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Posted on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 @ 4:55am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Lieutenant Serge Maschnost

Mission: Purgatory's Shadow. Season 2 Episode 7

Attention all personnel. Attention all personnel. All crew of the following vessels scramble: Heracles. Garrett, Hee-Tay-Con, Honshu, Tolstoy and Capricorn. I repeat, all crew of the following vessels scramble: Heracles. Garrett, Hee-Tay-Con, Honshu, Tolstoy and Capricorn. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.

The alert was broadcast over the station's vox broadcast system, but it was radioed to the ships in question as well. Serge barely noticed it. He was fixated on the ship coming in. The drive systems were phenomenal. They seemed to be shifting their inertia in a manner similar to the IDF to adjust speed and heading with incomparable control. Serge would give a great deal to speak to the Dynamic Systems theorist behind it.

Lieutenant Serge Maschnost, please report to Ops immediately. I repeat, Lieutenant Serge Maschnost to Ops immediately.

Serge nearly swallowed his tongue. He always jumped when his comm pin went off. This was even stranger. Why, when everyone else was being scrambled to their ships, was he summonsed to Ops?

He glanced around at Captain Barr who just nodded to him, "Go. We will try not to leave without you."

The last bit was a cruel barb from the Captain, given how preternaturally paranoid Serge was of putting people out.

He handed his station over to the junior lieutenant, "Be keepink an eye on the 589 nm range. There is an intermittent sodium pattern happenink. Keep the relay to the station open as long as you are able."

He moved quickly to the lift, waiting for the security ensign to exit first. Once inside the lift and moving to the docking level he began to wonder again why he was summoned.

A cold feeling began to creep over him. What if they were going to court-martial him? There was the incident with the Temporal Anomalies Lab on SB 611... or the diplomatic incident on the Kennedy involving a litre of white wine and the ambassador's dress... then there had been the....

By the time he had reached the docking pylon he was almost ready to believe they would blame him for starting the Kzinti war single-handed. If it hadn't been for Jrez, he might not have been recognised.

He made his way through crowds of Starfleet officers all heading in the opposite direction till he arrived at a command lift which would take him to the Operations room.

Swallowing hard and closing his eyes he climbed aboard. When it arrived at teh bridge he took a moment before he opened them again, as if expecting to be hit. He squinted cautiously out at the assembled throng.

“Welcome, Mister Mashchnost. Chief Jrez tells me you dabble in energy and propulsion systems,” Harrison said.

Serge's stomach dropped. When he had first arrived there had been a problem with the computers and he, a week out of the Academy, had been posted a full Lieutenant in charge of propulsion engineering. Obviously he had done something critical that he had not even known. That was probably what destroyed Starbase 611. They had tracked him down and were going to court martial him and reduce him back to ensign... again.

"Well, sir, that is not beink entirely true. I am knowing the fundamentals of theoretical dynamics; Newtonian motion and special relativity, transwarp stabalisation matrix, et cetera. I am not beink an accredited propulsion Engineer. I am tryink to tell the commander of SB 611, but there was issue with the Computers and it was forgotten. So I am workink as best I can till..."

“If I may, Sir?” Jrez prompted, interrupting Serge. He well remembered that, when flustered, the young man had a tendancy to ramble.

“Go ahead, Chief.”

“Serge....” Jrez began.

Harrison was about to upbraid the Warrant Officer for failing to address a superior officer in an appropriate manner but he checked himself. The young officer was clearly ill at ease. He waited.

“....remember the experiments you conducted on SB611 into temporal flux and the Maschnost limit? There's something about this ship niggling me. Something that recalls those experiments.”

Serge was completely taken off guard. His experiments into the TF were the foundation of further research into the Blue Box project, but they had been stabalized thanks to some sagely advice. He had certainly never applied the theory to propulsion, or to any of the SB 611 systems.

"Of course I am rememberink them, but the T-Flux was constrained to the sensors. I never applied it to the power distribution systems of SB 611. I am rememberink that you were very clear that I could conduct experiments provided they are not havink impact on rest of station, da?"

Serge looked at Harrison's puzzled frown, "I will be tryink to explain. Special relativity is defining a point within the gravity well of massive bodies where light is no longer beink able to escape due to the gravitaional force. Einstein is callink this the event horizon. Sub space communication, because it travels faster than light, roughly Warp 9.9999, maintains a high enough energy to be escapink from within the event horizon. Naturally occurring subspace phenomena are rare, but I was devisink an experiment that could project telemetry through subspace to a receiver. Once you have accounted for gravitational lensing you could be usink the Temporal Flux gradient to estimate the point of the Maschnost limit, where even subspace communications can no longer escape. The Honshu was about to test the experiment with a modified probe, but we were called away to fight the Kzinti. Previously I have only been able to demonstrate on scale replica using artificial singularities. This has the disadvantage of producing prodigious amounts of energy that need to be chanelled and vented. In my early experiments I was producing up to 4.5 Cochrane."

"Serge, at the time there was a strange man with you in the lab whom you were deep in conversation with. I've not seen his like before or since. Do you remember his name?"

Serge was derailed. "Er... Da. I am rememberink. You were sendink him to me to help? Small and furry. His Name? Er... No. I am not rememberink. Is years ago. I would know him if I saw him. He was from one of the docked ships. His captain didn't have any time for science..."

"Ha!" Serge sudden shout made a neraby ensign jump, "Is being a Klingon ship. Is just after Ambassador is comink to live on station. Only one Klingon ship came at that time. Will be on docking records."

"Sir, with your permission, might I recommend you get Mada...sorry, Lieutenant Matlh up here. She will know which ship it was. In all likelihood it was from her House."

"Do so," Harrison ordered.


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