Saturday 1 May 2021 – 1800hrs ~ 2100hrs GMT
Commander Kenneth Mikhael
Lieutenant Commander Ezekiel “Zeke” Pride
Lieutenant Alexander Artopolis
Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant Scott McIntyre
Chief Tactical/Security Officer
The Xec, a race of beings who only need to sign the dotted line and they will become the first Federation member to join who do not process the ability of warp travel. Sure, they have sub-space sensors and communications, that what drew the Federation to them in the first place. What they do have is a unique way of travelling vast distances, wormholes!
The Potemkin will be the platform on which the signing ceremony will take place and the senior staff are all on the observation deck in their class 1 dress uniforms. Beyond watching the excitement and eating the food they didn’t have much to do. A small tubby man by the name of Sen approaches Elli-Navine and expresses a deep interest in using the Potemkin for an experiment in a wormhole drive, a way of creating wormholes on the fly, rather then the current method of plucking a wormhole and threading it with exotic matter to stabilize and strengthen the apertures.
Captain Pax and Lieutenant McIntyre were quick to recognize the tactical advantages of such a technology. Able to cross large distances in a blink of an eye and undetectable. The go ahead was given, a runabout was upgraded and given the Elli-Navine treatment, that small runabout was now a powerhouse, with reinforced shielding and SFI it was ready to test the principle of wormhole technology.
The first test high lighted only a few technological wrinkles to iron out. Further test flights increased the distance flown. The final flight took the runabout just over a light year, in the blink of an eye. Captain Pax reviewed the results and after a senior staff meeting it was decided that the Potemkin would make a 5 light year wormhole jump. A test that would prove both the distance and that a medium sized starship can make and sustain a wormhole.
Sen had his place on the bridge and the others took their stations. The destination was set, and the ship was brought up to full power. The Main deflector, working with the ships warp engines capture and enlarge a tiny natural wormhole. The Aperture held open using exotic matter bursts out from the black void of interstellar space! The Potemkin’s impulse engines glow a bright cherry red as she accelerates into the hole in space and time.
In a mere blink of an eye, they exited in a newly widened aperture, for a few glorious seconds it seemed as though the test had gone perfectly. Then the truth of the situation fell upon them like a Trill Tigerdactal swooping upon a rodent. Damage reports came in from across the ship, no one had been hurt but several warp coils had fused, meaning they would not be going to warp until they had been repaired. Their shield emitters had taken a beating from the stresses involved in being shrunk to Planck size and back to normal in an instant. The Xec made wormholes that took no time to cross, unlike that of the Bajorian wormhole and other seemingly naturally forming ones the Federation has encountered before.
That was not all, Astrometric were having a field day. Data was pouring in from the ships sensors that was indicating that the ship had travelled 250 million light years and to a sector of space that had been known on old Earth as ‘The Great Attractor’. An object… maybe… of such mass and gravitational effect that it was pulling whole galaxies towards it at 700 miles a second. Not terribly fast but given they were taking about an entire galaxy! Well, it was fast enough to be noticed, even back in the pre warp days on Earth. Yet they were still millions of light years away from it, at the edge of a 2.5 million light year wide void of stars.
If that was not bad enough, sensors suddenly started screaming at them. A star system, moving at 90% the speed of light was flying at them… Not something you hear every day, and not something anyone has ever experienced before. At least not to the knowledge of Captain Pax. He gave the order; they would not get around it in time and the outer system was a mess of asteroid fields. Going through the centre was their best bet. A star system is a big place, and even moving at those kinds of speed Commander Pride was easily able to evade the planets and known hazards.
There was just so much to process, a Star moving faster than they could manage at sub-light heading directly towards the centre of this star void seemed too much like a directed attack to be a coincidence. Pax had spent lifetimes in security and tactical and his… what was the term. His spidey senses were tingling. He ordered the Steller sciences to study the void, using everything including the ships telescopes what they would learn would be 2 million years old, but would be more up to date than anything else in the Federation.
Hour later they had some answers, the great attracter was a cosmic loop. It was like a cosmic string or sheet only this one was a loop, clearly! But it was spinning so very fast, so fast that it was generating between ten and twenty times the gravity it should be and was affecting space/time at a local level. No one was sure if it was natural or not, nothing like it had ever been recorder. There were also a few star systems inside the void, like the one that they had nearly ‘hit’ these were also moving at a high percentage of light speed but some of them had clearly been damaged and were moving away from the attractor. Pax was now convinced these systems had been ‘thrown’ into the void as a way of attacking the attractor. The last was the presence of dozens of star systems within sensor range that were showing signs of having been aged artificially.
The Mysteries were piling in, there was so much to unpack and consider that Starfleet would spend centuries going through and understanding the sensor data. That is when it got strange!
From nowhere popped a giant starship. Shaped like a four-pointed star the vessel was 200 kilometres tall and dozens wide. A ship that just seemed to radiate power, Pax compared it to putting every ship in the fleet in one place, then realized that whatever powered that massive ship is likely to be so exotic they had not considered it yet or considered it to be impossible to harness.
When hailed, the women who appeared upon the viewscreen has physical traits belonging to Federation races, Vulcan ears, Bajorian nose wrinkles, Trill spots to name a few. She introduces herself as Grand Admiral Tennsy Carter, of the Protectorate, if this was not strange enough, she tells them that they had been expected. She would explain what was happening if they came over to her ship, it would go easier if she could explain while showing them.
Considering the possibilities Captain Px led an away team, Carter had her own ship beam them to her vessel. It happened in an instant, a bright light and they find themselves with in single room, hundreds of meters across with a ‘smaller’ sphere. Hovering above the were thousands of small rapidly changing images and clips. Carter invited them over and explained that this room was the ships primary access to what she called ‘The Library of possible futures’ which was in their home system. At any one time this library monitored millions of possible futures, to what purpose Tennsy did not expand, but Pax and the away team could surely think of dozens of possible uses of such a technology.
Carter, unpromoted, explains the situation. The Protectorate is a quarter billion-year-old empire, founded after a Federation Colony ship had a chance encounter with a space/time anomaly in 2377 and found themselves far from Federation space, and 250 million years before. Since then, they had progressed into a species with the technology that even some Federation members might mistake for powers of a god. The one of most interest right now, to the away team was that they would be able to return the Potemkin home in a matter of hours. Even a ship moving at warp 9.999 or 32100.64 c it would take around 7’788 years for them to get home. The figures involved were massive, the Protectorate would have to travel at over 41 and a half million light years an hour.
Pax had no idea how he could get his head around those kinds of speeds, but Carter did not really give them a chance to recover. They must have all had a dumbfounded looks upon their faces. The Grand Admiral continued and explained that the Tenzim were a culture much like the Federation in that many species pull together in common cause, however they also woke up and chose violence every day and they would fight like a host. Like ants or bees, for each Protectorate ship on the battlefield there would be 10’000 Tenzim facing them. They did not have the technology to fight the Protectorate one to one and so went for overwhelming numbers, and they had their eyes on the Milky Way. At some point they would overwhelm the Protectorate and the Federation has to be prepared for that day…