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Part of USS Damascus: M1: Just A Gentle Touch and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

8) The web of deception

USS Damascus - Bridge
November 2400
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The yellow light was flashing as the tension on the bridge was high. People were focused on navigating through the different anomalous, visible by the glare of red glowing light and the sudden burst of blood dilithium spreading over them. The sweat was hanging on the eyebrow of Ensign K’Nala, who tried her best to navigate through this maze of potential death traps. The Damascus moved slowly through the field, missing most asteroids as it made its way toward the Red Lunar that was getting into their view. 

“The readings of the sudden blood dilithium burst are fascinating” Sazra looked at the readings. “These state that the burst is related to the coexisting anomalous”. It was like Sazra got drawn to her scientific side “They also state that there is a different degree of gravity well depending on the size of the anomalous. Commander Ruslanovna please note that we will investigate these gravity wells after the current assignment”. 

Silina’s narrowed eyes met up with that of Sazra, who looked puzzled at her back “You doing that thing again…” She points at the screen where the Red Lunar is on “Priority rescue mission, Captain. Focus on the task at hand and don’t get distracted by what is around you” 

“Yes….you are right, Commander” Sazra said in an apologizing manner as if someone had taken her candy away from her, “The status on the Red Lunar, please”. Sitting back in her chair as if she were annoyed that Silina put her back in her responsibilities again. Though she hated the fact more than Silina was right about it. It was her duty as a Captain to stay focused on the mission at hand, and on top of it all, she was the one that ordered the rescue. Her eyes looked at her side after hearing the sound of two Ensigns giggling, who snapped to focus back on their work when noticing their Captain’s glare. 

Adrián moved from one console to another to check on most systems and then looked over his shoulder to the captain wanting to roll his eyes at her behavior, “The Red Lunar is in bad shape. Shields are down. Engines are not active. No weapons present, and life-support is barely hanging” He looked at the console where he saw the ship’s scans and shrugged. “But something is bugging me about the state of the ship, Captain” 

“The state of the ship? What is weird about it?” Sazra looked now at the Red Lunar, seeing it not move due to the asteroid holding it in location. 

“Well, their communication system seems wrecked up, but yet the SOS system was able to be sent out” Adrián looked back at the screen “It does not make sense” He turned to another console. “What if…”. He taps on the console and looks at the screen. “Doing a trace of the SOS beacon”.

The bridge crew saw the marker of the search patron going over the screen. The only one that was not paying any attention was K’Nala, who carefully navigated the Damascus between three asteroids that made it very narrow to get through it. The tracker stopped above the Red Lunar on the asteroid.

“Enlarge the location” Sazra stood up, seeing the image getting larger and showing a device nestled into the asteroid. “Can someone explain to me why there is an SOS beacon on that asteroid and not the ship”

The Damascus slowly moved deeper toward the transport ship. “Scans indicate that it is Devore’s design!” Rami quickly yelled. “I highly advise you to go change to red alert!” But it was too late. A large explosion from the right side came as something detonated from it. The shock wave quickly hit Damascus at its side and pushed it harshly to the side. The bridge crew gets thrown off balance and pushed around like dolls. The ship makes a severe hit into the other asteroid and scrapes into the side, coming to a halt as sparks fly off the now damaged side.

“Bridge check…” Silina spoke up.

“Valerio check” Adrián managed to stay on his feet by grabbing the side of the console he was working on. “Doing a system-wide damaged check” He quickly got to work to get a full detailed report on the damage that Damascus had received. 

Getting on her feet, Sazra was thrown to the side and felt her ribs when hitting another console and was thrown over it “Praugol check, get medical up here” 

“Drata check. We need medical assistance for Davis” The Bolian was kneeling next to the Ensign.

“Shew check. I am doing a sector-wide scan. Commander Valerio can you give me a boost on the scanners” Rami got back on his feet as well but was not injured as he managed to keep the blow of the impact to a minimum. 

“I can give you a slight boost. Got to rearrange the plasma conduits to give you that. Ensign Drata when medical is here, take my console to take over”. He quickly moved to the turbolift as the door opened, seeing the Andorian doctor there with a nurse “Good timing, we got one down and some light wounded.” 

Kossaal nodded and entered the bridge with his nurse as Adrián disappeared from the scene when the doors closed. 

“K’Nala check…arrrg my head” The young Caitian was thrown off her chair and made a bad hit with her head onto the ground. 

A nurse kneeled next to her to inspect her head. “Please stay where you are. You got a head injury which could be severe” The Caitian didn’t resist and followed the given orders.

“An explosion from our side caught us by surprise. I am sorry, Captain, I didn’t notice the contraption to be there” Rami concluded as he saw the short-range scans coming in. The asteroid at their side was showing marks of the explosion, “We have hit the other asteroid quite heavily” 

Sazra sat down in her chair and looked a bit annoyed at Rami. “Give me a damage report, anyone?” She noticed the doctor at her side checking her health. “I am fine, doctor” She was not in the mood to deal with him right now, and just wanted to know what the situation of the Damascus was. 

“The reports are flowing in” Drata looked at the console that he had taken over from Adrián after the nurse got to him to take care of Davis. “The left side has received a beating. Outer decks were damaged significantly. Left engine is offline as it shows external damage.” 

Silina followed up “We got no fatal injured, but I believe the doctor is needed back at sickbay, seeing we got 20 wounded so far” Silina looked at Kossaal.

“Don’t worry about them. The bridge crew is our priority right now, and the sickbay is covered by skilled and lovely nurses who know what they are doing” He finished up his cans of Sazra ribs. “You got a bruised rib. You will manage” He walked to Davis and shrugged, “We better get him to sickbay, nurse?”

The nurse looked up at him. “Bridge crew is cleared for functioning doctor. Ensign Davis needs medical attention right now.” Getting a nod from the doctor “Three to beam to sickbay” The three disappear from the bridge.

 “Captain, I am receiving reports that we have something on the front right side of the hull and growing” Drata pressed a button to show it on the distorted view screen. The blood dilithium was on the hull and slowly growing onto the Damascus.

Sazra shrugged at what she was seeing. “Ensign K’Nala full reverse using the one engine we have left operating.” 

“Yes Captain” She taps onto the console as the ship starts to make the noise of cracking metal being pulled apart “I am getting a lot of resistance from the asterrroid. We are deeply stuck in there” K’Nala tried again as the ship cracked again. 

Drata looked at the information. “Stop! If you keep going like that, we will lose four decks. The sheer force of the engines is ripping the hull’s integrity!” 

“Stop the engine….” Sazra orders, looking annoyed at the screen, she was baited into an obvious trap, and her neglected not to noticing it was on her. What would humans say in these times? Curiosity killed the cat? Whatever a cat was “How long do we have to get out of that situation” 

“On the route, it is going right now. The blood dilithium will consume the hull within a few hours. We have to get into environmental suits and get out there to cut the hull plating of the Damascus and free the ship that way. But it will take manpower.” Drata suggested.

“Blowing it off is not an option either. The dilithium is too unstable. We could do more harm than actually save ourselves out of the situation” Rami was not amused with the situation. He felt the weight of the guilt of being in this situation on his shoulders. 

Sazra nodded, “Commander Ruslanovna, work with Commander Valerio to get onto that hull. While I want to help you all on the deck, a mere…15% shield is protecting my sanity right now” Tapping on the console at her side. “So I don’t think you two would agree with putting myself in danger if I would do that….meanwhile, Ensign Drata work with the engineering teams for the repairs of the ship.  Lieutenant Shew gets the ship’s defensive systems online. While there might be a ship out there that needs our help, we put our own lives as a priority first” 

Letting a brief sign of relief be seen on Silina face she quickly snapped back into duty “I will be right on my w…” She stopped by a sudden interruption.

“Captain we are receiving a hail from a Devorrre Imperrrium ship….” K’Nala stated. 

Sazra shrugged and took a deep breath, “On screen” The screen changed, seeing the dark interior of the bridge from the Devore vessel.

 A man stood there with a slight smirk on his face “Good day Starfleet. I am Marvok the Captain of this glorious vessel of the Devore Imperium. And you have volunteered in participating in our experiment in the name of our great imperium. We appreciate your contribution to our research projects all over the quadrant” He clapped his hands. “Now we don’t want to wait any longer, let the experiment begin” The communication channel closed.

“Great, now we are dealing with them. What experiment did we get ourselves volunteering in” Rami looked at Sazra.

Sazra looked at the screen with annoyance, “I don’t know, but I am not sticking around to wait on that. You got your orders all. Get going! Lieutenant Shew, keep an eye out for them!” She points to the screen that shows the Devore ship getting slowly closer to them. 

Comments

  • What a deliciously tangled web you’re weaving in this mission and this one chapter alone! From the start, you measuredly introduced a sense of foreboding. It occurs too me that even naming a ship the Red Lunar in a mission about blood dilithium is a bit of dramatic irony. The tension ramped up further with Sazra not only losing focus, but Silina had to chide her for it in front of the crew. By the time you got an SOS from a ship with no workable comms system, you really got me scared for the future of this crew. And then bam, bam, bam, you raised the stakes one paragraph after another: explosion, crashing, dilithium and on the hull aaaaaaaand it’s all a Devore experiment? I gotta find out how they’re gonna get out of this one.

    November 9, 2022
  • Interesting, blood dilithium growing on the hull of a ship! That is certainly a new take on the campaign and an original idea. I wonder just how much of the hull would need to be lost to ensure the ship can escape before any more damage is sustained. The more I read about Sazra; I feel like she's that one captain who cannot let go of her past career before entering the command track. She's a scientist at heart, which is the type of Starfleet CO needed, but is she going to be the right person to get her crew out of this spot of trouble?

    November 13, 2022
  • Wow, so turns out this was all a trap orchestrated by the Devore! Though I think Sazra was being a bit hard on herself as they couldn't have possibly known about the SOS signal not coming from the Red Lunar but from something of Devore design. Will they be able to free themselves before the Devore get close? I am curious as to what this experiment that Devore is talking about, though I agree with Sazra let's not stay and find out. The action keeps on coming and looking forward to seeing how all this plays out.

    November 26, 2022