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Mystery of the Ten Rooms, Part 4: Opening the first door

Posted on 04 Jan 2018 @ 4:52pm by Lieutenant T'Pai
Edited on on 04 Jan 2018 @ 4:53pm

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Holosuite 2
Timeline: MD6 0400

In four hours, T'Pai, along with Lieutenant Gemma Alexander, would be conducting the first 'live' test of the navigation algorithm which would theoretically allow the Black Hawk to safely navigate the barrier that separated the Convergence Zone from normal space.

As was T'Pai's custom, she had spent the previous evening in meditation before beginning her sleep period.

T'Pai's normal routine this morning would have been to seek the relatively deserted Talons, where she would have a bowl of plomeek soup. She would then make an inspection of the Black Hawk's engineering department and, considering that she planned to be off ship for a few hours, have a quick briefing with which ever subordinate she would leave in charge before reporting for her mission with Lt. Alexander.

T'Pai still planned to do all this. But she had woken an hour earlier, and found herself once again at the entrance of Holosuite 2.

Stepping inside, she quietly contemplated the black walls, floor and ceiling crisscrossed with grids and lines before telling the empty air, ""Computer, activate Holodeck Program Farrar, Mystery, Ten Rooms."

Immediately the Victorian library that Chief Petty Officer Erica Farrar had created appeared. In front of T'Pai was the room's desk with an antiquated, if anachronistic, globe on it.

T'Pai ignored the desk and its contents, instead looking around at the various books lining the library's shelves.

T'Pai knew that any book she pulled from a shelf would be an actual book. All the tomes lining the shelves would undoubtedly be at home in any upper class Victorian library, from Gibbon's Decline and Fall to Lyell's Antiquity. None of the books stood out; at least, not in any way that T'Pai could notice.

Then something that caught her eye. A few of the books did stand out, though in not a way that the conscious mind would notice. Some books could be seen sticking out a millimeter or two further than their neighbors, while others might be a half centimeter or two thicker or thinner than those in their immediate vicinity. Nothing too obvious. Just enough to prod an individual's subconscious to examine them.

T'Pai pulled a thinner pamphlet stuck between two larger texts. The pamphlet identified itself as "The Antipodes", a play written by Richard Brome. The foreword of the play explained that Richard Brome was an English playwright who lived during Earth's seventeenth century. A quick perusal of the play made T'Pai realize she would not be able to get all the play's substance in a quick glance. The drama seemed to involve a nation station called the Antipodes on the opposite of the planet from England and it's potential source of various motivations for the characters of the play.

T'Pai eyebrows furrowed as she considered the repeated use of antipodes in the texts she had examined so far. The T'Kinesh theorem (known as the Borsuk-Ulam theorem to humans) was something the had learned in her mathematics classes in secondary school. So the concept of antipodes was nothing new to her.

T'Pai walked to the desk and examined the globe again. Of the twenty-six cites, eight of them formed four antipodal pairs.

She pondered the glass discs on the globes, trying to decide if they were meant to serve as activation triggers of some sort. But in what order what she was to press them?

T'Pai picked up the note she had discovered last time, rereading it:

"Organizing hadrons, but in no particular order"

T'Pai paused for a moment, trying to "get into the head," as her human colleagues would describe the process, of the late maintenance chief of the Black Hawk. How was Chief Farrar trying to relate subatomic particles to a topological feature?

Hardons were organized into octets, T'Pai mused. There were eight antipodal cities on the globe. And in no particular order...

T'Pai touched all of the glass discs corresponding with an antipodal city. Each disc lit up as she did so. When she pushed the eighth, a chime sounded from the door on the far side of the library, and a bright light shone from around that door's edges.

T'Pai strode to the door and opened it. The scene the door had previously opened up to had been replaced. Now the door revealed a quiet boreal forest in the dead of winter. The skies were overcast, and at least fifteen centimeters of snow laid on the ground. A light snow was falling, though T'Pai could not discern whether the snow was falling from the clouds, or perhaps being blown from nearby embankments. Snow hydrology had not been a subject that T'Pai had ever familiarized herself with.

T'Pai studied the scene before closing the door. For now, the snowy scene would have to wait. She had duties and obligations.

And light years to go before she slept.

 

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