The area around the transporter pad was a hive of activity, miners rushing left and right, orders being yelled back and forth all given a peculiar background tone with the constant tremors that were running through the fabric of the mine. Captain Kohlir quickly looked around, trying to find anyone who was organising the chaos raging around them. One figure stood out amongst the frantic miners all around, an Orion, standing head and shoulders above the chaos, stood bellowing orders trying to organise any kind of plan
“Starfleet!” A cry rang out across the chaotic scene as several of the miners now noticed the Starfleet officers standing on the transporter pad, taking stock of the scenes around them. A few cheers greeted the exclamation along with several boos and jeers. The miners in the Mellstoxx system were happy enough to have the protection of the Federation to keep pirates away but they didn’t appreciate Starfleet personnel in their mines. “Bit late now” a voice cut through the frantic shouts of the miners, Kohlir and Thyn turned to face the new voice “Go back to your Academy and leave the mines to us!” The crowd around the newcomer parted, revealing themselves to be Reman. Muttering quickly spread throughout the gathered miners, many shocked to find out a Reman had been living and working amongst them yet somehow keeping themselves hidden
“Why are you here?” The question sounded more like an accusation than anything else but Kohlir brushed it off and replied “We’re here to bring medical aid, we were told that several miners had been injured when one of the mine shafts collapsed” Kohlir’s voice was steady and strong despite the Reman towering over him “Then come this way, quickly” the Orion gestured down one the the tunnels “Down to the end of the mine shaft you’ll find them and the few medics we have trying to help and free them” Kohlir gestured to the waiting Starfleet medical team and Thyn “Lets go save these people”
Thyn, Kohlir and the medical team quickly headed down a series of winding tunnels, the conditions becoming more cramped and dangerous, Thyn was struggling especially with the rapidly lowering ceiling of the tunnels. “Sir, something doesn’t feel right about this. Where are the miners that were supposed to be guiding us? They’re no longer behind us” Kohlir stopped, turning slowly, listening carefully for footsteps or sounds of the injured miners calling for aid but he was greeted with silence “Raise the Brontes Thyn, we need support” “Yes Sir” Thyn reached for his combadge, but only got static back to his calls. “Sir we have a problem, there’s something in the caves that must be blocking the signal to the Brontes” “Damn it, we’re heading back to the main area and get out of here”
Kohlir motioned to the rest of the away team to turn back, minutes felt like hours as they made their way back towards the main mining area. The tunnel started to shake, gently at first but quickly gaining in strength. Cracks started to appear in the roof of the tunnel, spreading faster and faster. “Sir I can get a weak signal through now with the cracks. I’ve warned them best I could of what’s happening down here and asked them to relay a distress call back to Starbase Bravo and a request for back-up” “That may be a little premature Thyn but thank you, better to be safe than sorry with so few of us down here” Thyn nodded, breathing deeply, his antennae moving helping Thyn in the dark and cramped conditions. “Sir, someone is coming towards us, the tunnel in front, at least 5 people”
Kohlir pushed everyone back down the tunnel a little to have some cover against whomever was approaching them. Faint lights appeared in the tunnel as the unknown party got closer. “They were down here” a voice shouted from the darkness. Kohlir and Thyn were crouched behind outcroppings in the tunnel, the medical team a little further back, phasers ready. The torch lamps got closer but slowed down in their approach, caution clearly at the forefront of their minds. As they party rounded the tunnel, it became clear that something much worse than a mine collapse.