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How to Catch a Whale [PLOT]

Posted on Mon May 7th, 2018 @ 10:12am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Lopt & Lieutenant Kedra Nema & Lieutenant JG Soto Gantt & Lieutenant Jackson Smith & Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan

Mission: Mission 3: The Galilei Conundrum
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: 25 June, 2394 - 2345 Hours


Malcom strode into engineering, still thinking about the disturbing meeting he'd just had with his science and medical departments. This mission had the potential to go very badly, especially if the news he'd just received turned out to be accurate.

He walked up to the gathered engineers and nodded at them. "I want to thank you gentlemen for being here. I know that some of you aren't on this shift and you're missing out on sleep. I'm sorry to say that that is probably going to be the new normal until we get back to Empok Nor. I'm assuming that you all know what is going on?"

Harlan spoke up first. "Yeah some sort of distress hitting a civilian ship if I remember your general call. Where are we going?" He was indeed tired after his usual round of engineering duties, Tube-diving, and berating hapless engineering rookies, but this was a mission. That was more important than all the beratements in the world.

Malcom nodded. "Correct. The cruise liner Galilei is suffering from some kind of virus. They sent out a distress signal that was relayed to us. They are currently incommunicado. However, Starfleet was able to take the origin point of their transmission and their itinerary to figure out where they should have been. They then worked with the Cardassian Union to utilize the Crexton Space laboratory's extreme long range telescope to pick up the ship," Malcom said. He moved around the console where all of the engineers were gathered and tapped through a handful of screens. He selected a file and an image appeared. A large ship, clearly the Galilei was caught against a backdrop of stars. It appeared completely dark except for some emergency lighting along the side.

Malcom looked at his engineers. "The telescope lets us know a few things. First, the ship is in an uncontrolled spin. Second, on their current course, they will enter the Badlands and undoubtedly be destroyed. Your job is to tell me, how we can get aboard that ship, how we get it under control and how we do those things without killing three hundred people."

Kedra looked over the image from the telescope, she had heard the message, and was already starting to set up a cot in her office.

"So, we need to find a way to get a giant space liner up and running while the ship is infected with some kind of unknown disease, before the ship crashes into the Badlands." She hadn't intended it to sound sarcastic, but it was just before midnight.

"Any chance that we have remote access codes?" She added.

"That's an excellent idea. We don't have them now," Malcom said. He turned and looked at Crewman Lopt. "Thomas, as you are our communications expert, why don't you get in touch with the owners of the cruise liner and see what you can find. I'm certain they will be cooperative."

Thomas nodded. He was uncomfortable being so close to the captain. "Aye, sir. I will get right on that. I mean, after the meeting is done."

"Virtually everything appears offline. I recommend getting the the Galilei's thrusters going," Gantt said. He stepped a bit closer for a better look at the image. The crew must be in really bad condition already for things to get that bad. "All the other power could go to the inertial dampers. They would need to be carefully controlled to pull out of a spin like that without causing more harm."

Malcom sighed. "I think that is probably true. The science and medical team are already pouring over the limited data to get a jump on diagnosing the virus. You should assume zero assistance from the crew. And I still need a plan on how to get people onto the ship. Transporters aren't possible with the effects from the Badlands and the random movement from the ship. Not to mention the possibility of contamination. Solutions?"

This was easily one of the toughest challenges Harlan had faced in some time. "Well, if we can't get codes from the cruise company we'll need to figure out a way for shuttles to dock while the spin is going on. Then we'll need to get in and stabilize engines. I'm no expert on that sort of model, but there's probably been a failure in at least one of the nacelles that causing things to roll out of control like that. Nothing too serious if we get in there, but of course we're here to figure that part out.

The task was a steep one, but Kedra felt confident already. Her assembled top Engineers were already working the problem, and she was silently thankful for all that had led to them being her staff. She stepped to a console and pulled up a schematic.

"There is a type of docking ring used by some Trill junkers that could help. It will need to be modified to fit one of our shuttles, but the flexible collar," she indicated the screen, "helps to reduce the need for a perfect flight pattern to dock. It doesn't completely eliminate the problems of spin, but with a crack pilot we might be able to make it work."

She added the collar to their list of things to start working on. Then a thought hit her,

"Harlan, what do you think about trying to rig a transport enhancer to the shuttle? It is possible that with the right system in place, eliminating the need for extra coordinate tracking, that we could create a direct beam from Firebird to the shuttle. It would only work for one person or thing at a time, but if it works it would give us a little bit of an edge."

Malcom was nodding as he listened to his Chief Engineer talk. She really seemed to be excited by the challenge they were facing. Before Harlan could answer he spoke. "I'm going to call Lieutenant Smith down so he can give us his opinion." Malcom stepped away from the group and tapped his combadge.

=^=Llwyedd to Smith. Jackson, get yourself down to engineering right away. I need your perspective =^=

Captain came back to the primary conversation as Harlan began. "Yeah that could work. You'll need a heck of a transport tech to make it work, though. It's complicated enough beaming people between two stationary objects. Trying to do it with one stumbling around like a drunken sailor is something else entirely."

Jackson was just in the middle of going over the flight path with Ensign T'sai. He hesitated as the words of the captain came over the comm. "Well, take a look at it and let me know if you have any questions." Jackson tapped his badge.

=^= On my way Captain. =^= Jackson moved quickly to the turbolift. What would the captain want with him in engineering? This was definitely intriguing.

A few moments later Jackson stepped into engineering and looked around. Everyone seemed extremely busy, a beehive of activity. He quickly spotted the Captain and a few of the engineers, "Captain, " He nodded to him, "How can I help?"

Malcom nodded at his Chief Flight Control Officer. "Thanks for coming so quickly," Malcom said. "Let me bring you up to speed." He quickly filled Jackson in on what they'd been discussing. "And so I'll let Lieutenant Nema give you her ideas."

"Essentially what we are trying to achieve is the ability to transport to a shuttle that is hard docked to the cruise-liner. That will be made rather difficult by the rotation of the ship. Hence," she gestured towards Jackson.

"Clear as mud?" Nema asked.

"Definitely, seems simple enough. " Jackson grinned, "Especially since you are going to tell me that the rotation of the ship is like a leisurely roll." While hopeful that this was the case, Jack knew otherwise. They wouldn't have called him down here for a simple job.

Pulling back up the telescope image of the cruise liner, Nema smiled back at Jackson.

"I don't know how you define leisurely, but if I have understood your reputation correctly, this should be fun."

She turned back to the Captain,

"I think we have our work cut out for us Sir, when should we be arriving?"

Malcom grinned. "In about nine hours," he said. "I'll get out of your hair and let you all hammer out the details. Keep me informed if anything changes or you need anything."

Nema turned to her crew and Jackson.

"Alright, you heard the man. Let's make this all happen, we need to outfit a shuttle with this collar, and beef up the annular confinement beam receiver. If you don't have marching orders, or are confused about what we are doing, speak now."

Thomas shook his head. "I'm good, chief," he said and shuffled his feet. He was eager to get to the task at hand.

"Yeah I think we're set. I'll hit engineering and start pulling together the equipment my boys will need to get things set right once they are ship-side." Harlan was outwardly his usual self, but was secretly very excited to try this out. Yet another adventure to retell someday on another ship.

Nema tapped the console she was standing by and turned back to her office. This was going to be a very interesting couple of days.


Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Kedra Nema
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer/Covert Operations Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Chief Petty Officer Arlan Harlan
Assistant Chief Engineer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Junior Grade Soto Gantt
Structural/Environmental Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Crewman Thomas Lopt
Communications Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298
NPC by Llwyedd


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Comments (4)

By Cadet Freshman Grade Gianna Djokovic on Thu May 10th, 2018 @ 7:02am

Great portrayal of a tired crew recalled from leave to deal with an emergency. I love the descriptions of how people are just a little bit irritable but step up to develop a plan to board this out-of-control cruise ship. There are aspects here that really bring future JPs into clarity, so it was nice to read and understand that. -Liam

By Captain Malcom Llwyedd on Thu May 10th, 2018 @ 10:55am

It is fun to see engineers planning what they are going to do. I like the brainstorming and how Jackson is added to the group later.

By Jillian Mox on Tue May 29th, 2018 @ 8:04pm

Somehow reading this made me feel much more comfortable about the characters working on the other ship. The writing shows the command and expertise of this department and it was done with confidence. Nice!

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Max Tragar on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 9:25am

Oh my gosh--I had forgotten this is a cruise ship! The passengers are all on vacation when emergency strikes, much like the crew that is coming to render assistance has just come off leave. A nice remember that life happens, no matter where we are or what we are doing. Great writing, all.