....before you can walk
Posted By: spook<email@example.com>
Date: 16 November 2007, 5:25 pm
Sector: Delta Niner Sigma
Mars Orbit Research Center
Dr. Issiac Russov paced the corridor an unlit cigarette between his lips. His mind racing with thoughts and theories of temporal structure, dimensional distortion, and physical boundaries, he felt as though his head would explode. After a few more moments of deep thought he walked back into the laboratory adjacent. His eyes scanning the thirteen data screens positioned for optimal viewing, then out the duraglass shield at his most recent breakthrough. It had been believed that Faster than Light travel was possible, and now The Russov Generator prototype was working. The smile grew on his face, he was capable of projecting an object through a black body spectrum, or black hole. It had been tried many times before with multiple variables, but every time it ended in catastrophic failure. He had harnessed Hawking Radiation to counteract the Black hole, so it would form, accept the item to be transported and then extinguish itself. He was a genius and soon to be rich. He'd beaten the others to it, and the government would certainly reward him.
Tapping a few commands into the nearest console he watched as the generator hummed to life, projecting a small field of energy.
"Garrov.." Russov exclaimed as the stations AI sprang into existence on the projector panel. Its form was rudimentary and simplistic, but its processing power was far above normal standards.
"Yes, Doctor Russov?" The thick Russian accented voice replied.
"Start recording for transmission, visual and audio."
"Yes Doctor, Recording"
Russov straightened his lab coat and tie, he combed his fingers through his thick brown hair and stared at the recorder.
"I am Dr. Issiac Vladimir Russov, the date.. what's the date?" Garrov interjected "Tuesday March twenty-second, three fifty-nine am."
"Thank you Garrov, anyway this is the Demonstration of the Russov Generator. I have attached the exact specifications to this report. So now I shall activate the generator and have it launch this transmitter across our current galaxy. Upon arrival it will strobe an alert with the message 'I was sent by Russov'. It will then repeat until battery life terminates. When the communication is received it will prove success. Charging generator main power now." Russov activated the main power of the generator and the humming increased. Some static fills the a/v and a bright flash dims the auto filters on the camera.
"It worked, IT WORKED!!!" Russov shouted, "Scanning for signal from transmitter now."
The screen clears some and Russov is typing furiously on a keyboard, the displays around the room all fix and scroll time, date, transmitter/receiver info and his message.
"Confirmed success at o-four hundred. Powering down generator." Russov pauses. "Stabilizing radiation levels, venting contaminated air, Garrov stop recording and send."
The feed cuts out, Russov finishes the power down procedure and begins to light his cigarette.
"Doctor, there is an Admiral James Hayfield requesting to speak with you. Priority transmission"
"Put him through Garrov, lets see what he has to offer."
The non essential view screens shifted the face of a middle aged man in uniform, the 3 stars of his Admiral rank shining on his collar. "Doctor Russov I presume?"
The doctor straightened up a bit and stared at the screen. "Yes admiral, what can I do for you?"
"We received your broadcast and are very pleased with the results. We would like to offer you more funding in a better testing facility."
The grin stretched sinisterly from ear to ear on Russov's face. "Well admiral, exactly what research will I be doing."
"You and your team will be attempting to apply your technology to.."
"Admiral I have no team, this was all done by me"
"An amazing feat doctor, but if that's the case we will assign others to your project to assist you. Either way we want your technology to transport our vessels over longer distances in shorter time."
"I don't see why we couldn't attempt it. What kind of funding are we talking about, and where"
"I'll just say your resources will be nearly inexhaustible, where can wait until we pick you. Be packed and ready by 0900 we have a ship en-route"
"Why thank you admiral. I'll be ready"
He cut the transmission and took a long drag on his half burnt cigarette.
"Garrov, compile all the data on this station and send it to my personal computer. Then upload yourself."
The AI complied without hesitation and faded out of sight. Russov headed to his small room on the nearly abandoned station and packed his things. He was done in a matter of minutes so he decided to shower and freshen up. He then headed back to his lab and began the shutdown of his generator. Two hours later he unfastened it and waited for the Admirals men. 0900 rolled around and some thirty soldiers and engineers entered the lab to transport the enormous generator. Its size normally underestimated as it seems smaller, the troops loaded it up and transported it aboard the outdated Fortunate Maiden. Doctor Russov was allowed access to the engineering section over the five day trip. During this brief voyage Russov started theorizing ways to mount and utilize the generator, and began designing what he was going to call the Russov Accelerator Drive.
UNSC/ONI Orbital Research Station
The Fortunate Maiden docked around eighteen-hundred hours and began the process of relocating the Russov Generator. The Doctor made his way to his new quarters and unpacked. The surroundings were drastically different, Mars station was dark and due to multiple leaks in the hydration systems damp. This place was sterile white bright and bleached. It actually burned his nostrils to breath and his eyes if he didn't squint for the first few minutes before he adapted. After unpacking he made his way to his new lab, taking a total of twenty minutes to bypass enough security to make him worry. Russov finally entered his laboratory and saw his new 'team' standing in the state of the art surroundings he had only dreamed about. Not wanting to bother with trivial relationships he only looked at their ID badges and didn't bother reading past the last name. "You, Shaw why not get us some coffee, we will be here a while." His gaze landed on an Asian man with the stereotypical 'geek/nerd' pocket protector taped glasses and hiked up pants, he resisted laughing and choked his name out. "Fujikawa is it, well get me all the info you have on your 'slipstream' theories and anything relating. We will all be briefing each other."
Shaw had already left to get the coffee, reluctantly, and Fujikawa started accessing classified research documents for their new research head. Russov sat at the nearby terminal and started accessing the files Fujikawa was sending him. His eyes scanning the words and formulas, the mathematical theory.
"Fujikawa, how did you come to the conclusion that FTL (faster than light) travel would require actual dimensional fissuring?"
Fujikawa looked over to Russov with a stunned expression. "You mean to tell me that you haven't used inter-dimensional probability formulas?"
"No I haven't, I do like the concept however. First though we should get the two of you up to date on my generator."
Shaw placed the coffees on the table, his eyes fixing on Fujikawa for a second then back to Russov. "Well then, why not activate it again?"
Russov just smiled and handed the two of them folders with the technical drawings and specs for the device, his theories and the finer mechanics.
"You two get acquainted with that first then we will fire it again, after that we will begin working on a larger scale body projector so we can fit a small vessel into the rift." Russov finishes the statement with a sip of his coffee.
Shaw and Fujikawa start reading and working out the algorithms and theories. After the greater part of the evening was spent reading Shaw speaks up, "Doctor, this equation here, the trajectory one seems to be highly inaccurate."
"What do you mean?"
Fujikawa looked down to the holo projector on the table and accessed it from his personal computer. An image of the Mars station pulls back to be a green waypoint in the void of space, then a green line appears. "This was the course plotted by your navigation program." A red line appears on the hologram showing sporadic movement. "Somehow, this is the course it followed. You can see where it doubled back, moved wildly and reappeared in real space two hundred kilometers off target. It makes me believe the multi dimensional theory is correct."
Russov thought on it for a moment. "It's a possibility. If that's the case I want you to write another navigational program. Shaw, I want you to strap a sensory array to the probe we're sending. I want to see how it looks to travel faster than light."
Shaw headed over to one of the consoles in the room and began designing a sensory system for this 'probe'. Meanwhile Fujikawa started visually building the subroutines for a new navigation program, this time applying 7 axis to determine the course trajectory and ending point for the probe. Russov began calibrations on the Russov generator to allow for a modified probe launch and for the induction of its new navigational programming.
UNSC/ONI Orbital Research Station
Russov rubbed his eyes as he entered the laboratory, scanning the occupants he spotted Fujikawa among the engineers working on the modified generator.
"Fujikawa, status?" Russov shouted over the welders and air hammers.
The focused Asian man walked over to Russov near the primary workstation, "Well, I programmed the nav-app and it regurgitated all over the primary code." Russov's face went whiter than usual. "So I reprogrammed the whole thing using your base code and modifying some of the inner workings with the new ONI applications."
Russov reexamined Fujikawa and noted the many markings of fatigue and stress. "Go get some sleep, I'll run simulations on the programming before we test fire. Take twelve hours, and where the hell is Shaw?"
"He's working on the final designs for the probe, test flying it I think."
"What do you mean test flying?"
Fujikawa smiled, "He's got it programmed to a remote so we can test manual navigation in slipspace after the first few attempts."
Russov just sat back in his chair "Well I'm glad to see that you two are truly dedicated."
"Of course Doctor, why wouldn't we be. This project is for the betterment of the race."
"Of course, now go get some sleep"
With that Fujikawa made his way out of the lab and to his room, his door had barely sealed before his head hit the pillow and he was fast asleep.
Shaw tilted his control stick left, right, up and down calibrating the pitch and yaw of the probe. Its roughly spherical shape and stabilization fins make it look a bit like a beach ball with wings.
"Now this is more like it" Shaw exclaimed as he piloted the probe past the debris of the failed flight attempts. A corkscrew here and a barrel roll there was his calibration. Shaw was reminded of his little known past as a test pilot for the earthbound aero-space vessel development company known as AeroKom, its what inspired him to learn how the damned things worked and become a scientist. He cleared his head and landed the probe on its pedestal, locked out the controls and headed back toward the lab.
Russov was busy scanning and testing the new programming for the generator, and reviewing the specs for the probe when Shaw walked in.
"Shaw, I heard you designed a remote controlled probe?"
"Yeah, I figured it would be relevant to test manual controls during travel."
"Of course, and the subroutine you added to Fujikawa's navigation program is interesting but going to make things difficult to determine what is manual control and the 'random' movements of this slipspace."
"I figured that in too, that's why I've coded the probe to transmit a signal that will show on our course plotter when it receives a manual command."
Russov smiled a bit, "I was right, truly dedicated. I gave Fujikawa twelve hours, same goes for you get some R and R."
"Thanks doc but I need to finish scanning the destination if we're going to launch before Friday."
"Suit yourself, but I don't need any errors due to fatigue"
"Got it, I'll take it easy."
"Then get to work."
Shaw walked over to the console that had been scanning the desired course for the probes. It had reached the destination and the entire path needed to be checked for any obstruction that could cause premature drops or collisions. His next few hours were about to fade into space so to speak.
Shaw stood, the scans reached their destination and all looked clear. He stretched and let out a loud yawn before looking around the Lab. Nearly four hours ago Russov had left to finalize the designs for his recall system with the engineers and top brass but still hadn't returned.
"Orion wake up." Shaw said in a clam tone as he walked toward the center table. Orion the ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) AI on this station shimmered into existence on the holo projector her form, if you can call it a her in reality, was that of a great hunter with alphanumeric coding making up her perfect as light can be figure.
"Mr. Shaw you of all people should know I do not sleep"
"Yes Orion, of course, but if you could spare the technicalities for a bit I need you to do something for me."
"What exactly would that be, and no I am not making a nude subroutine for you its against ONI protocol."
"That's for another time Orion, but for now I need you to access the programming for that generator and edit it for me."
"What exactly am I changing"
"The destination's x coordinate needs to be modified to ten hours fifty-one minutes twenty-six point two eight two seconds. And then I need you to make the coordinates read as if unchanged."
"Destination modified, revert protocol adhered. May I ask why?"
"Testing the programs error logic." Shaw was pleased with his excuse for the change.
"I see, well if there will be nothing else I'll be off."
"Tending to other tasks no doubt"
The AI smiled as she shimmered off, "No I just don't like how your staring at me."
Shaw let out a loud laugh as he sealed the lab and headed for his quarters. Launch was in less than 8 hours and he would want to be fully awake for the 'program' glitch. He opened his door and let himself fall asleep on his uncomfortable regulation bed.
UNSC/ONI Orbital Research Station
Wednesday 330.2282.0025 Test Fire Day
Fujikawa and Russov were already in the lab when Shaw walked in. They seemed fully confident running the final diagnostics before the launch.
Russov looked up and noticed Shaw "Ah, so the scans were clear correct?"
"Of course, smooth sailing." Shaw took his position to monitor the probe while Fujikawa finalized the navigational data. Russov started powering up the generator just as the general and his staff entered the observation lounge above the lab.
Russov looked up and clipped the microphone to his eyeglasses, "Good afternoon gentlemen. The launch will commence in about five minutes. Until then please take the time to review the data I have provided."
The general and his staff began looking over the data, checking the progress versus the funding.
Fujikawa was just about done his final check when he noticed a gap in the coding, something that wasn't there before. "Shaw, take a look at this." Shaw walked over to the console and checked the lines. "Oh, that's the probe replicating a test transmission its nothing." Fujikawa looked at Shaw with skepticism but disregarded the variance and finished his scan.
"Doctor we're ready when you are" Fujikawa said as the probe was loaded into the generators launch system.
Russov sounded the firing alarm clearing the launch room. "Clear, launch in ten."
Orion flickered to life and started the countdown in a very uninterested voice. She stared at Shaw as she reached three, "two, one, launching."
The miniscule black hole was created by the generator, then in an instant it was shaped as the probe passed into it.
Shaw spoke up "Probe away, transmitting tracking signal."
Fujikawa was next, his eyes forever scanning the path of their launch "Probe on course."
By this time the hawking radiation was vented and the singularity closed. Russov smiled and awaited to hear the good news.
Fujikawa's eyes widened and he started typing furiously "Probe off course, veering three kilometers, thirty, two-hundred fifty. Its gone, it exited the slipstream inside an asteroid."
Russov's stomach lurched, and he stood there in shock.
Fujikawa started diagnostics on his navigational program, and nothing was wrong. "I don't know what happened. Maybe there are currents, or eddies in slipstream?"
Russov didn't care, he was just sick, he had failed. No they had failed him. He looked up to the lounge above him. "General my apologies, there was a gross error on the part of my staff. It will be corrected and we will attempt a second launch in 24 hours."
Russov threw the microphone to the ground and his face turned red. "What the hell happened?" His tone was calm at first, "I thought YOU said the navigation was going to work., and YOUR damned probe picked up the drag."
Shaw and Fujikawa just looked at each other and Fujikawa spoke up "Doctor, you cannot blame a failed test on us, we did everything we could, now we see there are more variables in slipstream,"
Russov cut him off, "DAMN RIGHT there are variables, why didn't you think of that before?"
Fujikawa just took his glasses off "Issiac, your over reacting. I will rewrite the whole program and have it ready by launch. If there is a problem after that then I will personally take responsibility and work double shifts until we have a successful launch."
Russov was taken by surprise and calmed down considerably. "Well then, good. I expect perfection and you Shaw, rebuild the probe."
Shaw started to protest but Fujikawa motioned for him to stop. "We'll be here if you need us Doctor."
With that Russov walked out of the lab, somewhat satisfied. He went to his quarters and relaxed to some classical music and a large bottle of whiskey.
Fujikawa looked at Shaw after Russov was gone, "We will be doing something about him. I wont work this hard and have him take all the credit."
Shaw looked at him, and smiled "What do you have in mind?"