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Planning and Preparing

Posted on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 @ 5:30pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers & Commander Ichiko Gail & Lieutenant Commander Calvin Morgan & Lieutenant Veznia MD PSyD

Mission: Double Bind
Location: Observation Lounge

Abigail entered the observation lounge and glanced around, her gaze immediately fell on the two astronauts standing near the windows, still clearly awed by their surroundings. "Welcome to the USS Astraea," she said calmly as she slid a stack of PaDD's onto the table in front of her. "I'm Captain Abigail Laurens, I believe you've already met some of my crew." She motioned for everyone to take a seat. "I apologise for dragging you into this situation, I can only imagine it must be incredibly overwhelming for you at this stage, but we felt this was the quickest and easiest way to try and get the information we need."

Dessich glanced at Grayzuk, who seemed enamored of the stars, as he turned to the Captain, seeing a significant number of officers filing in, "Captain, there is no need to apologize for anything. We thank you for the meal you've provided and you're right, this is... Amazing, far too much for a simple scientist to take in." He chuckled slightly, given his pair of advanced degrees, "I would do about anything to help my people, which I gather is what we're looking to do?"

Abigail nodded slightly. "Well, that's what we're hoping," she responded softly.

Veznia entered and sat quickly. She leaned back a bit and struggled slightly to remove a PADD from her uniform pocket. Pulling it free, she sat up and scooted her chair in towards the table.

The next form to enter was Ichiko, the rabbitess looking familiar to the visitors except for the garb. Previously she was in an EVA suit, but now she was in a uniform that matched that of the others. Three solid pieces of jewelry adorned her collar, similar to those worn by the others in the room. Rank, perhaps? The crew was too diverse for it to be cultural. In a hand, she carried a notebook-like object similar to the kind everyone else was using. A pad of electronic paper, perhaps.

So sad to know that even in the most advanced of societies, meetings were still a thing. "We meet again, Doctors." she addressed each of the visitors, her glance hollow.... endless... no shine, no sparkle, just pools of color floating in the whites of her eyes.

Stepping in while sliding something back into his coat pocket, Calvin shifted his PADD from under his arm to his hands. He looked at the table to sit down, but decided to stay against the wall. He needed some time on his feet.

Evelyn settled into a chair halfway down the table, pulling her own PADD out from under her arm, taking a few moments to review the information she had. It wasn't truly much, but she had several ideas in mind.

Buck followed not long after Evelyn giving the trill engineer a light bump on the shoulder with a fist by way of greeting as he passed. He dropped his PaDD on a chair a few spaces down but rather than sit down he walked to the windows and the Caetovean scientists. He greeted the pair with a nod. "Dessich. Grayzuk. You guys doing okay?"

Dessich gave the flight officer a slightly nervous smile, "We are. Even without being able to see much of your technology, I can tell that it is far beyond what we've been able to even dream about. A city in space, not a small cramped station in orbit, wonders beyond wonders." He looked back down to his world, "And yet a crystal clear view of... Death, of a few, of potentially all of my people. But at least now there's hope."

Buck nodded solemnly. "The science and engineering departments are full of some real big brains. If anyone can figure out how to help it'll be them. " He lowered his voice slightly and spoke quietly, confidentially. "just pull 'em up if they start talking down to you. Some post warp folks forget that those of us from civilizations without faster than light travel are quite capable of grasping concepts and won't start worshiping the first thing we come across that we've not developed ourselves."

"We need to know how much time we have to work with. Commander Rozia, Lieutenant McLaren, have we been able to get any more detailed scans of the surface through the interference?" Abigail asked.

"I was able to adjust the sensors to account for the radiation, or at least most of it. It's a high energy radiance form, with a half life of about fifty-five hours, which means that we'll be able to um..." Evelyn had to consider her words carefully, "Rapidly make our way to the surface if we need to within a few days. As for the storms?" She looked at Naomi, then continued on, "We've not been able to determine anything solid about when they may merge or even come over populated areas. Weather patterns are erratic form what we've seen and there hasn't been enough time to properly analyze them. There's too much we don't know about the planet, their former patterns, how they've changed from that, just not enough information."

"Still analyzing for any long term effects of the weather on population health," Calvin added quickly to the end of the science report.

Abigail stopped, listening as everyone spoke before she turned her attention slowly to the two astronauts sitting silently at the end of the conference table. "Due to interference we've had difficulty getting accurate scans of the planet. I guess this is where any information you're able to provide will help us." She paused, holding up a hand before anyone spoke. "I need you to understand first, we can't make any guarantees, we don't even know if we can help, or how we can help, but we are willing to try. Any information you give us may help sway those odds in your favour."

Dessich had discussed with Grayzuk how they were going to handle it and it had been decided that he was going to be the one to talk. He was older than the other Caetovian and more experienced overall. "We understand and whether or not you're able to do anything to help, we appreciate your willingness to even consider assisting us, as well as offering your hospitality to our humble selves." He inclined his head towards the officers at the table, perching himself on the edge of his chair, "What I can offer is a few days old, because we have had difficulties in communicating with our control center given the same interference that you've been having problems with."

He placed both his hands palm down on the table gently, "The asteroid that nearly hit our planet came out of nowhere, we didn't see it until it was a month away, but traced it to a collision in the asteroid field three and a half months ago. All of our resources and observations were put into discovering a way to deflect it, because if it hit Caetov, it would have been an extinction-level event. None of our options were able to be put into effect and we were lucky that it only skimmed our atmosphere rather than impact us. A spectrographic survey has indicated that the asteroid is made up of several isotopes of Chromium and Curium," It was obvious that the translator was functioning properly, "Which interacted with our atmosphere to form Chromium-51 and Curium 241 and 242 in large quantities. The interaction of the asteroid with our atmosphere shifted wind patterns, which spread the carbon debris as well as those radioactive isotopes across our world in a matter of days, preventing any sort of rescue mission for us on the station."

He swiped a hand across the table, "Another result of the asteroid graze was a massive electrical interaction that we had been discussing with our colleagues on the ground, we presume that there has been damage to our ozone layer which is allowing the solar radiation to interact with the radioactive portion from the asteroid to cause a massive static electric charge to build up in the Troposphere, where the lowest layer of debris has been accumulating, shifting with the wind patterns. Since it can't disperse into space, it's striking the surface. Until the ozone layer repairs itself or the debris is out of the atmosphere, the consensus is that electrical storms are going to be common, but they should decrease in intensity as the planet heals itself."

"Of course, there's also a massive storm at the northern pole that has been building since even before the asteroid hit, but we have had evidence that it's part of a planetary cycle that occurs every couple of hundred thousand years with the natural heating and cooling of the planet. For the past seven years, we've been seeing climate changes that indicate that we're about to roll over into an ice age that will render an area several hundred kilometer in radius from the northern magnetic pole uninhabitable, with a colder overall climate for another thousand or so kilometers with increased ice and snowfall, but certainly habitable." Dessich shrugged , "We only have a handful of small settlements that would be affected by the previously projected results, with plans to evacuate them before they would be buried in the glaciers and ice."

"The problem we're predicting now is when the 'ice storm', let's call it, and the electrical storm come into contact. Both have massive amounts of energy involved and when they merge, we can't fully predict the results." Dessich grimaced, "Our best guess is that the added energy from the electrical storm will expand the footprint of the ice wave to cover the entire northern hemisphere and alter the climate of the southern hemisphere to be uninhabitable within a decade. With the vast majority of our technical capabilities in the northern portion of Caetov, along with our planetary launch facilities, that sort of result would be the death of our people. From the time the storms merge, we expect the ice to fully spread across the hemisphere within a year, with a final average thickness of about five meters of ice within that decade. Estimated time until the storms merge? Somewhere between three to five days." He fell silent at that pronouncement.

A silence settled around the table. "Thank you," Abigail finally said softly. The information shared wasn't at all what she had wanted to hear, but it gave them something to work with. "Commander Morgan, Lieutenant Veznia, we have some quarters set aside for our guests. Will you please accompany them to their temporary quarters? Make sure they are medically well. Commander Morgan, Lon is standing by to find suitable food for them if you're able to establish something suitable for their dietary patterns?"

Veznia nodded and smiled widely. "Of course Captain."

Turning back toward Dessich, Abigail offered a soft smile. "I thank you for your time, and your wisdom. I need to speak with my staff, but we will come and speak with you again shortly. In the interim, my crew will take care of your needs."

"Of course, Captain. I'm sure that you're tired of hearing it already, but thank you again for helping us already and quite frankly, just for caring enough to listen." Dessich gave a tremulous smile as he began to stand up, "Even if you end up doing nothing, I feel confident that our people will at least survive in someone's memory, even if not in life."


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