Chapter 3 - Season 3, Episode 3, Water World II: Sidelong
Lieutenant Commander Carl Hedley Executive Officer
Lieutenant Commander Ezekiel “Zeke” Pride Flight Controller
Lieutenant Elli-Navine Chief Engineer
Lieutenant Alexander Artopolis Chief Medical Officer
One week later!
Database is mostly cultural stuff, interesting but not really practical. Got some stuff on the goo, though. Apparently it grew to the size it is over a few decades, but they couldn’t get much more than we could. Salt based, relatively benign, but they picked up some odd readings.After a couple of false starts, Alex manages to work out that it seems to be much more massive than it ought to be, but where all that mass is coming from, who knows? Some weirdness definitely going on. Maybe related to the moon and its explosion?
Seems to have weird subspace signatures going on around it, looks like it’s in a warp field? No measurable fluctuations… Seems like a big part of its mass is inside subspace and hyperspace, which is why it seems so ‘light’ here. Not all of it’s in just those places, though… Looks a little bit like maybe it could be involving some wacko conspiracy theory about a crazy place called ‘sidespace’, where 1% of the ooze might be. So that’s trippy. Could be momentous.
Excited, Elli tickles the ooze with the deflector dish, and discovers some sweet, sweet, juicy science. All sorts of excitation and readings and things, but if we want to get what we really want, it’d take enough energy to vaporise the thing. So not ideal. Improv time!
Replicate some tasty carbon to feed it, and drop it into the ooze. It gets dissolved, as expected, then separated into three groups, two high energy ones, which sort of poof out of existence into hyper and side space, while the rest sidles off into boring old subspace. Lots of lovely data, probably very useful for the sort of nerd who understands it.
Apparently all this info will make it easier to navigate hyperspace, so that’s fun. The data from sidespace isn’t at all useful for quantum slipstreaming. Turns out the laws of physics in there are pretty crazy, and it’s aligned edge on so it’s pretty difficult to get any readings from inside it. According to Pride, though, conditions there are kinda like the little baby universe with the weird sphere and the tear that showed up a little while ago. Super high energy dimension, significantly smaller than meatspace. If a ship could get inside, it could use maneuvring thrusters to go ridiculously fast, so… That’s once again pretty darn tantalising.
Looks like this needs some studying, so all of a sudden we’re doing the architecurals, designing an underwater research base to study the ruins and the creepy goo. End up going full Gungan, making a floating ball anchored near the bottom of the seabed. It’s gonna look rad. And also be practical, technically. Takes a little while, but eventually the engineers manage to get a thing designed, then break the transporters to beam the anchor directly into the rock so they don’t have to worry about messing around with drills and excavating and boring stuff like that.
While all this is going on, a distress call comes in from the submarine. As expected, the biologists have managed to crash the thing, and they need our help to save them. Preparing to drop transporter boosting buoys from the Potemkin, the heroes set off in the Atalanta to rescue them.
On arrival, it turns out one of the observation windows has been pretty thoroughly smashed, flooding the compartment behind. One of those big dolphin things seems to be half way through it, cut up pretty badly by the transparent aluminium.
After beaming the non-essential crew away, Atalanta lands in the submarine’s hangar, and everything seems to be working there. Atmosphere’s alright after the water’s been pumped out, anyway. Doesn’t seem like there’s anything urgent aside from fixing things, though. There was an electrical surge just after the attack, but that can be worried about later.
Carl and Pride head to the bridge, the rest go Engineeringward. Only one turbolift system, but there are plenty of ladders, so it’s easy enough to get around. Flooded section is pretty covered with ice, but it seems to be holding for now.
Engineering has a single reactor and some backup generators, all of which are currently off. Also a nice window looking out over the magnetohydrodynamic drive. Looks like capacitors burned out in the power system, overloaded somehow, so that’s fun. Easy enough to replace, though.
Pilot has a dislocated arm, easy enough to fix. Captain had a cerebral haemorage, so him and the doctor head back to the Potemkin, leaving Carl in command of a shiny, new, only slightly critically damaged submarine. Doc manages to fix him, though.
Seems liek there’s a residual charge in the systems which keeps blowing out capacitors when they’re replaced. Elli manages to fix that, though, so she can replace it properly. Maybe it was caused by the creature? But anyway, everything turns back on.
Automatic systems are still offline, but Pride and the pilot get the thing levelled out, out least. Elli manages to get them fixed by bossing around the ensigns, so it’s easy enough to fix the trim, blow the main ballast, and get the thing surfaced relatively safely.
After that, it’s just time to cruise back to the island for repairs. Not a particularly quick trip, since we can’t safely submerge and it’s not all that quick, but Carl entertains the crew by beautifully singing a series of sea shanties and other songs.