Agent Dulmur of Temporal Investigations looked over the information on his padd and frowned. The results of the geophysical survey that were contained on it were hardly unexpected, but they were certainly unwelcome. This was going add up to a mountain of paperwork. The sound of footsteps getting louder on the metallic surface on which he stood caused him to look up and turn to see the approach of Agent Lucley. As his fellow agent pulled up beside him, Dulmur returned his attention to the padd.
“How was your conversation with the head office,” asked Dulmur, not looking up.
“Interesting,” replied Lucsly. “It seems that a two year old message arrived earlier this morning at Deep Space Six. It was directed at the crew member of a starship that had docked there the previous day and was transmitted in Morse code using short bursts of EM signal.”
“Sounds like a predestination paradox to me,” replied Dulmur, “but I don’t see what an event as far out a DS6 has to do with us at the moment?”
“It raised one of our open flags,” the dark haired agent replied. “The officer who received the message is serving on the USS Argus with Katherine Sheridan.”
Dulmur dropped the padd to his side. While neither he nor Lucsly had had any interaction with Sheridan since she’d been released from their care nearly three years ago, both of them had felt that it was best to keep an eye on her. “Was she directly involved?”
“Apparently not,” responded Lucley, showing the same relief as Dulmur. “She’s been temporarily assigned to another vessel, the USS Defender, along with her Captain and 31 other crew-members.”
Dulmur’s sense relief was quickly replaced by one of dread and the colour quickly ran from his face. This didn’t go unnoticed by Lucsly.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
Dulmur simply handed Lucsly the padd and the taller agent began to thumb through the report. “Duranium?” he said in surprise. “I thought this ship had been buried over 300 years ago.”
“It was,” said Dulmur. “We’ve dated it to around the end of Earth’s Third World War.”
“Could it be alien?”
“Because of this,” said Dulmur, leaning over and pressing a button on the padd. The action brought an Arial shot of the dig site up on the screen, where a Starfleet arrowhead and the letters U.S.S. Defender were clearly visible.
“Oh,” said Lucsly, “this is a predestination paradox.”
“I hate those,” said Dulmur in resignation.
“So do I,” agreed Lusley.
<-- Chapter 5 | Cover Page -->