Ayiana Sevo/Duty Log Stardate 239411.02
|Crew of the USS Gorkon|
|Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo|
Regarding the U.S.S. Gorkon’s entrapment within the dangerous Roman Expanse and its encounter with its denizens.
The Gorkon was en route to our port-of-call in the Tyrellian System within slipstream. Suddenly, without warning, the slipstream cut out, sending the Gorkon into an uncontrolled maneuver. Many power conduits and subsystems were taken out with this initial failure. It was a miracle the ship didn’t explode when the waveform collapsed altogether. As we got our bearings, we determined that the Gorkon had been pulled off-course. Instead of staying clear of the well-known and dangerous Roman Nebula, we had somehow been pulled into its boundaries.
Throughout our stay within the nebula, the Gorkon’s astrometrics team assembled as much information as they could of the environment, spearheaded by Ensign Sienelis. The Roman Nebula is approximately 20 LY in diameter. The heart of the nebula is the pulsar PSR 2130, a 4 billion year-old supernova remnant which no doubt created the nebula. What is unique about this star is what it did to the surrounding spacetime.
I believe the supernova explosion created a rupture into a subspace domain, as well as weakening the barrier between n-space and subspace within several light-years. This caused a sort of “overlap” of subspace onto n-space. Consequently, the environment within the nebula is extremely unstable. Numerous electrokinetic storms and plasma eddies make it extremely difficult to map; the environment is saturated with tetryons; and tachyon eddies and gravitational slipstreams continually alter the shape, making charting the nebula nearly impossible.
Preliminary analysis suggests that the pulsar regularly emits gravimetric pulses that ripple through subspace beyond the borders of the nebula. It was one of these that destabilized the quantum slipstream. After the ship lost the slipstream, we essentially “fell” towards the nebula at superluminal speeds. I believe this phenomena, along with the constantly-shifting boundaries of the Expanse, contributed to the collection of derelict ships from across the quadrant.
With further analysis, I believe it may be possible to “seal” the barrier between n-space and subspace, returning the environment to normal. However, I don’t think it is ethically viable. See below for details.
- [Attached files: U.S.S. Gorkon Sensor Analysis - Roman Expanse Environmental Data]
I have forwarded to Admiral Reynolds recommendations of commendations for the entire astrographic department, as well as Ensign Sienelis for their exceptional work on mapping the area.
The nebula is inhabited by two heretofore unknown life forms. The first are what has been dubbed “Seraphim” by Ensign Elias Burke, one of three crewmembers who had direct telepathic connection with the creatures. I don’t know how he came up with the name, but my research indicates “Seraphim” are mythological beings from one of Earth’s ancient religions.
The Seraphim are shapeshifters. However, unlike familiar shapeshifters like the Dominion Founders, the Seraphim have more limited abilities. They seem to only be able to shapeshift within a limited range of mass, roughly no more than 100kg. At one point, the Seraphim were being seen attempting to mimic a Pahkwa-Thanh but only ended up mimicking portions of the crewman’s body.
They attempt to mimic the appearance of a person, right down to their clothing, however they don’t seem to be able to mimic details such as facial features, instead appearing as faceless beings, quickly earning the name the “Faceless Intruders” during the incursion. At one point, a Seraphim was contained and I was able to get brief but detailed sensor readings of its’ anatomy. I have no doubt the creatures evolved and originated in a subspace domain. They are solanogen-based lifeforms, not the first subspace beings Starfleet has discovered with this chemical makeup, which can only exist in a subspace environment. Their bodies emanate tetryon particles as a byproduct of their metabolism, similar to thermal emissions in normal humanoids. Preliminary analysis suggests their cognitive processes are based on tetryons rather than electrons, giving them the potential to have superluminal cognitive functions. This may also lend to their telepathic abilities, able to maintain connection across vast distances.
- [Attached files: Seraphim Anatomical Study]
The second lifeform encountered in the Expanse was not immediately detected. There was no formal name communicated to us by the Seraphim, and numerous colorful nicknames quickly sprouted among the crew, including “Subspace Devilfish,” and “Subspace Starfish.” After the incident, Xenobiology quickly got ahold of our sensor data and categorized it as “Romanus Spatium Satanum.” I personally prefer the term “Starfish” due to its similarity to an aquatic lifeform common to the oceans of many planets.
The Starfish was massive; over 30 km in diameter! It’s main body took the shape of a five-armed starfish. Uncommonly, however, were the massive kilometer-long tentacles, several of which sprouted from the ends of each arm. I believe it uses these tentacles to latch onto its food sources. The Starfish is a dark matter solanogen-based lifeform. The “dark matter” is what made it initially impossible to detect without some engineering miracle I can’t explain. Please refer to Ensign Elias’ Burke’s and Chief Engineer Stoyer’s logs for details.
More interestingly, it is able to selectively phase parts of its body through solid matter in normal space. Once we were able to “light” the creature, we were able to see its feeding tentacles phase through the hull of the ship. They latched themselves onto the power conduits and voraciously fed on every watt of power in the ship. It was only through the telepathic bond the Seraphim created with Admiral Reynolds that we were able to devise a way to “detach” the Starfish using the ship’s phasers.
The pulsar normally emits more than enough tetryons to satisfy the lifeforms, and solanogen has been “leaking” into n-space for millions of years. A starship passing through is simply like a dessert for the Starfish - a lot of power in a compact form.
- [Attached files: Romanus Spatium Satanum Anatomical Study]
Subsequent analysis of sensor data leads me to conclude that both the Seraphim and Starfish live in a sort of symbiotic relationship. Further reports from Admiral Reynolds, Ensign Nohx and Ensign Burk, who engaged in telepathic connection with the Seraphim, suggest a more complex relationship.
I believe that the Seraphim act as “zookeepers” to the Starfish. They keep the Starfish from leaving the Expanse. Neither the Seraphim or Starfish could exist in a wholly n-space environment. The unique “layering” of subspace and n-space in the Expanse is what keeps the beings alive. The Seraphim try to keep outside ships from getting caught or consumed by the Starfish; a job not always successful according to the remains of numerous starships littering the Expanse. In return, the Starfish emanates an extreme amount of tetryons as waste, providing nutrition which the Seraphim’s biology uses as fuel.
Ethics of Cosmoforming
As I stated earlier in my report, I believe it may be possible to reverse the overlapping of subspace and n-space in the Expanse, and return the region to a normal class 3 nebula. However, I don’t think it would be ethical to do so.
Senor analysis suggests the Seraphim and Starfish have been living in the Expanse for millions of years. As stated above, they can only exist in a subspace environment rich in solanogen and tetryons, neither of which can exist in normal space. Though they did not originate in our universe, they have adapted to the unique conditions of the Expanse and have thrived for millions of years. They are as part of the ecology as mitochondria are to humanoid cells. To cosmoform the Expanse and return it to a purely n-space state could have unforeseen consequences on the Starfish and Seraphim, the latter of which are clearly intelligent beings.
I therefore recommend to Starfleet Command to set up a permanent quarantine zone around the Expanse, with a 2 LY buffer between the edge of the zone and the Expanse, to account for its’ regular shifting and navigational hazard. Further scientific analysis should only be conducted via long-range probes.