Part of USS Cygnus: A Failure to Communicate

Power Allocation

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Not a day had gone by since Lisald had agreed to Captain Stafford and Commander Pope taking over the Chief of Operations post on the U.S.S. Cygnus that he didn’t have trouble with managing the resources of the ship. Someone in some section of every department on the ship wanted more resources. Tactical wanted more power for their targeting scanners. Security wanted more power for their forcefields. Engineering wanted more power to the ODN network. Waste Reclamation wanted more power to handle the backlog in their solid waste containers. Science wanted more power for sensors. The Executive Officer wanted more power to the…well, Lisald couldn’t remember right now, but he knew the XO wanted it five minutes ago, naturally. The Captain wanted more power for, well, everything. 

In order to give every system on the ship power to operate at 100% peak efficiency, the warp core and generators on the Cygnus needed to generate 2,847 Cochrane-units of power. The Warp core could serve out a maximum of 1,500 Cochrane-units when operating at 100% efficiency, according to what Lieutenant Anderson had told him, and the warp core never operated at that peak, main for safety and longevity reasons. The two power generators could give an additional 745 Cochrane-units of power, generally speaking for emergency operations only, but that power could be allocated into the power distribution network if needed. That was a grand total of 2,245 Cochrane-units of power the ship could generate at maximum at any given time, leaving a deficit of 602 Cochrane-units of power. Hence the need for someone to be there to allocate power as needed, or as the XO or Captain demanded.

Lisald cocked his head to the side for a moment before straightening it back out. It wasn’t fair of him to think that about the Captain wanting power for everything. During their staff meeting yesterday, he specifically stated he wanted all available power shunted to the Science Department for their scanning and research. Lisald was jealous of Albert; Lisald yearned for his days back in Science.

The order clear and specific, the young Bajoran Lieutenant junior grade went about pulling power. The easiest was from the shields. The power to the shields was incredible and immense. He dropped the power allocation from them. During normal operations, 50% of maximum power was allocated to the shields. Lisald went ahead and dropped that power allocation to 35%, giving him an additional 172 millicochrane-units of power for Ensign Spangler and his Department. He quickly sent a note to Lieutenant Gore letting him know of the change. Lisald was sure Gore wouldn’t mind right now. In the case of Red, or even Yellow alert, the ships’ computers would automatically allocate 100% of maximum power to the shields and phaser systems. 

Thinking of the phaser and torpedo launchers, he also took 15% of available power from those too, though that only yielded him 9 millicochrane-units, which he funneled into Science.

He thought about taking power from the warp nacelles, impulse engines and thrusters, but Lisald thought better of it. He didn’t want the first impression of the maneuverability of the Cygnus being sluggish to the new Captain and Executive Officer, so he left those operating at their current efficiency and power levels, 80 percent in normal operations mode. He did, however, reduce the power available to the fire suppression systems to 50% of output. This was a First Contact mission, and an exploratory mission. In his estimation, the chances of an uncontrolled fire on the ship seemed extremely remote. He made sure to let Engineering know about this, just in case the unthinkable happened. Another 2 millicochrane-units went to the Science Department.

Starfleet regulation stated that communications systems must, at all times, be powered with optimal power flow, not to fall blow a minimum 99% of efficiency. As it turned out, that is what the power efficiency was running at with communications, so Lisald bypassed that system to look for additional power. So far, the power output to Science was now at 94%, much higher than the traditional 80% that he kept it at. He imagined if Mr. Spangler ever knew that he was only operating at 4/5ths of full efficiency, he would pop an EPS conduit in his head or something. The vision flashed in his head of Spangler’s head doing just that, which was quite amusing.

Even though Lisald had been working on this now for the better part of four hours, he could not afford to lose concentration. The Captain wanted his Science Department working at peak efficiency, and Lisald wanted to be sure that his friend and former Assistant had the tools necessary to not just complete the task ahead of him, to to excel at it. Refocusing, he came across the transporter systems. Again, per Starfleet regulation, the ship had to maintain at least two crew transporters, the emergency transporters, and one cargo transporter, along with the shuttlebay and at least three shuttles in operation. With the extra shuttle that Commander Larsen brought aboard, as well as the extra runabout that Lieutenant Anderson brought aboard, they were flush with extra craft. He shut down the power to four transporter rooms (there were seven total) as well as the ship-based power feeding the all of the shuttles plus two extra they had, sans the three required by regulation. He sent a note to Ensign Robinson letting her know to oversee the powering down of the transporter systems and all of the support craft they could get away with. 

The Chief of Operations would have loved to shut down one of the three main computers, but that was strictly prohibited by Starfleet. If he could, that would give him almost as much power to play with as shutting down the transporter systems. Alas, he kept looking. He was getting close to his goal of 100% power to all of the Science Department though. Only another 3% to go.

Vaat took another look at the life support system. He initially didn’t even look at this system, but being so close to his goal, it was an easy one. He knew he didn’t want to shut down power to any of the decks, even though Deck 18 was only for the Enlisted Crewmen. If he could figure out a way to berth them (almost 100 of them), he could shut down power of every kind to that deck. Lights, heat, gravity, air, replicating systems, sonic showers, everything. After working on the logistics of doing that for the better part of half an hour, he gave up. He just couldn’t make it work without severe disruption to more than just those 100 crewmen.

He was able to reduce some of the crew support systems in order to push power into the Sciences, but only just a little. He shut down turbolift 4, 7 and 9 (being sure to send a message to the whole crew about the temporary shutdown). That got him to 99% maximum power for the Sciences. Just one more percent, and he didn’t know yet where to find it.

Lisald reviewed what he had done already. He had pulled the vast majority of the power from shields. He had gotten power from internal forcefield generation. He had taken power from the phasers and torpedo launcher systems. He took power from the fire suppression system. He took power from the transporters and extra shuttle maintenance systems and power from the crew support system, specifically a couple of the less-used turbolift cars and shafts.

The only other system he could pull power from which didn’t have a complete bearing on this mission was the Tractor Beam systems. He thought he should probably leave the forward, aft and shuttlebay tractors at their normal operating power needs and turned off the starboard, aft, dorsal and ventral tractor beams to get the final amount of power needed for the Science Department. Once he had done so, the power allocation was at 101.3 percent of normal in Science. 

Smiling, he hit his commbadge. “Bridge to Captain Bane. Sir, maximum power has been allocated to the sensor systems and to the Science Department.”

=/\= Good work Lieutenant. Bane out.=/\= came the short reply. It was all Lisald needed.

Lisald hit his badge again. “Lisald to Spangler. Al, your department is now powered to 101.3%. We are really looking forward to all you discover for us.”


Lieutenant junior grade Lisald Vaat

Chief of Operations

USS Cygnus