USS Adelphi


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Post 47 - The Great 'Borg' Reef

Posted on Sun Jul 19th, 2020 @ 2:46pm by Lieutenant Commander Kora Lenek & Ensign Ariennye t’Aenikh & Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Grey M.D & Lieutenant Nico Oliveria & Lieutenant Timmoz & Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril

Mission: Episode 1 - The Metreon Paradox
Location: USS-Adelphi, Main Bridge
Timeline: Immediately After Post 44 - What Fresh Hell

[Main Bridge]
[Late evening after Post 44]

"A report, please," Commander Kodak said, exiting his Ready Room with a hand held to his bleeding forehead. Looking around the Bridge, he noticed that the officers working there looked a bit shaken, with various people cradling arms or cuts of their own. From the smokey haze hanging over the Bridge and the smell of burnt-out equipment, he could tell that Adelphi's sudden stop had taken a toll. Looking down at his feet, the Chameloid noticed some hunks of material that looked for all intents and purposes like rocks. As a former engineer, he understood where the rock-shaped debris came from but all the same, Kodak always found himself marveling at the debris' appearance whenever the Bridge was blowing up around them.

Given the lateness in the evening and the relatively clear course ahead of them -- at least, until a few moments prior -- the Night Watch had been in full effect. Lieutenant Telak had been in charged and now stood from the center seat, shaking her head as the slowly strobing lights of Red Alert washed across her face. "The Underspace tunnel ahead of us just suddenly collapsed, Captain. There was not any warning. For the moment, we are...wedged," the Vulcan chose her word with care, "in the tunnel before us. I've called general quarters and alerted Sickbay to our medical needs. Are you alright, Captain?" Telak asked, arching an eyebrow as she regarded the oily trail of Chameloid blood running down Kodak's face.

"I'll be fine," the Captain replied in that low rasp of his. "Nothing a dermal regenerator won't fix," he tossed back, moving to take the center seat. "I have the Conn," Kodak noted, officiating the retaking of command.

"I stand relieved, sir," Telak nodded, moving to an auxiliary station on the left side of the Bridge.

"Bridge to Engineering," Kodak intoned as he tapped his combadge. "What's our status, Mr. Oliveria?"

More than a few moments passed before the frazzled voice of the Chief Engineer filtered over the comm along with the telltale signs of speaking through a respirator, "Not good captain, warp drive and main power are offline. We've had a coolant leak, but it is contained for the moment. We've lost several warp coils in the starboard nacelle, which caused a power overload event." The damage report paused momentarily as the sounds of electrical arcing was heard over the comm, "Stardrive computer core is offline, as well as both primary power couplings. The best we can do right now is half impulse and partial shields. Only the fusion reactors in the saucer section are operational." The engineer paused again, only the sounds of his filtered breathing coming across the link, "And Captain, we have five confirmed dead in Main Engineering due to the coolant leak."

"Understood, Chief," Kodak nodded slowly, taking in the somber news and, for the moment, setting aside his grief over the lost crew members. There would be time to grieve but right now wasn't it. "Please stay safe as best you can. Keep us appraised, Lieutenant. Bridge out," the Captain said, tapping the controls on his chair's arm to deactivate the comm channel.

Moments later the turbolift opened to let Tov onto the Bridge. He hands were fastening his combadge in place as he crossed the threshold, then he made his way to the tactical station. He mutely acknowledged the junior officer who had the tactical night watch, then went to work at the station to get a status ready.

"Captain, the lateral phaser array on the starboard side is showing irregular power readings. All other weapons systems show as green. Partial shields are active and holding. I am sending out a team to do a visual inspection of that array," Tov reported. He reached up and wiped at his eye momentarily, blinking something out of it.

Lieutenant Commander Lenek appeared on the bridge not long after the violent shake up, looking no worse for wear for some odd reason. One glance around the compartment told her that others aboard hadn't been similarly blessed. "I'm going to assume that something unexpected happened, given the jarring we just went through," the Cardassian said in an off-handed manner as she sank down into her designated position.

"Good thinking, Lieutenant," the Captain nodded to the Tactical officer. "But let them know we may need get out of here in a hurry. If one section of the tunnel collapsed, I wouldn't be surprised if another did, too. We may need to reverse out of here with very little notice. If that's even possible..." he wondered aloud. To Lenek, who'd just arrived and taken her seat, Kodak turned with an explanation. "The tunnel ahead has partially collapsed. We're currently stuck in what remains of the opening. Ensign Drakken," he turned to the young relief officer at the conn, "any chance we can slip back the way we came?"

While the Chief Flight Controller was no doubt making his way to the Bridge, Drakken was in the hot seat for the time being. And it was his job to deliver some not so great news. Anxiety played on his face as he considered how to respond. "At the moment, we're wedged in pretty good, sir. We might be able to rock ourselves out but I'm not sure what that would do to the hull."

"Understood," the Captain nodded to Drakken. "Hang tight for now, then. Mr. Astril," he looked over towards the Betazoid. "Any readings from the tunnel ahead of us? Is it just the section we're in, or has a large expanse of it collapsed further ahead as well?" While the tactical officer worked on that, Kodak looked again to Lenek. "Well, I'll say this, Commander. Our ascent to Command has certainly been eventful. Thoughts?"

"The way ahead appears to be only partially collapsed. I am reading the tunnel is constricted to a size too small for the Adelphi to fit through for about a dozen ship lengths ahead of us." Tov paused while he worked to refine the data a bit. "It does look like there is enough tunnel open for a runabout or shuttle to make it through forward."

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Kodak turned back to Astril, the wheels in his head already turning. He had a thought but it would have to wait until the ship was out of imminent danger. His head rotated back to the Cardassian beside him, sensing she was about to speak.

"Several..." Lenek muttered, far from enthusiastically, "However I'm not sure any of them will help the situation. Perhaps we should call Ms. t'Aenikh up here, since she wouldn't normally report to the bridge during such a crisis, as this isn't her regular duty station."

"Agreed, Commander," Kodak nodded quickly. "Please summon her to the Bridge and bring her up to speed. I've no doubt we can benefit from her expertise here." And indeed, a skilled science officer could have a great deal of light to shed on the situation and their options.

The Cardassian nodded and slapped her commbadge, "Lenek to t'Aenikh, report to the Bridge immediately."

"On my way..." the voice of the Romulan science officer responded, sounding like she'd somehow managed to sleep through the entire event.

With a swish of the turbolift doors, the Orion appeared having made his way to the Bridge when the sudden change in momentum had him tumbling out of his bed. He'd been sleep and now appeared on the Bridge with his frizzy hair tied back in a knot, donning a sleeveless, body-hugging athletic shirt and pajama pants. He made no comment about it, simply chin-jutting to the Night shift's Helsman that they were relieved. Timmoz's fingers were quick and precise at the board, initializing the settings he preferred. He glanced up at the screen but it was enough to show something had gone wrong.

His eyes fixed on the readings before he even sat down. Timmoz punched the comm key to Engineering, "Nico," he addressed informally, "Get your people out of starboard impulse control. There's a cascading buildup in progress inside the plasma conduits that feed the containment fields. Once it goes, there won't be any protection from the impulse manifolds."

The reply from the Chief Engineer was immediate and hurried, and his voice carried a slight temple, "Thank you, Timmoz, We're on it."

"If someone could catch me up," Timmoz murmured while fingers moved to get a fix on his station's situation, "It'd be helpful."

"Thank you for catching that, Lieutenant," Kodak nodded in response to the cascade build-up. The Captain spent the next few moments explaining the situation to Timmoz, ending with, "And so we're quite literally stuck here. Like a piece of boba caught in a tea straw," came his weary sigh. "Ensign t'Aenikh is on her way up. Perhaps the two of you can coordinate on a potential solution? It doesn't look good for continuing to Delta-Bravo. But even more worrying is whether or not we're going to get stuck from both sides."

Timmoz was furrowed at his data, picking and swiping at it over his console. His console screamed a sculling sound when the plasma conduits in the impulse manifold went. His panel warned him that the containment fields were down and it was locking down the affected bulkheads under radiation protocols. "Subspace looks like it's... collapsed is the wrong word," Timmoz pointed out, though he was no scientist. He half-looked back at the Commander, "Almost like a subspace reef we've run across. We're half-wedged in subspace and half-wedged in realspace." He raised his brows, "So... that's new."

As if she'd been waiting for Kodak to mention her, Ensign t'Aenikh stepped out of the turbolift and looked around at the rather disheveled state of the compartment, it was much the same reaction that the First Officer had given the scene. The Cardassian rose to her feet and walked over to the Romulan, who shrank back slightly at being approached by the Commander. Lenek didn't really give her meek reaction any notice, choosing instead to place her hand between the woman's shoulder blades and corral her toward her station. Once the Romulan was firmly planted in her seat, Lenek gave her the short and dirty version of the events, focusing primarily on the current state of the ship and what they hoped she might be able to do for them.

"Oh..." Ariennye said rather sheepishly, "I'll need a few minutes to pull up the files on these Underspace corridors... there might be... something in them that can help us."

"Fine, do it. Let us know when you've found something that might work," Lenek nodded, satisfied the younger woman was on the right track before returning to her own position.

"This reminds me of an old Earth comic strip," Kodak said as Lenek retook her seat. "I forget the characters' names but a young girl would try to convince her friend to kick a ball. He'd always balk at the idea because, in the past, she'd offer to hold the ball for him only to wrest it away at the last second. Mid-kick, the kid would end up on his butt." As if sensing the question of relevance, the Captain added, "So it's kind of like that for us. Starfleet provides us with a convenient means of support at Delta-Bravo...only for the universe to pull the ball away at the last second. Don't look now but we just fell on our ass, Commander."

The Cardassian snorted at the joke, though she couldn't bring herself to argue with the way it fit their situation at the moment. Because of that, Lenek let the joke stand without commentary, something that didn't often occur when people made the attempt at humor around her.

It was at this point that Elizabeth arrived on the bridge. After being thrown from her bed her mind had immediately gone to the potential injuries that would be caused by whatever had happened to the ship so she had quickly pulled her uniform on and made her way down to sickbay. After making sure that her staff were okay, and dispatching them across the ship to respond to requests for medical staff whilst leaving one of her Doctors and two nurses in sickbay, she made her way to the bridge herself. After all, the senior staff would be assembling to work out what was going and doubtless they would be trying to carry on without getting their injuries checked out.

"Medical is responding, Commander, looks like bumps and bruises for the most part, with the exception of some fatalities in Engineering," Elizabeth reported, scanning the bridge officers with her medical tricorder. "I'll need to get back into surgery once my people move the wounded engineers up to sickbay, but does anyone up here need immediate treatment?"

"Doctor," Kodak looked up from the center seat with some relief. "We appreciate you making a house call. Seems like we've got some bumps, scrapes, and maybe some broken bones up here. I think that guy's arm is coming off," he half-joked, trying to break the tension by pointing to Ensign Mulhern at Ops, who was cradling what looked like a distended shoulder popped out of its socket. Subconsciously reaching up to touch the gash on his forehead, his fingers came away with yet more blood. "The Captain might also be a little worse for wear when you have a minute," he admitted, though added, "but only once the higher priorities are taken care of, hmm?"

"I've got a few minutes whilst the pre-ops are done for the engineers," Elizbaeth replied as she started to move between the bridge officers.

Quickly assessing and mentally triaging the various injuries she quickly and deftly made what quick repairs she could, applying pain suppression hyposprays to those whose injuries were likely painful if not particularly serious, and quickly sealing open cuts and wounds with a dermal regenerator, although only lightly.

"You'll all need to come down to sickbay once this is over get properly treated, but I've done what I can to patch you all up," Elizabeth commented after a time. "I'll be in surgery."

Ten minutes later, the Captain -- no longer bleeding from his forehead -- stood from the center seat and walked over to the Science station. He'd asked the Romulan and Orion senior officers to work together on a plan for freeing the Adelphi from its wedged position in the collapsed tunnel structure. "Mr. Astril," he turned to include the young man in the conversation as well, "tells us that the tunnel ahead is far too small for us to even think of continuing forward. But what are our chances of reversing and traversing out the way we came? Have we got anything yet?" He did his best not to appear impatient but every minute they remained in the tunnel was another minute the sky could literally fall around them.

t'Aenikh had taken several minutes to browse the files that concerned Underspace and Federation involvement with it. A report from the Voyager struck the young woman as interesting, and she'd made it a point to pull the sensor data from the incident in question. Her eyes lit up when she took notice of how the vessel had been forcibly removed from the Underspace corridor it had been traveling through.

"Commander," Ariennye said without thinking that there were multiple Commanders on the bridge. When Lenek looked over at her first, the Romulan continued, "I think I might have found something we can use..."

"Out with it, Ensign," the Cardassian urged the woman, turning more fully in her chair to look at her.

"It has been recorded that a vessel can be pushed out of the Underspace corridor by using a resonance pulse directed at the shields. If we used a probe... and rigged it with a... maybe something like a small deflector dish or something... we could launch it and... push ourselves out of the corridor. We wouldn't be able to get back in from here, given how... um... weird... the Underspace corridors function, but we wouldn't be at risk of being crushed..." Ari explained.

"Better than being stuck," Lenek couldn't help but agree, "What do you think, Commander? Mister Timmoz, do you think you could pilot a probe remotely to make good on this idea?"

While t'Aenikh had been searching for a way out of the collapse, Timmoz and been doing what his skillset allowed- mapping. And the look on his face for once, was one far more pensive than pleasant. "No," he noted at the question, double-glancing back at the senior staff. He brushed his fingers at his chin in thought. "I've been mapping the collapse, if we're calling it that, with the navigational deflector... pinging it's structure you might say like a bat uses sound." He tapped several keys and brought up on the main screen the wire-mesh scan. What appeared was a broken series of collapses that really did somewhat resemble a bisecting reef. "The collapse appears highly complex. I think to get us out, I will have to pilot a shuttle in person and then fire a probe to get myself out."

Timmoz turned back and set several keys. "There isn't any natural cause that should break the underspace like this so I've been looking for a cause." He pursed his lips, "You can damage subspace but collapsing it is a real feat. But I think I've got a guess on what's happened." The Orion tapped more keys and highlighted several regions. "The structure of the collapse has a trajectory and that trajector leads..." the map on the main screen zoomed out and extrapolated through the known maps of several hundred light-years of space. "To a suspected Borg transwarp node. Assuming it's still there."

"As upsides go, at least we didn't take a wrong turn and end up in the heart of Borg space," Kodak commented, eyes scanning the wireframe diagram. "My understanding is that the Underspace tunnels were created millenia ago. Without knowing our tunnel was there, perhaps the Borg burrowed through this particular section?" It was a guess, nothing more. They really didn't have much to go on but this was a plausible theory at least. "I'd say we have our plan. Great work, both of you," the Chameloid nodded to t'Aenikh and Timmoz. "Lieutenant," he looked toward the Orion, "a side question, if you will. Mr. Astril reported that the reef--good term, by the way," Kodak nodded, "has openings big enough for a shuttle or runabout to navigate through. How skilled would a pilot need to be in order to fly through the gaps and make it on to Delta-Bravo?"

It was an odd question to ask, perhaps. After all, Timmoz' plan involved flying ahead in a shuttle, pushing the Adelphi out fully into realspace, and then using a small probe to do the same to the shuttlecraft. Why ask about a ship continuing on its way to Starfleet's new headquarters in the Gradin Belt of the Delta Quadrant? "Could, say, an experienced pilot new to Starfleet control schemes somehow figure out the navigation of the tunnel, if given the chance?" The Commander's follow-up question potentially gave a clue to his line of thinking without, as they say, giving away the whole store.

Timmoz smirked to himself, "No. Not a chance in the Hell of the Cold and Drowned. Not even with Urqinzhe with them to be blunt." He sighed and zoomed the map, "Whatever the Borg did, if they did it... and we don't know how they do in the first place... their method fractalized this portion of underspace." he grinned at that, "To put that into a mental picture, imagine porous coral or a really thick bramble. They have to make it through all those holes to the other side. Runabout-sized, sure. But carefully. Minute thruster corrections. We- they'd need this map." His brows popped, "And maybe even more."

The Captain’s eyes continued to scan the map, looking at it through the eyes a pilot who didn’t have Timmoz’ skill or knowledge. “If this map just happened to fall into an experienced pilot’s hands, what are the chances they could use it successfully? Give me a percentage,” he asked the helmsman, worried about the ‘and maybe even more’ comment. It seemed increasingly clear that Kodak was up to something. He obviously had some kind of idea but needed more information before proceeding. For whatever reason, though, he was tiptoeing around it instead of being direct.

While the Orion thought on that, Kodak looked to t'Aenikh. "Ensign, would being pushed out of Underspace necessitate any modifications to our shields? Lieutenant," Kodak turned to Astril, "I believe it's time to bring your inspection team back into the ship. Also, please dispatch security teams to see our Haakonian and Talaxian guests back to their respective cargo bays."

The Romulan shook her head to indicate that the answer to the Commander's question was a no. She didn't have the heart to do much more than that, as the conversation was already moving farther and farther away from her initial suggestion.

Timmoz read between the lines in what was initially just a wonder- the Captain seemed to be pushing toward a solution. First, they rescued the Talaxians after they drew them into this mess, now they were giving them technology for free. Timmoz wanted to bristle at that. "I'm not a Vulcan," Timmoz corrected with a dash of his tongue to wet his lips, "I don't trust them to take our runabout to that station," he spoke truthfully.

Timmoz sighed and folded his limbs while he thought, "Program the runabout's autopilot to make the course and plot an escape. Turn control of the runabout over to it. All the way to the station." He smirked, "And heavily imply to the Talaxians that if they tamper with the navigational systems, they might explode."

Kodak nodded slowly along as Timmoz laid out a potential plan. "If the Talaxians just happened to escape the cargo bay and steal one of our runabouts, an anti-theft auto-pilot course," he stretched the truth of Timmoz' suggestion, "could land them in the arms of the authorities at Delta-Bravo. Assuming they are unsuccessful at overriding the auto-pilot," he said, the faintest of smiles tugging at his lips. "I'm pretty positive they don't have that kind of know how. Mr. Drakken," he turned to the relief helmsman, who was waiting in the wings on the side of the Bridge. "I'd like you to make installing such an auto-pilot program on the Selena your top priority. Coordinate with Mr. Timmoz as needed."

"Aye sir," Drakken nodded, copying the map onto a PADD before rising and exiting the Bridge.

"Commander Lenek, I'm afraid I need to...see to some other matters," the Captain intoned suspiciously. "I'm leaving getting us out of the Underspace tunnel in your capable hands. I'll return as soon as I can," Kodak nodded, moving to head into the turbo lift. "I have faith in all of you," he said, eyes encompassing the Bridge crew. "We can do this." The doors swished closed in front of him, disappearing the Captain from the Bridge.

The Cardassian nodded to the Captain as he departed before moving from her seat to stand in front of the center chair, though she didn't bother to sit down. Even as Kodak was stepping onto the turbolift, the woman was already working out how to make things happen.

"Ensign t'Aenikh, can you make the modifications to the probe you mentioned earlier?" Lenek turned to the Romulan.

"I believe so... with a little help..." Ari nodded from her console.

"Very well. Mister Astril, go with the Ensign and see if you can't give her a hand. Mister Timmoz, see what you can do with the runabout," Lenek announced before stepping down to come within whisper range of the Orion, "I'm sure there's a trick or two that Starfleet would frown upon under more normal circumstances. If you can do anything to boost the chances that the shuttle won't be tampered with, do it. I'll cover any... complications... from it later."

The Cardassian took a step back and gave the Orion a nod before turning around and crossing the short expanse leading back to the center chair. This time, the woman actually sank down into it. It was going to take a great deal of effort from all parties involved to make the various plans all happening independently of one another work coherently. Lenek silently hoped that all parties involved would manage to pull it off despite each of them working in their own vacuum...

A mission post by

Commander Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Kora Lenek
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Grey, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Lieutenant Nico Oliveria
Chief Engineering Officer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Timmoz
Chief Flight Control Officer

Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril
Chief Security Officer


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