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The Finishing Touch

Posted on 29 May 2017 @ 7:05pm by Lieutenant David Moreau Jr & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Phaser Range
Timeline: MD 3 || 1300 Hours

Lieutenant David Moreau headed down to the Armory with a PADD in one hand and a battered case in the other as the time to test Captain Geisler on the phaser range approached. Once he talked to the Master at Arms and some of the Security personnel stationed there, the bald Security Chief entered and activated the phaser range, then pulled up the records for the last time the Captain had been certified or at least tested.

He remembered that the previous Security Chief had checked him out and that he scored a high grade using the ten point system of floating spheres and fog and decided to step it up a bit for when the man arrived. He selected a level three floater test which displayed the primary department colors and a bright green color which alternated as the spheres moved around in the air until they were ready to be called to use.

With that done, Moreau went over and checked out one Type II phaser and a power cell, two pair of safety goggles and a cleaning kit. All he had to do now was get the Captain certified and two more after him.

Just down the corridor in an adjacent section, the turbolift doors parted, depositing the Captain on Deck Twelve. Harvey had elected to not embark on his usual inspection in the morning, choosing to instead continue to reveal the crew files. Somehow, he'd managed to make it through nearly three hundred of them so far. Were it not for this distraction, he figured he could make it to five hundred before the day was over.

Harvey had reluctantly decided to continue with the phaser training. On one hand, he hadn't picked up a phaser since the moment he last confronted Major Jackson. On the other, it would help him to get to know the new Chief of Security a bit better, especially since Harvey didn't know how well he could trust him.

Turning a corner, Harvey passed through the entrance to the security complex and made his way to the phaser range. He wasn't surprised to find that he and Lieutenant Moreau would be alone. The Captain could just as easily call down Mila to be a casual observer, but there was no way to justify such an action without revealing more than he wanted to. If anything, Harvey would have his own phaser. He'd just have to hope that he could fire first.

"Lieutenant," Harvey greeted.

David looked around when the Captain entered and gave a nod. "Sir," he said. "I hope your record speaks for itself here in the range, Captain. I'd hate to have to contact Lieutenant Di Pasquale and ask if the records in the system are false."

Harvey frowned. "If my record spoke for itself, then I wouldn't have to be in here," he boldly declared. The Captain was most certainly aware of the procedures, and until he had a reason to be on friendly terms with the man, Harvey would do his best to keep his distance, even though Lieutenant Moreau was charged with the responsibility of keeping the Captain safe. Harvey would just have to prove during this session that he was more than capable of brandishing a phaser.

"Actually," Moreau said with a chuckle. "You would be here if your record spoke for itself or not. You said you wanted all the department heads phaser certified and you're the head of all departments, Captain." He gestured towards the terminal. "Go ahead and log out the phaser, Sir and we can get this underway."

The man was trying to remain jovial, Harvey noted. Harvey thought it not odd or unusual, just interesting. He stepped up to the terminal and keyed in his authorization code. He then stepped up to the phaser and picked it up. With the power cell removed from the unit, he checked the interior casing, then the emitter for any obstructions. Satisfied with the results, Harvey inserted the power cell but did not close the phaser. Instead, as this was the phaser range, he awaited the instruction to do so.

The bald Security Chief opened the battered case and pulled the Dominion War phaser out that he had initially offered the Captain for his Ready Room and checked it out before he turned to the Captain to watch him check his phaser out and gave a nod of approval. "Close her up. What do you want to start with, Sir?" he asked. "Setting three, four, five or six?"

As instructed, Harvey closed the phaser and watched the lights come to life. "I have no preference, Chief," Harvey quickly said. "I'll leave it to your best judgment." What Harvey didn't say was that he was expecting Moreau's next action to establish what sort of reputation he wished to strike with the Captain. Choosing a low setting could be an insult to his CO, or selecting a setting too high to truly test the captain's merits and to know immediately their full extent.

Said no Captain ever David thought before he reached for the terminal and selected setting five. "Then we'll go down the middle of the road and take it from there," he said. Immediately ten floating spheres came out and began to swirl around the back of the phaser range. "Your goal is to get at least eight out of ten in under fifteen shots, Sir," he said as he increased the speed and random directions the spheres were going. "Action in five...four...three...two...one!"

With the last call, the spheres began to dart in different directions and heights, and all of them began to fire on Harvey and David at once.

"Middle of the road," Harvey muttered. As the spheres began to float, Harvey couldn't help but wonder if these spheres were somehow set to take him down. For a moment, he closed his eyes, trying to clear his thoughts. It was moments like this that he missed the Dominion War, and in some sense, the Consortium. At least then he knew who the enemy was. Harvey had studied Moreau's profile and had narrowed it down to a fifty-fifty chance. Either the Lieutenant could be trusted. Or...

Harvey opened his eyes and spotted the first sphere. His mind still foggy, he aimed and fired. The first shot went wide, missing the target. Attempting to recover, he squeezed off two more shots, striking one target and then missing another.

Moreau immediately twisted to the side with his upper body to present a lower profile and snapped off a shot, taking out one of the spheres before he was forced to duck down with one hand on the floor as a shot from one of the spheres tried to take his head off. He cast a glance at the Captain and noted that he was one for three and with eight spheres left until the reset. "C'mon, Captain," he encouraged him as he darted to the left away from the Captain as two more shots came his way and a few headed towards Harvey as well. "Seven to go and twelve shots!"

The Captain frowned again, just before squeezing off two more shots, each one striking different targets. He still was concerned about the man beside him, but he was certainly not going to risk a phaser certification over those concerns. "I'm well aware, Lieutenant," he said before squeezing off another shot, striking a third target. "I believe that makes four and nine."

David smirked. "Now I think you were holding back the first few shots," he said before he fired and took out another sphere before he darted to the left, now closer to the Captain than before.

Harvey glanced to his side where the Security Chief now stood close to him. The last time he had someone this close with a live phaser was in his final moments aboard the Black Hawk. Harvey took a step to his own left, putting a bit of distance between him and the large security chief before squeezing off two more shots. The first lance struck its target and the second went wide.

The Chief noticed when the Captain moved and then his shots. It seemed like proximity to him discouraged his aim, so Moreau moved to the right again and took several shots which herded. "Five and seven, Captain," he encouraged. "Make these shots count, Sir."

"Three," Harvey corrected with a scowl. How was it that Starfleet decided that his next Chief of Security was unable to keep proper track of targets was beyond him. He fired another shot, barely striking the moving sphere. Nevertheless, the computer registered it as a point, changing the color of the sphere and withdrawing it. "Make that two."

David fires two more times, one taking out a sphere and one going wide. He stepped away from the Captain again and as one of the three of remaining spheres fired at him. "Take 'em out, Captain," he called.

Harvey saw the Lieutenant move out of the corner of his eye. The spheres, unfortunately, dodged to Harvey's left, putting Harvey in between the targets and the Chief of Security. To take the targets down, he would have no choice to turn his back to Lieutenant Moreau. The Captain had to make a decision, and fast.

He made it, as indicated by four new lances from his phaser. The first was a hit, followed by a close miss, and then two solid hits.

Once the eighth one had been hit, they all deactivated and David looked over at the man. "You did very well and you're qualified, Captain," he said. "Well done, Sir. If you could please remove the power cell, we'll get it logged back in unless you want to try again."

"That's it?" Harvey asked, surprised that this entire ordeal had been this simple. "My last certification took a lot longer than..." Harvey's eyes scanned the room for a chronometer, "...two minutes to complete. Or has the rest of the Senior Staff made this a little boring for you?" While Harvey was quite confident in his abilities, he still thought the Chief of Security would be more thorough than he'd just been.

"This was just the preliminary round of certification, Captain," David said. "That's what everyone else is getting and I still have two more officers to get certified so far. The only one that hasn't been certified among the department heads is Doctor Kij. I need to work with her more, but she's still a bit shy about firing a phaser. Targets are one thing, but against an actual enemy, I wouldn't put her in a position where she needed to use one."

He went and checked the terminal. "Lieutenant Langston and Commander Djinx have a class with Lieutenant Metsker in a bit, but if you want it, I can step up to level seven and see how you fair with those solo."

Harvey, opening his phaser and walking over to join Moreau at the terminal. "I have a better idea. Your predecessor and I once squared off in a contest. What do you say we do the same?"

"You want to go one-on-one against me for a phaser drill?" David asked him, a bit surprised.

"Afraid I'll beat you?" Harvey asked. "If you and I are to be serving together, shouldn't we know how well the other fares? You're presently at an advantage. I believe those odds should be even."

David laughed. "The last time I was afraid, I woke up in a hospital bed for after six weeks," he said. "So what setting do you want and how do you propose to even the odds?"

"What I meant was that I would know what you're capable of," Harvey remarked. "You got to observe me with a phaser while I was focused on passing. Now, I can afford to pay you a little more attention."

"Fair enough," David said and went to the terminal. "What setting do you want to observe me on?"

No wonder the guy was only a Lieutenant. Harvey shook his head. "One-on-one," Harvey stated, attempting to clarify. "First to fifty wins."

David mentally shook his head after asking for the setting for the second time and figured that the Captain had no idea what settings were. He chose seven and programmed a hundred softly glowing spheres, then reduced the lighting by fifty percent. He went to get a fresh power cell to hand to the Captain and then put one in his own phaser. "Ready when you are."

Harvey exchanged the power cell and set his phaser accordingly. Rejoining David on the platform, Harvey set his feet apart and bent his knees. He raised his phaser into a ready stance, and called out, "Computer, begin."

The spheres automatically scattered, leaving trails of light behind them as they swarmed all over the training area, but didn't shoot at the Captain and chrome domed Security Chief.

David immediately brought his phaser up and began snapping off single, precise shots. In less than six seconds, he terminated six spheres and spun around with his eyes leading his hand while they picked out individual targets. He moved with a fluid grace despite his size while he tracked his targets and released two more shots, but this time only took out one more sphere.

It was impossible to hide his surprise. Harvey had seen rapid response team members before, but never in action. Seven kills in eight shots was impressive, far more impressive than any officer he'd seen. Alas, Harvey had established this as a contest, one that he never thought he could win. But, he could make it close. Harvey squeezed off four quick shots, striking three targets.

It seemed like the big bald man was incapable of standing in one spot and shooting blindly at the erratic, fast moving spheres. His large body twisted, crouched, adjusted his center of gravity, kept his left arm out as a balance to his footwork and upper body positioning. At the same time he picked out three more spheres and tracked ahead of them, snapping off three shots, but only hit two. "I'm getting slow," he mumbled even though his smooth, constant movements belayed that.

"I hate to see what you call fast," the Captain remarked, glancing over whenever he could to see his Chief Security in action. Harvey stuck to what he knew, firing from his singular position, taking down two spheres and missing two others.

"You want to see fast?" David asked with a grunt as he fired at two more targets and took them down before he looked at the Captain. "Bring in a dozen White deprived Jem'Hadar and put a case of White behind me. I'll show you fast."

"Damn," Harvey muttered, firing at two more spheres, striking each one. "I dropped those off at Idran. You should have said something earlier."

"Maybe if you acted like one, I could get my speed up a bit more," David joked as he fired at another sphere and took it out. "Or you could try to step up, too."

Harvey shot down three targets with four shots before having to dodge a blast from another target. "Step it up?" Harvey replied. "I thought you were used to terrible odds."

"I am, but they're usually against me," he egged the Captain while taking out two more targets. "Is that all you have?"

"All I have of what?" Harvey asked, getting irritated as he continued to fire at targets. This time, he missed two and hit one.

They made this guy a Captain? David wondered when he heard the man's response. "Give it your all, Captain," he said. "Challenge me. Beat me. Make me look like a first year cadet that's never seen a phaser before. Show me what you have."

What kind of challenge was that? Harvey asked himself. He knew that there wasn't a chance in hell for an old doctor to outperform a rapid response veteran. Evidently, the Lieutenant, since the Captain had insisted, wanted to get something out of this as well. Have it your way. Grunting, Harvey knelt down, thinking it would yield him a better firing stance. He fired one shot, then another, and then another. Before he knew it, five targets were down, and not a single shot missed.

"There you go!" David exclaimed. "See, I knew you could do it, Captain." He watched the man for another moment and took note of what he was doing and how he was shooting. "Very good. I do believe that you've finally gotten the hang of one shot, one kill." He stepped back and began firing at more of the spheres, taking out four out of five. "Just keep doing what you're doing."

Harvey took immediate notice that David stepped back. He was still kneeling, and he also noticed that spheres were moving behind him. The Captain used this to his advantage, turning around to fire at three more targets, taking each of them down. His next two shots, however, were terrible misses. At least he could see David again.

The big Security Chief noticed that the Captain didn't seem to want him out of his sight even for a minute at at the cost of missing targets. He decided to question him about it later, but for the moment he focused on the targets again and shot two more out of the match. "That's nineteen to eighteen, Captain!"

The Captain frowned, adjusting his stance again to fire at a couple new targets, missing them both. It was this very moment he wished he'd set a different end goal, perhaps twenty five or thirty. Fifty seemed to be too far away. Alas, this was the bed he made, and now it was time to lie down in it. Harvey fired again, this time hitting two targets.

"Keep it up," Moreau told him. "Thirty more and you'll take home the latinum!" He twisted and took out two targets, then deliberately stepped back so he was out of the Captain's field of vision to see what the man would do. He fired at another target and missed, then checked his power before he was satisfied he still had plenty of energy remaining.

What the hell? Harvey asked himself, noticing that David had again disappeared from his sight. Harvey was left with little choice than to turn and fire at targets that were nowhere close to him. Thankfully, he hit one of them.

David watched the behavior of the Captain and noted that he became more erratic when he was out of the man's line of sight, so he stepped forward again and fired off a shot that went just to the left of the Captain and took out a sphere. He paused, then snapped off two more shots, but only hit one more target.

"Stay in my sight, Lieutenant!" Harvey demanded, seeing that he could no longer see the Security Chief from behind him. In all of his years of service, he'd never seen a Security Chief deliberately drop behind him when phasers were being fired.

David moved to the right side of the Captain, wondering what the man was thinking based on how erratic he was acting. "Sorry, Sir," he said. "I was checking how your aim was and didn't fire until I moved." He brought his phaser up and swept left to right and fired four shots, taking out for more spheres.

"You did that during the certification," Harvey replied, taking down another sphere. He turned to his left, as far as he could without losing sight of the Lieutenant, and scored two more hits.

"Yes, Sir, I did," David said as he fired at and took down another target. "However, I've noticed that you tend to get a bit erratic if you don't have me in your sight, Captain. In a firefight, you don't get that luxury."

"Computer," Harvey said, lowering his weapon. "Pause simulation." The system beeped in reply, and the spheres immediately withdrew. Then he turned to look at the Lieutenant. "This isn't about luxury, Lieutenant. This is about me knowing what you're capable of. Yes, you have a history of Rapid Response, but you're the Chief of Security aboard a starship now. You have a responsibility to this ship, to this crew, and to me. How can you do that if you're behind me?"

"I have a responsibility to get all of your department heads certified in phasers, per your orders, Captain," Moreau said neutrally. "Not to put on a show where you can only half see me while taking highly erratic shots. You can watch me, or you can watch the targets, but doing both is going to guarantee that you won't be up to par on your own requirements."

Harvey's eyes narrowed, just staring at the Lieutenant for a few moments. Aside from the gold collar and trim, and the muscles, Harvey saw more of himself in Moreau than he'd ever openly admit. That was what frightened Harvey the most. "Fine," Harvey said, keeping his arms down at his sides. "Let's finish the certification then. What needs to be done?"

"You're already certified, Sir," David told him. "You were certified before we started this round, actually. You wanted to see what I was capable of and I see what you're capable of. A piece of advice, if I may, Sir?"

Keeping his eyes narrowed, Harvey wondered why the Lieutenant was suggesting that he wasn't going to be up to par if the certification was already complete. Still, he gave no other acknowledgement to the Lieutenant other than a simple nod.

"You seem to have a problem with me, Sir and I don't know what that problem is. However, if you talk to me about it, I'm certain that we can work it out," the tall bald man said as he met Harvey's narrowed eyes.

Harvey didn't immediately reply. While thoughts from a future self rang in his head, Harvey knew he had to tell Moreau something. It mattered that Harvey didn't trust David, and it would equally matter if the crew visibly saw him not trust the Chief of Security. "My problem, Lieutenant," Harvey said at last, "is that the position you hold has been a hell of a revolving door. My first Chief decided to up and leave when he didn't like my style. My next one ran out chasing a guy. The one that followed did something stupid and got killed. His successor left. Her successor shot me in my own ready room, and the one that followed him was the best Chief I had up to the very end. If I have a problem, it's that I don't feel like getting attached. You want to prove me wrong, then be my absolute guest. Is it unfair? I'm certain it is. Given your history, I can't say you'd blame me. So, tell me, Lieutenant. How do we work this out?"

David listened and nodded. "Put that way, Sir, I can't say I blame you for not wanting to trust me. Then again, I could be wrong about it being a matter of trust, but I'm a veteran and learned to trust my instincts. The only way to really resolve is by the book. You give me orders and I'll carry them out to the best of my abilities."

The Captain lingered on that response before judging it to be fair. Harvey looked down, opened the phaser and removed the power cell. He handed the cell to Moreau before stepping off the range's platform to check in the phaser and the other cell that he'd originally been assigned. "When we get to Deep Space Fifteen, I'll likely need Security with me. You'll have a chance to perform as you suggest then."

"I would like to work closely with you on that before we get there, Sir," David said respectfully as he took the power cell. "Even though I have two more officers to get certified and one to work closely with, I would like to schedule another session with you in a holodeck environment similar to Deep Space Fifteen so we can have some familiarity with it before we arrive."

Harvey nodded at the reasonable idea. "Set it up, Mister Moreau," Harvey confirmed.

"Yes, Sir," David said before he glanced at the terminal. "By the way, we're tied at twenty-six each. Care to do one more and the first person to get one wins?"

After a quick consideration, Harvey nodded. He hadn't finished logging in the return of the phaser, so one more shot couldn't hurt. "Very well," he said, closing the Type-II back up as he stepped onto the platform. "Let's have a random start. That should even the odds."

"Computer, launch Moreau Seven One Four," David said as he checked his phaser. The phaser range turned dark and smokey and the sound of heavy booted feet came towards their position, which was now a rocky outcropping. The 'walls' around them seemed to be carved of rock and more than few bodies were on the ground as well as discarded and broken weapons.

A second later, a barrage of fire came from around a bend in the tunnel which led to their position and a Jem'Hadar soldier came charging with his disruptor up and firing, followed by three more.

The scene was surreal. Harvey, for a moment, was taken back to his days as a young lieutenant and medicine. He'd have to enter places like this after and during intense moments, and treat the fallen. He'd pushed many images of these triage scenes away, and this only drew these unpleasant experiences back to the surface. Harvey didn't flinch and didn't move. Instead, he raised his phaser and fired.

The Jem'Hadar soldier took the hit squarely in the chest and fired a return blast at the Captain before the other three soldiers moved into position.

David adjusted the setting on his phaser higher and ducked down as a bolt from one of the Jem'Hadar weapons nearly took his head off. "Captain, raise your setting!" he said. "They're tougher than they look!" He fired from around the edge of the outcropping and missed his fast moving target.

A polaron beam zipped by Harvey. He felt the heat emanating from it, something he didn't expect from a holographic simulation. Instinctively, he moved for cover and began to increase his phaser's setting. "Whatever happened to the first person to get one bit?"

"To take one out, Captain!" Moreau called over the noise of the blasts. He popped around a corner while crouching low and fired, but the Jem'Hadar moved out of the way in time while another opened fire on him.

I got that part, Harvey thought as he leaned out and fired. The haze generated by polaron fire blurred his vision slightly, but that didn't stop Harvey from trying to take down a Jem'Hadar. His first two hits were scored, but the soldiers didn't fall. Harvey was forced to increase the phaser to setting nine and try again.

David popped up over the top of the outcropping they were hiding behind and fired a sustained burst at one of the soldiers which knocked it back and down, but even then it wasn't dead. "I forgot how tough I made this program!" he shouted over the polaron barrage before he ducked down again.

"Then why the hell did you pick it?" Harvey asked, firing a sustained burst at setting nine at a single soldier. The soldier staggered under the blast, but it wasn't enough to drop him. Harvey tried to fire again, but the phaser didn't fire. A single glance down showed him that the power cell had been depleted. It was the same cell he used at the start of the certification process, not the one he used during the competition with Moreau, so it'd already been worn down.

When he looked back up, he saw that the Jem'Hadar soldier was right on top of him. Harvey found himself hoping that the safeties were on, otherwise he was certain Doctor Kij would not enjoy healing bayonet wounds.

David saw the Captain point his phaser at the Jem'Hadar soldier he was firing at, but didn't seem the phaser beam itself. A foul Cardassian word fell from his mouth before he leapt up from where he was and tossed the phaser he had to the Captain. Not stopping, he threw himself over the low outcropping at the Jem'Hadar and drove him backwards, his large fists swinging.

Harvey aimed the new phaser at his attacker, but Moreau was blocking the shot. While he was certain it was not intentional, Harvey found himself frowning. He took a heartbeat to feel the bulkier phaser, its straight lines and thicker handle as opposed to the sleeker dolphin curved one he'd become used to. But, the situation would not allow Harvey to admire it further. Instead, he turned towards another incoming soldier. The Captain frantically increased the setting, relying on a brighter red glow to indicate a higher setting, and fired at the soldier.

As Harvey hoped, the soldier took the hit and partially disintegrated. As the figure slumped to the ground, the computer chirped. Almost instantly, the soldiers disappeared, but the setting remained. Harvey slowly lowered the phaser and looked down at Lieutenant Moreau.

David looked around when the Jem'Hadar vanished, then up at the Captain. "Well done, Sir," he said as he came to his feet.

Harvey offered his free hand to help the man up. In doing so, he looked down at the phaser. "Setting eleven," he commented. "How difficult do you usually make your programs, Lieutenant?"

Moreau took the offered hand and looked at the Captain. "Between eight and ten," he said. "That was level eight. I don't like to be unprepared in the event something like that ever happens again and the harder it it, the more it forces me to adapt and overcome it."

"Happens again?" Harvey echoed, taking note of the word choice.

"Anything, Captain," David said as he met the man's eyes. "If something like the Dominion War can happen once, it can happen again and I plan on being ready."

"That's just as well," Harvey replied. "The Federation just can't seem to avoid conflict these days." It was true. For a peaceful organization, most of Starfleet's losses still came from combat. "And, if this probe and its message are real, we're going to need to be ready for anything."

"We will be, Sir," Moreau said, entirely confident that would be the case. "I've read the history of your former command and I know that we'll get through it as a whole."

Harvey nodded. "Unless there's anything else then, Lieutenant, I think we're done here."

"No, Sir," David said. "Nice shooting." With that, he moved to log the phasers and cells back in and reset the range back to standard and waited for the Captain to leave so he could finish up.

Harvey returned his phaser to the stand from which he pulled it from, but not before removing the internal power cell. He also thumbed the safety back into place on David's phaser and left it on the stand beside his practice weapon. And, without another word, the Captain departed the range, bound to resume his review of the crew files.

And to make a few notations in his notes regarding the Chief of Security.

After the Captain left, David took a few minutes to enter the log after he reviewed it, spoke to the Master-at-Arms, then headed out for his next appointment.

 

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