Captain's Log Fleet Captain Kaveh Arzie Outpost Phoenix Stardate 201809.03
The shuttlepod Bova slowly approached the orbit of Tahnna'Whanna IX after a grueling 18 hour flight from Tahnna'Whanna IV. Arzie hated shuttlepods. What was the point of having a small, interplanetary shuttle with no bed or couch or. . . whatever?
As the proximity alarm started beeping, he roused himself from the semi-reclined position he had managed to crawl into behind the cockpit seats. Suddenly 18 hours didn't seem so bad, he thought, as he crawled into the pilot's seat; back still stiff from having been cramped up for so long. Through the pod's fore window, 'it' started coming into view.
Although no one at the Outpost knew what it was yet, the Engineering department had figured out how to activate it. What would happen when they did, no one yet knew. Arzie wasn't about to let anyone else have the fun of pushing the 'Ominous Red Button,' so he had taken the trip out here himself to see what would happen. Outpost Phoenix, meanwhile, was on Red Alert. For all anyone knew, this could be a Point Singularity Projector, and an immediate evacuation would have to begin. Arzie tended to doubt that theory, however. The one glyph they'd been able to decipher from the structure was 'Baju'ekjil,' which seemed to loosely translate as 'The Way Between.'
. . . Of course if he was wrong, it would be too bad, so sad for Arzie, but hey! Adventure, right?!
'Arzie to Ops.' He said, tapping the communications frequency on. 'Activating the device.' He continued, as his fingers moved to the mission ops controls.
The console beeped as the shuttlepod sent out the activation command. Within seconds, the tetryon reactor began to pulse and the circular ring along the Z-Axis of the structure, with a diameter wide enough to comfortably accommodate a Galaxy-class starship, began to spin. A shining, shimmering veridian light began to pulse inward from the ring toward the centre of the aperture.
'Well, we haven't incinerated the sector.' Arzie said over the open channel. 'Stand down to Yellow Alert.' He sank back into the pod's seat and let out a small sigh of relief. 'There's an energy field in the centre of the aperture. I'm going to launch a Class II probe into it.'
The Class II probe sped quickly from the shuttlepod towards the energy field, dutifully recording and sending its telemetry back to the Bova and Outpost Phoenix, stopping suddenly as it hit the field. 'Signal lost, though not unexpected, I suppose.' Arzie transmitted to Operations. 'Reading neutrinos, ionized Hydrogen, and theta-band radiation. Signal lost at T+89 Seconds. Deactivating the structure and returning to OPX.' He added, sending the commands to the structure that would power it down.
As Arzie began inputting the course to return him to Tahnna'Whanna IV, he contented himself with the idea that at least the return trip would give him data to pour over as he spent another 18 hours in the cramped pod.
Another alarm went off. It was the probe, though the signal wasn't coming from the structure. Checking and rechecking, he reopened communications with Operations. 'Ops, the probe has resumed transmitting, but the signal is coming from Bearing 330 Mark 04. Distance: 4.3 Light-Years. Can you confirm?'
'Confirmed, Captain.' Came the voice of the sensor operator on Delta Shift. 'Bearing 330 Mark 04, distance 4.3 Light-Year. Telemetry coming in.'
'Telemetry received.' Arzie looked at the view from the probe's visual scanners. Clouds of purple and orange particles danced across the screen, obscuring star the normal star field. He could see one planet in the image, and what must've been its parent star. As he panned the image, the view of a structure nearly identical to the one now orbiting Tahnna'Whanna IX. The data came in onto the secondary screen. Gravitational anomalies, baryon radiation. . . and no Cochranes.
'Ops, I think we just stumbled across an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. Bova returning to base. I want a crew aboard Lexington ready for launch in 20 hours. I want us in through that device by this time tomorrow. Meanwhile, keep monitoring the telemetry from the probe. Arzie clear.'
The Catullan rubbed his hands gleefully. Adventure indeed. This would be an incredible opportunity. The waiting would be a killer, though. 18 hours back, two hours of waiting, and another 18 hours. 38 hours. Just over a Tahnna'Whannan day until he'd be back here to explore this new toy. He could hardly wait.