[USS Vanguard] Cat in the box

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 23:18:11 +0100 (BST)

Staring into the mirror, Kieran took a deep breath and tugged slightly at the 
neckline of his uniform once more, watching the hollow of the third pip bob 
uncertainly behind the tendon at the front of his neck, pushed out by the 
swelling of his adam's apple as he swallowed nervously.The intense, deep, grey 
eyes that stared back at him echoed the insecurity he felt - he had no bridge 
experience, no training for it. That third pip, it appeared, had come with a 
heavier weight than he'd expected dragging at his collar. Stepping back a 
little, he settled his nerves as best he could, though his high forehead still 
insisted on creasing into its customary frown, drawing his dark hair down and 
furrowing his eyebrows, sinking eyes further away from the light. Around six 
feet tall, perhaps a little less, the narrow cut of the uniform showed his 
athletic physique - muscular but not bulky. Straight nosed and tight-lipped he 
was not classically handsome, though he'd been payed compliments in some 
quarters at the academy, but there was an air of watchful intensity about him 
that he hoped would serve in the place of actually knowing what he was doing. 
The art of leading, of course, didn't lay in actually being able to do any of 
the jobs on the bridge, but ensuring that they were done - there was still a 
chance. On that happy note, he turned to the door and stepped out, ready to 
take to the bridge. **************** The bridge was, strangely, noisier than 
usual, despite the increase in volume of his own heartbeat as he stepped out of 
the turbolift. By now, of course, the entire bridge crew would have been 
informed of who was going to be taking over, and he felt the stares and 
sidelong glances as he stepped up to the command chair. "Captain." he said, 
quietly, coming to a halt. "Ah, Mr Darkwater. You have the bridge." Four simple 
words, each harmless in and of themselves, but the sudden tension across his 
shoulders spoke volumes more than any four words should. Lives, now, lay in his 
hands, souls who placed their faith in something larger than themselves, 
larger, in some ways, than their whole planetary systems, and it was embodied 
suddenly in him. "Aye sir." ***************** The transport, despite his worst 
fears, went without a hitch, and suddenly he and the remainder of the bridge 
crew were stuck in 'wait and see' mode. That lasted for approximately a 
minute... "Sir, I've lost the signal from the away team." the young ensign at 
ops informed him, not turning away from her board. "Interference?" he asked, 
leaning forward, catching his elbow on the panel on the arm-rest. "No, sir. 
They're... I can detect the remainder of the ship, it's like they aren't there 
any... they're back." "Put the display up on the main screen." he ordered, and 
before him the sensor read-outs appeared. "Filter out the chroniton and tachyon 
readings." he ordered, and image settled a little. "What's the rest of the 
emissions in the area?" he asked after a few more seconds of study. "Uh... 
gravometric disturbances, sub-space threshold weaknesses and... something 
that's similar to anti-proton cascades, but... more intense." Kieran, along 
with those bridge crew not immediately involved with their own panels watched 
the strange image on the screen as it flitted and jumped about. For a moment 
the ship appeared to move in space, and then it was suddenly damaged and 
venting plasma. Readouts on the crew, inset to one side, were changing even 
more rapidly. "I can't make sense of these readings...." the ops Ensign said, 
quietly, almost a whine. "Join the club..." he reassured her, sitting back into 
the surprisingly comfortable chair, brow furrowing as he attacked the problem. 
"But it doesn't make any sense." "Yet... it doesn't make sense YET." he 
corrected. "Let's run through the possibilities... the sensors are 
malfunctioning? I presume you've already checked for that." "Level three 
diagnostic shows no problems." she confirmed. "Good, in that case perhaps there 
is interference of some sort? Any evidence of extraneous signals or emissions?" 
"None." "Then we have only two possibilities left. That really is happening, 
and we need to explain how, or that is not happening, but our sensors are being 
confused into thinking it is." Turning towards the back of the bridge, he 
nodded to a security officer stood by the door in case he were needed at 
tactical. "Poke your head into the Captain's ready-room - see what you can see 
out of the window?" He nodded and stepped briskly to his task as the screen 
continued to jumble before them all. "Its... its all just a blur, really..." he 
offered, after a moment, with an apologetic shrug. "So, the sensors aren't 
giving us the same information as our eyes, which means the signal is being 
processed incorrectly.... let's take what we have and try to work back. 
Computer, list of known or theoretical phenomena that will cause tachyon, 
chroniton, gravometric and subspace disruptions of the manner found." "Quantum 
singularity, Superstring Inversion Well, Subspace Threshold Breech, Schrodinger 
Event." the computer listed, reasonably quickly. The first three would have 
destroyed the ship at this range, almost immediately, which left... 
"Schrodinger Event?" he wondered aloud. "Ensign, when you filtered out the 
tachyon and chroniton particles, did you leave the Heisenberg compensators 
active?" "Yes, sir." she replied, anticipating his request. "Shut them off, 
too." The screen turned into a jumbled mess of overlapping images, and the 
lifesign counter went from jumping between none and a few hundred to millions 
before it gave up trying to count. "That's what I saw out of the window..." the 
security officer explained. "What is it?" the Ops Ensign asked. "I think," 
Kieran hazarded, his eyes widening slightly despite himself, "I think that's 
getting close to every single USS Tomonaga there could possibly be..." Off> TBC 
- I'm back!!!!

Yahoo! Plus - For a better Internet experience

USS Vanguard: http://ncv80221.netfirms.com/default.htm
Gamma Fleet: http://gammafleet.startrekrpg.org/
FreeLists: http://www.freelists.org
Vanguard Archives at Freelists: http://www.freelists.org/archives/ncv80221

Other related posts:

  • » [USS Vanguard] Cat in the box