A timeline of the brightening of Caroline’s Star

These are a series of images of the celestial phenomenon which has been named Caroline’s Star. These images have been taken over the course of almost two weeks from the first appearance of the star. All images have been taken from the system of Vaajaita in Lonetrek.

Star - 20141126213226th November, 21h30.

This is the first appearance of the star. At this point it is brighter than the background stars, but dimmer than several of the near-by stars.

If we compare it with the star just above it, they are almost the same brightness.

 

 

Star - 201411270640

27th November, 06h40

Just over 9 hours after the first image, the star is now as bright as the brightest stars in the field. This is a very abrupt brightening, I would estimate it is twice as bright as in the previous image

 

 

Star - 20141127192027 November, 19h20

Now brighter than any other star in the field. It’s worth noting that until this point the brightening of the star is uniform. The center grows brighter and the vertical and horizontal bars grow in length and brightness.

 

Star - 20141129120029 November, 12h00

Unfortunately no image was taken on the 28th.

The center of the star has increased sharply in brightness, washing out the horizontal bar. The vertical bar has not grown in length or brightness.

This leads to the question of whether we are looking at one phenomenon or two? Are the center and the bright vertical and horizontal bars the same object, or two different but closely related objects?

 

Star - 20141130120530 November, 12h05

The central flare, so prominent in the previous image, has started to fade and the vertical bar is growing again. The horizontal bar is still not visible through the central flare.

 

Star - 2014120117301 December, 17h30

The flare-up of the central portion of the star has faded and the star is back to the same proportions as when it first appeared, although it is now several times brighter than the brightest star in the field.

 

Star - 2014120207152 December, 07h15

Still brightening, though not as rapidly as before.

 

Star - 2014120217502 December, 17h15

Very slightly brighter than the previous image. The vertical bar is longer.

 

Star - 2014120418454 December, 18h45

No image taken on the 3rd due to power failures.

The star is brighter still, this appears to be the brightest it reaches. Also of interest are the small diagonal bars which are just about visible

 

Star - 2014120520505 December, 20h50

Appears to be very, very, very slightly dimmer than the previous day

 

Star - 2014120616256 December, 16h25

Very slightly dimmer than the previous day. Vertical bar is same length as it was at its brightest

 

Star - 2014120711307 December, 111h30

Center still fading slowly.

 

Star - 201412072215December 7th, 22h15

Still fading, although it appears that the central portion is fading faster than the vertical bar.

 

 

Star 201412082055

December 8th, 20h50

Slight reduction in height of the vertical bar, center appears unchanged.

 

 

 

 

Star 201412090620December 9th 06h20

Center fading slowly, vertical bar shorter. The diagonal bars have faded.

You can’t take the sky from me

“Program complete. Enter when ready”

The air inside was dry with a distinct chill and a slight smell of dust. The platform was barely 5 meters across and there was no sign of the ground, just a red horizon fading to midnight blue overhead. The winds howled and twisted around the platform

It wasn’t historically accurate, it wasn’t completely physically accurate either. The atmosphere was ship-normal, but a high-altitude Martian atmosphere, a high-altitude, pre-terraforming Martian armosphere would have required an EVA suit and sometimes comfort took precedence over physical accuracy.

Stephan regarded the primitive craft standing on the edge of the platform. A light-weight metal frame with a several meter wingspan covered with fabric, no propulsion of any kind. It was a far cry from modern atmospheric craft. Just getting this far had required months of research. First with the shuttle’s limited computer while in the Gamma Quadrant, then with the main historical archives at Utopia Planitia. Either the early Martian expedition hadn’t recorded the complete schematics of the glider or the details had been lost during the Eugenics wars.

‘No time like the present.’ He climbed into the glider’s framework and pushed it off the platform.

Stephan fought for control as the wind tossed the glider around like a toy. After several long minutes he managed to wrestle the flimsy craft in-line with the wind. The ground, now just visible far below,  raced past at an incredible speed and the howling of the wind faded away.

“Yeeaah!”

Stephan tilted the wing very slightly downwards, dropping altitude would make the view of the ground clearer and with all the dust he couldn’t make out the features of the terrain below. Noctis Labyrinthus was to the North-West, but that left a lot of margin for error. He tilted the glider left, aiming it for a NNW trajectory. As he did so, an errant gust of wind caught the glider and spun it out of control. The fabric on one of the wings ripped away and the glider plummeted towards the surface. A second later the wind ceased, the wide expanse of the planet’s surface was replaced by the yellow and grey grid of the holodeck and Stephan fell 10cm to the floor of the holodeck.

“Damn it.” He pushed himself to his feet and leant against the nearest wall, willing his hands to stop shaking. “Computer, analyse the last 5 minutes of the flight, identify the cause of the structural failure.”

“Working”

“Back to the drawing board…” Stephan muttered to the empty room as he left.

 

Homeward bound

Personal log Stardate 52110.1

—- Text only —–

First time I’ve flown a freighter since I joined the Marquis. Was one of the motivations for joining, so bored of flying cargo ships. Still this one’s rather manoeuvrable for a freighter, I wonder if the insectoids used this as a blockade runner on occasion.

I like flying ships, but 3 months of 12-hour shifts is starting to wear. I hope those really are indications the wormhole is open, I don’t like the idea of spending another couple of months here.

Three and a half months. What’s happened back in the Alpha quadrant in that time?

Unwanted news

Location: Salva II

The transporter sparkles dissolved into a view of a small agricultural settlement, still showing the signs of the recent Cardassian occupation.

Lieutenant Commander Tony LeStrange, USS Boston, sighed and headed down towards the center of the settlement. Third and last visit of the day, then he intended to find a bar and get seriously drunk.

He checked his padd and looked around, but didn’t immediately see anyone matching the picture he had. ‘Excuse me,” he called out to the  nearest person, “I wonder if you can help me locate someone?”


Twenty minutes later, on the outskirts of the settlement, Cmdr LeStrange spotted the person he’d come to see. He was part of a group clearing away debris from what appeared to be a collapsed building of some form.

“Excuse me,” Cmdr LeStrange called out, “Mr Carthright?”

“That’s me,” the oldest man in the group answered, “What can I help you with?”

Twice that day and three more times the previous week and it never grew easier. “Mr Carthright, I regret to inform you that the ship your son was serving on has been declared lost with all hands. Starfleet sends their condolences and if there’s anything that that I can do to assist, you just have to ask.”

Malcolm Carthright took a step back, shaking his head, ‘I think you’ve got the wrong person, my son’s not in Starfleet.”

Cmdr LeStrange checked his padd carefully and frowned, “Lt Stephan Carthwright, Starfleet service number 28492992, born 2346 Salva II, joined Starfleet 2374 as part of the Correctional Service Amnesty Program. Assigned USS Rutan stardate 51834.” He looked up from the padd. Malcolm had gone several shades paler and had pressed a hand to his chest. “Sir, the USS Rutan was declared lost with all hands stardate 52002. I am sorry to be the one to inform you.”

‘No…” Malcolm staggered back against some debris and sat heavily, ‘No, no, no!!!!”

Going away

———————   Subspace message Stardate 51833.8 ———————
———————–    Destination: Ivor Prime Colony     ————————
———————–       Recipient: Sarah Rotheford      ————————

Congrats on the promotion. You’ll be running the entire colony in no time I’m sure.

I’m going to be out of contact for a while, should just be a couple of weeks. Can’t say more, you know how it is. Please tell Ken I wish him a very happy birthday in advance. I’m glad he’s feeling better than when I last saw him. Oh, and he doesn’t owe anyone anything. Personally I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy a stay in a Cardassian prison. I told him that when he was onboard the Agora, maybe he’ll believe it if it comes from you. If he insists on doing something, he can send a ‘thank you’ message to Captain Jason West, USS Rutan. It’ll get to us eventually.

I will speak with Father again when I get back, if only to stop you nagging me. I don’t know what you expect to achieve, but you were always the peace-keeper in the family, even before Mother died. Honestly though, he’s made up his mind about me, it’s going to take some significant event to make him reconsider, you know how he is.

Look after yourself and the brats, love to you all, I’ll call when I can.

Excitement, adventure

Personal log Stardate 51885.2

——–Text only ————–

I joined the Marquis for the excitement. I was bored, I wanted to see the galaxy and I wanted to do it on my terms.

I told myself at the time that it was for good and noble reasons, defending our homes, resisting Cardassian aggression, that kind of thing. Told anyone else that would listen that as well. But that doesn’t make it the truth. I wanted the adventure, the resistance against Cardassia was just a convenient excuse.

Was that really less than three years ago? It seems like a lifetime. So much changes in just three years. I’d like to think I’ve changed as well, but am I just deluding myself again?