Opening Gambit (Part 2 of 3)
Posted on Thu Mar 1, 2018 @ 2:41am by Commander Maritza Soran & Commander Caleb Ryan & Commander Amia Telamon M.D. & Lieutenant Ryan Milarno & Lieutenant Liam Reynolds & Lieutenant JG Annora Tessaro & Lieutenant JG Alanna Wells & First Lieutenant Gordon Blue & Lieutenant Si'Lar Trellis
Edited on on Sat Mar 10, 2018 @ 3:20am
Timeline: MD 04 1100 - 1300
Previously on Opening Gambit
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. "It seemed like they didn't even notice our attack."
And now the Continuation
USS Svikiri - Bridge
Aboard the USS Svikiri, the viewscreen flashed white when the phasers made contact, and for ten long seconds they stared at the phaser beams desperately trying to burn through, to no effect.
"Are we expecting that today?" Liam asked the female next to him. Normally in his experience, when a phaser hit the ship stuff happened. Depending on the strength, the ship shook, systems blew up, but no, nothing seemed to have happened from the phaser fire.
"Completely," she said confidently. "With no impact, we stay efficient and don't lose our edge until serious damage is actually done."
"What qualifies as serious damage?" Liam asked.
"If you believe the projections and test firings, about twenty odd class ten photon torpedoes."
"Tactical?" shouted Captain Hayashi.
"Shields at ninety-five percent," the tactical officer replied, indicating with a finger for Caleb's benefit. The display showed that the shields were slightly diminished, when they should have been smashed down by a good third.
“Well, that is certainly impressive,” Caleb admitted, eying the console.
"Power flow is steady, warp field steady." Ops reported. "Engineering reports all readings within parameters."
Trellis relayed the updated information to his console as he fed power to maneuvering thrusters. "It would have been nice if we at least received a warning before they started wailing on us," he said as he plotted navigational points into the Helm console, awaiting directions. "Should we engage the enemy or evade?" he asked.
"Put our broadside to the fleet," Hayashi said, "but do not engage. They're allowed the upper hand. Today." He looked across to the officer next to Caleb. "Move the shield to the port side. Let them do their worst."
Trellis relayed the orders into the console and brought the ship about to a parallel position relative to the attacking vessel. He coordinated the maneuver with Tactical's diversion of additional power to the port side shield. Trellis wanted to synchronize the movement so that the ship wasn't presenting an unprotected portside to the enemy.
"Moving into position now," Trellis reported from his station.
USS Svikiri - Engineering
Down in engineering, there was frantic movement. "Shields holding!" called one person, only to be instantly contradicted by another. "Lieutenant, I've got cores two and three out of sync with core one," shouted a crewman.
The Bajoran engineer swore. "Maintain that warp wall. If it goes when it's not supposed to, we're all going to be sucking vacuum. I'm going down to ER2 and check on that core.” He pushed past Milarno at a run.
Ryan instantly spun around and ran to follow the engineer. "Don't mind some company, do ya?" he called to him. "Why didn't we feel anything? The damage should be more significant, surely?" he asked immediately after the first question. What is going on here? he thought to himself.
The Bajoran kept jogging along the corridor to the turbo lift. "Didn't feel anything because the shields are working. But if we don't get those engines back in sync, they won't be for much longer."
"So," Ryan frowned as he continued running behind the engineer, trying to figure out the situation "you're using power from the engines combined with the shields to what? Amplify the field strength to make them withstand a hell of a lot more, and that's why we don't feel anything?"
"And project it further out," the Bajoran confirmed as they ran past the main computer core and into the second warp core bay. "Stiles! What’s going on?"
"The impact bent the warp field more than I allowed for. Compensating now!"
"Further out? What benefit does that give you?" Ryan yelled over the noise and commotion going on in the room.
"No one hurt by impact. No one thrown off station. Everyone working faster and without interruption. Precious seconds saved." The Bajoran engineer checked a few readings on a station. "Fire nacelle pair two, move the shield to the port side, and keep that bubble stable this time!"
USS Ararat - Bridge
"Bring us in. The fleet is concentrating on port side shielding," Blue ordered. "Target the impulse dome exactly," Blue ordered. "Eight second full concentrated phaser fire focus straight down. We are two seconds for the impact of torpedoes. Fire on the count of three, four, five, and six." Blue described again the firing order. "Impact on seconds five, six, seven, and eight. The defense fields under the shielding should minimize any damage, but will make our point."
USS Svikiri - Bridge
"Ararat is coming about to our starboard side," the tactical officer announced.
Hayashi spun in his seat. "What!" He jumped to his feet. "Evasive maneuvers! Move the shield wall to the starboard array!"
Trellis set the ship to initiate evasive maneuvers pattern delta-three-omega. The vessel de-accelerated over 2/3rds of its speed so that it could perform a tight turn along its Y-axis, keeping the starboard side facing the attacking vessel. It would throw off the opposing side's tactical readings for a short period of time as it worked to regain a new targeting solution. Hopefully, it would give the Svikiri's Tactical team time to get off several shots of its own.
The tactical officer next to Caleb swore, and he started stabbing at his panel, moving the shield projection.
Caleb reached out to the railing to hold on. This was likely going to hurt.
USS Svikiri - Engineering
The Bajoran engineer was shouting, dashing back and forth. "Cut life support below Deck 7, put the power to starboard nacelle. Just like we practiced! Stiles, reinitiate the trionic injectors on two!"
He moved past Milarno as someone shouted, "Wall to starboard! Field stable. Core One stable! Core Two stable!"
"Keep them that way!" The engineer touched his comm badge. "Degan to Reyes, reset Core Three!" He turned to Milarno. "Combat’s a bit more exciting now," he said with sarcasm.
"Looks to be..." Ryan said as he nodded his head. He turned and started walked along behind the rows of consoles and peering over the shoulders of the operating user to get a look at what each console was showing. As he continued slowly taking mental notes of what he was seeing.
Then someone else shouted, "Hyperonic rads at one per quadrillion," and the engineer swore again.
"Problems?" he asked loudly over the noise.
"The warp field generates hyperonic radiation under pressure. It shouldn't generate more than three parts in quadrillion before it collapses. We've got to one part a little quicker than expected.”
USS Svikiri - Beta Section Bridge
While the main bridge was fairly spacious, it seemed a bit crowded with all the regular crew plus the observers. Due to this, and the desire to explore more, Annora left for the Beta Section Bridge. A group of junior officers looked up as she entered the room. A lieutenant in gold rose from the center chair.
"Can I help you?"
"Not particularly. I'm here as part of the war games as an observer from DS5. Is this bridge always manned?"
The Bolian sat back down as he responded to the question. "You're welcome to observe, as long as you stay out of the way. And no, this bridge isn't manned during normal operating conditions. However, during periods of heightened alert, all three bridges contain at least a skeleton crew. That way if we do separate, we're ready to go. In situations such as this, our job is mainly to stay observant as the main bridge makes the command decisions."
The answer was much what Annora expected, but it rarely hurt to confirm one's suspicions.
"I see. Thank you. If you don't mind, I'll just pull up a seat at an extra console and stay out of your way."
Configuring her console, Annora focused on the defensive systems. She didn't understand all the science, but it appeared the new shields were not omnidirectional. It was great if your enemy was coming at you from one side, but not so great in a multi-pronged attack. Hopefully those on the station figured this out and were able to take advantage of the weakness.
USS Ararat - Bridge
Shields were designed to dissipate energy. Phasers bore constant energy onto a shield point; the torpedoes were like sledge hammer bombs on the ship. With constant phaser concentrated, the shield harmonics cannot be changed and recycled fast enough when combined with the torpedoes, like heating the shields with a blowtorch and then hammering the thing at the same time under constant blasting heat, making it more brittle without a break to recycle, then hammering it with the quantum torpedoes on a single targeted spot while the ship did a dive bomb run onto the target.
The shielding would not be able to hold the phaser constant while the single shield generator was bombarded while major power was diverted to the port side to give added dissipation to those shields. Without the added enforcement, Blue targeted a weaker shield with constant force on a single point. The generator would be overheating and nearing the red lines quickly when the torpedoes slammed into her, each torpedo hitting behind the preceding one like a battering ram on a burning door. By the seven second mark the shield may not collapse, but the last torpedo would hit the impulse dome and likely drive the impulse engines offline.
The last torpedo struck and was shrugged off.
"They had full shields," the sensor officer reported. "We hit them with quite a bit there, but it phased it off."
"Helm, follow our planned course back away. No need to leave us out in the open. Hit and run." Blue scratched his chin.
"They felt that, though," the science officer at Sensors reported. "That shook them up a bit."
"We will bide some time," Blue said. "Now I really want a piece of that ship."
The Ararat dodged her way back under cover.
"Show me the readings of the attack and cross reference with the damage the fleet is pounding into the shields," Blue said calmly. "I will find a weakness," he said to himself.
Blue would have to wait a little longer.
The distraction was exactly what Alanna needed. She'd accessed the USS Svikiri through the passive communications in Astrometrics, and now that the crew was running around dealing with the attacks from the other ships, she was able to send a worm through Astrometrics and into the science computer where her program began to search for information on actual and collateral damage caused by the weapons and shield modifications. She was specifically looking for the damage caused by the weapons and shields to the integrity of space-time. She had a feeling that the Svikiri was carefully concealing what their new weapons and shields actually did to other ships, and to space itself.
A moment later she saw what she hoped for, restricted files on previous testing: shield harmonics, warp bubble geometry, emission profiles, space-time differentials.
Alanna smiled as the data was sent out in packets and picked up by her program on DS5 and stored. This was exactly what she was looking for. "Commander, if you have a minute, I'd like you to see this."
Maritza came over and reviewed the list of files on Alanna's terminal, one eyebrow raising. "If you have those, they're either sloppy, or its a trap. Let's hope for the former. Get them decrypted, and let’s see what they have. Good work, Doctor."
"Aye, ma'am." Alanna was pretty sure the files were authentic, because few people take precautions with the data coming in and out of stellar cartography, but she would run some tests to be sure, after she had all the data safely copied to a sandbox and scanned. Still, she accessed her science computer and prepared another package for the next data transfer. This one would look for secondary files, just in case.
"There are no casualties reported," Amia read out the report she had just received. "But now the sensors have been running for some time, I'm reading traces of geodesic radiation," she added.
At the view screen, T'Vel looked to Maritza. "Well, that should have woken them up. Send wave three."
Maritza turned to her station. "This is DS5 to all ships. Begin your runs, attack pattern Phi Omicron Two."
USS Svikiri - Bridge
The other ships didn't sneak up as Ararat had done, but began to circle in, making loops to target phasers or torpedoes at different fields. "Evasion pattern Four Delta," Hayashi commanded Trellis, sounding a lot calmer than he had a few minutes earlier. "Keep that shield wall running," he advised tactical. "Try and ricochet the blasts into our opposition."
The attacking vessels were taking a shark feeding frenzy approach to their attack. As each vessel circled in a different direction, it allowed them to concentrate their fire on a different side of the Svikiri, effectively preventing the vessel from reinforcing one particular shield.
"Evasion pattern Four-Delta," Trellis replied as he caused the vessel to maneuver toward the dorsal sectors of each vessel. While the ships still had phasers on that portion of the ship, they were the weakest, and Trellis knew that their torpedo guidance systems would not track as well if the Svikiri drew in close and underneath.
Caleb eyed what the tactical officer was doing, angling the experimental shield wall so that the phaser fire was glance off and ricochet into the attacking fleet. “That seems a large distraction,” he commented. How would the tactical officer be able to respond to an unexpected threat while having all his focus on constantly angling shields? And would the refracted phaser energy even have enough power to do more than annoy any ship it hit?
"It’s easier than it looks. It’s keeping up." The tactical officer stopped talking as fingers flew.
At comms, Liam felt a flash of frustration from the ensign at the station. "We've lost comms," she whispered to Liam. "The shield wall puts out too much interference after sustained use."
Liam filed that piece of information away for future use. He was sure Alanna would find it useful. "Can we get it back up?" he asked, trying to get a measure of how long comms could be out from the current testing.
The comms officer shrugged, working hard, trying different ways to clean up her signals.
It was a surreal situation to see ships flashing past the view screen, firing phasers, and launching torpedoes, but feeling nothing. Everything was quiet and calm.
"Shield generators drained to fifty percent," Tactical reported.
"Thank you, Lieutenant," Captain Hayashi replied. "I don't know about anyone else, but I was starting to get bored."
There was laughter from the Svikiri crew.
"Helm, come about and lets try and give those Cardassians a good look, flash them an ankle, so to speak."
Trellis sighed as he entered the commands to have the ship perform a wider and more demonstrative turn. He figured the captain would want to put on a show for the Cardassian fleet that was just outside of the combat zone. However, he wondered how they would respond to the obvious show of force right in front of them. Not to mention there was still the Cardassian vessel, the warship Beldon, that was still parked right outside of the station. It had claimed that it was monitoring the Cardassian expedition down to the planet. However, Trellis had monitored the shuttle's departure and saw no need for any further monitoring other than giving the Cardassians a closer look at the Federation fleet that was slowly being built.
Admiral T'vel watched as the USS Svikiri came about, dodging through its opposition to move somewhat closer to the Cardassians than she desired. Whatever she felt was not showing through the expression of Vulcan calm. "Well. If they must show off, we might as well give them a proper display. Let them see just what it takes to bring the Svikiri down."
She gave Maritza the nod, and the stations commander opened channels again. "All ships, you may begin final run."
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
Lt J.g. Annora Tessaro
Asst. Chief Tactical/Security Officer
Lieutenant Ryan Milarno
Chief Security Officer
Commander Amia Telamon
Chief Medical Officer - DS5
Lieutenant Liam Reynolds
Chief Counselling Officer
Lieutenant Si'Lar Trellis