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A Stern Test

Posted on Sun Sep 6th, 2020 @ 6:07pm by Captain Lukas Fredricks & Lieutenant JG Astrid Nilsson & Lieutenant JG Lars Gunnarson & Lieutenant Commander Agatha Marion & Lieutenant Luci Dian & Lieutenant Amelix Milumad & Ensign Wintrow Paragon

Mission: Mission 1: Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
Location: Main Bridge
Timeline: MD01; 10:00

With Lukas otherwise engaged Robert took it upon himself to conduct a battle drill before the Britannic arrived at the colony. The last one was rather impromptu - but this time Robert had given the senior staff notice - and he expected nothing but the best from all of them.

To make this battle drill more interesting Robert and the engineering team had fitted two of the Britannic's runabouts with hologram emitters to simulate various types of vessels found in the galaxy at random. Robert hoped that this would show how quickly the crew could adapt their tactics to suit different opponents. Two of the Britannic's phaser banks had been set up to fire blanks - with the runabouts also set up to do the same.

Robert was sat in the centre chair with the Britannic's counsellor in the one to his left.

"Let's hope this goes off without a hitch" Robert muttered.

Luci smiled with confidence at the XO's words. "I'm sure the crew will perform well sir. They seem ready."

"All stations report" Robert said.

"Helm ready," Wintrow reported from the front right console.

Amelix called out, "Science is ready!" she then bobbed up and down lightly, showing her excitement.

Agatha sighed slightly. "Medical ready." It felt stupid to say exactly the same thing, and medical was always fully stocked and ready while she was Chief Medical Officer.

“Tactical systems standing by, Commander.” Lieutenant Gunnarson said from tactical.

Ruxandra had decided to stay in engineering so she could monitor the "hits" from down there rather than on the bridge. After being asked for her department's status she was pleased to report engineering was ready to go.

=/\="We're ready down here Commander"=/\= Ruxandra reported.

Robert nodded. "Excellent"

With the Britannic's crew ready to begin Robert now wanted to make sure the two runabouts kitted out for the battle drill were also ready. They were in the hands of Ensign Robinson and Chief Petty Officer Booz who Robert had chosen specifically due to their level of experience.

=/\="Stephenson to Runabouts 1 and 2 - are you ready?"=/\= Robert asked.

Genevieve responded. =/\="I'm ready when you are"=/\=

=/\="Likewise"=/\= Booz confirmed.

Robert nodded. =/\="Very well. Let's begin"=/\=

Ten minutes after the runabouts departed they returned with the holo-emitters making them appear to be Jem'Hadar fighters. They dropped out of warp as close as possible to the Britannic and immediately opened fire on the vessel with the "blank rounds" they'd been fitted with - both runabouts scoring a hit each to engineering before coming around for another pass.

"Helm - evasive maneuvers. Tactical - disable their engines and weapons" Robert ordered.

Slender fingers danced across the controls, their owner's face a mask of concentration, the tip of his tongue sticking out from between his lips. "Evasive maneuvers, aye," Wintrow replied, frowning as the ship was hit anyway.

“Targeting the fighters engines and weapons, full spread of phasers and photon torpedoes.” Lars called from Tactical as his hands danced across his station.

After a couple more hits from the "Jem'Hadar fighters" Robert was keen to see what sort of "damage" they'd inflicted on the Britannic.

=/\="Bridge to engineering. Damage report"=/\= Robert said.

Ruxandra replied. =/\="We've taken a few hits but we're good - although try to keep them off our port nacelle please. I don't think that can sustain another hit"=/\=

=/\="Acknowledged"=/\= Robert responded.

Robert then looked over at the Britannic's Chief Medical Officer. He knew this was only a drill but any personnel in areas which had taken hits had been instructed to report to sickbay for "treatment". The computer would then randomly determine what injuries had been sustained.

"Do we have any casualties Doctor?" Robert asked.

Trying not to sigh out her answer, Aggie replied, "Two casualties, a dozen serious injuries and three minor injuries." She thought to herself perhaps someone arrived with a hangnail. That made her smile to herself.

Robert then gave out the next set of instructions.

"Helm - keep them off us as best as you can. Miss Milumad - I want you to start looking for somewhere for us to hide and come up with a plan. Anything will do. In the meantime Mr Gunnarson keep firing at them" Robert ordered.

“Understood, commencing attack pattern omega three.” Gunnarson called out.

Amelix reported, "There's a nebula on the port side, Captain. We could make it there in 30 seconds if we make a short warp jump. We could hide in their, of course sensors would be unreliable...."

Wintrow tried to evade the next volley of shots and cursed under his breath as he felt the ship respond a little sluggish. "Incoming!" he called out as he banked the ship sideways in the hope the shots would miss.

This time the shots missed - and Robert decided it was time to make a run for the nebula which Amelix had found on the sensors.

"Very well - Mr Wintrow let's get to that nebula. Warp 1" Robert ordered.

Wintrow turned his head ever so slightly. "It's Paragon sir, I'm not Bajoran..." Wasn't that obvious? Still the course for the nebula was already laid in and the ship altered course.

"I know what your species is Ensign" Robert responded.

"Do you?" Wintrow muttered irritably as he refocused on his work.

With the Britannic now hiding in the nebula Robert was looking for ideas to disable the Jem'Hadar fighters which had began a sweep of the nebula to find the Nebula-class starship. Drumming his fingers on the arm of the chair he was open to ideas. Robert knew what he'd do in this situation but he was keen to see what ideas the rest of the crew could come up with.

"Alright...we need to find and disable these fighters before they find and disable us. Any ideas?" Robert asked.

"Send our own fighters," wintrow replied quickly.

“Be nice if we had fighters, Ensign.” Gunnarson replied as he crossed his arms and began to think.

"We don't?" Surprise crossed the young pilot's face. "Well then..we do have shuttles don't we?"

“That we do, Ensign Paragon.” Captain Fredricks said as he came out of his ready. “But they’ll be no match for those fighters.” He added as he strode across the bridge. “Lieutenant Milumad, program five probes to emit the same energy output as Britannic. Lieutenant Nilsson, rig us for silent running.”

"If this nebula contains combustible gas..." Luci spoke out loud. "Maybe we could use it to disable the 'Jem'Hadar' fighters. If we fit the probes with a simulated explosive, when they get close to those then they will explode and catch them within that explosion?" She said looking at Robert. She wasn't much of a ship strategist but it was what she had to offer.

Aggie looked back and forth between the Captain and Luci. "Don't blow the rest of us up as well, that is your first priority right?" She asked, just making sure. "I wouldn't even like to be singed honestly."

“Nice idea, Lieutenant Dian, Lieutenant Milumad rig the probes so we can blow them if and when necessary.” Fredricks ordered as he relieved his first officer and sat down in the command chair.

“Captain, Britannic is running silent.” Lieutenant Nilsson reported from the Ops station as the lights dimmed on the bridge.

Lukas turned to the Doctor and smiled, “Don’t worry, we’ll try not to blow us up.”

"Good," Aggie returned the smile. "Someone had to mention it, just in case."

Lukas smiled at the Doctor before turning his attention back to the front of the bridge. “Someone contact those runabouts and get them back aboard, last thing we need is them getting caught in an explosion.”

"Sensors are detecting only one shuttle sir," Wintrow said as he maneuvered the ship such that the shuttles had easy entrance to the hangar bay. "Where's the other one?"

Gunnarson quickly looked at the scanners which were set to passive mode due to the silent running. “Captain, I’m detecting some wreckage out there. I can’t get a clear reading but it looks like the size of one of our runabouts.”

Fredricks frowned, “Damn. Get that one on board ASAP.”

Robert had completely zoned out of what was going on. Everything just seemed like distant noise and he couldn't focus on what was going on. It was like he'd been on the bridge and fully focused one minute - then the next he was in a dream. After he came around and regained focus he discovered to his horror that one of the runabouts had been destroyed.

"I'm...sorry. I don't really know what happened" Robert said.

“It’s fine number one, perhaps get down to sickbay once this is over.” Lukas said glancing at his first officer.

The Commander nodded before making an attempt to contact Genevieve. There was a 50/50 chance that destroyed runabout was hers - he couldn't lose her already - he couldn't lose the woman he loved again. Emotion began to overrule his judgment.

=/\="Stephenson to that you? Please say you're OK"=/\=

=/\="Hey it's OK...I'm here. I'll be back really soon I promise"=/\= Genevieve replied.

"Well she better get aboard soon, this nebula feels highly unstable, I'm having trouble keeping the ship steady," Wintrow reported. "Whatever's in here, we need to move."

"Storms are coming in," Amelix informed everyone from the science station. "Sensors already have difficulty due to the nature of nebulas."

“Are those probes ready, Lieutenant Milumad?” Fredricks asked looking at his science officer.

"Probes?" Amelix asked distracted. "Probes?" she asked again, looking confused. Uh oh, did I miss something? Well, I can send out some probes. Just some quick taps of the console to get them in placed for scientific scans and potential explosions.... I forgot which. I can replicate other parts later. "Oh! Of course! Probes are ready, Captain. Just tell me when you want me to send them out!"

“Now, Lieutenant. Standby to detonate them on my mark.” Fredricks said as he sat forward in his chair and watched the view screen.

Amelix pressed a button and there was an audible noise indicating the deployment of the probes. "Standing by!" Amelix bubbled as she watched the probes speeding toward their destinations.

"Uhh why are we detonating probes?" Wintrow asked as he sat hunched over his station, ready to have the ship bail out just in case.

Fredricks was impressed with his crew not paying attention to what was going on. “The probes will fool the Jem’Hadar into thinking they’re following the Britannic, they’ll follow them into the combustible gases which we will blow the probe, ignite the gases and goodbye Jem’Hadar fighters.”

The youthful pilot turned his head, confusion written on his face. "Sir... what Jem'Hadar? Weren't those shuttles posing as such for the test? One shuttle we lost contact with, the other is returning to the ship... Have we missed something sir?"

“This is not a holographic battle simulation, Ensign?” Fredricks asked, with a confused look on his face.

The viewscreen was a little fuzzy, she had always hated nebulas that distorted views. It was a shame too, they were usually quite beautiful from the outside but so was Luci and she wouldn't want anyone exploring her insides either.

"Sir." Luci said nodding to the viewscreen, the part she could make out. "They are getting closer to us. Firing the probes now would be a good idea. If they get any closer they'll get a read on us."

"The shuttles were the Jem'Hadar," the young pilot squeaked out, "one shuttle is missing, one is seemingly destroyed and one is just coming aboard. Something is wrong... something is very, very wrong...." He was so confused now... had he missed something along the way? And where was the XO?"

Amelix called out to Luci, "I sent the probes out! I did! I really did! You can see them on the screen, there!" She pointed out towards the viewscreen.

”Bridge, this is Ensign Robinson, we managed to grab the crew of the other runabout before it exploded. It came into difficulties in a pocket of corrosive gases.”

Fredricks was in a moment of panic before the call from Ensign Robinson. He thought the battle simulation was a holographic overlay rather than the unorthodox way of turning runabouts into Jem’Hadar fighters with holographic help.

For a brief moment he thought he’d actually lost crew members on the battle simulation. Losing a runabout was bad enough but the loss of life unnecessarily was hard to imagine.

“Well done, Ensign. Great work.” Fredricks replied with relief evident in his voice. “Thank you for sending out the probes Lieutenant Milumad, but it seems they’re no longer required. Please safely destroy them. Ensign Paragon, take us out of the nebula and resume course for the Lamenda system. This battle simulation is over.”


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