Captain's log, Stardate 40762.9. The maiden voyage of the Resulotion is finally upon us. The preparations to get underway are almost complete, but before we can do so, the senior staff and I will be entertaining a small delegation of Federation dignitaries, ranging from Starfleet admirals to local journalists. I find myself humbled by the fact that Starfleet command has allowed reporters from my hometown to cover the launch of the Resolution. I'm also eager to get to know my senior staff a little better. Beside counselor Lantara with whom I served on the Nagano, all of the other members of the Resolution's senior staff are new to me. After the reception, the Resolution will take our guests on a tour around Pluto before dropping them off on Earth. Afterwards, the Resolution will set course for Starbase G-6, where we will pick up the last members of our crew.
The Ten-forward lounge was abuzz with conversation. Admirals, journalists, councilpeople, the lead engineer in charge of the Resolution's construction, and all of their staff mingled with the senior staff of the ship. While Captain LaSalle answered the journalists' questions, Commander Lantara flitted around the room, making sure everything ran smoothly.
When the last checkups were confirmed completed, Commander T'Ren came to find the Captain, and the senior staff left for the bridge, leaving the Counselor behind with the esteemed guests.
On the bridge, the crew got the ship ready for launch. The warp core's steady thrum could be felt throughout the ship as the matter/anti-matter reaction was initiated. Chief Engineer Kuranda, from the engineering console on the bridge, diverted power to the nacelles…
An explosion rocked the ship. Alarms blared, readings flashed on consoles. The warp core's reaction steadily accelerated.
Reports start pouring in. The explosion was on deck 29, port side. Somehow, the plasma meant for the port nacelle is being fed back into the warp core. If the reaction continues, the ship would blow, taking half of Utopia Planitia with it.
Lt. Kuranda, his hands flying across the console, got his crew in engineering to start turning off the core, but it was soon evident to him that he needed more time than he had. He needed some way to reduce the power output of the core.
The Captain asked for suggestions. It was Lt. Zole who spoke up, blurting out "the deflector dish!" Everyone turned to her. Ensign Dovoro, at OPS, nodded "Yes! If we recalibrate it, we could use it as a plasma emitter!" "Draining the warp core of its excess power" continued Lt. Kuranda. "We'd have to aim it right, or we risk hitting the shipyards," finished Cmdr. T'Ren.
Captain LaSalle, nodded. "Do it."
While Ensign Dovoro recalibrated the deflector dish, Lt. Zole aimed its emitters away from anything its expulsion might hit, and Lt. Kuranda rerouted power to it. When ready, they turned to the Captain.
"Fire." The pulse shot out of the dish. "It's working," said Lt. Kuranda. "Keep firing until the core if offline," instructed the Captain.
A minute later, the core's reaction was stopped. The alarms went off, and calm returned to the bridge.
On Deck 29, things are still hectic. Dr. Mela To'k has made is way down and is leading his medical team in assisting the wounded. While he does triage, his team treats the wounded and transport them to sickbay.
Eventually, the crisis subsides. The dignitaries and transported off the ship and the crew begins to take stock of the situation and investigate the explosion. One crewman is missing, presumed dead, and at least a dozen more are wounded, with wounds ranging fromcontusions to third degree burns.
Lt. Zole and Lt. Kuranda investigate the site of the malfunction on Deck 29. The corridor is badly burned. Using their tricorders, they find the power conduit where the explosion originated. Scans of the location reveal human DNA, presumably of the missing crewman. Anyone in that corridor before the explosion would have been vaporized by the plasma. The DNA is sent to Dr. To'k for analysis. Lt. Kuranda removes the power conduit and takes it to engineering to be examined.
The power conduit is found to have broken under the strain of the plasma flow. However, the weakness in the metal should have been detected in the three check ups prior to launch. Not only that, but the break is suspicious as it happened in the perfect place for the plasma to burn up into the Bussard collector conduits, thus feeding it back into the warp core. Lt. Kuranda pulls up the name of the team assigned to check that section of the ship and finds it was a team under Ensign Rita Mendes, composed of crewmen Melbonit, Chad Sullivan, and Michael Miller.
The senior meets in the conference room to discuss the investigation. The Captain is presented with the facts about the conduit. Dr. To'k adds that the DNA found was human and matches with Michael Miller, but that the analysis is not complete. Captain LaSalle orders Lt. Zole and Counselor Lantara to question the Engineering team, while the doctor and the chief are told to finish running their diagnostics. Ensign Dovoro, present as the most senior member of the operations department, raises her hand. She explains that while checking the ship's records at the time of the accident, she noticed strange power readings from cargo bay 3 and asks that she be allowed to investigate it. The Captain acquiesces.
Lt. Zole and Counselor Lantara start with Ensign Mendes. Their interrogation shows that she followed protocol, reviewing every report before filing it and that she is profoundly shaken by the failure of her team and the death of crewman Miller. The counselor orders her to take some time off.
Next, they talk to crewman Sullivan. He tells them of the procedure he followed, but something seems suspicious about his answers. When pressed, he admits that he let crewman Miller cover for him so he could go spend some time with crewman Ashley Kendrik in private. Lt. Zole and Counselor Lantara relieve him of duty.
Finally, they talk to crewman Melbonit. The terse and direct Tellarite explains her duty and the events of the previous days precisely and without hiding anything. However, the only useful information her testimony provides is that the broken conduit was in crewman Sullivan's assigned section. She is allowed to return to work.
Meanwhile, Ensign Dovoro's investigation of cargo bay 3 reveal that the cargo transporter was activated fractions of a second before the explosion on deck 29. However, she is unable to find the origin, destination, or nature of the transporter material.
When Dr. To'k finishes his analysis, he calls the captain and suggests reconvening the senior staff for a meeting. Once there, he reveals the chilling results. The DNA is fake.
to be continued…