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Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]


CHAPTER 02: QUANTUM FRONTIER


STARDATE: 57650.08
APRIL 16, 2381
1900 HRS.



Captain's Log, stardate 57650.08. Both the Erudite and the Theurgy have dropped out of warp in the Lembatta Cluster, orbiting the uninhabited planet Zaetov 851, so that the Allegiant and its fighter escort can transfer to the Savi dreadnought. Then, it is time for Thea to make her first use of our new quantum slipstream burst drive, to see just how far she can go into Klingon space.

We've been travelling for Qo'nos at warp speed since we left the Epsilon Mynos System, while the Savi delegation aboard has been given tentative access to our subspace communication systems. This, with the sole task to establish a direct link to the Erudite across great distances. Supposedly, this single-purpose subspace transponder does not need a relay network, but can only be used to communicate with the Savi dreadnought. Before the battle with the Borg, Petty Officer Dyan Cardamone used the same technology to contact the Asurian Queen whilst we were inside the Azure Nebula, so I trust the Voice when he claims it will work. It has taken six hours, but now, we will be able to speak with the away team on the Allegiant when it travel into Breen space.

Indeed, Doctor Nicander has revealed what might be the next step in the plans of the Infested: to draw the Breen Confederacy into the war. They will likely do so by some other means than a thalaron bomb, and make it seem like the Federation retaliated against the Breen for helping the Romulans with the bombing of Paris. It is doubtful that this retaliation will be sanctioned by President Bacco, but it's likely to happen nonetheless, and Starfleet Command doesn't even have to claim responsibility for it since there is an Infested among the Breen that can ensure that the guilt squarely falls on the Federation. What will happen in Breen space, exactly, remains unknown, but as soon as we've gathered more intel, we will be able to contact Commander Dewitt, who will be leading the away team.

I do not like how thin our evidence is, and how we act on supposition, but if there is a threat to the Breen, we need to act quickly, lest this pending war will become fact far too soon.


- Captain Jien Ives, USS Theurgy NX-79854

[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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Having finished her log in her ready room, Jien stepped out on the Main Bridge after having been notified that they were in orbit of Zaetov 851, alongside the Erudite. The viewscreen showed the large Savi dreadnought, and since long range sensors were clear, it had decloaked for the transfer.

"Incoming hail, Captain, it's the Voice," came from communications.

"On screen," she said as she stepped forward, and the dour face of Echtand appeared before her. "Your engineers says the transponder is tested and operational, and our away team is ready to dock on the Erudite."

[Yes,] said the pale face with the big eyes on the screen, the perpetual frown he wore more dark than usual, [yet we have reservations about the destination. You, especially, should know why, Aspect-Maker. The Code forbids direct contact with the Confederacy.]

Jien had no idea what the Antecedent leader was talking about. Why would she know what their Code said about the Breen? She folded her arms underneath her chest, not giving one whit about Echtand's reservations since the stakes were too high, and time too short. "Our agreement was indirect assistance, and that's all we ask. Our away team will be dealing with the situation, and we merely need to get there. Stay cloaked, and stay in communications. Nicander will learn what he can about what the hosts in the Scion High Council will do next, and we'll relay the intel along with whatever he can learn about Ansirranana."

The capital of the Breen Confederacy, which was the educated guess for where the Infested would attack next. Nicander's vision had suggested a city, and it was the largest one as well as the most important to the Breen.

[Aye, the Code states that agreements are to be kept, and we'll honour our accord,] said the Voice, yet the frown suggested that his reservations remained. [We'll be in orbit above the city within the hour. The Aerodrome is ready. I trust your officers will not make me regret this, Aspect-Maker.]

The hail was ended, And Jien shook her head. "Hail the Allegiant," she said, putting Echtand's perplexing words aside. "Commander Dewitt, are you ready to depart?"

[Aye, Captain,] said the redhaired woman in the command seat, the small bridge of the scoutship seen on the screen, [All hands accounted for, and the fighter escort has reported that they are ready to dock on the Erudite. I've already mentioned this, but we have literally nothing to go in if we're to learn that the enemy will actually do in Ansirranana, so if the Doctor or Director Anderson can give us something - anything - more, it will be welcome. Either way, we'll investigate on site.]

"Godspeed, Commander. Mission Ops will keep you updated through the Savi comm-link."

[Thank you, Captain,] said Dewitt with a lopsided smile, [Allegiant out.]

Within the minute the announcement cam that the Allegiant was launching along with the fighter escort, and on the viewscreen, the scoutship and four warp fighters crossed the relatively short distance from the Theurgy to the Erudite. The sight of members of her crew ending up on a Savi ship didn't give her any ease of mind, and she could but hope the Voice remained as trustworthy as he'd seemed during the time Thea was in drydock over Aldea. The time had come, however, to try the new slipstream drive.

"Resume course towards Qo'nos, Mister Veradin," she ordered, and sat down in her chair. "Engineering, initiate quantum slipstream."

Chief O'Connell, the former Acting Chief Engineer was serving on the bridge at that time, while Commander Tiran was down in Main Engineering to oversee the momentous hour. Ives knew that the phase variance of the quantum field had to be constantly adjusted or the slipstream would collapse, violently throwing the ship back into normal space. The charged gravitons would be projected out in front of the ship through the main and the auxilaly deflector dishes, which created a narrow subspace field. This would split the subspace domain open for the ship to travel through. Yet if the phase variance of the field ever went beyond 0.42, the field would collapse, and there would be a catastrophic failure. Nonetheless, O'Connell seemed rather excited, and relayed the steps to the present bridge crew.

"The graviton particle actuator is stripping gravitons from the benamite crystals," he drawled in his southern accent, "Gravitons charging by the quantum field with quantum energy. Uniform flux state achieved in three, two... one. Particles charged, and now feeding through the graviton transfer conduits... and into the slipstream initiators. Charge complete in three... two... one. Aligning navigational deflectors for graviton projection. Activating slipstream initiators on your command, Captain."

Thea had entered the main bridge at that point, and she'd come to stand next to Ives' chair. Jien glanced up at her and the hologram smiled, giving a nod. Jien looked around at the present faces, knowing that this certainly was a milestone on their voyage. She could but hope the new drive system wouldn't break the ship...

"Engage."

A gaping blackness opened before the Theurgy, and the next moment... they were travelling through a tunnel of blue lights.

"Quantum slipstream initiated," said O'Connell, and after a few seconds of tentative silence, where they all remained on edge...

...Jien rose from her seat. "Steady as she goes," she said with a faint smile, and there were even a couple of claps and shouts from the present officers.

[ Lt Cmdr. Jennifer Dewitt | Bridge | USS Allegiant ]
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As they approached the maw of the Erudite's Aerodrome, Jennifer had asked that the viewscreen showed the Theurgy, because she believed they all wanted to see Thea enter quantum slipstream. Seated in her chair, a lock of red hair framed the outline of her jaw, and she smiled when she saw the Theurgy vanish from the planet's orbit.

"Let's hope they make it to Qo'nos in time, and that the Klingons remain our allies," she told the present bridge crew. Ensign Jaya Thorne was at the helm, a fact that she was grateful for, since the old Black Opal officer flew the ship during the battles at Starbase 84 and the Azure Nebula. "Can you patch me through to all ship compartments?"

Once she got the gesture, she spoke to her small crew. "For those who don't know me, I am Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Dewitt, and I will be your Captain during this mission, where the main objective is to find out what the Infested will do to the Breen and stop it. As of this moment, we do not know what will await us when the Erudite reach it's destination, which will be in about sixty minutes. The future of the Federation is at stake, billions of lives may hang in the balance, not to mention the millions of Breen that might be the next target. Whatever it takes - whatever we have to do - we must learn what the Infested have planned, and prevent it, without drawing unneccesary attention. Yet no matter how exposed we might be, and how little the Breen might heed a warning, our first duty remains to the protection of the Federation. In one hour, our mission begins. Dewitt out."

One hour spent on the Erudite. Dewitt wasn't even sure she wanted to step off the scoutship and onto the Savi deck, but she had a mind to invite the pilots in the fighter escort. She might even take the time to catch up with Arnold, whom was a face from the past she hadn't expected to see again, much less have under her command. Anything to take her mind off the fact that they were crossing a hundred light-years of distance in a mere hour...

...and end up where few from the Federation had even dared tread.


OOC: This thread is the starter for Chapter 02, which begins with 1 hour of QSD travel for both the Theurgy and the Erudite. It's now open to post Supplemental threads for Chapter 02, where you can post one-on-one with other writers in your own IC scenes during the time Thea crosses 60 light-years into Klingon space, and the first cool-down period of 36 hours. So, the limitation of the IC time-span for these Supplemental threads will span from 1900 hrs. to 0800 hrs. on Day 03, which is when the second QSD burst will happen. Check this calendar! During the intermediate time, the Theurgy will be at Warp Factor 6 to conserve energy for the next burst. This means that Tactical CONN can patrol ahead of the Theurgy's trajectory towards Qo'nos.

The naming convention for these one-on-one Supplemental threads that belong to Chapter 02 is: CH02: S [D0X|YYYY] Insert Title (YYYY marking the time after 1900 hrs.). Please be mindful about how the QSD burst will last between 1900 hrs. and 2000 hrs., during which time there can be no warp fighters or shuttles leaving the Theurgy, and the bomb in the Spearhead Lounge (above) goes off at 2147 hrs. on Day 01 (stay tuned for that starter).

As for the Allegiant, since Chapter 03 will be dedicated to the Allegiant and starts after the Erudite drops out of QSD, supplemental Chapter 02 threads on the Allegiant during the time on the Erudite is limited to 1 hour (between 1900 hrs and 2000 hrs.). The names of the selected crew can be seen below, but more names will be added/changed when writers volunteer their characters.

CO: Captain Jennifer Dewitt
CONN: Ensign Jaya Thornee
Operations: Ens. Klara Halliwell (NPC, due KIA)
Tactical: Lt. T'Less
Science: Lt. Vanya (NPC)
Comms/Advisor: Lt. Zaryn Arn (NPC, due KIA)
Engineers: Lieutenant Frank Arnold, CPO Eun Sae Ji, PO2 Taa'gur Kolla
Medical: Doctor George Hernandez (NPC) & Lt. JG XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Combat Medic)
Security: Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann, PO3 Lorad & Sogh (Lt.) Valkra

Fighter Escort 01: Lt. JG Evelyn "Ghost" Rawley
Fighter Escort 02: Ens. Isel Nix (NPC)
Fighter Escort 03: Lt. JG Donna "Chance" Petterson
Fighter Escort 04: Ens. Nathaniel Isley (NPC)

Everyone, posts in this thread could be Joint-Posts with another writer, or if you have a character eligable for bridge duty, feel free to post in reaction to Thea's first QSD initiation (above!). If you have a character in Engineering on the Theurgy, you can illustrate the great difficulty it is to maintain QSD flight in terms of the variance mentioned in the post. Otherwise, I will eventually be closing this thread with the hour of QSD travel coming to an end, and Thea appearing well within Klingon space. I am open for interractions with Captain Ives on the bridge, but Commander Dewitt on the Allegiant is best available in Supplemental threads.

Looking forward to getting the Chapter rolling! I am open to start other threads for the rest of the crew, if you have ideas for scenes that might involve a lot of characters as they've entered Klingon space, PM me. Bomb in the Spearhead Lounge starter (Day 01, 2147 hrs.), coming up next, along with Chapter 03 and new Story Objectives!

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #1
 [Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy]Attn: 
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There was a tension in the air, nervous anticipation that was palpable to Natalie as she sat to the left of Derik Veridan, splitting her attention between the controls in front of her and the utterly alien visage of the Voice of the Savi, on the main view screen. Natalie did not like the Savi; in their initial encounter, the advanced alien race had done a number on the Theurgy, abducted many of her crew, and savaged the abductees, in the name of their Code. That the Savi had not taken her captive personally was a blessing, to be sure. That the Savi Code had been manipulated by the machinations of those devoted to the same Infestation that Nat and her fellow crew members fought...mitigated the circumstances slightly. That they had approached the Theurgy and offered what help they could in this conflict in exchange for information was a further point in their favor. 

All of which did distressingly little to warm Natalie's feelings on their behalf as she sat there, drumming her fingers on the edge of the joined portion of the Ops and Conn station, the wedge that jutted down between her controls and the Flight Control Officers. 

Something else to go over with Counselor Hathev next time we sit down for a session, she decided, biting her lip and checking power distribution flows for the integrated Multi-vector Dreadnought, making sure that they had enough 'juice' in the ODN relays to keep the lights on and the air circulating when they went to slipstream. Chief Engineer Tiran and her team - represented on the bridge by the affable Master Chief O'Connell, whom Natalie had greeted warmly when he'd entered the bridge earlier in the shift - would be responsible for the engines themselves and most of what was going to happen over the next few minutes, as Chief of Operations one of her tasks was to make sure that the rest of the ship didn't suddenly lose power in the process.

A delicate balance, but one that she'd practiced for and felt confident they could manage. 

She wished she felt more confident about sending the Allegiant into bloody Breen space aboard that Savi monstrosity that floated in space a short distance from the Theurgy, but there was little she could do about that. She'd shared a brief, feirce hug with Lt. Vanya, who had volunteered for the mission. The Romulan made Android was a logical choice to accompany the team, and not just because she was damned brilliant, and familiar with the tiny vessel. Her previous programming as an infiltration agent might very well prove useful while trying to stay under the radar. Of course, Natalie might every well be biased in her opinions there. When it came to her old Academy roommate and personal confidant, Objective, Natalie was not.

But it wasn't just her pointy-eared roommate that she worried about. Natalie was sending the very promising young Ensign Halliwell, recently of the Bellerophon to serve as the Allegiant's ops officer. CPO Eun Sae Ji was one of Nat's as well, from the fighter ops sub section of her department. And Frank Arnold, one of Blue Tiran's Assistant Chief Engineers, had made a very favorable impression with Natalie when he'd come aboard the ship recently at Aldea. She'd seen him off with a firm hand shake and a swiftly whisper of good luck. 

As Lt. Cmdr. Dewitt made her final check in with Captain Ives, Natalie let her eyes move from one face to another along the bridge of the smaller ship, meeting each in turn with a little nod or small smile. She tried to project the same kind of calm she had seen time and again in people like Jien Ives, the late Sten Covington, and the former Cayuga Captain, Anya Ziegler. She wasn't sure how well she fared in that respect, but she tried. Of course, she held Vanya's gaze the longest, and appreciated the wink the other woman set her way. 

"Be safe," she whispered under her breath, lips barely moving, as the screen cut back out, away from the bridge of the Allegiant the the tableau of space spread out before them. Her gaze tracked the scout ship and its escort until it vanished into the interior of the Erudite. A small shudder ran down her spine and she wondered if she'd see any of them again. 

On that cheerful note, she shut her eyes, drew in a breath, and let it out slowly. The order was given, and Nat glanced over at Derik. "Let's go make history, shall we?" she murmured to the Junior Lieutenant, and forced a smile to flash across her features. If she couldn't feel relaxed, she could at least fake it. And there was a sense of excitement to the moment. No Federation ship currently possessed a Quantum Slipstream drive. Assuming this worked, and Natalie had every faith that it would, then they were about to enter the record books. Save for the dire nature of why they needed to use this drive, this was the kind of thing that Starfleet officers lived for. 

MCPO O'Connel began to speak from the engineering section in the aft of the bridge, and Natalie mouthed along with the steps he'd illustrated, not quite speaking, as she tapped her fingers on the controls. For her it was a matter of routing plasma, shunting power from one place to the next through the EPS grid, keeping an eye on sensors, targeting the area ahead of the ship to ensure nothing got in the way of them and the shunt that would occur when they dropped into slipstream. A thousand little things, all while acting as a second pair of eyes.

Next to her, Lt. Veradin would be setting the course, aligning the ship as she set sail. The thrum of the engines could be felt in the soles of everyone's feet. Like a race horse ready to spring out of the docket, power and energy coiled for release. Yet to Nat, the transition itself was almost anti climatic. There was the blackness of space, and then, the sheer otherness of slipstream. 

"My god," she murmured, pulling her gaze from the blue white corridor of distorted subspace, and back to her controls. "Power holding steady," she reported, and then let out a small whoop, surprising herself. They'd pulled it off!

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Swift @Argyros
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When Samantha had arrived on the bridge, a few minutes to 1900 hours, the Erudite was already in full view across the giant main screen, hovering above Zaetov 851. The chief diplomat had made it a point to be present, as they would launch into this new chapter. Making her way in through the port turbolift, she briefly crossed eyes with Fisher at the intelligence post, as she quickly walked past, the large support column ultimately coming between them, as she was taking up position between the captain’s chair and the engineering station, leaning with one hand against the latter. Giving Commander Stark a brief nod and smile for greetings, she was pleasantly reminded of their kind interactions at the mixer the woman had organized days prior. It had certainly helped to make her feel more included into this group of officers, that had gone through thick and thin already. Also catching an eye from the Lieutenant next to her, the ship’s navigator, the blonde raised her brows for a moment, with a lop-sided grin to accompany the notion. They had gotten acquainted under quite different circumstances. She could easily say that the past week had been an exemplary experience, in getting to know almost everyone in the room with her now. And alongside of these social interactions, trust had formed too.

Minutes later the Captain appeared, the officer giving him a courteous nod, with an encouraging smile. Ives didn’t need to know what was weighing on the blonde’s mind right then. The various echoes from the interrogation still fresh in her head, the happenings with the Klingon guests, the decision to split up their efforts between Qo’nos and the Breen home world. Her inability to decide which of the two she’d be more useless at. Staying to lend her diplomatic expertise to the coming negotiations with the high council, however, was the most logical course of action in all of this. So here she was, watching the alien visage flickering onto the screen at the captain’s prompt. They made her uneasy. Irrational, duplicitous and hard to read as they were. But especially in a situation such as this, her ceremonial presence on the bridge, was an important element of protocol, albeit not readily enforced.

Samantha had to frown slightly, as the Voice contested their mission parameters. Not exactly sure at that point, what the Savi’s beef with the Breen was, or whether the alien had rather alluded to the treaty between the Federation and the confederacy, which, as it had just turned out today, might’ve just been a meaningless piece of paper. Brushing her plump lips together, the blonde chewed the inside of her cheek, crossing her arms defensively, in a subconscious effort not to let any of the recent insecurities break through into an obviously readable reaction. In due time she would get past these too, that was her thing, repressing unwanted baggage.

Shortly after the screen switched to Commander Dewitt, and a small smile drew onto the diplomat’s features with a barely audible, relaxed chortle. The red-haired woman had been indispensable in keeping the diplomatic efforts afloat, alongside Ensign Eloi-Danvers. And for that she had garnered a good lot respect from the other Commander, even though their interactions had been limited. In her mind too, she wished the woman and her mission good luck, no matter how she felt about the motivations and evidence presented. Feeling disturbed, was probably a sentiment she’d have to get used to, on this ship, in this mission.

As the attention moved to the engineering department, the commander relaxed, bringing her hands down, to remain clasped together behind her back. Blue eyes following O'Connell's quick fingers across the console next to her, she let the technical jargon trickle in through one ear and out the other. She wasn’t quite aware of the necessity in how detailed the narration was, but it was also not her place to judge. Stark seemed to be able to make head and tails from it, so did the navigator, laying in their course. Ultimately it was up the Captain’s final order and the bridge fell silent for a moment. No more subtle beeping of fingers across capacitive buttons. Then came the release, the magical moniker. Samantha could feel butterflies in her stomach as if the anti-grav generators skipped a beat. This was it, this was the true beginning of the journey for her. And as the blue lights sparked from the dark void, she felt as if the ship launched forward a bit, despite the inertia dampeners’ best efforts. A hand springing back to the console next to her, she steadied herself, even if the notion had just been sentimental.

This was a big leap admittedly, but not because of the technical or scientific achievements. No. But because it felt like something was working out in their favor for once, like things were starting to look up. Hope, as it were. It made her believe in those words again, that had been told to her seemingly forever ago, in another life, almost: “Hope is the last light that goes out in the Galaxy.” … now ringing more true than ever.

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @stardust @chXinya @Brutus @uytrereee

As troubling as it had been, the interview with Dr. Nicander had indeed revealed enough of the details necessary for an extrapolation of what the ‘Nameless Darkness’ and it’s agents of chaos had planned next. Still, there was a wide margin for error, and Fisher didn’t like it. There was still so much they didn’t know about what was about to go down, but the events of the morning had prompted more immediate reaction from Theurgy. They simply couldn’t afford to wait any longer, especially now that their location had been revealed to the Galaxy at large. Whatever else could be gleaned on the matter, would have to occur after they’d already started moving in a somewhat general direction. Hopefully, those new details wouldn’t change things in such a drastic manner as to prohibit course correction, because even the slightest mistake would likely spell absolute disaster for everyone, everywhere. It was as though Theurgy were a blind-folded high-wire act in the midst of a gale force wind, and Fisher’s job was to inform them of when or where that wind might shift. He needed to keep an ear out for its subtle whistles and whines, less he gave the wrong information, and they all plummeted into the darkness below.

The interview completed, Fisher had decided to forgo stopping by his office, instead making for the Bridge in anticipation of Ives’ decision. On the way, that decision was made, confirming the prior ideas Fisher had as to how the Captain might act. Truly though, the options Ives had been presented with were exceedingly limited; in no small part due to the lack of additional information afforded her. It was yet another example of Intelligence having dropped the proverbial ball, one in an already long list that only seemed to grow longer with each passing day. Hell, by the hour even, as he’d just encountered another such failure on the part of his department at large, as the Chief Diplomatic Officer had little to no understanding of the level of Breen rearmament efforts since the end of the Dominion War, and Fisher severely doubted it was out of a lack of study or review of intelligence reports. No, more than likely Rutherford had found herself on the shit-list of some Intelligence Operative somewhere, and as result had been kept in the dark on the matter. Instances like that happened more often than Fisher liked to admit.

Upon exiting the portside bridge turbolift, Fisher stepped over to find his Comms Specialist still diligently manning the console, no doubt reviewing incoming information and comms chatter for anything that might prove useful to Theurgy, and or Intelligence. He’d worked with plenty of specialists in the past, but none were as supremely talented as this Selena Ravenholm was, and she was somehow just a lowly provisional warrant officer. With a simple nod he stepped past her, taking up a position just behind and to the right as he reviewed the screens for anything immediately relevant. There was so much to review, and he realized he’d likely be losing even more critical sleep over the coming days; a thought that tensed up the muscles in his back ever so slightly, yet still unpleasantly so. With an audible exhale, he looked back over his shoulder at the empty Captain’s chair, knowing Ives would likely emerge from her ready room when the notification of Theurgy’s arrival in orbit of Zaetov 851 came in.

Before that however, his Diplomatic counterpart exited from the same portside turbolift, walking at a brisk pace past where he stood at the Intelligence console. Though they locked eyes for the faintest of moments, there was now a clear rift between them in the wake of the Nicander interview, no doubt a result of her having realized just how deceitful spies could be. And even though he hadn’t directly been the one to have kept information from her, he would shoulder a portion of the blame and associated guilt. It was unfair in a way, and Fisher knew so, but he also understood that he existed as part of an imperfect and flawed system, and as such those imperfections and flaws reflected upon him as well. For her part, that much was now evident in how their interactions had changed in the short time since that revelation in Security, and for the first time since he’d met the beautiful blonde, his gaze didn’t follow after her as she moved passed him. Instead, he saw only beyond her, and that stung surprisingly deep.

That sting however faded as his mind returned to more immediate and directly professional matters, prompted on by the emergence of Captain Ives from her ready room. It was time for action, and one thing that Fisher had certainly grown accustomed to in his life, was turning self-defeating feelings like guilt into more immediately powerful feelings like anger, and determination.

In spite of the dangers it presented, Theurgy would need to split its crew and efforts between two vital objectives; it was the only way they could possibly stand a chance of stemming the tide. The Allegiant and a small contingent of the Lone Wolves would be ferried across a good portion of the Galaxy by their Savi Allies on the Eurdite, which had dominated the bridge’s main viewer in rather menacing fashion. It was a great beast of a ship, and the reclusive species that commanded it were tentative allies at best. A fact that was soon confirmed as ‘The Voice’ stated his apparent reticence at carrying Theurgy’s small detachment into Breen space, though they eventually relented into upholding their end of the accord under pressure and reassurance from the Captain. A subtle yet odd hint in Ives’ eyes spoke to how strange the objections had been and made Fisher wonder if there was something else at play with their Savi allies. Something they weren’t yet aware of.

That concern only intensified as the viewer switched to that of the Allegiant’s modest bridge, and the crew that had been assigned to it. Many faces were unfamiliar to him, but among them was his right-hand man, Zaryn Arn. He’d only barely begun to know the trill, and in that short time Fisher had come to respect and appreciate him. He’d also come to trust in him, which is why Fisher had asked him to travel with the Allegiant, so as to give Intelligence some form of representation on board; it was likely even, that his skillset as an infiltration specialist would come in handy on such a mission. Taking a step out from behind the stanchion he’d been nestled near, Fisher caught Zaryn’s attention across the communication as Commander Dewitt gave a status report to the Captain. With a single solitary nod, which was returned, Fisher had reaffirmed his trust in Arn, and had communicated all that needed to be said in the moment. It was the same sentiment that he’d offered to all operatives and assets that he’d sent into harms-way; it warned caution, wished for luck, and pleaded for them to come back alive.

Dewitt then closed the channel, and the screen went back to a view of the scout-ship as it moved off for the Erudite, escorted by a quartet of Valkyries, and tailed by Theurgy’s latest addition. Barely glimmering at all in the ambient light of the Zaetov star rising over the far horizon of the planet below, was the semi-boomerang shaped drone that had been renovated, and restored by the valiant efforts of the Engineering staff, most specifically Lieutenant Frank Arnold. Had the Assistant Engineer abided by Fisher’s two-week deadline, it wouldn’t have been even close to ready for this, which would serve as it’s first run in any official capacity. The man had delivered on it in a matter of mere days instead. Now, whereas it had once served in a purely patrol and reconnaissance role, this new subtype of the Tovarek-class Drone would act in an Overwatch and Ground Support capacity. It would follow its designated mother craft, the Allegiant, even attaching itself to the scout-ship in order to cross greater distances, until it was directed to loiter or was taken direct control of. From orbit it would watch over ground elements, provide direct fire support via a re-designed micro-torpedo launcher array, beam in supplies, and facilitate sight-to-sight transport if necessary.

Fisher was betting it’d be of far greater use to the limited contingent headed into Breen space.

For the task before them was monumental in scope. The ‘Nameless Darkness’ sought to bring the Breen Confederacy into this new conflict, seemingly evening the balance of power between two sides of a single conflict, and in doing so would mutually ensure destruction of both. The plan spoke to the devious and deceitful nature, and the lengths to which they would go to stop any and all who could stand in the way of total annihilation. If the Allegiant failed to stop that fire from spreading, then none of Theurgy’s other efforts would matter in the end. The modest brushfire between The Federation and the Romulans would rage into a full-on firestorm, consuming the whole of the Galaxy. It would be nigh impossible for the lone renegade ship to put out that inferno, even with the help of their Savi and Klingon allies; and in the end, all the ashes of the Galaxy would be left to be reaped by the serpents that had ignited the initial spark.

Still, Theurgy needed to backup their Klingon allies as well as they could, which meant ensuring that High Chancellor Martok, not his rival, Gorka son of Margon, made it to Qo’nos first. He was arguably their closest, and most powerful ally, in a time when they had little allies to call on. Hence, they would make use of their latest technological implement, a Quantum Slip Stream Drive, courtesy of the Savi as part of the information exchange program. Even the fastest Klingon ships at Gorka’s disposal would lag behind by days, if not weeks, giving Theurgy and Martok the advantage in terms of time. There, the Intelligence team would hopefully uncover all the sordid little details of this political rival, giving the High Chancellor all the ammunition, and political capital he needed to put this attempted coup down. Maybe then, with the full undivided support of the Empire, could they turn their full attention to exposing, and eliminating the influence of this enigmatic enemy.

In relative silence, Fisher stood in consideration of all this, watching and listening to the reports of the QSD coming online. Butterflies filled the CIO’s stomach as he anticipated what might come next. There was a realization that either everything would go according to plan, and they’d enter slip-space without issue; or they wouldn’t, and in an instant they would all suddenly cease to exist as the ship was torn into billions of pieces. In truth, there was a modest part of Fisher that hoped for the latter, rather than the former. At least then, he would find some peace, and be rid of his demons. Though, he knew that was a selfish thought, and as such would likely doom the rest of the Galaxy; a Galaxy full of innocents, and people he genuinely cared for, whether or not they in turn cared for him.

From Ives, came the order, and Fisher felt his heartrate jump. This should have been a momentous occasion, deserving of far more pomp and circumstance than had been afforded it, and likely wouldn’t receive after the fact. But troubling times rarely made such considerations of those moments when they came along, and the right of celebration often denied. Perhaps, maybe someday historians would look back on this day, and give it the true respect it deserved. ‘If we survive.’ He thought to himself as he crossed his arms over his chest, and leaned against the stanchion near the Intelligence terminal, his eyes giving a once over of the crew as they stared into the viewscreen. If this was indeed to be their last moments, they would at least share it together.

Almost imperceptibly though, there was a lurching of the ship forward as something changed, and out of the corner of his eye, Fisher could see the viewscreen shift from the relative blackness of space, to the swirling brilliance of what he assumed was slip-space. As there were no immediate panicked reactions, he also figured that it had worked. An instant later, a little ‘whoop’ from Commander Stark confirmed that suspicion, as so did a few other minor cheers and celebrations of the bridge crew. Surprisingly, a sense of relief washed over Fisher at the confirmation, and he exhaled very deeply, though his nerves weren’t entirely alleviated. Now they only needed to prevent a Galactic scale war from breaking out, against an enemy that seemingly had no real fears of them, or their efforts, while their own people were hunting them down with renewed vigor.

Pushing off from where he’d leant, Fisher began moving toward the turbolift.

“Congratulations, Captain.” He offered Ives a somewhat sullen acknowledgement before continuing. “I have business to attend to in the Central Intelligence Suite. I’ll keep you apprised of any additional details I can uncover about our mission.” With that, he left the bridge and its crew to enjoy the moment, not so much as giving another thought of it, as there was simply too much work to be done. Whatever pleasant distractions had been there for him prior to today, were now nothing more than a distant and mildly regretful memory.

“Deck 05.” He ordered as the turbolift doors closed.

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #4
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Fire Power | It's Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive | Fuck Yeah, Bitches!]
@Auctor Lucan




This was it, the holy grail.  If anything was going to make Blue Tiran weak in the knees it was the full and beautiful fruition and ignition of the Slip Stream engines.  She had worked along side the white headed mother fuckers while they altered the fucking deck of her beautiful baby to make room fo the fucking thing.  Not only that, but it wasn't as simple as slipping a new fucking engine into the fucking hole where the old used to be.  Oh no.  They had to create, replicate, and alter various power supplies to not only hold the sheer power and divert it to all the systems properly without burn out, but they also had to create new junctions, new tethers, new gauges and the like.  The overhaul had been nothing short of time consuming, a royal bitch, and absolutely and one hundred percent fun. 

Ducote had even joked one night that he was starting to get jealous of the slipstream.  But, she had made it up to him ten fold that night.. or maybe twelve.  She'd lost count somewhere. 

“All right bitches, we have to get this shit up.  Jackson, I want readings.” she cried out as she looked over at the lanky blonde man who rushed over to the gauges. 

“ALL GREEN!” he called back. 

“Haverson I want an eye on all the power supply make sure that if there is even a fucking fluxuation I know about it before it gets to any color other than green.”

“MA'AM!” he pulled out his tricorder and began to scan the slip stream.

“I want all hands on deck, I want everyone on alert.  I don't want any fuckers slouching around.”

Everyone scurried no one wanted to piss her the fuck off today as she stepped closer to the beautiful slipstream and everything that she had worked so fucking hard on for the last month.  Blue looked over at her deck, as they watched.  She could hear the hum of the power being drawn up from the slipstream as it began to power up and get ready to thrust them into the slipstream where they would head towards Federation Space and their destination.  As the power successfully came online and the stream initiated cheers of joy could be heard across the deck.  Blue turned, letting her people have their moment, she could see Jackson and Haverson celebrating but still doing their jobs.  When the cheers died down Blue turned to the crew.

“Great fucking work everyone.  We fucking did it!”  Another cheer erupted.  There was almost nothing like a job well done.








[Ens Jaya Thorne | Bridge of the Allegiant | Answer the Call | Allies on Board]





There was nothing, quite like coming home.  While the Allegiant was not quite home, in that sense, to Thorne it was still like a secondary.  A cabin, in the woods, if you will.  Felt home-ish, but also still was different than actual home.  It was further helped on by the fact that she had the Captain here, or well, she would be called Captain for the duration of the mission.  The red headed woman behind her was none other than Jennifer Dewitt, this was not the first time, and hopefully not the last, that the two had flown together.  But it wasn't even the Allegiant that was truly home, it was the seat she was in.  Home traveled from ship to ship because it was the helm.

Long slender fingers on the controls, the way that at the slide of her fingers she could control everything.  The tilt of the ship, the speed of the engines, the thrust that it was given.  There was nothing that Thorne loved more than to actually fly.  Not just in warp, no that was boring and not fun at all.  But, there was something about when she was really flying.  Executing evasive maneuvers was her very favorite thing to do.  It tested her skill set, her tactics, her glorious training and all her reflexes.  The petite brunette loved the things that she was able to do with her skills and she enjoyed pushing herself to new limits.

Moving the Allegiant from the Theurgy to the Erudite was nothing exciting, in fact, it was very common, however, it was docking in the gloriousness of the ship that really got her.  “You think this is a euphemism for screwing the Savi?” she asked, ahhh was it too soon?  Ah, well it didn't matter.  As they slid into the  Erudite and came to a soft landed in the place that had been cleared for them, something called the Aerodome which just sounded like something of some kind of sports arena, she powered down the engines since they wouldn't be needed while they were in flight. 

“When do we get to fly again?” she asked Dewitt but the woman was needing to call the different parts of the ship.  “That's all you need me for Jenny?  Push some buttons for you, I feel used.” she said teasingly as she flipped the switch and shot the red-head a thumbs up so she could give her 'this is your Captain speaking' message. 

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #5
[ Crewman 3rd Class Samala | Personal Quarters | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy  ]
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"There he goes,” Samala thought as she watched the Allegiant cross the short distance to the enormous ship, she had been told was a Savi ship called the Erudite. She had never heard of them before coming to this ship and if what she had been told was accurate, then she was extremely glad of that. Apparently, they had abducted all the hybrids that had been aboard the Theurgy not long before they had been found and rescued. That had been a different ship, one called the Versant, but aboard it, the Savi had forcibly, and without care to their captive’s wishes, altered their genetics so that they were no longer hybrids. Samala had often wondered what it would be like to be fully Reman and not to have to look at the faces of those who scorned her Romulan half but for that to happen, for her individuality to be taken from her by force; that was a crime.

“Be safe, Brother,” she said, knowing that her brother could no longer hear her, as she turned away from the window. “Come back to me.”



[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor | Personal Quarters | Deck 15 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]
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“Fuck that ship and all those aboard it,” Mickayla thought as she watched the Erudite hang in space. “I need a drink.”

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #6
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Warp Core Room | Lower Deck | Allegiant ] Attn: @BZ @DaValle
[Show/Hide]

He'd come over from the Theurgy scant an hour ago, meeting as he said he would, with the other ship volunteers for Engineering. They'd come over with their seabags, and Frank had come straight to the Warp Core Room. After all, they were set for departure at 1900 hrs, to piggyback on a Savi ship, to go screaming across the galaxy and be in the Breen Confederacy faster than you could take a nap. That necessitated a little bit of shakedown, and so he found himself at what passed for the main screen, with two PADDs of technical information in front of him, as he perused through the readouts, making sure their core was coming up to efficiency.

He was pleasantly surprised to know he'd be working with Ji, having met her a few days prior on the fighter deck. He also had the pleasure of working with the man he knew had finished the weapons tuning on the Theurgy. That meant between Ji, T'kolla, and Frank, they had propulsion, weapons systems and energy distrubution, and structural integrity and damage control very well covered. He'd at least laid out his stuff, and clipped his toolbelt around his waist.

He watched a monitoring screen very closely, the sleek form of the Theurgy shown there, mirrored back from the Allegiant's main viewscreen. 'They're about to make the big jump' and with that thought he gave a gentle double-knock to the side of his head, 'knock on wood'. He smiled to himself, and thought about how right about now Blue had to be fucking-fuck-fucked-fucking someone up and down the deck, getting the drives ready to make their maiden voyage. And then like that she was gone, poof. He murmured to himself and anyone who might be in the warp core room with him, "Well they figured out takeoff, let's see if they stick the landing." With that he gave one more knock to the side of the skull 'three for luck', and turned back to his PADDs. He wanted to check the feedback from the tailing Tovarek drone they'd been given. Frank was admittedly attached to his new pet, even though he didn't know what to call it yet. 'Toverek-Arnold Pattern perhaps, no, too vain' thought Frank. He'd confer with Lt. Commander Fisher when he got back, the man had a good humour about him.
 
At that moment though, he was drawn away once more by a familiar voice, familiar in that sort of pleasant surprise way. 'I knew she was on board, but now she's our Captain, small galaxy after all'. He gave a small smile as she said their duty remained to the protection of the Federation, that was what it was all about after all. Maybe the pair would catch up at some point on the voyage. Either way when Dewitt finished, she let them know they had one hour, that was a one hour shakedown needed, naps could wait, he'd already not slept for the Arnold pattern Drone, what was another 24 hours? At the end of that thought, Frank wandered over to the desk, and picked up his thermos, taking a long sip with a satisfied 'ah', "Coffee two sugars, that'll keep this place going."

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #7
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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There had been moments, besides the occasional bouts of both mental and verbal swearing, when Cross had wondered how he'd react to dealing with the Savi. The past month had done wonders, ensuring that Cross was unlikely to become a rage monster in a uniform on any given day, so he had thought he'd be alright. Not good by any stretch, but alright. Controlled. Capable. Professional, even.

Seeing Echtand on the viewscreen (and the fucker was supposed to be a 'nice' monster) sent all that flying. A month at Aldea had helped Cross gain some measure of control over himself, but there were times when those emotions raged so powerfully that they caught him by surprise. As Captain Ives bandied words with the Savi, Cross gripped the duranium frame of his console so tightly that his real wrist ached at the strain needed to stay still.

Sure, Blue had told him about her experiences on the Versant and with Echtand. Cross had sat in on the senior staff briefings, and intellectually, he knew how immensely important an alliance with the Savi was. It was absolutely logical, well reasoned and based on self-interest...but nevertheless, it didn't do a damn thing to soothe that desire to grab Echtand's head through the viewscreen and rip it off his body.

It wouldn't be diplomatic, and Cross was fairly certain that he'd never actually do something so stupid, but still, the thought rolled through his mind. He really was starting to understand Khorin more and more each day.

Looking down at his console and seeing the ridiculous firepower at his fingertips didn't help his rage in the slightest, though. Cross took a breath as Captain Ives switched hir call to the Allegiant. He didn't envy Commander Dewitt and her crew, but still, they had their job, so he'd do his. Quietly, focusing on his breathing, Cross calmed as he worked, checking what systems he could. The weapon systems were all offline, but he could at least monitor the deflector and shields for potential problems.

The transition to quantum slipstream passed almost without Cross' notice, and he ignored the brief clapping and cheering from a couple of officers. Everyone had done their job well, apparently. Having nothing to say, he simply stood at his console silently, trying to ignore the violent rage he'd felt just minutes before...a feat not helped by how his wrist still ached.

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #8
[CWO1 Larrant | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Nearly ten hours ago he had been confined to quarters. Then the attack on the Palais de la Concorde happened. Captian Ives immediately lifted Larrant's confinement to quarters. The Theurgy was needed on mission and all hands were called to duty stations. In the short time that he had, Larrant had managed to stabilize the basic motor functions of his holographic body matrix. He had even managed to produce a limited vocabulary of speech that Thea recognized.

From the rear of the bridge his holographic form stood between one of the support staff stations and the mission ops display table. Above the table was an astrometric hologram of the area around the Theurgy and navigational data generating a flightpath to their destination. Larrant's Medusan mind calculated the mathematics involved in a matter of seconds. He could feel the pull of nearby stars and the tug of larger massed objects farther away. The constant tug of the galactic center was ever-present to a Medusan. From the moment Larrant became aware of his existence, he knew the direction the galactic gravitational tides flowed.

He had yet to get the know the crew beyond those that accompanied him from the Ganymede. At the moment he was merely an observer but equally responsible for monitoring and verifying all the calculations. The holographic officer representing Larrant was emotionless, unblinking as the entire bridge was abuzz with energy about the event about to take place. Quantum Slipstream was a pipedream ever since the technical data behind it was made available from the U.S.S. Voyager. The thought of leaping 60 lightyears in a matter of an hour excited Larrant.  His EMU's processor picked up on the emotion and translated it causing his holographic avatar to yawn.

Then the Theurgy launched forward at slipstream speed. The sensation sent a shockwave through Larrant. His avatar flickered momentarily exposing the levitating pod within as the Medusan attempted to orient himself. To the solids around him traveling in slipstream wasn't disorienting. For a species that existed partially in subspace and sensitive to the gravitational forces of the galaxy, it was akin to being shot out of a slingshot.  Larrant's avatar placed its hands on the display table. He didn't will it to, it just did. Perhaps he was becoming more skilled at using it, but then it sneezed, which was far from the physical responses taking place inside the Medusan pod.

"Excuse me," Larrant's avatar spoke as he tried to focus on maintaining composure. This hour-long ride would be an interesting one.
CPO Sithick [Show/Hide]
CWO1 Larrant [Show/Hide]
BG Natauna
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Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #9

MEANWHILE




[ K'Tal, son of Machi, of House K'Tal | The Great Domes of Qo'noS | The First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: All
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Feeling as old as the Domes he stood beneath, K'Tal bared his teeth - restless in waiting for his assassination.

A foolish endeavour, as he was in charge of Imperial Intelligence. He had known what would occur on the balcony he stood upon when he woke up that morning. He had ensured that his tasks and appointments remained unchanged, luring the assassin to think he hadn't chanced upon the plans made for his demise. Kopek, son of Nargor, had confirmed his suspicions with a few simple questions asked, and the only thing left to decide upon was how many of his House he would conceal in the shadows. In the end, as a Klingon, he had merely opted for two of his leading operatives, and try as he might, he would never have been able to detect them lest he'd known they were there. For as a Klingon, he would prefer to deal the killing stroke himself.

It was time.

Quiet steps on the stone. A stray shadow caught by the flame lights on the walls, seen in his peripheral vision. There was no sound of the steel being bared, but he suspected the blade was already drawn. K'Tal waited, feeling a bit younger all of a sudden with the promise of excitement. Could he wait further, to linger in the moment? Would his old bones betray him next? Only his sudden grin would betray his foreknowledge, but he had his head turned away from the assassin's approach. Hearing the feet of the assassin coming up fast... he spun around, with his mek'leth already drawn.

"Moronic cur!" he roared out of his broad chest, and his rising strike caught the blade aimed at his back. He split skin and armour along the assassin's forearm, and the white of the eyes meeting him in the firelight... they were known to him. Before K'Tal could place a name to the face, however, his two field operatives had already detached themselves from the shadows, and their blackened jejtaj struck hard, viciously, and fast. K'Tal, caught up in the moment and against his better knowledge, also struck anew, and caught the assassin across the neck with his second attack.

In seconds, the fellow member of the High Council had fallen, and K'Tal looked down upon the fool. It was someone he should have suspected, since the House of Mo'Kai had always craved to lead Imperial Intelligence. Yet who would have given the old Targ, now twitching below the Great Domes of Qo'noS, the idea that he might kill K'Tal all on his own?

As he stood there with his two field operatives, K'Tal couldn't help but think this had something to do with the grandson's challenge against High Chancellor Martok. He glanced away from the body and to his blooded mek'leth, thinking that he should have spared the cowardly old Klingon's life and interrogated him instead... for he may just have worsened matters in the Great Hall of the Empire significantly.


THIRTY MINUTES LATER


[ Captain Gorka, son of Margon, of House Mo'Kai | Bridge | IKS Neng-ta | En-Route to Qo'noS ] Attn: All
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Unlike his bridge crew, who sang in victory after the latest skirmish with Martok loyalists, Gorka said nothing as he stared upon the viewscreen. All that betrayed a reaction to the victory was a small smile on his lips. The engagement had been unsatisfying, for the Captains of the opposition had been utterly bereft of cunning and forethought. They had battled like Gorka's people usually might, with daring bravery and little wit. He had predetermined the outcome long before they arrived to Suto'vo'qor. Eriska of the House of Daa´maq had given him all he needed to know. Likely in hope for something in return, and perhaps not limited to the the leadership of her own House.

"Captain! A hail through subspace relay! It's from Qo'nos!"

"On screen," he said quietly, without rising to his feet. He suspected whom the speaker might be, for it could have been either of two... but he suspected one of them had just died. He had to school his words, however, lest his bridge crew might think him dishonourable. "Kopek, son of Nargor, do you seek to dissuade or support me?"

He spoke as if he did not know Kopek, of course, and the question he'd posed was one he'd offered many who came in his way. The answer was expected, though he had to act surprised.

"Gorka, the Klingon High Council will determine if your claim is valid," said the gnarly, old yet still imposing Klingon on the screen, who's eyes could barely be seen below his brow ridge, "but I bring dire news of your grandfather. It is too early to say what exactly happened, but he is dead. He fell with a blade in hand - with honour - at the hands of K'Tal, son of Machi. It is claimed they had a dispute, likely because of bad blood between your Houses, and K'Tal was the victor."

Loathing charades, Gorka did his utmost to seem enraged, even if he had loathed his grandfather more. He raised his massive frame from his seat in the command chair and his roar struck the bulkheads of the bridge. Be it a roar in honour to the fallen, or one of ire, it did not matter. It was merely a farce for his bridge crew, whom became equally enraged on his behalf. They would shake the gates of Suto'vo'qor with him as he led them to battle, and yet Gorka wouldn't care if they all died, as long as the Empire could be restored to something that didn't suffer from Chancellor Martok's folly.

"When I reach Qo'nos," he said, with his deep voice made raw by feigned hatred, "I will mount K'Tal's head on my bat'leth and bring back honour to the House of Mo'Kai! My grandfather was supposed to be High Chancellor, our rallying cry made together against Martok and his deranged stance with Federation defectors. Martok spat on the Accords and will lead our people to whatever his madness will take us. He should have been removed when he lost his wife, and Morjod - his illegitimate child - killed my father!"

Shortly after Martok had become Chancellor, Morjod and his mother -Gothmara, daughter of Kultan - staged a coup, destroying the Great Hall. The two managed to kill most of the High Council members. In the initial attack, Martok's wife Sirella died, as did Martok's daughters Shen and Lazhna. Morjod had also killed Gorka's father in the Great Hall, and it had distilled something in him - a hatred towards Martok, because his dishonourable lust outside wedlock had taken his father from him. Martok swore revenge against both Morjod and Gothmara for the deaths of his wife and children, and began gathering forces loyal to him. Rallying a large force to his cause, Martok's forces engaged the coup's forces in a large battle on Boreth. Morjod and Martok had fought each other, and Morjod was soon defeated, but despite this victory... Gorka's father remained dead, so did Gorka feel inside.

If it weren't for Martok, Gorka would still be able to feel something. Perhaps he might, once he killed Martok and took everything from him.

"As the new head of your House, and if your claims are true," Kopek said to him on the viewscreen, "you may have to take your grandfather's place. The Great Hall will decide it."

Gorka bared his teeth at the face, and terminated the transmission. Callously, he knew he might have to kill more of the Ketai for that to happen, but it mattered naught. He turned to his loyal bridge crew, and his new roar twisted his face into a mask of death. A roar that was actually a song, only recited as a dire promise. "If my line should die! It dies with its teeth in the enemy's throat! It dies with its name on the enemy's tongue! For just as mere life is not victory! Mere death is not defeat! And in the next world, I shall kill the foe a thousand times! Laughing! Undefeated! To Qo'nos! So that I may slay K'Tal and Martok both!"

He wondered if the High Chancellor would even dare take a step into the First City.

If he did, Gorka would be right there.


60 LIGHT YEARS INTO KLINGON SPACE


[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Specifically, but not limited to: @Argyros @Griff @BZ @Brutus @jreeves1701
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With increasing worries in the reports from O'Connell at the Engineering station, and warnings cropping up from around the ship, Captain Ives decided it was enough when Thea herself spoke up over the intercom.

[Warning. Phase variance of the quantum slipstream field at 0.40. Catastrophic failure imminent in 2 minutes and 1, 327 seconds.]

One hour, and sixty light-years, he thought, sitting there in his male form. It appears that's the limit of what the Savi have given us. I suppose it's to be expected, since they do not rely on warp cores on their ships.

"Drop us out of slipstream," he finally told Veradin at the helm, "but maintain a course towards Qo'nos. Full impulse for the time being, until we know what we can afford in terms of warp factor velocity."

It wasn't quite like dropping out of warp, the feeling of returning to normal space-time. It was like a wrenching feeling, which Ives couldn't quite describe, but once system readouts and his bridge crew gave their reports, Jien had his orders ready. "Commander Ducote, collect all available data on this past hour from all departments, with any and all observations made. Commander Cross, what's on the horizon? Do we have any Klingon forces in our vicinity? Bridge to Commander Tiran, what's the status on the quantum slipstream drive down there? How soon can we use it again?"

Turning back to the present officers, Jien continued, shifting in his seat a little. "Stark, what is our current power output? Can we go to warp, and if so, how fast can we travel? If needed, we can reroute power from auxiliary systems."

Pausing, Jien then turned around in his seat to look at one of the recent additions to the support staff on the bridge. A Medusan, no less, that had come aboard from the IKS Vor'nak. "Chief Warrant Officer Larrant, what is this planet below us, and what can you tell us about the path ahead of us? If we make another jump like this, will we be able to reach Qo'nos?"

As the answer came along, Thea stepped into the bridge at the back, wearing her black chameleon body suit. She seemed concerned, and walked up to Ives, and spoke up once she had his attention.

"Captain. It's Lieutenant Morali, he's alerted me that there has been a temporal breach. Well, not exactly. He's raving, and it's difficult to make sense of what he's saying. Shall I summon him, or put him through on the screen?"

Jien recalled past events in which Morali's MEM-treatment had been triggered, and a cold shiver ran up his imitation of a human spine. "On screen."


OOC: One hour has passed during which they used the QSD burst drive! The naming convention for one-on-one Supplemental threads that belong to Chapter 02 is still: CH02: S [D0X|YYYY] Insert Title (YYYY marking the time after 1900 hrs.). Please be mindful about how the QSD burst will last between 1900 hrs. and 2000 hrs., during which time there can be no warp fighters or shuttles leaving the Theurgy, and the bomb in the Spearhead Lounge (above) goes off at 2147 hrs. on Day 01 (a Red Alert has been sounded there!).

Posts in this thread could be Joint-Posts with another writer, or if you have a character eligible for bridge duty, feel free to post in reaction to Thea's first completed QSD flight. If you have a character in Engineering on the Theurgy, you can illustrate the great difficulty it is to maintain QSD flight in terms of the variance mentioned in the post. Here are some ideas for contents to add in reply to this post or in Supplemental threads, besides whatever you guys can come up with! (It's from the Newsletter)
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I will eventually be closing this thread with the hour of QSD travel coming to an end, and Thea appearing well within Klingon space. I am open for interactions with Captain Ives on the bridge! :)

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #10
 [Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy]Attn: @Auctor Lucan  
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Natalie had remained at her station for the duration of the QSD execution. It was...thrilling, on some level, and never wracking on many more. Though Blue Tiran in main engineering was running the show, Nat was working hand in hand with Master Chief O'Connell on the main bridge to ensure that power was flowing here it needed to. As the journey progressed, she'd idly noted officers leaving the bridge that were no longer needed, but she was pushing on into the middle hours of a second shift. This was too important to trust to her (capable) underlings. Maybe that was ego talking, she was aware enough to admit that could be the case. But maybe it was also that sense of self responsibility. Either way, she rode out the trip, all sixty minutes of it. All sixty light years of it. Truly an outstanding feat, and the young Ops Chief had a hard time wrapping her mind around the distance jump. 

Starfleet's first functioning Quantum Slipstream Drive. And we can't tell anyone what we just did. The order was given and the ship jolted out of the Slipstream. The sensation was alien enough that Natalie shivered and bit her lip for a moment, giving her head a small shake as well. For the life of her, she could not say if the ship had shook, or if it was simply something off within her. Needless to say that didn't sit well with her. Ahead of them, the stars appeared, seemingly static for the moment as the ship cruised along at impulse. Already, reports were coming into her consoles. Her lips pursed and eyes narrowed as she worked her way through the more pressing points. 

Rattling off a few numbers to the Captain when asked, she added after, "Minor systems fluctuations throughout the ship. One of the secondary ODN conduits seems to be down on deck twenty. Oh, we have a report of a minor loss of gravity in the ships pool when we transitioned. Have to take that into account going forward. No injuries reported, for that one," Natalie noted, bemused. She wondered what that might be like, to be swimming and suddenly lose gravity, but set it aside. "Routing power from auxiliary systems now.  We can enter warp, but I wouldn't push it much past warp 6 for the time being, sir." 

She spared a glance over her shoulder to look at the ships new 'navigation' specialist, taking in the man's holographic appearance. A Medusan. Some of the best navigators in the Federation bar none. I wonder how he likes the containment module? There was professional curiosity there, of course, as someone who had a long history with holography.  But there was also all the rumors that circled around Medusan's, and getting to server alongside one was simply...novel. It was a day for firsts, and for a moment Natalie chose to dwell on that, and not the darker concerns that had been the cause of their historic flight.

That lasted only as long as it took for Thea to relay something less than pleasing to the Captain. Natalie could see the shift in their demeanor, the way the shoulders sagged slightly and then tensed back up, as if they were bracing themselves for something unpleasant or concerning. Or maybe you are reading far too much into things, Natalie. You're an Ops Officer, not a shrink. Quit diagnosing the Captain. It was hardly her fault that she'd been a tad more concerned and watchful ever since they'd gotten Ives back from the Savi over a month ago. Surely not.

The main screen flickered to life, and everyone on the bridge turned their attention forward...

[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory | Deck 09| Vector 02|  USS Theurgy ] Attn:
[Show/Hide]

Pain and images danced around in Sarresh's mind as he bent over the main control console in his lab. Sweat beaded down his forehead and his eyes were tightly shut. The remnants of a truly delicious dinner sat steaming in the corner of the lab, having recently been spilled forth from his mouth, which he'd roughly wiped clean on the sleeve of his shirt. "All dead, too many dead...all of the alive. Oh gods, how could they do that? That poor woman. That poor ship. Colu-- his words cut off again as he lurched to the side, new images coming pushing the others aside. It was so much. So much more than he should see. Gods...he needed...

Someone to set my head in order, he thought, bitterly. Left her at the dinner table you asshole. It was, in fact, the first coherent thought he'd had since practically fleeing the lounge on deck three, when the first tremors of what was ripping across his mind had hit him. "THEA! They...they tried. Dammit they tried to...almost... didn't. Dammit it's happening but it's not, right now. Danger....its here. its coming. Its....cold. So cold. How can they live in those damn suits..."

He staggered forward to one of the monitor stations, and braced himself. He heard the call from the bridge and he hunched down, shoulders bunched as the screen flickered to live. He saw them all on the bridge, but his eyes were locked onto Ives and for a moment, he knew it all. The veins around his temple stood out, throbbing, and the colors in his eyes seemed to swirl, like a whirlpool on the oceans surface. His skin was deathly pale and his har soaked through now. He was out of uniform, dressed in comfortable, homespun Bajoran garb in light, pleasing shades of blue and gray, his attempt at casual attire for the dinner he'd been invited to. They were as soaked as his hair now. he had to focus

Focus Sarresh. Push the rest out of the way. Deal with it later. Another time. Another place. Typhon...no, not now. focus. focus. focusfocusfoCUSFOCUSFOCUSFOCUS

"Ives. Captain....incursion." He shut his eyes, grit his teeth and sucked in a ragged breath. "Sorry...still...sorting my head out. There was a breach - sorry, no, an attempted breach. Someone tried to slip into our reality, our timestream. Now, just now. Now. Transporter room...2? Or maybe 4. Can't tell. Not the cargo transporters." Oh, god's there's so much.... "They tried to breach reality and board the ship but they failed. That has...never happened. They failed to get aboard, but they tried just now, here, on our ship."

His breathing was coming back to normal now, the crazed look bleeding away to pure exhaustion. Every muscle ached, and he could feel the startled gaze of the bridge crew through the monitor. He grit his teeth together again, pushing another image out of his mind. That knowledge was too painful to look at now. A face full of what might have been, and wasn't.  There was just too much. He rubbed his forehead and leaned back away from the monitor, letting out a puff of pained breath. The headache was coming now. "Someone tried to board the ship, to open a breach here in the transporter rooms and failed. But Captain, they might try again."

He'd seen this before, on the Relativity. He remembered standing shoulder to shoulder with Ducane, phasers drawn and - Oh. fuck me. He looked up again at Ives, eyes narrowing. Well. Damn. That....damn. Later, Sarresh.

"I...recommend we send teams to all the transporter rooms, if you can spare them. Security and science. Take every reading possible. I'll...hell. I'll take something for the head and go to the nearest one. Sir." It had been almost a month since he'd spoken with Ives. He was forgetting that whole rank thing. It didn't help that the last officer of any important rank he'd talked to had insisted they talk on a first name basis. 

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #11
[CWO1 Larrant | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

The hour of slipstream travel was filled with mixed reactions from Larrant's holographic avatar. What began as the occasional sneeze turned into hiccups and as soon as he managed to suppress those his right eye began to wink. The most embarrassing glitch was when the ship exited slipstream and Larrant's avatar belched. Despite this and the Medusan was not phased. If anything he was intrigued as to why the pod's processors would interpret the effect exiting slipstream had on him as a bodily function.

"Excuse me," he repeated for the umpteenth time.

He listened carefully as the captain called out for reports. Larrant gained marveled at the flued transition of the captain between genders. Since deciding to live among the solids, Larrant continued to be fascinated by the concept of genders, and seeing one of the solids switch between them fascinated him.

Then Captain Ives called on him.

"Yes sir," Larrant could feel the dug of all the stellar objects of significant gravity wells, mainly stars but also other objects. The two closest resonated. A 2.07 Solar Mass binary behind them and a combined 3.2 Solar Mass binary in front of them. "We are roughly halfway to Q'onos. The system before us is Epsilon Monocerotis. A binary consisting of a magnitude 4.39 A5 IV white subgiant star and a magnitude 6.72 F5 V yellow-white main sequence partner. No records of indigenous life." Larrant pulled up the three-dimensional holographic star chart on the display table. "Beyond that lies the 59 Eridani System, Epsilon Hydrae Pentary System, and the Epsilon Hydrae T'Tauri Class Nebula. The Ganymede had refueled in the nebula just before I transferred to the Theurgy. There is a Class M planet, Epsilon IV in the Epsilon Hydrae system. During the Klingon Civil War a Captain Rudolph Ransom hid in the nebula near Epsilon IV eluding a Klingon bird-of-prey for three days until the Klingons ceased searching for him."

The report was more emotionless than a Kolinhar master except Larrant's pod did pick up on an emotion and forced his holographic avatar to shift into a creepy grin. It was only a brief expression as Lieutenant Commander Stark began her report and then Larrant felt it. Felt it like a gravitic mine went off inside his pod. The force caused the holoprojectors to shut down along with the antigravs. The Medusan pod made contact with the deck with a metallic clang.

As the officer on the viewscreen explained what happened. Larrant quickly ran diagnostics. Luckily the Mark III EMU was made of stronger material than its predecessors. The pod's manipulator arms had already extended and Larrant lifted himself up off the floor. He digested what Lieutenant Morali had said.

Someone or something had tried to transport between dimensions. The physics to achieve such a feat was complex. All the mathematical physics that Larrant was familiar with breaching the dimensional barrier required a massive amount of graviton generation. The kind that would hit a Medusan like a meteor impact.  The last effort to do so was by Dr. Paul Manheim and though successful, resulted in what was now known as the "Manheim Effect." It also created a subspace gravity well felt by many Medusans.

Finally stabilized, the Larrant's pod's antigravs rebooted and his manipulator arms retracted back into their housing. Larrant's occular sensors looked at the man on the viewscreen. Morali, Theurgy's Temporal Affairs Officer stood in front of what Larrant recognized as a Temporal Observatory. It wasn't his first encounter with such a facility having been interogated by the Federation Science Council's Chronal Assessment Committee and the Temporal Physics Subgroup of the Anomalous Physics Group following the Darvash Crisis in 2298. It had been an alternate version of Larrant who had calculated the navigational physics for the USS Chesapeake's successful slingshot into the past. That Larrant was destroyed by this reality's Chesapeake when it was forced to destroy it's time-traveling alternate.  The Crisis was well known as the event that created the Department of Temporal Investigations. Larrant took a moment to wonder if Morali had read his file.
CPO Sithick [Show/Hide]
CWO1 Larrant [Show/Hide]
BG Natauna
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Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #12
[ Lt JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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With a quiet sigh of relief, the Chief CONN officer deactivated the Savi Slipstream Drive. He knew they were in a hurry to get to Qo’nos but pushing the new drive to its limits was dangerous, even to a flyboy like Derik. Sure, they were making some damn good time traveling around sixty light years in roughly an hour. The exit to normal space was rougher than the Trill had anticipated. Jolted but still steady, he followed the captain’s orders and increased their sublight speeds to maximum impulse.

May have to talk to Jien about the drive later. That wasn’t nearly as stable as I would have liked. I know it’s integrated technology but if it screws with our warp capabilities as well we are going to run into some hell later.

Despite being a department head, questioning the Captain’s decisions in the near future was probably going to get him locked in the brig. It always seemed like desperate times calling for desperate measure though lately. What happened to diplomatic runs that didn’t involve weapons fire? Why couldn’t they have a few of those?

Playing tug of war with his own thoughts distracted him in a bad way. He had no idea what was going on until the screen in front of him shifted to that of Sarresh Morali. He didn’t know the man extremely well or anything, except for that rather amusing trip to the Aldean Reefs, but he was clearly in distress. He was raving, words like liquid madness in how quickly they flowed from his lips. What the fuck is going on?!?

Derik knew that Morali was their Temporal Officer but much of what he was saying was hard to process. Something had attempted to board the ship? During a Slipstream Jump? Making a leap even from one ship to another, while traveling through a Slipstream tunnel would have taken calculations that would leave most people drooling idiots by the time they were done. Add crossing the dimensional planes to the mix? Who could be capable of such a feat? And survive such an event too?

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #13
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

[Show/Hide]

As the Theurgy decelerated from quantum slipstream, Cross had to be honest: the Savi had given them a formidable advantage. It didn't make up for the kidnapping, torture and murder (and indeed, Cross still wouldn't mind blowing the Versant to hell), but he couldn't deny the tactical benefit. The more specific mechanics of quantum slipstream eluded him despite studying the logs of Voyager, aided sporadically by Blue's rambling explanations. Unfortunately, while Blue was certainly a superb engineer, she had all the eloquence of a toilet in a Glasweigan pub. After a visit by a Klingon parises squares team. Who all had Vulcan curry for dinner.

Well, that thought went off track, Cross mused with bemusement. Blue isn't that bad. Mostly. Still, I really need to spend more time with Hathev, if only for the company of someone who doesn't swear every other word.

Multitasking as he ruminated, Cross was already running a sensor scan before Ives asked, although summing up the scan took longer than the sensor sweep itself. "Klingon battlegroup, dead aft, extreme sensor range," he reported curtly. "One Vor'cha-class attack cruiser, four small B'Rels. Thea assesses the cruiser to be the Fuq'mi...the name of the ship, I wasn't...apologies Captain. We aren't sure of the battlegroup's allegiance at present, but I'll investigate. Otherwise there's just normal civilian traffic, no apparent threats, no indications of cloaked ships on sensors."

Then the call came from Morali. It was such a bizarre story that Cross could scarcely believe it. He half considered working up some sort of defence, some sort of modification to the shields, but how the fuck did they defend against dimension-hopping time-travelling reality-breaching invaders!?

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #14
[ Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston | Security Center | Master-At-Arms’ Office | Deck 07/Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn:

Adam wasn’t left wondering what it would be like for too long as the Theurgy engaged her quantum slipstream burst drive for both her and Adam’s first time. It was getting bumpy as the corridor formed but then smoothed out. The Master-At-Arms mused that it probably felt the same as when the great Zefram Cochrane experienced when he had made the Phoenix flight.

He took the hour of travel time to go over the exosuits to see about the maintenance and cleanliness of them as well maintained gear is often the difference between possible injury, or worse death, and continued life. It was also a peaceful, calming and therapeutic exercise in which he could just chill out in Zen. The whole crew had to fully use all the amount of free time they could get.

Their mission may take a long time to actually achieve which was one source of stress, Adam knew it was for him anyway, as the opportunity for them to expose the damned parasites may never come. Of course he knew that they’d have to make it happen with minimal bloodshed as possible and that was the hard part.

He had many ideas but most counted on them getting to secure locations or trying to locate proof that they could simply present to the galaxy. Easier said than done. Not to mention that if they could actually present a live parasite dephased, that could convince thousands.

Though with the Paris bomb, exposing the parasites still had the potential for simply making them accelerate their plans and skipping their subtly for outright destruction of as much civilization and as many lives as possible in the most fastest methods already probably at their disposal.

Stop! The Captain and senior staff are working on plans and contingencies, all you have to do is be ready. Adam chided himself as he seemed to be working the same piece of exosuit over and over again. He stepped back and let his arms relax by his sides, took a deep breath through his nose and slowly released it out his mouth. He opened his eyes and went back to work.
[Show/Hide]
Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston, Master-at-Arms, (Vector 03 Security)

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Lieutenant/Dr Elro Kobol , Chief Medical Officer, (Vector 02 Medical)

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #15
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Fucker We Just Dropped Slipstream Warp | The Engine is Still Steaming | Slow the Fuck Down | Ants in Your Pants, Cap?]
@Auctor Lucan




Everything was beautiful on the Engineering deck for the most part.  Blue had carefully watched over the massive engine and the slipstream drive and had made sure that anything of note was of course noted.  The Savi fuckers had helped as well to make sure that all the coupling and duct taped bull shit was still holding together properly.  That was what she fucking needed and she was glad to watch the gauges stay in the green, and enjoy the time knowing how fucking fast they were going.  There were sensors that she had Arnold put on the hull of the ship because she wanted to know how the structural integrity of the ship was affected by such a thing but she also wanted more shit to study for the times when she had to sit down due to some mother fucker being in her face.

As they dropped out of slipstream, she felt the whole world shift around her, as though it came back into being after being gone for such a long time, though it wasn't as long as it had seemed.  She sighed as everything came back to normal.

“Check the fucking gauges!” she called to one.

“Start the cool down timer!” she called to another.

“How fucking far did we get this time.” she called pointing to another officer.

The voice came over the combadge asking her how they were doing and when they could jump again.  “So far we're all green down here, I have my people on, the fucking machine was fucking brilliant and I can't wait to fucking use it again!” despite her language it was clear as she talked to Ives that she was excited and proud to be using such a thing. 

“As for when we can use the fucker again, it's going to be a while.  Cool down counter has begun, we're testing the gauges, checking for weaknesses, we noticed a fluxuation right before you ordered shut down so if you hadn't done it I would have, but the whole fucking thing requires a fuck ton of maintenance in the interim and we will be getting ourselves back into the slipstream in just shy of two hours if all this fucking work goes well.”

She reported in usual Blue terminology.  “Captain.  It's a fucking beauty.” you could hear the grin through the combadge without even having to see it.

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #16
[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Specifically, but not limited to: @Argyros @Griff @BZ @Brutus @jreeves1701 @chXinya @Sqweloookle 
[Show/Hide]
Sitting in his chair, Jien listened to the reports from around the bridge and gave orders in response, suppressing the lingering awe over what Thea had just done, using her new slipstream drive.

Before Morali had come on-screen, Commander Cross had been the first to report on the tactical situation, pointing out the Klingon forces surrounding them. He couldn't quite stop himself from glancing over his right shoulder at Cross with a raised eyebrow when he mentioned the 'Fuq'mi', nor the faint smile that followed the clarification. It seemed they were not in any immediate hot-zone in the blazing trail that Gorka had left behind himself across the Klingon Empire, but there were plenty of unknowns as well. Cross was about to investigate, and Jien nodded. "Go ahead, and given the voyage we're making, I think it would be prudent if Zyrao Natauna assisted us, if nothing else with intel about whom are Martok loyalists and not." Giving it a second of additional thought, Jien continued. "Should we need it, feel free to request her presence in the back of the bridge, Commander. For in some events, she might even act as a conduit between between you and Martok's forces. Coordination might prove to be key before we reach Qo'nos."

Ducote had been gathering reports by the big table in the back of the bridge, and another thought had come to Ives. "Given how deep we've reached into Klingon space, we cannot tarry on gathering whatever intel we can on Martok's political opponent from Junior Officer Khorin Douglas. Bring Commander Akoni with you and speak with Douglas. I can review the departmental reports myself instead."

"Aye, Captain," said Ducote with a nod and left the bridge, already speaking to Kai Akoni via his combadge about what they needed to do. Meanwhile, Stark had given her report, which held both a slightly amusing and worrisome report from the public bath area on Vector 01, which had let another faint smile touch Jien's face, gladdened that there was no injury attached to that incident.

"You heard her Lieutenant Veradin, warp six it is for the time being," he had said after Stark had finished, at which point Tiran had begun to speak over the intercom, filling in the blanks from Main Engineering that O'Connell wasn't privy to. It was pleasant to hear Tiran so enthusiastic, given how she was prone to have such a sharp tongue. "Good to hear, Tiran, and give my regards to your crew down there as well. Excellent work. Now, I want a level one diagnostic on that slipstream drive during the cool-down time, including the Benamite crystals. I do not care for any surprises mid-jump. Ives, out."

The Medusan had spoken next, telling them where they were, exactly, and what laid ahead. Few surprises, yet some added trivia that wasn't unwelcome if hardly important. At warp six, it would be some time before they reached Epsilon Monocerotis. A fast shuttle would even outrun them there. "Thank you, Larrant," was all Ives had the time to say before Thea and Morali had stolen the attention from everyone present with the worrisome words of an attempted incursion. Ives knew not if the Medusan had lost control of his holo-projection interface out of mere shock, but luckily the pod had not been breached by the fall - caught in time by the anti-grav units. Ives could but afford the navigational specialist a frown before his whole attention had shifted and remained upon Morali.

Thea had called it rambling, and that certainly described what the sweat-soaked former Ash'reem in civilian grab was doing. Narrowing his eyes as he tried to make sense of what he was hearing, he stood up from his chair and lifted a finger towards the communications station - eyes still on the viewscreen. "Raise Lieutenant Kingston," he said, knowing that Akoni had an important task to handle, and the Deputy was on the Allegiant. The Master-at-Arms would have to handle the matter. "Deploy security teams to all transporter rooms and have them await further instructions. Commander Kaeris, you heard him. Summon your people and investigate. Wait, Morali, I need you for something else."

Having said as much, Jien walked towards the viewscreen, past the Ops and CONN stations and onto the large display area before the screen. As he did, he shifted... to her female form, and gave the orders she'd yet to give him so far. It would be the first since he came aboard, and time was short. "Right now, you possess the memories you need to contact the Relativity. If another breach is nigh, I want to know what we can expect." There was no middle ground in this, the priority obvious. "Think, and listen to me. I need you to contact Captain Ducane - while you still can - and have him tell you what is going on. With the Relativity able to see what is downstream from our point in time, then Ducane and his crew should be able to give us warning, and tell us what the future is like at this specific point of our voyage's development. What have we averted so far, and what have we not? What can we expect the Infested will do now, when the Borg invasion has been halted?"

There were all kinds of complications involved in what Ducane might tell them and not, since the best case scenario would be that too much information - or a a pre-emptive incursion - might establish a Pogo paradox, in which interference to prevent an event actually triggered the same event that they tried to stop. Knowing this, and remembering Ducane's warning from after the Niga incident, Jien still gave the order. If anyone ought to know what to tell Morali, Jien hoped Ducane would. "Now, Lieutenant, lest you will not be able to remember how to do it. I will come to you in one hour to hear what you've gleaned. Understood?"

Hopefully, she had been able to reach through to the man despite the turmoil in his mind - not envying Morali in the slightest since she knew the gravity of his situation better than he might even remember.

After she'd spoken with Morali, she had a feeling would have to contact Anderson as well. She sighed and ran a hand through her hair, suspecting the night might be long. She turned around and faced the rest of the bridge crew after the feed to the Temporal Observatory lab had been ended... but her eyes remained lowered. With a frown, she was still looking at her hand, which was was suddenly hurting.

What she saw gave her pause.

Her hand had red lacerations, cuts made my mandibles and chitin claws - the edge of her sleeve frayed. They were injuries from memory, which she'd sustained on the Versant by the Scion named Semathal, well over a month ago. Within a moment, she had adjusted her form, and the blood and cut skin was gone. She had not shifted form unconsciously since her youth, and seeing it happening caused her to frown. No, she must have imagined it. Even the pain.

"You have your orders," she said to those present, already walking towards one set of sliding doors at the side of the bridge. "I will be in my ready room. Stark, you have the conn."


OOC: Needless to say, there is no sign of the incursion in the Transporter Rooms, at least not yet.

Posts in this thread could be Joint-Posts with another writer, or if you have a character eligible for bridge duty, post away! What Ives saw was real, but it was gone rather quickly, causing reasonable doubt as to if the cuts were actually there. The Chapter will progress after @Brutus and I have posted a Joint-Post in which Morali spills the beans on what Ducane has to say. To be clear, the above bridge scene takes place at 2000 hrs. (roughly), and the upcoming Joint-Post will be set at 2100 hrs., which is still before the Spearhead Lounge bombing. However, along with the Joint-Post, I will also move the hands of time to 1700 hrs. on Day 02, at which point a mysterious Klingon ship has made contact with the Theurgy...

The naming convention for one-on-one Supplemental threads that belong to Chapter 02 is still: CH02: S [D0X|YYYY] Insert Title (YYYY marking the time after 1900 hrs.). Please be mindful about how the QSD burst will last between 1900 hrs. and 2000 hrs., during which time there can be no warp fighters or shuttles leaving the Theurgy, and the bomb in the Spearhead Lounge (above) goes off at 2147 hrs. on Day 01 (a Red Alert was briefly sounded at that point!).

To avoid any confusion between past OOC messages and this, yes, I originally intended to end this Chapter group thread prematurely, but it made sense to keep it open to relay the events unfolding instead. Looking forward to your posts!

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #17
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Observatory | Deck 09| Vector 02|  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Griff @uytrereee @JediMaster @Number6 @steelphoenix
[Show/Hide]

Sarresh had turned away from the view screen to the bridge and was looking blankly around this lab, trying to dismiss lingering images of the room in different time streams. The one with writhing vines was particularly disquieting, and so he almost missed the call from Ives for him to wait. Turning around was a slow thing, and he waved an errant hand in front of his face, as if swatting something aside that wasn't there. The hallucination portion of the Memory Engram fault was working its way through his brain now. He hated that part.  And thus, Ives order, for just a moment, didn't register as an order in this time stream, in this reality. And then, it did.

The effort of will it took for Sarresh to keep his alien looking oceanic eyes from popping right out of his skull and bouncing across the console to the visual sensor pick up when Ives gave him that order was herculean in nature. That damned order. As it was, his face bugged out and he did his best impression of the frog he once resembled. Everything in his skull hurt. It ached, and the sheer idea of doing what it would need to get a hold of that man from where he was...

Well, it should have been impossible, first and foremost. That knowledge was locked away for a reason, and the technology to send such a message wasn't supposed to exist yet. Of course, 'supposed to' did not really apply at the moment. As soon as he thought of it, that shocked look morphed into a distant, disconnected visage that Ives would have seen once or twice before. Little bits and bobs and factoids clicked into place, and the woman on the screen was right: Sarresh did know exactly how to contact Ducane.

"Do you have any idea what you're asking? Of course you do," he answered before Ives could, though the captain reinforced her order, and Sarresh could only drop his head forward and pinch the bridge of his nose. He felt another wave of nausea, and a hammering between his temples only increased. Theres too much. too much. I can't sort it all out it's all there and god...I should have dragged her up here with me. Slapped a hand and forced a way to make this all make sense. It was too late for that now. Too late, too late, too late. "Have one of your ops people route deflector control to this lab," he sounded resigned, not manic, as the steps to complete the temporal beacon popped into sequence. "I'm going to need to borrow it for a bit. And have someone send down a new phase variance pulsar coil." He saw befuddled looks on everyone's faces. Damn. Those didn't exist yet did they?

He shut his eyes, letting his jaw hang open in a long suffering sigh that spoke of centuries of disappointment. Why couldn't it have been Janeway? That would have been useful. Of course she was supposed to lead the - well, never mind. Another painful memory of what might have been rose and fell into the slush of his brain, leaving behind the scent of burnt coffee that made his nose wrinkle as he looked back at the screen. He knew what he needed and where it was. It shouldn't be there, but it was.

"Please send someone to storage locker 47 on deck 28. Lower Cargo bay. Northwest gear corridor and bring me the contents. Captain," he looked right at Ives, watching as the other officers on the bridge were already moving in concert with the woman's orders, knowing she was about to close the channel to him and issuing more on top of that. "I can send the message. I can't promise he'll answer. And I can't promise it won't go unnoticed."

[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy]Attn:
[Show/Hide]

Stark felt herself swallow down a mouthful of rising gorge at the mans words. He had to be insane. That was the only real answer. Ives killed the channel to the Temporal Observatory and raked her hair back with both hands, shivering. Something about the tone the junior lieutenant had used...it wasn't the general lack of regard for rank and protocol. The man was having an episode, for lack of a better word, and even coming down off of that, he wasn't all together there.

But the simple, deadpanned delivery of that statement, worried at her. Pulling her self together, she tapped her combadge and started issuing orders to members of her staff to ensure the Temporal Affairs officer got what he wanted, though she also tasked security to accompany Lt. Nator 159 to retrieve the item from the the storage locker in the lower cargo hold. And just what the hell is that about? She wondered to herself. Something secreted away on the starship?

Routing use of the navigational defector array was going to be a might bit trickier. She was about to start going through that, when Ives gave the order for her to take the conn. She blinked and realized the Captain was going to be leaving the bridge, and it would fall to her to keep the ship running and on course while Ives handled things elsewhere aboard. Ducote was already off to meet with Akoni to further debrief Khorin Douglas. So that left Natalie to hold down the fort. All of this settled in through her mind with relative swiftness as she rose and adjusted her skirt.

"Aye captain. Lt. Connway, if you would take over ops. Please coordinate the usage of the deflector array with Lt. Morali. And loop in Frank Arnold from Engineering. I'm sure Commander Tiran is busy with other matters, but they should at least be made aware of the situation." She debated calling up Lt. Akel but knew he too was busy elsewhere aboard at the moment. Yvette would be able to handle the task at hand.

 As she settled herself into the center seat, having spared a glance at Lt. Commander Cross over at Tactical, she turned to watch Ives enter their office, and frowned slightly. Had something happened to her hand? It had looked as if the Captain were cradling it gingerly. Nat bit her lip, but dismissed it. For now, she had a job to do. Letting out a breath, and squaring her shoulders, she called out, "Lt. Commander Kaeris, please forward me a copy of your teams reports as soon as they come in. I'm sure the Captain wants to see it right away, but I'd like to be able to take a look as well. Those transporters are my departments responsibility, and I might notice something others would miss." She wondered, idly, how Vanya was fairing on her own mission, and how her presence would be sorely missed now, as the work diagnosing the possible breach would fall solely on the shoulders the Departments other Assistant Chief. With the number of Transporter rooms aboard - her transporters dammit - she imagined it would be all hands on deck for the scientists, and the analytical capabilities of her android friend would have been of great use. Still, the department had an actual Temporal Affairs officer to oversee things like this.

Damn shame he's bonkers.

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #18
[ Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston | Security Center | Deck 07/Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

With Deputy zh'Wann on an away mission that could take a while and Akoni tending to Bridge duty or whatever, Adam decided to go and keep an eye on things going on in Security Center, proper, though he liked to call that the Situation Room. Though he knew all of the security officers who had duty shifts there were capable officers so Adam simply observed as he waited for something to happen.

If needed Akoni would summon him? Adam wondered as he then quickly made sure all the gear was secure before he left. As he was greeting those officers in the Situation Room performing what Adam liked to call 'overwatch duty', all seemed to be all Green alert for now. After a time a call from the bridge came on the Situation Room's speakers, the communications officer’s voice came in clear.

”Lieutenant Kingston, the Captain has ordered for security teams to all transporter rooms, and await further instructions!” The officer sounded urgent and surprised.

Adam frowned and the other security officers in the Center around him nodded at him. ”You heard the bridge, full teams to each transporter room. Now. Alpha with me,” Adam ordered. ”Thea,” he called.

”Yes Lieutenant?”

”Please site-to-site transport the teams, once they are assembled, to a random transporter room,” he requested, Adam figured they might as well use the transporters as it is urgent they get all 5 covered immediately.

”Understood Lieutenant.”

The teams began to congregate at the reception desk and gathered around their leaders, Adam being leader of team Alpha. Other teams were already patrolling both the Klingons and Savi designated areas, their goal to not let the two species meet.

”Okay Thea. Energise.” Adam announced once all the leaders nodded at him.

The confirmation chirp was the only sound before the transporter system activated and all the present Security officers were wrapped in the transporter beams.

[ Transporter Room 3 | Deck 12/Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

Once the sequence finished Adam’s team was arrayed in front of the operator’s console, the enlisted crew member gave a startled cry as the transporter beam faded. He was about to turn around and reassure the operator when faint darkness in the shape of a figure caught his eye on the transporter platform.

In the moments it was visible Adam suddenly had a flashback to the Calamity incursion and the mad Cala fighting Thea on the Bridge. Cala had nearly killed him as she had his skull against a titanium railing, it was enough that he blacked out.

Adam hadn’t had many nightmares about the traumatic event lately but this shadowy figure had pulled it back out for some reason. His team members were watching the shadow as well for he could somewhat see them periphery beside him.

The moment ended and the shadow vanished, his paralysis ended a moment afterwards. Adam wondered what the hell was going on, he prayed hard that Thea had a visual feed on the shadow so he could show it to the Captain. ”Thea did you see what we just saw?”


OOC: apologies had to edit the first half as the Spearhead lounge bomb hadn't happened yet.
[Show/Hide]
Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston, Master-at-Arms, (Vector 03 Security)

[Show/Hide]
Lieutenant/Dr Elro Kobol , Chief Medical Officer, (Vector 02 Medical)

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #19
[LCdr Blue Tiran- Ducote | You Didn't Have to Ask | I Got This | We Got This | I Need a Fucking Twinkie]
@Auctor Lucan




Ives wanted everything checked, Blue could understand that fully, even though she was already fucking do it she knew that he probably felt a fuck ton better having said it himself.  Blue thought about all the fucking shit that she needed to do, about how she really needed to find more time for Ranaan, though he was just as fucking busy as she was.  She supposed it was a good thing, that meant when they were together they were really fucking together and they appreciated all the fucking moments they had together instead of squandering it.  There was nothing quite like falling asleep in his arms while they watched their favorite movie, bellies full of their favorite brazillian foods that he had replicated for her, and Albert on his charging port the nights that he came home with her.  There was just nothing fucking better, though there was something to be said for the little things he did for her.  Shit she didn't even realize until later, but shit that hit home in a way that nothing else did.  Things that stuck with her, things that a mother or father would have done to a young child.. because they loved them and cared for them.  That was the kind of shit that she had never had growing up, and so when Ranaan did small caring things without asking, without saying it, without wanting credit for it... it just sold her heart a million times more on the man that had taken it and made it start beating again in the first place.

“I'll be running a level one at least three times as we cool down.  I want one now, luke warm, and cold.  Don't worry boss, I got this shit.”

Blue turned her combadge off to let Ives do the whole bridge shit.  Blue didn't miss being on the bridge, some times you worked for Captains that wanted big officers on the Bridge but Blue preferred to have her hands on her deck and her heart in her work instead of fucking about with the politics of up above.  Not to mention when she needed to fucking get after somebody she could do it without having to worry about all the wide eyes of the other officers wondering if she had lost her fucking mind.

She probably had, but at least on her deck they expected it.

“I want a level one diag right the fuck now.  Port it straight to my PADD, I want another, in forty five minutes, and another in an hour and a half.  I want everything that you can fucking give me, every thing that it does, every noise it makes, every fucking grunt of every fucking pipe, and every fucking gauge reading until we turn this fucker back on.  Jackson!  I want you to be fucking babysitting those benamite crystals until I can see your fucking face reflected in ever fucking facet, and I want to know every fucking thing about it.  I want to know if there is a crack, a marr, a fucking finger print on those fucking crystals, get me?”

“Aye!”

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #20
[CWO1 Larrant | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Larrant watched from the rear of the bridge as the Captain gave her orders. The Medusan's pod hovered at the auxiliary station and a small indicator light blinked as a communication alert went off.

"Stellar Cartography to Larrant, I've suffered a full-on system crash down here and could use some assistance reestablishing the navigational functions.  Do you have a few minutes?"

It looked as if the ship would be flying blind so to speak.

"I  S H A L L  B E  T H E R E  D I R E C T L Y" the computer-generated voice spoke from Larrant's pod. As if on cue, the holographic avatar materialized around the pod as the pod's systems finished rebooting. "If you direct the Theurgy to the following coordinates..." Larrant paused as his pod remotely sent navigational coordinates to the main CONN station. "...we will still be on course for Qonos."

The Medusan's avatar turned and moved toward the nearest turbolift. As the holographic form walked, its arms remained static against its sides.
CPO Sithick [Show/Hide]
CWO1 Larrant [Show/Hide]
BG Natauna
[Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier [ Day 01 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #21
[ Captain Ives & Lieutenant Morali | Temporal Observatory | Deck 08 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]
A Joint-Post by @Brutus & @Auctor Lucan . Attn: All
[Show/Hide]
Rare were the times in which Ives would come to visit the Temporal Observatory, but now was such a time.

"Report," she said quietly as she approached Morali, a frown on her brow since she wasn't keen on facing another incursion such as the Calamity's. It really was the worst of times for it, since they were in competition with Martok's political rival to reach Qo'nos, and the alliance and aid of the Klingon Empire hung in the balance. Without Martok leading the Klingon fleets, there was no telling what might come of the pending war - chances being high that Gorka's claim had been orchestrated by the Infested.

The man in question stiffened slightly when Ives arrived, and took a breath. He'd cleaned his face up, and the mess he'd made in the labs corner when he'd first arrived, the remnants of a wonderful meal, now a ruin. Like so much of this place, he thought bitterly. Swallowing, he turned, his face still pale and sweaty from the exertion of what he had learned. "Modifications to the navigational array are completed. Assuming the encoding hasn't completely scrambled my brain, we can send a chronometric Doppler pulse which...should get Ducane's attention. Or blow us up. Sir." He didn't sound terribly thrilled about either prospect, and there was an empty, terse quality to his words. As if each one cost him something. This was not, however, the normal anger that he seemed to harbor toward the Captain. Something else troubled him about the whole thing.

"I see," said Jien and folded her arms underneath her chest, looking at the Temporal Affairs Officer with a modicum of acceptance towards his manners given that his cognitive abilities and comprehension of present, past and future had just turned into soup by the temporal incursion. "In preparation for this assignment, I believe this exact method of contact was arranged, but more importantly, will this grant a means of communication with the Relativity, or that they will come here to speak with us?"

Sarresh let out a little snort at that and rolled his eyes. "That depends entirely on Captain Ducane and what mood he's in. He's not going to be thrilled about this. I've cobbled together something that shouldn't exist for 200 years yet. And I still don't know where that one component in the storage locker came from, or how it got here, but I'm expecting a very strongly worded message to come our way. Either from Ducane himself, or his local contemporaries." His frown deepened and he looked up at Ives again.

Nodding where she stood, Jien did know about the component and vaguely the means in which Ducane and Morali had arranged for this eventuality, but she wasn't privy to the details. She served in the wrong century to be allowed that knowledge. She just knew that the two had gone to great lengths to prepare Morali's assignment aboard the Theurgy before the Junior Lieutenant underwent his MEM-treatment. What she got were bare-bone instructions about what to do in different eventualities, and she really believed that the threat of another incursion merited reaching out to the Relativity, despite of Morali's qualms about it.

"Will this have a footprint?" she asked, thinking that while Gorka had already exposed them, they didn't need any unwanted attention.

"I've done everything I can to mask this, but if nothing else, the local's are going to notice this. There are agencies within most the contemporary powers that could detect something like this, and I cannot mask it further. The Cadrassians would be the one's I'd worry about the most, save that their Order was gutted. And we've cut the Borg off from this quadrant for... Well, for a long time. Still kind of impressed by that." He shrugged a bit. "I half expect your friend the Admiral will be passing along a nasty message from Greenwich." He was starting to babel, no longer situated in the present.

Frowning a little, Jien raised a hand. "All right," she said, not going to dig into the confusion - rather focusing on the task before them. They had already torn a hole in the tapestry of time, and if this gave them an edge that could help the mission, then Jien couldn't care less about ruffling some feathers. "Please contact the bridge and give them a heads up on what they should expect, and then proceed. We have no idea when another attempt will be made."

For his part, Morali shut up the moment the Captain raised her hand. His teeth clacked together audibly, and he took as low, calming breath. Compared to how he had been earlier, this was down right calm and rational. All things being relative however, there was still the manic edge to the man that few aboard got to experience first hand. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Ives was one such individual whom was at lease passingly familiar with the idiosyncrasies of such a knowledge dump. That it was lingering so long might be disconcerting. Sarresh was rubbing his temples and padding over - barefoot - to the console on the far side of the room, punching up the bridge.

"Bridge, this is Lieutenant Morali. If we're going to do this, now is the time. You're going to notice a power surge and a discharge out of the deflector array. It'll be a little bumpy for a moment, but nothing near the issues the Slipstream caused us. Also the chronometers might run at different rates for the duration of the discharge. Don't worry about it. Execute Program Morali-Detal-Alpha-Iota-3." He swallowed back a small giggle. DAI- dumb ass idea indeed. Here goes nothing

The voice of Natalie Stark came back over the channel, just visible in the corner of a display that was mostly turned over to some sort of chart of choronmetric tracking. [Understood. Captain, by your leave?]

"Aye," she said, not entirely sure what to expect, but she gave the order nonetheless since from where she was standing, they had little choice to learn what was afoot. "Execute."

The room darkened shortly thereafter. The whole ship gave a shudder and jolt, moving slightly perpendicular along their course, shunted straight to the side for a brief instant. The ships deflector array turned an odd, cerulean blue for a moment, and pulsing beam lashed out at the fabric of reality, vanishing into a point roughly 10 kilometers away from the ship. For a moment, there was nothing, and then a contrasting red burst lashed back down along that same energy line, diffusing around the navigational array. Power surged, the lights grew even darker in the observatory, and there was a crackle in the air.

Given the amount of energy at play, Jien hoped Thea was coping and able to handle the unprecedented flows through her systems. The screen on the wall showed the external beams and as she looked at the red energy, she frowned. "Do you know what that is?"

Sarresh shrugged, but before he could answer there was a warbling alert. For just a moment, to Sarresh, it actually sounded like the ships computer had made an indignant squawking noise. And then a form flickered into view in the dark room, as all the readings and charts that the Temporal Affairs Officer had set up, painstakingly over the past hour, began to spin and twist in upon each other. Sure enough, the chronometer on the far wall tracking the current time began to run backwards, then forwards, then back again, as the figure solidified and took upon itself the visage of Captain Juel Ducane.

[Ives, I take it this has to be something quite important. Who are you?] said the holographic transmission staring at Morali after giving Jien a glance, and the Commanding Officer of the Relativity looked like he'd aged a lot since last they saw him, only not because of the passing of years. He looked frayed from experiences untold, and it was further emphasised when he stared at what had become of Morali since last they met. [Sarresh? Is that you?]

The man in question was currently forming fists and then forcing himself to unclench, over and over. Slow, deep breaths in, slow deep breaths out. He failed to keep the manic grin off of his face as he found his voice and replied, laced with a vein of forced levity that he'd never used with Ives. "What? You didn't see this coming? Hiya boss."

Last they met, after the Niga Incident, Junior Lieutenant Morali had still been an Ash'reem, Jien realised, and Ducane directed a glare towards her next. [Has your ship unravelled everything,] he asked, incredulous as he paced around the Observatory, looking around at the effects of the transmission, [to the extent that the people around you are no longer the species they used to be?]

Jien didn't answer immediately, a bit worried about how Ducane was faring, and more so that the prospect of such changes wasn't expressed with more alarm than it ought to. Moreover, wouldn't the Savi experiments have been foreseen? Chikushou... What has the Relativity experienced downstream?

Sarresh thought about speaking up. About calling himself Frankenstein's monster, his favorite aphorism for what had happened to his very being since being dumped in this backward century of his birth. But then he thought about how a few select others saw him, and swallowed his tongue. Let Ives explain.

"Mister Morali had an accident, so there was no temporal breach. It was me, approving the only means to save his life," she said, knowing quite well what Morali had thought about the Phoenix Project, but there was no time to delve into the topic. "How much time do you have for questions about what we might await? Something, or someone, is trying to pass through to us. One attempt at an incursion has been made, and another might happen soon. Can you give him the details?"

With a glance towards Morali, Jien purposefully ignored how Ducane looked ready to hit something. Or someone.

Of course, Morali looked like he was ready to lash out as well. This mission had been Hell for him, and he could not believe that Ducane hadn't known the extent of it. He could just imagine how satisfying it might be to floor the other man, to drive his fist into his gut and follow it up with a knee to the mans face. He could picture it...and he set it aside with a long, slow breath, steadying himself.

"I felt a temporal incursion roughly an hour ago. The seizure hit in the process of it. Ruined the best dinner I've had in months, by the way. Not that anyone cares." He couldn't quite keep the petulance out of his mouth as he paced past the hologram, shoulder checking it - to no avail. Ducane had simply made himself insubstantial and Sarresh walked right though him. Fine. I guess he did see that coming, the currently corporeal time traveler thought as he pulled up something on the big monitor, throwing a data breach diagram up. He trapped two fingers on the bright flashing point. "We have teams working even now to discern which transporter room, and the full extent. What's impressive is the fact that it failed."

Ducane seemed mildly annoyed with everything, ranging from the conversation happening in the first place to what was being said. [So you stopped the incursion? Then why are we even talking, risking further damage? Just do it again.]

"What? It wasn't anything specific I did. I'd love to take credit for it. But I can't begin to tell you why it failed. That's part of why we called you. Things have changed, sir." He paused and looked the hologram over, and crossed his arms tightly. Some things were making sense, slowly. "Speaking of, how are you dealing with 63 billion less dead in 2381? I figure that's got to be a bit of a headache."

[Oh, yes, that's the cherry on top, is it not? Ducane paced the observatory and shook his head. [Not only are we dealing with a threat that seek to unravel time and creating infinite cyclical paradoxes, you also pour salt into the raw wound by changing things that were meant to happen!  You know better than this, Lieutenant.]

"What, you expect an apology for that? We could have let those parasites infect the Borg Queen I suppose, if you really wanted to preserve the time line. There's no guarantee the Caeliar would have been able to deal with that in any event. I'll not apologize for having a hand in stopping that unholy union. It's what you sent me back to do, remember?"

Curling his lip, Ducane shook his head again. [Regardless what might have happened, what should have happened, it doesn't seem to matter any more.] Jien saw how Ducane gestured towards the bulkhead, as if to illustrate some point in time and place without the ship. [Everything is coming apart the farther away from your point in time the Relativity travels, before or after your point in time. Hour by hour, minute by minute, there are changes happening, large and small, yet all detectable. You speak of an incursion upon the Theurgy? I ask which bloody one?]

"What?" Jien wasn't sure what was more alarming, the words or the manner in which Ducane conducted himself, which just seemed to illustrate an awaiting chaos ahead in their timeline. And Ives wasn't the only one to react poorly. Sarresh's still alien eyes shot open wide, and he came to be utterly, completely still as he listened. Almost as if he wasn't even breathing, so focused and surprised as he was.

Pacing still, Ducane ranted on. [We have seen five different temporal incursions happening, at different points in time surrounding this current day of yours. Do you want to know why? Well so do we! The Relativity is still without port, because more often than not, the Niga virus remains across the Quadrants in the future! Do you know what that means? It means we only managed to save your crew from being infected, but a strand of the virus is still out there! Do you want to know what might be trying to come though to you right now? Well, it could be your Chief Medical Officer, Captain Ives, infected with that virus and Infested as well, single-handedly dooming you all. Yet we know that in some versions of the future ahead, he saves your crew instead. In yet others, your crew save him from a species called the Vigilant of Sa. Oh, the Borg Invasion gone? Congratulations, you now have the Romulans declaring war instead, with the Breen flanking the Federation. Does this help you? I think not.]

Jien's browridge lowered over her eyes, and she folded her arms underneath her chest, but Sarresh spoke her mind for her.

Grinding his teeth, Sarresh spat back, "Do not talk to us about the Vigilant of Sa. We've had our share of them and then some. Do you have any idea how bad it would be if the infestation in the rank of their upper echelon had not been uncovered? It was through them that the Borg would have been infected and the galaxy doomed. At least we've made them aware of the threat. And low and behold, in turn we have slipstream. Which they should have had already, but for some other mucking around of the time stream." Sarresh was starting to get defensive. The note about the Breen - whom they were already moving after to help - had Sarresh's gaze darting off to Ives for a moment and then back to the hologram of Ducane, readying himself for another round of the blame game.

What Jien was hearing raised questions that there was no time to pose to Sarresh at the given time, so she turned to Ducane instead. "The Savi are splintered, and we've made a tentative alliance with the rebel faction of their Flotilla, because they have learned about the parasites infesting the Scion High Council. We need to know more if we are to confront the Praetor, Starfleet Command and the Scions."

Ducane seemed set on not providing much further, shaking his head still. [We cannot trust in any definitive outcome any more, because everything is becoming unraveled. The time stream has become an archipelago!]

Crossing his arms, Sarresh spat back, "That's not good enough, Captain. I know why you sent me back. I know...well, I know a lot now. I know that the Savi were on our radar as an outside possibility. They were constructing something, but you didn't see fit to impart those details to me. Well now, we've kicked off a Savi Civil war, so how about you fill in those blanks."

Constructing something? Jien thought and glanced towards Sarresh, not blaming him for omitting this since the man had just regained the memories of such an important factor.

Ducane had set his hands on his hips, his stare fixed for the first time since his hologram had appeared. [Your current date is set too early. I cannot give you anything substantial, but I think the lowest hanging fruit for the Theurgy is to prevent the Breen involvement, from what we've deduced on the Relativity. The Klingon Empire is falling apart as well, so make sure Martok remains in power. Otherwise, whatever the Savi might or mightn't do is irrelevant, because all those forks will otherwise lead to the destruction of the Theurgy, the Galaxy-wide spread of the virus... and the chaos that follows.]

Sarresh threw his hands up this time and stalked back and forth. "We'll handle the Breen and Martok. I'm sure they can deal with it," he shot an arm out at Ives. "But the Savi are key to this and we both know it. You say you can't trust in any out come. Fine. Then give us what we need to know to make the best guess we can!"

Ducane's mien turned sour, clearly not of the mind to impart information that could tip the scales too far and cause further havoc. At the same time, he did seem to listen to what Sarresh was suggesting, and in the end, he seemed to find anchor in some unspoken rationale. [In your time, if there is indeed a civil war raging between the Antecedents and their breed of Scions, you should give them the exact anyonic phase variance which the parasites hold. All your current research. Arming them with that, they have a small chance of taking their battle to the monstrosity that the Scions are constructing, but they will need your help when they find it.] Ducane frowned and looked towards the deck. [However, you must demand - in turn - aid from the Voice in the research to isolate the parasites for transportation out of the bodies our the hosts, using a second containment beam. Without the assistance of the Savi rebels, saving the rest of the hosts in the fleet might come far too late. Yet giving the Voice the phase variance might also lead to the death of many non-Savi Infested. Either way that unfolds... the odds of taking the battle to the Scions and the thing they are making improve significantly.]

Jien didn't like what she was hearing, of course. "So regardless what we do, the Infested might be beyond saving, with the only difference being whether we're too late to help them, or if the rebel Savi kill them with anyonic emissions. What are the relative probabilities, and how important is this thing the Scions are building?"

The blunt questions made Ducane shake his head. [The Vulcans in your time had a saying; 'Infinite diversity in infinite combinations'. An infinite number of possibilities, Captain Ives, but judging from the vague estimates we can make... you might consider giving the rebels what they need, because the chance to save more lives seem greater... as long as you get the research assistance you need in return.]

At that point, Sarresh let out an amused, almost manic snort. He felt two pairs of eyes on him and he gave a little shrug. "Sorry. Its just, that was the same logic I used with regards to how we've handled the Savi and the Borg so far. Detonating that handy Omega device and preventing the invasion of all Federation space by the Borg. Would have been so much worse."

Ducane made no answer beyond a glare. Perhaps because he couldn't say more. Impossible to tell.

Sarresh knew Ives was going to hate this next part, but he said it anyways, "What is the saying that was so  popular in the late 23rd century? The needs of the many out-weighs the needs of the few, or the one?" Except when the many decide otherwise, a bitter acknowledgement. "You've made that decision a few times already, after all. The broadcast message. The flight from Earth. The attempt to get the truth out. Me." He said it in a flat voice devoid of tone, before turning back to watch Ducane. Jien stare almost matched Ducane's, who seemed keen to leave.

[The damage is done already, the future from whence I come uncertain, so at this rate... eliminating the number of forks in the timestream might give us more answers. This conversation ends now, however, so that less outcomes might be isolated.] The Relativity's Commanding Officer stepped away from them a bit. [In regard to the due incursion... if you can prevent the Niga virus outbreak, I might be able to say more - the waters less muddled. Hopefully, the Relativity might answer if you call a second time after that.]

And then the hologram vanished, and the light-show outside the ship came to an end.

Sarresh watched Ducane wink out of existence and waited for the knowledge to vanish in his wake. He felt a wave of familiar nausea washing over him once more, and he braced himself, leaning forward and grabbing onto the frame of the console in front of him. The charts and graphs flickered about, and the light in the room flared bright enough to force Sarresh to shut his eyes. A deep thrum that he had not noticed before suddenly vanished, and then all around them, the console returned the life, and the rooms light settled back into its normal form.

On the far wall, the chronograph began to move forward again - exactly at the same point in time that it had started going backward.

And Sarresh... Sarresh did not vomit, though there wasn't much left to lose. His hair was still drenched with sweat and one vein throbbed painfully above his left temple, but that was it. He blinked those alien eyes, his back to Ives, and swore a silent oath. Then, he straightened up, tugging on the sleeves of the casual attire he'd been in when the breach had happened, and turned to face Ives.

"You know, as much as I really, really want to punch him, I think I want to punch whoever created that damn virus more." A name flickered in his mind, and his eyes suddenly narrowed. A suspicious look flashed on his face and his head tilted to one side, not unlike a frog contemplating a fly. "You know something about that, don't you? There's someone here, on the ship. We have a lead we can track down on the virus," Sarresh accused. Gods, his head was pounding, as he drew connections that he'd been unable to do before.

Ives did know of whom Sarresh meant, but after the effects of the time-piercing beam wore off, her thoughts were on the larger picture. "I do, but that's just one thing on our plate at the moment."

"Yes, I know, we have to tell the Savi the frequency, we have to get Martok to Qo'noS alive, and we have to keep your friends the Breen out of the evolving conflict." He ignored the look he got, frowning, "Which is a shame really. I was hoping we could put them to better use than just asking them politely to sit on the sidelines."

My friends, the Breen? though Ives, thinking that if anything, she'd fought the Breen in the Dominion War. Jien chalked it up to Sarresh still being confused about the past, present and future, and how it might suggest they actually made an ally out of the Breen. "I trust Dewitt will do what she can to keep them out of this war, and if the Allegiant is compromised, we can but hope the Breen will side with us since we attempt to save their capital."

Compared to the last few times this had happened, Sarresh seemed both slightly more worse for wear, and slightly less insane. Less... acerbic, and less confused. Oh, he was scattered, but paradoxically, more focused on next steps. "Short term, help the Savi, stave off the Breen. Long term - I need to know everything you know about the Niga Virus origins, sir, and then maybe we can figure out how to stop its spread, since apparently we didn't even get that right the first time. It's not Nicander, infested with the damn thing is it? That would be just what I don't need. Him going on a fuck happy rampage through the ship again." That felt like entirely too real a possibility.

"Actually," said Jien and turned towards the door with a sigh, remembering the reports about Chiefs Ji and Herrold and when they crossed into a parallel universe, in which the Theurgy fell to the Niga virus, "that might be just the case."

- FIN


OOC: Chapter 02: Quantum Frontier ends here. Directly following the events in this thread, the Spearhead Lounge bomb detonates in
CH02: S [D01|2147] Incipient Sabotage. Chapter 06 will be posted for the crew on the Theurgy in which Thea will attempt to make another QSD jump, taking them almost to Qo'nos, and parallel with Gorka and his fleets in the race towards the First City. Stay tuned, for the action begins then! Supplementary threads can be made up until 0800 hrs. on Day 03, when the QSD jump will take place!

Please PM me if you have any questions about the above development, and thank you for your patience in waiting for this Joint-Post to be finished. :)

 
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