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Titans [PLOT]

Posted on Tue Aug 20th, 2019 @ 7:50am by Lieutenant Jackson Smith & Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Lopt
Edited on on Thu Aug 22nd, 2019 @ 4:25am

Mission: Mission 5: Arising From the Ashes
Location: Tevok 2 System
Timeline: 10 February, 2395 - 2100 Hours

[ON]


Malcom looked up at Kipp and nodded. "Please ask Jackson to come in and speak to me," He said. "I've got a job that is well suited to him."

Kipp picked up the empty tea cup. "Of course sir," he said and walked out of the Ready Room. On the bridge, he saw that Jackson was again sitting in his usual spot at the helm but as the ship was docked, he had a bored look on his face. Kipp walked up and smiled at his friend. "Jackson, the captain has requested your presence in his ready room, if you aren't too busy."

Jackson practically sprang out of his chair , "I suppose I might be able to find some time..." Jackson chuckled as he nearly sprinted towards the captain's room. He stopped short and smiled back at Kipp, " I should probably not appear too eager." Jackson was definitely ready to do something, to help with anything at this point. He knew most of the crew were busy saving lives and helping.

"I believe, Jackson-san, that the captain is a keen judge of character and intent. I also am sure that he chose you for this mission precisely because you are eager," Kipp said with a smile. "Go right in."

"Thanks, Kipp!" Jackson continued on and entered into the Captain's ready room.

Malcom looked up as Jackson came in. He'd just finished reviewing his notes from the conversation he'd had earlier with Dr. Maddox. He thought he'd finally found someone whose job entailed more bureaucracy than his.

"Come on in and sit down, Jackson. I've got a job for you. How many hours of flight time do you have in a Runabout?" Malcom asked.

Jackson easily slid into the chair and got comfortable. "Got plenty, sir. What do you have in mind?" This had started off promising, at least he would be flying. Hopefully, the Captain had something interesting and challenging for him.

"I wish I could tell you that I had a save the sun from going supernova mission but that appears unlikely. Dr. Maddox is trying to collect all the data the station has been studying for the past few years. Most of it is on local storage and will be easy to transfer to the Firebird. But there are a couple of probes that will need to be collected. He's offered us the use of their Runabout if we supply the pilot. I'd like you to take Crewman Lopt and Corporal Saddler out and collect the probe data. Saddler is a pilot too but she's not familiar with Runabout systems. Do you think you can handle it?" Malcom asked with a grin.

Jackson was only momentarily disappointed that he wouldn't be working with Lieutenant Gantt. It had been a while since the two of them had been able to do anything together. At least he was going to be able to do something, even if it was being an errand boy, "I think this is within my skill set, sir." He grinned, "I am assuming that this needs to be done asap?" He was eager to get started and eager to fly.

"Dr. Maddox would like this done yesterday. And you've got about forty-odd hours until the star goes supernova. So let's get this going. You get down to the shuttlebay and I will make sure Crewman Lopt and Corporal Saddler meet you there," Malcom said. "And Jackson, while the scientists might think the data is worth dying for, I don't."

"Aye, aye, sir!" Jackson grinned as he pushed out of his seat and head out the door, eager to be doing something.




Jackson swung by his room to grab a few things before heading to the runabout. The last few months of intel training and undercover operations had instilled in him a need to always be prepared. He swung his bag of interesting devices over his shoulder and headed down to the hanger.

Jackson was the first to arrive and he took the moment to look over the runabout they had been assigned. It was definitely beat up and had seen some better days. He ran a hand over the hull as he walked around it. He could feel the dents and wear. It certainly had character. While he was looking over the shuttle, he heard the door to the hangar open up. With one hand still on the hull, Jackson looked up to see who had entered.

Thomas was still trying to get his bag properly stowed as he made his way into the shuttlebay. He was bringing some specialty instruments that might augment the Runabout's sensor array, which was actually fairly robust. He also had a few snacks because Kalstri's were so much better than anything a replicator could make. He finally got the bag closed and looked up to find Lieutenant Smith staring at him.

"Oh. I mean, hello, lieutenant. Captain Llwyedd said I was to report here... to you that is. I'm Crewman Lopt. I'm the communications specialist. I think this is the first time I've been assigned to an actual communications mission though," Thomas said and smiled weakly.

Jackson turned to face Crewman Lopt. The crewman seemed to be of an average height if a little above average in girth. The brown hair and eyes and general demeanor gave a friendly vibe, but Jackson definitely noted the clumsy nervousness. Jackson was sure he could like the crewman. Jackson did his best to hide a grin and glared at the crewman. "Are you telling me that you are a novice at communications? You have no experience?" Jackson continued to pierce Crewman Lopt with his best annoyed glare he could do.

While Lieutenant Smith's glare was only about a quarter-Harlan, it was still enough to make Thomas nervous. "No... I mean, yes! Yes, I do. I finished at the top of my class. I've been on the Firebird since we launched and I helped with the refit too. I swear! I won't let you down, sir," Thomas said and tried to salute, forgetting he was holding his bag, which crashed to the floor, spilling his gear out onto the deck.

Jackson chuckled and patted Crewman Lopt on the shoulder, "I'm just giving you a hard time. The captain wouldn't have assigned you if he didn't think you could handle the job." Jackson turned back to the shuttle, "Let's check out the inside, shall we?" While Jackson was being friendly, he did pointedly leave Thomas to pick up his stuff. Jackson moved into the shuttle, he let his hand trace along the inside of the bulkhead as he examined the shuttle from the inside. The shuttle was very workable. Jackson glanced back over his shoulder to see how Thomas was doing.

Thomas managed to shove his tools back into the bag faster than he'd been able to the first time. He hurried to catch up with the lieutenant. His eyes roved over the inside of the shuttle and he had to admit, it was pretty tired looking. On a normal Starfleet ship, Thomas knew that engineering had regular maintenance and replacement schedules. This craft hadn't been taken care of in a long time, at least not up to Chief Harlan standards.

"The standard Runabout is fourteen meters long and can reach a maximum of warp five. It is equipped with an aft facing tractor beam and for defense has both phasers and photon torpedoes. The aft section can be outfit for either crew quarters or cargo space," Thomas recited from memory. "Although, I think this one is currently in cargo configuration."

A woman stepped into the shuttle, just behind Thomas. When she spoke her voice was loud and the engineer jumped. "Thanks for the briefing, crewman," she said and then looked at Jackson. "Sir, I'm Corporal Saddler. Lieutenant Cunningham said I was to report to you and do whatever you told me to do." She looked around the worn shuttle. "I sure hope this isn't some kind of cleaning detail."

Jackson chuckled slightly as he turned to face the newcomer. The marine was smaller in height, but she was obviously athletic. Her vibrant emerald eyes caught his attention. Those eyes are usually matched up with a more cardinal hair color, reminded him slightly of Nici, but with Corporal Saddler they stood out even more with her darker skin and dark hair. Jackson tried to gauge her demeanor but only got the cool persona of a marine. He flashed her a smile, "Welcome aboard, while the shuttle could probably stand to have a good clean, we don't have time for that. Nope, our mission is the more momentous task of fetch. Saddle, up. I will explain more once in flight." Jackson turned back to the front and found his seat. He quickly began the pre-flight checks. With this old shuttle, he wasn't about to cut any corners on the check. It would take a few extra seconds, but knowing the limitations of the ship was vital to him.

Saddler slid into the co-pilot's seat. She kept her hands in her lap as she examined the controls. "Looks pretty similar to a Marine EVAC shuttle. Of course, ours aren't warp capable so there's a bunch of options here that I don't recognize. Oh and you've got weaponry on this thing?" Eileen said with a note of appreciation in her voice. "Maybe we could test the weapons while we are out and about, sir?"

Thomas flopped into one of the other seats, which turned out to be the science and engineering station. Thomas sat his bag down on the deck, kicking it all the way underneath with his foot. He felt comfortable at the console. The engineering readout was fully functioning and while the pilots ran through the pre-flight check, he was doing the same with the engineering systems.

Jackson finished up with the checks and everything passed, barely, but passed. "While I am generally all for testing out a ship, it might be bad protocol to fire weapons with other ships, such as the Ferengi in close proximity." Jackson looked over towards Thomas, "We good to go?"

Thomas nodded. "Engineering systems are at 96% efficiency. I think that's pretty good considering the last maintenance was done two years ago," Thomas said.

Saddler nodded. "Power systems are online and fully functional," she said, assuming the Ops station. "And we could certainly test our weapons on some of those asteroids out there."

Jackson smiled, "We shall see how things go, for now, lets get this bird in the air."





"Crewman Lopt, got anything yet? The asteroids are starting to get thick here. Might have to let Saddler test out these weapons soon." Jackson deftly skirted past a small asteroid as they continued searching for this stupid probe. This was supposed to be an easy pick-up mission, but finding that probe had started to become troublesome.

Thomas was scrunched over the console and had been for the past twenty minutes. He knew that Lieutenant Smith was working hard to avoid the huge rocks swirling around them and Corporal Saddler was adjusting the energy flow to the engines to give him maximum maneuverability. It was Thomas' job to actually find the probe.

The problem was the rocks. They had an unusual metallic composition that was interfering with the sensors. He'd been cycling through different wavelengths, trying to find one that would punch through the clutter. He hit the reset button again and watched the frequency change to 243252.2934802... and there it was.

"Sir! I've got it. The probe is bearing two, two, six mark three. Range thirteen thousand meters. I'm attempting to interface with it right now," Thomas said. "Can you get us as close as possible? It will make things easier."

Saddler frowned. From her perspective, the odds of them being struck by an asteroid were one hundred percent. She looked down at the shields status and was somewhat encouraged that they were all green. But then she considered how generally dilapidated the ship was and the momentary burst of confidence fled.

"I could try to grab it with the tractor beam, sir," Saddler said. "It might work."

"Yeah, that could work. We will need to clear a way and get closer. Looks like you get to try out those weapons, after all, Sadler." Jackson flashed a smile and focused as he studied the map before him. The probe was surrounded by asteroids of varying sizes and while it seemed a simple thing to ask to get closer, Jackson knew this was going to be tricky and the timing would need to be near perfect. As he studied the map before him and the moving asteroids a path started to take shape and become clear to him. He was getting a good feel of the movements of the asteroids. While he was never great at the science and math part of this job, his intuition for these things was pretty good. Jackson saw his moment come and without saying anything he punched it, the impulse engines of the shuttle roared to life and threw them forward with increasing speed. The ships inertial dampeners held, but barely. "Time to see how good a shot you are Sadler, we have incoming!"

Saddler was happy to finally be doing something real, instead of just shifting energy around. She brought up the tactical controls and activated both the phasers and the micro-torpedo controls. She quickly sized up the incoming asteroids, ranking them in a threat matrix in her mind. The bright flare of phaser fire lashed out in quick bursts, vaporizing the asteroids in their path. A larger asteroid flashed in front of them, much too close for comfort, and she blew it apart with a torpedo.

"The way is clear, lieutenant. I'm going to try to latch onto the probe with the tractor beam," Saddler said. She switched the power from weapons to the tractor beam and the blue-white light lept across the distance between the Runabout and the probe, encasing it in a cocoon of energy. Slowly it moved towards them.

Thomas' eyes were glued to the viewports, watching as the probe came closer. Until, that was, a red flashing light illuminated his console. He looked down at it. "Lieutenant! We've got another rogue asteroid coming in from aft!"

Saddler cursed. "You're going to have to maneuver, sir. If I drop the tractor beam, the probe will smash against one of these rocks and I don't have enough power to keep it up and fire weapons."

Jackson cursed, this was supposed to be a simple seek and retrieve mission. Now, the probe had a significant risk of getting destroyed. He was definitely limited by the efficiency of the shuttle they had, but that excuse would not go over well with the Captain. Jackson adjusted the flight of the shuttle keeping ahead of the asteroid behind them and quickly looking for a path ahead. The power and extra length from pulling this probe definitely made things difficult. Jackson flipped the ship around port and pushed the thrusters to fire them through a small opening between two asteroids. He pushed the nose down and skirted past another, but drove the ship directly into a smaller asteroid that smashed against the shields. Jackson didn't feel like he was making any headway as the flying boulders seem to be coming out of nowhere all around them. As Jackson studied the remaining field to get through, a tricky and dangerous plan began to formulate. "How's our shields holding up?"

Thomas felt the old fear rising up inside him as he looked at the sensor display. Somehow they had managed to move out of the way of the oncoming asteroid and ended up in a worse position. He glanced at the shields. "Sir, shields are at eighty-two percent. But if we get hit by one of those big ones, there's no way they will be able to hold," Thomas said, sweat appearing on his brow.

"Screw this," Saddler said. "Sir, I recommend we cut the shields and you let me create some space for us with the weapons system. I'll clear us a lane and you drive us through it." The Marine looked over at Lieutenant Smith, her eyes showing the confidence she felt.

Jackson grinned, "Sounds like a plan. Let's do it." Jackson faced the console, studying the flow of the asteroids. He positioned the shuttle for the run and waited for the best path to open up. "Ready..." He altered the course to the port slightly and prepared for the run, "Lower shields! Shift power to weapons!" Jackson once again launched the shuttle forward narrowly missing the asteroid coming up on their aft. The trajectory had them barreling straight into an asteroid. Jackson trusted Saddler, he continued on the course and speed. The asteroid coming straight at them.

Thomas Lopt lowered the shields and closed his eyes. Then he opened one and peeked to see what was about to happen.

Saddler had the weapons system online before the lieutenant finished talking. She prioritized the targets and began her firing sequence. She kept the blasts short as these were rocks, not enemy ships with shields. The Runabout's phasers hummed as they spat beam after beam. The asteroids disintegrated in satisfying clouds of rock, that the Runabout rushed through, leaving a swath of glittering metal and ice in their wake. Eileen couldn't help but smile as she continued to smile.

"Almost there, sir," Saddler said.

Thomas opened both eyes, and looked down at the Ops screen. "Power at seventy-nine percent. I'm reading some kind of power drain. Attempting to locate," Thomas said.

The phasers locked onto the last major group of asteroids remaining between them and free space. Saddler fired and did a double-take. While the majority of the rocks had vanished a large mass of gleaming metal remained. "We've got something else underneath that rock, sir. Looks like tritanium ore. I've got a solution," Saddler said. She switched to torpedoes and launched a small spread of three micro-torpedos. The small ball-shaped missiles flashed forward and slammed into the tritanium asteroid. It blew apart in a dazzling display of light and the Runabout flashed through the silvery cloud left behind.

Saddler let out a whoop. "Yes!"

"Sir, power falling. Down to fifty-three percent. I'm trying to reroute through the secondaries. We've still got the probe but... something is draining our power reserves. Estimated power outage in forty seconds," Thomas said.

Jackson was pretty impressed with Saddler's shooting. He just finished a roll and blasted through another asteroid. His elation and thrill were immediately dampened by what Thomas said.

"Saddler, shutdown the weapons, reduce all power use to just essential systems and the tractor beam." He barked out quickly, "Lopt figure out what is causing this now!" Jackson new they only had a few minutes to react and they would be soon sitting ducks. He quickly reduced energy to the engines and delicately maneuvered them through the last of the asteroid field. Luckily they had made it through most of it, but they were stuck on the far side. Some distance from the Firebird.

Before the power ran out Jackson tapped the comm, =^= This is Smith to the Firebird. Our power reserves are draining quickly. In moments we could be sitting ducks. =^= Jackson waited for a response, but he only heard static, "Lopt, did that even get through?"

Thomas looked up just as the main power failed. The backup power picked up seamlessly but the lights dimmed and the displays not actively being used winked out. "I don't know, sir. Maybe? It depends on whether the power failed before or after the message finished sending. I can find out," Thomas said.

"I think we've got bigger problems," Saddler said, her eyes locked on the main window. Outside space rippled and a small green craft appeared. From the way it was built and the hawked beak front, there was no doubt it was a Romulan ship.

[OFF]

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer/Covert Operations Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Corporal Eileen Saddler
Marine EVAC Pilot
Marine Detachment 358
USS Firebird NCC-88298
(NPC by Llwyedd0

Crewman Thomas Lopt
Communications Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298
(NPC by Llwyedd)

 

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Comments (3)

By Lieutenant Cynfor Rees on Thu Aug 22nd, 2019 @ 4:26am

It's another fine mess that Jackson has gotten into. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

By Lieutenant JG Yikete Oggt on Tue Sep 3rd, 2019 @ 6:37am

Great scene! I love a good cliff hanger ending. -Liam

By Lieutenant Darzana Shel on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 @ 7:50pm

Yeah, this is just awesome.