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Warp Signature on the Dotted Line

Posted on Wed Oct 10th, 2018 @ 7:25am by Lieutenant Commander Merzia Jalel & Lieutenant M & Lieutenant Casey Washburn & Lieutenant JG Jonathan Forrest

Mission: The Eyes of Janus
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: MD 01 | 16.00

"I thank you for your enthusiasm, Jonathan, but we’re not ready for an away team just yet. For now, I want you, Mara, and Wash going over our data on their warp drive, as well as any other technology we can observe. See if you can determine if their technology has been acquired rather than developed. I’ll assist you where I can."

The walls of the turbolift gently strobed as it made its way through the USS Palatine. In another situation, it might have been almost relaxing, but Merzia had spent much of the day talking to the diplomatic corps via subspace relay and reading up on first contact protocols. Too many screens. Plus, there were several competing sources of advice about how to handle the situation, based on scientific, strategic, and diplomatic priorities. Now, the light just pulsed against her retinas, and she could feel the beginnings of a headache settling in. Hopefully, tonight she'd get the holoprojectors to set up a wood fire in her quarters, and she could turn down the lights, drink some warm Grodolken spice mead, and forget about politics for a while.

For now, she needed to find out what the engineering team had discovered. At least it was only unraveling a warp core, nothing as complex as politics. As she rounded the corner into the hall of main engineering, she noted them gathered together around the main display table.

"Lieutenants," Merzia called out as she approached, "How has your research progressed? Do we know if this is indigenous technology yet?"

Jonathan had, of course, done his job, or at least he had made an attempt at doing so. But, he was by no means an engineer. He had struggled in those classes, he'd only taken the ones that were required, at the Academy. And he was more of an intuitive thinker.

"Well," he ventured, "you might be asking the wrong person, but from what I've found it looks imported."

"It's tricky," added Mara. "It doesn't look entirely of their own, but enough of it does to lead me to believe they did at least some of the work. It looks almost like they stumbled upon someone else's warp ship and then reverse engineered it." She sighed. "Whether they stumbled upon a crashed ship or a landed one is another question entirely."

Wash gave a nod, and a small grunt of agreement. “Their antimatter injector assembly alone is way more efficient than we would expect to see on a warp prototype.” He walked to the other side of the console and turned to face his colleagues directly. “Whether they found a ship and reverse-engineered it, or the technology was gifted to them....I don’t think we have enough information to say.”

"Hmm. That definitely steps up the timetable for opening contact, then," Merzia said with a frown, "The most likely people to own such a ship would be the Romulans, and if they come looking for their lost ship, they may beat us to it. If they haven't already." She took a deep breath, shelving the thought for later. "What else have you determined about the ship itself? Are they armed? How maneuverable are they?"

"It seems clumsy, but I don't know if that's the ship itself or an inexperienced pilot," replied Mara. "We could learn more if we watched for a couple of days- providing they make regular trips."

"It won't take me long to figure out if it's an inexperienced pilot at the helm," Jonathan replied.

“They have no obvious tactical systems,” stated Wash. “they don’t appear to even have deflector dish technology.

"Are there any other capabilities to note? Have they developed tractor beams yet?" Merzia asked.

“There is no evidence of tractor beam capability,” said Wash. “But scans have shown basic artificial gravity generation. Deflector shields and tractor beams should follow in a decade or so.”

“That’s relieving to hear,” Merzia said, “If worst comes to worst and hostilities begin, we should be able to retreat from their system without casualties to either side. Jonathan, keep an eye on our telemetry of their warp runs. See if you can figure out what they’ve learned about warp piloting so far. Instruction from you might be a useful opening offer when we introduce ourselves.” She gave them all a smile, “You’ve done good work. Carry on.”

"Yes ma'am," Jonathan said, I have some ideas in mind, but I'll put a report together for you."


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