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Command the Bridge

Posted on Wed Oct 14th, 2020 @ 11:33am by Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin & Major Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Tue Oct 20th, 2020 @ 6:34am

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Holodeck One
Timeline: MD003 1000 hrs

"I want to apologize to you Captain. We should have done this sooner. I want to say thank you for your understanding." Quinn said, as he met Neil in the holodeck. He was going to start his command program certification training. With all that had been going on, Neil's bridge certification testing, had been put on hold. Quinn had watched him, prepare his Marines earlier in the morning. Now it was his turn to prepare Neil for command.

Neil, eyes blood shot finished tucking his beret into his uniform tunic and said, "We've been rather busy, sir. Things tend to take care of themselves after a while, but we're here today."

"It's why I choose this time, sorry to do this to you Captain. But in command, you have no idea when you will be called up to serve, and you must be ready to go at a moments notice." Quinn pointed out to him, knowing that he was tired, and could use some rest. Quinn knew he deserved it. But for the training and test, this was the ideal time.

The marine grinned wryly at that and shrugged. "Nothing much to say about any of that, sir. So, I'll follow the marine recommend course to simply shut up and say: Yes sir."

"As soon as you sit in that chair, the program will start up." Quinn said, as he pointed to Tyler's holographic representation chair. Quinn just had a small grin on his face. He was eager to see how Neil handled the command test.

Neil considered the chair then simply walked over and double checking the configuration to make sure it was what he had memorized. His contact HUD cycled and reached out to the holo-deck's computer and he put it into a lower functioning mode with a couple of blinks and a shake of his head.

Ready at that point, he squared his shoulders and sat in the command chair.

"Captain long range sensors are detecting an unknown substance, on our current flight path." The holographic helmsman called out in a cool and collected voice.

Neil considered that for a moment and his contact brought up navigational/situational details from the feed. "Helm, change course to 183 mark 215 for minute and advise."

"Aye sir." The Holographic helmsman called out. Quinn sat silent, this was Neil's show. And he was there to critique his performance.

Turning over his shoulder, the Marine said "Tactical. Science. Full scans on the substance: size, shape, compositional analysis. And let's see that on the viewer, please."

"Starting scans now, Captain." Both the Holographic science officer and tactical officer both said in uni sense. So far Neil was doing well, but the program had just started. So it was to early to tell.

After a minute the holographic helmsman "Captain we are experiencing unusual wake turbulence, recommend altering course." The holographic helmsman called out.

"Helm, plot and alter course accordingly," Neil said, pulling up the ship's deflector harmonics and spacial dynamics on his HUD and set a thresh holds for if the turbulence got worse.

"Science? Tactical? Is this anomaly causing this? If so, how wide spread is it," the Marine said, keeping his tone calm as he sought answers from his officers.

"Sir, the anomaly is causing this. At this range, I am unable to determine the source or why this happening. Sir i recommend we move in closer to the anomaly to get more answers." The holographic science officer suggested.

Neil considered momentarily and said, "Very well. Yellow Alert."

The marine touched a control on the command chair, sending the din of the alert klaxon sounding through the ship. "Helm, reduce speed by one quarter. Operations keep an eye on the structural integrity field and hull stressors."

"Tactical. Any analysis," he finished as he surveyed the system repeaters through his HUD.

Captain, I am detecting a shock wave, heading directly towards us. The science officer called out, as a large wave, started to approach the Pioneer.

"There is not tactical threat, this appears to be a natural phenomenon." The holographic tactical officer called out. As he continued to scan the anomoly. There was no direct threat to the ship. The shock wave, was not gonig to destroy the Pioneer, just knock her round a bit.

Quinn was curious, how Neil was going to handle this scenario. He knew where the program was going to take him, but he could not say anything, and had to let it play out.

Neil took a beat as a bead of sweat broke on his brow and his fingers tightened on the command chair's armrests. "Science put the scans on screen. Tactical, overlay energy and particle readouts, highlighting the area of most directed impact that will effect the ship."

The marine took a breath and then continued, "Helm, steer into the wave to present the smallest aspect possible, balancing the stressors indicated to the shields."

Neil watched as the shock wave rolled in closer and his fingers found the alert klaxon and then the blower. "All hands, brace for impact."

"Aye Captain, adjusting course now." The holographic helmsman called out, on the main viewer, the nose of the Pioneer, was facing into the wave.

The impact was pretty minor, the ship rocked a little bit from the motion.

"Minor damage to the port airlock control assembly." Called out the holographic operations officer. Quinn knew from this point going forward, the test was going to become more intense. And it was about half way done.

Neil, wondering when the other shoe would drop, ordered. "All decks report in. Maintain protocols and assign damage control parties. Science: any reading on what caused that shock wave? That one wasn't bad but if there are more and they get worse..."

"Unclear Captain, we would need to get closer, in order to determine the source. Our sensors are operating at 21% of maximum efficiency." The holographic science officer called out.

"I do not recommend moving in closer Captain. The engines are already being taxed at this distance from the anomaly." The holographic helmsman called out.

Neil frowned. "Engineering, what's the story on engines and why are they operating at these levels. Science, what's wrong with the sensors? Tactical, prepare and launch a," the marine hesitated as he accessed his contact and pulled up information, "A class four probe and launch it. Helm, continue to make way as best we can to minimize the stresses on the ship..

As soon as the probed launch, a shock wave started to head towards the the Pioneer. The probe had caused another pulse wave to come towards them. The klaxons started to go off.

Quinn was curious to see how he handled this situation. He was trying to read the body cues coming from Neil, but his marine training prepared him for this, so it was hard to get a read on him.

Neil's fingers found the switches and again he called out, "Brace for impact," over the blower. Then he frowned. "Odd. Like is this like dropping a rock in a pond, the greater the velocity the more splash? Helm, drop our speed all ahead one quarter."

Nicely done! Quinn said, to himself, as a big smile drew from his face. He was trying to remain professional. But he caught and past the first real obstacle in the test.

The wave's intensity, dropped down, to a safe level, and barely rocked the Pioneer at all.

Quinn then walked into the center of the bridge. "Computer begin simulation two of command test." Quinn called out, as he looked to Neil.

The klaxons were going off, the room was dark, and it was clear they were in a red alert status. The smoke was thick, making it very hard to breath. And the ship was rocking hard. "Captain, we have plasma leaks on decks 2, 4 and 6." The science officer called out, as his sensors detected the leaks.

"Captain the force fields on deck 6 are inoperative Sir, they are not containing the plasma leaks." The holographic tactical officer called out.

Neil stopped himself from taking a deep breath, or standing as was his automatic thought. Instead, he pulled his beret from the front of his tunic and began issuing orders. "Drop emergency bulkheads on decks two, four and six. Damage control teams into hazard suits and begin emergency evacuation."

The marine stopped to take a breath and think out his next orders, covering his mouth and nose with his beret as a poor mask. Half coughing, Neil cleared his throat and said, "Prepare to evac decks three and five. Rifle team two, get into the suits and take over guarding the no-loan zones."

Neil drew another breath through the beret, then pulled it away and said, "Switch all compartments to emergency atmospheric systems and vent this xaxdamned smoke. Engineering, report. What's causing these leaks?"

"Other than a certain sadistic mind," he half mutters as he looked at the systems information repeating on his contact.

"Bulkheads responding to decks 2 and four, evacuations have been on decks 3 through 5 captain. But the engineers are reporting they can not secure the bulk head on deck 6, unless someone stays in the containment area, and locks it in from the inside." The holographic engineer called out.

Quinn knew this was the moment of truth. Would Tremble order a fellow engineer to his death, for the safety of the crew? Would he attempt to find another way. The test was to see if he would order a crew member to their death, in order to save the ship.

Quinn knew how hard it could be to order a good person to their death, and not every officer passed this part of the test. But it was crucial, if you wanted to be a commanding officer of a starship.

Neil had known this sort of thing would be coming. He tried to think through the problem, levering himself to his feet as the air in the bridge cleared. He knew what needed to be done and dithering wouldn't change the fact that he didn't know enough about starship's to make another choice.

"That bulkhead needs to be closed or we may lose the ship. Get it done Mister," Neil said slowly, as if at any moment inspiration would strike.

"Sir Ensign Meyers is the closest to the bulkhead on Deck 6 I can order him to secure but sir doing so will entrap him inside the plasma fire. His ods of surviving are minimal." The holographic officer called out, over the subspace call.

"I understand that, mister," Neil said, having already made his decision couldn't hesitate any longer. "Captain to Ensign Meyers. The ship and your crewmates are counting on you to do this. Get it done."

"Yes Sir." Ensign Meyers responded, as the simulation came to end.

Quinn started to clap his hands, as the holodeck program ended. "Remarkable Captain." Quinn said, with a big grin on his face. He was very proud of Neil, and how he handled himself under the spotlight.

Neil let the praise wash over him and felt a sense of relief, even though he tried to take it in as a matter of course. It had taken a LOT of study and simulator to try and get up to speed on ship handling and systems. "Thank you sir," Neil said, a smile mirroring his relief, "I guess they can teach old marines new tricks."

"You have done remarkably well." Quinn started to say, as he reached over to shake Neil's hand. He was very proud of him, and for the performance he just gave.

Shaking the XO's hand, Neil remarked. "I'm glad to have more of these scenarios behind me. I don't think I've had a moment to breath since before we took back Empok Nor."

"You did great, and Empok Nor, that took a lot out on all of us." Quinn said, knowing it did take a lot of Neil. There was a lot of combat regarding that mission, and securing it. Quinn started to say, as the scene starts to fade away.

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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