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USS T-Durant Mission TDRP20-05: "Anomalous Drift" 200216

Posted: 200214.1854
by Poison Toocool
Ship's Records, 200214

A suspected, unidentified Romulan agent, who masqueraded as medical Ensign known as 'Caitlin Colville,' had close contact with Admiral Poison Toocool when the Admiral was in Durant sickbay at the start of the conflict with the Romulans. Nanites were used, apparently to 'cure' the Admiral. However, she was not sick before she arrived on Durant, and those medical nanites seem to have now disappeared.

The false Colville disembarked at Space Station Alpha Therapévo, with the Admiral, to oversee her care and keeping, while the Durant continued its mission with the Fleet task force. After the battle was over, certain facts came to light which led to the start of a search for the suspected agent. Station security responded to Starfleet Intelligence's long range comms, insisting they only have a record of Colville's arrival, and that, despite an alleged thorough search of records and the facility, she has not been located. They also claimed to be going through records of ships and shuttles leaving the facility since the Admiral arrived. However, the replies to the questions transmitted by Starfleet Intelligence were intermittent at best -- and the Intel officer on the case suspected that there may be someone on the inside working to scuttle the investigation.

The Durant subsequently arrived at SS Alpha Therapévo, expecting the cooperation of the station security team and easy access to any information that would assist them in tracking the suspected Romulan agent. They also intended to pick up Admiral Toocool. Upon their arrival, the station's head of security - a civilian known as Lyudmila - insisted the station was on lockdown and that no one could come aboard. Suspecting this to be a ruse to avoid questioning and a search of the station, Commander Evelyn Rieko made some veiled threats and took the Durant to red alert to put pressure on Lyudmila to allow the Starfleet team to board the station. Lyudmila capitulated and five Starfleet officers were permitted to beam over, and have a short meeting with her. She insists Toocool is not aboard the station, but has not provided any further information about the Admiral's whereabouts.

Commander Rieko asked Lyudmila to show her around the operations deck before beaming back to Durant. Other members of the Away Team requested to go to the Promenade to get some baking to take back to the ship. But havoc ensued when Comm Jordan and Ens Elton were found in Sick Bay instead of on the Promenade. Cmdr Rieko managed to thwart Lyudmila's attempts to kidnap the Away Team . After disabling the station's shields and weapons, Cmdr Rieko quickly gathered her wits and returned to Durant with the rest of the team, leaving the hapless SS Alpha Therapévo licking its wounds. Comm Jordan had in his possession a tricorder with encrypted information that was downloaded from the station computer in the nick of time.


As the flagship made its escape from the apparently hostile SS Alpha Therapévo, the bridge crew went to work.

Tactical I scanned the area for warp trail signatures in the hopes of finding some clue that would help in locating Admiral Toocool. But his quick eye also detected a vessel in hot pursuit of the Durant, and identified it as Romulan.

Science examined a variety of transporter buffer records and was able to determine that Admiral Toocool’s life signs changed while on Durant and she was still in that condition when transferred to SS Alpha Therapévo.

Tactical II, in conjunction with medical, was able to determine that the nanites used to ‘heal’ Admiral Toocool’s alleged illness were, in fact, of Romulan make.

Intelligence, after trying several variables, was able to establish that the encrypted data found in the records taken from SS Alpha Therapévo is in the ancient language of Iconia.

Helm cleverly had several possible courses mapped out for the Durant, but strongly recommended that Command consider the idea of entering Klakkr's Drift to elude anyone following the starship.

Command was not in favour of Helm’s recommendation to enter the Drift, and ordered a course parallel to the nebula. The Durant has past history with nebulas and what-not. Never a pleasant experience.

The story continues….

You should have read:
'Sleeping with the Enemy' 200119 ... 85&t=31699

TDRP20-02: " Sneaky Sneaking" 200126 ... 85&t=31780

TDRP20-03: "J-Just Ch-Checking" 200202 ... 85&t=31792

TDRP20-04: "Nine Ninths" 200209 ... 85&t=31804

LCARS: ... Sector_Map ... nta_Sector


Re: USS T-Durant Mission TDRP20-05: "Anomalous Drift" 200216

Posted: 200221.0056
by Greenlantern Excelsior

Leni (Lt Cmdr), Science ((Leninah))
Evelyn Rieko (Cmdr), XO/Chief Science
Rain Elton (Ensign), Helm ((Rain Torvalar))
Hal Jordan (Commodore), Intelligence ((GreenLantern Excelsior))
Janet Gelbert (Cmdr), Tactical ((Cheryl Skinstad))

Left to right: Jordan, Rieko, Gelbert, Elton (not shown - Leni)

Re: USS T-Durant Mission TDRP20-05: "Anomalous Drift" 200216

Posted: 200221.0057
by Greenlantern Excelsior

Leni listens to the chatter and briefs and is visibly concerned. 'Klakkr's Drift' was surprisingly very scarcely investigated. Not a great deal was known about its constitution or its layout. The nebula's cloud was dense, and this was an obstacle that not only made long range scans difficult, but also put many people off getting into the cloud as it wasn't clear what they would find there. Until till now there had been no real incentive to do so. The idea that we should take the Durant in there was still lacking to her own mind any real incentive, and she found herself shaking her head slightly frequently as she scoured the Starfleet database for any information there was at all on the anomaly.

Evelyn Rieko is pacing in front of the Captain's chair, and says, "A vessel carrying 10 Romulans is following the Durant. What could they want? After that horrible experience at the space station, I don't think it is for any "good" reason. Probably some group Lyudmila has sent after us to cause trouble." She runs her fingers through the ends of her hair. "There could be other hostile vessels beyond the event horizon of Klakkr's Drift, just waiting for some signal to capture the flagship. Reports everyone, and Helm, is that ship following us as it appears to be? Science, give us data on Klakkr's Drift. We may very well decide to enter it." She hopes she is not getting paranoid.

Rain Elton continues to run scenarios with the computer in case we are to go into the drift. Navigational charts, although scarce, do list possible hazards such as asteroids and a star, but it was footnoted that it is not an accurate report. The dense nature of the drift would make gravitational reckoning much more difficult than she thought. She begins to calculate the odds whether the Commander will actually order us to fly into it. Responding to the Commander's request, "Sir, I have initiated several course corrections and am not confident to say at this time."

Hal Jordan looks through the data on his screen as the translation program attempts to decode it. Why would anyone translate a language into Iconian? Initially, it seemed to make no sense, and he struggled to find a reason. Perhaps the data was incredibly valuable, so putting it into a dead language was a second level of protection after encryption. Not much was known about the Iconian language, but the countdown from ten to zero was well known. "Kandar enar" meant "nine," but the computer had found no other known Iconian words so far. He turned to the XO. "The computer and I are still working on unscrambling this data. Together we have found one word in the Iconian language, but that doesn't mean that all of the words are Iconian. This is a real puzzler, so I don't have an estimated time of completion to give you."

Janet Gelbert is monitoring the situation extremely carefully via her console, as she hears her XO tell everyone that a vessel identified as carrying 10 Romulan life signs is in pursuit of the Durant, for reasons unknown. She heeds the Commander's words regarding other hostile vessels beyond the event horizon of the Drift, just waiting to come out and try to capture the flagship. There might also be other ships firing up engines in preparation for leaving the station and following the Durant. She is running tests on all possible scenarios with the computer as to the best way to tackle any hostile interventions.

Leni: "Sir, so far there is little information on 'Klakkr's Drift,' other than the size and location and that most regard it as a dark nebula and of an age that explains the density. There are no observed signs of protostar formation, even early, but that doesn't mean there isn't, it just means we can't see one yet because it's dense." She pauses a moment to reflect on that. "Yes I can see how that may seem a bit catch-22, and yes I suppose it is. We can't see it so we don't know whether it's there, and the reason we can't see it may be because it's there!" Draws another breath. "In short Sir, we'd be going into something unknown and potentially extremely hazardous. From a science perspective." Looks across at the on-board Vulcan for a moment. "And also from a logical viewpoint, I would caution against that course of action unless we had no other option and faced an identified, confirmed serious threat."

Rieko listens to the reports. "Helm, when you changed course, did the pursuing vessel also change course? Commodore, keep working on that data from the space station. If they went to so much trouble to make it difficult to decode, it must be extremely valuable information and could at least point us in the direction to where the Admiral may be, and maybe even information on why she was kidnapped and the core plan in all of this!" She turns to Science. "Commander Leni, thanks for that data. I would avoid going into the drift with it being such an unknown, and remembering bad experiences we've had in the Nekrit Expanse and with other nebulas. Tactical, continue long range scans, and scan that ship again and report."

Elton: After a few more minutes of slight course corrections, she determines, "Commander, while not matching our trajectory precisely, it is indeed adjusting and has now matched our relative speed and I would say with a 98% certainty we are being followed."

Jordan looks at the scrambled data with a fresh understanding and a new purpose. From this point forward he would assume that every word was written in a different language. He pointed the computer in that direction and set it about its task. All the while, he had been listening to the rest of the bridge crew's conversation, and a thought crossed his mind. "Sir, I wonder if they know we have downloaded their data and they are on a mission to make sure we don't decode it. A suicide mission. What else would ten Romulans be able to accomplish against the Federation's Delta Quadrant flagship? If we drop to impulse, and they get close enough, they could aim their ship at us and go to warp. Even Durant's powerful shields would be overwhelmed. The result would be a large cloud of very small fragments."

Gelbert puzzles over the problem. The information recovered by Intelligence so far is beyond solving. It's clear that some sort of plot existed to interfere with the Admiral. But so far there is nothing to suggest where Durant should go next on its mission to recover its Captain. She checks out the Romulan ship and announces. "The ship in pursuit is armed. They have a full complement of weapons for a skirmish, Commander, and I would advise shields to be up and weapons ready in case they fire. I recommend going to Yellow Alert also."

Leni nods with some visible relief at the decision to not enter the anomaly, at least just yet, but well aware the circumstance could change so continues to prepare for the worst. Messages tactical: =^= Can you confirm our complement of probes please? Class suitable for long range scans and hardy constitution. =^= Training the astrometrics sensors behind to attempt to get a more recognisable picture of exactly what sort of ship was following and also scan for tachyons and any other traces of cloaking devices in the vicinity.

Rieko turns to Tactical, "Thanks Commander Gelbert, Yellow Alert! Surely that vessel is no match for the Durant. Comms, open a channel to hail that vessel." She turns to the Commodore. "How ingenious and diabolical to code data that way. I can't help but feel impressed while feeling disgust."

Ensign Clark: "Channel open, Sir!"

Rieko: "Science, get more info on the Drift and report." She decides to be blunt. =^= This is Commander Rieko of the starship Durant. Who are you and what is your objective? =^=

Elton continues to monitor the ship following us as the Yellow Alert is raised and simply maintains course and heading, and starts plotting evasion courses mentally, going over evasion maneuvers she's learned in the Academy.

Jordan guided the computer on its way, pointing out keywords to look for, like "Admiral" and "Toocool" and "Starfleet." Just to be complete, he added "Lyudmila," "Durant," and "Therapévo" to the mix. It was difficult to translate a word like a surname into another language, so maybe this would help to come up with a result. He watched as the computer sifted and manipulated the data.

Gelbert replies to Leninah "We have a full complement of probes should we need them, over ninety." She is relieved that they are not entering the Drift just now but is concerned about the purpose of the ship in pursuit, however something is not quite right inside the Drift according to her readings. She double checks, then says something. "Commander, I detect something in the nebular cloud. At first when I looked it seemed like perhaps just a bit of denser cloud. But then it appears to be more substantial."

Leni raises an eyebrow in an almost Vulcan way at the figure of 90 and mumbles something about having a word with the replicator manager, before acknowledging to Tactical a thank you. Continues searching all available records on the anomaly whilst at the same time checking the long-range sensors all had the latest updates, particularly those for signal enhancements. Then pulling together a selection of routines to configure into the probes just in case we were to go in and needed some look ahead at least. As soon as results come back from the astrometrics scanners on the following ship she delves into analysing that and cross matching it with the database.

Rieko waits for an answer from the pursuing vessel, but there is no response. There's silence. She stops pacing and considers the possibilities. She looks around the bridge, "Hmm, no response. They're not being cooperative, or polite, so we'll treat this situation as hostile. I'm sure they're not following us to help us find the Admiral." Maybe she is starting to feel annoyed and maybe a bit paranoid and going into the drift seems a possibility to her now. "I'm considering going into the drift, just inside it not venturing in too far, and see if they follow us in there. Considering it, and will give you my decision shortly. Science, were you able to find any more info on Klakkr's Drift, and what class of probe would you suggest?"

Elton watches the viewscreen and controls as she has already plotted out several courses of actions depending on what her Commander requires, ready to initiate any one of them at a moment's notice.

Jordan started to note some similarities in sections of the data. He ordered the computer to highlight each one as he saw it. Then he shook his head and ordered the computer to highlight any repeating sequences of letters, numbers, or symbols. The screen began to show more and more words with yellow backgrounds. On a separate screen he had the computer list all repeating characters and the number of times they appeared. He added a column and had the computer provide a translation of known words. There were some nonsense words like "rainwagon," but nothing reasonable so far.

Gelbert frowns as she hears that they may be heading towards the Drift. What could that denser cloud be? What would make it appear more substantial on her console readouts? She watches her console carefully.

Leni looks alarmed, to anyone who was watching, anyone else may just hear a muffled "ohhh!" Her speed of finger flashing on glass like material quickens as she seeks to double check before muttering a slightly louder "Ohhhhh" then she jerks upright in her chair and rather abruptly calls out to Commander Rieko. "Sir! I'm detecting signs of cloaked objects. I don't know what, but am seeing at least three distinct locations around that visible vessel, plus a fainter but detectable one in the nebula itself! I don't want to jump the gun, I mean with that nebila containing goodness knows what, but I am leaning towards the conclusion, they are not alone! Might be worth seeing if anyone else can verify Sir?"

Rieko: "We need time to decipher the intel data." She hears the report from Science. "Cloaked objects!? Commander Leni, try to get a reading on what the objects are, and the one object inside the nebula. Tactical, report and verify. Can you get a reading on those objects...what they are, their purpose. Maybe they're some kind of weapon, I assume..." She runs her fingers through the ends of her hair. "Helm, set a course to take us inside the Klakkr's Drift. Science, send a probe inside to gather data."

Elton's fingers move over her console, initiating one of her already pre planned courses. "Aye, Commander, adjusting course" and bringing up a mirror screen of Science's showing the computer's markers of the possible ships. Makes a slight adjustment on the fly to keep maximum distance while heading as straight to the Drift as possible. "We will need to drop out of warp as we enter the drift, as the gravitational pull will most likely take the warp engines out of alignment. ETA four minutes seventeen seconds."

Jordan ordered the computer to look for other words in Romulan, but without much success. Then he looked more closely at the translated word and saw a circumflex accent above the letter "o." So it was actually "ô." He looked for more instances of that particular letter and noticed an odd similarity; the circumflex appeared by itself several times in an odd sequence. He saw "x^^x^^" and "k^^k^^" and others. The computer never would have noticed this, and he had found it by accident. Chief Goodyear at Starfleet Academy would have been proud. "Sir, I have now noticed a strange sequence of repeating letters and symbols. I have yet to determine what they mean. By the way, could we send a warp capable probe back to take a closer look at the pursuing ship or ships?"

Gelbert looks at Science then the Commander and says "I definitely can see something inside the Drift but I am unsure if it is a vessel. I have a faint reading on long range scans that it is dense, some areas are more dense than others. I confirm with Science about there being three cloaked vessels. I also have that information now. That means there are in total four vessels outside in pursuit of us, and the one unknown dense cloud inside. The Drift is seeming like a better option just now, Commander."

Leni responds in the first instance to the Commander's query on probe type. "Sir, Class 9 Reconnaissance should do the job, a spread forming a cone along the course Helm plots so we can have an expanding tunnel of vision of what's ahead. I'll route the configuration pattern to tactical for deployment and the display onto the main screen when we enter." Returns to the console and sets up trackers on all of the potential targets to chart any movements, though at the moment all static as if just waiting. "Sir it's not possible to detect much more details about what these are, those cloaks are impervious to our technology and the only ones we know of like that are Romulan, the Klingon ones are much cruder designs and leak like blood bags with holes!" She sighs. "I just hope they're not warbirds!" Looks over to Commodore Jordan "That's a good idea! A probe may well improve what we can tell, even if it gets shot down that tells us something!"

Rieko had never been inside a Drift before, "I remember from Science at the Academy that a drift is a "bunching together of space, electrons that were speeded up overtaking the slower moving ones, this caused the density modulation. So yes it is dense, but how dense and what will the environment in there do to us and the ship? Is there an alarming amount of radiation? I remember that was a problem in the Nekrit Expanse. I'll alert sickbay to be ready with hyposprays to help with that, and report on the shields as soon as we enter the drift. I want reports from the probe ASAP. Everyone brace yourselves as we enter." She looks to Intel. Yes Commodore, we can send a probe back to that ship. Tactical send the probe for data on that ship."

Elton takes the ship out of warp and initiates full impulse as we cross the threshold into the drift. "We are now entering the Drift, Commander." She barely notices as the viewscreen starts to flicker. She turns her attention to the screens in front of her instead and starts to concentrate heavily on the information the computer is giving her as she takes in anything that will help her navigate the unknown.

Jordan reconfigured the computer's search function to highlight all occurrences of "character, double circumflex, character, double circumflex" and watched as the results came in. His eyes began to water and his brain felt as scrambled as the data. The computer found an abundance of hits, some with the same character inside the circumflex symbols and others with different characters. Could it be the key to the code? As in, for "x^^x^^" meant "when you see x, substitute the letter x" and "y^^g^^" meant "when you see y, substitute the letter g." He started the computer working separately to decode the message using that code assumption, then sat back and rubbed his eyes. "Trying one different effort at decoding, sir. Maybe this will be the answer."

Gelbert looks in the Direction of her XO and says "Aye Commander, probes launched, but I need to report that the denser stuff is now appearing to move towards us. Oh my Goodness, it is all around the ship which is very curious as we are not traveling very fast, but we've been quickly enveloped by whatever it is."


Re: USS T-Durant Mission TDRP20-05: "Anomalous Drift" 200216

Posted: 200221.0058
by Greenlantern Excelsior

Leni (Lt Cmdr), Science ((Leninah))

Evelyn Rieko (Cmdr), XO/Chief Science

Rain Elton (Ensign), Helm ((Rain Torvalar))

Hal Jordan (Commodore), Intelligence ((GreenLantern Excelsior))

Janet Gelbert (Cmdr), Tactical ((Cheryl Skinstad))

Yellow Alert, entering Klakkr's Drift