USS Nimitz

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Business as (Un)usual

Posted on Mon Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:47am by Lieutenant JG Korvin M'Rowl
Edited on on Mon Aug 19th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

Mission: Aftershock
Location: Deck 12, Security Briefing Room Alpha
Timeline: 1130 Hours, Day 1
Tags: Korvin, Lilith, Security

ON

"Morning people," Korvin strode into the briefing room looking, like rather most of the rest of his team, happy but a bit tired. "Everyone grab a cup of coffee and let's get started."

The small knot of half a dozen people clustered around the replicator in the back of the room made room as the newest arrival heaved himself over and ordered a raktajino. Everyone waited while he took the all important first drink. They'd learned early on that he wasn't really fully sentient until he'd gotten a little something in him. The effect was also, truth be told, fairly entertaining to watch as his ears perked up and his tail gained a bit more life. "Aaaah. That's better. Alright, gather 'round." Korvin gestured for his people to follow him as he moved toward the large table that dominated the center of the room.

"Okay, so welcome to day shift. Everyone awake?" The response he got was a muted mixture of slightly sleepy affirmatives and mild grumbles. "We've got a lot of things on our plate today. Chief wants us to do some preventative maintenance on the ventral turrets and then we've got some training to do. Shouldn't be too-" The Caitian cut off as the lights in the room flicked and abruptly died. Silence reigned for about thirty seconds, broken at length by an irritated 'mrow' from the head of the table. "Right... wait here." The distinct pad-pad-pad sound of Korvin walking was followed moments later by his forcing the inoperative door open. Hushed voices came from the equally pitch-black room nearby and moved off beyond out of earshot.

"Don't any of you steal my coffee now," a woman's voice deadpanned prompting a round of chuckles.

"I knew this coffee tasted too sweet." A male voice responded.

"Wellis is that you? I swear if the lights come on and you're drinking from a "World's Best Petty Officer" mug, you're gonna be cleaning quantum warheads with a plasma torch and a toothbrush." The laughter at the table drowned out any possible retort the crewman might have had. Further conversation was cut off by the sudden intrusion of a shaft of light from a handheld beacon.

"Ah, there's my band of merry, not quite sufficiently caffeinated men," Korvin grinned. Even in the dark the men and women at the table could see the phaser rifles slung over his back and held in his free arm. He set the light down and began to take the charge packs out of the weapons, laying them down one by one on the center of the conference table. "The whole section has lost power, so we're going to have to change our plans just a bit however this is a perfect opportunity to play one of my favorite games."

"Games?" a solid looking Bajoran frowned slightly. "What kind of game does one play with phaser rifles in the dark?"

"I'm glad you asked that question, Hovath," Korvin flashed the man a fangy smile. "So as you can see here are six mark three compression phaser rifles, the current infantry weapon of choice in Starfleet. And here..." He paused for a moment to fish around in one of his pockets, producing a slightly crumpled bill. "... is fifty credits. Whomever can field strip their weapon, put it back together and perform a proper functions check the fastest wins. Go on, everyone grab a rifle."

"What's the catch?" asked the woman who had been joking around earlier.

In response Korvin just winked, reached out and flicked off the beacon plunging the room into utter darkness once again. "Why, you have to do it blind of course. Ready.... GO!"

The room became a flurry of clatters as half a dozen phaser rifles were broken down, stripped of their essential components and rebuilt entirely by touch at breakneck pace. Korvin's ears twitched this way and that, listening to breathing patterns and the occasional bit of muttered invective. The game was fun, of course and the fifty credits offered ample incentive to perform but what this little exercise was really about was knowing your rifle so well that you could break it down in your sleep. Most marines could do it a couple of months into basic. Starfleet tactical personnel - while technically expected to be proficient in infantry combat techniques - had other things to worry about. Maintaining ship scale weapons of any type was not a job for the uneducated and operating them proficiently required still another set of specialist skills. Still, the basic philosophy of knowing your gear inside and out was one Korvin heartily espoused and he'd use any way he could to encourage it among those who worked under him. As a bonus, this let him identify those on his team who might need a little extra help.

A series of high pitched beeps sounded out in the darkness. "Sounds like we have a winner," Korvin flicked the light back on and shined it in the direction of the noise. The beam revealed a blonde haired human woman in her early thirties. "Aha, Chief Petty Officer Devereux. I thought as much. Well done, Lilith." He handed her the bill which she pocketed. "Alright. Get these rifles back to the armory, grab some hand beacons. Wellis, Cain and Hovath, you're on turrets six and seven. Just basic checks and EPS maintenance okay? Actually, Marcus, you go with them too and supervise. Caleb and Lilith, you're with me on eight, nine and ten."

There was a general murmur of assent as Korvin people started to file out of the room toward the armory. "Korvin, a moment if you don't mind, sir?" Lilith said as she handed off her rifle to Wellis.

Her superior made a face at 'sir' that she couldn't see very well because of the poor lighting, but let it pass. "Sure, come on, we'll walk and talk," The Caitian led his senior NCO out into the corridor and toward the nearest section with functioning lights and turbolifts. "What's on your mind?"

As the senior noncom in on the team, it was normally Lilith's job to assist the officer nominally assigned to run it as well as serve as an experienced guide and mentor. It was a position for which she was well qualified after twelve years in the fleet, all of them in the tactical field. Unfortunately for her, Korvin was not the usual fresh faced Lieutenant Junior Grade with only a few years under his belt. His total time in service actually exceeded hers and if one counted his non-Starfleet work, exceeded hers by a very significant margin. She'd found this over the course of the last several weeks to be both a boon and a curse. On the one hand, he was intimately familiar with things a less experienced officer might struggle with. On the other hand, it effectively transformed her job from preventing screw ups by someone who did not know what he was doing to the much more difficult task of preventing screw ups by someone who knew exactly what he was doing. Couple that with his casual quirks and his vague relationship with procedure and it wasn't hard to see why there were days when she didn't know if she admired the man or wanted to throttle him. At least working with him was seldom boring, even if occasionally headache inducing. And he did have a great respect for noncomissioned officers, having been one himself. That was a plus.

"Wait... where's Nikki?" She glanced at the emitter clipped to Korvin's belt. Over the past several weeks she and the rest of the team had grown used to the AI's constant manifest presence during their work shifts. At Korvin's encouragement, some had even begun to engage her after hours. Lilith had found her to be a surprisingly good tongo partner.

"Oh she'll be joining us soon. When I asked her how things were this morning she informed me that... purrrrrrr, how did she put it? Ah that 'ongoing efforts to assist in isolating the cause of our power fluctuations were utilizing most of her computational resources.'"

"She's busy, eh?"

"Mmmhmmm. She said she'd join us when she had some time, and she sounded as though she expected to."

"I see. Uh, anyway, I was wondering what was up with the switch to double shifts?"

"Murrrrrrrr. Well you know these power fluctuations we've been having for the last couple of days? The Chief of Security wants to make sure that it doesn't impact our tactical readiness. The power drops aren't too problematic but you know as well as I that a lot of the components in our weapons systems are sensitive to sudden surges, particularly in the targeting arrays. I get the sense that they're trying to get a jump on the issue, you know, take care of the problem before it becomes a problem."

"And changing us to days?"

Korvin shrugged. "The rotation is still kind of up in the air, but I'm given to understand that we'll probably be switched back to third shift when Engineering gets this problem under control, which I hope they do soon."

"I see." Lilith ran a hand through her close cropped hair, a mannerism she shared with her superior to the point that some of the team joked that they must be somehow related, physically impossible as that was. "So what's the plan? More upgrades?"

"Nope, those are pending approval from the chain of command."

"I thought you hated paperwork," Lilith half turned to give Korvin a bemused look.

"I do and I think most of it is silly and unnecessary. A cruel joke perpetrated by a capricious deity who had only read about humor in poorly translated informational tracts, if you will. But..." He trailed off and sighed. "... this request came down from top brass and there's no reason to antagonize them, so paperwork it is."

"Oh... I guess that's..." She wanted to say unusually tactful and that was in part true, but his flippant tendencies and liberal use of sarcasm aside, he wasn't that difficult to get along with. Certainly, she'd worked with worse.. "... prudent." She finally finished.

"I thought so, yes. And hey, if brass likes 'em we might get some extra manpower when they ask for round two. For now, though, we're on preventative maintenance and training. I've got some precision phaser drills I'd like to run the team through today assuming we can find a working tactical console to run the sim on."

"That's a bit above the listed duties of most of our team," Lilith frowned.

"Yeah, that's true, but I want them to know it anyway. Hell, Lilith, eventually I want them to be able to do everything I can do."

"Why's that?"

"Same reason we install redundant hardware on star ships. If one of us goes down, it needs to not impair the ship. One day Wellis - Spirits of Hearth and Hunt forbid - may be the only thing standing between the ship and assimilation by the Borg."

The image conjured by the notion of the fresh faced, jittery Trill facing down a Borg cube made Chief Devereux want to laugh. She only partly suppressed the urge.

Korvin grinned at her in the half light. "Yeah, yeah, I know, not incredibly likely, but you get the idea. One day you or I may be down or out of contact. We've got over thirty years of combined service between us, Lilith. We've learned a lot of things and we'd be remiss to not pass on as much of it as we can while we have the chance."

"Now you sound like a noncom, sir."

"Old habits die hard," he laughed as they reached the turbolift and stepped inside. "Any more questions?"

"Yeah. How fast can you break down and reassemble a phaser rifle?"

Korvin gave her a smile that can only be described as predatory as the doors slid shut.

OFF

 

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