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Preparing the Probes

Posted on 06 Oct 2016 @ 2:25am by Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Industrial Replication Bay One, Deck 7
Timeline: MD 8 || 1530 Hours

"I'm going to forget my head if I don't keep it on my list of things to keep track of," Camila muttered as she left the Security office and glanced at her PaDD. "Crap. I forgot to have Lieutenant Marion prepare those probes. She's going to be thrilled." Despite not needing to, she looked up at the ceiling.

"Computer, locate Lieutenant Marion," she requested instead of tapping her combadge.

"Lieutenant Marion is in Industrial Replication Bay One on Deck Seven," the computer announced in the brilliantly flat monotone that was the mainstay of every Starfleet vessel.

Camila turned and headed to the nearest turbolift and requested deck seven as she pulled up schematics on various types of mission specific modules that could be fitted on probes. After she selected a few that would be of use, she exited the turbolift and headed down the corridor until she came to the bay where the computer indicated the acting Operations chief would be. She wondered how Marion would take yet another request from her, then sighed and entered the room to look for the woman.

Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion hovered over a console, her fingers dancing rhythmically over the command keys as she put the finishing touches on the last harness that she had been asked to replicate. Liz had spent the better part of a half hour trying to get the polymer strands to do what she wanted them to do without compromising the ability to conceal the things. The entire process had nearly done her head in. As the replicator began to spool up, Marion turned only to find the wondering eyes of the very woman who had set her onto the insufferable task.

'What is she, a stalker?' Liz groaned internally as their eyes met and the woman began to make her way over. If it hadn't been the third time the two of them had seen one another already, Marion might have bothered to straighten her uniform or maybe roll her sleeves back down. That being not the case, her somewhat 'lived-in' look was more than acceptable as far as Liz was concerned.

"Back again," the woman said in a jovial tone, even if part of her wished the security officer hadn't come back in such short order.

"Unfortunately and I take full responsibility for this time, Lieutenant Marion," Camila said as she approached her with the PADD in hand. "I've been so busy lately that I'm forgetting things and this is one of them that I should have brought up to you when I saw you a while ago. The Captain wanted some probes prepared with sensor modules and sent out to where planets such as Teplan would normally be in our galaxy. If we can get an idea of exactly where we are, it'll help us out greatly."

Lieutenant Marion raised an eyebrow, "Can't you just run a stellar extrapolation index program and do the same thing? If we are only in some alternate reality, the stars don't change position all that much. Even if one or two solar systems are missing in this place, there would still be enough common reference points out there to give us a figure within probably a hundred thousand kilometers and fifteen yea..."

Liz stopped herself mid-sentence and smiled, "Anyway, I would think that would be a better use of resources than launching probes we might need for something else down the road... unless someone's already tried that, of course."

"I believe the Science department is fully immersed in the study of the rift that is speculated to have brought us here," Camila said. "As for the probes, they're more expendable than people are and we don't want to lose more people than we already have. We just need a few scrubbed class nine probes sent out to where these planets should be and outfitted with sensor modules and explosive devices with destruct codes if an unknown agent tries to intercept them."

Lt. Marion shrugged, "That's not difficult. Most of the probes are already fitted with anti-tampering protocols anyway so that isn't an issue. The sensor packages... the probes have a fairly robust sensor cluster as it is. If we only need astrological data and nothing else, a little reprogramming is about all that we're really going to need to do, which isn't a hard job to do. An hour, tops."

"I'm aware of the anti-tampering protocols, but we need to make sure that they're vaporized if they're taken by an unknown," Camila said. "All traces of Federation markings have to be removed from them down to the numbers."

Liz tapped her chin for a moment before once again shrugging, "A proximity detonator won't take long to rig, and most class nine probes only have one or two plates with identifiers on them anyway, won't add a great deal to the job, labor wise."

"As long as we have the ability to negate that so it doesn't blow up in proximity to use before we're able to retrieve the data from it," Camila said. "I'd suggest a five second delay."

"More than manageable," Marion nodded.

"Thank you," Camila said before she looked at the industrial replicator. "How is the clothing coming along?"

"It was a bit of a pain for a while, but I managed to make it to specifications without too many compromises. It doesn't look exactly like you envisioned it, but it'll work. I went with the less is more approach. The last one is being replicated as we speak, the others are in that crate. Even had names put on the inside backs of them so people know who got what," Liz pointed off to the side of her.

Camila went and picked one up to inspect it. "Well, it looks good, but will it stand up to the test of live fire?"

"Well, I don't have a phaser handy," Marion said, "But if your design wasn't completely wrong, it should take a hit or two before you might want to think about dodging. My father used to tell me all the time when we'd go to the holodeck and run his old flashback programs that if you got hit once and you weren't dead, don't be there when they fire again."

"That is always the general plan to not get hit in the first place," Camila said. "We don't even know what types of weapons they have on this side of things. So a little preparation can go a long way. We're going to be doing drills the next few days and test them out fully."

"I'm not wearing the first one, I'll tell you that right now," Liz was generally confident in almost everything she did, but this particular project left more questions in her mind than it answered.

Camila laughed despite how tired she was. "The first sets are going to be used on mobile practice dummies in the holodeck," she informed her. "Live fire exercises to get everyone used to real firearms and to test the armor out, so you don't have to worry about being a practice dummy."

"Hasn't everyone fired a pistol before?" Lt. Marion asked, as if it were the most normal thing for someone to do.

"No," Camila said. "I'm Security and have an interest in all types of weaponry, but most people barely qualify for phaser training, let alone projectile weapons."

"Don't let the Old Man hear that, he'd flip his shit..." Liz visibly shivered at the thought, "I'm probably better with his field issue 1911 than I am with a phaser. In fact I know I am."

"What old man?" Camila asked, uncertain of who she was talking about and why the woman would shiver at the mention of such.

"Oh, sorry... I forget I'm not on the Arizona sometimes... I meant my father. Adopted father... Anyway, he lived through four of Earth's worst wars, and made sure that if it came down to bullets and a foxhole, I'd at least make it out of the foxhole. Guess I just assume other people took as much of an interest in history as he did... and forced me to be," Liz sighed, "At the time I hated every minute of those long stories he used to tell, and those hours laying on a dirt firing line... Not so much now though. And I guess he knew more than he was letting on if stuff like archaic firearms was part of his 'must learn' curriculum."

"I have a firearm in the armory which I've practiced with since my time at the Academy," Camila said. "It's a beast to handle, but when you need absolute stopping power that can also open doors, I wouldn't want anything else with me. Phasers are nice, but they aren't everything. The Borg proved that, but let me see a Borg stand up against a projectile that can tear through ten feet of soft material at close range."

"Well, depending on how close you plan to get, I'm actually partial to my 1911. A .45 caliber round is about as unforgiving as you can get, and still be able to track a target decently. If you're talking a bit longer range, Dad was always partial to his old M1, but I've always found a larger magazine capacity to be a little more important, so I generally preferred slightly lower caliber rifles, something in the .223 range rather than the .30 caliber class. But everyone's got their preferences," Marion shrugged.

"I have a custom made .454 magnum with an under barrel thirty millimeter grenade launcher," Camila said. "If you want to talk firearms, though, Lieutenant Corwin is the one to talk to. She's a collector and has a nice collection on the ship. She's the current Acting Chief of Security."

Liz gave the woman a brief chuckle, "It's not my favorite topic of conversation, I just know a good deal. But if I'm ever stuck looking for small talk with Lt. Corwin, I'll keep it in mind. Was there anything else, or was that the only thing you'd forgotten? Much as I enjoy our little chats, I'm pretty sure you're just as tired of walking down here as I would be in your shoes. We are kind of out of the way down here."

"That's all. I promise," Camila said. "As soon as you get the probes modified, get them launched and we should be set."

"Then I'll get started," Liz said with a nod before heading out.

 

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