((Engineering Lab, Main Engineering, USS Veritas))
Lieutenant Ukinix gave Tahlin a complete tour of Engineering, introducing him to those that were on duty and pointing out all the different systems and stations. After his exhaustive study of the Veritas schematics it was gratifying to see them up close. Truth be told Tahlin was almost giddy when he first walked into engineering and saw the warp core for the first time. Meeting all of the personnel in person was also interesting, after having spent so much time reading up on all of them on the long journey here. Starfleet profiles were hardly exhaustive but they contained enough and with all his reading now combining with first-hand experience, Tahlin felt almost... at home on the Veritas. Or at the very least he felt comfortable, like everything was familiar even if he was still excited seeing it for the first time.
Showing him to the Engineering Lab, Lieutenant Ukinix gestured to the to the hexagonal polyhedron that was lying partially disassembled on the room's large center table.
Alse: What is this? :: Tahlin asked, stepping forward to admire it up close.::
Lieutenant Ukinix took a quick sip of his coffee.
Ukinix: Well (picking up device) this little beauty was used by a Romulan that we detected Felicium on. The CCMS has asked us to examine it. Funny, they don’t like Starfleet being here and will arrest us at the drop of hat, but when it suits their purposes (shaking head)… anyway, one of them used it to contact someone else 12,000 kilometres away.
Tahlin gave an internal grimace at the mention of the narcotic and the Romulan victim. He really was far from home wasn't he? He could see he would have to take Lieutenant Ukinix's words to heart and learn not to be surprised at things happening in the Shoals.
Alse: Using just this device? No other router, carrier or relay? I don't want to say 'impossible' but even our communications systems have to use something to maintain real-time communication at that distance.
His first day and already there was an intriguing mystery communication system to work out. On top of the murder investigation of course.
Ukinix: Uh huh, I know. Starfleet Combadge to combadge limit is around twelve-hundred k’s for us. Looking at the transceiver signature and the componentry, there had to be an intermediary broker of some sort. Like a ship, or a ground-based amplifier, or something.
Tahlin nodded and leaned forward to get a better look at the circuitry inside the hexagon paneled device.
Alse: I don't recognize the technology at first glance, any idea who built it?
Ukinix: There have been some reports of pirates in the Shoals looking into them, but the information is very scant. It’s only second hand information that’s in the Starfleet database, and they’re relatively new entries. Can you cross reference those reports with (hands over PADD) the diagnostic information I’ve found so far, see if you can find anything?
oO A mystery indeed. Oo
Alse: :: Taking the PADD.:: Of course.
Tahlin stood up and started typing away at the PADD while Lieutenant Ukinix replaced him, looking down at the device.
Ukinix: It seems to be a mishmash of componentry. The design is crude but effective. I mean, it’s gorgeous looking, check out that shine, the top almost looks like a gem of some sort – even though it’s not. Form over function.
Alse: :: Tahlin nodded.:: Which is odd. Usually things cobbled together like this don't have such nice design. Unless they found the chassis and thought it would make a good container?
Tahlin continued pouring over the data and different reports from Starfleet in the Shoals. The Lieutenant was right. Nothing immediately stood out as matching the description of the device but nothing in here was as exhaustive as the scans the Veritas crew had been able to take from the sample before him.
Alse: The device does match vague descriptions in half a dozen reports but we're the only ones with detailed scans and read-outs. Maybe looking more closely at the internal circuitry will help us trace the origin? It might be jumbled together but perhaps the nascent design will help us discover who built it?
Alse: May I?
Tahlin delicately pulled off one of the hexagon panels from the device and placed it next to it. Taking a look inside he could definitely see what the Lieutenant meant by form over function. It wasn't manufactured and yet it didn't look reliable or haphazard enough to be completely jury-rigged by some scrappy frontier technician.
Alse: No subspace transceiver and yet it was able to have a range an order of magnitude greater than our own comm-badges. Doesn't look like traditional radio either but that's a long shot anyways. Quantum entanglement is a possibility but I'm not seeing anything that could house the particles or why they would need such a large device. What happens when it's turned on?
Ensign Tahlin Alse
Writer ID: C239305TA0