Fallout, from the Bridge
Location: U.S.S. August, Deck 1
"Commander, we're all set to evac. All there is now is to say the word." Doctor Broughm announced from the rear of the bridge.
"Just how bad is it Doctor? Abandoning ship is a measure of last resort." The various crew members including Trask shared a look at mention of the words 'last resort' and 'abandon' with the silent red alert reflecting around the bridge.
"Six cases," Broughm said, "all severe. Thankfully, no one's dead yet. How's Quinn doing?"
The executive officer turned towards the front of the bridge, silently processing the information and assessing the escalation situation.
"He's doing fit' he can, we're moving into position away from the planet ti' jettison excess plasma into space. If that fails..well, he always comes up with new ideas."
"That doesn't sound all too promising," Josh said in a concerned voice, "I recommend we set up radiation shielding in vital areas and evacuate all non-essential personnel. That way if things go to hell, we'll minimize casualties."
"Aye, I know. Have the worst-off beamed tae' the colony for treatment. You'd better get back down there to keep on top of it. Do you need any extra bodies tae' make it happen?"
"Me, Simms the nurses can handle any problems." Josh said.
McClintock merely nodded as he approached trusty Trask at his tactical station, aware he already had his hands full.
"Mr. Trask, ready all shuttles for immediate departure to the colony. Wounded, infirm and any civilians first. Co-ordinate wi' the good doctor here."
As both men departed the bridge to carry out the orders given, he turned to the helm.
"Mr. Baldwin, are we approaching the co-ordinates yet?"
Ensign Gary Baldwin double-checked his console before replying.
"Aye sir, we're in open space inside the system."
"Bridge to Engineering, you're clear to discharge the plasma.”
=^= "Quinn here, have helm keep us steady on this heading. We are now venting drive plasma." =^=
As the Rhode Island-class ship slowed to a crawl - the planet they called home a mere pinprick in the distance - green noxious plasma gases flowed from it's nacelles and trailed far behind in it's wake.
Seconds ticked by into minutes as the ship completed it's maneuver, the executive officer pacing the sunken bridge centre behind Baldwin ceaselessly, curious as to why his commanding officer had not yet arrived. He'd hold down the fort until he did - he had to.
"Engineering, tell me that worked."
=^= “The EPS system is clear of plasma, but radiation levels are not decreasing!" =^=
McClintock swore under his breath.
=^= "Bridge, I know this isn't the best thing to say but, I'm calling it. There is nothing more I can do here. I'm requesting all hands to Abandon ship.” =^=
“Understood Quinn, get your people oot’ of there and evacuate Engineering. Prepare the ship. McClintock oot’.”
Even McClintock could detect the desperation his chief engineer’s voice, and he realised both of them were running out of options in a continually deteriorating situation. His command skills, instincts - even his gut told him he had to finally give up the idea of maintaining the ship with all the crew on-board, especially as the casualties continued to mount. With that in mind, he ordered his helmsman back to the colony’s orbit at best speed, and had an emergency channel opened.
“This is Commander McClintock, U.S.S. August on Starfleet Priority Channel-Alpha. Outpost 42, please respond.”
The seconds ticked by before the image of Lieutenant Commander Torinth B’Lor emblazoned the view screen of the bridge.
Torinth's black Betazoid eyes set dead center on McClintock, "This is B'Lor here, how can we assist you August?"
The Scotsman got straight to business - this was no time for exchanging pleasantries.
“Commander B’Lor, we’ve suffered a catastrophic failure in our environmental systems and require immediate assistance - we’re abandoning ship. Every flyable shuttle or runaboot’ you have I need in orbit to evacuate the crew back tae’ the colony.”
While a Rhode Island-class ship is fitted with enough escape pods for a standard crew and then some, he had to take into account any casualties already sustained and the resources needed to sustain that.
Torinth nodded. "Runabouts have been launched."
“Good, we’re already on our way back to the planet and we’ll be in a synchronous orbit in..six minutes. Prepare your new hospital for incoming casualties. August oot’.”
As he turned away from the closing channel on the view screen and reached over to the command chair, he sensed the bridge crew already aware of what was about to happen as he opened a communications channel throughout the ship.
=^= "All hands, this is your XO. All attempts to contain the environmental hazard fae' Engineering have failed. I'm ordering all hands tae' abandon ship and rendezvous at the colony in order to flush the ship of plasma contaminants. I repeat - all hands abandon ship." =^=
=^= "McClintock tae' Trask, come in."=^=
He waited impatiently as his chief tactical officer returned his hail to the affirmative.
=^= "The captain hasnae' reported tae' the bridge Jolan, and I cannae' get through tae' him. Computer reports him still in his quarters. Your priority is to investigate, and prepare for the worst. Evacuate him if need be. McClintock oot'." =^=
Closing the channel and swivelling on his heels to sit in the centre chair, he realised the men and women around him had failed to leave their stations, likely frozen in shock. The marine in him would fix that.
“That includes all of you too! Get tae’ your designated escape pods, on the double!”
The crew quickly filtered from the bridge at a brisk pace while McClintock stayed behind to monitor the continuing evacuation, one eye on the emergency locker set into various bulkheads containing EVA suits.
Seconds later, Doctor Broughm stepped onto the bridge. "The captain's away on the surface & I told the pilot to turn and burn. How are we for evac?"
"We're good tae' go" McClintock said as he turned to face Broughm, "Now it's time for us tae' go."...