A Cold Day - The Descent

Spiders!

Tapping they creep, zapping the fleet...

Even as chaos breaks out on board the Demitus, Varreth receives his mission instructions. His target, Officer Oron, will be traveling through an infrequently used corridor in precisely three hours on-route to the Tal Shiar offices. Varreth is to use his ex-Federation crew to assassinate Oron while he is in the corridor, as arrangements have been made to lower surveillance in that area. Varreth attempts to communicate with his ship, only to find that he cannot due to jamming, which leaves him mildly concerned. Varreth leaves, making his way back to the Demitus to inform his crew that they have once again been drafted for a stupid and dangerous mission they cannot get out of.

Back aboard the Demitus, Taban has his personal weapons at the ready as the ship’s computer systems become obviously crippled. Computer consoles flicker, sparks fly, and alarms sound out. Systems previously translated to Federation Standard revert to the Romulan language, leaving Taban clueless as to what they are indicating. Ion continues to track the metal-on-metal sounds throughout the ship, stopping only as he comes up to a forcefield.
Emony, standing at a console in main engineering, hears a change in the warp core’s oscillations and pulls out a tricorder. Moments later, she identifies that the core’s internal containment fields are lagging behind the core’s outputs, a recipe for trouble. Quickly she works to prevent a breach.

Hogue the Cardassian rogue is sitting in his quarters playing with a Chinese finger puzzle until he is called by Xaina. Just as he gets up to see what she wants, he hears a loud crash and looks up to see a small mechanical arachnoid drop from the ceiling, followed immediately by another one. Snatching his phaser, Hogue fires on the spiders, missing, then smashing them before turning to see what Xaina was calling him for.

Taban manages to get a communications channel open and signals the crew, asking what is going on. Hogue reports the presence of the mechanical spiders, pausing to argue with Xaina over if they are in fact toys or weapons. Taban asks Hogue to see if he can find out what the spiders were doing, who then notes that several sections of fibre cable in the ceiling have been shredded, which Emony sets out to repair. Grabbing her tools, Emony sprints down the corridor, falling face first at Ion’s feet, who looks up and shakes his head. Standing on Hogue’s desk, Emony pokes her head up through the ceiling tiles, and shudders in horror at the site of several hundred small mechanical spiders.

Taban suddenly gets computer access back, and starts diverting critical systems around damaged components. He also notes that the damage to the ship’s systems seems to the concentrated around the maintenance bay, which he relays to Emony, only to hear her report of the huge number of mechanical arachnoids. Thinking quickly, Taban suggests spiking the power systems to fry the small creatures, to which Emony retorts, “The engineer should probably do this.”

Sprinting towards main engineering, Emony manages to trip only once. Ion, weapons at the ready, watches as several mechanical spiders drop down and come at him. Running backwards, Ion begins firing down the corridor, burning holes into the bulkheads as he does so. The spiders leap at Ion even as he swats them off, but they overwhelm him and inject him with a paralytic agent. Ion screams mentally, causing the telepathic Xaina to step out of her quarters and see him lying there. Instantly she hits her communications badge and summons help.

Arjin comes running out of the medical bay, passing Emony as she makes her way to main engineering. Taban starts freaking out, “Check the systems! Check the systems!” Emony notices that communication systems have been seized by a rogue process and attempts to stop the hack but fails. Meanwhile back in the corridor, Xaina has grabbed her umbrella and begun at swing at the mechanical spiders even as she screams for help. Hogue comes out of his quarters, sees the chaos, and turns back. Furious, Xaina yells, “Come back here!” Hogue fires back over his shoulder, “What do you expect me to do with my bare hands?” Moments later, Hogue comes running back with an EMP grenade in his hand, yelling, “Stand back!” Seconds later an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the unprotected interior of the ship, stopping the spiders dead in the tracks, even as the computer systems begin a cascading failure.

All lighting shuts off as Emony looks up in horror at the warp core. A moment later, the main computer core is offline while Emony tries to shut down the unregulated and violent core. Seeing no other option, Emony pulls the emergency manual release, tripping explosive bolts and dropping the core out of the bottom of the ship, right into the middle of the space dock…

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