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Old October 29 2014, 11:35 AM   #16
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Pathfinder #3 - The Revenant Star

Could this muster radiation be an omen for what is still to come, for the real dangers hidden inside this interstellar dust cloud?
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Old November 11 2014, 11:29 PM   #17
The Badger
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Re: Star Trek: Pathfinder #3 - The Revenant Star

I've just got caught up with this (I've not been on the BBS recently, feeling guilty about my lack of progress on my own fanfic). An intriguing story, excellently written.
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Old November 14 2014, 01:32 AM   #18
Count Zero
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Re: Star Trek: Pathfinder #3 - The Revenant Star

I just caught up with it as well. So far, it's quite an intriguing story. Love the mystery and that it's an exploration story. Hopefully, there'll be more soon.
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Old November 15 2014, 10:08 PM   #19
jerriecan
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Re: Star Trek: Pathfinder #3 - The Revenant Star

Part Eight

"I would advise against that," said T'Vril.

Beaumont looked over her shoulder at T'Vril. They had returned to the grid search after informing the science team of their discovery, trying to finish their area before retiring for the night. The wind had picked up severely, rocking the shuttlepod as it flew through billowing clouds of dust that threatened to become a full-fledged sandstorm. But Beaumont's thoughts kept turning to the lead box, an anomaly if she had ever seen one. "Against what?"

"Opening the case," T'Vril answered.

"I'm not planning on it," Beaumont said, hoping she at least sounded certain.

"The case is an enigma, To a rational, curious mind such as yours, an enigma demands explanation. It is logical that you would want to open the case to examine its contents while there is opportunity." T'Vril set the controls on autopilot and turned to face Beaumont. "To do so without as much information as possible, however, would put both of us at undue risk."

"You're right, of course," Beaumont sighed, staring at her hand scanner. The portable device had been unable to give clear readings of the contents of the case, blocked by the thick lead. "And I do want to open it, very much so. How the hell did something so advanced end up buried in a cave made by a race barely out of the stone age? It makes no sense."

"Perhaps it was salvaged from a vessel which crashed here long ago," T'Vril said. "The indigenous civilization would not have possessed the engineering or scientific knowledge to understand what they had found. It could have been an object of worship, an icon."

"Perhaps," Beaumont said. She looked at the exterior of the case; symbols adorned it at regular intervals, similar to the pictograms on the urn but too faded to make out, even with her hand scanner. They would be able to make a much more thorough examination back at the base camp. Reluctantly she set the case inside a padded crate and sealed the lid. "How long until we reach the next - "

A harsh buzzing alarm filled the cabin. T'Vril turned and examined the controls, seeing a line of crimson telltales lit up. "Strap in, Commander."

Beaumont was already pulling the harness over her shoulders. "What's the problem?"

"Primary and secondary intakes are clogged," T'Vril said. "The engine intercoolers are overheating." She gripped the manual controls. "We will have to make an emergency landing."

"Better than falling out of the sky." Beaumont brought the scanners online, looking for a flat piece of terrain among the rocks. After several eternal seconds she fund something. "There's a flat stretch a hundred meters long, twenty degrees to starboard, six kilometers away."

T'Vril adjusted her course without a word. Already the shuttlepod was becoming difficult to control - the main engines were stuttering, cutting out at random for a moment before firing again. Combined with the howling wind outside, the ride was bumpy to say the least.

Beaumont brought up the comm system. "Revala Base, this is Pathfinder shuttlepod one. We have imminent drive failure and are making an emergency landing, coordinates..." She checked the screen and read off a string of numbers. "Repeat, Revala Base, this is Pathfinder shuttlepod one, declaring an emergency." She paused for a response.

All she got was static.

"I hope they heard us," Beaumont said, setting the message to repeat and activating a distress beacon. "Damn sandstorm is kicking up all kinds of electrical interference."

T'Vril angled the front of the shuttlepod upward, lining them up to land on the pod's belly instead of nose-first. The engines cut out, fired, cut out again - and this time stayed dead. "Brace for impact," T'Vril said.

Inertia briefly carried the shuttlepod on course until gravity overcame it, pulling the pod toward the ground. The pod struck a dune and slid, carving a deep furrow in the sand as its velocity was quickly turned to heat by the friction. Plumes of sand formed a solid wake that was quickly picked up by the wind and carried along with the storm.

The pod struck an outcrop of stone, tilting sideways. For one heartstopping moment Beaumont was sure they were going to flip over; the processor in her brain supplied her all the relevant calculations of mass and center of gravity and momentum she could ever need.

Then the pod slammed back down onto its belly, still at last.

To Be Continued...
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Old November 16 2014, 10:49 AM   #20
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Pathfinder #3 - The Revenant Star

For a Vulcan, T'Vril can read humans with surprising ease. Or perhaps it's just Beaumont. She is of course absolutely right. Do not open the mystery case no matter how much you'd want to. Especially not in an uncontrolled environment.

For now the duo is going to have a bigger problem. A shuttle crash in the a middle of a sand storm and without communications? This could turn real ugly, real quick.
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