Previous Next

Stuck in the mud

Posted on Sat Jan 9th, 2021 @ 9:56pm by Captain Rhenora Kaylen

Mission: Healing of Minds
Location: Bajor

The temple was replaced by the bridge of a starship, familiar in such a way that it felt like a second home. The USS Sunfire had been her life for over a decade and she was more comfortable there than any place she had known in the past. Familiar faces, some long dead but once again looking alive and youthful in uniforms now many years out of date. Her XO Commander Jenna Ramthorne sat faithfully in the chair to her left, the ship's CMO Dr Laria Jorrel to her right. The viewscreen showed a nondescript star field and she couldn't pinpoint the exact time and location from what she could currently see.

There seemed to be tension, set jaws and guarded eyes led her to believe the Sunfire was about to get into a scrap of some sort. She'd seen those faces so many times over the years and knew what it meant. They were determined to overcome insurmountable odds to survive and achieve their mission goal. Was it the time they got lost in a graveyard of Starships, crash landed on an unexplored planet, or tried to save her homeland from a firestorm? It was too hard to tell from the generic viewscreen. Years and crew members also blurred together making harder still to pinpoint. Then again, this was a fabrication from the Prophets so it could be all or neither.

Rhenora waited, trying to gauge what kind of situation they were in. There didn't appear to be any kind of hostile ships on the viewscreen, nor were they in orbit around a planet that was in obvious distress. The Sunfire wasn't moving though, the stars were static and unmoving on the screen as though a portrait or painting hung on a wall.

"The board reads impulse power ma'am" the Caitian helm officer named Selune announced. The stars didn't move, the deck plates vibrated softly beneath the Captain's black booted foot. "Still showing negative movement"

"Increase to maximum impulse" Jenna ordered from her left hand side. The vibration increased yet they appeared to be unmoving.

"Helm reads maximum impulse, still no progress" the helm replied after a few moments.

"Shut down all engines and run a full diagnostic, tactical - see if you can find any kind of spatial anomaly that might be causing this" Rhenora instructed, a moment later the deck plates were eerily still. Too still. She needed information, to understand exactly what was going on.

2 hours later the Sunfire was still firmly stuck in the proverbial mud. The senior officers sat around the long table in the briefing room, running through their discoveries in trying to figure out this conundrum.

"Engines check out fine. The power input is there, that power is just being absorbed by the space around us instead of being transferred into directional propulsion" the engineer explained, showing the most recent diagnostic summary on the screen.

"Helm checks out fine, she wants to go, she just can't." the feline purred.

"Sensors show no spatial anomalies in this area, no gravitational wells, no subspace distortions, nothing." tactical offered.

Rhenora sat back and absorbed all the relevant facts, digesting the information before forming her own opinion. "It sounds like we're stuck in the mud" she commented, referring to the old wheeled ground vehicles. "Spinning our wheels and getting nowhere"

A crewmember she had never seen before looked at her with hollow eyes before speaking.

"So what are you going to do Captain?" He asked with a voice unlike that which she had never heard before.

"I'm sorry have we met before?" Kaylen asked, regarding the new officer with a quizzical expression.

" No we have not" the officer replied. "But the question remains, what are you going to do?"

Rhenora paused, contemplating their situation. They hadn't tried the warp drive yet, would there be enough power to get them unstuck or would the ship tear itself apart in the process.

"I want to try the warp drive, I refuse to concede to being stuck here until we try all the possibilities." Kaylen said firmly. "We'll spend some time reinforcing structural integrity where we can, then we'll see what warp drive does"

The officers nodded, including the strangely aloof new one before filing out of the room.

Four hours later the Sunfire shook like a lead in a strong wind as the engines powered up again.

"Half impulse…."Selune confirmed.

The shaking increased as the mighty ship throttled up to full impulse.

"Helm reads full impulse. No forward movement" the Caitian continued.

"Increase structural integrity and inertial dampeners to maximum" Kaylen ordered, subconsciously gripping the arms of her command chair.

"Jump to warp one" for a moment there was nothing as the engines switched over, then the shaking increased exponentially.

"Still reading no progress" the helm shouted.

"Warp 2" Kaylen countered, having a gut feeling this wasn't going to work. She felt like a frog in a blender as the ship threatened to tear herself apart

"We're losing structural integrity!" Jenna could barely be heard over the chaos. Several EPS conduits ruptured, showing the bridge in smoke and steam after the sparks settled.

"Shut it down!" There was a note of resignation even as her projected voice carried over the noise. The Sunfire gave one last buck before settling once more.

"Begin repairs. Seniors officers to the briefing room, we need options" her voice was tense with unrestrained emotion. How were they going to get out of this?

A few hours later and many coffees had been emptied and many ideas tossed around the room. Some elaborate, some not so much. Most were beaten down with logic or were completely shot by the whole structural integrity issue.

Rhenora massaged the bridge of her nose, trying to force herself to come up with a solution.

"What if we do nothing?" The unnamed officer from previously piped up, haunted eyes still poking very much haunted.

"We eventually run out of food and air and we die" Kaylen said matter of factly. Her head hurt from all the thinking.

"And what if we don't? Trust in the Prophets, let go of control." Something clicked in Rhenora's mind. So the new 'officer' was in fact a Prophet to guide them.

"We do nothing, and hope the Prophets will save us?" The scepticism was evident in her voice.

"Let go of your need to control everything, and trust that the Prophets know the oath better than you do" came the matter of fact answer.

"But I…" she shut her trap after the words erupted. Arguing with your God's never boded well.

"Trust, and let go" the officer vanished into a white light, the rest of her senior staff looked expectantly at her, as though nothing had just transpired.

"Ok, we do nothing. We wait. " Rhenora said finally, seeing no other option but to see how this played out. "Report back to your stations, effect any repairs. Then we wait" her crew looked at her as though she'd grown another head and then gone mad for good measure.

"Dismissed" the crew scarpered lest to invite her wrath.

Some time later, the Captain sat in her Command chair. The senior staff clearly didn't agree with her course of action but knew better than to voice their opinions. "You're sure about this?" Jenna asked quietly.

" When all logical courses of action are exhausted, the only one left is the correct one, no matter how illogical. We must trust…" Rhenora started to paraphrase someone who's name she couldn't quite recall right at this moment.

"Selune, take off the parking break and put her in neutral, let her drift" Rhenora sat back in her command chair and hopesld the heck she was doing the right thing. She had to trust that letting go was the right thing to do.

Some time passed, it was almost indeterminate.

"Ma'am I'm reading a differential in our position. It seems we have moved 35 metres from our previous position" Selune announced, perplexed.

"Tactical, are you reading any stars nearby emitting solar winds or flares?" Rhenora asked inquisitively, the gut feel was proving true.

" The nearby star is emitting low solar flares, in conjunction with solar winds. It appears to be enough to push us slightly." tactical replied, bringing up the relevant sun on the viewscreen. " We should be out of the 'mud' in around 4 hours at this rate"

"Very good, sometimes you have to let go of the reins and trust" Kaylen reminded herself and those around her. A valuable lesson was learned.

The Sunfire vanished and was replaced with the spinning blue Orb, and once again it was time as reflection.


Previous Next