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Lt Costello, Lt JG Takeuchi, Ens Eikshah, Cn Kaeriss - "Sail Away"

Posted on 2019-10-23 08:33 by Lieutenant JG Mayoko Takeuchi & Ensign Siriad sh’Eikshah & Lieutenant Amadeus Costello & Crewman Kaeriss & NPCs (Amy)

Mission: Whiskey in the Jar

As they reached a junction, Costello only able to tell by the light of Mayoko's torch and the change in stature of her silhouette. The deck plating felt strange suddenly beneath his hands, and in the torchlight ahead it looked like there were grey droplets floating up towards the ceiling.

"Well, that was... strange," Costello mused out loud as everything suddenly returned to normal. He swung his legs through the opening and sat in the edge of the jefferies tube as they took stock of their position, and which way they needed to go to get back out into the corridors. "How's the shoulder holding up?"

Mayoko had rocked back from her crawling position to kneel, perched with her bum on her heels, the kind of sitting position that is only sustainable comfortably for more flexible, Yoga sort of people. She shone the flashlight downward to light Costello's entry to the junction without shining towards him and blinding him from the stark contrast between its light and the absolute darkness that was a Jeffries tube under emergency power.

"I don't feel any pain, thank you Doctor," she explained softly as she cradled the arm to her front as if secured by the sling that Costello had never been able to replicate. Mayoko was unaware of what he had just seen and assumed his comment to be related to the previous situation in sickbay which was certainly one she wouldn't have imagined she may encounter. She had always thought the Joshua Norton relatively untouchable with its cloaking device, she was coming to understand quickly that this was not the case. She looked at Costello's features that were thrown into stark shadows by the reflected torch and his eyes that settled on her as he paused in the junction. They had a choice of direction.

"Do you know which way we go now?" she asked. "I thought I knew…"

Costello looked around at the options of direction and frowned. "We should be able to see an exit door down one of these tubes, I thought it was the right hand one, we can't have gotten turned around in that short distance, unless we came the wrong way down the first tube..."

"Of course… Sorry…" Mayoko lent forward again to shine the flashlight in the direction Costello had specified. She could make out the word 'Exit' in red on the hatch at the far end. She nearly commented on the fact that her concussion was still making her head swim a little but right now wasn't the time to challenge her companion's confidence in her abilities. New Mayoko was still making some good calls.

"You were right. This way!" she chirped and ducked her head down into the tube, starting the crawl with the flashlight clunking against the hard floor of the crawl space as she multitasked with her left hand and arm, her right still kept as motionless as possible.

Costello carefully climbed through into the second jefferies tube, worried that Mayoko's concussion might be worse than first thought and decided to make sure he kept an eye on her until he could give her another once over. After this, if they didn't get decent R&R Costello was going to make a complaint citing medical negligence from their superiors. Jefferies tubes were definitely more disconcerting in the dark, the inconsistent light of the moving torch making the bulkheads look like they were shifting, and honestly he wasn't sure he hadn't imagined the strange thing he'd seen earlier. He had to admit that his patient was doing well though, she was being sensible about her shoulder, not trying to steam through the pain and use it anyway as was the problem with so many Lieutenants these days. He followed her to the end of the corridor, pausing at the hatch.

"Do you need a hand with the hatch Mayoko?" he asked as he came up behind her. He hoped it wasn't stuck, he would prefer Mayoko out of a space where she was forced to crawl, and potentially use her arm by accident, as soon as possible.

"All crew report to escape pods for evacuation, this is not a drill."

Costello could feel the moment his adrenaline surged, and he took a deep breath. "Nearest escape pod is out of the hatch and turn left," he said, his voice almost commendably calm.

Mayoko paused. If she wasn't okay with the hatch they would have to be some extremely intimate manoeuvres inside the small space to allow the stronger and less injured Lieutenant Costello past to release the pair back into the main part of the ship. In hindsight he probably should have gone first, but that decision was in the past now and irrelevant. Mayoko listened to his directions with some relief as they confirmed her own recollection. The torch placed temporarily on the floor she activated the internal manual release for the panel and with surprising flexibility was able to shift herself about in the small space so her feet were pressed against the 'Exit' sign she had spied from the junction. With a hard shove from her pink-slippered feet the hatch clattered to the floor outside and Mayoko wiggled her way out into the corridor, making sure to light Costello's path behind her when she was out and offering her good arm to guide him out of the Jeffries tube.

"All crew report to escape pods for evacuation, this is not a drill," repeated around her.

Costello gladly took the offered arm and climbed out of the tube. "To the left we go..." he said with a grim smile. "You might be lucky, I think there are bandages of some kind in the escape pods, you may get that sling after all," he joked. Glancing around they moved off down the dark corridor.

As the two made the short journey down the corridor towards the forward escape pod, Mayoko began to wonder what an evacuation must be like on one of the federation's larger starships. It can't have happened much since the Dominion War, but some ships in the fleet had crew sizes that went into four figures and included civilians and even children. How did they cope? Did they have evacuation drills? Were they big events in the crew calendar? Were they scheduled or surprise? With just Starfleet personnel aboard and a crew of less than fifty the Joshua Norton had a relatively easy time of things in that regard, or so Mayoko thought to herself as she followed Doctor Costello around the final corner, spying the escape pod ahead and noting with some relief that it hadn't already been launched.

Kaeriss had gone to the Science Lab just like she was supposed to. She'd made sure the spores were secure, but when the power had died, and the forcefields had all popped, and the spores had started to glow... she'd started to get worried. The explosion that had taken out sickbay had not left the science lab unscathed. She'd found herself stuck behind a door that would not open, and containers of spores that were in danger of breeching their containers at any moment. So into the jefferies tubes she'd gone, and that was when the evacuation order had sounded. So here she was kicking at the entrance hatch closet to the forward escape pod.

It crashed to the floor right in front of Amadeus and Mayoko and she blinked at the glare of their torch.

"Turns out my timing is excellent after all, I'd have hated to have to find another pod," she said, offering them both a reassuring smile. She was relatively unhurt, she'd caught a claw as she was trying to steady herself during the ship being rocked around like a lone tree in a hurricane but it wasn't bothering her too much. Short application of a regenerator would do the trick and it looked like she'd run into the right people for that.

Her humour told Costello that she was uninjured and her returned the smile. "O.k. who wants to fly this pod?" Costello said, walking up to the hatch and pressing the button to open it. "Three spaces in the forward pod! Anyone else on their way?" he called down the corridor.

As another crewmember who was on the quieter side socially as Kaeriss was, Mayoko was pleased to see the Caitian. They had worked together a little with dangerous chemicals supporting Mayoko’s Demolitions speciality and Mayoko had quickly found a level of respect developing for the Sci-Tech. She had no idea what Kaeriss’ flying skill were like however but with one arm still clutched to her front in protection from her shoulder having been dislocated she wasn’t the ideal candidate to fly and suggested the same quietly to the two others stood with her by the pod door.

"Two more and a small creature coming," Dhodot called as he and Siriad turned the corner at the junction nearest the escape pod. He quickly finished the jog to join the others with a quick glance to verify that Siriad was right behind him. The small rodent in his hand looked around as they reached the others. "I have no idea what this is, but it looked too well groomed and cared for to just be a pest? Anyone know if this is someone's pet?"

Siriad had jogged behind Dhodot the entire time, occasionally looking back. Were they really gonna abandon ship? She didn't even had the opportunity to see who attacked them, or even do the job she was assigned for. When the Lieutenant warned the other crewmembers about their arrival she was crudely pulled out of her thoughts as she prepared herself to enter the pod after her male companion. After a short peek at the entrance of the pod, the small woman had concluded that three other crewmembers had found their way to this escape, and one of them seemed wounded at the shoulder. Fortunately for her one of the other crewmembers seemed to come from the medical bay, so she decided not to waste too many words on it. "You first," she urged the Lieutenant. "I'll be right behind you. Are we expecting anyone else soon?" she asked, the latter part meant for the other crewmembers present.

"Rusty!" Mayoko breathed with surprise and approached Dhodot. "This is Lieutenant Jarkil's pet," she explained. At the familiar smell of Lieutenant Takeuchi Rusty the Degu made a rather emphatic bid for relocation and she scurried up the outstretched arm that Mayoko had intended for just a reassuring stroke, settling on the shoulder of her uniform jacket that was quite spectacularly ruined by dust and blood. Indeed, the Lieutenant's appearance, normally so pristine was now quite the opposite, her unsightly jacket covering a set of pyjamas that were once pink, now also covered with a layer of dust that used to make up part of the ceiling of the Joshua Norton's sickbay.

As one of the more senior members of security Mayoko recognised the Andorian just arrived but the two hadn't had an opportunity to speak. "We've not seen or heard anyone else nearby," she replied to Siriad's enquiry and looked to Costello as the most senior officer present for their next move.

"Well that's one mystery solved at least," Costello said with a smile, glad that the pet had found its way into someone's path and had not been abandoned. "Everyone else from sickbay should have headed to Port. So, Dhodot if you could man the pilots seat, Mayoko you and your charge in next and we'll get you strapped in," he said, directing them into the pod one by one. "Crewman, if you could be last in, we'll keep the door open as long as we can just in case," he said, ducking in after Mayoko.

Kaeriss nodded, and waited by the hatch as everyone else headed inside. Costello was right, they had to go, but waiting as long as they could was only fair. She waited to be told the checks were complete and they were ready to hit the button.

Dhodot moved inside quickly, strapping himself in and looking over the pod controls. It was designed so that pretty much anyone could operate it at the most basic levels, but as he'd only touched one in training simulations at the Academy, it reassured him to check. All the systems appeared powered on as they were designed to do when the pod was opened, and though the sensors weren't picking anything up yet since the pod was still docked in the ship, they indicated they were ready to start scanning once they could.

"Ready when everyone else is."

Mayoko followed Dhodot inside and once seated carefully ran her arms through the straps. As her good arm passed through the second strap Rusty hopped down her front onto her lap and looked for a place to rest.

“Kon'nichiwa kawaī ko.¹” Mayoko smiled as she stroked the Degu and took a deep breath. The adrenaline from her injury was wearing off and her grasp on consciousness was fading. She rested her head back against the padded headrest and let her eyes close, only the feel of Rusty’s claws on her legs keeping her awake.

Siriad entered the pod next, finding herself a spot close to Dhodot. She looked over the ones present, taking inventory of the members that had already found their spot. Was this really all? How many people would be capable of getting themselves to the escape pods?

"Are we leaving right now?" she asked Dhodot, who had seemingly taken on the leadership of the small group. "Do you think we got everyone?"

"We'll be launching soon. We can only hope everyone makes it to a pod, but there are enough that we don't have to be full. Normal crew complement for a defiant class is fifty, which means there's space for half again that in the escape pods. We only have thirty-two crew." Dhodot looked to Costello, ready to launch when the doctor decided it was time.

Costello checked everyone's harnesses and then took a seat himself. "Kaeriss, it's time," Costello said firmly as he strapped himself in.

Kaeriss nodded grimly and climbed into the pod, taking the seat by the door. She strapped herself in, and took a deep breath before hitting the eject button. The pod lurched out of the ship and into space.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant Amadeus Costello
Chief Medical Officer
USS Joshua Norton

Lieutenant JG Mayoko Takeuchi
Demolitions Specialist
U.S.S. Joshua Norton

Ensign Siriad sh'Eikshah
Weapons Specialist
USS Joshua Norton

NPC by Amy - Lieutenant JG Dhodot, Interim Bio & Chem Specialist
NPC by Zahara - Crewman Kaeriss, Science Technician

¹ - "Hello pretty little one." in Japanese

 

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