Member No.: 1,568
Joined: 27 October 2011
A little far from Earth, aren’t we?
Those were the words shuffling around Lieutenant Curon Hifor’s mind as he straightened his military uniform across his abdomen again, his brown eyes scanning the display screen on a nearby wall. What information the grunts received on the SSV Stalingrad managed to pique the Lieutenant’s attention as he noticed that their current destination had been set for a planet in Sigurd’s Cradle. Now, Curon wasn’t exactly an exceptionally-educated man, but he knew that the ship was practically on the opposite side of the damned galaxy. He cleared his throat as he looked down at his wristwatch, noting the time. He and a few of the other Marine officers had a briefing to get to in less than an hour, which hopefully would explain why they were out in the middle of the Terminus Systems rather than in Citadel Space.
While the fancy-brass of the Alliance Navy were allowed to go straight up to the bridge and Combat Information Center, the grunts of the Marines were typically restricted to the main troop holds and barracks, and what little word they got from the ‘high and mighty’ Navy Officers was usually transmitted through emails, over the Public Announcement System, or through the display screens on the walls of the barracks. Even the Navy desk jockeys and their barracks were stationed on the upper levels of the ship, to facilitate them manning their positions quicker in the event of an emergency. Of course, that was also the reason for Marines being stationed in the effective belly of the ship: To quickly equip their gear, jump into their transports, and await the inevitable combat drop.
A lot of the Marines in this company were dual specialized between the ‘R’-class and the ‘S’-class, with most having to accomplish a proficiency rating of 4 in order to get into the ‘S’ program. Most of the Marines were the type of ‘go-getters’ too, the kind to likely get themselves killed due to the ‘glory’ of a combat drop. The glory had, frankly, worn off after the first five minutes of his first combat drop, but at the same time, it was a job he found himself to be good at, hence why he was still on this ship and in this uniform.
Of course, the ship also had those spooks, the N7s, stationed on the ship, but Curon had never seen more than one or two of them. Anything about those ‘N’ soldiers was apparently highly classified, even how many there were on the ship. To be honest, though, as long as they stayed out of Curon’s way and his men’s way, there wouldn’t be any problems.
His wristwatch beeped again, signaling that he should be making his way up to the briefing room for ‘his kind’ in the Alliance Military. Of course, the Navy dregs were probably already briefed (and had their briefing in a nice break room, no doubt!), but Curon figured the real nitty-gritty of this situation and operation was going to be dropped into his Marine lap like a hot pan. Leave it to the heavy lifters to get anything important done.
Curon passed by a set of racks, each one securely holding on to an elaborate set of equipment. These devices were their chutes, each one sporting a large, bulky thruster that clipped onto the back of their combat armor. When the transport shuttles entered the atmosphere of a particular planet and descended to a particular height, Marines would jump out of the shuttles into free-fall, activating the thrusters at approximately ten-thousand feet, slowing their descent to tolerable levels for a safe landing. In the event of a thruster malfunction, the equipment set would automatically trigger a traditional parachute to allow for a safe landing as well. And if that failed, the secondary distress chutes would activate, and though the landing might be a bit rougher than usual, it helped guarantee the marine’s safety. But if that failed…well, there was a reason they called it the “dead-man’s drop.”
Curon finally reached a set of doors that slide open upon his approach, giving him access to the briefing room based on the frequency of a small chip in his uniform that identified him as Lieutenant 1st Class Curon Hifor. He looked up to see that he was still a few minutes early, but he took a seat at the large desk in the room, noticing the distinct lack of coffee or water bottles in the room. He scoffed quietly as he waited for the rest of the marine officers (and probably the XO of the ship) to enter the room and get on with the briefing.