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Old November 21 2013, 10:58 AM   #37
Bry_Sinclair
Commodore
 
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Location: Tactical withdrawl along the Klingon border
Re: Star Trek: (Unnamed Project) - Crossroads

Weapons Control, Alien Ship
Position Alpha, Andromeda Galaxy
Stardate: 54203.8 (March 16th, 2377)

With the instrument panels displaying Standard the chances of them hitting the wrong key, overloading the weapons system and destroying the ship were significantly reduced. Nhataq had immediately gotten to work on the weapons array, along with the five other tactical specialists onboard and a pair of engineers.

One thing was abundantly clear about the ship, it was designed for combat. Her main armament comprised of forty twin-mounted pulse weapons, comprised of an energy she had never seen before, but with a total output of between ninety and one hundred thousand TeraWatts—making them more powerful than Starfleet’s type-XII phaser array. But that wasn’t the biggest punch the ship packed; there were four retractable cannons on the ventral hull, two forward and two aft, which appeared to be plasma-based and (if the diagnostic scans were to be believed) could generate a minimum of eight hundred thousand TeraWatts. Not surprisingly, each cannon would need time to recharge before it could be fired again, but with that kind of power there weren’t many ships that would be much of a threat after just one hit. She did find it odd not having any torpedo-based weapons, although the ship did have four tubes the magazines were filled with sensor probes or communication beacons.

What was startling though were the shields. Given the size and complexity of the ship, the power of their weaponry (and not forgetting the ability to hop from one galaxy to another), their shields only had a total capacity of 650,000 TeraJoules—not much more than the average Miranda-Class ship. Why would any species design a ship with such a weakness, especially after piling on such and arsenal?

“Ok, am I the only one seeing the flaw with this design?” she asked the others in weapons control.

“Maybe they hoped their weaponry would deter anyone from firing on them?” offered Petty Officer Koeman, not sounding convinced with her own theory.

“They could be behind us on shield technology,” Ensign Abasi suggested. She glanced at the Kenyan engineer with a questioning look. “We’ve seen that they seem to lack containment fields in engineering, instead they rely on the energy absorption properties of minerals—such as in the warp core.”

Thinking on it, his theory made sense. Not every species developed the same technology during their development (Vulcans had never invented can openers for example), so they could have been in the early stages of deflector shields. What shields they did have would provide them with some degree of protection, whilst their multiple weapon emplacements took out a hostile ship before they were in any real danger. It was a possible scenario, but it wasn’t one that she was overly happy with.

“That’s it!” Ensign Yrees exclaimed, startling all the others present.

She scowled at the Bolian, whose earlobes darkened, embarrassed at his burst of enthusiasm. “What’s ‘it’?”

“What if they employ a similar material on the ship itself? Something that would absorb energy—it might explain why the Mandela could scan the interior of the ship; the beam was dispersed by the hull.”

There was a beat of silence in the room as the officers and non-coms looked at one another. Nhataq shrugged her shoulders. “Sounds plausible. Isn’t there someone running an analysis of the hull?”

“Ensign Banaszek and Crewman th’Vohrn,” Abasi told her. “Last I heard, they were still working on it but I’m not sure how it’s going.”

She flashed him a toothy smile and tapped her combadge. “Nhataq to Banaszek.”

“Go ahead, Lieutenant.”

“Ensign, how is the hull analysis coming?”

“It’s progressing, sir,” the Polish metallurgy specialist admitted, his voice wavering uncertainly.

“Meaning?” she probed.

“It’s a bit trickier than we first anticipated, Lieutenant. Even detached from the exterior, the sections we’re testing are almost impervious to scans.”

Nhataq smiled. “Up here in weapons control, we’re look at the defences and have a wild theory to explain the somewhat low-powered shields,” she told him. “Can I ask, have you tried firing a phaser at it?”

“A phaser?” he exclaimed. “Lieutenant, this is delicate work that needs to follow certain procedures—firing a weapon at the sample isn’t one of them.”

“Ensign, if it’s refracting sensor sweeps and transporter beams, I need to know if it can withstand a directed energy weapon.”

There was a pause of silence over the comlink. “I’ll need to clear this with Lieutenant Ra-Vahneii, if she okay’s it then we’ll run a couple of tests.”

“Please do. Keep me posted. Nhataq out.” With that the link closed and she looked around at the others in the room, all watching her with amazement, admiration or concern. “Keep working on the diagnostics and see if you can get any more out of the shields, I’ll go and speak with the good Lieutenant—convince her to see things my way.”

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