STF

MPT-LS: Year of Hell - CIC Bridge - Setting out (all welcome)

Posted June 20, 2021, 6:01 p.m. by Warrant Officer Jonathan Durheim (Chief Engineering Officer) (William Deaton)

Posted by Commander Ryder Raauhl (Executive Officer) in MPT-LS: Year of Hell - CIC Bridge - Setting out (all welcome)

Posted by Captain Zachariah Cobb (Commanding Officer) in MPT-LS: Year of Hell - CIC Bridge - Setting out (all welcome)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Adam Magnusson (Chief Intelligence Officer) in MPT-LS: Year of Hell - CIC Bridge - Setting out (all welcome)
Posted by… suppressed (11) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Captain Zachariah Cobb sat, tense and alert, in the CIC’s central seat, wearing the oppressive mantle of one far older and decrepit than even his own advanced years. It appeared, to any who gazed upon him, that events on the starbase had taken a considerable toll, the mission, and the heated conversations with the Admiral, draining him almost to the last drop.

Around him the room lay silent, the odd bleep and chirp as terminals capitulated under wiser, more sentient hands the only occasional break. And every now and then, a whisper, as the captain murmured quietly a repeating sentence to himself.
“And I have done a hellish thing.”

  • Captain Zachariah Cobb

“What might that be, Mr. Cobb?” The reedy voice appeared as if out of nowhere; the Chief Engineer could be remarkably light on his feet when he chose to be.

Frankly speaking, it was somewhat unusual for the eccentric Chief Engineer to find himself on the bridge. Sure, on many ships the CE was never far from their beloved engines.... But in this case, as in many, the Leviathan was… different. The engines were indeed, vitally important. But her cargo… well, engines didn’t typically drive whole crews to madness, or worse fates. At least, not when they were in proper order. Durheim was rarely found far from the cargo bay; long since converted to a mobile prison specializing in containing those things that couldn’t be explained. But in preparation for this rather unique (and possibly one-way) voyage, the containment bay had been nearly emptied. The Starbase hadn’t exactly been pleased.... But Admiral Roebuck’s word carried weight, and no official complaints had been registered. As such, the CE had found himself with an unusual amount of free time, and had wandered onto the bridge in time to catch the Captains’ dire muttering.

-WO Durheim, CE

If Cobb recognised the presence of his favourite engineering chief, then he gave no indication of the fact. Instead his eyes remained downcast, his posture hunched and drawn and almost without respite, that damned, repetitive murmuring.

At the helm, MacReady caught Durheim’s attention and waved the man over.
“He’s been whispering that same sentence since we left the starbase,” he moaned. “It’s downright creepy, is what it is!”

  • Captain Zachariah Cobb

Durheim gave the Captain a curious glance; before joining MacReady at the helm. “Hmmm; we left the starbase some time ago; you’re saying he has been repeating that phrase since then? Is there a particular reason you have not called for either Mr. Knox or Mrs. Synthi-er?” While the tone wasn’t accusatory; the words could easily be interpreted as such; Cobb’s rather unusual state was.... poor for morale, to say the least.

Jonathan was silent for a moment, contemplating the oddness of the captain. Nodding to himself, he returned to the captains’ side, an odd look on his face as he deliberately touched his thumb and forefinger together on his right hand. “Mr. Cobb; if you do not respond, I will deliver a strong electrical shock to you…”

After a moment of silence, the smell of ozone began to spread across the bridge, and a sharp electrical crackle emitted from the Chief Engineers’ mechanical hand as it neared Cobb’s shoulder....

-WO Durheim; CE and practicing electro-therapist

“That is a course of action I do not recommend” Came a deep voice from behind the Chief Engineer. It belonged to what would be for most Humans a short man but he still stood a little taller. He was facing towards the viewscreen hands behind his back. His features were expressionless, his red beard incongruous with his short kept dark brown hair. He didn’t look at the man or the Captain his grey eyes seemed focused on the view of Space. His stance was relaxed but he seemed so still. It was as if he had always been standing in the one point.

CIO

Durheim half-turned at the voice; giving the unknown man a curious look-over. Jonathan paid little to no attention to the crew’s roster and personnel changes; amongst the lower ranks and enlisted, the turnover rate was high enough to make a thorough review difficult. He lowered the arcing hand; adjusting his fingers such that the arc dissipated; the sharp noise had been entirely intentional, another measure to gain the Captain’s attention.

Quinn walked in, her hands holding a tray of mixed crossiants, buttery, chocolate filled, jell filled and few cream like ones. She had a thermos of coffee at her hip and she moved with quiet and purposeful steps towards Cobb, “Captain gets first dibs then the rest of you may take what you like from the tray.” she said lightly to the others, around her. Her eyes searched Zachariah’s face with concern.

Quinn Kindle, Yeoman, RTF, Cobb’s Angel

The CIC was Rhaauls seconds home, he spent just as much time here as he did his shared quarters with Casela and Gen, on this occasion he was arriving from the late following behind the sweet smell of pastries. “Looks like I’m not too late,” He said looking between Cobb and their Chief Engineer with a curious grin, “Everything ok or should I invite Gen onto the bridge?” He chuckled.

  • Commander Ryder Raauhl, XO

“Mr. Rhaaul; Mr. Cobb seems to be acting rather unusual; ever since we have left the Starbase, according to Mr. MacReady.” Durheim’s tone didn’t carry the carefree note that was typical of him; there was a strong note of curiosity mixed with concern.

Jewels had pulled security duty on the bridge that day and arrived as a warning was given by the CIO to a man who’s hand had alighted on the shoulder of the Captain. She paused, a slight inhale of breath and brightening of eyes the only tell that she was ready to jump in if that warning was ignored. Whatever she had walked into, it made her neck hairs wake up. No one else seemed overly alert so she knew she had to wait a breath and heartbeat to see what was going on. But the tone of the CIO was not a joking one, in her opinion so she side stepped, eyes on the trio, towards the security console she was to occupy the next several hours.

The Captain had been more than kind to her and a threat to him was something she wasn’t going to endure. As it seemed, neither was it what the CIO would accept.

The snack ladened woman arrived just a step behind her and passed the RTF officer without so much as a glance. Offering the Captain the first choice of tidbits made her relax slightly. Sure the man in question over over the CO wasn’t that much of a threat if no one else was bothering with him. But she waited for the CO’s response before she would lower her tension and relax. Sometimes, being new on a ship wasn’t a good thing. Sure, senses weren’t dulled by ‘it’s been this way all the time’, but it also meant she wasn’t sure who was jesting, who was serious, and what situations needed backup. It was unnerving but something she was used to.

Her glance went to the CIO as she waited their reactions.

Ens Juliet Anders
“Jewels”
RTF
((not posturing, just not sure what is happening and trained to be alert… that’s all lol))

So Casela was not supposed to be on duty…extended light and reduced duty. She was supposed to be ‘resting.’ But their was no way to miss the tension building and she stepped out to the CIC from the opposite turbolift from Raauhl. “Gen? She didn’t blow up another console did she?” She asked with a curious glance and a smile towards Raauhl. She walked past Quinn and plucked a chocolate croissant off the tray, grinned at Durheim and glanced at the new CIO whom she hadn’t met yet. She glanced at Jewels and shook her head ‘Everything is fine.’ She sat in her chair, next to Cobb, with a flourish. She looked at the Cpt curiously. She laid a hand in his arm and leaned over, whispering where only Cobb could hear. “Zachariah, snap out of it. Durheim is ready to taze you, the CIO is going to take him out, Quinn will try to get tazed for you, no telling what Juliet will do, and I will have to hurt them all, and then Raauhl will toss us all in the brig. But worse than that, if you don’t, I found your stash in the Jeffries tube access outside the secondary engineering entrance, and I will eat all Quinn’s pastries and not share with you.” She squeezed his arm slightly, “Let’s go talk” and then she sat up and popped a bite of the chocolate croissant in her mouth. She glanced at Raauhl with a slightly concerned expression.
Synthi-er CNS

Adam turned to the new arrivals, his movements slow, methodical and fluid, and faced the counselor his eyebrow twitched only slightly but on his expressionless face it might as well have been a look of shock “I have no intentions nor interest in taking anyone out” His only emotional output was calm. “I simply do not recommend shock therapy on your Commanding Officer” This he addressed to the Engineering Chief

Casela glanced curiously at the CIO. She was calm and curious but that was all. She had been whispering directly to the captain’s ear. “You have exceptionally good hearing, Cmdr Magnusson. I’ll keep that in mind.”

OOC: Apologies, I misread that as stated aloud for all to hear :/
The sudden activity on the bridge seemed to stir the captain somewhat from his reverie. Slowly his head raised, eyes fixed not on his gathered crew but through them. Rising to his feet with the grace of an unstrung puppet, he moved first to Durheim, eyes briefly flickering to the dwindling spark between the man’s fingers, before shuffling quickly on. To Quinn. And now he stopped and his hand lurched out as if to take a pastry, but pulled away at the last. And again came that thin and insubstantial voice.
“And she is far liker Death than he, Her flesh makes the still air cold.”

Quinn blinked at him her expression filled with confusion and concern, that wasn’t like him at all. Normally he would have at least made an exclaimation of the variety of pastries on the tray and which to save for later for his afternoon snack. This wasn’t normal. She shot a worried look to Casela. ‘Has something happened in the last hours that I missed?’ she sent to Casela.

And now on past Raauhl and Magnusson and Anders, each one earning an expeditious glance as he passed them by, movements unceasing until he reached the large, star-spotted viewscreen, upon where he stopped, clasped hands behind his back and stared, his tunic and ponytail growing damp from the now steady trickle of salty tears.

  • Captain Zachariah Cobb

Juliet had heard Cass’ words, but she was still locked on the Captain. Till he said all was well, she wasn’t likely to believe it. As the Captain rose and walked past her, she whispered softly in entreaty, “Captain....?”

When he paused at the viewscreen, seemingly mesmerized by the scene, she glanced down long enough to tap the command, then back up as she hit the affirmative button.

The viewscreen went black.

She might get in trouble, but it was better to be yelled at then help fascilitate whatever had thralled the Captain. Not one to usually pry, a soft tendril went towards his mind. She’d take being yelled at for this intrusion as well. Captain… Cobb… what troubles you? To him, it would be a soft whisper, like a concerned friend. She didn’t step towards him. There were too many between them to warrant it. But she did keep the connection open to his public mind in case he gave any random thought as to what was troubling him.

Jewels
RTF
((At this point, only CO, Cass, CoS and RTF Cmdr know of her telepathic ability… just fyi))

To Juliet, the captain’s mind would seem empty. Cavernous. As of a gaping chasm filled with cold, lifeless water.

Adam’s eyes narrowed slightly at the quote “Her skin is as white as leprosy,” He said quietly to himself but loud enough for the others to hear “Does the Captain often quote eighteenth-century poetry?” He asked the group curiously, he didn’t know many people who had actually read Coleridge let alone could quote any of his works. Well, to be precise he’d only ever met a literature professor on Earth and a Vulcan Diplomat who had read that particular Poem.

CIO

Casela got up, pausing at Quinn, looking right at her, using a telepathic link. ‘Quinn would you get me two strong black coffees in travel mugs, nothing added, but bring me his spare hip flask from his ready room, just in case?’ Then she glanced at Juliet, ‘Why did you turn it off?’ She was curious if there was some sensor reading or presence she had missed.

Juliet looked at Cas. “To keep him from thrall,” she said.

“The Captain has a large repertoire of great literature,” she commented to the CIO. Really she wasn’t sure why the bridge staff was so edgy. Zachariah Cobb was a very introspective man and carried the weight of the lives of his crew heavily. This wasn’t the first time he had sat on the CIC and mourned their fate. She made her way over to him and linked her hand into his elbow. Her voice dropping lower so as not to be overheard. “Zachariah, talk to me. We stand together on that cliff’s edge staring down at the entrance of Purgatory. You will not leap alone, but it is not just you and I anymore. One day,” she squeezed his arm her voice still low and only for him. “But today we must hold the gates closed. It is tradition for the commander to wander the troops before battle. Let’s take a walk of the ship, as we did that very first day we met, and we shall see how far this crew has come.” She urged him to start walking. If he didn’t snap out of it, she would have to relieve him.
Synthi-er CNS

When Cas mentioned he was a great man of literature, Juliet lilted lightly to her cousin’s mind. “This isn’t instrospection on literature, Cas… Something is wrong. He…” she struggled for the word and Cas would sense it. Her brow furrowed slightly. feels different. I don’t know how to explain it.”

A fleeting wave of nausea washed over Juliet, the bitter taste of rotting seaweed rising in the back of her throat.

She didn’t listen in on what Cas said to the Captain. They had known one another a long time. She trusted Cas to handle whatever it was that was happening. But inside, she still struggled with it. She mentally clenched and unclenched her fists to exercise caution in not moving forward. She was neither Counselor nor companion or even unfortunately, confidant to the Captain. Her protection of him was purely personal. And she had to remind herself of that a couple times to keep from going to his side. So she simply stood watch, silent and still.

Jewels
RTF

Unable to speak for a moment, her mind screamed in panic at Cas. “Lala… it’s not him! She had to swallow twice to keep from throwing up. “Something’s wrong!” She grabbed the chair beside her to keep steady a moment.

Cobb turned at last to face Casela, those cerulean blue eyes almost lifeless but hypnotic to gaze on the same. Small droplets of water began to seep from his mouth, as he opened it once more to speak.

As he looked at her Casela swore in about 5 different languages. Instinct took over and her hand slipped from his elbow to his wrist and latched on with deadly intent.

“Twas night, calm night, the moon was high. The dead men stood together.”

And now he shifted to look upon his gathered crew, arms raised aloft as if to herald them each to his side. A cloying odour of seawater rippled across the deck as the captain’s mouth opened wide and began to emit a low, reverberating moan, as if the whole of Gre’thor called out in unison to curse the fortunate living.

Grip lost she elbowed him hard in the stomach, “Durheim, taze him!” She barked across the CIC. She had absolutely no weapons on her. Her foot flashed out, hooking him around the knee and pulling in an attempt to bring him down. Head hurting too much and telepathy too weak to read anything more than confusion and....death. Her wrist flicked once, summoning Fenris. “Not Cobb people, MOVE!”

Then suddenly the doors to the CIC opened and, backlit by the external corridor lighting, stood the familiar figure of Captain Zachariah Cobb.

  • Captain Zachariah Cobb

Glancing briefly at the second figure and wondered what hell was visiting them now.
Lt Synthi-er, CNS

When the councilor yelled that it wasn’t the Captain, Adam leaped from his location to the side, away from the vomiting man allowing the strange engineering Chief to work his strange mechanical arms. Internally he steeled himself but in the moment before he could focus his mind a stray thought bubbled up, a memory of a large muscular man smiling wide Rule number four, always carry a knife and he quietly cursed himself for not following that line of thinking

Things could happen all too quickly in engineering. Reactor blips; vent blockages; energy spikes… it was a lucky day when you had enough time to actually do something besides die on your feet; never knowing what killed you. And there were those vocal tones and phrases that any good crewman’s brain keyed into.... an order that couldn’t be delayed; the statement of ‘that’s odd’; and countless other things that heralded something - usually, that the cold vacuum of space was on the metaphorical horizon. Durheim was already keyed up from Cobb’s strange behavior; and there was absolutely no hesitation at Casela’s order; as unexpected as it may have been.

Jonathan’s arms were more than custom-made; they were built as tools and extensions of himself; upgrades to the meager appendages of flesh and bone that he had sacrificed to an overloaded power coupling. They both shot towards Cobb; almost faster than the eye could see, propelled by unyielding mechanical systems towards Cobb’s torso. His limbs possessed far more power and speed than Durheim’s slight frame would suggest.

Jonathan was not intending to deliver a sharp, attention-getting shock; this was an attack - 50,000 volts was less than it sounded; but 2 amps was far more than it suggested. Immediate medical attention would be needed; or a morgue, if the man was truly unlucky.

-WO Durheim, CE

Quinn moved for the doorway, and turning her back on the imposter that was about to get what looked like a heck of a shock from the CEO, she pressed the thermos at her hip into the second Cobb’s hands and silently offered the still laden tray of mixed crossiants to the second Cobb. If this one turned out to be another imposter she was going be more than a bit upset. She didn’t like the idea of something playing games with them and posting as their Captain was more worrisome.

Quinn Kindle, Yeoman, RTF, Cobb’s Angel

Too far away to assist Cas, Juliet spun at the arrival of the second Captain. “YEOMAN!” She cried out in concern and stepped up quick enough to pull the young woman from the arm’s reach area around the newcomer. She was as gentle as could be, not even jostling the tray.

At the same time, biting back bile and a strong desire to double over and empty her stomach contents, she reached for Cobb’s mind. “Zachariah please tell me it’s you.” She had briefly touched his mind in her check in interview. She would know if he were the real Captain.

Till she got confirmation, the Yeoman would remain safely behind her while Juliet laid her hand on her phaser at her hip.

Jewels
RTF

Adam kept his head on a swivel, he watched for what would happen with the apparent imposter and for what the new arrival would do and say. He didn’t know the Captain well enough to guess if he was an imposter or not but this strange crew seemed close enough to be able to tell. He tensed and readied to move, he could reach either figure in a matter of moments but with a phaser or two in the mix, he didn’t move immediately. It would be a shame to have to reveal anything unless necessary. In the few seconds that he considered all this his face remained stone and his stance remained apparently relaxed, his regular steady flow of calm was more intense but still just that… calm.

CIO

The surrounding tension was palpable in its immediacy, the captain forced to take grasp of this emerging situation with expeditious precision. For reasons unknown, his crew had reacted with alarm at his appearance, both Quinn and Juliet seemingly desperate for an acknowledgement of identity from Zachariah Cobb. Meanwhile over by the blank and silent viewscreen, the counselor and engineering chief remained engaged with another currently unseen from Cobb’s own vantage point, although the scent of ozone beginning to radiate from their position suggested a less than agreeable debate. And then their was the Leviathan’s new Intelligence Chief, the man’s expression warning that one wrong move from the captain would see him taken out before either of them could blink.

“What’s all this about now, eh?” he questioned in steady whisper, one foot reaching forwards as if over a bottomless chasm paved only by thin tightrope. With another step he had cleared the doorway, his view at last unobstructed, gaze captured by the monstrosity before them all - Zachariah Cobb refashioned as Dorian Gray, every sin and transgression buried within him now painted as a scar across his face.
“What the bloody hell is that thing?” he murmured on a terrified inhale of breath. “That…that’s not me.”

At that same moment, the current from Durheim’s appendage made contact with the ‘other’ Cobb and resulted in a curious sight - for a brief second, as blue arcs of electricity surged through the thing’s body, it was as if the man was made wholly of water, waves churning against a translucent skin that was no more than a fleshy tank. Then immediately the Cobb-form returned, skin now melting like ice beneath burning sun, hollow eyes fixing onto Jonathan Durheim and casting a pitiful and torturous glance. Then with a noise as of rushing current, the entity disintegrated into a column of blue water, its shape held for a breath before spilling like a wave all across the CIC floor.

The last thing the crew would see, was each drop scurrying towards the room’s edges, as if enacting self-preservation at an individual, molecular level.

  • Captain Zachariah Cobb

“Computer seal the CIC, and erect a level 2 biological forcefield” Raauhl said having watched the situation unfold, he had trusted the others to do thier jobs and it was going well until the entity or whatever it was disintegrated and they had to contain it so he decided now was the time to step in, “Captain it appears something has joined us on our journey, likly from the staarbase and as you could see was mimicking your appearance.

  • Cmdr Raaubhl, XO

Jonathan had generally expected one or two possibilities, or variations thereof, to occur with his attack - humans generally behaved rather predictably when high voltage was applied. Mr. Cobb turning into water was decidedly not one of those things; and he couldn’t help but be caught off guard for a moment, an expression of shock and curiosity writ plain on his face as he stood there, arms still outstretched.

As the water(?) splashed across his sturdy boots, the engineer snapped back into action; leaping back to minimize contact with the anomaly, hand darting into a cargo pocket and searching for something to obtain a sample with. Seizing a rag and a containment pouch, he attempted to get at least some of the water as it scattered to the corners of the room; absently wondering if any of the consoles were in danger of getting shorted out.

WO Durheim, CE


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