Campaign of the Month: August 2017

Star Trek: Aftermath (Klingon Phase)

Phase II, Session 3 - The TransWarp Domain

Rescuing the Ipsus, and themselves?

STARTUP

Stardate, Time: 2387.10.03, 21:32, mid Gamma Shift

EVENTS

TODAY: TODAY’S NEWS – There USS Marathon was cut off from communications so nothing from the outside. What is written below is the news.

WHERE WE STARTED

Currently the ship is arriving in the TransWarp domain, headed for the USS Ipsus, 4 hours away. We have a couple of engineering retcons to get knocked out before we really get the rest of the things moving. The ship is heavily damaged, over half the crew has a serious or worse injury, including a lot of the medical personnel, everyone is tired and hasn’t rested yet. Damage control continues containing situations as they happen, as failures continue to happen, but so far is being kept up with. The lack of replicators is hurting the ship badly, and is mostly an issue of computer capacity. 2 computer cores are actually destroyed, core 2 remains online but at half capacity. Hard storage backup files are intact in the main computer ops center behind the bridge, other backups have been lost. Getting repairs to the computer system could give enough extra computing power to at least activate Engineering and Medical equipment and replicators. Ship efficiency is currently at 46% and has been for the last 18 hours, but supply and personnel exhaustion are about to begin impacting that significantly. Supplies are pretty much exhausted, emergency rations will supply the ship for only 3 weeks.

The remaining issue rundown is as follows:
1. Out of 370 personnel, 23 dead, 181 of the remaining 347 severely injured or worse
2. Trapped in TW Domain
3. Ipsus rescue
4. Sub-departments hurting for personnel:
Eng: Crew Sensors
Eng: Crew TransWarp Drive Team
Med: Nurses
Sec: Half of officers
5. Regenerative shields dropped when the conduit was ruptured, then automatically reasserted themselves, except there is no automatic function that could have accomplished it. But it did it, and since you need to have the shields being stable you probably need to look into that. Additionally, the regenerative properties of the shields are non-functional, which could be damage but your shield Civilian Specialist Vathoss Zh’thaosrahr, Andorian, Female, strongly believes that the properties of this domain prevent this.
6. Departments hurting for repair:
Eng: Port warp engine, misaligned, pylon damage, 4 crew trapped, starboard warp engine?
Eng: M/AM reactor running at full power, yielding 30% max output
Eng: Port impulse engine, destroyed
Eng: Port fusion plant, destroyed
Eng: Starboard impulse engine, damaged, half power
Eng: Starboard fusion plant, damaged, offline, repairable?
Eng: Port engine EPS conduit, damaged, contained (for now)
Eng: Deflector control, destroyed, alternate consoles jury rigged
Eng: Port/forward and port/aft shields badly damaged, unstable 0.0667% of max is current top output (3pts of 45)
Eng: Eng Lab 1 destroyed, Eng lab 2 damaged
Eng: Computer Core 1, 3, destroyed, Core 2, damaged (48% capacity)
Eng: Superstructure lower engineering & lower saucer decks damaged, not quite 25% superstructure left (24 of 98).
Med: Compartment open to space, emergency force field active (for now, power fluxuates)
Med: Med Lab 2 open to space
Ops: Auxiliary Bridge Down, (destroyed?)
Sci: Lab 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 damaged, Lab 5,6 destroyed
Sec: Brig down (destroyed?)
Sec: Weapon systems, unknown
Bridge: Coffee supplies exhausted

MINUTIA

LOCALLY:

See Above.

CREW MOMENT:

CREW MOMENT: On the Day of their first ‘cutting’ attempt Lieutenant Bree LeBlanc was in heaven. She was in Engineering (the ship had other places?), head craned upwards and body facing the warp core. She was walking a slow circle around the warp core, taking in the site of the two mini-magnetic constrictors attached horizontally to the main magnetic constrictor midway up, and the tons of cabling, conduits, and…other things trailing down from them and under the deck. Her imagination soaring was with possibilities as she pondered how it could possibly work!

By Joy Joy’s account, this was her 12th lap, but it could be more since she was already doing this when he entered to start his duty shift. He reflected, “At least she’s relatively calm,” to no one in particular. Several NOIP’s laughed and continued their tasks. “Uh-oh,” he said as she suddenly stopped, staring wide-eyed into the far distance, an idea clearly taking shape, and suddenly she was in motion.

She moved all over engineering, visually and physically tracking the various components of the TransWarp system while Program Manager Sitak looked on in alarm (he itched to call security, but she wasn’t in violation of any of the protocols…yet). Without warning, she stopped, staring into the distance again, almost 2 full minutes. Then a slow smile began, growing wider and wider. She turned to Sitak, “Got it. This is really cleaver!” she said, pointing at the warp core in general. I wish we could discuss this. I’d love to see how you’re balancing this. Amazing. Just…AMAZING!” Her shout startled some in the room, pulling laughter from the rest.

Whatever she had just figured out seemed to satisfy her as she went back to her normal duties and tasks, picking and prying at the configurations of the warp system again, looking for that extra, elusive 0.002% efficiency she just knew was there….

WHAT HAPPENED

LAST SESSION

The USS Endurance/Marathon went through the exhausting process of scanning down potential TransWarp Conduit locations within the Romulus system that could potentially connect with Starbase 234 in the Illypso system. They succeeded in finding one of their first attempt, cut it on the first pass, solidified it on the second, and were entering for the third pass to scan it whan a Klingon Raptor Class Scout uncloaked and fired a torpedo at them. The Marathon rolled to starboard ( to the right) and the torpedo missed, but hit the wall of the conduit, rupturing it and dropping the Marathon into the TransWarp Domain, doing massive damage to it. While recovering, repairing the ship, and providing medical support to the crew, sensors picked up a a Federation emergency beacon belonging to the USS Ipsus which had disappeared just over three months ago. The Marathon is moving towards the Ipsus, currently 6 hours away.

This is where we began….

GETTING STARTED

Retcon: Engineering Ship Stabalization (+Science) Rolls

Our acting chief engineer, Lt Bree LeBlanc, and Chief Science Officer Lt Walter ‘Fuze’ Fitzroy, need to make rolls to:

  1. Do emergency work to stabalize the ship’s superstructure
  2. Find and rescue trapped personnel
  3. To bring the Starboard Fusion Plant online or determine what’s wrong
  4. Improve the output of the Starboard Impulse Engine

It all went off like broken clockwork, (but not THAT broken), and here’s what happened:

1. Do emergency work to stabilize the ship’s superstructure: It was currently at 24 points out of 96, and deterioration, hitting zero would make the ship explode, and their available speed was greatly reduced (not that the engines could exceed that speed at the moment anyway). LT LeBlanc went to work on the ship’s superstructure and, with the help of Lt Grant Jackson, was able to A) Stabilize it, prevent further damage as the superstructure under movement stress worked against itself; and B) improved it by 5 points, to a total of 29.

2. Find and rescue trapped personnel: Lt ‘Fuze’ Fitzroy was trapped on the bridge via Captain’s orders. He spent his time helping Ops coordinate people, scanning the area with what sensors he had (no port side sensors of any kind, including internal sensors). Those scans would prove vital later. However, the lack of internal sensors in the heavily damaged areas of the ship meant that a manual scan would have to take place. With everyone very engaged in damage control and medical assistance, even at this point some six hours after the ‘event’, he had trouble locating someone who could help him in his department, security, ops, or engineering. It hit him, Starship Services, and he started making his way through the list, finally hitting gold with Chief Petty Officer Keavy Brennan, the ship’s lead bartender and a fixture in the P Squared Lounge. CPO Brennan had helped convert the lounge into a makeshift sickbay and had been doing what she could to make the patients there comfortable and assist the medics where she could. When Fuse called it sounded important and certainly more urgent than was she was currently doing so she agreed to help. She grabbed a nearby tricorder (engineering) and headed out to where Fuse directed her.

Fuse sent Keavy to the lowest area of the secondary hull. She couldn’t reach the bottom deck via turbolift. Or the one above that. Or the one above that. Climbing in Jeffries Tubes was the only real options, which as one of the only uninjured people on the ship she was able to do. The first four compartments were empty, but in fourth one, she did detect a lifesign somewhere to the left. It took her time to find a way to get over there, but she did, and Fuse, looking at the tricorder readings, recognized lifesigns, 8 of them, but also 4 dead. The overhead was about 3 feet from the deck, but she was able to cut through the door, the thinnest part of that wall, and it took her less than a minute. The compartment beyond had stale air, which is lucky, and was very cold, as life support was not operating in it. She could see the other door, and it had about half the height of the door she had just cut through. She made it to the other door, crawling now, lifesigns showing there were survivors on the other side. She banged on the door, and someone in there banged on the bulkhead in reply.

In the compartment the survivors were trapped included Master Chief Petty Officer Joryn Thann, Chief Engineer’s Handyman and Crew Chief (whose player had shown up at exactly that moment in a stroke of luck!). This is what he knew:

Master Chief Petty Officer Joryn Thann, Chief Engineer’s Handyman, Crew Chief, and all around been there done that old coot was presently trapped in the deep lower decks with several other enlisted, and had been for the last six hours. He was nursing broken fingers and bones in his right hand and wasn’t sure how many ribs were broken. The compartment had crushed in on them, averaging 30” between the deck and the overhead (that’s ‘ceiling’ for any civilian types). With him were:

Specialist Mikad, Cargo Handler, Edoan Female, broken arm and 2 legs
Specialist Wes Larenz, Starship Services Boson, Human, Male, internal injuries and head injury
Petty Officer First Class Stana Kašpar, EPS Chief 4, Human Female, head injury
Chief Warrant Officer Hon blasch Tlaruss, Energetics Tech 2, Tellarite Male, unconscious with serious head trauma
Petty Officer Dor, Comms Tech 4, Ferengi Female, head injury, broken arm, chest trauma
Petty Officer Pregram blasch Taag, Tellarite, Male, head injury, flail chest
Space Sciences Civilian Specialist Dedru Cebe, Bajoran, Female, neck puncture, foot crushed


There was no light, it was cramped, no food or water. The need for conscious people to relieve themselves was getting strong, the unconscious already had. The air we getting stale, breathable, but becoming less so. It was cold and getting colder. The stink of nervous sweat was overpowered by the odors escaping from the crushed bodies of three fellow crewmen that were in the wrong end of the same compartment. Every person still alive in the compartment had moderate to serious injuries. On top of everything else, no one was even sure if the rest of the crew knew they were in here, or were even alive.

Those crushed at the wrong end of the compartment were:
2nd Shift Deflector Ops, Chief Specialist Chinonso Bader, Human, Female
Drive Conduit Tech 2, Petty Officer 1st Class Risukarix, Edoan, Male
Intermix Mate Shift 4, Chief Petty Officer Axiomek, Edoan, Female


Further aft was Tactical Officer LtJG James Orson, Human, Male

Eventually Keavy managed to cut into the compartment, not hitting anyone, even though the Chief Science Officer told her there was no one in the way on the other side although he had no idea. (Yes, really.) She managed to cut a reasonable access hole without injuring herself or any others. MCPO Jeryn had done what triage that he could, which probably contributed to the survivors surviving. Between Keavy and Jeryn, they managed to drag the survivors out of the very cold and cramped room into the merely cold and semi-cramped room, and then from there into the warm and lit room beyond. As badly as they were injured, the climb through the Jeffries tube looked to be a terrible ordeal in their future.

Fuze began to coordinate with Ops and the Second Officer and Chief of Security and Tactical to scare up people who could be spared to help get the people out of their hole. All of them did make it eventually, got to sickbay eventually, and survived.

3. To bring the Starboard Fusion Plant online or determine what’s wrong: LT LeBlanc went to work and was able to diagnose the issue after a bit of time, and it turned out to be something she should be able to repair. She successfully scrounged the parts she needed and was able to bring it back online, providing additional stable power to the ship .

4. Improve the output of the Starboard Impulse Engine: Again, Lt LeBlanc went to work and found several easy repairs, and 2 hard ones, managing to get them all done. It previously operated at just under half power output and thrust, but now was operating at 82%, giving the ship a significant improvement in thrust (enough to actually be a danger to its superstructure!) and more importantly brought it up to an output of 41 points of power. This additional power greatly improved the capabilities of the ship.

Thus, the Marathon was stabilized, and most of the trapped crewmen on the ship were rescued. Most of them. Those four poor people in Port Warp Engine at the station controls….

Here endeth the retcons and beginnith the session.

A Collection Of Unknowns

The work of a science officer is never done. Mysteries were piling up, labs and computers were down, and sensors were damaged. These things were found vexing:

  • What was the cause of the intense pressure this ‘space’ was exerting on the ship? The space itself that the warp bubble has inserted itself into is trying to equalize pressure is the current thinking among the specialists.
  • What were the particles that the ship was picking up? Were there particles here that the ship didn’t have the sensors to sense? The particles (if that’s what they are) are theorized anti-gravitons, so far never seen via Federation technology, and now suddenly they are immersed in it. Now there is data on it, they can detect it, and it is clearly infecting the power systems have a signature that the Chief Science Officer was able to synthesize from sensor readings.
  • What radiation was present, but not being picked up by damaged sensors?
  • Where could you get a really good burger around here?
  • How could the damaged computer core they were relying on be repaired, improved, or augmented?
  • Why is whatever got through the shields concentrated in the warp core and EPS Systems? If the warp core and EPS systems are shut down, will these particle concentrations dissipate? If they do and the warp core and EPS system are restarted, will they just come back? They seem to be attracted to the energies there is the current thinking of the specialists.

Second Rescue

Master Chief Petty Officer Joryn Thann, now with wounds attended to and bandaged up and told to rest and try not to move around much, immediately left sick bay and headed for Engineering. Once there he began directing traffic and prioritizing repairs, shifting personal from one team to another to create ‘custom expert’ teams to get things done a bit more efficiently, then report to him to be reassigned. All in a day’s work for the Chief Engineer’s Handyman, which was one of his official position title on board. He was basically de-complicating issues and delaying repairs.

The port warp engine had been turned 17 degrees off centerline counterclockwise. The pylon holding it to the ship had twisted and cracked in places, opening it to space. The four crewpersons on station in the forward portion of the nacelle (yes, people are in those things in case an emergency repair is needed) were trapped there with no way down. The pylon was built with an emergency airlock, but the nacelle was not. The vaccsuit locker was currently crushed under something heavy that fell, crushing it and partially blocking the door, but missed the four crewpersons. At 18 hours in, they still had air as the entire nacelle interior has atmosphere, but life support was clearly cut. They were taking turns in the console room one at a time, because it was very cold but was the only place a life sign might be detected, with the rest huddling back among the residual heat of the magnetic constrictors where it was noticeably less cold, though still unpleasant.

Transporters would have been handy at a time like this, but when the port warp engine EPS Conduit ruptured it dumped all energy into the transporter network, which was an interconnected system that shared resources throughout the system – very efficient, but vulnerable to something like this, rare as such an event was. Additionally, while 4 of the shuttlecraft on the ship had transporters, 2 of them were damaged, but the other two could have been used. However, the effects of this Domain on the transporters were unknown seemed an unwarranted risk. Additionally, beaming into a nacelle would be problematic at the best of times as the hull materials are specifically designed to be resistant to energy passage in order to prevent irradiating the crew. Ultimately transporters were tested by transporting an emergency ration pack, yielding a partially reconstituted ration pack. The foodstuffs were structurally present but missing a fair bit of matter was altered.

Additionally, Ensign Ricky’s houseplant was commandeered for transporter testing. He and his 3 roommates showed up with his cactus and handed it over for testing. Ensign Ricky was sad about Cactus Joe’s potential fate, and as the cactus was transported, the three roommates hummed Taps. After examining the remains of the cactus transporters were ruled out.

MCPO Thann was approached by Petty Officer Leello Gragon, Trill, Female, Team Leader of Damage Control Team Ten. MCPO Thann wasn’t interested in chatting until PO Gragon explained the situation with the port warp engine team. He had just finished evaluating the situation with the port pylon and was still in a vaccsuit. He reported that emergency forcefields were down, either damaged or not receiving power or likely both. Moving through the pylon was not possible at the moment as it was blocked by debris. It was clear that life support had been cut. Transporters were completely dead and there was no way to get them out without exposing them to hard vacuum. Something had to be done, and quickly, and he had a plan.

PO Gragon posited that since the port warp engine was dead and not coming back without a visit to a spacedock they should simply cut away the debris in the pylon and clear a passageway to the nacelle doorway. Having done that, he had a flexitube, essentially a very long and tough plastic like expandable tube that he wanted to seal to the hatch of the port pylon, then carry back to the hatch into engineering, thereby creating a path for the crewpersons to escape. MCPO Thann said yes.

PO Gragon got his damage control team on the debris removal and setting up a temporary airlock at the pylon hatch in engineering, then disappeared for a time. A bit later (20 minutes?) he was seen dragging a very long tube through engineering, explaining, “Apparently the bands holding it together snapped due to impact. It’s still intact though,” as he passed by Thann. The grateful crewmen enjoyed their coffee a few minutes later. The flexitube was taken down, the engineering hatch was sealed and the temporary airlock was dismantled.

Meanwhile In The Shuttlebay

As had happened so many times over the last several hours, the crewmen in the port warp engine, and all the other issues, were pushed out of the minds of the senior officers as they worked on what seemed to be a more urgent issue. By the time the shield repair was completed the warp core was down to 5% power generation, achieved only by inserting matter and anti-matter at full power levels, and seemed likely to continue to fall. As it turned out, it actually seemed to stabilize at 5%, or it at least was decreasing at such a rate that it was currently undetectable. If the ship did not have the protective warp bubble the consequences were both unknown and potentially devastating.

After quite a bit of discussion, the Captain monitoring and providing input from the bridge, and as previously mentioned, Second Officer Savok, acting Chief Engineer LeBlanc, and a few minutes later Chief Science Officer ‘Fuse’ Fitzroy joined them (his arm not at the moment having been blown off) aboard the Athid.

The USS Marathon carried the following shuttlecraft on board:
12 Type 2A Worker Bee (non-warp)
12 Type 6-A Shuttlepod (non-warp)
4 Type 7 Personnel (short range warp capable)
4 Type 9 Personnel (mid-range warp capable)
Due to space constraints no runabouts or long range shuttles were equipped

They ultimately followed this process. They brought power online via the impulse engine, then activated the shields. Once they had taken readings of everything they powered up the warp drive of the Type 9 Personnel Shuttlecraft. The idea being that they would see if the shields were adequate protection once a warp core is purged. If the shuttle’s warp core was contaminated then either:
1) There was ambient particulate that the shields trapped inside it, or…
2) The shields were being penetrated by the particulate

The warp core was brought up slowly, 5% at a time to 15%. After that they increased 5%, 10%, or 15% pretty much randomly, then jumped to 70%. 5% increases were made from that point on up to 100%. In the shuttlebay Ensign Ricky continued to mourn Cactus Joe; his roommates continued to give him crap.

All seemed well at first, but after x minutes at full power the warp drive began losing efficiency. It dropped slowly, by a single percent, to 99%, then 98%. They reduced power to 90%, and it dropped to 89% pretty quickly, then 88%. They reduced to 50%, and it remained stable at that level, not falling any further, waiting 10 minutes. Scanning reported that it was not dropping.

The thought is that the ship has particles trapped inside the Marathon’s warp bubble. That what amount of ambient particles were in the vicinity of the shuttlecraft were trapped by the shuttle’s shields. That when the warp core was brought online particles were already inside which then moved to the warp core, but it took time to get there and begin affecting the matter/antimatter reaction.

Fuze joined the group at this point. On the way to them he took tricorder reading as he moved to the shuttle bay, discovering that the level of denatured gravitons throughout the ship were fairly evenly distributed. After a bit of debating between the three of them, Lt LeBlanc put her foot down and insisted on performing a needed experiment, which proceeded as follows:
1) To do the process they needed to find out at what point the warp core was stabilizing, so the process was repeated and it leveled out at 87% (they were almost there before when they bailed out to 50%).
2) They expanded the Athid’s warp bubble around a second shuttle, the Kaloo, then raised the shields of the Athid, then activated the Athid’s warp core.
3) We stopped at this point.

When finished this would allow them to draw a conclusion as to whether the Marathon received its full dose of particles during the 2 seconds after the rupture when both the shields and warp core failed, or have they been leaking in for this whole time.

Most Pressing Unaddressed Issues

  • How could the damaged computer core they were relying on be repaired, improved, or augmented?
  • How could the Marathon ‘clean’ it’s warp core and EPS systems?
  • How can the Marathon return to normal space? 92% efficiency is the minimum requirement to try to activate the TransWarp system, not guaranteed to function unless at 94%.
  • How can the Marathon rescue the marooned crew of the USS Ipsus, and possibly return the Ipsus to normal space with them?

SHUTDOWN

Local Situation

Still trapped in the TransWarp Domain, nothing has changed. The Ipsus is 500 meters from the Marathon, alongside her, with 5 lifesigns aboard.

Where We Ended

The Marathon had arrived at the Ipsus after 18 hours of anemic travel on impulse drive. Five lifesigns were detected, all humanoid. No forcefield was present after all, their sensors being spoofed by a structural integrity field turned up to maximum power. It was being fed power by a badly injured fusion plant that was still, somehow hanging on. They had life support – air, water, presumably bathroom options, and likely living on emergency rations – but nothing more as far as the Marathon’s sensors could tell. Marathon still had problems of its own, including warp core output at 5% and presumably continuing to decline. They had a working idea of how to restore a lot of its capability and supporting initial evidence, but had not tested it yet. The critically injured had lasted this long, along with their seriously wounded, but there were medicines and equipment that was badly needed by the medical staff and no replicators; there were parts that were badly needed by engineering but no replicators. In both cases there were stocks of supplies available but those had been used up at this point, and the needed equipment needed repair. The computer issues had yet to be addressed and were, at this point, the most important issue facing the ship.

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