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Approaching the Tears {KEY POST}

Posted on 08/12/2019 @ 8:05pm by Lieutenant Commander Charles West & Captain Diana Reisz & Lieutenant Jaxyl Veran

Mission: Crewing Up
Location: Bridge/Shuttlebay

"Isn't it pretty?" Reisz asked no one in particular as the tears were magnified on the viewscreen. Unlike the softly pulsing black tears that the previous report had sent over, they were now best described as if black could cast a white shadow. They still pulsed and 'bled'. And more then that, some sort of creatures seemed to be dancing around the bleeding edge of the rips as if playing amongst the energy there.

"Beautiful." Jaxyl offered, one form speaking, though the other offered the next word. "Gorgeous." And back again. "Utterly fascinating. Observe how the gratitatonal field gives the illusion of Rayleigh scattering." he mused, the pair of faces actually smiling. "I also like the space porpoises." A pause, then he added "This is the kind of thing I joined Starfleet for."

"Agreed," the captain uttered with a huge grin. "Do we have any idea what's coming out of the tears?"

"Some form of radiation. That's all I dare say at - " There was no getting used to the focus shifts, not really. " - the moment. I'm going to need to run a whole lot of scans, send probes in. I have a hypothesis, but - ... " he trailed off.

"They look more like manatees to me," Charlie quipped from the engineering station with a grin. "But either way, I dig 'em," He said with a smile. "The energy out of the tears is having no effect on our shields or systems. Seems to be a low frequency gamma radiation. Our shields and hull are buffing it off with no issue," He said.

"Good. Are you ready to launch that fancy probe of yours, West?" Diana asked, glancing back over her shoulder at the man.

"Yup," West replied. "I'll just need to run down to the shuttle bay with Leiutenant Veran," He replied, nodding to the science officer.

Jaxyl looked a bit confused. "But - anomaly~" he mused, pointing at the screen before giving a smile. "Of course, lead the way Lieutenant." as he moved to follow.

"Yes, anomaly and we're going to have a way better view from the hangar, ya dork," West countered with a laugh as he lead the way into the turbolift.

Mel watched the two (or was it three?) of them leave, raising an eyebrow slightly and shaking her head before she turned her attention back to the screen, starting at the anomaly. "It really is mesmerizing isn't it?" she asked quietly of no one in particular. She had never been one that had enjoyed sciences, yet seeing this particular anomaly up close was definitely a different experience.

"I'm telling you, this is the kind of stuff I joined up for." Jaxyl offered West as they stepped into the turbolift.

A brief turbolift ride later and a quick jog to the shuttle bay, and Charlie and Jaxyl were powering up the probe, "We want to keep an eye out for any gravimetric shears or tachyon bursts. The old girl is small and sturdy, but that doesn't mean a hard shear won't hurt her," He said, nodding to ward the console that had been linked to the probe.

"She's your baby, Lieutenant. You drive." Jaxyl smiled as they worked on powering it up, West handling the mechanics and power, Jaxyl working on doublechecking synchronization between the various components. "I'll watch the telemetry. This should be fascinating."

"Oh, I can't wait," Charlie said, brightly, "Commander," He said, opening a channel to the bridge, "We're ready to launch the probe on your command."

"You've got my blessings. Send it out, West." Reisz was quick to answer.

"Aye, ma'am," Charlie replied, tapping in a series of commands on his PADD. The probe hummed to life and lifted off the floor of the shuttle bay, it hovered in place for a moment while Charlie calibrated the controls, then shot forward, through the force field, and into space. "So far so good," He said, watching the probe rush toward the tears. It wasn't long before it was so far gone that he couldn't see it anymore and had to swap over to video guidance. He looped one of the floating creatures as he got close. It appeared to be sightless with thick, durable skin, "Definitely a manatee," He said with a grin as he diverted back to the real goal: The tears.

"Ma'am, I'm approaching threshold of the tear," He said, the screen of his PAAD filling with an odd greyish white mix of light.

"Veran, before I go in... do you have readings?" He asked.

"Multiband spectrometer initializing ... Lower bands reading alright. Upper bands coming in - ... readings nominal. EM cascade sensor showing unhappy face. Can you reinitialize?" Jaxyl asked.

"Two seconds," Charlie said, running the reinitialization command. "... And... Done. Check now," he said.

"Looking ok now. Narrow band sensors one through six, reading ok." Jaxyl spoke. "Ok, that's it for the sensor suite, everything reading nominal."

"Then away we go," Charlie said with a grin.

The probe smoothly moved out of the launch bay and toward the massive "tears" beyond.

"Captain, these tears are throwing out all kinds of matter," Charlie said through the open comm line. "The readings almost remind me of the theory of white hole," He explained. "It's more than just the manatees... it's carbon, nitrogen, you name it..." He said, sounding a bit in awe of what he was seeing.

"A white hole.." Diana echoed, equally in awe. "It's been a long time since I read my pseudoscience on that paper. The white holes were the end of the line of a blackhole in simple terms, right? What they ended out their lifespan as?"

"That's the theory, yes." Jaxyl opined, sounding equally enawed, speaking almost in hushed tones. "Can confirm the theory by the way. Id been thinking that since I first saw it on the viewscreen, but - " the focus shift didn't quite appear as dramatic over comms as it did in person as the flow of speech was unbroken. " - I hadn't dared mention it. Theoretically we're looking at a singularity without mass. A radiant black hole." Beat. "I wonder where it gets its material from." Another beat. "As in, where its other end is located."

"That's tying black holes to worm holes," Charlie replied with a grin as he drove the probe closer into the hole, "I thought the theory was that it was all of the matter that the black hole sucked in," He asked. "Though, we've also got the issue that there's no record of any black holes in this region, so... I don't know that this theory pans out, exactly," He added.

"The theory is that white holes, or radiant black holes, expell matter and radiation. Since radiation is just a form of matter, and matter can't be created - " another focus shift. " - out of nothing or annihalated, the matter and radiation expelled here has to come from somewhere." Jaxyl mused. "I mean, theoretically this could besimply an old black hole that reversed itself, but I consider that less likely than the black hole plus worm hole theory. After all, we know wormholes exist."

"Fair enough," Charlie replied with a nod. "I'm just an engineer, who dabbles in theoretical physics," He said, chuckling a bit. "Alright, Commander... we're going into the tear," He said.

The visual from the probe lost all of the ink black frame of space and found a swirly brightness, "I'm reading gravitation fluctuations around the perimeter... almost like walls. It's... honestly, it reads sort of like a worm hole," He said, looking over at Veran, "Maybe you're right about 'where's it coming from'?" He offered, eyebrows raised.

"It's all just a theory anyways. This - everything - is a theory. Or, was one. Until now." Jaxyl offered, still sounding quite enawed, though with an almost childlike giddiness undertone to it as well. "A glorious theory. This - these readings, are incredible. Going to take some time analysing it all. Getting some warnings on the EM cascade sensor, lowering dynamic range resolution by twelve percent to compensate."

"I'm picking up mass," Charlie said, taking a closer look at the readings. "Something... substantial. Huge," He said, looking over again. "I can't tell if it's something or just... matter..." He said. "Let's go in a bit more and see what we can find," He said. "What are you seeing on the other readouts, Veran?"

"Some ... unusual energy readings that don't quite make sense with the rest of the phenomenon." Jaxyl mused, his words slow and measured as he was concentrating on trying to make sense of the readings. "Anomalous gravimetric readings, too - spotty, localized, can't quite pin them down. Lieutenant, I recommend caution. This is - " he trailed off.

"What?" Charlie asked, looking over at the man.

"Unusual. Unexpected. Unknown." Jaxyl replied, glancing over. "I have no idea what I'm seeing here, but it doesn't really fit with the theoretical model of white holes. The gravimetric shear could interfere with navigation. Or structural - " a focus shift, as both forms of Jaxyl narrowed their eyes at the readings and rubbed their chins in unison. " - integrity. I just recommend caution, at least until we figure out what we're seeing."

"Oh, yeah, no I agree, we can--" Charlie cut short as all of the displays on his sensors deck went blank and his "lost connection" signal started. "What in the hell," he said, turning back to the deck and mashing in commands, "No, baby, don't do this to me..."

"Lost contact with the probe." Jax frowned. "Or rather, the probe stopped transmitting, for some reason. There was a slight power spike and the readings went off line in sequence." he added, motioning to his readouts.

"But everything was operating normally, what the hell happened," Charlie said, trying to run back through the logs right before the probe went offline.

"That's your wheelhouse, Lieutenant." Jaxyl offered, tapping in a few commands on his console to try and get a return signal from the probe, but he was interrupted when his comm badge chirped.

"Johnston to Veran. Are you seeing this?! Ship sensors are picking something up!"

"On it." answered Jaxyl, quickly routing the feed from the ship's main sensors to his console and bringing it up. "That's - .... West, come and see, hurry!"

"What?" West asked, darting over to the console. He stared at the readout in disbelief for a long moment, "That... can't be right... if those mass readings are right, that'll be the size of a small moon..." He said, staring at the readouts.

"Energy signature, ferro-magnetic and electromagnetic readings, carbon steel, high energy reaction residue, if I didn't - " one Jaxyl spoke then suddenly went quiet, the other form taking over seamlessly. " - know better I'd say that was artificial."

"We're getting elements that we don't even have names for," Charlie said, staring at the readout in disbelief.

On the bridge, Lieutenant Allan Wells turned from the comms station and called out, "Captain, we're picking up a broadcast message from the tear. It's audio and visual, but I've never seen a frequency quite like this," He said.

"Put it up," Reisz barked. She had an odd feeling in the pit of her stomach that this was about to go south in a big way.

"I'll try... I think it's... mostly compatible with our systems. Stand by," Allan said, setting to work trying to adapt the systems to the incoming signal.

After a few moments, Charlie stepped out of Turbolift, Veran's dual form close behind, "What's the message?"

"Just pulling it up now," Allan replied, "Stand by for the main viewer," He said, isolating the frequency and transferring it to the main view.

The visage that appeared was hard and scaled in black plates, almost like onyx. His face was reptilian, and decked with decorations and medals that could only be awards of merit or status. It had slate white eyes in the middle of it's face, pin pricks of irises in the middle, and blinked with evidence of a nictitating membrane that seemed to be slightly tinted. He spoke with a voice that was harsh and angry.

"Iskull Vehn. Sham ka'let n'karlto. Mech'kar alek Vehn du d'ok neyash neh!" He growled, just shy of a shout.

"Is the universal translator offline?" Charlie asked, looking back to Allan.

"No, it's on... just has no idea what it's hearing," He replied, in an odd mix of excited and scared.

"They sound friendly. I'm sure it's a brunch invitation," Diana stared at the visage looming on the viewscreen and frowned. "Let's go ahead to yellow alert."

"That was sarcasm, right?" Veran mused, taking position at his console again, trying to scan as much of the other vessel as he could, even as his other bioform observed the visage on viewscreen. "Reptilian, skin appears armored. Probably very warlike race."

"Jumping to conclusions is probably not our best option," Allan warned from the console. "This could just be--"

"VEHN! I'KO ISH NIKTALA!"The creature roared, jamming a finger toward the screen, then turning into a clenched fist, "CH'AKLA OM OK'TOVO VEHN, NEECH KA!"

"Well, I'm definitely all for jumping to conclusions, anyone else?" Charlie asked, sounding nervous in spite of the wit.

"Wouldn't be evolved to have armored scales if they were an inherently peaceful race." Veran mused, more to himself than anyone else, voice a bit nervous.

"I'm Captain Diana Reisz of the Federation Starship Newton. Can you understand me?" the captain tried. She had a feeling that the answer was no, but it was worth a try.

"Ik nishko, VEHN! Kar'sik N'ak chilko! CH'AKLA OM OK'TOVO VEHN, NEECH KA," The creature roared back, before the channel cut.

"Captain... something is coming through," Charlie said, staring out the viewscreen, wide-eyed.

To call it a ship would be an understatement. To call it a planetoid would be closer to correct. The tear in space suddenly flared out to an enormous size and a vessel, bristling with communication arrays, pods, and weapons. View ports encircled the mass, hundreds and hundreds of levels, each of them shining brightly from the inside as if lights were pointed directly out of them. Atop the sphere sat a massive structure, what could only be considered a command dome.

"Well, that's certainly a thing. That exists." Jaxyl vocalized in a voice with a hint of panic." The rapid tapping of two sets of hands on a console, and he spoke again, with a suitably increased hint of panic in his voice "Captain, it's emanating a - field of energy. I can't quite explain it, have no frame of reference. It seems to be radiating it in front of - " as one of Jaxyl trailed off, the other picked up " - it, pushing it along. It's - the readings are off the charts, but whatever it is, I recommend not being in it."

"Sound advice," Diana replied, "Ensign Hawkins, full reverse!" She said.

"Aye, Captain!" The young ensign said back, already tapping in the commands on his console.

Outside the ship, the command ship loomed closer and closer, faster than seemed possible for a vessel of its size. All out once, the bridge went dark, and everything fell eerily silent.

"What the hell," Charlie called, swinging back over to his console, but he found nothing on the screens. He tapped his commbadge, "West to Engineering, what the hell is going on down there?" There was no reply, but suddenly he felt himself go weightless.

"Oh hell... West to Engineering," He tried again, holding on to the console for stability, "Come in!"

"Veran?" He asked, after receiving no answer again.

" ... This is weird. Everything seems to be off line but we haven't exploded into dust yet. So warp containment must still be active in some - " One of Jaxyl was holding on to his console, the other just kinda floated there, slowly tumbling in space, heading towards the ceiling. " - measure of capacity. Expect boarders. Expect weapons not to work. They'll probably have shielded weapons that do work." he muttered, his thoughts going to his wife who he thought must be panicking by now, with his drone also inactive.

"Or the reactor just went cold too," Charlie said, grimly.

"Commander," Hawkins called from the conn, leaning forward to look out at the massive ship as it loomed, "They're launching something..."

The crew on the bridge rushed forward as best they could in the low gravity to look and try and see what was coming. Four small ships had launched from the other massive ship, sharp and angry looking points on the noses of long slender bodies, and they were rushing directly toward the Newton at an alarming speed.

Diana narrowed here eyes at the approaching ships, "Go into the ship, find anything we can use as weapons. Tell everyone you can..." She said, turning back to face her bridge crew.

"Tell them to get ready to be boarded," She said, grimly.


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