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Figuring the Variables

Posted on Wed Aug 31st, 2022 @ 8:34am by Lieutenant Commander Ebrin Valek & Commander Ichiko Gail

Mission: The Koldaran Encounter
Location: Astrometrics Lab, USS Astraea
Timeline: prior to arrival at the planet

A flash of light. An alarm sounded. Suddenly, the entire screen went dark. Valek sighed as he watched the words "Simulation Terminated, Result: Failure" appear in bold, angry print across the curved display before him. They were quickly followed by a steady stream of numbers along with a brief summary of the results. None of it good.

This had been his forty-seventh attempt at gaming out a possible plan for engaging the Koldaran. Forty-seven tries and, so far, every single one of them had ended the same way. None of the approaches or configurations had seemed to make much of a difference.

Cursing under his breath, he leaned against one of the control stations and bowed his head.

"Almost." a voice came from the doorway.

The voice caught him by surprise. Up until that point, Valek had had the lab all to himself. He'd been so focused on the simulations that he hadn't even heard her come in.

"Commander," he said, rising quickly to his feet.

"At ease. You have enough on your plate without standing." She held up a hand, and then looked to the vastness of the room, "What have you tried thus far?"

Valek smiled wryly. “It might be easier to tell you what I haven’t tried,” he said, a hint of weariness in his voice, “Forty-seven simulations and I’ve yet to find a scenario where we manage to successfully maintain control of the orbital space.” He paused, entered a few commands into the workstation, and brought up another summary display. It showed each of the vessels available to them as well as those that had been identified as belonging to the Koldaran.

“The Astraea, of course, will have no trouble breaking in,” he continued, “and given the current deployment of enemy assets, we should be able to take control reasonably well, especially once you add in the support of the Pennsylvania and the Wellington. But that’s about the last bit of good news, because it all starts to go downhill pretty quickly from there…”

Valek entered another series of commands and the screen shifted to a frozen scene of orbital combat. Damage was visible on all three Starfleet vessels, with Pennsylvania clearly having suffered the worst, and it appeared that additional Koldaran vessels had arrived.

“Without time to establish defensive positions, we’re not going to have much to work with when the Koldarans hit us with a counter strike,” Valek explained, “and I’m afraid the Pennsylvania is the weak link. If the Koldarans manage to knock them out (and they will), our force is cut down significantly, not to mention any attempts at rescuing our people…”

The man’s voice trailed off. Silence fell as the two of them studied what was on the display. Then, after a moment, Valek spoke. “I know this probably sounds overly reductive, but a lot of it comes down to simple math,” he said, “and we just don’t have the numbers.”

"Ballads tell of victory in the face of overwhelming odds, but believe me when I tell you after a while all the stories sound the same. We're going into a situation that the Koldaran already have under control. We're not repelling them, we're ripping them out from the roots, cutting off their orbital position, and then wiping them from the world below." she detailed. "It's odd you mention math. Do you know who's really good at calculating the odds? The Dalacari."

"We'll have to hold off until they all arrive."

“How likely are we to be getting reinforcements?”

"The Three Dawn Accord exists for two reasons. To solidify for all time our alliance with the Dalacari, and to oppose to the last the Koldaran Armada." she reassured with a nod. "They will be there."

"Now, about this simulation you've got running. Koldaran weapon output is slightly behind on Federation weaponry, so we have the advantage there. They have the numbers, but fighters are truly a threat to the Astraea short of confusing the targeting systems or coordinating fire on weak points on the shields. My advice, tactically speaking, is to keep pressure on the main capital ships. That's where the Officers will be, and they'll do anything to preserve their own lives. Even throw away fighters."

"The only thing standing between us and any local reinforcements is time. Your ships are much faster than ours." a pause, "But that's a philosophical discussion for later. Help will arrive. It's a matter of arriving in time."


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