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Thevshi

Cape No More!

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Flux

 

"Fascinating..."

 

Flux pondered the information, various nightmare scenarios forming. There was potential for much utility, of course, both scientifically and sociologically. But most of all it was, as he said, fascinating. 

 

"I would very much like to see the data on these wormholes, commander. I suspect I may be of some help. If nothing else, I could map them for you fairly easily, I think..." he offered. 

 

It would be a relatively straightforward exercise, with the right data and sensors. He could link various points in spice time, and study them remotely. 

 

But he was procrastinating. 

 

Or maybe it was more? He felt a little spice of guilt. He had tried to help the Lor, and perhaps had. But also, Sorek was dead, Sorek who had tried so valiantly to rescue him...

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GM

 

A slightly conflicted expression crossed Commander E'tten's face.  "I am afraid much of the wormhole data we have here is restricted."  He replied in an apologetic tone.  "I would have to contact my superiors in order to provide access.  There are likely research facilities on Magna-Lor or CoVic Station that may have wormhole data that is not restricted."

 

He was quite a moment, as if thinking and the quickly added, "however, the data we do have that is unrestricted relates to a few isolated incidents when some spacecraft have disappeared while traversing the wormhole network starting from this entry point.  The most recent of which occurred less than two standard rotations ago."

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Flux

 

"I see" replied Flux, disappointed. He wondered what CoVic Station was, and if he should visit. "I imagine arranging access to the restricted data would be possible but laborious" he offered. His standing with the Lor was at least fair, and probably much better than that. He imagined he could get it. But on the other hand, it would be a convoluted or even torturous process. Procrastination was one thing, an administrative minefield quite another. 

 

"Well then, perhaps if I take a look at the unrestricted data? It might help me piece together what happened to me, and the Quantum Dark Zone..."

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GM

 

"Of course, I can get you access."  Commander E'tten replied as he led Quill out of the hanger and into other parts of the station.  The pair passed several other Lor and other species, all in Lor military uniforms as they made their way down the station’s busy corridors. 

 

Eventually the commander brought Quill up to the station’s command center.  It was a large, three story tall room with multiple levels of monitoring stations and other duty stations.  One wall was almost entirely clear plexi-steel, providing a direct visual view of the wormhole and the dozens of spacecraft making their way in and out.  Several small holoscreens were displayed on the plexi-steel wall, providing close up visuals of certain ships, other nearby stations and even a couple of the wormhole itself.

 

There were more than a dozen Lor personnel present when they arrived, all busy with the countless tasks that were involved with monitoring the wormhole and the starship traffic making use of it.  A few glanced over at the pair, but said nothing as Quill was with the commander.

 

Commander E'tten led Quill off to a small room off the command center, a large window providing a view of the command center beyond.  There was a good sized table with six chairs spaced around it, along with a computer station. 

 

"I can access the data for you here."  He replied.  "Would you like some refreshment?"

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Flux

 

"Tea, if you have it" replied Flux without much hope. "Earl Grey" he added, hoping against every reasonable hope. 

 

Practically without thinking, he started observing the wormhole, and glancing around at the data. There was room, even with all the glorious scientific analysis to sift through, to take a step back and comprehend the wonder of the thing. And it was wonderful. 

 

"Its a beautiful beast" he commented, acknowledging its destructive power. Like anything with utility, it was powerful. Like anything powerful, it could be destructive. 

 

Questions started popping up in to his mind. 

 

"Where does it lead? When does it lead?"

 

"What are its safety parameters?"

 

"Have their been any casualties?"

 

And any number of more technical questions on radiation, dimensions, energy, mass, and time-space...

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GM

 

"I am not certain what 'Earl Grey' is, but I believe we have something rather similar to Terran tea."  The commander replied, making a call to a subordinate to get the drink.  He then focused back on getting the unrestricted data pulled up for Quill’s review.


As Quill's comment about the beauty of the wormhole, Commader E'tten looked up at the space anomaly.  "You will forgive me if I am only able to recall what was lost when it came into existence."  He stated in a rather cold tone.

 

Then the subordinate arrived with Quill’s drink, which while not quite the tea he was accustomed to, was hot and had its own interesting flavor.  The pair then turned back to the data and Quill’s other questions. 

 

"Well, there are slightly over a dozen other wormholes that are connected to the one here."  The commander began in response. "It is possible to steer a vessel through them so that you could reach whichever of the others you wish.  This allows for far faster travel to the other locations that would be normally be possible, even with the fastest stardrives we have available.  Of course, there are occasional mishaps and ships end up existing the network at the wrong point, but it is mostly a rather reliable means of travel."

 

"And as I noted before, there have been a few instances of vessels disappearing altogether.  While we do not know for certain the fate of those vessels, if they were somehow destroyed, then the resulting casualties are in the few hundreds."

 

Quill focused on the data readings from the wormhole that were taken around the time of the most recent disappearance of a transport vessel, the Aurora.  There were some significant radiation spikes from the wormhole just before the vessel entered and right after it had as well.  As he looked at them, Quill thought he saw some similarity to the readings taken of the Quantum Dark Zone, just before he had been pulled into it.

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Flux

 

"There!" replied Quill, pointing at one of the readings on the screen. "And there!" he said pointing at another. 

 

"Radiation spikes. See how they form a characteristic n-dimensional inverse hypercollision?" he explained. "I have only seen that once before. In the anomaly that we were surveying by the asteroid field. Where I was lost.."

 

"The Quantum Dark Zone. It must be!"

 

He shuddered. 

 

"You have to understand. Space-Time is...well I am not sure it even exists. Other things do, but its beyond my ability to sense. And that is deeply disturbing, as I am able to sense a lot - it really is a gift of extraordinary sensitivity - " he pointed to his head " - and yet I was quite blind when lost in the zone". 

 

He paused and tapped his chin, thinking. 

 

"What concerns me is that this may not be your normal wormhole. I say normal because there is no other word, of course. Wormholes are pretty abnormal by their nature. But this pattern of radiation suggests something different. And it also suggest that whatever the Quantum Dark Zone is, it is not a singular thing..."

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GM

 

The Lor commander looked at the radiation spikes Quill had identified in the data and listened to the scientist’s explanation of the Quantum Dark Zone.  "I am afraid I am not familiar with this 'quantum dark zone,' other than what you have said about it and the limited information we still have regrading the investigation conducted by you and Chief Scientist Solak.  Any further data the chief scientist had appears to have been lost with Lo-Van."

 

He then looked back at the data for a moment before continuing, "but I agree that these wormholes are not 'normal.'  Whatever the Communion was planning with them, I do not expect it was anything good, given how it created these and its general pattern of treatment of the worlds it seized during the war.  But whatever their true nature, they are here and individuals are willing to take the risk of traveling through them, given they have proven safe a majority of the time."

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Flux

 

"It better be really significant majority" interjected Quill, frowning at the risk. 

 

"And aside from that, if one does not understand their true nature, then one cannot understand their true risk" he explained, concerned at words like majority and general pattern. 


Bending space time like this...you need better confidence...

 

He frowned, looking with more than his eyes at the wormhole. 

 

"I would like to see one up close" he conceded. "If it is reasonably safe to do so..." he added with a generous smile.

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GM

 

"Hundreds, if not thousands, of starships travel the wormhole network every galactic standard day.  I am aware of no more than a dozen ships that have been lost, and perhaps three times as many that have ended up somewhere other than where they intended over three cycles.  I believe most that use the network view it as no more of a risk than other means of traveling through space, particularly over the great distances the network connects."  Commander E’tten replied, although he appeared rather neutral on the subject.

 

"As for having a chance to study the wormhole up close," he then continued, "I can certainly get clearance for you to have an opportunity to examine the Lo-Van wormhole up close, and even to enter it should you wish."

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Flux

 

I am delaying. I know I am delaying....

 

I can't face Earth. Not just yet. 

 

Quill was not facing up to the terror of having two years of your life - if it was two years from his perspective - lost. Gone. Oblivion. He didn't know what to call it, other than deeply unsettling. For now, a spot of what he did best would be a reasonable tonic. He was at least aware of his failing. 

 

And besides, this was interesting. And he might be of help. 

 

"I think that would be prudent. I do not wish to be alarmist, but one cannot be too careful when it comes to time space anomalies" he said, explaining his reasoning. "I would hate for something to happen here, however unlikely, and I did not spend at least a moment looking. Up close, if possible..."

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GM

 

"Alright then, let me get things arranged."  Commander E'tten replied as he got up from his seat and led Quill back out of the small room they had been using.

 

A short while later, Quill was flying back through the cold darkness of space, following along with two Lor starfighters as they flew past some of the transport ships exiting the wormhole.  The large vessels seemed rather slow moving, ones Quill likely estimated would take quite some time to travel great distances by more conventional methods.

 

"Can you read us Dr. Quill?"  Asked Commander E'tten, who had remained in the command center of the main defense station where he and members of his crew were monitoring Quill. 

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Flux

 

Quill could pick up any manner of electromagnetic radiation, and radiowave transmissions were no exception. Transmitting back to a bit of concentration however, as he had to pull apart some atoms and excite some wavelengths. 

 

I can indeed, commander. I am approaching the wormhole now...

 

Although, he thought, rather slowly. Still, there was no rush but his own excitement. 

 

And fear, perhaps. Even with a quantum forcefield around his body, this was some serious power. 

 

I'm going to start the analysis, and move in...

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GM

 

"Understood, we will continue monitoring you."  Commander E'tten responded.  The two Lor fighters stopped their advance, using maneuvering thrusters to maintain their position a short distance from the wormhole, but still further than Quill was advancing. 

 

The Lor-Van wormhole seemed to almost pulse with anticipation as Quill approached, the surges of energy from within the anomaly rising and falling, but not noticeable different from the general patterns he had seen in the limited data he had been able to review.  The anomaly was putting off a considerable amount of energy, in a variety of wave lengths. 

 

As he hooved in place, a large transport ship emerged from within the anomaly, a cascade of energy escaping with it.  But everything otherwise appeared to be relatively normal, the vessel moved away from the wormhole, moving to where it would be scanned by Lor custom's vessels before being allowed to proceed to its final destination. 

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Flux

 

On a hunch, Quill directed his extraordinary mind towards the vessel. Perhaps there was some delayed energy signature which might help aid his understanding of the wormhole. 

 

Not that the wormhole itself was to be ignored. One could hardly ignore it if one tried, even with regular senses. It was magnificent. He had seen them before, of course; he had much in his travels through the universe. But they were rare phenomena - and complex in nature. Each one different even if the same - like stars and planets and nebulae. 

 

Each one worthy of study and appreciation. 

 

As he scanned the vessel and the wormhole it came out of, he started to piece together the data on the energy signatures...

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GM


Splitting his attention between the recently emerged vessel and the wormhole, Quill noted identical electro-magnetic and quantum energy that was still clinking to the spacecraft and was being emanated from the wormhole.  But as he compared the two a bit more, he noted that the spacecraft had traces of slightly different electro-magnetic and quantum energy about it, but those other traces were almost overwhelmed by those identical to the Lor-Van wormhole.

 

But as he studied the spacecraft a bit closer, Quill noticed something else among the various electro-magnetic and quantum signatures that were still clinging to its hull.  There were also traces of dimensional energy, fainter than the others, but still there.

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Flux

 

This was peculiar. Was the discrepancy a feature of the wormhole, or the ship?

 

N=1 was not enough to draw conclusions.

 

More data needed.

 

He opened up a quantum tunnel to Etten, tramitting a radio signal to him.

 

"Etten, this is Quill. That stop coming out of the wormhole. Anything unusual about it? I am detecting some odd energy signatures..."

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

"One moment, I will have the flight log and manifest details brought up."  Commander E'tten responded back to Quill’s question.   A short while later the Lor commander transmitted back to Quill.  "No, there is nothing unusual about the vessel.  It is an agricultural transport from Hapisians, a system that is one of the major agricultural exporters to Coalition worlds."

 

"According to the data files, it is among the first commercial vessels produced out of the Signa system following the conclusion of the Communion War.  It has been in service almost three cycles.  It is returning from delivering food stuffs to CoVic Station."

 

"Is there anything in particular you are sensing?  Shall I have it held for detailed inspection?"

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Flux 

 

"Nothing significant..." he replied. "Or at least, nothing suspicious"

 

"There are trace amounts of hyper dimensional energy distortions that don't match with the worm hole. Or at least, don't match with the worm hole as I understand it..."

 

He paused a moment pondering how to advise.

 

"To be honest I don't have any idea if the readings are a function of the ship, the wormhole, or a combination of the two..."

 

"I really need to examine the interiorof the wormhole or another ship coming out of it. Ideally both. You may wish to delay the ship for a bit if you are feeling prudent..."

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