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Part of USS Issedon: Whisky Tango Foxtrot and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

It’s Suppertime, Seymour

Unnamed Planet SX-596
~oct 2400
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Chapter Beta

Johnson’s POV, Planetside

He blinked once, the bright light of the transporter finally waning. His eyes adjusted to the quickly-dimming light. Wherever they were, it was nearly dusk. And it was eerily silent. As was his unconscious habit, he reached to his waist and felt for his sidearm. It was there, all right. He nodded, and swallowed. He wasn’t the right person for this kind of thing-Red Shirts never really were, if he were honest with himself, a trait that, unlike his Captain, he tried to hone regularly. He pulled it together, though, and spoke, forcing his voice to stay as calm as possible. “You three,” he indicated to his right. “Campbell, Culver, Andrews. Go that way. I’ll take T’Siver and Farr and go this way,” he indicated his left flank. “As Captain Taylor said, keep your comms on, and don’t engage. Just get back to the ship.” He pulled a transponder from his day pack, and turned it on. He watched as the others did the same. Good. If anything untowards happened, at least they’d be able to get everyone back. “Move out.” He stepped to the left, and looked at the Romulan science officer, T’Siver and a female security officer that was called Farr. “Let’s go. Tactical says the signal was coming from the far end of the planet.” In silence, the trio traipsed through high grasses towards the spot where Baker had said they’d find their target. The transponder beeped with urgency-they must be getting closer, but it was ODD-there were zero signs of life. Nearby, a few rocks that perhaps resembled a building, were scattered, as if they had been struck by something. The transponder was going CRAZY, beeping wildly. Ben sighed. There was NOTHING THERE. He looked to the other two. The El-Aurian woman from Comms was looking strangely at him. “What do you…?” She put a hand on her forehead, as if she had a headache, and murmured low. 

My head hurts. Something is here. I don’t know what… 

Ben sighed. He looked to the man, who shrugged. 

All I see are plants, sir. 

He tapped his comms. “Lucas? What do you have?” 

“T’shir is out. Whatever it is is having an affect on the telepaths already.” 

Ben sighed. “Ok, come around. We’ve found…something. Could use another opinion.” He waited a beat, and realized that the female at his flank was having a telepathic crises. He quickly moved into gear. “Here, Lt. Markwin. Sit down. Where’s your canteen?” He was in auto-sailor mode, not really realizing the stupidity of the question. He was by the book, to the letter, and it often came out in ways like this, putting his foot in his mouth. They hadn’t needed gear like that, as it was a recon mission. “Dr. Lucas is on the way.” The woman nodded, but sat on the ground. As she did so, something moved. It appeared to be…a leaf, as if it were moving out of the woman’s way. Odd. He was a mere human, and had no telepathic abilities that he knew of, but maybe the exhaustion of getting a new ship up and running, as well as having to babysit his boss was finally getting to him. Finally, the other three came around the bend, the Romulan being propped up by the other two, slowing them down immensely. Cdr.? I suggest getting these two home, fast.

Ben considered it for a minute. “Maybe that’s a good idea. I’ll radio back to the Ship and talk to the Captain.” He stepped to the side, keeping a careful eye on the other five people-noticing Markwins and T’shir getting markedly worse. After a few moments, Ben returned to the group. “Captain is sending out three folks to take your places; one of them is Doc Harrison, who will immediately transport T’shir and Markwin to the Sickbay. Dr Lucas, you can stay here with LeFebvre and Powers.” The other man nodded, and as they waited the few moments, Ben looked around. The plants were changing, as if an imperceptible wind was moving them, gently, back and forth. A moment later, the three rescue crew were there, and Ben helped Harrison to get the two fallen to safety. A few minutes later, the others had been briefed in and he spoke. “Anyone else notice the plants are being…strange?” Dr. Lucas, the civilian scientist, nodded. 

I did. Chalked it up to wind. No other signs of life, though the scanners went off just as we were approaching. I am sorry, sir, I was preoccupied keeping T’shir upright. 

“I understand. Maybe the scanners are registering us? Can you look, Powers?” The Engineering officer took the machine and inspected it before informing Ben he’d need to take it apart. They didn’t have time, really. “Let’s look at it when we return to the ship, then, thank you, Petty Officer.” The younger man nodded. “I guess we start getting samples for study. Maybe they’ll tell us something, right, Dr. Lucas?” The man nodded, and bent to collect some soil. The rest spread out slightly, just a few paces away from each other-close enough to be nearby in case something untoward happened, but far enough that they had to communicate via radio. The first call was from Andrews. “Sir. I have something you should see.” He motioned for the others to follow him. Around a short bend, they found the man standing in front of what appeared to be a cave. He seemed dazed. Ben spoke up first. “What is it, Andrews?” 

Uh…plants. They’re….well, you just should go see. 

Ben entered the cave, Lefevbre and Powers at his flanks for security. Behind him was Dr. Lucas, Culver, and Farr. 

He stopped dead in his tracks. From behind, someone said the words he was thinking. Holy shit. 

He didn’t turn to see who, but just nodded in agreement. 

Plants. MASSIVE, life sized plants. Moving. Pulsating. Speaking-kind of? He was SENSING something-distress. OHHHH. This is where the SOS had come from. But…HOW? But…WHY??

End Chap. 2 


  • I really appreciate the way your writing is so visceral, so evocative. From the very first moment, I found myself immersed in the space spaghetti western vibes with the landing party and Johnson's sidearm being his first consideration. I immediately stumbled into the mystery of telepathic migraines taking out most of an away team. Given the title of the campaign, I had some clue what might be causing it. Giant, pulsating plants that can project an SOS is nothing like what I had in mind. What could it mean??

    November 17, 2022