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Vibrant Colors

Posted on 07 Oct 2014 @ 9:06pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Thaddeus Quint M.D.

Mission: Razmena
Location: USS Black Hawk
Timeline: February 4, 2388 || 1420 hours

"We're approaching our destination," called out the helmsman. Her hands hovered over the controls, anticipating the captain's orders to drop out of warp.

Harvey, having just stepped out of the turbolift, moved towards the vacant center chair. He hadn't meant to time his arrival on the bridge with arrival in the system. In fact, according to earlier information, they weren't supposed to arrive for another ten minutes.

"Slow to one-half impulse," Harvey ordered, not taking his chair, but rather stood in front of it. "Then bring us to a full stop ten thousand kilometers from the nebula." He had no intention of entering the nebula, though he wondered if Lieutenant Cavendish would be compelled to do so...

The viewscreen displayed the change of speed and revealed the nebula before them, radiating with the colder colors of the spectrum. Blues and purples slowly swirled in front of them. Harvey was surprised. Though most nebulas moved, they did so gradually over time, years even. This one seemed to flow smoothly and quickly as dye circulates through water.

Harvey knew little of nebulae, nor of gravitational eddies that would cause such phenomena. He, therefore, would cease to speculate.

The captain sat down in his chair and opened a channel to the Science Labs. "Bridge to Lieutenant Cavendish. We have arrived."

Chadwick was looking at the science lab view screen, just staring at the projection of the blue and purple nebula. He stood there, eyes filled with concern. This wasn't good, not good at all. The blue and purple color denoted extreme temperatures, and the nebula was spinning unusually quickly. These traits belied a unstable nebula that was close to collapsing. When the captain called for him, Chad responded with haste.

"Commander, this is Lieutenant Cavendish. Do not move any closer to the nebula, until I launch the probes and gather some more information. This nebula is extremely dangerous. I will be up to the bridge in a minute." Chad rushed out of the lab, and hopped onto a turbolift up to the bridge.

Thaddeus Quint had walked onto the bridge slightly prior to their scheduled arrival. His department was ready as could be to react to an unknown situation. Hopefully that preparation would be uncalled for, but the doctor was always one to expect the worst. You were never disappointed that way.

The sight of the nebula caused Quint to frown. Even years later after the war, the first instinct was to dread that a Jem'Hadar fleet was lurking in wait in that nebula, a tactic they so often favored. Even the coloring of the nebula conspired as camouflage for any would be assailants. The rational part of his mind knew the odds of that were near enough to zero considering the Gamma Quadrant backwater they were in, but it was real nonetheless.

Quint rested both his hands on the railing behind the command chairs and quietly observed the scene, if anything was going to happen, it would happen here and he needed to know about it.

"Full stop!" Harvey ordered from his seat. The helmsman immediately killed the engines and brought the vessel to a halt. "All decks, yellow alert."

Chadwick stepped off of the turbolift and onto the bridge, visibly sweaty. Chadwick was still wearing his white lab coat and blue apron, which he forgot to take off in his rush to reach the bridge. Chad hurried over to the captain, a blue PADD in his hand.

"Commander, this nebula is unstable, and could collapse at any moment. You see how fast it's spinning?" Chad pointed at the view screen. "When nebulas prepare to collapse, they spin. They spin faster and faster, and get hotter and hotter." Chad pointed back at the nebula on the screen. "Note the blue and purple color. Blue nebulas are the hottest of all nebulas. It's a miracle that this nebula hasn't collapsed into a star yet."

"Seems like we have a front row seat then," Harvey replied, somewhat smiling. He stood up and glanced back at Doctor Quint. "Ready to deliver a baby, doctor?"

"The babies I've delivered don't have the destructive force to destroy everything in the vicinity," Quint answered tartly. He drummed his fingers on the railing idly, not particularly relishing the concept of that kind of front row view.

Looking back to his Science Chief, Harvey stated, "If this crew were complete, we could move on until it's safe, but there isn't exactly anything else in this sector to occupy the crew until it's time to reconnect with the runabout. I'll take recommendations on how to study this nebula while we remain."

Chad stroked his chin in contemplation. "The probes will be configured for launch in less than ten minutes, Commander. But for now, all we have are our sensors."

"Get them ready, Lieutenant." Harvey looked back to the viewscreen and added, "Mr. Sherman, begin a full scan. Repeat scan every ten minutes, unless Mr. Cavendish feels the intervals should be closer."

Allowing his crew to get back to work, Harvey nodded towards Lieutenant Sherman, hoping he'd take the cue that the young man would be holding down the bridge for a short while. The captain disappeared into the Ready Room to review status reports. Oh, how he wished that he hadn't sent his new XO on an Away Mission...


~to be continued~

 

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