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Part of USS Mariner: M3: Let Loose the Beast of War and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

15) The Stakes are High

USS Mariner - Science Observation Lab
September 2401
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The observation lab was a mess and the least damaged across the ship. That was a win by itself. However, the power the lab was receiving, and the sensor data were minimal as it was diverted to sickbay and engineering, which needed more. Yet this room would be vital to navigating and recording everything they could about the underspace. Dacio rushed with Vaikan into the room. “Work on the sensor data and try to squeeze every power you can that Taritt allows to get a better view of what we are dealing with, where we are, and how the hell it could happen.” 

The Vulcan gave a brief nod while walking toward one of the operational consoles and started to enter her parameters and inquiry request. “Mister Tharek, what are you doing there?" She had noticed the coridanite sitting on the ground, looking at a projecting view of the outside.

Dacio looked over at the other console, seeing Tharek mesmerized by what he was looking at. “Chief Petty Officer Tharek? Are you okay?” 

His concentration was broken, and he looked at his side, seeing Dacio, and then at the other side, seeing Vaikan standing there. “Oh, well….yes, I am. I didn't notice you guys entered. What is the condition of the ship? I have had trouble with the sensor logs and was….well, looking at that." He pointed at the projected live feed of the underspace.

Looking at the projection, Dacio nodded. “The ship is in bad condition; Commander Valerio is doing his best to get power systems back and our engine operational again. Lieutenant Scott will be ….” He looked at Vaikan, who had stopped and looked in his direction, “…out of commission for at least a week. Her injuries are significant, but she is stable and placed under surveillance by the medical team.” 

As she had learned from her years of training at Vulcan, Vaikan did not show any emotions. Instead, she redirected her attention to the console while her mind was distracted by her worries for her friend. She had heard about the incident and what her friend had done. It had shocked her at first, but she managed to process it and focus on the task at hand: surviving. 

“That, that is good news,” Tharek stated as he stood up. Now, they could see that he had some dry blood on his uniform from an old wound. I mean, we are getting power to the sensors. The data I could gather only referenced this place as something unlikely…”

“Underspace,” Dacio finished his sentence as his eyes focused on Tharek's wrist, which had dry blood. He figured that he would have shown it if Tharek was still in pain. Looking back at Tharek, “I have already made a cross-reference in our system, and the criteria meet up with Underspace. Voyager first had to deal with it; after that, we had some ships in the Delta Quadrant that also had to deal with it.” 

Vaikan hums a bit at the given information while looking at the data. “But we were at Beta Quadrant?” she concludes. “How is it possible that a phenomenon such as Underspace is appearing here?” 

Leaning against the console, Dacio let his head hang for a second. “That I don't know or can explain yet. The Underspace itself is a big mystery, as the Turei kept most information to themselves when they proclaimed to be the guardians of this space.” Dacio looked at the projector. “This should, by all accounts, not have happened. Petty Officer checks the database for any phenomena that are aligned with this to have happened before.” 

With a brief nod, Vaikan started the database search. “I should be able to get it within 30 to 45 minutes.” She gave herself a deadline, so there was a goal. 

Tapping his chin as Tharek had his other arm under him, looking at the projector, he said, “If this is Underspace, then the world of astrometric and stellar cartography will be changed forever. The Turei, or whoever they might be, have no say in what we do with this opportunity. They control and safeguard Delta Quadrant.” Looking at Dacio, “This could be the beginning of a new era of exploration for us.”

The endless possibilities were indeed there. The sudden appearance was daunting and amazing, even with its violent nature. Dacio couldn't deny the sweet taste of scientific exploration that this opportunity could present. But the sudden appearance could also mean something else. “This ….theoretic, of course….” He started looking at them both. “If this appeared near the Romulan and Klingon borders, out of nowhere. What would it mean if such an expansion from Delta Quadrant to hear?” 

They both went quiet as Tharek and Vaikan exchanged looks. “Well, from a scientific point of view and the nature of the Underspace, it would be unlikely there will be one root,” Vaikan stated, looking back at Dacio. “It would mean that the Underspace has expanded and potentially reached more locations than the one we got sucked into.” 

Giving a brief nod to the conclusion, Tharek followed up, “That would mean that this appearance in Beta Quadrant is not just there, but the likelihood that it appears in the different quadrant is significantly relatively high. Do other species have access to and use this network as they see fit?” 

It was still a zero-factor theory, and nothing was proven yet. But Dacio couldn't deny that it was a worry that gave him a chill down his spine. The idea that the Klingon Empire was in a civil war, the Cardassians, or even the Borg, had potential access to such tech was more terrifying than he wanted to admit. He broke off his stare from the projection. “Chief Petty Officer, start mapping this corridor. Petty Officer, get me those scan results and cross-reference them. I will focus on processing the data for the navigational system so that our helmsman can get us out of here when the time comes.” He saw the two nodding at him and started their task. 

  • Dacio Bruno

    Assistant Chief Science Officer
    Hazard Team Scientist

  • Vaikan

    Cosmology Specialist

  • Tharek

    Astrometrics Officer