Episode 1.1: Sidetracked - Battlestations
Posted on Mon May 13th, 2013 @ 9:19pm by Captain Estrad Dagan & Ensign Lyra Sapescal & Commander Barim Nash & Lieutenant Commander Cheldu Ch'Dra & Lieutenant Lucius Hawke & Ensign Marla Kanso & Ensign Castor Navin
Episode 1.1: Sidetracked
Location: Multiple, USS Aeon
** Main Bridge **
"Incoming communique from the Sarragut," Lyra announced suddenly. "They're ready to begin the combat."
Estrad smiled. They still had five minutes remaining in their allocated half-an-hour slot, so it was good that they had a little time to prepare.
"Very good. Link our systems with theirs, Ensign."
"Aye sir," Lyra replied, and began the process of linking the two ships computer's together for the simulated combat process. The computers would maintain a coherent link to coordinate combat damage and to force the end of the simulation once a victory was achieved.
"Lieutenant Hawke. Activate our simulated tactical systems and load torpedo casings," Estrad ordered.
They hadn't tested the torpedo's during their combat tests, so this would be the first time they would be fired. The tubes would be firing blanks from empty cases, with the two computers working together to correlate their trajectory and add them into the visual and sensory data fed back, so even if they had minor problems the computer would compensate.
Hawke was starting to have fun again, now that the disappointment of the tactical test was behind him. "Aye, skipper," he said as he tapped away at his console. In one section of the panel, he activated the simulation and confirmed the safeties were engaged. In the next section, he made sure that all four torpedo launchers were ready to go, casing loaded.
Estrad then tapped his badge. "All hands, this is the Captain. We will be entering simulated combat mode in three minutes. The primary aim of this exercise is to test all of our systems, our responses, and our teamwork, and to get an initial evaluation as to how we perform as a crew. I'm sure you all know the confidence the command staff share in you, and I want to emphasise that our aim is for you to do the best your can; and if we do that, we can and will defeat the Sarragut. Let's do this! Dagan out."
Even though it was only a wargame, Hawke felt the same pre-combat sensation he always had. His heart beat just a little faster, the pit of his stomach seemed to lower itself toward his knees and a steady flow of adrenaline started pumping through his veins. In his younger days, he lived for this kind of moment. Now, though, it just reminded him of all those battles past and all those friends lost. He allowed himself a brief moment to remember their faces, their names, their stories, then brought his focus back to this moment, a slight grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Castor hovered a bit at the back of the bridge looking around intently, observing. He was present as counselor, there to evaluate the crew's mental state during a combat situation. He was sure he would have to monitor his own mental state as well. As Castor looked around it was evident that the usual excitement usually preceding an exercise was very much present. He also noticed the lack of palpable fear that was usually hanging in the air during an actual combat situation. Still, Castor knew well enough that if the training was good enough, it would kick in to overcome the debilitation such fear could bring.
As Castor saw Lieutenant Hawke ready himself, noticing the slight change in posture, a change in attitude somehow, the wry grin on his face almost mirrored that of the lieutenant, although probably for different reasons.
Ensign Kanso looked over her console again while her hands tapped out various attack pattern commands nervously on her knees. She had thought there might have been more time to get used to flying the Aeon before being in anything like a combat simulation; she'd flown Luna class vessels in simulations of course but in reality every ship has its own temperament, it's own quirks. The Aeon was still a mystery and it looked like Marla would be finding out how she handled as the simulation went along.
** Sickbay **
It had taken longer than planned for the entire team to get into place. The rapid response units were the first to report in but for some reasonthe surgeons were proving cantankerous. It was something that would be reviewed once the statistics of the simulation were collated and processed. Vanya would simply have to see how she could improve organisation and if needed puncture a few egos in the process.
"We're ready and waiting," she said the confidence in her tone belying the trepidation beneath. Simulation or otherwise the demands on teh medical team were highly unpredictable, sometimes it lead to a once confident doctor deciding to retire from the field. It wouldn't beher, but she felt responsible for her people and for their performance.
All they could do wa wait and with that wait the tension would build and the nerves would bite.
** Main Engineering **
"All systems green," Cheldu responded. "Temporary phaserbank 4 solution is in place and functioning."
** Shuttlebay **
For a split second, Liran almost regretted volunteering to fly the Hrisith for the drill, but she was the only support pilot with knowledge of Andorian craft, even if her knowledge was primarily theoretical.
Where her hobby of xenobiology and her talent for piloting met was an interest in alien spacecraft. She’d simulated a great number of craft holographically, from Bajoran to Vulcan and many others. It was just her good luck that a recent simulation had been an Andorian craft, albeit a different type.
This bird was... unique. She looked bulbous and unwieldy, but Liran knew how deceiving looks could be.
Ensign Elar took sat forward in her seat next to her copilot Rilneven on the Tishratin class fighter and tapped the console. Even though it was just a mock combat, Liran’s heart had begun to pound. She checked, then double-checked, that she was, in fact, in the correct training mode before running through her tactical systems.
She wondered idly what the bird’s name meant. Hrisith. She felt a little like she was trespassing, taking the fighter out, but it was a battle simulation and she had to acquaint herself with the Andorian vessel.
It took all her attention to navigate the alien controls, but she managed. Phasers were ready, torpedos were secure. Shield array looked good, though she’d have to take her out to really know. The deflector array had seemed odd at her inspection, but she chalked that up to the alien design. This wasn’t anything like a standard Federation fighter, and Liran worried that her reaction time would be off. Neverless she was eager. She couldn’t help it, she loved what came next.
The space doors opened.
** Main Bridge **
Finally, the time was up.
The alarm sounded on Hawke's console, accompanied as it always was with a flashing red warning. "Captain! We've got a hostile contact eight hundred metres off our port bow! Profile indicates Federation Akira-class starship."
"Go to Red Alert," said Barim from his chair. "All hands: battlestations."
The lights on the bridge dimmed and they were bathed in the red glow of the emergency lighting. Barim, not one for simulations, was actually feeling a twinge of excitement in his stomach.
"Helm, take us in, full impulse. Attack pattern gamma-four," Estrad ordered.
"Aye, Captain" Marla replied, rapidly keying in the command as she spoke. The Aeons impulse engines surged into life; the Aeon turned to face the Sarragut, and accelerated to full speed. The Sarragut remained exactly where it was, silent, unmoving… Estrad wondered what they were up to until he saw the tiny dots that marked the launch of shuttlecraft.
Estrad tapped a button on his chair, opening a comm link. "Dagan to Main Shuttlebay. Launch all shuttles and our fighter," he tapped it again to end it before continuing. "Helm, bring us to one quarter impulse and assume evasive pattern delta."
"Aye, Captain, beginning evasive pattern delta." Marla said preparing to slow the ship "Lets see if she can dance."
As the ship slowed the one quarter impulse it began a zig zag movement toward the Sarragut. The ship moved like a pendulum, gracefully gliding side to side in a shallow arch, giving the Sarragut a moving target to aim at and covering the emerging shuttles as they got up to speed.
As the Aeon approached, the Sarragut finally finished launching their full shuttle complement, excluding their fighters. Having had experience launching smaller ships quickly, it hadn't taken them long.
The shuttles assumed two V shaped formations, seven shuttles above the ship and seven below it. The Sarragut then turned, and the mini fleet opened fire with a barrage of phaser fire. While most shots missed, a few managed to find their way onto the shields of the Aeon. The computer responded by purposely fluctuating the internal dampeners, causing the crew to shake against their consoles.
Estrad didn't bother with a damage report; a quick glance at the display to his left, integrated into his chair, indicated that the shields were still holding. There would be time for that soon enough.
"Ops, how long until we've cleared all shuttles?"
"Another fifteen seconds, sir," Lyra responded. The shuttles were launching fast, but still not at optimum speed. It would probably need a looking into.
"Have them turn around and form three lines behind us," Estrad motioned in the air, though he instantly realised that none of the crew were watching, they were too busy concentrating on their consoles, and dropped his arms. "Helm, keep us on evasive patterns. Tactical, phasers free, fire at will."
Hawke gave a curt nod and snapped his attention back down to his console. The targeting panel displayed multiple hostiles, all converging on the Aeon. With a swipe of his finger, he released all phaser arrays to fire at will and unleashed the auto-targeting system to select the targets likely to sustain the most damage. As all of his phasers fired off, he kept a close eye on that damned Number Four. He was pleased to see the temporary fix seemed to be holding, but he would keep an eye on it nonetheless.
With the shuttles tied both above and below the ship, the Sarragut couldn't manoeuvre too well and so both the ship and shuttles were taking the full brunt of the Aeon's phaser barrage. Then, one shuttle exploded under a rather intense phaser strike, the simulated ball of fire erupting just off the top of the Sarragut. Estrad knew the shuttle crew would be carefully moving their shuttle outside the battle's perimeter to spectate on the action until the battle was done.
Then, finally, the Sarragut got close enough that their original opening plan could be brought to it's conclusion. With a direct run at the Aeon, the top and bottom row of shuttles accelerated out in their V formation, each manoeuvring so that they passed over the dorsal and ventral sides of the Aeon. As they approached, they each opened fire, aiming for the same point in the shields.
"Take out those shuttles," Estrad ordered, but before it could be taken out the shuttles were already over the Aeon and performing an attack run to the five shuttles and the Tishratin fighter behind it.
But that wasn't the worst of it. The Sarragut itself finished off their attack with an attack of it's own, as photon torpedoes and phaser fire from the Akira-class ship slammed into the weakened area of the shields, penetrating them as the shields failed to reinforce the area quickly enough. The Sarragut then accelerated past the Aeon's port side, moving to follow it's shuttles round to regroup for another attack run, firing rear torpedoes as it did, though these crunched harmlessly into the port shields.
Marla grinned, guilty that she was beginning to enjoy the battle. She brought the ship around as the Sarragut passed by. The muscles in Marla's jaw jumped as she clenched her teeth, focusing on the stream of figures on her console, she was holding off on releasing the starboard impulse engines until the last second. As the starboard impulse engines cut out on cue the ships port side rose and the Aeon skimmed over its adversary, drawing fire away from the final few shuttles.
Hawke wasn't happy that the shields were down as low as they were, but he still had some reserve power he could pump into them and reallocate from areas that weren't under fire. The phasers were still up and running - including Number Four - as were the torpedo launchers. Hawke smiled; Aeon still had her teeth.
"Last shuttle has launched," Lyra announced.
"Good. Take us around," Estrad ordered, having to change tack now his original plan had been scarpered. "I want to see if we can separate some of their shuttles and take some heat off. Inform the shuttles to form a V formation above the Aeon."
Estrad leaned forward, scanning the battlefield ahead of him, before looking down at the tactical display on his arm rest. The Ops console beeped in front of him, but he ignored it, content that what ever it was would be dealt with or reported to him. It was only when the ship inadvertently came to a rather abrupt full stop that Estrad glanced up.
"Report! What's happened?" he asked.
"Sir, we're receiving a transmission on all subspace channels," Lyra announced, her hands moving quickly over the console in front of her. "It's disrupting the communications between all ships, and the simulation has been forced to a stop as a result. I can't seem to compensate."
"Where's it originating from?"
"I don't know," Lyra replied. "It'll take time to track down. But it's not like anything we've heard before."
Estrad's interest was piqued. "Patch it through," he ordered.
Lyra shook her head, but tapped a few buttons anyway. The bridge was suddenly filled with a loud shrieking groan, like the wail of an alarm, persistent, blinding.
"Turn it off," Estrad found himself covering his ears as he yelled above the din, and the silence that followed was both welcoming and equally deafening. "I want to know where that signal is coming from. I'm going to contact the Sarragut and ask if we can postpone this battle until another time. Commander, you have the Conn," he said as he rose to move towards his ready room.
Captain Estrad Dagan
Commander Barim Nash
Lieutenant Commander Cheldu Ch'Dra
Chief Engineering Officer
Lieutenant Lucius Hawke
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
Lieutenant Vanya Hudson-Riley
Chief Medical Officer
Ensign Marla Kanso
Chief Flight Control Officer
Ensign Castor Navin
Ensign Liran Elar
Support Craft Pilot
Ensign Lyra Sapescal (NPC)
Chief Operations Officer