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On the Clock

Posted on 10 Mar 2021 @ 12:43pm by Captain Martin Collins & Lieutenant Talia sh'Ahrazad & Lieutenant Lynn Tayler

Mission: Waving The Flag
Timeline: July 20, 2280 || 1110 hours

Lynn's brain was scrambling. She had no issues working on these systems, neither did any of her crew. For the most part, they were being left to do their work. This fact helped, as they could focus.

But now, they were on a clock. The systems were going to be working, but how well in the time they had, she wasn't sure. Crunch time got her teams working faster, obviously, but this was pushing the limits of what they could do.

She looked towards the Andorian captain, though her hands were still working. "Can we verify the 50 minutes?"

The Andorian scoffed, "Going for a record or something, Starfleet? I just need something that works and can take a few hits from the Klingons. That is, as long as your garbage scow of a starship can cover us all the way back to Andoria."

Talia rounded the corner and coughed as she had just gone through a rather putrid smelling cloud of smoke. "Commander, we've intercepted a transmission from the escaping Bird of Prey. They contacted the closest Klingon ships and reported on the battle here. The response was to rendezvous at our forty-five minutes."

The Captain uttered a curse so vile, not even the universal translator could dare attempt it. "Looks like you have less than forty-five minutes, Starfleet," he gruffed. "I think engines just became the higher priority."

Swearing under her breath when Talia said what she said, "I completely agree, Captain." Her eyes turned to her team. "On the clock, get those engines up and running! We don't want the Andorians to be stuck here when the Klingons arrive."

"Life support is out on the lower decks," the Captain warned. He led them to an equipment locker and pulled out several breathing masks with air tanks attached. "Each of these have thirty minutes of air, probably more nitrogen than normal for you humans. If we can't get engines working by the time these run out, we'll abandon ship."

"We'll work with what we've got. Thank you, Captain." Lynn handed breathing masks to her team, then took one for herself. "Work fast, stay focused." She looked towards Talia, "Inform the Lexington about the time crunch and possible evac of this ship if we can't get these engines going."

Talia nodded and then looked to her commanding officer. She quickly made her way back to Bridge and let the other Starfleeters know their situation. She wasn't too keen on evacuating, but the Klingons were probably not going to leave them much choice.

Smoke, fire, and pungent smells filled the access tubes and corridors leading to the Andorian ship's engine room. The corridors were filled with scorched bulkheads, fallen support structs, torn cabling and pipes, and the occasional bloodied corpse. On occasion, sparks would spurt out from cracks in the walls and lighting fixtures.

"Is it even going to be safe to take the ship to warp with all this..." Lynn muttered quietly as she made her way through to the engine room. She jumped when a panel sparked right next to her. "Damnit. Did anyone check the structural integrity here?"

Nearby, a sickening coughing sound could be heard. Was someone still alive?

Snapping her head towards the sound, Lynn frowned. "Hello?" She moved towards the sound, motioning her team to go ahead towards the engine room.

Not far in front of Lynn, a pile of debris shifted, followed by a muffled, "Help!" The debris shifted again as whoever was trapped underneath was trying desperately to get out.

"Damnit," Lynn mumbled as she heard the voice and saw the pile shifting. Moving over towards it, her eyes quickly looked over the pile to see if she could move what was there. "Easy, I'll get you out of here." She began to move some of the items to the side, wondering how anyone could have made it down here all this time.

A large fallen bulkhead shifted as a blue hand slipped out to grab it. "Get this... off me..." It started to move upward, but it did not get very far.

Looking at the bulkhead quickly, Lynn tried to get a grip on it and move it. "Hell..." She looked back towards where she hoped her team could still hear her. "I need help over here!"

A couple members of the Starfleet engineering team rushed over to help, each one grabbing next to the blue hand that was trying to push the bulkhead up. They heaved, putting all of their strength into rescuing the fallen crewman.

"Hold it there," Tayler called out as she knelt down, grabbing onto the blue hand. "Come on, I've got you."

The bulkhead finally shifted enough for the person trapped underneath of it to escape. The freed Andorian took a few steps away from the group, and crouched against another bulkhead as he choked and coughed. "Thank you," he managed to croak in between spurts.

Nodding to her team to let the bulkhead go, "Get to the engine room, I'll catch up." Lynn looked to the Andorian. "You need to get out of here, up to the bridge. There are Klingons on the way and we're here to help get the ship moving before they get here."

The Andorian shook his head. "No. I'm the Engineer's mate, Lieutenant Atoss Th'ivialrat. I was out here trying to reroute power to the stabilizers. If we can't get those back online, there's no chance to get engines operational again."

"Stabilizers...damnit. We have less than an hour," Lynn stated, "Any chance at all to get things up and running in that time? You know these engines better than any of us. If not, I'm pulling my teams back and we'll have to tell the Captain that we need to evac."

"I was just a couple minutes away," Atoss stated, still choking, but not as bad. "Then the secondary power tap exploded above my head and rained corridor on me. If the primary tap is okay, we might have a chance."

Nodding, Tayler motioned towards the engine room. "Let's hope luck is on our side then, come on. We're limited on these breathing masks too, how long they'll last."

Atoss trembled as he returned to his feet. He could feel the adrenaline being drained from his body, but there was not much else he could do at this point. He led the way to the engine room and stopped at a console to pull up engine schematics. "We've got to restore the stabilizers, fix the leak in the coolant tank, and lock down the magnetic constrictors."

"Luckily, all of this can be done at the same time," Lynn said as she double-checked her breathing mask time. "Get working, guys! We don't have much longer!" She turned back to Atoss, "Point us in the right directions and we can do this. Don't overdo it. You telling us what to do and where will help cut down on the time this takes."

A nearby engineer mumbled something about being really cut down when the Klingons came back. He pushed aside a blown open panel and started to work inside. "Before we can start getting the stabilizers restored, we have to get power back to the relays. At least, as far as I can tell from the mess inside here. Working on that now, Lieutenant."

"Woman pink skin," Atoss said to the senior Starfleet engineer. "Give me a hand with the magnetic constrictors. If you can have one of your engineers, close all of the coolant valves, that will help us contain the leak until we can spend time on it."

Nodding to the engineer who spoke up, Lynn looked over at Atoss. "Can do." Her eyes scanned for another engineer before another one moved over to the coolant valves. "I've got it, ma'am." Smiling, she got where she needed to be for the constrictors.

Atoss stood near Tayler and attached a diagnostic tool to the constrictor's access port. "The constrictors will have to be attuned to five degrees downward with twelve kilopascals of pressure. Anything less and the constrictors won't allow for proper plasma flow."

Having gotten power back to the relays, the Andorian engineer got up and moved to a console so he could monitor the plasma flow. "Standing by to monitor the flow. Ready when you are."

"Five degrees and twelve kilopascals, got it." Tayler looked over at the Andorian engineer who was by the console and gave a nod. "Let's hope we have no more explosions or bad news."

"We should be so lucky," Atoss remarked. "You're at four degrees currently. And nine kilopascals." He turned the diagnostic display so that Tayler could read it.

Nodding, Lynn adjusted just a tiny bit more. "Did that get us where we needed to be?"

"Looks like it," Atoss confirmed.

"I may be an engineer but I do always hate adjusting these things." Tayler rubbed the back of her neck. "Anything else missing, or can we give this a go?"

"Coolant valves are closed!!" shouted a nearby voice. The sounds of hissing had also stopped, indicating that they indeed had a chance to overcome their situation.

"Last up is the stabilizers," said Atoss. "We'll need to reconnect the secondary power shunts in order for them to have enough power to reinitialize."

One of the engineers shook his head. Progress was good. Progress to that would get them out of the way of the returning Klingons was better. "Let's hope it's enough to last."

"At least this is some bit of good news. Let's get the stabilizers and hope it is enough." Lynn wiped her forehead of a bit of sweat and sighed. She truly did hope it was enough.


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