Never Have I Ever... Part V
Posted on Tue Sep 27th, 2022 @ 10:04pm by Lieutenant JG Irynya & Lieutenant JG Kestrel & Captain Björn Kodak & Ensign Noah Balsam & Andrew Munro & Ensign Sheila Mulhern & Ensign Sheldon Parsons & Ensign Tamblem Dravor
Echoes and Effigies
Location: Computer Core Control Room; Holo-Lab
Timeline: Mission Day 3 at 2100
[Computer Core; Holo-Lab]
[Deck Four, Five]
[MD 3: 2100 Hours]
"Warning. Warp field collapse. Magnetic constrictors are offline. Ignition Chamber offline. Diverting power to secondary fusion systems." The computer reported.
"Computer," Noah wheezed and grunted as he pushed himself up into a lean. His left side was throbbing across his ribs- and as soon as he leaned, his wrist flared with a hot shot of white, gasping pain. Noah recoiled it to his chest, eyes flexed shut as the pain rode past and then like his ribs, fell into a rhythmic throb.
Irynya's palms stung and her knees throbbed. After the lurch of the shift caught her halfway into a step forward tossing her off balance and into a rail, she found herself on all fours, further from where she had been than seemed reasonable. She hissed, bringing one hand up and then the other to inspect before doing a rapid headcount. Noah and Andrew were both down as well, but they were moving. "You ok?" She asked them both, the sound seeming to carry more than it should now that the hum of the deck plates had stopped, evidence that they were no longer at warp.
"Ugh, I think so," Andrew groaned. The unexpected lurch had toppled him backwards and he'd instinctively thrown back his arms to break his fall. He cradled his left elbow which throbbed intensely from where it had struck the deck plate and jarred his shoulder, but there was no sharp pain like what he imagined a broken bone would feel like.
Up a level Kestrel sat up slowly and brought her fingers to her temple where warm blood pooled down the side of her face. Her ears rang and she'd no doubt that she'd hit her head. Her body protested the movement, but she raised her hands anyway, softly checking her scalp for anything that might give.
"Dravor?" She called, though her voice didn't seem to modulate right and her question was more rasp than anything else. "Tamblem?" She tried again, more urgent this time.
"I'm here," the Trill responded as he released his grasp on the pylon and moved towards the tactical officer, tricorder trilling. "Try to take it easy, Lieutenant, I'm not a medic, but I'm pretty sure you've got a concussion. We should probably rejoin the others if you feel you can descend the ladder." Looking down over the railing, he observed the others below. He managed to locate Sheldon just as the engineer looked up.
Sheldon, meanwhile, was a few feet from where he'd been working. For that matter, so was Sheila. Both had been thrown, with Sheldon ending up skidding across the gangway while Sheila had tried to right herself but hit one of the control pylons instead. The latter's head was bleeding superficially as Sheldon, favoring his right wrist, stood shakily and tried to help the woman up with his good arm. "You ok?" he asked as Sheila rose back to her feet unsteadily.
"Aside from a bleeding head wound, you mean?" she snarked back, trying to summon a little humor to take the edge off. "I'm fine," Sheila reassured, shaking her head as Sheldon tried to keep her on her feet. "I'm good, Shelly. Just...need to get my sea legs back. At least they stopped the ship," she breathed in relief.
"At least there's that," Sheldon agreed with a nod. It was then that he spotted Dravor, who'd withstood the lurching of the ship and had stayed on his feet. "You'll have to tell me your secret," he called out to the man. "Is it muscles? I bet it's muscles. I wouldn't know, I don't have any," he chuckled nervously.
Tamblem smirked from above, "Luck, it was mostly luck." He lifted his shoulders slightly, still smirking, "Muscles may have played a role."
Noah used his other hand and pushed up. There had been a massive shudder and a hard jolt- the kind that falling involuntarily out of high warp did, and not even internal dampeners could fully contain. Noah rolled up to his bare knees he went for his console. "Computer," he repeated. He heard behind him someone speaking- over the communications channels.
"Kodak to Computer Core. Whoever's in charge down there, be advised that we've retaken the Bridge and ended the lockdown. Communications have been restored and the force fields have all gone down. Good work in trying to help us from there. What's your status?"
Noah wasn't in charge. He looked at Irynya and then back at his console. "Checking," he murmured while his off-hand started to dart around his controls. His console panned out to a wire mesh of the computer core. A few areas flashed yellow and were mapped out with notes in LCARS script. "Structural stress...." Noah said back to Iry. "But nothing we can't fix. I-I think the kernel's OK."
Irynya nodded her understanding, tongue darting out to wet her lips before she reached up, tapping her own combadge to reply.
"Bridge this is Lieutenant Irynya." Her voice held some strain to it, but was otherwise clear. "We're a bit beat up down here from that stop. Nothing life-threatening, though. The core appears to br stable." There was some indistinct murmuring then before the Risian added, "Midshipman Balsam has a plan to isolate one of the aliens in the Holo Lab. Should we proceed, sir?"
"Yes, absolutely," came the Captain's tinny response. "See if Mr. Balsam can contain one of the aliens long enough for us to have a little chat. I'm heading your way now." And with that, the channel closed.
Arm still cradled against his t-shirt, Noah looked between Irynya and Andrew. "OK. So, um, if you were a data or... energy-based life, what would you use as a..." Noah hesitated as he thought of these beings as intelligent and saying a carrot or a lure felt wrong. "Incentive To, uh, talk to us?" He looked clouded. "Especially since they don't seem very friendly and we might have hurt one of them...."
“Hmmn” Andrew slowly stroked his beard as he thought. “So they’re non-corporeal. We know that for sure. But is their nature electromagnetic?, transphasic?, photonic?” he asked no one in particular.
“What else do we know?” He gestured downwards with both hands, thick fingers splayed, as though he were assessing some kind of invisible evidence in front of him.
“The holographic doppelgängers!” The left hand returned to his beard whilst the right hand pointed at nothing repeatedly. “That’s how they presented themselves to us.”
Andrew began to pace subconsciously as though he could somehow walk through the problem physically. “They had an affinity for our holographic systems and moreover, they didnae manifest themselves in another form when we took that ability awae fae them. As far as I can tell they haven’t made any moves to impede us beyond what they already had in place.”
He looked towards Noah and Irynya. “I’m willing to bet they’re photonic.”
Noah somberly nodded. "Ok... photonic... we can start there."
Andrew paused whilst trying to recall what he knew of those. “ I peer-reviewed a paper about a year ago on photonic life. If ah remember right, we’ve only ever encountered natural photonic life in a protostar where a lattice has formed that can store photonic molecules and is complex enough to develop bio-electrical patterns.” The tempo of his speech increased and he started to grin with excitement as nuggets of information coalesced into something forming a plan.
“The carrot. ‘at’s sustenance, richt? Thay huv tae need energy fae ‘i star fur growth ur reproduction even uf thay dinnae need sustenance as such.” Andrew swivled to face the direction of Irynya and Noah. “Ah beat uf we licht up ‘iss place lyke ‘i sun, wull huv thaim aroon us like flees roon shite!”
Eyebrows raising Irynya darted a glance between Andrew and Noah and then back again. It was interesting to see the scientist in his element, and were the circumstances less urgent she might have enjoyed the moment more than feeling the creeping worry about everyone getting knocked around and then attempting a second first contact.
Noah blinked slowly. He looked at Irynya. Had he hit his head and not realized he had a concussion. "Um... s-slower, I didn't get all of...." He darted a glance between Irynya and Andrew. "Of that. Something about dinner... sustenance... and-and reproduction?"
“Oh.” Andrew retreated into himself a little as he remembered where he was. “My hypothesis is that the aliens are photonic and will require energy, whether that is in photonic or plasma form. I believe that we use plasma for power transfer, so if we can make this room draw as much power as we can then we’d effectively create a trail of energetic plasma right here. We’d be converting it to photons here anyway, so we’re still covered if they need it in that form.” His tone was level and very matter-of-fact. Only the flush of embarrassment on his face remained of the unfiltered display of his thought process.
"W-well we need to do it in the Holo-Lab. Not in here. We need to be able to lock down everything else..." Noah added. "But light and energy we can put into the Holo-Lab.... a lot."
"OK," Irynya said, stepping in to move them forward. "Then that's where we need to go. If we need help from engineering or anyone else we can coordinate from there. "Are you both ok to move?" To Noah she added, "Does the Holo-Lab have an emergency med kit? I can at least get you something to help take the pain out of that." She emphasized her statement with a nod toward the wrist he was cradling.
Andrew rotated his left arm, wincing as it became level with his shoulder, but it seemed to work albeit with varying levels of discomfort. "Yeah, I'll be fine," Andrew replied. "Which way to the lab?"
"Oliveria to Engineering Personnel. The lockout has been lifted. Report to your designated damage repair station and begin damage assessments. Check-in with Lieutenant Margarar."
Noah looked up at the Chief Engineer's voice cutting through the hot air of the computer core. "It's, um, just through there," Noah indicated with a point of his good hand.
"Parsons to Irynya and Balsam," came the comm-filtered voice of Sheldon. Though he was on the deck above, a combadge conversation was apparently much preferred to yelling down. "Iry, Sheila and I are headed for Engineering as directed. I'll let Lieutenants Oliveria and Margarar know what you're up to, though, Noah. No need to interrupt what you're doing. If you need anything, let us know. Talk soon." And with that, the channel closed.
Irynya took that in stride, following the direction that Noah pointed. "Ok then. Let's go."
=/\= A Mission Post By =/\=
Lieutenant Junior Grade Irynya
Assistant Chief Flight Controller
Lieutenant Junior Grade Kestrel
Ensign Tamblem Dravor
Ensign Sheila Mulhern
Ensign Sheldon Parsons
Midshipman Noah Balsam
Dr. Andrew Munro