Prime Directive - Isn't that a Bullywug?

1st officer's log, Stardate 22276.70.0855
Transfer of Team #4 to USS Suffolk

I have had confirmation from the USS Suffolk that they will be able to make our rendez-vous today at the Keppler system, allowing us to transfer Prime Exam Team #4 to the care of the new briefing officer there.

Team #4 have the capacity to be a great team, showing aptitude at numerous tactics and the ability to improvise as needs arise. They demonstrated behavior that demonstrated the best qualities of a Starfleet officer but they also exhibited behaviors I'd expect to see more in the Marine corps or in the local militias of fringe worlds.   The Suffolk's briefing officer should help hone the team into something more 'White Tiger' and less 'White Elephant'. I fear that anything less than a hard lesson or two could cost us a very useful and capable asset.

I genuinely believe that Admiral Braddock is wrong in his assessment of this team, but it will take a better Briefing Officer than me to realize the potential we have here. For that reason I will be glad to hand over this team to their now ship and will eagerly watch for their final exam results.  

 

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Mission review: Extraction
Team 4 performance review results

After the exercise was completed, Shuttle Team Delta regrouped at the Cargo Master's office and quickly got into a discussion about where they could have improved their run. Once all the other 'players' in this trial had filed out of the fake shuttle bay, the 1st officer spoke up again over the Tannoy,

"Team 4, please leave the area and return to quarters directly. Attend briefing room in 1 hour – bring your exercise equipment with you. Thank you for your participation. Dismissed"

Returning to quarters, Ditt checked on the fallen Ensign, the rest of the team heading home directly. Before long, the time for the de-briefing was close and Fister gathered the Team ahead of time to ensure they weren't late and that they had all of their equipment.

As the Team waited outside of the briefing room for their time, the doors opened and some of the crew that played 'the enemy' filed out. The ambassador and the security guard both shot Rei some dark looks before the group marched back down towards the exercise area, presumably to set up for the next team's run.

" Here already?"

The first officer's voice came from within the briefing room,

"You'd better come in then. Please deposit your training kit in the storage boxes supplied, please"

As the team entered the room, depositing the expanding armour and training phasers in the boxes supplied for them, they are asked to sit so the debrief can get under way. J'eff hands in the real phaser and says,

"It is surely illogical to leave a live weapon in a training area where it could be mistaken for training equipment and cause an accidental injury. I have removed the power cell and made it safe"

The 1st officer stands, taked the Phaser, thanking J'eff, then starts circling the team who are all now sat around the briefing table with a small box in his hand.

"I'm sure you have your own opinion on how the exercise went,"

Athena made as if to interrupt and voice her opinion but Phil Fister gave her a quick look and a nod of the head, muting her intended commentary of "yeah, brilliantly!". The 1st Officer continued uninterrupted,

"…and I have to say that you certainly gave me the most to think about during your run. After reviewing your activities with my officers and the other cew involved in the exercise my review o your performance is as follows."

The team around he table tense a little, not quite knowing what to expect given the rather stern tone they were being spoken to with. The 1st Officer paused for breath, looked straight at James across the table from him, and continued on.

"Your preparations were nothing like those of most of the other teams. I am aware you managed to acquire the undoctored floorplans ahead of the exercise as we planted them in the computer system to see if you would attempt to 'cheat', as it were. While it was no surprise that you took the bait, it was a surprise that you cracked the encryption fast enough to memorise the layout. This was good work and shows a capability to bend the rules when you need to in the line of your duty. While I should be reprimanding you here for unauthorised use of the computer system, I will instead applaud it."

At this point, the 1st Officer had made it all the way around to James and stopped behind him, laying his hands upon James' shoulders.

"However, we pulled the replicator logs and found some very unusual results. We didn't put two and two together until we saw Athena throwing dust capsules around. In addition we are highly suspicious of how you were able to recreate the entire transporter program so fast when we had removed the key modules from the computer deliberately as a time sink for the technical minded. You are the only member of any team able to bring the transporter back online in this fashion – you're either a genius programmer or have a photographic memory. Either way, you are in the wrong job. I have organised a stint for you in Astrogation helping to re-order our star charts after some corruption in the computer core last week. Effective immediately. You can join your team again as soon as you are done. Off you go."

The door was opened and James was ushered through it and out of the res of the brief.

"Report to Astrogation immediately, Sgt Major. I'll check on your progress. Pray you are a genius programmer or you won't be able to join your fellows planetside when the final exam comes"

Unsure of what to say, the team stayed silent for now. Even Athena swallowed her obvious question. Adjusting his uniform, the 1st officer continued his tour around the table.

"Engineering reported a misalignment of the scanner arrays before the exercise. I'm assuming James was the cause of that while trying to gain an advantage for you. We relocated some assets and reorganised accordingly to put you off some of our positions to maintain a level of fairness. Once T'Kyr asked for a Tricorder, however, we saw that the advantage we'd nullified would be regained quickly and set some of the changes back. This would not happen in the field. Be aware of that." 

Settling his gaze on T'Kyr, the 1st officer moved onto the next phase of his review.

"T'kyr, your request for equipment that could help was indeed logical, worthwhile and could have helped but given the mission parameters, the location you were entering and the abilities of you and J'eff you could have saved that time and achieved your goals another way, as you eventually did. Sometimes try to apply that logic beyond the immediate need and contemplate acquiring what you need in the field when you have to. You won't always have your Starfleet issue equipment with you, after all. That said, great work with the scanners. You ensured the team weren't without information - a key role for a good science officer."  

Moving around the table, the 1st officer took a deep breath and looked at the Alpha Centaurans of the squad, who were essentially high-5'ing one another with their facial expressions at this point.

"As for your combat specialists, they were used effectively for the most part. Using Rei as a scout was a good idea but even a good Scout needs good backup. Rei's choice to remain a solo actor could have turned sour in the same way as it eventually did for Athena."

Stopping to point at Athena, the First officer hardened his voice.

"If Rei hadn't have abandoned her one-woman-army bit when she did, you would have been killed today, Athena. Apart you two are clearly good. Together, you are better. Coordinate your movement more in future for better results." 

" Hey,"

Athena started,

"We had it under control. Your man behind the boxes was going to get what was coming to him. Rei didn't need to take the shot!"

Shaking his head, the first officer moved on. 

"Ditt, as medical officer of this team your role was always going to be supportive in nature. Your actions in trying to be close to the combatants to provide first aid was noted. Unfortunately you do need to realise that you are not necessarily suited to follow where the combat oriented members of your team go. Either skill up accordingly, hole up in a defensive position you are able to strike out from or try and find ways to equip your people with the ability to self medicate in the field. Partnered up with another member of your team you ae at your most effective. Try not to be caught alone if you can help it"

Rei scowls across the table at Ditt, finally realising what the banging in the vents may have been. Ditt responds with a stoic and calm expression, raising a single eyebrow as if to emote, "What?"

"J'eff. Your usage of Psionic abilities was useful but sadly your colleague at the scanner was able to do a better job in locating the enemy. Attempting to use Fister's diversion as something to lock on to was inspired, however. As I do not know much on Vulcan Psionics I won't comment further on this but your plan to cut off escape by waiting with the shuttle was a good contingency plan. Also, handing in a live weapon from the area will keep others safe during the final exercise. Well done."

Stopping opposite Phil, the 1st officer sighed,

"Sgt Major Phil Fister. This was your team. They did you proud today, completing the task ahead of them. They would have done it faster if you had organised them a little better. The fact that I'm not congratulating the team on coming first is your responsibility. My main problem with your personal performance, was in your negotiations with our cook. Encouraging him to play act his role was either inspired or stupid. It was at least unprofessional – you could have negotiated as if the scenario before you was real. I suggest you take your role as negotiator a little more seriously next time, Sgt Major. Still, you captured the Hacker, provided an effective distraction and while you could have communicated better, did keep the team informed where it counted so I find myself unable to be completely harsh on you."

Finishing his second circle of the table, the 1st officer sits down.

"So, that leaves us at the final tally. Nobody on this team was perfect but not one of you failed in your duties. As a team you were effective at your roles leading to a completely successful outcome. Your compassion for your fellow crew members was marred slightly by the excessive force used towards the end of the exercise but I'm putting that down to resistance rather than malice in this case. Rei, you may want to avoid the mess hall for the next day or so and both you ACs need to stay out of Sgt Johnston's way while you are on ship. He isn't best pleased with the nearly broken wrist you gave him and he can be an abrasive character at best."

Rei smiled saying, "He shouldn't have been holding the detonator, then".

"Indeed," responds the 1st officer, "trying to jam him into lockers is going a bit far, though. He now has to miss the next exercise as I've sent him to sick bay."

Standing up again the 1st officer continues his debriefing, obviously coming to a close.

"You were 2nd fastest, beating 3rd place team by a whisker. You did, however, complete all of the objectives and gave us the most important targets to interrogate. In this instance, the Ambassador gives you a commendation for your efforts. This translates into three day's leave for your team after your final exam. We have added this already to your personal records. Congratulations are in order."

Feeling some pride at the announcement, what comes next is a bit of icing on the cake.

"I would especially like to recognise you all for your adherence to my instruction during our medical emergency. Our Chief Medical Officer has commended Dit on saving the life of Ensign Willard, who fell from the balcony after a Rei shot him"

"Hang on," Rei started to protest, "he shouldn't have been leaning so far over the…"

"Yes, yes" the 1st offcer cuts through Rei's outrage, "I'm aware it wasn't your fault and have issued instructions for the next two exercises that should prevent a repeat. Had that been a real situation I'd have taken that shot myself"

"Damn right" muttered Rei as the 1st officer continued on.

"As I was saying, for saving Ensign Willard's life with your swift 1st aid despite the conflicting interests of teh situation our Chief Medical officer has commended Ditt and I have seconded it. As such I am pleased to award Ditt with this Medal of commendation for life saving acions in unusual circumstances"

With that, the 1st officer hands over teh small box and opens it. It contains a small blue and grey ribbon and on the end is a red 6 pointed star that looks like three blocks have been placed overlapping at their centre.

"My evaluation for this mission is: Total Success, Grade 2. Well done, team. I have already made the recommendation that your team be allowed to continue to the final exam. You have 3 days to prepare for your final exam which will be a planetside field mission, not a simulation missing on-ship"

And with that, the 1st officer leaves you to celebrate.

[GM Note: All players receive 25 Professional reputation points and 2 CPs to spend how you wish before the final exam.] 

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Team #4 training session log, Stardate 22276.67.1000, USS Copernicus

Team #4 have completed their training mission well within the time limit allowed and have managed to neutralise all enemy combatants, capture the most important opposition for interrogation, saved both the Ambassador and the saved the Ambassador's daughter all without losing a single team member. 

The exercise had to be halted partway through Team #4's run to deal with a genuine medical emergency - one of my crew has fallen from the upper balcony after leaning too far over the rail to lok for one of Team #4's personnel only to be hit on full power, expanding the armour suddenly and being forced over the railing. While this was clearly an accident and no malicious intent or malpractice was involved, I would have hoped Team #4 would have shown similar restraint as they had earlier in the exercise to avoid the potential accident in the first place. 

The performance of Team 4 in the latter half of their time in exercise showed they knew what they were doing but it was blighted in part by a lack of cohesive communication in places. That said, the team did exceedingly well, scoring 2nd fastest but most comprehensive success at the exercise so far. I feel only one of the remaining teams will be able to topple Team #4 from the top 2 spots on the leaderboard for this one.

Team 4's members naturally gravitated towards the actions that befitted their chosen professions. The Marines took care of scouting and combat operations while the Science Officer and Engineer continued to use the Cargo Master's office consoles to their benefit, scanning and using their access to slow down the hacker and repair the cargo transporter as a contingency plan. The Medic followed the Marines to supply combat medicine should it be required but really shone in helping enemy units taken out of the exercise to be comfortable while the Psionic and the Team Leader acted as troubleshooters, blocking the eventual escape plan for the enemy, negotiating (perhaps a little rashly) as well as capturing the hacker before he could ready the shuttle bay doors.

Actions I would like to have noted from the latter half of the exercise:

  • Repair of the missing software module for the Transporter bay (this requires investigation)
  • Using the scanners to identify rooms that were occupied and those rooms with explosive compounds in them
  • Stealthily infiltrating the Shuttle control rooms using the air ducts
  • Sharpshooting across the cargo bay to save team mates from being taken out
  • Distracting the enemy leader by pretending to negotiate
  • Use of Psionic abilities to try and locate minds that were agitated by the fake negotiation
  • Infiltrating the Jeffries tube identify what the enemy hacker was doing and to mount a surprise attack
  • Disarming the anti-tamper switch on the ambassador's bomb vest
  • Attempting to use scanner and transporter systems in tandem to remove the final detonator from play
  • Interrogation of the Hacker
  • Removing enemy bodies to a hidden and safe location after each takedown

A couple of things did not go so well for Team #4. I felt that their handling of negotiations with the enemy leader to be very unprofessional, leading to the curtailing of their time limit. I was certain they were going to fail after this setback but they certainly used this to their advantage as best they could, using the well-placed scout and the skillful Psionic well after this event. Additionally, the team medic tried to cross the arena through he vents as her Marine counterparts had before to stay hidden but unfortunately did not do so quietly, potentially compromising the scout who was also using the vents at the time. The medical emergency that followed prevented the enemy team capitalising on this issue, however, so Team #4 did not suffer greatly for this issue.  

I feel it only fair to note the exemplary conduct of team Medic, Ditt, whose expert onsite first aid has saved Ensign Willard from permanent damage from his fall. I am recommending Ditt be issued with an appropriate commendation for his service despite conflicting goals of the mission for the team and helping a fellow member of starfleet.

Phil Fister's team should duly be pleased with their performance here and, while I can see definite places for improvement,  I see this team as a challenger to take the appointment away from the Leopards at this stage. We will see in the final examination if my feelings on this are correct.

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Team #4 training session log, Stardate 22276.67.0910, USS Copernicus
First Officer's assessment notes

Team 4 have taken a surprisingly cautious and effective approach to the exercise. Despite appearances and rather unlike their expected conduct this team entered the training area together and acted immediately like a cohesive unit. Some notable actions so far include:

  • The marine sharpshooter taking point to cover a stealthy entrance of her marine partner to allow access to the hidden Jeffries tube entry on deck 6.
  • The Engineer and Science officers staying out of the way while awaiting the additional requested equipment but still using the time effectively, using the ships comms panel in an attempt to isolate comms frequencies of those crew member opposing them in this scenario.
  • The Medic staying behind the Marines and Sgt Major Fister to be on hand at need but not to be in the way of the more combat trained officers.
  • The Marine scout making it through the Jefferies tube and into the tractor beam capacitor bay. Once clear, she swiftly transferred into the air ducts, ignoring an opportunity to shoot an obvious threat from hiding choosing instead to silently infiltrate the lower shuttle bay control booth and obtain a silent k/o of the guard with the rifle there (played by Sgt Victor Bennis – a good shot with his rifle and a clear threat for team 4. Victor will not be pleased that he was dispatched so efficiently).
  • The Marine Sharpshooter also moved into the air ducts getting to the cargomasters office and dispatching the defender there despite a clever ruse by Ensign Treveylan, causing a door to be blocked from closing fully so it opened and shut at periods in the hope to fool team 4's sharpshooter into thinking there was movement in his room and get her to look the wrong way).
  • The sharpshooter using the one-way view in the cargomasters office and selecting the correct option on her rifle to dispatch a second defender in the cargo area without being seen.
  • The Engineer and Medical officers both showed compassion for my crew, ensuring that the downed men were at least comfortable. Sgt. Major Fister asked the crew to leave the area to emulate them being taken and locked away in a confining space, something he didn't want to do to them for real. We have allowed this. 
  • The Engineer setting up a comms booby trap and using the communicators recovered to start evesdropping on their enemy.
  • The team's use of Klingon to convey brief messages covertly over potentially unsecure comms.
  • Sgt. Major Fister's use of shouted communication from a false location (the main cargo bay doors) to give anyone hiding nearby the impression that a brash assault was coming while the other members of the team continue to use stealth to move about unhindered.
  • The patience of the team while waiting for additional equipment to give them an edge. Especially the Science officer, T'Kyr.

The behavior of team 4 so har has defied expectation of them to be gung-ho, impatient and uncoordinated in their action. So far they seem to have an uncanny knack for identifying potential hiding spots for assailants and have used the right members of the team in the right way to gain an initial foothold. 

If they keep this performance up they may well be the fastest finishers in this exercise so far. 

 

Further notes to follow.

 

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First officer's log, Stardate 22276.67.0830, USS Copernicus
Lt. Cmdr. James Molloy's log entry - pre-briefing

 

After the disaster that was yesterday's simulation for the highly aggressive training run of Prime Team #3, I dread rerunning the simulation again today for our supposedly least promising and potentially most aggressive team on-board. Prime Team #4 (who have taken their name already as "Shuttle Team Delta", a reference, no doubt, to their preferred marine ToO insertion method) are not the lowest scoring team we have on board but they show the least cohesion as a team at this time while at Prime Central. Particularly notable is the dichotomy between the forward and brash Alpha Centaurans of the team and the careful and considered Vulcans. Either this is will be a brilliant, or a deeply flawed, team. Given last night's examples I'm hard pressed to agree that this is a team that doesn't work together and to decide if it is a flawed team at present.

After briefing the entire team last night (Sgt. Major Fister being the only team leader to bring his entire squad to the pre-meeting. Unnecessary, but at least inclusive. I got the chance to demonstrate the training technology which should reduce the risk of injury during the exercise), Lt. Pike and I have been monitoring what the team did with their time before the mission briefing. They were unorthodox in their approach but have at least prepared better than the pedestrian approach of Prime Team #2, who wasted the fist 20 minutes of the exercise trying to figure out a floorplan before they moved to rescue.    

Prime Team #4's engineer spent his time manufacturing some very odd foodstuffs in his quarters. Lt. Pike thinks he was making some sort of non-lethal distraction weapon like a pepperbomb or powder-parcel. We did consider cutting his access to the food replicator but he seemingly hasn't made things too toxic looking at the ingredients he managed to produce. We have had the Doctor make up some antihistamine flushes just in case my crew have a reaction to whatever compound he's throwing at them.

One of the Team's AC Marines went for a rekkie of the ship, clearly trying to work out where the exercise was to take place. To her credit, most of the crew she questioned weren't really aware what she was after and she had narrowed down the location well before engaging the engineer and the AC sniper of the team to act as diversion for a hack attempt on the encrypted floorplan we planted in the computer memory core. I believe the team managed to unlock the whole file (the first team to attempt this, I might add, with only the Leopards seeking the same info, unwilling to break the encryption) and may be trying to smuggle a datapad with the full plans loaded into the exercise. The security details has been informed to let them do so.

The Vulcan Science officer, Capt. T'kir, was detected realigning the ship's starboard sensor array while the engineer was cracking our modified floorplan. While Pike can't be certain, he suspects that T'kir may have been trying to use a sensor sweep of the training section to try and get more information about the area in advance of the mission. While T'Kir could  just ask about the amount of hostiles and for a floorplan as part of the briefing it does show independent thought on behalf of the team to seek their own information and not rely on their C/O for direction – a trait that leads me to believe this team isn't the lost cause the Commodore believes them to be.
 
The team leader and the team medic took a visit to sickbay before this morning with a sudden leg injury that wasn't evident in last night's briefing. While the Doctor reported treating Sgt. Major Fister successfully with a mild painkiller it is clear some subterfuge was at play. I intend to question Fister about this after the exercise to ensure he isn't harbouring a med dependency. If he won't talk then I will instead ask his Vulcan Medical officer, Ditt.   


With the team having done some preparation I am confident they have given themselves a good chance at completing this training scenario. By my reckoning they should be in possession of complete schematics of the area, additional weaponry and intel on the number of combatants in the area. It will be interesting to see what information they actually ask for in the briefing itself and how they conduct themselves thereafter. 

This is now a team I'm watching with interest.

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