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2370; Starfleet Academy, "Their first unannounced test"

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Sep. 2nd, 2005 | 04:10 pm
posted by: colleenodonnell in en_fanfic

This is a fanfic about a very important event the four Academy students, John Wendell, Vereil Kate, Richard Young, and Colleen O'Donnell, went through their first year.

The bios are the same as last fanfic.

Short summary:

Five weeks into school, Colleen, John, Richard, and Vereil got into something that initiated an adventure none of them would forget, and that would impact the rest of their Academy career.
It started with their first long weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with no classes, no drills, no flight lessons, no anything...

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
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“I’m bored,” John said. The four sat in Colleen and Vereil’s dorm, John on the top bunk with his sock feet resting on the ceiling, Richard with his back on the floor and his feet on the bottom bunk, and Vereil in Colleen’s desk chair, holding a PADD she had long since lost her concentration for.

“No kidding,” Richard replied. “We can’t go outside the Academy because it’s not an extended break. And we can’t do anything here because *there’s nothing to do*.” First year cadets were not allowed to leave campus for breaks shorter than four days in their first semester.

“You had that PADD you were supposed to read, Vereil,” Colleen said to her, standing by the window.

“Oh, it’s no use for that,” Vereil responded. She tossed the PADD onto her own desk and watched it skid to a halt against the edge of her computer console. “I can’t concentrate.”

“*Why* did the holodecks have to be occupied, *why*!” John said in exasperation.

“Because upperclassmen always get the holodecks,” Colleen said.

“I’m surprised any upperclassmen are *here*,” Vereil said. “If they aren’t using this time to get extra things done for their classes. I almost *want* homework.”

John looked at her like she was insane, but then shrugged. “I guess being a first year has its downsides. But not many people would call no homework over the extended break a downside.”

John, Colleen, and Richard didn’t have another test for a week, and since their teachers had assigned no homework over this long weekend, they were stuck with nothing to do. Vereil had a Crowd Control test on Tuesday, which was what the PADD was for, but she couldn’t concentrate on a Friday.

“Let’s get some food,” Colleen suggested.

They shrugged and started moving from their stationary positions.
“Okay,” they said one by one as they filed out of the dorm room and down to the dining hall. Once there, they ordered and sat down at the same table where they always sat. The dining hall was completely empty.

“Everyone must be doing stuff,” Richard said.

“*What* stuff?” Vereil asked.

“Well upperclassmen are either in the holodecks or they’re studying. And we saw first year cadets in the courtyard…most are probably playing scrimmage or exercising,” Richard offered.

“Why don’t we do that? After the food, I mean,” Colleen suggested. “We should take some initiative to have fun.”

They nodded. John asked, “What time is it?”

“1056 hours,” Richard answered, looking at his miniature chronometer.

“We’ll probably catch the racket ball courts open because everyone will be headed to lunch by the time we get there,” John said. “We’ll have them free. Me and Colleen versus Richard and Vereil.”

They agreed. Just then Richard turned his head and noticed a person in the dining hall. He was wearing all black, and had a hood over his head. Richard couldn’t see his face.

“Um…was he here before?” Richard asked in a low voice.

They all turned, and noticed the man as well. “Definitely not,” John said immediately. “There was no one here.”

“He doesn’t look like he belongs at Starfleet Academy. No uniform, and I don’t think he’s a professor. Not that I’ve seen,” Colleen said.

“We should call security,” Vereil said quickly.

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
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Richard started to get up, and Vereil caught his arm, forcing him to sit back down.</i> “You can’t just *get up* and call security. He’ll know we’re suspecting him. Use your combadge, genius.”

A look of comprehension washed over Richard’s face as he tapped his combadge and said quietly, “Cadet Richard Young to security. I’m in dining hall 1 and there’s a person here who doesn’t look like he really belongs here, so I was thinking you guys could—”

“Dining hall 1, got it. On our way,” a voice said over Richard’s combadge.

“You’ve got to learn to keep it short, Richard.” John told him.

The man in black got up from his seat and walked over to a bulkhead. He opened it and pulled something out, and then put the bulkhead door back on, and walked quickly out of the dining hall.


“Come on, we gotta follow him,” John said.

There was no argument. The four got up and walked carefully in the direction the man had exited. But he was no where in sight.


“This doesn’t make sense. He walked into the Lower Field. It’s a big open space. How can he not be here?” John asked.

“He could have beamed out,” Colleen said.

“You can’t beam out from Lower Field or anywhere on South Campus unless you have a personal access code…three-day weekends aren’t counted as off-school hours," Richard said.

“Self-cloak,” Vereil said. “It’s one of the things in the next chapter to my text…it’s a new kind of technology that cloaks one person. They used to be sold on black market but now Starfleet Intelligence uses them for Special Ops missions.”

“So we can’t find him,” Colleen said.

“No…not easily. Wait, I have an idea. Richard, where’s your tricorder?”

“In my dorm.”

“Go get it. Run. We’ll wait here.”

“Alert security. Tell them what’s going on,” Richard said as he took off toward his dorm. He was the only one out of the four who took a tricorder back to his dorm with him. They were abundant around the Academy, and the other three had not understood why Richard felt he needed one back in his dorm.

“By the time he gets back that guy’ll be gone,” John said.

“Cadet Colleen O’Donnell to security. The man we reported to be in the dining hall had just stolen something out of a bulkhead and exited the dining hall into the Lower Field. We think he has a self-cloak.”

“Understood, O’Donnell. We’re entering the dining hall now. Where are you?”

“We’re right outside next to the Lower field.”

“Understood. Security out.”

Security arrived in moments, and the highest ranking officer said immediately, “There hasn’t been an invasion into the Academy in 75 years. I hope you’re telling the truth, Cadets.”

“We are, Sir,” Vereil said.

“What did he look like?” The officer asked her.

“He was about…my height, Sir” John said. “He was dressed in all black and had a hood over his head—we couldn’t see his face. He sat on the far table right inside the door. He accessed the bulkhead. As far as we could tell it looked like he had gloves on, Sir.”

“He took something out of the bulkhead, and then walked out of those doors. We followed him but couldn’t spot him, so Vereil said she thought he had a self-cloak, Sir,” Colleen said.

“Richard Young was also with us—he called security initially, Sir. And he went to go get his tricorder. I thought we should scan the area for tetrion particles, Sir.”

The security officer managed a smile. “Thank you, Cadets. We’ll take it from here. Go find Richard Young and tell him there’s no need to use his tricorder. We can scan the area.”

The three looked at each other. “Shouldn’t we help, Sir?” John asked.

“Like I said, Cadet, we’ll take it from here. Thank you,” the officer said more firmly. “We don’t want cadets involved in an investigation like this. If what you say is true, this man is a danger to the Academy. Now go. Foster to Gillian.”

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC)
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A woman’s voice said over the officer’s comm., “Gillian here, Foster. Have you apprehended the suspect?”

“No, Sir. We need to shut down exits to the Academy. Automated sequences on all facilities. No one can get in or out, Sir.”

“Understood, Foster. Gillian out.”

The doors behind them locked shut, and the three looked at each other again.

“Is there a problem, Cadets?”

“No, Sir…except that we can’t get into our dorm now. And Richard can’t get out, Sir.” John said.

Foster seemed to have just realized this the moment John mentioned it.


“Cadets, stay here. Foster to Gillian. Sir, we need an emergency transport for Richard Young to this location.”

“Understood, Foster. Transporting. Gillian out.”

Foster pulled out his tricorder the second Richard beamed in. Looking at the cadets, he said, “You might as well scan the area. Don’t get lost, stay together. Thomas, go with them.”

One of the security officers nodded and separated himself from the small contingent, accompanying the four cadets around the campus.
Richard looked a little lost as to what had happened, so they filled him in as they scanned the surroundings with his and Thomas’ tricorder.


“I can’t believe there’s actually an intruder,” Colleen said. “That *never* happens.”

“It happened 75 years ago, according to Lieutenant Foster,” Vereil said.

“They haven’t mentioned that one in History of Starfleet yet,” John said as they walked down the Lower Field. They spotted a group of cadets who had been playing Frisbee and were now guarded by one security officer with a phaser rifle.

“I’m not reading any tetrion particles within the scanning range,” Richard said.

“How can that be? He had a self-cloak,” Vereil protested. “Let me see that.”

As Vereil proceeded to scan the area, Thomas said nothing to them as he intently studied his tricorder. Suddenly, Thomas held out his hand to stop them, and said, “Everyone get over to those trees! Move, move!”

They ran. Vereil folded the tricorder as she ran and didn’t even bother to look at what Thomas might have found. She was confused as to why she didn’t find whatever it was. Then, there was an enormous force at her back and she was thrown into a dip in the ground, next to a tree. She got up slowly, made sure she wasn’t hurt, and then looked around. Colleen, John, and Richard seemed to be doing the same thing. Thomas was nowhere in sight, and neither was the group of cadets they had spotted before.

“What’s going on here, what the hell was that?” John asked.

“And where’s Lieutenant Thomas?” Richard added.

They looked around, not seeing the lieutenant anywhere.

“First there’s an explosion, then people disappear?” Colleen asked no one in particular.

“He could have been beamed out. The explosion would have distracted us long enough so we wouldn’t see it.” Vereil said.

The four nodded in agreement. It was Richard who brought up the question that was on everyone’s mind. “But why? And how? I mean, the only way to beam in and out of the Academy is if you have authorized clearance. That guy obviously didn’t have clearance…”

As he spoke, Colleen looked around and spotted a phaser rifle on the ground where Lieutenant Thomas was. She ran over and picked it up, holding it only slightly awkwardly and trying not to point it at anyone.

”We’re going to need protection,” she said. “If everyone’s been taken.”

“If Lieutenant Thomas’ weapon was left and he wasn’t, then the other security officers’ weapons would be on the ground back where they were. Colleen, you go in front and guard us with that rifle. The three of us will grab the weapons,” Vereil said.

Colleen nodded in agreement, and John followed. Richard hesitated.
“Maybe we should try to contact the main office, or a professor or someone. Just because everyone was beamed out in this vicinity doesn’t mean they’re gone from the entire campus.”

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
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John nodded. This made sense. “All right, Richard, call them.”

Richard tapped his combadge. “Cadet Richard Young to main office.”

Nothing happened. Richard tried three professors, another student, security, and then gave up. He looked at Colleen. “Try yours,” he told her.

She tried the main office and security, and got nothing.
“Okay, it’s not our combadges. Looks like *everyone’s* gone,” she said, trying not to let any fear creep into her voice.

“This is weird. Why would we be the only ones left?” John asked. “Even if they did capture everyone in Starfleet Academy, why are we here? And who are they?”

No one answered, but Colleen hoisted the weapon on her shoulder and said, “Let’s not stand around and find out. Whatever the whys and hows are, we have to get the hell out of here before we’re next. We’ll follow Vereil’s plan until we all have weapons. Then we’ll all make our way out of here and get to Starfleet HQ, tell them what’s happened. When you pick up a weapon, make sure it’s charged. Ready…go.”

They ran down the Lower Field and to where the security contingent was standing. Colleen tossed a nearby weapon to Vereil, who caught it, loaded it, and joined Colleen guarding John and Richard while they found weapons of their own.

“Okay, Richard, what’s the fastest way out of the Academy?” John asked, knowing Richard had undoubtedly read the map in the manual.

“If we exit the Lower Field on the north end and head for the transit, we can take it directly to HQ. It’ll take ten minutes, tops.”

“Okay, let’s go,” Colleen said, the four of them running across the Lower Field toward the northern transit stop.

When they got there, their dean, Admiral Thompson stood in front of the transit doors. The transit was powered down, its interior dark and its engines lifelessly gray.

The admiral said,
“First Year Cadets are not permitted to leave the grounds during short weekends. What do you four think you’re doing?”

They looked at each other, weapons in hand, as if to ask, ‘is she absolutely out of her mind?’

It was Colleen who spoke, with a wary voice.
“Sir…” she began, “where is everyone? What’s going on?”

“We have the situation under control, Cadet O’Donnell. I suggest the four of you return to your dorms and stay there until further notice.”

“We can’t get into our dorms, Sir. The doors have been locked,” Richard said.

Before she could answer, Vereil said,
“Where is everyone? We were assigned a security contingent to look after us because we couldn’t enter our dorms safely. And they suddenly disappeared, right after an explosion behind us.”

“I think we would have noticed a fiery explosion on campus, Cadet,” the admiral began, but John interrupted.

“There was no fire, Sir. It was more like a pressure explosion. It picked us off of our feet and threw us. And then we noticed everyone except us disappeared.”

“Did it occur to you that they might have moved to search a different area for the intruder?”

“Why weren’t we notified, Sir?” Vereil asked, starting to sound annoyed. She thought that if they were in imminent danger, certainly the admiral would have taken them to a secure location by now. She was beginning to think that the situation was either solved, and that they were in trouble, or that whoever was standing in front of them was not Admiral Thompson.

“We have a lot on our plate right now without notifying every Cadet as to what’s going on,” Thompson responded.

Colleen raised an eyebrow.
“Forgive me, Sir,” she said, astounded, “but I would think a general notice would have been sent out, at least, telling us that our only protection from an intruder who could obviously cloak himself and cause high-pressure explosions…had left the area, and that we were by ourselves. I just…I’m sorry, Sir, but it doesn’t make sense to leave a group of First Year Cadets with protection.”

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Thompson stared at O’Donnell. “Cadet, you are out of line.”

“I don’t think she is, Sir,” John said boldly. Colleen could sense that he too was angry with the situation. “I assume the situation is resolved, Sir, since we’re standing around talking about it?”

“Yes, the situation is resolved, Cadet. But you will not address me with that tone.”

“You have the prisoner in custody, Admiral?” Vereil asked.

“Yes, we do.”

Richard looked very relieved. “Then we aren’t in imminent danger,” he said, lowering his weapon.

“No, you are not, Cadets. You may lower your weapons, and return to your dorms. The locks are now offline,” Admiral Thompson said.

Colleen, Vereil, and John kept their weapons up. Richard looked confused.
“Come on, guys. Let’s go back to our dorms—”

“Where are the people, Sir?” Vereil asked.

“I assure you, the situation is under control, Cadet.”

“Sir, the transit’s offline. That’s the only transportation besides transporters and walking from here to HQ. That means we’re still in lockdown mode, Sir. And there are no people around. They would have been released if we were out of lockdown mode, Sir,” Vereil protested.

“I am ordering you to lower your weapon, Vereil. You as well, Wendell, O’Donnell, both of you. Lower your weapons.”

Colleen and John did not comply. Richard sensed something was wrong with this picture. He raised his weapon.

“Cadets!” Thompson said, angry now. “I gave you an order.”

“Please, Sir, just tell us where everyone is and why the transit’s offline. Or—I have a better idea…” Colleen said. She tapped her combadge. “O’Donnell to main office.” There was no reply.

“They are very busy right now, Cadet—”

“O’Donnell to security.”

“Perhaps your combadge is offline.”

“O’Donnell to John Wendell.” They all heard Colleen’s voice echo through John’s combadge.

“Guess not, Sir,” Colleen said. “I don’t think Admiral Thompson would lie to cadets unless she had a very good reason.”

Admiral Thompson suddenly smiled, and a blue beam of light engulfed her. She shimmered away, beamed to another location.

“We’re still under attack,” Richard said obviously.

“Get in the transit,” Vereil ordered them. “Fast—before something else blows up or something.”

The locked doors wouldn’t admit them, so John used a skill they had just learned in their Advanced Shuttlecraft Engineering class and pried open the door with a phaser shot in the right spot. It wasn’t intense enough, so Colleen and Richard joined in while Vereil took point, making sure no one shot at them.

They got inside and Colleen moved to the front, putting in an emergency Starfleet access code they had learned on their first day. The transit powered up and she flew it at full speed toward HQ. They stopped at the port, and jumped off, moving past dozens of security guards who looked like they were patrolling the port, looking for a fugitive.

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Colleen led the way, and Vereil covered their six. They all found it odd that no one stopped them and asked them what they were doing with phaser rifles, out of school, as first year cadets. But they walked right into the main administration office, and Colleen didn’t even bother with the secretary. Though he did look up and wave.

John raised an eyebrow and nudged Colleen with his free hand.
“Something isn’t right about any of this. Why isn’t he trying to stop us? Why haven’t we been stopped except for Admiral Thompson? What if we can’t trust…who’re we seeing again?”

“Admiral Guter. He’s a friend of my dad’s. I’m sure we can trust him.”

“What if we can’t? We couldn’t trust Admiral Thompson.”

She stopped, and leaned against the wall, phaser rifle still cocked and ready to go. Looking up and down, she said, “We don’t know if we can, John. But we have to at least try. And we’ve got more than enough protection.”

“But if they’re all…like Thompson, then four phaser rifles and five weeks in combat training aren’t going to help much,” Richard said.

“Well, if Starfleet can’t help us, who can?” Colleen asked in a hushed tone, still looking to make sure no one was coming down the corridor.

“Civilians…I don’t know. Vulcans?” John said.

Colleen gave him a disapproving look.
“Now’s not the time to kid. And we can’t stay here much longer.”

“I’m not joking. Let’s send a subspace to—”

“Vulcan? The Vulcan embassy? What are you thinking? How long would it take for them to arrive?” Vereil asked him emphatically.

“They could transport,” Richard said.

Colleen rolled her eyes.
“Come on, people. We can’t stay here,” she said, annoyed. They kept moving. “We’ll give the admiral a shot. If he’s like Thompson, then we’ll bag it and make a run for the transporter, see if we can get to…someplace. Vulcan embassy, maybe.”

“Do you know where you’re going?” John asked her.

“Yes, now stop talking—people’s offices are around the corner.”

Colleen knew her way around HQ because her parents had dragged her with them on some of their meetings. Now she was eternally grateful for those hours where she could explore this area of HQ unsupervised. There was really nothing around here for a small child to harm. Just corridors and closed office doors.

She reached Admiral Guter’s door and pressed the chime. She hoped to God he was in there…the door swished open with his familiar voice.
“Come in,” he said, and stopped abruptly when he saw the four of them.

“You people look like you’ve been through a war…what’s going on here?”

Colleen kept her weapon raised, as she said, “Do you remember me, Sir? Colleen O’Donnell?”

“Of course I remember you, Colleen…what’s going on here? What are you cadets doing with weapons? And what are you doing in HQ? I thought this was only a three day weekend over at the Academy…”

“Sir, something’s wrong. Desperately wrong,” Colleen started, and told him what had gone on.

He looked alarmed. He walked over to his console and called security. There was no answer. He locked down command functions remotely, and turned to the cadets.


“This is a foothold situation…Thompson’s out of commission…Academy’s been compromised…Colleen, you and your fellow Cadets will stay in my office while I sort this out—”

“Sir, I can’t just let you go out there—it seems like HQ’s been compromised too. The security guards didn’t notice us when we got off the transit…they just let us pass…and the secretary didn’t even care that we were here. With weapons,” Vereil said.

“There’s definitely a growing problem in HQ, Sir,” John said.

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
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“Well what do *you* suggest? We can’t very well stay here and let whatever’s happening run it’s course, Cadets.”

“We didn’t suggest that, Sir. We want to accompany you for protection,” Colleen said.

Guter smiled.
“Thank you, Colleen, but I can’t put the four of you in this kind of danger…now if you’ll excuse me,” he said as he walked over to his closet and extracted a type 2 phaser rifle, “I believe I need to figure out what the hell’s going on here.”

“I think we’re already in this kind of danger, Sir,” John said. “We didn’t hijack the transit, disobey direct orders from Admiral Thompson, and steal four weapons and leave campus without getting into this kind of danger.”

Guter stared at him.

Before he could answer, Vereil continued,
“And it’s unwise for you to leave by yourself, Sir. You might be the only officer left who hasn’t been…who isn’t…dangerous.”

Guter seemed to be thinking this over, his head nodding up and down. “All right, the four of you come. But stay behind me, and don’t do anything stupid. If you see an opportunity to go and get help, and I can’t follow, go.”

“Where are we going, Sir?” Colleen asked.

“The transporter pad down one level. We’re going to Security HQ.”

“I can program the pad when we get there, Sir,” Richard said.

“I might take you up on that, Cadet. Let’s go,” Guter told them, clutching his phaser rifle and leaving his office. He led the way down the corridor, and once they got to the secretary’s desk, they noticed that there was no one around. Absolutely everyone had vanished. “Now this is odd,” Guter said more to himself than to the cadets.

“This is what we’re talking about, Sir. First the Academy and now HQ—” John started.

Before he could finish, Admiral Thompson beamed in with a phaser, and addressed Admiral Guter.
“Pete, what’s going on?”

Guter looked warily at Thompson, and said, “I don’t know, Shirley, you tell me.”

They all found it odd that Thompson would beam in with a phaser and ask what’s going on, as if she weren’t aware.

“Everyone’s disappeared, the Academy’s deserted, HQ’s deserted…we’re the only ones left. Apparently it started with a call in to Security about an intruder—”

“That was me, Sir, I alerted them. We were in the dining hall and we saw this strange man, and then he vanished…we thought he had a personal cloaking device…” Richard said.

“You four are all right?” Thompson asked them.

“Yes, Sir. We stopped someone who looked exactly like you, Sir, next to the transit…she beamed out. I think the adversary’s beaming people out and then sending down look-alikes to confuse us. Or to access our files or something,” Vereil told her.

“Thank you, Cadet. Let’s go and see what they’ve been able to access,” Thompson said, walking over to the command console on the secretary’s desk. “Pete, I need your access code.”

Admiral Guter looked confused. “Why don’t you use yours?”

“Because you locked down the computer, Pete. You’re the only one who can access the files.”

John and Colleen shot glances at each other. They both knew from their introductory courses that a locked-out computer could be accessed by anyone who had the right security clearance. And that was definitely Admiral Thompson.

John and Colleen didn’t notice the other oddity about Thompson’s request, but Vereil did. Thompson wasn’t there when Guter locked the computer out. She couldn’t have known who did it, and it was unlikely that she would have checked the computer between the time he locked it out and the time she beamed down.

Guter nodded, though, and started to type in his code. Colleen said, right before he finished it,
“Don’t do it, Sir—she’s not Admiral Thompson!”

Admiral Thompson looked flabbergasted at the young cadet and said, “What makes you think that, Cadet?”

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 3rd, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)
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“You *could* just use yours…anyone with proper security clearance could.”

“And you couldn’t have known Admiral Guter was the one to lock it out, Sir,” Vereil said. “You weren’t there, and not enough time elapsed to check the records and enter in the proper codes to figure out who was the one to lock it.”

Thompson smiled. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Shirley, maybe you could just explain why—”

But before he could finish, she raised her phaser and said, “Now the four of you, move away from the console. Pete, enter your code.”

Guter raised his phaser rifle and was about to fire but Thompson beat him to it, hitting him square in the chest. He was knocked several feet backward, into the wall, where he slumped motionless.

“Admiral!” Colleen yelled, and raised her own rifle, pointing it at Admiral Thompson. “F-flank maneuver—-m-move!” She stuttered angrily at her friends. She was seriously shaken by the ‘admiral’s’ actions. Guter was her father’s friend…and hers as well. She didn’t want to know what setting the admiral’s phaser was on.

Richard, John, Vereil, and Colleen moved in different directions to make it impossible for Thompson to fire at one of them before the others shot her back.

Thompson smiled at Colleen, and said,
“Admiral Guter was not who he appeared to be…he was not your friend, Colleen. He was one of the intruders.”

“Yeah, right, *Sir*,” Colleen said. “Move away from the console. Now.”

The four cadets clung to their weapons as though they would be jerked away when Thompson moved. They all looked as scared as they felt. Except Colleen, who looked as angry as a Tarkasian Razor Beast, but couldn’t keep the fear out of her voice.

“I can explain my actions, if you’ll give me the chance,” Thompson said in a calm voice.

“No. You’re going in the Brig, where you belong, whoever you are,” Colleen said.

“Computer, lock onto Admiral Thompson’s bio-signature and beam her directly to the brig,” John said.

There was no answer.


“You locked out higher level functions, remember?” Thompson told him.

“What do we do?” Richard asked Colleen.

“We have to take her to the Brig just like this,” Colleen told him. “John, cover one side…Richard, cover the other side…I’ll take back, Vereil, you take front. We’ll walk her to the Brig. I think it’s fourth floor. Take the turbolift. Over there.”

Suddenly, their surroundings vanished, as did their weapons, Admiral Thompson, and Admiral Guter. They were surrounded by the lined walls of the holodeck.

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colleenodonnell

(no subject)

from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 3rd, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
Link

They looked around, very confused. Admirals Guter and Thompson walked through the doors and up to the four cadets. “Congratulations,” Thompson said. “You’ve just completed your first unannounced examination.”

“This was an exam? Sir?” John asked, the fear in his voice slightly diminished and annoyance creeping in.

“Yes, Cadet, it was. And you passed with flying colors. We noticed the four of you got along so well, and we had to decide whether you would be kept together, schedule-wise. We just discovered how well you work together in a crisis situation, and how each of you dealt with the situation individually. You’ll receive those individual results momentarily,” Thompson told them.

“Then…Admiral, you’re okay?” Colleen asked Guter.

“Yes, Colleen, I’m fine. And I’ll tell you how you did if you’ll come with me.”

“There are two other admirals who judged your performance from outside the holodeck. They will give you your results, John, Vereil. Richard, if you’ll follow me…”

Richard and Colleen left with their respective score-givers while John and Vereil looked at each other, still very confused.

Once they got to a separate conference room, Guter said,
“Colleen, you received the highest grade of all. A 92 out of 100. You showed excellent leadership skills, ability to handle pressure, great judgment, remembering what to do in certain situations…but your temper needed better control. And you failed to notice a few things. The fact that Thompson couldn’t have had enough time to check the computer to see who locked it down. And you didn’t notice Thompson standing in front of the transit until you were practically in front of it.”

Colleen didn’t argue. She was too shocked to do so.

“The four of you did extremely well. In fact better than most First Year Cadets do. We gave you a similar test during your admittance exam, but that was by yourself. You four were the second group to be tested. You’re probably wondering how you got out of your dorm and into the holodeck. We teleported you to an identical program. There are four or five more of these tests to come…needless to say they’re unannounced. Congratulations, Cadet. And tell your dad I said hi, okay?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Dismissed.”

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colleenodonnell

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from: colleenodonnell
date: Sep. 3rd, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
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“Yes, Sir,” Colleen said as she left. They compared results once back in Colleen and Vereil’s dorm. Vereil and John tied at 90. Richard got an 87. He was thoroughly disappointed in himself, but the other three tried to cheer him up.

Later, in the dining hall, they looked around as if searching for that hooded stranger. A fourth year cadet walked up to them and said,
“Weren’t you four tested today?”

They nodded, wondering how he got this piece of information.

“How’d it go?”

“I don’t think I’ll ever look at a holodeck the same way. Or take the fact that I’m in the real world for granted,” John said.

“It went well,” Vereil said.

“Gonna stay together? As a group?” The fourth year asked.

“Yeah,” Colleen told him. “We’re a good team, according to the results.”

“Well, that’s good,” the fourth year responded, and walked away.

“He was civil,” Richard commented when he was out of earshot.

“Make sure he didn’t stick a kick me sign on your back. Two months isn’t up yet,” John told him.

“I still can’t believe it was a test! I seriously thought Admiral Guter was dead!” Colleen exclaimed for the fiftieth time.

“I can’t believe it either,” Vereil answered her.

“I’m glad we get to stay together, though. We do work well together,” Richard said.

“Yeah,” John said. “We’ve got it made—having each others’ schedules, or as close as it can get to each others’ schedules, for the rest of our years at the Academy.”

“What do you think they do for groups of kids who are all studying vastly different things?”

“Well, they probably don’t test those kids,” Richard said. “They won’t get to work together much anyway.”

They nodded, accepting this explanation, and continued eating. For all group activities pertaining to all areas of study, they would be grouped together. They would share standard classes and even some advanced ones during their Academy career. And unless they got sick of each other, they were told in more sophisticated terms, they would stay together for all four years.

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