bridge quals: first test
Timeline: a week after bridge quals
Oraxea was nervous. She had been studying during her off hours in the past week, including some holodeck simulations, but would it be enough. Well, she would find out soon enough. She arrived at the holodeck where Commander Quinn was waiting. "I'm ready, commander," she said, even though she didn't feel ready.
The Holodeck had been set up to look like the Bridge of the Eclipse with the Holodeck arch being the turbolift and a holographic crew manning the helm, navigation, communication and science consoles...but currently frozen in place. The main viewer was blank. Cassandra stood in front of the command chair in her signature hands resting on her holster buckle position. "Welcome, Lieutenant," she said. "So pretend I don't know anything about the security/tactical console and give me a quick lesson in what it does," she said as she moved around the command chair and stepped onto the platform. "What are all of these controls for?" she asked, standing off to the side of the console.
Oraxea looked at the controls. It wasn't exactly the way she would configure the station and it looked quite old, but she started explaining. "Here at the left," she started, indicating one part, "you see the phaser array charge status. The phasers in a particular array can only be fired at full power if the array is green and at partial power if it's blue. It won't fire when red. Currently all phaser arrays are green and can be fired. The letters indicate which array it is."
She paused for a second. "Personally I would configure this part to show the readiness status as a small model of the ship," she added, "it's more visual for me that way, but that's everyone's personal choice."
"To continue, next is the fire control and there you can select which target and which array to fire at them. Below are the actual fire buttons to do the actual firing."
"Next part is about the torpedoes," she continued to explain the various parts of the console.
"Computer...run simulation 15 Alpha," Cassandra said and the main viewer came to life, as did the crew members at the various stations. The "ship" appeared to be traveling at full impulse as it cruised through open space. Cassandra moved back down and sat in the Command Chair.
An alarm on Oraxea's console began to beep and her long range sensors lit up.
"Incoming ship," Oraxea reported, quickly checking her console for extra information and also re-configuring the parts she wanted slightly different. "Klingon, 80% probability it's a Vor'cha." A ship slightly weaker than a Galaxy in torpedo power, but a bit more maneuverable and with stronger hull, so they should be able to take more punishment.
"Which direction are they headed?" Cassandra asked.
"They are on a heading of 160/15," Oraxea said, "heading towards us from our port ventral side. We should encounter them in about five minutes. Vor'cha class is also confirmed."
She cursed herself for not thinking about giving the heading, but she thought she recovered nicely by giving the additional information on the ETA.
"On screen," Cassandra said and looked at the main viewer. "Are they acting like they want to intercept us?" she asked.
Oraxea put the ship on screen just to have it seen to turn.
"they do now, commander," Oraxea said, "they are speeding up and have raised shields as well. I suggest we do that as well."
"Do it," Cassandra said. "Comm...hail them."
After a few attempts the comm officer said, "they aren't responding, ma'am."
"Options, Lt. Zoss," Cassandra said. With time and experience, the Lieutenant would already be calculating tactical strategies and options so the Captain wouldn't need to ask.
"Their beam weapons are stronger, but ours have more range and accuracy," Oraxea offered, "I would suggest to try and stay as far away from them as possible to use that to our advantage. Attack pattern... gamma-5 would work well in that regard."
"We could also try to run, as we are faster at warp," she added, not knowing if that was part of the test as well, but she put it out there as an option as Starfleet prided itself on not engaging in combat unless they had to.
Cassandra knew what option she should take to make this a quick and fairly easy test of Zoss's capabilities but she had never run this particular program before so she was curious as to what would happen if she.....
Pursing her lips she said, "helm...25 degrees to starboard. Let's see what they do," and the ship made an easy banking turn to the right.
Oraxea wasn't sure why commander Quinn did that manouvre as that would mask most of their dorsal phaser arrays, although they would be able to use most of their torpedoes. On the screen the Klingon cruiser matched the turn so they still kept coming towards them. While she hadn't been given the order to target the Klingons, she had put in the sequences so she could do so with just a push of a button.
"He will want to keep us in his forward arc," Oraxea said, "as that's where most of his weapons are."
"Go to red alert," Cassandra instructed. "Try and hail him one last time."
The comm officer made another attempt but to no avail. "Still not responding, Commander."
"Helm....back us up about 200 meters," Cassandra instructed. "Lt. Zoss...power up our forward phasers and make ready a firing solution."
She had already made all preparations for doing just that, so quite quickly she announced that she was ready.
"They have also powered up all weapons, commander," she added, noting it on her display.
The Klingon ship fired and the main viewer filled with a bright blue light as the shields absorbed the blast.
"Port ventral shield at 75%," Oraxea reported, "no other damage."
"Target his port nacelle," Cassandra instructed.
"Aye, aye," Oraxea said, while her fingers flew over the console. She had been practicing in the week before this test and the reconfiguration of the console made it easier for her. Not much after the order was given, the beam from the ventral phaser array shot out towards the port nacelle, only to be stopped by the shields, just as theirs had been.
"Do they have a weak spot?" Cassandra asked.
Oraxea's fingers flew over the console.
"It looks like their port ventral shield is fluctuating slightly," she said, "if we can target that we might be able to collapse it."
"Helm.get us into position," Cassandra instructed. "Fire when ready, Lieutenant." Cassandra was pleased with how well Oraxea was doing. Besides the helm, sec/tac could be the most daunting and the young lieutenant was mastering it like a pro.
As soon as the the target area was visible, Oraxea launched a torpedo against the shields. The short range between the two vessels made it very fast and she quickly exploited the temporary gap in the shield with a phaser blast to the port nacelle.
"Their warp capacity is down," she reported. Now they should be able to get away.
"Good job, Lieutenant," Cassandra said, getting to her feet. "Computer...end simulation," she said and the bridge of the Eclipse disappeared leaving only the holodeck's grid lines.
Oraxea was quite happy with how things had gone. While she certainly could have done better, for a non-security officer she thought she had done quite well. She waited to hear if the XO agreed with her or not.
Cassandra walked over to Oraxea and held out her hand. "Anytime you want to man the sec/tac console, just let me know," she said. "There were a couple of minor glitches but nothing that a little more experience won't cure. The key word to remember is anticipation. And that comes from practice and knowing your job. Just like with flying. You need to anticipate your next move before it is needed. No matter what station you work...in a critical situation...anticipating what will be asked of you and having the answer before it is asked is what makes you an effective asset." She shook the lieutenant's hand then said, "I will get with Lt. Ryci and LCDR Casano about setting up a simulation for the Ops and Engineering stations and I'll get back to you. Until then I suggest you study up. And, like I said...anytime you want to put in some practice for sec/tac, let me know."
As Cassandra watched Zoss leave the holodeck she smiled. She loved initiative and Oraxea Zoss was filled with it.
CMDR Cassandra Quinn
Lt.JG Oraxea Zoss
Flight Control Officer