188:Final Jeopardy

By Commander Salvek
Stardate 80302.0100
After Throwing Down the Gauntlet

-=Bridge, USS Serendipity-=

[Could say that. You have a hundred and seventeen seconds to tell me how to shut down the Alchemy's reactor core, or we're all dead.]

"You will need to manually override the Auto-Destruct sequence to maintain power flow to the antimatter containment system. Are you looking at the front face of the warp core?" Salvek asked.

[Yes.] Came the reply from Zanh Liis.

"Good. Turn to your left, there is an access hatch about one half meter by one half meter in size. Do you see it?"

[Yes. Should I open it?]


Aboard the Alchemy

Liis nodded to Blane, and TC rushed to the panel. He tapped at the lock to the panel, and it popped off the wall with a hiss. TC tossed it aside and peered through at the tangled mess of conduits and cabling the crisscrossed inside the opening.

>90 seconds until auto destruct.< The Computer announced helpfully.

TC tapped his badge. "The panel is off Salvek, now what?"

[You must remove the main power feed to the antimatter containment system and replace it with the emergency power feed. This feed is continuous and will not terminate when the auto-destruct timer runs out.]

"Well I think I can handle that. We just need remove the cable from terminal 5934-beta and replace it with the feed from 3421-alpha, correct?" TC reached for the wire and got a shock for his trouble. He snapped his hand back and grabbed it instinctively, but the burn seemed superficial.

[Normally yes, however Kellyn and I have already made some modifications to the engineering systems we haven't documented yet.]

Liis slammed her phaser rifle on the control panel in frustration. "Damn it Salvek, this is taking too long! Maybe it would be better if you just..." Liis paused mid-sentence as the hum of a transporter nearby caught her attention. She raised her phaser up to fire on the intruder, but breathed a sigh of relief when she saw it was Salvek.

"Captain." He nodded simply to her.

TC stood up and gestured over his shoulder towards the open panel. "Those conduits are hot Commander. If you try to manipulate them you are going to get a jolt." TC showed Salvek his slightly reddened palm as evidence.

"I believe my Vulcan physiology will provide me with the ability to withstand the current long enough to accomplish our goal."

>60 seconds till auto destruct.<

Zanh Liis bristled at the idea of letting Salvek put himself in harm’s way like that. "Salvek it’s not worth it."

"I can save the Alchemy. I am willing to take the risk to preserve our work."

Liis wanted to give it some thought but knew she simply did not have the time. "Go."

Salvek approached the panel, and then dropped to the floor. He laid flat on his back and shimmied his way up into the panel til he had disappeared from the waist up. TC stayed near Salvek's feet, poised to pull the Vulcan out if anything went wrong.

Liis kept her weapon at the ready in case Spangler or any of his lackeys decided to come try to stop them.

Liis would occasionally hear a crackle of energy as Salvek set to work. She looked over her shoulder at TC, who looked back at her and just shrugged. The computer announced they had 30 seconds left, and then fifteen.

"How we doing Salvek?" She asked.

"Patience." He replied simply. There was a rather large crackle and Liis heard Salvek groan through what sounded like gritted teeth.

>10 seconds till autodestruct.<

Liis shifted her weight nervously.


TC rubbed his hands together.


Salvek snapped a conduit into place, and reached for another.




"Seriously, Salvek," Blane said.


"Now Salvek." Zanh demanded, sounding quite agitated.


Salvek snapped another conduit into place.



>2.... 1...<

"Salvek!" Liis yelled and snapped her eyes shut, waiting for the ship to incinerate around her.


Liis' muscles tensed and her fingers gripped the phaser rifle so tight she nearly burst a tendon.

After a few seconds, she cracked one eye open, to see she still seemed to be alive. Or had she died and transferred over to the other side? How was she going to explain this to the Prophets? That was a conversation she wasn't ready for...

Blane saw Salvek struggling to slide back out from inside the panel, and reached out to give him a hand. He pulled Salvek out and back up to his feet. Zanh Liis dropped the phaser to her side, and a smile spread out across her lips, as she realized she was in fact very much alive.

"My apologies Captain. I successfully rerouted power, but was unable to terminate the audio countdown."

Unconsciously, she raised her fist and slugged him in the shoulder.

"Don't ever do that to me again."

She looked down at Salvek's hands, which appeared to have, at least, second-degree burns.

"A minor injury Captain, I will report for treatment then return to the bridge while you and Mr. Blane secure the Gauntlet."

“O’Sullivan is hurt. We need to beam him to Sera’s Sickbay immediately.”

“I will tell them to prepare for his arrival.”

Liis nodded her approval, and her thanks. She tapped her com badge to save Salvek the trouble, and called for his transport to Sickbay.

Liis slung her arm around Blane's shoulder and guided him towards the exit.

"Let's get you to the Gauntlet's bridge Mr. Blane. Somebody's got to take command of this thing to return it to Starfleet, and I need a nap, so it’s not going to be me."


Commander Salvek
First Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012