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Those who fail to learn.....

Posted on Thu Sep 7th, 2017 @ 10:02pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Mark Whistler

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Holodeck 1
Timeline: MD 102; 0900

As he left the holodeck with the rest of the Delta shift, Ensign Alan Watkins groaned in agony, rubbing his shoulder. "Did we seriously have to go through that shit? What the hell kind of training was that?" He asked his friend, Matt.

"Not any I've ever seen. Did you see what he did to those holograms? And he won't hesitate to do that in real life?" Matt asked, shaking his head. "How the hell is he even in Starfleet?"

"Damned if I know, but I'm gonna speak to the XO. This isn't right." Alan said. Matt nodded, as several officers stood near to them. "This is Ensign Watkins to Commander Ben-Avram. Sir, I apologise for bothering you, but I was hoping for a moment of your time." Alan said.

Akiva was on the turbolift when the comm came through. He tapped his commbadge. "Commander ben-Avram here. Don't apologize, Ensign. Just state the issue."

"It's Lieutenant Whistler, Sir. We've just had a training session with him...and frankly sir, we're not sure if it's even legal." Alan said, before explaining how the training session was set on a world they hadn't heard of and had them killing people, whilst being told the safeties were disengaged, and how they had seen Whistler essentially dismember holograms and tell them he expected them to show enemies no quarter. "Sir, I get new officers bring new scenarios...but I'm not even sure the Klingon's would think of such a session." Alan explained.

"Was anybody injured?" Akiva asked.

"We've got four people going to sickbay. Nothing life threatening, thankfully, but there could have been." Alan replied.

This was turning into a rather verbose report. "Thank you, Ensign. I will handle this. Ben-Aram out." He tapped his commbadge to sever the comm link.

With a sigh, he stopped the turbolift and gave it new directions. "Deck 10."

When Akiva made it to Holodeck 1, he saw it was still in session. The memory of the man's dagger against his neck flared a phantom tingling that he fought the urge to rub away. He overrode it with his command authorization, then stepped inside.

The holodeck was set on a planet where darkness had fallen, and explosions could be seen nearby. Dead bodies littered the ground, along with skeletons and body parts. The smell of death was in the air, and screams could be heard from what seemed to be an old city.

Currently in ruins, most of the buildings had people using it as shelter or as cover as they attacked others. From a distance, at least thirty people could be seen fighting against what looked like a cross between humans and robots, with very primitive technology. One of the bodies was next to Akiva, a large gash across his neck.

Near the attackers was Mark Whistler. He ran at one attacker, kicking himself off of a wall and landing a blow on the attacker. Without hesitation, he spun around and brought his dagger into the attacker's throat. Pulling it out, the body fell to the ground, just as four security officers opened fire at the attackers. There were cuts on their faces, and parts of their uniform were ripped, but they weren't giving up. As several enemy bodies fell, Mark threw his dagger at one attacker, before leaping up and kicking another in the head as he spun around. Landing, Mark grabbed the attacker, and threw him over his shoulder, sending him to the ground, where one of the officers fired at the attacker, killing him...or her...or it. It was hard to tell.

With the last of the attackers down, the computer beeped, and the whole scenario froze. Mark faced the security officers who were there, ten of them, and nodded. "You handled yourselves well." He complimented. One of the officers looked at him.

"Was this a big battle on Turalek?" He asked, clearly out of breath, and injured from a cut.

"This? This was a supply run. No, the big battles, you're not ready for. Not yet." Mark said. "Get yourselves cleaned up, make sure you get to sickbay and get your wounds looked at. I'm impressed with all of you." He said. He watched as they left, and saw Akiva. "Commander." Mark greeted.

"Computer, end program," Akiva said. The environment collapsed into the gray and yellow checkered pattern of the naked holodeck. He assessed the line of exhausted Security officers making their way to Sickbay to assist the few who were wounded. After the last of them had exited, leaving Akiva alone with Mark, the first officer fixed the security chief with a hard glare.

"What in b'azazel was that?"

"Training." Mark said, ignoring the cut on his arm. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, and he tended to ignore what he called 'small wounds' since they didn't stop him from doing what he had to do. "I assume you do train officers on this ship." He added.

"Training for what?" Akiva folded his arms over his chest. "You're tasked with Security, which is defending the ship on its mission. Last I checked, we left ground-fighting to the Marine Corps. Perhaps you would feel more at home there."

"Training for whatever we find out there. There are times when Marines need backup, or they can't fight. Or maybe we get boarded, and the Marines can't be everywhere at once. Battle may be in two or even five places at once. Security officers were used before Marines, and we don't know what we're facing. It's why they call it the unknown." Mark replied. "You would rather we tell the security officers not to bother training to fight, just sit back and let the marines do all the hard work?" Mark asked. "Hell, why not just give them hot cocoa and let them clock off, let the Marines take over security, I'm sure they'll love that."

Akiva raised a hand in mid-speech. "In point of fact," Akiva corrected, "the Marines predated Security. A MACO detachment was installed on the NX-01 to assist Armory Officer Malcom Reed." Akiva smirked slightly, though his ire had not cooled at all. "I may not be in Security, Lieutenant, but I know my history."

He stepped to the side and held a hand toward the door where the Security personnel had just departed. "Do you mean to tell me that you cannot divine a middle ground between sipping hot cocoa and an all-out ground assault, Mr Whistler?" Akiva felt his voice raise, but he didn't care. "Are you so zine m'tumtam in your head that you cannot adequately train Security personnel to defend a starship without deactivating holodeck safeties in a war scenario?"

Akiva mean-mugged Mark so hard it jerked his chin at an angle. "Choose your next words carefully, Lieutenant."

Mark glared at him. "Read your history again. MACO was only aboard Enterprise because of the Xindi threat. Before that, MACO wasn't aboard. I know my history as well." Mark said. "I have no idea what that means, but let me show you something." He said. "Computer, run program Whistler One Alpha, observation mode only." He ordered.

Akiva noted that the armory officer role from the NX program was different from Starfleet Security, but he let the matter rest. A flash of light changed their surroundings.

The holodeck changed to show them back on the planet they were on before, but this time they were watching people fighting. "I've spent time with Security, and seen how they're trained. I've also seen the results. Under Captain Kirk, people were almost afraid to be in security because people died often. On every ship, even on a routine mission, security forces are unprepared. That isn't the fault of the officers, it's the damned training." Mark said.

He then showed one of the attackers, a boy, no older than eight, covered in blood. "Starfleet likes to pretend that the galaxy can be civilized. It likes to think that people will think like them, and if they don't, they 'encourage' cultures to fall in line with them, in order to join the great Federation." He said. "Look at more recent history. How many people died in the Dominion war? In ground battles, or when the ships were invaded? Millions died because the Jem Hadar were better at battle. We won the war because of a few people who led the war and went beyond their duty. But this...this is what the galaxy is like. Children used in battle. By the time I was eight, my kill count was at least double figures. I woke up every morning wondering how long until I would be in battle. From ten, I had to lead a clan to keep us alive." Mark said. "You want your security officers to follow your book, fine. I'll take my shuttle and leave. You want your officers to be ready for anything? This is what it takes."

Akiva put his hands behind his back and took his own advice. He chose his next words carefully.

"I appreciate your dedication to your duty," he said slowly, "but your duty does not involve offensive measures. I want your men prepared to defuse explosives, to arm, calibrate, and operate our phaser batteries and torpedo launchers, to repel intruders. If you want to add hostage retrieval to your training regimen, then be my guest, but not to the detriment of other Security training. And I most certainly will not have you wasting time and resources on war games--especially with safeties turned off."

He stepped nose to nose with the man. "If I ever hear about a reprisal from today, then you will indeed be leaving the Vindex on a shuttle, Mr Whistler, but you will be bound at the wrists and ankles under armed guard when you do so. Have I made myself clear?"

"Wasting time? You think this is wasting time? No wonder the Federation keeps getting attacked. Starfleet is weak, because it doesn't let itself believe in what the galaxy really is. I'd love to see you last one day in the real universe. Hell, I doubt you'd survive a real training scenario." Mark said.

"You have no idea what's really out there. You know nothing about what we're facing. You want me gone? Go for it. You think I don't belong here? Go to the Captain, or go over her head. Frankly, I don't give a damn. But while I'm here, I'll be running training scenarios based on what we might face out there. War...war never changes. It's always there, people are fighting, and considering the fact that your people weren't ready for the fact that Engineering had been taken over, or able to fight them without hesitation, shows that they're not ready." Mark said.

"As for reprisals, what the hell would I gain? All today has shown is that the officers aboard aren't ready to fight what's out there. They need to be. They need to be ready to face the darkness, because it's coming, and no matter how hard you try to deny it, all hell will break loose eventually. You talk about history, well let's take a look. The Xindi, the Romulans, the Klingons, the Ferengi, the Cardassians, the Breen, the Son'a, the Dominion, the Borg, the Tzenkethi...need I go on? Not everyone thinks the same as you do. I fight so that you and yours can have your peaceful little world, where you don't need to fight." Mark said.

Akiva nodded with indifferent scorn. "I'll take that little tantrum of yours as an affirmative, 'Yes, Sir, I understand perfectly.'" He tilted his head from side to side in mock imitation of Whistler's deep voice. His pitch returned to normal before he continued.

"If you think you're qualified to lead, then you'd better figure out how to follow orders, or you aren't going to teach these men anything except how to get themselves tossed out of Starfleet. If you want to fight an endless war, then go join the Nyberrite Alliance, though I doubt even they would take you. If you remain on this ship, then you will exercise conduct becoming of an officer." He put his finger in Mark's face. "I don't care who you think you are, Lieutenant. You will fall in line, or I will nail you to the wall."

"Take it any damned way you please." Mark replied. "Life is an endless war, and the day will come when you learn that the hard way. On that day, you'll be glad to have people like me around. Until then, do whatever you want to make you feel safe. As for nailing me to the wall..." Mark said, holding up his hands and showing scars. "People have tried that one already. Didn't take."

"Let me put this in terms you can understand," Akiva said crisply. "Computer: delete Program Whistler One Alpha, authorization Ben-Avram-Omega-1, then revoke holodeck access from Lieutenant Mark Whistler, authorization Ben-Avram Echo-Six-Delta-1."

Akiva smirked at the man. "Have a good day, Mr Whistler," he said as he turned and headed toward the door.

"Oh, I always do." Mark replied, walking out of the holodeck. He made his way to his office, and sent a memo to the department, and to the CO, informing them that Security were no longer assigned to away missions, and would be receiving new training orders soon.


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