Part of Starbase Bravo: The Wreck of Us and Bravo Fleet: We Are the Borg

New inquiries on the holodeck

Starbase Bravo Cadet Union Holodeck
June 2401
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“Computer, isolinear chip drive” Cal had been surprised the Cadet Union’s holosuites weren’t already booked out. But had jumped at the chance to walk right into a 2 hour private session. As the doors sealed behind him he inserted the chip into the awaiting drive, navigating through his personal files and extracting his user preferences.

“Load program Prax Delta 7” the operations center of a Federation Shipyard materializing around him. Cal took a moment to wander the ops center, he knew it was a long way away but he still found himself yearning for the chance to design a real starship. Making his way to an engineering station he opened another labeled ‘Project Locutor’. Anyone watching him would assume it a feat of hubris but since watching the squadron of Inquiry class cruisers appear in orbit of Trill, he had been fascinated by the class. Soon the fascination had become at obsession, he’d spent hours on the holodeck working on his design for an Inquiry variant.  

He had taken inspiration from early plans for the Ross Class he had encountered during his time at the Advanced Operations Centre. A focussed command and control ship with greater self-sufficiency at the cost of versatility. After months of designing redesign and scrapping his various ideas he was making progress on a viable design. Even if only a passion project he hoped that he would be able to include its design in applications for ship design roles. His most significant departure from the original Inquiry class design had been the removal of the interchangeable mission pods. 

Cal envisioned the as-yet-unnamed class at the centre of smaller battle groups operating for extended periods of time away from spacedock. Necessitating the inclusion of a small industrial replicator suite and expanded auxiliary craft. Though the increase to the ship’s mass and power requirements placed added strain on a Class-9 warp core. Despite his best attempts to re-tune the core for the new hull geometry had reduced the ship’s top speed significantly. 

“Alright let’s try this again” talking to himself had always been a helpful way to make sense of a mind moving faster than he could fully understand. Though the isolation of Advanced Ops had only reinforced the habit.

“Computer, load the Project Locutor bridge prototype and route engineering data to command station.” As he spoke the scene around him shifted to an adapted Inquiry bridge, taking the captains chair a subtle smirk stretched across his face “Run test-flight interstellar space, I want to run another efficiency test on the warp field stability above 9.5”

“Punch it” He was still working on his warp phrase, Captain Pike’s hit it had been an early frontrunner but Cal had at least wanted to try add his own spin to it even if it was the same spin so many cadets had gravitated toward so easily. 

“Warp 9.5 achieved” the holodeck’s announcement brought him back to his experiment. Slowly he pushed the simulated ship closer and closer to the Inquiry class’ top speed, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8.

 

“Warp 9.9, simulated core showing minor fluctuation” Cal watched his console as the various monitoring data came through. The instability was to be expected but he doubted it would be enough to be a notable issue. 

“It will stabilize, accelerate to 9.95” 

“Warp field integrity failing, risk of violent deceleration 17%, 24%, 37%, 49%…” as the computer continued Cal tried to reduce the ship’s simulated speed yet even below Warp 9 the fluctuations continued.

“Computer save program” he took note of the adjustments he had made to the design before retrieving his isolinear chip and exiting the holodeck feeling dejected.

Cal had planned to scope out the academy campus further but his struggles with the Locutor had soured his mood. On Earth he would have taken a transporter trip to Paris to clear his head after a rough day in the lab. On Sol station he’d taken to watching the planet below from one of the station’s many observation decks after long hours recalibrating shield harmonics. Here on Starbase Bravo he was yet to find his niche, his tour guide had rushed him through the recreational facilities, only stopping on the odd occasion that Cal had lingered in a single spot long enough for him to notice. Not knowing where else to go he took a turbo lift to Delta section. Hoping that even watching ship construction from afar would be enough to shake him from his rut. 

“Even Chief O’Brien struggled to get the Defiant operational” he had been telling himself the same thing ever since he’d had the initial ideas for the Locutor. O’Brien had been Cal’s inspiration for pursuing engineering classes at the academy, the young cadet even taking additional engineering courses as electives in the hopes he would one day meet the legendary professor.

Looking out over the exploratory cruisers being refitted and restocked he found a dull sense of calm, his agitation slowly fading away.

“All will be well” he took a deep breath and headed back toward his quarters.