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Only A Drill

Posted on 13 May 2018 @ 8:00pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Reginald Hawthorn & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Warrant Officer William Griffin & Lieutenant Abbey Road & Lieutenant JG Quinn Winner & Ensign Alora Nasek & Ensign Shay Mitchell & Ensign Aidan Crehan & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin & Chief Petty Officer Tarsa Rogers

Mission: The Search Begins
Location: USS Black Hawk || Various
Timeline: MD 2 || 0845 hours

So far, a handful of fighters, both runabouts, and a shuttle had launched from the Black Hawk. Upon entering the Alpha Trios system, the Black Hawk had been elevated to yellow alert. Traffic in the system had been light, solely concentrated on the orbital station at Alpha Trios III and the domed habitat on Trios IV. This close to Alpha Trios itself... the Black Hawk was alone.

Harvey stood in front of the Master Display, silently checking on each and every subsystem as the readouts would allow. Everything, at least what he could tell, appeared to be just fine. To his knowledge, of his entire senior staff, only a few faces remained. Perhaps this was as good of a time as any to see how the crew would fare without the usual persons above them to lead the way.

Turning, Harvey took one look at the viewscreen. Yes, this time was certainly perfect. He pulled down on his uniform jacket and called out, "Computer, initiate readiness test Geisler gamma three."

Instantly, the bridge consoles flashed as the displays were updated with programmed information. The starboard bank of consoles flashed and changed to display the normal helm, operations, and science consoles. These would enable regular operations of the ship to resume while the other consoles would be solely dedicated to the simulation. Relief officers from around the bridge immediately assumed control of these consoles. A moment later, red lights began to flash and the klaxon wailed throughout the ship. "Red alert!" Harvey called out. "All hands to battlestations!"


===[Main Engineering]===

Reggie was pleased to note that there wasn't a trace of panic in the step of any of his engineering officer. They moved with purpose, either to assigned posts or through the steps needed to safely stow the non-critical work they had been attempting. He walked to what Chief Stephen's had called 'The Pool Table', the large multifunction display that rose up to waist height in the middle of the of the main floor.

"Okay people show me those green lights," he growled as he plucked a stylus from the table's edge. A screen appeared, and slowly sections of the ship's superstructure began to blink green. "Structural Integrity green, main power green, aux power green, shield gennies green, power runs to main weapons green."

As he went through the list he drummed the stylus against the screen, making a little drumming beat as he did so. The drumming stopped as one of the green lights flickered to amber.

Ensign Nasek had been under a console in engineering doing a repair when the call came in, almost hit her head in surprise. Fortunately she'd been about done and was able to quickly put the cover into place before rushing to her station in main engineering.

Normally she'd be stationed at the master systems display table, but Tarsa instead was at standalone console in a corner near the warp core. She could hear Hawthorn rattling off to himself. Thus far, she'd been unimpressed by the new Chief Engineer. She didn't doubt his abilities, but he hadn't done anything to inspire the staff. His interpersonal skills were....rough, at best, but Tarsa was hardly in a position to hold that against him. After all, most people thought she was a bitch.

"Tarsa, Nasek front'n centre gotta job for you two!" Reggie bellowed, as his hand tapped out command on the MSD. Now the display table was filled with the intestinal squeeze of conduit diagrams and power flow charts, whose many nexus points were flickering to and fro from green to amber. "Seem's we got a pump out on the secondary fusion core coolant system. Flow pressure reads steady but the pump's not drawing power. Call it a pop quiz, give me the cause and the solution. First of y'all to get there get's a prize."

Alora couldn't help a brief, puzzled glance as he talked about prizes and the like after calling her over. She thought a moment then said, a little uncertainly, "Check the closed loop hydrostatic system for physical damage or unsteady connection?"

"You get the bundled prize of an 'at a girl' and the knowledge you got something to check out. Checkin' coolant tank pressure feed to make sure there's not a leak somewhere in the system," Reggie said, bringing up the diagram on the display. "Though the Mk 1 Eyeball can be useful at this time. I suggest if it's needed taking waders, as those pipes are big and full of deionised coolant. Won't melt your skin but you get any on you it'll dye you a shade of blue best described as 'super cyan'."

Completely confused she took a valuable second to translate what he just said into 'Go fix the coolant issue and bring the proper safety equipment', well at least she was getting faster at translating, though she still didn't get the 'Super Cyan' reference, and quickly took off. As she jogged by a console a priority order came in from the bridge. She stopped to read it, "Sir! Chief!" She called to the CEO and the Engineering Chief, "Orders are to report to deck 14 for damage control."

"They hollar, we answer. Ensign Nasek with me, grab a general repair kit," he grinned wide. Now was a chance to see what shook out of the engineering crew when there was stress being thrown about. He reached up and tapped his combadge. "Damage Control party to Deck 14 muster point. Full EV gear, assume the worst and we might get the best. Plan on hull breaches, Class D metal fires and possible plasma leakage."

He looked back at the Ensign.

"You wore an EV suit in training before right?" he laughed and shook his head. "Hell, this is training. No better time to learn."

"Yes Sir." Alora replied and hurried to keep up with him.


===[Security]===

Shay never expected to be left in charge of Security, but with the Chief and Assistant Chief gone, that meant she had to step in and step up. It was going to be a challenge for sure, but that's what being a Starfleet officer was all about. Rising up to the challenge... accepting it... and making sure one did their job, and now was no different. Just as the young woman was about to make her way into the training facility, the red alert klaxons sounded. Did they run into something, or someone, that meant business? She'd know soon enough, but for now, the young woman began barking orders, sending personnel to crucial parts of the ship and securing others.

When she was satisfied, she ran from her department and into the nearest turbolift. It wasn't long before the Ensign was stepping onto the bridge and moving to the Tactical station, ready to do what needed to be done.


===[Sick Bay]===

Normally during a red alert, Abbey was assigned to engineering triage, but with the Chief Medical Officer gone and no assistant chief assigned as yet, it fell to her to take charge. She had once been Chief Medical Officer aboard the Patriot, but had resigned after the birth of her son in order to be able to focus more on her family. So, of course, she had the most experience.

It was a job she no longer wished for, but she would do it anyway. Duty calls, after all.

“Tallman,” she said calmly. “Take Engineering triage. Rigby, you’re with me.” Everyone else knew their assigned jobs and with these minor alterations, main Sick Bay would not be without an experienced leader.


===[Social Sciences Lab]===

Aidan was in the Social Sciences Lab going over some of the eyewitness information regarding their recent guests. He'd compiled the information from those that'd had interactions with them with the reports that he had access to. The El-Aurian was about to start organizing the data into categories when the Red Alert sounded. He looked around to the others in the room. "Secure you're work and close the Lab. Non-essentials could be shutdown any minute." He headed out the door and down the corridor to the Chief's office.

Aidan was informed that Lieutenant Commander Djinx had been assigned off-ship. There were others who could take command of the department. For his part, Aidan began to secure the Commander's Office and planned to make his way around to the other labs to ensure the same. His plan was to end up in Stellar Cartography and keep it running in case something was needed by the Bridge.


===[Support Craft Maintenance Hangar]===

"Get that fighter UP! Now!" Griffin roared across the noise of the hangar. Above them, the sound of the flight deck was muffled but noticeable as the flight deck operations boys and girls readied the alert-five fighters. The red alert klaxons were adding to an already complicated day and Griffin was not in the best of moods. His teams had been in the middle of preparing the next wave of fighters for launch when the alarm had gone off and had been scrambling to send five combat-ready aircraft up to the flight deck ever since. The fighter in question, which was currently stopping on the lift, was the last one. He mashed a thick finger on the console in front of him.

=/\= "Griffin to flight deck, last one is comin' up. Alpha seven-two, ready for flight." He reported gruffly, he acknowledged the reply with a grunted "affirm" and then waved at the lift operator to send her up.


===[Bridge]===

Back on the bridge, Harvey slowly paced around the room. Since the klaxons sounded more than a minute ago, only one turbolift had arrived to the bridge, depositing the woman he'd known as Ensign Mitchell at the tactical station. Seeing how it was still Alpha shift, there wasn't much need for turnover on the bridge, but there still hadn't been any check ins from sickbay, engineering or the flight deck. Something to work on for the future, thought Harvey, who immediately planned another drill for the afternoon, though he told not a soul.

"Captain," Shay spoke from the Tactical station, turning her attention to the Black Hawk's head honcho. "Is there trouble?" She hadn't felt any of the violent shudders from the ship being attacked, so there was a little bit of confusion.

Harvey turned to face the ensign. Though this was not an announced drill, the consoles themselves should have had an indicator on their readouts that a simulation was in progress. He also noted that Ensign Mitchell had not previously assumed control of her station before today. This would prove quite interesting. Therefore, he simply raised an eyebrow and returned to his chair. "Check the sensors," Harvey ordered. "The simulation should have registered it by now."

Mitchell checked the sensors as instructed by the Captain, and there it was, but what the... "Captain, I'm picking up rogue ships... two of them... Dominion, and their weapons have locked onto us," the young Ensign said with more than a little panic in her voice. "They're firing!"


===[Deck 14]===

Petty Officer Torg picked the worst time to visit the head. He'd been in the middle of taking care of business when the klaxons sounded. For whatever reason, he'd had the worst time getting out of there and back out into the corridor. Unfortunately, the closest head was on the other side of the deck from the intel center. The rush of confused traffic in the corridor made it especially difficult to make it back to the Intelligence center, and he was running against it, not with it.

He did take note that everyone was just as confused as he. There were no lurches in the deck plating. No announcements as to what was going on. Was this real? Was this a simulation?

Suddenly, the lights went out in the corridor, specifically, the entire section. The emergency lights flickered to life, followed by the erection of forcefields all around, trapping Torg and three other crewmen inside. Instantly, all of their combadges chirped as the computer gave instructions to each individual. To Torg, the computer said, "Petty Officer Torg, you are now a casualty. Please lie on the ground and await medical attention."

"Great," Torg gruffed, looking around to the other crewmen.

"At least you get to live," a red-headed ensign said. "Computer says I died."

The Tellarite gruffed again and reluctantly laid down. This was certainly embarrassing, having to wait here for a medic to appear. Oh, how he wished he was at his desk...


===[Bridge]===

"Damage to Deck Fourteen!" called out an engineer at a bridge station. "Casualties reported!"

"Get medical and repair teams there, stat!" Harvey ordered, leaning forward in his seat. "Tactical, we need shields. Helm, evasive pattern beta one. Let's take down our enemies one by one."

"Raising shields!" Shay confirmed as her fingers moved over the console in front of her. Though, she'd never manned the Tactical station before now, she'd spent time training for this moment, and if memory served her correctly, this was her first time on the bridge of the Black Hawk-A. Even on the original ship, she'd only been on the bridge once before, and that was when she was tasked in protecting the Captain. This was definitely new.


===[Sick Bay]===

By now, the red alert had registered as a drill, but that didn't mean they could act as if it weren't real. Abbey kept an eye on the read out and barked out orders as the casualty reports came in. "Team two to deck 14," she said. "And be careful; I don't need the computer killing any of you."

No sooner had she said that than Sick Bay lights flickered and Abbey's combadge lit up. "Doctor Abbey Road," the computer said, "your left arm has been broken. Put it behind your back and do not use it for the duration of the simulation."

Abbey growled angrily, but did as she was told. This was going to be tricky as she was left-handed. She supposed the computer knew that, though. She glanced around and spotted Rigby lying on the ground. "Dead?" she asked.

"Nah," said Eleanor cheerfully. "My ankle is broken and I've been knocked out when I fell."

"Well, that's something," replied Abbey. She was about to call a doctor to deal with Rigby when Stegman knelt next to her and began pretending to heal her, activating his tricorder so the computer would register the work. Stegman may be a pompous ass, but at least he was a good doctor.

Seeing that any 'injured' Sick Bay personnel were being looked after, she turned back to the display to see that the only new bit was the 'damage' in Sick Bay, and waited for the next emergency report.

Despite this being a drill, it was no less serious for Avery, who was no stranger to administering emergency aid in her capacity as an auxiliary medic during red alert situations. There was a time when she debated whether her place was on the bridge as an advisor, but considering red alerts usually meant people were already shooting at them, there was only so much "advising" that could be useful. Hence, most of the time Avery was in sickbay.

Luckily, so far, Avery had managed to escape injury. Whether that was pure luck or by design to see how auxiliary medical personnel could handle emergencies, she wasn't sure, but she wasted no time getting to work. To Dr. Road, she offered, "How're you doing, Doctor? Need any assistance? Normally, Avery would focus on triage, letting the doctors and nurses administer more extensive treatments in favor of helping to keep the flow of injured moving. With Road injured, however, Avery knew she might be called upon to be more hands on.

"Actually, if you could finish checking the medkits, that would be wonderful," Abbey replied, left arm still behind her back.

"Happy to," Avery offered, reaching for several kits, already reviewing her mental checklist of what was required. Her additional medical studies and time in triage was proving useful, and she was just grateful that this time, it was a drill.

===[Flight Deck]===

Five fighters stood in the hanger, lined up in order and ready to launch, their pilots strapped in and their engines idling hot, the last of which had just arrived from the maintenance hangar. Lieutenant Jg. Quinn Winner frowned slightly at the time it had taken to get the alert-five fighters up and ready. Part of it wasn't his fault, technically, he'd been waiting for Griffin in the maintenance hanger to send the fighters up, but it was his responsibility and he couldn't shake the vaguely guilty feeling for the delay.

He tapped the console in front of him, a master display that showed all the fighters on deck, in space and in the maintenance bay as well as their current statuses and conditions. =/\= "Flight deck to bridge," he reported, "alert-five fighters are standing by to launch. Sorry for the delay, you caught us with our pants around our ankles, down here."

"Surprise encounters aren't a respecter of civility, Mister Winner," Captain Geisler's voice replied over the comm. "If you haven't got the word, this is a simulation. We're under attack by two Jem'Hadar attack ships. Get your pilots to the simulators and have them assist."

=/\= "Yes sir," Winner replied automatically, wondering to himself since when the fighter squadron became his to command. With the alert-five pilots already in their cockpits and the Squadron Commander already out on an actual mission with several pilots, there weren't many pilots left to throw in to the simulators. He tapped his comm-badge =/\= "Winner to the pilot's lounge, we're under simulated attack by two Jem'Hadar attack ships. All free pilots, get to the simulators and report ready."

He recieved a half dozen affirmative replies, then tapped the comm panel on his console. =/\= "Winner to Griffin, prepare for simulated damage to fighters."


===[Support Craft Maintenance Hangar]===

"Winner to Griffin, prepare for simulated damage to fighters."

Griffin did his best not to curse at the boss, with several fighters already out on mission and the alert-five aircraft standing by, he had enough on his hands without dealing with a simulation. He ground out an "Aye sir," over the comm and then turned to the bay.

"All right, clear the decks an' prepare for incoming!" He bellowed, "this is a simulation, so pretend to work as fast as ya can!"


===[Flight Deck]===

Winner received the notification that four pilots were standing by in the simulators, he didn't know who they were, only their callsigns, Alpha Ten, Bravo Two, Bravo Three and Charlie Five. He hit the launch bay PA to boost his voice across the deck, "Simulated launch, four fighters on the flight line. Stand by! Do NOT launch any actual fighters! Alert-five pilots, I repeat, this is a simulated launch, do not launch!"

Around the bay, technicians and specialists scrambled to consoles and positions to pretend to launch a fighter and not three minutes after Winner had spoken to Gesler on the bridge, he called over the comm and through the bay. "Alpha Ten, launch!" A series of three other launches had the four simulator pilots "in space," and until they re-entered the pattern to land, they were no longer his responsibility, but those of the boys and girls in tactical. He hit his comm button again, =/\= "Flight deck to bridge, four simulated fighters are in the pattern, yours to command."


===[Deck 14]===

Less than five minutes after they had received the emergency summons to Deck 14, Doctors Hook and James, along with nurse Blakely, arrived to find the four crewmen hanging out where the computer had trapped them. "Okay," said Hook, taking out his tricorder. "What have we got?" In a real emergency, they would just scan them, but as nobody was actually injured, it would be up to the crewmen to tell them what the simulation had decided.

The forcefield was instantly lowered when the medical team showed up. Torg, who was leaning against one of the bulkheads just shrugged. "No idea," he said. "The computer wasn't nice enough to tell us, just that one of us is dead and the other three are hurt."

"I'm the dead one!" called out the ensign who was laying on his back. He'd thrust his hand into the air when he'd announced what the computer told him. "You're not going to carry me to the morgue, are you?"

"Nah, here's what we do," answered Nurse Blakely, taking a metal tag out of her med kit and attaching it to the Ensign's cuff. "We mark you dead. Then, you go back to your quarters and stay there until we give the all clear. A bit dull, yes, but it beats sitting around in the morgue, eh?"

"Just injurred?" James asked, taking out a tricorder and pretending to scan one of the others. "Hm. Must be just minor stuff. I guess we just sit here and activate our tools until the computer says, 'everyone's A-okay!' and then we all go about our business?"

"Sounds good to me," agreed Hook, activating his osteo-regenerator. "The most boring part of drills is not knowing what the actual drill is. At least in a real red alert, we're too busy actually treating patients to care. What were you guys up to when this all started?"

"Well hell's own teeth, how are we meant to work when the medics have spread their wounded out like a platter of pot stickers?" Reggie said with a grin as the engineering damage control team arrived. They carried tool boxes, portable structural integrity field generators, and most worryingly seemed all to be wearing EV suits. "Whose in charge of this triage area?"

Torg groaned. It was embarrassing enough to have a medical team come and treat him, but now the Chief Engineer was here too? Why couldn't he have just waited to use the facilities? The Tellarite simply laid his head back until the medic was done.

Hook and James exchanged a glance. "You have seniority," Hook said.

"I guess that would be me," replied James. "But, we didn't spread them here, that's where they were when we got here. And, unfotunately, it's not safe to move them until we figure out what's wrong with them. Ah! Here we are!" he exclaimed cheerfully as results popped up on his Tricorder, probably put there by the computer. "This says, fracture to the right femur and a sprained wrist! How about that?" He activated his osteo-regenerator and waited for the computer to register the treatment.

"And I've got a mild concussion," added Hook. "Well, you do, that is," he corrected to Torg. "Which means you're conscious, but a bit woozy. We can move you. Where do you guys need to get?" he asked the Engineers. "Also, what's with the suits?"

"Well according to Damage Control we're under attack by aggravated holograms. Orney devils, they struck this here deck with a positron beam. Which means possible hull breach, radiation leakage, and a general failure in localized forcefield emitters keeping the air in. Well, at least that's what I figure until we get in there and check. So when we folks with spanners go to work in whats been blown up, we like to take our own air with us. Ya know, just in case." He grinned through the helmet at the medics. "Word to wise, get your folk stabilized and moved out ASAP in case this drill simulates a hull failure and you all get upgraded to Mostly Dead. Airtight pressure door is ten metres that way."

"Mostly dead?" snarled the injured Tellarite. "How exactly does one survive a hull breach without an EV suit?"

"You don't," answered Hook, standing and offering a hand up to Torg. "Which is why we move to that pressure door as quick as we can, then I come back for the last injured. Come on, let's go."

"Ensign Nasek!" Reggie bellowed, the sound echoing in his helmet as it was relayed through the suit comm. "I want you and two of your underlings to set up a portable emergency forcefield generator here, on the idea we're about to lose hull pressurization at any moment. Cover the medical teams retreat to safety."

"Aye Sir!" She said through her suit comm trying not to think about the sweat beading everywhere. She gestured to the two carrying the portable and jogged with them passed the medical personnel etc, quickly setting it up without getting into each others way. To fans of 20th century earth racing, they looked like a well trained nascar repair team, if a little slowed by the suit fingers.

Torg accepted the hand that was held out and stood up, albeit begrudgingly. Why did all of these people have to come to this sector, and why of all people did he have to be the one to be stuck in here, far away from his assigned duty post? This was a hell of a time to run a drill.

"That is the finest work I ever did see Ensign," Reggie said, stepping around the parade of pretend wounded and admiring the setup. The emitter might have been a degree or two off, but that only made the field an inch wider and well within spec for the unit. He tapped the support strut with a boot, nodding as it gravity anchor kept it locked to the deck. "Little tip from outside the rule book. If you got the time set the emitter to make a convex field, with the trailing edges tapered towards the part of the ship you know are solid. Help reduce stress fracturing if there was a hull failure. It's not in the manual, but it'll give you the extra second you need to get things done."

Alora smiled as she checked the final settings, she didn't always quite know what to do with praise but politeness had been drilled into her so she replied, "Thank You Sir." she ran what he'd suggested through her mind, she wanted to mull it over more but the idea was solid. She just liked to work things out for herself when time permitted, not that she disbelieved. "I'll remember that Sir. Portable set and locked, shall we move along?" She said feeling ready to tackle whatever lie ahead.

"Lead the way Ensign," he grinned.


===[Administration]===

Mila heard the battle klaxons and immediately secured her station, then headed out into the rest of Administration. "Secure your stations and put all data under Protocol Fourteen!" she ordered, which would not only encrypt all the data, but destroy it if an intruder tried to steal the database to obtain information on the ship or crew. Of course, there was a backup, but it was not connected to the main system and not easily or readily available, but very few knew about it and she planned to keep it that way.

In her office once again, Mila was about to reach for her cup of coffee when the ship shook and the cup went flying onto the floor. "What in the.....if you are to be simulating damage to ship, at least have care for coffee!" she bellowed at no one.

She started to lean over to get the cup when the ship shook again and she fell to the floor. "I am to be giving someone foot in...." She never got to finish her unspoken threat when screams came from the central area. She staggered to her feet and went out before she saw several Yeomans scrambling for extinguishers as a console erupted in plasma flames.

Mila tapped her combadge. =^=Rasputin to Engineering, we are having fires in Administration!=^=

=/\="This is Chief Reggie on Deck 14. When ya say fires are you talking about a simulated fire in your mind theatre or real, genuine, fiery death kind? Cause gotta be honest, if they're the drill sort you are really selling the panic party aspect of it,"=/\= Reggie's voice said from her combdage. =/\="Most folks act like their at Shakespeare On The Holodeck when the computer randomly decides their a walking fatality. Yes, I am looking at you 'Dead Ops Tech No4'. Corpse's don't hear critque."=/\=

=^=When I am saying fire, I am meaning fire!=^= Mila responded with more than a little anger. =^=Now be sending someone here to be putting it out and shove your holodeck somewhere else! Rasputin out=^=

A minute later a troop of Engineer's, who looked more and more like futuristic shock troops with their fire fighting gear and EV suits on, arrived and proceeded to kill the fire. It wasn't just a case of putting it out, but ensuring the prospect of it never came back. If you ever asked what an Engineer's worst fears were when working on a starship, they'd say fire. Fire ate things. It ate the air you breathed. It ate you. It ate the things you liked. It. Ate. You.

So when they covered the console in a hard self-sealing resin that hardened into a pox-ridden foam, they got it everywhere. Gosh they were excited to use the Class E plasma fire extinguishers, which came with a helpful little blue pamphlet about what to do if any of the foam got onto your bare skin: SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL AID! IMMEDIATELY.

But the plasma fire was out, with the baked on foam expanding into the interior of the gutted monitor to find the heat source and seal it off. Later would come the fixing. and the accident review. Because regardless of what the holo novels said, random monitor and console did not explode just cause the ship rocked from side to side.

Well...

Not often.

"Well...fires out," one of the engineers said, turning back to look at the admin section who lined the hallway. He reached up, tapped the helmets front glass plate and the gold polarized tint faded to reveal the Chief Engineer. "Now, which of you started that little campfire in there?"

"I am not knowing," Mila answered truthfully. "I was in office when ship shook and threw me to floor, then I am hearing screams of fire. I thank you for coming so quickly."

"If this is how the Brass Collar's on the bridge run a drill I'm gonna be planting me a field of opinions with a boot," Reggie grumbled. He eyed the buried console in its now foam coating. "Consoles don't just explode, and for a drill this could have been major damage. Hell, could've done a number on your eyebrows."


===[Bridge]===

"Launch those fighters," Harvey ordered. "Helm, swing us around for attack pattern delta one. Tactical, target the lead vessel. Load a full spread of torpedos. When in optimum range, fire."

"Yes, Captain," Mitchell said, preparing the torpedoes to be fired. She was going to hold off for the moment until they were within proper range before actually releasing the volley of weapons against the lead enemy vessel. The young woman had to admit, simulation or not, this was a stressful situation.

Just as the computer began to scroll the simulated results on the ensign's console, a shout could be heard from one of the starboard consoles, which were the only ones configured to handle real operations during the simulation. "Captain!" called out the relief officer overseeing the science station. "Sensors are picking up two vessels of unknown configuration two kilometers off the port bow."

Harvey leapt from his station in surprise. As he crossed the bridge, he called out, "Computer, cancel drill, authorization Geisler Gamma Epsilon Two One One. Miss Mitchell, sound general quarters and remind all personnel that this is not a drill. Standby on real shields and weapons." The Captain stood behind the science station to take a look at the newcomers on the science station's readouts, waiting to see if their intentions were hostile.

Mitchell didn't even hesitate, and was grateful she was a good multi-tasker. She opened a ship wide channel, and at the same time sounded general quarters as instructed. "Attention all hands... this is no longer a drill," she said, ready to raise shields and arm their weapons the second the Captain gave the call for it. "I repeat... this is no longer a drill."


===[Administration]===

"Not a drill?" Mila asked the air when she heard the female voice make the announcement. "What else can be going wrong?" she asked before she sent the Yeomans and others to their stations.

"Your momma never teach you to leave crumbs like that out for the fates to nibble on?" Reggie asked plaintively.

"What my Mother is teaching me is to have manners," Mila shot back. "As Captain Yeoman, is being my job."


===[Flight Deck]===

"Attention all hands... this is no longer a drill, I repeat... this is no longer a drill."

"Get those pilots out of the simulators and ready for flight!" Quinn Winner ordered from his command post above the flight deck, his command transmitted loudly via a P/A system that covered most of the deck. He was gratified, now, that he and his team had already taken the time to get the real alert-five fighters up and ready to fly. It helped to assuage his guilt about the tardiness of his department. He tapped the comm unit on his console.

=/\= "Flight deck to the bridge, there are five fighters ready for launch on your order."


===[Deck 14]===

Hook blinked as the announcement came over the comm. "I guess we're done here, then," he told Torg. "Back to real life, eh?" With a quick wink, he gestured to James and the two took off in the direction of Sick Bay.

Torg did not reply. Instead he grunted as he immediately took off for the Intelligence Complex, absolutely grateful to be finished with that evil drill.


===[Sick Bay]===

No longer a drill? Abbey didn't like the sound of that, but they'd just practiced for this. "All right, you heard him!" she called to the crew. "Stop what you're doing and back to your stations. Prepare for wounded. Road to Tallman," she said with a tap to her combadge. "Keep your team in engineering."


===[Bridge]===

"Standby on those fighters," Harvey ordered as the remainder of the bridge consoles returned to normal. He'd noted that the two new sensor contacts weren't on an intercept course, but they would be flying dangerously close to the Black Hawk. "Helm, maintain position. Tactical, raise shields. Let's not have any unexpected visitors aboard, shall we?"

"Raising shields," the young Ensign confirmed as her fingers moved over the console. It didn't take long before the ship's shields were erected, protecting them from those unexpected visitors the Captain didn't wish to have on board the ship.

"Tactical plot on viewer," Harvey ordered, taking his chair.

"Yes, Captain," Shay said, putting the Tactical plot on the main viewer so he could see it.

As the plot was overlaid, Harvey's eyes carefully watched the two new arrivals, now registering as frigates, as they chugged along on quarter-impulse power. Their shields had also been raised, likely a defensive measure of their own. The bridge remained silent for a few minutes as the frigates slowly passed by the Black Hawk. Either they didn't wish to pick a fight with the much larger vessel, or their business was more important than stopping to chat.

Before long, the frigates were exiting the Black Hawk's effective weapons range. Heaving a sigh of relief, Harvey turned to Ensign Mitchell. "Stand down to yellow alert. Keep the shields up, and inform all departments to submit readiness and after action reviews by lunchtime to command."

Mitchell made the change to yellow alert to let the rest of the crew know things seemed to be okay... for the moment, but kept the shields raised. With that done, she opened another ship wide communication. "Attention all departments, readiness and action reviews are expected to be submitted to command by lunchtime," she said, looking to that Captain when she was done. "Do you want me to keep weapons on standby, Captain?"

Something small and furry dropped down from the ceiling on a thin web and landed on the Captain's head, all eight legs clutching onto the weird fur as the tiny creature looked around. The tall ones were everywhere and it was confused. It knew it had an imperative to do something, but its functions were off kilter ever since it had gotten dark.

Harvey flinched, violently shaking his head and using the backs of his hands to swat away whatever was attempting to take up residence in there. All the while, he was mentally cursing, wondering how a ship this new could have some sort of infestation.

The spidermunk, not to be deterred, scrambled onto the beings hand and down his arm which led to his left shoulder and started down the front of his uniform.

Shay blinked. What in the...? That just wasn't natural, and it was currently attacking the Captain! Instinct kicked in and the young Ensign hand vaulted over her console, then rushed toward her superior officer. She prayed this didn't backfire later, but he clearly needed assistance lest the creature continue... whatever it was doing. "Sir... don't move!" she said, getting closer to him and the spidermunk, but she wasn't quite there yet.

Harvey growled, wondering why these damn things had chosen to wait until after such a tense moment to again make an appearance. "I'm going to have this ship fumigated," he snarled, trying not to move.

Shay finished closing the distance and looked to where the spidermunk was currently, reaching out to grab it. Of course, the young woman didn't expect the creature to sit there and take it being reached for, causing it to scurry around to the Captain's back. "That might not be a bad idea, but... we've never seen these before. Shouldn't we at least try to trap them and let them go somewhere?" she asked, lunging for it again. It was a good thing she wasn't the squeamish type, because after another circle around the ship's highest ranking officer and nearly grabbing a handful of his backside, the Ensign was now in possession of the squirming critter. "I got it." She held her hand out to show him it was secure. "I don't have cuffs small enough to book it for assault."

"Take it to medical or a science lab or something," Harvey remarked, fighting his subconscious urge to shiver at the thing. Whatever it was was an absolutely strange creature, looking partly like a Terran squirrel but with the legs of a tarantula. "Let them study it. But do find out if there are more aboard and contain them."

"Yes, Captain," she said as the spidermunk squirmed and chittered angrily from her hand. Mitchell was sure she wasn't hurting the little guy, and now that she'd gotten a good look at it, it was actually kind of cute. "I'm going to name you... Chip. You definitely look like a Chip." With that, she took a step away from Captain Geisler as not to bump into him, then made her way off of the bridge.

Harvey sighed, and looked back to the viewscreen. It was barely 0900, and already it'd been a long day. He could only hope that the away missions and the squadron were having a better time.


 

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