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Bring Her Down

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2017 @ 5:03pm by Lieutenant Commander Ina Nici & Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Lieutenant M'ndi M'rron & Lieutenant Jesse Davis & Lieutenant Jackson Smith

Mission: Mission 0: Coming Home to Roost
Location: Bridge
Timeline: 13 February, 2394 -1230 Hours


The main viewscreen showed the second planet in the Aruigzeb system. Malcom had ordered Ensign Jackson to drop them out of warp at the edge of the system for the simple reason that he enjoyed sliding past different planets. It also gave Lieutenant M'rron time to collect some data for Starfleet and the Bajorans. The outer planet was quite far from the other three. It had been a large purple and blue rock, which sensors indicated had once been a world of water. The next planet was a small gas giant, an intense red and brown colored thing. Its atmosphere was being sucked away by a gravitational anomaly. The result was it looked like streams of red blood were oozing away. It was unlike anything Malcom had seen before.

Their destination was remarkably ordinary after the visage of the third planet. Aruigzeb 2 was roughly earth sized, with a clear atmosphere, which was 27% oxygen and more than suitable for humans to survive. As the Firebird assumed oribit, the were able to make out the large ocean that dominated the southern hemisphere. Much of the land was centered in the northern hemisphere.

"Lieutenant M'rron, I need a nice, level landing spot for us. See what you can do." Malcom sat in the Captain's chair, waiting for her response. He looked over at his XO."Have you ever experienced a starship landing before, Commander?"

"No, sir." Raina said calmly, her fingers dancing on the arm rests of her chair. "All my previous postings were on ships far too large to land. This will be a new experience for me." She gave him a wink and then looked toward the planet presented on the main viewscreen. "That's why I've read landing protocols about fifteen times in the last few days."

"Right away, sir." M'ndi began scanning the surface on this side of the planet. The terrain was rather rocky over most of the main continent; it seemed that landing along a coastline would be most preferable. "Here," M'ndi indicated the preferred landing site on the digital projection and read off the coordinates.

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Malcom said with a smile. He stood up and stepped over next to Ensign Smith. "Ok, Jackson, just like we talked about. Take her in slowly, when I give the command." He turned and looked at Lieutenant Ina. "Ops, Regenerative shielding at maximum. Keep an eye on the power consumption and call engineering as needed."

Nici was already multi-tasking on her console, "Transferring power to shields, engines are also ready." Nici turned to look over at Jackson. "Jax remember what I told you keep it simple. No show boating."

Jackson flashed a smile at Nici and then nodded at the captain, "Plotting descent course. Atmospheric controls at standby. " Jackson knew this was going to be tough. He remembered Nici's warning that the bioneural cells made the ship more reactive. He had made that mistake when they first launched.

"Tactical," Malcom said. "Sensor sweeps looking for anything that remotely resembles a weapon. Remember that the Dominion had a presence here for a bit during the war."

"Aye, aye," JJ replied, focusing his allocation of sensor space to the area M'rron had selected. He was only all too familiar with Dominion energy signatures, but after a few moments he found himself satisfied they would be in the clear. "Everything appears kosher, Cap'n," he reported, resolved to keep one eye on his console as the other took in their magnificent decent via the main viewscreen.

Malcom resumed his seat. "Ensign, bring her down please."

Jackson once again pulled out the burnt out isolinear chip. "Landing mechanisms online, inertial dampeners at maximum." He closed his eyes and focused on the chip. His mind racing back to the warp nacelle control room that Th'Kharia had shown him. He marveled at the beauty and his mind raced through the jeffries tubes...his connection with the ship wasn't where he wanted it, but it was growing.

Jackson opened his eyes, he could feel the ship through his hands as he typed in the commands that started to take them into the atmosphere.

Raina sensed the sudden distraction and unease of the pilot resolve to determined attention on the task at hand. She took a deep breath to calm herself and then spoke. "Nice and easy, Ensign. More is being expected of you than almost anyone else in your flight class because you are capable. Keep your eyes open and remember that we're here to help. You're not doing this alone." she uttered effortlessly, looking at the viewscreen.

You got this, Smith, JJ thought, hoping his new friend would relax and just trust himself, and the crew.

The darkness of space slipped off screen as the ship began a gentle descent. For a moment, before they completely entered the atmosphere, there was a black crescent at the top of the screen and then it was awash in green and blue and white of clouds. Even with the inertial dampeners at maximum, the shipped bucked slightly. She was, after all, a very small craft. The bridge rocked once, and the bridge crew braced themselves. The land mass that had been vague in size and shape became clear. They could see the long, jagged coastline on its southern edge. The computer broke the momentary reverie.

"Warning. Atmospheric conditions deteriorating on this flight path. Please adjust."

And now the bumpy ride became even more unstable and the could see a large storm just beginning to form in the direction they were on.

Malcom started to speak but Ensign Smith beat him to it.

"Compensating...calculating a new course." Where did this storm come from? Jackson frantically typed into the console. He was simultaneously adjusting their course and trying to find a new path that wouldn't strain the ship too much. He was pretty grateful for the responsiveness now. He started to get tense, he couldn't find a path to the landing site that wouldn't strain the inertial dampeners. Then Idrani's words echoed in his mind You're not doing this alone

A calmness came over him, "Lieutenant M'rron, can you find me an alternative landing site, somewhere in..." He typed a few buttons, "...grid 58." The ship bucked from the increase in atmospheric conditions. Jackson's senses were attuned to every vibration of the ship and he immediately compensated. This is going to get rough, he thought.

Malcom resisted the urge to smile. If he told the crew how badly he'd botched the Waterloo's first landing, it probably would result in a mutiny. He still didn't understand how he'd managed to get the ship stuck in a swamp. Instead he sat back in his chair and let his crew work.

"G-Grid 58, roger!" This was not supposed to be this difficult, M'ndi thought anxiously as she scanned the region. The ship pitched to the side as some more turbulence hit it. "Uh, uh, uh, there!" M'ndi indicated the most level spot she could find in the area - still not ideal, but they didn't have time to be picky.

"Grid 58 also clear of hostile energy signatures," JJ reported from Tactical.

"Alter our course and deploy landing gear. Let's make this touch-down as gentle as possible." Raina ordered with even voice, not betraying her own tense feelings. Her nails dug into the armrests of her chair and her muscles tightened. She'd need a massage after all this was over. She craned her head to the left and looked at the back of Nici's head. "Lieutenant Ina, divert auxiliary power to inertial dampers."

Nici pushed in the final sequence to do just that as the XO called for it, "Auxiliary power transferred to inertial dampers." Then quietly she started a small chant, "Jiah kasha treynah tolarehn, Lapohr ihlani kohs, Ehna jiah kasha tren."

Jackson typed in the coordinates to the new landing site. The location was closer and higher elevation. “New course set, altitude 100 km and speed at 13,000 kph. We are coming in to fast to the new location, initiating bow thrusters.” The g forces increased on the ship and more turbulence bucked the ship again. Jackson studied the path ahead of them. The storm had moved into just beyond the landing spot. If he didn’t slow fast enough, they would overshoot directly into the storm. If he brought it down too quickly, they would crash into the ground. Jackson took a deep breath, and centered himself, he mentally reached out to the ship, to feel the turbulence, the strain. Jackson’s sole focus was the ship and the path before him.

As the Firebird descended, the rid continued to be bumpy but Jackson's hands moved confidently across the console, adjusting their course. As they approached the landing site, a much stronger turbulence developed suddenly. The computer spoke again.

"Hull breach on deck two."

Power across the board dropped two percent, straining the auxiliary systems.

=^=Engineering to bridge. Captain, that faulty hull plate we talked about earlier has sheared off completely. The forcefield in place is holding but it is drawing more energy.=^=

Malcom turned and looked at Lieutenant Ina. "Do we need to abort, Nici?"

Nici remembered the conversation she had with Jackson about the shuttle yesterday and thought for a second. Did she trust him? She had no choice., "No Sir, I'm routing power from deflector system we are going to land her. Ensign Smith I hope you and the Firebird are one right now," Nici turned back to Jackson the smile on her face was large and bright. The adrenaline coursing through her veins made her feel alive. "Full power to inertial dampeners but it will still be a little shaky. Get her down Ensign."

Jackson, returned her smile, "We got this." It wasn't clear if he was referring to himself and the crew or himself and the ship. Jackson returned his focus to the Firebird. He scanned the controls and the path, with the breach the current path would place too much pressure on the ship. He had to find a solution. The ship bucked again and they were shifted vertically. Then it became clear, the shift had put them against a jet stream, probably from the storm. He gave the aft dorsal thrusters a tap, which tilted the ship upwards and created more of a profile. The strong winds pressed against the bottom of the ship, aiding in decreasing their speed. It also caused the ship to rock more and with the increased deceleration, the inertial dampeners red-lined. Alarms, started to go off. Jackson thought, just a few more seconds, she can do it.

Jackson solely focused and in tune with the ship, he masterfully adjusted to the turbulence, almost before the ship's sensors told him it was there. The Firebird seemed to scream as the inertial dampeners were pressed beyond where they should have failed. Jackson could feel the pain of the ship, but knew the Firebird could do it. Just as people started to expect to see parts flying off the ship, Jackson gave the dorsal thrusters a tap and it pushed them out of the jet stream, and he gently straightened the Firebird out. On the main viewscreen one could a see a field of green plants that mostly covered the smooth landing spot created by an ancient lava field. The field stretch almost a kilometer, ending in a narrow black sandy beach. The ocean, a striking blue-green, roiled against the beach. The water beyond sparkled under the white-yellow sun.

Jackson tapped a few buttons, "Landing struts down and locked." The ship glided to the landing location, hovering about 100 feet off the ground. Jackson's hands started to tremble as the adrenaline rush quickly fled his body.

After so much turbulence, the landing was anti-climactic. The landing gear crunched into the greenery and the stone beneath, and the Firebird settled and fell silent.

Malcom stood up and walked over to Ensign Smith. He rested a hand on the young man's shoulder. "Well done, Jackson." He turned and faced the rest of the crew. "I want the shuttlecraft launched as soon as possible. Engineering, if you could fix the hole in the side of our ship, I would be thrilled. Science away team, I understand we have a dead zone in our planetary sensor sweep. Find out what's causing it. Lets get moving, people," he said with a smile. "XO you have the conn. I'll be in my ready room."

Jackson looked at the back of the Captain as he head to his ready room. Malcom was an amazing pilot, probably one of the best in starfleet as far as Jackson was concerned, he felt elated at the compliment, or was that the after effects of the adrenaline?

JJ turned over his post to Ensign Zh'evhihloss, the made his way over to the CONN. "Nice flyin', Smith," he grinned, patting Jackson on the shoulder. Then he turned and made for the turbolift.

Jackson returned the grin, he was still a little stunned to actually put any thoughts to words. After JJ left, he turned to look at Nici and said quietly, "Jiah kasha treynah tolarehn, Lapohr ihlani kohs, Ehna jiah kasha tren."

"See," Nici said with a big smile, "you repeat it enough and the pronunciation comes by itself. You did a good job Jax. You don't land a starship everyday so you can check that off your bucket list." Nici turned and as she walked away she thanked the profits for heading her prayers and protected her new home and family.


Commander Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Commander Raina Idrani M.D.
Executive Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Ina Nici
Chief Operations Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant M'ndi M'rron
Chief Science Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jesse Davis
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Ensign Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


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