A Sinking Ship (Gorkon)
|2392, Episode 1|
- Stardate 239208.08 - 239209.17
The new crew of the U.S.S. Gorkon concluded their leave on Starbase 118 with an awards ceremony, set in an idyllic holodeck simulation of an old English summer fete. With R&R over, the Gorkon left Starbase 118 to return to its theatre of operations, the Menthar Corridor.
En route, the vessel received a distress call from the Oberth-class science vessel, the U.S.S. Tharsis -- part of Astrofori One's standing fleet, Peaceforce Five. Approaching the Tharsis' location, the Gorkon discovered that the ship was trapped in an unknown gravity anomaly, communications unresponsive.
Three away teams beamed over to the stricken ship; Commander Alucard Vess lead a team to sickbay in order to organize medical relief, Commander Chen's team beamed to engineering to determine how to restore power and repair the vessel, and Captain Quinn Reynolds beamed to the bridge with a team to assess the need to evacuate the crew. Upon arrival, the the away teams found the ship running on emergency power, dispersion fields and smaller gravity anomalies throughout the ship, and the crew nowhere to be found.
Events swiftly descended into chaos. Communications were severed, and the Tharsis' shields were raised, preventing a return to the Gorkon. A deliberate overload of the electro-plasma systems forced the bridge team to escape into a powerless turbolift, and from there into the jefferies tubes. The ship, including the maintenance tubes, turned out to be trapped; set by deranged Tharsis crewmembers.
Commander Vess' team found sickbay damaged and in disarray. A search turned up a dead Bolian crewman, infected with Sarpedionital Gondii - a parasite known for burrowing into the skin and fusing with the nervous system, causing paranoia, irrationality and violent tendencies in its hosts. Discovering the Tharsis' Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lazsar Morzon, and an old acquaintance of Cmdr. Vess, in hiding, the team find out that the parasites had infected the crew as a result of his negligence, and are forced to evacuate the area after the corridors are filled with an unknown toxic gas and a wildfire protocol is activated in sickbay. During the confusion, Dr. Hawkeye, who had been infected in sickbay, managed to escape the group, intent on escaping the ship. He worked his way to the shuttlebay where a few uninfected civilians were hiding.
Chen's engineering team was the first to encounter a member of the Tharsis' crew, a badly injured crewman who collapsed shortly afterwards. A warp core breach drill was activated, and the team escaped through the jefferies tubes before engineering was entirely locked down. The team came under fire after exiting the tubes, and reluctantly had to abandon the dying crewman in order to save themselves. Creating a diversion and escaping, they decided to try and head to the computer core, in an attempt to regain control of the ship. As the team was escaping into a turboshaft, Chen was struck by phaser fire and incapacitated.
Meanwhile, trapped outside of sickbay and in a quickly poisoning corridor, Vess' team decided to make an attempt for the computer core and gain control of the ship. Once there, Lt. Sharpe got to work disabling security and defenses, while Lt. JG Haase attempted to unlock the main computer.
Reynolds' team had become trapped in a jefferies tube rigged to flood with water and it was only through the heroics of Lieutenant Ayiana Sevo that the team was able to escape drowning. Unfortunately, their escape led Reynolds and her team straight into an ambush, led by Cmdr. Walter Brunsig, an aquaintance of Captain Reynolds. Fortunately, Lt. Sevo remained undetected and managed to set up a brief disruption field disabling phasers. This caused a brief but intense melee fight between Reynolds' and Brunsig's teams. Eventually, the team managed to subdue the Tharsis crew.
Back near engineering, Ensign Bren was forced to carry the Andorian as the team crawled into an empty but functional turbolift. They decided that instead of carrying Chen with them, they would hide him. On their way, they encountered another crewmember - Doctor Ana Mirovan. As she was a plant-based Dokkaran, the parasites had no effect on her. Joining up with Lts. Cory Stoyer, Lael Rosek, and Ensign Bren, they continued on. Bren attached a transporter tag onto Chen, then hid him in a storage closet in some empty quarters; once the shields were down, the Gorkon could automatically beam him off. They continued their journey to the computer core, unaware that Cmdr. Vess' team had the same idea.
Once they had subdued Brunsig's ambush team, Lt. Sevo was able to analyze a PADD they dropped in the scuffle. She was able to determine that the Tharsis crew had been controlling the ship through this PADD and others like it. With it now in hand, Captain Reynolds was able to gain control of the computer and restore communications to the Gorkon. Unfortunately they were running out of time, as the Tharsis began to lose structural integrity from the gravitic anomaly. Part the hull had been ripped away, exposed to space. Back on the Gorkon, they estimated the Tharsis had about two hours left without intervention.
Reestablishing communications with the Gorkon, Captain Reynolds instructed the newly-arrived medical officer, and currently ranking bridge officer, Lt. Commander Chythar Skyfire to prepare for transport and quarantine protocols. The only problem was that the Tharsis' shields were still up. Communicating with and help from Cmdr Chen's team (now under command of Lt. Stoyer), the Gorkon was able to match shield frequencies with the Tharsis, enabling them to merge shields and allow transport between the ships. Lt. Skyfire was able to get a sample of the parasites and program the transporters' biofilters to screen them out. The Gorkon crew was beamed to sickbay, while the surviving Tharsis crew were beamed to a quarantined cargo bay. With the parasites filtered out, the survivors were given a clean bill of health; however Commander Chen remained comatose. The Gorkon managed to free the Tharsis from the anomaly, which turned out to be a cluster of microsingularities, and tow it back to Astrofori One.
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