Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 1 – What Burns in the Darkness and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

The Land of the Dead

USS Edinburgh
May 18, 2400
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Rivax Colony – Colony Buildings – 1130

The bodies were the worst part.  There were so many to catalog, scan, and place into secure containers that the Edinburgh had transported down a few moments ago.  Jordan’s heart had grown heavier the more they traveled into the colony as more and more bodies were discovered.  Whoever had done this hadn’t given thought to the women and children who had come to call this place home as families had taken to settling and growing.  She scanned body after body, offering up a silent prayer for each of them as she made her way from one to another.  Samples were taken, scanned, and then transported to a secure lab onboard the ship.  This went on for hours as the team worked their way towards the industrial operations.  

Body after body, scan after scan, report after report.  

They had found no one alive, despite the scans showing some life signs in isolated pockets.  It became frustrating to run down a possible life sign only to discover a group of bodies splayed on the ground.  She found herself going through the motions as the day wore on and it became more of a step-by-step process and less of a search and rescue operation.  The faces of the dead blurred together as the containers filled with each passing hour.  The suns above began to fade as the last of the remains had been scanned and moved.   They had attempted to investigate the mines but found they’d been blown and collapsed.  The life signs that had trilled on the tricorders when they’d arrived had faded to nothingness.  

The Edinburgh had deployed sever probes across the planet and found the answer Reid had feared – everyone had died.  The exception had been the fifty uninfected survivors.  

Reid stood in the middle of the colony square, her shoulders aching along with her heart.  They had been counting on the ground and the computer had been counting along with them.  5,000 dead.  Jordan repeated the number in her head once more.

=^=Harris to Doctor Reid=^=

She sighed and tapped the side of her helmet, “Go ahead, Commander.”  She hoped he had some good news.

=^=The Polson and her task force are slated to arrive in a few hours to take over for us here.  They have the space and the equipment to continue the investigation.  Chief’s managed to get a transporter pad set up in the cargo bay with proper isolation precautions in place to get you and your crew on board and decontaminated.=^=

“Understood, commander.  We’ve done as much as we can here, sir.  Transport when ready.”  The channel clicked closed and the various officers began to vanish in the lights and sounds of the transporter beam.  Reid looked around once more, her heart heavy with sorrow but also on fire with the righteous indignation about what had happened here – no one deserved the death these people had forced on them.  The transporter took her as she reflected on the land of the dead.

USS Edinburgh – The Castle (bridge) – 1600

“Doctor Reid and her teams are on board, sir.” Thasaz tapped at her console, “Module 3 teams are reporting the fifty survivors have completed the isolation and examination process and are cleared of any virus-related issues.”  She glanced at him, “USS Polson updates they will be arriving at 1600.”

Harris turned in his chair to face her.  Her face didn’t betray her feelings, but he knew it had not been a good day for her.  The reports and details of what had happened on the planet had hit her harder, even as good as she was at hiding her truth.  He stood, “Sounds good.  Can you bring the data you had on the chips and files to my ready room?  We haven’t had a chance to go over them.  Mr. Kondo, you have the CONN.”

USS Edinburgh – Ready Room – 1610

He entered first and gestured to the long couch under the windows, “Grab yourself a drink if you’d like.” She snagged a Shirley Temple from the replicator and sat down on the couch and started working on the PADD to organize the report.  She looked up to find her CO watching her.

“Sir?”

He stood from his desk and walked over and sat about a foot from her, “I do want to hear the report…but I also need to ask how you’re doing.”  He leaned back his chilled cider swirling.

A frown crossed her face before she nodded in recognition of what he was asking, “It is not easy witnessing a genocide of your own people, Commander.”  She set the PADD on the couch and grimaced, “I was foolish to want expedient justice.  It seems every turn of the corner more of my people are dying at the hands of this…monster.”  A glance at him, “You humans have a saying about revenge…a dish best served cold.”  Harris nodded and Thasaz grunted, “Romulans do not have such a saying.  Revenge is not even a dish.  It is an aggressive act foisted upon the fool who committed the heinous act.”  She took a long drink from her cup, “It feels like we’re being hurtled towards this Patra figure.  As if we have no choice but to confront him.”

Ambrose swirled the chilled cider in his mouth and swallowed, “Humans have a great many sayings…the one I think fits here is, ‘The immovable object will meet the unstoppable force’, and I’m not sure which of us which.”

Thasaz smiled quietly, “I have researched our ship’s name. Edinburgh is a city in a country called Scotland…and it is also a castle in that city that has remained standing for generations and generations.  The spirit of that castle that refuses to fall is in us, Commander.  We are the immovable object that will not allow the unstoppable force of evil to continue.  It will be a spectacle for the ages.”  Her eyes glittered and she couldn’t help letting a small smile loose.

He replied, “Let’s hope the spectacle ends with us in one piece, Lieutenant.  Now, let’s get to the reports from what our friends…didn’t give us.”  Thasaz nodded and began her report.