“Captain, I think I have an idea,” came the meek voice of Alan Roberts, at Conn.
Bane looked over to him, genuinely surprised he even spoke, let alone had an idea. “Ok Ensign, the floor is yours. What do you have?”
Alan blushed red, almost to the same hue as his uniform, then spoke. Next to him, at the Operations position (since Lisald was at the rear of the Bridge doing whatever it was he was doing) Ensign Veenak side-eyed him, also surprised he had spoken up. “Sir, I think if we use the deflector dish to, ah, um, emit a high-energy burst of radiocarbons, flooding the space in front of it, we could slow it down or even stop it.”
Bane furrowed his brow. His Engineering background gave him a great deal of expertise in ship systems. He was never a Chief Engineer, or even Assistant Chief Engineer, but he had been in enough engagements when he was a structural and environmental engineer to know how the systems worked, and what they could be modified to do. Just as he was about to speak up, a gravelly voice from directly behind him (and next to the circle of officers still trying to figure out what to do) spoke up.
“That will not work, Alan. The deflector dish is not able to be adjusted to emit physical objects,” said Ensign Jin’Tok at Tactical. He was manning it while Lieutenant Gore was busy in the same circle that Lisald was in.
Bane nodded, about to say the same thing. “He is right, Mr. Roberts. Good effort though. I will remember that during your next evaluation with Commander Larsen,” he said, hopefully cheerfully enough to keep the initiative going in the young officer.
The deep and coarse voice of Jin’Tok speaking had gotten attention of the officers in the circle. Lisald spoke. “However sir,” he began, “That is not without merit. I believe we could use the spirit of that idea.”
Bane turned in his seat to better see the young Bajoran Scientist-turned-Operations Officer. “Go on, Lieutenant.”
Lisald continued. “Well, we could use the warp nacelles to expel the matter,” he began, looking to Liuetenant Anderson, who nodded slightly to him in agreement, and also to encourage his efforts. “Of course, we would have to get in front of it, exposing us to the creature. It is not without risk.”
“Sir,” said Veenak, the Romulan officer at the Operations station, “Forgive my interruption, but wouldn’t that flood the nacelles with radiocarbons, thereby making the nacelles completely unusable until purged?”
Vaat looked to his dear friend. He was extremely relieved that she had followed protocol on the Bridge in front of their superiors, and proud that she had challenged the idea. “As I said,” he continued, pointing to her in way of acknowledgement, “It is not without risk. In addition to it blowing out our nacelles, negating the opportunity for warp speed, it would also put the ship directly in the flight path of the Entity.”
“Sir, I think we could even load up on it. With the inertia of the Cygnus, I could pilot us away from Cardassian space and back out into open space for maybe a tenth or so light years before our relative speed dropped below 300,000 kph. With any luck, it would focus on another food source somewhere else, or give us time to come up with another plan,” Alan stated.
The Captain frowned, thinking. The idea was not without merit. It was, as his officers pointed out, full of risk. He had to weigh if the risk was worth it.
“I believe he is right, Captain,” Lisald said. “Of course, the more radiocarbon we fill into the nacelles, the longer we will be dead in the water, so to speak,” he said, using a nautical reference on many worlds. It would take a considerable amount of time to purge the nacelles, which would either set us up for direct confrontation with the Entity, or leave us here while it continues either to Cardassian space, or to whereever it can find its next meal.”
Plase thought for a moment. “Do we have anything on long range sensor out in unpopulated, open space that could feed this thing for a while until we can figure out another method?” He was met with silence. “Ok, I guess we will cross that particular bridge when we come to it.” Bane had come to a decision. The lives of all those millions of Cardassians, the colonies and the planet were worth more than the lives of those on the Cygnus. A wise philosopher once said “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, of the one.” “Helm, increase speed and get us around it. Mr. Jin’Tok, Red Alert please. All hands, prepare for battle.”