NCC - 86105
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How do you solve a problem ...?

Posted on Sat Sep 14th, 2013 @ 8:38am by Lieutenant Horatio Hawke & Lieutenant JG Ela sh'Leksa & Ensign Marcus Reilly & Senior Chief Petty Officer Clancy O'Hara

Mission: Remnant Part 1
Location: Main Shuttlebay

Horatio marched into the shuttlebay and was pleased to see that the three others were already there waiting for him. Lieutenant sh’Leksa, Ensign Reilly and Chief O’Hara were all standing in front of a Type 11 shuttlecraft with its aft hatch open.

“Good,” Horatio said, clasping his hands together. “I’m glad you’re all here. Chief, is the shuttle ready?”

O’Hara nodded and smiled, “Ready to go, sir.”

“Excellent! Thank you, Chief.” He turned to sh’Leksa and Reilly, the latter of whom looked a little confused while the Andorian retained her usual emotionless expression. “You two,” he began, then let the silence linger a moment. “I have a special training exercise for you.”

Sh’Leksa and Reilly exchanged a glance, then quickly remembered they hated each other and looked back at Horatio.

It looked like sh’Leksa was about to say something, but Horatio cut her off. “When I was an ensign in the USS Venture, my CFCO was fond of a particular training exercise. It’s a variant on one that you would have passed in the academy, but with some of his own tweaks and … re-interpretations. Now, Captain Sirak has graciously shared his old program with me and now I’m going to make use of it.

“You are both about to be locked in this shuttle and you will run the program,” he continued. “I fully expect you to fail at least the first couple of attempts, so don’t be disheartened. But, you will not be leaving that shuttle until you have passed the simulation. I don’t care if it takes ten minutes or ten hours, you two will be locked in that shuttle until you pass the simulation. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir,” sh’Leksa said curtly.

“Aye, sir,” Reilly said, sounding a little irritated.

Horatio nodded and looked the two officers up and down. They stood rigidly at attention, like good officers should, but he could see that they were not happy. Good. He wanted that. If he was the target of their frustration, it just might make them join forces, at least temporarily. Every little bit helped.

“Now,” he said. “Get in there. Chief O’Hara will remain here and monitor the simulations. He has direct orders from me to not allow you out of that shuttle unless you safely complete the program. There will be no briefing other than to say that if you don’t work together, you will be in there an awfully long time. Are there any questions?”

“What’s the program?” sh’Leksa asked.

“You’ll find out,” Horatio replied. He looked at Reilly to give him the chance to ask a question. The ensign didn’t flinch and didn’t move to ask. “Good. Get on board the shuttle. Your first attempt begins in two minutes.”

With that, Horatio turned on his heel and left the shuttlebay without looking back. O’Hara would take care of things from there. He walked to the nearest turbolift to head up to the bridge; he had to cover sh’Leksa’s watch on the bridge while she was in this simulation. He hoped it was worth it.

As the turbolift hummed away, he thought about what he was doing. He remembered being put through the simulation back in the Venture and thinking Sirak was an ass for making him and the others do it, but the Vulcan had good reason for it. It forced them to work together. He ran his plan by Sirak when he asked for the program and was pleased when the captain said that it was an ‘excellent’ idea.

The simulation itself was pretty routine. At that moment, sh’Leksa and Reilly would find themselves on final approach to a low-orbit space station orbiting a K-class planet. Pretty simple. But about five hundred metres from their dock, all hell would break loose. Sirak had crafted the program in such a way that it was impossible for a single pilot to get out of the situation alive, but two working together had a better shot. Even then, the odds were stacked against them.

When Horatio and his partner – another ensign named Manning – were thrown into Sirak’s deep end, it had taken them almost two hours to get out of that shuttle. Horatio and Manning worked well together, though. So Horatio wondered how long it would take two pilots that are just as likely to kill each other in that shuttle as survive the simulation.

Time would tell. But how much time?

Six hours passed before Ensign Deakin came along for her watch on the bridge, relieving Horatio from covering sh’Leksa’s watch. As he left, he checked in with O’Hara only to be told that they still hadn’t completed the simulation. “They’re on their thirteenth attempt now, sir,” O’Hara had said.

Maybe this was a bad idea, Horatio thought. Maybe he was just going to make things worse by locking them up like this? How could he get them out of this and save face? The only thing worse than them continuing to be at each other’s throats would be him spectacularly failing to address the issue. It would probably result in some kind of reprimand and he could kiss his dreams goodbye; there’s no way anybody who fails like this gets to command a starship!

Doubt was starting to drown his thoughts when his commbadge chirped again. “O’Hara to Hawke!”

“Go ahead, Chief,” he said, a hint of hope in his voice.

“They’re coming out of it, Lieutenant!” O’Hara said, unable to contain his excitement. “You should get down here.”

The smile stretched across Horatio’s face and he couldn’t help but let out a celebratory “Yes!” at the news. “Thank you, Chief, I’m on my way!”

He redirected the turbolift to the shuttlebay and entered just as the shuttle’s aft hatch started to open. Sh’Leksa and Reilly appeared a moment later, both looking relieved and grinning almost as much as Horatio was. Even the Andorian was smiling!

Horatio stood with his hands behind his back and tried to calm himself. He was very excited and proud of his pilots, but he couldn’t let them see that too obviously.

“Lieutenant!” Reilly exclaimed, beaming with a weary excitement. “I bet you guys on the Venture hated that Sirak fella!”

“He can certainly design a difficult simulation,” sh’Leksa added.

They sounded almost chummy, Horatio noted. “Congratulations on getting through it,” he said. “What did you think?”

The Andorian spoke first, “It was extremely challenging, sir,” she said. “But I must commend Ensign Reilly on his aptitude and his … lateral thinking.”

Reilly beamed. “Thank you, Lieutenant,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without your cool head in a crisis, though.”

They were exchanging complements! This could not have gone better!

“Very good,” Horatio said. “I trust that you both now understand why I put you into that simulation?”

They looked at each other again and nodded. “Yes, sir,” they said in unison.

“Excellent,” Horatio said and let his smile return. “I’m proud of you both. Good work. Now, get some rest and I’ll see you at team meeting in the morning.”

“Aye aye, sir!”


Lieutenant Horatio Hawke
Chief Flight Control Officer

Lieutenant (j.g) Ela sh’Leksa (NPC)
Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer

Ensign Marcus Reilly (NPC)
Flight Control Officer

SCPO Clancy O’Hara (NPC)
Shuttlebay Manager
USS Endeavour


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