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Friday, April 27, 2012


In previous installments of this series as found in various Captain's Logs, we presented the class histories of some of the most famous Federation old-series destroyers in Star Fleet. Their tales of valor and glory, of missions accomplished and victories won, of worlds explored and civilizations contacted reflect the highest standards of the Star Fleet. Destroyer crews were, it would appear from those earlier entries (particularly Part 2 and the DDG sub-class), the hand-picked elite of the best space navy in the galaxy.

USS HERMETIC: A standard destroyer, the USS Hermetic was designed with a unique damage control system designed to seal hatches and doors in the event the pressure was lost in part of the ship due to battle damage. Unfortunately, the system malfunctioned and sealed the door to every compartment (including the crew quarters) during the shakedown cruise. The captain and senior officers, suspecting that their careers would be ruined if the event "leaked out", simply never reported it to Star Fleet, although they did recommend (fortunately!) that the damage control system not be used and advised Star Fleet that they had deactivated it. As every compartment was sealed, the crew could only move around the ship (e.g., from the quarters, to the mess hall, to their duty stations) by means of the ship's transporters. The work-around worked well enough, and the crew eventually became quite accustomed to this mode of intra-ship transportation, using transporters to report to work at the start of their shifts and to go "home" at the end. The crew was so happy with duty on the Hermetic that no one ever asked for a transfer off the ship! When Star Fleet needed a ship for a long-duration mission, the Hermetic was selected because the crew was obviously quite happy on board and wouldn't mind being away from home for years. Stopping at the first Class-M planet they encountered, the crew discarded the useless turbolift cars (nobody had used them to get to their stations in a year) and filled the turbolift shafts with water and fish beamed up from the planet's oceans, then filled the useless corridors with grass and small animals (the local equivalent of chickens and rabbits). Plumbing drew water from the turbolift shafts to irrigate the corridors, and collected water vapor to refill the "on-board ocean". Waste from the crew was used to feed the animals, plants, and fish on board. In this way, the ship could grow its own food as it went along and did not have to rely on tasteless replicator rations (further contributing to the ship's unusually high crew morale!). The cooks would, when mealtime approached, use transporters to beam the selected livestock (minus the useless innards) directly to the oven. When the General War began, the USS Hermetic was brought back from the Second Fleet and thrown into combat. During the Second Battle of Blackfoot Pass, the USS Hermetic took heavy damage but almost no crew casualties due to its extremely high "internal compartmentalization factor". The ship was boarded by over a hundred Klingon Marines, who rampaged up and down the corridors but could not get into any of the compartments. The crew did not even realize that Klingons were on board until two weeks later, when enterprising Klingon combat engineers managed to pry open the doors to the turbolift shaft, flooding the corridors on the lower decks and triggering alarms when the turnip crop was waterlogged. Faced with an ecological disaster, the crew had no choice but to fly to a nearby Fleet Repair Dock which cut open the long-sealed hatches and restored the ship to its proper design standards. Morale fell to such a low-level that the entire crew resigned en masse (something Star Fleet allowed because no other ship would accept the transfer of such unhappy crewmen).

(c) Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc.