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  Elias Holden & Ensign Dante Steel, SD
 
Snipe Hunt -- JDL: Ensign Dante Steel and Cadet Eli Holden
 
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Snipe Hunt

JDL: Ensign Dante Steel and Cadet Eli Holden

(This exchange takes place in the approximately 15 minutes between sims.)

He had failed his test. Excelsior's Chief Engineer, Lt Cmdr Wolfe, had set a strict time limit in which Eli was required to complete a supposedly routine job.

Passing this test would have meant passing his Basic Engineering midterm. Not only had Eli failed miserably, now he had to find Lt Cmdr Wolfe and admit defeat. Even THAT was proving difficult.

The other engineers would only tell Eli that the CEO was working on Jeffries tube maintenance and because the tubes had all sorts of engineering stuff inside of them that could, and often did, block commbadge signals, Eli had to check in each and every tube/

Bingo! Thought Eli as he approached the next tube. He saw an open toolkit on the deck outside and he heard the sounds of someone working inside. His happiness at having found the Chief Engineer was quickly dampened by thoughts of admitting he had completely and totally failed.

Eli looked up and shouted. "Commander Wolfe, Cadet Holden reporting back sir." He waited for the reply.

Lying on his side, Ensign Steel works quietly to realign the bio-neural gelpack. According to the maintenance reports, something was making the food produced by the replicators taste terrible. After crawling through several Jeffries tubes and service crawlways, He found the offending gel pack and restored it proper alignment. Thus, correcting the small spike in the replicators power curve and distorting the resolution of the pattern sequencers. Humming to himself as he updated the repair logs to reflect upon another job completed, Dante Steel is pulled from his own musings to peer down towards the entrance to the tube. While Dante usually tried to keep his telepathic abilities firmly tuned out, it was hard to mistake the approach of someone who was highly frustrated. Hearing an unfamiliar voicecall to him from the tube’s entrance, He replaces the cover on the access panel encasing the Gel pack and proceeds towards the sound of the voice.

“Hello? Who else is working down here?” He calls nearing the exit.

As he crawls out, Ensign Steel bangs his forehead on the top of the opening of the shaft. “Ouch!” He exclaims, more out of frustration than out of pain.

He turns his attention to the obviously younger Cadet standing in the junction of the tube. “No Commanders down here, but if an Ensign will do, I’d be happy to help you out! I’m Ensign Steel, and you are Cadet? …”

Eli frowned. His shaggy brown bangs slipped over his eyes as his shoulders slumped. He took a deep breath and shook his head. "No." He stated, pushing his hair back into place. "I need Commander Wolfe." The young man said politely and gave a disaffected shrug. "I suppose it doesn't matter much if I don't find him right away, a failing mark now or a failing mark later is the same isn't it? Sorry to have interrupted your work sir." The younger man turned and began to walk away without having given Dante his name.

Sensing a mixture of relief and frustration, Ensign Steel looks at the Cadet with concern. “The Commander is off ship at the moment. Why don’t you tell me what is bothering you? Perhaps I can help. I can tell you are frustrated, it’s coming off you in waves. I’m sure whatever it is, it can’t be that bad!” offers Dante to the Cadet, doing his best to heap his features neutral. He proceeds to put away his tool, picking up the nearby toolbox, giving the Cadet a chance to compose himself in the tiny space of the Jeffries tube junction.

The Cadet looked at Steel. "Betazoid eh?" He said in a tone that made it sound like just a casual observation. "It IS that bad...." He said emphatically thrusting the PADD he was holding at Dante.

"Commander Wolfe left this assignment for me." He sighed heavily. "It is...was...my Basic Engineering midterm." His head shook despondently. "All I had to do was to clean the venturi chamber within a three hour time limit." Eli snorted. "I couldn't even FIND the flippin' venturi chamber, much less clean it! I searched the computer for almost an hour and I didn't see anything. I thought he might have spelled it wrong and tried all d

“I am from Betazed, but you don’t have to be born telepathic to see this cloud of doom and gloom hanging over you.” Said Dante, not trying to sound like he was scolding the Cadet. Taking the PADD that the younger man was holding, Ensign Steel glanced at it, hardly believing what

he was hearing. He scrolled through the text on the screen and suddenly, Ensign Steel realized what must be going on. “Who gave you this PADD? ‘Cause, what you are looking for, you will not find aboard the Excelsior” Asked Ensign Steel, offering the PADD back to the cadet.

In the privacy of his own thoughts, Dante recalls a time when an upper classmen at the academy sent Dante on a “snipe” hunt somewhere not far off campus. Not only did Cadet Steel get into trouble for being out of bounds, he was publicly humiliated by his exo-biology professor when he was asked in class to identify under which phylum one would classify a snipe. Blinking back the mild anger and humiliation Ensign still felt, a plan began to formulate in his mind. He checked his chronometer and saw he still had a few hours left on his duty shift. “Commander Wolf didn’t give you this directly, did he?” Dante asked with a knowing smirk. “Tell me the truth.”

"No sir, he didn't." Eli easily agreed. "It was just sitting on the "pool table waiting for me at the beginning of my shift today. I've picked up assignments from that spot before, especially when Commander Wolfe's busy.” He paused, sounding more confused. “ Wait...did you say that I can't find the venturi chamber aboard the Excelsior?" The Cadet smacked his forehead and groaned. "Oh no! It's a part of one of our shuttlecraft isn't it?! I never even thought to check there. I guess I deserve to fail!" Eli conceded.

Thinking to himself, Oh that’s what I thought, they sent this poor kid on a snipe hunt. He shakes his head, feeling sorry for the cadet. “Listen kid, forget the shuttlecraft. Go back to your computer, run across reference between a venturi chamber and non-Starfleet technology. Then, I want you to run another search for the term, snipe hunt. My duty shift ends in a little over three hours, if you have figured it out by then, meet me on the holodeck, if not…” He shrug and smiles, “Nah, you’ll figure it out!”

He pats the Cadet on the shoulder and begins to whistle a tune to himself as he grasps the rungs of the vertical shaft and proceeds to climb down to the decks below. His silly whistling echoing up hatch between the decks slide shut with a hiss.

END



   
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