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Posted on 29 Dec 2023 @ 4:28pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Kemm & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Commander Theodore Marsh III & Lieutenant Zayna Ryler

1,205 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Return to Razmena
Timeline: June 15, 2390 || 1400 hours

It had taken the Black Hawk less than three hours at Warp 8 to reach the asteroid field Lieutenant Bolivar had suggested. Captain Geisler and Acting XO Commander Marsh had spent the better part of the morning reviewing the department heads' shakedown plans and had combined them all into a battery of tests which would last all afternoon and some time into the evening. The timing was perfect as it would include a shift change, though the senior and acting senior officers would remain on duty for the duration of the tests.

As hoped, Lieutenant Kemm and the engineering team had outfitted several probes with holoprojectors to allow both the fighter pilots and the Black Hawk some target practice and sensor testing. But up first was the most important task, successfully entering the asteroid field.

Captain Geisler stood at the fore of the bridge just off to the left of the viewscreen. "First impressions?" he asked the bridge crew as he looked at the image of a dense asteroid field.

Ryler had watched the asteroid field mostly from the viewscreen as they approached but spun around to the sensors once they were close. "If I was a tactical officer, I'd say even the asteroids would be good for target practice. At least at first glance. I think it might take a bit of maneuvering and fancy flying to get around in there though."

Harvey nodded at the science chief. "Probably a good place to check the sensors as well. Is there anything unique about the asteroids that you can use as a way to check for blind spots?"

Despite serving as acting Executive Officer, Teddy had taken up his usual spot at the Ops station. While there was a console at the XO's chair, the Ops station afforded Marsh more workspace and, with it's placement over the Captain's left shoulder, he was still in close proximity to Geisler to fulfill his temporary XO duties. He glanced over towards where Ryler sat at the primary science console. He didn't want to step on the science chief's toes, especially while he was still so new. Good impressions and all that.

A Security Ensign stepped out of the turbolift. "Lieutenant Bolivar was needed in Security," he said as he moved to take over the Tactical station on the Bridge. "I'm Ensign Karn, Sir."

"Take your station, Mister Karn," Harvey stated with a nod. "I assume you're familiar with our plan to use the asteroid field for some target practice. Run a scan and give me your assessment."

"Yes, Sir," Karn said as he began the scans. "We have a lot of mineral bearing rocks out here, but nothing is blocking the sensors too bad. I figure that we can set up a wider array of targets and put the ship through the paces with little difficulty."

"Roger that," Harvey acknowledged. He remained in his position near the viewscreen and instructed, "Hem, lay in a course to take us a quarter of the way into the field. Ryler and Karn, keep your eyes on the sensors and look for blind spots. We'll wait for a second pass before we start with the phasers. Mister Marsh, be on the lookout for any unexpected gravitational forces that might want to play havoc with our systems."

The Operations Officer's fingers moved swiftly, keying in commands to ensure dedicated power and data channels for the sensors. Teddy configured one portion of his console to display sensor telemetry, both to keep on eye for gravitational issues and to provide an additional set of eyes for Ryler and Karn.

The ship slipped between the rocky obstacles under the skilled hand of the helmsman. The first hundred and fifty meters was smooth sailing.

"Looking good so far, Captain," Marsh reported as they began entering the asteroid field.

A warning chimed on Teddy's console. He quickly silenced it. "Looks like I spoke too soon. Something in here is interfering with our internal sensors. Give me a second," he announced. " it. Shouldn't have any more trouble with that."

Harvey turned and raised an eyebrow at his Acting XO's comments. This might be a shakedown, but any sort of warning tones from consoles caused the Captain to be a little on edge. A few moments later, they'd arrived at the first rally point. "Mister Marsh, how are we looking?"

"Standing by and awaiting your orders," Teddy replied.

The Captain nodded at the report. "Let's start with our first exercise. Phaser strength to two percent, which should be enough to mark our targets without creating additional debris. Helm, attack pattern Beta-3, use five targets."

"Two percent power, Sir," came the response from the Tactical offer as he lined up the shop to paint the target as the ship came around, firing as each target came up in the targeting matrix and a solution was formed.

Harvey's eyes remained fixed on the viewer as the ship manuevered, and the phaser lances struck their target. "Hmm," he muttered. "The fourth target... it didn't seem like our shot was square. Mister Karn?"

The young Ensign flinched but entered a new targeting solution and fired the phasers at the fourth target once more, fully expecting Chief Di Pasquale to tear him a new one and send him back to phaser training and cleaning the Armory again.

The Captain watched that lance fire again, and the target still seemed to be off. "Let's run a diagnostic on the targeting sensors," he instructed. "Mister Marsh, could there be anything near that asteroid that would cause interference?"

"There is some background radiation, but not at a level that it should impact us like that," Teddy answered. "It is possible that there is something that's undetectable by our standard sensors. I can see about running some more specialized scans. But there's no guarantee that will find anything either."

"Thank you, Mister Marsh," Harvey expressed with a nod. "I would rather discover now that our sensors are out of alignment if it is indeed something we cannot detect."

To the rest of the bridge, Harvey stated, "Adjust heading to starboard. Let's run some stress tests on our shields. Helm, I'm going to want you to play bumper cars."

"Sir?" the helmsman responded, turning to look at the Captain.

Harvey approached his seat at the center of the bridge. "You know, bumper cars. Bounce us off some asteroids. Nothing head on, side impacts only. Tactical, maintain forward and aft targeting locks as we go. Also, report shield strength as we navigate. Mister Marsh, let's see if any of these shield glances mess with our sensors."

This continued for the next hour or so as the Captain continued to call out different maneuvers and objectives. When they had finished, the sensors had been dialed in, and even the Ensign at tactical had successfully hit all targets. "Everyone, I call today a success," the Captain announced to the bridge crew. "Inform all departments to stand down. Helm, move us out of the asteroid field. We'll take a slow evening and get underway in the morning. Great job everyone."

The Captain returned to his seat with a smile. He could only hope that the away teams were having just as much success...


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