Prometheus Shakedown by Paul Scott
USS Prometheus NX-59650
Command level access only
Chapter 1 Ė Getting There is Half the Fun
Captainís log: Star date: 81524.0 - "Captain John Lewis commanding USS Prometheus NX-59650 for initial shake down. We have completed initial tests of power systems including the main warp reactor, impulse reactors, and auxiliary power generators. Utopia Planitia did a fine job installing systems in this ship I must give them that. Minor anomalies reported in the auxiliary reactor output in the dorsal section docking latches. I have assigned a crew to track down the problem and we now have all power systems operating within normal parameters. End log."
Captain Lewis had just stepped onto this ships new bridge for the first time 2 days ago and has already begun to feel at home. Since this ship has left space dock an hour ago there have been minor system glitches popping up over every major system. "Commander Barnes, have you gotten the systems fixed yet?"
Lieutenant Commander Samantha Barnes turned from her station to address the captain. "Which ones?" she quipped in a light voice. She had been on the design team and was now fulfilling the role of Chief Engineer on this cruise. She had noted to Starfleet that this design was highly experimental and was not ready for testing. Starfleet, in its infinite wisdom (and due to the war with the Dominion), had decided that a test needed to be performed to evaluate the shipís condition and readiness for action.
Captain Lewis replied, "Specifically the life support and turbo lift systems. Iím getting tired of being cold and having to walk from deck to deck in the Jefferies tubes.
"WellÖ it might be easier if you crawled through them Captain." She quipped back.
She, like most engineers before her had learned from the best, Captain Montgomery Scott of the USS Enterprise. Captain Scott always believed that Captains were like children. They want everything and they want it now. Instead you give them just what they need and they will be pleased.
She continued, "I told you an hour ago that the heaters would take five hours to fix and the turbo lifts eight. The heaters are now fixed and Life Support will be fully functioning in approximately two minutes and the Turbo lift system has a command processor problem. Give me another forty-five minutes to track it down. Iíll know more by then."
"You know, I took the same engineering classes you did, Commander. Please donít pad your estimates again regardless of what Mr. Scott has taught you. I know better than that. So I gather that the turbo lifts will be completely fixed in about twenty minutes then?" Captain Lewis replied.
"If I had known that I would have taken my time. Actually it will only be fifteen. I tracked down the malfunction to some faulty gel packs in the turbo lift command core processors. I have a team down there to determine which gel packs and repair them."
"Very well. And Commander, ease up some. I know you helped design this ship but that doesnít mean that you have the right to talk to me in that manner."
"Sorry Captain. It wonít happen again I assure you."
Captain Lewis looked away from Cdr. Barnes and toward the main view screen. Currently it had stars streaming by like any other ship he had been on while at warp. "Estimated time to Wolf 359, Ensign Skalt?" he asked his helm officer.
Ensign Skalt was a Bolian officer just out of the academy. This is the ensignís first posting and he was a bit nervous when answering the captain. "Approximately 32 hours, SIR!"
"Settle down ensign. I know the academy trains you to be a perfect military officer, but Iím going to let you in on a little secret. Most captainís, myself included, are laid back except in situations when itís necessary. As you gain more experience you will learn when itís appropriate to snap answers and when to just report. Thank you Mr. Skalt. Carry on."
The captain sat in his chair and accessed the intercom. He heard the tell tale Boatswainís whistle sound and began speaking, "All hands, this is the Captain. We will arrive at the test site in approximately 32 hours. I want full systems check with a full list of repairs and current systems failures submitted to your department heads in half an hour. Department heads and senior officers report to the briefing room in forty-five minutes."
He hit the com button again and signed off. Already the warmth was returning to the air and he heard the hiss of a turbo lift opening behind him. He turned around and saw his Science Officer Lt. Alexander Mallory. Lt. Mallory had been with the captain ever since he was an assistant engineer on the USS Phoenix. The captain had brought the lieutenant along because he knew what the man was capable of and so he would have someone to confide in. Lt. Mallory assumed his post at the science station and was now working to call up the systems diagnostics he had been working on.
"Hello Alex. How are the sensors doing?"
"Better than the turbo lifts are. It took me six tries to get to the bridge. About how long on that Commander Barnes?"
Cdr. Barnes replied, "Another hour at ÖÖ" She saw the sidelong glance her captain was giving her and decided better. "Ten minutes, Lieutenant."
All of the sudden the ship went to red alert. The lighting scheme turned from day normal to a red dimmed light to allow their eyes to adjust. Klaxonís went off all over the bridge and personnel dropped their repairs and immediately jumped to man all stations.
"Report!" bellowed the captain.
"Sensors reading quantum fluctuations in subspace recommend immediate drop to sub light." Alex responded.
"Helm answering all stop sir. All warp engines disengaged and main impulse drive offline." Responded Skalt.
"Shields registering fluctuations over the entire forward section. Overall effectiveness now at eighty-two percent!" said the young Ensign currently manning tactical.
"Auxiliary power being fed to sensors and shields." Cdr. Barnes said.
"Alex, do you know whatís happening or do I have to open an airlock and use a tricorder?" asked the captain.
"Sensors register a micro quantum singularity at bearing 012 mark 12. It should be leaving range in approximately five seconds." He replied.
"Stand down from red alert. Track that singularity and send a report to Starfleet command. Sam, did we sustain any new damage from this or is it the same old stuff?"
"It appears not captain. I believe we got off lucky. Now I know where we have some gaps in the shield grid and I will run some simulations to try to correct the problem before we reach Wolf 359."
"Very well. Ensign, resume course and speed. I will be in my ready room."
As he walked from the bridge he could see that the shake down crew had returned to their repairs and were picking up where they left off. He thought of all of the work that Starfleet has put into this new ship design and so far he wasnít impressed. Gaps in the shield grid, Major systems repairs, and sensors that couldnít pick up an anomaly before we were almost right on top of it. He hoped this would be resolved before he reached the test site and was able to conduct a full and proper shakedown.
Chapter 2 Ė The Tests
Captainís log: Star date 81525.6 - "After their near brush with death and the briefing the previous day, the crew of the Prometheus is working harder than ever on getting this ship operational. While I donít approve of the methods I certainly approve of the results. From the list of systems needing fixed or adjusted it seemed to me that we would have to spend a week out here just to finish it. The crew has managed to get over ninety percent of the tasks completed. Some of the problems just fixed themselves when we fixed the major systems. We have arrived at Wolf 359 and are ready to begin testing. End log."
As the captain strode onto the bridge he looked around him and saw that all of the senior officers were present. He turned to his tactical officer Lt. Bíel Trima. Lt Trima is an Andorian officer. He stands about six feet 2 inches tall. Six feet seven inches when his antennae are straight up. At Ops was Lt Cdr TíLar of Vulcan. Her emotionless voice filled the bridge, "Captain on the bridge."
As he strode to his chair his first officer Commander Albert Winston stood up and relinquished command to him. "All crew in position to begin tests. Also I have a helm qualified person at helm on both battle bridges just in case the computer canít link properly with the other sections. Weíre ready to begin on your order sir."
"Make it so." Said the captain.
"Beginning sensor sweeps of derelict starships Melbourne and Kyushu." Said the science officer. "Sensor sweeps match known parameters for these ships. Also registering the biological matter placed in key points to simulate life signs. Now attempting long range scan of USS Excalibur. All scans confirmed. Sensors one hundred percent operational and functioning."
"Engineering tests commencing." Said Cdr Barnes. "Transporters functioning within normal parameters. Shuttle bays responding and automated launch sequenced commencing as planned. Tractor beams functioning normally. Matter / Anti-Matter stream nominal. Impulse engines fully operational. Thrusters operational. Structural integrity at one hundred percent. Structural integrity fields fully operational. Inertial dampeners fully operational. All engineering sub-systems fully operational."
"Tactical tests commencing." Said Lt. Trima. "Phasers online. Photon torpedoes loaded. Quantum Torpedoes loaded. Tri-Cobalt torpedoes loaded. Pulse phasers online and ready. All weapons powered and ready sir. May I commence firing?"
"Take the ship to red alert Commander Winston." said Captain Lewis.
"All hands, Red Alert!"
The lighting shifted again and the crew assumed battle posts. After ten seconds the captain said "You may commence firing at the Melbourne Mr. Trima."
"Yes sir.í Said Lt. Trima. "Firing all phaser arrays."
Phasers shot forth from the emitters all over the ship to connect with the Melbourne in key areas.
"Re-aligning targeting systems with sensor data from runabouts and sensors. Firing again."
Phasers once again shot out and this time they impacted the hulk with such precision that itís space frame just collapsed in on itself.
"Phaser tests complete. Alignment completed. All phaser banks operating within operational tolerances. Moving on to torpedo tests."
Blobs of red, blue, and white, shot from the Prometheus and impacted what was left of the Melbourne. It exploded instantly. "Torpedo guidance is within expected parameters. Ready to activate multi-vector attack mode."
"Helm activate multi-vector attack mode in twenty seconds. All hands this is the captain. Prepare for separation in fifteen seconds."
The ship seemed to come apart at the seams. Where there was once one ship flying there now was three. The computer on the main section still referred to as the saucer section was now supposed to be in control of all three sections. All three sections now formed a triangle around the hulk of the Kyushu and opened fire with the phaser banks. Lances of phaser energy spewed forth from each section as they began to duck and weave through each other.
"Success! All tactical simulations complete with only minor adjustments necessary. Initiating docking sequence." Said Trima. "We will be ready to get under way in one minute."
Alex piped up "Captain, Incoming ship. Bearing 216 mark 34. Distance is 2 million kilometers and closing."
"Yellow alert. Raise shields, Mr. Trima."
"Yellow alert, aye. Shields responding." Said Lt. Trima.
"Any identification on that ship?" asked the captain?
"Sensors register it as an Akira class starship. U.S.S. Thunderchild." said Alex.
"Stand down alert status. Open a channel to the Thunderchild." Ordered the captain.
"U.S.S. Thunderchild, this is Captain Lewis of the USS Prometheus. Nice of you to drop in. What can I do for you, Captain Stone?"
The main view screen filled with the image of Captain Oliver Stone. He was a tall man about 100 years old and still kicking. You could see in the background of his bridge that his ship was at red alert.
"Well captain, I just figured since your weapons are now aimed properly you would like a real challenge. Like one that fights back. Donít worryÖ Iíll go easier on you this time."
Captain Lewis chuckled "If I remember correctly, the last time we did this your ship was about to breach itís warp core and my shields were still at 50%."
"But that was ten years ago. I was still used to the old Miranda Class. Now this ship is one I can appreciate." Captain Stone said. "It has it allÖ. Science labs, medical research bays, holodecks" he added slyly. "Plus enough photon torpedoes and phaser banks to put your ship to shame. What do you say, old man?"
Captain Lewis looked around his bridge at the officers with him. All of them had a smile on their faces. They guessed that Captain Stone didnít see what happened to the hulks they just tested on. He looked at his First officer and simply nodded his head.
Commander Winston immediately piped up, "Red Alert! All hands to Battle Stations! Lt. Trima, Set weapon strength to 1/1000th power and load dummy Mark IX torpedo casings. Cdr TíLar, re-program computer for simulation mode. Have it record all hits and shut down damaged systems as appropriate."
The bridge shifted into a red hue and the crew got to work at their assigned tasks. Within fifteen seconds all hands had reported ready.
The Captain turned to the view screen "Well captain, letís see what sheís got. Good luck to you."
And then it began...
Chapter 3 Ė Combat Conditions
"Sir! Weíve got simulated damage on decks four, eight, and thirteen. Shields down to thirty percent, and there is a fluctuation in the dorsal warp core. We canít take much more of this!" Bellowed Cdr. Winston.
The captain replied, "All hands, Prepare for separation sequence in fifteen seconds. Secure all connections and man auxiliary controls. Whatís the status of the Thunderchild?"
"Her shields are at forty percent. She has exhausted one half of her torpedoes. Theyíve got damage on decks one through five with some buckling in their starboard nacelle. Phasers at seventy-five percent." Replied Alex looking up from his board with disgust. We wasnít too happy about the way that this ship was handling against a single Akira class ship. He knew that the Prometheus outgunned and outclassed the Akira class in every way.
As soon as he was done speaking, the ship began to separate. The massive ship seemed to come apart at the seams and was moving into attack formations. The captain immediately ordered a temporary cease fire and opened a channel to the Thunderchild.
"Captain Stone, We would like one moment to assure that the separated sections are also set to simulation levels. Since this is the first time we have attempted this we would like to ask for a one minute cease fire while we verify all systems. No ships will continue repairs in any way. Is this agreeable?" The captain asked.
"Very well captain. All hands, Stand by to resume in one minute. Simulation is on hold. No changes in shipís simulated status are to occur during this time." Said Captain Stone. He looked back at the view screen and added, "You have one minute, Prometheus. Not one second longer. Mark!"
And with that the screen winked off. The captain was staring blankly at it for a second before he recovered. "Iíve never seen him act like this before. Probably thinks I want a breather since heís winning. Whatís the simulation status for all sections of the ship?"
Lt TíLar answered, "All sections report sim mode was and is currently engaged in all sections. We will commence again in exactly thirty point two seconds."
Thirty seconds later phaser fire lanced out from the Thunderchild. It had begun itís attack run again. The Prometheus began to conduct itís multi-vector assault mode. All three sections of the ship formed a three dimensional triangle around the other ship. In this manner the Akira class had to face at least one section of the ship at all times. Shots rang out of all sections simultaneously effectively crippling the smaller shipís shields.
On the bridge Captain Lewis looked at his crew. They were really getting into this now. He called for a report on the effectiveness of the multi-vector assault mode.
"Sir, sensors show that their shields are down and they have hull breached on all decks. Their structural integrity is at twenty five percent and they have a warp core breach in progress. Estimated time is five minutes. We have effectively won the simulation."
"Hail Captain Stone and send my regards and wish him better luck next time." Said Captain Lewis. "Shields down. Stand down from battle stations. All hands begin docking sequence."
At that exact moment in time the Thunderchild mysteriously exploded in space where it was. A Romulan warbird came fling through the debris and started to take shots at the Prometheus. As the Romulans continued to hit the unshielded ship they also began to transport boarding parties over.
On the bridge Captain Lewis heard the unmistakable sounds of Intruder Alert alarms going off in his head. The crew had a look of shock and horror in their eyes as the first boarding parties beamed aboard. The bridge was a chaos of activity as the Romulans picked off the command crew of the ship. Lt. Trima had fired at the boarders but was unable to repel them all. Before he collapsed he sent a message to Starfleet about the situation. With the crew either eliminated or subdued, the Romulans began the task of cleaning up the ship. Their mission was now half over. They had captured the Federation ship and were going to take it back to Romulus for study.
With the help of the EMH and the EMH from the USS Voyager, the Prometheus was returned to the control of Starfleet. The shipís logs were downloaded and analyzed. The EMH from Voyager was just finishing explaining what happened while the EMH Mark II just asked to be de-activated until there was a medical emergency. Starfleet engineers analyzed the sensor net and sent the Doctor back to Voyager before the net dropped. Now they had the task of dealing with the Romulans.
|Last modified: 10 Apr 2012