- Luke Stafford
The astrometrics lab was used usually for stellar cartography. It had an overall surveillance and reconnaissance strategic function but also tactically as a support to operations and helm. The database herein was used by the ops on a daily basis and thus was thoroughly controlled by "those ops militia" as Science department called them. Besides a few random stations with diverse functions in maintenance the room had a big touch sensible graphene control desk in the middle.
Klaus found the SED reports that CSO left for him in the lab. Those were stored on Leonard's PADD memory card. He took it then approached the main desk and simply threw it gently on the table. It's special properties allowed to read the data on the cards found on its surface, a technique used as a standard technology since ages ago. The table's material composition around the memory card started to change and soon a confirmation dialog box appeared on the touch sensible material. Klauss made sure no one was watching then tapped the confirmation code and sat satisfied in his superior's chair.
The content appeared briefly as a holographic projection above the table.
Moab IV, Class B Planet, Terramorphed
Population 4 000 colonists, 600 children
Mining Activity Mainly, Self sustained
Stable Dwarf Class M1V
6 planets, 1 habitable
Human colony established 2168. Genetically engineered inbound social establishement. Known
recent history of Neutron Star nearmiss 2368. Main activity mining. High surface temperature
variance and earthquakes. Non-suit travel advised only for terraformed establishements. Recent
sparks in tau-antineutrinos detected few units near the planet. Surveillance mission advised.
"Ok, so we have a normal terraformed planet revolving around a red dwarf, nothing interesting so far" thought Klaus and kept reading further. At some point the report indicated an increase in neutrino radiation on some coordinates not far from the colony. He paused a minute, opened a separate holographic window and searched through the ship's database. Accordingly, there should be nothing at those coordinates. A mild silence took the room and Vogel's inner self. He needed to find an explanation for his chief but here he was, helpless, without sufficient data to reach a conclusion.
"It could be anything: a black hole, a neutron star, a man-made nuclear facility, a remnant of that star that nearly hit the planet 20 years ago, a crystaline entity for what it's worth. Where should I start? How about human made facilities. I don't think there should be some in the area"
He commanded the computer to check all the available databases for nuclear experiments in the area. While the computer connected to the main data core Klaus went on with other possibilities. He used the composite scan found in the report to separate the infrared component and rule out the case of an accretion disk surrounding a black hole but nothing came out. It could be a remnant of that neutron star, in which case the abnormal gravity levels would be explained but that won't explain the absence of other types of light. And moreover, the radiation source after careful analysis wasn't a single point. It was scattered around those coordinates like a crack or better yet a neural network. The computer chimed. The answer for the human activity in that area came negative.
"No way it's a crystalline entity" thought Klaus. "In this case, we ll need more data. Not much is known about the encounter with those beings other than it's transforming matter into energy and it feeds on almost anything. We need to get in the range of long sensors and see if we can read something although I doubt it". Didn't finish his thought, a voice behind him asked.
"Erm, yes, what?" Klaus almost fell off the chair.
He finally stood up and took the official posture in the presence of a higher rank. Lieutenant Safi Larson from the honorary Militia-Operations department was inspecting carefully the lab as if someone just stole something. They never met before, he was sure about it. In front of him he could see an attractive woman around 25, a light open face. The position of her body, the raised chin and her scrutinizing look seemed to suggest a tough personna although there was something in those sparkling eyes. "Did she cry?" Klaus asked himself after noticed the blush around her eyes.
"A few simulations Lietenant at the request of the Science Officer Leonard" he responded to Safi's question.