Posted Jan. 20, 2023, 8:55 a.m. by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Gamemaster Deus Ex Machina (GM) in MAIN SIM - away team to the planet (XO, Tigress, Nash, and anyone else that wants to join)
Posted by Commander Garinder’Jen th’Jir (Executive Officer) in MAIN SIM - away team to the planet (XO, Tigress, Nash, and anyone else that wants to join)
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Nash (Chief Engineer) in MAIN SIM - away team to the planet (XO, Tigress, Nash, and anyone else that wants to join)
Posted by… suppressed (20) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The planet had not been like this. Over the course of the last few thousand years, it became less habitable for humanoids and warm-blooded creatures. It was hard to tell if the atmosphere thinned thus releasing the heat to space or the star itself cooled and decreased the temperature of the planet. Or another possibility that pollution blocked the heating rays of the sun and over the centuries dissipated along with the atmosphere.
Cara looked up raising her chin so she could look straight in at the XO. “Well bridge scans told us they were using the geothermal energy at this location. I would wager a good guess part of that was for survival. Geothermal energy can be harnessed for a lot, beneficial and destructive. So far the building seems quite unwelcoming by our standards. But if this was built by an alien race it could be quite welcoming, we just don’t understand the tech. Defense, but against what? The Darkness? That might be too simple a conclusion.” She nodded and backed up down the path a bit and pulled a pair of old fashioned binoculars out of her pocket. Sometimes the eyes saw what a tricorder did not. She slowly scanned what she could see of the building, looking for distinguishing architecture that might indicate a purpose or the people that built it, identifying marks, signs of life, anything that might give a clue. Then she did the same for the surrounding land. Perhaps even a door or entrance way built away from the building to control the flow of traffic in or indicate an emergency exit.
“I can’t see this being much defense against the Darkness,” he mused. “Perhaps the Darkness is a more recent event in the area as well. This kind of facility would stand out and not be of much help against an anti-proton weapon.”
“Well scans show this is a recent climactic change based on cosmic standards,” Lexi qualified it. “I am getting all kinds of reading but there is enough nickle readings in the soil to indicate the volcano blew at some point. It would have been enough to cause a vast cooling and then greenhouse event but those effects would only have lasted a few decades.” Lexi’s voice trailed off as she thought about the situation. Looking at the XO she continued. “I think we could be looking at a Great Permian-like event where several things combined to destroy this world and make it less habitable for humanoids and warm-blooded creatures over the past few thousand years. The atmosphere is far thinner than normal but this is typically a slow event that would allow life to adapt much like it does in mountainous regions. This is only a hypothesis but the star around this planet is a white dwarf. Stellar cartography is keeping an eye on it and it is stable but white dwarfs send out pulses of energy that can strip away the atmosphere. So we are either dealing with a society that had some form of pollution that killed the planet or the star cooled and has been sending pulses of solar winds down stripping the environment. This could be why the Darkness might be avoiding the planet. Nothing like dodging pulsar energy to give a getaway a bumpy ride.”
“In short, we are still working on how things may have been,” Jen said, not surprised, but with a definite tone of ‘I’m impressed’ with her suppositions. “Good catch on the nickel.” A blast of cold jarred him. It was nice but even he squinted into it. Cold was nice. He was on the fence with too much wind.
The binoculars didn’t reveal too much beyond what the eye could see. However, this location was well situated as there was a natural nook that the base was built into.
“Not much visually to give any clues, Cmdr. Other than it seems they build this structure in a natural nook. Given the apparent age, there is no telling with the naked eye if this was the only option or had other natural benefits,” O’Farrell told him. It wasn’t much other than the builders had a grasp of geological impact on building and resources.
He looked at the others and stood aside to make the panel visible to them. “Ladies and gents, this looks to be our keyhole. Let’s find the key.”
- Jen, XO
“Open says-a-you,” Lexi word played the old-fashioned open sesame saying as she took a step back. The XO was a Marine and was far better equipped to take out something if anything was behind the door.
Lexi Robbins, Science
Neither ‘open says you,’ nor ‘open says me,’ seemed to have any positive effect.
Jen figured that this was something that could be overcome. It had not been opened perhaps in a millennia. Who was to say it wasn’t stuck or jammed. But that said, it looked like something that could be picked. It had power and it was warmer inside with an atmosphere of sorts. There was no life detected beyond. Still, Jen shifted to the side to allow him to have a view of the entry but not a fully direct path. He said to those about him. “Tech level of this door’s machinery?”
- Jen, XO
Tech was hard to pin down to a specific age but mid to late 22nd century Earth would be fairly accurate. The deeper scans were able to reveal microscopic fragments of DNA within the porous nature of the pad. Even centuries of sandblasting, time, and sunlight didn’t destroy all of it, but deteriorated it to a point where one could no longer tell what the race the DNA was from, but it was now clear that the ‘palm’ scanner would sample the individual’s DNA and if the DNA matched it likely would open. What it would do if the dna didn’t match was unknown.
While the authorities were working on the door, Jen pondered just transporting them in. However, since they found a possible doorknob as it were he was fine to let the troops work at it. It would be a good exercise for them and, perhaps for them, the cold might speed them along. For him, he found the cold a pleasant change and was willing to let things go for a little while longer before taking what may be considered the ‘easy’ path. He tapped his badge to give an update to the ship.
=^= Jen to Atlantis. We are at the door to the structure. It’s very weather beaten but we believe we have found a powered panel and hope to be through shortly. The weather is .. like a day at the beach. =^= He let out a smile as he said that.
- Jen, XO
=/\=You have a locked door you are trying to pick=/\=Kelly sounded almost heartbroken. =/\=Understood. If you need a hand or a battering ram let us know. Keep us appraised of your situation. Kelly out.=/\=
=^= That does sum it up, Captain. Perhaps it is frozen, and we may need you to come down with some .. de-icer. =^= Jen replied.
“Too bad we don’t have a Bolian here,” Lexi rubbed her hands to warm them up even though they were covered in gloves. “Back at the academy once we had this training sim about being held, hostage. As you know their internal chemistry can be corrosive soooo,” Lexi waggled her head. “We all turned out back and then the lock to the door was suddenly open.”
Jen’s antennae stopped in mid sway and his head swiveled to look at Lexi. “That is curious. Bolians have tended to be very active communicators in my experience.” Which, in his expression essentially meant they never shut up. “I’ve not one heard one so boasting of that aspect of their .. personality.”
- Jen, XO
“Not that type of chemistry,” Lexi laughed. “More of the metabolic chemistry.”
“Since we are without a Bolian, any chance you can override this thing if we take the panel off,” she asked Nash.
Lexi Robbins science.
As long as it wasn’t boobie trapped and there wasn’t any obvious signs. A talented electronics or/and genetics specialist would have a decent chance in overriding the system.
OOCL There isn’t a note on your character of those specific skils so I’ll allow you to play that out if you want to give that a go.
Standing around in the cold was not going to get anything done.
Pulling off her glove, Lexi looked at Nash. “Okay so if I turn out to have my palm stuck to this thing,” she blew on her fingers as if to warm them up, “I am going to expect your engineering genius to get me off of it so I am not like one of those kids that stick their tongue to a frozen pole.” She placed her hand on the panel and waited.
“You’ll be fine,” Nash smirked evilly. “If not and you get your palm stuck to it. I’ll just use my Engineering genius and make like a Bolian. I can’t rust it open but I’m sure pee will make your hand unstuck.”
With tech a couple hundred years earlier, Jen found himself disappointed. He had hoped for better. But still this might be workable. He didn’t expect there to be anything more than a security alert going on inside that an unauthorized attempt had been made. Automated hunter killer defense systems were the stuff of science fiction and super secret facilities led by evil bosses, not an open facility stuck on the side of a mountain. The DNA would be linked to an individual, not a race, Jen assumed; at least that was what tech from their time period would be set for. The look of this was a research post of some kind. It didn’t ‘feel’ military. Military liked to be hidden - like inside the mountain and not glued to the side of it.
“This will tell us what is active,” he said after that musing. “Given the older tech I’m thinking that one of you would be able to hack the system and convince the computer that our DNA of choice would be acceptable.”
The touch pad illuminated hopefully and there was an imperceptible whirl and the pad itself sampled the DNA of the courageous officer. It did unfortunately not find a suitable match in its record banks and the screen flashed green then red and back to nothing.
“The positive side is that something happened. The curious side is that the colors are remarkably similar to the Federation standard of accept or deny, being red and green. By all rights it could be opposite, however it is simply very curious of the similarity.” Jen didn’t believe in coincidence; usually there was some power behind it pulling those strings of fate.
Looking at the two men, Lexi put her glove back on. “So which one of you was the bad boy that can hotwire this thing open but claims they learned it in the academy to keep those pips sparkling and not tarnished by your past deeds?” Realizing this might be slightly sexist she let her gaze drift to Tigress and Cara. “Or bad girl,” she added with a slight laugh. It was the twenty-fourth century, girls had shown they could have just a checkered past as anyone.
“My marine past would have us blow up the lock and door. Not the most subtle,” Jen said. “It seems to me that this may be more of a software trick. Try and see if you can link to it remotely or whether we will have to pull out the wires.”
Cara shrugged. “I can pick a tumbler lock, but I cannae hot wire a car. I’ll leave that ta the experts.” Cara glanced around the area again. The scanner had denied them entrance, but hadn’t set off any alarms. That led her to believe this was more a scientific base or simply a shelter. It was out in the open and not hidden. Of course given what Robins said about the age of the place, it might have been hidden at some point. Cara hoped they would find out more once they got inside.
The XO’s observation about the color indicator on the door and the fact they were here looking for a Federation ship that disappeared almost two hundred and fifty years ago gave Lexi an idea. Pulling a PaDD from her pocket, she searched the database for obsolete codes. “Okay I am not an engineer but bare with me,” she said to the group as she held up her PaDD pointing at the console by the door. “So I know I just said this place is way older than two hundred years but that does not mean it had to only be inhabited by only one group. Think about it. If the ship in question we are looking for got marooned here why wouldn’t they use an existing structure if it was viable and easily adaptable?” Running the ancient and now obsolete Federation codes for security access during the 2250’s and 60’s, Lexi waited to see if any of them would provide an override to open the door.
OOC: By the way. That is a great Fn idea. I wish it was right.
Lexi tricorder ran through the loop of pre-existing codes for ships from that period of time. The tricorder worked far faster than an eye could follow, but it took very little time to figure out the electronic signals were being completely rejected and thus indicating that there was not even an electronic over-ride. Someone was going to have to bypass the lock one way or another… or put in the correct DNA strand.
“It is worth a try,” Jen said. It was looking like this was going to be more of a mechanical override - aka picking the lock, or they could just give up this exercise and call to be beamed into the facility directly. At this rate Jen was beginning to feel a level of pride to overcome and hoped that they could by hook or by crook - whatever that meant, but it was a good sounding Terran saying - manage an entry.
Cara felt pretty useless just standing there waiting, but she figured she would do more harm than good if she took the panel off and tried to cross wires and make it open. “Maybe there is another way in? Air vent or somewhere for waste or water to pass through. An emergency exit. This can’t be the only way in or out.”
The wall of the semi-active volcano was worn. There were nooks and cracks that might hide a vent of some sort so nothing was visible to the naked eye from their position.
“Good call,” Jen said. “Our good engineer can do what they do best with the lock. The rest of you have a look around for an alternate entry. Time does have a way of making entries where one may least expect it.”
- Jen, XO
Cara set the building on her right and kept it there. She did not need to get lost. She walked along the complex using her tricorder to scan for any openings, cracks, vents, tunnels or other doorways/access points.
“Girl trip,” Lexi let out a laugh and lifted up her tricorder. There was also very little she could do except make the situation worse by electrocuting herself of finding the one wire that added an extra door sealing off the place instead of opening it. Taking a step away she raised the tricorder to the side of the mountain and glanced up looking at the sky as she waited for the tricorder to do its thing. Suddenly an idea hit her. Tapping her comm badge she contacted Atlantis. =/\=Hey we are having trouble getting into the complex. Anyway you can help a crewman out and just beam us inside?=/\= The idea was simplistic but not implausible. The word KISS came into her mind which was often uttered by her husband for a multitude of reasons. Keep It Simple Silly. While the last word might annoy others, it always made Lexi laugh because sometimes the end result was so simple one did feel silly for not trying it first.
Lexi Science (using the Robbins scientific method of KISS)
“Tut tut,” Jen said with a small smile. “Where is the fun in that? Embrace the challenge.” His expression shifted to a more evident smile. “That is a thought I had in mind. I was just wondering whether we were up to the challenge of an old lock.” He noticed Nash’s next attempt. “If Mr Nash is unsuccessful we will beam through.” This was in part a tension release from the ship and the ‘darkness’ around them. A simple lock pick and explore, if not too much time was taken, would be, as some Terrans suggest ‘a change is as good as a rest’.
=^= Transporter room to away team. We don’t detect any active forcefields or magnetic deflectors. A transport directly inside should not be a problem.”
While Lexi worked to get them a shortcut inside, Nash decided to scan the panel and the area surrounding it for traces of old DNA, removing Lexi’s from any readings that might come up. If the machine was rejecting electronic signals it was unlikely he could project that DNA signal onto the display, but, if he could find something and then get the panel open it was possible that he may be able to inject the code for the DNA electronically through a back door, so to speak. It would be cleaner than simply trying to hotwire the panel. Wiring the tricorder into the panel and using it as the ‘detector’ itself might do the trick.
There were microscopic traces of degraded DNA on the absorption pores of the system. It was too broken and old to in of itself link to any known DNA chain so the tricorder just beeped unhappily at the attempt.
However even the best computer wasn’t as good as the human mind at filling blanks. Nash had seen the fractions before… this week when the ship had a sample of the Darkness bio ship. It was close enough to trigger the synapses of his mind.
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