Star Trek: Emergency Deep
S01 E05 “Where the Trychnos Currents Lead”
- Stardate: 58542.09; 18th July 2381 0945 hrs
- Location: Trychnos, near Cor Caroli
Arrival at Trychnos
Assigned to investigate the distress call of the SS Takoyaki NAR-7789 a Federation merchant starship, the USS Östergötland NCC-72227 warps to the uninhabited ocean planet of Trychnos, two light years from Cor Caroli. The Takoyaki reported a violent collision with something invisible in orbit. The collision caused them to fall into the atmosphere and into the ocean below. The Takoyaki is now underwater and needs to be rescued.
Upon arrival, Lieutenant Commander Tosk the Studious detects the Takoyaki‘s emergency buoy in stable orbit and downloads information that shows the merchant ship crashing into something invisible, tearing off her port nacelle. Using sensors, they confirm the crash coordinates in the ocean and find that exotectonics are causing high currents in the seas and the seawater has extremely high salinity.
Conn officer Commander Morpheus Drake dives the Östergötland into the ocean while Captain Greg Ellison calls Ensign Kithrup, a dolphin SAR specialist (also a David Brin fan). Tosk also finds that the Takoyaki is on the sea bed 80 km to the east, under 200m of water, but too far for a life sign scan. Sensors detect two gargantuan alien whales approaching. Drake tries to evade the whales twice and twice they alter course to intercept the Östergötland. He guns the submersible caterpillar drive output to maximum speed, and after a thirty-second race, he loses the whales far behind them.
Arrival from Cor Caroli
Soon, they arrive at the crash site on the ocean floor. The Takoyaki is resting on a geologically unstable seabed, with ground cracks that release lots of bubbles into the sea. Tosk detects 62 of the 78 crew still alive but trapped. Her bridge and cargo bay (with 20 kilotonnes of osmium) are structurally compromised and flooded by Trychnos seawater.
And their captain is dead.
The Rescue Operation
Chief Duc Tran transports five Takoyaki survivors to sickbay. As soon as Dr. Chau clears them, survivor Yeoman Bates warns Ellison not to transport any more. Resting precariously over a subterranean cave, she might be swallowed by the cave if the Takoyaki‘s balance shifts and the cracks open up further.
At her science station, Science Officer Lt. Sevok reports that freshwater appears to be seeping up from the cracks with the bubbles.
With Sevok’s help to calculate the Takoyaki‘s mass balance, Tosk snags the Takoyaki with a tractor beam to keep her balanced. Tosk and Chief Tran calculate the optimal transport sequence for both the osmium cargo and the survivors. They implement the transport sequence and manage to save all the remaining survivors. As soon as the operation concludes, the sea bed crumbles beneath the Takoyaki wreck, swallowing it whole.
A huge upsurge of freshwater – hidden in a subterranean cavern – rises from under the sea bed like a tower. The freshwater tower consumes the Östergötland. Not adapted for low salinity buoyancy, the Östergötland sinks into the newly-opened, gaping hole underneath. Tosk immediately vents plasma downwards, causing a steam explosion underneath. While at his chair Ellison adjusts the shield configuration to take the force of the blast. This allows Drake a fighting chance to pilot the ship out of the hole into safe waters.
Her mission complete, the Östergötland leave Trychnos and head to Cor Caroli to drop off the survivors. However, Takoyaki First Officer T’lath mentions they have yet to identify the object the Takoyaki had collided with in orbit…