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Getting Answers

Posted on Jan 14, 2019 @ 3:25am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Jan 14, 2019 @ 3:25am

Mission: The Uncertainty Principle

“Getting Answers”
(contd from ‘No More Tomorrows’)


SD: [2.19] 0113.1755
Scene: Shuttlebay Three, Deck 33 (Drive Section)

It took a while but both Lieutenants Byte and Jasmine Yu had arrived at their destination. Commander Malin-Argo was there, waiting for them. The Grazerite had already removed the class one probe from storage and moved it to the launch area, though the plan was not to send it out into space but to a parallel time continuum. Malin-Argo nodded in acknowledgement at the two officers. Turning to the Android, the chief engineer inquired, “Lieutenant, do you have the specifications for the subspace isolation field?”

{{Yes, I do.}}

Jasmine watched in silence as the two men began working on making the necessary modifications to the probe. It was going to be sometime before the probe was ready –half hour at least from what she heard. There was not much she could do to help except not get in their way so the young woman maintained a short distance like a few feet from them and just watched. Then the ship shuddered, nearly knocking her off-balance. “What’s going on? She noticed the two men stopped their work.

Malin-Argo sighed, realizing what was happening. “I believe they are making a second attempt to disentangle from the alien vessel.”

{{I don’t understand. We haven’t yet completed the modifications to the probe.}}

Jasmine said, “I think the situation has changed and that’s why they are making the attempt.” She then tapped on her comm badge. “Yu to Bridge…” Another shudder, this time more violently than the previous one, forcing Jasmine to grab the side of the probe. Some of the bulkheads came apart and Malin-Argo was knocked forward, his large body hovering over the probe, while Byte managed to hold onto the edge. The tremor continued for some time and when it stopped, Jasmine had this feeling that the tremors went on for hours, when it was merely minutes. Catching her breath, the Asian released her grip of the probe and stood, a little shaken up. “Yu to Bridge.” No answer except for static. “Bridge. Come in.” Again, nothing and she let out a sigh of frustration, glancing at Byte and Malin-Argo with a worried expression. “Bridge? Anyone there?”

The Grazerite tapped his comm badge. “Malin-Argo to Engineering.”

[[Engineering here,]] came Dalziel’s voice. [[Glad to hear you’re alright, Commander. Have you tried contacting the Bridge?]]

Yu replied, “Yes but no one’s answering.”

[[We couldn’t reach them either.]]

Malin-Argo demanded, “Lieutenant, did you make another attempt?”

This time it was Dr. Eden who replied, [[Yes…]]

While Eden and Dalziel explained to Malin-Argo the situation that led to the decision, Jasmine closed her eyes for a brief moment, worried about everyone on the bridge, when suddenly she felt fear grip her rather tightly. It couldn’t be. No, the vision came true.

[[Bridge to Shuttlebay three.]]

Relief washed over the young woman’s face upon hearing the CO’s voice. “Captain? I was unable to reach the bridge?”

There was a brief pause on the other side before the Captain spoke, [[Main Bridge was destroyed during the last tremor. Most of us have managed to evacuate and relocate to the Battle Bridge.]]

The words, ‘most of us’ came ringing furiously in her mind. So not all survived. She inhaled deeply before inquiring slowly, recalling her last vision. “Captain, did Commander Crichton make it?” Again another pause, which made her more nervous.

[[No, he didn’t, Lieutenant.]]

Jasmine was lost for words and felt her mouth dry. So part of the last vision had come true. The bridge exploded and Jake was killed. But how could that happen? She thought the main deflector dish was turned off-line. Did the aliens turn it back on?

[[Commander Malin-Argo, Lieutenant Byte, is the probe ready?]]

Byte replied, {{Not yet, Captain. We will require about ten more minutes.}}

[[Understood. Send the probe through as soon as you are ready.]]

{{Yes sir,}} the Android acknowledged.

[[Keep me updated of your progress. Bridge out.]]


TI: Ten minutes later

Byte informed, looking up, {{Modifications are complete. The probe is now outfitted with the phase discriminator, which should prevent it from integrating into the aliens’ time.}}

“Is the probe ready to be deployed?” Jasmine inquired, approaching the device.

Malin-Argo replied, “Yes.” The Grazerite tapped a few buttons on his console. “Mr. Byte, whenever you are ready.”

Jasmine watched the Android tapping his fingers on the console, her heart racing. Byte looked up at the others and announced.

{{Activating subspace isolation field. Now adjusting synchronic distortion.}}

Yu noticed a shimmer around the probe, which was starting to flicker. From what Byte explained to her, when they were on route, the probe would phase shift into the aliens’ time continuum once the synchronic distortion of the field was adjusted to the target phase variance differential.

{{Synchronic distortion now at point-five percent.}} Thus the probe vanished out of sight.

Jasmine stood behind Byte, watching in anticipated silence at the display panel as data from the probe streamed in. She sighed, hoping they would get some answers. Too many on this ship including their ExO had already died and more would follow if something wasn’t done to get the ship disentangled from the alien vessel.

{{Preliminary readings from the probe indicate a similar environment as our own,}} Byte began. {{Oxygen and gravity levels are comparable to our own.}}

“That means their air is breathable,” Jasmine said. “It also means we’d be able to survive in their environment.”

Malin-Argo reported, “Reading show their vessel generate a warp field in the same way as the Phoenix does, which already confirms our earlier suspicions that their technological level is similar to our own.”

“This is good news,” Yu remarked, feeling a little hopeful. “It now means we can establish communication with them.”

{{Wait, I am picking up a distortion that is causing an interference to the data stream,}} Byte suddenly announced, which had now put a damper on things.

“Can you clear it up?” Jasmine asked, masking the worry in her voice.

{{Attempting to clear up the distortion.}}

Jasmine’s gaze fixed on the screen as the Andorian danced his fingers all over the console, trying to clear the distortion, which made it difficult to parse the readings on the display. Then the screen turned black.

{{Signal from the probe is lost.}}

Yu closed her eyes for a brief moment, her shoulders slumping. She let out a sigh, knowing what the loss of the probe signal meant. “It now looks like we will need to phase shift ourselves over there to find out what happened.”

{{I concur,}} the Android agreed. {{As mentioned earlier, I volunteer to go on this mission. My positronic brain has a phase discriminator that can be adjusted to modulate a subspace isolation field around me.}}

“Okay.” Jasmine nodded. “I’m coming with you as security backup.”

Malin-Argo informed, “I’ll begin making modifications to one of the emergency transporter armbands for you, Lieutenant.”

Jasmine watched as Byte turned away from her to accompany Malin-Argo to the workstation. She felt a moment of envy; the android seemed wholly untroubled by the danger the ship was in, as well as by all the deaths. She reflected that Byte was a good choice as an advanced scout, since his judgment would not be clouded by emotions like anger or fear. But Byte was an officer, not equipment, not simply another probe. They could not afford to send him alone, without protection, not while the aliens’ intent remained unclear. With his cold logic, it was not out of the question that Byte might allow himself to be captured or destroyed for the safety of the rest of the PHOENIX. Jasmine could allow for the possibility that such a sacrifice could be necessary, but given everything they had already lost, it was not one she was willing to allow anyone to make lightly, not even Lt. Byte.

**An organic mind might see things a synthetic mind wouldn’t, ** she mused. **It might even be the key to putting a stop to all of this. **

{{It should not take long to make the adjustments,}} Byte was saying, though Jasmine couldn’t tell if he was speaking to Malin-Argo or to her. She realized she’d started to feel strange. Not sick, exactly, but not entirely well, either. There was something familiar about the feeling.

“Lieutenant,” Jasmine said. Byte began to turn.

{{Is something--}}


She was on the auxiliary bridge - colloquially known as “the Battle Bridge”, the secondary command center of the PHOENIX. She found the setting appropriate; she was in the mood for a good fight.

The lighting around her was low and red, giving the scene something of an infernal look. Red alert, Jasmine realized, mixed with low power. The deck was shaking under her feet.

**I’ve done this before, ** something inside of her thought. **I’m not supposed to be here. **

Jasmine pushed the thought aside and looked at Captain Kane. Under the low, red lighting, the blood coming from the ugly gash across the side of his head looked almost black.

Kane’s expression was beyond grim. He looked crazed, like a mad dog ready to bite. She understood why he looked this way, realized it mirrored the way she herself felt. Yet something inside of her recoiled at the sight of it.

**Does it really get this bad? ** That interior voice wondered.

“No response from Main Engineering,” Kane said, his voice shaky.

“The radiation,” came a voice from her left. She felt her head turn, and saw Kassandra Thytos standing there. The normally cavalier marine looked much like Captain Kane - injured, bleeding, ready to bite. “Malin-Argo an’ his team must’ve stayed behind t’ try’n contain it.”

“For all the good it does us,” Kane growled. “We have maybe thirty minutes until there’s a warp core breach, and nobody left to do anything about it.”

“What about evacuating to the saucer section?” Jasmine felt herself saying.

“The main bridge is gone,” came another voice. She felt her head turning again, and now she saw Eve Dalziel, standing a few feet to her right. Like the others, Eve was hurt, and bleeding - but instead of half-crazed, she wore an expression of grim resolve. “Even if it wasn’t, we’re still tangled up with the other ship. The saucer would be torn apart if we attempted separation.”

“So what are our options?” Jasmine felt herself say.

“Ah think we’re outta options,” Thytos said.

“No,” Kane said. “We have one left.”

Jasmine’s head swung back to him. That interior feeling once again began to squirm under his gaze.

“What do you mean, sir?” she felt herself say.

Kane set his jaw. “We order the ship to self-destruct.”

“You’re talkin’ ‘bout suicide,” said Thytos.

“We have a few minutes left, major,” Kane said. “And we’ve played every card we have but this one. We’re just as dead if we do nothing.”

She thought Kane had a point. Meanwhile. That inner-voice raged against the idea.

**No, ** it thought. **There has to be another way! There has to be another way! **

“You can’t be serious,” said Eve.

“I’m dead serious, counselor,” Kane replied flatly.

“No pun intended, I’m sure.”

“We don’t have time to argue,” Kane said. “Our window to act is closing rapidly. In a few minutes, the warp core will blow, and it’s going to take every single one of us with it.”

“And you want to kill us all a few minutes sooner?” Eve asked. “What exactly would be the point?”

“It might take *them* with us!” Kane said, stabbing a finger at some vague point in the air off to his right. “It might make them pay!”

“We don’t know their intentions were ever hostile!” Eve countered. “You want your last act to be murdering a bunch of people who might not even have a *clue*--”

“Your moralizing is pointless, lieutenant!” Kane spat. “*They* hijacked the deflector dish. *They* killed our crew, including Crichton and Byte, and in all likelihood everyone left in Main Engineering. And might I remind you, none of this would have happened - we wouldn’t even *be* here - if they’d had the wisdom to leave well-enough alone!”

**Byte, ** the interior voice thought. **He’s going to die. Like Crichton died. **

“They were trying to figure out a way out of this,” Eve said. “Same as us. They couldn’t have known what they were doing.”

“And yet *their* ship is intact,” Kane said. “*Their* crew is alive, while we’re burning in space.”

“The universe isn’t fair, captain,” Eve said. Her voice quavered as she spoke. Jasmine felt herself turning to look, and she saw the tears starting to form at the corners of Eve’s eyes.

“To hell with that!” Kane said. “I say maybe they realized before we did that only one ship was going to make it out of this. I say they did what they had to do, and didn’t think too hard about what the consequences would be for us. And if we have a chance to balance the scales before we’re snuffed out permanently, I say we take it!”

**We can change this, ** the interior voice thought, even as everything around her started to dissolve. **We have to change this. **

Her final fleeting thought as everything faded to white was that they’d tried to change things before, and it hadn’t worked.


{{--the matter, lieutenant?}} Byte asked.

Jasmine blinked, feeling her heartbeat and breathing elevated. Her last vision terrified her. Byte had died. Kane, in the vision, made the decision to self-destruct the ship. She swallowed a lump down her throat, still in disbelief over what she witnessed. If the Captain had decided to destroy the ship, taking the aliens along with it, then it meant that all hope was lost, otherwise he wouldn’t have made that call. She felt her heart sink, wondering that no matter what decision they took, the ship was still on its way to destruction. But she immediately shook off that feeling of hopelessness. **No, we were all provided these glimpses of future to try change things and save the ship, otherwise what’s the point. **


This time he had gotten through to her, when Jasmine looked up, noticing both the Ops and Engineering Chiefs eyeing her. “Byte,” she began, speaking rather quickly and in voice filled with urgency. “You cannot go on this trip!”

The Android raised an eyebrow. {{I do not understand, Lieutenant. Please state your reasons as to why you came to this sudden decision. }}

“Did you have another vision, Lieutenant?” Malin-Argo asked.

Jasmine nodded. “Yes.” She began providing an account of her most recent hop to the future. “I was in the battle bridge and there was only a few minutes left before the warp core breach. We had run out of all options and so the Captain decided to self-destruct the ship.”

{{Why would he make such an irrational decision?}}

She sighed, shrugging. “I don’t know but I doubt he’d or will make it unless he had or will have no other choice.”

“I concur with Lieutenant Yu,” Malin-Argo said. “It seemed all our efforts to reverse the energy build up in the warp core will fail.”

“In my vision, we lost contact with Main Engineering due to the radiation and you, along with your staff, likely remained behind to contain it.”

The Grazerite nodded. “I suspected the emergency forcefield around the core did not hold for much longer.”

Jasmine inhaled deeply – this wasn’t going to be easy to relay. She spoke slowly, her voice lowered, “Byte, I am sorry to tell you that in the vision, you had died, most likely killed either during or after our trip to the parallel time continuum.” She wasn’t sure if she should be impressed or troubled that the Android apparently looked unperturbed by the news regarding his death.

Byte, in a calm voice, said, {{Lieutenant, may I point out that you have not presented a rational justification as to why I must not go on this away mission.}}

“Please do.” Yu sighed, arching a brow. She wondered about mentioning the fact that as soon as they made the decision to go to the other time continuum, she was given a glimpse of the future. Jasmine believed the vision served as a warning that Byte going on the away mission would lead to his death.

{{In your vision, you discovered that I died but you do not know how. It is possible I survive the away mission and return with valuable information before my imminent death.}}

Jasmine brought up, “Well, I’d say we did go there since in the vision, I heard Kane mention that the alien vessel was still intact and their crew alive.”

Malin-Argo said, “It seems the aliens are unaffected by this situation while our ship sustained severe damages and lost members of our crew.”

{{That piece of information was obtained only because we went to their time continuum.” Turning to the Asian woman, the Android stated calmly, {{In order to resolve this crisis, I recommend proceeding with the away mission as planned. You can remain behind, Lieutenant if you are concerned for your safety.}}

**Actually, I’m concerned for your safety. ** Jasmine thought, frustration building up inside her. **I was still alive in the vision so I end up making it back. **

Malin-Argo pointed out, addressing the Ops officer, “But Lieutenant, judging from Lieutenant Yu’s vision, it seems the away mission, while bringing back information, failed to stop the aliens’ from proceeding with their plans and our condition worsened.”

Jasmine said, “Yes. It’s possible that the aliens may have taken our arrival to their time as hostile and decided to attack us, thereby possibly killing you and only I managed to return.”

“Or they did not want us to see what their true intent was and made the decision to eliminate you in order to prevent you from taking that information back here,” the Grazerite suggested.

[[Bridge to Shuttlebay Three,]] came Kane’s voice through the comms. [[Status on the probe.]]

Malin-Argo reported, “Sir, we lost contact with the probe and are now preparing to send Lieutenants Byte and Yu to the other time continuum, however Lieutenant Yu had another vision, which has put the away mission in doubt.”

[[Lieutenant Yu? What did you see?]]

Jasmine sighed before she gave the CO an account of her recent time hop. By the time she was done providing all the details and her recommendation that Byte shouldn’t go on the away mission, there was tense silence on both sides of the channel.

[[Mr. Byte, you will not be going on the away mission,]] Kane informed, breaking the silence.

The Android disagreed, his voice polite and devoid of emotion, {{Captain, I do not believe the decision is wise. The data from the alien’s time continuum will shed light on our situations such as why our ship is close to destruction, while theirs remain intact.}}

[[Lieutenant, we cannot take the risk in light of what Lieutenant Yu saw in her vision.]]

{{Captain, If my death is inevitable, as Commander Crichton’s ended up being, despite our efforts to change the events from those other visions where the bridge exploded and he died, then I do not see the reason for not going on this away mission. The information gathered there is the only thing that could help us get out of this crisis alive and intact.}}

Jasmine suggested without hesitation, “Then I’ll go alone and gather the information myself.”

[[Lieutenant,]] Kane said. [[There is a strong possibility you may die in his place. Are you sure about this?]]

**Not really. ** The Irishman had a point. She could be the one to die instead of Byte and that possibility was weighing heavily in her mind. Then again, if their fates were sealed, she could return in one piece, only to possibly die later along with everyone else when or if the warp core breach happened or the Captain went through with the ship self-destruct. “Sir,” she said calmly. “I’ve taken the risks into consideration so what I’m proposing is just go there, do a quick recon just to confirm the information from my vision and then return back.”

A moment had passed and Kane finally said, [[Alright, Lieutenant. Your mission is a go. But at the first sign of trouble, you return immediately.]]

“Yes, sir.” Yu nodded.

[[Commander Malin-Argo, Lieutenant Byte, you will monitor her.]]

The two men complied, “Yes sir.”

[[Good luck. Bridge out.]]

Malin-Argo informed, handing Yu the armband, “Lieutenant, I have completed modifications to the emergency transporter armbands.”

Jasmine took the armband from him and put it around her left arm. She picked up a tricorder and attached it to her belt. “I’m ready.” She inhaled in a deep breath and wondered if this was the right decision – she could be the one to die. But she put aside any doubts and get on with it.

{{Activating the field,}} Byte announced in a calm voice. Fortunately he was a synthetic being so wouldn’t have any hard feelings for not being permitted to go on the away mission. {{Lieutenant, keep your comm line open so we can still hear you but communication will only be one way and there may be some delay in transmission or interference to the signal.}}

“Understood.” Jasmine felt a shimmer around her – the subspace isolation field modulated to fit perfectly around her body. As she began phasing out, the young woman watched the shuttlebay, including Byte and Malin-Argo slowly disappearing from her view and soon after, the environment of the alien’s time continuum started coming into view. **Okay, here goes. ** She sighed.


A JP by Shawn and myself

Ranjani S.
Writing for
Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical


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