River of Forgetfulness: #129-130 "Technobabble"


With a clunk, the Oddysseus let go of it's mooring clamps, or rather, the other way around. Evans was sitting at the engineering and operations console, the same one that had been so easy to fix, in retrospect. God, he hated that part... Even though 'Fred' had expressed his concerns about the stability of the console, it worked reasonably well. Well enough for Evans to raise all kinds of shields to make absolutely sure that no radiation whatsoever would leak into the ship. "Well..." he said, then swallowed. "I guess we're as ready as we'll ever be..."

Hannah smiled at Evans' words. She looked over at him from the centre chair. "You feeling confident, Lieutenant?" She smiled.

Evans looked to the relatively small main screen, as Hanna turned the ship, aiming it at the anomaly. Evans gulped again. "Sure, sure... We're just going to get poisoned by some completely unknown form of radiation, instantly turning into vegetables... What's there to worry?" he mumbled. He tweaked a bit with the sensor array, tuning it to what they would most likely encounter.

Hannah smiled. "Preliminary scans?" She asked him.

"Nothing... Figures..." Evans just mumbled back. He was sure that the radiation was poisoning them already, without them being able to notice it.

"How far are we from the shuttle?"

Evans checked the distance to the shuttle's transponder. "About 600 kilometers still..." he answered. "It should be in visible range..."

"On-screen." Hannah said. The shuttle appeared on the screen. "Try and contact the shuttle." She said to the man at the comms/intelligence/seven other different functions terminal. On a ship assigned to a starbase, compactness was key.

"No contact, Ma'am." The man said.

Hannah frowned. "Ev - scan the shuttle again - are the passengers alive?"

Evans' fingers flew, ran and stumbled across the unfamiliar keyboard. Somewhere along the way, he even imagined seeing the text "To confirm warpcore ejection, enter security code". However, when he looked again, it was just another unimportant error message. "Ah, here they are..." Evans said, as he found his way to the scanner controls again. "Lifesigns. Two people in good health. They seem to be in front of the shuttle, but I can't measure any activity... Concentrating resolution on the front of the shuttle... Just a sec."

Hannah waited for a moment. She yawned impatiently.

"Huh? They're just sitting there... Waait a sec... There's an impurity in the shuttle's air... Concentration is low, but highest near the front... It's .... Cold plasma?!"

Hannah's head snapped up. "Cold Plasma?"

"Yeah..." Evans answered. "It's plasma medium gas. We use a superheated liquid now. I thought that was banned years ago... It's known to cause mental problems, even in minute quantities... It's only a small concentration, but large enough for *this* gas to produce serious trouble... I mean... Complete loss of memory... But why is it leaking?"

"Can we beam the passengers out of there safely?"

"...Eh... Not yet..." Evans suddenly remarked. "I may have just found out what's causing the leak... Their sensors are overloaded, and the energy feedback seems to have ruptured a coupling... There is definitely something coming from that anomaly, and I'm not sure it won't interfere with the transport!"

"Can we get close enough to tractor beam without getting affected by...whatever it is?"

Evans started rambling. "The shields are taking up more energy, than they would if they were running idle. It's blocking something... Lemme find out wh... Damn! I'm scanning all the wrong frequencies! These are ordinary X-rays and tachions! No... Not ordinary... They're decaying like crazy! Oh, this would blow up an unreinforced array quite nicely! Add a couple quadrions of chronotons to the mix... It's a residue from a temporal rift! Transports are out. Tractorbeam's in. Get them AND us out of here, please!..." he finally concluded.

Hannah looked at him, running what Evans had just said in her head. Suddenly she realised what he actually meant. "Close to tractor beam range immediately. Engage beam, and then let's get us out of here."

"The sooner the better..." Evans said, as he succesfully engaged the beam to pull out the shuttle. "Three quarter impulse, max... We don't want to tear the link." he reminded Hannah.

"Do it." Hannah said to the man at helm. "Any luck on figuring out what on Earth this is?" She turned to Evans.

"Like I said, some sort of temporal rift... Time seems to go a lot faster in there, and if I read this correct, it's still accelerating... Luckily, it's also fading... Only a couple of weeks before it's completely gone, I guess. Good news is, we're almost completely shielded... Get us out of here, anyway..." Evans rambled on.

"We have them, Ma'am." The helmsman said. "Getting the heck out of here."

"Good..." Evand just said. "I'll also inform the doctor what to expect... I believe the effects of this gas are reversable..."

"Let's hope." Hannah said. "Will they need to be quarantined?"

=/\=Odysseus to Ronin, patch me through to sickbay please...=/\= Evans transmitted. "I don't think so. It's not a bug, only a gas." he responded to Hannah. "That's odd... " =/\=Odysseus to Ronin, Hellooo, anyone home?=/\=

=/\=Ronin to Odysseus, we are at red alert status. Explosion in or near sickbay. Stand by.=/\=

=/\=Eh... Okay...=/\= Evans responded feeling true and well put back in his place. "...Crap..."

Hannah frowned. "Helm, hold position a safe distance away from the station. Mr Evans, find out what the Hell is going on. I think something interesting happened while we were away."

Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll Chief Strategic Operations Officer - Starbase Ronin Officer in Command - USS Odysseus "My first road-trip, and we get locked out?"

Lieutenant Jg. Ronald Evans Operations Officer/Almost Anything SB47 Ronin/ USS Odysseus "When will the hurting stop?..."