A new entry in the Omicron Matter – A Practice Voyage. Back on Millicent’s ship, Rachael prepares herself for the next jump to Jupiter. During the jump, even with supplements from Charles, she finds work difficult. Jason reports on readings during the jump which, not surprisingly, are very confusing.
For those who are new to the Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
We challenge my imagination about what FTL travel would be like. In Star Trek, it is no different. In other stories, such as those by C J Cherryh, the occupants have dulled senses. Since I am enclosing my travelers in a time-space bubble, I figure there have to be some side effects. There are two entries to this section. Look for more on Friday.
Thanks for your support.
A Stop at the Doorstep of Olympus
Charles’ Engine Room – Rachael
Rachael secured her wheel chair and steeled herself for the next round. The small jump to the Moon proved they could turn the device on and off and live to tell the tale. Now they need to prove there was a value. According to John and Charles, there was tremendous fuel savings for the short trip. But that was not the same as traveling between stars, if she understood the distances. The device had to be better and faster.
Simone repeated her count down to the dark matter field engagement over the speaking tube. This time Charles and Camille would coordinate the execution of the jumps. They needed to see if multiple ships could arrive at the same location at the same time. Millicent said this was important although Rachael thought it was a rather minor requirement. At zero, the same dullness swept over her thought and senses. Charles said in a remotely perceived voice, “I’ve added stimulants to your water. Drinking may help.”
Simone brought her a container of water. It tasted a bit odd, but in a few moments her head cleared some. She still felt like she hadn’t slept well. She returned to her position, buckled herself in, and tried to focus on the gauges and readings. When she was at University, she would stay up late at night and into the early hours studying or working on homework. At some point, she started feeling like she was reading but the words weren’t sinking in. Staring at the gauges and screens felt like this. She understood all the numbers but could not reach conclusions. In frustration she shouted out, “Charles, I am bloody useless. Do you need me for anything until we get out of this mess?”
Charles replied, “It is a short jump. I estimate we have about 20 more minutes. The others are suffering as well. Even Millicent.”
Rachael said, “That is almost refreshing. I was beginning to think she didn’t have limits. I think I have time to get to the bridge. I am curious what Jason’s readings are saying.” She used her wheel chair because the ship was under a slight acceleration. It was small, but floating around was not possible. On the bridge, everyone was obviously suffering to different degrees and in different fashions. Simone was holding her head as if she had a massive headache. Michael kept whispering things as he tried to remember what steps he needed to take. She rolled up to Jason and he spoke, “I feel like I would the day after a long night at the bar…only sleeping it off didn’t work.”
Rachael grimaced, relayed her late night study session feel, and said, “I am hoping Charles and Simone will be able to find something to help. I would go crazy in weeks like this.”
Jason gulped and said, “Weeks?”
Rachael said, “It all depends on how far. Do your instruments say anything?”
Jason looked at them and said, “It’s hard to tell. Outside is highly charged and radioactive.” By now most everyone understood the structure of atoms and what radioactive decay was. Jason said, “But everything is gone…not visible. When we were at the Moon, I could see Mars and Venus on the sensor, faintly. Now? They’re gone. Something might be there but it is hard to tell.”
Charles said, “Five minutes to normal space.”
Rachael smiled weakly, “That’s my cue. “ Rachael left the bridge as the others started looking intently at their stations. Once in the engine room, she set her wheel chair in place. She heard Simone count down. Rachael watched the loops of the assembly which seemed stopped and yet her instruments said they weren’t. When Simone reached zero, the loops seemed to go in reverse for a moment and then disappeared in a blur. The blue glow shrank into the loops which became discernable again. Her head cleared up almost immediately. She heard Michael say, “We are 400000 kilometers from Jupiter. Eleanor said, “Standby for deceleration. We need to shed ….close to 12,000 Km/second over the next 20 minutes.” John said, “Ship systems are holding normal. Fuel level is 95% of full.” Rachael looked over at the now still hoops and said, “The device is now at rest. Less than 100th of dark energy reserve used.” Jason said, “I can detect Smith’s ship off to the port. It was here when we arrived.”
Charles said, “Camille estimates we were less than 1 second behind. Detectable, but acceptable for a first try.”
She heard Michael say over the tube, “One frigging second…acceptable.”
Millicent responded on the tube, “One second for our first try is acceptable; we were only in transit 30 minutes. Multiply that by days or weeks. Now we are talking hours if not days of difference. I want precision, but we will worry about that later.”
Felicity said, “I have a message from Smith…Everyone is in one piece. Work to do, but tell your crew…well done.”
Millicent said, “Return message…’everyone is in one piece as well. Next time we will keep up.’ Miss Weiz, Mr. McNeill deploy a drone and start collecting data. Charles project bridge view. ”