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Loss of Control

Posted on Wed Mar 14th, 2018 @ 1:49am by Commander Leigh Jacobs & Lieutenant Commander Arturo S'Rohass & Lieutenant Shath Birev & Lieutenant Xiulan Song & Lieutenant Evan Lougheed & Lieutenant JG Lucius & Ensign Braith & Lieutenant JG Vitaath Zh'challiss & Senior Chief Petty Officer Coltan Xan

Mission: Stranded
Location: USS Valiant

OOC: This begins our next mission so let's get last mission posts wrapped up soon! :)

The past few days had been quiet and Leigh had mostly recovered from her ordeal with the Gluak--she was still a little sore. She sat in the Captain's chair, looking over a status report on a PaDD given to her by a crewman. She signed off on the report and handed it back to the crewman and left the bridge.

Suddenly a sensor alert caught her attention as she looked at the helm station. "Commander S'Rohass, what is it?"

"Some sort of spatial anomaly has appeared," Arturo replied. "I am attempting to adjust course now."

Without warning, power throughout the ship fluctuated and began to shudder violently as the Valiant dropped out of warp, throwing Leigh to the deck hard. 'That's it, I'm getting seat belts installed,' she thought as she pushed herself up to get back into the chair. "Report!"

"I don't know what's happening Captain! I'm working on it!" Lucius was standing at a console on the bridge. "We're offline... like... completely! Main power is down and we've dropped out of warp! Nothing is responding! I'm going to Engineering right now." He really didn't wait for her to give him permission to leave. He bolted away from his console and toward the turbolift.

"I'm trying to reroute from auxiliary power," Shath said, his eyes on his task and not on the rest of the bridge, so he missed Lucius's exit. "We've got auxiliary batteries functional, but I wouldn't recommend extreme maneuvers or getting into fights in the immediate future -" he looked up to see the engineer had left, let out a breath, and moved back to the sensor readout. He compared their bearing to the last starchart update from the subspace buoy they'd last pinged at warp, and frowned. "Well, sir. We're not far from the Janos system, drifting at minimal impulse towards the third planet, based upon orbital trajectory."

"You do not need to concern yourself with extreme maneuvers, Lieutenant," Arturo said. "Helm controls responsive, but sluggish. Even I won't be able to do much fancy flying while we're in this condition. We are already in the gravitational pull of Janos III. I have so far been unable to break free with the limited impulse propulsion currently available. I will attempt to break free by combining our chemical maneuvering thrusters with the impulse power available."

Arturo's fingers flew over his console. A noticeable shudder went through the ship's frame as the Valiant struggled to break free of Janos III's gravitational pull. After a short while, Arturo shut down the thrusters and let the ship continue to drift towards Janos III.

"Forgive me, Captain," Arturo said solemnly. "I am unable to break us free. If I continue in the attempt, I risk burning out the maneuvering thrusters, in which case I will be unable to perform a controlled crash landing when we arrive at our destination. Our best course of action, in my opinion, is for me to try and guide us into orbit around Janos III using our now fluctuating and very limited impulse power. If that proves to be impossible, I shall attempt the aforementioned controlled landing, or at least a controlled crash landing."

"Captain, Janos III is class-M inhabited with a pre-warp civilization." Lougheed reported, "Even entering orbit we risk being seen if someone has a telescope pointed the wrong way."

Leigh sighed. "Do they have any orbital satellites?"

"Not on record and nothing that registered on sensors before we lost them. We're limited to passive sensors only without main power." Lougheed reported.

Leigh shook her head. "Damn." She turned to S'Rohass. "Commander, try to use the thrusters to slow our decent and do your best to put us down in a remote part of the planet." Leigh saw the the clouds below them as the Valiant continued to fall out of orbit as the bow dipped forwards. 'Oh shit,' she thought. "We don't have a choice! Blue Alert!"

Arturo's fingers flew over his console and the ship shuddered as the maneuvering thrusters fought with Janos III's gravitational field and atmospheric forces. There was a look of fierce concentration on Arturo's face as he guided the Valiant through the upper layers of the planet's atmosphere. The hull began to heat up and the environmental controls strained to keep up with the change in temperature. Inertial dampeners likewise struggled to compensate for the Gs the Valiant was pulling. Finally, the ship broke through into the lower atmosphere.

The Defiant Class was quite maneuverable in space. It was not, however, designed for either atmospheric maneuvering or planetfall in general. It was a struggle for Arturo to keep the ship from falling out of the sky like a rock. He needed somewhere to set the Valiant down where he had enough room to bleed off some speed. He glanced at the topographic map of the planet that his console was displaying and saw what he was relatively certain was a large body of water. There appeared to be some sort of lagoon or marsh area with lots of vegetation. Arturo had a very bad idea.

"I would like to point out at this time that the Defiant Class starship is not designed to make planetfall," Arturo said. "So everyone should brace for impact..."

Behind and to the executive officer's left, Shath started quietly, "Transferring all the power we have left to structural integrity..." The ship's recorder caught his words, but not the world-weary tone of an operations officer trying hard to keep his ship together with a scant few ergs of power left in the limited auxiliary systems aboard her.

Arturo guided the Valiant down until it was skimming the water. The speed they were traveling and the angle they approached from caused the ship to skip like a stone across the surface of the water. Skip. Skip. Skip. Each time the ship hit the surface, it's momentum was reduced. The skips came closer together and the Valiant's 'skips' were shorter and lower.

"Now for the hard part," Arturo said. He called up his intended destination: the mouth of the lagoon he'd been aiming for. "Despite appearances to the contrary I believe we will fit through that opening."

"Yeah with maybe a meter or two to spare," Lougheed said as his station burst into a shower sparks, the Lieutenant managing to avoid it by throwing himself to the deck.

The Chief Engineer's voice came over the comms. "Captain! All I can do is reroute to shields and integrity!" Lucius was very grateful to have a competent officer like Shath on the bridge who had done most of the work for him. After his scramble to try and get the engines back online he settled on transferring power and found that most of it had already been done. For one second he breathed a sigh of relief and then started to work on pulling even more power by sacrificing other ship's functions. Essentially cannibalizing anything they weren't currently using and dumping it into shields and integrity fields.

It was not everyday that the starship's paneling illuminated, casting a blue glow on the deck. Ensign Braith was heading towards sickbay when he was projected off his feet and onto the deck. His landing was not too hard but it definitely was not gentle either. He thought the best course of action was to stay down and hold onto something until the starship came to a stop.

"Great Bird of the Galaxy," Arturo said softly. "Grant us your guiding hand as we attempt this absolutely insane landing. Lend us your wings, that we do not fall down and go boom."

As if the ancient deity heard his request, the Valiant slipped through the entrance to the lagoon. It skimmed the surface of the water before coming to a halt on the beach. It was a bumpy ride, but it was over. Arturo grinned.

"We have arrived safely at our destination," Arturo said. "On behalf of Rohass Starlines, allow me to thank you for traveling with us. We hope to see you again soon."

Shath hauled himself off the deck and slumped into his chair, checking readouts. He could already feel a contusion forming on his right antennae, and the pain was making him wince in the eye below it, but he could deal with the injuries after determining how they were. "Structural integrity is holding at 79%. Minor hull breaches, but they appear to be connected to internal compartments so we can seal them despite their location under us. So from an extremely technical defintion, the Valiant remains spaceworthy. All in all, I think this falls under the 'any landing you can walk away from' category I was told was a good landing. Though I think I speak for all of us when I say I would very much prefer a controlled descent next time."

Leigh breathed a sigh of relief as she slowly stood. Seeing the surrounding trees, sand, and water of the lagoon was an odd sight to see aboard the bridge of a starship. "First, I want to find out what the hell type of anomaly we hit and second, let's get to work on repairs. Until we get sensors online, I want Security patrols outside the ship to make sure we don't have any curious visitors."

Lucius picked himself up off the floor and started to put out fires with whatever crew members were not injured. Anytime a starship hit the ground there were fires. Fortunately, it wasn't so bad. Most of his people were just banged around and bruised. Medical attention for anyone hurt was next.

"Senior," Arturo said to Colt. "Form a detail and do a walk through of the ship, every inch of the interior. Make sure all officers and crew are accounted for."

"Aye, aye, Commander," Colt replied, leaving the bridge to carry out his orders. He'd head to Sickbay for a trauma bag and put together a detail once he was there.

"Bridge to Engineering," Arturo said. "What's your status?"

"Minor damage..." Lucius responded from Engineering. "Had a couple of fires. Injuries are minor."

Whatever had knocked out the power to the Valiant had disabled Xiulan's ocular implants as well, so she had been utterly blind throughout the rough ride and all she could do was to hold onto her console for dear life. Once they had come to a stop, she began to take stock of herself and their situation; she seemed unharmed and she could feel her eyes turning back on, but she would be sightless for a while yet, and thankfully her console had been upgraded with a tactile interface, so she was still capable of functioning. "Communications are down, we're unable to call for help," Xiulan reported, sounding a bit shaken but no worse for the wear. "Comm-badges still work, obviously, but their range will be limited outside the ship. I'll see what I can do to get the short-range array back online so we don't lose contact with our patrols outside, but long-range and subspace communications are out of the question for now."

"Another thing on a long list of things we'll need to deal with," Arturo said. "Lieutenant's Birev, Lucius, and Song please confer and formulate a plan to get us operational again and be prepared to present it to the Captain and myself within the hour. Ensign Nora do your best to figure out what that anomaly was. Confer with Lieutenants Birev, Lucius, and Song as you see fit. Lieutenant Lougheed, take a small team and discretely, I say again: discreetly, reconnoiter the area. Lieutenant M'Shlat, have your people secure a perimeter around the Valiant. If you have any questions, ask them. Otherwise, let's get to work."

"Can we meet in Engineering?" Lucius asked over the comm. "I'm kinda busy..." The main engines were still offline. Lucius and the Engineering team were working on getting the auxiliary power up to snuff. Now that they could concentrate on repairs they could take the power they'd put into the shields and integrity fields and use it elsewhere to hopefully get the ship up and running again. If they couldn't get it going soon they were going to need deuterium.

"Yeah, I'll meet you there," Xiulan said, and as she rose from the chair at her station, she reached into her belt for her cane, which she usually only needed in new places, which the Valiant most certainly was but with her eyes still non-functional she couldn't see the heat signatures of the EPS conduits in the walls to guide her or see people coming and going. But Xiulan never let a thing like not being able to see stop her, and she snapped the cane to its full length and effortlessly made her way to the lift.

"Once we get power on line we should look into launch an emergency beacon, or at least get the shuttle up and broadcast a distress call. Even if we get repairs made our chances of taking off and getting out of here will be slim without some external support." Lougheed said after getting back to his feet.

"One problem at a time," Leigh said. "Priority is getting power restored and then the engines, and then we see if we can take off of this damn planet." Luckily it seemed that Janos Three had Earth-like gravity, yet a Defiant Class would still require all available power to escape the planet's gravitational pull and at the moment, that was impossible for the Valiant to accomplish.

"Alright everyone," Arturo said. "Let's get to work. Report back in an hour."

 

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