Posted on Wed Nov 1st, 2017 @ 12:31am by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Rhodes
The Deuterium Argument [Rebooted]
Location: USS Highlander
Timeline: MD01 - During first slipstream flight
Rhodes was bored.
It wasn't so much the fact that his job was boring - it was, to his mind, but he preferred it that way. As one of the ship's brig officers, aside from participating in duties that were mandatory for the entire security department on the ship, most of his on-duty time was spent in an empty brig, waiting to see if the captain fancied arresting anybody that day. It gave him plenty of time to play games on his PADD, strike up conversations over the comm with other crew mates around the ship, and generally do what he wanted.
The past few months had been different; the ship had been getting a refit, so he had more time off than usual and could spend it away from the ship, which was fine; almost like an extended vacation. But now that the refit had been completed, they were on their way again. Not only that, but the ship had been loaded up with all kinds of new bits of tech, including a new drive system that he had been forced to go to an orientation meeting about in order to gain clearance to carry on working aboard the ship.
He didn't know much about the drive - he had gone to the meeting, but hadn't paid attention afterall - but what he had quickly found out now that they were on their way was that everyone seemed to be hyper-focussed on it. Everyone he had tried to call on the comm had politely rebuffed him and told him they were busy. Even his friend Fij down in engineering - though that wasn't too much of a surprise; Fij had always been a bit too much of a square. Rhodes liked him though, and considered him his closest friend on the ship.
So while everyone attended to their important duty stations around the ship, Rhodes was sat in the empty, window-less brig, leaning too far back in his chair, bouncing a tennis ball through the open brig cell to bounce against the back wall and back to him.
"Computer," he said after a few bounces. "If someone were to stand on the hull of the ship, and jump in the same direction the ship was travelling, would they keep going at a faster rate than the ship? Or would they slow down and go splat on the bow?"
"There is not enough available data to calculate such a scenario," the computer responded. "Starfleet regulations specifically prohibit an attempt to perform the necessary practical experiments required to obtain such data."
Rhodes chuckled slightly at that. If there was a rule specifically prohibiting it, then did that mean someone had tried it already? "Okay, okay. What about if you emptied out a torpedo case, got inside, and were fired from the torpedo tubes at the ship's current velocity. Would the ship catch up with you, or would you keep going?"
"In such a scenario, the torpedo casing would accellerate past the ship for a limited time. However, as Starfleet torpedoes are not capable of sustaining a slipstream tunnel independently, the torpedo would return to normal space once beyond a limited distance. Then you would die."
"I'm sorry... what?"
"A standard-issue Starfleet torpedo casing would be insufficient protection for a human body during an unstable transition from slipstream velocities."
"How fast are we talking here?" Rhodes prodded, sitting forward, finally finding the new drive technology interesting.
"That information is classified."
Rhodes let out a sigh, deflating like an upset child. He resumed bouncing his tennis ball through the brig cell. "Fine. How many other Starfleet ships have this new drive thing anyway? Enough that we could have a race?"
"That information is classified."
"Fine! What about shuttles? Can they get this new drive? Or did they have to rip out five decks to install a drive the size of a space whale or something?"
"That information is-"
"I know, I know! Classified!"
"You know what, Computer? You can be a serious piece of work sometimes."
Petty Officer Charles Rhodes
Played by Williams