Subject: FRONTIER: Caroline's ponderings

Time: SD 70704.1830


Caroline felt satisfied as they left the system behind. Beta shift 
personnel were now manning the key bridge positions, and no longer 
were there any tired faces.

With the situation under control, she had opted to investigate the 
weapons systems a little more closely. It definitely would not do to 
have crew unprepared for the side-effects of prototype equipment. So 
far she had read up on the less-than-perfect weapons and was beginning
to form an opinion on each one.

The Quantum Plasma Diffuser was extrememly powerful and she could not 
fathom out why or how it had been fitted to such a small ship as 
this. It had sucked the life out of the ship while it charged, and
then burned itself out whilst firing. This one, she suspected, would
be something they might be wasting their time with, for all the
in-flight research they would have to perform to get an idea of how it
worked, then to correct its flaws. True enough, they had the
specifications right here, but nothing was mentioned of the basic
principle involved.

The next was slightly more promising. Still a little too ambitious on 
the power side, but perhaps less likely to give them problems. Clearly
the design was a relatively flawless advanced prototype. This 
dual-mounted tractor beam system was designed to rip ships apart with 
powerful shearing forces, vaguely reminiscent of a weapon used by the 
Borg. Quite interesting, but still untested - and tests would be 
treated very warily now, after the fiasco with the QPD.

Most striking though, was the last on the list. The dilithium 
resonator bolt-torpedoes were limited in supply although they could 
manufacture more using replicators, obviously at cost to energy 
availability. Basically, the torpedoes were designed to cause 
disruption in the dilithium chambers of target ships in a large 
radius. To prevent accidental damage to the launching ship, the 
torpedoes were keyed not to resonate on the frequency of the ship's 
own dilithium chamber. The effects of the weapon would vary between 
causing power outages on the target ship(s) and outright destruction 
as an overload occurred. Very potent, and apparently already tested 
with a degree of success. The difficulty was that not all ships used 
power systems involving dilithium chambers and such, in particular 
Romulan Warbirds used a quantum singularity which would most likely be
unaffected by this weapon. On the other hand, the Kizinti ships all 
used the standard dilithium chamber system, which eliminated that 
little difficulty.

The only two problems she could forsee with this last weapon were 
firstly, that it only took into account the dilithium chamber 
frequency of the launching ship. Fine if they were on their own, but
at the moment the torpedoes could not afford to store the multitude of
frequencies that would correspond to the whole of Starfleet. Not only 
did the frequencies change gradually with time as the crystal 
structure was recrystallised time and time again but, and this was her
second point, it would cause blindness to bands of frequencies which  
would reduce its effectiveness.

She turned her attention briefly to the forward viewscreen, then to 
the Engineering reports, which indicated a slow return to normal 
working conditions within a few hours. The minor systems which had 
also suffered because of the QPD were already showing signs of 
automatic recovery.

Glancing over at Ops, Caroline noted that Houston had finally taken a 
break from her duties. It was quite fortunate that they had an officer
who could operate at their station non-stop, but a luxury that they 
did not require now since everyone knew what post they were assigned 
to and when. She smiled slightly as she remembered the troubles they'd
had for the first few shifts.

Looking over the shift roster, she immediately saw evidence of 
inter-crew relationships. The arrangement of off-duty time was very 
enlightening. Ignoring the obvious coincidence that marked her 
marriage to Will and their need for time together, Caroline observed 
that Houston and Festore were involved to some unknown extent. Sampter
and Sykes... she knew about. Apparently Ruth had taken her advice and 
something appeared to be in the makings between her and Neil.

She switched her gaze back to the main status reports and closed the 
roster file. There would be little happening over this shift owing to 
their noticeable lack of velocity. Sublight travel was slow, but it 
was better than sitting around doing nothing. It did tend to get 
mundane, however. Her attention was quite tenable; she had lost count 
of the number of times her gaze had wandered to the dedication plaque 
for the Frontier which, in small writing below the name and launch 
stardate, read "A Frontier is only there for people who dare not
cross it." It was an unusual message, but appropriate.

                       Respectfully submitted:

                            Sam M. Edwards
                 [Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, XO FRONTIER

                     "Eat any good books lately?"

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