Posted on Sat Mar 9th, 2019 @ 6:20pm by Captain Colby Drayton & Lieutenant Commander Cordelia Millarini & Lieutenant Akaria Okan & Commander Tara Neprem & Lieutenant JG Joseph 'Seph' Swift & Lieutenant JG Jamie Franklin & Lieutenant JG Eza Bergen PhD & Master Chief Petty Officer Andrea Carter
Episode 6: War Crimes
Timeline: MD140, 0845 Hours
Five days. Five long days of repairs, internal diagnostics, crew evaluations and transfers. Five long days but the day had finally arrived. During breakfast that morning, with many located around the ship (including the Captain), the announcement from engineering had come over the internal comm array - the Quantum Slipstream Drive, which had finished construction over two weeks earlier but had been undergoing various installation diagnostics and simulations, was finally ready for live field testing. It was the first good news the crew had received in weeks and the noise around the ship went up several decibels at the prospect of testing this fancy new piece of technology. Whether they were in the gym for their morning workout, or taking a stroll in the arboretum, or sat having their breakfast in the mess facilities, everyone dropped what they were doing for this potentially historic occasion and made their way to duty stations across the ship. Even Colby Drayton, known for not being able to function without his morning beverage and at least a slice of toast, skipped out of the officer's mess on deck three and scuttled off to the bridge.
As he exited the turbo lift and stepped out onto the bridge, he stopped in his tracks. The command center was a buzz with activity, such a buzz that he had not seen since the Ulysses had first tested her system many weeks earlier - it was also the first time he had felt the excitement of his new crew and man, it felt exhilarating and he had to take a moment to let the feeling engulf him.
Standing in the center of the bridge, Lieutenant Akaria Okan, who's posting as Operations Chief had been extended until further notice due to the delay of her replacements arrival, was stood reading through a data PADD, the most senior office present at that time. She looked up at the sound of the turbo lift and couldn't help but smile as she watched the Captain take in the atmosphere. He felt it. She felt it. It was the start of something new, something special, It was the start of a new chapter for this crew and, all being well, they would never have to look back on the past again.
"Good morning Captain," the Cardassian smiled as the commander of the ship finally entered the command area and stood in front of his chair. "Commander Millarini reports that Engineering is on standby and awaiting final instructions to begin the test," Akaria revealed as she passed the Captain the data PADD and then walked down to her seat at Ops.
"Thank you Lieutenant," the Captain grinned at his subordinate before casually lowering himself into the command chair and awaiting the arrival of his senior staff.
Sitting at the helm station, Seph sat plotting a course and making sure all systems were in working order. He had spent the last few days in the holodeck running simulations to get used to how the QSD would handle. Though through his previous experience, holodecks could only simulate and actually piloting the real thing was usually different. Satisfied with what the console was telling him he turned to the Captain, "Flight systems report ready Captain."
Looking up from his console in the corner of the bridge, he turned his chair to speak to Colby. "Tactical systems report ready and are on standby, Captain," he reported in a monotone voice.
"Okay Akaria," the Captain nodded as he relaxed back into his command chair and held on to the arm rests gently. "Clear our departure with station operations," he ordered.
Within seconds, the Captain got a response from the Cardassian. "Automatic course laid in, Ops has cleared us."
"Lieutenant Swift," the Captain called out as he changed his focus, "take us out, one quarter impulse power..." then the Captain threw a hand up in the air, "and if ANYONE reminds me about thrusters only while in spacedock, you won't need to worry because you'll be on spacedock, watching us leave!" he grinned, before nodding to the Flight Operations Chief to carry out his order.
Akaria grinned and shook her head as she monitored her station. She was not looking forward to the day she had her temporary posting terminated; she liked Drayton and would have given anything to remain under his command, but she understood the reasons for the Captain's decision to seek a more qualified replacement - she was, after all, a science officer at heart.
Smiling to himself he turned back to his console, "Aye Captain. One quarter impulse." He pushed the command into his console, and watched his screen as the ship moved out of spacedock. "Three minutes till we are clear Captain."
With that confirmation from the Flight Operations Officer, the Captain had a few minutes to kill. He tapped on the arm of his chair and opened a communication channel around the ship. “=/\=All hands, this is the Captain,” he began. “Today marks another step in the evolution of Starfleet and of our universe as we know it. We few, we lucky few, we band of brothers. Today we are lucky enough to take the next technological leap into space. Very few starships in our great fleet have a functioning slipstream drive, for it is a new technology that has not been widely released. We are among the first to use this new form of propulsion and, should it work as we expect, it will present us with new opportunities to explore the vast ocean of space. Enjoy the moment,” he smiled as he spoke and then terminated the comm channel.
Bergen was at the Science station, he was still getting use to his role as Chief aboard the Nogura. He had directed a few sensor pallets to specifically monitor for the exotic particles that had occurred during the Ulysses tests. Internal sensors were looking for any possible other problem, and as an added precaution a number of internal force fields had been erected, god-forbid another disaster occurred. "Emergency measures are in place Captain. All sensors are ready for the test."
"Well done Eza," the Captain smiled, accompanied by a nod of thanks to the scientist. With each passing day, Eza Bergen grew more in to his role and was proving that Colby had made the right choice in confirming him as science chief for the Nogura.
"=/\=Engineering to the Bridge," came the voice of the acting Chief Engineer. "Slipstream drive is available at your command. We'll monitor from down here," Commander Millarini told.
Already seated at his side, Tara looked at the Captain with a grin; she was glad that she was present to help Drayton and what was left of his crew to finish what they had started on the Ulysses, something that would be a momentous leap forward for Starfleet. "It all looks good, Captain; are you ready to make history?" she said after a glance to the ship's status on her side console.
Colby reached over and gently placed his right hand on the woman's arm, leaning over and lowering his voice. "I know things haven't been easy, but having you here is important for the crew," he smiled reassuringly before raising his voice level a bit more. "I'm ready if you are Commander?"
"Let's do this," Tara replied, a perpetual grin plastered to her face. Yeah, things hadn't been easy, it had been a rough couple of weeks, but to see this, the successful activation of a Quantum Slipstream Drive, it was all worth it. "Alright, so this is the proverbial lap around the neighborhood; Mister Swift, I believe you know what to do as soon as we're clear of the station," she said, leaning forward in her chair with excitement.
Drayton sat silently and happily watched as his XO took over the test. He was happy to see her at work and would not interfere now unless he had to.
"We are clear sirs." Seph said as he double checked his readings. Satisfied with what he saw, he punched in the coordinates, "Coordinates set, Quantum Slipstream Drive charging." Fingers flying across the console, he watched the meter charge, "QSD charged. Jump in 3...2...1..." Adrenaline pumping, he pushed button which activated the QSD. The ship jumped into the tunnel.
The space around the ship began to stretch as the craft slid from normal space, into the blue hues of the slipstream corridor. Drayton's eyes lit up as the ship reached her extreme velocity for the first time and was thrilled to bits.
Having little to do but occasionally monitor his console, Franklin looked upon the view screen in awe. He had never travelled via slipstream and, frankly, did not know if it would work. Now that it had, he watched intently at the varying shades of blue as they passed in from of the ship. Being a tactical officer, he knew nothing about the engineering and science behind slipstream drive, but he certainly wondered how fast they were travelling. Shaking the distraction from his mind, he looked back to his console to ensure all systems remained in the green.
Tara sucked in a breath in awe as they witnessed the slipstream corridor on the main view screen. "Incredible..." she said softly.
"All systems show green captain." Seph reported after the ship had been travelling for a few minutes.
"Okay. This is just a quick run around the block Lieutenant," the Captain nodded in response. "Slowly adjust our course and return us to our starting point," he ordered, eager to not put too much strain on the ships first outing under the new system.
"We're looking good, Captain, no reports of EPS flow anomalies, no 'unknown' particles building up," Tara reported from the readouts on her console. After what happened on the Ulysses and then the sabotage on the Nogura, Tara was taking no chances and watched the readouts like a hawk. Although the ride itself was not 100% smooth, that was simply from being the maiden voyage for the new drive and already the crew was compensating and fine tuning the system to smooth out their travel. In her head, Tara was working out a few test runs they could while in transit to their next destination so that they could master this new drive system.
"Confirmed," Akaria echoed from the Ops station, knowing that Drayton liked to be as thorough as possible and the additional verification would be appreciated.
"Sensors are recording plenty, but confirming no anomalies." Bergen replied.
"I want a complete run down of every sensor reading by thirteen hundred and transmitted to Starfleet Command. But, baring any last minute glitches, I think we can class this test as a great success!" Drayton grinned as he rose to his feet. "After the week we have had, that is no mean feat everyone. Well done."
Knowing that the test was coming to an end, Jamie began preparations to realign tactical sensors and systems. He wanted to make sure that all sensors were realigned prior to dropping out of slipstream in case there was something waiting for them on the other side. Tapping along as fast he could upon his console, he adjusted the systems one by one.
"Commander Neprem," Drayton smiled as he looked around at his XO, "you have the bridge. I'll be in my ready room."