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Posted on Mon May 29th, 2017 @ 3:07am by Lieutenant Victor Alexander

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Deck 4, Armory
Timeline: MD 84; 0600

Victor finished his final touches on his hair as he nodded into the mirror in satisfaction. He spent more time than he cared to admit in front of the mirror with his hair gel every morning--but the result was always worth it. He smiled at himself as he put away his hair gel and calmly walked out of his quarters to make the very short walk to the armory.

The Security Chief had specifically lobbied the quartermaster for quarters right across from the primary armory on the ship. It wasn't mere convenience, but strategically important to the Security Chief in the event of an emergency. While he had enough armaments in his own quarters to start a war on a small moon, it was always best to be prepared.

Victor entered his access code on the armory door panel as he took in a deep breath. Today was the day he would be re-calibrating his beloved phaser compression rifle for the first time in months. He had been looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. As the doors hissed open, Victor's eyes widened at the sight of the bulky, muscular figure of an older gentleman fidgeting with a phaser rifle. After a few moments, Victor recognized the man as the ship's Master at Arms, the senior most enlisted security officer on the ship.

Hearing the door hiss, the Master Chief turned his head to the door initially with a scowl. All the junior enlisted knew not to disturb the chief during his morning armory routine, ensuring that all of the weapons had been perfectly calibrated the evening before. An expression of shock filled the usually stoic man's face as he saw the rank pips on Victor's collar. He knew that the new Security Chief had come aboard, but hadn't had an opportunity to meet him yet. Putting two and two together, Derek quickly flew up out of his seat into attention.

"SIR!," the Master Chief belted out in a formal intonation as he looked out in a thousand-yard stare, "Master Chief Petty Officer Derek Nelson, Master of Arms, at your service SIR!"

Victor blinked a couple of times as he was caught off guard by the formality exhibited by the experienced NCO in front of him. After a few moments of awkward silence, the Security Chief chuckled as he approached the man and gave him a firm pat on the back.

"At ease, Master Chief!" Victor said in a warm but firm tone as he took the console next to the senior NCO, "I'm glad we ran into each other. Please, take a seat and let's get to know each other better."

Derick nodded instinctively as he took his seat, "Thank you sir," he managed to get out as he awkwardly looked over his controls. He wasn't used to making small talk and rarely had to do so. It was rare that he ran into a superior officer, much less on a one-on-one basis. The thought of being in the same room as his boss alone made him nervous as he started to sweat, pondering what his next move should be.

After several more seconds of silence, Victor sensed the man's anxiety. How interesting he thought to himself inwardly. Here was a man, perhaps three times his size. The man's forearm was probably more built than Victor's rather athletic arms, and yet the man was intimidated by Victor simply because of his rank and position. People are interesting he thought to himself as he slapped the console.

Derick jumped up in shock at the sound of the console's thud as he turned to face Victor.

Victor's expression turned from one of cockiness to concern.

"Uh, sorry," Victor said as he turned to grab his compression rifle, "Didn't mean to startle you, Master Chief."

"No sir, no need to apologize," Derick managed to mutter out as he turned and grabbed his own rifle he was working on, "I'm sorry sir, I'm not the best at small talk."

"Oh really?" Victor replied with a tone of feigned surprise as he started breaking apart his rifle, "That's alright Master Chief, we all have our strengths and weaknesses."

"Yes sir," the Master Chief muttered in agreement as he started dis-assembling his own rifle.

"Actually, I'm glad we ran into each other," Victor stated sincerely as he removed the rifle's phaser coil, "I wanted to go over the Security Department's drilling schedule and get your overview about the Department's status."

The tension slowly left Derick's body as his fists, muscles, and facial expression loosened. As socially awkward as he could be, talking about his job took the weight of the world off his shoulders.

"Yes sir," the Master Chief replied in a calmer tone as he turned to face his new boss, "The Department is in good shape, though there is always room for improvement. All of our Security staff meet or exceed Starfleet guidelines for marksmanship, hand to hand proficiency, tactical training, and security awareness. 70% of our staff scored "Above Average" or higher in all of these categories."

"Very good," Victor said as he nodded in approval as he dis-assembled his compression rifle's scope, "How often are we putting them through various drills?"

Derick's social anxiety was completely washed away at this point as he calmly recited the information requested by his superior, "We conduct ship wide tactical drills for the Security Department on a weekly basis, rotating between those four categories so that we cover each once a month. All the Security officers also conduct group PT thrice a week."

"That's pretty good," Victor said as he removed the trigger assembly and let out a gentle breath over the now exposed phase adapter, "Repetition is key to mastery though. We should be doing more drills."

Derick nodded in sincere approval, "I absolutely agree sir. You can never be over prepared."

"I want all Security personnel to be drilled on 5 random days a week. Four of those days will cover the four areas. The fifth day will alternate between the specialized area of that crewman, if applicable, and then a random selection of one of the four elements."

"Yes sir," the Master Chief replied with an enthusiastic nod, "That will certainly improve performance. It might make some of the rank and file gripe at the overtime, but it'll keep them on their toes."

"No overtime, Master Chief," Victor corrected as he pulled out a small calibrating tool from the armory locker, "All of this is to be done during their regular tour of duties, aside from ship-wide emergency drills."

"It won't be easy to make up for that lost time..." the Master Chief began to object.

"Training is absolutely essential to building vigilance," Victor interrupted as he pulled out a tricorder to calibrate his weapon to just the right setting. "It's the most important part of the job, and we need to do it while they're on duty."

"Aye sir," the Master Chief replied grudgingly, "Previously these were done outside the normal hours though."

"Well I'm not content to ask people to do overtime unless it's needed," Victor replied in a firm, yet diplomatic tone, "You can only get so much blood out of a stone, and I'd prefer to save the blood for when we really need it."

The Master Chief nodded silently. While he didn't fully agree with his new boss, he understood his reasoning. I suppose that'll go down better with the crew he thought to himself as he turned to face the young Lieutenant, admiring the lengths he was taking to calibrate his weapon.

"Very good sir," Derek replied with a nod, "Is that weapon special to you sir?"

Victor lost his focus for a moment as he stared into space, causing the gentle hum of the calibrating tool to fall silent. He smiled as he looked down at the partially disassembled weapon in his hands and nodded.

"This is my Staff Sergeant," Victor replied with a hushed tone, "It once belonged to someone who meant the world to me, and who died with this in his hand in an operation I lead during the Dominion War."

Derek nodded solemnly and leaned over to give Victor a firm pat on the shoulder. In that moment, no words were needed for two experienced warriors to share their thoughts and emotions with each other as they contemplated each other's pain in perfect silence.

"It's a reminder of the responsibility, sacrifice, and duty of command," Victor said as he took in a deep breath, disciplining his mind to hold back the well of emotion deep inside of him, "It's also a reminder of the importance of my duty and why I have to be at the top of my game at all times. My mistakes kill people, my successes save people. This rifle reminds me of that--and the need to constantly be vigilant."

The Master Chief nodded in reply, "Well sir, that lesson is as important as it is painful. Vigilance is our duty, and I will do whatever I can to assist you in making sure that this ship is always ready."

A further silence filled the room as Victor nodded slowly. After a few seconds, the silence was broken by the chirp of Victor's comm badge.

Lieutenant Alexander, please report to the Bridge

Instinctively, the Security Chief hit his comm badge, "On my way," he replied in an uncharacteristically soft voice as he set his compression rifle down.

"Sir, I'd be happy to finish calibrating your weapon if you'd like," the Master Chief offered instinctively as he stood up from his chair.

"Thank you Master Chief," Victor replied as he bit his lip, "I'll come back to it later. I like to do these things myself."

Derek nodded respectfully as he stood at attention yet again, "Understood sir. It was good meeting you sir, and I will set your orders into motion."

"Thank you Master Chief," Victor replied as he broke a small smile, "I look forward to seeing this department's progress in the months ahead."


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