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Born to Upgrade

Posted on Fri May 22nd, 2015 @ 7:40pm by Lieutenant Dave Marz & Ensign Corrine Steiner & Master Warrant Officer Vestara Stronghold
Edited on on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 @ 3:51pm

Mission: Blooming Friendships
Location: Flight Bay-12


Just because Ens. Steiner hated Ferengi with a passion, it didn't preclude her from learning from them. Today's practicum was 'persuasion by product presence'. She tapped her combadge, "Ensign Steiner to Warrant Stronghold and Lieutenant Marz... Are you available to join me in Flight Bay Twelve?"

"Just make sure you keep the manifold stress under sixteen." Marz told the crewmember who's work he was supervising. "I will be there shortly, Ensign." He tapped the channel closed. He was tempted to send one of his assistants, but it offered a good chance to see more of the station and interact with more of the crew.

In one of the shuttle slots in Bay-12, Ens. Steiner had all the access panels opened on the vehicle of the hour, an unmanned recon drone. She pushed small program cylinders into their receptacles. They were computer programs implemented as hardwire circuits. Encased in clear plexene armor, they were immune to software viruses and insulated from burrowing microbugs.

Marz strode confidently into the hangar, ready to tackle whatever challenge that needed to be handled. He was eager to prove himself as capable. One thing about Chief Engineers, if you were good, then most people would try to get along with you no matter how much they didn't like your personality. If they didn't feel your expertise on the first assignment, though, then no power could make them change their minds. "Ensign?" He prodded gently, not wanting to startle anybody.

Corrine wheeled around and smiled. "Welcome! Thank you for coming." Briskly rubbing her hands together for a moment, her tone was hopeful, "My suggestion to field some Dominion orbital defence platforms went over like a lead balloon. Apparently, Archa has a phobia of them. So! Mighty Casey is going to swing the baseball bat again." She gestured at the vehicle in show room model fashion, "I give you... the unmanned recon drone for your testing and evaluation." She shrugged, "I thought I might pass it by you guys before approaching Maxwell and the Marines." Corrie handed him a tech data sheet. "They can drop tachyon flares to smoke out cloakers. They can save Maxwell's fighters from being split up or lured off on wild goose chases... and ambushes."

Marz took the data sheet and started going over the specs. "Very interesting. I take it you would be the resident tinkerer?" He said, as he started walking around the drone. "The shielding would have to be impeccable. One of the big problems with implementing this sort of device, is that no one was able to adequately solve the problem of somebody else taking control of the drone and using it against our troops."

Corrine smiled, extracting one of the plexene cores, "Hardwired programs. Each one has a million command codes etched inside, and it randomly negotiates rotating encryption with our CIC." She shrugged, "Plus the fact that it's long on recon and short on weapons, not much of a danger to anyone. Even ramming, they're not terrifically lethal."

"Physical power switch to make sure they're not passively scanning us either." Marz assumed. "Not bad. I'll double check the schematics, but not bad at all from an engineering standpoint. Least you weren't calling to complain about a replicator. You would not believe the amount of those getting funneled in from civilians all day."

"If you'd like, I'll analyze the spread of complaints, see if maybe they're something that upgrades or mods might cure?"

"Already underway. But if you were volunteering to be liaison from engineering to the civilians..." Marz countered, with a mock threat.

Corrie smiled playfully, holding up the recon drone command key. She gestured towards a console seat which more resembled a cockpit than a workstation, "Care to fly Seeker out for a test run?"

"Play with a new toy? Well, since you twisted my arm..." Marz headed over to the cockpit and started to look at the controls. You know, I think we can move some of these controls up to the HUD. Decrease time looking off-target."

"Hey, go for it, Lieutenant!" Corrie chuckled, "Now I know how Traxx feels! I feel like a shuttle salesman."

Vestara walked over to the two officers and frowned. "Sorry I'm late, had training sessions run longer then I expected. What did I miss?"

Corrie happily announced, "Weee, good friend, are evaluating an unmanned recon drone!" She stepped aside so that he could stand close to Marz. "A gaggle of of these could greatly alleviate mundane burdens on manned patrols. They can also be valuable help for cloak hunting!"

"Don't we already have them out and patrolling? I mean we'd still need some people involved in everything. We have up until now." Vestara replied with a smile.

Corrie nodded, "The beauty of this system is, they can chipped to fly out autonomously on general patrols. They can coordinate with each other and also with starbase strategic AI." She shrugged, "Our biggest worry would be an enemy trying to send back chameleon drones."

"Maybe complete disassembly of the drones upon return for analysis and rebuild for deployment. I mean it will mean additional time but if security is breached I'd rather we know about it as it or even before it happens then after." Vestara said with a smile.

Corrine gave a nod, "Agreed. Even the disassembly and inspection can be partially automated... integrated into maintenance and repair."

It looked like kindred spirits began to bond with common interests and goals. It felt like more a hobby than a job, a recreation and not a burden.



Lt. David Marz
MWO Vestara Stronghold
Ens. Corrine Steiner

Starbase 332
Pegasus Fleet


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