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"More! Make it bigger!"
"But sir, if we add any more accelerant, the force of the explosion will exceed …"
"Starfleet regs are clear on …"
Lieutenant Kelsen felt like she was stuck in a temporal loop. Guroth was supposed to be assisting with the Mercury's new upgrades, but everything he was demanding ranged from foolhardy to extremely dangerous. How did he even come up with these ideas?
"Lieutenant, it's very easy," Guroth said with what she thought was his most genial smile. He looked he was about to bite her. "If you want a bigger blast, you must use more accelerant. If you're worried about the firing stress, we must reinforce here and here and here." He pointed at spots on the master systems display. "And then we must reroute power here and here or there will be misfires."
"But that takes power away from life support," the Benzite protested.
"Only backups," Guroth said. "You Starfleet types – so many backups."
"In a catastrophic situation, redundancies save lives."
"In a situation where you need backups for your backups, they will probably fail when the EPS fails anyway," the Klingon countered. "This is war, Lieutenant. You will die when your ship explodes, not when you run out of air."
"You may have a point," Kelsen said reluctantly. And he did. She'd already lost friends during this war. There wasn't a single person in Starfleet who didn't have friends, classmates or old crewmates who were gone now.
"We have some new duranium alloys from the Gallamites," she continued. "That should be strong enough, but won't add too much weight."
"And it will not shatter on impact – the better to punch through a hull, eh?" Guroth laughed. There was nothing in this world he enjoyed more than a well-crafted weapon.
"We'll need to run some tests. Maybe set up a simulation on the holodeck?"
"Tests, always tests with you," Guroth said. "Trust me. We will modify six torpedoes now. And when the next battle comes, we will test them against the Heralds. It will be a most satisfactory explosion."