The End of the Beginning
Posted on Sun Jul 31st, 2022 @ 9:04pm by Captain Nimeeh Vixil & Commander Nikolas Barakos & Lieutenant Commander Carson Fleming III & Lieutenant Gil Walker & Lieutenant Cyrus Halsey & Lieutenant Devinona Ral Daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed & Lieutenant Kaira Chandraskata & Lieutenant JG Marjan Qaisrani
Mission: USS Tyche
The ship was out of control.
Systems were failing across the board.
Communications were down across the ship.
To say their situation was precarious was nothing short of an understatement. They had little to no control, and it was only getting worse.
Now they were ejecting the warp core. There was no alternative. System failures meant the warp core was unstable and about to overload. The ejection system had failed leaving engineering to work frantically to manually eject the ships core.
The core had barely cleared the ships perimeter before it exploded, the force catching the Nebula Class starship and propelling it on a new trajectory.
"Helm, can you change our course?"
"Helm isn't responding."
"We're caught in the gravitational pull of the planet."
"We have no way out, whether we want to or not, we're going down."
There was a sharp intake of breath that seemed to cut through the chaos and crazy on the bridge.
"ALL HANDS - BRACE FOR IMPACT! BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!"
The sick sound of the warbled red alert klaxon broke through Nim's consciousness, followed shortly by pain. Searing pain. She groaned, eyes opening slowly. She was on the floor. Why was she on the floor? Why did everything hurt? "Help..." her voice was barely a whisper, easily lost in the background noises on the bridge. Carefully she started to move, pulling herself into an upright position sitting on the floor. She touched a hand to her head, pulling it away, looking down at the bright crimson that now covered her hand. She brushed her hand over her uniform, trying to remove the blood stain before she looked around the darkened bridge. "Is everyone okay?" she asked, her voice breaking as she spoke.
Half crawling, half scooting, Nim edged her way toward the Captain laying on the deck of the bridge. There was something about the unnatural positioning of her body that sent a dark chill through Nim's body, one that was exacerbated as she got close enough to take note of the way Sara's eyes were open, fixed sightlessly on some point in the distance. Reaching out, Nim pressed her fingers to the woman's throat, looking for any sign of life.
"The Captain is dead," she said simply. "Commander Barakos, Lieutenant Halsey, Ensign Qaisrani..." she started calling names of other bridge officers and guests.
Consciousness came slowly to Kaira, like a reluctant return from a very deep sleep, but something was wrong. She wasn't in bed, that was for sure, the floor she was on was hard and her arm... Hurt. She moved slightly and the pain in her arm only grew, so she stopped, her ears ringing hard as she tried to sort which way was up. She opened her eyes, then squeezed them shut again as the modicum of light overwhelmed her senses and increased the pain in her head. That meant something, she couldn't go to sleep or else she could die... Was she dead? No... The dead didn't hurt this bad. Kaira rolled onto her back, gasping from pain and felt the tears well up in her eyes. Then the voice came through, "Chandraskata here." She managed to get out, hopefully loud enough for Nim to hear.
Cyrus opened his eyes, the bridge or what was left slowly quit spinning. The sound was muffled as if underwater, and his head hurt excruciatingly. He rolled slightly onto his side and focused on the floor beneath him. His vision focused as he realized he stared at a blood stain. The sickening feeling in his stomach would have brought up the remnants of his large breakfast of steak and eggs if they hadn't already been on his uniform. He eased himself up using the remnants of the security station to hold himself upright. "Definitely a concussion," he said barely standing. "Halsey reporting for duty," he said with a tear in his eye not knowing what else to say or do.
"Bara...Barakos here," the Thracian called out. His voice was strained, no doubt a result of his having had the wind knocked out of him when he'd been thrown against his own console upon impact. Even the act of taking a breath was enough to cause him to wince. He tried to feel with his own hand, to see whether he could determine the extent of the injury, but no such luck.
Instead, he turned his attention to the workstation before him, which was totally dark. Nothing, not even a basic power indicator light, was visible. He also noticed that several small cracks had started to form at various points around the contact surface. "Helm controls are off-line," he reported over his shoulder. Even as he said it, however, he realized it was likely redundant information. Everything seemed to be off-line at the moment.
“Qaisrani here.” Marjan was surprised to be able to say that. He was on the bridge today, in the guest chair. His usual red alert duty station was in stellar cartography. If he had been there, he would probably have a broken neck.
The person manning Ops, meanwhile - Marjan’s superior officer - lay still, hunched over the station. The Ensign got to his feet, not an easy task, and went to check for a pulse. He found nothing.
Devinona lifted her head slightly. She could hardly see through the smoke that filled the corridor. Red Alerts and a panicked announcement were all that sat forward in her mind. She couldn't even recall the words spoken during the announcement. After mentally checking herself, she slowly pulled herself off of the floor and became aware of the depth of the destruction around her. The hall was filled with ,not only smoke, but the strewn bodies of the Tyche crew who had also been in the passageway, and a few from the deck above. Dev looked around trying to see through the smoke. Failing that she got low and followed the tortured sounds of her fellow man.
Even with everything properly stowed, Sickbay was a mess, or at least what little Carson could see through the dim lighting that was left, the smoke and the haze. He wasn't sure if it was silent or he whacked his head. He tried to get up but couldn't, finding equipment across his good leg. "For frack's sake," He grumbled, trying to get equipment off of him. Heaving enough to slide himself around the rest, he slowly got to his feet. He wasn't the first back up, but as his vision cleared he could see more down than up. He tapped his Commbadge, which chirped back an error. He tapped again getting the same response. The sound of the klaxon started to form in his ears as he took a step with quite a wobble. "Lets get this bay organized!" He yelled, he hoped above the other noise.
Gil had a number of sensations, all of them painful and unpleasant, turning his world into a haze that the environment was not helping. Being thrown around wasn't unusual for an engineer, that just came with the job. But that didn't make it hurt any less as he hauled himself to his feet and began looking for a working display. The creeping dread wasn't helped by the fact that he should have seen this coming. Somehow, some way, he should've seen whatever this was. He began trying to call up displays, suddenly noticing his left arm was protesting quite sharply when he tried to move it. Now he realized he might've broken it.
But that wasn't the biggest concern right now. The biggest concern was the miracle of faster than light travel that was now a volatile bomb of matter/anti-matter and cooled by flesh eating plasma - all of which would kill them in an instant if he didn't figure things out.
Meanwhile, back on the bridge...
Nim used the center chairs of the ship to pull herself off the floor. Every movement caused excruciating pain, but it was necessary. She needed to get up to be able to take stock of their situation. Her gaze shifted across the destruction and chaos on the bridge, the non responsive bodies, including that of her friend and Commanding Officer. Slowly her attention turned to the large window panels in the front of the ship, the panels that were now cracked and broken. Beyond she could clearly see signs of the planetary surface. With a voice that echoed the brokenness she felt within, she dashed a tear from her eye and turned toward Halsey. "I'm giving the order, abandon ship. Get everyone off and outside."
"Aye," Halsey said simply as he scanned around the bridge, "I can't do it from here." Halsey walked towards the turbolift, and stood for a moment staring when the doors didn't open. "Can't go that way either." His fiancée was below deck, he had to figure out how to get there somehow." Cyrus punched the door in frustration and looked out the window. Slowly he stumbled to the window before picking up a chair and launching it through the cracked remains. "I guess this is our evacuation route."
Barakos, who had since freed himself from his own workstation, joined Halsey at the window. Part of him was tempted to pause there and take in the view, but they had other, more urgent things to deal with at the moment. He looked down at the curvature of the hull stretched out before them. Here and there, sections of the outer plating had clearly buckled or were missing entirely. They would need to be careful making their way across. Beyond that, a sharp line marked the boundary where the edge of the saucer dropped off completely.
"We're gonna need a plan," he said, more to himself than anyone else. Best case scenario, they could get to the edge and find that a bunch of debris pushed up ahead of them during the crash. In that case, they'd be able to climb right down without too much trouble. Barring that, they might be looking at a one or two deck drop, which was not entirely insurmountable. But worst case...it was going to be a lot farther.
"If we are lucky there won't be a big drop down there. Either way we are all a lit" Cyrus's voice was cut off as the room spun again and his stomach heaved, *definitely a concussion* he thought. "We're all banged up," he said after a moment, "You have any bright ideas?"
"We need to find something in here that we can take with us," Barakos explained, "something that we can use to scale off the edge, if we have to."
"Other than the phasers and small first aid kit, we don't have anything here other than our clothes and broken consoles. Did the Captain have anything in the Ready Room?" Cyrus Halsey asked.
Though the smoke that filled the corridor a small stream of light reached Devinona.
"Over here!" A voice called out as their light honed in on Dev's face. The sounds of heavy footfalls followed until finally two crewmen were standing next to her position. One slipped an oxygen mask over her nose and together they lifted her up. " We're evacuating the ship." One declared.
Devinona was disoriented, but she had studied the ship's layout enough to know where the escape pods were located. "We're going the wrong way!" She said. "The pods are the other way."
"We don't need the escape pods ma'am. We're evacuating to the surface." One of her saviours responded.
"The surface?" The Counselor was confused, but trusted that she was being brought to safety.
While Cyrus Halsey looked out the window his focus was attracted to movement on the ground, it took a minute for his brain to comprehend that those where people moving down there in Starfleet uniforms. It took him another moment to realize that it was the crew of the Tyche, "Captain, there are survivors evacuating the lower decks," he said before remembering the Captain had been lost.
At the mention of the Captain, Nim turned toward Sara, about to speak when the same realisation hit her like a sucker punch to the gut. Sara was not only her Commanding Officer but also her friend. Nim looked away quickly, blinking rapidly to clear the tears from the corners of her eyes, focusing on a console that looked like it had already been destroyed. "Could we use cable?" she finally asked after a long moment. "I mean to get to the ground? Can we pull cables out of the consoles and use them like a rope to shimmy over the edge of the hull and down to the surface?"
“There should be enough cables for that,” Marjan agreed. “We’ll want to discharge everything preventatively at the relays before we pull them though. No power doesn’t mean there aren’t charged capacitors in there with enough to kill you. Shouldn’t be hard though.”
"Do it," Nim ordered, her voice wavering ever so slightly with pain. "Get everyone out safely."