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Starbase 72 – Echoes of the Tkon – Phase 2

Vex and Harrington's continued exploits during the Echoes of the Tkon event.

The Device

Koruku III
September 2399

Neil set a course for the mountain range reading they had previously picked up.  To be honest he was glad, soon they could put this planet behind them and move on.   Their mission almost complete, now the Phoenix would take over and deal with the aftermath.  He half expected a Flag Officer to call at any point,  hell he would be ok with a proper dressing down.   After what they had done, he figured they warranted something. 

But no call came,  and their mission continued on.  “We should be at the location soon,” he stated, “prepping transports to beam the object into holding as soon as we arrive.”  He sent the relevant data to the pilot.  “Davis, we are probably going to need a containment field around this thing till we know what we are getting into.”  The object gave off no indications of being dangerous, no bells or whistles.  But, he still felt the need to be cautious just in case.

“Transporting now.” Vex said. It seemed that in the heat of everything they had been through, the simple operations of a Starfleet vessel appealed to him. With his two fingers on the console, he engaged the transport buffers and beamed the object aboard.

With a shimmering glow of blue light, like a bubble flowing around the object, the containment field was raised as per orders. Vex got out of his seat at the front of the ship and walked towards the object that was to be found in the center of the ship.

Whatever it was, it looked old, and certainly more advanced than anything the people of Koruku III could’ve possibly made. Despite obvious damage inflicted over years of exposure to the elements, the artifact was surprisingly intact and appeared to still be functioning. It didn’t appear to be doing much though, but a whir and a series of green lights flickered and flashed across the machine.

“Hrmmm. Come have a look at this Harrington. See what you make of it.” Vex called back to the cockpit.

Neil stood up as he made his way to the rear of the vessel, “what in the heck do we have here,” Neil spoke as their mystery came into view.  “I’ve never seen anything like this,  judging from the damage this has been on the planet for some time.”  He made his way to the nearest terminal as he started to scan the markers.

“Currently the computer is unable to identify the marking,” Neil cocked his head to the left, “that can’t be right.   According to this, the computer estimates this to be roughly around six million years old.”  He chuckled, “clearly the wear and tear is playing with our sensors.”

“Hrmm,’ Yanrel repeated before turning to call back to the cockpit, ‘Ensign Cho, lay in a course for Starbase 72 please, maximum warp.”

With a returned ‘aye, sir!’ from the helm, Yanrel began to pace around the object, inspecting it from every angle.

“If the readings are true though, then we are looking at a piece of functioning technology from well over six million years ago. If this is to be assumed to be an accurate report, then we must presume that this device came from a race of beings with technological advancements well beyond our own. To my knowledge, no piece of Federation technology is designed to last even half that length of time. To be lost down there on Koruku III for six million years and yet still be intact and able to function… we need to find out just who built this thing and what it does. I doubt the Trent has the capabilities needed to perform such an action. I’ll have a team of scientists and engineers working on this when we get back to Starbase 72. Meanwhile, I am content to get as far away from this place as physically possible.”

For a moment, Vex appeared to be his old self again. Fascinated with an archaeologically-minded focus on the device before them, he paced and spoke as once he always did.

“Putting this place in the past I agree is definitely needed,” Neil admitted.  “If I never set foot on this planet again that might be too soon.”  He wasn’t happy with what took place but it was something he would have to live with for a long time.  “This technology is not native to Koruku, so I would be interested in knowing how it got here and why the people left it here.  Do they have a bigger plan?  Will they be back?  And is there more down there?  Something like this could just be the tip of a much larger scan.  I would suggest maybe launching a probe, by the time we get to the station it can start gathering useful data for us.”

Neil couldn’t help but stare at the object in their haul.  He wasn’t into Science, and some of these things honestly were a bit over his head.  But, he did understand the significance of something this old.  The fact that the Federation database had virtually nothing on this was certainly interesting.  “I imagine plenty of Science vessels and crews would love to get their hands on something like this,” Neil added, “whatever left this behind I would almost bet that this planet has more mysteries beneath the surface.” 

“You’re probably right, commander. I should remind you though that Arrow-class runabouts, like most of their ilk, don’t come equipped with any sort of probe and so we’ll need to notify the nearest starfleet ship of our discovery and the necessity for such a probe to be launched. As for the extent of the alien presence on Koruku III, I do agree that perhaps a more detailed survey may be in order. I’m sure a team’ll be dispatched there to investigate once whatever this all is is over. For now, we’ll keep an eye on this device here and begin our investigation once we get home… and by my own symbiont, won’t I be happy and anxious to see it once again.”

As the Commander replied, the sound of the warp nacelles powering up hummed throughout the runabout. The Trent had gone to warp en route for Starbase 72.


More Questions, Fewer Answers

Starbase 72
September 2399

The lagging sensation and accompanying descending noise from the warp nacelles indicated that the Trent had dropped out of warp just beyond Starbase 72. As the runabout made its final approach towards the station, a feeling of nervousness, anger, and frustration surrounded its whole crew, including it’s commander.

Vex had left the unknown alien device for the time being and had returned to his seat at the front of the vessel. Tapping his two index fingers together as he bridged his others, the Trill sat with his right leg folded over his left, his eyes locked on the station.

Answers for what he had been forced to do were all that were on his mind currently, and the strange and ancient machine had taken a backseat to the atrocities he had partaken in prior to it’s securement.

“We’re on approach sir and have been given docking clearance, sir. Runabout bay 16.” Ensign Cho informed him.

“Very good,’ he replied sternly, ‘proceed.”

The atmosphere in the runabout was tense, to say the least.

Neil knew for now they were out of the water.  He didn’t know what Starfleet had in mind once they got back and for the moment he didn’t care.   “First thing when I get back I’m going to hug my kid a little tighter and try to put Koruku behind me,” he stressed as he leaned back in his chair.    His mind still thinking too the object they were hauling back,  “any idea what the brass will do with that?”  He asked but he really wasn’t addressing any one in particular just talking out loud.

“I imagine more than a few people will want to get their hands on that,” he added.

“Probably,’ Yanrel started, ‘I cannot shake the feeling that this thing is somehow related to our mission, however incidentally.”

He got out of his seat and paced a little before heading back into the rear of the runabout.

He stood once more before the contained object, staring it down as if locked within it were the answers to all of the questions he had running through his mind.

“Come hell or high water, I shall make sure that I am part of the team investigating this device, Harrington. I am not about to take a backseat to yet another secret arm of Starfleet. Not after going through what I did to retrieve this. I know that such things do not interest you so much, Commander, but I would put latinum down on this device being the key to the mystery of Koruku III, and our actions there.”

As Vex spoke, the portholes of the runabout were suddenly flanked by the massive interior bulkheads of the runabout bay. With a hiss and a small jolt, the Trent had landed once again on Starbase 72.

Neil wasn’t sure what Vex was implying.  He didn’t have a problem with the science aspect of the device or even what mysteries Koruku held.  Neil’s problem was their actions while on the planet.  Those actions went against every fiber of his being.  “I imagine Starfleet will approach this with a two fold project.  One part working on this device and unlocking it’s secrets, and another back on the planet seeing what else is hidden there,” Neil sighed, “for once I am relieved I don’t have a command yet.  That is not one task I would want.”  

He thought for a moment, “but I would agree, Commander, that whatever that is,” he gestured to the device and whoever left it there was the key.  Finding this device is only the start, I have a feeling.”   He looked to the hatch as the doors started to open.  Grabbing his duffle, “still,” he thought outloud, “I would like to know what happened there to warrant all this attention.” 

“Certainly, and I have the sneaking suspicion we might never find out, Mr Harrington. Everything about this mission screams erraticism and secrecy in equal measures, and I feel as though Starfleet will be rushing to contain whatever hidden agenda they have had us deployed for until the day that the organization should collapse. In fact, it would not surprise me if this device too turns out to be classified to beyond my rank’s parview.” Yanrel said.

As he spoke, a group of science officers walked up to the device and carefully loaded it onto a hover-truck. Vex eyed it carefully as it slowly hovered past them.

“Enough of this,’ he added, ‘It is time I got some answers for what went on out there.”

He began to storm off before stopping and turning on the spot.

“For what it is worth, Commander, I appreciate your help and cooperation during this mission. You make a fine first officer. I do hope we see each other out there again someday, doing what Starfleet was always meant to do.”

Neil nodded, “thank you,  Commander Vex,” Neil offered a hand,  “this was an, ” he paused,  “interesting assignment.   I hope we get an opportunity for a redo in the future maybe worth less secrecy next time,” he let out a small chuckle.

He gave Harrington a polite bow before turning back to his determined stride.

Neil couldn’t help if the thoughts that were reaching through his own mind were also running through Vex’s mind as well.   Mission like this had a way of sticking with you for some time.   He tapped his comm badge,  “computer, location of Tess Harrington,” he ordered.   He needed something to take his mind off the events of Koruku III.