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A Timely Rescue, Part Three

Posted on 27 Sep 2016 @ 1:08pm by Commander Volus tr'Keirheol & Subcommander Dhael t'Anaka & Centurion Lyirru tr'Illialhae & Sublieutenant Varuh tr'Krell & Valkis tr'Tellus

Mission: Revealing Truths
Location: Vreenak-class Shuttlecraft
Timeline: MD5 - 0300 Hours

Varuh sat in front of the cockpit console of shuttlecraft two. He wore a spacesuit as he expected to have some time in vacuum whilst connecting and securing the magnetic clamps and feeding the wreckage of a shuttlecraft they were to salvage and tow back to the Imperiax with extra energy to boost their integrity fields and enable some means of short range communication.

He observed the shuttle's cockpit responding to his flight preparations. He played it by the book as always. Better be safe than sorry.

+++REACTOR ONLINE+++
+++SELF CHECK...OK+++
+++POWERING UP ENGINES...OK+++
+++STANDBY+++

He read and more and more systems of the shuttlecraft were tested by the internal diagnosis software and went to online and ready status. The inertial dampers he requested in the auxiliary pods worked perfectly. He made a mental note to recommend the flight deck crew for that. He saw the flight deck crew remove cables and pipes from the shuttle and clear the launch bay. Commander Volus was due any second. A small kick on a pedal made him test the throttle of the impulse engines while wagging a joystick he made sure maneuver thrusters were working fine. Activating some buttons over his head and activating more displays and systems he waited for his commander to enter the shuttle. Auxilliary power at 99.8%. Weapons online. Life support working fine. What could go wrong?!

After entering the Vreenak from the starboard airlock, Volus made his way to the cockpit where Varuh was already sat and waiting for him. He took the seat next to him and activated his console. "Whenever you're ready Sublieutenant. Let's not keep them waiting longer than they already have," he said to him.

Varuh simply nodded and waited until the last system came to live. He tapped the shuttle's communicator. "Shuttle two to launch bay. Flight pre-perations complete. Ready to take off. Requesting clearance."

"Launch bay to Shuttle two. Clearance granted. Opening blast doors. Good luck." the comm blared back.

As the heavy doors slid open Varuh activated the propulsion fields and lifted off the ground while hovering towards the launch bay's entrance. Technicians hurried aside while lights on the floor activated and guided the shuttle. Some seconds later, they passed through the force field that kept the atmosphere inside the Imperiax and were in space.

"Successful launch, Commander. I will set course towards the other shuttle." Varuh stated, typing in commands. "ETA: three minutes, twenty seconds."

This time it was Volus who nodded. He reached forward and pressed a few buttons on the console to activate the ship's communications array. "Shuttlecraft two to away team, this is Commander Volus. We are currently en route to your position and will have to bring you in manually through the use of mag-clamps. It shouldn't take very long. You'll be home soon."

"It's good to hear your voice Sir." Dhael responded over the com, glad that they were finally going to get out of the confines of their shuttle and away from the vermin that they'd brought back with them.

"You as well, Subcommander. Was your mission a success?" Volus asked, too eager to wait until they were back aboard the Imperiax to find out.

"It could have gone better Sir." Dhael replied, not willing to discuss it in front of the others and especially with that cretin in the back of the shuttle.

Volus bowed his head a bit. With the vagueness of her reply, it was difficult to get a proper read on the meaning behind what she said. "I look forward to your report," was all that the older Romulan opted to reply with. "Volus out." He closed the comm channel to the other shuttlecraft. Looking out of the forward viewport, he could see that they were making their approach for them right now. Volus turned his head towards Varuh. "Get the rest of your gear on. I'll take over flight operations."

"Aye, Sir." Varuh answered and transferred controls to the commander. He rose and went to a cabinet containing the rest of his space suit. The tools he needed soon were stored on the floor of the cabinet as well. He donned a helmet.

After checking the data that was coming up on his console, Volus looked back to the Sublieutenant, and spoke to him. "We'll be arriving at the shuttle's location in less than a minute. How close will we need to be?" The Commander assumed that Varuh would have already done all of the calculations necessary for this operation.

"We will need to dock directly on top of the shuttle. Basically we will bring them in like a type four cargo pod. Hover one meter above them and activate the payload modules. I had inertial dampers and mag-clamps installed as payload so we would not shake them to pieces in the process. After this I will go outside and connect their auxiliary power with our main reactors to bolster their integrity fields. I will check for major integrity flaw and try to patch her up a bit if necessary. Then we tow them towards the Imperiax, slowly, not faster than one quarter impulse. Once in front of the Imperiax launch bay we will detach and pull them in via launch bay tractors. That close we can work softly and once inside the atmosphere of the bay they are out of danger." Varuh explained.

"Acknowledged," the Commander said as he ran his hands over the helm controls. "I am beginning our approach." As their Vreenak was coming up to the shuttle from the front, Volus had to slightly alter their course so that they would come up alongside it on the port side. After he passed it by about fifty meters, he made a one hundred eighty degree turn and initiated the ventral thrusters to propel the Vreenak above the other one.

"Activating dorsal thrusters to move us into position." He pressed a few more commands at his console. "Thirty meters. Fifteen. Seven." As it neared the distance Varuh needed, Volus brought the ventral thrusters back online to bring the shuttle to a halt. "One meter." Not bad for someone who didn't pilot these things very often, the Commander thought to himself.

"I am activating the payload modules," he then told Varuh and within seconds, he'd received word that they were deployed. It was all up to the Sublieutenant now. "Proceed when you are ready Mister Varuh," he told the Leader of Singularity Control.

Varuh sealed the space suit and made sure all utilities were strapped securely to his belt. He took a short look onto the status monitor and the exterior cameras. Volus had indeed parked them at optimum distance.

"Excellent maneuvering, Sir. I will go out now and do the rest. Stand by." he stated and walked to the airlock. The force field was activated as the hatch opened to contain the atmosphere. He slowly stepped outside and accustomed himself to zero-G conditions. He got a bit nauseous - as always when he left the artificial gravitation. Carefully, he approached the other shuttle using the mag clamp cables as security line. He held an auxiliary power cable which he was to attach as kind of umbilical cord to the other shuttle. From his first looks the shuttle was in very bad shape. The outer hull was breached in several locations and he was sure that important systems were damaged or even offline. As he stepped gently upon the shuttle's hull he activated the magnetic soles of his space suit and attached himself to its surface. Then he stepped carefully towards the service hatch and opened it. Some sparks flew and he inspected the damage. The adapter was not deformed but some cables underneath seemed to have fused together and caused discharges which would likely drain the shuttle's power reserves on a long term.

He opened a channel to Volus. "Sir, I need to fix the power plug first before we can divert energy to the other shuttle. The mag-clamps are in secure position. They should hold long enough but this will take some time, I am afraid. I will report when I have connected the shuttle to power."

"Acknowledged," the Commander responded. He didn't really enjoy just sitting here waiting but he had little choice in the matter. Varuh would have the repairs complete in no time at all, he told himself.

Varuh opened the casing and grabbed the bundle of cables inside. As he thought, some were fused together. Using a laser-cutter he unceremoniously cut the bundle and removed the fused part. Then he removed a part of the insulation and installed a bridge between the two ends. Testing the plug with his diagnosis unit and seeing that all went well he nodded. The HUD clock showed that he had used 3 minutes for that. Not bad...but after all, rewiring the Imperiax was what he was doing most of the time so this was no big challenge. Placing the cable bundle back into the casing he finally inserted the towed cable and connected the shuttle with their own power source.

"Varuh to Volus. Commander, I have finished repairs on the port and established the power link. Please divert power to auxiliary port two, settings 15%, harmonic. Open a channel to the shuttle and make them observe if everything goes right."

Doing as he was instructed to by the Sublieutenant, Volus rerouted some of the shuttle's power to the designated port. He then contacted the other shuttle. "Volus to away team. We are currently transferring power to your vessel. Mister Varuh has asked that you monitor things on your end."

"Understood. Power levels are slowly creeping up." Lyirru replied as he continued to watch his console.

The Commander reactivated the comm to the Leader of Singularity Control. "Varuh, the transfer is under way. How long until we are able to return to the Imperiax?"

"I am just diverting energy manually to the structural integrity fields via maintenance console. It seems they have no access to this feature currently. Their controls are pretty much jumbled up. We should be ready to depart any minute once we have this junkheap stabilized now. I will return inside, Sir."

Varuh answered and closed the hatch covering the maintenance access panel. Then he rose and climbed back to their own Vreenak. After passing the force field keeping the atmosphere inside he closed the airlock and removed his helmet. He stored the tools in the locker and took his place at the pilot's console.

"Ready when you are, Sir."

The Commander performed one final check of all the shuttle's systems and when they showed to be operating normally and as intended, he transmitted a message to the away team to alert them that they were about to return to the ship. Upon receiving a return notification from them indicating that they'd received the message, Volus engaged the Vreenak's engines at a speed of one-quarter impulse and he set a return trajectory for the Imperiax.

As the two Romulan shuttlecraft neared the starboard hangar bay, Volus began to decelerate slowly until they came to a full stop. He looked to his left at Varuh. "Disengage the clamps," he ordered.

"Aye Sir." Varuh answered. He hailed the Imperiax. "Varuh to Imperiax Hangar Bay. Engage bay tractor beam and target our freight. Prepare to tug them in. I want a security detail ready."

"Acknowledged, Sir." the response came.

"Releasing clamps now."

A soft shudder went through the Vreenak as its freight detached. With another console command he severed the power cable from their own shuttle. Watching the scanner he saw the tractor beam build up power and engulf the other shuttle. Slowly, it moved towards the gaping bay.

"The package has been delivered, Sir." he reported.

"Good work," Volus responded to him. He maintained their shuttle's position just outside the hangar bay while they waited to be notified that they could follow suit. That notification came moments later on the console and the Commander proceeded to return the Vreenak to the Imperiax.

While Volus did care about the well-being of every member of the away team, even the Reman Master Grax, there was only one thing that kept going through his mind; was Dhael's mission a success? Considering she'd refused to answer his question earlier, it certainly seemed that it was possible. Being a seasoned military officer though, Volus knew not to jump to any conclusions. They'd all find out soon enough.

 

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