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Posted on Sat Oct 3rd, 2020 @ 4:19pm by Commander Maia Sterling & Lieutenant Commander Sheena Toran & Captain Orin Thrix & Senior Chief Petty Officer Henry 'Hank' Keitel & Master Sergeant Tovin Hex

Mission: The Thorion Conundrum Mission Brief
Location: Marine Deck. USS Leto
Timeline: Current

"Quality comes not from inspection, but from improvement of the production process"
-W. Edwards Deming-


In his FULL dress uniform, Captain Orin Thrix waited at the the turbo lift. He waited for his special guests to come to Marine country and help his inspect his Marines. The First Sgt. only found out hours ago that this first inspection was to be in front of the Captain, the XO, and the COB. Orin wanted to make sure that the Captain knew what his troops were like both before AND after he had the opportunity to train these Marines. This was going to be a surprise even for Orin. He had no idea what to expect. As he waited, he could not help to wonder IF this was a good idea, or not. Only time will tell. But either way, what a way to stir the pot a little.

Orin waited, then finally the turbo lift doors opened. Orin gave a salute that was as freshly polished as his boots

"Welcome Honored Guests. For those who do not know me, I am Marine Captain Orin Thrix. And I would like to bid you Welcome to this inspection of this ships elements of The 95th Rifles Regiment. This will be the first time I have inspected my new command. I wanted to share this with you. Please, accompany me as we find out what these Marines are made of." He said as they all came out of the turbo lift.

Commander Sterling exited the lift and took her place at a seated position behind and to the right of the podium as the other officers took there places.

Commander Toran was next to exit the lift and proceeded to the podium, taking her seat next to her commanding officer. Nodding as she went past, she quickly sat.

Senior Chief Keitel stepped off lift and followed the ship's two most senior officers. He took a standing position behind the Captain and XO..

Orin approached Commander Sterling and handed her several tags. "Commander, remember our talk about some of my men joining the ship's Honor Guard? Well, I thought you would might like to do the honor of choosing them personally. I'll give you these tags so you might tag who you choose. There are about 10 there. I don't know the exact number you would like. But, this way you will have lots to choose from. My men are combat Marines. So, we will have time to whittle down the number when we give them extra training and polish up their parade drill. Now, with your permission, May we start this show Ma'am?" Captain Thrix asked.

"I see Mr Thrix. Lets start with close order drill, are any of these men Chosen Men?" Maia asked.

"If there are Ma'am, I sure didn't choose them. But, IF there are, let them show us NOW that they are chosen Men." Thrix walked onto the parade deck.

"FIRST SERGEANT!" Thrix Bellowed.

From the back of a dark parade deck came a reply. "Sir"

And from the back in full dress uniform marched a Marine that looked like he was chizzled from a marble slab. He came to attention in front of the Captain.

"First Sergeant, Have the men advance in Column, AND in Column of Route. And assemble for inspection." Toven Hex looked at Thrix like he had 2 heads. Hex knew this was a complicated drill move. Even for troops used to drill.

"Aye Sir." He said turning towards the men. "Parade will advance in Column, AND in Column of Route. Move to the Left in file. LEFT TURN."

The whole deck could hear the legs snap as one. "By the Numbers.....Quick March."

To be honest, Orin understood why Tovin was so confused. This move was NOT used very much on a parade square. and when it was, it usually was used by or with a band. But, Orin wanted to see how good they were. And IF they could think on their feet. The move in question required the troops to pass by the dias 3 times before inspection. Once as 3 long ranks. And then, after a counter march.....You go past once as a regular march past. Then, the third time is to get into position for inspection. And, for the most part. with no real advance warning of this inspection, or review or practice of what was going to happen.....It looked pretty good. Thrix was proud. It was not perfect. But for combat troops, they more then held their own on this parade deck. When everyone was in place for inspection, First Sargent Toven Hex stepped to the front, stood at attention and addressed the dias.

"The 95th Rifles Regiment is ready for your inspection Sir." He said to Thrix. Thix saluted his First Sargent.

"The Ship's Captain has requested to see some Close Order Drill First Sargent." Tovin Hex gave Thrix a look that spoke only 1 word.....REALLY?

"Yes Sir." Hex said. "With the Captain's permission.....First Squad, First Platoon would like to fall out for a surprise and treat for our guest." He said.

"Granted" Said Thix out of curiosity.

Tovin Hex gave the order for the squad to fall out. 5 Marines were formed up on the side of the deck.

"Permission to carry on Sir?" asked Hex.

The Captain turned to the Dias and waited for the honored guests to give the order to proceed.

Maia stood up.

"Please proceed Captain Thrix!" Maia ordered.

"The order has been given First Sargent. Please proceed." Said Captain Thrix.

"Aye Sir." Said First Sgt Toven Hex. Hex turned to the Marines and started giving them close order drill. But, in time with the pacing of the drill, First Squad of First Platoon started to do their thing. They started to march in file. But they did it with style. Marching, but with an unusual beat. and all in time.

"I Hear something saying" Came a Bass voice from First Squad. Then, they all started moving and then, in 5 part harmony.

"Hooh-Aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah." And then again, in 5 part harmony.

"That's the sound of the men (Good God) working on the chain Ga-a-ang. That's the sound of the men working on the chain gang." Followed by that Bass voice.

"All day long they're singing" Then again in 5 part harmony.

"Hooh-Aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah." And then again, in 5 part harmony.

"That's the sound of the men (Good God ) working on the chain Ga-a-ang. That's the sound of the men working on the chain gang." Followed by that soprano voice again.

"All day long they work so hard, till the sun is going down. Working on highways and byways, And wearing, wearing a frown. You hear them moaning their lives away, then you hear somebody sa-ay." Then again in 5 part harmony.

"That's the sound of the men (Good God ) working on the chain Ga-a-ang. That's the sound of the men working on the chain gang." Followed by that Bass voice again.

"Can't you hear them singing" Then in 5 part harmony.

"Hooh-Aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah." Followed by the Soprano.

"Mm, I'm going home one of these days. I'm going home to see my woman. Whom I love so dear. But meanwhile I got to work right He-ere." Then, in 5 part harmony.

"That's the sound of the men (Good God ) working on the chain Ga-a-ang. That's the sound of the men working on the chain gang." Followed by that Bass voice again.

"All day long they're singing." Then, that soprano lead again.

"Hooh-Aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah, hooh-aah." Followed by the Soprano.

"My, my, my, my, my my, my, my, my work is so hard. Give me water. I'm thirsty. My, my work is so hard. Oh my, my, my, my, my, my work is so hard."

Captain thrix watched his men. This was unorthodox for a parade deck. But, he DID want to put on a show. And it was entertaining. When First Squad was finished, They stood in front of the dias awaiting to be given the order to fall back in.

Captain Thrix turned to the dias. "Honored Guests, Shall we allow First Squad to fall back in and shall we proceed with the inspection?" He asked.

Maia stood up.

"Well done! I think I will inspect the squad Mr. Thrix." Maia said

Mr. Thrix do you know what a chosen man is in the 95th? Maia asked.

"I have a general idea. You must remember, I was a pilot that was chosen for Black Op's. This is my first command leading a standard Rifle Unit. I know how to lead. I know how to lead Infantry. But some of their nuances and traditions are lost on me because of my inexperience with this type of unit. I know how to properly exploit their skills. But, I'm hoping to learn more about their traditions as I go Ma'am." He said taking a stance behind her. Followed by Lt. Commander Torin and with First Sgt Tovin Hex and Sr Chief Petty Officer Keitel bringing up the rear. "What did you think of the show Lt. Commander?" Asked Thrix.

"Very well, a chosen Man is the elite of the elite, You notice that I wear the white cord, That is because I was made a chosen man 8 years ago by enduring a rigorous fleet marine training regimen. I want that same regimen instituted on this ship. I enjoyed the show Mr Thrix you and your team are a credit to your uniforms and this ship." Maia said.

"As I say Ma'am, I come from being a flyer and the world of Black Op's. I'm sure I can get you're men to the level you desire them to be. Maybe even a little bit more. These men are Infantry. Specialized infantry. But infantry. My plan is to take them beyond that. Not only to know the job of the basic infantryman, not only to know their own specialty, but also learn to combat those trained to combat them. And they WILL know this like a lover Ma'am." Said Thrix.

Sheena stood, "These men are a credit to their uniforms and to their superiors, I enjoyed the song and exercises. A very well done Mr. Thrix," she said nodding in agreement.

"Thank you Lt. Commander. I'm happy to hear that you have such high praise for my men." Said Thrix.

Mr. Thrix i will train you to be a Chosen man then you can train your Marines. If you are interested of course." Maia said

"Thank you Ma'am. That would be helpful. But the level of training I intend to bring to this unit is far more than the specialized Infantry role they are used to. I intend to bring this unit up to a level worthy of special operations. and black op's Ma'am." Said Capt. Thrix.

"That's a plus in my book Mr. Thrix," Shenna said.

"Very good Mr Thrix, That is exactly what I desire. Every member of the 95th det an elite unit and chosen man. That means the finest training and equipment and esprit-di-corps." Maia said pleased.

Hex turned to Keitel and spoke softly. "Must let the Officers have have their fun. This is why I chose enlisted. Less Bullshit. More fun. So, what did you think of the show?" He asked.

Hank Keitel shrugged. He was never one who cared for showing off for it's own sake. "It's a dog and pony show," his voice just as low.

"Yeah, one I found out about 4 hours ago. and one the men found out about an hour before you guys got here." Said Tovin in a low tone. "Lets hear it for officer's who want to show off."

Hank nodded towards the rank and file formation. "After the dog and pony show is over and the NCOs square away the lower enlisted, you and your platoon sergeant's can meet me at this bar on the station. I will buy the first round."

"Well, After we put these ladies down for the night, we will need a stiff drink. Second round is on us." Hex said.

The inspection party walks up the first rank. Commander Sterling and Captain Thrix leading. Followed by Lt. Commander Torrin and the First Sgt and Sr Chief bringing up the rear. Captain Thrix stopped at one soldier. He looked him up and down.

"Marine, what is the 3rd General order of a Marine Sentry?" Asked Thrix.

"Sir, The 3rd order of a Marine sentry is: Report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce. Sir!" The Marine replied. Thix smiled and carried on.

"May I ask Commander, have you found anyone you wish to tag?" Asked Thrix.

"Yes Mr Thrix I would like to tag Hex. First Sergeant, what is your fifth general order?"

First Sergeant Hex stood to attention. "Ma'am. the fifth General Order of a Marine is To quit my post only when properly relieved Ma'am." He said from behind walking beside Senior Chief Keitel.

"Ma'am, do you intend him to fill a command position of the Honor Guard?" Asked Captain Thrix.

"No, I intend for him to be an example of Marine perfection for the assembled company." Maia stated.

"I am only asking Ma'am. because the First Sergeant does hold a command position here. And, his deployment to other duties could prove to be a hardship to this Regimental element." Said Thrix.

"It wont be, but I do hold my senior enlisted personnel to a higher standard. Experience is worth more than a degree with me, Mr. Thrix."

Turning back to the first shirt.

"First sergeant, this is indeed a dog and pony show, We are on a diplomatic mission, there will be many dog and pony shows in the future, Do you get me?" Maia said with steel in her voice.

The First Sargent stood to attention. "Yes Ma'am. Truth be told though, I was always more at home on a battlefield then on a parade deck Ma'am." He said.

Maia considered this. "First sergeant, Diplomacy is the highest and most refined form of battle. If it fails it could lead to the destruction of civilization, or civilizations. Maia replied. The edge to her voice gone. This was a one on one soldier to soldier. Maia extended personal respect to the senior NCO.

Hank was the last of the inspection team. He stopped in front of a young Private First Class and took the phaser rifle and performed a close order inspection of the weapon. He ran a white gloved hand along the top of the barrel, then along the bottom. He looked at his glove closely and so it was still pristine white. He hoisted the phaser rifle. "Marine, please tell me the effective range of an excuse."

PFC Phill Norris came to attention.

"The effective range of an excuse is death. Whether you live or die in the upcoming scrum will depend on many factors. One of which is whether you can perform in the arena of Shoot, Move & Communicate better than the people who are determined to kill you, Senior Chief!" Private Norris said.

Hank nodded slowly. It wasn't exactly the answer he expected, but it was close enough. He handed the weapon back to the marine and kept pace with the inspection team.

Private Norris breathed an ever so slight brief of relief, apparently his answer was satisfactory.

Sheena could sense the sudden relief from the Private. Clearly he was nervous and probably scared out of his boots too. Poor kid, Sheena figured.

"What do you think of our Marine contingent Commander Toran?" Maia asked.

"If I didn't know better, I would say they are a shining example of marine training. They are proud and it shows. Their dedication is a credit to their uniforms, " Sheena said, smiling widely.

"Captain Thrix the company looks good. Keep drilling them. I will be instituting a chosen man program for the elite of this corps. Come to my office at 1500 and we will discuss it." Maia stated.

"If you think that is best Ma'am." Said Thrix.



A post by:

Commander Maia A. Sterling
USS Leto NCC-80916
Commanding Officer


Senior Chief Gunner's Mate Henry Keitel
USS Leto NCC-80916
Chief of the Boat

Cmdr. Sheena Toran
USS Leto NCC-80916
Executive Officer

Marine Captain Thrix
USS Leto NCC-80916
Marine Detachment 95th Rifles
Company Commander


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