Literary Challenge #15 : Temporal Soundings
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Snared - Part 2
03-23-2012, 08:01 PM
When we reached Shuttle Bay 3, security was already in place. The anomaly was clearly visible and swirled like cloudy vortex in a corner of the bay. Outside, the shuttle was coming into view as it was being passed from one tractor emitter to another. It passed through the forcefield unchallenged and set down nearby. Gre’en’ and I approached the Ensign, who appeared surprised and a little nervous as he stared at Gre’en’ and stuttered incoherently. His hand went to the phaser at his hip, and fondled the grip with his fingers, as if knowing that it was there was a comfort.
The ensign’s strange behavior pulled my attention from the anomaly and the shuttle. “Gre’en. What is wrong with you, Ensign?”
“Sir, that woman,” he said without taking his eyes off of Gre’en’. She’s the one that stole the shuttle.”
“Gre’en. What are you talking about?” I demanded. “She has been on the bridge with me for the last two hours. She couldn’t have stolen the shuttle. Gre’en.”
“I can’t explain it, sir. But I know what I saw, and I saw her emerge from that anomaly over there, override the security lockouts on the shuttle, and take off as if she ran the place.”
I glanced over to Gre’en’, who was more surprised by the recent turn of events than I was. “We’ll get to the bottom of this,” I said, as I walked away from the Ensign and headed towards the shuttle. Gre’en’ followed.
I entered the override code for the shuttle’s hatch as the security teams took positions around the shuttle bay with the best view of the shuttle’s interior. When the hatched opened, Gre’en’ (another Gre’en’) stepped out with her long slender branches raised above her head.
“Don’t shoot,” the other Gre’en’ replied. “Gre’en.”
Turning back and forth between the pair of Gre’en’, I studied them closely. They were nearly identical. Only subtle differences were evident. The Gre’en’ that emerged from the shuttle no longer displayed the tell-tale signs of a recent blossoming. I asked the alternate Gre’en’ to identify herself.
“There’s no time. Every moment that we are caught in the subspace fissure, more of the aliens perish. We need to get the ship out of the spatial rut immediately.
“Aliens? What aliens?”
“I met them when I stepped into the anomaly, or will meet them. I hate temporal mechanics,” the other Gre’en’ replied. “They’re some kind of non-corporal entity that lives outside of space and time. They were exploring our universe when the Gemini collided with their … with their vessel?”
“That’s some kind of ship out there?”
“Not exactly, but that is the best way to describe it.”
“You said that you were with them? How long were you there?”
“A few weeks. I’ll be glad to tell you all about it, once we’ve dislodged ourselves from them,” Gre’en’ replied. She turned towards her younger counterpart, and continued. “It’s time for you to join them. Be sure to pay attention. They have a lot to share with you?” Gre’en’ motioned for her younger self to step closer to the anomaly.
“Gre’en. Why does it have to be you?”
“I don’t know exactly. Perhaps, it was just dumb luck. I was scanning the anomaly, or will scan the anomaly, when it pulled me into it. I don’t think it was intentional, but they are waiting for me, I mean her to step through,” the other Gre’en’ replied pointing to her counterpart.
She stepped towards the anomaly, without another word. I reached out to stop her, but before I could order her to stand down, she disappeared into it. “Gre’en! This is highly irregular. It’s a Captain’s duty to handle all first contact proceedings with an unknown alien race. I should be the one going.”
“You can’t, Captain. Gre’en. They don’t want you, at least not anymore. Now, if you will allow me to complete my task, I’ve got to get us out of the subspace fissure.” As she spoke, the anomaly slowly dissipated.
I considered everything she had told me. By all rights, I should have her escorted to sick bay or the brigg. If what she said was true, there wasn’t any time to waste; we were killing them and Gre’en do not kill. “I don’t know that I can fully trust you, so I’m coming along. Gre’en.”
Gre’en’ laughed. “I’d enjoy your company,” she finally replied. “You have nothing to worry about. Besides, where else would I go? This ship is my home. Gre’en.”
We boarded the shuttle. Gre’en’ took the seat at the con and initiated the shuttle’s launch sequence. As “Captain, I’m going to need you in the second chair,” Gre’en’ replied as she piloted the shuttle between the massive bay doors and away from the Gemini. “Gre’en. I’ve already configured the deflector to emit the inverted graviton pulse. It’ll seal the fissure. However, we have to see it first. Can you order the bridge to eject a dense stream of ionized hydrogen particles from the bussard collectors?”
“Gre’en. The ionized hydrogen will be pulled into the fissure. The shuttle’s sensors will pick it up and we should have a clear view of the rift,” I said understanding more of her plan.
I hailed the Gemini and relayed the order. The port nacelle belched a thick cloud of ionized gas that glowed pale blue through the shuttle’s forward viewer. The gas slowly began to expand outwardly from the nacelle. The leading edge of the cloud found the rift. It began to bubble and churn; caught in its pull, the gas began to swirl round and round as it slowly fell through the tear in the fabric of the universe. Moments later, the jagged outline of the rift appeared on sensors.
“Gre’en. There it is,” I remarked. “It’s a big one. Gre’en.” When the Gemini snagged the tear, it continued to rip through subspace for half a light year. The ionized gas only illuminated a tiny portion of the rift, but it was enough to reveal exactly what we had to do to get the Gemini out safely. Gre’en.
“If we start to seal the rupture at this point and fly along the nacelle, the inverted graviton pulse will pull the edges of the rift together like a suture.” Gre’en’ said pointing to the view screen, “As the rift closes, the Gemini will be squeezed back in the direction it had come. They will have to adjust their pitch and velocity with thrusters until they’ve cleared the rift. Gre’en?”
“Gre’en. I’m ready to fire the deflector pulse, as soon as we’re in position.” I opened a channel and directed instructions to Purina and Hashanna as Gre’en’ slowly turned the shuttle toward the subspace tear and came to stop just meters from the rift and nacelle. “Now!” I announced over the open com. Channel as I pounded the panel in front of me.
The shuttle’s tiny deflector glowed brightly and fired the inverted graviton pulse at the rift. Slowly, it began to close, but it wasn’t enough. Gre’en! I pulled up Gre’en’s deflector control program and adjusted its power utilization curve and firing frequency in order to fire multiple low yield deflector pulses. Their accumulative effect should be enough to get the ball rolling.
“Gre’en. We’re trying again,” I said over the open com channel. I initiated the new deflector configuration. A half dozen deflector pulses in quick succession pulsed from the shuttle deflector. The rift slowly moved together, a little faster with each pulse. I fired another volley, and another. Soon, the Gemini began to reverse under the pressure of the closing rift. The Gemini’s thruster control system engaged. The massive ship began to slowly slide out of the rift. A few tense moments later, the Gemini emerged from the rift. Gre’en.
With the Gemini clear and moving away from the rift under its own power, I fired another volley of deflector pulses to continue sealing off more of the rift. Gre’en. We returned to the Gemini. Utilizing Gre’en’’s deflector specifications, we successfully sealed the subspace rift. Gre’en’ is currently writing up an extensive report on her weeks long visit with the aliens. I’m including the specifications for her deflector pulse with this log. It appears that we now have a method to repair damage to subspace. Gre’en.