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Author Topic: Adventures of the Beer Keg of Science! ("Denizens"/"Adminstrator" adjacent)  (Read 7956 times)

georgiaboy

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Ooohh Boye


TDS dreams linked to the land of Fey


The Kraken must be Outliers



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idea weenie

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“You are not an Outsider,” Mab replied, snarling at the last word, “but come from as far away as one can be without being an Outsider.  Yet, you’re mortal.  What did you do prior to your arrival here, Lea Carpentier?  What manner of ship did you set sail upon, Captain of the Niops Association Militia Navy?”

“An antiquated cruiser, your Highness,” Lea replied carefully, “one refitted for exploration, though we retained weaponry for defense.  I do not wish to seem impertinent, but I am unfamiliar with your knowledge of the human world, or their knowledge of physics, and the speed of light.”

“I am familiar with your Einstein,” Lea said, amusement creeping into her voice, “and know well the duality of matter and energy, and his conjecture that travelling faster than light is impossible.”

“Are you familiar with the theories on faster-than-light travel developed by Thomas Kearny and Takayoshi Fuchida?” Lea asked.

“No,” Lea replied, “though I have found the work of Miguel Alcubierre and his theory of warp drive amusing, though fortunately still missing key parts of the picture.”

”Who?” Lea thought to herself.  “I'm afraid I’m not familiar with Alcubierre, but Kearny and Fuchida wrote several papers in the early 21st Century that were later used to develop the hyperspace FTL jump drive.  That’s what my ship uses to travel FTL.  We had just initiated a jump from interstellar space to a nearby star system, to investigate what happened to its inhabitants two centuries earlier.”

The bolded ones make me think Lea should be replaced with Mab

Mab grew as still as the ice of her throne.  “Hyperspace FTL travel, you say?  She’d never seen Mab move.  One moment, the Queen of Air and Darkness was seated upon her throne.  The next, she’d grabbed Lea by the front of her uniform.  “They did so when?!”

Be funny if there was frost on the front of her uniform after they arrived


But collecting all those stories into a single report should make for interesting reading

Giovanni Blasini

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The bolded ones make me think Lea should be replaced with Mab


Dang it...OK, fixed.

Quote

Be funny if there was frost on the front of her uniform after they arrived

But collecting all those stories into a single report should make for interesting reading

Depends upon how much each of them remembers. ;)
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Sir Chaos

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This is the Mab from the Dresden Files, isn´t she?

Thou shalt not seek beyond the Outer Gates.
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Giovanni Blasini

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This is the Mab from the Dresden Files, isn´t she?

Thou shalt not seek beyond the Outer Gates.

Yes.  Yes, it is.


Lea Carpentier is actually a descendent of the Battletech universe's version of the Carpenter family as well, with some linguistic drift affecting her last name, thanks to an ancestor who was a sci-fi author who changed the spelling of his name a bit for professional reasons (and, yes, that's a shout-out to another book).
« Last Edit: 10 June 2020, 15:11:46 by Giovanni Blasini »
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Euphonium

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Lea Carpentier is actually a descendent of the Battletech universe's version of the Carpenter family as well, with some linguistic drift affecting her last name, thanks to an ancestor who was a sci-fi author who changed the spelling of his name a bit for professional reasons (and, yes, that's a shout-out to another book).



It's been years since I read it but that puts me in mind of Larry Niven's Inferno.
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Giovanni Blasini

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It's been years since I read it but that puts me in mind of Larry Niven's Inferno.


A winner is you!  >:D
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Red Pins

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Peace Talks comes out this year.  Finally!
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Giovanni Blasini

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Main Bridge, NMS Beer Keg of Science!
Zenith Jump Point, Stettin System, 13 August 3158


Lea’s eyes opened, but it seemed at first like she was looking down a dark tunnel.  She could hear the discordant din of alarms, of her distressed crew, but they were muffled, jumbled together for a moment, as her vision and hearing slowly returned to normal.  “Status report,” she ordered blearily, as her awareness of her surroundings took greater hold.  The room felt entirely too bright.

{“Ship’s nominal, on station at Stettin for ten minutes, sensors are clear, crew is mostly incapacitated, and I’ve assumed control.  Drones are wrangling the worst cases,”} Mac replied tersely.

“Good to hear,” Lea replied, still shaking off the effects of what had to be the worst jump she’d ever experienced, her vision still struggling to adjust.  Her first duty, ensuring the status of the ship, was taken care of – Mac had an eye on things, and would let her know if there was an issue that needed her immediate attention.  Ascertaining the status of her crew was next, and also something that Mac was monitoring, but also something each department and department head would be handling, including her. “Bridge crew, sound off.  O’Brien?”

“Not dead yet.”

“Phoenix?” she continued.

“I'm not sick, but I'm not well.”

“Rozhenko?,” Lea continued.

“Here, Captain.”

“Kent?” Lea was greeted with silence.

{“Vitals are steady, but I can't read neurological state.”}


“I've got him, Captain,” Ensign Phoenix announced, floating over to Lieutenant Kent.  “He’s out cold, but it doesn't look like he’s seizing.”

{“Help’s on the way.”}

“Excellent,” Lea stated evenly.  “See about getting a head count on how many people are incapacitated.  I suspect our medical teams will be working overtime for a bit.  Bridge to CIC,” she continued, keying ship’s comms.  “Still with us down there?”

{”Kirk here.  I’ve got two crew incapacitated, but the Fuchikomas are taking them to Med Bay, and relief is on the way.  I’ve gotten a report from Mac.  How are you up there?”}

Lea could hear an edge in her first officer’s voice, and she suspected that he was not recovered himself, but, like her, was doing his best not to show it.  Before she could respond, a Fuchikoma drone opened the hatch, used its cold-gas jets and limbs to push itself inside, and scooped up Lieutenant Kent, taking him off of Ensign Phoenix’s hands.  “Off to Medbay,” it announced, before carrying her incapacitated navigator out the hatch again.  Lea blinked a few times, trying to clear her vision.  The room still felt overly bright, colors too rich.  She could feel a headache starting to build, her brain trying to cope with the wringer the jump put it through.

Lieutenant Commander Michael Rozhenko was the next to speak.  “Did anyone experience…” he trailed off for a moment, seemingly reluctant to continue before finding his voice again, “…auditory and visual hallucinations during the jump?”

Lea could hear murmurs from around the bridge, as her own mind tried to suppress memories of the event.  Leaning back heavily in her command seat, she momentarly reached for her head, where the headache brought on by the intensity of the lighting and, she presumed, TDS-like symptoms from the jump, continued to build.  It wasn’t incapacitating yet, but if it continued it might be soon.  “I think,” she finally replied, breaking into the quiet murmurs, “that we probably have many crewmembers who experienced something like that, Commander, given how we were all completely incapacitated after that last jump.  Are you all right now, though?”

Rozhenko nodded.  “Well enough to continue my duties, Captain.”

“Good,” Lea replied.  “Could someone check the bridge lighting?  It’s seems far brighter than it should be.”


“Captain,” Mo spoke up, “it’s not any brighter than normal.  Is it alright if I check your eyes, see if they’re dilated?”

“Please,” Lea replied, nodding.  She popped the seals on her helmet, removing it, to make it easier to examine her.  With no pressure leaks in the hull, and the Keg safe at its destination, there was no need to continue to wear it.  Briefly, she closed her eyes to relieve herself of the strain on her vision.  “James,” she said to her XO over the comm, “you have the Conn.”

{”Aye, Captain.”} Kirk replied, concern starting to seep into his voice.

Mo moved from her station to the Captain’s, settling in front of Lea.  As she did so, the lights began to dim a bit.  Not enough to make their jobs difficult, but hopefully enough to help her captain’s symptoms.  “Thank you, Mac?”  The gruff AI just grunted in reply.

“OK, Captain.  The lights have been dimmed a bit.  Could I get you to open your eyes?”

Lea nodded, then opened her eyes.  “That’s considerably better.”

“OK, Captain, let's see if…oh what the hell?!”

“O’Brien?” Lea asked.  “What is it?”

“Captain,” Mo asked shakily, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but your pupils weren’t vertical slits like a cat’s before we jumped, were they?”

“If you’re joking, Lieutenant, then it’s not at all funny,” she replied, fighting to hold off the tide of madness accompanying her memories of the jump that her mind fought to repress.

“She’s not joking, Captain.  Now that your helmet’s off, I can see a streak of white in your hair that wasn’t there before we jumped, either.  What in the name of Gre’thor happened during that jump?”

“In the name of what, Commander?” Lea asked.

“Hell.  In the name of hell.”

Mo turned to stare at him, unconsciously flexing the fingers of her left hand as she did.  “That wasn’t what you said, Commander.  You said ‘Gre’thor’.”

“What the heck does that mean?” Rozhenko asked, his irritation warring with his confusion.

“You tell me, sir!” Mo replied.

“Enough!” Lea barked.  “We’ve all just been put through an unknown, currently unexplainable phenomenon as part of our jump.  There will be time for contemplation of its bizarreness, but later.  Right now, we take care of our crew, ensure we’re mission-capable, and ascertain the status of our jump drive.  Mo, how long will it take to tune the HPG to this system’s parameters?”

“At least 48 hours, ma’am.”

“Can we send a fax?”  Lea continued.

“Yes, Captain,” Mo confirmed.

“Mac, do you see anything broken in our KF drive systems?”

{“No.”}

“Good.  Briefing, all senior officers, one hour.  And let’s see if our medical staff can take a look at my eyes at their convenience.”
« Last Edit: 07 July 2020, 21:19:23 by Giovanni Blasini »
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

EAGLE 7

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     Physical manifestations due to a jump and a jump dream of conversation of the fay court. Sounds like a good half dozen papers for publication and a few weeks in testing to see what else’s changes.
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Cannonshop

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physical manifestations WERE implied in Jihad Conspiracies... nice.
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Dave Talley

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     Physical manifestations due to a jump and a jump dream of conversation of the fay court. Sounds like a good half dozen papers for publication and a few weeks in testing to see what else’s changes.

a half dozen papers and a new line of SF novels
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worktroll

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What other gifts come back with them?

Mo finds a box in her quarters with a sticker saying "This machine kills demons", while Bob exhibits a disturbing familiarity with Old Enochian?

Alex has a sore forehead?

James comes back with space STDs?
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Daryk

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Weeks in testing?  More like YEARS!  :D

DOC_Agren

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I think you might have found the right switch...  8)
Wait we have a real Cray switch no longer just begging and pleading for him to come????
But we had a ritual to do it...


and that was 1 messed up Jump....
« Last Edit: 05 July 2020, 22:14:16 by DOC_Agren »
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Giovanni Blasini

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Wardroom, NMS Beer Keg of Science!
Zenith Jump Point, Stettin System, 13 August, 3158


[Monitoring Wardroom Cameras 1-4]
[Department heads still in process of obtaining seating.  Meeting has not yet commenced.  Four minutes, 34 seconds to scheduled start time.]
[Incoming communications request from Executive Officer, Cmdr. James Kirk.]

[Kirk: "Mac, there's something I need you to do."]

[Acknowledgment required.  Brevity remains acceptable.]

{"Mngh."}

[Analysis: facial expressions indicate 67% probability Cmdr. Kirk is agitated by brevity of my response.  Recommended action: continue observations, moderate brevity of responses.]

[Kirk: "I know monitoring the health and status of the crew is part of your job, and you don't need me or the Captain to tell you to keep doing it.  But, on that last jump, everybody aboard this ship experienced something that can't currently be explained.  Some of us, including the Captain, have physical manifestations as a result of the experience.  This is beyond what any of us expected for this mission, and we're going to depend on you to watch us, and make sure we're still fit for duty, because the only person who, as far as we know, hasn't been affected is you. And if you've lost it, Mac, we're all dead anyway."]

[Additional Analysis: 87% probability Cmdr. Kirk is worried or frightened by current turn of events.  Note: Cmdr. Kirk referred to me as a "person".]

{"So, watch the Captain's behavior, and tell you if the Captain isn't herself."}

[Kirk: "Or tell her if I'm not.  Or tell Rozhenko and O'Brien-Howard if both Captain Carpentier and I both aren't.  Or let us know if they aren't, but we're OK.  You're going to have to use your best judgement, Mac, on who in the chain of command can be trusted, including me."]

[Analysis: Cmdr. Kirk's request is logical, and fits expected behavior patterns.  Direct statement considering an AI a person is unusual, but no previous statements or behaviors contraindicate this viewpoint.  Behavior is within 92% of expected parameters.]

{"How long am I watching everyone?"}

[Kirk: "For the duration of the mission, Mac.  For the duration of the mission."]

[Clarification of orders necessary.  Require level of secrecy inherent in these orders to avoid potential conflicts.  Orders include enhanced monitoring of all crew, including Captain Carpentier, but Captain Carpentier's orders can contramand the Executive Officer's orders.  However, Cmdr. Kirk's orders are prudent in our current situation, and countermanding them would be possible evidence of impairment on the part of the Captain.]

{"How secret are these orders?"}

[Kirk: "The Captain should know.  We'll decide about the rest of the crew after this meeting.  Is she in the wardroom yet?"]

[Current location and status of Captain Carpentier: Captain's Office.  Captain is preparing to depart officer, and attend meeting.]

"{"She's about to leave her office."}

[Kirk: "Good, I'll meet her along the way and let her know.  Thank you, Mac."]

[Observation: Cmdr. Kirk is proceeding on course that will permit him to rendezvous with Captain Carpentier.  Recommend acknowledgement.  Politeness recommended.  Continue to monitor.]

{"You're welcome, Commander."}

----------------------------------------------------------

[Monitoring: Cmdr. Kirk has located Captain Carpentier.]

[Kirk: "Captain."]
[Analysis: Cmdr. Kirk's facial expressions indicate worry and fear. Estimate 78% probability Cmdr. Kirk is apprehensive about informing the Captain of his order for me to increase monitoring of the crew.  Anomaly: indicators in facial expressions are significantly reduced as compared to heart rate and respiration. Conclusion: as per SLDF command training protocol as adopted by Niops Association Militia, Cmdr. Kirk is attempting to project confidence, disguising his own mental state.  This matches expected behavior for Cmdr. Kirk with 99.7% certainty.  Continuing to monitor.]

[Carpentier: "Commander."]
[Observation: facial expressions indicate 54% chance of guardedness on part of Captain.  Vocal tones and expressions also indicate expected levels of cordiality towards Cmdr. Kirk.  Anomalous behaviors not detected.]

[Kirk: "Before we enter the meeting, I wanted to let you know that I ordered Mac to increase his level of monitoring of the crew, including both of us."]

[Carpentier: "Worried it's not just my eyes that have been changed, Commander?"]
[Observation: changes in facial expression indicate irritation, combined with fear.  As with Cmdr. Kirk, Captain Carpentier is using SLDF command training to mask her emotional state.  Analysis: Captain Carpentier is afraid that changes she  has undergone during the jump to Stettin are more widespread than simply her eyes.  This is within 87% of expected behavior for the Captain under these circumstances.]

[Kirk: "I'm worried about all of us, Captain.  Myself included.  How much do you remember from the jump?"]
[Analysis: estimate 95% probability of honesty on the part of Cmdr. Kirk.]

[Carpentier: "Enough.  Too much."]
[Observation: both parties have ceased movement towards wardroom.  Increase in fear responses on part of Captain Carpentier.  Neither party is presently speaking.]
[Observation: still not speaking.]
[Addendum: it's been five seconds of silence now.  What did they see during the jump?]

[Kirk: "Well, Apollo used an energy field shaped like a giant green hand to grab my starship after we'd dropped out of warp to survey Pollux V."]
[Note: I was not expecting that.]

[Carpentier: "Did you say 'warp drive', Commander?  As in an Alcubierre warp drive?"]
[Observation: No records exist within my memory of an Alcuibierre warp drive.  Full Star League scientific database not available.  Captain Carpentier's anxiety levels increasing.]

[Kirk: "Cochrane-Alcubierre, actually.  At least where I remember being.  I'm surprised you're familiar with Alcubierre's work.  His theories were considered utterly impractal decades before Kearny and Fuchida's work, due to a need for exotic matter...which is what Cochrane had solved.  But not in our universe."]
[Observation: this is far outside the parameters of any expected predictions.  But, then, so are Captain Carpentier's eyes.]

[Carpentier: "I wasn't familiar with him.  He got mentioned in passing, while I was trying to briefly explain what a JumpShip is to the Queen of Air and Darkness."]
[Note: What?]

[Kirk: "What?"]
[Note: Exactly.]
« Last Edit: 25 July 2020, 04:29:48 by Giovanni Blasini »
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Sir Chaos

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Wrangler

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Certainly living up to the science/exploration creds of the ship's mission.  ;D Fun stuff!

What AU is this story set in by the way?
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Giovanni Blasini

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Certainly living up to the science/exploration creds of the ship's mission.  ;D Fun stuff!

What AU is this story set in by the way?

It's a combination of old FGC Niops, to a point, and a spinoff of Cannonshop's The Administrator AU of his Ngoverse, though from Niops' perspective, they're out of the way that they more or less follow the canon path for Niops through 3145, with the following concessions:

  • In addition to the stuff they had going on in canon, Niops had some secret R&D and space-based industry at a dwarf planet designated Niops IX, or "Ix" for short. And, yeah, it's a Dune reference
  • Niops both had the hulk of a Cruiser class cruiser in-system, and knew where to get the core personality files and computers from an old M4 SDS Drone.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Ttw1

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F*** it. I'm bored. Time for a reread.
« Last Edit: 03 August 2020, 01:26:31 by Ttw1 »
The Mother Doctrine was good. Change My Mind.

Giovanni Blasini

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Thanks? Working on the next part of Emergence. Keg will be after that.
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Ttw1

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Epic, can't wait.
The Mother Doctrine was good. Change My Mind.

Ttw1

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I did the excellent decision of doing another reread.
The Mother Doctrine was good. Change My Mind.

Giovanni Blasini

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Just starting the next part of this...then got distracted and started building my Lego Saturn V with my son.  Hopefully will finish the new part tomorrow or Friday.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Giovanni Blasini

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Wardroom, NMS Beer Keg of Science!
Zenith Jump Point, Stettin System, 13 August, 3158


Major Mitch "Ned" Stark, head of the marine contingent aboard the Beer Keg of Science, watched Captain Carpentier and Commander Kirk enter into the Keg's small wardroom and take their seats.

Ostensibly, Stark's marines not only headed up shipboard security, but would also babysit the various egghead scientists and researchers during surface operations, including the contingent of BattleMechs attached to the teams.

Ned had served aboard smaller Niops Assocation Militia ships before transferring to his current post, and had gotten practical experience on anti-piracy patrols.  He'd trained for the day the Marian Hegemony attacked the Niops Association again, had worked with Interstellar Expeditions teams, and he'd done hostile boardings of pirate JumpShips while taking fire.  Ned was a warrior, but was also a Niopian.  He was no stranger to science and engineering.

None of it had prepared him for duty aboard the Keg.  Especially that last jump.

He knew he wasn't alone in that, though.  Ned need only look at the faces of the people around him to know that.  Or at his captain's eyes.  No, nobody aboard the Keg was ready for that.

Speaking of which, Ned watched as Captain Carpentier gathered her thoughts, and finally spoke. "We've all been through an unexpectedly rough experience.  I expect that we will probably bear the scars of this experience, physical and mental, for some time.  What's important now is to determine what happened, whether this event poses a risk to this ship and to our mission, and determine from here how best to proceed.  Let's start with the obvious question: I know our jump equations had a slight variance, but they should not have caused...that.  Theories?"

Bob Howard, the ship's head sysadmin, went to speak first.  Ned wasn't sure how the hell he'd been let out of med bay.  Howard appeared sunken and withdrawn, almost a stranger in his own body, his eyes simultaneously bloodshot and nearly luminous with how bright green his irises suddenly seemed.  That, Ned though, was new.

"Captain," Bob finally said, "are you familiar with multiverse theory?"

"I am," the Captain stated quietly.

Maureen O'Brien-Howard, Bob's wife, and the ship's chief science officer, who had been studiously trying not to look at him, suddenly turned and stared at Bob intently.  "Bob, the energy required to cross over into another universe..."

"Not into another universe, Mo," Bob replied, shaking his head.  "Just...bumped up against other universes while we were in hyperspace."  He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts.  "Maybe that's not even the right word.  While we were in hyperspace, we resonated with other universes, ones where other versions of us existed, with whom we resonated with."

"Some more than others," Commander Rozhenko grumbled.

Bob simply nodded in agreement.  "Yes, sir.  Exactly.  And why for the most part, our individual experiences were so individual.  It's vanishingly unlikely that there are many universes where all of us are all together on this ship, and those are probably more like alternate timelines of this universe."

Ned may not have been the best-versed individual on hyperspace theory, but that sounded…insane.

Commander Kirk, though, was better versed in hyperspace theory.  “That shouldn’t be possible, Lieutenant,” he said uncomfortably.  “We’ve certainly never had any reputable cases of any phenomena like this occurring.”

Mo O’Brien-Howard, though, simply shook her head.  “They might not have survived, Commander.  Or, if they had, they might have found their jump drives no longer worked, and found themselves stranded.  Strange things do happen from time to time, Commander.  Let’s not forget the rumors around the SLS Manassas.”

“Well, I don’t think we’re quite that screwed,” Tig Reno, the Keg’s chief engineer, said.  “Look, I’ll be the first to admit that some days our KF drive acts like it’s put together with duct tape, safety wire, and chewing gum, because it kind of is.  But goofy crap during a jump aside, it’s not going to get us stuck, or fail on us.  We’ll get where we need to go.  The ride might be a little rough, is all.”

Captain Carpentier nodded.  “We certainly hope that’s the case, Chief.  But, we’ll sill want to verify that before we try leaving the Stettin system.”

“We’ll also want to go over our jump numbers very carefully, once our navigators all recover from that jump.  Commander O’Brien, Lieutenant Howard and I are certainly capable of running jump calculations, but our jump navigators were hit particularly hard by this jump, and having them go over the calculations is only prudent.”

Bob, still shaking slightly, spoke up again, “We should compare notes if we can on the universes we might have bumped up against.  Might help explain the physical changes some of us have.”. He looked briefly at his Mo, then her left hand, then quickly looked away.

Ned shuddered, uncertain he wanted to share with the rest of the command staff.

“Agreed,” Captain Carpentier said.  “And just to put you all at ease, I’ll go first.”

“Captain, if I may,” Bob interrupted, “perhaps I should go first.  I seem to have encountered an…entity, who was aware of our situation, and provided a warning.”

“You aren’t the only one who did, Lieutenant,” Captain Carpentier replied dryly.

“Sorry, Captain.”

“I encountered an entity who identified herself as Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness.  This may have been the same Mab from ancient Terran mythology, or the myth’s inspiration, or an alien entity who chose to use the ancient myth as a framework with which to communicate with me.  She seemed familiar with a Terran history, though not necessarily with our own, and based on elements of our conversation.  She also mentioned FTL theories put forth by a Miguel Alcubierre, whom, I’m informed by Commander Kirk, did in fact present a theory of warp drive in the late 20th Century, which I hadn’t been aware of.” Carpentier paused for a moment to let her staff consider the implications.

Ned wondered who would take the bait, and wasn’t surprised when Commander O’Brien spoke first.  “Her timeline and ours don’t line up, do they?”

“No, they don’t,” Carpentier agreed.  “When I explained we’d used hyperspace jump drives based on Kearny’s and Fuchida’s theories, she implied that such ‘incredibly lethal toys’ were beyond what humanity should be experimenting with.  She was stunned when I explained that we’d done so for over a thousand years, starting in 2107, which puts her somewhere between the late 20th and early 22nd Centuries in her universe.  She left me with one warning before I was, evidently, pulled back to our universe: Beware the Outer Gates, and DO Not Breach Them.

Ned wasn’t surprised to hear someone ask, “What does that even mean, though, Captain?” What did surprise him was when he realized he’d blurted that out.

Captain Carpentier shrugged.  “She didn’t have time to elaborate.  Lieutenant Howard, you mentioned contact with an entity.”

Bob nodded.  “Yes, Captain.   His name was Angleton, and he knew someone roughly equivalent to me in thr universe he’d taken up residence in.”

“At the bloody Laundry Service,” Mo muttered.  Everyone, Ned noted, just turned and stared at her.  “I suspect Bob and I intruded upon the same universe.”

“Please tell me your…instrument…didn’t come back with you,” Bob asked carefully.

Mo shook her head.  “No sign of it.  I'm more worried about the…Memorandum.”

“Doesn’t work here.  Mo is asking about skills my counterpart in that universe ended up with to induce entropy in the eigenstates of a person's consciousness and utilize the resulting energy.”

“You were the Junior Eater of Souls, Bob.  And Angleton was the Senior one.”

Ned just stared at them both.  “You mean that literally.”

“Yes,” Bob agreed, “but I can't eat souls in our universe, so that doesn’t matter.  Look, from the perspective of Angleton’s universe, the boundaries between universes were getting thinner and weaker.  Incursions were becoming easier, the mathematics that formed the underpinnings sometimes leaking across universes.”

Mo continued for Bob.  “And that process, from the perspective of Angleton, and that other Bob, and that other Mo, was accelerating.  Computation, consciousness itself accelerated it.  And what we call hyperspace is largely a mathematical abstraction.”

“Which is probably where our math anomaly came in.  If the boundaries between universes are getting thinner, this may become a bigger problem, and not just for us with our unique KF drive.”

“That would certainly fit with Mab calling hyperspace-based FTL dangerous,” Captain Carpentier mused, “but for now it's the only game in town.  Perhaps the Outer Gates, then, represent the boundaries between universes.”

“Or our universes,” Mo noted, “and whatever is outside.”

Rozhenko frowned, “I am in favor of not collapsing the universes together.”

“Agreed,” Captain Carpentier said.  “Next time we have a variance like that, we resolve the issue.  It may not be a problem for other JumpShips, but the Keg is unique.  We need more data to determine whether this may become a more widespread issue in the future.”

“Winter is coming,” Ned murmured to himself.

“Major?” Kirk asked.

“I don’t remember much from the jump, Commander,” Ned explained.  “Just those three words.  They could be unrelated.  But they feel like a warning.”

“Major Stark, are you familiar with the folklore behind Queen Mab?” Carpentier asked.

“No, ma’am.”

“She's queen of the Unseelie Court.  The Winter fae, Major.  I doubt that’s a coincidence, nor that our jump drive worked just fine until we finally arrived in the Stettin system, a presumably dead world.  It's worth considering we don’t have two separate mysteries here.”
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Wrangler

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Did they even make it back to their own universe?  This is going turn into Lost in Space at rate were going.   :P

That or one of the crew tuned into HBO's Game of Thrones while in the Jump.  ;D
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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jonen c

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That or one of the crew tuned into HBO's Game of Thrones while in the Jump.  ;D

Given that the POV of this chapter was provided by one Major "Ned" Stark, I'm betting he did a wee bit more than just tune in.

Elmoth

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Alive ned stark. Just introducing season 1

glitterboy2098

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Alive ned stark. Just introducing season 1
hope that he doesn't experience episode 9 during a jump.