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Simulation Training

Posted on 25 Dec 2017 @ 1:52am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander
Edited on on 08 Jan 2018 @ 3:54am

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Fighter Simulators
Timeline: MD4 || 0900 hours

Terry had been in the new simulators several times. It was the sessions after Kelly's that he learned what happened wasn't a malfunction, but a programmed response in the system that activated at random. Today though, he'd scheduled a few of the pilots for an actual training session with him. They were about to head into who knows what and he wanted his people to stay sharp and on their toes. Real life combat in the black was very different from a hologram simulation. But he had plans to keep it interesting and see how his pilots responded.

He asked the computer for the time and took a deep breath. The assigned personnel had a little less than fifteen minutes before start time. This was going to tell him a lot.

Callam walked into the simulator room. He saw Walsh and walked over to him.

"Hello, Commander," he said. "You called, I came. What's on the agenda for today?"

Ensign Jolan "Galahad" Baro entered with a grin and a wave, "Greetings Bossmen"

Lt. Alexander entered, like others in her flight suit and ready to fly, "'ello all. Whats the doom today?" She smiled.

Lieutenant JG Bervug, one of three Benzites assigned to the Black Hawk, and the only one in Charlie Flight, entered the room. She was a bit tired, having just come off her watch, but when the CAG called, you answered. "Commander," she greeted.

Terry was about ready to answer his Bravo Flight Lead when the rest of the team came in. "Well, now that we're all here," he turned towards Jaxer, "our agenda is simple, simulator training. We all need to be ready for the unknown. No one, to my knowledge, knows exactly what awaits us on the other side of that anomaly. So this particular simulator session will focus on surprises...the unknown. Now pick a simulator, strap in, and power up. I'll be join you and then load the simulation. Any questions?"

"None that you'll answer" Archer joked and headed for a cockpit. This kind of training was awesome for encouraging thinking on ones feet, however they were also a big pain in posterior. She also knew from experience that with this kind of training all the most useful questions were ones the training officer would never answer as that would defeat the purpose.

Bervug shook her head, catching wafts of suitable elements from her breathalyzer. The ship's elevated nitrogen and oxygen levels made it difficult, but not impossible, to work around the ship. When she was in a fighter, however, her environmental system matched that of her homeworld perfectly. It was one of the reasons why she loved flying, to not have to share the polluted air so common on other worlds. To that end, she nodded to the Commander and selected a simulator. Once inside, she activated her environmental preset. Within seconds, the elemental concentrations had been adjusted, and was able to disengage her breathalyzer and remove it so that her view was unobstructed.

Callam climbed into a simulator and fired it up. He made sure to temper his confidence in his skills with the knowledge that there were always new experiences to learn from. Keeping that edge was how he'd stayed alive so far. Boldness had its place, but Callam was well aware that there were old pilots and bold pilots but very few old, bold pilots.

With a verbal confirmation from some and action from others, Terry climbed into one of the simulators and strapped in, activating everything. A few seconds later, "Computer, load Training Simulation Walsh Zero-One-Zero." Terry watched as the area outside his canopy faded into view. They were all stationed off the port side of a Nebula class starship, approaching a planet in the Delta Quadrant.

"Stay sharp, squadron," came a female voice over their comms. "The latest Intel reports are vague regarding the number of enemy ships. Hopefully, our colony's remote location means that they cannot allocate a large strike force. Hopefully. Regardless, our orders are to free the captured colony by providing ground support and preventing any further incursions."

"Roger that, Actual," replied Terry. "Okay, you heard the boss, eyes open for anything not Federation or Starfleet."

Archer came over coms, "Any allies or civies in the area?" She said checking her HUD. When she'd climbed she'd done the usual check along with systems, always a good habit to keep but always good to be safe.

Terry checked the orders on one of the monitors. "Negative on the allies, but...a possibility on the civilian ships. Looks like there's a shipping lane to the colony that has been active as of the last couple days."

Galahad brought his craft up near Jaxer in a similar location Archer had taken with Rocco, "On your left Mini Boss." He said in his usual laid back tone.

"Copy that, Galahad," Callam replied. "Stay loose. I'm sure the fun will start any minute."

The Nebula class ship slowed and entered orbit around the planet. "Alright folks, it's curtain time." Terry tapped a few commands into the simulator and grinned. An announcement came through all of the comms from the female Captain, A Venatic class ship is dropping out of warp...escorted by two Hirogen warships!

Bervug immediately performed a scan of her own. Both warships were small craft, roughly the size of a Defiant class starship, and each possessed two lifesigns. The Venatic class, however, was nearly as big as the Nebula they were escorting, and only possessed eighteen lifeforms. All three ships were heavily armored, making this a not-so-simple engagement. "Smoky to Rocco. There's enough Hirogen on those ships to take the entire colony," she remarked.

"Copy that Smoky," replied Terry. He knew about the Venatic class's weakness, despite the armor, but this was a training scenario. Part of it was to see what his pilots knew and would do. "We can't let them do that, though. We at least have to provide enough of a distraction to give the Altair the advantage. Maybe even give them something else to hunt instead of the colonists. Suggestions? And make them quick."

Archer spoke up, first few that came to mind. "One we focus on the Venatic with the Nebula going for speed to knock them out of the running, using the swarm battle plan, hitting the rest after as fast as we can. Option B we divide fire and hope we can be annoying enough to have them turn their attention to us until we can get through their armor. C we go after one target and the Nebula another. Of course in general trying to come at them in their blind spots" (avoiding weapons fire) She looked at her scans trying to judge how likely any of that was with the firepower they had at their disposal.

"Not much for being annoying in this situation," Terry said over his comm. "Annoying might get us killed. We'll go for the Venatic class with the Captain and provide some close in attacks. Good catch on the tactical aspect of the blind spots. You know your Hirogen vessels. I'll contact the..." Terry was interrupted by an announcement.

"Attention Starfleet vessels. Leave now."

That was all that was said. "Um," said Terry. The Captain responded and the Hirogen answered.

"You were warned." The three ships began opening fire on all of the Starfleet vessels.

"Oh hell. Evasive maneuvers!" Terry called out over the fighter's subspace frequency.

Smoky diverted his craft into a roll as she veered to starboard. "Gamma Flight, on me!" she called over the comm. "Stand by for a Sierra Four on Bogey Two," she ordered, painting the Hirogen ship off the Venatic's port bow. "If that's okay with you, Rocco?"

"Roger that, Smoky. Make it so," said Terry. "Alpha Flight on me! Omega One!"

"On it Boss!" Archer replied and shifted immediately into action, one thing you could say about the Hirogen they did not mess around. She moved into her assigned position in Omega One and lit up the Venatic like a supernova, weapons hot.

Galahad tightened up on Jax and made sure his weapons lock on the Venatic was solid.

Archer had followed him in and opened fire. He'd wanted to take advantage of the blind spot and concentrate fire on their engines, but that would have to come later. Maybe. As his shots landed, the Squadron Commander noticed that they didn't hit anywhere near his targeted area. He did a quick check and grinned. Just exactly as I wanted. "In order to show any kind of progress," Terry spoke into the comm system as he dodged a subnucleonic beam, "we're going to have to do this old school. Their monotanium armor plating is scattering our targeting beams. Switch to manual targeting." Then he laughed. "No school like the old school. So let's make 'em proud."

Smoky did as instructed, switching off her targeting systems. Her flight fired on command, lighting up their target, their phasers dancing along the ship's port bow, but not causing any visible damage. "Smoky to Rocco, our phasers aren't having much effect."

Archer annoyed said, "Controls overly sensitive, have adjusted." She said, she'd meant to hold fire just a bit longer but hovered her hand just a millimeter too close to the firing control after inputting the solution she'd wanted. Her voice was businesslike as she made corrections, even the best pilots err. The idea was to learn from it before it killed you. "Switching to manual targeting...." Her hands moves carefully and smoothly as her HUD changed and the console shifted to allow for manual targeting.

Galahad replied, "Concur, we are not getting through. Switching to manual. Call the target." He said, his tone was laid back but the words were concise as he focused on keeping up with his wing leader, Jax while not getting himself blown up.

The two smaller Hirogen warships pulled off and focused their attacks on some of the fighters while the Venatic class continued moving towards the planet.

Terry did a quick check of his sensors. This new tactical sensor suite was terrific. "Copy that, Smoky. We're loaded with micro-torpedoes, give them a shot. Literally. Weapons free. Archer, everything about them is new improved. Including sensitivity apparently. Everyone, keep that in mind. And Jax, check your six. You've got two warships coming up."

Almost instantly, both Hirogen ships opened fire with their subnucleonic beam. If they could disable small craft's propulsion systems and weapons, then they could tractor their prey in.

Smoky lined up her wing for another run on her target's lateral array. As they swept over, each craft fired a single micro-torpedo at a concentrated target, nearly breaching the Hirogen's shields. Smoky's craft jerked under a weapons blast from the target. Alarms wailed, and she quickly shut them off. "Rocco, Smoky. Target's shields are down to fifteen percent. They almost got me with a direct hit. Port phaser cannons offline. Trying to reroute now."

"On your six Smoky, moving to your 3. I got you." Reported Galahad as he moved into position on smoky's weak side. moving in a random pattern but keeping to Smoky, watching out for any potential threats while the other pilot rerouted his weapons.

Archer reported, "locked on to the target, ready for another run." She said dodging the beam but keeping her eye on the prize for as long as the flow of combat would let her. Dropping that mega ship.

"Ready," confirmed Smoky, commanding the rest of Gamma to fall in behind her. It wasn't long before they were able to make another run on their target, this time collapsing its shields and causing a hull breach. Though the ship was damaged, it returned fire, disabling two birds in Gamma Flight. "Rocco, Smoky. I've lost Gamma Two and Five."

"Smoky, Rocco. Copy that," said Terry. "Not something we want to repeat folks. Tighten it up. Nice job on the shields and hull breach. And Galahad, good work. Way to have your buddy's back. Rocco to Actual, we're making a dent."

"Good for you," replied the Captain. "We just took several more hits! Weapons are offline and our shields are at forty percent! A little assistance would not be remiss, Commander." And she closed the channel.

"Rocco to Squadron, fall back and regroup around the Cassiopeia! Her weapons are offline and shields are at forty. Smoky's tactic worked once, let's put it to work again." Terry was making mental notes as well as notes via the PADD on his leg.

Galahad responded, "Aye Rocco." But kept pace with Smoky, helping to watch his fellow pilots back.

"Regrouping Aye." Archer said eager to smash the enemy into useless little bits or at least a large paperweight. Her eyes skimmed the HUD on her fighter as she carefully applied her navigational orders, keeping her wing leader in sight.

Smoky issued the appropriate orders to her flight and brought her remaining fighters into formation behind Alpha One. As he was the superior officer, Smoky waited for Rocco's orders to fire, but she prepared to target a few possibilities anyway.

Terry pulled Alpha Flight into formation between the two monstrous ships and activated the com. Rocco to squadron, target their weapons. We need to shut down that subnucleonic beam before they can do anymore damage. Fire at will."

As Terry was giving the orders, the Hirogen Venatic class ship opened fire on his flight. Four of the fighters were disabled and the first one had been tractored. "Oh come on!" exclaimed the Squadron Commander, going along with his simulation. He watched as another shot on the Cassiopeia hit her shields. They flickered, but stayed up. He had no idea for how long.

Archer dodged the venatic's fire but it was close enough to brighten her sky, giving her those brief little lights that sometimes popped in ones vision, she worked around them and 'followed the groove' as it was sometimes called. Her micro torpedoes and phaser fire hitting exactly where Rocco's had hit. She pulled up and around, blinking trying to restore full sight. "Just drop ya big bastard...." she muttered at her HUD.

Galahad's had hit as well, torpedoes on target but phasers off to one side as he was forced to dodge fire just as he released his own. With a curse he realized in the chaos he lost Smoky, using the HUD he tracked back on track while dodging fire.

Smoky fired a couple torpedoes at the Venatic, but she did not get the chance to see if they struck her target. Her fighter received a direct hit from Hirogen weapons fire. Instantly, the simulator flashed and went dead. The screens around the cockpit also lost their life, leaving her to sit alone in the cockpit until the simulation was complete.

Terry watched as Smoky's icon disappeared from his tactical display. "Rocco to Archer, we've lost Smoky. Break off and take that Flight. I'll handle these two." Terry made a few more mental notes.

"Aye Rocco." Her answer was crisp and swift as she suited action to words and moved her craft into position. internally glad this was a simulation and not on the field. She dropped back to Gamma flight, "Gamma on me!, staggered formation."

Terry was assuming command of the two Flights when his comm came to life again. "Alpha One, Actual," said the Captain of the Cassiopeia, "our shields are down! But the Hirogen aren't bothering to board, they're targeting our Engineering section!"

Terry watched as his micro-torpedoes hit and then came around for another run. "Copy that Actual. Rocco to Squadron, get those weapons offline now!"

"Understood Rocco.Archer to Gamma take out the weapons, full spread." Archer said in reply. Galahad and other fighters part of Gamma flight or acting as such kept a loose formation, ready to 'slide the tube', a tactic that kept them on target but allowed them to slide around like in a greased tube avoiding enemy fire. Their navigated path, aiding by the computer, was continuously updated to be as much in the enemies blind spots as possible keeping in mind their end point and current position. Less a 'safe zone' more of a 'less doomed zone maybe'.

On their HUD's flashed the target area as their crafts screamed in, Archer's was first in the flight.Two micro quantum torpedoes slammed into the targeted weapons array, followed up by her two Type-XI Pulse Phaser Cannons. She spun out of the way allowing the others to leave their gifts as well as the rest of the flight moved in. Quickly attempting to come around for another pass. A readout on the side of her HUD obligingly kept track of her micro torpedoes and phaser levels along with other system data.

Terry came around with the other two flights and landed some perfect shots. He watched as his tactical screen indicated that the shield had fallen. But, he grinned as he also what he'd programmed. True, things had worked a bit differently based on the actions taken by the others. But the end should be the same. He just didn't know how it would happen.

The two smaller Hirogen warships came around behind the Cassiopeia. Their larger ship had done it's duty by dropping the shields and pulling the fighters away. Now, they were free to open fire not only on the Starfleet ship's Engineering section, but also their warp nacelles. When the Hirogen sensors indicated a breach, they pulled back and contacted their other ship.

"Commander Walsh," came the Captain's voice, "get the squadron back! We have a warp core..." There was a bright light on the screens of the simulators as the Nebula class's warp core breached and exploded. Everything then went dark. The lights in the simulator room came on and the simulators reset. Terry opened his canopy and stepped out, waiting for the others.

Smoky exited her simulator when the locks were released and joined the rest of her flight which was gathering near the squadron commander.

Galahad stepped out, pulling off his helmet and still in a little bit of a shock over the sudden end.

Archer climbed out and her first thought was, "Did we miss signs of the breach on the HUD?" she tried to think back as she pulled off her helmet, waiting for the Boss's debrief.

Terry took a deep breath. "And that, Black Knights, is my fighter version of the Kobayashi Maru." He paused a moment to let it sink in. "I've made some notes and things that we'll go over in fifteen minutes in the pilot's briefing room. Be there." And with that, Terry turned and walked out of simulator.

Smoky looked around, observed those around her, and then took off for the briefing room. And here she thought the Kobayashi Maru was just for cadets. As she walked away, she considered the many different things she could have done differently.

Galahad was a bit frustrated, he already knew how to fail so he wasn't sure what he was going to learn here. Still he followed the others out eager to learn how he might lessen any mistakes he had made.

Archer's mind was busily analyzing the whole match, looking for what she could have done better. If it was one thing she did not do, as she headed for the briefing room, was complain about how unfair it was. Life was not always fair and neither were training scenarios. She continued to go over her performance mentally as she walked, wanting to improve if she could before the next real firefight.


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