Computer Control Centre, Alien Ship
Position Alpha, Andromeda Galaxy
Stardate: 54201.1 (March 15th, 2377)
Anthony Raine tugged at his collar and wriggled his shoulders, the uniform he wore felt tighter and more restrictive than ever—yet just one more thing to hate about Starfleet. Why he was forced to wear such a laughable outfit bothered him, just the military’s way of imposing obedience onto already mindless drones, if everyone looked alike soon they’d start to think alike and no one would be the master of the own mind, no one would be able to speak out. For too long Starfleet had been force-feeding the public its propaganda, that it was a peaceful and benevolent entity out to do good in the universe, but that didn’t stop their ships for being armed to the teeth, or dragging the Federation into multiple wars and exposing the people to every threat going in the galaxy.
And now they had a whole new one to tick off!
The computer centre was empty; the other so-called computer experts were working from other areas giving him some much needed peace. Though he was at the bottom of their hierarchy, he exceeded them both in knowledge and skill—Lieutenant Ra-Vahneii knew it, as she’d asked for him. So it was she he had to thank for being stuck in the monkey suit—although given the computer he now had to work with, he could let her off the hook.
What he had to work with was truly magnificent. The only computer core for the entire ship was just three decks tall and measured just fifteen meters in diameter, but somehow it was faster than anything he had ever seen, whilst the storage capacity on it made the primary core at the Daystrom Institute of Science and Technology look about as complex as something from the twentieth century. He shook his head, not wanting to dwell on thoughts of DIST (which was where he really should have been).
Raine knew of almost every computer system employed within the Federation, from the isolinear-based core used on the likes of the Mandela
to the more advanced and efficient bio-neural gel packs—yet another innovation that the Daystrom Institute had been instrumental in developing. This ship however was far superior than even the gel packs, though did show signs of organic-based technology just centuries ahead of where the Federation was currently. The computer was capable of ‘thinking’, making intuitive leaps, whilst processing enormous amounts of data, running dozens of automated systems at once, all whilst using barely ten percent of its operating capacity and less than one percent of its memory bank.
He wanted to meet the brains behind such a complex core and pick them apart. The advancements that could be made from this ship were truly astounding, had they gotten it to a DIST research base, where the professionals could give it a full and proper examination then the possibilities were endless. Had things worked out then he could’ve been among the experts on such a project and finally out of the ill-fitting uniform once and for all.
Raine was only in Starfleet because of the Daystrom Institute. He had applied for an internship, wanting to work with other computer experts whose intellect came close to his own, but he’d been turned down. At seventeen he’d been deemed too inexperienced for such a prestigious post, so he’d enlisted into Starfleet to gain some, planning on just being in its service long enough to satisfy the Institutes requirements. Then, as always happened to him, everything went to hell. Starfleet went to war with the Dominion and imposed the stop/loss order, preventing him from leaving. So what should have been, at most, an eighteen month stint in the military had turned into four gruelling years of misery. He didn’t even get posted to a R&D facility, instead he’d been one two different stations and a starship, before he’d been assigned to the Mandela
for her post-war survey mission—by the end of which the order would have been rescinded and he could finally get back to a normal life. Now though, that just wasn’t to be.
From where he sat at the central console, painstakingly working to circumvent the computers defences and barriers and gain access to whatever new information lay buried deep inside, he could see every other console and monitor. The entrance was behind him whilst before him was the door that led to the core itself, with gangways and ladders that circled it, allowing the computer techs to inspect and repair the mainframe itself. So when one of the panels flashed he noticed it from the corner of his eye.
Pushing off from the table-like console he worked at, he rolled his chair over to the display that wanted attention. Tapping the appropriate panel the flashing stopped and the computer monitor switched to a new readout. This time the screen was divided into two, on one half was the alien text which appeared quickly and soon filled its side. The right hand side of the display appeared more slowly, in Federation standard.
Raine felt a rare smile tug at his lips. It had worked. It had finally worked!
The computer seemed to have a deep dislike of any ‘alien’ system that tried to be connected up to or downloaded into its databanks, preventing it from working which was what they’d been trying to do with the Universal Translator. So he had had to give the core a little root canal, writing the code for the UT into the system from the ground up so that it wouldn’t recognise the device as something foreign—or at least not too foreign that it would reject it again. He hadn’t expected it to take so quickly, thinking that he’d need another few days to get it done properly, but for some reason the system had decided to accept it now.
Just then the entrance opened and Lieutenant Ra-Vahneii strutted in, a purpose to her walk and a scowl on her face. She saw him immediately and marched over to him.
“I was just about to comm you,” he told the Efrosian, turning back to the display and tapping in a few more commands.