Star Trek Hunter
Episode 4: Run To Earth
Scene 8: The Carrera Effect
The Carrera Effect
The explosion woke Dr. Carrera, who was dozing lightly at the warp control panel. He immediately checked over the readiness of the zip drive, then checked the ship’s mass. It was off, indicating a hull breach and loss of atmosphere and deck plating, but was restored to the correct amount within seconds. Flight Engineer Tomos’ mass reclamation program worked.
A heartbeat later the command for warp eleven came through. Carrera was ready for it and engaged the zip drive immediately. He then watched with a mixture of dread and pride as his engine thundered to life and did its work. He suppressed an impulse to cheer. This was what he had built these engines to do. Somewhere deep in his mind was an image of Wesley Crusher rubbing his hands together and cackling, “It’s aliiiiivveee…”
Carrera suppressed his inner, manic Wesley Crusher and started giving orders: “Ensign Sun, K’rok, damage control. Dr. Moon, I need you to go to the tactical unit and manage the engine interface. Kerry - get over here and keep an eye on these readings.”
A few moments later Justice Minerva Irons stepped off one of the lifts. “Well done, Dr. Carrera. How long can we keep this up?”
Sarekson Carrera was only 23, but he looked like he was 50 and not in any good way. He was clearly exhausted. But he had already given thought to the answer before the question was asked.
“I don’t know. But my recommendation is no more than three hours. Two, if we can make it two. I take it we are being pursued.”
Irons removed her right hand from the sling and placed her hand on his chest. The limited telepathic contact this gesture gave her was not so much an exchange of thoughts - it allowed her to sense emotions and have a calming effect. Despite all his efforts at emotional control, Dr. Carrera was human - if a brilliant one. Irons’ effect on him was visible - some of the stress and exhaustion evaporated from his face. “Your office, Lieutenant?” She gestured toward the engineering office where Dr. Carrera spent most of his time.
Carrera sagged into his chair as Irons said, “We were ambushed while at warp - we have to assume we are being pursued. Whatever it was, given the power of that attack it had to be a capital ship. That was no pirate. We have to assume they will follow us.”
Carrera responded evenly. “The zip effect will make us difficult to trace. Assuming it’s working properly and not leaving some sort of subspace cavitation. We won’t leave a conventional warp trail.”
“How quickly can you get us to Earth?”
“Assuming we stop, I would recommend going dark. Give me about an hour to check the engines and make adjustments. If all is well, we can be to Earth in about 18 hours,” Carrera said.
Irons’ eyebrows both went up considerably. “That is much better than 22 days. How did you resolve the mass variable problem you were telling me about?”
“Flight Engineer Tomos solved it for me.”
“I didn’t know Tomos was a mathematician,” Irons said.
“He isn’t. He’s a librarian.”
Irons smiled. “So he found the solution in an ancient vulcan library?”
Carrera maintained a level gaze. “He made mass a constant. About twenty minutes ago. Just in time.”
“I am looking forward to hearing more about that,” Irons responded. “Get some rest, Lieutenant. We’re going to need that brain of yours in about two hours and fifty minutes. Have your staff schedule the stopover and QuickQuiet with Lieutenant Commander Mlady. I am needed in Medical.”
Dr. Carrera looked down, then up, “Casualties?”
“Five. I don’t know their status, so do not worry yet, Lieutenant.”
“Aye, Captain… Good luck,” Carrera added as Irons headed toward the lift.