1,958 words; about a 10 minute read
Mission 1: House of The Dying Sun
Location: Starbase 84
Busy and abuzz with people, Captain Aven LaCroix made his way through the walkway above and found a splendid perch to look down upon the people. Enjoying his coffee while people watching and reflecting on the charming Lieutenant Commander that he had just met and conversed with. Then it happened.
The upper walkway shook violently with the rumbling from underneath, causing Aven to drop his mug and take a tumble down the nearby stairwell. Smoke was billowing out of one of the establishments and the sounds of screams were muffled by the ringing in his ears.
His chest was tight and hurt with each cough. His head was throbbing. Aven was disoriented and uncertain what the hell had just happened, but his years of experience kicked in. This was not his first rodeo. An explosion he thought to himself. He could hardly see a few feet in front of himself and breathing was difficult.
Disembarking from a transport reel had always brought a mix of emotions to him, Lt. Hank Solomon pondered. He had not been on duty on many ships but every time he changed vessel and crew he somewhat had to start over again. This time was not different, on the contrary, he would have taken on even more responsibilities. From a simple engineer being one of the many gears of the ship, to being the Chief Engineer of the USS Eclipse. That was quite a leap in his career and his duties and responsibilities. He was happy about that, but scared too. Only a fool would not be scared by such a thing. And Hank was many things, but not a fool. He knew he would need to work hard and gain the respect of the rest of the crewmembers. It was not an easy path but he was used to that and gaining his treats working hard was his specialty.
His mind was racing within these thoughts while walking along the gangway that connected the transporters to the main deck of Starbase 84. His eyes darted here and there marveling at the magnitude of the station when he heard a roaring sound similar to a thunder and everything rocked around him. He fell and blacked out for a fraction of a second.
Through the billowing thick black and grey smoke, Aven could make out shapes in uniform - Starfleet uniforms, a gaggle of them accented with teal blue tunics amidst their greyish over jackets, some discarding their jackets around women and children. Medical officers undoubtedly dispatched to tend to the casualties and asses the fatalities. He was most certainly injured, but more damaged than anything was a severely bruised dignity. He looked around his immediate area and saw individuals in pain. "We have wounded over here!" he proclaimed.
Karri coughed as she made her way through the noxius cloud towards the voice. "Im..coming" she said between breaths. Smoke was in her eyes, limiting her vision somewhat. "Hello. Im Dr Karri." she said, taking out her tricorder. "We'll get you all sorted out in a jiffy. I promise." she said as she began to work.
Captain LaCroix noticed movement, swift movement of someone making haste heading his way. He could make out the tall yet hunched figure's shape to be that of a male Yridian. The moans and groans were all around. There was a lot of commotion, but a scientist was always taking in information and processing it to the best of his or her abilities. He noticed that a woman in uniform was trapped underneath a beam that had collapsed, some sort of object, potentially a pipe of some sort was protruding from her leg.
Hank rolled on one side and crawled into a standing position. Around him, enlisted personnel were running here and there tending their duties and running towards their positions.
He breathed deeply trying to clear his mind and to act according to the training he sustained. Whatever happened created damages and wounded people. He immediately moved out of the way to let security and first aid responders to move freely and decided to quickly head towards the berth where the USS Eclipse was moored.
Luna felt a firm hand tap her across the face. It happened again a moment later, this time both of her cheeks feeling the sting of someone’s hand trying to rouse her. Finally her eyes opened and she took a sharp intake of breath as she sat up quickly. It took her a moment to get her bearings, but she swiftly remembered not only where she was, but who she was. She looked at the medical assistant who had brought her back from a state of unconsciousness just long enough to see him move over to the next unconscious victim. The scent of burning plastic made her feel sick. Then suddenly she felt pain. Sharp pain. In her right shoulder. Looking down she saw something that made her stomach turn. A thin piece of charred metal had lodged itself neatly in her shoulder. She turned away from the sight and chose to ignore it for now.
Captain LaCroix did not know that many of the individuals around him were going to be his crew as good fortune would have it. He observed Hank Solomon scrambling to a standing position before moving away from him, heading to somewhere...and as he did Solomon dropped a PADD that he had on his person. Aven saw the Yridian had dodged security and circled about, heading straight for him undoubtedly in search of an escape route.
"Stop that Yridian!" he shouted over the commotion, not usually one to raise his voice, but he had a nagging suspicion that the Yridian knew something, if not had involvement in the explosion. Aven picked up the PADD and took aim at the Yridian's skull, launching the PADD like a projectile weapon and watching it's arch and smack the Yridian on the back of the head, but Aven quickly collapsed to his knees and clenching his chest.
Adrianna Baciami may have been small looking but she was strong. Scrambling to her feet, she ran to catch up with the yridian. The woman managed to leap and grab them, wrapping her legs around them, as if making herself a rucksack, trying to tackle them down to the ground. She was determined.
Aven LaCroix knew he was injured. The difficulty breathing, the pain in his chest. He'd experienced some of this before and he suspected that he had some bruised or broken ribs, and potentially a collapsed lung though he was hoping that it was not that bad. By determination, he brought himself back upright and looked at Baciami. "Well done, Lieutenant," he said addressing the woman. "Your Captain undoubtedly is lucky to have you. Keep him contained until station security can collect him."
Securely detained, facedown and with a knee in between their shoulder blades, Adrianna nodded, "grazzi, cap-i-tan."
Seeing a darker haired woman in uniform nearby, Aven called to her attention. "That Doctor over there needs help lifting that beam up off the woman pinned underneath it" he said in an tone of compassion yet authority. The Station Commander was nowhere to be seen yet, and Aven had a suspicion that even with all the smoke around them making it difficult to see, that he was probably ranking officer on the scene.
Despite her injury, Luna kept a cool head and followed the man’s orders. This wasn’t the first time that she had found herself in a catastrophic situation. It was almost two years to the day since she and the crew of the USS Tobias had needed to evacuate after the ship’s warpcore had become irremediably damaged by a skirmish with a rogue trade ship. What followed was a race to the escape pods before the ship exploded. That day played over and over again in her mind as she looked around at the current devastation.
Noticing the vibrant red hair though the smoke, Captain LaCroix saw the tool kit the woman had. "You," he said firmly and hobbled over to the woman who was young and shorter than he was. "Which way to Eclipse?" he asked, knowing it was moored one deck above somewhere. He wanted to get to the Eclipse to check on his Chief Science Officer and because he had seen a man in uniform head up the stairway to where the docking ports were. He had wondered if she were an engineer or an operations officer.
Kita jumped at suddenly being called upon. Her hair was bright red and very vibrant, but her face was quite the opposite. She looked like she had seen a ghost, faint beads of sweat were starting to emerge from her pours as she hesitated. She didn't seem injured or in shock, but she did seem far too pale upon looking upon the injured. "Huh... Oh... Eclipse. Yes. One..." she pointed to the ceiling, her whole hand trembling, followed quickly by her legs. "One... Deck above..."
It had become evident to Aven that the woman like many others was likely dazed, confused, or experiencing a crippling sensation of shock. "Lieutenant," he said noticing her rank pips. He placed a hand gently on her shoulder. "Concentrate on my voice. What's your name?"
Slowly Kita averted her eyes from the scene to meet the mans. She didn't look upon his rank pips, or even seem to notice his uniform. "Kita... Lieutenant Kita..." she managed to say between the trembles.
"Let's get you out of here, Kita? How about you help me, and we'll go find the Eclipse."
Kita nodded, slowly she turned and began to walk stiffly away. She looked more like a robot than a person. Her eyes seemed to be glazed over, she could feel the cold sweat running down her back and the ringing in her ears, not from the explosion, but to drown out the sound of those around her. Her head felt light and she even felt a little dizzy. The uncontrollable urge or flight over fight was overwhelming her as her stomach performed back flips like a dolphin in a show as she walked/marched away at a slow speed. Even the grip on the engineering kit was slightly loose, she was struggling to maintain the strength to hold it. Her lungs hurt as she breathed, every breath drowning out her own thoughts. With her eyes forward, locked on the door to the turbolift, the tunnel vision kicked in.
"I have to get to the Eclipse. One deck above. Only one deck. Away from here. No I will not do 'that'." She spoke out loud to herself to attempt to maintain her focus. She didn't look left or right, her gaze purely fixated on the exit from the area. Nothing else mattered to her at the moment, she needed to escape. But the old man with her, she didn't know who he was. Right now she didn't really seem to care, he wanted to go where she wanted to go and that was good enough as long as it was 'away'.
Captain LaCroix had noticed the dark haired officer assisting the medical officer. She had a different expression etched on her face, one that gave Aven the impression that she had seen things in her past, and was not as shocked by all of this chaos. In a way, that was an unfortunate truth for many who may have seen front line action during the Dominion War or short lived Federation-Klingon War that preceded it. This was nothing for that officer, and he wanted to know who she was, but that would have to wait.