Posted on Mon May 22nd, 2017 @ 6:49pm by Captain Elijah Michaels & Commander Bertrand Cuprum & Commander Cor Cordale & Lieutenant Ishan Satele & Lieutenant Commander Ziyal Tajor & Lieutenant Hel Samedi & Lieutenant Sara'draphia T'eseri & Captain Allen Jones & Lieutenant JG Scotty Kayne
The Trial of Cor Cordale
Location: USS Victory Bridge
The collapse of the station started slowly, but as the stacks failed, larger and larger sections succumbed to entropy.
At first the Gravity stacks played havoc with the targeting systems, meaning the Victory could not even identify target sections to shoot. As the effect diminished they were able to address some of the fragments.
The worse bits were the parts which still had people on board. Large sections of the habitat flotilla would break away with 100 or so life signs still in it. Bertrand wouldn't give the order to shoot at these chunks as they contained Nironeese personnel. Instead they had to watch them fall away to the ground and try not to imagine the screaming.
Eventually the stacks gave a final shudder and imploded. The remaining central spire of the station was torn apart. Somewhere in that rubble was Ara-te, working to the last minute, and Ar-mig-at, still trying to save any who could be saved.
The debris spread out and showered to the ruins of the city below. At last now the tugs, Runabouts and the Victory herself was able to use tractor beams to grab any remaining structures with personnel in them and pull them to higher, more stable orbits.
After the first few minutes, no one on the bridge had spoken. There was nothing to say. The macabre dance happened in front of them and they just stood and observed silently. Only now did the crew look to each other and search for something to say.
Ziyal had returned to the ship and at the request of the Captain, started seeing if they could get any Medical Ships here. It had kept her mind off what was happening for a while while she quickly briefed the captains. The USS Rarrurr and the USS Mercy were both replying. They would take up positions outside of Nironese space. She had hoped that the USS Sirona, a ship specialized in disasters like this one was available, but they had a different mission. As she sat at the console she had appropriated on the Bridge, she watched as they slowly crawled across the sector.
She had also worked on initial estimates of casualties and the kind of support that they would need. So far, they seemed to be accurate. It made her slightly sick in a way that her work at Starfleet Headquarters had not. She had run numbers like this before, however this was the first time that she was so close to a disaster like this. Numbers had been translated into lives she had met, however briefly.
Hel had returned as well, along with the rest of Cor's group. She perhaps seemed the most unbothered of all, though in this case 'most unbothered' came down to 'not quite as devastated as everyone else'. It still affected her. Deeply.
Sara was already in sickbay, keeping an eye on her charges. Although she'd been trained for situations like this, it still didn't quite prepare her for what she actually saw. She'd managed to handle it by focusing on the medical work, but now that most of it was over, she had a whole spectrum of emotions to think about.
Cordale was silent as he walked onto the bridge, the weight of the events before still heavy on his shoulders. Shoulder.
He made his way to the Engineering portion of the bridge and relieved the crewhand there of his station. For the next few moments he was still, and the screen simply showed standard engineering status reports. After those silent moments, the Thux brought up calculation screens on the amount of energy, the amount of tug, and the amount of force that would be required to move, shift, and tug at the larger sections of wreckage.
Behind the Thux was Valeria, the resident rabbitess. Silent as her own shadow, the Ts'usugi made her way to the science station, where she surreptitiously started to run similar scenarios to the ones Cordale was running. Perhaps she was just checking his math.
When the crew had made their way back AJ had made his way back to the bridge. His heart sunk as he watched such a magnificent structure just come apart. While many of the crew probably where thinking about the loss of life, AJ's thoughts where on who was responsible and bringing hate and violence into their lives.
"We are being hailed from the Nironese government, sir," the ops officer supplied.
Elijah paused. "On....On Screen."
The face of an older Nironese official appeared on the screen. He was grey to the gills and looked shattered, "Captain Michaels. Thank you for taking my call. I am Ara-bel-in, Second Counselor of... of what is left of Nasagaki city."
"Counselor, my Ship,and Crew stand by to assist you in this time of need." The Captain commented. "We can have Federation Medical Ships here within a few hours."
The counselor nodded, "We are still trying to ascertain the extent of the damage. I have the report from Ar-mig-at before... He details the actions of your crew. I appreciate that it must have been hard for your people to allow this to pass. I will admit I was one who opposed approaching the Federation, but you have proven to be people of conviction and compassion."
"My daughter was a second engineer on the station. I don't suppose you have any news?"
Ziyal had seen the engineering, she quickly cross referenced the names to a second engineer who was assumed dead in the explosion. Ara-te, their guide at the ship yards. She looked at the captain and gave a tiny shake of her head.
"I am sorry Counselor your daughter did not survive." Elijah commented.
Ara-bel-in rubbed his hands along his gills which were now so deep purple they were almost black.
"We are mobilizing our forces. Naturally we have contingency plans for this sort of event but... You hope you don't need them."
He straightened, "Captain, I appreciate the offer of assistance by the Federation at this time. Unfortunately, due to the volatility of the situation, I can not authorize you to land any forces. We do not know what further action the White Hand may plan to turn this to their further advantage, but it seems that aliens would be a tempting target. If... if there are survivours in any of the debris, I can authorize you to recover our people and return them to the surface with your transporters. Again, I must request that none of our technology is tampered with."
"We understand." Elijah said with a bow of his head. "Our Medical Ships will be stationed on the edge of your Border should you require them, we will conduct a search ourselves before making the necessary arrangements."
Walking onto the bridge, Sara quietly moved to one of the auxiliary science stations and waited for the conversation to be over before giving her report. She'd had one of the more empty cargo bays converted to a temporary morgue for the Nironese dead they had already recovered and the few remaining survivors were in sickbay still being treated.
"Thank you , Captain," Ara-bel-in managed. "We will be in touch."
The screen returned to the vision of the wreckage.
"Nothing about this is good." Hel smoke up, shaking her head. "Nothing. Millions are dying, and they can't accept our help because of politics."
"We can't force them to accept our help. It's a decision that they have to make on their own. The Federation is built on the trust that we won't do that. That we will let them make their own decisions. It's that trust that has let us broker peace many times by being a neutral third party. It's that trust that has let us go into much worse disasters and help because the Government knows we won't help overthrow them. On the whole, it's a good policy. One that a mistrustful galaxy needs. However, it also makes it more painful when we can help but they don't let us." Ziyal said, a bit bitterly. It was cold comfort at the moment.
"Oh I know. Not my point. It's their decision, yes - but it's a biblically stupid decision." Hel scowled.
"Biblically?" Bertrand queried. "There's a parochial human term. Whether we agree or not on their decision, we agree on the Federation's decision to not be involved where we are not wanted. That man has just watched his daughter die, and will see it happen again many times on news footage. He is facing his Kobyashi Maru; let him pass or fail with the dignity he chooses."
Bertrand put his hand to his head and staggered a bit. He glanced at Elijah. "I'm sorry, Captain. I feel a great disturbance; as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I am finding it a bit overwhelming. Permission to leave the bridge?"
"Let's not compare the loss of a daughter or a friend or a loved one to a rigged test with no right answer. Grief and loss aren't some silly simulation." Cordale said with a gruff.
Elijah placed his hand on Bertrands shoulder. "Granted Number One." His attention then turned to the Crew. "Alright everyone lets take some time to digest this, Away Team you are stood down from duty for the next few hours and that's an order no ifs and buts."
"If I may Captain, what should be done with the Nironese we have onboard? Both the living and the deceased?" Sara asked
Elijah rubbed his eyes. "Have them transferred into the care of the Nironese Physicians, they'll know far better about their anatomy than we will." He said with a nod towards Sara.
Sara nodded, "Understood sir, I'll have them transferred as soon as they are avaliable"
With a final glance round the Bridge Elijah sighed. "Away Team get some rest that's an order." He then strolled off towards his Ready Room. "Mister Kayne you'll have the Bridge for the next few hours." Elijah glanced at Scott.
"Aye, sir" Kayne replied, stepping up from the helm console. He watched as the rest of the senior staff left the bridge. and the replacement crew walked on.
"Dismissed everyone." Were the final words from Elijah as he entered his Ready Room and the Senior Staff departed the Bridge.
Kevin had added nothing to the conversation that had just taken part, there was nothing that could be said that would make any difference. As he was about to leave and take up the ordered rest, his COMM badge chirruped and Ensign Karadis voice came through "Karadis to Lt Kilbane, you have a priority message Sir."
Tapping his badge Kevin replied "I'm on my way to Security now, I'll be there in a couple of minutes, have it routed to my office, Kilbane out."
With that, Kevin left the bridge.