SD242102.19 - Plot Log - CO - "Docking Procedures"
Posted on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 @ 6:57pm by Brigadier General Jonathan Grey
=^= Main Ops =^=
Sparks showered Ops as a console gave up the ghost, flickering and failing as a series of internal power units fried in quick succession.
An ensign rushed over to handle it, averting his face as he tugged a panel from the wall beside the console. One pull of a handle was enough to shut off power, turning the display pitch-black in an instant.
"The power grid is damaged General! Overloads and electrical fires all over the place!" announced one of the maintenance crew from the other side of the room; gesturing toward the flames burning through several floor panels.
"I noticed." Grey replied, smoke rising from his ruined tunic as his yeoman worked to pat out the last of the embers. Waving the man off, the marine stepped into the centre of the room and squared his jaw, attempting to project a calm authority.
"Open a channel to the shipyard." he barked, a little harsher than he planned due to the stinging burns across his back.
"Sah!" blared Makkat over the comm, his hair and eyes appearing on the top half of the main viewscreen. The bottom half remained blank, with a large crack running across the middle.
"Captain, we're moving up the schedule. Are you ready to dock with the ring?"
"Aye sah! Umbilicals ready, moveables locked down, and the crew is already packed."
"If the shipyards are offline except for inertial dampeners, we can spare more power for the station sah! The crew's set to fly with the fleet."
"Right, good, well done." said the General, distracted by smoke that seemed to come from close by. Looking around, and then down, he noticed that the carpet square beneath him had blackened around the edges.
"Hup!" he cried, jumping clear of the spot before it could set itself aflame. The acrid smell of burning footwear told him that he'd need new shoes, but there was a time and place for shopping.
Pursing his lips, the General snapped his eyes back up to the screen.
"Liaise with the fleet and get your shipyard docked, Captain."
With that, the screen's functioning upper half went dark.
As Ops continued to fight the literal and metaphorical fires that threatened to bring the command centre to its knees, the fleet outide the station received a signal.
As one, a trio of Galaxy-class ships broke formation. They moved off in unison, heading towards a flattened mesh of metal in the distance.
Having spent many days preparing for the improvised docking procedure, the Tristan and Isolde shipyards had folded their entire structure flat. Anything that couldn't bend had been detached and stored, and the only parts not compacted were the parts with life support (engineering, the design studios, living quarters, etc).
After a mutual ping to ensure both parties were ready, the ships lashed out with their tractor beams, locking onto the shipyard.
Fortunately, this tow was far smoother than the station's emergency exodus. For one thing, the black hole wasn't close enough to be a factor anymore (until it exploded in 2 hours time at least). For another, the shipyard hadn't spent the last few weeks being shaken to bits by the black hole.
Lastly, despite the panic aboard the station, the shipyard wasn't in any sort of rush, and could proceed at the pre-approved speed.
It glided through space without even a murmur from the structural integrity fields (which the skeleton crew was watching like a hawk).
This continued for several minutes, with little to mark the passage of time. Bit by bit, the shipyard approached the station, and before long they were ready to proceed.
Spotlights shone from the ships as the shipyard was aligned above the ring of Versailles. Atop the ring, a number of raised protrusions had been assembled in a straight line, waiting for this moment.
Slowly, the flattened shipyard decended.
A ripple of light passed over the station as the protrusions on the ring glowed blue with power. Hissing with a strange mist, they rose from the hull and reached out for the shipyard, ready to soften the impact.
The tractor beams brightened in pulses as they slowed the descent, and the shipyard rocked slightly as the glowing clamps made contact. Retracting slightly to draw the shipyard tight against the hull, claws and cables reached out from jury-rigged systems; plugging the shipyard into Versailles' power grid.
A hungry beast, even now, the station caused lights aboard the shipyard to flicker as it drew hard upon the connection between them.
To stabilise the power draw, lights flickered in every window on the shipyard. One by one, they faded to black. Life support powered down, gravity switched off, and the last of the crew beamed onto the Galaxy class ships.
As the shipyard settled into its role of oversized battery, resting on top of Versailles' outer ring, the former's crew could only watch through the windows, and hope that they had somewhere to come back to in a week's time.
=^= End of Log =^=
Brigadier General Jonathan Grey