Unfortunately there wasnt any nearby cabling data feed system that could handle the data lines needed for the complex tactical targeting data from the bridge to the armory. The most obvious answer temporarily would be to run a huge data line from the tactical console from the bridge, down the side of the turboliftt to this deck, cut a hole in the wall panel from there then run the cable down the corridor into the armory and to the fire control station here. But again they did not have enough high capacity spare cabling to make such a long cable run!
El frowned. She had hoped for something tangible. But what about intangible? “What about wireless?” she said. They’ve had wireless systems for centuries now. They were on D Deck with the launchers below them. That was only 3-4 decks between them and the bridge controls. Sure it wouldn’t be as direct and fast as a opti-cable link but it would be much faster than a manual feed from the bridge. Decking would hold some interference but if they could be linked to wireless data hubs between decks the information would get here so much more accurately.
”..The wireless might work but the latency delay would be such that by the time the orders got here and fired the target would likely be out of scope of where the orders said. Maybe having an open comm link would be quicker relaying firing patterns..” he suggested.
“There has to be a way of automating that better. I mean relaying firing patterns over the comms is nothing more than passing you a physical note in class. Well what if we took two communicators and rigged them, one on the bridge and one down here and applied the targeting data from there down to here. If one has to speak it through the internal comms surely a communicator has to be faster than that.” El was sure there was a way of doing some kind of link. It wouldn’t be perfect but it had to be better than dictating out a firing pattern that needed to be manually punched in.
While El was finishing up her work NE Harry spoke from nearby. “..Huh seems we got company, three earth cargo freighters showed up on scans, they’re holding position about 30 meters off our bow..” he said.
“Did you say 30 meters?” El said, surprised. THAT was close. That was more like an interstellar hug than anything. “Let’s see,” she said. “Are they armed?” At that range they’d not even be able to polarize the shields before they could do anything. They could ram them for that matter. The armory here wouldn’t even need to have targeting data. They could look out the window and point. No, El, snap out of that thinking. They were only earth cargo ships. She wondered what stories they would have to tell of their travels! She would bet some would be dreamy and amazing, having seen places that El could only imagine for now. She’d seen one new world. How many had they seen? Her thoughts were interrupted with ..
”..Odd to have three show up like this though, no real trade runs out this way that I recall..” NE Biff replied.
NE Harry did a double take at El’s words then glanced at his readings again. “..Err correction I meant kilometers..” he said blushing.
El was almost ready to run to a window and wave but that distance seemed more normal. Still very small by any kind of spatial notations but still it felt close to her. Would they get to meet them? What did they know about the planet and the system? How long had they been coming here? Could a corporation claim the planet for itself and that they were late to the game?
“No, you’re right.” El remembered their reason for being here. “We’re here because nobody else wants it or really travels through here. Starfleet sent us here to lay claim to it. She took a seat. “Looks like there are active comms channels. Going to try to tap into it to hear what they are saying.” It wasn’t precisely standard protocols and El may get into trouble for doing it but if there were issues she’d want to know as it happens rather than getting a call down after. Yes, the channel was an open comms frequency feed to the bridge speaker system. For all El knew they were trading recipes. Getting an audio feed from the Bridge was not easy .. perhaps she could just coax the system to let her hear what was passing through the speakers.
She glanced to Biff. “We could use Sayers here now, you know, Rick Walters’ bunk mate. Mark grew up on a Boomer transport. He might have a better idea of what was going on.” But if wishes were water they would be drowning about now. “Do cargo ships travel together often?” she asked Biff.
- El, Eng
A few NE’s gave shrugs, “..Depends on their route, the dangers, amount the colony orders, etc. It isn’t unknown though, sort of like wagon trains in the old west..” Harry said again.
El didn’t know much interstellar law. Well she had the same classes as anyone and remembered it but Earth had done nothing really in terms of claiming territories. “Do you suppose they are, what is the word, homesteading? And got to the planet before us?” Sure they were on the same team but that didn’t mean that teams were not competitive. Corporations still held a lot of sway on Earth and had done so ever since the wars. Countries and a growing Earth council still were picking up the pieces and funding land based builds. Starfleet was an ambitious attempt to pull the nations and groups together to a single purpose. But that was still put together and built by corporations, as were a great deal of the merchant fleets.
- El, Eng
”..Hard to say, but going off the scans they’re cargo ships, not colonization ships or scouts..” One NE replied.
El watched the three ships move in and pass quite close to them. That seemed .. rude of them to do it. Sure space was big but that looked intentional. “What do you think?” she asked the others there. “We might have to reset the data that the tactical station would have to be less detailed to enable the communicators to be able to handle the transmission. Or even, what if we set up a hand scanner to take the information and translate it into a comms signal and hook that in series to it to then transmit down here and reverse engineer it?”
- El, Ene
NE Harry spoke up again, “..I mean yeah we can but we still have the latency issue, equipment just isnt up to snuff to handle the conversion speeds. In fact that method probably would be even worse then a wireless carried signal array. Fastest option would be to have an open comm line directly to the bridge, either by hand unit or direct comms. Orders could be relayed then by the armory officer there and we load target and fire here. There’s still a delay but less chance of misfires or misses I would think..” he said. “..Sort of like old oceanic fighting vessels on Earth in the early 1900s or such..”
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