Shoot, Move, and Communicate - Part III
Posted on Sun Jul 8th, 2018 @ 10:12pm by Lieutenant JG Jamie Franklin
Episode 4: Whispers In the Dark
Location: Security Holodeck
Mallory was able to move again, his simulated death lifting from him. He could see the holographic environment dissipating with a hum as his team members began moving as well. The corridor, hard deck, and enemy Karemma all disappeared into thin air, replaced with emptiness surrounded by for black and gold walls. As he rose to his knees to stand up from the cold deck he peered at a pair of black boots belonging to someone he didn’t realize had snuck up on him. As he looked up at the individual he first saw an outreached hand. He grabbed the hand hesitantly and with anger as he was hoisted on to his feet.
“What did you do right?” Ensign Franklin asked, taking a step back from Mallory.
“Pffft” Mallory hissed as he stepped further back from Jamie. By this time, the rest of his team had assembled behind him. Jamie was well aware that each team member shared the fellow Ensign’s frustration and anger. He could see it in their eyes as each stared at him. “None of that was necessary” Mallory added as he brushed dust off his trousers.
“Which part?” Jamie asked, folding his arms across his chest. He wasn’t sure why he folded his arms but he wasn’t going to undo it. He had come into this training session knowing that there would likely be some resistance, especially since Mallory had been in line as the next assistant tactical officer. As such, Jamie had promised himself that he wouldn’t engage in confrontation with a security team leader. Nonetheless, he had just unintentionally entered a confrontation.
“You know my history” Mallory scoffed. “You read about what happened a year ago and you used it against me!” he stated raising his voice. Jamie re-positioned into a less threatening posture and took the opportunity to lower his arms to his sides.
“You are right. I did exploit a vulnerability” Jamie explained stepping closer to the group. “And if the roles were reversed, I would expect you to do the same to me.”
As expected, Mallory rolled his eyes but Jamie did not react. He had read about the fellow Ensign’s tendency to become aggressive and stubborn and had expected these traits to emerge when combined with a catalyst such as the simulation he had just experienced. While allowing for some latitude, Jamie did not want to add fuel to the flame and simply allowed the otherwise disrespectful gesture pass.
“These are the situations that can cause us to make mistakes. We may have won against the Consortium, but they are still out there and this is a very realistic scenario” Jamie explained, not just to Mallory, but to his team as well. Jamie didn’t care if Mallory and his team did not like him, or felt angry towards him. This did not matter as long as they left the holodeck having learned something for future drills.
“How would you know?” Mallory asked, folding his own arms across his chest. “You were at Starfleet Headquarters while we were fighting the Consortium.”
Jamie had to take a deep breath and close his eyes for a moment. Mallory was now pushing the bounds of civility. Whether through continued anger or the desire to make him lose his cool, Mallory was going out of his way to make him miserable.
With a cool and collective demeanor, Jamie opened his eyes and addressed the team instead of only Mallory. “Yes, my first year out of the Academy and advanced tactical school was at Starfleet Headquarters. But, I spent a year as a security team leader under some of the finest junior and senior officers the fleet has. I have been through simulations that were designed to elicit emotional responses, hidden fears, and trigger memories, all for the purpose of making me a stronger leader under the harshest conditions because the last thing that should ever happen is that the team fails to protect the ship because of a personal agenda, fear, or emotion.” He paused to survey the crewmen in front of him. He could see a look of agreement on the Vulcan’s face, as difficult as it is to read a Vulcan. He noticed one of the Bolian nodding slightly and the other Bolian glancing at Mallory.
“So,” Jamie continued, feeling that he had most of the team’s attention, “what did the team do right in this simulation?” As the Vulcan and the Bolian began to converse softly, Jamie knew he had won over at least part of the team.
“Well, Sir” the Bolian began, shifting his attention away from the Vulcan crewman, “Our tactical movement while under fire in the corridor was on par.”
“Indeed it was” Jamie agreed, nodding and displaying a slight smile to the crewman. “Some of the races we may encounter do not place the same value on life as we do. For this reason, stiff resistance can many times be expected, but our tactics generally remain the same and we push on to neutralize the threat. What else?”
Finally, the Vulcan crewmember spoke up. “I believe that I speak for everyone when I say that we communicated well.” Jamie nearly cringed at the sound of the Vulcan’s monotone voice. He did not dislike Vulcans by any means, he just could never grasp the concept of intentionally suppressing one’s emotions.