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One caitian on the prowl,and other things

Posted on Mon Dec 3rd, 2018 @ 6:20pm by Commander Temerant Bast & Captain James McCullen & Lieutenant JG Merlar R'heil

Mission: Recovery
Location: USS Sentinel
Timeline: MD 3, 1315 Hours

Mer'lar was on duty as usual securing parts of the ship as usual she looked so far lurking around and hoping theres no problems in her area of the ship, while on rounds. She wasn't gonna mess up this day.

- - - - -

McCullen sat up from under from the helm console he was currently buried in, trying to undo the damage he had caused when he had hit it with a phaser blast in the fight for control of the bridge and resisted the urge to hurl the coil spanner across the room. He wanted a coffee, not the water and emergency rations he had been eating. He wanted to be underway, he wanted a crew. He needed a break.

He knew what Ross and Ragez were working on, he knew what T'sa and K'var were doing and he had a good idea what Makarova and Bast were doing. The only crewmember he hadn't spoken to in what seemed like days was Lieutenant Mer'lar.

=/\= "McCullen to R'heil, give me a status report." He requested into his comm badge, leaning back against the helm console and setting the spanner down.

Mer'lar tapped her comm badge,and said in a sort of a lite snarly sound."Everything is fine here sir." in her own caitian way standing by with her tail wagging slowly..

"Where is here, Lieutenant?" McCullen asked, slightly amused, he had no idea where the security officer was on the ship without sensors to assist. "And what exactly are you doing?"

Mer'lar tapped her comm badge, "I'm on Deck 4 on security rounds sir." Mer'lar said in a lite snarly way.

Security rounds? McCullen wondered, what was there to secure? Still, it wasn't a bad idea to have someone on patrol of the ship, keeping an eye out for any surprises. He didn't like that the Caitian security officer was on her own, but with the few people they had aboard that couldn't be helped. "Be careful, Lieutenant." He eventually replied, "if you come across anything, call for assistance before taking any action."

Mer'lar heard her comm badge, "Understood sir, Mer'lar out" she said as she tapped off her comm badge.

Temerant Bast emerged from the access ladder leading up to the Bridge, looking fairly refreshed after getting four hours of sleep, a good meal, a shower, and a fresh new red uniform. He found Commander McCullen by the helm console, and walked up to his new Commanding Officer.

"Commander," he said in greeting as he walked up to the helm. "Looks like this console's seen better days."

"Mr. Bast, how did you sleep?" The Captain asked, noting the red uniform and smiling. "I shot the damn thing with a phaser while we were taking control of the bridge," he gestured in the general direction of the console, "now I'm trying to get it working again but I'm no engineer, my background is tactical."

"I slept," Bast replied curtly, not revealing any details about the quality of that sleep. The truth was, it hadn't been a very restful sleep. He'd been tossing and turning, every sense on alert that an Orion was about to come down on him and tear him limb from limb. The reality of the past ten days had gotten under his skin, and it would take some time to get over it. "As luck would have it, Engineering is my background - or at least it was my Host's background before Joining. Mind if I take a look?"

"Feel free," McCullen took a moment to haul himself to his feet, wondering at Bast's reticence - if it was the situation or the man's nature. "Did Lieutenant Makarova give you a physical?" He offered a second attempt.

"Yes, she did," replied the new Executive Officer. "Clean bill of health, under the circumstances. Of course she asked that I get a bit more sleep once we get back to Providence, and a recommendation for a bit of shore leave, but given the state of things, that might be wishful thinking."

He leaned under the console, and pried open an access panel. He pulled a handful of carbonized cables and threw them to the deck. "We might need to replace the entire console. We've got a few replacement parts available at Providence... but we might need to steer the ship from Auxiliary Control until we get there."

"It might be a good idea for us all to use auxiliary control for the time being, if it's more intact than the bridge." McCullen mused in reply, "as soon as lieutenants Ross and Ragez get main power back online, we need to start moving out of here. Let's go down to auxiliary control now and make sure everything we need is there."

Bast nodded. "Standard operating procedure when mothballing a ship usually involves pulling everything off the Bridge, which usually saves time during recommissioning, since we usually install a new Bridge module that's more up-to-date. That means leaving Auxiliary Control intact, so we at least have some place to control the ship. Now I don't know why all of these Bridge consoles are still in place... They shouldn't be here. Does that mean they've removed those in Auxiliary Control instead? I hadn't gotten that far in my inventory just yet when the Orions stole the ship."

"As I was led to believe, the Sentinel was only light mothballed, she wasn't originally going to be out of service for more than half a year, but events at the time changed those plans." McCullen explained as he turned to walk towards the access shaft. "I don't know how the mothball procedure works exactly, mind you."

"Partial mothballing, now that's a piece of information that I did not have," replied Bast as he led the way down the access ladder. "It would explain more than a few things. We might be in luck with Auxiliary Control then. If not, we'll have to spend a couple of hours reconfiguring another console to take over Helm control."

"If need be, we'll use the Sentinel's command codes to plug the runabout's helm controls into the ship." McCullen mused as they climbed downwards, "but I'd much rather use the ship's own systems if we can."

"Of course," agreed Bast as they reached Deck 7. He pulled out a tricorder as they approached the door to Auxiliary Control. "I'm not picking up any explosive devices. But we'd better be careful anyway, these Orion pirates can be pretty imaginative with their booby traps."

"Then let's get some help down here, three sets of eyes are better than two." McCullen suggested, then tapped his comm badge, =/\= "McCullen to lieutenant R'heil, report to Secondary Control, deck 7 - section fifteen alpha, starboard side."

Mer'lar tapped her comm badge. "On my way sir." she purr-growled and headed her furry self to the destination.

"Get here as fast as you can, McCullen out." The captain responded, then closed the channel and turned to his XO. "If the controls are intact, we should be able to get underway as soon as Lieutenants Ross and Ragez get our power back online. We can get a reverse course from the navigational data in the runabout's computer."

Bast nodded. "There should be some antimatter left in the reaction chamber. The Orions came in with a portable antimatter storage tank, and injected it directly into the main containers. Frakking dangerous stuff, but it seemed like they knew what they were doing. There should be enough to get us back to Providence at a decent speed."

"Given the condition of the ship, it's amazing the Orions were able to get her here at all. I believe Mr. Ross and Mr. Ragez are taking the antimatter from the runabout's engines to supplement that and give us a bit more flexibility. We ran into some trouble on the way in and I'm not convinced we'll have an easy ride out." McCullen explained.

Mer'lar heard the captains order and hurried herself to the next jefferies tube, to get to where the destination was.

"This ship certainly isn't battle-ready," replied Bast, frowning. "We'd have to check the status of the shield emitters and the phaser banks, but the torpedo bays are empty."

A slight shift in air pressure from behind them caused him to flinch and look back into the corridor behind them. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. His instincts were conflicted - the host was on edge, adrenaline was pumping through his veins, but the symbiont was calm and collected.

Merlar finally got to where she wanted to go after climbing the jeffery tubes, to see what she was needed for.

"Lieutenant R'heil," McCullen called to the Catian security officer, "this way. We're going to enter the secondary control room," he explained. "Before we do, we need to scan everything for traps, visually first, and then with tricorders. Three sets of eyes are better than two." It was in the captain to go first, his years as a tactical and security officer had conditioned him for that, but it wasn't his place. "After you, Lieutenant." He stepped to the side and gestured Mer'lar forward.

Mer'lar nodded to McCullen,as she did what she was told to by him,and moved forward.

McCullen's hand naturally came to rest on the hilt of his phaser as the door slid open. Inside, the room was dark, lit only by emergency lights and the faint glow of a few systems sitting on standby.

Bast pulled out his palm beacon and cast its light into the room, sweeping over the floor, walls, and ceiling.

"At least the consoles are there, and appear intact," he said. "Nothing seems out of place, at least from a visual scan."

Mer'lar couldn't figure out what the problem can be herself."Then what should we f-find?" Merlar asked.

"We're looking for anything that shouldn't be here, devices or systems..." As he was speaking, the lights in the room flickered once and then came on, there was a hum and a small cacophony of beeps, chirps and bells as the various consoles around the room initialized. "... that have been tampered with, this should make things easier."

=/\= "Engineering to bridge." Ragez's voice came through the comm, the signal being automatically routed to Auxiliary control. "Auxiliary power had been restored. Impulse power and maneuvering thrusters available at your discretion."

=/\= "Understood lieutenant, well done, both of you!" McCullen responded through the comm, "the bridge consoles are no good, so we're in auxiliary control for the moment if you'd like to join us. "

"Lieutenant R'heil," he turned to Mer'lar, "use internal sensors to scan the room for anything untoward, if you would. Commander Bast, you've got Ops, I'll take the helm. Let's get a full diagnostic underway and find out what we've got to work with."

Mer'lar looked at her Captain, and nodded." Aye sir going to do it now." Mer'lar said she went to start the scans.

"Good," McCullen nodded, moving to sit himself behind the helm controls of the Sentinel. It had been a fair while since he'd piloted a starship, but it was like riding a bike. A few cursory inquires confirmed he had thrusters and impulse engines, but no warp power at this point.

Bast activated the Ops console, and tried to run a diagnostic on the ship's primary systems. "We've got navigational sensors," he reported as the readings appeared on the console. "But nothing long-range. Navigational deflector is operational, but no shield emitters. Basic life-support is on-line. Decks Eight, Nine and Ten are without power - looks like someone scavened the plasma relays on those decks. Internal sensors are operational. Ah... Doctor Makarova will no doubt be gratified to know that the holoemitters in Sickbay are off-line. So no EMH."

He accessed the Engineering console. "We have enough antimatter left for a two-hour trip at Warp Seven, which should cover about two-thirds of the way back to Providence."

That they had antimatter at all was a small miracle, but the question was whether they were better in the nebula or in open space within the Triangle Region without warp capability, halfway back to Federation space. That was one he'd have to ponder, and perhaps discuss with Bast. The lack of shield emitters was a big concern, he'd hoped to have at least some defensive capability. "Comms?" He asked, knowing full well that they had little to no hope of getting a signal out of the nebula but feeling the need to ask anyway.

"They should be operational, but there's no way we're getting a signal out in this pea soup," replied Bast. The console beeped. He tapped a control and brought up a new diagram. "Did I say the bastards had scavenged a lot of power relays? The remaining relays are struggling to compensate. We've got impending failures on Deck Two, Section One. Deck Two, section Three... Deck Three..." He looked up from the console and at McCullen. "We've got a cascade failure of the power grid in the starboard fore quarter."

"Wonderful," McCullen sighed, "and we don't have replacement relays, or the people to install them." What they needed, he thought to himself, was to not be alone in this damn nebula. There was no way the Sentinel was in any condition to move under her own power, let alone go to warp. A power failure mid-warp could be catastrophic. "It's clear to me that we're not going anywhere, not until we get ourselves in a reasonable condition to move, and as much as I believe in you all, I don't think we can do it alone." The captain said, half speaking to Bast and half thinking aloud. "While we still have some functional systems, see if you can prepare a communications probe. If we can get it outside this Nebula we might be able to contact Providence or Starbase 400 and request support."

Bast tapped the Operations console and prepared the comm probe. He entered a flight plan that would follow the most direct route he could determine back to Providence Fleet Yard, and programmed it to start broadcasting the message as soon as it emerged from the nebula. "Ready," he said to the Captain.

"Begin recording.... Starfleet, this is Captain James McCullen of the USS Sentinel." McCullen began, hesitating to use the words that made his skin crawl, "Mayday - Mayday - Mayday. We have recovered the USS Sentinel but she is in no condition to move under her own power. There is a very real threat of discovery and recapture by hostile actors. Requesting immediate assistance - we need power relays, antimatter, deuterium and an engineering team familiar with the Intrepid class. Repeat, mayday - requesting emergency aid. Message repeats. End recording, add an identification cipher and encrypt." The captain looked up at Bast in askance, "anything else you think we should add, commander?"

"I'm appending the complete logs from the runabout - flight recorder, personal and official logs, sensor data. They'll be transmitted to Starfleet along with the distress signal." He entered commands in the console for a few seconds. "Ready for launch," he said at last.

"Send it, Mr. Bast," McCullen confirmed the order, "and then we wait."

Bast pressed the launch button. "Probe launched," he reported. He glanced once more at the Operations console. "Power is down in the entire starboard fore quarter. Starboard Aft is holding, but unstable." Bast prayed it would hold until help arrived. But he knew they'd have their work cut out for them to keep it stable until then.


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