The death of Commander Hawke has caused an immediate effect on some of the crew. Lieutenant Commander Rachel Burton seems to have locked herself into her office and is not responding to calls. I, myself have found it difficult to think of the Commander's death. I would do anything that would bring him back. He was an excellent officer and a good friend; I wish I could have told him that before he died. But instead we were at loggerheads since the moment we stood on the ship.
I've placed Lieutenant Commander Hans as a temporary Executive Officer. The only other option was Doctor Burton, and ignoring her current mental state, she does not have Bridge Officer training.
USS Nightingale, Lower Engineering
V'ras rubbed the grease and dirt that had collected on his forehead over the past few hours. The attack by the Gorn had done some serious damage to the ship in general and specifically to the engineering section. V'ras had spent the last two hours inside a jefferies tube trying to reconnect the power to the replication system and the life support on deck 7, which had to be temporarily evacuated. It was very dirty work. He had one person down there in an environmental suit working in the power distribution area, but V'ras could spare no-one else to leave engineering, he was shorthanded enough.
V'ras had a crewmember resting for four hours at a time. He had to have everyone as rested as possible, and he had no idea how long he would have to work so few people. At the moment, the only other engineering officer was off duty. V'ras struggled to find a use for Amanda Hodge, she was not the best engineer in terms of warp mechanics or energy matrices. Her specialism was medical equipment, but by a stroke of luck, the medical equipment was not affected by the attack.
"Sir," Petty Officer Paul Thatcher tried to grab his attention as he took a sip from the bottle of water that was the only supply of fluid the engineering deck had at the moment with the replicators offline. "I've realigned the dilitium intake matrix, but the journey to the nebula serious taxed the crystals themselves."
"What power do we have?" V'ras asked making a mental note of the problem.
"By my calculations we could manager warp six at best," Thatcher announced glumly.
"Then that will have to do," V'ras said, he could not understand the Petty Officer's glum outlook, the ship could have been stuck without any warp drive what so ever.
"We also have a problem that out shields can only be charged to about fifty percent," the Petty Officer stated.
"It is better than nothing crewman," replied V'ras, "Get to work on the impulse drive."
The man nodded and walked off to a station on the opposite side of the room. V'ras mentally shook his head, it was a disastrous situation to be in, made worse by a hull breach in cargo bay one, where all the spare parts were vented into space. With limited resources it seemed highly unlikely that he had the ability to get the ship fully functioning again, at least not without getting to a Starbase.
V'ras turned slightly as the door to the lower engineering deck was opened manually. V'ras stood up still, intent on knowing who was coming in. He was relieved to see it was Captain Wilcox and Lieutenant Commander Hans.
V'ras approached them, "Captain," he acknowledge the entrance of his senior officer in a typical Vulcun neutral voice, "I apologise for internal communications being down," he continued, "But I need to get deck seven operational before work can start on them."
"Understood," replied the Captain, V'ras noted that he seemed despondent and distanced from engineering, "Give me an update on the current status of the ship please Mister V'ras."
V'ras nodded and moved towards a console near the where the three officers were standing. On it was a large visual of the Nightingale.
"Decks three and seven are completely abandoned at this point," V'ras announced pointing to the obvious positions of the decks on the visual, "Deck three lost artificial gravity about one hour ago followed by a partial loss of the life support. Deck seven has lost all life support; I've got a man down there attempting to reinitiate the system."
"Engines and weapon systems?" Hans asked, his voice seemed more concerned than that of the Captain V'ras noted. Even the Captain seemed disinterest as he blankly stared at the screen of the Nightingale.
"We can manage warp six at best," V'ras noted, "Shields could get to fifty percent at best, weapons we have a major problem."
The Captain shifted his focus from the screen to V'ras. V'ras could see some sort of pain in his eyes; something had happened that the Captain was not letting on. "Where do we stand?" the Captain asked.
"Phaser banks are completely burnt out," V'ras replied, "And the firing mechanism for both the torpedo launchers were destroyed in an explosion that occurred during attempted repairs."
"We have no weapons?" Hans asked.
"None," replied V'ras, "I could rig the deflector dish in order to send out a powerful pulse, but against a Gorn vessel, it is highly improbable that it would do any damage."
"I agree Captain," Hans added, "The Gorn hull is tough; to compensate for them not having any shields, their ships can take substantial damage."
"What about using some of the spare parts we have in storage," Wilcox started to ask, "Surely we have some weapon spare parts in there?"
V'ras tapped on the computer to show a shot of the cargo with a large irregular hole in the wall. The inside of the room had multicoloured gases swirling inside of it. "The cargo bay has a hull rupture. We lost a lot of the equipment through it, some probably still remains, but with life support down, and the emergency shielding failing twenty minutes ago on deck seven. The corrosive gases from the nebula seeped inside the cargo area, there is no way to get to them, let alone know if any of the spare equipment is actually working at this point."
"Can we cannibalise any other part of the ship to get weapons working?" Hans asked.
"No, nothing else is compatible," V'ras responded.
"The imaging chamber," another voice behind the three officers announced its presence.
Hans and V'ras turned to face the newcomer to the discussion, Hans did not recognise the young ensign, but V'ras instantly nodded to Ensign Hodge.
"Ensign," Hans nodded to her, "you have something to add?"
"Yes sir," she said walking up to the console and bringing up the designs for the imaging chamber, "With a bit of ingenuity, we can convert the device that loads the patient into the chamber, into one of the launchers."
V'ras consciously raised an eyebrow; it had to admit it was something that he had not thought of.
"What's the catch?" Hans asked.
V'ras nodded, "The chamber wasn't designed to load patients in quick succession," V'ras replied, "We would have a limited fire rate."
"Better than nothing," Hans replied, "Captain?" Wilcox maintained his look of distance from the rest of the group. "Captain, what do you think?" Hans asked again. V'ras noted that Hans maintained the same sort of emotional detachment as Vulcans, yet somehow managed to keep emotions close to the surface, it was fascinating for him to consider the possibility.
Wilcox took his time to respond, V'ras considered asking him again, but before he could the Captain moved, "Do it." His short statement was nothing more than a continuation of his distancing from the situation. "I'll be on the bridge should you need me," the Captain stated.
"Sir," V'ras had one more concern in which he had to speak to the Captain, "I could really do with Commander Hawke," V'ras announced, "He has extensive engineering experience and I am very short handed, I was wondering when he will be released from sickbay, as well as the other three members of my crew."
"Commander Hawke is dead," Wilcox replied sharply in an angry voice, V'ras noted an emotional surge from the Captain so strong it unsettled him greatly, "Lieutenant Commander Hans will take on his responsibilities."
"Aye sir I understand," replied V'ras.
"You understand what Lieutenant?" the Captain shouted, taking V'ras completely by surprise, "We've lost a great man, a great deal of good people on this ship, and you only understand." V'ras raised an eyebrow at the rant now being thrown into his direction, "It must be great to have no emotion, not to care about the lives lost."
Before V'ras could respond to the Captain's outburst he stormed out of the room and into the corridor. Hans, who had watched the Captain leave turned back to face V'ras.
"Carry on Lieutenant," he said softly, "I'll return in a bit."
USS Nightingale, Corridor, Deck 5
Wilcox slammed his fists hard onto the wall outside of engineering. He hated the thought that his friend was gone. He hadn't said a nice word to him since he had come aboard and neither of them had being that friendly to each other. He regretted some of the things he said to Dan, he wished that he had some way to convey that he was a good officer. He slammed the wall again with his fists as he continued on a few more steps, his hand felt numb now and he felt the wetness of blood trickle from his fist. He had hit a control panel and the glass that was on it shattered from the force of the punch he had given the wall.
"Shall I add that to the damage report Captain?" a familiar voice asked from behind him. Hans walked up beside him, "I'm afraid that the console is considered a minor repair though," he paused for a second, "It would have to wait until we get to a Starbase before it can be repaired."
"I understand," replied Wilcox. He didn't know what the Geckonian was attempting to do, but he didn't like to play mind games.
"There is nothing you can do Captain, nothing will make the loss of Commander Hawke better," Hans said, in his voice John could hear a sense of sympathy, but could not connect with it in his mind.
"You are wrong Commander," Wilcox replied, "There is something that I can do." Wilcox noted that the Geckonian cocked his head slightly to the side, "Come with me."
USS Nightingale, Brig
The brig on the Saint Bernard class ship was small in comparison to other federation ships. It consisted of a single cell and a small control desk directly in front of the cell. Inside of the cell were the three Gorn prisoners. As John walked in the Marine on guard duty came to attention.
"You're dismissed private," John shouted, "Get yourself out of the room."
The Marine nodded and walked out the room, going past Hans as he entered the room. John barely noticed the Geckonian step inside the small room. John walked in front of the force field that separated the cell from rest of the room. One of the Gorn stood up from the floor that they were all sitting down on and approached the other side of the force shield.
"I am Captain John Wilcox, commander of the USS Nightingale," John said, "I trust you find your accommodation comfortable, I'm afraid that we don't have a lot of space on this class."
The Gorn sneered at the comment and turned back to go and sit with the rest of the group.
"What not in a talkative mood?" John asked, taking on a distinctively hostile tone, "I thought I would let you know your attempts at disrupting life on this ship have failed."
The Gorn sniggered a little bit, "We killed some of your crew and we damaged some of your systems. From what I can tell, we have done some significant damage." He started to cackle at his statement as did the other two prisoners. "I see you brought your Geckonian slave Captain," the Gorn paused giving a disgusted look at Hans. John would give the Geckonian credit for not flitching, "Is he to do your dirty work Captain."
"I can do that myself," replied John moving over to the control desk, he waved his hands over the console and started to play with some of the rooms systems.
"Captain?" Hans asked, his voice seemed worried.
"I know you don't like the Gorn anymore than I do at the moment Commander," John replied, "Would three really be missed?"
"This is against interstellar law Captain?"
"And attacking us wasn't!" replied John, as he slowly started to suck the atmosphere out of the holding cell, the effects of the air thinning already displaying on the Gorn faces as they started to struggle to breath, grabbing their necks. John watched all three with glee, he was going to have revenge, he was going to make the Gorn pay for the death of his friend.
"Return the life support to the cell now sir," Hans shouted.
"You don't give me orders Commander, I give them. Get out if you can't follow them." snarled John.
The Gorn were now on their knees, John felt a small glint of joy in his heart at the sight of them begging for mercy as he almost finished extracting the air.
"Captain," shouted Hans, "Stand down!"
"No," John replied turning round to see Hans aiming a phaser at him. The next thing John knew everything was black.