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Old March 22 2012, 05:39 PM   #64
Re: Star Trek: Republic

Chapter Twenty-One (cont.)

“End program,” snarled Erwin Beck, and the computer in Holodeck One obediently reverted back to its normal configuration. “This isn’t a game, Marines!” he snapped. “We have the exact deck plans of the target; we have a perfect simulation of the environment; we have better intelligence on the capabilities of these Nephkyrie than we ever had on the Jem’Hadar; and you people are still moving too slowly!”

“One hundred and fifty seconds from the moment we beam in is all the time we can count on, Marines. Because one second after that we are all dead! The colonists are dead! Those Nephkyrie children press-ganged into soldiers are dead!”

Erwin ran his hand through the thinning hair atop of his head. “We have to cut our way to the command consoles where the deactivation codes can be entered—and those codes have to be entered to stop the count-down. That means if Parker or Karalis get hit, one of you has to take their place! Why do you think I gave each of you the code? Winning the fire-fight is for after we stop that bloody bomb from going off, Marines!”

“Do you get me?”

“WE GET YOU, SIR!” a ragged chorus of voices answered.

“And you Starfleet Security personnel had best get your act together! I know that your training included close-quarters combat drills, so get the lead out of your pants and move!”

One of Arrogant’s security officer muttered something, and Beck briskly walked across the deck until he was nose to nose with the officer.

“You have something to add, Jenkins? What was that that you said?”

“We’re doing our best, Lieutenant; that’s what I said! We’ve never trained for this Marine sh- . . . stuff.”

“God, I hope not; because if that is your best, Jenkins, then we are totally screwed and twelve thousand Federation colonists will lose their lives!”

Erwin took a step back and put his hands on his hips. “It isn’t fair that the Old Man pulled your asses off of Arrogant and Balao; it isn’t fair that you are beaming aboard a deathtrap to stop a maniac from killing himself and forty-seven thousand innocent people! It isn’t fair that your training means in this instance you are quite likely to die! Get over that! The universe isn’t fair! No, this isn’t your normal away mission, and this isn’t about protecting a Starfleet vessel from hostile boarders; this is about saving the lives of people who can’t defend themselves! And if you think that is something only for Starfleet Marines, Jenkins, then you are a sorry excuse for a crewman and perhaps you need to rethink your career choice!”

“Run it again, and get it right this time! Computer, run Ark Prime Assault from the top!” Beck shouted as he exited the Holodeck and reentered the adjacent compartment where he was observing the drill.
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