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Escape Pod 7 [PLOT]

Posted on Thu Sep 20th, 2018 @ 7:50pm by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Lieutenant Cynfor Rees & Lieutenant Commander Jörgen Leed

Mission: Mission 4: Riding A Pale Horse
Location: Planet ZP0442
Timeline: 10 July, 2394 - 1400 Hours

[ON]

=^=All hands, this is the captain. Abandon ship. I say again, abandon ship. Proceed to the nearest escape pods immediately. Senior officers take charge of your sections and group up. There’s an unknown habital planet below us. Find someplace safe and wait for help. I’ll see you on the surface. Llwyedd out=^=

Cynfor Rees manned his station intently, in his mind he was not going to leave the bridge without the Captain. "Sir showing all escape pods available. Crew is boarding, no launches yet. Still attempting to get the backups online." He wiped some sweat from his brow. The look of determination on his face said it all. Cynfor Rees was not about to leave his post.

Malcom nodded. "Get going, Mr. Rees. Lieutenant Smith and I will catch the last escape pod," he said as the ship shuddered from another blast. The emergency power was just keeping them moving enough to maneuver. Malcom stepped over to the Ops station and gently pushed his Chief Ops Officer aside. "I am shutting down all power to life support and powering down all sections as they are evacuated. That will give us enough power to increase shields." He looked at Cynfor. "Are you still here?"

"Blast no point in arguing with a Welshman is there? Good luck sir." Cynfor said with a smile. He headed for his assigned escape pod just behind the bridge. An order was an order, but something still felt wrong about leaving the Captain on the ship.

Leed stepped onto the bridge through a thin veil of smoke seeping from the lift. "Captain!" he called out over the noises ringing through the bridge. "Is there any communication system in operation? I may be able to at least stall the attack." His voice strained at the end. A scan of the room showed that the Firebird was lucky if any system was still in operation. The attack had been too swift. Too organized. However, Leed waited impassively for an answer.

Malcom shook his head. "We're past that point, commander. You go with Lieutenant Rees and get into an escape pod. Try to link up with other groups once you hit planetside. I'll find you as soon as I can," Malcom said looking at the diplomat. "Good luck, Jorgen."

The diplomat nodded to the captain. Words offered nothing. The bridge was awash with small fountains of sparks, damage reports, and dim sirens. Only the concentration on the faces of Malcom and Jackson held steady. If anything was holding the Firebird together it was those two. "I'll keep an eye on the sky for you," Jörgen said, saluting. He turned crisply and strode after the chief operations officer. "Right at your stern, Lieutenant Rees."

Cyn was leading the way toward escape pod and heard the Ambassador from behind them. He opened the hatch "Right this way Ambassador. Your chariot awaits." Cyn motioned into the pod and when Leed was aboard and strapped in Rees fired the thrusters. The force sent the two men back into their seats and the sight that greeted the two men was a grim one.

A fountain of sparks shot from the side of the Firebird, illuminating the burned hull. Jörgen watched the vessel execute a tight turn--crippled but still surprisingly alive. Other pods dropped with bursts of yellow jets. "Five ships. It is a testament that so many will escape. How closely can the pods stick to each other?"

"If the pilots coordinate landings and entry points the pods could practically touch. The issue here though is first communication. An escape pod's communications array is very limited. In fact is nothing more than a beacon so that it could be found. The second hurdle is the closer we get to the planet the harder it is to communicate due to atmospheric interference. The best would be to land and see who we can find once we are down. Initiating scans for a landing site now." Cynfor paused as he tapped a few buttons on the console. "Ambassador if it is any consolation I wanted to stay and fight as well. One does not give up on home so easily."

"No, one does not." The Firebird was not home. Home was with Anna, her quick intellect and warm smile. But he had found a comfortable space among this motliest of crews, which was more than some missions of much longer service had rendered to him. "Our fight now turns to landing. I am going to check on our survival kit. What did you learn about the planet before the computer ceased to function?"

"There is a pre warp civilization down there. They are concentrated on a central continent. I am aiming to set us down due west of the settlements. This way with hope they will not see the pod. We can also possible find water and supplies needed for survival. Where there is a settlement there is a water supply. Other than that not much is known." Cynfor wondered if this was how it all ended. He knew that he should not think that way but he could not help it. His thoughts went to his sons, his daughter in law, his granddaughter and of course his beloved. "Perhaps I will see you soon Margie..." he whispered.

"The Firebird will require significant repairs. Even a distress beacon may demand resources that would be hard to explain to a more primitive civilization. It might be best to stay away from civilization rather than compromise the Prime Directive by explanations that cannot be given. Then again, the right words can cover many gaps in conversation." Jörgen buckled himself into the seat again with a survival kit open on the floor. "At least the quartermaster is competent. Everything appears to be in place and in good condition. I hope other pods are as fortunate as we are. Meanwhile, I will prepare myself with mental exercises. Do you wish to meditate with me?"

Cynfor reprogrammed the landing computer to another landing site as per the Ambassador's instructions. In truth Cyn disagreed with Leed's reasoning, however, he was the senior officer. "I have redirected our pod for a field in a wooded area. This would be a days walk at least to get to the settlement. The tree cover should also block our descent and cover the pod from being seen." Cyn had never actually meditated, however, it was always something his beloved had tried to get him into. He thought that at the very least it would clear his mind about the chaos aboard the Firebird, the trials of surviving on the planet, and his worry about not seeing his family again. "Ummmm sure. But how does one do that?"

"There are many techniques. Most include creating a space where the mind can focus." Jörgen set the survival kit on the floor, his eyes on the quickly approaching planet. "For now sit comfortably. Keep your attention on one spot. Breathe evenly." He smiled slowly at Rees. "Wherever possible avoid hurtling towards an unfamiliar planet without proper preparation. We will soon enter the atmosphere."

Cynfor had never meditated, his family was the salt of the earth, and as such never had time nor reason for it. However, it seemed to work for the Vulcans, the Ambassador and a lot of others. So who is he not to give it a try. Having finished inputting the new landing coordinates Cyn trusted that the computer would get them down safely. For the first time in he couldn't fathom how long he slouched into his chair. Leed had said to make himself comfortable. His eyes saw a small patch of brown among a sea of green on the planet. Must be a clearing in a forest, it looked tiny to him, but was probably kilometers wide. He let his thoughts drift and his breathing began to come slow and even. All thoughts and worries that he had seemed to begin to slip away. Cyn wanted to know what to do next, however, he was afraid to ask for fear of loosing the comfortable state that he was in.

"Do not fight thoughts that come. Study them in the moment for they teach us about ourselves," said Jörgen. It was a line his uncle had used that seemed pertinent to share.

His own thoughts were that he knew of no colony on this planet from any of the known races. Perhaps he had forgotten its existence. Perhaps it was a settlement considered lost, but had landed on the wrong planet and survived. Jörgen considered the possibility of a secret base. A highly classified installation would have a planetary defense, which could involve the New Maqui. Jörgen rejected the idea. If the New Maqui had intended to stop them they failed. The crew had survived and would soon be on planet lighting up distress beacons. All secrecy would be lost. "According to my readings we should hit atmosphere about,... now." He straightened back to brace for the rough ride. Suddenly the instrument panel went dead.

Cynfor's eyes shot open, as he no longer heard the hum of the engines. The entire panel was dark and the POD was without power. He went to work without fail as he attempted to get the systems back online. There was no reason that he could see as to why this would happen. "Ambassador the POD is without power, no reason detected and I can't get the power back. I am going to have to guide the POD in manually. I am going to try to keep the POD in the air for as long as I can. We need to find a place to set her down."

"Without any power can the manual controls provide much control?" Jörgen returned to his deep breathing. "Nevertheless, I spotted a large meadow below surrounded by forest. Landing there seems more prudent than plowing through a thick forest. Unless you have a better spot in mind?"

"Without power the manual control will allow me to guide the pod down as opposed to dropping like a stone. I see the meadow that you mentioned and I am going to attempt to set down there." Sweat began to build on Cyn's brow as he tried every trick that he knew in the book. However, the simple fact was while he was cleared to fly he was no pilot. The pod lurched and rolled through the air as he worked. He did not fully understand how the Ambassador could simply sit there and meditate as the pod fell in peril, that was something Cynfor was going to have to look into at a later time. About a minute after taking the controls Cyn shouted, "Brace for impact!" The pod collided with the ground of the meadow hard and rolled over four or five times. It eventually came to a stop right side up, "Ambassador are you okay? I spotted a settlement just due west of our location."

"Considering events, I would say alive is okay. Alive with only minor abrasions from the safety harness is a small miracle." Jörgen moved quickly to gather up the emergency bag. "Well done, Lieutenant. Now to find out where we are."

The hatch resisted his attempts to open it. "Will you assist? The landing appears to have jammed the door." With Cynfor's added strength they forced it open. Jörgen peered around the pod. A long tear in the ground marked where their pod had blasted through the grass and earth. The gash went through a small trio of downed pine trees and up to a hill of dirt, stone, mangled planks and shingles. Nearby was the remaining half of a small farmhouse.

Cyn grabbed some gear from the pod before he exited, this included a survival knife and a med kit. When he emerged he took a look around. "Blast, not the landing I had hoped for. At least we are down and unharmed..." His voice trailed off as he noticed the farmhouse. He looked at it with his mouth agape for a moment when he got a hold of himself he spoke again. "Cach! We have to get over there and see if there are any injured. That was someone's home we destroyed." He turned toward the farmhouse and began to jog over.

[OFF]

Lieutenant Cynfor Rees
Chief Operations Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Lieutenant Commander Jörgen Leed
Chief Diplomatic Officer and Pretty Levelheaded Dude
USS Firebird NCC-88298
(NPC by Gantt)

 

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Comments (2)

By Lieutenant JG Murril Na on Thu Sep 20th, 2018 @ 10:14pm

My favorite line was actually not in the story but in Leed's title, listed at the bottom.

I like how immediately after their crash landing, the first priority was to go check on the inhabitants of the house. IMO, that's downright Trekky, in a good way. (I appreciate how Rees and Leed exemplify the tone of the t.v. show. They're not just focused on survival. They're demonstrating the Federation's civility without coming across as naive or unprepared.)

As with all these Abandon Ship posts, I'm still enjoying how different temperaments, different specialists, different species, etc. are each responding to the same premise differently.

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Gianna Djokovic on Mon Oct 15th, 2018 @ 6:11am

Nice post, enjoyable read. I like how you guys ended the scene with some suspense about the home you landed on.

Welcome to Oz. Take the ruby slippers, you might need them to get home. -Liam