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Part of USS Calistoga: Eventide and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

Eventide – 1

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Captains log, supplemental.

We remain on our long journey to Deep Space Seventeen after our time in the Deneb sector assisting Zaedar-three. Approximately three hours ago, we encountered the Boslic freighter with power supply issues. I elected to partake in a power transfer to the vessel to give them enough of a jump start to reach their destination. It’s one of those decisions that, although it was the right thing to do, has left me a little uneasy. Our mission in the Deneb sector took us to the outer limits of what this class of vessel should pull. I know I’m likely being overly cautious, as we are only a little over a day away from our own Federation resupply and refuelling station. I’ll feel better, though, once we’re out of the red and in the green again. 


A faint electrical hum reverberated across the bridge as the lights dimmed. The shadow silhouettes of those working on the bridge seemed to shrink. Even the lighting on the consoles dimmed slightly, proactively preventing strain on the eyes of those working in the bridge.

“Captain, power conservation mode level two is now active.” Raiem’s gaze shifted to Jahl, who confirmed the successful execution of his orders. He couldn’t help but admire her efficiency as she effortlessly navigated between multiple control screens, a true master of her craft.

Raiem leaned closer to Mayvilis, his trusted Executive Officer, and whispered hushedly. “Do you think that was a bit overkill?” 

He noticed Mayvilis start forming a controlled grin, which almost turned into a smile. “You haven’t shut down the holodecks yet, so I would say not – Captain.” Her own tone was hushed in return. 

“Please don’t do that by the way. We are only…” Mayvilis continued in a hushed tone and paused for a moment to double-check her data before continuing, “Twenty-nine and a half hours away from our resupply and refuelling check-in.”

“I might be overly cautious, but it’s just my nature – ingrained in me,” Raiem concluded as he pulled himself back from Mayvilis and settled into his command chair, finding the right spot. Perhaps his medical training was influencing his decision-making. As a physician, he was trained to anticipate the worst and have a solution ready, a skill particularly relevant in maintaining safe anesthesia during surgical procedures. Despite knowing they had enough power to reach their destination, his mind insisted on taking precautionary measures and preserving a little extra, just in case.

“I’m only being selfish. I have holodeck two booked in forty minutes during my break time. Have a date with a shuttle and an obstacle course.” Mayvilis chuckled, not holding back her own reasoning. She resumed glancing down at her small control station, reviewing some low-priority reports coming in from departments.

Sometime later, Raiem stood up, turned his neck right and left, and embraced a satisfied stretching feeling. He made way for his ready room. “Commander. The bridge is yours.” He looked back and smiled at Mayvilis, and she gave him a nod in confirmation.

The doors to his ready room swished open, and just as he was about to step into the space, a sudden force threw him into the door frame. Raiem groaned as he felt the right side of his head, in particular, smack against the corner of the entryway before another force pulled him to the ground. The bridge seemed to be spinning. He could hear alarms sounding and a number of his officers shouting back and forth at one another, but it seemed like a haze. A warm feeling trickled down the side of his forehead and onto his cheek. A small amount teased his lips, and his taste buds soon confirmed an iron-like flavour.

I’m bleeding… I’m on the floor… I need to get up…’ He collected his thoughts and tried to focus on his statements. His attempt to get up was thwarted by another sudden jolt, which tossed him back down onto the deck plating. 

“Severe gravimetric distortions…. Losing helm control…. Captain – Are you okay?…. Emergency power to shields, engines and inertial dampeners…. Compensating… I can’t gain control….” Raiem took note of the various voices of his senior staff, Mayvilis, Sinclair and Nahl. 

The force that had been keeping him grounded seemed to lessen for a moment, allowing him to push himself up and survey his surroundings. The lights had dimmed even more, with red blinking indicating that the ship had moved to red alert. Smoke had built up in the ceiling area from what appeared to be some ruptured consoles, but no one else appeared to be injured. “Good… They’re okay,” Raiem thought as he eyed his command chair and quickly made his way to secure a seat. His senses seemed to be returning to normal – the haziness he had experienced was now just a light fog.

“You okay, Captain?” Mayvils asked him with a concerned look. Her own hands clasped her armrests tightly, countering the turbulence that was being experienced.

“I’ll be fine. Report!” Raiem used the sleeve of his uniform to wipe away the blood that streamed down his face. 

“Some sort of gravitation anomaly pulled us out of warp – no idea the primary source. We’ve entered some subspace conduit of sorts. Sinclair is barely keeping us on a controlled trajectory…” Mayvilis’ voice was stable, but there was a strained tone to it. Raiem noticed a sudden shift in her body language, and her eyes grew wider as they took in the site of the viewscreen. 

“Eddie!” Mayvilis shouted. Raiem looked at the view screen, too, and his eyes widened as he saw a large piece of what visually appeared to be a derelict ship right in front of them. 

“I’m trying, Commander… Hold on!” Eddie’s own hands flew across his console in a desperate fury as he attempted to thrust Calistoga out of the way. His attempt managed to clear them from part of the vessel, but there was a loud crashing sound and another forceful thud that almost sent Raiem flying from his command chair. Several more sparks erupted from various areas across the bridge, and they now appeared to be in some sort of spin from the drunken-like stupor that the viewscreen was showing.

“Situation report!” Raiem shouted some to overcome the chaotic ambience of the bridge.

“I’ve lost attitude control…. Engines are barely responding.” Eddie held on to his own console while tapping away with a free hand in an attempt to regain some control over their trajectory.

“Shields are barely holding on, Captain. That debris hit us directly on the port side of the ship our nacelle included. No hull breaches, but structural integrity is strained.” Callisto added.

“Reports of EPS grid failures. We are running on auxiliary power. Engineering reports warp drive offline.” Jalh’s own stressed voice reported in as well.

“Medical is reporting around eighteen injured, only a couple of those that are moderately so.” Mayvilis paraphrased the report coming in from sickbay.

“Transfer all available power to engines. Eddie, try and get us under control.” Raiem tapped a couple of controls on his own armrest, mainly because he needed to get his vision off the spinning viewscreen.

“Captain. We’re experiencing another round of gravitation sheer… Sensors are a mess but I think our trajectory is pulling us to an uncontrolled exit of whatever this is!” Jahl shouted as the ship began to shake violently once more. Raiem noticed Eddie continuing to move his hands across the helm at rapid speed, doing his best to try and regain control. 

“I’ve reduced the spin we are in, Captain, slightly. It’s the best I can do—” Eddie tried to give his report, but the ship rocked heavily again, and several more eruptions of sparks and flickering lights filled the bridge. Several crew members were once again tossed to the floor, and the room went dark. Only the creeks and hums of structural stress could be heard, along with groans from the several officers who had fallen.

It took a few moments longer than it should have, but emergency lighting activated, bringing an eerie red hue across the entire bridge. Raiem opened his eyes and looked around. He squinted in an attempt to help himself compensate for the darkened space.

“My console isn’t responding Captain.”

“Mine neither, Sir.”

“I have no control of the ship.”

“Everyone- Take a breath. Let’s trust that Commander Stramm will have some power back up here shortly. Is everyone okay?” Raiem checked his own forehead, which thankfully appeared to have clotted over and was not actively dripping blood anymore. 

The crew members on the bridge checked on each other. Some of them had grabbed emergency flashlights to illuminate the space. There was still an eerie creaking of Calistoga’s hull, suggesting further stress. Raiem could only assume that they were still in some sort of uncontrolled flight, but fortunately, some inertial dampeners remained online, as there was only a slightly heavier pull on his body than normal.

After a few moments, some of the consoles lit up across the bridge. The crew immediately began working away.

Captain.. This is Commander Stramm… Auxiliary power is limited presently, we are supplementing with backup battery. We’ve done all we can for now…. And yes – I know – we need to do more. Stramm out.” The voice of their Chief Engineer came across the internal comms but left no room for a response from the Captain before it shut off.

Raiem chuckled to himself, Stramm did good work but her attention to professional protocol certainly never dissapointed. “Can anyone tell us where we are? What’s our situation?”

One of the consoles began a soft proximity alert sound. “Captain… I cannot tell you where we are but…. I can tell you what situation we are in….” Jahl spoke, her voice seemed shaky and distrbued.

A static view appeared on the screen but was clear enough to show what everyone immediately recognized as a large black hole. 

“We’re caught in the pull of its gravitation wake, Sir.” Jahl continued.

“Impulse engines are offline, Captain. I’m trying to counter the pull with thrusters, but we need more than that. I just don’t have enough power.” Eddie chimed in with a frustrated tone.

“Captain. I estimate even with Lieutenant Sinclair’s attempts to counteract… We are three-point-two-five hours away from being pulled past the event horizon of the black hole…”

Raiem nodded as he absorbed the seriousness of their situation. “Alright. No power. Damaged ship. Black hole. Event horizon. Think Raiem…. Think….” He did his best to control his breath as he had some internal dialogue with himself. He embraced the power of silence and tried to lean in on his training and background as a physician.

I don’t know what the hell to do… What the hell are we going to do….” His usual calming internal dialogue betrayed him as the anxiety of the situation hit him hard.
 

Comments

  • A ship in peril with a crew who has been battered what more do you want. This is a great entry and one that shows a moment of calm can be overcome so quickly. I am really interested to see what the Captain is going to do given the situation his ship and crew are now in. I am not sure where you are heading but I am loving the story so far keep it up!

    June 21, 2024
  • Wow, what an intense and compelling read! Throughout the post I found myself rooting for him and the crew, feeling their anxiety as they navigated through the unknown. The transition from aiding the Boslic freighter to battling sudden gravimetric distortions is seamlessly executed and I was right there with them. Raiem's cautious leadership really struck a chord with me, and it really made sense it might be due to his background in medicine. Personally, I really liked the way you used the inner monologue to emphasize the anxiety, this made the story both realistic and engaging. I can't wait to see how they maneuver out of this dire situation!

    June 21, 2024
  • A really great start here, a ship running slightly low on available fuel to keep them going, but almost home. They've just had a tricky mission and are probably looking forward to a couple of days rest, whilst they get resupplied; then right out of nowhere an anomaly grabs them. Getting out of this isn't going to be easy, so it will be interesting to see how they escape.

    June 23, 2024
  • Well, I guess the holodecks might be offline after all after that sudden jolt to the system! Transitioning from something as mundane as supporting a freighter to the chaos and disaster of the black hole is not easy, but you made it look like a master class. Like Hurkx, seeing a command character coming from a background such as medicine makes an interesting read! He's not as sure of himself as others might be, and that makes for compelling reading. The characters and the situation feel very real as a result. And like all good characters, he needs to practice what he preaches and breathe!

    June 23, 2024
  • That was an exciting rollercoaster of a ride. The tension from the crew was palpable and I felt the angst as they saw a derelict ship in their path while they had very little control to do anything about it. What really struck home with me though was the response from Stramm. Giving a very straight forward report, letting you know they're aware of your expectations, and then cutting off to get back to work before you have a chance to respond. I work with so many people that are exactly the same way so it was a very real gut check. I'm excited to see how they progress and figure a way out!

    June 26, 2024