Chapter 10 - Operations Options

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In Tanjura’s Primary Sensor Control, Njessa pulled out the crystal array and inspected it for damage first visually and then with a tricorder.  “It is undamaged.  So, whatever was the nature of the event that damaged the dilithium primarily affects dilithium. The damage has not been replicated in any of the other crystalline structures of the ship.”

V’Rea, the Operations duty officer, checked her readings. Her green eyes, an unusual shade for a Vulcan, reflected the flickering lights of her panel she analyzed the data. “It is peculiar,” she remarked. “No other crystalline structure seems to have been affected by our unexpected rapid transition through space.  Could there be some sort of spacial anomaly that just affects dilithium?”

Njessa carefully reinstalled the array.  “It does appear as the only answer.  Send what we have discovered to Science, hopefully, they can make some sense of it all.”

“Then sensor analysis next?”

“As you think best, Lieutenant,” said Njessa.  “You are still the ranking Operations officer, I am just here to assist.”

V’Rea studied the Andorian for a moment, then nodded. “A logical decision. Though I am aware that you served in Operations before moving to the Command track, Captain.” Her statement carried only a hint of curiosity as she moved on to the next panel.

“That is correct,” said Njessa, moving to the adjacent station and activating her datapad.  “And I do my best to keep up on the current state of Operations, I have had to focus on my strengths, programming and computers.  Unfortunately, that means my knowledge of recent improvements to sensor technology is lacking.”

“That is understandable. Command is not lacking in demands,” said V’Rea, activating the sensor playback.

Njessa smiled at that classic bit of Vulcan understatement.  “That is so. But Command seemed to be the place I could do the most good, so here I am.”

“Helping a junior officer in basic tasks?” said V’Rea with a quirk of an eyebrow.

“Helping where I can be most useful,” replied Njessa.  “Until we get a clear idea of where we are and what resources we have available, there is not much commanding to do.”  She made some adjustments on her datapad.  “And I would rather be helping the crew than holed up in my office.”

“A very Andorian attitude,” said V’Rea.  “Which is admirable. Up the gain by eight points and apply an Osly filter—it may get rid of some of the doppler distortion.”


“The systems have held up well, considering the amount and speed of data that was absorbed by them.”

“Now we just need to disentangle it all,” said Njessa looking at the reading.  “I am sure there is a wealth of information here once we can get to it.”

V’Rea reviewed her readings. “Yes, it should be a challenge. Would you like to take lead in writing a program to do such, Captain?”

“I would be pleased to work on such, as Commanding allows,” replied Njessa.

V’Rea paused then nodded. “Such tasks cannot be easily assigned to the holograms. Once the program is constructed, they can oversee it.” She paused. “A situation such as we find ourselves in reveals one of the greatest limitations of the holographic crew. They have no experience to draw on to be able to provide suggestions and aid in an unexpected situation such as the one we find ourselves in.”

“There has been much discussion on OpNet about the Inquiry-class holograms,” said Njessa.  “Lieutenant Sayffier on the Nelson has imposed a learning and personality system on the holograms there.”

“I had studied those.  The use of unneeded processing power was quite clever,” said V’Rea.  “But you did not implement such changes here on the Tanjury.”

“No, I felt that I should see how they, that is the holograms, operate in their default state, before making such changes,” answered Njessa.

“But you are revising that opinion.”

“Rapidly,” answered Njessa.  “Would you be willing to use some of the Operations assigned holograms as a test of Lieutenant Sayffier’s modifications?”

“Yes, while they will still be limited, at least they will be able to learn,” said V’Rea.

“My thoughts exactly and we may need all the help we can get.”

“Then once we are done here, I will initiate such an upgrade to three of the Operations assigned holograms and we can see how things progress.”

“That seems best,” said Njessa.  “When and if they are working to your specifications see if the other department heads are willing to give them a try.”

V’Rea thought about this.  “That seems like an acceptable plan of action.”

“Then I will take this and see what can be untangled from it,” said Njessa tapping the datapad.  “Contact me if anything comes up.”

“Yes, Captain,” said V’Rea.  “May I say that your Operations skills remain competent.”

Njessa smiled.  “I am glad to hear that, Lieutenant. I look forward to your complete report.”