NPC: Chuck & Rescue Ball Survivor To Be Named Later
1125.10.1 - 01:15
Miishakaal has finally caught up to the debris field. Its density has dropped by half since your arrival in system seven hours ago.
Along the way, the captain searched the library and news databases for any signs of the ship Roundhead, but came up empty.
The naval base continues to be obscured by the sun.
No other vessels have been detected, nor have their been any other communications with the starport.
Gvarokh continued with his scans hoping that heat signatures would give a clue to survivors. This search idea didn't pan out as hoped. The hottest pieces appeared to be engineering remnants. Sending radar scans of the pieces of debris down to Slade helped them to identify pieces of the reactor core, the primary heat exchanger, thrusters, and so on. As time wore on though, pieces in the debris field cooled more and more and will shortly be as cold as the surrounding space.
The more promising pieces have been catalogued and the ship's computer tracked them as the Miishakaal got closer to the debris field.
Being primarily interested in survivors, the captain maneuvers the ship towards one of the spherical objects. The first one appears to in fact be a rescue ball!
"Heyya, Capn'...where ya want us...if wer' goin' out...."
"What do you mean if, Lakir? You guys are all dressed up and thought I'd give you someplace to go. Head for that rescue ball first. You guys be careful out there."
"Yes Cap'n, redi' ta go."
Simrii, sitting in his turret keeps a tight eye on things, scanning the debris with his limited sensors, he also looks beyond to the surrounding area to see what else he can see. Just to be on the safe side.
The two crewmen enter the starboard personnel airlock. While the airlock cycles, Vlad takes a two meter rope with clips at either end and attaches one to himself and the other to a hook ring on the bulkhead.
Lakir rolls his eyes and says to Vlad, "Man, if I gotta go first, make sure we got some o'that rope 'round me- I don't wan'na be doin' ass' o' tea' kettle 90k clicks from recovery..."
"Yes. You will go and I will rrrrreel you in."
Lakir says, "You make sure you got that line tied off- with no MMU, you're go'n ta pull like a bastard ta get me ta stop close, then even harder ta get me'n the bubble back, less the Cap'n can get us close enough with out smearing the hull with whatevers in that bubble..."
Vlad lets a light growl slip out, "That was my plan pinkie. You just make sure you grrrrrab that rrrrescue ball on the first try." Vlad ties one end of a 50 meter rope around Lakir.
With the air out of the lock, Vlad opens the outer door. External searchlights are shining on the rescue ball. Fortunately for Lakir, the captain has brought the ship to within 10 meters of it.
Lakir shuts off the magnets in his boots and moves to the back of the airlock.
"Go now!" Vlad barks.
Lakir runs and leaps. There is a brief spell of disorientation as escapes the gravitational field of the ship and soars weightless towards the rescue ball. His aim is true and he collides with it, grabbing a handle in the process. "Got it!" He shouts exuberantly through the comm, "Now reel me in!"
Vlad reels in Lakir and the rescue ball with little effort. Once within the gravitational field of the ship, Lakir falls to the deck with his catch. They close the airlock, which immediately cycles the air back into it.
Looking through the occasional clear patch, Vlad and Lakir see an unconscious female human wearing a tailored vacc suit inside. They open up the rescue ball as the inner airlock door opens up.
Chuck rushes in with his medkit, "Is she alive?"
Lakir checks the air pressure gauge on her air tank. "She should be. There's still plenty of air in her tank."
"Let's get her helmet off. Maybe she got knocked unconscious somehow."
Vlad deftly removes her helmet.
Chuck checks her pulse on the side of her neck. Satisfied with what he felt, he reaches into his bag and pulls out a small vial. "We'll go for simple." He opens it and places it under her nose.
She soon begins to cough as she rouses to consciousness.
Chuck smiles at his success and then asks her, "Are you alright miss?"
The expression on her face is of pure disgust as she moves her nose away from the smelling salts, "I'd be better if you got that thing away from my nose."
The smile on Chuck's face evaporates, replaced with embarrassment. He immediately complies with her request. As he does, her expression changes "I think I'm ok thank you, apart from a slight headache. Do you have an anti-inflammatory?"
He reaches into his medkit and produces two caplets and an unopened bottle of water. He hands these to her.
She takes them, then looks around the air-lock and then at Vlad and Lakir in their vacc suits, and finally back to Chuck she asks, "What ship?"
"You're on board the Miishakaal," He says proudly. "We were inbound for Umilikha when we came across the uhhhhh remains of your ship. You're the first survivor we've found. How many other people were on your ship?"
"Four crew, and four other passengers. I have no idea if they were shipping any low passengers." She stands up and puts a hand to the side of her head. "Might I have a seat somewhere a little more comfortable please?"
"Yeah, sure, sure." Chuck guides her over to the couch on the forward wall. Over his comm he says, "Bridge? Did you get that? 8 others to look for."
Gvarokh says to the Captain, "There may be two more rescue balls out there. How close can we get for Vlad and Lakir?"
"I should be able to get as close to the others as I did this one."
Once she picks one and starts moving again, Gvarokh says over the comm, "Vlad and Lakir: Chuck can work on the survivor. Get ready for another pickup."
Lakir and Vlad make their way back to the starboard personnel airlock.
Gvarokh then adds to his conversation with the captain, "... and once we get t hose, we need to check this object out. It might be the flight recorder."
Simrii pipes up over the radio, "How's our guest doing? Lovely wreck out there they came from."
Chuck replies, "She's fine."
Slade calls in from Engineering, "Gvarokh, I've had a chance to examine the scans you've sent me. From what I see here, I don't think that there's really anything worth salvaging. I think the explosion that did the ship in originated from engineering. If I had a week to study the wreckage in the cargo hold or a hangar bay somewhere, maybe I'd find something. Otherwise, it's just scrap metal to me right now."
The ship approaches the next sphere, only to discover that it isn't a rescue ball, but rather a small liquid oxygen storage tank.
The captain comms down to Vlad and Lakir, "Sorry guys. False alarm. Moving on to the next one."
Meanwhile, over in the starboard turret, Vincent notices a dead body as the ship goes past.
"Vlad?" Simrii asks, "find out if she's crew or passenger. I mean not to be rude or anything here but it does make a tiny bit of a difference for salvage rights." He attempts to run a hand through his peach fuzz hair and bumps his gloved hand into his helmet.
"Ask Chuck," is Vlad's terse reply.
"I'll have to ask her." Turning to the woman before him, Chuck asks, "Ma'am? Were you one of the crew or a passenger?
"I was a passenger. Does that matter?"
"No, just curious."
NPC: Chuck & Rescue Ball Survivor To Be Named Later
1125.10.1 - 02:00
It has been over half an hour since the survivor was brought on board. While Vincent and Simrii are able to detect when the ship slows down to look at an object, the inertial dampers keep the ship's motion a mystery to the rest of the crew. Slade knows when a thruster fires, but little more. And the intercom has been quiet, with no communications coming down from the bridge.
Finally the captain's voice comes in over the comm, "Lakir. Vlad. We're coming up on a flight recorder candidate. Need you to try and snag it."
Lakir and Vlad re-enter the airlock. Once it cycles through, they spot a small rectangular box. As before Lakir leaps out to get it while Vlad holds the line.
Lakir grabs it and is reeled in. Neither he nor Vlad can figure out what they've caught. The captain tells them to bring it down to engineering to have Slade identify it.
It doesn't take Slade long to figure it out. "Sensor telemetry router. It collects the data that the sensors gather and pipes it to the main computer. It's intact so we could save it for spare parts or sell it."
Meanwhile the ship continues onward. Only a few minutes goes by before the captain requests Lakir and Vlad to return to the airlock. Once the doors open, the guys find themselves with another box to snag.
They get it on the first try again. Vlad reels Lakir in. Unable to figure out this box either, they bring it to Slade. He identifies it as the flight recorder.
At this point, the crew have been up for 18-19 hours (vargr afternoon naps not included), depending on the individual. No one expected a search and rescue mission after jumping in-system so the crew didn't have a chance to prepare. Coffee and grrahhak aren't having much effect anymore. The captain has to decide whether or not the crew should continue this operation and risk fatigue induced injury or have them get some sleep and let the debris field continue to disperse.
The captain opens up the intercom so that everyone in the ship can hear her, "Ok, everyone. I'm calling off the search. Lakir. Vlad. You can stand down now. We've all been up for far too long and I'd rather not risk any of you getting hurt out there because of fatigue. We're headed in to Umilikha. Should be there in 7 hours. Gvarokh will set up the watch detail. I'm headed over to the crew lounge to meet our guest."
Gvarokh addresses everyone through the personal comm network rather than the ship's intercom, "Ok, two three hour shifts. The first one is me on the bridge, Slade in engineering, and Simrii monitoring our guest. Second shift is Chuck on the bridge, Vincent in engineering, and Vlad monitoring our guest. Simrii and Vlad, you don't have to be in her room, or even outside her door, I just want you to know where she is at all times. Understood?"
"Works for me," Simrii replies.
Other grumbles of acknowledgement are heard. Lakir is the only one who gets a full allotment of sleep so his reply is chipper by comparison. The others all know that they'll be muddling through on very little sleep, reminding them of when they were back in their respective services.
Shiraamer looks over at Gvarokh and gives him a tired smile, "Time to greet our guest. I'm sure that she'll want to have a place to relax until we get planetside." Standing up, Shiraamer stretches a little before straightening out her outfit and patting down her hair. She knew she didn't fool Gvarokh with this stalling tactic but is still made her feel better. She had never been comfortable with having people aboard that she didn't know first, let alone rescuing somebody from a debris field.
Next: Interview With The Survivor