Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Virkov on Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:52 pm

Deck 7, Section A-12, Providence Fleet Yards
February 10, 2387


The sharp crackle of welders and impact hammers resounded through the corridor, the clarion call of engineers hard at work deconstructing and renovating as many of Providence’s old systems as they could.

Rear Admiral Erszebet Virkov had been aboard the station for the better part of a month, and was still awaiting a large portion of her senior staff. She knew they’d be arriving within the next two days. She also knew that the commander of the ship transporting them was prone to go off course on wild tangents unless reined in appropriately.

“The problem is here, ma’am,” the engineer to her right said. She blinked herself out of her reverie, and looked down at the blueprints laid out on the cargo container in front of her. PADDs had been in short supply, and much of the old blueprints predated the technology anyway. They’d been working off of the basic layouts drafted nearly a century ago, back when the base had first been commissioned. Virkov secretly loved it.

“Yes,” she replied. “The bulkhead to Sections A-12 through A-20 have been sealed shut. From the exterior survey, many parts of them are exposed to space. We’ll need to patch those from the outside before we open them up internally.”

“Yes ma’am, but that’s not the half of it,” the engineer responded, pointing to other areas on the blueprint. “Access to Pods Two and Three have been cut off where the neck adjoins the main bulk of the station. It looks like the engineers fused the bulkheads closed. We’ll have to completely tear out those bulkheads and start over, which will require closing off a few sections to prevent venting the entire station with space.”

Virkov nodded as her eyes glazed over the markings on the blueprint.

“What about this section? Demeter? I’m not familiar with it.”

“Those are the arboretums ma’am. Demeter’s Gardens. Life support has been active in those sections since they were sealed off for whatever reason, but I would imagine we’ll need more than engineers to clean that area out. With nearly a hundred years of unfettered growth, our arboretums are likely to resemble old-growth forests at this point.”

Smirking, she said “Well, that’ll give Garrett something to do. I want that opened as soon as we can get it done, Chief. This place is, for lack of a better term, a shit hole. I want some bit of life in here. What about this? Dionysus?”

“The Lounge, ma’am.”

“Must we cater to antiquated ideals of Greek deities?” she sighed in frustration.

“Well, the original builders of the station can be thanked for that. I think it was a tongue in cheek reference to the planet beneath us and the Apollo Incident. Regardless, the monikers have stuck with my crew as well. There’s a huge plaque above Ops that reads ‘Olympus’ and one just like it above Engineering that reads ‘Prometheus.’ We figured it wasn’t necessary to take them down.”

“It’s not,” Virkov agreed. “Admittedly, it does give the station a bit of charm. What about the berthings and civilian apartments?”

“Zeus and Hera, respectively.”

“I don’t care about the damned names, Chief, I want to know if they’re liveable.”

“Oh! Yes ma’am, we’ve got a large majority of them refitted already. That was first on the to-do list, and they were mostly in areas we had easy access to. We obviously still have the apartments in the pods to deal with, but I give it a few days before we get those opened up, then we can get to refitting them. Give me a week, and you’ll have plenty of space for everyone.”

“Good. Get to it Chief. We have a load of people coming soon and I want them to...”she looked over the Chief’s shoulder momentarily, and yelled “Crewman, if you cut into that conduit I will confine you to quarters for a month and put you on limited rations! That’s the goddamned water main!”

The crewman shrunk back visibly at her outburst, at which the Chief snickered.

“Something funny, Chief?”

“No ma’am. It’s just...we could actually use your personal expertise down here. Good Engineers and Operations Officers are hard to come by right now.”

She straightened out her uniform, and said “Yes, that much is plainly obvious, present company excluded. Give me an hour to find some coveralls and a tool kit and I’ll come take personal command of this unit. For the time being, hold down the fort and prevent any unnecessary accidents. When I come back, I want you to deal with Pod Two.”

“Yes ma’am!” he grinned.

She walked quickly back down the corridor, and tapped her commbadge.

“Virkov to Ops. ETA on the Rhode Island?”

“42 hours at their present speed. When last we heard from Commander Holmes she was making best speeds and not making any deviations to her course.”

“We’ll see how long that lasts. Thank you, Virkov out.”
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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Virkov on Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:45 pm

Shuttlebay, Providence Fleet Yards
February 12, 2387, 0800 hours


“Attention in the shuttlebay: Shuttlecraft Baybridge now arriving. Please stand clear of landing pad. Thank you.”

Admiral Virkov nodded to the station’s newly appointed Tellarite quartermaster, and he stepped forward to assist the crew exiting the shuttle.

“Welcome to Providence Fleet Yards!” he began. “Most of you are here to take over as senior staff! Some of you are here to help with repairs! Whatever the reason, you’re ours now. Please gather all of your belongings out of the shuttlecraft and assemble for a moment, as Admiral Virkov would like to say a few things!”

Virkov stepped forward, smoothing her hand against her gray blonde hair, and then calmly folding both hands behind her back.

“Welcome to Providence. As I’m sure you can tell from the state of the shuttlebay...your new home is a work in progress. We have a lot of work to do to get her operational, and many of the closed off sections will need to be explored before we can even think about working on them. This is not going to be a walk in the park for any of us...save perhaps Mister Garrett. There are no formal duty roster assignments as yet, and no formal crew rotation. As it stands now, I need each and every one of you at your sharpest and best.

“The situation...is strained. The Klingons have begun incursions across their shared border with the Romulans, attacking and pillaging border colonies. Such actions are unthinkable, and the Federation has pledged our full support to the Romulan Star Empire in their time of need. You can imagine that the Klingons haven’t taken this lightly. There have been talks of the Klingons removing themselves from the Khitomer Accords. Frankly, good damned riddance. The Federation does not negotiate with terrorists, and she does not have allies that behave as such. We’re between a rock and a hard place, with nothing to defend our shared border with the Klingons except what you see here. That being a century old starbase and a fleet of mothballed ships. Do your absolute best, in the here and now, with what you have. That is all I ask of you. If you have any questions, I will be here in the shuttlebay overseeing basic maintenance. Otherwise, you are dismissed.”

((OOC: Alrighty y’all, this is the start of the next mission. Let’s get to it Very Happy ))
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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Gerard Garrett on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:34 pm

Demeter’s Gardens, Providence Fleetyards
February 12, 2387, 0900HRS


As the doors hissed aside, a wall of warm, thickly humid air laden with the pungent scent of decomposing vegetation slammed into Garrett like a charging moose. Almost reverently, he took a small step forward and found himself immersed in a world that plants had ruled for a century, without a single vertebrate to interrupt either their utter dominance or their incessant competition. Full-spectrum UV lamps flickered bravely in an attempt to light the gloom through thick boughs of at least a dozen species of trees from around the quadrant. Epiphytes and clinging vines snaked their way through the dense canopy and across bulkheads, eagerly drinking in what little light filtered through from above. In the shadows, outrageously-colored, luminescent alien fungi sprouted in bizarre patterns from rotting Terran saplings. Where small clumps of weedy grasses did not feebly cling to rings of light, the deck was utterly smothered beneath a Gordian tangle of twigs, roots, and dark, rich, compost. Garrett let out a low whistle. It’s all so… dense. Too dense. No macro-herbivores, probably not much in the way of diseases or parasites either. The only thing that’s kept them all in check has been each other. There’s at least one very neat ecology paper I could write about all this. Too bad. He sighed. Restoring the arboretum to working condition would likely require the near-total eradication of this novel ecosystem, but at least for a few hours, he was going to explore it, Virkov’s haste and the marauding Klingons be damned. Besides, he thought wryly, even simply locating a console beneath the enveloping growth of this green wonderland might take a while.
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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Virkov on Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:05 pm

Admiral’s Office, Providence Fleet Yards
February 12, 2387, 1000 hours


Admiral Virkov poured herself a glass of water from the small container behind her, and took a sip as she looked out the window. The dominating view was of one of the long arms of the station, with the attached pod. There were bright flares of what she knew to be arc welders crawling across the pod itself.

Pod 2 was the worst off of the three, and she knew it would likely be months before it was ever fit to be inhabited. Her repair and refit timeline kept being pushed back further and further, and she knew it was only a matter of time before she’d have to have a few strong words with the rest of the Admiralty so that her base would actually be in a reasonably functioning state to receive crew and civilians.

The loud chirp of her doorbell sounded, and she turned from the window, taking a seat at the small table she’d managed to hijack from elsewhere in the station. She looked to the door, and said “Enter, please.”

Shras entered and offered a crisp salute, his heels clicking together and his antennae taking in the sights around them.

As the Andorian walked in, Virkov realized with surprised embarrassment that she was still clad in the coveralls of a low level engineer. She stood, chuckling, and extended her hand to his.

“Ah Shras, it’s good to see you again. Please, have a seat.”

He shook her hand and sat in a chair across from her. “It is good to see you as well, Admiral. I see your office is in much the same shape as mine. I think they were using it for a storage unit.” He clicked his tongue in humor. “I have every confidence that we will get her up and running in no time.” He was perhaps a little too pleased with what small progresses had been made, but in all honesty it was the coming conflict that interested him the most, military minded as he was.

“I wish I shared the same confidence,” Virkov sighed. “The problem is that these damned SCE folks quote me a timeline and then find myriad other problems to deal with and...well let’s just say that the caretakers of this installation weren’t exactly taking care of it. It didn’t help that there were only five of them, but still.”

She took a sip of her water before continuing. “I’m certain you’re aware that I called you here from the Rhode Island for a very specific and unique position. Since my promotion to the Admiralty, I’ve been inundated with high level contacts, endless amounts of paperwork, and so many other things that take time from me actually helping out the crew that are here. That’s unfair to the crew. They need a direct contact they can go to. They need an actual commanding officer.”

Shras lifted his eyebrows,. He wasn’t too surprised, but he was flattered that Virkov had the confidence in him for this assignment. “I do not mean to be presumptuous, but I assume you’re talking about me being the commanding officer of this station. I accept with relish. I look forward to providing military solutions. In many ways it is what I was born and bred to do.” He grinned, his antennae twisting.

Virkov smiled, and said “You know, the Andorian tendency to come right to the point is something I’ve come to relish in my many years. Yes Shras, that’s exactly what I’m speaking of. The position comes with a promotion to the rank of Commander, so you’ll need to...steal a pip from someone presumably, as we have no replication capabilities at the moment. Nonetheless, I’ll expect you to be the front line man for me. Essentially, don’t give the little bastards an inch, or they’ll take a mile. I’ll need you to keep the engineers and everyone else in line to make sure our little home gets repaired and refitted in a timely manner.”

“You can count on me, sir. I will make sure this place is in tip top shape before long. What else do we still need as far as crew goes? And is anyone else coming with more engineers? We can make do with what we have, it just slows the work down. I have a feeling that for awhile everyone is going to be an engineer. Do you know what our deadline is?”

“Realistically, Shras, our deadline was when we stepped foot on the station. The Klingons could come at any moment. As for engineers, we might be stuck with what we have for the moment, but short of me taking personal command of the engineering teams, which I have been doing, there’s little we can do to improve productivity other than fire the chiefs and start fresh. I want everyone who knows how to hold a spanner or a wrench to help out. No exceptions. Everyone can do something to help out. More crew may or may not be coming within the next month.”

Shras sighed a little. “We need more crew now, but I will organize the people from the Rhode Island. Everyone can help out. Some might need to work alongside an engineer for training, but I don’t think that will be a problem. I will have them working before the day is out. Are there areas we need to concentrate on, besides crew quarters?”

“Civilian quarters and the common areas. The latter are non-essential but...people will rebel if they don’t have something to do with their time off other than work or read. I know Garrett has already started working on at least one of the arboretums. As far as anything else, I can’t think of anything pressing. Mostly we’re trying to just get access to areas that were ‘permanently’ closed off. The issue with doing so is that they did a very good job of permanently closing them off. It’s been an ordeal to get the bulkheads down and get access.”

Shras chuckled, more in frustration then humor. “I’ll need a blueprint of the station and information on any areas that you might think are going to be dangerous or problematic. I’ve heard that some of the sections open directly into space. I don’t want to lose the precious few crewmembers we do have by opening a bulkhead and everyone gets sucked out into space. We’ll have to replace force fields from outside.”

“No worries on that front,” Virkov sighed. “I’ve had everyone don space suits for the more...precarious areas of the station. And we’ve got plenty of workbees to go around. The problem is that we’re quickly running out of raw materials, and the few ships we have in orbit just simply won’t cut it for much longer. We need an industrial fabricator, and we need it yesterday. That is probably priority two. I won’t lie Shras, we’ve got our work cut out for us, and it’ll be awhile before any of us will be comfortable. First off, I’d like to have the few Marines we have scout out some of the more wayward areas of the station for any danger. Once they’ve given us the all clear, then we’ll send in the engineers. I don’t want any more injuries.”

Shras nodded. “We can’t afford any injuries and I want the Doc busy patching up the ones we do have. We need to get people back on their feet as soon as possible. I agree that the Marines are a good choice and they can also inform us as to which segments are still open to space. We want to make sure that there aren’t any space critters that have taken up residence in our open areas.”

Standing, Virkov said “Critters I’m not worried about. Stragglers and squatters though, are another story. Let’s just get started, and cross these bridges as we come to them. I’m going to send out a communique to Starfleet. We need more supplies, and we need them sooner rather than later. Head to Operations and take over command. I’ll meet you up there within the hour.”

Shras also stood. “Thank you for your faith in me, sir. I won’t let you down.” He saluted her again and nodded. “I will see you soon then.” He smiled a little stiffly and turned to leave. He stood outside for a few moments to get his bearings and then headed for Operations.

Virkov smiled to herself, and sat back down at the table, sighing as she picked up a PADD.

((This JP brought to you by your friendly loveable Admiral Vodka-Lady, and Commander Tentacleface.))
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Little Corridor of Horrors

Post  Shras/Eiri on Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:43 am

[Providence Fleet Yards]
[Feb, 13th, 2387]


Rha pulled the goggles down over his face and turned the blue flame of the arc welder toward the sealed bulkhead. Several others worked beside him, human for the most part. Behind the bulkhead was crew quarters and the possibility of replicator access, something none of them had seen in quite awhile, instead they had been living off rations. It was possible that the area would be filled with plant life, as close as it was to the arboretum.

It was slow going. The bulkheads had been put in place to stay. No one ever thought that this station would ever be anything but a run down ghostyard with minimal staff. Now it found itself in the middle of growing hostilities. Rha finished cutting through his section and backed up away from the bulkhead, turning off his arc welder and lowering his goggles again. He watched his teammates work. Chief McDaniels ran the show. He seemed gruff and no nonsense on the outside, but off duty hours he was jovial and personable.

Rha was probably the first one to smell the odor coming through the cuts in the door. His nose was much more sensitive than the humans around him. Something on the other side of the door was rotting. He could also smell the moisture of the plant life. He didn’t report it, it didn’t seem all that unusual, given the circumstances. They had expected this, but Lt. Benson also turned his head away from the hole in the door. “Somethin’ rottin’ in there, Chief.” he shouted over the noise of the welders.

“It’s just the plants,” Chief called back. “We’re almost through!” It wasn’t long before they were through the bulkhead, the large piece of steel crashing to the floor.

Rha slung the arc welder onto his back and stepped forward again, his big furry feet finding purchase on the section of bulkhead they just removed. Junior Lt. Riley stepped up beside him and they both looked into the corridor. It was dark in there, too dark. Not even the customary emergency lights that always seemed to be on were working. The doorway was like a jungle. Thick vines choked the entrance. The rotting smell was stronger.

Riley took point with Rha behind him, stepping through the vegetation and into the corridor. He carried a phaser in one hand and was moving cautiously. Rha also had a phaser out. “Don’t go too far,” Chief called. “We gotta start clearing these vines.” They didn’t go far. The smell got stronger the further they went in. By the time they were at the first doorway that was visible, Rha was gagging and they were forced to turn back.

They staggered back to the opening, eyes watering and gagging. “Chief... “ Rha stammered. “Something isn’t right here.” The Chief just shook his head. “Let’s start clearing these vines and we’ll worry about the smell when we get to it.”

They started to cut away the vines. It was slow, hot and difficult work and the floor was slick with moisture and mold. Some of the plants had managed to wind themselves around everything from connections to conduits and had to be cut away. They had to be careful not to cut the wires which was hard when the vines were fine like green wire.

This sort of fine work was difficult for Rha. Four-fingers and claws aside, his hands were still big and didn’t fit into small spaces easily. He left the miniscule work to the humans and pulled and cut down the larger vines, some so thick they were like trees. They worked down enough of the vegetation that the air was filled with a smell like newly mown grass, and they quickly forgot about the earlier pungent odor.

Rha stopped in front of the first door and wiped his brow. The sticky jungle-like setting made the large Caitian sweat under fur designed for cold. He turned on the light on his goggles which just barely illuminated an area in front of him. They were close to the first room again and the smell made him wrinkle his nose. He knew they would have to go in there, but he wanted to put it off as long as possible.

“Let’s get these doors open!” the Chief called out.

With a heaving sigh, Rha stepped forward and started to pry on the door. He was very strong but this task would take two and maybe something to pry the doors with. “Chief! Can’t get these doors open,” he called out. The Chief quickly assigned Ensign MacNeil to help with the door. Between the two of them they managed to wedge it open slowly, Rha with his back against one side and his feet on the other.

The room beyond smelled sickeningly sweet, the smell of rot enough to bring up bile in anyone’s throat. The plants, however were not rotten. Two good sized pods took up most of the room and the smell seemed to be coming from them. MacNeil didn’t seem to have a sense of smell and pushed his way past Rha into the room. “Wow! I’ve never seen plants like those,” he said and made his way towards the bigger of the two pods.

The Ensign poked the pod with the end of his phaser. “You think these things open?”

Rha shrugged, still standing in the doorway. “Probably. I don’t think we should mess with them.”

“It’s just a plant...” Each time he tapped it, the pod quivered like it was filled with liquid.

“Ensign, I really don’t think you should...” Rha started.

It was too late. The pod burst open, spraying a thick liquid and bones all over Ensign MacNeil. Almost immediately the man fell backwards in horror and then he started to scream. The thick liquid inside the pod seemed to be the plant’s digestive juices and right now they were burning their way through MacNeil. Rha grabbed the hapless Ensign and drug him out of the pile of burning goo. It was burning so quickly it was almost as if MacNeil was on fire, his clothing and flesh smoldering.

The Caitian dragged the human into the main corridor, burning his own paws in the process of trying to get the Ensign’s clothing off. He explained to the Chief quickly what had happened. Several other members of the team stepped forward to help, but the acid had worked its way through the uniform and it wasn’t long before the Ensign was dead.

With a man dead, the Chief did the only thing he could. He gathered the team and backed out of the corridor. “Commander,” he said tapping his com badge, “We’ve got a problem.”

“Chief McDaniels, what can I do for you?” The situation was explained quickly and Shras ordered medical and biology to the area.

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Gerard Garrett on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:21 pm

[Providence Fleet Yards]
[Feb, 13th, 2387]


Rha pulled the goggles down over his face and turned the blue flame of the arc welder toward the sealed bulkhead. Several others worked beside him, human for the most part. Behind the bulkhead was crew quarters and the possibility of replicator access, something none of them had seen in quite awhile, instead they had been living off rations. It was possible that the area would be filled with plant life, as close as it was to the arboretum.

It was slow going. The bulkheads had been put in place to stay. No one ever thought that this station would ever be anything but a run down ghostyard with minimal staff. Now it found itself in the middle of growing hostilities. Rha finished cutting through his section and backed up away from the bulkhead, turning off his arc welder and lowering his goggles again. He watched his teammates work. Chief McDaniels ran the show. He seemed gruff and no nonsense on the outside, but off duty hours he was jovial and personable.

Rha was probably the first one to smell the odor coming through the cuts in the door. His nose was much more sensitive than the humans around him. Something on the other side of the door was rotting. He could also smell the moisture of the plant life. He didn’t report it, it didn’t seem all that unusual, given the circumstances. They had expected this, but Lt. Benson also turned his head away from the hole in the door. “Somethin’ rottin’ in there, Chief.” he shouted over the noise of the welders.

“It’s just the plants,” Chief called back. “We’re almost through!” It wasn’t long before they were through the bulkhead, the large piece of steel crashing to the floor.

Rha slung the arc welder onto his back and stepped forward again, his big furry feet finding purchase on the section of bulkhead they just removed. Junior Lt. Riley stepped up beside him and they both looked into the corridor. It was dark in there, too dark. Not even the customary emergency lights that always seemed to be on were working. The doorway was like a jungle. Thick vines choked the entrance. The rotting smell was stronger.

Riley took point with Rha behind him, stepping through the vegetation and into the corridor. He carried a phaser in one hand and was moving cautiously. Rha also had a phaser out. “Don’t go too far,” Chief called. “We gotta start clearing these vines.” They didn’t go far. The smell got stronger the further they went in. By the time they were at the first doorway that was visible, Rha was gagging and they were forced to turn back.

They staggered back to the opening, eyes watering and gagging. “Chief... “ Rha stammered. “Something isn’t right here.” The Chief just shook his head. “Let’s start clearing these vines and we’ll worry about the smell when we get to it.”

They started to cut away the vines. It was slow, hot and difficult work and the floor was slick with moisture and mold. Some of the plants had managed to wind themselves around everything from connections to conduits and had to be cut away. They had to be careful not to cut the wires which was hard when the vines were fine like green wire.

This sort of fine work was difficult for Rha. Four-fingers and claws aside, his hands were still big and didn’t fit into small spaces easily. He left the miniscule work to the humans and pulled and cut down the larger vines, some so thick they were like trees. They worked down enough of the vegetation that the air was filled with a smell like newly mown grass, and they quickly forgot about the earlier pungent odor.

Rha stopped in front of the first door and wiped his brow. The sticky jungle-like setting made the large Caitian sweat under fur designed for cold. He turned on the light on his goggles which just barely illuminated an area in front of him. They were close to the first room again and the smell made him wrinkle his nose. He knew they would have to go in there, but he wanted to put it off as long as possible.

“Let’s get these doors open!” the Chief called out.

With a heaving sigh, Rha stepped forward and started to pry on the door. He was very strong but this task would take two and maybe something to pry the doors with. “Chief! Can’t get these doors open,” he called out. The Chief quickly assigned Ensign MacNeil to help with the door. Between the two of them they managed to wedge it open slowly, Rha with his back against one side and his feet on the other.

The room beyond smelled sickeningly sweet, the smell of rot enough to bring up bile in anyone’s throat. The plants, however were not rotten. Two good sized pods took up most of the room and the smell seemed to be coming from them. MacNeil didn’t seem to have a sense of smell and pushed his way past Rha into the room. “Wow! I’ve never seen plants like those,” he said and made his way towards the bigger of the two pods.

The Ensign poked the pod with the end of his phaser. “You think these things open?”

Rha shrugged, still standing in the doorway. “Probably. I don’t think we should mess with them.”

“It’s just a plant...” Each time he tapped it, the pod quivered like it was filled with liquid.

“Ensign, I really don’t think you should...” Rha started.

It was too late. The pod burst open, spraying a thick liquid and bones all over Ensign MacNeil. Almost immediately the man fell backwards in horror and then he started to scream. The thick liquid inside the pod seemed to be the plant’s digestive juices and right now they were burning their way through MacNeil. Rha grabbed the hapless Ensign and drug him out of the pile of burning goo. It was burning so quickly it was almost as if MacNeil was on fire, his clothing and flesh smoldering.

The Caitian dragged the human into the main corridor, burning his own paws in the process of trying to get the Ensign’s clothing off. He explained to the Chief quickly what had happened. Several other members of the team stepped forward to help, but the acid had worked its way through the uniform and it wasn’t long before the Ensign was dead.

With a man dead, the Chief did the only thing he could. He gathered the team and backed out of the corridor. “Commander,” he said tapping his com badge, “We’ve got a problem.”

“Chief McDaniels, what can I do for you?” The situation was explained quickly and Shras ordered medical and biology to the area.

Halfway up a tree and arms outstretched in an effort to grasp the next limb, Garrett was in an awkward position as Shras’s orders came over the comm channel. Even so, he dropped the two meters to the ground, bending his knees to absorb the impact, as soon as the transmission was complete. Duty was calling, and the epiphytes he was surveying wouldn’t go anywhere while he responded to what sounded like a serious problem. The biologist’s long stride typically gave him all the speed he required, but now he assumed a loping run, speeding down the corridors of Providence, occasionally stopping to verify his location and the correctness of his course. Several minutes later, he found himself approaching the previously-sealed access to the crew quarters, a strange burnt odor apart from that of the arc welders wafting into his nose and raising the hairs on the back of his neck. As he stepped closer, the source of the odor became visually apparent.

Garrett felt his guts tighten. In his years in science, he’d seen acid burns, but the corpse of the poor junior officer lying on the deck made nitric acid trauma look like minor sunburn. He knelt next to the ensign and drew his tricorder for a scan. The pH in the burns was a little less than one. Enzymes of an unidentified origin were rapidly degrading proteins and lipids in the victim’s tissues. What the hell kind of enzymes don’t denature at a pH of 1? This is digestive juice, and it’s really, really effective digestive juice. Still kneeling, he looked around for whomever was supervising the engineers. To no one in particular, he asked, “Who saw what did this? What happened? Anybody know?”

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Shras/Eiri on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:31 pm

Rha stepped forward. "It was a plant, sir. The biggest pod I've ever seen. We were opening the doors to the crew quarters. I'm not sure if he broke the pod or if this is what it does to protect itself. He was poking at it with his phaser and the whole thing just spewed this stuff all over the place. I tried to pull him out, but I guess I wasn't fast enough or there was just too much goo. I think there's another body in there too. There was this horrible smell and when the pod opened it spewed bones out with the goo. They looked human, but I'm not an expert."

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Gerard Garrett on Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:22 pm

“Bones?” Garrett’s tone was skeptical, but Rha, his imposing size made all the more impressive in the dim, thickly humid corridor, obviously wasn’t kidding. The Caitian had just described what sounded disturbingly like the digestive chamber of a number of large carnivorous plant species. Garrett rose slowly, cogitating. MacNeil’s still-digesting body and Rha’s testimony had generated at least two pressing questions demanding an answer. The first was how any plant so dangerous might have become established in the arboretum. The second was the identity of the organism that the bones therein had belonged to, human or not. A new mystery was taking shape before his eyes, and the first clues undoubtedly lay in the room where MacNeil had met death.

“Chief, if you could spare me a light, I want to go meet this plant and whatever its late… acquisition might have been. I wouldn’t mind some company, either, in case curiosity makes me the day’s latest surprise casualty.”

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Shras/Eiri on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:29 pm

McDaniels nodded to Garrett and handed him his own goggles. "Rha, why don't you go with him since you've been in there already."

Rha stepped forward and put his own goggles back on. "Yes, sir," he responded. He waited for Garrett to put on his goggles and light the light. Once the Biologist was settled, Rha headed toward the doors, sort of giving him a blow by blow of what happened.

The smell was still vile. A mix of acid and rot. The plant pods were green and egg shaped and large, taking up a good section of the room. The one that the Ensign had damaged was still hanging limply and dripping goo out onto the floor. The other pod was vertical and looking a little like it might be waiting for its next meal. Six, bright pink stalks stuck out of the top of the pod, probably to attract prey.

There definitely were bones, although what they belonged to was not immediately apparent. They were in pieces and badly damaged by the acid.

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Retol Ayan on Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:26 pm

Fletcher pounded his way down the hallway, medkit slung over his shoulders, and arrived at the intersection where the crew quarters began. After a few minutes of frantic talking, and verifying that nothing could be done for the smoldering ruins of Ensign MacNeil, the Doctor strode into the opening cut by the welders.

"Chief! Lieutenant!" he called after their retreating backs. "They said one of you is injured! Get back here!" He stepped far enough in that he could see the large pods and stalks, and stopped. "What in the blazes were they growing here?"

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Gerard Garrett on Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:00 pm

“These are Minosan samovar, or a close cousin,” said Garrett, closing his tricorder and looking at Fletcher with a deadpan expression. The bulbous green monstrosities sat like bloated, complacent toads in the thin beams of light. “Carnivorous. Usually eat big, flying arthropods. Fragile as eggshells, full of nasty chemicals. Not what I’d call ornamental material.” He alternated eyeing the pink stalks at the top of the pod, jutting apart from each other in a neat geometric rosette, and the well-bleached set of bone fragments that were lying in a small pool of digestive juices near the leaking, damaged pod. His sense of unease was increasing by the moment in the eerie, permeating silence.

“Chief Rha? Holler if you hear or smell anything strange? Acid this strong could degrade bone in no more than a few days… this meal was recent. We might not be the only bony critters in here.”

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If there were any identifying organic molecules in the bone shards that hadn’t been destroyed by the samovar’s rank-smelling digestive cocktail, Garrett’s tricorder hadn’t detected them. With the Doctor’s assistance, an inspection of the bones’ gross morphology might at least narrow the list of animals they could have belonged to. He gestured to the grim collection, edging slightly closer to it.

“What say we take a look, Doctor?”

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Shras/Eiri on Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:03 am

Gerard Garrett wrote:“Chief Rha? Holler if you hear or smell anything strange? Acid this strong could degrade bone in no more than a few days… this meal was recent. We might not be the only bony critters in here.”
Rha lifted his nose into the air and gave a good long whiff. "Can't really smell anything over plant and acid, but I'll keep my attention on it." He turned to the Doctor and held out his burned paws. He hadn't gotten enough on him to do permanent damage but his pads were still blackened and burnt.

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Retol Ayan on Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:49 pm

“These are Minosan samovar, or a close cousin,” said Garrett, closing his tricorder and looking at Fletcher with a deadpan expression. The bulbous green monstrosities sat like bloated, complacent toads in the thin beams of light. “Carnivorous. Usually eat big, flying arthropods. Fragile as eggshells, full of nasty chemicals. Not what I’d call ornamental material.” He alternated eyeing the pink stalks at the top of the pod, jutting apart from each other in a neat geometric rosette, and the well-bleached set of bone fragments that were lying in a small pool of digestive juices near the leaking, damaged pod. His sense of unease was increasing by the moment in the eerie, permeating silence.

“Chief Rha? Holler if you hear or smell anything strange? Acid this strong could degrade bone in no more than a few days… this meal was recent. We might not be the only bony critters in here.”

Rha lifted his nose into the air and gave a good long whiff. "Can't really smell anything over plant and acid, but I'll keep my attention on it." He turned to the Doctor and held out his burned paws. He hadn't gotten enough on him to do permanent damage but his pads were still blackened and burnt.

"Yeouch," Fletcher said, whipping his medpack around and pulling out his tools. "I can help with the pain," he said, studying his wounds. "Can fix some of the rest, but we'll need to get you to sickbay soon to take care of it all." He started to work on the Caitian's hands.

If there were any identifying organic molecules in the bone shards that hadn’t been destroyed by the samovar’s rank-smelling digestive cocktail, Garrett’s tricorder hadn’t detected them. With the Doctor’s assistance, an inspection of the bones’ gross morphology might at least narrow the list of animals they could have belonged to. He gestured to the grim collection, edging slightly closer to it.

“What say we take a look, Doctor?”

Fletcher nodded his head once he was satisfied he had healed Rha's hands.

"I might suggest removing them from here and working them in a proper lab," he said. "Assuming we have one." He paused. "To be honest, those are freaking me out just a little," he said, pointing at the pods.

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Gerard Garrett on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:51 pm

“These are Minosan samovar, or a close cousin,” said Garrett, closing his tricorder and looking at Fletcher with a deadpan expression. The bulbous green monstrosities sat like bloated, complacent toads in the thin beams of light. “Carnivorous. Usually eat big, flying arthropods. Fragile as eggshells, full of nasty chemicals. Not what I’d call ornamental material.” He alternated eyeing the pink stalks at the top of the pod, jutting apart from each other in a neat geometric rosette, and the well-bleached set of bone fragments that were lying in a small pool of digestive juices near the leaking, damaged pod. His sense of unease was increasing by the moment in the eerie, permeating silence.

“Chief Rha? Holler if you hear or smell anything strange? Acid this strong could degrade bone in no more than a few days… this meal was recent. We might not be the only bony critters in here.”

Rha lifted his nose into the air and gave a good long whiff. "Can't really smell anything over plant and acid, but I'll keep my attention on it." He turned to the Doctor and held out his burned paws. He hadn't gotten enough on him to do permanent damage but his pads were still blackened and burnt.

"Yeouch," Fletcher said, whipping his medpack around and pulling out his tools. "I can help with the pain," he said, studying his wounds. "Can fix some of the rest, but we'll need to get you to sickbay soon to take care of it all." He started to work on the Caitian's hands.

If there were any identifying organic molecules in the bone shards that hadn’t been destroyed by the samovar’s rank-smelling digestive cocktail, Garrett’s tricorder hadn’t detected them. With the Doctor’s assistance, an inspection of the bones’ gross morphology might at least narrow the list of animals they could have belonged to. He gestured to the grim collection, edging slightly closer to it.

“What say we take a look, Doctor?”

Fletcher nodded his head once he was satisfied he had healed Rha's hands.

"I might suggest removing them from here and working them in a proper lab," he said. "Assuming we have one." He paused. "To be honest, those are freaking me out just a little," he said, pointing at the pods.

Garrett’s expression was resigned. “They’re just organisms doing what they do. Here’s hoping our shipmates get freaked out as well and leave them alone, at least until I have a better idea how they got here and how they’re surviving. If you’re going to do a full lab workup on those bones, let me know what you find out. I’ve got some data of my own to gather.” He indicated the fat pods with a nod. “We’ve got at least one species aboard that nobody was expecting. I’d like to know if there are any others.”

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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Virkov on Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:52 am

[Providence Fleet Yards]
[Feb, 13th, 2387, 1900 hrs]


"MAKE A HOLE!" Virkov shouted at the top of her voice, sprinting down the narrow corridor. The panicked looks on the faces of the various crewmen working in the space would've given any other commanding officer cause for pause. Virkov however, was not one of those commanding officers.

"Attention. Hull breach on Deck Seventeen. Venting action on decks fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen. Ten minutes to explosive decompression."

Virkov rounded the corner, and came to a screeching halt in front of the group of engineers. They were working with an arc welder, trying desperately to open the closed bulkhead that lead into the inner depths of the station, where the venting was occurring.

"What happened?" Virkov shouted above the din.

"One of the workbees dug a little too deep into the hull and accidentally caused a breach in the hull. We sent a few more out there to try to plug up the gap, but I don't think there's much we can do from outside. The breach is in such a small area that it's going to tear the outer hull apart if we don't do something about it."

Virkov pulled out a small paper notebook and a pencil, something she'd had to do increasingly lately, and began to jot down equations.

"Christ on sale, I've got a hull breach and my best people are working on goddamned plants," she muttered under her breath. "Alright. We've got access points in junctions 4, 7, and 9. EVA suits are set up in the airlocks at junction 8. Get four people to junction 9, send them in, and get them to start venting atmosphere. We need to locally terminate life support across those decks so we can seal it off."

"Yes sir," the engineer said, relaying the orders to his team. The four men quickly stopped their work and sprinted down the hallway the opposite direction.

The wounded chirping sound from her commbadge made Virkov wince as she tapped it harder than she'd intended to.

"Shras to OPS immediately. All hands evacuate decks fifteen through nineteen and prepare for venting. This is not a drill."

She nodded to the chief engineer in that section, and began running her way back to Operations.
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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Shras/Eiri on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:02 pm

Shras faintly hear the chirp of his com badge over the sound of the arch welder in his hand. He shut the machine down and then set it down, taking off from the area he was working on, and heading for ops at a run. He could hear the urgency in the Admiral's voice and the call to evacuate. This station had more problems then a first year ensign.
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Re: Mission 2.5 - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Post  Virkov on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:59 pm

[OPS, Providence Fleet Yards]
[Feb, 13th, 2387, 1905 hrs]


Virkov ran into OPS with the vigor of a woman half her age, and shouted "Report!"

"Engineers are accessing the decks right now. Should only be a few seconds before they begin locally disabling life support functions. Evacuations of the affected decks are underway."

"Good," she said. Turning to Shras, she said "We've got serious problems, more than we can handle. The replicators are malfunctioning, we're venting atmosphere, and we've got precious few engineers to solve all of the issues. I want to gather the crew in the cargo bay immediately to discuss options."

Turning to her Master System's Display, she said "And whatever is in Pod 2 that's causing energy fluctuations is going to have to be dealt with. That might be something for the Marines to take care of."

Shras took the com and immediately sent out a message all across the station. "This is your commanding officer. All crew are to report to the cargo bay. This is not a drill."

"We might have some people with a little background in engineering, knowing who they are might be helpful, but I'm afraid Starfleet is done helping us out for the time being." His antennae bobbed up and down like they were agreeing with what he was saying. "Did you hear about the plants?"

"Yes, yes," Virkov said with a dismissive hand wave. "I've been hearing nothing about anything but the god damned plants for the last half hour. It's a shame, it's tragic, but we have other, more pressing things to deal with."

She rubbed her arm in thought for a moment before saying "We've got an entire flotilla of decrepit ships from the same general era as Providence out there. Let's start cannibalizing them for parts that will be useful to us. I don't care who does it, but it needs to be done. I'll not see this station fall apart on my watch."

"We can assign a crew at the debriefing. I think everyone should be pulled off their projects until this is fixed. If we don't then we won't have a station to worry about. Do you have schematics of the damaged sections? We'll work around the clock if we have to." His antennae spun around in circles and stopped at the admiral again.

"We're working off paper schematics at the moment, seeing as our PADDs can't communicate with the computers on the station. We're functionally lame as far as that goes. But yes, we do have schematics of the damaged areas. We're going to have to press-gang people into service at this rate. We don't have any other option. 14 hour shifts for everyone, us included. I don't know how much experience you have in the field of engineering, Shras, but whatever experience in whatever fields you do have, expect to put them to the test until we get these petty nuisances taken care of."

Taking a deep breath, Virkov said "Alright then, let's get everyone into the cargo bay and divvy up assignments. Five minutes."

((JP Brought to you by your friendly Commanding Officers Very Happy ))
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