The Kalisa Conundrum (Mission)
Two months after entering the Finnean Convergence Zone, the Black Hawk arrives in the Kalisa Sector. Like other systems, it is home to destroyed worlds. The only signs of life emanate from a large planetary fragment with a metallic structure extruding from the bottom. Surrounding the world is a tremendous amount of orbital platforms boasting polaron technology. They, and whatever dangers await inside the planetary archive, could be whatever separates the Black Hawk from finding more clues as to why they’re in the Convergence Zone in the first place…
The Black Hawk, still licking its wounds sustained from the Time Warp Nebula and the initial crossing into the zone, arrives at the Kalisa Sector only to be greeted by a massive minefield littered with automated weapons platform. Entering the field is immediately deemed hazardous by a remote-controlled probe that is launched inside the area. Further tests are immediately conducted with various types of probes, finding that the Class Five probe had the best results. Lieutenant Commander Walsh and Lieutenant Alexander also conduct a perimeter review of the minefield to test the range and effectiveness of the weapons platforms, only for Commander Walsh to barely escape. Based upon a suggestion from the senior staff, the Runabout Mississippi is refitted with Multi-Adaptive Shielding and dispatched with an Away Team to the planetary archive.
While the Away Team was away, microscopic lifeforms began to congregate on the Black Hawk's hull to feed off the duranium/tritanium alloys. Several members of the crew, including Captain Geisler, Doctor Kij, and Lieutenant Geisler, start to notice a numbing of their tastebuds and mental acuity, though they individually attribute these feelings to dealing with stress and the overall mission over the last couple of months. Lieutenant Commander Djinx, Lieutenant Geisler, and Ensign Kahn meet together to review the sensor data gathered thus far and make recommendations to the Captain, providing a set of options should the Black Hawk have to enter the minefield to rescue the Away Team. These options included multiple courses, frequency jamming and more. At the conclusion of the meeting, Ensign Kahn experiences momentary memory loss, something Captain Geisler contributed to recently harsh working conditions.
In Engineering, Lieutenant Kemm observes that structural integrity is slowly beginning to fail. An investigation by Staff Warrant Officer Griffin and Lieutenant Kemm reveals that the ship's ablative armor and hull is starting to lose its tritanium elements, resulting in a brittleness of the hull. Griffin, in a momentary lapse of judgment, suspects that Kemm is purposely sabotaging the starship, but quickly comes to his senses. Further problems arise among the Black Hawk's crew as members begin to experience hallucinations, memory loss and severe fatigue. Doctor Kij and the medical staff are able to isolate a bacterial strain that has infected the crew and synthesize some medication to combat the effects, but it is not enough to stop the process. As more and more incidents break out all over the ship, Captain Geisler returns to the bridge to observe that it had spread to the bridge crew. Geisler quickly installs Commander Walsh as Acting Second Officer and places the ship into Command Override mode to prevent anyone from accidentally jeopardizing the crew or the vessel. Orders are given to inoculate the crew and to restrict access to all areas of the ship except for personnel who are absolutely essential to the operation of the starship.
The security teams begin to corral the crew for treatment and their safety. The ship's entire medical staff begins to treat the crew in sickbay before starting to venture out into the rest of the ship. The bacteria clearly demonstrates its hold on the crew through varied hallucinations and accidents. Chief Griffin assembles inoculated members of the engineering staff to analyze a sample of the ship's outer hull. As the command override disabled all of the engineering labs, Chief Griffin obtains permission from Captain Geisler to reopen a lab to continue the analysis. Close sensor readings reveal a parasite that is slowly eating away at the tritanium layers in the hull and ablative armor fabric. A similar investigation in the Flight Deck reveals a similar situation with the hulls of Commander Walsh's and Lieutenant Alexander's fighters. The team subject the hull sample to various forms of radiation and elements before deciding that an antiproton beam is the best option to remove the parasites from the hull. As antiproton beams are not naturally occurring, they decide that several shuttles will have to modified to be used for parasite scrubbing.
On the bridge, Lieutenant Geisler and Ensign Khan continue testing navigating the minefield with probes in combination with signal jamming employed by the communications array. These tests deliver various measures of success, measures that are enough for Captain Geisler to authorize a full deployment of probes throughout the minefield. These probes would be remotely operated by the ship's squadron pilots using their simulators. Commander Walsh and Lieutenant Geisler head straight for the Flight Deck in order to prepare the simulators, and the pilots, for this complicated task. After a quick briefing, the pilots begin to settle into their simulators. Doctor Kij soon arrives on the bridge, and Commander Walsh returns as Kij reports that the bacterial infections are growing worse and that the treatments to mitigate it are proving to be ineffective in the long-term. Kij, Walsh, and Geisler work together to configure the biofilters to start removing the bacteria from the air supply in hopes that it will lessen the memory loss and schizophrenia effects.
The Runabout Mississippi, during the Black Hawk's crisis, struggles to navigate the minefield. The crudely constructed shield generator is soon discovered to hog most of the runabout's power resources, jeopardizing the away team on their journey. Quick thinking from Lieutenants Di Pasquale and Parks turn a piece of debris into a battering ram, allowing the runabout to move quickly to the planet Kalisa. The runabout lands in order to save power for the return trip.
On the surface, the Away Team finds the planet dark and deserted. They arrive at the archive and quickly gain entry, only to find that someone had been there before. The automated defense system had been both destroyed and disabled, with plenty of long-dead corpses. Ensign Mackie manages to locate a map in what appeared to be a security checkpoint while Lieutenant Di Pasquale accessed the installation's sensors. Other than the away team, the sensors reveal two lifeforms tucked away in the archive deep below the surface.
The expedition moves deep into the facility where the away team discovers a massive vault. Centuries of history were collecting dust, with artifacts of varying size and value had sat almost untouched by organic hands. Evidence of a raid existed, as seen by various opened enclosures, and various artifacts littering the ground. The away team is led to a central control station where the two lifesigns, a Boreriri and a Triosian, have claimed as their home. Conversation reveals that the duo were the last survivors of a salvage attempt gone wrong and had been stranded on the planet for the last few decades. These two were also in control of the installation's defenses, and therefore trade freedom for allowing the Away Team to collect what they can. Lieutenant Parks, wearing the bracelets she purchased from Alpha Trios, is able to access a security level in the computer the survivors could not and learns more of a shocking story; that a Great Conflict devastated the region, resulting in the creation of the Zone. Still, information about who, what and why were not contained in the computer, save for the mention of a single planet, Penduli V, which is more heavily guarded than Kalisa. Ensign Mackie discovers several artifacts in the archive that would enable the runabout to safely depart the planet, and that would help the Black Hawk in its further adventures in the Zone.
Late that night, the Mississippt returns to the Black Hawk, carrying the entire away team, the two survivors found on Penduli V, and the artifacts. Before retiring to his quarters, Ensign Quinn Mackie meets with his fellow Follower of Dolmoqour, Lieutenant Charles Carmichael, where both individuals agree that with the end in sight, they must quickly advance their timetable in order to ensure that they will succeed...
- 1130 hours: The Front Gate
- 1200 hours: The Second Test
- 1200 hours: Jury Rigging
- 1230 hours: In The Darkness
Aboard the Black Hawk
- 1245 hours: Quiet
- 1300 hours: A Late Lunch
- 1400 hours: Tennis
- 1400 hours: A Matter of Integrity
- 1430 hours: Strategies
- 1500 hours: Plans and Problems
- 1500 hours: What's That?
- 1530 hours: I Don't Mind
- 1530 hours: For Better Or Worse...
- 1600 hours: Trouble in River City
- 1600 hours: Do You See What I See?
- 1630 hours: Mind Over Matter
- 1635 hours: An Unexpected Friend
- 1700 hours: Tritanium Woes
- 1700 hours: The Bridge of Unrest
- 1700 hours: Take Two Of These
- 1700 hours: Non-Essential Round Up
- 1730 hours: Car Wash
- 1730 hours: It's Getting Worse
- 1800 hours: Traipsing Through the Minefield
Mission 16 began on October 12, 2018 and ended on April 19, 2019. 49 posts were published.
Complete Mission Logs for Episode 16: The Kalisa Conundrum
|MISSIONS OF THE USS BLACK HAWK|
|SEASON 1||0: New Voyages • 1: Echoes • 2: Pursuit • 3: Razmena • 4: Boarded • 4.5: Repairs • 5: Answers|
|SEASON 2||6: Rude Awakening • 7: Outbreak • 8: Risky Business • 9: Click Three Times • 10: Endgame|
|SEASON 3||11: Shore Leave • 12: The Finnean Crisis • 13: Crossing Over • 14: The Search Begins|
15: Fractured • 16: The Kalisa Conundrum • 17: Truth and Justice • 18: Epilogue
|SEASON 4||19: Sentience • 20: Ghosts • 21: Extinction|