((Jefferies tube junction, Deck 12, USS Njörðr))
MacFarlane: We ‘ave some options folks. We can all go t’ twelve, or all go t’ th’ shuttle bay on D deck. Some of us are injured an’ need proper medical attention ::She looked pointedly at Trellis:: an’ we ‘ave a civilian t’ look after ::Her gaze shifted to Veenda:: so option three is t’ split th’ team. Half o’ us go t’ D, an’ half t’ twelve.
O. Marshall: No.
Gnaxac: What is it, Lieutenant?
O. Marshall: I said no and I meant it.
MacFarlane: I’m ‘eadin’ t’ twelve whichever way we do it. Someone needs t’ ensure a distress beacon is launched, otherwise we ‘ave little t’ no ‘ope o’ bein’ rescued.
O. Marshall: You go do that. ::He pointedly looked at the others.:: Smith, Gnax, you're coming with me.
Vondaryan: Um... where do I go?
Smith: Ok. ::Nodding his head::
Gnaxac: I’d be proud to accompany you, Lieutenant Marshall.
MacFarlane: Good luck t’ yeh, we’ll see yeh on D deck in a few minutes. Keep goin’ up until yeh cannae go up any further, then yeh’ll know yer on D.
Gnaxac: Yes sir.
Smith: Stay safe Tasha. ::patting her shoulder as they turned and went the other direction::
::She gave the other team a smile of encouragement, before crawling headfirst into the tube that would spit them out near the torpedo launchers, and the distress beacon which was waiting for them.::
::Behind her she could hear muted voices. Trellis and Veenda were having a conversation. Orson sounded to be briefing his group, and Tasha could have sworn she heard Sami mentioned, but by now she was too far to hear.::
Vondaryan: No usse in arguing...
MacFarlane: Arguin’? I take it she elected t’ do t’ D? Tha’ is probably f’ th’ best.
Vondaryan: Make it quick with the beacccon.
MacFarlane: Trust me ‘andsome, I plan to.
::Tasha grinned to herself as she reached the end of the jefferies tube. With little effort she popped the hatch open and crawled out into the corridor. She turned and helped Trellis out after her. In his current state she wasn’t sure if he would be able to do it himself.::
MacFarlane: Come on Trelly, the torpedo launchers are through those doors.
((Torpedo Launcher Control Room, Deck 12, USS Njörðr))
::The doors opened easily, which surprised Tasha when she saw the state of the room beyond. Consoles were smashed, equipment was scattered across the room, and three crew members lay dead, two with broken necks, and one crushed under a quantum torpedo. The torpedo didn’t appear armed, which was good. If it had been, it would have likely detonated from the impacts when the gravity flipped.::
::As she stepped into the room Tasha looked away from the bodies. Now was not the time for her to see blood and panic. She looked up at the floor above them. Her eyes followed the rails of the torpedo launchers and her heart dropped. In the case of an emergency such as the Njörðr had suffered, a ship would launch a distress beacon, and a log buoy. Tasha could see the log buoy, jammed between the doors which separated this room from the launcher itself.::
::She swore and looked at the second rail. It was clear. She moved to one of the undamaged consoles and reached up to it. Her fingers moved across the controls as she began preparing it to launch a distress beacon. She opened the inner doors then turned to Trellis.::
MacFarlane: D’ yeh feel up t’ ‘elpin’ me lift th’ beacon up t’...oh no...
::She had glanced at the open torpedo doors and felt her heart drop again. The crew had already tried to launch a distress beacon, and failed. It was still in the launcher, cracked in half and wedged tightly into the narrow tube. There was no way they could possibly launch a beacon now.::
MacFarlane: Nonono!!! No! Dammit! NO!
MacFarlane: Don’t yeh get it Trelly? We cannae launch th’ beacon now. Both th’ launchers are damaged. I cannae fix ‘em without th’ righ’ tool an’ an EV suit. We’re done for…
::Tasha sank down against the wall, tears gathering in the corners of her eyes. She buried her face in her hands and began to sob as the stress and hopelessness of the situation caught up to her. Her shoulders shook as tears rolled down her cheeks.::
::Tasha had no adequate or coherent response, and simply pulled Trellis into a hug. She buried her face in his shoulder as she tried and failed to keep her emotions in check. She simply held him as she sobbed and shook.::
::After a couple of minutes she managed to calm herself, and released Trellis from her embrace. She gave an embarrassed laugh, and used the cuff of her jacket to wipe the tears from her cheeks.::
MacFarlane: Sorry, I...I just couldn’t control m’self f’ a moment there.
MacFarlane: Yer too kind Trelly. Such a sweet man, I...
Computer: Input confirmed. Gravitational realignment will begin in thirty seconds. Thirty, twenty-nine, twenty-eight...
MacFarlane: ...Oh no, ‘alf th’ gravity emitters are damaged, this won’t go well. Quick, brace yerself!
::Tasha scrambled to her feet and moved close to one of the walls as the countdown continued. She pressed herself flat against it. Then thought better and lay down on the floor, still pressed to the wall. Her plan was to roll down the wall and onto the floor when the realignment occurred.::
Computer:...fifteen, fourteen, thirteen...
::Admittedly it wasn’t a great plan, but it was the best her tired brain could come up with on short notice.::
Computer:...nine, eight, seven...
::She was aware of Trellis nearby, but she had no idea what he was doing. Her heart was pounding as the anticipation grew.::
Computer:...six, five, four...
::Tasha squeezed her eyes closed as the moment crew closer::
Computer:...three, two, one...Gravitational realignment commencing.
::The ground suddenly dropped away and Tasha screamed as she plummeted toward the floor. Her plan to roll down the wall had failed as she felt herself drifting away from it. She flailed in the air and felt herself roll over. Now she was facing the ground. Her eyes snapped open just in time to see the floor rush up to meet her.::
::Her body hurt, the floor was very solid. Her nose was very sore and she gently touched it as she struggled into a sitting position. There was something sticky. She frowned and poked the sticky stuff, then looked at her hand.::
::It was red::
::The red had come from her nose::
::Her nose should not be red::
::Her world tunneled as she began to shake in fear. That was blood on her fingers! She was acutely aware of it pouring out of her nose and cascading over her lips, traveling down her chin and dripping onto her uniform. Her rational mind vanished, and was replaced with the terrified mind of a little four year old girl. Unsure what to do now, Tasha did exactly what the four year old suggested. She screamed.::
Lieutenant Tasha MacFarlane