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Data Points

Posted on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 @ 10:56pm by Subcommander Kaiae t'Lien & Lieutenant Mila Lynn

Mission: Chapter V: The Calm Before The Storm
Location: Science Lab, Ourainavassa
Timeline: 238703.09

A few days had passed since the Colonel's disappearance. But despite their commanding officer's absence, the crew of the Ourainavassa had kept busy. Sweeping the Tal Shiar ship "acquired" by the Terrans, finalising the evacuation plans for the families of the crew, analysing any available information on the enemy operation at Hobus, trying to track down where Raven might have disappeared to... There was a lot of work to be done.

Mila sighed as she mused on the events of the last few days. Since they had tracked down Perez on Earth and returned to the ship, things had been chaotic to say the least. Moments like the previous evening spent drinking with Seira were becoming fewer and fewer as the urgency of the situation dawned on anyone on board. And yet, Subcommander Kaiae had slipped into the role that had been thrust upon her as acting CO with little issue, or so it appeared at least. The young scientist chuckled to herself as she sipped on her raktajino. The last few months, ever since she and her brother had run into Ash Rogers, had certainly been a rollercoaster ride - and it wasn't going to get any calmer any time soon. Still, at least she had time to take a quick breath while the computer processed some more data that she had received from the Amelia's sciences department - more scans and analyses of Raven's jump into the other universe. Data that might provide some answers on where she had gone. There had been trace elements of chroniton radiation, with a quantum shift identical to that of Amelia, confirming she had gone to the same universe the Terrans had come from - yet the scientists on the Terran ship had thought something seemed not quite right about the data. So, they had turned to get a second opinion before providing any findings to the commanders of the two vessels.

The computer terminal next to Mila chimed, accompanied by a buzz of her combadge - a little modification she had made as a reminder to turn on her aural implants, in case they were switched off. A quick glance at the display confirmed that the computer had completed its analysis of the data. And indeed, something was off, just as the Terran scientists had suspected. But Mila had a crucial advantage over them - her engineered brain could read numbers far more easily than any regular human could. And she quickly found what was wrong with the data.

Cursing silently, Mila tapped her badge. "Science Lab to Subcommander Kaiae. Could you come down here? I've found something."

When Kaiae appeared at the entry to the science lab shortly thereafter, it was not for once in her usual uniform, but the loose black pants and tunic she had been wearing at the time of the call on her way to the gym. Going back to change would have taken more (potentially valuable) time than simply changing her destination; though the plainer clothes, without the official veneer to them, perhaps made it easier to notice how young Kaiae actually was herself; had she been human one might have pegged her for her mid-20s or so.

"Lieutenant Lynn. You had an important finding?"

Mila raised an eyebrow when she saw Kaiae out of uniform for the first time since she met her, but didn't say anything - after all, her own uniform jacket was casually thrown over a normally unused chair in the corner of the lab, as was the tie that went with it.

"Ah, Subcommander, good of you to come so quickly. As you know, the science department over on I.S.S. Amelia reported an anomaly in the scan data of the Colonel's jump to the other universe. I've reanalysed the data with our own computers. Granted, they're a few hundred years older, but their chief science officer thought it might be worth a look. Turns out it was. Have a look at this."

She activated the display, showing two columns of data side by side. "Now, on the left is the displacement data recorded during a test of the drive system used on Munin, when the Terrans first designed the vessel and tested if it was capable of travelling across quantum realms as well as shifting in time. On the right is the data recorded from the Colonel's jump."

She let Kaiae get a good luck at the data, which seemed to mostly be identical. However, one set of numbers was highlighted in red.

"The Terrans found this discrepancy, and asked if our computer would give the same result. As you can see, it did. Of course, they had no clue what it might mean. There weren't any chroniton emissions detected, so we can be pretty sure she didn't move in time. The jump drive is not advanced enough to make more than one change in a single operation, so it's either time or universe, never both. Of course, as the Major, my brother and I found when we initially tested the craft, it is very much possible to engage this displacement while also travelling in space, to a different location. Which, of course, would make tracking Raven more difficult even when we are certain which universe she's in."

Mila sighed. "I think I know what this data is, though. It's evidence of a drive overload." She paused for a moment to let her next words sink in. "I don't think the Colonel is going to be able to use the drive again. I don't think she'll be able to return."

The words "I don't think she'll be able to return" echoed in Kaiae's head--though she had perhaps clashed with the mercenary captain in some areas; her presence had been critical to keeping both crews in line and working together; without her, it would remain much harder, as it had been of late. But more than that it was by this point nearly part of a pattern and a trend: "...If she was still alive, or free, or able to communicate, by now she would have"..."I don't think she'll be able to return"...One by one, those she walked with on this path were falling, caught in deadly political snares or drive overloads and more; leaving her more and more alone, and with less and less margin for error in a game where there had been little to none to begin with.

"Can we trace the location?" Kaiae asked carefully, when she felt she could trust her voice not to betray her reaction. The words 'drive overload' implied perhaps additional damage to the ship, as well; which might paradoxically make the Colonel easier to find if they could trace it; keep her closer to whatever they came out with. They didn't exactly have the ships or manpower to go after her regardless; but it was possible the Terrans might.

Mila pondered for a moment. "The way I understand how the drive system works, the trajectory of travel would be the same before and after displacement, whether dimensional or temporal. So, based on her course, we could trace a direction she could have gone, yes. But that still leaves a very large area of space where she could be. And if she made any course changes after leaving here, we would not know."

"Work on a general trace of universe and location, then; and a guess for the likely area that would have to be searched; we can present it to the Terrans when we have it." Kaiae looked around the science lab; the back of her mind recalling that as much as she had found herself a lieutenant-aged subcommander; she was looking now at a cadet-aged lieutenant. They were a sorry lot indeed. She supposed she would have to break this news to Rogers, as well; unless Mila had already informed her. "Is Major Rogers aware of these findings yet?"

Mila shook her head. "No, I called you down the moment I completed the analysis. The Terrans did request that I share my findings with them as well, so it would probably be best to call their Captain over when you meet with Ash. We do know which universe she went to, the Terrans were able to confirm that it was indeed the one they are from. As for her course, well." She smiled. "Computer, calculate probable course and destinations from data input. Display overlaid on map data 283-beta."

A moment passed, and the strings of numbers on the display were replaced by a map of the Terran Empire of the current time. "Again, courtesy of the Terrans," Mila said with a smirk. "Or rather, of Perez. Copied from their PADD." She looked at the map, where a dotted line traced the most likely heading Raven had taken. Their current location was well within Imperial territory, but, notably, Drozana station, or any installation for that matter, was absent.

Mila stared at the map for a moment, before sighing. "Well. Her plotted course seems to take her straight out of Terran space. Into the territory of the... Romulan Republic? Is that right? In fact, it seems to take her straight to the Romulus system." She looked up at Kaiae. "From what Perez told me, the Terrans and the Romulans haven't been at war for about a century now, but relations are not what you would call friendly. This could be trouble."

"Because it means sending any of the Terrans becomes infeasible." Kaiae stated flatly with an answer in lieu of a question: Sure, you could get medical to do alterations. If they were good enough, you'd pass anything but the most targeted deepest scans. But the more complex the landscape and the society you were trying to operate in, the quicker and more badly an outsider would stumble and reveal themselves. One of the Terrans modified to look Romulan would be caught quickly whenever they failed to move, act, or answer appropriately. "Ask the Terrans for any intelligence they have on this republic, then, too."

The lieutenant simply nodded. "That is, of course, all assuming she actually made it into Romulan territory. If the overload damaged her ship, or she encountered any other issues, who knows where she might be? And why would she even go there? What is she looking for? Have you made any progress on that front, finding out what might have caused her to leave so suddenly?"

"Beyond what was discovered initially? No." Kaiae didn't sound surprised by this fact; recording ones future plans and inner thoughts in detail for anyone to later be able to use against you was a fool's errand. "Put together what you can find and forward it for review and distribution to Rogers and to the Terrans. Was there anything else, Lieutenant?"

Mila grabbed a PADD and quickly transferred the data. "Here you go, Subcommander. Unless you want me to write up a full report?"

"No; that won't be necessary; there's other priorities." Kaiae took the PADD, gave Mila a firm little dip of her head, and whirled back towards the door to exit the science lab.


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