Part of USS Resolute: Second Contact

3 – Ghosts and Echoes

Resolute - somewhere in the Thomar Expanse
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“Oh, I’m sorry sir, I didn’t realise you were back on duty” Callahan exclaimed as she looked up and saw Quinn in the doorway of the Resolute’s small science lab. She was sat at his station, and had obviously made herself at home given the couple of coffee mugs and a snack wrapper set on the desk.

“Just cleared by the doc and the counselor,” he said, shrugging off her concern as he stalked into the lab. Callahan logged out quickly and grabbed her stuff to head to one of the secondary stations. He murmured his thanks, even though he hadn’t asked her to move.

Out of curiosity, he logged in and checked what she’d been working on.

“Long range readings on the Volar system?” He looked up to ask.

She nodded, a slight flush mounting on her cheeks. “Yeah. It might be daft, but I remembered something I read on one of the fleet’s science forums a few years back. Something about odd readings that had been picked up in the Thomar expanse that had been mistaken for federation warp signatures.”

“Uh-huh. I thought they’d been put down to sensor echoes, glitches in the systems because they’d been forced to cover larger areas than they were designed for?”

She nodded. “Yeah, but that doesn’t explain one of them. Here, look…”

Hurrying over, she half leaned over the desk as she typed quickly, bringing up another set of readings. Quinn scanned them, then frowned.

“You see it, don’t you?” Callahan asked excitedly. “These here, they look like echoes of ships that we know passed within reach of the beacons in the expanse, but this one… this is not an echo.”

“What warp signature is that?” he asked, already bringing up another screen to search. “Do we have any ships out this way?”

She shook her head, typing again. A second later a map with all the taskforce ships in the expanse was super-imposed over the star map in front of them. There were no blue dots, no taskforce ships, anywhere near their location, nor their intended target system.

“Can we cross reference it to a federation ship?”

She looked at him, her expression solemn. “Yes, sir. That’s the problem. It’s the USS Pendragon. It disappeared with all hands over fourteen years ago.”