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Charting the Stars

Posted on 01 Apr 2018 @ 7:58pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Charles Carmichael & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Master Warrant Officer Karyna Fordyce
Edited on on 15 May 2018 @ 8:43pm

Mission: The Search Begins
Location: Stellar Cartography
Timeline: MD 1 || 0900 hours

It had been nearly a month since the Black Hawk breached the barrier surrounding the Finnean Convergence Zone. What was supposed to have been a routine entry turned into quite the chaotic situation. Memories were lost. Lives had perished. The ship damaged. Harvey had expected to be without support for a while, especially since reinforcement in the Convergence Zone was impossible. But he didn't expect to have to patch twelve different hull breaches. It took quite a bit of time to create the necessary hull plating, close the breaches, and apply a fresh coat of paint. Appearance would be everything out here, and he did not want anyone to think they were a wounded target.

During this time, the Black Hawk found a place to lie in wait and conducted several extensive scans as far as the pallets would go, a full eighteen lightyears. Of course, with the barrier to their back, they didn't have a complete circle, but that was enough to get started with where to go in the zone.

As was scheduled, Captain Geisler and Commander Teixeira were to meet with Lieutenant Carmichael and Master Warrant Officer Fordyce in Stellar Cartography to review the full results of the scan.

Harvey, mug filled with steaming darjeeling tea in his hand, entered the lab. His uniform had been freshly pressed, an action he often avoided. Today, however, was quite different as they planned to pick a direction to go. The zone surrounded dozens of lightyears, and it could take a decade for half a dozen ships to explore it properly. Despite the circumstances bringing them to the zone, there was something endearing about going where no one had gone before. On the captain's head was a gray cap, matching the top portion of his uniform jacket, emblazoned with the ship's logo on the front of it. He'd maybe worn it a couple times since coming aboard, but only in the last couple of weeks did he start wearing it again on a daily basis. To him, it was a reminder to be loyal to the ship and its crew, especially after two months of failing to trust them.

"Captain," said Lieutenant Carmichael, already waiting inside. "Welcome to Stellar Cartography."

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Harvey said, approaching the viewscreen where the sensor results were already displayed. He knew Charles and Karyna would walk them through it in a few minutes, but that wouldn't stop him from an early preview.

"A bit impatient, sir?" Karyna asked, stepping out from behind a panel in the corner. She had heard Geisler while she was testing some of the visual relay processors. She wanted to make sure that everything was in tip top condition for Commander Teixeira.

Truthfully, the answer was yes, regardless of whether or not Harvey would admit that to a warrant officer. "A bit... curious," Harvey replied, not taking his eyes off the screen just yet.

Fordyce looked around. "I thought the Commander was joining us too," she said, her voice hopeful.

"I am," Thiago offered as he walked into the spacious room. He nodded to Carmichael before turning his attention to Harvey. "Sorry, sir. I got held up with some paperwork."

That was Harvey's cue to head back to the main console where Carmichael was seated. "Such is the life of command," the Captain mused before taking a sip of his tea. The darjeeling was no coffee, but until Joey could stomach the smell again, it was what he was stuck with. "So, what do you have for us?" he asked, taking a seat.

Lieutenant Carmichael spoke first. "Initial scans confirmed the multitude of partial scans from the Vasco da Gama's probes," he began, swinging back to his console and tapping a button to begin the presentation. "And before you ask, no, we haven't found any fragments of any of those probes. Whatever happened to them is a mystery."

"Another mystery," Thiago said quietly.

"Anyway," Charles said, "We've got your typical black and white holes, several comets of multiple classes, and several star systems. Looks like that whatever that barrier is comprised of, it hasn't prevented any natural spacial formations from... well... forming."

"Black holes and white holes aren't exactly typical," Harvey pointed out, noting the multiple instances on the screen. "Any chance those are artificially created?"

"There's always some chance," Fordyce said, talking as much to the Executive Officer as the Captain. "Probability," she said matter-of-factly, "says that there is some chance of any giving thing happening. The odds are good that there are some artificially created anomalies out there. We just haven't found any yet."

"For now," Harvey said after sipping his tea, "we'll just have to make sure to avoid those." They were without support here in the zone, so there would be no one to rescue them from getting caught in intense gravitational fields, no matter how much the science team would protest his refusal to allow them to be studied up close and personal. "What else?"

"These are interesting," Charles said, highlighting a few sections of the map. "I'm not sure exactly what these are. My best description are chroniton ribbons. They're similar to the Nexus that floats around the Alpha and Beta Quadrants."

Though he was intrigued by the concept, Harvey would have to leave that alone for now.. Maybe when this was all over, they'd give those a deep scan. "What about life? We know there's at least two species native to the zone now, the Aketi and whomever the telepathic ones are."

Charles highlighted two areas on the map. "In eighteen light years, we've only found two systems. One is a binary system with three planets, each one an ice block. But the other..."

"...the other, is more interesting," Karyna took over, her finger touching the console causing the giant display to zoom in on a system.

Thiago studied the screen. "Interesting indeed," he said.

Fordyce smiled. "Right?" She looked at the Captain. "What do you see, sir?"

Harvey's cup of tea was right at his lips. Thankfully it was not tilted at an angle at which the extremely hot liquid would pour onto his jacket and lap. His eyes remained fixed on the screen, totally and utterly affixed on the spectacle before him. "Planets..." he said softly. But not just any planets. The system looked like it had seen better days, each planet cracked and appearing lifeless. Something happened here. "Five..."

"Five of them, yes" she confirmed. "Alpha Trios. Type-F red supergiant with, as you pointed out, five planets. Ish. Habitability of the planets is questionable, outside of the domed enclosure on one of them. Most noteworthy finding," she said gleefully, her pink hair swaying as she increased the resolution of the display. "Ta-da! A station."

This was interesting. Harvey rose from his chair and took a few steps forward, just enough to stand between Carmichael and Fordyce. "A base for our friends, perhaps? Or something bigger?" he asked aloud.

"Anything is possible," Teixeira replied. "Especially out here."

Harvey sipped his tea, studying the readout once more. "Well, whatever this is... I think we just found our new destination."

"Miss Fordyce, send those coordinates to the Bridge. I'll get us underway, Captain."

Harvey nodded as he moved back to where Thiago was seated. "It looks like a place where we could easily spend several months without a fleeting thought."

"It would make a good starting place," he agreed.

"Then let's not waste any more time," the Captain declared. "Have the senior staff gather in the conference room in an hour. Let's see if we can find what we are looking for."

Nodding, Thiago stood while carrying out Geisler's order. "Computer, notify senior staff to be in the conference room in an hour." Looking to the Captain, he continued. "I'm going to the Bridge to get us moving. See you shortly."

Harvey nodded as the XO stood up. Looking back to the two scientists, he said, "Thank you for your work. I hope you're ready for some exploring." Finishing his tea, Harvey nodded once more and left the room. There was much to do.

Distracted by the Executive Officer, Karyna almost missed the Captain's words. "I am," she said excitedly. After the experiences she'd had recently, the opportunity for actually exploration was more than a little welcome.


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