Shuttlecraft Outings - Season Five
- Shall I stretch a point and mention Captain Proton's rocket ship? You know, I think I will... Doctor Chaotica, whose acquisitive tendencies run to adding Earth to his collection of planets and the appreciation of dinky little space ships with rivets, is using Proton's rocket ship to lead his space force into battle against the combined forces of Earth. Captain Proton, gaining access to the ship with the aid of the Rocketeer's jet pack, manages to get the drop on Chaotica, free his comrades and save the day. Unfortunately, nobody seems to remember to do anything about the self destruct button that was pushed when Chaotica first came on board. The only reason the Protector of Earth and Scourge of Intergalactic Evil's rocket ship doesn't blow up is because the Doctor gatecrashes the holodeck program and freezes it before it gets the chance.
- In a self sacrificing mood, Janeway proposes to stay behind while the rest of the crew go through a vortex which will cut two years off their journey, in order to destroy it behind them and protect the race who live in the void where it is located. She orders Tuvok to have a heavily armed class two shuttlecraft prepared for her, and while she seems confident that she'll make out okay alone, it seems likely that the life expectancy of both herself and the shuttle will be extremely short once the Malon catch her taking pot shots at their precious vortex. Fortunately, calmer and more rational heads prevail, and the plan is dropped.
Shuttles lost/destroyed to date: 9
- A crew consisting of Tom Paris, B'Elanna Torres, Seven of Nine and the Doctor takes a class two shuttlecraft out to do an astronomical survey of a forming nebula. The Doctor takes along a holo-imaging device to take some holiday snaps, B'Elanna complains about the cramped conditions inside the shuttle, Paris reminisces about Academy days when they used to cram half a dozen cadets into these shuttles for weeks at a time, and Seven suggests that perhaps it's time to build a bigger shuttle. It's certainly time to build a more indestructable one, as the rapidly expanding baby nebula swallows up the shuttlecraft. Caught in the gravimetric sheer, they lose engines, and are unable to break the shuttle free of the nebula. The away team have to be beamed back to safety without it.
- B'Elanna Torres goes orbital skydiving on the holodeck. She makes her jump from a holographic shuttlecraft, piloted by a holographic pilot... presumably because he won't argue back too much when she disengages the safety protocols.
- The first miniature prototype of the Delta Flyer takes shape on the holodeck, as its design team ponder materials and argue over creative differences. Paris attempts to add dynametric tail fins to the nacelles. This shuttle is his baby, and he wants it to look just like a hot rod. Tuvok orders them deleted again. Doubtless there's something in the Dictates of Poetics to cover the appropriateness of decorative embellishments to engineering projects as well...
- B'Elanna runs a holodeck simulation of the final design of the Delta Flyer to test out how much of a problem there might be with hull microfractures during the ship's descent into the atmosphere of the gas giant that is to be the new ship's rather taxing test flight. The trouble is, she does it with the safety protocols off. Atmospheric pressure exceeds the tolerance levels of the simulated shuttle's structural integrity, and the microfractures appear right on schedule.
- The Malon are also building a shuttle. Theirs launches first, although it loses attitude control when the speedier Delta Flyer catches up and Seven makes a successful test of its weapons. The Malon shuttle is last heard of struggling to climb out of the gas giant's atmosphere.
- The Delta Flyer makes its maiden flight, in all the glory of its ultra-aerodynamic contours, retractable nacelles, parametallic hull plating, unimatrix shielding and Borg inspired weapons systems... It's minus those dynametric tail fins, but Paris has managed to incorporate some suspiciously old fashioned levers and dials in the interests of having controls that enable him to feel his ship respond. The shuttle's crew on that first flight are Tom Paris, Seven of Nine, Harry Kim and B'Elanna Torres. Chakotay was supposed to be there, but swapped places with B'Elanna at the last minute. Lucky for the Delta Flyer, and not just for his usual hex on all things shuttle related. B'Elanna pulls off a miraculous save when the shuttle's hull starts to fracture under the stresses, first improvising a hasty patch to gain time, and then jury rigging a shield generator out of a power cell, a phaser, and some sticky backed plastic. (Okay, so I was lying about the last of those!)
In The Flesh
- The away team investigating a curious space station that is the source of what seems to be a Federation subspace transmission goes in the Delta Flyer to take a closer look. Tuvok and Chakotay beam down for a reconnaissance - and a few double takes when they find themselves wandering around what looks like Starfleet Headquarters - while Paris and Kim remain on the Flyer. They've an extra passenger on the way back, an 8472 ensign who asked too many awkward questions.
- While Voyager hides out behind a nearby moon, Paris and Kim take Chakotay back for a second visit. He's due for a big night out, dating a member of Species 8472, and they're his ride home. Well, that's the plan, anyway. After Paris complains that Harry's wearing out the Delta Flyer's deck plates with his incessant pacing, Kim's fears turn out to be justified. Chakotay gets captured, and the Flyer loses its shields when Species 8472 finally notice it on their doorstep and take a few potshots at it. It heads back for its home in shuttlebay two before it gets hit again.
Once Upon A Time
- The Delta Flyer, with a survey team consisting of Tom Paris, Tuvok and Samantha Wildman, is caught in a series of ion storms. Battered and damaged, with the warp and impulse drives offline, severe damage to their primary systems and life support failing, they look for an emergency landing site. Unfortunately, the only available planetoid is a mass of impact craters and volcanoes, so the best they can manage is to crash down in a big meteor crater and hope for the best... particularly as they've just lost starboard thrusters as well. Leaving a trail of debris behind it, but with its primary hull intact - just - the Flyer ends up buried under three kilometres of benomite rubble, which make it impossible for its stranded crew to get a comm signal back to the ship. All they can do is sit tight and wait for someone to come and dig them out. Fortunately the rescue teams cut close enough to place a few pattern enhancers and beam the entire shuttle back to Voyager before life support gives out entirely. But it's a close enough call for them to have recorded their final messages and be down to their last gasp.
- In an attempt to overcome a phase variance problem with Voyager's experimental new quantum slipstream drive, Chakotay and Harry Kim take the Delta Flyer through the slipstream a couple of seconds ahead of the bigger ship, to collect data on the slipstream's threshold, make the necessary calculations, and send back the phase correction information. Obviously things go wrong. Well, Chakotay is piloting. Harry gets his sums wrong and Voyager gets bumped out of the slipstream in rather a terminal way. The Flyer continues on alone, since it would be suicide for it to attempt to change course - it would never survive re-entry into normal space without slowing from slipstream velocity first. Ironically, the littler ship makes it all the way back to the Alpha Quadrant and home.
- Fifteen years later, Chakotay and Harry steal the Flyer from a Federation shipyard in order to head back along Voyager's path and alter time so that the ship and its crew can survive the slipstream experiment. Due to the fact that this breaks some fairly serious Starfleet rules, such as the temporal Prime Directive, they are chased down by Captain Geordi LaForge's USS Challenger. In the inevitable exchange of fire, their shields are hit and the EPS relays take a heavy pounding. When Chakotay tries a plasma pulse to break free of the Challenger's tractor beam, the subsequent overload causes a warp core breach. Fortunately, with about a nanosecond to spare, Harry manages to send back in time the vital message to Voyager which resets the timeline, so nobody's actually around to remember that the Delta Flyer otherwise blew up in pretty spectacular fashion. Pity really, since it would have given Chakotay another dead shuttle to his credit! Mind you, we could always blame Harry for a change. He doesn't seem to have a lot of luck with shuttlecraft when he's intent on altering timelines or skipping between universes (see Non Sequitur).
- In the re-set timeline, the Delta Flyer is still sent out in advance of Voyager to map the slipstream threshold. However, when the phase corrections contained within the older Harry's message cause the slipstream drive to shut down, the Flyer drops out into normal space alongside the larger ship, completely undamaged except for a temporary blip in its comms and telemetry.
- In order to assist the Monean Maritime Sovereignty in surveying parts of their ocean at depths greater than their own ships can handle, a number of hull and thruster modifications are made to the Delta Flyer to enable it to go sub-aqua. It's Paris's mission, and he has a little fun with it, recruiting Harry Kim as his First Mate and Seven of Nine as Boatswain. It's not quite so much fun when they're 560 kilometres down, the hull starts creaking, and an oversized electric eel starts discharging voltages high enough to fry the shields at them, but Paris is casually breezy about the wetting he gets while sealing the breached hull, and in spite of losing communications, shields, and propulsion in the encounter they manage to float back to the surface by venting plasma and beaming all non-essential equipment off the ship to ditch excess weight and improve the ship's buoyancy.
- Paris takes a second trip into the ocean depths in the Flyer, but this one's a considerably closer shave. Having taken the shuttle without permission, he's in Janeway's bad books. And then some. Having violated the Moneans' borders and threatened sabotage against one of their oxygen refineries, he's in theirs as well. Voyager modifies a photon torpedo to use as a depth charge and detonates it in proximity to the Flyer to disable it. After salvaging the shuttle (and Paris), Janeway tells him that she'd have been prepared to destroy it if it had been the only way to stop him and prevent an armed conflict with the Moneans. Since shuttles are in short supply and building new ones takes time, you can't help but get the feeling that she's seriously pissed...
Shuttles lost/destroyed to date: 11
- In an attempt to explain away the absence of the telepaths amongst the crew, so that the Devore inspection team doesn't look too closely as to where they might be hidden, Janeway explains to Inspector Kashyk that Tuvok, Vorik and Ensign Jurot died in a shuttle crash two months earlier. Given their less than stellar record with shuttlecraft, most people would probably have believed her...
- The Devore's fourth and final inspection of Voyager turns up the fact that two of the ship's shuttlecraft are missing. Using the Devore Imperium's own refractive shielding to hide the craft from sensors, Janeway has donated them to the refugee telepaths that she has been concealing aboard the ship for the past three weeks, in order to let them escape to safety through a wormhole while the Devore's attention is elsewhere. Short of following the fleeing Brenari through that wormhole, there seems no likelihood of those shuttles ever being seen again. But there's not a scratch on either of them!
- Round about the time of stardate 50979, Ensign Jetal and the rest of the shuttle maintenance troops down on Deck 11 were modifying one of the standard shuttles for increased manoeuvrability... and to make it, in the words of one Thomas Eugene Paris, who clearly had a hand in the operation, more "cool".
- A shuttle on a routine survey mission, containing Harry Kim, Ensign Ahni Jetal, and the Doctor, is buzzed by unidentified aliens. They drain off its power, killing its sensors, shields and weapons, then beam aboard and shoot the crew. The Doctor is impervious to their weapons, and manages to send the aliens on their way, but his companions are badly injured and Jetal eventually dies (and since she worked in shuttle maintenance, she'll be sorely missed). The shuttle itself seems to be in working order since, once the aliens depart and he has power again, the Doctor manages to send off a mayday call to Voyager and engage autonavigation to pilot the ship back to Voyager at full impulse.
Shuttles lost/destroyed to date: 12
- Tom Paris, Tuvok and the Doctor are in a shuttle which gets caught in the gravimetric sheer of a subspace sinkhole. The gravity well in question pulls them into a small solar system in a layer of subspace which is temporally out of phase with normal space. The shuttle crash lands on a desert planet, and suffers multiple hull fractures, loss of environmental systems, and irrepairable damage to its impulse engines. Communications are more-or-less online, but useless since they can't get a signal out of the subspace pocket. And even the universal translator gives up the ghost. The three are eventually beamed out, leaving their shuttle behind to be crushed when the sinkhole collapses in on itself under increasing gravitational stresses.
- The Delta Flyer goes on a routine survey mission, trying to detect deuterium to top up Voyager's diminishing supplies. So routine in fact that Tom Paris and Seven of Nine take a trainee pilot along. Naomi Wildman would very much like to take the ship into a first contact situation, or better still a space battle, but she settles for being allowed by Tom to sit at the helm and push the buttons necessary to fly the ship at one quarter impulse. The ship returns undamaged, which puts her one up on Chakotay in terms of piloting potential.
Shuttles lost/destroyed to date: 13
- One of those 'Class 2' shuttlecraft that look awfully like Type-8's gets assimilated by the Borg. But it's not exactly an accident. In actual fact this is a decoy shuttle, fixed up to give off false bioreadings to deceive the Borg into thinking there are three people on board, and being remote flown by Tom Paris from the comparative safety of Voyager's bridge. When the Borg don't bite on the bait immediately, they boost the energy output of the shuttle's warp profile to make it a more tempting target, which achieves the desired effect. The Borg tractor it into their ship, dropping shields to do so, and Voyager's sneak thief team beam in and grab a transwarp coil while the Borg are looking the other way. Somehow, I doubt under the circumstances that Voyager is likely to be asking if they can have it back any time soon, which makes it unlucky lost shuttle number thirteen...
- After Seven is lost to the Collective, Janeway mounts a rescue mission in the Delta Flyer. With the newly stolen transwarp coil fitted in it, and using multi-adaptive shielding invented by Seven's parents to make it virtually invisible to Borg sensors, it heads into transwarp space to track down the Borg Queen's sphere. Paris flies, Janeway leads the away mission, and the Doctor and Tuvok come along for the ride. It may be worth noting that they cross the transwarp threshold but that neither Paris nor Janeway turns into a lizard or shows any inclination to mate, and that the only casualty of their speed is the Doctor's holomatrix, which suffers from a touch of motion sickness. Having caught up with the Borg and Seven, they manage to dodge their sensors for a while by remodulating the shields every time the Borg hit upon the right frequency, but when all else fails the Borg just fire blind until they reach the point where they can adapt to the shields as soon as they remodulate. Nevertheless, it keeps them busy long enough for Janeway and Tuvok to get Seven out, although they lose the weapons array to a direct hit as they head for home, and start venting plasma from the port nacelle soon afterwards. By rerouting emergency power and life support, they hold the Flyer in transwarp for just about long enough to get home to Voyager.
- Given charge of a shuttlecraft in order to go out to repair a hull fracture on the Varro generational ship, Harry Kim finishes the job early and decides to take his new girlfriend joyriding. After Derran Tal has finished pressing buttons at random to find the navigational controls, almost vaporising her living quarters in the process, they head off in the direction of a nebula about three hundred thousand kilometres away. Since Harry borrowed the shuttlecraft without authorisation, in order to fraternise with someone he's under strict orders to stay away from, he naturally jumps every time a little stray radiation sets off an alarm in the shuttle, fearful that it might be a proximity alarm signalling Tuvok coming to fetch him back. (Personally, I'd jump at the radiation alarm as well, but that's just native caution and not having a doctor who can rewrite my DNA back the way it should be if the radiation should happen to hyper-evolve me in some way.)
- And naturally, Tuvok does come in the Delta Flyer to fetch Harry home in disgrace...
- As part of the scam to out-think the think tank, Seven takes a shuttlecraft to the think tank ship when she "defects" to them so that they will call off the Hazari's attack on Voyager. In time honoured tradition, once she's effectively disabled the think tank and rendered them powerless, she's beamed back to the ship. The fate of the shuttle isn't mentioned either way, but it's quite possible that it could have been beamed back too. The think tank certainly weren't in any position to prevent it.