Into The Field
Mission 2: Pyramids & Spirals
Location: Shuttle Craft En Route to the Spiral
Daynah was overly excited she has never had a chance to view a warp spiral personally. Although Eliza did study them, but even then so much has changed over the years. There was bound to be new data. She was putting the last of her equipment onto the shuttle. Lieutenant Ren was in the cockpit beginning pre flight check. "How is everything coming Lieutenant?" She smiled softly as her excitement spilled over. She could barely contain herself as she waited for the rest of the team.
“Everything is in the green, Lieutenant, I think we’re good to go.” Ren replied as he finished his pre-check report. “It sounds like you’re excited to go and look at this Spiral?”
"I am," Vriha said, Romulan ears having picked up the remark as she was entering the shuttle door. Even if after their recent difficulty she felt just a touch of apprehension about anything that disrupted warp travel, the chance to observe such a rare phenomenon was thrilling. "Getting to observe one of the mysteries of astrophysics at close range is an amazing opportunity."
K'Larn was busy with checking the engineering aspects of the mission and the shuttle crafts engines and weapons systems along with the balance of her job. "I just hope this phenomenon doesn't screw with my engines. It could have dangerous repercussions if it does", she added.
“I don’t believe I’ve met either of you.” Ren said turning in his seat. “Lieutenant Ren Kannu, Chief flyboy.” He said with a smirk..
"I am pleased to meet you. I am Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih," Vriha replied, smiling in return, partly in response to his grin and partly with pleasure at her unexpected promotion -at barely past 30! - to full Lieutenant.
“I’m guessing by your uniform your part of the officer exchange program?” Ren said after giving the Romulan a respectful nod.
Vriha inclined her head in acknowledgement. "Yes. Initially I was surprised that a Science Officer, such as myself, would be selected exchange, but I have come to see the logic of it," she glanced at Ral with a smile, "as the love of science is something our peoples have in common, a universal language, if you will."
Ren nodded his understanding. “I’d love to serve on a Romulan ship, to fly a D'deridex or Valdore class vessel would be really great.”
"That was my sister's choice, to be a pilot. She loved flying above all else," she replied, bit wistfully. Liha would have been pushing for a chance at exchange if it meant trying her hand at Starfleet ships too. Perhaps if she had somehow survived, she was somewhere where she could fly whatever she chose. It was a pleasant thought, especially as it seemed unlikely to Vriha that either service would put a foreign officer in such a critical position. She did not voice the thought though, only smiled and added, "One never knows what the future may bring."
“There wasn’t much choice when I joined the Bajoran militia, was either solider or pilot, so I went with pilot. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it though. I’m glad I chose the piloting career path. I’ve flown some awesome ships.” Ren replied.
"Lt. K'Larn Yaserina, CEO, pleasure to meet both of you. Now if either one of you would be so kind to tell me if I need to do anything special to the SIF or the shields because of this phenomenon, I would appreciate it greatly", she inquired plesantly.
“A pleasure to meet you, Lieutenant Yaserina.” Ren said with a smile and a nod.
Daynah was lost in her thoughts there was something Ral was trying to tell her and it had her distracted. "I am Lieutenant Daynah Ral." She said to Kannu as she took a seat next to him in the cockpit. "Lieutenant Yaserina yes we will need to boost shield output by around 30% or the radiation will get to us. Vriha I am so glad that you could join us. This is going to be quite the expedition."
"I am most grateful to be included," Vrha replied, trying to maintain proper decorum though she was nearly bursting with excitement.
“Well, the shuttle is good to go. This is your dime, Lieutenant. Use it wisely.” He said with a cheeky wink.
"Thank you Lt.Ral. Boosting the shield strength another 30%", E'Lor said as she input the commands. "Ok Lt. Ren, Let's get this bird in the air", she added.
Ren nodded as his hands began to expertly dance over his console as he began entering commands. “Firing thrusters.” He reported as the shuttle lifted off and moved forward through the shuttlebay forcefield. “We’re clear, Lieutenant. Any particular course to the warp spiral?” He asked.
"I've calculated several options," Vriha said and tapped her PaDD, opening a map of trajectory plots, which she showed the pilot. "Any of these should provide safe approach. I believe the one indicated in blue will provide the path for data collection and viewing, though the decision is of course up to LT Ral," she added, inclining her head respectfully to the CSO.
“I’m easy, I’m just here for the ride and view.” Ren said with a smile before looking at Ral.
Daynah was amazed at what she saw. She always was when she got out there and left the ship. Not for planets, but to be out there in open space. It was Vriha's suggestion that snapped the Trill back to reality. "Yes of course these will do nicely." She said with a smile as she looked over the map. "Lieutenant Kannu, please follow the course outlined in blue."
Ren nodded and smiled, “Yes, ma’am.” He said before programming the helm to follow the chosen course. “Course laid in and ready to go on your command, Lieutenant.”
"let's get a look at what's out there. Enagage!" Daynah said with a twinge of excitement.
“Engaging impulse engines.” Ren reported as he tapped a few commands into his console. The shuttle began to dart towards the warp spiral. As they got closer the shuttle began to shake. “Seems like we’ve hit the outer wave of the spiral. I’ve raised the shields and adjusted the inertial dampeners to compensate.”
"Excellent... Make sure you have an escape vector on standby. I do not want to get stuck here. Okay ladies let's see what we have out here. It look like your run of the mill spiral, at least it does on the surface. I am going to initiate a verteon scan, that should give us a more in depth look." Daynah spoke as her hands danced excitedly over the console. The voice of Eliza came into Daynah's head through Ral. It spoke of never viewing science for what was on the surface, always dig deeper.
Ren nodded, he always had an escape vector programmed in as you never know when you might need it. He concentrated on the flying while the scientists did what they did.
"A good precaution," Vriha noted. "However, this is only minor turbulence, which is to be expected. There are electro-magnetic eddies beyond the visible range of the spiral that can have effects similar to a low level ion storm."
“I’d rather be over prepared and safe rather unprepared and dead.” Ren replied with a wink.
"In my experience, that's an unusual sentiment for a pilot," Vriha replied. "However, I am glad to know that you do not conform to the typical Romulan profile for pilots." She hesitated a moment, then gave a small wink back, hoping it was an appropriate gesture to convey levity. Though she was learning, her grasp of subtleties of cross cultural communication was still somewhat ...experimental.
"Initiating scan now." Daynah said with a grin as she watched the exchange between the pilot and Vriha. It was interesting to watch the Romulan woman adjust to human communication. "it is going to take a bit for results. What else do we have?"
“I wasn’t trained to be a kamikaze pilot. Living to fly another day is always the best outcome.” Ren replied as he concentrated on flying the small craft. The shuttle shook slightly again, “Nothing to worry about just a bit of turbulence.”
"I hope you are right about it just being turbulence. I would hate for it to be anything else", K'Larn said, watching her readouts intently.
“It is the Spiral, it’s sending out lots of turbulence. Don’t worry, you keep to your job, I’ll keep to mine.” The Bajoran said with a wink.
K'Larn thought about saying something to the pilot but decided not to and just concentrate on her scans and power readings.
Vriha listened to the exchange, trying to process the social dynamics. While she was glad to know their pilot wasn't the suicidal type, the sentiment that living to fly again another day was always the best outcome was somewhat foreign to the way she had been raised - while living was generally preferable, sacrificing one's life in the line of duty and for the good of the Empire was clearly more honorable, and therefore the preferable to preserving one's own life. But perhaps the pilot had simply been referring only the outcomes that present during this mission. Oddly though, his stance did not seem to reassure the half-Klingon engineer, who if anything seemed more apprehensive than the rest of them - not what she was accustomed to with Klingons, but she did not know K'Larn well and perhaps her Betazoid side was dominant. Either that or perhaps it was the Klingon fear of dying in circumstances other than battle...
A change on the console readings drew her mind from xenology to back to astrophyics. "There appears to be a spike in neutrino oscillation."
"Where?", K'Larn asked. She knew neutrinos and cloaks, especially Klingon and Romulan ones under cloak produced surges in neutrino readings.
"Out in the spiral arm," Vriha said, suppressing an amused smile at the reaction. "It's not a cloaked a ship. The radiation and interaction of quantum particle fluxes would render a cloak useless in moments, even if a ship could survive in there."
“Want to take a closer look?” Ren asked.
"Sonny boy don't get too close ya hear. Don't need to end up losing the shuttle in that thing!"
“Sonny?” Ren asked with a smirk.
Vriha looked from one to the other, lifting a confused eyebrow. "Are you so close as to have formed a connection at the level of mother-son?"
“Not to my knowledge.” Ren said with a chuckle. “I can get you closer if you want to take a look.”
The Romulan's head tipped to one side as the eyebrow on the other side further elevated. "I do not see how greater proximity would resolve the question. You and LT Yaserina are clearly not closely genetically related. Yet she referred to you with a casual and familiar form of the Standard word for male offspring," she replied, trying to work out the puzzling reference as theorized out loud. "Was she referring to an equivalent emotional connection, or is it perhaps an idiom that has something to do with the relationship between your departments?"
"Huh??", K'Larn said as she looked first at Ren and then to Vriha and back to Ren. "Whoa there missy....Ren and I are co-workers.....nothing emotional or mother son relationship goin' on here. Humans often talk like that in a form of jokingly funnin' with each other. However, were we involved, I would not addtess him as 'Sonny' but as 'Hun or Honey'.
“I was going to say, we’ve only just met.” Ren replied with a snigger.
Both eyebrows ascended- almost into Vriha's hairline. The use of a casual nickname or endearment in public - let alone while in uniform - was shocking enough to her Romulan-bred sense of propriety, but to apply it to someone that was virtually a stranger... And yet that wasn't even the strangest aspect of K'Larn's reply. "I have observed that humans can be ...somewhat lacks about decorum..." she replied as diplomatically as she could. "But neither of you are human. Is the Federation truly so human dominated that even their ...more idiosyncratic modes of social interaction... are the standard?"
“I’m half human, so I guess that’s my get out of jail free card.” Kannu said with a shrug of his shoulders.
Vriha opened her mouth, closed it, and paused a long moment trying to sort the many questions amassing the longer the conversation continued. "Get out of jail free card?" she finally asked. "I had been told the Federation did not impose prison sentences for incorrect speech..?"
”My apologies, Vriha, it’s a reference to an old Earth game. It allows the player not to go to ’jail’ in game.” The Bajoran explained.
"Ren you are not quite off the hook sonny boy", K'Larn chuckled. "Just keep us on track, one booboo and we lose the engines darlin' ", she added.
“It’s all in hand, sweetness.” Ren replied with a sarcastic chuckle.
"Seriously Ren.........Fek'lar! Ren your off by 5 degrees port! Get us back on course! Kahless be kind", K'Larn shouted as the shuttle started to shake in the proximity to the Spiral. K'Karn had her hands full as the console's started to sing. Engines becoming problematic at best. Power fluctuations cropping up and this close to the Spiral was not good!
Kannu quickly made the necessary course adjustments. “Well, stop distracting the driver!”
The shuttle banked, but not before energy readings spiked on Vriha's screen. Her eyes widened in alarmed as she saw it cascade through the added sensors. "Ral, look out!"
The warning had barely left her lips when the console in front of CSO exploded!
"Oh shit! Damn it....I warned you damn it. Ren get us back to the Orion best possible speed!", K'Larn shouted over the alarms. Working furiously to stabilize the power, K'Larn opened up a com to the ship. =/\= Orion this is K'Larn, have emergency medical personnel in the shuttle bay. The CSO is critically injured. Her console exploded. Eta 5 minutes. K'Larn out=/\=
"Vriha monitor for anymore spikes. Yell if you get them", K'Larn said as she finally managed to get power to settle down. Looking at Ren, "Son get this bucket moving. You got engines and don' t spare the whip!", K'Larn said as she put a reasuring hand on his shoulder.
The Bajoran helmsman nodded as he brought the shuttle around as quickly and safely as he could. “Engaging full impulse.” Ren said as the shuttle cleared any interference the spiral was causing.
Vriha kept her attention on the exterior scans, but the moment they were clear, she ran to Ral, who laid entirely too still where she had fallen. "She's not responsive," she reported. "Vitals are faint." Grabbing the emergency medkit, she began doing what she could, treating her for shock and the severe burns on her face and hands.
Looking at Ral laying there nearly dead, Vriha working furiously to save her, Ren moving towards the ship, K'Larn could sense Ral's life slipping away. Once her heart stopped, K'Larn kneeled next to Vriha and put her arm around her shoulder, "Vriha she is gone. Her injuries were just to great and without no doctor or medbay, there was nothingvanjy of us could do. She has gone the way of the warrior", she said.
"Perhaps Davnah is gone," Vriha replied tightly and shook her arm away, shaking her head sharply in negation. "But the symbiote Ral may yet be saved. The way of a Romulan warrior is to fight - even death." And with that she began chest compressions. She was not sure about Betazoids, but knew that a Romulan might revived even several minutes after their heart stopped if oxygen-carrying blood could forced to circulate. Since symbiotes were often transferred after the death of their hosts, she assumed they must be able to survive as long or longer. Such concern for the life of another species might not be considered precisely in character for a good Romulan, but she in the moment, Vriah didn't care. "There is not honor in not trying. Transport directly to medbay as soon as we are within range."
Ren quickly flew the shuttle towards the Orion. “Orion, we have a medical emergency. Lock on to the CSO and beam her directly to sickbay!”
Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Ren Kannu
Chief Helmsman, USS Orion
Lieutenant K'Larn Yaserina
Chief Engineering Officer , USS Orion