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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Alert Status (Star Trek)

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Space is dangerous. Its full of strange phenomena and aliens that can cause harm to

a Starfleet ship and its crew. Not all the time, in fact the day to day life aboard a

starship was fairly dull, and these encounters were often as wondrous as they were intimidating,

but nonetheless, risk was part of the business. This was a lesson learned early on in Starfleets

lifetime and soon a series of ship-wide alerts were made standard procedure for vessels.

Hi, Ric here and this lore-nugget of a video looks to explain these alert status. Back

in 2152, Starfleets first deep space exploratory vessel, the Enterprise NX-01 often encountered

hazardous situations. It wasnt long before the Chief of Security and Tactical Armoury

officer, Lt Malcolm Reed began testing drills to measure the crews response time to potential

danger. Admittedly he was a bit too engrossed in the concept at the time as strange things

were happening to the rest of the crew, but thats beside the point.

The drill was eventually scaled back to a more manageable level and was termed theTactical

Alertover other suggestions including aReed Alert.” On execution of a tactical

alert, a ship-wide notification was sounded which meant that all crew were to report to

battle and emergency stations post haste. This alert was more than a simple order to

ready yourself for action however as it incorporated a number of ship functions that were triggered

automatically. The hull plating of the NX-01 was polarized and power supplied to the phase

cannons and torpedo launchers. Security was also tightened around critical systems, which

I imagine included the activation of computer firewalls.

This was a starship version of a fight-or-flight response and this command was adopted into

standard operating procedure for every future Starfleet ship. Over time it was evolved into

a more layered series of alerts as not every hazard that required an immediate response

also needed a full conversion to a battle stance. This new alert system was colour coded

to indicate the level of emergency so lets begin with the two most seen ones.

Yellow Alert designated a ready stance for the ship as it channelled power into the defensive

systems like the shields. This status by itself presented no overtly hostile actions, therefore

no call to battle stations was given and the weapons systems remained unchanged. This status

was often called for when the crew encountered potentially dangerous phenomena or could be

initiated when the senior staff suspected dubious or hostile intent from an alien vessel,

but nothing had been confirmed, after all its not standard Starfleet procedure to open

fire first. Usually yellow alert was marked by a changing of the computer interface displays,

called LCARS, to an amber hue. Crew members under a yellow alert were expected to perform

their duties as normal, but be ready to drop everything and report to ready stations.

Yellow alert could also be issued by the admiralty to ships or even fleet wide in preparation

for a perceived offensive. This system could be escalated to Red Alert, which was more

akin to the older Tactical Alerts. This prepared the ship for combat and non-essential systems

were reduced to minimal power, such as lighting and holodecks in order to free up available

resources for critical systems. LCARS displays were changed to a Red Hue and the familiar

alarm sounded to alert the crew making it very hard to miss. In this state, the weapons

systems were primed and all personnel were to drop whatever they were doing and report

to stations, securing the ship for possible combat. Escalating from a Yellow to Red alert

was a quicker transition than initiating an unexpected Red Alert as the crew and ships

systems were prepped beforehand, however the situation dictated the overall readiness.

It seems that part of the Red Alert status prepared way for succinct damage and injury

reports from all over the vessel and engineering, security and medical teams were ready to respond

to locations around the ship that needed it. There was also aDouble Red Alertthat

was used in the 23rd century. This seemed to indicate a higher urgency to report to

stations, likely at double-time. This was not used beyond this time however, If I had

to speculate, Id say that it was abandoned as it kind of psychologically lessened the

urgency of aRed Alert”. …and it sounds a bit silly.

Blue Alert was a seldom used alert status that forewarned the crew of hazardous situations

such as a planetary landing or saucer separation. This was often reserved for irregular starship

manoeuvres or operations and often required clarification on the part of the crew to report

to the correct stations, the USS Defiant was expected to adopt Blue Alert on cloaking,

or an intrepid-class attempting a planetary landing. Other examples included when a vessel

was docking to a space-frame structure like a shipyard or the Earth Space Dock.

The Crossfield class of Starship, a purely scientific vessel was expected to undertake

all sorts of strange and potentially dangerous experiments and therefore was issued with

aBlack Alertto alert the crew that an experimental project was running that would

have ship-wide effects. This USS Discovery used this in preparation for use of the Spore-Hub

Drive. Some of these alerts are automated or tied

to other systems, such as the self-destruct triggering a Red Alert or the multi-vector

assault mode triggering a blue alert. But all are at the discretion of the commanding

officer and can be initiated or cancelled and have certain elements of the conditions

altered and amended but in essence are time savers in situations where time may be a critical

factor. So there we have it, the use and function

of Starfleets colour coded alert system and its origin. There are many more operating

protocols that crews must respond to, but these are the big ones that we see the most.

So Thanks for watching and again, goodbye.

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