"Trying To Keep It Straight"
[Previous post - "What Happened?"]

Setting: SPHINX, Command Deck
Stardate: 30148.0830

::Well, that was some messed up unexpected crap,:: Sonja thought to herself as she surveyed the data being displayed on her control, wondering still as to what the bright light had been and how it could have knocked out both the Captain and his craft the way it had.

As the CEO continued to try to understand what had happened to the VIPER, Sonja along with the rest of the SPHINX’s command staff overheard the conversation between the two VIPER pilots.  The announcement of their break-neck plan broke the Engineer out of her current thought process. Immediately wanting to help Wydran and Jayson in whatever way she could, Sonja went back to work, this time focusing on finding a solution to their situation.  One possibly immediately came to mind, that of shifting the craft back in the slightest possible way so as to result in the dangerous VIPER maneuver to have a greater chance of being successful.

With three VIPERs the SPHINX’s pitch could be relatively maintained, but with only two the nose of the craft had started to dangerously dip forward.  This resulted in two problems; the first being an increased lack of flight control that quickly lead to the second: a head-first crash landing into the moon’s surface.  The CEO had little time to find a way to help assist the VIPERs in their effort to correct the SPHINX’s horizontal attitude and rapid descent, so whatever idea would come first would have to be the one they would work on.

“This is like trying to flying a brick; there is nothing for me to really use to help get us back to a semblance of being horizontal,” the CEO announced, by the same manner informing the two VIPER pilots that she had been working to help them in their task.

“What if we shifted the weight around,” the Counsellor quickly suggested, giving the CEO the one idea she had been looking for.

“The SPHINX was created to be balanced on purpose to avoid this problem, the forward systems being counter weighted by the power cores at the back. The problem is that the unexpected blast caused some strange powerful updraft that drastically shifted our weight forward,” Sonja explained, still wanting by necessity for this idea to be the one.

As Sonja continued to work at her console in search for a miracle solution, she glanced over to the ILO and noted with surprise the dark haired woman’s odd posture; Shar’El’s hands firmly grasping onto her breasts as if the Intel Officer had been afraid that they would fly away of their own accord.  It was obvious that woman had been temporarily unaware of her surroundings at that time, and of the fact that her posture had been witnessed by the CEO.

For a brief moment, the two women’s gaze met leading to a rather troubled looked from the CEO and a shocked expression from the ILO who immediately corrected the posture, her hands snapping back to their previous location at her control station.

It only took a few seconds for the ILO to understand the predicament they were all faced with and after having scanned her console, Shar’El offered in a shy voice, “I have a weird idea.”

“I do not doubt that you are having several weird ideas at this time, but beggars can’t be choosers.  What’cha got buttercup?” Sonja said with conspiratorial grin, offering an odd contrast to their dire situation.

A little surprised by this, the blushing ILO hesitated for a brief moment before she continued.  “What if we took the rear shields offline and modulated the forward shields to act as some sort of atmospheric drag.  This should in theory force the rear of the SPHINX down as the front descends slower towards the surface.”

“You will need to change the shield’s modulation to being nearly solid,” the Chief Science Officer and Acting ExO offered, this having been right up her field of expertize.  “I suggest that you make the shields be at least 65% opaque, anything higher might cause the SPHINX to have too much drag at the front and send us completely spinning on our Y-Axis.  On the other hand, you could make them to be more opaque but compensate by having the shield activate and deactivate in a rapid high frequency pulse.  This would likely have a higher success percentage in achieving our intended goal.”

“On it like white on rice,” the red headed woman announced, her hands dancing on the console with speed and efficiency that could have only belonged to an Engineer.

The Counsellor shot a rapid glance at the CEO. “You and I will have to have a talk about these weird expressions of yours.  I would love to know where they all have originated from, but that will have to wait.  Right now though, one crisis at a time.”

Lorraine Paquette

Lieutenant JG Sonja Paquette
Chief Engineering Officer