Part of USS Crazy Horse: The Paulson Triangle and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Aftermath

Galina Prime
February 19, 2400 07:00
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Erin woke on the fourth day to silence.   Or at least it seemed like silence.  The gale-force winds no longer roared overhead.   She lay still in her bed roll waiting for the ever-present thunder that never came

Erin sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes and looked around.   All around her the survivors had expressions of cautious optimism.

“Garza to Hayden,” her combadge crackled to life for the first time in four days.

“Go ahead Diego,” Erin said with a grin.

“It’s good to hear your voice Commander,” the security chief said.

“And yours as well.   How are your people doing?”

We survived the storm all right.  A little cramped and a bad case of cabin fever.”

“Same here,” Erin replied.  “Have you gotten through to the ship?”

Not yet. I think there’s still too much ionization in the atmosphere.   I put on an EV suit to look around.   The buildings above you and Team 5 have collapsed,  but like you, they survived.”

“We almost didn’t.  It damaged the power generator,” Erin replied.   “But, once we establish communications with the ship we’re just a transporter beam away from rescue.”

It’s pretty bad out there ma’am. The colony is pretty much destroyed, and the air is toxic.”

“That’s not our concern, ” she replied, “I feel bad for them, but it isn’t our job to help them rebuild.   Only get them to safety.  There was a communications array in the governor’s mansion.   If it’s safe to do so, see if you can use it to contact the ship.”

* * *

Lieutenant Diego Garza shifted the weight of the EV suit he was wearing back to a more central position after jumping over a fallen tree blocking the road.

The whole settlement was in ruins. A tornado had cut a path through the town leveling everything in its way.  Buildings that weren’t directly in the path had their roofs ripped off and windows shattered.  There was an overturned anti-grav freight shuttle. The trailer had split open spilling its contents all over the road and strewn into the dying grass of a nearby park.

He rounded an intersection where the sign marking Elm Street and 2nd Avenue lay bent over on the concrete sidewalk.   The red and white stop sign was bent around the post.

Diego made his way halfway up that block and stood outside the Governor’s Mansion.   Constructed of white marble, sandstone, and concrete it was one of the few structures on the colony still standing more or less unscathed.  The roof even seemed intact,  but the glass-less windows stared back empty like the eye sockets of a skull.

“That’s an ominous thought,” Diego said to himself resisting the urge to cross himself.

He pushed open the front gate and the hinges squealed in protest.   He noted with interest that the wrought iron was laden with a thick layer of rust.  He doubted that a residence like this would allow such neglect.  That would mean that the gate had rusted in the last few days.  He knew the atmosphere was now a corrosive poison, but to be confronted with that reality was something entirely different, and the only thing keeping him safe was a few centimeters of special nylon cloth and a polymer helmet.

He shook off that particular disconcerting thought and made his way up the walkway.  The front door was unlocked,  not that that would have stopped him.  The phaser on his belt would have made quick work of entry.  The main entryway was strewn with papers and hastily packed items.

The communications array was going to be in the upper stories and Diego stomped up the staircase.  He found the comm room at the end of the hallway.  Pushing open the door he entered the windowless room and was relieved that it looked completely untouched from the storm.   The comm station was even blinking patiently in stand-by. 

Finally, something on this mission was going right,  Diego thought as he slid into the chair behind the console.  He entered several commands and after a tense few seconds the Vulcan Chief Medical Officer,  T’lar, was staring back at him.  The picture wasn’t perfect as there was considerable interference,  but two-way communications were now possible.

“I am pleased to see that you are unharmed Lieutenant. How are Commander Hayden and the others?” T’lar asked.

“They have survived the storm.  Unfortunately, she, Lieutenant Shrin, and Ensign Hargrove are trapped under a collapsed building.”

“Are they in any immediate danger?”

“I don’t think so.  Commander Hayden did say they had lost their power generator so I assume they are tied into the colony’s power grid.  That seems stable for now. “

Understood.  We are working on a way to cut through the ionization.  Right now the plan is to send down some shuttles with transporter enhancers. Be patient with us. Lieutenant Washington is modifying several shuttles to withstand the atmosphere, but this is going to take a little time. In the meantime return to your shelter. “

“Understood Doc,” Diego nodded.

See you shortly Lieutenant.  Crazy Horse out. “

Diego slumped when the screen switched to black.  He felt like a weight had been removed from his shoulders.  He had spoken with the ship. It had survived,  and they would be rescued eventually,  and it sounded like sooner than later.  There was finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

Diego returned the station to standby, stood, and trudged out of the comm room heading back to his shelter eager to relay the good news of the impending rescue.