Designing a new pod.
Posted on Sun Jan 23rd, 2022 @ 5:20am by Lieutenant Jason Beauvoir & Lieutenant Commander Alexander Espersen
The Dexic Negotiations
Location: Starbase 614 Fabrication Centre
The fabrication centre on Starbase 614 was as impressive as the one at Earth Spacedock. More so, actually. 614 was remote. It needed its own infrastructure far more than Earth did, with its multiple shipyards within light-minutes. Here, Alexander Espersen could get some real work done.
He stood at a window in the main control room, looking down on the vast manufacturing facility which would turn his (and Lieutenant Beauvoir’s) vision into reality. It was empty now. Its crew and computer systems were awaiting user input.
“Can I help you, si—oh no.”
A young Ensign approached Alexander from the side and recognized the Lieutenant Commander as he got closer. His face paled and he stepped back.
Ah. A former student of mine, apparently, Alexander thought wryly. “At ease, Ensign. You’re not handing in a badly done class project, so I’m probably not going to yell at you. Probably.” He smirked and gave the Ensign a wink. “I’m here for the Chimera job. Orders from Commodore Everly we’re registered this morning. I’ll call someone when we’re ready to build.”
The Ensign gave a quick ‘yes sir’ and scurried away, leaving Alexander to stand at the holographic input console, waiting for the arrival of his design partner.
Since leaving the Commodore's office, Jason had grabbed a few PADDs from his temporary quarters and started making some sketches. He arrived at the fabrication centre in time to see a pale looking Ensign fleeing the area, as if his life depended on it.
"Have you been scaring the natives, sir?" Jason asked Alexander, by way of a greeting.
“Only when they’ve deserved it,” Alexander answered with a smirk on his face. “Computer, display standard dorsal pod of a Luna-class starship. Vector mode.”
A holographic representation of the Chimera’s pod, displayed in semi-solid blue-grey lines and shapes, appeared hovering over the table in the middle of the room. Alexander touched one side and gently shifted and rotated it, confirming that the two of them could manipulate the hologram to see what they needed to see.
“Here we are. Two decks. Well, more like two and a half, with this chunk of negative space here,” Alexander said, gesturing to the bottom of the pod. “Deck A is small, just this dome structure presently containing the sensor array and the probe launch tubes. Deck B runs the length of it and includes a scientific analysis centre, probe storage, and in the floor to the sides is life support equipment. Our task: improve. Where do you think we should begin?”
"We should start by finding a way to utilise the negative space, if this is a hybrid pod, we need to use every available millimetre." Jason said.
"I was thinking the same thing," Alexander said, nodding. He manipulated the hologram to display the pod's lower area. He used a 'paint' tool to modify the outer hull, filling in the negative space at the pod's ventral surface. "Alright. This has effectively created a complete third deck. We'll need to add access ladders and extend life support into the space, but that can come later. As for use, I think this is the ideal place to store probes and an added complement of torpedoes. We can also move the launching mechanisms and tubes down here, freeing up some space above."
"Makes sense." Jason said. He looked over the original schematics. "We use space more efficiently, if we broke the sensor array down into smaller components and it will have only a marginal reduction in sensor efficiency." He suggested after a moment.
“I like it,” Alexander said. “And we can keep that margin small between our departments and Operations. Compensate as the situation calls for it.” He spun the holo image so the dorsal side was up. He removed much of the old sensor array and replaced it with multiple smaller units scattered across the top. “Removing all that sensor machinery frees the top dome’s interior. I had an idea about that.” He touched his fingers to the image and stretched them, which zoomed in on the dome. “Computer, copy Mark III Intrepid-class Astrometrics Lab and paste into A Deck.” As ordered, the image filled in with one massive screen and many other small ones. “In the empty space at six o’clock, add a tactical holomap.” He looked to the science officer. “This space will be perfect both for scientific analysis, especially of stellar phenomena, but also for battle planning and coordination, should the need arise. It also means we gain more space on B Deck, since we don’t need the Analysis Centre anymore.”
"Do we have room for a small isolation lab?" Jason asked. "We're bound to come across, new diseases, and toxic or radioactive materials that need to be isolated from the rest of the ship." He explained.
"We do," Alexander answered. "The former analysis centre on B deck is the perfect space. Computer, replace section 12 with a class 4 CBR isolation suite. Scale as necessary." The area once containing the analysis centre was now contained an isolation lab. There was an access airlock with decontamination systems and personal protective equipment storage, and a lab with lockers, work benches, and two biobeds. There was also a small adjoining observation room for looking into the lab, which was also equipped with two glove boxes, so one could manipulate samples from the outside safely.
"The last thing," Alexander said, "would be computing power. With all of these added systems, I think a dedicated computer core would be useful. What do you think?"
"Indeed, but we'd have to scale it down, perhaps we could use one from a Danube Class runabout." Jason said. "If required we could probably fit some extra processors in other parts of the pod."
"Brilliant." Alexander spun the holo-pod again. "Computer, does the station have computer cores meant for Danube-class runabouts on board?"
"Good. Incorporate one on B Deck, behind the main access ladder between the decks." He looked to Jason. "This is where the probe launching system was. That's all been moved to C deck though. Now, one last thing, computer. Extend main access ladder to C deck and expand life support systems appropriately to account for the increase in volume, ensuring not to interfere with the isolation lab's dedicated system."
More machines filled a few negative spaces between bulkheads on the hologram.
"What do you think, Jason?" Alexander asked.
Jason studied the holo. "It appears satisfactory." The Science Officer said, in an impression of a Vulcan, eye brow raise and everything.
Alexander smirked. “Some might consider that high praise.” He tapped on a console and the holo image disappeared. “I’ll bring this to Commodore Everly and Station Ops for approval. With their sign-off, construction can begin tomorrow.”
"Understood." Jason said. "It was a pleasure working with you, Commander."
“And you, Lieutenant,” Alexander agreed. “Now go have fun. I’ll close up here.” He was pleased to have been able to work so well with another senior officer of his new assignment. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
"Okay, sir. Thank you, sir." Jason said and left the room.
Lieutenant Commander Alexander Espersen
Lieutenant Jason Beauvoir
Chief Science Officer