Ensign Maria Alvarez - The Pitch

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Mar 19, 2021, 7:18:06 PMMar 19
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(( USS Arrow, Deck 3, Chief Engineer’s Office ))

{{ Before the awards ceremony }}

(( OOC: Please, feel free to cut down the presentation for your response sims ))

Maria had one thing left to do before finishing her last shift of shore leave and getting ready for the awards ceremony.  With all the excitement of helping Regan, she almost hadn’t finished putting together her report on the status of the ship and crew.  However, with the help of the good doctor, the counselor, and countless hours on the part of the operations department, she had her report.  But more than that, her research into holodecks had reaped its rewards.  Presentation ready, she'd scheduled a time to put forth her findings and recommendations.

Maria had gathered up the engineering officers - Ensigns Ander and Caden.  Together with the captain, the small group made up the audience for her “important meeting.”  She took the role of presenter.  Her hair partially-braided and tied back into a clean power ponytail gave her a sort of sexy, in-charge professorial vibe, especially paired with the well-fitting, freshly pressed skirted uniform she wore today.  The power the uniform had granted her with the Vulcan had gone to her head just a smidge, and it showed as she addressed the three of them in a warm and collected tone.  She confidently assumed control of the space even if she wasn’t at the top of the chain of command.

Alvarez: Officers, our esteemed Captain, thank you for joining me today.

Ander/Caden/Shayne: Response

She launched her presentation like she was pitching to an investment fund, or a powerful broker.  The briefing screen flashed to a stock photo of a miserable looking officer - well, the person was really an actor, but they were dressed like a Starfleet officer.

Alvarez: You may not know it, but the Arrow is in crisis.

The overdramatic words were met with a faintly emotional flair in her voice.  It was a bit of acting - she’d probably normally have a laugh at herself for doing this, but she was quite frankly eager to make the sale, as it were.  She clicked to the next slide showing aggregate crew performance over the last several months.  The measured trajectory of efficacy was self-explanatory, and not pretty.

Alvarez: In the last three review cycles, total crew performance review scores have dropped on average eighteen percent…

She clicked forward again, and a new line popped up, this time in blue and going up.

Alvarez: Reports of tardiness and absenteeism have steadily been on the rise…

She clicked forward again, another strongly correlated linear plot appearing, proving her point.

Alvarez: And worst of all, cases of stress-related injuries have been rising precipitously, even while our counselor and doctor have been working hard to keep up with new cases.  At current rates, I predict no less than six percent of the crew will be unable to serve at their post at any given time within the span of a few months.

She clicked forward to a clipart-style picture of an anthropomorphic drawing of the USS Arrow with an icepack on its forehead and a thermometer sticking out of its ‘mouth,’ looking sad and sick as can be.  Maria only kept her composure from slipping into a grin due to the outsized importance she placed on getting what she was going to ask for.

Alvarez: Combined with increasing rework and systems failures from decreased crew efficiency, Arrow simply won’t be able to operate effectively if these trends continue.

This point wasn’t entirely true, instead she was somewhat overselling the point. Trends weren’t really all that likely to continue, but still, what she was presenting was indeed a very real problem.  She clicked to the next slide, simply showing a cheesy rotating question mark.

Alvarez: Hopefully, like me, you’re all asking yourself how can we reverse these trends, and prevent the ship from total disaster?  I present to you the answer in two words…

The question mark faded out, and a yellow, gently glowing 3D grid faded in behind it.

Alvarez: A holodeck.

She paused for emphasis, allowing the proposal to breath for weight.  She gestured to drive her point home.

Alvarez: Only a few years after Arrow was constructed, holodecks became standard on virtually every Starfleet vessel, even the significantly smaller Nova class.  Starfleet medical found that having even a single holodeck aboard can have a significant benefit for crew morale and mental health, especially on long-duration missions like Arrow’s.

She clicked a slide forward, this one an array of different stock images of happy-looking crewmen.  Again, actors, but that was aside the point.

Alvarez: Besides those benefits, holodecks have repeatedly shown to be useful as engineering and experimental tools, and valuable aids for drilling procedures and training the crew.  So I propose to you - let’s build a holodeck on the Arrow.

Next up came the master systems display of the Arrow, the usual cutaway showing how packed-in the ship was.

Alvarez: There will be a number of technical challenges in this project, but my hope is that Ensigns Ander and Caden will confirm my initial findings that it is, in fact, possible.  The first problem will simply be one of space…

The systems display rendered out a full 3D model of the ship, flipped, and then cutaway to a diagram of the fourth deck.

Alvarez: A little-known fact in starfleet logistics is that approximately 5% of cargo carried around by starships goes unused for the entire life of the vessel.  With some creative trading and offloading, combined with reorganizing the remaining cargo we can free a sufficient volume here on deck four… :: She pointed with her whole hand. :: We’ll need to take down these walls, but none of them are structural.

She moved forward to a power flow diagram of the ship, to demonstrate the next issue.

Alvarez: Besides space, power draw will be the next biggest problem.  Overall, the ship’s power plant is not meant to handle a holodeck, but more specifically the EPS grid on that entire section of the deck is inadequate for a traditional holodeck.  Fortunately, there’s a way around this.

The slides advanced again, showing two pictures side-by-side of technology needed for the project.

Alvarez: The first is photonic scattering panels - special wall material - increasingly common on the latest and greatest holodecks, built to increase the range, spread, and resolution of a single emitter.  Paired with the lowest-power emitters in the Starfleet databanks, a holodeck built in this manner would require fully two orders of magnitude less power, easily fitting into the ship’s energy budget.

Next up was a series of images of isolinear cores, rods, and chips.

Alvarez: The final problem is that of computer power and type.  Arrow’s computer wasn’t designed to handle the load of a holodeck, nor the specialized emitter commands it demands.  We’ll need to build out a small form-factor computer and matching adapter for the Arrow’s systems.  We’ll require around 220 petaflops of computing power, housed in roughly four cubic meters, plus a matching demuxing bus - an adapter so it can talk to Arrow’s systems.  Somewhat exotic, but hardly unheard of: I believe with our esteemed engineering team’s expertise, it should be quite attainable.

The final slide was another stock image of actors dressed as officers venturing forth into an artificial vista, smiles on their faces despite the obvious fade of holodeck grid lines in the background.  She finally allowed herself to give a classic Maria smile as she came to a close.

Alvarez:  Fortunately, construction should be fairly easy, once the design is finalized.  Unfortunately, none of these items are possible to replicate, but I can handle the logistics of acquiring materials for the project, should our engineers agree to help, and of course if our Captain is willing to give his approval.  I strongly suggest you do, and save the ship.

Maria’s slick (if slightly cheesy) presentation came to an end, noted with an equally slick smile as she stood awaiting the judgement of her audience.  There was no doubt that it was a solid idea, and it was aimed at solving a real problem, but she was still anxious about getting sign-off - especially from Shayne.  She had started investigating this project as a way to alleviate the mind-crushing doldrums of endless paperwork, but had ended up a lot more important than that as she discovered the problems she'd presented. The project could very well mean just as much to the rest of the crew as it meant to her, and that made it even more important. She hung on the quiet moment, willing the answer to come forth.

Shayne/Ander/Caden: Response


Ensign Maria Alvarez
Ops Officer, USS Arrow
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