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Main Sim [Engineering]: The Boridium Solution

Posted Feb. 28, 2021, 3:59 p.m. by Ensign Caelian Weir (Engineering Officer) (Jason Wolfe)

Posted by Ensign Caelian Weir (Engineering Officer) in Main Sim [Engineering]: The Boridium Solution

Posted by Fleet Captain Drudoc Andone (Commanding Officer) in Main Sim [Engineering]: The Boridium Solution
[snip]

“Energy is one of our greatest resources right now. Whether it’s dilithium, hydrogen, deuterium, or antimatter the Ark Angel needs fuel to do just about everything. And since we’re quite far from Federation space, we need to make every source of fuel count. Thankfully this region of space seems to have a proverbial gold mine of solutions in the form of natural boridium. While we’re still not sure exactly how the stuff occurs naturally, what we should be concerned with is that it’s here… and remarkably pure. It’s proven quite simple to refine and—”

Klaproth’s face hardened enough that it should have cracked. “Your notes were thorough on your process, Ensign. I’m more interested in understanding your proposed modifications.

“Y-Yes, sir.” Caelian grit his teeth and tapped a few commands into the workstation display. The cascading data faded and the drive schematic loomed closer to fill the display. He indicated several highlighted sections. “In three hours and with a modest team, I can have our impulse drive and auxiliary systems running on modified boridium generators. For the sake of efficiency I’d like to make the bulk of the modifications here, on Deck 18. We can repurpose one of the emergency transporter rooms to serve as storage and containment for the reaction chamber. That way if there’s a problem our simulations didn’t catch, we can beam the unit safely into space. Our current systems would remain intact, allowing us to restore power and maintain a relatively-uninterrupted level of service—especially in an emergency situation.”

Klaproth nodded. “A fuse, then.”

“Yes, sir, basically.” Caelian gestured to a faint protrusion on the projected ship’s hull. “Optimally, I would rather modify the ventral section here to make the entire system ejectable. It would take two weeks to assure structural integrity, containment, and defensive strength, but we’d be able to cut the whole thing loose in a crisis if our power systems were damaged or compromised. It would also be a larger draw on our current resources, so it’s a matter of risk either way.”

“Either we modify for efficiency’s sake to get underway and risk containment issues,” the lieutenant murmured thoughtfully, “or we chance to deplete resources that we might need on the way home for the sake of security.”

“Exactly, sir. If we were in Federation space, I wouldn’t have even considered such heavy modifications to the ship but…”

Klaproth’s expression softened for a moment, grew distant. Almost melancholy. “Understood. Proceed.”

“We would store any additional, dormant boridium in Shuttle Bay 1. Modifications for containment would be minimum, and if there were an issue with our stores it wouldn’t be hard to jettison it into space. In the worst-case damage to the ship would prove minimal, and we’d still have the other shuttle bays for use. Hull reinforcements in those areas are more than satisfactory to minimize risk, and it’s closer to Deck 18 than other options I’ve looked at.”

The lieutenant leaned closer and nodded at the display. “I see you’ve added an auxiliary intermix chamber. Another failsafe against disaster?”

“No, sir. While the element is similar to the stuff we know back home, this boridium has a slightly different reaction rate. I had to add it to maintain flow rate and reaction pattern to minimize output discrepancy.”

Another nod. “How much of a power loss will we see once this system is online?”

“Loss?” Caelian blinked. “I didn’t mean to imply we were going to lose efficiency, sir. We’re looking at a zero-point-seven-three percent increase in power output from either modification.”

The corner of Klaproth’s mouth twitched. Had he almost… smiled? “Just making sure you’re paying attention, Ensign. This is solid work, but I see several flaws in your design. With a few simple, further modifications we would likely be able to increase power to the ship’s systems by at least one-point-seven percent.”

Caelian shook his head. “I understand, sir, but I was also concerned that the increase would overload the ODN conduits on Decks 12 and 17, as well as increase strain to the aft EPS grid. Once we can secure additional supplies, we can adapt the ship to the increased flow. My primary concern was getting us underway as soon as possible. Safely and reliably.”

The lieutenant keyed the display into stand-by mode and turned to him. Whatever engineering understanding had passed between them was quickly buried under the man’s usual guise. Turning, he retrieved Caelian’s data pad and handed it to him.

“Ensign, organize your team and get started on the projected power relays and auxiliary shunts.” Klaproth nodded suggestively toward the workstation. “I’ll add my recommendation to your proposal and pass it along to the chief for the captain’s consideration during the next staff meeting. If you think of anything else, you have until the end of your shift to let me know. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.” Caelian nearly vibrated with excitement. Progress! “Thank you, sir. I’ll get started right away.”

—Caelian Weir, Engineer—

Weir’s comm badge chirped indicating an incoming transmission. =/\= “Genard to Weir. Caelian, I got it!” Claude was obviously excited, almost giddy as he spoke. “I have run several simulations and I have a way to refine the natural boridium to a something similar to the synthetic element we have in the Alpha Quadrant. Then we can work with it in a way we are familiar with.” =/\=

=/\= “I’m going to check in with Lieutenant Fayth. Can I meet you down in Engineering?” =/\=

  • Lt. Claude Genard

Genard? There was a shudder from deep in his stomach. He was silently glad Klaproth had gone. Argh, I was supposed to keep him posted! Smemorato, Cael!

With a sheepish grin, he tapped his comm badge. =^=Weir here. I’m about to gather a team together to begin those modifications we talked about. I, uh.. got a little distracted with the proposal. Apologies. It should take me a few to organize everything, so I’ll see you when you get here. Weir out.=^=

If Genard had a better way to refine the boridium, that was one less hiccup he’d have to deal with later. Admittedly, Caelian had been more concerned with how to use the stuff than making sure it could be used. He’d known that he could, and that had been enough to get a fire under him. Someone else helping with another piece of the puzzle was an added bonus.

Setting to work, Caelian pulled up Engineering’s duty rosters. He knew he couldn’t necessarily cherry pick his team, but he had some names he hoped he could pull in to get the job done. Then there was the matter of acquiring the proper equipment, replicating the necessary parts, and a litany of other things. He chuckled at a thought, brushed it aside and pressed on while waiting for Genard to arrive.

Sorry, Mal, he thought wryly. The tinsel will have to wait.
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—

{Ye Olde Bumpe, 2/28]


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