USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Ambush on the Holodeck

Posted on Tue Jul 19th, 2016 @ 3:11pm by Lieutenant JG Tora Benjarvi & Sergeant Bella Zaltin & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Major Storr Garlake

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Holodeck 2 & 3
Timeline: Mission Day 2 - 1000 Hours

HOLODECK 2: Benj took another drink of his water as he looked around at his security officers. They did pretty well as the aggressors, able to get the warp core shut down before they were pushed back by the marines. Some of them sported bruises and busted lips as the Marines got a little bit too aggressive in their approach. Benj was just going to let it go. In a firefight, you don't hold back or people get killed... and it taught Security to be ready for anything.

Plus they had returned the favor on the marines when it was their time to attack.

"Okay, so the last sim will start in a just a few minutes. When the sim begins, you will be at your normal Alpha level positions." That meant that some of them would be in the armory, some in the office, and some off duty in their quarters. It was basic Alpha Shift locations. The Marines and Engineering would start off the same.

"This time, Security, Marines, and Engineers will be defending Main Engineering. At the start of the attack, it will be mostly Engineers holding off the attackers until we can muster our forces." Brenj looked over to Lt. Himmel as if to confirm that they were ready.

Himmel sighed a little then smiled and nodded towards Brenjarvi, "Roger, Lieutenant. Ready when you are." he then thought to himself, I'm getting a little too old for this.

Brenj left to the other Holodeck as Himmel and most his staff stayed. They waited a bit, looking over consoles and tried to act as if they were performing normal duties. There wasn't a heard countdown, the element of surprise was to be kept.

Suddenly over the Com came the alert, "Red Alert...Red Alert... Intruder alert Deck 16." The Engineers responded quickly to their weapon caches. Not moments after the computer put out the warning shots were fired and the holographic enemy was upon engineering.

Soren rushed to his console to put up the Warp Core force field. He was kneeling behind the console and was able to raise the field. He then observed the situation. It seemed they were scattered a bit everywhere. Engineers were still procuring weapons to make their stand. Senior Chief Hawk ran over to Himmel and handed him a phaser pistol, "You'll probably need this." He said with a smile.

Soren responded, "Yeah, thanks." He looked around to best position his engineers, We need to take a defensive stance till help comes. Best to cover access points on the main floor.

Himmel turned to Hawk, "Alright, help to gather the engineers on the main floor. Find cover and guard the access points. We need to defend this area until our help arrives." Hawk nodded and was off.

Soren broke cover and began gathering his engineers together, "Sark, Murphy, and Snow, I need you down on the main floor. Guard the main access, our friends might be coming through there. Lhanna, Munda, Ha'kra cover the access points at the rear. Find some cover."

Soren gathered up his engineers. The enemy was pushing hard, firing in all directions. Some consoles burst from the phaser fire. A few hostiles were actually taken down. The group of engineers were now spread behind cover in engineering protecting access to the warp core and the engineer consoles. The force field around the warp core held up tremendously with the phaser fire. Himmel looked around to see everyone was in their position. Now all they could do was hold tight and wait for the others to relieve them.

------

HOLODECK 3: Bella stood at attention as Captain Garlake was addressing the troops. Both of the session had gone well for the Marines, but Bella was surprised with how well the Yellow Fleeters did. Granted, they weren't up to Marine standards, but with more training, they could nearly match them. The problem that Bella saw with Security forces is that they had to show restraint most times, so their actions, were hesitated. Once they committed, they were good, but that initial hesitation of trying to use diplomacy before phasers meant that they were mostly reactive.

Right now, All the marines were in Holodeck 3 with Security and Engineers in Holodeck2. When the sim ran, they would all be merged into one program, having both holodecks linked. They would be in Alpha Shift conditions, which meant that Bella would be in the workout facility or the Armory... deployment was random, but each marine should be some place that made sense. No one should end up in the First Shirt's bedroom... no doubt though that several marines, including the Captain, would like that.

"...against the Two-Five!" Captain Garlake finished, raising a fist in the air as the Marines responded with the unit's storied motto.

"Retreat, Hell!"

Storr smiled as he hopped down from the cargo crate and alternated between slapping Marines on the back, shaking a hand or giving a quick, encouraging word. They had done well, nearly as well as he would like given their still disjointed nature. It would take some time to work through the storming-norming-performing team-building model but they were definitely on the right track, especially since some had just met each other less than 24 hours ago. It was the nature of Marines, however, to immediately have many things in common and to quickly coalesce into a team. It was necessary, too; all too often, disparate units had to band together in defensive or ambush actions when the original plan had gone pear-shaped.

The Marine CO approached his First Shirt with a smile. "Not too bad, given the circumstances, though I wouldn't have thought that the Fleeters would have managed to shut down the reactor. I suppose they paid for it, though." The Afrikaner had paid himself as well, given the sizeable bruise on his left temple from a blind-corner run-in with two security members, though in Storr's hallmark phrase 'you should see the other guy!' still applied.

Bella had stood quietly as Garlake addressed the Marines. Men wouldn’t have been the correct term… and neither would Humans. This squad was made up of several genders/no genders and more than a handful of species. When he had finished with his speak and building up the squad, Bella noted that there was less than 30 seconds left before the mission started. Enough time for a final check, not enough time for any distractions to undermine Garlake’s speech. Bella noted the tactic and would ask if it was deliberate after the sim.

“This should be interesting. I was surprised by how well they did. Most of the fleeters I’ve encounter would have shot themselves in the foot by accident when they had to fight. It will also be good to keep an eye on the two groups after sim. Maybe have a joint celebration. I know in the last sim, it got a little physical and nasty on both sides. I don’t want that lingering around.”

He shrugged. "True. As much as either of us don't want to admit it, we have different roles though still depend on the other to save our bacon if and when the time comes." Just as he finished, he heard the Bajoran start announcing the beginning of the final phase of the simulation. He had established three 8-hour shifts for the Marine force (Alpha, Bravo, Gamma) and he took Bravo so that he would straddle both the day and night shifts in order to both be available to the most amount of his men. Depending on when during Alpha shift Benj started, Storr would be either in his quarter or the gym. Given that all the other Marines had input their best-guess as to location during the shift, he knew it would take them approximately 5-7 minutes before the initial wave would arrive.

"So, your place or mine?" Captain Garlake said, egging his First Shirt on as he poked Bella in the side with a wink, not giving her enough time to mount any verbal response before the holodeck reset and not-so-ceremoniously dropped Storr on the sparring mat in the Marine gym. The room was bathed in a sickly red light and three other Marines, dressed like him in PT gear, were getting their bearings before standing to their feet.

“Well there is this fleeter girl…” was all that Bella could get out before the timer dropped to zero and she materialized in the workout room.

"Red Alert....Red Alert...Intruders, Deck 16." the artificial computer voice coolly reported. The Marine facilities were wedged between the Deuterium fuel tanks and ship's weaponry on Deck 13 in order to take advantage of the central location of the ship, so it should only take them three minutes or so to make it to ME. Assuming that the turbolifts were operational...and that was a big assumption.

----

Lt. Tora rematerialized on the bridge of the Vindex. “Sir, we have intruders in Main Engineering.” Benj looked down at the readout. “Scramble squads 2 and 6 to intercept. Alert 3 and 5 to secure Armory and bridge.” Even though Benj knew where the intruders would be, in a real simulation, you didn’t throw all your men at one location and leave the others vulnerable. He issued his orders and grabbed his phaser rifle from the bridge cache. Then he took the turbolift down to meet up with 2 Squad. Together, they approached Engineering.

The intruding force was a mixture species and an assortment of weapons. They charged Engineering with a loud roar.

The engineers were holding up admirably when Storr and the other three arrived, helping trap the intruders between them and setting up a withering crossfire. The Marine signaled to Soren with the previously-briefed hand sign to begin covering the Marines so that they could flank the intruders.

Himmel nodded and rolled over to his nearest personnel. He ordered his engineers, directing them where to lay down rounds, "Put some suppressing fire over there and cover our Marines."

Just as the four Marines began moving, the whole ship seemed to shake as the right bulkhead seemed to bend and tear, Captain Garlake clearly seeing the twinkling of stars between the stressed hull fragments. "Hull breach!" he yelled over the hideous roar of oxygen being sucked into the cold vacuum and the sound of metal screamed as it rent and finally gave way with thunderous snaps. Grabbing the nearest engineering console, the Marine CO looked around as everyone, Starfleet or not, was scrambling for anything to grab a hold of until the internal dampener field or emergency hull stability system could come into place. At least, he hoped it would.

The simulation acted like the ship and within a few seconds a force field sealed off the breach. As it did a squad of Security officers arrived from the other side of Engineering. They were armed with Pulser Phaser Rifles and wearing typical Security Uniforms. Without a word, they took up positions… and began to fire on the Engineers and Marines. At the same time from the level above, another group of Security Officers appeared and fired down on the Engineers and Marines from above.

The Afrikaner missed a handhold and was sliding rapidly towards the tears in the Vindex's hull before the ship seemed to suddenly right itself and a shimmer of gold replaced the blackness beyond the shredded silver of the hull outside Main Engineering. Inertia is an ugly thing, however, and Storr continued several more feet (though, thankfully, at a less rapid pace) along the floor before coming to a stop behind a toppled stack of crates holding who-knows-what of engineering parts. Shaking his head, he took a knee and performed a quick LACES check (Liquid, Ammo, Casualties, Equipment). Usually a quick check for small elements on patrol, he found it helpful to review at breaks in contact to make sure his mind was in the right place. They were aboard ship and not rucking through the jungle of Proxima VII so carrying potable water was not applicable at the moment. A quick look at his phaser power supply gauge showed 2/3 charge...while he normally had a spare energy pack clipped to the left of his belt or three spares on a drop-leg holster, it was still more than enough to continue to repel boarders. Taking a quick survey of the room, he saw at least two engineers down but was unsure of their status; no Marines were injured. Finally, specialty equipment. As the Marine CO began wishing that he had a few pulse grenades or even just a phaser rifle, he saw a squad of security officers arrive behind him and start taking up firing positions. He smiled, despite the fact it wasn't Marines reinforcements. *The calvary...*. He didn't finish the thought before the container above him began turning into slag, it being the target of one of the newly arrived phaser rifle-toting turncoats.

"Frack!" he uttered as he fired-for-effect in their direction, scrambling to try and use the container to shield him from both the dominated Starfleet security and the invading members. It was a poor position to be in and one in which he had had the intruders in only moments ago. *Figures*.

Lt. Tora and his squad was rounding the corridor to Main Engineering when he saw a squad of Security officers approaching Main Engineering. Something about them was off and it took a second to notice… Security didn’t have any Bolians in it. These were invaders. Without a word, Benj motioned to his squad and they took up positions.

“Stop right there”, was all that he was able to get out of his mouth as the fake squad turned and fired on their position. Benj, pushed himself to the wall at the bend of the corridor and returned fire. He had programmed the attackers to be competent and accurate… not superhuman, but definitely not mindless drones. The fire intensified as Ensign Carter grabbed one of his flash grenades and tossed it down the corridor. As the flash went off, Benj and his squad stepped out, concentrating their fire. As the light dissipated, the fake squad was on the ground. Benj stunned all of them just for good measure before continuing on to the Main Engineering.

There were only three dominated Starfleet security on Captain Garlake's level though five more occupied the high ground on the upper deck. While the three would be easier to neutralize, the five up top were raining literal death down on him, the engineers, and...where on Betazed's Bouncing Betties was the Vindex's security crew? *Blerrie Fleeters.* Storr scowled and whistled over to Bella to get her attention; silence was not golden in a firefight and communication was key. Who cared if you were yelling when the phaser blasts were flying on the two-way firing range?

"You've got the better shot so shoot out those support beams!" he belted before firing back at the intruders firing at them from behind.

“Copy that!”, yelled back Bella. She ducked down again to avoid a phaser blast and then popped up to take the shots. Years of training, Marine and otherwise, had prepared her for combat. She raised her phaser rifle by instinct and sighted in the first support. She squeezed the trigger several times, unleashing three blasts into the support on the right. Without hesitating, she turned slightly and within seconds the other support on the left crumbled. The upper balcony with the squad on it buckled and collapsed. The tear of metal was loud and the catwalk slammed down against the wall.

The battle wasn’t over yet. While most people would stop and watch, Bella half rose from her position and began to fire on the bodies that were falling, taking out two of them before the squad on the floor fired at her. She ducked back down behind the rapidly deforming containers and checked her weapons charge. Still had enough.

The collapse was spectacular, with metal twisting and bodies flying from their elevated positions to the ground below. While is wasn't a long fall, it was enough to daze them and it's all Storr needed. He unsheathed his knife and crouched before sprinting towards the landed intruders, slipping the blade between the shoulder and neck of two before taking cover again. Three to go.

Soren and his Engineers remained in a defensive position as the Marines and Security personnel attacked the enemy. Himmel was stressed by the hull breach and thought to himself, thankfully this is not real or else this would be quite the mess to clean up.

As Benj reached Main Engineering, the scene inside played out in front of him. There was damage, to be sure, with one of the catwalks having collapsed. The Warp Core was still intact and it looked like the Marines and Engineers had the advantage. As they were about to enter, Ensign Carter gave a yelp and went down under concentrated phaser fire. Benj threw himself into the open corridor of ME. Behind him, a squad of almost 10 intruders were running, as if by last ditch effort to take Main Engineering.

=/\= COMPUTER ERECT A LEVEL 10 FORCE FIELD AROUND THE INTRUDERS.=/\=

As the computer complied the first row of intruders slammed into the invisible wall, bouncing back into their comrades, halting their progress. Then they were obscured as the intruders opened fired on the force field. The field began opaque with so many hits. It was obvious that Benj had bought them some time, but not much.

Storr winced as hot metal melted and sprayed from the bulkhead just above him, showering the Marine CO and two engineers with molten red pellets. Even though the holodeck safety protocols were in place, your brain didn't know that and responded accordingly. Looking around, the shot came from one of the last intruders on the main level and Captain Garlake squeezed off a phaser shot which leveled the Bolian behind the main engineering "pool table". Rising from his kneeling position but still in a low crouch, Garlake shuffled over to Lieutenant Soren.

"It seems that we have the main section cleared, my good German friend. As this is your home and not mine, what do we do next?" he asked, jerking a thumb over Bella's shoulders and towards the forcefield that was already being degraded by withering phaser fire from the opposite side.

With the last of the intruders taken care of in Main Engineering, Bella turned her attention to the force behind the force field. "I say we push the gravity up in the enclosed area by a factor of 10. That will crush them to the floor and make it hard for them to breath. They should pass out in a minute or so and give us some prisoners to interrogate."

Meanwhile, Benj was taking out two of his last stun grenades and he activated them. The computer indicated that the field would fail in 3 seconds. He rolled the grenades to the base of the force field where they stopped. The shield went down and the intruders surged. As the pack was just passing the grenades, they went off, stunning the middle of the back and disorienting the others. That's when the remaining security teams started to fire stun blasts into the mix of bodies.


------

Marine Captain Garlake stood to the side of the large whiteboard in the Marine barracks briefing room, marker in one hand and the other pointing to a graphical representation of main engineering. While they had much more advanced technologies at his disposal for the debrief, he preferred the physical marker-and-board that he could erase and redraw without having to go through a number of menus, screens or options. The downside, however, was that he was a small-unit tactics professional, not an artist, so the boxes and stick men were rough approximations, to say the least (though they did garner a few snickers and helped keep morale up, so there was a positive side to it as well).


"...and that brings us to the end of the simulation. So, as we can see, there were some bright spots, some new relationships built and techniques utilized but there were also some glaring holes in our deployment and utilization of cover or flanking fire. Who has the first question or comment? We're not leaving until we get two." The briefing room was standing-room-only due to the addition of the security and engineering members but it made Garlake proud to know that the Marine facilities were being used for their intended purpose and not simply pencil-whipped pre or post mission planning.

Lt Tora had chosen to stand off to the side against the wall, opposite the Marine Captain during the briefing. "I will say, that we definitely showed progress, but we need to have these a bit more. Like Captain Garlake stated, there were some obvious holes in our protection of the target, but also in our protection of each other. We need to work together more... to trust each other more. The more we work together, the more intuitive we will be in anticipating each other's actions.

Storr nodded. The Bajorran was correct and it was something that the Marines and Security team members could definitely work on...it would have definitely helped in this exercise, to say the least.

"I like it," the Marine CO replied with a grin. "Anyone else?"

Soren provided his two cents, even though he did not have much to provide as far as strategy, "I think the circumstances we faced were definitely a worst case scenario. The simulation is helpful moving forward, because since we already dealt with the worst of it, anything else will probably be far simpler," He paused and gave a little smile, "says me."

Bella agreed that this had been a worthwhile exercise, but now it was cutting into her workout time... something that she did not like to miss. Hopefully, they will wrap up soon, she thought.

Benj nodded and tapped a few things on his PADD as part of the debriefing wrap up. Not only did these exercises help keep Security and Marines on their toes, it help to bleed off some of the excess energy that the groups may have. Better on the holodeck than in the lounge, thought Benj. Looking at the time, he had just enough of it to finish his report and give the evaluations to Commander T'Mia. "I think that we can wrap this up as a successful joint venture... one of many, hopefully", he said looking at the marines and then to Captain Garlake. "Thank you everyone for your commitment in helping to defend the Vindex. Our next simulation will probably be a boarding action on the Renown. Dismissed."

The Security Officers stood up and began to make their way back to their assigned duties, though a few of them stopped off to talk to a few marines. If anything, some comradery had been built between the two groups. That was something that they would definitely need in the upcoming missions.

 

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