Canopus Station
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Brain Storm (working title)

Posted on Fri Jul 1st, 2022 @ 3:54am by Lieutenant Commander Mara Ricci & Lieutenant Commander Meilin Jiang

Mission: S0E0: What Came Before
Location: Lt. Commander Jiang’s office

The task was to set up a decoy station with which to distract the Concordance away from their very real one. The problem: Mara had no idea how to do that. She had toyed with the idea of holoemitters, but they definitely didn’t have enough of those. She had toyed with the idea of neutralizing the subspace phaser array with the anti-matter discriminator to create a psionic subspace flux, but without a visual to go with it, she didn’t think it would work. Promethean flux was out for obvious reasons; the evasion gateway couldn’t be reconciled in time.

But perhaps Meilin had some ideas. Maybe Mara was thinking too big and Meilin would have simpler ideas. She often seemed to think a lot more simply than Mara did. Perhaps it was the whole Tao thing.

So now they sat in Meilin’s office, pouring over all the data they had on the subject. “I can’t decide if the wirewolves are transferable or not,” she commented. “I just don’t think we know enough about Concordance technology. But anything is worth a try, right?”

"The wirewolves are best left as a defensive safeguard," Meilin said. "Any attempt to hack or otherwise compromise our network will allow that problem to take care of itself. Weaponizing the wirewolves carries the unnecessary risk of backfiring. If we are to pull off a successful ruse, though, it will require an eclectic solution comprised of every resource available to us. No one tactic will succeed alone."

“I suppose you’re right,” admitted Mara reluctantly; she had rather liked the idea of turning that nasty trick against a nasty foe. But Meilin was right. It was far too risky. “I think my problem is that Engineers tend to think too complicated. I have been racking my brain and all I can come up with is problems.”

Meilin favored her with a knowing smirk. "Problems beget problems. Let us instead focus on the goal so that the solution may present itself. Our goal is a decoy station. What would that look like?"

“I have no idea,” groaned Mara. “If I understand it correctly, we need a visual, right? I have no clue how to do that. Hey!” she added, having a sudden idea. “We might be able to get away with a cloaking device, being that we’re nowhere near home. And then we wouldn’t necessarily need a convincing decoy station. Becauae any decoy we built would be convincing.

"A cloaking device could work," Meilin said, "especially with selling the ruse. I suggest we requisition one of the gun batteries from the asteroid belt within the system and use it as the nucleus--it will allow for basic defense and provide a suitable power source for long-range scanners. Then we replicate as many hull plates as we can in order to form a basic shell. Decks, tubes, turblifts--none of those will be necessary. That's what the holoemitters will be for--in case they get close enough for internal scans."

“Good point,” replied Mara. “See what I mean? Simplify! Why can’t I make anything simple?”

"Simple is a subjective quality," Meilin said. "My summary entails some rather complex components, some of which we have not even broached yet."

“Right, but I mean it never occurred to me that we really only needed a shell,” replied Mara. “I’m thinking duplicating the whole station. That would be ridiculous, though, and I see that now you’ve pointed it out. But I didn’t think of it on my own.”

Nodding her acknowledgement, Meilin was nonetheless reserved. "Let's withhold credit until our plan succeeds. If we wanted the best chance at success, we should implement the secret project associated with the Magificent." Not so long ago, a chunk of the station had been cannibalized by some sort of nanobots that recreated a Federation starship that had arrived by some anomaly from another universe. "But \Task Force Hecate Command indubitably has that technology under lock and key. It would take some compelling pressure to get Captain Ingram to sign off on the request and push it up the chain of command." She paused for a moment, pondering the fine line between shrewdness and manipulation. It was like night and day to her, and she wanted to remain on the proper side. "You have Captain Ingram's ear. Do you think you could convince him to put his weight behind the requisition?"

“As long as he hasn’t already decided against it, probably,” replied Mara. Once Ingram made up his mind, there was no changing it. But odds are he hadn’t even thought about it, so odds were high. “I could certainly try.”

"If he is no unyielding, there may be other avenues as well," Meilin said, though she did not elaborate. "What resources will be required to enact what we've planned so far?"

“Well, obviously the raw materials,” replied Mara. “But if I knew more about how the nanobots worked, I would know if we just need that or if we actually need deck plating and bolts and conduit and all the other things to make a good faux space station. I’ll bet my security clearance is enough to get me the sensor readings and any camera footage there may be. You know. For purely scientific interests.” She winked.

"I doubt it," Meilin said. "It's all classified. We need a flag officer to read us in. That's where we'll have to get Captain Ingram's support."

“True, but as it happened to my station, it shouldn’t be hard to get to,” Mara pointed out. “After all, I have to know what to look out for in case anything was missed.”

Meilin shrugged. "I suppose it may be worth a try. It may circumvent the need for the captain's support altogether."

“We’d still need him to actually get our hands on the technology,” Mara pointed out. “We definitely don’t have time to make our own.”

"There may be another option," Meilin said cryptically, "but let's exhaust official channels first."

“Are you suggesting less than legal means?” replied Mara with a grin. “You, Meilin? Wow.”

"Of course not," Meilin said. "I would never stoop to illicit actions. Let us first pursue Captain Ingram, though, and keep the peace if possible."

"That is preferable," agreed Mara. "After all, we have to live with him."

Meilin sighed and closed her eyes. "Yes," she agreed with some effort. "I may need to meditate after this."

"Maybe I should give that a shot, too," muttered Mara.


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