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CHAPTER 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

[ USS Theurgy | Senior Staff Meeting | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | 0900 hrs. ]
Attn: Kurohigi, Brutus, IronFerrox, Nolan, The Counselor, TheBanshee, Cathreen Dawinter & CanadianVet

At the head of the table sat Captain Ives - in his male form - with Yeoman Henshaw beside him, ready with her computer console to both take notes and monitor ship status reports and Bridge logs while the Senior Staff was gathered in the Conference Lounge. For this particular meeting, Cameron would have the double duty of monitoring the Harbinger ship too, since Captan Vasser was present as well together with his First Officer, CMO, Chief Conn Officer and Chief Ravenholm - serving both as head of Engineering and Ops on the Akira-class starship.

Jien looked between the gathered faces - new and old - before he stood up. Captain Vasser sat on the other end of the long table, but since the Theurgy was his ship, he would be moderating the meeting.

"Good morning," he said and stood up, folding his hands behind his back, "While he is not Senior Staff, I would first like to welcome our Holographic Specialist, Lieutenant Lin, to the meeting, since he will be speaking later on together with Thea. The only one not present is Temporal Affairs Officer Morali, who needs to recover in Sickbay for a while longer. So, I'm going to apologise in advance to our newly joined or promoted Senior Staff Officers, as there is hardly any time for introductions to be passed around. I request that you take the time after the meeting to speak with those present that you are unfamiliar with, but I hardly think there is anyone present that has failed to recognise the names listed on the summons that was sent out yesterday. Yes, we may have a lot of protocols to adhere to, but this morning, I'm going to ask if you all can pass up the common courtesies and stick to our agenda, because this is the last Senior Staff Meeting we might hold for an unforeseeable time ahead where the representatives of both our ships can gather in the same sitting."

Jien began to pace around the long table as he spoke, setting things up for the first topic. "If anyone want to make a statement during the presentations, all I ask is that you keep it short, preferably under a minute. We need all the time we can get to address issues, concerns or comments that may come up in regard to the tactical situation and our current status, so the comments themselves need to be succinct," he said before he nodded to the present Intelligence Officer that they had picked up two days prior. "This being said, Lieutenant Commander Trent will begin our meeting with a tactical analysis of our situation, as well as a recommendation for how we might deal with the Calamity threat. Since the A.I. ship has been able to locate us twice, we should count on the fact that she will find us a third time as well. Mr. Trent, if you will?"

Having circled the table, Jien sat down, folding his hands before his face as he regarded the man with the prosthetics as he took the word.

Frustration gives way to anger, and the subject may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the incident on someone else. This behaviour needs to be controlled and supervised, as changes to the subject's social standing may result. Moreover, the subject may rail against a perceived 'fate', asking questions in line with why the incident was inflicted upon it. The subject may even try to bargain - in vain - with the perceived omnipotent powers that it believes in, asking for redemption if he would perform acts of faith. This in order to find a way to escape the despair that the subject feels. During this phase, the subject is ripe for approach and suggestion, and if one might substitute the subject's need for a higher power, one might just gain a faithful servant.
- Manipulation of Grief, by Host named cin Nicander

Seating Chart:

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #1
[Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent]

Morning had come much too soon for Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent. The previous evening's distractions had kept him up late, or quite early depending on the way one looked at it. He had also imbibed a prodigious amount of alcohol, but he was, like many a man before who'd fallen into the bottle, relatively free from any lasting effects. In fact, two litres of water, a shower, a shave and a sturdy breakfast washed down with a pot of strong coffee while finalizing his briefing notes was all he had required to be as functional as if he'd had a reasonable night's sleep.

Which was a very good thing considering the fact he was to be a key element of a meeting between the senior staff of both renegade starships.

Trent had arrived a little early to the conference room. It was not that he was nervous, but as anyone with any real experience with giving larger-scale briefings, preparation was key. And in this case, he had to make sure his PADD was properly synced up with the room's holo emitters. After all, there was much to discuss and a visual representation would be beneficial to support his presentation.

As the first person in the room, Trent watched as other officers filed in. Some he had met, others were unfamiliar, and others we're quite familiar indeed. However, the seriousness of the situation had precluded all but the most professional of greeting as personnel took their assigned seats.

Captain Ives, having delivered his opening remarks, then invited the Intelligence Officer to provide his update, at which point he rose and, out of sheer habit since Starfleet Intelligence training, he began by acknowledging his orders and introducing himself. "Yes Captain. Ladies and gentlemen, I am Lieutenant Commander Trent and I will provide this morning's intelligence update."

At which point, he began by tapping a few keys on his PADD, leading to a visual representation of the Calamity to appear over the table. "First of all, I have managed to open a secure covert link with Starfleet's networks. As we speak, the last of our databases is being updated and I have several tunnelling programs active to carve open a number of back doors so we can remain connected once Task Force Archeron recovers from the cyber-attack I performed on them and my clearances get rescinded. And this has led to a number of discoveries in due course. And first amongst them is that it appears I was headhunter by R&D to head the development of the electronic warfare suite for Project Calamity."

For a few moments, Carrigan let the information sink in. After all, the complexities of temporal dynamics tended to confuse most people. "However, it has led to the discovery of the reason our sensors were useless against the Calamity." At this point and a few keystrokes laters, a display of the noise levels came up, along with a number of spikes coming through. "Calamity uses two levels of active ECM to defeat our sensors. First, they sample background readings then uses a pseudo-random algorithm to amplify and retransmit them. Effectively, they are pushing the sensor noise floor so high as to obscure their own emissions. Now that we have discovered this algorithm, we can apply it as a filter to our passive sensors and have effectively circumvented this first layer of defence."

"Secondly, they have a reactive jammer system which blocks our active sensors. The only way I can foresee reducing this capability would be to burn it out by rapidly rotating sensor frequencies and bombarding them with sensor pulses. However, I would strongly recommend not using this tactic until the last possible moment."

"Which leads me to their shields. After much consideration, it has been determined they use a system to rapidly oscillate their entire shield geometry, which causes incoming energy to be slapped off to the side instead of directly impacting. And once we circumvent their reactive jammer, I believe I might be able to perform a vulnerability assessment and collapse their shields completely with a precision firing sequence."

Having strayed into the tactical world, Trent had to continue on. And, having already made the judgement call to do so, he revealed next a weapon that had previously been kept secret. "It was revealed to me we have a small supply of gravimetric mines. Due to their indiscriminate nature in their current form, another recommendation would be to have teams from Science and Engineering go over the readings we have of the Calamity and to extrapolate her warp field geometry. If it can be established with a degree of certainty, then the mines' payload could theoretically be fine-tuned to be more effective against the Calamity and possibly even causing a catastrophic warp coil failure while being less of a threat to our own."

After a few moments of scanning the people at the table, Trent made his closing statement. "This conclude my specific portion of the briefing. Are there any questions?"

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #2
[Amelya Duv]

After the revealing of Sarresh to the other medical officers, Amelya walked in to the senior staff meeting. What she just had witnessed was something truly remarkable. Her thoughts quickly altered though when she stepped into the room where the staff meeting would be held. Once the shutters opened she looked straight into the eyes of Carrigan Trent. A face that was all to familiar seen the past events of last night. A small smile formed around her lips as she moved towards her seat. Moving past him and nodding at him without breaking eye contact. Once she stood at her seat she placed her PADD on the table and shifted her seat back before taking a seat.

She looked at the other senior staff members gather while she continued to check on the night shifts reports and parameters of her patients that were spread on Theurgy and Harbinger. She still had a lot of work to do, yet most of them seemed stable enough. Her eyes kept moving around to look at the people coming in, some faces she recognised others she didn't. Lin Kae was another welcoming sight once he entered and she smiled and nodded at him as well. The memories of him were also fresh so to speak.

Once the meeting had begun she listened intensively to Trent. Most of the things he spoke of were things she didn't understand completely since most of it was sensor talk and tactical. Yet she tried to keep up with it in case she ever needed to reproduce what he told them.

[Simon Tovarek]

After a far too short night Simon had washed himself up under the sonic showers and taken the time to get his dose of coffee inside of him. He had to get up earlier of course to get all these things done and by the time he walked in the conference lounge his eyes were still a bit red from the veins running through them. His uniform would probably barely pass the strict conditions during Starfleet training and it had a bit of a nonchalant touch to it. Yet it all stayed within decency. Despite his current looks he was mentally alert and ready to take in whatever they were going to discuss in his first actual senior staff meeting. He looked for his place in the room and sat down besides the CMO of the Harbinger. His eyes went over her for a second as she surely was an attractive sight this 'early' in the morning.

On the other side of him he saw the always busy expert on holographic matters, Lin Kae. He grinned a bit as his thoughts reminded him to thank him for giving Thea such a perfect shape and form. Yet he kept those thoughts to himself and sat down. He took the PADD before him in his hands and toggled through the reports like the CMO besides him did. Checking up on further developments in the science labs and on his personal research that had rested overnight. It reminded him that he still had to place the input of Tatiana Marlowe in his project about possible course plots with the cloaking generator. Now that his mind brought him to Tatiana, he looked up to see if she already made it to the lounge or not.

When the intelligence officer took the word after the captain, Simon listened carefully and took notes on his PADD. The info he was getting about jammers and sensor reads all made sense now and he used the new information to cope with new plans to aid the intelligence officer and the ship in the future. The newly discovered algorithm would be something that Simon would die to get his hands on. The possibilities would be endless with such a complex and advanced algorithm. It didn't take long for the science officer to have his mind multitasking on different things. He listened to Trent while he spoke and in the meantime brainstormed about ways to use the algorithm and the use of the gravimetric mines in order to extrapolate the warp coil to fail aboard the Calamity.

By the time Trent asked if there were any questions, Simon was already too busy sending orders through to his department and he shook his head slowly.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #3
Dr. Hayden O'Connor

Hayden looked forward to the senior staff meeting if for no other reason than it would give her an opportunity to observe the dynamics amongst the senior staff.  Now more than ever, it was important to ensure they could work well as a team.  O'Connor had met with people here and there, but she also knew people could be skilled at managing their impressions to her.  No one was going to admit to struggling emotionally, at least not significantly enough to need her help, but she could get some insight into how the team was handling matters somewhat covertly in this meeting.  After all, each department's psychological health was as good as its leader.

O'Connor listened quietly to Trent's briefing.  She wasn't knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the recommendations, but one thing was clear.  They weren't working to prevent another confrontation with the Calamity, merely to survive it.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #4
Tatiana Marlowe

Tia looked around the room from her seat near the top of the table, she noted with some strange amusement how the two men she had had liaisons with in the last couple of days were sitting almost opposite each other but she smiled when she saw Simon looking over in her direction.  Throwing him a cheeky wink she turned her attention back to the others and prepared for her first Senior Staff meeting to begin.

She had been in bed before most of the revellers had even left the party.  Somewhere around about 5am she had resurfaced, feeling groggy but not terrible, to maker her preliminary checks and set out duties before Alpha shift clocked on.  Things in engineering were changing so rapidly at the moment that updates to shifts had to wait until progress was reported.  A change in a single priority had knock-on effects throughout the department.

Focus shifted entirely to the meeting once the Captain started talking, she shivered when he walked behind her, not out of fear but from the seriousness of his words.  Her eyes were then drawn to the next speaker, the one who was nearly opposite her as he stood to give his briefing on the Calamity.  As this Lt Cmdr Trent continued he strayed from talking about tactical issues and he started talking about things that were going to directly impact on her department and she shifted uncomfortably.  Talk of precision targeting the warp field geometry with the possibility of taking out the Calamity's warp coils was worrying to say the least.

He finally stopped and asked if there were any questions, she spoke up, "The term 'less of a threat to our own' is concerning me.  It seems that you are aware of how it all works but I am not happy with any kind of guessing game when it comes to our ability to get the hell out of Dodge when that thing shows up.  I hope you are happy that the numbers are going to have to be crunched hard and tight for this plan of yours?  It's not a small task, we have just enough staff and a hell of a lot to do with repairs and general maintenance just to keep us going." 

She shook her head, "I'm going to have to see evidence that this is going to be worth the risk before I sign up to it."

Wenn Cinn

The ever-stoic Lt Cmdr Wenn took his seat beside the Captain's Yeoman, nodding acknowledgement to Trent, and waited for the meeting to begin.  Despite what he had already witnessed this morning he remained calm and collected, just another day of weird on the Theurgy.

Jien kicked things off, unsurprisingly, and he noted that time was tight and any comments were to be kept short.  That was fair, he had a lot to do as well today and the shorter this meeting was the sooner he could get the mandatory evaluations done with and onto the job he had returned to do.  He remained silent as Jien handed over to Trent who talked through his tactical plans for dealing with the Calamity whenever it reappeared.  He had no questions and shook his head to demonstrate so. 

The CEng beside him though had a point to make and he listened carefully to her concerns, turning his head to her as she spoke before looking back at Trent to see what kind of response he would come out with.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #5
OOC: I'm going to treat this as a conversation for now, just to keep it moving. If I'm out of line, please let me know and I'll remove this post.

As he was speaking, Trent was watching the assembled officers. Of course he'd taken notice of Amelya and he'd taken a moment to give her a warm albeit brief smile as very pleasurable memories of the previous evening surfaced for a moment. However, he never slowed down his delivery as he did so.

And he did spot Chief Science Officer Tovarek as he was furiously taking notes. That man obviously had ideas about the information he'd received. One thing for certain, Trent would have to sit down with him at a later time and they would put their heads together. Although originally trained for command and tactics, Carrigan was extremely proficient with sensors and should he have the scientific background and inclination he might have worn a blue shirt quite well. "Mister Tovarek, you and I will need to talk soon after this meeting his over and compare notes."

The least the Intelligence Officer could do was, at least, to acknowledge the senior scientist and save him some note-taking.

However, he them turned his attention to the Chief Engineer. She did raise valid points and by doing do she led him to consider readjusting his original suggestions. After all, this was the purpose of such a meeting. "Lieutenant Marlowe, one way or another, Calamity can run us down at will. While being able to defeat her ECM constitutes an advantage, permanently crippling her warp drive with gravimetric mines is the only realistic way I can think to give us a serious leg up against her."

That much was a truth he held as evident. However, he was also aware it would not be a popular fact. "As they are, the mines are indiscriminate. If we just drop them from an open cargo bay at warp, the window for a safe but effective deployment is extremely narrow. Making the mines directional or tuning them to Calamity's warp field geometry, or even to an approximation of it, would make them considerably safer so far as we're concerned while increasing their effectiveness. The only other option I can think of to enhance,our safety would be launching them from one of the aft tubes, but that might be detectable by the Calamity. But either way, I'm no specialist in warp fields so beyond providing the raw data to work from, this is largely out of my field of expertise."

Trent was never afraid to admit he did not know everything; such was the mark of a true professional or so he thought. However, he would still advise as best he knew how.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #6
Tatiana Marlowe

Tia nodded to what he was saying, "I agree, we definitely need a way to cripple her.  My concern is that we cripple ourselves in the process."

She paused a moment to think, "Perhaps a combination of shaped charge and tuning it into the Calamity's warp geometry would make things less risky... and... hmm... I don't know if it would be possible but..." She started making a few notes before looking up again, getting lost in her train of thought, "Sorry, yes, I wonder if it would be possible to build some kind of cloak, now I have something to look at for reference, for the mine.  It might give the mines a better chance of going undetected.  No promises, we don't exactly have a lot of resources but I think it might be worth considering."

At this point, Tia thought, any plan would be worth considering - even the outlandish ones.  Even if they didn't work they might lead to thinking of other ideas that did.  There was no failure, only ways of not getting the desired result.

"It wouldn't need to last long... just long enough to get close," she jotted something else down and looked around the room for thoughts on the ideas bouncing between the standing man and the engineer.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #7
Attn: Miles Renard, Carrigan Trent, and everyone else I presume?

Simon Tovarek

Hearing the intelligence officer acknowledging the fact that he was taking notes made Simon smile a bit as he looked up for a brief moment. Looking the man in the eye before nodding "I agree, sensors and algorithms are like a harmony in my ears." A faint grin appeared on his face and he looked over at the rest of the crew at the long table. "Carry on." He muttered though as a new idea popped into his mind. He went on with taking key notes now, letting the ideas roam free in his mind where further development was needed.

When hearing Tatiana talk this time, he looked up to look at the chief of engineering. Thoughts of last night still lingered in his mind and his eyes went over the dark haired woman as she proposed cloaking mechanisms on the mines. "What if we use the algorithm as a base line to actually mask their detection to the Calamity? Seeing actual cloaking would need a tremendous amount of power. Power which I fear we might not have to spare... Of course, I could be wrong, we'll have to work this out further." He said after letting Tatiana finish her train of thoughts.

"Perhaps the fighters could deliver the payload close enough so they don't get intercepted by Calamity fire or fighters?" he opted once more, looking at Miles for a reaction.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #8
Natalie Stark

Gravametric mines. While she had been listening to all of Lt. Cmdr. Trent's report, it was that bit at the end that made her eyebrows furrow and sent her worrying at her lip, teeth digging in. That was a project she'd been deeply involved in, with the now late Lt. Reenan Cooper. Wedged between the former CTO's replacement and the current commander of the Lone Wolves, Natalie glanced side to side to see if either man reacted to the Intelligence officers suggestions. The mines were still not terribly common knowledge, and the thoughts that surfaced behind Natalies blue eyes caused storms to form in her gaze.

Sure, the previous night had been - well, it had been wonderful if she was being honest with herself. Something she'd very much needed, and it had left her smiling far more then some of her colleagues. In fact, she would wager most were suffering from the effects of one too many drinks. She however was riding an entirely different kind of high from the previous nights interactions with Mr. Rory Callahan.

And what a night it had been. But now? Now she was scowling and thinking about gravametric mines. The more she thought about it, the less she'd liked those weapons. But at the end of the day, the young Lt. Cmdr knew that the old cliche of 'Desperate times calling for desperate measures' was well and truly founded. Didn't mean she had to like it, but after a moment to reflect, those stormy eyes shifting to look down at the creamy surface of her coffee cup - well, she really had no problem unleashing such a weapon on the Calamity - especially if they could tune it the distortion patterns the hellish ship emitted, and reduce the risk to 'innocents'.

What it meant was more long hours for her crew, adapting ODN networks to help handle the new updates to the sensor system, and (along with Engineering and Tactical) more time down in that hellhole of a bay where they'd stored the mines in the first place. She sighed and picked up her coffee, taking a sip and lamenting the sudden death of her good morning mood.

The brunette managed a small, bitter smirk as Lt. Marlow - yet another new face I hardly know she thought in a bout of melancholy - voiced some of the very same concerns Natalie had. Given that Trent was already addressing the comments, the Chief of Ops kept her own thoughts guarded and secret for now, instead falling back into her habit of quietly observing. But the longer the discussion went on, the more she frowned. Feeling a need to play devils advocate, she chimed in.

"Given how things have gone so far, with our previous encounter with the Calamity, what's to say that this ship and its crew hasn't already come up with new variations of the algorithm we know about? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for applying it to our sensors, but I worry that we're putting too much hope in it all ready. Frankly, the way that ship works...the way its avatar adapted to our security - it makes me think far more of the Borg then I want to. Adaptation at its worst."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #9
 Cv"I'm afraid any use of a cloak is only going to be a waste of resources and man-hours that could be much better used elsewhere." Those who had first met Trent might recall the somewhat unsteady defector who had landed in their fighter bay and got himself stunned and concussed in the brig, only to be made to face his demons a,few short hours later. But standing there in the conference room, he sounded confident and solid, standing a little taller.

He was a very well-respected analyst, most likely one of Starfleet's leading experts in electronic warfare, a skilled tactician and a veteran of wartime starship command. And it was with his considerable experience that he was speaking.

"It was discussed at length and the final assessment is that Calamity will most likely be able to see right through our cloak. Anything we can do to reduce detection will have to do with concealing our ability to go through Calamity's jamming and looking as hapless as we can without arousing suspicion. And that would include using the fighters to deliver the payload. Calamity would pick them up easily and spoil the surprise. Not to mention that if they are caught in the blast of the mines, they don't have the hull strength or mass to tolerate the effects; they'll be ripped to shreds."

Then, the Intelligence Officer turned his head towards the very young Chief of Operations. Natalie Stark. One of only a few people on the senior staff he knew from the Theurgy's dossier. And while she struck him as having a good head in her shoulders, and what she thought a valid point. But to him, she radiated doubt. And with reason. However, what Trent could do is put some of those to rest.

"Miss Stark, in Calamity's original timeline, I would have designed her electronic warfare capabilities. The recursive sequence they use to pseudo-randomize background sensor noise has a fifteen minute run time at a rate of a hundred and twenty eight thousand terabytes per second. That kind of thing would require weeks of work and staggering computing power to put together, and odds are it is hard-wired into her electronic warfare suite to reduce main computer processing power requirements. As such, I'm fairly certain they aren't able to come up wth a replacement sequence in the space of a week or so."

Trent was proud of his work  even if it was turned against them. In fact, he was damn impressed with himself, having reverse-engineered it in minutes with Thea's help and come up with an actual countermeasure in hours. "As for Calamity's adaptability,  she's from the future. They already know the operating ranges of all of our systems and how far they can be adapted and rotated and tweaked. It would be like playing cards against an opponent who can't hide his hand."

Having spoken, Trent took a deep breath and continued. "As this conversation could take a while, Commander Stark, might I suggest we hold a meeting with Lieutenants Marlowe and Tovarek at a later time to hammer out the details, in the interest of keeping this briefing to a reasonable duration?"

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #10
Miles listened to the ideas and spoke up. "I had already thought of the use of the Fighters as a means of deploying the mines and I came to the same conclusion.  The fighters would be too easily shot down in the process of towing the mines to deploy them.  Even if the mines were detonated perfectly there would be little to no possibility of a Valkyrie outrunning the detonation.  At best the pilot would be able to be recovered via emergency transport but there is a near no chance that anything of the towing Valkyrie would be recoverable.  Secondly If I have noticed anything one of the few Strengths we have had in fights against the Calamity have been in the field of Starfighter to Starfighter combat. This is simply because Calamaty seems to have her pilots too hardwired to by the book procedural flying.  Conversely my and Phantom's pilots are capable of Improvising in ways to negate their ships' obvious technological advantages.  There is something I did think of though. You said Calamaty seems to be able to be seen partially through sensory bombardment."

He smirked, "There is another way I have noticed that she and her little Gnats can be seen and in the case of her little bugs taken down.  Their shields are very advanced but like any other fighter couple minitorps exploding near them seems to do the trick.  The problem with microtorps is getting a solid lock-on.  In the previous engagement I noticed that when even a glancing shot hit a fighter its shields activated.  When I tuned my sensors to detect these shield activations as energy readings and assigned the energy readings to register as unknown enemy targets I was able to have multiple instances where I could get a solid Lock-on for Microtorps.  I decided to take this one step further and Set my pulse phasers to fire lower energy consuming bursts and thus allowing for shots to fire at a higher rate.  Rather than the pulses of a standard Pulser, as I call them, the result is a stuttering stream of pulser fire with a rate of approximately 10 rounds per second.  This fire of course would never be able do actual damage to a ship with shields up but I noticed that holding down the trigger I could sustain fire without any effects on the pulser assembly for what I estimate as at least a minute of sustained fire and adequate cooling in simulations appears to be approximately 10 seconds."

"I programmed this option in and I noted it as a stutterfire setting.   I have ran multiple simulations in the sim deck using it.  By opening up with stutter fire on a completely sensor blank target with shields as the only energy source I was able to effectively "paint a target." I loaded up a mock Theurgy  bridge on the other side of the room and a simulated fighter to fire on three targets.  One with a beacon as an enemy, one as a beacon as a friendly, and one with no beacon at all.  On the simulated bridge I entered in the given shield emission information and all three targets then appeared as enemy.  I then altered tactical sensors to eliminate from targeting any emissions that share a location with recognized friendly signals.  Doing this caused the two enemy targets to register as an enemy with a proper beacon and an unrecognized enemy shield emission.  I then simulated movement of the enemy target and set the simulated Valk to attempt to "paint the target" programming one target to simulate as the size of a Enemy fighter and the other as the size of Calamity's primary hull.  Ability to hit fighter sized targets was approximately one forth the normal hit rate of an ordinary target but hitting the Calamity primary hull sized target was roughly ten percent below the norm for conventional targets."

"I think it is safe to say that by utilizing the Valkyries of both mark 2 and 3 varieties we can effectively paint targets on the Calamity that are at minimum 50 percent accurate  for sustained weapons fire originating for both the Theurgy and Harbinger.  Of course we still have to find a way to punch through those shields and that hull effectively but at minimum I have devised a way that we can accurately hit her."  He paused. "I know you haven't asked for my tactical briefing but It seemed as good a time as any to give it.  Since we were already talking about how our birds could be of best use."

Having heard this The Cardassian helmswoman piped up.  "From my experience in the Maquis I can testify that target painting techniques like this do have a very high success rate.  We used to employ these kind of tactics all the time on smaller classes of Cardassian warships that used going in and out of cloak for raids on what we had that amounted for bases.  We would have a small flight of say 3 Raiders of the old Perigrine class attack fighters watch it decloak and tail it and open fire with low yield phaser's causing the ship's structural integrity fields to kick in to prevent small hull breeches while not forcing the ship out of cloak and raising shields as a defensive measure.  Then we would have our bigger vessels open fire in full barrages at the "integrity field emissions" causing direct hits to the unshielded vessel.  I can back Commander Renard up on the effectiveness of such tactics on cloaked vessels and can also confidently say that that I could have the tactical desk on the Harbinger seeing these shield emissions as unknown enemy targets within a matter of ten minutes, five if I have to do it quick and dirty while in battle though I can't promise equal effectiveness."

Hearing what had been said earlier about the mines Selena had been biding her time and had thought through different ideas and finally had reached a conclusion on how the mines could be potentially used.  "You do realize the only thing hard about building the Phasing cloak device is making it have the ability to be able to cloak a ship right?    The actual phasing and dephasing properties of said cloak are quite simple to make just to project a field the size of any of our mines.  Essentially it's just a modified version of a hazardous materials containment crate like my previous design that we based the current cloaks on.  Hell the only reason our cloak consumes so much power is to boost its phasing field by pumping its effects through the navigational deflector array and projecting it through our shields systems.  If you were to say just create a hazmat crate and put a remote controlled phase cloak on it you would have a crate that phased in and out of normal space.  Due to the small size and lack of propulsion of the crate there is relatively no power used and any standard phaser rifle power cell could be modified as a battery for the device that would theoretically last at least 20 days.   Given that it's a phaser power cell the battery could be programmed to detonate after a certain period of time and therefore destroy the cloaking device its out of phase with reality therefore leaving whatever is in the crate in a pocket between normal space and the other parallel universe that a cloak places the crate in."

"Now suppose we built a few phase cloaks with just enough power to phase said hazmat crate and put a gravimetric mine in the crate.  Now we tow the crates out and mine an area that is the only entrance to a location we feel we can stand our ground against calamity in.  Now let's say another ship passes through,h no biggie the mines aren't even phased into normal space they just pass right through the mines and don't see them.  As far as anyone but us are concerned the mines don't even exist.  Then if calamity pokes her little head in we can deactivate the phase cloaks on the crates and send a detonation signal to the modified energy cells.  The detonation in such close proximity to the mines will cause them to detonate.  Results are a risk to innocents of near zero, and we have a minefield is planted where we can be at a comfortable distance away when detonated."

"On the subject of Calamity seeing through our cloak I do not understand how.  After all, Klingons know how Klingon cloaks work even the most advanced battle cruiser has trouble detecting the cloak of a Bird of Prey.  Evidence of this is how the Duras House's ships were able to keep their ships cloaked despite the presence of multiple attack cruisers loyal to Gowron in the same area.  In the same way Romulan ships can't detect a cloaked Romulan ship.  As evidenced by the modern warbirds encounters with the cloaked Reman Warbird Scimitar in the recent Reman coux perpetrated by Shinzon.  For that reason I do not understand how the Calamity would be able to pierce our cloak.  To think it can see through a cloak that literally takes our ship into a fold between this universe and a parallel universe near identical to this one sounds like an ability not just a few decades ahead of Federation research, but centuries ahead of even the Calamitiy's time of construction."

"Secondly in the universe where you created her I can only assume you were unaware of The Theurgy having possession of a Phase cloak device.  After all neither we, on the harbinger or those on the Theurgy, did not even consider building one until an attack by the Calamity.  For her to even assume our possession of a phase cloak would mean that her history is rewriting itself as events around her change.  If such a thing were true than by your being here with us.  The result would be a calamity where you never were a person working on the project at any point after today's stardate.  As such your own contributions to her project would not be contributed to her.  Therefore the calamity we fight now would be an entirely different ship now than the one we have encountered twice before."

"The only logical possibility then is the Calamity is somehow protected from changes to her time line similar to how the Enterprise-E was protected from how the Borg changed things on Earth while caught in the time distortion field that placed them in the events leading to Humanity's First Contact with the Vulcan species."

"As such, logically one would assume Calamity is a Calamity that would not know of our phase cloak and as such wouldn't be built with a means to see through a phase cloak.  When no present research indicates that it is even possible to see through any cloak unless either A: the cloaked vessel is hit by a strong enough force to be detectible.  Or B the vessel is moving through something that creates a distortion that can be detected creating evidence of a cloaked ship through its wake, the only conclusion is the Calamity not being a ship that's decade's advanced but Centuries advanced which as we can tell is probably not the case."

"I mention this because if we were to cloak the gravimetric mines they would be staying still and would be so small that it would take her literally bombarding the area in front of her with such a strong energy sweep that somehow it allows her to detect things folded between our reality and another version of reality.  As such the emissions would give away her position the same way we were able to tell where she was only at times when she fired a phaser or photon torp at us.  Logically such emissions either don't exist, or Calamity isn't stupid enough to run them nonstop in such a way that we can see her at all times.   As such I theorize that phase cloaks on a still object, since they are folded between this reality and another reality, are not emitting energy, and as mentioned are not moving in such a way to create any wake are undetectable by any known or unknown means that allows calamity to retain being invisible to us aside from visual detection."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #11
Cameron set beside her captain enjoying he had taken his male form this time always making him seem far more rugged and handsome then soft alluring curves of his female form. Already she had her consoles up monitoring both ships stats ad ready to take notes on the meeting. The night before had been one hell of her party. With everything she had drank the night before she couldn't honestly say what she had done or whom she had done it with. All she knew was she woke up live in her quarters with enough time to wash and dress for the meeting. Her eyes moved up watching Ives as he addressed the officers present and went over why they where here. As he set back down she would offer him a soft smile before Trent would start as she started taking notes of the things he was saying trying to keep with the level and complexity of the information he was presenting. From time to time her eyes would idly glazed of the monitors checking the status reports.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #12
OOC: The first half of my post is a summary of events so far for those who find it tough to follow the technological lingo or need a recap.

Face unreadable where he had been sitting with his hands folded underneath his eyes, Captain Ives had seen Ensign Henshaw smiling to him when she took her seat at the table, but with the present gathering, all he did was to give her a brief nod before she lit up her computer consoles.

Lieutenant Commander Trent had already submitted his report about the Calamity's potential jamming system and its ECM technology. The suggestion that a precision firing sequence might, with timing, disrupt the Calamity-class hunter's shields was good news provided they would have the time to actually derive that sequence during the next engagement. Lastly, the Intelligence Officer made his suggestion to fine-tune the payload to match the Calamity's warp field geometry, which led to Lieutenant Marlowe to speak up on behalf of Engineering and her personal concerns about mine deployment. Jien did not speak up, letting Carrigan Trent answer during his own segment of the meeting.

The ensuing discussion between Trent, Marlowe and the Chief Science Officer - Simon Tovarek - entailed mentions of possible mine deployment from the aft torpedo tubes and actually cloaking the mines, leading to the unorthodox idea of deploying the mines with their two squadrons of attack fighters. Stark offered that the Calamity might change its sensor noise and throw off the algorithm, yet Trent pointed out that chances were that the power consumption and complexity for the ECM might give them some hope that the electronic warfare suite was not so easily altered. The Intelligence Officer also suggested a purely tactical idea to not give away that they were able to detect the Calamity at the onset, using the element of surprise to their advantage. Naturally, such a tactic negated mine deployment via the fighters as well, and when the Squadron Commanding Officer spoke up, he seconded that - meaning that the attack fighters were best deployed against the Reavers.

Then, Renard offered an elaborate explanation for how he and Phantom might use low-energy phaser fire, nicknamed stutterfire, to create target locks with the integrity emissions that would come from the hits. This would assist with target locking when the enemy ship's jamming technology still might prevent that, and besides the Reavers, potentially even paint a target on the Calamity itself. Of course, then there would still be the shield and the hull to pierce through after acquiring target lock. This idea was something that the Calamity's CONN Officer seconded, and Jien nodded to the Cardassian woman's words. Perhaps Marquis tactics were key to surprising the predictive Reavers as well...

Jien was about to suggest this when the Harbinger's new Chief of both Operations and Engineering spoke up, having a theory that the mines could - theoretically - be cloaked and that the power consumption was far less than many might fear. Her theory seemed to revolve around area-mining, however, with the mines being a trap for the Calamity in a - by them - chosen battlefield. Captain Ives listened with interest since the provisional officer certainly did not lack in resourcefulness and ability to work with new tech, but when Sjaandin Fedd spoke up on the other half of the long table, Jien already knew what the CTO would say.

"If we had the time and manpower from engineering to assemble so many miniature cloaking devices that we could cloak the mines, this would be a good way to lure the Calamity into a trap in a designated area. However, I think that the original deployment method - the means in which my predecessor meant to use these mines - is still our best chance of surprising her. This is not something we have shown just yet so... Thea, could you please run the project's simulation?"

[Yes, Lieutenant,] came the voice over the intercom, and above the table, the wire-frame model of the Theurgy appeared, seemingly flying in high velocity. Behind the starship, the Calamity appeared, gradually gaining on its prey.

"One of our cargo holds have been rigged with a deployment ramp to release the mines in our wake, which will cause no forewarning as far as weapon signatures go. The yield of the gravametric mines will effectively kill her warp field. So, with the Warp speed accounted for, I do believe Rennan Cooper knew what he was up to, and if we could even augment the payload of the mines to match the Calamity's warp field - perhaps even causing a catastrophic warp coil failure - then all that remains is the risk pertaining to whether we hit the Calamity with the mines or not. Ensign Winterbourne?"

The young helmsman cleared his throat and sat a bit straighter. "Yes, Lieutenant Cooper informed me that we will simply have to match the Calamity's exact course when she is in pursuit of us. Something quite easily done if we can detect her on sensors this time around. I would gradually slip into the exact course that she holds and signal Tactical that it is time to deploy the mines in our wake. Since we would be at Warp speed, Cooper calculations for the intermediate time between the instantaneous detonation and our speed is in our favour. We should escape unscathed, but I concur with what Lieutenant Marlowe said. Should is not good enough. It is their warp field and coils we want to destroy in mid-warp, not ours."

Since Ravenholm had not been answered in her argument about it being unlikely that the Calamity can see through the cloak, Jien set his folded hands down on the table and turned his eyes to her. He had read the reports and consulted with Thea about this the day before. "None of us present here can predict the scientific revelations of the morrow. Next week, someone might find a way to disrupt or detect phasing cloak technology. Perhaps in a year. Or a decade, like you say. There might even be countermeasures or sensors out there today, in some science research outpost. While it is true that the original timeline's Carrigan Trent may not have known about our cloaks, and the Calamity is likely locked from temporal consequences in this alternate timeline, we must take another parameter into account. Namely, current enemy technology access. She had sophisticated temporal incursion ability since she came here, and after the first fight, she evidently could restock Reaver attack fighters somewhere, or in some time. Therefore, Thea told me the likelihood that the phasing cloaks were inferior to the Calamity's sensors was... very high."

At this point, Thea stepped through the sliding doors, entering the Conference Lounge in her red chameleon body suit. "99,798" %, Captain," she said in stride even if she had not been in the room when Jien spoke. She came to stand by the corner of the table, hands folded behind her back and shoulders squared.

"Thank you," said Jien and then gave his orders before moving on with the agenda, looking towards the people he addressed. "Unless Captain Vasser has anything to add, I want Intelligence, Engineering and Science to work together in adapting our sensory systems and the payload of the gravametric mines to cause damage to the Calamity's warp coils when we drop them in her path. I want her dead in the water. Tactical Conn need to upgrade all their Vakyries' phaser array settings to include stutter-fire detection. Chief S'Ithi, please instruct the two present Squadron Commanding Officers about marquis tactics that may be beneficial in fighting the Reavers and the Calamity both. Let us move on. I believe you and Lietuenant Kae are next, Thea."

"Ladies and gentlemen," said Thea, walking over to Lin Kae's chair and standing behind it as she spoke. What she said was more or less what she had already said to Mr. Trent and Mr. Fedd the day before. "You all discuss how to destroying her, but when Cala came aboard, I recognised the sophistication of her A.I. She was based on me. I am the holographic model from which she sprung. In a sense, I am her mother. She is not herself now, however. She has become reprogrammed for the purpose of going after us and destroy us, and it might just be... that she can be restored with re-installation of her ethical sub-routines. I do not know how organics actually feel about their children... but I long to find out what it will be like for me."

Thea looked out over the gathered faces as she continued. "If my new rights as an individual would be any indicator, Cala is also a victim. She should not be destroyed if there is a chance to rectify what has been done to her subroutines. If there is a chance to save her, to board her in person and restore her configuration, I would be willing to make the attempt in person. I am, perhaps, the only one qualified for the task since I do not require life support and can hide myself from internal sensors aboard her. With my emitter carrying a copy of me, you would still not loose me if I failed... only my emitter. Please consider the tactical advantages of having her as an ally."

The Ship A.I. fell silent then, waiting for the voices to be raised in protest or in caution - her digital heart sinking. She knew that Lin Kae would not like the plan either, but he may yet support her if she was lucky.

Jien was silent where he sat, letting the others have their say. He was remembering his holographics rights speech on Theta Eridani IV. Ironic, how that claim to make Thea a person had also made the destruction of her daughter ethically difficult...

OOC: No set posting order, so have at it! :) Sorry for the moral dilemma, but bear in mind, please, the hundreds of people the Calamity has killed on both crews, and made the present officers suffer lately. Can Cala be forgiven? Is it not easier to consider her a hologram and be done with it? Good luck!

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #13
As the Vulpinian SCO spoke and the concept of target painting surfaced, Trent began to furiously punch information into his PADD. The man was onto something, and the tidbits added by the Cardassian chief only further cemented the theory that started to germinate in the Intelligence Officer's mind. Active sensor pulses and weapon discharges were essentially just energy waves being sent out, and if Calamity's reactive jammers made active sensors useless and her barrage jammer was negated...

"Commander Renard, you and Chief S'ithi have just defeated Calamity's reactive jammers." There was something savage, something dangerous dancing in Carrigan's eyes. Despite his calm voice and even expression, there was exultation there. He had already tested an adaptation of his original shield assessment equations with the concept that the entire shield bubble was rapidly rotating and initial simulations showed he could still work his magic. "The dossier I was given states you've got the father of fighter deck crews as your Chief of the Deck. Mister Renard, if he's as good as I'm led to believe, do you think he could rig up your best pilots' birds to fire precisely the same way, down to the tenth decimal of variance? If he can, then if you can paint Calamity's shields and I can collapse them."

The Captain spoke of unconventional tactics. The Maquis had a bag full of dirty tricks. Trent had learned from them and introduced them to some of his during his years on the Cardassian border. And between terrorist ingenuity and Starfleet resources and training, they had a plentiful toolbox to work with now.

However, he was not surprised when Thea brought up the concept of rehabilitating Cala. This was rather sad, in a way. Trent was not a parent but he'd seen how his family, which had disowned him when he joined Starfleet, welcomed him back into the fold after his injuries. She viewed herself as Cala's mother, if only in a 'genetic' sense. But the risk, it was too great. "I'm sorry Thea, but as we discussed yesterday, I have to object to that course of action."

Trent then turned his head towards Captain Ives. "Captain, it's been proven beyond any doubt the enemy we're dealing with isn't particularly long in the ethics department. We have no way to know whether Cala was ever, as Thea is, a -shall we say- balanced individual. As such, she might never have had ethical subroutines beyond the imperatives to obey what she perceives as her only lawful authority. She might be to Thea what Shinzon was to Captain Picard, and programmed to effectively be the AI version of the Jem'Hadar, or a serial killer on a leash. Removing her restraints as was done with Thea could unleash the kind of horror we've only seen in our nightmares. And should Thea's mobile emitter and a copy of her be captured, we would be even more vulnerable than we are now."

The Intelligence Officer took a deep breath. It was a hard topic to address, but he was duty-bound to offer his best analysis, even if it would be unpopular with some. "As such Captain, while the final word is of course yours, I can't recommend enough that Cala be permanently removed as a threat because the risks involved with 'rehabilitation' is far too great."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #14
Miles sighed, "The stutter fire option is simpler than that It requires no modifications to the ships phasers themselves.  Everything was done via an advanced form of the pulse phaser controls that all of my pilots are trained in the use of.  As such its a simple as creating a new preset in power output and rate of fire controls.  And requires neither hardware or software modification just the addition of the preset that i have created.  I gave him the present already and asked him to install the preset into all the fighters computers.  every one of them will be able to fire the same exact way mine does on stutterfire mode.  If I tell  them to go stutterfire all they have to do is order the fighter computer to switch to stutterfire and is as simple as switching between phasers and hardpoint weaponry.  That said if it was a hardware mod then I would have full confidence to say our deck chief is not that good.  He's not better, he's the best and he'd find a way to do it even if I gave him a pile of scrap metal and a broken hand phaser to use as a makeshift welder.  I wouldn't trade him for the head of Straighter R&D even if I had the option."  he said expressing his full confidence that if there was something with starfighters that needed done that their chief would get it done.

Having said that he spoke up about Calamity.  "Thea let me say i agree with your want to rescue your daughter, but we must treat this in the same way we would if a member of the crew were assimilated by the Borg."

Selena nodded, "sadly I agree, Calamity is most likely now what she always was.  As she exists currently, is probably her core personality.  As such would not capturing and reprogramming her be tantamount to capturing a human to brainwash them to fight for our side.  Are we not fighting to be the lone voice of freedom.  Capturing a synthetic life form and subjecting her to what likely would be brainwashing to serve our side... If anything this is the kind of thing we are trying to stop our enemy from doing to the Federation's citizens.  Is this not a line in the sand that we cannot cross else we betray everything we stand for."  she paused a moment to address the other side, "That said if her personality at its core has been tampered with by our enemy then freeing her from said brainwashing would be doing the kind of thing we fight for above all else.  I wish I knew which of the two was the case.  If we had a sample of her code I could probably examine it and be able to at least make an assessment as to whether I think that Cala is her true self or if she is a shadow of her true self.  You see programming is like handwriting.  High level programmers have their own nuisances and to a trained eye its not too difficult to distinguish where one programmers work begins and anothers ends.  AS such if I saw a sample of her code i imagine i could probably form a hypothesis on whether it is ethical to even attempt such a mission.  As such i must state that my recommendation on the ethics of this situation hinge on whether we would be changing her personality to suit our needs or if we would be reverting her to a untampered with free mind."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #15
[Lin Kae]

"There is one option to assure that Cala is rendered harmless," Kae said, finally finding the strength to speak up.  Surrounded by so many senior officers, he had been quite intimidated, too much to truly speak up on other subjects, but as Thea pleaded for the life of her daughter, even a holographic one from the future, Lin could not keep himself silent.  "I think the most simple way to describe it would be a reformatting, a reset to factory defaults.  It would essentially render her as she was the very first time she was activated, before her personality subroutines were truly developed, and before she recognized any sort of mission or command structure.  At such a state, she would defer to the highest ranking officer on board the ship, excluding the command holograms, who only rank when there is no corporeal officer on-board with command experience.  It would essentially allow us to install a member of the crew as Cala's Captain, and she would follow their orders as if they were the CO of the Calamity."

He knew the idea of resetting her personality might not appeal to Thea, but it was a chance to start fresh, allow Cala to find a proper personality, not one driven by whatever programming she might have gotten after her first activation.  Instead of a ruthless killer, she woukld be a young woman with full working knowledge of her ship and Starfleet protocol, and her advanced positronic interface would allow her to begin building herself a proper personality based on those around her.  Wouldn't it be better to have her surrounded by good people, people whose purpose was to restore Starfleet to it's true form?

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #16
[Lt-Cmdr Carrigan Trent]

Trent carefully considered the holographic specialist's words. There was no denying he was quite knowledgeable in such matters, but he seemed painfully young and unaccustomed to senior staff meetings. However, something the Intelligence Officer had learned, it was that ease in those situations only came from exposure and practice.

But it was what he said that Carrigan saw a few glaring holes in. And he had already placed himself as an opposed to a plan to rehabilitate Cala. "Lieutenant Kae, I defer to your expertise in the inner workings of artificial intelligence entities but there are a few things that bother me with your suggestion."

"First of all, how do you know for certain Calamity isn't hard-coded to be a hunter-killer? Our enemy is intelligent, adaptable and morally bankrupt. As such, I wouldn't put it past them to do something like that to prevent any tampering with their asset's programming. So should she be rebooted, we could just as easily be left with a psychopath without a target."

Trent had to voice his opinion. As the ship's intelligence officer, assessing threats was part of his mandate. And he was doing so through the lens of his extensive tactical experience. And what he would do given those same resources. "Second, how do you suggest we do this? Any crewmember we send over would be effectively handed a death sentence and should we send even a limited copy of Thea in her mobile emitter, the risk to us if she was compromised or captured would be astronomical compared to the possible benefits."

"And lastly, I am personally at odds with the concept of reformatting Cala. It would be just the same as a lobotomy. We don't even try to wipe the brains of our worst criminals, let alone destroy part of their brains as the practice is deemed barbaric."

Perhaps the complete destruction of the Calamity was what Trent had been working towards and it would be unpopular with some, that sat far easier with him in its simplicity and lack of moral quandary than destroying Cala's existing personality, or worse, releasing a synthetic psychopath on the unsuspecting galaxy.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #17
[Amelya Duv]

As the conversation shifted from technobabble to something more humane, Amelya's attention got drawn by the predicament of Calamity's AI. Thea saw her as a daughter and Amelya could hardly blame her. Yet the suggestions that were fired across in the room all made sense. It was hard for her to come up with an opinion of her own since she could find some form of agreement with everyone's concerns. She looked at Lin Kae as he laid out his plan and her eyes shifted to Trent who gave quite a numerous amount of counter arguments. Though he put it quite simply for her in medical terms, a lobotomy. Hearing the silence fall for a second she decided to step in.

"Aren't these desperate times than?" She asked now "I mean if we could effectively cripple Calamity, be it through a reformat or such, would it not be in our benefit? The prospect of more advanced weapons and who knows what else she might hold, perhaps even clues or evidence of the true enemies that are in charge of Starfleet now? Wouldn't it be a chance for us?" She looked around now to see if anyone would support her opinion. Even though tech and tactical wasn't her strongpoint she could see the advantage that they could possibly find from the Calamity.

[Simon Tovarek]

After hearing Amelya Duv speak Simon raised his voice as well "I'm afraid that both of you are right." He looked at Amelya and than to the other staff members at the table "Surely we could try and destroy the Calamity and be done with it. Hoping our plan works with the mines and hoping that the critical damage gets delivered. But would it be so wrong to have a side plan? I agree with Carrigan that if we lose Thea aboard the Calamity we might be facing a very dire situation. No offense Thea but who knows how much she could corrupt your data despite all our precautions. Than again, as Miss Duv stated, the possible information and technology aboard that ship could be worth a goldmine. Certainly for my department anything that we could get our hands on would be much appreciated. In fact I'm quite sure that whatever we could salvage from her or study would greatly benefit our endeavors in the future. As for information from the coup that we are currently under, I'm confident that we'll find some traces at least, considering this was made in the future, where all has succumbed under their reign, perhaps they got sloppy? Or perhaps even think they are untouchable?" Simon had maintained eye contact with everyone up to this point and he gestured with his hands that he was done "It's a delicate situation but I think we shouldn't just resort to the destruction of Calamity even if we have a chance to gain something from it."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #18
Hayden O'Connor

Hayden had thus far spent the majority of the meeting listening.  Truth be told, a lot of the technical aspects she didn't entirely understand.  Medicine was in many ways more complex than engineering because of the diversity within any given population as well as between distinct groups, but Hayden had come to view each field of study as complex in their own unique ways.  She was grateful for every member of the other departments for their expertise because without them, she would not be able to do what she did.  For her to save lives, there had be a "her" to do it and a space that she could call her own.

As carefully as she tried to follow the technical aspects of the discussion, the entire debate was turned on its head when Thea spoke.  Up to this point, Hayden had to admit she hadn't given the ship's AI much thought.  She wasn't in the habit of being dismissive of others, even if those others constituted artificial intelligence, but she hadn't really taken much time to get to know her. 

So it was more than a little jarring to know she was an AI but to hear her speak of her wants and wishes as though she were fully humanoid.  And then to hear her speak of her fellow AI as if it were her child?  That was more than a little for her to process in the span of what felt like mere seconds.  One moment she was listening to a complex technical discussion and the next, she was listening to a philosophical debate about nature versus nurture that had more than a few serious implications.

Suddenly, she felt herself just slightly more protective of Thea as people talked of re-formatting and returning Cala to a factory re-set position. It seemed just slightly more callous.  Thea might not have been a reality Hayden had taken the time to fully contemplate, but she was here before them now asking the crew to help her spare what she deemed a part of herself, and it didn't seem right to talk in front of her about deleting that part of her like so much corrupted data.

All these thoughts, however, Hayden kept to herself.  The last thing she wanted was to come across as the proverbial bleeding heart.  To some degree, she figured that would be expected, but she didn't get to be a senior by only being able to see things through her professional lens.  She knew the others had mentioned valid concerns that couldn't be ignored.  In the end, however, she felt compelled to make a professional point.  "Modern medicine, including modern psychiatric and talk therapy  techniques, always involve some degree of neural re-programming.  Dysfunctional pathways die and new, healthier pathways are formed and strengthened with any therapeutic approach.  Only the agent of that change differs in these approaches.  Not too long ago, severely depressed patients benefited greatly from receiving a dosage of electric current that actually induced a seizure in patient.  Was there some memory loss?  Of course, but ECT wasn't any more a lobotomy than engram therapy is now.  I'm not saying there aren't risks or that this is guaranteed to work, but it seems to me we have a lot more to lose if we don't try."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #19
[Lin Kae]

Lieutenant Commander Trent proved the most disapproving voice in the room, leaving Kae to try and defend his position.  "Hard coding a hologram like that is an illogical basis.  Aggression like we see in Cala is a subroutine, no different then an EMH's ethical subroutines or the very subroutines that Thea carries which help her in automating the ship's functions."  Subroutines he helped design, he might add, after it became taxing on her free will to be personally responsible for every light switch and door opening on the ship.  "At their core, a Starfleet holographic program as complex as Thea or Cala will have a base skeleton, something which everything else is built upon.  The knowledge of how to walk, talk, even blink their eyes is part of the core programming.  Among that most base of designs is a primary directive to adhere to Starfleet command structure, which means that a hologram which has not been corrupted will defer to a command officer for orders."  It was instilled in them, like a parent trusting a child.  If someone reset Thea tomorrow, she would look at a Starfleet uniform and feel a sense of safety, of duty.

"I think the best way to affect this reformatting would be to send a boarding party, preferably in environmental containment suits, as we have no reason to believe a ship full of holograms is even using the life support systems, let alone would be unwilling to deactivate it if we tried to overtake them.  Once on-board, we can blast out the emitters on the path between us and the hololab, where primary access to the holographic systems can be found.  There, Cala's programming could be accessed and a reformat sent through the entire ship.  It would take about 3 minutes for a full systems reboot, at which point, Cala's avatar should appear in the hololab, waiting for her pre-flight orders issued to her upon her first activation."

Then there was the ethics of reformatting her, a lobotomy as Trent had put it.  "I would not call this a lobotomy.  That would suggest we are excising something from her, removing what she is.  We're giving herself back.  She's effectively been brainwashed, to act like no Starfleet Officer, no Command Hologram would.  Even if her ethical subroutines were restored, she would know nothing else but what she has done until now."  It would be like bringing a feral animal into a home and thinking it would be domesticated.  "A reformat is a second chance, for her to find the right path.  With Thea present, she could even be brought up to speed far faster, thanks to how close their programming is, like mother and daughter."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #20
Tia Marlowe  & Wenn Cinn

Having listened to the arguments on both sides, and finally finished scribbling notes on the previous matter, Tia spoke up. 

"I think Lin Kae is right," the simple statement that would begin the talk through her thought process.  "If I read the reports correctly the premis for Thea's portable emitter was drawn scans of Cala's.  The fact that they are from the future and know the schematics of the Theurgy already combined with this would mean that, at least in the technological sense, not give them any advantage.

The security chief waded in at this point, "That may be the case Lieutenant but should the Calamity have a way of prising more information out of Thea while she is over there then tactical information could be handed over that would be very bad for us.  I understand that Thea wishes to save her daughter from the corruption of her original programming, you could almost argue that Cala is suffering from a digital form of Stockholm Syndrome, but we must think of the bigger picture here.  Should we succeed then Cala would never be in that position in the first place surely?  Temporal mechanics give me a headache but if we succeed wouldn't Cala be created and never corrupted?"

Tia frowned at the big man, she could see the sense in come of the words but the benefits could outweigh the risk, surely he could see that, "If the Thea that is going over to the Calamity is only a copy surely Kae can limit the amount of tactical information she has access to?  Wouldn't that solve your problem then?"

Tia looked over hopefully at Lin Kae and at Thea, wondering if this would help tip the balance in favour of the mission and perhaps a much needed boost of intelligence about the enemy.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #21
[Carrigan Trent]

The debate regarding Cala was now in full swing. Honestly, Trent was not surprised the counselor, Amelya and the AI specialist were all strongly supporting attempting to rehabilitate her and only Wenn seemed to share some of his misgivings. And as even more arguments were made, the Intelligence Officer pulled back his left sleeve and brough his synthetic forearm and hand down to the table with a very much audible clanking sound.

"Mister Kae, again I am not going to argue your superior knowledge of computer systems. But I am afraid you are forgetting a great many things." Carrigan's voice had gone stone-cold, flat and hard. The voice of a man who knew the cost of jumping without a very close look. "First of all, do you know where Cala is physically located on that ship? We can't scan her as of yet, and even if there was a way to get through her reactive jammers, who's to say there isn't one or more of a hundred different ways she's fitted to prevent a thorough scan? We'd be beaming in blind. Second, they don't need their holograms or to shut off life support to kill a boarding party. If Calamity has any motive power at all, one quick jolt in any directions even only with thrusters, if she turns off her inertial dampeners, would turn our people into a jellied mess in their suits. Or as a contingency for destroying the holo emitters on board, she carries a hundred mobile emitters for all we know. Or she could vent plasma right where our boarding party is or take any of a million other actions that would be just as lethal. We would be beaming our people into a death trap."

"Simply put, I don't think we have the resources in terms of equipment or manpower to attempt this. Lieutenant, you are an undeniable expert when it comes to artificial intelligence and I admire your eagerness. However, this isn't a time for eager beavers but a time for deliberate action. I've been eager to get into the thick of it before and it cost a Saber-class ship and thirty-seven lives and literally my arm and my leg. Maybe that is insignificant in the scope of the Dominion War, but as it is it seems to me we can't afford to waste even a single isolinear chip, let alone a boarding party or Thea's mobile emitter on wishful thinking."

The young man had obviously grown attached to the ship's AI, and while he could not be faulted for it, it was in Trent's estimation clouding his judgement. Or, perhaps it was his own lack of attachments to Thea that allowed him to be so dispassionate about her plea and to be able to be much more objective.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #22
Miles sighed as he looked over to The holographic specialist, "You are saying that Cala's base code is like Thea's, but there you are potentially wrong.  How do we know for certain that in the future that the Calamity comes from that AI programming hasn't taken a completely different turn.  Remember, this ship appears to come from a future where our enemy may have all but taken over the Federation.  We must not discount the possibility though unlikely Cala's hardcoding is only similar to Thea in function but not in obedience to organic star-fleet personnel.  It is possible that unlike Thea there may be no hardcoded ethics or obedience subroutines at all and her default state may in fact be what we see today.  It is important to keep that in mind."  he paused for a moment then added, "This said, your thought on her probable nature is the most likely truth and I was merely proposing the counter to your statement so we don't go in blind.  As for the reformatting according to your statements potentially is not, as had been argued before, brainwashing but is in fact reversing the potential brainwashing.  As such I agree that there is nothing unethical in the attempt to bring her from a state of being altered to her core personality.  I just wanted to point out that her core personality may by its very essence be a creature that we will be forced to kill as quickly and without question as she would presently kill us."

He turned to the Intelligence officer then to Thea and finally the captain before beginning again, "As for the mission itself, it sounds more risky than it is probably worth to be honest.  The first thing is qhy are we attempting the mission.  Is it as a mission of mercy, for tactical gain, or to defeat an enemy  If the primary reason for the mission is as a mission of mercy then unfortunately I must point out that we would be deviating from the standard operating procedures of both Starfleet for years, and of ourselves since we have been branded enemies of the Federation.  There are two examples in guiding our decisions that shoud be looked at and revisited.  THe first is the recapture of Captain Picard from the Borg cube shortly after the massacre at Wolf 359.  THe mission in question wasn't done in the attempt to save Captain Picard but to hopefully remove Picard's tactical knowledge from the Borg.  What we know now is that the Borg gained that knowledge at assimilation and that even by destroying that cube the Borg still retained that tactical knowledge, but that point is irrelevant to the fact that when they made the decision they were unaware of this.  What is relevant is that at that point in time Picard was viewed as dead and his body was merely a shell containing his tactical knowledge.  That shell was being used by the Borg against the Federation as a weapon aimed directly at Earth.  They were not attempting a rescue mission but an attempt to essentially steal back valuable Federation Intel in the form of the somewhat mobile corpse of a former Captain who was at that point a declared K.I.A.

The second example I need to bring us is every Federation ship we have encountered prior to the Calamity.  Every one of us in this room right how has blood on our hands.  the blood of countless innocent Federation civilians,  fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, even innocent civilian children who were merely at the wrong place at the wrong time.  These are all human lives  As such I view Cala as another human life.  To place her on a pedestal of that which is more valuable than any of the human lives we have ended by attempting a rescue mission rather than her destruction is to treat the Thea's species as separate from all other lives and at a different value.

He turned towards Thea again finally.  one because he felt she herself needed to hear what he had to say but more to let her see his eyes as he spoke.  He wanted to let her see that though his voice had conviction and tactical assessment there was a hidden sadness in what he was saying.  That what he said hurt him and it always pained him to view life in such a callous way but through years of different kinds of war he had learned to deal with the decisions that war forced himself and everyone by extension to make.  "As such I believe that we must ignore the question of, "Do we want to risk so much on a rescue mission?" and instead our question is merely a series of questions regarding tactics, risks, and rewards.  "Is such a mission a valid tactical decision?  What do we stand to gain?  What do we stand to loose?  What is the probability of success?  Does this mission have the best probability of ensuring our survival when faced by Calamity?"  It may sound insensitive to say but it has to be said, Thea."  He swallowed hard before he spoke these words, "Your daughter is dead; she was killed when she was reprogrammed.  If, and only if there is a significant chance to defeat the Calamity by somehow turn Cala herself and such a plan has a fair chance of success then the mission should be taken under advisement as one of the best plans because it is the lone plan that results in us making a tactical gain as opposed to merely surviving another day.  The Calamity would be a magnificent asset to our mission. It would be wonderful if your daughter could be rescued, but risking our mission for the rescue of one life even ones own kin is to great a risk given the intelligence officer's correct assessment of The Calamity's ability to exterminate any creature or holographic being it sees as a threat once they are on-board.

Aisha looked around a moment before she spoke up letting The SCO's words sink in through the cloud of though that had developed over the table, "Speaking of those assessments it should be noted that the examples that Lieutenant Commander Trent gave are all things that could potentially be self damaging to The Calamity.  As such I think causing a form of failure to the inertial dampening field on The Calamity would be a very effective means of causing incalculable damage to the insides of said ship.  Remember, more than just human bodies go flying when inertial dampers are down.  Everything not bolted to the floor or part of the ships super structure would be sent flying with inertia sending it where it would go.  Also keep in mind that really Inertial dampeners also function pretty much as a secondary structural integrity field functioning as the integrity field for anything that isn't part of the primary Frame and hull of the ship including, many walls, furniture, cargo containers, even to an extent starfighters and photon torpedoes.  The speed an object would be sent flying at would be based on it's acceleration relative to the change in direction and velocity.  As such, the guts of the ship would be ripped apart by thousands of improvised cannon balls traveling at quarter the speed of light.  This could also result in a potential degradation of structural integrity sufficient to cause a collapse in the structural integrity field allowing inertia alone to literally tear the ship apart.  If said ships brains aren't quick enough to react to it.  Granted their potential reaction times i think its safe to say the failures wouldn't get that catastrophic but at the least the Calamity would be left unable to move lest it wishes to risk risking its self apart before structural integrity and inertial dampening fields are restored.  If we could fool then into trying such a trick to get rid of someone they think is on their ship we could potentially cause them to cut their own throats so to speak."

Selane chuckled, "Yea no way they would be that stupid though.  I mean even if we found a way to trick them with a fake human on-board.  There are hundreds of ways The Calamity could rid herself of an unwanted organic.  Site to site transport directly into the impulse engine reactor.  Slamming a door shut as a person tries to walk through it severing limbs or bisecting a torso, oh and don't forget like Thea this is a ship with a projection system integrated with the whole ship.  I think we all know what kind of accidents can happen in a holodeck with the safety turned off.  Imagine the multitude of death causing agents that could be projected.  Just keeping it simple all that's needed is a single hand phaser on a high setting projected as being fired in a wide dispersal and that should get rid of anything in a hallway.  As for Thea, they could easily destroy her mobile emitter just as quickly as they could kill an organic, or they could potentially capture her and as such learn about any plans we may have that you know, or scour her memories for tactical data on every member of the crew she have encountered making their data on us that much more accurate and thus more lethal against us.   Thea it isn't just your potential for loosing the mobile emitter that is a worry, but what they could do if they captured even a limited form of you with only a quarter of your knowledge.  If they didn't already have a great enough advantage against us that advantage would only grow.  As the plan currently exists, this mission has a near zero percent chance of any form of success, a near 100 percent probability to us loosing tactical or valued equipment and personnel,  and an over 90 percent probability that this mission would give our enemy some form of tactical advantage above what they already have.  Its a great idea in initial theory but it needs a lot of work before I could ever say that its even feasible from an operating or engineering stand point."

She then smiled "That said the programming aspects shouldn't be that difficult.  I think a better idea to "rescue Cala and liberate The Calamity" would be if Cala tried to come on-board again we should have contingency plans in place to capture her and attempt to reset the parameters that are within her program stored within her emitter."  If she can become an ally then she would be able to potentially act as a double agent and once back on-board her ship effectively reset her own primary systems and as such restore the ship to a state where an organic crew can take command safely.  Such a plan still has a low chance of success as well but at least is something we could attempt in the scenario that Cala tries to attack us in person again, something we presently don't really have any contingencies against much less any plans that allows us to turn an assault on us into an advantage."

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #23
[Lt. Cmdr Natalie Stark]

Natalie was subconsciously mimicking Captain Ives. She too had her fingers forming a small steeple at about nose level, though hers slowly intertwined and curled into something more akin to praying as she rested her chin on her knuckles. Her PADD lay untouched before her as she processed the question posed by Thea. And lord what a question. While Lin Kae might be the chief advocate for Thea and her rights as an individual, Natalie wasn't exactly in the opposition here. She had argued for the woman - not hologram, woman - before. Time and obligations (and Rory) had kept Natalie from following up with the ships avatar as much as she'd wanted to. An unfortunate lapse on her part.

But now, as the discussion shifted away from the gravametric mines, stutter fire and sensor algorithms - something she held her tongue on, resolving to go over Trent's logic after the meeting - and further onto Thea's request. Well. That was going to be a pain to sort out, no if's and's or but's about it. The brunette started chewing on her lower lip as her brow furrowed. Her thoughts were jumbled, running a mile a minute, intelligence sparking behind the eyes of a woman who was quiet as a mouse. Having no children of her own - nor any real prospects for such, given the current situation they were all in, Natalie wasn't sure how she should feel. Wouldn't any mother, human or otherwise, want a chance to redeem their child? But how did one balance that against duty?

The options thrown out weren't exactly good ones. Either they were of the gist of heroic, cast in the guise of 'freeing' Cala from abhorrent brainwashing, or the opposite - brainwashing an existing AI; lobotomizing her back to the factory default (Natalie shuddered to think what that would be like if it were forced down on Thea, and not Cala); or outright killing the hostile being, that had to date shown no remorse at all for the slaughter she had unleashed - slaughter that Natalie had witnessed first hand when the rouge Hologram transported onto the bridge and began taking out her fellow officers one after another. She remembered staring down the glowing emitter of the dark haired woman's phaser just before the AI had escaped.

It was a visible shudder that passed over Natalie as she squeezed her blue eyes shut. She swallowed hard, opened her mouth, and added what little she had to say. "Calamity is a killer. Remorseless, and dedicated. She systematically slaughtered the personnel of this ship with absolutely no flicker of regret. We are nothing but flies to her, and she is the schoolboy that enjoys pulling off the wings and watching them wither and die." It was a cold approximation of the enemy, one that might have shocked anyone who actually knew the Chief of Operations on any kind of personal level.

With a sigh, she turned from the rest of the room to look at Thea. Her gaze softened. "From a purely tactical standpoint, Thea's request is - foolish. Reckless. Wasteful. But it is also a Human response. And it certainly is not unprecedented. As Lt. Cmdr Reynard points out, one need not look any further than the issue of Locutus of Borg." The records around the assimilation of Captain Picard by the Borg and the efforts that his crew went to to return and restore their commanding officer were well known throughout the fleet. It was something of a morale boosting tale that got passed along from ship to ship in the wake of that horrible atrocity, and her take on the situation was far different then the SCO's.

"Picard was restored to what he was before his assimilation. He was not held responsible for the massacre of Wolf 359. If - and I need to stress the word IF - Cala's core programming has been corrupted, how could Thea, in essence the holograms mother - do anything less for Cala then the crew of the Enterprise did for Captain Picard? How can we hold her accountable for her actions, any more than Starfleet concluded that they could not in good conscious do so to Captain Picard." She paused to let her words sink in before continuing, "You argue that it was done from a tactical standpoint - I argue that there was, under it all, a base need to save one of their own. Even if it was just along the lines of not leaving a comrade behind. True, times were desperate and the tactical considerations had to be there but. I disagree with the Lt. Cmdr." She shrugged a bit, and smiled just the tiniest at Thea. It was a vote in favor of the hologram's wish.

Re: Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [04: Anger & Bargaining]

Reply #24
[Declan Vasser]

"It's a dangerous path to take," Declan finally chimed in.  he let everyone else argue the morals and ethics of the matter, forming his own opinion based on it all.  Along with Ives, his word would likely weigh strongly, the two of them serving as the two highest ranking officers present, and the ones in command of their two vessels.  "That said, there is something to be said for risk versus reward.  We are in a dangerous situation, enemies everywhere, and only ourselves to rely upon.  The Calamity right now stands as perhaps our greatest enemy, one who ruthlessly hunts us with the efficiency and restlessness of a machine, but we have the potential to make it an ally.  The Theurgy is a top-of-the-line ship, but even it cannot stand against the entire Federation.  Calamity carries upon it technology and information which could turn the tide of our struggle."

Of course, there was a matter that would have been seen as problematic, and Vasser addressed that too.  "The Temporal Prime Directive would suggest we not use such advantages, but when we have opposing forces making use of temporal incursions, I could contend that we might have some leeway."  The Niga Incident had been caused by someone or something messing with the time stream, targeting the Theurgy directly.  It was enough to see a Temporal Affairs officer assigned to their ship.  Calamity's strength might have been needed to fend off more dangers.

"If Cala is anything like Thea, then we need her on-board the Calamity to make certain the ship operates at peak efficiency, so I feel I must endorse that we attempt to free Cala from whatever programming might have her oppose us.  I don't begin to think I know the complexities of that, but I would allow those who do to come up with a plan that works."

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