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25 September 2009 @ 06:10 pm
Good evening, everyone. This is Captain...Captain Orion.

I've configured this announcement so that it will only broadcast to those passengers visiting from other dimensions. I think all of you might have gotten enough attention already and would prefer that this event be a little more...private.

[he's wearing a very prim, well-fitting uniform, close in design to what Chandra and Anand are wearing as they work at a pair of the consoles, only his is a rich, navy blue instead of white. there is a crest on each shoulder, and a sleek silver pin on his collar.

he's standing in front of the gate, currently inactive, his hands behind his back as he looks up to address his Sphere.]


I have several things to report, but first I thought you'd like to know that we've been able to contact the nearest Alliance vessels. The Crucible can still fly, but the engines have been under some extreme stress for a very long time. We're not willing to risk setting them to full output, so we will be remaining at these coordinates until the rescue craft arrive. Everyone onboard should be home safely within a few weeks.

[it's here that his optimistic expression grows more grim. there are new worry lines set into his skin, making him look years older] Unfortunately, while we were analyzing the data recorded in the ship's computer, we were able to work out just how long the ship was trapped in that time loop.

All of you began to arrive roughly one year ago, but we're estimating that myself and the original passengers have experienced this three month loop forty-nine times, excluding this last cycle. [he takes a long, deep breath, an obvious weight returned to his shoulders. but this one he knows he won't be getting rid of any time soon. maybe not for the rest of his life]

Translated into real time, we've been in this loop about twelve and a half standard Terran years.

During my correspondence with the other ships I was told that we had been given up for dead over a decade ago. [he smiles a sad, grateful smile, heavy with all the time that they've lost] But if not for all of you, we might still be trapped. Or worse.

Getting you all home is the least I can do to repay you.

[he looks back at the gate briefly, at the softly humming wires. there are ripples of black between them now and then. it's powering up] At first, I was afraid it wasn't going to be possible. The gate's settings have been erratic since my father activated it and the computer was not set to archive its actions, possibly as a means of secrecy. We could search for a lifetime and only have a thirty percent probability of finding the data we needed, in the off-chance that a redundancy program caught your destination information as you arrived.

But yesterday we made a breakthrough. [he walks to a console, picking up a small object off its surface. it's a plain, ordinary Sphere, currently switched off] This is the standard civilian-issue network device that the Crucible uses. Simple devices with a few extra uses in case of emergency, but nothing special.

However, I couldn't help but notice the odd appearance of the Spheres that all of you are using. I've never seen any that look quite like yours. It made me wonder if there was a reason behind that. [and now he smiles a real smile, happy that he can do this one thing] It's a good thing I'm still a little curious.

When we accessed the remote memory of your Sphere's we discovered that the ship had assigned them to you at the exact moment of your arrival, like it would to any normal passenger. When assigned, it records simple identification data: appearance, voice modulation, things like that, so that its assigned person can be recognized later. But in your case, it recorded something more while its voice recognition protocol was reconfiguring.

It was chance. Pure chance that the Spheres recorded the individual frequencies of your home dimensions. But we can use them to program the gate to send you back.

[he sets the Sphere back down, once more facing his directly] There is some danger involved. Without a corresponding gate on the other side, we'll basically be sending you through blind. We don't know what will happen once you go through. The best we have is a theory.

Because the gate will be using the exact frequency from when you arrived, you will be returned to exactly the same point in time and space you occupied when you were originally drawn to our ship. I am aware a few of you returned and were then drawn back, but we can use the new frequency the Sphere recorded during your second, or third return to the ship.

However...it's not just your location that the frequency will match, but yourselves as well. Travel through the gate will reconfigure your molecules to the correct vibration for that point in time. It...it is very likely that any memory you have of your time here, to say nothing of physical changes, will be wiped out from the timeline. There's a chance that this won't be so, but we have no way to prove it.

[he closes his eyes briefly] I know that the last thing you want after all of this is to lose your memories. If you feel that the danger involved with using the gate is too great, I'd like to say now that you can stay here, in this dimension.

You, all of you...you're heroes. You saved hundreds of lives while you could have very easily lost your own. [he opens his eyes once more, and his voice is shaking from emotion] If you stay, I'll see to it that you're honored for the things that you've done, the sacrifices that you've made. I know this universe can never be home, but there will be a place for you.

The choice is yours. The gate will be active within half an hour. This room is shielded, but you all know better than I do the kinds of things this machine is capable of. I can leave it operational for a day, but any more than that and all of this may start again.

I'm sorry I can't give you more than a day.

When you're ready, all you need to do is come to this room. I have deactivated its security. We will recover the frequency from your Spheres and send you, and anything you wish to take you with you, home.

[he stops, stumbling over his words] I...I will be here to see all of you off. If there is anything you want to say, to record, of who you are what's happened here, I will use my Sphere to record it.

If you have to forget what's happened, then I'll make sure that I'll always remember.

OOC: Plot; HomeCollapse )
 
 
20 September 2009 @ 11:13 pm
[for a time, it looks as though the words of the passengers can't reach Orion. his progress continues, every step drawn out, time slowing to a crawl. the strain on the ship is almost palpable, as if invisible wires are hooked into the ship's reality, each one being drawn back to this point, this moment. Orion feels that weight, shoulders hunching and bowing beneath the weight of it all, his head dropped low, his hands shaking.

Ganymede is struggling to sit up, hoarse, choking gasps rattling in his chest, eyes wide and bloodshot. he can't get to his feet, but he can look up at his son, and smile a deranged, ravaged smile.

when Orion reaches him, he stoops down, his fingers curling in the fabric of his father's suit, and he yanks the old man to his feet.

the universe slows, then stops. Orion takes one long, shuddering breath]


...I'm not you.

As terrified as you are of me being you, I'm not. I never will be.

I don't...want to be, anymore.

[his anger dissolves, fades, and flickering down to raw, painful sorrow. Ganymede opens his mouth, an ugly smirk twisting on his expression, but Orion brings the handle of the knife against the back of his neck. the older man slumps, unconscious, and Orion catches him to lower him to the ground.

at that moment, alarms begin to wail throughout the ship. the stillness is broken by a sudden heave to the ship, knocking Orion off his feet and the captain into a wall. a deep, distant groaning and the agonized screeching of buckling metal can be heard, sparks crackling from machinery, lights flaring bright, brighter, and then bursting into smoke and ozone as their circuits are overloaded. the invisible lines holding the ship together have come loose and parts of the
Crucible begin to waver, weakening, dwindling, some disappearing altogether to be replaced by a vast, terrible blackness]

"WARNING. EXTRAPLANETARY COLLISION IMMINENT. WARNING. EXTRAPLENTARY COLLISION IMMINENT.

ETA TO EVENT HORIZON: FORTY-FIVE SECONDS.


[Orion is fighting desperately to get to his feet, thrown again and again by the wild bucking and quaking that has overtaken the ship. but each time he gets up again, every time he forces himself back to his feet. he has to. he has to, and for once, he knows what to do.

he saw it, very briefly, when he had bent to pick up his father. a tiny console, little more than rudimentary panel set into the floor next to one of the pillars. it could be nothing, a security station, a readout display, but, but...!

he has to try. it's their only chance.

he hardly seems to make any progress. he's practically crawling at one point, straining to reach the panel, sweat trickling down his face, his fingers digging into the smooth, slick floor]


ETA TO EVENT HORIZON: THIRTY SECONDS.

[elsewhere on the ship, the enviro-dome buzzes and crackles like static, and disappears.

Orion is still twenty feet away]


ETA TO EVENT HORIZON: TWENTY SECONDS.

[the hull protecting the starboard observation ducks finally buckles under the extreme, unseen pressure and a stream of debris is swept out into the void.

Orion is ten feet away]


ETA TO EVENT HORIZON: FIFTEEN SECONDS.

[Orion curses, roars, one of his fists pounding against the floor] No, NO! I won't let it happen this time!

[a final burst of energy sends him sliding across the floor and he claws his way over to the panel, fingers flying over the simple input pad]

ETA TO EVENT HORIZON: TEN SECONDS.

[the panel in front of him flares to bright blue. hope finally appears in his expression]

Emergency command code zero-zero-zero-nine-one! Authorization Orion Alexander Ganymede. Acting captain, 1st Fleet! Identification number two-four-nine-eight-zero!

ACKNOWLEDGED. ETA TO EVENT HORIZON: FIVE SECONDS.

All engines full reverse! Reroute all power from nonessential systems to propulsion! Now, NOW!

[his command produces results. perhaps more than he intended.

the lurching throughout the ship is nothing compared to what comes next. it is akin to crash landing on a planet, the force and velocity at which people and objects in the ship are slammed back and forth within its interior. but unlike the landing on Eos, the general direction of this motion is backward.

at the same time, the webbing between the gate begins to bend, bulging forward, toward the relative direction of the black hole, as if pulled by some unseen force. Orion watches this with shocked eyes, clinging to the onyx base to keep from being tossed against the wall.

the netting is pulled out farther and father, the inky center stretched to an infinitely small point. everything around it bends in the same direction: the pillars, the floor, the walls, the air, the light, everything. the motion of the ship itself slows, strains, and for a moment it looks as though they won't be able to escape, and then--

then the netting snaps free, the blackness disappears with a flash of light that isn't really light, the vibration of the filaments ceases, and quite suddenly, reality isn't quite what it was an instant ago.

the room is suddenly thronged with machinery, movable consoles spread out around the silent pillars, thick wires running to and fro. the captain is still crumpled back in a corner and Orion is still clinging to the base, but two others are now in the room as well. a dazed-looking man and woman, both wearing identical white uniforms and getting shakily to their feet. they look around in sheer disbelief, until the man spots the woman, a cry thick with shock forcing its way out of his throat. he rushes to the woman, stumbling over the machinery in his haste, and throws his arms around her]
Chandra! Oh god, you were--! I can't believe this!

[the woman is equally overcome, her dark complexion paled, clinging to her partner in speechless relief. Orion, realization slowing dawning on his face, climbs to his feet, looking weary and battered, but intent. with a last look at the pillars, he makes his way to the two of them. they hear his steps and turn to look at him; the man steps forward, swallowing hard, still shaking from the emotions running through his system] C-Commander, we can--

Yes, you can. [he interrupts him, holding up a hand] You'll be explaining everything, right from the beginning.

[he looks at the pillars, then at his father, and closes his eyes, the picture of exhaustion and yet...he's lighter. the pain is gone. because he knows. he knows.

if these two are here, then--]
But first, I want to get everything in order.

[he turns to look up at his Sphere, facing the passengers...all of them. the visitors from other dimensions, and the eighteen hundred original passengers that have now reappeared throughout the ship. they're everywhere, spread out through every level. confused, dazed, bruised, and in some cases injured, but alive.

all of them, alive.

this knowledge is washing over Orion's mind, coursing through his body, and giving him the strength to keep standing, giving his voice the authority it had lacked up until this moment]


Attention all crew and passengers. This is Commander Orion. I have assumed the post of acting captain. The ship is finally out of danger. All injured should be moved immediately to the hospital level. Everyone else, please return to your rooms for the time being. If your rooms are occupied by another party...

[he cracks a tiny smile. he looks like a man reborn, brought back from the edge of the abyss] I ask that you do me a favor, and let them be.

They deserve it.

[he reaches up, adjusting the settings on his Sphere. it's not readily apparent, but he has narrowed the communication to the specific, unauthorized network that the unwilling passengers of the last year have always used]

...thank you. All of you. If not for you, I...

Thank you.

OOC: Plot; Mutiny, Part 4 ! ENDGAME !Collapse )
 
 
17 September 2009 @ 08:28 pm
[heavy breathing, filtered through a helmet. the captain is running down a hallway, his Sphere racing along behind him. he's stumbling, wavering back and forth. he's tired. exhausted, even.

but he's yelling, gasping for breath between every shout]


You never understood! It was my responsibility, my duty! Not yours! Mine! You were going to take it all away!

[as he staggers around a corner, his location becomes more distinct. the blast-marked corridors and scattered debris should be familiar.

on a nearby wall, there is a message. the captain heads straight for it, stopping directly in front of the message.

he pauses only long enough to tear the helmet off his head before screaming over his shoulder again]
I won't let you have it! Never!

[his fingers appear to press thin air, millimeters above the wall's surface, but a panel made all of bright white light appears a second later, responding to his touch. then the wall seems to fall back, then slide to the side.

there is darkness beyond, a circle of strange, rippling darkness, strung with stars. the captain rushes into the room, and out of sight.

Orion is seconds behind him]


OOC: Plot; Mutiny, Part 3 ! ENDGAME !Collapse )
 
 
06 September 2009 @ 09:14 pm
[Orion and the passengers have succeeded. but perhaps it would have been better if they had not]

I thought I'd let you have your fun. Play at being in command, just like you wanted. But you just had to poke your nose where it didn't belong, didn't you?

I expected better of you, boy.

[it's the captain at last.

he's on the bridge, one hand on the console behind him. strings of bright red letters and numbers are scrolling across the console screen]


You've gone too far. I can't tolerate this behavior from you. I'm not done, you see. I'm making progress with it. I can't tell you what it is. All very classified, I'm sure you understand. For my eyes only.

That's why I can't let you interfere. Not you, and not any of them. Don't think you can stop me, either. Only I know the proper codes.

[behind him, the main viewscreen snaps to life. against the backdrop of the stars is the very familiar gaping maw of the black hole. but this time, the viewscreen is split, showing two images. one is the black hole, in front of the ship. the other is from behind the ship. a literal fleet of smaller craft are coming up on the Crucible. all shapes and sizes, traveling at their fastest speeds, trying to catch the larger ship.

by the looks of things, they'll be there in a matter of moments]


You know, if you were actually command material this wouldn't be happening. If you knew how to take care of your crew and your passengers, they wouldn't all end up this way.

[with slow, drawn-out ease, Ganymede inputs a series of numbers and letters into the console, finishing it up with a spoken command] Emergency command code six-six-three-four-two-zero-one-eight-zero. Command line authorization Eridanus Ganymede. Captain, 1st Fleet. Identification number one-one-three-six-two.

"ACKNOWLEDGED."

[his head turns slightly, watching the ships on approach] The security for this project is perfect. I was part of the entire process. I'm sure you didn't have the foresight to look into the design of the other ships. Did you?

No, of course not. Now look what's going to happen.

[all it takes is a few button presses and another spoken command:] Initiate containment protocol on all auxiliary vessels. Cut engines, then redirect all navigational systems to assigned coordinates.

[the bright blue engine fire of the ships onscreen suddenly disappears as the computer recalculates their direction. then they are off again, fast, even faster than before. the speed up to, then past the Crucible, and the screen switches to a single picture of up ahead. the Crucible slows to a more steady speed, as if to sit back and watch.

it only takes a few seconds before the first line of ships begins to disappear into the black hole. one after another they disappear into the abyss, crushed into nothing by the massive gravity of the black hole, the hundreds of people onboard helpless to save themselves.

once it's done - it takes less than ten minutes, the bridge eerily silent as the captain just watches it happen - he turns back toward his Sphere, sadly shaking his head]


I'm sure they were coming to help you.

This is why you'll never be good enough to be captain.

OOC: Plot; Mutiny, Part 2Collapse )
 
 
04 September 2009 @ 10:38 am
[around midday, Command Orion appears on the Sphere network, addressing the ship at large. he looks better than he did before, less pale and more alert, though his expression is grim and serious. he may have a five o'clock shadow and he may be borrowing Riku's clothes, but he looks ready for anything]

Everyone, we need to start looking for the backup command consoles. If you haven't been briefed, I can fill you in on the basic plan. There should be enough scanners for all of you to use, but if any of you need one, please speak to the Doctor. He should be able to build one for you.

Doctor, if you need anything else from me, let me know right away.

The captain hasn't sent security after us just yet, but we don't want to do anything that will attract his notice. I would advise that all of you move as quickly and quietly as possible. If you find a console that might be the one we're looking for, contact me over the network immediately. I will rendezvous with you at that location to test the console. If we can find the correct one, I will use to it to take control of the ship away from the bridge.

[pauses, and then salutes] Good luck.

OOC: Plot; Mutiny, Part 1 !! QUICK-TIME EVENT !!Collapse )
 
 
 
28 August 2009 @ 09:31 pm
"C-Command...command code..."

[it's a familiar voice over the network; Orion, broadcasting from his Sphere, rather than the ship's intercom. he sounds exhausted, his words hoarse and hard to hear, but forceful just the same]

"Command code eight-eight-...eight-three-six-nine-one-..." [he trails off, pressing a hand to his head, and his Sphere swings out a little to show him still in Riku's suite, dressed in a simple black jumpsuit. he looks haggard and pale, but awake.

the ship answers him]
"COMMAND LINE NOT RECOGNIZED"

[he curses, then takes a deep, steadying breath before he tries again] Command code eight-eight-three-six-nine-one-eight-two-zero.

"AUTHORIZATION?"

"Orion Alexander Ganymede. Commander, 4th Fleet. Identification number two-four-nine-eight-zero."

"ACKNOWLEDGED."

[he slumps back, obviously relieved. moments later, the robots throughout the ship, including the one's assaulting the suite, suddenly stop, then retreat. they file back towards the construction facility on Level 8. eventually only the regular maintenance bots are left and the ship descends into an odd, unsteady silence as they begin the rather monumental task of cleaning up the mess]

OOC: Plot; MachinationsCollapse )
 
 
18 August 2009 @ 09:01 pm
[the captain, as all the passengers know, is easily distracted. he doesn't broadcast what he does, but it's felt a few minutes later. the distant, steady hum of the engines suddenly intensifies, rising into a roar. the ship lurches forward with such force that the systems that normally compensate for inertia are overwhelmed. anything not bolted down is slammed against the walls, people included.

the captain has put the ship at her top speed and the bright flickers that mark the other ships are suddenly left behind. all but one.

it's the exact same ship that was seen on Eos. Orion's ship, the
Halley. it keeps pace with the Crucible and for good reason. the burst of speed has cost the ship the power it needed to maintain its shields.

anyone watching from that side of the ship will see the dangerous, almost foolhardy dive the
Halley makes towards the ship, guns blazing. at point blank range, she's able to rip a hole through the hull...no, through the bay doors. the Halley crashes through the doors on Maintenance Bay 1, air and debris flying back out through the gaping hole she just made. the inexorable pull does not stop, even after the Halley slams into the opposite wall. as soon as her forward motion is spent, she starts to slide backwards, back out the hole in the doors.

an emergency hatch on top of the ship is blasted open and a familiar figure in suit and helmet struggles to climb out, but he slumps against the metal before he makes it even halfway.

his ship continues to inch back towards the ruptured hull. he needs help, but the doors to the maintenance bay from the interior of the ship have sealed automatically, to protect the rest of the ship from catastrophic decompression.

it looks like no help will be coming]



OOC: Heroes, Pt. 2 & Plot breakCollapse )
 
 
18 August 2009 @ 05:04 pm
[ooc: My previous entry is still game for encouraging comments to Ganymede, but in the meantime...]



[look, Olivia's back! well, maybe not quite. this might just be the Doctor using her saved image from his sphere and some clever voice modulation to make it appear that Olivia is addressing the sphere rather than Oliver, who is actually doing the talking. after all, if they know anything about the captain's sensabilities, it's that he has a weakness for a pretty face. unfortunately, the listener has to miss out on Oliver's rather dramatic hand gestures this time, but at least the fearful inflection in his tone should help make this quite a show]

Captain? Captain, are you there? I'm sorry to use your intercom like this, but I didn't know how else to contact you! I'm scared, captain. I haven't been on this ship for very long, and...and we're being shot at! And I know we have shields, but...I don't want to die, captain. And the other people here have been saying such odd things about you. They aren't true, are they? I read you were a decorated captain--four times, even! So you can't be what they're saying you are. You'll save us, right?

I know you know lots more about travelling in space than I do, but couldn't all that shooting push us off-course? Or strand us? I don't want to be lost in space! Is there anything we can do? Some way of stopping the shooting? Please, captain, I'm so scared. The shooting is so loud and so bright, and if it doesn't stop, I...[gasps, sobbing]...I don't know what I'll do. Can you help me? Please, make it stop!
 
 
Status: dramatic
 
 
17 August 2009 @ 08:12 pm
[after a moment or two of tinkering with his Sphere, he's accessed Ganymede's favourite intercom system, and looking pretty damn pleased with himself too. not that it was anything incredibly hard for him to do, no of course not. mere child's play.]

Ah, there we go, much better. Hello! [waves] I hope I have your attention this time, Ganymede. You can't send me away that easily and, well, I didn't see the point in sending you another voicemail. A bit overwhelmed now, aren't you? I would be too if I were running that bridge all by yourself--well, maybe I would--nah, no I wouldn't, not one bit.

Anyway, you know what? [leans toward the sphere, that grin still on his face, his voice low.] I think you're a coward. You're a coward living off some sheer stupid luck you had in combat, but I know your type. You're a dime a dozen in my universe. You've hidden yourself away in the bridge yet again because you couldn't bear to be questioned, just like you did when your own son tried to speak reasonably with you. Just like you've done this entire time. Well, you could always choose to ignore me like you did at the party, but my fellow passengers and I said some unsettling things, didn't we? You can't fool me, I felt you tremble while we shook hands--well, you sounded cross, so that could be a factor--but up until that point, we'd never met face to face. Did you still think we were mere constructs of your mind? We're very much real. Bet you didn't like hearing about the nightmares or that wall, did you?

You know, isn't it about time you quit running from Orion and faced him head on? Show him "who's the boss"?

Of course, if you're too scared to, then I can understand. No wonder they assigned Orion on this ship alongside you. You're getting old, after all, perhaps a touch sentimental about clinging to your former glories and how dare they assign someone like Orion, who clearly doesn't know his place, to succeed you? By the by, you wouldn't happen to have two other sons named some variation of Regan and Goneril, would you? Blimey, I feel like I should be calling you King Lear...

So, are you finally going to punish him for humiliating you, questioning your command, and trying to overthrow you not once, but twice now?

Or are you going to let an insufferable idiot like Orion get in your way? Are you going to continue to hide behind some shield in the lowest level of the ship because you're not man enough to reroute power from the shields and create a certain kind of energy weapon to fight back against those other craft? No, you're too stupid to do anything like that. Shame really, because you could easily create a pulse wave emitter to disable their own weapons, or, perhaps with a little help, you could create something a little bigger, a bit deadlier. Then you wouldn't have to worry about your son coming back to claim your captain's chair ever again.

So what are you going to do, Ganymede?
 
 
 
 
16 August 2009 @ 09:00 pm
[it's nearly ship's midnight when the first tremor rocks throughout the ship. the Crucible has experienced such things as engine trouble and one or two emergency landings on a planet. this, however, is entirely different. by the time the second volley hits it's quite clear that someone or something is attacking the ship from outside.

looking out one of the portholes or observation decks on the starboard side will show the star-speckled vista streaked with lines of color and flashing lights, all viewed through a rapidly shifting, hazy sheen of brilliant blue. those would be the ship's shields. several craft very much like the one passengers saw on Eos are swooping in close on the
Crucible, firing rapid volleys of crackling red light before rolling away.

it would be more impressive if the shots had any effect at all. the ship rumbles and shakes from the impacts, but otherwise the shields hold. the klaxons sound throughout the corridors and hallways, the lights flashing red and security robots flood every section, taking up positions at every level junction an entrance.

the captain, for his part, comes over the intercom only briefly, reassuring the passengers in a very calm, unconcerned tone]


Nothing to worry about everybody. I've got everything under control.

OOC: Plot; Heroes !! QUICK-TIME EVENT !!Collapse )