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Cochrane Medal of Excellence

Posted on Mon May 29th, 2023 @ 5:41pm by Ensign Cihl Theidi
Edited on on Tue Jun 20th, 2023 @ 9:54pm

0 words; about a 1 minute read

Mission: The Sins of History
Location: Holodeck 3 - Deck 5 - USS Artemis
Timeline: MD002 - 0100 hrs

"All Systems are ready."

Ensign Cihl Theidi looked up at the Warp Core before him, his eyes carefully studying the new modifications that had been applied to the device that was, perhaps, the most important piece of equipment aboard the ship. Regrettably, if this didn't work, it was also the most dangerous weapon that had ever existed in the history of time. This would all require precise movements, dedication to work, and the drive to build a better future for everyone.

Approaching his workstation, the Chief Engineer brought up the data for the millionth time. The Coaxial Warp Drive Project had been designed to create a true future for the Federation away from the needs of Warp Drive. An enhancement on the existing system, the Coaxial Drive operated by folding space in upon itself and allowed a vessel to travel an insane distance within the wink of an eye. Unlike traditional Warp Drive, the ship traveled through subspace in a protected bubble that there was no need to fear the possibility of collision with any object, making the old adage 'faster than light no left or right' a thing of the past. It also allowed the ship to travel without being tracked, a great advantage.

Typing on the console he opened a channel to the Bridge, "We're ready to test."

On the other end a voice came, "Remember this is only a test, Chief. We're going to engage the drive, get as much sensor data as we can, then power down. One step at a time."

"No argument here," he typed on the keyboard built into his wall mounted terminal. "If I may be so bold can Helm control be rerouted to Engineering?"

There was a momentary pause on the other end, but then the answer came, "We'll monitor your progress from here. You know if this is successful you're going to get the Cochrane Medal."

Theidi smiled inwardly, thinking of what such an award would truly mean. He pulled away back to the reality, "Awards aren't important - building a stronger Federation is. Are we ready?"

"Transfer complete."

Cihl was relieved to hear the approval. Bringing up the last recommendations from his partners at Deep Space 12, Cihl began implementing their final calculations. "Chief, bring the Coaxial Drive online. Set course for the Dytallix System, Coaxial Factor 1."

"Course laid in."

"Captain, would you like to do the honors?" the young Engineer asked as he checked the configuration yet again.

"Engage at your discretion, Chief."

The Ventaxian smiled, "Yes Sir. Engage!"

The temporary Helmsman smirked, "I was hoping for something a bit more original than Engage, but I'll take it." The Bolian slid his fingers gingerly over the interface, "Engaging engines."

Now the true tests began. Everyone in Engineering was on deck working as best as they could to ensure that the engines were functioning at full capacity. The Coaxial Drive would be the next generation in travel when they succeeded and the entire future of the Federation was waiting on them. A series of panels started to over before him as the engines charged to allow them to travel into Coaxial Speeds for the very first time.

One of the other technicians spoke up from the Pool Table, "The matrix is charging, but not at a fast enough rate. We need to enhance the particle stream."

"We can't. The readings from Voyager were very specific. The particle stream had to meet certain criteria and we're within them," Theidi countered from his own seat.

A series of alarms started to blare throughout Engineering, the lights lowered as the warning panels started to strobe. The Warp Core itself started to shimmer as the energies inside of it changed. The same technician who warned that they needed to change the particle stream was the one to call out, "We have an increase in radiation within the Warp Core. The system's overloading."

The comline engaged, "Ensign, we're reading an overload in the Warp Core. If you can't stabilize the Drive immediately, evacuate!"

"Working on it," the young Engineer's fingers were a blur as they changed settings, manipulated energy fields, did everything in their power to prevent the overload of the engines. No matter what he did the engines kept on their downward spiral. "Generate a symmetric warp field around the ship. That should stabilize..."

"I already tried," the other Engineer announced, "it's not working."

Cihl sighed, "Cut all power to the Drive! Cut the power relays," he pointed at one of the Technicians at the rear of the Engine Room then to another, "Decouple the Dilithium Matrix. We have to stabilize the Drive in the next thirty seconds or the entire ship will be destroyed!"

As his fingers raced over his console trying to do the very things that he'd just ordered his crew to do, Cihl couldn't help but be reminded of the dangers of an explosion involving a Coaxial Induction Drive. Coaxial Warp could literally fold the fabric of space to allow a ship to travel instantaneously across huge distances, but if it failed it could collapse space within a radius of a billion kilometers. Even at full impulse they'd never escape the blast radius.

"It's not working!" One of the Technicians cried out.

Another, "We're losing containment! The core is about to breach!"

"Coolant leak," a third screamed as plasma coolant started to jet from the conduit nearest the Core itself.

Their time was up. Cihl, defeated, announced, "Computer, terminate program."

Immediately the chaos around him was gone, replaced by the traditional hologrid of the Artemis' holodeck. The danger was over for the simulated crew, the test a resounding failure, and his mind realized that he'd ordered the termination of the program a little too late. Instead of remaining safely seated, the stool at his workstation vanished along with the panel, causing him to fall to the deck.

Laying upon the ground staring at the lights the Chief Engineer couldn't help but ponder his failure and hoped that his skill with the real engines of the Artemis were better than those of the simulated engines that Engineers dreamed of building.

Ensign Cihl Theidi
Chief Engineer, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit


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