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Thread: Star Trek RPG - Mission #7: "The War-Brotherhood of Irkhuit"

  1. #751
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    The sleeping Mäkeläinen is free of his usual intensity and focus. However, occasionally he starts or jerks, as if uncomfortable, or possibly experiencing a nightmare.

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    Kylah sees nothing else especially interesting in the Starfleet comm traffic she earlier downloaded, or in the few additional items that have come in since then. She has an automated subspace response from the Yorktown's transponder a little over six minutes after she sets up the repeating signal; the starship is far away but obviously not as distant as she might be in the vast galaxy.

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    Rangin nods in appreciation of the dark humour and responds in the same tone. “Sorry to disappoint you ma’am, but this appears to be a very quiet part of space until we reach our destination. We’re looking at a dozen hours of peace and quiet until we rendezvous with the Yorktown.”

    Rangin passes the details from his datapad across to Lt Onn with the associated content. “I’m afraid there is going to be very little that might qualify as special over the next few hours, unless…” Rangin leaves the pause in the air as he considers a few things, “... anyone feels like losing at cards.”

    He leaves the open challenge in the air. He knows Kylah is more than capable of playing cards, but to pass the time, it might well be worth it. Even if it involves Lt Graham.

  4. #754
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    Though Kylah is disappointed not to find something worth sharing, it does seem that with one-third of the crew sleeping, probably the less chatter the better. Her ears perk up while listening to Velir's research findings. She has never even heard of an L-class planet--or if she learned about it at the Academy, she has forgotten. She taps in a quick search to learn (or refresh her memory, whichever is the case).

    Then Velir mentions cards, and she tilts to the side in order to get a better look at him with eyes sparkling in amusement. If he sees her, he will certainly notice that she is quite happy to play. I can always move up one seat, and that should make it less likely to disturb the doctor and Mr. Rawlings.

  5. #755
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    Rangin's recitation of the tourism guide to the Tesla's upcoming route is interesting, Nia supposes, and perhaps she would be asking some questions about various aspects if she were in a different mindset.

    "Thanks," she says after a few seconds--when she at last realizes Rangin has stopped talking. Then, belatedly, she registers his offer. Despite herself she gives the man an appraising look. "Are you saying you brought cards with you? Enterprising." She rubs her chilly hands together in thought. "I'm not sure I'd be of any use, though. I'm not... I wouldn't be able to concentrate."

    Swiftly Nia returns her focus to the helm. She'd love the distraction that a card game would provide, but she doesn't think she can keep a cheery facade up long enough during a friendly game. The idea's welcome, though. If Booker is occupied by playing against Ranin--frankly she'd pay good money to see that match-up--his own attention will be elsewhere and she won't have to put on a mask.

  6. #756
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    Dr. Mäkeläinen's uneasy siesta may continue for... an hour? Perhaps longer? --- unless something happens to startle him awake. He did not bring any cards or games along, in any case. He does know how to play many different games, though he would probably not be a match for an expert.

  7. #757
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    A little over five hours after the shuttle leaves Starfleet Prison Jaros II, it jumps like a bucking bronco and there is a terrible, incredibly loud wrenching sound. You are all thrown from your seats. At that moment, all of the interior lights go out, including the instrument panels.

  8. #758
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    Bizhi is definitely wide awake now! If the lurching has subsided enough to permit it and he is more or less in one piece and able to get up, he looks around for emergency lighting and immediate deadly hazards like the atmosphere leaking away into space. He has been to the scene of fatal accidents. Whatever happened, the fact that they were not all instantly killed is a good sign, relatively speaking.

    "Can everyone hear me?" he asks. "Is anybody hurt?"

    If any lights come back on, he tries to see if anyone looks injured, and if there are further obvious dangers like damaged conduits or loose wires.

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    Kylah (who did move up one row of seats to play a card game) cries out at the sudden jerk but instinctively flings her hands up to block her head from smashing against Velir's chair.

    The complete absence of light is terrifying. She hears Dr. Mäkeläinen's question and is immediately grateful for it. "I hear you," she says, her voice wavering. She does not know the answer to his other question, and has to do a quick self-assessment to see if she is injured. Meanwhile her mind reaches out, grasping and groping in the dark for anyone she can sense.

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    Rangin attempts to pick himself up off the floor feeling every bounce that went into the shuttle’s sudden bouncy experience.

    “I’ll let you know in a few minutes,“ he responds to the Doctor, “but I don’t think anything is broken.”

    Rangin taps the side of the datapad he is holding on to, to see if it is working and can provide any light or is as dead as the systems on the rest of the shuttle.

  11. #761
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    "Fuck..."

    As soon as he's able, Graham reaches toward where he expects Nia to be, aiming to help her back into her chair.

    Whatever happened we need a pilot...

    "Nia, are you all right?" he rasps, reaching toward her - or feeling in that direction if it is too dark to see.

  12. #762
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    With the lurch of the Tesla, there's barely enough time for Nia to even grab hold of the manual helm control before she's knocked forward. Scales erupt all over but she feels the thump of her body against the panels. The shuttle makes a noise no pilot ever wants to hear. And then it--dies.

    No no no no! Dazed, Nia recovers her wits somewhat and is about to demand the crew's status but the doc is ahead of her. Instead she searches the darkness frantically. The backup power should kick in, where are the damn emergency lights? She staggers to her feet (assuming she can) and tries to feel her way across the consoles, stabbing at the panels' controls she knows by heart in hopes of restoring something--anything. Failing that, she needs to get to the compartment where there should at least be a portable light.

    Until then she'll have to rely on her other senses to even take a stab at the shuttle's status. That terrible ripping noise--have they lost a nacelle? The torpedo tube? The fact that she hasn't been sucked out into space at least tells her the shuttle's main body is in one piece. She takes a deep breath trying to smell smoke or anything leaking. But the air isn't very satisfying. Shit, they might be losing air--or the damaged engine might be exposing them to--

    Something touches her hand and Nia nearly yanks it away before she hears his voice. Booker. Oh thank the blessed mother of us all, it's Book. She reaches for him and squeezes his hand, though it takes way too long for her to process his simple question.

    "I'm fine," she says hoarsely, though honestly she has no idea how she is. Her head's still swimming, but there are so many warring thoughts it could be confusion and panic rather than a concussion or a problem with the atmosphere. "I'm trying to get some power back, or at least a flashlight. You? Are you hurt? Breathing okay?"

    Even as she asks Booker, it occurs to her that the only voice she hasn't heard in the background is Rawlings. "Double-T, status? Rawlings? Everyone. Stay put until the Doctor gets to you, if needed. The backup generator should kick in soon." I hope.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 04 Aug 2022 at 11:13 AM.

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    The emergency lighting does not kick in, and the control panels remain off. The only light is coming from Rangin's datapad, which seems unaffected, and dim starlight through the three forward viewports. The stars ahead are not moving, and the shuttle seems motionless.

    Kylah can sense her five crewmates around her. No one is panicking, but everyone is, to one degree or another, shaken up and a bit on-edge.

    Rawlings quietly says, his voice tight, "My left arm really hurts. I think I may have broken it when I fell."

    You can all now hear a soft but distinct whistling noise.

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    “Please tell me that is not a decompression going on,” says Rangin, as he fears one of the worst things that can happen in a shuttle like this is currently in progress. The general absence of light does not bother him as much as it might. Time spent underground in caves and mines prepare you for sudden blackouts that can occur.

    Standing unsteadily, he holds the datapad up and slowly rotates it around the interior of the cabin allowing everyone to get a brief glimpse of what the situation is. As he shines the light over each of crew, he calls out their name, just to make sure he is getting a response from them.

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    Kylah looks with alarm at Ens. Rawlings, very dimly illuminated by the faint glow from Velir's datapad. She has her own device that can be used similarly... somewhere. She thinks she heard it clatter to the floor during the sharp movement of the shuttle.

    Instinctively she steps closer to Velir, then remembers Lt. Onn's order and backs up. When the light is aimed at her, she nods, unable to see anything except his hand holding the datapad. She just stares in his direction with eyes wide with fright. The idea of decompression is horrifying.

    All she can do is stand in place, gripping the edge of the chair in an effort to stop trembling.

  16. #766
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    Mäkeläinen knows he is not the only one who can hear that noise, and Rangin says it. Some kind of leak—whether it is the atmosphere venting out into space, or gases leaking into the cabin, it just became their top priority. Does he smell anything?

    "Hang on, Rawlings, and don't move the arm," he calls. "If that is a leak, we need to stop it before we all pass out." They are in danger, but this is a mundane threat, something they know how to deal with. He tries to focus on the damage control procedures drilled into everybody on Mars, and at Starfleet Academy. Assuming he was still seated nearest the back, he calls out to Nia, "I'm going for the emergency repair kit!"

    He still cannot see too many details in the dim light, but he tries to quickly yet carefully feel his way to the aft compartment to retrieve the emergency tool kit mounted there and hand it off to Nia or whoever looks like they will be using it. In the pre-flight checklist I said his cyberarm was configured for laser and micro-mechanical surgery. Not sure if that includes one of those laser-driven broadband light sources that produces a narrow, bright beam of white light. Then he turns to tend to Rawlings.

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    Rawlings, his voice tight, says to Rangin, "It sure sounds like a leak of cabin pressure to me."

    Rangin sees, in the glow of his datapad's screen, the faces of each of his shipmates. Everyone seems all right, more or less, except Rawlings, who is clearly in pain. Kylah sees her tricorder on the deck, a few meters away, when the light shines in her direction.

    Dr. Mäkeläinen finds the emergency repair kit mounted to the bulkhead of the aft compartment, as expected, and takes it down. He can set his cyberarm to emit a harmless beam of light if he wishes.

  18. #768
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    Nia flings silent curses into the dark--she's not surprised that there might be a breach, the air already seems thinner to her--but tries to keep any panic from her voice. "Hang tight, Double-T. If that's the issue it'll need a patch-up. From the sound it's likely not too big. Rangin, can you run a scan? Anyone who can tell if the source is near you, speak up."

    She's busy kneeling and sliding her hand along the the lower portion of the control panel, midway between her and Booker's seats. The Tesla's slightly different configuration from the regular shuttles is less familiar to her, but she knows there's a master systems control panel down here. If she can find it, she'll work to attempt an emergency restart. "Mäkeläinen, good job--pass the kit up to Graham on your way? I'd like some more light at the very least."

    Nia sucks her lips together, mind and heart racing. Why are they at a complete stop? The shuttle's vastly upgraded inertial dampers did a beautiful job of saving their lives before everything went pear-shaped, but normally even with a full engine shutdown the vessel should be moving through external inertia.

    Yet it didn't feel like a crash halt; there's nothing in front of them but stars, and even the strengthened defense shields would've been hard-pressed to prevent the shuttle from being crushed like a tin can if they'd slammed into something at Warp 2. But a tech issue... the pre-flight check was solid or she wouldn't have taken off. How could anything have failed?

    Unless it was Nia herself. Did her distracted brain miss a hint of trouble?

    A flood of desperation nearly makes her groan and she shuts her eyes, grateful for the darkness as she whispers a plea to her lovely Tesla. "Don't do this, girl. Everything's shutting down on me. How did I fuck you up too?"
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 07 Aug 2022 at 06:25 PM.

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    Kylah is not surprised to have been given no assignment. At least Mr. Rawlings has a reason for doing nothing. Lt. Onn has either forgotten her or considers her useless. But in truth, Kylah cannot think of much she can do, with her communications panel rendered deaf and mute.

    She carefully reaches for her tricorder. Grasping it in both hands, she steps out of the aisle back toward her seat--she must not block the doctor, or Velir if he is to search the whole of the shuttle.

    The device, unlike Velir's, is calibrated and programmed for communication purposes. It will not scan for... whatever he will be searching for, lowered pressure perhaps? But Kylah's ears work well enough, so she turns and obeys the one command Lt. Onn issued that does apply to her: trying to locate the source of the noise.

  20. #770
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    Graham grunts acknowledgment Nia's OK.

    Thank god is what he wants to say, but he's too...too what? Short term, long term...to hard to puzzle out.

    Emergency restart.

    You're shit for a pilot, Booker, but you know a bag of tricks for when a shuttle's gotten hammered by enemy action.

    "Yes, gimme some light up here!" he says, probably a little louder than he wants to. "Emergency fucking restart..." he mumbles. fumbling around for...where the fuck was it?

    Master controls...just left of the pilot's console...find the fucking buttons, Booker. Saving the warranty on this tub doesn't matter now, reboot the goddamn thing as fast as possible at all costs...

    If he can find the controls, he punches them in aggressively.

  21. #771
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    What could they have hit? Some random rock? Bizhi remembers overhearing a pre-flight briefing to the effect that there was basically nothing remarkable along their course. No time yet to wonder about it. For all of their technology and shields, they are at the mercy of space, not its masters. One stray bit of junk drifting into their path, or an unlucky particle flare, could do them in.

    With the lights still off, he rolls up his sleeve to expose more of his left arm, which contains machinery instead of flesh. In a moment an intense beam of white light pierces the gloom. It is much too directional to light up the whole cabin, but by directing it Bizhi can avoid tripping over any obstacles, plus he will need it to work on Rawlings, or on anything else.

    Holding the emergency toolkit, he makes his way forward to where Graham is, and points the light where he asks.

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    Onn is able to find the master systems control panel, below and to her left, and firmly presses the switch for an emergency restart. Nothing happens for a minute or so. Then the cabin's emergency lighting comes on, very dimly, perhaps only a fifth as bright as it ought to be. After another minute which feels like an eternity, the pilot and copilot control panels come back to life with a quiet hum, as does the Communications panel beside Kylah's seat. Far too many of the indicator lights are either yellow or red, however, and they're much dimmer than they should be, as well.

    Kylah is able, with her tricorder, to locate the two sources of the whistling. Both are along the starboard side of the Tesla, low and about half a meter apart, halfway back along the joining seam between the deck and the bulkhead. There is no visible hole or breach.

    The shuttle's interior is now feeling distinctly colder.

  23. #773
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    With Booker now inches away, having reached for same panel she did, Nia almost smiles despite the grim circumstances. "We must stop meeting like this," she murmurs.

    Then a beam of light appears and she's about to thank the doc for finding a flashlight when she looks up and sees that the light's coming from... something unfamiliar, something gleaming and metallic, right at them. She instinctively backs away in shocked alarm.

    "Weapon!" she hisses at Booker, unable to see beyond the light in her eyes. and leaps to her feet. "Mäkeläinen! What the hell are you--" But she's risen so quickly her head swims with vertigo. To keep balance she quickly grabs hold of the nearest thing--Booker's elbow.

    And now, from this vantage point, she's able to see that... there's no weapon, no threat. It's just the doctor's arm. A bionic arm.

    Nia cringes inwardly at her paranoia. "Sorry, Doctor. I didn't... I couldn't tell..." She makes a vague gesture with her free hand toward him. She swallows the shame, apologizes again and forces her attention back to more urgent matters. When she realizes she's holding Booker's elbow like it's a life preserver, she mutters a third embarrassed apology before letting go.

    Turning to the colorful chaos of the panel's warning lights, the first thing she checks is the status of the life support system. Everything else is useless if they're all about to suffocate and freeze to death. Even before this all happened, she'd been about to ask if she might raise the temperature. Now it's even colder.

    From behind her she hears Kylah reporting that she's found the source of the noise--sources, apparently. And no visible breaches or holes. What else is down there? The starboard nacelle, obviously but... Nia's mind is atypically slow to recall the schematics of a shuttle class she knows like the back of her hand. Clearly she can't do everything at once and so again she passes the sensor work to Rangin. "Follow Kylah and do a reading on just whatever's underneath the deck at those points. I'll be there ASAP."

    Staring down at the lights, she knows Booker's right beside her. "No idea what caused this yet," she says softly. "If it's tech failure, pilot failure, I can find those out. But... should we be concerned that there's something--another ship--behind this? That's caught us, somehow? We don't have any of the external screens to get a 360 view, just the windows up here, so... Suggestions?"
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 10 Aug 2022 at 01:31 AM.

  24. #774
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    Nia grabbing his arm alerts almost every instinct he has to stabilize himself, to be something and someone she can count on...

    I wanted that. Still do, differently, of necessity--but that bridge has been burnt to ashes, swept into a pan, and dumped into the sea, I think...

    "It's OK, it's ok," is all he can murmur to her apologies.

    Her shout of "weapon," on the other hand, alerts every instinct he has and then some. But although he tenses, the only threat he can imagine at the moment is Rangin deciding to frag him, and this seems like an odd time to do it...tensing without over reacting proves to be the right response.

    "Jesus Doc - Johnny on the spot, as the saying goes. Thanks." Graham pauses a moment, appreciating the boost but assuming that the backstory probably isn't an uplifting feel-good one. He lowers his voice. "Drinks on me, if you want to share the how and why, back on Yorktown," he murmurs. "Real stuff, from Earth."

    Nia's questions are also Johnny--well, Janey--on the spot. He shakes his head clear. "Distress signal if we can get one out. See if it's jammed if we can," he answers quickly.

    He grunts. "Probes? Are we carrying probes? If they are self-powered we can pop one out and see if a bad actor knocks it down."

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    The Master Systems Display (MSD) is glitchy, as Onn sees at once, and the readings fluctuate slightly every few seconds, but it appears that the shuttle is down to about 60% of its life support (LS) capacity due to damage and/or malfunctions. It also looks like a lot of the shuttle's breathable air has vented out into space from the high-capacity compression tanks below your feet. Other updates on shuttle systems are beginning to scroll across the small MSD screen; they aren't especially encouraging.

    Graham notices that the torpedo control panel to his right also has an urgently-blinking red light.

    The shuttle carries no probes. It does have a very small log buoy, about the size of a tennis ball, which has no transmitter and cannot move on its own. It continuously records the last 24 hours of log entries, hull and engine telemetry, sensor readings, navigational inputs and cabin audio/visual data.

    Someone bumps Rawlings in the near-dark, and he almost cries out in pain.

    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Log_buoy

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    Letting others begin to move around the cabin, Rangin makes sure he is off to one side and starts to think what might have happened, although there are likely to be others in the cabin with more experience and knowledge, so the best thing he can do is stay to one side, follow orders and keep throwing out ideas and solutions as best he can.

    With Lt Onn’s orders still being called out, he acknowledges them with a brief, “Aye Ma’am”, before moving to join Kylah and see what she has found.

    If he can, he pulls up the schematics of the shuttle on his datapad and then cross maps with the locations Kylah has identified. If there are no holes or breaches to outer space, then a couple of other things spring to mind.

    “Ma’am,” he calls back to Lt Onn, “Possible coolant leak from something internal?”

    It’s something that could account for the drop in temperature. The other is that there is a foreign device on the ship and that is one possibility that Rangin really does not want to contemplate. Especially as they just came from a prison planet.

  27. #777
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    Things seem to Dr. Mäkeläinen to be happening in slow motion; or is he thinking fast in response to the rapidly evolving situation? These eruptions of ordered chaos (and, moreso, pure chaos) always seem to exist in their own uniquely toned reality. So, he takes it in stride when Nia panics at the sight of exposed metal in his arm. He grimaces, and is about to say a brief word in explanation when Graham, too, reacts. Who is right: something better told of over a nice dram (especially since who knows how they will react to the true story!). "I'll hold you to that," he says.

    "You had better take this kit if you are going below," he tells Nia, and leaves it with her. If they lose too much air, or if they freeze, hypoxia and hypothermia can supervene and hit them quickly, and then they are all done for, not that she needs him to remind her. Are there any emergency environmental suits on board, let alone enough for six?

    Time to tend to Rawlings. If he is already wincing in pain--- he does not seem like a big whiner--- it could be a bad break that will require more careful treatment on the Yorktown. For now, probably need at least to splint it so it does not move. Using his light if necessary, Dr. Mäkeläinen makes his way back aft to get his kit. First step will be a tricorder scan, to identify the damage.

  28. #778
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    Shit.

    Graham focuses on figuring out the implications of the red light on the torpedo control panel.

    One photon torpedo going off is much, much more than needed to vaporize a shuttle...

  29. #779
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    Nia accepts the kit with gratitude toward Dr. M., but otherwise snaps her focus back to the controls. What's the status of the nacelles? The shields? And given the L/S situation, would their energy be best reserved to maintain those functions? Unless there's a ship or something out there. We'll need our shields too.

    "Distress signal. Right." More loudly: "Kylah. If the comms is working, send out a mayday. See if it gets jammed. And open a channel to see if you hear any nearby chatter."

    She shudders and hugs herself. She is damn cold. Nia's lived her life on a desert planet and always prefers warm, humid atmospheres. Her tolerance of the cold is probably worse than the humans'. She can do without oxygen longer, though. She has her inhaler, though there's probably only a couple of lungfuls left. The others...

    "Book, you'll stay up here, okay? For now? I wanna know about our defenses, the weapons, the shields... they're less important than the L/S, but if there's anything out there... Still, everything will take a backseat to the life support."

    Suddenly it strikes her that the circumstances are similar to the last time she and Booker were in a crisis together. And somehow her thoughts begin to leap frog over each other. Booker. Trying to save Marala and Nikolai. No room on the ship for everyone. Too much strain on life support.

    That's where she lands. Of course. What did the last mission require most but maintaining L/S under dire circumstances? She knows who worked as hard as anyone to drain every last drop out of the Yorktown's capabilities. She snaps a look towards the xenobiologist and starts to head down the aisle.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 13 Aug 2022 at 11:15 PM.

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    With his datapad, Rangin sees it may be possible that there are hull breaches, which would be consistent with the whistling noise and dropping cabin temperature. When he waves his hand over the points Kylah has identified, moreover, he feels a slight but definite suction effect. There are no coolant sources in that area of the hull.

    Rangin's medical scan of Rawlings shows that the giant redshirt has broken his left forearm. Fortunately, it is not a compound fracture. Dr. Mäkeläinen may give him a painkiller with his hypospray and splint his forearm; the physician indeed does not have a bone regenerator in his medikit. A quick check of the Tesla's emergency-supply inventory list reveals that there are no environmental suits aboard.

    Onn sees that, among other things, there is a large tube of patching epoxy in the repair kit.

    The blinking red light on the torpedo control panel which Graham noticed reads

    CRIT
    TORP
    MALF

    for "Critical Torpedo Malfunction."

    The starboard warp-drive nacelle is not registering at all on the forward control panels; the port nacelle is shut down but appears undamaged. Deflector and navigational shields are also offline but apparently undamaged; likewise the impulse drive. Helm control and navigation systems are very glitchy and only marginally responsive, however, as are sensors.

    Kylah sees that a power surge of some kind has fried the shuttle's communications systems; both the transmitter and receiver appear to be completely ruined. She gets nothing but a low subspace static hiss on her communicator, although the communicators of her shipmates do register as being nearby. The communicators, of course, function independently of the shuttle's onboard comm system, but cannot reach more than a few thousand kilometers away. She cannot think of a way to send a Mayday that would go very far.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 13 Aug 2022 at 11:26 PM.

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    Kylah's nerves are increasingly on edge, in sync with those of the others in the party. With the one panel she can handle of no use, she drags a hand through her hair in frustration.

    With Lt. Onn's orders, she does her best to use a communicator to broadcast a signal out into the void, and to see if she is able to hear anything that might be nearby.

    Both attempts prove futile. (Edited to add this, as per EH post above--oops, missed that.) She sits back in frustration and turns to watch Velir work, if for no other reason than the sight of him calms her.

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    Though about to head to Rangin, Nia turns to the man beside her, very close beside her, in fact, which feels so natural it doesn't even occur to her that it's not appropriate. "Book, is one of the torpedoes in danger of overloading? Is it both? I’d hate to jettison our best weapons.. Our shields are fine but if we can barely go at impulse we wouldn't be able to escape anything after us. Even if the sensors are wonky, is there any way to scan for another entity nearby? Even with a tricorder, if it's near enough? I should know that, but I..."

    Her words trail off. Truth is, she can't figure out how to end the sentence. Her brain might as well be made of molasses, it's moving so slowly. If she's having issues with the air, the others must be feeling it too. A captain doesn't show weakness, certainly not more weakness than her crew. No one else is complaining, she sure as hell won't.

    She strengthens her tone. "Give it a try if you can. I need to go check the aft system controls, and probably get underneath via the floor access panel. Can you take over up here to see what's outside us? Not just some enemy that might not exist, but... any safe harbor? I know Nav's not your specialty. Still..."

    Pulling her hair back into a makeshift bun, Nia stares at him, hoping for some insight or comfort. "This shuttle was in perfect condition," she whispers, almost apologetic. "I'd never've taken it out if Cheverez and I didn't believe she was ready. It must've been... I can't even fathom... something we didn't count on, but what? Trip to the stockade was fine, leaving the planet was fine. I did the pre-flight check with their tech guys... I wish I'd done that myself but whatsername figured it'd save time..."

    Nia frowns. She remembers hazily the burst of proprietary annoyance she experienced when Malaj told her she'd presumptuously ordered those men to work on the Tesla. Still, the pre-flight all went smoothly.

    A little knot in her stomach tightens. The smoothness of the pre-flight relied on the techies’ accuracy. On their sharing the genuine status reports. Her fingers grip the handle of the emergency kit. "Book," she says softly. "The only unexpected variable on this whole journey so far was the prison's techies working on this shuttle. For the life of me I can't think why but... is sabotage possible?"

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    “Ok, we have some microfissures here,” Rangin calls out to the rest of the crew, “Do we have anything to patch and seal it, otherwise we are going to slowly suffocate. Or jury rig something instead”

    He marks where the fissures are and then starts a wider scan of the shuttle to compare against the schematics to show where the main issues might be as the main terminals appear a little obstructive at the moment.

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    Graham frowns, trying to concentrate on Nia's orders--and ideas--his mood getting darker as she goes on.

    "Well shit...torpedo malfunction. Rigging one to blow would result in very little left of this shuttle." He rubs his chin. "But then also why whack our power?A saboteur wouldn't need us to drift off to suffocate if we'd been vaporized..." He shakes his head. "But this many critical systems blowing on a shipshape shuttle?" He nods grimly. "We should think about what a saboteur would have done, as we troubleshoot."

    He sighs. "Speaking of which I'll save the torpedo if I can, and give a jerry rigged tricorder scan a go after that."

    As quickly as he can, he attempts to determine the severity and risk of the damaged torpedo.

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    Mäkeläinen tries to reassure Rawlings, or at least keep him distracted from the pain and pandaemonium. "It's broken, all right, but it's not too bad. You'll need some time with a bone regenerator, when we get back to the ship. First, let me give you something for the pain and swelling. Then we need to splint it."

    Analgesic hypos are an essential part of every medical kit, and Mäkeläinen administers a simple painkiller. He then fashions a neat splint using the field surgery supplies in his medikit, immobilizing the broken bone. "There. How is that? It shouldn't hurt as long as you keep the arm still and make sure it does not get banged about." He gently moves Rawlings's arm into a neutral position and ties a simple sling to support it.

    About getting to a proper Sickbay, they really do need to get back to the ship. Any ship. Conditions are not so bad--- yet--- but he uses his tricorder to check the oxygen levels in the air, and for any contaminants. He needs to know, even if there is nothing they can do about it, but it looks like Rangin and Onn are already starting emergency repairs.

    He wonders what ship might be around to rescue them. There are surely patrol vessels (possibly even Romulan patrols, for that matter) somewhere out there, but with their systems fried, how would they manage to contact them? Waiting may not be a choice; they could try to recover enough navigational capabilities to limp to a nearby system, after repairing the shuttle so that it does not break apart or explode on the way.

  36. #786
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    Before Nia parts from Booker, she murmurs, "Actually there are two torpedoes--at least, there should be. My girl packs quite a punch. Or used to."

    Did the tube detach? Is that what made that screeching sound? She could live with that, but she suspects it's not as simple. The starboard nacelle has gone dark and that's probably the actual culprit. Better to be down a torpedo tube than lose half their ability to crawl forward. Well, she can play guessing games all day but the easiest way to assess the damage to the shuttle is to look at it.

    She moves down the aisle past Dr. Mäkeläinen and poor Double-T, sending the latter a sympathetic glance. Now she's near Rangin and, eyeing the space he's indicating, nods while opening the emergency kit. "Take this," she says, handing him the tube of epoxy. "Can you take care of it? And... I need to focus on getting this shuttle moving forward. Would you keep close track of the environmental status? Oxygen, temp, pressure, you know. I know this isn't your area of expertise but it's not entirely, uh, orthogonal to it. Mäkeläinen," she adds toward the doctor, "You too of course. Work together as needed, let me know your ideas--you're probably the two smartest people here anyway."

    She redirects her focus to Rangin and lowers her voice. "We need our surroundings to be tolerable, if not comfortable, for as long as possible until the Tesla's back up and running. You did your best to cram those colonists onto the ship and saved a couple hundred extra lives. After that, I figure maintaining the l/s for just six of us'll be a piece of cake, right?"

    Taking a deep breath, she shakes her head--and immediately regrets it, since it makes her woozy. "It's already freezing in here and the air's not great--you've probably noticed that already. If we can't improve on that, hopefully we can at least maintain things at this level." Passing Rangin whatever tools he'll need for a patch job, she turns and spots Kylah, having forgotten her entirely. At Nia's questioning look, the girl reports that they're SOL when it comes to mayday signals. Perfect.

    After vaguely instructing Kylah to just... keep trying, or help anyone else who needs an extra pair of hands... Nia heads back to get to the aft compartment, where she'll take a look at the actual circuits via the instrument access panel to see what the hell is fried and what's salvageable--if anything. If she has to transplant circuitry from one less important function to fix something else that's absolutely necessary, so be it.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 16 Aug 2022 at 10:32 PM.

  37. #787
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    Kylah has no luck reaching anyone outside with her communicator, and just gets subspace static hiss.

    Sensors, although still very glitchy, locate nothing else within almost half a light year of the Tesla - no ship, planet, moon, asteroid, comet, no nothing. The shuttle is in deep space.

    To his relief, Rangin's tricorder scan locates no other hull breaches, confirming Kylah's earlier findings. All of a sudden, he has an idea pop into the back of his mind, and vaguely remembers an article he read a year or so ago in the Starfleet Astrophysics Journal. He thinks it might be useful. Now, what was it...?

    Rawlings, now resting comfortably, smiles and tells Dr. Mäkeläinen, "Thanks, Doc. I feel a whole lot better." The doctor's tricorder scan shows that O2 levels in the cabin are lower than when the shuttle left SPJ2, and carbon dioxide levels higher, but neither are in the danger zone yet. He finds no atmospheric contaminants of any kind.

    Onn looks over the interior instrument access panel* in the cramped aft engineering space, where the doctor got the emergency repair kit earlier. The panel's detailed display shows that the starboard warp-drive nacelle suffered significant structural damage from an unknown cause and automatically scrammed to prevent a breach of its small warp core - a breach that would have badly damaged if not destroyed the shuttle. She confirms that the port nacelle, although automatically shut down, probably by an Engineering subroutine when the starboard nacelle scrammed, is undamaged. Deflector and navigational shields, and the impulse drive, are offline but show all green. Helm control, navigation systems and sensors have all suffered significant malfunctions, apparently due to the same power surge that took out communications. Onn thinks she may be able to improve, if not totally restore, helm and nav functions by cannibalizing communications components, but that's it.

    Graham sees that one of the Tesla's two photon torpedoes, the starboard one, has somehow been armed - perhaps as a result of the same power surge - and has begun a detonation countdown. It will go off in two minutes, nine seconds... eight seconds... seven....


    * The one shown in SidGal's link is outside, on the exterior stern of the shuttle.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 17 Aug 2022 at 12:11 AM.

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    “Thank you Ma’am,” Rangin replies as he receives the epoxy to patch the holes, “I’ll look into the Life Support once I have fixed these holes.” He tries to keep his voice as neutral and calm as possible. Whatever it is he is trying to remember is going to have to wait until the job is complete.

    Just like a mining accident, there is no point panicking as it only works to your own detriment and this situation should be salvageable. At least that is what Rangin keeps telling himself, he’s been in worse situations than this, times when he thought he was going to die like the USS Lexington.

    This…this is just a minor inconvenience.

    Feeling slightly relieved that a fix is to hand, Rangin gets to work as quickly as he can to seal the various microholes in the shell. The sooner he starts, the sooner he finishes and, more importantly, the sooner they stop leaking air into the cold vacuum of space. Fortunately, he has a tricorder showing the location of each one, so, he figures that this should be relatively simple. Apply epoxy, move to the next one, then circle back and check it has worked.

  39. #789
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    Mäkeläinen communicates with Lt. Rangin in terse, efficient sentences as they do their jobs. "OK, air's still good. There's time to seal each one properly, then go back and check. Slightly high CO₂ and low O₂, but not a problem. Yet. It will be, with no reserves, if we don't get life support back. We also need to get the temperature back up, but there are probably several ways to jury-rig that."

    He asks Rawlings, "Did you say you were sure it sounded like a leak? Not the the kind of sound one wants to be too familiar with, but if you are, that has got to be a proper yarn." Of which we will all be able to tell our own, come to think of it, if we ever get out of here.

  40. #790
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    Rangin is able to patch the two holes, and his work seems to hold. The whistling noise stops.

    Rawlings says, "Yeah, I was on a shuttle once which took some micrometeorite damage because of a damn hot-dogging pilot in the Messalina asteroid belt. I remember that whistling very well."

  41. #791
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    On her knees, Nia stares into the panel trying to make fast calculations about the comms components. Cannibalize enough to hopefully let the shuttle limp out slowly? Or fix their communications system--if that's possible--to call for help?

    Her desire to view the Tesla from outside to see just what the hell might've happened is off the charts. There's simply no better way than a stroll around a ship's hull to assess and attend to potential damage on the outside. It's obvious enough, but became even more so after Nia made a perilous but vital space walk to cross from the Tesla to a Klingon ship a couple months back.

    At the time she realized that the ability to assess the Tesla or any shuttle during a journey would be immeasurably valuable and proffered the idea to to the Engineering team: let's make at least one EV suit standard shuttle equipment. They brought up the reasonable objection that it would take up a lot of room when storage is already so tight.

    Hard to argue with that... at least, until now. There aren't any working cameras to show what the outside looks like.* Which means Nia's flying blind. And if there's a component primarily accessible externally, Nia can't get to it.

    Maybe... She eyes the storage compartment across from her with more prayer than confidence. Maybe they really listened after all? I had no time to check before we took off... So it's possible, right?

    She's 99% sure she knows the answer but can't help herself: she moves to the small storage locker area and opens it.**



    * - Or are there? Even if they are, may I assume they'd've been fried with the power surge anyway?

    ** - Yes I know there's no EV suit, but she doesn't.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 19 Aug 2022 at 05:33 PM.

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    His patching work now complete, Rangin, racking his brains, thinks he may be getting closer to remembering that article. It is proving frustratingly elusive, however.

    There are no external cameras on, and no spacesuit in, the shuttle.

    I expect we would have seen one or the other, or both, at some point on TOS if there had been.

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    Sensing a lot of frustration all around her, Kylah bunches the material of her dress's skirt in tight fists, impotent to assist. Both Dr. Mäkeläinen and Velir, the latter nearest to her, seem to have accomplished their immediate tasks.

    "Well done," she says to Velir, the brief words soft and grateful (and also directed at the doctor). "Is there... is there anything I might help you with?" She glances up at the others, including them in the offer although she cannot fathom of what use she would be.

  44. #794
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    Nia registers the absence of an EV suit with disappointment, even though she pretty much knew what she'd find--nothing. Of course no one listened to her suggestions. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

    She slams the locker door shut, then immediately regrets losing her cool. The others don't need to know her mood. Anyway, she can't pin all the blame for the unavailable gear on Engineering for not following her recommendation. If Nia wanted an EV suit on board for this mission she should've bloody well demanded and/or grabbed one herself--rush or no rush.

    But she banishes such self-recrimination--because really, what's the point?--and glances over her shoulder, specifically eyeing the floor ahead and the access panel leading beneath the deck. Probably a good idea to check there to get as good an overall view as possible before deciding what to prioritize.

    Clambering to her feet, Nia pivots toward the main compartment when a dizzying rush of vertigo nearly makes her stumble. She grabs hold of the nearest solid object and takes a few not-very-satisfying breaths. The others are busy--most of them--and she doesn't think anyone noticed.

    She stares out at the crew. If she's having issues with the air, they must be, too. Sidonian biology needs less nitrogen and oxygen than humans do. Not sure about Coridanites or Elasians, but unlike her, they're all from Class M planets with similar atmospheres as Earth. Doesn't immediately appear that anyone's in distress. But even if they are, there's nothing to be done until the l/s system's back online.

    That's probably why they're not complaining, she thinks with a little flare of pride. Brave Starfleet officers, all of them. Even Double-T and his arm. Even, Nia grudgingly admits, Kylah.

    Once Nia gets her bearings she steadies herself and continues over to the deck access panel. Assuming the others don't need her, she'll again sink to her knees and get to work on unscrewing the bolts.
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 21 Aug 2022 at 02:59 AM.

  45. #795
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    "Shit."

    "Starboard photon torpedo armed and on countdown," Graham shouts. "Firing torpedo, all hands, we are firing starboard torpedo. Repeat, firing starboard torpedo."

    He braces himself and punches the controls. Hoping they work.

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    "If you can think of a way to bodge a communicator or something to send a distress call out far enough, that would be ideal," Mäkeläinen says to Kylah. "Maybe a beacon to broadcast our position, even if we can't receive?

    "We've been extremely lucky so far, considering all the damage, but who knows how long that will last. Lt. Onn is trying to get us moving" --- I happen to know she's far from her best at the moment --- "but outside assistance could really save us, if it came down to it."

    He pauses for a beat, inscrutable. Then continues in an even tone, including Lt. Rangin in the conversation, "Life support. Heating a small, insulated space like this cannot take that much power. A power cell or two from a phaser? Or whatever we can can get from the shuttle's power bus if it's not absolutely critically low? We don't have to be toasty warm, or even that comfortable. Just need to maintain a certain minimum. And, with a potentially limited air supply, we should focus on scrubbing the CO2 from the air we do have. Many chemicals will do it. What do you think?"

    While they are talking, Lt. Graham starts shouting about an armed torpedo. Bizhi turns. "What the---"

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    If the lights were brighter, the others might notice Kylah's face turning pink. She quickly looks down to hide the reaction. I must seem ignorant indeed, if I have given the impression that I did not consider working on a communication option.

    She has already considered a not-dissimilar shuttle incident back at the Academy. It involved the Enterprise
    ...As usual. That particular crew's adventures were hailed far and wide, acclaim that is mostly deserved. In this case, Kylah does not remember the shuttle name. Galworthy, Gilligan, Kepler, Galileo or Copernicus? Some human-based reference, as with most of the Starfleet vessels.

    If there is one benefit to being part of the Klingon Empire, it would be that they do not demand obeisance to their own culture. People died, not their histories. Of course, now is not the time to bemoan the over-representation of ancient Terran culture that has spread, virus-like, throughout the known entire Alpha Quadrant.

    In any event, the Enterprise's shuttle was stranded and, in need of extra power, the crew linked their phasers to draw upon their shared energy. But Kylah is fairly sure that linking the Tesla crew's communicators in a similar fashion would do little to amplify a beacon or message.

    "Like the the Naradraen," she murmurs. Their SOS was nearly missed entirely. Kylah discovered first one lone mayday message, then multiple sources chanting in unison. The latter did not reach the Yorktown sensor's any sooner.

    More energy might help boost signal strength, but she fears any power they have might need to go... elsewhere. Her worried gaze darts to the air vents. It is self-evident that with the need to maintain or even improve life support, all reserves will likely be directed to that purpose.

    All she has time to say is, "Of course, doctor, I would be glad of any suggest--" before she senses a sudden burst of alarm near the front of the shuttle, followed immediately by Lt. Graham's warning.

  48. #798
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    Once he is satisfied that the epoxy is holding and that the holes have been sealed, he sits back on his haunches and tries to think what he needs to do next.

    “Holes are sealed,” he calls out to the shuttle. It should help them to know the initial danger has passed. “Anyone need help with anything else?”

    As for that idea buzzing around in the back of his head, he reaches for his datapad. He had bought reading material for the trip, so it should have a history of what he has been reading. All he needs is to look back over the articles and see if he can jog his memory a little further as to what article it is.

  49. #799
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    Nia, bent over the access panel, hears Booker's announcement and reacts instinctively, jerking back and scrabbling toward the shuttle's port side. Not that moving an extra meter or two will matter if a torpedo explodes right beneath the hull, but she can't control the impulse any more than she can control her scales from covering her head to toe.

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    Graham hits the FIRE TORP button and, after an agonizing pause and then a grinding noise beneath the forward deck that he's never heard before ("What the hell?" Rawlings growls), the Tesla shudders slightly as the photon torpedo is launched. The torpedo status board turns all green. At just the moment the timer indicates, there is a distant silent flare as the torpedo explodes. Graham can see, given the distance the torpedo traveled in so short a time and the intense glare of the explosion, that it must have been set at maximum yield. He knows, from standard procedure, that it would not have been set that way when the shuttle left the Yorktown.

    Onn has pulled back the carpeting and gotten the deck access panel open. What would she like to do now?

    Rangin can't find the Starfleet Astrophysics Journal article on his past-reading list. It might have been too long ago for that, or perhaps he read it on the Bridge, at a Science workstation or somewhere else. He relaxes his mind just enough, despite the stress he's under, for a memory to, at last, more clearly rise into his consciousness. The article, he now recalls, concerned the recently-discovered quantum filaments and the rare but significant hazards they pose to interstellar navigation.


    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Quantum_filament
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 24 Aug 2022 at 07:04 AM.

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