Today was a good day to die. The problem is today never happened according to the chronometer on my desk… yet I distinctly remember the events of the day. It all started when I opened my eyes this morning at 0800 and found 3 year old eyes filled with wonder staring into mine from about 6 inches above my face. My son Oliver said to me “Daddy, are you sleeping?”
Naturally, I responded “Yes.” and closed my eyes again.
A few more minutes of prodding from Ollie (with help from his sister Alice) resulted in my getting up and getting coffee for myself and my wife, Doctor Taylor, and breakfast for the kids from the replicator. I took a sonic shower, got dressed, said bye to my family and headed out of our quarters to face the day.
I stopped by Engineering to check in with Chief Bender about the calibration she was planning for the warp core in the afternoon. All was well in Engineering so I stopped by the Armory to ask Commander Knotts how we were progressing with the shipwide inventory ordered by command. He reported that we were behind schedule.
I made my way to the bridge intending to ask Commander Griffin to assign some additional personnel to the Armory to get us back on schedule with the inventory, but all thoughts of administrative minutiae flew out of my head when I stepped onto the bridge and the red alert klaxon began blaring. The lighting changed as the ship prepared itself for battle and I approached my chair to relieve Commander Griffin. “Status Report” I asked briskly both to make him aware of my arrival and to find out what was going on.
“I wish I could give you one, sir” he responded, looking perplexed. “Nothing is showing on sensors but the ship put itself into defensive mode due to a proximity alert. We’re running more intensive scans now. The sensor log shows a blip which must have triggered the defensive systems…” he trailed off, looking at reports on the status display.
“Very well, keep me apprised.” I went to the Captain’s chair and called Captain Knotts, apprising him of the situation. He asked that I keep him informed. I looked over the sensor and tactical data from my station and agreed with Commander Griffin’s assessment.
“Have we tried running a multiphasic sensor sweep?” I asked, grasping at straws.
“We’ve run every kind of sweep I know to run, unless you’ve come up with a new sensor configuration I’m not aware of” Commander Griffin quipped.
“Not recently” I replied. Looking at the sensor analysis again I saw results coming in from the scans I had inquired about. Nothing out of the ordinary. I forwarded the scans and my analysis to Captain Knotts. “Cancel red alert, but maintain condition yellow” I ordered. Yellow alert would keep the ship in increased readiness mode with more frequent automated scans. “See if you can determine what happened, and if we get anymore blips, let me know immediately. We’ll have a briefing at 1200”
Trusting the crew to investigate the mystery, I fired off a notification of the scheduled briefing and I turned my attention back to administrative duties, adding some personnel to the Armory schedule for the following day (as I knew they would be busy for the rest of the shift investigating this latest anomaly). A ship this size has an enormous amount of administration. While the crew spends it’s time investigating the nature of our universe and generating data, the command staff spends an inordinate amount of time scheduling, planning, reviewing reports, and making sure things run smoothly.
At the 1200 briefing, Lieutenant Commander Brunelle expressed dissatisfaction at our lack of scientific explanation for what caused the sensor blip. “It’s almost as if we brushed against something with our navigational deflectors, but the sensors showed nothing there.”
“Assuming we did, what could have disrupted our navigational deflectors that would not register on the sensors?” Captain Knotts asked.
“A cloaked object of some kind, but it would have to have been very small. Maybe the size of a deck of cards, and we aren’t aware of any cloaking technology that miniaturized.” replied Lieutenant Commander Brunelle.
“Just because we aren’t aware of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,” I replied. “Maybe the reason the multiphasic sweep didn’t detect anything outside the ship because whatever it was wasn’t outside the ship anymore…”
Mr. Griffin began prodding the PADD in front of him furiously. “I’ve run an analysis of internal sensor log data from the time of the incident and I do see some slight distortion consistent with an object out of phase with our reality passing through the ship’s hull and several bulkheads. I’m tracing the path now.”
A few minutes later we found ourselves standing in front of our main computer core. “It’s right here,” said Commander Griffin, glancing between his PADD and the core, pointing at the primary/secondary interface near the main power junction.
“What is it?” asked Captain Knotts, the concern on his face growing deeper.
“I’m not sure, but I don’t like the looks of it,” answered Chief Bender. It was invisible to our eyes, but she held up her PADD to show a 3D rendering of the object. It looked exactly like a box of playing cards but had no distinguishing marks of any kind, just smooth sides and sharp edges.
Just then, the captain’s communicator squawked. “CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE!” and the red alert klaxon began sounding again.
Captain Knotts, Commander Griffin and I headed quickly to the nearest turbolift. “Status report,” the captain requested.
“There’s a ship off our port bow of unknown configuration. At least we think it’s a ship. It wasn’t there a second ago and now it’s there. They aren’t responding to hails.”
We stepped onto the bridge and the image on the view screen was something to behold. It was a large box, a giant version of the object on our computer core. It was at least 1/3 the size of our ship and it’s silvery surface looked like liquid metal but was not the least bit reflective, instead seeming to generate its own dim light from within. The edges looked sharp enough to cut space-time itself and it stood out starkly from the blackness of space filled with stars and galaxies behind it.
“Open a channel,” said the Captain. A chirp signified that communications had been initialized. “Unidentified Vessel: I am Captain James Knotts of the Federation Starship Narragansett. You are in Federation space. Please announce your intentions and identify your species and planet of origin.”
“No response, sir,” said Lieutenant Commander Dreyfus from the communications station. “I am sending our translation codes using all standard modes of communication.”
“Try the non-standard ones too,” I said. Anyone with this kind of technology should be able to translate our language in short order once they recognized the series of primes at the beginning of our translation codes for what they were.
“Bender to bridge.”
“Go ahead,” replied the captain.
“Sir, it seems that the device on the computer core is accessing our main computer database. It’s downloading everything, and I do mean everything.”
“Interesting,” I said as I sat down at my station to review the data from Chief Bender’s PADD.
The Captain looked in my direction and said “Exasperating is more like it. I don’t like this one bit.”
“Incoming transmission sir, audio only, putting it through” said Lieutenant Commander Dreyfus.
“Starship Narragansett: We have analysed all of your ‘data’ and determined that your kind is not ready to know us. You are not developed. You cannot be allowed to continue with the knowledge of our existence.”
“What do you mean we cannot be allowed to continue? Who are you to decide that?” replied the Captain.
Lieutenant Commander Dreyfus reported “They terminated their transmission, sir.”
“Bender to bridge.”
“Go ahead Chief,” the captain replied as he began to pace.
“Sir, the device is showing a massive energy buildup that should not be possible based on it’s size. I’d estimate is has more energy currently than we can produce over the course of a year.”
Commander Griffin turned from the Ops station to look at the Captain and I. “I think we know what they mean now, sir.”
Suspecting that our choice to live on a Starship with our young family was poor, my thoughts turned to my wife and children a few decks below us. I didn’t have long to regret, as the world went blindingly white.
What seemed like an eternity later, I found myself sitting at my desk. The time on the chronometer read 1000, and none of the events I have recounted here after I stepped onto the bridge this morning seem to have happened. It seems after I checked with Commander Griffin to assign more staff to the Armory I came here to my office to work on crew evaluations. Despite my vivid recollection, no one else’s logs seem to reflect these events and the sensor logs show no anomalies of any kind.
Captain Knotts had no idea what I was talking about when I inquired as to what was going on, so I decided to write this report to make sure there was a record of my memories. I think I’ll go to sickbay and get checked out.