Smoke of battle
When the Sinful strike back
Location: USS Fearless
Bertrand winced as another object bounced off the hull. Without sensors there was no way of telling it they were hitting bits of their own ship that broke off, parts of another vessel, bodies, or even the outer hull of a Jenarii vessel.
"Keep her steady, helm. No point trying to doge if we can't see what we are dodging into."
He reached for his pin reflexively and then stopped himself, remembering that comms were out.
"No comms, no sensors, and precious few telepaths," he grumbled. "Who is up for a run... gentle stroll to Engineering?"
"I can do it Sir," the Ensign who had occupied Helm said to the Commander.
"Find out when we are going to have Comms and sensors back," Bertrand said, taking the Helm control himself. "If they don't know, get an update on our life support. The smoke on the bridge isn't helping, but I get the feeling 02 is getting short."
"Aye Sir." With that being said the young man then exited the Bridge and headed to Engineering.
Tarlee stood by at one of the Stations. "Do you want the good news or the bad news, Sir?" he asked Bertrand.
"I just want to know there IS good news, Mr Tarlee," Bertrand grunted. "What have you got for me?"
"With some minor adjustments, I think I can get us a way to detect where we are in proximity of the Fleet." The Bolian commented.
"And the bad news...?" Bertrand prompted.
Just then a ragged, soot-covered engineer with minor burns staggered onto the bridge. "Crewman First Class Chuck Halsey, Engineering," he panted, leaning against a bulkhead as he reported. "Engineering had an explosion and a fire. Fire's out. LT Sokolov is gone. LT Samedi is critically injured. We're fighting to keep life support going, but that's about all we can give you."
Bertrand looked at Tarlee, "I didn't even see your lips move."
"Well done, Halsey," he said, addressing the junior crewman. "Catch your breath. If life support does go, you are going to need as much of it as you can get. When you are recovered we might have messages for you to take back."
"All right, Lieutenant. Tell me about the sensors..."
With a nod the Bolian pointed to one of the relays, "With some tweaks we could adjust the forward sensor array to detect the fleets position. It'll act like an older style sonar and ping when we are close to ships." Tarlee then sighed, "Only downside is that it can't determine friendly or hostile."
"Well, you do have an engineer on deck," mused Halsey, pushing off his bulkhead and stepping forward. "One warning though, we're on emergency batteries; anything we do that costs power cuts into life support time."
Bertrand though for a moment, rubbing his forehead, "Power, power... where do we get more power?"
"No, I've got nothing. Make the alterations. Every time we use it, we will alert others that we are still active as well. Set it up and give us three quick pings. That should be enough to triangulate some size and movement. We are going to have to work by feel though, because we can't afford the processor time to do this properly."
He flexed his fingers over the drive console, "Let me know when you are ready and feed it through the the helm control."
“Alright, come on, Crewman. Let’s go make this ship see again,” Tarlee said as he moved with the Engineer to the relay at the far side of the Bridge. After a few minutes of tinkering the abolish raised his hand. “Good to go here, Captain.”
Bertrand reached one hand to the console and gave three rapid pings, which were returned with almost no delay. He swore violently and punched an adjustment. The ship lurched suddenly and there was a sound of metal scraping on metal.
"I hit that. Oh, I hit that one," Bertrand growled. "We're going to have lost some vVentral ablative plating. Damn it."
He fired two pings but now the distance between returns was increasing.
"Where is the... I can't see the Jenarri command ship. It should be lit up like an aurora," Bertrand considered the momentary image returned by the radar ping. "Still we seem to be clear of any direct debris field and the fighters are ignoring us. How do we let them know that..."
He straightened, "Tarlee, are you rated to fly one of these?"
"Aye, Sir," Tarlee said as he moved to the position.
Bertrand climbed out of the seat, "No major course corrections unless we are actually about to collide. They key is how we use our sensors. They are an active scan, which means others will be able to detect a signal. They key is to use that. When you scan, I want three short, three long and three short pings. Got it?"
"S.O.S., sir?" another crewman asked.
"Well done, crewman. Let's hope the rest of the fleet paid as much attention at the academy as you."
"Alright, I can maneuver the ship. I'll need somebody to be my eyes and another to handle the power distribution." He pointed to the two Crewmen. "If power drops below a certain level we lose our ability to move and we will drift unable to correct our course," Tarlee said as he signed into the console.
"I wonder how the battle is going?" an Ensign commented from aft.
"If I know Captain Michaels and Admiral Goddard, they aren't going to roll over and let them win so easily," Tarlee commented. "Now adjust the lateral relays to compensate for the added power consumption."
There was a clunck and a change in the tone of the ship; a sudden void that you were not aware had been full of sound until its absence.
"Did they just..." Bertrand began and then flew into action. "Raise any aft shields we have! Helm, full ahead!"
He gripped the helm panel, "Ever surfed a shock wave, Tarlee?"
"Oh I don't like the sound of that....." the Bolian commented as he clutched onto the Helm.
The ship lurched and juddered and suddenly rushed forward so everyone was forced to hold on.
"At the very least this should push us clear of the battle," Bertrand managed through clenched teeth.
"Shields down. Reserve power at 2%. Drive thrust gone. We're adrift!"
"And moving fast away from the battle and any hope of rescue," Bertrand muttered. "But we are no longer accelerating. Evacuate the rear sections of the ship, including engineering. With no power and no engine, we put life support to the bridge and medical and shut everything else down. Suit up people."
He grabbed an EVA suit he had recovered earlier from a wall opening and had rested on his command chair for just this moment.
Tarlee nodded and as the next ranking Officer on the Bridge, he signaled for the Crewmen to act out the orders of their Captain. "Before I was moved to Strategic Operations I was an Operations Officer and I can give a rough estimate on how much Oxygen we'll have between us all....."
"If we reroute everything to life support and all of life support to the bridge, we can get about forty-five minutes of oh-two. If that." Crewman First Class Chuck Halsey, the junior engineer, opined as he poured over a console, brows furrowed. "Less if we want to have any hope of getting a ping out to tell the fleet we're still alive in here, but I can make that happen if you want, sir." With that he reached for an EVA suit from a nearby emergency locker and started putting it on.
"Anyone here not done 0G training?" Bretrand looked around. "So you all know about 'breathing shallow'? Good. Find yourself a spot and sit tight. Minimize movement and oxygen consumption. Slow breaths."
"Halsey, Check the rest of the panels. Any extra suit oxygen that we can share around will help. Wait!"
Bertrand smiled, "I am such an idiot. We don't have power to fire the ASRV life boats but each escape pod has autonomous Life Support for 86 person days. We have enough for at least one ASRV between 4, so we have three weeks air, food and water. Let's keep on the bridge and do the pings while we can, but we have a place to go when the lights go off finally."
Tarlee pitched himself as close to the console as he could so that he could monitor their progress, Crewman Halsey the other side of him. The remaining Bridge Crew took up similar positions along the Bridge and stayed put.
The doors opened admitting the Engineering crew. Bertrand glanced at them and nodded.
"Glad you could make it. Grab a chair, the party is just getting started. Take engineering off line and seal the aft section, past bulkhead three. Anyone know how Medical is holding up?"
Halsey sat down, giving Bertrand a nod. "Thank you Sir. They took Lieutenant Samedi to medical, she was hit pretty bad. We lost Lieutenant Sokolov. his body is still in engineering."
Bertrand nodded, "We'll do what we can, but there will be many who are not recovered today.Right now, I am concerned more for those who can still breathe."
For now all the crew could do was sit and wait for the slimmest of chances of rescue. The O2 supply was the least of their worries.