It was a hot day but young Rachel Winters was excited as she finally exited the Star Liner. Fresh out of the Division training academy on Terra, Rachel's first assignment took her to Etos in the Osiris system. Division of Executive Services, or DES for short, had prepared her for infiltration, oversight and intelligence gathering. This, her first assignment, placed her into one of the UEE squadrons stationed on Etos with a goal of watching over the system and the Xi'an/UEE border formed after the Peace Treaty of 2789. Known as the Perry Line, Osiris falls along the border.
Not entirely sure why she was assigned to watch the relatively quiet system, she was prepared to meet up with her new squadron commander and get the lay of the land. Four companions, who were also exiting the shuttle suddenly stood to attention. Rachel stood to attention and quickly noted two men approaching. One ranked Lieutenant Commander and the other Lieutenant.
As the two men approached, both stopped and the Lieutenant took a large step forward turned and saluted. "Lieutenant Commander Matthius Stormfury on deck" the Lieutenant belted, more formally than required, but the newcomers got the picture.
Lt. Commander Stormfury saluted and responded. "At ease Lieutenant Ramage." He look across the five soldiers standing at attention. First at a sturdy man on the opposite end wearing marine fatigues and then through the others until his eyes stopped on Rachel. She couldn't tell if it was her nerves, but his glare seemed to dangle on her for an eternity and certainly longer than the others. "Sergeant Major James Belcher". He belted, and looked back the other way. The soldier in marine fatigues stood slightly more at attention and belted "Yes Sir!".
Matthius looked him over and relieved him. "At ease Seargeant Major. Petty Officer Richard Cortez."
"Sir, yes Sir" the man beside Rachel stood forward. Dressed in tech fatigues, he had two large bags at his sides.
Matthius continued. "At ease Petty Officer. Ensign Tara Gallagher." The only other female in the group, was a flight jockey and Rachel was already tired of hearing her tales of this maneuver and that maneuver.
"Sir." She stood forward and stiffened her salute.
"At ease. Ensign Tony Faulk" The final member of the group to accompany Rachel was a nondescript soldier also in navy gear. Rachel didn't have a good feel for Faulk but she couldn't put her finger on it. Call it a gut feeling.
"At ease Ensign. I guess you must be Lieutenant Junior Grade Natashia Vevich" Matthius smiled as he looked at Rachel. She still wasn't quite used to the alias, but had trained for weeks prior to the trip as well as during the space transit.
"Sir, Yes Sir" she belted.
"At ease." she lowered her hand and began to reach for her bag. "Welcome to the Fighting Eagles! As you all know, we're stationed on the Perry Line with a dual role. First and most important according to brass is to keep a watchful eye on the Xi'an should things change after 120 years of peace." Rachel perhaps noted the tone of sarcasm a little more than her companions.
"Our ancillary objective is to police this system from pirates which is a very real threat in the 30th century. As such, you will train and this unit will be in tip top shape for any and all threats that we face in the Osiris system. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes sir!" They responded in unison.
"Good now grab your things and let's head over to the base. Sergeant Major, I have a few things I'd like to discuss with you regarding getting the marines up to speed. The rest of you can follow Lieutenant Ramage."