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Emergency Courses of Action (COA)

As a Security Officer, you have been entrusted with the safety of the starship you have been assigned to, as well as the crewmembers onboard that vessel. When going about your duties as a Security Officer, you will be confronted with a number of scenarios and situations onboard the starship to which you will have to react swiftly and surely. The purpose of this section will be to give you, the Security Officer, an overview of each likely scenario that you may face, and the options available to you during it.

Boarding Action

A boarding action takes place when your starship is boarded by enemy personnel, often occurring during the course of a battle between your starship and any number of other vessels. The intruders may beam directly into your vessel once its shields have been lowered, or they may use a less direct method of boarding, such as a shuttlecraft or other space-worthy vehicle. Whatever the method of boarding, the Intruder Alert will sound; this is when your role as a Security Officer becomes vital.

Unless incapacitated, the CO or other Department Head will issue a warning to the crew and initiate General Quarters Four. Security Bulkheads may lower to protect certain vital areas of the starship, and all Security Officers may be authorized to set their weapons to kill. During the boarding of your vessel, the two most important areas to protect are the Bridge and Engineering. These are the two most important areas of any starship; without these, no starship can function, and if boarders gain control of these areas they may be able to hijack the starship or destroy it. It is imperative that if either area is seized, it must be immediately re-taken by Security personnel. Once these areas are secured, several other key systems should also be protected, such as the Hangar Bay and Life Support.

The key to defeating any boarding action is containment; the enemy personnel must be contained, preferably in non-vital areas away from the Bridge and Engineering; emergency forcefields and bulkheads can be utilized to contain intruders in certain sections of the starships. Jeffries Tubes can then be used to circumnavigate these obstacles and flank and divide the enemy personnel – all Security Officers should have a thorough knowledge of their starships Jeffries Tube network, as it will be invaluable in such an action.

If non-violent force is required to subdue the intruders, then anesthizine gas can be used as a non-lethal chemical to render the enemy personnel unconscious and easily arrested; a concentration of seventy parts per million has been found to be the most efficient in such situations. If lethal force is required, and such is often the case, then all Phaser Types should be utilized, including the PR-1. Indeed, the PR-1 can be extremely effective in boarding actions, due to its dual-function nature and adaptable carbine. The use of body armor and helmets is also advised during a boarding action, to provide maximum protection. The Type I and II Phasers can also be useful in this situation, as their inbuilt lights and small size have a number of advantages over the more bulky PR-1.

Security Personnel should always move in groups, with the very minimum being two personnel; this will ensure greater firepower and flexibility during a firefight. Use of cover is crucial during a boarding action – consoles, doorways and any other static object should be used for protection against weapons fire. If your starship has a Marine task force onboard, then liaising with the commander of the task force is highly advised. Marines are trained for exactly this kind of situation and will possess specific knowledge and equipment for the engagement. Engaging in hand-to-hand combat is not advisable, but often cannot be avoided in such situations. Bear in mind that during hand-to-hand combat, Phasers and other energy weapons will be of limited use; stocks of Phaser Rifles, hydro-spanners and even bare-knuckle fists will often prevail.

Intruder Alerts

An intruder alert can occur for any number of reasons; a prisoner escaping from the Brig and roaming around the starship, an infected crew member escaping from isolation in Sickbay, or even an alien dignitary taking the Turbolift one deck further than they were allowed to and wandering around. Whatever the reason, an intruder alert is one of the most common situations that a Security Officer will be faced with during their duties onboard a starship, and there a number of ways in which it can be dealt with.

As soon as an Intruder Alert is sounded, internal sensors should be accessed and used as the first step in trying to track the intruder – these can be accessed from the Bridge, Engineering, and Security Officer. Commbadges can be traced using these sensors, as can the heartbeat of the intruder, which should make detection much easier. If the intruder cannot be located through the use of internal sensors, then a manhunt must immediately commence. Security personnel should search all major departments and areas, including the Bridge and Engineering, armed with Phasers set to Heavy Stun. Certain areas that intruders may head for include Transporter Rooms, Cargo Bays and shuttlebays; these areas should be sealed off to all but essential personnel, and Security Personnel posted at all entrance and exit points.

When hunting an intruder, an effective strategy has been to search the starship deck by deck and section by section, using forcefields and bulkheads to divide each deck into sections which can be searched and cleared before progressing to the next. Care should be taken when searching Jeffries Tubes and other confined spaces, as the cramped conditions may give the intruder an advantage, especially as Phasers and other weapons may not be effectively used. Once again, the use of anesthizine gas, in a concentration of seventy parts per million, could be used in conjunction of forcefields and bulkheads to neutralize the intruder. Another strategy would be to use forcefields, bulkheads, and teams of Security personnel to ‘herd’ the intruder into a non-vital area where they can be cornered and captured. The Type I and II Phasers should not be overlooked here; their inbuilt ‘palm’ beacons are extremely useful for illuminating darkened areas, such as Jeffries Tubes, and their small size makes them far more effective in cramped conditions that the PR-1.

Finally, personal knowledge of the intruder can be extremely helpful when trying to apprehend them. Knowledge of the species can be used to your advantage, especially when identifying personality traits; Klingons and Andorians could be lured out of hiding and captured by labeling them cowards and weaklings, whilst the arrogance of Romulans could equally be used against them. If the intruder is a member of the starship crew, then using their name and any personal details might be helpful in luring them out or communicating with them. When trying to apprehend any intruder, try and figure out what their objectives are, and adapt your search and strategy accordingly. Are they trying to escape? Disable a piece of equipment? Search for a particular person? Asking yourself these questions can be vital in trying to understand and then outsmart the intruder.

 Rogue Computer Programs/Alien Viruses

There may be times when your starship is infected or infiltrated by an external threat that is non-corporeal, such as a rogue computer program or an alien virus. These situations are far more nebulous and problematic than others, and as such there are fewer guidelines and suggestions that can be made. However, a general set of ideas can be detailed, to give you an outline of how to deal with such incursions.

Containment is one of the most important steps in dealing with an incursion, be it a computer program or alien virus. Any systems that are infected should be quarantined and cut off from the computer cores and central mainframe of the starship if you are dealing with a computer program; if you are dealing with a virus, then infected crew members or animals should also be quarantined, using a Class-Ten or higher forcefield. The Brig is an ideal area in which the infected can be contained for further study and treatment, as the infected can be contained in a secure environment and studied, and weapons are available if needed to subdue them if they become agitated or violent.

Identifying the traits of the computer program or virus has been found to significantly aid in the curtailing of such an incursion. All computer programs, no matter how alien, will possess some kind of unique signature, such as an energy signature or frequency it operates on. Alien viruses will also have some kind of unique signature which can be traced, often in the DNA or RNA. In both cases, liaising with Engineering, Science and Medical personnel will be vital in rapidly dealing with such situations.

In all cases, finding the source of the program or virus is essential; find the source and you will find whoever created it or wherever it originated from. A cure can then be made if it is a virus you are dealing with or a way of destroying or combating the program if you are dealing with a malicious computer program. In certain extreme cases, shutting down and then reinitializing the three computer cores (Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary) may be an effective means of deleting or purging a computer program, although doing this will leave your starship defenseless for several minutes, possibly hours.

Alien Dignitaries

The duties of a Security Officer will not always be concerned with fighting or combat, whether it is a boarding action or chasing down an intruder. There will be times when an alien dignitary, or possibly even a human one, will come on board your starship for some reason – perhaps for a conference, or for some mission-specific reason. Whatever the purpose of the dignitary, once they set foot (Or limb, tentacle or forcefield) on the deck of your starship, you will be entrusted with their security when onboard. A security detail should always be provided for the visiting dignitary, but they should always remain several feet behind the dignitary at all times, if not further back; the only proviso should be that the escorting Security personnel should be within eyesight of the dignitary at all times to ensure maximum protection.

Thorough knowledge of the dignitary and their species is vital during such a visit, so as to avoid offending them, even in an unknowing way; more than one visit has been marred due to an officer or crew member unwittingly offending a dignitary in some way. It is strongly suggested that you research in the ships computer and LCAR system about the species before they come on board; they may require special needs which you may be able to provide.

One last word of warning. Many, if not all dignitaries, may well possess some form of diplomatic immunity and be immune from prosecution or arrest if they commit any violent, seditious or otherwise suspect acts whilst onboard your starship. If you observe any dignitary committing, or in the act of committing any suspicious action, then you should immediately inform your superior. Do not attempt to interfere with them unless the starship or crew is in immediate danger.

Prisoner Escort Details/Detaining Prisoners

It will often be the case that your starship will either transfer a prisoner from one starbase or planet to another or apprehend a criminal and have to detain them until you reach a suitable location to transfer them. As such, it will be your duty to detain the prisoner or prisoners and ensure that they do not escape from you. If you are transferring a prisoner, say from one starbase to another, then you will most likely take custody of the prisoner from a Security Officer or Crewmember from one of the starbases. Ensure that all paperwork is correct before taking control of the prisoner. From the transporter room or shuttle bay, wherever you have taken control of the prisoner, you should then proceed directly to the Security Office and the Brig.

When escorting a prisoner, ensure that you are armed. If there are multiple prisoners, or the prisoner is a violent one, then it is advisable that you should take a second and even third Security Officer with you. You should be armed with a Type II Phaser set to Stun, or if the prisoner is violent or there are numerous prisoners, then a PR-1 set to Stun, and ensure that you always walk several feet away from the prisoner. This will ensure that they cannot stop suddenly and attempt to steal your weapon or take you hostage; for the same reason, you should avoid walking in front of the prisoner or taking a route to the Security Office that goes through more than a minimum of foot-traffic.

Once you have arrived at the Security Office, the prisoner should be detained in the Brig, with an officer or crew member present at the Brig console at all times. If there are multiple prisoners, they should be detained in multiple Brigs. Before entering the Brig, all prisoners should be searched for weapons and contraband, all of which should be confiscated and stored; suspect items should be taken to a Senior Officer or Department Head. If there are too many prisoners for the Brig, then Cargo Bays can be utilized, once stripped of any possible weapons and any entrance and egress points sealed off and guards posted.

Should there be an attempt at a riot, primarily by large numbers of prisoners, then there are a number of options available. Riot-gear is available in the Security Office, consisting of the same equipment available for a Boarding Action – namely a face-mask and body-armour, as well as PR-1 Phaser Rifles. Batons can also be used to subdue rioters, although these and all weapons should be used with caution. If the riot becomes widespread, the prisoners are too numerous or they have armed themselves, then the areas under their control should be sealed off with bulkheads and forcefields. Once contained, the rioters can be rendered unconscious using anesthizine gas in a concentration of seventy parts per million. Security teams should then enter the areas and disarm and arrest the prisoners. Alternatively, any Phaser set on a wide-beam setting and set to a stun setting can be highly effective in stunning large groups of prisoners.

Mutiny

Mutiny is an extremely rare situation, and in the history of Star Fleet, it should be noted that there have only been a tiny number of incidents of Mutiny on Federation starships in the hundreds of years that Star Fleet has existed. Nonetheless, there may come a time when you, as a Security Officer, will be faced with a mutiny on board your starship. The cause of such an insurrection may be due to any number of factors; an alien virus, a small cell of malcontents, or even a genuine hatred of the CO or Senior Staff. Whatever the reason, such a situation will be extremely difficult, both physically and mentally, and you must react according to the laws and regulations of the Federation.

If the Commanding Officer or Senior Staff are obeying the laws and regulations of Star Fleet and the Federation, then it is your duty as a member of the Security Department to side with the Senior Staff and put down the insurrection. However, if the CO or Senior Staff are disobeying the laws or regulations of the Federation, then it is equally clear that your duty is to arrest and detain all Officers in breach of these laws and/or regulations and transport them to the nearest Starbase or Federation planet for Courts Martial.

Whether you are fighting the Mutineers or the loyal crew (‘Loyalists’), then there are a number of things that should be remembered. Many of the guidelines already set out previously in this section should be utilized during a mutiny, particularly those in the sections on Boarding Actions and Intruder Alerts. In general, the Bridge and Engineering should be secured, as these are the ‘heart’ and ‘brain’ of any starship, as well as the ‘lungs’, the life-support systems. It is also equally important that the Security Office and any Armouries are also secured, as the side that has access to the Type I and II Phasers, not to mention the PR-1 Phaser Rifles, explosives and other heavy weapons contained within these areas will have a decisive advantage in any mutiny. Star Fleet Command should also be immediately contacted via Emergency Subspace Communication, whether you are siding with the Mutineers or the Loyalists; immediate help should be requested in the form of the nearest starship or rescue craft from the nearest starbase. In order for these rescue parties to come to your aid, it may be necessary to secure a Transporter Room, Cargo Bay or Shuttlebay. Ideas on containing, dividing and defeating the enemy personnel can be found in the other sections of this page; once again, forcefields, bulkheads, and Jeffries Tubes should be utilized, as should any Marine contingent on board your starship. Anesthizine gas can also be used to secure the starship if available.

Conclusion

Being a Security Officer means that you will come across a variety of situations and scenarios, many of which cannot be envisioned either in your training at Star Fleet Academy, or in onboard simulations. The purpose of this page is to detail the most well-known scenarios and to offer constructive advice and ideas on how to deal with them. However, they are only guidelines to be used as a general guide to a situation; it will be you, the Security Officer, who must use their intelligence, wits and skill to fill in the gaps to accomplish the mission.