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Part of USS Rubidoux: Beware that which Glitters and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

Follow your Nose (FA)

Rubidoux, Bridge
Stardate 78881.1
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Seated in the command chair on the bridge of the Rubidoux, the first officer Commander Eviea Merrova cast her eyes over a request from engineering. The watch shift had been a quiet affair, with the things of most concern being the stability of the tractor beam, and the mission pod being transported from Starbase 72 to 38. Looking up from her terminal and the request in question seeing a development opportunity regarding the human officer occupying the operations station up front.

“Wren, I’m sending you a request from engineering, I’d appreciate your input regarding power allocation.” Merrova offered in a manner and tone of voice that invited her input. This prompted a turn and a smile from the blond female.

“Of course Commander, send me the request and I will work something up.” Was Wren’s response, professional with a slight hint of eagerness, an indication of her desire to contribute and to get up ranks. She turned back, as the notification came to her station, there was a pause as she considered the information. At which point Merrova turned her attention to the hand over report, and the diagnostics that would need to be run. She was about to issue orders when a voice from forward changed her priorities.

“Commander, I’m getting a stress spike on the tractor beam, diagnostics show it’s up twenty percent in the last four minutes.” Wren reported her attention on the reasons in front of her, but her voice carried clear across the bridge.

“Source?” Merrova questioned, switching her station to a mirror screen.

“Sir, I’m getting an increased gravitational pull that’s  affecting our warp field. It appears to be on our current course.” The Ensign from the helm station reported, sound ding a little relieved.

“I doubt it’s a coincidence. Use thrusters to nudge our trajectory to where the pull is least. Plug-in additional power to the tractor emitters for the moment. Tactical access long range sensors try to determine a source” Merrova ordered, making an initial attempt to navigate the problem. The calm everyday atmosphere had been replaced by one that was more focused and perhaps a little concerned by the sudden obstacle.

“Gravitational stress is up forty five percent. Tractor beam approaching shearing tolerance.” Wren reported, clearly concerned. “Source appears to be a focal point of gravitational and tachyon emissions, point five light years away, twenty degrees off the center.” Came the assessment from tactical prompting an immediate change.

“Drop us out of warp. Come ninety degrees.” Merrova began, but was cut off as the ship decelerated rapidly, so much so and likely because of interference the damping systems couldn’t quite keep up causing all persons to lurch forward or backward. Some into consoles, some pressed into chairs. Merrova herself had to grab the arms, as she slid almost out of the command chair. An alert tone sounded, as the panels lit yellow, the computer kicking the readiness up a notch in response the external effect.

“Report,” Merrova asked with a sense of urgency.

“Warp field collapsed, there’s a spatial aperture dead ahead.” Helm reported, or more accurately shouted back.

“All about, full impulse. Auxiliary power to shields, IDF, and tractor emitters.”  Merrova ordered, about to open a comm to her commanding officer, but a glance towards the ready room and his familiar form of Captain Vilgi Morr emerged and pacing towards the operations station.

“We hit a little rough patch, boss.” Merrova called forward, giving an informal assessment of the situation.

“This I can see.” Morr responded by grabbing hold of the sides of the operations console, as the bridge and by extension the ship began to shake as result of the effects being exerted on it.
“Helm, belay all about, cut your turn at ninety-five degrees, Ops overclock the impulse engines, give us an extra push.”

“Gravitational pull is overwhelming the engines and dampening systems. We’re going in.” The Helm officer reported, his tone now flat, as reality sunk in and he battled the spatial forces.

For the next few minutes, the sensations on the bridge were repeated throughout the ship. Due to the external stresses, the internal systems designed to limit the effects only partially worked. Leading to the sensation of tumbling through a layer of space being felt by all crew. The bridge crew had the added complication of the viewscreen being active, and the sensors translating the data they obtained into the image being projected, which at the moment consisted of a wormhole-like tunnel in place of the usual starfield. At some point the tractor beam failed and the equipment pod they were towing was cut adrift, to be carried through the layer of space. The Captain and First Officer were just about getting their bearings when the tunnel dissipated, the regular starfield returned, although the ship was still tumbling.

“I have the ship’s computer tracking the ship’s attitude fluctuations. I suggest maxing the external dampening field and station keeping thrusters.” Merrova called out, managed to set the appropriate commands into the computer while clinging to the chair for life.

“Agreed, Wren, Hammond, prep the necessary sequences. Initiate at Merrova’s command.” Morr responded promptly, tapping the second officer on the shoulder, before staggering back to the command area. During which time the computer concluded its tracking analysis, another command set a highlight when the vessel was approaching a level plane. Missing one prompt Merrova waited for the next.

“Initiate in three and mark!” Merrova said clearly, and was promptly pressed down into her chair, a side effect of the extreme maneuver. “Keep it going until we come to a halt.” The final rotation gave a brief viewscreen glimpse of a planet before the image settled, slowed, and finally halted.

“Answering all stop!” The ensign at the helm called, the sense of relief coming through loud and clear in his voice.

“Secure all stations. Department head reports status to tactical.” Morr stated calmly after thumbing the comm channel, turning his attention to the next to questions. “What happened? What’s our position?”

“Sir according to astrometric data we are in unclaimed space between Cardassian, Breen and Ferengi territory. That’s four sectors over from our last recorded position in a travel time of eleven and a half minutes.” The helm officer reported slowly at first, almost ont believing his own readings and statement, but the excitement of something extraordinary began to creep in.

“Extrapolate our exit point, for want of a better word and run a sensor sweep, apply a graviton filter. Then expand the radius to take in notable features in the immediate area.” Morr instructed, a clear set of priorities, find a way back, but have a look around while doing so.

“Keep us at yellow alert and our shields raised.” Merrova instructs, taking her pointers from her captain. In uncharted space, nestled between powers that could be volatile, and in some cases opportunistic, keeping a watchful eye would be important.

“Status and damage report in, Commander. Minor injuries in sickbay. Eighteen relays reported fluctuating or non functional, critical system bypass are in place, minor or non-essential affected systems have been shut down pending repair. Eleven minor stress fractures reported, none critical. All shield and weapons systems inline and at your disposal.“ Came the very professional, informative and useful report from the tactical station.

“Thank you Lieutenant. Coordinate with Ops, take some of the load off scanning the immediate area, keep an eye in case our sudden arrival caught anyones attention.” Merrova responded, turning her chair slightly, looking at the officer in question and offering a genuine smile along with the note of appreciation. Before retasking him, knowing full well this was not someone who liked to be idle, and if a little exploration while watching their back could be done all the better.

“Wren have engineering focus on restoring power systems. I’ve a feeling we’re going to need it.” Morr instructed.
“Aye, sir. I can report tachyon emissions are elevated and as are gravitational fields at the point we appeared in this sector.” Wren reported from her station a fair amount of uncertainty in her voice. “But nothing like the results from the sensor logs.” She added, even from this far back Merrova could see Wren pulling a log back and forth across a particular time stamp, no doubt trying to understand.

“We have a neutron star, a planetary body and a dark nebula within lateral sensor range.” Tactical reported, with a note of triumph. Finding something when not expected often had this reaction, particularly when it was a non-threatening something.

“Two potential targets. Let’s bring in more hands. Wren coordinate with Lieutenant Sevac at the tactical station and work out what brought us here, see if we can use it to get home.” The captain decided, switching a highly committed and problem solving pair onto the getting home task, before opening a comm line. “Commander Baccshi, Lieutenant th’Zerran report to the bridge.”  Summoning a science pairing for the potential exploratory opportunity.


  • For what I have read so far from different ships, the Rubi got lucky in constrains of damage while traveling through this unknown anomaly. But at the same time I don't want to cheer on that quickly given the unknown space they have arrived that is not claimed by either Cardassians or Breen. The crew of the Rubi might got lucky, but will their luck ran out? Looking forward to more!

    June 16, 2024
  • Well the ship may have got off lightly up to this point, but they haven't exactly dropped into one of the best areas of space. A nice descriptive piece of work, with plenty to wonder about, regarding what might happen.

    June 16, 2024
  • Eviea

    Executive Officer