"Paradigm Shift" by Lieutenant Sara Crusher and Lieutenant JG Cyanah Kaelyre The holographic humanoid target twitched left, right, left again, and then dove to the right. Cyanah's phaser shot missed by a meter a half, and she stomped her foot in frustration. "It's useless, Sara! I have no aim!" Sara tried hard not to laugh at the sight of the grown woman standing in the middle of the shooting range stomping her little foot. "It's not a skill you can pick up on in ten minutes, Cy," she said as she started walking towards her. "You're aiming for where the target is; you have to aim for where it will be," she told her as walked up behind her. Sara slid an arm around Cyanah's waist, holding her close to her body, and then took her right hand with its phaser in her own. "Like this, love," she whispered as she activated the target. She moved their bodies as one and followed the target with the phaser. Then before either of them could blink she fired, hitting the target dead on. Cyanah could sense the way Sara's mind anticipated the target's movement, but she was still in awe at the shot. "How am I supposed to learn this in two days?" She dropped the phaser to her side. Sara turned Cyanah around so she could look her in the eyes. Smiling as best she could, she said, "You'll learn as much as you can and if... If the skills are needed, they'll kick in." "I'm not as confident... but I'll keep trying. Show me again." "OK. But this time, you press the trigger," Sara told her and once again placed them in the position they had been in a few minutes before. Only this time Sara closed her eyes and allowed herself to sense what Cyanah was seeing. There was no reason they couldn't work on two skills at once. Sara wasn't going to take any chances, and if her link with Cy could somehow pose a threat to her then it was just as important for her to learn about that as it was to take the head off a Cardassian gul. Cyanah activated the target again and watched its movements. It faked left then dove to the right. Cyanah quickly jerked her hand right and fired ahead of the target and missed, but by a much smaller margin. "Better," Sara reassured Cy telepathically before going on in spoken words. "But don't jerk your hand like that. Keep your movements slow and graceful. I know you can do slow and graceful," she teased with a quick kiss on the neck. "Relax." Cyanah shivered at Sara's breath and kiss on her neck as she activated the target again. Her eyes moved with it as it faked in various directions, then made its move. Cyanah's hand arced gracefully ahead of the target and fired, scoring a direct hit. She yelped with delight. "See! I knew you could do it!" Sara cheered and smiled at Cyanah's delight. Then she brought her close again and kissed her deeply before stepping away. "Now do it with out me holding you." "So that's the reward I get for hitting the target?" she asked with a playful smile. "No wonder I was never motivated in marksmanship class at the Academy." She turned back to the range and steadied herself for another shot. Activating the hologram, she watched its movements carefully, and then made her guess as it dove to the side. She fired two shots this time, hedging her bet, and the second one hit. Again, she yelped happily. Sara stepped close to Cyanah and once more rewarded her for her shot. This time, however, the kiss lasted far longer then she had meant it to. She was finding it more and more difficult to let Cy go. But finally she stepped away and reached for the program control in her pocket. She tried so hard to mask her own fears knowing full well that Cyanah had her own to deal with. "Ready to try two targets?" she asked as she pressed a couple of buttons on the PADD. "We'll work on getting a room full of targets, but don't worry, once we're past four, I'll step in as back up." Sara paused a moment and wondered if she was pushing to hard. She glanced at Cy and then back at the PADD. "Let's try a couple of Cardies as well." "You're the teacher, love." She readied herself and nodded to Sara to start the program. The two Cardassian-shaped holograms appeared and began trying to evade her shots. She watched them for a few seconds, trying to follow both at once. She fired her first shot and missed, distracted by the second target. Focusing on the one she just missed, she fired again and scored a hit. The lone target soon followed, and Cyanah turned to Sara with a smile. "Do I get my reward now?" she asked with a grin. Sara giggled as walked towards Cy. "I think I've started something." She teased and wrapped her arms around Cy and kissed her. After pulling away this time she smiled. "I think we've invented a new sport." Firing on moving targets was one thing, but the dangers Cy would be facing wouldn't be simple targets on a range, so for the next simulation, Sara upped the level. "This time, one will be firing at you. Are you ready?" she asked. "Looks like I don't have a choice," Cyanah said soberly. She again readied herself, this time to actually move, and nodded to begin. One of the targets immediately raised its disruptor, causing Cyanah to run behind a nearby barrier and crouch. She poked her head up to see where the targets were and immediately received a shot to the head. Fortunately, it was only a beam of light. The computer ended the simulation as Cyanah wryly said, "That went well." Sara had been off the wall she had been leaning on and was halfway to Cyanah before she realized it was only a simulated shot. She stopped in the middle of the room and watched as Cy came towards her with a disappointed look on her face. Sara was trembling a bit but shook it off before Cyanah reached her. "Cy... Sweetheart... Don't do that!" "What, get shot? It's apparently harder than it looks!" "I know... I know... I didn't mean to shout at you..." Sara said as she hugged Cyanah tightly, grateful for that fact that it wasn't real, but scared because it could have been. Cyanah returned the tight hug as she said, "It's alright, you were just scared for me... I can feel it. It seems we're both equally afraid." Nodding in agreement, Sara took a step back but kept her hands on Cyanah's upper arms. "You weren't ready and I pushed the higher level on you and for that I'm sorry... But I." Sara sighed and turned away for a moment. "But I can't lose you and the only way I have of helping in any way is this... But maybe I should let D'nalls finish your lessons." "No, Sara, you're doing fine... I've hit more targets today than I ever did at the Academy. Besides," she added with a wink, "your rewards are better than his!" Sara laughed despite the heavy mood that lingered in the air. Then she took the phaser from Cyanah's hand and nodded. "OK... But if you're not ready or I'm pushing. Tell me!" Cy nodded and Sara smiled. "Alright. First off, never pop your head out like that. Second, use your height advantage... The barrier you took on as cover was too tall for you." Sara looked around the room and nodded for Cy to stand off to the side. She stood on the ready mark and began the program. The holograms appeared and didn't waste any time going for their weapons, so Sara fired a quick shot at the gunman's leg and then dodged behind a small crate. She waited a second and then curled around the edge of the crate and fired at the first target, hitting it. She then jumped the gun and fired at the second missing it the first time but nailing it as she dashed towards another crate. Cyanah was quite impressed at Sara's skills, but also depressed at her own prospects. "That was remarkable, Sara... but I'm no tactician... my mind just doesn't work like that." She hopped up on a nearby crate and sat. Sara shut down the program and placed the phaser and control PADD down on the floor before walking over to Cyanah. "I know how much you hate this," she said as took Cy's hands in her own. "And I've very proud of you for putting in such an effort. But it's just something you have to do," Sara said softly as she bushed a lose strand of hair from in front of Cy's face. Cyanah bit her lip apprehensively, then said, "I know I have to do it... but, how can I think strategically when all I want to do is run and hide under something until the shooting stops?" "That has nothing to do with skills, Cy. That's fear," Sara said as she lifted Cyanah's chin slowly so she could look her in the eyes. "I've been doing this since I was twelve, and the first time I was placed in a real situation where I was forced to use these kinds of skills, all I wanted to do was run. But I couldn't, because my team was counting on me." Cyanah nodded soberly. "Just as the Captain will be counting on me... and I can't let her down because I'm afraid." Her face became resolute as her feelings for Morrigan began to show, mingling with her love for Sara to form an unerring determination to survive this ordeal. Sara could sense Cyanah trying her hardest to pull the mix of emotion she was getting from her into something she could use to her advantage. She wished there was something more she could do; she would even take Cyanah's place if she could. But she knew that this was something Cy would have to do herself. "Hey sweetie... You're not going to let anyone down. She knows that you're afraid, hell, she's probably scared out of her mind," she said softy trying to reassure her love that everything would be fine. In hopes to lighten the mood, she added, "Just do me one favor... If a firefight breaks out... Keep that pretty head of yours down... No popping up. Got it?!" Cyanah smiled a bit. "I will, I promise..." She ran her fingers down Sara's cheek. "I know this sounds sappy, but I have too much here on Banshee to come home to." Sara smiled brightly as she could feel her heart fill such an amazing feeling that she couldn't explain if she had to. "That's not sappy at all," she said as she reached up and took Cy's hair down out of its ponytail. It fell onto her shoulders and framed her face in a fetchingly disarrayed blur of red, seemingly happy to be free of the ponytail's confines. Just before leaning in to kiss her, Sara ran her fingers through Cyanah's hair and whispered, "Because Banshee wouldn't be much of a home without you."