[USS Vanguard] Tracking

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 00:25:10 +0000 (GMT)

Midnight drew up slowly on Kieran as he hunched over the readout, the customary 
frown deepening further at the stream of data before his eyes.


?Ughr? he grunted, sweeping his hair back with his hands as he flung himself 
back from the console in frustration. None of it made sense. His back clicked 
gently as he straightened, reminding him of the hour and the time he?d already 
put in that day, but all that awaited him in his quarters were bad dreams and 
worse messages of condolence and sympathy.


?There is a problem, Cadet?? came a crisp, cool enquiry from the door, and he 
almost fell off the chair as he spun to see who was talking.


?Professor T?men.? He acknowledged, a little breathlessly, as his heart-beat 
slowed a little. The Vulcan nodded once, leaving the unanswered question still 
in the air.


?These resonance readings from the Polvaki artefacts you wanted done? the date 
ranges the readings suggest are impossible.?


?How so?? Kieran like T?men, for all her blunt manner seemed to irritate many 
of his classmates. She marked hard, but fair, but no question was dismissed out 
of hand, and no suggestion treated with disdain. She was, in all things, the 
consummate scientist.


?The Polvaki homeworld hadn?t settled enough to support life fourteen million 
years ago, but the chroniton residue in these samples suggests that?s how old 
these pieces are.?.


?You have considered Chroniton exposure?? 


?That was my first guess, but the rest of the find - including several other 
shard of this pot - all turned out in the fifteen to seventeen thousand year 


?So the logical conclusion is?? 


?That there?s a problem with the machine. I asked for it to be calibrated this 
evening. Technical services did so, and still the readings are there.?


?I knew of the calibration. There is a logical explanation.? 




?You discounted chroniton exposure completely.? 


?The other samples from the dig show no signs.? 


?But this sample does.? 


?Well? it reads oddly, but there?s no reason to suspect chroniton exposure.? 


?The readings are consistent with chroniton exposure, or you would not have 
considered it originally.? 


?That?s true, but it can?t be chroniton exposure.? 


?Unless?? He stopped, knowing that the answer wasn?t going to be given to him, 
even if he did need to be led to it. 


?Unless? the contamination occurred after the samples were separated?? 


?Correct. Transit history shows no signs of chroniton exposure prior to our 
receipt of the consignment. I would suggest either that someone has 
deliberately contaminated your sample as an attempt at humour, or there is an 
unshielded chroniton source that you have recently been exposed to.?


Kieran followed the trail slowly, checking the two tricorders at regular 
intervals - it wasn?t the most thorough of triangulations, with a baseline the 
width of his shoulders, and yet the trail was still strong enough that it was 
easy to follow.


Turning into the relative darkness of a narrow alleyway, Kieran felt his 
eyebrows rise in surprised recognition, looking at the secluded doorway that 
had secluded him the previous night. He followed the trail to the end of the 
alley, and then had to leave off at the door locked from the inside and head 
around to the front of the building to gain entry like everyone else. Before he 
left, though, he noted the peak concentration ? right where the barmaid had 
been stood.


At this hour the place was almost empty, but a few straggling remnants of the 
night?s conversation hung around the dimly lit tables as he passed between them 
to the bar.


?You?re in late tonight.? Smiled the barman, gently, his voice pitched low to 
suit the hour. ?What can I get you.?


?The young lady that was serving last night, do you know when she?s working 
again?? he asked, folding the tricorder into his pocket.

?Young lady? There?s three of us that serve here ? one of them?s old enough to 
be my mother, and the other?s as male as I am? I think you?re mistaken, I?m 

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