Updated: Mar 18
The Valley Forge visits a nearby quaternary star system but discovers that they are not the only ones studying it.
Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Valley Forge bridge is filled primarily with non-standard bridge crew, not because of the late shift, but... Keliaya@anncarise | Lt. Gwi: "Approaching the quaternary star system, Commander. We should be in sensor range now." Keliaya@anncarise | The Sciences Division Napean man at the helm is one of the few irregular officers on the bridge, largely science division personnel or officers curious to observe the wild orbits of the system - Keliaya@anncarise: - who had signed up for bridge duty on this low-risk mission. Rianni had also taken the opportunity to get bridge duty on the tactical console, and a Chief Petty Officer Abu Salid stands at - Keliaya@anncarise: - Operations. TQ however, was still running comms, and Kelly was in her usual position at the Engineering console, though in command at the moment. Keliaya@anncarise: "One of the stars is giving off unusual readings at this distance..." Lendaria@crystyll nods, "S'a lively one alright. I'm-a seein' higher energy readin's across th'spectrum an' a lotta flarin'" Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Try running all the data in the system through the Sumatan Simulation. I've got a suspicion..." Lendaria@crystyll grins, "I do love a good suspicion. Loadin' it up now" Lendaria@crystyll: "Sooo... would this suspicion o'yours happen t'involve a fifth star by any chance?" Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Yes! Is that what the simulation came out with?" Lendaria@crystyll: "It is indeed! Five stars..." she gives an impressed whistle Keliaya@anncarise: "Two of the stars must have collided and merged, which would explain this one..." Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Exactly! And this must've happened relatively recently too. Astrologically speaking, of course. Definitely not within our lifetimes." Lendaria@crystyll: "But they all's musta been sat steady f'even longer. So what coulda caused 'em t'collide, an' wha's th'chances tha' instability could continue wit' these four?" Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Well, it's not unusual for stable orbits to have a minor deviation that draws them closer and closer towards another object in the system. Having two stars merge though, that could very - Keliaya@anncarise: - well change the whole system. You'll just have to analyze the current orbits of everything to figure out if the system is at risk." Lendaria@crystyll: "I think it's worth buildin' a bigger picture over time 'ere. Will get th'computer workin' on extrapolation of th'orbital patterns Lendaria@crystyll: " Lendaria@crystyll: "Ok, what's we got 'ere then..." she taps away Lendaria@crystyll: "Well th'good news is, we gots around 4billion years afore they cross paths wit' each other. Bad news is, they'se likely be consumin' most wha' else is in th'system well before then" Keliaya@anncarise: "There might be new planets and asteroids coming into the system, though. Rogue ones ejected by other systems caught up in all this gravitational pull." Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "And if enough pieces of it survive and collide, it might form new planets from the debris.” Keliaya@anncarise | Salid: "Wish we can be around long enough to observe all these after-effects." Keliaya@anncarise chuckles, "Sadly, I don't think even the Iconians have been around that long." Lendaria@crystyll: "Assumin' anythin' could settle into a stable orbit wit' all those stars playin' tug-o-war wit' th'system gravity" Keliaya@anncarise: "They're probably more likely to get eaten by the stars at onoe point or another..." Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Anyways, we're exiting warp in ten seconds." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The starstreaks on the viewscreen fade to reveal four bright balls in the distance of varying colours, an almost mystical sight. Lendaria@crystyll: "An' there it is..." she smiles, admiring the unique view Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni ooh's at the sight Keliaya@anncarise turns to take in the view for a moment before her console chimes and she looks back to it, "Looks like we're not the only one here to enjoy the view." Keliaya@anncarise: "Sensors are registering another ship further inside the system." Lendaria@crystyll: "More stargazers?" Keliaya@anncarise taps away at her console, "From the looks of it. Nothing to suggest it's a mining or resource extraction vessel. It's armed, but not like a warship." Keliaya@anncarise | Lennie's console begins beeping as well. Lendaria@crystyll checks her readouts Lendaria@crystyll: "Incomin' flare from th'primary star, one minute t'impact" Keliaya@anncarise: "Lieutenant Gwi, turn us to port in case we need to warp out of the system. Cadet, reinforce starboard shields with auxiliary power." Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni nods, "Yes ma'am. auxiliary rerouted to aft shielding" Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Aye aye, Commander." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The ship turns away from the stars and a minute later, several consoles flicker and the bridge gently rocks as the strongest part of the flare hits them. Lendaria@crystyll: "Shields steady at 81%. Le's not do tha' again though, eh?" Keliaya@anncarise checks her console, "The strongest energy particles is past, but there's still a lot of cosmic rays with exotic particles. The shields will filter out the more energetic ones, but- " Keliaya@anncarise FX | Consoles flicker again and warnings begin popping up over Ops. Lendaria@crystyll checks her readings again Keliaya@anncarise: "...some that bypass them might react with our systems." Lendaria@crystyll: "No kiddin'..." Lendaria@crystyll | TQ: "Commander, I have the Captain on comms requesting a status report" Keliaya@anncarise | Salid: "Transporters are down, starboard shuttle bay door is unresponsive, half our phaser banks are offline and there's a number of other minor malfunctions across the ship." Keliaya@anncarise: "Start dispatching DC teams, Chief," she looks to TQ, "Put her through." Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni mutters, "Those are some /very/ exotic particles to do all of that..." Lendaria@crystyll | TQ nods to Kelly, "patching you in" Lendaria@crystyll: <C-Keelah> "Kelly, what's going on up there?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Looks like th'worst has passed us by now" Lendaria@crystyll takes the lull to check on the other ship Lendaria@crystyll: "Kel... tha' other ship ain't farin' s'well. Looks t'be in a deterioratin' orbit an' energy is spikin'. Could be headin' f'a breach" Keliaya@anncarise: <C> "We've been hit by a large solar flare. It appears the quaternary system used to be quintenary and two of the stars merged to form one that's acting very unpredictably." Keliaya@anncarise: <C> "No damage to the Valley Forge, just a few systems that's going to need a reboot, but there's another ship in the system that looks like it's in trouble." Keliaya@anncarise looks to Lennie, "Do you think it's safe for us to approach to assist?" Lendaria@crystyll: <C-Keelah> "...Turbolifts are out too. I'll try and reach you, but will take a while via jeffries tubes. See if you can establish contact with the other vessel. If they need assistance and we can do + Lendaria@crystyll: + so without further risk to ourselves, then proceed. Keep me apprised" Lendaria@crystyll: "Safe may be a relative term 'ere..." Keliaya@anncarise: <C> "On it, Captain." Keliaya@anncarise: "No more danger from this flare though, and no signs of more flares forming at the moment?" Lendaria@crystyll: "If there's no more solar flares, I don't see why not. Wouldn't wanna think on wha's gonna happen if one hits us at point blank though" Lendaria@crystyll: "No signs of any buildin' at th'moment" Lendaria@crystyll | TQ meanwhile attempts to establish communications with the other vessel Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Turn us back around and approach the other ship, Lieutenant, but keep at a safe distance from possible core detonation. Cadet, transfer power to forward shields." Keliaya@anncarise | TQ manages to establish comms with the other ship! Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni nods: "Oscillating shield rotations relative to the stars, Commander. Don't worry, I'll keep reinforcing our facing side" Keliaya@anncarise smiles, "We can always count on you!" Lendaria@crystyll | TQ: "I have an open line with the other ship" Keliaya@anncarise FX | As the ship turns around, a large arc can be seen above the main star as a result of the flare. Lendaria@crystyll continues to gather data from all sensor arrays while they focus on helping the other ship Keliaya@anncarise: "Put them onscreen, Tee." Lendaria@crystyll | TQ nods and activates the viewscreen Lendaria@crystyll: "Lookin' less like th'buildup of a breach. Tha' energy looks more t'be surroundin' th'ship..." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The viewscreen shows a bright image, a bridge basked in the yellow light of one of the stars, likely as the result of having a window instead of a screen. The beings within are more - Keliaya@anncarise: - interesting though...they appear roughly humanoid but are all glowing with red light... Keliaya@anncarise looks to Lennie, "I'll take a closer look at their ship. You're a xenobiology specialist with communications experience, right? Think you can talk to these people?" Keliaya@anncarise | One of the aliens speaks but in an incomprehensible language. The translator begins working on trying to figure it out automatically. Lendaria@crystyll raises her brows a little, "Only one way t'find out. Tee, gimme UT support" Lendaria@crystyll steps around to the central platform, "This is the Federation starship Valley Forge. Do you require assistance?" Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "I am Hiln Ennos Vaik of the Forli Exploration and Research Agency. We are in need of assistance." Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "I am capable of understanding you now. I presume you comprehend what I am saying?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Yes Hiln Ennos Vaik, I am Lieutenant Commander Lendaria and our translators have adapted to your language. You will excuse me if I forego formalities until you are safe. What is your status?" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "The flare has damaged our thrusters and we are unable to break free of the star's orbit. Our faster-than-light capabilities are active, but by my calculations, any attempt to travel - Keliaya@anncarise: - in this fashion around a star will cause a slingshot effect with complicated implications for space-time." Lendaria@crystyll: "Indeed it would. Standby" Lendaria@crystyll turns to Kelly, "Do we have tractor beams still?" Keliaya@anncarise: "We do, but I can't lock onto them. This energy around them, it looks to be a side-effect of their shielding. It's hard to tell without being able to scan their systems, but it seems like their - Keliaya@anncarise: - shields don't absorb energy...they reflect it." Lendaria@crystyll: "So they need to be deactivated for us to get a lock?" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "But even with modern ablative armour, the crew would be cooked alive without shielding at their current distance." Lendaria@crystyll: "Could we get close enough to extend our shields around them first?" Keliaya@anncarise: "With the levels of energy their shields are giving off, it's going to be difficult to maintain our shield around them. With the right timing we might be able to extend it the exact moment they shut - Keliaya@anncarise: - theirs off, but it'll be hard to coordinate across two different ships, and any delay will probably give the crew severe burns..." Lendaria@crystyll looks back to Hiln, "We can tow you out, but not with your reflective shielding active. Our shields can be extended around you, but we would need to remotely access your systems to sync the shield + Lendaria@crystyll: + swap to avoid harm to your crew. Can you facilitate this?" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "That is not possible. Our systems cannot be remotely accessed. We have specific measures in place to prevent that after we lost seven ships to an automated starship's viral attacks in - Lendaria@crystyll purses her lips, knowing exactly the automated ships he speaks of before he finishes his sentence Keliaya@anncarise: - the fiftieth year of the Exploration Age." Lendaria@crystyll: "What if we matched our tractor beam to your shield frequency, could that bypass the reflection - enough at least to establish a lock?" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "Our shield will automatically detect the breach and alter the frequency. It is a defense mechanism we cannot bypass, not without deactivating the shields first." Keliaya@anncarise looks to Lennie: "I might have an idea...but we're going to need information on their shield systems." Lendaria@crystyll: "Indeed" she looks around, "What do you have Kelly?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Their shields work by reflecting energy, right? If there might be a way to focus that energy instead of spreading it out along the whole shield...they might be able to use it to generate enough - Keliaya@anncarise: - thrust to break free of the gravitational pull." Keliaya@anncarise: "It all depends on how exactly these shields work, though." Lendaria@crystyll looks back to Hiln, "What about it? If anyone can figure a way to modify your shield reflection to do this, it's our Kelly" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni would already be scanning their shields to learn all she can, and try to come up with ideas of her own to help Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "We have never considered that as an option. But the shields are Defense Agency technology. I am not familiar enough to attempt such a thing." Keliaya@anncarise looks to the viewscreen, "Can you send us all the data you have on it?" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "It was developed within the past 10 years. To share its specifications would be in violation of the Tarri Agreement..." Lendaria@crystyll nods and smiles reassuringly, "I appreciate sharing such data with a stranger is a leap, but if we can't get past your shields we are going to struggle to assist you" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "Very well. But do not attempt to bypass them. Send anything you wish done with them back to us, and we will make the adjustments by your specifications." Keliaya@anncarise | TQ begins receiving data packages with the shield specs! Lendaria@crystyll: "You have my word. And once you are safely away from there, I am certain our Captain will be eager to repay the act of trust in sharing this" Lendaria@crystyll | TQ: "Data packet received, all yours Commander" Keliaya@anncarise begins looking through the information. Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni also looks over the received data Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni looks to Lennie: "Commander, I may have something" still half glancing at her terminal as she taps away Lendaria@crystyll heads over and smiles, "Show me" Keliaya@anncarise steps over as well to see what ideas Rianni has. Lendaria@crystyll: :| Rianni: "Commanders; looks like they're using directional generators. If we can drain this-" she points on a schematic, "-shield face, we should be able to get a lock, while their other generators+ Lendaria@crystyll: + provide protection from the stars radiation. At least long enough to enable us to wrap our shields around them. Sort of a stopgap between their shields and ours, maybe?" Lendaria@crystyll looks at the schematic, "But to drain a shield generator would require a lot of energy. Energy that would be reflected back at us along the beams trajectory, right?" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni nods: "Well I had a thought on that..." Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni taps again and her display shifts to show a simulation of the VF performing a manouver Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni narrates: "It actually came from Commander Keliaya's earlier order regarding shield oscillation..." Keliaya@anncarise: "By the current configuration, the energy would be dispersed around the entire shield, so we can't take down a single facing selectively. But I might be able to modify it to reflect it, exactly like - Keliaya@anncarise: - a mirror..." Keliaya@anncarise: "It's less of a stretch than using the energy as a way of maneuvering the ship." Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni: "Yes! I calculate that if we circle back to extreme range and approach on this corkscrew vector, I can maintain consistent fire of low yield phasers by switching active banks as we rotate,+ Lendaria@crystyll: + that should avoid unnecessary reflected damage to our own shields" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni: "The continuous drain on a single generator should be more effective at shutting it down, that say a barrage of single hits with recharge time between them" Lendaria@crystyll: "That's... certainly creative, Cadet" she smiles, turning to Kelly, "It's your call, Kel. If you say it's our best chance, I'm behind it" Keliaya@anncarise: "We only have half our banks active at the moment. Make sure to plan out a maneuver that can pull this off and not get ourselves hit. I'll work on the modifications in the meantime to allow us - Keliaya@anncarise: - to drain a single shield instead of evenly spreading the damage like they currently have it set." Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni nods firmly, "Half the reason for corkscrew is to maintain fire with the banks we have! I will recheck every turn with the helm too, make sure we can pull it off!" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "I'll get working on reconfiguring their shields right away." Keliaya@anncarise returns to her console. Lendaria@crystyll smiles, ruffling Rianni's hair when nobody's looking, "Atta girl!" Keliaya@anncarise: "According to these specs and their current orbit, they have less than two hours before their shields give way. Hopefully enough time..." Lendaria@crystyll: "We'll have to make sure it's enough" Lendaria@crystyll looks back to Hiln, "Ok, we are working on a theory now. It's a little unorthodox, but unorthodox is exactly what's needed to get around your shielding here" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "We will not last for much longer either way. This is a time for risks." Lendaria@crystyll: "I have faith in this crew's ability" she smiles, "Hopefully after this, you will too" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni meanwhile, has joined LT Gwi at the helm to review the planned manouver and refine according to helm experience of the VF's capability Keliaya@anncarise runs calculations and simulations, occasionally convening with other engineers over comms as she works. Lendaria@crystyll | Gwi: "Rianni, this approach vector... you know we can only achieve such tight turns by using the co-ax impulse thrusters, right?" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni nods and smiles, "Of course! If it weren't for the lack of full phaser arrays, we wouldn't need to. But I need you to keep these sharp twists so I can maintain continuous fire. She... can + Lendaria@crystyll: + do it, can't she?" Lendaria@crystyll | Gwi grins, "You kidding? Of course she can! Just never thought I'd get the chance to make her work like that. Also didn't expect a tactical cadet to take that into account..." Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni giggles, "A tactical cadet who studies starships, and is friends with the Captain's daughter who knows this ship inside and out - and /loves/ talking about it!" Lendaria@crystyll | Gwi chuckles, "Fair point" Keliaya@anncarise FX | After an hour of working, Kelly turns to Lennie, "We have it! These modifications should allow the shields to reflect incoming beams rather than dispersing the energy evenly across the - Keliaya@anncarise: - whole shield. It'll drain one generator very quickly and leave enough for the rest to block out the sun's energy." Lendaria@crystyll: "Excellent! Then lets get to it. Cadet, your move is ready?" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni nods firmly, "Yes Commander. I have the firing solutions primed and ready" Keliaya@anncarise: "Forwarding the specs to you, Tee. Send it over to them." Lendaria@crystyll mans her station ready to monitor the shield drop and run the tractor grab Keliaya@anncarise FX | Hiln sends an acknowledgement after they receive the specs and soon hails the VF again. Lendaria@crystyll FX | As they fly out to begin the manouver, Keelah emerges from the turbolift door, having climbed up and being briefed over comms in the meantime Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah: "Not my preferred means of travel... is everything set?" she asks, taking her seat Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Glad you can make it for the maneuver, Captain. We're all ready to carry out Cadet Tierno's brilliant plan." Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah smiles over at Rianni, "Time to shine, Cadet. Pull this off and we might just have to name the move after you" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni grins, flushing a little, "I'm ready, Captain" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "Our modifications are complete. The shields should work as you want them to." Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah: "Alright, Mr. Gwi; you have your heading. Execute manouver..." she smiles again, "...Tierno-1" Lendaria@crystyll | Gwi smirks a little as he engages the helm, "Aye ma'am!" Lendaria@crystyll FX | The Valley Forge lurches away from the Forli ship and sweeps around in a wide arc to line up it's attack run Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah: "Cadet; you have the ball" she nods over to Rianni" Keliaya@anncarise | The Forli ship glows only on one side now as a result of the modifications, but much brighter than before due to even closer proximity to the star. Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni: "First turn complete, rotating fire through dorsal arrays..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | The Valley Forge barrel rolls through a long corkscrew towards the Forli ship, saucer impulse vents glowing bright one after the other as they force the large ship through tight barrel rolls, + Lendaria@crystyll: + while one phaser bank after the next fires continuously to maintain shield contact Lendaria@crystyll monitors both VF and Forli shield strength throughout the manouver, bracing her console as inertial dampeners struggle to keep it a smooth flight Keliaya@anncarise | With the modifications, the Forli shields do not glow but instead reflect the beams back at a slightly lower energy level, but still strong enough to hurt shields should any connect back with VF. Lendaria@crystyll FX | The bridge shakes as the shields take a directly reflected hit Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni: "Dammit!" Lendaria@crystyll | Gwi: "Come on girl, hold it together... Just a few more turns..." Lendaria@crystyll: rolls 25 (1-100) Lendaria@crystyll | FX | Another - lesser - rumble from a glancing blow across the forward shields Lendaria@crystyll | Gwi: "Accelerating to compensate..." Keliaya@anncarise diverts all available power to reinforce the shields. Lendaria@crystyll turns a little greener as she watches the swirling starfield on the viewscreen get even faster Lendaria@crystyll FX | Another reflection glances across the dorsal shields, creating a gentle rumble Lendaria@crystyll: "We're in range. I need those shields down now Cadet!" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni: "One more turn should do it... ramping up phaser yield to compensate, I don't want to damage their hull when they drop..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Kelly, stand by to shunt auxiliary to the tractor emitters and inertial dampeners. We're carrying a lot of momentum, so this is not going to be a smooth latch" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The last beam hits the shield with no room to maneuver away from the reflection...but it doesn't reflect as the shield collapses! Lendaria@crystyll doesn't seem to realise yet that T'Quila still has the UT cleaning up her speech... Keliaya@anncarise: "Their shield is down! Giving the tractor emitters all the power we have!" Lendaria@crystyll FX | As the Valley Forge veers close by the Forli ship, it's trajectory straightens out as Gwi tries to slow and smoothen the flight. The tractor beam locks on, extending slightly at the ship + Lendaria@crystyll: + pulls away, allowing a little give to establish the lock before pulling the Forli ship along... Keliaya@anncarise | VF manages to lock on to the ship with the tractor beam! Keliaya@anncarise: "Our shields are draining at this proximity too...let's tow this ship back to safe distance as fast as we can!" Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah clences a fits and bumps her armrest, "Nicely done! Now get us out to a safe distance Mr. Gwi" Lendaria@crystyll | Rianni: "Rotating power through facing shields to compensate" Lendaria@crystyll FX | The VF lurches as it's momentum is suddenly dropped by the tractor lock, but continues it's forward path and slowly turns away from the stars Keliaya@anncarise FX | The shields stabilize as they move away from the stars, and the glow fades from the side of the Forli ship as well. Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah: "Tee, inform the Forli that we have them and will tow to a safe distance. See if they require any medical or damage control assistance too" Lendaria@crystyll | TQ nods and liaises with the Forli vessel Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln thanks the VF and replies that they can manage, but would like to invite the VF to a nearby colony world for proper contact and thanks. Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah smiles at hearing this, "Let them know it would be our honour" Keliaya@anncarise | The location of the colony matches an Class-O planet that is not too far off course. Lendaria@crystyll: "Class O... bathing suit time?" Lendaria@crystyll grins Lendaria@crystyll | Keelah chuckles, "More like 'replenish our tanks with fresh supply if we play our cards right' time" Keliaya@anncarise | Gwi: "Well they weren't in an aquatic environment on their bridge, so they're probably amphibious at most. Hard to see their features under all that glow though..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Indeed. This should prove t'be an interestin' one!" Lendaria@crystyll | TQ smiles towards Lennie for no apparent reason
SUBMITTED: Stardate 96743.9 FILED BY: LCDR Lendaria SECURITY: Level 1 - Open
LOCATION:Quaternary Star Cluster
MISSION:Survey rare star cluster
OUTCOME:Mission focus shifted to rescue unknown survey vessel
CAPT Se'Lai LCDR Keliaya LCDR Lendaria LT Gwi CPO Salid CPO T'Quila CDT2 Tierno
Upon arrival in the Quaternary star system we commenced survey operations with the main bridge largely staffed by my department, as those with the most vested interest in this phenomena. Preliminary readings determined that the system once consisted of five stars before two collided to become the more dominant blue star witnessed here today. Whilst conducting forecasts on the long term gravitational disruption to the cluster and working to predict the eventual decay of the cluster (estimated at ~4 billion standard years), sensors detected a second vessel in close proximity to the cluster.
Before having the option to attempt communication however, a flare was detected emanating from the primary star and directly on our trajectory and so evasive maneuvering was required. Although retreating to a relatively safe distance, the energy burst from the flare impacted our shields with a reduction of almost 20% strength. An aftershock wave also bombarded the ship exotic particles that bypassed shields and caused significant system interference. Nothing of consequence that couldn't be remedied by the crew, but all requiring time for reboots and replacement of shorted relays.
Once recovered, we returned to check the status of the unidentified vessel and saw that they had closed to a dangerously close proximity to the primary star. Unusual energy buildup was detected around the vessel, and so LCDR Keliaya ordered us to close and attempt to render assistance - following consultation with the Captain who was stranded on the lower decks with the turbolifts being offline. As a more seasoned xenolinguist, I was asked to take point for the attempted contact in case the UT found any difficulty. Contact was established with what we later learned to be a species calling themselves the Forli. They appeared to be bipedal mammalians consistent with Preserver origin, though difficult to distinguish detailed features due to interference on the visual feed and within their bridge. They seemed to have a windowed bridge that was unable to limit the brightness of the star at their current proximity.
After a brief exchange of dialogue, the UT was able to accommodate translation and we were introduced to - what was presumably - their CO; Hiln Ennos Vaik of the Forli Exploration and Research Agency. Hiln confirmed that they were requiring assistance after the flare knocked out their sublight engines and left them caught in the stars gravitational field. A brief discussion determined that we could tractor them to safety, however their shield systems presented an obstacle. The technology was based on reflection more than absorption & dispersal, of incoming energy (this also explained the high energy readings that surrounded the vessel along with an unnatural glow). Further to this was the inability to disengage their shield systems as the radiation at their distance would almost instantly kill the crew.
We deliberated on potential solutions before agreeing that any attempt would require further information and so convinced Hiln to share this data with us. Having already learned that they operated this reflection-base system, as well as an automated frequency rotation - we also learned that they possessed advanced cyber defense systems preventing remote access; seemingly the result of early conflict with Nuhar constructs. Hiln also indicated that by sharing details of this relatively new shield technology that belonged to their Defense Agency (introduced in the last 10 years), they were in breach of what he called the Tarri Agreement; possibly worthy of further investigation should relations continue to develop with the Forli. With the necessity determined though, the data was shared and our team set to work on developing a solution. LCDR Keliaya had a proposal which was based on modifying their shield output to focus the reflection in a single direction to act as a tractor repulsor against the stars energy output. CDT Tierno also proposed use of the Valley forge (still functional) phaser arrays to drain the Forli's facing shield in order to establish a tractor lock on their hull.
After considering the presented options, LCDR Keliaya and I concurred that the Cadet's proposal presented the greatest chances of success and so we all set to work on preparations. It still hinged on modification of the Forli shields to reflect energy back from a single generators output as opposed to spreading across the shield grid, and required LT Gwi to perform a series of advanced concentric turns with the Valley Forge in order to maintain a constant firing solution from the available arrays, while avoiding reflected discharge.
Attack pattern: Tierno-1, as fondly designated by Captain Keelah during the maneuver
The maneuver was ready to begin as CAPT Keelah made it to the bridge. We moved to extreme weapons range and engaged on attack run, with CDT Tierno and LT Gwi working together in order to maintain a continuous low yield phaser beam on the Forli shields with the functioning arrays. We took a couple of reflected impacts which drained our shields, but were thankfully diluted from the low yield initial burst and so not significantly threatening to the ship at all. As we closed on the Forli's position, the corkscrew attack vector paid dividends and we were able to progress into more of a barrel roll movement while increasing phaser yield to punch through the Forli's facing shield. The targeted shield generator was drained within an optimum window for me to gain a tractor lock while LT Gwi slowed our momentum, though the initial strain on the tractor emitters from the moving lock may warrant intensive diagnostics to ensure no system damage was sustained.
Following the safe retrieval of the Forli vessel, CAPT Keelah proceeded to render medical aid and DC assistance, though this was dismissed as not necessary. Our actions did however elicit an invitation to join the Forli at their colony for a proper expression of gratitude and first contact meeting. After accepting and receiving the necessary data, we learned that it is a class-O water world. So speculation returned to the origin and nature of the Forli being potentially of aquatic evolution, while plans are developed to use this favorable first contact to engage in trade with the Forli in order to capitalize on the rare opportunity to completely cycle out water stocks.
Engage in diplomatic relations with the Forli. Though the mission priority shifted away from our survey, the entire event presented a significant amount of astrometric data which should accommodate plenty of continued research for our teams on board. On a personal note; I know we are all a little guilty of doting on Cadet Tierno at times, no doubt owing to our knowledge of her extreme experiences during her since joining Starfleet. However, I do not believe it is unreasonable to recommend a commendation to her file for coining this successful maneuver. As extravagant as the maneuver itself was - from the perspective of a non-tactical officer at least - I do not believe it warrants full elaboration and/or inclusion in the Starfleet manual as a recognized maneuver, as it was entirely reliant on the Valley Forge's post-refit unique engine configuration and is not (I believe) achievable in the exact same manner by starships lacking this configuration. That said, I do believe it has been (if not, then should be) saved locally as a recognized attack pattern for the ship to utilize in the future.