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Getting Tanked

Posted on Tue Apr 19th, 2022 @ 3:44pm by Major Cornelius Tremble & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna
Edited on on Wed Apr 20th, 2022 @ 12:42am

2,050 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: The Snake Pit - Deck 9 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD010 1000 hrs

There was plenty to occupy Jayna after arriving back on the Pioneer. She had reports to read and file, plus she still had more to learn about The Cure before the ship left Empok Nor. She wanted to be an asset and to her, that required study. It didn't help that her mind would drift back to Risa. It also didn't help that her regulation jumpsuit felt a bit restrictive after shore leave.

She'd just stepped onto the turbolift when she decided to take a detour. "Computer, where is Major Tremble?"

"Major Tremble is in Holotank three," the computer replied promptly.

Jayna headed for the holotank. She hoped he wouldn't mind if she watched him.

Neil finished strapping the knee and shin guards on and then stood and picked up the backpack armor. After strapping the armor on, he grabbed the pull hands at the shoulders and pulled the armor up and over his head, before cinching it tight about his chest. With protective glasses in place, he picked up his favored pulse phaser carbine and finally holstered a FMC type III hand phaser. Then descended the steps into the holo tank.

Once he'd reached the bottom of the steps, the top of the tank dropped, sealing him in. Neil holstered a FMC type III. Testing it by letting go completely, he was satisfied when the sling sucked the weapon up across his chest. Nodding, in satisfaction, Neil rubbed his gloved hands together he said, "Computer. Run random fun house simulation: Rifle, pistol, launcher, grenade, hand to hand. Verify my weapons are clear and provide munitions."

"Acknowledge. Your weapons are confirmed clear, Major," the computer told him A table appeared with an assortment of items and he quickly armed both of his weapons, added an assortment of grenades to his pouches and slid a munition into the underslung grenade launcher.

"Ready," the computer prompted. Neil inserted ear buds and pulled a protective mask on, then said, "Ready."

A voice sounded out, "Give me forty pushups, Marine."

Sighing, Neil shoved the carbine away and behind him, then dropped and pumped out the required forty. As he went to a knee, he found himself in a compound. His heart rate was slightly elevated as he brought his carbine back around and then he headed for the door to his front.

Four minutes later, hehad limped back in the compound center, a KDF flag stuffed in his belt breathing heavily. He caught sight of Jayna in the viewing area above and chuckled as he pulled off the mask and removed the hearing buds. "Computer, crack the tank and run it down for me."

Climbing the steps, the computer stated. "Six targets engaged with rifle: 97% accuracy. Two targets engaged with pistol: 92% accuracy. Five targets engage with grenades: 100% accuracy. Two targets engaged in hand to hand. Fifteen targets eliminated. You were struck three times by disruptor fire and took a sword wound to your thigh, equaling 167 out of 200. Passing grade, major."

Chuckling, he pulled off the eye, ear and face protection and stepped over to Jayna. "I must be getting old and slow," he told her flexing his right knee. Then he smiled, looking into her eyes. "Hi. How was your day?"

"You look good to me." For a long moment she just smiled back, caught up in his eyes and the way his smile sent little shivers down her spine. "My day was mostly paperwork and reports, but shore leave was definitely worth it." She gently ran two fingers down the side of his face. "How was your day?" She noticed how he flexed his knee--he'd done it once or twice on the island, too. She'd picked up some basic massage techniques over the years. At some point she might offer to massage his leg, if it wasn't too impertinent. It might help relax his muscles a little after a workout.

"Mostly paperwork, until I took time for some fun," Neil chuckled, glancing at the Holo tank. He caught her glancing toward his knee and he said, "The computer seems to know that knee gets a bit tender at times. I took a disruptor blast that put pins and needles into it during the SIM. I stumbled and that's when the carbine broke and I had to transition...which caused me to take a shot to arm."

Chuckling his eyes gleamed a little and asked, "Want a turn?"

She raised an eyebrow. "I've never done it before, but sure." It would definitely be a challenge, but she didn't mind a good challenge. "So, tell me what I need to know."

Neil walked over to a row of open faced lockers and pulled down a kit bag after eyeing her appraisingly. He set it on a nearby table and said, "Fairly simple. This program puts you in solitary building-clearing fun house. You'll engage a random number of targets. Be confronted with shoot, don't shoot scenarios, possible weapon malfunctions, some hand to hand, maybe. How you engage is up to you."

He opened the kit bag and did a visual inventory and then continued. "It's a timed gun fight. So take your time in a hurry. Shots missed might as well have never been taken. That's why the computer had me do pushups to get my heart rate up to both warm up and see how you settle down to business."

Thumping the bag, he said. "If you want to duck into the fresher," he said, gesturing toward the local head. "There's a set of utilities, and combat harness along with basic armor. Besides their normal roles, the kit has sensor weave which will mimic getting shot, up and to heavy stun representing death. And it's not the kinda groggy stun that Fleet uses. This hurts enough to make a lesson out of it. If you let them grenade you or hit a trip wire, you might end up in sick bay, cause you'll bounce off of a wall or ceiling and get the heavy stun."

He grinned then, "Up to you if you want to play with the Marine toys, Jayna. We're not measuring anything here. We just train hard and being embedded with the Cure puts you in the starting line up." Then his smiled turned impish. "You can change in the fresher or here in the prep room. Your choice. If you want different footwear, it's up to you."

Finally, he said, "Once you enter the tank and it initializes, the computer will analyze your record: testings and quals. Then it will spit out a scenario for you. FYI, our AI can be a bit of an ass."

She took in his words, repeating them in her head to help them stick. "I think this should be good." She glanced up at the viewing area to be sure it was empty. Then she grinning impishly ta Neil as she stripped dow to her underwear and put on the utilities and armor. She'd watched Neil take off his gear and simply reversed the process. When she was ready, she looked to him for confirmation.

Neil grinned as he gave her a professional once over, tightening a strap here and there and having her jog in place for a moment tomato sure nothing was overtly rattling. Then he nodded and said, "Looking good Warrant. Go get some."

As soon as she was in the tank, a table with weapons appeared. She took a side arm with several extra clips and a combat knife. She wasn't very familiar with a rifle or grenades, but figured the AI would know that.

Once she had her weapons and protective gear, a grizzled, tough-as-nails veteran gunnery sergeant appeared. "Warrant, this ain't no mamby-pamby sneak around and spy crap. This is a straight-up, get the bad guys and only the bad guys. If you hesitate, you're dead. start shooting civilians, I'll shoot you myself. Am I clear?"

Jayna wondered what he'd be like in a fight and hoped if she ever found out, he'd be on her side. "Aye, gunny."

The gunny glared at her. "What are you standing around for? Waiting for a written invitation? Move, move move!"

A forest appeared in front of her with a trail leading off to the side. Through the trees she could make out buildings. Jayna pulled her side arm and ran quietly, keeping an eye out for trip wires or booby traps. The AI would know she was familiar with this environment and she had to be prepared for it to do something unexpected.

This wasn't Bajor, but it definitely smelled like a Cardassian camp from the Dominion War. Or at least something that resembled it. She heard the crunch of someone coming and pulled herself up onto a tree branch. She moved into the foliage as two Cardassian males came into view. She hesitated just long enough to verify that they were military on patrol before she shot them and dropped down to continue forward.

Five minutes later, Jayna walked out, limping slightly. She grinned when she saw Neil. "You're right. The AI is definitely a jerk, but it does keep you on your toes."

Neil grinned at her as she climbed out off the tank and her score scrolled over his contact. "Nicely done, Jayna, he told her. "High percentile accuracy. Lower markes on tactical choices. Need to remember to be moving to cover as you return fire. Fleet doesn't do enough SIM training though. Too many think Parrises squares is training, but it doesn't teach you not to leave your butt flapping in the wind asking to get shot off."

Waiving at the tanks, he said "Since you're in bed with the Cure now, feel free to use the Gunny Hartman or Gunny Highway holos. Or me, if you want company. Keep in mind, we'll be adding you to tactical field exercises."

Gesturing to the five holo tanks clustered in the room, he said, "We can run fire team training in these and when we're on Sirius, we'll be using the expanded facilities there for detachment and larger training. And I may take the Detachment camping to visit the Brigade sometime. Join in full war-games to keep everyone's certifications up."

Then he grinned, "If you want to get in on the EAS suit training too, we can do that. Or am I throwing too much at you without even asking you out for supper?"

As he spoke, her smile turned into a laugh. She definitely had a lot to learn. "Yes, in time--although we'll have to see about suit training. I'll start with the tank--and some company when you're available." She gave him a wicked grin. "If I'm going to get in bed with the Marines, I might as well go with the best." It would help to go through these scenarios with Neil. She could learn by watching him and from any instructions or suggestions he made. If she enjoyed his particular presence more than anyone else, that was an added bonus. "Now, if you'd like to help me strip off this gear and get it to the right place, we can talk about that supper you suggested."

Neil waved toward the open (shared) locker cluster and the refresher station next to it. "Everything in the fresher. Sonic shower and there's a bin for your harness and utilities. One of the Cure will come through later as a collateral duty and prep the go bag."

Then he met her eyes and said, "I can definitely help you with everything that you need help with. Or we can leave the kit on and use the actual shower in my quarters."

"I like the shower idea much better," she replied, smiling up at him. "I might need help with that, too."

Chuckling, Neil fell into step with her as they headed for the hatch. "I don't know if the gunny's would consider that a continuation of tactical training, but I've got an open mind."

A Post By

Staff Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


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