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Author Topic: STARTANK: A Story of the Starfleet Marine Corps  (Read 2865 times)

Offline Col. J.T.

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STARTANK: A Story of the Starfleet Marine Corps
« on: 28 July 2008 01:01 PM »
OK, this is the prologue of a story that I began writing some time ago. I did have it posted on STOnet and got some limited feedback but it didn't exactly get a resounding peal of applause. (Other than from BLZBUB, thanks brother. :wink:) I am hoping that this time out I can get a little more feedback. I have this prologue plus four chapters and a fifth that is, as yet, incomplete. If I get enough of a response I may even be persuaded to write more.

The story is about a unit of Starfleet Marines that have been chosen to be a testbed for some badly-needed technology upgrades. If everyone likes this chapter I will post more of the story.


Prologue: The Presentation
As the stage lights came up and the house lights dimmed, the murmuring from the crowd that had gathered in the lecture hall gradually faded until all was silent. The stage lights also dimmed, then, and the spotlight picked out the podium, at which was standing a man of about thirty-five or forty years. The man’s khaki green uniform, bedecked with medals that glinted in the glare of the spotlight, outlined his fit and lean body, but seemed out of place amid the reds, yellows and blues of the Starfleet officers sitting on chairs behind him. He touched a control on the podium’s face and the huge screen behind him activated. It read:


A Proposal from:
Research and Development Division

The man began to speak in measured tones, looking out at the crowd as if trying to gauge their reaction to his speech. “The primary purpose of Starfleet is the exploration of space. To this end, Starfleet deploys beings of many races around the edges of known space in starships. These starships are outfitted with the most advanced equipment the Federation has to offer.” The screen showed a series starships, followed by a series of still shots of different species that Starfleet had encountered.
“In the pursuit of their endeavors, the crews of these starships are put at considerable personal risk quite often. Away teams are routinely called upon to enter situations that are unknown and potentially hazardous, outfitted with only the barest minimum of equipment. The Consortium feels that this is very poor judgment on the part of Starfleet.”
The display switched to views of starships in combat, firing phasers and torpedoes, ovoid shields flaring as disruptor blasts coruscated along their perimeter. “The secondary purpose of Starfleet is the defence of the Federation. To this end, Starfleet again deploys beings in advanced starships with powerful weapons. This scenario poses an even greater threat to the life and limb of Starfleet personnel.
“The focus of Starfleet Command seems to have been on the ships and not on the personnel aboard them. They have failed to realize that the technology should serve the personnel and not the other way around. They have concentrated too much on protecting the ships and not enough on protecting the crew.
Different computer systems and tools now appeared on the screen. Followed by recordings of Starfleet cadets in classes and simulations. As the man continued with his speech, the display continued to change with alternating moving and still images, graphs and database information to accentuate his points. “Starfleet's greatest asset is not its technology, although that is formidable. Its greatest asset is its people. How they use that technology is what makes all the difference. Starfleet is not using its greatest asset to its full potential. Starfleet personnel are not being taught to utilize their technology to its greatest potential.
“Starfleet personnel are very well trained, motivated, highly intelligent, educated and, moreover, very expensive. It would be extremely poor management of resources to allow such valuable field assets to be lost in preventable accidents. Something as simple as a physical safety harness built into the seat of each duty station would not only protect the person manning the station but it would also keep the person at the station in the event of a collision, malfunction or other event which causes the ship to oscillate unexpectedly. In addition, all duty stations should be staffed in the seated position, rather than the standing position, this change alone would significantly reduce casualties. Inertial dampeners are great but they only function as long as their power source functions.
“Countless Starfleet personnel are lost on away missions because they are improperly protected against physical injury. Utilizing an advanced A.I. computer, such as those found aboard Galaxy class starships and later designs, combined with the most advanced holographic technology, our research team has developed a system that will completely support an individual indefinitely in almost any situation. This system is called S.P.E.D.A.R.:  Starfleet PErsonal Defensive ARmor.
“In our engagements with the Borg, one of the most formidable enemies the federation has ever come up against, we have learned that their single greatest asset is their ability to adapt. Adaptability is the key to the S.P.E.D.A.R. system. By using a combination of many different systems, which can operate independently or interactively as the situation demands, its flexibility makes it uniquely functional in many different circumstances. The system's modular design allows for multiple configurations that allow the individual to tailor it to the specific requirements of the mission. Configurations can range from routine away missions, with little more equipment than is standard issue now, to full-scale ground assault with high-energy weapons and tactical analytical software.
   “S.P.E.D.A.R. takes advantage of cutting edge technology in several fields: Micro-Replication, Micro-Tractor/Repulsor beams, Force fields, Anti-gravity, Holo-Imaging, A.I. software, materials research and weapons technology. While some of these technologies have been around for a very long time, S.P.E.D.A.R. is the first time that all of them have been integrated in a single package. A package that is flexible enough to be used in many different situations. The system is complex enough to be useful in those situations but simple enough that the user does not become overloaded with too much information to act in a given situation.

“The first problem is the Starfleet uniform. Every planet that an away team beams down to has its own unique set of environmental conditions. The terrain can vary significantly on just one part of a planet. Everything from mountains and deserts to jungles and swamps are routinely encountered on unexplored worlds. Weather conditions can vary from extreme heat to extreme cold just between day and night. Torrential rains can become blinding blizzards in a matter of hours. I, personally, would not want to be caught in a blizzard wearing nothing but a shipsuit.
“The standard uniform simply does not cut it in harsh environments. The Starfleet manual says, "The Starfleet uniform is designed for optimum comfort in all environments." Upon review of countless Starfleet mission logs, we find this statement to be in error. The materials from which they are made are flimsy and tear easily. They do not offer protection from impacts, scrapes, cuts, heat, cold or even water. While on board ship, the standard one-, or two-piece shipsuit makes sense. Protection from the environment is not necessary when the environment is computer controlled for optimum comfort. Away missions, however, are a different story. Extravehicular uniforms, at their barest minimum, should be task specific and made from durable materials, with footwear suited to the terrain that is likely to be encountered. One would not wear snow boots to go walking through the desert. By the same token, ship shoes would not be of much use when slogging through a swamp with a fallen comrade on your back. No two away missions are alike, just ask any Starfleet officer, so the uniforms for each mission should not be alike either. Some situations may call for the use of water repellent materials, while other situations may warrant the use of camouflage patterns or even lightweight armor.
“The S.P.E.D.A.R. uniform has built-in thermal transfer micro-coils for heating and cooling, as well as 100% resistance to water in its liquid form -- even when completely submerged -- while allowing water vapor to pass freely, for example: sweat. This alone makes it superior to the standard uniform in hotter environments. It is also equipped with optional, embedded armor. It can, of course, be whatever color the mission requires including, obviously, standard Starfleet colors. Models that are more specialized can incorporate exo-skeletal support structures to augment physical strength and speed.
“The next problem is defence. Personal force fields have been in use for decades. These should be standard issue for all Starfleet personnel, who should be required to wear them at all times, while on duty. The rule should be, “If the ship’s shields are up, then the crew’s shields should be up as well.” Even on board ship, hazards can be sudden and unexpected. A hull breach will blow all personnel in the affected area into space. If they are wearing a personal force field, they can activate it in time to save themselves from explosive decompression and live long enough to be picked up after the emergency is finished. If they are using S.P.E.D.A.R., the force field is activated automatically, as soon as the threat is detected. A ruptured plasma conduit is also a very real danger in conflict situations or emergency maneuvers. A force field would keep plasma discharges, toxic elements and other hazards from impairing the ability of personnel to perform their duties by keeping them safe from physical harm.
“If the ship were boarded by intruders then the force fields would be excellent protection against their weapons, making it that much more difficult to take the ship.
“Using our system, whenever an energy weapon hits the force field, S.P.E.D.A.R.'s on-board computer continuously analyses the energy signature of the radiation and adjusts the frequency, amplitude and modulation of the field to give the best protection. It will also modify the size and shape of the field to maximize heat dissipation. The force field's default setting is one millimeter from the skin or clothing with which it is most closely in contact, making it possible to manipulate objects and controls while the force field is activated. In case of contact with itself (such as the user's fingers manipulating controls on their arm-mounted P.A.D.D.), the two areas of the field in contact merge, forming one contiguous shape surrounding the two objects within the field.
“In addition to a personal force field, ablative armor, made from new, lightweight ceramics designed by our R&D teams, can be embedded in the uniform to increase protection in the event of a force field failure.
“Mobility can be a major issue in some scenarios. Anti-grav units have also been in use for decades. Our R&D teams found it easy to adapt them for personal use without the need for bulky boots. A simple device attached to the belt provides more than sufficient mobility for any person and it can easily support the weight of another individual as well as the user. Personal gravity control negates the necessity to walk, run, swim or climb in any type of terrain. It also allows the user to nullify the weight of the equipment that he is carrying and to adjust personal gravity to standard in high- or low-G environments.
“In flight mode, the anti-gravity unit manipulates gravitic fields to allow the user to fly as long as he is within a gravity-well. It is necessary to be within a gravity-well because the unit uses the force of the gravitational field as a 'base' to push against. By angling the graviton flow, relative to the central locus of the gravitational field in which it is located, the unit can effect movement in any direction. Flight parameters can be voice activated or adjusted, in-flight, manually on an arm mounted P.A.D.D. or via our 'Positional Orientation by Intuitive Navigational Tracking', or, P.O.I.N.T. flight control system. The user simply extends, or, "points" their hand in the direction he/she wishes to travel and the computer interprets his/her hand movements as flight commands. Either hand can be designated as the "Joystick" hand. The "Joystick" hand controls the direction of travel, while the opposite hand controls acceleration. The interface is similar to the old-style manual flight controls, but without the physical handgrips. Inertial dampeners allow for high acceleration or high G evasive maneuvers.
“Although the anti-grav flight system incorporated into the S.P.E.D.A.R. system is outstanding in its performance, it is not always possible to fly to your destination. In some cases there is no access from your current position, in others it might not be wise to allow those around you to know that you possess the capability of flight. Situations like these and others have prompted us to include a site-to-site transporter system in the S.P.E.D.A.R. matrix. If access is denied to a certain objective by more conventional means, the transporter can be used to gain the required access. However, the small size of the unit limits its capacity and range. Since it requires more power to transport more mass, the distance is reduced proportionately to the mass transported. Thus, the unit can transport one humanoid of average size and weight a distance of approximately five kilometers, or two humanoids approximately half that distance, and so on.
“The energy requirements of the unit are quite high. Typically, the unit can be used only two to four times, depending on distance and mass transported, before recharging is required. Because of its energy requirements, we were not initially planning to incorporate the transporter into the system but we decided that the potential benefits of an on-board transporter in times of emergency outweighed the power drain on the system.
“Many situations, such as emergencies, rescue or combat, to name just a few, may require physical strength or brute force that is beyond the capacity of most humanoids. Recent advances in tractor beam technology now make it feasible to equip Starfleet personnel with hand-held or integral arm-mounted micro-tractor beams. These micro-tractors are capable of lifting over one thousand kilograms, or applying the same force laterally (To open jammed bulkhead doors for instance).
“In addition, by setting the unit to affect objects; the user can use the micro-tractor to bring objects to him or, by setting the unit to affect himself, he can manoeuvre in a zero G environment.
“Many times a mission has been aborted or has failed outright because the away team lacked a simple tool that would accomplish a simple task. Expanding on systems designed by Dr. Khyra Farallon, for use with EXO-COMPS, portable micro-replicators that are small enough to be hand-held or arm-mounted can be programmed to replicate hundreds of useful tools. Anything from a coil spanner or a flux coupler to a knife or a lock pick can be replicated. It can also be programmed to replicate emergency rations, water, medicine and medical tools, or even breathable air.
“In addition, these replicators have the capacity to cannibalize replication mass from elements in the surrounding environment to supplement their own, on board, replication mass. Thus, theoretically, they could replicate nearly unlimited supplies, as long as their power lasted.
“If the sensors detect a hazardous environment, such as hard vacuum, smoke or toxic vapor, the force field activates and the replicator immediately begins converting exhaled CO2 into breathable air. The oxygen is recirculated and the carbon is stored as supplemental replication mass. Our tests have shown that using the replicator in addition to a standard self-contained breathing apparatus can effectively multiply the amount of breathable air by a factor of ten. However, due to the fact that air supply must be continuously maintained, when in atmosphere recycling mode, the replicator cannot be used for any other purpose. A second, independent air-recycling unit will be incorporated in the next design phase.
“The replicator can, in some instances, be used to make repairs on the equipment being carried by the user. For instance, if the user's phaser unit is damaged, the replicator can access its database of all the equipment the user has selected for the mission and then replicate a new one, using the cannibalized mass of the old unit supplemented with its own on-board replication mass
“In situations where subterfuge is necessary, and the complete S.P.E.D.A.R. system cannot be utilized, we recommend that only the portable micro-replicator be taken on the mission. This one tool can produce a phaser, a tricorder, local currency or whatever other tools might be necessary to accomplish the mission. In effect, it is 'A thousand tools in one'. (Actually, the possibilities are far greater in number) In field tests, the replicator has proven so useful that we strongly urge Starfleet to make it a standard-issue field tool.
“Sensor technology has also advanced in past years. Beginning with standard V.I.S.O.R. technology, our group has developed a simple, lightweight, head-mounted sensor package that significantly improves visual and aural capability. Scanning is three dimensional in 360 degrees and includes the entire EM spectrum and sub-space with telephoto and micro-scan in the visual range of the EM spectrum. All standard tricorder functions, including bio-med functions, are built into the sensor system.
“Digital overlays and all status displays can be projected directly onto the retina through our patented Retinal Laser Projection Display (R.L.P.D.) system or through cybernetic implants. Real-time 3D imaging allows control interfaces to be placed mid-air around the user, if desired, visible only to him. Aural sensors vastly improve hearing while a threshold buffering system prevents loud sounds from deafening the user. Aural information is transmitted to micro-earphones or again, through cybernetic implants.
“In addition, while it is active, the sensor array continuously monitors the user's physical condition and surrounding environment and updates him of significant changes. All sensor data can be routed through the wide-band subspace transceiver array and transmitted to any receiver in range. This would allow command officers to see and hear everything that the user sees and hears as well as keep an eye on the status of all personnel on the mission. For security reasons, this feature cannot be activated by anyone except the user without command-code clearance.
“In light of Starfleet's contact with the Borg and other highly aggressive and technologically advanced species, we deemed that modification of Starfleet weapons systems was absolutely necessary. S.P.E.D.A.R.'s on-board weapons control systems can accommodate everything from standard issue hand-phasers to high-energy phaser cannon, capable of destroying a shuttlecraft in a single blast (If its shields are down). Any configuration is possible, depending on the situation. Obviously, phaser cannon would not be appropriate for a routine rescue aboard a space station, but would be appropriate for a full-scale assault on a Dominion entrenchment on a hostile planet.
“We have re-tooled the standard Mk. III hand phaser so that it can be mounted on the outer forearm, with the trigger linked to sensor pads on the palm of the hand. We call this adaptation the Mk. VI. and we recommend it as the main weapon platform for maximum delivery of firepower in the smallest package .The Mk. VI is a hyper-velocity regenerative phaser that has been modified so that it does not always fire a single collimated beam. Instead, when set on maximum, it fires high-energy pulses that are much more intense than a normal phaser beam. The pulses are computer-controlled so that the temperature of the impeller coil has time to decrease before the next pulse begins. Because the pulses are very short, (they are measured in milliseconds) the amplification crystal does not have time to overheat and burn out before the pulse ends. The combined intensity of the phaser pulses is approximately twice the intensity of a Mk. III hand phaser set on level 16.
“The MK. VI also automatically randomizes the frequency of the beam or the pulses so that it never fires at the same frequency twice. By varying the meson and lepton flux in the firing chamber at the quantum level, almost infinite settings can be achieved. By using the covariant value of the meson and lepton flux itself as the randomizing factor, there can be no pattern to the randomization and the next frequency can never be predicted. This is possible because every time the flux is changed, a new value for the covariant is generated. Quantum Theory dictates that the value of the covariant can never be the same value twice in the same continuum, giving an infinite set. Since the next frequency used by the phaser is based on the value of the covariant, it can also never be the same and therefore can never be predicted.
“The Mk. XII phaser cannon is shoulder mounted and fired either by voice command or manual control. Servos in the base of the unit continuously align the Mk. XII with the targeting reticle on the user's display. The targeting reticle can be set to follow the movement of the user's eyes so that the user can aim and fire by simply looking at the target and giving the computer the command to fire. It can also be set to follow a targeting laser or be given a target designation verbally or from another computer. The MK. XII also uses the Quantum Randomizing System so its discharges also cannot be predicted.
“A Mk. LXXXII photon grenade launcher can be shoulder mounted and aimed & fired in the same manner as the Phaser cannon or arm mounted and aimed & fired manually. (We recommend the former.) Being a projectile launcher, the MK. LXXXII can be configured to fire a variety of ammunition besides photon grenades. It can also fire concussion grenades, flash grenades, smoke, tear gas, even non-lethal stunner grenades (Useful, for instance, in crowd pacification).
“The highly diversified ammunition for the MK. LXXXII is supplied by a secondary, integral micro-replication system. The specialized replication mass, consisting of base elements used in the manufacture of explosives and casings as well as a quantity of anti-matter, is stored in cartridges, which can be individually loaded and ejected from the weapon like magazines. Each cartridge contains enough mass to replicate up to twenty rounds of varying types of ammunition and enough antimatter to replicate ten photon grenades.
The user simply selects the desired ammunition from a list on the weapon's readout on his display or gives the command verbally and that ammunition is continuously replicated directly in the firing chamber until the selection is changed or the cartridge runs out of mass.
“Although these should be all the weapons anyone would need, the system is adaptable to almost any weapon designed to be carried by a humanoid. All weapons systems are computer linked and, given enough lead-time, tactical displays can show targeting information and damage assessment for each weapon before firing.
“The Starfleet uniform is highly visible and very recognizable. This is deliberate; The Federation wants its citizens to be able to recognize their protectors easily. But let's face it; not everybody feels that Starfleet is their ally. Sometimes it is better if the beings by which you are surrounded don't know that you're Starfleet. Even if they don't recognize the uniform, there is no mistaking that black and red or black and gold target walking through the woods.
“The Holo-Imaging Camouflage System (H.I.C.S.) is a state of the art system that is designed for camouflage and evasion. When the H.I.C.S. stealth mode is activated, the on-board sensors continuously scan the surrounding terrain for colors and patterns. Using a holographic matrix, which is woven into the uniform, the system projects those patterns around the user in such a way that, seen from any angle, whatever is behind the user is projected in front of him and vice-versa. This renders him virtually invisible in the visual spectrum. Unlike similar holographic camouflage systems, such as those used in “Duck Blind” observations of pre-warp species, the H.I.C.S. system is completely self-contained and is therefore not reliant on an external power source or projector.
“The thermal suppression system can also be used to make him nearly undetectable in the infrared spectrum as well. It is not a cloaking device (The power required for an actual cloak is too great to feasibly integrate it into the S.P.E.D.A.R. system.) but it is similar in function. NOTE: The H.I.C.S. system, not being a true cloak, is only functional in the visible and infrared wavelengths of the EM spectrum. Subspace scans and certain molecular-displacement motion detectors will reveal the presence of the user. Also, if the user is too noisy the results are obvious. It should also be noted that the thermal suppression system uses the thermal transfer coils in the uniform to retain the heat generated by the user's body and heat build-up can be very rapid. It is therefore recommended that the user be taught not to rely too heavily on the protection of the H.I.C.S. system. There is no substitute for true cover.
“The H.I.C.S. system can also be used to alter the outward appearance of the user. While in full S.P.E.D.A.R. armor, the user can appear to be in a standard Starfleet uniform or anything else he/she wishes. It can even alter the appearance of the user's facial features so he/she can appear to be Human, Vulcan or any other humanoid race of similar general size and shape. This would reduce the necessity for time consuming and possibly dangerous surgery to alter the user's physical features to better blend in with the local inhabitants of an unexplored world. This kind of disguise will not fool a tricorder or other scanning device but it will fool the naked eye.
“The S.P.E.D.A.R. system takes all these advances and integrates them into one efficient, adaptable package, controlled by an on-board Advanced Tactical Interface Computer, (A.T.I.C.). The A.T.I.C. system-management software uses input from the sensors and the user to automatically configure key functions and displays.
“Tactical threat-recognition software, based on holodeck safety protocols is part of the A.T.I.C. system. Unless the user disables the threat system, the computer will automatically scan the surrounding area for possible threats. It will then assign these threats priority values, based upon how immediate the threats are. Finally, the computer will notify the user of important information such as possible targets, environmental hazards or incoming communications. In some cases, the computer will automatically activate or adjust personal and defensive systems without notification, if the threat priority is high enough, to protect the user from unseen or unknown hazards. (For example, if gravitational systems on board ship fail, the A.T.I.C. computer will automatically activate the user's personal gravitational controls and set them to one standard G, or any other setting the user desires.) Because of its ability to act independently it relieves the user of the burden of control and allows him to respond to the situation instead of responding to controls and displays. All systems can be operated either through voice interface or, if the situation requires stealth, either through manual input on a standard hand-held or arm mounted P.A.D.D., or through eye-blinks on the user’s visual display.
“All of S.P.E.D.A.R.’s tactical and control system hardware is designed to be ergonomically mounted directly on the user's body for hands free use. Hardware and software are dynamically sealed against E.M.P. and subspace jamming.
“Communications systems can vary greatly but it is highly recommended that implantation of subdermal communicators become standard procedure for all Starfleet personnel. This would considerably reduce the possibility of losing one's communicator or having it taken from him/her. The transceiver could be implanted in a tooth and activated/deactivated by a simple double-bite in quick succession.
“The A.T.I.C. system has a built-in Universal Translator and is set by default to automatically link via subspace transceiver to the largest database in its range. Once this is accomplished, the user can easily access any unsecured data in the remote database through his display. If necessary, decryption algorithms built into the A.T.I.C. system can decrypt most secured databases. For security reasons, the A.T.I.C. system is designed to leave a very distinct `footprint' on Starfleet databases and any unauthorized access to restricted systems will have to be justified to superior officers. Independent, dynamically adaptive security and anti-virus software is hard-wired into the system preventing virtually any foreign incursions without proper authorization.
“The S.P.E.D.A.R.’s power system is unique. Again, adaptability is key. Away missions and tactical operations can sometimes last for weeks or even months. Powered armor is not much use without power and bringing enough power cells to last that long would be inefficient and would create a logistics nightmare. To counteract this, S.P.E.D.A.R.’s power system is specially designed so that it can be recharged from virtually any source of energy. Whenever the system's power becomes low enough, the automatic solar recharger is activated. Solar cells built into the uniform's material begin collecting available light and transforming it into energy that can be utilized by the S.P.E.D.A.R. power system. It can also be recharged from a standard power outlet, a plasma conduit, a source of electrical energy (including lightning) or any thermal source (even, as a last resort, body heat). (We are currently working on a way to use the energy from incoming weapons fire such as a phaser or disrupter to power the on-board force field. Theoretically, this would make the force field nearly impervious to any energy weapon. The more powerful the weapon fired at the field, the more powerful the field becomes. We are still working on this modification and will implement it as soon as its development is complete.)
“Recharge time varies depending on the amount of available energy, (to fully recharge the unit using only body heat would take about two weeks with zero usage) but average recharge time from a standard power source is approximately one hour. The unit can, of course, be fully powered up in seconds by simply replacing the power packs, but, obviously, this is not always possible in the field. A full charge will last between forty-eight hours and eight standard days, depending on usage, before recharge is required. Each of the S.P.E.D.A.R. adapted sub-system modules such as weapons and gravitics come, standard, with their own independent power source. Thus, once integrated with the system they draw power from it only when their own power cells are depleted. This allows the main power packs to last that much longer before recharge becomes necessary.
“Most of the developments used in S.P.E.D.A.R. are already in use or are improvements on existing technology. This makes it easy to implement the system because it does not require a long training period to become accustomed to the equipment, and the cost would not be prohibitive. What is new is that this is the first time that all these systems have been integrated into one complete package designed with intuitive controls for ease of use. The entire package includes uniform, armor, weapons, defensive systems, including the holo-imaging array and force fields, gravitic control, tractor-beam, replicator, transporter and computer system, all in one harmonized unit. Depending on the configuration used, the main hardware and power packs for the system can be worn as a belt or a backpack. The weight of the belt or backpack, of course, would be negated by the gravitic systems, if they were used.
“One of the most important features of the S.P.E.D.A.R. system is that it normally does not require maintenance. The entire pattern is embedded in a program that can be stored on any computer. The user simply has to access the program from his terminal and tailor the system to the needs of the current mission and his own physical parameters. The pattern can then simply be replicated on any standard replicator terminal, whole or piece-by-piece. The program saves the patterns and user dimensions automatically when the armor is first replicated so once the mission is over, the user can simply put the uniform into the recycling unit. In the field, maintenance can be performed easily by utilizing the replicator system. If the replicator is damaged and the user must repair the unit manually, full specifications and diagrams of the complete system are downloaded to the computer when the armor is replicated and are available in the on-board database.
“It must be emphasized that NO Borg technology has been used in the design or construction of the S.P.E.D.A.R. system. It was designed and constructed using ONLY Federation technology.
“The Consortium realizes that Starfleet is not -- nor does it wish to become -- a primarily military operation. Its primary mission is to explore space and seek out new civilizations. The Federation would like to coexist peacefully with them, but we must all face the fact that this is not always possible. Despite its desire to the contrary, the Federation will always have adversaries. Some of these adversaries will be at least as technologically advanced as we are. Some will be more advanced. Some will be peaceful and some will be aggressive.
“Diplomacy is always the preferred method for resolving differences but when diplomacy breaks down, armed conflict is sometimes the only option. Contact with civilizations such as the Borg, the Dominion and the Breen, which between them cost not only hundreds of ships but also millions of lives, have shown that a higher emphasis on the military capability of Starfleet is essential. The Federation, through Starfleet, must be prepared to not only wage war, but to win it. Lives lost in conflicts with species such as the Borg, the Dominion and the Breen are not only lost in space but in countless ground battles. Starfleet must not only increase the tactical and defensive capabilities of its ships, it must increase the ability of its personnel to defend themselves and withstand physical attack or injury on a personal basis.
“Whether in conflict situations or on routine away missions, we sincerely believe that implementing the S.P.E.D.A.R. system on a large scale would significantly reduce the number of needless casualties among Starfleet personnel.
“The implementation of this system on a limited basis within the ranks of the Starfleet Marine Corps, to date, has significantly reduced the number of casualties both in training and on duty and it is our wish that, by further funding this research, Starfleet will be able to extend the protection of the S.P.E.D.A.R. system to all of its personnel.
“Thank you for your time and consideration. Are there any questions?”

Hi, my name is J.T. and I'm a STO-net survivor.

Offline BLZBUB

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Re: STARTANK: A Story of the Starfleet Marine Corps
« Reply #1 on: 28 July 2008 03:13 PM »
 Right on Colonel! Perhaps you'll be able to supply me with the next chapter that I hadn't recieved from you before.

BTW people, Col. J.T. has an excellent novel started here, so give it a read, okay? I insist! Or else.....  :vaporize:
Fleet Admiral BLZBUB,
Fleet Commanding Officer,
Lotus Fleet