((Secondary Shuttle Bay, Deck D, USS Njörðr))
::Valesha had sprinted out of the runabout after their near-disastrous attempt to turn it right side up, terrified for a horrible few seconds that Chris had been hurt — or worse — in the carnage. He hadn't, to more relief than she could describe, and she had sunk down to perch on an crate as they planned their next steps.::
Sienelis: If we take it slow, it should fly out of here. ::She spoke a hope as a statement, looking back toward the dark, dead nacelle. It wasn't going to warp any time soon, but that wasn't their aim.:: Can we send a subspace message from inside the bay?
::He covered his mouth with his hand, hazel eyes fixed on the shuttle, and there he stared, silent and still. A good minute passed as he considered the possibilities, and she let him think.::
Johns: We can try. Worst case, we haul it out of the bay and send it from out there. ::He paused.:: Only one way to find out.
::The Romulan grumbled a wordless complaint at having to move, knowing full well she had little choice otherwise. She pushed herself up from the crate that had served briefly and well as a seat, holding her left arm close to her side to minimise any movement on her damaged shoulder. The small trip back to the shuttle, climbing over scattered equipment and supplies, seemed more awkward in reverse. Whether that was the objective truth, or whether she was just paying more mind to it, Valesha wasn't sure.
::A frown crossed Chris' face when he set eyes on the shuttle's interior, though the reasons why escaped her. Perhaps because of the stark contrast with the ship it was berthed inside; the Freyja was well lit, the air clean and fresh, the systems humming quietly and painlessly. Not quite trusting herself to get up if she sat down again, Valesha leaned her good shoulder against the cockpit bulkhead, and watched her friend get to work. Chris' touch brought the starboard console alive, and he was focused for a time on tapping out commands, interpreting the information they brought back to him.::
Sienelis: What do you think?
Johns: I can put together a burst communication to the nearest subspace relay point. They're positioned around twenty-two lightyears apart. ::A heavy set glare covered his brow.:: But I can't get a fix on the closest one. It's not registering on sensors.
Sienelis: Is that the relay, or us?
::It seemed to her more likely to be the latter. But with the way their luck had gone so far, she wasn't willing to rule out the universe throwing one more "screw you" and causing trouble well beyond their reach to remedy. His gaze still locked on the console in front of him, he pointed directly upward. She glanced up to the ceiling, then back down, catching sight of him pressing a spread hand to his ribs.
::They were, the both of them, dead on their feet. Mistakes were going to start happening soon. If they hadn't already, because that would be a fine explanation for what had happened a few minutes ago.::
Johns: Possibly the sensor pod attached to the dorsal from its last mission. Looks like it might've taken a beating in the... ::He wafted a hand in front of him, indicating everything and anything.:: ...crash. It's messing with the internal craft sensors and I can't get around them. ::He shot her a look over his shoulder.:: Sounds like a job for a scientist.
::It occurred to her then that this was the first time, the first *real* time she'd ever really seen him work. Chris in his element, and despite the circumstances, it was oddly heartening to see.::
Sienelis: Let's hope so. If it's a job for a engineer, all I can do is hit it with a hyperspanner and some very harsh language.
::She shot him a sly smile, pushing herself off the wall with leaden effort. The chair in front of sensor control beckoned her, singing a siren's song of comfort and cushioning, and she ignored it, choosing to stand instead. It was awkward, accessing the console when one arm protested at every movement of wrist and hand, and a procession of grimaces and winces crossed her face as she worked. He'd been right; a scientist spotted it much quicker than an engineer or an operations officer would have done, knowing what kind of information a sensor *should* be feeding back, as opposed to what was actually coming through.::
Sienelis: The multiphasic sensors shorted out. ::She tapped the sensor controls a few more times, following the flow of information.:: Looks like they're spewing garbage data back into the rest. Give me a second and I'll clean it up.
::She took the offending sensors offline, and cycled the rest to clear out the junk data they'd been fed — albeit with a vague sense of regret and resignation. Multiphasic scans would have been useful in cutting through any interference and finding other survivors.::
Sienelis: How's that?
::She'd never sent a distress call before, and had to pause to remember exactly what she was supposed to include in it; who they were, what the situation was, what help was required. Something along those lines. With a glance at Chris, she activated the channel controls with a light, apprehensive touch.::
Sienelis: =/\= This is the USS Njörðr to any ship within range. Our ship is in critical condition: multiple hull breaches are present, all systems are failing, and we have— ::she swallowed,:: —large numbers of casualties. We require urgent rescue and evacuation. =/\= ::She looked toward him.:: Can you put that on a loop?
::An immediate response was always unlikely; even over subspace, messages took time to be received, acknowledged and acted on. Seconds stretched into minutes. An instant answer might have been a silly thing to hope for, but it shouldn't take this long to get a response, surely? The answer was right there in front of them, a steady pulse on the pristine console, but she asked anyway.::
Sienelis: It's definitely transmitting?
::Valesha held his gaze for a few moments, not quite able to find the words, and not sure that she wanted to say them even if she could. What hope did they have, without someone answering their signal? The Freyja had been the their best chance to call for help and escape, and it with no one response and a dead warp drive…
::A long exhale pulled out of her singed lungs, ending in another cough. They were hurting, reserves exhausted, and the only option they seemed to have left was curling up and waiting for the inevitable. It seemed like a cruel joke, after everything they'd been through, and her heart hurt at the idea that this was where it would all end.::
Sienelis: Chris, I—
::She shook her head, language failing her again. Well read she might be, that still didn't make her a poet or orator, even at the best of times. Turning, she caught his hand with her own, resting her chin on his shoulder. Not quite a hug, offset as they were, but something less lonely than standing sentry in gloomy silence.::
::The console sang at them, the quiet trill of an incoming hail, and then voice sounded in the quiet.::
Henshaw: =/\= Njörðr, this is the USS Yarahla. We have your coordinates and we are spooling up our slipstream drive. Hold tight; we'll be with you in an hour. =/\=
::Valesha was very still, and very quiet. Then her shoulders started to shake, and a snort escaped through her nose, as she began to dissolve into tired, incredulous laughter. Of all the ships, in all the fleet… The *Yarahla*.::