((Tactical Holodeck 1, Deck 3, USS Apollo-A))
::For the past 2 weeks Cain had not spent a minute idle. After the Twitchy Lieutenant JG had put him in charge of the AP Section of Security, he'd read up on everything he could. After 2 weeks he still wasn't done with it all but reckoned he had most of the priorities looked over. He'd started with the Borg and Voyagers encounter with them. When it came down to it Admiral Janeway was a genius when it came to killing these guys. What interested him most was the Elite Force that had been put together to combat threats like these. He read up on those missions in detail, wondering if the same could be done here on this ship. They were going to be out here longer than Voyager was anyway so why not? That idea was a long way off anyway, he still had so much to take in.::
::Next on his list was the Hirogen. Brutal, efficient killing machines. Again, all information he could find came from Voyagers interactions. How had their society evolved since the last interaction with Voyager? Had they settled somewhere or did they still hunt? Cain believed the latter and even theorised they'd come up with new ways to kill. He surmised it would be interesting to meet one in a fight.::
::The list seemed endless. Species 8472, Kazon, Krenim, Hierarchy, Malon. There were so many and others that were unknown. He read up on different tactics used by each and how they fought. When it got down and dirty, that information may save his life one day.::
Cain: K'MAARRA, LEFT FLANK! SECOND SQUAD COVER!
::The Caitian leapt up from her firing position from behind a rock and began moving to a rocky outcropping on her left about 50m away. As she ran crouched over, fire rained in from behind her to the enemy position to cover her. She moved with a speed befitting of Caitians, which is why he'd told her to move. Her black fur shook from running. She hit the rocks with her shoulder as she got there and started returning fire. The Hirogen, seeing one of their prey separated from the main body, charged the rock to surround her from both sides. This is what Cain was hoping for.::
Cain: FIRST SQUAD, NOW!
::Cain had placed First Squad up high, on the top of a high ridge that overlooked the rock K'Maarra was behind. As the Hirogen came around, both squads hit in the cross fire. Phaser Rifle beams and Pulse Phaser fire shot in, dropping body after body. Within minutes, the whole enemy force had been killed, bodies surrounding the panting Caitian.::
Cain: Squads, pull it in.
::As the 10 members of his security force started to move towards him, Cain couldn't help but think something was still off about the programming. He come up with these exercises himself after reading the after action reports from Voyager but he didn't think in reality a Hirogen hunting force would just run into an obvious trap. He made a note to check in with someone to see if they could improve on the A.I. of the enemy combatants. However he wasn't going to reveal that to his teams.::
Cain: Good job everyone, although some did get in close enough to K'Maarra to give her a stand up fight. How was it?
K'Maarra::Grinning but still breathing heavily.:: Walk in the park sir
Cain: Good. Don't let it go to your head though... ::He looked around.::…. and that goes for all of you too. These are basic simulations of the type of enemies we might face out here. I'm sure the real thing will be more of a challenge but its all good practise.
::They all looked half serious but in a good way. Each of them knew it would be harder in reality and looked like they welcomed the challenge. Cain had come to respect the crew he'd been working with and had managed to get past he feeling they were all wrong in some way to actually enjoy their company.::
Cain: Dismissed. Go get cleaned up and keep studying your files. I don't think we are ever going to finish them but keep going at it. Computer, end program.
::They all wandered towards the exit as the environment disappeared to reveal bulk heads and emitters. Some had even made it out the door.::
Computer: Red Alert. All hands to battle stations.
::Cain saw everything darken and a red hue illuminated the corridors out side the tactical Holodeck. The people already out the door jogged back in. He addressed everyone.::
Cain: Ok you know the drill. Lets get armed and ready. This may be the first time this has happened out here but it certainly won be the last.
::As Cain was jogging out with his teams his Comm Badge chirped.::
Fairhug: =/\= Fairhug to Lieutenant Cain and Ensigns Malko and Maro, please hand off any work you are doing to another member of staff and make your way to the Captain's Ready Room. =/\=
Cain: =/\= Yes Commander. =/\=
::Cain stopped and K'Maarra stopped with him. He started jogging in the other direction, toward the turbolift. He shouted over his shoulder.::
Cain: Sort them out Ensign.
::She nodded and resumed her course at a faster rate. Cain ran into the turbolift, breathing lightly.::
::As an after thought, Cain remembered he was holding his rifle. Shrugging he strapped it to his back with the sling he had with it.::
oO Never know, may come in useful Oo
((Bridge, Deck 1, USS Apollo-A))
::Cain walked onto the Bridge and crossed the vast space to the Captains ready room. Everyone was busy assessing what was going on. Cain nodded to the Commander as he caught his eye and gave him a questioning look. The Commander answered indirectly.::
Fairhug: Ensign D'fini, have a look at the archives. Is there any reason the Hierarchy would have for attacking the Talaxians like this?
oO Hierarchy? Really? Not their MO Oo
::He looked over at D'fini and smiled. He always did when he saw her. He hadn't had time to speak to her properly after their initial meeting. He assumed she was busy like himself that he hadn't even thought about it. Still, something about her put him at ease. Cain chimed the door as D'fini answered but didn't take it in. The door immediately opened and Cain stepped into the room. He found the Admiral beyond. The door closed behind him but a second later opened again. Cain groaned inwardly. The annoying Ensign. The Admiral made a gesture towards the sofa and the other two sat down. Cain remained standing. The Rifle on his back would make for an awkward seating position.::
Renos: Something about this stinks and unfortunately, we’re going in blind. So tell me, what do you know about the Hierarchy?
Cain: Only what I've read in Voyagers files Sir
Malko: In the spirit of honesty, I have only the basic combat training and a hostile rescue situation with Atlantis under my belt - which I don't know if I've fully processed, yet. What did you have in mind for me, Captain?
::Cain kept his face neutral but was groaning again inside. He found himself doing that a lot lately with people in blue collars.::
oO That's it, make your CO doubt you from the off Oo
Renos: Mr Malko, I have no doubt about your abilities or your training. I appreciate that it's a difficult mission you’ve gone through. Having only limited data right now, it’s hard to say how our resources will be utilised. Best case scenario, we drive the Hierarchy away before too much damage is done. Worst case scenario we may have to send search and rescue parties to evacuate New Talax. What I do know, is that this is a traumatic event for the Talaxians. There will be people in direct need of your expertise, so tell me now if you feel you may not be able to handle any task that may be required of you.
Renos: Very well. For now, let’s focus on the Hierarchy. What else do we know about them?
::Cain spoke first.::
Cain: Nothing beyond Voyagers files. They Micromanage to an extent that if they need to use the head they need to see if its worth their time. A full scale planetary attack is not their style unless there is a massive gain from such an expensive and resource consuming activity. If there is, im surprised no one picked up on their spying before hand as they must have been at it weeks to plan it in such miniscule detail.
::Renos nodded, thinking the response's through apparently.::
Renos: Well it begs the question - was this a stealth assault gone wrong? Were they uncovered prematurely by the Talaxians? Did they underestimate their target? Or what about an evolution of their tactics?
Cain: I would go against an evolution in tactics. A society micromanaged from the top has people that will not want to give that up. If this is a genuine attack, this is still going to have been weighed and measured by these top guys and the Talaxians may be in a lot more trouble than we realise.
Renos: Then perhaps it was desperation. Does anyone have any theories about why they might be attacking or what they may be after?
Cain: Or maybe they are moving out this way because something worse is on the other side of their territory.