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Behind the Veil
Firing Practice

[Current Time]

OOC Time: Tue Jul 03 14:31:20 2007
Earth Time: May 26 03:52:28 2376
Star Time: 53397.7 13:37:13

Phaser Range <Deck 14> [Gibraltar Station]

This is a large circular room with a single dark purple pad in the center where one may stand to practice one's phaser accuracy. To the left and right of the door are twin alcoves in the wall that are used to hold several training phasers. When the program is activated, the walls are dark black, giving no light to the room, and several small or large multicolored targets move frantically about the walls, giving whomever is there a challenge to hit them. Depending on the level of the program, the targets might move quickly or slowly. The floor is carpeted in deep navy blue lined with light gray. Vertical alert tracers line the sides of the door.

Capt Gwen Hawkins
Lt Jason Turner

Captain Gwendolyn "Hawkins" (Uniform Vest)

Standing at perhaps five and a half feet, this woman radiates a strong presence at most times. Gray eyes dominate a face that, while it is no longer youthful, is not yet given over to old age. Though her expression is often serious on the times she flashes a smile it lights up her face--though she's more likely to be quirking reddish eyebrows in inquiry. Her hair is strawberry blond, and falls around her face to just past her shoulders. She has a dancer's body, lithe and slim, and moves with easy grace.

She wears a Starfleet duty uniform. There is a vest partially covering a Command Red turtleneck shirt. The vest is black from waist to mid-chest, and quilted gray through the top half. It covers all of the turtleneck but the sleeves and a cut-out down the front. Attached to the right side of the turtleneck's collar are ****. A Starfleet compin rests on the left breast of the vest, its bottom in line with the bottom of the cut out. Both vest and turtleneck are zippered down the front. The elasticized waist of the vest meets a pair of black slacks that fall straight and well-pressed to a pair of well-shined black boots.

Turner is standing in the middle of the range, a practice-charged type-3 phaser rifle brought to his shoulder. The barrel of the weapon swings back and forth, spewing pulsed bolts at moving targets on the far wall. He seems absorbed in the practice, locked into it and paying little attention to anything that isn't a sweeping wall target.

Hawkins walks into the range and stops short on seeing someone else there. She has a phaser rifle slung over one shoulder, and stands easily, watching Turner with an expression that becomes gradually more impressed.

Jason is competent with a rifle. Perhaps a little bit above average, even, but nothing special. His aim is not perfect, and he only hits all of the targets by virtue of spewing a number of blasts at each. Against targets, he can get away with this, but he's likely to empty the weapon mid-combat with that sort of strategy.

Hawkins folds her arms, tilting her head, expression still impressed but a bit critical. "Clip empty yet?" she comments.

Jason doesn't stop firing. "Close," he calls, not turning backward--probably not even recognizing the voice. As the targets begin to constrict to a closer cone, he takes two steps to one side and dropping to a knee. Now he's tightening up, and making each shot count. Fewer and fewer shots miss, though the occasional pulsed blast squeezes between targets.

Hawkins continues watching, nodding a bit, lips pursed. She seems content to stand.

The targets begin to shrink on Jason as the timer for this exercise ticks down. He brings the rifle up and tilts his head inward, looking through the optical scope atop the weapon. He's getting slower and slower with each shot--probably isn't sure how much is left in the weapon, and he's beginning to show an odd discomfort with the weapon. He's still hitting targets, but he's obviously having to be more careful. When the alarm rings with the end of the exercise, the lights come up quickly and stream statistics across the wall.

Hawkins watches the statistics, nodding slowly. "Out of practice?" she inquires.

"That, and unfamiliar," Jason says, frowning as he reads the statistics. "Six months without practice." He taps the scope atop the rifle. "Not used to Federation-type optics. Acquired a Jem'Hadar rifle during the war. Polaron beams tend to work better than phasers."

Hawkins nods, shifting her stance. "I try to keep up-to-date with most weapons, but I haven't had a lot of time with Jem'Hadar. Mostly Klingon, Orion, Romulan, aside from Federation of course."

"You tend to pick them up when they're dropped all over your decks," Jason replies, grinning wryly. He gestures toward the captain's own rifle. "At the risk of sounding hackneyed--come here often?"

Hawkins chuckles. "I have to keep in shape somehow. Wednesday is my day for the phaser range, yes."

"I've never had the time for much range work." Jason holds the drained rifle by his side, hand on the foregrip and the butt of the weapon nearly touching the deck. "Then again, it seems like there's plenty more downtime on a station anyway. Eighteen-hour days aren't the rule around here."

Hawkins nods. "I've had plenty of practical experience with both long and short range, unfortunately. D'you mind if I step in?" She steps toward the pad.

"Be my guest." Jason steps back toward the door, drifting toward the weapons locker and stowing the rifle. He folds his arms across his chest, watching the Captain curiously.

Hawkins starts a slightly higher level program than Turner was practicing and unslings the phaser. As the program starts she watches the targets quite calmly for a moment before beginning to fire, almost lazily. She looks relaxed, but closer ispection would show an intense concentration as she picks her shots.

Jason leans against the bulkhead, tugging at his open jacket curiously. He nods approvingly at the Captain's performance, folding his arms across his chest and watching.

As the program speeds up the Captain continues to shoot carefully, as if conserving the clip. She just clips one of the targets but it doesn't fold; with an annoyed sound she fires again and hits it square this time. Her next shot misses and she takes a deep breath, shifts her stance, and continues firing, going back to hitting every target the first time as they close in.

Jason chuckles and glances over his shoulder, tapping a couple of buttons on the panel nearby to call up the program's difficulty level. His eyebrows go up in surprise, and he chuckles to himself. "Huh." He clears the display and continues to watch.

The targets close in and the Captain calmly takes each one down, missing once more. When the program finally shuts down and the statistics scroll, she shakes her head, peering at what's left in the clip. "I'm getting rusty," she mutters.

"Better than mine," Jason observes, chuckling to himself. He shoves away from the wall, letting his arms fall to his sides. "Guess everyone needs a hobby, though."

Hawkins shakes her head. "I might've needed those shots. Or those targets migth've gotten through and killed me." She shrugs easily. "Obviously I'm not dead yet... but it's a lot easier fighting from the bridge of a ship than... in close quarters." She rolls her shoulders. "Damn, I am getting old."

"You can't be that much older than me," Jason offers wryly, chuckling to himself. "I'm no kid, either." He reaches into the container at his side, pulls out his 2360s-era combadge, and affixes it to his uniform. "Who takes second shift in Ops? I've not called up there to ask while I'm on duty."

"A simple thing like that never used to make my shoulders ache. Either I'm getting old or I'm getting soft." Hawkins shrugs. "Generally, Commander Ames or Commander Solvek... possibly T'Lyt or Koram. Why?"

"Curious, that's all." Jason shrugs as well, a frown crossing his face. "Been thinking about what you said last night, Captain. I realize that some are combat ship veterans, but it still seems like there's a lot of volatile personalities that should have just been hammered out by now. I'm a bit surprised."

Hawkins nods slowly. "Well... thing of it is, we have a lot of what Katheran calls 'walking wounded.' I'd seen combat long before the war. I spent 10 years being a spy, I was trained for it through the Academy. You learn to deal with the problems or... well, things don't go well. These kids... didn't sign up for what they got thrown into, and weren't trained for it. It's hard, on the mind and the body." She shrugs. "Used to be, you got Academy training, and you got out there, and crises hit slowly enough that you figured out how to deal with it in the downtime. Out on the front lines... no downtime. No counseling, no time to figure it all out. So now, they're figuring it out. And then, of course, we get hit with bombs that kill 150 of our people... it's demoralizing. Counseling's working overtime, and trust me, we've seen improvement. Brooks wouldn't even leave her quarters when she first got here. Aventino..." Hawkins sighs. "I'm not sure what's with Aventino. She's a good officer, though."

"Intelligence?" Now the Captain really has Jason's attention, and he squints toward her. "That explains a bit in itself." He chuckles, straightening up. "It does seem like training was more or less neglected through the Dominion War. Build a spaceframe, show them how to point the phasers the right way. That's one of the reasons the Hood stayed in service, even though by Starfleet estimates--which aren't always accurate--we were billed as a crippled combat ineffective. We had a crew that could work together." He sighs. "It seems like Starfleet's been battered pretty badly, the last ten years. Wolf 359, then the last-ditch fleet over Earth. That was almost as bad as the entire Dominion War, only it happened a lot quicker."

Hawkins nods, sighs. "The Borg and then the Dominion, one after another... at least all the Klingons or Romulans ever really wanted was to stir up trouble." She shakes her head with a rueful look. "I don't mind the time we need to take with them to let them sort out how to deal with it all, really. I just hope another crisis doesn't hit in the meantime." Pause. "I think they'll figure it out. They're good kids, mostly. The ones that aren't... will wash out, most likely. Assuming the Fleet lets them. I've got a couple around who've been suggested for washout repeatedly. Fortunately, at least one of those is proving those suggestions to be bad ones."

"I have a feeling that's the main reason that I'm not running a freighter somewhere," Jason observes, nodding. "Which would probably be safer for all concerned, now that I think about it." He snorts a laugh, closing the front of his uniform jacket and looking almost-but-not-quite presentable for duty.

Hawkins chuckles. "Possibly. Or perhaps you're good enough for the Fleet to give you a second chance. We're not that willing to let go of good people, I've noticed."

"I think my second chance was after Wolf 359, really." Turner looks a bit sheepish. "If I wasn't good at pulling solutions out of my ass, I think my last CO might have sent me out to patch up the hull without a suit." He shrugs. "What happens, happens. I miss being stationed on a starship, though." He glances toward the captain. "You?"

Hawkins sighs. "Honestly... watching the Akagi fly away without me was one of the hardest things I've ever done. She was my ship, and she gets back to exploration... without me." She shrugs. "But I have work to do here."

"Mm." Jason still sounds skeptical. "That's the bad part of the fallout from a war like that." He runs a hand across his scalp. "I miss exchanging friendly ship-to-ship fire with the Jem'Hadar more'n I ever wanted to go chase comets."

Hawkins quirks a brow. "Friendly? I never found Jem'Hadar to be terribly friendly. Not like, say, Klingons."

"Sarcasm, ma'am." Jason shrugs. "We were boarded more than once. That's where I got the rifle hanging in my quarters. As for Klingons... only ever met two of 'em."

Hawkins chuckles. "I see. I've... spent a lot of time with Klingons. They're interesting. Gives me hope perhaps someday we can come to an understanding with the Dominion. If the Founders can see not all solids are horrid."

"I'm not that forgiving." Jason rubs the back of a hand across his mouth. "I still think plasma bombs are the way to go with the Founders. And the rest of the Dominion, for that matter." He offers a cynical half-smirk. "I'm as bad as that asshole in Medical. I just hide it better." A pause. "Though he probably will now, too."

Hawkins raises an eyebrow. "Oh? What... exactly did you say?"

Jason's been waiting for that, and his grin belies it. "Told him a few choice words. Starting with the fact that I might have been constrained to launch him out of a torpedo tube if he kept giving you lip." At that, he glances upward. "It's probably a good thing that I don't have access codes for that. I'd have been tempted."

Hawkins laughs at this, the sort of laugh you try to stop but it comes out anyhow. "Please don't. Between that and Solvek attacking people for insulting me... I'll have to put all my officers in the brig."

"That's okay," Jason says blandly. "I've already taken a look at the brig. I imagine that if your XO and I didn't end up strangling each other, it'd only take a few minutes."

Hawkins chuckles. "No, I don't intend to throw Solvek in the brig. When else am I going to get to throw a bachelor party for a Vulcan? It is rather small, though..."

"Hm. That could be a sight to see." Jason scratches idly at his jaw. "I've only known a few Vulcans. Not a large demographic in Starfleet, even today. Your XO seems to be the..." He pauses. "...exception to most of the generalizations I've heard."

"Hmm. He possibly is, at that. How do you mean, exactly?" Hawkins checks her rifle again and moves to get it properly loaded.

"...Probably not a good question," Jason says mildly. "Suffice to say, he's a bit unconventional."

Hawkins nods. "Well, he's not fully Vulcan. And he's going through... an interesting time, right now." Hawkins chuckles. "Honestly, I kind of hope he stays this way. It's a lot easier to have a friendly chat with him."

"I see." Jason manages to conceal his surprise at that, though his eyebrows quirk. "That is... interesting." He glances past the Captain, further into the phaser range, then back at her. "I wonder what's to come. This storm doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon."

Hawkins says, "I'm waiting on results from the lastest mission to the Maelstrom, myself. I'm told there may be some key to understand the whole thing in those objects." She steps aside. "Did you want to have another go?"

"No thanks, Captain. I'd probably best get going. I want to step into Engineering a bit early." Jason directs a faint grin toward the captain. "Had one other question, though. What's your policy for operations duty? I was thinking of suggesting to Emory that we ought to have an Engineering liaison on Deck Eight for routine matters."

Hawkins shrugs. "We ought to have one. Feel free to send someone up."

"Sure thing." Jason nods to her and tosses off a lazy salute and a grin. "Have a good day, Captain." He turns about and heads out the door, actually whistling.

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