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Topic: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ] (Read 17748 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ]

Reply #75
[ Sar-Unga Neleo/Dyan Cardamone | Corridors | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Drauc was a strange guy. He made her mind whirr ever-faster, and right now the high was like some sort of contraband drug. She couldn’t think of anything else that made her mind whirr like this, except at least sixty other lovers and a three-tiered wedding cake she ate all by herself once. Despite that number of lovers, she never remembered one who skimmed her mind and made her think like this. Most people either didn’t care, or weren’t around long enough to try.

She thought about his words. She had received a great number of wounds in her life, more than most people do. Part of it was her culture, and the other part was that she liked to be in ridiculously dangerous situations. She briefly remembered a few recent injuries, the most recent one being a small puncture hole over her velsren sac that wouldn’t close up for about a week after the procedure and always ached and throbbed.

But her mind was jolted, unpleasantly, to newer memories. The saucer, seeing her kind again, her hatred of Ives and Trent and anyone who wore a rank above hers...the sound of her family’s death. Silence.

Her brain tried to fill that silence rapidly. Don’t think, don’t feel it, don’t want it, don’t want it, don’t want it--

All this happened within seconds of being asked, and it was an objectively nuclear response. She went from baseline way-too-fast to overloading, about to explode, need to explode or she’ll implode instead. The whole emotional response revealed, if it wasn’t already evident, that she was more like a house of cards than a warrior on the inside. Her own rage, stubbornness, and stupidity kept her going, because others would have knelt to fate by now.

Her people had a belief about fate though. It was cruel, it was uncaring. It was a force more powerful than any other in the universe, and it snuffed out lives as if they were nothing. From what her mind could understand of the universe, every individual life was so small as to be insignificant anyway, so fate was not even obligated to notice.

In this way, the parasites were a part of fate. More powerful than anything else, and life was meaningless to them. She and her people would not be meaningless, they would not be lost to fate, made to be so tiny and powerless that the universe would not care if they died. The parasites would know her, see her coming and tremble, because she was Asurian and that meant she would challenge fate to it’s face, demand that she would be meaningful. Her death, when it came, would be part of a much louder cacophany of utter chaos and fury so powerful that the Asurians would not be lost in the cosmic grand scheme. I, she thought, will not be insignificant. I will be so loud, so cantankerous, so violent, so me that you, fate, will know who I am, what I am.

“...Well, mind reader, if you were paying attention, then I guess you get the idea.” She shrugged, coming back to life on the outside. Her thoughts had temporarily stunned her, as if her body could not process deep thoughts and conduct movement at the same time. And they were loud thoughts too, they made her ears ring the same way they would if she were in a perfectly silent room. It would take some time for her mind to ease back into it’s usual rush, and right now she felt like she needed blood to spill.

“And if you’re asking about the guy I killed, he tried to rape me. So he deserved it.” She shrugged off, with a sort of casualness in her mind that seemed entirely inappropriate given the fact that she murdered what was once her first love. He, like Drauc, was just a temporary fascination. Something to be tossed aside when she was done.  Her mind went over these thoughts openly, because they weren't truly important. She was still stuck on her cultural manifesto against the universe.

Re: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ]

Reply #76
[LtCmdr Vivian Martin|Bridge|Vector 1| USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @CanadianVet  @Triton

Vivian acknowledged the command from Trent with a quick “Yes sir!” as she quickly pulled up the appropriate information regarding the runabout and its warp signature. While ship operations and warp signatures were not Vivian’s area of expertise, like any good Starfleet officer, she had a basic understanding of it. Her eyes scanned the information before her and with and with deft fingers Vivian began to manipulate the math before her.

As she worked chaos and shouted orders still reigned on the bridge. Vivian took a deep breath and concentrated on her screen, trying to block out any and all distractions. She pressed her lips firmly together as she hurried to alter their Runabouts signature before the Task Force found their lone vector.

As her work progressed at a steady rate Vivian heard her name again, this time from Marquez, with orders to reroute power, to try and hide them once more. “Yes sir!” she called out again.

She quickly checked her calculations one last time before sending them to the team in the shuttle bay and quickly moving on to the power systems of the Vector. Slightly more slowly than she had been working on the math for the runabout, Vivian began to reroute power away from any and all systems that would be lighting up their location, and notifying the hunters in the Task Force.

Within a minute Vivian had dropped their power usage considerably, she just hoped she had dropped it far enough to conceal them again .”I’ve done what I can for the power grid Commander. The runabout should be ready for launch any moment now. We await your signal to launch.”

Re: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ]

Reply #77
[PWO Selena Ravenholm | Vector 1 Engineering | Deck 6 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Absinthe

Steely eyes still locked on F’Rell hovering above her, Selena couldn’t help but soften slightly when it spoke just three words.  “<I failed…>”  Like many others caught in a horrific situation caused by their hands (inadvertently or not), the eel froze up.  The console blurted out a new warning which pulled the cyborg’s attention back to it: the warp field was destabilizing.  In less than five minutes they would be stuck until the entire core could be reset, and there was no time to deal with that.

As much as Selena wanted to fix this, the symbols and math flowing across the warp core status screen were beyond her.  “Suq!” she yelled over all of the alarms and half-crazed engineers running around fixing everything while spouting out technobabble at a kilometer a minute.  Looking around frantically for the Efrosian and not seeing any sign of him, she had to really work at fighting the panic.  What in the name of all that was holy was he thinking tossing her at the core like this?

Out of options, Selena turned back to the floating eel, still hovering in the air in shock.  “Hey, are you still with me?  If you know anything about warp fields I need your help.  The field is crashing due to my partial shutdown, can you walk me through how to reset it for a lower power output?  I’m a programmer, not a warp field mathematician, I’m way outside of my field here.”

Re: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ]

Reply #78
[ F'Rell of the 12th House | Engineering | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Peeps in engineering~

The seconds ticked by and F'Rell could not move, her body seeming to hang in the air, for the first time in her entire time on any ship inhabited by humans, her body seemed to drift with the air, even her usual subtle movements meant to hold her position had stopped. It was as if she had completely detached from the universe.

"<I... failed...>" came the translator, the voice in shock, though her long whisker-like tendrils had hardly seemed to move. In silent horror she watched the display, the timer showing the countdown to a critical warp field collapse and perhaps even a containment breach if the field fully destabilized. The situation was dire. And she could do nothing. The female humanoid asked her about the field, the field she had installed and was now causing the problem. It was supposed to work. She had done the math. She had missed a single variable and now they were dead.

She glanced to the area contained by the emergency force fields. She could no longer see the uniforms on the floor, no longer see the all but liquefied remains of the crewmen, soaking into the carpeted floor of engineering. That was her fault. She had made the mistake and it had killed them.

She turned to the woman, her body slowly beginning to list to the side, as if she was no longer even on the same spatial axis as the rest of them.

"<Warp... field...>" she began, her brain beginning to catch up. The warp field was losing stability, the warp core was redlining, and the plasma network was no longer distributing the excess heat correctly. She had to do something. Suq had gone somewhere, somewhere to do something to help. She had to do the same. She had to react. She had to...

It clicked and in a single movement of sublime grace and beauty, she moved to the console and began to tap at the controls hurriedly.

"<Do you know how to use the antimatter regulator?>" She asked as she began inputting new field parameters, designed to strengthen the field and keep it from needing a full reset, something that would require taking the warp core itself offline at this point. With her long tail, she gestured to a console nearby. "<See if you can balance out the antimatter-matter reaction. I am near certain these jumps are putting a heavy strain on your dilithium crystals, they could begin to crack. Keep an eye out for energy spikes.>" Her tone was suddenly calm. She knew what to do, she knew how to get them out of this, just as long as nothing else went wrong.

Re: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ]

Reply #79
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Birdge | Vector 1 "Helmet" | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Triton @CanadianVet @Blue Zephyr @Absinthe @FollowTomorrow @chXinya @Stegro88 

As much fun as it was rapidly cue commands into his console, hurdling the Helmet into a new coordinate of space second after second, Derik’s stomach dropped even further than it had rested before when his screens lit up with alerts, flashing brightly, adding to the already hectic status of his station and to the bridge. The warp core had gone critical, he read, which was promptly confirmed by the computer’s voice. Thea, she was named, the Trill remembered, as he whispered a soft curse at the grim warning.

He couldn’t resist engaging the warp core, however. His life, and the hundreds of lives aboard his vector of the starship were counting on it. He had to keep flying, to keep dodging, to keep foiling Task Force Archeron’s pursuit. There was no other option than survival, and in this very moment, his decisions held the weight of hundreds of lives. But what good is a ship with no warp core? Or better yet, a breached warp core? Every jump he made, he uncontrollably grimaced at the fact that he was consistently stabbing the heart of his ship, injuring it, blood spilling into the nebula.

His brief moment of meditation in the anxious matter was starkly halted by the voice of Commander Dewitt, who alarmed the bridge officers that the First Minister was right on top of them. His navigational sensors blipped to life again after dropping from another jump, the Starfleet icon not yet identified, confirming her statement of their dangerous proximity. It was close. Uncomfortably so.

All they could do was run with the cloak still not operating, and Derik wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to pull that off. Even as his heart relentlessly beat, and his breaths remained sharp and rapid, he made sure his fingers made not a single tremble or mistake. His mind was racing, but his hands were focused. It was more than he have himself credit for, considering the enemy ship a few kilometers off the bow and the warp core threatening to give.

Over his uniformed shoulder, he advised in concurrence with the El-Aurian advisor, “Yes, we have to jump at least one more time! I’m running out of time to input safe coordinates, I can’t put too much attention into navigation without losing helm control.”

And just in time, growing more and more worried by the breath, Commander Dewitt sprang with half-answers to the Junior Lieutenant. "There are three others right behind it. Helm! Coordinated warp jump to specified coordinates almost ready. Just keep at it."

He grunted a confirmation, watching the ships on his impaired sensors, moments pouring by like molasses from a jar.  Without engaging the warp drive, they were practically still in space, despite of the impulse power he maneuvered the ship away from its attackers with. Without safe coordinates, he couldn't risk warping them into a war zone or a hyperinflammable cluster of nebula gas, especially with an unstable warp core. Hopefully Engineering was on top of it.

Ships still gaining in, Junior Lieutenant Veradin continued to flee at sub-light speeds, hoping the surrounding area was safe enough to not cause more trouble than they were already in. Without fail, Dewitt surprised him again with a suggestion that he did not want to hear. She wanted to make two more jumps. As much as he wanted to throw up his hands and scream a terrified, “What the fuck?” he trusted he was in safe hands, and shot an affirmative glance to his superiors behind him.

“I hope the ship will hold itself together for two more jumps,” he replied, eyeing the constant flashing “Warp Core Critical” warning on his consoles with ironic reluctance, “But relay me the commands. I’ll keep us safe.”

And with that, he gathered his focus and responded in no time of Dewitt's, "Helm! One jump for the torpedo-launch. Flip her over to use the four forward launchers, and jump to warp immediately!”

He engaged, and the blue gas on the view screen flurried into flight, becoming still a moment later, only to be lit once more by the flashing trail of torpedos. It was better to see the light of photon warheads rather than the breaching of his wounded warp core. The First Minister was struck badly, it was reported, and the frenzy of adrenaline clouded the image of dying explorers from his mind. His short breath awaited the second coordinates and his fingers remained statues over his controls, enthralled in the precision and accuracy he needed to example. The countdown was to come.

5. He let the air calmly flee his lungs through puckered lips.

4. A bead of sweat crawled from atop his spotted forehead, and dropped onto the grey shoulders of his uniform.

3. His hands hovered eager above the controls.

2. Was the ship going to withstand the jump?

1. Would we make it out of the nebula alive?

Engage. He closed his eyes, and awaited the outcome.

Upon their opening, he gulped in relief. No explosions, only the gravely familiar hectic air on the bridge. People still communicating over each other. Klaxons still blaring. Worry continuing to set it. They held it together for one last jump, but he was sure everyone aboard the Helmet was well aware another would be detrimental. They had achieved a minuscule warp factor of 2, which allowed the ship to keep its bulkheads screwed in place, but had yet to evade the pursuing fleet.

As the motion of the ship ceased, he felt it necessary to communicate his worry as the pilot of the heavily fevered vector, “Trent, Dewitt. I don’t know if another jump will be possible. I’m sure your screens are telling you the same thing, and the folks down in the engine room would agree. Our engines are severely overheated and every pixel of my console is telling to not do the very job I’m doing. We’re dead in the water unless we can make some speedy repairs without drawing too much attention to ourselves.”

Amidst the chatter, the redheaded Commander affirmed his statement, elaborating to the bridge crew by saying they couldn’t run any further without venting plasma. Drifting at impulse, per Dewitt’s orders, Derik sat grossly relieved that he had depleted all his available options as a helmsman. He began to reassess their predicament, searching his brain for any remnants of solutions he could use from his time on the Resolve. Natauna’s proposal lifted his ears quite a bit, using the sirillium that plagued the nebula to deliver a debilitating explosive blow to the Task Force. But it required them to first vent plasma, which would be a sure-fire beacon and cause the enemy vessels to swarm them like bees, and to cloak in order to effectively lure them into an available area and escape in time, both of which were two very improbable circumstances.

Her second idea, however, turned even more eager heads. To fake their deaths, to which their acting captain, Trent, hurriedly banked on, proposing a plan to use one of Theurgy’s runabouts to create a charade display of their demise. It was clear that the silent man, whose face expressed perpetual stoicism, had many an experience with tactical maneuvers and strategies as the commands flew from his lips with clarity and apparent expertise. The Trill admired his fellow Resolve survivor from the front of the bridge, valuing the exchange of words between Trent and Marquez, both having served as executive and tactical officers and feeding off each other’s energy.

Quickly conceptualizing the impending plan of action, Derik tapped his combadge. “Bridge to shuttle bay. This is your department head, Lieutenant Veradin. Report.” A junior officer replied positively. “Glad to hear it. Have all hands available. Await further commands from Commander Marquez. Standby.”

In the mean time, he trusted that his department down in the bay would be able to process their duties swiftly and accurately, as their service records and abilities were to be praised, and continued to tend to his awry CONN station, having a moment to breathe at impulse rather than bombarding the computer with new coordinates every second.

The air was still tense, yet they all seemed to breathe as one, now. They had a plan, and it was bound to work.

Re: Chapter 05: Vertex [ Day 06 | 0810 hrs. ]

Reply #80
[ Drauc T'Laus | Outside Drauc's Quarters | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow @JayLatte @The Ostrich 
As practised as Drauc might have been on absorbing the surface thoughts of the people around him, the reaction to his questions was a whirlwind in which he could only single out a few things. It was, perhaps, the most honest reaction - the most intimate moment - he'd shared with Dyan Cardamone. He looked at her where they stood in the main computer core, and gleaned not just the defiance he'd known her by, but also this nurtured belief of her native people - a self-consciousness that few civilisations he'd encountered were prepared to admit.

He was silent afterwards, when she referred to her mind in knowledge of what he would have sensed.

It was not until she spoke of the Asurian that she'd killed on the saucer, that he nodded imperceptibly. When referred, images appeared, and he saw the dead male in her thoughts. What he tried to do to her, failing at the cost of his life. Yet as that unknown face died... Another face was superimposed over it. A face... that Drauc did recall. A Klingon face. Once a friend, like the Asurian, but he gleaned that Klingon completing the act with Dyan, managing to force himself upon her, on the floor of an interrogation room. What he saw was just below her surface thoughts. The catalyst...

And Drauc knew this Klingon. There were not many Klingons that shaved their heads any more.

"I saw Lieutenant Zaraq at Starbase 84," he rasped to her quietly, having learned the brute's name afterwards. He found his scarred hands clenching into firsts at his sides. "Had I known what he did to you... and known you the way I do now... I would not have let Captain Hawthorne crush his skull. He deserved worse, and you deserved to exact his punishment."

He was vehement in his tone... for another Klingon had been the reason for his desertion from Starfleet. Even that Klingon had sought to violate a woman, and he had intervened that time. Nurse Jovela remained grateful, her modesty preserved, but there was naught he could do for Dyan Cardamone. He did not bespeak Jaris-Al Kaori, since he'd been a lover she'd chosen. The first lover? He was unsure. Killing him had likely not been easy, yet killing Zaraq? Was it merely Starfleet protocols that had stopped her?

When he mentioned the Klingon's name, he saw someone else. The one who had stopped Zaraq in that interrogation room. A Vulpinian... Miles Renard. He, too, had been lost at the hands of Task Force Archeron at Starbase 84. He found himself... moved by the amount of grief she carried, and he reached out - his scarred hand resting on her shoulder. Words, they were so inadequate. "I wish there was anything I could do. Any condolences I give would ring hollow. Your regrets... have become my own."

Knowing what Jovela had done for him, he made the offer. "If you want to leave this ship," he grated quietly, "I can help you."

The decision was hers.

[ Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Dewitt | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triton @CanadianVet @Mathis  @Blue Zephyr @Absinthe @FollowTomorrow @chXinya @Stegro88 
Preparations were underway, coordinated between Tactical, Veradin, Martin and herself, to ready the USS Thames for its final, short voyage. Minutes passed by, antimatter was being loaded, the Theurgy's plasma venting was being restricted as best as possible, but what was being leaked could also make the fate of the Thames more convincing.

When she stepped up to Trent's side, Vector 01 was still adrift at a trajectory that was free of any sirillium gas, in thanks to the joint efforts of Derik Veradin and Zyrao Natauna. In a couple of minutes, the Thames would be launched, but the tactical situation in the Rendezvous Zone was still a nightmare. The cloak wasn't finished yet, and there was no telling if they could even risk trying to cloak again, since the last time, they had nearly been destroyed by the First Minister and the rest of the Task Force that waited for them out there in the swirling blue clouds of nebula particles. Admiral Sankolov was still out there, and they didn't know if the Sabine and her crew of two had survived. Worst of all, the warp core was still in critical condition, and there was no telling how much time it would take before they could risk jumping to warp with Vector 01.

The time was 0840 hrs., and even though they had survived so far, it was clear that they could not continue playing hide-and-seek with the task force. It was suicidal even if the Theurgy had been whole, and they still had a ship that could make warp jumps and didn't leak plasma behind them. They didn't have enough fire power to defend themselves, no fighter complement to cover their escape, no more warp-capable probes to create further distractions, and no Tovarek-class drones to utilise in further engagements.

Yet worst of all, in their current trajectory, propelled by inertia, they were heading straight into a cluster of Starfleet ships.

When she had told them this, a couple of minutes ago, it had been evident that the Thames had to be destroyed post haste.

"ETA... three minutes." With this in mind, Dewitt spoke to Captain Trent in the middle of the bridge.

"Sir, I think we need to make a choice, since we might never get the chance again," she said quietly, though everyone could hear her. She folded her arms below her chest, looking down at the deck plating. "In twenty minutes, the time for the third and last rendevouz will have run out. If neither of the other Vectors show up before then, the Continuance Protocol dictates that we continue our mission on our own, as best as we might. It stands to reason that we are the last of what's left of the Theurgy, and the rest have been killed by the hands of the Savi, or even the very ships that we are hiding from now."

It was a chilling thought, that everyone else were dead. Dewitt was not sure she could quite wrap her mind around the enormity of it. Nonetheless, it was her responsibility to protect what was left. She slowly paced towards the starboard side of the tactical display area, before the CONN station. "Option one. If the engineers can keep this Vector together for one more warp jump, we can jump at the same time as the Thames is destroyed, and we might just be able to mask our departure that way. We run the risk of getting the last Vector of the Theurgy destroyed if we stay, that's why I bring it up."

Then, her pacing took her to the other side, and she paused before the Ops station. "Option two. We stay, hoping that the others might still make it here in the final minutes, and we might even have to risk activating the cloak again... for I don't see how we can keep avoiding Admiral Sankolov's ships in this condition."

Staying also meant a slim chance for Trent to reintegrate the Theurgy with the other Vectors, even if logic suggested that they wouldn't come at that rate. If the ship was whole again - or if at least one more Vector made it - then Dewitt knew Trent would try to save the abductees from the Versant. She did not relish the prospect, even if she hoped the other Vectors would show up above anything else.

Leaving the Rendevouz Zone, with little chance that any surviving Vectors would learn where they went - more likely being attacked by Sankolov - hope might be lost for the abductees. Yet the mission could continue, as Ives had ordered, carried out by the last part of the USS Theurgy.

For surely Trent wouldn't attempt going up against the Versant with the Helmet alone?

Dewitt came to a stop in front of the bridge crew, her green eyes finding Trent's. "What say you, Captain?"


OOC: A poll will be posted, in which the whole sim can vote about where Vector 01 goes! :) A new Chapter will be posted with the outcome.

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