|Compromises (Addendum to Guns of Ghost Chime|
|Summary:||Following Norton's choice to go to the Brig rather than explain himself. Jeff Ryan takes the time to stop by, and offer the former-Major a deal...|
|Cast:||Norton, Jeff Ryan,|
Brig <Hancock Station>
- Small and cramped, the brig is simple but sturdy-looking. It consists of a small guard room with two voice and eyescan-locked doors, leading into a short
hallway with four seven by seven stone-floored rooms, with the toilet being the only seat in each, and a basic sink carved out of the rock of the asteroid itself. Each cell has no windows or bars, but instead, well-protected indirect lighting produces a dreary glow. A thin, slidable panel in the metal doors of the cells allows for speaking and the delivery of food.
Norton is snoozing in his cell with the psi blocker resting on his chest.
Jeff nods to the guard who opens Norton's cell without comment. The Brigadier walks into the cell and says (in a loud voice) "Major!"
"I think you've got the wrong cell," says Norton opening an eye lazily.
"I don't think so," says the Brigadier. "I just wanted to let you know Captain M'nammran told me after the meeting what he got up to. He claimed it was supported by General Gerry and militia law." Ryan shakes his head, "I checked into both counts, neither of which are true."
"I know," agrees Norton as he grins and lies on his bunk. He opens his other eye. "That's why I'm in here."
"If you'd explained to me instead of just mouthing off," says Ryan. "Even in private we could have dealt with this sooner."
Jeff sighs as he sits on the chair. "We're not doing a good job as professional soldiers are we?"
Norton just grins some more. "Seen better in kiddie scout troops."
"I couldn't agree more," sighs Jeff. "Look I have an XO coming in, but I need a decent Second Officer on my command staff. Someone to act as a liason with the colonel and it'd get Tay off your back. It's not a sympathy offer. This militia is going to tear itself apart unless we start working together."
Norton just grins. "It'd get Captain Timnuts off my back when I get discharged, too, so what's your point? Why would I, a guy who you claim used to be a major but is now but a small sergeant, a cog in the military machine if you would, want a paper pushing job like that?"
"It's more than that Norton," says Jeff. And his eyes seem to burn, "We don't do this for the job. We do this because we care about our home. New Luna, and one day... if we can ever pull ourselves together again. Maybe we can go home." Jeff leans forward on his chair. "That's not going to happen for a /long/ time, maybe not even in our generation, but it /will/ happen. As long as we learn to work together. This situation with PANL has shown me how fractured we are. And I'm doing what I can to hold it together. Hell, I've even got Hart providing intelligence now. Good, experienced officers like you are rare on this world. Otherwise Captain M'nammran wouldn't be holding the position he does. I can't do this alone."
Norton grins some more as he reclines on the floor of his cell with his hands clasped over the psi blocker on his chest. "For talking a lot, you didn't say much about the job's duties, responsibilities, or why a simple marine would want a job as a 'liason' in general or leave his beloved corps for a staff job."
"This isn't a regular military force," says Ryan. "Perhaps you've noticed that by now. Your job will include the wellfare and training of the marines on the station, our role's just been expanded considerably and I need someone to co-ordinate missions planetside. And lead them when necessary. I don't have the experience for it, I've usually been on the rebel's side. You'll report directly to the new XO."
"Who is the new XO?" asks Norton next.
"Colonel Aravinda," says Jeff. "I'm expecting her anyday now."
"If you want me to stick around, get all the pogue ass space monkeys out of the marine chain of command," says Norton as he grins and stares at the ceiling. "If there are no marines around with the ability to take charge of a marine situation, sure, the pogues can play with some poor PFC, but if they get the PFC juiced because of their retard antics, I'll personally blow up their beloved ships and feed them to a pack of ferrets. Not the monkey kind. I don't want to be a liason. I'm not polite enough, but I'll be a marine."
"If you were the liason, you could take care of that yourself," says Jeff.
"I'd be saying one thing and doing the other, then. It'd be hypocritical of me to be on the command staff, say hands off my marines to the other members of the command staff, and expect them to not look at me funny," says Norton while he grins. "I'll be a marine even if I have to be an officer to do it, but if they don't have time in boots without magnets on the soles, they don't tell me how to run the marine activities."
"Well," says Ryan. "Pavel's being transferred to command first company. So there's a slot open for a captain. You've got two days to finalise the assault plan if you wish to accept the job."
Norton just grins. "I can't finalize anything without basic intel."
"Sergeant Castus has everything," says Ryan. "Talk with him, then get back to me."
"All right, sir, but if I'm captain, I'm in charge of my marines. I don't want to have to dick around with political BS in the form of your ever so experienced command staff," says Norton as he continues to lie there and grin at the ceiling. "I'm not going to ask for the glowbulb and Captain Timnuts to be brought up on charges or make a stink, so I think in the spirit of compromise that's the least you could do me for."
"It's a deal," smiles Jeff. "Now if you'll excuse me. I have some papers to draw up." Jeff offers his hand, "Welcome back Captain."
"Make sure the last point is real clear with your social club, sir," says Norton as he finally gets to his feet and shakes Jeff's hand.
"I will," nods Ryan. Letting the hand go after a firm shake. With that he turns on his heels and out the cell. The door remains open.
Norton clips the psi blocker to his belt and follows the other Lunite out.