NCC - 81102
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Runabout Tossed About

Posted on Mon Aug 9th, 2021 @ 12:31am by Lieutenant Ayanja Tusalo & Chief Warrant Officer Javiylah MacArthur

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Timeline: Mission Day 39 - 1337 hours


The distress signal kept pumping out its SOS, but the source had been unclear. That meant Aya and Javi had no clear bearing in their slow and meticulous search at quarter impulse. Upon a sudden, the sensors began blaring at something new.

The pair had switched off piloting and manning the sensors since their trip had begun. The pair could have left things on autopilot but that would have made this assignment even duller than it had already proved. It was still better than waiting around on Odyssey for something to happen. Besides a bit of a spat with the locals over their ship's systems failing they'd most been left to entertain themselves.

Aya generally didn't have a problem finding things to do, but the rest of their freighter crew weren't as inventive. Many joining the maintenance teams in their free time. Aya had taken to spending time with various members of the Starbase crew, but more and more she gravitated toward Javi and Mara. Ever since their trip through Ashland's mountain ranges the normally stoic woman had finally started to open up.

"All I'm saying is it's a nice design, I'd think it would have fewer issues than we had on the Galaxies over the years...."

Before Aya could continue the Runabout's lights dimmed to a deep red, alarms blaring in her ears. The Betazoid looked up, her eyes going wide as the space around the runabout began to change. Color exploding across the void.

The blackness of space was rent asunder by an even darker void. Lancing arcs of plasma spilled out as normal space twisted into dimensional knots as something it pushed against the incursion of something that was never made to exist forced its way through.

It roughly resembled the tentacles of an octopus or squid, though they were bent and jagged like tendrils of a weed. Sonic bursts emanated from the spatial rift like a dirge from the chorus of the damned.

And then the runabout was seized by the talons at the end of the grasping tendrils.

Aya was thrown from her chair, landing hard against Javi as the Inertial dampeners of the Runabout were pushed to their limits. Letting out a sharp shout of pain, Aya fought to get upright again and reach the ship's controls.

“Easy” Javi tried her best to steady both of them as the runabout continued to shake violently. She gripped the edge of her seat with one hand and tried to push Aya back into her chair with the other. “Try the controls first,” she focused her attention on the sensors though they weren’t being very helpful. “Caught by…”

“Something!” She cried out, finishing Javi’s sentence as the Runabout tipped to port and flung Aya into the helm. Looking out the viewport she couldn’t believe what she was seeing, it seriously looked like a tentacle. Finally sliding back into her seat, Aya fired the ship’s acceleration thrusters trying to break them free while being shaken in whatever direction this creature desired.

“No clue” Javi was gripping the side of the sensor console as she tried to stay in her own seat. The runabout’s engines, plus the indicators on their console, started to sound warnings as whatever had them kept the craft from escaping. A particularly hard shake threw her over the back of her chair and into the rear bulkhead with a thud.

“Javi!” Aya shouted as she saw the woman go flying, biting her lip as she fought her instincts to go check on her friend. “Computer! Break radio silence and signal the Odyssey, we’re under attack. Activate evasive maneuver pattern Gamma-Seven!” With an acknowledging beep the computer began rocking the craft wildly. With the ship under computer control she struggled to the back of the cabin to Javi’s side, rolling her over praying she was alright.

Javi gave a disoriented grunt as she blinked, one of her eyes refusing to open, and saw Aya’s face against a background that was constantly shifting. She tried to sit up, gave up on that and started to crawl back towards the controls. Javi idly wondered why her face seemed wet, perhaps life support was being taxed? Alarms were sounding, adding a cacophony of noise to add additional confusion. Her progress was slow as she kept being tossed around, losing contact with the deck.

“Hold on, you’re hurt.” Aya tried to keep Javi from crawling away her hand trying to get a good look at the large gash across her forehead. “Computer’s flying, we can…!” Aya didn’t get to finish her statement, the pair rising from the deck as they shook about, again going flying as the internal dampers were overtaxed.

Javi let out another grunt as she slammed face-first into a bulkhead before being tossed away. She cursed as she tried, and failed, to stop herself from colliding with some of the equipment being tossed around with them. “Lieutenant!” They were thrown in opposite directions as the runabout shuddered violently as the computer tried its best to compensate for whatever had them trapped. Doing her best, Javi tried to angle towards her friend, finally catching her as the runabout slammed them both into the rear bulkhead. She knew that they had no chance at manual control and noticed that Aya seemed as dazed as she felt. Javi took a moment then decided, her first priority was to try and protect her friend from any further injury. “...protect,” she muttered, finding it hard to move her jaw, as she crossed her ankles behind her friend’s and gently maneuvered so Aya’s face was protected in the crook of her neck before locking her arms behind Aya’s shoulders and keeping her close. This was the best position to keep Aya as shielded as possible and Javi had a grip that she knew wouldn’t release even if she was knocked out. She tucked her chin against the back of Aya’s crown as they kept being thrown around, wincing as she felt things pelt them but holding fast despite the blows, all of her fading consciousness focused on protecting.

"Wut... OOFF" Aya let out a grunt as she felt Javi run into her. Before she had a chance to get her bearings Aya felt another jolt the pair of them leaving the deck. She was totally disoriented, Aya turned every which way as Javi tucked herself around her; arms, legs... her chin, Aya was completely in Javi's embrace. Another hard shock and the pair went still, hovering above the deck Aya could feel the tingle of a gravity field, a hum that made her teeth rattle whenever she opened her mouth to speak. "Wha, Javi..." The ship shook again, Aya could feel the tug on her body as they were turned sharply, her vision going a bit fuzzy for a moment. "Javi... you there...?"

Hearing something other than alarms at the edge of her consciousness, Javi tried to make a reassuring noise and locked her grip again. She hoped that Aya wasn’t being squeezed too badly, vaguely wondering if she was comfortable as she fought to keep her eyes open. It was a losing battle.

Murmuring out Javi's name one more time Aya settled into the protective embrace. She couldn't move, couldn't see, could barely think, her vision getting fuzzier and fuzzier. But she still breathed a sigh of relief, she was safe, Javi would protect her.


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