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LtJG Lhandon Nilsen & LCDR Aine Sherlock - A Hard Lesson

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((8 Forward, USS Octavia E. Butler, Time: Just before departure from Deep Space 9))

Aine had a plan. A plan to teach Nilsen a lesson. And teach him she would. She was going to prove why you don’t mess with a Senior Officer. Now that the crew was moved over to the OEB, she’d spent some of her first hours aboard not settling into her quarters like most others were doing. Instead she immediately went to work, testing out the new computer system that was augmented with Borg technology. And what she’d found was impressive, it was just a matter of putting it to use now.

She’d easily located Nilsen in the lounge via the computer. When she walked in she kept the PADD behind her, both hands cupping it, as she approached his table. She ignored the other Junior Officer seated with him, some Engineer. As she stood close to the table she looked down at him with a stern look.

Sherlock: Mister Nilsen, come with me.

Nilsen: Aye sir, where we going?

Sherlock: Where? I’m taking you to Engineering so I can hit you in the head with a hyperspanner.

She looked at him seriously, waiting for him to realize she was joking...again. But it didn’t seem to land this time. She swung the PADD out from behind her, giving him a “light tap” across the back of the head.

Sherlock: I need a pilot. So, come on, let’s go.

Nilsen: :holding back of head: Ow! Why didn’t you say? 


Aine quietly began walking away with Nilsen in tow, leading them to the nearest turbolift.  She was sure he had questions, but he’d have to wait for the answer to some of them.

Nilsen: So what you need a pilot for?

Sherlock: I don’t actually need a pilot. But you know how when you check out a shuttle and the Petty Officer brings up your record for a quick peak?

Nilsen: Yeah?


He said in a questioning manner, not having experienced that before.

Sherlock: Well, I hate the look I get followed by the inevitable ::in a mocking tone:: “bring it back in one piece.”


Aine was well aware of Nilsen’s record, and well aware that he wasn’t aware of hers. But, like she felt of her own, the past was the past and one can always move forward.

Nilsen: And you need me to…Sherlock, you embarrassed? 


He said smiling, did he just find a thing? He let out a little laugh, the kind of laugh a big kid who hasn’t quite grown up might, not one of malice, but more teasing.

Sherlock: I’m qualified to pilot ships up to one million tons. But, one of my instructors at the Academy wrote me up as reckless.

Nilsen: Well the instructors there are idiots. Every one of them have never left Sol.


Aine scoffed, she completely agreed with him. It was their job to teach Cadets the basics. The problem was that just to get into Starfleet you had to be exceptional, in some ways, to begin with. The average personality of officers was definitely Type-A.

Sherlock: It’s not my fault he puked and then passed out. He said turn hard and didn’t state a G-limit.


Lhandon had smirk about him at that line.


Nilsen: If they don’t want ya to go over a G-limit they gotta say.


They entered the turbo lift.


Sherlock: Exactly, it’s his own fault.


((Shuttlebay, Deck 9, USS Octavia E. Butler))

The process for Nilsen to take out a shuttle was easy, so easy, he didn’t even need to speak to anyone. This process, at least for him and his qualifications and job roll was pretty much fully automated, he was given a selection which was pretty much all the shuttles except for the captains yacht, and even then, he’d be able to fly it if ordered.


Nilsen: So over one mil? Something nice and chonky maybe? 


It took all of Lhandon’s will power to not end that sentence by saying “your mum” 


Sherlock: Excuse me? Oh, ship tonnage. No, just a Type 14 is fine. We’re not going far.


Nilsen: Like where we going though? This just a simple A to B? Or you got somethin’ else in mind?


As the pair approached the nearest available shuttle, Aine began tapping away on her PADD. She brought a display of a report she’d been working on and held it out for Nilsen to see.


Sherlock: This morning, I decided to test out the speed of the computer. And randomly, I had this idea. Turns out it actually led to something. I ran a tactical simulation, well, had the computer run it.

Nilsen: And what did it show?

Sherlock: Well, it ran it twenty-five hundred times. ::beat:: In five minutes.

Nilsen: How many?

Sherlock: I was impressed. This new system is revolutionary. But, anyways, as you see here, this point on the hull is the least likely spot to ever be hit in battle.


She pointed to a point on the image of the ship on her PADD on the Engineering hull, just port of the lower superstructure.


Nilsen: Why that point? It’s near enough to engineering that it looks like it could get hit if enemies were targeting there.

Sherlock: It factored in all kinds of things. Even the percentage of right handed CO’s who are likely to turn to port. ::shrugging:: Anyways, I’d like to inspect it for my report. Make sure that if any enemies are running similar simulations, they’re not going to find a way to exploit this.

As they continued discussing, or rather Sherlock briefed and Nilsen listened. The process behind prepping and getting a shuttle ready to launch was automatic and for Nilsen, with his role, much smoother and without questions. Like a vending machine, the Type 14 was slid out of its rack and loaded onto a platform where it was placed very close to the two officers in gold. 


Clearance was mostly automatic save for the verbal confirmation 


Flight Control: =/\= Shuttle 14-022, confirm flight plan.=/\=


Nilsen: Close to home flying is the order of the day. Hull inspection and showing off is the order of the day. 


Flight Control: Of course, you’re showing off, who is it this time, that engineer you like. ::laughs:: Shuttle 14-022 you are cleared for launch.


Nilsen: Confirm go. And Jake, I hate you.


Aine’s head tilted and a very contorted and questioning look etched onto her face. She wondered if the man in flight control was referring to that Engineer Nilsen was with earlier when she’d found him.


He looked over at Sherlock, perhaps a little whiter than he’d like and said


Nilsen: No, Sherlock, just no.


Sherlock: ::snapping back to form and shaking her head:: I didn’t say anything.


The shuttle was raised up as the bay doors above them opened up and the bright light from this star started to wrap its way through the opening. Lhandon fired up the engines and lifted off but not before he said 


Nilsen: Scenic route?


((Shuttle, Flying outside the OEB))


As Aine took her seat, she grinned and thrust her chin towards the forward viewports.


Sherlock: At your leisure, Lieutenant.


Lhandon smiled, he had been wanting an excuse to do this. The last time he had flown this close to the hull, it was in the moment of "oh my god, it's going to blow" on the Oumuamua when the mission pod unexpectedly exploded.


Lhandon flew forward and over the bridge of the OEB which was just in front of the launch pad. He then sped up the shuttle, a view of the name etched into the hull and its registry. The lights on the saucer section had flashed by. He sped forward a little more and the ship was out of view. Then after a few moments, he had turned the shuttle around in a wide curve and Sherlock and Nilsen had gotten a view of the Octavia, her four nacelles and the saucer blade.


Nilsen: She’s a beaut.


Sherlock: She really is something else.


Lhandon hadn't been told he couldn't do this, so he had flown under the hull, past the deflector dish, and over Lower engineering super structure, just between the two struts of the lower nacelles before shooting out past the quad nacelles and turning around once more. He had a smirk on his face.


Nilsen: We should add that to bingo.


Aine had let him fly where he wanted and how he wanted. Openly being so reckless with information like Ship’s Bingo, that was almost unforgivable. But she’d let it fly…for now.


Sherlock: Excuse me?


Nilsen: Oh erm…nothing. 

Watching the Junior Officer have his fun from the right seat, Aine just let it happen. Sure there were regulations about flying close to ships, but rules can be bent if there’s no real harm. Nonetheless, they’d have to get back to work…or at least what she had Nilsen thinking was work.

Sherlock: Alright, Lieutenant. That’s enough for now. Bring us into that spot on the hull I showed you.

Nilsen: Aye aye captain.


He said with a bit of cheekiness. He didn't realise at that point that Sherlock was up to something, this was a fun little trip out. Lhando’s a happy boy…for now.

As the shuttle floated just a few meters from the hull, Aine could plainly see the spot. Nothing looked out of the ordinary and she tapped in a few notes on her PADD.

Nilsen: Why we out here again?

Sherlock: After the simulations, I ran structural and metallurgical analysis. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. But seeing things up close, developing context for yourself, it’s important. That way, if anything does go wrong, you can eliminate most possibilities right away.

She looked at him, wondering if he was understanding this little lesson, one she hadn’t really planned on.

Sherlock: Roll us over and set us down on the hull.

Nilsen: On the hull?

Sherlock: You heard me. Put the spot a couple meters aft of the shuttle too.

Nilsen: No flyby? You doing a trick on me?


Lhandon was starting to…doubt is the wrong word but he was starting to wonder what Sherlock was up too.

Sherlock: Not a trick. Those are my orders, so you’re in the clear.

Nilsen: Alright, I guess. 


Aine waited patiently as the shuttle rolled over and gently set down on the hull with a dull metallic thud. 


Nilsen: We're down. ::tapping on the console:: maglocks connected, this shuttle ain't going anywhere.


Once it was settled, she stood up and leaned over the console tapping in a few commands. She looked over at Nilsen and grinned then tapped in one last one and the rear hatch to the shuttle suddenly opened, extending into what looked like the vacuum of space but was contained by a forcefield. She pulled a laser scalpel out of her pocket and held it up in front of the Lieutenant. No suit was needed.

Sherlock: Shall we?


A number of expletives went through Nilsen's mind, some beginning with the letter S, some with the letter F and some with the letter E.


Nilsen: Shall we??? I can wait here, keep the engine warm. I'm not…I'm not an EVA person you know.


Sherlock: Well, this ship is new. So there is no scorch. But this is the most likely part to become one in the future. And someone has to sign it.


And then it dawned on him

Nilsen: Oh? We're…


Once the Lieutenant had taken the scalpel, she led them out onto the hull of the ship. She took a moment and looked around, taking in the sight, before stepping over the panel soon to be vandalized.

Nilsen: …why you? This…you aren’t…I mean we ain't meant to do this.

Sherlock: I wasn’t an Ensign for very long. I really didn’t have time to do all the fun stuff you guys do. And I wasn’t a JG long either. And ::beat:: I’m allowed to have fun.

Aine stood and watched Nilsen burn his name into the hull of the shiny new Sagan Class ship. When he was finished and handed her the scalpel, she knelt down next to him.

Nilsen: So you wanna do all the stuff us junior officers do…we ain’t gonna get caught.

Sherlock: Hell no we won’t get caught. ::holding out her PADD:: You see, I did those simulations, I wrote this report, I logged the excursion. I’m hiding in plain sight. Last time, you tried way too hard to hide. And that made it obvious.

Aine reached down towards the smooth hull plating and pressed the button on the side of the scalpel and etched her full name, Aine Olive Sherlock, into the ship.

Sherlock: Do you get what I’m trying to say here?

Nilsen: I think I do, cover our backs right?

Sherlock: The game works both ways. And if you want to win, you’re going to have to step it up.

She gave him a wink and stood.

Sherlock: Come on, Lieutenant. Let’s get back inside.



Lieutenant JG Lhandon Joseph Nilsen


USS Octavia E Butler





LCDR Aine Sherlock

Chief of Security

U.S.S. Octavia E. Butler


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