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Posted on Fri Aug 20th, 2021 @ 12:13am by Lieutenant Thea Goldfrapp & Lieutenant JG James Eve

Mission: [ARND] #1 The Signal
Location: USS Arendis
Summary: Lt Goldfrapp & LtJG Eve send out probes to determine the edge of the interference zone and try to and establish some form of communication between them and the probe.
Timeline: Mission Day 10 at 0930

= Deck 14, Probe Bay =

Lieutenant Thea Goldfrapp sat next to a probe mounted on the magazine loader as she read through a stack of paper filled with notes on what she had been working on the previous day. It had taken at least two hours for her to familiarise herself with what was happening to the ship and to the crew, and she wondered to herself if this had been every morning's routine so far.

Her orders were to send out a probe to determine how far out the edge of the interference zone from the signal on the planet was. She was working with Lieutenant James Eve, whose name held a vague familiarity for her but whose face she could not remember, nor anything else about him.

As she was reading her notes, she glanced up when an officer entered the probe bay. "Lieutenant Eve?" she asked expectantly.

"No, ma'am. I was sent by Lieutenant MacDiarmaid to give you this," the young officer replied as he stepped forward, carrying a boxlike device. "Apparently you requested an analog radio?"

"I did?" Thea asked, not remember at all, but accepting it anyway. "Thank you," she said as she took the device from him. As he left, she looked it over and tried to think why she would ask for it and how she could use it.

James strode along the corridor with a frown of concentration on his face clutching a thick file as though his life depended on it. He had read it through end to end and knew that he was to meet Lieutenant Goldfrapp in the Probe Bay to continue their work.
His notes were thorough and divided under various heading and by rereading he knew that the Lieutenant had invited the use of their first names rather than be so formal all the time but he had no recollection of her doing that.
{Thea} he thought but soon determined he had no idea what she looked like and wouldn't recognise her if they were together in an empty room, which, ofcourse, they now were.

"Good morning.....Thea." he said as he walked towards the figure seated on a stool but as she turned to face him the hope of recognition fell flat.

"James?" Thea replied a moment, not recognising him but hoping that, if he used her first name, it implied there was some familiarity there already.

"That's right." he replied wondering with a flash of hope that she remembered him but the expression in her eyes stated otherwise but even though a striking woman he had not the vaguest recollection of meeting her before. He didnt dwell on it, knowing from reading his own notes that this was likely to happen as it had many times before.

"Sorry but i dont recognise you." he said" But using our forenames was your idea." He moved closer and opened the file on the work station to the side so that she could read his notes which were many and detailed. He leafed through until he came to the paragraph he wanted and read it aloud.
"Lieutenant Goldfrapp suggested we drop the formalities and call each other by given names if I didnt mind. So now we are Thea and James."
He looked down at her and smiled with slight uncertainty when she glanced at his face.

Thea smiled as James read the sentence out loud. "Sounds like me," she replied.

" had the idea of trying an analogue radio?" he said eyeing the small object on the bench in front of his companion. "And that's it" he added having decided that must be the case.

She stood up, still holding the radio and stepped back, looking at the probe behind her, lying on the prep table like a patient awaiting surgery. On the side of the black and grey casing, "COMMS-98760-17" was printed in yellow lettering, and an idea came to her.

"Ah!" she exclaimed as quickly she put the radio down on the table next to James' notes. "I think I remember now. Help me with this casing, will you?" Thea asked as she moved to the other side of the probe and loosened the casing, waiting for James to do the same on his side.

It was a simple enough task soon completed.

They lifted off the casing and placed it on the ground as Thea took a closer look at the insides of the probe. "So this is an emergency communications probe," she explained, clearly looking for something. "Its purpose is to broadcast a specific message on all frequencies and channels— ah, there it is." She reached down into the prober and flipped a manual lever, then stood back, looking cautiously optimistic. "Luckily for us, it has a manual on switch. It won't be broadcasting anything because it's still inside the interference zone, but once we launch it and it flies out of the zone, it should automatically begin transmitting on all channels, most of which would probably be jammed except for..." she pointed at the radio. "Old fashioned analog."

"Which might...just 'might'.. be the lead we need." he replied looking not without respect at the object before them.

"We can't program it with a message given our situation, but it's designed and hardwired to emit a default stand-by signal which we'll be able to detect with the radio," Thea continued. "We'll just have to keep listening to it for several hours until we hear something, since I have no idea how big the interference zone is."

"We have nothing else to do." he replied with a faint smile. "As long as we keep a track on it we'll soon know."

Thea nodded. "Care to do the honours?" she asked, pointing to the probe loading controls next to where James was standing.

"Sure." he replied willingly stepping to his right. A quick check that he knew the sequence before tapping in the commands.

The magazine loader began to lower the probe and then moved it forward along the conveyor, taking it into the launch tube. They watched until it disappeared through the hatch and then James joined Thea at a control station by a small viewport.

"Bombs away," she said as she pressed the launch button and the sound of mechanisms sliding and clicking into place could be faintly heard before two watched as the probe shot out of the tube and an immense speed, hurtling away from them into the black space.

"And there she goes." James said with a slight shake of his head as he released a long breath knowing so much depending on the small silver globe already lost from view. "So now we need to track it." he said turning to look at his companion.

"I can take the first shift," Thea offered. "I still have to hook up the radio to the ship's long range antenna, but that's quick job. Why don't you check back in after lunch? Then you can take the next shift."

"Sounds good if there's nothing more needing attention." he replied.

"That's all," Thea replied with a nod and a smile. "Dismissed, Lieutenant."

= End =

Lt Thea Goldfrapp
Chief Strat Ops Officer
USS Arendis NX-98760
LtJG James Eve
Law Officer
USS Arendis NX-98760


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