Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Introduction to Berthold Rays

This week's guest post is courtesy of Mr. Spock

I was asked to share some manner of insight on the strange events that occurred on the planet Omicron Ceti Three. However, there is little factual information that I can provide on the topic. Instead I wish to share with you, denizens of the past, background information on the circumstances that led to the. . . shall I call it the Incident, about which you will hear more at Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park just two weeks from now.

The precipitating event that led to the Enterprise making its fateful journey was the discovery of Berthold Rays in 2267. This variety of ionizing radiation was first observed on the outer ranges of Sector 63.

A mining party had been sent to explore potential excavation sites in the area. Twelve days after landing on an uninhabited planet, the captain radioed to let the company know that his crew had been waylaid what seemed to be a bout of severe flu. Then all communications were lost. Deeply concerned, a rescue party was immediately dispatched, and they found the ill-fated expedition vessel on the planet’s surface. Half of the crew had already succumbed; the other half were lethargic, suffering from numerous bruises, and red, blistering skin.

Recognizing the textbook signs of radiation poisoning, the rescue ship quickly transported the survivors to the nearest Starbase. There, the worst was confirmed, and the last of the survivors quickly succumbed to sepsis as a result of tissue degeneration.

Naturally, a full investigation was launched, which led to the discovery of a cosmic radiation that challenges many of our conceptions on the behavior of highly-energized particles.

Currently, Berthold rays are understood to be galactic cosmic rays. Their isotopic half lives are brief, suggesting that they are a relatively new phenomenon. The most current thinking posits that they stem from the recent pair-instability supernova in our galaxy, which is still under intense scientific scrutiny and debate. However, their deadly nature makes study of Berthold Rays frustrating.

My hope is that this brief overview of Berthold Rays aids in your understanding of the upcoming theatrical production, July 23-August 7, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm in Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park.

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