Archeological expedition anyone?
Posted on Sun May 27th, 2018 @ 4:45pm by Commodore Nilani Azulas & Commander Tara Neprem & Commander Audrid Kane & Lieutenant Commander Arnon Barak MD, PsyD & Lieutenant Thawn Seyla & Lieutenant Naddia Yole & Lieutenant JG John Sheppard & Lieutenant JG Felice DeLucia
Edited on on Sun May 27th, 2018 @ 4:46pm
Episode 4: Whispers In the Dark
“God damn it! Son of a bitch…”
The vocal outburst from within the ready room just off of the bridge was most unusual and was enough to draw the attention of the night shift crew who were manning the command centre of the Nogura for the final minutes of their shift. The Captain had passed through not even twenty minutes ago to get some early work done before Alpha Shift came on duty and all had been quiet, not so much as an out of sync power relay, so what could have caused the outburst was anyone guess. But they were about to find out.
The Trill stormed onto the bridge of the Nogura, waving a data PADD around in the air like a mad woman possessed. “When the hell did this transmission from Admiral Ryan come through?” she asked of no one in particular, incredulity clear in her tone.
The Bajoran Lieutenant who sat in the command chair rose from his seat and looked directly at the fuming commanding officer. “It was about ten minutes before the night shift began, Captain,” Romaes informed.
“And no one thought to pass it on?” the Captain queried as she dropped the PADD to her side and stepped closer to the command chair.
Romaes shook his head in response. “No ma’am, that is my fault. It wasn’t marked urgent, so it was left in the usual nightly digest to be disseminated just before your next shift,” he revealed as all the other night shift personnel looked over at them.
Nilani’s head dropped as she let out a frustrated sigh, only lifting it a few seconds later. “You did what you should have done Lieutenant. It’s not your fault,” she spoke quietly before patting him on the shoulder as she moved past him and collapsed into the command chair.
With a sigh of relief, the Bajoran turned and looked at the Captain who was now sat in the chair he had been occupying. “If I may ma’am, is it anything we can help with? To put the mix up right?”
Nilani shook her head and gestured for him to sit in the seat usually reserved for Commander Kane when she was on the bridge. “Starfleet are trialling a new uniform design in the Alpha Quadrant. Admiral Ryan showed me the designs last week and, after my assertion that it was not a good upgrade, he assured me that they were not coming to the Gamma Quadrant until the roll out was official,” the Captain revealed as she lay her head back on the head rest and stared at the ceiling of the bridge, far above her. “Yet here I am, in possession of a PADD that instructs Nogura to begin use of these new uniforms immediately,” she spoke as she lowered her head and turned back to the Bajoran, “and bearing his signature no less.”
“What’s so bad about them?” an unexpected voice from the Ops console spoke, as Lieutenant Tholos th'Zarath couldn’t resist joining in the conversation. He looked back at the Captain, who was now glaring at him along with the Bajoran and looked apologetic.
“You’ll find out when you next come on shift and have to wear it Lieutenant,” the Captain scowled before tossing her PADD in the Andorian’s direction. “Make sure a copy of these orders is transferred to every crewmember immediately. No one starts a new shift from now without wearing these monstrosities…” the Captain declared as she rose from her seat. “If anyone wants me, I’ll be in my quarters getting changed,” she informed as she looked down at the clean uniform she had donned not thirty minutes previously. With yet another sigh, she marched into the turbo lift and the doors closed behind her.
The blue skinned humanoid shared a glance with his ridge-nosed counterpart before both returned to their duties. What an end to their shift.
Alpha Shift Commences: 0700, Stardate 66100.56
Audrid was somewhat disappointed that she didn't see Nilani as she walked onto the bridge. She could only imagine her response to the new uniforms. Herself, she didn't care too much. Just one uncomfortable uniform exchanged for another one. She took a seat in the command chair, pending the arrival of Nilani.
Arnon arrived on the Bridge in the new uniform.
"Good morning all!" he said in his usual overly cheerful tone of voice. "How is everyone? How do you like the new uniforms? I, myself, think they are a definite improvement!"
Yole scratched at the back of her neck as the turbo lift doors open. "I think it's giving me a rash." She said to Ensign Allecana the junior Ops officer this shift who shared the lift with her. She nodded to the XO as she moved to the front of the bridge and took her station.
"I'm finding them the epitome of snazzy," deadpanned Lieutenant Thawn as she lifted her eyes from the tactical console. The faintest hint of a twitch tugged at the corner of her mouth.
"It's threatening to strangle me to death..." another female voice spoke from the port side turbo lift as the Captain appeared in her fancy new red uniform, the four gold bars on her uniform different to the circular pips that had been the standard for decades now. She strolled over to the command chair. "Let me guess... you like it?" she asked of her XO as she waited for Audrid to relinquish the command chair.
Not letting any opportunity to have some fun go unused Audrid would make sure to show off the uniform as she moved to the next chair. "Of course I do, I look fabulous!"
"Naturally..." the Captain grinned as she stood before her command chair. She then used both hands to gesture to her own body before adding "But not as fabulous as me." She then sat in her chair and relaxed a little.
"I clearly wear it better, right Lieutenant Thawn?" Audrid replied jokingly.
Thawn shook her head. "Apologies, Commander; I make a point to not disagree with the highest ranking officer on vital affairs of fashion."
Nilani jokingly punched Audrid on the shoulder with a giant grin. "You'll be a Lieutenant Commander in no time with loyalty like that, Thawn," the Captain grinned.
"I will remember this at your next performance review" Audrid replied, with a stare that could kill.
Sheppard exited the lift, a few moments later, his uniform clearly in disarray as the front was only held together by the zipper at the top while everything below it had come apart, luckily he had on his undershift. The young Terran female, flight officer that he was relieving from the Conn stood up as he got there and gave him a puzzled look.
"Don't ask," he said quickly and with that the junior flight officer cupped her hands over her mouth, trying to hide her laughter as she moved quickly to the lift and exited the bridge.
"Lieutenant Sheppard," the Captain barked from the seat behind. "You don't appear to be correctly dressed for your shift. Care to explain?"
John hadn't yet had time to sit at his console, he cringed noticeably as the Captain called him out and turned back to face her, "I'm sorry sir, wardrobe malfunction." he pointed to the zipper at the front, "It got stuck and now the teeth won't close." he said as he tried to move the zipper which had gotten stuck again, but this time he gave it a strong tug and the small mechanism shot across the bridge.
The zipper pull managed to gain quite some distance, making all the way to the turbolift as Tara stepped out. She stared at the offending doodad for a few seconds before stooping down to pick it up.
"It appears that someone has broken a zipper," Tara remarked as she made her way to her new station designated for Strat-Ops at the rear of the Bridge, looking utterly at ease in her new uniform.
Sheppard shook his head slowly and sighed, "Sorry about that." he said as he crossed the Bridge over to the top Strat Officer whom was nearly hit by his runaway zipper.
"Accidents will happen," Tara replied as she handed over the zipper pull. "However, you should be mindful of uniform regulations and use an alternate uniform until you can get this one repaired," she advised.
John took the zipper back and nodded to Tara before he went back to his station at the helm.
DeLucia arrived on the bridge and sat down at the science station. "So wadda ya think about 'da new threads? I'mma half a mind their pretty sweet." He said, gently tugging the uniform taut.
Nilani looked at the new scientist and then to Audrid briefly, a knowing look between them following an earlier conversation. A familiar, repetitive beeping sound swiftly cut through the casual chatter on the bridge and drew the Captain's gaze towards the Tactical Operations station.
Thawn looked at the console and cocked her head. "Captain; incoming transmission, audio only. It's originating from..." There was the briefest pause as her fingers flickered across the controls, confirming data. "The second planet in the Nerey'n system." Her unfamiliarity with the location showed in the hesitation at its pronunciation.
"Nerey'n... that sounds familiar," the Captain mused, looking down towards Yole at Ops. "Isn't that the next system on our terraforming patrol route, Lieutenant?"
"Aye ma'am, it is." The Lieutenant replied quickly turning to the sensors. "I'm not getting much in the way of readings at this distance. There's some interference on the audio channel trying to clear it up."
There was some static on the line but eventually the voice was cleared up enough to make sense. "=/\=Starfleet vessel. This is Federation Science Team Omega on Nerey'n Two. Come in please."
Nilani glanced at Kane once more before looking forward to the view screen, despite their being no picture. "=/\=This is Captain Nilani Azulas of the Starship Nogura. To whom am I speaking?"
Audrid shared Nilani's concern at the message, this was becoming too much of a pattern as of late.
"=/\=Captain Azulas! This is Doctor Krel Adar. We met two years ago at the symposium on Bajor," the male voice spoke over the comm.
"=/\=Of course Doctor, I remember. A pleasure to hear from you," Nilani lied, her expression clearly indicating she had no recollection of the man, but the symposium had been the most boring thing in the known universe and she had blotted as much of it out as possible. Even her previous hosts had all fallen asleep; none of Aissa's usual jabbering or Jennica's usual thirst for excitement. "I wasn't aware we had any science teams in the system," she added, a glare sent in the direction of Lieutenant Yole to verify with Starfleet Command.
Yole quickly accessed the Command files and confirmed the science team posting to the planet.
While Yole took her cue to look into this Krel Adar, Tara began looking into operations for this sector to ensure that everything was on the level.
"=/\=We've been here for a number of weeks, conducting an archeological dig beneath the surface but we've reached an impasse. We need some heavy duty equipment to help us get to the next chamber in our cave network. Our scans show that if we proceed as we are, we risk a cave in. We were hoping you might have some portable structural integrity fields that we could use to stabilize the cavern," the male suggested, a clear tone of hope in his voice.
"=/\=I'll converse with my team Doctor and I'll get back to you. Azulas out," and the Captain swiftly tapped her commbadge to terminate the channel before the man could reply. "Lieutenant, have you been able to verify that he is who he says he is?" the Captain queried as she glanced towards her Ops Officer.
Admittedly Audrid was rather relieved that this was simply a logistical call rather than an emergency.
"Confirmed. Command assigned his team here several weeks ago, they have missed their last two check ins." Yole reported from Ops.
"Lieutenant Sheppard, put us into a high orbit over the planet," the Trill Captain instructed. Nilani considered her next orders briefly. "Number one," she turned to the XO beside her. "Take Lieutenants Yole and DeLucia and see what assistance we can grant the team. If there's any risk to them, evacuate them."
"Aye, sir" Sheppard said as he swiftly keyed in the approach to the planet. Once within range he then yawed the ship to the right, ebbing the vessel with thrusters to match the speed and spin of that of the planet and by using a combination of the thrusters and the waves from the planet's gravity was able to formulate a solution to maintain a constant distance of 20,000kilometers above the surface while encircling it.
"I will, Captain. Should I send the good scientist your regards." Audrid joked.
“Why not?” Nilani smirked briefly.
"High Orbit, achieved sir." Shep called back to the Command chair.
"I found some details of the operation, but those details are sparse," Tara chimed in. "The Doctor is authorized to be here, so the dig seems to be legitimate. There are some vague rumors of some sort of civilization, now extinct, having lived here, but not much else; and apparently the good doctor is behind in his logs, because there's no update on if they found anything significant."
“Okay then,” Nilani nodded to the Strategic Operations Officer before looking back at the XO. “Right Number One, mission is a go,” She smiled. “Try not to have too much fun down there,” she smiled.
Audrid mentally rolled her eyes. "Dust and bones, I am sure it will be a blast"
"Righteo Boss, We'll case the joint and make sure nobodys gonna get clipped." DeLucia said as he signaled for his relief and headed for the turbolift.
"Permission to accompany the Away Team, Captain?" Arnon said. "They may need medical support and, as an added bonus, I'm a sensory empath. I can detect both emotional and physical cues that might indicate how truthful they're being with us once I'm in the same room with them."
"Very well Counsellor," the Captain nodded in agreement.
Yole turned to her relief officer before rising and following the XO to the lift.
"Thank you, Captain," Arnon said. "Commander, I'll meet you and the team in the transporter room, after I've geared up."
Audrid nodded at Arnon. "Very well.”
Nilani watched as the away team departed the bridge, leaving her alone in the Command area of the mighty Sovereign class Starship. She stared at the view screen, the beautiful world below them very much in view and couldn’t help but wonder what the team would uncover down there. “Get me Doctor Adar,” she eventually called out. It was time to let him know the team were coming.