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Finding The Time

Posted on Oct 27, 2018 @ 11:15pm by Captain Michael Turlogh Kane

Mission: The Uncertainty Principle


(Continued from "Piece Of Cake")

Location: USS Phoenix, adrift in Wolf 1061 system
Stardate: [2.18]1027.1520
Scene: Main Bridge - deck 1, saucer section

Internal communications had been restored... sort of. Even though Jake Crichton was currently basking in the praise of having come up with the ingenious solution to reroute comms through the replicator system, it was only one small step on the road. There was yet much to be done, and Jake knew it. The warp core, for example, was still not functioning correctly - although an immediate overload had been averted, the heart of the Phoenix was locked into an ever-increasing power spike that was slowly, but surely, going to tear the ship to pieces.

They had a working theory - that Dr. Eden's experiment had gone drastically wrong - but no details. The Phoenix had emitted the modified triquantum waves to her fore, creating the transwarp conduit that was to propel her through subspace, but less than three seconds after the conduit's formation, the ship had collided with something, and nobody could figure out what.

Jake, Sotaar, Jasmine, and Byte were distracted by the appearance of Lynette Ryan. The young engineer clambered out of the bridge Jeffries tube, her gold-banded black uniform not dark enough to hide the sweat stains across her torso from her long climb. Behind her, a medical team followed, led by Ensign S'Tanu.

"Commander!" exclaimed Lynette. She removed a PADD from her belt. "We've restored partial sensors - you'll want to see this!"

Jake took the PADD and handed it to Byte, watching how S'Tanu's team were working on Ensign Trimble. The young Vulcan looked up from his tricorder and gave Jake a nod. "She is stable enough to be moved."

"See to it," said Jake. As the med team gathered Stephanie Trimble up and prepared to bear her load to sickbay, he turned to Lynette again. He could see the young woman was tired, but there was no time to rest. "What's happening in Engineering, Ensign? Is everyone alright?"

Lynette shook her head. "No, sir. We have fatalities - five or six, I think. Doctor Eden and Commander Malin-Argo are alive and well. When I left, the warp core was - "

"Right," nodded Jake. "We've been in contact with Engineering since you started your climb, Ensign. Internal comms are the priority, with the state of the wap core a close second. Come on, let's look at what you have brought."

The two of them moved to the rear of the bridge. Byte, Sotaar, and Jasmine were crowded around the Science Two station as Byte fed Lynette's data into the LCARS system. "Report," said Jake.

Byte scanned through the data feed. {{Partial sensors. They have been accessed with a direct console command instead of through the computer network.}} The android glanced at Lynette. {{A fine technique, Ensign.}}

"Thanks," blushed Lynette. "We booted up the local sensor palette and scanned the ship's immediate exterior. There's nothing there, we're adrift in empty space."

{{Confirmed,}} said Byte. {{The superstructure of the ship is also intact. No hull breaches detected. Commander, I believe I can use Ensign Ryan's technique to boot up the sensor palette on deck thirteen.}}

"If there's enough power, then go ahead," said Jake, as Sotaar and Jasmine looked on. Despite himself, he felt a little flush of hope.


Scene: Primary sickbay - deck 12, saucer section
Time Index: Several minutes later

Michael Turlogh Kane lay in his sickbay biobed feeling more helpless by the minute. He had been down here for over an hour now, and other than an examination by the reticent Dr. Suvek, he hadn't heard from anyone. He didn't have his own room per se - it was a little alcove at the end of one wall that contained a biobed - but it irritated him that he couldn't clearly see what was happening. The partition on his right slashed his line of sight right down to the facing wall and the ceiling above him, neither of which had anything interesting to look at.

There were voices murmuring near him, mainly people talking about the damage to the ship. Internal repairs were underway, of that he was certain, and there seemed to be a professional, business-like air in the whole of sickbay, a knowledge that their efforts here were part of a wider effort. It gave Kane a sense of pride that everyone was pulling together to pull the Phoenix out of whatever situation she had found herself in, but then it was to be expected. This was a fine crew.

There was a hustling and bustling from behind the partition. Several of the medical staff were moving someone - a woman, going by their pronouns - from a stretcher to the biobed. At first he thought it might have been Karrington Crow, but he discounted that. Lieutenant Crow was out of action, at least for now.

Doctor Bartlett pushed the partition back. Kane took in the scene. Bartlett and a middle-aged Latino Human man were carefully examining Stephanie Trimble, who was splayed out on the biobed like a broken puppet. The other man began a careful examination of Trimble's head as Bartlett glanced at Kane.

The new CMO appraised him quickly. "Everything alright, Captain?"

Kane sighed. "I feel fine, Doctor. Occasional wooziness, but I'm not going to die here."

"Indeed you are not!" said Bartlett. He raised an eyebrow and leaned down towards Kane's face, running his eyes over the diminishing lump on the right side of Kane's head. "The swelling is going down, but you're not leaving sickbay yet, I'm afraid. I want to keep you here for a few hours. Observation and all that."

"Doctor, this is - "

"Very necessary, Captain," said Bartlett. "You have a concussion, which I remind you is a traumatic brain injury. Normally I would prescribe plenty of physical and cognitive rest, but since that is not possible in our current situation, you'll just have to stay where we can keep an eye on you."

Kane rolled his eyes. He looked over at Stephanie Trimble, still being examined by the other medical officer. He remembered that she had been working the bridge science station before the impact. "Is Ensign Trimble badly hurt?"

Doctor Bartlett lowered his voice. "Yes, I'm afraid so. She has a fractured skull, and we are concerned that an intracerebral hemorrhage may be present." He paused a moment, and Kane saw in his eyes that he was genuinely concerned for Trimble's condition. "But don't worry, Captain. Ensign Morales is a good neurologist. We can help her. You concentrate on yourself."

"I'd like a damage report as soon as possible," said Kane. "Have someone from Engineering - "

"Captain Kane, really!" Bartlett shook his head and jabbed a finger at Kane like an admonishing schoolteacher. "There will be nothing of the sort! Rest assured that the ship's department heads are working together and have everything under control! You really must get some rest!"

As if to punctuate his words, a voice filtered toward them on the air, godlike in its apparition. [[Engineering to sickbay.]]

Bartlett's eyes lit up even as Kane recognised the voice as belonging to Asta Elgin. "Sickbay. Bartlett here. Hello there!"

[[Doctor Bartlett, this is Ensign Elgin in Engineering. Internal comms have been restored - this has been a frequency restoration test. Engineering out.]]

"Thank you, young lady!" Bartlett looked down at Kane. "There now, you see?"

Kane shrugged.

Bartlett rolled his eyes and got back to observing Ensign Morales.


Scene: Main bridge - deck 1, saucer section

Jake Crichton nodded in satisfaction as Jonathan Maynell got off the comms. After an hour of cake-based communications - and he was sure that nothing like that had even been done on a starship before - internal comms between all the main departments were back. Maynell had outlined how the power system engineers were prioritising the ship's nerve centres - the bridge, Engineering, sickbay - over those decks composed of crew quarters. It would take a few more hours before all decks were reconnected, but things were proceeding apace.

Sotaar had moved down to the conn, trying to establish helm control. The Vulcan's brow was furrowed like a ploughed field as he worked as quickly as he could, but had not had any success thus far.

Lynette was working the bridge engineering station, trying to reroute a connection through the wildfire maze of the ODN relays to whatever part of the main computer was still functional. The young woman was absorbed in her work, her face eerily underlit by the glow of a control panel on the deckplate next to her.

He, Byte and Jasmine Yu were watching the sensor feed. Both of them were experts in reading and interpreting the vast mass of data that the sensor palettes sent to their workstations - discarding the irrelevant, retaining the pertinent. Jasmine was obviously at a disadvantage to Byte's positronic brain, but multiple pairs of eyes on the same problem ensured the highest possible degree of accuracy, so Jake was happy for her to be there.

{{Strange readings, Commander,}} reported the android. {{There is absolutely nothing untoward about the Phoenix's immediate surroundings.}}

"I hear what you're saying, Mister Byte, but that's just not possible," said Jake. "We hit something. That something likely emerged from, or was in the immediate vicinity of, the transwarp conduit we generated. So where is it?"

{{I am scanning for subspace phenomena now, Commander, but I do not know of anything that would cause damage consistent with what we have suffered.}}

"Me either," said Jasmine. "Commander, whatever happened to us has likely never happened to any starship in history. There may not be any answers, let alone easy ones."

Jake sighed. He looked at Lynette. "Ensign Ryan, do we have enough power to put out a distress signal?"

She shook her head. "External communications are still out, sir."

"Wait!" exclaimed Jasmine. She pointed at something in the sensor data feed. "What's that?"

Byte cocked its head like a bird. {{Yes, Lieutenant. I am seeking a confirmation reading now.}}

"What's going on?" asked Jake.

Jasmine was shaking her head. "Chronoton particles. The ship is flooded with them."

{{Confirmed,}} said Byte. The android pointed at the data feed. {{We appear to be adrift in the midst of a cloud of chronotons.}} An image of the Phoenix appeared in one corner of the screen, adrift in space but speckled with a cloying soup of particles.

"Are we in danger?" said Jake in alarm.

{{No, Commander,}} said Byte. {{Chronotons are sub-atomic particles that are harmless to life, but exhibit strange properties. High concentrations of them have been observed to be present during temporal phenomena.}}

"Time," said Jasmine in wonder. "That's the phenomenon we're dealing with. Not a cosmic string or a quantum filament - it's time itself." She turned to Jake. "Sir, I need to report something to you. A strange vision I had earlier - if other members of the crew have been having the same experiences, then we might be on to something."

Jake shared a lance with Byte, and the two of them gave Jasmine their full attention.


NRPG: Tag Ranjani! Also, Eve and Kassandra are having a similar conversation right now in Engineering (tag Susan/Alix).

Jerome McKee
the Soul of Captain Michael Turlogh Kane
Commanding Officer

"He speaks an infinite deal of nothing!"
- Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", Act 1, Scene 1.117



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