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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 24
# 2
03-19-2013, 01:26 AM
(Part 2)

"Captain Karn. The Legate is expecting you, please go in."

That mode of address certainly made Gorel feel a bit more clear on where he stood. His back prickled slightly in the absence of his uniform, but he brushed the sensation off as he nodded to the aide and proceeded into the office. It was not cold, exactly, but it was efficient; the mementos and pictures of family were placed on discreet tables and alcoves out of the way, while the majority of the roomy space was dominated by a substantial desk, a few chairs, and several mobile display panels, currently displaying schematics from the aging Galor-class ships.

The Legate rose from behind his desk, smiling and extending a hand in greeting. Gorel shook the offered hand before finding himself engulfed in a warm hug.

"Gorel, my boy, glad you could make it. Can I get you anything? Raktajino, kanar?" He shook his head in response as his uncle reopened the space between them.

"No, thank you. This is a nice office; is that a spiral-wave disruptor EPS interface?" His uncle smiled, but there was a sharpness in his eye.

"Yes it is, Gorel. That's a keen eye you have; if Starfleet didn't already have access to this information, I might be worried."

The two men chuckled, and Gorel felt the vague but familiar sensation of intrigue beginning to swallow him up. Although the Detapa Council had built up a fair amount of respect since its acceptance as the government of the Union, remnants of the unsettled scheming from the aftermath of the Dominion War had virtually become structural elements of society. You could never be entirely certain who would accuse you or who you would betray in order to maintain your grip on whatever security you had found; even family was suspect.

"Well, since you've noticed the screens already, let me show you what I brought you here to see." There was a hint of command authority in his voice, and Gorel nodded and waited. A few presses of keys on the side of a display brought up a new series of schematics, and Gorel's eyes narrowed slightly.

"Are you familiar with this design?" When Gorel shook his head, the legate continued. "This is Starfleet's Imperial-class assault cruiser. Most interesting, wouldn't you say?"

Interesting it was. There were few of Starfleet's typically smooth and organic lines, its expansive and rounded nacelles and hull sections. The Imperial was angular and compact, its nacelles drawn in close to its hull and armored panels covering several key sections.

"Starfleet as a whole may have given up on the construction of dedicated warships, but there are a few holdover designs remaining. The Imperial-class is one of them." He pressed a few more keys, and Gorel studied the EPS and structural layouts, while a few additional displays popped up demonstrating field emitter strengths.

"With the more compact silhouette, deflector shield and warp field geometry can be much smaller, but you'll notice that power generation and distribution systems are more robust than the Sovereign-class, allowing for greater redundancy and local field strength. Similarly, while it has the same number of beam emitters as the Sovereign, they can individually fire stronger beams, while more effectively covering the 360 degrees of fire around the ship."

"You also saw the ablative armor carapace on the dorsal and ventral surfaces, I'm sure, which is a very unusual feature. Starfleet designs generally trust to the innate hull strength and their shields, rather than incorporating purpose-built armor additions. They do so love their viewports."

The two men grinned, and the legate shook his head.

"The Federation is so odd, sometimes. I can think of very few peoples who are more reassured by having no warships than by having plenty of them. Most cultures would call this a battleship, not an assault cruiser. But they were strong enough to defeat the Dominion, so clearly they're doing something right."

Gorel nodded. The Federation itself was a sum of contrasts, with its member states acting in concert on certain issues and opposition on others. There were individual colony worlds with representatives on the Council, and multi-world polities with just as much voice. The Andorians preferred to meet threats head-on, while Risians hid behind a welcoming neutrality. But certain unifying threads ran through the entire Federation, and the strength of those threads could be awe-inspiring to behold.

"In any case, do you have any particular thoughts on this design?"

Gorel took a few moments to step forward, studying the displayed schematics and figures.

"It's definitely atypical of standard Starfleet design principles in a number of key ways. I notice the cargo capacity is low, and the amount of reserve power capacity is very high. It looks like the ship could very easily increase its offensive and defensive outputs by 40 to 60 percent over short engagements. Overall, it has a lot of potential as a frontline combatant, although the reduced lab space and loss of warp cruising efficiency with the tighter warp field make it less useful for exploration missions."

"You don't think that modularity can cover those flaws to some degree?"

Gorel shook his head slowly.

"Perhaps to some degree, but I've noticed that the ship is only about 30 percent modular. There's nothing that can be done about the warp field geometry other than pumping more power into it, which is going to generate its own problems with reducing sensor range and increasing the range of detection. Some lab and sensor spaces can be added, but the external armor is going to hinder the operation of some of the more sensitive sensor suites, and there's not a lot of potential to add mission-specific personnel capacity. It can be used for exploration or hauling, but it will be inferior to a lot of other ships; to reach its potential, it has to fight."

The legate smiled a little smile.

"You may be pleased to note that our review board reached very similar conclusions. I think you have a better head for the realities of starship design than you give yourself credit for." Gorel gave a small bow, and his uncle's smile widened slightly as he pressed a few more keys on the display board.

"Now, what about this one?"

Last edited by thesciencer; 03-19-2013 at 01:43 AM.