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The Mystery Deepens

Posted on 22 Mar 2014 @ 12:31pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Harold Sherman

Mission: Echoes
Location: Altair System
Timeline: January 2, 2388 || 1430 hours

Lieutenant Carmichael nodded to the engineer on his left. "All yours, buddy," he commented, confirming helm control was being transferred to the engineer. The engineer nodded in return and brought the shuttle closer to the asteroid field.

Charles activated the sensors and began to run an extensive scan of the asteroid field, hoping to find something new in the magnetic resonance fields. Clicking on the comm, he said, "Spiner--" He grimaced, remembering that he had to go by a callsign. "I mean... Baby Hen Three to Mother Hen One. Beginning scans of the field. Make sure we don't hit any bumps."

Lt Hall smiled, it was common mistake when first working with Fighter, "Relax Baby Hen, everyone slips up, procedure is in place for larger operation. Roger on the beginning and we will watch out for any unexpected bumps. Mother Hen One out."

For both Lt Hall and Ensign Stilson the fun was only beginning for them. They now had to act as the eyes and ears for Baby Hen Three so they could concentrate on their mission.

Charles watched the results as they came in. The magnetic interference was, well, still interfering. He noticed their proximity was enabling some penetration. "Take us a little closer to that big one over there," he directed his engineer and pilot."

"The magnetic--"

"Interference could disrupt the engines, I know," Charles finished for him. "The closer we get, the clearer the scans will be." He watched as the engineer hesitated, possibly thinking about how to protest the command. Before Charles had a chance to persuade him further, the engineer nodded, and piloted the shuttle closer to the asteroid.

Charles ran a new scan, focused on the asteroid and its composition, hoping to find a reason for the magnetism in its elements. "Hello..." he murmured, seeing the results come through. With his new information, he adjusted the sensors and ran a new scan. Then another scan of the surrounding area.

"Baby Hen Three to USS Black Hawk."

[Bridge]

Harvey, like he had for most of the mission, had been watching over the shoulders of Warrant Officers Jones and Jenerou, quietly observing the progress of the mission. As soon as he heard Carmichael's voice over the comm, he turned to the Operations station. "On screen."

Turning back, he saw the face of Lieutenant Carmichael. "Captain, I've been able to scan beyond the magnetic field..." his voice trailed off as he entered a couple commands off screen. Instantly, Harvey's viewscreen was split in half, one half being his science officer's face and the other readouts from the shuttle.

"As you can see, it's common metallurgical elements, with a couple unknowns, but nothing that naturally generates magnetic interference." The readouts changed to a topographic scan. As the sensors moved deeper and deeper, the visualization changed, eliminating layers to reveal what was underneath.

"What is that?" Harvey asked, knowing the answer immediately when he saw the natural rock facade yield to some kind of mechanical structure underneath.

"High yield particle emitter." Charles replied, his tone wavering just a bit. "And it's armed. And... there's at least a couple dozen of them in this asteroid field. It's their power generators that are causing the interference."

Harvey frowned, standing now in front of the viewscreen. He turned and asked the Operations station to change the split screen to an image of the asteroid field from earlier updated with an overlay of the shuttle's readouts. It took a few moments to compile the data and display it on the screen. "They're not pointed at the planet," Harvey observed. "Or at us."

"From what I can tell," Carmichael offered, "there's enough power in these asteroids to disrupt an entire fleet or a planet or something."

"Any idea how long it's been armed?"

"I'd say the last few millennia. It's just been waiting for someone to pull the trigger."

Harvey nodded. "Get a few more detailed scans. We'll need to try and find a weak point so we can disable them. Black Hawk out."

Walking back to his chair, he ordered, "All stations, red alert. Keep the shields and weapons at the ready, but don't use them yet." He tapped his badge. "Bridge to Lieutenant Sheldon. As soon as Carmichael's done out there, recall all fighters."

Warrant Officer Jenerou was busy with looking at and absorbing the current information. She heard Ensign Joe Gibson at the Operation Station, he was working his control as he studied as he was looking over information. Jenerou knew why, there was so much data they had to poor over again to, as they took the into account what the cause of the interference was. On the plus side they with Engineering could try to figure a way to be able to gather uncorrupted information.


[Flight Operation Ceneter - CAG Ready Room]

Sheldon had been monitoring the transmission, he hit the button on his desk, "Sir! With them energized, we should keep some eyes on them just in case. I not so sure with all of this interference that if they change their direction that the Sensor will be able to detect it. Now that we now where the interference is coming from. CAP can do sweep by them to make sure they still pointed outward and not at the Black Hawk or the planetside."

Sheldon knew why the Captain was recalling all fighters, and he would follow through with the order if need be. Lord knew there was a bunch of work to catch up on, and he was about to have his crew go back over the logs of the previous flight in light of the new information.


[Bridge]

Harvey frowned, considering the CAG's comment. "CAG, I have a feeling we're going to have to leave quickly." He wasn't sure what was going to happen next, but given crew disappearances and this growing magnetic field, it couldn't be good. "Standby." He tapped his badge to close the channel. Turning to Ops, he nodded at Ensign Gibson. "Contact the Tigris down below. Tell the team still at the base that they have ten minutes to grab what they can and get out of there. We're not going to lose any more people."

"Aye, sir," Gibson responded and prepared to start the communique.

Harvey turned back to the viewscreen, knowing the next step was to update DeVries and his team.


TO BE CONTINUED

 

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