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Highly Exothermic Potential

Posted on Sat Jan 11th, 2020 @ 11:08am by Commander Bianca Caselli & Lieutenant Commander Xavier Patrovski & Lieutenant James Bradshaw & Fleet Captain William Hood
Edited on on Sat Jan 11th, 2020 @ 11:09am

Mission: What Stalks The Night
Location: Control Centre

James had managed to do what he could and part of him wished that he hadn't. Everything he was reading was a powder keg just waiting to go off, the fuse had been lit but they had no idea how long the fuse was. He knew he'd have to brief the team so he double checked his information, the answers were the same.

The damage to the facility was substantial, power fluctuations littered the facility and they had not fully explored it all yet. From the Control Room he had the ability to stem the tide of power from one area to another less demanding one to lighten the burden, hoping it would by time, minutes, hours. The resulting disaster would be just that, a disaster but it wouldn't just encompass the facility but a substantial area too.

With a heavy sigh James walked to the centre table. "Not to put even more of a damper on the situation but there is something you should know." That had to get peoples attention.

"I've completed my work on the power grid and I've discovered something." James rubbed his brow, sweat beaded and clearly now running down the sides of his face and nose from the effort he'd put in. "In order to stay hidden, these guys couldn't use conventional power generation methods like we might do on a starship or an outpost. The power signature would give it away. So they employed a Binary plant design to power the facility while using natural resources."

"A what?" Xavier asked, confused since he was a Doctor and not an engineer.

"A Binary power plant..." James rubbed his chin to try and explain it, in an easy to understand way. "Where we are now is on top of a geothermal reservoir. Hot water say. To use it however you have to drill down to it which presents its own problems like earthquakes, anyway..." James turned off the table and using his finger as a pencil, traced the basic design of a binary power plant in the dust. "You inject a liquid into the reservoir and its gets heated, you then extract that hot liquid through another drilled well. This heated liquid enters a heat exchanger where it interacts with a secondary liquid, a mix of butane and pentane hydrocarbon within the exchanger." James took a breath before he continued. "A vapour is generated by the reaction that's fed into a capacitor vessel where waste water is separated and vapour is fed to the turbine which generates the power and the waste water is pumped back into the reservoir, rinse and repeat."

"Ok, so whats the problem?" Stefan asked.

"The problem, is that the capacitor vessel has been compromised and the waste liquid system is damaged." James spoke. "And those are pretty critical."

"Yeah, and....." Stefan continued.

"Are you deliberately trying to be dense, or is this normal for you?" James spoke angrily then sighed. "In simple, simple terms. The plant is on an unavoidable route to catastrophic pressure failure."

"How catastrophic?" Xavier asked.

"Given the size of the generator output and that there is more than one of them and the size of the reservoir the facility is sitting on and the pressure its under, the resulting explosion from the sudden uncontrolled release by fractured cap rock, the earthquakes that will for sure be triggered. Totally catastrophic, were not talking about a minor thing here, they would detect the explosion on long range sensors with the sheer amount of energy involved." James laid it all out for them, this was it.

"Is there anything that can be done?" Xavier asked in continuation of his question.

"No, the damage to the facility is extensive and the generators are linked. Its mostly why this place is still here, because they are sharing the pressure load between them. But the exchanger that feeds them, is detecting a slow but steady rise in pressure. Normally the safety features would kick in, stop the feed wells and use what ever power has been stored but when I repaired the generator to restore power, even after I turned off one of the lab rooms it undid what the system had done to prevent the problem in the first place." It was not the sort of news he enjoyed giving. "We are going to start noticing earthquakes soon enough, that's the best warning we are going to get. From then its anyone's guess."

Bianca had remained quiet through the exchange, watching, listening. Slowly she shook her head, a cold shiver running down her spine. "The transporter device that transported us down here, how do we locate it?" she asked quietly. "If it transported us down, there has to be a way we can reverse it to transport everyone back to the surface again, right?"

"The only two people entrusted with that kind of authority are the Director and the Chief Science Officer." Stefan spoke suspecting both were long dead already. "They have an access card, the Director's would work anywhere, the CSO's would work only at the transporter where you arrived from. The only problem is, they are probably already dead and the cards are on their bodies." Which means they had to look for them.

Bianca stopped speaking for a long moment and glanced around the away team, noting exactly how many eyes were now firmly watching their every action and listening to their every word. She drew in a deep breath. This away mission had turned into the gift that just kept on giving. A genetically mutated alien hell bent on killing them all, an exothermic reaction waiting to happen and now a viral contagion that was affecting them all.

She looked back at Vic, knowing full well that he wasn't going to appreciate this at all. "We have no choice," she said calmly. "We need to go out there again. We need to go to the medical labs and find out what the hell it is we've all been infected with, and we need to find someone who has a swipe card to let us out of here."

 

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