Ship’s Log: Stardate 76972.3.
Currently bound for the Breen border, to evaluate the crew of the USS Altai, who have just retaken Outpost Sierra Zulu One. I must admit, I am slightly apprehensive as to what her commander will think about having a psychologist aboard his ship, but I was sent by Captain Mek and Commodore Tharc, so whatever issues he may have with me he can take up with them, and I don’t think Commander Streth really wants to tangle with Captain Mek.
Fortunately, my orders are clear, to perform a routine psychiatric evaluation of all crew members and her Captain, and I don’t really foresee any issues with that.
Carrie ended her log entry there, the Oklahoma still headed toward the Breen border at what was her top speed, a trudging Warp 5. Still, there was work to be done before she could properly evaluate the crew and captain, and she set herself to work reading over the Altai‘s logs.
It had been three weeks since she left Captain Mek’s office aboard Starbase 86, and despite her bravado at the time, she was still unsure as to what she was dealing with. Was it some sort of contagion? A pathogen that affects the mind? Was it some sort of new lifeform that they didn’t have the slightest idea what it was? So many questions left unanswered.
It seems as though they encountered some sort of lifeform below the surface of the planet, although none of them could describe in any great detail what it was. What they did remember is that it scared them out of their wits and they were just as pleased to leave the caverns beneath the outpost as soon as was tactically sound.
Of course, Carrie thought. Something you can neither describe nor adequately explain would cause issues for anyone. Still… what could have frightened the crew of a Steamrunner-class ship so badly that they hauled ass that fast? This bears more looking into.
She resolved first to ask Commander Streth what he’d seen, and then interview as many of the crew as were willing before she made any judgments. This was not an isolated incident, as at least thirty crew members all reported this. Carrie then walked back to the back of the runabout and opened its weapons locker, checking the charge on her phaser rifle.
“Better safe than sorry, Caroline Renee,” she said to herself, closing the door to the weapons locker. “You don’t know what the Hell the crew of the Altai saw down in that Hellhole, and you may have to go down there to see for yourself what caused this. If it be some sort of hostile, you may have to defend yourself. Thank goodness for that refresher tactical course you took.”
Still two weeks out from the outpost, she resolved to not worry about it overmuch and settled back to listen to some music as the days rolled on and Lieutenant JG Caroline Metrios relaxed in her bunk with one of her favorite graphic novels as the starscape continued streaming by.