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Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: October 07, 2021, 07:41:06 pm »
Smith was back on duty in the astrometrics lab, taking the usual scans around the station.  Keeping an eye on multiple things at once, some she was supposed too others not so much.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 08, 2021, 05:23:35 pm »
[Katra - VIP Lounge]

"Ah," was all she could get out to all of that, feeling more as if she were berated than having a discussion. "I'm sure your viewpoints are quite unique, Ensign Smith, and are of great interest to Starfleet. Pardon me, it occurs to me I should refill my raktajino and meet a few others while they're all in the same room. It was interesting meeting you."

She made a circuit around the room, introducing herself and chatting with a few others. With the Captain entertaining the Ambassador, she would have to find a different time to introduce herself to him as she didn't want to interrupt such a crucial moment in a Starfleet new alien relationship. But she did listen, taking up a position on the fringes of the conversation, curious as to what else the alien might reveal about this space gate.

Smith beat herself up over ruining a potential friendship.  Was it her borg implants that scared her off? was it her opinions?, socializing was so difficult for the young El Aurian, as she was still missing the collective in the sense that their thoughts and voices were one, but to find herself in a position where she could not sense the others thoughts?, know what they were thinking? was quite unsettling for her.  Still she was freed from the collective and in some sense 'peace' or the lack of a proper word for it.

Smith watched her go and shrugged, really upset with herself.  Curse of being long lived or being ex borg or her many specialties, she was unsure what was the greater curse.  Perhaps one day she will find a friend who didnt mind this about her, but until then she headed for the buffet table to refill her plate.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 08, 2021, 11:07:41 am »
"Oh, I didn't mean it was far fetched just well...fantastic," Xiiv said. "To think of so many ships using it or that it's still operational, I find it rather exciting. As for doom, well, that might be taking it a little far since we know little about it. Learning to use it would be an incredible leap, especially if the gate can be replicated by some means. Faster travel to distant places sounds absolutely wonderful to me. But I've always wanted to explore. Taking up my assignment on Katra sort of means the exploring comes to me rather than getting on an exploratory vessel." Again, she gestured delicately to the reception as a whole and the Ambassador. "What more could I want for my first assignment than a new species to learn about?"

"Well, remember, when humans started to explore in the far reaches of space, they encountered the borg?, and look at how that turned out for those explorers?" Smith said smiling politely.  "As for new species comes to you?, be careful what you say.  I was here for less then a few hours and im on a starship protecting refugees from pirates.  So you might want to keep your safety in your med bay to yourself because it wont last long.  Just accept, you go where needed when ordered too and youll be fine." Smith said calmly.

"All those years ago, I doubt those who lived before us would realize that what they explored would be the futures greatest threats from those explorations.  Upside is we have made peace with most of them.  Downside is we are at constant war with the others.  But for the technology, we arent ready for it from a scientific perspective.  Its like handing a loaded gun to a child.  Starfleet is still a child in many ways and they are not ready for technology that has surpassed them.  Im old but by my peoples standards im young so I know what im talking about.  Though I sometimes wonder what would happen if I had the experience of a long lived trill symbiote.  Now that is an exploration mission I would love to go on from a scientific view point, of course." Smith added as she bit into her food and began to politely chew.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 07, 2021, 09:44:39 pm »
The longer you lived, the more you learned, the more you learned the more specialities one picked up. Astrometrics was pretty fun but medicine had always be where Amarande shined the brightest. She nodded in response.

"I always found xenobiology to be quite fascinating and it proves to be so on a daily basis for me," she murmured, gesturing lightly. "Ah, we'll get along quite well once we get to know each other. There's a great deal of subjects we could entertain between the both of us, I'm sure. Now, if only I hand a raktajino in hand, I'd probably be perfectly happy to listen to whatever is going on with the Ambassador and that space technology. That sounds pretty fantastic if you ask me. A gate that functions as a stable wormhole? Hmm, I can't say I have ever heard of a manmade wormhole like that before other than in stories. The science that made that must be highly advanced, more so than our current technology, which is saying quite a bit."

It wasn't like that was a conversation that was private either and her ears caught most of what was going on. She grinned at Smith, her eyebrows arched in curiosity. Ancient technology abandoned, able to transport many ships? Count her in on listening to that. Amarande did find the raktajino a moment later and poured herself some. She didn't mind it plain and blew across the surface of the hot beverage as she listened to what the Ambassador had to say, her eyes straying from Smith's as her chin tilted slightly.   

"What there talking about actually is not far fetched at all.  If I remember correctly from one of Voyagers mission logs, they happened upon a civilization with a similar technology but it never worked as it lacked a certain component special to the planet itself but that technology also could be translated to 'Catapult' tech, so it works on the principle of sling shooting a starship from point A to point B in a matter of seconds.  Another example of the same technology at work was used by the Ancient Iconians, there Gateway technology is highly fascinating if we could recreate it.
 If you could figure out the Vadwaar's tunnel technology referred to as underspace?, you could easily travel a fair distance quite effectively.  Then if you wish to make a single ship travel a similar distance, you could figure out how to make a Coaxial warp drive work.  It works on the principle of folding space similar to the Bajoran wormhole.  Works on the same principle." Smith said giving a nervous half smile, then decided to change the subject back to specialties.

But if we have a technology far beyond our understanding we are doomed to self annihilate ourselves.  Also, my other fields are medical sciences, applied sciences and biology.  I had a stint as a gardener for awhile, I recently picked up Xenobiology just for the reading material when I am off duty." Smith said smiling as she just realized she was over doing it.  She knew inferiorly lived species hated being outsmarted and so she went back to her quiet self munching on her food.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 07, 2021, 07:52:26 pm »
[Katra Station - VIP Lounge]

Watching the older man take his leave, she quirked an eyebrow. Technically, she should introduce herself to her Captain but he was still busy and would likely be for a while. She turned her attention to the Science officer after selecting her own plate of nibblets, or whatever one wanted to call them. She liked the triangles most and the circles. She glanced across at the alien ambassador thoughtfully. Shapes must be culturally important to his people if they had no visual input. She didn't see anything that looked like eyes, just facial pitting that suggested a different sensory input than most species had.


"Ah, well the. It seems we're left to our own devices. Smith was it? Miranda? Do you have a preference?" Xiiv asked in a quiet voice, turning back to the El Aurian. "It's nice to meet you. You can call me Amarande or Xiiv, it doesn't matter which. I'm a xenobiologist, among other things. I suppose I'll meet all manner of species here on Katra. New ones are always so fascinating to puzzle out for me. I spent my last assignment working with all sorts of new spieces, helping them adapt to different environments. It was quite rewarding in itself, but I found this post open and couldn't help but apply. How long have you been here at Katra?"

Smith merely nodded as she wasnt sure what else to say then suddenly, the woman began talking and introducing herself.  "Pleasure.  Xenobiology can be quite rewarding.  Among my specialties, I am into biology, studying xenobiology in my off times but it isnt my main focus.  I have to many degrees I could pop your head.  But recently I am into astrophysics.  I arrived and spent most of my time in the stations astrometrics.  Where I can ply one of my many specialties." Smith said with a polite half smile.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 07, 2021, 09:36:14 am »
<Katra Station - VIP Lounge>

He nodded towards Dannenberg as the Operations Officer parted from the group. "Ensign" he acknowledged, watching him return to Goodspeed; a set-up then, he concluded. John gave a wry look as the Medical Officer described recent postings. "I can't promise a quiet life" he admitted, "but Katra Station certainly has its moments".

Taking a moment of his own to glance around the room (the career Security Officer in him never quite absent) he completed the scan of the room and settled upon Captain Solluk, who was doing a remarkable job of engaging in diplomatic small-talk with the inscrutable representative of the refugees. "Speaking of which" he continued, "I rather should speak to our guest."

Nodding to them both. "Doctor. Ensign." he said politely to them remaining pair by way of a temporary farewell, and moved towards his Commanding Officer and the the Xhelosian.

Quite nervous now, being alone with the doctor she just met, it was rather strange for her still.  In the collective she was never alone either with her thoughts or as her person, and now shes alone with her thoughts and just one person was a bit unnerving for the young woman and by El aurian standards she was still quite young.  She wanted to get to know other people without knowing there thoughts but it was quite a challenge for the young woman to fathom.  Would they like her? hate her?, despise her? without knowing there thoughts prior to the interaction it was like jumping off a cliff and expecting there to be a hover car waiting to prevent serious injury.  So she passively nibbled on her food.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 06, 2021, 08:57:25 pm »
Dr Xiiv? It took Saxon a moment to recover from the mild surprise at not noticing her approach, and then another moment to recall her appointment. The urgent and critical mission aboard the Aquila had somewhat thrown his work schedules into some disarray. That would, no doubt, be both a challenge and opportunity for Hannah Sullivan, his Yeoman - the young personal aide lived for any moment to wrestle with his complicated (and perhaps wilfully avoided) workload; an emergency departure to protect and escort a vast refugee fleet was the administrative nightmare she lived for.

"Doctor Xiiv, of course - forgive me; welcome to Katra" he acknowledged, holding out his hand in greeting. "There's not much I can update you on at the moment; but I'm happy to bring you up to speed with what little we know."

In saying this, Saxon was then joined by Ensign Smith, and he nodded to her as she stood by him. "Dr Xiiv, please allow me to introduce Science Officer Ensign Miranda Smith. Ensign Smith: Dr Xiiv - our new Assistant CMO."

Glancing at them both, it struck 'Century' that the three of them perhaps represented the oldest beings in the room (not accounting for the Xhelosian, whose lifespan was not yet determined); one Trill, whose symbiote was likely to be several hundred years old (but whose current host was depressingly youthful), one El-Aurian, whose personnel record already conveyed a lifespan of remarkable length (and yet life experiences tragically paused by their assimilation to a Collective that cared not for such things), and he...who had got there the hard way.

Smith merely politely nodded as she was introduced to the new Doctor.  She munched on her food in small bites as she gave a half smile as she nodded to Dannenberg with Saxon.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 06, 2021, 02:19:56 pm »
<Katra Station - VIP Lounge>

Saxon was watching with interest as Ensign Miranda Smith orbited the gathering; he was pleased that she had attended without making what was becoming a traditional fuss - after her clarification about the need (or lack) of rest, he was moderately more understanding of the brutal modifications the Borg had made to her physiology. It was an oft-mistaken notion that being assimilated of the Borg was nothing more than a positive enhancement experience; that the nanites and implants had no downside, and all freed individuals were 'blessed' with all sorts of technological improvements and gadgetry. But the reality was that assimilation was a horrific experience, and liberation was akin to having your soul ripped from you. Indeed, it had become an unspoken fact in the Service the redoubtable Jean-Luc Picard experienced less than a week of incorporation into the Collective, and yet continued to wrestle to this day with the ordeal.

One could only imagine how it must have felt to someone bonded to the Hive for as long as Miranda. And having to relearn simple tasks such as 'sleep' was remarkable for its immense effort that it must take.

Contemplating these matters of the spirit, 'Century' was brought out this reverie by an approach of Ensign Dannenberg, holding a plate carefully. Glancing his way, John realised that the Operations Officer was doing so towards him.

And then offered him the plate.

The Commander looked to the offering, then to Dannenberg, and back again. The plate was arranged in a decorative display that took him a moment to recognise as a heart (or the iconic Earth symbol for one; the Klingon equivalent was, perhaps unsurprisingly, anatomically correct; Andorians made the same, only with fewer teeth marks in the art). Eyes slowly rose to meet the Ensign's gaze, and took in what he was saying. A practical joke? And either egged on by the Chief Engineer, or an unholy alliance between them. For a second, Saxon wondered if to make it clear to Dannenberg that this was not appropriate, and that officers with such a short time on the station under their belts should think more carefully about such ridiculous practices during a VIP function.

But John also recognised that he had been on red alert for too long over the last few days. Maybe he deserved some...joshing...of his own.

"Ensign Dannenberg", he said, glaring with a gaze that made the freeze-beams of the Blizzons of Arcteria Nine seem like solar flares, "are you maybe suggesting that I am incapable of providing for myself?" His voice was low, but of a tone like a brick of tritanium wrapped in Tholian silk. "Perhaps you're making an ill-advised comment on my age? Would you to next like to pull up a chair for me? Drape a blanket over my knees?" His eyes bore into Peter's, and a bushy eyebrow raised in askance.

As she picked and chose what to eat, she couldnt help but smile as she over heard Saxton's comment of old age.  'Maybe ill get him a tritanium old fashioned wheel chair for his birthday?' she thought to herself as she picked a few small morsels and placed them onto her plate she picked up as she went to the table.  Then went over to stand by Saxon as he was the only one she really knew in the room and perhaps scare off a few of the weirder officers in the room.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: September 04, 2021, 12:30:11 pm »
<USS Aquila - Bridge>

At the Ensign's...polite his instruction to hand over duties to the Relief, Saxon didn't turn his body, but his steel grey eyes did swivel towards her. Granted, it had not been made an order, but the new officer was certainly blotting her copybook; she had only joined recently, and yet there was a slice of unwarranted arrogance in the wilful, and repeated, ignoring of his directions that she had not yet earned. She may not need rest, but she had not banked the trust in her abilities; thus, as Commanding Officer, his duty was to the ship and its crew - the whole crew.  Bryson had clearly understood this, and whilst it was obvious he didn't particularly want to step away from his post with the same instruction, it was clear any downtime would be of global benefit.

His creased forehead hid a frown, and the Commander clasped his hands behind him. "Understood. But I need all active personnel to be as refreshed as possible. So, if there's an Alert from now until we arrive at the station, you are to hand over your station to the Relief shift. That" he raised his voice a small notch to make sure it was clearly heard, "is an order."

Pushing down a yawn, he realised that perhaps he should take his own advice...

[USS Aquila]

Looking up realizing Saxton was now ordering her to rest.  She merely shrugged.  "Im sorry, Captain.  I did not mean to come off superior.  I just do not require the same amount of rest as you do." Smith said as she got up from her chair and transferred the data she was working on to her arm band.  "I meditate to rejuvenate myself, as I find beds uncomfortable sense becoming borg.  Standing in an alcove, hooked up, provided everything I needed.  So im still trying to grow accustomed to the concept of a soft bed rather than standing.  Im doing good just sitting for four hours, with my eyes closed and meditate.  Its not as effective as the alcove but not as uncomfortable as the soft bed.  So sitting, with my legs crossed, tends to provide me with everything I need in half the time.  But I do suppose I could visit the mess hall." Smith said smiling as she still did not know her own limits as she stepped into the turbolift.


Despite the meditation doing its work, they arrived back at Katra with little to no trouble.  'Doubt ill be invited back to serve on that ship, even if it is an old tug boat' she thought to herself as she and the others were beamed back to Katra station after the ship had docked.  She went in search of food and quickly made her way to the VIP lounge.

[VIP Lounge - Katra]

She entered the VIP lounge and looked around.  Quite nervous she entered as she didnt really consider herself important enough to be here but the Captain invited her and after her previous snafu she was not about to turn him down.  So she look around around and saw a rather beautifully set up buffet and made a B-line for it.  She began to carefully choose which one she wanted.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: August 31, 2021, 10:55:34 am »
<USS Aquila - Bridge>

John looked to Bridge ceiling briefly as he recalled what details he could. He hadn't heard of the USS Raven, but he had heard of the Hansens, and their also-assimilated child that had gone on become one of the Federation's most effective defences against the Borg Collective. However, refractive shielding was something he knew much of. At that, he stroked his beard and nodded with interest. It stood to reason there were always some countermeasures to detecting the Wanderer's carrier - the Goliath vessel put out an immense energy signature without it - ordinarily its huge hull did much of the work, which was often with mixed success; yet clearly there had been some upgrades in a new attempt to defeat Starfleet sensors. "Noted. Thank you Ensign. Please have the probe continue its study for as long as feasible, hand over actions to your Relief Shift and grab a break. Compile findings upon arrival to Katra. We're in no position to investigate further, nor are we suited for an engagement with the Carrier - but they're also not aware of what resources we now have in range. They're of no immediate threat."

It was true, of course. The Wanderer's huge vessel was strictly more than just a battle carrier - it was their home, and risking it was almost unthinkable. Even when odds were firmly in their favour, the Wanderers just did not risk damaging the only habitat they possessed - and given Katra's consistent victories, the odds of success would have to be completely guaranteed to even bring it into the same star system, let alone weapons range.

"Thank you Captain for the offer of rest but I do not require it yet.  I will remain at my post until we return." Smith said politely as she continued to run her scans right until the probe ended up out of range.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: August 29, 2021, 10:15:43 am »
<USS Aquila - escorting the Refugee Convoy to Katra Station>

Still standing away from his uncomfortable seat, observing the actions among the Bridge crew as they busied themselves with After Action duties, John nodded to the Science Officer. "Understood. The Wanderers are not known to have cloaking technology", he pondered aloud, "but it's clear they have had some new upgrades of late - it's possible that their Carrier has had some additional modifications. Keep me updated with any developments."

With a pause of consideration, he continued briefly. "And good work, Ensign." He meant it - the reclaimed El-Aurian's first foray into service under his command had been…interesting…to say the least. His initial concerns as to her lack of focus had finally melted away; it took, he knew from his own experience, the realism of mortal peril to bring their true duties into sharp relief; and whilst Saxon was not the type of ship's commander that encouraged debate during hostile engagements (perhaps something to reflect upon himself) he had to admit that the Science Ensign had put forward novel enough ideas to assist in turning the tide.

This time.

Still, she showed early promise. As promises were like seeds - they'd only bloom with frequent showers of action.

Smith flashed a sweet smile as she returned to her duties, the compliment was quite nice particularly considering this was her first assignment here.  She glanced at the data, it didnt look like the typical data for a cloaking device.  But something was familiar about it.  Then it dawned on her.  "Sir, you wanted me to let you know of any changes, I have one.  At first I felt this was a cloaking device but it isnt.  Do you remember in the voyagers mission reports, a USS Raven?, it was assimilated by the Borg.  Two human scientists called the Hansens and there daughter Anika?.  Well, I believe the Wanderers are using a advanced form of the Hansens original technology that hid them albeit temporarily.  Refractive shielding.  The data is the same but different.  Its possible they improved upon this technology to service them." Smith said reporting in.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: August 24, 2021, 11:14:51 pm »
Ensign Smith" he said, directing his attention to the Science Officer. "Prepare and launch a class-5 probe, enhanced for high warp, minimal detection; the fighters will have returned to a supply base - either the Wanderer's supercarrier, or an outpost nearby; I'd like to have a snoop of what, where, and why..." The class-5 probe, designed for clandestine autonomous missions, was as close as to a stealth craft outside the USS Starstalker.

[USS Aquila]

"Prepping the probe now and will be ready to launch momentarily." Smith said as she scanned space on a hunch.  "Might not know the what or the why, but I am detecting an ion trail left behind by there ships.  The computer is compiling data on possible trajectories they could take within the distance of the fuel consumption of those fighters.  The Carrier has to be close by and perhaps cloaked, setting our sensors to scan for tachyons." Smith said as she multitasked masterfully.

Sorry slow to reply.  Life got hectic for a few days.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: August 21, 2021, 01:14:16 pm »
"Science: disengage tachyon beam", it was clear the action was no longer effective now the enemy had adapted their shielding. But in doing so... "Configure those ion pulse emitters you've been advocating; but don't waste on torpedoes - use probe casings; set for proximity charges; I don't want them affecting the convoy ships." The probes were less maneuverable, but less detectable, not to mention not depleting the already dwindling torpedo payloads which were doing sterling work all of their own. Any that were missed by the enemy would be an exponential benefit.

[USS Aquila]

"Yes sir, disengaging." Smith said as she began sending the modification data to tactical to change phasers to fire ion beams instead.  Then sent the data down to the science labs to turn the probes meant for data retrieval into EM Mines instead.  As the Captain was right, it was cheaper using probe casing then torpedo casings. 

"Data sent to tactical and science is beginning to retrofit our drone casings for proximity mines." Smith said confirming she heard the orders.

Katra Station / Re: The Wretched Masses - Season 1, Episode 3
« on: August 17, 2021, 10:06:37 am »
<USS Aquila - Bridge>

As both Ensigns Bryson and Smith voices carried over the room, Saxon briefly considered how he hated modern Bridge designs (a somewhat ludicrous and somewhat decadent matter to have entered his mind at the current time); back in the 'golden days', the control centre of a starship had a single chair for the Captain, able to rotate so to address all of the crew in turn. These days, the seating for commanding officers were set forward, with some stations behind & out of sight. Thus, he was unable to address Smith face to face, and even though the enemy ships were bearing down on the starship charging to the rescue, a small part of his consciousness toyed with the idea of standing up to do so. At least, inconvenient Bridge designs would have been the excuse; in reality the truth was that he hated being the focus - his was a lifetime career of being in the background, achieving the impossible for his commanding officers.

That, and the chair was damned uncomfortable.

By sheer force of will, he stayed seated as he replied to her suggestions, quickly and succinctly; unfolding circumstances did not allow for an extended debate. "The risk to refugee ships are too great for them to power down in the midst of an attack; there are too many incoming craft that could exploit their loss of power, and will take too long for reactors to restart, if they do at all. And whilst exploding enemy warp cores pleases me greatly" a small chuckle, quite at odds with the situation, escaped his throat before it was closed down by his professional tone, "their uncontrolled destruction risks the very ships we're trying to protect." Indeed, destroying the enemy was all well and good, but it would be a Pyrrhic victory if the violent detonations of reactors tore through the less-protected convoy ships; not to mention the deflector was a fixed-forward array - like all navigational deflectors - preventing a useful arc of fire for an exclusive means of attack.

"Compromise: modify your tachyon beam to disrupt their power systems enough to enable Tactical to deal with them at a more safe distance.

Ensign Bryson: fire at will at all priority threat forces, and identify viable targets for Ensign Smith to...apply her own brand of-

The ship shuddered as the first barrage of enemy fire splattered over the Aquila's shields. Yet despite the new fury coming their way, all shots directed at them were shots not directed at the more helpless refugees. "They're in my sky" he stated to everyone, in a gruff, gravelled tone reserved for his most cantankerous of moods. "I want them gone."

It remained to be seen which would outlast the other - the shields of the Aquila, or the ever-increasing numbers of enemy fighters.

Yet if courage and resolve powered shields alone, no enemy could hope to breach them.

"Modifying the tachyon beam.  Maybe we should get someone to come up with a more viable deflector beam that rotates? one that 'can' be used as a weapon or perhaps an emitter much like our phasers to fulfill the same take but a Tachyon array instead? Something to look into when we get back?" Smith said making small talk as it seemed to her the Commander needed to get his mind off things a bit and calm down, so it was her subtle way to help.  "Done, the tachyon beam will not detonate warp cores but will disrupt shields.  If we can maneuver our way to get behind those bigger ships." Smith said as she thought for a second.

"As for the fighters, our ship is heavily shielded and would protect us from an EMP though, if we ignites the EMP around us as the fighters come in, they are too small and too unprotected the EMP would harm them more, but the refugee ships will not be harmed, however.  Our own fighters might be caught in the blast radius.  Though, we could tell them to get clear out to a certain distance, it would protect them but take out the fighters who come in to close.  Secondary option, is to figure out how to modify our phasers to emit an ion energy instead of nadion energy and disable them that way.  Though the ion beam has such a short range of effectiveness that the fighters would need to be close.  But would not risk being disabled by the EMP." Smith suggested once again as she wanted to give the Captain every avenue for a non lethal measures until ordered otherwise.

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