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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

200 Years Alone

USS Colorado
August 11, 2400
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USS Colorado, Bridge

On the Mercy, the away team personnel went through final checks before beaming over to the Colorado.  Sorek, Doctor MacDonald, and Lieutenant Iziraa transporting to the bridge, the other team going to engineering.

The bridge was dark, as expected, but still in respectable condition. There was some disarray, and dust particles floating in the air glistened in the lights from their EV suits.  Sorek surmised the ship could become operational again after a few months at a starbase.

“Commander!”

Iziraa's excited voice came through the helmet comm.

Sorek looked at the Andorian security officer.  Floating past her was a body.

“Doctor," said Sorek.

Aimee gave the remains little interest.  They had expected deceased crew, and this while sad, was nothing to get worked up about.  Pulling out her tricorder.  There was some atmosphere.  Some, but certainly not enough to sustain life.  "Atmosphere is thin.  CO² levels are at ninety percent and O² hovering around one percent."

Out of an abundance of thoroughness, she scanned the body.  She wasn’t going to perform a full autopsy on someone in an EVA suit while the subject floated around a destroyed bridge.  "Death is consistent with electrocution.  Considering," she gestured around her, "not too surprising."

Aimee placed a transporter tag on the officer's uniform so they could beam the crew back later.

"Thank you, Doctor."  Finding a body floating on the bridge of a ship missing 200 years, Sorek had safety concerns.  To honor the fallen Starfleet officer, they would eventually take him back to the Mercy, but they had to make sure he wasn't carrying a contagion or even exposed to radiation.

Sorek studied at the body, his eye moving to the rank insignia, still visible after so long.

"This is Captain Morris."  Sorek paused to show respect, but they needed to find out what happened.  He moved to the command chair and accessed the captain's log.  There was a crackling sound, followed by a voice filled with static.

"Death."  Bzzt bzzt.  "Coming for us."  Bzzt.  "Help us."

Silence.

Listening to the hollow voice of a man long dead, and surprised the recording still worked, Izi felt a nervous tingle in her antennae.  The feeling reminded her of scary stories told when she was a child.

Sorek tapped his comm badge.  "Sorek to Mercy."

"Mercy here, sir."

"We need Lieutenant Sesias to beam here to the bridge.  Have him bring a portable power pack," said Sorek.

Sesias stood in his modified EVA suit clutching the portable power supply in two of his hands while his third arm was tucked behind the unit. “Ok, ensign Blakely, you heard the call from the commander. Lucky for me, I had already thought about bringing the power supply unit or I'd have to go get it.”

Ensign Blakely chuckled.

“After you transport me, send those two battery packs to the away team in engineering over there, I’m sure they will need them.”

“Yes sir”

“Ok, I'm ready when you are ensign.” as Lt Sesias started to dematerialize.

"Yes, sir."  The channel closed.

"Do you have any thoughts, Doctor?" said Sorek.

She sighed and looked around. Her job was the living.  While the dead didn't bother her they weren't interesting,  and engineering, wasn't her field of expertise.  “To be honest…  I don’t know what to make of it.  All sorts of things can happen out here. Sensors weren't the best… an Ion storm could have snuck up on them or any number of natural and unnatural threats."

Sesias materialized behind the captain's chair near the turbo lift doors.

”Did someone order a power supply and an operations officer?” He placed the power supply on the floor and activated the magnetic lock on it so it would not float away. He then noticed the floating body “The captain I suppose?” 

Lt Sesias looked over at Commander Sorek. “I would guess you would want the captain's logs first. May be easier on a ship and systems this old to download the logs from each individual console versus trying to work with the computer core. This may take a few minutes on each console, Commander.”

“We need to know what happened here,” said Sorek.  “Do the best you can.”  He looked at Captain Morris, still floating about the bridge.  Since Doctor MacDonald scanned him, it would be safe now to send him to the Mercy.  He contacted the ship and arranged the transport.

The deceased captain of the Colorado was sent to the Mercy.  In her three years on Starbase Bravo, Izi had seen one person die, an elderly Human woman with a bad heart.  As the woman took her last breath, she was looking into Izi's eyes, a pleading expression calling for help.  It was something Izi had never forgotten.  Seeing the deceased CO was a different situation, but it made Izi feel just as helpless as she was with the woman.  Shaking away those thoughts, Izi took up a position where she could cover the entire bridge, especially the turbolift door in case there was power to use it.  It was unlikely, but better to be prepared for anything.

Aimee had nothing to do and was replaying the captain’s log… what was left of it over and over trying to glean some clue from it,  but it was just too damaged to get anything meaningful from it… and then something hit her.  A small reading when she scanned the body.  Neural degeneration.  She had initially dismissed it. While not unheard of, especially following electrocution it just stuck out to her. 

Approaching the XO she spoke, “Sir, I think I should conduct a full autopsy on Captain Morris, and any other crew we come across.”

“What do you suspect?” said Sorek.

“Nothing concrete yet. Just feeling that something is off, and it has to do with that log the captain made.”

“Do you believe you should return to the Mercy and perform the autopsy now?” said Sorek.

Sesias moved from console to console downloading the logs. “I'm not sure how they ever got anything done back in those days. The systems are slow, image recording on logs was sporadic at best. Most of these logs seem to be dictated through the computer and if there are verbal components they are greatly deteriorated. Hmmm on video or images of any kind seem to be from the captain, the chief engineer and the chief medical officer. That's not the only weird occurrence though.” 

Sesias walked over to where Commander Sorek and Doctor McDonald were having a conversation and waited for a pause. 

She glanced around, and shrugged, “Up to you sir. I suppose they've been dead for two-hundred years a few more minutes won't hurt anything, but I got a feeling that a piece of the puzzle is in the way of their death.  Captain Morris said that death was coming for them. Like it was some entity… something like a predator stalking its prey. This wasn't an ion storm or system malfunction. There was an enemy.  An enemy that scared the daylights out of a seasoned Starfleet officer, and how he died could provide the who.

Sorek considered the doctor's words.  Returning to the Mercy or remaining on the Colorado both had merit.  “We still need you here, so you should stay, for now.”

“Excuse me, Commander. But I believe I have found something of note in the logs I have downloaded so far.”

Sorek nodded for Sesias to continue.

“Sir, take a look at this.” He gave his PADD to the commander. 

“So far I have been able to get logs from the Captain, First Officer, Chief of Science and the Chief of Tactical Ops. The one item that stands out to me is that there is almost a week difference in time between the Captain's last posting and the last posting of anyone else that should be on the bridge. Which raises the question where are the rest of the crew? And why is the Captain the only one on the ship as far as we know?”

“Indeed,” said Sorek.  This told him searching the ship would most likely result in not finding more of the crew.

“The few video logs that I have been able to find are mainly from the Captain, they are sporadic at best and very deteriorated. I will need to get these back to LT S’Atilen on the Mercy to see if he can get them cleaned up.”

Aimee was going through the procedures in her head to determine her best course of action and was only half listening.  But, the part about a week between logs did pique her interest.  Considering that for a moment and the lack of crew on the bridge she posited a theory, “Perhaps the captain was the last one alive.  Are the escape pods still intact or have they been launched?”

“That is a good question, Doctor, till the Colorado’s power is turned back on I can not check the escape pod statuses from here,” said Sesias.

“Confirmed,” said Izi checking a console.  “Unable to determine pod status.”

Sesias switched channels for his EVA suit. “Captain, we have noticed something odd with the logs that I have been able to download so far, can you tell if the Colorado's escape pods are still present or have they all been activated and jettisoned.”

“Away team, this is the Mercy.  Wait one.”

Izi watched the others on the bridge, her antennae moving in circles.  Well, as much as they could in the over-sized helmet.  She felt bad for the Colorado crew, but she was anxious to be part of solving the mystery of what happened to them.  If they did, maybe the lost crew could rest in dignity and honor.

“Away team, two escape pods are missing.  The rest are still on the Colorado.”

“Two hardly accommodates a whole crew,” Aimee replied.  “Something happened here over the course of that week.”

“We've done what we can do here,” said Sorek.  “Mister Sesias, Doctor, return to the Mercy.  The log data needs to be analyzed.  Doctor, perform the autopsy on Captain Morris.  Send your reports to Captain Halsey as soon as you're finished.  Lieutenant Iziraa and I will remain here.”

After the beam out, Sorek looked at Iziraa.  “Are you ready to do some exploring?”