Posted on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 @ 2:51pm by Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Mission 1: Unscheduled Madness
Location: Science Labs
Timeline: sometime after Unscheduled Science
Vriha rubbed her eyes and sighed. She had promised Nokomis regular reports on progress, and so far each one had been little more a detailed list of possible causes that had eliminated. It looked like the next one might be as well. The Docotr's last report had indicated that the brain scans obtained during an episode of the madness that so many crew members had experienced bore similarities to old records of a crew exposed to interphasic space. Except that the madness was intermittent. And scans showed no evidence of such a region nearby.
Besides, the phenomenon was not known to affect warp engines. Vriha had not just dismissed the idea on that basis. In fact, she had spent most of Beta shift working out the theoretical physics to prove that interphasic subspace could exist and that it could impinge on subspace in ways that wouldn't show in standard scans of normal space. Modified scans however had shown no such interphasic subspace region. And yet, there were traces, glimmers... Vriha kept feeling as though she was close. As though the answer was right there, if she just looked at it right way, followed the right thread...
Vriha blinked as the concept hit her. Her fingers flew over the data console, adjusting parameters, filtering, checking, filtering again.
Finally, there it was. The evidence assembled and constructed on her screen. Tendrils of interphasic subspace penetrating a layer of subspace, sparsely at the extremes of the region, but at the nexus in such concentration that normal subpace was reduced to a fractal distribution. She stared at it in near disbelief.
...and then in more serious disbelief. What if she was hallucinating? It had happened before, when she'd been so focused on the idea of a cloaked enemy as cause that she'd been certain she'd seen a Breen ship. She needed confirmation. A second set of eyes. But Eilaea wasn't due to check in on her for another hour, and she was loathe to take her from her duties in engineering for what might be a delusion. And hesitant given that Commander Nokomis might be in engineering and accompany her, which could result in revocation of extended work hours, and worse, a trip to medbay for monitoring. A hallucination revealed to the Chief Science Officer would almost result in monitoriing. The very idea of her thoughts being watched made Vriha shudder.
No, she needed independent confirmation, as soon as possible and from someone well outside the chain of command. Seeing no one in the lab nearby, she headed swiftly out into the corridor, looking. There. A dark-skinned human whose rank was no higher than her own. Better yet, he was uniform was science blue.
Walking over swiftly, she stopped in front of him. "I require your eyes."
"My... my eyes?" he stammered, brows rising in alarm at the sudden appearance the Romulan in front of him. Given the delusions others had been experiencing, he wasn't sure whether to fear he was hallucinating, or fear that the Romulan was real, and possibly hallucinating a need for an eye donor...
Recognizing signs of alarm, Vriha was pleased to see that he was evidently both rational and intelligent, but quickly explained so as not to chase him off. "Do not be alarmed. I merely require independent confirmation of a finding."
Zain breathed a quiet sigh of relief. It was just a simple cross-cultural miscommunication. "Ah. A second set of eyes. Sure, I'll be glad to help."
"Yes, I was referencing the phrase 'a second set of eyes'," Vriha replied, ushering him back toward the lab. "Did I use the idiom incorrectly?"
"No, just... " ~It would have been better if it was said in a way that didn't make me think I was going to be dissected.~ he thought, but decided that wouldn't be the best way for him to put it. "...your delivery could use a little work."
Vriha tipped her head to the side, trying for a moment to decode that, but deciding it could wait. "I shall consider it. The immediate issue however is here." She indicated the screen. "What do you see?"
Zain studied the display image, a three dimensional rendering of what he assumed given the rest of the display was some region of subspace, but that looked like a jumble of tangled shimmering strands running through something vaguely fuzzy. He looked from it to her and back again. If he remembered correctly, one of the Romulans on board was reputed to be science prodigy, which meant bluffing past his general ignorance of subspace physics was probably out of the question. "I assume this some weird subspace layer, but honestly? It looks like a big semi-translucent hairball with extra long hairs squiggling out in every direction."
"A semi-translucent... hairball..." Vriha repeated slowly, hardly believing her pointed ears. On one hand, it was not a completely inaccurate description of the image on the screen, on the other... "You are in the science department?"
"Yes. In xenoarchaeology," he admitted sheepishly.
Vriha laughed. She couldn't help it. Of all the people she might have grabbed for this, she got a scientist whose knowledge of subspace was probably limited to a Starfleet 'intro to' class. BUT partly t was relief. He might not understand what he was seeing, but he had confirmed that she wasn't seeing things. "Do not be offended. I am simply very relieved to know that my perception was not illusory. Come with me. We must report this."
Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion