Free Falling Down
Posted on Fri Aug 25th, 2017 @ 3:19pm by Lieutenant Axl Larani
Ep 1 - Out of the Frying Pan
Lieutenant Axl Larani looked up as alarms sounded all around him. He had been doing as much damage control as he could as fast as he could, but the alarms gave indication that it wasn’t enough. There was a terrible screaming sound of metal on metal and it was almost as if the world switch to slow motion. The console next to him exploded in a shower of sparks and flying debris, the crewman was killed instantly. Axl was blown backwards. He hit the bulkhead behind him and all of his air was forced from his lungs. A warm heat washed over him before he lost consciousness.
When he woke there was so much noise he wasn’t sure where he was for a few moments. He struggled to breathe, his lungs feelings like they were on fire. He was tightly pressed under a row of consoles and it sounded like he was in the path of an impending freight train. When he tried to move there was a sharp pain in his side and his limbs felt heavy. He tried to look around, but could see nothing and no one. As he slowly got his bearings he realized that he was pinned because of some sort of nearby hull breach. Obviously, it wasn’t directly in the room he was in, the pull and lack of oxygen wasn’t enough or he would have remained unconscious and probably have died. He looked around for a way out of the situation. It was possible that the force fields were already in place to protect the rest of the ship from the breach. If he could get to a Jefferies tube he might be able to get around the force fields and into a safer area.
It wasn’t an easy go. His midsection screamed in protest with every movement and his lungs felt like they were filled with liquid fire. He pulled himself up into a sitting position. The pull of the breech from where he was, was sort of like being caught in a big fan on the suck side and not the blow. He got himself up and into the nearest chair with some struggle and had to put his feet on the console to keep himself from getting sucked out of it again. The console was dead, he really hadn’t expected otherwise, but he wasn’t interested in the console. He was looking for any tube that would take him out of this place. The door and hallway were not an option. The doors had been blown outward in such a way that there was no way they were opening again. He took several deep breaths, despite the pain, and forced his way out of the chair. He used the equipment to pull himself along and towards the nearest jefferies tube. There was no sign of anyone else and his senses were currently so far out of whack that he couldn’t “feel” anyone even if he wanted to.
The jefferies tube was locked and sealed, as per safety protocol. Axl broke open the access panel and worked on overriding said protocol. It took him a few moments. Even though he was a rather talented operations officer, he was also low on oxygen intake and it was starting to make his brain foggy. He tried to take more breaths, shallow ones, but the pain in his side was not having it. He exchanged it with slower, deeper breaths, which was still painful but helped him maintain his consciousness. He finally managed to get the tube open and dragged himself into it before closing it again behind him. Once everything had slid shut the safety protocols kicked in again and resealed the tube, improving his air quality immediately.
He didn’t know how long he lay in the tunnel, just inside the door. He lost consciousness and woke slowly, feeling better, but with a wicked headache and his ribs still gave sharp protests of pain when he moved, but he had to move. He couldn’t just lay here and possibly die. He had to find others, find a safer part of the ship and possibly a replicator for some medical care. He needed to first find a junction and figure out what part of the ship he was in first. He knew he was somewhere between floor six and seven, right outside of Engineering. If he could make it up to deck five that would be good, deck four even better, but he also didn’t know the condition of the rest of the ship. It was possible that those decks wouldn’t be safe either. Deck four was ideal because the Medical Bay was there. He was pretty sure he had broken ribs and the pain that was still in his chest wasn’t probably caused by just a lack of oxygen. Climbing two decks through Jefferies tubes wasn’t going to be a cakewalk either.
When he found a junction there was no power to any of the consoles, but he was able to determine that his current location was deck six. Which was interesting to him because he vaguely remembered being on deck seven. Was it possible that the blast from the console had blow him up a whole deck? The decks were open where he had been in Operations, but a whole deck? He found the first ladder up and took it. It wasn’t an easy climb with the pain in his ribs and he had to stop several times to try and catch his breath, hanging perilously from the ladder while he panted. He finally made it up to the next deck, but when he got there the hatch was hot to the touch, indicating that the space beyond might be on fire. Usually the fire suppression system would take care of that, but with the power out it might not have kicked in. He frowned, not wanting to open the door. At least there was a ledge he could rest on.
It worried him that he hadn’t seen any other crew during his journey. He was, of course, in the Jefferies tubes and that wasn’t really a normal place to just hang out, but with the ship in distress he at least expected to see one other person, but that had not occurred. He stopped again and struggled to make the decision to keep going up or go back down. It was possible that he could access part of Engineering, maybe there were others, but Medical was only one floor up. He hung there, debating.
The decision was made for him, when the ship rocked violently, almost like a wet dog trying to shake off water and he was the water. He was thrown down the tube a little ways, it was a rather harrowing experience to free fall down the tube. He scrambled to grab a hold of the ladder again and was finally successful, but only after banging up his hands and arms in his effort. He clung to the ladder trying to catch his breath and get his bearings, his arms and legs wrapped completely around the metal structure for support and in fear of falling again. He looked up, trying to determine how far he’d fallen and determined that all of this was mostly for naught and he was actually worse off then he had been where he was. He was almost back on deck 6 so he lowered himself down and found an access tunnel that he hoped would lead around to Main Engineering.