"One Down, Two To Go"
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Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.
- Walter Elliot


Setting: SPHINX, Command Deck
Stardate: 30148.0900

Doctor Doyanne had done her best to stabilize the CEO's condition so that the entire console could be moved and free the trapped woman. The plan had been to have the VIPER lift the forward section of the SPHINX thus allowing for the red haired Engineer to be pulled from under the wreckage.

=/\= VIPER 3, ready and awaiting orders, =/\= Stark announced over the opened communications channel.

"This is how it's going to work," Lillie began as she looked with intensity at those already around the pinned CEO.  "Wydran, you are going to *gently* pull her out but only when I say so. Shar'El, you help keep her steady. We will need to strap her legs onto a splint as soon as they are free."

Doctor Mizore and Commander Maya had been standing-by to jump in and assist with the splint as soon as there would be enough room to do so. Erik and Eve on their end watched as if to make sure everyone and everything was where it needed to be.

"Nice to see the crew come together so well in times of adversity," the Counselor mentioned in a soft whispered voice to the man standing right next to her. After having been taken cared of by the aCMO, Eve had joined the rest of the standing Officers in the middle of the Command Deck, having easily understood that the very front section had not been the best place to be at this time.

"The mission is far from over," the Native American countered with, allowing himself to still hold back any final judgement on the crew's evaluation.  The mission had been meant to test a great many things, and granted the parameters of these tests had shifted well beyond what the Captain had initially expected, but the truth had still remained that all of this paled in comparison to what they might run into out there.

Doctor Doyanne met everyone's gaze one last time before she spoke.  "SPHINX to VIPER 3, slowly start to move the forward section up."

The sound of the Interceptor's engines could be heard through the open hatch, quickly followed the the eerie noise of shifting metal as it echoed throughout the entire SPHINX.  Sonja clenched her teeth together and grabbed hold of the ILO's arm with both of her hands, but to the red headed Engineer's credit she did not cry out.

"A little more," Lillie noted, both to the VIPER pilot to keep going and to the FCO for him to wait a little longer before attempting to pull the injured woman out.

The loud sound of a beam cracking to its breaking point had been all that everyone needed to know that this had been the time to act.  With a motion of her hand the Doctor gave the go ahead sign to Wydran who, with ease, pulled Sonja out from under the shattered console.

As soon as the trio had cleared that section of the craft, Erik verbally stepped in.  "VIPER 3, disconnect tow cable now!"

The forward most section quickly collapsed back down, falling further than it had initially been, but this time without anyone trapped beneath it.  A general sigh of relief was shared by all those present, allowing the crew to attend to the next part of their problems.

Although injured herself, Seska moved in to assist the CMO, doing what she could to insure that Sonja would be alright and her wounds properly addressed, this of course within the limits of the available equipment and resources.

"Morningstar to Stark," the Native American called out not having to tap his comm badge, the channel having remained open.

=/\= Go ahead Sir, =/\= the OPS Officer replied, having kept an ear open since the very beginning.

"Well done, looks like everything has worked out perfectly," the Native American reported.

=/\= Very glad to hear that Sir, =/\= Jayson said, glad that he had been able to help.

"On another note, do you have the bearings of our targeted landing site," Erik inquired.  "The three LOCUS should be there, and we are going to need them to make it to the BARRACUDA and then back to the ANUBIS."

=/\= According to the coordinates we had and our estimated current location, the landing site should be 21 or 22 kilometers Northwest, =/\= the VIPER pilot reported, knowing that the distance and environment would make any ground level journey nearly impossible.

"Alright," the ANUBIS' CO acknowledged as he looked at the rest of the away team. "Let me get back to you."

"There is no way we can safety traverse such a distance on foot," the Acting Executive Officer interjected.  "To make matters more complicated, Lieutenant Paquette will be in no condition to walk, requiring the assistance of one or more members of the crew."

"You have made you point loud and clear Commander," Erik conceded with a sigh.  "We have to get the LOCUS here and with two VIPERs we will need a second pilot as well as someone else to ride as a passenger."

"There are currently only five Officers able to pilot a VIPER," Maya pointed out having spotted a potential problem with the Captain's plan of action.

"Wydran's strength may come in handy here, so that leaves him out," the Native American stated as he went through the list in his head, anticipating what the Shillian had been leading towards.

"Our CEO is in no condition to fly and it seems that our ILO has taken on the role of *morale officer* by her side," the Acting Executive Officer added thus leaving a single pilot remaining.

"Looks like I'm going back into the pilot's seat," Erik grinned as he turned to look at the ship's Counselor.  "Care to go for a ride?"

"Why me?" Eve questioned, trying her best to look shocked and troubled by the Captain's words.

"Both Doctors are needed here, the muscles of our FCO are of better use here then up there, Our CEO is out of commission and the ILO is playing nurse.  That leaves the ExO in charge while you and I fly off with OPS to return with the three LOCUS," Erik explained in a matter-of-fact manner, knowing that only the Counselor could actually get away with asking such a question because of her knowing the man as well as she did.

"With all due respect Captain," Dalziel grinned.  "You have already crashed a VIPER, and frankly I do not feel overly safe getting into another one with you."

Maya watched in shocked amazement, not fully understanding the friendly banter that the two Officers had engaged in.

"In my defense, I would like to point out that I did not *crash* the VIPER, but that I was in fact *shot down*," the CO huffed playfully.

"All the more reason for me to ask if I can go with Jayson instead, at least if something happens, he'll be doing the shooting instead of being shot at," Eve concluded, having managed to remain rather serious throughout the entire exchange.

"Request denied," the CO said as he shook his head.  "I need you on board *my* VIPER to make sure Ensign Stark doesn't get any ideas to try that little maneuver again."

=/\= Sir, I would never... =/\= The OPS Officer kicked in with, having missed all of the smiles and grins that had been shared between the CNS and CO.


Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer