Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG

OUR STAR TREK PBEM STORIES: JUMPING IN WITH BOTH FEET


Title: Jumping in with Both Feet
Location: Pandora's Box
Setting: Bridge Turbolift

The turbolift doors opened onto the bridge.

Llew looked extremely thoughtful as they stepped out onto the bridge. Then she stopped and took a good look around, very impressed. "Wow..." she murmured quietly. Not quietly enough though, that she couldn't be heard. Her eyes settled on the Communications Station and she headed immediately in that direction.

Several of the crew members grinned or smiled. They were proud and happy to be on this highly advanced vessel, to make a difference and to have their talents appreciated.

LTjg Knnekhesskt, an Aenar Andorian, hearing his new Chief arrive, tapped the console to display the information she might need. He arose quickly. His antennae rotated expectantly in her direction.

Llew was excited and a little nervous. She knew the attention was on her and she was mostly comfortable with that, but a little cautious. She didn't want to screw this up. "Hello," she smiled at the Aenar. "Lieutenant Moreau," she introduced herself. There was nothing in her demeanor that took into account his blindness. She faced him squarely and spoke directly to him.

"Knekhesskt, " he said with a slightly buzzing sound and a clicking in the pronunciation. His name was a very old one, going back to the earliest recorded times of his species. His antennae twitched a few times and refocused on his new Chief. She was greatly curious about everything around her including him. "Bonjour, heureux de vous rencontrer, (Hello, pleased to meet you,) "he said with an interesting insect instead of nasal quality in his voice.

"Bonjour!" Llew's grin widened and her attention, for the moment, was focused on him. "Vous parlez fran´┐Żais? (You speak French?)" she asked.

"Oui, je parle fran´┐Żais," he said before switching to Federation Standard. "I am skilled in many languages including several Terran ones. The signal is intermittent and plays for a while. It has several unusual aspects, including possibly being sent from different locations but computer analysis says it is the same. I do not think so. I also not think it is naturally occurring. The information is ready and displayed for you," he said, moving aside.

"Thank you," Llew nodded and slipped into the seat he'd vacated, studying the terminal before her as she slipped the earpiece on. "Did you run a diagnostics on the computer?" she asked softly and gently pressed her fingers against the earpiece as she listened more intently. Her hand moved over the terminal controls, slowing the display of the signal way down.

The Aenar's antennae twitched in annoyance. "Of course," he said.

Llew looked up at him and smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I didn't mean to imply that you weren't competent. Since I don't know everything you did, I just needed to be thorough," she explained.

One of his antennae returned to rest. "Locational shift of some sort I suspect. Not a pure Doppler effect," he said to preempt that.

Llew nodded. "Not any kind of locational shift I've heard before," she admitted. "Did you compare it to all known databases?" she asked absently while still listening.

The resting antenna rejoined the other twitching in annoyance. "Yes, sir, " he replied.

Llew glanced up at him again. "Please, I don't mean to offend you," she told him sincerely. "You have done an excellent job. I just need to know everything that was done. Asking the obvious questions is, for me, a way of thinking. Running through a checklist. Ruling out possibilities. "

"All standard procedures and protocols were followed impeccably. Creative and innovative analysis followed that," he stated.

The XO stepped away. He'd let them sort things out. As long as there was no Ushaan on the bridge, he was good.

Llew nodded. "Thank you, Lieutenant. You've saved us a lot of time. I believe this is a distress call. In a language we do not recognize."

The young Aenar smiled. That was his conclusion. His antennae shifted.

"I'd like to try different ways of modulating the signal," she said thoughtfully. "Something is distorting it. Making it seem like it is coming from different places when it's not. It's almost like an echo."

"Yes, how may I assist?" he said.

"Let's compile a list of things in space that could affect or distort it. Something we need to be hearing it through... A filter of some kind perhaps... But not the normal ones. We need to think outside of the box, Lieutenant.. ."

He sat down next to her."I've tried several," he said displaying them for her to see, assuming she would want to see them first since she was not blind.

Llew studied them, nodding as he explained what he did. It was exactly what she would have done. "Good work, Lieutenant. That's exactly what I would have done," she told him. "But we're missing something... ." she mused. "I need to think..."

"Let me know what I can do to assist," he said. His stomach growled.

Llew turned to look at him. "How long have you been at this today?" she asked quietly.

"Fourteen hours sir," he said.

Llew frowned and reached out to gently touch his arm. "Go get something to eat and some sleep. You deserve it. You've done an excellent job. Right now I want to listen to a bit of the older stuff while I think of some filters that are out of the box."

"Thank you, sir," he said. He reached out one last time to sense her with his antennae.

Llew was concerned about him, and very pleased with what he'd done. She hoped they would get along well together and was confident they would. She just hoped he could handle her off brand of humor. "You're welcome." A smile was in her voice. "I'll call you if I find anything." Despite her smile, her smooth face was marred in concentration. Even as she talked to him, she was listening to the signal coming through her earpiece. She had long since tucked her hair behind her ears and now only a few wisps of bangs brushed her forehead.

"Good," he said.

"Rest well, Lieutenant Knekhesskt." Llew pronounced his name flawlessly. The Lieutenant made a satisfactory clicking sound, signed out and left the bridge.

Once he was gone, Llew turned her attention fully to the signal. She went back to the very beginning and listened intently for quite a while. It was unlike anything she'd heard before... and yet not. It was as if she were listening to.... echoes, or layers.... Something odd like that. She accessed the computer and set up a routine that would run the signal through a myriad of filters. What would it sound like underwater? Through an ion cloud? Through a wormhole? And she had the computer compare results with all known databases.

She listened to the signal from the first contact while the computer ran its comparisons. She kept an eye on the results and a slender brow arched when she saw the interesting results when it ran the signal as if emitting through a wormhole.... That didn't so much give her a piece to the puzzle as it did... a hint. Now... how to factor that into what she was listening to...

Several hours later, the XO came and tapped her on the shoulder. "How's it going?" he asked, being careful not to be too formal with her since that didn't seem to fit with her personality.

Llewellyn had been concentrating on what she was listening to and jumped just a bit. She turned to look up at him with a smile. "Oh, Commander. I was just thinking about you," she told him. "I'm almost one hundred percent certain it's a distress signal. I've applied different, out of the box filters and found that it sounds very similar to what it would sound like if it were coming from inside a wormhole. Which, of course, we know it's not." She was very animated as she talked and used her hands a lot. "It's layered.... Kind of... It''s almost the same signal coming from the same place but it's sort of like they're on top of each other. Like an echo, but not... Right now I'm having the computer try and separate them, but it's not having any luck yet." She blinked and then smiled again.

"Good work," he said. "Why don't you take a break and get some lunch Lieutenant? That way you can be refreshed when you go to meet the Captain. Ensign Margovey can take over for now."

Llew looked from him to Ensign Margovey, and smiled. "Alright," she nodded and looked back to the XO. "Where would I find lunch, sir?"

"All taken care of," the XO said. "Ferweiler?"

"I can help with that sir," said the ever effervescent Ensign Ferweiler. She stepped sidewise out of the group so she could be seen by the Chief. She had finished her duties escorting the new ACEO around before and after LCDR Chayton's meeting with the Captain.

"Then that's settled," Llew smiled and rose from her seat. "Ensign Margovey, thank you for relieving me," she offered. "Now... where's lunch? I am starving," she admitted and gave Ferweiler an expectant look.

Margovey nodded, logged in and sat down.

"Several places on board. Let me tell you about them on the way down. I can give you a quick tour and show you your quarters if you like," she said smiling. "Your things are already there."

"Wonderful. Lead on, Ensign," Llew grinned and motioned for Ferwelier to go first.


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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler

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