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Part of USS Polaris: Entropic Foliations of the Galactic Fabric and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

The Lab Rat And The Spy

Captain's Ready Room, USS Serenity
Mission Day 9 - 1700 Hours
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“The lab rat and the spy, what a curious pair,” Captain Lewis furled his brow as an unlikely duo stepped through the threshold into his dimly lit Ready Room. “If the two of you have come to see me, of all people, I gather things must be going swimmingly over on the Polaris.” Not since the affair with the Watchers of Talvath had Dr. Lockwood willingly sought him out, and Captain Lewis had never hidden his feelings about Lieutenant Command Sena.

“They’re going a bit too swimmingly,” Dr. Lockwood explained as he and his Romulan colleague took their seats opposite the haggard old spook. “You see, our Klingon friends, they’ve come up to speed a little too quickly, and already they seem more acquainted with the curious anomaly than my own team.” And his team had spent the last week and a half studying it. The Klingons had revealed themselves mere hours ago.

“Sounds like you’re salty your wizkids have been one-upped by a bunch of burly brutes,” Captain Lewis chuckled. He enjoyed every opportunity he got to poke at the proud and pompous physicist. “Did you ever consider that maybe they’re simply smarter than you?” 

Next to Dr. Lockwood, the Romulan expat cracked a smile.

“It is possible a foreign power could be ahead of us,” Dr. Lockwood acknowledged, ignoring the Captain’s antics. “But singularities are more of a Romulan thing.” He looked over at Lieutenant Commander Sena. Her people, as opposed to the Federation or the Klingons, leveraged artificial singularities at the heart of their vessels.

“On this one, I concur with Dr. Lockwood,” Lieutenant Commander Sena agreed. “It’s not just that they seem more fluent than they should be. It’s also that they knew more about this than they should have when they arrived.” In her prior life, subterfuge had come with the territory, and the moment Dr. Lockwood had come to visit her, her spidey senses had gone off.

“How do you figure?” Captain Lewis raised a brow.

“This is what they brought with them,” Lieutenant Commander Sena explained as she slid a PADD across the desk. On it were the details that General Golroth had provided about the field generators, coils, stabilizers, and control system carried aboard his flagship. “I’ve never seen technology like this from the Klingons, and certainly never aboard one of their battlecruisers.”

As Captain Lewis read, he stroked his chin. While the mechanics were beyond him, he saw what had brought the pair to him. “Is there any other reason they would just be cruising around with this stuff aboard their ship?”

“Not that I can think of,” Lieutenant Commander Sena shook her head. “Not unless the Klingons suddenly developed an interest in subspace warfare.” To Polaris Squadron, it could solve their current problem, but to the Romulan, what she saw on the PADD was a potential weapon.

“You’re sure?”

“Put it this way, Captain,” the Romulan replied as her eyes grew dark. “In my past life, if we had any hint the Klingons were pursuing this line of research, we would have made sure it met an abrupt end.” The Tal’Shiar would never have risked letting their rivals develop a technology that could, with enough refinement, compromise the singularity at the heart of their warbirds. “But frankly, we never thought we had to worry about this sort of thing. The High Council’s obsession with honor through combat has stunted their development in all other fields.”

“You say that,” Captain Lewis observed. “But here it is.”

“Yes, a technology neither your people, nor mine, knew they possessed,” Sena nodded, a sense of concern across her face. “And it just so happens to appear right here, right when we need it, offered with no strings attached. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd?” She’d been in the business long enough to no longer believe in happy coincidences.

“I don’t disagree,” Captain Lewis agreed. He looked over at Dr. Lockwood. “Does it work as they suggest it would?”

“Ensign Vok confirmed the math,” Dr. Lockwood confirmed. “And based on what they’ve shared, Lieutenant Commander Sena and I believe it is absolutely possible that the control plane and stabilizers may have the precision to avoid the decoherence that would lead to catastrophic consequences.”

“Catastrophic?”

“Yes, catastrophic,” nodded Dr. Lockwood, debating how to make his explanation relatable to the plebian across the table from him. “Think of the Vespara system like a pool, and the singularity like a wave machine producing gravitons that pull the planet inward. Introduce another wave machine, this one producing an inversion in tetryon harmonics, and you can, with a precisely matched frequency and amplitude, nullify the graviton waves. However, if they’re not aligned just right, instead of destructive interference, it becomes constructive.”

“I see…” Captain Lewis nodded, the gears turning in his head. He didn’t understand the finer mechanics, but there was one thing he did recognize. “So it could be a weapon, couldn’t it?” The Klingons had been scrapping for a fight with the Romulans ever since Romulus fell, and the changing of the guard on Qo’noS had only intensified the tension on the border. 

“Not this iteration, no,” Dr. Lockwood shook his head. “The field generator is very close range. They’ll have to park the Neg’Vhar right in the ergosphere of the singularity to use it, and that close, if the harmonics produce a constructive waveform, they wouldn’t have time to flee the shockwave before being destroyed.”

“Alright, not a weapon in its current form,” Captain Lewis acknowledged. “But its potential as a weapon would almost certainly be why the Klingons went down this line of research.” It wasn’t like the Klingons to be researching the wacky and weird simply for their own edification.

“My thoughts exactly,” Lieutenant Commander Sena nodded. “And while I harbor no love for the opportunists that have risen to power in the shadow of Romulus, I still care for my people so I’d suggest extreme discretion as it relates to making their technology any better.” She stole a frigid glance at Dr. Lockwood, who, when he first came to her, was already ideating on how to expand on the technology aboard the Neg’Vhar.

“I get it, dear,” Dr. Lockwood assured her. “I get it.” After she’d initially voiced her concerns, he’d called straight down to the lab to caution them to do nothing more than assess what the Klingons had, and to hold their own thoughts close to the chest. “Don’t feed the coyotes.”

Captain Lewis made a mental note though, when all this was done, that they’d want to pass this research along to Beckett and Neidlinger. He didn’t like the idea of the Klingons having it, but if Starfleet could weaponize it? That could be a strong deterrent for when, as he was certain they would, Sena’s people rose again. He then shifted gears to another point the astrophysicist had made: “And what did you mean by a shockwave?”

“Are you familiar with what almost happened to Lemma II in 2368?”

“Yes, the runaway soliton wave,” Captain Lewis nodded. “I was a second year cadet at the time, and one of my colleagues interned on Bilana III that summer. If I recall correctly, it was only the last second intervention of the USS Enterprise that saved Lemma II from what would have been almost certain disaster?”

“Well, this would be similar,” Dr. Lockwood explained. “It would turn the singularity from attractor to repulsor.” And, as opposed to the experiment conducted by the Science Institute of Bilana III, this one couldn’t be stopped by detonating a few quantum torpedoes.

“Pushing the planet away from it? That doesn’t sound so bad.”

“It does if you consider the amplification coming from the potential energy baked into the compressed foliations of the subspace manifold,” Dr. Lockwood warned. “With the tetryon waveform pushing the amplitude further, the force of the shockwave would be devastating. At minimum, it would destroy every anthropogenic structure on the surface, and it might, if the waveforms overlapped just right, even destabilize the molten core of the planet itself.”

“Oh,” Captain Lewis sighed. Why couldn’t it ever just be a simple solution? “So what are you going to tell Reyes?”

“Ensign Vok thinks he has come up with an approach by which we can test partial nullification,” Dr. Lockwood added. “If we can see that the Klingon technology is phase matching correctly at lower amplitude, we can then crank it up slowly…”

“So you’re going to tell her to go forward?”

“Yes, with guardrails.”

“And Sena, what are your thoughts?”

“Warily, I agree with Dr. Lockwood,” Lieutenant Commander Sena replied. “My issue is not with the science, but that the Klingons have it.”

The real question, then, was who was this Klingon general they were putting their faith in? And how had he and his colleagues come into possession of this technology? And, for that matter, how had they just happened to show up in the right place at the right time? That was where Captain Lewis fit in. “Then I think, on the eve of this grand experiment, we ought to invite our Klingon friends out for drinks.”

Comments

  • This is a very interesting point of view for the story, there is a lot of suspicion that the Klingons are there for something more then their own ideals of being a hero. So I kinda have to go with team sus about their intention as there is def a hidden agenda. I loved the brainstorming or complot theories that are thrown into this post seeing how the helpful hand of the Klingons being in it for weapons. Looking forward to more!

    July 7, 2024
  • Jake Lewis

    Squadron Intelligence Officer
    USS Serenity Commanding Officer

  • Luke Lockwood, Ph.D.

    ASTRA Lead, Astrophysical & Exotic Sciences
    Chief Science Officer

  • Sena

    ASTRA Research Fellow, Xenotechnology