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Part of USS Liris: A measure of man and blood and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Coagulation PT. 1

USS Liris; Droth system
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Delvok was at his console, looking at the flood of data flowing from the sensors, both internal and external. Nothing interesting on either of them, but that was the most interesting thing in itself: they had hoped for something interesting, and now the lack of anything interesting was interesting in and of itself interesting. Quite interesting.

The Captain turned to face Lieutenant Erti, and spoke.“Any updates on that thing? If not, I’m sending you out there in a space suit to check it out., because I’m not leaving without knowing what that is, and why it’s there.”

Jatia, the CSO, fell back in her chair, and turned in her chair with a defeated face.“Nothing about that thing out there makes sense, Captain. It’s irradiated as hell for no discernible reason, it’s rusted which would suggest having been exposed to oxygen, but that planet has no oxygen, mostly argon, and what’s more: there seems to be some writing on its surface, but the computer can’t make heads or tails of it.”

Sh’ill got up, and stared at the viewscreen for a moment, before speaking to his helmsman, Lieutenant Junior Grade Delvok.“Take us in closer, and keep the shields up, I don’t want any surprises. Lieutenant, can you assure me that that thing is safe?”

The Lieutenant looked over at her console and the data on it, and defeatedly responded. “Well, the radiation seems to be the only thing dangerous about it, but I can’t assure you. If you want to bring it aboard, we’ll have to clear out the shuttle bay.”

Sh’ill pondered for a moment, and then looked to Delvok. “Clear out what you can from the shuttle bay with the transporter, and if you have to leave anything, put it behind a force field. I don’t want anything to be affected by that radiation. This thing might, of course, also be cursed, but what do I know?”

The Lieutenant nodded, and got to work with the transporter, beaming crates into corridors and various nooks and crannies, trying to maximise the space in the shuttle bay. The MSD, at which his Captain was looking, showed crates disappearing from the shuttle/cargo bay, and appearing everywhere, from Engineering to the Deck Two corridors by everyone’s quarters.

 

After some time of beaming stuff across the ship, the cargo bay looked emptier than ever, at least on the MSD, and only the shuttle that was stored there remained. Sh’ill walked across the bridge to the viewscreen, and looked out. “Anything new to report about that thing, Lieutenant?”

Jatia turned back to face him with an expression that couldn’t signal anything good.“Well, good news is that I know why it’s radioactive. Bad news is that I’ve found traces of that dilithium forming on top of it. It’s nothing big, no more than a few atoms, but their numbers seem to be growing exponentially every 10 minutes or so. I recommend destroying it immediately before it becomes a threat.”

The Captain nodded, and turned around to face his crew, all while attempting to hide his anxiety and dismay for this whole situation.“That’s the thing, we can’t. I have experience in Engineering and I could put the probe together, but I’ve only ever fixed rudimentary things that don’t require rewiring a whole Class-V probe. Any recommendations on that?”

Jatia nodded, and spoke with a more cheery tone this time, indicating that there were good news on that front.“Well, I have figured out how we could recreate what that probe is supposed to do on a smaller scale with our phasers, enough to destroy anything on that hunk of metal, but I can’t adapt it to work on that mountain on 2V5. I mean… I could, it just would blow the warp core up.”

The Captain’s eyes lit, and he shot over to his helmsman, and looked up at his CSO.“Send over the modifications to him, and you… adapt them into our weapons, and as soon as it’s possible, get rid of that thing out there. I will try to fix up our Chief Engineer. Lieutenant, you have the bridge, keep my seat warm…” He ran over to the turbolift at a lightning pace, “And don’t destroy the chair, I like it.”

The Bajoran woman smiled thinly, and slowly made her way to the Captain’s chair, and carefully sat down.“Don’t worry, Cap’n’, I won’t. Now then, the modifications should be simple…”

Her voice was cut out by the closing of the turbolift doors, and the quiet whirring of the lift. Sh’ill laid on the wall, crossed his arms, and closed his eyes: he was trying not to think about the massive responsibility that was weighing on him – 3 lives, 3 very fragile lives. But he would do anything to protect them, and that was what worried him most. There was no time to worry about that, however, as the turbolift doors opened, revealing to him the corridor of Deck Three, and the sickbay that was right there.

 

Stately, Ensign Bok Xasin had been laying in his biobed, unaware of the gaping hole in his hand, and unaware of his being observed by his Captain. He was also unaware of the hypospray that was approaching his hand, and in just a few short moments… he was aware and awake, and looked up to see Sh’ill’s furred face above his.

The Caitian looked into the eyes of his subordinate, and as calmly as could be, spoke to him. “I believe that you are aware of where you are and why you are here. Am I correct, Ensign?” He spoke, with not a hint of sadness or anxiety in his voice.

Bok slowly opened and closed his eyes, and looked around himself in confusion.“I think I’m in… sickbay, sir. What happened? And why does my hand feel weird, sir?” Slowly, he said these words, and very audibly gulped, and did not dare to look down at his hand, fearing for the worst.

Sh’ill mentally sighed, and calmly responded, knowing that he did not have much good to say to him.“Ah. While you were assembling the probe, you fumbled a plasma torch in your hand, and nearly cut it off. Not much good I can say. You’re lucky, Ensign, that you managed to get the computer’s attention before anything got much worse. You went into cardiac arrest, and were close to death. Now for the bad part: I can’t fix your arm with what I have here, I’d have to have additional supplies and more medical officers. I’m sorry, but you’ll be here for at least a week until we can get into contact with other ships.”

Now with a lot of anxiety in his voice, Bok sighed, and slowly turned a bit in his bed, trying not to move his half-missing hand at all.“I understand, sir. And… what’s with the probe? It’s sitting in Engineering, three quarters of the way there, and I know that you need it badly. I was putting on the supplementary power source for the emitter, when… all this happened.”

The Captain nodded with understanding, and straightened out his back and leaned on the wall behind him.“I know, and I’ll have to finish it. We have the specs and the materials, now I just have to put it all together. I’m pretty sure I know where you were in the process. And no, I won’t let you leave Sickbay to help me finish. You need the rest here for reasons mentioned previously.”

The Ensign knew that there wasn’t much that he could do to convince his Captain to do otherwise, and so he just decided to not even try anything.“Understood. I’ll be here. If you need a progress report on what I’ve done, I can write it.”

Now there was a mutual understanding of what would happen during the foreseeable future, Sh’ill thought, and nodded a bit as he got off the wall, and walked over to the door of the Sickbay.”Now rest, and don’t start walking around. Computer, take Ensign Bok Xasin off of active duty, and don’t let him leave Sickbay.”

The brains of the ship chirped a bit, and confirmed all that the Captain had said to it.

 

Now with a more casual walk which expressed Sh’ill’s state of mind, he walked into Engineering, and straight to the probe. He looked over it, taking note of the half finished welding on one of the pieces, evidently the supplementary power source. He looked over at the schematics, and frowned as he looked at the mess of wires that the schematics required him to build. A small shield emitter there, hooked into that, but that is… piece number 145, which is….Sh’ill spent a good few minutes looking at the schematics before he could even pick up the toolkit, and start welding.

 

Meanwhile on the Bridge, Delvok had spent most of this time twiddling his thumbs in idleness, not being able to figure out anything to do, and so he sat there, looking at the mostly unchanging numbers on his console. Occasionally, he even looked up to look out at the stars right beyond the viewscreen, and wondered what was past them in a very un-Vulcan fashion.“Quite lovely, yes, that they are…” he muttered to himself, unaware that the XO had noticed a while back, and was now sat looking at him.

Jatia stared into the back of his skull, weighing everything that could cause him to act like this, but could come up with no good explanation for what was going on. Finally, she spoke.“Lieutenant! Are you still here, or have you lost your mind?”

Jumping up at the sudden interruption of his murmuring and thoughts, Delvok turned to face his superior, and quickly logic-ed his way through his actions, and surprised himself at being able to find no cause for them. All there was was the murmuring, and not much else.“I have no plausible explanation for what has happened. I seem to have been talking to myself without realising.”

A bit surprised at his explanation, Jatia walked over to him and looked down into his eyes.“Lieutenant, are you sure that you’re alright? I can’t have anyone not alright piloting the Liris.”She asked, and waited for a moment for his response.

But Delvok did not have the heart to answer. He knew that the Lieutenant was speaking to him, but he could not answer. He felt his control over his body slip away and disappear into nothing. He saw himself rise up to face Jatia, and felt his arm rise….

 

Meanwhile down in Engineering, Sh’ill was just finishing up with the probe, looking it over to make sure that all the parts were in place, that no crucial wires or hunks of metal were missing, that all the minor and major emitters were in place. He circled the probe, looking both at his schematics and the probe simultaneously, trying not to miss anything that might cause it to fail.

All seemed okay, and so Sh’ill walked to the exit of the cargo bay/shuttle bay/whatever and tapped on his combadge.“Computer, erect a security field 1 meter in front of me stretching to the other security fields, strength level 10. I don’t want any air leaving any of this.”

The computer confirmed, and a massive field shot up in front of Sh’ill, making it impossible for anything to pass through.

Sh’ill looked the field over, as if he was trying to find holes in it, and tapped his combadge.“Sh’ill to Bridge. Open the cargo bay doors, the probe is ready for launch.” He received no response, he did not even hear anything.

He rushed out of the cargo bay, and into the nearest turbolift. He feared that the worst had happened…

 

Comments

  • Hey!! Finally had a chance to have a look-see. I like the build up, and now your question make sense lol. The XO seems kinda badass and I like that.

    January 9, 2023
  • Wonderful and grasping story you got going here! It keeps your attention to the final second, I do wonder if the probe will work or might it backfire on the crew? Awesome work!

    January 9, 2023