Ep 1 - Out of the Frying Pan
Location: USS Ride | Various Locations
Timeline: Mission Day 1 - 2385
Attention all hands: This is Lieutenant Commander Greystone. If you can hear this, and you can move, make your way to Main Engineering immediately. Repeat: Make your way to Main Engineering immediately. Out.
Amanda turned back to the small group already gathered, and continued listening to the de-briefing.
"The nearest I can tell, we have about twelve hours of life support left before the Ride just...well..."
"I get it," Greystone replied through a sigh. "Do we know where we are? What's out there? Anything?"
"Kind of," the sensor technician said over her shoulder. "We know we're...a long ways from where we were. To the order of at least 80 lightyears, give or take. That could be wrong though, the sensors aren't functioning very well. We do know we're sitting in the accretion disc of a black hole, and we'll end up getting sucked in well before we run out of air. There's also some kind of installation on an opposite trajectory orbit. We should pass it in an hour or so. Or I guess it'll pass us, actually."
"Alright. That might be something worth looking into, then. Let's hold off on making any decisions until the rest of the crew get here. Or what's left of them anyway..."
Axl heard the announcement. He was still crammed in a Jefferies tube, close to where the Lieutenant Commander had requested for people to go. He wasn't far. It was just around the next junction then at least he would be with other people. He made his way to the access panel and worked to get it open. He had to put a shoulder against it and when it finally gave it dumped him unceremoniously onto the floor near the group of people. "Hey guys!" he said from the floor with a little bit of a grimace.
After struggling to make their way down to Engineering and picking up several crewmembers along the way Adelaide and her team entered Main Engineering. As they looked around they could see they definitely weren't the only ones in rough shape. Adelaide would walk to Amanda. "Commander," she said in acknowledgement of her superior officer.
Looking up at the source of the voice, Jennica shook her head. Sickbay was full of injured; the staff who were physically able were trying to handle as many patients as they could. The Trill surgeon found herself wrist-deep in the chest cavity of the ship's Chief Medical Officer. Doctor Stenat, a tall Vulcan internist, had been struck by a large piece of bulkhead when he was trying to shield an Ensign in the corridor outside of Sickbay. The bulkhead had crushed Stenat's rib cage, sending splinters of bone into his lungs, heart, and other organs.
With limited equipment working, Jennica was doing her best to treat the senior officer the old fashioned way. She had removed most of the larger bone fragments, repairing major blood vessels as she went. Holding what she thought was a deflated lung lobe, she felt a sharp protrusion. She reached for a tricorder, Sterat's green blood glistening on her fingers. A quick scan revealed that the situation was worse than she'd thought. The new bone she'd just found penetrating the lung was not a rib. It was a piece of vertebrae. "Fuck," she exclaimed. "A need some more hands over here!"
A pair of medical assistants ran over. "What can we do?" one of them asked.
As Jennica began to explain what she needed, a pool of Vulcan blood welled up from the open chest wound, around Riars' hand, spilling onto the floor beneath the biobed. Sterat's body shuttered slightly.
"No, no, no, no, no, no...DAMMIT!"
Moving her hand around Sterat's chest cavity, her fingers discovered the problem. "His aorta's blown," she shouted. Her training told her that this was a lost cause, at least given the circumstances. Had Sickbay been operating anywhere close to normal, she could save the Vulcan physician. In the ship's current condition....
She pulled her hand out of the viscous green lake that was Sterat's gaping chest wound. She shook her hand in a feeble attempt to remove some of the blood. "Time of death....," she started, looking for a chronometer. "Time of....." Her voice trailed off again. Instead, she just stepped away from the table and watched at the med techs covered the corpse. Mindlessly, she wandered out of Sickbay.
Before she realized it, Jennica was entering the engine room. Her hand touched a console and it was then that she realized Sterat's blood still covered her hands, though it was now drying, making it sticky. She stared at her hands, her mind focusing on how it glistened in the lighting.
Axl had just made it back to his feet with some help and was holding his sides in pain when he spotted the medical uniformed woman across engineering and headed her way, but as he approached her he noticed that she was covered in blood, Vulcan blood. He continued to move towards her, but it was both painful for him and concerning over the bloodied physician. "Are you okay?" he asked. There was too much pain and confusion for Axl to tell if Jennica was okay himself. Even if he could sort through all the thoughts and emotions in the room, he was completely distracted by his own discomfort.
She just stood there, the sounds of the engine room a background rumble. It wasn't until Jennica looked up and saw a dark-haired man looking at her, pain in his blue eyes. "Huh?" was all she could get out.
Axl stared at Jennica for several moments. It was rather apparent that she was in just as much shock as everyone else, if not more, considering her state and medical attire. "Are you alright?" he asked and reached out to put a hand on her shoulder. "I know it's bad right now, but you're going to be okay. Are you hurt?" He could see the Trill spots clearly, but the blood on her was definitely Vulcan green. It didn't mean she wasn't injured as well though.
The sensation of her shoulder being touched pulled the surgeon back into focus. "It's...," she started, wiping her hands on her uniform, "not mine." Sterat's blood had started to dry, making the green fluid tacky. "Fuck," she said under her breath as her hands didn't get any cleaner.
"Sorry, Lieutenant," Riars said after a moment. "I'll be fine."
Even though he was in pain, Axl managed a little smile. "You don't have to be sorry. Blame it on the people that attacked us. Only be sorry for things... things you have control over..." He let go of her shoulder and sort of sunk to the floor. "You don't... you don't happen to have any medical supplies on you... do you?" He looked up at her hopefully, his breathing a little shallow because of the pain. "Maybe an aspirin?"
It took a second to register; the Lieutenant was now on the deck at her feet. "Damn," she muttered. "I need a hand over here!" she shouted, dropping to her knees next to Larani. She didn't have any medical equipment with her so she conducted a simple exam the old fashioned way, using her senses. "Where's the pain, Lieutenant?"
Axl gave her a little smile. "I think my ribs on this side are broken, probably from the exploding console..." he offered, running one hand gingerly over his left side. "At... at least I can offer a distraction... huh?" His smile turned into sort of a grimacing grin.
Her blood-stained fingers palpated the young man's side. Until she had a tricorder, this was the best she could do. "This is going to hurt," Jennica said before applying some real pressure to his flank.
Axl hissed. "Shit... that really... OWFUCK!" His body instinctively jerked away from her and the pain she was causing. He felt dizzy for a brief second and then he passed out, his eyes rolling back and his body going slack. His ribs were definitely broken.
Well, Jennica thought, that answers that question. "Broken alright," she confirmed verbally, not that anyone, other than some crewman who had responded to her previous call for help, could hear her. The crewman handed her the small medical kit from one of the emergency lockers behind some bulkhead. Pulling out the tricorder, she confirmed the diagnosis before using the hypospray to administer some pain relief. She didn't have the tools necessary to knit the bones back together; that would need to happen in Sickbay.
Amanda turned to look at the crew patching each other up, and others trying their best to repair the various consoles that were non-operational. It seemed a bit like trying to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic to her.
"Sir?" one of the engineers said, "I think you should know, we have a few shuttles still operational. The Bainbridge and the Halsey. I think it might be worth making a trip to the Shuttlebay to see if they are worth recovering and taking as much of the crew as we can. Also, we'll need them anyway, since about a quarter of the escape pods are dead."
"Get a couple people together and do it," she ordered. "I've got to see what I can do about the people here. Any other information on that installation we're going to pass?"
"It's bigger than anything we've ever seen before, and it looks like there's a massive bay on the one side that we could make entry into, but other than that, no. We'll know more in about 30 minutes, when it gets close enough for short range sensors to pick it up without interference."
30 minutes was a long time when life support was failing, but she wasn't left with a lot of other choices. She had always been better with machines and computers than people, but she had some basic command level training, and at least the engineering team trusted her capacity.
"Round everyone up," she said to one of the other survivors, Sciences or Medical from her uniform. "Get the wounded to the port side of Engineering, get the able-bodied to the starboard side. Let's get an inventory of what we have available to us both in manpower and equipment. I'm going to see if I can get these damned sensors to give me any type of reading on that big installation."
Jennica nodded and began moving around the room, performing very brief triage.
Considering the state of some of the others, Adelaide opted to not seek medical attention just yet, instead she rallied whichever Security Officers were capable of standing and ordered them to aid in taking the wounded to the port side while ordering some others to get as many weapons as they could from nearby lockers.
As Greystone looked down at the sensor readout, she muttered "Holy shit."
She looked up at the faces gathered in Engineering: her battered, broken crew.
"Hey guys?" she shouted, in her most commandeering voice, "Can you gather around for a second? Those of you that are upwardly mobile anyway? This is...this is big."
To Be Continued...