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The Slip-Bridge Trials

Posted on Tue Jun 18th, 2024 @ 1:44pm by Lieutenant Commander Bonnie "Bon-Bon" Durnell & Lieutenant Commander Thriss Kla'ren & Ensign Kitiuas Thenis & Commander Jennifer Baldric

Mission: Lost in Space
Location: UNKNOWN Space
Timeline: Current-ish

Commander Jennifer Baldric strode towards Engineering, as the crew worked towards getting the Slip-Bridge procedure up and running. Baldric still didn't completely understand the process and the physics of it all but that wasn't the primary aim of her visit to Engineering. She wanted to provide hope, leadership and if possible, assistance.

Having taken the time to refresh herself and have a good breakfast, Bonnie was now in her element. Assembling and disassembling equipment and debugging the code and running simulations. "Commander Kla'ren, can you hand me that spanner?" She asked as she leaned over the probe, with a sensor component in her other hand.

Thriss was hunched over a console trying to do some debugging of some other systems to make sure they would work properly with the Slip-Bridge. "You got it" he said before tossing it to her.

Baldric watched the two work, pausing in her musings only long enough to hand whatever required tools to the outstretched hands appearing from under the probe. She wished she understood the concept of what they were trying to achieve fully, but the physics involved were beyond her brain power. Strategy was her thing, not quantum physics.

"I take it this means you are getting closer to an actual test of the system?" She asked the two pair of legs.

Not looking at who was asking, Bonnie responded, "Just getting the final components ready for a probe to test the initial. Would hate for us to hit the slip-bridge only to have the ship fold in half. That would squeeze ole' Baldric's balls eh?" She was jesting, something that happened only while comfortable, surrounded by co-workers and in the zone.

Baldric kept quiet but couldn't help a snicker to herself. She turned as Kit entered the room.

Kitiuas had gotten some sleep in her quarters, the UV light assisting greatly to her energy. She sat I a concealed corner of engineering going over the math and schematics for the Slip-Bridge procedure. She wanted to be damn sure they had it down before they initiated the procedure, having no desire to be an Orion wing-slug splattering against a view port. She heard Commander Baldric enter.

"Kit! Did you get some rest?" Jennifer asked as she saw Kit enter, turning her attention from the other two officers for an instant.

“Yes, sleep and time under the UV.” replied Kit. “Just going over the math and schematics for the Slip-Bridge procedure.”

"What's your personal take on it?" Baldric asked honestly.

"Honestly, it will attract Species 8472 or the Borg or the Thousand Gods forbid the Q. Or we hit an undisclosed and seen space phenomena and splat the proverbial Orion wing-slug splattering against a viewport. Good news about the last, none of us will feel or know a thing about it." A combination of cinnamon, roses, and vanilla was beginning to slow waft off Kit as she discussed the matter; she knew the theories of course, heck she even passed the classes on it with A's, but she was a Doctor of Entomology/Arachnology, and Cryptozoology/Hominology, not quantum physics and mathematics.

Bonnie heard Kit and stopped, 'What'dya mean 'will'? Last time you said 'may', May attract them is a big difference from might attract them." Bonnie stammered slightly. Her nerves on edge. She pushed herself out from behind the probe to see who she was addressing face to face. Bonnie's own face was smeared with a dark goop of grease she had picked up from who knew where. "Our calculations this far haven't taken them into account, like, at all."

"Risk is part of what we do every day" Baldric started, thinking that Captain Kaylen would have something encouraging and inspiring to say right about now. "We may not attract anything other than getting home. And if we do, we'll deal with it as we normally do" she waited to see if anyone else was going to pipe up " with grace and composure and by relying on our training. "

Her mouth opened as though she were about to say something when Bonnie realized who she was talking too and what she had said only a few moments ago. Instead, she quickly averted her eyes behind her work and finished installing the probe sensor. Baldric had not been there in the jungle; nor on the planet with the Dinos. She had not fought the Cardassians on one of their own planets. She definitely had not experienced what it was like to crash a ship or to have to endure repairs every other mission. How would she know how they 'deal with it as they normally do' ?

Kit bit her lip before stating something she knew would set Bonnie on edge. "I ran a new computer simulation with a new algorithm. I added in an unknown element, we do not know exactly what is between our space and fluidic space, other than it is used in transwarp slipstreams. It came back with three scenarios: We succeeded with damage to the engines and pylons, we either slip into the stream and hit an unknown, or we end up in Fluidic space. It is hitting an unknown that concerns me, the computer could only speculate with limited data." She waited patiently for the others to digest the news. The combination of cinnamon, roses, and vanilla wafting off her was strong now.

"The unknown is just that. Unknown" Baldric countered, resisting the urge to assume an assertive posture. She instead relaxed her hands by her sides. "If we fear the unknown we will never experience anything new. Nor will we ever get home. We need a healthy respect for the unknown, but not fear per sey" she stopped short of it becoming a lecture. "Prepare for the worst, and let's hope for the best"

Bonnie clenched her jaw in order to contain the emotions that were trying to claw their way out in the way of not nice words. Instead she swallowed hard, composed herself and her thoughts and spoke very clearly. "There is not enough hope in the universe to prepare oneself for a fight with the Borg." Her steely gaze diverted momentarily as she closed the hatch on the probe. "The probe is ready to launch." If cold was a feeling, icicles would now be forming within the room. She didn't have sweet scents like Kit but one could feel her aura like one feels a bed of sand.

"Launch when ready" Jennifer had a bad feeling that she was losing control of the situation and the emotions of the crew. Better to be decisive and pray that everything worked in their favour.

"On it." Bonnie acknowledged. The nugget of regret for her tongue hung heavy in the back of her throat, but she would not apologize for her convictions. Every person had felt the effects of the Borg in some way or another. While some relished the idea of stirring the hornets nest, Bonnie knew better. Getting stung was nothing to brush aside lightly.

Jennifer stood back to let the team work, taking up position in a nearby terminal so she could monitor what was happening. The probe left the tube and erupted into space.

As soon as the probe left the ship, Bonnie moved over to a console and began monitoring and reporting on the data collected. "Thousand kilicams out, beginning preparations to create a quantum singularity and subsequent interdimensional rift." She announced. "All systems check, telemetry reporting course is good. Particle charge active, 10 thousand kilicams, firing quantum cutter."

Two red beams lanced out from the front of the probe cutting a slice into space just big enough for the probe to slide inside. Bonnie looked up at Jennifer, "The goal is to not enter fluidic space completely, but the thin gap between their dimension and ours. From what we understand, Species 8472 can detect an intrusion in Fluidic space. They tend to inhabit and control all wormholes and transport eddies within their space and according to the Voyager logs, have grown increasingly paranoid about an invasion from the Federation."

The data stream lit up as the probe entered the opening and turned into the gap along the edge boundary. "Entering the slip bridge in 5... 4... 3... 2... " There was a momentary pause as the room waited on baited breath for something, anything positive to happen. In the distance, a flash, and then... nothing. Bonnie stared at the screen, waiting on telemetry data to stream in. A second or two later the screen announced, 'Signal Lost'.

She shook her head defeated. "Alright, start prepping another one." She ordered even as she let out a sigh and looked to Baldric. "We'll have to analyze what went wrong. I'll have a report on your desk in the morning. When hopefully we can try again."

"Is there a possibility we lost the signal because it worked and the Probe is back home?" Baldric asked, knowing full well she had only a very limited understanding of the theory itself left alone what she had just witnessed.

Bonnie couldn't help but notice Baldric's push for optimism and inwardly commended her efforts. "At this point anything is possible, probably not that, but we won't know until the results are in. Speculation is a job for the ill informed. I prefer to, um, at least try to know the subject matter." In truth Bonnie would stay awake late at night pouring over the details which is why she would often show up to the conference room with so many data PADDs.

There was a pregnant pause for all that meant 'now what?'. Baldric took the opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts so far and to keep her advised as they decoded the data.



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