USS Lantau

Solving the Puzzle

Posted on Tue May 12th, 2020 @ 11:25am by Commander Finchley Kerr & Lieutenant JG Tyler Bradshaw

Mission: The Years that never were...
Location: Bridge, USS Lantau
Timeline: Current

[Back on the USS Lantau]

Exiting the turbolift, Finchley made his way over to the centre chair and sat down. Opening up a channel he said "All hands, this is the Captain. The salvaged equipment has been installed and integrated into the remains of our original systems. There's no guarantee's that everything will work, but we're going to have to do the best we can with what we have. If you're having any major problems then contact engineering and they'll help you the best they can, however, remember they're already working flat out to maintain the salvaged parts as well as those systems we managed to save, Captain out."

Turning round to look at Tyler he said "Lieutenant Bradshaw, you should be able to use your sensors now, see what you can find out about where those shockwaves came from, and what caused them. If you pinpoint even roughly the area is, let the Helm know so they can plot a course."

The young Lieutenant nodded as he started typing commands into his console. "Aye, sir." They knew which direction the temporal shockwaves came from so he turned the sensors in that direction.

The resolution on the sensors wasn't close to being up to spec, but that was to be expected considering they were working with ancient, substandard parts. It was a miracle the engineers had gotten them to work as well as they were.

The short range sensors had nothing. There were no star systems, planets, asteroids or ships in close range. He typed a command into his console, which switched his data feed to the long range sensors. That proved more promising. There were a number of star systems that could have been the source of the shockwaves.

Unfortunately the sensor resolution was preventing him from telling if any of those systems were inhabited. Normally he'd be able to tie in the lateral sensors to boost their resolution, but that would probably blow out power systems all over the ship. Engineering was busy enough without him adding to their stresses.

One thing did catch his attention. There were signs of chronitons in the atmosphere of two planets in the third system he scanned. Chronitons suggested a temporal link. "Commander, I think I may have something."

Finchley looked up instantly from the PADD he was reading and said "What do you have Lieutenant?"

"Chronitons, sir." Tyler reported, still studying the data coming in. "I'm detecting chronitons in the atmospheres of the third and fourth planets of a system about ten light years away. The presence of chronitons suggests a temporal link."

"A temporal link!" Finchley answered, his right hand slapping down on the arm of his chair as he leaned forward in interest. He stood up and walked across to Tyler's console "Show me what you have Lieutenant Bradshaw, and explain how these chronitons would help us."

Tyler could feel his heart begin to beat faster. The Commander wanted to walk through Tyler's findings to satisfy himself that his Chief Science Officer's theory was sound.

He typed a command into his console, bringing up the sensor data from before the first shockwave hit. "As you know, the shockwaves were temporal in nature. We've examined the sensor data reconstructed from just prior to the first wave striking and determined that they came from this direction."

Typing another command into the console, he showed the arc they believe the shockwaves would have travelled. "There are a number of star systems along this path. Sensor resolution is only sixty percent of normal, so we can't tell if any of those planets are inhabited."

These two planets," Tyler typed another command to show one of the systems in greater detail and the two planets in question were highlighted, "show chroniton particles in their atmosphere. Both are Class M. Chronitons are sub-atomic particles left behind by temporal anomalies or disturbances. I believe their presence in the atmosphere of these planets indicate that the shockwaves originated on one or the other."

"One or the other, not both?" Finchley asked "the reason I'm asking this question Lieutenant is that if you look at the stratospheric data for both planets, the ionisation count is extremely high and to me, that can mean only one thing, thermonuclear charges have occurred....or in other words, very large explosions have happened over or in the stratospheres of both planets."

Tyler could feel the heat rising in his face. "Uh, it's possible that the shockwaves could have come from both planets." He typed furiously as his console, trying to regain his equilibrium. "While both planets exhibit signs of thermonuclear detonations and chroniton particles, it's difficult to determine which one of the planets, or possibly both, that the shockwaves originated from. We'd need to get close for a further investigation." After only a short time as Chief Science Officer he'd shown himself to be incapable of doing the job. He just wanted the deck to open up and swallow him whole.

"We're trying Lieutenant" Finchley said, patting Tyler on the shoulder as he turned to walk back to his seat "we're trying..."

As he reached the centre chair he called back to Tyler "See if you can determine the rate of temporal time shift between where we are now and tracking back to the planets, keep me informed."

"Aye, sir." Tyler returned focus to his console and began typing furiously again, using the sensor data his department had reconstructed to work out just when they were. Did the shockwaves send them forward in time? Back? And just how far?

The young Lieutenant, having already made a fool of himself, poured over the data, determined to get this one right. Using what they knew about the relative position of various stellar phenomena in this region, and the temporal signature of the shockwaves themselves, he came up with a theory. "Sir, I believe I have something."

Finchley looked over at Tyler and said "What do you have Lieutenant?"

"It looks like when the first shockwave hit, we were thrown forward by a year." Tyler typed in a command to show the minor changes in the region, consisted with the changes that would occur in a single year. "The second wave then transported us back in time," he paused, "a hundred years."

Finchley was speechless for a few moments, then said "The second wave threw us back in time?"

"Yes, sir." Tyler confirmed. "While the first wave propelled us forward, the second one threw us back."

"That's extraordinary" Finchley replied "and your sure of your calculations?"

He was certain of them. Not only had he triple checked them himself, but he'd also had some of his scientists double check his work. There was no way he would show himself up this time. "I'm certain of them, sir."

"No wonder the technology we found on those ships seemed so....outdated!" Finchley spoke out, more or less to himself "by today's ship standard, it's like being in the stone ages" he finished. Standing up and taking a few steps forward away from his chair, he stopped and turned back to Tyler and said "That's good work Lieutenant, give the Helm your data tracing the source of the shockwaves and once they've plotted a course we can try and get underway."

Tyler began inputting the commands that would transmit his data to the helm. "Aye, sir."