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Threading the barrier

Posted on 13 Jan 2018 @ 8:14pm by Lieutenant T'Pai & Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Maintenance Deck/Flight Deck/Convergence Zone
Timeline: MD6 0800

===[Maintenance Deck]===

It wasn't the first time Lieutenant T'Pai had worked on a Griffon fighter. She had been a part of the team that validated the final design, after all, including all of the fighter's "practicals." But she did have what humans would call "the good sense" to remain clear of the maintenance crew as they made the final modifications that should help the Griffon fighter her before her successfully navigate the barrier surrounding the Convergence Zone. T'Pai was, after all, a logical being, and logic dictated that she utilize all resources to their maximum potential to ensure her survival and the survival of the pilot who would be flying the Griffon.

Gemma walked in her red hair tied back and her crystal blue eyes not missing anything as the maintenance crew swarmed her beloved fighter. She'd spent the previous day practicing in the simulators for the the experience of flying the barrier as well studying what she could of the changes to the fighter. Anything anyone did to her Arrow was something she wanted to know about. She wore her flight suit and walked up to Lt. T'Pay, whom she'd met recently for this mission, "How goes the prep?" She asked when within speaking distance.

"Your fighter should be ready to launch shortly," T'Pai answered, not looking away from the work being done. The fighter captain leading the last minute preparations looked up just long enough to nod in agreement before focusing again on the maintenance crew's works.

T'Pai paused a moment before turning her attention to the fighter pilot. "I appreciate both your participation in the mission, as well as that of your fighter." In truth, T'Pai did not understand the need for anthropomorphization of any vessel, regardless of its size. However, she had met Vulcan pilots who had adopted this practice as well. Proof that not even practitioners of Kolinahr were not immune to bouts of illogic.

The crew chief working on the Arrow chose that moment to indicate that Arrow was ready to go.

"Shall we..."T'Pai paused, trying to remember the correct phraseology for 'boarding' a fighter craft, before continuing "...mount up, Lieutenant?"

Gemma grinned, "Well said, any final questions for me before I get started on the pre flight?" She asked. They'd been through the briefing together but it never hurt to make a final check that all was clear and understood. Though she'd heard the work the engineer had done on this craft, still Archer didn't like to assume things. She held a helmet loosely in one hand as she glanced over her craft and back to Lt. T'Pai.

T'Pai's brow furrowed as she pondered any queries or comments she should make. "I do not believe anything further can be added at this point. As you have seen on the simulator, the Convergence navigation algorithm collects data and presents itself on the Heads Up Display as a tunnel, which can be flown at a quarter impulse without difficulty. I also understand my role as adviser, and your role as craft commander. There should be no problem. I am at your disposal, Lieutenant," T'Pai concluded.

Gemma nodded, "Then let's do this." She smiled and headed for her craft. When both were in she began the standard pre-flight. Making sure not to skip anything and paying special attention to the diagnostics results from the navigation algorithm, "If anything looks weird on your end let me know but act accordingly if you need and have the ability to. I'd rather that than then we become a smear in space because of extra reaction time. " Her voice was light but her eyes focused on the controls as she went carefully through her pre-flight. Since Chief Farrar was killed on a field mission, Gemma was quite focused on safety well she usually was but with an engineer in her spare seat, she tried to take special care.

"You have my assurances that I will respond expeditiously, Lieutenant," T'Pai answered, as she ran a quick diagnostic of the modified sensory equipment. "The algorithm is up and running and the sensory devices are operational within parameters, Lieutenant Alexander. Ready to go on your command."

"Then let's get this show on the road." She replied focused on finishing the pre-flight. She opened a comm channel, "This is Archer to Flight, All lights are green. Do we have permission to disembark?" She said double checking her harness.

"Acknowledged, Alpha Two," came the mindless controller's voice. "Good luck out there."

Archer acknowledged and carefully started the launch sequence, before they knew they were outside in the depths of space and cleared the ship. "Alpha Two to Black Hawk, Preparing to enter the passage."

Alexander looked at her HUD, and though she saw a lot was in space said "whoa" almost to herself as the blues streamed by as they carefully entered the tunnel at a quarter impulse, "You know space is pretty when it's not trying to kill you..." She mused.

"Indeed," T'Pai remarked, though she didn't look up from her own instrumentation. "I am detecting a high level of certain quantum materials normally not naturally occurring. It should prove interesting when the more advanced sensors of the Black Hawk have the opportunity to scan the barrier during its own transition." T'Pai paused, making an entry into the modified TSO panel, before adding,"We should successfully transit the barrier in approximately two minutes and fifteen seconds, Lieutenant. Are you having any problems with the navigation algorithm?"

Gemma looked at her HUD and double checked the navigation readouts as she flew carefully, "It doesn't seem to be interfering with the systems, your program bridge seems pretty solid." She said in a complimentary fashion and flew a moment more before curiosity compelled her to ask, "The quantum thing are there limited reasons for that or is it one of those 'could be anything' answers." Her tone indicated she rather disliked the later. She wasn't a scientist but, like anyone who navigated the space ways, knew at least some of the ways it could kill you.

"Pending further analysis of the data we have gathered and are gathering," T'Pai answered, "I would say that the presence of quantum materials confirm that the barrier extends into higher spatial dimensions. Forty five seconds before we emerge from the barrier." T'Pai paused before adding, "I am appreciative of you flying this mission, Lieutenant Alexander. Chief Petty Officer Farrar held you in high regards. Your performance is a confirmation of her opinion."

In the early part of T'Pai's comments Gemma's thoughts were akin to Higher spatial dimensions oh goody . As she brought up Farrar though Alexander was glad her face couldn't been seen as she flinched. Starfleet put their lives on the line all the time but it never got easier to lose a friend. She missed the level head, sound advice and overall quiet competence of 'The Chief'. They'd gotten a good start on a friendship when Farrar passed on beyond the veil.

To know one such held her in some esteem meant alot and it was a moment before she could speak again, "I appreciate that." She said in all honesty, no joking in her tone.

"Senior Chief Farrar and I knew each other virtually for three years,' T'Pai supplied. "That is to say, until recently, we had not met physically, We were originally professional colleagues, though we discovered we shared an interest in the holonovel genre known as 'Escape Rooms.'" T'Pai paused before adding, "If you have an interest, I would be willing to introduce you to the sport with holonovels that Chief Farrar created. She enjoyed an estimable reputation in the genre."

Before T'Pai could add anything else, or allow Gemma to answer, the Arrow emerge on the other side of the barrier, The first notable thing was the blue blow that permeated the space around the Arrow. The effect of the blow appeared to be limited to visual observation. The sensor readouts from the back seat demonstrated no notable difference from the space on this side of the barrier from that which the Arrow had come from.

"Remarkable," T'Pai remarked. She suspected the blue 'background' was the visual effect of a 'compression' of higher spatial dimensions, caused by the barrier surrounding the Convergence Zone. However, it would require the more sophistical sensors of the Black Hawk to make that determination. T'Pai made a mental note to discuss the matter with Commander Djinx.

"Are you having any problems with your controls, Lieutenant?" T'Pai asked Gemma.

Before Gemma could articulate a reply to T'Pai's comments about Farrar and 'Escape Rooms' offers, they slid out of 'the shoot' at Gemma called. Her eyes already moving to check sensors as Lt. P'ai spoke again.

"I believe we have validated the navigational algorithm them," T'Pai concluded "If you would return us to the Black Hawk, Lieutenant.'"

A quick check of sensors and systems confirmed that statement, "Seems to be..." She looked at the 3 M-class planets on her sensors and fought a deep curiosity to go poke at them. However not the best idea with one fighter so she turned the craft around, "Retracing steps Aye.". Then sensor lock on the areas was lost as they re-entered the tube. Then as though no time passed, "Farrar mentioned 'Escape Rooms' once, I always got the impression they helped her problem solving skills..." She paused focused on her consoles, made a small adjustment and considered the Vulcans offer. She then continued, "I think I should like that."

Perhaps The Chief could teach her one more thing with Lt. P'ai, who seemed to her own kind of steady competence. Musings about loss and friendship floated in the back of her mind as she focused on returning them both safely to their home among the stars.


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