"Good And Bad Surprises"
Previous post "The Afterparty"

"In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive."
Lee Iacocca


Setting: SPHINX, Command Deck
Stardate: 30148.0840

Erik grasped onto the shoulder straps that held him in place with all of his strength as the SPHINX impacted with the surface of moon of PI ALPHA III for the first time.  Part of him had almost wanted to laugh as memories of some of the more difficult dimensional jumps of the USS PROPHECY came into mind. The shock of a second crash rapidly followed by a third refocused the man's thoughts instantly.  His days as a Chief Engineering Officer on board that ship had been a long time ago, in what seemed to be another life.  As the Commanding Officer of the USS ANUBIS, Erik quickly reminded himself that his thoughts and attention needed to be in the here and now.

Flashes of exploding power conduits shattered the darkness that had swallowed the inside of the SPHINX acting almost as a reminder of the storm that had sent them crashing this way.  The accompanying eerie sound of the external hull platting being shredded by whatever they had crashed into had only made the entire event feel that much more surreal.

As far as training scenarios had been concerned, this one had already become one of the more demanding the Native American had ever endured.  Strangely enough thought, Captain Morningstar had not feared for the performance of his crew, having confidence in their skills, abilities and resourcefulness.  A great crew required a great challenge to properly test them, and this situation seemed to fit this idea just perfectly.

The SPHINX came to an abrupt stop which sent everyone lunging towards the front of the craft with one swift shot.  The final impact had been severe enough to knock the wind out of the senior most officer's lungs causing him to remember that he had only minutes ago been released from the Infirmary.  It took several seconds for the Captain to even begin to regain his breath just enough to acknowledge the question that had been presented by the Assistant Chief Medical Officer.

Erik surveyed the Command Deck, debris littered the entire room in a grim display of just how brutal the crash had been.  Despite the severity of the scene the Native American found it within him to smile faintly as he noted to himself that, at least at first glance, everyone had appeared to be alive.

"SPHINX to VIPERs," the Native American said with difficulty after having tapped his comm badge, having realized once again that his physical condition had not been as perfect as he might have wanted it to be.

Instead of a reply from either of the pilots, the voice of the Acting Executive Officer was heard offering the most likely reason for this silence.  "The shield modulations that we used at the very end could have polarized the hull interfering with communications.  You may need to step outside of the SPHINX to establish contact."

Erik immediately noted the efforts of Shillian Scientist who had been trying to free herself from the command chair, the debris that surrounded the officer having made it difficult for her to get free of the safety harness. Not having noticed the aCMO's own injuries, the Captain motioned with his hand for Seska to assist the SPHINX's CO.  "Ensign Mizore," the Native American offered recalling their earlier conversation about the proper use of Bajoran names, "Check on Lieutenant Commander Maya, I will check on the others."

"Captain!" the voice of Doctor Doyanne came over the remnants of sparks from the exploding nearby control consoles.  "Lieutenant Dalziel appears stuck by some sort of debris at the front."

"Lieutenant Paquette is in the same situation Captain," Shar'El reported, both the ILO and CMO having had little difficulties setting themselves free of their respective chairs and stations.  "We are going to need extra muscles if we are to get them out," the raven haired woman stated prompting the CO to act as his Acting Executive Officer had earlier suggested.

"Alright, see what you can do, I will try to get a hold of Ensigns Ttosk and Stark," the Native American announced as he began the journey towards the back of the SPHINX expecting there to be some hull breach for him to crawl out through instead of trying to open either one of the front accesses and risk weakening the damaged forward structure.

Although not suffering from any apparent physical injuries, the Native American had managed to climb over the various obstacles that he encountered with far greater difficulty than he had expected.  Any attempt to lift beams and plates out of his way were met with shortness of breath and unpleasant muscle aches.  Still, determined to make it out to see if he could contact the VIPERs, the Captain pressed on not giving himself the luxury to being slowed more than he had already been.

When he finally arrived and pried open the doors leading to the Situation Room, Erik was shocked yet glad to see that this part of the SPHINX had been completely missing.  This had either been the result of the explosion of the power cores or that the section had simply been torn off during the crash. Either way this had given the Native American an easy way to exit the craft and attempt to contact the VIPERs.

Just as the Captain stood upright and tapped his comm badge, the Native American noticed with great surprise both VIPERs hovering over the crash site.

=/\= Are we ever glad to see you Captain, =/\= Ensign Stark stated with tangible relief in his voice. =/\= When we didn't get any replies we feared the worst. =/\=

"Everyone seems to be alright," Morningstar explained with some urgency, "but we need you both down here to help us move some of the debris. It seems that Lieutenant Paquette and Dalziel are pinned by what was the front of the SPHINX."

=/\= There is nowhere for us to land, =/\= the Zaldan pilot reported, his voice clearly indicated that the towering man had been less than happy in not having been able to help as the Captain had wished them to.

=/\= There may be one way, =/\= the OPS Officer countered with.  =/\= Land your VIPER on top of the SPHINX and go in to help, I will stay and hook the magnetic tow cable of my craft to the front of the SPHINX and try to help from here. =/\=

=/\= The structure will not hold the weight, =/\= Wydran stated, not at all liking the offered suggestion.

=/\= Well, if you have a better idea, I am sure that Captain Morningstar will be happy to hear it, =/\= the OPS Officer shot back, certain that his plan had at the very least fair odds of succeeding.

"Try it, we need all the help we can in there," the Native American stated, giving by the same account his clearance to the pilot to attempt the maneuver.

Slowly, the Zaldan brought his ship over the crashed form of the SPHINX and lowered the Interceptor onto the crashed craft as gently as he could under the bemused eyes of the Captain.  Erik could not help but cringe as he heard the sound of metal bending and cracking, but the Native American was rather pleased to see that the structure, as weakened as it might have appeared, seemed more than capable of supporting the weight of the Interceptor-Class VIPER.

Once out of the tight confinement of his craft, the towering Zaldan followed the Commanding Officer back into the debris filled SPHINX.  With an ease that seemed almost unreal, the Flight Control Officer removed large beams and metal plates out of their way to grant the two men an easy access to the Command Deck.

"Where did you find him?" Commander Maya inquired as she noticed the Captain and FCO stepping back into the Command Deck of the SPHINX.

"Both VIPERs were hovering over the crash site," Erik replied with a grin, still somewhat shocked by this unexpected discovery.

"The VIPERs can *hover*?" The Acting Executive Officer demanded in shock.  "I do not recall ever seeing that ability in their specs."

"They hovered?!?" Lieutenant Paquette said with great joy.  "Woo Hoo, giddy up!  I am so glad that those upgrades worked," Sonja stated as she tried to move.  "OWW," the redhead exclaimed loudly, "now that was not pleasant," the CEO added as she looked down to the source of the pain.  "Well that can't be good," the woman noted as she saw one of her injuries.

Erik and Wydran quickly moved in closer to see what they could do to help, noticing with great dismay that Sonja had in fact been in a rather bad state.


Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer