NCC - 86105
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The Devastator

Posted on Sun Jul 29th, 2012 @ 8:30pm by Lieutenant Commander Aeitos th'Ralik [PNPC] & Lieutenant Markus Rubens [PNPC] & Commander Jaeih Andorzai & Lieutenant JG Patok Malroon & Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel & Petty Officer 2nd Class Sophie Blaise

Mission: Divisions
Location: Deep Space 19 - Operations Centre

The speakers in Ops echoed loudly with the clicking speech of the Tholians - who had bypassed the communications system in order to ensure that they were not ignored - avowing to boil the Federation officers alive if the station's current situation was an attempt to exterminate its smaller Tholian population. Rubens had given up trying to shut the sound off and was instead simply doing his best to ignore it. The alert klaxons and the alien warning messages made it easy for the Tholians to be nudged into the realm of background noise.

"Commander!" the pilot shouted, over the sound of sparks flying from one of the exposed panels that the Starfleet officers had been planning on rigging another control panel to at the side of the Ops centre. "The weapon is firing off at emitters randomly all around the exterior of the station. We've lost one of the Tholian ships, and the others - including ours - are all attempting to take evasive action!"

"How are they doing?!" Andorzai called back desperately. "And what the hell is causing this?!"

The green crystaline terminals were pulsing an angry orange colour, and Kessel was bathed in a sickly flame orange glow. That, coupled with the increase in temperature, made the situation entirely unsuited for engineering. That said, it was precisely what everyone was attempting to do.

Sophie grabbed the nearest panel. Confused and scared by the noise and screaming around her she just stood frozen for a moment. She had no clue what to do, but wasn't really capable of doing anything at the moment anyway. A flashing light on the panel she was holding onto slowly brought her back to her senses again. "Commander, the Edeavour is hailing us!"

"Go ahead, put it on screen." The first officer said breathlessly, trying to project an air of serenity before the viewscreen flickered into life. "How're you doing over there, th'Ralik?"

"Commander." Though covered with a bit of perspiration and dirt before a backdrop of a heavily busy engineering, th'Ralik's features looked as calm and focussed as ever as he was joined on the screen by Lieutenant Malroon and Ensign Kessel.

"The station has activated some sort of failsafe mechanism," the engineer said, getting straight to the point. "It could be some sort of firewall or security protocol, but it is corrupted."

"Thats an understatment sir!" Kessel added. "The station is so old, finding the corresponding circuits is like trying to catch a fish in a supernova!"

"Is there any way we can shut it off?" The Haliian said, deciding that now wasn't a good time to hide his ignorance. "Are we missing a button or something? Can we kill power to the failsafe?"

As usual, Patok’s increasing panic was confused for calm. He looked about as concerned as a lion being threatened by a gazel. On the inside, he was worried, but it provided solace for many that it didn’t show. “It appears that we are dealing with a combination of automated security and power overload. From our observations, this is a sophisticated system that attempts to identify and eliminate intruders. Through this process, it is discharging excess energy through a collection of laser cannons, which are firing in both random and directed paths. We will need to either find a way to cut power from these systems or redirect the power dump.”

"The Problem" Kessel said, in a panicked voice, "Is that the doing of one makes the other impossible. If we cut the power, we lose all control of the systems we have - assuming we could cut the power without damaging the systems. Cutting specific sections could work, but doing so could trigger even more safeguards. We have been working on these systems in the last couple of days with the precision of a scalpel - anything we do now is the equivalent of chopping it with a fire axe!" He paused for breath. "On the other hand, redirecting the Energy dump will do the opposite, causing a massive surge of Power which would be dangerous - probably fatal - to anyone or anything in the area. Some how we need to reduce the power, without losing control of the station. I have been running some tests to try to figure out a solution but I am no Montgomery Scott."

Andorzai felt like he had been exhaling for the last five minutes. Malroon and Kessel's words hung heavy in the air. It was Catch-22. There was no way to reduce the power output without losing control of the station's systems which would set them back weeks of work but if they redirected the energy, it would possibly be hugely destructive.

He addressed his next question to th'Ralik, Malroon and Kessel, not sure which of them would even know the answer. "What's the likelihood that we'll trigger more safeguards if we cut the power?"

"Very high," the Andorian responded immediately. "However, with a lack of power, the severity of the safeguards will be diminished. Our ships should not be in any significant danger, and we can focus on eliminating the safeguards internally before restoring main power."

The Commander pushed his hair away from his forehead as he felt the muck and grime from his hand entering his pores. The look on the Andorian engineer's face was hard to penetrate. "And if we try to redirect it, we're going to rip a hole in pretty much everything right?"

"Correct," th'Ralik replied. "It is possible that one of the stellar bodies in this system may be able to absorb the energy, but even if they were not destroyed, any planets would become highly radioactive for a number of centuries."

"Or they just be ripped apart by the energies. What ever this weapon was designed for, I am guessing it wasn't meant to be used to take people alive." Kessel commented. "But we have to make a desicion now. It only takes a few strikes of those beams to rip apart any kind of shielding - we don't have much time."

"Okay, let's try to kill the power. I reckon we can stand to be a few weeks behind if we've managed not to destroy any planets." Andorzai looked back and forth between the other officers. No-one seemed to be moving to counteract him. "Right, let's do it."



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