Conversation with #st_missionroom1 at Wed Apr 4 21:00:53 2018 on (irc)

(21:16:00) CO_CaptHarper: BEGIN SIM
(21:16:01) CO_CaptHarper: BEGIN SIM
(21:16:03) CO_CaptHarper: BEGIN SIM
(21:16:28) CO_CaptHarper: :: back in her chair, admiring the view on the main viewer ::
(21:17:04) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: standing at science console on bridge ::
(21:17:43) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: conducting continued analysis on the ion trail ::
(21:17:49) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: :: still feeling like a badass as he pilots a Sovereign-class starship along a stream of ionized hydrogen toward the black hole at center of the galaxy ::
(21:18:07) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: is at her chair, just to Harper's right ::
(21:18:32) CMO_LtJG_Tailor: ::reenters the bridge after a stint in the observation lounge and then another couple of appointments in sickbay::
(21:19:11) CO_CaptHarper: ACTION> The warp trails visible on the main viewer are much closer together than usual, given the relative density of the local starfield... and the black hole looms ever larger.
(21:20:39) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: stares at the main viewer with big, wondrous eyes ::
(21:21:39) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::Keeps an eye on the main systems, changing energy level and flow, as they draw ever closer.::
(21:22:18) CSO_LCdr_Wright: SCI2: Ensign, in addition to your study of the accretion disk, please monitor the ion trail and notify me if there are any changes. :: having collected sufficient data, is preparing to turn her attention to the supermassive maw that occupies the heart of the galaxy ::
(21:23:16) CO_CaptHarper: :: suddenly darts out of her chair and over to the engineering console :: ENG: Lieutenant, if there's any more power you can get to the sensors, make it happen. We need them constantly scanning and recording their data.
(21:24:29) SCI2_Ens_Jude: CSO: Aye.
(21:24:42) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: is startled by Harper's movement and watches her. Once she understands what Harper's doing, she goes back to staring at the main viewer ::
(21:26:57) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: looking up at the monster on the main viewer :: Softly, to self: "For it is the way of all that is to move unwavering toward annihilation."
(21:29:47) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: rotates an ear towards Wright ::
(21:31:30) CO_CaptHarper: :: watching the power routing for a moment on Ilaihr's display ::
(21:33:07) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: scratches head, no particularly interesting change so far ::
(21:34:28) CMO_LtJG_Tailor: ::watches the main viewer in fascination::
(21:35:37) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: :: when he's satisfied that there's no imminent danger to the ship ahead, he also takes a moment to enjoy the view ::
(21:36:31) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: CO: Yes, of course Captain. ::Reroutes more power to the sensors; luckily power for the weapons is currently freed up.::
(21:36:57) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: begins calculating the Schwarzchild radius using updated measurements of the hole's mass and magnetic field, still occasionally reciting poetry under her breath ::
(21:37:41) CO_CaptHarper: :: nods :: ENG: Thank you, lieutenant. :: makes her way forward again and intends to stand between Wright and Navarro, but takes care not to block anyone's view ::
(21:40:42) CSO_LCdr_Wright: CO: Now that we've drawn closer, I feel more confident in theorizing that the ions we are following are being ejected from Sagittarius A*, perhaps a form of relativistic jet.
(21:42:41) CO_CaptHarper: :: leans down onto Wright's station to peer at the data, then turns to her :: CSO: Any idea why they are being ejected?
(21:46:28) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::Nods, continuing the tweaks to maintain Atlantis' balance.::
(21:48:06) CSO_LCdr_Wright: CO: The mechanisms around such things have long been highly theoretical, but being this close... From what I have seen so far, I suspect it may be related to the magnetic fields and the extreme energy being generated, but I will require more data to have any degree of certainty.
(21:49:14) CO_CaptHarper: CSO: More data we can do... :: as she stands back up and rests her hands on her hips, again gazing at the main viewer :: I just hope we have enough storage space to get it all home.
(21:51:01) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: leans over her console, creating visualizations of the maddening tangle of fields invisible to observers of the view screen ::
(21:51:28) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: :: as the black hole, or more accurately its accretion disk, becomes noticeably larger on the main viewer :: CO: Capitana, in a few minutes, we will need to exit warp due to proximity to the black hole.
(21:52:20) CO_CaptHarper: NAV: At your discretion, lieutenant.
(21:52:47) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: sends the data on the Schwarzchild radius and probable event horizon along with updated gravitational influence maps to Navarro as soon as the computer finishes rendering them ::
(21:52:48) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: CO: Aye ma'am. :: buried in their approach data, no more time to enjoy the view ::
(21:57:21) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: stares at the view screen :: Self: Daaamn.
(21:58:34) CSO_LCdr_Wright: Self: "Majestic beauty merely masks the insatiable hunger that lurks at the center of us all."
(21:58:49) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: CO: Exiting warp in one minute, Capitana.
(22:00:52) CO_CaptHarper: :: watches the viewer in anticipation ::
(22:02:21) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: also watches, barely blinking ::
(22:02:26) CO_CaptHarper: ACTION> As Atlantis exits warp and the star trails once more coalesce into points, Sagittarius A* comes into proper view on the screen. The black hole itself is an utterly black sphere, seeming impossibly large at over a quarter of the Earth-Sun distance. Surrounding it and filling the rest of the viewer is the accretion disk, a swirling mass of gas and dust, appearing almost galaxy-like.
(22:03:15) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: forgets the poetry and stares at the screen, transfixed ::
(22:03:44) CO_CaptHarper: :: gasps, staring at the spectacle ahead, completely awe-struck ::
(22:04:47) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: keeps staring, thinking the view before was nothing compared to this ::
(22:07:05) CO_CaptHarper: :: quietly :: This is why I joined Starfleet. This moment. We have peered through a veil confounding astronomers from all our worlds for centuries, shining the light of understanding onto the impossibly dark. Our eyes, right now, are taking in sights that no eyes of our worlds have ever gazed upon. This is history in the making.
(22:08:47) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: nods slowly in captivated agreement ::
(22:09:56) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::Looks towards the viewer, to see it with his eyes, before he focused his mind outside the ship; the startling colour and blackness and beauty seeming much the same.:: Self: A singularity indeed. ::Chuckles to himself.::
(22:09:57) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: :: finally takes a moment and looks up to join the party ::
(22:11:10) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: without breaking her gaze :: CO: Captain. I recommend launching a Class 4 probe toward the black hole to collect additional data.
(22:11:50) CO_CaptHarper: CSO: By all means.
(22:13:07) XO_LCdr_Kuari: : listens to Wright's voice, reminding her of the science going on. Yes, she thought, it wasn't just this sight they could take away, but visual recordings and sensor data, too ::
(22:13:49) CO_CaptHarper: CSO: In fact, you are free to use every single probe we have for this mission. I am not sure what else they could be used for that would be of greater value.
(22:14:39) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::Makes a note on a nearby PADD, of something he just thought on the moment.::
(22:14:56) CSO_LCdr_Wright: CO: I'd like to have at least one of the Class 4 probes modified to improve subspace communications capability as it falls toward the gravity well.
(22:16:08) CO_CaptHarper: ENG: Lieutenant Ilaihr, can you make such a modification?
(22:17:36) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: orders the loading of Class 1 probes in the meantime ::
(22:18:02) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: CO: Possibly... yes. ::His eyes roll about it the corner of his head, as he makes a number of hand gestures in the air.:: Yes, I believe so.
(22:19:31) CO_CaptHarper: ENG: Please do, then.
(22:20:19) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: CO: Any particular course you would like, ma'am?
(22:20:28) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: CO: Although... it will not last long, and I will need the assistance of someone more qualified than myself to factor in intense time dilation.
(22:21:47) CSO_LCdr_Wright: CO: Class 1 probes ready, Captain. Intended targets are accretion disk and potential event horizon boundaries.
(22:22:18) CO_CaptHarper: CSO: Launch at your discretion.
(22:22:48) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: CO: Maximum efficiency, will in the end come down to high level mathematics, and elbow grease with a little bit of gum to hold it together. ::Begins with the physical modifications.::
(22:22:59) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: orders the launches and watches the probes streak away toward their destinations before looking down at telemetry readings ::
(22:23:16) CO_CaptHarper: ENG: I am confident you have enough of this elbow grease, then. If not, replicate more.
(22:23:57) SCI2_Ens_Jude: CO: It is an idiom, captain.
(22:24:03) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::Chuckles to himself, muttering something about headlight fluid.::
(22:24:40) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: grins, finally turning from the viewscreen to look at Harper ::
(22:24:59) CO_CaptHarper: SCI2: Hm? Oh. :: mutters something under her breath about English being stupid ::
(22:26:14) CO_CaptHarper: NAV: Any orbit would cross the accretion disk, which I imagine is feasible, but would require preparation. In the meantime, keep us in a powered pseudo-orbit above the disk plane, at a forty-five degree inclination.
(22:28:40) NAV_LtJG_Navarro: CO: Yes ma'am, can do. :: turns Atlantis into a great arc, flying a halo above the black hole ::
(22:29:46) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: looks towards Harper :: CO: How is its pull not overwhelming us?
(22:30:19) XO_LCdr_Kuari: CO: We seem so close.
(22:30:38) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: keeps track of the data streaming in from her probes as Atlantis moves, while simultaneously ordering that additional lower-class probes are loaded for launch ::
(22:32:15) CO_CaptHarper: :: takes a few steps back toward her chair as Kuari speaks to her :: XO: It seems closer than it is, due to its incredible size, but our distance is the main factor in keeping us safe. Given the power that we can apply with our engines, we would have to be fairly close to the event horizon to be unable to escape.
(22:34:31) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::Hums away as he reinforces the probe, making sure the it can survive a close approach. Then begins modifying the subspace comms array in the same vein.::
(22:35:22) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: nods, knowing those more science-oriented will keep them safe ::
(22:36:11) CO_CaptHarper: XO: I suspect that part of the accretion disk is even in a stable orbit and will never fall in.
(22:37:18) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: nods more vigorously :: CO: Yes, that makes sense!
(22:40:09) CO_CaptHarper: :: finally takes her seat again, who knows how long she'll actually stay there :: XO: We are the first to definitively prove it, though. :: grins :: Beyond hundreds of years of complex mathematics, that is.
(22:41:35) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: she mumbles out loud, without much thought :: All: Like how a heavy ball placed on a plastic sheet can stretch inwards and create a curve, the gravity of a black hole stretches the 'sheet' of spacetime to such a great extent that space and time get stretched significantly.
(22:41:50) SCI2_Ens_Jude: All: We do not notice anything due to being outside the curvature of the black hole.
(22:43:09) CO_CaptHarper: SCI2: Essentially, yes. Though there is slight curvature in this area.
(22:44:20) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: suddenly looks up, after her passive comment :: CO: Ah. Just outside enough to avoid falling in, then.
(22:44:32) CO_CaptHarper: SCI2: Precisely!
(22:44:37) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: is visibly startled :: CO: C-Captain... I'm picking up ... what appears to be an audio transmission from the accretion disk... :: turns around to look at Kate, surprise evident on her face ::
(22:46:32) CMO_LtJG_Tailor: ::looks over with surprise at Wright ::
(22:46:32) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: straightens up significantly, not believing what she's hearing :: CSO: What, really?
(22:46:44) CO_CaptHarper: :: whips her head around to find Lexy :: CSO: I suppose it is not unreasonable that someone else could be here, exploring like us, yes? Put it through.
(22:47:03) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: scrunches eyebrows in confusion ::
(22:47:06) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: puts it through, eager and yet hesitant ::
(22:48:58) CO_CaptHarper: ACTION> A staticy transmission fills the bridge speakers. An alien voice is audible, but the universal translator cannot hone in on the language. The message is clearly repeating after about thirty seconds, though.
(22:49:46) CO_CaptHarper: :: perks up, her linguist mind turning on as she listens to the unfamiliar language, trying to get hints of syntax and morphology ::
(22:50:18) ENG_Lt_Ilaihr: ::His ears an antennae twitch at the sound of an unknown alien language. He becomes intrigued.::
(22:50:23) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: attempts to make on-the-fly adjustments to the UT, although it's not her area of expertise ::
(22:50:35) CO_CaptHarper: :: darts forward to Lexy's console :: CSO: May I?
(22:50:51) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: listens carefully, but can't understand ::
(22:51:09) CSO_LCdr_Wright: :: quickly jumps aside to allow Kate to take her place, but doesn't talk so as to not spoil the concentration ::
(22:52:06) CO_CaptHarper: :: doesn't even sit, just kneels, as she adjusts the universal translator to account for what she hears ::
(22:52:39) SCI2_Ens_Jude: :: she instinctively tries to 'hone in' to any possible life forms, if there are any at all, near enough ::
(22:53:16) CO_CaptHarper: ACTION> As Harper adjusts the UT, the words twist and garble...
(22:53:18) CMO_LtJG_Tailor: ::watches the captain work at the translation, eager to know what the alien transmission is saying::
(22:53:51) XO_LCdr_Kuari: :: notes the tension in the voice, even if she doesn't understand the words ::
(22:54:34) CO_CaptHarper: :: concentrates, the adjustments giving her clues to further adjustments, and finds at least a passing similarity to one of the dialects of a species Voyager encountered in the Delta Quadrant ::
(22:55:43) CO_CaptHarper: ACTION> With Harper's adjustments, a few words start to bubble through into English, one becoming immediately prominent: DISTRESS.
(22:55:46) CO_CaptHarper: PAUSE SIM
(22:55:47) CO_CaptHarper: PAUSE SIM
(22:55:48) CO_CaptHarper: PAUSE SIM