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Zero Hour

Posted on 31 Jan 2018 @ 1:19pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Danyl Adan & Lieutenant T'Pai & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston & Lieutenant JG Dean Winchester

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: USS Black Hawk, Various
Timeline: MD35 || 0715 hours

===[Bridge]===

At last, the day had come.

PADD in hand, Harvey took one last look at the approved and completed modifications to the Black Hawk's shield grid. Another tab on the PADD detailed the course that the ship would follow. He'd reviewed them countless times, so many times that he swore they would be forever engrained into his memory. Just as engrained in his memory was the caution that the harsh degree of risk before them. In the last seventeen years, only two Aketi, a species native to the other side of the zone, were able to safely traverse the barrier. No one had yet successfully repeated their endeavour, though many had tried.

That was, until Lieutenants T'Pai and Alexander crossed through the barrier during a test flight a few weeks ago. The Black Hawk's attempt would be the first of this magnitude. Instead of a handful of souls crossing over, it would be hundreds. The risks were high, but knowing what they had to do... this had to be done.

The Captain set down the PADD and looked around the bridge where most of his senior staff was already in place. "All stations," he called out. "Report."

Camila stood at her terminal with her eyes scanning every change that flickered across it and noted that all systems were green. It was the big blob in that was concerned her more and the Captain wanted a report. "Security reports ready," she said.

This was it, Joey thought as she focused on the console in front of her and not on the Zone. If they didn't make it through, she didn't want that to be the last thing she saw. Hell... she didn't want her console to be the last thing she saw, either, but there was a level if professionalism that needed to be maintained. Even though the probe indicated they were going to make it through alive, she couldn't help her thoughts focused on the negative side of this. "Intel is ready, Captain," she said.

Normally, T'Pai would be in Engineering during Alpha Shift, delegating bridge duty to one of her subordinates. Being at the forefront of the creation of a navigational algorithm that would theoretically allow the Black Hawk to safely enter the Convergence Zone, however, logically suggested that the Vulcan engineer should be on the bridge for the transition. Particularly since her preliminary concerns had been substantiated by further modeling with collected data.

"We are properly configured to transit the barrier, Captain," T'Pai reported. "Damage Control Teams are standing by."

"Ready to collect the data and transmit them when ready.,", Arjin replied to the Captain. His eyes firmly glued to his monitor.

Thiago opted to not man his usual station and, instead, stood next to the Captain's Chair.

Lieutenant Danyl Adan's dark eyes skimmed over the information from his read-outs. "Ops is ready, Sir," he announced. He was ready, too. He had lived many lives and died many deaths in his symbiant's lifetime. How was this any different? Still, the spots on his face were a little darker than usual from the excitement both host and symbiant were facing.


===[Sickbay]===

Sick Bay is not ready! First, the Chief Medical Officer must disembark!

Jayla shook her head to clear the thought away. No, she was being silly. Sciences had done a lot of research and she was confident that they were sure this would work. Still, part of her was terrified. "Sick Bay reports ready," she replied, voice sounding dead. Great! she thought, rolling her eyes. We're back to that nonsense, are we?


===[Flight Deck Control]===

Terry looked down to the screen where the chirp came from. It was time to report in to the Bridge. He did a quick check of another monitor near him and found everything to be in place. The entire squadron was on hot standby and ready to be scrambled at a moment's notice. "Commander Walsh to Bridge, we're ready down here." He then turned to leave and head down to the Deck where he would meet up with the rest of the pilots.

Gemma sat crossed legged in her usual flight suit, helmet next to her as she pointed out details on the PADD she held about the Convergence, to a couple of other pilots. Their heads bent as they studied the potential flight issues they could be in their path.


===[Bridge]===

With all reports in, Harvey rose from his chair, tugging on his uniform jacket as he did. "Yellow alert," he ordered. Nothing about these next steps would be routine. After all, this was something no starship had ever done before, and he had to prepare for the worst. "Commander Teixeira, summon all non-essential personnel to muster areas. Ensure a copy of the data core is prepared to leave, should it be necessary."

Stepping over to his console, Thiago touched a series of controls on the smooth interface. The first combination activated the appropriate warning, ship-wide. The second began an emergency data dump to a backup core unit. It took several moments for the process to complete. When it completed, he keyed in a sequence to load the backup core into an ejection unit. That accomplished, he looked up, his eyes locking on Geisler's. He offered a simple nod to confirm completion of the tasks.

"Thank you, Commander," Harvey said, clasping his hands behind his back. "Ship wide channel please."

His fingers touched two simple control panels on his console. "On," Thiago confirmed.

Harvey took a deep breath, choosing his words carefully. "All hands, this is the Captain. Today, we get to put our past behind us. For so many months, our daily lives were consumed by conflict. Starfleet was founded as a peaceful, spacefaring exploration initiative. For seventeen years, the Convergence Zone has been sitting there, waiting to be explored. Today, we'll be boldly going where no one has gone before. We'll be on our own, with absolutely no support. But I have faith in all of you. Together, we'll succeed. Thank you all."

He then looked to Thiago and nodded, indicating that it was time to close the channel. The Captain then returned to the center seat. "Mister Langston, let's get this show on the board. Proceed along the predetermined course."

Felix turned to the console, steely eyes fixed on the main viewer ahead. His hands moved swiftly along the console, laying in the course he'd determined. "Aye, sir," he said softly. "Proceeding along the course."


===[Security]===

In Security, Winchester was running last second triple checks over all the Security related systems aboard. Unlike most, he was never too careful with stuff like this. As they were finishing up, he turned to a nerby panel and opened up a audio and visual link to the Bridge. He was always curious as to what was going on up there.


===[Bridge]===

Harvey gripped his armrests a heartbeat before the Black Hawk’s nose kissed the swirling energy barrier. He had anticipated some sort of jolt or shudder in the deck plating, but he hadn't heard or felt anything. "Hmm," he grunted, relaxing his grip and sliding back into his seat. "Smooth sailing after all."

Camila watched the blue barrier as the Black Hawk approached it and held her breath. The last time they had went through a barrier, she had ended up with a punctured lung and had to be carried to Medical.

Joey couldn't keep her eyes off of what they were faced with, and though she was holding her breath, she had to admit it was quite beautiful. Still, though, a large part of her was afraid. Afraid of what was waiting for them on the other side. There was no excitement about encountering the unknown... only uncertainty mixed with a bit of fear. They would make it in, but would they make it out again?

Arjin frowned. According to what they knew it could not be that all went this smooth. It was mathematical impossible. Yet the experience proved him wrong.

Felix looked ahead with an almost stupefied look on his face. He'd expected things to go all kinds of wrong, but was pleasantly surprised. He kept the Black Hawk sailing as smoothly as he could.

Just as Harvey's lungs exhaled a well-deserved sigh of relief, a loud POP exploded behind his right shoulder. The Captain turned just in time to see a shower of sparks and debris fall from the ceiling above the turbolift alcove. The bridge lights flickered as the computer automatically shifted the ship into red alert. "Report!" he shouted, rising from his seat and stepping towards the helm, just as the floor beneath him shifted, lurching a few degrees to port.


===[Security]===

Just as soon as the feeling of awe had filled Winchester, it fled away again as he saw the sparks and debris raining all over the Bridge, which also severed his links with it. Hearing a “whoosh” across the room, he spun his head and saw a panel had exploded, belching smoke and fire from within. Grabbing an emergency extinguisher from a nearby locker, he ran over and began spraying it into the cavity in the wall where the panel one was. He was still doing so when another nearby explosion caught him and flung him backwards, rendering him unconscious.


===[Bridge]===

"Oh merda!" Camila exclaimed as she held onto her console. "Shields are down to thirty percent. Rerouting from auxiliary!" she called over the klaxon.

"Structural integrity field has dropped to eighty-three percent," T'Pqi reported, her fingers moving across her board. "Moving to stabilize now."

At his station, Teixeira tried to put his experience and skills to work trying to keep power flowing to the SIF generators and, of course, life support.

Joey let out the breath she'd been holding and gripped the console in front of her with one hand while the other moved over the sensors. She'd had a bad feeling, and that feeling was quickly becoming a reality. Like everyone else, the Intel Chief was working to regain some kind of control.

Bracing himself against more shocks to come, Arjin started to scan fantically. But the readings were off scale everywhere he looked. He could not make any sense of it. All he knew was that what he had hoped would not happen had become reality.


===[Flight Deck Control]===

Not expecting this rough of a ride, Terry was thrown down and slid a few meters across the deck. Had it not been for the maglocks under the deck plating, the Gryphons would have been jostled in their locations or moved across the deck. Terry got up and tried to balance himself, tapping his combadge. "Walsh to Alexander! What's your status?"

Gemma shook her head to clear it. Fortunately she'd been sitting when the ship bucked but it still shoved her into the fighter she'd been sitting in front of. Rubbing her head she stood, using the fighter for support and looked around for injuries in her immediate area, fortunately the pilots she'd been talking to were also carefully coming to their feet, replied to her Boss: "Alexander here, knocked my head a just enough to ring the bell but nothing serious..." She said while touching the back of her head to make sure there was no blood. There wasn't, yay. "I'm going to check the area. You Boss?" She asked.

"Copy that." Terry stumbled as the ship continued to reel and shudder. Several of the consoles out on the Flight Deck sparked and exploded, sending a few people to the floor...motionless. As Terry reached for his combadge, another 'hit' sent him flying into one of the fighter alcoves. He opened his eyes and shook his head. This was one hell of a wild ride.


===[Bridge]===

The floor lurched again, this time more violently. Sparks flew from the rear Master Situational Display. A rumble could be heard behind all of the consoles as the ship was now unable to push away whatever was now rippling against its hull. Consoles and lights began to flicker, followed by an audible groan in the structural members. Harvey barely managed to position himself behind the helm to steady himself. "Are we close!?" he called out. He didn't ask because he wanted to push through so badly. He asked because if they weren't past the point of no return, this ship was going to be turned around.

"We are forty-nine seconds to emergence, Captain," T'Pai announced, adding, "Structural integrity field is down to sixty-six percent." The ship shuddered, sending T'Pai stumbling. The Vulcan quickly regained her balance, returning to her station. "Captain, the aperture we have traversed is collapsing. I would recommend increasing speed to one half impulse. It will increase the stress on the Black Hawk, but it would appear we have little choice."

"I second that thought.", Arjin replied. "The sooner we are out of here the better. We do not wat that closure to hit our nacelles."

"Sir," Felix spoke up, "it's risky, but I agree. It's now or never!"

"Do it!" Harvey ordered, preventing any more banter from occurring. They'd come too far to turn back. It was all or nothing now.

"Increasing speed to one-half impulse, aye!" Felix shouted as the ship shuddered violently. He braced himself as he increased the ship's speed. The ship creaked and buckled as it accelerated. "Trying to maintain speed, sir!" Felix called out.

Harvey should have predicted what happened next. The ship suddenly shook violently, perhaps the worst he'd felt since his prior command plummeted to New Bajor. An EPS relay blew under the viewscreen, sending a chain reaction halfway around the bridge. In an instant, the ship rolled to port, forcing Harvey to lose his footing and tumble along the slanted floor to the wall.

The lights flickered and went out, as did most of the control consoles. Sirens and alarms wailed as system after system failed. The Black Hawk, still flying forward, was beginning to lose control.


* * *


Inside the Convergence Zone, where space shone blue from the massive energy barrier that wrapped multiple sectors, it was silent and peaceful. Suddenly, a bright flash of light could be seen, followed by the appearance of a rather large vessel. Burning plasma smoked from her left nacelle for a few moments before a lack of fuel caused it to cease. Small sections of its hull had fractured, venting precious air. There wasn't a light to be seen, even the red and green running lights lacked illumination. The mighty ship glided to a stop, beginning to drift, slowly spinning without reaction thrusters to steady it.

The Black Hawk had entered the zone. But, she wasn't going anywhere else.

 

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