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Assigning the Case

Posted on 09 Mar 2017 @ 12:21am by Chief Warrant Officer Curither Bran & Commander Kenneth Lawe

Mission: RAWHIDE!

Bran moved through the corridors with a stated purpose. Decked out in his tactical gear, a tacvest and drop holster, along with the modified Class C uniform, he was very much aware that he was still drawing stares from the remainder of the crew. At present he knew of two fugitive recovery teams aboard the ship, yet there was orders for three. He tried not to rankle that he was in charge of 'Bravo' team. It shouldn't matter, except for his pride maybe. He was used to being much higher in his department, senior security officer, chief of security, something of that nature. Yet, he was looking at this as a break from that type of responsibility. Maybe a way to do a sort of 'reset' from all the difficulties he previously faced. At least he was still with Aide, and that's what mattered most. Having Jorrel and Warren with him was also a boon. They'd all worked together, served together, for so long he wasn't sure how long he could take to 'gel' with a new team.

And it wasn't a bad ship. At least for most of it, the focus was very definitely law enforcement related. He wasn't just a security officer on a ship that was out exploring nebulas or trying to cure some sort of strange plague on some far flung colony. His job was going to be doing, everyday, what he was trained to do. He liked that.

Coming up on the bridge, he took the back entrance to the Ready Room. He took a few moments to stop and compose himself. He'd rather show himself in a better light than the first time he met the captain, in that mess hall debacle. Finally, picking off the last bit of some fluff, he hit the chime.

"Enter," Ken said without looking up from the terminal on the desk. His Betazoid senses already detected the person outside the room, waiting to make sure they were 'presentable'. For him it was humorous to think the Chief Warrant was concerned about what Ken thought of him based on what happened with that aborted scenario. Though, yes, it still pissed him off to think that someone came aboard his ship to run simulation exercises without his knowledge or authorization.

Bran marched into the room and came to the center, hands at his sides, best he could with the sidearm. "Chief Warrant Bran reporting as ordered, sir."

Ken resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He was sure he'd get used to this amount of formality. The man was former Marine after all. Though he didn't quite understand the necessity of moving Marines to security, with the associated training, he did recognize that for the fugitive recovery teams, it might be an asset. It was certainly worth a try. "Thank you, Chief," Ken said as he indicated the chairs set in front of the desk.

"With respect, sir," Bran said, trying not to frown, "but it should be Chief Warrant."

Ken sat back and regarded the man, still standing, in front of him. "It seems we have a few things to discuss," he said as he pointed at one of the chairs.

Bran resisted the urge to shake his head. He knew he shouldn't have said it, it just came out naturally. He took the ordered seat and, except for a muttered, 'yes sir' remained quiet.

Ken kept his thoughts to himself for several long moments, preferring to let the man stew. He knew about him, of course, more so about his team second - and it would seem partner in more ways than one - as he was Betazoid. That made things much easier when it was with someone of his own people. The amount of information lost in vocalization was astounding. Yet, it was also something he's known since he was a child, with his mother working in the Betazoid Embassy on Earth. What he knew about Bran, at this time, was about as much as he could learn. Including the man was hard pressed to take on responsibility for the entire galaxy.

"Chief Warrant," Ken finally said, letting the syllables roll of his tongue. "I'm sorry we haven't been formally introduced. I do intend to be an active participant in the activies of my FRTs so let me assure you it's just a matter of the multitude of things needing my attention before we can get officially launched. Of course, surprise training evaluations doesn't help with that." Ken smiled, despite the rancor he felt over that incident.

"Yes, sir," Bran said, not sure what he was being told. Or what the captain meant. He remained quiet aside from that, hoping for something of substance he could discuss.

"Yes, okay," Ken said as he put the terminal to sleep mode and picked up a PaDD. "I'm sure you have your own, calibrated and connected to the ship's computer core?" he asked the silent Trill across from him. Without waiting for an answer, he plowed forth. "I'm assigning you a case. I understand you boarded with a fugitive so are familiar with the workings of the ship. And how we're going to be doing things around here. This one won't be much and, to tell you the truth, I want you to know I may be tagging along with you on it. Only because it's a former Starfleet officer."

He hit a control on the PaDD and indicated the monitor on the wall, where the display came to life. "Reginald Madison Hawthorn," Ken said. "Made it to rank of Lieutenant in Starfleet before his crimes caught up to him, apparently. We've got a warrant for him, sworn out by some diplomat on his home colony. Hawthorn's an engineer by trade, and apparently fancies himself some sort of maverick cowboy by birth. Likes to posture himself as a brawler. Last we heard, he was on Mars causing problems. We're going to be leaving for there in a bit, do a bit of shakedown for the ship. Stop by Mars, pick him up, do a milk run to Vulcan and back to drop him off on Earth to face extradition."

"What'd he do?" Bran asked, finding himself genuinely curious.

"Information's in the file, as well as his service record and anything else we have on him. Though, from the sounds of it, it may come to a fight to get him into custody. That being the case," Ken said, turning suddenly to Bran, "I want to make sure you understand my rules."

Bran held back the sigh. This is where he was going to have his hands tied, be shackled with some sort of liberal, bleeding heart bullshit stating that if he harmed a hair on the suspect's head, despite the suspect's attempt to kill him or members of his team, then Bran would certainly face the nine hells of punishment over it. In a way, this was becoming so predictably trite that he could probably mimic the commander word for word as he spoke. "I'm sure I'm eager to hear it, sir," he said. It was a bit cheeky but it could be argued in his favor if necessary.

"My rules are simple," Ken said, smiling as he 'heard' the man's thoughts. "There is no such thing as 'cheat to win'."

"Sir," Bran started, sure he was interrupting, but this was going to go too far. If he was going to get reassigned, he might as well do it before he was under orders to disengage from sound tactics. Orders that would stand a very good chance to get him or members of his team killed. "With all due respect," he started, again trying to cover his ass for the JAG review later, "I know how to handle my team and my job. You may be looking at parts of my file, but I assure you, I do have the intelligence to understand the difference between a Marine insertions and a Starfleet operation. This lecture I'm sure you've got planned, is not necessary and I'd rather you didn't try to hamper the safety of my team with a lot of rules, regulations, orders and various other bullshit."

Ken sat up, not happy with what he was hearing, but...

"Chief Warrant, are we going to have a problem here?" he asked, forcing himself to relax and sit back in his chair. "We seem to be getting off on the wrong foot where you have all sorts of wrong ideas about me."

"No offense meant, sir," Bran said, sitting up himself and trying to think fast. "But, I want to make sure it's known that I am capable of serving in the capacity of a security officer. If you look at my record, you will see I'm quite qualified in that regard. As is my team. That we are more comfortable with retaining our Marine training and discipline does not mean we are bloodthirsty warmongers, sir. Your intended lecture regarding how to handle suspects, how to effect lawful arrest and how to follow all applicable guidelines. I assure, you, Commander, they will be followed to the best of our ability and without the need for you to hamper us due to overblown concerns of us being too militaristic."

Ken found himself chuckling. "Chief Warrant, I assure you, had I a problem with how I believe you would be acting, your team would not be on my ship. As for the lecture, I have only to say this: when it comes to members of my crew and the very dangerous job we're going to be doing, I will tell you there is no such thing as "cheat to win". Because when it comes down to a fight for your lives, there are no rules so you cannot cheat."

Bran sat back, stunned silent. "Sir?" he finally managed to croak out.

Ken's laughter bubbled out. "You will come home safely, and your team. You will bring back the suspects as safely as they allow themselves to be brought back. You make every effort to follow Federation principles as long as it doesn't cost you or your team harm. Is that acceptable to you, Chief Warrant?"

"Yes, sir," Bran said, still confused.

"Good, the information for this case has been transmitted to you. Inform me when you intend to brief your team. I suspect we will be arriving at Mars within," he glanced at his chrono. "four hours. Make sure you're ready to go."

"Aye, sir," Bran said, the dismissal seemed clear to him. Without anything else to currently discuss, he turned to leave the room, glancing at the information on the PaDD as he did so.

He hated the idea of going after fellow Starfleet but, according to this warrant, it was completely necessary. This criminal was going to spend a long time in a small room with nasty forcefields for betraying his oath of office.


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