Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: Transportation Suite
Leaving the bridge wasn't the usual, effortless glide into the hallway. The damage to the ship made even the doors seem to creak as they slid open to the hallway. The turbolifts were only partially operational and there wasn't a direct route to the main transporter room available. Isley was thinking about all of this as she led her small team from the bridge.
"Our best bet is to try to use the main transporter room," she said to Ensign Edwards. "It has the most power available and seems to be the closest to an operational state." She quickly punched up her pad and then stopped, looking concerned. "Hmm, getting there isn't going to be easy, but I think there's a turbolift ahead that we might be able to get working."
After a few more steps, the blonde stopped again. "Oh, and it seems that there are crew stuck in that turbolift anyway. We might as well try to get them out."
"Yes ma'am." Edwards followed her to the turbolift. He banged on the door. "Can anyone hear me?"
Within the turbolift, Veronica Rios stirred from her near fetal position stance. With the lights out and darkness closing in, she'd felt trapped once again. Even on this mighty vessel, she'd somehow ended up exactly where she'd started. In the dark, alone, in a tiny compartment. For all she could convince herself, she may not have even left the escape pod. But hearing the sounds of others on the other side, she stirred.
She was not, in fact, alone. "I...I'm in here! The lift shut off and I can't get the door open!" Her voice came out substantially more stressed than she'd intended.
Isley stepped up to the control panel. "I think it's just a power outage," she said after a moment. "If we open that junction box, we might be able to reroute power from the lights or some other non-essential system. That should be enough for the door to open." She then looked at her pad. "If nothing else, we could use the batteries on this or a tricorder to get it open."
Edwards walked over and ripped off the junction box cover. "Looks like a bloody mess in here." He looked at Isley.
She raised her eyebrows, looking slightly dismayed. This is when an engineer would have been handy, but they were busy on more high priority damage control assessment. She had some basic training with hold EPS conduits worked, of course, so she was sure they could make it work. It just might not be pretty. "See what you can do, ensign," she said. "Let's start with just getting the door open. We can try to get the lift working once we get them out of there."
"If I remember the Academy extension courses, there should be an manual override to release the door." Edwards looked and found another panel near the lift doors. He pulled off the cover and there was a handle inside. "I guess this is it." He tried pulling the handle down...but it was jammed.
Isley grimaced. It didn't look like this was going to be a problem solved by intellect and she didn't know how much raw strength could add, but it was their only chance. "Let's try together," she said, as she moved up to the handle.
They both placed their hands on the handle, and they yanked as hard as they could.....and the handle snapped down, releasing the locks on the turbolift doors.
Caroline tried not to look surprised that they had been successful and stepped back from the panel. She looked into the turbolift and called out, "We got the door open. Are you alright?"
Ethan looked into the turbolift tube. One of the cars was positioned just below them, stuck, maybe 2 meters down.
Rios's voice was still noticeably shaky, but she sounded more coherent. "Yes, I'm...I'm ok. I'm just a bit shaken up. I've been here a little while. What do you need me to do on my end?"
Ethan looked at Isley. "Maybe she can reach the roof hatch and we can pull her up?"
"Ummmmm," Isley looked throughtful. "Yes. Let's try it." Shrugging, she looked earnestly at Edwards. "I don't have a better idea." She moved toward the hatch and yelled down. "Can you get the roof hatch? We will try to pull you out."
Veronica's voice called out. "Yes, I think I can. Gravity is a little weird in here but..." There was a moment of commotion, with a few bangs, grunts, and whispered profanities. But after a moment, the hatch popped open. Veronica's head emerged from the hole. Her hair was badly disheveled and from the running make up, it was clear her panic due to her situation had been more than a momentary reaction. She climbed onto the top of the lift, looking increasingly uncertain. "Ok, what now?"
Ethan looked at Veronica, looked at the lift's roof, then looked at Isley. "Lieutenant, if I may, offer a suggestion?"
Isley was breathing faster than usual, the excitement of the rescue affecting her She turned to Ethan. "Certainly, ensign. What do you have in mind"
"I climb down, assist the lieutenant up then climb back up. It's not that far to go and the lieutenant seems to need the help." Ethan offered his idea.
Edwards was proposing to risk stranding himself instead of Rios. It might leave them stuck right back where they were now, Caroline thought. "If you think you can get back up, then let's do it," the blonde said. "But let's not end up with two officers stuck down there."
Ethan looked down the shaft, saw a ladder on the side of the shaft nearest the door, but sadly, the bottom half of the ladder nearest the roof of the lift was missing, but it wasn't that far away from the roof.
Ethan leaned over, grabbed hold of the ladder, and climbed down to the top of the lift. "How you doing, lieutenant? Feel like a climb?"
"Not particularly. But I think I prefer it to staying where I am," the woman replied. She made her way toward him carefully, not wanting to fall into the crevice between the lift and the long tube extending downward. The lift shuttered slightly, and Veronica slipped. But with a last minute panicked leap, she jumped and grabbed a hold of Ethan's hand and wedged her feet into the side of the lift tube. Not a moment later, the lift fell a full 4 decks downward before coming to a stop again. "Ok! Changed my mind. A climb sounds lovely. Can we please get out of here?"
"Sure thing, lieutenant." Ethan pulled her up, allowing her to get both feet on the bottom rung of the ladder. "Climb up past me, so you can go up first...I'll be here to catch you if you lose your grip. Nothing to worry about."
Veronica didn’t need to be told twice. As he scooted to the side, she scrambled up the ladder. “I appreciate the assist. I think my stay in the lift would have only gotten worse.”
"Someone would have found you eventually, lieutenant." He started climbing the ladder behind her, making sure she didn't slip or fall. "Don't look down, it'll just make you dizzy." The climbing was slow, she was obviously nervous. But they finally got to the top and now it was a matter of getting her from the ladder to the door.
With a small leap, the diplomatic officer made it over to the door, assisted by the waiting arms of her fellow officers. "The rescue was appreciated regardless."
Once Ethan was back, he nodded towards the diplomatic officer. "You're welcome." Then he looked at Isley. "Should we get going, lieutenant? We still have a lot of work to do."
Isley nodded. "Excellent work, ensign," Isley said and then smiled at both Edwards and Rios. "Let's head to the transporter room," she said. "We've got to get it working as soon as possible." The team couldn't use the turbolift after all, so they proceeded through the corridors and then through one access junction before making it to the main transporter room.
Once inside, the situation looked a bit bleak. There was very little power -- only emergency lights. And there was evidence of several shorts throughout the room. They were going to have to restore power and then fix or reroute around any damaged EPS conduits.
"Let's see if we can get power working," Caroline said. "And let's hope that there's nothing too broken."
The diplomat nodded. "I'll make sure the connection to the sensor grid is online. That's probably as close to anything I am trained in as we're going to get here."
Ethan pulled off a panel to several conduit controls. Any lights that were on inside the panel was red, which meant that all the circuits were fried.
He walked around, looking for some tools or a tool kit that maybe contained some replacement EPS conduits. "Anyone see a spare tool kit around somewhere?"
Isley punched a key on the wall and it surprisingly opened, revealing some repair supplies. She took the kit over to Edwards. "Try these," she said. Looking at her tricorder, the science chief moved to the main console. "If we can just get power, I think this is going to work," she said. At least the blonde hoped so.
Ethan took the tools, and with what limited engineering knowledge he had, tried to get the EPS conduits working. Mostly all he got for his troubles were electrical sparks almost hitting him. "Damn! Ouch!"
“Sorry!” Veronica called out from behind the console. “I wasn’t paying attention and just routed power that way. I promise it won’t happen again!”