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2374; "The Regal 'Accident'"

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Apr. 2nd, 2006 | 08:19 pm
posted by: theodonnells in en_fanfic

This is a fanfic about the shuttle accident that Colleen's parents were involved in, told from their perspective.

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from: theodonnells
date: Apr. 2nd, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)

“They look okay. Let’s take off. Will you notify the control center?” Patrick asked her, and she nodded. They got clearance to undock, and as soon as the clamps were released, Patrick said, “I’ll fly,” and took the directional controls. They looked at their side viewscreens, a new feature they fell in love with the moment they saw that Starfleet had included them. They could see the planet Mars *and* the stars in front of them as they pulled away from Station 10, and it was a beautiful sight to see.

Patrick smiled at his wife from the left seat of the shuttle.
“How many times have we seen Lunae Planum from up here?” he asked lightheartedly.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Erin answered with a cheerful smile. They were exhausted, but Patrick always knew how to make her happy. “All the times we left for conferences, teaching Matt and Colleen how to fly in orbit, vacations, presentations,” she sighed, content just to look at the beautiful, scenic side of Mars instead of go to the presentation in San Francisco. “Quite a lot.”

He nodded in agreement, and said, “I’m going to take us out of orbit.” He pressed the key for impulse engines to engage, and suddenly they felt a huge impact, and flew sideways. Patrick was knocked right into Erin, and he quickly scrambled up and keyed in the manual control code so the yoke would pop out. It slid out at an all-too-slow rate as they both clung to the panels, trying to stay up as the Regal flew in what seemed to be an uncontrolled circular path. Erin buckled her safety restraint, but Patrick didn’t have the opportunity—he was reaching for the sensor readouts and trying to control the yoke and at the same time attempting to stay on his feet.

“We’ve lost the port nacelle!” he shouted to her over the roar of some malfunctioning system exploding.

“Attempting to override the engines and bring us to a halt!” Erin shouted back, not sure what they were going to do about Mars’ gravitational field.

Neither one of them panicked. They were much too experienced for that, and had both been in shuttle accidents before. And neither one of them thought about why it was happening—their only concern was touching down safely on Mars.

“Oh no,” Patrick said suddenly and with an unforgettable look on his face. “I’ve lost yoke control!”

“I can’t override or we’ll power down completely!” Erin answered him. If they lost all power, they’d come crashing down in free fall, and incinerate in the atmosphere without shielding. “We’re going to go down,” she said, the fear coming into her voice. “We have to reroute all power to shielding, *now*!”

Patrick nodded in agreement, and left the yoke to make his way back to the emergency access panel. He had to get all power into the shielding, or they’d either burn up in Mars’ atmosphere, or they’d be blown to bits as soon as they impacted on the red dirt. He yanked the panel open and started rerouting the power, crouching down so he could see what he was doing a bit better. The emergency lights faithfully came on, lighting his panel and making the conduit infinitely easier to see. “Done!” he said when he determined he had done all he could, and attempted to make his way back to the front of the shuttle to take a seat and put his safety restraint on. The ones in the back, he had noted quickly, were destroyed from a panel explosion.

“Sit down!” she yelled to him, turning around to check his progress, and make sure he was safe when they hit. She didn’t have much more time…they were in the atmosphere. She turned back around, tightened her safety restraint, and covered her head with her arms in the position they both had been well-trained to assume in the event of a shuttle crash.

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