((Ancient Lab, Surface Ring 42))
John walked over to Thand. The console had the same dark blues and greens as the rest of the lab, virtually indistinguishable, with a large screen displaying a series of lines and other glyphs.
Kendrick: Jeopardy. ::thinking:: It could mean danger, right?. ::looking at Careno:: Something that regulates and coordinates something dangerous? A weapon? Some kind of energy source?
Thand: It's possible, but I need context, not just conjecture.
Kendrick: ::nodding:: Agreed. But at this point we don't know enough of their language to understand the function of these consoles. Unless you're able to download a dictionary, I'm afraid conjecture is our only option.
He looked over at Careno as he pointed his finger at the screen of the console.
Kendrick: These lines here, do they remind you of something you've seen before? In Engineering or perhaps someplace else?
Thand: ::nodding irritably:: It's either that or 'Power' or 'Source'.
Kendrick: ::scratching his head:: Okay.
Neither answer was helpful to determine their next course of action. They still had no idea how to interpret the alien language. He wondered how people had been able to communicate before the birth of the Universal Translator. Probably not without the occasional misunderstanding, considering their current predicament.
Thand: ::sharply:: Have found any other consoles that work? If we get a little indication of what it does, or its structure, I can refine the translation.
That definitely was a sound plan. They were too focused on one console. Perhaps there were other devices in the Lab whose functions were easier to decipher, perhaps even without the help of a linguist who - up until now - didn't seem to be the top expert in his field.
Kendrick: Right. ::turning to Careno:: Ensign Careno and I will start looking for consoles or anything else that might prove useful to get us back into the real world - sorta speak. ::turning back to Thand:: While you continue working on trying to figure ::pointing finger at the screen:: this out without us breathing down your neck.
Thand: If you see a dataport it's possible, but I haven't found anything resembling that.
Just as they were about to start their search, he noticed something on the console caught Thand's eye - and it didn't exactly look like he was excited.
Kendrick: ::confused:: A timer?
Thand: If my match is right, 232 seconds.
Kendrick: That's less than 4 minutes.
On the console screen, the lines started moving upwards.
Kendrick: ::worried:: Looks like there's some kind of power build up in progress.
He felt a cold chill going down his spine as he thought of the horrible things the Lab might have in store for them this time.
With less then 4 minutes left, he knew they had little or no chance to find out what was happening, let alone stop it. Then his eyes fell on a small, oval shaped hatch on the right side of the console, barely visible to the eye.
Kendrick: What's that?
He walked over to the side of the console, kneeled down next to it and tried to open the hatch.
Kendrick: ::grimacing:: Dammit. ::grunting:: Looks like it's-
And then he heard a clicking sound. He smiled as he managed to unlock the hatch, revealing part of the console's circuitry. He reached for his belt just as he realised he gave his tricorder to Careno earlier.
Kendrick: ::looking up, at Careno:: Quick, Ensign, can you take a scan of these circuits? If we can figure out what their function is, perhaps we can shut it down.
Lieutenant John Kendrick
Acting Chief Security and Tactical
USS Juneau, NX-99801