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Part of USS Denver: The Fujiwhara Effect and USS Denver: Eye of the Storm

Licking the Wounds

USS Watership
March 8, 2400
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USS Watership – Conference Room – 1715

Cheon sat in silence as his wife sat next to him. She looked at him with worry on her face. She had never seen her husband so worried about something like this. She had done research on theoretical uses for rifts when she was at the academy. However, it had been only a theory at the time and she had never thought anything more about it; until today.

“Beloved,” she said as she looked at her husband.

Cheon turned his head and looked at her. 

“Tell me what is worrying you?” she asked as she reached over and took his hand into hers.

“I don’t know how to approach this. I feel like my feet are weighed down. I have never heard of rifts being able to transport ships to other places,” he confessed as he looked at her.

“I am sure that you will figure this out just like everything else that you have in the past,” she stated in a calming tone.

He knew she was right about that. He had never failed to crack any challenge that had been set before him. He smiled to let her know that she was right. As quickly as it had appeared the smile left. “Let’s just hope that we can crack this one,” he said as he lifted her hand to his lips and gently kissed the top of it.

“We got a lot of data from that. I’m not sure what to make of it, but the tachyons are off the charts.  It’s also emitting a quantum signature very close to our own, but off by point-zero-seven percent.   I don’t know what that means. Yet.”

A moment later…

Crawford stepped into the conference room with Lieutenant Keira Mitsak in tow.  Talon, Cheon, and Seong were seated and discussing the situation.  Peter and his science chief took seats next to each other as Crawford looked to each of the others, “First of all, thank you both for your efforts in keeping my ship and crew in one piece.”  He tapped the in-table LCARS and the display screen at the front of the room flicked on, “Here’s our current damage report.  We’ll be able to field fully-functional shields in the better part of three hours…less if my Chief does what he does best.  Our damage control teams are stabilizing the buckled decks, but we’re evacuating them and relocating what we can just in case.”  He pointed at the marks on the hull, “Chief Kelley tells me the hull damage sounds worse than it is…but we’re taking precautions in the affected areas.  We’ve also got operations and engineering working together on the energizer and power systems to shore them up and get creative with ensuring when we have to do that again, the old girl will be ready.”  He clicked off the display, “As they say, your turn.” He nodded to his old friends and colleagues.

“Sorry about dragging you into this Pete,” Rebecca said with a sigh. “The rift has fully collapsed but sensors are still reading temporal instability at the location.”

Crawford gave her a nod of thanks, “The Watership’s a strong lady, and her crew’s well trained.  We’ll push, pull, or drag this to whatever end is needed.”  He tapped the LCARS on the table again and the Nebula appeared on the screen with the current readings displayed.  “There is a considerable amount of tachyon readings coming off that thing.”  He tapped the console and a chart showing the rise and fall of the readings he was referencing appeared.

Mitsak, the science chief spoke up, “Our teams downstairs have been pouring over the data.  A few think we”ve found a rift to another time, but the presence of the USS Heracles and the other imagery we saw suggests otherwise.”  She took control of the table console and the images from the probes were overlaid with the images from the transmission as she continued, “The captain of the Heracles is our captain, as far as we can tell.  She said, ‘Captain, trust me if I see someone from our side over here I will do my best to get them home’ which suggests they have not yet seen the Zebulon Pike.”  She tapped at the table LCARS once more as various readings played across the screen, “I believe Admiral Talon flagged this specific data point”, she zoomed in, “…a quantum signature off by point-zero-seven percent when compared to our own.”  She sat back in her chair, “Admiral, Captain…our teams are hypothesizing that the rifts in the Nebula are operating like wormholes to another reality…or universe if you will.”  Another image, “There have been significant incursions into and from what we know as The Mirror Universe over the years.  It is not outside of theoretical science that these rifts are connected to another reality very close to our own…but different enough to move the meter on the sensors.”

Crawford frowned, “The captain of the Heracles is right.  We can’t take the Watership into the nebula.”  He paused, “We do have a supply of shuttles and flyers that with reinforced shields and hulls…along with some science calculations…there’s a chance they could make it through.”  He returned his attention to his CSO, “I’m going to regret asking this but what are the odds?”

She spoke bluntly, “We ran various scenarios through the simulator.  Best chance was a 80% with everything and the kitchen sink thrown into the mix.  Worst was 25% with nothing.”  A pause, “We don’t have enough information to know the state of any of the political players over there.  The Heracles looked to be in the middle of something.”

“Time travel gives me a headache…” Rebecca said with a sigh. “Mirror universes are worse, but that seems like the best explanation.   Before we start sending shuttles and flyers through rifts we better know exactly what we are dealing with.” Suddenly an idea occurred to her, “You said wormhole.  Perhaps we can do something to establish communications through the rift. Obviously, the same method can’t be used as they did for the Bajoran Wormhole. However, we have over twenty-five years of better understanding of the workings of wormholes.”

The Watership’s Chief Science Officer leaned forward, “Admiral Talon makes a good point.”  She tapped at the console on the table, bringing up missions reports from USS Voyager, “There was an occasion where this occurred.  Trying to remember from my academy days…,” she applied the search function until the report appeared on the screen, “There.  Early on in the USS Voyager’s journey, it found a very small wormhole that they were able to send messages through.  The portal eventually closed but it proved that it could be done.”

“If I recall correctly they were able to even get a transporter signal through to beam in a Romulan officer to Voyager and back,” Rebecca added.

Crawford nodded, “You’re right…I remember how that changed how we looked at wormholes.”  He leaned back in his chair, “I think we can punch through with a communications channel without too much danger to the Watership.  Involving the transporters…that’s an entirely different story.  If we send anyone in…I doubt we’d be able to bring them back.  They’d have to find their way back.”

Talon intoned, “Let’s learn more about what we’re dealing with.  We don’t need more officers lost in the ether.”

Peter turned to his science chief, “Recommendations?”

Lieutenant Mitsak turned to face the others in the room, “I think Admiral Talon’s communication suggestion is our best bet at the moment.  We know the Heracles is in there somewhere.  Given the short amount of time we had to talk with her, this might help us get a better idea of what’s happening over there…and how they got there.  We need as much information as we can get to figure out how to resolve this situation.”

Rebecca stood, ready to act.  She wasn’t one to wait once a plan was set into motion, “Then I say we get to work.”

Captain Crawford stood, “We have our assignments.  Let’s get to work.”