((OOC: This is set about two months before Blake returns to Veritas))
((Embassy of Duronis II))
::She hadn't set foot in a place so green and lively - the lush jungle neighboring Cakapunnual staled in comparison to the peaceful Embassy surroundings. Even the people that wandered around seemed less stressed, far less over-worked. But she wasn't here to sight-see.::
Caide: Welcome back to Duronis II, Commander.
::Stepping off the shuttle, Sky raised an eyebrow at the Trill male, his hands clasped together in front of him. With a gold collar and and an informed look about him, Sky pulled her duffle-bag over her shoulder and stood before him.::
Caide: I'm Lieutenant Caide. The Ranger division informed us of your arrival. ::He handed her a PADD.:: Your training regime for the next three days.
Blake: Seems a little unnecessary pulling me across quadrants for 'training'. There weren't qualified officers closer to the Coalition? You realize it's at least another month's travel back to Shadow's Edge.
::Given that one of Veritas' designated fleet contacts was next door in the Marchlands, a trip this long seemed to be a case of overkill. It had taken her a month to get out of the Shoals at highest available warp. And then it had taken her less than two days to get to Duronis II from Star Station Esperance.
::Slipstream was a sickening thing.::
Caide: Not with qualified trainers, unfortunately. And we’d thought it best if you were in familiar surroundings.
::Sky blinked, standing rather uncomfortably toward Caide. These were far from familiar surroundings - so far that they were back in that life she’d lost. She hadn’t intended to re-visit it, though.::
::When Caide was unable to pull any kind of comment regarding her time here, he moved on, turning to the direction of the main building.::
Caide: If you'll follow me, please.
::Taking in a calming deep breath when Caide's back was turned, Blake readjusted her dufflebag and followed the man through the Embassy's main building, passing through visitor's security. He gave a brief tour as they exited the main building and hung a left, and heading towards the Marine barracks.
::Sky stopped dead in her tracks when she realized this small tidbit.::
Blake: I thought Rangers were part of Security.
Caide: They are.
Blake: I didn't sign up to be a marine, Lieutenant. Even if I wanted to, the Colonial Coalition doesn’t want a Starfleet military force in their house.
Caide: No, sir, they don’t. But the Embassy's First Platoon act and coordinate in a similar manner to us and officers here are qualified to provide training where necessary. You might be a regional support officer, but in the unlikely event you'll be called into a platoon, witnessing structure of command and threat response may prove useful.
Blake: "In the unlikely event".
Caide: Better to be prepared. Besides, due to the peculiar circumstances of your service, we decided it was best for you to engage in at least a crash-course in Ranger protocol.
Blake: Why not just send me to the Gorkon, then? They have an *actual* Ranger platoon.
Caide: You're planetside. The Gorkon is not. You may have to respond to planetary invasion with no back-up. It's extremely unlikely, ::He said before Sky could argue the logistics of something like that happening without warning in what was essentially the middle of nowhere.:: but these are the kind of things one must be prepared for on the Federation border.
Blake: So what you're telling me is that the Rangers are in crisis mode.
::The Trill hesitated for a moment, stopping in his tracks to glance at her.::
Caide: We're . . . aware of the lack of resources being spent out in the Shoals, but we just can't supply additional reinforcements. Respectfully, we *aren't* in "crisis mode", as you so put it, but we'd rather our officers be ready to respond in such an emergency.
::Blake gauged him for a few moments, hand toying with the clasp holding the strap to her duffle-bag. While there was an annoyance present in her regarding his words about a certain lack of resources, given that the Colonial Coalition was right up against the Tholian border with little to no protection aside from two traveling Starfleet vessels and a handful of officers scattered around the region, she could understand the idea that they were being stretched thin just by looking at the amount of officers staffing the Embassy - which was *not* located within Federation space. Compared to the rest of the quadrant, the Shoals was small, filled with “wayward colonies” that were out in environmentally unfriendly space, and dealing with pirates essentially of their own making.::
::The irony of it all was that she’d spotted two Laudeans headed into a Ketar V-made transport vessel on her way into the Embassy. Even here, past the Federation border, the Shoals were leaving their mark.::
::She gestured back to the path ahead.::
Blake: Lead the way.
Tbc . . .
LtCmdr Sky Blake