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The Enigma
By ssgbryan   |   Watch
9 0 348 (1 Today)
Published: May 10, 2013
© 2013 - 2019 ssgbryan
U.S.S. Von der Tann - Cpt Olga Kasyanova, commanding.

Captain's Log, Stardate 2665.215 (Supplemental)

Much like the Queen of Hearts, today I am forced to believe 3 impossible things before breakfast. Upon arriving at star system 273-AA8, we have found those 3 things.

The first is that the star really is a blue dwarf. This is a neat trick; according to all of the cosmology models, the universe isn’t actually old enough for them to form, say the enlisted swine working down in Cartography. They are really, really upset about finding this.

This is one of the few times, I really wished we had a qualified science section. On the other hand, the UFP ground pounders that we were stuck with instead of Starfleet Marines have provided a positive contribution. Having a gunnery sergeant in the security department with an advanced degree in cosmology is like having a dancing bear – it isn’t that he dances well, it is that he dances at all.

Next, a star that may be older than the universe itself has a planet in it’s habitable zone. That isn’t impossible, but the planet at least should be tidally locked. This one isn’t. Not only that, it has both an atmosphere and liquid water – the atmosphere and water should have boiled away when this star was in it’s red dwarf phase. Which, according to the good gunnery sergeant, was before the Big Bang itself.

Lastly, there is the minor issue of the ship orbiting the planet. This is what concerns me the most.

We have positively identified her as the Marco Polo. There is no way this ship could be here.

According to Starfleet records, she was lost with all hands in the opening stages of the Federation-Kzinti War. She was on her final assignment, completing a bench marking survey along the Kzinti border while making her way to the bone yard in the Mallorca System.

Even if this ship isn’t the Marco Polo, there is still the question of how any Explorer-class ship could be this deep in the rift. All of the coreward bases that we draw support from didn’t exist in that time.

According to Cdr Syun and Cdr Bakhoum, even if this ship had left from the closest existing Federation facility at the time of it’s loss, it simply didn’t have the range to reach this star. The Explorer-class wasn’t very well designed to do what it was named to do. At the time of the class’ construction, she was fast (Warp 5.5 with a cruising speed of Warp 4), but lacked strategic speed – she had to be refueled every six months – and that applied to ship stores as well.

The Exec and the Chief Engineer both assure me that she would needed resupply for Class I (Sustenance), III (Fuel), VI (Personal Demand Items), and IX (Repair Parts) at least once on the way out – and upon arrival here, they would need another resupply to return to their original resupply point.

There is a fine line between being hard and being stupid – entering the rift with an Explorer-class ship belongs in a separate category – suicidal.

Once we enter orbit, I will send a search team over to the Marco Polo to find answers to these enigmas.

Kasyanova out.
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