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Part of USS Arcturus: Epsilon Indi Calling

Chapter Six: Analysis

USS Arcturus, Sickbay
Early January, 2399
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In sickbay, Dr. Anjar was hard at work analyzing the lifesigns that were being sent intermittently and he was frustrated. These particular lifesigns didn’t show anything that was hugely concerning—just four beings who were in various states of conscious or semi-consciousness, which could have been caused by thousands of different things, ionization being just one of them.

He was pacing in front of a floating display in his office as new results came in. Four people who were still unconscious, although three of them now looked almost identical in one metric: the EKG. Up seven, down five, and two beats of baseline. It was not a pattern he’d seen before in either Humans or Deltans, especially considering a Human heart was not capable of creating such a pattern.

“Seven, five, zero, zero,” Anjar thought aloud. “Computer, search the medical database for any relevant data on Humans, Bolians, and Deltans that would lead to the numbers seven, five, zero, and zero appearing in lifesign readings of any type.”

“Working,” the computer stated. “No match found.”

“Okay, run the same search on the medical equipment database. Is this some sort of error code that’s being relayed to us?”

“Working. No match found.”

“Computer, expand search to include all Starfleet equipment and civilian communications equipment.”

“Working. Match found: Ancient Earth aeronautical code 7500 was used from the late-twentieth to early twenty-second centuries to signify a hijacking in progress,” the computer replied, matter-of-factly.

A wave of cold passed through Anjar’s body. “Cross-reference with full sensor data of the space around this ship and our shuttle, and the full Federation database,” he added, leaning back against his desk.

“Working,” the computer replied. It took longer, this time. “Confirmed.”

“How is that possible?”

“Insufficient data to answer query.”

“Speculate.”

“Based on provided search parameters and factoring in biological differences between the three species, the only available way for these four numbers to appear in sequence would be manipulation of life-signs at the source.”

“Could that be accomplished with the equipment found aboard our shuttlecraft?”

“Affirmative.”

Anjar tapped his badge. “Anjar to—,” he started.

“Incoming data,” the computer announced, as the screen in front of him changed. “Captain Lancaster appears to be suffering arrhythmia,” it reported, though Anjar didn’t need the machine to tell him that. He also knew it was wrong. It was far too regular and none of the other lifesigns were fluctuating, as would be expected for that sort of medical emergency.

“Computer, run Lancaster’s EKG through the universal translator, assuming that the signal properties coincide to communication.”

“1000 KG Ultritium.”