SIM:Meanwhile, on the Mercury (Part 5)
The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 239107.05.
Meanwhile, on the Mercury (Part 5)
JP by Deliera and Rich
((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Mercury))
Mirza: It’s come to my attention, Ensign, that you’ve been having difficulties handling your duties.
::Jackson squirmed in the chair as Commander Tara Mirza and Counselor Venroe stood on either side of him. He felt as if the two women were bearing down on him like a pair of sharks.::
Hendricks: ::stammering:: I, uh… yes, ma’am, I’ve been having some problems, but I am working on them! I just needed some time to get adjusted to the new ship.
::The captain sighed and gave a skeptical look at the counselor.::
Venroe: Ensign, you are aware that you’ve been aboard the Mercury for three weeks. If you know you’ve been having problems, you should have come forward earlier.
::Jackson wanted to wipe the sweat from his forehead, but he simply nodded.::
Hendricks: Yes, counselor, I realize that now. I guess you could say it was a bit of my personal pride. ::He gave a nervous chuckle.:: I’ve always been one to think I could take care of myself.
Mirza: Your previous Academy record certainly would have implied that.
::She reached out and touched his forearm with a look of sympathy.::
Mirza: I understand one’s first assignment can be more challenging than expected. But part of being a good officer is knowing when you need to reach out for help.
Hendricks: Yes, captain.
Mirza: So, ensign… is there something you’re not telling us?
Hendricks: Uh… of course not, ma’am. Like I said, just a bit of… growing pains. ::Another nervous chuckle.::
Venroe: Jackson, I need you to understand that we’re here to help you. Nothing leaves this room, none of your other crewmembers will know what you tell us today. If something is on your chest, this is the opportunity to get it off.
::He wanted to believe her. He wanted to tell them both--tell someone! He felt alone and trapped. Could they really help him?::
::He closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. It was worth a shot.::
Hendricks: Actually, counselor… captain, I’ve gotten into-
::His confession was interrupted by the stern voice of Lt. Commander Evanston through the com.::
Evanston: =/\= Captain to the Bridge. =/\=
::Mirza exchanged a puzzled glance with Venroe at the interruption before answering.::
Mirza: =/\= What is it, commander? =/\=
Evanston: =/\=Sensors indicate a vessel in our area, closing fast. =/\=
Mirza: =/\= What do you make of her? =/\=
Evanston: =/\= It’s one of ours… it’s Icarus. =/\=
::The captain, counselor, and science officer emerged from the ready room to see the Steamrunner tactical escort in the distance on the viewscreen.::
Mirza: ::turns to Hendricks:: Take your station, ensign. ::to Evanston:: Have we received new communication from the task force?
Evanston: Nothing, Captain.
::She looked back at Lieutenant Falls at tactical.::
Mirza: Open a channel.
Falls: Aye, Captain.
::The viewscreen flicked over to an image of Captain Yibbi, who looked a bit surprised to have been contacted.::
Yibbi: Commander Mirza?
Mirza: Yes, captain. What can I do for you?
Yibbi: Commander, you will immediately drop your ship out of warp and proceed to-
::Suddenly, the communication cut out. Mirza looked back at Falls.::
Mirza: What happened?
Falls: I- I don’t know, Captain. Communications not responding . . .
::The bridge crew were then jostled as the great vessel fell out of warp.::
Webber: Captain, our warp drive has just been shut down remotely by the Icarus.
Evanston: Red alert!
::As the bridge lights dimmed and the alarms rang out, Mirza tapped her combadge.::
Mirza: =/\= Engineering, I need a systems’ status check right now. =/\= ::to Falls:: Try to get the Icarus back on the com.
Falls: Systems still not responding, Captain.
::The chief engineer’s voice yelled out over the commotion down in Main Engineering.::
Sanchez: =/\= Captain, we can’t even do a *systems check* we’ve got so many malfunctions going around. =/\=
::Ensign Hendricks then interjected unexpectedly.::
Hendricks: Ma’am, they’re locking weapons!
::On the viewscreen, the Icarus made a sharp turn as phaser fire rained down on the Mercury, rattling the bridge.::
Webber: What in the…
Mirza: Damage report.
Falls: Hull breaches decks two through ten, weapons are down, we’ve lost primary power to at least five systems - we can’t take another hit like that.
::And to think that it was only a few weeks ago, Nick was picking on the Steamrunner class. Ironic now that a rogue Steamrunner was about to blow them to smithereens.::
Mirza: =/\= Lieutenant Sanchez, I need the coms back up! =/\=
Sanchez: =/\= We’re working on it, sir, but you’re not likely to get anything any time soon. =/\=
Hendricks: Captain, Icarus is coming around for another pass!
Mirza: All hands, brace for impact.
::As they all stood watching the viewscreen, preparing for the next barrage, the whine of phasers and torpedoes shuddered from below decks as a flurry of weapons fire lashed out towards the Icarus::
Mirza: Lieutenant? I thought you said our weapons were down.
Falls: It’s not me! My console’s unresponsive.
Evanston: Then *who’s firing*?
::Jess’s gasp though shot their attention back to the viewscreen as the Icarus took the hits hard. Evidently, Mercury wasn’t as powerless as they’d thought.::
::The captain walked up towards the front handrail of the bridge, getting a closer look at the burning Steamrunner class ship tumbling in space, a trail of plasma venting from its starboard nacelle.::
Mirza: What’s their status?
Falls: I want to say disabled . . . I can’t tell for sure. I can’t tell anything for sure. I’ll get one reading, and then I get another. I can’t even tell you if they have life-support systems.
::He returned an apologetic look, but then another whine of the phasers and a round of torpedoes echoed through the bulkheads.::
Evanston: Cease fire, damn it!
::It was said more as a desperate plea than an order. Not that saying that would do much, but just in case it was someone on the Bridge making this happen.::
Falls: I can’t!
::They all watched helplessly as the second wave of weapons fire stuck the Icarus, unleashing a sickening fireball as the escort nearly broke in two.::
Webber: ::covering her mouth:: By the Mercies…
::Akyra Venroe signed up for Starfleet upon the request of her previous host - a Security officer, of whom was killed in action. Ethan Venroe had the unfortunate experience of meeting pirates - a large “pack”, who really must have wanted his ship, the Venus. Ethan didn’t, however, have anything to assist Kira with this situation, had never been aboard a ship that “randomly fired its own weapons”, or in battle with another Starfleet ship when it wasn’t a training exercise.::
::Maybe that was what this is. Maybe Kira could put her fear to ease, this overwhelming fear that made her want to curl up into a ball, hide in a corner somewhere, when someone said “end program”. But the “end program” never came. They all simply stood there, horrified looks on their faces, as they watched their own ship beat down another.::
Crew of the USS Mercury