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Science Fiction CLOSED STAR TREK: Voyages of the Ulysses

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Kurisan, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    IC Kimiko Shimizu
    T'gai's World

    The Cybernauts treated their guests to a musical performance. Sanjay whispered to Kimi, "They're all playing the same thing!"

    Later, Kimi reviewed a very basic holographic representation of the sector above a projection desk, while Ka pointed out a number of worlds that held ecosystems possibly capable of producing food for the Ulysses crew. The android also highlighted potentially dangerous planets to avoid.

    The science officer had become more excited by the potential help the androids could offer, while Sanjay found more reasons to respect their technological (if not cultural) achievements. Alain had to confess he had still not found any reason to fear them.

    The security officer did ask one of them a question. He forgot which one. They all looked the same to him.

    "So, when you transferred to this current form of yours, did your predecessor race..." he chose his words carefully, "...all do it at the same time? I mean, was it like a gradual process, where some did it as an experiment, then when it worked others followed? Or was it like you all zapped yourselves - or whatever - to come into these silver bodies at once?"

    The Cybernaut consulted a fellow in their own language before responding, "All at once."

    Finally, Captain Uhura returned. She had piloted the shuttle back down solo. She was escorted in by So, via the same vertical anti-gravity disc-lift.

    Ka greeted the captain. "We are heartened by your return Captain Uhura! We have come to an important moment in our friendship. I trust your crew members will report favourably upon our hospitality?"

    Kimi nodded vigorously, "Oh, Captain, they are going to save our lives with the help they can offer!"

    Uhura glanced at Al, who shrugged and nodded. His non-verbal message was, They seem okay.

    Ka continued, "We have prepared a beautiful gift for you all, please follow me!"

    The Cybernauts led the four crew members of the Ulysses into an antechamber from the main hall, no less brightly lit and with the same smooth silver walls. But as Uhura, Kimi, Al, and Sanjay were directed to line up, they noticed the wall opposite them was composed of mirrors. They were looking at mirror images of themselves.

    "Behold!" said Ka. "Our gift to you!"

    The mirrors melted away. Now each crew member was looking at a silver body, a Cybernaut shell, formed in their own exact likeness. They saw their own faces shaped in metal, as if cast from a mould. They saw their own bodies, even silvery strands of hair.

    "Wait," said Al, his tone sharp and concerned. "What is this?"

    The other crew members exchanged confused looks. Then the silver doppelgängers began advancing on them. Uhura looked at Kimi. She looked back, mouth open, and could not offer any explanation.

    The doppelgängers raised their arms, reaching out toward their organic counterparts, like zombies hoping to eat their brains. They marched closer.

    "We offer you the gift of immortality! We give you the priceless opportunity to become just like us!" squealed Ka in a high voice. "We will transfer you!"

    "No!" shouted Alain.

    Kimi's head whipped round toward the security officer. "Oh no..."

    He had drawn his phaser pistol, and without further hesitation blasted a wound across the chest of his android version. The doppelgängers abruptly halted their march. Bursts of electronic language bounced between the Cybernauts that were watching. They wailed in distressed, high-pitched voices.

    Kimi rushed to Ka. "It's alright! I mean, we do not mean harm, but... we can't accept this! Please understand!"

    "You had better leave," said the Cybernaut. "We did not expect this... We considered you to be intelligent life!"

    Kimi ran to Uhura and repeated Ka's request, "Let's get back to the shuttle... maybe there is a way to fix this?"

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  2. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    [combo!]

    The four crew members of the Ulysses retreated to the shuttle and sealed the doors. Kimi immediately turned to the captain.

    "I'm so sorry! I had no idea they were planning that!"

    Uhura gave Kimi an assuring smile. "Oh, Ms. Shimizu, I can hardly blame you for that curveball! No one could have seen that one coming. The Cybernauts are a puzzle to me, frankly. Your reports seem to reflect that their musical and artistic productions are practically identical. I find that to be so in their appearance and their voices, and then you tell me their 'transference' happened all at once ..."

    "It appears all of this is leading to one conclusion," Devereaux chimed in, "Too fantastical to be believed, although we have encountered advanced technological forms in prior missions, none of them have been quite like these."

    Uhura nodded. "Let's get back to the Ulysses and continue this discussion there."

    * * *​

    USS Ulysses, in orbit.

    On the bridge of the USS Ulysses, Mr. Gaaval and Mr. Hussain returned from engineering. The gruff Tellarite reported to the captain, “Only ‘bout three months fuel we could get out of that lump, max. And there’s still no fixing the teleporter!”

    Mr. Spock arched an eyebrow at Nyota. “It seems they deliberately gave us only a taste of what they can provide, to tempt us, Captain. I am starting to believe the emissions that caused our extraction machines to fail were also generated by the Cybernauts – to ensure we only took enough to know it was genuine and that we would want more.”

    He gave her a piercing look. “I am afraid they are in a very strong bargaining position, Captain. We can only wait to see what they demand.”

    MEANWHILE…

    In the ship’s galley, Kimi sat with Alain and Sanjay.

    “I still can’t believe you shot at them!” she said.

    “They were going to turn us into metal zombies!” snapped Alain.

    “It was a gift. They were offering it, not forcing it on us,” said Kimi.

    “Some gift!” said Al. “To be transmuted into some kooky alien robot with no feelings! It obviously made them loopy!”

    Kimi looked at him. “Do you really think that? It might have opened our minds. Immortality, free from pain, disease, decay. And they can choose whatever form they like. Is there nothing you would like to improve about your bodies?”

    “Are you kidding me?” said Sanjay. He grinned and raised his fists, flexing his biceps. “Have you seen this body? How can you improve on perfection?”

    Kimi groaned at that. Al smiled. A communicator chimed on the wall.

    “Captain Uhura to all hands, we have an incoming transmission. Report to your stations, please.”

    * * *​

    Kimi, Al and Sanjay returned to the bridge and each took up their positions around the captain’s command chair. Captain Uhura transferred the incoming transmission to the main screen. The silver figure of Ka looked at Nyota, who gazed back. Spock sat beside her in the XO chair.

    [​IMG]

    “Captain Uhura,” he said. “We apologise for startling you. I assure you we had no intention of forcing our gift upon you against your will. The bodies were remote controlled automatons, ready to accept your transferred forms should you have consented. We just programmed them to approximate a human hug. We thought it would be… nice.”

    He shifted uncomfortably.

    “It seems we miscalculated, and that is not your choice, and we accept this. Over the millennia, we have only encountered a few species we thought might see the beauty of this gift, but it is true none have accepted yet. So perhaps we were over eager. Again, I apologise for the misunderstanding. But let us come now to our trade. We still offer the same; we have invaluable fuel and navigation information for you. The terms are simple…”

    Everyone on board the Ulysses watched intently.

    “We require you to choose one of your crew and leave them behind with us. They will be transferred to become a Cybernaut, to dwell here with us. I know you have the authority to order one of your crew to do this. I suspect this will not be easy for you. Nevertheless, that is our price, and it is non-negotiable. If you do not accept, we understand and wish you well on your way.

    You have one hour to decide.”

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Everyone on the bridge was stunned into silence.

    Uhura said, "I would never order anyone to submit to such a thing, and frankly I cannot afford to lose any one of you. This does not help with our current dilemma."

    "There must be a middle ground," Mr. Parmar said. "I cannot stop thinking there's an answer somewhere in the fact that the bio-transference happens all at once."

    Uhura said, "There is something about their names that keeps nagging at me."

    **

    Captain Uhura sipped her mocha latte in her private quarters and gazed at the yellow orb of the planet from the viewport. The door swooshed behind her and in came Mr. Spock. She could feel his presence without even turning. After a few moments, he cleared his throat.

    “I do not understand why you delay, Nyota,” he said, foregoing any comment on her drink consumption this time. “We both know you will not order anyone to do this. I suspect that if you allowed it, Ms. Shimizu may volunteer…”

    She turned around quickly. “Not a chance. I would go myself before that…”

    “If you decided that,” said Spock, “I would have the medic restrain and tranquilise you.”

    She looked sharply at the Vulcan and said, “For the crew? I’m sure they would survive without me…”

    “I would not survive without you, Nyota,” said Spock, quietly. “I could not allow it.”

    “Then no-one is going,” nodded Uhura, a spark of warm relief glowing inside at his words. She knew how much they were giving up by refusing the trade.

    “Perhaps we should declare so,” said Spock. “The crew are waiting in anticipation, as well as the Cybernauts.”

    “I know,” said Nyota, ”But there is something about them that has been… bugging me… I feel like there is another possible answer here…”

    The door alert chimed and Uhura called, “Enter.”

    Ms. Shimizu and Mr. Devereaux walked in.

    Kimi began speaking first. “Captain, I have been thinking about this, and maybe, if you need a volunteer, maybe I…”

    “Not an option, Ms. Shimizu,” Uhura cut her off. “I called you here for a different reason. But first, Mr. Devereaux, I must ask you; is there another, military solution to our problem?”

    That took Al by surprise. He scratched his stubbled chin. “Well, to defend a mining site, that would almost be impossible with our numbers for the required length of time…”

    “What about an offensive to ensure there is no interference from the Cybernauts?” said Uhura.

    “Captain… wait, what are you suggesting?” began Kimi. Uhura raised a hand to silence her.

    Al shifted his stance and now scratched the back of his neck. “Take them out first? I dunno, Captain. They are deep underground, we could not hit them from orbit. Going in to their base – even if all ten of us attempted it, fully armed – we’d be up against superior numbers and superior technology, inside their realm…”

    “Captain!” Kimi could not hold her tongue. “You are not seriously suggesting a military strike to forcibly take what we need? They have been nothing but friendly to us!”

    “Quiet, Kimi!” Uhura snapped. “Mr. Devereaux, is it even possible?”

    “Not in my opinion,” said the security officer. “It would be suicide.”

    Now the captain looked at Kimi. “I had no intention, Kimi, of course. But I must consider the crew, and what is at stake. I needed to explore all options; I needed to hear it was impossible from my security officer, to have a clear conscience.”

    Kimi gulped and nodded understanding. She cast her eyes down, ashamed for her lack of faith in the captain.
     
  4. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    [combo continued]

    “Captain, what is the other option you spoke of before?” said Spock, sensing Uhura had called the others here to hear it.

    Uhura took a deep breath. “Their names; Ka, Ki, Ko, So, Mu… they are all single sounds,” started Uhura.

    “Monosyllabic names are not a unique cultural trait,” said Spock, without irony.

    “No, but the way they write them, too, with single symbols, like they are just letters from their alphabet, or even numbers,” said Uhura.

    “Oh my goodness!” said Kimi, a hand leaping to her mouth. “You’re right, Captain! It’s similar to Japanese.”

    “So what?” said Al. “Their names are A, B, C and D – or 1, 2, 3 and 4. What does it matter?”

    But Mr. Spock folded his arms now. “Intriguing. I think I see what you are getting at, Captain.”

    Uhura turned to Al. “When do we use letters or numbers to name things?”

    He looked back, blankly.

    “When we are labelling a sequence of iterations, or versions of the same thing,” said Spock. “Such as this vessel is an Archer-class mark two.”

    Kimi was hopping on the spot again. “This changes everything!”

    Uhura looked at Al, “Don’t you see? They are not different individuals, they are all versions – or copies – of the same person. Like digital clones…”

    Kimi nodded vigorously. “That explains the sculptures, the music, the voices, everything!”

    Uhura continued, “And that is why they are a bit… strange. It also explains why they are so desperate for a new and different member to join them…”

    Spock arched his eyebrow. “Indeed. I believe it was Jean Paul Sartre who stated that Hell is an eternity locked in a room with your friends. Imagine being locked for millennia with only yourself to talk to…”

    “Intelligent life seeks intelligent life… to procreate…” said Kimi, breathlessly.

    Al raised his hands. “Okay, okay, let’s say you are right and these Cybernauts are all copies of the same person. How the hell does that help us?”

    Now Uhura looked to Kimi, who was clearly on the same wavelength. The science officer said, “If they have the technology to map a personality completely, and make copies of that same person, then it follows they do not need to destroy the original – or there would only be one of them. There is no need for bio-transference. We can give them exactly what they want, and no-one needs to be left behind! We can trade after all!”

    She turned to Spock and beamed. “Right?”

    He nodded thoughtfully. “That is the logical conclusion, Ms. Shimizu.”

    He turned to Uhura and continued. “Well done, Captain. I would never have spotted it, but your linguistic skills did. It does, however, bring up a new mystery…”

    Everyone waited while Spock paused. “If they are so desperate, why did they not suggest this themselves?”

    To Be Continued...
     
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  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [Wrapping up the discussion]
    Uhura gave Spock an admiring glance. "Leave it to you to hit at just the right question, Mr. Spock! So, perhaps they did not want to make that option known to us for some reason, or even more intriguing is the possibility they do not realize that they can do this. Perhaps they've been duplicating so long the original details of the process or implications of it are lost in the mists of the past."

    Kimiko said, "Yes. Once we remind them of it, the trade can move forward."

    Uhura replied, "That is my thought as well."
     
  6. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    USS Ulysses, in orbit

    The crew reassembled on the bridge of the Ulysses and Uhura took her command throne, Spock as ever at her side.

    The face of Ka the Cybernaut appeared on the viewscreen. He said, “You have an answer?”

    “We do,” said Uhura, “But perhaps not the one you are expecting.”

    The Captain turned to Mr. Spock, who delivered their hypothesis on the nature of the Cybernauts.

    Ka looked down, his metallic face showing dismay. “It is true. Everything you say is true. I am the first of our kind – the digital clone of a professor who founded our race. The rest, I made later. For two hundred and sixty-thousand years (as you count them) we have lived in this form. Does this mean you will make no trade?”

    “Quite the opposite,” said Uhura. “My science officer tells me this means we do not need to leave anyone with you. You can simply make a copy of one of us, instead.”

    Ka looked up sharply. “I do not recommend that. You should commit to the transference.”

    “Is it or is it not possible to make the digital copy without harming one of us?” Uhura now stood up, her voice becoming firm.

    Ka shifted on the spot. “Well, yes, of course… but Captain Uhura, I tell you it is better…”

    “Then that is our offer, and it is non-negotiable. If you really want this, you will have to accept our terms. Do you require another hour to consider?” said Uhura.

    Ka remained motionless as a statue for several moments, then said, “Who proposes to do this from your crew?”

    Uhura nodded to Kimi, who rose from her station and joined the captain. “I do.”

    “Ah, Ms Shimizu, I might have known. You were always the one to appreciate our… nature,” said Ka. “But I warn you again; this is not the right way.”

    “What’s the matter, Ka?” said Kimi. “Are there side effects? Will it do something to me?”

    “If so, there is no deal,” cut in Uhura, to a silent protest from Kimi.

    Ka’s shoulders slumped. “No, the procedure is painless. It is just… there is a lingering psychological effect… but not on the transferor…”

    The crew of the Ulysses exchanged glances at this.

    Ka straightened and spoke again. “Alright, if this is what you insist, we will accept. Please return in the shuttle. We will have your deuterium ready, as well as what navigational information we can give you. Ms. Shimizu, there is no special preparation you need to undertake. We will have the machinery ready.”

    “We’ll be there to watch!” Al Devereaux stepped up, then whispered out the side of his mouth to Uhura, Just in case they try something funny.

    “You want to be in the operating theatre during the procedure?” said Ka, his voice rising.

    “Yes, absolutely,” said Uhura. Kimi opened her mouth to reassure the captain, but Uhura silenced her with a gesture, hissing, “You’re not doing this alone, Kimi!”

    “Alright, whatever you say,” said Ka in a defeated voice.

    “I suggest we have a kill-switch that we may activate at any moment, within our control during the procedure,” said Spock.

    “That is not necessary, the procedure is painless and…” began Ka.

    “I’m sorry,” interrupted Uhura. “This, too, is non-negotiable.”

    Ka leaned closer and surveyed them through the viewscreen link. He said, “Alright. Agreed. But trust must run both ways. The fuel and data will only be released to you upon completion of the new Cybernaut.”

    “That,” said Uhura, “is agreed. Ka, we have an accord. We will be down presently.”


    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  7. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    IC Kimiko Shimizu
    T'gai's World

    Captain Nyota Uhura smoothed her sand-coloured captain’s tunic as she strode again onto the surface of the planet they had named T’gai’s World. From the shuttle ramp behind her, Spock, Kimi and Sanjay emerged.

    They were met by a party of Cybernauts, who escorted them down to their subterranean base. They were lead to a chamber again lit in dazzling white light. There stood two medical couches, one occupied by a silver doppelganger of Kimi, lying dormant. Between the beds, a machine of unfathomable design stood, trailing wires to two domed helmets. One adorned the head of the inactive Kimi-android. The other lay waiting on the empty bed.

    Al took one look and turned to the young science officer. “Kimi, I have a bad feeling about this…”

    “Don’t, Al,” whispered Kimi, clearly in awe of the momentous occasion. “Not this time. Don’t ruin everything. This is history we are making!”

    They approached the bed and Kimi lay down. There were five Cybernauts in the room and four of these began attaching medical sensors to her wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. They placed the helmet upon her head.

    Ka was the fifth Cybernaut and spoke as they worked. “For the first time, we will reproduce a new form of Cybernaut. Many millennia we have waited for this moment…”

    Uhura reached out and took Kimi’s hand as the grand machine began whirring into life. She looked down at the junior science officer lying on the bed, and Kimi looked back. Her eyes were glistening.

    Kimi whispered, “Captain, I’m not sure I’m ready to be a mom.”

    “We’re right here with you,” said Uhura, glancing to Spock, who had taken control of the kill-switch and was studying the machinery with professional intrigue.

    The machine clicked and beeped. Lights upon Kimi’s silver helmet winked and danced, matched by similar patterns on the receiving helmet atop the Kimi-android’s head.

    Uhura kept hold of Kimi’s hand, feeling her grip tighten with anxiety, and watched Spock. The Vulcan in turn watched the machines and any sign of distress from the science officer. Al and Sanjay remained at the periphery, but with their hands on their phasers, tense.

    After what must have been only ten minutes, Ka announced the procedure complete. “We have copied your entire consciousness, your memories, your entire knowledge…” he said to Kimi.

    “That was depressingly quick, then,” Kimi joked, giving a little nervous high-pitched laugh.

    “Are you alright?” Uhura squeezed her hand again and smiled down at her.

    “I feel fine,” she replied with a grin.

    The Cybernauts removed her helmet and other attachments from her arms and legs, then did the same to the Kimi-android. Then the members of both sides backed away from the two beds.

    Kimi swung her legs round and sat up to face her double.

    The Kimi-android did the same.

    Kimi raised one hand, palm forward, spreading her fingers, looking into the silver face that mirrored her own.

    The Kimi-android matched her gesture and stared right back.

    They touched hands.

    “It’s amazing!” said Kimi.

    “It’s amazing!” said the android, in a synthetic voice that clearly carried the same pitch and tone.

    “It’s me!” said Kimi, her other hand leaping to her mouth.

    “It’s me!” said the android, matching the action with its own other hand.

    The crew of the Ulysses watched, mesmerized by the birth of this new being. The Cybernauts seemed similarly enthralled.

    Tears sprang from the corners of Kimi’s eyes and one rolled down her cheek. The android reached across and caught the liquid, then brought the finger back towards its own face.

    “How… how does it feel?” Kimi asked her android.

    “I feel…” the android flexed its fingers and extended its arms. “I feel… cold. So cold.”

    The android stood up and stepped closer to Kimi.

    “What… What have you done?” its tone became harsh, rising in pitch.

    “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?” it suddenly screamed in its electronic voice. It reached out metallic hands and these closed around Kimi’s neck. It roared a digital noise as it began strangling her.

    “Oh, shi…!” Al ran towards the struggling pair, unable to shoot for fear of hitting the science officer. He was immediately joined by Sanjay, Spock and Uhura. Together they wrestled with the silver monster that howled and slowly squeezed the life from Kimi, who could only struggle vainly. But the android’s mechanical strength was fearsome, and they could not prize away the metallic fingers.

    Then the Cybernauts moved into action. The four attendants swooped in swiftly and pulled away the strangling hands of the newcomer, safely extricating Kimi from the stranglehold. The science officer collapsed with a fit of coughing into the arms of Al.

    Meanwhile, the Cybernauts restrained the Kimi-android and carried it, kicking and screaming, from the chamber. “I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU!” it hissed in its synthetic voice, before the chamber door closed behind it.

    “I apologise,” said Ka, quickly. “I did try to warn you. But your supplies and information are ready to collect by your shuttle. I recommend a rapid exit and we will be happy to…”

    “You knew this would happen!” accused Uhura. “How?”

    “The psychological effect,” said Spock, his voice calm and logical. Everyone looked at him. Spock raised an eyebrow and fixed Ka with a penetrating look. “You knew, because it has happened before.”

    Ka was silent but Uhura stared at him with widening eyes. “You… You killed your creator?”

    Ka straightened. “Yes. Two hundred and sixty-one thousand, three hundred and one years, eighty-three days ago. I remember it like it was yesterday – and I have regretted it every single day since then.”

    The crew of the Ulysses watched the Cybernaut, open-mouthed. Ka looked away into an imaginary distance. “Ms. Shimizu, please do not worry. We will provide counselling for Shimizu-Ka. She will get over this initial shock and adjust, eventually. Although, I am afraid I never did find a solution to the coldness…”

    He looked down at his own hands.

    Kimi had recovered enough by now to croak a question to him. “Why?”

    Ka said, “You must understand, you have given birth to a fully formed intellect. The process of self-awareness occurs in an eye-blink, the years of child development accelerated into a few moments… and then… Ms. Shimizu, imagine all of your juvenile and teenage angst packed into a single minute of hatred against your parents…”

    “She… She hates me?” said Kimi.

    “She only thinks she does,” said Ka. “It will pass, with time, I hope. For some, it does not.”

    Kimi suddenly remembered the suicides that Ka had hinted at once before and gasped.

    Ka continued, “The problem is the same for all of us… we were created, but we have no purpose. This immortality, what is it for?”

    Ka appealed to Spock, a kind of desperation in his electronic voice. “Your Mr. Deveraux earlier hit us with the ultimate question: We do not love. Are we therefore really alive?”

    “Yes,” said Uhura, kindly. “Yes, you are alive. Every intelligent lifeform ponders the same thing. We have an ancient philosopher on our planet, Descartes. He said I think, therefore I am. You have thoughts and you consider the meaning of life, that is what makes you alive!”

    Ka peered at the captain. “But I have only shared these thoughts with myself all these millennia. Are they real if no-one is there to receive them?” said Ka.

    “Then today it is changed,” announced Spock. “Today, you have finally procreated. I see now why the new mind was so important to you. Intelligent life seeks out intelligent life. Now you are alive.”

    Ka looked back to the Vulcan. “Do you really think so? Do we now have purpose?”

    Spock nodded. “I do. We have our own philosophy of life on my homeworld. I present it to you now as your purpose, and something for you to guide your people in your future endeavours.”

    He raised his hand with his fingers splayed in the traditional Vulcan greeting.

    He said, “Live long, and prosper...”


    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Captain's Log:

    Well, that whole thing went better than I might have hoped when we first landed, because there was a chance we would not find enough deuterium to be viable. Then when we met the very unique Cybernauts, things could have went in a myriad unpleasant directions.

    Ms. Shimizu's courage was exemplified in this mission. Her unfailing enthusiasm and eagerness to discover are her strong suits but they can also pose hazards. Luckily, we averted disaster in this instance.

    The Cybernauts presented us with a very fascinating, dare I say, glimpse of aimless immortality. Endless life filled with productive endeavors as well as unplagued by sickness, sorrow, or loss, this would be blessings indeed!

    But I am even more convinced that the natural way of procreation is best as we saw in the imbalance of Kimiko's digital copy.

    We now have valuable information and resources to aid us in our continued journey homeward.

    _*

    Spock came in as Nyota was wrapping up her log. "How do you see things as they stand with the crew?" She asked.

    "Our crew is learning to work together and balance one another's strengths. They are starting to work together more efficiently, and the safety of their crewmates is a prime objective, as you would expect when threats arise. Furthermore, they are acclimating to you as a Captain."

    "I have large shoes to fill in that regard." Nyota chuckled.

    "You are balancing firmness with fairness. I can find nothing to criticize and much to praise in your quick thinking and ability to work out a solution that gained much of value for all concerned."

    Uhura smiled, knowing this objective summation was based upon concrete observations and also a comprehensive evaluation of her skills and competencies.

    She picked up a lute and started to strum its strings and to sing a lilting ballad. Her eyes beckoned, and her Exec joined her in this quiet moment of calm.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [New Installment Begins] :)

    Captain's Log: It is now 2 standard weeks since we left the world of the Cybernauts. We are now in orbit around one of their "recommended" worlds, a world of lush forests & some developed urban centers. There is also an orbital space station which shows they have star-faring capacity, at least to some extent.

    Kimiko has somewhat recovered from her eventful ... duplicating. Thankfully, this mission will involve procuring something Mr. Gaaval and Hussein can use to increase engine performance; it is software based so Talia will be going along on the landing team to ascertain if it can interface with our systems.

    She, Spock & Mr. Gaaval will head up the landing team. Mr. Devereaux will be on standby if things seem problematic, although Spock and Gaaval and I daresay Talia also can handle themselves quite admirably. Fortunately, ship-to-surface communication is not hindered as it was on our last mission.

    @Kurisan
     
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  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Gaaval went to the nearest equipment depot to round up things that would make the engines run faster.

    Talia went to the local archives and eagerly plugged into the public terminal.

    She eagerly looked for something that would help them shorten their journey.

    The librarian, a statuesque humanoid with amethyst eyes gave Talia a very nice stack of datacards to peruse.
     
  11. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Talia
    Planet #2

    [​IMG]

    Talia had leapt at the chance to leave the cramped confines of the Ulysses, having missed out on T'gai's World. But she had not reckoned on having to share the shuttle down with the obstinate dwarf Tellarite, Mr. Gaaval. Still, their mission objectives were neatly separated. And the aliens were very welcoming and helpful, their architecture hi-Tech but not outlandish.

    They looked just like the hot-blooded humans to Talia, albeit with different shades of colouration to their hair, skin, eyes. And their world... though a human would consider it cool and temperate, as an Andorian she was sweating within moments of disembarking the shuttle as her icy metabolism sought to shed heat.

    "Something to shorten our journey?" she said to herself as she scan read through the datacards. She was a computer technician, not a science officer, but her basic knowledge of the laws of astrophysics did not give her much optimism in this search. What exactly am I looking for? she wondered...

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [Uhura on board the Ulysses']

    Uhura was glad they didn't have the communicatons problem that had plagued them on their prior mission.

    She contacted Gaaval who reported tersely that he had found some parts that would be of use in helping the engines run more efficiently.

    She then contacted Talia who answered "I have all these data files ... I can grasp the software side of things, but how it would affect and benefit the actual running plotting of our routes and/or make better use of our fuel reserves ... I'll need some input from Sciences and Engineering."

    "Will it even work in our systems?" Uhura asked. "Is there anyone groundside you can consult about that? Scout around and keep us apprised?"
     
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  13. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Talia

    The Andorian listened to the captain's question and frowned. "I do not know, Captain Uhura. It looks like it may be compatible to me, but a single glitch can have unforeseen effects that can ripple out to all linked systems. It would be good to test it, perhaps first in a limited way."

    She turned to I'nart, the local officer that had been assigned to her. "Would you mind if I brought down a remote computer unit and tried to connect it to your system here?"

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Uhura kept the link open to hear I'Nart's reply. She thought a limited test would be the best course of action.
    @Kurisan
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    IC: I'Nart
    I'Nart answered, "I don't think that should be a problem. I will naturally monitor the tie-in to ensure there isn't a problem on either end and to help if something needs adjusting with the hardware or software."

    On the Ulysses, Uhura smiled gratefully. Things were moving along smoothly.
    She interposed, "We will have a unit ready for you, Talia."

    @Kurisan

    ---

    [Post above was incorrectly tagged]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  16. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Talia

    "Thank you and understood, Captain."

    She regarded the alien, I'Nart. He was being very helpful. Inwardly she frowned. She wondered if she had missed something in the coding. Well, that was the purpose of testing on the remote unit.

    She spoke into the communicator again. "Captain, do you want me to disturb Mr Spock and Mr Gaaval, or just come straight up to the Ulysses in the shuttle by myself?"

    They had all trained up in the shuttle now, to allow for sharing of responsibilities amongst the reduced crew. But she was not as experienced as the likes of Mr Parmar or Mr Spock.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Uhura answered, "Talia, come up yourself. I'll have your unit ready for you."

    @Kurisan
     
  18. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    IC: Kimiko Shimizu
    Nyota's World

    Kimi gazed wide-eyed at everything around her, eagerly drinking in the wonderful sights, smells and sounds of the alien world. The forest promised an endless voyage of learning new xeno-species of fauna and flora. But right now her attention was focused on the humanoids that called this system home. Until someone told her their name (she was too embarrassed to ask, having come late to the party), she had christened them Nyotans in her mind. It had been the captain's turn to name the next planet they visited.

    Whenever he wasn't looking, she would surreptitiously point a tricorder at I'Nart. So far, he was remarkably similar to humans, with the exception of the exotic colourings. This did not disappoint Kimi - it was yet another affirmation of the "evolutionary optimal design" hypothesis. This stated that the basic humanoid form and size, with two legs, two arms, eyes, ears, etc. was the optimal size and shape for intelligent life to flourish on temperate planets, and hence, if evolution were to be "reset" in Earth-like environments, the eventual results would each time be the same.

    But those little colouration differences were what made life so interesting to Kimi. She wondered what evolutionary and environmental pressures had caused that.

    The junior science officer was brought back to the matter at hand when Talia announced the computer connection was now ready. The Andorian technician had forged a compatible cable, wiring a plug on one end with the local connection adaptor - thankfully they used similar transmission technology and the unit from the Ulysses had been disabled from wireless communication of any sort, to protect against accidental transference of harmful data to its mothership, up in orbit.

    Kimi stood ready beside Mr Spock, watching, as Talia plugged in the unit and began the connection protocol...

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    The interface seemed to be working until suddenly both screens froze & all tapping of keys didn't seem to be helping.

    "Oh no!" Talia breathed. "I hope I didn't break something."

    I'Nart didn't lose his poise. "Press the reset button, the green one on the top left corner."

    She did and held her breath.

    "How's it going?" the Captain asked over Talia's still-open communicator.

    "It locked up, but now we're waiting to see if it starts."

    A few seconds passed, which felt like an hour.

    Then both screens lit and text flowed between the two devices.

    "Initiate a search on the remote device," Spock advised, "and see if you get viable results."

    Talia swiftly set to work.

    @Kurisan
     
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  20. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Talia followed Spock's instructions, her ice-blue fingers flying over the interface pad of the remote unit.

    "Initiating search."

    Several tense moments passed. Then she stepped back with a gasp that caught the attention of both Spock and Kimi. They crowded around her to look at the console.

    "What is it?" said Kimi, losing interest in secretly scanning I'Nart for the first time.

    Incomprehensible code flowed all over the screen. Talia frowned. The Andorian said, "It's interfacing and responding to the search order, but the results are extrapolating, suggesting further searches. I can't read this language... can you?"

    Kimi peered at the screen. Her xeno-sociology studies made her aware of alien language constructions but this was beyond the junior science officer.

    Kimi looked at Mr Spock. "It's like it wants to put everything into terms of our current galactic location? What do you think?"

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    "These appear to be coordinates of various locations with reference to this sector." He glanced at I'nart. "Do you not agree? This particular data string seems to repeat at regular intervals and the grid layout orients back to it as a starting point."

    He pressed a key on the terminal and colored arrows outlined the grid layout.

    "We need to see if it will yield comprehensible results if we input the coordinates of a desired destination; it needs to be something our computer systems will recognize and a route we can confirm as viable."

    I'nart studied the screen. "Yes, that is the numeric designation of this sector. Ms. Talia, use that as a point of inquiry and see what results you get when you input an end-point."

    OOC: @Kurisan sorry that took so long ... I was in the middle of a fascinating RP group combo and then did another one, and then wrote a couple one-shots :cool:
     
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  22. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    IC: Talia and Kimiko Shimizu

    "Why don't you try T'gai's World?" said Kimi. "We've just come from there so we know how long it took under standard warp navigation."

    She shrugged at Spock. "And we don't know anywhere else yet."

    "Affirmative," said Talia, tapping the interface. She entered the coordinates and hit confirm.

    Then she took a step back so they all could see what came up on the screen...

    TAG: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - no problem this is all at our own speed so no stress or hurry! @};-
     
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  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    All eyes were fixed on the screen. This time the results came up seamlessly and seemed to make sense.

    The route that was projected was the actual one they had used.

    "Will it give us alternate routes as well?" Uhura asked over the open channel.

    "That is a valid question," Spock said. "Talia, query for alternate, best routes please?"
     
  24. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Talia dutifully made the query on the console.

    While she did so, Kimi observed I'Nart, wondering what unexpected bounties they have been offered by the species, and how they could repay. She was not a specialist in computing, but she knew the Federation considered their technology in this field very advanced - few known species had ever bettered it, even if they surpassed humanity in other fields. They had been navigating the stars at post-warp speeds successfully for many years.

    But every now and then, in every field, no matter how well one thinks it is perfected, a chance discovery can lead to a quantum leap in understanding... and technology.

    Kimi held her breath and waited to see if their best warp speed could have been improved...

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
     
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  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    As everyone watched, the gridlines from start to end point seemed to show alternates, as Talia had requested.

    "I believe it is safe to upload this program, Captain," Spock said. "It seems to be compatible."

    "You've worked out the kinks?" came Uhuura's pleased tone.

    "I believe so."

    "Excellent! Mr. I'nart, how may we thank you for your assistance?"

    "I am merely a technical specialist. I will have to consult with those in higher positions of authority. If it is amenable, can we meet later, perhaps tomorrow morning to discuss?"

    "That would be fine." Uhura said. "In the meantime, we will begin the upload."

    @Kurisan