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Limping Across The Finish Line

Posted on Tue Jun 16th, 2020 @ 7:20pm by Captain Keziah Nazir & Lieutenant Commander Josue Torres

Mission: Episode 1: Armageddon - The End of All Things
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: Day 6 at 0845

Two Days Ago
USS Jetanien

"Sir, I am showing a Starfleet vessel at the extreme range of sensors..." Ensign Talbot called out from her station at the side of the bridge.

"Can you identify it?" Josue asked, turning the chair as much as he could to face her. With the massive damage to the space frame from the Borg attack, most of the decks were skewed, or even crumpled in places, making such actions either more difficult or even impossible.

"Yes, sir. Registry number matches to the USS Nogura, Galaxy-class, and she seems to be under power," Talbot replied.

"Set course, best possible speed," Josue said, turning back to the front and nodding to the crewman at the helm. The three of them were a quarter of the remaining crew. Most of what he had left to him was engineering, and for that, he said a silent prayer of thanks. If that weren't the case they'd never have even gotten this far. He had no idea how they were holding it together down in the engineering sections, but he was glad they were.

"Aye, Captain," Crewman Samuels said, his fingers tapping the console in front of him, having to enter some commands more than once as the screen sputtered and tried to fade out every few seconds. "I can give you three-quarters impulse, sir..." he added, glancing back over his shoulder with an expression that said he was disgusted with that.

Josue stood, and walked forward, placing his hand on Samuel's shoulder, "I'll take what I can get," he said, squeezing the man's shoulder gently as he gave him a slight smile. "How long until we are in communications range?" he asked, looking back over his shoulder to the tactical station where T'Vren sat, the huge green gash on her forehead only half-healed, even with the use of a dermal regenerator they'd found in an emergency medical kit. It had just been too damaged to finish the job.

"Approximately seventeen point four minutes, sir," she replied. "I will attempt to boost our output to cut that time if possible."

"No, don't, in fact, I want you to work on a way to tight-beam our communications. Make it so whatever we send out can only be received by the Nogura. I don't want to attract any attention we don't have to attract," Josue said, walking across to her station, stepping over the chunks of damaged equipment they hadn't had a chance to get moved yet. "We don't know what else might be out here, and with our sensors so badly damaged we might not know until it's already too late."

"Understood, sir," T'Vren replied.

A little less than ten minutes later she spoke again, getting his attention from where he'd drifted over to the science station, trying to get them a bit more sensor resolution. "I am ready to transmit, Captain," she called out.

"What can you give me?" Josue asked as he stood.

"Vocal transmission only, sir. Anything more and the tight beam will scatter too widely," T'Vren replied.

"Understood," Josue said, and then after she tapped a key and nodded in his direction he spoke. "This is Acting Captain Josue Torres of the USS Jetanien, to the Commander of the USS Nogura. We are heavily damaged and require immediate assistance. We will rendezvous with your ship in less than ten minutes. Please respond,"

USS Nogura

Josue had been released from sickbay not even five minutes prior to entering the bridge. He still had a limp, from the barely set fracture in his right ankle, his left arm was still stiff, and the aftereffects of the concussion were still pounding away inside his head like it was an overstretched drum. Oddly enough, though, the thing that bothered him the most was the split eyebrow. He'd chosen not to have it healed. He wanted something to remember everything on the Jetanien by. It throbbed, and stung every time he moved his face in any real way, but it would be worth it.

Nodding to people on the bridge as he passed them, knowing none of them, and probably inspiring quite a bit of confusion, he reached the ready room door and pressed the chime button.

Inside the Captain's ready room, the Trill who commanded the lifeless behemoth stood at the window, glaring out into the asteroid field that protected the ship. In the last few days, there had been so much death and destruction across the Federation. Even their little corner of the universe had failed to emerge without scars. Since the invasion, the Nogura had lost two commanding officers and two executive officers, with Commander Dukal being lost on DS4 to the Borg encounter there.

There was, however, a glimmer of hope. The first survivors of Armageddon had been found, and were safely recovering in sickbay. One of them in particular provided her with an opportunity to address those losses - if he would take the chance.

Hearing the chime, she hoped it was the visitor she had asked to see. "Come!" she beckoned from within.

As the doors swished open Josue strode through them, trying, unsuccessfully, to hide his limp as he approached the desk. "Commander Josue Angel Torres, reporting, ma'am," he said, his accent thicker on the parts of his speech that were his name. "I'm sorry it took me so long to get here, sickbay didn't want to let me go."

Keziah gradually dragged herself away from the window and turned to address the man who had entered her private workspace. He was, thank goodness, the person she wanted to speak with. "I'm learning they have a habit of that down there," she smirked. Offering him a seat opposite her desk, the Captain took a step or two to her own chair and collapsed into it. "I trust nothing too serious?" she quizzed of her guest.

"I've gotten worse playing fútbol," Josue replied with a shrug. "It was a few fractures and a concussion. But I'm back on my feet now, ma'am."

It wasn't one hundred percent correct. Some of the injuries had been quite serious, far worse than anything he'd ever gotten playing a sport, but he didn't need her to know that. He needed her to know he was ready to get back in the ring and go head to head with the Borg whenever she needed him to, and in whatever capacity she needed.

"I'm going to be blunt, Commander. We're in a bad way," she frowned as she relaxed back in her seat with a sigh. "We have a significant power vacuum on this ship. In the last few days, this crew have lost two commanding officers and two executive officers. I've inherited command of what appears to be a cursed ship," she revealed, "and the truth is, you are one of two officers with any command experience other than myself."

Josue was a bit surprised at just how bad it had been on the Galaxy-class vessel, but, then, after a few moments of thought realized he really shouldn't be. What he should be surprised about is that the ship was even still in one piece, and still had a living, breathing crew. "I know the feeling of thinking you are on a cursed ship," he admitted. Watching as wave after wave of people on the Jetanien died, and suddenly finding myself sitting in the center seat with less than a tenth of the crew left alive..." he replied, his voice trailing off at the end.

With a sigh he snapped himself out of it, "I do have command experience, though honestly, most of the real stuff has just been in the last few days. Where can I be most helpful to you?" he asked.

"Well, actually, I have a role in mind where we can hopefully benefit each other," Keziah grinned from behind her desk. "I want you to replace Commander Dukal as Executive Officer. In doing so, I can impart all of the knowledge and wisdom of command that I can, and I get an exec with some command experience."

It certainly hadn't been what he'd been expecting. He was not a command officer by training, he was a science officer. Even when he'd had to take emergency command of the Jetanien he hadn't really considered himself a commanding officer. It didn't take him long to work through the jumble of emotions, and with his usual casual bravado, he smiled and nodded. "I can do that. Just let me know what I need to do and I'll get to work," he replied.

"Excellent news," the Captain grinned as she rose to her feet and went rummaging on the nearby coffee table that was full of data PADDs. "Stellar cartography and tactical astrometrics are offline. The engineers haven't been able to get to grips with the situation so we could use you down there."

Stellar cartography and astrometrics were both things Josue had a lot of experience with, giving him a boost of confidence that something totally outside his skill-set might not have accomplished. "Sounds like an interesting challenge," he said with a nod. "Do we have any preliminary diagnostic data yet, or will I be starting at the beginning of the maze?"

"Right at the beginning of the maze," the Captain smirked as she shook her head. "It's not going to be easy, and I am unwilling to take us out of this asteroid field until the sensors are online and we know what is out there," she wandered to a glass bottle and poured two glasses of water, taking one to her new colleague. "We're stuck here until you succeed, Commander. No pressure," she grinned as she held up her glass, ready to clink it with the new XO.

Clinking his own glass with the Captain’s, Josue returned the grin. "No pressure at all..." he said. In fact he didn't feel much. He felt excited to get started though, and he was already formulating plans on how to get the goals achieved as quickly as he could.

Hopefully this Executive Officer would hang around long enough to see the ship out of the asteroid field.


But the Borg never really dealt in hope.


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