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Between a Rock and a Larger Rock

Posted on 04 Sep 2019 @ 11:56pm by Captain Abigail Rhodes & Lieutenant Gabriel Walker & Ensign Lex D'Gracefull

Mission: Prologue
Location: Bridge


Abby nodded as the data came through.  The algorithms were zeroing in on an ideal position to scan the upcoming collision.  The planets were still thousands of kilometers separated, but boulders the size of houses were already being displaced by the gravitational eddies.  If the timetable held, Abby guessed they'd have a few minutes of good scanning before the debris cloud became too dangerous to remain near.  They'd then have to take the remainder of the scans from higher orbit until the smaller body was completely destroyed.

She looked up at the viewscreen where the D-class dwarf was already starting to crack.  It was amazing to be able to see them from this distance already - those cracks were likely tens of kilometers deep and hundreds of kilometers wide.  the E-class behind it was beginning to show effects too.  volcanism had increased markedly, and the weather patterns were getting disrupted.  Not to mention the constant meteor bombardment from those house-sized boulders.

"Mister Dantarno," Abby called.  The algorithms weren't quite done yet, but she was confident the position she had was within a few dozen meters of optimal.  "Bring us in slowly, to... this position."  She tapped her console sending the coordinates to the helm.   "Let's get those scans going, and warm up the phasers in case we need to vaporize a meteor or three."

"With pleasure," Gabe growled from the tactical station.  He'd taken the captain's advice and checked the cargo bay.  It was ill fitting but at least he was in a uniform.  And the countdown for his own being fixed was closer to completion.  "Phasers and torpedoes online and ready for your commands, Captain."

After entering the commands that brought the weapons system online and on standby he glanced up to watch the monitor.  it wasn't every mission he was able to see planets colliding.

"Feel free to pick your targets and fire at will, Lieutenant.", Abby said, leaning back in hr chair,  "Prioritize by danger to the M&M."

Lex'EL D'Gracefull, overworked engineer,  had just left Engineering yet again, for the umpteenth time, after trying yet again, to trace, yet another problem, and again unsuccessfully. Lex'EL was on his way top the starboard deck Four science area, where he had traced his latest problem. He kept getting called back to Main Engineering for problems. One of the worse ones had been with warp power, then Anti-matter containment.  The first problem not as scary as the second. Right now the secondary containment system seemed to be working fine, but the primary system took its orders from the computer core, so if the cableways were somehow damaged between the Computer core and actual equipment, that would explain the problems that they were having. Lex'EL typed a quick memo to the Chief Engineer spelling out his hypothesis.

The double chime on his communicator went off yet again indicating the inter-ship comms had activated, and Lex'EL heard a voice yell out, Ensign Lex'EL, Engineering Officer of the Watch, we are having intermittent comms, Please report to Main Engineering to pick up secondary communication system.

Lex'EL growled and headed back to Main Engineering, at least it was only 25 yards… not 3000...

Lex'EL walked into the Main engineering space and grabbed a brick, as they called, it had preprogrammed, preset, manually tuned subspace channels in it. It did not need the computer to send and receive messages. Looking at the buttons on it, 32 channels, The bridge was number 1, Engineering officer of the Watch #2. Lex'EL grabbed 4 more and yelled, ill drop these off on the bridge, I need to see the Tac chief anyway.

Lex'EL hit the turbolift and headed for the bridge.

As the turbo lift door opened, Lex'EL walked out of the lift and walked towards the bridge, tool bags in hand. As Lex'EL entered the bridge, he headed for the captain first, she needed the bad news first. Standing at attention on her right, Lex'el waited until she recognized him and spoke " Bad news mam, we have an intermintant failure on the primary coms. I brought emergency comms with in case the 1JV and 5JV systems fail. But on a lighter side, we can officially blame mad science for our issues as 78% of the problems tie back to science stations and or sensors and or sensor conduits. I have a report that the starboard torpedo launcher is haunted and playing moonlight sonata at 70 decibels, so it may not be science's fault at all and we may just need an exorcism."

The Moonlight Sonata wasn't a bad choice if music had to be playing.  It was certainly better than many other things that could be playing.  Current music, for instance.  "Of course, the geeks are to blame," he muttered under his breath, somehow taking their 'mad science' personally.

Abby nodded to the engineer, accepting the back-up comms unit.  "I- what?" she paused as she parsed the information he presented.  She shook her head at last and held up a hand, "No, nevermind.  Thank you, Ensign.  Keep up the-" she stopped again as her comms - not the backup - beeped at her.

"Ensign Sh'rhovek to the Bridge,"

"Captian Rhodes here, go ahead, Ensign?"  Abby's eyes flicked between Ensign D'Gracefull, Commander Wianwright, and the display, a case of curiosity at the timing of her Ops officer's call.

"We, uh, that is, Lieutennat Jurgen and I, we think we have found our problem."

"Out with it, Ensign.  Be concise."

"It's tribbles, ma'am.  Well, TribbleMatics, to be precise."

"Trib- what?" Abby blinked.  The sheer volume of unexpected information presented in the last two minutes was difficult to process on short-notice.

"TribbleMatics.  We think-" then the comms went dead.

Abby tapped the comms with concern, answered only by a buzz.  "I suppose there's a clue for you, Ensign," she said to Lex'EL.  As if on command, the lights on the Bridge and all the consoles went dark.  The blackout didn't last long, just a few moments while the system automatically rerouted EPS and ODN connections, but it was enough.  "Make haste, please.  I'd prefer not to become a cloud of vapor in the midst of a planetary disaster."

"Well, the security department was due for phaser qualifications anyway," Gabe muttered.  With the comms going out, he let out a deep sigh.  Sarkasian, he reached out to his Chief and gave quick, precise orders to be relayed to the other four members of the department.  No 'tribblematic' was to remain operational and the whole of the ship should be swept.  While, unfortunately, telepathically communicating, Gabe checked the weapons systems.  According to the station's diagnostics, they were all working fine.  For now.

Gabe waited to begin seeing the telltale signs of weapons fire warnings coming through the security station.


Captain Abigail Rhodes
Commanding Officer
USS Mark Miller

Lieutenant Gabriel Walker
Chief Sec/Tac Officer
USS Mark Miller

Ensign Lex D'Gracefull
Engineering Officer
USS Mark Miller


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