USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Prepare To Be Boarded

Posted on Wed Sep 14th, 2016 @ 3:05am by Major Storr Garlake & Captain Claudia Ainscow

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: Mission Day 6; 16:00

Claudia had called Captain Garlake down to the holodeck and instructed him to bring no more than three other marines with him to prepare for an away mission. Although it may not be for a few days Claudia felt advanced preparation would be key - especially as they would have limited time to carry it out. Disabling the Bozeman's tactical and engine systems would be easy - especially if the Renown was on their side - but its complement of 220 would not be as easy to take out of the picture.

Claudia stood and waited patiently for the arrival of the Vindex's Marine Commanding Officer and the three marines she requested he selected for the assignment.

Captain Storr Garlake entered the holodeck flanked by three Starfleet marines: Corporal Billings, Lance Corporal Thani th'Rrone, and Lance Corporal Drex. The three acknowledged their Captain in various ways and then stood, hands behind their backs. "Reporting as ordered, ma'am," the large Afrikaner intoned. He had briefed his men on his thoughts as to what this mission rehearsal might be, but he warned them to keep an open mind as it could very well be not what they anticipated.

Claudia returned the greeting - although she was a little surprised the high ranking Sergeant Zaltin was not present.

"Where's Sergeant Zaltin Mr Garlake?" Claudia asked.

"She would have been an excellent addition to the team but I wanted her expertise to be utilized as my eyes and ears here in the TOC. Besides, I need to season my men and what better way than to bring them along for the ride?"

Claudia nodded and agreed he had a good point. For now, however, it was on to the briefing - so she ushered them inside the holodeck before giving them their instructions.

"We've got six crewmembers of the USS Renown that have been kidnapped by the USS Bozeman. After I was told of this information I feel it is our duty to retrieve them - hence why I've called you all here today. The Bozeman is a Miranda-class starship - so not a great size - but it can still present as many challenges. The plan is for us to disable the ship as quickly as possible then beam the four of you aboard to retrieve the Renown crewmembers. The reason I've called you here is so that you can familiarise yourself with the interior of the Bozeman in plenty of time - that way you aren't trying to find your way around it whilst being shot at by The Consortium. Any questions at all so far?" Claudia said.

Captain Garlake nodded as he listened to the Commander Ainscow's FRAGO. The objective itself was one of the hardest that they trained for (hostage rescue) and one that was now all the more complicated by traitorous members of Starfleet onboard. Identifying friend or foe was not going to be an easy task in any way; would they treat everyone as hostile and risk stunning/injuring members that might be of assistance or risk trying to ascertain loyalties on the fly, slowing them down significantly and allowing for the ever present backstabbing opportunity to present itself? Storr put the question on the backburner as he had a few questions.

"Captain," he began, looking to both his left and right before continuing, "I know that I speak for my men in saying that we are willing and able to successfully complete this mission but there is some information that we need. Will we be able to disable their shields with a command override code or will another method of infiltration be necessary? Do we have any additional identifying information concerning the hostages or, for that matter, the Bozeman crew? Finally, do you have any additional objectives for us besides rescue such as sabotaging the ship, retrieving information, or capturing members of the crew?" He knew that it was a lot, but also only a start as too much information was never a bad thing.

Claudia smiled. "We'll either try and find a code or simply deplete them with our phasers. If the Renown is on our side when we find it then we'll overpower them in no time. We know who the hostages are and where they're being kept - as for the condition they're in we don't know. Once you've retrieved the prisoners we plan to...put it out of action...for the time being. If we can find out the access codes then we'll try and download the ship's database - but that isn't on the top of the list and we'll try and do that from here"

Storr nodded at Ainscow's answers. They helped, and it was something more to go on than he had before. "Ma'am, would you like to stay and watch the training runs?"

"I'd like that Captain. I've never had much experience with Marines so it'll be good to see how you do your work in these training drills - plus it'll give me an idea of what sort of time window we need" Claudia replied with a smile.

*=*=*=*

"Again!" Storr bellowed, the four other Marines shuffling over and lining themselves up against the bulkhead behind their MCO, "butts-to-nuts" as they were trained. Phaser rifles were at the low-ready as a squeeze on the shoulder traveled from the last Marine to the Afrikaner. Captain Garlake burst forward as he raised his rifle, immediately sweeping the room via his sights and peeling to the right as Billings came around to the left, Thani th'Rrone to the right of Storr and Drex to the left of Billings...a perfect movement. It was perfect because the MCO didn't get shot the moment he entered due to the brig being empty, save the prisoners. He wasn't about to let out a breath yet, as he didn't believe in luck.

"Thani th'Rrone & Drex, secure the entrance. Billings, with me," he ordered, the first two taking positions at the doorway in order to defend against any interlopers. He and the Corporal walked over to the holding cell, the only of the three that had prisoners though it contained all of the detained personnel. The other oddity was a slew of wires running from the panel, down the wall, and into the cell, ending at an indistinguishable mound of objects and wiring. "Billings, what do you make of that?"

Before his human compatriot could respond, a Vulcan in science blue stood up and addressed their hopeful saviors. "It is a phaser bomb, crudely wired to the control panel. We cannot disarm it from our end; you must correctly cut the wires in sequence on your side."

"What does he take us for, EOD?! And I thought that you only had to cut one wire to stop these things!" the tall, fair-haired human Marine from Montana blurted. He had a point.

"Well, Mike, we don't have a choice, and I guess it's not as crude as we thought" Storr replied, stepping forward to the wires and looking to the Vulcan. "Do you have any idea what the sequence should be?" the Marine asked, the bundle of four wires in his left hand and his KBAR in the other.

"No, though there is an 87.65 percent chance that the first one is blue."

Storr blinked as he felt a bead of sweat trickle down the back of his neck. Does he start with blue? The blasted Vulcan said that it probably would but there's still the chance that it wouldn't. As he took the blue wire in his hand, he closed hie eyes as he slipped the KBAR through the sheath and wire itself. Nothing happened. He let out a breath that he didn't know he was holding and looked at the other three.

"Yellow now has a 65.4 percent chance of being the next wire," the Vulcan dryly added. The Marine Captain figured that it was better than even odds and took the yellow wire and cut it, again no effect. A small smile crept across his face. Now he only had two left but instead of one bead of sweat, it was now two. He heard, in what seemed like a distance of miles, phaser fire as the two door guards began defending their position in earnest. Red or Green. Red or Green...

"Red is 92.22 percent correct," the Vulcan asserted, a look of hope coming from the normally emotionless (non-emotion-showing, he reminded himself) Science officer. Storr looked up, then back down. He figured that it was even money either way. Taking a deep breath, he took the red wire and cut it. Nothing. Then something.

A blinding flash emanated from the cell, causing Storr and Billings to fall back and shield their eyes. He quickly scrambled to his feet and looked into the small room, now covered in black char from the explosion and nothing else. Captain Garlake fell to his knees as the entire room disappeared to reveal the holodeck and Captain Ainscow, a deep breath escaping his lungs as his face went into his hands.

"Not to worry Captain. Practice makes perfect - if you need to take more simulations to get it right then so be it. We've got a bit of time before we go after the Bozeman. And besides - if you have it in easy mode then you're not prepared for the worst they can throw at you" Claudia said.

She was far from disappointed and could see they were making small steps in the right direction. Claudia knew it would take at least a good few simulations before they were able to get their time down and reduce the time they'd be aboard the enemy ship. Destroying it wasn't an option as she knew the Consortium would leave their prisoners behind.

Storr stood and nodded, regaining his composure. He had had the computer running through the most challenging scenarios and he should have expected losses, but they had barely run a 67% "rescue" rate over the times that they had gone through. It wasn't good enough, and he knew that lives were on the line.

"Keep trying Captain. I know you and your guys can do it - that's why I brought you here" Claudia encouraged.

Garlake nodded, a renewed steel in his spine and flare in his eyes. He wouldn't let his Captain, the hostages, or the Corp down. This was likely the first in many actions here in the quadrant and his men needed to be both current and proficient in all manner of small unit tactics. He wouldn't stand by with a loss in the first round.

"Alright men, three more goes then a break. You've earned it...but only if we win."

 

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