dictated a lot of raids were going to be pushed out from the ship. It wasn’t a duty that most people enjoyed, but the port visits were nice, and they pay was decent.
Walking forward, he scanned the room for the XO, his direct superior. Since this ship only had two platoons, the two lieutenants in charge reported directly to the XO. Since the XO was usually a busy man, the two junior officers were privy to classified information, and usually planned their own ops. He saw the XO by the Dradis, walked over, and reported his platoon’s status. The man was about to respond when the Dradis began showing unknown ships appearing, moving straight towards their position. There wasn’t supposed to be any kind of exercise that he knew of.
"Sir, nuclear alert! Bearing 045 camis 2 point three...it's...gods, it's coming right for us!"
Aaron looked at her station in disbelief. Was she trying to fool the tourists? No, the look of fear on her face was genuine, he’d seen it on rookies before.
"Action Stations, Action Stations, set Condition One throughout the ship. This is not a drill. I say again, Action Stations, Action Stations! Set Condition One throughout the ship. This is not a drill!"
Reaching for his ear, he radioed Sgt Wilkins.
“Jim, we’re going into Condition 1, no drill. The men have ten mikes to get combat ready. I don’t care if they’re wearing it over their dress uniforms, I want them ready or by gods we might not have time to regret it later.”
A simple yessir was said, and Aaron turned his attention back to the action, needing all the information possible to plan for the best defense. He needed to be ready in case they had to repel an attack