Xoasys System: GAMMA STATION ONE Orbit.
A couple hours later...
"Strangers in a Strange Land"
Worker and Repair pods went to work on dislodging debris, mending what could be mended and even cleaning out the remaining dead bodies that were either fused or had been trapped in breached bulkheads. The whole section was littered with them, but not all of them were intact. Most of the crew wished these pods could of been controlled from remote instead of being manually operated. Most of them could keep it together, but for the few that didn't... a lot of sick bags were used up in those pods. Even the clean air recyclers couldn't get rid of the smell fast enough, although could anyone blame them? Who wants to remoe partially burned, torn apart or blown up bodies from scorched wreckage for hours?
A few smaller Federation vessels ranging from Centaur, to Steamrunner and even Akira class, followed by a larger Excelsior refit class starship warp in from out of distance, large flashes of light. Casually taking up positions around the station they begin taking up positions around the station in a geostationary orbit.
Only after what had happened, all ships inbound for Gamma Station One
were sent a message to orbit the station and beam aboard, rather then dock with the other pods until the security matter was resolved.
GS1: Admiral Headly's Office.
Watching from her large window on the upper lounge area of her office, looking out towards the destroyed docking ring, stood the forty-eight year old Fleet Admiral with arms folded in front of her. She watched with a furrowed brow and looked on with an expression of concern washed over her face. Headly was already anxious about seeing Charles again after all these years and now, this had happened. Someone either planted a bomb or rigged the power relays to explode, or crashed into it with a ship full of cobalt explosives. Either way, that report would be coming in soon at least she hoped it would so that the next phase of the investigation could get started.
Already the lead Headly assumed they had was missing. That pale skinned, brown haired Officer in the blue uniform was gone, into hiding. Thankfully the transporter logs were checked and no one beamed off or taken a shuttle down since the lock down. But they could of been altered and it one person could cause this much damage, why wouldn't they be able to hack computer records on a transporter?
Admiral Amanda Headly felt even more crossed now, wondering why one of their own, if this person was in fact Starfleet, would do such a thing. Deep down the near middle-aged Admiral hoped that this in fact the work of another faction. That's all they need a internal investigation on her hands, and this mission to send out the newest, advanced ship out into the unknown was already enough stress. Even though Headly knew it was going to be commanded by someone she trusted and somehow still had a tiny ounce of it left in him.
Maybe it was the knowledge that her only child would be out there in the dangerous parts of unknown space too that was really bothering her. Heck it must of been really on her mind, otherwise she would of stopped herself from biting her thumbnail a lot sooner then she did. Finally catching herself, Amanda shook off the notion of concern as best she could and refocused on the current situation. The launch would have to wait to later, much later. At least until she and the rest of the command staff could figure out what was going on and put a stop to it.
Casualties lined the rows of single, grey and maroon padded medical beds. A little more then half were covered over by maroon sheets with the white, Federation of Planets logo in the center. The ones that were not covered, held those were not as badly injured. Unfortunately for them they had to be intermixed with those who were dead or dying due to lack of space in the morgue. Those who were not so badly hurt were taken care of by the on duty Nurses, while at the moment, only a few Doctor's were on duty, with one staying in the main infirmary in particular...
Doctor Susana Song felt her heart sink at the thought that the morgue had been filled to the brim already. The five-foot-seven physician with flowing, long, blond hair made her rounds, checking the bed monitors along the walls. PADD in hand, Doctor Song began to type in which patients to put on the deceased list to hand over to Admiral Headly later. It was taking everything she had to keep a level head and a straight face. She knew there would be days like this, just not this soon and not this fast but still, the twenty-nine year old, Australian physician continued to perform her duty as the chief medical officer on duty.
After finishing her rounds of bed checking, Susana came back to her small, windowed office space in the far end of the room. Walking around the black and brown lined desk, she slumped down into her chair. A rather normal sized, blue but comfortably cushioned chair at least, where you could put your feet up and relax on a lazy day. Just not this one. Susana just knew she needed to be alone for a moment and gather he thoughts and composure before heading back out there into the fray of death, and the barely alive.
With a deep breath, Doctor Song leaned back in her comfy chair and pulled her dark, blue lab coat around her even tighter. Then she shut her eyes slowly and attempted to push everything out of her mind, to think of nothing at all for the next five minutes.
Then suddenly there came a knock outside her office that awoke her with a start. Looking up towards the open doorway of her office cubical, she noticed a middle-aged, dark haired man in a red starfleet uniform jacket.
“Yes, can I help you?” she asked, quickly straightening up in her seat as she gathered up her PADDs, piled and cluttered upon her desk.
“Doctor Song, I'm Captain Gibson,” he said, then pointed to one of the empty, smaller, grey cushioned chairs, “May I?”
“Please,” she answered with a nod to the chair.
“Thanks,” Charles said while sitting down. He honestly didn't like being in the Doctor's office, even though this wasn't for a check up or anything of that nature. He still felt a little uncomfortable, but hoped he was hiding his uneasiness well enough.
“So what can I help you with, Captain?” asked Susana, placing her PADD down upon the rest of hte clutter, folding her hands on top of it.
“I'm here to let know you that you'll be part of my medical staff, as one of the chief medical officers aboard my ship after this investigation is over,” stated Charles in a calm and collected, easy going manner.
“I was told my transfer request was put through, wasn't expecting the Captain to show up to let me know in person though,” Susana said a little surprised, “Wait... I'd be one of the Chief Medical officers?”
“It's a big ship,” said Captain Gibson with a hint of a smile a bit of a chuckle in his voice.
“So I've been told. I've seen the diagrams but they hardly do it justice compared to seeing the vessel itself, in person,” he added, and then looked off as if through the young Doctor as he continued to verbalize his thoughts. “There's no feeling like that that compares to seeing that ship that you can call your own. It's like meeting that special someone you know... you'll have a long connection with. Will stay with through thick and thin.”
Susana just grinned while holding back a small chuckle, “I see. I suppose, just like me and most other professionals. We're married to our work just like Captains are married to their ships so-to-speak.”
“You could say that,” Charles said, nodding as he brought himself back to reality, adjusting himself in the chair, “Comes with the life in the service. So how are you holding up?”
With a sigh, Susana wasn't sure how to answer that, then leaned back in her chair once more shoving her hands into the pockets of her long, dark blue lab coat. “I don't really down... I mean I know this comes with the life of a Starfleet Officer. And as a doctor you're bound to lose patients but...”
“You just never thought it would of happened quite like this?”
“No. Not from a bombing,” said Doctor Song solemnly, slightly shaking her head 'no'.
“We're not totally convinced it was a bomb. But we do have people looking into it. The possibility is still there though.” stated Charles, heavily sighing trying to figure out what to say next. Sadly nothing had come to his mind, nothing would make it any better at least. “I wish I could tell you it was an accident... but, it is very possible it was deliberate. And like you... it does scare the hell out of me. But we can't let it control our lives. We can't live in fear. Otherwise...,” he stopped and thought about what he just said for a moment as a realization came over him, “we're not living at all.”
Susana nodded, and she understood that he knew how she was feeling, but when he said that part of her had a gut feeling there was more behind his answer then he was letting on. “I understand, Captain Gibson.” With that she leaned back in her chair and began to stand, “If I can be of any assistance, let me know, sir. For now I will be finishing up my duties till the day night shift comes in... then it's off to packing my things.”
She offered a genuine smile that Gibson returned as he stood and they shook hands.
“Welcome aboard,” he said.
“Thank you, Captain,” replied Doctor Song in her elegant, Australian accent.
GS1: Outside Docking-Ring Pod Beta.
Ba'lon felt weightless as he floated along through the debris field made from the explosion, with only a few inches of fabric, plasteel and transparent aluminium. He wasn't sure what he loathed more, the tiny space between him and oblivion or the feeling of a being in such a confining space. Alas the Dalfian wasn't one of those species who didn't need air, nor could breathe in space.
The only sound he could hear was the sound of his own breathing inside his helmet. So decided to try and focus on that, to keep his mind off of everything else that was distracting, other then his duties. Zero-G training was never his strong suit, and apparently it was problem for other Dalfians too, not just him. That did kind of give him some comfort that he wasn't alone. At least out here, hanging upside down in a field od debris and damaged bodies, he was certainly not alone. Other Starfleet Officers floated on jet packs along with him. Each in their own, grey-white space suit, lined with their division colors, and with the unique, Starfleet helmet and computer screens on their left or right forearms and legs.
Raising his tricorder up to the section he was scanning, Ba'lon typed into it as best as he could with those thick gloves covering his thick, stone-like fingers. He looked at the read the following read outs and wasn't sure if he was reading it right, so he did another scan. Ba'lon furrowed his uni-brow, then gently pushed off a beam that was sticking out at him to go up to the next level, instead of firing the thruster-pack when he didn't need to. “What the...?”
“What is it Lieutenant?” asked T'Lea, the Vulcan Science Officer floating down beside Ba'lon, gently holding onto the beam he just used to lift himself up.
“If I'm reading this right... our pasty friend overloaded the main power relay, and bypassed the sensor grid... by tapping in through the secondary maintenance diagnostic subroutine module....”
“He seems to have great knowledge of our systems,” stated the Female Vulcan Officer as she double checked with her tricorder. She then tapped her com-button, “Lieutenant T'Lea to Admiral Radcliffe.”
“Radcliffe, go ahead” came Gary's voice through the inner helmet speaker.
“Admiral, we have determined how the saboteur has managed to destroy the Docking Pod. I'm sending you the file as we speak over the d-link transfer beam. I recommend sealing off all Jefferies Tubes to the other pods as a starting precaution, sir,” T'Lea said, typing in the commands to send the information over the d-link beam via her tricorder.
Ba'lon hit his com-button as well and joined in on the conversation, “Admiral, Lieutenant Ba'lon here. Recommend placing secuirty at every junction point and panel that'd give him access to the main power systems and conduit relays. The Mug'tat may try to go after something a lot bigger then the pod next time if given the chance, sir.”
“Like the C.N.C....,” mentioned Gary, sombrely, “Wouldn't discount it as a possible target.” The Admiral paused for a moment, then continued, “Lieutenant T'Lea.”
“I want you to go to the C.N.C. Get on the scanners and see waht you can find... maybe if he's accessing a conduit or relay panel, we can at least know ahead of time. Maybe even find out if there are any life forms around a area with a power relay panel at least.”
“Could work, Admiral,” interrupted Ba'lon, “He'd have to be alone in order to do this kind of tampering.”
The two Lieutenants gave one another a look and then waited for the Admiral's reply.
“Maybe. Still, it's a good lead until Security can locate him. Just hope he isn't a shape changer... anyways, Radcliffe out.”
Ba'long and T'Lea gave each other another look and a subtle nod as the petite Vulcan floated on up after activating her thruster pack, leaving Ba'lon to continue alone. Honestly he felt right back to where he started on this assignment. Focusing on the breathing once more, he forced himself to calm his nerves down, then continued on with his work.
GS1: Jefferies Tube 47.
Smoke filled Lieutenant Tara Renn's nostrils and intense heat came at her from the rear while she lied on the metal grating of the Jefferies Tube. Forcing her eyes open into the very dark, but dimly lit tube she looked around. Taking in a deep breath, the twenty-eight year old Tactical Officer felt a sharp pain and began to hack and cough. How long had she been unconscious for, she wondered, as her lungs were obviously filled with smoke from the feel of it. Right now she wasn't sure if managing to jump into the Jefferies tube just before that huge chunk of debris collided with the corridor window.
A moment later she swore she heard the sound of air seeing out. That's all she needed, an hull breach to make things worse. Unfortunately checking for one was not something she could do from this position, but sadly neither was turning around.
Forcing herself up to her hands and knees, she started to shuffle along, dragging her duffel bag along with her. Gripping the strap she felt it tug on her and then noticed the sharp pain on her side, a couple ribs must of been broken... well it was better then losing her life. Renn just prayed that there wasn't any internal bleeding at the very least. Adjusting the bag to relieve the pressure on her injured side, the Bajoran Tactical Officer continued on her way through the Jefferies tube.
Scratched, battered and bleeding a little from the cuts she could see on her hands and knees, the young woman gritted her teeth and fought through the pain. Somehow using it to her advantage to keep herself awake, to push onward and to not stop. Thanking her lucky stars about memorizing the station inside and out yet again. If she could reach the junction there could very well be a chance for her to reach the Jefferies tube to the medical level, maybe. The smoke must of been getting thicker, or the blood loss was greater then she thought. Although a concussion was probably the safer bet, the cause of memory problems at the moment.
“Come on Lieutenant, pull yourself together. You can make it!” Renn encouraged herself ove rand over, quietly, through her teeth.
The flickering lights certainly were not helping much with her already, smokey and slightly blurry vision. Every couple of shuffles she felt ahead of her with her hands as best she could to make sure there was nothing in the way. Doing so she cursed under her breath as she felt this was slowing her down, but all she needed was to crawl into something hot, sharp, or possibly both.
Finally reaching the end of the tube, the battered Bajoran eased her way out into the junction, planting a foot down upon the tritanium hatch on the floor, at a time. Making sure there was no dizziness and that she could manage to stand, Renn stood up slowly in the center of the junction. Pulling down the lever on the side of the wall she just came out of, made the pressure door close tight. It took a few pulls to get it to fully cooperate.
Tara Renn then slumped to the floor on her behind, knees propped up to her chest a little. It was still ahrd to breath, that sharp pain wasn't fully gone, but it was manageable for the most part. Just rather annoying though. The air wasn't that much better in the junction, so she assumed the damage must of been quite extensive. For a while she stayed there, curled up on the unction floor, rubbing her forehead, hoping that splitting headache she was starting to feel sink it, would go away in time.
Reaching into her duffel bag, Renn pulled out her triorder and opened it up to scan the adjacent tubes around her. There had to be a way out and one of them had to be it, or at least a starting point to safety. She was more then ever, determined not to give up, since she never did before... so why would she start now?
GS1: Storage Compartment 22.
Huddled and crouched, the pale skinned, dark haired man in the blue Science uniform worked away. Changing out parts, adjusting them with tools that lit up with different colored lights, depending on which device he was using. Each unique tool modifying the internal equipment and circuitry of a meter long, grey tube with black accents all over it, a torpedo.
On the floor next to him was the phaser he had taken from the Security Officer he had killed hour earlier. The casing removed and the inner-workings splayed beside him on the cold, gun-metal grey, tritanium floor. It was his next project after getting ahead on the current one, it was only a matter of time before they began a whole station search through every nook and cranny.
A mistake on his part to be sure, leaving the docking ring pod through a main corridor. Some part of them figured he had panicked and took the fastest route possible out of there, before anyone could stumble across him, or the security officer he had wired up to the power conduit relay. Unfortunately two Officers had spotted him leaving that corridor. Because of them he'd have to modify the plans now, eliminating them would be a sub-priority if he were able to commence the the last part of this operation.
Placing the micro-field jammer down, the pale Lieutenant took off his jacket and reached for a laser scalpel. Suddenly he though he heard something and froze, then waited for whoever or whatever it was to come in. He did not fear, his blood pressure did not rise, neither did his heart begin to beat faster. No matter who it may be, he knew that he'd be able to attack it and take it out in no time flat. There was no cause for concern just yet so the young, dark hair, icy-eyed man switched the laser scalpel on. From the tip came a two inch, red cone of heated energy with a white core in the center.
Giving his surroundings a once over, the pale Lieutenant Science Officer started to burn into his arm, making an incision along his wrist, cauterizing the edges as he went along, eerily reflecting the flame red light in his cold, dark eyes.