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LtLG Lexil & Ens sh'Eikshah - "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"

Posted on 2020-03-12 07:53 by NPCs (Amy) & Lieutenant JG Lexil & Ensign Siriad sh’Eikshah

Mission: Poisoned Apples

Brock still didn't feel great, but given what they'd just gone through, he was thankful to be alive. The analgesic he'd been given from the med kit was probably starting to wear off again, but he didn't want to disturb anyone to get another dose. So instead he stood quietly behind the chairs at the controls of the shuttle. He'd elected to stand since the Lieutenant and the Ensign knew more than he did about what they were looking at—Lexil knew the sensors, and sh'Eikshah the weapons—he was mostly there to serve as an engineering perspective in case any of the systems were damaged in the battle and subsequent landing on the planet.

"Minus the four type twos taken by the survey team, as well as a phaser rifle, and the two taken by Dhodot and t'Rehu to go start their inventory in the escape pod, we're left with four type twos, a type one, and the phaser rifle that sh'Eikshah needs to repair before it's useful." Brock stood with his hands clasped behind his back.

Lexil, as usual, had a myriad of different readouts showing on the panel in front of her. She had taken the pilot's seat more out of habit than anything else.

"Good," she acknowledged Brock as a starting point, having turned to face him as he began his summary. "While it is in my head could you run a diagnostic on the impulse engines? There was a temperature warning during the battle, hopefully no damage done but I need to know. There should be space next to Siriad?" The control panel on the copilot position wrapped around to the side of the cabin slightly. "If not I'll gladly move. Siriad," she continued, turning to the weapons specialist sat beside her and with her head cocked to the side in an enquiring manner, "is repairing the rifle a lengthy task?"

Siriad had already bent over the weapon in curiosity, clearly already focusing on the task at hand — her attention half drifted from what the Lieutenant had said. "The rifle shouldn't be much of a problem, miss!" the lieutenant was told with a smile. "And there should be enough space here for Brock."

She bent over the weapon again. "How much time do I ideally have to fix it?" she continued, cracking her knuckles in anticipation. She had been quite lost in the chaos of earlier, but it seemed like a task to concentrate on was doing wonders for her mood.

Brock moved so he could reach the panel that the Lieutenant had directed him to. "I'll have that diagnostic done shortly, ma'am."

"Thank you Brock. I am very glad you are feeling better," Lexil said kindly before considering the situation regarding the phaser rifle. "I wouldn't make the rifle a priority," she started, clearly considering the matter as she went along, her features slightly scrunched in thought. "It seems we have enough weapons for at least one each which will be sufficient for now. I'd appreciate you giving the phaser banks on the shuttle a look, make sure they are operating properly. I have the feeling we will be needing them again."

Inside the chief science officer was in turmoil. A plan of action needed to be made, but the variables and unknowns made definitively good ideas hard to pinpoint. This was something that book smarts and hard knowledge couldn't necessarily help with, creativity and lateral thinking would, unfortunately they weren't Lexil's strong suit. She rubbed her wrist idly.

"Understood, miss!" Siriad responded, laying the rifle aside for now. She would work on it whenever there was a small pause, after the more important things were done of course.

She stood up, heading outside to first check up on the exterior of the shuttle's weapons. "What are we gonna do Lieutenant?" the Ensign asked before leaving, unbeknownst to the inner turmoil of the superior.

Rather than offer an I don't know Lexil went with an alternative phraseology that was more geared towards showing confidence. "I was just thinking about that," she said as nonchalantly as possible, following Siriad with her eyes. "Oh, did you need to do an inspection from outside? Best wait until Lieutenants Costello and Takeuchi are done with their planning in the rear section, I would hate for Rusty to get out. Are there any diagnostics you can do from in here?"

"Sure, I just like to physically feel and see it before running the diagnostics," Siriad explained her curious way of work. "It's easier for me. But I'll do the interior first then!"

She hummed softly as she turned around on her heels, heading back to the front of the shuttle. It was doubtful that she had even heard the Lieutenants remark on the overall plan. Lexil continued her thought.

"Of course we will want everyone's input on our eventual plan and I'm not certain how Lieutenant Costello will choose, I will admit I don't know him very well. There are legitimate reasons for us not to attempt to take off or do anything that may bring unwanted attention, however there are another two escape pods on the planet that don't have a replicator and I estimate they won't survive long if they aren't already killed or captured. I think perhaps a skeleton crew should be sent in the shuttle to try to rescue them, it seems to me the most compassionate thing to do, however it does risk the destruction of the shuttle which puts our team here at a big disadvantage compared to our current position. I wonder if perhaps we could run in the lowest power state possible or employ some shield tricks to try to hide from sensors. What do you two think?"

"If the shuttle is that important, perhaps we should hide it somewhere and search for the others. Aren't there enough high places here to use different forms of communication? We could easily hide light signals from the satellites and contact the other crew members." The weapons specialist brought forward while removing a floor panel

"In any case, communication is a must," the mumbled voice of the Specialist sounded as she crawled into the gap in the floor.

Brock looked up from the panel he worked at. "The impulse driver coils were out of alignment—probably due to damage sustained during the course of the battle, ma'am—I've got them doing the automated recalibration right now. When that finishes, I can verify if that corrected the problem or if it requires some hands on. sh'Eikshah, can I help you with your check of the weapon's systems?" Brock squatted down near the hatch that Siriad worked in.

"Sure," the Ensign whistled back. "How well are you known with the weapon systems? I might need an extra couple of eyes when I'm messing around here," she told Brock gleefully, pulling at some more cables. "If everything is alright a few lights should start blinking at the main control right now. Could you tell me which ones are blinking?"

"Messing around in here," Brock repeated in a bewildered tone as he turned to the console sh'Eikshah mentioned. "The tertiary alignment manifold's power warning is blinking currently. There are power loss errors on the phase buffers as well, ma'am."

A soft curse was heard from underneath the floor panel. "That might cause some big trouble in the future. Seems like we're gonna need to run some advanced diagnostics and see which parts exactly need fixin'."

A loud bang was heard under the floor panel, followed by a few seconds of silence.

"That was nothing! I'm alright!" she yelled up a short moment later, softly cursing against herself once again.

"Nothing is nothing except nothing," Lexil retorted. She had been considering Siriad's thought regarding alternative communication methods, but unless the other escape pods were within a few miles of the coast basic signals like light would never reach them and without relay satellites in orbit more advanced signals may not reach them either. The irony of needing a communications specialist when the ships cryptographer was the one they were trying to contact was observed by Lexil in a corner of her mind that hurriedly filed the concept away somewhere as 'annoying' and moved on. Even Zola would be a great help, but she was also on the moon as far as Lexil could remember.

"According to our last known position for the other escape pods we may be able to contact them from a high point near the shore. That would be a few hours walk from here. Definitely an option. Siriad, how up are you on shield technology?" Lexil asked.

Either ignoring, or not having noticed the retort at all the cheery weapon's specialist made her way back, Siriad stuck her head out of the opened floor panel to see what's going on up above, a big bruise decorating her forehead now.

"Shield technology? That depends on your question," she said humbly, but eager. "What are you planning? I'm sure I know enough to help you around."

Brock shook his head in bewilderment, and cleared his throat as he looked at the blue bruise on Siriad's forehead. "Are you alright, ma'am?"

"What is what?" she responded, acting like she had no idea what Brock was talking about. "Ohhh, that thing there? It's uhh.. I kinda knocked my head against the floor panels when I stood up too fast," she explained smiling. "Nothing to worry about! Just a small mistake."

Lexil’s curiosity was satisfied and she carried on her line of thought.

“Do you know if there is anything we can do with the shields to mask us from sensors or help us not to be detected? If we had to take the shuttle up it would be advantageous not to be set upon by drones immediately,” she explained.

"Ma'am, I might have an idea. It won't do anything to prevent being spotted visually, but if we remodulate the deflector, we should be able to generate enough random noise to make us look like an anomalous reading?" Brock offered a hopeful smile to Lexil. Lexil returned it gladly, and she was pleased to start having ideas and options to present to Costello.

"Excellent. Can you do that on the fly? Or perhaps show someone else how to?" she asked, quickly, turning back to the shuttle's main control panel to make some notes on one of her many open screens.

"It's more of an on the fly thing, but get me a hyperspanner, and I got you covered."

"I'm sure that will be possible. Would that technique help us if, hypothetically of course, we were to make a sortie towards the moon base?" Lexil asked Brock, having swung back around to face him again.

"That might be harder, do we know what sort of senor kit the attack satellites were using? They seemed aggressive, so they may be the shoot first, ask questions if anyone survives sort... But I could try to make it harder for them to get a target lock at least. I'd still recommend t'Rehu on weapons as a backup." Brock tried to stand up straighter, clasping his hands behind his back.

Lexil was starting to wonder who was responsible for shuttle design at Starfleet as she turned, once again away from Brock to review the sensor logs. She scratched her cheek idly as she found the relevant information.

"Hmm. Ah, well… interesting. Very interesting. Very interes… really? No… surely not. Really?

Lexil cleared her throat.

"Given the array of sensor sweeps, bands, scans, pulses and other such invisible invasions that were targeted toward us by the moon base I should guess they know not only our capabilities and armaments but who we are, what our names are, what our parents' names are and what we had for breakfast. Look, here." The Denobulan pointed to a list of different colour-coded scans on the log. "A metaphasic sweep. On an uncloaked ship. Who does that?"

"A lunatic with a moon base?" Brock offered a cheeky grin as he stepped forward to look at the logs. "And if they know my father's name, I'd appreciate if they share, because Ma was never sure." He winked and chuckled. "But seriously, we're not getting through that without being seen. Our best chance is to beef up our shields and weapons if we can, and use the deflector to throw interference to make it harder for them to get a lock."

"I can make something work," sh'Eikshah butted in again. "I'll leave you two to the deflector business, and then I'll focus on the exciting part." She grinned. It didn't happen that often that she would be given a free leash on re-modulating the weapon-systems on a ship. Let's see what exactly she can 'beef up'. "Is there anything else I need to take in account? Do we have enough power to sustain a bunch of upgrades and extra modules?"

“That will depend on a few things,” Lexil replied with a slight chuckle. “Such as how many people are aboard at the time for example and what Lieutenant Costello decides our priorities are. For now only make upgrades in your head please, Ensign, Lieutenant Costello will have to give the go-ahead before anything can be changed. Feel free to run some simulations though.”

"Alright. Thank you Lieutenant, I'll work something out asap!" the cheery Ensign responded. "First I'll make a list with the important things and then I can..." the voice of arm's specialist slowly died away as she descended back into the floor again, muttering to herself of her most grandiose plans. Of course half of what she had in mind would never be accepted, but just the idea that she was allowed to forward them was a huge spice difference in her normally one-sided diet she got dished up. Not that she mind those at all anyway.

Lexil couldn’t help smile at the enthusiasm of the ships weapons specialist as she disappeared into the cramped floor space again. It was certainly good for the general morale and well most of the crew were probably thinking about the likelihood of getting home, they weren’t showing it.

“So, just let me recap,“ she said out loud using Brock as a sounding board. “The super safe option: we keep the shuttle powered down and hidden as much as possible and try to stay off sensors and survive here on the planet. We could also send a ground team to a high point near the coast to try to contact the pods that landed in the ocean. A less safe but more compassionate option would be to try to contact those pods using the shuttle, probably with a skeleton crew of our best pilot, you on shield and deflector control, Fearne or whoever our best transporter operator is and I guess either Siriad or Lia on weapons. Or, we all piled into the shuffle, perform whatever upgrades we can to give us the best chance and strike out for the moon base again with an aim to get directly inside the defence perimeter and land, I suppose at the same location the captain did. For this we will need to have potential upgrades already input into the computer so we can run some tactical simulations. Does that all sound sensible?”

"Yes ma'am. To further assist if we choose to bunker down here, I can see if the shuttle has a copy of the specs for the escape pod — to see what can be repurposed to craft a shelter that's not so cramped, but keep us safe from the highly chlorinated atmo." Brock indicated the co-pilot's chair. "As sh'Eikshah is currently busy elsewhere, may I sit?"

“Of course,“ Lexil replied, her mind already picking up the possibilities of pod-based shelters. “An excellent idea. I would imagine the life support systems and power systems at least would be able to be re-utilised for long-term shelter. Start on that and we will add what you create to the options.“

A loud bang was heard underneath the floor, followed by a strange light hissing sound. It's clear that sh'Eikshah was already working hard on the system.

Not much later her head popped up again. "I rerouted the main grid to make it easier to add some temporary upgrades to it" she announced with pride. "I also made a list with things I want to do! I just ehrm... Need to write it somewhere," the Ensign started, trailing off as she wasn't very sure she could explain it well enough without any practical examples. Lexil stared at Siriad with incredulity.

"I said only make upgrades in your head,” she challenged the Andorian with an uncharacteristic hotness in her tone. "I believe my exact words were Lieutenant Costello will have to give the go-ahead before anything can be changed. Did I not say that? Was I not clear?" Lexil asked the weapons specialist, looking to Brock for his recollection also.

"That's what I heard, ma'am," Brock answered.

"I uhh," the Andorian flushed a deeper blue in embarrassment. "My apologies miss, It's just a simple change in program. I.. I'll revert it immediately." The Andorian struggled to get through her sentences. "I wasn't really sure why I did that. I just thought it would be helpful," she stammered on, looking down now. "You were clear, ma'am"

"Alright, yes, change it back please." Lexil had said please but it wasn’t a request. She understood the weapons specialist’s enthusiasm, but in her mind now wasn’t the time to be misinterpreting orders. If the crew were to be reunited, if they were to get home or even just survive, they would all need to be working together and on exactly the same page. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath.

"Now,“ she said, more to herself than anyone else as Siriad disappeared under the floor again, "options. Let’s make these really good."

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant JG Lexil
Acting Chief Science Officer
USS Joshua Norton

Ensign Siriad sh'Eikshah
Weapons Specialist
USS Joshua Norton

NPC by Amy: Crewman Brock Sampson, Engineering Crewman


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