Chapter 2 - USS Tanjura- To take Flight (Part Two)
Outside, the stars beyond the viewscreen twisted and contorted, as though space itself was being wrenched in different directions. Irij shrieked as feedback rolled over her from the overloaded com system.
“Warp field envelope is shredding, captain,” called out Roj, “I cannot maintain it.”
“Red alert! All crew, brace for impact,” broadcast Njessa. “Medical, prepare for casualties.”
Tomaasz spun away from the exploding consoles, landing in a crouch that barely kept him on his paws. He recovered his balance just in time to keep Roj from hitting the deck plates, though a hiss betrayed the wrenched arm that cost him.
The Captain’s order for Medical, that’s my department, and Ensigns Irkthel tapping of their console is the last thing Kyle remembers before the last violent lurch of the Tanjura shook him free, like a loose screw, flying straight down despite his desperate grasp of the wall that was just there. His body a dull thud compared to the shrieking of flying sparks he saw out of the corner of his one eye, the other smushed against the carpeted ground.
Half in shock he rose halfway from his new seat, stinging palms protesting rugburn, watching half there as Tomaasz saved Roj from the same fate.
I need to get up. A part of him thought, a wave in a sea of red quickly turning dark. His knees scrapping cloth as a shaky foot tried to prop him up, on one knee he hears the Captain- What was she trying to tell me before? Asking for a report, of what?
Grabbing the console, as the entire bridge seemed to shift and contort around them. Feeling the ground smack against half his body as he was throne down by the sheer force. A sudden stabbing pain flew through his shoulder, attempting to regain his footing looking at the controls before him.
Seconds later, the ship shuddered, for a fraction of a second, everything was dark. As the ship dropped out of warp with zero relative velocity, the stars outside the viewscreen snapped into clear resolution, hanging unmoving.
“All stations, report,” ordered Njessa.
“Engines intact but offline, Captain,” Roj reported, his voice shaky. “Trying to get a read, we exceeded warp ten there. Possibly much more.”
“Sickbay to the bridge, I have multiple injuries coming in!” Jordyn called out over the comm. “Sending out who I can to help but our hands are full down here.”
“Shutdown confirmed,” Tomaasz grated out, “if a little late. Damage control teams are already en route to critical areas. Relay any further damage reports to Engineering; Ensign Verrez is coordinating DC priorities from there.” He started flipping open damaged consoles and inspecting isolinear chips. A snarl escaped bared fangs as he surveyed the damage. His eyes kept flicking toward Kyle, visibly torn with the need to go help his injured friend. He’s still breathing and Medical is on the way. Nothing you can do there, and too much to do here. Pulling damaged chips, he slammed them onto a friction pad as though they had personally offended him.
“Science, Operations, get us a full scan of the local area,” snapped Njessa. “Find out where we are.” She glanced over to Irij. “Communications, are you well?”
Irij nodded, her antennae drooping, “Sorry, Captain, it took me by surprise.”
“It took all of us by surprise, see if you can reach Esquimalt,” said Njessa, “Failing that, try Starfleet emergency channel.”
Listening to the others, busy at their stations and he was on one knee trying to remember how to stand. He knows how to, but somehow there’s still a part of him left laying on the floor and the other is still by the wall, excited as can be for this mission- What was the mission again?
(I know my name, the date, and what I had for breakfast but why can’t I remember this? Why can’t I just stand up? Get up, get up, get up, get up, get up…) Staring past the Captain into the dark void of space, like a tattered blanket of his youth, the white stars revealing some kind of pattern just out of reach of comprehension. A slow blink catches him off guard, like he was trying to fight sleep instead of this suddenly very familiar pain inside his head.
There’s a name for this. Eluding him, a name he knows very well, trying to remember it or pull it out of hiding by its ankle. But it has no ankles, it’s just a word. A word he just can’t seem to keep a hold of long enough to tell him what to do about it. There’s something he’s supposed to be doing (get up!) or maybe multiple things?
Njessa was on her feet, hovering over the Ops station taking in the reports visually before they could be relayed. Stating power shifts and containment fields to the overloaded Ops officer to perform.
“No response from Equismalt, Ma’am,” said Irij. “The system is also saying we are at least one hundred lightyears from the nearest communications relay so they may not have heard us yet.”
Njessa paused at that information with those distances, they could have crossed into the space of another starfaring power. “Check all local communication bands, try and get an idea where we are from those. We need to know whose backyard we are in.”
Someone else’s backyard?
Dread mixing with pain, with confusion. Did we get attacked? Oh Gods is he kneeling here useless while someone’s harming the ship? The crew? His heart pounding in his chest, feeling too big even for his large frame, rattling against his ribcage while his brain seemingly tried to break down his skull.
It’s too familiar. The pain breaking down worn cracks from fists and phaser rifles he couldn’t dodge, from rafting falls in the Ocoee. I was just there last month, right? The crashing waves felt like his stomach, twisting and crashing among rocks, just moving around his organs, failing to scale his throat but giving it all in attempts.
Placing his hand wildly out he felt the edge of a console, which one he couldn’t say, but finally trying to move himself back up, and feeling his legs shake from the force of it all. He tried to piece it all together, the Captain was ordering something, he was still a Starfleet officer. But why can’t he just make his voice work? Tomaasz is fiddling with his station, the clack of claws pulling out various chips, a sense of frustration Kyle could feel from feet away. Must be because of me. Adding guilt to his pain, Kyle wasn’t strong enough and now he can’t fully stand while the ship is being attacked.
Jason stood feeling a splitting pain in his shoulder for a moment while his hands navigated over the controls before him, “Captain, I have security teams reporting throughout the ship supporting medical and engineering teams. All nonessential crew have been assigned to their quarters. Looks like “ skimming through a new report, “We have damage to our shield generators, and possibly, a few weapons systems. Nothing that we can’t accommodate until we return…” he didn’t want to finish the sentence, return where?
“We have security attachments in place around key ships systems, until we have all systems up and running.” he didn’t want to take a chance, if someone was around and they had not been able to detect it yet.
“Keep up the good work,” said Njessa. “Coordinate with engineering and ops to get the shields up to full operational status.”
<scene missing, science Treknobabble>
A medical team consisting of an Andorian nurse and two holographic assistants, also projecting as Andorians, arrived. Roj pointed them to Kyle. “Counselor, how are you feeling?” the nurse asked, her medical tricorder whirring, “These assistants will take you to sickbay where you can be treated.”
Despite his shaking legs, the sudden whirring near his ear made Kyle shift his body around, dazed and wide-eyed, his fists curling tighter. One holding steady and the other rising up ready to push the new presence away before he fully realized what was said.
“Wh-what’s going on?” His dark eyes flittering between the three Andorians, their pale blue skin giving him flashes of previous enemies; their gray-blue scales with hard black armor. Before shaking his head, wincing at the motion but at least the Andorians stayed Andorians.
“It’s my… head.” The words slow, despite his racing thoughts the words themselves had hidden away from his grasp. He usually had no trouble finding them, speaking them go existence is another matter. Now they’re both working against him.
“My head hurts… now I can’t think.” A small sliver of shame to add on top of this, feeling useless to not only the ship but himself. Normally he’d try to squash this feeling before it could take hold but all of his defenses were unexpectedly down.
He could feel the Andorian holograms gently grab a hold of him, on either side. Allowing himself to relax in their grasp, no strain as they take his weight and lead him into the turbolift with the nurse taking more tricorder readings and seeming to ready a hypospray for him.
The nurse, Bowi Chyne, had reported Kyle’s concussion to sickbay. “”This will help relax your muscles and keep you from further injury, couselor,” she said applying the hypospray to Kyle’s arm. “To sickbay as quickly and safely as you can,” she said to the holograms. They nodded in unison and carried Kyle into the turbolift.
Nurse Chyne looked around, “Who else is hurt?
Tension eased out of Tomaasz’s shoulders as the medical team attended to Kyle. His movements became less frenetic, more smooth and efficient, marred only by the painful sluggishness of his wrenched left arm. He continued repairing the consoles. They were more important than an arm he could wrap and ice at his leisure.
And what leisure would that be, his more sensible side asked. You know full well you won’t rest until sensors, shields and weapons are back to full capacity, at minimum. The time to mend those muscles is less than the efficiency you’d lose trying to power through. You know better.
He did know better, and his ears folded down in embarrassment as he beckoned to the Andorian.
Chyne approached Tomaasz with a medical tricorder, making a complete scan. “You seem a bit shaken, Lieutenant, I do not see any serious damage but that shoulder is strained. Would you like something for the pain? And once you have time, come down to medical and we will get that shoulder sorted out.”
Swallowing his embarrassment, Tomaasz nodded. “Yes, thank you.” Even as he surrendered his left arm to the Andorian’s cool, professional touch, his right hand continued sorting and replacing chips and bundles of optic fibers.
The hypospray hissed and a cool sensation flowed over Tomaasz. “Be careful, Engineer Tomaasz,” Chyne said with a concerned look and hopeful smile.