((Bridge, USS Njörðr))
::Ahead, on the viewscreen, a nebula swirled. Strands of neon white swirled in the centre, bright against the blue and indigo clouds that spread around it. One of creation's natural jewels in the dark, it was a spectacular sight spanning light years across.
::The trouble was, it wasn't supposed to be there.::
Yang: All stop.
::Lieutenant Commander Entai Belynn nodded to the fine-boned helm officer, peering at the viewscreen. The Kerelian First Officer was popular among the crew; leading with a light touch and a carefree smile. That smile was absent in that moment, bemused as he was by the presence of a nebula that didn't appear on any star chart.
Belynn: ::Murmuring,:: Where in the nine hells did that come from?
::The captain's antenna twitched in annoyance. The Andorian was not so popular, career driven and less interested in the well-being of his people than he was his own progression within Starfleet. A competent captain, perhaps one even destined for the admiralty one day, but not a man who would be missed by his crew as he was elevated up the ranks.::
ch'Vaorrohr: What are sensors telling us?
Caldwell: Not much, sir. ::The brunette frowned as she peered at the science station.:: It's generating a lot of interference, and we can't get any solid readings on its composition or internal structure.
ch'Vaorrohr: Launch a probe.
Caldwell: Aye, sir.
::A small series of beeps and chirrups followed shortly thereafter, and the probe streaked across the viewscreen toward the nebula. Caldwell and Belynn exchanged a glance, and after a faint sign from Belynn, he turned toward his captain, asking the question even though he was fairly certain of the answer.::
Belynn: We could spare a few hours to investigate? Something like this is—
ch'Vaorrohr: Scientific curiosities are for curious scientists. ::He spoke in clipped, brusque tones.:: We have a mission, and I've no intention of explaining to Admiral Reynolds that she is late because we stopped to stare at nebula for two days. All I care about is whether we can go through it, or need to go around it.
::It was commonly accepted that the mission to bring Admiral Reynolds, and a number of her crew, to the New Horizons conference had put the captain in a sour mood. He thought himself above the role of ferryman, and he had been stalking about the ship like a hybor with a sore head. Worse still, would have been the appearance of being *bad* at such a mundane task.::
Caldwell: Sir, I'm getting some... ::She trailed, off frowning. Then, a note of panic entered her voice.:: What the hell?
ch'Vaorrohr: Red alert, get us—
::As the klaxons began to blare, the front of the exploding nebula slammed into the Njörðr with a force that no amount of inertial dampening could compensate for. The ship was thrown about like a cork on a storm swell, shaken and flipped over and over. Viewports were shattered, sections of the hull buckled and were torn open, and one of the four nacelles was ripped clean off its pylon, detonating a heartbeat later.::
((Medical Laboratory, Deck 4))
::The visiting Doctor Sim had been asked to consult on an unusual case, and the diagnosis of it had taken him into the medical laboratory, along with one of the Gorkon's scientists, Ensign Nightfur. Lieutenant Commander Marshall had dropped in to check in on their progress. Mid conversation, the lights dimmed to red, and the alert siren began to sound, and that was as much warning as anyone received.
::The next second they were thrown from their feet, heaved about the lab along with the plethora of medical and scientific equipment that wasn't bolted down. Amongst the noise, the computer's voice could be heard, perfectly calm, informing the lab's inhabitants,
Computer: Warning. Biological containment breached. Infection hazard. Quarantine procedures offline.
((Turbolift, Between Decks 5 and 6))
::Four more of the Gorkon's crew were stepping into turbolift on Deck 3 after a meeting with their admiral in the Captain's Mess. Lieutenant zh'Aella, newly returned from her sojourn with the Klingons, along with Ensign Fortune and Lieutenants Kian and Krugol. Much as it did everywhere else, the red alert siren sounded, and the occupants were bounced from wall to wall as the ship was tossed about on the wavefront of the nebula.
::It finally came to a halt somewhere between decks 5 and 6, though the unhappy whine from the brakes hinted that it might not stay there for long...::
((Jefferies Tubes off Main Engineering, Deck 7))
::A tour of the ship had been accepted by four of the officers, and MacFarlane's near-delirious joy at seeing the ship's innards had resulted in them all being dragged into the Jefferies Tubes — despite the fact Neathler and Smith were security officers with little interest or training in engineering. Vondaryan, at least, had some regard for the subject matter... or at least some regard for seeing the engineer happy.
::Their tour guide had briefly left them, asked by the chief engineer to look into a relay problem, and they were returning to main engineering when the red alert began to sound. Moments later, the ship began to shudder and roll, and perhaps they were fortunate for the limited space in the tubes, giving them less distance to travel — and so less momentum — between impacts with their surroundings.
::They hadn't even stopped moving when the ship's computer began to warn, as serene as though it was telling the time, of an impending catastrophe in engineering.::
Computer: Warning. Warp core breach in progress. Total containment loss in eight minutes.
((Captain's Mess, Deck 3))
::The Captain's Mess had been temporarily turned into a working area for the Admiral on board, and Quinn Reynolds was sat at the desk, reading from the PADD in her hand. Sat either side of her were the two officers she needed to consult with for the current matter holding her attention; her mission specialist and research coordinator.
::A regrettable combination, given recent events. The atmosphere wasn't exactly relaxed, and Quinn was looking forward to wrapping up the meeting and letting the two go their separate ways. Her head snapped up when the red alert began to echo through the room, and she barely had the time to frown and begin to form a question when the ship bucked with enough force to throw them all from their chairs, flinging them around the room.
::As the room came to a still, the officers sprawled across the ceiling thanks to the malfunctioning artificial gravity, the windows began to creak, spiderweb cracks radiating across the transparent aluminium. Outside, the stars outside were obscured by swirling clouds of indigo and blue, those bruised colours beginning to seep like smoke into the thinning air of the mess.::