Devious (TOS-era)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sgt_G, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    This is a short (1750 words) filler segment, part of a much larger set of fiction stories I'm working on. Many of these character appear in other segments.


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    Setting: Police Station Cygnus


    A three-vehicle convoy pulled up to a shopping center about two kilometers outside the spaceport. A police woman moved a barricade and pointed for them to park next to the SWAT van. Crewman Richard Moss parked the truck and shut the engine off. Petty Officer Second Class Shannon Kennedy looked over her shoulder. "Grab the gear," she ordered, "you know what to do." She exited the truck and looked for the officer in charge. Another policemen pointed her to Lieutenant-junior grade Douglas Costello.

    She walked up to him and stopped herself from saluting. One does not salute in a tactical environment, she remembered at the last second. The SWAT team leader was a stickler for such things. "Sir, what's the situation?"

    "In there, the pharmacy, fourth business on the right," Costello pointed at the two-story mall. "There was a break in this morning. One of the employees was in early to accept a routine shipment, and surprised two men taking medical supplies and drugs off the shelf. She fought them off." He laughed. "She's in my self-defense class."

    "Good for her, sir. I hope she's okay." Kennedy took Costello's military hand-to-hand combat class, of course. The civilian version was, if anything, more brutal. He taught women to fight to survive at all costs. Kennedy almost felt sorry for the suspects. Almost.

    "She's fine, but they took her to the hospital just to be sure. Anyhow, the suspects escaped. My guys have secured the area, and no they didn't contaminate scene. I need your forensics team to find something, anything, that might identify who the perps are. We still have fugitives on the loose, as I'm sure you're aware. I want to know if they did this or not. If it turns out these aren't our guys, hand everything over to the local police."

    "Understood, sir," Kennedy replied. She led her team into the mall. More police had roped the area off to keep gawkers back. Fortunately, Cygnans were not a very curious people; most simply went about their day's business as if nothing was wrong. Petty Officers Jorge Rios and Derrick Hall were standing guard at the pharmacy's main entrance. She looked inside. Oh, this was going to be fun; the aisles were littered with merchandise knocked off the shelves during the fight.

    Rios gave her the body cameras that belonged to Costello and his SWAT team. He said they were the only ones to enter the pharmacy, to make sure it was clear of suspects. Rios had already bagged and tagged them. She initialed the evidence log and put them in a case.

    Her team got to work. First, they suited up in coveralls, gloves, and shoe covers. Crewman Moss helped Petty Officers Paul Pashranni and Eleanor Ortega set up the equipment, staging it on folding tables near the door. Kennedy pulled the hood over her head and put a mask on. "I'm going to do a walk through. McGregor, with me."

    Crewman Earl McGregor also covered his head and put a mask on, and picked up a tricorder. He followed his supervisor as she walked carefully down one aisle and back up the next. She pointed to items that the team would need to collect. McGregor made a video record of her every movement; there could be no suggestion later in court of ‘planted evidence'. She walked down a third aisle and were halfway back up the last when she saw someone walking towards her.

    "Get out of my crime scene," she yelled at Lieutenant Commander Atta Jamar. He wasn't wearing any protective coveralls. At least he put the booties over his shoes, but still. Really? What was he thinking?

    He stopped. "I need to speak with you, Petty Officer."

    "OUT! Now!" She pointed. He turned to leave. "Carefully, sir. Do try to walk back out in your own foot prints." She told McGregor to record the officer's departure, in case he disturbed any evidence. The pair finished their initial inspection and exited the pharmacy.

    Kennedy pulled her mask down. "Where's the Exec?"

    "He left," Rios answered. "He said for you to report to the commander when you're done here." He read her face. "He came in and asked where you were. When we told him, he just slipped the boots on and away he went. What was I supposed to do? Tackle him?"

    Kennedy glared at him. "Next time, shoot him." The others were not at sure she wasn't serious. "Okay, let's get to work. Standard tricorder sweeps. There's blood at the end of aisle two; take multiple samples. It looks like someone had their face pushed up against the glass, so try to pull the print. This is a public store, so it's probably a waste of time lifting fingerprints, but let's see what we can pull on the shelves where items were stolen."

    Over next two hours, Pashranni and Ortega painstakingly collected evidence. McGregor and Moss recorded their every move. Kennedy logged each item as it was bagged and tagged. She had Pashranni check the restrooms for evidence because, hey, criminals are stupid and leave traces of themselves everywhere they go. Once she was satisfied they had collected everything possible, Kennedy notified the store's manager. She requested that he take an inventory and provide the police with a list of everything he believed to have been stolen.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Petty Officer Kennedy and her team returned to the police station, along with the two escort vehicles. That was standard procedure, to send a protective detail with the forensics team, least someone try to steal the evidence before it could be processed. Kennedy supervised the transfer of everything they collected to the lab techs. She prioritized which items should be examined first, which had the best odd of identifying the suspects.

    She went to the locker room and changed into a fresh uniform, and then went to the commander's officer. The door was open. Four people were in the room. She knocked on the jamb. "You wanted to see me, sir?"

    Chief Petty Officer Charles Baumann turned and said, "Petty Officer, I believe you were told to report to the commander. Try again."

    Kennedy was taken aback. Was she in trouble? Well, yes, she did yell at a commissioned officer. She took a breath, composed herself, knocked once loudly on the jamb, and waited for the commander to say "Enter." She marched to his desk and stopped one-halve meter in front of it. She snapped to attention and saluted. "Sir, Petty Officer Shannon Kennedy reporting as ordered."

    Commander Miguel Hernandez stood up and returned her salute. He did not tell her to stand easy. He picked up a PADD, looked at it intently, look at her and back at the PADD. "So, Forensics Technician Second Class Kennedy, I was informed that you yelled at Lieutenant Commander Jamar today."

    "Sir, yes, sir. I did yell at the Exec. He was in my crime scene, sir."

    Hernandez's eyebrows shot up. He looked over at his second-in-command. "A.J., you left that part out. What were you thinking?"

    A short laugh escaped from Forensics Technician First Class Steven Peacock. "Good for you," he told Kennedy. He, too, stood in front of the commander's desk, but somehow was allowed to stand easy.

    Chief Baumann shook his head. "I hope you were polite about it."

    "Ah, no, Chief, I can't say I was," Kennedy admitted. She looked over at Jamar. "I apologize for that, sir."

    Hernandez looked the PADD again for a long moment. "Well, putting that aside, Petty Officer Second Class Kennedy, you have caused me a bit of a problem."

    Kennedy, still standing at attention, had no idea what else she might have done. "I'm sorry, sir. If I knew what the problem is, maybe I could explain."

    Hernandez looked at her and then back at the PADD. "Petty Officer First Class Peacock, I asked you here today because I'd like to hear your assessment of Petty Officer Second Class Kennedy's performance. How do you rate her technical abilities? What do you think of her leadership skills? I need an honest answer, your candid opinion."

    Peacock glanced over at his compatriot. "Her technical skills are first rate, sir." He paused. "If there's a problem with some piece of evidence, sir," he pointed to the PADD, trying to guess what the commander was reading, "I would be very surprised if she, or anyone on her team, made a mistake in the collection process."

    A small smile crept, very briefly, onto Hernandez's face. "No, I must commend you both. This station has never had a single piece of evidence compromised under your watch. In fact, the Inspector General just gave the entire forensics shop a laudatory rating." That was their highest rating. "Petty Officer First Class Peacock, please continue. What else can you say about Petty Officer Second Class Kennedy?"

    Peacock took a breath. "Well, sir, her team looks up to her. As a leader, ah, Chief Baumann and I have talked about her. He thinks she's ‘too nice' to her troops. I thought she lacked backbone; that is, until today when I heard she yelled as the Exec." Everyone except Kennedy chuckled at that; she simply blushed. "Also, the way she handled Swanson and Graham when they had their misunderstanding a few days ago, well" he looked at Baumann. "I heard that after you left the room Chief, she really lit them up." He looked back at the commander. "Lastly, sir, I believe she deserves a Letter of Commendation for how she handled the tactical situation over at the warehouses the other day."

    "Thank you for that, Petty Officer First Class Peacock." Hernandez didn't tell them, but he had just signed such a document earlier that morning. He looked at the PADD again. "Petty Officer Second Class Kennedy, you have given me a problem. I now have to figure out how to resolve a personnel issue. A very serious issue, indeed."

    "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand," she replied. She also didn't understand why he was being so formal with their rate titles; surely, he knew that a simple 'Petty Officer Kennedy' would suffice. Use of full title was normally reserved for official events, such as retirement and award ceremonies ... and court martial proceedings. Yikes!

    "I shall explain to you, Petty Officer Second Class Kennedy, and to you as well, Petty Officer First Class Peacock, because this may involve you, too." The two petty officers looked at each other in confusion. "I don't know if you know this," Hernandez continued, "but this station's manning authorization only allows us to have one Forensics Technician First Class on the roster. So, which one of you wants to transfer out?" He smiled and handed Kennedy the PADD with the newly-released promotion list.

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 6:28 PM
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  2. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    I e-mailed the story to a friend last week, and just received a reply.

    First, he didn't get the significance of using full titles 'Petty Officer Second Class Kennedy' when the simple 'Petty Officer Kennedy' is what's normally used. I added a sentence or two towards the end to clarify that bit.

    Second, he said, "That just wouldn't happen in real life." Actually, yes it does. It kind of happened to me. Twice.

    In the mid-70's, long before I joined the service, the USAF had a problem of promoting people "too fast" to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt / E-5), so they created a second E-4 rank. One became a Senior Airman (SrA) for a year before "promoting" to buck Sergeant. Originally, SrA were not allowed to test for SSgt; you had to be a Sgt first. They changed the rules the year I joined. Our training instructors has a lot to say about that. Strong opinions for and against.

    Anyhow, I was stationed as Andrews AFB in 1985. I was working up in the cab, and someone came up to relieve me because the station chief wanted to talk to me. I went down and found the station chief and the commander waiting. The station chief said, "what do you think you doing? You're not even an NCO yet and you do this!" I was madly trying to think what I might have done. At that point, the commander spilled the beans and told me that I made SSgt on the first try. Back then, most made it on their second or third try.

    Flash forward to 2001, I was stationed in Korea. We had a commander's call scheduled, and the day before we were told the First Sgt wanted to talk to all NCO supervisors first, so we had to report an hour early. He takes us in the break room and starts reading us the riot act for "not being good mentors and leaders" to the junior troops. Right in the middle of this butt-chewing, the commander walks in. "Hold on there, First Sgt. These men and women are professional NCOs, and I expect you to treat them as such. If you want them to do better, you need to find ways to motive them in a positive manner. Let's do some role-play. Jimmy, come up here." One of my co-workers got up looking pretty weirded out. "So, Jimmy," the commander said, "I want to find something to motivate you. What can I do that would motivate you?" Jimmy shrugged, completely confused. "Well, would a line-number to Tech Sgt motive you?" the commander asked as he pulled out a presentation folder with the promotion notification. All in all, eight or nine of us made TSgt or MSgt. I figured as it was my first try for Master Sgt, I didn't have a shot. Of course, mine was the last folder presented. Yes, I made SSgt and MSgt first try each ... just don't ask how long it took me to make TSgt, I lost count.


    The third thing my friend asked is, "What happens next in the story?" I was just going to leave it there, because some will be explained in a future segment, but I might go ahead and write a bit more to this segment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 6:38 PM