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Some Other Beginning's End

Posted on 241801.26 @ 23:42 by Lieutenant Commander Matthew Desmond
Edited on on 241803.12 @ 19:37

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Various
Timeline: One week prior to the masquerade ball

A knock at his door startled Lieutenant Commander Desmond out the PADD he was engrossed in, going over the latest equipment count for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He looked up and saw Major James Harrison, aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Alison Langford, commanding general of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Brigade standing in his doorway.

"What can I do for you Jim?" Desmond asked.

"Commander Desmond, Brigadier General Langford would like a word with you in her office."

Desmond let out an almost exasperated sigh, not knowing for sure if this was another one of Harrison's pranks. He leaned back in his seat, for a moment and studied the man. There was a bit of a twinkle in his eyes.

"Come on Jim, the General must realize that I have to go through several channels to procure all of the equipment she requested for the annual field training exercise. I need at least three more weeks. The FTX isn't for another three months."

Major Harrison shook his head; "It's not about that Matt. She is well aware of the work you do to make things happen for us. Come on, it's not going to be bad, I promise."

Desmond tossed the PADD on his desk, "I'm sure it beats the heck out of going over the equipment count, let's go."

=/\= Office of Brigadier General Langford =/\=

"Come," came the gruff voice from the other side of the door as Major Harrison pushed the chime.

Desmond and Harrison entered General Langford's office and went to attention.

"Commander Desmond reporting as ordered, ma'am," Desmond said.

"At ease gentlemen," Langford said.

They both went to parade rest, knowing it would be wiser to not get 100% comfortable around the General.

"Commander Desmond, have a seat, Major Harrison, please step outside and close the hatch."

"Aye, aye, ma'am" they said in unison, Harrison exited the office and Desmond sat down as he was told.

"Commander Desmond," Langford began, "you've been under my command for the last....six...? Seven years?

Desmond thought for a moment, "Yes, ma'am, that sounds about right. My first assignment out of Operations School."

Langford leaned back; "You had a real baptism by fire there...we threw everything we could at you...and some how, you managed to keep your head above the fold and figure it all out. You've learned a lot here...and....I wanted to talk to you about an opportunity that I have recommended you for."

Desmond's head cocked to the side; "Ma'am...I'm really not interested in coming to the Marine Corps, we had this discussion six years ago....and every six months since then...it's Starfleet for me."

Langford chuckled; "I'm well aware of that Commander...however, the U.S.S. Vindicator needs a Chief Operations Officer, and Commodore Ivanova has accepted your application along with my recommendation."

Desmond thought for a moment, he vaguely remembered hearing about Commodore Ivanova and her reputation had preceded her. From what he was aware she was smart, and fiery. Not one he wanted to mess with...then again..he did have a nasty habit of getting in to the thick of things, even when he shouldn't.

"I'm honored, ma'am. But....what about the work that is to be done here?"

"Commander, in our line of work, there is always work that is going to need to be done. The difference is knowing when you need to do it and when you need to pass it off to someone else. You'll do well out there. Commodore Ivanova is a good officer, she's fiery, and tougher than a bag of hammers. She'll guide you and mold you in to the finest officer you will ever be. The U.S.S. Ranger is going to take you out to link up with the Vindicator."

"The Ranger leaves in two hours, ma'am."

"I know it does. Don't worry, everything has already been taken out of your quarters and transferred. You're dismissed, Commander."

"Aye, aye, ma'am," Desmond said as he stood up and headed towards the door.

"Commander," Langford said, her tone softened a bit.

Desmond stopped and looked back at her; "Yes, ma'am?"

"Commander, it's been a privilege watching you grow. Good luck to you."

"Thank you, ma'am."

=/\= Hangar Bay 11, 15th Marine Air Wing, VFMA-375 "The Gunslingers" Squadron =/\=

It'd been less than ten minutes since Desmond had left General Langford's office, and a wave of emotions had already rushed over him. This had been his home for the past seven years, and he sure was going to miss everyone in the 15th Marine Regiment. He had bonded with just about every single Marine who had passed through, but there was one Marine in particular he shared a close relationship with. Lieutenant Colonel Catherine Lynn, call sign "Piper", aka The CAG, Commander of the Air Group. This was the only place he knew she would be, and he nervously ran a hand through his brown hair as he scanned the hangar bay for her.

"I don't care how long it takes Chief!" Desmond could hear Piper roaring at one of the crew chiefs, "I want you to pull the impulse drives out and replace them the with the Mark IV's! Damn it, I didn't requisition them to be replaced as needed."

Desmond watched from the side as the deck crew scurried in to action to carry out the CAG's orders, and then made his way over to her. She spotted him before he could call out to her.

"Hey Fleet," she said, and then she got a confused look on her face, "what brings you down here at 10 in the morning?"

He studied her for a moment, not sure how to break it to her. He couldn't help but admire just how well she looked in her flight suit, her long brown hair hung down around her face, framing her eyes in that way that made him melt. He closed his eyes for a moment, he thought for sure he was going to be sick.

"Come on Fleet, let's go to my office," Piper said as she led him off to the side and to her office.

As soon as the door to her office was closed, Desmond leaned in and kissed her passionately on the lips, she returned his kiss, and then stopped.

"Matt, what's wrong?" she asked as she guided them to the sofa in her office.

He turned to face her. "Do you remember what we talked about a few months ago?"

"What happens when one of our careers forces us to move on from the Starbase? she asked.

"Yeah, that's the conversation I am referring to," he said.

She nodded, "Of course I remember....wait..."

He nodded, "General Langford recommended me for Chief Operations Officer on the U.S.S. Vindicator. I leave in," he looked at the clock on the wall, "an hour and a half."

Piper sat back, "Matthew....I...I don't know what to say..."

He took her hand in his, "Catherine...you don't have to do what we said one of us would do. I love you enough to let you go if this wasn't meant to be..."

She cupped his cheek in her other hand, "Fleet...we've been together for too long...five years is a long time to just throw away..."

"But you've been in Starfleet for longer than that," he countered.

"I know...but Fleet....we've got something special here. I wish I could resign today and go with you today...but that isn't going to be possible. I promise you though, I will join you on the Vindicator as soon as I am able."

Desmond shook his head, "Come on Catherine....you shouldn't make promises you can't keep."

She grinned ever so slightly, "Fleet....will you marry me?"

He was taken back for a moment. "Shouldn't I be the one asking that question?"

She shrugged, "We're both strong willed and independent people...I'm ready to be tied down for good. So....will you?"

"Of course I'll marry you. I just didn't think it would be this soon..."

"Then it's settled. As soon as I am able, I'll resign and join you on the Vindicator. Come on...let's go get you settled in on the Ranger."

 

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