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

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Deep End of the Pool

Posted on Mon Jun 22nd, 2020 @ 12:26pm by Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin & Captain Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Mon Jun 22nd, 2020 @ 12:28pm

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Holo Deck 4; Deck 6; USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 0845 hrs

Neil emerged from the holo-suite, uniform drenched and highly irritated. He’d just spent the last three hours working a command problem.

It had started out simple enough. The Pioneer, while testing the new drive systems had hit a snag and lost all propulsion. He’d started moving them toward the Hydroxy-Iota star system on impulse and gotten the effected departments moving in the right direction, effecting repairs while the ship had limped toward a star system.

It would only take them two weeks to get there under impulse power.

Then there had been a coolant leak.

It wasn’t totally unexpected. The specifications warned that sometimes it happened. Neil had issued orders for engineering to be evacuated and for damage control to start clearing affected decks. He’d ordered engineering to be vented and the overrides had failed.

Of course.

They’d started losing power after three minutes and the back-ups had kicked in, but they were down to emergency systems and a fire had sparked up, igniting the coolant. Neil had been forced to blow the atmosphere in three of the decks before they could ignite there and damage even more systems.

That had led to seven deaths and twenty three MIA’s.

Neil had ordered a pair from Rifle Team two to suit up, and use the Hawkeye’s transporter to beam into engineering and begin effecting repairs. Damage control teams had begun moving in to the burned out decks and then life support had failed throughout the ship and the lights had dropped.

Neil had killed the ship.

"When marines go big, they certainly do not disappoint." Quinn said, as he continued to pour through the simulation data, that Neil and his team had just completed. Quinn appreciated his attempt to help. The point of the simulations, was to prepare for any possible scenario, the crew may encounter.

"Cascading failures through multiple systems," Neil half groused, working a kink in his neck. "Definitely makes me think of sabotage and something we can expect from being in Romulan space. The Cardi's could be just as sneaky, but the Romulans are a lot better...more elegant at spy games."

"Bold statement, but you are forgetting that Cardassians have layers to do them. Look at Councilor Garak for example." Quinn pointed out. "During the seventies, he proved to be a great ally, but clearly there was more to the man than being a simple tailor on Deep Space Nine." Quinn pointed out to Neill. He was right about the Romulan's and there level of deception. But he did not want to see Neil get blind-sided by the bigger picture.

"Thus the saying, ~Keep your Enemies Close and your Friends Closer,~" Neil quoted, before adding. "Though the last time I talked to a Cardassian about such matters, he suggested it had more to do with being able to stab them in the back than anything else. But I get the idea, Commander."

Neil glanced at Pioneer's XO and asked, "Speaking of Romulans. I haven't seen much of a threat assessment that reads past, Here there be Romulans for Sirius's AOR. Have you seen anything interesting?"

"Starfleet Intelligence suggests that the Tal Shair, are lurking in the shadows, striking at the remote colonies, trying to fortify their stronghold, but without permission from the Romulan Star Empire, we can not go deep into Romulan Space, to confirm what they are really doing." Quinn said, hating the fact, that the Tal Shair, was re grouping, especially after the loss of the Romulan Home World, and their government.

Without any check or balances, what would keep the Romulan's in line? He feared the unlimited power of influence they could have on the Romulan people, and the universe as a whole. The ideal was freighting to him.

Neil picked up the trepidation in the first officer's comments and nodded slowly. "That's where the Fleet, Intel, and Marines come in. It's more of a chess game with them...sometimes played with hammers. But, we always get the job done, sir."

"Just keep one thing in mind, Captain." Quinn said, as he paused for a moment, before going on. "Stay three to four moves ahead of the Romulans at all times." Quinn was worried, playing this vital game with the Romulan's was a ballsy move. Nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. And the Romulan's were still wounded.

Neil nodded and said, "Aye sir. That's the main trouble. Keeping tabs on what they're doing. I think the term is cat and mouse. I just wonder who's who."

"I think that would depend on that day." Quinn chuckled, for a moment. He knew it was not a laughing a matter. But the opportunity provided itself, for the moment. He quickly regathered his composure. "Your team was very efficient, I believe if we face the Romulan's you be ready for them." Quinn pointed out. Neil was a bit of a perfectionist, and did not believe in a no win scenario, or so Quinn imagined that was true about Neil.

The Marine looked at Quinn's data and nodded. "They did a good job. We'll need to keep running readiness drills and more tabletops, but I think doing division driven testing where they come up with the problems will be more valuable. The department heads should know what worries them getting to grips on those items, filtered through a few sadistic filters will help build more confidence."

Neil's voice indicated he was probably sounding it out for himself to hear aloud as much as running the idea past Quinn, but he met the XO's eyes and said "Unless you or the Captain would have us focus on anything specific, sir?"

"Your doing great, and given the unique challenges of potentially dealing with the Tal'Shair, your tactics are sound. Better to aire on the side of caution. And guarantee victory." Personally Quinn would have preferred a more stealth approach, but it would be hard to get drop on the Tal Shair.

Neil glanced at Quinn and said. "Victory against the Romulans is a iffy thing. Most Fleet and Marine combats with them generally working a draw. Marine doctrine is to be as ready as we can be, then hit them as hard as possible in reaction. I know some analysts claim it's overkill, but when done right they get wary of trying anything again for awhile. The Romulans know this, of course," the marine chuckled, "But it's on thing to poke the bear. It's another to try and fend off the bear as it tries and eat your face."

"If anyone can achieve the programmatic difficulties of dealing with the Romulans, its you." Quinn said to him, as he continued on. "I must be going, just wanted to stop by and check on your progress, tell your Marines, how proud I am." Quinn told him, with a heart filled sincerity in his voice.

"Aye aye sir. And I'll pass it along to my watch division too. They did pretty good at that problem just now. Have a good day," the Marine said, after saluting Pioneer's XO.

Then Neil rubbed the back of his neck again and headed for his office. He needed to break down the problem and watch the footage...

And he needed a shower.

a Joint Post by:

Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer

Captain Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer


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