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Into the depths of hell

Posted on Monday 14 March 2022 @ 15:52 by Captain Melody Jones & Lieutenant Commander Mathias McPhee

Mission: Disaster!
Location: Between decks 9 and 10
Timeline: 03H30
1402 words - 2.8 OF Standard Post Measure

ON:

It had taken them just over 3 hours to climb down only 7 decks and it wasn't getting any easier, in fact, it was getting worse... Especially for Melody.

The conversation was kept to a minimum as they went as Melody was keeping her mouth shut so no sound of pain would escape her lips. She knew if Mathias knew how bad she felt, he would have stopped her there and then but they had to get to engineering. They just had to. Her ship and crew needed her.

She was also silently cursing the name of whoever designed these blasted Jefferies tubes, as they clearly had not envisioned a heavily pregnant woman having to crawl through them. While she had kept in shape during her pregnancy, she was having to keep setting her threshold higher and higher, to keep pushing on. Her back, knees, hell! everything felt like it was on fire!.

They reached an intersection of a vertical tube and an exit out into a corridor. As she emerged she was able, finally to stand up and she sat on the edge of the tube opposite "We'll rest here for ten minutes." she told Mathias as he exited the tube behind her. She pulled a bottle of water from her backpack and took a much-needed drink.

Melody could see down the tube they had just come out of behind and her face went pale as 50 or so meters back the tube seemed to crumple and melt like butter as white-hot plasma erupted into it, which immediately ignited and started moving towards them.

There was no time for pleasantries, they had to get out of there and fast! She grabbed hold of his hand "A plasma conduit has ruptured! MOVE!" The air temperature was already starting to rise quickly.

As quick as she could, she forced open the door leading into the corridor "We need to try and get a forcefield established around it!"

There was a wall junction and a panel where they emerged into the corridor and Melody started working, periodically consulting her tricorder. "Damn! A forcefield isn't going to contain it! We're going to have to put it out. I can't shut off the plasma flow from here, we're going to have to eliminate its supply of oxygen. There's an external hatch in this section." She locked eyes with him for a moment. "See if there is anyone in this section on this deck and evacuate them past that bulkhead. The command and control processors are damaged. Once I get this force filed established, I don't know if I'll be able to get it down again."

Mathias's lips were in a thin line, even though Melody was trying to hide it, he knew she was getting overtired. "not until we can get to where we can get the ship repaired, that is for certain. Damn it Melody don't you have an off switch? You push yourself too much, you are going to go way beyond your reserves and I don't want to lose you and your babies and your husband is going to kill me if that happens. I'll go check for anyone coming this way then we'll set up the forcefield." Mathias gave a nod. "Just please take a moment or two to take a break." he took off quickly, the adrenaline giving wings to his feet.

He got those that he found to move away and go in another direction, then got back to Melody. "Okay they've been redirected, lets's get this done." taking a look at her. "Here have something to drink and you need a snack, and don't argue with me on this."

Melody was still working at the panel frowned "My dear Mathias, I'll be quite happy to take 5 and have a break when I'm sure we're not going to lose half the saucer section to an out of control plasma fire. Now, I'm having to adjust the field geometry manually as the main computer is offline. Are you sure this section is clear?"

Mathias could feel his temper start to flare, he stomped it down, but it was simmering beneath the surface. "Right, you have a point but after this, I am going to insist that you take it easy. Let's get this thing into gear." he responded.

"I'm almost done here..." Melody replied, still concentrating on the panel. The forcefield will activate a second before the outer hatch opens... Damn... We're going to have to move back to the end of that intersection, Melody pointed down the corridor at a T junction less than 10 meters away. Ok, I've got it. The forcefield will engage in 30 seconds. Move!"

Walking briskly, they made it past the intersection with time to spare and they stopped and Melody consulted her tricorder again. "Ten seconds now....."

Back down where they had just come from, a door was opened and two crewmen forced their way out into the corridor. Melody called out to them "That section is going to decompress. Get up here now!!"

The two crewmen started to run towards them but Melody could tell already they were not going to make it. Out of the corner of her eye. she registered some movement and realised Mathias was making a move to go help them. Reacting on instinct, she grabbed him and pulled him back "Don't! There's no time."She pulled him back just far enough as the forcefield snapped on just inches from his face.

Mathias had been acting on instinct reaching out to urge the men to get there, Melody's timely action saved him from losing his hand, he looked at her with horror in his eyes. Then back towards the men who drew near. His gaze was locked with theirs, his heart pounding hard. He turned to look at her, then back towards them.

Melody looked at the two men now trapped by the forcefield "I'm sorry" she mouthed as they were suddenly pulled back violently as all the air in that section was vented out of the hatch that snapped open.

"I had tried that door it was locked, no one was there." Mathias was shaken by that scene. He pulled Melody away from the forcefield. "Okay, let's get to engineering." his lips going into a grim thin line, wrapping an arm around Melody's waist. "Need to get away from here." in fact, Mathias swept Melody into his arms and headed for the next access area they had to get to. 'You can court martial me for this, later on." Not looking back at the hall that had to be blocked off. "Melody, we've got to get to Engineering"

Melody who was still looking at where the two crewmen had been, allowed Mathias to lead her down the corridor. After about 50 or so yards she stopped "Mathias..." She said gently to get his attention. "It's ok. Just take a moment. There's nothing either of us could have done. You were right earlier, let's take a break and rest for a while and eat something. We need to keep up our strength. There'll be time to grieve later."

Mathias nodded, "I am glad that you are going to take a break now." he stated quietly.

Melody had found a couple of seats and sat down, grateful to finally take the weight off her feet. She handed Mathias a ration pack and tore one open herself. "Just be grateful you're not carrying around two extra people. I look like I've swallowed a shuttlecraft..." her voice trailed off as an idea popped into her head. "The shuttle bay is only a couple of decks down from here. I've got an idea. Let's take a 30 minute break and then we'll head for the shuttlebay. We might be able to use a shuttle to send a distress call and possibly use its onboard transporter to get closer in engineering. It will certainly be easier on my back and knees."

"I love that idea, would help put us closer to our goal." Mathias replied, taking a swig of water. "I am worried about you." then he set to eating the rest of the emergency bar, in readiness for the next part.

OFF:

●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin



●● Lieutenant Mathias McPhee
Chief Operations Officer
USS Merlin

 

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