Holy Orders (USS Eagle)
While testing an experimental new warp drive, the Eagle encounters a group of beings unlike anything in the known universe.
- 8809-UTY: Tactician aboard the Cam'room
- 854J-XR: "The Follower", First Officer aboard the Cam'room
- 4446-FO: "The Leader", Commander of the Cam'room
The Eagle was chosen as a test ship for the prototype Warp XV drive. The test flight plan was to take the ship through a section of the Aavaro Wilds that contained a collection of anomalous bodies and events, existing together by balancing out the counter-intuitive readings. The thought here was to both test the new drive and study the data gathered in the region without having to be in the vicinity for too long.
The warp test was going smoothly until the Eagle hit Warp 11. At that point, they were pulled violently out of warp, and couldn’t form a warp bubble again. Pulling the ship up short, the crew scrambled to figure out what had just happened, but immediately discovered the comms were down, as were the turbolifts. The crew resorted to sending “runners” to deliver messages by climbing through the Jefferies Tubes.
- Achievements earned from this part:
While scanning the immediate area, a strong gravity well pulled the Eagle toward its source. A mass of unidentified composition was detected at the source of the well, and not wanting to crash, the landing gear was lowered, and the ship came to a rough but safe landing on the surface. Teams were dispatched throughout the ship to deploy a temporary communications array.
While plans were being made and analysis done of the situation, a ship of unknown make or origin was detected on a direct intercept course with the Eagle, but it appeared the ship was not being affected by the gravity well like the Eagle had been. Shortly thereafter, intruders were detected on-board the Eagle, accompanied by automated drones.
Lieutenant Blackwell was sent to repair the communication system while Lt Commander Pavlova and Ensign Westwood went in search of answers regarding the boarding party. Meanwhile unbeknownst to them, Crewman Jorus and Lieutenant JG Collins had been rendered unconscious by some energy weapon used by the intruders as they were instructed to collect "live samples."
Shortly thereafter, several things happened at once:
- On the bridge, the crew present were blinded by an intensely bright light from the other ship. Lieutenant Drex vented gaseous mercury inside the Eagle's shielding, then oxidized it, creating a sunshade and protection from the light, which at the time appeared to be the method by which the alien vessel was scanning them.
- On deck 2, the drone seemingly rendered inert and carried by Ensign Westwood suddenly emanated an ear-splitting sound. Lt Commander Pavlova made quick work of the drones by blasting them into very small pieces. The intruder in Science Lab 1 was restrained within a containment field, and with the communications system restored by Lieutenant Blackwell, plans were made to transport the captive somewhere more secure. Collins sustained minor injuries, but nothing life-threatening.
- Lieutenant Mika led another drone into the counseling suite, where he activated the auxiliary counseling hologram, which appears to preoccupy the drone. Mika then secured the suite and headed back to sickbay where Mark Two and Doctor Foster tended to Lieutenant Waters' broken wrist while Lieutenant JG Vescori, having just set up a backup communications relay pod with the 12-year-old stow-away in tow, now found his services as a security officer were needed elsewhere on the ship.
Back on the bridge, Lieutenant Drex discovered a pattern within the light that had bombarded them earlier. Ensign Hontrú discovered the computer was able to interpret the incoming transmission after a fashion, but the Eagle was unable to respond in kind. Drex worked with Lt Commander Shayne to orchestrate a response by clearing a portion of the light-blocking shielding and flashing a mathematical sequence to show they were not hostile to the alien vessel.
The alien vessel understood the message and sent instructions for opening up a more "traditional" means of communication. The Leader identified the ship as the Cam'roon, and accused the Eagle of invasion, desecration of a holy place, and trespassing in general. They insisted the Eagle break off from the Shrine immediately and leave their "Layer," and not invade again. Diplomacy being key in first contact situations, Captain Oddas and Lieutenant Commander Shayne informed the Leader that they were not only not invading, but also had no idea of how the Federation ship even came to be in this Layer. They certainly had not intended to land on this Shrine, and would never willingly desecrate a sacred icon.
With communications open and the threat of being blasted off the Shrine diverted, the crew turned their feverish attention to the other pressing matter: the Shrine was breaking apart. The fissures forming in both the face and body of the Shrine were threatening the structural stability of the sacred icon - which also happened to be the ground on which the Eagle rested. It appeared as though a reaction of the matter/antimatter mix of the warp core and the matter of which the Shrine was comprised was responsible for both keeping the Eagle locked in place and the breaking apart of the Shrine. After tossing around several possible solutions to the problem, the warp core was shut down and the lowest airlocks in order to use the vented atmosphere as a propellant.
Drifting slowly away from the Shrine (which had begun to heal itself in the absence of the matter/antimatter energy field), the Cam'roon again hailed the Eagle, reiterating their demand that the Eagle leave this Layer immediately.
The crew of the Eagle worked feverishly to accommodate this "request." The matter became even more dire after Lieutenant Drex compared notes with The Cam'roon's science officer (5469-WI), who told her the Eagle was in eminent danger of disintegration the way the Shrine had begun doing, but at a much faster pace.
In Science Lab 1, Mark Two stabilized Lieutenant JG Collins, and was shortly thereafter transported to sickbay where Mark and Doctor Foster performed a very delicate microsurgery, saving Collins' life. With Collins out of commission and Mark no longer in the lab to lend a hand, Lt Drex scrambled around, trying to prepare for their emergency departure when Lieutenant Mika arrived. Together, they were able to finish preparations just as the alarm sounded, alerting the crew to the weakening structural integrity of the hull.
The crew on the bridge worked feverishly to ready the ship for departure. the Eagle began making protesting sounds of stressed and straining bulkheads as hull breaches began appearing on multiple decks. Out of time for preparations, the order was given to take the ship to warp. For a harrowing few seconds, the crew waited for their fate - either they would be successful and find themselves out of this "Layer" and back in their proper universe or they would be ripped apart by the strain on the ship. Fortunately, just when it looked as though the ship could not handle another moment of such intense stress, everything went still and quiet.
The desperate maneuver had worked. The Eagle was back in the proper universe, though not exactly in the location they'd expected. Several theories were bandied about, however at this time, no viable explanation can be given as to this displacement.
No casualties were sustained during the mission, however the ship itself sustained heavy damage from the molecular deconstruction that started just before their departure. While the medical team saw to the wounded, the other teams busied themselves with repair tasks both within and outside each person's expertise. A truly all-hands moment.
When the Eagle had been cleared for travel again, Captain Oddas ordered her to Lightside Station for shore leave and repairs.