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Evidence - Grounds for... Confusion? -- Part 1

Posted on Sat May 22nd, 2021 @ 5:34pm by Ashe Zachariah & Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Linza (Lin) Esni & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers & Commander Ichiko Gail & Lieutenant Alexis Aenera

Mission: Pathstone to History


(tags to chat with the captain)

Once everyone was gathered together, one of the larger pieces of wall art flickered away and was replaced with the image of a Dalacari in a uniform of sorts. "Good afternoon. I'm Ezoi Mathe, I'm the chief of security and well-being here. You've all complied with the Special Investigation, and for that I extend an appreciation." he paused, and cued up some images. The first was a standard planetary solar system. Single star, four solid worlds, two gas giants.

"Prior to your arrival, this was system of interest J-4. Note the number of planets and the lack of complicated life." he pointed out, "Roughly sixty standard minutes, your time, after your..."

"... arrival, Exoplanetary Exploration Probe 73-R detected an anomaly. This anomaly had the mass and dimensions of an entire planet, and was broadcasting on frequencies that..."

"... we've registered as common use to the Federation. This planetary body also showed signs of high-grade energy production, again in frameworks used by the Federation." he paused to catch his breath. "Now..."

"... from the moment the anomaly occurred I've had Tee Eee Sigma Seven Six investigating all the angles. It suggested the Special Investigation on the off chance that the Astraea was working..."

"... as a forward observation marker for some form of mass shifting transport. Like the catapult the Federation used to use, only scaled up drastically. I've had EEP 73-R continue to monitor..."

"... the new planet, and it's settling in nicely. Orbital pattern, rotational spin, the techs assure me it's not going to smash into any of the other planets there anytime soon, and if you didn't..."

"... know it from before, they'd say it was there the whole time." he cycled between two images from the exoplanetary probe. In one of them, the planet was there, and in the other, it was gone.

"Astraea is currently being jammed externally. I don't know what kind of sensors you have on there, so I'm just ordering the local region flooded with false readings. No harm will come to your..."

"... ship or your crew. Dia's knees, I'm not looking to start a conflict. I'm just trying to solve a mystery and right now, you are all my best options. But you're also my best suspects." he paused again, parsing his words.

"I'm going to order the drones at your ship to send the crew there the same information I just gave you. We're jamming communications in case the planet is trying to signal the all clear..."

"... to your ship, call off negotiations or whatever. It's just... the timing of this is too perfect." he shook his heads, "I didn't even need Tee Eee's help to jump to that conclusion."

"Sir," Evelyn spoke up as she tried to come up with just what could have caused such a mass translocation and nothing she could think of came to mind. 'Wormhole transit on a planetary scale, perhaps?' was the only thing that came to mind, but that would have had obvious telltales and probably visual cues, "I'm Commander Rozia, the Chief Engineer, and I can say with extremely high confidence, that the Federation couldn't transport a planet from even a neighboring star system, much less with that sort of precision."

For someone who didn't want to spark a conflict Mathe's actions certainly seemed to Buck to be designed to do exactly that. "You can't drop a planet into a system like that without disrupting the orbits of every other body in the system. That's basic orbital mechanics. Did it not occur to you that maybe the reason this new planet is acting like it's been there all along is because it was there all along and you just couldn't see it until now?"

Ezoi Mathe listened to the pair of them, his collective attention purely focused on each as they spoke. The first spoke of how impossible it was for the system to have been moved there by Federation hands, while the second....

"I've had the ministry of Science explain the impossibility of the situation to me several times. We have several scans of the sector both before and after the event. To suggest we simply..."

"... overlooked an entire planet is one thing. Are you suggesting the planet was using stealth tactics?" he paused, "Because you're suggesting that either our entire science division is incompetent..."

"... and missed an entire planet, or there's more to this than simple basic orbital mechanics."

"If you're thinking that the planet could have been using a cloaking device, sir," Evelyn suggested to Buck, "I would highly doubt that. The best cloaking devices of ours, or even the Klingons or Romulans, who have far more experience than we do with them, wouldn't be able to cover a planetary mass."

From behind her, Alexis looked around the Trill before stepping to her side and giving a curious look at Mathe, "Mind if I take a look at the scans?" She half-shrugged, "I'm assuming that you've accounted for the gravitational effect that a new planet in-system would have on the orbits of the rest of the planets? If it's new and it appears in the right place within the existing array of planets, it might not have a lasting affect on the orbits of the rest, but even a cloaked planet would be detected by gravitational anomalies earlier if it were here for a significant amount of time." She smoothed down the new green fabric.

Ezoi gave a nod, then tapped a few panels on a console on his end. In the corner of the screen on the crew's side, a folder icon appeared. "That's everything we have of the region in question over the past two hundred hours. I can have further scans made available..."

"... but at the moment, I cannot provide live data. Now, while I'm interested in knowing as much about it as possible right now I need to ascertain your involvement, if any." he reiterated. The files of the scans themselves were rather thorough, and showed the distinct lack of a planet, and then not too terribly long thereafter, the distinct presence of a planet. Complete with transmission frequency charts and energy output signatures. None of the transmissions were being replied to, though. Simply their presence noted. Gravitational fields were charted, and noted that the presence of the new planet would tug the furthermost planet in the system out of its comfy orbit and slightly closer to the central star, but none of the long term projections showed any danger of planetary collision. Quite the opposite, it might actually make the furthermost planet a little more tolerable.

"Once it's been determined, with a little more than just a verbal 'but we didn't', I'll see about allowing your captain to contact the planet on supervised media."

Finishing his glass, Calvin poured another before getting up to really join the group. A little unsteady on his feet, he made it over and found something to lean on to keep him still. "Good if someone asks them what's what. They might just have some answers," Calvin muttered very dryly, about to add something about the Dalacari being too scared to make first contact and leaving it to the Federation, but thinking it might be a bit too far.

"Sir, sir are you alright?" Ezoi mentioned, "I can have a drone sent in to assist you if you aren't doing well?" remanded or otherwise, these were guests. "But, to address YOUR point, I have to establish that..."

"... the Astraea had nothing to do with the anomaly before, well, before I can go through the channels to CONTACT the anomaly. I have to..."

"... consider the safety of everyone here, first."

Calvin chuckled and waved off the request. "I'm fine."

"Consider," Will said, "that if the Federation were indeed in possession of technology capable of safely moving an entire planet to begin with, much less with the type of precision that you are indicating, we would have had no need to enter into negotiations with you for the use of the Pathstone Project. And seeing as how we have several Ts'usugi currently serving aboard the Astraea, including in the position of ship's second, if the Federation possessed such capabilities, do you not think that they might have been aware of it? I do also have to point out that cloaking an entire planet is not unheard of. Roughly 30 years ago, another Starfleet vessel did discover just such a planet concealed by cloaking device."

Linza listened but was a bit out of her depths. She wasn't an engineer and she understood the basic science stuff being talked about, but that wasn't her area either. She was security and tactical brained. Though, she did have to admit, they acted on it fairly quickly for the security threat they felt they encountered. Instead, she sat and still listened.


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