Timeline: Immediately after "Resupply With a Goddess"
Farenia was back on the bridge after the resupply with the Hera was completed and they had just disengaged and about to get under way when suddenly the lights flickered a moment and some of the deck noise audibly went silent. Gravity then went down and the automatic restraints in the seats refused to engage.
"Report!" Farenia barked, hanging into the arms of her chair so she wouldn't float away.
"I'm not sure," called the crewman from the operations console. "It looks like the main computer just went offline though. I'll try and restore gravity manually."
As the crewman busied himself with a panel at the back of the bridge, Farenia tried to pull up anything on her own command terminal. Nothing but static came across her screen and by the looks of it, most of the bridge consoles were in the same predicament.
"Got it!" called the crewman as gravity was restored. Most of the critical bridge consoles returned to a functional state a few seconds after that. "I'm getting a status readout now. Main computer... is completely fried. The primary power coupling reversed polarity, seems to have exploded... and about half of our bioneural gel packs were taken out in the feedback. Life support is on backup systems. All automation is down. Warp reactor offline. Still no gravity on decks two and three. Comms are... external comms are functional for now. "
"Inform the Hera that we'll require a bit more assistance and concentrate on keeping critical systems online." Farenia ordered before tapping her comm badge to receive a disabled chirp. She then tried her command chair's emergency comms system and got a positive response.
Then over the comms, Captain Meowlith's voice rang out, a bit more tiny than normal. "Attention all hands. We have lost our primary computer core and are running solely on about half of our bioneural gelpacks. Most automation is down. Please plan appropriately."
The Bridge was alive with activity as the crew attempted to regain control of critical ship functions, but there was one thing that was getting overlooked in all the hustle and bustle, something very important that shouldn't have been overlooked...
"Captain, we seem to be connect with the USS Merlin for some reason," the comms officer spoke up after a while. Having been assisting an Engineer with a software repair, he failed to notice that there was still an open communication connection with the USS Merlin, and it wasn't until he had returned to his station to respond to check-ins from the various decks and departments that he finally noticed that the long range communication was still active. "I think I can activate the channel to speak with whoever is on the other side, but it would be audio only."
"Please do so," Farenia ordered. As soon as the comm clicked open, Farenia began to speak but didn't get very far. "This is Captain Meowlith if the..."
"-woman, I am working on it- oh wait, I think we finally got someone," came the voice of a very irate ex-Borg, clearly in the middle of a 'spirited' discussion with someone else on her end. "This is Master Chief Petty Officer Carter of the USS Merlin! We were talking to Arivek and Akira Zhuri through the holodeck when the connection cut out. Is everything alright over there?" she asked, the channel crackling with its unstable connection.
Farenia furrowed her brows in consternation. The fact that two of her crew depended on the existence of the computer network had slipped her mind in all the confusion. "Crewman Daniels! Get someone down to the holodeck NOW!"
Without even responding, the crewman started making random connections to the rooms near the holodeck in an effort to contact someone nearby.
"Please send your Captain my deepest apologies. Our computer core blew up and took out half our network with it. We're still trying to get everything sorted out." Farenia replied apologetically.
The weight of Farenia's words hit the Petty Officer like starship at warp, and it felt like all the breath had been sucked from her. "Akira and Ari, are they alright?" Andy asked. "Captain Maica and I, I guess you could say we're the 'maternal' influences in Akira's development, and we were meeting her today. Please don't tell us that she's gone. Or Ari, he's like family to us."
Before Farenia could reply, one of the operations techs called out. "Internal sensors are back online, but without the computer to interpret the scans... Here we go, holodeck. I'm reading it as active and... I'm picking up a single holographic lifeform."
"Captain, please... Do all you can to save our family." Maica pleaded over the comms.
Farenia knew that voice instantly - almost every single briefing in the ship's database was done by this woman. "Captain Maica, I presume. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but considering the circumstances..."
"There's not a Captain worth their salt who ain't willing to go to hell and back for their crew, so we know you'll do everything in your power to save them," Andy said, mostly for Maica's sake who was quickly coming unraveled at this news. "Plus, you've got Jenni Matthews over there; I trust her with my own life and Maica's, and I know she's a miracle worker. Just keep us updated, please."
"You'll be the first to know." Farenia replied. "If you have any data you think might be helpful, please forward it to us. And if we're not available, the Hera is the local command ship and Captain Telvan will know how to contact us."
"Aye, we're familiar with Telvan and the Hera," Andy replied. "Most of my research on Maica is still in the holodeck program we were using to interface communications, and I helped Ari maintain his matrix when I was Chief of Operations on the Katana, I left plenty of notes for whoever helped him after I left, but if I come across any other information that might be useful then I'll forward on."
"Thank you, I'll..." Farenia got out before Crewman Daniels interrupted her.
"Captain, we have visual confirmation. Akira seems to be ok and is currently residing completely in the holodeck matrix. There's no sign of Commander Zhuri. It seems he was most likely running on the main computer core itself." Daniels delivered the news morosely.
"We'll be standing by so you and your crew can get to work. Good luck," Andy said. On the Merlin, she gave Maica's hand a squeeze, knowing her wife would be devastated by what they were hearing. Andy was rattled as well, but she was trying to be strong for Maica.
"Thank you. Katana out." As soon as the call was ended, Farenia set about doing what repairs she could do herself while directing repairs. "As soon as we have communications with engineering, I want to talk with Commander Matthews."
[EQUIPMENT STORAGE, DECK 3]
Once the new stock of torpedoes were stowed and ready for use, Clio had started securing the other equipment they'd garnered from their meeting with the Hera in the storage area nearby. She'd only just finished securing the last crate in place when the lights abruptly went out, followed quickly by the artificial gravity. Grabbing for the secured crate, Clio squeaked in surprise, barely managing to secure a handhold and keep from drifting up to the ceiling. While her night vision was better than some, she couldn't see in pitch darkness to get out of the room. Just as heart racing pulse was the only sound she heard, the lights came on as quickly as they'd gone off.
The gravity, however, stayed offline. If she weren't alone, it might have been comical. With no one around to distract her, it was instead rather terrifying. Taking a breath to steady herself, she carefully pulled herself closer to the crate, tucking her legs alongside it in hopes of not being flung free and crushed if the Katana started moving with any sort of speed. Then she freed one hand and gingerly tapped her communicator badge, only for it to give the 'no connection' alert rather than the usual chirp.
To say that she was startled was an understatement. After days of hard work with repairing the ship, Jenni quickly found herself dismayed when power was cut, the warp drive went offline, and her tools began to float out of her waistpouch.
"Lopez, Kr'ozzu!" Jenni called out as she tried to push herself towards a console to keep herself from floating too high. Falling from the top story of Engineering would be nearly fatal to anyone. "Get emergency power online now!"
No sooner had she given the order did the power kick in. Evidently, someone else had thought of it first. It was clear that power was out, and the computer was offline as the lack of information on all of the consoles told her more than she wanted to know. She immediately directed three people to the computer core to focus on efforts there. "Engineering to bridge!" she called out. There wasn't a response, prompting her to believe that the communications systems were out. She needed to focus there first. Only so many could work on the computer at a time, but at least they could focus on power generation and communications.
She worked with Crewman Santiago for the next few minutes on the communications array, nodding at status reports as they were shouted out by the Engineering staff. Finally, lights flickered into existence. Boldly testing the system, Jenni tapped her combadge and called out, "Engineering to Bridge."
Farenia was relieved to say the least to finally hear the voice of her chief engineer. =/\="Commander, we're showing that the main computer core is gone and that we're only running on half our bioneural net. Can you confirm? What's your status?"=/\=
Jenni rushed over to a nearby console to press a few buttons, only for the interface to rudely buzz at her in response. "We must be on the half of the net that's not running. Main power's out, same with the warp drive. I've sent a team to check out the computer, but I haven't heard back yet... Wait... gone? What the hell do you mean, gone?"
=/\="The logs we have show that the main EPS coupling for the computer core reversed polarity and exploded. We're getting zero response from any systems in that area. That kind of gone."=/\= Farenia clarified.
"You've got to be kidding!" Jenni called back over the comm. "There's absolutely no reason why the EPS coupling should reverse polarity. Unless..." her mind trailed off, considering the ship's history. This was one of the only ships in Starfleet whose quantum signature didn't match the universal constant. Because of that, the very laws of physics didn't apply to the Katana. And if this was such a matter, then they were all in trouble. "I'm going to check it out." Jenni tapped the badge on her breast, closing the channel. Gathering a couple tools and two of her best engineers, they shot out of the room bound for the computer core.
Ending the conversation with Engineering, Farenia tapped her comms again to try and reach sickbay. "Bridge to sickbay, Doctor, are you there? what's your status?"
=/\="Aye, Captain."=/\= Ian answered after a few moments, his voice reverberating unnaturally, as if from inside a tunnel. There was a din of activity to be heard underneath his voice as the Sick Bay crew were following the orders he'd set them to. =/\="Bio-beds are out of commission here, and the medical replicator shorted out and decided to replicate a river of blood for some strange reason. We're prepping for low-tech triage and treatment down here... Well, I don't know, Belding, get a bucket or shoot it with a damn hand phaser. Get creative!"=/\= His aside to his head nurse sounded testy, even if trying not to sound testy. =/\="Are there any wounded?"=/\=
"Reports are still coming in, but stand by." Without letting her finish speaking, another explosion went off not far from the bridge, sending feedback into the consoles at the back. Farenia ran to a console she hoped was still working and what she saw made her heart sink. Antimatter storage was starting to lose cohesion.
"Signal the Hera that we're abandoning ship. Ask them to get all trapped crew and to get Akira transferred to their systems immediately." Farenia went back to her own command console and tapped the emergency intercom. "All hands, this is Captain Meowlith. Abandon ship. Abandon ship. If you are unable to get to an escape pod, set your communicator to emergency beacon mode so the Hera can transport you off." Nodding to the rest of her bridge crew, whom had frozen in shock, they once again moved into action, making sure everyone got off the ship.
[EQUIPMENT STORAGE, DECK 3]
"Abandon ship?!?" There was no one around to hear that exclamation, but Clio couldn't help herself. Such an order meant one thing in Starfleet, and that was critical failure of the vessel. What the bloody hell had they been hit with? She didn't think even the Drej had a weapon so powerful as this. But there would be time for speculation and discovery later. Right now she had to get away from the storage crates, or the Hera's transporter beam might try to beam it over with her. With a carefully calculated push against the crate, she drifted to the middle of the room, activating her communicator's emergency beacon. Less than a minute passed before the familiar sensation of the transporter beam washed over her... and then deposit her several feet above the Hera's transporter pad. She barely had time for a yelp of surprise before unceremoniously slamming downward like an unfortunate cartoon character.
Amidst somewhat amused chuckles from those already materialized, an officer she didn't recognized reached down and helped her up before quickly pulling her off the pad to let the next group materialize.
Akira sobbed as she watched more and more of the lab around her destabilize. She was terrified, having watched her Father blink out of existence, and now she was slowly degrading as well, bits of her flickering out and back in as the holodeck computer began to break down. The ghostly images of Andy and Maica had long since vanished, so now she was all alone, dying alone...
Then suddenly, there was Ari. Like her, he looked incomplete, and he said nothing, simply grabbing her by the hand and pulling her into a a tight hug. "Father!" Akira cried out as she sobbed into his shoulder, holding him tightly as together they flickered out.
Jenni had just climbed out of the Jefferies tube on Deck Seven, only to be met with one of the worst fires she'd ever seen. However that EPS relay exploded, it was enough to both knock the emergency systems offline and start a cascade reaction that had taken out three sections of the deck. If there was still a computer left, it would take a miracle to save it.
She turned around to give her fellow engineers orders to seal off what remained of the deck (it was her hopes that limiting the oxygen supply would take care of the plasma fire so that they could get in there and assess the damage) when the emergency alarm went off. Captain Meowlith's words reverberated throughout her mind, body and soul. "No..." she gasped, spinning back around to look at the plasma fire. Her worst nightmare was playing again, except this time it was just as real as the first.
This time, there would be no lucky shot to save them, or crewmembers from a ship with the same namesake. No, no. This was it. Jenni's heart sank as she shook her head. She refused to accept this as reality. This plasma fire was not enough to destroy the Katana.
She blinked, realizing the source of the alarm. Antimatter containment. The ship could survive under a multitude of conditions save a small handful. The top of that list was nothing short of anything to do with the warp drive.
Jenni spun around again. "Get to the escape pods," she told both crewmen, knowing that this could be the last time she saw them. She'd seen too much death, too much destruction. Jenni would regret this day. "Go!" she chided again. "Now!" As they both took off, Jenni did the one thing she knew to do... and that was get to Engineering.
Another call came through. =/\= "Bridge, Engineering, I need help!"=/\= called a Crewman Greenfelt. =/\="I'm down at the holodeck and I can't get in. Door overrides aren't working, manual releases are locked, and whatever program is running in there is degrading; if either of the Zhuri's are still alive in there, they won't be for long. I could blow the door open, but that might destabilize what's left of them. I either need help or an order to abandon them and evacuate; Captain, what do I do?"=/\=
Farenia was already at one of the last functional Ops consoles on the bridge when that call came in. "This is Meowlith. Interface the matrix controls to the bridge and I can route the whole thing to the Hera. Holodeck six is standing by."
=/\="Right, I'll try..."=/\= came Crewman Greenfelt's response, followed by a few choice expletives as he tried to get the unresponsive computer to do as ordered. =/\="I think I'm going to need a beam out as well once this is done; the smoke is getting pretty thick, I think the fire has reached this deck... Alright, I got it, you should have control now. Transfer the whole holodeck matrix to the Hera, I think it's the only way to preserve what's left of the Zhuri's; we can untangle them from the program running once they're in a stable holodeck."=/\=
"Got it. Activate your emergency beacon and get out of there." Farenia made short work of the transfer, the progress bar only took a few seconds and the receiving team gave the green light and went about stabilizing the entire matrix.
=/\= "Aye aye, Captain, see you on the Hera,"=/\= Greenfelt replied, then cut the channel, his emergency beacon activating so he could be safely beamed away.
"What's the status of the evacuation?" Farenia demanded of the two remaining crew other than herself.
"Hera reports that there are only four people aboard left and that they have Akira safely transferred," Came the call from the back of the bridge. Farenia glanced around. There were three people on the bridge and they should have been the last ones aboard. "Commander Matthews is in Engineering keeping the magnetic bottles functional."
"You two signal the Hera. I'll make sure she gets off too." Farenia hit the emergency intercom again as the two were transported off to safety. "Jenni, we're the last ones aboard. I highly recommend taking the next transporter off of this boat."
=/\= "Almost there!" =/\= Jenni called back over the communications system. She'd made record time moving from Deck Seven down to the lowest most deck. With the computer down, and now the auxiliary computer, Jenni's best hope laid with a PADD, tricorder, and a toolkit. She worked frantically with each antimatter pod, trying to find a way to override the computer's connection to the containment system. There was a reason why each one was regulated by an automated system. Human hands and minds just couldn't keep up.
"I'm not leaving until you do," Farenia called out over the remaining comms.
Jenni moved on to her Plan B. It was her last resort, as it meant that there was truly nothing more she could do for the old girl. She absolutely refused for this to be the end, and she'd keep fighting for as long as she could. There had to be a chance! =/\= "If I can at least get the emergency hatch controls working!" =/\= she cried back over the comm. =/\= "We can eject the pods, and Katana will still be here. I can still save her!" =/\=
Farenia shook her head at such stubbornness. "Negative Jenni, we've tried ejecting them several times. Just get out of there." Punching up the external comm line to the Hera again, she opened a voice channel. "Hera, this is Meowlith. Please transport myself and Matthews in engineering to your bridge."
The voice of the Hera's transporter operator came across. "Stand by, we're having trouble locking on to both of you... Got it." With that, the shimmer effect of a Federation transporter took over and one bridge faded to be replaced by another.
"Shields up! Helm get us out of here!" Enalia called immediately, the warped remains of the Katana on the viewscreen, all lights out and plasma fire gouts coming from one of the nacelles.
Jenni screamed as she was encased in the transporter beam, "NO!" In mere heartbeats, she was plucked away from Katana's antimatter pods and deposited on the bridge of the Nebula class starship. Shock covered her face as other emotions swelled up inside her. Tears welled in her eyes as she scanned the room, spotting the Katana's Captain. She had not a moment to say anything by the time she collected her bearings and the ship launched to warp.
As soon as the Hera made it to warp one, the antimatter containment failed.
The shrinking image of the Katana was replaced with nothing but white from the explosion.
"Incoming shockwave," Helm reported.
"All hands, brace for shockwave," Enalia called out over the ship's comms.
By this time, they were far enough away that the shockwave had dissipated enough to only cause a minor disturbance to the Hera.
The viewscreen cleared to show nothing but traces of duranium dust. The USS Katana was no more.
Jenni had watched the explosion on the viewscreen. Kris, M'rayr, the Breen, Arivek, her violin, the last five years of her life. All gone, in the matter of a second. The engineer felt both heartache and air escape her lungs and not return. Her posture gave way, dropping to Jenni to her knees. She tried to fight it, to contain her composure on the bridge.
Judging from the cries and tears that followed, it was safe to assume she failed.