Starfleet Intelligence: The Missions of the USS Doyle, Chapter 3

STAR TREK: STARFLEET INTELLIGENCE
The Missions of the USS Doyle

by Edward Webb

LEGAL STUFF: All of the characters and events not specifically
copyrighted by Paramount Television is copyright (c) 1998 by Edward
Webb. This is a fan novel written for the pleasure of other fans. It may be
distributed freely as long as no charge is collected in this distribution, and
the body of this work and this copyright notice is kept intact.

Chapter 3: The USS Doyle

“Captain Takashi, we’re arriving at Mars in ten minutes.”
Takashi stood up and drained her coffee. “Understood. Takashi
out.” She stretched and brushed her hair in front of the mirror, tugging on
her uniform top. The new black two-piece uniforms took some getting used
to, but there were a lot more comfortable. Ever since Starbase 29,
everything was changing, even the damn uniforms, she thought. She sighed
and stared at her reflection for a time, thinking about the past few days.
Well, if I’m destined to be a spy, then I’ll be the best damn spy in Starfleet.
As she picked up her bag to go, she noticed the hilt of her father’s
tanto, his samurai dagger, jutting out of the flap. Death is but a doorway.
She always thought it was such a fatalistic saying, but now she realized that
the death of Captain Hagen and the Challenger was a doorway into a new
life, a life on the Doyle. Her ship. She smiled and wiped away a tear for
Ryan. I will always remember you.

* * * * *

When she arrived at the transporter room, Bradley was already
waiting for her there, his meager possessions thrown into a backpack. He
picked at the violet turtleneck under his uniform. “I never thought it was
possible for Starfleet to invent an even more annoying uniform than the last
one.”
Takashi smiled and nodded to the transporter chief. “We’re ready.”
“No offense sir, but I was ordered to transport three to the
shipyards.”
“Three?”
Just then the doors swished open, and a tall man entered the room.
He reminded Takashi of Captain Hagen, except he was even taller, a good
quarter meter over Bradley’s slender frame. His intimidating figure of tall,
solid muscle was not dimished by the elaborate latinum earring he wore.
He was easily the largest Bajorian Takashi had ever seen. He huffed, as if
he were out of breath, and extended his hand. “Sorry I’m late, Captain. I’m
Commander Jono Maron, recently promoted and assigned to Engineering.”
She took his hand, noting how it swallowed her own. “So you’re
why all my Engineering officers were rejected, Commander Jono.”
“Actually, Maron is my family name. I was the first Bajorian to join
Starfleet, and I inverted my personal and family names, to accomidate to
Terran standards. Even since Bajor has joined the Federation and
standardized Bajoran names, I’ve just gotten used to it.”
“My apoligies, Commander Maron. I’d like to hear more about you
after we’ve settled in to the Doyle.”
“No offense, Captain, but that may be a while. I guess you haven’t
been briefed on it yet, but I developed the theories behind some of the more
advanced tech on the ship, but I never expected to see it developed. I’ve got
to acquaint myself with it and all of the other new gadgets they’ve crammed
into her. This thing’s so experimental, it doesn’t even have a class
designation yet! If tradition is followed, it’ll be the Doyle class, I guess,
but…”
The transporter chief cut in. “Utopia Planitia is ready to receive
you, Captain.”
She nodded and stepped onto the transporter pad. “Energize.”

* * * * *

When her vision cleared, she was in a similar transporter room with
a window facing into the orbital shipyards, which were currently empty. In
the room were three men. The one operating the transporter wore Science
turquoise on his sholders with one silver and one black pip, signifying a
Lieutenant, junior grade. He had short brownish hair and a boyish face that
was attractive in its nervousness. The man next to him was a little taller,
and also wore a science uniform, with Lieutenant pips. His long reddish
hair was tied into a tight tail, not as long as her own. He looked humanoid,
but his yellow eyes obviously marked him as an alien of some kind. The
last man stepped forward to greet her. He had a Command cranberry
uniform similar to her own, with Commander ranking. His short blond hair
reminded her of the time she spent in the Marines, but she easily noticed
the tell-tale dark birthmarks that marked a Trill symbiote. His bright blue
eyes looked her over as she al!
lowed him to lead her down from the platform. “Captain Sara Takashi?”
“Yes. I assume you’re my new First Officer?”
“Second Cell Leader, actually, but First Officer or XO is fine. I’m
Elayth Wren. The youngster behind the transporter controls is Dr. Brian
Coffey, your new CMO, and the dour gentleman next to him is Francis
Tee-eye-you.”
She nodded to each in turn, but her gaze lingered on Tee-eye-you. “I
haven’t had time to get the briefings or service records yet, since my
security clearance hasn’t been updated. May I ask what race you are?”
Tee-eye-you stared hard at her, his yellow eyes unblinking. When
he spoke, there was a slight discordant reverberation in his voice, making it
sound as if two people were speaking at once. It made Takashi’s skin crawl.
“I am technically human, Captain. I have a Terran brain implanted into a
synthetic android body.”
Takashi stared at him, as she heard Maron speak up. “A cyborg? I
didn’t know that they had gotten the neurological interface to work yet.”
Wren smiled and looked at Takashi. “Look, we have a lot to do, and
you need to be briefed, so let’s get on with the best part of this, shall we?”
He tapped his communicator badge. “Wren to Scott. We’re ready.” He
then gently touched Takashi’s elbow and led her to the window.
At first, she didn’t see anything. Then she saw a ship pull into view.
The metallic skin gleamed as the sun reflected off of the bow, which
Takashi noticed was covered in small dark pods, almost like ridges on a
bamboo stalk. It had a squat shape, with saucer section and engineering
hull almost fused together. The engines were also closer to the hull, almost
perpendicular to it. She wondered at the design, but realized that the warp
fields would be easier to create and collapse in that design, giving the ship
faster startup and stop speeds. The ship wasn’t much bigger than the
Challenger, but definately more compact. Across the bow was the legend
“USS Doyle, NX 51610”.
She was breathless. “She’s beautiful,” was all she managed.
Wren smiled. “Actually, she looks like a dried-up snail mating with
a rock, but all new captains think that their ships are the most gorgeous in
the galaxy.”
She tried not to let her anger at Wren’s crude analogy show on her
face. “What are those ridges on the hull?”
“That’s one of the technological breakthroughs that makes the Doyle
so special. You’ll hear all about it in the briefing.”
Takashi sighed. “Between rushed introductions, surprise cyborgs,
and experimental technology, I’ve had enough information for one day,
Commander. Transport me aboard, show me to my quarters, and schedule
a tour for 0600 tomarrow before my briefing.”
Wren barely covered up a sneer. “No offense, sir, but we have
orders to return to Starbase 29 to pick up remaining crew and receive our
orders at all possible haste.”
Takashi sighed. “Commander, this is an experimental ship. My
guess is that it hasn’t had the plastic taken off, let alone been through a
proper shakedown cruise, and the journey between here and Starbase 29
will take quite a few months at sublight if the warp engines break down. As
soon as you can scrounge up an escort vessel, plot a course for the Starbase
at Warp 4.”
Wren snapped a salute. “Yes sir.”

* * * * *

When her door chime sounded at 0600, Takashi felt like she hadn’t
slept in a thousand years. She managed to mutter, “Just a moment,” as she
stumbled into the sonic shower and quickly slipped into a new uniform.
When she answered the door, Wren was standing there, with a clear mug of
piping hot ginsing tea.
“Commander, you shouldn’t have.”
“It seems that we started off on the wrong foot last night. I managed
to get a personnel report before you arrived, and I thought this would be an
appropriate apology.”
Takashi gratefully took the offered mug. “Thank you. Come in. I
haven’t unpacked yet.”
“That’s okay. I expect you came right in and fell asleep. You
looked dead.” He stepped in and sat in the offered chair. “You know, one
of my past symbiotes, Kanton Wren, was a historian working on Vulcan.
Did you know that they have this herb called Lembok that is almost
genetically identical to ginsing?”
“Really?” She sat on her bed and sipped the tea. It was brewed to
perfection.
“Absolutely. It makes a phenominal tea as well, that has a strangely
violent reaction to Terran sugar.”
“What kind of reaction?”
“It turns into a gaseous state and expands quickly, shattering
whatever container it’s in.”
Takashi almost spit her tea out, and started to laugh. “I take it
you’ve experienced this particular ‘reaction’ personally?”
Wren laughed as well, a deep, heart-felt laugh. “It blow up right in
poor Kanton’s hands!”
Takashi sipped the rest of her tea, feeling the tension of the past
week ooze from her. “Thank you for the tea, Commander. Now, I believe
you owe me a tour of the ship?”
For the next hour, Wren showed her every nook and cranny of the
Doyle. The ship made very economical use of its 15 decks. The ship could
function with a crew of only 7, but was most efficient with around 25.
There were 2 photon torpedo tubes and 4 phaser banks. The ship’s armory
was larger than an exploration vessel’s, and there was an additional annex
of special equipment with its own Quartermaster. The ship also possessed
a full Holodeck for workouts, simulations, and occasional recreation.
Finally, the tour made its way to Engineering. “This is where all of
the really interesting things are.” They stepped inside, and immediately she
noticed the huge pulsating intermix chamber. The pressure vessel toroids,
or “doughnuts” as they were called by Engineering staff, were smaller but
more plentiful than a standard vessel. Wren walked past it as he spoke.
“Our intermix chamber is more compact than previous models, reducing the
possiblity of warp-core breaches and tell-tale warp signatures. Our speed is
not as good as, say, the Enterprise, but it’s fast enough.”
“Why would reducing our warp signature be necessary? You can
never fully eliminate one, and enemy vessels can track it regardless.”
“That’s where this office comes in.” He led her into the Engineer’s
office. What space was opened up by the smaller intermix chamber was
taken by banks of monitors that Takashi couldn’t begin to understand.
Wren walked over to one labelled FSHJ/ED Systems, and touched a screen.
“When the warp signature is reduced, we can place a false one over it,
giving the illusion of being a different type of starship. That, along with the
FSHJ emitters you noticed yesterday, allows the Doyle to take on a
fascinating transformation.” He punched a few keys, and then turned and
activated the ship’s sensors. “Here. These sensors are set to rebound of off
the shipyard’s sensor beacon. Scan the Doyle’s hull.”
“Why am I scanning…”
“Trust me, Captain. You’ll be in for a surprise.”
She turned to the display, and tightened the sensor display to
rebound and relay the information from the beacon. The screen filled with
the sensor data. She gasped as a Romulan warbird appeared on the screen.
“That’s amazing! We can masquerade as any kind of ship?”
“Almost as good as a cloaking device. We also have our subspace
communications routed through the ED systems, including any visual
signals we send, changing them to any race we have data on.”
“This must be what Maron was talking about.”
Wren laughed. “Probably. He developed the theory behind it while
trying to produce a cloaking device for Bajor, and then for the Federation.
He proposed an alternate system of disguise as opposed to invisibility,
which was sent up to Starfleet Command and filed away. He never
expected it to be made into reality.”
“What does FSHJ/ED Systems stand for?”
“False Sensor Hull Jacket and Electronic Disguise.”
“We’ll need a less clumsy name for these systems.” She reached out,
and pressed a few keys on the screen. Soon, under FSHJ/ED Systems,
appeared the words “Chameleon Device”.
Wren laughed. “I like it.”
Takashi moved to the shield display. “So how do we change the
shape of our shields to match that of the Chameleon?”
“We have converted all of our navigational and defensive shielding
to Multi-Phasic shields. Not only does it complement the FSH… the
Chameleon, but it also increases our defensive capabilities to 250% of
normal.” Wren looked around the office, pleased. “This is one tough little
ship.”
As she examined the rest of the office, her communicator chirped.
“Tee-eye-you to Takashi. We have made contact with the USS Norway,
who will escort us to Starbase 29 to pick up the rest of our crew.”
“Thank you. What crew are on the manifest?”
“Another 15 personnel, and an officer named Saboc.”
“Saboc? I had heard he was in critical condition with his burns.”
There was a pause, and then Tee-eye-you said, “Apparently he is
fine now, Captain.”
She seethed internally. Obviously Tee-eye-you had an attitude
problem. She hoped it wouldn’t cause problems in the furture.
“Understood, Mr. Tee-eye-you. Engage at warp 4.”
She turned and looked at Wren. “Why don’t you take me to my
Ready Room, and we’ll hold the briefing there?”
Wren looked away from the panels, the smile dropping from his
face. “Of course, sir.”

End of Chapter 3

AUTHOR’S NOTE
————-
The Doyle looks a lot like the Defiant (in fact, the Defiant and the Doyle
were parellel projects by the same starship designer), except there are
ridges circling the bridge and the hull. When the ship is in flight, however,
the FSHJ systems “edit out” the ridges, so it is more astetically pleasing.

By the way, SECLAR stands for Security Clearance, XO stands for
Executive Officer, and CMO stands for Chief Medical Officer. Francis
Tee-eye-you is written as you see it, not as TIU (like Arrtoo from Star Wars
is not written R2). The crew will finally be introduced to the reader in the
next chapter, “Briefings”, along with the rest of the interesting technology
of the Doyle and SFI.

If you think this sounds like standard Star Trek fare so far, wait until the
show really starts. There is a whole new structure to SFI, and it does have
an impact on the way the story goes.

Thanks goes to Rick Sternback and Mike Okuda’s “ST:TNG Techical
Manual”. It was invaluable for writing this. Also thanks goes to the writers
of the fanfic “Starbase 17:PIKE”, for proving that covert operations in the
Star Trek universe really is a good idea.

If you have any comments, suggestions, ideas or questions, feel free to
email me at eddywebb@hotmail.com.

ESW 01/09/98

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