Something Witty Goes Here
Crisis on the Frontier 4X01
Location: U.S.S. Endeavour, Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: MD 7
As the turbolift whirred its way from the lower decks of the U.S.S. Endeavour, Ema absently tapped the PADD she was carrying on her palm. "Bill," she said turning and looking up at the taller human officer, "I'm planning a get together with some of the crew I've met since coming onboard. I'd love it if you'd join us."
"Sure, sounds like fun." Bill asked "Will there be food?"
"Chief M'Kress has suggested a human dish called chicken cacciatore. Do you know it?" she asked earnestly.
"I've heard of it?" Bill answered honestly "Why not, I'm in."
The turbolift doors parted and Ema led the way onto the bridge. "I'll send you the date and time," she said as they headed toward the captain's ready room door. She pressed the chime, signalling their arrival and stood at rest, PADD clasped between her hands and behind her back.
The door chime cut through the cacophony of shouting and chanting filling his ready room. On the opposite wall, a large monitor played a delayed broadcast of the Cestus III Classic. "Damn," He muttered. Greg muted the game and straightened his jacket with a tug.
"Enter!" The doors parted and revealed his Chief Science and Engineering officers on the other side.
Ema led the way into the captain's sanctum with Bill just a step behind her. "Captain, sorry to interrupt. We think we've found a way to help the shields stand up to an anti-matter assault... at least for a little longer." She presented the slim silver tablet she'd kept clutched behind her back until now to the commodore.
Greg took the PADD and skimmed the proposal. His brow raised. "You're serious about this?"
"We've run the numbers, twice," she began by way of a brief explanation. "Our plan is to use a series of anti-matter-powered probes, outfitted with shield emitters, to project a sort of...." she trailed off, not quite sure what to call defensive solution, leaving Bill to pick up.
"External anti-matter containment field." Bill clarified "It's based on the principle of the containment fields in a warp core. You see, near as we know, these weapons cause damage via matter anti-matter reactions, so if we contain the anti-matter, boom, or rather, no boom."
"Do we have the power output to do this and run the ship?" Greg asked.
"Provided we cut some non-essential systems, I think so." Bill said, pausing before admitting "I have to stress this is very theoretical. It could go south pretty fast."
Ema nodded along. "He's right about that, sir. Nothing like this has been tried before that we could find. If it does go south though, the probes will be spaced far enough from the ship that it wouldn't pose a threat to the Endeavour if they do breach."
Greg's attention wandered momentarily to the screen behind his officers. A Gorn hitter stood at the plate waiting for the pitch. A fastball came screaming at him from the mound. The batter, the first baseman of the Raksis Raptors, swung for the fences and connected with the ball. "Damn!" Greg slammed his fist on the table. "Never throw a fastball like that at Yal'tis!"
He shook his head and returned his attention to the Chief Engineer and Chief Science Officer. "How long would it take to implement?"
"We've already got the probes being fitted with the modified emitters and power systems," Ema started, "but its a time consuming process. Probably about six hours for four probes."
"Will we have to worry about the Endeavour's weapons striking the probes?"
"They won't be close enough to the ship itself to interfere with targeting or block any emitters. As long as our tactical officer doesn't deliberately target them, there shouldn't be any problem," Ema said, more bluntly than she had intended. She put her hands on hips and her face made it evident she was thinking about something.
Farragut looked from Hendrix to Ourielle. "Spit it out, Lieutenant."
"Just a passing thought, sir," she confessed. "If the opportunity presented itself, we could always target the probes and blow them up if an enemy ship gets close. We could probably even add in remote triggers so we could blow them without wasting a phaser shot. And they're maneuverable, sir. We could even use their thrusters to get them close to the pirates if we get into dire straights."
"Chief?" Greg looked to Lieutenant Hendrix for his assessment.
"Provided we don't blow adjacent probes." Bill noted, grimacing "If we get a gap in the grid, we're going to make a mighty tempting target."
At Bill's side, Ema nodded thoughtfully. "We'd only want to blow the probes as a last resort. Mr. Hendrix is right about that."
"Put it into motion," Greg said after a moment's consideration. "Requisition whatever you need from the station or the colony. We are not going in half-cocked."
Ema nodded snappily. "We're on it, sir."
Farragut rapped his knuckles on the desk with a sharp crack. "Let's get it done, Lieutenants. The crew is counting on you. Dismissed."
Commodore Gregory Farragut
Lieutenant (j.g.) Ema Ourielle
Chief Science Officer