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Practice makes perfect

Posted on 25 May 2021 @ 6:57pm by Staff Sergeant Lilliana Vail & 1st Lieutenant Patrick Jackson

Mission: General Sim Postings
Location: Marine firing range


Her lunchtime and fun with Leland over, Lilli had made her way to the firing range, it had been a while since she’d last practiced on the range and she needed to keep her skills honed, ready for any trips into the field. Just because she was the marine Medic and counsellor it didn’t mean she didn’t require weapons training.

Patrick had finished up his holodeck training and a quick meeting and decided he would get some more practice time in with his new toy. He needed to know this equipment inside and out before he deployed, and range would be a good place to practice the ins and outs of the equipment in a more controlled setting.

He saluted to the Sergeant on duty and walked past into the range. While he was not suprised the see the range mostly empty when training was not fully required or any major operations were about to begin, he was glad to see someone working on skills. They would all eventually be issued one of these bracelets so he figured he would let the cat out of the bag slowly. He also realized that in this short time as CO and immediately going on an away mission and followed up by another operation, he had not met most of his Rifles. He approached the range stall next to the woman and noted her markings.

"Afternoon, Staff Sergeant." He said moving next to her.

Lilli paused her practice and offered a smile. “Afternoon Lieutenant. I don’t believe we’ve met before I’m Lilliana Vail, Field Medic and Counsellor.”

Patrick nodded and returned the smile. "Nice to meet you Sergeant Vail. Patrick Jackson, Commanding Officer. I'm glad to see one of our Medics on the range."

“Thank you Sir” Lilli smiled. “I made a promise that I’d take care of myself, so I’m just getting in some practice. I’m up to scratch on my fitness regime so I don’t need to worry about the regs on that.”

"Outstanding. I hope that mindset of yours can rub off on the others." He answered and put his wrist near his mouth. "Phaser, Type 2." A moment later a type 2 phaser materialized into his hand. He turned it in his wrist, exiting and checking the charge as well as feeling the weight.

“If you don’t mind me asking Sir, Where did you get that?” She motioned to the wrist communicator that he’d used to call up the phaser. “I haven’t seen one of those before.”

Patrick smiled as he rolled the phaser in his hand. "Latest tech from Engineering. Uses nanites. Currently experimental and was asked to test it on the next mission. Includes an EVA suit. If all goes well, he is going to produce enough to make it standard issue onboard for the Marines." He pressed the button on the range table and took three quick shots at the holographic target and made a little adjustment. "How's your practice going?"

“Not too bad” Lilli called up the scoring chart, and took a look at her results so far. “Could be better though, I’m a little off.”

Patrick looked over the scores and saw where she was indicating. "Ah, that is a pretty common issue. It is an arm drift. Your aim is there but drifts when you activate the firing stud. Probably all after your first shot. Try this." He said and held up his phaser and put his right index finger along the side. "Instead of a closed grip, use your index finger to point to the target."

Lilli nodded, holding her phaser she copied how Patrick was holding his. “Let’s see if this works.” She took aim and let off another couple of shots before pulling up the automated scores to see how she’d done. “Wow, that makes a difference. Not perfect yet but with more practice I should get it dead on.”

Patrick nodded. "Good improvement. It is a new way to grip, so it will naturally take some time for you to get comfortable with it. As you get more comfortable, your accuracy will keep going up. How long have you been with us Sargeant?"

“This is my first tour of duty with the ship Sir.” Lilli smiled warmly. “The ship was in need of a medic, and a Counsellor solely based for the marines so I happily accepted the position.

"Well we’re happy to have you aboard." He said and took a couple of shots. "While most won't admit it publicly, everyone feels better knowing there is a medic around. Plus being on the fronting and trained as a counselor, that will hopefully put enough respect in most of their eyes to feel they can approach you." He set down his phaser. "I've seen enough older Marines that are still fighting battles with their own demons."

Lilli nodded. “That I can understand, being out in the field throws all manner of sights, sounds, and horrors for a marine that other people just don’t see, or understand. Having a Counsellor whose a marine adds that level of understanding.”
She took a few more practice shots the way he’d shown her. “You know I could get used to this new way.”

Patrick nodded. "When my DI showed me that it changed my life." He looked from the range back to her. "When was your last combat sim and what was your run time?" He asked and activated the moving targets.

“My last combat sim was ...” she had to stop and think. “A few months ago now, aboard my last ship. The run time was okay but needed improvement.” She picked up a PADD she’d brought with her, pulling up her personnel records she handed him the PADD. “There you go.”

He accepted the padd and looked it over. "Better than some. Time and accuracy are nothing to be ashamed of." He handed the padd back. "That new grip will help the score bump a couple points. I appreciate you staying on top of your trainings."

“As a medic I can’t help people if I’m not allowed out in the field” Lilli smiled. “It makes sense to keep on top of the required training schedules.”

He nodded. "I wish I could clone a dozen of you and assign them to each platoon. Would help rub off on others." He paused a second. "How confident are you doing EVA?"

Lilli frowned. “I’ve done it once or twice, but I can’t say it’s my favourite thing of all time. Those suits feel claustrophobic at best add to that the EVA itself ...” She shrugged her shoulders. “I wouldn't refuse an order because of it though.”

The CO nodded. "That is pretty common. Between feelings of confinement, limited mobility, and frequent disorientation, most are not comfortable in the EVA environment. I'm planning EVA training for all of those reasons. We have some time before we get there, and I will let you know prior so you can have nausea medication packed extra."

Patrick took a couple more test shots. "If this mission goes well, we may have some better suits as well. Less restrictive at least."

“That would be much more preferable.” Lilli smiled as she wrapped up her session. “I haven’t been out in the field with this crew as yet so it’d be a chance to get to know everyone.”

Patrick nodded. "It will be a learning experience for us all. Thanks for your input Sergent. Hopefully we will get a deployment soon." He said and dematerialized the phaser, double checking his notes.

Lilli nodded. “Thank you for the advice and the chat, it’s been nice getting to know you Sir.”

"Likewise. Enjoy the rest of your day." He replied and made his way out of the range.


1st Lieutenant Patrick Jackson
USS Tomcat

Staff sergeant Lilliana Vali
Marine Medic/Counsellor


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