Some eleven kilometers from the station, along the edge of the clearing; on the opposite side from where the Altai and the Don S Davis lay stationary; was a scattered area of smaller asteroids and dust. They varied in size and shape, but most were around the dimensions of a large cargo module. Cold chunks of rock and frozen gas, they hung, dozens of them, still and lifeless, locked in a frozen dance.
A short distance back from the edge was one particular rock, little different from the dozens that surrounded it, at least that is how it appeared. But this rock was different, very different…
What seemed to be a solid asteroid was a clever and ingenious facsimile.
The rocky exterior was only a thin veneer of natural rock chemically bonded to a duralloy underframe. Within this armored shell lurked a shielded power source; a short range passive but sensitive sensor suite; an encoded high-speed burst-transmission communicator and a number of self defense systems. These were controlled and managed by a powerful and sophisticated computer, which itself ran on a detailed and carefully coded program.
It had been placed there to watch over the Federation outpost. Tirelessly watching and monitoring, year after year, silent and still, hiding in plain sight amongst the other asteroids. Waiting for an event that would trigger the next stage in its program.
The arrival of the two vessels had awoken it from its slumber, now it scanned and recorded; analyzed and reviewed; piecing bits of information in to a report to send to its masters…
[USS Altai – Transporter Room One]
Van Der Luan clunked in from the adjacent compartment, where he had donned his EVO suit. His helmet was hooked to his belt and he adjusted the Phaser pistol in it’s holster. He doubted there was need for weapons, but better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
“Got the coordinates locked in Chief?” He asked the Technician at the control panel
“Yes sir, Deck Seven, the Transporter Room” The woman confirmed. There was a beep from the panel “Incoming personnel from the Don S Davis she announced, looking over to the transporter pads.
There was the familiar shimmer on the pads, when the beam faded it had deposited a short blonde Human woman, likewise dressed in EVO suit.
“Chief Cooper?” Van Der Luan asked “Welcome to the team”
Watched as the transporter room from the Don S Davis changed to the transporter room of the Altai, and there she saw an individual in their own EVO suit. She stepped down from the pad and placed her bags up against the wall, this way she can grab them later once they secure the station, or someone be kind enough to send them over later. However, she did keep her tool kit on her as she went over with an out stretched hand. “Lieutenant, pleasure to be here.”
Van Der Luan shook the offered hand. “Lieutenant Alake Vander Der Luan” He introduced himself, “I’m the eXOh. Don’t worry, I used to work for a living too. until they gave me these.” He tipped his chin to the rank pips on his collar in the open neck of the suit.
Cooper smiled, “We all get stuck with responsibility at some point, especially after earning it.”
He turned back to the Transporter Technician. “Chief, watch over Chief Cooper’s luggage till we’ve got the station habitable”
“Aye sir” The Technician nodded and gave Cooper a smile “Welcome aboard, let me know when you need them”
“Appreciate it.” She nodded to the Tech.
“You bring your biggest wrench then?” Van Der Luan asked, referring to Cooper’s comment earlier that morning.
“My biggest wrench, biggest hyperspanner and my biggest sonic driver.” She chuckled. “Even if we can get the station up and running, no doubt there’s going to be relays and EPS conduits that will need to be replaced due to age and overuse from automation. But guess we will find out when the team arrives.”
Alex returned to Main Engineering with his padds, scattering them on top of the main center console. “Hey team, can A have yer attention for a minute.” He then waited for his engineers to gather around. “I figured out the problem. This section here, hasn’t been getting the love and tender care like everything else has been. I want you, and you, to go to that section, fine tune it, upgrade it to the best as you can and then when I get back, I expect the power conversion levels to be at ninety-seven point five when I get back. Understood? Good. I’ll see you lads later.” Giving them something to do besides routine maintenance and the like was what kept the wheels turning smoothly on the ship, and giving them a goal to achieve is also something worth bragging about.
Alex quickly left engineering to get to the deck and room where all the suits would be, where he would quickly get changed appropriately before slipping into his own EVO suit. Once he got everything checked out and got nothing but green light across the board, he went to an equipment locker and grabbed himself an equipment belt to snap on. With that, he slipped in a tricorder, hooked a tool kit to one side, and slipped a couple small padds in the back. One was so that he can establish a link with the station’s main computer and operate various things, doors, lights, force fields, all that fun stuff. The other one was to take notes, anything that needed replacing or repaired. Though with the Don S Davis around, the notes probably be more like suggestions, as the entire ship has a team of experts that will know exactly what to do with the station. Last thing he grabbed, was a phaser pistol. Standard issue and standard on all away missions for self defense. Soon as he had everything, he headed off to the transporter room.
From the Bridge Lieutenant N’Vea headed via Turbolift to Sickbay. There she spoke briefly with her Assistant Chief Medical Officer and then removed one of the Away Team Field Kits from their storage area and double checked the equipment. A medical tricorder, hypospray, and a variety of other useful items were pre-packaged and ready to use. After checking the energy levels of anything that required a charge, she closed up the case and put the strap over her head as she carried it out of the Medical Bay towards the Turbolift.
Christine stopped in the armory first, She poked her head into the office and replicated some cheese and glass of water. Never hurts to have a quick snack before an away mission. Lastly to the antechamber of the transporter room for an EVO suit.
Cam had almost the same thoughts as Christine did about food. She made sure to have a good meal instead by replicating a small bowl of pho soup. Though the taste of the broth was too bland for her, she made a note to herself to add her mother’s recipes into the replicator program. Finishing the small meal, she did one last check of the ship’s systems to make sure that they were running as efficient that it could be. She would definitely have to set up a list of things to improve on later but for now, it was off to the armory to get her phaser and then to the antechamber to get her own EVO suit before arriving at the transporter room.
[Transporter Room One]
Alex stepped through the door way soon after the door split apart. He saw the Executive Officer and one other person in an EVO suit. He stepped on up to the two. “Sir. Wha is this lass thon’s comin wi us?”
Van Der Luan waved for Cooper to introduce herself to the incoming staff.
The Chief turned slightly to see the man through the helmet. “I am Chief Amanda Cooper, I will be staying behind and living on board that station after it’s all suited up for us.”
Alex smiled and extended his hand to her. “Guid tae meet ye lass. Lieutenant Alex Beck, Chief Engineer.”
Cooper shook his hand. “Impressive, Chief Engineer with a Junior Grade Lieutenant Rank? Must be a genius.” She smirked, stroking whatever ego the man may have. If he had one.
Alex shrugged his shoulders, best that he could in the suit after shanking her hand. “A’m juist guid at ma job an A know whit A’m doin. Like tae think thon be the reason why A wis selectit. Gin ye tell me more aboot yourself later ower a pint, A’ll tell ye more aboot myself. Deal?”
Cooper grinned. “Deal.”
The slender Vulcan Doctor entered and nodded at the rest of the Away Team. She noticed Lieutenant Beck’s phaser and arched an eyebrow, but said nothing. As a doctor N’Vea rarely carried a phaser unless a mission specifically called for it, or she was in a battle situation. Having had a fairly peaceful career up until that point she had not really held one outside of training.
Olafsen followed close behind the doctor as was becoming her tradition. She noticed the new member of the crew. She reached out her hand “Chief, welcome to the team. I’m Olafsen”
Cooper waved to the two additions in the transporter room. “Thank you!”
Cam arrived shortly after Olafson did in her own EVO suit along with a tricorder and a small tricorder to gauge the systems of the derelict. Let out a small wave to everyone, she softly introduced herself to those that she did not meet yet. “Hello. I am Cam Hawthorne. Chief of Ops. It is good to meet everyone.” She softly spoke as she was not sure that she was heard by everyone through the EVO suit. Just as she finished introducing herself, she heard the voice of Van Der Luan making his preparations to everyone.
Van Der Luan looked around the group. “Ok everybody ready? We’ll beam over to their Transport Room on Deck Seven, then make our way up one deck to Six. There should be a deck list and schematic uploaded to your suit displays.
Station Deck Listing
We’ll bring the reactor up to full power and life support out of stand-by mode. Mister Beck and Chief Cooper will take the lead on that, the rest of us will assist as needed.
Once that’s underway the rest of us will then move up to Decks Three and Four and the Operations Room. Ms Olafsen, Ms Hawthorne and I will do an initial systems check; Doctor, I’d like you to monitor the restoration of life support, climate and atmosphere and advise Mister Beck on progress and any adjustments that may be needed.
It’s been seven years since anyone was here, so expect things to be a little…“rusty”. But I’m confident we’ll deal with any problems as they arise’
He looked around the Team “Any questions?”
Cam shook her head no but one thing was very evident by the look on her face. She really did not like to be in this EVO suit. The sooner that she could get out of this dreaded EVO suit, the better she would feel. Her own questions were answered in the briefing earlier so she looked at the rest of the team members to see if they had anything to ask.
Both Alex and Cooper shook their heads ‘no’ as well.
“Alright, lets go to work” Van Der Luan donned his helmet, twisting it shut and checking the seal was engaged, then led the Team up onto the transporter pads.
Once they were all in place he gave the Transporter tech a thumbs-up
“Transporter Room reports Away Team ready to deploy sir” McQueen called back from the helm.
Streth was leaned over the science booth to the rear of the bridge when he heard the announcement, “Glad to hear it, Mr. McQueen. Give them the all clear.”
He turned back to the sensor readout. There was something odd about the signals being displayed, but neither he nor the Science Officer who stood there equally puzzled, could put a finger on it.
“Keep an eye on that,” He instructed the Ensign, then paced back to the middle of the bridge, “and let’s keep a monitor on the away team’s vitals. Transporter lock too. First sign of trouble and we beam them out of there.”