Engineers were doing their best to regain the bridge consoles damaged by the impact. Other officers were monitoring everything that was going on out there. The Devore ship didn’t make any movement and stayed in its original location, just staring at the two ships in desperate need of assistance. It was noticed that any outgoing communication was unable to get out. Were the Devore blocking their signal somehow? It didn’t help, and the crew had to endure this without their Captain. Morale was dangerously low, the ship was damaged, and the blood dilithium slowly consumed the Damascus. Time was running against them.
“Status report” Silina, still annoyed with the apparent trap they didn’t see. But she knew how heavy this was weighing on Sazra. She could see it in her eyes when it all had happened.
“The hull is being consumed by blood dilithium. We are pulsing on it to slow it down. But it is a temporary solution, Commander. We need to get on that hull to cut the hull free” Adrián was by far a fan of the idea, but his care and focus was the ship’s current condition. It needed to be solved as soon as possible.
“I know, Commander Valerio, but I am not sending any of our crew members out onto the hull with a Devore ship pointing its weapons at us” Silina countered him on the argument and rubbed the side of her head. “So please give me a solution that doesn’t involve them to send them to potential deaths”
Rami shrugged, “Technically, they are not aiming their weapons at us as of this moment. They are just looking at us as if they are waiting on something” Rami felt the sudden death glare Silina and made the call to not look at her. “Shields are barely holding, we got about 7%, and we all know that we don’t want that shield to be lowered”
Taking a deep breath and looking at the screen, “So you are saying that we send either people on the deck to start cutting the dilithium or we will have a serious problem within…” Silina looked at Adrián for a reaction.
“Two hours tops, then the internal systems will be in danger. We need to make a choice right now, Commander. If we wait any longer…” Adrián didn’t finish his sentence as he glared at his side to the turbolift seeing Sazra walking onto the bridge”…Captain?”
Coming to a stop and looking at everyone, Sazra felt like her head was hit by a shuttle. “Then a choice will be made, Commander Valerio. What is the status of the Devore?” Sazra observed seeing everyone looking back at her as she made her to her chair, seeing Silina looking at her. “Well?”
“Ah right, Devore is dormant. It doesn’t do anything at this current moment. No weapons and even engines seem to be shut down” Rami repeated in his previous report and was just amazed that Sazra was standing there “Are you alright, Captain?”
“I am wonderful, slight headache. Thank you for asking” Sazra didn’t break eye contact with Silina, who slowly rose from the Captain’s chair. “We need to get started immediately on the hull. Commander Valerio get your best engineers that are qualified or experienced with working in low gravity” Sazra saw Silina raise her hand and narrow her eyes a bit “Commander?”
“Belay that order, Commander Valerio. Captain, with respect, but you just got out of a severe injury. When the shields dropped, you dropped as well to the floor” Silina’s hand gesture kept high and made Adrián stay in his position. “Are you fit for duty?”
Sazra put her arms over each other “I am excellent, Commander Ruslanovna, and last time I checked, I didn’t need to put my medical responsibility to you. I already have a doctor in service to do that. Now time is ticking. Would you please let me resume my duties and get this ship to safety?” The annoyance of Sazra was visible in her facial expressions.
Lowering her hand, Silina slowly shook her head. “No, I will not allow you to resume your duties. While I am no longer your Chief Medical Officer, I am your Executive Officer. The disadvantage for you is that I know how to detect when a person is unfit for duty. Captain, you are unfit for duty. You, of all people, know that you require to stay in sickbay and rest. We are more than able to take up this problem ourselves”
“That sounds like disobeying a Captain” Sazra snaps back “Are you sure you want to walk this path, Commander? We both know how that went down last time?” Looking over her shoulder to K’Nala “Nothing personal Ensign” Looking back at Silina.
“None was taken, Captain” K’Nala said a bit awkwardly.
Silina felt the anger boil in her as she tried to remain calm and took a deep breath “Lieutenant Shew, call security to the bridge” She had her eyes locked at Sazra “You are currently unfit for duty, Captain. You are no stadium to make any choices because you are affected by the blood dilithium”
“On it” Rami quickly replied as he tapped onto the console to call up some security officers to get up to the bridge immediately.
“Good, then we can get her to the brig for disobeying her Captain. Are you seriously thinking I am compromised because of the blood dilithium? Really Silina?” Sazra shook her head in disappointment, “I needed right here, don’t expect me to stay put in a bed that could be used for another wounded crew member. I am bloody fine!” Sazra raised her voice out of frustration and placed her hands on her hips, and walked to the screen, looking at the whole ordeal that was brought upon them.
The security team arrived and stood on standby, “We were requested?” One of them spoke.
“Please escort Captain Praugol to her personal quarters and place a guard at her door. By direct order of myself, the Executive Officer. Under the presumption of being mentally compromised by the effects of the Blood Dilithium” Silina shrugged at giving the order against her friend, her Captain, her love interest. She had to keep her chin up and hold a strong pose in front of the crew.
The security team moved to Sazra as she turned around, and they stopped “This is absurd. I am not affected by the blood dilithium. You are making a mistake here, Commander” Sazra looked at Adrián, who was looking pretty uncomfortable about the entire situation, “Are you going to let this happen, Commander? Or are you going to help me get her to the brig for distrusting her Captain?”
His eyes snapped to attention as he heard the mention of his rank and looked at Silina, who was frozen by what was just said. Then looked back at his Captain “I….support the order of the Executive Officer as Chief Engineering Officer and Second Officer of this ship. Please take Captain Praugol to her quarters” He saw Silina looking at him surprised and the cold glare of Sazra at him. He just betrayed his Captain in a conflict of a chain of command. But in his heart, he knew that this was the best choice.
The security team moved in on Sazra as each took a side at her, “Please do not resist, Captain and follow us to the turbolift”
Sazra bit her upper lip for a second and started to walk. She didn’t say a word. Sazra ignored Silina and Adrián, walking to the turbolift that opened up and entering it, with the security team moving in with her. Sazra turned around, looking into the bridge.
“Captain…” Silina managed to get out of her as she looked at Sazra, who ignored her as the door closed. The bridge was so tense that a knife could cut through it. Trying to hold her composure, she looked away for a second “Commander Valerio, get a team of engineers who are….experience with low gravity environments into suits and get that crap off our hull”
Adrián wanted to comfort her but was unable to do this at the moment, “Yes, sir” He nodded, walked to the turbolift and waited for it to return. When it returned and opened up, he entered it “Engineering” The door closed and took off.
“Everyone stations, we got to get this ship ready to get out of that asteroid the moment we are free. Lieutenant Shew keeps an eye out for any action on that Devore ship. If it moves an inch, I want to know of it” Silina was trying to get back into the rhythm, but even she had to admit that her mind was somewhere else. She was afraid that she had ruined now everything. She taps her commbadge “Bridge to Sickbay”
“Why was Captain Praugol released from the sickbay?” Silina was trying to figure out what was going on. Why was she on the bridge in the first place? After being exposed to blood dilithium radiation.
“She told us that she would go to her personal quarters to rest. Is everything alright?”
“She didn’t do that, but it is handled. Bridge out” Silina wanted to curse but kept it to herself. This was not going to end well for either of them. How Sazra reacted was unfamiliar to her, she was not herself. That cold gaze of Sazra was printed into her head.
Rami looked at the screen of his console “Commander” he suddenly spoke, getting the attention of Silina “It moved an inch, the engines are getting active, and it’s moving closer to us”
“Commanderrr, they arrre hailing us again” K’Nala looked at the console seeing the notification.
“Just great, open the channel. Let’s see what they want” Silina replied, annoyed, and sat back in the Captain’s chair. A chair that felt quite uncomfortable right now.
The channel opened as the Devore Captain looked with a smile to Silina. “Oh my, where is your Captain? Is she affected by the blood dilithium? Is she a dirty telepathic? Well, that makes my job much easier, and you know I feel less guilty about what I am about to do”
“This is Commander Ruslanovna. I am the Executive Officer of this ship. The Captain is unwell and taken to sickbay. We are not part of any experiment, as you mentioned earlier. We are merely trying to save this civilian ship” Silina shrugged at the idea of doing this but had no choice. “We do require any assistance you can provide. It seems we were struck by something big”
“Ah, don’t play stupid with me, Commander. I would advise you to say the truth. We placed those mines there for we predicted that Starfleet would interfere in their good and attending nature to provide aid to a weaker animal” The Captain shook his head. “Enjoy the show, Commander it will be the last you will see” The communication channel dropped as the Devore ship fired a single torpedo at the asteroid.
“Brace for impact!” Silina yelled out.
Rami shook his head. “It is not aimed at us! It is aimed at the asteroid” He aimed at the screen. The torpedo hits the asteroid and explodes right at the core of the blood dilithium. With a brute force of power, Damascus has pushed away from the asteroid. The hit was not as bad as the crash, and everyone could get back onto their feet. “Why would they hit…the asteroid” Rami was confused.
“Look” K’Nala points at the screen as in front of the Damascus, a large mass of blood dilithium starts to move, starts to shift. It formed into something larger made out of pure blood dilithium crystal “What is that…”
Silina stood up from her chair and looked in horror at the screen “That….can’t be. They were not seen since 2364, driven away by the Enterprise. That is a Crystalline Entity” The large crystalized, formed entity moved now onto the civilian ship to start its feast.