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Probing Questions

Posted on Jan 27, 2019 @ 1:36am by Commander Jacob Crichton & Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Jan 27, 2019 @ 1:40am

Mission: The Uncertainty Principle

"Probing questions"

(Cont. "getting answers")

* * *=/\=* * *

Stardate: 2.19.0125.2105
Scene: Battle bridge

Kassandra had the increasingly irritating feeling that for the last day she’d been one step behind and a minute too late for everything. Having booked it to the bridge to find the Captain, she’d found herself confronted with a sealed door, and the computer stridently and unhelpfully telling her that there was no atmosphere behind said door, so she’d doubled back, heading down to the battle bridge, assuming that if anyone had survived, they’d be down there, and if not, that *someone* ought to be there anyway.

She’d arrived, only to find that Jasmine Yu was being sent out of phase, or whatever it was that was happening, Kassandra was still a little vague about what was going on except something about two ships coexisting in one moment of time, and inevitable doom because that sort of thing wasn’t supposed to be possible.

Now she was back to staring at a whole bunch of lots of very busy people working with not much to do herself. As Jasmine made her preparations and vanished into the void, Kassandra felt a little wriggle of jealousy. If anyone should get to make pointless heroics in weird alien situations, it ought to be her… Of course, there was no guarantee her sensor nets would even work, wherever Jasmine was going.

Of course there was no guarantee that it would make any sense to someone’s brain, it could be like whatever it was that Byte looked into that one time with the nightmare creature.

“Sir, we’re detecting a power surge in the rear of the ship!” Ensign Ryan said suddenly. Kassandra perked up a bit, maybe a chance for some action was in the cards. “Near the Marine Barracks. I can’t get a good read on it, though.”

“Major-” Kane began.

“Way ahead of you,” Kassandra said, hoping she didn’t sound overly pleased to finally be of some use. She tapped her communicator. “Squish, we’ve got a bogey on the Marine Decks, I need eyes on it. Are Thing One and Thing Two there?”

[[Yes Ma’am, been keeping them on reserve. Let me patch your through to them, I’ll update the gunny.]]

[[Hey Boss. What’s the sitch?]] Massimo’s cheerful tones eminated a moment later from her communicator.

“We’ve got an unexplained power surge in your area, I need you and Private Kuenzi to go there and see what we’re up against.”

[[We finally getting a piece of the action?]] The Marine’s voice was suddenly interested.

Kassandra raised her eyebrows at Kane, and he shook his head sharply.

“That’s a negatory, Marine. Take some field scanners, I want recon only, you aren’t to engage. Repeat, do *NOT* engage. Follow it, let us know what it is, where it’s goin’, but don’t make any moves on it.”


“Good. Squish, keep ‘em direct to me.”

[[Yes Sir.]]

The next five minutes felt like an eternity. Kassandra kept checking her chronometer- or, to be more accurate, since she couldn’t *not* see it with her nets - never stopped checking it, expecting for ten, fifteen minutes to have passed, only to find that it has been less than thirty seconds.

[[Found it,]] Pia Kuenzi’s voice said suddenly. [[It’s weird, Sir. So weird it’s shut Massimo up. Can’t *see* it exactly, it looks more like a heat shimmer than anything else. If you weren’t looking for it you’d probably miss it. We’re just setting up the scanners - Huh. That’s Odd.]]

“What have you got, Private?” Kane asked, leaning forward towards Kassandra and frowning.

[[I’m sending the readouts directly to the battle bridge, sir. I’ve got my suspicions, but I want to see if you guys are seeing the same thing.]]

The readouts began to stream over the main screen in the new bridge.

“That’s one of ours,” Kane slouched in his chair and put peaked fingers up to his lips. “There’s no sign of life forms, right?”

[[Doesn’t appear to be, no, Sir.]]

“Then it’s not the probe Lieutenant Yu is following-”

[[It’s moving!]] Massimo broke in, his voice was excited. [[We’re following. You’re tracking us right? You can see where it’s going, but we’ll be going silent. It’s moving fairly fast.]]

The remainder of the bridge crew seemed to hold its breath, as it watched the dots on the screen.

“It’s going to Engineering,” Kassandra said suddenly. “I know that route, it looks strange, but it’s the fastest way to main Engineering. It’s one of the routes my Marines do time trials on. Why’s the damn thing going to Engineering?”

“I don’t know. Do you have Marines stationed near there?” Kane snapped his head look at her.

“Course I do. Been there since we got comms up. What do you want me to do, Sir?”

“Nothing now, just have them work with Engineering on a plan to contain and destroy that probe if it looks like it’s going for something vital. They should be ready to attack and destroy if Malin Argos thinks it’s about to do something that endangers us.”

“Aye aye sir. Squish, did you get that?”

[[I hear and obey. I’ve forwarded the orders on to the team in Engineering.]]

Kane turned to look at Lt. Sotaar. “Advise Malin-Argo and Mr. Byte of the situation. Maintaining contact with Lt. Yu is--”


Scene: Engineering, in a possible future, in *the* future

It was becoming old hat.

Proving that, with enough repetition, the mind could get used to anything, Kass realized she was starting to get the hang of this. It was almost like being drugged - the first few times, it could be strange, alienating, a sense of being lost inside yourself. After a few rides around the carousel, though, you could find some kernel of self, a piece of the essential “you”, and that brought with it some measure of consistency. And so, as she felt herself being shuffled once more into the backseat, once again felt that disorienting fission of her consciousness,Kassandra Thytos managed at least one last sensible thought that was undeniably *hers*:

**Here we go again.**

She was in Main Engineering. A phaser rifle was socked into her shoulder, trained at a shimmering patch of nothing a little under three meters in front of her. Her sensor nets were telling her *something* was there,yet even they couldn’t quite *see* it. It was as if they kept trying to resolve the image into something that could be represented sensibly to her mind, yet never quite getting there. At best, she could make out the edges, the area where whatever it was stopped.

Beyond it, backed against the Master Systems Display and looking frail, thin, and somehow older than her considerable years, was Dr. Lorraine Eden.

“Permission t’ fire!” Kass felt herself say.

“Shoot it!” Lorraine Eden shouted. Ahead of her, the shimmering patch (**looks like heat shimmer,** she thought distantly) bobbed in the air, not getting any closer but neither pulling away. It was close enough that Eden could have reached out and brushed her fingertips across its surface - assuming there was really anything there to touch.

“Negative!” Malin-Argo said from behind her. “The tricorder isn’t even certain that there’s anything there!”

“Ah can *see* the damn thing!” Kass shouted. Not precisely true, but close enough for government work, she reasoned.

“Shoot it!” Eden shouted again.

“If you fire, you could hit the doctor,” Malin-Argo said.

Kass cursed. She looked away from the probe long enough to glare fiery daggers at the Grazerite.

“So find me a *way* to shoot it,” she growled.

“We’re working on it, Major,” Malin-Argo growled right back.

{{I’m detecting signals from the probe,}} Byte said. He was standing on the other side of Kass, near another Main Engineering workstation that she didn’t recognize. {{There are similarities to the signals from a standard Starfleet probe, but I believe there is an underlying pattern to the emissions.}}

“Well, ya got about ten seconds t’ figure ‘em out,” Kass said. “Doc! I need you to try to slip around the side of that console, move away from the probe!”

“Just shoot it!’ Eden cried again, her voice cracking under the strain.

“That’s a no-go, doc,” Kass said, trying to keep her voice steady but firm. “It’s too close; even if ah hit the thing, I might set it off. Ya need to back away.”

Dr. Eden started sliding to the left, trying to keep as far back from the probe as she could. As she moved, so did the probe - it slid to the left, keeping its distance from her almost perfectly consistent. Eden cried out as she saw it moving, and she froze in place.

“Damn it,” Kass swore again. She flicked a quick glance over her shoulder towards Malin-Argo. “It’s after Eden, Commander. We need t’figure out a way t’ git rid of the damn thing!”

“I *said* I’m working on it!” the Grazerite said.

{{I have isolated the pattern,}} said Byte. {{Major, I believe the probe may be trying to communicate.}}


Scene: Back on the battle bridge

“--the priority, but I want them keeping a level eye on that probe.”

“Goddammit,” Kassandra siad with a sigh. “No need. It’s goin’ after Doctor Eden. Dunno why, but Byte thinks- thought- is going to think it’s trying to communicate.”

“A vision?”

“Yeah, though I wish they’d just leave me alone. What’s the point of seein’ the future if nothin’ we do seems to make a dent on it,” Kassandra said with a sigh. “If y’ ask me, we should put Dr Eden in a force field, somethin’ the probe can’t get through. Better yet, get one of them eggheads to rig somethin’ to trap the damn thing before it gets into Engineerin’. Surely he can rig up an out of phase forcefield or somethin’, right? Prefereably somethin’ moveable so if it makes a wrong move we kin’ just flush it out into

Kane pivoted to look at Lt. Sotaar, who gave a curt nod, as he relayed the information to Malin Argo. The Captain turned back to look at Kassandra.

“I get the impression that you’d much rather just blow it up,” Kane raised an eyebrow at her. It was about as close to small talk as he got.

“Sir, I don’t know what it wants, really. I’d much rather destroy it to be safe, but I can’t ignore that it seems to be one of ours. Fer all we know, we’ve sent this thing from the future to tell ourselves something important. Then of course, it could be a trojan horse, made to look like ours so we don’t destroy it, an…” Going in circles again, Kassandra thought with disgust. Temporal crap made her cranky. “Well, either way, destroyin’ it is safer.”

“An eternal pessimist, I see.” Kane looked about as amused as he could be under the circumstances.

“There are old Marines, there are bold Marines, but there ain’t no old, bold Marines,” Kassandra quipped. “But truth t’ tell, I don’t rightly know how to go about destroyin’ this thing in the first place. I think the best thing is t’ get my people between it an’ Dr. Eden, an’ contain it, hear what it’s got to say, then flush it. Although, honestly, bein’ as it’s her fault we’re in this mess in the first place, an’ bein’ that she’s a pain in the ass…”

“Major!” Kane’s voice was warning. Close to annihilation or not, the Irishman would clearly brook no breakdown in decorum.

“Sorry Sir, gettin’ edgy. Right now I’m about as much use as balls on a monk, always in the wrong place at the wrong time, an’ out of the action. I’d much rather have somethin’ concrete to punch, yanno?”

[[Sir? It’s getting near the main doors to engineering. I’ve let the plasma pushers- er, engineering know. They’re going to try and trap it. Win-Win and Chen Po are guarding Dr. Eden. They’ve got energy batons and shields, though I don’t know how much use those are going to be.]] Massimo’s voice piped in from Kassandra’s communicator.

[[Captain, the probe is entering engineering, we’re attempting containment procedures.]]

There was a long silence.

[[Containment appears successful. Requesting permission to perform more in-depth scans.]]

“Permission granted,” Kane leaned forward in his chair. “Major Thytos has reason to believe the object will try to communicate with us.”

[[I’ll keep an eye out for it. Dr Eden is in my office, I’ll send the readings to her to look at. If the probe was looking for her, as Major Thytos suggested, then perhaps any message is meant for her.]]


NRPG: It's not great, but it's a post! (Well, Shawn's part is great)

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Kassandra Thytos


All the NPCs, since he offed Jake


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