Previous Next

The End of the Beginning

Posted on Thu Mar 4th, 2021 @ 5:20am by Fleet Admiral Luzol Targaryen & Admiral Willian Targaryen & Commander Galatea & Captain Nathan Bishop & Captain Ryan Walsh & Commander Nathan Hawkins & Commander Ash Randall & Lieutenant Commander T'Lisha "Hawkeye" Bishara & Lieutenant Commander Patton O'Sullivan & Lieutenant Commander Lily Snow PhD, MD & Lieutenant Commander Chire & Lieutenant Dylan Blake & Lieutenant Zoey Parker & High Commissioner Jasmine Haynes

Mission: Cheese
Location: Starfleet One
Timeline: 2430-08-30, 14:45

Admiral Luzol sat in the Ready Room adjacent to the Bridge of Starfleet One staring at the mission brief that had been brought to her attention by Starfleet Intelligence. They had every indication that Greg Coulson had passed through the Neutral Zone and that the Federation and the Romulans were now on the cusp of war with one another. She shivered at the thought of it, feeling the chill run up and down her spine. Even though the Romulans still weren't what they once were, she knew that any battle between the two would be Hell for both of them. It almost felt like a civil war with the Vulcan involvement.

Not that much didn't feel like a civil war to her at the moment. She looked around the Ready Room as she clutched the PADD in hand and saw how much of her husband's life was in this room. This was his ship and now here she was taking it from him. It may have been a temporary thing, but even this short sojourn could be enough to push things between them. Many of the crew weren't taking this well either. She knew that more than a few weren't too appreciative of her style. Some had served with her ages ago when she commanded the ship, but those people were fewer still.

She set aside the PADD and looked at the window as the stars streaked by at faster than light speeds. They were nearly at the Federation/Romulan Border themselves. In a few minutes they would be in violation of treaty and just as culpable as Greg. The diplomatic transponder was active and she hoped that it was enough to get them through the door without facing a swarm of plasma torpedoes, but that could have been a childish dream lost in the nightmares of reality.

The Admiral was about to resume reading the dossier when she felt nausea overtake her. She nearly dropped the PADD as she felt the bile rise in her throat. She couldn't be getting sick. That was the last thing she needed. Closing her eyes she tried to center herself, to restore herself, but it was to no avail. Luzol slowly opened her eyes and knew that it wasn't she who was sick, but rather the space around the ship.

The stars that had been whizzing passed the ship had changed. The space around the ship had become distorted and changed, swirling and spiraling around the ship at it traveled faster than the speed of light. She stumbled through the doors to the Bridge.

"Wormhole! Full reverse!" Admiral Targaryen was yelling from the Captain's Chair in the center of the Bridge as she entered. Klaxons and alarms sounded throughout the Bridge as the ship struggled through the wormhole.

Luzol struggled across the front of the Bridge to the center seat, "What the Hell is going on?"

Willian moved to the seat to the right of the Captain's Chair, "We were at cruising speed when we had an unexplained engine imbalance. Now we're trapped in this wormhole."

"Red Alert. Get shields online," Luzol ordered as she looked at the Security Chief. "Helm, full reverse thrusters." She realized she was repeating her husband's earlier orders after she gave them, but knew that it was the easiest possibility to pull them out of this. Also, an unlikely one though.

"Shields are online," Patton called out just as soon as he got them up. He placed them in red alert and prepared for any orders the captain had for him. Things were going to get dicey.

T'Lisha revrsed engines and used the thrusters in an effort to stop SF1.

"Bridge! What is going on? Are we under attack?" It was Captain Bishop over the comm.

"We're caught in a wormhole distortion, Captain. We need to begin work to prepare the ship for evacuation. See to it," Willian ordered realizing if they could not get themselves out of this within the next few minutes they may have to order abandon ship.

"Bridge to Engineering," Luzol called out, "Ash, what is going on with the engines?"

"Our inertial mass is all over the place and is playing havoc with the warp field generation! The entire warp system is being subjected to stresses that are double or triple normal operational ranges! If we don't do something about these stresses, we'll have catastrophic failure in under 2 minutes! Also, the dilithium matrix is vibrating like a tuning fork at 440hz! I have no idea where the resonance is coming from and we haven't been able to dampen it! If they shatter..." The Chief Engineer warned, knowing that everyone within ear shot knew what would happen. They'd explode and SF1 would take a significant portion of the parsec with it.

Alongside Ash in engineering Lieutenant Blake winced at the unfinished sentence as he attempted to offset the radical changes to the vessel to help bring order. However it was like spinning plates wearing a blindfold in the middle of hurricane. No amount of adjustments would stop this rollercoaster, they needed some way to get off and fast.

"Begin the process of shutting down the Core, Commander!" Luzol knew full well the risks if Starfleet One erupted. Due to the unique nature of its propulsion system if the core erupted it would collapse space and form a subspace rupture that would devastate warp travel.

Willian looked at Commander Snow, "Any ideas for a way to destabilize this wormhole?"

"Already working on it." Snow said her fingers flew on her console.

Willian smirked. He knew that if anyone would be working on a plan it would be Commander Snow. Between her and Ash they would find a way to get the ship stopped. He was sure of it.

Even with the engines and all the thrusters working, the tremendous pull of the wormhole was slowly pulling them in. "Sir, we can't break free, it's just too damn strong. There is not enough power to break free and if we don't shut down soon I'm going to lose the engines sir," T'Rylea said worried.

"Initiating emergency shut down!" Ash confirmed and closed the communication line.

Galatea stood at her workstation, replicated fingers racing over the workstation interface keyboard as quickly as she could move them. She studied the readouts as she moved through the different screens, pulling a holographic monitor up and looking at it carefully. Deep inside the ship her positronic circuits struggled with the fog that they were forced to endure, "Sensors are detecting an unidentified energy wave-form in the subspace ranges. It is amplifying at a geometric rate." Alarms blared as lights, workstations, and their holographic avatar started to flicker, "Main power systems are overloading."

Luzol sighed, "Hawkins, reroute all available power to keeping primary systems online until we're out of this. Chire, prepare and launch our log buoy."

"Rerouting power," Hawkins confirmed with a grimace as the ship continued to struggle through the the turmoil.

Chire replied that she would immediately. "Launching," She said, her voice a little higher pitched than normal.

Willian typed on his keyboard, recalling his earlier studies on the Dominion and their invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. He recalled that the crew of Deep Space Nine had attempted to seal the wormhole, but he couldn't remember how. The computer was sluggish, barely responding to their commands. The processors used subspace transceivers. If they were somehow impaired by whatever was going on around them then the computer could fail at any time.

"Does anyone know how DS9 was planning to seal the Bajoran Wormhole during the war?"

Hearing the open question from Targaryen Commander Hawkins stole a glance over his shoulder to respond briefly: "Using a Graviton Beam, I believe Admiral if my memory serves."

Luzol looked up from the panel on her chair, "Commander Snow, you think that you and Commander O'Sullivan can rig something up with a graviton pulse that can get us out of this wormhole?"

"I've already working that out." Snow said as her fingers flew across the console. "Patton, start to reconfigure the main Deflector Dish."

Since his wife had taken over the responsibilities of saving the ship, Willian focused his efforts on the crew themselves. He tapped his communicator, "Targaryen to Bishop."

"Bishop here Admiral."

"Status of the evacuation of the ship?"

Bishop replied immediately. "All civilians, along with non essential personnel have been been sent to their evac pods Admiral. Now loading junior officers, assistant chiefs, nurses as well as some security officers."

"Nathan," he called to the Operations Manager, "Begin launching escape pods."

Pivoting slightly to reach the controls Hawkins confirmed: "Launching loaded pods," he sent them away hoping they'd find safety in the turbulent currents.

"Are we ready to implement the graviton pulse?" Admiral Luzol said as she watched escape pods begin to launch from the outer saucer.

"Just about." Snow stated as she was making the last adjustments. "Finished. Patton, get ready to fire at the Admiral's command."

Willian had made his way to the railing mounted workstations and held onto it for stability, "Engineering is attempting to disable the drive now. We're running low on time!"

T'Rylea felt all emotions and they were intense. Her own emotions did not help in trying to keep SF1 on a straight course. The stresses on the hull were incredible and the engines were having little effect holding itself. With the evacuation order given, she knew her pilots and flight crews were already in their pods. Now she prayed that all the pods would make it. That being said, she saw in her head, a picture of SF1 exploding and it made her think of her family.

Luzol looked at the viewscreen, "Do it!"

[Conference Center, Starfleet One]

Jasmine was working with Captain Walsh and Captain Bishop, when everyone suddenly felt that ship being rocked. Prior to the motion, they were talking about how to address the Ni'Var situation. For the moment, none of that mattered and Jasmine wondered what was going on. She looked over to Bishop, who was still an officer on Starfleet One, and could potentially get her some answers. She knew he would prefer to be on the bridge, but for the moment he was assigned to assist her.

Bishop's hand was already at his com as he tapped it. "Bridge! What is going on? Are we under attack?" He asked all while shooting a confused look to Jasmine.

"We're caught in a wormhole distortion, Captain. We need to begin work to prepare the ship for evacuation. See to it."

"I will aid in getting our crew evacuated," Ryan offered. This had to be done and quickly, before it was too late.

"Thank you Captain Walsh. Please help the crew. I want to make sure, we are on the last evacuation group. I am hopeful the bridge crew will get this under control." Jasmine said, as she looked to Bishop and Walsh.

"Understood High Commissioner," Ryan said and headed off to help crew get off the ship as quickly as possible. He knew time was of the essence.

Bishop hit his combadge, "Bishop to all department heads. Begin sending all non essential personnel, civilians. assistants to their evac stations and load escape pods."

"Gentleman will have to carry this conversation on a later time. God speed to both of you, and lets hope for the best." Jasmine said, as she watched both men leave to full there duties. Jasmine started to head towards president's quarters, to check in on him. And to help evacuate him, if the final call came in for them.

[Enlisted Mess]

Since leaving the Bridge and relaying the PaDDs and orders from Hawkins to the medical staff, Hannah took it upon himself to grab the other corpsman and a few others from the Haz and set up in the Enlisted lounge. He wasn't one hundred percent sure what their orders were but from the way things were on the Bridge it didn't sound good. In order to help them be prepared, he took charge in order to begin putting together emergency supplies - emergency medical kits, emergency rations and the like.

As would be common when a bunch of enlisted were together and the supervision were NCOs, the atmosphere went from one of uncertainty and confusion to one of uncertainty, confusion and joviality. Some groups were turning their portion of the work into a choreographed dance routine. Others were catching up since they hadn't had time to get together since their last leave. Drinks and snacks abound.

Hannah didn't much care about the appearance of slack since work was getting done. That was the important part. He'd already had to begin replicating duffels to hold the kits for ease of carrying while distributing them. He too went from concern over the scene on the bridge to laughing and joking along with Brownie and Hassalblad - another corpsman who was just contemplating trying to become a combat medic himself. That's when he thought he felt the slightest tremor in the ship's internal dampeners. Looking up, directly out one of the windows in the mess, he saw the swirling of the stars and the misalignment. His stomach roiling, he quickly looked away.

Just as the red alert sounded. Immediately the work came to an end as the enlisted gathered looked around, waiting for further orders. The Haz team members, however, were already on the move, rushing to their assigned duty stations.

"Everyone, listen up!" Hannah shouted, commanding their attention but also trying to get over the noise of people murmuring all at once. "Grab as many kits as you can! We're going to begin posting at your emergency medical stations-"

He stopped. Orders were being broadcast. Orders to evacuate.

"LOCK IT UP!" Hannah shouted over the sudden jumble of noise and confusion. "Alpha and Beta groups! Go to the evac pods, take emergency kits with you and stage inside, one to a pod! Charlie group, emergency medical stations, you're thin on the ground I know but do what you can and conscript anybody you need to assist. Delta you're with me in Medical! MOVE OUT!" He began chucking out kits, one of each, to the corpsmen as they came by, loading them up and repeating over and over they should have others help carry as they got to their evac pods or stations.

Why did it seem the ship was cursed?

"Brownie!" Hannah called spotting the large frame of his friend and fellow Hazteam member. He pushed his way through the crowd heading to the evac pods. He had his normal pack plus the large duffel. "You gotta shut down this section, we've got more than can fit inside the pods!" he yelled over the general noise. Brownie threw up his hands. Hannah wasn't sure if that meant he hadn't heard him or he was powerless to help. Hannah continued to push his way through the stream of people. He already heard a number of the pod doors cycle and lock. Soon there would be the slight decompression as they ejected from the side of the ship.

"Shut down this section, we've gotta get these people to the next pods!" Hannah said as he reached Brownie. "And here," he reached into the bag and brought out the small cylindrical transport buffer. It was programmed with dozens of ration packs and med supply kits. It only had enough power to cycle out what was stored inside the buffers, but it should provide enough emergency supplies for one pod for a week, more if they managed to conserve what was inside. Reaching in he grabbed a few more. "Take these, make sure they get passed out to the security and corpsmen in the pods."

"Will do, Corv," Brownie said, as he looked across the throng for the rest of his team. He'd have his techie get the shields in place, shutting down this section and moving people to the next. "You make sure you're on one those pods, Corv. I'd better see you again when we're all picked up. You got that?"

"Right back at you, big guy," Hannah said. He took a moment to stare at his friend then, impulsively, the two 'bro' hugged. "Take care of the team, Brownie."

With that Hannah pushed off, moving to the next evac section to pass out more of the buffers, making sure that each pod would have supplies. The going was easier when he wasn't fighting against the crowd. The shaking of the ship was getting worse and he didn't know how much longer he had before it became critical for him to get on a pod as well. Ideally, if he could, he wanted to stay with Brownie and his team - his friends - and make sure they all got on pods. But as elite security forces, they were considered critical. Their job now was to get the non-critical personnel and civilians into the pods and off the ship.

"This way!" Hannah called as he raced to the front of the newest group. He stopped at the junction leading to the next set of evac pods. Some security were already here directing people into pods, making sure they weren't overstuffed. Hannah tossed out handfuls of the buffers to the security teams, watching them stuff them into pockets as they entered the pods and began the cycles. Hannah leaned against the wall, taking a moment to catch his breath. Another shake of the ship caused him to stumble and fall to his knees. People running by knocked him back to the wall. He had to fight to get to his feet, but still pressed against the wall to keep from getting knocked down again.

Finally there was a break in the flow of people just sufficient for him -

The cries caused him to turn around. Somewhere, somehow, a child got separated from its family and was now pressed against the wall. Frightened beyond words, it seemed frozen, eyes scrunched closed with tears streaming down her face. Hannah snatched her up and ran after the pack. He hoped he'd be able to find the girl's parents but if not, the least he could do was make sure she got into an evac pod and off the ship to safety. The shaking of the ship only got worse and worse.

[Main Engineering]

After closing the comm-link Ash looked to Lt. Blake. "I'm going to manage getting the coaxial and warp cores shut down and I'll need you to cut power from anywhere that is not essential for the operation of this ship and have it on stand-by when Commander Snow calls for it. Push impulse and fusion generation to maximum once she does call for it to try and keep power levels stable and avoid system bounce." She told him and moved off with a small pack of androids in tow to get the cores shut down.

"Yes Commander," Blake responded feeling a touch queasy from the turbulence. "Redistributing power levels to critical areas only," he glanced up watching Ash slip away with the androids and wished her luck before returning back to his task.

A500 unit F8 typed quickly on the deflector control console as he studied the situation that the ship was facing. The android had been monitoring the events going on on the Bridge of the ship and had anticipated that an effort may occur to employ gravitons to destabilize the wormhole and lead it to dissipate. The hologram adjusted a readout and detected a large concentration of tachyon particles in the wormhole in addition to verteon particles. It was atypical, but not unexpected.

"Evacuation alarms have been sounded," the android announced.

Ash split off 3 of the A500's. "You three do a 30 second emergency shut down of the warp core. Conserve every litre of plasma you can, wherever you can." She directed and waved the remaining two A500's to follow her to the Coaxial core, talking while she went. "We have to do a shut down of the coaxial core in a fraction of the time it can, normally, be done safely and without it going critical. The only way to do that is to halve the core intermix, stabilize and halve it again, stabilize and continue. This is NOT a Dilithium matrix, it is solid trilithium. I need both of you to stabilize the core after each halving." She ordered and watched while the A500's moved to stations before she scaled the core assembly like a spider monkey to a manual override panel and hung by her tail so she could use both hands. "Halving in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1..." She called and then manually halved the reaction chamber.

As ordered the engineering androids nodded and began to follow the Chief Engineer. The androids were soundless as they walked, focused completely on the task at hand. They went to the wall mounted workstations and began typing on the displays as quickly as their snow white fingers could move. They began manipulating variables and settings, trying to get the engines to disengage.

Ash spared a glance the direction of the 3 A500s tasked with shutting down the warp core. Thirty seconds wasn't much time to shut down without causing damage to the core but the engineer knew, for a fact, it was doable. she looked to the pair that were working on stabilizing the coaxial core before it took them, who knew where, and waited for the signal to halve the intermix again. There was a misconception of what happened when a coaxial core went critical and 'collapsed' space, destroying the ship in the process. The ship might, or might not, remain in tact but the 'space' didn't get collapsed, it just went with the ship to wherever it ended up.

"This is nuts," Lieutenant Blake muttered softly still standing at his station despite the evacuation alarms continued to sound. Ash needed his help, the Androids were great but they couldn't think like she could - so far out of the box it no longer existed in the equation. Her unique understanding of the Coaxial drive wasn't something you could not replicate or read up on.

Then, there was Chire...she'd still be on the bridge, he hoped she was OK.

He shook his head to chase away the thought - this wasn't the time to dwell on members of your affection the ship was in crisis. The console display flickered as it responded to the hurried shut down process: "Commander Ash!" Blake called dapping at his sweating brow. "It's working!"

"Internal sensors are registering an increase in tachyon emissions," the A500 announced as it was reading the display. It slid its finger across the workstation, bringing up the resource monitor. "The Coaxial Core is synchronizing," its voice mechanized.

"Halving again in 3 - 2 - 1!" The Chief Engineer yelled and cut the intermix on the coaxial core. "Lt. Blake!" Ash yelled. "That's very good news! WE may just survive this yet!" She added, and waited for the signal to halve the intermix again or for the coaxial core to ruin everyone's day.

"Here's hoping," Dylan muttered softly to himself.

Starfleet One traveled through the unstable wormhole as the tunnel through the stars began to degrade even further. Starfleet One, a silver knife traveling amidst the turbulent skies, started to shimmer as the whole vessel began to dematerialize only to stabilize once more...


Previous Next