Semper Fidelis - Part 3 of 7 "The Challenge"
Posted on Sun Aug 23rd, 2015 @ 8:43pm by Captain Oliver Lee PhD
Episode 0 - Semper Fidelis
Location: Security, USS Bunker Hill
Enright was never a patient man, even at the best of times, taking command of a Starship was not the best of times. So when security drills were far below standards he wasn't willing to wait for answers, instead he stormed out of his ready room like a bat out of hell. And just like that he was striding into the security office looking every bit like an old testament god, all rules no mercy.
The security crew on duty were a sorry sight bags under their eyes. The looks they shot there captain would've made a lesser man fear for his life. Enright however barely suppressed a chuckle, as far as he concerned it was good for the science weenies to do some real work every once in a while. And besides keeping a crew united was part of a captain's job, and united in hating the captain's guts was good enough in his book.
"Where's the Chief," he snapped at the nearest crewman.
Specialist Graz was not happy, not happy at all. How could the captain expect him to finish updating and recalibrating astrometrics on time while also insist that he go through needless security drills several hours a day?
Grumbling under his breath, he came to a halfhearted attention. In a perfunctory voice he responded to the inquiry. "He's talking to Lieutenant Lee in the office, sir."
Enright was half tempted to chew the crewman out for grumbling under his breath, but the Captain knew that an unhappy crewman was the sign of a bad officer, which only increased his desire to see the security chief's head mounted on his desk.
Laying back in his chair, Oliver said to his newest friend on the ship. "It's settled then. We'll go check out the place tomorrow after work. Trust me you will love it. Great food, great music, and the girls . . ." That was when he noticed the sudden disappearance of the security chief's relaxed countenance as he apparently caught sight of someone behind him.
Swiveling around, the first officer found Enright senior at the doors and stood up from the chair. Standing up from the chair, he said with his usual and affable smile, "Captain, what a pleasant surprise."
“Ah Lieutenant Lee, I take it you’ve seen the results from the security drills too,” Enright said both surprised and pleased hi that his XO was on top of the issue.
"Yes, I have, captain." Responded Oliver. "And they are less than encouraging. I was just talking to Lieutenant Enright about the results, and we both came to a consensus." He paused and turned to the security chief to give him a chance to join the discussion.
"You can put a racing saddle on a cart horse, but that won't make it run fast," Lee said glaring at his father.
"They're Starfleet Officers they'll run fast if you tell them to," the Captain snapped back.
Oliver almost chuckled at the absurdity of what Enright senior had just said.
"I don't think that's how Starfleet officers work, captain." He said bluntly.
"My apologies, you tell them to run fast and then they either do it or get charged under Article 3 Sections 7 of the Uniform Code of Justice," Enright snapped. "The situation is not ideal, but that is the nature of the service. I can't even begin to count the numbers of times Science Officers have been expected to stand in the line next to Security and the Marines."
"Do you honestly think they're capable of doing that?" Enright said as he waved the test results around in his free hand.
"No, they are not." Said the First Officer. "They probably never will be. But they can help win the fight if they are left to do what they are trained to do. As matter of fact, entire wars have been fought and won without a single shot fired. Just because Specialist Graz can't fire a phaser straight doesn't mean he can't take down an enemy in battle."
"I will not take advice on how to win wars, from a man who hasn't even fought a battle!” Enright snapped. “I watched the Cardassians Massacre Setlik III powerless to intervene because Starfleet gave me a tricorder instead of a phaser. I fought on the frontlines of that war for six years and not once Lieutenant did I wish for more Science Officers.”
“After the Cardassians, it was the Borg, after the Borg, the Klingons, After the Klingons the Dominion. In my 45 years of service I’ve spent more time in combat zones then you Docotor have spent aboard starships. And not once did I ever think to myself, ‘gee, you know what we really need right now? A botanist!”
“This ship will soon journey into a war zone, although we are not combatants there is a higher than average probability of violent confrontation! As her Captain I have a duty to see that everyman is prepared for that eventuality. Are my orders clear!”
His eyebrows locked, Oliver exchanged a quick look with the Security Chief.
"Crystal." He said simply. Vexed as he was by Enright's sudden and hostile outburst, he knew very well the futility of reasoning with a superior officer who was in the middle of a tantrum. So he waited for a more favorable moment.
As so often happened to Enright after his blood was up he found himself regretting his outburst. For one the CSO was staring at him with his mouth open like a goldfish. For another he was almost certain that his voice had carried out into the main security office which no doubt meant that his outburst would soon be front page news on the ship.
And finally whatever he thought of Lee, he would have to sit next to him for the next few months at least, probably longer.
“Here’s my deal for you Lieutenant,” Enright said suddenly remembering his conversation with the Marine CO. “You have 36 men on temporary duty in this department, if those 36 men can defend Main engineering from 12 marines. Then I’ll consider them competent in security and send them back to their normal duties.”
The First Officer arched an eyebrow, wondering where Enright got this nonsensical idea from.
“But if they lose, Lieutenant, you personally will train them until they can hit a nickel with a phaser at 20 yards, and Bareknuckle Box a Klingon Warrior into submission.”
“I take you for a gambling man Doctor , and those are 3-1 odds in your favor.”
Oliver pondered for a moment. It was a silly and entirely pointless exercise that was seemingly set up for the sole purpose of embarrassing him. But if he refused the absurd challenge - as he had every right to under Starfleet regulations - he would loose the last bit of respect Enright might still have of him without improving the situation of those poor souls who would still be stuck in endless and pointless security drills while the ship suffers from Enright's misplaced priority.
At least, this was an opportunity to return everything to normal on the ship. He didn't know how he could pull it off yet, but he would figure out something later. He always did.
Calmly and with a touch of smugness, he said, "As enticing as the 3-1 odds sound, captain, I think we all want to have a fair fight, do we not? I certainly don't want to be accused of taking unfair advantage of numerical superiority. So if it's all right with you, captain, I'll pick 11 of those men and lead them myself against Lieutenant Ymir and her marines."
Oliver took note of the surprised look on both Enrights' faces. The truth was, a 3-1 numerical advantage would not make any difference in a firefight against a team of highly trained marines. If anything, it would only slow him down with its unwieldiness. He would have to find some other ways to win the challenge, and find them he would, for the sake of the ship.
"You always want more men kid, even if only for human shields," Enright said with a shrug. "But challenge accepted, I hope you don't mind if I tag along, it's been too long since I shot something... I get antsy."
Oliver grinned. "I'm looking forward to it, sir."
Lieutenant Commander Thomas Enright
USS Bunker Hill
Lieutenant Oliver A. Lee
USS Bunker Hill