USS Adelphi


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Post 21 - Saucer Stepperation

Posted on Mon Dec 21st, 2020 @ 8:57pm by Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant JG Irynya & Lieutenant JG Chaali & Ensign Tamblem Dravor

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: Outer Hull
Timeline: 30 minutes after Post 18

[Airlock 3]
[Saucer Section]
[30 minutes after Post 18]

Azure gases swirled around the Adelphi's shield bubble, writhing like a monster made of cerulean smoke that was pounding at the gates. Said gates held firm, however, keeping the dangerous gases at bay. As a result, the vacuum around the vessel was free of the haze that abounded out beyond the shields. Having found a temporarily safe position in which to effect repairs, the Adelphi had come to a complete halt, hoping the Vidiians searching through the mists would not stumble upon them.

From the viewport of an airlock — where Mulhern's engineering team had gathered with Dravor's security officers — a worker bee could be seen thrustering into position above the saucer section. It was angling towards the large arm currently clamped onto the Adelphi's hull, freely floating without a connection at the other end to secure it. As the little worker bee floated closer to the grappling arm's end point — a sheerly torn conflagration of twisted metal — the craft began to slow.

From her vantage point at the window, Ensign Sheila Mulhern forced herself to take a calming few breaths. Deep in, deep out, she thought to herself, using the act of watching the worker bee maneuver itself as a means of hiding her anxious expression from the others gathered behind her. You're capable of this, Mulhern, the Engineer told herself, bucking up as best she could before turning back to the others.

Clad in a bright white space suit — meant to offer stark contrast against the blackness of space for easy visibility — Sheila wondered how well she'd show up against a bright blue background instead. Especially if she somehow became separated from the ship and drifted uncontrollably beyond its shields… Can't think like that, lady, she chided herself, reaching up to activate the comm unit built into her suit.

With her helmet already locked into place, Mulhern's voice came over the comm for all team members — including those in the worker bee itself — to hear. "Alright, once Irynya and Chaali have the grappling arm held up away from the Adelphi and taughtly in position," she began, "the engineering team can get to work severing it from the hull. Worker bee team," she looked towards the window, "let us know when you're in position and we'll make our way outside."

Turning to Dravor and his security team, Mulhern said, "Security is not my area of expertise. Please do whatever you have to," she trailed off, thoughts of a phaser fight on the hull in mind, "to ensure we're not harvested for spare parts by the Vidiians hiding in that arm, hmm?"

"I've scanned the tether," Chaali reported over her shoulder to the Risian and by way of subspace, the team. "There are five Vidiians on board..." she stated. "In some kind of independent boarding compartment. They've latched onto the hull like a Turian Lamprey. Three of the six prongs have fully penetrated the hull. We have hull fracturing and distress under two others... that's interesting," she tapped the comm back to standby.

"What's interesting?" Irynya said aboard the worker bee, eyes flickering back and forth between the craft's maneuvering controls and the dangling tether.

The tether itself seemed to wave at the Risian lieutenant as if to say catch me if you can. Irynya glared at it, the tip of her tongue visible just barely out of the corner of her mouth where she had absent mindedly tucked it. It was an unconscious tick, but one that somehow seemed to help her focus.

Back on the Adelphi, Dravor replied to the Bolian with a "Thanks Lieutenant" before opening a channel to the bridge. "Dravor to Captain, Lieutenant Chaali has confirmed five living Vidiians in some sort of pod. Do you want us to attempt to remove the tether and keep the pod attached, or do you wish us to remove the pod from the tether before we release it?" Dravor was content to allow the Vidiians to die on the pod as they had attacked Adelphi without cause, but it was ultimately the Captain's call.

"If you can contain them within the pod," Kodak's reply came down from the Bridge, "great: sever that pod and leave them floating in space. If you can't," he noted, "then do your best to incapacitate them and get them to the Brig," the Captain answered before closing the channel.

On the worker bee, Irynya opened her comm to the group. "I'm in position. Ready to secure the grappling arm," she stated, not bothering to sign off before closing the comm and turning back to her task. "What's interesting?" she asked again.

Chaali glanced at the Risian, "Interesting because of their hold on the hull isn't straight on... so they shouldn't have a seal to cut into it. Unless they have some kind of umbilical inside to protect them... I'm not sure how well they can really cut into us."

[Worker Bee]

Now in position above the grappling arm, the tiny craft was ready to begin its work — in conjunction, of course, with its occupants. With a powerful tractor beam and grappling connectors of its own, the little ship was capable of a great deal. And today, it was being relied on to grab the remains of the Vidiians' tether and hold it in place for proper removal. An easy job on paper, some might say, but since nothing else had gone right since arriving in this sector, who knew what could happen…

Chaali's face turned to her console, flicking with her fingers through the heads up display on the small vessel's cockpit. She was cool. She was calm. And she was definitely not feeling the pangs of claustrophobia as the yellow hull of the small craft seemed smaller than she was comfortable with. Her fingers, after a hesitant pause to focus, returned to her duties. She was fine, she told herself. Claustrophobia was a common Bolian complaint- but she cursed The Programmers for giving her that particular flaw.

After she finished reporting in, Chaali tapped the comm to standby. She glanced at the window again, her chin twitching. "We're lucky that didn't tear a chunk out of us. Nico's going to have his hands full fixing this."

Still focused on the task in front of her, Irynya barely nodded her agreement then realized her Bolian companion may not have seen it. "I don't envy him the task," she said. "Engaging tractor beam."

The tightly focused tractor band seemed to appear from nowhere extending from the lower middle of the worker bee and focusing on the end of the grappling arm. The arm seemed uninterested in being tractored and bucked against the hold. Irynya let out a low growl of annoyance as the worker bee lived into its name, appearing to bumble slightly as it rolled to the right with the grappling arm tipping its two occupants at a nearly 45 degree angle before moving back toward center.

"Sorry Chaali," Irynya tossed back over her shoulder at her companion. "Recalibrating equilibrium now."

A few flicks of her wrist and the worker bee stabilized, settling back into its upright position like a boat coming down the crest of a wave.

"Extending pincer arms," the Risian reported. She had debated this extensively with herself as they had walked to the cargo bay where the worker bee lived. On one hand the tractor beam should have been sufficient to hold the grappling arm in place. On the other the pincer arm and light reverse thrusters would guarantee the arm remained taught even if there was some turbulence from the arm's unseen occupants. In the end, she decided on the latter for safety purposes.

The pincer arms unfurled in front of them, stretching out from either side of the bee like two long, insectile legs; too many joints to resemble anything else. Tongue still tucked between her teeth, Irynya nudged the arms toward the grappling arm, setting each into place and then pincering deep into the metal on each end.

She tapped open her comm again. "Worker bee in position. Applying reverse thrusters now. You should be good to go," she reported, fingers flicking over her console to fire up reverse thrusters on their lowest setting. The grappling arm stood at attention, giving up any fight it had been putting up against the tractor beam. Irynya let out a low breath, setting her hands in her lap. "Thank goodness," she whispered.

[Outer Hull]
[Saucer Section]

With the grappling arm now held firmly in place, Mulhern, Dravor, and the team continued their magnet-booted trek across the Adelphi's hull. Ahead of them, the tether rose like a thin monolith, held in an optimal position by the worker bee's tractor beam. Its new position would allow the team to remove the arm without damaging the Adelphi any further than it already was. The only problem was that the team would first have to get to the arm and it was a bit of a walk.

Given that Vidiians could come streaming out of the grappler's carcass at any moment, success was not exactly guaranteed but the team had to move forward, regardless of the potential danger. So with Dravor's team covering them, Mulhern and the engineers surged forward, moving at a slowed pace given the need to be magnetically attached to the hull. If they used their suits' thrusters to more quickly traverse the distance, a lucky phaser hit could send someone spinning into the gases beyond…

"First actual, for-real spacewalk, Ensign?" Mulhern asked Dravor over the localized comms. The young man had seemed nervous up on the Bridge and she couldn't help but wonder if he, too, hadn't actually done this in a real setting yet. "Must be nice to be in that worker bee," she smirked over the comms to Irynya and Chaali. "Nice and cozy up there?"

"Uh, no ma'am, security officers receive extensive spacewalk training at the Academy, but it has been a while. When you're deployed on a ship like the Adelphi, we don't have the luxury of real zero-g training, but the holodeck is a good substitute," The Trill replied more confidently than he had been on the bridge due to the lack of authority figures on this outing.

Irynya snorted at Mulhern's jibe. "Yes. We've got blankets and hot chocolate here. Not a care in the sector," she replied, a smile teasing her lips. Her heart still pounded in her chest from maneuvering the machine into place and she felt a bit giddy having successfully done so.

Chaali's proximity panel squealed suddenly, "Whoa hold position!" she said both to Irynya and the officers over the channel. "That was a big spike in hull stress. And I'm detecting pressure changes in the interior bulkheads. Atmosphere's decreasing by twenty millipascals per second."

On the hull of the Adelphi, Mulhern sounded worried. "If the arm's held in place, why would there by additional hull stress? It's almost like..."

She was cut off before finishing that thought, however, as a section of the tethering arm's skin blew off, careening through vacuum as it flew laterally away. From the now-exposed compartment, six Vidiians came striding onto the hull, magnetic boots adhering them to the surface. That was, of course, until their thruster packs -- attached at their backs -- triggered, lifting the Vidiian breech-troopers several feet above the hull, giving them aerial advantage over the Starfleet team below. And then they began firing...

[Worker Bee]

As the Vidiian soldiers fired their weapons at the spacesuit-clad Adelphi crewmembers below, two others emerged from the arm, apparently having abandoned the effort of cutting into the Starfleet ship's hull. Instead, they activated their jetpacks and rocketed upward, attaching themselves to either side of the worker bee's main hatch. Inaudible in the vacuum of space, the Vidiian's cutting lasers began their work, intending to breech the pod and expose its occupants to the cold rigors of airlessness.

Chaali twisted her head, watching Vidiian boots crest past the canopy and onto their small hull. "Oh I see," she said with uncharacteristic determination. "They wanna play." She turned in her chair, blue fingers moving rapidly on her controls. "Hold on," she threw over her shoulders to Irynya, "Get ready to fire the thrusters. And hold on to something." The small pods alarms began to blare, light shifting to the blinking red bezels of red alert.

"Thrusters ready." Irynya replied, hands poised over the controls ready to respond to the other woman's command.

"Warning. Plasma coolant ejection has begun. Stand clear. Stand clear." The computer warned. She turned to the Risian. "Fire the thrusters."

Irynya's eyes had grown wide as she realized what Chaali intended to do. But she was ready nonetheless and tapped the firing mechanism for the worker bee's maneuvering thrusters feeling the tension of the thrusters versus the teether almost instantly.

With a violent shake and quake, the lights flickering, the little work bee's world lit up in a green flash of violent plasma discharge. Their panels flickered and returned to life, glaring in reds. It's yellow hull scored and singed black in parts, the charred bodies of the two Vidiians floated free.

Irynya released her console where she had braced herself for the maneuver as red lights began to light everything up. She tapped through each warning taking stock of their status, her frown deepening as she did so.

"Plasma discharge has taken automated piloting offline. Our fuel is low as well but I think," she tapped a few more blinking red warning lights on her console, "we have enough to get back to the shuttle bay of we can get this thing off the hull in the next 30 minutes." She let out a breath, sitting back in her seat. "I'll have to take is in manually."

"Nico's going to kill me. Maybe we should set a course for the Barzan wormhole," Chaali's fingers smoothed down her scalp. But at least they'd shaken their would-be killers. She glanced at the Risian and then toward the hull, "That'll be easy.... right?"

[Main Hull]
[Still concurrent]

Sheila ducked as nimbly as she could in a spacesuit, dodging a glowing, white-blue beam of directed energy. The Vidiian soldier maneuvering several feet above her jetted sideways, avoiding Mulhern's attempt to fire back. Sadly, the aerial movement accomplished a secondary goal as well: from his new position, the soldier was able to land a critical hit on a young engineering technician. Whether he'd been killed instantly or left to die -- devoid of vital, stolen organs -- slowly was impossible to tell without a scan. And at that moment, everyone was just a bit too busy for that.

With another orange-white blast from her phaser, Mulhern attempted to score a hit of her own but only succeeded in clipping the arm of her prey. The solider spun away, momentarily out of control until they managed to trigger their thrusters, righting themselves once again. "Damnit," Sheila swore, searching for Dravor where she'd last seen him. Mulhern had momentarily lost track of the man and hoped he was faring better than she and her team were.

The young security office uttered a decidedly Trill curse as his first shot went wide. The lack of a horizon in space made it more challenging to fix onto the targets headed for them, but the security officer and his double strength team were well trained. Dravor fired, but his rifle, set to stun, did not slow the alien.

"Phasers to maximum," the Trill stated, oddly calm over the open channel. Setting his feet, Dravor pressed the firing stud on the pulse rifle and watched as the ball of energy created a gaping hole clean through the Vidiian closest to him.

With only a few Vidiians remaining, the security team and the engineers spent the next few moments mopping up the operation, coordinating their fire in criss-crossing patterns that made evasive jetpacking ineffective. One by one, the would-be boarders fell -- or at least, they would have if there were any kind of gravity present. Instead, the bodies flew slowly away from the Adelphi, propelled by the same phaser blasts that had slain them. Seeing his compatriots all dead, the last remaining Vidiian tossed his weapon into space and surrendered.

For a moment, Dravor considered firing anyway. Shaking his phaser, he motioned for the Vidiian to move away from the structure and turned to his team. "If he doesn't do exactly what you say, shoot him," he ordered. Opening a channel to the Bridge, Tamblem's confidence faded, "Captain, we've captured a Vidiian, but we may have some casualties. We are assessing now."

"Understood, Ensign. We'll prepare the brig for your prisoner," the Captain intoned over comms. "Good work," Kodak offered before closing the channel.

"Well," Mulhern spoke up, staring at the worker bee as it once again manipulated the tethering arm, "guess we'd better get to it now that we're free to work. Thanks for ensuring no one died," she smiled wanly through the faceplate of her helmet at Dravor. We've had too much of that already, she thought to herself.

[Main Bridge]
[20 minutes later]

With the Vidiians repelled, the effort to remove the tethering arm had gone fairly smoothly. Aboard the worker bee, Irynya and Chaali had ensured the arm remained locked in optimal position while Mulhern and her team below did their work. After several long minutes, the arm's grappling points had been surgically removed and temporary patches on the hull had been installed. Arm in tow, the worker bee returned to the shuttle bay. Meanwhile, Dravor had sent several members of his team to escort their new prisoner to the brig, where the Vidiian now rested in isolation after his injuries had been attended to.

On the Bridge, Captain Kodak nodded to himself in satisfaction. While he'd not been part of the action on the hull, he hadn't exactly sat idle, either. In conjunction with Science, Ops, and Helm, he'd put together a course that would ensure the Adelphi avoided the Vidiian ship currently trailing them in the nebula. Given its vast size -- several light years across -- the nebula would provide ample cover for a game of hide-and-seek, though the Chameloid hoped they could keep moving enough to avoid detection anytime soon. There were extensive repairs to be made and another run in with the Vidiians wouldn't do them any favors on that front.

Kodak turned as the turbolift doors swished open, depositing Mulhern, Dravor, Irynya, and Chaali onto the Bridge. "Welcome back," he said, warmth infusing his voice, "and a job very well done. Ensign Mulhern, there's a lot on your to-do list with Oliveria gone -- including that plasma flare. I'm afraid we're far from a friendly space-dock and we can't afford to stop for extended repairs at the moment."

"I'll get a team on it, sir. We'll fix what we can but," Mulhern said, "we may just have to make do with tamping down our power signature as much as we can in the meantime. I recommend we run on minimal power. Which means..."

"No holodecks. Replicator rationing. And sonic showers just became a luxury..." Kodak nodded slowly, groaning internally. "Hope everyone bathed this morning," he offered in half-jest. "Alright then. Helm," he turned to Irynya, "you'll find a course I've plotted in the computer. Lay it in and keep our speed fast enough to stay ahead of the Vidiians but slow enough to keep our energy signature at a minimum. Chaali," he looked then to the Bolian, "you're in charge of power distribution. Triage departmental power needs and shuffle things around as you see fit. If anyone complains, send them to me. And finally," he swiveled in his chair to face Dravor, "they're coming. Maybe not this instant, but I doubt they're going to give up the chase. Yellow alert and stay alert, Ensign," Kodak commanded.

The hunt for the Adelphi, it seemed, was on...

=/\= A joint post by... =/\=

Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer


Lieutenant JG Irynya (t'Nai's NPC)
Flight Controller


Lieutenant JG Chaali (Timmoz' NPC)
Operations Officer


Ensign Tamblem Dravor (Oliveria's NPC)
Tactical Officer


Ensign Mulhern (Kodak's NPC)
Engineering Officer


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