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AT/D05-14 - Holodecks


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#1 Capt Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 22012.15 @ 14:28 (02:28 PM)

==


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#2 Ens Beka Sydesh

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Posted Star Date 22012.30 @ 00:35 (12:35 AM)

== During Shore Leave. Holodeck 4. ==

 

“Well good morning one and all! Welcome to extra training, Artemis style!”

 

The voice boomed far too loud across the corridor outside the holodeck. It belonged to a Trill man in Security amber, pale skin and short blonde hair, an Lt(JG)’s pips on his collar. Assembled in front of him were a handful of Security personnel of varying ranks, and one in Medical blue.

 

“I am Lieutenant Yordan of the Rapid Response Teams and for my sins, I have been given the job of organising today’s fun and games. Now some of you are here because you’re jockeying for promotion. Aren’t you, Dawkins?” the man continued to collective snickers. “And others are here because they’re bottom of the class and this is how we do remedial work. I’ll be watching all of you particularly closely.” He pointed his finger along the other 4 Security officers, and the snickers were suddenly absent. “And then, there’s one where I have no idea what she’s doing here. You want to tell the class there, Midshipman Sydesh?”

 

Beka sighed. She had been offered a Security uniform but politely declined, choosing to stick with her teal tunic. The other Security personnel would know immediately she wasn’t one of them, and to her mind it felt like trying to hide.

 

“A little from column A, a little from column B,” she said honestly. “And something from column C. Namely that if one of you gets shot or stabbed, it’s probably me that will have to patch up the hole and put you back on duty. And that’s already seen me on the front lines, so I want to know I’m doing things the right way.”

 

There was an awkward silence across the small group, the lieutenant looking at the midshipman expectantly. She frowned at him, then realisation dawned.

 

“Sir,” she added. He nodded in response as she tried not to sigh.

 

Her answer was a neat enough summation of her reasoning, but not the whole story. Right before the order to break for leave had been given, the doctor had been given the feedback she wanted from Lt Coleman and LCdr Tyrol. Neither senior officer had held back - Sydesh’s conduct had shown absolutely no understanding of the militaristic part of her role in Star Fleet, something that had been echoed by Cdr Braggins as well. Whatever her thoughts on her superiors, she’d shown precious little respect for them or their positions and that had to change if she was going to be allowed to remain on the Artemis, never mind Star Fleet in general.

 

The Security course had been suggested and agreed in short order. It would hammer home the importance of rank and following orders, teamwork, and give Beka the grounding she’d wanted in tactics and operations so that she could play her part. Before she had been allowed to even set foot in the holodeck she’d had to study the technical terms used, formations and procedures. But she’d passed the tests and taken her place that morning, even if the session had started about 2 hours earlier than she was ready for and coffee was in short supply.

 

“Fine,” Yordan said. “But don’t think we’re going easy on you just because you’re a doctor.”

 

“Didn’t think for a second you would. Sir,” Beka replied coolly.

 

The lieutenant shook his head.

 

“Phaser certification and a black belt, girl thinks she’s Captain Marvel reborn. Guess we’ll soon see.” He turned to the rest of the group. “Now listen in. Here’s how it’s going to go.”

 

15 minutes later, the team had been assembled and equipped with type II hand phasers. There were 6 ‘real’ officers including Sydesh, and when they stepped across the threshold into the holodeck, their numbers were swelled with holographic extras. Two teams of 8, tasked with hunting an intruder through the simulated Artemis. The redhead was on team 1, under the command of a Bolian Ensign who had been picked out as needing to improve.

 

Beka checked her phaser as the siren marked the start of the exercise. One of the holographic officers was manning a tricorder, and the team inched forward with weapons held ready. She recognised deck 8 immediately as ‘home turf’, but they were apparently searching through impulse engine control.

 

Progress was painfully slow, the Security officers barking calls back and forth as rooms were checked and cleared. The doctor was trying her best to stay focused but she couldn’t stop her mind wandering. Every shadow seemed to hold a hidden attacker, and round every corner was a knife in the back. She shook her head to try and clear it, her fingers flexing as she tightened her grip on the phaser.

 

And then she saw the figure. It was a Kazon at the end of the corridor, and he hissed a challenge before turning to run.

 

“There he is!” Beka shouted. “Contact made!”

 

Without a second thought she took off in pursuit. There was some yelling behind her and someone bellowed her name like a curse, but before long the whole team was off after the doctor.

 

The Kazon skidded around a corner as Sydesh gained on him and stretched out the gap from the rest of her team. As she rounded the same corner, she just about registered the disruptor pointed at her in time to fling herself onto the deck. She rolled, her phaser skittering away across the carpet, as the bolts chewed through the wall where she’d been.

 

Quickly she was on her feet again and she slammed a kick into the Kazon’s midriff, spinning nimbly and smashing another one into his head hard enough to bounce it off the wall. He threw a punch at her but she ducked out of the way, and then she felt a sudden sharp pain in her back.

 

“You’re dead, Sydesh.”

 

The voice belonged to Yordan as Beka turned to see another Kazon behind her with a knife in his hand. She swore as she clocked the full hunting party, and as the rest of her team pounded round the corner they ran headlong into a fusillade.

 

Another siren sounded as the exercise ended and the holodeck reverted back to grid lines. There wasn’t one single Security officer who wasn’t glaring at the doctor.

 

“You mind telling us what the hell you were doing?” the lieutenant thundered, having appeared when the holograms dissipated. “You never take off like that! Ever! You just got yourself and your whole team gunned down!”

 

Beka sighed in frustration.

 

“Sorry. I thought I had him,” she replied.

 

“Well you didn’t,” Yordan replied mockingly. “They had you! You report the sighting to your team leader and you let them make the decision!”

 

“Come on!” Beka exclaimed. “My team leader here is in detention, and from the looks you were all giving him when he was put in charge, you don’t trust him to count the shots in a charge pack!”

 

“That’s not your decision, Midshipman!” The blonde man was angry, his skin flushed red and making his Trill spots stand out even more as he stepped up to the doctor. “Did you actually understand any of the reading we gave you? You respect the authority of the person in charge because there’s a damn good reason why they’re there. That decision comes from Lieutenant Coleman or someone that he trusted to make the call. And I absolutely guarantee they will have had more training than you! Now, are you going to start respecting authority, or are you going to set a record for being the fastest person ever to wash out of this exercise? Because it’s one or the other.”

 

The fire danced in Sydesh’s eyes. Part of her dearly wanted to go toe to toe with him but that was literally the attitude that had gotten her here in the first place, having to prove that she belonged.

 

“I’m sorry sir,” she said eventually, bottling away her emotions and shoving them deep down inside as she fought to keep her expression blank. “It won’t happen again.”

 

“Damn straight it won’t!” The lieutenant suddenly rounded on the rest of the team. “And as for all of you. Yeah, she ran. I’m not surprised because she’s a damn hothead from another department. But what’s your excuse? You all know the drill! Someone does that, you damn well let them go, you don’t go charging off after them like a mob of school kids straight into an ambush the damn Ferengi could have set! I understand now why every single one of you is here.”

 

None of the Security officers dared respond.

 

“Pathetic. I hope you show more fight if we ever do get boarded,” Yordan spat. “Now start this damn mess again! I’ll be watching.”

 

They ran the exercise again another three times in all. The first re-run, Sydesh was pointedly kept at arm’s length from the decision-making and held back as the team advanced. Next time out she was again the one to spot the intruder, but she did the right thing and reported it, only to see the team fail again when the section leader stormed ahead and got himself and others shot for not checking a room properly.

 

Third time out, Beka was cycled to the front of the line when it came time for the room checks. She’d watched the clearances taking place and when it was time, she was ready. With the Bolian Ensign at her back, she waited for the door to swing open and then, with a nod to the blue-skinned man, they kicked into gear. Nothing in front, so she turned to the left to check the corner and was promptly shot in the back.

 

The stun shot knocked the wind out of her and sent her crashing into the floor. Her body didn’t respond for several long seconds that felt like hours, before she finally managed to roll over. The program had been disabled again, and she just about had time to register the reappearance of Yordan before he was right in the Bolian’s face.

 

“I don’t believe what I just saw!” he shouted. “You stood back and let your teammate get shot!”

 

“She deserved it!” The Bolian was adamant. “She’s just playing at this! She cost us the first run-through, made me look like an idiot and I’ve got so much riding on it, sir!”

 

“You’re off this exercise!” Yordan bellowed. “I’ll deal with you later. Get off my holodeck and get out of my sight!”

 

“But sir…”

 

Get. Out.” The lieutenant turned to the assembled officers and took a deep breath, his voice back to normal levels. “The rest of you, take 5.”

 

The holodeck emptied out until it was just Sydesh and Yordan left. Slowly the stun shot was wearing off, and the doctor was able to sit up.

 

“You OK?” The Trill dropped down to one knee.

 

“I’m fine, sir,” Beka replied. “Not the first stun shot, doubt it’ll be the last either. Just the shock of it I think. I didn’t realise you’d gone to live fire. Or that Bolians carry grudges.”

 

“Good you’re alright. Here’s another one for your education though,” Yordan said. “Don’t sell anyone in your team up the river, because someone may well react like that. Doesn’t matter how righteous you think you were. You’re still dead and they’re probably not.”

 

“Point taken.” The redhead levered herself up off the floor and retrieved her phaser. Her movements were slow and awkward as she shook off the after-effects of the blast.

 

“I think you should call it a day and go,” the lieutenant said, standing as well. “Nobody will think any less of you. You gave it a try.”

 

“No way,” Beka replied instantly. “I’m not done here, sir.”

 

There was a moment’s silence as the two officers made and held eye contact.

 

“Alright. You can stay,” Yordan replied. “We’ll take lunch now so you can properly recover. But don’t expect things to get any easier. What Skell did was unforgivable but some of them will no doubt empathise with him more than they will with you.”

 

“Thank you,” Sydesh replied. “And I know. I’m ready for that. I’ll be a model team-mate for the rest of the day.”

 

“You better. Do not let me down.”

 

== Post written with assistance from Lt Coleman, as it’s a Security training course. The mentioned feedback from both CMO and COS was provided by their players and is used with kind permission. ==

 


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#3 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22101.15 @ 22:55 (10:55 PM)

== Holodeck 2 ==
 
Click… Click… Click...
 
Edward could feel the resistance against his legs, his thigh muscles aching as he forced himself not to break the rhythm he had established. Each clicking sound was the completion of a full rotation of the chain that connected the pedals to the rear wheels of his bicycle. A life of hard graft as he worked the land, and years competing against those half his age at the Academy had resulted in the middle aged officer being more physically resilient than most would credit him. In short bursts he could muster the energy of a man half his age. 
 
The task ahead of him was not a short burst. Edward had committed on the holodeck to a cycling programme around an indoor track. 
 
His heart racing and blood pumping, Edward could feel his breaths heavy, the pace between them quickening. 
 
Don’t let it beat you Ed. 
 
He gritted his teeth, pushing himself forward as the pain only grew. His hands gripping ever firmer to the steering handles, his head lowering as he committed to improving his aerodynamics. The speedometer on his bike rewarded him with the gratification that the old man had managed to accelerate even faster. He had not lost the physique of his youth, even if his muscles felt like they were rejecting that conclusion. 
 
Click... Click… Click…
 
Within seconds the wheels of the bike had passed the finish line, and with his head down Edward had thrown himself into another lap of the track, his heart racing.  

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#4 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22101.16 @ 15:47 (03:47 PM)

== Holodeck 2 ==
 
The aerodynamic helmet fixed to Edward’s head by a strap under his chin meant that the force of the bicycle's velocity was not hampered by resistance and friction, which would instead be carried right over him and not impede his progress. Not even his short brown hair would be hindering the pursuit of more speed. The transparent goggles tightly clenching the sides of his head, and tucking themselves succinctly behind his ears meant that the man could focus ahead of him. The force of the velocity was such that he was unable to turn his head to the left or the right with ease, instead should he wish to peer over his shoulder it would be an exertion of strength on his neck. Costly in more than strength, it would cost time too. For this reason Edward had resisted all urges to peer over his shoulder. In a solo race it made no difference, the only person Ed was competing against was himself.
 
At the Academy he had taken part in some competitive track cycling, a collection of staff and cadets had competed on two wheels. Then it was a matter of proving himself amongst those half his age, now it was a matter of proving to himself that he still belonged here.  
 
Click… Click… Click…
 
The chain was performing perfectly, the bicycle relentless in progressing the track set out. The man's performance felt far from the perfect engineering that he had depended on. His feet ached, his thighs throbbed, his breathing was difficult to control and his chest felt (not for the first time) like he had pushed his heart further than it wanted to go. All of this he had pushed through, choosing to ignore, gritting his teeth and letting out a defiant growl as he pushed his body further. 
 
Click… Click… Click… 
 
Focus Ed. Focus 
 
The sequence was repetitive, his body mimicking what it had done before hundreds of times, not slowing down, if anything going faster. The wheels of the bicycle spinning, carrying the Midshipman around the track circuit. His hands tighter to the handlebars, the braking levers easily accessible as an extension of the handlebars themselves.
 
Then he heard it… 
 
Click… Click… Clunk
 
The sound of a problem. 
 
Before Edward knew it he had been thrown violently into the air, his hands locked firmly into the grip of the handlebars. The bicycle was now the passenger as the Midshipman travelled in split seconds a short distance across the track and towards the central barrier. Had anyone been watching, or any other cyclists participating been within the inside lane this race would have become a full contact sport. 
 
Thud. 
 
Edward struck the central barrier, and as if the wall had been made out of foam it absorbed him, throwing him back out, only slightly more gracefully than he had thrown himself upon it.  The bicycle had crashed in behind him as a rearguard, offering a second strike against the man.  Whacking the midshipman on his back and head with force to match the velocity of the ride, it was the helmet absorbing the strike that prevented what would have otherwise been a significant blow.  
 
Edward pulled himself up, the pain in his back subsiding. With his hands, no longer locked to the handlebars, he released the chin strap, throwing off the helmet as he did so. The sound of the helmet could be heard as it slammed against the floor. He could feel his heart racing, the pain in his legs more serious now than before. 
 
He checked himself over, examining what he could. As a scientist he was content that he knew enough about the human anatomy to be able to triage if there was anything serious to attend. 
 
Feels like some scratches and bruises.
 
He felt his back, trying to determine if there were any significant damages. 
 
On the ground next to his feet was a bicycle frame, front wheel bent from the impact. He followed the frame to its gears, but no chain followed it to the pedals. Edward’s eyes followed the trajectory from where he had encountered the sudden problem, and resting on the wooden track floor was the culprit. A broken chain. 
 
I guess neither of us are invincible. 
 
[Computer end programme]
 
A chime confirmed the command had been heard, but the return of the holodeck to something closer to a chessboard left Edward alone standing in the room. 
 
“Thank goodness for the safety setting on the holodeck.”
 
He moved towards the access door, a slight limp on his right leg, his stubbornness persistent. Edward was not a young man by any measure, but he certainly wasn’t going to medbay for a Doctor to lecture him on the frailty of age. Some things bettered with age, refined and excelled. Edward was driven to be one of those things.
 
>> Crew Quarters >>

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#5 Lt Eliana McKenna

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Posted Star Date 22101.29 @ 19:50 (07:50 PM)

== Towards The End Of Shoreleave ==

With the programme activated with a simple verbal command and one psyched up, off duty security officer ready to go. Eliana stepped inside clad in shorts, trainers and a tank top emblazoned with the badge indicating her department. Hair tied up in a French braid as she intended to push herself without the hindrance of having her hair in her face.

Ever since her knee surgery and subsequent informal promotion to a fully recognised Team Leader with the responsibilities that came with it. Eliana had wanted to keep up with her own fitness and when she wasn't undergoing training with the individuals that she had chosen. She could be found either in the ship's gym or the holodeck. Of course this was timed around caring for William, being an awesome girlfriend with a very supportive partner. Said partner was currently watching her son after encouraging her to take an hour for herself, with the promise of a tasty dinner when she returned.

So with that goal in mind, Eliana popped the earbuds in and activated her music device, smiling at the song that began to play. Then after one final stretch, she started to run, the rhythmic beat of the music perfectly timed as her feet hit the ground. The setting was familiar and with the beach in sight, aimed for it as a reward.
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#6 Lt Eliana McKenna

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Posted Star Date 22102.02 @ 12:19 (12:19 PM)

Exhilaration, determination were just some of the emotions that Eliana was experiencing as, she ran along. Still unknowingly timing her steps with the music as another fast paced anthem made its way into her eardrums. As much as her music taste was eclectic, there was nothing better than listening to a variety of up tempo numbers, to reflect her mood and why she wanted to push herself.

Although it was easy to sometimes forget about where she was, almost as if she knew this route off by heart. Then again this particular programme was one she used often, for running and with Liam and William. Remembering her son's first experience with sand and how they had to stop him from trying to eat it. The memory bringing a smile to her face as she reached the edge of the beach.

Pride radiated from her as she took a moment to catch her breath. Then she turned off the music and found a spot to sit. Once comfortable, Eli closed her eyes and just savoured the sounds of the waves lapping against the shore.
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#7 Ens Beka Sydesh

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Posted Star Date 22102.03 @ 18:40 (06:40 PM)

== Towards the end of shore leave. Holodeck 3. ==
 
“And a good afternoon to you all!” Up at the front of the group of assembled Security officers was Lt (JG) Yordan, the imposing Trill officer easily loud enough to cut across the chatter. “Good to see so many of you still standing.”
 
Yordan smiled the smile of a man who knew exactly how much work he had put the officers through. They had been doing short but intense warm-up missions all morning, in preparation for the big exercise. Up alongside the Lieutenant were another pair of officers, the 3 of them wearing the all black gear that the hostile forces in the exercises had been using.
 
Everyone in the assembled group before them was wearing full body armour and carrying a phaser rifle. Except for Beka Sydesh - this particular exercise called for medical cover and she had been requested, both as a designated emergency specialist and as someone who had proven she could keep up with Security training exercises. She wore a black flak vest with a huge white cross over her teal tunic, a type II phaser in a holster at her hip and a full medkit slung easily across her shoulders. She had been made to work just as hard as the Security officers and the doctor had held her own. Luckily for her, her roommate and friend Nat Okehampton was amongst the group and had whispered in her ear when Sydesh needed the help.
 
“I’m sure you’re all desperate to know what you’re up to, so I’m going to put you out of your misery.” Yordan’s voice wasn’t quite a shout, but it was painfully close for anyone stood near him. “We’re running a hostile extraction drill. The scenario is this. A senior officer has been taken by an enemy force, and transported to their vessel. Your mission is to retrieve them. You know that our officer was injured and is likely to need treatment in order to get them out of there. That’s why you have a doctor on the team. Our hypothetical screwdriver slingers have managed to figure out a way to force a corridor through the enemy vessel’s shields to allow you to board. You must locate the officer and extract them to the evac point in order to be beamed out and complete the exercise. You have a 10 minute planning window. Eyrus is designated team lead. Okehampton is 2nd in command. Your enemies are holos, but me and my lovely assistants will be out there mixed in. Get on it, your time starts now!”
 
A holotable appeared in the middle of the gridlined floor. It showed the layout of the enemy vessel, and a readout of likely numbers of hostile crew. There was a PADD containing a personnel file on the captured officer, and that was handed to Beka to study as the Security team started to plan the attack.
 
OK, what have we got. The redhead started to go through the details. Commander Dennett, human male, 44 years old, good previous health. Severe neck injury. Oh great. That could mean stretcher bearers. Lacerations to chest and left leg, I’ll have to at least stop the bleeding so he can be moved.
 
“Sir? Lieutenant Eyrus?” Sydesh spoke up to get the officer’s attention.
 
Lt (JG) Eyrus, a whip-thin Elaysian male, looked over at the doctor. 
 
“What do you have for us?” he asked.
 
“Casualty has been identified as having a severe neck injury, sir,” Beka said. “Exact details unknown but there’s a very real possibility that he will not be mobile, and may need carrying out on a stretcher to avoid killing him on the way out.”
 
Eyrus nodded.
 
“If that’s the case, then can I count on you to be one of the stretcher bearers?” he asked.
 
“Yes sir. Not a problem.” The redhead had come through the morning exercises still fighting fit and strong. “Wherever you need me.”
 
“Anything else?”
 
“Says here he suffered severe lacerations in the attack,” Sydesh added. “That could mean additional time to stabilise him. We’ll need to build that in.”
 
“Understood. Thank you, doctor.” The Elaysian went back to the planning with the other Security officers as the redhead checked her kit accordingly.
 
The planning time flew by. The provided scans indicated the casualty was in the enemy ship’s infirmary. The team had a main route loaded into a tricorder along with a pair of reserve options, copied to Beka’s medical tricorder in case they needed it. Once they located the target, they would cover the doctor whilst she stabilised the patient for extraction, and then a retreat in formation along a different route.
 
With the planning time expired, the team all checked their gear, slotted fresh charge packs into the weaponry and made ready. Sydesh had been told to take a position in the middle of the formation and was under strict instructions to stay there. She was mission-critical and that meant they couldn’t afford her charging off and getting herself shot. Given the likely fact that the team was going to be heavily outnumbered, and she had proven to be an adequate shot in the morning’s exercises, Beka was allowed to join in defence formations as long as she did what she was told. 
 
As she took her position before the start, phaser in her hand, the doctor drew in a deep breath and put in her earpiece. With everyone else in full tactical helmets, she had to use the bead to keep up with the comms.
 
This is intense… I’ve had to spend so much time trying to memorise all the formations and tactics that I’m falling back on my training to deal with the casualty. There’s been no time to even think about what could have happened there. Still, there is the fact that this is a Security exercise. It’s mostly to test everyone else, not me. That should keep it well within what I can deal with. It’s just keeping my head when the beams start flying.
 
An armoured form touched Beka on the shoulder. She recognised Nat immediately and nodded to show she was ready. The whole team sounded off and then the exercise started. 
 
The holodeck suddenly pulsed blue to simulate a transport, and then they were on the enemy vessel. Instantly the order came through to double-time and the assembled officers started to run, tracking through the ship on their primary route. They didn’t encounter any severe resistance, just a couple of small patrols that were easily dispatched by a volley of fire. Sydesh was happy not to have been needed, although it was strange for her to have a pair of Security personnel immediately step between her and danger every time there was an encounter. 
 
Big difference between this and the scavenger missions I used to go on, I guess… Nobody gave a **** if I came back from them or not. It’s kinda cool to matter.
 
The Star Fleet team quickly reached the location of the casualty, a basic infirmary. Eyrus ordered the locked door blown and they were in. Tricorder scans soon located Commander Dennett in a small side room, on his own with just about enough room for the doctor to work. Handily he was already laid on a stretcher, dumped on top of a bed.
 
[Casualty located. Defensive positions on my location.]
 
The voice was Nat’s as Beka went in and unslung her medkit. The tricorder was in the doctor’s hand and she went to work. 
 
OK. Residual traces of a heavy stun shot in his system, which is why he’s unconscious. I don’t see anything else that would cause it. OK. Other injuries. Fracture to the C2 and C3 vertebrae. Damn it! He does have a broken neck. We’re going to have to stabilise that. And some deep cuts that I need to treat properly because those dressings won’t last…
 
As she went for the dermal regenerator, Sydesh nearly jumped as the comms network suddenly came to life. 
 
[Contact! Inbound hostiles!]
 
[I see them! Form up, we keep the doc clean.]
 
[Fire at will.]
 
The noise level jumped dramatically as a full-on firefight broke out in the infirmary right outside. It took all of Beka’s willpower to block it out and focus on the task at hand.
 
[Sydesh! How long do you need?]
 
“Three minutes tops,” she replied confidently. Her hands were rock-steady as she raced to treat the cuts. With that done, she looked around for something to strap down Dennett. 
 
That was when things went very wrong in the small room. Without warning, a door that Beka hadn’t even seen suddenly slid closed and locked her in, with the Security team on the outside. She swore under her breath and drew her phaser, before triple-tapping her earpiece in a distress signal.
 
A hatch in the ceiling was thrown open at the far end of the room. Sydesh took aim and when a black armoured form dropped through, she loosed off a volley of phaser shots that dropped him. Someone still in the vent returned fire and sent her ducking behind the bed for cover, allowing them to drop in.
 
Phaser shots chewed up the carpet where Beka had been, but she had already gone around the other side of the bed. She fired at point blank range but her enemy had just enough time to react, and the armoured figure ducked before knocking the gun out of the doctor’s hands.
 
[Sydesh! What’s going on in there?]
 
There wasn’t time to respond. The redhead planted her foot and lashed out with a side kick that smashed into the figure’s helmet and bounced their head against the wall. She followed up with a scissor kick that took their phaser out of their hands and nimbly shifted her weight in order to land a brutal roundhouse that sent them sprawling onto the floor.
 
“2 attackers. Dropped in from a ceiling vent,” Beka reported breathlessly. “1 down. The other…”
 
The enemy on the floor took their weight on their hands and kicked out, aiming for the redhead’s shins. She just about managed to jump over the blow but didn’t have time to set herself before she was punched in the face. Strong hands grabbed hold of her shoulders and smashed her into the wall before seizing her arm and twisting to try and force her to submit.
 
Beka grimaced in pain. She ran her boots up the wall to relieve the stress on her shoulder and then pushed out backwards. Her opponent wasn’t expecting the move and they let her go to steady themselves, time that the doctor used to plant herself and throw everything she had into a vicious back kick that went straight into the armoured figure’s ribs. They cried out in pain, a cry that was silenced as she spun and brought her heel down in a crunching axe kick to the head. The figure hit the floor and didn’t move.
 
“Both down,” Sydesh said into the comm, breathing hard but with some satisfaction in her voice. “Can you get that door open?”
 
[On it. Are you OK?]
 
“I’m fine.” The redhead retrieved her phaser and then slammed the ceiling hatch closed, using her gun to weld it shut before dropping the weapon back in its holster.
 
Finding a set of straps in a supply crate in the corner of the room, Beka used them to anchor Dennett firmly in place. She could see the Security team working to get to her, the firefight apparently over. When they got the door open, Ensign Drema took the front of the stretcher, Beka took the rear and they gently eased the injured man out of the side room.
 
[Let’s go.] The voice was Eyrus over the comm. [Beta route. Sydesh and Drema, hold position in the centre. Do not stop moving for anything. Okehampton and Prel, stay with them if we have to split.]
 
The team broke out of the infirmary at a run. They were jumped four times as they followed the route to the evac point, each time Okehampton and Prel making sure that the stretcher bearers kept going as the rest of the team engaged and chased off the pursuers before catching up.
 
By the time they reached the evac point, sweat was running down Beka’s face. Fully laden and carrying the stretcher, she was really feeling the weight she’d had to carry, as her arm wasn’t feeling right at all after the fight. She was the owner of a truly magnificent black eye too and for her it was a blessed relief as everything went blue to signify beam-out and the end of the exercise.
 
The holodeck returned to gridlines, with Yordan stood by the door. Only one of his assistants was standing, the other slumped against the wall next to his discarded armour and apparently in some pain by the look on the man’s face.
 
“Excellent job!” the Trill thundered. “Mission accomplished, zero casualties, and some outstanding work all round. You have more than earned your beers back at the office!”
 
There was a rousing cheer as the Security officers pulled off their helmets. Several high-fived each other, and Nat threw her arm around Beka’s shoulders as the redhead was bent almost double trying to get her breath back. 
 
“Right then. Sydesh, you’ve got a job to do before debrief. Reeve got his *** kicked and I need him fixed so we can rip him. Everyone else, listen in,” Yordan called.
 
“Aye sir,” Beka replied with a grin of her own. She wrapped an arm around Nat’s waist and hugged her roommate, before shrugging off the flak vest and taking her kit to help the wounded officer.
 
Behind Sydesh and Reeve, Yordan took the Security team through the exercise on a video screen provided by the holodeck, pointing out what they did well and going over a couple of issues he’d seen. Beka wasn’t able to listen in too much as Reeve had a nasty concussion and 2 cracked ribs but the Trill specialist seemed to be very impressed with the team’s performance.
 
“So what happened?” the doctor asked her patient. She gave him a shot to help with the concussion and started to work on the ribs. 
 
“You did,” he replied sullenly, and then looked away.
 
As she worked, it dawned on Beka that his injuries absolutely matched up with the blows she’d landed in that sideroom. Her eyes widened for a moment and then she shook her head, refocused the osteogenic stimulator and finished the job. 
 
“OK. You’re off duty for at least 72 hours with that concussion,” she said when she was done. “We don’t take chances with head injuries. Your ribs will be tender for probably as long but you’ll be fine. I’ll come check on you tomorrow.”
 
Reeve looked up.
 
“I’d say thanks, but y’know,” he said, wincing as he drew in a deep breath to sigh.
 
“Yeah. Sorry about that…” Sydesh replied. 
 
“You two finished over there?” Yordan bellowed. “If so, Sydesh. Front and centre please.”
 
“Sir,” Beka managed, slamming the lid on her medkit and joining the Security officers in front of the screen. 
 
“The rest of you might be wondering what happened to our doctor and my lovely henchman,” Yordan said, with a storyteller’s eye for drama and a grin on his lips. “Well, I’ve run this exercise many times before. And we like to have a little twist. We lock the doctor in, we take them hostage, and then we see how the team reacts. Only… Well. This happened when Reeve tried this time.”
 
The viewscreen ran the footage of the sideroom from the moment the door slammed shut and the ceiling hatch swung open. There was laughter when the first man through the hatch suffered the indignity of being blasted by a medical officer, but that soon turned to shouts of encouragement as Beka landed her kicks. When she slammed her heel down to finish the fight the roar was deafeningly loud. Stood in the midst of the Security officers, Sydesh was patted on the shoulder, hugged and had her hair tousled before Yordan hit rewind.
 
“You know what, I want to see that finisher again. Let’s do some more angles,” the Lieutenant said. Reeve’s face was sour enough to curdle milk as the team watched the last two blows land again and again, Okehampton and Sydesh having linked arms as the redhead leant her head on her roommate’s shoulder.
 
“In all seriousness, this is a lesson for everyone, not just for Reeve,” Yordan said. “Never, ever assume you have a fight won. You go full bore until the other guy is down. And I have new respect for Doctor Sydesh here. Doc, you kept up with us all day, you more than played your part. You are welcome back any time.”
 
There were shouts of agreement as Nat squeezed Beka’s hand. With her free hand, the doctor acknowledged the Security team. 
 
“Right. Beers,” Yordan shouted. “Doc, you are more than welcome to join us, but get that shiner looked at first, OK?”
 
“Will do, sir,” Sydesh replied, grinning.
 
== Huge thanks to Lt Coleman for his help and permission to do these.  :wub:  ==
 

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#8 Lt Eliana McKenna

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Posted Star Date 22102.07 @ 16:23 (04:23 PM)

== Towards the end of shoreleave ==

Having no real concept of time or how long she had been sat on the beach, listening to the ocean. Eli finally opened her eyes, feeling completely relaxed and at peace with what she had accomplished since arriving at the holodeck. Of course it was never just about returning to full fitness and she would be deluding herself if she thought otherwise.

No this has been the chance to think about everything and put it all into perspective. Realising that some of it was out of her control and all she could do was, pull her big girl pants up and face it like she always did. Besides it wasn't as if she was facing the unknown by herself anymore, not when she had a supportive boyfriend and friends, who were like family. A little boy who was her whole world even if the circumstances around his conception and his parentage weren't ideal and he was the only thing that she didn't regret.

Yes it had been scary to think that she would be responsible for a child. However it had made her grow as a person and he turned out to be her saving grace. Only then did Eli realise that her face was wet, although wasn't ashamed to let her emotions show, without any witnesses. Unsure as to what exact recollection had set her off. But she clearly needed to offload and perhaps it wasn't sadness at all.

Whatever the cause or the meaning behind it, she did feel better and as the simulated sun began to set. Eli dried her eyes with the back of her hand, then got to her feet. Calling for the EXIT, Eli took one last look at the ocean before ending the programme. Then she stepped back into reality, eager to get home to her boys and share some family time.

== ETL Eliana ==
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#9 Ens Beka Sydesh

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Posted Star Date 22104.04 @ 22:30 (10:30 PM)

== During the timeskip == 
 
The holodeck doors slid open to reveal a huge expanse of impeccably well-manicured lawn. There was birdsong in the air, and off to one side was a huge sprawling mansion. As she blinked furiously, her eyes adjusting to the bright daylight, Beka couldn’t quite believe what she was looking at. 
 
“Nat?” she called. “You out here? If I’d known you wanted to channel Jane ******* Austen, I’d have worn a flouncy dress instead of my uniform!”
 
“Beka Sydesh, you are where culture goes to die.” Okehampton’s voice came from a clump of bushes near the house, and she leant out so the redheaded doctor could see her. “Over here, if it’s not too much trouble?”
 
“Yeah yeah,” Beka threw back. “I had to stop for coffee. And yes, I did bring you one too. Can’t have you getting all passive-aggressive at me.” There were indeed two mugs, one in each hand, and as she reached the table that the uniformed Nat was standing behind, the redhead thumped one of them down. She went to take a drink from hers, stopped, and then swapped them round. “That one’s yours. Your usual hazelnut weirdness.”
 
The brunette Security officer sighed. 
 
“Are you quite finished?” she asked pointedly.
 
“Nearly. Nat, where are we and what are we doing here?” the doctor asked. 
 
Okehampton quashed the comebacks that rushed to the tip of her tongue by taking a long sip of lukewarm coffee. She said nothing, grateful to her roommate for the thought if not the execution. Slowly, she laid the cup down. 
 
“If you must know, this is where I grew up,” she said. “The gardens still calm me down, even now.”
 
Sydesh’s mouth hung open. 
 
“Wait, you grew up in that?” The redhead jerked a thumb at the enormous building behind them. “I know you said your family was comfortable but **** me, Nat. That’s an actual palace!”
 
Nat shrugged. 
 
“What do you want me to say?” she said calmly. “You keep telling me I’m divorced from reality. We just… have different realities I guess?”
 
Shaking her head, Beka laughed. 
 
“Yeah, we do. I grew up in a 4 room shack on a frontier world,” she replied. “It was probably smaller than your toolshed.” Draining her mug, the redhead laid it down on the solid oak table. “So why here? I know you well enough to know this isn’t some giant humblebrag. We’re here for a reason.” 
 
“Yes. Yes we are.” Nat leant down, picked up a black box that had been hidden and then laid it on the table in front of Beka. “Go on. Open it.”
 
One ginger eyebrow raised quizzically, Sydesh did as she was asked. As she flipped the catch and opened the box, she inhaled sharply. Nestled in green felt, alongside a series of charge packs, was the battered old Tal’shiar issue disruptor that was the only thing she still had from her time out on freighters. Only, as she lifted it out and turned it over in the sunlight, it wasn’t battered any more. It had been perfectly restored back to its old glories, the faint copper hue of the metal gleaming. 
 
“How did you… I mean… This thing was completely ******,” she managed, turning it over in her hands. Under her thumb, the power selector slipped between the settings easily. “Does it fire?”
 
“Yes.” Okehampton nodded. “It took a while, and a lot of cross-referencing with Romulan source material, but I figured it out in the end. That weapon in your hand is now a fully-functional firearm, and I need you to understand that that comes with caveats. I can’t just hand it back to you and say ‘off you go’. Although it’s yours, we’re on a Star Fleet vessel, and that means you need approval and training on how to use it.”
 
Beka looked up at Nat as she laid the gun down in its case. 
 
“Thank you. Really. I never thought I’d see the day when this thing would be anything other than an ornament.” She leant forward and the two women shared a tender hug, both squeezing the other gently.
 
“Well, you did make me that jacket,” Nat said, letting go with a warm smile across her lips. “That set a high bar.”
 
“Glad you liked it,” Beka replied, grinning broadly. “So. What training do I need to do and how do I get signed off?”
 
Okehampton looked shifty for a moment. 
 
“Well, actually, that’s Lieutenant Coleman,” she replied. “And I scheduled you a meeting with him in 25 minutes.” 
 
“You did what?” Sydesh exclaimed.
 
“In my defence, you were supposed to be here half an hour ago!” Nat threw back. “But it’s your gun. It’s not like I need to show you how to fire it or anything. But if you want to, I set some targets up.” There was a slender remote on the table and when the brunette pressed a control, a series of targets smoothly slid out from the nearby topiary.
 
“Never mind all that. I’m in front of Coleman again in 25 minutes. And last time I was there, that did not go well for me…” Beka rubbed her temple absently.
 
“Well, this time I can give you the script for how the meeting is going to go.” Nat placed a calming hand on her roommate’s shoulder. “He’ll want to be convinced that you can be responsible. And we both know you will be. Things like the gun safe I’ve already installed in your room, and the one I can put in your locker in Sickbay later, will go a long way towards convincing him. You’re front line, and you’ve trained a lot with Security teams. Heck, according to the records, Commander Gregg spent half of leave wandering around our office with Tommy guns and his permits were still renewed. You’ll be fine.” 
 
There was a faint smile on Sydesh’s lips, and she drew in a deep breath before exhaling slowly. 
 
“OK. I trust you,” she said eventually. “You mind if I do a few test runs?” she asked, nodding towards the disruptor. 
 
“I’d be upset if you didn’t!” Okehampton replied.
 

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#10 Ens Beka Sydesh

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Posted Star Date 22108.14 @ 23:46 (11:46 PM)

== 24 hours before arrival at the station. Holodeck 8 ==
 
It was a long ride down to deck 14. Leaning against the back of the turbolift car, Beka sighed and tried to huddle deeper in the grey hoodie she was wearing over plain black shorts and sneakers in a vivid orange. 
 
This time of the week sneaks up on me. I hate it, I really do.
 
Sydesh was straight out as the doors slid open, a resigned expression on her face as she keyed in the access code to holodeck 8. 
 
“Computer, initiate program Sydesh 423 please.” Her voice was curiously flat, far from her effervescent norm. 
 
[codeword required.]
 
“Hypocrite.” The word tasted like ash on her tongue as the computer accepted it. 
 
[Program loaded. You may enter when ready.]
 
Taking a deep breath, Beka strode into the holodeck. It had taken on the look of a fighting pit, a square concrete floor about 20 yards across and surrounded by industrial-looking metal walls. All around the top were empty benches. Stood at the far end was a woman with jet black hair in a short bob and steely grey eyes, clad in a simple black bodyglove. The intensity that radiated from her was borderline unsettling, and she walked towards the doctor as the doors to the holodeck slid closed. 
 
“You again.” It wasn’t a question, more of a statement, as the woman slid two heavy combat blades from sheaths at her waist. She tossed one to Sydesh hilt first and the redhead caught it easily. 
 
“Me again,” Beka replied, a scowl on her face. 
 
“Then let’s do this.”
 
As her voice died away, the woman gripped the knife in her right hand. Her left was held out in front of her in a fist, knuckles pointed towards the doctor. Sydesh held the knife in her left hand, her right a fist, but otherwise she mirrored her opponent’s stance. 
 
At an unspoken signal, the two darted forward, blades sparking against each other. The technique they were using was a curious one. They kept the knives moving constantly, the weapons circling in their hands as they backed off, and when they lunged forward it was never from the same angle.
 
Beka had to step back sharply to avoid a slash aimed at her belly, and the woman’s follow-up cracked painfully off the redhead’s knuckles as she used her fist to deflect the blade.
 
“Good.” The black-haired woman’s voice was like granite. “Best block I’ve seen from you. It’s almost like you’re learning.”
 
There wasn’t an answer from Sydesh. She kept her stance but she took the chance to catch her breath. A second later she pounced forward. She was fast. Her speed was next-level and it was one of the reasons she was so surprisingly dangerous up close. The blade was a silver blur as she switched hands and leaned into her thrusts. But her opponent had the measure of her. The woman just wasn’t where she was supposed to be, and there was a sharp pain in the doctor’s right side as she didn’t react in time to a beautifully-placed thrust. 
 
Pain flooded the redhead’s system as she gasped and dropped to one knee. She groaned as she clutched at her side. There was no blood - the holodeck safeties saw to that. But the creator of this program wanted there to be consequences to getting hit.
 
“So do I ever get to hear you introduce yourself?” her opponent said, taking a step back. “I know your name. I hear it every time this program loads. And you know mine, because you sought me out. But all you ever do is scowl at me. I used to be a Security chief, I can read people. And you are not a natural ice-cold *****.”
 
Beka sighed. 
 
“I’m sorry. My name is Beka Sydesh,” she said, pulling herself together. She rose unsteadily, taking a deep breath as the pain faded. “I don’t mean to give you attitude. But I don’t want to be here. I’m here because I feel like I have to be.” 
 
“Hello, Beka Sydesh. I’m Ro Taelor, but you knew that.” The woman nodded in acknowledgment. “If you don’t want to be here, why are you? It’s not for my scintillating company. I… That is, the real me who programmed this. I wasn’t exactly known for being a ray of sunshine.”
 
“Because…” The redhead’s shoulders slumped. “Because whilst I’d love to cling to my principles, and never raise a blade in anger, that kind of thinking will get people killed. Probably including me.”
 
Ro raised an eyebrow. 
 
“**** off,” she said. “I watch you move. You can handle yourself, pretty ******* well actually. You know how to fight. And now you’re preaching to me about the evils of a blade?”
 
“Yeah, I am. Because I hate the damn things,” Beka threw back angrily. “I fight because I was beaten down and bullied by people like you for years. And now, I’m a doctor. I’ve seen far, far too ******* many slash and stab wounds to be comfortable holding something like this.” She held the knife up in the air. “But I know how the universe works. I’ve seen the rough end of it. And I’m on a crew now, out exploring in the arse end of nowhere. If I get jumped, or my team is attacked, I have to be able to fight. And if the only weapon to hand is a knife, then you better believe I want to be able to pick the bastard thing up and know how to use it. Because I will not be the weak ******* link. I will not be the easy target. I will not be the one that lets the team down because I can’t look after myself or watch their backs.”
 
Sydesh subsided, spinning the blade a couple of times with a practised flick of her fingers. 
 
“That’s why I come here,” she said. “That’s why I’m always in such a ****ty mood, because I’m making a hypocrite out of myself and I’m not sure whether it’s that I hate most, or that I’m actually getting good enough to live with you. I’m a doctor who can apparently knife-fight with one of the most dangerous women who ever joined Star Fleet. You were terrifying.”
 
An awkward silence fell across the holodeck, until Ro cracked a feral smile. 
 
“I didn’t like doctors,” the raven-haired woman said. “They never seemed to understand the reality we live in. You, you’re OK by me. Now. Get that blade down. We go again.” 
 
Taelor lunged forward. Beka dodged and thrust, forcing the other woman to deflect the stroke with her fist. The redhead switched hands and lashed out again, trying to press her advantage. The blades sparked off each other and then Ro had hold of Beka’s wrist. That sharp, savage pain ripped through the doctor’s gut as the knife hilt thudded off her abdomen and she cried out. 
 
“Focus!” Ro hissed. “You’re better than that!”
 
Steeling herself, Sydesh went in again. Every time she managed to last longer, eking out another few seconds before Taelor’s knife ripped across an arm or sank into her body. Every time it hurt like hell. But she kept going until her arms were numb and the sweat stung her eyes. The knives clashed again, the impact jarring Beka's whole body, before she took a step back. Breathing heavily, she tossed the blade back to the raven-haired woman. 
 
"Same time next week?" Ro asked. 
 
"Same time next week," Beka said, before she turned for the door.

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