USS Vizier – Building the Next Generation – Week Three – BOFF Stations & Specialization

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Oct 082017
 

Introduction

In the previous weeks episode (USS Vizier – Building the Next Generation – Week Two – Consoles) i explained the consoles that were fitted onto the Vizier. With Season 14 released this weekend, and Vizier taking pride of place as my new flagship officially.

This week, we take a look into another key area of Vizier’s build – Her BOFF Station layout and Specialization choice. Alot of the choices I have made her, are similar to Zuikaku.

But as usual, Vizier has her quirks 🙂

BOFF Stations

BOFF Stations, short for Bridge Officer Stations, are key parts of start trek online. They give additional commands and abilities to your ship in and out of combat. These stations are usually the primary driving force of any ships performance.

Sure, you can have picked out the perfect gear, with beautiful consoles. But if you dont merge that with good BOFF station choices, you wont get very far.

To that end, I took particular attention to Vizier;s BOFF Layout, ensuring the choices i made, had synergy with my gear and console choices. Alot of times, my BOFF station choices, influenced my gear choices. So, lets begin say we.

COMMANDER ENGINEER

With the Vizier being a cruiser, naturally her biggest station reflects that ship type – pone being of the engineer career variety. Vizier’s layout is slightly different from Zuikaku’s. With a slightly more focus to offensive than defense.

The first ability, is Emergency Power to Shields 1. This ability regens shields, repairs disabled shields, gives the ships shields extra resistance as well. It also adds shield power to the ship. Basically, this ability is a shield heal ability. I choose this ability as i knew with Vizier’s design, she would not have as much shield redundancy as Zuikaku. Furthermore, Vizier actually has a lower shield BOFF station than Zuikaku, as Zuikaku uses Emergency Power to Shields 3.

The next ability, is one i have used on Zuikaku before, but is not part of her standard boff layout – Overload Integrity Field II. This ability adds a +26.6 to Starship hull restoration. Basically improving hull healing for a 12 second period.

For example, if my Hazard emitters 1 power heals my ship for 14,000 hull hit points. If i use Overload integrity field, it bumps this healing up to 15,200. Basically this boff station is like a boost to your slotted healing abilities. I choice this ability, as i knew with Vizier being more focused on offense, i need an extra ability to keep her at maximum hull points. As well as give me the ability to rapidly repair my hull hit points as quickly as possible.

The next ability is Emergency Power to Weapons III. This ability increases Vizier’s weapon power, as well as increases the damage of her weapons for a 30 second period. With Vizier being tactically focused, i ensured the highest emergency power ability was resolved for the weapons version.

The final ability, is Auxiliary to Structural Field III. This ability is a rapid fire healing and damage resistance boost. It utilizes Auxiliary power, so the high y aux power, the more hull heal and damage resistance boost i receive. This ability is pretty standard on all cruisers with a commander engineering station. As the community considers it a “must have” considering what you gain, for the abilities cooldown (15 seconds) as the boost you receive.

Lieutenant Commander Universal/Command

The next on the BOFF station tour of Vizier, is her Universal station – the Lieutenant Commander Universal/Command hybrid. With the station being universal, and no other science stations on a Assault Cruiser class ship, basically everyone choices science as their career to fill out the station. With Vizier being no exception.

The first station contains Hazard Emitters 1. This ability heals a number of hitpoints over a 15 second period. It also removes any hazard debuffs that are on your ship at the time over activation, or try to get applied during the 15 second period the ability is activated. Hazard emitters 1 also applies a damage resistance buff for that 15 second period. I choose this ability, as it is my standard ensign science ability choice across all my ships in Task Force Eleven, with Vizier being no exception.

The next ability is Science Team 2. This ability regenerates shields, as well as removes any science debuff for a period of 5 seconds. Science team has a cooldown period of 30 seconds. This ability was chosen over its shield boost capabilities, as well as its ability to remove science debuffs. Considering the NPC’s i verse, it was a logical choice.

The next ability, utilizes The Fleet Command Assault cruisers command hybird boff station. In this station, I have slotted Concentrate firepower 3.

This ability has a 180 targeting arc, and its primary focus is boosting kinetic damage capabilities. As you can see in the above screenshot, its marks a foe for extra kinetic damage, that has a 100& shield penetration. Also, while active, once per 2 seconds, it grants a Torpedo High Yield 1 to one damager (could be Vizier, or a teammate i am with) and resets torpedo cooldowns.

I choose this ability for several weapons. One, with Vizier having a more focus towards torpedoes and kinetic damage than Zuikaku, it made a logical choice to enhance this ability. Also, with my specialization choices of Command (discussed later in this piece) it further added to Vizier’s kinetic capabilities. Second, Vizier was envisioned as a ship capability was placing down-road a large amount of high powered torpedoes to a target very quickly.

During tests and STF missions, several times I have been able to launch between 6 – 12 torpedoes at a single target, with help from this ability. It also tries to ensure that Vizier can keep firing torpedoes as quickly as possible, in an attempt to keep a targets shields and hull under constant threat. Considering the torpedo loadout of Vizier I have chosen.

Lieutenant Engineering

The next stop on our tour, is Vizier’s engineering BOFF station. The first station contains Engineering Team 1. This ability has two effects. First, it is an instant hull heal that is applied to the ship. Second, it repairs disabled systems (power systems) over a 5 second period. This ability is pretty much a standard choice for me in any ship that has a Engineering BOFF station.

This abilities hull heal, is affected by the hull restoration skill points you have in your skill tree. With the choices I have made for Vizier, this ability heals 9,100 hull hit points – or roughly 10% of Vizier hull total.

The second ability, is reverse shield polarity. Called the “Green/Brown Nappy” back in the day, this ability is more known for being a “oh shit” button. This ability, when activated, converts 50% of incoming energy damage into the ships shields for a 12 second period. It also makes the target immune to teleport for that twelve second period as well.

This ability has a 2 minute cooldown, but is very powerful when a ship is under constant energy damage attack, and can very quickly regen a ships shields back to maximum. Due to its long cooldown, it is considered an ability to be used when your ship is at medium to low hull hit points, with shields on the verge of collapse. I choose this ability considering Vizier’s weakness in her shields, as well as lower hull hit points and resistance compared to Zuikaku. As a result, keeping Vizier’s shields up is much more critical than Zuikaku.

Ensign Tactical

Next, is the ensign tactical station. Being an ensign level station only, there is only one choice i made – Tactical team. Tactical team is considered a “must have” on every single ship, and every single build without exception.

Tactical team removes hostile boarding parties, and tactical debuffs over a 10 second period. The ability also adds an additional +18 skill points to Energy weapon and Projectile weapon over a 10 second period. However, one of the greatest additions, is that it redistributes shield strength to shields receiving damage over a 10 second period. Basically, if a ship has 15k shields for each facing, this ability turns a single shield facing into potentially 60k shields.

The cooldown on Tactical team is usually 30 seconds. However, I have been able to get the cooldown to the global of 15 seconds by using the following DOFF officer on my active space doff officer list – Conn Officer.

I have two of these officers on my active DOFF space list. As a result, my cooldown for tactical team goes from 30 seconds to 15 seconds. Essentially meaning i can keep using this ability almost back to back without any breaks in between.

Lieutenant Commander Tactical

Next, is Vizier’s second biggest station, and bascially one of her most important. Vizier’s Lt Commander Tactical Station is quite a break from Zuikaku’s, especially with changes that were made, at the time of this writing, only 36 hours ago.

Originally, for the last 2 1.2 months, Vizier has been using Beam: Fire at Will 1 in her ensign slot of this station. This was on par ewith Zuikaku as well. However, 2 days ago, I had a brain wave, and decided to go in a new direction. This new direction would be quite a change for myself, and how i have operated beam cruiser builds in the past. I was going to utilize Beam Overload outside of PvP.

Beam Overload 1 had quite a change in Season 13, changing from barely used, to potentially being of close to the same benefit of Beam Fire at will. Beam overload now increases you next beam attack to 470% of its normal damage. Potentially turning a normal 1600 damage beam attack into a 9000 attack even before critical chance and severity would come into play.

However, the second side effect of this ability, is a unique one. It upgrades all of your normal beam weapons to do 30% extra damage and critical severity for the next 10 seconds. This further enhances this abilities against a single target, especially if it is a harder target or boss level.

I made this change, just recently, because i decided to go in a new direction. I decided to attempt a more rapid turn around of Vizier’s beam attack capabilities, in an attempt to get more damage more constantly. The aim being that in a 60 second period, to get more beam special attacks in compared to normal.

This has its risks, as I am most likely losing out on AOE damage capability with my beams, in an attempt to get more damage overall on either a single target, or more damage overall. Time will tell how effective this change will be, as well as how much this will affect Vizier’s “DPS” rating.

The next ability is torpedo spread. This is another change compared to Zuikaku who uses Torpedo High Yield in this station. Torpedo Spread upgrades you next torpedo attack. Depending on the ability level, it launches multiple torpedoes at multiple targets. This ability is great when your torpedo has special abilities that are more effective when targets are bunched up.

Considering Vizier’s torpedo choices, this choice was a no brainer, As it enhances the unique torpedoes i use on Vizier. However, this ability does not affect “clicky” consoles. No Vizier torpedo console does not get an upgraded attack.

The final station, is similar to Zuikaku. Beam: Fire at Will 3. This ability when activated upgrades your beam attacks for the next 10 seconds. Your beam weapons fire two random pulses per pulse, and pulses five times instead of the regular four. These strikes are random, and will strike any target within your weapons range regardless of if you have them selected as a target.

However, there are downsides to this ability. One, weapons deal 90% of their normal damage per shot. Additionally, the beam attacks suffer a degrade in their accuracy rating. Meaning they have an additional chance of missing their targets.

This ability was again a no-brainer, as while the ability has downsides, I had used Beam Fire at Will 3 to great effect for years on Zuikaku.

SPECIALIZATIONS

Specializations are an additional benefit you can unlock for your character. These abilities and additions add extra capability to ships and captains within the game. You can have one primary, and one secondly specialization.

This is one area that didn’t change from Zuikaku to Vizier. Both ships use the same specialization, with no differences. With my primary specializtion being “Command” and my secondary being “Strategist”

Primary Specialization – Command

Command, or Command Officer, is my primary specialization. This specialization is really built towards a multi-role sort of captain. Providing boosts to the team, as well as the player themselves. These boosts include both defensive and offensive. Effectively being a Command officer.

The base specialization itself, provides additional maximum hull capacity based on the amount of points you have spent within the specialization. Since I have spent all 30 points in this spec, it grants me an extra 15% in maximum hull hit points on any ship i select. This was one of the primary reasons i choose this specialization several years ago, for its defensive capabilities.

However, there are other reasons i choose this specialization, of which, several i will go through with you now.

Achilles Heel 3

Achilles Heel 3, provides an extra debuff against an enemy target when I land a critical hit on them for a 10 second period. This ability grants a -25 damage resistance against a target I hit. The effect can only trigger one every 30 seconds maximum. Granting a potential rough 33% debuff time against a target per minute.

This provides my ships, which were mostly built with defensive capabilities in mind, a chance to land debuffs against targets I am attacking. Debuffs, which normally, my ships do not carry in the terms of captain or BOFF abilities. Additionally, this effect helps my teammates. Adding a damage resistance debuff, means the more damage orientated members of my team can used their ships strengths even more, without necessary having to relay on their own debuff abilities.

Additionally, with Vizier built with firepower in mind, this part of the Command specialization, helps alot.

Debilitating weakness II

A part of the Achilles Heel debuff, debilitating weakness applies when achilles applies. However, this part of the command specialization has a different effect. For a 10 second period, it reduces outgoing damage by foes by 40%. Meaning foes hit by this ability, their weapons become less potent. This is a great addition, and while hamstrung by the fact it needs Achilles to function, it is still a welcome addition.

Mainly, because in my mind, the most effective time with this debuff, is against harder or boss level targets. Who, usually, have several nasty damaging abilities and firepower at their disposal. Additionally, with Vizier’s weaker defenses compared to Zuikaku, less outgoing enemy damage, means she has to weather less incoming, which is always good.

Boost Morale

Boost Morale, is a clickable ability that is part of the Command Specialization. It effects yourself and all teammates with an ongoing removal of all forms of defuffs and control effects for a short 4 second duration. This allows for great team capability, and can assist in situations with your normal BOFF abilities, that might be able to remove duffs might not be available.

This clickable ability, with a 2 minute cooldown, has been a great addition to Zuikaku’s build, as well as Vizier’s. Having an additional backup debuff removal capability, and one that removes all debuffs, is a great emergency reserve. Again, considering Vizier’s build type being more offensively minded, ensuring i have the ability to get Vizier out of trouble was a major consideration.

Especially considering Vizier’s defensive capabilities compared to Zuikaku, being debuff, for any substantial length of time, would be potentially fatal.

With Command specialization out of the way, we know move to my secondary specialization – Strategist.

Strategist

Strategist, is my secondary specialization. This specialization is more built towards a single player’s build, and really does not have any effects or abilities that can be added to the team. However, Strategist does have several abilities and boosts that are quite beneficial to the Vizier.

Every point slotted in Strategist, provides extra maximum shield capacity. With all 15 points slotted in strategist, it provides an additional 10% maximum shield strength to any ship i fly.

Again, I will show you several of these boosts and abilities.

Logistical Support III

When using or not the ability Threatening stance, logistical support III comes into play. This part of specialization provides a boost to temporary hull for a 10 second period when threatening, or a boost to critical chance for a 10 second period after an incoming bridge officer or captain ability heal.

Since a lot of times, I am in a threatening stance, this means i gain temporal hull for a 10 second period, which can stack up to 10 times. This boost is 30% of the incoming bridge officer or captain hull healing amount. This provides an extra hull hit point buffer for Vizier, meaning that if i am hit, the points are deducted from the temporary hull first, before being applied to my ship.

This defensive boost, also gives me a bit of emergency redundancy when i am at low health. I can have this effect apply, utilize Vizier’s speed capability and extend the range out of danger. All the while having the temporary hull hit points take the damage first.

Attrition Warfare

Attrition Warfare, is one of the key reasons i choose this specialization. Attrition warfare, while threatening, provides a reduction to bridge officer recharge times by 20%, once every 30 seconds. This has the effect=, of when i heal myself, the boff abilities that are on cooldown get a reduction on their cooldown timer, as long as it isn’t already at the abilities global.

This was an excellent choice for Zuikaku back in the day, as it allowed my BOFF abilities to be cycled quicker, as i was the constant source of attention. The same is said for the Vizier. With her bridge officer abilities even more crucial, having the capability twice a minute to reduce their cooldown by healing myself is very benefical.

I haven’t had much experience with using the part of strategist when not threatening, so it will be interesting to see what effect the bonus to shield regeneration and hull regeneration effect would have.

Counter-Offensive III

Counter-offensive III is a part of the strategist specialization. Once evey 20 seconds, when struck by directed energy damage, Counter-Offensive III deals 10,000 electrical damage to the target with 50% shield penetration. This only happens once every 20 seconds, and only applies to one target, regardless of how many are targeting you.

This is another reason i choose this specialization. This is a minor additional boost to damage that flies under the radar. Due to its low damage capability, it would not be noticed very often. However, in Vizier’s case, any additional damage is well welcome. It also assists with higher level targets or bosses, where any damage is needed to target them down in time.

Conclusion

This concludes the third week of the USS Vizier – Building the Next Generation Blog. Next week, is a big week in a sense. I have showed you Vizier’s gear, console and BOFF stations. But how does it all compared to the ship she has replaced – Zuikaku?

Next week, we investigate and compare the stats of the USS Vizier and USS Zuikaku. To see their design choices, as well as their differences compared to one another.

Next Week – Week Four – Stats & Replacing a legend.

Hope you all look forward to it.

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USS Vizier – Building the Next Generation – Week Two – Console Stations

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Sep 232017
 

Introduction

In the previous weeks episode (USS Vizier – Building the Next Generation – Week One – Weapons and Gear) I explain the base weapons and primary systems of the USS Vizier, the ship that is due to replace USS Zuikaku as my flagship come Season 14. At the time, there was no launch date for Season 14.

But with Cryptic announcing Season 14’s release date as October 3rd, the Vizier is closer to her launch date that i expected. As a result, lets continue with the weekly blog posts about the Vizier’s build.

This week, we explore the USS Vizier’s console stations. Being a Fleet Command Assault cruiser, able to be purchased from a Tier 5 shipyard, makes her one of the last fleet ships a fleet can unlock. This fleet ship, has a 5 engineering, 2 science, and 4 tactical console layout.

Of course, with the Vizier, she is unique with how i use those console slots 🙂

Engineering Console Stations

Being a cruiser, the Vizier has the largest number of engineering consoles compared to the other 2 career types on the ship. With 5 stations, it gave me incredible flexibility with how i approached the Vizier. For the first time, I would be using the engineering console stations, with consoles that weren’t even dedicated engineering consoles.

Or, as the larger community would put it, Universal console dumping land.

The Incremental Phase cloaking device, is the console that comes with the C-Store T6 Intel Assault cruiser, or the Archon class for short. This console is part of a three piece console set called – Starfleet Assault Cruiser Technology, of which the USS Vizier has two of the three pieces within the set. This console has several unique features, but by large, the community ignores the console due to what they believe is “incompatible” with the current in-game meta. This is for a combination of factors, of which some I will go into detail during this blog post.

The console itself, grants a +1% critical chance boost to your ship. This is roughly 60% of the critical chance boost a MK XIV (14) Spire Tactical console would give you (1.8%). This boost, is relatively small compared to other critical chance boosting consoles, abilities and traits within the game.

The consoles second boost, is a +50 boost to Starship tactical readiness skill. This skill, improves Tactical Bridge officer ability cooldowns. A +50 skill boost, by itself, usually equates to roughly 10% of a tactical BOFF ability cooldown in my experience using this console. So, if you have Torpedo High Yield, its 30 second cooldown becomes 27 seconds. Now, 10% might not sound like much, but it can be very beneficial to get your tactical abilities operating quicker. Though, as with the critical chance, there are several consoles and starship traits that can offer something similar.

The console’s main purpose, is its “clicky” ability, which has a base 2 minute cooldown. When activated, the console has several abilities and occurrences that take place within a 15 second time period. One of these abilities, is for 15 seconds, the console “taunts” up to 5 foes, within 5 km of your ship for 15 seconds.

The first set of abilities, occurs within the first 10 seconds. The first ability, is that your ship becomes immune to all energy damage fired at your ship. The second, is a debuff that occurs against your own ship. Your outgoing energy damage is reduced by 50% for 10 seconds as well. For any major ship captain, this is pretty severe, especially for captains chasing DPS records.

After 10 seconds, another series of BUFFs and Debuffs occurs, of which all of these occur against your own ship. Your ship gains a stealth boost for a 5 second period, making you harder to detect and attack (For Vizier, the boost is +4,805 to Stealth). Also, your ship cannot be targeted for 5 seconds, and console damage is removed for 5 seconds. Another BUFF that occurs is your ship becomes immunue to all damage sources for a 5 second period.

Two de-buffs occur however. One, your ship cannot launch any hanger ships for a 5 second period. However, since Vizier doesn’t have hanger pets, this doesn’t effect her in any way. The second debuff that occurs, is that your ship weapons go offline for a 5 second period.

However, this console is a unique for what it offers, and what effects it has. I choose this console has it was a decent console, that also unlocked the two-piece set of Starfleet assault cruiser technologies, of which will be described in a later blog. But as related above, this console is pretty well completely ignored by the larger community, for several reasons.

One, it drastically reduces your damage output for a decent period of time. For most of the community, which chases DPS over everything else, this console is ignored completely. Plus, alot of the consoles boosts can be obtained with other BOFF abilities, consoles, and starship traits without the downsides this console has.

Now, why did i choose this console? Firstly, it unlocked a set piece which is really useful. Also, for all of its flaws, the console can still be used and worked into Advanced and Elite content, provided, you build your ship to make up for the consoles shortcomings. Properly utilized, this console can drag argo away from more fragile members of the team. For Vizier’s build, this console has its place. Also considering Vizier’s speed capabilities, and turn rate, this console can bring her out of danger, but at the same time, still drastic the enemy with a hard to kill target.

The Metreon Gas warhead launcher, is a console that is available from the T6 Command Assault cruiser. At the moment, this ship can only be obtained through the Whizkids promotion, and is currently not available in any other format. It was this console and ship variant that started me on Vizier’s journey, and it is a decent console. This console like the Phase clocking device, forms part of the three piece set called Starfleet Assault cruiser technology.

The console itself, provides a 15% flight turn rate boost, this is base turn rate on a ship, but is still a nice boost to make a ship more maneuverable. Second, the console also provides a +50 Starship engineering readiness skill. This skill, improves engineering bridge officer cooldowns. Like her sister console, this boost is roughly a 10% reduction on the cooldown. For example, Engineering team, with a 30 second cooldown, is reduced to 27 seconds.

However, the consoles biggest draw card, is its Metreon Gas warhead torpedo launcher. This console has a 180 degree targetting arc, and launches a slightly slower moving torpedo. The torpedo does its initial kinetic damage upon striking its target (in this case, that damage is 6.698 for Vizier). However, once it strikes its target, it creates a unstable metreon gas cloud at the target, which expands over a 3km radius. For 6 seconds, all targets within the cloud, receive plasma damage that ignores shields. Also, the target/s receive a turn rate (-75%) and impulse speed (-66%) debuff, as well as disabling any cloaks for those ships.

The torpedoes second ability, occurs after those 6 seconds. The unstable metreon cloud detonates, dealing massive damage to all targets within the 4km detonation range. Targets within this detonation, receive a large plasma damage (16,761 for Vizier), as well as an additional smaller plasma damage that occurs every 0.5 seconds for a 3 second period, which also ignores shields. The console itself, has a 2 minute cooldown.

This console was chosen for several weapons. First, it formed part of a 3 piece set, that with two pieces gave a nice bonus to USS Vizier’s stats and capabilities. Second, this is an additional weapon at Vizier’s disposal, which can be used in a nice arc (180 degrees). Coupled with its AOE damage capability, that can be massively enhanced when Vizier is teamed up with a science starship, the console was a definite choice for inclusion.

The Quantum Phase Converter, is obtained from the Featured Episode “Sunrise”. The console provides several useful boosts, as well as being part of a three piece gear set called Quantum Phase Catalyst, of which Vizier has all three pieces.

The console’s first bonus, is to Phaser damage. The console provides a +22.5% phaser damage boost, of which Vizier uses due to her Phaser weapon compliment. The console also provides a small +3.4 auxiliary power setting boost, which helps increase Vizier’s healing abilities. Third, the console provides a +33.8 starship drain expertise skill boost. Drain expertise skill improves energy and shield draining attacks, as well as resistance against said attacks. Considering Vizier’s weapon load-out, as well as the NPC’ she faces, this skill boost that provide increases to several areas of Vizier’s build.

Another passive ability the console grants, is a Auxiliary power hot restart function. This function, automatically removes all auxiliary power disable conditions on the ship. However, it can only be used once every 60 seconds.

As related above, this console was chosen for several reasons. The phaser damage boost, drain skill expertise increase, as well as the three piece set bonus. This console is incredibly valuable with what it provides to the Vizier.

The Mining drill laser, is available to Romulan players by obtaining the Kelvin Timeline T’Laru intel carrier warbird. For federation players, and myself, the console was obtained from the console pack – Proton charge launcher/Mining drill laser. This pack is available from lockboxes, as well as the exchange. This console forms part of a four-piece equipment set called “Alternative timeline”, of which, USS Vizier has two pieces.

The console boosts current and maximum shield subsystem power by +3, as well as increases a ships shield hitpoints, of which USS Vizier receives a +14.2% increase. However, the console’s primary boost or ability, comes from its “clicky” ability.

The “clicky” is a drill laser that does kinetic damage over a long period of time, and can last upwards of a full minute before it will deactivate (you can deactivate it manually). Over time, the target suffers increasing kinetic damage, that has a 50% shield penetration. The target also suffers a all damage resistance debuff that increases overtime as well. For Vizier, this debuff increases from 0 to 60 over the full minute.

The console also has a unique recharge timer, which is 2 seconds for every second spent damaging a foe. For example, if you only use this console against a target for 15 seconds, the cooldown will only be 30 seconds. This is a unique characteristic, as most consoles, will have full 2 minute cooldowns regardless of how long they are used. This increases the consoles usefulness for short sharp kinetic attacks, without suffering a long cooldown penalty.

I choose this console for several reasons. First, the default bonuses for nice additions to Vizier’s build. Second, the kinetic capability of this mining console are very useful. While not high in damage capability, the ability increases overtime, and can start to become very dangerous the longer it is applied to the target. Also, the damage resistance debuff is incredibly useful in team situations, to assist the rest of the fleet with taking down the target.

Third, the console forms part of a 4 piece set, of which the Vizier has two pieces. Even at two pieces, the two piece set bonus is very useful for Vizier. Coupled with the consoles unique console cooldown after use, makes this console incredible valuable. However, it does have a draw back that it needs to be maintained against a target for long periods of time to become useful. This means, alot of times, the best use of this console is against dreadnought or boss level NPC’s.

Broadside emitter arrays, can be obtained by purchasing the Kelvin Timeline Intel dreadnought from the Lobi store for 900 Lobi, or by purchasing the ship from the exchange. This console forms part of the four piece starship set called “Alternative Technologies” of which Vizier has two pieces.

The console provides a +3 current and maximum weapon subsystem power boost. The console also provides a 17.8% power recharge speed for Captain abilities. Effectively meaning, it reduces the cooldown of my captain abilities such as EPS power transfer. However, the consoles main ability comes from its “clicky”, which has a 2 minute cooldown once used.

The ability, is called “Broadside cannon barrage”. This ability fires at a random foe left or right 90 degree arcs of your ship (or your broadside). This ability fires 10 times per second for a grand total of 60, utilizing phaser damage against a target. This provides a decent small boost to damage against a target you are broadsiding against. Coupled with Beam Fire at will, this can create a big display of firepower in a relatively short period of time.

This console was chosen, for its DPS capabilities, as well as being part of a two piece set piece that would be beneficial to the Vizier. Another reason for this console being chosen, was its ability to put down massive firepower within a short period of time, with he intent to overwhelm the target’s capability to resist or react. Coupled with the Captain ability cooldown, this console was a useful, if expensive choice for Vizier.

Science Consoles

Next in this build blog, is the Science consoles for the Vizier. With only two consoles, this section of Vizier’s build was the most difficult to choose from. As I had to ensure that what i choose complimented the ship, without exposing too many fatal weaknesses. With only two consoles, massive amount of choices, and alot of areas to cover for Vizier’s build, it was difficult.

The Temporal Disentanglement Suite, is a console that is available from playing the Featured Episode “Butterfly”. This console also forms part of the three piece set called “Krenim Temporal Manipulation”, of which Vizier only has a single piece.

This console, provides several boosts. First, the console provides a +4.5 auxiliary power setting boost, which increases healing abilities on the Vizier. The console also provides a +22.5% maximum shield capacity boost, which increases the Vizier’s shield hit points number. The console also provides a 3% shield resistance increase, which helps Vizier’s shields resistance incoming damage directed against the shields.

The consoles second boosts, are tied to the ships auxiliary power levels themselves. First, the console provides a +0 – 2.5% critical chance severity boost based on the Vizier’s auxiliary power levels. At maximum auxiliary power, this boost is 30% more than you would receive from a MK XIV (14) Spire fleet tactical console. Second, the console also provides a +0 – 10% critical severity boost, again based off Vizier’s current auxiliary power levels. At maximum auxiliary power, this boost is 25% more than you would receive from a MK XIV (14) Spire Fleet tactical console.

However, one downside is that to get maximum boost from this console, you need to have your auxiliary power at maximum. While this can be obtained and maintained, it does take a bit of effort to do so.

I choose this console for the Vizier, due to the the boosts you receive from the console. The USS Zuikaku uses the same console as well, and I have found it to be a extremely useful console, that provides alot of benefits for the use of a single console slot. Basically providing both a defensive and offensive boost at the same time. This type of consoles, are some of my favourites.

The Sustained Radiant Field console, is obtained from the Iconian Resistance reputation store, once you complete tier 1 of the reputation. This console also forms a three piece gear set called “Radiant Armaments” of which the Vizier has only a single piece.

The console has several boosts, and is widely considered a “most slot” type of console considering what it offers to any ship it is slotted on. First, the console offers at Mk XIV a +23.8% bonus to hull heals, providing a nice bonus to abilities like Hazard Emitters and Engineering Team. Second, the console offers a +11.8% all weapon damage boost, which includes both energy and kinetic types. Third, the console offers a +23.8% bonus to shield heals, increasing the shield heals of BOFF abilities like Science Team and Emergency Power to Shields.

This console, with its several boosts to defensive and offensive abilities and weapons, was a must slot for the Vizier. As this console complimented her weapon capabilities and load out, while at the same time, helping increase the Vizier’s defensive capabilities. Considering the changes to Vizier’s build compared to Zuikaku, additional defensive boosts were considered a high priority.

The USS Zuikaku also has this console, and this console has proven its worth several times over the years since it was first introduced. Coupled with its relative easy to obtained, this console is considered a mainstay in the majority of builds.

Tactical Consoles

Next came the easiest part of Vizier’s build, the tactical console slots. Unless a player is trying a extreme redical build, once you have choose your weapon type, these consoles are the easiest to fill in. For Vizier, that was no exception.

Except for one small console 🙂

First, was the standard tactical console. Able to be obtained from a Tier 3 Fleet spire store. The Vulnerability locator (phaser) increases a ships phaser damage capability, as well as increasing a ships critical chance percentage. Considering the multiple phaser weapons installed on the Vizier, these consoles, as in their nature, increase the Vizier’s damage to high levels.

The USS Vizier has three of these consoles in her tactical console slots, which leaves one slot open.

The Counter Command Multi-Conduit Energy Relay, is obtained by completing the featured Episode “Surface Tension”. This console also forms part of a four piece set called “Counter Command Ordnance” of which the USS Vizier has two pieces.

The console boosts both phaser and disruptor damage, by +14.7% at Mk XIV (14) level. The console is also one of the few to boost radiation damage, with an increase of +29.5%. The console also improves photon projectile weapon damage by +29.5%. With the phaser and phton damage boosts, this console was a definite good choice for Vizier considering the combination of the ships phaser and photon torpedo weaponary.

Second, the console allow me to obtain the two piece set bonus of Counter Command Ordnance. As not only did this two piece set include a phaser damage boost, it also included a boost to the enhanced Bio-molecular torpedo that is slotted in one of Vizier’s aft weapon bays. While I could also slotted a fourth spire tactical console, the multiple boosts of slotting this console, in my opinion, more than made up for the reduced critical chance, and straight phaser damage loss.

Conclusion

This concludes the second week of the USS Vizier – The Next Generation build blog. Next weeks build blog will include the USS Vizier’s BOFF station layout, as well as the specialization’s I use for the ship. Compared to the Zuikaku, Vizier’s BOFF Stations are specialization are extremely similar.

However, it it still a good idea to show you how I have built the Vizier, and the interconnecting bonuses and synergies that occur with her BOFF stations and specialization.

I hope you all look forward to it

.

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USS Vizier – Building the Next Generation – Week One – Weapons and Gear

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Sep 172017
 

Introduction

Vizier has had a unique build process. Originally, when i finally received the Whiz kids promotion code back in April 2017, I wasn’t sure what i would do with the ship, her unique console, and its potential.

Later, when chatting with Equator alliance members, I had a vision to attempt a battle cloaking sovereign build. Utilizing a fast paced strike weapon that unloaded everything within 5 seconds, including the torpedo console.

I honesty had one or two thoughts regarding the build, but didnt really pursue it.

Next, I thought about uploading a general build to reddit/sto/builds, and discussion with them to bring the ship to a post Season 13 standard, with firepower being the primary focus, not defense.

There was a secondary consideration to this attempt. I had grown more and more concerned that USS Zuikaku, while extremely well built for her time, was simply falling behind with the changing requirements of some advanced and elite content.

Her tanking capability was second to none, able to survive punishment that would destroy most other 101st fleet ships. As well as being able to hold the line until the more tactical ships could regroup, or push through enemy front lines.

However, her DPS capability, while still within the top 30 – 35% of all players, did rely on the group alot to really perform. Also, her lack of speed, and turning capability meant she was increasing unable to be where she needed to be at crucial times, or be able to react fast enough.

Simply put, the reddit build post idea was originally my attempt at placing a build that was a carbon copy of USS Zuikaku, and seeing what the best of the best came up with for the new generation.

However, the more i thought about it, the more I thought it would be a betrayal against everything I had done with USS Zuikaku so far. The more and more i thought, it was also time to build a new ship for the new era, or the next generation.

Without me realizing it, USS Vizier had begun her journey. As well as a journey, that in my heart, would take sometime to come out and admit it to everyone in the 101st fleet.

USS Vizier would be, and was fully designed at the onset, to replace the USS Zuikaku.

Welcome to the USS Vizier Building Blog, titled “Building the Next Generation”. This will be a series of weekly blog posts explaining USS Vizier’s build. Going into deep details of her design, as well as her aims.

Welcome to Week One “Weapons, Gear and Ohhh Myyyy”

Beam Arrays

USS Vizier is armed with 4 Pulse Phaser beam arrays. These weapons are from the Original series movies, utilizing a sort of “pulse” barrage type of phaser attack. They were introduced not that long ago in the game by the devs of Star Trek Online in the Undiscovered Lock box.

These weapons as stated in their title, are phaser type of energy damage. They will be buffed by any bonus that increases all damage or phaser damage. These phasers are unlike most other phaser variants. While most phaser variants have a 2.5% chance to knock out a sub system during their attacks, the pulse phaser beam arrays do away with this mechanic for something different.

These phasers have a 2.5% chance to apply “Phaser Transfer” to its target, and to the USS Vizier herself. Phaser transfer apples a -10 damage resistance rating to the enemy target, while alsoa applying a +10 damage resistance rating to the USS Vizier. For the USS Vizier, this would be a roughly a increase of 3% in damage resistance.

This is a small buff/debuff type of perk. While the damage resistance debuff against my targets is small, it is something additional that can add an extra edge during engagements. It also gives my ship a potential edge during engagements as well. As far as I have been able to determine, while phaser transfer doesn’t list its time, it is roughly a 5 – 10 second boost when it applies. Also, so far, I have not seen any stacking limit.

Honesty, I didn’t choose this weapon primary for its perk. I picked this weapon up because it was a different type of phaser array I hadn’t used before. So Far, the weapon has proved to be very good during engagements.

The Prolonged Engagement Phaser beam array, was a reward for competing the weekend event Kobayashi Maru earlier in 2017. At this stage, if you didn’t acquired the rewards, this beam array is unable to be obtained.

As stated in the title, the weapon is a phaser variant, and a unique variant at that. During use, the phaser has a change to gain stacks of what is called “Amplified Relays”.

Amplified Relays have two procs or bonuses that can be applied during use. The first proc is that with each stack, the weapon deals 0.01% increased damage. Now indeed, this bonus is so small you would barely notice it. However, i suspect this proc is just the warm up for the secondary proc, which occurs after you gain 5 stacks of Amplified relays.

After the fifth stack, the prolonged engagement phaser beam array gains a 20% firing cycle haste for the weapon for 8 seconds. Firing cycle haste means that it will decrease the time between each shot the beam array makes, while maintaining the same number of shots per cycle. Effectively, with a normal beam arrays firing cycle, it might do 5 shots in 4 seconds for example. With firing haste, it completes those 5 shots in 3 seconds.

Now, this might not sound much, especially on a single weapon. However, being able to fire faster in shorter bursts, means you can get more damage onto the target compared to firing normally.

As related above, this proc only occurs for this weapon. The fact you can only slot one of this array makes it usefulness pretty minimum. However, it is still a decent weapon. An additional benefit of this weapon, is that it doesn’t lose its standard phaser proc of a 2.5%chance to knock a system offline for 5 seconds.

Like the pulse phasers, I choose this weapon for a combination of the proc, as well as trying a phaser variant I hadn’t tried before.

The Quantum Phase Beam array, is a reward item from competing the featured episode “Sunrise”. As with USS Vizier’s other beam arrays, this is a phaser variant type of weapon. Like the Prolonged beam array, it also keeps its 2.5% chance to knock out a random subsystem on a enemy ship.

This weapon is also part of a three piece set in STO called “Quantum Phaser Catalysts”. This set gives you the opportunity to gain additional bonuses and abilities for slotting each piece of the set. USS Vizier has all three pieces in her build, and I will be going into detail in a later blog regarding exactly what this set bonuses gives to USS Vizier.

The Quantum phaser beam array also has a unique proc. The beam array has a 2.5% chance to drain enemy shields to restore your own shields. The amount of drain against enemy shields is calculated by the amount of drain expertise skill you have on your skill tree. This provides a nice debuff/buff for the USS Vizier. Increasing my ships shields, while decreasing the enemies.

This proc does require a bit of effort to really gain alot of benefits. But depending on the build, even small amounts of drain expertise can still gain a decent bonus for shields. A captain specced into full drain, will see alot of benefits from this beam array.

I decided to use it on USS Vizier again for a number of weapons. The USS Ruby Rose, the USS Vizier’s cousin ship, also uses this beam array to great effect in engagements. Second, it was again a beam array I hadn’t use on my engineering toon. Third, the set bonus really applied to what I was aiming for with the USS Vizier.

All these factors, made this beam array the perfect choice for the Vizier.

Torpedos

The USS Vizier is armed with two torpedo launchers (technically :)). The first is the second part of the Quantum Catalyst set, the Quantum Phase torpedo.

The Quantum phase torpedo is a type of photon torpedo. As a result, set bonuses, buffs and damage increases that increase kinetic or photon damage, will increase this torpedo. This torpedo has a 90 degress firing arc, and is currently loaded in one of USS Vizier’s forward weapon slots. Which will become apparent in an later blog.

The torpedo, like her beam array sister, drains enemy shields. However, with several differences. First, while you drain enemy shields, that is its only bonus, the drained shields do not return to the player, unlike the beam array. Second, the torpedo itself drains shields within a 2km radius of the target it hits.

The major difference, is how the torpedo changes when using the Tactical BOFF skills of High Yield or torpedo spread. When using these abilities, the radius of the shield drain increases from 2kms to 4kms. Second, using torpedo spread increases the shield damage when it strikes a target. This means, when paired with a science ship specced into EPG, the USS Vizier torpedo can become quite devastating.

I quite like this torpedo, as it helps USS Vizier with a major weakness that USS Zuikaku had, which was punching through the shields of a large or heavy target. This torpedo, is one of the outcomes of my analysis of USS Zuikaku’s weakness, and one I ensured that USS Vizier would do her best to cover. Second, as related with the beam array, slotting the torpedo made sense with Vizier’s build purpose, as well as the set bonuses I would gain. This torpedo has also been in use with Vizier’s cousin, USS Ruby Rose.

The second torpedo on USS Vizier, is the Enhanced Bio-Molecular Photon torpedo launcher. This torpedo can be obtained from the Undine reputation system, at tier 2. This weapon is also a part of the four part set “Counter Command Ordnance”. USS Vizier has two of these four pieces, which again, will be explained in an later blog.

The Enhanced Bio-molecular photon torpedo (hearby known as EBMPT) is a type of photon torpedo. As a result, set bonuses, buffs and damage increases that increase kinetic or photon damage will increase the damage input of this weapon. This torpedo has a 90 degress firing arc, and is currently loaded in one of USS Vizier’s aft weapon slots.

This torpedo has two procs of effects that it makes against any target it hits. The first effect is a reduction of flight speed for 8 seconds. This reduction is, as listed on the torpedo -23.1. So depending on the target, they will definitely see themselves slow down. This effect can be cleaned or removed. However, if the effect is not cleaned after 8 seconds. it effects radiation damage on its target that completely ignores shields. This effect is boost by skills, damage and effects that increase radiation damage. Of which there are not many effects at this stage in the game.

This means the torpedo is pretty useful against NPC targets, but has extremely limited functionality against players who have multiple cleans and abilities to remove the proc. I choose this torpedo for two reasons. The first, is that it is part of a set that has boosts that overall increase a number of Vizier’s key points, making it a useful edition. Second, while the proc can be limited, it is still a decent torpedo that can have some devastating effects when used correctly. Coupled with its decent normal torpedo damage, this is a fine torpedo to have for USS Vizier.

Primary Ship Systems – Shields, Deflector, Impulse Engines & Warp Core

With the primary weapons of the USS Vizier complete, we now move onto the primary ship systems. The USS Vizier’s primary stat drivers. When building USS Vizier, I attempted to use items I had not used before. I also decided to avoid most of the STO player meta that had occurred after the Season 13 re-balance.

I also intended as much as possible, to ensure whatever systems I choose, not only increased USS Vizier’s primary build goal, but also did their best to cover up the ships shortcomings.

Deflector

The primary deflector of the USS Vizier, and quite a look for a deflector when the ships visuals are turned on, the Prevailing Innverated Defelctor Array. The PIDA is part of a four piece set called “Prevailing Regalia” and is available from the Competitive reputation. This deflector forms part of a two piece set of the Prevailing Regalia that is fitted on USS Vizier.

The deflector array is one of the variants of the Competitive reputation deflectors, of which there are a total of three variants. This reputation would be the first to offer multiple variant of deflector arrays. Due to this deflector being of ultra rare variety, I gained a +2 auxiliary power bonus to the deflector.

This first bonus is an +15 increase to Starship Hull capacity. This increases USS Vizier’s starship maximum hit points, giving her slightly more increase hull to survive and take damage. To the extra total of hull points this bonus gives I am not sure. However, the bonus was a nice small additional to the defensive capabilities of the Vizier.

The next bonus, is likewise a additional defensive bonus, +15 Shield capacity. This increases the Vizier’s shield hit points, making them slightly stronger for defensive purposes. Like the hull hit points, this is a nice additional bonus to defensive systems.

The next bonus, is one i would doubt will ever be used, or beneficial to the USS Vizier – +10 bonus to Starship stealth. This increases a ships stealth and cloaking capability to remain hidden from starship sensors. With Vizier being unable to cloak, the benefit of starship stealth is minimum. While this does mean it might take a enemy slightly longer to target me, it doesn’t effect Vizier much.

The next bonus, is one of the biggest reasons I choose the this variant of the deflector – +40 Starship weapon specialization. Starship weapon specialization improves the critical hit chance of weapons, making them ever more likely to land a critical hit. A critical hit, which is based on critical severity skill points, can drastically increase a weapons damage. For example, a normal beam array might do 1000 damage on a normal hit, but land a 2500 hit on a critical hit.

This bonus increases the chance that Vizier’s weapons will land a big hit. a +40 increase, is roughly a critical hit chance increase of 1.8%. While small, this increase chance gives Vizier more chances to land critical strikes. Making her much for dangerous in landing heavy damage in a shorter period.

The last bonus, like the stealth bonus, has minimum to no benefit to the build type of USS Vizier – +10 Starship perception. Starship perception improves the detection range & chance of detecting cloaked ships. Since USS Vizier is not built to snoop out cloaked players, this bonus would be relatively small, and unlikely to really have any effect in a PVP match.

Impulse Engines

The primary impulse engines of the USS Vizier, are the second part of the two piece set of Prevailing Regalia – Prevailing Fortified Impulse Engines.
Like the deflector array, the Prevailing impulse engines have three variants in the Competitive reputation system you can purchase.

The Prevailing Fortified Impulse engines (PFIE) offer decent bonuses to the ships flight speed and flight turn rate of the Vizier. These impulse engines also offer a thuster proc. Where if the ship engines are disabled, the Vizier can still travel at 25% speed until the engines came back online. I choose these engines for two reasons. The first reason, was they were decent engines that had a nice two piece set. However, the second reason is the primary reason.

These engines have a proc, called “Prevailing Engine – Overcharge”. When a hull or shield bridge officer ability is used, the ship gains several benefits for a 5 second period. This includes a massive boost to flight speed and flight turn rate, as well as increased defense rating (chance to dodge shots made against you). You also gain a +10% increased recharge speed on engineering bridge officer abilities for 10 seconds. With the Archon-class Commander and Lieutenant Engineering BOFF stations, this can be quite a boost.

An additional benefit of this impulse engine, is that the boost has no cooldown. Properly managed, you can keep chaining healing abilities to keep your ship moving at an incredible speed and turn rate for a significant amount of time. This does have draw backs, as while you are gaining speed and turn rate, you are potentially using healing abilities when you don’t need to. This also means, you run into the risk of not having these abilities available, when you actually need them.

This speed and turn rate boost, even with its drawbacks, are a primary design point of USS Vizier. Turn rate and speed have always been a major problem for USS Zuikaku, being not fast enough, or able to turn quickly enough to meet or properly engage some threats. USS Vizier, with this engine, can a lot of times out turn and out fight a science vessel with a science captain, one of the major threats in the Zuikaku’s career.

Warp Core

The primary warp core of the USS Vizier – Braydon Reconnaissance Warp Core. This warp core can be obtained from playing through the Featured episode “Of Signs and Portents”. This warp core is also part of a four piece set called “Braydon Reconnaissance Technologies”. The USS Vizier has two pieces of this set installed.

The Braydon Warp Core (BWC) has a nice bonus to Control Expertise. This bonuses improves control effects (Gravity well, Tykens rift etc) as well as improves resistance to the same effects. This means when the Vizier is stuck with control effects, she has better resistance against their damage and pull capabilities. It is a relatively small bonus, but is still a welcome additional boost.

The BWC primary bonus is increasing the Vizier’s auxiliary power levels when they are low, as well as allowing the Vizier to increase her maximum allow auxiliary power from 125 to 130. Auxiliary power helps with abilities such as healing and increasing the power of control effects. While Vizier is not built to utilize Control abilities, the additional power for heals is definitely appreciated and needed.

Additional, the warp core adds 7.5 of Vizier’s auxiliary power to the ships engine power as a bonus. This increase, while small, further increases Vizier’s engine speed and turn rate capability. Additional, the BWC comes with a engine capacitor battery. When used, this battery increases engine power for 20 seconds, repairs offline engine systems, as well as cleanses movement debuffs. This capacitor has a 4 minute recharge timer once used.

I choose this warp core, has it had nice bonuses for Vizier’s healing capability, as well as being part of a four piece set that had bonuses that would build to Vizier’s strengths.

Shields

The primary shield of the USS Vizier – Braydon Reconnaissance Covariant Shield Array. This shield can be obtained from playing through the Featured episode “Of Signs and Portents”. This shield is also part of a four piece set called “Braydon Reconnaissance Technologies”. This shield is the second part of the set that is equipped on the USS Vizier.

The Braydon Reconnaissance Covariant Shield Array (BRCSA) has what i call a high low type of shield. It has a relatively high capacity compared to other shields, with a relatively low normal shield regeneration rate. Also, the shield has a normal 10% bleedthrough that most shields have. Meaning when hit with attacks, 10% of the damage will bleedthrough to hit the ships hull.

The shields unique feature, is when the one of the shield facings is full depleted. Once a shield facing is depleted, the shields apple a flight speed and slight turn increase of 200% for 5 seconds. This effect can only trigger once even 60 seconds. However, this is a boost that applies to Vizier in case she gets in trouble, allowing her to extend or turn around fast enough to potentially bring a undamaged shield facing to bear.

This is was one of the reasons I choose this shield. Having an additional boost to get out of trouble is always helpful. Second, I hadn’t used this type of shield before, so it meet a criteria for something new. Third, the shield was part of a piece set that had bonuses that would work for the Vizier’s build. The lower regeneration rate is one of the weaknesses in Vizier;s build, and I have felt that weakness in engagements I would otherwise have not felt with Zuikaku.

Conclusion

This includes the first part of the USS Vizier build blog – Building the next generation. The second blog should be posted next week. Next week’s blog will focus on the engineering, science and tactical consoles in use by the Vizier. Unlike the Zuikaku, Vizier’s console layout is pretty unique, and something I had not yet tried.

Hope you all look forward to it 🙂

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STO – USS Vizier – Prelude to Joy

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Sep 092017
 

Stardate 95286.9

Captain T’Pun was doing what most starfleet captains did the majority of the time. Logically, it was what captains did the most. However, for T’Pun, a Vulcan, she could still not understand the human logic of putting it off, or thinking it actually didn’t exist.

Paperwork, or in this case datapad work.

It made no difference she was on the bridge of the Vizier, one of the newest launched Archon class starships. Datapad work was datapad work. Around her, the crew of the Vizier went about their business. T’Pun was indeed perplexed. The crew of the Vizier had undertaken two weeks ago a dangerous mission. the first for the ship and crew. Yet, she detected no stress, emotional outbursts as a result of the mission.

Maybe starfleet crew were indeed embracing logic more than many Vulcans thought.

A beep at a console distracted T’Pun from her thoughts. A Bajoran ensign, manning the console, glanced over at the noise.

“Captain, I am picking up a distress call, just under one light year away. Its faint”.

T’Pun mussed for a second, less than a light year away, and the signal was faint. Either there was some sort of interference, or the sender was indeed in server trouble.

“Lets hear it” ordered T’Pun

A scratchy noise filled the bridge. Distortion filled the bridge. For a Vulcan, who was born with highly sensitive hearing, the distortion was almost painful.

“This is…….. Zu….. suff…… stru…… us………ne…..sit”.

“Anymore ensign?” asked T’Pun.

“No mam, the signal is pretty bad. However, I am detecting a unique carrier wave with the signal. It’s Starfleet, I am checking our records now”.

At that moment, the turbolift doors opened. Commander Yarud, the chief engineer of the Vizier walked onto the bridge.

“Captain?” asked Yarud, seeing the commotion on the bridge.

“We have detected what appears to be a Starfleet distress signal. Ensign Bolon is determining more now”.

Working over to ensign Bolon’s station, Commander Yarud started to look into the same readouts the ensign had been monitoring before. A minute passed before Ensign Bolon’s head snapped up.

“Captain, I have confirmed the unique carrier wave, its from the USS Zuikaku”.

Upon hearing that name, Commander Yarud’s head snapped up, moving beside the ensign, concerned spread over his face. “He’s right mam, this is the particular carrier wave. I remember because Commander Tinordle came up with it”.

T’Pun turned to her helmsman “Time to reach the source of the signal?”

It took only a moment for the helmsman to check his station “One hour at maximum warp mam”.

“Set course and engage ensign” ordered T’Pun.

Around T’Pun, her crew spring into action. Commander Yarud, still wearing the look of concern, walked over and placed himself in the second officer’s set beside T’Pun.Normally, Yarud place would be in main engineering. However, his knowledge of the ship in question sending the distress signal would be invaluable.

There was another reason. In his current state, his emotions for his former crew mates could overwhelm him. It was best for T’pun to keep an eye on her chief engineer. She knew he was a professional, and wouldn’t let feelings interrupt the mission. But T’pun also knew, it would be highly illogical to deny Yarud his emotions. Even as a Vulcan, who had purged all emotion herself, it was still logical to follow the path of a species nature instincts.

===========================================================================

Fifty minutes had passed. There had been no further signals, no further communication. T’Pun was watching as her ship, at maximum warp, flew through streaking stars. Commander Yarud was still at her side, engrossed in his console as he went over the original signal again and again. Trying to find any additional information.

“Captain, I am picking up a intense temporal energy field directly in our path. Intercept time, one minute” reported ensign Bolon.

T’Pun reacted immediately “Drop us out of warp, plot the quickest course around the energy field, then resume our original course”.

In the main viewscreen, the streaking stars came to a stop, and returned to their white pinpoints.

“I have a visual on the energy field” reported Ensign Bolon.

“On Screen”.

On the viewscreen, the white point of stars was replaced with a bright intense orange light, the light bobbed and weaved. Like the energy wave, or ribbon was surfing the tides of space.

“The Nexus?” said Yarud. “It is not supposed to be here, its projected course shouldn’t be anywhere near this area of space”.

T’Pun had to agree, it was unusual “Keep our distance. I don’t want us anywhere close to that anomaly”

Ensign Bolon spoke up “Captain, I have back tracked the ribbons course. I have found something”.

On the view screen, two paths emerged. A orange path, labelled “Nexus”, another blue path lablled “Zuikaku”. The two paths, crossed one another. A third icon, this one a circle, labelled “Distress signal” overlaid the two paths.

The ensign at the helm, turned to T’Pun. Captain T’Pun didn’t even need to speak any words. The look on the ensign’s face, as well as the known history of the nexus and starships was all that was needed to be conveyed.

“Get us back on our original course, engage at maximum warp”. ordered T’Pun.

Unknown to T’Pun, Commander Yarud tightened his grip. In his hands, was a small silver pendant.

===========================================================================

Twenty more minutes had passed. the Vizier had reached the original source of the distress signal ten minutes ago. The ships sensors tirelessly sweeping across space, a electronic “palo” to the distress signals “marko”.

T’Pun was shaken from her thoughts by a “Captain, I have something, bearing 311 mark 67. A starship, I have a visual”

The view screen changed again from the white dots of space.

“Oh my god” came a voice from the bridge.

Om the view screen, was a sovereign class starship. Barely a light shone from its surface as the ship continued to spin across its axis. T’pun could see electrical discharge burns across the hull, in so many locations she couldn’t even count. With no lights, T’Pun couldn’t tell visual if there were any hull breaches.

Or if anyone was even alive.

Beside her, Yarud had jumped to his feet the second the Zuikaku appeared on the view screen.

“Placing tractor beam on the Zuikaku, stopping her spin” came a voice from someone on the bridge.

“Status”.

Ensign Bolon glanced at his console “I am detecting severe hull stress, and at least two breaches in her hull. Main power is down, Looks like all of her engines are offline as well. Structural is at twelve percent. I am detecting full life support”.

A breathe of relief came from Command Yarud.

“Hail them” ordered T’Pun.

A series of taps emitted from Ensign Bolon’s console, turning to T’Pun, he nodded.

“Zuikaku, this is the Captain T’Pun Vizier, we are responding to your distress call. Admiral Lawford do you read us”.

Silence answered T’Pun.

“Zuikaku, we are sending over repair crews and medical teams. Stand-by, we will be commencing transport in five minutes. Vizier out”

Yarud turned to T’pun “Captain, permission to ….”

“Granted Commander. Assemble your teams, and meet Commander Xi’ian in transporter room two”.

With a nod, Yarud sprinted up the deck. T’pun watched as he barely missed colliding with the opening turbolift door.

Captain T’Pun turned around to face the view screen again. Zuikaku’s spin had been stopped, but there were many questions. Why was the nexus in a area of space it shouldn’t have been.

“Ensign Bolon, get me starfleet command. Priority one. I need to inform them of this situation”.

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Jun 152017
 

USS Zuikaku has had a few interesting months in 2416. Several missions, encounters, and other unknowns. Below is just a brief explanation and details of what one of the 101st fleet flagships has been up to 🙂

I not giving away everything know, have to keep some secrets to surprise you lot with. If I ever get time again to get back into writing my stories.

Stardate 94613.5 to Stardate 94688.17

USS Zuikaku continues to reside in the Sol System, at Spacedock 37. Continuing to be a training vessel for the latest cadets coming through Starfleet academy. The cadets continue to be surprised by the efficiency of the ship, with Zuikaku still rating one of the most powerful ships in Starfleet in relation to power generation.

Chief engineer Tinordle continues to rise her “cadet count”. Putting cadets who speak negatively of the Zuikaku through jobs and experiences engineers would only see in the most trying of times. Commander Tinordle rises her count to eleven cadets when a cadet makes the mistake of claiming he could get more power out of a shuttle, and that the Sovereign class should be retired.

Zuikaku’s maintenance overhaul continues, with the Starfleet corps of engineers finishing up repairs to the ship suffered during the Iconian war, most notable during the Battle of Lambis Bootis. Her structural support along the dorsal fore saucer section are fully replaced and reinforced. Starfleet corps of engineers Commander Trigl, remarks to Admiral Lawford that next time the admiral wishes to go swimming, to use a swimming pool. Apparently, the admiral responds by simply smiling.

The new senior crew members, Lieutenant Tosayl, and Ensigns Murgek & Sopama enter their third month with the Zuikaku crew. These three crew members continue to learn and adapt to their new roles.

During this time, Admirals Lawford and Roxana, set a date for tactical exercises between the Zuikaku and the Queen Mary.
USS Zuikaku, finishes her tour of service for Starfleet academy, and makes preparations to leave Spacedock 37 for the first time in almost five months.

Stardate 94703.33
USS Zuikaku leaves Spacedock 37. She continues to reside near the Sol system waiting to rendezvous with the USS Queen Mary for tactical exercises.

Stardate 94712.11
USS Zuikaku & USS Queen Mary conduct their tactical exercises. At the end of the battle drills, no clear winner between the two ships is found. However, Admiral Lawford remarks “Zuikaku was definitely on the defensive during the exercises, she was definitely the underdog once the exercise commenced, and it was hard for us to press any sort of advantage. Though, when we were able to push our advantage, we did punish the Queen Mary severely”.

Stardate 94717.58
USS Zuikaku rendezvous with supply convoy Zeta-Echo-Trill-One just outside the Wolf 359 system. Zuikaku will escort the convoy all the way to Starbase 101.

Stardate 94741.18
USS Zuikaku, with convoy Zeta-Echo-Trill-One, arrives at Starbase 101. This is the first time in 2 years the Zuikaku has come back to Starbase 101, the 101st fleets home Starbase.

Stardate 94765.8
USS Zuikaku leaves Starbase 101. During the stay at the Starbase, Admiral Lawford receives updates on the Tzenkethi situation, as well as 101st fleet deployments in the Antos Sector.

Stardate 94766.03 to Stardate 94839.79
(<strong>Setting of the story Star Trek Online Zuikaku: Ghosts</strong>)

USS Zuikaku proceeds to the Risa sector, to investigate the random disappearances of freighters in the sector over the proceeding 12 months. While it has been three months since the last disappearance, as well as three months since Admiral Lawford decided to investigate.
Several weeks later, a few breakthroughs in the investigation lead the Zuikaku to the cause of the disappearances. The cause is stopped, however Admiral Lawford, after the incident, raises a high priority report to Starfleet Command. Over the next several days, several Starfleet ships are ordered on long term missions to several locations.

Stardate 94851.3
USS Zuikaku sets course for New Romulus. To assist for a period rebuilding the Romulan Republic capital, which suffered heavy losses and damage during the Iconian war 2 years ago.

Stardate 94867.72
USS Zuikaku and USS Britannic under the command of Admiral Winter, rendezvous neat the Virinat system. Admirals Lawford &amp; Winters discuss the tactical projections of the Tzenkethi forces and fleet movements.

Stardate 94870.8
USS Zuikaku arrives at New Romulus.

Stardate 94870.8 to Stardate 94928.03
USS Zuikaku reminds in orbit of New Romulus. The crew assist with engineering projects and science projects for advanced food production. Admiral Lawford meets with Commander Jarok of the R.R.W Lleiset several times during this period.

Stardate 94930.76
USS Zuikaku leaves New Romulus, bound for Starbase 101.

Third Elite Swords Calendar year 102, Sword day 45
(<strong>Setting for the Story Star Trek Online Zuikaku: A Sword’s Legacy</strong>)
One their way home, the crew of the Zuikaku run into Q, the omnipotent being. While not the same Q Starfleet has dealth with in the past, this Q takes particular interest in Admiral Lawford. Before the crew of the Zuikaku can determine his intentions, the ship is taken to an unknown location, with unknown stars and no way to communicate with the outside world, and the Admiral is missing.

Stardate 94984.57
(<strong>Setting for the story Star Trek Online Zuikaku: Fake Truths</strong>).
Continuing their way home, the USS Zuikaku detects a distress call from a Starfleet vessel. Diverting to investigate, the crew find a derelict Miranda class ship. However, not is all that it seems. What is truth? What is fiction? What is reality, and how can we tell the difference? More importantly, how does one know one’s truths, and one’s fictions?

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Season 13 Balance Pass – Tribble Report – Major items

 Comments Off on Season 13 Balance Pass – Tribble Report – Major items
Apr 242017
 

Greetings everyone, this is Fleet Admiral Aaron Lawford reporting live from the tribble test server for the Equator Alliance news network (EANN). I have been discussing and posting tip bits of upcoming changes for Season 13, scheduled for launch on April 25th 2017. Or, as Picard (and most likely the majority of the playerbase would say….

What the....

One of the major points of this new season, has been the space re-balance for alot of consoles, captain abilities and BOFF abilities. These changes are numerous and would take me days to explain every single one in detail 🙂 As a result, in this report I am going to focus on some of the more major changes and exactly what they mean. These discussions will also include comparisons screenshots of holodeck to tribble.

So, without further ado, lets get to it say we….

TACTICAL CAPTAIN ABILITIES

Attack Pattern Alpha

Attack Pattern Alpha, is a tactical captain ability that boosts All Damage, Critical Chance, Critical Severity and Flight Turn rate for a period of time. This captain ability has a base 2 minute cooldown, and a 30 second uptime (usage) when selected.

Attack Pattern Alpha (henceforth, referrded as APA) as had a relatively small change for the upcoming season 13. The two things that has changed, is on tribble server, APA boost now only lasts 20 seconds, but has a 90 second cooldown.

Attack Pattern Alpha – Holodeck to Tribble Comparsion. Details taking using Lenra, my rommie klink aligned captain serving with the Imperial Ausmonauts

Relatively speaking, this is a pretty small change. The boost now only lasts 20 seconds, compared to 30 seconds that captains currently enjoy on holodeck prior to April 25th.However, another change is that APA’s cooldown is now 90 seconds, compared to the current 120 seconds on holodeck.

COMMUNITY’S REACTION

I personally haven’t really heard much about this change from the community, and myself actually forgot about this change for a short period. If there are community reactions, then either they are not too big, or, the reaction may have been drowned out compared to other higher profile change, such as our next topic – GO DOWN FIGHTING.

GO DOWN FIGHTING

Go Down Fighting, is a Tactical Captain ability. It only becomes available for use when your ships hull is at or below 50% to be able to be activated (A captain trait, Lats ditch effortt, can change this requirement). It provides a All damage boost and All damage resistance boost for a period of 60 seconds. GDF has a base cooldown of 2 minutes when used.

Never have I seen one of the most debated changes in Star Trek Online’s history. Go Down fighting has had an interesting history through STO game time of 7 years. Changing each way over the years, it has become a bit of a dividing sort of ability for us testers, especially considering its somewhat weird interactions.

OK, enough talking (or typing i guess) time to post the picture and describe the current changes that will hit holodeck for you folks.

Go Down Fighting Holodeck > Tribble Comparison. Taken from Captain Lenra, my Rommie Klink aligned toon serving with the Imperial Ausmonauts

Currently, Go Down fighting (henceforth, referred to as GDF) provides a large damage and damage resistance boost the lower your hull is. Also, this boost is “locked in”. If you use it at 10% hull, you get the % damage boost increase if you were at 10% hull, even if you heal yourself back up to 50 – 60% hull for example.

However, the patch coming into tribble, changes all of this. GDF’s time period has gown down from 60 seconds, to 15 seconds when activated. Also, the cooldown period for the ability has been lowered to 60 seconds.

Another change is that the boost you receive from GDF now dynamically scales. If you activate the boost at 10% hull, you get the damage boost of 10% hull. However, if you heal yourself to 40% hull, or 50% hull, GDF damage boost reduces to match your current hull level. This was originally how GDF did its damage boost when the game first started, and was changed back in the Legacy of Romulus expansion days.

However, I can provide more information for exact details. Please see below for a copy of a post that Spartan made describing exactly what this changes mean.

SPARTAN Post – https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/startrekonline/#/discussion/1230472/tribble-maintenance-and-release-notes-april-18-2017/p1
On the live servers, the damage buff is directly proportional to missing health; Go Down Fighting 3 activated at 50% health gives a buff of 66.4% Bonus All Damage, or 107.9% if activated at 0% health.

Prior to this patch, Go Down Fighting’s damage buff was proportional to missing health squared; Go Down Fighting 3 activated at 50% health gave a buff of 37.5% Bonus All Damage, and gave a buff of 150% if activated at 0%.

As of this patch, Go Down Fighting 3’s damage buff is once again linear – it gives you 50% Bonus All Damage while it is active and you are at 50% health or higher, and 100% Bonus All Damage if it is active and you are at 0% health. Because 50% is more than 37.5%, it is a higher buff than the previous state at 50% hull, and because 100% is less than 150%, the buff is lower at 0% hull. The live server patchnotes will only be relative to the live state, and will not have this extra state to compare against; 50% is less than 66.4%, and 100% is less than 107.9%; so the patchnotes will not have to do multi-point comparison.

COMMUNITY REACTION

The community reaction on this has been very loud. Originally, there had been changes to GDF so it couldn’t be used with the Temporal Specialisation Tier 4 passives – Continuity (http://sto.gamepedia.com/Captain_Specialization/Temporal_Operative_skills

A change a few weeks ago, reinstated the ability for GDF to be used with the temporal specialization. The reaction to that was massive, us tribble testers basically slammed Borticus for one of the most stupid decisions every made, enough so we were told to basically calm down.

The decision was so stupid, even I was calling for Borticus to resign (Alot of you know how big it is for me to have this kind of reaction). However, a patch about one week later (which is the current one I have described) has found a nice balance point between the two.

The testers opinions, are that GDF should be a last ditch effort, when you have a high probability of dying, and that you need a last minute boost to try and save your arse. However, currently on holodeck alot of tactical captains were using it, along with temporal specialization, to get massive damage boosts, with no downsides for using it.

BREAKDOWN

Yoda disapproves

Ok, OK Yoda, I will get to the point. GDF changes are going to be very interesting come live date in a few days. I am honesty expecting a big reaction from this from the greater community. One point of worry for one alliance captain, is indeed a valid concern.

“Thinking about it more, I’m actually really dreading the changes to GDF. Back when it used to be like that, I’d get yelled at for ruining someone’s GDF. If they yelled at me, I stopped healing them and then they yelled at me for not healing them. Sorry, but I don’t have time to sit there and watch your buffs”.

For alot of you who weren’t around, alot of us healers and tank flyers would get raged at if we tried to heal a tactical captain when they were aiming for GDF. Then, we would get yelled at for not healing them when they died. Bascially for healers and tank flyers, come 25th April, we might very well again be put into our own hell version of “No Win scenario” with tactical captains.

SCIENCE CAPTAIN/BOFF ABILITIES

One of the most interesting series of changes has been to Science captain and science BOFF abilities. These changes have been flowing back and forth for ages, with tweaks, removals, additions, re-addition and all sorts of changes.

Feedback Pulse

Feedback pulse is a science BOFF ability from Lt Commander upwards. It reflects energe damage fired at the caster back to the point of origin, usually with a boost coupled to it. Due to some issues, I was only able to get a screenshot of the tribble data for FBP (Feedback Pulse).

Tribble data on Feedback pulse. Screenshot taken using Captain Karli, my science captain in service to the Ausmonaut fleet

One of the major changes to feedback pulse, is the following,

Feedback Pulse:
The damage reflection can no longer critically hit
The percentage of reflected no longer scales with damage bonuses
The percentage reflected is now capped at 50%, 75%, or 100% based on rank
The default reflection amount is now significantly lower at each rank

Also, another change made to feedback pulse is it reflects that damage type back at the attacker. So, if an attacker invests or has invested some points in damage resistance, the feedback pulse damage will take the damage resistance into account before applying its final damage amount.

This can definitely be seen as a major reduction in feedback pulses ability. But, with some of the boosting that some elite PvE players were doing using this ability, tied with others (plasma consoles) FBP was getting some incredibly high numbers in damage parsers. This change can definitely been seen as really reducing FBP capabilities in PvE and PvP (which I am sure that will make some vapers happy).

COMMUNITY REACTION

The community has been very supportive of this move for PvE side of things. With many elites even agreeing that they were exploiting FBP with other consoles to get their high damage parse numbers. I am also sure, that vapers are going to be jumping for joy with these changes, as they were usually the most loud in whining about FBP.

However, hold your horses vapers. Yes, indeed, these changes make FBP a whole lot less useful in PvP, but lets remember one thing. FBP will still hit like a truck, as it is still using your own build against you. With a ship built to vape big cruisers with 100k hull and high resistances, is still going to fall pray to FBP.

It wont happen as often, but it will still happen. Just dont get too comforable, because science ships have some new tricks up their sleeve 🙂

TARGET X SUBSYSTEM

Target X Subsystems is a relatively little used ability for science vessels. The ability allows you to upgrade your next beam attack to have a chance to reduce a targets subsystem power, as well as have a chance to knock the subsystem offline. It was little used, as with immunities, having to slot a beam array on the ship, as well as player resistances had turned this ability into a “why even bother”.

However, salvation is on the way 🙂

Holodeck > Tribble comparsion. Screenshot taken using Captain Karli, my science captain with the ausmonauts using a T6 Vesta class starship

The new changes on tribble greatly increase “Target X Subsystems” ability to be useful. While its subsystem time has been reduced, the ability itself has been upgraded to be able to use ALL ENERGY WEAPONS. That’s right, cannons, turrets can now use target x subsystem. Also, the energy drain has a capability to slowly stack over time.

COMMUNITYS REACTION

Little has been said about this change. However, from the comments I have seen, it has been all positive. Alot of captains are agreeing this change does indeed seem squared at trying to improve this science ship ability. How useful it is actually going to be, I will say fairly minimum. However, it will be interesting to see if anyone can make a build around this ability. We shall soon see.

SUBNUCLEONIC BEAM

Subnuc, is a science captains ability. It has the capability to remove all BUFFs a target has on itself, as well as increase the recharge time of the targets captain and ship abilities. This ability for the longest time has been a cornerstone of a science captain, with the ability to really cripple a target. With the tribble changes, it has become a even more dangerous ability.

Holodeck to Tribble Comparison. Shot taken using Captain Karli, my science captain in service with the Ausmonaut Fleet.

As you can see, one of the major changes to subnuc beam has been an additional of a reduction in all damage to whoever gets hit with the beam. This damage reduction is quite large at 75%. This change in this ability will make it definitely more useful against NPCs, especially the “boss” versions in several elite queues.

In PvP, this change will definitely throw a curve ball for target captains. Now, not only do they need to deal with their buffs being stripped, they could also have to deal with their outgoing damage being reduced. How effective this will be is unknown, but it is definitely something else to think about in the heat of battle.

COMMUNITY REACTION

Community reaction has been mixed on this change. It has definitely being appreciated by science captains, looking for some more functionality over an ability they were increasing not using, or not being able to be used in PvE, PvP.

Tactical captains, have been just as mixed. Some are welcoming the change, while others are quite angry. The larger community reaction will be unknown, until some more queues and PvP matches are held after April 25th. After that stage, I am sure we will get more of a feel for this particular change.

SCATTERING FIELD

Scattering field, is a Science Captain’s ability. It provides a immunity to teleport, as well as a energe damage resistance boost for 30 seconds. It has a relatively long cooldown of 3 minutes. The changes on tribble, have definitely increased the abilities usefulness in PvE and PvP.

Holodeck to Tribble Comparison. Screenshot taken using Captain Karli, my science captain in service with the Ausmonauts.

As you can see, Scattering field received a boost to its damage resistance increase. However, another big change on that part, has been the change from “ENERGY DAMAGE RESISTANCE” to “All Damage resistance”. Scattering field will now provide a very decent boost for science captains in a pinch.

However, the biggest change has been the damage bonus increase. This change was rather unexpected, but has been well welcomed by the community. This damage boost can also affect your teammates if they are within a 3km radius during scattering fields use. From all accounts, this boost type is Category 2. Which would make it a significant boost to any tactical captain flying nearby :).

COMMUNITY REACTION

The communities reaction on this change has been positive. Alot of people are applauding the change in the damage resistance boost. Giving Science captains a bit more chance to survive, especially with how the game has developed over the past few years with damage source types (physical, electrical etc).

Naturally, the community is also applauding the damage boost (But honesty, when did a STOP player ever say its a bad idea to add a damage boost into the game :)).

Personally, I see nothing but good changes for science captains. It will be interesting to see how it affects PvE and PvP.

ENGINEERING CAPTAINS

Engineering Captains. Alot of Engineering captains, including myself, had been feeling left out in the cold compared to the other two captain types. Alot of what made engineering captains “us” had been either giving to the other two, placed into lock boxes, consoles that did the job better than our captain abilities.

Basically, a lot of us had been feeling like being not wanted, even being a burden on our team.

However, with several changes in game design, reductions in what tactical captains could get away with, along with several BUFFs, i believe engineer captains might just be finding their groove and place in the game again.

EPS POWER TRANSFER

EPS Power transfer is a engineering captain ability. It provides a boost to power level settings and power levels. Along with a increase in the power transfer rate. For a while when the game began, this made Engineering Captains the kings of power generation capabilities. However, with multiple additions and changes over the years, it had become some what deappreciated.

However, some changes coming, are definitely going to brighten alot of engineering captains day.

Holodeck to Tribble Comparison. Screenshot taken using Admiral Aaron, my engineering captain in command of the 101st fleet

While the power level increase has been more normalized, the biggest change has been the increase to maximum power levels. Come April 25th, engineer captains will be able to increase their ships maximum power levels from 125/130 up to 150/155.

There is a similar Intel BOFF ability that can do this as well, Override System safeties, which all captains with a ship that has a Lt Commander Intel seat can access. However, the biggest bonus of EPS Power transfer is that it can stack with OSS. A engineer captain, using OSS and EPS power transfer, can now boost their ships maximum power level upwards to 200.

This is a massive potential advantage for engineer captains. As it makes them the sole captain type to be able to reach these heights of power capability. Exactly what this means in terms of builds, is unknown. However, it does make engineer captains very valuable, as since EPS can be cast on other players, it makes them a dangerous opponent especially if left to their own devices.

COMMUNITIES REACTION

What can I say, us engineer captains are jumping for joy a these changes. With that addition to EPS, it has again made us kings of power generation, which what was originally intended to be what was one of the defining qualities of a engineer captain.

It will be interesting to see if there is any negative feedback to this change, and if there is, exactly what would be negative?

MIRACLE WORKER

Miracle worker is a engineer captain ability. It allows engineer captains to give their ships a large hull and shield regen heal. This ability occurs instantly, and has a base 4 minute cooldown.

Miracle worker, back in the day, was a very good captain ability. It allow engineer captains to have alot more survivability in any ship they flew, compared to Science and Tactical captains. However, overtime, what made Miracle worker unique was added to ship traits, consoles, and other abilities. What was worse, was that these consoles and abilities usually had similar healing potential, with alot smaller cooldowns.

Overtime, while miracle worker was still useful, it was simply outclassed by other abilities that science and tactical captains could use, or get them hands on. Basically, miracle worker had become obsolete. That, however has changed with the the space balance pass.

Holodeck to Tribble comparison. Screenshot taken using Admiral Aaron, my engineer captain in charge of the 101st fleet.

Miracle worker has been buffed by a large margin. It’s hull healing has been increased by many times over, as shown in the above picture. Another change has been an addition of a secondary shield boost when using miracle worker.

Secondly shield is exactly what it sounds like. It is a secondary shield that takes any hits meant for shields before your primary shields take damage. While only lasting for 15 seconds, it can be a very good boost when a engineer captain is under attack by many opponents or an especially dangerous one.

This change will definitely benefit Engineer captains. As since Delta Rising, ships hull hit points had increased dramatically and were still increasing, while miracle workers heal had been left in the stone age of prior to Delta Rising. Come April 25th, this long standing oversight will now be addressed.

COMMUNITY REACTION

Engineer captains have been jumping with joy, myself included. Miracle workers low hull heal compared to the current game state, had been a major pain for us for many years. The secondary shield addition is a very welcome one, especially considering the prevalence of more and more shield bypassing player abilities and weapons.

While secondary shields wont affect this capability much, having additional shields in a crisis situation against a enemy who may not have shield bypassing capabilities, is indeed well welcome.

CONSOLES

Some consoles (ship consoles) have also been changed or amended with the upcoming changes. Alot of these changes have really divided the community, and produced some of the biggest rage moments I have seen in the community so far.

“Note” I will not be addressing the plasma consoles from the embassy. While they are the biggest change, I had trouble getting accurate and confirmed information. Whenever this is a glitch in my settings on tribble, or something else is unknown. As a result, with me being unable to confirm results, I decided to not include something i couldn’t quantify.

REGENERATIVE INTEGRITY FIELD

The RIF console, is a console that comes with the Sasmar class shipo. This ship was a 4th anniversary reward ship many years ago. Also, it is a ship and console that can be picked up by the phoenix lockbox that sporadically shows up.

This console provides a passive % hull healing increase when slotted. It also is a clickable console that provides a instant hull hit points hull heal, then a 20 second addition hull heals based on the damage you do. The console has a 2 minute base cooldown. This console has been a big dividing point for the community, even more so with the changes coming April 25th.

Holodeck to Tribble comparison. Screenshot taken by my engineer Captain – Admiral Lawford, in command of the 101st fleet

As you can see, the consoles instance hull heal has been reduced by roughly 30%. Whats more, is that its secondary effect has been reduced in the amount of time and procs it can occur. Going to a 10 second timeframe and 5 procs per second max (compared to 20 seconds, and 10 procs on holodeck).

This is a big change. It still makes the RIF console a very good console, but no where near as effective as it is currently.

COMMUNITY’S REACTION

This change has divided the community. Alot of players, including myself, have welcomed the changed as we believed the console was far too overpowered for its own good. On the opposite side, there have been players who have been raging beyond belief at this change (Some, even to the point saying there tank ships is ruined, and you cannot tank without the console).

Let me expand on that last point. Alot of you know, I have a massive dislike of this console. While I had no problems with the instant heal, or the % boost, by biggest bugbear was its secondary effect. The console giving heals based on your outgoing damage, several times per second. Also, these heals weren’t small, over a 10 second period, a tactical captain or high DPSer could get upwoods of 100k hull points within 10 seconds.

Simply, the console was in my opinion, OP as fuck. However, whenever i tried to mention this in Reddit or in some chat channels, I would get downvoted to hell, or i would receive some very nasty PM messages.

So to say I am happy about this change, would be a understatement. I can see the massive firestorm of rage come April 25th, from alot of captains who relied on this console alone to keep themselves alive, and to get massive DPS numbers.

But, in order to by objective, I need to be honest with my audience. I honesty don’t mind if there is massive rage. This console has needed a serious re-balance for years, and to see it finally happening, brings me alot of joy, as well as some personal pride. Because in my opinion, if the devs are doing these changes, they agree with my assessment of the console.

After years of being targeted for my views on this console, it is nice to have a victory once in a while 🙂

PLASMONIC LEECH

Plasmonic leech is a console all players can get from a lockbox, or for the klingons from one of their C Store ships. This console currently drains power levels from a target, and gives the power to the player. This console can be boosted using the DrainX skill points, getting to a stage where players could get massive power boosts to all their systems at once.

However, the tribble changes will dramatically change how the leech works, and alot of players are unhappy about it.

Holodeck > Tribble comparison. Screenshot taken using Captain Nolla, my science captain under the 102nd fleet

As you can see, there have been massive changes to the leech. While you can still drain a target’s power levels, it no longer boosts your own power levels for the same amount. Also, there is a stack limit to the power drain, while before, it had no stack limit.

Additionally, the leech’s power boost to yourself is no longer affected by the drainX skill points. Basically, the maximum amount of power you can now receive in each subsystem is +7.5. This still makes the leech console one of the best power consoles in the game, as it boosts all subsystems, not just one.

The communities reaction, well……

COMMUNITY REACTION

The community reaction has been massive, as well as divided. You can tell easily how divided this change is by checking this thread on the official forums.

https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/startrekonline/#/discussion/1229474/holy-nerf-to-plasmonic-leech-batman/p1

Alot of players are applauding the change, as they believed the console gave far too much, in comparison to its cost. However, a very vocal section of the community has been screaming bloody murder over this change. Demanding they want their money/funds back for what they did to get the console.

Now this reaction has definitely super charged the community. Its going to be even more interesting when the larger player base “feels” this affect come April 25th. Myself, personally I am happy for the change, as the power boost he leech could give was far too much for relatively little effort.

Personally, the way Cryptic have changed the power boost, is a nice middle ground for this sort of console, which has been so ingrained into the “meta” for many years.

IMMUNITY CHANGES

One of the biggest changes, coming April 25th, is the change to player immunity’s. Immunity’s are basically a sort of buff or resistance to disable attacks. If you are hit with a disable attack, and manage to escape it, you can a time period where you are immune to that sort of attack again.

Alot of BOFF abilities also have immunity’s that could be used or case before being hit with disables or other type of debuffs. Originally, there were massive gaps when you were still vulnerable to attack. But over the years, the building up of player immunity’s, abilities and gear made it next to impossible to disable anyone, or even have any more of window to disable someone.

The changes coming in season 13, change all of that. This is a section of patch notes that deal with the changes.

All “Hot Restart” powers that automatically remove a subsystem offline no longer attempt to cleanse uncleansable effects, and have a 60 second lockout on a per-subsystem basis
All holds now give their target hold resistance for a short duration when they end.
All disables now give their target hold resistance for a short duration when they end.
All player damage immunities now place a 15 second lockout on you during which you cannot activate or otherwise be affected by any more damage immunities
All player damage immunities are now buffs that can be removed by buff removing abilities

(https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/startrekonline/#/discussion/1229463/tribble-maintenance-and-release-notes-march-15-2017/p1)

Lockout cooldown

As you can see here, this is a massive change. More so for PvP players who relied on stacking immunities. With a lockout in place for using immunities, as well as the immunity BUFFs being able to be removed, it is going to be a big game changer.

COMMUNITY REACTION

The community reaction has been mixed. Alot of players are furious about the immunity changes. However, alot of players are glad as it is fixing a long standing issue with PvP, and some real dick players who kept stacking immunities for no real downside. The fact that the BUFFs can also be removed, is definitely going to open up a new tactical and strategic play styles in PvP.

Exactly how the larger community is going to react, I am fairly certain alot of them are going to be extremely unhappy. As a general rule, alot of players dont like challenges, or not being able to simply blow through with no real hassle. These changes, has the potential to affect that status quo, and as you all know, alot of players dont like it when their status quo is reduced, or removal completely.

OVERALL

Overall, the changes I have described seem to have targeted alot, if not all the “meta” that player base at large used to breeze through STFs, and the game in general. I can only guess at the massive amount of rage that will occur when this goes live. But I haven’t been involved in a game rebalance where this hasn’t happened, so it is situation normal, all fucked up on that area 🙂

As for Captains, I believe that both Science and Engineer captains have received alot of boosts and changes to increase their worth in the game. With alot of ability and console changes, I feel Science Captains and Engineer captains will close some of the gap between themselves and tacs.

Tactical captains, well, what can I say but this. You got reduced/nerfed, and you got nerfed hard. I cannot believe I am seeing the day when tactical captain abilities, and tactical captains in general would get broad and sweeping reductions and changes. It has always seemed that Cryptic were afraid to change this group of players.

Well, that period seems to be over, and Cryptic have gone for the throat. While, strictly speaking this changes are minor to medium in scale, added on to all the other changes, Tactical captains are going to see massive performance decreases. How do I feel about this, considering I have two tactical captains myself?

Well, I am both glad and concerned. Glad that tactical captains seem to be finally be not so untouchable anymore. I am also concerned at how the tactical captain player base is going to react. Considering they have been on cloud nine for many a year. How does one predict how this group will react, when they get smacked in the face hard?

CONCLUSION

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of information and discussion regarding the upcoming space balance changes. As I have said before, there are countless more changes than I have mentioned, or could even write about. Such as temporal specialization change interactions, and other BOFF abilites.

My best advice to everyone, is to have a open mind come April 25th. There will be countless changes, additions, BUFFs, reductions and unknown interactions with your ship and crew.

This is reporter Foxman86, for the Equator Alliance News Network, signing off.

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*Bridge of the U.S.S. Righetti, Alpha shift *

 Posted by at 4:49 am  Comments Off on *Bridge of the U.S.S. Righetti, Alpha shift *
Feb 142017
 

 

Lieutenant R’rarj glanced down as the indicator light on the communications portion of his console began to flash. Seated at the Operations One station at the front of the bridge he glanced back at Captain Elea who was casually leaning to the side of her command chair reviewing the latest status reports from the ships’ various departments. Ahead of him the view screen displayed the stars, slightly elongated by their low warp travel.

The deployment along the edges of Federation space in the Beta quadrant had been fairly quiet until the previous month when Starfleet had made contact with a new species called the Lukari. Having recently passed the warp barrier, Starfleet had detailed several vessels to assist them in exploring the greater galaxy. The discovery of new friends had unfortunately also brought renewed hostilities between the Federation and old foes, the Tzenkethi. R’rarj got the impression from his fellow crew mates that although the Righetti had yet to have direct confrontation with this hostile reptilian species the majority felt it was only a matter of time. No one was particularly worried, merely a feeling of confidence with resigned inevitability. They had all been through many more dire conflicts together, specifically both the Borg and the Iconians. The Tzenkethi, while dangerous, were not even close to that level of threat.

“Captain, incoming message from Starfleet Command. It’s Admiral Quinn ma’am,” R’rarj called over his right shoulder. “I wonder if it’s those new assignment instructions we’ve been expecting?” he mused quietly to himself, felinoid ears swiveled back towards his captain awaiting further instructions.

Lujayne Elea uncoiled herself from her command chair, stretching a bit as she stood. “Pipe it into my ready room, I’ll take it in there. Maybe it is the new assignment instructions Lieutenant, but given some of the strange jobs we’ve gotten from the Admiral in the past, let’s try not to speculate” she said with a small smirk.

R’rarj’s ears flattened with embarrassment at the soft rebuke and he sat straighter. “Yes ma’am, understood. I was unaware Trill had such excellent hearing ma’am, I’ll try to keep future commentary strictly in thought form. Transferring Admiral Quinn to your ready room.”

“Thank you Lieutenant. And remember, that thought-form commentary might still get you in trouble if you ever serve under a Betazoid commander. Commander Grenic, you have the bridge.” And with that, Lujayne strode off the bridge, ready room doors sliding shut behind her as first officer Yalal Grenic shot R’rarj a disapproving look. Captain Elea was fine with her senior officers bantering but Yalal’s job was to ensure and enforce proper decorum.

 

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The better part of an hour had passed by the time Lujayne re-emerged from her ready room. The conversation with Admiral Quinn had not been what she had been expecting and she wasn’t sure how to feel about the new orders. They were simultaneously exciting and heart-wrenching and she’d needed to take a moment to compose herself, putting her captain face back on before exiting her small sanctum.

Striding back into the center of the bridge she began issuing orders to the Caitian flight controller seated beside Lieutenant R’rarj. “Lieutenant Liow’an, recall all drones and probes and then set course for Deep Space Nine, Warp six.” Turning to her executive officer she simply said “Staff meeting, all department heads and senior staff. Conference room, fifteen minutes.” Nodding, Cdr. Grenic began accessing the comm system to distribute the instructions. Lujayne eased herself gracefully back into her chair and began calling up various screens on the armrest to pull information from while her crew executed her guidance.

Liow’an completed laying in the course, turning to the captain. “Ma’am, all drones recalled and back in the hangar. Course for DS9 is laid in. ETA 4 days, 13 hours at Warp six.”

“Understood. Engage.” Captain Elea ordered, watching the main viewscreen with a wistfulness her XO noticed but did not speculate about, before losing herself in whatever data she had pulled up on her own monitors.

Fifteen minutes later Righetti’s senior staff was seated around the elliptical conference table in their customary seats. Lujayne slowly strolled into the room and made her way to the head of the table, glancing at her officers as she did so.

Her back to the windows, Commander Elaje Fyrsuk was massaging the ridges at the top of her nose, clearly trying to relieve stress over whatever new problem had cropped up down in engineering. Righetti was still a new vessel, less than three years old and Fyrsuk knew the systems of the Vesta-class explorer better than most of the people who had designed her. The sleek starship was packed to the gills with a wide variety of complex systems, some barely past the experimental phase. Despite the experience of her Bajoran Chief Engineer and the vessel’s youth, the unfortunate reality was that the more complex a system was, the more likely it was to need higher levels of maintenance. Despite the daily stresses, Fyrsuk would be the first to extoll the virtues of the Vesta design.

Dr. Cyphert was sitting beside Fyrsuk quietly discussing stress management techniques. The ship’s human Chief Medical Officer was an outspoken proponent of an ancient Terran stress-relieving exercise discipline known as yoga and was always trying to introduce it to new acolytes. Lieutenant Commander Mouja listened as well with a sensual intensity typical of many Orion women as she slumped bonelessly in her chair. The ship’s senior science officer’s personality typically displayed as a curious mix of aloof disinterest punctuated by bursts of intense focus that had captivated more than a few of her crewmates.

On the opposite side of the table sat security chief Lieutenant Toezza Dtuza, exiled Voth scientist Dr. Nelen Exil, and second officer Commander Emaale Beetoer. The Operations Officer was having a discussion with the two seated next to her which seemed to be focused on ways the Ops department could facilitate more rapid security response in the event of a boarding event. Being the junior officer in the room, Ensign Sek sat silently at the far end of the table absorbing the conversations as the green sensor bar on his canine-like Breen helmet swept back and forth. The assistant tactical officer was not known for his gregarious demeanor but had proven to be a valuable member of the crew since joining two years prior as part of a foreign officer exchange program.

Trailed into the room by Yalal and R’rarj who had been on the bridge with her, Lujayne waited until they took their seats to begin. All conversation instantly ceased, officers straightened in their seats, and all eyes turned towards her as she dropped into the form-adjusting chair at the head of the table.

“People there’s no easy way to break this news so I’ll get direct to the point. Admiral Quinn has ordered Righetti to proceed immediately to Deep Space Nine where I will relinquish command. I have been asked to become the senior field commander for the Starfleet Field Operational Test Command’s project November X-Ray, Yankee division.” The reactions around the table ranged from curiosity to sadness to anger to no visible reaction at all. Ensign Sek was not known for his facial expressions any more than his verbose nature.

Nelen Exil raised his hand “Captain, what is project November X-Ray?”

Adelia Cyphert smiled and let loose a small chuckle. “Beat me to it Dr. Exil. I was just going to pretend I knew what the Captain was talking about.” Her smile slowly faded when Commander Grenic glared at her and the captain’s expression did not change. “Sorry,” she apologized and sat back in her seat.

Addressing the Voth exile Lujayne leaned forward and continued. “Good question Nelen, I’m sure you and Dr. Cyphert are not the only two in the dark about this project. Basically it is Starfleet’s next generation starship design program. Yankee division’s focus tends to be on longer-range explorer type vessels while Zulu division is meant for tactical focus vessels like the Defiant-class. Once the projects graduate from the November X-Ray program they end up at shipyards yards like Utopia Planetia or McKinley Station for major construction. However the November X-Ray program has been known to produce some test models when secrecy is necessary. With the rise of recent small-scale conflicts with the Voth and Vaadwaur, not to mention the Federation nearly being destroyed by the Iconians a year and a half ago, the NX program has received significantly increased attention from high level sources.”

“I am allowed to bring up to 40% of Righetti’s crew with me on this assignment including any senior officer who wants to come with. I have been ordered to assume the temporary position as Commodore and will be conducting field testing on the third flight of Vesta-class ship. I won’t say it’s a ground-up rebuild but it did take the Vesta design we know and changed quite a bit. Most of you were with me on Phoenix Askani, she was an original Vesta design based off of the 2379 design. Righetti as you know is a second-flight ship, and is an upgrade. This third-flight has been under development for years but the research teams have been pretty far removed from the front lines. They’re the research arm while we represent the operational arm of Starfleet.”

“Basically my job, and whoever joins me, is to go poke holes in the design and figure out what improvements need modification in order to be useful in actual operations. This brings us to the risk/reward part of the discussion however. If the project has not progressed far enough, based off of my/our feedback, there is the potential that I and whatever team assist me in the evaluation will not have a vessel for months, possibly more than a year. If the NX team has managed to create a workable template however, you will be the first to crew a third-flight Vesta class vessel.”

Sitting back to survey the room, Lujayne finished her brief “No one besides myself is required to join this evaluation team. Anyone who remains on-board after we arrive at Deep Space Nine will continue as part of Righetti’s crew in their current capacity, or possibly even advance to a higher position if the position is vacant. I don’t know who the new captain will be but Admiral Quinn has told me they are already enroute to DS9. Take the next 36 hours to consider the offer. Ensure your divisions are all fully briefed and given the same offer. Specific job classification is unimportant, Starfleet is as eager to hear about the medical bay as they are the data-burst uplinks.”

“All department heads will file their summaries, complete with crew evaluation files no later than 48 hours from now. Commander Grenic and I will review all applications for transfer. If more than 40% of the crew wants to take this challenge we will adjudicate and take the best candidates. Questions?” Lujayne asked as her staff shook their heads. “Ok, dismissed.”

As she left the conference room she heard her officers begin to talk excitedly between themselves. A small smile pulled at the corners of her mouth and she hoped these were not the last few days she would spend working with them.

Lujayne did not have long to wait for her response. Within 24 hours of the briefing in the conference room over 80% of the crew had filed transfer applications to join the test program, including her entire senior staff. She and the senior staff spent the next 3 days reviewing personnel files and ranking the transfer potentials. By the time Righetti entered Bajoran space everyone who’s transfer had been accepted was informed to begin packing their personal belongings. Lujayne filed a second report for Righetti’s incoming commander recommending promotions and personnel slotting for the crew members who were not selected for the test program, to help fill some of the personnel vacancies.

As the spider-like pylons of Deep Space Nine came into view Commander Grenic began issuing orders.  “Ops, purge the Bussard Collectors and de-ionize the hull, I don’t want any static discharges when we dock. Helm, ahead one quarter impulse until we are within 50 thousand kilometers, then utilize thrusters. Tactical, hail DS9 Ops and get docking instructions, coordinate with helm to get us to the correct pylon.”

“Engineering begin securing both the primary warp core and the slipstream core. Righetti is going to be here for a few days during these transfers and the impulse reactors will provide sufficient power. No reason to burn deuterium without good cause.”

“Toezza, have your security teams standing by to help secure the transfer of personal goods from Righetti to DS9’s cargo bay 2. Most of us have been here before and know that there are some unsavory people onboard who’d love to embarrass Starfleet by stealing half a crews’ personal belongings. Not to mention any names *cough*Quark*cough*. Captain to the Bridge, we are on final approach to Deep Space Nine.”

 

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Lujayne exited her ready room as Lt (J.G.) Kal’eth parroted back “Thrusters to station keeping, aye. Docking clamps extended, umbilicals attached. Air pressure holding steady. Docking procedure complete ma’am.” Yalal turned to Captain Elea “Ma’am, we are docking complete at upper pylon 3. Security teams are beginning the transfer of everyone’s personal goods to Cargo Bay 2.”

Lujayne smiled “Excellent work Commander. Commander Beetoer open the ship-wide intercom. I’d like to address the crew.” A shrill boatswain’s whistle piped through the speakers all over the ship as Lujayne began her address. “Officers and crewmembers of the Righetti it has been one of the great honors of my life serving as your captain these past two years. We have persevered under the most grueling of conditions, defending the Federation from enemies foreign and domestic and helping our civilization avoid Armageddon on more than one occasion. We have become a family through both the losses we have suffered and the triumphs we have celebrated. I know a large portion of you will be joining me on our upcoming testbed assignment and I’m sorry I could not take everyone who applied. Those of you who remain will form a critical link in ensuring the continued success of this great ship. You have the knowledge of her quirks and abilities that no one else does, and most of you will be receiving promotions and/or transfers to positions of greater responsibility in light of your hard work and never-ending pursuit of greatness. I wish you all the best and know you’ll help the incoming command team do great things. Thank you all, Elea out.”

She turned to Yalal and ordered “All stations to station-borne control, begin the transfer of all personnel. The Keldon cruiser Scharnhorst will arrive at DS9 the day after tomorrow to retrieve the first batch of transfers. U.S.S. Gunfighter and U.S.S. Kendrick will complete the final transfers in 5 days. Captain Kurland has already arranged for temporary quarters for our transferring personnel. In-bound personnel will begin arriving later today which is why we need to vacate the on-ship quarters. The incoming XO will be here in about 2 hours, a Commander Johansenn. Show him every courtesy and answer whatever questions he has. Starfleet Command has ordered me to take one of Righetti’s runabouts to the Elvren system at once. I’ll meet you all once you get there but they want me on ground there first, so to speak. Good luck.” As she walked towards the turbolift, Lujayne heard Yalal give a quiet command to the lieutenant at Ops but paid it no mind.

“Deck twelve, shuttlebay,” she ordered, and the turbolift quickly delivered her near the shuttlebay. As the doors parted a boatswain’s whistle shrilled and Lujayne exited the lift to see the corridor lined on both sides with Righetti crewmembers standing at attention. As she passed she noticed all of the faces were the crewmembers not participating in the transfer. The murmuring began as she slowly walked the halls, quietly in deference to protocol.

“Thank you Captain.”

“Godspeed Captain.”

“Live long and prosper Captain.”

“It’s been an honor Captain.”

Lujayne was forced to muster all of her will to keep from shedding tears as she made her way down the hall, shaking the hands and patting her crew on the shoulder as she passed, thanking them individually. It wasn’t until the boarding hatch on the runabout sealed that she allowed the tears to flow, saying goodbye to her home and her subordinates that she had led and shaped over the last two years. By the time the shuttlebay door had retracted the tears had stopped and the excitement over this next chapter in her life had taken root.

 

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Captain’s log – Stardate 94715.05

We have been in operation here at Starbase 285 in the Elvren system for a little over 5 weeks now. The Starbase is relatively small by Starbase standards, but it serves well enough. The small construction yard outside is heavily fortified. There are about 15 different types of prototype vessels under construction. This research facility has the largest industrial replicators I have ever seen in my life. They are capable of creating whole nacelles in 8 hours. Automated drones overseen by some of the most grizzled and experienced engineers in Starfleet can put together an entire vessel in about a week. It would still require a great deal final outfitting at one of the major shipyards but a basic vessel is space worthy with low warp capability.

The three ships NX project wanted my teams to investigate have been termed the Esquiline, Palatine, and Brigid sub-types to the Vesta line. Our first testbed was the Palatine type. We christened her the U.S.S. Masterson. She possessed an interesting layout with flattened nacelles and low vertical profile similar to the Intrepid-class with many of the strengths and weaknesses of the older platform. She utilized a new nillimite-neutronium alloy with large sections of tetraburnium alloys which strengthened the hull compared to earlier Vesta ships like Askani and Righetti. Fyrsuk estimates Masterson is 13% more durable than any of her predecessors. The added benefit to this was that it reduced the amount of power we needed to divert to the structural integrity field during normal operations, freeing up additional power for other systems. There were numerous software and hardware improvements as well, as would be expected from an advanced prototype.

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U.S.S. Masterson, NCC-93318

 

We filed our reports with the design teams and were told to hang tight for about a week while the Brigid subtype was finished. I authorized leave for anyone who requested it since Earth was only about an 18-hour trips and we had four runabouts OPCON’d to us. I stayed at the Starbase with my Bajoran tag-team of Fyrsuk and Beetoer refining suggestions and systems. One of the ideas floated based off the designs that were available was a redesigned primary/secondary deflector systems. Basically with some of the technology available plus the advanced projection systems available on the Vesta ships they were able to design a system capable of projecting immense radiation and electrical damage that could bypass or overload shield generators easily.

When we presented our briefing the design team looked at each other, dumbfounded that they could have overlooked this possibility. The man in charge of the program, Admiral Targus, started laughing so hard I thought I was going to have to call a medic, stating that this is why they have fleet engineers supervise this portion of the design phase because “even eggheads can miss things”. Bolians certainly are a jovial people.

We did run into some troubles when we discovered that these new technologies impinged upon the system routing for the sympathetic fermion transceiver and quantum field focusing circuits. Those systems, while not critical to starship operation help add a variety of options that Vesta captains like myself would be loath to part with. One of the “eggheads” floated the idea of what if we mounted one of the old Nebula-class mission pods to the back of the Brigid to create space for the necessary machinery. The engineer was completely professional but I know I saw a bit of smugness in his expression when Admiral Targus admitted it was a great idea.

Commander Beetoer asked permission to christen this second testbed as the U.S.S. DeBoer after a friend of hers from the academy who had perished in the Iconian conflict. It was as good as done. The new pod did change both our energy and subspace profiles and as such required significant recalculations to our warp field geometry to reach slipstream velocities. For most of the week the computers on the Starbase performed hundreds of thousands of simulations each day before discovering a configuration that worked. Until that point we conducted tests at standard warp velocity and they were extremely successful. DeBoer was a joy to command, even better than Masterson before her. Responsive and we were able to get quality testing out of the new isometric discharge array and radion pulse matrix. Lieutenant R’rarj and Lt. Cdr Mouja were thrilled with the new technologies and arguments coming from the starbase mess hall over who could come up with more uses for the new systems became a regular occurrence. I readily appreciated both the tactical and scientific possibilities the systems brought with them.

 

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U.S.S. DeBoer, NCC-98573

We did extend our test period with the DeBoer two days longer than original specified trying to solve the slipstream problem without success. Our engineering teams worked 18 hour shifts with the starbase design teams trying to solve it. It was after 0300 on the 9th day of testing before one of the joint teams made a breakthrough. The flat longitudinal nacelle layout that DeBoer has was causing a phase variance that escalated exponentially once the drive was engaged and caused enough interference with the chroniton integration sensors that the computer automatically cut the slipstream drive. Well…that was problematic to say the least. The simplest solution was to redesign the nacelle layout, which was incorporated into the final variant we were testing, the Esquiline variant.

Visually she was the most appealing to me, having a similar profile to Righetti and Askani, with the mission pod that reminded me of the days commanding Lauren Cohen, my old Luna-class ship. The new deflector dish was not as sleek as the earlier Vestas I have commanded but there was renewed emphasis on the secondary deflector which was about 30% larger. I did like the bridge being a bit more recessed than earlier versions as well. We were pleasantly surprised in the pre-mission briefing when the development team revealed the new mission pod redesign included several tachyon emitter/receiver modules. According to the brief this would allow us to simultaneously drain an opponent’s shields while boosting the integrity of our own. Intriguing if it works as advertised.

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U.S.S. Staite, NCC-97617

Under direct orders from Admiral Targus we were told not to christen this ship yet, the Admiralty would take any suggestion we had under advisement but were reserving naming rights at the flag officer-level. We just took to calling her the Young One, for lack of a better name We spent two weeks taking this ship on trial runs, stressing each system per a scripted series of events. The slipstream drive worked like a charm, everything worked as advertised. She handled like a dream, even with a skeleton crew. We only had about 300 crewmembers from Righetti on our staff, plus about 50 Starbase 285 technicians on a ship designed for 750 but we had no issues maintaining all systems through each test. It was gratifying as a captain to see. I think I overheard some of the SB285 technicians talking about putting in transfer paperwork to join our crew. I’m sure the Admiral would love to lose his staff to a visiting commander. Hah!

Our two weeks putting the Young One her through her paces, I don’t think there was a soul on board who did not love this ship. My final report to Admiral Targus and Starfleet Command recommended immediate production begin and retrofitting of older Vesta cruisers begin where operationally feasible. We are awaiting follow-on instructions from Command at this time.

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Captain’s Log Supplemental – Stardate 94718.05

The order has finally arrived.

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From: Admiral Grigori Yanishev, Personnel Division, Starfleet Command

To: Captain Lujayne Elea

Stardate 94717.82

Attention to Orders. You are hereby requested and required to assume command of U.S.S. Staite, NCC-97617 as of this date. Proceed immediately to Starbase 101 for outfitting and shakedown cruise operations.

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After a brief moment of confusion when Admiral Targus presented the order to myself and the senior staff, we realized that “the Young One” had been official christened as the U.S.S. Staite after Admiral Jewel Staite, one of the key leaders during the early days of the Federation, just after the Earth Starfleet formally joined with Vulcan and Andor. Since Staite had been a prototype vessel until this point she was only outfitted with basic Class 10 deflectors, shielding, and impulse reactors. As such we would need to receive and test the latest equipment available. The home of 101st Fleet was also home to some of the Federation’s finest shipyards and was only a 4 day journey away at Warp 7. Utopia Planetia and Vulcan shipyards were both closer, however they were focused on rebuilding the fleet after the Iconian invasion devastated over a third of Starfleet. No need to take up a valuable berth at either of those locations for work that 101st Fleet’s technicians could easily accomplish. We would be taking on additional personnel upon arrival as well.

We have completed our farewells to the November X-Ray team and thanked them and the Starbase 285 personnel for being such gracious hosts for the past several weeks. It can always be stressful when dealing with some of the “rear-echelon” Starfleet types who haven’t set foot on an operational starship in several years but it turns out they’re quite adept at working with crews from ships of the line.

Time to get this show on the road.

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“Captain Elea, Starbase 285 reports all gantries have been retracted and umbilicals severed. We are clear to proceed to Starbase 101 on your order,” called Lieutenant Roloun, the Paradan helmswoman on shift.

“Understood. Proceed out of the dock on thrusters, take us to half impulse once we’re clear until we break orbit, and then Warp 7.5 to Starbase 101.” Lujayne sat back in her new chair, trying to decide it it was more or less comfortable than Righetti’s big chair. No reason to decide today, she thought to herself, before turning to Yalal. “Commander Grenic, how are the application reviews coming along? I would prefer we have our new crew on board before subsystem installation is complete. If there is a straggler or two who can’t join us until later that’s fine but the shakedown cruise is going to be manpower intensive. Hell, we’re going to be hanging corridor panels the whole way down to Fleet HQ.”

“Ma’am, I’ve been working with the senior staff and I think we’ve got pretty much all positions filled. We’ve got a few transfers coming from the fringes of the Federation but if their records are any indication they’ll be worth waiting for. Assuming there are no travel problems we should not have to delay the shakedown more than a day or two at most.”

“Excellent. I’m going to take a stroll down to Engineering and see how things are going. You have the bridge Commander.” Rising from the chair, Lujayne headed towards the turbolift at the rear of the bridge. Maybe it’s a little more comfortable she mused as the doors slid shut.

“Captain have you seen the specs on the equipment they’ll be installing when we reach 101st? I don’t know where this technology came from, I haven’t seen stuff like this before. It’s like it came from the future!… Wait… Did it come from the future? I know we were involved in those temporal incursions a few months ago? Hell this new warp core has a chroniton signature and is putting out almost 20% more Cochranes than Righetti’s core and I had that thing tuned like a harp. And this deflector dish should boost the relative output of our deflectors by almost the same amount! Between that trick we used to pull turning the deflector into a quantum phaser beam and those new mission pod systems that channel through the dish I would not want to get in a fight with this honey.”

The words just tumbled from Fyrsuk’s mouth so fast that Lujayne couldn’t get a word in edgewise. She was content to let the Chief Engineer chatter about the virtues of the systems they were about to install, finally holding up a hand to try to get Fyrsuk’s attention.

“So you’re saying it’s pretty good stuff? Lujayne asked with a hint of smugness.

“Captain, ‘pretty good stuff’ doesn’t do this justice. If there weren’t restrictors in place these impulse engines would push us to relativistic speeds with a tenth the power a ship built 7-8 years ago would take. The efficiency at low-power settings is over 97.24%!” Commander Elaje gushed.

“Well I’m glad to hear it. I would hate to have called in favors with half the Admirals in Starfleet for anything less than the best. And as a matter of fact it IS from the future. You hit the nail on the head regarding those temporal incursions. Starfleet has been reverse engineering equipment found on some of the wrecks and using salvage to piece together other components. Hell I even had to cut a deal with Admiral Ieon from 102nd Fleet to get the salvaged temporal EPS power taps necessary for Starfleet R&D to build these shields,” Lujayne told her, thinking back to the amicable negotiations she had concluded a few days prior via subspace. “We’re going to be the lead ship outfitted with this equipment set. As it makes its way to the fleet it’ll be more common but like Staite herself, it’s very new, very untested equipment. Our job is to put it through the wringer and see where it shines and fails. Think we’re up to it?”

Fyrsuk grinned and replied with a hearty “Yes ma’am!” as some of the less occupied engineers let out a small cheer. Captain Elea turned slightly and addressed her Chief Engineer in a stage voice “I don’t know Commander, some of our engineer staff seems to be in dire need of work since they seem to have time to stand around eavesdropping. I’ll leave you to your business. Please ensure we’re ready to receive and install the components as soon as we arrive at Starbase 101. As you were,” she said, waiving off the ensign who had been preparing to call the room to attention at the captain’s departure.

As she strolled out of main engineering she heard Fyrsuk begin barking orders to her staff. No easy days for a while, she thought to herself as she made her way towards Sick Bay. As Elea made her way down the halls she passed half a dozen work crews working on the EPS systems or installing new gravity plating. It was a strange feeling walking through the corridors of a Federation starship that still looked comparatively skeletal. Most passageways were still missing half of the wall panels or more. The lighting systems worked just fine but every now and then Lujayne would walk through a dark patch where an overhead light was not yet installed. The work crews at Starbase 101 had their work cut out for them.

A few minutes later she swept through the doors into Sick Bay which was a subdued hive of activity. Dr. Cyphert was tending to a patient wearing Engineering mustard yellow who looked to have a nasty cut on his shoulder. Cyphert finished working with the crewman with the dermal regenerator before handing it to Nurse Zeestou and made her way over to the captain.

“Afternoon Captain,” she said, brushing some of her blonde hair out of her eyes as she glanced around the bay. “What brings you down to my neck of the woods?”

“Good afternoon Adelia. Just taking a walk, seeing how everything is coming along. We won’t arrive at Starbase 101 for two more days, making sure everything is prepared for our arrival. What happened to Crewman Daprirn?”

“Nothing too significant to worry about ma’am,” Cyphert assured her, shaking her head slightly as the pair approached the injured Benzite. “Crewman Daprirn was working in the Jeffries tubes on Deck 6 and failed to notice that one of the rungs in the ladder he was working on hadn’t been installed so he took a bit of a tumble. No broken bones, just a minor ankle sprain and a nice laceration where a protruding bracket caught him on the way down. He’ll be on light duty for a day or two but should be fully healed by the time we arrive at Starbase 101.”

Giving Daprirn a gentle smile Captain Elea patted him on the undamaged shoulder “Well I’m glad to hear there’s no permanent damage. Maybe next time Daprirn will pay a little more attention to what he’s doing, eh?”

Wearing an abashed look, Crewman Daprirn hung his head a little, “Yes ma’am, it won’t happen again.”

Turning back to Adelia, Lujayne gestured around the bay. “What do you think of our new medical facilities? Suitable?”

With a gleam in her eye Dr. Cyphert nodded enthusiastically. “The basic layout hasn’t changed from our time with Righetti, although with the added automation in some of the systems we did increase from a 30-bed medical facility to a 37-bed one. I think we took over space that was previously used as an auxiliary power junction. Not sure where they moved it to, but I’m not complaining about the extra space.” Touring slowly around the facility the pair did their best to stay out of the way of the medical orderlies bustling around.

Leading the captain past the pristine rows of equipment and bio beds, Adelia continued expounding on the features of the new sickbay. “We currently have the standard 8 surgical arches but I think I was able to pull a few strings with 101st Fleet’s CMO and there should be two more waiting for us when we arrive. Our EMH program has been upgraded to the Mark 4. I don’t know that we’re the first ship to have the Mk4, but we’re definitely ONE of the first.”

“I didn’t even know there was a new medical hologram being fielded. Clearly I’m a little behind the times, last I knew we still had that effeminate Mark 2 model. Mark 4 EMH, huh? Who’s this one modeled off of? Anyone we know?” Lujayne pondered aloud.

Grinning, Adelia replied “You tell me Captain. Computer, activate Emergency Medical Hologram.”

With a flash and a soft electronic woosh, the computer generated a grizzled-looking human male of about 60 years of age. She couldn’t immediately put her finger on it but the face was definitely familiar to the Trill captain. Something from her textbooks at the academy, or a symposium she had attended in a previous host perhaps?

The holographic man turned to them impatiently but with an undefined kindness in his eyes asking “What seems to be the nature of the medical emergency?” in a gravelly tone of voice. Dr. Cyphert said nothing, allowing the captain to solve the puzzle on her own. Lujayne said nothing, her mind still working through where she knew this face from. As the EMH spoke, the memories clicked it all came back to her.

“Well, damnit what’s the medical emergency? I’m a doctor not an art exhibit to be stared at!”

Glancing at Cyphert, Captain Elea asked the hologram “Wait… is your program based off of Doctor Leonard McCoy.”

“Well I’m sure as hell not Jim Kirk, Captain!” the hologram exclaimed.

Still recovering from the realization that she was staring at one of Starfleet’s most legendary officers, Elea found herself apologizing to a hologram. “I’m sorry doctor, I hadn’t expected to interact with you onboard my ship. I attended one of your lectures when my symbiont was in a previous host, it was extremely insightful.”

The hologram softened his expression. “Well I hadn’t expected to be here either, Captain,” he grumbled, “but Starfleet Medical thought that after the debacles with the Zimmerman EMH model’s terrible bedside manner and that prissy Mark 2 replacement most officers would feel more comfortable with a little down-home country doctoring. So they dredged up the personality profiles for the original Dr. McCoy and that resulted in what you see standing here in front of you. Figured you captain types might respond better to one of the “Heroes of the Federation” or whatever they call me being aboard your ship. And don’t ask me what the problem with the Mk 3 EMH was, I wasn’t created yet so I don’t know.”

Stepping forward to shake the holographic McCoy’s hand Lujayne nodded in agreement. “I suppose that all makes sense. Well it’s a pleasure to have you aboard doctor. Thank you for your time, until next time. Computer end EMH.”

As the hologram winked out of existence, Adelia shook her head slightly in understated disbelief. “Given the fact that the real Leonard McCoy passed away before I was done with primary school I never really had any hopes or aspirations of serving with him. He was always one of my heroes growing up, one of the doctors I’ve tried to emulate ethically. Besides just the visual and personality components, the Mk 4 EMH has been upgraded with all of the latest procedures with a holomatrix that’s got plenty of room for expansion. We still have some work to do to get the facility fully in order but we’re operational now. We’ll be taking on full medical provisions once we reach Starbase 101. Overall, Captain this new Sick Bay is going to be a great benefit to the crew.”

“Well doctor I’m happy to hear that. It looks like your staff is doing good work already, so keep it up. Let me know if I can be of assistance,” Lujayne stated as she shook hands with Dr. Cyphert and departed to continue her tour.

Captain’s Log – Stardate 94719.85

We completed our transit from Starbase 285 to Starbase 101 without serious incident. As soon as we entered the system we were met with a “welcome home” and docking instructions to Mooring Bay #2 at Gunfighter Alley. The deflector dishes had barely completed their shutdown routines before work drones were disconnecting the dishes and maneuvering our new components into place. Commanders Beetoer and Mouja have been overseeing the primary and secondary deflector installation while Cdrs. Grenic, Elaje, and Ens. Sek have been focusing their energies on the impulse engine and shield upgrades.

While I would love to be elbows deep in a deflector emitter helping their teams complete the work, Fleet Admiral Norman and Vice Admiral Hottie ordered myself and Lt. R’rarj to attend an intelligence briefing Starfleet Command had pushed down to us. I had seen the Devestator in orbit around the station but must have missed Enterprize on our way into the system.

The briefing consisted of the initial cultural profile for the Lukari. They were a recent entry into the warp-capable species catalogue but initial reports filed by Captain Tracks onboard the U.S.S. Stratos indicated that they shared a wide-eyed curiosity of the galaxy at large, as many Starfleet officers do. Even more intriguing was the re-discovery of K-13, the 23rd century star base that vanished without a trace almost 200 years ago. When I was Jaheris Elea I remember watching the news releases from when that happened, but the popular theory was that either the Klingons or Romulans, depending on who you asked, had destroyed it in a covert attack. To see this immobile structure pop up hundreds of lightyears from its last known location is a mystery I hope I get a chance to work on.

The final portion of the briefing covered local fleet deployments including portions of the Ausmonaut Corps. The flagships for both 101st and 102nd Fleets, U.S.S. Zuikaku and U.S.S. Queen Mary are currently in orbit over the Lukari home world. Mission updates seemed to indicate that Admiral Lawford was investigating evidence of protomatter explosions that the crew of the Stratos had found during their initial contact with the Lukari. Admiral Ieon and Queen Mary were conducting diplomatic negotiations and general information exchange with the Lukari. With the Mary’s assistance and expertise, Intelligence reported the Lukari would soon be launching their lead ship of their line of second-generation warp vessels. The societal profile the Federation sociologists put together seem to indicate the Lukari will throw one hell of a party to celebrate this ship’s launch. I hope the Admirals can hold their liquor.

Admrial Norman concluded the briefing with orders sending Staite to the Huranzi system to rendezvous with this new Lukari ship and a Klingon General Rodek. We’ll be departing as soon as our systems upgrades are installed and conducting shakedown tests enroute. Our slipstream drive should have us there in about 36 hours while most ships would take more than 9 days.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Captain’s Log, Supplemental – Stardate 94723.03

Fleet Command has informed us that Admiral Will Norman and the Devastator has departed Starbase 101, leading a large task force to the Mivic system. The Tzenkethi massacre of Povini has galvanized the Federation from one side of the galaxy to the other. Calls for war and retribution fight for volume against worlds volunteering to send aid. However small our part we were able to assist a few surviving members of their space fleet.

Although the primary mission is civil relief, the task force has secondary and tertiary orders to open a second prong in the protomatter investigation while simultaneously assisting the Lukari with their archeological expedition to their former planet. 101st Fleet ships form the bulk of the relief effort. Captains Sean, U.S.S. Destiny and Tarran, U.S.S. Darmstadt, are rumored to be heading each of the alternate efforts. It’s good to see quality officers get fleet-level leadership experiences, if only it didn’t come under such negative circumstances.

We were able to drive off an over-strength Tzenkethi raiding party before they were able to detonate another protomatter bomb. Our new systems worked like a charm. We’re currently enroute back to Povini to join up with Admiral Will’s task force and render aid as we can.

Something tells me the Tzenkethi are going to regret picking this fight.

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Star Trek Online – Zuikaku – Evil Spirits

 Comments Off on Star Trek Online – Zuikaku – Evil Spirits
Apr 242016
 

Disclaimer

I do not own Star Trek, or Star Trek Online. Those products and trademarks are owned by CBS and Paramount. I am merely writing a Short story in regards to the Cryptic Game – Star trek Online. So Lawyers of those two icons please do not message me saying I am breaching copyright. As stated before, I do not own Star Trek, and merely play the game Star Trek Online and decided to write a short story (snigger) about my character if he was involved in that Universe. Now with that over and done with, on with the show.

***************************************************************************

Several weeks ago – Earth Space Dock – Sector 001

Admiral Quinn sat at his desk in Earth Space Dock. Surprising his desk was clear this day, which he had never seen happen before. Of course there was a simply reason, he had requested any PADD or documents be filed and placed away.

Just one day of no paperwork, Thought the admiral.

A chime interrupted his thoughts, tapping his hand on his communications panel, he activated the communications system.

“Yes?”

A female voice responded. The Admiral couldn’t remember her name, but did know she was on Earth space dock for some practical experience as part of her academy studies.

“Sir, Admiral Lawford is here to see you”.

“Send him in please” responded Quinn.

A second later, the doors to his office whooshed open. Entering at what the admiral knew as a sedate pace for this individual, but most other captains thought of as a brisk jog, was a male Starfleet Admiral in his 30’s. The 6 foot, blue eyed, dark brown hair individual wore the standard odyssey uniform, but on his left should wore an unusual circular patch.

Most uniforms were standard, with no identifying signs of starship or fleet affiliation. However, this individual subscribed to a practice that had been around before even the Federation had been founded. The patch was mostly black, expect for in the centre where it was a riot of green and yellow.

Just above centre, pictured in flight, was an Earth bird, a crane to be precise. Below the bird was a Sovereign class cruiser, facing towards the admiral as if the ship itself was ready to warp out of the patch towards his eyes. The name, USS Zuikaku, was embroiled in white wording below the ship.

The Admiral had known this individual for many years, and while their paths didn’t cross often, Quinn knew him as an excellent Starfleet officer.

“Admiral Aaron Lawford, thank you for coming” said Quinn has he extended out his hand

Admiral Aaron, wearing an ever increasing grin, clasped Quinn’s hand and shook firmly but not strongly.

“It’s no problem Sir. Was just going over with Captain Tote how the USS Ryujo is progressing”.

Nodding, Quinn pointed his head to the chair on the opposite side of his desk “Please sit down Admiral”

Quinn watched as the individual in front of him not so much sat, as more flopped down onto the chair in front on him.

“Again, apologises for this short notice Admiral, but there is a matter myself, and Starfleet Command need to discuss with you”.

Instantly, the carefree nature of the Admiral Aaron in front of him was replaced. Gone was the smile, and what replaced it was a serious intent face that was fully engaged with listening.

Raising his voice slightly, Quinn spoke “Computer, engage protocol sigma three nine”.

Around the office, lights dimmed, the sound of humming was replaced with silence. One could even describe it as if they have entered a tomb, and the door had been closed behind them. Which was quite adapt as the door had just sealed itself from anyone entering the admiral’s office.

“Protocol Sigma Three Nine engaged” responded the electronic voice of the computer.

Quinn watched as Admiral Aaron looked around “Don’t see that protocol activated every day”

“No you don’t” responded Quinn.

Taking a moment to compose his thoughts, Quinn continued.

“Are you aware of the USS Prism?” asked Quinn

Nodding, Admiral Aaron responded “I do, Nebula class vessel, disappeared during the Battle for Sol during the Iconian offensive, presumed destroyed”.

“Well, she wasn’t destroyed. Apparently during the battle, they entered one of the Iconian portals, and somehow ended up about 4 weeks travel from the Federation borders, roughly in Sector C153. She has been communication with us for a while, exploring the region for the past few months”

“I take it they found something that has Command concerned”

Nodding, Quinn tapped his console. Appearing in between themselves, was a projection of diagrams, waveforms, and sensor data sprang up.

Waiting for Admiral Aaron as his eyes browsed over the data, Quinn spoke “See anything in particular”.

For a short period, Quinn believed there was a chance that Admiral Aaron wouldn’t see the key data. However, those fears were short lived as he watched the Admirals eyes narrow, and a cold look appear over his face.

“Elachi and Solanae readings” stated Aaron.

“Correct” responded Quinn. Quinn couldn’t help but noticed Aaron’s right arm, in what appeared to sub conscious movement, cradle the left hand side of his chest.

“The Prism detected these readings at long range. What’s more important, is that even that that long range, the power signature was still big”

“Not good when it concerns those two species” stated Aaron. Looking up, Aaron asked the next question Quinn knew was coming “Can’t we ask the Prism to investigate further?”

Shaking his head, Quinn responded “We would, if we hadn’t lost all contact with the Prism as of one week ago, which leads to why I asked you here”.

Tapping his console again, the data that had separated the two individuals like a wall disappeared.

“Starfleet Command has concerns the Elachi and Solanae are creating something, something big. I’m ordering Task force eleven comprised of Zuikaku, Ryujo, Aleutian, Amsterdam and Colquhoun to investigate. It will take you roughly four weeks at maximum warp to reach the sector where the settings could be”.

“Once we reach the area sir?” Asked Aaron

“If possible, try to determine why we lost contact with the Prism. If you cannot re-establish contact, search for what’s causing these power readings, and destroyed it, if necessary, at all cost”.

Hearing a breath from the individual sitting in front of him, Quinn watched as Aaron processed the information.

“I’ll send Zuikaku with Aleutian, Amsterdam and Colquhoun ahead of myself to a staging area near the coordinates sir” stated Aaron “Ryujo still needs one week minimum before she can follow, with her superior speed she can catch up, I’ll tag Captain Tote and Ryujo on the trip”.

Nodding, Quinn could see that Admiral Aaron still had something on his mind “Something else Admiral?”

Seemingly lost in thought, Aaron turned his head slightly to the side “Why me sir? There are lots more Captains and Admirals with more experience than myself, and are closer to the region”.

Quinn took a moment to consider his next words, but decided flat out honesty was better. “Because, of the Battle of Lambis Bootis in the Iconian war, and your part in it”

Watching Admiral Aaron’s reaction of surprise, Quinn continued “Your… unique tactics in that battle is what Starfleet Command believes will be needed in this situation to deal with the Elachi and Solanae”.

Sighing, Admiral Aaron responded, but his voice was low, almost like the sound of a wounded animal. “I think Command puts too much stock in that battle sir. Considering what happened”.

“There was nothing much more you could have done Admiral, and considering the circumstances, I doubt many people would have survived”. Responded Quinn

Nodding, Admiral Aaron rose from his chair. But, it was as if he was now weighing ten kilos more than when he sat down.

“I’ll head out to Ryujo immediately to contact the rest of the task force to issue orders. Myself and Captain Tote might also be able to shave a few days off of her departure time”.

Watching Admiral Aaron walk towards the door, Quinn decided to offer one last piece of advice “Admiral, do not underestimated the Elachi or the Solanae”.

His friendly cheerful grin returning, Quinn could see some energy returning to Admiral Aaron

“Don’t worry Admiral, I won’t estimate what those two species are capable of”

“I hope so Admiral” responded Quinn “I don’t want to in a few weeks to call in another Captain to go looking for another missing starship and her crew”.

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Star Trek Online – Zuikaku – Mirror’s Shadow – Epilogue

 Comments Off on Star Trek Online – Zuikaku – Mirror’s Shadow – Epilogue
Sep 222015
 

Disclaimer

I do not own Star Trek, or Star Trek Online. Those products and trademarks are owned by CBS and Paramount. I am merely writing a Short story in regards to the Cryptic Game – Star trek Online. So Lawyers of those two icons please do not message me saying I am breaching copyright. As stated before, I do not own Star Trek, and merely play the game Star Trek Online and decided to write a short story (snigger) about my character if he was involved in that Universe. Now with that over and done with, on with the show.

=================================================================================================

As Aaron entered the Zuikaku’s main brig, it was like he was entering a morgue. The lights were mostly dimmed, allowing shadows to dominate the brig, like they were growing malicious entities bent on consuming anything that held light. The security officer was also different. Oblivious a shift change at the brig had occurred since the admiral had last visited. Instead of the Andorian guard who looked like he was a mythical warrior, stood a sole human female ensign.

A full foot shorter than the admiral, the ensign looked like she should still be in school, and not serving on a federation starship. Even in almost complete shadow, the ensign’s blonde hair seemed to shine, as if rebelling against the intruding shadows. Her face was youthful, childlike. If the admiral were to guess the ensign’s age, he would put her age at sixteen or fifteen.

Noticing the admiral’s entrance to the brig, the security officer directed a sweet small smile at the admiral. With a single nod, the ensign returned her attention to her console. Raising an eyebrow, the admiral had to take a second to look at the ensign. It was definitely unusual for a security officer to direct a smile at an admiral, especially when in the ships brig. It was definitely not an occurrence what seemed like a junior officer in age would be given a brig shift.

That wasn’t what worried the admiral. What worried him was despite the sweet smile directed his way, he was sure the ensign was a predator. All business, and definitely not someone to be messed with. It was like her smile was one of a Klingon, as he held a blade behind his back’ ready to sink it deep an opponents chest and twist at a moment’s notice.

What does lieutenant Amelia do? Thought the admiral. Pick all the scariest security officers for brig duty?

Shaking his head free of those thoughts, the admiral noticed the had also been a change in the amount of occupants in the brig. Instead of two people, only Emila Richardson remained, laying on her brigs bunk, staring up at the ceiling like it held some answer to life’s biggest questions.
Stepping to the forcefield, the admiral remained standing for a full minute, before Emilia seem to notice his presence.

“Back hey admiral?” Asked Emilia, still staring at the ceiling. “Here for more questions?”

“No” replied Aaron. “I think I have most of the answers I was looking for regarding you and your group”.

“Ahhh, I see you cracked our tricorders” said Emilia, with a hint of cheerfulness like a teacher praising her student for finding a solution to a question. With a chuckle Emilia continued “that will piss my colleague off. He was sure he had locked those things down enough you couldn’t extract any information”

“Speaking of your colleague, where is he?” Asked Aaron.

“He became too animated, so I had him removed to a different facility” joked Emilia

Coughing, the young ensign interrupted the discussion “Excuse me sir, Doctor Trel had the patient removed. She said something about ensuring he got medical attention”.

“Is there a security officer with him ensign?” Asked the admiral.

“Yes sir, but I don’t think he will need to worry about anything”

“Why’s that ensign?”

“Doctor Trel had me stun him the prisoner with my phaser sir” stated the ensign.

Admiral Aaron shook his head, to clear it. As he was sure he had misheard the ensign.
“Come again ensign?”

Admiral Aaron watched the ensign lowered her head slightly to the right, as if accessing her memories.

“The prisoner was getting quite agitated sir. Doctor Trek kept saying she wanted to ensure he wasn’t in serious medical danger. The prisoner keep spouting how we were all going to die, we couldn’t defeat his genius. It was oblivious that if we tried to escort him down to sickbay he would injury several of our security personal. So, Doctor Trel said to him plainly “either you’re coming with me conscious, or unconscious”.

“What happened then?” Asked the admiral.

“The prisoner gave the Doctor a rude gesture using his hand. So the doctor ordered me under a medical regulation he was a threat to the ship if he wasn’t subdued and checked medically. So under that regulation she had authorisation to use any necessary force to subdue him. So, using my phaser set to stun, I subdued him”.

Aaron took a moment to search his memory. He was vaguely aware of the medical regulation. It was use only in extreme or necessary circumstances. Given how doctors took an oath to “do no harm”. However, Starfleet medical also knew there would be instances when a patient, for their own good, or the good of a crew, needed to be restrained or subdued.

“Did I do something wrong sir?” Asked the ensign. Admiral Aaron could tell the ensign was genuinely concerned she had done something wrong. As her voice had a hint of fear, apology and uncertainly mixed in.

A smile appeared on the admiral’s face. “No ensign, you did what was ordered of you. No need to worry”.

“See. What did I tell you, a terrible guest to have in the room” stated Emilia, her raised voice echoing slightly across the room.

Glancing back at Emilia for a second, the admiral returned his gaze back to the ensign in front of him. “Thank you ensign, please wait outside. I wish to speak to the prisoner privately for a second”.

Hesitating, as if about to recite a Starfleet regulation regarding prisoners, the ensign noted the look on the admiral’s face. Nodding once, and with a few more taps on her console, the ensign turned and proceeded to walk out of the brig. The large grey doors opening and closing with an audible clang.

Turning to face the brig cell forcefield, Aaron saw Emilia had not moved from her position. Still lying face up on her bunk, staring at the ceiling. It was hard to believe this Emilia, was from the mirror universe. But the proof was undeniable. Without even realising it, the faintest hope, buried deep within Aaron’s sub-conscious, that this might be the real Emilia Richardson, somehow alive, died.

Deciding to get straight to the point, the admiral asked a single direct question.

“So, my mirror counterpart sent you?”

Not even looking, Emilia responded with a single word “Yep”

“Why?” Asked the admiral. He already knew the technical reason. But he was sure there was something personal behind the assault as well.

“Don’t know”

“That’s a lie, and you know it” stated Aaron.

Sighing, Emilia raised herself from her bunk. Dusting her uniform off, she approached the forcefield of her cell.

“I’m telling the truth Admiral. I honestly don’t know”

Blue eyes meet their counterpart, as the admiral searched for some sign of deception. Any sign that she was lying to him. However, those eyes were soft, genuine, even with a hint of sadness.

“Your mission was to steal data from our engineering core?”

“Yep” replied Emilia. “All we were told was the data’s reference codes, though pretty quickly once I saw the data scrolling across I knew what it was”.

“Where did you get the shuttle?”

A smirk appeared on Emilia’s face. “Stole it. I wasn’t there myself, but apparently we stole the runabout from another captain in our universe”

“And where did he get it from” asked Aaron

A shrug of shoulders greeted his question “Don’t know. Apparently it has been in our universe for some time”.

Admiral Aaron took a moment to comprise his thoughts, it was oblivious while Emilia knew a bit, and some information had been contained. Obliviously to prevent the situation where if she got captured, the entire operation would be put at risk. He also knew asking any more questions about the operation would be a waste of time.

Switching tactics, the admiral decided to found out more about this mirror Emilia was the order of the day.

“It sickens me slightly that there is mirror version of you in that universe. Especially considering what happened to our Emilia”

A look of complete shock showed up on Emilia’s face. “How could you say that? I’m my own person, you cannot let your universe Emilia be a determining factor on all us other versions, in how we act or are!” Her voice was raised, full of anger.

“You yourself said what happened when you encountered your mirror self. Was that a lie?”

“No!” Shouted Emilia, almost to the point of screaming “You can talk, look at what your mirror counterpart has done, and you’re lecturing me about myself!”

“I cannot change myself. I have no idea what goes on in your universe on a daily basis. I would have no idea how those experiences would change myself”

A sneer appeared on Emilia’s face “Oh, yes you do. You have proof of it. By me being here”.

Taking a breathe, Emilia continued “As I said before, it was fun for a while. But after learning more of what your universe was like, your damn federation values started to corrupt me”.

Aaron took a moment to look at Emilia, there was still more unsaid “That’s not all, that’s not the reason you got caught”.

A flash of an arm striking the forcefield followed. The hiss of the forcefield sounded as Emilia’s arm struck the forcefield again and again. Emilia’s voice raised again “You want MORE, fine. You know what it is like watching your back every single day. Constantly on the run, not able to trust anyone. Thinking there’s always a chance there is a knife hidden behind every smile. Then being reminded every day of an apparent paradise on the other side. Constantly out of reach” Emilia’s arm reached again, sly of the forcefield, as if putting words into action. “I was over it, I wanted it to end. I… I… Just wanted” Emilia’s voice began to crack, tears showing in her eyes.

Admiral Aaron’s voice became soft, warm, and straight to the point “You just wanted peace”.

A nod of Emilia’s head followed, along with tears running down her checks. A slight sobbing sound followed, as if a lifetime of hurt, pain, misery and sorrow had finally started to breach a great dam. Admiral Aaron took a look at the young lady in front of him, separated not only by a forcefield, but by an entire universe. He couldn’t even begin to think of what she had gone through, what the mirror universe had created and shaped the young lady in front of him. That couldn’t excuse her actions though. But maybe, just maybe, this was the first step to redemption and atonement.

“What’s going to happen to me?” Asked Emilia, her voice cracking.

Aaron sighed “You still attacked a federation starship, you will face a federation court, and most likely be sent to prison for quite a while I would suspect”.

“Nothing you can do about that?” Asked Emilia.

A shake of a head followed “No, you need to face justice for your crimes. I would be stepping on the very things I believe in if I tried to get you off scot free”.

A chuckle followed, and Aaron wondered what Emilia found so funny.

“Well, prison is better than being dead. Maybe in prison I can find some peace”

A smirk appeared on Aaron’s face “that’s not the reason you laughed just then”

Emilia raised her head, and the admiral could see the redness of her eyes from crying “Where would be the fun in telling you everything” Aaron could see the same smirk from before, but it seemed diminished, small.

Aaron turned around to leave, and started to walk toward the brig doors. Just before reaching them, Emilia’s voice called out.

“You better be careful. Your mirror universe counterpart is up to something big. Even I can tell this”

Aaron turned around, and looking Emilia straight in the eye, give the best confident grin he had.
“Well, I encountered him once before. I am sure if he tries anything in this universe. We will be able to stop him. After all, I know myself”

Instead of a confident grin the admiral was expecting, he got a feared look from the young lady behind the forcefield.

“You think you do, but he has changed since you last meet him. He is feared thought the quadrant, no one is willing to cross him. Yet how he got this reputation is so unusual for our universe. I fear you have no idea of what he is capable of, how far he will go without batting an eye, until it’s too late”.

==================================================================================================

Turbo lift doors parted, and Commander Tal’oa walked out onto the bridge. A sneer from him startled two security guards armed with phaser rifles on either side of the. Turbo list doors. Around the bridge, several faces looked up at the new arrival. An angry glare from Tal’oa quickly sent most of those faces back to the consoles they were working on. One or two faces, delayed looking away from the commander for several seconds, before reluctantly turning away back to their consoles.

Hmmmm, thought Tal’oa. Looks like there are several crewman who need to be reintroduce to the pain booth.

Walking down the side of the bridge, the commander walked to a door. Unusually, there were no security guards guarding the door. Which was highly unusual. However Commander Tal’oa had somewhat gotten use to the individual, who was behind the door, unusual habits.

Pressing a button on the side of the door, a muted chime could be hear on the other side.

Enter” came a solitary voice from the other side.

Entering in through the opening doors, Commander Tal’oa could see the room was darkened. There was no strong light source turned on, and only several small muted light sources could be seen. Waiting for the doors to close behind him, Tal’oa took a moment to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness.

The room seemed still, heavy. As if the darkness itself was weighing the room down with its own great invisible weight. Tal’oa could see the desk in front of him, and behind that desk was a solitary chairs facing the opposite way. The chair seemed like a solid slab of black metal, thick enough to be the desks width. Tal’oa knew this wasn’t the case, and that it was a tick of the light, meant to I still fear. However, Tal’oa also knew it wasn’t the chair that instilled fear within him, but the person sitting in it.

“So commander, was your mission successful?” Asked the voice.

Tal’oa grabbed the tricorder from his hip, and placed it on the desk in front of him. “Yes sir, however there were complications”.

The chair in from of Tal’oa wobbled slightly “complications?”

Tal’oa remained standing straight. Steering himself, in an attempt to show no fear to the person sitting in the chair. Maybe, just maybe. If he showed no fear this time, he could keep repeating showing no sign of fear in the future.

“Yes sir. The Zuikaku, her crew, and her captain” Tal’oa splat the last words out.

“So, what did we lose?”

“We lost two of our commando squad sir. Emilia, and Scott were captured by the enemy”

The chair wobbled again. But this time the figure in the chair was moving to leave the chair. As the darkened figured approached Tal’oa, any pretence of him showing no fear evaporated. It was hard to believe such a figured instilled such fear with so little effect. However Tal’oa knew the reputation of the man approaching him.

It was hard to believe that, this Captain Aaron, Admiral Aaron’s mirror counterpart, was such a feared figure. Considering Tal’oa had seen the mirror universe counterpart, the two were as far opposite as two people could be. They had the same blue eyes, roughly the same build, even the same dark brown hair that was cut short.

Tal’oa forced himself to look Captain Aaron straight in the eye.

“A pity” started Aaron “the Bolian was a definite asset. Same with Lieutenant Emilia. You said captured. Well, not much they can do to comprise the mission”

Tal’oa flipped, this wasn’t going to be good. “They were captured with their tri-corders sir. I didn’t get a chance to destroy the tri-corders. So it is reasonable to assume the Zuikaku crew know what we were doing there”

“Well, that’s a pity as well then” responded Aaron

Tal’oa, for reasons unknown to himself, quickly breathed a sigh of relief. That relief was short lived as Captain Aaron, using a single hand, grabbed Tal’oa by the throat and slammed him into the ready room wall. An audible bang sounded through the room.

Tal’oa’s feet kicked, somehow he was being held at wall height, ten centimetres off the ground. The pain in his throat was extreme, and it took every ounce of his strength to draw even the slightest breathe. Both his hands were grasping at his throat, in a vain attempt to move the Captains hand even several centimetres to give his throat much needed oxygen. However Aaron’s hands were like steel, and refused to be budged.

“You know I don’t tolerate failure very well Commander” the Captains voice was calm, neutral. “Why did you fee exes scary to put me into a situation where I might need to kill you, you know I don’t like violence?”

Tal’oa struggling to breathe, and voice hoarse, responded “I figured the mission was more important sir. You told me to gather that info, which was our primary objective”

A smirk appeared on the Captains face, and his grip on Tal’oa tightened, even know Tal’oa thought it was impossible more pressure could be placed on his throat.

“More excuses Commander. You know what my policy is regarding excuses”

Tal’oa legs kicked again, trying to find some purchase on the wall behind him. If he could find a purchase, he could direct more energy to keeping his airway open.

“No excuse sir. I didn’t have time. When I tried, the Zuikaku’s security forces were already on top of us. I couldn’t reach them to do anything. If I had, I would be where they are now. Having failed you sir”

Tal’oa could see a grey tunnel forming around his vision. His lungs felt like they were about to explode. His eyes felt like they were about to pop out of their sockets.

Captain Aaron, chuckling, released his grip and allowed Tal’oa to fall to the floor. Tal’oa, his legs collapsing underneath him, grasped for breathe. As the cool flow of oxygen entered his lungs, the grey tunnel in his vision started to subside. Coughing, Tal’oa had to support himself on his arms, before raising his head again toward the Captain.

Captain Aaron, standing over him, had one hand towards Tal’oa, and a smile on his face. Tal’oa, looking at the Captains arm for a second, placed his left hand onto the Captains. In a jerking motion, Captain Aaron raised Tal’oa off of the floor, and back onto his feet.

Brushing Tal’oa uniform off, Captain Aaron had the same friendly smile planted on his face, which scared Tal’oa even more.

“My apologises Commander. I believe I lost my temper. Considering the circumstances, you did well to escape with what we needed”

Tal’oa watched as Captain Aaron moved back toward his desk. Picking up the tricorder, Aaron pressed several buttons. Several holograms appeared over his desk, showing Impulse engine, phaser array, and other equipment schematics.

“Hahn, the famous Mark Fourteen project. Why develop something yourself when you can get Starfleet do it for you”.

Tal’oa found his voice, though it still felt raw “yes sir. The schematics are already been downloaded to our computer core”.

Captain Aaron, still looking at the schematics, with his back toward Tal’oa simply nodded. Usually Tal’oa may have in the pat use their opportunity to stab a Captain in the back. However Tal’oa knew what had happened to the last crewman who had attempted the same thing to the Captain.

“Commander” started Aaron. “I hope in the future you show more initiative to changing circumstances, I would hate for you to have to clean ISS Zuikaku’s plasma conduits”

A jolt raised through Tal’oa body, and one of his deepest fears surfaced. The Captain had mentioned cleaning plasma conduits. Tal’oa knew what that meant, and wanted to avoid it at all costs.

“Yes sir” responded Tal’oa, his voice full of strength.

“Good, it’s nice to see you can raise to the circumstance Commander”

Tal’oa thought for a second, and decided he needed to ask the question.
“Sir, before you said you wouldn’t harm the Zuikaku or her crew. So what’s this about?”

Captain Aaron turned to face Tal’oa “oh I meant it. I do not intend to harm the Zuikaku or her crew. If it can be helped. However I needed something from them. They leave me alone, and we can all be good friends, even best friends”

Tal’oa watched the Captains grin grow even more, clapping his hands together, he continued.
“But, they try to stop me, for simply gathering some reading material, and I will need to unfortunately take them out. A shame too, I hope for one day both of our crews to have a lunch together or something”

Tal’oa looked at the Captains smile, and his eyes, which could be described as maniac. He meant every word of what he said.

He’s crazy, completely and utterly crazy. Though Tal’oa

“Dismissed Commander” stated Aaron.

Tal’oa, turning, exited the ready room as fast as his legs could carry him. Waiting for the ready room door to close behind h on the bridge, Tal’oa could feel his hands shaking.

Stop it, commanded Tal’oa mentally to his hands.

But despite his command, his hands continued to shake, and as Tal’oa walked up the bridge, the shaking seemed to raise up through his entire body. As if the commander had meet the devil himself in human form.

As if to confirm his thought, Tal’oa thought he could hear the most evil laugh coming from the ready room, as if the greatest evil in the universe was just behind the door.

Tal’oa hoped with all of his heart, that no one was stupid enough to be the person to open that door.

THE END.

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Star Trek Online – Zuikaku – Mirror’s Shadow – Part Nine

 Comments Off on Star Trek Online – Zuikaku – Mirror’s Shadow – Part Nine
Sep 172015
 

Disclaimer

I do not own Star Trek, or Star Trek Online. Those products and trademarks are owned by CBS and Paramount. I am merely writing a Short story in regards to the Cryptic Game – Star trek Online. So Lawyers of those two icons please do not message me saying I am breaching copyright. As stated before, I do not own Star Trek, and merely play the game Star Trek Online and decided to write a short story (snigger) about my character if he was involved in that Universe. Now with that over and done with, on with the show.

==========================================================================

By the time Aaron, Joros and Tarah had reached main engineering, half the senior staff were already huddled around the main diagnostic board that sat in the chief enginer’s office. The Admiral could see Commander Tindorle busy tapping away at her console, it was oblivious she was compiling the data she had found into an easy to read and digest format. By the way Aisha was talking with the commander, she was adding her own information to the commanders.

Walking over to the group of officers, Admiral Aaron received a series of nods from the officers present, and gave one in return. Talking his place near the front of the diagnostic board, the admiral watched his first officer take her place on the opposite side of the table, near the head of the table as well and next to Commander Aisha.

Aaron attempted to hear what his officers were discussing. But it was oblivious they were whispering, as he could barely make out any words in their discussion. Five minutes passed, and the admiral watched as his last senior officer, ensign Tatyana, basically run up to the diagnostic board.

“Sorry sir, was just de-briefing the security teams” her voice tinged with the sound of an apology.

“Understandable ensign” Admiral Aaron turned his head to Commander Tindorle “So what have you found commander?”

Instead of answering him directly, Tindorle turned her head to Commander Aisha.
“Actually sir, it might be best if I start first. It might take longer, but what I have found ties into what the Commander found as well”

Aaron took a moment to consider her request, then nodded.

The senior staff of the Zuikaku watched as Aisha tapped several buttons on the engineering diagnostic board. A small hologram appeared, showing a Yellowstone runabout. With its markings and colours, it was the runabout that had attacked the ship.

“I think you are all familiar with this runabout, if not I will give you a rundown. About three standard hours ago a commando squad from this runabout, invaded the ship, stole data from our engineering core then proceed to escape, after a chase, through a wormhole in the azure nebula”.

Aaron watched as several of his senior staff nod. He also watched as several senior staff, who had not been present at the engagements, seem to move closer to the hologram. As if narrowing the distance would allow for the ship to be burned within their minds.

Without wanting for any questions, Aisha continued.

“This ship displayed the power generation capabilities of a small cruiser. With extended warp and tactical capabilities that are far beyond what we thought was capable with a Yellowstone class runabout. We had no idea where this ship was built, or who could have designed it….. Until now”

Aaron perked up at the end of Aisha’s statement “Until now? What have you found?”

Another series of taps on the engineering console followed. Another image appeared, this one of a Starfleet symbol. This symbol had the standard federation twin pair of leaves next to an oval shape. But instead of the federation star symbol, it showed a silhouette of a starship.

“Starfleet’s prototype starship division. They are responsible for designing, and sometimes trying prototype for starships and other small craft. One of their projects from a short while ago was redesigning a Yellowstone runabout to have more capabilities than the general craft. The aim was to have a runabout that was more capable of handling more dangerous missions”

Tarah, obliviously studying the symbol in front of her, spoke to Aisha without moving her focus from the hologram.

“So you’re saying that the ship that attacked us, was one of our own designs put into production”

A shake of Aisha’s head greeted Tarah’s question.

“Officially no. The project was shelved due to what would occur to the runabout if it took too much damage, even relatively minor damage compared to normal Yellowstone runabouts”

“And that would be….” Asked Tarah, still engrossed by the hologram.

“The runabout had a tenancy to have its warp core breach, regardless of the safety measures in place to try and prevent that”

“Oh” responded Tarah, pulling her head back from the hologram. As if she was afraid it would explode.

A sigh emitted from Joros, and with a turn of her head she looked Aisha directly into her eyes.

“Dare I ask about unofficially?”

A series of taps on a data pad Aisha was holding followed. Admiral Aaron couldn’t tell if the commander was accessing data, or delaying so she could find the right words to answer the Joros question.

“Unofficially, the prototype wasn’t mothballed, it was sent, as far as I can tell, on an expedition to see if this issues could be resolved. One of those expeditions, was to visit several members of the Romulan Republic to display the runabout to”

“So, they were sent on a road trip as best could be described in human terms” stated Ronu. Even with her Saurian pink skin and reptile eyes, Aaron would have sworn that sometimes she had been a native of humans her entire life, the admiral forced those thoughts out of his head as Ronu continued. “And it’s not good we would sent a prototype ship with its technology to a foreign power. What’s significant about them visiting members of the Romulan Republic?”

“Not so much on who they visited. More in where and when they visited these representatives”

Another series of button taps followed, the Starfleet symbol was replaced by an image of an alien space station, alien to the designs the federation used for its own space stations.

However, Admiral Aaron didn’t need to be told the stations name, or where it was located. He had seen it several times himself on reports, and heard its name from several reports he had read from captains in the hundred first fleet.

“Vauthil Station”

A nod from Aisha followed. “Correct sir, we have evidence that the runabout passed by extremely close to Vauthil Station. What’s even more interesting is the timeframe they were passing by the station”

“That timeframe being?” Asked Joros.

“About the time the mirror universe incursions were occurring at the station, and the surrounding space”.

Admiral Aaron didn’t need to be told what that meant. Any Starfleet officer knew if an emergency situation arose. It was best for all non-combat ships to leave the area, or find the safe location.

“Didn’t Obex report that no incursions were made onto the station itself?” Asked Lunhul.

“Correct, his official report states that no mirror personal managed to make their way onto Vauthil station”

“However…” started Elbra, speaking for the first time since the meeting had begun “reports also indicate that the stations shields were fluctuating during several of the incursion attempts. It is very possible several mirror personal did indeed invade the station, and managed to make off with something in the confusion”

“What does the Starfleet prototype division report state regarding what happened to the runabout? Unofficially of course” asked Aaron.

“Unofficially the runabout is classified as missing, presumed destroyed. The SPD consider it likely the ship was caught by mirror forces and destroyed” responded Aisha.

“It would be logical to assume the runabout wasn’t destroyed, but captured by mirror forces” stated Sasik. Commander Joros couldn’t help but mentally roll her eyes at the Vulcans statement.

“Correct”.

Aaron took a moment place his hand on his chin. It was definitely an interesting set of circumstances, and unsurprising considering that some Starfleet divisions sometimes tested or conducted operations “off the book”. However, as usual with those operations, it had come back to bite Starfleet on its rear end.

“Wait a minute” interrupted Tarah “if the runabout was captured, wouldn’t it be logical to assume the ship would have been taken back to the staging area for the attacks?”

“Would be the most logical option” stated Sasik.

“Wasn’t that base destroyed by Starfleet forces?”

“The raid you are taking about was conducted by Captain Kayilee. And it was more of a search and destroy that turned into a running battle” added Aaron.

“Captain Kayilee of the USS Daddario sir?” Asked Tarah.

“Yes commander”

“However” begun Joros. “Captain Kayilee in her report stated her strike team was discovered prior to extraction. It is likely, or possible if the runabout was there, they were able to escape with it”

“Also logical to assume since the possible date of the runabout being stolen, and the Daddarios raid were several days apart. That the runabout was not there when the Daddario destroyed the station” stated Sasik.
Admiral Aaron decided to get the conversation back on track. There was still more to discuss.

“Very interesting Commander’s” stated Aaron “what else have you found out”.

“That wormhole we saw in the Azure Nebula, is tied to the mirror universe as well” stated Elbra.

“How were you able to confirm that?” Asked Joros.

Another series of taps on the engineering diagnostic board followed, as Aisha tapped a new series of commands into the console. Replacing the Romulan space station. Was a visual of two wormholes, side by side.

“The wormhole on the left is data from assaults on Vauthil station. The wormhole on the right is data from the wormhole we saw earlier. As you can see….” As Aisha paused, two data graphs appeared either side of the wormholes, before moving towards the centre of the holographic display and merging together. Every bar and graph was basically the same, save for one.

“The two wormholes are almost identical, there is one definable difference between them”

“The temporal variance. The wormholes at Vauthil station didn’t have them, ours did” concluded Elbra.

Aaron had to raise his eyebrows slightly “Time travel?”

“Indeed sir” stated Elbra. Moving over to replace Aisha had the side of the table, she tapped several commands into the console. The wormhole with the temporal variance became dominated on the hologram. On either side of the wormhole, silhouettes of starships appeared.

“As Commander Aisha reported to you earlier Admiral, it looks like the runabout, just before entering the wormhole, modified its deflector dish. As far as I am able to tell, it seemed to be emitting tachyon particles in a different frequency to the wormhole”

“Curious as to why they modified the wormhole this way” stated Sasik

“logically if their desire was time travel, they had already created the means to travel through time”

“That is indeed correct Lieutenant” started Elbra “However, we have data that states someone else opened the wormhole for them. I suspect it was whoever was on the opposite side”

“Your conclusions regarding this Commander” asked Aaron.

“I suspect sir, that the runabout modifying its deflector dish, was like a return pulse to a signal emitted from the ship that opened the wormhole for them… Most likely in the mirror universe”

“Interesting”

“There’s more sir. I suspect that the ship on the other side of the wormhole, is at least three weeks into our perceived future”

Aaron quickly raised his head to look at Elbra directly in the eyes.
“How?”

A deep breathe emitted from Elbra “the temporal variance sir. If I were to put a timeframe on it, based on the information we have regarding its tachyon emissions, places it about three weeks from our current stardate”.
Elbra placed her hands on the engineering console, and tapped a single button. One holographic display, the ship on the left hand side of the wormhole emitted a beam from its deflector dish. The wormhole fluctuated slightly, then the runabout on the right hand side seem to change its own deflector dish. Moving towards the wormhole, the runabout passed through the wormhole, emerging on the opposite side.

“The starship on the opposite side of the wormhole emits a beam to modify the wormhole slightly, kicking out its temporal variance. The runabout on the opposite side changes its deflector dish to emit like a counterpoint to the temporal variance. This would enable the runabouts computers to detect any changes it needs to make to its own tachyon field. Basically sir, the runabout used its deflector to ensure that when it travelled through time, it would appear at the same time and place as the ship on the opposite side of the wormhole.

Commander Joros took a moment to digest the information that had been given. Crossing her arms over her chest, and staring at the hologram for a moment for looking the admiral in the eye.

“Basically sir. It wouldn’t have mattered if we had gone through the wormhole after them. We could have ended by weeks behind or ahead of when they actually returned to their space, since temporal ruptures can be very unstable”.

Admiral Aaron took a moment to think, he was however saved from voicing his thoughts when Lieutenant Sasik spoke up.

“A fascinating method to ensure one would appear at the right time and place when time travelling. However extremely limited as it is”.

A nod of several heads in agreement greeted the Lieutenants statement.
Aaron took a moment to sigh, before looking at Aisha and Elbra. “I’m guessing you have one more bombshell to drop Commanders?”

A wince greeted his question, as both Elbra and Aisha took the moment to look at one another, before returning their gaze to the admiral.

“Not one sir, two bombshells” said Aisha

“We have found out what information they stole from our databanks. They were looking for it specifically” concluded Elbra.

Admiral Aaron could tell by the looks his two commanders were giving him, the news wasn’t going to be good at all.

“Hit me” stated Aaron.

A series of taps on the engineering console followed. Along the holographic display, several holograms appear of torpedoes, phaser arrays, shield designs, impulse engine modifications. The holograms spun on an axis, varying in height and direction.

A deep pit opened in the admiral’s stomach. He had seen these holograms before, several months ago, at the headquarters for Starfleet engineers.

“The mark fourteen project”

“Yes sir” responded Elbra, her voice heavy.

Several of the Zuikaku’s senior crew drew back upon the statement. Each of them knew the significance of this discover, as well as the fact that it had been stolen.

It was ensign Tatyana who voiced the question that needed to be asked.
“Excuse me sirs, what exactly is the Mark Fourteen project?”

Commander Elbra looked at Admiral Aaron, who in returned nodded once. Turning to look at Tatyana, Elbra began to speak.

“You know how ships phaser array is a type twelve system. The mark fourteen project is to equip the Zuikaku’s with the next generation of weaponry, propulsion and defensive technology developed by Starfleet. This includes type fourteen phaser arrays, torpedoes, and a whole host of technological advancements”

“Its part of our maintenance overall we have scheduled in the next few months” added Aaron.

“Basically” stated Elbra “it is the next generation of technology Starfleet vessels will be outfitted with. The technology our ships will use for some time”

Ensign Tatayana drew back from one the table. “So you’re saying…..”

“That the mirror universe now has access to technology and weapon advancements that could make them a lot more dangerous than they are already” responded Joros.

The statement hung in the air like a bad smell. The senior crew of the Zuikaku’s already knew the cost the mirror universe attempted invasion had caused. Mirror universe ships, armed with mark fourteen based weaponry, could cause a whole lot more pain and misery.

Admiral Aaron looked at Commander Aisha. “What’s the second bombshell”?

Aisha looked at the admiral directly in the eye, and didn’t waste a heartbeat.

“We found out exactly who sent that squad after U.S. From the mirror universe”

“Who!” Aaron’s voice was sharp, hard. Commander Joros could tell the admiral didn’t realise how he sounded right at this time.

“You” stated Elbra, directing her vision at the admiral.

Admiral Aaron draw back, a look of shock on his face. That expression quickly changed as a look of realisation appeared. Closing his blue eyes, the admiral sighed deeply before uttering a single sentence.

“My mirror universe counterpart”

“Yes sir” responded Elbra.

A sense of shock fall over the senior crew. Memories flowed in each officer’s mind about the incident in the Vega system. It had been a routine search and rescue mission, which had turned into anything but routine for the crew.

“How do you know?” Asked Admiral Aaron, opening his blue eyes to look at Commander Elbra.

“The tricorders, sir” responded Elbra. Another series of taps followed on the engineering console.

“When I examined the tricorders, I noticed they had some base data in their core programming. It seems these tricorders were also stolen at some time from different locations in our universe. However, whoever stole them didn’t realise one of their base functions is to sync with any computer system it is attached too.”

Elbra took a breathe before continuing.

“The tricorders do this to get base information. The stardate, ship time, as well as the ship it is on. This is to ensure tricorders are sync to the computer system, to prevent data corruption. I found the ship name that the tricorders were last connected to, before ours”.

A quick series of taps followed, and a single ship name appeared in the hologram system floating above the console.

I.S.S Zuikaku.

Commander Joros looked at the ship name, before looking at the admiral.

“Guess we know where our guest came from sir”

“Indeed, Commander” replied Aaron. Looking at the ship name again, a sense of relief, anger, and worry swirled around the admiral. “But I don’t know if this is better, or worse”.

“So what are you orders sir?” Asked Joros.

Admiral Aaron took a moment to comprise his thoughts, realistically there wasn’t more they could do.

“We will proceed will repairs at New Romulus. Once we have beamed our security teams we left on the planet back we will assume standing orders once repairs are complete. We are to patrol Romulan Republic space for the meanwhile”.

“And the mirror universe commando squad sir?”

“I’ll inform the Romulan Republic government and Starfleet Command. They will decide the next move, and if it involves us”.

Aaron took a moment to look around at his senior crew gathered around the engineering console.

“Good work people. Elbra and Aisha, I want you to summarise what you just told us in a report. I send it to Starfleet Command along with my own report, everyone else, dismissed”

Dismissed from the meeting, the senior crew of the Zuikaku moved away from the engineering console to the door leading out of main engineering. The sound of dozen feet hitting the deck lead to a small echo revolving around the room. Only Admiral Aaron and Commander Joros remained at the engineering console.

Joros, moving over to the admiral’s side of the table, stopped beside him. Leaning towards the admiral, Joros spoke in nothing more than a whisper, that even the admiral had a hard time hearing.

“What about our prisoner’s sir?”

Leaning towards the commander, Aaron lowered his voice to a whisper as well.

“Contact Starfleet security on New Romulus. Tell them we have two high value prisoners who need immediate transport back to Earth”

Nodding, Joros began to move away from the Admiral, before noticing he was still staring at the ISS Zuikaku hologram name.

“But..?” Joros began to ask.

Admiral Aaron took a moment to glance away from the hologram floating before him.

“Before that, I want to speak to one of them before they leave this ship”

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