<USS Banshee> "Stars and Fireworks"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 02:02:54 -0700

"Stars and Fireworks"
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

The Shogun fighter command conference room was busy with pilots conferring on notes, maneuvers, exercises, and upcoming assignments. They?d all be called together for some specific reason, but Lieutenant Asper had neglected to tell them exactly what for. When he stepped into the room it was as if Moses was parting the Red Sea and all pilots flocked to their respected seats and gracefully came to order.

Josh looked about surveying his pilots in their at-attention state. ?Very nice.? He walked to the end of the table and glanced at his subordinates as he strode. They seemed determined and on task for the most part, but still with a seed of confusion that he?d so delicately planted. He sat in his seat and met eyes with each and every pilot, meeting them on a level far more personal and professional than just being their superior officer.

?Lieutenant, if I may?? A young Lieutenant JG stood just three seats from him. He?d known him only from his personnel file that he received when he was posted on board just before departing Earth a couple days ago. He couldn?t place the name, but he knew he had skills and graduated somewhere in the top of his class; Josh was horrible with details and specifics.

?Sure,? Josh said while nodding in the new pilot?s direction.

?Rumor has it sir that we?re going to be running a secret operation into Romulan territory to assess their tactical advantages, or lack thereof, compared to the Federation and Starfleet?s current position.? Flurries of laughter emanated from his cohorts as he jeered back into his seat.

Josh tried in vain to quench his rising fit of laughter, but chuckled as he shook his head. ?No, actually we have been assigned to do some aerial demonstrations for Ambassador Troi?s ceremony that she plans to have in two days. Unfortunately, Romulans wasn?t on the agenda.? He felt bad for the young Lieutenant just learning the ropes and having succumbed to the first of probably many pranks played on him by his fellow pilots.

?Understood, sir, my apologies.?

?Don?t apologies necessary, Lieutenant, just next time don?t rely on rumors until you are briefed by me. Or, if the situation calls for it, the Captain herself.? A smirk tugged at his cheeks remembering the antics he?d allowed himself to play in when he was younger. So many good times, but so much more to look forward to in the future that reminiscing wasn?t the best use of his time.

The lieutenant just nodded and returned to engrossing himself in a PADD, no doubt the orders that said something about Romulans. ?Aye, sir.?

Standing and addressing his squadron, whose eyes seemed filled more with ambition and littered with ideas, Josh could feel the creative juices already. ?Any ideas on exactly what maneuvers we?d like to do. I think we can make this thing go for about fifteen to twenty minutes with the right selection of acrobatics.?

A hand rose from the throng of pilots. ?A Tempera Arch.?

Josh nodded, ?It was on my list of possibilities. Although, it takes seven Shoguns to do something like that properly, and we have twelve at our disposal. I don?t want excess fighters flying around doing things that take away from the main attraction. It would defeat the purpose of having the display in the first place.?

The ensign who suggested the idea nodded in agreement and went back to thinking. The person next to him looked at Josh and raised a hand. ?How about a Triton Ribbon? It takes ten fighters to accomplish completely and it?s relatively safe. The other two fighters could fall back and prepare to another show.?

?I?d never thought of that. What?s the premise of the maneuver??

?You start in a somewhat of an in-line formation. Then ever other fighter breaks up. This creates a two-tiered formation. Each of the ships began rotating on their horizontal axis in full rotations as they initiate their tractor beams on the unit that is next in line behind them.? The Ensign tapped the console in the center of the table as he accessed the recreational and demonstration database for Shogun fighters. ?Then they jettison controlled amounts of warp plasma down the length of the tractor.?

?And then the warp plasma reacts with the tractor beam splattering on the shields of the fighters. This creates sort of a chain.? His buddy chimed in picking up on the idea, ?Then all ten fighters break hard left out of the ribbon and the lead fighter phasers the first bubble of warp plasma that still acts as if it?s colliding with a Shogun?s shielding. It creates a chain reaction explosion.?

Josh leaned against the chair, adding the explain action to his list of possible things to try. He had nearly twenty different moves planned for testing, but he wasn?t going to do anything until his crew decided whether it would be worth attempting. ?Not bad, anything else that I might have missed??

Another person stood up and walked to a viewer, attracting everyone?s attention as he activated the scenario on the screen that all could see. ?It?s called Bloodwine. It?s named after the Klingon drink because of it?s red color and difficulty to perform, but it?s spectacular if pulled off correctly.?

Halting him before he continued, Josh brought up the matter of safety, ?How dangerous is this to do??

?Not incredibly hard, Lieutenant, there is a 77% survival rate.?

?Three fourths??

?Correct.? The man nodded and pointed to the screen. ?Starfleet hasn?t lost a member to this action in nearly two decades. I wouldn?t have bought it up if I didn?t think we were capable of doing it safely. We are all well aware of your dedication to the safety of the ship, the Shoguns, and us.?

?That I am.? Josh nodded quickly. ?How does it work?

?It?s simply. It only takes two fighters to accomplish it, so we could expand the procedure and end up with six smaller displays all tying together for one gigantic effect. It would send the ambassador back to Betazoid wondering what the hell we had done.? Scattered laughter and snickers escaped the crowds as the Lieutenant continued. ?It is all about phaser fire and mixing some well-placed chemicals in the plasma emission port.?

He was intrigued, to say the least, but he was still weary about the danger factor. ?OK, go on??

?Two fights start chasing each other around in circles, much like a dog chases his own tail. They merge their shields. Around and around until they become just one blur to the viewing crowd. Then they fire their dorsal phasers outward. Creating a spiraling laser beam in two different directions.? He tapped the console and advanced it some frames. ?Then they both release the plasma that passes through the emission port tainted with Strontium to give it a red glow.?

Josh raised a finger. ?They ignite warp plasma inside the shield bubble? Explain to me how that doesn?t vaporize them into a million little fragments of space dust?? He narrowed his eyes out of habit.

The man nodded, but continued. ?I forgot to mention that before they go inverted with each other they magnetize the hulls. Yes, it doesn?t protect them completely, but it pads the blows. Plus, the magnetism between the ships keeps the two clouds from merging. It?s just enough to look like a red cloud with phasers coming out.?

Adding the idea to his PADD, Josh listened intently.

?Then the two ships jet out from the center and the two gas clouds react and explode because of the heat from the phasers. It travels up the phaser beam, or where it used to be, and spins because the atmosphere inside the shield bubble that should be there is spinning. Creating a freeform movement of a red cloud and flurry of particles in a circle.? The man concluded his presentation and deactivated the viewer and returned to his seat.

?Swirling around? Like a Klingon hangover?? One person commented.

Another uproar encompassed the table and then fell silent. Josh stood there waiting for them to finish when he got hit with an idea. ?What about a Kolvoord Starburst?? Josh activated the same memory banks that the young Lieutenant just exited. ?It?s good and it?s a show.?

?It also only takes five fighters, Lieutenant.?

?Well, we could do two and then combine it with a Bloodwine demonstration between the two. That would utilize all twelve fights and create a finale that would rival most nobility parades.? Josh was getting into the fact that he was performing for so many people.

The group nodded and imagined the two acts overlapping and the possible applause that they wouldn?t be able to hear. Someone chimed in, shattering Josh?s concentration on his envisioned finale and planting him back in the room with the rest of his pilots. ?What about the rest of the show that we have to do? I mean, what small things do we do to keep people glued to the windows in the lounge??

Josh whirled around on his heel, ?Simple things, really. Firing photon torpedoes into other torpedoes, and blow up single ones with phaser. We can color the detonation subroutines with barium and other chemicals for desired colors.? He clapped his hands together. ?To the simulators.? The group stood in unison and walked out into the corridor, leaving Josh alone. He looked around at the empty chairs, the safety of his crew slowly trickling back into his head.

?Let the show begin.?

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