Looking into the hole at the bottom of the shale-glass bowel, white crystals tantalize the party at the bottom of a twenty-foot drop. Without any viable means of climbing down, the party decides to return to the ship. Boarding the watercraft, they traverse to the whirlpool at a brisk pace as they are being pulled along. Unfortunately, as the ship is circling in the pool, with the main downward pull in the center of the ship, the re-boarding process proves to be very dangerous. With the watercraft getting crushed against the side of the hull, the party frantically boards the ship, pulling themselves up the cable previously positioned. Just as the lip of the craft gets pulled under, Varreth is the last to climb out and collapses the craft before pulling it out of the water.
Scans of the whirlpool reveal that it is draining into a cavern system. Emony welds a piece of metal to the back of the ship to hang another cable from in order to effect less dangerous boarding operations. Collecting two large crates from the ship stores as well as a long piece of cable, the team launches into the water and returns to the dig site. From there, Emony cuts a mount point into the shale and the line is secured. From there, Varreth climbs down into the cavern. Shining with his light, he sees what appear to be hundreds of lights reflecting back at him, like the stars of night. The cargo containers are tossed down, and Hogue joins Varreth to collect as much Isodesium as possible.
With the method of collecting crystals as simple as grabbing hold and breaking them off, after an hour the two of them collect roughly 100 kilograms worth of crystal. The crates of crystal are pulled up and out of the cavern without incident, and the team returns to the ship. At this point, the party decides to rest.
With Varreth taking first watch, the party sleeps in the crew’s quarters, on beds who have not seen occupants for years. Dolvak takes second watch without incident, until the ship lurches and a loud noise is heard, jarring all awake. The sensation of floating is no longer apparent, and the team investigates, looking out of the hull breach to see that the lake has completely drained and the ship is resting on the lakebed. Several small rivers are running underneath the ship into what was once the center point of the whirlpool, but these rivers are insufficient to move the ship.
Having been rudely awoken, the party sets about breakfast, with Dolvak proceeding to cook up several more steaks. After eating, the team decides to put their earlier plan into action.
Ion positions himself in the weapons pod, with the power converter at the ready and begins hammering in their disruptor charge packs to energize the ship. Ships systems begin coming online and powering up, until the main computer initialization sequence is initiated. With Varreth translating the Romulan symbols, Taban manages to enter the access codes and stop the security authentication procedures, although just barely. Taban then transfers power to the antimatter generation unit, shutting down everything else as much as possible, but in the process causes surges in the shield arrays.
Meanwhile, down on deck 1, Emony tries to control the antimatter creation process, as it is a very unstable process. Generating just enough antimatter to start the core, she transfers it to a containment vessel and sprints for main engineering. The main engineering systems are still powered, but are shutting down rapidly.
Taban effects an emergency power transfer to the warp core, and the core containment fields activate, although he blows out the ship’s sensor systems. Emony transfers the antimatter into the core and attempts a cold reactor start. Deftly guessing at the Romulan control symbols, she just barely manages to bring the system online with a power output of three percent. Working carefully to manage the flow, she slowly brings up the power output, praying the system can become self-sustaining before their last reserves of power fade.
Her hands moving in a blur, Emony manages to correct a wobbling containment field. Just barely keeping the system together, she manages to bring the output to thirty-four percent before it stabilizes. With a gasp of relief, the system begins outputting enough power to maintain itself, and Emony starts to feel more at ease. Power output climbs to seventy percent, but then alarm klaxons begin to sound, as the computer reports that life support systems are not operational. Emony laughs as the life support systems are completely destroyed yet are not required at present.
Taban attempts to shut down the klaxon, but mistakenly causes a surge through the lower decks, completely burning out what was left of the sensor system.