2020-03-26 - Gravity And Forcefields


RESCUE to the … RESCUE as a subway train meets with an accident.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Mar 26 23:17:00 2020
Location: Lower East Side - Location 2

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Theme Song



The Subways in New York are always busy and in constant need of repair. It's one of the things that the City struggles with - the balance between maintenance, budgets and having the services running is a challenge. Not that every day commuters realise this.

The call went out to Emergency Services in the city about twenty minutes ago. A train between the Lower East Side and Brooklyn has derailed. The first of the first responders have just got to site - it's a mess, the front of the train is a mangled wreck and there's people trapped in cars all the way along.

Worse though, the reports indicate that the structural integrity of the tunnel itself is questionable and the floor is shaking and groaning. Time is limited to free those trapped and get them to safety.

The alert went out, and RESCUE responded immediately. "Overwatch REACT launching immediately, Captain. We'll have our tech on-site right behind your first responders, ready to secure and re-open the tunnels."

Five minutes later and the convoy comes tearing out and around the Disaster Zone, headed for the scene with Augmenta in the air above them.

"Check the charges and telltales on the Ramblers and the drillopedes. We send the Humblebees in first; they're smaller, and their sensor maps will give us a better idea of where help is needed. No one goes inside without a satchel charge of earthquake foam. This all gets way too hard if the tunnel comes down on top of those already in need and those trying to help them."

And as promised, right behind those first responders comes the start of RESCUE's assistance, as a small swarm of Humblebee flying drones comes down from the entrance above, sensors sweeping ahead as they act cooperatively to map the area and feed their data to RESCUE, which is providing that data directly to NYPD and NYFD.

Lydia isn't the kind of hero to listen in on radios for events where she can just swoop in and help out. She doesn't consider herself a hero at all. But that doesn't mean she won't pitch in if, say, a subway train violently derails near a subway stop that she happens to be next to.

She follows the first responders down asking them what she can do to help, and politely reminding them that she can easily lift a car and stop bullets with her ectoplasm when they try to shoo her away. She wants to coordinate with these people, who have more experience with handling emergencies than she does.

Once they reach the train itself, the instability of the tunnel becomes clear. "Stand back," she tells the first responders, as eight inch claws of ectoplasm coalesce from the mist that always surrounds her. "I think I can peel open up the train pretty easily. That should get you inside to the passengers."

A moment later Toni pokes her head in to the front of the truck that's carrying Roni. "Roni. I'm borrowing 12 drillpedes and at least eight humblebees." That's about all the explanation that's given as she ducks back into the storage area, starting to work quickly on affixing high tech looking hemispheres to each of the drone manipulators as she works down the row, moving with mechanical precision as she says to the laptop propped up nearby. "Siri, average dimensions of a New York subway tunnel, calculate total volume. Someone get me where the nearest intact power line is!" she shouts over to the nearest REACT operator as she continues to work, muttering calculations to herself.

Meanwhile, in one of the cars somewhere in the middle of the derailed train, a young blonde woman is trying to project reassurance and confidence to the others in the car with her, while trying to keep her own fear from bleeding through. She's dressed in civilian clothing — jeans, a grey hoodie, red Converse sneakers — but has put on a pair of somewhat oversized ski goggles with a single broad silver-mirrored lens that she pulled from her day pack, and pulled up her hood. "Y'all just stay calm, an' we'll be okay," she's saying, in a Texas-twang-accented voice. At the time of the accident, the mutant gravity controller had reflexively shielded herself, then expanded her 'bubble' to try to protect those around her, trying to cushion them from the worst of the impact. Now, she's really not sure what she should do next, fearful of disturbing the intermittently alarmingly-groaning structure of the car.

The first responders already on scene are extremely happy to happy to see RESCUE arrive. It leaves them to deal with the cars further along and the specialised response team to deal with one of the worst of the cases.

Lydia ends up working beside the RESCUE team as she starts to peel the car open. Metal shrieks and protests as she does, the car starting to slip as the floor beneath it cracks. That leaves the car balanced precariously with people inside and Lydia holding what she can with those ectoplasmic claws.

From her place in the car, Rebecca can see those ectoplasmic claws as the side of the car starts to peel away.

The drones deployed by RESCUE start sending the data, at least one hundred people in three cars. Three cars that are placing pressure on the floor. They'll need to more quickly to get the people out. One drone also picks Rebecca sheltering in the car, but doesn't pick anything special up.

Siri responds to Toni "Deep tunnel of the New York Subway system is 25 feet wide and 18 feet high. The volume of the are is 8335.73 cubic feet."

"Nearest intact power is about 700 feet to your south." Comes the reply to Toni's last request. "We're seeing if we can jury rig a supply to this area."

Lydia feels the ground underneath her shudder, and the car sink a bit in her hands. She grunts, and adjusts her grip so that she can pull the car up, to alleviate some of the pressure. To brace herself, two ectoplasmic tendrils shoot out and clutch nearby supports, the whole thing glowing a bright green, making it just that much easier for people to see what's going on.

With another grunt she asks one of the RESCUE operators, "Isn't there supposed to be solid ground underneath these tunnels? Why does it feel like the darn thing is slipping into the dirt?"

"There are additional service tunnels that criss-cross much of the island, Ma'am, and they are not well mapped." the RESCUE operator in royal blue with brilliant orange piping responds, as he shrugs off his backpack. "The sonar mapping on the Humblebees will give us an idea of the solidity here, and echos of what lies beneath." Then he readies that satchel charge. "Ready to deploy earthquake foam beneath car Baker Seven Zero. Repeat, Baker Seven Zero. Transponder one-one-six-two to RESCUE command. Ten second delay."

One of his teammates calls out, "Get ready inside! The car is going to shift a bit. We're trying to secure the car while we evacuate. Everyone please hold steady. We will evacuate everyone as quickly as possible. If you are injured, call out, help is on the way."

Augmenta brings up the displays and shows off to the incident commanders all of the data they are gathering. "Those cars are on unstable ground. That tunnel isn't just collapsing from above; it's giving way beneath them. I have to get the drillipedes in there and bore down under them to deploy earthquake foam to stabilize the cars in place." She hands a headset to the NYFD rep. "You give orders to my people, they will obey. We are here to help secure everyone's safe exit." And then she launches for the entrance, a rather large crate in her mechanical hands.

"Let me take some pressure off it first..' Toni says distractedly, poking her head out of the back of the truck. "If this works, I should be able to create an maintain a cylindrical force field around the train area starting at the sides of the tunnel for the length of the train."

One of the REACT operators says. "For how long ma'am?" Toni frowns. "…depends. How well did New York upgrade their power grid after the Disaster? I have a local battery as a backup but it will only give about ten, maybe fifteen at this size if the main power fails." She whistles as a small swarm of humblebees and a line of drillpedes come tumbling and flying out of the back of the truck, as she types on her tablet. "Updating coordinates….I may need to adjust on the fly depending on the structural integrity of the interior."

A last tap, then she holds out her hand towards the tunnel, splaying out her fingers. "Begin field generation program: Fly My Pretties. Execute." The small horde goes rumbling or zooming forward down the tunnel, each seeking out a specific point in the tunnel calculated to place their payloads as Toni turns back to the REACT force messing with the power as another pair lug out a dish and point it at the tunnel, starting to wire in a power line to it as Toni keeps an eye on both, glancing between it and her tablet. "Force field generation will be ready within five minutes." she says over the RESCUE line, then belatedly notices the NYFD rep. "…probably should wait to go in until then." she adds. "Just in case."

Becca's not sure what's up with the glowy green Jaws of Life tearing open the car, but she can see uniformed first responders out there as well — and that lurch the floor under her just made is making it clear enough that whatever might be out there, staying in the car is probably a worse idea for the other passengers.

She can also feel the car's mass, and knows it's well beyond her capacity to lift. But that's not to say that a bit of reduced gravity won't help keep things from deteriorating further before the civilians can get to safety.

And so the young mutant extends her power, reducing gravity by about half in a 50-foot radius around herself, shouting to the other passengers, "Go! Git! Get out of here while you can! I got this!" (No, she doesn't 'got this', but she's not going to tell them that.)

"There's more tunnels beneath here. Some service tunnels, some active, others abandoned." RESCUE is informed by a worker. "We believe that's an abandoned tunnel beneath us - what we're not sure of is why the floor is collapsing. It's possible when the train derailed it hit a weakened support but we won't know till we get this clear." And the priority is on getting the people out.

"The power grid was upgraded some, Ma'am." The REACT operator tells Toni. "But it was already under load before that and now … We'll work on having ten minutes to do this." If they get longer, all well and good. If not, worst case is always the best estimation to take.

Lydia can feel the car slip a little more. Then some of the weight lets up as Rebecca manipulates gravity. The people around Rebecca hesitate as the panel peels back, staring at Lydia and their path to safety. Then they rush the entrance in panic. Lydia might well get trampled and Rebecca can see a young man go down in the frey.

Augmenta's efforts take precious time, the cars groaning and metal crying out as they shift. Slowly though, ever slowly, the drillipededs get the bores in place and the earthquake foam starts to deploy. About the same time as Toni's forcefield.

Paramedics rush in and start to usher people out. It's not going to be quick. Which is bad. Toni's and Augmenta's readings tell them the entire section of tunnel is unstable and there's a lot of people in those cars to get out.

"Hold on!" the RESCUE operative shouts, as the satchel charge he threw under the train car goes off, a big lurch as it deploys the rapidly-expanding earthquake foam, pushing the train car up and then the foam pushes outwards around it, creating a solid layer upon which it can rest and distribute its weight. It's not as good as new supports beneath the floor, but it'll do for now, giving them more time to get everyone out.

"Slow down! Stop panicking! We will get EVERYONE out!" shout the first responders, as they try to infuse some measure of order on the wild-eyed panic and chaos of the civilians.

The drillipedes bore their hole down under the floor, and that's enough to get earthquake foam charges down into that lower tunnel. "Scene commander. We are ready to deploy foam. With your permission, fifteen second countdown on your go. Augmenta out."

The Humblebees light up, dispelling some of the darkness, giving all of the civilians and responders a better view of where they are, and where they need to go; it will shorten their battery life, but this has become anything but a long drawn out response operation. Hopefully, they will be fine.

Lydia is quick to move out of the way of the oncoming rush of people, especially now that RESCUE has deployed some stabilizing foam. The car lets out a tortured groan as she lets go, but it seems stable for now.

Still glowing brightly, she stands near the rent she made, making sure it's wide enough to keep the flow of people moving out without cutting themselves on any of the sharp edges. She helps people who are injured or infirm as they come, but otherwise she uses herself as a glowing green beacon for people to follow.

Toni pauses as she makes adjustments to the drones, recalculating on the fly as they find cracks or unstable areas of the walls and ceiling, fingers flying over the tablet, then turning to make adjustments to the terminal attached to the dish, then hits the execute button as the fields activates, a glowing blue field surrounding the area to take pressure off the floor, the cars creaking as the field inserts itself under them, lifting them slightly to make room.

The field itself seems solid enough to stand on, though it flickers every so often, little waves of energy running through it as Toni blows air through her teeth, then says over the general channel. "Attention all workers: we have maybe ten minutes on city power, maybe ten to fifteen on battery for this field. Move people clear of the most risky areas first, anywhere you see cracks in the floor or ceiling. The foam Augmenta is dispersing should provide some support, but we can't count on it for more than short term reinforcement."

She releases the drones she was using to the general pool to join the general search, chirping as they find people or dangerous areas to mark, which they spray iwth a bright orange painted X.

Lifting the people out herself, never mind while maintaining her low-grav field, was a few too many separate objects for Becca to deal with. But she sees the young man on his way down — at least the lowered gravity is making that less of a problem in itself than it might have been — and reaches out with gravitic 'TK' to steady him, and keep him from getting overrun by the others.

And now that her car has emptied out, and she is soon to run out of juice with regard to keeping that field going… "Time t'get outta Dodge," she says, before lifting off and flying quickly out of the car, turning around to look at it, still hovering a foot off the ground, once she's well clear.

It's not easy getting the people out, but with the assistance of RESCUE, Lydia and Rebecca the task is made quicker. The cars still groan and creak, protesting the abuse they've been through.

People give Lydia a wide berth as they push through the entrance. The glowing ectoplasmic claws giving them pause. They follow the lights on the humblebees though, letting the paramedics and other first responders guide them to safety.

As the number of people to rescued are thinned, the group is left to own its devices. The first responders will have their hands full seeing to the injured. They also need to shut this tunnel down and do an analysis.

Toni, Lydia, Veronica and Rebecca can finally see the hole that was forming. It's a several foot drop to the next level and if the cars had fallen with people in it? That would have been bad. More interestingly though, is the supports. They look like they've been eaten through - corroded. And in only that area that they can see at the moment.

Lydia looks relieved once the people coming out of the cars slow to a small trickle. She realizes that she still has claws materialized and dissipates them in embarrassment. She follows some of the last out, feeling like she'd just get in people's way at this point.

She stands around a bit to see if anybody is going to ask her anything, but when it looks like they're all more focused on the hole and what is going on, she silently takes her leave and to head on home.

"Get everyone clear." Augmenta intones as she advances. "We're going to pull the cars free of the crumple zone. Then we're sending drones down to see what we can find to explain this. Toni, let's get microbe scanners out here ASAP and sweep, see what we can find to explain what we're seeing. And sweep the civilians, make sure they're not taking something dangerous up there with them into the rest of the city."

One of the RESCUE teammates makes sure to thank Lydia for making quick work of getting the warped car opened. "That made things a lot easier. Thanks."

Low grade muttering comes from Dr. Ho as she types at the force field terminal. "If I had the Mark IV, this would be way easier…" She glances up, taking note of everyone walking out, then considers, saying over the channel. "Wait, what? Microbes? What microbes?" She frowns. "I can try and tilt the field to help you slide the cars farther, but it'll use up more power…everyone clear?"

She touches several controls on her tablet as a quartet of humblebees zoom over to start scanning over the damaged support and the crack in the floor industriously. "Drones are looking at the area, I'll patch the data feed to your armor Augmenta."

Becca waits, watching and listening as the others do their thing, still hovering, not exactly trusting the floor right now. She's not sure how these things go, normally, but she's pretty sure that eventually, someone will have questions for someone who was in the middle of what happened. Even if they weren't flying.

"Thank you, Miss." One of the paramedics says to Rebecca. "I saw y'all helpin' in there. Are you alright?" He pushes his hair back from his face and leaves a track of dirt on his forehead. "Why don't y'all come with us an' we'll see to you? We need to work out what happened here, why the the train went off the rails and the floor collapsed…"

"Control says there was a glitch in the computers. They're running diagnostics now." Another one says. That could be hearsay though. Toni, Veronica and Lydia, as she walks away, will hear this.

The drones pick up a residue on the supports that have corroded. They'll be able to get a sample and analyse it.

"Thank you, Doctor Ho, Augmenta, for your assistance." The lead paramedic says. "We wouldn't have done this without your assistance or that of the group on the other car. Many lives would have lost instead."

"It's in the name." Augmenta offers. "We have some samples and additional readings. As soon as we've been through them we will forward those to NYFD. Glad everyone got out safely." And glad they had help inside as well as RESCUE and the others coming in from the outside. It all worked out.

So far.

"It's what we're here for. In the name." Toni says, glancing over with a faint smile at the paramedic. "Glad to help though. Speaking of help…field is running out of power…twenty seconds to shutdown." She counts down patiently, and about when she hits one the LEDs on the battery attached to the force field generator flickers and goes to red, before there's a '*ca-thunk* as the system shuts down, the field disappating as the subway cars shift slightly with a groan of metal. Humblebees shoot out to recover the emitters inside.

"Augmenta's right, there's some sort of residue on the support structures…" she says curiously, glancing at the drone data stream. "Foreign matter, at least. It looks corroded. This might have not been anything to do with the train system, it might have been a collapse that the train aggravated."

"Okay," Becca replies to the paramedic. "Not sure how much help I can be, but I'll tell you what I saw. Wasn't much, from inside the train, but I s'pose when somethin' like this happens, you gotta get everything y'can from the people who were there."

They need to clear the area with the field failing. The NYPD are moving in to barricade the area and now more hard work begins. The task of getting this track back in action.

That and working out what really happened. "Detective Gibbs, Ma'am. If you could send your findings through to us, I'd appreciate it."

At least there's a couple of places to start looking, right? Maybe this was just all one of those things. Old infrastructure and all.

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