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Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Crisis #07 | Shield Generator [Attn: Lt JG Tatiana Marlowe]

[Thea to Lieutenant Marlowe, come in,] said the Theurgy's AI to the Assistant Chief Engineer, wherever she might be in the pit of doom that the valley had become.

[Tia, listen to me.] She sounded... humanly hesitant over the static of the comm-link, and spoke to her less formally than she usually spoke to others. They had been working close after her transfer to the Theurgy, and while the human had not been entirely trusting, they knew each other well enough to not act like strangers, especially in this crisis. [Chief Engineer Rosek has beamed himself to the Engineering Outpost alone. He means to restore the shield somehow. Captain Ives asked me to find someone to assist him. I am... conflicted about this, because since the bunker is underground, the earthquakes will likely cave in the entire outpost, destroying the shield generator and killing anyone present. The odds of survival is dropping by the minute, but as much as I regret saying this... you are the only qualified Starfleet Engineer still on the planet. The only one who can reboot the generator and reroute all this volcanic energy through the power relay system - making all of it help sustain the shield during our evacuation.]

The lives of hundreds depended on the protection of that external shield generator, which had been safeguarding both starships as well as the shuttles as they all were evacuating the valley. Not only from enemy fire - since the remaining Reavers were still making fly-bys - but from the fragments of magma and rock that were already bombarding the ground.

[That's not all... I just lost the comm-signal to Lieutenant Rosek,] she said in a low voice, which barely overrode the tremors in the ground, [I do not know if you will be alone down there.]

The pause was filled with meaning. Far more than her next words. [I do not want to ask this of you, for I fear that I ask for you to die. Nevertheless... shall I initiate the Transport?]

OOC: TheBanshee, please leave your post open-ended as to what Tia witnesses at her destination, if you chose to have her command the transport to be energised.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #1
Tia had not celebrated with the others in the hot springs after they had arrived nor had she been witness to the frivolity that had accompanied the celebration.  Instead she had been in her allocated module mourning the loss of her engine.  The small working model had nearly been complete before the attack on the Harbinger, while she had fought alongside her colleagues to keep the ship running the engine had been thrown off the table in her quarters and had broken.  The loss had summed up the battle, so much had been destroyed, so many of the people she had been closest to had been taken from her yet the engine had been the focal point for her as she tried to come to terms with all that had happened.

The break away from the Federation had never sat fully well with Tia, that's when it had all begun.  Without anyone to tell their families the truth they would all be labelled traitors, the thought of her grandfather considering her a traitor was abhorrent to her.  Yet she understood the need for the escape, the truth was terrifying and something had to be done about it.  So here they were, two ships against the entire Federation, hopeless odds, hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.  Only their faith in each other and their commanding officers would see them through to the end, whatever end that may be.

Work had been her only salvation.  Focussing on that had let her concentrate her concern and anxiety in a productive way.  That was, at least, until Rosek had been promoted above her to Chief and she had been promoted to his assistant.  She had never liked the man anyway but now he was even more intolerable.  He was rough and rude with no management skills to speak of, in her opinion at least.  Then she had had to work closely with him to keep them limping onwards, their tempers often flared against each other especially since neither of them had any qualms about telling the other they were wrong.  The unusual partnership worked somehow though and they kept the ship going until they had run into the Theurgy.

The Calamity incident was just the tip of the very large iceberg of problems the ship had faced since discovering the plot within the Federation and now at least they had an ally in the fight.  Neither had been unscathed in the battle but the repairs being undertaken on Theta Eridani IV should hopefully keep them running for a while longer, so long as they remained undetected.  The memorial had been touching but she had returned to her module afterwards, she did not want to be around people although she probably needed the release as much as any of them.

In the interim both Rosek and she had been transferred to the Theurgy.  Tia had continued to work over the days that followed, continuing to pour all of the pent up emotion into repairs.  A new problem became apparent, the A.I.  Not content with leaving her alone the infernal hologram would leer over her shoulder and suggest things, not for any good reason as far as Tia could tell.  The ultra-modern vessel was pernickety and demanding, unlike the workhorse of a ship she had left.  The hologram would often remind her of this, breaking her concentration and irritating her further.

'Thea' as it called itself, Tia couldn't quite soften up enough to refer to it as 'her' in the beginning.  As they worked however an unspoken respect formed between them, Tia even began referring to the A.I. by her name and they would often have lengthy discussions regarding the ship, its potential and its design while they worked.  Of all the beings she had worked with, Thea was the one she felt most close to. 

Tia had just finished a shower and pulled on her regulation undergarments and trousers when the ground began to shake.  Explosions and lights flooded her senses as she struggled to remain on her feet.  Reaching the door she saw the fighters roar overhead and realised they had been discovered, paralysed she knew there was nothing she could do to prevent it.  The final explosion shook her to her knees as she grasped onto the frame for support.  The world around her became a pit from Hell, cracks formed in the ground and geysers of boiling water burst into life.  It was then she received the message.

"Tia here, I got you Thea," she grabbed her jacket with attached combadge and replied then listened as the situation became devastatingly apparent.  She paled.  No shield, no Rosek and no chance for any of them if she didn't get down there.  There was no option, she had a duty to perform regardless of her personal feelings.

"Thea," she said softly, understanding the hesitation in the hologram's voice, with almost a resignation to whatever fate had in store for her she took a breath, "initiate the transport."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #2
[Yes, Tia,] she said quietly as more rock and debris descended from the heavens. [Good luck...]

Then the shimmer of the Transport enveloped her...

[ Theta Eridani IV | Engineering Outpost | 100 yd. Below Ground ]

...and she materialised in the cave which she had spend many duty hours in during the past week. Only it was quite different now. Whereas it had used to be a derelict water system that dried out millennia ago, with smooth and gleaming rock formations and tunnels reaching far into the bedrock, it had now become the first outlet of the planets molten ire. Where it had been tactically sound to place the shield generator to protect if from orbital bombardment now seemed like a rather bad idea.

Redolent fetor seared any sense of smell. The heat was nearly unbearable, its source being the creeping lake of magma far below - heralded by the susurrous anlage of fire. The umbrageous walls were crumbling from the tremors, falling rocks catching the spectres of the malign flames. Everywhere below, fiery effluvium was rising. Roaring ebullitions larger than Tia, and the sinuous motions of the molten rock slowly encircled support beams of the platform, which had been raised to house all the needed equipment. Only because of the many openings of the cave, high above, was breathing made possible. Perhaps that was the only thing fortunate about the situation.

On the far end of the metallic platform, which was smoking with the heat from the lava far below, the back of Lieutenant Rosek could be seen as he worked feverishly with the control panel of the shield generator. When he glanced towards a HUD on the nearby power relay station, he caught Tia Marlowe in the corner of his eye, and rounded on the woman. "What are you doing here?" he said and cursed in his usual arrogant tone of voice, which belied his high skill and competence as an engineering officer, "You should get on board the Theurgy right now, Lieutenant! You need to take my place!"

Another quake almost made both humans topple against the railing of the platform, yet Rosek rightened himself in the last moment. "Rosek to the Theurgy! Lock on to Lieutenant Marlowe's coordinates and beam her aboard... Come in Theurgy!"

Frowning, he tapped at his combadge, which did not acknowledge him. "Dammit, the heat must have fused it when I dropped it earlier. Get out of here! That's an order! I will get the shield up as soon as I can..."

Question was, if she obeyed her superior officer's order, would her survival be based on her trust in his abilities, or her own wish to live? And if she disobeyed that order, was it because of her sense of duty, or because her life was already as broken as the engine back in her shelter?

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #3
The overwhelming heat blasted Tia's skin and scorched her lungs as she took her first breath air upon materialisation.  The familiar hole in the ground now being so alien and hostile was a shock but she had no time to waste on looking around. 

She tied her jacket around her waist, deciding as she moved forward towards the shield controls that working in this heat with the jacket would be a mistake.  The material would not protect her from the boiling mass below and would only serve to overheat her core faster.

Tia spotted Rosek working away and hurried towards him, sweat already forming on her skin.  Tremors shook her as she moved, the rocks falling from the walls were an ominous sign of what would surely follow. 

"What are you doing here? You should get on board the Theurgy right now, Lieutenant! You need to take my place!"

The tremor was larger throwing them both around as though they were no more than feathers.  They had little time to get this done and all he wanted to do was argue about her presence there.  His combadge was broken, that would be why Thea couldn't locate him earlier.  She was grateful, at least the arrogant tosspot couldn't make her leave by having her transported away.

"I can't hear your order over the sound of your dickishness!" she retorted and pushed forward to the console, "If we don't get this shield back up and running there will be neither Theurgy nor crew to fly her."

Coughing from the fumes and the smoking metal Tia looked at the console, the mercassium construction was not designed for being submerged in lava however it was handling the heat better than she was.  It looked as though Rosek had taken the emitter offline to recharge, it was going to take a while though and the crews on the surface did not have that long, "We need to hurry this up... how far have you got with boosting the relays?"

Sweat was already beginning to pour off her and she wiped her forehead with the back of her hand.  Her skin was glistening with a reddish glow from the bright pool below them.  She pushed a damp, black curl back over her head and looked to Rosek with a determined expression, he could either accept her help or argue about it but she was not leaving.

Glancing over the edge she could see the swirling mass rising far more rapidly than she had hoped.  "Rosek," she yelled, hoping to be heard over the sound of the roaring molten rock, "we're running out of time... the magma's rising fast.  At this rate we're looking at two minutes I reckon."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #4
At the question about the relays, Rosek had ceased cursing under his breath at the answer he had gotten - rife with impunity as he thought it to have been yet quite used to it by then since he had been dealing with Tia a lot during the past week of repairs.

"Since the Calamity and her Reavers have completely depleted the shield energy with their attacks, taking the emitter offline was the only option, but the power relay system is not made for this kind of volcanic activity!" he shouted to her over the thunder of breaking and boiling rock, "In fact, neither the generator nor the relays were designed for the these kind of power surges. The volcanic relay output will overload the shield generator and make it explode!"

Tia shouted how much time they had, and he acknowledged it with another string of curses, trying to modify the generator's input tolerance. "We need to do a heavy calibration of the relay system, butchering it in order to squeeze one final yet measured power surge out of it! Given the situation, it does not matter if that breaks in doing so. The important thing is the recharging of the emitter, and that it survives the power surge we recharge it with. And even if it would work, we still have to to activate the shield emitter again!"

Another quake shook them, almost made the control panel underneath Rosek's fingers flicker out cold. The circuits were not made for these conditions. "I have been trying to calibrate the shield generator to accept a single large surge, but I'm getting nowhere, and we still need to save whatever energy the relay system can give us before the heat intakes and the cooling compressors melt! Here, you try and increase the power tolerance of the generator instead, and I will prepare to juice it up before it is too late!"

Rosek went to the controls of the relay system, leaving the generator for Tia. "By the way, you are out of uniform, Lieutenant!" he joked in a grim way. "If we get out of this, I will make sure you'll be cleaning out plasma manifolds for a week." Mere seconds passed, then the orange glow of lava slowly came to increase - its hellish glare covering them and the platform. Yet it was too early, no two minutes having passed yet. Rosek noticed this far too late, yet as he did, his blue eyes went wide. "Tia!"

While silicic magmas were more viscous, more likely to erupt explosively than the basalt kind that they were exposed to, dissolved gases of water and sulfur compounds would still - if they couldn't escape the sticky fluid - get bigger and bigger until the magma had risen as a tall bubble. When the bubble would burst, the explosive eruption cast molten rock and fire far and wide. The bubble they saw rose beside the railing of the platform, and the burst came before Rosek could escape.

Hellfire hit him mid-running and showered the control panel for the power relay, both covered in sticky flames. Like napalm from the yore days of warfare upon Earth. He screamed, rolled upon the scalding hot platform to quench the eating flames. Desperate hope all in vain. The power relay system might be lost in seconds if the touch panel wasn't saved, and the circuits could fuse by the heat. There was a single carbon dioxide extinguisher on the platform...

...yet there was not enough time to save both Rosek and the relay system.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #5
"You kiss your mother with that mouth?" she hurled at him as he cursed like a 21st Century sailor, she moved to the console panel and began to work.  The normal operating parameters of the system would have to be raised substantially while also taking off all the surge protection and allowing the burst to stream though all relays at once.  Once the system had the energy it would have to flow freely into the emitter without blowing that too.

"We get out of this, sir, and you can pin a medal on my bra," she joked back, sombre and concentrating on the task at hand.  Her fingers flew over the panel, realigning and readjusting almost every setting contained within the programme.  The next shout was her name.  She looked round, the tone of his voice demanding immediate attention.  The bubble rose like some kind of lava-beast, she could do nothing but watch as it rose.  She dived, skidding across the smoking platform and behind the end of the control panel. 

Small splashes of the incandescent fluid hit her neck and shoulder, fear paralysed her for a moment as the searing pain threw those terrible memories of being set alight in her grandfather's workshop many years ago back into sharp focus.  She screamed, trying desperately to wipe off the searing pain.  Her mind took her back, she was in the garage again, the can was just out of arms reach and her grandfather had gone outside to fetch a funnel to help him pour the fuel into the vehicle without spilling any of it.  The investigation had cleared anyone of wrong-doing, it had just been a terrible accident.  The fumes from the fuel had been set alight by an electrical fault no-one could have known about.  The can had exploded sending a wave of burning liquid over her neck and shoulder.  It had been so hot she had felt it ice-cold against her skin.  The scars were still there.  She had asked for them to be left as a reminder that no matter how safe you think you are the rug can be pulled out from under your feet in an instant.

Red hot liquid rock continued to fall in steaming puddles over the floor and the agonised scream that followed cut through any of the noises the planet was making and her own inner turmoil.  She saw her superior officer writhing in agony, patches of burning orange flame burning through the fabric of his uniform and charring the skin below.  The control panel was also covered with the liquid fire, she grabbed the extinguisher and ran to the console.  The lives of everyone depended on the shield and not who got it repaired.  As she began to spray the CO2 onto the console she ripped off her jacket and threw it over the burning man, pressing the badge as she did so.

"Thea," she screamed, "lock onto my combadge and beam Rosek directly to sickbay.  Emergency!"

She did not concentrate on him after that, focussed instead entirely on getting the shield up.  Each breath was a second more she didn't have time to waste.  Rivulets of sweat poured from her, running over her chest and down her ample cleavage.  Her hair was a mass of wet ringlets, sticking to her neck and shoulders.  Her chest heaved from the heavy, hot air as she struggled to breathe.

The console bleeped its confirmation of readiness.  The relays should be able to send the power directly to the emitter, charging it in one swift blast of energy before it shorted out and blew.  It was their only chance.  She moved to the controls for the relays, Rosek had almost finished when the bubble had burst.  Tia typed the final commands and prepared to run.  Whether this worked or not this things was gonna blow and the magma pool was rising fast enough that she would have to run anyway.

Pressing the button the computer acknowledged and whine that began high pitched and soon rose to a level outwith her hearing range signalled the power surge had begun.  She ran, not stopping, not daring even to breathe.  Head down, flat out, bolt for the exit.  She had no combadge to call for help.  This was her only chance to survive.  The sound blast of the exploding console deafened her and she was thrown against the rocky wall by the wave that quickly followed.  As she reached the door it moved only slightly, the quakes had buckled the frame and jammed the door solid.  There was no way out. 

She turned to see it beginning to spread menacingly over the edge of the platform, finger-like protrusions creeping towards her like a monster from a horror movie.  She wanted to panic and yet a peculiar calm, an acceptance of what was to come spread over her.

"NO!" she screamed, unwilling to accept this hellish fate.  It was then she saw it... the blue line across the sea of orange and red.  The shield was misaligned.  A stream of curses fell from her lips, more colourful even than that of Rosek not two minutes before.  The emitter had to be corrected.  Even if the people above could see it, and there was no way of knowing for sure if they could, she could not contact them to tell them.  Rosek had gone with her combadge and the only way she could be sure it was to be fixed was to do it herself.
Looking she could see the holes in the roof of the cavern, they were high.  Seriously high.  There was still a chance.  With grim determination she set about climbing the wall of the cavern.  She was not a very experienced climber but she hung on, very seriously, for dear life, silently begging the world to hold its breath for a while longer.  Just long enough for her to make the climb.  It wasn't a hard wall to climb with its many natural hand and foot holds but it was the shaking she feared the most.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #6
[ Meanwhile | Modular Shelters | Harbinger Camp ] Attn: Narik Cinsaj

The camp of modular shelters was bombarded with rocks from the volcanic eruptions, caving in the ceiling of those that were hit the worst. Some of the crew had tried to seek shelter in their temporary homes in the valley when the Calamity and her Reavers arrived, and as the ash and the debris fell from on high, it had seemed a good option to stay there until it was their turns to be transported aboard the ships. Others had seen the shuttles that had been deployed to pick up as much personnel as possible, and took their chances to run towards them - braving the open terrain despite the enemy attack fighters and the effects of the tectonic event.

[Thea to Cinsaj, come in. Can you read me?]

Wherever Narik Cinsaj might be, it was hard to make out the words over the noise. It was a female voice, coming from the the Boslic consutant's combadge, which she had been asked to wear when assisting with the repairs. That morning, it was also the ticket out of the fiery hell that she had awakened to. She needed it on her person if she had any wish to - eventually - be beamed aboard the Harbinger before the pyroclastic surges swept in.

The voice of the USS Theurgy's A.I. was probably known to the engineering consultant because the Theurgy-class ship had been the vessel with the higher priority of repairs, and most of the two crews had been assisting in the sealing her hull breaches. Why the A.I. contacted the Boslic civilian, when the woman might expect to be beamed aboard the Harbinger instead, was quickly revealed over the static of the comm-link, and it was a dire situation that was painted up.

[Chief Engineer Alexander Rosek and Lieutenant Marlowe both beamed themselves to the Engineering Outpost in order to restore the external shield generator and raise the dome again, meaning to protect the remaining people in the valley and the shuttles. A minute ago, Rosek was beamed to the Theurgy with critical injuries, and he got there using Lieutenant Marlowe's combadge. Therefore, we can no longer contact her. Twenty seconds ago, I read the energy signature of the dome being brought back online. Marlowe succeeded, yet there is a problem.]

The Engingeering Outpost was a bunker at the edge of the towering mountains, and if Cinsaj would gaze through the ashen rain in that direction, she would indeed spot the blue shimmer of a shield, only it was merely a flat beam of light soaring towards the volcanic skies.

[The shield emitter has become misaligned from the volcanic tremors, and someone needs to get the emitter array horizontal again. Besides Lieutenant Marlowe, who we cannot extract from the Outpost without her combadge, you are the last remaining engineer still in the valley. Please, I am aware that you are not Starfleet, but we really need your help. You are familiar with the shield emitter. You can operate its multiaxis alignment system. We need to beam you to the emitter so that you can do the realignment.]

The mountainside to which the tunnel from the Outpost led looked hazardous. Rocks and boulders rolled down the mountain, and that flat, misaligned shield was bound to draw attention from the Reavers. Like moths to a flame. There was, however, no other way to realign the emitter since the multiaxis system had no remote control link. It was a stand-alone system operated on site. If the valley was to regain its protection from the volcanic eruptions and the Reavers, someone who knew how to operate it had to go there and do it in person. The A.I. must have learned about the range of Narik's expertise through the Federation database, and seen her name logged from the day the shield emitter was brought online.

[There is no one else out there that can do it besides you. I will transport you aboard the Theurgy immediately after you've made the realignment. Shall I enegise the transport?]

OOC: PBeryl, please leave your post open-ended as to what Narik witnesses up there after the transport is energised. :) Welcome to the story.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #7
Narik crouched behind a boulder as one of the Reavers strafed the area near her.  The ground shuddering beneath her feet certainly didn't make her shelter feel more secure.  The cacophony generated by the ship subsided as the attacking craft moved away.   How the hell were hostile craft wreaking havoc on the little encampment?  She helped get the shield emitter operational a few days ago.  Its configuration should have provided protection to the entire valley.  It was while she scanned the sky for the shield that she registered the noise hitting her ears was a voice.  It took another second for her to focus and realize the voice was coming from her combadge and that it was directing its comments to her

"The shield emitter has become misaligned..."  Narik looked towards the mountains where the emitter was deployed.  She could make out the blue vertical shimmer of the shield through the ashes floating down through the sky.  Well, that would explain it, she thought.  With the emitter alignment off, that shield wouldn't be offering anyone protection.

"We need to beam you to the emitter so that you can do the realignment."  Narik stopped, stunned.  "You want /me/ to realign the damn thing?"  She began moving again as a Reaver prepared to make a low pass over her area.  She decided the emitter's location was probably just as safe, if not safer, than the encampment.  Using a modular shelter as cover she hit the badge and replied, "Transport me to that emitter.  And send a tool kit too, no telling what I'll need.  Oh, and tell the Captain that after this we are renegotiating my contract.  The miscellaneous duties clause does not cover providing engineering services during attacks."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #8
Whether or not it had been a joke - 'not' being most probable - Thea answered immediately. [I will make sure to forward your request to Captain Vasser when he is made available,] she said without a hint of dryness to her tone, despite the fact that her emotion ship was online, [Transporter signal locked. Coordinates confirmed. Beaming one engineering kit there ahead of you. Good luck, Narik Cinsaj. The survivors in the valley are depending on you now. Energising.]

The shimmer of the site-to-site Transport enveloped her...

[ Theta Eridani IV | Mountainside | 100 yd. Above Engineering Outpost ]

...and she was beamed into the middle of a bergfall.

Stone of all sizes descended the mountain at high velocity, from tiny gravel to boulders as tall as Narik. There were a few scarce natural covers to dodge between on the short path from where she stood and the titanium platform that had been raised on top of the mouth of a vertical tunnel - the shield emitter a mast formerly towering at the centre of that circular platform. The natural tunnel below it housed the power lines from the relay system, which led a hundred feet down to the second platform that had been raised - housing the main controls for the whole assembly. Down there, Lieutenant Marlowe had most probably met her end.

Where Narik was at, the emitter itself held a control panel with the multi-axis alignment system. It controlled the adjustable top of the mast. There was, however, a problem that could be seen immediately. The emitter - had - towered at the centre of its platform. It had been a secure construction, programmed to project the dome above itself, yet now, the whole disc-like platform had caved in from the bombardment of stones and the volcanic tremors. It hung from one side of the tunnel's mouth, swaying from the precipice by a couple of feeble beams - their creaking rock bolts secured to the mountain. There was no guarantee that the platform would hang on forever, yet it seemed sturdy enough to survive the tremors unless they grew worse. The emitter itself was operational, projecting the shield even though it hung horizontally - submerged into the thirty feet wide tunnel.

To reach the controls, she would have to climb down the broken lattices of the platform and clear the rock and gravel, all the while bombarded from above with ash and debris from the mouth of the volcano, and while clinging on for dear life, realign the emitter towards the sky once more.

As it were, the flat beam of the shimmering shield rose from the sides of the tunnel, and plummeted down into the tunnel below the broken platform.

Even worse, time was short for Narik, since soon, the Reavers would undoubtedly come and destroy the exposed emitter.

OOC: PBeryl, please leave your post open-ended from the point where Narik has climbed down to clear the control panel from rocks and ash. Climbing down should give her a modicum of shelter from the falling stones too. Banshee, Tia should be able to spot Narik at that point and be within earshot, just as Narik might spot Tia down there, but Tia can't reach Narik just yet. I humbly suggest Tia use the power lines for an easier climb. Oh, and there will be some rocks falling down the tunnel too. Nice, right? ;) I will post again after you two have posted once each.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #9
Narik started cursing internally seconds after the transport finished.  This isn't as bad as the encampment, she though.  No, it's worse.  She moved to the edge of the vertical tunnel to inspect the beams that still anchored the emitter platform and kept it from falling into the mountain's interior.  With stinging pebbles and rocks falling on her, she spent long moments flinching on the edge of the cavern while she surveyed the emitter mast.  After satisfying herself with her initial look she moved back to the engineering kit and pulled out a few basic tools, including a coil spanner, an ODN recoupler, and the thickest cabling present.  With a quick press to the combadge she spoke, "Thea, keep the coordinates for the engineering kit.  I doubt I'm going to be able to return to it and I'd hate for all that equipment to be left behind."

Sliding the tools into her pockets while she stood, Narik returned quickly to the rim of the tunnel and began wrapping the cable around one of the still anchored platform beams.  Grumbling that the cable was only half centimeter fiber, she tied off the end.  She measured out about sixty meters of the cable and cut then repeated the procedure five more times.  There was no more time and more cable wouldn't help anyway, she decided as she finished cutting the sixth length.  She knotted the loose ends around her waist before lowering herself onto the nearest beam one slow hand hold at a time; she had no desire to test the strength of her impromptu belay line as she worked her way down the damaged platform.

The distance between Narik and the control panel closed slowly.  Rocks and pebbles continued to pelt her as she descended; the smaller objects stung but weren't too serious a hazard.  This was made all too clear when a stone the size of her torso clanged off the platform near her unprotected head.  She was left shaking after it bounced into the smoldering red pit beneath.  The shock halted her descent until she screamed at herself, "Come on, move it Narik!  There is no point in hanging out here.  You aren't here on a pleasure hike."  Berating the Theurgy for failing to include hard hats in its engineering kits, she continued clambering towards the mast and its adjacent control panel.

A sigh of relief escaped her lips when she reached the mast.  She moved sideways until the control panel was next to her.  It's times like these, she thought, that redundant controls would be nice.  Yes, having a way to change the mast's alignment from a nice safe shelter would be more conducive to lower stress levels.  Refocusing on the task at hand, Narik brushed the debris off the control panel with one hand while holding on to the grating of the platform with the other.

The controls lit up under her touch.  A few button punches was all it took to send the signal to halt the power feed to the vertical forcing drive and cause the synchromotors to shift the mast towards its original horizontal axis.  Well, that's all it should have taken.  Narik slapped the side of the panel when the mast failed to respond to the commands.   The mast still pointed towards the tunnel's wall.  "Krus t' thinoi!" 

She opened the panel's backside and studied the innards.  Grabbing the ODN recoupler from her pocket she started checking the optical fibers running from the touchpad to the synchromotor connectors.  This is going too slow, she thought, when the last optic fibers were verified coupled.  She moved her attention to the mast and pulled open the cover to the synchromotors.   The first motor was engaged with the rollers connected to the wire cable spools controlling the mast's movement on its rotational axis.  The second motor's threaded rollers were disengaged, though, which let the motor's motion freewheel with no effect.  Seeing this, Narik shouted at the motor, "Ras!"  Her shout became a cry of pain as a fist sized stone thudded against her shoulder.

She was able to grasp and cling to the grating with her free hand as the hit knocked her anchored arm free.  The cables around her waist were still slack as she scrambled to regain her handhold.  After she felt somewhat stabilized she grabbed a knife from her pocket and sliced the cabling around her waist and kludged a harness to hold her in place while she worked on the synchromotor's roller nuts. 

Praying that the fiber cables supporting her, she gingerly tested her weight against them.  The knots held and the optic lines maintained their integrity.  Thank goodness for small favors, she thought.  Time pressed against her, though.  A sense of urgency struck when she felt secure enough to use both hands.  May as well use the sledgehammer approach from the beginning, she thought.

The coils spanner sat firmly in her hand as she pulled it out of her pocket and swung it against the roller threads frozen in place centimeters above the screw attached to the synchromotor.  A slight budge along with the screeching thud of metal on metal rewarded her effort.  "Come on you blasted piece of Ferengi trash, move!"  Another thwack of the spanner sent another reverberation through her hand.  It also brought the roller into contact with the screw mounted on the motor.  "Damn straight!  You better believe you should be engaged!"

She shifted away from the mast as it finally started swinging upwards in answer to the directions previously ordered at the control panel.  The blue shield started sweeping clockwise as the mast continued its path towards a vertical orientation.  Its color started shifting as it moved to the desired position.  Once she confirmed the mast moved to the desired location, Narik pressed the combadge again.

"Thea, the shield has been restored.  I repeat, the shield has been restored to the original coverage.  It would be nice to get a ride out of here now."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #10
Screaming muscles and burning lungs did everything they could to slow Tia down in her progress and to a certain extent they worked.  Her eyes were dry and blinking felt as though she were rubbing her eyeballs with sandpaper.  Fingernails were torn and, in some cases, bleeding as she continued to slowly ascend the vertical rock face.  Looking up she could just about make out the platform she needed to reach now.  It spurred her on.

Something felt distinctly un-rocklike below her hand and looking back she saw the cable.  For a moment it didn't register, she had reached a cable, something she could use to make the climb easier.  Then the brainfog cleared and with a grim smile she gripped the synthetic material and began her climb with renewed vigour.

It was certainly easier to climb this way and despite her aching and burning pains she made better progress.  She looked up again and swore she could see a figure making its way down the scree slope above.  Surely not.  Imagination caused by desperation, a mirage perhaps.  No, there was definitely a figure up there. 

Her concentration on the newly arrived being was short-lived however as a sudden quake brought a sharp rock from above and struck her on the side of her head.  She cried out in pain and felt something more than sweat trickle from her brow.  Another rock struck her arm and for a moment she let go of the cable with it, the force of the blow knocking her grip loose.  Swinging out she made the mistake of looking down.  The consoles were gone, submerged beneath a broiling mass of orange-red.  It made her grasp a little tighter when she returned to the wall.

She pulled herself close to the cliff, letting the remainder of the rocks drop past her.  Soon she was back on the way up and as she grew closer she called out to the figure, "HEY!  Who is that up there?  I bloody hope you know what you're doing 'cause if you bugger that up I will have your head on a spike in my quarters if I make it out alive!"

The chances were that only the initial shout made it up to the stranger's ears, her throat being raw from the ash and heat, but she felt better for having made her threat.  She had to get up there, whoever it was could be an enemy for all she knew.  She wasn't going to let anything happen now, not after everything that had happened to reach this point.  Still, whoever it was was probably her only way out of here.  With gritted teeth she pulled herself onwards, refusing to give in until she either reached her destination or fell to her fiery end.

Cable became metal as she continued to haul herself up, the lattice structure of the broken platform the emitter had rested on was hanging down the wall a little way.  It gave her a ladder through which to escape the chasm.  With a final agonised cry she pulled her upper body up onto the hanging section of the platform and paused for a brief moment before dragging herself up a little further and letting her feet have a decent step to use for the first time since beginning the climb.  Staying there for a moment she looked up at the figure who was calling out to Thea.  She recognised the woman as Narik, one of the civilian engineering contractors she had been working with on the Harbinger before her transfer.

Looking past her she could no longer see the blue haze of the shield, Tia would have laughed if she hadn't been in so much pain and exhaustion.  The shield was back up and running.  With wobbling legs she stood, heaving herself up a little higher, hoping to be seen or at least heard.

"Narik," she croaked, her throat dry, "wait... please."

If Narik beamed aboard before she realised Tia was there she would be stuck in this place presumed dead until the planet decided it would kill her in the flames.  This was her only way out, her only chance to survive and escape.  It was a huge risk but she pulled one hand off the grille, one torn and bloodied hand and unsteady legs struggling to support her.  She must have looked like a demon from hell, scorched,  eyes red from dryness, a sheen from sweat where the ash didn't cover her in grey patches and the gait of someone unused to gravity.  Her hand raised to try and stop the woman before she could beam away.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #11
“Ain’t this just another fine mess to be in,” Narik muttered as she leaned into her harness.  The rockfall seemed to have abated some so she felt a little more secure.  She could shake out her arms one at a time but her feet were gripping the grill of the platform just precariously enough that she’d rather endure the burning thighs and calves rather than risk slipping and testing the optic cable’s tension limit. 

“Hey!”  She looked from side to side then glanced up.  She could have sworn she heard a voice but nothing caught her eye as she glanced around.

“Narik…”  She definitely heard a voice this time.  She scanned the area above her; there was still no one visible.  Why was she hearing things?! She jerked her leg and kicked the grating in frustration.  The motion jerked her off balance and caused her other foot to slip out from under her.  Her fingers clenched around the grating instantly and kept her from falling into the pit below.  While she scrambled to regain her footing her gaze dropped to the area below her perch. 

Her eyes widened with shock.  With a foot planted back on the platform, she released one hand’s hold on the metal grating and hit her combadge.  “Theurgy, This is Cinsaj.  I may have found someone else needing transport.”  She pulled a knife out of her pocket and cut the cables strapping her to the platform.  She started climbing down towards the ashen colored being climbing ungainly towards her once the last cable was free.  Narik paused fifteen meters away from the figure slowly pulling herself up the platform.   She pressed her combadge one more time, “Theurgy, This is Cinsaj.  LT Marlowe is about fifteen meters below me.  And it looks like she needs a transport a lot worse than I do.”

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #12
When first hailed, Thea's voice had answered immediately. [Ackno...edged, Cinsaj. We ha... a visual on the shield. W..ll done. The radiation from ...e planet is making it ha... to gain Transporter lock. Awai... Transport to ...e Main Bridge in fifteen seconds. Verify..g co...inates. Stan... by.]

During the interim in which Narik located Tia Marlowe in her predicament, the volcanic tremors were increasing slowly, and when Thea was contacted next, there were dire news emanating from the combadge, [Tia Ma...we? I cannot... verif... s.....nd pers.... I repea... I cannot v...ify a secon... person. You need to ge... closer in orde... to bring her wi... you. I repeat, ...t closer to Lietuen... Marlowe. Hurr... the signal is fluctua....g. Cann...t maintain Transpor.... lo-]

The voice of the A.I. over the comm-link was completely drowned out by the sound of the coughing thrusters of a Reaver.

Sweeping in just below the shimmering dome of the Shield, the light from the volcanic skies was blocked by the metallic beast. The belly of the enemy attack fighter was scorched by fire, and its pulse canons were smoking from recent usage. The seventeen meters long and twelve meters wide abomination must have been trapped underneath the dome when Narik raised it, and its holographic pilot had undoubtedly come to destroy the emitter in order to expose the valley once more. The vertical beam that emanated from the realigned head of the mast kept the Reaver from being able to descend into the tunnel, the fit too tight lest it would make contact with that beam, so it hovered just above the rim of the tunnel - dipping its nose cone towards the two trapped women and the base of the mast.

It all happened so fast. There was neither pause nor mercy in the Reaver's movements. There was no way to see the pilot inside since the attack fighter had no visual cockpit - the pilot using sensors and hull-optics to see through the craft at all angles with the pilot's Through-Visor Display. So when it lightened up its close-proximity laser sights, it was faceless beast that bathed the base of the mast and Narik Cinsaj with hellish red light. And while the increasing tremors made it hard to hang on to the platform, the sound of the phasers slowly being armed overode all sound.

[Cinsaj... The signal is break...g up. You need to reach T... Marlow... now!]

A split second decision.

The control panel for the beam was still within reach, yet there were but moments available to realign the beam into the Reaver. The odds were abysmally low. Tia Marlowe might not be able to hold on for much longer, and leaping to her and energising the transport before they both plummeted into the liquid magma in the tunnel might get them both to safety. There was, however, no telling if Thea would be able to get a lock on them down there. The gamma radiation from the planet's core was getting too strong. Getting closer to the magma might break up the Transporter signal, and leave them both plummeting to their death.

To save oneself, leaping to try and catch Tia or not... yet either way leaving the shield to the Reaver's phasers.

Or... risk death by close-proximity phaser fire to save the survivors still down in the valley.

OOC: PBeryl, thank you for the edit, and please leave the outcome of either choice you decide upon - or make up on your own - open-ended. TheBanshee, if you decide to post after PBeryl instead of before her, as in deciding to write Tia's reaction to Cinsaj's chosen action, please leave the outcome open-ended too. After you both have posted once each, regardless of order, I will post again with the outcome. :)

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #13
“Skritz frax!”  Narik stared at the Reaver for a moment before the sound of its phasers warming up shocked her back into motion.  She raced up the platform, ignoring the pain as the rough latticework tore at her hands.  “Skritz gooblatrupyob of Frix!” 

She reached the control panel and started inputting the commands.  The mast started to move, its energy beam cutting a small arc through the sky as the shield rotated with its motion.  Narik glared at the Reaver as it targeted her with its sights. 

“Well, you sorry excuse for a free thinking machine, are you going to shoot?”  Narik taunted the craft hovering at the edge of the tunnel.  She moved away from the emitter mast as it continued to reposition, working her way to the side of the platform.   As the mast moved a smaller secondary shield blossomed from the tip of the mast and covered the tunnel in a light blue film.  This secondary shield slowly grew and pushed its way outward as it moved along the length of the mast's beam to join the larger primary shield protecting the valley.  The mast continued swinging its beam towards the Reaver as the smaller shield pushed up towards the hovering craft. 

"Manil arek."  Narik prayed for it as she descended back down towards LT Marlowe.  She hoped the shielding system would present an impenetrable obstacle to the Reaver.  She also knew that nothing was guaranteed except for her obstinacy.  Right now the only action she had left to her was to get to the Assistant Engineer.  The Reaver was out of her hands as the emitter mast and secondary shield moved according to the instructions she programmed into the system.  She refused to just hold on and stare at the threatening ship as whatever happened, happened.  The possibility of freedom still cried from the back of her mind that the Theurgy could transport her away from this predicament.   And it would make the ship all the more likely to transport her if she could get close enough to Marlow so the crew could confirm there was a second person, one of their own, who also needed rescue.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #14
The pause in Tia's ascent had made her arms and legs realise their exertion but there was a slight relief as she saw the Boslic make her way slowly towards the bedraggled Engineer.  The muscles began to shake as she held on with all her remaining strength as she watched in horror as the Reaver hovered menacingly above their heads.

With a solemn nod she approved of the second shield idea, the one that even now was slowly repositioning towards the ship that could at any moment decide to unleash a payload on them that would destroy the shield and send them both hurtling down into the pit of fiery death beneath them.

Tia hadn't heard the com-traffic between Narik and Thea and as such had no idea of the predicament she was now in.  She tried to ascend further, giving Narik the best chance of reaching her, legs shook as she pushed the muscles harder, her bloodied hands struggled to maintain a grip in the metal that had become slippery with the thick fluid.  Inch by inch she managed to pull herself a little higher, not realising that every microsecond that ticked by was time she did not have. 

A dry cry of pain and frustration escaped her parched and cracked lips, coming out as little more than a croak.  Her hands refused to uncurl from the claw-like shape she was holding onto the metalwork with leaving her to simply move the hook-shaped extremities from one square in the grille to the next.  Slick, bloody metal made it hard to grip with her boots, having to almost wedge her foot into the hole before she could push upwards.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #15
The initial short burst of phaser fire had missed the Boslic engineer as she fled to the control panel - hitting the side of the tunnel instead. While Narik cursed and reprogrammed the alignment, stones fell into the tunnel from the hit that it had taken, nearly pelting Tia where she held on for dear life.

Blessedly, there was no time for a second volley, as the beam of shield energy tilted in the Reaver's direction. The choice to hunt the living was quickly replaced by the absolute need to destroy the mast. The Reaver's sights were realigned to cut the mast in two with its pulse canons, and it opened fire... just too late, as the second shield appeared and caught the onslaught. This setback was too costly, for it had rendered the attack fighter unable to move out of the beam's way in time. It had gambled on destroying the mast before it would, and it had lost.

The emitter's cascade of energy caught the Reaver, and a deafening concussion tore the air apart. Shrapnel cut the mountainside and scraped the scree slope raw. Plasma energy seared both shields. What was left of the craft's hull was thrown back by the repellent force of the shield energy. A wing clattered heavily against the volcanic mountain. Stones came loose from the sides of the tunnel by the explosion, clanging off the titanium platform where it hung. Something snapped...

... and the platform plummeted into the chasm.

Yet with a jarring halt, it got no further than a couple of yards - the shield still projected high above the rim of the tunnel. Yet the number of rock bolts still holding the entire construct up was severely reduced in numbers. Perhaps there was still time for the emitter to serve its purpose for the survivors in the valley. Yet the commotion may have made fingers and feets slip of the ash-coated metal framework during the climbing. If they would fall, there was but one outcome for them. The molten ire of the planet was climbing the tunnel rapidly, and with it, the chance that they may loose the fickle Transporter signal Thea held upon them.

A signal now clearly lost when so close to the magma... since Cinsaj's combadge was completely silent. It may as well have been as dead as they were about to be.

Their last resort - their only recourse - was to help each other as best as they might, and climb the swinging platform together as far as they could. Meanwhile praying to whatever deities they held close to heart that a higher point in the shuddering tunnel may return Thea's voice to them. For as soon as there was some kind of static heard from that badge, it would be time to energise the Transport... hoping that they would end up intact in the Theurgy's buffers despite the poor condition of the signal.

However great the hardships and the trials which they had been through, they had to endure together, for the sake of survival and triumph against all odds. Because to have striven; to have made the effort and been true to their moral ideals... this alone was well worth the attempt.

OOC: If you want, you can NPC Thea's barely heard voice when they get high enough, and energise the transport. Sickbay may be a good place to end up. I will post again after the both of you have done so.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #16
Looking up it seemed was as terrifying as looking down for in both directions death was getting ever closer.  The Reaver fired, sending rocks and stones tumbling towards her.  Small nips of pain where the sharp cascade hit her were all Tia felt, a numbness setting in where pain had been before.  As she watched, the shield struck the craft that had hovered threateningly and the resulting explosion shook the air around her as well as setting her ears ringing.

She had no time to react as the platform shuddered and dropped suddenly, instinct kicking in to keep her holding on.  Her legs swung away from the metal and her hands rolled over the cheese-grater metal desperate to hold on.  She looked down as her body was at the apex of the swing and with horror she realised how close the rising magma had become.

From somewhere a new burst of adrenaline kicked into her system and when her feet returned to the metal she began to climb once more towards the Boslic who had just saved their asses from the Reaver.  The only choice now was to go up, as far up as it was necessary to get out and as fast as possible.  They would need to stick together because sure as eggs is eggs the transporter signal would be having trouble finding both of them in the gaseous chaos of the pit.

Time was irrelevant, she had no idea how long it had taken to get to the other engineer but upon reaching her she managed a grim smile and croaked a single syllable, "Up."

Together they clambered, slipping rocks still causing problems.  Tia stuck as close to Narik as she could, listening with still-ringing ears for the slightest sound from the single combadge to suggest they were far enough out of the chasm to get a transporter lock.  She would not be sad to see the back of this planet that was for certain, part of her wished she had taken advantage of enjoying while she could and at least have some pleasant memories to take away from the hell-hole it had become.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #17
Narik returned to the control console and inputted the necessary commands to extend the secondary shield and merge it with the primary one.  She wanted to keep the shield at max strength for as long as possible.  But the heat pressing on her back from the rising lava proved to be a better motivator than the lieutenant's command to climb.  She punched the buttons with a perfunctory quickness before fighting gravity to move farther away from the heat singeing her hair and skin.  Her boots kicked against the metal grating vainly three times before the fourth attempt that resulted with her foot finding a point of leverage that held and let her hoist her weight upwards while her hands and arms made sure she remained in contact with the collapsing structure.  Her hands shot lances of pain up her arms with each movement.  Her elbows and shoulders throbbed as she moved higher, letting her know they did not appreciate the behavior she demanded of them.  Her knees screamed as they bounced off the platform's surface on each failed foothold attempt.  She registered the pains and shoved them to the back of her mind.  It wasn't any worse than some of the conditions she faced and surmounted during her years in captivity. 

"Theurgy, you better still be there!" Narik snarled at her combadge.  "I still need to close out the contract with the Harbinger.  And then I need to chat with your captain."  The tirade kept her pissed.  The anger and concentration kept fear in abeyance.  "Where are you, Theurgy?  The blasted shield is up.  You can take this gamma radiation and shove it in all sorts of lovely crevices; I'll even point them out to you."  She finally made her way up to the beams anchored into the cavern side.  "Theurgy, I've got LT Marlowe with me.  A transport sure would be nice about now."

[Cinsaj, ... is Theur...]  Thea's static garbled voice came over the combadge.  As soon Narik registered the response, she fell silent.  [ ...eam ... ... ...epare to be... ... Si... ...ay].

"Whatever you say, Theurgy.  Please get us out of here.  And try to get that engineering kit, too, please."

Narik saw the field effect of the transport beam start to wrap itself around her.  The field brightened as it grew stronger and eventually overwhelmed her senses.  When her vision cleared and could focus she was no longer holding onto the emitter platform but was holding air in Theurgy's Sickbay.  LT Marlowe appeared near her.  They looked out of place among the uniformed staff moving through the space and yet their appearance matched the grimy dirty people being tended.  Narik dropped her arms as she mentally adjusted to the new location.  Looking around she saw an out of the way stretch of wall.  She moved towards it, both to get out of the way of the crew and to give her a chance to compose herself.  Without the focus of survival, escape, and anger coursing through her, she was ready to collapse and she didn't want to do that on the open floor.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #18
Tia could hear Thea's broken voice through Narik's combadge, a wonderful sound she had thought never to hear again.  Despite cracked, dry lips she managed a smile, although it would look more perhaps like a demonic snarl considering her appearance.  She closed her eyes as the light began to cocoon her body, relived beyond belief that she was at last going to be free of the searing heat and rising death.

The bright, stark light of Sickbay filtered through her eyelids and she strained to adjust from the blazing orange-red light that she had become accustomed to in her time in the pit.  Her claw-shaped hands were still frozen in the grotesque, bloody mess that she had been struggling up the cliffs and metal with.  Even now they refused to move and unfurl themselves and she looked at them with a vague disbelief.

Taking her gaze from her own issue she looked about.  There were many in varying states of distress all around her.  Despite the few scratches and the stubborn hands she knew full well that it was only muscular exhaustion, dehydration and severe grime that were her conditions.  Getting her hands fixed would mean she was at least able to assist in getting them out of this place in Engineering before worrying about her minor injuries.  She held her hands out a little way before herself, as though asking for them to be dealt with first to whoever was going to deal with the pair.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #19
 [Eve Jenkins - Sickbay]

As much as Eve needed to change, there simply was no time as Lieutenant Rosek had just beamed into sickbay, still writhing and screaming in agony.  There had been no warning but they all moved as one, Eve grabbing a hypospray that would render him unconscious instantly.  His body was lifted to one of the biobeds and clothing rapidly cut from his body.  Where the material was adhered, they used water to soak and carefully remove without damaging the skin further.

"Any allergies in his history?" Eve requested and one of the nurses checked a PADD.  "No ma'am," Wilson responded.  "Good!  Give him 4 cc of Kelotane and standard rehydration," she ordered Daughtry as she inspected all the burned areas.  "Estimated seventy percent of his body covered in third degree burns or worse ... some bone exposed along the torso and arms ... large patches of chalky white skin."  Her tone was grim and when alarms started sounding, everyone turned grim.

"BLOOD PRESSURE DROPPING FAST!"  "He's going into shock."  Eve called for everything to raise the pressure and even epinephrine when cardiac arrest began. They were rapidly loosing him, and there was only one recourse. "He needs to be put in stasis, right now! There is nothing further we can do for him. Not without Nicander..."

In short order, a cryogenic stasis chamber had been powered up, and Rosek was beamed into it. Eve herself activated the stasis field, then she took a moment to lean against the wall.  She caught Daughtry's look of worry and a bit of ash fell from her arm as she waved her hand.  "Report," she commanded and brushed the ash from her hair, shoulders, and sleeves.  Her eyes closed when he reported Rihen would make a full recovery, at least one had been saved and she'd managed to get the clamps undone.  The memory of Ester started to form but was willfully shoved away.

The news that Lucan wasn't there but rather on a shuttle trying to get back made her heart nearly stop.  "Those damn Reavers are all over the place out there," she groaned.  What if he doesn't make it back?  Again she had to push all those negative thoughts and feelings aside.  "Alright crew, until Dr. Nicander gets back I'm in charge and we all know the drill," she said to the staff gathered around, complete confidence in her expression as she addressed them.

Two more were beamed into sickbay and everyone scattered to take care of them.  "Computer, increase oxygen content in sickbay by thirty percent," she ordered and once both women were helped to beds next to each other she quickly inspected both.  "Standard hydration and analgesics, dermal regenerator for the scrapes ... a bit of dermaline gel for the minor burns.  Let's get you a bit of a muscle relaxer too, nothing to make you sleepy though," she said gently to Tia.

Focusing on Narik for a moment, she tried to give a reassuring smile.  "I think all of us are going to enjoy the sonic showers very soon.  Looks like you didn't take too much damage, just some abrasions and contusions.  The oxygen should be helping but feel free to cough a lot to try to expel any fluid or mucous that might be trying to stick in your lungs.  Just rest and relax for a little bit because I have no doubt you'll be called back to a duty station quickly."

Finally she turned to Tia, sorrow hanging heavy in Eve's eyes as she started to massage the gnarled hands to help them unfurl.  "I regret to inform you that Lieutenant Rosek might not survive his injuries.  He has been put into stasis. If my memory serves me correctly, you will now be our Chief Engineer.  Once you've rested a bit and I know you aren't going to pass out on us, you'll need to report to the bridge.  I'll send a report ahead so they'll know to expect you and the situation."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #20
Accepting the help she went to the bed willingly, letting the medical team do their job without fussing or arguing.  She had to have something done with her hands before she was of any use to anyone.  The hypospray hiss told her she had received the muscle relaxant as promised, the higher oxygen level in the air letting her breathe more easily than she had for what felt like days and her body was appreciating it. 

As the head nurse spoke of coughing she obliged, the rattle in her chest finally giving way and coming loose.  Her face contorted in disgust, the streaked, ashen complexion looking like some gargoyle as the taste of ash entered her mouth.  Grabbing a towel she spat the gungy mass into it as discreetly as she could. 

"Ugh," she croaked, "that is disgusting."

She hissed as the nurse took her hands and began to massage the stiffness out of them.  It took her a moment longer than perhaps it would have done normally for her to realise the meaning of the words she spoke.  She hadn't even considered that Rosek wouldn't be back on his feet.  He was a stubborn ass and the thought that he would succumb to his injuries was not something she had let herself think.  He might have been abrasive and irritating but this... this wasn't, shouldn't have happened.

Her expression changed from casualty to officer.  She knew she would be needed in her post more than she needed much of the treatment.  There was no telling how much damage the ship had already taken and she was now the Chief Engineer aboard this contraption.  Her responsibility was to the crew, to ensure the ship could take off and get out of the system.

"Get my hands working," she replied sternly, her voice still rough, "give me stims if necessary and a bottle of water but I am getting out of here and getting to my post.  The rest can wait until we're out of here safely but I have a responsibility to ensure we get to that point."

She pulled her hands away from the nurse and jumped off the bed, her legs still feeling jelly-like from their previous exertion.  Placing her fingertips on the edge of the surface she applied pressure and grimaced as the tendons complained at her forcing them back into straightness.  A strained whimper passed her cracked lips as slowly she managed to uncurl her fingers.  They felt stiff and sore, the dried blood over cuts letting fresh ooze out a little but she flexed them gently a few times and nodded.

"They'll do," she looked back at the nurse, "Send that report, I'll head up to the bridge immediately.  Narik, thanks for the save... would get to main engineering as soon as you are able?  We'll need everyone we can get down there."

She didn't even give the woman a chance to respond before she began to head out of the sickbay.  There would be people coming in who needed treatment far more than she did.  She took the towel with her, ready to cough up some more disgusting, ashy phlegm.  Getting out of here was the priority, only then would she return to the sickbay to be completely fixed up.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #21
LT Marlowe's expression of gratitude slowed the ire that kindled inside Narik when LT Jenkins finished addressing her with the comment about being called to a duty station.  Then Marlowe's abrupt departure surprised her.  It wasn't until the doors to Sickbay slid shut behind the officer that lieutenant's request worked its way past the seething defiance sparked by the head nurse's words.  As soon as it registered she was up and out the doors chasing after Marlowe.

She managed to catch up with Marlowe at the turbolift.  "Pardon me, Lieutenant.  I am willing to go to main engineering to provide my knowledge as a resource.  But I'm a civilian and currently have a contract with Captain Vasser to provide consultation services onboard the USS Harbinger.  I am not comfortable operating any equipment onboard the Theurgy nor is it appropriate for me to do so without a similar agreement reached for this ship.  I would prefer to return to the Harbinger if possible."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #22
Narik's arrival beside Tia at the turbolift somewhat surprised her.  What she said next was beyond Tia's comprehension and she nearly laughed at the woman before she realised that the Boslic was being serious in her question.

"Well Ms Cinsaj, since I have now seem to have been promoted I give you full permission to perform any work you need to do to get us out of here and if we do miraculously manage to survive this hellhole I will happily speak to the Captain about a contract for you here." the snarl was barely veiled.

"If you wish to go back to the Harbinger by all means try and find someone who isn't busy trying to save the ship and everyone else on board to transport you back over there by some means," her tone weighed heavily on the reminder that survival and not personal preference was the goal right now.  Personnel and contracts could wait until they knew they would be still breathing at the end of this to sort it all out.

She paused for a moment and took a breath, "I am grateful for your help on the planet and for you saving my life, Ms Cinsaj, however there is the slight issue of being attacked and nearly destroyed we will have to deal with before anything else."

With that Tia turned and entered the waiting turbolift, "Bridge."

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #23
Narik stared at the shut turbolift doors for a few seconds.  With a shake of her head she walked back towards Sickbay.  She detoured when she spotted the head door located a few feet from the entrance to Medical.  Inside, she looked at her reflection and assessed her injuries for herself.  She noted nothing severe, mirroring the medical officer's diagnosis.  No significant pain pushed for her to return to the medical staff's ministrations and her mind wandered as she gazed at herself.  An errant thought of LT Marlowe's reaction returned her focus.  A sigh left her as she turned and exited the head.  Once in the passageway she moved to the lift.

"Main Engineering," she requested when the turbolift opened.  The doors shut and moved her towards the heart and lungs of the ship.  LT Marlowe was someone she could work with, she thought.  The lieutenant reacted with the no-nonsense honesty of someone focused on getting the job done.  Narik liked and appreciated that attitude.  Hopefully she hadn't sabotaged the working relationship the two formed during the repairs of the last week.  But Narik had to look out for herself first.  Starfleet was a giant bureaucracy and she was not about to be held accountable in case some unforeseen issue occurred and the organization wanted to use her as a scapegoat just because she was a civilian touching equipment on a Starfleet ship without proper documentation.  LT Marlowe's angered dismissal would at least serve as a record for Narik to refer to if she needed to defend her actions later.

The lift doors opened and she viewed Main Engineering.  The place was just one more set of systems to learn.  She headed off to find the location of the tech manuals and operating procedures.  Next, she would look for someone to shadow so she could learn from them.  She sighed again as the realization weighed down that she was working another job.

Re: Crisis #07 | Shield Generator

Reply #24
[ Meanwhile | Sickbay ]

It felt like defeat, having been beamed aboard the Theurgy in the end. Tactically, she knew she had been in a weak position to do anything more. She had been alone, with the clusters of people she'd defended scattered across the terrain, and her Chief dead upon the ground next to her. They had managed to take out a couple of Reavers, yet Vessery had not made it.

His sacrifice had not been in vain, given the fact that they had managed to defend the lives of more than thirty people while they waited for extraction. Yet as the Andorian Deputy stepped through Sickbay, carrying Ben Vessery in her arms, it still felt like defeat. On the way to a place where she could set the body down, she made eye-contact with Eve Jenkins - the Head Nurse - and she could but shake her head to her in signal that there was naught to be done.

She set the body down, riddled with smoking cavities from Reaver fire as it was, and she stepped back. It was the second Chief of Security she'd had in her arms over the course of a week, with David Grayson having fallen at the hands of the Calamity Hologram, and now Ben Vessery was dead too - having only served a tenure of a couple of days aboard the Theurgy. He had not even moved all of his personal belongings to his new ship.

On the Harbinger, they had lost their CSec too, with Dee having been killed by Sonja Actreth in the Brig. That death may be one that Ida ought to feel responsible for, since she had given the order to lower the forcefield to the holding cell. Captain Vasser had taken her side on the matter and said she could not be held responsible, which still gave her odd, warm feelings when she thought about it. As if she was so bereft of friends and companionship that the merest comment made her feel hope.

Yet right then, as she looked upon Vessery's body, Ida could but think of the fact that she was still alive despite how many of her superiors had fallen. First Wenn Cinn, back before the Niga Incident, having vanished through a hull breach. Then David and Ben in short order. It said something about her own chances of survival, that in the end, her luck would run out too. Statistically, she ought to have been dead already - replaced by a new Deputy who might do better than her.

Yet there was no time for such ruminations. She turned on her heel briskly, about to leave and mobilise the Theurgy's remaining security forces.

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