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Finding The Coordinates

Posted on Sun Oct 1st, 2017 @ 7:35pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant JG Xiulan Song

Mission: S2E2 - Vindeux
Location: Lieutenant Song's lab
Timeline: Mission Day 107; 10:30

It had been several days since the team had worked on the alien shuttle with Lieutenant Song had been given the task of decrypting the alien language. Claudia had not spent a lot of time with the language specialist since her arrival but having her around had most definitely proved extremely useful. With the shuttle now safely aboard Starbase Unity for analysis Claudia hoped it would be the last time the Vindex crew would have to deal with it and the shuttle's owners.

Claudia decided to make her way towards the lab but ask if Xiulan was free before she arrived. She didn't like disturbing people if they were busy.

=/\="Ainscow to Lieutenant Song...are you free at the moment? I'd like to pop down to your lab and see how you're getting on"=/\= Claudia asked.

=/\="Uhhh..."=/\= Xiulan initially replied, caught by surprise at the sudden check in. =/\="Uh, yeah- I mean, yes! Yes ma'am, I'm available; I'm a little busy, but I can make time to show you my progress."=/\=

Claudia was prepared to return at another time but as Xiulan wanted to make time for her visit she decided to continue to her destination.

=/\="Thank you Lieutenant...I'll be there in a minute. Ainscow out"=/\= Claudia responded.

Claudia arrived at the lab and entered after being granted permission to do so. Almost immediately taking the nearest seat next to Xiulan to rest her sore back Claudia observed the work Xiulan was doing with great interest. Languages were never her strong point - although Claudia did speak fluent German as her mother taught her.

"I wish I was able to study languages like you do. Unfortunately I was never particularly good at them...although I guess I could always learn" Claudia said.

At first, there wasn't much for her to see; the lab was dark as Xiulan had a tendency to forget to turn the lights on, and only her console was active, which wasn't displaying much as it was in tactile mode.

"I like it," Xiulan said with a smile. "It's like a puzzle, working everything out in my head; it's fun," she affirmed as she finally turned on a few more displays so that the Captain could see what she was working on. "Anyway, I'm sorry to say that I'm still having trouble with the glyphs, but I am making some headway with the written phonetic text, which has allowed me to download the shuttle's entire computer before we left the shuttle at Starbase Unity, and the more I'm able to pull from that, the more I'm able to decrypt. That being said, I've been working with Lieutenant M'Rohass to identify some of the stellar charts, and we've had some minor success; nothing special, just the system where it was found and a neighboring nebula, but the computer is still running a search algorithm, and as I decrypt more it's helping to refine the search," she briefed Claudia.

Claudia listened intently. Progress was what she was hoping for and the discovery of its system of origin in particular sounded very promising. Claudia didn't plan to get excited too soon though - especially as it could mean Rear Admiral Ingham might decide on using his higher rank to order the Vindex there. Claudia didn't want to take her crew on what could potentially be a one way trip.

"Seriously? That's an excellent find from you both. If you have the co-ordinates to hand I'd like to take a look at them and see how far away they are. Not that I plan on visiting of course...based on our recent encounter with them" Claudia replied.

"Ah, well, initial scans in our database from another Federation ship suggest that there's nothing special about the nebula," Xiulan replied with a shrug as she found a PaDD and loaded the data onto it for the Captain to take back with her. "There's another chart I've been focusing on; if I'm understanding the logs correctly, this one has the most access usage, whereas the nebula and the system we found the shuttle have only been access by the original users a handful of times, indicating that they might be newer, but it's hard to be certain since I'm having trouble figuring out how they format their time stamps," she explained as she pulled up another stellar chart and added it to the PaDD. Some of the data had tentative translations marked, but most of it was still in the original scripts and glyphs. "Lieutenant M'Rohass has been working from a purely cartographic point of view, trying to find charts that match these, but it's a lot of data to comb through, and the difference in technology hasn't made it any easier."

Claudia accepted the PADD and glanced at it briefly before lowering it back onto the table again. She wasn't looking forward to surrendering the information to her superiors but it had to be done - after she'd done some research for herself. Up to now the work Xiulan and Arturo had done pleased Claudia and she was looking forward to seeing what else they could find.

"Thank you. Do you have any information on which area the most accessed chart covers? I'd like to think it isn't our space but something tells me it probably is....especially as they were found lurking inside it. Once we know more about the charts it might be worth trying to construct a map to give us a broader picture of their territory" Claudia commented.

"Ah, well, no, not yet..." Xiulan said with some frustration; why was this language proving to be so difficult to tackle?! "I didn't know if you-" she tried to continue, but then a sound like a 'ding' sounded off from her console. "I have a ding! Hold that thought, Captain, you might just be my new lucky charm," Xiulan then declared, her hands moving over the tactile interface to find out what information had just finished crunching. "Okay, okay, looks like the computer finished generating a new translation key, so let's apply that to this and see what it does..." she murmured, more to herself than actually informing Claudia, it just helped to voice her process sometimes, but usually she was alone for this part. Immediately, all the consoles lit up with new information as the computer began translating the mountain of information that came from the shuttle's computer. "Alright, we got logs, but the timestamps... timestamps are still off, but the star charts... star charts are translated and running through a new search-" Again, she was cut off as several charts were matched to areas the Federation had charted. "Whoa! You are definitely lucky, I'm keeping you," Xiulan said with a grin. "Okay, timestamps, now that we have identified charts, I can calculate stardates and then run that through a new matrix and overlay that with their timestamps.... Voila! We now know when everything was logged! Now line all these charts up by date accessed and... I give you their point of origin..."

Xiulan pulled up a star chart; it was not the one she had been focusing on before, but that was among one of the earlier charts in the new timeline she had constructed, which did give her a sort of smug satisfaction that she had been close to right. Using this timeline, she accessed the Stellar Cartography database to display a path through the stars that the Federation had thus far charted with the origin of the shuttle's flight path extending just beyond the scope of the Federation's database, but not that much further.

"Okay, full disclaimer, this is not my area of expertise, you should probably run this by an actual cartographer. Also, still working on the glyphs, so some things like titles will remain untranslated, but at least we have an understanding of their language now, so all audio, video, and written logs should be available to you. You want this on a PaDD or should I send it directly to your terminal in your office?" Xiulan asked.

Claudia was very pleased indeed. That moment when Xiulan managed to work her magic set the ball rolling with getting to know more about this species - whatever it was called.

"You've done an excellent job here Lieutenant - well done. I will take these along to Stellar Cartography once we've finished here. If you can send it all up to my office I'd appreciate it...that way I can download it onto a PADD once I've had a look at it myself. I really appreciate the hard work you and Mr M'Rohass have put in will certainly be noted in my log" Claudia responded.

With a lopsided grin, Xiulan nodded as she keyed in the commands in her console to send the files on their way. "The files should finish transferring by the time you return to your office. I'll continue working to figure out the glyph and refine the translations."

Claudia nodded and smiled. She got up off the stool and prepared to depart.

"Excellent. I shall leave you to your work - you've been a massive help and I can't express my gratitude enough. Keep me updated if you can please Lieutenant - and if there's anything you need then please don't hesitate to ask me" Claudia replied.


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