SIM:Lt. Jackford Kolk - Echoes of the Past Long Past

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Jackford Kolk
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Flight Operations
Deck Officer
USS Ronin
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Jack remembers a life-changing day in the midst of a hectic day in the F.O.C.

((Flight Operations Center, USS Ronin, Galactic Barier - Stardate 238503.05))

Kolk: oO Never a dull moment. Oo Kipps, you heard Walker. Shift the Mongooses closer to us and nudge the Falchion toward the far fleet, but make them feel we're not paying them any mind.

Kipps: Aye, Sir... baiting the hook, Sir?

Kolk: Exactly. Bait the hook and see if we get a bite.

Kipps: The Bannockburn reports that they have retrieved the message buoy. There heading back to the Ronin.

::He sat down and looked intently into the holoviewer. His fleet was nearly in position, and the incoming were closing steadily. Couldn't be much longer till something happened. The question now was, what would that be?::

Dimitri: =/\= Control =/\=

Sandoe: =/\= Control here. Go ahead. =/\=

Dimitri: =/\= Chevy 1 near position, requesting instruction. =/\=

Sandoe: =/\= Shadow Mustang 5, Chevy 1, but do not engage. =/\=

Dimitri: =/\= Copy Control. =/\=

::Jack didn't recognize the callsign "Chevy", so he had the holoviewer zoom in on the origin of that last transmission.::

Kolk: oO It isn't! I thought we got rid of those. Oo Lt. Hyberstolm, what kind of craft is Chevy 1.

Sandoe: That's one of our experimental fighters. I believe that one is a...

::LtJg. Sandoe thought for a moment, but Jack didn't have to. He'd flown one.::

Kolk: Hammerhead. That's what I thought. We don't have any Gremlins in the air, perchance, do we?

Sandoe: ::hesitant:: Ye... Yes, sir. You said "launch everything"...

Kolk: I didn't realize they were still on board. Please tell me we've completely disconnected the AI on the Gremlins.

Sandoe: ::less hestitant:: We have.

Kolk: You completely removed the program from the fighters' computers?

Sandoe: Yes, sir.

Kolk: And any AI specific hardware is on a shelf somewhere in Fighter Maintainance oO or better yet jettisoned into space Oo?

Sandoe: oO Okay, he's just being absurd now. Oo Of course, sir. ::smiling:: ...why?

Kolk: Let's just say that I've had an unpleasant experience with the Gremlin and it's not something I would wish on anyone else. oO Well, except maybe Synak. Oo

::Sandoe thought for a second. When had the Gremlin... Of course!::

((Flashback: Flight Operations Center, USS Ronin, Negan Asteroid Field - Stardate 238406.20))

::The whole area was a buzz of activity, as it typically was during normal days. This, though, had an air of excitement to it. Lt. Sandoe had just made J.G. and this was to be his first day as a Deck Officer. LtCmdr. Wayfel had reminded them that, with prototypes, the rule was to expect the unexpected. What came, though, was not even on Lt J.G. Sandoe's unexpected list.::

Hyberstolm: Commander, it looks like the Hammerhead group is straying a bit closer to the Gremlins than is appointed by their test pattern.

Wayfel: Warn them to...

Sandoe: We've got the AI locking on... we have phaser fire!

Hyberstolm: The Hammerhead's been hit... they've taken some pretty heavy damage, but are moving off under their own power.

Wayfel: Get the pilots on the line. I need those fighters further apart, now!

Thelev: =/\= Goblin One to Ronin. Mayday, mayday! The AI has fired at Hammerhead One, we need assistance. I repeat... =/\=

::The whole place lit up into a roar of activity as the Deck Officers tried to get the ships off each other and work out damage reports. Suddenly, the whole room shook, the lights flickering wildly and sparks flew out in a number of places. The sharp smell of burning rubber filled the room.::

Wayfel: What in god's name was that?

Niro: No idea, but it hit the whole ship... com is going crazy, sensors are all on the fritz.

Sandoe: The AI is reacquiring a lock on Hammerhead One. It just missed with a second shot... looks like the fighter sensors were knocked off a little too.

::The Andorian breathed a brief sigh of relief. At that range, a second hit would likely have destroyed the other fighter.::

Mar: =/\= Mar to Flight Ops, drop the kill switch on both of the Gremlins, now. =/\=

Wayfel:=/\= Aye-aye, cutting them now. =/\=

Sandoe: Kill confirmed. Both fighters are dead in the water. Their escorts are moving to dock and bring them in.

((Flashforward: Flight Operations Center, USS Ronin, Galactic Barier - Stardate 238503.05))

::The young man was excited to finally put the pieces together. He'd always wondered who the Engineer was who'd nearly gotten killed on his first day as a D.O.::

Sandoe: That was you in Hammerhead One?

::For a good while, Jack just gave the man a stare.::

Kolk: Yes, Lieutenant. That was me.

Sandoe: Well... ::turning back to his forward-facing console:: We're all very glad you made it. ... Sir.

::Jack smiled, thinking back. That had been an interesting day. Even after being nearly killed by a ship being flown by Thelev who would become his best friend, he'd gone on to be assaulted by the First Officer in the Sickbay, accused of being a blood-thirsty fugitive from an alternate universe by an over-eager Security Officer, Ens. Avery, dressed down by Lt. Brice for thoughtlessly calling him Ethan in front of Walker and Avery, asked to come up with a way of containing a completely foreign, emotion-based lifeform that they couldn't even track with sensors, and then finally allowed to take part in direct first contact with the species whose problematic warpdrive had effectively saved his life. He didn't fault Sandoe in the least for being excited to find out that Lt. Kolk was the one in the Hammerhead that day. He himself was still ocassionaly surprised to find yet another piece of the puzzle of that day had fit itself into place in his head. ... ::

((Bridge, USS Ronin - Stardate 238503.05, Concurrent))

::Thanks to the help of the annoyingly passionate but undeniably efficient Ens. Barkett, Lt. J.G. Valis had been able to adjust the comm systems to the oddly abnormal nature of subspace in this unknown region. She had even found time to casually monitor the sensors. It was her calling, and she was considering asking to be transfered back to it more and more each day since resolving most of her issues with Lt. Thelev in the holodeck a few weeks ago. She still felt more could be achieved, but that was best attempted off-duty rather than on.::

::Assuming that most of the ship's science officer were already working to decypher the scans of the alien fleets, Valis decided to idly scan the empy space around the Ronin. What she found intrigued her, and as she began to realize what it was, she noted feelings of excitement and hope being spawned inside her. While annoying, they were understandable. And what one can understand, one can control. So, her outward calm remained unperterbed as she reported her findings.::

Valis: Commander, I am picking up energy fluctuations approximately 27 kilometers aft of the USS Ursa Major.

Walker: Ok, what is it? Another set of aliens come to visit?

Valis: I believe a wormhole is forming.

Walker: As in the same type that brought us here?

Valis: Yes. There appears to...

((Flight Operations Center, USS Ronin - Stardate 238503.05, Continued))

:: ... In fact, if not for being chewed out by Ethan that day, he might not have taken the time to honestly reflect upon the fact that his fellow officers, superior and inferior, had earned their titles and positions, even if he hadn't been around when they had. That's why it'd hurt when Lt. J.G. Shepard had said straight out, albeit in the heat of the moment, that Kolk hadn't earned his. Jack didn't want to take it up with Walker or Mar, now, if he didn't have to. He hoped that Shepard would learn the same lesson that he had from the same sort of one-time discipline. He also hoped it wouldn't make any future on-duty interactions between the two Jacks more difficult than Kolk's interactions with any other Security Officers already were. But, those were all things to be worried about later, after this crisis was over. For now--::

Niro: Lt! Listen to this!

::The Flight Ops Second Officer switched the audio from the Bridge back to the overhead speakers.::

Valis: =/\= a Federation probe emerging. The probe is transmitting a subspace carrier wave being focussed back through the wormhole. I believe it to be a modified Class 8 Probe, rigged for Communications Relay. I will open a frequency if you care to-- =/\=

Walker: =/\= Yes, definitely open a channel. But lock us off from the other ships. If this is a trap, they'll only catch one of us. =/\=

::On the bridge, Valis nodded and complied::

Walker: =/\= This is Lieutenant Commander Ben Walker of the USS Ronin, contacting Comm Relay. Please respond. =/\=

::As the COs talked, Valis found herself once again watching the sensor readings flooding into her console, despite the fact that she was technically a Communications Officer.::

Valis: I'm reading a massive energy signature eminating... from the Independence's Engineering hull, but it has expanded beyond the ship and continues to do so. It will reach us in... 81 seconds.

((Flight Operations Center, USS Ronin - Stardate 238503.05, Again))

Kolk: =/\= Kolk to Bridge. Captain, should I order the fighters to withdraw to the wormhole? We can't expect it to be open forever... =/\=

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Lieutenant Jackford Kolk
Flight Operations Deck Officer
USS Ronin NCC-34523
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