USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Bucket of Bolts

Posted on Fri Dec 9th, 2016 @ 8:11am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Vindex: Transporter Room 1; Brandenburg: Transporter Room 2, Main Engineering
Timeline: Mission Day 9; 21:30

========Vindex: Transporter Room 1=========

It was the first away mission that Akiva went on that he would also command. And, another first, he was early. His away team would consist of himself, Lieutenant Himmel, and Lieutenant Zuzan to tactically repair and prepare the Brandenberg as fast as possible. The PADD in his hand detailed the initial report, and it was pretty dismal: damaged warp drive, glitchy EPS transfers, and a whole host of other stuff.
Unfortunately, they didn't have time for a full repair. The most his away team could do was a push-start to get them going, hopefully with enough momentum and asistance that they could get themselves up to par in time for their attack.

Akiva stood patiently, reading and re-reading the report, until the others arrived in the transporter room. He didn't want to beam over without them, as Captain Suhea was not likely available for two introductions. "Everything is broken," he muttered to himself in summary.

Amber made her way to the transporter room with a bag of equipment that she had prepared for the away mission. She was pleased that she'd been chosen but Amber had managed to keep her excitement to herself because she knew that the situation required her full focus and professionalism. Once she was in there Amber saw Akiva was already there waiting for her.

"Reporting as ordered Commander" Amber said.

"Very good," Akiva replied. "Looks like we're still waiting on Lieutenant Himmel to wrap up in Engineering. Care to have a look at what's waiting for us?" He offered his PADD to Amber.

Amber nodded. "Sure"

She looked at the PADD and saw a long list of repairs that needed doing all over the ship. At least her expertise with torpedo systems would come in useful to repair the Brandenburg's damaged quantum torpedo turret.

"Quite a long list Commander. Are you sure we can have these ready in time? Captain Ainscow wants to leave tomorrow morning at 10:00...that gives us thirteen hours to do all of these repairs" Amber commented.

"No way in hinnom," Akiva said bluntly. "We're going to get the Brandenberg spaceworthy and pray its crew can optimize by the time we reach our destination." He chewed his lip for a moment. "I wish we could spare a fourth man, but we have to think of ourselves too on top of three damaged sister vessels. I'm glad we found them and that they're on our side, don't get me wrong. I just don't want this to be for nothing."

Amber didn't think they had a chance of completing the repairs in thirteen hours - 48 maybe but certainly not just over half a day. Apart from that they would all be tired from helping with the repairs instead of resting ahead of their shifts tomorrow. Amber just hoped Claudia would take that into account and let them have a rest once they'd finished.

"I just hope the Captain gives us a break after this. I don't like the idea of doing over half of my shift after doing 13 hours assisting with repairs...as for whether it'll be worth it...I hope so too. I think that's why she's given us such a small amount of time to work our magic on the Brandenburg" Amber replied.

Akiva nodded. "That's part of the reason why we can't spare additional help. We're stretched thin enough as it is without running our crew ragged. Our junior staff will be on reserve, so they'll be able to accommodate our absence." He looked at the door again, then tapped his commbadge. =/\= "Computer, where is Lieutenant Himmel?"=/\=
The computer signaled the completion of its search with its hallmark warble. "Lieutenant Himmel is approaching the entrance of Transporter Room 1."

Himmel was power walking and broke in through the doors of the transporter room barely giving it time to open completely, his sleeves rolled up and tool box in hand, "Sorry for my tardiness. ready to get the Brandenburg space worthy?"

"Let's do this" Amber said.

Akiva nodded in silent acknowledgement and led the other two onto the transport pad. He tapped his commbadge. =/\="Commander Akiva ben-Avram to the Brandenburg. Three to beam over."=/\=

After being given the command the transporter operator beamed them over to the Brandenburg where Captain Cacod Suhea was waiting to meet them on the other side. Once the away team had fully materialised the Benzite's mood lifted from being slightly anxiety to relieved.

"Welcome to the Brandenburg. I apologise that we're not in a good a shape as we usually are but we are grateful for whatever help you can give us. Shall we get started? The spare parts from the Renown are here so we can get straight to work as soon as you're ready. Even I'm getting busy myself" Cacod said enthusiastically.

"It's good to see a friendly face this far out in the Gamma Quadrant," Akiva said, extending a hand toward Captain Suhea. "I'm Commander ben-Avram." He cocked his head to the side, "This is Lieutenant Amber Zuzan, Tactical Officer." Then he stuck a thumb toward Soren. "And this is Lieutenant Soren Himmel, Chief Engineer of the Vindex. I understand your power grid is hanging on by a thread and your warp core needs immediate attention. Can you tell us the state of you crew and where they're deployed? That will help us decide where we're needed most."

Soren acknowledged the commanding officer, "Captain."

"A pleasure Captain - a more pleasant introduction than last time" Amber said.

Cacod smiled. "Nice to meet you all - again in the case of Mr ben-Avram and Miss Zuzan. That is correct - we've got most of our teams focused on repairing those. If the power grid goes then the whole ship goes with it - so if you can help us with that I'd be most grateful. Commander Muniz from the Renown is bringing a team over to help with the warp core in the next fifteen minutes."

Akiva nodded. "Then I suggest we begin in Main Engineering and work our way outward. We can get an update on the current state of the ship from there as well." He extended a hand toward the door for Suhea to lead the way.

"Agreed," Soren said, "That will also be the best place to setup shop. So we can receive what has been repaired, prioritize and dispatch repair groups." Himmel turned to Captain Suhea, "What do you think, Captain?"

Cacod nodded and smiled before leading the way.

"Let's get to Main Engineering. I trust you'll know the way already seeing as the Vindex is identical" Cacod replied.

Amber followed the group as Cacod led them down to engineering. She could see where he was coming from when the Brandenburg and Vindex faced off earlier on - she would have done the same - and now she'd met the man in person Amber thought Cacod seemed like a pleasant and welcoming man.

"I wasn't expecting for us to be found by Starfleet. Admittedly with how long we've been cut off from the rest of the task force Commander T'Freja and I thought we were both alone out here" Cacod said.

Leading the group into the turbolift down to main engineering Cacod stated their destination before continuing.

"How much do you think we can get done in the time Captain Ainscow has given us? Even with your expertise I don't think she's given us a lot of time to get things back into a decent shape" Cacod said.

"It's definitely a triage situation, I'm afraid," Akiva said plainly. "Our goal is to get the Brandenburg positioned for safe warp travel so you can continue repairs on your own."

The turbolift halted and its doors opened to reveal the Main Engineering deck. "Now that we're here, let's split the load," he said. "Lieutenant Himmel, go assess the warp core. Lieutenant Zuzan, find a console and assess all Tactical systems and their power transfer situation. I'll assess the other ship systems and the EPS as a whole." He looked back to Cacod. "Thank you, Captain. We'll be in touch when we have progress to report."

Without hesitation Soren walked over to the Warp core. He made his way around taking in a quick scan, making sure none of the more significant parts weren't compromised. From the outside there was no apparent damage. He went over and accessed the panel near the plasma conduit. There were a few issues he spotted, a few quick maintenance part replacements. The main issue was the antimatter interlock that connected with the intermix chamber had ceased and wouldn't operate. It may be a deeper EPS issue. He proceeded to tap away at the engineer's console.

"Aye Commander" Amber said.

Amber collected her equipment case and looked around for a console to assess the state of the Tactical systems. Based on her scans of the Brandenburg during the standoff there weren't any major issues - but Amber knew that wasn't necessarily going to be the case when she carried out a detailed scan using the Brandenburg's own diagnostic systems.

"Understood Commander - I think we can manage once we can redeploy our repair teams from here to other areas that are a lesser priority. If we can get the warp drive working then at least we can keep up with you when we leave tomorrow morning" Cacod said.

Just as he was about to leave he received a call from his Tactical Officer.

=/\="Captain Suhea - we have a problem in one of the torpedo bays. Please come at once"=/\=

Cacod's more relaxed facial expression changed in an instant. He now had an expression of extreme concern - this was the last thing they needed. If there was a problem in one of the torpedo bays then it usually meant that it was a serious issue that need seeing to immediately.

=/\="I'm on my way Lieutenant"=/\= Cacod replied.

"You'll have to excuse me. I've got a situation in the torpedo bay that needs attending to immediately" Cacod said.

Akiva had scarcely accessed the auxiliary Ops console in Engineering when he overheard the conversation between Captain Suhea and his Security team. He had traced a power fluctuation back to the torpedo bay. A chain of other interruptions in the power grid led to that point.

Cacod then turned and left Main Engineering with great haste to clarify what the problem was and look at options to resolve it as quickly as possible. By the sounds of it the problem wasn't going to be one that was solved in five minutes.

"I think we need to go with him, Lieutenant," Akiva said to Amber. He turned to Soren. "Lieutenant Himmel, stay here and see what you can do with the warp core." He fell into step after Captain Suhea.

After a quick step in the turbolift, Akiva found himself in the torpedo bay with Cacod and Amber. Two bodies in yellow uniforms lay on the deck unmoving while two Security officers stooped over a stack of torpedoes.

Cacod looked at the scene. He then turned to face the Security Officer who'd called him and asked for an explanation on the situation. He was very distressed to see two members of his crew lying motionless on the floor.

"What happened here?" Cacod asked.

"An alert came from the Operations officer on duty her," the Security Lieutenant explained quickly. "He was killed immediately thereafter. Our team scrambled here and neutralized the sleeper saboteur over there." He nodded toward the second body. "But not before he activated an IED on these armed torpedoes."

"A bomb," Akiva whispered aloud. He turned to Amber. "Can you disarm it?"

"I'll have to take a look a it first. There's absolutely no chance it can be fired to detonate clear of the ship either because that'd be too obvious" Amber replied.

Amber placed her tool case down by the torpedo that had been indicated to her and took a scanner to it - albeit cautiously in case it had been primed to detonate if a sensor beam made contact with it. A couple of minutes later she had her answer.

"Alright...I believe I can disarm it. I'm going to need some space and absolute silence though" Amber commented.

Cacod nodded. "Alright - all non essential staff please vacate the torpedo bay."

Akiva slipped slowly and quietly toward the two bodies. The Ops officer was already growing cold, but when Akiva held his finger to the neck of the saboteur, he found a pulse. His phaser was in hand and pointed directly at the unconscious Consortium agent.

=/\= "Ben-Avram to Himmel,"=/\= he said quietly into his commbadge, his head turned away from Amber. =/\="Security managed to subdue a Consortium agent in the torpedo bay, but not before he armed a torpedo. Be alert for an accomplice, as the Consortium may be looking for revenge for the Bozeman."=/\=

Himmel glanced up from the console he was standing at and relaxed his hand and arm near his phaser. =/\=Roger sir, I'll be on my toes=/\=

Akiva kept one eye on Amber and one on the unconscious saboteur. If he lived, then he might talk. But that would depend on Amber disarming the torpedo. Akiva looked back to her cranking on the torpedo shell with a grimace on her face. A silent prayer seemed in order.

Amber had opened the torpedo casing and found a rather sophisticated device attached to the warhead which wasn't what she was expecting to find. She still thought she could defuse it but it was going to take a while to figure out where the 'off' switch was that would render the bomb useless.

"Right...it's attached to the warhead itself so removing the warhead isn't going to be an option...not with all this crap in here. Just to make you aware as well Captain - if I can't defuse this in ten minutes then you'll have five minutes to evacuate the ship - so I suggest you make your preparations now. This thing is going to blow in fifteen minutes whether we're prepared or not" Amber said.

Cacod nodded. "Alright - I'll go and make the necessary preparations now Lieutenant"

Amber then got back to work with intense focus and concentration as she did her best to try and defuse the bomb in time. She managed to blank out everything going on around her - even though there were still a few people around.

While Amber continued dissecting the bomb, Akiva had one of Cacod's remaining crewman unlock the auxiliary Ops console in the torpedo bay, then had the officer take over observation of the unconscious Consortium agent. He had no doubt that the other Security teams were on high alert now. If he could help determine the chain of events that led to their situation, he could possibly figure out if this saboteur had any other surprises in store, or even an accomplice.

"Fuck it. This thing is wired into everything...if I take one thing out there's back ups which will trigger an early detonation sequence. Short of taking this damned thing apart...which will take longer than 15 minutes...I'm not entirely sure we can defuse this thing. I'd start beaming people to the Vindex, Renown and Sarek now and then put distance between us and them" Amber said.

The look on her face said it all. At the time Amber didn't believe she was going to successfully defuse the bomb in time - but she still had twelve minutes to go. Twelve minutes was a long time and she planned to use eleven and a half of those minutes before beaming off the ship to safety.

"Can we beam it off the ship?" one officer suggested.

Amber shook her head. "It'd detonate the second the transporter makes contact with it. I wouldn't try and carry it to an airlock and blow it into space either. Moving this torpedo even slightly is not a good idea"

Amber resumed her work and made mental notes as she worked - trying to piece things together at the same time. Something just didn't seem right.

"There has to be an off switch somewhere...but where is it? Think Amber think" Amber thought to herself.

The Security officer holding the saboteur at phaser point grunted. "I think he's dead," he said quietly. "For good, this time."

"I hope you didn't help him along," Akiva retorted in a harsh whisper. "He may've had vital information!"

The Ops console beeped with a very urgent tone. Akiva returned his attention to the Ops console. "Zai'n ba'ain," he whispered in horror. He smacked the console. "No, no, no, noooo!" He felt Amber's livid gaze shoot his way. "Sorry, Lieutenant," he said tersely without looking, his widespread eyes locked on the console's readout. "Zine beh-sechel... This is very bad."

=/\="Ben-Avram to Himmel."=/\= Akiva did not bother to keep his voice down. =/\="I hope you're already aware of this and have made inroads toward resolving it, but my console is showing that the purge command on the plasma coolant tanks has been remotely triggered, and I can't cancel it from here. I don't know how long you have to manually override it, but I suggest you hurry or else it's sof haderech!"=/\=

As if the torpedo wasn't bad enough. Now on top of that they were facing a potential warp core breach. How did the purge command get triggered? Some kind of deadman's switch? He began to wonder if the Brandenburg was worth saving. All he could do was count the minutes and seconds until his junior officers gave the call for all clear or to abandon ship.

In Engineering, it was a mad house. Crewmen of all stripes scattering as the various systems began warning of a breach. Himmel didn't have much time and only gave a one word response, =/\=Acknowledged=/\=

He ran over to the main console and his fingers glided over the LCARs. He spotted golden uniform, "Are you an engineer?" The crewman could only nod his head. He was young, and understandably frightened. Soren shouted, "I need you to man this console as I access the panel."

The young engineer responded to Himmel's orders and took over the console, "I'm going to try to manually override access to the core. As soon as you have access, stabilize the core. We don't have much time."

Fumes began to fill main engineering as Soren ran over to the main access panel. The sounds of red alert seemed to be getting louder as he worked, and time was running short. The computer rang over the ship, =/\=warp core breach in 1 minute and 45 seconds, please head to the nearest escape pod.=/\=

Beads of sweat came down Himmel's forehead as he worked to diagnose the problem. Then following the EPS circuitry to the manifold he saw it. A complicated computer device attached to the manifold. He initially tried pulling it off, but it wasn't so easy.

=/\=Warp core breach in 1 minute, please head to the nearest escape pod.=/\=

Himmel tapped his combadge, =/\=Commander ben-Avram, I found the problem. Give me 20 seconds.=/\=

Without letting him respond Soren grabbed a plasma cutter from his kit nearby and began surgery on the EPS manifold. One slip and there would be a plasma explosion then the breach. His hand move steadily as he removed the computer device that had to be connected with the remote kill switch.

=/\=30 seconds until warp core breach=/\=

Himmel pulled and the device popped off. He looked toward the engineer who began tapping away. The engineer yelled over "I have access to the engines. Getting into the plasma coolant systems and reversing the purge." Soren darted over to the console.

=/\=10 seconds until warp core breach=/\=

The engineer worked fast, "I got it sir, the plasma coolant is leveling out, and the magnetic interlock has full power." Soren's head fell onto the panel and he tapped his combadge with his head rested on the panel.

=/\=We regained control Commander, systems leveling out. Breach averted=/\=

"Barukh HaShem," Akiva whispered to himself as he released the breath he had been holding. He tapped his commbadge. =/\="Acknowledged, Lieutenant. I owe you a drink... and a commendation."/=\

Meanwhile Amber was facing a battle of her own. The minutes were ticking away and she had still yet to find the "off" switch or find a way to render the warhead useless. She closed her eyes for a moment and paused before deciding to go to her back up plan - play music. It usually helped in situations where she was up against the clock.

"Computer - play and repeat Handel's Sarabande. 75% volume" Amber said.

Moments later Sarabande started to play and it was all Amber - and anyone else in the room - could hear. Closing her eyes for a moment and taking a deep breath she opened them again and continued. It was unconventional but it was Amber that was defusing the bomb and the environment needed to be one that she was comfortable in.

When the music began to play, Akiva knew matters were worse than Amber wanted to admit. He treaded softly as he approached her kneeling form next to the torpedo. "Lieutenant," he said, "if the warhead is rigged with redundant detonators, then maybe we're looking at this the wrong way? If the main deflector dish were configured to emit an inverted magnetic pulse at this precise spot, then it could completely deactivate whole damned thing--detonators, warhead, and all." He chuckled nervously. "Of course that would potentially harm several ship systems systems between the dish and the torpedo bay if they aimed poorly, but many of them need replaced as it is. Just suggesting an alternative."

"I think I've got it...stand by Commander" Amber replied.

Time went by and it got ever closer to the detonation time. Suddenly Amber had painstakingly managed to find the off switch - just as they were about to request beam-out with thirty seconds to go Amber pulled the power source - a modified power conduit - out of its housing and the warhead and timer deactivated. It had taken her fourteen minutes and thirty seconds but she'd finally defused the warhead.

Amber sighed. "Computer - stop the music"

She then turned around and showed it to Akiva.

"I found the off switch" Amber said.

Akiva stared blankly at the modified power conduit for a moment before he started chuckling. When he looked from it to Amber's face, his chuckling turned to laughter. He clapped her on the shoulder and wiped a tear from his eye. "You did well, Lieutenant. Damned well." He turned to look about the torpedo bay, what with is bodies and scrap parts strewn about. "With that mess out of the way, what do you say we swap out some power cells and get this ship spaceworthy?"

Cacod had returned to beam off the ship with Amber, Akiva and the on duty officer - but he was delighted to see Amber holding a power cell up in the air and the warhead was no longer beeping or lit up. She'd saved the Brandenburg from destruction.

"Well done Lieutenant. Thank you" Cacod said.

Smiling at Akiva and Cacod the acting Tactical Officer felt relieved that she'd manage to have a successful outcome with what had been the toughest challenge of her career so far.

"Thank you both - I'm all for it" Amber replied.

Amber placed her tools back together and placed them and the modified power cell into her tool case before standing up to help with the repairs. She was happy that was finally over and they would still have four vessels to help defend Unity - although she expected her role as acting Chief Tactical/Security Officer was already coming to an end.

The doors to the torpedo bay opened and Soren ran in, out of breath. He took in a few deep breathes as the eyes of the other officers were upon him. He cracked a smile, "Are we ready to get this lady ship running?"

 

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