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MSNPC Shondra Carpenter: The Second Rule

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A beautiful final (?) Tribute to our beloved old USS Arrow. May the stars cradle you in love, dear girl. 


(Deck 1, Bridge, USS Arrow)) 

Carpenter picked herself up off the hard deck and planted her feet on the deck, feeling more than watching. It wasn’t a stretch to say her old command was out of whack. There was a persistent grinding of metal on metal that indicated the need for serious structural repair. 

Why certainly; they’d get right on it, just as soon as they were done being imploded from the inside out by a warp core containment breach that, at this point, was too deserved to not be right around the corner. 

Hobart: ::hopeful:: Weapons…?

Zenno: Negative. Repair would take too long. 

Which was, in Carpenter’s mind, quite a pity. The old ship deserved to go down shooting, like she had always done before. Alas, a large and admirable explosion would have to do her enough. 

Carpenter: There’s nothing more you can do. 

She stared at Hobart, intense and solemn. Would he buy it? He had to. 

Hobart: Lieutenant, start getting everybody onto the Khitomer. Ensign Kay, signal the Captain and let him know we’re coming. Ensign Michaels, give me everything you can to the engines, and mister Avedin, lay in a collision course. We’re going to blow this thing up the ugly way.

Zenno: Evac plan activate, aye sir.

Carpenter moved quickly, joining into the background of shifting people and plans. Her fingers began to splay across the console, as she accessed the now- defunct weapons control interface. 

Zenno: Response 

Carpenter didn’t look at her when she replied, merely nodding towards him with her focus still locked on the old style readouts. 

Carpenter: The weapons are out, but the capacitors can still hold a charge; I’m routing power through the auxiliary feeds to give us some extra oomph. If you’re looking to help, you could arm the torpedoes in the magazine. 

He wasn’t sure if the stern Bolian would go along with her request, but she didn’t care much; she could do that if she was successful. 

The capacitors began to overload, soaking in that rich plasma energy; but the smile came when she felt the subtle warmth against her shin, one of which was pressed right against the bottom of the console. What she’d failed to mention was that the reroute would take energy straight through the bridge access station, and then back out to the emitters. As long as she stayed close, and as long as the Khitomer’s transporters were overdesigned like all modern equipment seemed to be… 

Avedin: Collison course aye!

Blood pulsed hot in her ears as she stared at the viewscreen, and the enormous target that began to fill its borders. Good lord, but it was massive. Worse than even she’d expected. All of this hadn’t been for naught- not as long as they succeeded. 

As long as she succeeded. 

The familiar sensation of ants across her body told her it was time. She braced herself, knowing that this next part was going to hurt. 

Carpenter: The second rule… 

The hum in her ears grew louder; it would be instantaneous, unless…

Every instinct in her body told her to stay still, to not fight the beam, to embrace its consistent effectiveness. But she was near the weapons station, and the warmth was only growing. She gambled again. 

And she pushed. 

Her arms extended to either side of her, palms out, face scrunched, as she began to strain against the transporter field. The hum grew louder, shriller, fluctuating intensely. Her teeth grit as the pain grew exponentially, her skin began to smoke under her tunic, and with a final scream… 

The transport beam exploded, leaving a small puff of ash.

((Deck 3, Transporter Room, USS Arrow))

The room was dark, powered down for the final run. But with flickering, guttering hesitation, the station before the pad lit up, audio reports screeching as it struggled for life. The back of the pad blossomed into illumination; an emergency diversion, initiated by the computer, in the event of catastrophic beam failure. Between her pushing and the plasma interference, the first part of her plan succeeded. 

Now she needed to rematerialize. 

Aside from warp drive, transporting a living person was perhaps the most energy-taxing procedures a starship could undertake- and now it was forced to carry out the operation while struggling for more juice, and while hurtling towards the enemy at a significant impulse factor. 

The pad spluttered and sparked as short circuits that would never normally be allowed desperately struggled to carry out the computer’s override instruction. Two of the pads flashed into fire as power surges exploded them from the inside out. 

Then, slowly, deliberately, as if each atom was being put together one at a time, the figure of Carpenter began to materialize. 

After agonizing seconds of partially corporeal life, Carpenter’s steaming, ragged body flopped to the deck, twitching as neurochemical imbalances and physical strain racked her form. But she had done it. 

Whatever happened, she would go down with the ship this time. Like she should have. 

A terrible jolt nearly tossed her out of the transporter room; the Sheliak were firing again, and Arrow’s unshielded, battered form was taking yet more smashing. She had to get to the bridge; partially to see the enemy she was about to blow to Hell, but also to ensure that her tumbling little ship didn’t get blasted off course and spiral into space. She trusted Avedin with her life, but she couldn’t risk it. 

She staggered down the corridor, leaning on the bulkheads as her skin continued to curl with burns. The pain kept her alert, the desperation kept her moving. 

Oh, and the sounds of the computer’s wailing, interrupted every two seconds with “Warning. Decompression imminent. Clear this section immediately” didn’t hurt either. 

She found a turbolift, and hung on for dear life as another hole was punched through her ailing vessel. 

((Deck 1, Bridge, USS Arrow)) 

The turbolift just about threw her out of itself as she arrived on the bridge. It was a wreck. Half of it was covered in debris. But she was so close. They were so close. They had to continue. And they would, if the closeness of the enemy was any indication. 

She sat at the helm, and closed her eyes. 

This was it. 

A small chime drew her attention. 

Weapons control had been destroyed; the computer had transferred the protocols to the helm. 

And somehow, amidst the madness, enough repair  measures had been undertaken to ensure that one single photon torpedo had been loaded in the port tube. 

She stared at it and laughed, her voice breaking and scratchy, but wholly genuine for the first time in years. 

It was just a pity no one could be around to hear it. 

Like making peace with a god, Carpenter placed her finger on the launch button, and pressed it. 

The single firm retort of an exiting warhead kicked the ship from under her, and she watched it flash and fly onscreen, hurtling towards its target, the last gasp of the starship Arrow

And then the dreadnought fired again. 

A whitish-blue stream of energy, thick and rippling, tore out from the gargantuan monstrosity’s hide. It sliced through space, sweeping down to cut Arrow cleanly, and finally in half. 

But the beam intersected with the torpedo first. 

Carpenter had to shield her eyes suddenly; never before had she encountered such a bright conflagration. It overwhelmed the filters on the screen, shining like a holy ray of sunshine onto the bruised, flaming bridge. 

As the light began to diminish, Carpenter lowered her hand. 

And she saw the impossible. 

A gaping, smoldering, blue hole in the side of the leviathan’s flank began to spread. Veins of flames creased outward like a corrupting scorch, reaching deep into the damned thing’s heart and then cracking the surface back towards open space. Carpenter couldn’t believe her eyes. 

Well, she was committed. With a snort of annoyance, she folded her arms and waited for the end. 

The light swirled around her. Fire spilled from high, rose from up low. 

For a brief moment, the solar system had a second sun. 



MSNPC Shondra Carpenter

Commanding Officer, USS Arrow

As simmed by

Captain Randal Shayne
Commanding Officer

USS Arrow

NCC 69829

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