Enforced Delay

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 1005.2

It’s strange. The letter from the Academy yesterday is the culmination of five years of work, and yet my first thought on reading it was to wish that it hadn’t come, that it would come at a better time.

My second thought was that Selak would be proud.

I miss the letters, even the ones that were just short extracts of data, containing nothing of relevance to the conversation. Even the terrible attempts at poetry.

The repairs are taking longer than I would have liked, though there’s little I can do to speed them up.

I just think that we’re running out of time.


Stranded

Personal log
Stardate 1003.8

When we rescued Lt Zheng, I was hardly expecting to end up in her situation little over a year later.

“Investigating a subspace anomaly.” Given what we found in this system three weeks ago and the cylinder cut out of the crater, I don’t believe that the presence of a subspace anomaly is a coincidence, and the lack of communication since is concerning. Am I going to be adding the rest of the crew of the Jemison to my list of dead and missing?

The underground complex is an enigma. We knew that the Gwuan people were warp capable for some time before their civilisation was destroyed, but several hundred years was far beyond what I would every have expected. What were they doing here?

Are the markings on the screens related to whatever it is attacking ships? The drawing of the creature does bear some resemblance to the results of the search that Johnson ran before the Spica was destroyed, and one thing the Yonggi message and their patrols does imply is that these attacks have happened before. Did the Gwuan expedition come here fleeing it? Come here for other reasons and were then attacked?

The power source is the biggest mystery. A temporal-based power source. At least, the chroniton emissions suggest that it what it is, and it doesn’t appear to be anything that I’m familiar with.

We found a fusion reactor on Silik 6. Did they use both power sources? If so, what did they use on their homeworld? The chroniton bursts that I saw, and their ‘reversing’ effect could be a result of the device malfunctioning, in this case due to age. If that is true, and the Gwuan used this kind of device widely, that suggests some intriguing possibilities.

Another day, another torn up ship

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 1002.6

The Spica was in pieces. I had hoped otherwise, but it appears that the ship was destroyed even before we were aware there was any trouble. Another 40 people on the list of those missing, perhaps more than 40, there’s evidence they were carrying at least one passenger as well.

More strange materials, more unexplained events, more clues and still nothing concrete that tells us where the crew of the Noether were taken.

It’s been 3 and a half months now and nothing. No impressions, no response, nothing. I’m finding an unwanted truth in the saying that you never truly appreciate what you have.

Mysteries and Enigmas

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 1000.9

Despite several days, I still have little idea what it is that the Yonggi were trying to tell us. Some is obvious, the vision of the destruction of the USS Nautilus matches with the captain’s memory of the event, although adds details of which he was unaware. Some is reasonably easy to interpret, the dark tendrils reaching into a bright sphere and taking something out could be a representation of our mysterious attacker. Others are less so.

What was the significance of the dimming of the light and increasingly strong attacks by the fern in the second room? To tell us that the more attacks happened, the worse things would get?

What the four different fish signified, I have no idea. Nor do I understand why one was the same that they showed me last year in connection with the subspace wave.

Four races? But more are among the missing currently. Four targets? But if we include the USS Nautilus there have been that many already. Four categories of targets? Perhaps, we’ve seen ships targeted one way and a planet targeted a different way. Or perhaps the targets or missing people are in categories that we aren’t aware of.

What concerns me is that there might be information in their message that we could act on, if we understood it. If there is, and we don’t, what are the consequences going to be?

Academic Nagging

To: Lieutenant Commander T’Laan, Chief Engineer, USS Jemison NCC-547
From: Commander Calista Erikson, Science Division, Starfleet Academy

Stardate 994.1

I have editors from two journals nagging me for the final version of your last two papers. You may be 45 light years away from these people, but I work in the same city and they know where my office is.

I know, I know, mission priorities, other duties, etc, etc. Please could you get the edited versions to me before I have to take drastic action to avoid the editors, like hiding out in the Appalachian mountains for the rest of the year.


To: Lieutenant Commander T’Laan, Chief Engineer, USS Jemison NCC-547
From: Commander Calista Erikson, Science Division, Starfleet Academy

Stardate 995.6

I’m sorry, I had no idea. I heard about the ship, but…

I’ll see if I can push for another month, that shouldn’t be hard. I’ll give them some vague reason. Also, see if Renzo has some time to help out with the one that he co-authored.

And keep me updated on the other matter as well.


To: Lieutenant Commander T’Laan, Chief Engineer, USS Jemison NCC-547
From: Commander Calista Erikson, Science Division, Starfleet Academy

Stardate 999.8

Looks good. I’ll pass both of these on to the editors. The only additional thing I might suggest at this point is to add a footnote to the first one about what happened to the planet Silik since the first draft was written, if anyone’s figured out what happened yet that is.


To: Lieutenant Commander T’Laan, Chief Engineer, USS Jemison NCC-547
From: Commander Calista Erikson, Science Division, Starfleet Academy

Stardate 1000.9

The formal notification should be coming in a couple of days, but I thought I’d let you know early. I got word this morning.

Both papers are scheduled for publication, I’ll make sure you get copies of the relevant journals as soon as they are available. The Review Committee met yesterday, and they’re happy that all of the requirements have been completed to their satisfaction.

There’s a pile of declarations and related paperwork to complete, that should also be coming in the next couple of days. I took the liberty of indicating that you won’t be attending graduation in person. At least I assume you’re not planning on coming 40 odd light years just to spend two hours in a stuffy, over-cramped hall.

Lastly, what now? Are you planning on spending the next few decades fixing conduits, replacing lights and patching holes, or are you coming back to the academic side at some point? Let me know?

A horrifying discovery

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 999.6

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find my calm center, especially in the last couple of days. I haven’t haven’t woken from a nightmare in many years, but the last three days…

All the same. The inside of that structure. The cocoons in the floor. The covering of the closest gets removed but it is not one of the bear-like creatures lying within.

I wish I could dismiss it as just a nightmare, but I fear that is what has happened.

Where did this come from?

Report on Item of Indeterminate Origin
September 2203

During an Academy field trip to Duwan’Ktra, a buried structure was uncovered after a minor subsidence incident. While the architecture and construction materials of the structure itself were consistent with existing structures found on the planet, one item found under a debris pile was not.

The underground structure appears to be the buried remains of a stable, or other agricultural building. The surrounding area, a series of mid-altitude flat plains, were minimally populated before the extinction event, and while there have been archaeological, mineralogical and geological analyses done, there have been no comprehensive digs.

The structure in question is found at grid coordinates 549.87, 142.04, and at a depth of 6 meters below the current surface. The anomalous item was found in the north-west corner of the structure, buried 0.56 metres within a pile of debris. The debris was a mixture of soil and building materials, the latter being dated to Cira 10 000 standard years ago.

The item itself is a perfect geometric solid, a stellated dodecahedron. The metal framework is a mixture of durasteel and corunduim. The crystal, while superficially resembling a quartz-type mineral, is a member of the hypersonic series and is, in some ways, similar to dilithium. There are no apparent power sources within the item, and measurements indicate that the crystal is solid with no intrusions. There is one unexplained phenomenon related to the item. It intermittently emits a low-level localised subspace field. The exact mechanisms which lead to that production and the exact physical processes behind it are unknown at this time.

The metal frame is scratched in several places, and there are scorch marks on the tips of most of the pyramids. Where the scratches and scorch marks overlap, the scratches appear to have been made after the scorching.

The item does not match any artistic or structural artifacts previously found on Duwan’Ktra and the technology required to produce the alloys is far beyond anything which the inhabitants are theorised to have reached. As such, it appears likely that the item was placed in the location it as found, perhaps as a prank, or it originated beyond the system and impacted the surface sometime in the last 10 000 standard years.

A trip to the center

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 999.2

A visit to the centre of the expanding bubble revealed nothing at all. There’s no trace left of whatever caused the subspace shockwave. Nothing that might suggest a cause. The only clue is that the centre is approximately half way along line between Brissid and the hypothesised nebula origin point. Could this perhaps be related to the mechanism which, on previous waves, caused the rapid expansion of the nebula?

Despite the importance of investigating the cause of the shockwave and the value of the data that we gathered in the process, during the travel to the centre and back, I couldn’t help but see every minute as potentially wasted. Not that I expect to find anything where the two extrapolated paths cross, perhaps more crystal remnants at best, but I would still have preferred to investigate that immediately.

At least it gave Nikolai and I time to examine the crystalline particles we retrieved from Chanu-Weianu in detail. The crystal shells match exactly to the crystal in the item I found 6 and a quarter years ago and 35 light years away, buried under 10 000 year-old debris.

If the crystal portion does come from Sector 21, then how did it get to Duwan’Ktra and end up under the debris of a collapsed building? Who set the crystal into the metal frame? And what does it have to do with whatever it is that is destroying starships and towns?

Devastation

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 997.1

I had hoped for further clues, but not like this. An entire town, gone. Thousands inhabitants missing. Captain Thoggev was very confident when he told Meme-Ar that the inhabitants were likely still alive.

I do not share his confidence.

The initial conclusion that what affected the town was a transporter effect was based on the quantum signatures remaining in the surrounding material. It didn’t match transporter effects, it was that a particular form of transporter malfunction creates signatures similar, and nothing else in our data banks came closer to matching the observed signatures.

It is possible that we’re looking at the after-effect of some form of advanced transporter effect capable of removing a 6km diameter cylinder in a less than a minute. It is also entirely possible that we’re looking at the aftermath of some weapon capable of disintegrating the same area.

There is evidence that there was something physically present at the time that the effect, whichever it was, happened. The 0.1c particles emitted from 100m above the ground. The warp-speed particles emitted much closer to the ground, the effects on the soil microbes which Nikolai reported.

Why? Who or what is responsible and why are they doing this? Destroying starships, killing and kidnapping crew, removing an entire town. To what end?

More anomalies

Chief Engineer’s Personal Log
Stardate 996.5

More subspace strangeness. The deeper parts of this nebula seem to be rife with subspace anomalies of various types. I shouldn’t be surprised, given what we know and theorise about the nebula’s origin. The expanding shockwave itself is not as strange as some of the other anomalies that we’ve encountered in the last year. How an inverse field forms naturally however, I cannot begin to theorise at this point. I’ve never seen that outside of a lab, and even there it’s hard to create a large field. We need to get further readings of this subspace wave front. It should be losing energy as it expands and as it compresses the nebula medium and slowing down as a result, but to what degree is unknown, and it may present a threat to Ego and Fairydale.

On a related subject, I suspect my mother would find the Chanu-Weianu themselves absolutely fascinating. From the reports they seem to be completely communal, no obvious economy and, I would expect to find no concept of violence between themselves.

Almost 2 months now, and still no further clues or leads. I should not be this badly affected. For the past seven years we’ve spent years apart and days together. And yet…

Nam-tor ha’ge t’nash-veh i’ki, ashayam