Location: Flight Deck
Timeline: An hour into torpedo Production
The flight deck had been busy since the staff meeting and more so now with the engineering teams mounting the launching mechanisms for the new torpedos that Tactical and Engineering had been developing. Already the corps medics had a sprained ankle from somebody tripping over lines for the welders and a broken hand from somebody getting it smooshed whilst moving the micro torpedos about.
Pat's flight leaders had been keeping his pilots running asteroid simulations since and would be until 10 hours to the mission go, the idea being to give them a good sleep before waking them up to a good solid meal. This had been much more successful with nobody managing giving the search and rescue guys a chance to practice their inevitable part. So far anyway.
Now Smith found himself standing giving his Deck Chief assistance as they tried to negotiate as many of the fighters to a ready position as possible. "Remember folks no more than a foot width between these ships. Arm them and get them into position for launch," he instructed a group of rather green flight crew.
Seamus sat down at his desk to do his report on his discussion with Hoten. He couldn't seem to find his focus, so he set it aside and strode out of his office. Stepping onto the nearest internal transporter pad, he input his destination and stepped up. Getting off near Marine land, it took all of his restraint to walk casually onto the flight deck. Looking around he saw Major Smith and beelined towards him. "Good day, Major." He said,offering his hand. "I was wondering if I could lend a hand down here if you need it."
"I think this deck crew are starting too find their feet right now actually," Patrick said catching his breath and wiping his brow. "We're going for a full air group deployment for this one which doesn't happen often and this lot are pretty new still. I'm about to head to our practice holodeck if you'd like to join me," the Major offered.
"Sounds great to me." Seamus said, stepping aside to follow Smith's lead.
"Chief get this locked down," Pat shouted over his shoulder as he took off across the deck. Reaching a ladder on one wall they ascended and headed along the gantry to a room at the end. "We keep the simulation room close to the actual ships just incase we need to get ready quickly," Smith explained as he entered the keycode for the door.
The door opened revealing a darkened room to the right with cockpit simulators inside, the only lights coming from the instructors screens in the center of the room. "This way," the Marine instructed leading Seamus to them. "We can see everything they can see. At the moment they are running a dog-fighting scenario inside a recreation of the asteroid belt based off the scans Ensign Villanova took. Blue team versus red team," he added pointing to the two halves of the room in turn.
Seamus looked around the room in awe. "I've got to get me some of these!" He said. "I definitely like your set up, Major and believe my department could benefit from facilities like this." Walking over to the nearest console, he looked over the information. "Are we able to control the launchers from here, or is this just a testing facility?"
"It's supposed to be just a testbed, bit like an advanced holo programme. It just gives us a better control system but it can be used too remotely control craft. The problem with that is range and enemy jamming, neither of which are good in battle so having the pilots seated up is always best," Patrick remarked. He had his eyes glued to one screen in particular. On it the pilot seemed to jerk the controls every time an opposing ship appeared. "See that? Pilot has the jitters."
"Fair points. The benefits of this area are incredible. I can see why your crew seem to be ready for pretty much every tangent and on top of their game when in the field." Seamus replied.
"For the most part. Pilots who get the jitters can be dangerous, so we will work with him and hopefully he will be fine tomorrow," the Major added. "Right. We need to test your new toys then correct?"
Seamus smiled. "Yes, please. I've been wanting to see them in action since Hoten designed them. I've felt like a kid waiting for Christmas morning ever since."
"I thought you might," Pat replied with a smirk reaching forward and grabbing two ear pieces from the center position, handing one to Seamus. Once both men had them in their ears Smith began issuing commands. "All pilots disengage and standby. Computer load setting Hirogen asteroid base. Red squadron you are defensive. Blue you are offensive. Computer assigned modified torpedo fighters to blue 5, 6, 7 and 8."
Giving the pilots a moment to adjust and get into their formations Patrick looks to the Lieutenant. "Let's see how these boys work. When your ready you can give the orders to warp and fire."
Seamus' eyes lit up with anticipation. "Let's see how these puppies work ... Send them on their way folks." He watched as the weapons were released and homed in on their targets. "OK, folks, we're nearing the targets, get ready for the final detonation sequence ... Fire!!!" He said as they got to their targets.
The majority of the torpedoes hit their targets with a few going off course and/or detonating prematurely. "That was impressive, great job and a heartfelt thank you to you all." Seamus said as he looked over the figures that were coming back into the console he was at. Looking up, he continued, "I think if we tweak the programming, here and here, we could improve the weapon's efficiency. What do you think, Major?"
"Not bad. Not bad at all. We only got one intercept as well and even then I'm pretty sure it was a fluke so the Hirogen will have no chance. The main difference will be their shields. We have no way to accurately simulate their strength since we don't know the full capabilities of the facility," Pat commented. He scrolled the footage back looking at the various asteroids along the path of the trajectory they had chosen.
"We want to do this with loss of life ideally. What if we were to hit these four rocks. Think it would send enough debris in too make them evacuate?" Smith asked, brows furrowed as he thought about the eventual cleanup starfleet would have to do.
"I agree on keeping casualties at zero if we can." Seamus agreed as he looked at what the Major had recommended. "Yes, those should do the trick, but I think adding a fifth, the one just to the right of the forth rock will reduce our margin of error while still keeping things reasonably safe for everyone involved."
"Very well. Computer reset simulation. Pilots... Fire," Pat ordered after enough time passed. Again the torpedos flew towards the belt and this time with their impacts on external asteroids all of the warheads hit resulting in a debris field being generated, propelled towards the base itself. "Time until the smaller particulate impacts is 27 minutes. Larger chunks in 52. Not bad."
"Excellent. I'm more than happy with these results." Seamus said with a smile. "Thank you for all of this, Major, I appreciate it."
"No problem Lieutenant. Just be aware they'll try and break apart the larger chunks. It'll show them we are serious and piss them off but your not going to cause anything more than minor damage at best to the base, which admittedly is best to avoid civilian casualties," Patrick informed him. "Anyway. Work to do. Good luck and see you on the field."
"Sounds good, thanks again, Major." Seamus said as he headed out.
Pat watched him go before turning back to the room of pilots. He had work to do to break the nerves he had seen.
Major Patrick Smith
Lieutenant JG Seamus Mac Donald Jr