Previous Next


Posted on Wed Jul 19th, 2017 @ 12:04am by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Megan Atkinson & Lieutenant JG Finn Fulton

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: Mission Day 100; 10:00

Claudia was doing her rounds and decided to pay a visit to Engineering. It was Lieutenant Atkinson's shift and Claudia could tell - a couple of power relay diagnostics were visible on the nearest console - something which Megan was very particular about performing. The ex Endurance engineer had already made a number of modifications to power relays and improved their efficiency massively.

Just as she was about to find Lieutenant Atkinson for a report Claudia noticed a face she hadn't seen before. Walking up to the young man Claudia smiled and introduced herself.

"Hello Ensign. I don't believe we've met before - I'm Captain Ainscow. Welcome to the Vindex" Claudia said.

Finn was one of the Engineers working on diagnostics and was so engrossed in his work, it was not until the Captain was over his right shoulder and speaking that he noticed she was there. "Captain," he stood to attention, "sorry, I did not see you approach. Fulton. Ensign Finn Fulton. I'm a more recent addition to the ship," he began, "and have been keeping my head down while getting to know the ship."

Looking at the diagnostic the Scottish man was working on before returning to face him Claudia smiled again. Engineering was one of the departments she didn't understand very well but she always took an active interest in what was going on.

"Not at all Ensign. How are you finding it so far?" Claudia replied.

"Settling in ok. Finally got my head around the warp core's personality...I think," Finn smiled warmly and openly. "I haven't seen the Chief around in a while if you are looking for him. Is there something I can help with?" He asked, not knowing if the Captain liked to be called Ma'am or not, it was something an old mentor told him to be very careful about. Also, he knew the Captain was busy and did not want to be wasting any of her time.

Claudia smiled. "I'm glad yo hear you're settling in well Ensign. Commander Himmel is helping down on the surface at the moment so Lieutenant Atkinson is in charge until he gets back. If you want to come and help me find her I'd appreciate it - I need a report from her before we set sail"

"My pleasure Captain," Finn said as he turned to the console he was working on. "The last part of the diagnostics are now just waiting to be completed now anyway. The joys of starship computers like this being so advanced. Not like my last few postings. Everything was done manually and we had to check what the computer did anyway since no one trusted them," he let out a very curt laugh.

"I do like the old fashioned way but sometimes it's just so much easier to a press a button. I think the Engineering Office is this way...I haven't been down here for a little while so my memory of where everything is isn't the best" Claudia replied.

Leading the way she watched as various crewmembers got on with their assigned tasks.

"She's taken a beating so far but she'd holding up really well. I don't think we've had our engines up to top speed yet though...maybe we can try that out once we're done with our current assignment. I hear it's a good engine though...although I have no idea how to tell how true that is" Claudia commented.

"One of the best in all of the fleet. The Sovereign class may be a larger vessel, but, she can out maneuver most others in the right conditions. That is just the impulse as well. The warp capabilities of the ship are a sight to behold and something most of us at the Academy dreamed of. At least in my small Engineering Department group of friends," Finn looked up at the warp core longingly as they passed it on the way to the Engineering Office.

Claudia was pleased to hear the Vindex's engine was rated so highly - she had served on a Sovereign-class before but the Endurance was over a decade older than the Vindex and not as advanced when it was fresh out of the box in 2376.

"I've served on these for most of my career but this one is much more modern than the last one. The Endurance was built with 24 decks and still has that many as far as I know - the Vindex was built with 29 so there's a difference for a start. Oh here we go - it looks like we're in luck" Claudia commented.

Claudia pressed the chime to the Engineering Office and almost immediately Megan's call to grant them permission to enter was heard. Opening the door Claudia led Finn into the room and smiled at the brunette engineer.

"Miss Atkinson - a new recruit for you" Claudia said.

Claudia then stood back to let Megan and Finn get acquainted. The report was only a formality and if Megan had already completed it then it would only be a quick flying visit for Claudia.

Megan stood up and walked around to greet Finn with an extended hand.

"A pleasure Ensign. How are you settling in?" Megan asked.

Shaking her hand in return, Finn replied, "Well Sir, thank you. The diagnostics that were assigned should be finishing up soon. I will have the report on your desk shortly after that." He continued with his warm, open smile. First impressions meant a lot to Finn, he wanted to settle in well here and call the Vindex home, with friends. Something he hadn't had since leaving the Academy.

Megan smiled. "I'm glad to hear the diagnostics are nearly finished - I've got a few test improvements I'd like to make on a couple of junctions to see if they're any good. What's your particular field of expertise Ensign? Maybe you can help me with it if you'd like?"

"Gladly," he beamed, "I took a particular specialism in Warp Field Dynamics. I wrote a paper on it while on my cadet cruise. It was about how to sustain ship stability at higher warp velocities. There are particular ways I found, on the ship I was on, that we could tune the ship to sustain maximum warp for an additional half hour, sometimes up to 45 minutes."

"Excellent. We will be masking our warp trail but we'll be limited to Warp 7. Any speed above that will be a massive bonus - so after we've done these power cells we can have a go at that if you like? I'm power circuits and computers as you can probably tell" Megan replied.

Claudia smiled. "Sorry to interrupt but do you have that report Miss Atkinson? I can get out of your way then and let you two get on with your task"

Megan nodded and checked through a pile of PADDs on her desk before taking the one which had the report for Captain Ainscow. Passing it over to her she smiled.

"One report Captain" Megan replied.

Claudia nodded. "Thank you Lieutenant. Keep me updated - and nice to meet you Mr Fulton. Commander Himmel and Lieutenant Atkinson will make sure you're well looked after"

Megan gave Claudia a simple nod and smiled. She had a big task ahead of her lifting the shuttle off the surface of Nova Mercia and up to the Vindex - as well as making sure the warp trail masking was going to work.

"And yoy Captain, thank you," Finn replied. "And Lieutenant, I will happily look over anything from my research that can be applied. I think I could get us to 7.3 without detection." His head was already beginning to spin with numbers and ways to reroute power and systems around. "I think we would work perfectly on it, power circuits and computers is what we will need to change to make it work."

Claudia then disappeared as Megan listened to the latest recruit to the Engineering department.

"That would be useful. Any extra speed we can get will mean less time in open space - especially without an escort. How long do you think it can take us to do? I'm due on the surface shortly to finish off raising a shuttle to the ship - but we can certainly make a start on it now" Megan responded.

"Hour and a half possibly. You know systems here better than I, which may speed things up a little. It mostly would be running simulations of the variables that need input and ways to mask the extra power signatures by diverting it around a few systems. Then just upload the new settings to the warp drive. It is the hiding the extra power that adds the extra time. Something I hadn't had to consider when doing my study."

Megan nodded. "We should get to the lab and run some simulations as quickly as we can. If we can pull this one off I think we might get a drink or two from the Captain...shall we get to the lab and get started?"

"Lead the way," Finn said with excitement, still not one hundred percent sure where the nearest lab was and was trying to mask that lack of knowledge.

Megan led the way to the closest lab - thankfully vacant - and loaded up a new file for them to work on upgrading the warp core.

" we need to try and get my warp masking to hold with your modifications. Presently if we go faster than Warp 7 the chances of our warp signature being masked is as much as me being promoted in the next five minutes. I'm hoping to re-route some power from ancillary systems in engineering to the core but I'm still working on the right balance. What ideas have you got?" Megan asked.

"I think by first changing the warp field dynamics to what I had worked on before. Long story short we got the deflector to put out an inverse signature of our warp field. That shores up structural stability for a while. The same principle could be applied to mask the extra energy we put into the core. The reason I think we can only add a point three in this circumstance is that we also need to then cover the extra power that goes into the deflector." He took a breath. "So we find the specific energy signatures of the systems we are enhancing and get the deflector to put out the inverse. So core and deflector power signatures down to a 5 decimal place figure would be best."

Megan nodded and loaded up a diagram of the Vindex's warp field and applied Finn's suggestions to it as they went along. So far it appeared that the idea could work - but it would take a lot of work - and they didn't have a lot of time.

"That sounds like it could work. If we're going to enhance the core and deflector power signatures...perhaps it would help if we can draw power from systems we won't be using so much. I'm just trying to think what...grav plating maybe? I'm sure we could manage a reduction of 10 or 15%" Megan suggested.

"Are the holodecks being used right now?" Finn queried, "One of them being switched off could work. My worry with the grav plating is if we get an unexpected surge people will be floating about all over the place. Or even just the plating from non-essential areas, the cargo bays maybe?"

Megan replied. "Not that I'm aware of...that's not a bad idea. If we cut the power to half of the holodecks and completely cut the grav plating on Deck 29 and possibly 26 that should give us enough of the extra power we need. Good idea Ensign"

Megan started typing the notes into the new file as they worked. So far it was going well - she just hoped they would have enough time to complete it before they departed. If not then they could always do it on the move.

"I don't see this taking as long as I first thought then," Finn gave a boyish grin, being very pleased with how it was turning out and having someone to bounce ideas off of. It was a pleasant change from previous assignments where his ideas were often shot down. In the past few moments, the Vindex was starting to feel like a home.

Megan double checked her notes were all correct and that the simulation was ready to run before replying. Simulations were a big part of her job - although she ran them just as much when she was off duty as well.

Megan smiled. "Hopefully not. Shall we get to work?"


Previous Next