Literary Challenge #15 : Temporal Soundings
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Join Date: Dec 2007
The Trouble with Tachyons (cont.)
03-31-2012, 02:25 AM
We entered my ready room and I sat down at my desk. "So what did you learn?"
"The shuttlebay is gone and we can't get it back. But that isn't the interesting part," she said, "I looked into the Pathfinder Project some more and found that after the USS
returned from the Delta Quadrant, the MIDAS array was all but shut down. With no recipient a quadrant away to converse with, all testing became computer modeled and the array mothballed. However, work on tachyon communications continued within Starfleet. When I tried to pull up any of their work, it was classified."
I looked at her PADD and woke my desk computer. "I can get those files for you," I said.
She grinned, "That's why I needed to see you."
I smiled back, "I was hoping it was for my company." Within minutes I had all the files streaming down the screen. Together we pored over the data. "Look at that", I said pointing to the current status of the MIDAS array, "It is under security lockdown. Has been for almost a decade now."
Juliet pointed to another line, "This looks like they repurposed the array to be a tachyon sensor. Why would they need to track tachyon fields?"
"All cloaking fields leave tachyons," I said, "Someone figured out how to track every cloaked ship in the quadrant."
"That's actually kind of brilliant."
"Looks like Tal Shiar found out about it too," I said pointing to an old security report. "They infiltrated the station and it looks like they tried to sabotage it but Starfleet retook the station. Guess the Romulans wanted to stay hidden. Explains why it's on lockdown now."
A comm chime played and I tapped my computer screen. The voice of the ensign said an Intrepid class starship was hailing us. A large bearded man in a Starfleet uniform popped up. "Captain Slade? I'm Dylan Houston. You called for help. May I come aboard?"
"Absolutely captain. I will see you in a moment."
I looked at Juliet. "Keep working, I am going to meet our guest."
I ran to transporter room 2. When they materialized, one silhouette stood out from the rest that revealed the massive frame of an apparent lumberjack, cleaned up and made the captain. As the away team stepped off the pad I greeted them, "Gentlemen, welcome to the
Captain Houston stuck out a big meaty hand that all but swallowed mine in a handshake. "That's a heck of a handshake you got there captain," I said as I rubbed my sore palm.
A huge toothy grin smeared itself across his face as he said, "Let's see this hole in your ship."
As we walked I explained the tachyon cascade and the explosion. He listened intently while taking huge strides, both because he was obviously excited and due to his natural gait. When the doors to deck 3 opened, Captain Houston popped his head in and whistled as he turned to see the extent of the damage. "A tachyon build up did this?"
I nodded. "Took my shuttle bay into tomorrow and contaminated the core. Scrubbing the plasma conduits alone will take a couple days. If you wouldn't mind, a little help will cut that down to a couple hours."
"Well captain, I would be more than happy to help. Would you mind if we scanned the damage? I don't think anyone has ever seen anything like this before."
"Be my guest." As I left I could swear that massive bear of a man giggled with delight.
Time passed quickly, as did the repairs. After an hour the
hailed us. The impressive Captain Houston filled nearly the whole of the screen. "Captain Slade, my engineers tell me that you have your warp core back online and can leave. Is there anything else we can help you with?"
I shook my head, "No, but thank you for everything you have done captain. You are a credit to the Federation."
The science console began beeping and Juliet read aloud, "Tachyon particles are accumulating around the
. It looks like the start of a cascade."
Captain Houston was still on screen but was looking at the officer behind him talking before saying, "Raise the shields and standby yellow alert." He looked back to me with a look of mild concern. "Seems we may be having a little tachyon trouble ourselves."
I tried to reassure him, "Well at least you have shields. The
was caught off guard. You should be fine."
"True. Well, we will be on our way before this gets out of hand."
"Good luck cap-" The channel cut out and the Vulcan at the security station reported, "The
has suffered a catastrophic explosion."
I jumped out of my chair and stood up, "On screen."
was floating slowly and listing to one side, gradually revealing half of the ship removed or destroyed by smaller subsequent explosions which popped noiselessly into space. The saucer was virtually missing and the hull looked like something had scooped it out.
All eyes on the bridge were focused on the screen. A console chirped anxiously and Juliet looked down at the science station console. "Sir, we have another tachyon cascade forming inside the
I sat down and said, "Shields up!"
Juliet spoke up, "That may be a bad idea. The shields of the
acted like a lens and focused the tachyons like light through a magnifying glass ."
"Then find a way to stop those tachyons!"
Juliet thought for a second and then said, "Sir, we could turn the ship and fire an inverse tachyon stream in the direction of the particles. That might slow or cancel the build up."
"Do you know what direction to face?" I asked.
"They are building up on the same side as on the
. I think we can safely assume it is coming from that direction."
"Fine," I looked to the ensign at flight control, "Come about."
sprang to life and turned to face the tachyon stream, the deflector dish spewing out a blue beam of inverted tachyons in the general direction of the source. Just then a blue pulse from our deflector dish leapt out into the darkness of space. Then another. And another, until our tachyon count was normal. Juliet reported, "Sir, the tachyon cascade is reversing." As the last of the tachyons were removed from the
there was an explosion in the black. Each pulse rocked another explosion in the distance until something materialized.
The Vulcan at the security station relayed the alert of her console, "Sir, a Scimitar class Reman warbird has uncloaked directly in front of us approximately 10 kilometers away."
Several points of light began growing on the extremities of the extended Scimitar array tips. Juliet chimed in, "Tachyon levels are increasing rapidly. They converted the Pathfinder Project into a weapon. The raid on the MIDAS array was to steal plans, not destroy the station!"
I jumped out of my chair again in shock, "Close the gap, get us out of that tachyon stream!" I whipped around to the security station, "Lieutenant, what weapons do we have online?"
The Vulcan again tapped on her console, "Phasers are still offline but torpedo launchers are functional."
"Fire at will."
A stream of 6 bright white dots raced towards the massive ship. Little points of light erupted into balls of flame and sparks where each torpedo hit. Green flashes emerged and began growing larger.
"Sir, disruptor shots!"
I yelled, "Evasive maneuver beta!"
As we circled around the front of the Scimitar it fired wildly in desperation. The
was too close to dodge and a lucky shot hit the belly of our unshielded ship.
Consoles on the bridge exploded, crewmen went flying - some didn't get back up. The sound of metal rending and the electric clicks of short circuits popped around the bridge as smoke filled the bridge and someone yelled, "Direct hit, critical damage decks five through ten! Shields gone! Warp core offline! Auxiliary power offline! Battery backups activated!"
dipped her damaged side and the engines roared to life, the sound echoing in the walls around the bridge. The next volley of disruptor blasts narrowly missed as we found ourselves with our back to the enemy. I looked to the view screen and saw the Reman ship closing fast, "Ready another volley of torpedoes. What's their status?"
Juliet coolly relayed, "Their primary shields are down and their secondary shields are having trouble staying up. They have a leaking intermix chamber and it is flooding their ship with tachyons. I am reading varying time signatures scattered around their ship. It appears that lifesigns are moving to a shuttle bay. They are either evacuating or going to launch Scorpion fighters."
I looked down at the screen on the arm of my chair and pulled up a schematic of known Scimitar designs. Their radiation intermix chamber was too far from the bridge to stop now but their fighter bay was next to the secondary shield generator. In order to launch fighters, they would need to drop their shields for a moment. I saw our only chance and gave the order, "Get us as close to their fighter launch tubes as possible. I want to put a salvo of torpedoes down their gullet!"
The Scimitar's disruptors fired but the nimble Defiant class narrowly dodged the shots. Juliet looked up at me and said, "Their shields are dropping and fighters on are their way out."
A triplet of torpedoes rained toward a port that was opening. The first fighter out collided with the first torpedo and exploded. The next two torpedoes easily found their mark and disappeared down the hole. A couple seconds later flame erupted out of the fighter bay and their shields were down. I looked to the Vulcan at the security station and said, "Make them a memory."
She nodded and began firing quantum torpedoes left and right. The
circled the ailing ship and continued to launch torpedo after torpedo into her hull. The Scimitar began to list to one side as windows along her hull were blown out by internal blast concussions. Her lights flickered and then the massive ship went dark.
Juliet yelled through the smoke, "The warbird core is going critical!"
I couldn't see anything in the smoke but still gave orders, "Get us back to the
limped towards the broken Federation ship and as we approached the
, the Scimitar exploded behind us. The echoes of debris ricocheting off and scarring the hull sounded like nails on a chalkboard. I looked around the bridge and saw most of the crew burned or dirty but everyone alive. I looked to Juliet and her hair was matted with blood but she was conscious and smiled at me. I smiled back and hoped my look of relief was comforting. I looked to the communications officer and said, "Inform Starfleet of what just happened. Tell them that we need immediate assistance. And a tow."