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Outside The Box

Posted on Mon Jul 11th, 2016 @ 10:39am by Commander Jesse Temple
Edited on on Thu Nov 24th, 2016 @ 1:05pm

Mission: 863
Location: Marine Corp / Xavier Ship Yards
Timeline: June - 30th - 2388

[3 Months Prior, Star Fleet Marine Corp HQ]

“You’re a fine Marine, Jesse.”

Admiral Thurston’s tone was sympathetic yet firm, as Jesse Temple stood at attention before his desk. Temple’s eyes were fixed on the wall behind the Admiral, knowing bad news was coming but being completely unable to stop it. He could only stand there, arms folded behind his back, hands balled into tight fists.

“Yes, sir,” Jesse replied calmly.

“Your phaser skills are impressive, your strategic mind is an asset to the Corp.” The Admiral noted.

“Yes sir.” Jesse repeated.

“I’ve never met a Marine who loves to study as much as you. I bet you could recite the entire Corp constitution right now if I asked.”

“Yes sir. I could, sir.”

The Admiral smirked, “Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to. But it’s a credit to your transformation from delinquent to decorated Marine.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” Jesse replied.

“However,” The Admiral began, and Jesse felt that sinking feeling he knew was coming. “Being a Star Fleet Captain means more than knowing the rulebook and following the procedure. Sure, once upon a time, all that came out of the Academy were good little boys and girls who towed the line but… the galaxy has changed on us.”

“Yes sir.”

“We need Captains who are inventive, spontaneous, can think entirely outside of the box.” The Admiral continued. “I’d love to recommend you for Command, Jesse, your qualifications are certainly there. But you need to experience life outside of the norm to be a truly great captain. You need experience where you don't have the familiar to rely upon.”

Jesse nodded, taking it all in. The Admiral gave a polite frown as the Marine composed his thoughts.

“Permission to speak, sir?” Jesse braved a question, trying to work that quiver out of his voice.

“Go ahead.” The Admiral nodded.

“How exactly do I do that sir?” Jesse asked, finally looking the senior officer square in the eyes.

The Admiral smiled, “Well, I’ve got just the idea.”

[Current Day - Xavier Ship Yards]

Jesse Temple waited by the shuttlecraft doors as the vessel made it’s soft connection to the Yard’s docking ring. Jesse stood with a black rucksack hung around his left shoulder as he leaned casually against the bulkhead. The engines powered down and slowly the door raised before him, Jesse had to duck his head a little as he exited. The Marine gave a half-smile to the Yard crew as he sauntered off the shuttle and into the hustle and bustle of the pedestrian traffic.

A young Star Fleet Gold Shirt appeared suddenly, a recent graduate barely fitting into his first uniform, gripping a PADD to his chest. Jesse gave the youngster a polite nod, realising that he must be here for him.

“Sir!” The young officer saluted, then immediately wondered if that was required. So he stopped, then immediately wondered if that appeared rude. “Uh sorry, um Commander. I’m here to escort you to the Star of India, sir.”

Jesse only had his backpack so he handed that over and allowed the Gold Shirt to carry it. “Thank you kindly. Have you seen the refurbishment yet?”

“Not a lot, sir,” The officer replied, “Not many staff have arrived. I hear it used to be a museum?”

“Used to be,” Temple agreed. “But Federation ingenuity has given it new life, new purpose. Made it better.”

The Gold Shirt nodded, thinking it over. “Why not just build a new ship?” he asked, earnestly.

“Because sometimes you’ve got to think outside of the box,” Temple replied with a wry smile. “Apparently.”

The officer nodded again, not quite understanding the significance of Temple’s words. As they approached the Star of India, Jesse realised the Admiral had been right. He needed this experience and he needed to approach it like any other mission he had been on before. He had his parameters and his goals; he was going to prove to the Admiral and to himself that he could be refit into something new and better too.

The Star of India appeared before them and Jesse smiled. “Home sweet home.”

OFF

 

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