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Post 64 - Break of Dawn - Ain't no party like a boarding party

Posted on Fri Oct 30th, 2020 @ 6:32am by Lieutenant Selu Levne & Ensign Sasha Volkov & Lieutenant Evelyn Hirsch & Lieutenant Commander Brendan D'Agostini & Cadet Loren Finanahad

Mission: Episode 3: Aftermath
Location: SS Break of Dawn
Timeline: Mission Day 04 - 1815HR

[Runabout Aoraki]

Sasha watched as the last of the crew beamed over and busied himself with scanning the stricken starship. He admired the Olympic-class starship's spherical primary hull, which was generally not expected in Federation starship design. Figuring the day would be long, he procured a cup of coffee, the finest organic suspension known to exist, and waited for instructions.

[SS Break of Dawn]

The darkened compartment was lit momentarily by the bright blue light of a transporter, the shimmering whine of the process starting, building, and finishing off and then the light faded as the figures coalesed fully into being aboard the SS Break of Dawn.

The transporter room aboard the ship wasn't commonly required during transit or even all that much when the ship finally arrived at its destinations, but was there just in case and maintained for any arrivals such as those from the runabout Aoraki. The room's light then flickered to light as life signs were detected and a series fo chimes then played out.

"Welcome," a cheery voice said, "to the Break of Dawn! Please stand by and one of our staff will be with you momentarily!" Then the chimes played once more and silence engulfed the room.

"Well," Selu said in response as she looked around, "shall we wait or shall we proceed?" she asked, turning to face Commander D'Agostini.

"I'm surprised they haven't rolled out the welcome wagon," the engineering officer said.

Just then the door to the transporter room door opened and a man in this middle years stepped in wearing a civilian transport uniform. It had the shipping line's logo on the left breast of the baby blue tunic top. "Oh man alive," he spoke, stepping towards D'Agostini, "I am so glad to see Starfleet. Oh, and you brought medics! Excellent, Mrs. Truman took a nasty fall when the power went out and we've got a few other bumps and bruises. Oh, you people are wonderfully timed!" He was excited to see uniforms and it came across in his body language and tone of voice. "Please, please, come with me."

"If I'd have known someone was injured, I would have gotten in here ahead of the group. Please, show me to her, and I'll make sure she's taken care of," said Hirsch, doing her best medical professional smile.

"I'll take you right to her," said the man, but he hesitated for a moment remembering the other Starfleet crew in pursuit.

"Don't worry, this isn't our first time," D'Agostini reassured him. As Hirsch was led away to look after the wounded he turned his attention to the rest of the away team. "All right lieutenant, you and Cadet Finanahad make your way up to the bridge to coordinate with the captain or whoever is in charge. I'll head down to the engine room and see if I can't help them get main power back on. Whatever you do, stay in communication with the Aoraki, Volkov is our eyes and ears out here until we can get the Break of Dawn powered back up again."

[Passenger Lounge]

The man who led Hirsch had introduced himself as Charlie and talked the entire minute-long walk from the transporter room to the lounge. The was a single large space aboard ship, from port to starboard of the ship's second second about amidships. Windows on either side just looked out into the star-speckled depths of space, the only object of any interest being the runabout Aoraki sitting out the port windows.

"Mrs. Truman," he said as he led Hirsch along to a woman who looked older than the Federation, more battle-hardened than a Klingon fleet and more irascible then Tellar Prime itself. "I've brought a Starfleet nurse to look at your injuries." That said, Charlie then quickly stepped aside and out of the side of his spoke to Evelyn in a whispered voice. "Good luck!" he said.

The woman was sitting in one of the large padded lounge chairs and looked up at Hirsch as the woman approached. "I've got my medicine right here you child," she said, lifting the rather full glass of amber liquid in her left hand. That said, she then proceeded to look away, back out the window into the void. "Blasted Starfleet," she muttered under her breath.

"Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Truman. I'm Lieutenant Evelyn Hirsch - usually just Eve or Hirsch will suffice - and I'm the head nurse overseeing Guardian Station," replied Hirsch, smiling a quite genuine soft smile. "I'll only need a few moments to look you over. I've been told you fell, and you'll probably be pleased to hear that, since you don't appear to have fallen unconscious, the blasted Starfleet nurse will only be in your hair a few minutes." She reached into the satchel on her hip, full of various medical supplies, and pulled out a tricorder. As she removed the probe from the device, she looked back to her patient. "As long as I have your permission to do so, I'm going to run a scan of your body, now."

"Fleeters have to help, don't you?" the woman replied without even looking back, taking another sip of her drink. "Oh get on with it will you. Sooner you're all done, sooner we're at your blasted station and I can get my next ship to some sensible planet." The woman finally turned to look at Eve. "Planet's don't tend to break you know. Planets make sense."

"The helping people thing has been a tradition of medical personnel since a long while before Starfleet came about," Eve replied, as she started to move the probe slowly from the other woman's head toward her feet. "And...hey, I spent all of my career, until quite recently, keeping my feet on solid ground as much as possible. I understand that feeling, in a way." She glanced down at the results on her tricorder, scanning over them. "I am willing to listen, if you'd like. Even if it's just to complain about Starfleet."

"I don't complain," she half-heartedly snapped back. "I critique." Another sip of the amber liquid in her glass. "Bitterly and enthusiastically." She turned to look at Eve. "Had a daughter like you once. Doctor in the Fleet. Then the Dominion came. Beat all the odds, survived the war, killed two weeks after V-C day in a riot at a medical facility. Pah! Cardassians."

The scanner reported dutifully on Mrs Truman's condition. A stress fracture in her off arm, some brusing yet to show there and hidden by her hair where her head had hit the bulkhead. More bruising to form on her left knee as well. And the scanner even dutifully reported on her amber beverage of choice. Iced tea. At least someone on the Break of Dawn's staff was sensible enough not to let her have alcohol.

Hirsch breatehed a near-silent sigh of relief at that final fact, then looked back at her patient. "We lost a lot of good people around that time. People think of the end of a war as the end of all the danger, but we're still pretty much always in danger." She dug through her bag to find a dermal regenerator. "You're a little banged up, but you should be alright. May I?"

Mrs Truman nodded, and Hirsch very gingerly started moving hair aside so she could get those bruises taken care of. "That's the trouble with Starfleet, right? You join to do science and help people, and next thing you know, you're in the middle of a standoff with all the lives aboard your ship on the line, including yours." She punctuated this by turning off the regenerator and kneeling to start working on the woman's knee. Then, her voice came more softly. "I'm sorry to hear that happened to her. I wish I could say anything to make that hurt less."

"There's nothing more needs saying that hasn't been said already," Mrs Truman said, kind enough to even straighten her leg to make it easier for Hirsch to get a good angle for a scanner or anyother tool really. "Now here I am on some banged up rust bucket." Another sip. "Girl, do yourself a favour and make sure someone remembers you well enough to be all maudlin about your passing."

The look Hirsch cast to Mrs Truman was deeply, profoundly pained. "I'll do my best," she replied, her voice coming as something closer to a whisper than the voice she had been using up until that moment. "I'll just get you finished up here," she said, removing another tool to assist with the fracture in the woman's arm. She completed the rest of her work in silence.

[Engineering]

"Blast it!" the Tellarite man in what looked to a utility version of the same cruise line uniform shouted as his fists came down on the computer console in front of him, a faint cracking sound coming from it. "Just work!" the man shouted, repeating his action, this time earning him several denials and distressed chirps from the console.

Engineering was quiet, the ship's little warp core completely stopped. The only sound was the Tellarite abusing his equipment and a faint hum of a fusion reactor, located above them, pulsing away relatively quietly and providing the secondary power the ship was functioning on right now.

D'Agostini stepped into the engineering section illuminated only by emergency lighting and the few consoles that still flickered with any life at all. It wasn't a pretty sight and the veteran engineer shook his head as he witnessed his civilian counterpart throw an access panel over his head in frustration. He was the only one in the entire section; the entire engineering crew (a fraction of what a typical Starfleet vessel would carry) were out repairing convenience systems like lighting, communications, and replicators that'd gone down. Now that they'd gotten secondary power back up, everyone assumed the crisis was over and the sole engineering crewmember had to tackle bringing main power back on by himself in the meantime.

Main engineering couldn't have been considered a beautiful thing to look at, but it still made Brendan grin. Even after all the refits, civilian modifications, and stripping away Starfleet technology, one couldn't mistake that she was an Olympic-class starship at her heart.

"Can I give you a hand?"

"Who's asking?" The Tellerite engineer questioned suspiciously of an unfamiliar voice without pulling his head out of the compartment he was working inside of.

"I'm from Guardian Station, Starfleet sent out a team to help," Brendan explained, while he surveyed the rest of the section. Most consoles returned only garbled feedback; readings were missing or numbers were displayed without context. Something was at 76%, while D'Agostini had to assume "L&fl6ct4r St9@us" was actually deflector status. The engineer had a pretty good idea that when they lost power some of their computer systems were rebooted improperly and now that was causing the confusion (and likely a lot of their problems bringing main power back up).

"Starfleet huh? Well if you say so," came the uninterested reply, still from within the panel. "How about taking a look at the anti-matter injectors? Last I saw they weren't resonding."

Simple enough, D'Agostini thought, but he also had a few ideas of his own. He tapped his commbadge and called out to the runabout.

"D'Agostini to Volkov; I need you to transport containers charlie and delta to main engineering and rig the runabout's deflector for a beam power transfer."

"Understood. Transporting now," filtered the disembodied voice of the runabout's pilot over the comm. A moment later both large containers materialized on the floor near D'Agostini. "Maneuvering runabout into position for power transfer, eta three minutes. I'll await your signal."

Outside the ship, the large runabout slipped down along the stardrive section and maneuvered the nose of the small craft opposite a power distribution port on the outside of the hull. The Aoraki's small deflector dish pulsed as Sasha aligned the beam and prepared to activate.

"No runabout is going to power this BLAST IT!" the Tellarite swore with a rather convincing klang of head against metal framing. Freeing himself and getting to his feet the Tellarite, shorter then average for his species, looked around while rubbing his forhead. "Changed my mind on those injectors. Convince the computer to speak Tellarite, or even just Standard to me and I'll consider you a particularly clever little so and so," the man continued as he went looking for something in the distance and only just around a corner.

"You're the boss," said Brendan, with an inward smile. Then into the comm channel he addressed Volkov, "Standby Ensign, we'll try a few more things before we do a power transfer." But as the ship's lone engineer disappeared around the corner, he continued with the pilot in a hushed tone. "But in the meantime see if you can't interface directly with the Break of Dawn's systems through the link. It's a mess down here and they need something to jumpstart the repairs or we'll be here for hours."

"Aye, sir, attempting to surreptitiously help people who don't want to be helped," There was an obvious amusement coming from the young pilot over the comm. One could only guess if it was because he was seated on a fully functional runabout with exclusive access to the replicators instead of being led around in a rat race by civilians.

[Bridge]

Stepping out onto the bridge of the Break of Dawn, Selu and Loren found themselves beset with a scene of utter chaos. Not the manic kinda, but the more settled kind of intricate chaos. There were approximately half as many again staff members on the ship's bridge as needed and everyone was busy working on something.

Consoles were open and staff were running checks on the circuits under them. Access panels had been opened and isolinear chips were being examined one at a time by a couple of engineers. The main viewer was non-functional, just displaying a series of error codes.

"Unless you're an engineer," came a gruff voice of a man as he stepped past a young woman and approached the two Starfleet officers, "stay out of the way."

"Lieutenant Levine," Selu said, not offering a hand that worked well with the man's general demeanor. "We're here to investigate what happened while Commander D'Agostini has gone to Engineering."

"What happened," the man said, still not identifying himself, "is some damn program started up in the ship's computer and went about disabling everything before we could react and scrambling everything afterward. You want to help, snap your fingers, and make everything work again."

Selu's head tilted sideways in contemplation for a moment before smiling. "Captain, if I could, I would. Are there any computer logs from when everything happened that Cadet Finanahad and I could review? Perhaps if we see something unique it might help your engineers and ours to diagnose the problem."

The nursing cadet nodded, "I'm not exactly an engineer, but I've taken the basics and have a pretty good grasp of the situation.  I think I'd be able to help."

"Right, fine." The man moved towards one of the few stations on the bridge not currently used. It's readouts looked fine, the controls operational. "Captain Deluca. Shout if you see anything." With that, he departed for the opposite side of the bridge and into a deep conversation with one of his crew.

"Right cadet," Selu said, turning the chair to Loren so he could sit in it. "Shall we get started? Let's bring up the main computer logs for the last twenty-four hours and see if we can't spot something."

Loren's hands started, if not dancing, slowly navigating the console. as he brought up the logs.  It took him a few minutes, but he managed to pull up a list of the logs from that time period.  "Should we start with the Captain's log? he suggested

"No, let's start with a system diagnostic log I think. Let's see if we can't find when things went down and then check everything just prior. Did a system come online, or some computer program start-up and played havoc with the ship? Looking for signs of system conflict that might have set off a cascade." Selu's hand found the back of the chair as she leaned in a little to read the screens brought up. A finger was idly pointed at a screen, more to help guide her eye as she read lines.

Loren, with a brief nod of his head, changed tactics and quickly dismissed the program he'd brought up and started following Selu's action.

"There, " he said point to a line of code,  "Is that something?"

"Could be Cadet, could be. Certainly doesn't look normal if you look at the last hour or so of system activity." Scanning the report, much of it way over her head on technical matters, Selu shrugged. "Flag it and send it down to a monitor in Engineering."

"Aye ma'am I'll do that," Loren replied and with the faintest hint of a smile, he said, "I'm a nurse, not an electrical engineer, but I can pass it on to the people who are engineers.

"Levne to D'Agostini," Selu said, hand tapping at her combadge briefly. "Cadet Finanahad and I think we might have found something in a system usage report. We've sent it to Engineering display fourteen beta if you could spare a moment to look at it."

"Got it, Lieutenant," affirmed D'Agostini a moment later as he viewed the console in question. Unfortunately for him, the log came in more scrambled than his eggs that morning, and all he could distinguish was a few points of data. "I'm just seeing a bunch of code fragments down here, I'm guessing that's not what it looks like on the bridge?"

"No, we're looking at a system usage report. Everything tracks pretty normally for hours, days even, then suddenly the main computer ramps up to looks like a full processing load, then everything starts erroring out, including the log."

"Whatever the error is, it must have started or at least be propagating from engineering," the engineer announced. He turned a few ideas over in his head, considering the likely scenarios and dismissing the most unlikely ones until he came up with a plan.

"All right lieutenant, if the computer's code is still intact up on the bridge then we should be able to put up a firewall around it and back it up then reboot the entire ship from the bridge," he explained as simply as if he were only asking them to turn off and on a sonic shower, but then sending them a lifeline D'Agostini told them he'd talk them through it.

"One moment Commander," Selu said over the comm line before waving one of Break of Dawn's own crewmembers over, who ended up being tailed by the ship's Captain. A quick explanation and then all of them were on board to get the work started. The Captain even seemed enthusiastic, on the condition this work actually gets his ship working again.

The better part of an hour passed by quickly as the bridge and engineering cooperated to set up for the system reboot and in their dim surroundings under emergency power, it was tense the entire time. D'Agostini tried to keep his instructions simple and though they found themselves caught in a few loops of total incomprehension along the way he was impressed by the pair on the bridge given their lack of engineering expertise so that when they finally put the last pieces in place he was confident the Break of Dawn would be on her way in only a matter of minutes.

"All right, that just about does it down here. So remember, once I shut down everything from engineering and begin the diagnostic, you'll download the uncorrupted code back into the system when the computer prompts you to."-

"I think I can handle that," the nursing cadet said with a wan smile.

D'Agostini tapped the few commands that his console would allow him to and all the consoles in engineering went dark much as he expected them to and left the room in only the pale red glow of its emergency lighting. He waited for the next moment when they would come back to life and he'd start the diagnostic, but it never came. He'd just opened his mouth and the word "computer" had just formed when the emergency lighting faded and plunged engineering into complete darkness.

"Thanks a lot, Starfleet," the Tellerite mocked D'Agostini from the dark.

The problem didn't stop in engineering, across the entire ship everything went black. Even her running lights disappeared in the blackness of space. Without secondary or even emergency power the Break of Dawn was a mere hulk in space. No lights and more importantly no life support.

The bridge itself plunged into darkness as well, save for two consoles. One was the Engineering console on the far side of the bridge and only one screen was lit, in barebones display indicating a simple battery indicator. Percentage - 100%. Time - 9 hours.

The other display was directly in front of Cadet Finanahad. The screen was blank but powered, then a single blinking white cursor started up in the top corner before the controls came back to life. The cursory just kept blinking, with no sign of the standard LCARS interface of Starfleet ships or those civilized versions of Starfleet ships. "Well, I don't believe I've seen that since my Academy days," Selu said as she looked at the screen in the dark.

"Fix this Lieutenant," growled the ship's Captain. "Now."

"Cadet, I believe the command you're wanting to enter is 'safe mode startup'," Selu said to Loren, ignoring the Captain's tone but heading to his words. "That should hopefully bring the main computer and secondary power back up."

Loren unaffected by the chaos around him did as he'd been instructed.  At first, nothing happened.  Then the screen went blank.  After another long pause, the secondary power did flicker.

A mission post by:

Lieutenant Selu Levne
Security Officer

Ensign Sasha Volkov
Support Craft Pilot

Lieutenant Evelyn Hirsch
Head Nurse

Lieutenant Commander Brendan D'Agostini
Assistant Chief Engineer

Cadet Loren Finanahad
Nursing Cadet

 

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