Out of Time and Out of Space
Posted on Thursday, 18 March 2021 - 6:37pm by Commander Soral & Lieutenant JG Maximus Mackenzie & Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant Raith Kolani
Operation: Trail of Tears
Timeline: 2394 MD 08
With an almost cat-like movement, the Romulan female pounced forward at the PaDD sitting before her on the Commander's desk. This was not her vessel, but it had become so. She seized the opportunity when it was necessary to do so. Survival was everything to her. She had done it all her life, and why now, should that be any different. She snatched the PaDD up and began the skim through it. Pathetic she thought to herself shaking her head. The vessel had disembarked prematurely with a haphazardly assembled crew and an idiot for Commander.
Though it was not his fault that they were stuck, that their engines were offline and the vessel itself badly damaged. The Romuluan star had been designated supernova for some time. Intelligence reports had been stating as such well before the general public caught wind of it. The Federation of course had to stick their noses in where it did not belong. Chaos had ensured for months, political instability, civil unrest, and then it happened. There was little warning, but the star was destroyed and everything in its radius was to be destroyed, except not everything.
Major T'Ruhela of the T'Shiar was assigned to the vessel as a Cloaking specialist, undercover of course. The idiot Commander had no idea who she truly was. Her guise was perfect, her forged credentials were some of the finest work the Tal'Shiar had done in decades. All of it was moot though. The destruction of the star had triggered a mass evacuation order just prior to the end. Commander Lujon had been given command of the vessel, a skeletal crew was thrown together, and their 'precious cargo' was whisked aboard before leaving Romulus.
Now, she was in charge of the vessel. She had gotten them stuck in this state of despair, and the precious cargo was seeking answers. Seated before her was Senator Narrin. "Senator, the Centurians in Engineering are working as best they can, but Commander Lujon's crew are not exactly prime examples of what the Star Empire's Navy strived to be." She knew the Senator did not want to hear excuses.
"It was your idea to activate the device and cause this, was it not Major?" the Senator inquired.
T'Ruhela nodded. "It was, Senator." She discarded the PaDD. "It is also the reason we are alive to quibble over this matter and point fingers. So, if you want to take the matter up with the Tal'Shiar after we get out of this...entrapment, good luck finding someone who cares."
The Senator had nothing to say. The Major may not have been pleasant, but she was correct. He may have very well been the only surviving member of the Romulan senate. A grim thought. "What matters now is that the Empire remains intact, not encased in this...trap."
The Major scoffed. "Hardly a trap. We simply are stuck, Senator. My actions were not out of line. Had Commander Lujon remained in command, we all would be dead. We are simply encased in something of our own doing. Cloaking and phase cloaking technology are fickle, the tachyons we emitted and our experimental shielding was meant to protect us momentarily from the shockwave, taking us out of synch with space-time only briefly. We are still studying what has happened, but here we are alive and well."
At the helm of the Selene, Raith piloted the Shuttle towards the location of the disturbance and made sure to log the journey in so that they could find their way out of the area should they need to leave in a hurry. Whilst the journey started off relatively easily, the going got tougher as they closed in on the target area.
"We're about ten minutes away from our destination, however, the flight may start to get a little bumpier as we get closer, "Raith explained. "We're encountering some lower lever distortions and that's causing the shuttle to move around a little bit more, however I've set the inertial dampeners to maximum."
Soral stepped up. "Good. What do sensors say?" He asked Alex. "Doc are we going to be effected by these distortions?"
“The probe data is... weird,” Kingsley said absently as she worked, brow furrowed in concentration as she worked to obtain some usable data.
"Keep at it." He looked at Raith. "Our shields are having some glitch indicators. Can you check, I'll take the helm."
"Aye, sir," Raith answered as he surrendered the Helm to Soral and went back to check on the various shield generators that's were installed for the mission
Alex glanced across at Soral as he took Raith’s place at the helm. She was about to speak when something caught her eye. “Soral, look at this...”
Soral studied the readings. "Can you increase the sensor power a little, perhaps take from the replicator power and any non essential services?"
Alex nodded in confirmation as she worked, certain nobody would have urgent need for replicators any time soon. Overhead there was a barely perceptible drop in the illumination from the cockpit, but not enough to impact their work. "Mac is going to think we are aiming for a romantic vibe in here," she commented as her hands flew over the console. "There is still a lot of interference but we are cutting through a lot of it..."
Once in the aft section of the Shuttle, Raith began scanning the various primary and secondary shield generators from the tactical station whilst he checked the pre-launch specs that he had updated to the tricorder he was using at the time. Raith carried this on for a little while before he had comparable data to work with and started to narrow down the various glitches that were appearing.
As he investigated the data further, it was becoming clear that the shields were being affected by something outside of the shuttle itself. Once he had further data to confirm this, Raith turned to look forward to both Alex and Soral.
"Can I ask, is there any kind of phenomenon out there towards the location we're headed to?" asked Raith.
"We are about to have our answer Mr. Kolani." He sighed. "I will need your assistance once the data comes in, can you retake the helm please," His hands flew over the console. "All stop for helm transfer."
"Of course, sir," Raith said as he made his way back to the front of the Type-17 Shuttle and took the pilots seat once more. Once he was settled and logged back in, Raith slowly accelerated the Shuttle under impulse power back towards its current destination whilst questions that had arisen would wait to be answered.
Soral was frustrated. The sensor data that came in was inconclusive. He looked over at Alex. "Lieutenant Kingsley, this shuttle has a personal probe I take it?"
“Normally no but I thought having a backup might be an idea given all the debris and naturally high levels of radiation around the... area,” she knew he would pick up on her hesitation so she could avoid mentioning Romulus by name but it was her way to try and protect him a little. And she knew he would pick up on that too.
"Then I suggest that you configure it and we launch. There is no point in getting into trouble before we know what kind it is." He turned to Rose. "Doctor can you man coms and let the ship know of our plans? Then join me in the back compartment."
Ryan blinked a moment in surprise. It had been quite a few years since he'd had to man communications. The Academy actually. It wasn't that he couldn't, but outside of medical communications which were all internal, he didn't have much experience with them. But he'd manage. "Yes sir."
What was out there was a Romulan starship like no other, a sleek design, modern with technology still in the developmental phases which was why the Tal'Shiar thought it prudent to plant Major T'Rhuela aboard. She was to simply observe and report, keeping a watchful eye on the inexperienced Commander.
Of course none of it had gone according to plan. Launching prematurely, it was no longer a covert Romulan science vessel, but an escape route for Senator Narrin. It's technology was the only thing that sparred it from being destroyed when the star finally gave way, disconnected from the normal passage of time, stuck temporally out of phase in a asynchronous bubble, none aboard knew that Romulus had been destroyed several years ago, nor that the Empire was no more.
There only hope to escape the bubble rested on the shoulders of one of the Empire's most deplorable enemy and sometimes begrudged ally; A Federation starship was out there and nearing their location, not the savior Major T'Rhuela was seeking when she ordered the discrete transmission to be sent.
A companionable silence had fallen as the team aboard the shuttle worked. Or had. For a sudden declaration cut through the air and it was unmistakable that it came from the science officer. “Of course! I am such an idiot!”
The words hung in the air as she worked with renewed vigour, brow furrowed as she made a series of adjustments to the sensors and downloaded the same update to the second probe. She felt eyes on her, heard Soral say her name but she held up a hand, asking for just a few more seconds before she had the confirmation she needed. “You can be so impatient,” she whispered under her breath as she felt her husband appear behind her to read over her shoulder. “Do you see it? Or rather not see it?”
Pulling in data from the shuttle and probe what alone seemed like a natural absence of debris in one area was now far more significant. A void, at least to the naked eye. Concealed by the remnants of two destroyed worlds. And dead centre of that void was the source of the signal.
Soral's lip twitched at her impatient comment. He placed a hand on her shoulder as he read gently giving it a squeeze. It was at times like this that he missed the bond here he could convey how much her presence brought him comfort and strength. He studied the data well aware that his Pon Farr was there. He needed to focus. He gave himself a moment to study the data. "The only way we would be seeing these results is if we were in the vicinity of a cloaked ship."
“And not just any cloaked ship,” Alex went on. “These readings... it’s out of phase with normal subspace. I’m not sure how they did - maybe some kind of accident or some new tech? Either way, the readings are clear now we can compensate. There is a ship in there, and life signs.”
"A Romulan ship, that can phase cloak itself? That's a new one... Although I'm sure there was talk decades back of the Enterprise D coming across a stranded Romulan Scout Ship that was working on the same theory...and wasn't there some Starfleet Admiral who was trying to work on this idea as well?" Raith offered as he checked the sensors ahead for any issues that might stop them from getting the Selene closer or beating aboard.
"Either way, as there are life signs aboard, we have a duty to assist if they are in danger or peril," he added.
Soral sighed. "Alright. Alex what are our options. The fact that this ship is...out of phase with normal subspace will pose issues. How can we get to them and also if it is out of phase can we bring the survivors here?" He looked at Rose. "Medical opinion?"
"We'll need to bring them in phase somehow." Ryan looked to Alex. "Can you adjust the transporter to match the variance?"
"We can transport, adjusting for the variance," Alex told him, "However, it would be an easier option than trying to devise a way to get the shuttle inside the pocket of subspace. Unless Lieutenant Kolani has thoughts on that? Either option will have risk but there have been recorded instances of successful transport."
Soral listened to the team. "Alright. Listen. We're taking the shuttle in as it will be the safest; however, being that this is a bit of a time issue can we rig up phase discriminators for both the shuttle and us while we are moving there? Also we need to send a signal saying that we are trying to help."
The plan was set and now there was no tuning back. His little group was functioning beyond well and he knew they had to do what was necessary to ensure that the crew of that Romulan ship survived.