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DL | CDR Stacker | "Preparations, Pt. 1"

Posted on Thu Jan 28th, 2021 @ 7:34pm by Commander James Stacker

Mission: A Distant Thunder
Location: XO's Office | Deck 1 | Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 242101.28

"No survival manual ever written can possibly address every situation, crisis, or circumstance that might befall a traveler on an alien world or in deep space. Ultimately, it is the courage, perseverance, and ingenuity of individuals that determines who will be able to adapt and survive. Good luck." - The Starfleet Survival Guide


The next day, he got to work.

A little after 0400 word circulated, briefly, in Central Operations that the Executive Officer had been seen going into his office. This was confirmed within minutes by anyone of the mind to look in that direction, who saw the translucent window had been engaged but the light in the office itself was on. Neither attracted much attention. In the last few months, he had been seen working the occasional early hours and the translucent feature on the window was often in use.

Inside was a different story. When he was done eating his breakfast the plate and utensils were returned to the replicator. The mug of half-consumed coffee was left to steam and puff into the air. He crossed the room to the emergency locker and withdrew a spare combadge, a tricorder, and a PADD whose casing was - rather unusually - red with a broad yellow-gold band, before returning to his desk.

Starfleet Document 101321610518-0313 - better known by its official working title of The Starfleet Survival Guide - was a rather thin publication maintained by one of Starfleet’s lesser-known agencies. It was edited and republished about once a decade, like clockwork, which resulted in PADDs stored in emergency lockers being pulled out, powered up, and updated before being stored away. A task that normally fell on junior enlisted personnel.

Given that there were normally upwards of several thousand emergency lockers on a ship, and upwards of fifty thousand on a starbase, this normally resulted in quite a lot of grumbling.

The contents of the Starfleet Survival Guide veered sharply between the less useful and the useful. Sections 3.02 (Avoiding Mind Control by Elasian Women) and 4.15 (Determining if You Have Been Shifted into a Parallel Quantum Universe) generally fell into the former category. Sections 1.08 (Sterilizing Food and Water with a Phaser), 1.10 (Protecting a Campsite from Pests, Using a Tricorder and Phaser), and 4.01 (Landing and Evacuating Crippled Small Spacecraft) fell into the latter area.

Section 1.02 (Programming a Combadge or Tricorder to Trigger Preset Device Effects and Functions) was considered especially useful by marines trained for special operations duties. Of which James just happened to be one.

The actual process of getting the combadge to talk to the tricorder was a bit more complex than one might suspect, for the simple reason that the former was almost always kept in a default configuration that enabled direct command interfaces only with onboard consoles. Once one got the back off the combadge, however, it was a six-step process to configure both it and the tricorder.

First, one located the Command Override Circuit. This was contained in a small square circuit group to the immediate left of the encryption circuit assembly. Activation was simple: one simply reached in with a very fine-nosed implement and pressed the small circular aperture on the COC test circuit, thereby activating the test circuit. Steady hands were well advised.

Next, one went into the software-based command interface on the tricorder and located its own Command Override Circuit. Steady hands were not required for this part of the process: it was simply a matter of enabling the Receive Protocol.

Third, a small toggle switch on the side of the tricorder was moved to the middle position. This had the effect of creating a brief linking pulse between the combadge and the tricorder, after James made a quick double-tap of the COC within the combadge.

Fourth, he went back into the tricorder, found its command interface menu, and changed it from Receive Protocol to Action Protocol. After this came specification of the action to be triggered by the combadge signal. It was important, of course, to note that while the tricorder was set to AP configuration the action proper would not be triggered. One did not want to - for example - set off mining-related explosive charges while they were next to the charges. This was generally thought of as being detrimental to one's career and good health. This safety precaution could not be overridden.

Sixth, the tricorder was reset to Receive Protocol. In the words of the Starfleet Survival Guide: "[f]rom this point until such time as the device is destroyed or its COC disengaged, a double-tap of the command-linked combadge will trigger the specified effect from the target device, provided the target device is within transmission range of the linked device.”

Six steps and 45 minutes later, Commander Stacker had built himself a jamming device.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Commander James Stacker
Executive Officer
Cold Station Theta (Starbase 1170)


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