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Shuttle practice

Posted on Wed Dec 28th, 2016 @ 9:55pm by Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Marine training holodeck
Timeline: Day 16 - 1430

After the meeting, Annie waited outside for Storr, hoping he was able to join her for some flight simulations for the Marines. She didn't expect any of them would have any experience of flying, but Annie was happy to help where she could. Seeing Storr leave, Annie proposed her idea to him.

"Captain," Annie said. "I'm free now if you are?"

His mind on other things related to the briefing, Storr exited the observation lounge and was brought out of his revelry by a cheerful, feminine voice beside him.

"Hmm? Oh, of course, Ensign. I appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to start so soon!" he said with a chuckle and a smile, "Frankly, I thought that you'd have other pressing matters what with having to pilot a Sovereign-class ship and all." His smile belied...what, nervousness? Storr had never really flown before, as virtually all his training was "land" based. Yes, there was Zero-G training and some shuttle transport interspersed with attack missions but his bread-and-butter was small unit tactics with his feet firmly on the floor.

"I've got nothing else to do," Annie grinned. "And, we've got a few hours, so it might as well be spent doing something useful. Let's go find some volunteers and get this show on the road, Captain."

Storr grinned yet shook his head, looking at Doctor O'Reilly then back to the young woman before him. "Hold on to that thought, Ensign...It looks like I'm needed elsewhere at the moment, but I'll come and find you as soon as I'm done.

"Oh, okay." Annie smiled, "I'll see you soon, I'll get the holodeck ready while I'm waiting for you."

*-*-* An Hour Later *-*-*

Annie led the way to the lift, and once they were inside, she told the lift where they wanted to go.

"Deck 25," Annie said.

Storr dutifully followed Ensign Wilson. *Volunteers?* he thought, smoothing his beard nervously as the turbolift hummed. "You know, I don't think that I need to embarrass myself in front of a large group...what do we need volunteers for?"

"We'll need more than one pilot, Mr. Garlake. If I'm flying the ship and if you're otherwise engaged, then we'll need someone else to fly it. I'll let you choose, don't worry, though, I promise I won't tell anyone else." Annie said, with a cute smirk.

Captain Garlake inwardly groaned. The Ensign was absolutely right, of course, and her cute perkiness made his necessary decision all that more agonizing. Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency...wasn't that we he continually drove into his men? Well, they would need at least one, if not more alternates which meant that each squad would need a pilot. It couldn't be the squad commander, either, as they would need to be available for comms or other actions. Assistant squadron commanders it was, then. Storr sighed and tapped his commbadge.

=/\= Garlake to Lance Corporals th'Rrone, Blake, and Malik, report to Marine Training Holodeck, Upper Level =/\=

Three quick acknowledgment beeps rang through as he looked down at his smiling instructor.

"You're not going to make me look TOO bad in front of my men, right?"

Annie giggled. "No, I wouldn't dream of it, Captain."

Storr was first up and sat in the right seat, leaving the left seat for Annie and the assistant squadron commanders were seated in the rear. Looking over to Ensign Wilson, he waited for his first instruction.

"Okay, here's the controls," Annie said. "You set your course here, flight control sensors are here, your inertial dampeners are here and here is the manual controller. Take a few moments to remember them, because I'll be testing you on the holodeck later."

Taking a deep breath, the MCO nodded and slid his two fingers smoothly along the LCARS display from bottom to top. It must have been a little too quickly as the inertial dampeners lagged, causing them all to be pressed back in their seats momentarily before returning to normal. Storr chuckled nervously. Why was he so nervous? A pretty face? The potential to look bad in front of his men? He hadn't felt this way since qualification back at Boot.

"Are you familiar with them Captain? Or do you need a few more moments?" Annie asked.

"I...yes, I'm familiar enough, this is just going to take some practice. Hold on," he said, moving his fingers again over the inertial controls and punching in a flight path manually. He had more meant that last phrase to be "Give me just another moment" but it instead took on its alternate definition. The shuttle slowly began gliding forward as he intended but suddenly began rolling to the left and initiating a right yaw. The Marine Captain vainly tried to reverse the movements but only succeeded in worsening the roll and spinning the shuttle more than 360 degrees before Annie took the controls and righted the craft. He thought that he might have heard Malik lose his lunch but Storr wasn't sure.

"That's good, keep going," Annie said. She didn't see what had happened with Malik, but hopefully, she wasn't going to have to call somebody to clear up the mess, if there was one.

Storr growled. It was soft, and probably imperceptible, but it was there. He was no Luddite but he was far more familiar with phaser rifles, flanking maneuvers, improvised explosives, breaching charges, and the like. Galake heard some sniggering from the back but when he looked over his shoulder, the offenders had already ceased.

"Alright Annie, we're going to lick this good, here and now. Hope you brought your cowgirl hat," he said turning back to the controls and slowly inputted his next flight command. He understood why he had to learn the manual controls before being able to use the flight management system *because what trained aap [monkey] couldn't input things correctly there* but it didn't make the initial part any easier (or fun)...

Annie grinned and watched, holding on, because even though it was a holodeck program, it was still very realistic. She was impressed by Storr's flying skills for a beginner, considering not even an hour before, he'd never flown anything before. A holodeck program simulation was a good start, though.

Several hours later, the group of four marines exited the turbolift, all of them sweating profusely though Ensign Annie Wilson was the picture of poise and grace. LCpl Malik dry-heaved before running down the corridor though none of the other three had the energy to laugh. It turned out that Storr wasn't the worst of the pilot candidates that day but between them all, they were quite wary of their next lesson. True, they had been able to get much more under control by the end of each session but it didn't lesson anyone's apprehension.

"Alright, be honest," the MCO asked, his hand trailing against the wall to maintain both balance and composure, "how bad was it?"

"Well," Annie said, smiling. "You were pretty good, for a beginner. There's still a few more lessons to go, but a good start, from all of you. The next lesson will be once we've completed our current mission, I will let Captain Garlake know when."

Storr chuckled though had to stop as he felt himself have to nearly join the early-exiting Bajoran. "So kind of you, Annie. I'm only halfway joking when I say that we're looking forward to it...see you then."


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