by, Ens. Wilhem Quevvenson,
Wilhem felt the transporter beam deposit him on the planet's surface. This interesting sensation always reminded him of his life of Aebrynnis. And the temporal distortion that had pulled him from that great world.
Arriving on the outskirts of the 1.3 million Ursid-populated city of Shanbani, Wilhem caught his breath. He had never seen such a beautiful city. Not since Aebrynnis, anyways. There they had elven cities of great magnitude. People had been afraid to travel to the interior, but Wilhem and his friends had been accepted by the elven inhabitants, and allowed to see their tree city.
The Ursids did know how to build a city. Too bad much of it would be damaged or destroyed by the "Rain of Fire." The time for reverie was done, and Wilhem began the process of meeting with the city's leaders.
Chief Swift Coyote met with the away team, and began the preparations for the evacuation of the city proper. Wilhem was impressed by the Chief's calmness in this trying situation. The time to act was now.
The away team got to work, setting up shields for historical buildings, and the evacuation process. Wilhem personally helped some of the younger Ursids onto the transporter platforms. It was the least he could do.
by Ensign Bosco
Tactical Officer U.S.S. Galaxy
Bosco clapped his tricorder closed and let out a satisfied purr. It had been a long, tedious chore, scanning the records from the Ursidian shelter into the tricorders databanks, but now it was over and Lt.Commander Surok would have his easily referenced list. At least for Hoowan.
"There are no more records here to examine." Meesha declared.
Dihablo glanced at his friend. "It's called scanned. That is what that device does." The older boy clarified.
Bosco smiled as he brushed back a lock of his golden mane and stretched to ease the tension in his shoulders from hours of operating the tricorder. "I must thank you for your help. You both saved me much time."
Meesha had come out of his shell a little bit in the last couple of hours. Where before he was a little afraid of the large cat-man, now he found him to be quite interesting. The thought of their work being done suddenly made the tiny warrior feel sad. "We are finished already?"
Bosco looked around and gave a nod. "Yes, my work here is done. However there is much left to do before the firestorm of rain arrives. I must transmit this data to my commander and then attend to other duties."
Meesha got a sad look on his face as he dropped his head. "Oh." He managed.
Looking over, the older boy, Dihablo, didn't seem quite as sad as his friend, but Bosco could tell he too enjoyed the Caitan's company. Oddly, Bosco found the children's company to also be enjoyable.
"I must go outside to get a clear signal. Then I must locate the town square in Hoowan. I am to check on some supplies deposited there for the construction of the shielding generators." Ensign Bosco explained.
Meesha's head popped back up. "I know where that place is." Looking at Dihablo, Meesha added eagerly, "We can show you the way!"
Bosco nodded. "Very well. You may be my guides if you are willing."
Dihablo seemed reluctant at first, but then nodded his head. "We will show you. Follow us." And with an energetic hop, Dihablo jumped off the cabinet he was sitting on and began walking out the door.
Hoowan was a busy town. There were lots of people moving about; no doubt making last minute preparations for the coming meteorite storm. The city had a beautiful eloquence to it's structures and the layout of the surrounding buildings. There seemed to be just the correct balance between modern civilization in the structures and mother nature.
For the most part walking through the downtown area was uneventful. The two boys lead the way, marching proudly as they served as guides for the strange cat-man that generated interested glances from everyone who wasn't too busy to notice their passing. Meesha and Dihablo seemed to enjoy serving in such an important capacity. Bosco didn't have the heart to tell the young warriors that he had already known the way, for town square was the beam down point where he originally arrived on Ursid.
When they finally entered the large central area known as town square, Meesha announced it with more youthful enthusiasm. "This is town square. It is where many farmers and fisherman and craftsmen come to trade their goods with my people."
Bosco nodded. "So this is the place." Placing his fur covered paws on his hips, he glanced around as if seeing it for the very first time. "I see. Such a large open place. I can understand why your merchants come here to do business."
Dihablo pointed across the square at the collection of Federation supplies that were stacked there. "Those must be the things you were looking for."
The Caitan nodded. "Indeed they are. I must first transmit this data to Lieutenant Commander Savat. It will take only a minute."
Bosco activated his tricorder and patched it into his communicator. He then uploaded it to the Operation Officer that was overseeing the operations here in Hoowan city. When Bosco saw the green lights indicating the databanks had been successfully transferred, he again closed the tricorder and clipped it to his belt.
"Well, I need to inspect the supplies and get them ready for the Engineering team. Would either of you like to help?" Bosco asked.
Meesha was all gung-ho. "Of course we would!"
Dihablo shook his head. "I don't know Meesha, it's getting late. We should be getting back soon."
Meesha didn't want to hear his friend's reluctance. Not now, he was having too much fun with the cat-man! Looking at the sky, Meesha countered, "There is still plenty of daylight Dihablo. We have time to help and get back on time."
"Okay, we will help, but only for a little while." Dihablo agreed.
Bosco smiled, "Well, let's not waste any of our time then. I'll race you to the supplies!" And with that, the Caitan began running towards the collection of crates across the square. Bosco was only running a fraction of his speed, but even at that pace it looked very fast to the children who struggled to keep up. When they neared the supplies, Bosco slowed up even more to allow the children to beat him.
"I win!" Meesha declared.
"That's not fair, you had a head start!" Dihablo protested. It was true, the older boy was behind both Bosco and Meesha when the race was declared, but even so, it was only a playful protest. Given Dihablo's starting position, he had run very well to make up the gap.
Bosco was smiling at the playfulness of the young Ursidians. They were a pleasant distraction to help pass the time on such an otherwise boring assignment. The Caitan's smile and jovial spirit was quickly broken however.
"What is wrong Bosco?" Dihablo asked between pants as he and Meesha caught their breath after the recent sprint.
Bosco was touching the crates and had a worried look on his face. "Several things appear to be missing here." The Ensign glanced around at the crates and then pressed his lips together. Reaching across his chest, he activated his comm badge.
"Ensign Bosco to Lt.Commander Surok. Come in please."
A few moments later, the voice of the logical Vulcan officer responded. ["Surok here. Go ahead Ensign."]
"Sir, I was about to inventory and prepare the supplies that were beamed down for the shielding generators here in Hoowan, but there seem to be several crates of equipment and supplies missing. Did Engineering start construction before I had a chance to prepare the equipment?" Bosco asked.
Even over the hailing frequency, Bosco could picture Surok's furrowed brow. ["I was not informed of any construction efforts taking place by our Engineering team. My understanding is they are not scheduled to arrive here in Hoowan until they finish their construction elsewhere."]
Bosco let out a frustrated sigh. "Well in that case sir, I believe someone has helped themselves to our supplies. Several crates are missing." Bosco walked around and could see drag marks in on the ground for some distance. Bending down, he touched them with one of his paws and looked around the busy square at all the passing people. It would be relatively easy for anyone to take a few crates and walk away unnoticed in this large of a crowd, he thought.
["Take an inventory Ensign. We will need to know what was taken and what remains. I will be at your location shortly to investigate. Surok out."] the Lt.Commander closed.
Bosco stood and glanced around at the crowd again. It was disheartening to think that even in such a docile community that there were still thieves out there.
"You will get in trouble for what was taken?" Meesha asked sadly. Some how children always can tell when something isn't going right.
Bosco shook his head. "No I will not get in trouble. But those supplies were needed to erect a force field around that building there."
The Caitan pointed to one of the historic temples on the town square. It had been identified as a sacred place of worship and was to be one of the few buildings in Hoowan to receive a protective shield generator.
Dihablo glanced at the building and then back at Bosco. Not knowing what to say, he quickly turned to his friend, "Come Meesha, we need to get going home before it gets dark."
"But Dihablo, we need to help Bosco."
"Come Meesha, we must not be late or our fathers will get angry." The older boy said.
Reluctantly Meesha agreed. "Oh all right. I hope you find your missing things Bosco."
Bosco watched as Dihablo shooed Meesha to hurry up and be on their way. Calling out the Caitan smiled, "Do not worry little warriors. I am sure they will turn up."
Bosco watched as the boys quickly disappeared in the crowd. Then turning he looked at the supplies. For a fleeting moment, he had a thought that Dihablo might know something of what happened to the supplies, but he quickly dismissed it knowing that the two boys had kept him company for the last couple of hours.
Taking out the packing list, Bosco began to inventory the supplies that remained to get an accurate list of what was missing for Lt.Commander Surok when he arrives.
Ensign Rebecca von Ernst
*** Surface of Planet ***
"Hey Ernst! get those reports over ASAP!"
Ensign Rebecca von Ernst jumped at the booming voice that intruded in on the solitude of the dark office that was her base of operations. A small stack of PDDS clattered to the tile floor as her tiny hand bumped them in her surprise.
"Jeez Ernst," the booming voice of the husky Starfleet Lieutenant from the doorway complained. "Im not gonna eat you, but I need those files like Yesterday!"
Lt. Mathers considered his tiny charge with a clinical weariness. Is wasn't enough that he was pulling a double shift organizing the Ursid evacuation from this particular rural district. It wasn't enough that he had to balance the conflicting demands of Political, Religious, Medical, and plain old stubborn interests.....but having to handle this skittish little Ensign from Tactical was just gasoline on the fire.
"Y....y..yes sir," the red head stuttered softly, averting her eyes to the floor, "E...e..everything is documented and compiled for uploading to the Galaxy."
Meekly Rebecca handed over a PADD which detailed the fruits of her hours-long labors. This data center was a storehouse of sorts for a large potion of the Ursid tribes technical records. Though they were a traditional and simple people, the Ursid still had the needs of most Warp-capable governments for recording laws, financial transactions and various pieces of information.
One of his many responsibilities was to supervise the uploading of said information to the Galaxy's Mainframe for temporary storage during the Meteor shower.
Scanning the document briefly, Lt. Mathers had to give and acknowledging 'Hrumpf' as everything seemed to be professionally handled and properly organized.
"All right Ernst," he nodded, "This looks fine. Coordinate with OPS for transmission of the sensitive Ursid Files to the Mainframe in orbit. We can't have a million megabytes of information lost when the meteors level this place."
Von Ernst nodded again still staring at the floor, but said nothing.
Sighing Mathers handed back the PADD and turned to stride from the room.
As infuriating as her habits were, the Lt. had to admit that the pixie-like Ensign made one hell of an administrative assistant. Her highly mathematical and organized brain coupled with a near photographic memory had made short work of the daunting cataloging task. No wonder Tactical Department was dumping the majority of its paperwork onto her skinny little shoulders.
The question was...he asked himself as he emerged back into the now nearly deserted city streets....What the hell was such a skittish little girl doing in tactical in the first place?
Mathers thought back to early this morning when the signal arrived from Galaxy that his requested liaison from Tactical was preparing to beam down.
"About time." he had grumbled. The friction between Starfleet and the Ursid in this district was slightly strained due to the panic resulting over the current Medical crisis. Mathers wanted a tactician on hand just in case things got ugly and a riot broke out.
What he did not expect was for the shimmering blue shower of the transporter to fade away revealing the diminutive wide-eyed figure of the young Ms. Ernst. The Ensign's scarlet-haired head had swiveled like an owls as she nervously took in her new surroundings.
The first thing Mathers noted of course was the unusual field uniform the Ensign was attired in.
Full Winter Gear...Boots, parka, gloves.the works.
Mathers glanced up at the blazing sun that beat down with a merciless fury and shook his head.
Dumb Ensign, he thought at first. but then again, that was the Transporter Chief's duty to make sure the Away team members were properly attired. The Chief probably thought of it as a private joke to have an officer make a fool out of herself.
The second joke was probably the choice of Transporter coordinates the Ensign arrived at. The open ground was quite soft and muddy from last nights rain, and in several areas dingy water was still standing.
Picking his footing carefully around the mud, Mathers had strode carefully up to the newly arrived (and suddenly sweltering) Ensign and gave her a grim stare.
"Transport time was at 0800 Ensign, and it is now past 0930. I needed Tactical assistance long ago. Where were you?"
Gulping, Rebecca cast about a nervous glance and settled for staring at the muddy ground. Her reply came in the barest of whispers, that Mathers could not make out.
"Sound off Ensign!" Mathers had barked. "I asked you a question."
"Y..y...yes sir.....ummm. No..no...excuse sir. Ensign Rebecca von Ernst.....t....t...Tactical reporting sir."
Mathers raised an eye at the nervous stuttering, but chose to ignore it in light of his present needs.
"Very well Ensign, Never mind that, because we have quite a bit of work to do......."
Lt. Mathers then launched on a quick overview of the tactical situation at hand, listing his concerns for security during the evacuation operation:
"Your primary duty will be to assess the tactical situation in and around our area of focus in this village, keeping in mind the tensions between Plague victims and those afraid of contracting the disease. We also have a problem with a group of stubborn old-timers who are refusing to vacate their 'ancestral homes' and may resort to violence to defend said homes. I also want you to..."
Mathers halted as the blank expression of confusion spread across Rebecca's freckled face.
"Is there a problem Ensign?"
"Uh.er..well." Rebecca shrugged. "I.I.I.don't really.uh."
Mathers jaw dropped. "What!? You're a member of Tactical..You mean you're clueless!!??"
Rebecca shrugged and worked her jaw silently.
"What was your specialization at the Academy?" Mathers demanded briskly, "Security, Weapons?"
"M..ma.mathematics." she whispered.
"S.s..sorry." she sniffed.
Shaking his head to clear it, Mathers continued, "Fine what was your Minor?"
"Where did you place in Small unit tactics?"
"Weapons?" Mathers voice was beginning to crack.
"Last." Rebecca's eyes were welling with tears now.
"Great Cosmos, girl!!!" Mathers swore, "What the hell are you doing in tactical?"
Rebecca could only shrug. She often wondered herself.
"Nevermind, Ensign...If you have administrative skills, I have other uses for you. I'll take up your fitness for duty at a later date." Mathers spun on his heel and strode quickly away, quickly expllaining the need for someone to prep the Ursid databanks for uploading to the Galaxy..he was in mid sentence when he stopped and discovered that Ensign von Ernst was not walking beside him as he thought, but was thirty meters behind having not moved from the exact spot she beamed down too. The young officer was nervously eyeing the field of mud surrounding her and was visibly nervous about crossing it to follow Mathers.
"Get the lead out Ensign, you're here to explore strange new worlds..you can scrape the mud they produce off your boots later."
Several Ursid youths who stood nearby chuckled at this exchange, which only made Mathers angrier. Geez, we're here to rescue these people..not play comedy hour for them.
Ensign von Ernst jumped slightly at the Lt's Command, but only responded by attempting to tiptoe from dry spot to dry spot in short little hops.
The ackward little movements only amused the Ursid further, and the giggled and pointed whispering in their own language.
Mathers fumed. "Ensign von Ernst front and center! NOW!!"
Gulping, the skinny girl paled noticeably and attempted to run directly across the mud to report.
The sloshing and splashing showered all nearby with flecks of brown slop, and indeed soaked much of Rebecca's uniform in a matter of moments.
Unfortunately a misplaced step, caused the girl's tiny boot to slip out form under her, and with a wet SPLAT, the Ensign went down in a tangle of arms and legs, soaking her to the bone.
Mathers closed his eyes in disbelief, and the gathered Ursid onlookers broke into open gales of laughter.
Red faced and with tears forming in her eyes, Rebecca sat in the middle of the mud puddle and hung her head. A half-hearted attempt to regain her footing only resulting in her crashing down again with a splash.
Still chuckling one of the Ursid warriors named Red Oak pushed past Mathers, and carefully sloshed across the puddle to the sodden girl..
"Here, " he said, offering his hand, "Allow me to assist you."
Clearly terrified, but seeing no other options for escape, Rebecca placed a small muddy hand in the tall Ursid brave's palm.
Lifting her easily to her feet, Red Oak assisted the poor Ensign to a dry patch where Lt. Mathers waited in silent fury.
Grinning the tall Ursid presented the muddy girl to her superior. "A gift for you Speaks-With-Stars." He offered using Mather's adopted title. "You rescue our people from the sky-fire. We rescue yours from the mud."
The small crowd chuckled at the joke, and Mathers himself had to smile. For herself, Rebecca could only blush.
"Many thanks for your 'gift' Red-Oak." Mathers replied with a nod, "I hope we can expedite your rescue as skillfully as you have."
Smiling Red Oak agreed. "Well now," he chuckled. "I suppose we already have the perfect name for your young officer."
Red Oak winked at the blushing girl. "Certainly..given how thin she is, and her present state of dress.I name her..Stick-In-The-Mud."
By Lt (jg) Rose Isis MacAllen
::Rose's room, 0100 hours::
Rose is lay there thinking about her life...like always then she started thinking back when she was alittle girl on her father ship the USS Hawk. Rose can still see his smiling face looking at her. Then a little bright light in her dreams.
"What the hell is this?" she asked then her dreamed changed it her rose garden on Betazed. She starting to feel like alittle girl again.
"Rose it me your father." a man voice said as he walks to her....it was her father Captain Victor MacAllen. He slowly sit by Rose and touchs her hair alittle.
"I though you was dead daddy." Rose said in a childlike voice.
"I am sweetheart but I been watching over you, I so proud of you Rosebud...your going to have a very bright future. There will be some bumping roads ahead including in love. Someone will come and worship the ground you will walk on like I did with you mother. Do you know why we got divorced? It not because we didn't love each other, it because we couldn't live in the same house anymore. But I still loved you and I always will because your still my little girl.
Then Rose can here thunder, she saw her father's face sadded alittle.
"I have to go Rosebud the Gods are calling me back to heaven. I love you Rose and I will always be with you."
Then Victor touched her cheek and wipe away her tears then he was gone.
Rose sit up in her bed crying...both happy and sad. She knows that her father will always be with her for the rest of her life
by Lt.Cmdr Jake Olson
=main science lab on the Galaxy=
"The fish is being poisoned?!" Jake's voice held pure horror. The small man lifted his chin to allow T-Prea to send home a hypo of curative medication.
"Yes, we don't know how yet, maybe that's why you were throwing up." T-Prea had reported the incident earlier, Jake got sick and threw up. He passed it up as his stomach was always up to some ugly trick. "The entire planet had to put a ban on fish in the diet."
"As soon as that comet shower's gone, I want to find out what the Hell is going on down there. Has Bud had any local fish?" Jake worried.
"Yes but he's had less trouble than you as your more delicate." T-Prea smiled. "I already gave him his meds much to his dismay."
"That's always fun," Jake attempted a grin at imagining the kind of temper tantrum Bud tossed as he hated hypos. "And it's so wonderful to know your more frail than your infant son," Jake got T-Prea giggling. "So, back to work."
"On the surface"
Lt Mike O'Grady
((on the surface))
The people of Ursid had begun to pack and secure their gear and were so far orderly in moving towards their evacuation points on the planet.
Mike shook his head as he watched the evacuation continued. What was he to think of ensign Quevvenson as he said he wasn't qualified with a phaser, so he carried an ancient weapon which could be fatal. He'd have to look in on that crewmemebr's history and also get him in to training immediately on how to use a phaser.
Not that there was anything wrong with history, and older weapons, hell he owned a gladius himself, a roman sword that had been carried by leigons and gladiators alike.
But on an away mission. That's nuts, or was it because he was more nervous with Rayna here.
Moving along he stopped to talk at some of the people that were slowly being prepared for transport.
"Re-experience that feeling"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
*** USS Galaxy ***
Tapping the control buttons at the second science station with the skill of a symphony level pianist, Lieutenant Commander Devinoni Genestra gave a satisfied smile.
"All data has been collected Commander." Evin turned and relayed to the Romulan Chief Scientist.
Lieutenant Commander Sullax wore an unimpressed face as he scanned the data that appeared on his monitor. "This is as I expected. Insufficient and vague."
Others would probably have been insulted at the Chief's tone. Certainly the newer officers that didn't understand the brusqueness of the Romulan Starfleet officer would have thought Ryak was blaming Commander Genestra for the shortcomings of the data on the asteroid. But Evin knew better. It was just how Sullax was.
"Then I take it we will be preparing the Buster Keaton in order to take a closer look Commander?" Genestra responded in anticipation of the order. Ryak had already mentioned to the Captain that he wanted to keep the specially outfitted Science shuttle for just such a purpose.
Pointing to his view screen, Ryak traced the outlined of a large gorge running across the asteroid's surface. "I believe we will be going in a lot closer then you think Commander. I want to put down along this chasm to survey the makeup of this asteroid."
Evin nodded. "I believe the shuttle is ready to go. Who will be on the away team sir?"
Ryak responded without looking at Genestra. "Myself, Bright Star in Heaven, Ensign Wej and yourself Commander."
Evin gave a nod. "Very good sir. I shall make the preparations." Looking at their guest, Bright Star in Heaven, Lieutenant Commander Genestra smiled politely. "I will see you in a few minutes in shuttle bay two."
Bright Star in Heaven bowed slightly. "I will look forward to it sir Genestra."
Evin's smile widened. He enjoyed meeting people from different cultures. Every one of them had a unique sort of accent in their spoken language. Evin wondered if the Starfleet officers own language sounded strange to the Ursidians as their usage did to him.
When Lieutenant Commander Genestra exited the bridge via the turbo lift, Captain Price got out of the command chair. Lee Stepped over to the science station where Ryak was still seated and Bright Star was standing besides him reading over his shoulder.
"So 'mate, the lateral sensor sweep didn't yield the data needed to decide on the best way to deal with that moon sized, monster-of-a-rock out there?"
Ryak gave a small nod. "No Captain. I didn't expect that they would, but it was worth the attempt. Since there is nothing to be gained by having the Galaxy in such close proximity of the asteroid at the present moment, I would recommend that we move to a safer distance."
"Good advice 'Commander." Lee agreed. Turning, he called out, "Ensign Kolrami, plot a course to put some distance between us and the asteroid. Let's say five hundred kilometers in front of it. Matching it's course and speed to Ursid."
Emilia scrunched her nose again in Zakdorn fashion. "As you wish Captain. Altering course and speed as we speak." Then with a gleeful giggle, the flight control officer began punching in the commands to make it so.
Activating the comm channel at science station one, Ryak called out, "Sullax to Wej. Come in Ensign."
Just a moment later, Samthia's image appeared on the monitor. Bright Star in Heaven seemed surprised to see the attractive Deltan's bald head. It was something the Ursidians were not used to. Bald men yes. Bald women no.
["Ensign Wej here sir."] Samthia responded.
"Please report to shuttle bay two immediately. You will be joining the away team to survey the surface of the asteroid we are presently outpacing." Ryak stated in an even, scientific tone.
The assignment was no surprise to Ensign Wej. She had an extensive background in metallurgy and geology. ["I am on my way Commander."] the Deltan responded.
When the channel closed, Bright Star interrupted Sullax. "Why does that woman pull the hair from her head? Has she somehow shamed your tribe?"
Ryak swiveled in his chair to face the Ursidian scientist. The comment had captured the attention of Captain Price, who concealed a smile with a diplomatically well placed hand.
"No. Ensign Wej is a Deltan female. Females of her species have an inability to grow hair." Ryak explained.
Touching her own, beautifully braided black hair, Bright Star in Heaven began to blush at her comment. "I am sorry. My people consider our hair to be sacred. Only those that have dishonored the tribe have their hair cut short as a mark of their misconduct."
Captain Price smiled politely. "It's okay 'mate. There are a lot of strange and different species in the universe. It is that diversity and all of those differences that draws us to seek out new life and explore."
"I have much to learn Chief-who-commands-from-the-stars." Bright Star bowed. "But I do find the new tribes and different customs to be intriguing."
"Most scientists are explorers at heart 'mate. Always wanting to learn more about the world around them. It's what the Federation and Starfleet are all about." Lee smiled.
Lieutenant Commander Sullax stood from his station and turned towards the Captain and Bright Star in Heaven. "Sorry to interrupt, but our time is short. We should go to the shuttle directly."
"Fair dinkum 'mate. Happy hunting." Captain Price nodded while turning to return to the command well.
Tapping his comm badge while motioning towards the turbo lift, Ryak and Bright Star began exiting the bridge.
"Ensign Manden, report to the Bridge for Bridge duty." Ryak called out as he and Bright Star turned around in the turbolift and the doors closed putting the car in motion.
The Benzite responded, ["On my way Commander Sullax."]
Without responding Ryak just stood quietly as the turbolift continued it's trek to the shuttle bay deck.
Turning, Bright Star asked, "Does your Federation allow anyone to serve on board such a vessel as this?"
The question took the Romulan by surprise. Something that was not easy to do with Sullax. "Starfleet is open to anyone whom wishes to serve the Federation. Serving on board a ship such as the Galaxy, however, requires years of preparation at Starfleet Academy."
"Then even a Ursidian could join this Federation and one day serve on a vessel such as this one? Exploring the stars and studying the myriad of tribes and species from other worlds?" Bright Star asked with sincere interest that bordered on surprise.
Ryak had to suppress a rare smile. Here he was serving as the Senior Scientist on board one of the premier starships in the Federation. And he was a full blooded Romulan. If Starfleet would let him join, they would pretty much accept anyone whom was sincere, had the aptitude and references to serve in Starfleet.
"Admission to Starfleet Academy, the Federation's training facility on the planet Earth, requires a recommendation for non-Federation citizens who wish to apply." Ryak said evenly as the lift came to a stop and the doors swished open.
Exiting the lift and walking towards shuttle bay two, Bright Star nodded. "I see."
The doors to the shuttle bay opened from the corridor and both Ryak and Bright Star in Heaven entered the expansive hanger deck. On the launch pad was the USS Buster Keaton, the specially outfitted shuttle craft used for scientific missions such as this one. Lieutenant Commander Genestra and Ensign Wej were waiting across the flight deck near the shuttle.
Bright Star in Heaven, who was sticking to Sullax' side stride for stride up to now, stopped dead in her tracks. Her mouth dropped involuntarily as she viewed the huge, open shuttle hanger doors and the pale blue force field that maintained pressure within the flight deck. Beyond the shimmering force field was open space and the hurdling asteroids that would eventually become meteorites in the sacred Firestorm of rain.
Ryak noticed the footfalls to his left had stopped, so he instinctively turned to see Bright Star take in the breathtaking view. The Romulan remembered how seeing op
en space for the very first time had affected him long ago. Now he had seen it so many times he had taken the beauty of space for granted. Somehow Bright Star in Heaven was allowing him to re-experience that feeling once again.
Stepping back over to the Ursidian, Ryak paused to take in the view a moment in silence.
"In all of my years I have not seen such a thing as this. I have studied the stars and have read many texts on different off-worlder sciences but this... this is the Firestorm of rain I am witnessing. Or it will be in a short time." Bright Star declared almost in awe.
Ryak looked at the beauty of the thousands of asteroids that the Galaxy was presently out running, and particularly the huge, massive thirty eight and a half kilometer chunk in the center. He then glanced at Bright Star and realized just how profound of a moment that must have been, to literally experience history in the making. The Firestorm of rain was a legend past down through her people for generations after generations. An event that occurred only once every 1500 years. It was no wonder that she was moved at experiencing an event she has heard about since she was a little girl.
"If you are serious about your desire to apply to Starfleet Academy, I would be honored to write you a letter of recommendation Bright Star in Heaven." Ryak stated evenly.
Bright Star looked away from the amazing sight and glanced at her pointed eared friend. A single tear ran down her cheek. "You would do that for me Ryak of Sullax?"
Reaching over and gently rubbing the tear off of Bright Star's cheek, Ryak nodded and tenderly answered, "It would be a pleasure ma'am."
Bright Star didn't know what to say. Not that she could say anything at that point. She felt her throat choke up as the emotions and thoughts of serving on board a ship such as the USS Galaxy filled her with joy.
"Come, our mission awaits." Ryak stated in gentlemanly fashion. Stepping aside, he and Bright Star continued walking to the USS Buster Keaton and prepared the shuttle for lift off along with Genestra and Wej.
"The Glitch I"
by Ensign Danok (Engineer).
Ensign Danok was walking towards his room when he got an idea. With a swoosh the door opened and Danok entered. "Computer, activate Personal EMH" His room was, next to sickbay and the holodeck the only room with a holo-emitter. He had fitted it himself when he can on board. It was only capable of making one item at the time and it was an ugly thing hanging in the middle of the room from the ceiling. Danok never bothered to make it look better, "Visual apperence is non functional" He once said to one of his shipmates.
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency" Danok picked up a standerd tricorder and started to take some measurements. The EMH looked round. "Ehhh... Docter Danok, this is not your home." Danok nodded. "You are correct. We are currently on the starship USS Galaxy" The EMH looked at Danok. "Should I not be in sickbay ?" Danok shook his head and replied: "Negative. There is a better EMH we use in sickbay. Computer deactivate personal EMH."
"Docter, Da...." Then the hologram faded away. Computer, create backup of personal EMH under file Danok EMH zero zero one. The computer beeped. "Backup created." Danok type a little on his tricorder to verify that. "Computer, copy personal EMH to holodeck one, program name EMH-enhance." Again the computer beeped and confirmed the copy. Danok walked toward the door and gave a last command to the computer. "Computer, create backup of EMH from sickbay and add backup to holodeck one in program EMH-Enhance"
After a few minutes walking Danok arrived at the holodeck. "Computer activate program EMH-enhance, do not run." The panel on the wall changed and showed the program. "Program completed, enter when ready." Inside Danok saw the two EMH-characters standing in the room. "Computer delete all physical attribites from sickbay EMH." The computer caried out the order and since the EMH had no apperance anymore it seemed to disappear. "Parameters deleted" "Computer, link the two matrices with a bi-lateral array." This time the computer made another sound. "Unable to comply. Matrix of personal EMH-backup is to small to contain all data."
Danok raised an eyebrow. He did not expect this. "Computer, Is there a way so I can link these matrices ?" For about ten seconds it was quiet and Danok stared at the yellow lines. The computer replied : "Linking can be done by creating a large matrix around the exsiting two. After that, one can desolve the original martices." Danok had figured that out already. "Computer execute joining of matrices." Again the computer made a strange dark beep. "Waring, joint matrices can be very unstable. Chance of matrix collapse is 85%" Danok tought for a minute and looked at his personal EMH. He had it for years and after extensive rebuilding he couldn't just trow all his work away and buy another one just so het could put more info in it. "Computer, ignore waring, proceed with joining."
Wor the last time the computer beeped. "Due to complexity and difference in method of datastoring this procedure will take approx. one hour. Please stand by." The only thing Danok did was sit on the floor, put his hands together and started meditating...
Something Fishy this way Comes
by Lt Commander Jeral Maas, CMO
*** Ursid ***
For the safety of their people, the Ursid fishing industry had temporarily halted new catches of fish. Not many were happy with this, and it showed. Tensions normally not expressed by the peaceful Indian-like race were starting to brew minor squabbles. And being removed from their homes was not proving easy on them as it was originally thought due to the shear size of the under taking..
Chief Turtle who Swims with Stars had been summoned to a meeting of the tribal council. Jeral answered many questions about the radiation that was poisoning fish in their sacred diets. So far by searching the ocean’s shoreline, Galaxy teams and cooperative natives had found the area where the most poisoned fish had been caught from the sea. This proved to be a good beginning, but the actual source of contamination was still not located.
“Our people grow restless”, chief Crooked-Nose exclaimed. “They want to consume the sacred meals of our ancestors. Is there a way to remove the poison from the fish so we can once again enjoy our traditional feasts?”
“An excellent question, Crooked-Nose. In order to halt the poison, it will be necessary to find and eliminate the source which is contaminating the water where the fish swim. Already, probes have been deployed to ‘map’ the ocean to see where the strongest radiation sources exist. By tomorrow, we will be able to find where the contaminates originate.”
“So you will take your shuttle and go to where the poison-heart lies, do battle with it, and neutralize the invisible poison which kills man and fish! A good plan for any Turtle. You should know the council has voted, and Doctor Flame Turtle will join you in this quest to record the story of how the fish were poisoned for our decedents.”
Jeral thought a moment and replied “I would be honored to have Flame Turtle set out on this journey, however, it will be necessary for the rest of our quest-team to be from the Galaxy crew who have been trained to run the Opaka.”
The chiefs spoke amongst themselves for a moment, then came back to the table. Crooked Nose spoke their decision. “We have decided to adopt Chief Turtle who Swims with Stars’ proposal. Flame Turtle and the crew of the USS Opaka will depart at dawn to look for the poison-heart.”
*** Shuttle Opaka ***
Doctor Maas looked down at the latest telemetry from the probes. One at vector 250 degrees had passed over a large source of radiation 1 hour ago, while the Chiefs were holding their council. Adjusting the readings, Jeral grew more concerned than he had been.
An analysis of the probe’s sensors proved it had passed above a large chunk of Uranium, at least a ton and a half in size. Since the mineral was not naturally occurring on Ursid, the Doctor concluded the radioactive rock must have been left from a previous meteor shower! Perhaps a crust of mundane metals and rock had eroded away after a thousand years, exposing the toxic radioactive contaminate.
Further, pictures relayed from the probe showed cables, domes, and other indications of intelligent life surrounding the Uranium deposit. Could something down there be harnessing radioactivity as a nuclear power source? For what reason? Jeral pushed aside these questions for now. It was more important to discover a way to keep the Uranium from leaching into the sea water and poisoning the fish.
Jeral nearly panicked, despite having 4 life times of experience dealing with things. If some of the asteroids were radioactive, they could cause further contamination! Doctor Maas took a moment to collect himself. He knew many from the Galaxy’s crew were planet side, but the Captain was planing to stay on the ship.
Jeral opened a channel to the Galaxy and Captain Price.
=/\= Captain, we may have larger problems than we originally thought. I have deployed probes to locate the source of the radiation poisoning effecting the Ursidians. The source appears to be an Uranium core from a previous meteor strike. There are also indications something or someone on the ocean sea floor is harnessing the radioactive mineral as a power source, but the long range pictures are too hazy to discern much detail..=/\=
=/\= What do you plan to do about this ‘mate?”=/\= Price inquired.
=/\=I am taking the Opaka down to investigate the Uranium source first hand. Flame Turtle is coming as a representative of the Ursidians. The rest of the Opaka’s crew will be rounded out with volunteers. Hopefully a way to contain the toxin will suggest itself when we see what is at the meteor impact site. =/\=
=/\= Bonzer idea, mate. Good luck with your search. =/\=
=/\= Very well Sir. You might want to have someone check the large asteroid to see if radioactive ores lie below its surface. If more radioactive impacts strike here, everyone could get sick at the same time. =/\=
=/\= You sound a tad pessimistic ‘mate. =/\=
=/\= I’m just trying to see that all our bases are covered. If the large asteroid does have Uranium filling on the inside, we need to take that into consideration before we deal with it. And Captain, Please have Doctor Murphy locate all that is known about Uranium specifically. It may give us a better way to treat our patients. =/\=
=/\= Point taken, I will make sure a check for radioactive components is performed and that Kira gets new instructions. I know she has been asking for some way to contribute more towards curing the poisonings and will be proud to handle this productively. =/\=
With that, the channel closed and Jeral composed a request for volunteers for the Opaka’s upcoming submerged mission...
Ensign Rebecca von Ernst
*** On the surface.. ***
Be one of the Elite of the Elite!!!
Receive the most challenging, and the most technologically advanced training in the Galaxy!!
Journey to Strange new Worlds...
Seek out new life and new civilizations....
Boldly go where no one has gone before....
"So what the heck am I doing here?" thought Rebecca to herself as she sat munching on a Baloney Sandwich.
The shade of a single lush palm cooled the young Ensign while she took her humble little lunch just outside the little office complex that had been her base of operations for the last several hours. She was sitting just off a town square of sorts, a gathering of benches and buildings, and the sight of most Starfleet activity in this particular district.
The Local tribal Government hall stood not 50 meters off across a small park, and Rebecca could see a small army of Engineers race to erect portable Shield generators to protect the venerable structure.
'Odd', she thought while taking another bite of her Baloney. 'I wonder how the shields will help the building if an earthquake from a near miss shatters the ground beneath its foundations?'
Rebecca shrugged to herself and licked a bit of mayonnaise off her fingers. Oh well, not her concern. Someone must have thought of that possibility. Otherwise all that was left would be well-shielded rubble.
Rebecca could hear the various technicians yell back and forth at each other about some whatzit of whozit that was not properly aligned, but for the most part she ignored them.
Her background in Mathematics gave her a good enough understanding of the physics of what they were trying to do, but the raw, hands-on engineering was a bit beyond her experience.
'So what else is new?' She thought to herself. 'You're all theory Rebecca and no application.'
She shrugged and took another bite, munching thoughtfully. Well that's was okay wasn't it? Newton, Einstein, and Hawking were all Theory too. Weren't they?
Her eyebrows furrowed for a moment in thought..maybe...History wasn't her forte' either.
Well thankfully numbers and administration was. Following her utter failure as Lt. Mathers Tactical liaison, she had thankfully been allowed to retreat into the solitude of a quiet computer center where she had been able to compile the local Ursid data files into a compact archive for neat uploading to the Galaxy.
The only problem was that the ship was no longer in orbit, so the slender redhead had quickly founded herself in a case of 'hurry-up-and-wait'...a military tradition extending back to the dawn of history.
That being the case, it was obviously a prime time for a baloney sandwich break, and the town square was the prime spot.
A few passing Ursid gave her curious stares, and some even acknowledged her by her 'local-name' of Stick-In-The-Mud. A term that brought an embarrassed blush to her freckled cheeks at every use.
'Noodles.its even worse than Cadet-Cloaking-Device back at the Academy.' She grumped.
Well at any rate, at least Lt. Mathers was off her back about the disgraceful display back at the transport coordinates. He had been pretty miffed when his Tactical officer turned out to know beans about Tactics.
'Not my fault', Rebecca thought, chewing. 'I'm just not the physical type.'
That was putting it mildly. Rebecca was probably the only cadet in Academy history to be placed in the school infirmary for participation in the non-contact sport of Frisbee.
Rebecca scratched a sudden itch on her pert little nose, remembering where the spinning disc had once slammed into it nearly breaking the delicate cartilage.
'Violent sport.' She shuddered visibly.
Lt Seth Zonhieb, Gorn Security Officer
Ensign Torricle, security officer (NPC)
"Ensign Torricle to Lt Zonhieb." The voice came over the communicator while the lizard leaned on a tree to rest and get shelter from the rain. "Checkpoint achieved."
Seth was thee kilometers from his checkpoint. The caravan of people out of sight but the forked tongue could smell them with this wind. Only the old lady stayed behind.
"We have lost the crowd." She stated simply.
The tree groaned as the gorn leaned more to stand back up. "We must go."
"You can bring the fire." Seth wondered if the glistening in her eye was madness. He considered using his phaser to vaporize her.
"No I cannot." His voice was getting rough in the night air as he wished he had brought his thermal suit.
"Summer, Light and fire obey your command." She argued. sticking to her beliefs.
"NO They DON'T." Seth's anger flared at the same time as the night sky light up. The lizard paused to see the after image of a small meteor in the corner of his huge eye. "Who? Who are you?"
The lady tilted her head confused by the question. "I am Crow's feet." she curtsied "Your humble servant."
"We better get moving." Seth smelled the air again with his tongue. "We have alot of ground to cover."
"The ground we are entering is where the last fire rain hit the worst." Crow's feet said.
Lightening flashes showedthe lush bushes ans trees. "This would make good hunting ground." Seth commented as he sniffed around at the wildlife not far off.
"Yes is would if not for the Retaba." The woman picked up a small stick.
"Rataba?" Seth didn't think the name would strike fear. Just then he heard a growl.
"RATABA!" Seth watched the woman start to run as he looked at the bear like creature to the side of the path.
The noise of the lightening must have woken it up on the wrong side of the bed as it roared. The mouth had just as many teeth as the gorn. A large paw swiped at the lizard that just barely backed out of the way.
Seth took the opportunity to rake his own claws down the Rataba's shoulder. It roared in pain and knocked the gorn off his feet with the other paw swiping.
Before the security officer could get up the bear creature was on top of him with teeth digging in just short of Seth's neck.
The gorn reached over his back and dug his claws in the wet fur. He grabbed the skin and pulled to throw the Rataba over his head and crashing into a tree.
Temperarily stunned it layed there and Seth jumped on top with his own teeth biting almost the same spot. The two animals rolled in the mud before the bear pushed the lizard off with his feet.
It swiped claws across the Gorn's midsection ripping the uniform and scales. Seth threw the beast off him again and lunged.
This time the Rataba rolled before Seth got on top and he crashed into the tree. Its trunk snapped and sharp splinters raked Seth's leg.
The Rataba took the opportunity to attack again raking the star fleet officers back. As a counter attack Seth slugged the bear with the downed tree.
Before the creature could move Seth brought the tree down hard on its head. There was a double crack as wood and bone meet.
The Bear like creature convulsed as it died of the head injury. Seth dropped down to his knees then collapsed in the mud.
"That Damn Tricorder!"
Ensign Drake Tarsonis
Helmsman, USS Galaxy
Drake followed behind everyone else. He was glad that he was on the away team to help. He had a lot to make up for, and he wanted to taje the initiative. Along with everyone else, he began setting up shields around buildings. When he was done his first one, he had realized that he had dropped hi tricorder near the beaming point.
"Damn, I must've left my tricorder near the rocks," thought Drake.
He began walking toward the rocks and found his tricorder. Just as he bent over and picked it up, a huge pile of rocks fell on him and hit his back, his head, and the back of his head. Drake was totally paralyzed and he couldn't feel a thing. He was in too much pain to yell or even talk. Rocks fell on his legs as he tubled on his back. Blood dripped down his forehead as it went into his eyes. Drake also had a splitting migraine, and he wanted to yell for help, but when his mouth opened, nothing came out, and blood dripped into his mouth, and of course he spat it out in disgust. Drake fell unconcious. There was nobody to help Drake, but surely someone had to find him, buried under a pile of rocks, would they?
TO BE CONTINUED...
"Cult of the Ravens"
*** Planet Ursid, Trun Riverland ***
Ve'ryn looked down into the valley as she saw a glimpse of the city below. She had been placed in charge of a small Team to set up the Generators around this very spiritual city. According to Howling Wolf, this was the city where the dead was honored and buried within the Valley of Spirits. One of the major areas the people of Ursid wanted to preserve since it held a lot of spiritual energies of the ancestors, as well as their Librarium Axis Mundi.
"Excuse me Ma'am, we are about to finish up the last Shield Generator, everything is in place." Replied Engineering Specialist Peter Sang.
"Excellent work Specialist Sang." Replied the Andorian as she pulled herself from the view of the valley back to the task at hand. The Security Team was placed incharge of moving the people off the planet side and on board the Galaxy before the Fire from Heaven took its toll upon the planet. "Ok, lets get the show on the road." Replied Ve'ryn as she followed Peter to the main generator terminal.
Standing beside him, Vee watched as Peter initiated the command protocol codes to activate the force field that would protect all of the valley from the incoming assault. Suddenly, everything was cut short when one of the Generator nearby short circuited causing a minor explosion knocking them to the ground as it shook softly.
Minutes passed as Vee lifted herself off the ground, because of her Andorian anatomy she only had minor bruises. Shaking her senses back to reality, she quickly made her way to check on Peter. The Specialist had a few lacerations upon his forehead as he appeared to be unconscious from the impact of the explosions. Pulling out her Tricorder, she check his vitals to make sure that he was doing ok. With the wind knocked out of him, the scans showed that he had a few bruises and cuts. From the look of his left arm, it appeared broken. Making sure he was stable, the Andorian Security Officer's senses began to detect some noise coming from the forest around her.
They moved with the silence of a Predator. However, to an Andorian, their silent movements was easily detect as her sensitive antennae detected their form hidden within the forest. She crouch and hid behind a large rock watching the form make their way out of the shadows of the forest to the clearing where the Generator had exploded. Four of them made their presence known as they came closer and closer to the control terminal only feet away from her.
They spoke to each other in the tongue of Ursid People as they seemed to be quite proud of the work they had done. The four, 3 men and one female finally arrived to the Terminal as they began to disable the rest of the generators. The clock was ticking away as Vee remained hidden from them. Her anticipation was getting the best of her as patience was one trait an Andorian was known to possess, however when it came to it, they weren't truly patient.
' I can't stand this.' Vee thought to herself as she noticed they were scattering. Perhaps they were looking for the two Starfleet Officer who had finished this side of the Valley operation. Whatever it was, they were making sure that they had killed the Outlanders before finishing up their job.
Closer and closer the Ursid came, the more Vee's Andorian instinct began to kick in, until she couldn't wait any longer. When they were almost sight on sight, Vee jumped out from her hiding place tackling the tall Ursid to the ground. She heard yells of alert behind her as she quickly dispatched the slower humanoid. The female pulled an arrow from her quiver and loaded her bow weapon and fired upon Vee. Dodging the incoming object, the Andorian wasn't ready for the other as an arrow plunged deep into her left shoulder. The pain burned into her brain as she ignored it, quickly making her way to the first bowman.
From the hair, she pulled one of her hair pins and launched them at him. Hitting their mark, they took him down as Vee knocked the wind out of her opponent and leaped over him making her way towards the second bow woman. 'Two down, two to go.' she thought to herself as she could feel the burn of the arrow that stuck out of her shoulder.
"Run." Yelled Wolfen Eye as he saw the quickly blue alien take out two of his friends. He could see that even Eagle Fingers couldn't take her out with her expert skill at the bow. They had come to take out the Generators that would taint their lands and kill the spirits that came from the skies to cleanse the lands from the mortals by the gods. Only a few believed in this, and it was up to Wolfen Eye to make them hear their ancestors cries.
Vee watched as the last two quickly disappeared into the forest. She could feel the blood oozing from the wound as she came short from the dark pine. Knowing too well that it wasn't a good idea to follow them into the forest, she went with her instincts and gave up the chase. She looked at her shoulder as the dark raven feathers seemed to taunt her just a little. Reaching over and grabbing the shaft, she pulled it out of her arm. What came next was a primal scream that echoed throughout the valley as a pissed off Andorian reported in.
--- to be continued ---
"Ravens and Doves - The conclusion."
With Ensign Raven Darkstar
and Npc's : Ensign Kelly, Science and Ensign Sierra, Medical
Location: Nambe, Trun Riverland, Ursid
"We're ...leaving them?" Ensign Sierra asked. Her face was a mask of suprise.
'Is that not what I just said? " commented Ensign Raven Darkstar, annoyed at having to repeat himself.
Sierra, however, seemed dumbfounded by his attitude and wasn't yet ready to give up. "To fend for themselves?"
Raven stopped and without looking over his shoulder, said : " Perhapse a visit to sickbay to have your hearing checked would be in order." He started to walk, once again, towards the forest at the edge of Nambe, leaving the two shocked members of his awayteam behind him.
Sierra's face grew crimson with anger and she stalked over to Raven, grabbing him roughly by the arm and turning him around, although in reality the large Indian had just turned himself to see who had dared to grab him. "Wait just a damn minute!" she said.
He towered over the Ensign, looking as if he were contemplating headbutting her with his shaved forehead. A few of the natives that were not in thier huts or in the council chamber had stopped and turned thier eyes to the spectacle that was unfolding.
Ensign Kelly raced over to attempt to keep this from spiraling out of control. Sierra stared right back into Raven's intimidating gaze.
"We're just gonna walk away and let these people die?"
"Must you waste time by repeating yourself?" he said wryly.
Kelly, who was fearing the worst in this confrontation, slid directly between the two and raised his hands. "All right. Lets calm down here. We're all a bit tired and edgy right now. Fighting isn't going to save anyone."
"Leaving these people to die will not save anyone either....and this..this ...buffoon isn't even going to try. He's just going to give up and walk away!" she said stomping a foot in the dirt in frustration. Her tight french braid had begun to come undone and her auborn hair was starting to fall into her face, framing her anger.
Kelly just covered his face and muttered "oh- no" to himself. Raven, wide eyed, brought hmself up to his full hight and took a deep breath.
"What did you call me?" he asked icily.
"She said you were as headstrong as the mighty buffalo!" Kelly tried. " Now lets just..."
" I said no such thing! I called him a buffoon!" Sierra said with a snort turning to Kelly.
"If you wern't such an emotional, whining shrew, you wouldent be blind as to what just transpired in there." Raven spat out.
Sierra was agahst. "Did he just call me a shrew?!" she said, pointing a finger at Raven who looked as if he were about to bite it off , if the didget got one micrometer closer.
"He..he said....Nobody is as overly caring as you." Kelly stammered before being interupted again by the large, irate Security officer.
"I said no such thing! You tell her that her posturing is costing us valuable time and if she feels better qualified to lead this awayteam, I will hapily return to the ship. Tell her that with no translation!"
Kelly stammered again, trying to figure out how he would explain to the Captain the upcoming "Pier Six Brawl" ."Gu...Guys. clearly the tension is getting to us all. If we could...."
Sierra thrust a finger into Kelly's chest. "You tell him that if he feels that abandoning us, just like he wants to do with the people of Nambe, is the proper thing to do, then by all means, "Beam him up, Scotty!"
Raven looked from Sierra back to Kelly, who was rubbing his finger where the medical specalist's finger had poked repeatedly for emphasis. "Tell her what I want to do and what must be done are two different things. Tell her that if she had even the slightest understanding of these people and thier heratige, she would accept - if not understand THIER descision to stay. Also tell her, to my knowlage, there is no transporter chief on the Galaxy named Scotty. I am begining to fear for her fragile mental state."
"She's right next to you, she can hear you!" Kelly stated before being silenced by the Indians growl and a stare that left him fearing for his scalp. He looked to Sierra and said " He wanted me to tell..."
"I can hear him, dont be an idiot!"
Raven, feeling as though he were about to break through to her, pressed on. " Tell her that there is nothing else we can do. nothing short of force will remove these people. I was charged with clearing out 4 villages and i have failed at one of them. My failure will undoubtedly result in the loss of life.
Tell her that I will have to carry that with me. Also remind her that we still have one more village to go to."
Sierra had visibly cooled off now and looked as though she were about to grudgingly accept the tribe's descision. Kelly , meanwhile looked as though he were going to burst an artery while being forced in the middle of this verbal sparring contest. Sierra sighed.
"Tell him that...." she started, and that was when Kelly's nerves finally shattered.
"ENOUGH!" he exploded , gripping both sides of his head. This actually suprised the pair and they involentarily stepped back a few steps.
"You tell him! You tell her! I'll tell you both that your both nuts! Shrew and buffoon! Sierra doesn't like it that we have to leave. Duely noted. Raven, you don't like being second guessed. Great. Suck it up. I don't like the ulcers you two are giving me or the nervous breakdown i'm on the verge of while trying to keep you two from killing each other! I'm done! Act like childern! Kill each other! I'm going to Wadena and by god, 'im going to save some lives! You two want to tag along, your more than welcome!"
Raven and Sierra looked at each other for a moment. The impending end of the world plus the stress of thier tasks had begun to get to them. Raven nodded and Sierra smiled.
"Tell him we better get moving." She said nodding in Kelly's direction.
"Tell him i agree with you." Raven said.
Kelly just screamed so loudly that birds were scared from the trees, and stomped off into the woods towards thier next destination.
Sierra turned to Raven and asked:" Geez, what the heck is his problem?"
"Apparently, diplomacy is not his strong suit."
Next: The 4th village of Wadena.....the village of the dead!
"Ageless Listener "
Lieutenant (jg) Adrian An'quinsos
"Could you please show us that trick again?" The children laughed. Adrian shook his head with a chuckle. It hadn't been hard to divert their attention, all it took was a bit of optical trickery and he had them thinking he was some kind of witch doctor.
"Please?" They said in unison
"All right, I'll only do it one more time."
They all gathered in closely as Adrian sat down on the ground. Looking at them, he grinned as his eyes changed from their natural deep-blue color to: gold, silver, platinum, scarlet, crimson, green, brown, then a sort of starburst effect using all the previous colors, before changing back to their deep-blue radiance again.
"Children, I'm sure he has more to do than to entertain you." They all looked up with sullen faces at Standing Bear, whom had a small grin. "It would be best if you helped your parents with the evacuation."
They nodded, and quickly made off into the village, waving goodbye to the El-Aurian youth as they went.
"Well," Adrian whispered to himself with a sigh. "There goes my magic act!"
"You're not like them." Standing Bear commented as he neared the Counselor. "You look as young as my own son, but there's something about you that's different." The Ursid humanoid glanced at his face, trying to discern who he was. His tribe had passed on a tale of two humanoids from the stars, a male and female that said little or nothing, and that the people shared great tales of their courage with the strangers. "How old are you stranger?"
"Uh…" Adrian stuttered a bit. He was always comfortable giving his age. However, after hearing how they viewed Seth as a God, age came in at something of an unwilling thing to share now. He reluctantly responded. "Only if you tell no one."
"Agreed." He said with a hand gesture signifying his promise.
"I'm 161." Adrian stated.
"Then…" Standing Bear began, as his eyes grew wider. "You are one of THEM!"
"Them?" Adrian asked.
"They whom gather knowledge from beyond the veil, yet die not." He replied. "One of the Guardians of Knowledge!"
"How do you know they were ageless?"
"The tale told how the same two visited our world many times, even during the last two Firestorms, they helped to save our people from it."
"Are you spea…" Adrian shut up fast. 'Just my luck!' He thought. 'It appears we went everywhere during THOSE days!' It wasn't very surprising to the El-Aurian youth that there was possibly a ship of theirs that came here. In the early days, in the infancy of the Bajoran Civilization his race spread across the galaxy in an almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge. It would only seem fitting that they would have visited every nook and cranny in the Galaxy.
"It is a great honor to have one of their brethren here before us!" Standing Bear replied with a grin. "From this day on, you shall be known to us as…"
"Standing Bear, that's really generous but…"
"Ageless Listener." He announced. "Because time affects you not."
"Because that was the name the two strangers gave."
"Well great Standing Bear, I will wear the name with honor." He and the Ursid Humanoid began to walk down the path leading to the village. "So tell me Standing Bear, do your legends give a description of these two strangers."
"The was tall, with dark hair, and dark eyes. The female was of similar height, with long, fair hair, with strange eyes like you. The legends spoke of she could change her eyes, like you did when you entertained those children…"
NRPG: "This Post Happens the initial day of arriving and teams beaming down."
Beaming Down, Evacuating Out!
Lt. Bruce Maxwell
Lt.Jg Anika Crowe
Ensign Roshaun Dabek
Bruce stood in Transporter Room 4 with Anika the final time was counting down. Bruce stood there making idle chat with Anika and looking over her pictures and making good comments.
"Well I guess its time to go here, This should be fun." Bruce stated as he rechecked his gear.
Anika smiled as she started toward the transporter pad. As she hit the first step up, the door slid open and a man rushed in.
"Did I make it?" Roshaun Dabek dropped his equipment case at his first look at the officers in the transporter room. He gasped for air as he looked at the frame of the woman facing away him. Roshaun's eyes followed up the length of her torso. Anika turned around to look, and he averted his gaze.... and raised his head to find Bruce standing well above him.
"Welcome to the Team Ensign, You just made it. We were about to leave, Welcome to the team. I am Lt.Bruce Maxwell, Chief Helmsman. This Lt.Jg Anika Crowe, pleasure to have you on." Bruce said extending his hand.
Anika gave him a smile. "Welcome aboard," she said. "We better get going though before Captain Price kicks us down to the planet himself."
Bruce Nodded."I agree, Ensign do you have all your equipment you need. I know you are ready Lt.Jg. Crowe." Bruce stated as he slipped the Pictures into his pocket.
"We're leaving soon, I take it?" Looking at the helmsmens' holstered phasers, Roshaun said, "Yes, I'm prepared. Um, I skimmed the briefing enough to know that my job is to setup some made-to-order transporter equipment and shield generators. Are we going to need phasers as well?"
"Yes we will be taking slip phasers, Nothing big, But just in case." Bruce went over to the locker got one and handed it to the Ensign."Shall we step up, and head down?" Bruce said walking up to the pad.
"Yes," Anika said with a grin. It would be her first Away Mission, and it was as exciting as all her Academy Instructors had led her to believe it would be. She stepped up onto the pad and waited for Lt. MaxWell to give the word to the transporter op.
In a whirl of energy, the USS Galaxy disappeared around them.
Anika felt a little uneasy as she regained her bearings after transport. Her stomach was doing flips. She pulled the tricorder off her belt and activated it. She ran a quick bio and energy scan of the area.
She turned to Bruce once her scan finished. "Where should I start, sir?"
"Lt.Jg. Crowe, Begin informing the families of the evacuation procedure, any ill or injured need to be taken to the medical areas. We will begin to do the best we can. Grab any Starfleet personnel that look like they are not busy and have them help. In other words Lt., draft them." Bruce issued the statement and then began to read his tricorder readings. He then looked towards Ensign Dabek.
"Aye, sir," Anika said with a grin. "I'll get right on it."
She quickly moved off toward the closest residential area. She knew the people here would resist moving, they always did. People didn't like to be uprooted for any reason, even if it meant death. There were far too many lessons of that in the Earth history texts she'd read. And, it had happened so many times on New Corsica through the years, they had a special division of the planetary government dedicated to planning for moving the unwilling out of the way of danger. Anika suddenly wished she'd studied their work a little closer.
As she reached the first house, she glanced back to where Bruce and Dabek were. Too bad there wasn't more time for socializing down here. They both seemed like the type of people she'd like to spend off-duty time with. She knew she had something going with Eric, but she couldn't deny that Roshaun was kind of cute. She gave them a smile and turned to the door.
"Ensign Dabek, Begin the proper procedures and start setting up the shield generators around the essential buildings. I will tell you the same thing, Ya see anybody standing around, Draft them to help ya. Send them to me if they have a problem." Bruce stated To Dabek.
"Yes, sir." Roshaun walked into an open area in the town centre of Twin Spirits and tapped his comm badge. "Away Team 4 to Cargo Bay 2. We are ready for you to beam down the support equipment."
[We will begin in transporting in a few minutes.]
"Just let be know when you are ready." He pulled out a padd and continued to read the mission briefing. There was quite a list of structures that the Ursidians had requested to be shielded. He wondered how many hands he was going to need to complete this in time.
Bruce put the Tri-corder away and walked out. Everything had begun to run smoothely. Within time the city should be empty. He knew they would cutting it very close. He didnt like this but he knew his team was going to their best. "I have a good team andf we will do it." Bruce mumbled. He then went to talk to the city Elders andf began coordinating the evacuation.
Lt. Timothy Richeson
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Galaxy
"Alright folks, lets keep moving." Tim laughed as he watched several small children fooling around as their families waited in line to enter the emergency shelters. 'Ah...to be young again'. he thought to himself chuckling. He hoped his team had made up some time. They were almost a hour behind schedule and since Ensign Tarsonis had run off for awhile, time sure was getting away from them.
About a third of the Shanbani population was safely in shelters, but the task was surely much more difficult the Tim had originally concluded. For awhile he was considering holding a scavenger hunt in the shelters. At least people might be a little more inclined to move faster then snail Tim had noticed off the road. "That snail is gonna be the only safe son of bitch here if these people don't move any faster."
"Chief Richeson!" a voice called from behind the line. Richeson turned to see Tigers Claw, chief of the Shanbani city. Lt.(jg) Kahn and Ensign Deschian followed closely behind. "Chief Richeson, our scouts have located something that will sure to be of interest to you."
Tim studied his face and glanced over at Nilani and turned his attention back to Tigers Claw. "What's wrong Chief Claw?" he asked with a hint of nervousness. He again looked at Nilani, and noticed that she was carrying a damaged com-badge and a shred of a Federation uniform.
Chief claw lowered his head, he was for sure the youngest of the Ursid leaders Tim had met thus far. The many was older then Richeson, but just barley. His long, wild hair made him look much younger. "It is a great embarrassment Lieutenant. A small rebel faction seems to have stolen your crew man."
"Stolen our crew men?" Tim's face changed quickly. "What rebel faction?" He was surprised that he had not been made aware that there was such a group. Surely the Ursid people would tell the Federation if there was the chance of trouble.
"They are known as the 'Hunters Soul'. We did not expect them to be of any trouble to your mission Chief Richeson." Tiger Claws head came back up and locked onto Tim's eyes. "Over the years, as our culture has advanced, they believed in a more traditional life. They had little room for change or evolution. You see Chief Richeson, long before we began breathing, the Fire Storms were seen as a ethnic cleansing. Those that survived were seen to be honored by the gods. Now today we no such things are simply not true, however the Hunters Soul still strongly believe in such nonsense."
"I see Tiger Claws..." Tim said in a annoyed tone "But why was I not informed of such a group? It's obvious why they have taken our crewmen." he turned back to Kahn and Ensign Deschian. "Who is missing?"
Deschian stepped forward "Tarsonis went off earlier to do a little exploring, everybody else is accounted for." he said while Lt. Kahn handed him the uniform piece and the combadge.
Tim sighed. Damn Tarsonis, he just HAD to go off exploring."Well, I guess we better go get the kid. Ensign, continue evacuating the Urisid people. Keep Ensign Biage and PO Ofenloch with you. I want hour check in's from you." he paused, "Nilani find the O'Gradys and have them meet us here. We're going on a sheep hunt."
"Fire of Ice."
By: Lt/Cmd Ryak Sullax
CSO, USS Galaxy.
"Come, our mission awaits." Ryak stated in gentlemanly fashion. Stepping aside, he and Bright Star continued walking to the USS Buster Keaton and prepared the shuttle for lift off along with Genestra and Wej.
The time went by fast as they finally had the shuttle into perfect form. Ryak allowed Evin to take the helm and Wej to take the science station. Ryak sat Bright Star into the co-pilot seat. Ryak was going to be spending his time ensuring that all of the equipment that they needed.
The Buster Keaton lifted off and headed towards there target. The Buster Keaton shook as the small meteors hit the shields. Evin and Wej kept everything running smoothly. They even had Bright Star firing the phasers hitting the rocks that could cause a larger problem.
Ryak had ensured that all of the equipment was ready to go. As Ryak came into the bridge area he could see that the runabout was very close to the asteroid.
"Sir, we are as close as we are going to get to the asteroid without landing on it." Evin stated.
"Ensign, bring all of this ships scientific equipment on line."
The Buster Keaton's lights went to a dull glow as all of the equipment came on line. Ryak moved over to Ensign Wej and looked over her shoulder and watched as she began to call up the data.
"Damn." Wej said, "I am sorry sir. I am still only getting reflected data. From what I can tell this Rock has some sort of metallic substance that we are not able to penetrate. Until we do there is no way to get information this way."
"Very well. Evin, sent a message to the Galaxy that we are going to land on the Asteroid to get more data."
"Sir?" Evin stated.
"We have all of the equipment we are going to need here to collect what we need on the surface."
"You mean we are going to walk on that rock?"
"Actually yes. You though are going to stay on the Keaton to ensure it does not become a lost exit."
Bright Star's eyes widened as she said, "We are going to walk on that?"
"You are going to stay here and monitor us. You are going to be Evin's eyes."
"Oh thank you." Bright Star replied as she gave an exhale. "This trip into the Heavens is much scarier then I thought."
Ryak smiled as he turned to Evin and said, "Take us in."
NRPG: This takes place immediately after “Beaming Down, Evacuating Out”
"Stop Changing the Subject"
Ensign Roshaun Dabek
An ultra-short appearance by
Lt. Bruce Maxwell
And introducing NPC
Ensign Lisa Hoyle
Ensign Roshaun Dabek stood waiting for the remaining equipment and a few extra hands to finish materializing in the town centre of Twin Spirits. He had beamed down to Ursid minutes earlier with Lt. Maxwell's away team, and had been charged with building the transporter and force field generators for the city. (Setting up the equipment would be the easy part of this mission,) thought Roshaun, (I just hope that the Ursidians cooperate in moving into shelters.) With Twin Spirits' population of over 700,000 residents, Roshaun knew that there were likely to be those who would not.
He started opening the cargo, pulling out compensators, gel packs, and random coils, UI screens, and circuitry for the transporter. He looked at the assembly instructions, and sighed. (As bad as a jigsaw puzzle. After I'm done with this, there are still a lot of shield generators to setup. And then I still have to run some test simulations to check and see how well this is going to work. I need more hands to finish on time.)
Roshaun tapped his badge. "Ensign Dabek to Ensign Hoyle."
A feminine voice answered, [Hoyle here.]
"Honey, could you do me a favor?"
[Okay. What's up?]
"I'm short on hands down here. Could you recruit three to five crewmembers who can help setup the shield generators, a transporter, and a few other things. Tell them they will be briefed on the planet surface; I need them quickly if I'm going to finish before we see the ramifications of Newton's Laws of Motion firsthand."
[Sure thing. Do you want me to come?]
"This is strictly on volunteer basis, so only if you want to."
[Okay, I'll go scouting for help, then.]
As he worked, piecing the parts together, he wondered if he should have asked her for help. He asked her not to volunteer for this mission to keep her out of harm's way. She already had enough stress to deal with. Sure, he realized now the hypocrisy of his volunteering. He very well couldn't quit, though, so there was nothing to do ease the guilt. On top of that, it was hard not to admire Lt.Jg. Crowe's assets throughout this mission.
Roshaun looked up from the forming transporter, and noticed in the trading center a woman holding a baby. The baby's eyes were a flurry of movement, exploring every facet of its surroundings; its legs futilely attempting to leap; its hands grasping onto anything they could reach. The mother picked up a rattle at a storefront table and shook it for the baby. As the baby started to wail, Roshaun thought about something that had been bothering him, even though it happened weeks ago.
*** Deep Space Nine, Habitat level H-2, chamber 731, three weeks ago ***
"What!?!?" Roshaun sat down, dumbfounded.
Slowly and angrily, she repeated, "I want...to have...a baby."
Lisa Hoyle and Roshaun had been together for nearly five years. Roshaun had been proposing to her repeatedly since their third year in the Academy. Lisa finally accepted during their assignment on Starbase 375. He had been avoiding discussing the topic for a while. Now, it was Roshaun's turn to be put on the spot.
"So would I...but isn't now a little soon?" Roshaun paused. "We still haven't even agreed on a date for the wedding," he said, evasively.
"I don't want to rush our wedding simply because you want to have it on your mother's day of joining. Stop changing the subject." Lisa sighed and calmed herself.
"Don't you think the wedding is relevant?" Roshaun saw her rising again to anger. "Okay, I'll drop that for now. I mean, do you want to raise a child on a starship? We don't even know how long we are staying on the Galaxy once we get there."
"I was born on a starship and I turned out fine." Lisa turned to the replicator. "Tea, English breakfast, hot. Do you want anything?"
"If we wait much longer, we'll be cranky, old, stubborn bastards by the time it's grown." She smiled and took a sip of her tea. Making sure Roshaun caught on to her teasing, she walked towards Roshaun and put the teacup down on the coffee table. Lisa laid on the couch and situated her head on his lap. "I want to have a child. I want to have a child with you. Not right now, but soon."
Roshaun ran his fingers through her hair. "I know."
*** Twin Spirits, Ursid, the next morning***
Roshaun relaxed as he hiked the trail back towards Twin Spirits. There were shelters on the outskirts of the cityv that they had built years before to prepare for the firestorm arriving in less than two days. These shelters would have to house those who had not migrated to the southern hemisphere of Ursid, whether it was time or stubbornness hindering them. Roshaun and the few people he could recruit had erected the transporter and a shield generator in the town centre, as well as constructed shield generators for the majority of the shelters and other important structures of Twin Spirits. (Now comes the fun part,) Roshaun sarcastically thought.
Roshaun had not yet slept, but his task was not done. The transporter in the town centre had been acting up. Although it was functioning correctly during testing, it was powering down every few hours when idle. He figured the excess power built itself up, and when it reached a certain safety threshold, it shutdown and discharged somehow. (It could be one of a million things wrong. If wasn't so hurried, I would have gotten it right the first time.)
After about a half hour of walking, Roshaun hitched a ride on a local transport into the town centre. There he spotted a small girl circling the transporter. "Can I help you?"
"Um ... I think I ... lost … my toy," said the girl. "It's made of metal, and if you push the button on its back, the wings flap."
"I haven't seen it. I'm sorry."
"Whatcha doing?" the girl asked.
Roshaun opened a panel. "I'm just fixing..."
"Ohhh, thank you, mister!" The girl grabbed inside and then ran away, swinging the beetle-toy in the air.
(I don't where that was, or how it got there, but I'll bet the bug-free transporter will work better.) Roshaun moaned as he realized the terrible pun.
Then he heard Lt. Maxwell. "Lt.Jg. Crowe, Ensign Dabek, come here."
Ensign Roshaun Dabek
Engineer, USS Galaxy
AIM & Yahoo: mobyfoo
"One huge, glittering chunk of rock"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
*** 38.573 km wide Asteroid ***
In the distance the shinny blue-green world of Ursid could be seen basking in sunshine across the open void of star studded space. Slowly the home world of the Ursidians was growing bigger as the asteroids rushed toward her gravity well on their way to forming the legendary Firestorm of rain that occurred every millennium and a half. The majestic beauty of the growing Ursid was interrupted when two EVA outfitted Starfleet officers materialized in the foreground from the USS Buster Keaton which landed just a short distance away.
Ryak gave a passing glance at the planet. Not so much to enjoy the picturesque beauty as to gauge the amount of time they had remaining before the first of the meteorites began to fall. The Romulan Chief Science Officer didn't need to rely on crude visual estimates. He already knew that there was just over 36 hours before the meteorites entered the atmosphere of the planet. He'd calculated it using the Galaxy's computer systems long ago. Still, Ryak looked just to give himself vague reassurance that his calculations were correct. -- Which was almost always the case.
Ensign Wej spent a little more time then Sullax had, admiring the view. Space walks like this were a rare occurrence in Starfleet since the Federation had decided to concentrate it's research and efforts on worlds with atmosphere classes suitable for sustaining lifeforms. This giant asteroid had no atmosphere at all. It was essentially a cold, solid chunk of rock with just a fraction of the gravity of normal.
While Samthia took in the view of Ursid, Ryak was already making his way to the edge of the massive gorge where they decided to set down the USS Buster Keaton. The Chief Scientist figured it would be the best place to get an idea of what the asteroid was composed of. The huge break in the surface area of the asteroid might also indicate a weak faultline upon which it might be possible to plant anti-matter charges to break up it up. Ryak took out his tricorder and immediately began collecting data.
Looking over at her boss, Ensign Wej decided she should begin working too. Walking along the edge of the chasm of a gorge, Samthia looked at the readings on her tricorder. The distant, electronic sound of the communicators in her EVA helmet made her voice sound a little distant as she spoke. ["This is interesting sir."]
Ryak took a step as he turned around to peer back at the junior officer. The space suits made turning one's head awkward, so it was easier to simply step and turn all the way around. ["What is it Ensign?"]
["I'm picking up traces of dilithium scattered throughout the core of the asteroid."] Samthia explained while twisting her tricorder so the Chief could see.
Ryak took a step closer and glanced at Ensign Wej's tricorder readout. The Romulan was suitably unimpressed. ["I would hardly call those low level traces interesting Ensign. They wouldn't even be worth mining."] Sullax pointed out. Then on second thought he added, ["Though it may be useful information to have. If the distribution is as even as suggested, it might be possible to utilize these tiny deposits to assist us in destroying this asteroid."]
Continuing Ryak's thought, the Deltan added, ["You mean using the dilithium deposits to generate dutonic stress throughout the asteroid sir?"]
Ryak shook his head. He knew it was unlikely to work with such small traces of dilithium. Had the pockets been larger it would be relatively easy to generate the harmonic frequencies needed to get the crystals to vibrate and tear the asteroid apart. But these readings indicated that the dilithium spread throughout this moon sized , solid rock were very small, like grains of sand. There was no practical way to set up a harmonic vibration with levels this low. ["No. It wouldn't work Ensign. Let's move on."] Ryak stated as he returned to his own readings.
Ensign Wej nodded. ["You are probably right sir."] Samthia then began taking additional scans to collect the data the two scientists were there to gather.
"Somehow my planet looks much smaller from here." Bright Star in Heaven commented while glancing out the Buster Keaton's forward view portal at the big blue-green world.
Evin tapped the control buttons he was using and then swiveled to see what the Ursidian was looking at. "Yes, being out here looking back it does make your home world look small. In a way that is what space travel does. It doesn't really make anything smaller. But since you are exposed to a much wider galaxy, filled with varied and different worlds similar to your own, in a way it's your universe that has gotten bigger." The Lieutenant Commander explained.
Bright Star nodded. "I have spoken to Ryak of Sullax about joining your Starfleet. He says it is possible."
"There are a wide variety of people that join Starfleet. A simple stroll on board the USS Galaxy will show you that. I'm sure with your qualifications as a scientist, you'd gain entrance easily if you wished to apply to the Academy." Evin explained casually. He then pointed, "Of course, it would mean leaving your home world for long extended periods of time. The Academy takes four years to complete."
Bright Star in Heaven listened with interest as Genestra spoke. "Four years of training? Your people are quite well schooled."
Evin smiled. "There are breaks of course when you can return home for a few weeks at a time to visit relatives and such. And the last year or two you'll likely be given a field assignment where you can apprentice and get on the job training with actual officers in the fleet. Believe me, the time passes very quickly if your heart is into space travel and exploring new worlds."
"I believe my heart lays there. Ever since I was a young child, my parents would say I was always looking upward to the night sky. I enjoyed watching the bright stars over head. It is where I got my adult name from."
"Well it suits you Bright Star in Heaven. One should follow their dreams wherever they lead them." Evin smiled politely.
Their conversation was interrupted with an incoming hail from Lieutenant Commander Sullax. ["Sullax to USS Buster Keaton. Come in Genestra."]
Tapping the control, Evin opened the channel. "Evin here, go ahead 'commander."
["Prepare to receive a data stream from my tricorder. I want to capture this in the Keaton's computer banks while I explore to southern end of the gorge."] Ryak ordered.
"Will do 'commander. Any good news so far sir?" Evin asked.
["This asteroid is made of solid rock. There are various minerals distributed throughout but none are notable or in any significant quantities to be of much use to solve our problem. There are tiny pockets of dilithium, but they are too small to be of much use. Ensign Wej and I are trying to map out this gorge to see if it reveals any sort of faultline that could be used to split this asteroid apart with anti-matter charges. But so far this gorge appears to be a minor breach in the asteroid's surface. I'm hoping that the scans from the southern portion will reveal more information."]
"I understand 'commander. We are standing by to assist. Keep us posted." Lieutenant Commander Genestra replied.
["Affirmative 'commander. Sullax out."] Ryak closed the channel.
When the channel closed, Bright Star had a concerned look on her face. "This asteroid that threatens my world appears to be indestructible."
Evin shook his hand slightly. "Our findings are inconclusive thus far Bright Star. Give 'Commander Sullax a chance to study the data. If there is a way to keep this thing from striking Ursid, we will find it."
Bright Star turned and glanced back out the shuttle view portal at her world, which was growing steadily larger by the minute. "I will pray to the great spirits of my people that there is enough time remaining to discover this, and save our planet."
Pressing his lips together, Lieutenant Commander Genestra just nodded. He knew that the closer this 38.5 kilometer wide asteroid got to the gravity well of the planet, the more difficult it would be to redirect it from striking. If destroying it was possible, it would have to be done soon or the resulting fragments striking the planet would be just as devastating as if the whole mass struck in one blow. The end result might take a little longer, but essentially, all life would die from the resulting dust cloud that would form. If they were going to have any chance at pulling this mission off, Evin knew they had to put a plan together, a successful plan, within the next 20 hours.
Lieutenant Commander Ethan Suder - Chief Engineer
"Where Would You Be?"
Ethan had got a chance to get some rest. Only for about an hour or so, but it was enough time to get his thoughts together. He was led on a hard table in one of the science labs in the main city of Niatpac. His right elbow hung over his eyes. He hadn't slept for a day or so and it was catching up with him. But he wouldn't rest until the current situation was resolved. He continued to wonder how Lieutenant McDowell was doing. This was the first time Michael had to take control of Engineering without Ethan's guidance.
Ethan wanted to be on the Galaxy, to take care of Engineering and the rest of the ship. Not that he didn't think Michael could do it, he was just used to being there himself. A smile crossed hsi face as he thought about past conversations that he had had with Michael. They had worked on several different projects, one of the biggest being the Engineering Hologram. Michael had always seemed impressed with Ethan's abilities as a Holodeck expert. Even since Michael first came aboard and Ethan was only a Liuetenant Junior Grade. Back in the good old days.
"Sir?" a voice called out.
Ethan opened his eyes and moved his shoulder. He saw Ensign Jose Garcia stood in the doorway. The light behind her was blinding. "What is it?" Ethan asked quietly.
"It's about the evacuation. Some of the local residents... They don't want to leave." she continued.
Ethan sat up and rubbed his eyes and sighed. "Where are they?"
"I'll take you to them." Jose replied.
Ethan got off the table and followed the Ensign to where the locals were. They weren't protesting against anything, that wasn't the style of these people. But there was something very native about them.
Ethan and the Ensign arrived at the scene. Several of the local farmers were going about their day to day work. Harvesting crops. Preparing food. Ethan continued walking down the long path that led to the field of crops and the farmers houses. He straightened his uniform and walked by some of the natives who looked up at him as they worked and as he strolled by. Eventually, he came to the main field and saw the father of the family working. It was another old man. He looked wise and arrogant.
"Sir?" Ethan said as he approached the man. He wished he were somewhere else, but it was time to face reality.
"Counting the stars"
by Lt. Ragnald Gustavson, helmsman
somewhere on Ursid
Ragnald sat down at the fireplace next to 'Wild Weasel' the Ursid boy who earlier the day helped the Galaxy`s team build and adjust shield generators to protect the cities main buildings. Now, most of the work was done and the rest could wait till tomorrow.
He produced two chocolate bars he found in his food pac and silently offered the boy one. Then he opened his, laid on his back and began to count the stars above.
"What are you doing there?", the boy asked.
"Counting the stars." Ragnald answered.
"Why are you doing that?" the boy wanted to know.
Ragnald sat up, looked at the boy shook his head and answered:
"Don`t know. Maybe I`m a little bit scared. Usually when something dangerous comes my way, I just move a step to side. If I`m on my star ship I just touch some controls to do a small evasive maneuver and the danger is gone. You can`t move a whole planet a step to the side. The Firestorm is somewhere up there steadily approaching. All we can do is to shield some buildings, send you people to shelters and avoid ourselves being hit by the asteroids. Donar`s sake, I feel like a fish on the land."
The boy looked at Ragnald from the head to the toes, then he said:
"If I`m honest, I feel a little bit uneasy, too. Did they give you an Ursid name yet?"
Ragnald shook his head.
"So "Fish-On-The-Land will be a good choice, I think."
Ragnald nodded and smiled. "A good choice, Wild Weasel. Thank you." he answered.
By Ensign Peter Lockhart
Peter grabbed two long poles and studied them carefully. "So what do I so with these?" he muttered to himself.
"Put them together." WO Foster replied sarcastically hearing Peter. However, he added a 'sir' after it.
"Thank you Mr. Foster. Get on with your job!" Peter said. For the first time he could call the shots in this mission. The away team of three had now also been joined by Nurse Annalise Halden, a native of Betazed. She'd be quickly assigned as the token 'medical' officer to the team in the suburbs of Twin Spirits and was presently attempting to help the team construct a shielding unit for the main evacuation and rescue building in the area.
"How we doing folks?" Peter bawled to his team once again for the third time in the last fourty minutes.
"Fine sir." WO Hetlie shouted back. She still had the enthusiasm for life that a teenager should have. However, Foster's grunt, whilst it said virtually nothing about how he was doing, spoke volumes about what he thought of Peter's constant shouting.
Peter finished connecting the two poles together and stood up briefly. The building they were protecting was a hastily constructed shelter building out towards the countryside. Peter liked the whole area in general. It was far from any other major officer who could bawl at Peter; it was situated in a pleasant area; the radiation sickness was lower in this area than most parts of the continent and the people were friendly. Even the nuclear fusion power plant behind him (which the team had also protected) looked nice.
"How are things proceeding?" Screeching Hawk said, suddenly appearing nearby.
"Fine thank you Screeching Hawk. We're fitting the last corner of the forcefield now. We'll hook it up to the generator there and this should protect the main shelter."
"Excellent Battles-With-The-Stars." Screeching Hawk said, using Peter's new title on the planet. "The evacuation is going well. We may need some of your help to move some of our people, but generally they are moving themselves."
"Excellent also." Peter grimmaced at the usage of his title. "In about thrity minutes we'll test the forcefield here, so can you make sure no one enters or leaves the building then... because they won't be able to!" he finished with a chuckle.
"The forcefield will not harm us?" Screeching Hawk asked.
"No. It's like a personal forcefield. It'll stop you from passing, but won't harm anyone touching it."
"Thank you for the information Battles-With-The-Stars. I shall inform the chief now."
"Great." Peter muttered as Screeching Hawk moved away. He didn't like his title.... in fact he downright hated his title. Supposedly it was a combination of his Security and Tactical experience, combined with his general attitude of laziness. Supposedly it was also due to him hiding something and constantly struggling against some unknown past deed.
"Past deed my arse." Peter muttered.
"Did you say something sir?" Nurse Halden asked.
"Nope." Peter replied. The Betazed looked absolutely gorgeous Peter thought, though he tried not to as she was probably reading him at some point or another.
***** Ten minutes later ******
"Okay folks. Fire her up!" Peter ordered as the shields were connected to the generator. WO Foster headed over to the generator and turned it on.
Peter looked at Foster who looked back. He pressed the switch again and still nothing happened.
"Open her up. Maybe a wire came lose." Peter ordered, and Foster prized away the side panel. The two peered inside.
"The neutronium crystal is shattered!" Foster said after a minute of looking.
"So it won't work?" Peter asked.
"No. There's nothing wrong with the connection, the actual power source is fried. We can't start the generator at all, and therefore can't get the forcefield up!"
"Ensign Lockhart to Lieutenant Jackson." Peter said, tapping his comm. badge.
"Jackson here. What's up Ensign?"
"You're the power-supply-type-person." Peter said. "We're trying to set up a forcefield in the outskirts of Twin Spirits and the neutronium crystal is shattered. Can you send us another generator please?"
"No can do Ensign. We've had some equipment go missing and need more generators than we expected anyway. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to move all your people to the next nearest shelter.... either that or get another power source!" Jackson finished bluntly.
"We can't do that... the next shelter is...."
"Fourty kilometres away." WO Hetlie whispered.
"Fourty kilometres away!" Peter echoed.
"I'm afraid you may have to. Either that, or take a generator from another building you've already protected." Jackson said.
"We can't do that either! The power station is powering the whole local area. We can't not protect that!"
"Then you'd best get moving. We've got less than 36 hours left." Jackson said, cutting the channel.
"Fat lot of good he was!" Peter said. "Power Systems engineer my arse!"
"Shall I tell Screeching Hawk the news?" Hetlie said.
Peter scratched his head. "I suppose so. Unless any of you have a spare neutronium crystal in your back pocket."
Hetlie started to move away, and Peter looked around again and sighed as a light drizzle began to fall. "Another power source...." he muttered, then turned around, listening to the hum of the nuclear power plant. "Another power source." he echoed once again. "Hey!! Anyone know how to hook up a Nuclear Fusion reactor to a Neutronium solid crystal power generator?"
"It's never been done, and I don't think it's possible!" Foster said.
"It is now!" Peter yelled. "Cos we're going to do it. I need to speak to Screeching Hawk!" he shouted again, and headed off to find him.
By Lt. Bruce MaxWell
Lt.Jg. Anika Crowe
Lt.Jg. Michala Lynn
Ensign Roshaun Dabek
Michala had been moving from city to city. Showing what readings to look for to some crew members, helping identify what transporter filters were catching the contaminating radiation. She had been forced to teleport, each time she had become more edgy and nauseous. It was as if every molecule of her being felt compelled to rearrange or just disintegrate. They never had determined where the matter had come from that she was composed of. At first, they thought it had been Miran. But after finding her, they now knew that wasn't true. Each time she entered a transporter, a part of her expected that matter to return to wherever it came from.
Each place she had been so far had shown a resistance to her information. The smaller the city or village, the more she had encountered. She had been named Raven Bringer and the name had started to precede her. She was sorry to be the bearer of bad news. One village had been particularly upset, seeing the soup they used as religiously significant. She wasn't sure if they would actually stop or not.
She reached the next city on her list, Twin Spirits. She had sent word ahead to all the Galaxy teams, but was taking the time to show each group what they were looking for. She took a few moments to gather her wits after arriving. She took a drink of water and forced her heart to slow, concentrating on its steady beat.
She saw a crew member ahead and approached her to find out who was in charge here and where the quarantine areas were. Touching the crew member she spoke quietly.' "Excuse me, who is the officer in charge here and can you direct me to the hospital areas?"
Anika looked up from the tricorder she'd been studying. There were still a considerable number of people to be moved out of the area, and they were running short on time. Fortunately, the tricorder gave her a good indication of where the Urdians were.
"Lt. Bruce Maxwell is in charge here," she said. Realization dawned once she saw the face of the person speaking to her. She gave the new arrival a big smile. "Michala, hi. It's Anika. Are you okay, you look a little pale?"
"Yes, I am fine. I just don't handle site to site transport well. Where can I find Lt. Maxwell?" Michala flushed a little, seeing Eric's girlfriend.
Anika put a hand over her own stomach, remembering the transport down. Her stomach responded with a gurgle. "I know what you mean," she said. "Lt. Maxwell is over here." She led Michala toward the central meeting area of the town. They passed a couple of the other Galaxy crew working in the Twin Spirits area.
As they came out from behind one of the government buildings, they saw the Galaxy's chief helmsman talking to a pair of Urdians. Both were carrying large bundles. They nodded and moved off in the direction Maxwell had pointed.
"Lieutenant," Anika said as they approached. "This is Lt. Michala Lynn. She needed to talk to the man in charge, and she needs to find the hospital areas. And, you're the man in charge." Anika chuckled nervously. It was the first time she'd had a chance to talk with Michala since their last chat. Things were still kind of strange, especially with how nebulous her relationship with Eric was at the moment.
Michala smiled warmly at Bruce. She momentarily remembered Shinta and hoped she might actually be following doctors orders. "Lt. I know that you have probably heard about the radiation poisoning of ocean going seafood, but I am making the rounds to point out the particulars
"G'Day Doctor, I had only a little of what you speak. How much danger is there?" Bruce asked he kept looking around. He watched as Lt.jg Crowe and ENsign Dabek went about doing there jobs diligently. "Please, Inform me about this, and will your services be taking you elsewhere?" Bruce then Asked.
"The fish are carrying toxic levels of radiation contaminate. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell just by looking at the fish which are poisoned. The Uridians use fish as a major staple. We need to convince them to use landlocked or river fish. Shell fish are absolutely not an option unless scanned. The hard part so far has been that the Uridians use a shell fish/fish type soup with their ill. It seems to have religious significance as well as healing properties. They are not easy to convince. So, they are in fact increasing the illness about 50% of the time. " She sighed thinking of one small town that had all but thrown her out. "As for moving on, I need to stay in one place for a bit. Br... Lt. Maxwell, I don't think I can handle teleporting for awhile." She confided
"Awright, then Doctor. Then I request you join my team. Or I draft ya." Bruce said with a smile. "Lt.Jg. Crowe, Ensign Dabek come here." Bruce called out. The Ursidians stood there and nodded.
Michala smiled wearily. "I do need to get to the quarantine area still. But then I will be happy to go wherever you need me."
"Very Good, Doctor. We will be happy to have you as part of our team. I know these Ursidians have brought to my attention the fact that There is a Family, not wanting to leave so I need to take my team up and talk to them." Bruce explained as he waited for the others.
Anika folded her tricorder as she approached Bruce. "Things seem to be progressing smoothly," she said. "I finally talked Walking River to only gather as much as he can carry. He wanted to take everything in his house. But, he'll be heading up as soon as he gathers his essentials. What's next?"
"Just finished setting up the field generators. " Roshaun said. "Took me a little longer than I thought it would. The children here are really inquisitive." He paused, "You needed us, sir?"
"Yes, actually good to hear you're done. It is actually ahead of schedule. These two Ursidians were explaining to me that a small family is very reluctant to leave." Bruce said bowing his head slightly. "I believe we should head up there and try to talk to them." Bruce stated. "Any input you two wanna give or the good Doctor here, I am open." Bruce said waiting for the councel.
"Maybe if we draw them some pictures of what this rock is going to do to their world," Anika said. "Though, stubborn people are usually stubborn despite the dangers to themselves and their families. But, playing up the family angle may get them to realize they need to get to the evacuation centers."
"I need to get to the medical centers to tell them the dangers of their healing broth? Is it on the way?" Michala had a one track mind at times.
Anika shrugged and turned to Bruce, figuring he'd know the answer to the question.
Roshaun looked at Anika, and then Michala, blankly. Then he looked towards Maxwell, paused, and gave him an inquisitive look. "Ahem. Well, are we sure that these stubborn people won't get aggressive if we go up there? Maybe we should have a doctor on call, in case the situation becomes inflammatory. Also, we've setup a transporter in the town centre where we beamed down. Although I wouldn't recommend it, it is possible to transport them directly to one of the shelters."
"Good, recommendations. Possibilities for hostility should only be verbal, maybe some light pushing. We can try Crowe's plan. If it doesn't work, we might have too use transporters. Hopefully, we won't. The medical areas should be near. By the way, great job you two." Bruce said as he swept his head towards the way they needed to head.
Michala nodded. She would go wherever needed as long as she got to stop there first.
Roshaun agreed with Bruce. He moved his hand to his hip, resting it on the phaser. (I really don't want to use this,) he thought.
"So," Anika said as they started to move, "to the quarantine area, then to the families, right? I really hope we can convince them to move of their own accord. I really don't want to have to forcibly remove someone from their home. We're the good guys."
"So do I Lass. I do not like force anymore. Also our time is running out. We will do what is necasary to ensure there safety. We are the good guys, we are also the guys taking people from there homes." Bruce said as they walked along.
Anika nodded. They were doing what they were doing to protect the lives of the Ursidians. The intentions were good, even if the actions appeared to be otherwise. "Hopefully they won't put up a fight."
"Being In Charge, A Whole Different Ballgame - Part I"
Lieutenant Michael McDowell
Ast. Chief Engineer
Lieutenant Daniel Brian O'Neill, NPC
*** Main Engineering, USS Galaxy ***
How quickly things could change. One moment you're on your way to the Transporter room for AT duty, the next you find yourself back in Engineering. Normally Michael should be on Ursid by now helping with installing the force fields while at the same time making sure that everything went according to plan. But that all had changed when the discovery was made that Armageddon was at hand.
Michael was puzzled by the fact that Ethan wasn't on the ship but he himself. This dilemma with the monstrous asteroid needed to be dealt with by experienced people from all Departments. Not that Michael thought he lacked experience, but he still wasn't sure if he was the right man to be leading the Engineering Department on the ship right now.
It was a fact that Michael couldn't afford mistakes if called upon his services and he knew that. At this moment he felt the full weight of the responsibility that came with being a Department head. Of course, he had expected that, as time progressed, Ethan would give him more and more responsibility, but not with giant leaps.
Michael clenched his teeth. This all made him somewhat nervous but he made sure nobody saw that since that would have a negative effect on morale. Now it was him who needed to give to impression that he could take on the universe itself.
He stood up and walked out of the Chief Engineer's office. He'd been sitting there for a least half an hour, contemplating the situation he was confronted with. Not very efficient, even wasteful, use of the little time that was left. But Michael needed that time to put things in perspective before he could go on and do what must be done. It didn't help him as much as he though it would though. He still had not a clear picture of what to expect in the next ten to twenty hours or so. Then again, who could? So Michael thought it would be best to think of a worst case scenario and that meant the ship had to run at peak efficiency.
The Lieutenant, standing at the Warp Core, turned and walked over to the Assistant Chief Engineer. It looked that he too felt the pressure. "Sir?"
"I want to have the ship in top condition. Run diagnostics on every major system, but first concentrate on the Warp Engine, Shields, Tractor Beam, and Main Deflector."
"Yes sir. I've already begun with checking the condition of the Warp Engine." Daniel replied and then gave a confused look. "The Main Deflector?"
"Don't ask me why, but I've got that eerie feeling telling me that there's a chance we're going to need it badly in the coming hours."
"Aye sir. I'll round up some people to get the job done in time." Daniel said. "How much time do we have anyway?"
Michael thought for a moment. There was about fifteen to twenty hours left before they had to come in action. If there wasn't a plan by then to get rid of that huge rock outside, well, then nothing could prevent it from smashing into Ursid.
"You and your team have five hours tops. I know it's not much time but I can't give you more. There will be plenty of other things to do when it's decided what we're going to do about that asteroid. If you run into any problems call me."
Daniel nodded. "Consider it done, sir."
"In the meantime I'll be at Holodeck one to see if I can find something that we could use to solve our dilemma." Michael said.
"I sure do hope you'll figure it out,...'cause I don't want to see all those people die on that planet while I'm safely up here."
This was Michael's cue. The sign he hoped he wouldn't get. It was time to show that he was confident that they would find a solution while in fact he wasn't sure of that. Michael mustered a smile which he hoped looked right and would give Daniel some confidence.
"We'll find something. 'Till now this crew always managed to 'save the day'. No doubt they will do so now." Michael said as relaxed as he could. "Science is already hard at work trying to find solutions and I know I will not come out of that Holodeck until I have something we can possibly use."
Daniel sighed. "Yeah, but they better find it fast. We can't fail this time."
"I'm sure they do the best they can. The best thing you can do is to concentrate on your work. You can't do much else...unless you have some ideas on how to beat that thing?" Michael said. He'd meant it when he asked if the Lt. before him had any ideas. All serious options would be more than welcome.
"No, I have none. I've been thinking about it all along but haven't found anything yet."
"Well, you know where to find me. Let me know if you've come up with something." Michael said and smiled.
"Yes sir, you can count on that."
"A small break"
By Lt Eric Odin
Eric had been helping to set up some of the devices on the planet that were going to be using to help protect Ursid. he had already set up his devices from a distance and was on the planet setting up his planet bound device. The combination of all of these devices he would get measurements and be able to recreate the entire thing in a holodeck. he would also use all of the information he was gathering in a report for Captain Price. This asteroid was a good sized one and he wanted to capture it eternally without it being harmful. he could accomplish this via his devices and a holodeck.
He was using his own devices and had already helped all he could so he wasn't going to be in trouble. He typed in a few more commands and the device was set. he was proud of how well this had all pulled together. He would of course be watching where he could help with the mission, but his devices were self-operating now. He hoped that he would be able to map the inside like he hoped it be able to. Then he could make a new program just from inside of the asteroid. This could be considered a hobby, but it would also help many in the future with encounters of asteroids.
Perhaps he could learn things others could not. He was as much an engineer as he was an inventor. He started on his journey back to see if they needed any more help even though he doubted they did. This was going to be very frightening in a way, but also very exciting. Not too long from now the show would start, he hoped all would go as planned. If not then it could get very interesting.
Lieutenant (jg) Rose Isis MacAllen- "Desert Rose"
Radiant Spirit (NPC)
With a brief excerpt from:
Lieutenant (jg) Adrian An'quinsos- "Ageless Listener"
Rose walks over to the other science team working on the way to get the people out before the big rock hits the planet. Nevertheless, her mind is else were as she talked to some of the crewmembers while putting her long brown hair in a very tight bun.
As she continues to do this, her actions go unnoticed to everyone except for one person. Nearing the humanoid, she had a bright smile on her face as she eyed the female's actions. Barely into adolescents, she had a dark-brown complexion, with long black hair that seemed ever free flowing and deep azure eyes, something of a rarity among her people. Because of her eyes and demeanor, she was known to the tribe there as She who Looks to the Sea.
"What are you doing?" The girl asked without hesitation to the Betazoid officer.
Rose turned and tried to smile at the little girl, "I just helping your people get ready just in case something happens to the planet." She tried to smile but Rose had allot on her mind, her past, her future, her boyfriend...everything that is going downhill for her right now
The ever-vibrant Ursid humanoid looked at her curiously. "You seem sad." The girl replied without hesitation. "What troubles you."
"Oh nothing it just something about my life that all." Rose said looking at her.
The girl looked back as if searching for someone, then put her full attention on the Rose. "My mother always said that if you were sad, penting it up would only make it worse."
Rose sits with the little girl, "My life sucks, and I think my boyfriend doesn't love me anymore, I'm a failure in my Science Department." She said looking at the little girl.
"My mom said that there is always paths open to us down and along life. Moreover, whether we choose to open them, or whether we have come to that path, we must make the decision to walk its course, no matter where it may lead us. Cheer up, maybe you haven't come to one of those paths yet?"
Rose sighs a little, "I don't know what to do, it like I'm trapped in a small place and don't know where to go. I worry about the future of my work and my relationship with my boyfriend."
"How could a person who travels in such an enormous expanse be trapped?" She glanced up at the sky and smiled upon looking towards the horizon as Ursid's Sun began to set, sending a cloak of many colors across the sky. "Perhaps you are looking at things from the wrong angle. It is said that though we do not ask to come into the great Universe of ours, we do, and are ourselves given the choices to consider in life. However, they are not so great whereas the burden put upon us all is too great to handle."
Rose looks at the little girl, "Why do you like me so much?" she questioned her.
"You're a very beautiful woman, both on the inside and out." She began to skillfully an outline of the officer's face on the ground, considering everything, as if she had done it many times before. "I was told by other members of my tribe that you are known as Desert Rose. That name has a precious meaning to us. For, it is only something so beautiful and precious that can exist in a place so barren and inhospitable." She stood up, and looked down with a smile. It was a sand picture of Rose's beautiful face, completely detailed. On the forehead, the little girl had drawn a rosebud.
The a little light shown though Rose's soul, her spirit was jumping for joy and she smiles at the girl.
"I have something for you." Rose said as she gave the little girl a locket with a picture of Rose in it. "So you won't forget me."
The Little girl looked down, opened the locket, and smiled brightly as she looked upon the picture. Closing it, the girl gave Rose a big hug. "Oh thank you Desert Rose, I shall cherish this always!"
"You welcome, I hope then I have a little girl she will be just like you." Rose said while hugging her.
"May the Great spirits of my people protect you on your journey of life bring you great prosperity." She replied, after their embrace ended. Waving goodbye, she slowly made off to her village."
"Wait!" Rose called out. "What's your name?"
"Radiant Spirit!" She called out before she vanished.
A Rose turned around; she noticed a piece of fabric near the drawing on the sand. Roughly several inches long, decorated beautifully with many colors, it appeared to be silken, but shiner and much stronger. It was laid in a figure eight pattern. Realizing its' purpose for being there, Rose picked it up, and puts her hair into a ponytail…
*** Another part of Ursid ***
Adrian headed over to a tent where a message was being received for him from the Galaxy. Curiously, he activated the monitor and grinned.
"Zerhi! How in the nine galaxies…" He stuttered
["Like it's that difficult to track you down!"] She laughed. ["I've been wondering how you've been doing my sweet Adrian. They haven't immersed you into any Holy Water have they?"] She asked with a half-serious expression on her face.
"Far from it!" He laughed. "It turns out, that I've been given name, in honor of my people!"
["Oh?"] She asked, slightly befuddled at the answer.
"I'm known as Ageless Listener to the Ursid humanoids." He paused, noticing an peculiar expression that bordered along the lines of amused, and fascination. "They Ageless came form the fact that time affects me not, and Listener from two humanoids of our race that came to visit them many times in the past, collecting the stories of the Ursid people for their Great Library in the sky."
["Wow!"] She summed up in one big breath, they eyed with a grin. ["So, have the natives come from everywhere to tell you there stories now?"]
"No, so far only Standing Bear, and he's spoke mostly of the legends of his people." He paused and took in a breath. "So, have you been keeping busy with me gone?"
["Eh…"] She began. ["The usual: I've gotten in touch with Gailyn, and he couldn't be more happier, and also your sister sent you a message. Something about a request to use the castle for some event of sorts…"] She paused as million thoughts raced through her head. ["That's about it!]
"Well my precious Zerhi, stay safe, and be careful." He blew her a kiss. "Reio'ta paloa Zerhi."
OOC: The following log takes place before Anika beams down to help with the evacuation effort.
by Lt. jg Anika Crowe, Flight Control Officer
and Lt. jg Rose MacAllen, Science Officer
Through the grapevine, Anika had heard that Rose wasn't doing very well. It sounded like she'd locked herself away in her quarters and wouldn't come out. Anika couldn't imagine anything that would force a person to that extreme, but each day that went by brought more and more things she previously wouldn't have been able to imagine.
She stopped outside Rose's cabin and listened to determine if Rose was inside. She couldn't tell. With a shrug, she tapped the enunciator.
Rose looks up from her PADD she got from the Science Lab, "Come in." She was shocked to see her new best friend Anika walking into her room. She smiles and hug her a little.
"So what brings you by, my friend? Would you like some coffee?" she asked Anika.
"Tea if it's okay," Anika said, looking around Rose's cabin. "I heard you might need a little company." With a flourish, she added, "so here I am!"
Anika watched as Rose got drinks from the replicator and brought them over to the couch in the center of the living space. They both took a seat and picked up their respective drinks.
"So," Anika said after sampling her tea, "how are you doing?"
Rose looked at her friend. "I've been better. So who told you because I had a pretty good idea of who told you what was wrong with me."
Anika glanced over at Rose and was suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Did she sound upset? Was she mad that I came over?
"Look," she said after a moment, "it doesn't really matter where I heard it. I heard from a couple people in sciences and someone in the lounge was asking a friend if he'd seen you around. But, it doesn't matter. I'm here to lift your spirits, or something like that. I thought you might want to have a friend to spend some time with. I can go if you'd rather be alone though."
Rose smiles at her friend. "I don't want you to leave. I'm sorry if I got down on you about this please forgive me," said Rose with a smile. "I just been down very much lately." She missed her boyfriend, and felt very much unwanted and unloved. "You're my best friend I don't want you to leave. Please stay with me and I don't want to lose you for a friend." Rose started to drink her coffee slowly.
"You won't lose me as a friend," Anika said with a smile. "So, you don't have to worry about that." She looked closer at Rose, wondering what could be going on. She'd known depression before, and felt it bubble back to the surface every once in awhile. The loss of her parents had been a very stressful time in her life. She made it through with the help of the people around her. If Rose was feeling the same, then the people around her would help bring her out of it too. "So, what's got you down?"
"My boyfriend," Rose said. "I haven't seen him in months, I don't think he loves me anymore." She hid her tears away from her friend, then walked to the window, looking out at the stars thinking about her future.
Anika nodded. She debated moving to the window next to Rose for a moment, but decided where was would be best for now. "Have you tried talking to him about it," she asked. "See how he feels?"
"No, he has been too busy. You know, if we breakup it will mean I'm a failure when it comes to having a relationship. It will be all over the royal newspapers. I love him deeply and I don't want to lose him." Rose said to her best friend.
Anika shrugged. "Then your choice is simple," she said. "Rather than letting him go and being a very happy failure, you hold onto him and be a completely miserable failure who's failure isn't known because it hasn't been spread across the tabloids yet." Anika nodded vigorously. "That does sound like the best choice." She watched Rose for a moment, then got off the couch to approach. "Rose, that has to be the silliest thing I've ever heard."
She over where Rose stood. "One person isn't a relationship, Rose," she said. "If he's not in it, it's not a relationship. If he's not talking to you, it's not a relationship. You need to find out how he feels. If he loves you, the two of you have a long talk and figure out how to make it work. And, if he doesn't have time to make it work, then he doesn't really love you. And, if he doesn't really love you, you need to move on with your life. No man is worth the pain you're feeling. There are lots of men in the universe, and most of them would probably love to be with you. You're a failure if you just sit and do nothing. You're a failure if you let his schedule dictate his and your love for each other. You're a failure if you let the will of the royals define what your love should be. You're a failure if you don't search your heart and do what it says. What does your heart tell you to do, Rose?"
"My heart says to go after him and tell him how I feel, my brain says to forget about him. It's like I'm trapped and I don't know what way to turn..like a rat in a maze." Rose said crying a little more then she comes up to Anika tightly like a scared child hugging on a older sister.
Anika hugged Rose back. "Follow your heart," she said softly. "Always follow your heart."
Rose looked at Anika, wiping away her tears. "I have some song for our new band. I hope you like them. Some of then I sang when I was at the Academy."
Rose sat down with a PADD in her hand and gave it to Anika.
Anika took the PADD and started looking through the songs. There was some good stuff, and more importantly stuff she thought she could play. "Great stuff," she said, looking at one that looked like a ballad. A fiddle would go well with that one. "I like them, Rose. These will be great to play."
"I use to have a group called the 'Spice Girls' but we broke up, I was called Posh Spice because I love to wear short dresses." Rose said with a grin trying to make her friend smile a little.
"Oh," Anika said with a smile. "That sounds like so much fun. I don't think I've ever worn a short dress. I've worn long skirts and pants. Shorts during warmer weather. Growing up, I was usually wearing greasy overalls, but that's what you wear in a small space port. I've worn some very skimpy looking this for Eric when he was taking pictures of me, bikinis mainly. I'll have to wear a short dress someday though. So, do you know of anyone else for our band?"
Rose sighed a little. "That's the problem. I don't know many people who would sing with us. The ones who were in the band with me before are either dead or on other ships. I know the perfect nickname for you. You're younger then me, so maybe I can call you 'Baby Spice.' If you want of course it us to you my friend. More tea, my friend."
"Yes, please," she said, handing the glass back over to Rose. "I guess the nickname is okay. I've never had a nickname like that. Wasn't there a band back in the twentieth century that used spices as their names?"
"Yes here's a picture of them," Rose said, as she handed a group picture of the 20th century Spice Girls from England. "Baby Spice has blond hair, and Posh Spice is wearing short dresses," she said as she gave her the tea.
Anika nodded and glanced over at Rose. "If we're going to do a band, is it right to use their name? Shouldn't we have a name of our own?"
Rose thought about it for a moment. "You're right. Do you have something in mind my friend?" she said with a smile.
Anika frowned as her mind started flipping through the rather meager list of what might constitute a good band name. "I don't really know," she said. "I never really thought about giving a band a name before. I don't know what would be good. What kind of music are we going to play? That would help figure out the tone of the name."
Rose can feel her mind going, "That's okay. We've got some time to think about it ok." she said trying to make Anika smile.
"Of course," she said. "This is going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait. I've never been part of a band."
Rose hugged her best friend. "You're one of the best friends I've got on the ship...and believe me I don't have very many."
Anika smiled. "You too," she said. "And, if you want more friends, I'm sure we can find you more. But, I'm in the same boat as you. I don't have very many friends here either."
Rose hugs her best friend and give her a little box, it a royal friendship ring. It made of Betazoid gold with her royal crest on it which is a rose though a crown.
"I hope you will wear this always and to never forget our friendship." Rose said with a smile.
"I will," Anika said, looking at the ring. "It's beautiful. I'll definitely wear it. Eric may get a little jealous though." She laughed and looked up at Rose. She reached out and hugged her friend. "Thank you."
Rose hugged her back. "And thank you for showing me away to handle my problems. I will talk to my boyfriend after the mission, for now I'm thinking about good friends, the mission. And I was thinking if we get shore leave, maybe you can come with me to visit my mother on Betazed, together. What do you think?" she said with a smile.
"Sure," Anika said. "That sounds great."
"The Glitch II"
Ensign Danok (Engineer).
Danok, still trying to upgrade his own EMH is experimenting in the holodeck. He has just waited for an hour to see the results of the latets trick he tried...
For the last time the computer beeped. "Due to complexity and difference in method of datastoring this procedure will take approx. one hour. Please stand by." The only thing Danok did was sit on the floor, put his hands together and started meditating...
Just seconds before the computer announced the completion of the joining of his personal EMH and the EMH from sickbay, well the backups of them anyway, He looked up. "Joining complete." The computer vioce said.
Danok took his tricorder and started to scan the hologram. "All appears to be fine" he tought. "Computer, reset and activate newly created hologram." The computer beeped. "Please state the nature of the medical, cal, cal, cal, cal...." Danok lifted his eyebrow at the repeating text of the EMH. "Computer reallign datapattern, reset and activate hologram." He responded in a calm voice.
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency. Ah doctor Danok how are you ?" Danok said nothing but tought for a moment. Then he asked a series of questions to the EMH. "Scenario : If a patient has a multi fractured artery what is the best tool to use ?" The EMH had to think for a moment but did not come up with an answer. In stead it reacted with a counter question : "Don't you know that doctor Danok ?" And with this answer the EMH distorted a bit.
"Computer, rebuild memory enclosure pathways" The computer beeped : "Rebuilding, please stand by...... Finished rebuilding." Danok walked towards the EMH and looked at the distortion in it. "Your physical attributes are still damaged. Please perform a level one diagnostic on yourself." The EMH reacted almost like offended. "Well, docter, there is nothing wrong with me but if you insist. I'm checkin, kin, kin, kin, kin...."
"Wha wha what is happening to me ? Docter Dan, dan, dan, Danok ? Oh no, my matrix is desta, desta, de, de, defecting !" Just as Danok wanted to order the reset of the hologram again it collapsed, and with it all the data and one hour of work...
"Computer, end and save program." Said Danok while walking to the door. "Program ended and saved" The door swung open and Danok returned to his room for some sleep before his duty started again.
"Also on the Surface"
Lt. Rayna O'Grady
The people of Ursid had begun to pack and secure their gear and were so far orderly in moving towards their evacuation points on the planet. Rayna watched on, making sure that things went smoothly.
Something was nagging her but she couldn't put her finger on it. It seemed that it was going too smoothly, without incident. Rayna's instincts were usually right. She hoped that this time, she was wrong.
She looked over at Mike, watching him interact with the evacuees. Once in awhile, he'd look over at her and smile. Rayna walked around, keeping the peace.
"Change of Scenery"
by, Ens. Wilhem Quevvenson,
After working for a time on the defenses of Shanbani, Wilhem was called away to work on a team going under one of the world's oceans. First, going to the site of the transfer, he placed his weapons in the care of another ensign. He would not be needing them on this voyage.
Then, he slipped into a radiation suit, as there were concerns of a radioactive nature in this voyage. LCDR Jeral Maas had ordered it, so Wilhem went along. He was sure the Lt. Cmdr. knew what he was doing.
Finally, he gathereed all the things he would need. Log recorders, tricorders, and things that a scientist might use to track radiation. These would be key to unlocking the secrets of the strange world down below.
Then, he boarded the USS Opaka, and sat there watching the more senior officers board. He knew that he was lucky to be on this voyage. And he was thankful for the chance to prove himself in a task so near to his heart.
"Solid through and through"
by Captain Robert Edward Lee Price
*** USS Galaxy ***
In total the away team on the USS Buster Keaton spent nearly three hours on the surface of the monster asteroid, gathering data and taking readings. Lieutenant Commander Sullax would have preferred to have spent more time analyzing the asteroid, but the time remaining before the approaching asteroids entered the atmosphere of the planet and became the fabled meteorites of the Firestorm of rain was growing ever closer. Ryak knew that he had to put together a plan of attack right away if the Galaxy was going to help avoid a planetary disaster on Ursid.
While the team of scientists were still on the asteroid surface gathering their data, Captain Price had taken the liberty to get Engineering started on construction of several anti-matter explosives. Lee was hoping that Ryak's expedition would discover a weakness in the asteroid's surface where the charges could be planted in order to try and blast the 38.5 kilometer rock into smaller pieces that were more easily dealt with. Lieutenant McDowell, the Assistant Chief Engineer and the officer in charge of the Galaxy's Engineering unit, had asked the General how many of the small 200 kiloton anti-matter charges he should prepare. Not knowing for certain how many Sullax might need, Captain Price asked for fifty of them. Michael started work on their manufacture right away. By the time the USS Buster Keaton returned to the Galaxy, twenty nine of the explosives had been fashioned and were ready to go.
The turbolift doors swished open on the bridge and Lieutenant Commander Genestra came onto the command deck.
Captain Price stood and greeted Evin. "G'day 'Commander. Everything went well I take it 'mate?"
Evin nodded while walking to the science station. "Yes Captain. We gathered a lot of data about the asteroid and particularly the chasm where we landed. I need to make a few calculations with the ship's computer while 'Commander Sullax and Bright Star in Heaven use the holodeck to run some simulations."
Lee gave a nod while walking Genestra to the science station. "Fair dinkum. Did the 'Commander say how long it would be before he comes up with a plan to deal with that monster rock out there 'mate?"
Sitting down, Evin shook his head, "No sir, but Ryak is well aware of the urgency to put a plan into action quickly."
"By our calculations, we only have another 33 hours before the first of the meteorites strikes the planet surface. That means we need to divert or destroy that asteroid within seventeen hours if we are going to succeed at saving the planet from global destruction." Captain Price pointed out.
"The 'Commander is aware of that too sir." Evin acknowledged. "It is not looking very good though. That thing is solid through and through. It will be no easy task breaking it up, and the shear mass of the thing will make it difficult to divert. If that is even possible."
"I don't want to hear that 'mate." Lee shook his head stubbornly. "I will not accept that there is nothing we can do to save these people. There has to be a way to divert that monster. I've had Lieutenant McDowell begin constructing some anti-matter charges. I figured they would be the most efficient way of destroying that asteroid if we set the charges in just the right places."
Evin winced a bit. "That might work if the asteroid had a liquid core, but our readings indicate it's a solid, cold rock sir. I even took a core sample using the equipment on the Buster Keaton. While it might be possible to fracture the asteroid along one of it's fault lines, it is also just as possible that the anti-matter charges would simply blast huge craters in the surface and do little else." The 'Commander paused, glancing at his monitor, "That's what Ryak is exploring on the holodeck right now."
"Well for the Ursidians sake, I hope 'Commander Sullax discovers a weakness that we can exploit. Otherwise all of this effort has been for nothing." Captain Price pointed out.
"Agreed sir. Don't worry. If there is a way to stop that thing, Ryak and I will figure it out." Evin reassured.
"I hope so 'mate. I'm counting on it." Lee stated confidently. He then returned to the command chair to allow Genestra to return to his work.
"Arguments of a Natural Matter"
Dr. Michala Lynn, Lt.
"Raven Bringer, we will not be misled by such nonsense. Our fathers have treated illness with our sacred medicines for centuries." Stated Dove Feather firmly.
Michala sighed. "Dove Feather, think for a minute. How many of your sacred medicines have components that come from the sea?"
Dove Feather did a mental calculation. "At least one half contain items from our great waters."
"If those compnents are poisoned, by the warming of waters or the fall of a fire rock, what happens to your medicines." She pushed firmly.
"They are poisoned as well." Dove Feather sighed, "How can you be sure that this is not the work of the trickster, to make us turn away from the old ways."
"No one is asking you to turn from the old ways. Just refrain from those medicines so concocted until we can find a source. Otherwise, you risk further distress to your people who are in your care."
"What if the wise man blessed them?" Dove Feather was trying hard to not lose a great store of medicine.
"That would be great if the poison were of a sprititual nature, but this is a natural matter and a great deal of medicine." She pointed out softy. "We also need to get these people to the evacuation site."
"We have prepared the souls of those who cannot walk and most likely will not awaken. Those who can walk are ready." Dove Feather frowned.
Michala nodded. "If you gather the medicines you know are safe, I will have men come and move them for you. We should send those who can walk now."
"I will be staying Raven Bringer." Dove Feather stated.
"That would not be wise." Michala pointed out. "The damage by the fire storm will be great and you are not protected here."
"Those who are dying will not be left. I will stay with them. Their souls will want to move on close to their home and ancestors.." Dove Feather rebutted.
Michala paused, uncertain how to continue. "I tell you what, I will stay with you and those that will not leave or whose families wish them to stay near their ancestors. But, you must promise me that at the first sign that the fire storm is beginning, we leave together." Michala offered.
Dove Feather cocked her head, looking at the strange woman before her. "It is a brave offer, Raven Bringer. I will be glad for the help, then I will not have to ask another to stay."
Michala smiled. "I do not want to leave those here suffering, perhaps between now and then, you and I can find away to reverse the damage caused by the radiation."
Dove Feather smiled back. "First, we must get those who will and can go, to the place assigned." Dove Feather turned to direct those who had come to help.
"And the medicines that are safe?" Michala asked.
"Yes, only those from our inland sources will go." Dove Feather conceded.
Michala let out a sigh of relief and then turned to help a young mother whose small child had fallen to the strange disease. Perhaps, there was hope for most of them yet.
"Last Minute Preparations"
by Lt. Commander T'Zaq
The ground-speeder raced across the landscape, hovering a few inches above the rapidly passing ground below. T'Zaq and a young representative of Ursid, namely Cloud-Singer, were setting out a few last-minute shield generators on a few important historical buildings on the outskirts of Shanbani. The smaller shield generators, with the approximate shape of an inverted floor lamp, would create a field the size of a small building.
"I've always been curious about leaving the homeworld," Cloud-Singer smiled conversationally at T'Zaq as he drove. "My cousin works on a trade-freighter, lucky one. But I am here, my trade is electrical engineering, and I have a wife and young family to care for."
T'Zaq smiled vaguely, not sure how to reply. Thankfully, they arrived at the first site a few moments later, so a prolonged uncomfortable silence was avoided.
The site was a relatively unimpressive-looking wooden shack, but it was reportedly a place of great sentimental value to a certain branch of Ursidian religion. The two struggled to hoist the somewhat unwieldy field generator onto the roof before activating it. Blue tendrils of energy spread out from the top of the generator, enveloping the building in a shimmering bubble.
T'Zaq and Cloud-Singer exchanged a triumphant glance, but wasted no further time admiring their handiwork. They had six more local sites to protect, and it was only a matter of time before the firestorm began.
Lieutenant Commander Ethan Suder - Chief Engineer
The old man looked up away from his crops as Ethan approached him. He was tired of seeing all these Starfleet people walking around. Despite the fact that they were here to help, he just wanted to let things happen, if their planet should die, so be it.
"Sir?" Ethan called out again.
"Can I help you, Sir?" the old man asked.
Ethan came to a halt a few meters from the man who was on his knees working away at the crops. "I'm sure you're aware of the situation and the evacuation." Ethan stated.
"That's right." the man sighed as he returned his attention to the crops. It was a shame the day was turning into a bad nightmare. This area seemed like a nice place and Ethan could imagine having a good chat with these people here. "But we're not running away. It is nature that changes history, the present and even the future. Who are we to stand in nature's way?"
Ethan considered the question for a moment and looked around. Nodding at the two children playing in the crops he looked back at the old man. "What about your children?"
"Nature controls us all Commander." the man said.
Ethan knew what the man was saying, and he didn't mind leaving him here. But he didn't want others to stay because of his stubborn thinking.
"Go ahead and talk to them, they'll tell you the same thing." the old man said with a slight smile as he looked up at Ethan one more time.
Ethan strolled down the hill to where the children were playing. The noticed him and skipped over to him. "Having fun?" Ethan asked.
"Yep." one of the girls replied.
Ethan knelt down on one knee and pointed up at the sky. "You see that?" he asked.
The two girls put a hand over their eyes to block out the sun and glanced towards the sky. A small black shadow was visible, sort of like a small moon.
"Do you know what's going to happen if that gets here?" Ethan asked.
"We will all go to a better place." one of the girls said.
"What better place?" Ethan asked.
"You know the place. At the end of the path." the other girl said.
Ethan glanced at the two children and then at the asteroid that looked so tiny from their position.
"We don't want to go." the girl said.
Ethan nodded. He knew what they were saying and respected it. He wasn't going to force them to leave, it wasn't his place. He gave them a smile and then began walking up the hill as the two girls continued playing. He strolled over to where Ensign Jose Garcia was stood. She too was blocking out the sun with one hand.
"How did it go?" she asked.
"They... Will not be coming." Ethan said. He stood next to the Ensign and looked back at the family. The two girls were now playing around their father. They looked so happy.
"This better work." Jose said.
Ethan again looked up towards the sky. Not looking for the asteroid, but the USS Galaxy. His wishful thoughts kept going out to Michael. He wished he could be there to help. He could sense the thoughts that were coming from the planet, the ship, it was a lot to take in. "It will work." Ethan said. He looked at one of the cases that were led on the floor by their feet. "Set up one of the generators around the house. Make sure they won't see it. We'll beam it away as soon as we can."
"If that thing hits the planet, the shield-"
"I know, it's for, other things." Ethan explained.
The Ensign nodded and made her way to the small house to set up the shield generator. Ethan took one last look at the happy family before walking down the other side of the hill.
"Suder to McDowell." he said tapping his communicator.
=/\= How's things, Chief? =/\= Michael replied.
"I wish I could give better news. Some of the population don't want protection. Others are going out of their way to make sure they get it. What's the situation up there? That rocks still coming this way." Ethan said with a smile.
=/\= Thanks for reminding us. =/\= Michael replied. =/\= We're trying to prepare a lot of small anti-matter devices, to try and break the thing to pieces. We just don't know how effective it will be. =/\=
"Just dump the warp core in it's path then." Ethan suggested.
=/\= Chief? =/\=
"Relax, Michael, I'm sure it won't coe to that. It's always an idea though. If the Captain wants you to, you know the procedure right?"
=/\= Yes, but hopefully these ideas we're swimming through will help us out. =/\=
"Good luck Mike." Ethan said as he continued walking through the crops towards the main city.
=/\= You too. =/\=
Ethan couldn't help but think that a lot of people were going to get hurt. Even with the shield generators, a rock that size could tear the shields to pieces. But hopefully, the Galaxy would stop it. Ethan knew that the captain would make sure of it. As well as McDowell. Still, there was something interesting about the whole idea that maybe those left on the planet would die. Not a nice thought, but it was curious to think about how everyone would spend their last few hours.
=/\= Garcia to Suder, I've placed the generator, I'm on my way back to the capital now, see you there? =/\=
"No. I'll be next to the planets main power regulators. We need to keep it under control." Ethan explained.
=/\= Chief, because of the power intinsity of that area, we couldn't shield it very well. =/\=
"Understood. You know what your doing, make sure everyone else does too." Ethan said tapping his communicator again.
Dr. Andree Dothan, (Lt. JG)
Medical Dept. USS Galaxy
Known to the Natives as Turtle of the Ages
Everything was preceeding according to plan, or at least according to the Trill doctor's plan. The Mobile Computer and Storage Unit was working properly.
Presently, the Lens array solar panels were pointed at the sun, and producing about 250% of the energy needed to run the device.
"Here is your water" Flame Turtle said, setting an 8 liter bucked down.
"Dump it into that opening there, if you would" Andree replied
"What is it for?"
"We need it to charge up the fuel cell, for tonight."
"Ahh, now I understand"
Walking over to another panel, Andree activated another Lens array to power the long range communications protocols. To test them, he downloaded his messages.
One of them caught his eye. He tapped it, and the video came to life. Dr. Jeral Maas was asking him to go on an AT mission, to investigate the poisioning of the oceanic fish, he also wanted Andree to invite Flame Turtle as an observer
Flame Turtle, who had been watching over Andree's shoulder, responded, "I would be honored to join your crew
To be Continued
=/\= "Painted Shell Park" =/\=
by Lt Cmdr Surok
Doctor Casey's voice came clearly through lieutenant commander Surok's comm badge, [...'commander Dallas has been given all the details we currently have on the radiation contamination, 'commander. She will be able to give you the tricorder settings necessary to detect the contamination in food and other supplies.]
"Thank you doctor. I am pleased to learn that the source of this epidemic has been revealed," said the Vulcan ops officer. "I will meet with the counsellor immediately. Surok out," he said and tapped his badge.
Looking down, he regarded a dish of crunchy fried seaweed that had been given to his team as a snack while they worked. Could the green chips be a vector of the toxin? From what the young doctor had said, Surok thought it unlikely that the minimal exposure his team had encountered would cause any detectable ill effects.
He lifted his PADD and entered a quick but detailed log entry of his conversation with doctor Casey. Once that was complete, Surok headed for the MASH center located just outside the entrance to the local underground shelter complex. He had been to the shelter once while members of the Hoowan team helped Doctor Lemur assemble his equipment. Surok had not been there since lieutenant commander Karyn Dallas had set up her base of operations. Having been down to the lowest level of the giant shelter complex, Surok knew the level of unease affecting the Ursidians of Hoowan city. He was certain the counsellor would share his relief that the cause of the Ursidian epidemic was known.
Together, he and 'commander Dallas and Doctor Lemur should be able to come up with a working plan to isolate contaminants and reassure the populace. Provided the superstitious citizenry could be convinced by doctor Casey's findings.
Surok crossed through the center of Hoowan's Painted Shell Park. With less than two days remaining before the onslaught of meteors known to the Ursidians as the "Rain of Fire", the park was a fairly busy place. Clad in durable-looking jumpsuits, city workers labored to remove young plants intact from the gardens among the brightly-colored seashells. Surok knew that the most prized and rarest plant species were being transplanted to nearby 'safe zones' at the marine sanctuary and other places to be protected by the giant force shields the Galaxy's crew was erecting around Hoowan.
The thought brought the Vulcan's mind around to the matter of the missing shield components. Crewman Frawley was unable to account for the equipment. He reported to Surok shortly after petty officer Adams discovered the equipment missing from the Marine Sanctuary. Frawley explained that he had supervised several Hoowan youths who delivered the parts. He did not at any point verify the arrival of the equipment.
Surok put Frawley to work looking for the young Ursidians he had recruited. A formal reprimand would wait until the actual disposition of the equipment was determined. It was likely that the components were simply misplaced and the situation would soon be rectified.
Within minutes, Surok arrived at the MASH center...
By Lieutenant Commander Savat
***Yxalag Observatory. T Minus Thirty Two Hours***
Paints the Heavens was one of the younger astronomers at the prestigious Yxalag Observatory. And he was troubled.
Situated on the crest of Bear Paw Mountain, the observatory had played a vital role in the past two years in tracking and cataloging the thousands of rocks that made up the firestorm of rain. A few hours before, they had learned that their calculations were grossly off the mark. They had rounded their numbers during their data crunching, and over the course of millions of kilometers, such errors meant huge swings in the projected trajectories of the stones from the stars. They had completely missed the moon-sized meteor hurtling towards their homes. Right now, the off-worlders were in their mighty ship, preparing to do battle with the fearsome stone. Chief Crooked Nose, the turtles and the other star gazers had expressed confidence in the Federation's ability to deal with the problem.
Paints with Heavens, like the other astronomers, had spent the last six hours recalculating the impact points for the firestorm, taking the Federation data into account. While some of the impact points had changed, meaning new buildings to be reinforced, other meteors, expected to do massive damage, were going to miss Ursid entirely.
But Paints the Heavens mind was not at ease. He looked over the calculations again, certain they were missing something vital. He scooped up his work, a combination of data pads and hand drawn charts, and carried them with him into the office of Sub Chief Moon Walker. The grizzled old man looked up from his star scrolls as the younger man entered his chambers. "What can I do for you young one?"
"A question, sir." Paints the Heavens answered. He waited for the older man to nod his consent. "The corrected data the Federation gave to us. How did they make the calculations?"
"With their advanced computers I assume." Moon Walker replied.
"But what did they base their data on?"
"They ran our data and corrected the rounding errors." The Sub Chief said. "Why, is there a problem?"
"There may be." Said the younger man. "Did the Federation scan the entire firestorm of rain themselves?"
"I doubt they had time." Said Moon Walker. "Our data took six years to collect and is far more extensive then anything they could have gathered in less than a day. But every stone in danger of hitting Ursid was tracked. We simply made a mistake on the impact points."
"But did we send them all the data?" Paints the Heavens persisted. "What about the far stones? Those that posed no danger to Ursid?"
"Those would not have been included." Said Moon Walker. "They posed no threat, and so were discarded..." The older man paused to think. His body shuddered slightly as realization struck. "And they would have suffered from the same miscalculations!" He sat up suddenly and walked to his workstation, motioning for the younger astronomer to follow him. "Quickly!" He said. "We must run the data on the far stones again!"
***Outskirts of Niatpac***
"How serious are the injuries?" Savat asked, speaking slowly and evenly.
[How should I know?] Ensign Torricle's voice spoke through Savat's comm badge. [A lizard-oid gets mauled by a bear-oid and I'm supposed to know what to do? I'm not a medical officer, much less a veterinarian!]
The elder Vulcan sighed. "Is he moving?"
[No. And there's blood flowing from his wounds like a river!]
"Well then, the logical conclusion is that he is still alive." Said Savat. "His arteries and veins would no longer pump blood out of his body with such force if he were deceased. It has been my observation that Mr. Zonhieb is a very difficult individual to kill. I will have a medical team dispatched at once. Savat out."
The last two hours had not been satisfactory ones in the Vulcan's opinion. As the deadline for the meteor shower loomed, more and more incidents were occurring. Ensign Tival had been assaulted by a party of anti-interventionists, upset by the Federation's presence on Ursid. She had survived the encounter. The fate of Ensign Tarsonis was not as certain. He had presumably been captured by a similar faction. A team lead by Lieutenant Richeson was currently searching for him, pulling away valuable resources from the evacuation.
There was some good news on the contamination front, however. The Galaxy's science and medical teams had discovered what they believed to be the source of the fish poisoning, A large deposit of uranium, too massive to have been formed by Ursid's own paleotectonic activity. They had also discovered underwater structures of unknown origin that were tapping the deposit to power their facilities. This made the situation a security matter, and Savat would soon be accompanying Dr. Maas and his team on the Okapa to assess the threat potential of the unknown structures and the potential inhabitants within. Savat had planned to leave Seth in charge of security on the surface during his absence, but until the Gorn's condition could be assessed, he would have to make other plans.
Savat's comm-badge began to chirp. And while it was illogical for him to make assumptions, he knew in his gut that it would be more bad news. "Savat here."
The Vulcan listened patiently as the junior science officer assigned to the Yxalog Observatory explained the findings brought to him by Moon Walker.
"And you have checked and confirmed these results?" Savat asked.
[Twice.] The Ensign replied. [These meteorites were not included in the data the Ursids sent to us because they were small and were going to miss the planet.]
"I see." Savat responded. "And how small are we talking about here?"
[The largest is thirteen meters across]
Savat did a few mental calculations. "Assuming a rocky core, an M class atmosphere density and the relative speed of impact..." He paused and considered. "We are still talking about an impact that could generate a two hundred meter crater, with an overpressure wave that could flatten everything in a radius of a few kilometers."
[Plus the potential dust cloud] The Ensign added. [It's going to be nasty. Good thing it's not going to hit one of the main cities]
"How long do we have?" Savat asked.
[One hour, thirteen minutes. You should start seeing streaking in the sky from the smaller chunks within the next twenty minutes.]
Savat knew the time frame did not give them long to act. Destroying the meteorite before impact was nearly out of the question. The Galaxy was off dealing with a larger problem and the shuttles had been retrofitted for the evacuation mission.
"What do we know about the impact area?" Savat asked.
An elderly voice spoke up. [The stone will strike in the heart of the Hintchaka Mountain Range]
"Population?" asked the Vulcan.
[There are no cities, only hunting lodges. There are still braves up in those mountains. They know of the evacuation, but planned to stay out as long as possible]
"Can you contact them?"
[Communication with the outside world is frowned upon during sacred hunts]
"Then we have very little time." Said Savat. "Have the Ensign send me all the information you have, I shall do what I can."
"Sticks and Shrinks"
Ensign Rebecca von Ernst
Lieutenant (jg) Adrian An'quinsos
The setting sun painted the western walls of the Ursid city in glorious shades of crimson, gold and amber. Shadows lengthened and mingled in the eastern horizon, and shopkeepers drew wooden slats across their store- fronts as a veritable fleet of fruit and vegetable carts up-anchored and sailed down the street for home. Haggard mothers called yet again for their children to come and wash up, and those same kids giggled amongst themselves, wondering if she REALLY meant it this time. After all, you were safe until Father had to come and look for you. In this surrealistic landscape of day's end, a young red haired girl from Minnesota strolled down the simple cobblestone street in wonder.
"Utterly, incomprehensible." She mused to herself. "These people are 36 hours from fiery death and destruction, and they are treating this like any other day."
She wove in and out of the steady flow of the fruit-cart armada turning herself all about to take in the simple, but rich architecture that was now even more impressive with the setting sun's palette of colors.
Ensign Rebecca von Ernst of Starfleet, uttered a brief sigh of admiration and for the first time since she beamed down allowed the barest of smiles to cross her freckled face. In many ways, the down-home simplicity of the Ursid reminded her of her own rural upbringing in the backwoods of Minnesota. Here, as there, good people wove a perfect blending of technology and tradition to live an idyllic life of peace and simplicity.
The thoughts of her farmhouse upbringing brought a warm flush to Rebecca's cheeks, but she still felt the gnawing emptiness of isolation. So far from Home… so far from home cooking and Mom's rapier wit.
Of all the billions of souls in the wide universe, the only one Rebecca felt truly comfortable with was her Mother. Mom had always been there to sooth a bruised knee, or to shoo away the monsters that lived under the bed. Since Daddy died, mom had also taken on the heavy burden of running the von Ernst farm, an endeavor that while rewarding was becoming increasingly difficult on her own.
The small stipend Rebecca received from Starfleet was sent home each month like clockwork, and sometimes the knowledge that Mom was being provided for was the only thing that kept Rebecca going.
She frowned now, the soft light of the setting sun cast crimson highlights into her already fiery curls and brought a light flush to her cheeks.
Oh mother, I miss you so…I need you…the universe is too big and too scary for little old me.
There was of course, no reply to her lonely thoughts.
Brushing back and errant lock of hair, Rebecca scrunched her nose in thought. Here I am…A zillion miles from home…on a planet I never heard of before, trying to save a people I have never met, from getting smashed to bacon by meteors from space!
Rebecca shook her head at the wonder of it all.
Noodles…I don't even know what city I am in!
"We're in Cire." A masculine voice from behind responded. The officer turned around and saw a tall humanoid, roughly her age, with dark, curly blonde hair, and deep blue eyes. He seemed to have a small grin on his face that seemed natural with his demeanor.
If it were possible for Rebecca to jump straight out of her skin and achieved orbit, she would have. She had thought herself alone in her musings, and was caught quite off guard by the youthful looking man before her.
Averting her eyes to the ground she blushed, and muttered something in an inaudible squeak.
Adrian looked at her a little concerned. "Are you all right?" He paused as some of the children ran by, laughing as they played. "I didn't scare you did I?"
N… n… no, I um… I uh…" Gulping and scrunching her nose in nervousness she repeated..."Cire? ... Where's that?"
"We're on the southern most edge of the North-eastern continent of Ullial, eight miles Northwest of the Kyr River Valley and Eighteen Southwest of the Archenbach Mountains." Came his reply as he points his fingers toward those directions.
She didn't bother following his gesture, nervously preferring to stare at the ground. The intense gaze of the handsome youth seemed to burn twin holes into the center of Rebecca's being. His manner was friendly enough, and even to a certain extent…harmless.
However, years of farm-work, and being home schooled by her mother had denied the young redhead the opportunity to meet and make friends as a teenager.
The severe hazing she had received at the Academy had not improved her social skills either. Between constant teasing from her female roommates, and outright being ignored by the men, it was a wonder Rebecca had not fainted dead away at Adrian's approach.
The tall humanoid glanced over at her again, this time a little more concerned. Naturally empathic, he could sense certain emotional states, and right now, he was worried about her.
He looked up toward the sky, noticing that evening was fast approaching. He looked over at the young human and sighs a little.
"Standing Bear and his family have offered all of us hospitality at his home." The El-Aurian youth began. "Would you care to join us all? I'm not sure who will all be there exactly, but Standing Bear said he would have a great feast prepared in our honor."
"I…I…I'm not sure I can… uh, sir." Rebecca stuttered, "I'm kinda… uh on duty."
That wasn't strictly true, since most of her tasks had been completed long ago. The single raised eyebrow on the Lt. Seemed to confirm his disbelief of her claim.
"I…uh…oh...I'm not really right in the middle of something, actually." She hastily amended. Rebecca suddenly realized that her lazy stroll about the city must seem to be dereliction of duty. Obviously (to her mind) the Lt was about to give her a good dressing down.
"I…uh…I've completed the assembly and cataloging of the Ursid Database, and translated it over to Standard Federation machine codes for transmission back to Galaxy, but… uh" Rebecca gestured uselessly at the rabidly darkening sky where stars were already forming. "But, no Galaxy." She completed.
"I know," He replied. "They've left orbit some time ago. The last transmission our team received before they were our of range was from my fiancée. " He chuckled. "How she did it, is beyond me!" He looked at her once again. "From what I can see, you don't appear to be on duty, and my guess is that you're tired and would like a good home-cooked meal… from wherever that home might be."
His Fiancée! Oh noodles! Rebecca fumed. ~Of course he's got a girlfriend you silly little girl~, she chided herself. ~Did you think that a handsome guy like him would be interested in a flat-cheasted goon like yourself?~
However, at the mention of Standing Bear, Rebecca was forced to consider her own rather embarrassing 'local-name' STICK-IN-THE-MUD. Noodles! She realized the name had a dual meaning that she was living up to. Apart from her rather unglamorous trip into the middle of a mud puddle within moments of beaming down, she realized the term was also synonymous with 'party-pooper'.
A title she had been awarded many times over since her days at the Academy.
Awkwardly, she could only shrug again and nod silently afraid to say anything else.
The patient El-Aurian felt for her. He had heard about her nickname from the local children and slightly shook his head in thought. "So," He asked, with a surprising amount of politeness. "Would you please join us? There would be plenty for all!"
Again saying nothing, Rebecca continued to stare at the ground, her fears and emotions in a whirl.
Finally there was no option but....
Adrian nodded, and gave her an assuring smile that bordered on the lines between 'everything-will-be-all right,' and 'cheer-up!' With nothing else said, they both made off for Standing Bear's home.
Ensign Drake Tarsonis
Helmsman, USS Galaxy
Drake was being carried somewhere that he didn't have a clue. He could move his left arm, but he didn't want to risk getting killed. He could've tapped his badge, if he still had it on him. He began to think on things that he would miss in life, because he would probably eventually get killed by these people.
He looked up a little and heard talking. The blood from Drake's forehead rubbed off on the Ursid's shirt, and he heard the Ursid get angry. One of the Ursids told him just to keep carrying him.
He thought about how he wouldn't even reach the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade, and die at the age of 23! Drake was having a birthday in a few days and he wouldn't even live to turn 24. Drake didn't mention his birthday to anyone, because he didn't want anyone to know.
He also thought of life. He would die alone, which is what Drake had been afraid of since his teens. That subject brought him to Ensing Von Ernst. He wouldn't even be able to become friends with her, which really sucked. He thought that she would've been a very good friend. Drake even thought that she was attractive. And now, things would end drastically for the helmsman, Ensign Drake Tarsonis.
They were walking further and further somewhere, Drake could make it out. He was tired, and he want to close his eyes. Drake was dying already. He needed medical attention soon, or else Ensign Tarsonis would be put on the KIA list. Drake didn't want that, he wanted to live life to the fullest and to not let anything drag him down.
Drake even thought about his playing music. His whole musical talent put to waste. He wondered why he was even born if all of this was going to be wasted. Especially at such a young age. Drake wanted to move up in the ranks in Starfleet. He wanted to become a department head, and even a Captain. He wanted to command his own ship one day, and eventually become an Admiral and a head in one of Starfleet's main departments, but that's not going to happen now. Drake was going to die. He was going to die without experiencing anything.
Drake heard the Ursidians mumbling something. He heard the leader speak. They were nearing their destination. All that Drake could do was pray.
PO2 Johnathan "Jazz" Russel
-- Ursid, Benkhova mountains --
The bleeding had stopped, and that was a good thing. Not so good was that Jazz had left a good portion of blood behind on the trail he had walked on. Nothing really serious, luckily, but it felt uncomfortable. Jazz had never been seriously injured, and these scrapes and cuts hurt him considerably. But since Jazz still considered himself to be in better shape than the living fossil, or old man, in front of him, he didn't want to complain. Besides, the pace of the old man was quite easy to keep up with.
Up ahead, Jazz could finally see a clearing through the trees. It was some sort of village, but he couldn't remember seeing one here on the map. Then again, he didn't have a very good idea where on the map he would be. Worse still, his map was on his padd, which was in his toolkit, and Jazz didn't have the foggiest idea where *that* was. Hopefully, communications were available at the next town.
Meanwhile, back at the crook where Jazz made his near-fatal tumbling down the cliff, the large cat-like creature strolls back to her nest, satisfied with the fish she fed on. On her way back, she sniffles at the bloodtrail left there by the Starfleet crewman. She stops for a moment and takes a good sniff at the left over comm-badge, then licks her lips and moves on.