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Refraction

Posted on Fri May 22nd, 2020 @ 8:14am by Ensign Miraj Derani

Mission: Season 3- Episode 4 - Cause and Effect
Location: USS Elysium Bridge
Timeline: MD 03 before the Staff Meeting

[ON]

Miraj looked down at the storm roiling below them.  Somewhere, on the pale blue dot barely visible over the shoulder of the planet, Robert Hooke was looking at it too.  Possibly looking at them.  Would he understand what he was seeing, if he saw them, or would the image bee too small.  Would they just be a speck to him?  What would he think, if he realised that his ancestors, many times removed, were walking on a ship that sailed space, and not the sea.  Would he be amazed? Terrified?

She released the inertial brakes, and fired the thrusters. Slowly, careful not to move too suddenly, in case anyone was watching, the ship broke from orbit, casually, as if just another asteroid, tumbling through the void.  She added some spin.  No-one inside the ship would feel the slow revolutions, but if she was going to fake being an asteroid, it was going to look good.  Statistically speaking, after seven hundred years, she was related to every single person on the planet, so technically her great great great to the power of a a zillion grandfather could be watching.  

She let Newton's first law do the work after the initial burn. It was amazing to think that the mathematical principal that governed her very soul was not even formulated right now.  Wouldn't be written down for another twenty years.  The apple wasn't going to fall for another ten.  On the view screen, the stars turned lazily until she was sure that telescopes of earth, primitive as they were, couldn't see them any more, and fired the impulse engines for the glide out to Saturn.

Dodging Pasiphae, Miraj fired thrusters again to loop them around Ganymede and out towards Io, heading for Saturn and its halo of ice and dust.  There was a.. tenderness , to the ship, she fancied, it felt like it was trying very hard not to strain anything.  She knew that feeling, normally after what every security instructor or gym partner had pummeled her into a mat.  Fortunately it wasn't a hard trip.  She'd done this route nearly a hundred times in the last four years;  she knew it intimately.  

At full impulse, the trip was well over an hour, a slow glide that gave her plenty of time to look at all the stars and check up on the history of the era.  To realise that none of the worlds that orbited them really knew they were there.  Some of them wouldn't be space faring themselves.  Like Trill or Cardassians.  The Vulcans were knocking around.  They'd been space-faring for 700 years by this point, but the Borg were just getting started. And the Klingons.   The chances of anyone warp capable spotting them was pretty low, at least. Earth was just beginning to wake up to the true shape of the universe, it had barely explored its own oceans, let alone the skies beyond. Sailing out of sight of land was dangerous. Could they imagine sailing out of sight of an entire planet, fathom their star becoming just one in the sky, indistinguishable from any others?

It was a slow drift really.  There were micro judders and and quivers from the damage sustained by the temporal wave.  Nothing that would put them out of the sky, but she wasn't sure when Lt Hoffman would okay the warp core being restarted.  But eventually they made it to the second gas giant, sweeping past the moon Enceladus, just as one of its polar geysers erupted, sending plumes of ice into the rings.  

Watching the water crystals fountain out from the moon's surfaces was mesmerising, light scattering like a thousand disco balls turning at once, making the whole sky a kaleidoscope.  The whole view from the bridge sparkled like diamonds.  "Space is awesome," she murmured, Just when you thought you'd seen nothing more incredible, a star would be born, or a cryovolcano would breathe diamonds.  

But that gave her an idea, They didn't wan't to be spotted, but all earth had were crude optical telescopes.  If light was bouncing off the ice from the volcanoes, then it followed that it would bounce of the ice in the rings, scattering any light that might bounce off the gleaming white hull of Elysium. It was no cloaking field, but given the technology of the day, it would probably do the job, given the distance. 

With a light caress, Miraj turned Elysium towards the planet, rising up through the B rings, ice scattering off the hull like glitter, the rings weren't thick enough to cover them completely, but it was good enough.  Even if the orbit around Saturn occasionally put them in view of the earth, no one would be able to pick up their shape. 

She brought Elysium to a stop, cut the  engines.  The light from the impulse engines died away, no bright lights to give them away, They were floating with the rings now, letting ice particles cascade around them.  

Dark and resting, Elysium hid itself from the seventeenth century, and waited.

[OFF]

Ensign Miraj Derani
Asst. CFCO
USS Elysium

 

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