Campaign of the Month: August 2017

Star Trek: Aftermath (Klingon Phase)

Phase II, Session 4: Escaping the Transwarp Domain

Rescue of the USS Ipsus

STARTUP

STARDATE: Stardate: 2387.10.03, Time: 09:16, mid Alpha Shift

News: Still trapped in the TransWarp Domain, no outside contact.

LAST SESSION

The USS Marathon abruptly arrived in the TransWarp domain, experienced catastrophic damage to all systems, taking heaviest damage on their port dorsal areas. The damage was caused by the TransWarp Conduit they had just entered being ruptured by a Klingon photon torpedo. The ship was deftly rolled to Starboard, thus avoiding the torpedo, and was so positioned when conduit collapsed and was hit by material/energy/something of the TransWarp Domain, inflicting terrible damage to the ship, and many casualties with 23 deaths. No fault has been assigned to the helm officer, LtJG Naclado for her actions. Our crew is continuing their medical and engineering repairs. We are within 15 minutes of arrival at the Ipsus.

Primary_Ship_Damage_Port_View.jpg

Areas Of Primary Damage To USS Marathon


Primary_Ship_Damage_Ventral_View.jpg

Detail: Significant work had been done by Lieutenant Bree LeBlanc, acting chief engineer, to make repairs to the Starboard Fusion Plant, bringing it back online and stabilizing it for 7 points of ship power. She did further work on the Starboard Impulse Engine, bringing it up to 82% capacity from 48%, and providing 41 points of ship power. Along with the anemic warp core providing 6 points of ship power the ship had 54 points of power, much better than they had been working with, but far less than their optimal 220. An effort was mounted and led by LT Grant Jackson to repair the damaged port-forward (#1) and port-aft (#6) shields and was successful in restoring them to 82% of full efficiency allowing them to be raised to 37 shield points, though shields were still capping out at 12 shield points total, reason unknown, and should probably be investigated.

The ship is still heavily damaged; over half the crew with a serious or worse injury, though that has mostly been stabilized. This included a lot of the medical personnel, everyone is tired and hadn’t rested yet, 24 hours in. Damage control continues containing situations as they happen, and though failures continue to happen they seem to not be so catastrophic or often now. The lack of replicators was the biggest pain point during their travel, and was mostly an issue of computer capacity. 2 computer cores were completely destroyed; core #2 remained online but at 48% capacity. Hard storage backup files were 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 possibly activate Engineering and/or Medical equipment and replicators. Ship efficiency was currently at 31% due to injury and now fatigue, and had dropped 15% in the last 6 hours as supply and personnel exhaustion were impacting that significantly. Supplies were exhausted except for essentials; emergency rations will supply the ship for only 3 weeks. That some shuttles have replicators that can make emergency medical kits and coffee has been a godsend.

Addressing the warp core situation, LT LeBlanc, LT Fitzroy, and LtCmdr Savok were currently working through Warp Technology gymnastics utilizing the shuttlecraft Athid initially, then the Kaloo as well, both Type 9 Personnel mid-range warp capable shuttlecraft. The experiment was still in being conducted when we stopped last session.

MINUTIA

LOCALLY:

Marathon was 15 minutes and en route to the USS Ipsus and arrived while the warp testing with the shuttles was underway.

CREW MOMENT:

“So, this one time, back when I had me first metal arm, I came across the dame. She was a right peach. We had a tussle. Not that kind, you dogs, lighten up. She wrenched me arm clean out of its socket! It was quite a feat! And then, she left me to use me metal arm to put me fleshy one back in! I bought her a case and we had another tussle later. Yes, that kind, you dogs.” – Overheard in the P Squared Lounge onboard the USS Marathon after returning to ‘normal space’ and awaiting help to arrive.

CREW MOMENT

The Crew Chief’s Ordeal – Master Chief Petty Officer Joryn Thann was not enjoying life at the moment. The Chief Engineer’s Handyman and Crew Chief (senior most enlisted person on the ship and unofficial mayor of the enlisted ranks), 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, suddenly and from below causing an abrupt introduction of their bodies to the overhead (that’s ‘ceiling’ for any civilian types), and the deck height now averaging 30”, sloping down towards the port side to just 2” on that side of the compartment. With him were:

Specialist Mikad, Cargo Handler, Edoan Female, broken arm and 2 of her 3 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

Those crushed at the wrong end of the compartment are:
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 port was Tactical Officer LtJG James Orson, Human, Male

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 was getting stale, still breathable, but becoming less so. It was quite cold and getting colder, though that did help with swelling of injuries somewhat, later found to have actually saved several of them. The stink of nervous sweat and bodily functions were overpowered by the odors escaping from the crushed bodies of their fellow crewmen that were in the wrong end of the same compartment. Every person still alive in the compartment had serious to critical 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.

After 6 hours of this misery MCPO was suddenly startled and relieved as a phaser began cutting through the door to their would be coffin. CPO Keavy Brennan, guided by Chief Science Officer Lieutenant Walter ‘Fuze’ Fitzroy, was outside with a hand phaser cutting into the compartment. Continued in Adventure Log Phase II, Session 3.

WHAT HAPPENED

(GM is accepting player rewrites should anyone wish to do so, otherwise…)

XO Commander Destiney Grey’s Report read:

The ship is heavily damaged; over half the crew has a serious or worse injury, though that has mostly been stabilized. This includes a lot of the medical personnel, everyone is tired and hasn’t rested yet, 24 hours in. Damage control continues containing situations as they happen, and though failures continue to happen they seem to not be so catastrophic or often now. The lack of replicators are the biggest pain points, and mostly an issue of computer capacity. 2 computer cores were actually destroyed, core #2 remained online but at 48.232% capacity. Hard storage backup files were intact in the main computer ops center behind the bridge, other backups have all been lost. Hopefully, getting repairs to the computer system will give enough extra computing power to at least activate Engineering and/or Medical equipment and replicators.

The Marathon’s current personnel efficiency is at 31% and falling due to injury and now fatigue, having dropped 15% in the last 6 hours as supply, personnel exhaustion, and lack of stimulants were impacting efficiency significantly. Medical and Engineering stored supplies are exhausted except for essentials, emergency rations will supply the ship for only 3 weeks, 12 weeks with rationing. That some shuttles have replicators that can make emergency medical kits and coffee has been a godsend and may help us with rations if needed.

The remaining issue rundown is updated as follows:
1. The severely injured are still severely injured, the critically injured are still critically injured
2. The Marathon is still trapped in TW Domain.
3. Arrival at the Ipsus for possible rescue is imminent, 15 minutes out.
4. A warp core and shields experiment is in progress in the shuttlebay involving 2 shuttlecraft to conclusively determine how the particles are affecting power systems and what actually keeps them out, all to eventually allow the ship to escape this domain. The Marathon warp core is currently at 5% efficiency with 50% matter / antimatter flow.
5. These sub-departments have lost significant personnel:
Eng: Sensors crewpersons
Eng: TransWarp Drive Team crewpersons
Med: Nurses
Sec: Officers, 4 of 8 are dead
6. Departments hurting for repair:
Eng: Port warp engine, misaligned, pylon damage, 4 crew trapped, RESCUED.
Eng: M/AM reactor running at full power, yielding 5% max output at 50% input.
Eng: Port impulse engine, Damaged, Unrepairable
Eng: Port fusion plant, Damaged, Unrepairable
Eng: Starboard impulse engine, damaged, repaired, 82% efficiency, 41 points of power.
Eng: Starboard fusion plant, damaged, offline, repaired, 7 points of power.
Eng: Ship now has a total of 48 points of power plus 6 from warp drive for 54 total.
Eng: Port engine EPS conduit, damaged, offline, contained.
Eng: Deflector control, destroyed, alternate consoles jury rigged.
Eng: Port/forward and port/aft shields somewhat repaired, 81% of max is current top output (37pts of 45), though they only raise to 12 max for a reason that has not been looked at yet.
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, crewpersons to not quite 30% superstructure left (29 of 98).
Med: Compartment open to space, emergency force field active and stabalized
Med: Med Lab 2 open to space, emergency force field active and stabalized
Ops: Auxiliary Bridge Down, destroyed
Sci: Lab 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 damaged, Lab 5,6 destroyed. Non-functional without holographics
Sec: Brig down destroyed
Sec: Weapon systems, unknown, F, S, A systems show green on the board, but who knows?
Bridge: Coffee supplies (mostly) exhausted

Civilian Specialists Update XO

The various surviving civilian specialists asked to have a quick meeting with the XO to brief her on what their departments had discovered. She agreed and they met in a conference room on Deck 9. Their findings are as follows:

ENGINEERING SPECIALISTS:
Astrometrics – With only 3 known points (the entry point into this domain where the rupture happened, the Ipsus, and the Marathon) in this domain there is little they can tell you.
Warp Drive – The warp bubble is necessary to facilitate movement through this domain. Without it the Impulse drive would not be able to move the ship. They wholeheartedly agree with the shuttle experiments.
EPS – Whatever is in the Warp core is in the EPS conduits, spread quite far, centered in the main conduits. Any option that would clear the warp core should have the same effect of clearing on the EPS system.
Sensors – With the information on and confirmation of the denatured gravitons by Science Officer Fuze, the TransWarp Domain seems to have them homogenously distributed. The pressure from the Domain is coming primarily from us inserting matter into this space. Additionally, the Ipsus hull is showing signs of degradation, as if it was eroding.
Communications – We have exceptional range with short range communications and no metric to gauge other comms forms. We have no explanation or guesses at the moment.
TransWarp Sensors – We have been offline since entering the domain. We have made what repairs we could and with sufficient computing power might be able to discover a great deal about this domain. We strongly recommend, before leaving, that we make the attempt to shut down all nonessential systems to garner as much computing power as possible and make the attempt.
Transwarp Drive – The system appears to be intact. Assuming we can get a high enough warp field generated, and assuming we can gather enough computer resources for the process, we should be able to ‘cut’ our way back into normal space.
MEDICAL SPECIALISTS
We’re seeing evidence of low grade thaloran radiation among various crew members. Easily treatable with meds, if we had replicators. Most of the situations medical has now would benefit greatly from replicators.
SCIENCE SPECIALISTS
Computer Sciences – Two of the computer cores were destroyed, the remaining core has just over 50% of its neurogel packs destroyed. We have solid reload backups for the things we need in engineering and medical, but not the capacity to load them up. I recommend we harness the shuttlecraft and see if we can create a virtual core from them. It will be isolinear, and due to physical hardwiring likely be slow, but it might just get us there, possibly getting us up to 70% of a full core, which would make a great deal of difference just now. After the Warp Core Experiment is done of course.
Physical Sciences – Gravitics supplied and confirms the denatured graviton theory, now proven by the Marathon and Chief Science Officer Fuze. Metallurgy confirms the erosion of the Ipsus, having conferred with Sensors on it.
Astrophysics – Conferred with everyone and had a part in most of those findings, but no direct findings of their own.

Warp Experiment In Shuttlebay Continues

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USS MARATHON SHUTTLECRAFT

  • 12 Type 2A Worker Bee (non-warp) – Names: WBM-1 through WBM-12
  • 12 Type 6-A Shuttlepod (non-warp) – Lacette, Saskatchewan, Kansas, Wheat, Matador, Ku’thelis, Hannu, Gerlache, Argo IX ,Fortune, Stellar, Blackstone, Dresden
  • 4 Type 7 Personnel (short range warp capable) – Mendes, Robert Fawcett, Turin, Joseph Crockett
  • 4 Type 9 Personnel (mid-range warp capable) – Athid, Baffin, Kaloo, Celt
  • Due to space constraints no runabouts or long range shuttles were equipped, nor does the USS Marathon have a Captain’s Yacht.
    -————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    In the shuttlebay LT Bree LeBlanc was currently at the controls of the shuttlecraft Kaloo, LtCmdr Savok was at the controls of the shuttlecraft Athid, and Lt ‘Fuze’ Fitzroy was moving between them taking sensor readings with an engineering tricorder. They were putting the shuttles through ‘the process’.

The process consisted of:

  1. Bringing the Athid’s power up on batteries, activating it’s shields, then cold starting the shuttle’s warp core.
  2. Extending the Athid’s warp field around the completely powered down Kaloo, next to it.
  3. Bringing the Kaloo’s power up on batteries, activating it’s shields, then cold starting its warp core inside the warp bubble of shuttle one.
  4. Shutting down Athid’s shields and warp system to a completely inactive (cold) level.
  5. Repeat the process with the Kaloo doing what Athid did and Athid doing what Kaloo did.

Note: shuttlecraft warp cores are not built to have their warp bubbles manipulated at all, but Lt LeBlanc successfully and safely bypassed the safety measures to be able to do so. She neither asked for, nor received permission from anyone to do so, though LtCmdr Savok was technically in charge of what she was doing.

Two cycles of the process had been completed already:
Cycle 1 Results: Athid’s warp core dropped from 100% efficiency to 87% after 22.8 minutes of operation. Kaloo’s warp core came online at 100% and dropped to 89% after 19.9 minutes.
Cycle 2 Results: Athid’s warp core ended with 92% after 16.3 minutes, Kaloo ended with 94% after 14.1 minutes. Session ended.
Now, with play resumed:
Cycle 3 Results Athid’s warp core ended with 95% after 12.9 minutes, Kaloo ended with 96% after 12.5 minutes. The Kaloo remained powered at this point and monitored for the duration of the Marathon’s interaction with the Ipsus hull and crew. It maintained it’s warp field at 96% throughout and showed no signs of dropping.

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Type 9 Shuttlecraft

At this point Lt LeBlanc called a halt to operations and declared that they had a process that was ineffective at completely clearing the power systems of the shuttlecraft, but effective at clearing a large portion of the contamination. She felt that the system could be applied to the Marathon’s warp system if a large enough warp bubble from a secondary source could be secured to perform The Process with, for instance the Ipsus warp core. If it proved too damaged or was destroyed then using a shuttle was an option, albiet a risky one.

The shuttle would need to be parked on the hull below the warp core ejection port, the closest point to the warp core it could achieve. To cover the needed area of the warp core would require the shuttle’s warp core to be stretched well beyond the design limits of the device as shuttlecraft warp cores were built to be tamperproof and very reliable which restricted what could be done with them after bypassing anti-tampering systems and safety protocols. A mistake could easily result in a warp core overload of a small warp core with no safeties in place to mitigate the reaction, and therefore no time to move it away from the ship. It would destroy the Marathon, and therefore Ipsus seemed a much better option.

Computer Repair & Jury Rigging

With two of the computer cores were destroyed, the remaining core has just over 50% of its neurogel packs destroyed, 48% remained. Reload backups were available for the things needed in engineering and medical, but not the capacity to load them up. Utilizing the recommendation of Civilian Specialist Vathoss Zh’thaosrahr, who recommended harnessing the shuttlecraft to attempt to create a virtual computer core from them. “It will be isolinear, and due to physical hardwiring likely be slow, but it might just get us there, possibly getting us up to 70% of a full core, which would make a great deal of difference just now. After the Warp Core Experiment is done of course.”

The Warp Core Experiment now complete, the Engineering and Science departments released their computer experts upon the shuttle hanger, much to the distress of Ensign Varr Sogg, Bolian Male, Ship’s Hanger Officer. No one cared and after LtJG Ippolito Pethes ordered him to his office and not come out and to take it up with the XO if there was some kind of problem with that, he did exactly that. His call to the XO was intercepted by Chief Specialist Anton Ruzsa, the XO’s Yeoman, who promised to get it to Commander Grey as soon as he saw her. Properly blown off, Ensign Sogg sulked in his office and caused now further trouble.

It took some time to get the shuttles hardwired together, tied into ships intranet systems, slaved into the existing core, wirelessly connected as well, and online. After a bit of tweaking the system was brought online and tuned. The computer capacity went up from 48% to 90%. It was slow, but effective. Engineering replicators were now online. Medical replicators were now online. Medical equipment and devices were online. Even a few food replicators were online.

The lot of the injured was rapidly improved as the care that Starfleet personnel had come to expect from their medical department began to arrive to them, after the medical personnel had properly applied stimulants to themselves. Critically injured were treated first, then medical personnel were prioritized. Finally, the severely injured got treatment. Efficiency aboard the ship rose to almost 70% over the time that the Ipsus rescue and warp drive repair operations were happening.

The Marathon’s Shields

Lieutenant Donovan Salamanca was the lead officer of the energetics team on the USS Marathon, in charge of anything related to energy projection except for weapons. That meant the Main and Navigational Deflector System, the Tractor Beams, some overlap with the Sensors team, and of course the deflector shield system. He and his team had spent the better part of two hours in vaccsuits on the hull of the marathon repairing shield #1 (port side, forward) and shield #6 (port side, aft) with nothing to protect them from the nightmarish space they were currently located in but a very low and dwindling warp bubble.

The Marathon’s shields, like most systems in Starfleet was a hexagonal system with three emmiters pointed forward (#1 port side forward, #2 directly forward, #3 starboard side forward) and three pointed aft (#4 starboard side aft, #5 directly aft, #6 port side aft), their number making a circle around the ship. Shield numbers were drilled into enlisted ratings and Academy Cadets alike until they knew them instinctively, often giving directions aboard ship via shield number.

They got the repairs done with a little time to spare, got back inside, and brought up the system. It seemed to be highly operational again, only it wasn’t. All repaired shields should have been able to achieve 81% of max output, and all other shields should have been at full output, but 26.667% was it. No reason, no explanation. The XO wanted answers. The Captain wanted answers. Hell, HE wanted answers! They had all been so busy with crisis repair after crisis repair that there just hadn’t been time to have a look.

He took the call from Bree, Lt LeBlanc to most. With Lt Dupont down and apparently not doing well, she was the Chief for now, and she gave him the go ahead. “Good work out there Salamanca. We have a little breathing room now, so I want you to take a team, meaning you and ONE tech only, and see if you can figure out what’s up with our shields max power output. You find anything, let me know. LeBlanc out.” He heard her talking about something else to someone else as she hit her commbadge to close the channel. If he could bottle that woman’s energy he’d be rich.

He pointed at CPO De Lange (human, female) and said, “You’re with me,” and headed out of engineering without looking to see if she followed. Of course, she did.

Energetics Team Report, Stardate 2387.10.03.10.00

CPO De Lange and I were assigned by Lt LeBlanc to tour the shield system. We were closest to the #5 shield, directly aft and started there.

As we made our inspection of shield #5 and #6, they seemed fine, except for the scorch marks when shield #6 was damaged. When we got to shield #1, the other damaged and recently repaired shield, we had a surprise – there was a device. It was hidden, but not well, just benind the most obvious access panel, showed signs of a rush install. What it was doing there was almost as mysterious to us as what its purpose was. We got to work on removing it.

We determined it was still working, sort of, as is showed signs of overload when the rupture hit the shields. We determined they could disconnect it without disrupting the shield. We determined it wasn’t going to explode or suddenly discharge if we uninstalled it – probably. On my order we uninstalled it and the device failed to provide excitement, just as we hoped it wouldn’t.

I let Lt LeBlanc know we had found a likely sabotage device that was missed in earlier searches, or had been planted since then, and then we continued our lap around the ship to check the other shields. At shield #3 we found another such device, intact, and apparently in perfect working order. After the same precautions we were able to uninstall it without incident. The other shields were clean.

We got the devices back to engineering, I grabbed my toolkit and we headed to what was left of engineering lab 1. There we repaired the circuit reader and traced the circuitry of these things. I made a call to Vathoss Sh’thaosrahr – or Vath, (sorry, but Andorian names are hard for me), the energetics civilian specialist.
She called in Apiti Sh’rekror (another Andorian), the computer science and technology specialist. She called in Zisia, the Edoan communications civilian specialist (her name I can pronounce) who is apparently a whiz with reading circuitry. They talked. I understood most of it and let CPO De Lange think I understood it all. I even made some helpful observations. I know that because they said so.


What it came down to was this. When the rupture hit the #1 and #6 shield it overwhelmed them and they dropped, then it slammed into the ship and knocked out all the power systems. Two seconds later the battery relays had kicked in and power reached critical systems, including shielding. They shouldn’t have reactivated without a crewperson activating them, but they did. These devices had interfered with the programming and reactivated them by bypassing the gravitics system. Not that they were designed to do so. They were designed to connect the gravitics system to the shield system to overload it and burn it out and also cause an artificial gravity failure, disabling the ship further and injuring and disorienting the crew. It was put here to hurt us and ended up saving us instead.

Lt Donovan Salamanca
Chief of Energetics
Engineering Department
USS Marathon

End Of Report

Rescue Of The Ipsus Personnel

The Marathon arrived at the crushed hull of the Ipsus with the intent of rescuing the personnel that appeared to still be alive there, all five of them, and to take the Ipsus in tow and out of the TransWarp Domain with them if at all possible. The civilian scientists aboard made a strong and united statement regarding the scientific value of the Ipsus for study, indicating that many things about the TransWarp Domain might be learned from examining the ship and what the TWD, as they were calling it, had inflicted upon it. Medical made a similar comment about the personnel that would be hopefully rescued.

After repeated hails went unanswered, the Marathon approached within 500 meters for a flyby with full sensors recording every facet of the Ipsus situation. The sensors had been detecting five lifesigns aboard, and that remained the same, but now the bodies of the dead were also fully recognizable and were quite gruesome. In the engineering compartment the structural integrity field had be set to maximum power, at distance giving the appearance of a forcefield. For them to still be here and alive it was clearly keeping the space outside at least partially at bay. Inside it were 21 deceased bodies along with the five survivors. Scans also revealed that the hull looked like it was under the action of some kind of corrosive agent and had been for some time, though no energy or matter was detected other than the Ipsus itself.

On the bridge the officers debated the best way to approach the Ipsus in order to create an umbilical airlock from ship to ship, with a dorsal approach eventually being settled on. Captain Shriv Th’Kekras ordered LtJG Naclado to perform the maneuver to put the bottoms of the two ships secondary hulls together, ideally within three meters of each other, but the closer the better. She did her best, placing the hulls approximately 15.24 cm (6") apart, a stunning feat of helm expertise considering the size of the Marathon (Length: 430m, Width: 242m, Height: 96m) and her weight of 329,000 metric tons.

The engineering crew immediately began putting the ship to ship umbilical mating system into place, Lt LeBlanc in the thick of it, then the Captain ordered engineering to put the umbilical into place. Sensing that he should act quickly before Lt LeBlanc could preemptively launch her assault into the Ipsus, the Captain assigned personnel to an away team and sent them to join Lt LeBlanc, arriving just as she was about to move into the Ipsus. All personnel were in full vaccsuits.

The away team consisted of Security Chief LtCmdr Savok leading and working hard to keep up with Lt LeBlanc from Engineering who was also on the team, Lt Fitzroy from Science (whose faulty commbadge may or may not have picked up a comment about CPO Keavy Brennan’s striking beauty), Lt Doctor P’Rarr from Medical, CPO Keavy Brennan from Damage Control, and LtJG Dand Zomin acting Assistant Security Chief.

They made their way over. Using tricorders and phasers they cut a ‘safe’ passageway to the Ipsus, creating a second airlock within the hull of the mostly destroyed ship. That done they moved more quickly into the ship.

While that was happening, Lt Allard, Chief Operations Officer, managed to find a commbadge still in working operation among the survivors and did some interesting communications technology finagling to open a channel to it. No one answered her greetings, but ambient noises could be heard. She piped this through to the away team. Unexpectedly, a male voice suddenly howled, literally howled, long, raspy, and animalistic. It was unnerving and sounded inhuman. Background noises resumed and no further human voices were herd. Reaching the engineering deck the away team found two people apparently asleep next to the warp core, seemingly intact but powered down. Lt LeBlanc immediately moved to it and started examining it and performing tricorder scans.

The area around the warp core was lit with external lamps, and the room next to the warp core was open but unlit. Doctor P’Rarr did a triage scan of the two of them. They were conscious but unresponsive to the presence of the away team. P’Rarr moved into the room aft of the warp core to find three persons strapped to gurneys, also conscious, also unresponsive. All were in poor health, mostly from malnutrition and dehydration, and suffering from neurological issues. P’Rarr returned to the two next to the warp core, who had been moved away from it a few feet to give Lt LeBlanc room to work, and began a more thorough examination of them.

After roughly five minutes one of them spoke, “Are you real? You seem very real,” said the Andorian. The other, responding to his voice, looked at the Andorian and lifted his head. Doctor P’Rarr assured them he was real, clasping their hands in his to confirm it. Since he saw no immediate danger in it and they were responsive at the moment, he asked them their names and what happened. The Andorian female was Security Specialist Second Class Vul’shara of Keth Uclanath and the Bolian male was Medical Specialist Second Class Geet Naveen. They explained that they had been here by their count just over four and a half months, which didn’t at all match up with the just over three months in Marathon’s briefing. “Right after it happened,” started S2C Naveen, and S2C Vul’Shara shivered visibly at the mention of it, “there were 26 of us. Originally there were 26 of us alive. A lot of us were hurt very badly, and a lot of them died in the early days. There just wasn’t much we could do to help them. There were some alive, but we couldn’t get to them – I’m sure they are gone by now. Listening to them pounding on the bulkhead was hard. After a while it just got quiet.”

Doctor P’Rarr was recording and indicated that no one should interrupt as Naveen continued, “That didn’t last though. After a month or so we had a crewman who just lost it – I can’t remember her name – but she killed three others before we could restrain her. She and three others died in their restraints. Others started to ge bad and were a threat to themselves or others and had to be killed or eventually killed themselves. The three in the other room are all quite mad.”

Vul’shara spoke up at that point, “I don’t know if this matters or not, but Lt. Werner was trying to restart the warp core. He’d been repairing it for two months. That’s when he lost it and nearly killed the Counselor. He was talking about being almost ready for a low energy power up about 3 days before he went crazy. It was after we finally had to restrain him, by maybe 2 weeks, that the Counselor went insane and just started howling all day and night. But he stopped after about a week and just kind of stares and twitches now. I think Keval seemed to know she was going off the deep end because she asked to be restrained before she hurt someone. Since then, me and Geet have been taking care of them and just kind of watching to see which of us was going to be next. Neither of us knows anything about the warp core, or what good it would do even if we did get it started without blowing it up, and so we haven’t touched it. It’s just like Lt Werner left it.” She stopped talking, closed her eyes, apparently exhausted from the effort.

Geet spoke again when Vul’shara went silent, “You should probably also know that the Counselor and the Science Officer had a theory that the space that we’re in is at least partially responsible for everyone’s unstable mental health, though they weren’t sure why that would be. I hope that’s helpful.” After that he was silent as well.

LtJG Zomin and CPO Brennan began the arduous task of loading them one by one onto antigrav stretchers and moving them out of the Ipsus and into the Marathon’s crowed sickbay. There, Doctor Gorulan Wur and Doctor T’Paar began tending to them. They headed back and brought the other three to the Marathon sickbay as well, thus completing the Ipsus personnel rescue.

The accessable bodies of their fallen crewmates were also brought aboard the Marathon as well and autopsied. It was found that all of the deceased and living crew of the Ipsus were suffering severe brain damage caused by very low dosage thalaron radiation over time. Sensors detectws trace amounts of the radiation in the “space” surrounding the ships. The damage to the bodies can be cured, and even the brain tissue might be regenerated given time and research, but the memories, knowledge, and personalities of the surviving Ipsus crew had been permanently damaged and was irretrievable. The Marathon’s shields were an effective deterrent to thalaron radiation in these dosages, and the CMO assured the Captain that the crew had nothing to fear.

Ipsus Warp Drive And ‘The Process’

Bree and Fuze worked on the warp core without concern for anything else while the evacuation commenced. After it was complete, most of the personnel on the Ipsus returned except for Bree and Fuze who were slaving over the Ipsus’ warp core, and engineering personnel started arriving with pieces, parts, and power umbilicals from the Marathon as they were called for. It turned out that the matter injector assembly was blocked so if the Science Officer of the Ipsus had tried to power up the core it would have exploded. Fuze found the error and Bree repaired it. It took roughly an hour to get the device prepped for a low power startup, and it activated right away. After another hour of testing and setting up remote systems to control the device, Bree and Fuze moved back to the Marathon and continued ensuring that they had done what they thought they had done, which they had. And then, nothing exploded.

Lt Fitzroy reported to his station on the bridge as Lt LeBlanc was wrapping up her report to the captain. “We are ready to begin applying ‘The Process’ on your order Captain. Do I have your order? Can I have it now? How about now?” She was apparently ready to start.

After the Captain gave his assent, she began. Using a temporary forcefield projector she had rigged up on the Ipsus and its repaired warp core and the Marathon’s shields and Warp core, they successfully cleansed the Marathon’s warp core and EPS systems to a 94% efficiency rating. Civilian Specialist Sitak, TransWarp Drive Lead Specialist had told them that 88% was the minimum needed to successfully activate the TransWarp Drive, and it had been exceeded somewhat comfortably. The Marathon was nearly ready to return.

Take The Ipsus Under Tow

After shutting down the Ipsus warp core, detaching umbilicals and retrieving all equipment and useful pieces and parts, and finally shutting down the crippled fusion plant, the Ipsus was, at last, dead. Shortly after the last of the power shut down the engineering section of the Ipsus collapsed, the TransWarp Domain at last completing its victory over the USS Ipsus. The Marathon decoupled from the Ipsus and all air escaped ending the last of its life support.

Thus disconnected, LtJG Naclado Maneuvered the Marathon into position in front of the Ipsus, only 100m separating the ships. As per the specifications worked out between Civilian Specialist Vathoss Zh’thaosrahr, Energetics Specialist, Lt LeBlanc, and Lt Fitzroy, the Marathon locked on three quarter power to half power tractor beams at specific points on the Ipsus. The Marathon was ready to return to normal space.

Escape The TWD

Cpt Th’Kekras gave orders for what to do upon immediately arriving back in their home space. At LtCmdr Savok’s suggestion the ship was set to yellow alert due to the unknown tactical situation they would encounter upon their return. He wanted an immediate priority one communication with Starfleet as soon as they arrived. Lt Fitzroy suggested engaging their emergency alert system now so that it would be active as soon as they arrived. Savok suggested that such an action would attract unfriendlies directly to them and to use tight beam communications only. The Captain chose to go with tight beam.

Before leaving, Lt Allard suggested leaving two navigational marker buoys, which they chose to do, fitting them with long sustaining power sources and force fields to mark the point where they were. Rather than move back to their entry point, Captain Th’Kekras thought it was best to get out immediately before anything else could go wrong. His crew agreed.

After triple checking that everything was done as well as could possibly be done and they were overlooking nothing, Captain Th’Kekras gave the order to engage the TransWarp Drive, cut an conduit out of this domain, and, “Take us home.”

Operations set the activation order to Engineering, Sitak did so, Lt LeBlanc extended the Marathon’s warp bubble and shields around the Ipsus and monitored it closely, and an event horizon for a TransWarp Conduit opened, slowly at first, the suddenly giving way to a full blown opening. Before the order could be given, LtJG Naclado began moving the ship, very slowly easing the Marathon into the artificially created tear in space and gently pulling the Ipsus with her. Easing forward, the event horizon grabbed the Marathon’s warp bubble and pulled both ships through and into their home universe, back to normal space. Ops received signals from Starfleet and navigational buoy. They were not anywhere near where they expected to be.

Back In Their Home Domain

They expected to be close to Regulus where they had been when the rupture was inflicted upon them. Instead, and much to their surprise, they were near Coridan and Orion on the Rigel side. By ship’s clocks, the Marathon has been gone for 3.5 days in the transwarp domain. The Marathon’s clocks were off compared to those in ‘normal space’ by 11 days, 12 hours, and 13 minutes (rolled it, it just worked out like that). This fact does help account for why the Ipsus personnel thought they had been in the TWD for just over 4.5 months. Interestingly, charting a straight line between the Marathon’s entry point and exit point, if the Marathon drifted in a straight line then it passed very close to a known black hole at one point, located halfway between the Marathon’s exit point and Rigel, more or less. The straight line distance between the two points was 28.7 light years. At warp 6 that distance would take 26.71 days. The TWD had transported the Marathon and Ipsus at approximately warp 7.71.

Marathon_TWD_Exit_and_Return_Points.png

Tight beam communications with Rigel were transferred to Starbase 234 where a very startled Rear Admiral Thora Burtell was elated to hear from them. She kept it very short, “Captain, I have your location. Maintain radio silence, BattleGroup 28 is on the way, out from Regulus at the moment. I’ll get any other help to you that I can. For now, sit tight and don’t get noticed! Burtell out.”

SHUTDOWN

Where We Ended

The USS Marathon is back and, presumably making what repairs they can with their replicators somewhat back online, and healing their injured. BG28 is on the way to them and expected in 16.38 hours. Until then they simply need to survive. Two additional ships (unnamed) are expected to arrive 3.2 hours before them to take them into tow.

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