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Part of USS Corax: Supplies and Suspicions and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Chapter 6 – A Lukewarm Welcome

Delta Quadrant
Nov. 2400
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It had been a couple of hours since the Corax had touched down. Aris, Emma and T’Keterk were busying themselves making the needed repairs and ensuring they would be all systems go when they needed to make an exit. Aris was running several scenarios in his mind to determine how long they could maintain their position and deception that they were indeed planetside and not still in orbit.

“Lets hope we don’t get discovered, little one.” Aris whispered as he sealed some fractures on the outer hull. Aris was determined to ensure the ship was ready to go at a moments notice. The pressing need to file his report was quickly overshadowed by his need for a few hours sleep while the sun was still down. His report could wait until he had his wits about him.

He wished he could say his sleep was restful instead of being punctuated with nightmares and snatches of voices he could only hear when not focusing on them. With a groan, Aris sat up in his quarters deciding sleep was eluding him for the time being. Attributing the interrupted sleep to their mission in the Delta Quadrant and the unknown ahead of them. Of course had no reason to suspect anything else.

Deciding instead to nurse a hot drink and review some of the mission logs and reports. At least while he was awake he could catch up on some administrative work and ignore the nightmares that until now he hadn’t really experienced or remembered for that matter.

For the next couple of hours Aris filed his reports and updated the ships logs with their constant scan results. 

This was proving quite the puzzle, a puzzle he intended to see through to its conclusion. He had all the pieces but making them fit together was proving to be the challenge.

Thinking it was best to let the unfolding mystery unfold itself, Aris secured his jacket around his neck and straightened his pips and badge. Best to look professional when representing Starfleet, he opened a channel to Mr Stockton.

“Surveyor Stockton, this is Captain Suin, we have entered orbit and are ready to transport down on your command.”

“Roger that, Captain, transmitting coordinates for transport now.” Stockton’s voice crackled back. Curse the subspace disruptions affecting their carrier wave. As his terminal received the coordinates, he quickly cross checked them with the Corax’s own scans of the surroundings. A nice open clearing and some structures seemed to be present. No hostile on scan either. This mission was a go.

“Computer, prepare for immediate site to site transport on my mark.” 

The computer beeped once awaiting further commands.

“Lieutenant T’Keterk, Ensign Swain, if I do not return within the hour, initiate an emergency transport and prepare for immediate departure.”

In a matter of moments, his quarters disappeared as he rematerialized on the outskirts of the camp housing the survey team. Pulling his tricorder a quick scan revealed a number of lifespans indicating the members of the stranded team. Holstering his tricorder he let a hand rest near his phaser, just a precaution he told himself.

Making his way toward a small group of people, he noticed Stockton looking directly at him. It wasn’t until he was closer that he heard the unmistakable sound of drawn weapons.

“I am sorry, Captain.” Stockton said, his face completely neutral. “You have been deceived, fire phasers, full stun.”


T’Keterk sharply broke out of his meditations, something was very amiss. His vision appeared to be fracturing randomly between repairing microfractures that weren’t repairing and also still en-route to the origination point of the transmission they had picked up earlier.

It slowly dawned on him, it wasn’t Blood Dilithium they needed to be concerned with, it was the dammed Telepathic Pitcher Plant. They must have been close enough to start feeling it’s effects. Breaking into a run, he exited his quarters intent on reaching Sickbay. Surely there would be a stock of cortical inhibitors and stimulators on board. If they weren’t fast enough to counteract the influence of the neurogenic field, their mission would be a failure as they were consumed by the lifeform. It was highly likely the “planet” they were seeking would result in their destruction and digestion.

Thankful the Corax was such a small ship, T’Keterk made quick work of getting to the sickbay. Sitting at the nearest terminal he scanned through the list of available inventory. Thankfully the ship had some cortical inhibitors in stock. Working quickly to ensure he didnt again succumb to the neurogenic field, he pulled his tricorder and set some configuration changes before attaching it to the base of his neck.

“Computer, what is the location of Captain Suin and Ensign Swain?” T’Keterk demanded.

“Ensign Swain is currently on the Bridge and Captain Suin is on the maintenance level.” the slightly cool voice of the computer responded.

“What is he up to.” T’Keterk muttered to himself as he holstered a phaser from the sickbay weapon storage locker. Whatever illusion the Pitcher Plant was playing out could result in unforeseen consequences. 

Waiting for the turbolift arrival seemed to take an age. T’Keterk was on high alert in case he encountered Ensign Swain or even the Captain. The turbolift had barely opened when T’Keterk entered, already requesting his destination. “Maintenance Levels”

“Computer, location of Captain Suin.” T’Keterk requested as soon as he arrived on the maintenance levels. 

“Captain Suin is currently in Impulse Control.”

Entering Impulse Control, the first thing T’Keterk saw was the Captain hunched over a console.

“Captain? Are you well?” T’Keterk asked as he slowly approached Aris.

Hearing no response or noticing any indication Aris was aware of his presence, T’Keterk made his choice. Setting his phaser to heavy stun, he cautiously aimed his weapon at the Captain.

“Forgive me, Captain. We have been deceived.” T’Keterk breathed out before firing on his captain. Quickly rushing forward to cushion the Captain’s fall, he affixed a second cortical inhibitor to the captain before figuring out his next move.

Comments

  • Oh geez, I should have known it was the Pitcher Plant that was at play. Suin thought that he was beaming over to where Stockton was only to be deceived, only to be revealed that he hadn't even left the ship. I find it interesting how T'Keterk figured out that they were under the effects of the Pitcher Plant and found him in impulse control. I am curious to see how the Corax will get out of this mess before it's too late. Is it laced with the blood dilithium like the baby pitcher plant that the Odyssey encountered? Great job!

    December 3, 2022
  • I'm really drawn in by the way you've structured this chapter with two distinctive possibilities for reality. They contradict one another, but they also offer hints of explanation for both. Because T’Keterk's scene comes second, I'm inclined(?) to believe that one is reality and the captain's beam-down was the hallucination? But the scenes are nearly equal and opposite. It's like Schrödinger's cat has a phaser. Could T’Keterk be the one falling under the influence of the telepathic pitcher plant when he THINKS he's rescuing the captain from the telepathic influence? Or was the captain wandering the maintenance deck, when he thought he was getting a not-so-warm welcome from the survey team??

    December 9, 2022