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Found 2 results

  1. Play Misty for Me Coleridge, Cayne, and Chirakis “You are more than your thoughts, your body, or your feelings. You are a swirling vortex of limitless potential who is here to shake things up and create something new that the universe has never seen.” Richard Bartlett, Into the Matrix It all began with a Pakled ship. That, in itself, should give you a good indication of how events progressed. Chaotic is probably the best word to use, although the word “normal” seems to be synonymous with “chaotic” when Pakleds are involved. But I digress. Suffice to say that over the last month, Aegis sector had been introduced to several new alien species. Some were fairly benign and others not so benign, but all seemed to be probing Allied space. So far, command had decided that these new species had been held in check by the Breen. Their demise had left a vacuum, and since nature abhors a vacuum, the surviving factions were more than willing to fill it. And now, with Captain Ramson occupied in a far off region of the galaxy, another something had come to probe the station through what appeared to be a subspace rift. All efforts to close the subspace rift from our side failed, and what appeared to be a dense fog materialized near the station. No life signs were detected, nor did Aegis' defense grid recognize it as a threat. However, as soon as the fog disappeared, power levels dropped across all departments, leading to a station wide failure. Added to that, the USS Toronto reported the station was glowing. “Did they say glowing?” “Your station is glowing. Like an emergency lightstick.” After considerable thought, Commander Coleridge mused wistfully, “If we're ‘glowing’ it's not something we're doing. We uh … we can't glow. I pushed for it, but we couldn't spring for the upgrade. Rov charged too much.” Staring blankly at the commander, Chirakis paused for a long moment, took a deep breath, and began to rethink the situation. With the power drain external to the station, they considered the possibility that an alien weapon could be forcing a fusion reactor overload. As soon as Commander Coleridge ordered a complete shutdown, the main computer core began spitting out a strange mix of languages—some familiar, some not. nuqneH... Nnnnk qochin ah... Quaequesta jubinv… komduhit… GaaaagH… beep… peep… cheep… And on it went, in a jumble, for what seemed like hours but was only minutes. Was it an attempted communication? Were we experiencing something or were we experiencing someone? A droid? An artificial intelligence? A sentient being? That it was a sentient being seemed preposterous. Then again, it seemed plausible. What was the quote? “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Several attempts at communication involving chemistry, mathematics, binary code, and finally Morse code ended abruptly with station lights blinking, “.... . .-.. .--.”. “Help?” Time paused as everyone on the Command and Control deck considered the implications. That the word “help” appeared in translation on the screen meant both something and nothing. It meant something in that it instead of the gibberish they had been receiving, it was a word that they all understood. It meant nothing, in that it did not prove nor did it disprove that whatever had invaded and hijacked the computer core was not a construct of the same nature as the droid cores that attacked the station and had sent Aegean into the farther reaches of the cosmos to seek their origin. It seemed a wrinkle that needed ironing, but there was no iron. And if this were actually a new life form, a sentient being without form or substance, the fabric of the universe as they knew it was unraveling. * * * * * Security Officer Commander Wyatt Cayne had supervised fellow officers as they secured the levels leading up to the CnC. Now he, along with a contingent of station security, kept a close watch on events as a precaution for a possible foothold situation. The ride up on the lift took longer than normal, just the luck he'd had during this latest station episode. The lift system worked on altogether different kind of power when the mains were down. The emergency lighting was a viridescent green which made one wonder what Rihan engineer had a handle in its design. At the top it screeched loudly as the magnetic locks pulled it into place. The lift doors opened at CnC, and a slightly weary Commander Cayne stepped out. Between crises he got shut eye, just not quality sleep. His gaze moved from person to person in search of Chirakis. People on the station were a little more than concerned with the power problem. They wanted answers and Cayne could only give them "they are working on it" answers. He hated that. He stood patiently behind Chirakis' group and waited. He knew people snapped together at different intervals. He'd just started to mesh with his other security officers after years of working on his own. Not with these officers, yet. The discussion between Coleridge and Chirakis seemed to be going in circles, all coming back to the basic “what is it” and “how can we stop it”. Random power surges followed by power outages further complicated the matter, but he finally caught her attention. He whipped out his tattered PADD before saying a word. The information was buried somewhere in its filesystem. "Ah here we go. As I made my rounds about the commerce and residential areas, people kept on pulling at my arm and talking about some kind of speaking face across their displays. At first I thought everyone was just on edge from lack of sleep, but then I heard and saw it myself." He started a holo-vid, only shown in tw0 dimensions, of a nebulous face across someone else's display. It spoke into the nothingness, the "mouth" too blurry to discern the words. The voices in the video were that of two Risian women questioning each other on what they saw. "That image across their entertainment display is the gist of what I gathered from the people I spoke with on my way to the CnC. Some said they heard a voice, but in this video we did not. Have we been able to scan for anomalies in our computer core and network?" “Well we definitely have an anomaly in the computer,” Coleridge said. “We’ve been trying to communicate, with very limited success. But maybe this is another attempt.” He gestured at the still face on the PADD. Chirakis lifted her gaze from the PADD to the cloud that was slowly forming throughout the CnC. “Indeed we do.” TBC in sim.
  2. Of Stone and Metal Hearts Cptn Ramson, Cdr Cayne, Cptn Chirakis Lieutenant Grun, Xenolinguistics Specialist for SI-6, appeared on the main screen of Aegis’s security complex, his expression stoic as he played the recording gathered from a seldom used subspace frequency. Faint voices became artificially magnified. The universal translator struggled for a moment, then interpreted the conversation, mimicking the inflection, cadence, and nuances of the original as best it could. "The siege is proceeding well. We have removed the last orbital threats and eliminated all known launch sites. They will come to terms before any orbital bombardments are necessary. The Tsuramera and a few escorts can maintain the blockade." "Negotiations with the Kuromites are concluded. The 8 ships left in their fleet will now join us at Maravon." "What of the Metal Hearts?" "We have spotted operatives of theirs on An­Ward and we believe some have moved past the old border in search of the Children of Stone." "And our own search?" "No change since our last report." "With our forces free of the siege and our new allies we can begin the coreward expansion." "With care. Those beyond the border are still unknown to us. If they kept the Breen at bay, then we will find no small task in bringing them into our alliance." A voice, broad and with authority, raised itself above the others. "The fleet will ready itself at Maravon. Send the fastest ship of the Kuromites to follow the Metal Heart operatives. We will await their results before proceeding." The echoes became a unified chorus, "As you command."* The transmission ended. Chirakis’ left elbow balanced on the armrest and a finger pressed against her chin in thought as she leaned back in the chair and inhaled deeply, eventually swiveling to shift her focus from Ltn Grun to Commander Cayne, next to her. “AnWard I am familiar with, but Kuromites? Metal Heart operatives? Children of Stone?” she queried, calling for his input. "There's a lot of information in that communique...let's see." Cayne leaned against the nearest structure. "I think we, at least Aegis or our alliance, are the unknown they speak of that kept the Breen at bay. Children of Stone could be the Horta, which I have mistaken for a large rock some time ago." Cayne watched the now paused audio track display. "If what they say they did, then they are building a possibly massive force, perhaps on par with the Dominion, but how did they keep off our intelligence circles for so long?" He did not expect a response, only pausing to consider the message further. “How did they, indeed,” considered Chirakis, glancing to Grun. “The subspace channel was efficiently buried under several layers. Our only indication was one section that poked out enough to raise a red flag and force us to investigate,” Grun responded. “Then, if we are the unknown,” Chirakis continued, “they could mean Aegis, the Allied Powers, or even more? Should we consider the possibility that massive allied fleet of alien powers is ready to invade, Commander?” "I think they may mean our station in the short term and more the further you look. I don't believe they mean to ask for Federation membership. I'd guess they'd break us until we relent to joining them. Who are the other players and Metal Hearts? That sounds vaguely non-biological to me. Killer space androids..." Cayne was simply thinking out loud without the aid of a nip of whiskey. In his universe not the best conduit of ideas. “Hm,” she mused. “The androids: another chink in the armor. Then considering siege, orbital bombardments, blockade, ships left in their fleet? It certainly does not sound like a friendly encounter.” She turned to Grun. “Is this the only transmission?” “The only one so far. We’re monitoring that frequency constantly now, but the chatter seems to have stopped, at least for a while.” “Monitor frequencies close to it, if you would, Lieutenant, and forward all you find. If nothing else, then carry on.” Grun nodded, the connection terminated, and Captain Chirakis stood. “I believe it’s time to see the Captain, Commander,” she said, clipping her slate to her belt. “We have had enough surprises in the last few days. We do not need another.” ___________________________ *Taken from The Breeze From Foreign Shores by Kallah Ramson