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Ready for Launch

Posted on Thu Apr 21st, 2022 @ 5:12am by Captain Nimeeh Vixil & Commander Nikolas Barakos & Lieutenant Cyrus Halsey & Lieutenant Devinona Ral Daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed & Lieutenant Kaira Chandraskata & Lieutenant JG Marjan Qaisrani

Mission: USS Tyche
Location: Main Bridge

Sara sat in the center chair, coffee mug firmly in hand. "Remind me next time to make sure we get a better time slot for catapult launch," she said with a shake of her head. "These early starts require far too much caffeine to maintain."

Nim chuckled in response. "You didn't have to be on the bridge," she said pointedly. "It's not like this is the first time we've done this jump, we could have easily handled it on our own while you slept peacefully in Captain Schipper's bed," the Trill teased.

Ignoring the obvious jibe, Sara just smiled as she watched the screen in front of them. "Quarter impulse Commander Barakos, take us into the line up. Lieutenant Castille, advise Cat-Con that we're ready when ever they are."

"Aye, captain," Barakos said, "one-quarter impulse." His hands moved steadily across the surface of his workstation, transferring power to the Tyche's engines and using the thrusters to orient them in the right direction. The ship responded immediately to his inputs and began slowly moving forward.

Dev was observing from the back of the Bridge. Her presence was in no way necessary, but this wasn't an everyday event. She wanted to see it up close. She was careful to stay out of the way and stay quiet.

As the turbolift doors to the bridge opened, Nim glanced back over her shoulder and offered a smile to Ensign Qaisrani. "Take a seat Ensign," she said warmly. "We're just getting to the good part.

"Thank you, Commander," said Marjan, taking the offered guest seat near the First Officer. After reporting that he had pushed through those final requisitions in record time, he had mentioned that he hadn't been through the catapult before. That had prompted an offer for a front row seat that he could not turn down. He got comfortable and waited for the show.

CJ stood at the ready behind his security console, he glanced over his panel verifying that all weapons systems were secured. He also pulled up a display of the ship's deck cross sections showing the shield status. HIs job on this run was to be present and ready. "The sooner we are through this the sooner we can get to the fun stuff," he said softly to himself.

"Cat-Con to USS Tyche. Proceed to the designated coordinates and prepare for catapult launch." The call came over the comm.

"Acknowledged Cat-Con," the Operations Chief responded.

"You heard them Commander Barakos, thrusters only, take us into position."

With the deftness borne of both skill and experience, Barakos eased the Tyche ever closer to their assigned staging area. The routine was rather familiar to him at this point, and yet, he gave it the same attention and focus he would have if it were the first time. "Coming into position now," he reported.

No sooner had the ship moved into position, a deep humming sound could be heard, the ship almost feeling like it was vibrating. Nim glanced at Ensign Qaisrani who looked uneasy. She smiled. "Relax Ensign," she reassured. "It's all perfectly normal."

Marjan smiled uneasily. "If you say so, Commander."

There was an uneasiness that hung over the Bridge, Perhaps it was palpable, or maybe Devinona was the only one who could sense it. Though she calm when she came to the Bridge, this feeling had grown in her as she sensed it in her comrades. The anxiety in her forced her to speak, in the hopes that the answers she received would assuage the emotion. "Umm, sorry to interrupt. But how long does launching usually take?"

"It takes about an hour for the Catapult to fully charge for launch," Nim turned in her seat to look at Dev. "I guess it takes a lot of power to sling a ship half way across the Galaxy. The vibrations will get a little more intense the closer we get to launch, and then they hit the button and we're off. It can feel a little disconcerting, especially toward the end, but you'll get used to it quickly enough."

"An hour." Dev said with a nod. "How long does the trip itself take?"

“My bet is that it won’t take us more than a few hours.” Kaira guessed, holding her hands as if holding a slingshot, “Just like shooting a rubber band or something, our speed should be fastest at launch, then we’ll slow gradually until poof! Back into real space and we’re there!” She chuckled, “Assuming they aim us right, which they always have done!”

Nim stood up from her center chair next to the Commanding Officer and walked across to the science console, her hand curling into a fist, knuckles rapping lightly on Kaira's head. "Knock on wood," she said before turning back, offering a grin to Dev. "We have no exact timing for the trip, it depends on a lot of factors. It's an easy enough trip though."

The vibrations under the deck seemed to increase again as Nim returned to her seat and settled back down. "It'll all be over before we know it."

CJ stood at his console, things were quiet on the security side, though his usual launch day breakfast of steak, eggs, and coffee seemed to vibrate with the deck. He straightened his coffee mug, a gift from his fiancée who was currently below decks. There was a saying on it, in gold lettering that said fire our pew pews at their pew pews. It was humorous but a reminder of his duties as well.
The vibration of the ship seemed to increase rapidly. Where it had been barely noticable previously, at least to those familiar with the sensation, this was something new.

"Contact Cat-Con and confirm that we're good for..."

Before Nim could finish the sentnce a frantic call came over the comm. "Bridge! Abort Launch! I repeat, abort..."

Without warning the Tyche was hurtled into null space, the ship twisting, turning and tumbling like a torpedo.

The lights on the bridge flickered and the red alert klaxons started sounding, followed moments later by the strobing lights.

"What the hell...." Nim cursed, using both her legs and arms to brace herself within the command chair. "Report!" she demanded.

"Systems are not responding!"

"No helm control..."

The words were heard through the explosions of consoles and the screams across the bridge.

Nim tapped her commbadge with one hand, the erratic motion of the ship starting to make her feel queasy. "Bridge to engineering..."

There was no response. Not even a click.

"Comms are down,"a voice called.

"Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women..."

Nim leaned back in her seat, her body rigid, her eyes closed. The sound of a dull thunk could be heard of a body hitting a bulkhead.

A short cry was heard across the bridge among all the other noise.

"Ten ni orareru watashi-tachi no Chichi yo..."

"BRACE!" Sara's voice broke across the bridge. "BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!"


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