Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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To Find and To Seek

Posted on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 @ 9:40pm by Staff Sergeant Gaagii & Sergeant Miranda Schultz
Edited on on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 @ 9:46pm

Mission: Episode 7 - Home Again
Location: Holodeck - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD006 1100 hrs
2065 words - 4 OF Standard Post Measure

As a Team Leader Gaagii had been briefed by Tremble on the status of the Trivas system. The increasing tensions and the possibility of all out war. With this news the RECON expert and Navajo decided that he would brush up his skills in the holodeck. He had the holodeck generate a terrain at random and place a quarry somewhere within it. His task would be to find the item. He took one more step by leaving word if he was needed he would be on the holodeck.

Sergeant Schultz needed to get out and hike somewhere. She wasn't picky about the location. Anywhere that would let her get a good workout and wasn't crowded with Marines. She generally didn't mind having others around, but every now and then she wanted to be alone with her thoughts. So she checked for an available holodeck and headed out.

The light on the door indicated that it was available. It also indicated a program was already running. Figuring someone simply forgot to shut it down, she went inside and began to stretch out.

It seemed that the holodeck had given him a beach with a forest. There was what seemed to be an ocean that lapped up onto a sandy shore. The sand extended inland for about 15 klicks. Then the forest began, it was a tall deciduous forest the extended as far as the eye could see. He did what he did best which was let the land speak to him, it was the way of his people. Within minutes he had made it into the forest, and into the trees. Take the high ground, get the lay of the land and then proceed to the item. He had just settled in and slung his rifle when a change in the wind caught him, a scent on the breeze. He could see her stretched out on the sand. But the question was who was she, friend or foe. Gaagii was trained by two distinct people the Navajo and the SFMC. He could always rely on one of their training in every situation. Now he would rely on the SFMC and reconnaissance. He made himself comfortable in the tree with his rifle at the ready, he would watch this woman and see.

Miranda still wasn't sure if she wanted to run through the woods, along the beach, or just go for a swim in the ocean. All three held equal appeal. She would have to check on the program so she could come back later. The woods would be an excellent place for practicing maneuvers, especially with the safeties intact.

She finished her warm-ups and stood, stretching in homage to the sun. The breeze was blowing off the ocean, urging her to postpone the woods for another day.

A feeling of being watched made her pause. She scanned the area, then listened for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing. Maybe there was an animal in the woods? Or it was just her imagination. She decided she wanted a swim, and stripped down to her regulation underwear, folding her BDUs and placing them on her boots before wading out far enough to strike out in a brisk crawl.

He smirked for the briefest of moments as she undressed. Whoever this woman was, she was quite fetching. Gaagii let his eyes linger on her long enough for her to get in the water. He deemed her no threat, as no one would leave themselves that vulnerable to attack if they were meant to be a threat. He reached into a pocket in his flack vest an pulled out a small device. It was a reconnaissance probe that was meant to look like a flying insect. It would feed him information about this woman's movements etc... This way he can proceed toward the goal. Kill two birds with one stone. He thought as he released the device.

Gaagii checked the wrist mounted computer to make sure that it was receiving, and it was. So he jumped toward the next tree to continue to look for this item. At the moment he did not know what he was looking for, all he knew was that it would be something that looked out of place.

The water was cool without being too cold, making it a joy to swim in. She measured her breathing with each stroke until she'd done a mile. Then she headed in. Since she was still barefoot, she went above the waterline to where there were no shells or pebbles to step on and started back to her clothes. But something near the treeline caught her eye. "Computer, replicate deck shoes, a tank top and shorts." The clothes materialized at her feet and she dressed. This would allow her to explore a bit before going back for her clothes. Whatever it was by the tress made her curious. She glanced around to mark her position and headed out.

His wrist computer flickered with light just after he spotted the target. Apparently his little bug had some information for him. Gaagii paused in his pursuit to look at the data. It seemed that she had gotten out of the water and had begun a to follow him. He chided himself for not covering his trail thus far. However, this was something that was about to change. Matters got worse when he looked up and lost sight of the target. He drew one of his tomahawks and used it to carve a chamasu symbol into the tree. This would help him from getting lost, it was also foreign enough to anyone that did not know the Navajo that he would not be followed.

Schultz reached the treeline. Someone had been here recently. She examined the crushed grass, the broken branch. It didn't look animal, so it had to be bipedal. Was this part of the program or had she interrupted someone else's time? Surely if someone else was using the program, he or she would have made their presence known. She began to follow the trail, breaking branches to mark her path. It was too obvious for subtlety, but she had nothing with her but her wits.

A few more hops through the treetops and he found himself back on the trail of the quarry. This newcomer had him distracted though. He pushed the thoughts of her presence from his head. He closed his eyes and took a deep cleansing breath. He silently called upon the spirit of his animal guide as he leaped through the air to the next tree. He would have his quarry.

She heard movement in the trees ahead and slowed, careful where she put her feet. She'd trained to be a sniper before focusing on communications, so moving slowly was something she could do well.

There was a carving on a tree up ahead that stood out. When she got closer, she noticed it was fresh. It looked familiar, too, but she couldn't place it right now. She studied it for a moment, then went around to the back side of the tree to see if there was anything to indicate who had carved it. Something else caught her attention. She picked it up and looked at it. "Hello, what are you?"

When she stopped to look at the carving, that was his perfect time to strike. Gaagii climbed down the tree and slunk back into the brush. He was still unsure if this woman was real, or generated by the program. "I would turn around slowly and not move my hands if I was you." His voice was soft and steady, typical of his people.

Miranda caught her breath. That had to be the person she was following. Sloppy of her. Why didn't she look up into the trees?

She needed to know what she was up against before deciding her best course of action, so, still holding the item she found, she turned slowly and looked into the bushes, catching a glimpse of his eyes, but little else.

Still thinking that she was part of the program and that he had gotten the better of her, Gaagii proceeded with the standard line of questioning. "Who are you and why have you come here?" The wind blew gently as he spoke which ruffled the feathers that he wore in his long black hair.

"I'm Little Red Riding Hood," she answered. "I'm on my way to Grandmother's house. Have you seen my basket of goodies?"

"I shall only ask one more time. Who are you and why have you come here?" The sarcasm was really something that Gaagii found annoying. He was a very up front kind of person. However, he did realize that if the woman was being sarcastic then it is distinctly possible that she was not a hologram.

Had she intruded into his program after all? There was a scent about him that was, like the rest of him, unexpected. He was also not amused by her attempt at humor. "I'm Miranda, and I'm following you."

He stepped out from within the brush still unsure of what to make of the situation. His rifle was slung in a rest but ready position. "I am Sergeant Gaagii. Why are you following me on a training exercise?"

And now everything became clear to Miranda. She'd definitely screwed up. "Because the computer said the holosuite was available and I caught a glimpse of you in the woods. I didn't know this was a training exercise, so, I was curious." She held out the object in her hand. "I assume this is yours, too?"

He frowned he had missed it and he had been spotted. "I will have to reset the program and start again. That is not mine as I did not earn it. You did. Tell me Miranda why are you here, on the Pioneer I mean." He said as he lowered his rifle entirely. Gaagii was upset that he had been spotted he is slipping. "There is a storm coming and we must prepare to weather it."

She was sorry she messed up his program, sort of. "I'm the new communications specialist," she said, taking his measure. "What storm is coming?"

"I see El T will be expecting you. I am in charge of reconnaissance and surveillance..." Gaagii's voice trailed off as he wondered why she would be asking for clarification. Surely has a communications specialist she would understand speaking in metaphor. "...You have arrived as we enter the leading edge of an oncoming storm. One which some of us will weather, and others will not. I am speaking of course of the kettle that is boiling over in this sector. War is coming, and we will be fighting it. We must be ready. I can only hope that as my ancestors before me I weather this storm as they have weathered theirs." He began to walk back toward the beach as he spoke.

One of the reasons she was here was because her skills would be needed. But so far she'd only been told that she'd be filled in later. Knowing they were preparing for possible war was one thing. Being expected to intuitively know what was going on was another. And the sexy sergeant wasn't helping any. She fell in step behind him. Her clothes were still on the beach, and she needed to get to them before he turned off the program.

And then she remembered the feeling that she wasn't alone... "You were watching me."

He smirked half sheepishly, and half as man who got caught looking. "It is my job to watch you, and everyone. Come let's get to the Snake Pit and catch you up. There is much for you to catch up on."

Her cheeks grew warm, but she had to admit, if the tables had been turned, she would have watched, too. "Then it's a good thing I didn't decide to go skinny dipping." The thought had crossed her mind, but she probably shouldn't have mentioned it. "Let me get dressed first, then I'd love for you to catch me up."

A Joint Post By

Sergeant Gaagii
RECONN Fire Team Leader, USS Pioneer

Sergeant Miranda Schultz
Communications Specialist, USS Pioneer


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