Opening Gambit (Part 1 of 3)
Posted on Thu Mar 1, 2018 @ 2:26am by Commander Maritza Soran & Commander Caleb Ryan & Commander Amia Telamon M.D. & Lieutenant Ryan Milarno & Lieutenant Liam Reynolds & Lieutenant JG Alanna Wells & First Lieutenant Gordon Blue & Lieutenant Si'Lar Trellis
Timeline: MD 04 1100 - 1300
Maritza descended from the raised level where her office was to the main Ops floor, ready for the beginning for the exercise. She glanced around at the officers at their stations.
"Dr. Wells? Are sensors all functioning?"
"Sensors are working to specifications," Alanna said. "Local readings are normal. Small levels of high energy electromagnetic static emissions are emanating from the atmosphere of Pangaea, but the emissions aren't enough to cause interference."
Maritza turned to Amia. "Dr. Telamon, can we detect bio signs and environmental conditions on Svikiri?"
Amia wasn't used to working from Ops, but the equipment worked the same, so she scanned as she might scan a patient. This patient was a starship, but the principle was similar. "Yes, Commander, I have," Amia fine tuned what she saw, "one hundred fifty life signs plus those five that are distinguishable as our away team, with the markers they're wearing showing clearly. It's a good quality readout, ma'am," she reported, pleased with the successful result.
"At peak efficiency, ma'am," Leonora Dell replied.
"Good. Please advise the fleet that DS5 is ready." Soran looked through the main window of Ops. The ships had moved away from Pangea, out towards the asteroid field, so they were some four hundred million kilometres away. At this distance, to the bare eye, they were little more than glints like stars themselves.
The visual sensors displayed on the main screen showed the ships of the fleet positioned around the little Promethean ship, each at slightly different distances. The closest was practically on top of it, just a fifty thousand kilometres. Others were further out, at more usual engagement distances, between two and five hundred thousand kilometres.
She stared up at the screen, eyes narrowed in scepticism and suspicion. "Let's see what you can do."
USS Ararat - Bridge
Blue sat in the center chair of the small bridge; duty uniform cleaned and pressed. There were special dispensations given when an officer makes a request. The ship was not a capital ship, nor did it really need to be, as Blue was not out for glory. Marines just do the job assigned to them.
"Take us away from the main formation, zenith plus twenty clicks, then come around to a forward descent angle of one five degrees for the asteroid field. It would be best if we avoid the main battle force," Blue commanded.
"Yes, sir." The Helm was not sure of the wisdom of these actions, but he was not in the center chair, even though he wondered why a Marine First Louie is in control of a garrison ship.
"Sensors, would you please filter your scans with Tactical? You are the eyes until we get into position. It is important that you give Tactical the exact locations of all vessels in sensory range." Blue gave a sly grin. "That way we can calculate possible firing arcs."
While the Ararat was making her way along the prescribed course, Blue paid attention to the blips on the forward screen.
"Helm, go to personal monitor. I need the main viewer." Blue turned to weapons station. "Give us a tactical view."
The screen came alive with the long range sensors giving the location of the planet and asteroid field coming near the entry point. The fleet of attack ships was fanning out in the most strategic pattern. One small garrison ship, a patrol vessel, would not be missed with such firepower.
The target vessel was surrounded, life signs and the observer tags transmitting as they should. What caught the eye was another point of the triangle, the Cardassian formation surveying the games. Normally Blue would have given them more concern. He had taken the high road so to be closer to the Cardassian formation. They were not hostile -- yet, that is -- so Blue would use his attack run to duck into the asteroids, then place himself in a position for the eventual closer peek by the Cardassians. This was a war game. There should be no real encounters, but for the Cardassian safety, as this was a live fire exercise, they would not want any accidents from unauthorized snooping vessels to create an intergalactic incident.
"Tactical, I want your assessment on an approach from the zenith at one eleven o'clock relative to the port side dorsal angle," Blue continued. "The standard attacks will be in the fore and in a ship of the line giving a continuous attack, but the belly and sorsal are weaker from the lack of torpedo attack angles. You will take only one shot, all or nothing, at the target I tell you, full weapon spread timed to the second," Blue said calmly. “Timing is the key. Helm, you are going to have to put the ship pointed exactly at the killing angle or we lose our opportunity and leave ourselves open to a phaser retaliation. This will be a hit and run maneuver, sweeping angle, with hesitation only to fire then bank away sharply back into the asteroid field."
He turned to the Science station. "Also, if you could, please keep an eye on our friends the Cardassians. If they flinch over the warning perimeter, I would like to know." He smiled to the young woman at the station. "I have confidence I am not overloading your abilities." He winked. "Everyone, we are on yellow alert and standing by. First shot, we go red."
USS Svikiri - Bridge
On the bridge of the Svikiri, Admiral T'Vel nodded to Captain Hayashi. "Then it’s time I moved to DS5 to observe from there. Good luck, Captain."
"Thank you, ma'am." Captain Hayashi gave a short bow, and T'Vel glanced at the Svikiri’s Chief Ops Officer. "Energize," the captain commanded, leaving him on the bridge with just his crew and the guests from DS5. "You may observe any station you like, but if I might ask you to keep your observations to yourself until the debriefing.”
Ryan nodded to the captain's words and proceeded to walk to the tactical station and looked over the readout panel. He didn't say anything. He just watched silently, taking in any information he could, and the officer heading up tactical turned and looked up at him.
"Can I help?" he asked sharply.
"No, not really. I'm here to observe, that's what I'm doing," he told the man, and then within a few seconds left the station and headed to the turbolift, nodding in acknowledgement to Commander Ryan as he left. "Engineering," he said quickly as he walked inside.
Liam had put his name forward to be onboard the Svikiri for an additional reason to aiding the mission. He got to spend some time on the bridge watching bridge officers, something that might be useful in his upcoming bridge officer test. He decided that something like communications might be a good spot to start.
"You picked a boring one," the young female ensign stated.
"What do you mean?" Liam asked.
"Boring station." She grinned. "I don't know why you guys have been sent over here, but communications is not one of the exciting ones to watch."
"Hey, I'm a counselor. They don't let me out much. But I don't know much about comms. Can you give me some basics?" He grinned.
"Its fairly simple." She smiled. "Hailing frequency scanner, subspace monitor, electromagnetic spectrum receiver." The ensign at the comms panel indicated each item. "Today I'm just listening for the ship-to-ship chatter. Make sure the fancy new shields don't stuff cotton wool in our ears. Like I said, boring."
"How would you know if they stuff cotton wool in your ears?" Liam asked. "Do you have a baseline for the appropriate amount of chatter you should be hearing?"
"The other ships will be broadcasting on a variety of channels, as well as the designated frequency for battle comms. If we don't get interference, then all is good."
"What does interference look like?" Liam asked, pulling the closest seat up next to her. "Does it make all the machines go nuts? Or is just one of those boring ‘Hm, this lights gone red’ things?"
"The waveform displays will go a bit nuts. And it will flatline dramatically occasionally if someone stops sending. But on the whole, you can hear it." She held up a an old fashioned ear piece. "Sensors are all well and good, but they can't pick up actual distress, or aggression, or fear."
"Are you anticipating picking up any of those things?" Liam asked, curious. His empathic abilities sensed she liked the idea of picking up something like that, which didn't make sense. He was beginning to find her a little bit creepy.
"Not today," the comms officer said. And again Liam felt anticipation behind her words.
Being invited on the ship eliminated a major variable in their mission. For the moment, Aeliana decided to observe the Ops station. She assumed either Commander Ryan or Lieutenant Milarno would take tactical. Plus, from what she gathered, the new tech onboard worked with several systems.
Caleb stood back near tactical. He didn’t want to step on the new Security Chief’s toes, so he had consciously avoided the station, but when Milarno left for Engineering, Caleb had moved up. He hadn’t served on a Prometheus before, so the layout, while familiar, was also different enough that he wanted to spend a few moments studying it. It could coordinate with all three sections when separated, including remote piloting for reintegration or for simple convoy formations.
“Left handed,” Caleb noted of the tactical officer, based on the LCARS configuration. “And Captain Hayashi favors variable frequency phaser bursts to test the shields rather than than the more powerful sustained frequency to punch through. Interesting.” He hadn’t studied Hayashi’s tactics, nor did he know the man, but the noted just how the tactical officer had positioned the LCARS controls for maximum speed at responding to the captain’s commands.
The yellow shirted Human looked to him with a nod. "Yes, sir," the lieutenant said. "Though it's not the captain’s attack strategies that are under test. Today, at any rate."
“True.” Caleb smiled. “But VLF phaser tactics always have a tiny bit of energy bleed as the frequency shifts. A simple shield modulation can channel that energy into the shields, give ‘em an extra little bit of power an’ make both systems more efficient.” Of course, everything was already within Starfleet parameters.
“Sorry.” Caleb gave a wry smile. “Just the old tactical officer in me. Ah’m sure ya already knew that.” After a pause, he continued, “Ah’ve never been on a Prometheus. Are we gonna separate? Mind if Ah check out the other battle bridges?” he asked.
While the other officers were busy slotting themselves into their new stations, Trellis decided to make himself at home at the Helm station. It had been years since he had served in the role as ship navigator. However, it was not a totally foreign concept to him. Prior to transferring to Security, he served as an assistant navigation officer onboard the USS Richam as a part of the Mars Defense Perimeter.
Now he found himself back in the pilot seat in a Prometheus Class vessel. He understood that this was just a test; however, with the Cardassian fleet just outside the station perimeter it was obvious that this was a show of force as well.
His helm panel showed the first two ships,USS Resolute and the USS McBride, swing into position to fire directly at the forward shield arc.
USS Svikiri - Engineering
Primary Engineering was hectic with engineers checking stations and readouts. At the center stood a gruff looking Bajoran, earring swinging as he looked from one station to another, calling out arcane phrases that other engineers responded to with shouts of "Check!", "Within Parameters!", "Forty nano-hertz!", "Holding!"
Ryan slowly approached the Bajoran. "Hi. Can I ask what is within parameters exactly?" he asked as he watched the monitors that the officer was working on. "I'm observing from the station, Chief of Security Milarno," he introduced himself, and then looked around at the busy officers rushing around, he presumed to get things ready for this test.
The Bajoran’s head snapped round, earing swinging. "What? Oh, yes. The captain said you'd be here. We're switching the warp engines from field to shield, as it were. Now stay out of the way. If this goes wrong, we could all end up crispy."
"I'm here to observe. Staying out of the way doesn't really work,” Ryan commented.
Alanna's science console blinked green and she smiled. "Ma'am, I have established passive contact with the Svikiri. Monitoring it now."
"All ships report ready," Dell added.
Soran glanced to T'Vel, who nodded her permission to proceed. Soran took a breath. "Resolute, McBride, commence firing, phasers only, full power."
On screen, the two ships opened up with a full barrage towards the Svikari. Before the beams even got close to the Prometheus class, they hit an invisible wall. The shield stood out from the hull, invisible until the orange beams lanced into it, and were reflected away, flashing out into the empty space above the smaller ship.
"The gravitic radiation shields took no damage, but the power utilization ratio is high," Alanna reported.
Amia watched for reactions or readings that would indicate any damage or burn off. There weren't even any radiation readings, despite a flash of what looked like gravitic radiation, yet there were no effects showing.
"We seem to be punching above our weight, by the look of that shrug off," she commented, using an old Terran expression that had come eventually to mean that someone was dating a person of superiority or greater general attributes, but which had its origins in contact competitive sport fighting where the contestants were classified into separate levels according to their physical weight and statistics. It worked either way metaphorically in this situation. Those shields were way above what the current attackers could handle.
"Showing off?" Alanna asked.
"I don't think they were." Amia replied. "It seemed like they didn't even notice our attack. Or do you think they were? Perhaps I missed that?"
To Be Continued...
Captain Tetsuru Hayashi & The Crew
Commander Wladislaw Janus
Yeoman to Admiral T'Vel
Commander Maritza Soran
1st Lt. Gordon Blue
Marine Commanding Officer/ Acting CO USS Ararat
Lieutenant Alanna Wells
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Ryan Milarno
Chief Security Officer
Commander Amia Telamon
Chief Medical Officer - DS5
Lieutenant Liam Reynolds
Chief Counselling Officer
Lieutenant Si'Lar Trellis