Wheel of Fate
O'Reilley (on operating an ancient and ill-understood alien device): Can't hurt, can it?
The research project into the undersea Duranium microfilaments and geysers succeeds in locating more cave systems, one of which contains an energy signature. The project has to evade the undersea fauna and engineer transit points before our characters can transport into a cavern with an energy signature.
Stadi confesses to her counsellor that she has been distracted from her work and has realised this is by a man she has met: sufficiently different from her Imzadi for her to feel she is not betraying his memory.
The New Lhasa Syndrome project became controversial with the announcement of a prophylactic vaccine and a species-specific antibiotic treatment for the bacteria that is strongly linked with the disease. Opinion is divided on how readily people should be treated against their will, and a small quasi-religous group that believes the syndrome represents the destiny of New Lhasa opposes any treatment.
The second ancient cavern has a large circular assembly in its floor. After it is found to posess a class M atmosphere, O'Reilley encourages the activation of other, less well known, technlogy than life support. The air in the cavern blows out through the circular assembly, and the investigating team narrowly escapes being sucked out with it. When the dust has settled, the machine is identified as a subspace tunnel to a point in the Romulan Neutral Zone.
© Ian McDonald 2001