Filling the Big Shoes
Posted on Tue Jan 2nd, 2018 @ 9:56am by Lieutenant Tan'ato Tejera & Petty Officer 3rd Class Hayden Ahlgren & Lieutenant Rilem Setox M.D. & Lieutenant Alohiai illm Warraquim & Lieutenant JG Drusilla McCarthy & Master Chief Petty Officer Markum Quinn & Lieutenant JG Bronte Carroll & Petty Officer 1st Class Alessio Leopardi
Descent Into Abaddon
Timeline: MD 2/2100
John reported to the bridge as ordered. He was a bit surprised, but then again the whole ship was on absolutely minimum crew. This was the first time he had been on the bridge, and now it was going to be at the engineering section. The whole room suddenly seemed a lot smaller and bigger at the same time.
"Petty Officer Holliday, engineering reporting as requested," he managed to get out after a moment. He had barely remembered that one was supposed to ask permission to be on the bridge.
Stephen nodded his head in response to the petty officer’s introduction before giving a smile. The officer wasn’t certain himself how he had drawn bridge command. Something about all qualified department heads being off of the ship, the captain keeping himself occupied elsewhere, and Stephen himself winning the lottery for next in the command space. “Don’t worry, Mr. Holliday, we all seem to have been thrown into the deep end today. Take a stool and prepare for boredom. We are the lucky people who get to sit back while those on the planet have all of the fun.”
"Thanks...ugh...Captain," John replied. It was pretty strange seeing basically enlisted to low ranked officers on major positions on the bridge. He blew a breath and took a seat at engineering. Running his hands over the readouts, he nodded. "Captain, everything is nominal here. Engines, environmental, scanners, all reading good."
Stephen winced at the use of the word captain; it just didn’t sit well with him. He was still trying to finish out his science career before making steps to command. “Stephen is just fine, Mr. Holliday.”
Quinn entered onto the bridge and took a look at the engineering station. "Holliday? We must be in more trouble than I had thought." Markum continued his walk to face the command chair. Great, another kid that has more acne than experience, thought Quinn to himself. "Sir, I thought you could use some help up here, since, ya know, everyone else is taking a holiday planetside."
John spun around in his chair and nodded to the master chief. Shoot, just what I need, the master chief watching my mistakes.
From the science station, Alessio chuckled at the PO’s error.
Hayden entered the bridge from the captain’s ready room and surveyed the skeleton crew. “Let me know where you need me to fill in,” she said. She nodded to the front seat. “I can do helm and comms if the Master Chief wants to take Security.” Hayden seemed a little...eager. This was an opportunity to prove herself, to improve her application to the Academy to finally become an officer and sit in that big chair in the center of the bridge. She had liked Pola, but her fall from grace with Starfleet had scuttled Hayden’s plans to get her to sponsor her Academy application, so she would need to impress another high-ranking officer.
Stephen nodded his appreciation towards the two new officers to join the bridge. “Chief, I appreciate you coming up. It’ll be good to have more experience around these newbies.”
The word was used with a numerous jest to show the other individuals that no harm was meant, and the accompanying wink would back that up.
“Ms. Ahlgren, if you please? You sure you won’t be a little rusty behind the controls? There’s a big difference between controlling this board and trying to keep tabs on our commanding officer.” Stephen indicated to the helm position as he took his own seat, rerouting comms through his own panel so as both could be managed by the young woman.
“I make sure to regularly take refresher courses on the holodeck, sir,” Hayden said, sliding into the helm position. She tapped a few times to reroute comms to her station, as well. “Besides, we’re just sitting up here in orbit, not moving,” she pointed out.
“Right, lads and lassies. How about some updates? Can someone give me a report on how many casualties are lined up to come onboard for our first transfer? How is the adjustments holding up for our triage areas?” Stephen sat back into his seat as once more his fingers moved across his chair’s display.
John spoke up. "Eight shuttles loaded with one hundred and fifty critical. Just waiting for a break in the weather. Wind and ash and dust picked up and currently grounded. Too much for transport enhancers to get through as well. So are there any breaks coming up?" John looked over at the science station.
Accessing the latest weather information, Alessio quickly assembled the needed info. "They should be ready to depart in twenty minutes," he said. "There should be enough clearance by then to lift off." Noticing there was no one on the bridge for medical, he immediately inquired in the readiness on the ship to receive those casualties.
The remaining medical crew on the ship answered in the affirmative that they were ready. They had even opened up some of the extra sickbay facilities that were normally kept mothballed, though they didn’t have enough doctors to staff everywhere completely. Many would be used for overflow and recovery using the multiple EMHs carried by the ship to supplement the normal medical crew.
"Triage says have them give an initial assessment as they come into comm range." John was relating what information he was getting from the various EMHs and others. "All penetrating injuries to head, neck, torso, and extremities proximal to elbow and knee; flail chest; two or more proximal long-bone fractures; crushed, degloved, or mangled extremity; amputation proximal to wrist and ankle; open or depressed skull fracture; or paralysis are to get immediate trauma transport.”
“Operations is reporting they have all transporters manned and coordinated,” Hayden reported, “and emergency medical teams in the shuttle bays to move the less injured from the shuttles. Extra maintenance crews have been called up to handle the shuttle turnaround.”
“Just what I like to hear, everything operating like a well oiled machine. How’s our people down below doing? One assumes exhaustion and fatigue must be settling in at this point?” Stephen relaxed a little. This wasn’t as hard as he’d initially worried about. If anything, this was a pretty easy walk in the park.
“To say the least, sir,” Hayden admitted. “Lieutenant Carroll is requesting we reroute some of the shuttles and runabouts to clear a copse of trees just north of the hospital for a makeshift LZ for the evacuations.”
“Yes...what…?” Stephen scratched his head while he tried to figure that one out. They needed all hands and shuttles on deck for the evacuation. “Get Lieutenant Carroll onto the comm for me.”
“Yes, sir.” Hayden’s fingers danced over the comms for a moment. “Channel open, sir.”
“Lieutenant Carroll, care to explain to us if you’ve lost your mind?” Stephen stood to his feet as he began to pace the bridge.
“Sir, myself and Corporal Nestor feel that this plan can work. I know that it’s a reroute of resources, but it’ll pay to try this.” Bronte’s voice crackled as comms tried to phase out the interference.
“Try, Lieutenant? We don’t have time to try. People are counting on us, and people’s lives are at stake.” Stephen’s voice rose a little as he tried to comprehend the woman’s words.
“I know, sir, and this is why we need to do this. With the collapse of the planet’s core, safe landing spots are hard to come by, and it means that we can’t utilize our resources to the max. By clearing this land, it gives more space for more shuttles to land at the one time, and in turn leads to a quicker turnover of patients to the ship. Sir, this will work.” Bronte’s voice was exasperated as the crackling caused the words to tune in and out.
Stephen momentarily stopped his pacing before turning to look at his crew staff. “People, is her plan solid?”
John was an engineer, not a scientist, but he could use what scans they got and the information to make an engineering assessment. "Structurally it is better. The area looks more stable from our scans. What does our chief medical officer have to say though? It is extra distance to transport patients, not much, but I am not qualified to even render an opinion on that."
Stephen turned on his heel as he faced his new helm and communications officer. “Ms. Ahlgren, can you open communications with Lieutenant Warraquim please? Let’s see what the doctor thinks before we go tying ourselves into knots.”
Hayden’s fingers danced. She frowned and tapped the communications panel again. They got a squelch of static. “A lot of interference in the atmosphere, sir,” Hayden said. Her voice was calm and steady, but inside she was tense. Her stint on the bridge had been going so well! She’d done everything perfectly!
Focus, Hayden! You can do this. You know this. Tan has helped you study this.
Hayden stared at the comm panel, thinking hard. She didn’t have a lot of time. She opened up the options menu and started to fiddle with the alignment and polarity of the communications array, as Tan’ato had taught her. Suddenly the squelching cleared and she had a stable signal. She didn’t know for how long.
“Channel open, sir!” Hayden said proudly. Now she just had to maintain the link.
Moving down to beside the enlisted officer, Stephen momentarily squeezed her shoulder in support for her achievement. “USS Nightingale to Lieutenant Warraquim. Have you got a moment to spare?”
Static filled the channel and then a small "...please respond..." was all that came through.
Hayden frowned. “Sorry, sir. Let me try and clear that up some more,” she said, working again to get the signal to come through. “Nightingale to Warraquim. We’re receiving your signal, but having trouble clearing it up. Please repeat,” she said.
Stephen felt his hackles raise as the word injury was heard loud and clean. As the young man’s hand moved to Hayden’s panel, he sought to see if he could clear the communication stream any further. “USS Nightingale to Warraquim, please repeat your last message.”
...accident. Location unknown in the city....
“Lieutenant, stand by.” Stephen turned on his heel as he turned his focus to the science station. “Mr. Leopardi, I need you to track the Lieutenant’s comm signal. Something’s wrong, and I need to know their location now.”
"Attempting to locate her signal, sir," Alessio said as he started to pull up the needed data. He managed to locate it to one specific part of the planet before he lost it. He hit the console in annoyance of losing the signal. Checking the data he had received once again, he managed to pinpoint the comm signal's location a bit better. "I lost the signal, but managed to pinpoint it to a desolate city in the outskirts.”
Stephen moved swiftly back to the center chair, swearing out loud as he used the seat console to bring up the requested information. “Ms. Ahlgren, get me Lieutenant Setox now! And someone get Commander Tiva to the bridge. Tell him he’s needed ASAP.”
Hayden’s fingers danced over the communications panel. “Nightengale to Lieutenant Setox. Are you reading me?” she spoke through the comms, trying to punch through the interference in the atmosphere.
"Setox here. What can I do for you, miss?" Rilem's voice sounded through the comm system.
Hayden turned back to Stephen. “Lieutenant Setox on channel, sir,” she told him, tying the command chair comm into the channel. She used her other hand to tap out a quick message to alert Captain Tiva to come to the bridge.
“Lieutenant Setox, we have a problem. As of,” Stephen glanced at the chronometer on his wrist momentarily, ”oh three fifty three hours, we have two missing crew members, one of which is Lieutenant Warraquim. Until further notice, you need to take control of the situation on the planet, alongside Lieutenant Tejera. Understood?”
"Understood," he said absently, as he had his hand full with a patient. When he repeated the sentence in his head, he realised something. "Wait. What? Are you saying I'm the Acting Chief Medical Officer?"
Stephen’s fingers went to rub the back of his neck as he felt his own tension levels building high. “Yes, you are the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant. The whole running of this operation from a medical standpoint now falls on you. Lieutenant Tejera and the officers are all there to help, but the coordination falls on you until we can find and establish the condition of Lieutenant Warraquim.”
“Mr. Holiday, if we break orbit and move to situate ourselves over the area of our missing crew members, what impact will it have on our shuttles’ travel distance when transporting patients back?” Two crew members were important, no matter what, but Stephen realised that with shortened resources and their primary objective the evacuation of a planet, he wasn’t sure what they could do.
John ran his hands over the console. That seemed to be more of a navigational question, but it was asked of him. "Moving the ship to synchronous orbit above the approximate location would increase travel time by seven and a half minutes, possibly a little longer, depending on how the atmospherics change." He thought a moment. "What if we took a shuttle and put that in approximate orbit? I think I could route ship's main sensors through it to pinpoint location better. Sort of like tossing a buoy out. Once we get a good position, that shuttle could descend, and we keep the time and distance for injured to a lesser amount."
Stephen swore again. Their chances here of being able to do something narrowed even further. “Lieutenant Carroll, you still there? You getting all of this?”
”Aye, sir.” Bronte’s voice was uneven. She’d heard it all. Dina was in serious trouble.
“Right. Can we afford a shuttle right now to try what Holiday suggests?” Stephen pushed his fingers back through his hair as he moved once again to his feet, positioning himself behind Hayden’s chair as he rested his hand against the back.
There was a momentary pause before Bronte was heard again. ”Possibly. While we clear the ground here, a shuttle could be loaned. Perhaps one of the Type Tens, as they can only carry three people as it is.. We don’t have the landing space for our shuttles plus the ones from the Nemesis. Even when we factor in a rotation, they still can’t all fit. Once this land is cleared, though, that would change.”
Stephen turned on his heel back to Holiday. “Would a Type X work for what you have in mind?”
"I can make it work, yes," John replied. He was already bringing up the schematics on the Type X shuttle so he could work his idea on the sensors.
Flexing his hand against the back of the helmwoman’s chair, Stephen hesitated before managing to clear his voice and face the rest of the crew. “Right, you all know what you need to do. Go do it!”
“Informing Flight Control now, sir, to prep a Type X,” Hayden said.
John replied, "Thank you, working on things now."
Lieutenant Commander Stephen Franklin
Chief of Operations
NPC Drusilla McCarthy
Ensign Hayden Ahlgren
NPC Tan’ato Tejera
Petty Officer Second Class John Holliday
NPC Alohiai illm Warraquim
Lieutenant (jg) Bronte Carroll
Flight Control Officer
NPC Drusilla McCarthy
Lieutenant Rilem Setox
Assistant Chief Medical Officer