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Lines of Communication

Posted on Fri May 5th, 2017 @ 9:32pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Commander Gareth Tau & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Deck 19; Comm Array
Timeline: MD 82; 1600

The comm array. It had been a while since Akiva was down here last. In many ways it felt good to retread old ground from his days as Ops Chief. These days, getting his hands dirty often entailed political intrigue or bureaucratic finessing, so he relished the opportunity to lead a project again, even if a short and sweet one.

=/\=Sickbay to Commander ben-Avram=/\=

Akiv tapped his commbadge. "Ben-Avram here. Go ahead."

=/\=Be advised that Lieutenant Petryr has taken ill with another acute allergic inflammation. He will be under supervision for the next 24 hours.=/\=

"Acknowledge. Ben-Avram out." Akiva ended the conversation with a frustrated tap to his commbadge. This was not the best start to the project.

Himmel already had his sleeves rolled up when he entered the comm array. He looked around and saw the XO. He put down his tool kit and joined Akiva.

Gareth was the last to arrive. Though he was barely yet middle-aged, he walked with the slow, deliberate pace of the elderly. The man never seemed to be in a hurry. At least, not when he was on other people's time. And, like most times, he did not make apology for it.

"What have we got?" he asked the group.

"Well, my thought was to link up a dozen or more comm buoys on short-range, narrow bandwidth subspace channel that would be all but undetectable without knowing what and where to look for." Akiva was visibly delighted to be back in his element. "Though I'd be interested in hearing everyone's ideas."

"Why not just string along parsecs of thread between tin cans?" Gareth crossed his arms, unimpressed.

Akiva arched his eyebrow at the boorish science officer. "Alright, I'll bite. What do you suggest?"

"Rather than a chain of comm buoys, let us instead construct a single relay hub that will intercept and repeat all long-range transmissions along our secure subspace channel." Gareth smirked at his own genius. "No links in a chain to be broken by the wayward meteor or random spatial distortion."

Now it was Akiva's turn to fold his arms. "But it could still be jammed, which is the obstacle this project is intended to overcome."

"Any jamming signal can be overcome through sufficient power," Gareth retorted. "If we utilize a spare reactor core, then we would be able to boost our transmissions for lightyears through any interference."

Akiva balked at that. "Are you actually suggesting that we create a comm buoy powered by a warp reactor?" He turned cynical. "Why not generate a warp field while we're at it and leave it adrift in subspace?"

"Why not?" Gareth shrugged. "If we have the power to draw from, we might as well use it. The measures would only be temporary anyway. We could return to collect the warp core from the boosted relay on the return trip back to civilized space."

"Unless it has a breach!" Akiva felt incredulous, but they were veering outside of his sphere of expertise. He appealed to the Chief Engineer who had stood aside during their rapidly escalating argument.

"What do you think of this?"

Himmel chuckled at the CSO and XO banter, "Well, we don't have the power or means to make a large enough relay. I think our best bet is the daisy chain of buoys. My only suggestion is we could probably risk mid-range subspace channel."

Akiva nodded and held up his hand to stifle Gareth's protests.

"Then we're decided," he said. "Commander Himmel, begin construction of the comm buoys immediately. Commander Tau will provide adequate encryption software..."

" soon as we're done here." Gareth picked up on the cue, but was none the happier for it.

"Immediately, then," Akiva said. "There shouldn't be much modification necessary, so my hope is we can deploy the first buoys in that time as well."

Gareth began grumbling again, so Akiva cut him off.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I have an away team to join, so I'll leave you to it.


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