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The Crimson Tide Part I

Posted on Wed Oct 5th, 2022 @ 3:18am by Chief Petty Officer Xeres & Staff Sergeant Gaagii & Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen & Lieutenant Paul Michael & Major Cornelius Tremble & Captain Edmund Merrick & Master Sergeant Lachlan Barr & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna & Sergeant Miranda Schultz & Corporal Andrew Shy
Edited on on Wed Oct 5th, 2022 @ 4:33am

2,165 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Shuttle Bay - Deck 10 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD004 1600


Gaagii had donned his suit and made his way toward the Shuttle Bay. The looks he received along the way were tense to say the very least. Most of the crew were not used to seeing suited up Marines. Strange times indeed he thought. The sniper was lost in thought often and at the moment he focused on how he could apply his tracking skills to underwater RECON. While in the turbolift a young Ensign stepped away from him, intimidated by the gear he wore and the expression he wore on his face. As he stepped into the Shuttle Bay Gaagii found his thoughts wandering to Sofia and what she was up to.

Jayna looked forward to this venture, and to be working with the Marines. There was so little they knew about the planet and why so many feet had washed ashore, even with the information provided by the general, that the intelligence officer was eager to get into the water and explore. She was suited up and had carefully packed the gear she might need on her belt. Her knife, however, was strapped to her leg for easy retrieval. Outwardly, she was calm and focused as she approached the shuttle bay.

Andrew still felt a bit strange in the armor, but he was looking forward to trying it out in an actual celestial deployment. He'd signed on as mission specialist for this detail and was currently running checks on the modifications that had been completed to the shuttle. Specifically, he was running checks on the survival gear on the Serenity. They'd added gill units and other diving equipment.

Just in case.

He glanced up the mission crew began to assemble and he stepped out of the shuttle, wiping his hands down with a spare towel.

Gaagii turned toward Andrew. "Corporal this is a little outside of our normal practices. I mean we are Marines not scuba divers."
l
"Ahh, water aint that much different than zero-g ops," Sergeant," Shy said with a grin as he closed one packet and opened another. "A little wetter is all. And just as dark as a Breen's heart."

Lieutenant Michael was in the shuttle bay, doing a final scan of the Serenity, a Delta Flyer class shuttle. Since the Serenity's hull will have to with stand the pressures at the bottom of the ocean, Paul wanted to make sure that everything had been done properly.
He was completing his final scans.

Miranda was suited up and eager to get off the ship for a bit. As a communications specialist, she was along to help with whatever needed doing, and make sure they could continue to communicate with the Pioneer. She nodded to the others as she approached the shuttle.

Paul turned. "The Delta Flyer is ready to launch. Orders?"

Edmund finally arrived, he got caught up in checking and re checking his suit. He had put it through a rather grueling test earlier and had to make certain it was in tip top condition. He had to make certain he knew the kinks and quirks of it. "Greetings" was all Edmund said taking in the preparations that were being done.

Gaagii took a seat in the rear of Serenity. He checked the scope on his weapon to make sure it was calibrated correctly and for underwater operations. He had made the modifications to his rifle himself. A small bubble of atmosphere would be generated when he pulled the trigger. This would allow the phased energy to travel through water. The Staff Sergeant knew why he was being assigned to this mission and he would make sure his job was done to the fullest.

Lachan walked towards the rear of the Serenity and looked along the side. He hoped she would live up to her name and that their trip under the water would be as serene as her namesake suggested. He had been inspecting the outside as the others had gathered and had heard them chat amongst themselves a little, the nervous energy felt even through the hull.

"Just waiting on Commander McGowen then we are good to go." Lachlan said as he stood at the entrance of the shuttle. "Hope no-ones claustrophobic." he joked.

"Marines are never claustrophobic," Miranda replied with a grin. "It's against orders." She nodded to Barr as she passed him and took a seat in the back.

Jayna wasn't far behind. She inclined her head to the master sergeant as she followed Schultz onto the shuttle. She took the first available seat in the back and settled in. Then she closed her eyes to mentally review the pertinent information she'd researched on the planet.

Paul entered the Flyer and looked around. "First. We all can't fit in this cockpit, so the Marines will have to go aft and strap in there. There are only three seats available in the cockpit, my seat, the pilot's seat, the engineering panel and the security panel. If you are qualified to sit there, do so, otherwise go back with the Marines. Everyone needs to be strapped in, because when we hit the water, if you're not strapped in, you could be tossed against a bulkhead." He moved to his seat, sat and strapped in, then started running preflight.

Gaagii thought the pilot a tad gruff but chalked it up to nerves. As such he did as Lieutenant Michael had said and took a seat in the aft compartment. He made sure that his gear was stowed safely as they had no idea what waited for them below the water.

Paul realized that he may have come over as.... overbearing, but as the pilot, these lives were his responsibility, and he took that very seriously.

Jayna opened one eye to glance at the pilot, then closed it again. She wasn't sure if the pilot was always this edgy when starting off on a new assignment, or if it was the nature of this particular one. From what she knew, the Marines were more likely to take the back seats anyway. And intel generally didn't sit up front, either. She was just happy to be included as she wanted to learn more about why body parts were suddenly showing up.

"This is Lieutenant Michael, pilot. As soon as a command officer arrives, we'll lift off and head to the planet. I ran multiple computer simulations regarding the mission, namely entering the water. Options range from entering the water straight down, to an angle approach for entry.....a majority of them ending in the craft and crew not surviving. So, the plan is to touch down on the water, and then let the ship, sink. Once underwater, main power will kick in and I'll have full control of the craft. Michael out."

"Well, that sounds optimistic." Lachland commented as he sat in the rear of the craft. "Strange to think of sinking inside a ship as something good but I'll take not becoming one of the body parts that wash up on shore." he added as he fixed a part of his suit and checked his rifle.

Edmund had moved to a seat, ready to get out when they reached their destination. He closed his eyes for a moment just to get the feel of the craft they were in. His eyes opened quickly and he turned his head towards Lachlan. "Body Parts nope wouldn't want that." he glanced over towards Mitchell and asked curiously. "I take it we have the green light to get this show on the road? I am looking forward to seeing how well you fly this craft." he leaned forward to see where Commander McGowan was at.

"We'll leave as soon as the commander gets here." Paul had already gone through the pre-flight checklist...he was just waiting to get the order to depart.

It was then Rowena stepped on the Delta Flyer. She looked around. Before she had been reading through the mission briefing once again and familiarized herself with the planet and all the information there was at hand and any she could find outside the standard sources. It took a bit of time, which is why she was so late.

"My apologies everyone, I had some more things to do before coming here, that took a bit longer than expected. She took the other seat next to the pilot. "Lieutenant Michael, if you're ready, we can go."

Paul tapped the comm button. "Bridge. We are finally ready to depart. Requesting permission to depart."

* * *


Neil sat at one of the mission / ops stations on the bridge, filling in for the marine who was assigned to the station and grinned as he glanced at the mission clock. Keying the comm, he said, "Roger that Serenity. Nothing like being fashionably late."

"We have your telemetry and comms. Turning launch sequence over to localized bay control, which is reading all green and the automatics should be taking over now," Neil continued, as he activated the system. "Good luck out there."

* * *


In the bay, warning lights and a klaxon began to sound warming any personnel present that the bay was in launch mode. The Serenity then began moving toward the shuttle bay doors as they cycled open and a forcefield popped into place. Within the bay, the atmosphere had been pumped out and zero gravity kicked, with the Serenity lifting from the deck.

The Serenities own shields came up and matched the harmonics of those of the bay doors.

"Serenity," Xeres called out. "You are cleared for launch."

"Acknowledged." Paul activated the thrusters and the Serenity lifted off the bay floor, and piloted the ship past the bay doors.

Xeres gave a silent salute and prayer as he always did when a shuttle launched. The current mission must have been a large one as this was the second shuttle he launched.

Gaagii watched through the window as the shuttle passed through the blue forcefield and into open space. An uneasy feeling passed over him. His people were of the land and it was tough for him being far from a land mass. To make matters worse this mission took them underwater and for the moment he thought that was the source of his uneasiness. He could see the orb of blues, greens, browns, and grays looming ahead of them. He double checked all of his equipment silently in an effort to curb this uneasiness.

Jayna was carefully observing the other passengers. She wasn't very familiar with most of them and took the opportunity to gauge their reactions to the task at hand. She was especially interested to see how her own department head commanded the group. So many firsts. The thought made her smile, then she turned and looked out the nearest window.

Schultz sat with her eyes closed, going over her mental notes so she'd be ready to go as soon as they landed. She hadn't worked in or near water in a long time and she didn't want to forget any of her training.

Merrick sat back, his eyes closed, listening to the chatter of them getting underway. He did open his eyes long enough to watch as they left the USS Pioneer on their way to their destination. He then closed his eyes once more, taking the brief moment to catch a quick nap to be refreshed for what was to come. Who knows when they would be able to sleep next, and as a habit of his, best to catch a catnap while you can.
To Be Continued...


A Joint Post By

First Lieutenant Edmund Merrick
The Cure Executive Officer, USS Pioneer


Lieutenant Paul Michael
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer


Corporal Andrew Shy
Tactical Systems Operator Team 2, The Cure
USS Pioneer


Master Sergeant Lachlan Barr
Chief of The Boat, USS Pioneer
First Sergeant, The Cure


Chief Petty Officer Xeres
Shuttlebay Manager, USS Pioneer


Staff Sergeant Gaagii
RECONN Team 2, The Cure
USS Pioneer


Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen
Chief Intelligence Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer


Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


Staff Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer


Sergeant Miranda Schultz
Communications Specialist HQ, The Cure
USS Pioneer

 

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