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 Decisions of Command

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Andrew Sheridan
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PostSubject: Decisions of Command   Sat May 16, 2015 9:49 pm

Science Lab

Andrew Sheridan had noticed how his partner, Julia Rellek, had been reacting in combat situations ever since he met her. She was an excellent Science Officer, but she hesitated during moments of combat, and it was something that could get her killed. Being as she was one of the few friends he had made on the ship; Andrew was unwilling to let Julia be hurt or killed due to her lack of ability to decide in combat. He knew she had it in her to fight; her combat record from the Academy stated as much. Worse, he knew if someone didn't help her soon; her inactions or indecisiveness during battle or any other command decision of combat could cost the lives of some of the crew...or other innocents. That was also something Andrew could not accept. He was responsible for the lives of those under him, and though he was new to the First Officer's position...he still knew what his position required of him.

Thus, Andrew Sheridan found himself entering the Science Lab where he knew Julia had retreated to for some time to study some new item of interest. Normally, he would not interrupt her work, but if he didn't...she would never get any better. This was too important to simply ignore.

"Lieutenant, I trust all is well with your lab work," Sheridan said in greeting as he approached her.

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Julia Rellek
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sat May 16, 2015 10:04 pm

[Science Lab]

Julia smiled the moment she saw Andrew enter the lab. His presence always seemed to brighten her mood. "It goes well. Ive been testing those unidentified metallic samples that we picked up last week. It looks like we're going to have to make some room on the periodic table but I'm still working that out." She set her PADD down and stood up. "I'm sure you didn't come all the way down here just for that. What can I do for you Commander?"

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"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
— Dr. Carl Sagan
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Andrew Sheridan
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sat May 16, 2015 10:12 pm

Science Lab

"True, I have a different reason for coming to see you," Andrew confessed, and then motioned to the door with a slight wave of his left hand. "Walk with me, Lieutenant," he invited her...his tone professional, but caring. Sheridan didn't explain further. She would either trust him or not, but if this was going to work...she had to trust him. He couldn't simply teach her if she was unwilling. He smiled slightly at her...a smile of encouragement.

Andrew made sure his tone was respectful, professional, and yet compassionate. The young XO had no desire for her mistake his invitation.

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Julia Rellek
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sat May 16, 2015 10:20 pm

Julia gave a wary look but proceeded to the door. "Of course Commander." They exited the lab and into the corridor. She was concerned that she had done something wrong, perhaps something that she was unaware of. "Sir, can I ask where we are heading?"

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"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sat May 16, 2015 10:35 pm

Sheridan followed her out and was soon walking by her on the left. She had accepted the invitation, and that was a positive thing.

Yet, he needed to set her mind at ease some before they reached their destination. "We are going to Holodeck Two," he said, "but not for R&R. You haven't done anything wrong, Lieutenant, at least...not yet. I have noticed something about you since you came to join our family here aboard the PHOENIX, and with you having moved up to Second Officer...I think it is time I helped you out."

Andrew paused as the two entered the turbolift, and made for their new destination. "You don't like to fight, Julia," he said a bit more informally as a friend would instead of a superior officer. "I don't blame you, to be honest. Even with as much combat as I have had to endure; I still don't like the idea of fighting. You don't have to enjoy combat in order to do what needs to be done, however, and that means making decisions when the time comes instead of hesitating. There is a fine line between overreacting, and taking too long to bring your phaser up and fire at a clear threat. Your combat scores at the Academy were good, but the Academy doesn't really prepare you for the real thing. So, as your friend, and as your First Officer, I have decided to help you out with this particular problem."

Again, Sheridan paused as the lift doors opened, and they made their way to the holodeck. He let his words sink in as they walked, but not for too long. Just outside the holodeck doors; Andrew turned to face her. "Julia, you are a good officer...a fantastic Science Officer, but as Second Officer...you will face command challenges, and not all of those challenges are going to be peaceful. There is going to come a time when you must give the order to fight...an order that puts the lives of your crew at risk....lives that are very likely hanging in the very balance of your next decision. Hesitation during such a moment can cripple you, cost you the lives of your shipmates...innocents depending on your decisiveness...even cost you your own life. That, however, is not something you cannot ignore or put aside any longer. So, we are here at this holodeck to help you make those decisions," he told her with a comforting hand on her shoulder.

Something told him this wasn't going to be easy. She was a gentle person. Fighting wasn't really something she wanted to ever do. He could only hope he didn't have to be harsh with her.

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Julia Rellek
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sun May 17, 2015 12:12 am

The pair moved through the corridors as Sheridan aired his concerns. As he wrapped up she paused to reflect. "You're right, Commander. The use of force has always been something that I didn't care to involve myself in. I never wanted to be in that position." She let out a heavy sigh. "Truth be told. I was happy doing my research and living in obscurity postulating the origins of the universe. One day the plug was pulled on my research and I was reassigned to the Phoenix. Command was not something I sought, but I am beginning to feel that the role will be thrust upon me." She worried about sharing more. She feared that her commanding officer would believe her to be weak, and that was not the case. "I do hesitate in the moment. Not because I'm afraid but because I don't want to use force. I guess somewhere in my mind I believe that there must be another solution. You're right commander. One day lives may depend on my ability to give the order and right now I am not certain I could. I would appreciate the help sir."

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"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
— Dr. Carl Sagan
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Andrew Sheridan
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sun May 17, 2015 12:35 am

"Good," Andrew said to her kindly before opening the already loaded program for the holodeck.  Inside awaited the replica of the very Bridge they both served on.  The stations were all empty for the moment, and the only noise that could be heard was the soft whirls of the various equipment present.

Andrew went down to the command deck, and then turned to face his friend.  "Understand this, Lieutenant, I do not believe you are a coward.  This is not about courage or cowardice, but the ability to make decisions that are difficult...especially in battle when you may have no choice but to order those you know to the very real possibility of their deaths.  Starfleet understand there is a time for diplomacy, and even for trickery to evade a battle, but Starfleet also knows there is a time when we must fight...when battle is simply inescapable.  Of late, we have seen a lot of such encounters.  The most recent two things the Federation has had to face is the Dominion and the Borg.  Either of these foes were not willing to listen, and much more inclined to do whatever it took to destroy us.  Diplomacy was not an option for the most part with the Dominion, and absolutely worthless with the Borg.  In such instances, hesitation to fight could swiftly cost you not only your life, but the lives of those around you...even depend on a world...or a star system.  So, we will begin.  Take the chair, Lieutenant Rellek," Andrew stated much more formally now, and at the end waved to the command chair in the center.

Only after she had taken the chair did Andrew step away over to the Tactical station behind her.  =/\= Computer, begin Command One, =/\= he instructed.

=/\= Program ready, =/\= the Computer informed him, and the scene changed instantly to a smoky Bridge.  There at the foot of the command deck near the Captain's chair lay Archangel...her body unmoving.  In the XO chair sat a very dead Lt. Commander Sheridan...a piece of shrapnel in his head, and another laying open his throat.  Sophie sat at Ops with Ensign T'Mir at the Helm.  Lt. Commander Deela Ayora appeared next to the real Sheridan at Tactical, and Andrew stepped back towards the Ready Room.  At the Science console stood Hannah McKinley.  The slightly static viewer showed a Galor-class Cardassian cruiser....damaged, but still fighting.

The program, at the moment thought, was frozen.

"The ship has suffered a sneak attack by a rogue Cardassian warship.  As you can see, both of the senior officers over you are dead.  You are in command, Lieutenant, and your actions...or inactions...will depend on the survival of yourself and the remainder of the crew.  When you are ready, tell the Computer to begin.  Good luck," Sheridan told her, and then left to watch from the Ready Room...the door closing behind him to leave Julia alone.

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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Wed May 20, 2015 11:22 pm

Julia glanced at the holographic bodies of her commanding officers and felt a knot beginning to form in her stomach the know grew larger when she looked over to the Captain's chair. It had never seemed so big. Somewhere inside of her she had this inescapable fear that the chair would somehow sallow her whole. She took a noticeably deep breathe and slowly began slide into the chair, like a child testing the waters in a swimming pool. As she sat in the chair, for the first time, she gripped the armrests and slowly ran her palms along the armrests. Sweat began to accumulate on her hands, and the program had yet to began. Deep inside of herself, she knew it was time to face the fears that have plagued her since her first days in the academy.

With a slight stutter she acknowledged her Commanders orders. Aye sir. I'll do my best. She watched him exit the area. Somehow that made it worse, knowing that she would have to endure this without having him to glance at for support. She took in a deep breathe in a futile effort to calm her nerves and managed to softly utter three words.

"Computer, begin simulation...

With those words the ship sprang to life. Smoke was quickly clouding the bridge and the sounds of the alert sirens filled air. The red lights flashed throughout the bridge and she felt a shake. Another bulkhead fell in front of the communications station, an ensign walking across the bridge was struck and fell to the ground. She tapped her com badge and took her first step into this unknown.

=/\=Sickbay, medical emergency on the bridge.=/\=

She glanced at the command console to her left. Systems were losing power. Casualty reports seem to be streaming in form every corner of the vessel. She looked over her shoulder and saw the familiar face of the Romulan at tactical. "Commander Deela, report?" The Bajoran seemed to jump into life in that moment. "Captain, shields are down to 19%. The port phaser arrays are offline. Sickbay reports 31 known fatalities, most of which are from engineering and the Cardassians are coming in for another pass." She alerted with a lack of urgency that seemed out of place to Julia. The notion of being called Captain through Julia off a bit. It made everything seem far too real.

Julia quickly attempted to assess the situation. "Ensign T'Mir, can you get us out of here." Wu quickly jumped in. "Sir they knocked out warp drive with their first pass."

"Alright then." Julia glanced to her command console. Right, right... it's right there. That was a stupid question. Julia thought. "T'Mir, move us so that our starboard quarter is facing the Cardassians. Wu, re-route power to the starboard phasers and Ayora, by all means, fire at will. Target their shield generators and take out any opportunity targets along the way. Photon torpedoes, full spread." Julia screamed above all of the noise.

With another blow from the Cardassian ship Ayora fell to the ground. She was quickly able to pick herself back up and brush the hair form her face. "Sir that shot took out the torpedoes tubes. The weapons could be manually ejected but that entire section is on fire. I'm not sure that anyone would survive." The Bajoran warned.

Julia stopped for a moment and came to her decision. "Acknowledged Commander, continue firing with phasers. Focus on their shield generators." She tapped her comm badge. =/\=Bridge to engineering, I need warp power now.=/\= Julia demanded. The voice of Ensign Kaz filled the bridge. "Sir I can give you warp drive but I need at least an hour. We're barely holding things together down here. The chiefs dead. Most of our team is either dead or incapacitated. We had a plasma conduit rupture." Kaz informed her. Julia glanced over her shoulder at Wu. "Ensign, get them more people. We've got to get warp power back. Re-assign gamma and delta security details."

"Captain!" Julia heard from the tactical station. She looked and Ayora was pointing to the view screen. Several waves of torpedoes were flying at the ship. Julia gasped as time seemed to slow for a moment. A moment later a bright orange and yellow ball filled the space. She closed her eyes and then opened them a moment later. She saw a grey bolo-grid staring at her where the view screen had been moments before.

"It's.... It's over." She stuttered.


_______________________________

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
— Dr. Carl Sagan
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Andrew Sheridan
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Thu May 21, 2015 2:27 am

Andrew sat in the replication of his Captain's office chair, and turned on the monitor in order to view the bridge as his friend's simulation began. Even before she began the program; he could tell she was really nervous. If she was this nervous during a simulation; then he was quite correct to help her. She would have been a disaster on the bridge during an actual crisis.

"You can do this," he said quietly, as if his words of encouragement would help...even though he wasn't sending them to her telepathically.

As the scene played out for him; Andrew shook his head. Admittedly, he was new to command...nearly as new as she was, but her reaction times were slow, and her assessment of the situation was scattered. In a time when the crew would need her to focus; this was not a good thing. Granted, she had called for medical personnel to the bridge, but in truth...with the way things were...the rest of the ship was in more jeopardy. If the ship was destroyed, medical attention on the bridge was going to be useless. It was a decent move, but not the best one. The immediate threat to the ship should have been addressed swiftly. He understood her decision...she was a gentle person, and seeing so many of her comrades down was the first thing she wished to deal with.

But at the cost of the rest of the crew.

When the last volley of Cardassian torpedoes swept in; he knew it was over. She looked so alone in the blank holodeck...the knowledge of her failure seeming to weigh heavily upon her. Andrew came over to his friend, and the put a comforting hand on her left shoulder before coming to face her.

"Yes, it's over," Andrew said to her, and though he wanted to comfort her further...he couldn't. This was something she had to learn. "I know you did your best, but your responses were sluggish, your assessment scattered, and your priorities a bit off," Andrew continued with his evaluation...his tone neither harsh or sarcastic. With arms folded, he went on, "Calling for medical attention to the bridge was a life saving move for those already hurt, granted, but the entire ship was in peril. The time you took to make that decision and call could have been used to save the rest. I understand why you did it, but those few seconds were moments you needed to keep your ship and crew mates alive. Your enemy was bearing down on you. This was a battle to the death, Lieutenant. You had your reports to go by from tactical, and in that moment...you should have realized it was time to come up with any other idea to fight back. With shields at 19%, the ship damaged in critical areas; I can understand why you wanted to retreat, and it would have been a good move if you had the ability to do so. It was time to think outside the box. Fighting traditionally at this point was not going help you. In order to better understand your options; you need to learn more about what your ship and people can do. They are your key to any crisis you face."

Andrew Sheridan paused. "You have an excellent knowledge of your science department, Lieutenant, but it is time you got to know what your home and family can do. So, before I reset the simulation to show you...do you have any comments or questions?"

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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Fri May 22, 2015 7:06 pm

Julia's head sank as Andrew came back into view. "I guess you're right sir. I need to fight harder. It just seems better to find another way out. I was hoping to get the engines back online in time to warp out of the situation. I guess we weren't able to get it done in time. Can I try again, Commander?"

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"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
— Dr. Carl Sagan
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sat May 23, 2015 12:33 pm

Andrew Sheridan studied his friend and Second Officer for a few seconds. "Fighting is not always the correct answer, either, Lieutenant. It was, in this case, but there will be times when such is not the correct choice. You will have another chance to test yourself, but first we are going to play role reversal. For in truth, this is as much for me to learn about as it is for you. My first time on the bridge was not stellar. You were on the planet surface during that mess when you all discovered a hidden civilization being held in slavery. There were times I hesitated in my own reactions, and had the situation been any worse...it could have cost us the ship and crew. Eventually, I began to react faster and smarter, but in the beginning I almost was overwhelmed. So, I need as much practice as you do. I need to be better fortified for these moments when I am on the bridge in command," the young First Officer explained.

=/\= Computer, reset simulation, =/\= he ordered, and once more they were on the simulated bridge.

=/\= Program reloaded, =/\= came the female reply from the computer.

He looked back at the scene for a moment before turning back to his friend. "Julia, we both need this. The Captain will not always be on the bridge in the middle of a crisis. When that happens, it will fall to one of us to defend our home and shipmates."

Andrew was a tad surprised by his words to her. He had expected to simply be there to teach, but the memory of his own first time on the bridge left a sour taste in his mouth. He needed to be more prepared...every bit as much as his friend did. It was true, she had a gentler nature, and hated conflict; where he had been involved in conflict from a very young age. It did not mean, however, that he didn't need the practice.

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Julia Rellek
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Sun May 24, 2015 11:20 pm

Julia's face lit up as her Commander confided that he could use the training as well. Somehow it made the situation less intimidating, less threatening. "As you wish Commander." She replied.

She fixed her hair from the previous simulation and made her way off the bridge into the simulation of the Captains ready room. She was eager to see how Commander Sheridan would react differently. He was an accomplished tactician with a wealth of front line experience. He served during the war. That was something all of her peers shared. It made her feel as if she was somehow different. Less qualified than her peers. She took a seat at the desk and adjusted the console to display Commander Sheridan's simulation in an objective mode.

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"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
— Dr. Carl Sagan
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions of Command   Today at 6:49 am

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