Locked Thread  RSS Chrome Symphony - Chapter 6



# 13437 2 years ago on Sat, Apr 23 2016 at 11:55 am

Jess paced back and forth in front of a giant monitor on the wall in her office. She was receiving live reports on the status of her campaign in addition to data from Firewall about the unidentified spacecraft near Lunar orbit.

Camay appeared in a window on the monitor. "We have confirmed that the beacon matches a segment of the pseudo-random noise collected from the sphere while you were all on NEA726," said Camay.

Jess sat down in her large, executive-style office chair. She had been so busy running her campaign for regional governor and managing Crest Corporation that she had become almost a prisoner in her office. Her husband, Atlas, routinely patrolled the mansion and visited her in the office every couple of hours. Jess was content to work from her mansion and had some trusted people handling operations at Crest's headquarters.

"Dr. Thameh," said Jess, looking back up at the monitor, "We need to have a team get aboard that spaceship."

Jess stood up and continued, "The beacon match indicates that the sphere is likely up there. It's clear that it was one of Crest's black projects and I never heard anything from my father about it. It is a matter of deep personal interest to find out what was in development and whom among our employees were involved. Of course, more than personal interest, the ramifications of its sudden re-appearance could affect the entire solar system."

Camay displayed some images in another window on the monitor, overlapping some line charts of Jess's poll numbers and other statistics. "We have some low resolution images of the spacecraft but the two probes sent from the L1 colony were destroyed by some kind of gravity manipulation field," said Camay. "I am working with Duncan Sorenson to identify a way to circumvent its detection systems."

Jess heard a knock on the door. "Dr. Thameh," said Jess, "Please do everything you can to arrange a safe mission to that ship. I have to attend to some other matters. Thank you!"

With that, Camay closed the video call and Jess answered the door. It was Atlas.

"Hey, Atlas!" said Jess, "Would you please come with me to the sub-basement? I need some help finding something."

"Yeah, what are we looking for?" replied Atlas. The two of them headed down the hallway to the stairs, taking them down to the lowest level of the mansion.

"Firewall has confirmed that the ship around Lunar orbit is sending out a beacon that matches something in the data that was taken from that giant sphere on the asteroid..." said Jess. She stopped herself, knowing that bringing up the asteroid would also bring up painful memories for the both of them.

"Sorry, dear," said Jess. "I know it's not a great memory."

Jess and Atlas entered the dark, musty sub-basement. There were shelves and shelves of old folders full of paper documents and blueprints. It was here that physical, hard copies of some of Crest's most secret information were kept. The sub-basement was like a bunker; it was fireproofed and made to protect its contents even in a nuclear war.

"So, what are we trying to find," said Atlas.

"You know that sphere was a top secret project run by my father," replied Jess. "I need to see if there are any plans down here related to it. There's absolutely nothing in our computers or servers related to it. I know because I had Shell and Duncan both scour our systems looking for it."

"I know they are our friends," replied Atlas, "but isn't that strictly against company policy to allow outside freelancers that level of access?"

Jess laughed. "Ha! Atlas! It's not like they couldn't gain access any time they wanted anyway!"

Atlas and Jess both laughed as they rummaged through moldy old folders and documents.

Don't find fault, find a remedy -- Henry Ford

# 13438 2 years ago on Sat, Apr 23 2016 at 12:22 pm

Shell, Jax, and Camay had all gathered back at the observatory with Duncan and Chester that morning. Jax and Camay had arrived on Earth the previous night while Chester obtained a visual on the mystery ship. Overnight, while Shell and Jax were asleep, Camay had been performing additional analysis on the beacon signal coming from the ship. While she had already matched it to some of the data that Duncan and Shell had obtained from the sphere on NEA726 before it vanished, some aspects of the beacon still seemed strange and she wanted to learn more about it.

"Thanks for meeting us here again, Duncan," said Camay. "Today, I would like to send a third probe near the ship but this time, let's try something a bit new."

Duncan nodded. "What did you have in mind," he asked.

"We can't jam that ship's systems directly," replied Camay, "but if we transmit an inverted beacon signal back to the ship, it might confuse it."

"That's sort of a weird idea, but what the hell," said Duncan.

Camay gave the signal back to the L1 Colony to launch a new probe toward the ship. Chester put the video on the screen and they watched the probe approach the ship.

"Okay, now halt the probe there," said Camay. "Now, Duncan, I'd like you to connect directly to the probe's control system and send a modified signal back to the ship."

The blue sky is infinitely high, crystal clear...that's what the world should be...a world of infinite possibilities, laid before us, crystal clear"

# 13440 2 years ago on Sat, Apr 23 2016 at 1:30 pm

Duncan performed a special mode dive and connected to the probe.

Through the probe's sensors, he could get a clear image of the spacecraft. He transmitted what he was seeing back to Camay, who displayed it on the monitors so the others could see it.

With his eyes closed, Duncan concentrated on letting the space probe be his eyes and ears. He carefully brought it closer to the ship and transmitted an inverse signal. As he transmitted, Duncan was able to bring the probe closer to the ship.

"It's working!" shouted Duncan. "I really didn't expect this to work at all."

On the side of the spacecraft were the letters "H...B...K" but the rest was illegible. The entire hull of the ship appeared ancient. Duncan had never seen any space vessel in such a state of disrepair.

While continuing to transmit, Duncan was able to bring the probe all the way up to the ship and carefully piloted it through a hole in its side. Inside the ship, it was desolate and full of dilapidated tubing and wires. Duncan cautiously parked the probe inside the ship's cargo hold and disconnected himself from the probe.

Duncan opened his eyes. "Well, now we've confirmed our theory that it is, indeed, some kind of spacecraft."

73's, KD8FUD

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# 13441 2 years ago on Sat, Apr 23 2016 at 2:20 pm

Chester analyzed the images that the new probe had obtained.

"That space craft is very old," said Chester. "We might have something really profound, here."

Camay puzzled over the images for a moment. "This is not a design of any terrestrial origin nor a design from any of our colonies," she said.

"Is it... I don't want to sound like a lunatic but..." said Chester, trailing off. He didn't want to speak what was going through his head.

He stared at the monitor for another minute. "Alien..."

Chester turned around and looked at the others. "It couldn't possibly be, right?" he asked.

Shell and Jax shrugged. Duncan just stood there with a blank stare.

"I mean, all spacecraft are registered, right?" said Chester. "Unless this was some black project, that is..."

Camay called Jess again.

"So... we know it's a spacecraft for sure, now," said Chester. "We were working under this assumption because of the beacon and the general size and shape but now we have absolute confirmation."

"And a way in," added Duncan.

"Dangerous toys are fun, but you could get hurt!"

# 13443 2 years ago on Sat, Apr 23 2016 at 3:03 pm

"Our probe was close enough to get through that barrier undetected," said Shell. "Not only that but now it's inside the ship."

Shell scratched her head. "I take it Jess was informed of the situation earlier," she said. "So, she wants to send people on board to investigate further?"

"We could just use more probes," replied Jax. "But we could do a more thorough investigation with a live team."

"It sounds really dangerous," said Shell. "It seems abandoned aside from whatever automatic security it's using. If our drone remains inside it unaccosted, however..."

"That's our canary," replied Camay. "We're going to have a good idea of what to expect in just a minute."

Shell looked at the monitor. The drone had started moving on its own after Duncan had disconnected from it. The video images showed twisted corridors, devoid of any people or security robots.

The drone turned a corner, entering a large room. The drone's headlamps shined upward as its camera tilted toward the ceiling.

There it was.

Inside the large room was the sphere the group had encountered on NEA726. Although no power appeared to be supplied to the rest of the room, the sphere glowed a faint green with some indicator lights along the sides. It was perfectly intact, as if Duncan had never destroyed it.

"That's..." gasped Shell. "Is that the same one?"

"Unless Crest had developed a separate prototype, yes," replied Camay.

Waff-O! waffle

RP Character: Shell

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