How Not To Blow Ourselves Up
Crisis on the Frontier 4X01
Location: U.S.S. Endevour, Hazardous Materials Lab
Timeline: MD08 10:30hrs
Following the mission briefing Ema had trekked straight to her office where she spent a few minutes gathering research materials. As she assembled the few articles and papers she could find onto a trio of PADDs for herself and the other department heads she'd be working with, she multi-tasked and scrolled through the science department's roster. Selecting a handful of specialists with complementary skill sets and the proper expertise took a few more minutes of her time. Finally, she glanced at the list of the department's various lab facilities, and found the Hazardous Materials lab located on deck twenty-five.
Back on her feet, three tablets tucked into the crook of her left arm, Ema crossed to the replicator discretely tucked away on one of the office walls. "Jub'mara, one-hundred-eighteen degrees," she said to the computer after activating the unit with a simple tap of the keypad. As the drink began to materialize in a swirl of atomic particles she quickly added, "Extra large." There was a brief whirring noise as the matrix reconfigured and more winking lights appeared in the alcove, a moment later solidifying into a steaming mug of a traditional Haliian beverage, similar to Human chai tea.
Mug in hand, she left the office and made for the nearest turbolift. Balancing the PADDs carefully, she tapped her communicator with two fingers. "Ourielle to Trey and Hendrix," she said as the turbolift doors came into view down the hall.
"Bill, I mean, Hendrix here." Came the Chief Engineer's voice through the comm. badge.
"This is Ensign Trey. Go ahead." Trey replied.
"I'm on my way to deck twenty-five. Hazardous Materials lab," she said as she boarded the lift. "Meet me there; bring whatever staff you think we can use."
"Cool, see you there." Bill replied "Hendrix out."
"Be there as soon as I can." the former drone said
The ride down into the lower levels of the ship was quick. Ema was surprised to find that when she arrived, she was not the first one there. One of the consoles in the far corner of the room was alight already and being operated by a tall winged officer in a science uniform. Ensign Berkwyn, she reminded herself crossing into the lab, was the only Aurelian on the science roster, and was one of the team members she'd requested to work on the problem of anti-matter defenses.
Berkwyn's specialty was terraforming, but his current research was on using an anti-matter drilling apparatus as a delivery system for the terraforming agents. He was also the only one currently doing any kind of direct research on anti-matter at all, which had made him a top candidate for this project.
"I thought I'd be the first one here," Ema said as she put her mug down on one of the empty tabletops.
Berkwyn turned gracefully, his white and brown feathers dancing slightly with the motion. "I was already here, lieutenant," he said. "I spend most of my work hours here at the moment."
Ema smiled at the bird-like officer. "Glad to have your help on this one," she said and put the PADDs down beside the mug. "Keep working on whatever you've got going for the moment, but be ready to wind down. We'll have company soon."
As if in response to the comment, Bill walked in, a large glass with iced lemonade in it in his hands.
"Hey, how we all doing?" Bill said with a smile.
"Just fine lieutenant," Ema answered grabbing her mug. "Come in, grab a work station..." she trailed off then took a draw from the cup. Her senses reveled briefly in the taste and smell of the beverage.
"We've got to work?" Bill said in a faux annoyed tone as he moved to a station and begin pressing controls "I knew I should have stayed in bed."
Trey had replicated an ice cold sweet tea prior to entering the turbolift from ops, and he was nursing it as he walked into the lab. "Hello everyone." he said, cheer in his voice.
"Lieutenant," Ema nodded toward Trey as he crossed into the lab space. "I have a few more people coming," she said getting down to business. "If we end up with more people than we can manage in here with your own teams, then we can use the lab next door too."
"It's cool. I left the Gorn at home." Bill joked with a grin.
Trey chuckled. He nodded. As it was basically his job to allot for power and such. "I've got people out doing routine stuff anyway. So I guess it's just me so far."
"I was thinking," Ema said, "that if they're using anti-matter weapons... and I haven't looked at the actual science on this yet, it's just a thought... but what if we powered our shields with anti-matter?"
"That could work, maybe." Bill said, folding his arms across his chest "The problem would be regulating them. Anti-matter doesn't behave as normal matter does. It needs containment. Effectively, we'd need to keep a containment field around the shields. It's possible but it would probably sting our power output for everything else."
"Just like the warp core?" Trey asked. "I'm no engineer." he began. "But wouldnt a breach there act the same as a warp core breach and destroy the ship?"
"That's the problem." Bill grimaced "Yes, it would give us more protection with shields up, but if they go down, we're inside a warp core breach."
Ema tapped a finger absently against the closest counter top. "Okay... if we can't power the shields with anti-matter... what do you use to contain the anti-matter in the warp core, Bill?"
"A series of magnetic fields are in place to contain anti-matter inside a warp core." Bill replied "Though it's a little more complex now, the basic method of containment hasn't really changed since the 23rd century on the old Constitution class. There are just a few more safeties. I've not finished inspecting Engineering yet, but if everything's to code, there should be a minimum of seven independent computer redundancies in place to prevent an anti-matter breach."
"So, how about we rig up some kind of magnetic secondary shielding, to reduce the impact of their weapons?" Ema said and took a draw from her mug.
"It could work, but there's a risk involved." Bill replied "The field would need to remain above 15% integrity or it would collapse under the strain, with an impact somewhat akin to a warp core breach."
Ema sighed, probably heavier than she'd meant to. It was starting to sound like a lost cause. "So, what can we do not to blow ourselves up?" The scientist looked first to Bill, then to Trey and back to Bill. From the corner of her eye she noticed Berkwyn approaching.
"I'm not sure." Bill ran his hand down his face "Ensign, any ideas?"
"In the science of terraforming," Berkwyn said coming to stand with the group, "the delivery system you use is the key to everything else. If we are worried about a breach that would crippled the ship, then why not move the delivery system off the ship?"
Ema looked at him incredulous. "How do we move the delivery system for the shields off the ship?"
Berkwyn tapped a few keys on the nearest console and a schematic for a standard type-9 probe appeared on the display. "We should be able to rig a series of probes with the necessary shield emitters and anti-matter housing if we strip out the sensor tech. If the math works out, we should be able to project a secondary, anti-matter shield around the ship using the probes."
"And if the shield goes down, the probes explode, not the Endevour?" Ema sounded skeptical, not quite convinced. "What do you think, Bill?"
"It could work." Bill said, pressing a few controls and reading what was in front of him "Provided that the bad guys don't figure out what we're doing... It should work."
"Okay," Ema clapped her hands together, "let's do the math and get started on the modifications."
Lieutenant (j.g.) Ema Ourielle
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant (J.G.) William Hendrix
Chief of Operations