By: Bart "Burner" Reed, Fighter Pilot, [RNPC]
M'Ressha Mikaht, Fighter Pilot, [RNPC]
Stardate: 58209.11 1100
Lieutenant Randi Dorton tapped the comlink on her workstation. Beneath her fingers the plasmatic impulses raced through the minuscule conduits and pathways in the LCARS terminal.
The impulses triggered a sequence of events which emanated from the ship's computer core and extended into the subspace communication array.
Complex encryption algorithms computed the proximity of the experimental craft, the USS Pegasus and generated a high-level encryption cipher.
Then, with as narrow of a beam as possible, the two cloaked ships established a secure channel. A millionth of a second later, this whole process returned a small light which blinked on the LCARS panel next to her finger.
"Burner, are we ready for exercise 226-a?"
"I was born ready Lieutenant."
"Then what are you waiting for?" replied Dorton in a voice that didn't betray her slight amusement.
She closed the comlink and sighed. She was not used to working with the likes of these two marines, but she knew some how she'd miss them when her chapter on the Pegasus Project was closed.
Blitzer looked over at his co-pilot and smirked, "so what is exercise 226-a?" he asked inquisitively.
Burner returned his smirk as he checked the field test guidelines, "Says here that exercise in 226-a we will be testing the Peg's stealthiness. You know what that mean don't ya?"
"Sneak attack," they both said in unison. Burner smacked his hand against Blitzer's outstretched paw.
"Target located at 023.87," said Burner. "This is a stop, drop and get out of Dodge mission Big Cat! Let's go."
Blitzer's paws sprawled across the pilot's interface as he laid in the course.
"Yeah," he said as he engaged the Pegasus's unique horse-shoe shaped warp core.
The small craft accelerated briskly toward it's target: a proximity sensor similar to what the Federation used to secure regions of space.
"Are we attacking in sublight?" asked Blitzer as he watched the target approach on his scanner.
Burner was about to reply when he noticed they had company, "Our target has ships protecting it. 6 fighters." He scanned the area more closely. "I'm detecting an automated weapon system on the target as well."
"Dropping out of warp," said Blitzer, "...can we take the target with two torpedoes and make a break for it?"
"That depends on how fast we can get the shot off," said Burner. "We have to hit them before they activate their weapons system."
Blitzer veered the craft off into a long slow arc to come around on the target at their leisure.
"I suppose we could ask RAHW," suggested Blitzer.
"RAHW," called Burner, "Are you paying attention?"
"I am always paying attention." The Pegasus' AI shimmered into form. She stood with her hands folded behind her back and where she could see both pilots.
"We re going to decloak and raise our shields, fire two torpedoes, and then cloak again. RAHW, you need to handle the cloak, I'll fire the weapons, and Big Cat, as soon as we are done firing you got to move us out of the way. Sound like a plan?"
Blitzer looked at RAHW and back to Burner, "Sounds good to me."
"Let's attack on the side of the target, away from the fighter patrol," suggested Burner.
Blitzer engaged the impulse engine and banked sharply to flank on the port side.
"Distance to target, fifteen hundred meters," Rahw announced. "I am decloaking and lowering the shields on my mark. Three, Two, One, Mark."
As soon as the shields were down Burner unloaded the Pegasus' aresenal on their target. He let out a whoop of joy as he watched the target explode in a bright ball of light.
Blitzer's paw made an upward movement over the LCARS panel which controlled the warp engines.
He had preconfigured it to jump to warp 8.
As the warp core's thrumming sound rapidly increased the vessel shuddered and lurched forward violently, almost as if it had collided with something.
The effects of deacceleration without inertial dampeners pinned Blitzer and Burner to their safety harness.
Through the blur of the vibration Blitzer could see RAHW standing perfectly still, unaffected.
As the deacceleration slowed, Blitzer took a deep breath and unfastened his restraints.
"What the...," Burner's next words were interrupted by the warning klaxon of the computer. "Simulation terminated. Pegasus destroyed."
Laughter spilled out of the comm link. "Gotcha," came the voice of an obviously happy marine pilot.
Burner looked at Blitzer and sighed. "It would have to be Nova who killed us."
"I hate to interrupt," RAHW interrupted. "But there is a failure in the main power coupling."
The ships comm system crackled again, "Engineering to bridge. We've had a massive power system failure. The power relays overloaded."
Blitzer tapped his combadge and slumpled into his chair, "acknowledged."
Sleight of Hand
By: Samantha Carter, Security Officer, [RNPC]
Taylor , Marine , [NPC]
Maxine Lucinda Tapert, Computer Specialist, [PC]
Keighlee Alexi, Engineer , [NPC]
Stardate: 58209.11 1622
From the command center's viewport of station TR-035, Sol looked small and insignificant. Keighlee closed her eyes and tried to re-energize the memories from a 12-year old girl.
She was waking on the beach in the warm afternoon sun, hand-in-hand with her mother. A pin-hole of sunlight shined through the center of a sand dollar which she held up, blocking the sun.
"That's a good one," said her mother, as Keighlee put it into the basket which had shells and other artifacts they had picked up on their morning excursion.
The memory faded away to the blackness of space that surrounded the the tiny pin-light sized sun in the distance. From here she could see Saturn and Jupiter. The view was magnificent, a view she shared for the moment with Sam Carter.
"Its beautiful," she said out loud to her.
"Indeed it is," Sam replied. "It's somehow... mysterious."
"Have you ever been to Earth?" asked Keighlee.
Sam shook her head. "No I can't say I have. Always wanted to go but never had the time and with the fighting and such.. Have you?"
She turned toward Sam to respond, "Yes I lived there until I was twelve."
"I heard it must be beautiful, lots water and patches of land."
Keighee sighed, "I don't remember much. But the holodecks seem pretty close to how I remember it."
She paused, "Where did you grow up?" she asked.
Sam giggled. "On Risa. As a matter of fact my parents traveled a lot, but we stayed on Risa most of youth."
Keighlee folded her arms and turned, leaning against the viewport. "Risa?" she smirked, "I've only heard stories. Tell me more!"
Sam smiled again.. "Ok Risa, aka the Pleasure planet. That is where most people come for a relaxed vacation. Ferengi come for Oomox, Humans for short time relation ships etc. The temperature is always constant. It only rains at night.. thanks to a weather control system. White beaches and palmtrees.
"Sounds like paradise."
"Of course there is more, but the main goal is for the Risain people is to show the visitors a good time.
"You mean as in....?"
"Risa is most noted for the frank and open sexuality of its native population." Sam continued. They are identified by a decorative emblem on their foreheads between the eyes, Risians often initiate or respond to the desire for sexual relations through the use of a small statuette called a horga'hn, the Risian symbol of sexuality or fertility. "
Keighlee blushed a little, "I've heard of that..."
If you display of a horga'hn announces that the owner wishes to participate in jamaharon, a Risan sexual ritual..."
Their conversation was interrupted by Keighlee's combadge. Max was ready for her.
"Perhaps we can continue this discussion later?" said Keighlee in a coy voice.
"Sure," Sam replied. "We could be here for sometime before the Zion arrives, so feel free to join me in the rec room sometime."
"If you could call it that," she said with a smirk, folded her arms and turned to go.
The station was tiny. A mere 3 decks, too small for turbolifts or even a transporter pad. She walked to the back of the command center descended a set of treadplate stairs which led to the deck below.
She paused and took a quick look up and down the short corridor. Eight tiny crew quarters lined one side. On the other, the mess hall and rec room. Then she continued on down to the engineering level.
This area of the station was, by itself, larger than the rest of the station combined. Amid the conduits and generation systems the constant thrum of plasma coursing from the station's tiny warp-core heart.
"Over 'ere!" the redheaded computer wiz called out.
Keighlee took a few steps in the direction of her voice and peered around an over-sized tandem EPS conduit and surveyed the area.
Bundles of taps and leads led from Max's make-shift workstation to various pieces of equipment where they were primitively patched into place. Max had been working relentlessly for the past 24-hours ensuring that there where no hidden security systems and that the Maquis Intel information about the tachyon system was accurate.
"What did you find?"
"O'roight," Max smiled at Keighlee. "I've checked out everything," she announced. "The blighters 'ave done some upgrades since our last intel," she continued. "I 'ad t'rewrite some of my subroutines, and the compiling process is just about finished," she nodded to her 'laptop' where the progress of the compiling routine was displayed on the screen. "Should be done in about five minutes. In the meantime... what I thought we could do was create a ... alternate tachyon grid," she grinned. "Then I'll jumper it in and voila! We'll be ready t'go."
She smiled at the computer tech, "sounds good," she said, "but reflectors t45 through t49 will have to mirror back to station T37 how..."
"Well... We'll use a rasterized array t'..." Max waved to the screen.
She was interrupted by Max's gesture, she paused as her eyes caught Max's idea on the display console.
"Interesting, so we're going to flood the tachyon emitters with a rasterized array of polarized photons. Will that work?"
"Should," Max nodded. "It sounds easier than it actually is," she admitted. "It's all really sleight of hand," she told Keighlee. "We show them what they want to see with this hand," she waggled a hand. "And make the hole over here with the other one." She dutifully waggled the other hand.
Keighlee brought up a display screen next to the one Max was using. Technical displays began to fill screen. "The station has triplicate redundancies."
"Shifty 'blighters," Max looked over Keighlee's shoulder. "That would explain why Engineering is so bloody big."
"We can pair the redundant generators to make it work. This will be better than the original mission specs because we won't have to drop the grid at all."
"Which will make our jobs a whole lot easier," Max agreed and then called out for Lt. Taylor.
Taylor heard his name being called as he slid down the stairs. Landing on the deck with a soft thud Taylor made his way toward the sound of his name. "You called?"
"I think we're ready, Lieutenant," Maxine nodded and looked to Keighlee for agreement.
Keighlee nodded, "Yes, I think it will only take a 2 or 3 hours to set up everything and make it work properly."
"Good work," said Taylor. "Once your modifications are complete go ahead and send 'the Signal'." The signal was a pre-arranged communications event that the away team would send to the Zion that would tell them that the door would be open.
She looked back at Max and nodded, "yes Sir!" she said smiling from Taylor's approval.
And So it Begins
By: Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Stardate: 58209.11 1805
It contained coordinates and data that the ship needed to pass through a veil of deceit.
She turned at the same time the Science officer did. "Sir," she announced to Commander Wright. "We've received the signal."
"Confirmed," said Lieutenant Zent.
Wright pressed a button on the command chair as he stood up, "Captain Hunter to the bridge."
The captain's reply came a few moments later, "I'm on my way."
"Helm," said Wright, "set course bearing 010 mark 0 - maximum warp."
Hunter stepped briskly through the doors of the turbo lift as they opened and strode to the command chair where he exchanged a nod with his First Officer.
"Status Number One?"
"We have received 'the signal' Sir," said Wright. "It's time."
Hunter smiled, "I wonder what took them so long," he commented as he settled in and tapped the intercom button.
"All hands, this is the Captain. Our mission status is go. We will be leaving the area shortly. Hunter out."
He turned, "Number One, has the Pegasus returned?"
"Yes Sir," replied Wright. "They did not have a successful test I'm afraid."
Hunter examined the small screen on his command chair and nodded, "A crucial part of our mission hangs on that little ship."
"Lieutenant Dorton assures us that she will fix the problem," said Wright as he sat down into the chair next to the captain. "I have asked Silvio to give her any resources that she needs."
"Very good. And the crew status?"
"All stations report ready Sir."
"Very well. Helm?"
"Course laid in Sir."
Hunter nodded to Wright, who returned the gesture.
The Captain settled in and stared at the view port a moment and then uttered his command: "engage the cloak and go."
By: M'Ressha Mikaht, Fighter Pilot, [RNPC]
Mitch Dean , Security chief , [NPC]
Stardate: 58209.11 1807
Katira smiled when the familiar face appeared on the view screen.
With the Zion in a combat ready status, the crew had only brief windows for extraship ship communications.
"Hi Mitch," she said.
"Hey gorgeous," Mitch replied. "How is it going?"
She smiled at his compliment, "Good," she said, "The ship is big, you should see the Stellar Cartography lab they have here. Oh, I wish you could be here."
"Me too." Mitch said. " I miss you.
"I miss you too." She said pausing awkwardly. "So, how are things on the station?"
"Well pretty laid back to be honest. The occasional brawls and bar fights but that's it." Mitch replied.
"Have you encountered any problems yet he asked.
"Not in our department, I think everything is going good. The new captain is difficult to read into. I've been assigned to the bridge science station a dozen times already," she said beaming with pride.
"Wooot. Bridge duty...." Mitch said grinning back. "Before you know it, you will be made Chief darling. So tell me what the new CO like. From what I hear here on QT he seems kinda nice.
"Yeah, I guess he is," she replied, "but he expects everyone to know their part."
"Is he just as stiff as Captain Hailey?"
"No, but in a way he's kind of scary." Katira looked around as if someone might be watching, then leaned closer to the view screen, "In some ways he reminds me of Captain Darris from the Hyperion."
"I am sure you are exaggerating." Mitch said with a grin. You will get to like him once you know him Im sure off it. By the way how is Lt Zent doin?" Mitch asked. "How is he holding up, he was pretty shaken when TJ vanished and when we needed to make a run for it.
"He's good. I'm glad he's here. I just wish you could be too. Any word on your assignment request?"
"Nothing yet unfortunately, I think they want to keep me here," Mitch said a bit sadly. "It ain't bad being on a Base but I love the hum of the deckplating under my feet.
Suddenly the Captain's voice came on the intercom with an announcement. Katira listened for a moment and then turned toward the view screen again.
"I guess we're departing Mitch, I don't know how long we're going to be gone, Its classified."
Mitch nodded. "I understand. Be careful out there sweetie. I want you back in one piece," he grinned. "That includes that lovely tail of yours."
She responded by putting her paw up to her snout and blowing him a kiss.
Mitch winked at Katira before the screen went black.
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