After a briefing by Admiral Quinn and a separate secure briefing by Admiral Abelard, the Sigil Prime Team spent the few remaining hours in the Milky Way pondering the immense amount of data laid down on them over the course of an hour.
- Starfleet has tracked a 28 day cycle for the Progenitor gate. They have genetically encoded keys for three days in this cycle – the first day, the third day, and the thirteenth day. Risk analysis on the mission is that the cycle may not be stable – it could shift into something new, which is part of why only one ship is being sent on this mission
- Admiral Quinn explained that the only other risk was the comm line, which must physically cross the boundary of real space between the two portals – the supposition is that the gate closing will sever the trail, but nobody is certain about that.
- It is likely that after establishing a safe border, the Heyderal will retreat back through the portal, in preparation for the next gate opening.
*Mission Parameters: Captain Mol and the crew of the Hyderal are to maintain close proximity to the gate, while Sigil scouts the sector the gate is in, to make sure there are no hostile entities.
Sigil Team Briefing
- It appears that a Romulan vessel under cloak actually went through the gate during one of the test runs. It is unknown if the Romulans, or the vessel know how to activate the gate themselves, but it is possible.
- First priority is to identify Romulan vessel and faction it represents. Neutralize the vessel if it is hostile, explore why there was a covert mission if allied.
- All other mission parameters should be adhered to, but the crew of the Hyderal, indeed the ship itself are expendable in the view of the larger threat.
- In the case that the Federation is following up on Romulan first contacts, Sigil must work to neutralize any anti-Federation propaganda the Romulans may be spreading.
The USS Hyderal went through the Tesserect Gate, experiencing extreme turbulence, but otherwise no ill effects. Immediate data suggested that the area around the gate in short-range sensor range contained no life forms, nor any warp signatures.
Sigil set to work, with most of the team focused on incoming scanner data analysis, and Kalos Hagen focusing on searching for any additional minds who may have stowed away on the ship. Interestingly, the probes sent out by Starfleet were not sending any data to the Heyderal.
Initially Captian Mol thought the lack of probe data was caused by interference from the gate, but once the comm line was deployed, and the ship moved further from the gate, there was still no probe data incoming. As the ship moved far enough from the gate to initiate long-range scans, Rhian D’varo received a threatening telepathic message from a mind identifying himself only as “The Fist of the ”/wikis/black-sun" class=“wiki-page-link”> Black Sun"
Babilyion Kloth created an series of algorithms to feed into the Hyderal’s sensor array to scan for xenotech, specifically Progenitor-based technology. While his work bore success, not all of his findings are encrypted, and an enterprising engineer aboard the Hyderal could gain significant insight into Babilyon’s findings by doing a thorough buffer sweep (though they would have to know where to look, and what they were looking for).
While the scans were successful in locating a node of Progenitor technology far on the other end of the sector, apparently the scan activated it! A large meteoroid moved out of the small debris field and started moving towards the Heyderal! As it accelerated, it broke into several pieces, until it was apparent in short-range scans that the assumed meteoroid was some sort of planet-sized life-form.
As Kalos worked desperately to initiate First Contact procedures psionically (the creatures were not responding to any form of standard hails), the rest of the team worked on deciphering the strange emanations flooding the sensor arrays from the planetoid creatures.
Stressing caution, Admiral Abelard suggested shields be raised, but Kalos insisted the action might be construed as offensive. Seeking to get closer to the alien life, but also looking to draw attention away from the Heyderal, Kalos boarded a shuttlecraft, and put it on a maximum speed intercept with the planetoid creatures.
It was at this point the Romulans intervened.
While phaser technology is quite effective against unshielded targets, disruptors, particularly the weapons bank on the still-cloaked Romulan vessel were absolutely devastating against the smallest of the planet creatures. Worse than the destruction, the vessel, which could fire cloaked, launched it’s attack just ahead of the shuttlecraft, making it appear as if the Heyderal’s shuttle had taken on an offensive posture!
Kalos tried desperately to continue to establish contact, having been transported off the shuttle just before it’s destruction. The planet-creatures took a decidedly offensive posture, showing that the tentacles they trailed behind them could be put to offensive use through enormous electrochemical output, essentially making them living tendrils of plasma. As the closest planet-creature came within striking distance of the Heyderal, Kalos finally made contact.
This gave the planet creatures pause. They were still defensive, but wanted some sort of sign that indicated the Heyderal was “a Creator”. As Babylon and Sylvia worked desperately to filter out data from the sensor array to create some sort of communication protocol, the creatures stood down.
A progenitor appeared on the bridge! It identified itself as Etrasaka, and told everyone aboard the ship two things: It was the last of the Progenitors, and it viewed the life and cultures of the Milky Way as the greatest failure its race had ever had a hand in.
He warned the crew that the Kelvans, who had only fled the galaxy due to the widespread deployment of weapons of last resort, still maintained a watchful eye on Andromeda. External exploration or meddling would likely draw them from whatever galaxy they had relocated to, and Etrasaka wanted to avoid that at all costs.
Etrasaka attributed the near-extinction of it’s race to the schism caused amongst the Progentitors over the seeding of the Milky Way. Etrasaka feels that if the members who had left Andromeda to seed the far galaxy had been there when the Kelvans revolted, there might be more Progenitors left living.
Etrasaka suggested that even it was unable to pierce the cloak of the mysterious Romulan vessel, and suggested to the crew and team that they should relay it’s warnings to them. After some terse q&a by Babilyion Kloth, Etrasaka left, but not before Sylvia Barnes 13 of 42 used her medical tricorder to capture some close-proximity biosigns, and survived the near-overload of the tricorder.