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Part of USS Sovereign: Behind the Scenes

Combat Simulations ONE

Holodeck Three
March 2401
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“All right, Ensigns,” Ward’s raised her voice to ensure the whole room could hear her, regardless that the junior officers were standing in a two-by-three formation before her. The first two were Ensigns Mizu and Ortiz, then K’Roll and Mazak, and then lastly, Kraten and Lane. “Welcome to your ship combat reevaluation class.”

Lane raised his hand.

Ward let out a small exhale of annoyance, she had anticipated questions but was keen to strict discipline. “Why are you moving in formation, Ensign?”

“I apologize, ma’am, but I thought we had more time for our next reevaluation?” Lane asked.

Ward looked directly at him and then at everyone else. “Correct. But I am the second officer in charge and it is my duty to ensure everyone on board the Sovereign remains efficient.”

“I understand. Again, my apologies ma’am, but if this is what I think it is…why does a nurse need to man a bridge console during ship combat?” Lane asked.

Ward glared at him for a moment then cleared her throat. “You’re an officer of Starfleet and on some occasions, the Command Staff of a starship may become incapacitated. When that happens and you’re on the bridge, you need to think on your feet and be ready to take charge. The lives of your entire crew may depend on it.” Ward explained to everyone.

Lane felt the lump in his throat grow from how anxious he had become from this information and swallowed hard in an attempt to force it back down.

“Right. As your instructor in this reevaluation class, I get to choose your tools and your battlefield.” Ward told them before she raised the small hand-sized padd and began to press a few buttons. Suddenly the hologrid around them changed to a bridge. “Ensigns,” Ward made sure she had their attention. “You are on board a Cheyenne-class starship. The year is 2353 and your ship is in charge of escorting four Federation Freighters with relief supplies to colonies affected by the war with the Cardassians. Get to your assigned stations.”

Everyone broke formation, Lane sat at the coms station and Elidia sat at the science station. Mazak took operations and K’Roll took weapons. The remaining two, on the other hand, stood in the middle staring at each other. Mizu grinned, “You want to take the conn?”

Ortiz shrugged his shoulders. “It doesn’t matter really, I’m sure we’ll get the chance to take turns.”

“Stations,” Ward expressed with more seriousness.

Mizu smirked and winked at Ortiz before she took the helm. Ortiz then walked over to the captain’s chair and sat down. “Ready, ma’am.” Ortiz notified the commander.

“We shall see. Computer, begin the simulation,” said Ward.

Ortiz rested his right arm on the armrest, taking care to avoid any buttons as he leaned into it with his left hand resting on the other. “All stations, report.”

“All quiet on comms,” Lane reported.

“No anomalous readings detected on our flight path,” Elidia reported.

“Weapons and shields are on standby,” K’Roll reported.

“The convoy is on course to our first stop, heading zero-three-zero mark zero-one-five,” Mizu reported.

Mazak was the last to report and he ended up being the one who cause a break in the chatter. Then Mazak turned in his seat to look at Ortiz. “Sensors are detecting three vessels coming in at high warp.”

“Bearing?” Ortiz asked.

Mazak turned back to his displays to sound off. “Bearing two-eight-zero mark four-five.”

Mizu turned in her seat to look at Ortiz. “That’s coming from Cardassian space.”

Ortiz looked at Elidia. “I need a full sensor sweep on our contacts.”

“Allocating all sensors,” Elidia reported before she looked at Ortiz. “We got three Hideki attack crafts inbound, Captain.”

“Red alert!” Ortiz ordered and looked at Lane. “Inform the Cardassians that we are on humanitarian aid.”

Lane tried to make contact but then shook his head after he turned to look at Ortiz. “No response.”

On the main viewer, they watched as three Cardassian Hideki patrol ships dropped out of warp and began to approach them at high speed.

“Their weapons are charged. They’re targeting the convoy!” Mazak reported.

“K’Roll, prepare to open fire,” Ortiz ordered.

“I’m always prepared, Captain,” K’Roll responded as he began to lock phasers and torpedoes on the targets.

“Cardassian ships have opened fired!” Mazak reported, “The convoy has no weapons to defend themselves, Captain.”

Two of the Hideki ships targeted transport-one and fired one beam each, taking the transport’s shields down to 60%. The third Hideki on the other hand was more prepared and targeted transport-four that was further back. It fired it launched a torpedo, inflicting heavy damage that took out the transport’s shields and fired its beam emitter twice, inflicting hull damage to transport-four.

“Transport Four’s hull integrity is down to 60%, Captain!” Elidia reported.

“Damnit. K’Roll, fire at will!” Ortiz ordered.

While Mizu turned the ship to intercept the three Hideki patrol ships, K’Roll locked onto one and fired their weapons. First, he launched a torpedo that struck the first Hideki, and then two phaser beams struck the first Hideki ship and destroyed it. One more phaser beam from the ventral array fired and struck the second Hideki ship.

“One target down. The second target’s shields are down to 40%,” K’Roll reported.

Ortiz looked at him. “Let’s keep that up, shall we?”

“Enemy is firing!” Mazak reported.

The remaining Hideki patrol ships decided to select different targets this time. First, the second Hideki targeted transport 2 and fired two torpedoes and a single shot from its beam emitter. The first torpedo took out the shields and the second torpedo, followed by the beam strike, destroyed transport 2 altogether. The third Hideki did the exact same to transport 3, two torpedoes, and a single beam strike, and the transport was destroyed.

“We lost two of our transports, Captain!” Elidia reported.

“Capacitor charged and launchers loaded. Firing,” K’Roll reported.

“Take out the weakest, then work on the rest!” Ortiz reported.

The two phaser beams lanced out from the dorsal array and struck the second Hideki ship, taking out their shields. Then two more phaser beams from the ventral away struck the second Hideki ship and destroyed it.

Ortiz took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, his attempt to remove the built-up anxiety he had. He then looked at Lane. “Mr. Lane. Open hailing frequencies.”

“Ready, Captain,” Lane replied.

“Cardassian vessel. I am giving you a choice. You took out two of our ships, and we took out two of yours. What we have, are nothing more than relief supplies that need to go to colonies affected by this war, colonies that never asked for this,” Ortiz paused for a second. “They’re innocent and all we want to do is help them. So please, return to your space and let us complete our mission.”

Mazak turned in his seat to look at Ortiz. “The remaining Hideki has powered down its weapons and is charging its warp engines.” They then watched as the last Hideki jumped to warp, heading right back to Cardassian space.

“Computer, pause the program,” Ward’s voice cut through the tension. “Congratulations, Ensigns. You have successfully repelled the enemy. Unfortunately, you lost valuable assets, but that is the cost of war.”

“If only I was faster,” K’Roll growled.

“No,” Ward looked at him. “It does not matter how much our systems have been automated. We are all beings of nature. We make mistakes, but we learn from them. We’re also limited. Our weapons were not as advanced as they were back then, as they are now. But even then, everything comes down to timing. Such as, how long it takes to charge the capacitors or how long it takes to load a launcher. Nothing is done instantaneously.”

“But, if I remember correctly, were we not more technologically advanced than the Cardassians back then?” Elidia asked.

“Doesn’t exclude the fact that they had numbers. Oftentimes, convoys like this one were struck by multiple Hideki or Galor class vessels. They rarely operated alone.” Ward told them. She then licked her lips and placed her hands behind her back. “Take an hour break, then report back here for another session.”

“How many sessions are we going to have?” Mizu asked as everyone got up from their seats and began to head for the door.

“Until I am satisfied that you are all prepared for any outcome,” Ward explained.

“What will our next session be about, Commander?” Mazak asked.

“You’ll see,” Ward grinned.

Comments

  • This was fun to read. Each character gets their moment to shine. I was very curious to see what kind of test it would be and how it would compare with the Kobayashi Maru. I really like this scene as it references a point in history that allows them to make mistakes but also not to be completely flummoxed by the exercise - we get the impression they've got a lot to learn still but they're better than the average bear. I'm looking forward to reading more!

    March 5, 2023
  • This was a very nice read. There was good tension throughout the scene, provided by the test, and we got to see some of the strengths of the characters and how they interacted with each other. It’s nice to see some of the more ‘routine’ training highlighted and reasons given as to why. I particularly liked the line about a nurse manning a bridge console during combat. Looking forward to reading more!

    March 27, 2023