Just Need to Get Back on Our Feet
Posted on Sun May 3rd, 2020 @ 6:09pm by Captain Charlotte Reynolds V1
Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: Outside USS Defiant, Starboard Nacelle
The power pulsed down the length of the backup conduit. It seemed to reach the nacelle, causing a brief flicker of life through its lights and systems. But the effect was short-lived, quickly replaced by the lifeless look it had had for a few days now.
Charlotte heard numerous officers groan over the comm, one even getting frustrated enough to kick his tool kit. Had it not been magnetized to the hull he’d have to go chasing after it. But the Captain didn’t react like that. She simply walked forward a few meters toward the nacelle housing.
From behind her, one of the junior Engineers protested. “Captain, you’ve gotta stay back from there. With power flow disrupted, we’re not sure where-“
She ignored the end of the sentence, reaching the casing and placing a hand on the massive engine. She’d have leaned against it if gravity was even remotely a factor. After a moment’s pause, she spoke, though the officer’s listening soon realized it wasn’t for them.
“Hello, Defiant,” she said, her voice in the same slightly shaky tone it had been the last few days, as her gloved thumb stroked the hull affectionately. “I know people are expecting a lot from you right now, and that you probably feel overwhelmed. You’ve been kicked, beaten, bruised. The idea of doing much of anything right now sounds exhausting, and you’d rather just curl up into a ball and hide. Things feel broken inside. Like it might be best to just stay out here, drifting in the vacuum. Where no one will expect anything from you.”
She looked back over her shoulder at the groups of officer’s working desperately to try and bring the ship back to life. To those watching from the viewports on the rearside of the saucer, uncertain if they’d ever make it home. She continued. “But you see all those people? They’re counting on us. They don’t want to stay out here in the vacuum. They want to…” The word escaped her for a moment, her mind distracted by the look of the stars around her.
When she’d first exited the vessel, the stars had seemed cold, distant, oppressive. But standing here, sideways on the starboard nacelle pylon, her vision had adjusted. And the sky was, if only for a moment, beautiful and full of tiny specks of light too numerous to count. “They want to live. They want to fight. They want to explore. And you and I? We don’t get to be done yet.”
Reynolds turned back to face the nacelle. “So how about this? We pick ourselves back up together. We dust ourselves off. We treat our wounds. We get back on our feet. And we vow to make those who hurt us pay.”
An edge seemed to come back to her voice. “Because those people deserve that. They need to know they can count on us. And because you and I are the same: defiant to the end. And this? This isn’t the end. Not when our crew needs us. We don’t let anybody push us around. We push back. So I need you to work with me. We need to pull ourselves back up, together.”
“Send another pulse,” she said, louder now, surprising one of her officers.
“But Captain, that close you could-“
“Send the pulse, crewman.” The order was stronger this time. “We can take it.”
“Uh….yes, ma’am.” He pushed a few commands, and a new pulse flashed down the length of the conduit.
No effect. But also she hadn’t been electrocuted. So the power wasn’t just pouring out into the ship. It was getting into the systems it needed to. “Again,” the Captain said, before continuing quieter. “Come on, girl. Stand back up.”
A second pulse coursed nothing. “Again.” Charlotte’s posture straightened a bit as she said it. “Get up, Defiant.”
Another pulse hit the nacelle’s power systems and there was a momentary flash. Charlotte felt like she’d basically felt the pulse of her ship come back. “Purge the internal power lines and hit it again!” The order was almost immediately followed. The next pulse brought with it the return of the nacelle’s indicator lights and the faintest flicker within the Bussard. “There we go, girl! Come on, get up! Hit it again!”
A slight spin to the internal Bussard mechanism and the a flicker in the grilling indicated that the change wasn’t just cosmetic. “That’s it! I know you’ve got fight left in you!”
The engineers weren’t waiting for her orders. They saw it too. Another pulse came through the ship’s systems and the Bussard lit up brightly, in red standby mode. The internal mechanism began spinning again. Charlotte held up a hand and the engineering team held off on their system pulses. “Come on, Defiant. We’ve got work to do. Show me you’re with me!”
As if on cue, the nacelle seemed to kick into active status, its normal operation lights returning as the nacelle matched pace with its twin. From over the comm, the Captain heard the excited voice of one of the Engineers. “C…Captain! We’ve got a warp field!”
Charlotte was a little surprised to find herself standing straight, legs planted confidently, shoulders squared. As if she was on duty. It was quite possibly the first time she’d even been close to the posture since Typhon’s craft. She watched the power systems come back on across a good section of the secondary hull as the warp engine returned to life, able to produce its power again. Defiant was fighting back, ridding the poison from its systems. And she was too. “You’re damn right we do, crewman. Defiant’s not dead. She wasn’t broken. She just needed us to help her get back on her feet.”