Tuesday, 21 February 2012

spacewalk, cakewalk?

DS19 Station log, 2012-02-20, Commodore RoBobby McMillan reporting.

Whoever said that members of the admiralty didn't have to do the dirty work, was lying. One of the communication antennae of Deep Space 19, Prospero Station, was damaged, which meant that while we could still communicate with Starfleet, our signal wasn't as strong as it could be. And since it's station regulation to make sure everyone gets enough zero-g training, I was selected to repair it. Figures.

Sure, it was just a repair like thousands of others. I could do it in my sleep. But I decided to do the sensible thing: to take my time and do a systems check of the easy to access systems outside of the station. It'd take me a while, but at least it'd save me from doing another trip.

It didn't take me long to repair the communications antenna. It was just a matter of realigning it manually, and making sure that next time it could be done automatically. Checking the other systems though. . . now that took more of an effort. I had to float down to the bottom of the station to check the station's core eject mechanism, and then I had to go all the way to one of the lower pylons to make sure the sensor arrays were properly calibrated.

And that was where all the trouble started. I must have accidentally triggered a signal, since all of a sudden, next to me, a container materialised. I recognised it: it was one of those containers the Academy Air Corps used to ferry from here to the USS Tom Paris. This one was a bit different though. It displayed a message that I only had 10 minutes to bring it to the Paris, or it would. . . explode!

I contacted OPS, but there was no response. The crate had some explosives in it that apparently interfered with the comm-signals. Either that, or I hadn't repaired the communications antenna as well as I thought. That didn't matter now though: in less than 10 minutes, this entire lower pylon would be destroyed by the explosion.

I had to act quickly. I tried to push the container off, but it seemed to be magnetically attached to the hull. I wasted a total of three minutes on this, so that I only had 7 minutes remaining. There was still no response from OPS, nor from the AAC... so I decided to take matters into my own hands. One way or another, this container would have to go.

I floated back to one of the docking rings as fast as I could. I entered and took the turbolift to the promenade. There were some strange looks directed at me as I ran by Quark's in a full spacesuit, but that couldn't be helped. I managed to contact OPS as I made my way to the second turbolift, telling them to beam the container away. Apparently whatever interfered with communications also interfered with the transporters... so that was out of the question.

As I made my way down to the AAC's shuttlebay here in DS19, I found myself wondering how much time I had wasted getting here. I took the first shuttle I could find that was large enough to house the container, and I flew outside. When I reached the lower pylon with this container on it, I saw that I was almost out of time: I had 3 minutes remaining.

This was a problem. I must confess, I'm no good at flying. Never was. Even in training, I got shot down all the time. There was one thing I did excel in though: stacking containers. But that was with a specialised shuttlecraft. And it was on the ground. Now I was in space with a shuttlecraft I wasn't familiar with, trying to scoop up an explosive container.

As I opened the rear hatch, I was glad I still had my spacesuit on. The atmosphere escaped from the shuttle, as I brought it closer to the container. Two minutes remaining. I tapped the controls to gently fly the shuttle backwards to scoop up the container... but instead the shuttle collided with it at quite some speed. It could have been the lack of training, or the thick space suit gloves... I don't know. Still, the container hadn't exploded just yet. And the collision had caused the magnetic locks to be broken. It was now floating away... slowly.

One minute remaining. I flew towards the container again, once again trying to scoop it up... but I failed, only pushing the container away more. I watched in shock as the container got grabbed by the planet's gravity. With less than a minute to go, the explosive container plummeted down into the Sovereign area of Galaxy Fleet Command. I quickly pursued as fast as I could.

However, I was too late. Right in front of me I saw an explosion, followed by a shockwave. I managed to bring the shuttle under control, and landed it on the beach in Sovereign. Pieces of debris had to have fallen down here somewhere. I decided that since I had a spacesuit on anyway, I had better take a look under water...

Thankfully, I couldn't find any debris. It turns out GFC and DS19 have escaped a major catastrophe. I'd like to think I had some doing in preventing a disaster, but then again, I might have accidentally caused this to happen as well. Well, we'll let JAG be the judge of that. Right now, I'm just glad that it's over.

Note to self: take some more piloting lessons.

This was Commodore RoBobby McMillan, signing off.

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