NationStates Jolt Archive

FTL Experiments -- Project 'Tunneller' [Semi-Open]

The Eastern-Coalition
15-08-2005, 14:52
Tapping his chair nervously, Captain Chesnokov leaned forwards slightly, squinting at the image now being displayed above the softly illuminated table. They sat in the dark, grey-metal conference room deep in the belly of the CS Varyag, Flagship of the Second Fleet. They held position in orbit of Venus, only a few hundred thousand kilometers from a vast network of space-based science labs, which were all working on a single project.

"What is it?" he asked after a pause.

"The Epsilon Pyat star system," the scientist said smugly. "Approximately 43 lightyears away from here. We have been paying particularly close attention to it for the past 15 years now. As you can see here there are two very large gas giants in orbit of a large, orange star."

"Fascinating," the commander nodded, leaning back again. "So what?"

"So this is where we are sending the first payload," the scientist said. "We are particularly interested in this system, not just because it is nearby, but also because we believe that these two blobs here are rocky planetoids." He pointed at two blurs on the image.

"How long?" he asked.

"Well, we shall be sending the probe through in a matter of hours," the scientist said enthusiastically. He pushed a button, and the image hovering above the table changed to a primitive-looking probe. "It is a simple, solar-powered tranceiver. We will send it through, wait for a day, and then establish contact. If its self-diagnostic checks out, we can move on to the next stage. I'm very confident that it will be a success."

"So was the last scientist," Chesnokov grumbled. "It took us thirty-six months to repair this ship afterwards."

"I... am aware of that, and I guarantee you that the same thing will not happen," the scientist boasted. "That project was run by amateurs... they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. We, on the other hand, are professionals."

"You had better hope so," Chesnokov said, standing up and tugging his dark uniform straight, making sure all his assorted medals and insignias weren't touched. "You are coming with us."

"What? No, I have to stay here and oversee the..."

"This is a military vessel," Chesnokov snapped. "You are running a civilian project. You are lucky to be getting our help at all. Do not push your luck, or you can send a Riza through instead of a strike carrier."

"Very well, I shall stay aboard," the scientist sighed. "I must take a shuttle back to Vladivostok Station, however, to prepare."

"You know the way to the main hangar bays," Chesnokov gestured at the door. The scientist shrugged and walked out, irritated. Chesnokov sat back down as the door whirred shut, pondering...