Posted Jan. 12, 2022, 11:39 p.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Tabris Asam (Engineering Officer) (Brian Richards)
Posted by Kvasir (Story Teller) in Main Sim [Engineering]: An Ever-Shifting Perspective
Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Sharah Fayth (Medical) in Main Sim [Engineering]: An Ever-Shifting Perspective
Posted by Lieutenant Markus Woods (Chief Science Officer) in Main Sim [Engineering]: An Ever-Shifting Perspective
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“Now we could permeate the Viking with a type of nucleonic charge found to border subspace,” he mused as much to himself as anyone. “That would essentially thicken the air and destabilize the formation of subspace inversion waves. But that would mean recalibrating the main deflector and taking the warp drive off-line while the field was active. It would also mean we would be unable to use the subspace relays to communicate, and we’d have to navigate via other means if we wanted to go anywhere. Depending on the field strength required, it could also disrupt other systems like containment fields. We’d keep those two types of beings out—or in, if they’re already here—and render them visible but it could come as a trade-off.”
Caelian gestured to the other mote in the security feed, bumbling about haphazardly. “These ones don’t have that underlying subspace property, so our conventional methods of containment should work fine on them. It’s also why we’ve been able to see them. He—or she, I suppose. It?—doesn’t seem to like it, though. Watch how its matrix destabilizes and reconstitutes each time it bumps into the barrier. Our energy fields certainly don’t seem to agree with it, are possibly hurting it. I don’t know whether to be relieved or upset that we haven’t tried beaming them off the ship; that would likely have destabilized it completely.”
“This jumbled misto is giving me a headache just looking at it,” Caelian grumbled at the final convoluted energy signature. “It has all the varying energy markers found in the others but its… different somehow. Denser, but constantly fluctuating, like its trying to be in two places at once. Given enough time, we could probably get a better handle on it.”
“Maybe it’s newer? Or one of the other castes. It’s possible these things could have a super-position,” he mused along with the Ensign. At the same time the situation was giving him a headache as well, and he could feel his blood pressure on the rise, even see it as his vision pulsed some.
Caelian shrugged, tapping his chin with a thoughtful finger. “Possibilmente, but there are parts of this wave that I can’t identify. It could be the unique pattern of its type, a sort of biological component—since they seem to work like a gelpack, or a mind—or some other element I’m not seeing. I’m an engineer, sir, not a doctor. With some time and help from the computer’s filters, maybe…”
He chuckled sheepishly, stepping back and offering an apologetic smile. “I-I’m sorry for interrupting, sirs. I find this kind of thing fascinating, but I clearly overstepped into your conversation. It won’t happen again.”
“The, uh,” he coughed and offered the PaDD to Captain Rende, “damage report on the derelict, sir.”
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—
Rende took it and scanned it. “Alright, Woods, I have no problem going over there to investigate the ship. I’d like Sigmundsson to go with you, but he has to be cleared first, so does anyone else that you would take. You and Caelian need to figure out where you are going from here. I’m going to go talk to Sigmundsson and then, Lt Woods, which ever of us is done first needs to go find out where sickbay is on figuring out who is themselves and who is not. Get to it gentlemen. We clear our house, then we take care of Hab’rabi’s house. And let’s do it without anyone else getting visited while they are over there.” She turned and headed for a lift, “I’ll be in the brig.”
Markus waved one hand. “No, no. Very insightful, and you spotted something I missed. I’m glad you spoke up.” He glanced toward the engineer then back to the display. “It’s a good thing you didn’t sit on that, or we’d be worse off.” Thinking about it for a moment he frowned. “Could we modify a level three containment field to stop these buggers that way? They create a spatial distortion.. a gap in the fabric of space that things simply can’t move across. Like sliding off the edge of the universe.” The field he had was a great idea, but they’d have to be dead in the water while they tried it. The level three containment fields though were a lesser measure.
Lt Woods, CSO
Caelian thought for a long moment before holding his hand aloft, tipping it back and forth dubiously. “With the proper adjustments, I think it might. The only difference is that we wouldn’t be able to generate a global effect. It would be like, say, locking all the doors in your house; a burglar could still move about in a given room, smash up your furniture—and we’re talking warp field manifolds and EPS conduits rather than tables and chairs. We also wouldn’t be able to know which rooms to lock, as it were, since we still wouldn’t be able to see them. We could certainly secure areas we don’t need ready access to, if that’s what you’re thinking. But moving from room to room would be… problematic.”
“The other issue is power,” he noted, gesturing to the engineering display of the Viking on the nearby wall monitor. “We’ve got plenty, but again it would mean tapping into the warp core. Not as heavily as my suggestion, mind, which gives us more maneuverability and range if we need to be somewhere. I should think we’d be able to top off at Warp Five; I’d need to run a simulation to confirm. My only concern is that, with the computer systems already on auxiliary, if we run into any snags we won’t have backups to fall, well, back on.”
Caelian turned his attention to Woods and nodded. “But yes, it should work. If you’ll give me a moment to review some of the data, something is bothering me.”
Offering another quick smile, Caelian hefted his PaDD and began to pour over the information available on the entity on Deck 34. Something about the way it had behaved before it had passed through the barrier was eating at him…
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—
Her last stop before returning to sickbay was main engineering where the computer said Lt Woods was currently working. The man seemed to be everywhere. The shuttle bay, even his thoughts seemed to range across the ship in a way she wasn’t used to from humans. She had even felt his thoughts touch on hers briefly a few times. Especially after the contact with the mote…no that young terrified girl. Eyes closed she took a deep breath and then made her way into the main area of engineering and walked over to him. “Lt. Woods, I need to fit you with one of these mobile monitors.”
“There!” Caelian exclaimed triumphantly, stabbing his PaDD with a finger. A few quick commands brought the security feed from Deck 34 to the moment the more aggressive energy signature—how could he differentiate between them? did they have names?—slipped into view. Nodding, he moved the feed forward at one-quarter speed while he explained what he was seeing.
“As we’ve now noted, some of these energy… beings?… can move in and out of subspace, which is why there have been times were we can neither see or otherwise detect them. We have also see that there are several different types of signatures, each with their own properties. Several have been shown to be a subtype of a more general group—such as the ones orbiting this Lord Hab’rabi—that lead me to agree with the current theory that they’re individuals. In looking over the data available, I can confirm that this one is also the same ‘individual’ that was encountered briefly in Sickbay. Or, at least, similar enough that they are closely related.”
So engrossed in his theories and projections that Caelian failed to notice Lieutenant Fayth not two paces behind him. He made a gesture with his free hand as if to dismiss his own thoughts like pestering gnats before taking another breath and plunging headlong into his hypothesis.
“While that may or may not be relevant at some point, what I wanted to illustrate is a rather unusual bit of behavior during the encounter with this particular scintilla. We see later in the recording that it was able to move through the containment field by means of slipping into and out of subspace. Which, I might add, also seemed to weaken the field briefly simultaneously; I’m still working on that part.”
Another wave of his hand. Shaking his head, Caelian paused the feed at the moment the energy mote in question first came into contact with the containment field. A command from his PaDD brought the field’s output up on the left side of the display followed by the matrix of the ember.
“This was what was gnawing at me,” he murmured, gesturing to the comparison. “I was curious as to why a being capable of moving through subspace would come into contact with an energy field. Judging from the drop in the field’s output and the simultaneous rise in the being’s energy matrix, I think it was studying the field. Possibly even feeding on it. If it’s the former, we’ll have to randomly modulate our barriers to keep them guessing; if it’s the latter, well, I don’t need to tell you how much more difficult it will make containing them.”
Caelian sighed, shook his head again. “And that’s just this specific specimen. The other seem to behave differently, which will make dealing with them collectively a task of logistical nightmares. I’m stretching my understanding six ways to salvation when it comes to the field of engineering, sir. I have the faint feeling this misto—” the young man gestured to the densest signature type “—is going to keep me up at night.”
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—
Sharah listened absently at first and then suddenly recognized the voice of the engineer. It took her back, all the way to Ark Angel and that horrible decision she’d made, and irrevocably altered a life. And now here was the man that had brought Ark Angel home. “Cael.” She looked at the data on the screen. “There were two of them. That one,” she pointed at the more orange colored mote, “and another one. They both came out of Cmdr Kohr. That one disappeared through a bulk head. The other one came out of him right after. It…it died.” And now she was responsible for another life - irrevocably ended.
Caelian turned from his work at the sound of Sharah’s voice, offered her a polite smile. He seemed relieved to see her, though his elation slowly slipped into a warm kind of melancholy when she mentioned what had happened with the mote. It didn’t take an empath to see how it had affected her, especially not with their common history. His face twitched with the mental exertion he applied to not thinking about his own failures. That would help no one now, though neither had been responsible.
“I’m sorry,” was all he managed to whisper.
She knew Cael, kind of, and knew that once he was focused on something it had his whole attention. “I need to fit you with a monitor. A quick scan and I’ll be done.” She waited for his consent, too the scan and fixed the monitor.
He nodded mutely, just watched her as she went about her task. Though his soft smile never truly faltered, his skin hummed with the anxiety to get back to work. He waited patiently for her to scan him, find nothing amiss, before moving off.
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—
Mark was deeply engrossed in conversation with the engineer. The two seemed to be in a rapid-fire meeting of the minds and processing information back and forth. Both were simulating and crunching information at high speeds, making connections and filling in gaps in a way that would have been remarkable most anywhere. “I know what you mean, Ensign. Keep at it,” he said. “Start working on a modulation setup with enough stability to not mess with power consumption too much but enough randomness to keep them guessing. For now anyway. I’ll get back to you in a minute.”
With that he turned to Doctor Fayth and stepped away, gesturing for her to come with him until they were out of earshot. It didn’t take an empath to see she was a little out of sorts. It was the same doctor that had been at the shuttlebay before and of course, he’d felt her distress earlier. Concern radiated off of him in waves. It wasn’t just one officer to another but much more personal. There was connection there. If it could be boiled down into anything it would have been a silent ‘Are you alright?’ It wasn’t just a pleasantry but genuine concern. Sure he didn’t know the doctor at all, but in the grand scheme time known didn’t mean much. And then the words came aloud. “Hey, are you alright? I felt … sickbay. And you.” He wasn’t questioning her ability as an officer or doctor, but was looking after her.
Lt Woods, CSO/aXO
Fayth followed him…anyone else would assume he wanted some semblance of privacy while the doctor did whatever she was there to do. Fayth knew otherwise. The compassion and concern rolling off of him was enough to break through all the noise and urge her to a fresh bout of grief. She absolutely refused. Maybe she wanted to, to give in to the grief, to morn that small little girl who so desperately wanted her mother. But she couldn’t, not right at that moment. She didn’t know how to respond to his question. No she was not alright, but when was she ever? If she said no, was he going to send her to Korczak? But then if he could feel what was going on in sickbay then he could tell she was not alright.
Finally, she shook her head ‘no’ and then reached into her case. “I just need to take a quick scan for a base line.” She flipped open the tricorder waiting for permission. “The monitor won’t stop them, the remnants. It will alarm though if one…makes contact. If you hear one go off you should call medical and security.” She took a monitor out of the case and after a few quick taps of the interface she held it to his upper arm and secured the band. She was meticulous in not making physical contact. The feeling that he was trying to look out for her was too much - in many ways. “We don’t have enough for everyone. All senior staff and some of the repair crews are getting them. Everyone else will have to report to the check points every hour. I hope our medical scans can help you find a way to contain them. If we can help…I need to get the rest of these pass out.” There was a fleeting touch of gratitude to her presence and then she was gone feeling more confused and off kilter than she had all day.
Like Caelian, Marcus checked out fine and with no presence of any electrostatic charge. The monitors synced with the Viking‘s main computer almost seamlessly—albeit a touch slowly—and blinked a merry all-clear.
It could have been a trick of the light playing across the monitor that displayed the different energy matrices that tugged at their attention. Perhaps it was simply the magick of the subconscious, working diligently even when the conscious mind and focus was aimed elsewhere. Still possible was the work of an unseen force greater than either of them, teasing the pieces of the puzzle with inspirational hands. Whatever it was, the result was the same: Caelian’s so-called misto was not one, but two matrices blended into a larger plasmoid lifeform!
Looking at it head-on, it was almost impossible to make out. It’s waveform and amplitude patterns overlapped in such a way as to defy detection. But now that they’d caught it, it was almost impossible not to see now. The motes of energy in orbit of Hab’rabi’s head were a complex amalgamation of two of the lesser types detected elsewhere aboard the Viking—the more benign and bumbling amber wisps and the darker russet embers that so easily evaded their containment protocols.
The question now remained: what to do with this revelation, and how did it apply to their situation?
Something about the data running across the screen in Engineering had Fayth stopping before she left to return to sickbay. “That looks like a biological pattern mixed with…whatever that is.” and she pointed to the second signature. “It seems bio-electric but I’ve never seen bio-electricity act like that before. I wouldn’t know how to search for that.” It looked vaguely familiar to her but she couldn’t place where. She pushed her way, with a quiet apology, past an NE working at a console and pulled up the data of the scans she took in sickbay, “Look there’s both of them…or more specifically both types came out of Cmdr Kohr…but they weren’t connected. Look here at the scan Cael has up, same patterns…just minor differences that account for individuality…Actually this orange one is the one that came out of Cmdr Kohr…but…” she pulled up both scans and examined them, “It’s less cohesive now.” She swiped rapidly, flicking and manipulating images....”Where they are connected, it almost seems to be some kind of adverse symbiotic relationship. The white mote was weak and unsteady where the orange one was not when they left Cmdr Kohr’s body....and look at this other one..where they’re joined....” The energy levels and interaction seemed different than how they read individually. “I would really like a medical scan of one of these combined.”
She stared at the screen. They could tell if the motes were interacting with the brain from the bio-electric static it created. She wondered, “If this signature is bio-electric we can easily scan for those. It’s how the ship’s sensors detect life forms already. So any that are connected or singular we can track easily. It’s this one, this other one…when it’s alone we have to find a way to track.” She glanced at the screen Cael had pulled up of the two motes with the forcefield. “It is bio-electric!” She paused for half a second to look and see if Woods was watching the screen too. “That one, the white one, it’s weak and unable to move through it, but I don’t know why it’s weak. Standard security forcefields repel bio-electric patterns. Among other things, but that might be why it can’t pass through…well maybe…maybe it has to be combined in order to move through?” this wasn’t exactly her field. She should probably get back to sickbay.
With Caelian’s input and then Sharah’s he saw what she was talking about and in some was was still kicking himself for missing it. He wasn’t a doctor, nor neurologist. Outside of his expertise. But she was right. Or at least it felt right. Staring at the amber Remnants, he scratched at his jawline, arms crossed over his chest. “How about instead of tracking them, we force them to come to us,” he mused to the both of them.
“If we can create a static warp field, we might be able to thicken or stiffen subspace. They’d have to come back to our space to move around. Which then we could track. I don’t want to do it if it’s harmful.” Tipping his head back, he ran a couple of simulations, eyes moving rapidly side to side beneath his closed eyelids. Hypothetically it shouldn’t, unless they needed to go to subspace to regain or recharge their strength. Which in this case, they would effectively be starving the Remnants.
While such a field should work sufficiently to prevent the remnants from moving back and forth—having never tested the theory on an alien being hailing from the far side of the galaxy, one couldn’t be too positive—it would nevertheless require a great deal of energy from the Viking. Ensign Weir had mentioned the ability to make such modifications earlier, so the ability to attempt it was a very real and achievable goal. And while the idea of being unable to travel anywhere while the field was active might have seemed less-than-optimal, it didn’t have to be all bad—if Woods was intent on investigating the alien ship, that would certainly be the time to do it!
It would also give the rest of the crew a nice incentive to find a lasting solution—diplomatic or otherwise—for Hab’rabi and his pet motes.
“Hopefully we can get you a paired scan.” Turning his attention to Doctor Fayth, he considered for a moment. “Have we considered that the Remnants might actually a mated pair bond? Like spouses, or some such?”
Lt Woods, CSO/aXO
Static Warp Field? Yep that was beyond her area of expertise now. She considered his last comment though, her head tipped to the side, and pulled up the scan of the joined mote. “Computer can you determine the biological composition of this sample?”
“Sample contains one hundred thirty-four types of biological components,” the computer stated flatly. “Displaying according to density.“
While the list was extensive to say the least, it was easy for either Fayth or Woods to determine the query was a bit of a dead end. The joined motes, having a rather dense ionic charge, had accumulated a hodgepodge of molecular matter from their various locations of travel—from skin cells to airborne bacteria to carpet fibers. While they didn’t retain they didn’t retain them in their orbit for long, they still served to attract whatever was nearby like static to dust. Part of their energy matrix seemed able to break these biological factors down to their atomic levels before absorbing them completely. Perhaps this entropic nature could explain how they existed outside of Hab’rabi; their effect on the simplest life would also explain why they hadn’t harmed the crew or the ship in their encounters.
She enlarged the image and watched it. “Possible, but if they are…compared to what we know of other similar energies and life forms, the patterns should be attempting to sync. Computer, are the energy patterns attempting to sync or merge?”
“The energy patterns displayed are in a state of multiphasic entanglement,” the computer replied. “Rate of attraction does not exceed the rate of repulsion.“
While there were obviously forces at-play beyond their ability to detect or analyze, the computer was still able to display the difference in outputs between the two types of energy matrices. Each wave type rose and dipped in response to the other, it seemed, trading weakness and strength in equal measure. It tickled the imagination akin to two stellar bodies exerting force upon each other to maintain a stable orbit, a dance of push and pull. The pale amber motes held more of a positive ionic charge that its peer, enjoying more the role of pull; conversely the russet ember held more a negative ionic charge at any given time, taking on the role of push.
She looked glanced up at Woods a moment before looking back at the screen. “Even if they are, we can hypothesize that the two that came out of Cmdr Kohr were hostile toward each other. The orange mote had a stronger energy pattern compared to the white one, which was much weaker. I don’t know…maybe I picked up on something. But the way they came out. It was like the white one was trying to hold on as they floated out of his skull and as soon as the orange one was able to pull away it left. If they were a mated pair, one wouldn’t abandon the other.” She waved at the screen, “but then that’s based of what we know. They may follow different rules. But something happened to that orange mote. If we compare the scans from sickbay to deck 34 it seems to have lost some cohesion…”
She studied it for a bit longer just staring at it, back and forth. “Energy life forms that we know of get weaker the more they exert themselves. Like they loose part of themselves as they expend energy. That could be going on here. They might have the ability to shift into subspace but it might come with a severe cost. The more they shift the weaker they get. Why don’t we try your warp field idea. We can talk all day, but until we try something we won’t know where to go next.” Well wasn’t she just used to talking like a department head now? How strange to fall back into such habits. Moving forward, try something, that had created Mini Fayth. “I don’t think it will hurt them. Not in the short term. When joined they can’t shift or they won’t. That’s not clear. But the point is that they don’t which means they can survive without crossing into subspace. We would just be cutting off their escape route.”
Tabirs had entered the room about 5 minutes earlier, having been working on some isolated incidents with plasma relays a few decks down. He caught himself up on the plans and adjusted his glasses, as he thought, pushing them up and pinching the bridge of his nose. “Ok, so a static warp field, that’s absolutely doable when we’re running at regular capacity, however with the computer and electrical subsystems on the fritz, is it wise to attempt to have the computer run the calculations to maintain the static bubble? I know that counterintuitivly it’s easier to maintain a warp bubble while traveling, but I think if we run the Variant Kosinski Equation we should be able to create a stable bubble without causing too much trouble. That or we’ll all get trapped in a parallel universe shaped by our very thoughts. Either way really.” Tabris said, more of a stream of consciousness ramble than an actual conversation. He always liked to ramble, and go on about possibilities. He left out the references to the past that he usually had, but it was small steps?
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