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Posted on Fri May 27th, 2022 @ 11:14am by Major Cornelius Tremble & Captain Edmund Merrick & Sergeant Major Lachlan Barr & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna
Edited on on Wed Jun 8th, 2022 @ 4:51am

2,594 words; about a 13 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Shuttle Bay - Deck 10 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD001 0500 hrs

Neil eyed the shuttle bay, the space looking odd being empty but it was the best he could do for today. He stood in near the entrance, his helmet resting back on his neck as he made sure the bay's environmental controls were slaved to his suit and voice authorizations. It had been a few weeks since he'd been in in the MARVEL-EAS suit and he wished there had been time to check out the newest members of the Cure in the suits on a moon, comet, or asteroid someplace.

But, as a first trip it wasn't bad to let them dink around in the hazard suits in a controlled environment. If they got the handle of it early, he had other toys to let them go through their paces....

Grinning his eye flickered at the coms control and he said, Mr. Merrick, Ms. Jayna, Master Sergeant. When you're ready, I have the shuttle bay ready to go. Just try not to light off the weapons arrays or jump packs while in the Pioneer's corridors, yeah?"

Jayna was the first to arrive. She hoped she was ready for this. She'd never worn a suit like this before. "Well, there's a first time for everything," she said, responding to Neil as she came up beside him.

Lachlan wasn't far behind Jayna as he entered the shuttlebay. "We never had anything this fancy on the Santa Monica, I can promise you that." he said holding his arms out and giving himself another look over. "Be a shame if there were no explosions to really test them." he added raising his eyebrows and widening his eyes playfully.

"Explosions?" Merrick's eyes widening ever so large. "These are great, and definitely better than the regular suits I'm used to. And the fitting of these suits was rather intriguing. One comment was, don't worry, it doesn't make your butt look big." giving a slight smile.

Jayna raised an eyebrow. "The question is, who was the first person to check?"

"Can't be mine. My bum looks great in everything I wear." Lachlan boasted with his fake modesty.

"Not gonna touch that comment," the intel officer retorted, shaking her head. She was just glad she got here as easily as she did. Or semi-easily, as it was her first time.

"I wasn't checking my butt, I was though checking how it looked in a reflective surface. These are amazing and the instructions weren't that bad." Merrick remarked.

Jayna chuckled. She couldn't blame him for checking out how the suit looked. "I agree that the instructions were pretty straight-forward."

Neil liked to see the excitement and humor in their voices and he brought them into an arc in front of him as they checked out their suits. "I'm getting good readouts from your suits. Look like they meshed up well. I won't ask or check, but if you had or have problems with...," he glanced at the three of them with humor in his voice, "The waste control system, don't try and figure it out on your own if it's not working. It's bad enough fouling your suit but when you unzip later. Well, not everyone needs to experience it with you."

Chuckling as he caught glances, he said. "Yes, it's happened before despite my warnings. I won't say who but..."

"Well, now we know why they were checking out their butt,"Jayna replied.

"I wouldn't be checking that out... sounds disgusting, but probably not the worst sight or smell I've experienced." Lachlan said more so to himself than the others in the room.

Edmund gave a quiet chuckle at the responses from the others.

"Anyway," Neil continue. "You've made it this far so that's good. If you didn't know, we're the only ship detachment in the Corp that has suits and the M-Mobile designator. In addition, the Cure will be test bedding individual AI's in the suits rather than the generic computer. Thought process is that a more working relationship with the computer will help you trust the systems faster and hopefully lower stress."

"Interface is the very stylish neuro skull cap. Instead of waisting sensor power for each limb and part of the actuated armor, it'll be just like your brain and muscles talking. Speeds up reaction time and lowers the jerky reactions that can happen sometimes if you get an itch and the system reads it wrong."

Finally, Neil gestured toward the shuttle bay. "I've set up a few obstacles, a weight rack of sorts so you can test out the suit's lifting ability and let us dither about in zero G. Once you feel comfortable there, I'll open the shuttle bay doors and we can move out to the padd and run through limited weapons trials.

Jayna paid careful attention, wanting to remember as much as she could.

"Sounds good, Major. I'm looking forward to seeing how the propulsion systems on the suits work, especially in zero G." Lachlan replied.

"Boots have anti-grav units and there are backpack jump jets for deep space and atmospheric flight," Neil told Lachlan. "Electromagnetic boot plates of course and the new AI can aid in the flight and station keeping. Those systems, like the phaser mount, are smart linked. So, you can direct fire by tagging targets in your Heads Up Display and work on something else while the suit engages enemies. Especially handy with the grenade launcher for indirect fire. The AI can also handle the shielding functionality."

Pausing for a moment, Neil shrugged to himself and continued, "They've incorporated Borg shield tech in that the AI is reactionary. Shielding will pop up in relation to incoming energy fire. It's not nearly as advanced and good for only a few shots, but it's better than not having it."

Smiling, Neil finished up his brief. "You three have suits similar to mine but different from the rest of the Cure in that Ed and the Master Sergeant have CnC suits. That means you can remote access suits in your chain of command if needed. You get readouts on how the trooper and suit is functioning and if someone gets incapacitated, you can bring them home. It also allows you to help troubleshoot. There are some other functions too, but that's the gist."

Gesturing to Jayna, he said, "Yours is a stealth suit. There are a handful scattered through the Cure among the former recon members for testing. They've taken some of the chameleon's technology from Raiders and put a net over the armor plating. It's similar to how the Jem ha Dar's stealth fields use to work, using less power and actually borrows radiation signatures from your surroundings making it harder to track. The trade off there is you store heat in the suit and that will become a problem after a time, which means you should only use it as needed during the course of a mission. And if your suit takes damage, the net will short out."

Jayna nodded. That was a nice feature, and she hoped to test it out before she had to use it. She wondered if Neil had tested the stealth capabilities and if there were any other things she needed to be aware of. But it was enough information to begin with. She preferred stealth to fighting, so she was grateful she had this particular suit.

"I'm glad they have a recall button. There is nothing worse than being helpless when you see a marine down in the field and not being able to get to them in time.." Lachlan spoke as a memory arose. "Plus everyone loves gadgets right? If my suit has more than the average then I'll be lost in here for hours."

"The suits can be customized to the mission. Primarily weapon load out and counter measures, " Neil told them as they moved into the center of the Bay. "That's why we're trying to add more stealth capabilities and E3 passive communications snooping abilities. And incorporating drone units. We'll go through the Cure's drone units another time."

"Remember, the suit actuators assist so go easy when lifting, picking up something or even restraining a prisoner. It's easy to crush things or lose control for a few beats. You go to throw something heavy and overcompensate and all of a sudden you're stumbling around like you've drank a whole bottle of Azure's booze."

Merrick gave a nod as to what Neil had said, and walked away from the others. He decided to test to see how well it would work if having to get into a hand to hand combat. Movement was a big thing for him. He started working out a kata, at first the movements were slow, as he was testing the actuators out, getting the feel of the suit. He did wobble a couple of times, but then as he continued, his motions and movement started smoothing out. As what Neil had said, they needed to get used to the suit.

He called up the inner helmet screen, checking the readouts, he wondered if he should name the viewscreen, at the moment though he wasn't certain. He'll come up with a name later. Weights were lifted, he maneuvered through the obstacle course, feeling at first like a toddler just learning to walk then it got better.

Jayna watched Merrick, examining the way he moved, and them began to imitate some of what he did. She did some bending and twisting to see how well she could move, then ran across the cargo bay, jumping half-way across. It was a bit awkward, but when she got to the other side and turned, it got a little easier. Now it wa time to try gently lifting weights, heeding Neil's words.

Neil gave them just over half an hour then he called out, "Button up your suits. I'm going to bleed off the atmosphere then open the bay doors. At his words, his helmet shield slid into place, sealing off and he got a green light in the upper corner of the display indicating good seal.

After getting confirmation from the others, he cycled the bay and the doors slid back as Neil released the mag locks and floated into zero G, then activated then flashed the thruster units and began sailing out into space.

"Remember your zero g training," he called out, knowing they'd all likely not need a reminder. "Small movements equal big results. The suit will compensate for some of it."

Floating out onto the landing plate, Neil brought himself to a halt and had the target launcher engage. Five spinning balls popped out and the HUD automatically began tracking them. The first two he engaged with the pop out phaser mounts on his arms, criss-crossing beams of energy to explode them. Then he activated the shoulder mount and it popped the remaining spheres one at a time."

Neil brought up each of their helmet cams and brought himself down to the deck, moving to the side in clunking steps as the magnets took hold. "Go ahead and try your systems out."

"Trust the HUD," Jayna reminded herself. She was used to being the outlier, the one who sneaked in while the others fought. But this was something she knew she could get, with practice. She paid close attention to Neil, appreciating his skill and how he instructed them--if she enjoying watching him for other reasons, she kept those to herself. She released the suit's mag locks, pushed gently off the deck to head in the right direction, and floated into zero-G.

The intel officer wobbled, then corrected, the suit assisting. Once she got to the landing plate, she engaged the target launcher. She didn't do as well as Neil, but she didn't expect to. For her first time, Jayna was pleased--although she would definitely need more training.

Lachlan was doing little somersaults, the lack of gravity was most welcome in letting his hair down a little. The feeling of weightlessness was indescribable and every time he thought he could describe it, or get used to it, he was sorely mistaken.

He noted targets pop up on his HUD as he spun and intuitively his suit reacted alongside his mind as phaser mounts also appeared from his forearms and destroyed their prey. "I can see why these things are so popular, even I'm jealous of myself." he said, clearly having a good time.

Edmund chuckled, at Lachlan's comment. He tried his phaser mounts, hitting the targets as they appeared, with the zero gravity Edmund decided to try something out, though he knew he'd need to time it just right, a slight leap upwards maneuvering his body to where it was angled upside down, his goal was to connect the magnetic boots to the ceiling. Which, he made it. He chuckled. Then he disengaged, and pushed from the ceiling and turned himself to where he could get to the deck and engaged the magnetic boots standing upright. "Okay I had to see if I could. With the other EV suits that took a bit for me to do that. Most definitely approve."

Jayna paid attention to what the others were doing, but was more interested in her own experiments with the suit and the mag clamps that let her walk around. She had the HUD set to automatically take care of any more incoming "attacks" as she did so.

In his role of safety officer, Neil kept an eye on the others while his suit monitored theirs, tracking a variety of things that would help them tweak them individually. He keyed the coms and said, "In the future, we'll run you each through the gauntlet. That's a simulated live fire so you have an idea of what the suit can take. So you'll get bounced around. Maybe experience the suit getting shorted out. That sort of thing but...better to bleed in training than die in combat."

His tone was light and he maintained an eye on their bio readings as they went through the paces.

Peachy, Jayna thought as she tried walking up a wall. This was a whole new skill set to learn. At least life on the Pioneer wouldn't be dull.

After about an hour, Neil called a halt and said, "Alright. That's probably good for now and we all have duties to get to. And breakfast. Re-enter the shuttle bay and we'll wrap this up over food."

Edmund nodded, " I am interested in finding out what sort of punishment these suits can take." as he got back into the shuttle bay. "but breakfast sounds great. And thank you for giving us the chance to practice so we don't look like toddlers trying to walk." giving a grin.

"We are toddlers trying to walk," Jayna said, coming up to the others. "Breakfast sounds great. And some pointers for next time." She smiled at Neil, sure he'd have feedback for all of them.

A Joint Post By

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

First Lieutenant Edmund Merrick
The Cure Executive Officer, USS Pioneer

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

Master Sergeant Lachlan Barr
Chief of The Boat, USS Pioneer
First Sergeant, The Cure


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