Part of USS Thyanis: The Raven of the Fourth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Act 1 Part 3 – ‘Chaos out of order’

Various Locations USS Thyanis
Mission Day 6 - 02:36hrs
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Main Bridge – 02:36 Hrs


The night shift aboard a starship is a surreal experience for several reasons. Firstly crew members went to work just as everyone else was going off duty and going to bed, these would be the same people who would come relieve you in 12 hours.

Second, there was always a strange sense of calm at night despite there being no day and night cycle to tell the time by, with the majority of the crew asleep the ship was noticeably quieter, and without dozens of crew members accessing consoles all the time, she almost seemed to be asleep herself.

Nearly a week into her voyage, the USS Thyanis was no different and the night shift was a perfect opportunity for more junior officers to obtain command experience as the highest ranking officer typically performing night duties was Ensign.

More senior officers had their rotations as well however aboard this vessel, the CO was keen to allow younger officers a taste of command where possible. 

On this night there was a particular sense of a relaxing atmosphere as the entire ship was run by just 4 crew members – on the bridge, an Ensign and two Petty officers, and in engineering a single crewman who was writing reports.

With all the preparations for her mission now mostly completed, the night watch was more ceremonial than an actual duty – policy required certain stations to be manned at all times, however, tonight the three officers manning the bridge had chosen to pass the time with a game of cards.

“Are Humans and Trill even biologically compatible, I mean can you imagine if they had a kid together, the poor thing would have spots all over.” said the petty officer 3rd class as she dealt up the next hand to the group.

“Sure they are, I even heard of a Trill and a Klingon getting their freak on once. Now that would have been an ugly baby let me tell you” the Ensign said, taking a sip of his coffee as he inspected his cards. ‘Dammit, Two pair again!’ he thought to himself

“I dunno guys, I just don’t see them as a couple, Isn’t she like a hundred and sixty years old or something?” said the 2nd class, organising her cards into suits and trying her best to stop her antennae from letting the group know that she was on track for a possible flush.

“No, that’s just her Symbiant. The Trill actually have fairly similar lifespans to humans, she just inherits some memories and experiences from past hosts.” The ensign corrected, tossing a small blind into the pot.

“Wait. what if her past host was a dude, does that mean she likes both?” the 2nd class asked inquisitively, her antennae perking up sharply as she proposed the question and tossed her big blind into the pot.

“I’m not sure exactly, maybe she does but who are we to judge….why think you’ve got a chance?” the 3rd class said as she dealt the community cards onto the floor.

“Nah, it would never last, and I’m not sure she’d dig the whole four distinct sexes thing” 2nd class responded, her antennae drooping although her expression turned to a smile as she saw the Ensign place a relatively small bet compared to the last game. ‘ha, I bet he’s got junk again.’ 

“You do realise it’s the 25th century not the 21st right? no one is saying you have to get her to agree to Shelthreth. If she’s what you’re into, then you go girl, have a little fun. The worst that can happen is she can say no… am I right?” the 3rd class chipped in, both the conversation and the betting pot with a substantial raise.

“I hate to break it to you but I think that ship has sailed, it’s only a matter of time, I bet you anything that before the end of this mission, the C.O has to drag them both into the office to discuss the ‘birds and the bees’ and Starfleet policy on the subject” the Ensign chuckled, as he immediately folded upon seeing the dealers sizeable bet.

“Seriously, do you really have to crush all hope for her just like that, yer know for an Ensign you’re pretty irresponsible” 3rd class made her challenge.

“That’s Mr. Irresponsible – Sir to you, Petty Officer. Besides you should have seen him, he was all over her like a rash and she was lapping it up. It’s a done deal if you ask me.” The Ensign bragged as he climbed up to his feet to get some more coffee.

The gossip continued as the ensign left the game. He just about registered his Andorian tactical officer suggesting that she needed to find an excuse to get down to sickbay on the next rotation when he happened to glance at the tactical console on his way to the replicator. He was still half listening to the two petty officers giggling in the background but his attention was rapidly drawn to an indication shown on the display that he wasn’t familiar with. He had no real experience with tactical but everything in his gut told him that this particular part of the display shouldn’t be flashing red.

“Hey……Should this console be flas–”

 

Engineering Bay – 02:36 Hrs


The lone crewman sat at the head of the table console with a PADD in one hand and typing away at the other, cross-referencing his data and interpreting a logical prediction of the EPS output to fill in his report. He sat in complete silence, listening to the soothing hum of the engine core and enjoying the subtle vibrations it sent through the air to tingle the fine hairs on his pointed ears.

He had been working non-stop for several hours now and he didn’t intend to leave his post any time soon, despite being invited to partake in the social gathering on the bridge, the young officer found it Illogical to engage in recreation during his rostered duty shift. Besides, he could focus much more intently on his work without the distraction of the additional noise his collages like to make when discussing topics of inter-crew personal relationships.

His solitude began to fade as the faint clunk of footsteps began to clunk through the engine hum. ‘Curious.’ He thought to himself as he raised an eyebrow, he was not expecting his colleagues to visit him in engineering.

Again the rhythm of the warp engine behind him was interrupted by the piercing selection of keys on a display panel, followed by the unmistakable drone and whistle of a replicator being operated. ‘Most curious Indeed.’ he again permitted himself a thought away from his work.

Choosing to ignore the distraction he continued analysing his data and chose to file the unexplained noises as one of the other junior crew members obtaining a late-night beverage. This was a logical conclusion as some of the Junior dormitories were on the same level as the Engineering bay, and it would be an inefficient use of one’s energy to make the journey to the galley on deck 2, which was also at the front of the ship.

“How are those EPS calibrations coming along crewman?” Wallace asked playfully as he stood leaning against the forward bulkhead, half in and half out of the engineering bay; still wearing his pyjamas and now nursing a steaming cup of coffee.

“Captain!” The crewman stood to attention upon immediately detecting his superior officer.

“It, Lieutenant Commander, or Commander ‘slash’ sir if we’re being informal.” Wallace corrected his subordinate.

“Understood sir, I was merely following Starfleet protocol which states that the commanding officer of a Starfleet vessel may adopt the title of captain reg–”

“Regardless of rank…I know, but until I feel I’ve earned that title let’s just stick with Commander or Sir for now please.” Wallace finished the crewman’s sentence to save himself the lesson on Starfleet regulation 1257 paragraph 4 subsection 8.

The crewman engineer simply raised an eyebrow and then began to Investigate the reason for the Commanding Officers’ arrival. It was clear that the CO was not on duty due to his attire, his quarters were also on deck two, near the mess hall. He would have had to pass at least four Replicators in order to arrive at the Engineering bay. Logic dictated that this was his intended destination, however, the reason for the CO to attend the Engineering Bay in the early hours of the morning was a complete mystery and any hypothesis he could come up with seemed completely Illogical.

“I couldn’t sleep, and sometimes I come down here to think.” Wallace decided to put his Vulcan crew member out of his misery and give him an answer that he was clearly trying to identify.

“Very well sir, however, might I suggest a chamomile tea as a suitable night-time beverage instead? The caffeine content in your coffee sir is likely to interfere with–”

Wallace interrupted the Vulcan again by raising his hand to indicate he should stop speaking. He then simply raised his mug to be parallel to his palm, and in a smooth motion; altered his gesture to begin pointing at his mug. “De-caff.” he simply said, smiling.

“That would also be an agreeable choice, sir.”

“Well I think I might stop by the bridge on my way back to bed, just wanted to take a stroll down here and clear my head, Carry on crewman!” Wallace replied as he began to turn towards the ladder at the end of the corridor.

On his way down to the ladder he decided to check the time and work out how many hours of sleep he could squeeze in before having to be on duty at 06:00. He reached out and accessed one of the consoles on the corridor wall and read the clock readout in the top right corner. 

02:38:23

Wallace logged out of the console and slowly began his turn towards the ladder once again, lifting his mug to his face and taking a refreshing sip, and counting out his steps.

‘18,19,20,21,22–’

 

Quarters of Garcia & Xan – 02:37 Hrs


With limited space on the ship, only the two most senior officers had private rooms, with many others having to either share a double bunk or be assigned to a multi-bunk dormitory.

Garcia and Xan were not an exception and were currently sharing one of the double bunk rooms aft of deck four. They were also only down the hall from the junior officers’ quarters but they would both have almost to go the entire length of the ship to reach the bridge. This was fine by Garcia and Xan because this route would take them past their respective departments en route. Garcia would be able to pass the armoury and holding cells and Xan would have an easy route to the Sickbay and science labs directly above their cabin.

Garcia awoke from her dream feeling a building pressure in her bladder, ‘ugh, that’s it, no more Raktajino before bed’ she thought as she slid herself down from the top bunk and staggered into the incredibly tiny wash-room which was barely large enough to stand up in. It was supplied standard issue with an integrated lavatory and sink to save space.

She spent around a minute passing her relief before quickly washing her hands and climbing back into bed. She glanced at the clock before she intended on rolling back over to sleep.

02:38:24

Her preferred technique was to listen to the drips of water from the sink and count them off to sleep.

One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…..four Missis–”

A sudden and violent shock wave ejected Garcia from her bunk, throwing her against the wall and depositing her on the floor at the base of Xan’s bunk. This was accompanied by a shower of sparks from the dim night lighting on the ceiling of the room but followed a few seconds later by all the lighting returning to full illumination and the piercing screech of the Red Alert Klaxon

Garcia shook off her daze after being thrown across the room and screamed out loud, “What the Fu–” her voice, drowned out by the recurring Klaxon

Immediately as she felt the warmth of a small amount of blood running over her eye and down her cheek, she performed a quick damage assessment of herself and self-diagnosed her injury as superficial.

Meanwhile, Xan ripped her privacy screen open and lept out of her bunk, startled and disorientated. “Red Alert? What the hell happened.”

“I dunno, felt like a photon torpedo to me!” Garcia shouted straining her voice to be heard over the deafening noise.

“I’d better get to sickbay, you’d better get to the bridge!” Xan yelled as she threw on a nightgown and a pair of gym shoes before sprinting out the door, followed closely by Garcia; barefoot and wearing only some silk shorts and a T-shirt.

 

Engineering Bay – 02:39 Hrs


“Bridge REPORT!” Wallace screamed as he dusted himself off and nursed a fresh scold to his right hand.

No response

He was about to repeat his command when he was interrupted by an ear-piercing and blood-curdling scream coming from the Engineering bay only 10 feet behind him. He could see the flickering glow of flame reflecting on the wall and thick black smoke flowing out of the bay and into the corridor.

For whatever reason fire suppression systems had failed to activate and he felt a sickening feeling in his stomach as he momentarily contemplated the danger of a fire in the Engineering Bay.

Rushing to his feet he launched himself down the hallway towards the danger and as his view of the bay opened up, he was horrified to see the young Vulcan crewman completely engulfed in flame having been ignited by a plasma conduit that had ruptured directly above where he was standing.

Flailing his arms and screeching like he was possessed by some sort of demon, the young crewman was clawing at the walls and consoles, anything in reach in a desperate and panicked attempt to put out the flames.

Wallace quickly ran over to a nearby maintenance panel; retrieved a hand-held fire extinguisher from its bracket and began aiming at the crewman. He discharged its full contents and extinguished the pour soul with as much urgency as he could deliver.

The Vulcan; severely burned and charred slumped forward and fell lifeless onto the deck. Steam and smoke were still flowing from his body and his uniform still smouldering.

Moments later the Computer began to react to the fire in engineering and began an isolation sequence. Wallace looked over his shoulder and watched in horror as force fields erected along the open wall of the engineering bay and the thick blast door began raising from the floor to seal off the two halves of engineering and isolate the core.

Wallace was helpless to stop the sequence, he tried to override it but as it was an emergency procedure, critical to ship survival; he found himself locked out.

The door sealed and trapped him inside the control room with a raging plasma fire above his head, now rapidly consuming the oxygen in the room.

“Bridge!, Anyone, Come In!” Wallace screamed again, before turning his attention back to the wounded crewman. Taking two fingers he searched for a radial pulse, He felt a slow thump, weak but it was definitely there. Wallace now realised their only chance was to find a way to beam out of the compartment before they both suffocated.

“Wallace to Doctor Xan, Medical Emergency In the Engineering Bay.”

A second later Xan responded, sounding out of breath and flustered. “Xan here, Im just arriving in Sickbay I’ll come down!”

“No time for that, get me a Site-to-Site emergency transport now!” Wallace demanded.

 

Main Bridge – 02:40 Hrs


Arriving at the doors of the main bridge Lt Garcia tried to activate the automatic door sensors however they failed to open. There was debris strewn all over the carpet outside, and various cables hung down from the ceiling. Considering the amount of damage, she was worried that the bridge might have de-compressed and that the doors might have been sealed automatically to maintain the atmosphere on the rest of the ship.

“Lieutenant, what the bloody-el is going on!” a raspy cockney voice shouted from the ladder.

Garcia turned to see Chief Catterick trying to climb the ladder whilst nursing his left arm in a crude sling made from the fabric of one of his trouser legs. 

“Chief, I think we’re under attack and I can’t access the bridge, Think you can help me get inside?” she asked, ignoring his injury for the moment.

“Try the manual release!” he said as he emerged onto the deck.

“What if the bridge has been vented?” she asked.

“If the bridge was vented, we’d all be dead by now. Those doors aren’t air-tight, probably just a malfunction”.” Martin re-assured the Lieutenant as with his uninjured arm he removed a panel from the bulkhead adjacent to the door and began actuating the manual release handle.

Garcia pulled with all her strength to slide the door open, just enough for her to slip her slender form through the gap.

Having gained access she surveyed the surroundings, it was dark and the only light was provided by the Red Alert signals along the walls and a small fire near the center chair. The air was saturated with smoke and she could feel her throat burning as she took down lung full after lung full, causing her to cough uncontrollably.

“Anyone here, Sound off!” she pushed through the discomfort to call out. She could just about hear some feint groaning and sobbing from across the room in between the blaring of the klaxon. 

Behind her, Martin had just entered the bridge and immediately got to work to improve the environment. He could already recall the layout in his sleep and made his way over to the engineering console and with a little adjustment he managed to bring the lights back up and begin venting the acrid smoke from the bridge by re-routing some power to life-support.

It took about a minute, but as soon as the smoke cleared both officers were shocked to find an injured Andorian Petty Officer 2nd Class pinned to the floor by one of the main support beams that had come crashing down on top of the card game.

Garcia rushed in to help, she was barely conscious and struggling to breathe as the mass of debris that sat on top of her broken body was slowly killing her.

“I NEED A PHASER!” Garcia screamed only to be handed one by the young Ensign who, upon regaining consciousness had already leaped to his feet and retrieved one from under the Helm console.

Garcia wasted no time slicing through the thick metal, deciding it into smaller pieces that the three crew members could lift off the injured young woman.

Tan was the next to arrive on the bridge and without hesitation stepped in to help free the Andorian officer. He was followed shortly by Wallace who had a look on his face of determination having survived his ordeal in engineering to assume command and control of the situation. As soon as the crew member was free he instructed Chief Catterall and the Petty Officer 3rd class to take her to sickbay whilst he assembled his bridge crew at their stations.

“Report!” he instructed, stamping out the small patch of flames near his chair.

“Sir we were hit by a spread of Photon Torpedoes from aft, warp drive is off-line, Hull integrity is at 87%, shields were raised automatically but I’m having trouble with the sensors” Garcia responded, assuming the Tactical station; she began fighting with the computer to reboot her sensor suite.

“Commander, It’s a little fuzzy but I’m sure I’m detecting another ship out there” Harris reported.

Wallace acknowledged his officers, A state of solid determination flooded his mind, Who had attacked them and why? He desperately wanted an answer for this unprovoked attack.

 

Comments

  • Edit - Apologies I appeared to have got carried away and mixed up one of the names of the main characters - Now corrected.

    May 14, 2023
  • So much happening here from some gossip going on between the night shift, to them under attack. Is it the Dominion? Breen? Or is it someone else? The way that Wallace, Diaz, Xan, and others jumped into action to help save the crewmembers that were injured. Now I wonder who attacked them, great job! can't wait for the next installment!

    May 14, 2023
  • Was not expecting the rush that came from reading this! Night shift shenanigans, that console that wasn't supposed to be alerting right down to the attack. This was a highly enjoyable read and brokers lots of questions, but still leaves things unanswered and up in the air. This came out of nowhere and I am living for it. Can't wait to see what's in store next and if they ever find out who opened fire. Nice job!

    May 16, 2023