Prologue : Part 4

Leiutenant Tarmac plyed the controls of his fighter and banked high left as he navigated this Asteroid field. His instrumentation and the dinaas (Directional intermittent navigational and Astrometrical Sensors) were working overtime to plot a course through this dense asteroid field. The collision alarm sounded from the dinaas console as two of the bigger asteroid's collided and sizeable debris was flung his way. With a maneuver that started with a left high to right low roll he gunned one piece of the debris down and accelerated through the hole that created.

Tarmac hoped that this system that he was scoutinging for a suitable place to set down, was worth all this effort. Hopefully somewhere there was a moon with minimal atmosphere, and a relatively soft and level surface capable of holding the Kovari, or failing that some kind of habitable planet where they could offload the crew if it came to that.

Having finally cleared the inner asteroid belt he was within a standard solar system's inner life zone and he activated the automated planetary survey palate that they had installed into his fighter. As Tarmac swept through the inner system his jaw dropped as he dropped into orbit around a blue-green world, it was if it was made to order. It's single sateillite was rich with structural minerals and the planet itself was as close to a standard imperial planet as possible without terraforming.

Not only were no advanced civilisations present, it didn't appear as if any form of sentient creature had yet evolved. This planet had definite potential, but Tarmac wasn't one to be hasty, and continued his reconnaisance all the way to within minimal safe distance of the solar body and orbited it once to ensure solar stability and on the otherside he left orbit and retraced his course back to the Kovari.

Captain Soren sat behind her desk and glared with all the disdain she could muster at the two officer's before her. Occassionally she would spare them as she glanced down to read the updated status reports in the folder on her desk. Both men stood ramrod straight before her desk with eyes fixed towards the bulkheads.

Eventually she pushed the folder aside and pursed her lips before saying, “For the moment, let's put aside how furious I am with both of you. I have been reading your reports and estimates for the last hour and now that you both have had time and personell to inspect and assess our damage, I want a no-nonsense overview of all irreperable damage suffered regardless of saboutage or incompetence.” At the word incompetence Granger tried to speak but was immediately silenced by the Captain's hard and glass eyed stare.

Commander Deras, the Chief Engineer gulped and with a quick glance at the Captain reported, “Sir, the saboutage has been mostly confined to the Cryogenic stasis and the power conversion systems. The Cryo neural storage systems were programed to fail the instant the conciousness stored within it was downloaded back into the body. As you know, the storage system is built utilising a constructed element allowing for storage of information at the sub-atomic level"

"We don't have the equipment to be able to refine, or process the base charges necessary to construct this element.Our replacement stocks were discovered to be missing and subsequent searches have determined that either it was jettisoned, destroyed or never delivered before launch. The officer the logs indicate responsible for this equipment was found dead in his cryo-stasis pod.”

Deras paused for a moment and said, “There is no sugar coating this, the magnetron that regulates the Matter-Anti-Matter reaction and by-products for the main reactor was deliberately fused after we went into stasis. Diagnostics have failed to determine how this was accomplished, but either it was programmed to fuse or more likely a sleeper agent was placed aboard. If it was the cryo-maintainance officer then he was most probably caught in his own trap when he went back into cryo.”

“Magnetron's are a incredibly sensitive piece of technology, and any misalignment would be catastrophic. I can't even begin to guess at the time it would take to design, build and calibrate a new one from scratch. Years possibly, and during that time; main weapons and shields would be either offline or operating at the barest power possible. The good news is that whoever did effect the saboutage intended for the fuel storage system to simulate a containment breach and dump all our deuterium into space. But whoever did the job botched the timing as main-power failed before the fuel dump.”

“Our final piece of saboutage, the communication's array. I'm sorry to say Captain, but the comms grid wasn't saboutaged, I have no idea why you are unable to contact Fleet command.”

After he finished this, Deras shifted a little, grimaced and ploughed ahead with stoic determination as his eyes focused solely on the bulkhead. “In regards to the experiment, the science lab and several surrounding compartments were utterly destroyed, we've sealed off that section and deactived the power grid to that area, the energy spike from the experiment has also crippled the number 2 reactor, without significant work it will only be able to put out a fifth of the power it used to, and with all the other issues I don't think it's likely that my team will be able to repair that section anytime soon.”

Deras fell silent and Soren switched her gaze over to Granger. “Now, would you care to explain why your failure has cost me a fully operational reactor a Science Lab, and a great deal of lives?”

Just as he was about to speak the intercom on the wall sounded and Darnel picked up the reciever and spoke. “CO's quarters go.....” she listened for a time then said. “Excellent, have him land immediately and have the data transferred to the Spatial Analysis lab. I want a complete report as soon as possible, deploy a sensor sattellite if necessary.” She then replaced the reciever in the recepticle and motioned for Denning to continue speaking.

Granger, finally allowed to speak turned his head and looked the Captain full in the eyes, “Captain, there was no failure, my team and I had anticipated every possible outcome. We erected Kinetic Barriers and forcefields and took offline several power junctions and isolated the reactor. According to SOP for these sorts of tests, we went way beyond what is called for to satisfy due dilligance. What happened Captain, was something our science has never encountered before."

"This substance when subjected to directed energy sources such as kinetic when one of my scientists stepped on it exhibits a amazing ability to redirect and amplify that energy. But what no-one thought possible was that when subjected to non-specific energy such as the miniscule 0.1 Peu (Plasma Energy Unit) test current the energy was not redirected, it was absorbed, amplified and transmitted to it's neighbouring molecular partners indescriminitely where the same process occurred again.“

“This resulted in a series of escalating, unstable and ultimately uncontrollable power spikes. We tried to compensate by applying the largest energy sync and strongest plasma regulator possible to store and regulate the outgoing energy, but the resin built to a critical mass and exploded. The Energy was being generated too fast to be removed. As much as this substance has the potential to revolutionize our way of generating energy, it's uncontrollable by any means I'm familiar with, or could hope to develop in my lifetime.”

The End

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