Expansion Plan

Omar Panderyn drifts into the lab, PDA in one hand, as he speaks into a commlink: “Acknowledged. Awaiting their arrival. Panderyn out.”

Maxwell looks up from his computer chair, something paused on screen momentarily. “Morning.”

“Morning,” the station chief replies with a smile. “What’s our status?”

Maxwell stretches a bit “Just reviewing the results of the simulation Tillsworth came up with.”

Omar Panderyn lifts an eyebrow. “Oh, really? Good news, I hope.”

Maxwell shrugs, resuming the playback. “Good’s always relative. It looks like it could get us past the FTL barrier, but only barely. And of course, there’s the issue of how to generate the field this idea requires. So, it’s a start.”

Omar Panderyn nods. “How apocalyptic is it likely to be? I’ve started to hear some rumblings from the zealots.”

Maxwell looks thoughtful for a moment “Well, it does seem to involve creating a small detached universe around the vessel. So there’s an outside chance of that displacing *this* universe. Definitely something to keep an eye on in simulations.”

Omar Panderyn frowns. “Creating a small detached universe. I’m really going to have to nuance that press release.”

Tilsworth floats into the lab in time to catch the last statement. A bit of a chuckle. “In layman’s terms… the technical description would be perhaps an isolated autonomous region created by a resonance energy field of variable power.” he says as he grabs onto a handle to steady himself. “The more power put into the field, the greater the ‘detachment’, and thus the greater reduction of what you could consider ‘friction’ with the normal universe. I have the formulas worked out in my clipboard if you’d like to peruse them.” he offers sincerely.

“Transmit them to my PDA, encrypted as usual,” Panderyn replies with a nod. “Sounds like you’re doing good work. How will you test the theory?”

Maxwell looks to Tilsworth, curious about the answer as well.

“A good question, young man, but one that I have given thought.” Tilsworth says, floating over to a terminal to bring up a display. On it appears his simulation. “Naturally a battery of simulated tests is in order to ensure there are no unforeseen parameters.” The screen then shifts to a block diagram of the theoretical components of such a system. “Once the theoreticals are sound, I propose that Mr. Maxwell and I put our brains together to design the physical components of the system. We then construct a small, unmanned probe which contains a prototype of the system.” He then floats back over to the two. “For security purposes, I would propose we do such a test from the very fringes of the asteroid belt… outside of prying eyes.” He, Panderyn, and Maxwell are in the lab having a discussion.

“The asteroid belt isn’t without prying eyes,” Panderyn replies. “Freighters come and go at all hours. If we want to go unbothered, perhaps it would be best to try our luck near, say, Mercury.”

Maxwell nods. “Well, quite.”

Tilsworth puts a hand to his chin. “Hmm.. yes… a good point…” he says.

Raynaldus drifts into the lab compartment. He looks around and quickly spots the group and heads over to them. “Hello everyone, how are things?”

“It seems like we’re on the road to a prototype device for testing,” Panderyn says. “That’s exceedingly good news. I’m also happy to report that the pods needed to expand Ulm Station into the next phase should be in orbit later today.”

Maxwell nods. “Kinako will be pleased to hear that. What’s coming up apart from a medical facility?”

“The medical facility is the primary pod we’re receiving today,” Panderyn says. “I’ve also agreed to accept a defense contingent on the recommendation of General Jensen. I’m not fond of mingling military and scientific endeavors, but given your progress, perhaps it’s best to ensure that we have a few trained soldiers aboard.”

“A sound precaution. I agree that military types tend to be rather… single minded… but I must admit to a lack of being able to do more than give someone a good tickling with my punches.” Tilsworth says with a sheepish shrug.

“What will these soldier have to defend us with?” Raynaldus asks. “Because other than the tools we have lying around or our hands and feet, I don’t see anything I could use to defend with.”

Maxwell shrugs “Long as they don’t mess up the equipment.”

“The Vanguard pod includes a small arsenal equipped with weapons that are suited for zero-g and atmosphere-sensitive environments,” Panderyn says. “I’m going to review a few reports and let Mr. Busby know about your potential breakthrough. Good work.” He starts drifting toward the main cabin.

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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