+ Reply to thread
Page 19 of 36 FirstFirst ... 9 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 29 ... LastLast
Results 901 to 950 of 1793

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

  1. #901
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    The Tesla falls down and down, the white-and-dark-green forests of Ollos rushing up to meet you, the nearby mountains seemingly close enough to touch. Onn is able to bring the unwieldy shuttle down more or less level, but - unavoidably - still too fast. The aft landing strut is torn away within seconds of the shuttle touching the snowy surface stern first, and then with a lurch the whole underside of the shuttle makes contact. The shuttle races along through the snow on its belly, great plumes of white billowing up at the bow.

    There is a wrenching crunch as the disabled starboard nacelle breaks away, its support pylons apparently unable to take the strain as it slides through the snow. The shuttle skews to port slightly and even briefly rises into the air by just three or four meters before coming back down hard with a bone-rattling jolt, as Onn fights for control every step of the way. The command consoles all go dark and the forward shields drop a second or two later, but the interior lighting stays on and everyone is miraculously able to keep his or her seat. You can all feel the shuttle gradually slowing until it comes, finally, to a complete stop. Thick snow now covers all but the upper few centimeters of each of the three forward viewports.

    There is a moment or two of stunned silence before Rawlings says in wonderment, "That was a hell of a thing. Good work, Lieutenant."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 01 Nov 2022 at 10:47 PM.

  2. #902
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    "Quite," adds Mäkeläinen, following an appreciative silence of his own. He assesses his own limbs just to be sure he is still all in one piece.

  3. #903
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Once the Tesla stops digging itself into the snow, Nia bends her head over the now blank helm panel and closes her eyes for a few seconds to gather herself. Every muscle is taut as a wire and refuses to relax; similarly, the scales that erupted as a defense aren't receding yet. She takes long breaths that do very little for her and prays her gratitude before forcing herself to speak.

    "Thanks," she says hoarsely to the compliments. "Everyone okay? Doc, anyone hurt?"

    Stiffly pushing herself into a hunched but more upright position, she tries to run a system diagnostic, or to see if the emergency reset can perform its magic again.

    While her cold, rigid hands work at the various controls and buttons, she gazes with weary concern at Booker. Here, up at the helm, he bore the brunt of the impact, like Nia. Unlike her, he has no scales to protect him. "Book?" she whispers.

  4. #904
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Kylah is huddled against the hull beside her. She sees only darkness, caused by the arms with which she cradled her head, as well as the curtain of black curls fallen loose from her clip to shroud her. There are voices, dim and muffled, and gradually she realizes the shuttle remains--at least partly--intact.

    Everything seems so far away. Even her thoughts are slow to register. Her face is damp. Probably tears, but some remote spark in her brain notes it might be blood. It takes what seems like an hour to decide she had better check to see, and at last, she attempts to lower her arms and sit up.


    I suppose we'd know if we're injured or not?

  5. #905
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    You all have various bumps and scrapes, and the landing certainly did Rawlings's broken arm no favors, but no one is seriously hurt.

    The front consoles, however, are completely dead. Onn is unable to run a system diagnostic. An emergency reset has no effect whatsoever. On the other hand, the interior lights are still on, and there is still the faint hum of the LS system's air circulation.

    The Tesla settles a little deeper in place.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 02 Nov 2022 at 10:10 PM.

  6. #906
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    "I've had worse," Graham rumbles to Nia, in all seriousness. "Much worse, in fact." He turns toward her. "That was some badass piloting..." He side eyes a viewport and sighs. "But I think we should get the fuck out of here, ASAP."

  7. #907
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    For an instant Nia drops her gaze, aware that one of Booker's 'much worse' injuries was the disruptor blast during the fight with the Klingons--under her command then, too. Great record she's built up with him.

    But she's relieved that no one's seriously hurt, aside from Double-T unfortunately, and Booker's suggestion is wise. "Agreed. I'm not liking the way the shuttle's settling here. Could go still deeper." Even as she speaks she nods at the exit. "The lights may be working but I'm not sure the hatch'll still be operational except manually. If we can get out without using any more power, let's do it. Let's just hope the snow isn't packed too tightly."

    Nia pulls the silver blanket from behind the seat, where it slid off during the landing, and takes a wary glance at the nearly covered viewport. As a girl living on a parched planet beneath flaming acid clouds in stifling hot air, she'd've found the chance to burrow a path through fluffy wet snow a thrilling fantasy. Now...

    She's not built for this. Her scales evolved to insulate her from the baking sun, not to maintain body heat. And the depletion of Bilitrium in her system has triggered her body's self-preserving shut-down process, including decreased circulation that's turning her hands and feet numb.

    Swallowing, Nia draws the blanket around her shoulders and wraps it tightly around her. Her own problems are not those of her crew. Yet.

    "Standard security sweep, Lieutenant, to the degree it's possible." She gives Double-T a quick scrutinizing look before pulling out her phaser and continuing to Booker. "I've got your six unless you prefer to deputize someone else."

    Her attention switches to the others. "Doc, you, Kylah and Rawlings stay here till we get the all clear. Rangin, if you're near the entrance, can you scan to get a read on how deep and solid a foundation we're on? And Kylah... try to find us a friendly listener to help us get out of here." After a pause, she decides that--for now--a stab at democracy is probably best given that she can't trust her own brain to remember details. "I'm open to suggestions to the contrary on these assignments, if you've got 'em."

  8. #908
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Kylah stands, achy and bruised in places but very grateful to confirm that her damp face is from tears and sweat, not blood. As she wipes her face with her sleeved arm, of course she immediately turns her concern to Velir, who seems in much the same shape. Still, she asks him softly, "Are you all right?"

    Lt. Onn's command shifts her attention. Kylah would rather stay in the shuttle--her uniform provides little coverage for such weather--so she has no reason to complain. Except the thought of the ship burying itself further into the snow is unnerving.

    She moves to stand opposite the hatch, as far as possible but still within sight. Once it opens, however briefly, there might be better reception and thus more likelihood of reaching anyone who can assist them. "This is Starfleet vessel Tesla to--to Ollos Port Control," she says hesitantly, uncertain if this is the best option. "We have landed unharmed." About to continue, she lowers the device. "If they ask, where should I say we are? Is it safe to give our estimated location? I suppose we have no enemies here, but..." Kylah glances at Lt. Graham and Ens. Rawlings, then Dr. Mäkeläinen and Velir for good measure. She is uncertain what to say or ask for, suddenly feeling even more unsure of herself than usual.

  9. #909
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    "Ollos Port Control here," Kylah hears over her communicator. It is an angry female voice. "What the hell did you think were you doing, coming in-system like a bat of out of hell, ignoring our hails and then launching a torpedo?"

    "Understood, ma'am," Rawlings says to Onn, slowly easing out of his chair.

    "Aye, ma'am," Rangin says to her, unlimbering his tricorder. He replies quietly to Kylah, with an encouraging smile, "I'm pretty shaken up, but all right, I think. How about you?"

    Before she can reply, the Tesla, with a lurch, settles by at least half a meter more.

    The lower drop-down segment of the shuttle's tripartite hatch on the port side cannot open against the hard-packed snow, but the two upper portions of the door slide open with a slight scraping noise. Cold air rushes in. There is little daylight left in the sky.

    Onn and Graham simultaneously notice the water seeping into the cabin interior along the starboard forward edge, where the hull breaches had earlier been patched. In seconds it is several centimeters deep, and rising.

  10. #910
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Nia's arms flail to steady herself as the floor shifts again, and once balanced she swivels to stare at the water encroaching her once tough but now helplessly vulnerable Tesla. Dismayed, she curses under her breath then snaps to face Booker. "Change of plans. We need to lighten our load as soon as possible. So, heaviest out first."

    She eyes Rawlings and gestures with her chin to the open portion of the hatch. "That's you. With your arm you need help getting up there anyway." She reaches for Booker to--to reach for him, that's really all. Ostensibly to get his attention, but he likely knows better. "You next? You can do the security sweep anyway. You can also pull us up as needed." Though trying to keep her manner confident, inwardly she's pleading at Book to confirm that she's not utterly fucking things up--more than she already has. "Suggestions?" Her gaze shifts to include Mäkeläinen and Rangin.

  11. #911
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Kylah tries to smile at Velir to confirm that she is unharmed--and her relief that he is, as well--but the sharp words of the woman on the other end of her communicator make it difficult. "We could not do otherwise, ma'am, our shuttle was nearly out of control and we lost our comms capability. I am on my personal communicator now."

    Time is fleeting and she does not wish to waste time with explanations. "I can elaborate further but first, please, we need immediate assistance. We managed to land in some snow-covered area, buried near--near Freetown I believe, some farmland?" She turns to the others for confirmation before continuing with the stranger. "Are you able to locate our crash site? We need to evacuate as soon as possible. I fear we are not equipped for the weather and have at least one injured party."

    When she hears the water burbling into the starboard side--the same side where she is standing--she gives a little gasp and backs away, toward the aft. "A-and the ground is unstable--we are sinking and water is coming through--is it possible we are not on solid ground at all, but on a body of water beneath this snow?" Eyes wide, she stares at the leaking area. "Please confirm you can send help."

  12. #912
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Mäkeläinen looks where the others were staring---that is liquid water, sure enough. "I suggest we make our way out single-file and keep a perimeter fifteen, maybe even twenty metres from the boat, just in case." He gently steers Kylah in the direction of the hatch, in the opposite direction from where she was going. He splits with her whatever minimal safety and emergency gear they found earlier which is within reach: a few of those silver blankets, at least? Hopefully they will not be standing around too long. He instinctively makes sure to grab his own kit from where it was stowed during the landing.

  13. #913
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    Graham nods at Nia and then piggy backs on the doctor's comment. "Fair enough, doctor." He gestures. "Rawlings, up and out, move a few meters away, keep you head down and have a good look around,. I'm up next, and assuming no one is taking shots at us, Nia, you'll come up and take a covering position, then everyone else ASAP."

  14. #914
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    The woman from Ollos Traffic Control says skeptically, "You've got to be kidding."

    Rangin says to Onn, looking at the rising water, "Sounds good to me. I'd say we ought to get out of here sooner rather than later."

    Rawlings nods in acknowledgement of his orders and clambers up and over the hatch. He has his communicator and phaser-2 with him. "Uh... Lieutenant?" he calls back, once completely outside. "I don't think we landed where - or on what - we thought we were landing."

    Looking out, Onn can see, just beyond the snow and chunky ice surrounding the shuttle, three to five meters of open water in every direction. The shuttle settles deeper on its irregular ice floe, and the water inside begins rising faster.


    Please include in your next post what, specifically, you'll be taking with you from the shuttle, if anything. Be realistic as to what your character can carry while swimming.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 06 Nov 2022 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Grammar fix

  15. #915
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    The dismal prospects surrounding the Tesla freeze Nia's blood as much as the icy landscape could. She backs up a step from the hatch opening to give the others room, and to give herself physical and mental distance to think.

    "We're on an ice floe and will have to swim for it," she says quietly to those who haven't seen what's facing them, then returns her phaser to her utility belt and looks back up at Booker. "Everyone, take the blankets and protein bars or anything that'll float and go. Kylah--give me that," she adds, reaching for the device in the younger woman's hand. "You, Doc and Rangin, get moving after Graham. I'll bring up the rear." Nia's gaze briefly takes in Booker, then shakes her head. "I don't abandon ship before my crew."

    She swiftly lifts the communicator and snaps out, "Lieutenant Nia Onn of the USS Yorktown. This is no joke. Our shuttle Tesla has crash-landed on an ice floe and is sinking fast." [If she remembers the coordinates she most recently noted before the ship lost power, or any other identifiable features, she'll rattle them off.] "Six Starfleet officers down here in immediate need of transport. We're evacuating but not equipped for the territory or conditions. Get us help now."

    After tossing the communicator back to Kylah, she hesitates for only a second before she pulls off her blanket, stuffing it into Kylah's arms. "Just in case I'm too slow," she mutters. "The extra resource shouldn't be stuck down here."

  16. #916
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Dr. Mäkeläinen was hoping to avoid a swim in freezing cold water; it goes to show that sometimes things are just not that easy. One must actively pursue one's goals. The goal of wearing dry clothes will have to be postponed for a little while, it sounds like. (Will a low-energy phaser pulse steam-dry a uniform? They may be soon to find out.)

    The pouch containing his medikit is not really voluminous, at least not if the contents are kept properly organized rather than crammed in, but the emergency blankets take up almost no space so he stuffs a bunch of them in first (along with his personal tricorder, communicator, and phaser if they were not already in there). He can try to take emergency rations if there is any more room, but he does not think they are a priority compared to what has already been mentioned. He doubts his loaded bag will float, but it can be slung over the shoulder or easily pitched some distance if necessary. The box of repair tools does not look buoyant and he does not want to risk swimming with it. Does Lt. Onn want someone to lug it outside?

    He follows Lt. Graham and the others out the hatch.

  17. #917
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    With her communicator and now the extra blanket in her arms, Kylah just stares stupidly for a moment at Lt. Onn, who does not look back. At last, turning to her now empty chair, she sees nothing that is necessary or even particularly useful other than her datapad, which she picks up. As with most physical activities, Kylah's swimming is not strong--certainly not enough for her to be confident she will be able to do so even without impediments. She is also concerned that the devices might not survive immersion; she cannot recall if they are waterproof.

    Kylah stuffs the datapad on her duty belt but keeps the communicator handy in case their contact has any response. She moves toward the hatch and gazes up, biting her lip. She is too short and will need a boost to reach the opening, or perhaps once Lt. Graham is through he will reach down for her as Lt. Onn suggested. Whichever proves to be the case she will make her way outside as soon as she can.

  18. #918
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    Graham can't do anything but nod at Nia's insistence on leaving the ship last - one she's the officer in command and that's her prerogative, and two she's a helluva a swimmer, although he's worried about the cold...

    He hurriedly grabs a phase, communicator, tricorder if one's handy, an emergency blanket or two and (space permitting) some emergency rations - but we'll freeze long before we starve, push comes to shove, under these conditions...

    After clambering up, he extends an arm downward to help Kyah up.

  19. #919
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    The woman from Ollos Traffic Control can be heard briefly arguing with someone in the background, then mutes herself. She comes back on to say. "Understood, Tesla. We have your coordinates and will send out a crawler for you. Ollos Traffic Control out."

    Rawlings, looking very unhappy, takes a deep breath and then leaps as far as he can, away from the shuttle and towards the outer edge of the ice. He falls short, not surprisingly, but is able to pull himself, one-armed, up and out of the freezing water on the far side. He is soaked from the chest down. He looks back to see if he can help any of his shipmates.

    Graham is able to help Kylah get out of the shuttle. Soon everyone but Onn is out on the ice floe, which is increasingly unsteady underfoot. It is very cold outside; you can all see your breath. Onn sees that the water inside the Tesla is now almost a meter deep. The shuttle starts to tilt to starboard.

  20. #920
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Through chattering teeth, Kylah calls out the message from Ollos Traffic Control, hoping Lt. Onn can hear it. She makes sure Velir and Dr. Mäkeläinen are safe behind her and hopes to see the other woman climbing up as well. But she stumbles forward when the floe shifts along with the shuttle, which lists like some gray aquatic beast trying to return to the sea where it belongs. Kylah grabs for something, anyone to lean on, and the nearest hand she finds is the doctor's. Apologizing, she manages to straighten herself and scrabble backwards, unsteady in boot heels not intended for ice.

    Now she sees the gap between her and Mr. Rawlings and recognizes at once that she cannot possibly bridge it with a leap, not with her short legs. She will fall farther short than he did. "I--I do not know if I--" Her head shakes and she does not bother finishing. The longer she delays the worse it will be for the others. Lt. Graham will not leave before she does, she is certain of that.

    The two blankets she holds... can she tie them together? She hopes that if it is possible, and they are long enough once combined, perhaps she can toss one end to Mr. Rawlings for him to reel her in. Kylah looks across at him, a little embarrassed to require physical help of someone with only one good arm; still, he might be the only one strong enough to pull someone out from water onto ice. Hesitantly, she asks if he might manage it.

    If he cannot, or if the blanket material is not flexible enough to knot together, she knows she will just have to take what feels like a suicidal leap into frigid water. She looks toward Velir, offering him a frightened goodbye before she jumps.

  21. #921
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Alone in the vessel she's spent innumerable hours improving, customizing, problem-solving and preening over, Nia takes a hard, painful measure of the fate she's led her Tesla into.

    How did all this happen? What warning did she miss? How did she screw up so completely, so catastrophically?

    No time for this. Heading farther into the aft compartment is now like climbing a small hill, and she grips the edge of the door to pull herself up and toward the storage area. Her numbing fingers fumble to open the toolkit, where she gets rid of everything useful only for shuttle repair, and closes it again. It's much lighter now and shouldn't be too much of a hindrance for either carrying a long distance or, more pointedly, swimming.

    Warily eyeing the freezing water that deepens as the Tesla slants downwards, Nia girds herself for discomfort and tries to keep her balance as she moves forward.

    The shuttle tilts and Nia nearly falls, her hip landing against one of the starboard chairs. Cursing, she stares up at the hatch, now at a higher angle. The floe must be breaking up and barely stable. If the Tesla sinks further, anyone topside will be sucked down with it. "Evacuate!" she shouts desperately to whoever's up there. "Get to the other side of the ice!"

  22. #922
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Mäkeläinen steadies Kylah and looks to see whether anyone else needs help—it looks like only Lt. Onn remains in the arm, abused shuttle. He tries to give her a hand; he is not going to leave her at the bottom of the hatch. He feels the cold, of course. He tries to judge whether the gap in the ice can be safely jumped (despite Rawling's attempt) avoiding a nasty spill if the distance is marginal, or if he will have to resign himself to a dunking. He will throw his bag of gear over to solid ice (their equipment should be able to tolerate a moderate amount of abuse, but the snow, the bag itself, and the blankets stuffed inside should all cushion the blow somewhat) in any case before undertaking any drastic leap, leaving himself unencumbered.

    If he has to go in the water, a real dilemma is whether he should leave on his Starfleet uniform (and boots!), any amount of insulation making the swim slightly more bearable, only to have to strip it all off, or to resign himself to the numbing, shocking cold no matter what and leave himself something dry to pull on after, beyond a metallic blanket. From Kylah's communication, it sounds like they will have to wait around an unknown amount of time for physical transport. Therefore, he reluctantly decides to tie his clothes into an easily thrown bundle and make the swim naked (modesty is not even a consideration) for the sake of later comfort. Should he give the same advice to everybody else? No time for lengthy explanations... but, it looks like Ens. Kylah is already going into the water!

    "Take those wet clothes off!" he warns Rawlings, Kylah, and anyone else who is already soaked. Anyone not already submerged, he advises to step in slowly and splash their face and chest and submerge the hands, and keep their head out of the water. Even hypothermia is not as dangerous as immediate panic, hyperventilation, and cardiac arrest.

  23. #923
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    "Go, go, go--move!" Graham shouts, piling on the other admonishments and - thankfully - those already taking the plunge to move away from the shuttle.

    When the shuttle tilts he throws himself back across the hatch, extending an arm downwards far as he can. "Nia, here, now!"

  24. #924
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    Kylah finds that the material of the emergency blankets is too slick to permit them to be tied together.

    Rawlings, who is tall as well as very wide across, did not seem to touch bottom when he jumped into the dark, icy water. Dr. Mäkeläinen does not know if there is a bottom that would permit anyone to step in slowly, as he suggests. The Security man, his teeth chattering, shakes his head, saying, "No way I'm taking my uniform off when I'm this cold, Doc, but thanks for the advice. Anyone need help getting across? C'mon!" He is still the only one on the far side of the ice, away from the sinking shuttle.

    Onn, with the partially-emptied toolkit, hears Graham and sees his arm extended down through the hatch.

    The Tesla settles with a lurch even more deeply into the ice floe, leaning further to starboard.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 11 Nov 2022 at 12:26 AM.

  25. #925
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Dr. Mäkeläinen asks Lt. Graham if they need assistance, and helps steady him or pull Lt. Onn up, whatever they need.

    After that, there is no time left to screw around; in fact the unstable situation looks like the point of no time left is already strictly past.

    If there be a couple of seconds of stability he hurriedly pulls off at least his boots and his uniform top (which may be used instead of a short rope, should someone need it) and throws them across the gap where he pitched his bag. Since there is no way to wade in slowly, he splashes water on himself and goes in feet first, making sure to keep his head above water. The task is then to make forward progress despite the shocking agony (even though he knew to expect it---at least he steeled himself not to panic) of his muscles seizing up and losing coordination. After a few minutes in the water they would stop working altogether, and that would be it. Fortunately, he only has to make it a few metres. He tries to force himself into a effective breaststroke, and will not refuse a hand from Rawlings (he will be careful not to pull Rawlings back into the water, though, not that it is very probable considering the difference in their weights).

  26. #926
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    In reaction to Mt. Rawlings's offer to help, Kylah nods but is not sure what he can do for her. Is the gap narrow enough for someone of Kylah's dubious strength to throw the rolled-up blankets (with her communicator and datapad inside) across safely to the other side? If so, she'll toss them to keep them dry.

    Then there is nothing else she can do but part-jump, part-slip into the dark water. At once terror grips her, because the cold is worse than she expected, and during that paralyzed moment she sinks a few inches, down to her chin, before she can force herself to paddle her way forward. To the extent that she can keep her gaze steady--her whole body wants to clench into a ball and her eyes long to squeeze tightly shut--she stares up at Mr. Rawlings's large form as her lodestar.

    Her swimming has not improved any in the few years since she last tried it, and the water is so cold her muscles refuse to relax enough to allow her to float. So she splashes awkwardly to the other side of the ice. If she successfully reaches it she hopes Mr. Rawlings will reach out for her. (If Dr. Mäkeläinen has Rawlings busy, she'll try to grip onto the edge of the ice to at least remain in one place until she can be helped up.)

  27. #927
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    Dr. Mäkeläinen is able to throw his uniform shirt and boots across the dark, icy water to the other side, not far from Rawlings. He is in the water only for a few seconds before putting a hand on the frosty far edge, and Rawlings then helps him out of the water at once.

    Kylah is able to throw the rolled-up blankets, with her communicator and datapad inside, safely across as well. Rawlings turns from the doctor to help her out, too.

    The water is bitterly cold, and the cold air on your wet skin afterwards doesn't help, either.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 12 Nov 2022 at 12:22 AM.

  28. #928
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    Graham grunted appreciation at the doctor's offer of help, but urged him to move on. "We need you safe and functional, Doc," he rasps.

    He's not sure if the cold might have a greater effect on Nia than a Terran, or if she's otherwise hurt...if he can grip the outer surface of the shuttle harder while reaching his other arm further (even in his own mind) he does so. "Nia, my hand!" he shouts.

  29. #929
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Booker's voice and arm, showing he's disobeying Nia's orders--to absolutely no surprise on her part--ignite a flare of mingled anger and affection. She postpones the deserved rebuke she's gonna lay on him in favor of getting the hell out of here.

    "Thirty seconds!" she yells back up to Booker, peering ahead. Because before abandoning her beloved ship, Nia has a duty to do what little she can to preserve it. Beneath the pilot's seat is an emergency shutdown that should help seal, lock and prevent whatever subsystems that still work from being utterly destroyed by the elements that are about to overwhelm them. If the shuttle's ever salvaged, it could be flight-worthy again. Maybe.

    Luckily the control button for this procedure isn't far from the hatch, so she's heading in the right direction anyway. Careful to stay as far port as possible, she inches down the slope. The accumulating icy water sloshes around her ankles, well protected by her Starfleet-issue boots.

    She kneels, keys in a passcode to open the panel, and with a heart heavy with a bitter sense of finality, reaches for the control. Sorry girl, Nia whispers, and presses the button to send her shuttle into an induced coma.

  30. #930
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Bizhi has barely recovered his powers of speech, but he thanks Rawlings profusely.

    The doctor knows hypothermia does not set in instantly. They have a little time to get warm. It is hard to think straight with his feet gone numb and his heart pounding like it will burst; he is freezing. Shivering uncontrollably. He needs to warm himself back up, and get back to a state where he can help his friends. He can at least help Rawlings, with his one good hand, pull Kylah out of the water first.

    He will attempt to put his clothes back on, before the bitter cold makes even such basic actions clumsy. He awkwardly steps over to where his clothes are strewn and flicks/wipes water off his skin before re-donning the (relatively) dry shirt. He massages his feet for a moment and carefully crams them back into their boots. What he needs now are thick jackets, and scarves, and gloves; alas. He lews himself in a cocoon of a couple of emergency blankets, and tries to compose himself quickly.

  31. #931
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    Rangin, having seen what the doctor did, takes off his uniform shirt, boots and socks as well, and flings them over near where Bizhi, Kylah and Rawlings are. He flashes a wan smile at Kylah, mutters to himself, "Well, here goes nothing," then takes a deep breath and jumps into the water. He gasps for breath as the cold hits him, but is able to swim with a few strong strokes to the other side. Rawlings immediately helps him out. The xenobiologist has his communicator, his tricorder and a phaser-1 with him.

    The icy water is still climbing inside the Tesla. After Onn hits the emergency shutdown switch, the shuttle's interior lights and all subsystem telltales go out at once and the hum of the LS system stops. The shuttle is now totally dead but failsafed. A few seconds later, as if in protest, it settles abruptly and even more sharply to starboard.

    Onn loses her balance and falls into the water. Graham, by now practically lying upon the lower portion of the exterior hatch, is able to keep his place.

  32. #932
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Kylah has never been so cold and even wrapping both blankets around her does little; the clinging wet dress and undergarments seem to be freezing to her body. Still she manages to thank Mr. Rawlings and Dr. Mäkeläinen for helping her , before turning to watch Velir. Her eyes widen in alarm when he begins to undress--undress, in this weather? Belatedly she realizes that the doctor seems to be putting on his clothes too--and for a second wonders if they have lost their minds. Vaguely she remembers from some lesson in first aid at the Academy that this sort of thing can be a symptom of severe hypothermia--a curious compulsion to strip clothing.

    But her hopeless effort warm herself in her own soaked uniform proves that she is the madwoman. Thanks to their forethought, the men will have some dry clothes to wear. She wishes she had been clever enough to make the same decision... even if it meant undressing in front of the others, which would have been... well, embarrassing or not, she should have risked it.

    After watching Velir helped out by their largest colleague, Kylah realizes that this is the first time she has seen him only partially clothed. Entirely inappropriately, she admires his lean but fit form before glancing away in embarrassment for staring. At least the flush warms her cheeks somewhat.

    Just as she turns, there is a sharp crack of more ice breaking and the shuttle suddenly tilts more precipitously. She cries out for Lt. Graham, who is hanging over the hatch now nearly at the top. Why will he not let go? Kylah's gaze darts around and she discovers the answer: Lt. Onn is not yet out.

  33. #933
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Plunged backwards into the rapidly rising water, Nia has no time to think before the utter shock of indescribable, stabbing cold clamps her muscles tight as a vise. Her twisting heart seems to slam painfully against her ribcage. Scales erupt across her body--an automatic response, a hopeless attempt to protect her from an enemy her physiognomy hasn't evolved for and can't possibly fathom, much less fight.

    Everything goes blank. For a few seconds she can only stare up into the darkness that's drowning her. She's stiff as a board and, unable to float, is submerged into water that's now waist-high. Her barely active mind grows distantly aware that she's drifting downward, tugged by gravity toward the helm. Toward the pilot's seat where she belongs.

    The Tesla doesn’t want to die alone.

    Nia gasps and her throat fills with ice water. Already suffocating due to Bilitrium loss, organs soon to be shutting down for hibernation, she seizes with panic when even the little sustenance she gets from oxygen and nitrogen is denied her.

    Survival instinct jolts her with adrenaline and, temporarily alert, she thrashes clumsily around until she's able to sit up, bursting through the surface and spluttering, choking for air.

    For a few seconds she stares incomprehensibly around. No buttons or controls are even dimly lit; no hum of life support, no sign of heat. It's a sarcophagus. The surroundings would be entirely black if not for the light from above, which her bleary eyes recognize as a blurry patch of white. The sky.

    No, it's too far away. She’s still impossibly cold and sitting in water that's jealously claiming her. Her limbs don't feel connected to her body, they're just numb slabs of flesh she can’t control. How can she possibly get to the outside if she can't even stand? But she has to get up. The water's still rising and the shuttle's listing and wants to force her back down.

    Then she sees movement from within that patch of blurry white above. Looking up, she sees the man up there--Booker, his arm still extended toward her.

    He’s insane, he could drown if the shuttle continues its inevitable journey to the sea floor. But he’s there. He's there and expects her to reach for him, and though Nia vowed she wouldn’t reach for Booker Graham again, she doesn’t have a choice right now.

    Somehow, through a miracle of will, she manages to curl her frozen fingers around the arm rest of the chair and drag herself to her knees. The shuttle's not quite at a 90-degree tilt, but it's close, and she has to hug the seat back with one clumsy arm to stay upright. The other still holds the shuttle repair toolkit--something in the back of her mind insists that it is vital, that there's something inside that will help them.

    At last she summons what remains of her strength and raises her face to the sky and to Booker, staring silently at him because her jaw is clamped shut, too frozen to unclench. This too she gets past, and simply whispers:

    "Book. Please."

    She hopes he can reach her because she’s about two seconds from losing consciousness and slipping down into the dark, into oblivion.

  34. #934
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    He is still bloody cold. No getting warm to the bone sitting like this. His trousers and underwear are still wet, too-- perhaps it is worth trying that trick with a phaser? A couple of short, low-energy blasts to vaporize the moisture and leave the garments toasty warm? But what if the result is damp clothes with holes in them? And what would his shipmates think, let alone any strangers that will surely arrive at that exact moment?

    After a few long moments, Dr. Mäkeläinen surveys the scene. Before experimenting, he had better see to the others. Someone could easily be in much worse shape than he is. Nearby, Ens. Kylah looks miserable in icy clothes; ditto for Rangin and Rawlings. Before opening his mouth to talk to them, he looks back across the cold water to where the shuttle is foundering. Lt. Graham ordered him to safety. But are things under control over there?

  35. #935
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    Graham reaches for Onn, hanging by an arm and a leg from the hatch while he extends the other arm if necessary.

    "Lieutenant, take my arm!" he shouts in no uncertain terms (although an attentive listener would have no trouble detecting anguish beneath the order).

  36. #936
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Nia sees Booker's arm reaching for her, and her own listlessly lifting toward him, and the gap between them seems unbridgeable. "You're too far. I can't..."

    But she has to. Every muscle feels stiff, as if she's already freezing, but she has to ignore that. Booker can't come to her, it's way too dangerous. She'll have to find some remnants of her flagging energy to climb up on... something. Without much hope she turns around to see if anything will support her and let at least her fingers or wrist get high enough for Booker to grasp her. The toolkit case probably won't help, and besides, she can't leave it behind; they'll need it.

    The seat near her, which is now perpendicular to the direction it normally faces, might be enough. With a groan, Nia musters her strength and tries to get first one foot, then the other, onto the side of the chair that's opposite the hatch above. If she can just manage it, however precariously, she'll lift the toolkit first and beg Booker to grab it for her. After that, her own freezing hands will stretch toward him.

  37. #937
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    "Yes you can, I know you can."

    Graham's not sure what's in the box Nia is trying to hand him - it better be some goddamned tasty bon bons or something really freaking important - but this is not the time for 20 questions so, if he can reach it, he grabs it and swings it up to drop beside him, then turns back to reach for Nia.

  38. #938
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    With her last ounce of strength, Onn extends her freezing hands just a bit further; Graham grabs them and pulls her out of the shuttle with a surge of strength that surprises him. She bangs her right knee hard on the interior hatchway on the way out. They collapse together on the icy, sodden surface of the floe.

    The Tesla settles another meter or so. Bits of ice, big and small, break off from the floe, roiling the very cold waters of the lake around them.

  39. #939
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    "I-I am f-f-foolish," Kylah manages when she moves closer to Velir, watching him put his dry clothes back on. "I did not--I did not think of that." The blankets crinkle around her as she pulls them tight as casing on a sausage. She covers her mouth with her freezing hands and lets her breath warm them a little before going on. "Do you think we c-c-can use the--"

    Her word cuts off when she hears the shouts of Lt. Graham and, after his remarkable display of strength, Kylah sees the security officer successfully pull Lt. Onn from the ship. Their fall to the ice is alarming, but much more so is the sight of the Tesla, which continues to sink and destroy the weakening ice floe. One of her hands immediately clasps Velir's, needing his comfort. "Oh--oh we must help them, they will drown!"

  40. #940
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Her throbbing knee aside, Nia lies almost motionless on the remnants of this perilous ice floe. She's been betrayed. First by the Tesla, and now by her own expectations. Because the snow she's lying on hurts.

    Nia didn't expect it to. Sure, she's seen snow before but never walked around in it. Or lay in it. She thought somehow it would be fluffy, and warmer than the water in the shuttle. Instead it's so brutally cold it's burning her. And, ironically, she's getting little protection from her scales, because they've begun to recede. Her body's getting too exhausted to produce them, she supposes. The Bilitrium deficiency is probably the cause of that.

    So the snow directly against her skin is painful, and that just doesn't seem fair for something so pretty. But pretty things have betrayed her before.

    She opens her eyes and sees Booker beside her. He shouldn't be here. Why is he waiting here for her? The shuttle's going down, Nia's going down with it, and the others need a leader. "Booker," she says, her breath too cold even to melt the snow in front of her face. "Booker you have to go."

    A shudder runs through her and that hurts too. Her bones, even her muscles, feel brittle enough to snap apart. "Don't be an idiot. Leave me behind. I'll be fine."

  41. #941
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    "I am an idiot," Graham grunts. "I've always been." He shivers and grunts, fighting for his own self-control. He's sure Nia can't swim in this cold - despite being a clearly stronger swimmer than he is under better circumstances - nor even reliably hold onto his neck.

    "Here, take this. Hold on to it." He plops the magic box of whatever the fuck it is onto her belly and places her arms over it. Then he manhandles her facing up, on top him, him on his back, aiming to shimmy across the ice and do a half-assed backstroke with two legs and one arm at a time away from the shuttle toward the others.

    "I've got you, stay awake, Nia," he insists. Of course, I may have got you just enough to drop us to the bottom of this lake...

  42. #942
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    Rangin squeezes Kylah's hand, too. Through chattering teeth he says, "I think... I think they're going to be all right." But then he lets go of her hand and, with Rawlings, goes towards the edge of the ice.

    Graham and Onn plunge into the water and the Security man soon has them both, and the repair kit, over to the far side. Rawlings and Rangin help them both out and at once wrap emergency blankets around them.

    Just seconds later, the Tesla, its stern now tilted skyward at a crazy angle, breaks at last through the surface of the ice floe and sinks down, down, down through the dark waters of the lake. It is quickly gone from sight. As it goes, the shuttle releases its remaining trapped air in a geyser that shoots at least a dozen meters high.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 19 Nov 2022 at 08:55 AM.

  43. #943
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Dr. Mäkeläinen looks at the shifting and foundering Tesla with growing alarm, but he sees both Graham and Onn emerge from the hatch, finally. Lt. Onn, especially, does not look good. Even from a distance she already seems listless and ataxic, and he wants to tend to her immediately. Their floe is breaking up, though, disrupted from the crash. Luckily, Graham and she are able to make it across. The Tesla going down like a stone (not surprising at this point, but they are obviously cutting things much too close) and the huge geyser (was not really expecting that) are badly ominous.

    By the time the others have Onn out of the water and wrapped up he has his equipment ready, but it does not take an expert to understand the basics of what is happening.

    "She needs—we all of us need to stay warm and dry," he says out loud as he looks at Nia's pupils and breathing and quickly checks her vital signs with his medical tricorder. Feels a little foolish for opening with the obvious, but continues, "Does anyone know, or can find out, whether a phaser can heat up one of these uniforms without banjaxing it? Or, if not, is there a rock, anything, around here we can use?

    "I also want to give her something hot to drink. Again, that goes for all of us. Do we have any coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, in those rations? Worst case, I would settle for some boiled snow."

    He checks that Nia is still conscious. He does not want to have to resort even to mild stimulants, which would be dangerous enough on top of all the medication she is on and that much more so to someone suffering from hypothermia.

  44. #944
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Saying nothing while first Booker then Mäkeläinen lift and move her body around, Nia just looks up at the sky and the snow falling onto her eyelashes.

    The listlessness she's expected at this phase of shutting down makes her barely able to breathe, which in a way is fine because it's not helping much. Soon she'll be asleep; she'll be glad for that.

    But when she hears the doctor mentioning phasers as a source of warmth, she forces words out. "The kit," she murmurs, staring over to Booker, then Mäkeläinen. "The toolkit. Should have a plasma torch. A hydrocoil integrator.1 Soldering pen2." Her brows lower in a tiny frown. Did she see a cutter beam in there earlier? Probably wishful thinking, it's big enough that if it had been there, she'd've seen it for sure. "Any of them can heat up safer than a phas--"

    A loud series of cracks and groaning interrupts her and she turns toward the noise, her right cheek falling on the ice. Just in time for her to watch helplessly as the Tesla takes one last dive before it drowns. Goodbye, she thinks before looking away.


    1 This is the most common tool sold as part of Trek memorabilia, and this is what it's called. Couldn't find a description but if it's integrating something there's probably some energy involved?

    2 Seen held by Kirk here, and I believe Uhura uses it in another episode to solder her comm panel.

  45. #945
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
    Registered
    May 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,854

    Default

    "Ph- ph- ph- phasers can do it, Doc," Graham stutters, shivering. "Lowest heat setting then gently ratchet up, I can sh- sh- sh- show anybody who's unsh- shure." He nods. "Phasers out, god dammit," he grunts, before pulling out his own with trembling fingers, working the settings.

    He shakes his head at Nia's words. "Don't kn- know about the other stuff--Rawlings get all that shit out of the box now--please, Rangin you're handy enough to know how to make the most of them, have a look." He pauses. "Please."

    He turns back to the doctor. phaser in shaky hand. "Please, Doc...tell me how we warm her up. His voice cracks. "Bring her back."

  46. #946
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Lt. Graham's voice is so commanding Kylah instinctively obeys the order to pull out her phaser. When she does, however, she stares down at it. Even after having used it before--first to kill the infected Sakathians, and then to stun Mrs. Hsu at Omicron Ceti III--the weapon is a foreign object to her, and she holds it in her palm like a science experiment.

    Shivering, she looks from the device to Lt. Graham, who is intently focused on Dr. Mäkeläinen and the quiet woman lying on the ice. Mr. Rawlings is busy as well, and so she turns to Velir. "I do not understand," she says under her breath. "Am I to--to point it at myself?" Her hand gestures weakly at the soaked dress beneath the emergency blanket clinging against her. "My uniform, while I am in it?"

  47. #947
    Oliphaunt SidonianGal's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2015
    Location
    choieville
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    Nia has bowed her head so her face is partially covered by the blanket, but that's only to protect her from the wind and snow. The thermal blanket's not helping her the way it does the others--naturally enough; it can't, can it? Not for her. Especially while she's lying on a bed of ice and snow. She needs to get up, be near something or someone warm.

    Booker won't recognize the issue, understandably--they never really discussed the quirks of her biology. The doctor probably knows since he's been paying such attention to her medical records, and Rangin might, if only because he's a curious xenobiologist and she's probably one of the most interesting specimens among the crew. But she might as well remind them in case their brains are as slow in the freezing temperature as her own.

    "Doc... I'm ectothermic," she manages through chattering teeth before switching her gaze to Booker. "He'll explain."
    Last edited by SidonianGal; 20 Nov 2022 at 04:11 PM.

  48. #948
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The North Coast
    Posts
    24,377

    Default

    Rawlings looks through the emergency-rations container and tells Bizhi, "I don't see anything drinkable like that in here, Doc. Just water flasks, and of course the protein bars."

    Rangin says, his teeth chattering, "I don't think we have time to experiment with the phasers. I'll try it on myself." With fumbling fingers, he adjusts his phaser-1 to the lowest-possible heat setting, checks and rechecks it, then points it at his left boot. A faint nimbus of yellow light forms around the phaser emitter and after a few seconds he says with obvious satisfaction, "It's working... it's working!" He increases the beam intensity setting very slightly, and plays it over both of his feet, then up his legs. "It's drying my clothes and warming me, too. Try it!"

  49. #949
    Stegodon stolz's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2021
    Location
    U.S.S. Yorktown
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Bizhi is glad that Nia is still awake and aware and not in any critical condition, but she could still be susceptible to cold shock at any moment and he needs to get her warm. Her particular sensitivity to the cold, plus the fact that she spent the last several hours chilling (along with the rest of them) together add up to a bad combination. He is fairly sure he knows about ectothermic and poikilothermic metabolism, but he pays attention to what she and Graham are telling him; it is also good that they are focused on something.

    He is still miserable and shivering himself, but trying to control it.

    Mäkeläinen turns to look at Rangin with some alarm when he realizes he is about to turn the phaser on himself. "Hang on, Mr. Rangin. I did not mean scald yourself, or worse—". He stops short when he sees that the low beam is not disrupting any molecules or cooking him. Clearly Lt. Rangin knows more about phasers than he does— which is not saying much, of course. It is a device he rarely has to think about, and is definitely not used for routine medical procedures. "Right. Well, this material should dry in no time, so be careful. As soon as you are done, could you give me a hand with doing the same for Lt. Onn?"

    "Nobody dies of cold in just a few minutes,"— normally— he explains, still addressing Rangin but for Lt. Graham's benefit especially. "These blankets will be much more effective without sopping wet fabric continuously leaching away our body heat. We just bought ourselves some time. Pay attention, though, and if anybody feels their hands or feet going numb, move that limb around to keep the blood flowing."

  50. #950
    Administrator choie's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,941

    Default

    Kylah gasps at Velir's abrupt decision to point his phaser at himself, and when Dr. Mäkeläinen appears just as alarmed, she gives him a stricken look.

    The result, however, is success, gathering from the satisfied expression on her friend's face. Friend? Do I call him a friend? Kylah shakes that question away like an annoying fly and hopes for him to show her the precise method. But Dr. Mäkeläinen rightly decides that Lt. Onn needs more immediate assistance, and so Kylah just stands by. She does not trust herself with a phaser by any means. A dagger, yes, but she has none. (And she cannot even fathom what use a dagger would be for warming up.)

    She hears the word "ectothermic" and tries to wrap her head around it, for it is not something she can easily bring to mind. She understands the component parts, which are found often in science. Kylah shivers under her blanket and stares down at her phaser, wishing she felt more confident in her ability to avoid blasting herself to oblivion. But, well, she does not.

    Then a thought strikes her and she turns to Mr. Rawlings. "Are you able to warm yourself that way?" If he can, she will humbly (and slightly ashamedly) ask for his assistance to dry her clothes once he has taken care of his own.

+ Reply to thread

Posting rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts