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Part of Endeavour: Where Angels Fear To Tread

Heading Out

Endeavour NX-06, in orbit of Alpha Gruis I
Monday 16th May 2157
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“You really didn’t need to walk me to the launch bay,” Campbell noted to his husband as they turned down a junction on deck five. He knew why Trommler was with him, but he wanted to hear him say it.

“I’m only doing it to make you feel more guilty for not taking me with you as part of the landing party,” Trommler replied with a smirk.

Chuckling, Campbell nodded in response. “Well, who would I have around to come and rescue me if I get kidnapped by some airborne lizard?”

“This isn’t Berengaria Eight, Ollie; you’re not some helpless damsel in distress locked away in a tall tower!” Trommler stated as they turned down into another corridor. “Though that said, have you packed enough?” He asked in a sarcastic tone while also inclining toward the small backpack that Campbell was carrying. 

“Just the essentials except for the kitchen sink,” Campbell said in a matching tone as they finally reached the doors to the hanger bay. 

Entering the bay, the final prep work was undertaken by those on the landing party and the technicians assigned to the hanger bay. The landing party were all distinct from the others because they wore their tanned long-sleeved excursion uniforms. They were planning to land to conduct the initial survey in a warm location, so opting to wear this uniform was more feasible. 

Calling out to Randall, the captain was hoping to hear they were ready to go. “Shuttlepod status, Josh?” He asked his helm officer.

Josh turned towards the captain when he heard the question. “Shuttlepod is prepped and ready to launch, sir!”

“And don’t worry, sir, I’ve got a full emergency med kit stored in the boot of the pod,” Doctor Branson added as he approached the group of men. 

“Aye, let’s hope you won’t need it while you conduct your survey to ensure the planet is safe for humanoids,” Campbell responded.

 Strolling over to join the captain and the others were Lieutenant Gassett and Lieutenant Commander Xiang. 

“Captain, your phase pistol,” Gasset offered the weapon in its holster to the captain, “I’ve also got phase rifles loaded in the shuttlepod too.”

“Are we planning to invade the local animal life down there?” Branson asked the armoury officer.

“We are at war, doctor,” Gasset reminded him. 

“God forbid the Romulans did turn up, I’d prefer us not to be without some protection, Ed,” Campbell elaborated further. He looked to his chief engineer, “Ready to go, commander?”

“I’d like perhaps not to trip and fall on my face on at least one world,” Shu replied with a smile. “Tell you about it another time,” she said to Gasset with a wink. “But yes captain, all set and ready to go. I’ve also got PO Das sitting by the transporter ready to beam up any interesting non-biological finds. Don’t think I’m ever going to trust those things to get things exactly right. You know what I mean?”

Campbell chuckled as he could appreciate his chief engineer’s reluctance to want to use the transporter. “Well, hopefully, we won’t need the transporter for many things.”

Looking around the room, Campbell, wondered where his chief communications officer was and then the side door opened allowing Ricci to enter. Wearing the same outfit as the rest of them, Ricci came in with a bigger rucksack than the rest of them and was already armed with a phase rifle in his arm.

“Looks like Ant has packed an excursion for a week,” Branson remarked before heading over to Ricci. “You need a hand with any of that, lieutenant?”

Antione wasn’t sure what to expect so he packed heavy. He knew some jokes would be chided, but it was ok he was pretty used to it. He smirked “You never know what we may need. And no I think I got it.” He said confidently as he staggered back for a moment “Then again maybe not.” He handed one of the bags to Branson and nodded in thanks. He looked over at the Captain “Apologies about the delay Captain. I guess I got a little overzealous.”

Josh wasn’t sure if he was here just to prep the shuttlepod, or if he was going on the mission.

“Hey Randall,” Shu spoke with a cheery tone to her voice. “Up for some rather mundane and pedestrian flying, or are you just here to remind us what a true pilot looks like?” She waved for him to join her as she started to climb into the shuttlepod. “I know they’ve done prep,” she indicated the bay staff who were still prepping the bay for launch and the inevitable recovery, “but we should still do a preflight check ourselves.”

“I’m up for any chance to pilot, commander.” As soon as she entered the shuttlepod, he climbed in and took the pilot’s seat, and started the preflight checklist. 

With that, Campbell indicated for everyone to climb aboard and said goodbye to his husband with a simple wink as he got in via the side door. Minutes later and the landing party were comfortable in their seats and the request to leave the ship was granted. Shuttlepod One dropped down after the hangar bay doors opened. It wasn’t long before they hit the atmosphere of the planet and we making their entry. 

Breaking through white whispery clouds, Shuttlepod One soon found the lush region it was heading towards to begin the initial survey. Keeping close to the coast of the north-western continent, this area appeared to be a great possibility for the listening post’s location. A nearby mountain range had some interesting ore that appeared to limit the range of sensors. To get a complete picture of the area, they were going to have to use drones to survey from above while they walked around the grassland biome. Wherever they looked, the colour green was everywhere – even the water appeared green. 

“Set us down in that clearing,” Campbell ordered Randall as he gestured to a flat area of ground that had a combination of sand and grass. 

After their touchdown, Campbell opened the hatch with a simple push and soon found himself standing on an alien world. “One small step,” He mumbled to himself as he looked around at his warm, sunny surroundings before putting on his cap and sunglasses. “Let’s go, everyone!” He ordered and for the first time, the explorer within him was eager to come out.