NCC - 86105
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Ion trail

Posted on Mon Aug 21st, 2017 @ 9:20pm by Commander James Stevenson & Lieutenant Jonathan Westbrook

Mission: Livingstone Navigates the Great River


Location: Livingstone main bridge
Timeline: Day 30 16:26

Jonathan Westbrook entered the bridge. He stopped to look at the ship that filled the view-screen. It was very clearly Ferengi, and it was much bigger than the Livingstone. Jonathan didn't need sensor data to tell him that. However, he decided that the best course of action would be to go over to on the since computer station and go over any data they had on it.

The computer confirmed what he already knew. Ferengi Alliance. It was D'Kora class, and at 630 meters, it was much bigger than the Livingstone.

"Captain," Westbrook stood up and spoke from his station. "I believe it would be possible to track where the ship came from. Every ship leaves behind what is called an Ion trail, or as it's more commonly referred to, a warp trail. Unless they’re modulated their plasma injectors, or unless the ion trail has been dispersed by the solar wind, we should be able to detect it using our sensors."

Now with the Ferengi ship stationary and under protection of the Livingstone’s shields the bridge had re-established it usual sense of calm. Stevenson looked across from his chair towards the science officer.

“Find out what you can.”

"Aye sir."

Westbrooks interest was sufficiently piqued. An abandoned Ferengi vessel. No sign of the crew, or where it had come from. A mystery. It was a good way to get his feet wet.

His fingers danced across the computer console as he began a sensor scan looking for the Teelamy Cerms Ion trail. Westbrooks hope was that it could easily be picked up, even though the Ferengi ship had clearly been sitting abandoned for an undetermined length of time.

His first scan revealed nothing. Westbrook tried to suppress his initial feeling of disappointment, and he made the necessary adjustments to the sensors to fine-tune them.

"Sir, I am picking up a faint trace of the ion trail from somewhere in the vicinity in the Antos 4 spaceport. However, due to the solar wind dispersing the Ion trail, it will be impossible for us to get an exact reading."

"Antos 4?" thought Stevenson, "What were the chances of running into a ship out here that had been docked at the same port?"

"Can you work out by analysing the strength of the wind, the dispersal rate? That way we could get an idea how long she's been here."

"Yes sir I can definitely do that. With a little bit of sensor modification, we can count the number of ions and electrons in the solar wind, and that will give us a good idea of the solar winds strength. Shouldn't be too hard to work out the rate of dispersal from there. If I pull Dawson from his project in science lab 4 to help me with the sensor modifications, I can have a definite answer for you in say..20 minutes?"

"Excellent, get onto it." Stevenson replied as he walked over to the operations console, "Allow the science department the permissions they ask for."

Westbrook tapped his combadge. "Westbrook to Dawson. I need you on the bridge, we've got some work to do."

20 minutes later, Westbrook walked over to where the Commander was sitting on the bridge.

"Sir, the modifications we've made to the sensors have been successful. We now know the strength of the solar wind, and that has allowed us to calculate the ion trails dispersal rate. We can now say with a reasonable degree of certainty that the Ferengi ship has been here for about 5 days."

He handed the data pad with the information on it to the Commander.

"Not only that sir, but we've been using the sensors to look for any evidence of an escape pods microthrusters, since Ferengi escape pods aren't known to be warp capable. We have found no evidence of them. Therefore, the only conclusion that we can draw is that the escape pod was launched prior to the Teelamy Cerms going to warp."

Stevenson took the pad and quickly flicked through the details.

"Good work Lieutenant"


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