Personal Log: United Nations Marine Gunnery Sergeant Quentin Norton Steele

The two Corporals met me on the way.  They didn't say or word or miss a beat.  The just fell in behind me as I fast marched to the trouble spot. We didn’t slow down as I commed the Top again to ask for a marksmen with a CAW loaded with bags.

When we got there, there were two Naval Personnel standing.  One was a PO1 looking just on the very concern side of scared.  The other was an Ensign who looked like she should still be in the Academy. Both had the crossed Sword and Handcuffs of UN Naval Security pins on their collars.  The other Spacers were not exactly standing. One was in the process of dragging two others out of the Room in Question.

First things first.

"Marines. Secure that door."

As the Corporals moved to help get the UNNS personnel out of the way and the door secured, I marched up to the Ensign and assumed Parade Rest.

"Ma'am. I am Gunnery Sergeant Steele.  I have been instructed by Lt. Colonel Haldane to Secure the Prisoner. May I count on your assistance in this task."

I didn't like that glassy look in her eye.  Her jerky reaction, as if noticing me for the first time when I spoke wasn't good either.  It seems that this out-of-control UN 'Security' agent was outside her training.

"This is a Naval Security issue Marine. Commander D'Quintair is one who decides these matters."

Reasserting her place in the universe brought some focus back to her eyes.

"Who is this Lt. Colonel Haldane?"

"He is the Mission Advisor to Commodore Lutyens, CO of the Drake, Ma'am.  It seems your problem," I incline my head toward the door which the Marines now have closed and only faint noises are heard from it, “is part of the Drake’s crew.  The Colonel has sent me to take him off your hands and deliver him into his.”

Her lips tightened, “I don’t know Gunnery Sergeant.  This is a Naval Security issue. I need to clear this through Commander D’Quintair.”

The UNNS Petty Officer 1st Class had been listening after seeing that my Marines had the door secured, “Ma’am. Commander D’Quintair is on Mars, and that man has a fire lit in there.”

She looked at her Petty Officer, at me, at the Marines by the closed and locked door, and then back to me.  She then came to the decision her Naval training lead her to.

“You are willing to take full responsibility for Prisoner, Gunnery Sergeant?”

I nodded, “Yes Ma’am.  Can I count on your co-operation?”
“Of course Gunnery Sergeant.  Just how do you plan on getting this threat off my station and to your Ship?

I take a look around and dig out of my memory the technical specs on this station I read when I was first here.  

“The easiest thing to do would be vent the atmosphere out of the room and collect him after he collapses.  However, I believe we would have to vent this entire section.”

The Ensign eye’s widened in disbelief.  “Sergeant! That is Cruel and Unusual, besides being against UN regulations.”

“No Ma’am, I respectfully disagree.  It is merely efficient, and sadly, not practical in this case.”

I glance over at the Corpsmen who had arrived to treat the wounded UNNS personnel.

“I take it you are not equipped with riot gear.  No tear gas, no locking foam, no personal shields or riot guns?”

The Ensign shakes her head; “There has never been a riot on Kennedy Station.”

“Yes Ma’am.  We’ll just have to improvise and adapt then.”

I read the UNNS PO1’s name tag, “Petty Officer Meyer, There should be a fire suppression station within fifty meters of any point on this station.  Get to the nearest and bring back the Fire Suppression Grenades.”

He nods, “Aye, Aye Gunny,” and takes off double time.

At that point a Lance Corporal wearing a BW vest and carrying a CAW at port arms rounded the corner.

“Excuse me, Ma’am. We will prepare to secure the prisoner now.”

I turn to the two Corporals, “At my mark, open that door and flank it.  Leave a one foot gap in the middle.  I’ll be a meter behind you, “ at the point, I draw the Taser from my cargo pocket, “ready to give the Prisoner a shock.”

I turn to the Lance Corporal.  “You stand 3 meters behind me. If the Prisoner gets past me, you open up full auto and drop him.  That thing is loaded with bags as requested?”

“Yes Gunny Steele. 20 rounds.”

The UN Marine CAW (Close Assault Weapon) is truly a wonderful thing. Based on the classic 18.5mm shotgun (12 gauge for the purist), it is capable of handling a wide variety of rounds, including compressed bags filled with small high-density plastic balls.  They hit harder than a Muai Tai fighter’s knees.  I’ve seen Lance Corporal Vekiarides fire the CAW.  The man is an artist.  He could put a five round burst in a moving 15 cm circle at 20 meters.  

“If the Prisoner doesn’t present himself, Petty Officer Meyer,” who had just double-timed back with a case of six grenades filled with highly compressed fire suppressant foam, “will douse his fire.  That will remove the immediate hazard to the station and by the time the last one goes off, make it fairly uncomfortable for a naked man.”

The foam used in these grenades spread rapidly and seeked heat. After the fire, the Prisoner would be the warmest item the room. While non-toxic, this stuff did clog your pores pretty thoroughly, as well as any other openings in your body.  If it got on his face, well the Corpsmen where still there.

“Everyone all set?” The three Marines and the Petty Officer responded in the affirmative.

I nodded to the Ensign, “We are ready to begin.  With your permission, Ma’am.”

“Carry on Gunnery Sergeant.”

With that, I stepped into position and readied the Taser.

“Corporals, unsecure the door and prepare to take the Prisoner into custody.”

Story and characters © Copyright 2002 Mark Urbin

®1996. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises.
All rights reserved. Portions of this material are © Copyright 1977 Far Future Enterprises.

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