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Away Mission Science Team Part 3

Posted on Wed Mar 22nd, 2017 @ 3:00am by Lieutenant M'ndi M'rron & Lieutenant JG Luka Stern & Lieutenant Jesse Davis & Lieutenant L'Nel Haadok
Edited on on Thu Feb 8th, 2018 @ 4:27am

Mission: Mission 0: Coming Home to Roost
Location: Aruigzeb II
Timeline: 13 February, 2394 -1530 Hours

And Now The Conclusion of Star Trek: Firebird, Away Mission Science Team

[ON]

[Crashed Vessel: Center. Davis, Stern.]
JJ approached Stern and offered one of his grins, gesturing down and into the site. "Care to join me, Ensign?"

Luka looked at the kind security chief and remembered his deadly accuracy on the range. "Absolutely, Lieutenant. Er.... remember, 'skkkeiiiitthh'. As loud as you can. Not that there will be any to hear us.... Tholians have high heat requirements. It's doubtful any survived if the ship's atmosphere was compromised." She checked her tricorder and then her PADD. "Yes, they need just over a hundred degrees to keep their carapaces from cracking painfully. It's only in the high nineties in this jungle, and probably much colder at night." The Ensign added this point cheerfully, wiping the sweat rolling from under her helmet across her forehead.

JJ chuckled. "Yeah, I guess its only in the high nineties."

The over-armored Ensign climbed carefully over the jagged edge of what had once been the outer hull near the cargo hold. The metal was brutally torn--the impact must have been terrific, and yet, there was no sign of a long landing strip of blasted landscape. So, the wreck had been here long enough for the jungle to reclaim the landing site. The muggy heat of the jungle didn't alleviate once they were inside, but rather, intensified.

Luka raised her tricorder. "The temperature's higher in here but still not at a comfortable level for most Tholians. If anyone lived, they're not going to be in good sha--What's that?" A metallic scraping echoed through the blasted shell of the cargo hold, rebounding in the open space. Luka scanned the dim interior with eyes wide.

JJ was at Luka's side before she could register his movement, his eyes surveying the darkened space intently. He could hear the sound but couldn't make out anything causing it from the shadows. "Arm yourself, Ensign. And remember... eyes open." He began to move towards the noise. "Sounds like it's comin' from this direction."

"Yeah--definitely this way." Luka took out her phaser with a shaking hand and, repeating what sounded like a baby mouse version of skkkeiiiitthh, moved forward, bits of discarded metal and other ship-viscera crunching under her boots. The door leading from the cargo bay into the ship's interior was only open about a foot and a half wide. Past it, something red pulsed in the depths of the wreck. A screeching sound, like someone dragging a pointed tool across a thin metal sheet, emanated from it.

"God. JJ... that's Tholian." Luka stopped in her tracks, listening hard. "It's an SOS. There's one of them, and it needs our help." She held up her tricorder to translate the SOS for JJ, but all that came back was a garbled mess. Swearing in Cardassian, Luka explained the language was absolutely Tholian, but distorted and strange somehow. "It's like nothing I've ever heard before."

"An SOS, huh?" JJ considered the situation. If there was a Tholian still alive, an SOS would make sense - in these conditions, it was unlikely to be a threat. But it still had been his experience that those who were severely injured weren't always in their right minds. He was not about to ignore a request for help, but it was best to remain cautious. He noted the doorway between them and the Tholian had been obstructed. "We need to find another way to him... or her... or it."

"No, I think I can fit." Luka stepped gingerly through the doorway, and a metal clang rang out as her helmet got stuck. It was simply too big to pass through the opening. She undid the buckle with trembling fingers, and dropped it to the ground. She had to turn her head, and her armored vest scraped against the metal, but she was slender and managed to wedge herself through the doorway. She screeched something down into the hole, and a sound came back to her, slightly different in pitch than before. Luka turned back to JJ. "It heard me! It wants me to come to it. It says there's no time."

JJ bit his lip. "I don't know, Ensign. I don't like you headin where I can't follow." He tried to think what he should do in this situation; order Stern back and find another way, or resist his instincts and let her try. Her safety was his responsibility, but they had a duty to render assistance and there was no way the Tholian would survive if they didn't at least try.

Luka shared an intense gaze with the chief, and nodded. "Primum non nocere, Lieutenant. I've got this." And then she was gone. JJ strained his ears for the sounds of the young Ensign, watching her dim form descend carefully into the hole. A spiked shape crossed the red light, and JJ realized it was one of the Tholian's many limbs.

"It's hurt bad, JJ. Go get the doc--my communicator isn't working." Luka's voice echoed back up from the hole and tense moments passed, clicks and screeches echoing upward. "Wait--." An unmistakably vile stream of Cardassian words came back, then Luka's panicked voice. "We've got to go! Get the others! We've got to get out of here!" Rustling and rapid movement sounded below.

Confused, JJ raised his weapon. "Stern? Stern, report!"

Faster than he thought possible, Luka was back at the partially opened door and squeezing through, her armored vest bundled in her hands. "Move! Kreeketh said there's a torpedo incoming. We have to clear the crash site NOW! Go go go!"

A collection of pulsing red sharp-angled shards were nestled in the vest, which she held close to her chest. Without waiting for JJ, she jumped over her discarded helmet and ran through the trashed cargo hold, then out through the torn metal opening they'd crawled through to enter the wreck.

JJ tapped his communicator. "Davis to Potter - get your team back to the ship! Double time!"

On the ground, Luka ran through the jungle. Her voice, usually lighter in timber than her laugh, was now deep and powerful. "Run! Get to the Firebird. Now!" Anyone who had ever met her father, Captain Stern, would have looked twice at the slender, long-haired Ensign. She'd sounded almost exactly like him barking a command at his crew. The bundle of pulsing shards let out a screech, and Luka cradled it in her arms and ran as fast as she could.

[Crashed Vessel: Right Side. M'rron, Haadok, Potter.]
Potter's badge chirped, and Davis' urgent voice came over. L'Nel glanced up at M'ndi, expression grim. He hadn't been able to get so much as a pupil dilation from Potter, though the man was still breathing, shallowly. "Can you help me carry him? He's too big for either of us alone."

With the Caitian's help, they turned the security officer to his back. L'Nel tapped his communicator. "Davis, Potter is paralyzed. We can carry him, but we'll be slowed. And I hear more of the lizards in the underbrush." Thankfully, they weren't too far from the ship. But he had no idea how imminent the danger was. He nodded to M'ndi, and the two made a break for the tree line.

"Acknowledged!" JJ shouted as he and Luka sprinted into view a short distance to their side. "Ensign, catch up with the others and get out of the dead zone - signal for emergency transport. I'll cover you."

One of Luka's hands flashed up to her badge, then back to cradling the Tholian shards close to her body as she ran, hunched over to present a smaller target, trusting JJ to keep her safe.

With that, the security chief broke away and placed himself between his shipmates and the part of the forest that seemed to be moving on its own. He rolled into a firing position, and fired five distinct warning shots into different parts of the undergrowth. A yowling hiss of pain told him one of the shots had connected, but who knew if that would deter the others or enrage them. He shifted strategy and targeted a large tree off to their left, cutting a wide swath from its trunk and causing it to fall between the away team and their pursuers.

Luka slowed for just a moment as the tree crashed down and she saw the doctor and M'ndi struggling with Potter's bulk, torn between helping them and getting Kreeketh and the data to safety. If what Kreeketh had told her was true, the Firebird needed these shards to save many, many lives. She had to trust in her crewmates to be able to take care of themselves, and focus instead on keeping herself moving. The beautiful doctor's face in her mind, she sent off a prayer with the Vulcan phrase: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. Please God, help them understand.

=^=Stern to Firebird. Torpedo incoming to crash site. Emergency evac. Repeat emergency evac: M'ronn, Haadok, Davis, Potter. I'll get out on foot; I have delicate cargo. Repeat: do not beam Stern. Torpedo strike incoming on crash site. Emergency evac M'ronn, Haadok, Davis, Potter.=^=

Breathlessly, Luka ran and repeated her message into her badge, hoping at least part of it would punch through the interference if she kept an open channel.

The combadges of the entire away team sounded. The signal was out of focus but the voice was understandable.

=^=Away team, this is Firebird Energizing=^=

Lieutenants M'rron, Haadok, Davis and an unconscious Crewman Potter disappeared in a whirl of blue light. Ensign Stern, saw the flash of the transporter and then, a moment later, saw a glowing red streak burst across the sky. It sounded as if two massive boulders had slammed together. There was a second of calm and then the ground bucked, lifting her into the air. Even facing forward, she could see the reflection of the blast on the huge shiny leaves in front of her. But her last though before she slammed into the ground and everything went black was, Its so hot.


[OFF]

Lieutenant M'ndi M'rron
Chief Science Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Lieutenant L'Nel Haadok
Chief Medical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Lieutenant Junior Grade Jesse Davis
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Ensign Luka Stern
Alien Archaeologist/Anthropologist
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Crewman Keith Potter
Security Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

 

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