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Casperia Prime - A lesson in relaxation
Location: Marine Deck
Rhodes had been thinking about this for a long time. He realized long ago, and as he sat drinking his coffee recent events confirmed it, he needed to be bringing in the next guy behind him. Sadly, the girl who was set to be the next guy had gone on to another assignment, leaving him back at square one. Fortunately, Tim Rhodes was never out of ideas, he knew just the guy. Pushing the comm panel on his office wall, he said, "Gunnery Sergeant Rhodes to Petty Officer De La Rosa, do you have a minute to come to my office?"
Fernando was in his quarters moping missing Mona when Rhodes's call came through. "Um sure Gunnery Sergeant. I'll be right there." Yet even as he said it he wondered what Rhodes wanted to see him about. He hadn't broken any marine equipment or even used any. So that couldn't be it. He hadn't seen Mila so she couldn't have said anything. He sighed and realized the only way to find out was to go to Rhodes and find out what he wanted.
Rhodes was sitting at his desk when Fernando came in, he could tell that the younger man had been doing something he'd seen a lot of guys his age do: moping over a woman. ~Must be Lott.~ The old Gunny figured, "Can't really blame a man for missin' that one.~ "Glad you could make it, De La Rosa. Wanted to discuss something kinda important with you."
"Of course Gunnery Sergeant. You called I answered." Fernando replied. He liked and more importantly he respected Rhodes. He knew his stuff and you always knew where you stood with him, there was no false praise just honesty, brutal sometimes honesty. It was refreshing. Fernando eyed the Marine, "What did you wish to discuss?"
"The future." Rhodes answered flatly, "Mine and yours."
"The future?" Fernando repeated, "I'm afraid I don't understand what about our futures?"
"Well, let's be honest, Fernando, I got more career behind me than I have in front of me." Rhodes said, laying it all on the line, "And my time in the Corps, especially in an active combat unit, is going to be drawing to a close here soon. I need someone to replace me, someone who can do what I do and teach the new ones that will come behind us. I think you're the guy for the job."
Fernando was speechless, he stared at Rhodes his eyes slowly blinking. His mouth opened but no sound came forth. Then after several seconds of gaping like a fish he began to laugh. "Oh! That is good Gunnery Sergeant. You had me fooled!" He gasped then realized Rhodes was laughing just sitting there staring at him. "Why aren't you laughing? Wait are you serious me?" He questioned.
"Yeah." The Gunny's eyes narrowed into his trademark scowling squint, "Think I made a pretty gracious offer, too. Not feelin' that gratitude though."
The smile vanished from Fernando's face in an instant as he straightened up and his tone turned serious. "No, it is a gracious offer, very gracious but I'm confused. What makes you think I could ever take your place Gunnery Sergeant?"
"You've got something, kid. Guts." Rhodes replied, "It's almost a non-existent thing anymore. I think with my last few years left I can teach you the things you need to know to lead combat soldiers."
Fernando drew himself up even straighter. To receive praise from Rhodes was an honor of the highest caliber. "Thank you Gunnery Sergeant. That is um very nice of you to say. However your Captain is not fond of me. I would say she hates me. Thinks I'm a goofball. So you would have to convince her as well. I can shoot and shoot well. I'm smart enough to know when to be afraid." He shook his head, "I don't know. How would this work? I'm not going through basic training or losing my stripes."
"Not a man of your experience, no." Rhodes shook his head, "If they try that you can just turn down the transfer and stay where you're at, and I would advise it, you know you're worth, make them recognize it."
Fernando listened as Rhodes talked he made it sound good but Fernando knew enough to know nothing was as good as it sounded. "Yes, you are right. They are gaining my experience and my skill."
"Two things you're not in short supply of." Rhodes nodded, "My job's not one for a greenhorn, why I chose you. You wear a fleeter uniform, sure, but you've got the globe and anchor on your soul."
Fernando listened as Rhodes talked, he was honored to hear that the Gunnery Sergeant thought he had what it took to take his place and be a marine. "I am honored that I have earned your respect Gunnery Sergeant I consider that quite a compliment and honor. I think Mona would like that as well, knowing we are both marines and I'm wearing green. Cause I know how she feels about green."
"Well, if it helps her next time she's by she can make the Brett girls bleed." Rhodes joked, though the Ambassador's nieces were on his nerves in a big way that morning, "Yeah, never enough green."
Fernando smiled at the remark about Mila and Anje but kept silent. Instead he said, "I believe some of Mona has rubbed off on you Gunnery Sergeant. You sound like her in regards to the color green."
"Nobody loves green quite as much." Rhodes laughed, silently thinking, ~Maybe nobody except you, kid.~
"Correction Gunnery Sergeant, no one but Mona loves green that much. She was always saying it needs more green." Then he stopped and realized he was rambling. "Um, well you know how she was about green."
Rhodes saw the kid's expression change, he knew that sting all too well, "Yeah, she was into green." He said, then quickly changed the subject, "Know what else is green? Aldeberan whiskey. Let's go get some."
Fernando's whole expression changed at the mention of drink His downcast look was turned into one of excited anticipation.. "I do like the way you think Gunnery Sergeant. That is a most excellent idea. Please lead the way."
"Talkin' like a Marine already." Rhodes laughed as they exited his office en route to the lounge.