USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Analysing The Shuttle

Posted on Thu Jul 27th, 2017 @ 4:43pm by Lieutenant JG Finn Fulton & Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass & Lieutenant JG Xiulan Song & Lieutenant Megan Atkinson & Lieutenant Emilie Delameilleure

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Main Shuttlebay
Timeline: Mission Day 101; 08:30

Claudia had decided to wait for the shuttle's analysis to commence the day after they departed from Nova Mercia. With Emilie in charge of the investigation she had assembled a multi-skilled team to help her with the analysis. The Belgian Lieutenant waited patiently for everyone to arrive before getting underway with the analysis.

"Good morning everyone. I have called you all here because I feel you are the best people to take this thing apart and work out where the hell it came from. As a breakdown I'd like Mr Fulton to work on the engines, Ms Song to access the database, Mr Hendrick to work on the tactical systems and Mr M'Rohass - I'd like you to work on the navigational logs. I will assist Ms Song with accessing the database. Any questions?" Emilie said.

Finn was standing, engineering kit wrapped over his shoulder, coffee mug still in his hands. For some reason, he was not a morning person this morning. "None Lieutenant."

"It would be helpful to know some details about this shuttle; some of us have only just arrived and have not yet been apprised of the situation," Xiulan spoke up. "Is the shuttle native to the area, and what condition is it in? And how did the Vindex come across it? Just for starters." If she was called in, it meant a new language, and context could help when analyzing new languages.

"We know nothing about the shuttle Lieutenant. It was found crashed on a planet and we have to take it to Starbase Unity. While there's no pressure on us to do a full analysis in that time the Captain would like us to give them a head start with it at the very least" Emilie responded.

"Unless there is anything unforeseen I'll be able to give the engineers a good work up on the engines, warp, impulse and whatever else it may have," Finn replied, still clutching his warm mug in his hands and towards his chest like a security blanket. It would wake him fully just shortly.

Ja'tah stood quietly and listened. The Klingon-Human mongrel had not been called upon, and he had not performed any assessment on which to base an opinion. While the others talked, though, he raised his boot to toe the external weapons port on the fore of the shuttle. His grim nod gave a respectful appreciation for its capabilities.

"Whoever fashioned this shuttle is not to be underestimated," he thought out loud, whether to himself or others.

"Well," Arturo said. "Shall we begin? I'll just go see if I can make sense of the navigational computer..."

Arturo had walked up to what appeared to be the hatch to the strange shuttle. There were some buttons on a panel to the left of the hatch. He shrugged and reached out to start pressing the buttons at random until the hatch opened but stopped when he was overtaken by a sudden attack of good sense.

"Has anyone here actually been inside this vessel?" Arturo asked. "Does someone know how to open the hatch? It would be a very bad day for all of us and the rest of the crew as well if there's some kind of booby trap set to go off if the wrong sequence is used. I would not like to be the booby caught in that trap."

Ja'tah scanned the vessel with his tricorder. "I do not detect power to any identifiable systems. Any traps or safeguards would be mechanical in nature, and given the state of the shuttle I doubt its occupants would have had the opportunity to improvise."

"Regard me," he said to Arturo with a respectful but dismissive hand on his shoulder. "Computer, generate a level 10 force field around the shuttle."

A flash of light and the computer's customary warble were the only indications that Ja'tah was now enclosed inside a nearly impenetrable bubble. Without hesitation, he withdrew his sidearm phaser and began cutting a hole around the hatch.

The hunk of metal quickly fell to the deck with a clang. Ja'tah returned the phaser to his hip and exchanged it for his tricorder. A moment's scan confirmed his estimations.

"No explosive ordnance, corrosive compounds, or active biological cultures detected," he reported from his scan. "Computer, deactivate force field."

He stepped back to the group and nodded to Emilie and Arturo.

Emilie climbed through the hatch into the craft's cabin. The first thing she wanted to do was get it powered up - and she delegated that task to Finn. There was no point trying anything until some degree of power could be restored.

"Mr Fulton I'd like you to try and get some power flowing through these circuits" Emilie said.

"Yes, Sir," Finn replied. The Engineer went outside to a small crate he had brought up with some additional tools and equipment. He retrieved his engineering tool kit and a small, portable power cell. Heading into the shuttle Finn dropped to the floor, turned to be on his back and slid under a panel where the power control systems would be.

Sliding a wall panel and a console panel that was underneath he was met with a practically dead system. There were very few signs of life other than an intermittent blinking light. That would be the spot he would attach the temporary power cell. It surged through the system, bringing very few systems online, at least to a scannable level. Pulling his tricorder out from the slot on his left hip, Finn began to assess any damage or things that generally wouldn't be working like they should, or at least how they should as far as he could tell.

After pulling out an internlink sequencer, a phase matrix recalibratior and a synchronic meter, the ship was able to splutter signs of life and a working power matrix.




With power now active Emilie decided to activate the shuttle's lighting. When it was active they were in for a surprise - the maximum setting was barely bright enough for those present to navigate around the craft without the use of a torch.

Turning to the language specialist after sitting next to a console in the command area of the craft Emilie was eager to get things rolling. She didn't like the dark and unfamiliar craft one bit - although she hoped there would be a reward at the end of it.

"Alright Ms Song shall we get this on the road?" Emilie said.

Xiulan had absolutely no problem with the lack of light; she followed Emilie's heat signature through the hatch and into the shuttle, and when the Tactical Officer sat at the pilot console, Xiulan slid into the co-pilot seat in the inky darkness.
"Okay, let's see what we've got here..." she said as she took her tactile PaDD from her duty jacket and set it on the console to see if it the shuttle was in any way compatible with Starfleet tech.
The PaDD would normally translate visual output into tactile format that Xiulan could read with her sensitive fingers, but all it was doing now was giving her an incompatibility error. No matter, she had a tricorder designed specifically to help her with this, which she opened and set on the console to scan for writing on the console and within the cabin, and while it was processing those scans she let her fingers roam over the surface of the console to get a feel for the design and the creativity of the designers.

"Glyphs," Xiulan remarked as her fingers game across indentations. "Glyphs are problematic," she added, a frown forming on her face. Her tricorder beeped, indicating that it was done scanning, and so she moved her hands to her tactile PaDD to begin taking in even more glyphs. Then the dim lights came on and consoles illuminated, revealing even more glyphs on her tactile PaDD. "I've worked with glyphs before, but these are... unusual. The tricorder don't know what to make of it, so give me a moment," she finally said in response to Emilie.

Arturo stood behind the tactical officer.

"If you wouldn't mind, Lieutenant," he said. "I'd like to get a look at that console and see if I can access anything that looks like a flight log. If you wouldn't mind finding somewhere else to sit?"

"We need to get this computer active before we can do anything Lieutenant. I'll be out of your way once it's up and running" Emilie replied.

"Sir," Ja'tah called out to Emilie. "I could use assistance in the identification and cataloging of the external weapons array."

Emilie nodded. "I won't be a second. Once this computer's working I can join you...if we can find the 'on' switch I can allow Ms Song to have a go at trying to translate it"

"I'll be outside looking at the sublight engines," Finn began, "I'll head in to check some internals and warp capabilities when there is a little more room." He popped himself out, dusted himself down and began a visual inspection of his assigned tasks.




With the computer up and running Emilie joined Ja'tah to assist with the weapons array. At least she was back in her comfort zone working on energy weapons and projectiles rather than trying to work out how to activate an alien computer.

"Interesting...these weapons appear to have adjustable beam settings" Emilie mused.

Ja'tah nodded. "I suspect they could adjust more than beam intensity," he said, pointing to each segment of the tactical system. "Standard phaser arrays are nadion-based, as you well know, and rely upon generating a sustained nadion pulse. The modulation matrix appears to shift from a particle-beam to a forced plasma stream -- not unlike the Ferengi design, but if I am correct, its potential would rival that of the Borg."

He stepped back to allow Emilie a closer look. "It may be prudent to consider the builders of this craft would have us out-gunned in a dogfight."

Emilie studied the weapon and quickly scanned it with her tricorder. The results weren't comforting in the slightest - these weapons were powerful and even for a craft the size of a Danube-class runabout it would be able to hold its own against larger opponents.

"I would be inclined to agree with you on that one. We should remove one of these weapons so we can analyse it for ourselves. It will give us a chance of forming some kind of defence against this thing if their friends come looking for them" Emilie replied.

"Hmm..." Arturo said, now sitting in what he presumed was the pilot's chair. "This appears to be a flight log of some kind...I think. I mean, these here could be co-ordinates, if these symbols here are numbers, and these here axis indicators. They've politely highlighted what could be their point of origin and their point of destination. It looks like the last time their flight computer marked their location was at these coordinates here. Xiulan, can you tell me what these symbols are? At least which letters and which are numbers?"

Arturo turned his chair in such a way as to allow Xiulan access so she could use her braile PaDD to 'read' the symbols he was talking about.

"Uhh, lemme see..." Xiulan said as she switched gears to look at what Arturo found. "I'm still working on deciphering the symbols, but this could be our Rosetta Stone; if there's one constant in the galaxy, it's how various civilizations chart a course through space, it typically ends up pretty similar, and this does look to be like some sort of stellar chart. I can't give you coordinates, but I think there's enough reference points for the computer to identify the starting point."

"Excellent work as always," Arturo said. "If we can identify some of these coordinates and compare their charts to ours, I should be able to find these locations on our charts, which will tell us where they came from...in theory."

"If I can translate the stellar readings into variables recognized by our systems, then that should help in identifying the sector to look in," Xiulan said as input some data into her tricorder. A moment later her tricorder beeped and she checked the results on her tactile PaDD. "Okay, good news, our systems recognizes the readings for stellar components and radiation, and I think I can download this entire directory for you. You should be able to take this to Astrometrics to identify the area of space, and I can also use this to start running a few deciphering algorithms to translate the text."

"Thank you," Arturo said. "How big a file is it? Can you put it on my PaDD or should we download it directly to Stellar Cartography?"

"I think a PaDD should be fine, so gimme; I'm translating everything I can into our system format, so this will take a moment. Just remember, all labels will be in the original glyphs until I can get those figured out." As Arturo handed her the PaDD, she linked it with her tricorder to begin downloading the stellar charts and data. While that was running, she decided to start working on the cipher to translate these glyphs. "Computer, establish link with unidentified shuttle and the linguistic database."

"Processing," the Vindex computer replied, followed by a series of chimes to indicate that the computer was attempting to establish the requested link up. "Link established."

"Great, let's try... Computer, run translation key Song-Alpha-three-one," Xiulan ordered, and immediately the computer chimed in confirmation and new data appeared on her tactile PaDD, to which she frowned. "Cancel that, run key Song-Alpha-four-nine." Again, the computer chimed in compliance and she studied the output on her PaDD until her tricorder pinged in completion of its task. She disconnected Arturo's PaDD and offered it back to him. "Good luck."

Arturo took the PaDD with a grin on his face. Xiulan was really in her element. It was nice to see her doing something that she loved instead of stressing out over being an XO so soon out of the academy. Arturo was both proud of her and proud to be hers.

"Thank you," Arturo replied. "I'll get into this now and leave you to your work. Good day, all. I'll report if I find anything.




Emilie was just about to remove the last of the bolts holding the weapon to the hull of the alien vessel. It intrigued her massively and she couldn't wait to take it apart under controlled conditions and see what made it work.

"I think once this is removed we can get it to the nearest armoury. Would you like to join me in analysing it?" Emilie asked.

"My eyes have never seen its equal--only in reports," Ja'tah said. "You would have to give me a direct order to keep me away from this."

Emilie nodded once and gestured Ja'tah to assist her with lifting the weapon off. Once it was off and onto a trolley to wheel it to the armoury she looked it in awe. She was pleased that Ja'tah's enthusiasm was equal to her own in this instance.

"At least we'll be able to have a look at this. I would like to take a look at the armour and shields but I'm not sure if we'll have the time" Emilie responded.




Finn was finished with his outside inspections and saw nothing untoward other than the obvious weapons fire scorches and other failure points. He managed to patch up most of the damage he could see. However, it was time to head into the shuttle, if he could, to assess the warp drive.

Calling in, he asked, "Room in there for a tall yet skinny Engineer?"

As others left Megan decided to have a look at the shuttle for herself - hearing rumours about its superior and rather interesting technology. Seeing Finn looking inside Megan approached and smiled at the Scottish engineer. So far she was very much enjoying working with him.

"Good morning Ensign. Now it's quiet shall we take a look inside?" Megan suggested.

The Engineer smiled when the Lieutenant entered the room as he too was enjoying working with Megan, "Morning, by all means, Lieutenant. The sublights are nothing special, other than the weapons scaring and burnout damage there isn't much to report. I've managed to patch up the most obvious amounts of damage. I'm just about to head into check out the warp drive."

Megan was looking forward to the opportunity of poking around the alien warp engine before anyone else in the Federation got the chance to. She wondered if there was anything she could take apart and analyse before Starfleet wanted the craft offloading at Starbase Unity. As Megan climbed into the craft and headed for the engineering area she asked Finn about the weapons damage.

"Did you get a scan of the weapons damage? It might tell us who shot it down" Megan asked.

"There were some inconclusive results, I was going to send the results to Main Engineering later for a more detailed analysis," Finn began as he popped open a few panels that would contain the warm systems. As he did, there was an unusual intermittent glow emanating within.

Megan nodded. "I'm sure Tactical can lend us a hand...although it might be nice for us engineers to get our time in the spotlight"

Megan paused and looked at the glow emitting from what she presumed was the warp core. It didn't look as large as that of a Danube-class - but the Yorkshire born engineer knew that size didn't matter in the slightest.

"This looks about half the size of a Danube-class warp core...and it looks relatively undamaged. Maybe we should try and power it up and see how it works?" Megan mused.

"There will be a switch around here somewhere," and he started looking for buttons. There were some odd physical switches around the core, presumably for manual shut off of systems and small computer terminals with more traditional touch screen interfaces.

A few taps later and Finn's usually tempered Scottish accent came through quite strongly, "Got it," he exclaimed as the intermittent pulse became a solid glow.

With the core now up and running Megan commenced her scans of the active core. She tapped her tricorder and looked at it with immense interest as the scans came in.

"Good job. It appears this system uses a tritium intermix like Klingon starships do...but other than that it doesn't appear like anything is out of the ordinary. Could you get a scan of the warp coils for me please? I'd like to try and construct a holographic model of the ship's propulsion system and run some simulations" Megan said.

Flipping over his tricorder Finn nodded, "These scans will provide you with an image of beauty when I am done," and he proceeded out of the shuttle to where the coils would be located to get the best possible scan. Minutes later, he called out, "Lieutenant, I think you better get out here and look at this. We got your out of the ordinary out here."

He began, once more, removing panelling, this time with a hyper spanner for the bulkier and more secure sections. The scans had revealed foreign and unusual elements within the coils. "The processors down here are...odd," he began as he waited for Megan, "they resemble bio-neural gel packs in their nature. But it seems they have a limited capacity for self repair. As for the coils, this thing can't make heads nor tail of what they are made of. I think we will get that Engineering moment to shine."

Megan left her tricorder on a ledge to continue to scan the warp core and went around to look at the warp coils. They were certainly out of the ordinary and she was fully intending to take one of them out to take a closer look.

"Let's get one of these out and back to engineering. By the time we get it out my scan should be ready and we can get out of here...and there'll still be plenty of other warp coils for Starfleet to look at" Megan said.

"Can we get a containment unit up here?" Finn asked openly, "One of these anywhere near our own warp core sends a shiver down my spine for some reason. And in a lab as far away as possible," he looked down at the coils which now had taken on a sinister nature to him. Something that couldn't be scanned, couldn't be trusted.

Megan nodded. "You're right. Let's get that unit up here and we'll shut down the core so we can get this thing out and take it apart in a lab. Remind me not to forget that tricorder when we get back"

"I'll be back in a few," Finn started as he went running off, "I'll get people to start prepping a lab as well."




Ryland sat in his office watching the work crew over his monitor. The game of solitaire was going nowhere, unlike the intruders in his domain. One by one they were disappearing. He swore under his breath and got out of his chair.

"Hold up, everybody!" He shouted once he made it to the flight deck. "Who's gonna' clean all this shit up?!"

 

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