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Drones Away

Posted on Tue May 8th, 2018 @ 3:24pm by Lieutenant Evan Lougheed & Lieutenant JG Vitaath Zh'challiss & Lieutenant JG Lucius

Mission: Stranded
Location: Cargo Bay 1

Evan stood in front of the large crate in the cargo bay. The top had been removed and the UAV was exposed. The Lieutenant was in the process of removing it from the crate as the door opened and the two yellow collared engineers entered. "Vita let me know you wanted to borrow my toys," the spook said they approached.

Lucius chuckled. "Yeah, we were thinking that a playdate might be good for the kids, since we keep 'em locked up in here all the time," he joked. "We need some dilithium and we're thinking that your drones might be able to help us accomplish that faster. If we can figure out how to fit them with sensors that can find the dilithium for us. They're concerned about bothering the natives too much."

"These are designed for recon, so it shouldn't be too hard to reconfigure them." Lougheed said pulling the drone out and then opening the main dorsal hatch. We can pull the subspace antenna since they won't be going far, and if you two want to work on reconfiguring the main sensor pallet to scan for dilithium, you two can probably do that faster than I can."

Lucius nodded. "Yeah, I think I have some ideas as to how I want to set that up." He already had a little toolkit tucked up under one arm. "What does it usually recon? Just areas? Or does it already look for stuff, like people?" He took several steps toward one of the drones before looking up at Evan.

"These are typically used for tracking lifesigns, or recon general areas. They're low observability, not cloaked but pretty close, so I'm not too worried about the locals seeing them," Evan replied.

Lucius knelt next to the open panel and began to muble parts to himself as he pointed at them, like he was trying to familiarize himself with where things were inside the drone. He looked up at Evan again. "So when it does recon... are the images sent back to your PaDD? Sorry, I've never used one of these." He chuckled and rubbed his head with one hand.

"These ones link directly into the intelligence computer core, from there the data can be directed to the bridge or analyzed in the intelligence office. They can be controlled from the office or remotely with a tablet if used away from the ship," the spook added, as the two engineers began working on changing out internal components.

Lucius pulled several parts out, mostly isolinear chips, responsible for the drone's memory. He replaced them with chips that he had brought with him. "So, what I'm going to do is tell the drone what I want it to look for. Instead of heat signatures..." he plugged his PaDD into the drone. "... I'm explaining to it the elements I want it to find. I'm hoping that it will make the switch back from living things to nonliving things. Dilithium doesn't really have a heat signature. Some rock does... and we could have done a simple fix if it had... but it doesn't. It usually holds the temperature of whatever is around it. So we're going to tell the drone to look for the chemical compounds that make up dilithium."

"Sounds good, once we get the sensor reconfigured I'd recommend we take it up top side. Launch it from here and then we can have it grid search the immediate area. Hopefully, we can find a source relatively close to the surface and not near the locals," Evan said.

"Agreed. Has the Captain said anything about what we do if we do disturb the locals?" Lucius stood. "I think that's got it, but we'll need to test it first. I don't want it to get too far away before we know if it works at all." He grinned. "Should we carry them out?"

"Not directly, but we already ran into one, so I think the general try to not break the prime directive any more than we have," Evan said. "Sure, let's get it up and test it over the lagoon before we begin scouting. Vita do you want to head to the bridge and we'll patch the controls through to there?" The Andorian woman nodded as the two lugged the drone up to the dorsal escape hatch that had been opened and served as one of the main exgresses for the ship.

Lucius helped haul the drone up and out of the ship. Once they were out he squinted in the sunlight. "Wow... I forget how bright it is planetside... It's been a minute since I've really been planetside." He looked at Evan. "Where are you from Lieutenant?"

"Earth, Vancouver specifically," he replied as they set the drone down on a flat panel of hull and begun the last checks before activating it. "Yourself?"

"Angel I, born and raised. I never visited Earth until I was at the Academy." He watched Evan begin the last checks on the drone. "Our parents thought it would be a good idea. I think they were hoping that it would be more of a punishment. I've always been a little contrary compared to the other males on my planet. I think it was a punishment for Braith."

The Intelligence officer smirked, "Parents," he said before tapping his combadge. =/\= Lougheed to Zh'challiss, are you getting the feed on the bridge? =/\=

=/\= Vita here, we've got the data coming in loud and clear, all readings look good and we have five-by-five on our signals. Drone is receiving command information as well. =/\=

=/\= Sounds good, we'll get this thing in the air and join you, =/\= Lougheed said turning to Lucius. "Care to do the honours?"

Lucius' face lit up. "Oh yeah?" he asked with excitement. He held out his hands for the remote.

"Just don't crash it. I'd hate to have to go through all of this again on the back up," Lougheed replied.

Lucius pulled his hands back abruptly. "Maybe... maybe you should do it. I honestly haven't flown a lot of hand operated things. I'm more about taking them apart and putting them back together." He grinned a little sheepishly at Lougheed.

The Lieutenant smirked, and pressed the launch button on the PaDD. The craft shot up and quickly rose to 8000 meters. =/\= Vita how's the telemetry look?=/\=

=/\= Looks good, readings are strong and I'm beginning the pre-planned grid search, =/\= came the reply from the Andorian engineer.

=/\= Good, I'll be up to the bridge in a moment, =/\= Lougheed said closing the channel. "Good work Lieutenant." He said the to Engineer as checked the readings on the PADD once more.

Lucius tried to follow the path of the drone with his eyes, but it was daylight and bright outside. He smiled at Lougheed. "I'm starting to get my hopes up that we can solve our problems and get off this planet," he said softly.

"I hope so too." Lougheed said, "I had a date lined up when we got back to the base." The Lieutenant smirked.

Lucius laughed. "Oh did you now? You got a someone you're sweet on?" Subconsciously, Lucius touched the chain around his own neck. He was staring up at the sky in the direction of the drone and lifted his hand to shield his eyes from the sun, squinting. "I really hope we can get off this planet... How far out can the drone go? Does its remote have a distance limit?"

"They've got a range of a several thousand clicks, they're designed to be used from orbit anywhere on a planet," Lougheed replied.

"Oh... well then we don't really have to worry about losing them, I guess. I really hope I set that deep enough. I sort of guessed. Dilithium is one of those things that's... not consistent... I guess is the best thing to say." He shrugged, still looking up at the sky, even though the drone was long gone from view. "It's not like... well..." he looked at Lougheed. "Say... coal. Most coal is found like 213 meters to 305 meters... It's pretty consistent. Dilithium is one of those things that sort of opportunistic. It grows where it can, with the right mineral combinations around it, but predicting where or how deep or near what is almost impossible." Lucius realized that he'd been rambling about Dilithium and shook his head. "Sorry..."

The Lieutenant smirked, "Thanks for the help, I'll let you get back to the engine room and I'll head to the bridge to analyze the incoming readings."

Lucius nodded. "Sure. Although, I'm not sure what good I'm going to do in the engine room right now." He chuckled. "I'm sure there's something."


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