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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 3 – Island of the Damned (IOTD)

IOTD 007 – Jade Dilithium

USS Mackenzie
12.26.2400 @ 1800
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Fowler handed Harris the report, “It’s talking.  And you’re not going to like what it says.”  He sat in the briefing room as his science chief reported on her team’s findings.  T’saath sat across the table from him, fingers steepled in thought as she listened.  Reid and Atega sat, PADDs in hand.  Sadie continued, “We were able to interpret some of it through the translator.  You were right.  It’s Vulcan.  Old Vulcan.  The Commander was able to verify that it’s one of a few dialects that have faded with time.”  She tapped at her PADD, “There are references to Arretans and the blood of revenge that requires shedding.  Another word repeated often was ‘Ashv’cezh.’  The transport captain also reported that word to you, sir.”

Ambrose groused, “The meaning remains the same. ‘Revenge worse than death,’ and it spooked the transport captain enough for him to take off running into space.”

The science chief returned to her report, “Atega took a closer look when she came back from Dozaria with her own messages.  It took us some time to put it all together.  We have a theory.”

T’saath pointed out, “It is not a theory I support, Captain.  It is not logical.”

Harris stared at her for a moment.  “Commander, it may not be logical, but it is better than the significant lack of logical explanations available to explain this scenario.  Do you have a logical explanation for the evidence, scans, reports, and data they’ve gathered?”

The XO remained placid and glanced at her commanding officer.  He was right.  Logic wasn’t answering the questions.  “Not at this time, sir.”

Harris returned his attention to Fowler and motioned for her to continue, “We think the temple wasn’t a temple at all and that the Arretans that were there as a punishment or a prison of some kind.  We’re unsure if it was just the Arretans that were secured, as there hasn’t been evidence to discern what was taken.  A further theory suggests there may be more…things that were released by the Palasa in their exploration.  That one would require on-site investigation.”

Ambrose sighed, “Do we know what connection the Blood Dilithium shares with the…alleged Arretans?”

Fowler glanced at the XO and back to her CO. “We have a theory.”  Harris leaned back in his chair to listen.  She started with, “We think the Arratans may have transferred someone or something into regular dilithium…but how it managed to get all the power and characteristics, it has now…that we’re still trying to work out.  Chief Katsumi’s got her team examining the data downstairs, but they’re as confused as we are.  The truth is that the Jade stuff could be connected to the Arretans…but it could also be connected to whatever else was being held in this prison place.  We’ve reached out to Vulcan High Command and the Vulcan Science Academy…but I’m not confident they’ll know either.  The language in use is ancient by most Vulcan standards.  If records were kept about this place…I’m not sure they’d have survived this long.”

Harris thought in the silence that followed.  They had few choices on the table, and none of them were favorable.  “I suspect your recommendation is to continue looking and investigating around us and deeper into the Expanse.”

Sadie wished she had better news.  She wished they could go home if she were honest.  She instead answered with, “You are correct, sir.  We only have so many variables and data points to manipulate and examine through our various systems.  The computer’s pretty hesitant to even run a scenario given what we know – it runs the gamut of just a simple answer to the end of the galaxy and reality itself.  It’s not a pretty spectrum of predictions at the moment.”

Ambrose turned to T’saath.  “Commander, your recommendations?”

The Vulcan looked at her captain and then at the others in the room.  It was unavoidable, and it lacked logical and rational explanations.  “Lieutenant Fowler is right.  Without further data, we’re unable to make a logical and informed conclusion.  I recommend we continue our search but with a heightened awareness of our surroundings.”

Harris stood from the table, “Then let’s get going.  Commander, have Mr. Prentice set us on a course for this planet where Palasa did what they did.  Yellow alert and careful as we go.”

She gave a nod and headed for the door but stopped and turned to ask, “And of Gul Hasara?”

He sighed, “Almost forgot about him.  Bring him to my ready room.  The three of us are going to need to figure out how we’re all going to work together.”  The room was soon empty, and he found the large windows and leaned up against them, staring into the darkness of space.

Strange new worlds, indeed.