Guardian Station

Barzan Sector

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Post 8 - A Race Against the Clock

Posted on Fri Nov 6th, 2020 @ 8:11pm by Lieutenant Commander Jheria Dilucca & Lieutenant Commander Brendan D'Agostini & Lieutenant Commander Jonathan van Dorland

Mission: Episode 4: Freefall
Location: Multiple Locations
Timeline: Mission Day 1 - 1230h

[Guardian Station]
[Multiple Locations]
[Mission Day 1 - 1230h]

After running out of Operations she and D'Agostini made their way towards Sector Foxtrot-One-Emerald which housed the upper fusion and antimatter reactors while van Dorland headed towards the Engineering Control Center. Once they arrived she saw the area swarming with engineers trying to diagnose the problem, with just as many ten decks up with Commander van Dorland. 

She looked towards Brendan, "I would like you to take a team and head down to the lower level reactors, will coordinate together about getting them back online," she said as she looked at him while she herself picked a team that would work with her here at the upper level.

“On it, Commander,” said Brendan more automatically than anything else. He was already in the middle of choosing his team so when Dilucca gave him the go-ahead he turned and spouted out five names without a moment’s hesitation. 

The six engineers raced downward at such a pace that left one out of shape crewman gasping.

”What’s the hurry?” Hudson asked, naive, and unaware of the emergency beyond the klaxons sounding around them.

”Pull your head out of your ass Hudson,” chided the senior petty officer in the team, Federov, a burly engineer in his forties, who’d awed many of the younger members of the staff when he recalled his tour aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Now a grizzled veteran he knew the gravity of the situation even if Hudson - a talented though inexperienced engineer did not. “The station’s lost power to altitude control. We’re going down.”

”How did that happen?” 

”Let’s get a move on it people,” D’Agostin barged in without acknowledging the question although the true object of his focus was the cause of the problem. Possibilities and potential solutions cycled through his mind in rapid-fire sequence. He had barely scratched the surface of the likely options by the time his body carried him to the lower levels and the reactors as Dilucca managed up top.

She tapped her commbadge. "Commander van Dorland I am going to keep a three-way comm channel open between you, D'Agostini, and myself. Let me know what you find out, but we will work on the reactors," Jheria said as connected the three of them to the open communications channel.

"Understood, sir. We're attempting to bring the secondary sub-processors back online, but we have to isolate the source of the cascade failure first. It's slow going without the main engineering computer," replied van Dorland through the badge.

She entered the fusion reactors with her team and began tapping at controls that were not responding. By this time Brendan should have arrived at the lower levels, "D'Agostini, are the controls responding to you?" Jheria asked over communications as she tried another console that came up the same. It was as if they were locked out, she raised an eyebrow as she opened the main control panel to see what was going on.

D’Agostini polled his team it received only worried and negative responses.

”Sorry, Commander, but we’ve got nothing down here in terms of control. The console is still giving me status on the antimatter injectors, but that’s all I can manage. The computer looks shot.”

"Wonderful..." Jheria replied as she thought for a moment, "let's try to see if we can bypass the systems. We need to get the reactors back online...and fast." She said as she began to work keep me in the loop on your progress."

D'Agostini felt his whole body shaking with excitement. He barked orders, pointed emphatically at consoles, junctions, relays as needed. He was in his element, feeling like he was fresh out of the academy again, but it wasn't bringing him any closer to a solution. Each time it seemed like they made the progress they ran into a brick wall and bounced back to the beginning, or worse.

"Chief," D'Agostini called out to Federov. "Thoughts?"

"I don't know, sir. The computer is in a bad mood today, and I haven't seen anything like it."

That last remark caused Brendan almost as much anxiety as the thought of Guardian Station plummeting into the planet's gravity well. Rare problems usually became disastrous outcomes and when an experienced petty officer was surprised, that didn't bode well for the result.

"Automatical controls won't respond and manual overrides are locked out by interlocks," said D'Agostini, thinking aloud. "Hudson, what's the pressure reading on the intake?"

"Nominal commander, we're in the green, and it's been holding steady."

"Who's got eyes on the port?"

"It's sealed shut sir, no flow whatsoever." Came the response from the deck below.

Something's not lining up.

"Commander van Dorland, what are you coming up with down there?" She asked as she worked trying to bypass the system enough to where they could get the reactors back online. 

"No joy. As soon as we get a computer sub-system diverted to the task, it tells me that containment failure will result from reactor start-up, and then that sub-system fails," the Third Engineer replied. "And, honestly, if we can't verify that the containment fields are fine manually, then the computer is right. We could vaporize the whole station if we bypass it completely."

Jheria sighed, "wonderful..." she said as she thought for a moment, "any ideas as nothing is responding in either upper or lower reactors." She asked as she looked at no one in particular as she wasn't having any luck bypassing the system to gain some kind of entry. 

"We can't restart the reactors without the computer, and we can't restart the computers until we know where the cascade fault is coming from," van Dorland replied over the comm. "We'll have to create a completely isolated network, but to do that means separating the reactors from about two dozen other systems for the time being."

She thought for a moment, "Alright, D'Agostini, and I will work on separating the reactors. Work with Lieutenant Walsh to figure out where the cascade fault is coming from." She said as she hoped Brendan heard them.

In fact, D’Agostini had only been listening to them. As his team scrambled for some semblance of understanding of the problem he kept tabs on the other teams to know whether they were making any progress as a whole. So when the chief gave the order Brendan jumped into action.

”All right everyone let’s get a move on it, we’ve got a couple of dozen systems to take care of and gravity isn’t going to let us take a coffee break,” he barked to his engineers. Then into the commlink with Dilucca, “My team will start working on the secondary system Chief, you give the word when you want the plug pulled.”


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