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Up to Scratch

Posted on Saturday October 8th, 2016 @ 6:30pm by Commander Magnus Sterling & Lieutenant Commander Nomi Bernard

Mission: Enemies Closer
Location: Security Facilities
Timeline: MD 2, 0800 Hours

Commander Magnus Alastair Sterling stepped off the turbolift and onto deck seventeen. He carried a PADD in one hand, and a nondescript carrying case in his other. According to the PADD this deck devoted a portion of its real estate to the Security and Tactical department including offices, training facilities, and ship's brig. And with no surprise Sterling noted an abundance of gold-shirted personnel moving through the deck with purpose.

Sterling fondly recalled his days serving aboard Declaration as a Tactical Officer, of course back then the uniforms were much more colorful and tighter fitting. Speaking of which, he tugged at his duty jacket which also felt tighter than he remembered from the Dominion War.

The commander began moving down the corridor towards the main offices. As first officer Sterling had a responsibility to become familiar with each department and its officers. Sterling chose to come to the security officers personally rather than request the department head report to him primarily because Sterling wanted to get an impression of the security staff and department first-hand rather than filtered through readiness reports. If Excelsior's mission turned violent, he needed to know what they had to work with. And also he had another matter regulations required him to take care of as well.

The doors to the suite of offices parted and Sterling entered, approaching the receiving officer. "Please inform the Chief of Security that Commander Sterling is here to see her. Also I need to speak to the Master-at-Arms. Thank you," he said.

Nomi had been going over the departmental reviews with some of the new transfers from Diogara to get to know her people as much as what a personnel record could provide. It was limited as it never gave the full depth of someone. Even though her people were distant from everyone else, it wasn't a feeling of aloof; after the horrors that they had all seen, it was something that they all needed to withdraw from the most chattiest of societies. Hearing that there was a visitor, and it was the executive officer to boot, Nomi quickly set her PADD back into the holder next to the station and stood to leave her office and welcome him down to their department.

Walking out of her office, she saw him at the receiving officer's station. "Sir, welcome to Security." She extended her hand. "I know we haven't been properly, formerly introduced; Nomi Bernard, Lieutenant Commander. I'm your Chief Security and Tactical Officer."

Sterling accepted Bernard's hand and shook it firmly and smiled. "Profess..., er, sorry, old habits. Commander Magnus Alastair Sterling, pleased to make your acquaintance. I hope you'll pardon the intrusion, lieutenant. I don't make a habit of meddling in department affairs, however I do need to familiarize myself with this ship and crew and I'd like a tour of your facilities and evaluate your team's readiness first-hand."

Being what she was, she had already been at attention when she recognized the man who had introduced himself. Since the destruction of Starbase 900, what vessels remained were pinching resources together and making the best of what they had, what few that they had. "No problem at all. Where did you want to start?" she usually prefaced all her interactions with the higher ups to their wants and not what she believed they wanted to see. This way, they were always ready.

"I'm sorry, Commander, Lieutenant Commander," the receiving officer interrupted. "It appears our Master-at-Arms is detained with other duties at the moment."

"Thank you," Sterling replied and turned back towards Bernard. "I have a personal phaser I brought with me," Sterling said gesturing to his case. "Under Starfleet regulations I'm required to declare it and have it registered. I was hoping our Master-at-Arms would be available, but who would the next best individual be for such a thing, lieutenant commander? We can begin our tour there."

"That's actually myself." She reached under the counter and pulled out a PADD and held out her hand for the container with the Phaser in it. "Since it doesn't need to go to the Armory, we can just do everything here."

Sterling smiled and surrendered the case. "I can tell you're a very hands-on type person. I like that. I took the precaution of using a case with a biometric lock on it. So if you'll allow me?"

When the case was placed on a counter Sterling activated the biometric sensor embedded in the duranium surface. After the tiny specialized computer processor read and matched Sterling's biometrics the locking mechanism disengaged with a pair of clicks. Sterling opened the lid and revealed an old battered phaser and separate power cell, the once black finish scuffed and scratched and faded from decades of use.

"Not very many of these left," Sterling said removing the unarmed phaser the container and locking the cowling in the open position so the phaser was definitely inert. Safety first. "When Starfleet retired the design, most were recycled or destroyed, but even so a few survived finding their way into museums and private collections. I rescued this one after it had fallen into Maquis hands." He passed the weapon to Bernard for inspection. "Extremely durable and very useful when out in the field on an expedition, so I've kept it in working order for my own use."

Nomi was impressed with seeing such a weapon still around, and to top it all off that it was in excellent working condition. She had used replicas of these weapons when she was going through training at Starfleet Academy - such many courses around weapons but then again that's what she wanted to be in anyways even with her Engineering background. Then again she was able to do what she wanted to do with this new life since leaving Ekahl; it wasn't about what she had been born into.

"Pretty impressive, Sir," she stated as she looked over the weapon giving it a thorough inspection. She quickly made some notes about its condition and use. "Personal use, you said?" she asked just to clarify. "Not something you plan on taking with you on away missions?"

"I don't believe that will be necessary, at least not as part of any Starfleet duties." While Sterling certainly preferred the weapon over the most recent phaser iterations, he didn't think it relevant to complicate matters with mismatched weaponry.

Finishing her once over, she returned the phaser to its carrying case and snapped it closed. "Your personal item has been checked in and registered with the ship. Did you have any family that will be coming aboard?" she asked lightly. Nomi hadn't been able to read his profile since it came across her desk. She wanted to make sure that if he did have them with him in the Delta Quadrant that the ship knew about it; that or she opened a can of worms as they either didn't survive the Borg attack or were on the other side of the now collapsed gateway.

"None to my knowledge. I came to Delta Quadrant to consult with the Diogara Ministry of Antiquities on archaeological expeditions, I was expecting the job to last a year maybe more if I could ingratiate myself well with the right people. So, to answer your question, no I don't have any relations who will be coming aboard with me. Fortunately, my absence back home won't overly bother anyone either. Seems I'm well suited to be here right now. You might call it fate, if you believe in such things."

"Maybe a different time at a different place, I might have had a different answer to you on that," Nomi responded in kind. "Well, shall we?" she asked handing him the case back and opened her hand to show the way.

"Sounds like quite the story then." Sterling accepted his case and nodded towards Bernard, proceeding as she indicated. "Yes, we shall. I'm interested in seeing your training facilities and how you evaluate your team members, their readiness, and emergency response contingencies."

"The training facilities is part workout facility, classroom, and modular courses for everything from the obstacle course to search and rescue to weapon proficiency training. We utilize the holodecks as necessary, but I prefer more hands on than not. We use the ship herself as the best calisthenics training using gravity or sometimes the lack thereof for or against us." She showed him their work out room and the modular course laid out on the exterior of the room. "Everyone is evaluated against the same qualifying standards at the Academy."

Sterling nodded, almost absently. He expected to see as much. "How often do your teams qualify? I know Starfleet mandates an annual qualification regarding fitness and sidearm proficiency. However when I ran security many years ago I required my people to qualify quarterly, gave them incentive to put in more than the minimum hours of practice and training. Then again, the threat of cardassian aggression may also have helped." He chuckled lightly.

The tour wrapped up back at the Security Offices. Sterling thanked Bernard for her time. "Everything seems to be in order, well maintained, and at an appropriate readiness level. That's very good, and I feel more at ease knowing what this department will be capable of. We still have much to accomplish today before departure, so I will let you return to your duties, lieutenant commander." With an abbreviated but courteous bow, Sterling excused himself.


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