Not So Bad After All
Location: Marine Firing Range
Timeline: following meeting with Chance and Yuri
After watching Yuri leave, Chance waved to Kawolski to bring back the rifles they were using. However, as it seemed they were a bit forward for his tastes at the moment, he decided they would move down the line. Plus, they needed to do long range tests with the weapons anyway.
On the way to the end, however, he noticed an all too familiar set of stoats.
"Gunnery Sergeant," he acknowledged, deliberately using the full rank rather than the more familial 'Gunny'. Chance noticed that she was using the same personal rifle that she had with her the other day.
"Sir." spoke the bioform acting as spotter, the one with the prosthetic arm and the armband. She was kneeling down and viewing through the Dalacari made optic suite. The other bioform lay next to her prone behind her GX-80 rifle, which rested on a bipod. A brief moment's silence before a surprisingly muffled, dull shot rang out as the heavy, subsonic slug flew towards its goal, hitting the small and distant target with a Ding after another moment of silence, during which the round was underway.
After the shot both bioforms switched off their equipment and rose to their feet, standing at attention before Chance. "What can I do for you, sir?" spoke one of them.
"Carry on," Chance said as he put his rifle into low ready. He whispered something to Kawolski before he turned back to the Gunny. "Is that still using standard kinetic ammunition?"
At being told to carry on, both bioforms resumed their positions. The one with the prosthetic arm kneeling and viewing through the optic, the other one prone and viewing through her rifle's scope. Said rifle was hooked up to an external battery pack via cable.
"The GX-80 is a variable velocity, variable barrel geometry and variable ammunition type electromagnetic coil rifle, Major." spoke the spotter, through her words were a little bit slower than normal, and the focus shift so characteristic of Dalacari didn't seem to happen. Another shot rang out, though this one considerably sharper, as a smaller, supersonic slug left the barrel and impacted a fraction of a second later.
"It has a small onboard replicator for on-the-fly ammunition selection, integrated moderator and integrated smart optics system." spoke the spotting bioform again, tapping the optic suite resting on her muzzle.
Chance looked over and Kawolski nodded as he indicated a PaDD in his hand. Chance nodded and waited, still watching. "What's with the bulky power supply?" he asked, indicating the cable and battery pack.
"The '80 is a very power hungry weapon, Sir. One of its drawbacks. The battery pack allows for extended mission duration." the spotter bioform replied. "The rifle has a small onboard power cell, but that's only good for a few dozen shots at low settings to three shots at max power.. We use that in an emergency." Another shot rang out, another small, supersonic slug, dinging the target marker right in the bulls eye.
Chance was able to see it on the PaDD as the shot hit the mark, within millimeters of the others. Without intending to do so, he let out a low whistle at the accuracy of it. But there were still problems. Mainly, he disallowed this for official use. And there were reasons for it. But...even as he was staring at the target, another shot in the very tight grouping. "I admit, that is impressive, but that does not prove the superiority of the weapon."
"The '80's superiority lies in part in the optics, Major." Both bioforms stood up now, the one with the rifle held the weapon in a safe direction, muzzle pointed downrange, finger off the trigger. "It can designate and track up to sixty four targets, sense atmospheric conditions and calculate a firing solution for each adjusting for gravity, wind conditions, temperature, humidity, precipitation -" A focus shift, the one with the rifle seamlessly picked up where the one with the optics left off. " -and coreolis, and wirelessly transmit that targeting data to the rifle, and any compatible device, like Starfleet targeting computers onboard shuttles, fighters and bombers."
"In case of situations where transmissions are not possible, the optics can feed the targeting data to the rifle via cable." spoke the bioform with the optics. She attached the optics to her uniform, then moved to stand right behind the bioform with the rifle, ready to brace. The one with the rifle shouldered it and peered through the scope. "Plus, it can deliver about 70% more kinetic to the target than the Starfleet designated marksman rifle."
A deafening shot rang out, the shockwave echoing through the space, the recoil enough to show Chance why one bioform had moved to brace the other. "That was the anti-materiel setting. Osmium based kinetic penetrator messes with warp fields, enabling the '80 to ground shuttles with a single shot."
Chance smiled as he shook his head. "I don't think a sales pitch is going to prove the superiority of the weapon over standard issue either," Chance said. "If you want the superiority of it to be believed, perhaps a better test of it would be in order." He made as if to think. "How about letting Kawolski give it a go, or me? Or both?"
Val considered for a brief moment, then nodded. "Alright. It's currently set up for me, so it might not be the most comfortable fit for someone of your build, but - " she spoke, switching focus. " - I'll let both of you have a go if you want."
The bioform with the rifle offered it to Chance, explaining. "This button selects presets. Light subsonic, heavy subsonic, light supersonic, heavy supersonic, anti-materiel. Select your preset, click the button once and wait for the green light to indicate the weapon is loaded and ready, then you can fire."
At the same time the other bioform offered Kawolsky the optic. "It's set for Dalacari features so might not be comfortable on your human face, but should still be workable. This adjusts level of zoom. This activates the cursor. Put your cursor over the target and press this button, it'll calculate a firing solution and transmit to the rifle."
Without comment Chance took the optics and handed the rifle to Kawolski. He took a moment to look it over, looking at the features that the Gunnery Sergeant pointed out, test the heft of it. "Y'know, I do feel like a big boom," he said, grinning like a schoolboy just handed a high powered weapon. "But, I guess that's not a fair test," he said, glum at seeing Chance's expression.
"Let's make it a real test," Chance said, using the PaDD to change the conditions to foggy, with a slight wind and intermittent rains, at night, with no moon. Then he chuckled when Kawolski's first shot went wide. Then there was a 'ding' followed by several more.
After a couple more shots, they switched places. It took Chance three times to 'dial in' on the strange rifle, but eventually even he was hitting the small target, under the same conditions, Kawolski set for him.
It was almost reluctantly that Chance handed over the weapon. "I'm sorry, I still can't approve that weapon," Chance said as he made some notes on the PaDD and handed it over to Val.
"I did speak with the MXO, Captain Johnson, about the issue and as I'm the MCO, I'm going to say if you can fix the power issue so that any external battery isn't wired, as well as the data cable, then it'll be approved. But, the set up now? Nah."
"Major?" Kawolski said, looking at another PaDD.
"Yes, yes, Staff Sergeant," Chance said, feigning irritation. "I'm well aware of the discovered regulation. However, I do have the right to reserve unsafe equipment. Have Gunnery Sergeant Seran report to the R&D unit, I'm sure they can fix my concerns without changing a thing of this weapon."
Finally, he looked at Seran, "Will that be a sufficient deal?"
"The optic already supports wireless operation. The power pack ... " She considered a moment. "I can make that to function wirelessly, there are pieces of hardware I can plug in to the pack and the rifle. I don't like using them because it makes an already large and heavy weapon system larger and heavier. Plus, strong EM fields - " A focus shift, the other bioform picked up the dialogue. " - cause interference. Carrying the cable as backup would solve that. If doing that would allow me to use the GX-80, I'll do that and be happy doing it. Will that suffice, Sir?"
Chance was silent for several long moments while he looked over the two separate bioforms. Then with a breath, "For now, but the battery pack problem can be easily resolved through the use of biokinetic power capture, if that's weaved through the uniform it'll constantly keep charged with a small, shielded receiver." He took a moment, "I'm sorry, I'm thinking out loud. We can make it work out to both of our needs I'm thinking."
Val smiled, both bioforms doing so in complete sync. Everything was in complete sync. From small fidgets to their breathing to blinking. "Thank you, Sir. I'm not sure a biokinetic system would suffice, though me being able to wear two of them would - " Another focus shift. " - at least in part make up for that. It's definitely something worth testing."
"Well, given your overall size and the surface area required for your uniforms, then yes, I believe it would be required for both forms to be equipped, but since you're always together, I don't think that should be much of a problem." Chance shrugged, "It always amazes me how much we forget about simple technologies because they're not 'newer' and 'greater' while we waste time and effort on getting slightly faster warp drives." Chance sighed at that. "Carry on, Kawolski and I were actually just going over here so he could continue showing off and earn the privilege of buying me dinner to make up for his strutting."
"Sir." both bioforms spoke in unison before resuming their shooting positions. They took Chance's atmospheric changess in stride and simply resumed their practise with these new conditions, varying projectile size and speed between shots. Her grouping remained consistent.
"If you run into Captain Johnson," Chance said, smiling, as he walked away, "it would be bad form to gloat that he was overridden."