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Chapter Notes:

Federation dignitaries inspect the U.S.S. Ark under construction in orbit of the Bolian homeworld..


Star Trek Hunter

Episode 21: The Enemy of My Enemy

Scene 8: A Big Enough Lever


21.8

A Big Enough Lever


The U.S.S. Ark was nearing completion. The first Star Fleet vessel to be commissioned for construction entirely outside of the human homeworld solar system, its commission number was NBWC 1001. It was being built in the Bolarus system, and its construction had been kept very, very quiet. Just as the development of Earth’s first generation of faster-than-light ships had brought humans and vulcans into a close relationship, the development of the Ark was bringing humans and bolians into a much closer relationship.


The design was reminiscent of the classic double-hulled Star Fleet design – with two significant exceptions: The Ark had five hulls – and they were enormous beyond imagination. Instead of one saucer section, there were four, attached above and beneath an enormous, roughly cigar-shaped engineering hull front and rear. Six wings radiated from the center of the engineering hull, each supporting nacelles that were themselves each more than twice the size of an engineering hull for the old galaxy class starships, but looked hopelessly small compared to the enormous saucer sections they had to move. 


The ship seemed to have no front or rear or top or bottom – the engineering hull supported two bridges on opposite ends and opposite poles of the engineering hull. Each saucer section also supported a bridge, in the traditional location at the top.



The U.S.S. Victory, a Galaxy class starship, drifted between two of the saucer sections, entirely dwarfed by them. A unique group of dignitaries stood on the observation deck, inspecting the work in progress.


“It’s a push-me, pull-you,” observed Federation President Maria Rodriguez. “Why is it designed with such a strange configuration?”


Federation Council Leader Ushi Irons put his hand on the shoulder of a very large, elderly bolian. The latter cleared his throat loudly, drawing the attention of everyone present.


“The U.S.S. Ark uses a modular design,” said Web Planning Commissioner Xagg Boles – with an odd emphasis on the word ‘Ark’. “It may surprise you that the Ark is designed for stable flight at warp 9.95. Believe me, it surprises me. We plan ultimately to build three sister ships to the Ark. Any of the four primary hulls can attach to any of the four primary hull ports on the engineering hull and will, once the entire line is created, be interchangeable with any of its sister ships.”


WP Commissioner Boles gestured toward one of the enormous, saucer-shaped primary hulls. “Each primary hull is capable of independent travel at up to warp 4. These ships are being created for major planetary rescue missions. Three primary hulls could be placed in orbit to conduct stabilization and rescue missions while the fourth could remain attached to the engineering hull to take an initial planning and preparation group to a refugee location. That primary hull could be left in orbit to prepare the location for a massive influx of refugees, freeing the engineering hull to return to the disaster location and pick up the other primary hulls as they fill up and are ready for evacuation. The engineering hull is bidirectional to allow it to quickly reverse, saving hours of travel in case of emergency. This also builds resiliency into the system. The engineering hull can sustain a tremendous amount of damage and continue to be fully functional as all functions are at least duplicated and in most cases quadrupled in very remote locations.”


“The Ark appears to be quite well protected,” intoned Emperor Sin IV. “I see evidence of hundreds of interceptor ports. And both the engineering and primary hulls appear to have some extremely large phaser cannon as well as no small number of torpedo tubes. Why all the firepower, Commissioner?”


WP Commissioner Boles shifted uncomfortably. “That was a requirement from Star Fleet. I think I should defer to the Commandant…”


Star Fleet Commandant Barrett th’Zoarhi spoke up. “One of the most prevalent and dangerous byproducts of natural disasters is war, Emperor. We anticipate pressures that may cause us to need to move populations under duress…”


“It appeals to me,” the emperor interrupted, “that we have recently learned a harsh lesson in the value of superplanets – planets like Earth and Bajor that are exceptionally fertile worlds – abundant with life. With the destruction of the greatest superplanet in this part of space, Romulus, we learned how fragile our coalition is and how vital superplanets are to us. And there are no less than five superplanets within the federation that are homes to protected populations. How do you put it? Innocents – those who have not yet developed faster than light travel. It appeals to me that such a mobile space station as the Ark would be perfectly suited for removing these populations from their exceptionally fertile worlds against their will.”


“If we were such a people, why bother moving them at all?” Chief Justice Julian Bashir’s cultured British accent caught everyone’s attention. “If we were such people, we would not need the Ark for that. One ship like this one that we are standing on now would be easily sufficient to enslave a planetary population and cause them and their planet to produce for us.”



A combined shiver ran through the various dignitaries at hearing the Chief Justice describe such harsh eventuality in his trademark suave tones. 



Emperor Sin IV turned his blind eyes toward Bashir. “It also appeals to me that this flying fortress could carry vast amounts of soil and, either with or without the consent of the rescued, pluck an entire world, from the topsoil to the dominant species from the claw of an enemy. Such a world might then be transplanted into the Federation…”


“Emperor,” said Ushi Irons, “What kind of people do you think we are?”


“You misapprehend my concern, Council Leader,” said the andorian emperor. “I am not concerned about the kind of people that we are. I am concerned about the kind of people that we might be tempted to become…”


21.8



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