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Join Date: Apr 2013
04-29-2013, 10:36 PM
There was a general cry of relief when it became obvious nothing had followed them out of the exploding conduit. The ship had taken moderate hull damage, but all primary systems were reporting intact.
Over the din of the celebration Andrea motioned to Allen and mouthed, “Where are we?”
Allen looked at the display, confusion showing on his face, then Selan. Then the two called over Sal’Ar who studied the same display. The cheers began to die down as the three talked quietly while adjusting the controls.
“Mister Skagg, where are we?”
“Captain, we determine our location above the galactic plane, approximately two thousand light years above the Gamma Quadrant.”
“Do we still have transwarp?”
“All engines show green through transwarp drive.”
“Well, it could be worse. Let’s do a second check on all systems, then prepare for transwarp. We’ll enter Dominion territory and make our way to the wormhole. Command staff, meeting room please.”
Once they were assembled in the meeting room, Andrea ordered coffee from the replicator. “This is a good news, bad news story, is it not?”
“We should be able to penetrate the Great Barrier. If an old constitution class could survive it, we should be ok.” Allen was working on a PDA as he spoke.
“Our scientists believe that the amount of resistance received from the Barrier is proportionate to the energy output of the ship. I do agree with Mr. Skagg, the shields on this vessel should survive the encounter.”
“Anything else before we proceed?” Andrea was looking forward to a shower and some much-needed rest.
“One thing, Captain.” Selan stood up and worked the main display. “A cloaking device renders a ship invisible to the naked eye, but that is really the least of its functions. In reality, it blends the ship into the background radiation, making it very difficult to detect.”
“Yes, and here, outside the galaxy?”
“There is very little background radiation. The cloak will still make it hard for someone to target us, but our general location will certainly be detected.”
“This is odd.” Allen keyed into his PDA and the main display activated. I have readings of… something… at 129 by 45. I’m not even sure why I can detect it so easily, it’s over three hundred light years away.”
“Selan, return to the Bridge and cloak us. Ladies and gentlemen, I want the second check of our systems ASAP, and then I’ll decide whether to check out our mystery, ‘Something.’”
All systems did check as good, except for the torpedo launchers, which were simply out of ammunition. Andrea slept twelve hours before waking up to get ready for her watch.
“I relieve you.” She said.
“I stand relieved.” Said Allen.
“Any new information on our, ‘Something?’”
“We are still nine days away at transwarp, but when we come out of transwarp to PM the engines… It’s not natural.”
“Why, is it talking to you?”
“I mean definite power generation, radiation emissions comparable to a scanner. It’s huge, solar system huge.”
“Could it be a planet from a rouge star system?”
“Emmisions are ten to the fifty-second.”
“That can’t be right. That’s half of Starfleet at warp.”
“I had Selan and Sal’Ar verify my readings. There isn’t much more we can get passive, and I really don’t want to make this thing angry.”
“When we get to within standard subspace communication range, we’ll hail it.”
“I know we always go for the weird, boldly going, and so on, but maybe we should leave this thing alone.”
“Allen, we will never, ever, be here again. That thing, it’s bigger than the V’Ger probe of the twenty-third century, and it putting out a power signature larger than fifty star-bases.”
“And it’s dormant.”
“No variations in output, scanner pulses at regular intervals. The thing’s on automatic.”
“Would you be able to tell at this range?”
“It’s not burning antimatter, it looks like it taps subspace and a second dimension, say, hyperspace, and gathers energy from the different energy potentials. I can see it clearly because it’s burning subspace. If it wasn’t for the Great Barrier, we’d see it in the Alpha Quadrant.”
“The Great Barrier. It can’t get through.”
“If Sal’Ar is correct, no amount of shielding could protect it through the barrier.”
“We can’t assume it’s hostile.”
“Andrea, we can’t afford it to be hostile. It can’t get through the Barrier, but we can.”
“We are Starfleet, Allen. We investigate, we report. I can’t let this thing go uninvestigated, I just can’t.”
“I know. I may not officially be your XO, but I still feel I should be around to bounce this around with you.”
“Make a plan, Mr. Skagg. We’ll scuttle the ship before we allow it to fall into enemy hands. We have scientists in the crew, and you know they’ll be chomping at the bit for investigation, so arrange time for as many as possible.”
Andrea sat down in the command chair. “As for me, I need to find a way to tell Sal’Ar Rei that we just went from the frying pan to the fire.”