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Experiments

Posted on Wed Sep 26th, 2018 @ 4:37pm by Lieutenant Mara Ricci & Lieutenant Benjamin Ingram Dr

Mission: The Eyes of Janus
Location: Ingram's Office
Timeline: Preflight, MD 60 | 02.13

Well, she had done all the off-the-record work she could do and had some good information to present. She felt her case was good and given the XO's interest in experiments, she felt she could count on him to back her up if the Captain had reservations.

So, PaDD in hand, Mara approached Ingram's office and pressed the chime.

The door opened, and Ingram stood in the way. He eyed the door chime, and then turned his attention back to Mara.

“Is the ship on fire?” He asked with a raised Spockian eyebrow.

With a confused blink, Mara hesitated only a moment before stammering, “n-no, sir. But I’ve got an experiment to run past you for live tests. It’s something I’ve been working on for quite some time and simulations have gone very well.”

"That as well maybe," he said, stressing each word as he spoke them. "But in your push to achieve scholastic achievement you maybe have forgotten to take into account some minor temporal slippage. It's 2 AM."

Three confused blinks met that statement. She pressed a button on the side of her PaDD, revealing the time. 0213 it said. "Wow," she said. "I guess time got away from me. I can come back tomorrow. Or, later today, more correctly."

"No, no come in," he said and waved a hand to bid her entry. "I've worked with an assortment of Engineer's in my day, and I find it better to lance these things while they're fresh before awakening to find half of Engineering has been turned into a new form of science which doesn't play by Queensbury Rules."

He walked to the office replicator.

"Can I get you anything? A calming tea? It's amazing how many relaxing sedatives aren't locked out of the replicator database," he said absently.

"No, thank you, sir," replied Mara, only half listening as she entered the office and took the seat oposite his desk. "No matter how awake I am, I'm always asleep as soon as I lay down."

"Bolly for you," he said after the replicator hummed, and turned with a teacup in hand. He blew away the steam rising from it, and gave it an experimental sniff. "But given we are both awake now more than before, perhaps it would be best if you laid out what it is you have been working on."

He waved a hand at his desk.

"The holoprojector should be pairable to your PaDD, feel free to use it."

She did so, quickly pulling up her diagrams. "Well, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you, the reason we can only hold maximum warp for a couple of hours- three on the outside- is because the intermix is in danger of becoming unbalanced," she said. "On the Odysseus, we could hold maximum warp for nearly half a day because they had a different way of creating the intermix. Basically, the matter and anti-matter were thrown together at the very last second. It's a bit dangerous and had to be watched carefully while at maximum warp, but in an emergency, it paid off."

She tapped a couple of buttons and the image zoomed in. "Here, you can see how the device worked," she said, pointing to the Y-shaped device. "You see how they keep them separated until just here, right before it's used. I've been working on my own design, to allow this system to be used as an alternate to the intermix chamber when at high warp. I haven't been able to get it to work because of the ship designs, but the Palatine's design is slightly different and I think I can make it work. I've done plenty of simulations and it seems to be working. Well, the first simulation failed miserably," she said with a slight grin. "But, it always does. You have to let it run to complete failure in order to find all the flaws. But, I've got many other simulations that have been successful. I would like clearance to modify one of the shuttles for field tests."

Benjie sipped his tea, eyed the projection one more time, and looked at Mara.

"Permission denied," he said simply and held up a free hand to forestall further debate. "There is a reason we run antimatter and reaction through an intermix chamber first: its far too potent a reaction to have near a warp reactor. Gamma-ray bursts, neutrino shock, atomic spallation. All of that exotic energy science happens in the intermix chamber, far away from a device used to bend gravity around our little pinky. It would be like using a city power grid to operate a desk fan, sans breaker box."

He made a gripping gesture with his free hand, and the holo image turned and rotated.

"There is a reason every starfaring nation in the Alpha and Beta Quadrant uses an intermix chamber, or a device of similar use: it works safely. This...this smacks of chemical rocketry. Look," he said, turning the Y point down. "Antimatter down one way, matter down the other, the reaction at the intersection and then high energy plasma directly into the warp reactor. Have you done any temperature simulations? Will the carriage holding the dilithium crystal even withstand such an assault? Will the reaction chamber?"

"Yes," answered Mara simply. "To all of it. If it's monitored closely, there shouldn't be any problems. Here," she pulled up the simulation results. "These last 18 simulations were closely monitored. You can see how I was able to safely correct any issues, including here, when I threw everything possible at it," she added, snowing him the second to last simulation. "There were Romulans attacking at high warp and a kamikaze Ferengi and I honestly can't see any of this other stuff happening, either, but at least I can say I've tried everything."

He eyed the simulation data, and then looked over it to Mara.

"And you think this contraption can be scaled down to a shuttle sized unit for testing?" he said and waved a hand over the holo-projection banishing the data back to her PaDD. "I assume you've quizzed the onboard engineering fabricators? Can they forge this? Or do we need to have our tame Tactical Officer lame a metal-rich asteroid for the needed raw materials?"

Mara grinned slightly. "I think we can manage without a mining expedition," she said. "I've got simulations on the scaled-down version, too, if you want to see them."

"No, no," he said, again taking a sip from his cup. "You've shown me enough to at least see the merits in testing this rather explosive hypothesis. The shuttle will be fitted with a probe navigation system, something slaved to the Palatine's main computer. No. Human. Pilot."

He stressed the last words, and then cocked his head to one side.

"Well...for the first few flights anyway."

"It might make it a bit tricky to make adjustments to the matter/anti-matter flow, but I think I can rig up some sort of remote controlled system," she replied, mind already working on the solution. "And let me guess- you want to be on the first manned flight?"

"Oh Lord no," he said with a chuckle, sipping his tea. "I rightly expect....huum...Icarus 1 to be a faster than light fireball. I am more content with my name being attached to papers that detail theoretical minute than the obituary column."

She echoed his laughter with a light one of her own, nose wrinkling prettily. "It's not going to go that badly wrong," she said. "We'll shut it down before that happens."

"I have missed working with an engineer with a sense of humour uncoupled from reality," Benjie smiled and tapped the side of his cup before he said kindly. "It is now nearly 3am."

"So it is," she replied. "I suppose that means we should get some sleep. Alpha shift is going to be murder tomorrow."

Why wait for a murder tomorrow? Ingram thought with a smile, and with his little finger pointed at the door to his office.

With a grin, she headed out the door. "See you in a few hours, sir," she said over her shoulder as she left.

 

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