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ST:MAC102 | "One Ping Only"

Following weeks of searching for the signal along its predicted trajectory, the MacAlpine has detected another signal, with the new sensor algorithm what will they find?

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light


[10:00] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex walking in from the list, "Sorry, took me a while, never been here... forgot most ships need a good jog to traverse, heh."

[10:04] Fiona@falconecoose FX | The MacAlpine has been hunting the signals for approaching a month now with no luck, until now. With them closing in on a new signal they have put out a call for any ship or anyone in range >

[10:04] Fiona@falconecoose > who is able to assist.

[10:06] Fiona@falconecoose nods over to Alina "It's alright commander, we are still a bit away from our intercept with the signal. Ops, Do we have an eta on our rendezvous with the Shackleton?"

[10:06] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "One moment Captain."

[10:07] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Still a few light years out, we should meet them by the intercept."

[10:08] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp <C> U.S.S. Shackleton to U.S.S. MacAlpine, stand by for holo-conference transmission."

[10:08] Fiona@falconecoose: "Copy that. Comms, start the link."

[10:09] Fiona@falconecoose Comms | "Afirm." <C> "Shackleton, this is the MacAlpine link ready to receive."

[10:09] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp FX | Capt Derenzis appears on the bridge of the MacAlpine, with the occasional flicker of the hologram.

[10:10] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Commander Orso. Good to see you again. I trust this is about our ghost signal?"

[10:11] Fiona@falconecoose nods slightly "Captain. It is, we have picked up another one just a few light years away now." turns to look over her shoulder to Alina "You all caught up on these signals?"

[10:13] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: I think so.. just sounds like standard mystery stuff

[10:13] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex turns around and waves at Derenzis

[10:14] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp looks to see Alina in the field of view. "Good to see you, Commander Mandra."

[10:14] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: I figured since I have the time I should get outside a bit more, heh

[10:15] Fiona@falconecoose nods slightly "Aye it is pretty much. Helm whats our ETA on intercept? And Ops have the calibrations for the new sensor parameters ready?"

[10:15] Fiona@falconecoose Helm | "Not much longer now Captain, just a few minutes."

[10:15] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Aye Captain they will be by the time we exit warp, Engineering is just doing the final touches on the sensors them self."

[10:16] Fiona@falconecoose nods to both stations before she looks to the others "Ok then, this is the time for questions and any more ideas on what we are going to find if anything."

[10:16] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Our sensor pod is active and ready. Lt. Mondet is making his adjustments as I speak."

[10:17] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: it sounds like you got it covered at least for unmasking this thing... I figure I'll be of more use once we know what we're dealing with

[10:17] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp frowns. "That could be a problem, Cmdr Mandra. If what we uncovered with these previous signals is true, we're dealing with a super-humanoid intelligence."

[10:18] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Though this wouldn't be the first time initial data has led people astray."

[10:18] Fiona@falconecoose: "That or something our sensors can't make heads or tails off."

[10:19] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp nods. "Whatever it is, caution is the order of the day, I think."

[10:19] Fiona@falconecoose: "Aye that sounds like the best course of action with this."

[10:19] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: superintelligence huh? That's not far outside my purview from a certain perspective

[10:19] Fiona@falconecoose Helm | "Thas us arriving now Captain."

[10:20] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: but the thing I read implied.. something in a shoddy warp drive... I missed a line in the report I guess...

[10:21] Fiona@falconecoose FX | With that, the MacAlpine drops out of warp seemingly in empty space with only a few asteroids around them

[10:21] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp turns to someone outside the holo-pickup. "Ensign, drop us out of warp."

[10:21] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp FX | USS Shackleton enters the region, several hundred kilometers from the MacAlpine.

[10:22] Fiona@falconecoose Nice work, Ops full sensor sweep." nods slightly before she looks over at Alina "Aye it did look that way from what we could trace from the distance they have covered in that time.

[10:23] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: well, as I said, once we know what it is, I'll know more what I can help with I suppose

[10:24] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Lt. Mondet, sensors at maximum. Yellow Alert, people."

[10:25] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Captain, I'm picking up the signal again at 320-mark-8."

[10:25] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex closes one eye and seems to be regarding the screen a bit

[10:26] Fiona@falconecoose: "On screen."

[10:26] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Shackleton here, we're seeing the same."

[10:28] Fiona@falconecoose FX | As the sensor reading is put on screen, with an overlay of the white noise interference they are picking up from it, in the centre of the screen would be an almost cylindrical object with a>

[10:29] Fiona@falconecoose > downward angled cone at the front of it, along with four long and thin cylinders at what appears to be each axis of the object, with each attached to a short pylon

[10:29] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex squints as she examines

[10:29] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp looks at a similar image on her main view screen. "Magnify. Sensors, what can you tell me about that object?"

[10:30] Fiona@falconecoose raises her eyebrow slightly at the object "Well at least we can see it now."

[10:33] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: So.. is it a ship?

[10:33] Fiona@falconecoose "What are we looking at here people?" looks at her bridge crew, along with Alina and Derenzis if they have any idea

[10:33] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp turns in the pickup, as though addressing someone directly. "Are you certain?" A pause for the answer to come back, not picked up by the holotransmitter.

[10:33] Fiona@falconecoose: "It looks like one...what is it Captain?"

[10:34] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp turns back, facing Orso. "We're still piecing things together here, but what we can say is that ship is a mixture of tech. Federation, Romulan and others... but we also have comparisons to Borg."

[10:35] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: bit of a mismash?

[10:35] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp turns to another officer. "Lt. Boafo, better set up your contingencies - we may have guests soon."

[10:35] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: maybe someone is trying to build a scrap-ship?

[10:35] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "That's the best way to describe it, Cmdr Mandra."

[10:35] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: someone with no contacts and desperate for something that works

[10:36] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: otherwise they wouldn't need to try so hard

[10:36] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Lt. Mondet, can you get me dimensions on that ship? How big is it, exactly? Tactical, give me a reading on its weapons and shields."

[10:37] Fiona@falconecoose Now that is odd, scav..." Orso suddenly goes quiet as the MacAlpine and the Shackleton both echo with a loud 'ping' "Ops! What was that?

[10:38] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Not sure Captain, pick up a slight energy pulse from the object before whatever that was...not reading any damage though, so not a weapon?"

[10:38] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp looks up sharply. "Talk to me, Mr Mondet. What just hit us?"

[10:38] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: scanning burst?

[10:39] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp frowns. "Possibly..."

[10:39] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex looks around casually, "That was an odd resonance though.."

[10:40] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: would need a deep subspace wavefront to cause a pressure wave like that in a ship superstructure if my understanding is right...

[10:41] Fiona@falconecoose: "It was odd...have we got any more info on that object?"

[10:41] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp raises her eyebrows at a reply. "MacAlpine, we've got a measure of that thing. One hundred metres length, approx. 20 m diameter."

[10:42] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Negative Captain...wait it's changing course away from us, got another energy pulse as well!"

[10:42] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "It could almost fit in one of our nacelles."

[10:42] Fiona@falconecoose FX | Both ships would be hit by another 'ping' shortly after the pulse was detected

[10:42] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex perks an eyebrow, "That's a weird comparison... but it is pretty small I guess

[10:43] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Ensign, pursue, one-quarter impulse. Still waiting on your report, Tactical."

[10:43] Fiona@falconecoose: "So what we know is that is small, a mismatch of stuff and has a weird energy pulse..."

[10:46] Fiona@falconecoose glances at Derenzis and Alina after she gives her pursuit orders "I'm open to ideas here."

[10:46] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: Anyone try to hail them?

[10:46] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: it's clearly someone

[10:46] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp frowns. "We're picking up minimal shields, barely enough for dust deflection. No weapons signatures, but there are three slots in the hull..." +

[10:47] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: + "Check that, 6 slots, 3 on each side of the nose. Can you confirm, MacAlpine."

[10:47] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: left over from whatever parts they scrapped perhaps

[10:48] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp nod at Alina's suggestion. "It's worth a try. Open a hailing frequency, Commander zh'Cholal."

[10:48] Fiona@falconecoose glances at her Ops officer who nods in confirmation "Aye we can Captain, we see the same."

[10:49] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp <C> "To unidentified vessel: this is Captain Alyx Derenzis of the U.S.S. Shackleton. State your business in this sector."

[10:50] Fiona@falconecoose FX | There would be no response to the hail, but at the same time the ship would send another 'ping' towards both ships

[10:50] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex side glances at the message they sent

[10:50] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp frowns. "T'Vrin, Mondet, what can you tell me about those pings?"

[10:51] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex pulls up the wrist device she had on and types out something on it, "Gonna take some of your ship's scan data and have one of my mainframes check something."

[10:51] Fiona@falconecoose: "Go ahead Commander."

[10:51] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: <C> "U.S.S. Shackleton to unidentified vessel: are you receiving our transmission?"

[10:53] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "A *subspace* wavefront? Wait... can this signal reflect off of our hulls?"

[10:55] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: subspace waves are cross-dimensional.. so they are a rare thing that can happen in vacuum

[10:55] Fiona@falconecoose: "It could be possible from what I understand of the concept Captain...wait...could they are using the reflection as their form of sensors?"

[10:56] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: that was my first thought, I just had Blaster try to figure out it if might be a communication attempt.. but it can't give me any confirmation on that

[10:56] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "A crude form, perhaps. And we're still getting no response from our hails."

[10:57] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp pauses. "Ensign, full stop."

[10:57] Fiona@falconecoose: "Helm, full stop as well."

[10:57] Fiona@falconecoose: "What is it Captain?"

[10:58] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: hmm.. maybe they can't see us without subspace reflections.. perhaps they don't see in the visual range like us...

[10:58] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: but that only sees in subspace? That's not typical...

[10:58] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Perhaps it's just me, but I get the impression our guest out there doesn't want to be found."

[10:58] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: bit late for that

[10:59] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: they aren't being very silent either

[10:59] Fiona@falconecoose: "We have to remember though, the ship seemed to be made up of a mix of tech...what if they are just using whatever they have?"

[11:00] Fiona@falconecoose: "And aye it is a bit late for them not to be found..."

[11:00] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Romulan tech, but no cloaking device... Federation tech but no advanced sensors. No discernable shields, no obvious weapons..."

[11:01] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: I said that at the start... it looks like something scrapped together out of necessity

[11:01] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: this doesn't give the impression of some clever mastermind.. it reeks of someone just trying to survive

[11:01] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: galaxy is a rough place for some people

[11:02] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp nods in acknowledgement. "I'm beginning to think the same, Commander. But then there are the Borg technology signatures..."

[11:02] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "Tech like that is extremely dangerous to scavenge."

[11:02] Fiona@falconecoose: "We first picked this signal up at a battlefield with the borg though...and if you are desperate enough..."

[11:03] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: I'd bet they don't care if it is dangerous if it helps them

[11:03] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: if they even know what it is

[11:03] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp Derenzis' image fades and returns, as though she's pacing in and out of the pickup.

[11:03] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: maybe they don't have working comms.. we need to figure out communications

[11:04] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "If they don't know what they're dealing with, then they are in greater danger than we thought. If the Borg tech reactivates..."

[11:04] Fiona@falconecoose FX | While they have been talking the unknown ship has sent another ping at them

[11:05] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: it only really is a danger in certain quantities and assembly... it's not inherently dangerous

[11:05] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: Borg nanotechnology needs direction from the Collective to be used maliciously

[11:05] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: it's just a tool

[11:06] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: so unless it is signalling Borg to come here... which I think we'd have detected... it's probably ok for now

[11:06] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp nods. "Mr Mondet, keep an eye out for any Borg subspace signals. If the Collective does try to connect with it, I want to know."

[11:08] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp looks at the others. "So: desperate, not willing or not able to communicate--" nods to Alina. "If they can detect their subspace bursts, can we send bursts of the same type."

[11:09] Fiona@falconecoose nods slightly "That sounds like an idea. Ops can we do it?"

[11:10] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Give me a moment Captain but should be able...yeah that's the deflector reprogramed ready to send on your mark."

[11:10] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: that's why I tried to analyse if it was a form of communication

[11:10] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp looks up at another report from her crew. "Looks like the Borg subspace channels are silent. Stay on them, Mondet."

[11:10] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: but it seems it isn't... unless they are sticking to the most extreme basics

[11:11] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: if the pings have no communication form.. maybe simple binary is all they have

[11:11] Fiona@falconecoose looks at the others "What if it's not the communication itself but more how they start communication, like knocking on someone's door?"

[11:11] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp: "So if we 'knock back' they might respond?"

[11:11] Alina Mandra@Master_Dex: well.. maybe we can configure the deflector for a reply pulse

[11:12] Fiona@falconecoose nods to her ops officer "They are on it, how are we looking?"

[11:13] Fiona@falconecoose Ops | "Engineering is happy with the modifications we have made and ready on your mark."

[11:13] Fiona@falconecoose looks at the others "Well then, let's knock back."

[11:13] Derenzis@andrewbcrisp nods.

[11:16] Fiona@falconecoose You have the target Ops, one ping only." with a nod from the Ops officer they fire off the pulse towards the unknown ship, after a moment the ship slowly starts to turn to face them and stops