“Say what?” the chubby Vulcan asked.
“I said they were destroyed,” another replied. “They were feeding us some information about the Sisko leaving Section 31’s shipyard. They then said they were being engaged and that was the last we heard from them.”
The chubby Vulcan stood from his seat in the Intelligence Ministry’s headquarters.
“No need,” Salek called out, as he walked into the room.
The other two Vulcans turned to see the older Vulcan walk in. Salek picked up a PADD and began to read it.
“This says that the ships decloaked before firing on the scout ship,” Salek read.
“Yes sir,” the slimmer Vulcan walked to the screen and popped up a visual record showing three Federation ships, one Defiant class, one Intrepid class, and one that Salek wasn’t familiar with, decloak and fire on the scout ship, ending the recording.
“It seems that the Federation hasn’t been paying much attention to the Treaty of Algeron,” Salek replied.
“So, what do we do?” the chubby Vulcan asked.
Salek groaned. “The High Command isn’t ready to authorize any kind of military action,” he grinned. “That’s why we have to do it quietly.”
The chubby Vulcan nodded. “I’ll get right to work on it.”
Salek nodded and walked into his office. He sat down and leaned back in his chair and looked out the window for a moment.
His observation was halted as his communications terminal chirped. Salek turned around and hit a button and Young popped up on his screen.
“Is this connection secure?” Young asked.
“Who do you think you’re talking to?” Salek asked.
Young rolled his eyes. “Right. You wanted to speak to me?”
“Yes. The head of the High Command, Vora, is on his way there to talk to the President.”
“What about?” Young asked.
Young laughed. “Section 31 was ‘disbanded’ after they outed themselves on Deep Space Nine.”
“As long as the president believes that,” Salek leaned back. “The ships that destroyed the scout ship?”
“Not Section 31, but who else would be flying around with illegal cloaking devices? And they certainly were not drone ships using false sensor readings and holographic projectors,” Young replied smugly. “How’s your guy on the inside?”
“He’s on his way back to give his ‘confession’ and turn himself into the Ministry of Intelligence.”
“Good. Everything is running smoothly here as well.”
Salek nodded. “I’ll speak with you later.”
Young nodded and went to hit his comm. System when Salek stopped him.
“I’d stay out of Chicago for a few days if I were you.”
Young grinned and ended the communication.
“Greetings, High Commander,” Nanietta Bacco, the president of the Federation grinned as the elder Vulcan walked into her office.
Vora bowed slightly and had a seat across the desk from the President.
Bacco nodded towards the corner.
“You of course know Councilman Zack Young, Chairman of the Council’s Defense Committee, right?”
Zack walked over and shook hands with Vora.
“I have met him, yes,” Vora replied.
“Well, enough with the pleasantries, High Commander,” Bacco smiled. “I understand that there is something you wish to speak to me about?”
“Yes, madam President. Our intelligence operatives have determined that operatives of the Federation’s ‘secret service’, Section 31, are currently planning to attack Vulcan interests.
“My people wanted to launch a military attack against these people, but I wished to discuss it with you before we did anything rash.”
Bacco kept her smile.
“High Commander, Section 31 was disbanded after the Dominion War.”
Vora shook his head.
“You will forgive me if I don’t take your statement at face value. I have heard about Section 31. They managed to stay hidden for over three hundred years. I doubt very much they will simply ‘go away’ because you tell them too.”
Bacco continued to smile, like a good politician.
“What proof do you have that Section 31 still exists and that they are planning an assault on Vulcan?”
Vora paused for a moment.
“The Ministry of Intelligence has someone inside of Section 31.”
Bacco lost her smile.
“I’m sorry, are you telling me that the Vulcan government is spying on the Federation?”
Vora groaned. “President, this is a serious matter. If this Section 31 is genuinely interested in protecting the Federation, they will NOT proceed with this attack.”
Vora stood and turned to Young. “Good to see you again.”
Young nodded back as Vora walked out of the room.
“Don’t you just want to slap them?” Young mused.
Bacco, not humored by Young’s joke grumbled.
“Who’s in charge of Section 31?”
Young, surprised that the president did indeed know that Section 31 was still in existence, simply shrugged.
“Don’t they have any oversight?”
Young shrugged again. “They wouldn’t be very secret if they had an Admiral in charge.”
Bacco hit her communications terminal. “Get the head of Starfleet Intelligence in my office NOW.” She almost yelled at her assistant.
“There is another issue, Madam President,” Young stated.
Bacco turned to him.
“A Vulcan ship came within the defense perimeter of one of Starfleet’s shipyards. Based on intelligence, Starfleet believed that it was hostile in nature and destroyed it.”
Bacco buried her head in her hands. “So, what you’re telling me is that we have Vulcans spying on Federation agencies and Starfleet attacking Vulcan ships?”
“On face value, yeah it looks like that. But we had solid information that the Vulcans were going to launch a strike on this shipyard, and apparently, they were.”
Bacco shook her head. “Why?”
“Maybe the thought it was a Section 31 shipyard?”
“Why would they think that?”
Young looked at his PADD. “It’s a classified yard in the Chii Nebula, made to build new prototype ships – mainly for use in the Dominion War. Now it is used for other covert operations, like the NSO operations.”
A blue light appeared and within a few seconds, a husky four-pip Admiral in a black Starfleet Uniform appeared.
“Ah, Admiral Torres,” Bacco motioned for him to have a seat.
“Yes ma’am?” The admiral stated as he sat down.
“How can I contact Section 31?”
Torres almost fell over backward in his seat.
“Contact them? I don’t think it’s possible.”
“Aren’t they under your control?”
Torres shook his head. “No ma’am.”
“Who runs them?”
“The directors of Section 31 do, but I have never met them.”
Bacco was growing frustrated. “But you do work for them?”
“We, uh...” He looked to Young.
“I have level ten security clearance, Admiral.”
Torres nodded. “We perform mostly logistical and transportation missions for them. But that is rare. They have their own ships. They are not a Starfleet agency.”
“So how do I contact them?” Bacco asked.
“You don’t. They contact you,” Torres stated quietly.
The sun was almost completely past the western horizon. A chilly windy breezed down the industrial streets of South Chicago. Most everyone had gone home for the evening, so West 83rd was vacant.
A large warehouse sat on the corner of 83rd and Wentworth Avenue. Pretty nondescript. A few windows, a couple of doors, but not much else.
A green light glowed from behind the warehouse.
Within a moment an explosion engulfed the building in flames, demolishing it and part of a couple of warehouses nearby.
Ranma stirred slightly. The medic who was tending to the wounded as they began to slowly be transported into the makeshift triage unit in the NSO command center turned to him.
“Commander?” he asked.
Ranma groaned loudly and slowly opened his eyes.
The medic turned. “COMMANDER! He’s coming too!”
Ranma nearly screamed in pain as he was roughly glommed onto.
“Thank God!” Akane whispered.
Ranma managed a smile. “You know I’m tougher than that,” he whispered back.
Akane pulled away from him, tears running down her bandaged face.
“What happened to you?” Ranma asked weakly.
Akane chuckled. “I got nailed by some flying debris. One of these days I will learn to do what I’m trained to do when I hear ‘brace for impact’.”
Ranma grinned. He began to sit up, grimacing in pain.
Ranma shook his head. He looked around. There was a grey and yellow grid covering the walls and the deck, indicating that this was an offline holodeck. As Ranma looked around, he noticed that most of the wounded were being treated on mats placed on the floor. The most seriously injured were on a few biobeds, scattered around the room. In the far end of the room, he saw several people lying on the floor with white sheets stained in red covering their whole bodies.
“Where-Where is this?”
“There is no power in the main part of the ship,” Akane explained. “This is one of the NSO holodecks. They managed to keep power.”
“How many...” he trailed off.
“Eighteen so far,” Akane frowned. “Ranma, you should know…”
Ranma looked at the pain in Akane’s eyes.
“The Captain is dead,” she whispered.
Ranma felt sadness overwhelm him. He paused for a moment and said a quick prayer for her. He then started to turn as to slide off the biobed.
“Wait, wait, wait!” Akane snapped. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
“I need to get back to work.”
“Not!” Akane pushed Ranma back onto the bed. “You have a SERIOUS concussion. We’re not going anywhere and there are other people who can get things running for now.”
Ranma grumbled. “How long do I have to stay here?”
“Ask me again in the morning,” Akane smiled, kissing Ranma.
Ranma nodded in resignation and lay back down.
Akane patted Ranma on the arm and walked over to a second bed where three doctors were busy at work.
“How is she?” Akane asked.
“Not good.” one replied. “We lost her for a little bit, but now I think we have a stable rhythm.”
Akane looked down at her former nemesis.
Shampoo lay there with an oxygen mask covering her face, her breathing soft and labored.
“What happened? She didn’t seem that bad when they brought her in?”
The doctor finished up what he was doing, then left Shampoo in the hands of the other two. He and Akane then began to walk towards the corner.
“She had MAJOR cranial hemorrhaging that wasn’t detected by the standard tricorders the security teams use. We’re having an extremely hard time stopping the bleeding and we might have to operate.”
Akane grimaced. Even in the twenty-fourth century, brain surgery was extremely dangerous.
“What are her chances right now?”
The doctor sighed as he pondered it for a moment.
“Twenty percent, but we can’t operate up here. If we can’t get her to sickbay soon...” the doctor trailed off.
Akane took this in for a moment and then nodded.
“Please keep me updated.”
The doctor nodded and then poked at Akane’s bandage.
“Let me regenerate that real quick, otherwise it might scar.”
Akane swatted at his hand.
“Save Shampoo, then worry about me.”
“It will literally take 10 seconds,” the doctor countered. Akane sighed and allowed the doctor to take the bandage off, run the dermal regenerator over her head, healing the small wound. He then smiled at Akane before he returned to work on the critically injured Amazon.
Akane then ambled over to where Ryouga lay. He was still knocked out, but the doctors had determined that his injuries were minor enough that he would have to sleep on the floor until he came to.
He did suffer some internal bleeding, but that was quickly patched up and he was brushed aside for someone who was in worse shape. Akane hated mass causality incidents simply for that reason. It seemed cruel to tag someone as ‘not hurt enough’ and have them thrown on the floor.
Or worse, tagged as ‘good as dead’ and allowed to die.
Akane shook off that feeling and looked at Ryouga. She figured that he must have been dreaming about Minako. He had a small, but happy grin on his face.
Akane grinned. She was glad that he had finally seemed to find happiness, even if that were the only thing he could ever find.
“Commander, we have eight more coming in,” a medic called to her.
Akane sighed and ran over the materializing forms of the Sisko injured.
Minako scratched the back of her head again and checked her fingernails. There was some fresh blood on them. She realized that she must have smacked her head against her console when she was braced, and probably should stop scratching it so the wound could heal.
Minako looked up. She then looked around the bridge, and it was still empty.
She didn’t know if being up here was making her paranoid or what, but she could swear that was the third time she had heard something.
“Is anyone up here?” she asked.
Silenced answered her.
It really was an eerie situation. There was always noise on the ship. Panels chirped, the warp engines hummed, the grav plating hummed a little too, and if all else failed you could listen to the life support systems blow oxygen into the room.
But there was nothing now. No beeps, no hums, no whirs. The only thing she could hear was her own breathing and heartbeat, which were both getting a little more rapid.
Minako’s eyes darted around.
She knew that it was coming from above her. But there was nothing above her.
“Dammit!” She hissed. She slowly stood up from her seat in operations and grabbed her flashlight. She moved over to the doorway to the observation lounge.
Minako popped open a panel and pulled down a handle. The hydraulics hissed as the air in them escaped. She then squeezed her small hands between the two doors and pulled them apart enough for her to get in.
Minako looked out the window. At least wherever it was that they landed had nice weather. The sky was blue with only a small stream of clouds.
The young woman walked to the window and looked outside more closely. She looked across the dorsal, right-hand side of the saucer-shaped ship. The paint looked like it was ripped to shreds and severely burnt, but she couldn’t see any hull damage.
Suddenly, one of the large redwood trees that the Sisko had used to stop her forward momentum snapped, crashing down on the ship, right in front of the window.
Minako screamed as it slammed into the hull, then began to slide down the ship before crashing into a pile of other trees the Sisko had destroyed.
Minako laughed for a moment before silently scolding herself for being so paranoid as she scratched her small head wound. She continued to laugh as she looked up, and out the part of the window that wrapped up and over the observation room’s ceiling.
The operations officer stopped laughing at what she saw.
“Oh no,” she gasped.
Two black military helicopters floated overhead, slowly orbiting. Minako quickly ducked away from the windows and ran back into the bridge, tripping over a dislodged piece of metal and falling to the deck.
Minako didn’t even bother to get up as she hit her new communicator.
“Aino to Kino,” she called.
“Yeah?” Makoto replied.
“We’ve crashed on an inhabited planet.”
There was silence.
“How do you know?”
Minako slowly staggered to her feet and began to move back to operations.
“I looked out the window. There were two, what I think are helicopters, circling above us.”
“Crap,” Makoto replied. “Engineering is working on the power. Stay there, I’ll send a couple of security officers to stay with you.”
“Okay,” Minako nodded, sitting back in her chair. “The windows are pretty thick, right?”
“If they only have helicopters, I wouldn’t worry,” Makoto replied. “However there have to be tons of hull breaches on the lower decks.”
“Goodie,” Minako sighed as two security officers materialized on the bridge.
J.C. silently swore to himself as he once again tripped over something that was laying across the floor in engineering.
“Is this what you go through every day?” He asked Usagi.
Usagi, fairly sure that he was making fun of her, didn’t respond. She simply shone her flashlight on the grey door placard.
AUXILIARY POWER CONTROL
She looked to J.C. who nodded and went to his knees. He pulled a panel off the wall next to the door and pulled the handle that released the door hydraulics. The door hissed as the air and fluids escaped.
J.C. stood and touched the door. He screeched and pulled his hand back.
“HOT!” he called out.
Usagi, unsure why, touched the door to confirm. She also yelped like a beaten puppy as the door singed her hand.
J.C. looked to his Chief for a moment before turning to Makoto and the security officers who were with her.
“Over by station seven, there is a hatch. Open it up and you will find some fire suppression gear,” J.C. instructed.
Three of the security officers nodded and went to get the gear. J.C. turned to Usagi.
“If the fire has caused enough damage, we’re screwed.”
“There’s no other way to generate power?” Makoto asked.
J.C. turned to her. “Primary power is generated by the warp core. Obviously, that isn’t an option, so you must use the secondary power generators, which are a deck down. But considering it’s failed, there is no telling how much damage has been done to it. It will be nearly impossible to fix, especially without auxiliary power.”
Makoto groaned. She did not have many flares left, and she knew that unless they could get power to sickbay, lots of people could die.
The three guards returned with the firefighting gear.
“Put those pants and coats on over your uniforms. They are fire retardant.” J.C. instructed.
The guards turned firemen complied. J.C. turned to one of the other guards.
“Help me open this door,” he asked.
The guard nodded and came over. J.C. placed two magnets with handles on the door.
“Everyone else stand back,” J.C. ordered. “When we pull the door open, the fire will come out at us.”
He turned to the firemen. “Spray towards the base of the fire, and sweep.”
They nodded. J.C. looked to the guard on the door, who nodded as well.
J.C. and the guard began to pull the doors open. As J.C. predicted, the fire shot out into engineering, knocking both J.C. and his assistant to the ground. They both scurried out of the way as the firefighter security guards began to spray the fire.
Within just a few moments the three had managed to get the blaze down to just a few hotspots. The fireguards ran in and extinguished them as J.C. and Usagi came in to survey the damage.
“Odd,” J.C. stated, looking around.
“What?” Makoto asked.
“There’s hardly any fire damage.” Usagi pointed out.
She was right. The front of the room was scorched, but the rear two-thirds of the room was fine.
J.C. walked forward and was suddenly stopped.
“Holy crap, the force field still works!” J.C. grins.
“How is that possible?” Makoto asked.
“It’s got its own power supply. And one purpose, to protect the aux power generating batteries.”
“So why is there no power?” Makoto asked.
“The fire destroyed the EPS conduits,” Usagi pointed out, looking into a junction point.
“Damn,” Makoto groaned.
J.C. chuckled. “Actually, that’s wonderful news. Restoring the EPS conduits will probably only take about twenty-four hours. But we will need the guys upstairs to begin to replicate parts.”
Makoto nodded. “Get me a list and I will see to it.”
Gosnell sighed as he sat on the couch in the front of the Sisko’s lounge. The medic who was tending to his injuries was not being very gentle and it was starting to bother him.
“Don’t you know how to not hurt someone? What about your Hippopotamus Oath?”
The medic looked at him for a bit.
“I’m not euthanizing you. Therefore, I can do what I please to you.”
“And stop stealing jokes from The Simpsons,” the medic scolded.
There was now a couple of dozen security officers going over PADDs with the ship’s blueprints on it, assigning search routes. Gosnell decided to save his limited supply of flares for when the natural light streaming in through the windows went away.
One of the things that concerned the people in the room the most was the two helicopters that were orbiting above the ship. Despite the three trees lying across the windows (as the lounge was on deck five, one deck above where the saucer flattened out and began to slant downward), they could still see them.
It was assumed that if the pilots of the ships were looking, they could see the people inside as well.
They all hoped that if all they had were helicopters, they wouldn’t be able to bust through the transparent aluminum windows and board the ship.
The medic patted Gosnell on the head and smiled.
“You’re all fixed.”
Gosnell checked his once broken arm and smiled.
The medic nodded as he got up to assist four others with minor injuries who were being helped into the room.
The seriously injured were transported to the NSO triage, while the walking wounded were forced to huff it down to the lounge.
It seemed cruel, but the temporary sickbay/morgue was quickly becoming full. And they now learned that they would not have any power for at least another twenty-four hours.
To top everything else off, the air on the ship was starting to become hot and stale. While there was fresh air coming in through the multiple hull breeches, the air was not being circulated. There was no cooling system either, and once the sun went down; there would be no heating system.
The next twenty-four hours were going to be very trying.
“A spaceship?” the Westerns Minister of Defense, Ina Klasn asked, just as befuddled as the rest of Mao’s cabinet.
“Yes sir,” Garone replied. “We think it crashed. It came in over the ocean at an incredible speed and crashed into the Reed Forest, destroying a path about fifteen kilometers long before stopping.”
“Did anyone survive?” Mao asked.
“We don’t know,” Garone stated. “Nobody has come out of it yet. We’ve got two Dal gunships overhead, and they have been radioing it, but we have to assume that they are not monitoring our channels.”
Garone shrugged. “I doubt they’d even understand us if they could hear us.”
The Interior Minister looked to Garone.
“What about the media?”
Garone looked to his assistant who handed him some papers.
“It appears that people have been calling in reports of a UFO and a red streak across the sky, but nothing concrete. We’ve sealed off the airspace around it, and the Navy is protecting the waterways near it.
“We should be happy that it happened where it did since the forest will conceal it from the next closest town.”
The older man nodded and looked at Mao.
“Sir, we should keep this away from the public. After the Eastern attack, they are jumpy. We don’t need to add aliens to their list of things to fear.”
Mao nodded. “Agreed.”
The Prime Minister stood.
“What’s our next course of action?”
“We need to find out if they are friendly or not. If they are, and they survived, maybe we can enlist their help?”
“Help?” Mao asked.
Garone looked to his old friend.
“You said God would help us. What if God sent us these people to put an end to the Eastern threat forever?”
Mao pondered this.
“That ship is enormous. The amount of power that would be necessary to run it would be astronomical! Not to mention the technology that would be required.
“We could eliminate ALL of those murderers in days, not years.”
Mao looked to Garone.
“I won’t force them.”
Garone shook his head. “Of course not. But once we determine their intentions, we will come and get you and all you have to do is explain what is happening. They have to help if they have any morals.”
“But it will be a while,” Garone replied. “I think it would be best if we wait a couple of days for them to attempt to make contact first. Plus, I want to send in a team to check it out for radiation.”
Mao nodded once more. He hoped that this truly was God’s hand helping him – helping them – God’s chosen people, in their struggle against the evil that sat on the other side of the ocean.
“Did the Easterns see it?” Klasn asked.
“They would have had to,” Garone sighed. “The ship left an enormous radar signature. We detected it from orbit as well, so we have to assume they did.”
Mao glanced at the two military officials.
“Protect that ship. That’s our priority right now.”
Garone nodded as he and his assistants darted out of the room.
Mao sighed softly and returned to his seat. He noticed his friend of many years, Klasn, looking at him.
Klasn looked out the window for a moment and then turned back to Mao.
“What if they aren’t friendly? What if they came here on a mission of conquest?”
Mao shrugged and turned towards the window as well.
“Then we do what we always do. We defend ourselves and punish those who would dare do us harm.”
All forty-one of the Sisko’s engineers had been found and accounted for. Of them, only four were too injured to return to work. The remainder was down in engineering, assisting J.C. and Usagi in repairing the auxiliary power EPS grid.
It was a relatively simple task in and of itself. Unfortunately, some of the damage was so extensive from the fire, the engineers had to drill holes and build new passages from the aux power room to the power distribution center.
Neither of them was close to each other.
Gosnell had been making a point of every few hours bringing the engineers some field rations, as the replicators were not working. He would chat with his half-asleep wife for a few moments and then return to the lounge to be of whatever assistance he could be.
“Ah crap,” an engineer cursed.
“What?” J.C. asked, looking up from his welding.
The engineer stuck his head around a corner.
“I’ve got another sealed junction box.”
J.C. grumbled. “I knew we should have brought that fat ass Vulcan bastard with us,” he growled about the head of the shipyard.
J.C. walked to the junction in question. He quickly pulled off the seal and jammed a makeshift crowbar between the bulkhead and the panel’s covering. He pulled back on the low-tech prying instrument, but it immediately snapped, sending J.C. to the deck.
“What the hell?” he asked.
Makoto walked over to where J.C. was as the young engineer pulled himself back to his feet.
“What’s wrong?” Makoto asked.
J.C. looked perplexed as his gaze switched between Makoto and the junction box.
“This one seems to be sealed up better than the rest,” He complained. “Can you guys blow it off?”
Makoto nodded and motioned for a marine to come and join her. The pair placed some explosives around the hatch. The marine placed a detonator on the explosives and then motioned for all to duck and cover.
Five seconds later the hatch is blown clear. Once the smoke dissipated, J.C. looked inside.
“What the hell is that?” he asked.
Usagi, who was woken from her standing sleep by the explosion, walked over and investigated the hole. Inside was a green and black device that was flashing and beeping quietly.
“Isn’t that the main warp field generator current line?” Usagi asked.
J.C., not sure whether to be more amazed at the device or the fact that Usagi knew what the device was attached to, nodded.
J.C. went to pull the device off, but Makoto stopped him.
“Don’t touch it,” she ordered.
J.C. stopped moving forward and turned to another engineer.
“Can you work around it?” he asked her.
The other engineer nodded. J.C. turned to Makoto. “I want that thing off my-”
“Ahem,” Usagi groaned.
“-Our engines,” J.C. demanded.
Makoto nodded in understanding. “I’ll get a bomb team down here in a couple of minutes.”
After about twenty minutes, three specially trained security officers had arrived and successfully removed the device after determining that it was not a bomb.
They then secured it and left it for J.C. to analyze later. J.C. was terribly curious about what it was and why it seemed to have power. He also sure as hell wanted to know why it was attached to one of the most important conduits outside of the nacelles.
He did not have time to deal with that now, though. Word had filtered down that the triage unit was losing people and would continue to do so unless sickbay regained power.
So, J.C. and the rest of the engineers worked at double speed to get the connections made the power restored.
Minako was awoken by sounds.
Not the clunking of the trees falling onto the hull like before, but of real, honest-to-goodness sounds of the ship.
She looked to her panel, which had been acting as a pillow. It was beginning to boot up.
Minako shot up, and looked around happily as the emergency lighting system, albeit dim, began to kick on.
She grinned as she heard the life support system begin to kick air out of the vents.
She giggled happily as all the terminals on the bridge began to chirp, their loading sequence beginning.
The two security officers, both of whom had fallen asleep as well, also woke, happy to see the lights coming back on.
Minako tapped her communicator.
“Aino to Kino.”
“Yeah,” Makoto groaned.
“We’re getting power back to the bridge.”
“Good,” Makoto replied dryly.
“You okay?” Minako asked her friend.
“I’m really fucking tired,” she replied.
Minako chuckled. “Go get some sleep.”
“We still have two decks to search. I’ll sleep when we’re done.”
“Alright,” Minako replied as her terminal completed the restart and was ready for action. “Can you send Lt. Jansen up here to help me run diagnostics?”
The short silence concerned Minako.
“We haven’t found her yet.”
“She went to weapons control to check on something. I am sure she is fine, and she just hasn’t been able to get up here yet. Don’t worry,” Makoto replied, trying to ease the worry in her friend’s voice.
It did not do much to ease her own worrying though.
Ranma awoke to the sounds of people being transported. He slowly sat up and looked around as both doctors and patients were beamed from the triage unit.
The pig-tailed boy groaned as Akane shoved him back onto the bed.
“Let me run one more scan on you, and then you can go back to being belligerent,” she told him.
Ranma nodded and allowed Akane to run the sensor of her tricorder over his head.
“How is everything?” Ranma softly asked.
Akane never took her eyes off the tricorder.
“They’ve restored emergency power to the entire ship, sans a few places. Everyone who is serious is being transported to sickbay.”
Akane grinned and closed her tricorder.
“So, what’s the prognosis?” Ranma asked.
“You’ll live. Try not to smack your head again for a few days though,” Akane smiled at him.
Ranma chuckled and attempted to sit up again. This time he was not met with any resistance, and slid around, dangling his feet off the bed. He looked around the temporary emergency room.
It seemed that all the people that remained were the least seriously injured of the group. He noticed Ryouga sleeping on a floor mat.
“Is he going to be okay?”
Akane looked to the snoozing pig-boy and nodded.
“Yeah, he’s just still out from the crash. Soon as he bothers to wake up, he’ll be ready to go.”
Ranma didn’t know if that mattered too much. It did not really seem to him like they would need a helmsman any time soon.
“Where’s Shampoo?” Ranma asked.
Akane lowered her gaze.
“She’s in sickbay. She’s critical right now.”
Ranma nodded. “Will she be okay?”
Akane shook her head. “I don’t know.”
Ranma sighed and slid off the bed.
“I guess all I can do now is go back to work.”
Akane took Ranma’s hand. Ranma squeezed it back and leaned in, kissing Akane softly.
Akane returned the kiss, not wanting to let Ranma go. He finally broke the embrace and walked away from her, and to the turbolift.
The door slid open and Ranma stepped in.
She had been lying here, underneath a pile of crossbeams and wires for over twenty-four hours.
She was hungry, thirsty, tired, and in pain. Not to mention that it was incredibly dark in the weapons control room and the air was getting very stale.
She had no idea what had happened. She had gone down to the small computer room on deck sixteen to try and fix the power flow to the aft torpedo launchers.
Then before she knew it, the ship was shaking, and eventually she heard Ranma scream ‘emergency landing procedures.’
It seemed far more like a crash than a landing in her opinion.
Part of the ceiling had collapsed on her on the first, initial impact, trapping her. More fell on her upon the second impact, knocking her unconscious.
She had awoken about three hours ago. She had been calling for help, but either no one was around to hear her, or no one was alive to hear her.
The room was empty, sans the two security officers guarding it when she arrived. She had no clue what happened to them. Deck sixteen consisted of mostly conduits, computer rooms, and storage areas, so it was highly unlikely that anyone would simply stroll along and find her.
They would have to be looking.
“CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?” she called out, a little weaker than she had in her previous pleas.
Silence answered her.
Amanda whimpered, closed her eyes, and laid her head down on the cold deck.
She slowly opened one of her eyes when she began to hear humming. The sight was one for sore eyes that was for sure. The dim, blue emergency lights began to come on. She could then hear the life support system begin to start up as well.
Amanda tried to move her arm to her communicator, but she was too pinned down.
“Damn!” she grumbled. “Computer!”
The computer did not reply.
“HELP!” she called out again.
The young blonde sighed in exasperation. What the hell good was the lights when there was no one around to see her.
Once again, she cried out. “COMPUTER!”
“Please stand by; loading sequence in process.” the computer finally replied.
Amanda began to laugh. She would soon be out of this mess. As soon as the computer booted up, which took longer than she thought a 6.7 Petahertz computer system should take, but it did have a lot of programs and systems to run and boot.
After a couple of minutes, she thought she would try it again.
The computer chirped its friendly, ready for your command chirp.
Amanda smiled. “Comm system access. Security.”
“Security, Ensign Halton.”
“Nicky, it’s Amanda.”
The man on the other end gasped.
“Amanda, where are you? We’ve been looking everywhere for you!”
“Apparently not!” Amanda scoffed. “I’m in weapons control, deck sixteen. I’m trapped under some stuff.”
“Okay, we’ll be there shortly.”
“Can’t you just beam me out?” Amanda groaned.
“No, the EPS junctions are shot throughout most of the ship. We have to use the NSO transporters, and you need enhancers to do internal transports.”
Amanda sighed. “Well hurry up, please.”
“Be there in a flash.”
The communication ended. In about thirty seconds eight security officers, including Makoto beamed in.
“AMANDA!” Makoto called out. “Where are you?”
“Over here!” Amanda’s voice called from beneath some rubble.
The security officers all scurried in that direction and saw Amanda’s head, pinned to the floor.
“Are you badly injured?” one of the combat medics asked as the others began to pull the debris off her.
“I don’t think so,” she replied. “I can still move my toes and fingers.”
“Well, that’s a positive sign,” the medic grinned.
A few more security officers beamed in. Makoto looked at them.
“Finish searching this deck. We still have nine crew members unaccounted for.”
The guards nodded and headed off.
“Did we lose many people?” Amanda asked, doing her best to look at Makoto.
Makoto squatted down and the remaining pieces of debris were removed, and the medic began to run scans.
“Yeah, we did,” Makoto replied.
“How’s...” Amanda trailed off.
“She’s alive,” Makoto replied quietly. “She’s really hurt, though.”
Amanda felt a tear run down her face.
The medic placed a transport enhancer on Amanda.
“You have a couple of broken bones, and I think one of your vertebrae is damaged.” He replied, hitting his communicator.
“Dawson to NSO, two to transport directly to sickbay.”
“Acknowledged,” the person on the other end replied. Soon after both Amanda and the medic vanished.
Makoto stood up as the guards she sent to search returned.
“We found two.”
Makoto looked at the guards with sadness on her face.
One guard shook his head. “They’re gone.”
Makoto shook her head softly for a moment.
“Alright, let’s go. We’ve got one more deck to search.”