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Part of USS Osiris: To serve and protect and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

To serve and protect – 15

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Kr’Antren stepped off of the Desert Sands and looked around the landing area. “Not bad, I could almost think I was on an island on earth in the Caribbean if it wasn’t for the three suns in the sky.” As he looked around he saw Doc and his number one walking toward him. “Morning ladies, Doc here is your copy of the report and the preliminary scans of the deceased. We need to know anything you can tell us, especially if you find any signs of the implants.”

“I’ll read this on my way up captain. I’ll get you the information as soon as I can. May take a bit with that many bodies to look at.”

“Take all the time you need Doc, would rather have good information than miss something. Pay special attention to the two Ferengi mentioned in the report as having made the connection with the Devore and the two Devore officers they reportedly connected with. The video feeds of the tests are also included on your PADD.”

“Number one, here is your copy of the report. I would suggest making sure you are alone when you watch the video feeds.” He hands his XO her PADD.

“So what do we have planned for the rest of the day, number one?” They both watched as the Doc climbed aboard the Desert Sands and closed the hatch.

“Some sightseeing around the compound for starters, then a briefing from Lieutenant Skagath and myself on what we have found so far. I believe Counsellor Sia would like to talk to you about what she is seeing amongst the populace.” She looked around to see who was around them and lowered her voice. “ I believe that Lieutenant Skagath mentioned a nighttime expedition to see the local wildlife, sir.”

Kr’antren raised his eyebrows at this.” if I would have known that we were going to do that, I would have packed my camera.”

She chuckled at this. “I believe we can cover you for tonight, sir.”

“Oh. that would be wonderful.” He chuckled in response.

“So have you found the wildlife to be more active at night then?”

“Oh most definitely captain, but I’ll let the Lieutenant and his new wildlife expert brief you on that. Can’t take away all of their fun, now can i.”

“Nope, guess you shouldn’t do that.”

 

As they approached the compound Kr’antren couldn’t help but notice the marked changes to the area from when they first arrived. There were arched entrances to the compound where before it was just there. He could see several rows of new bunkhouses in various stages of being built with several other buildings being planned and construction starting.

“Coming along quite nicely, when do they expect the first group to move in?”

“They already have, captain. The first group of a hundred finished their incoming briefings yesterday and have joined the workforce today. The plan is for the people who move in to help with running the compound.”

“And the hospital?”

“They are at about fifty percent staffed with more checking in every day, they expect to be fully operational by the end of the week.”

“The crew have made some suggestions on some things and ideas on making things more comfortable and workable and the administration staff have been more than happy to listen to the ideas and in many cases make them part of their plans for the compound.”

“That’s good. So how is our crew doing? Any issues or anything else I need to know about?”Kr’Antren asked as they took a path around a central pond and park area.

“Nothing the doc or I couldn’t handle, captain. Mostly it was sore backs and blisters at the start. A few small disputes at the beginning about how things should be done, but some compromises were made and everything is proceeding as planned now. And here we are sir, this bunkhouse and the one next door are the two that we have been using as both accommodations and our offices.”

“Is this what everyone is living in?”

“Not quite everyone sir, that was one of our first suggestions. Single men and women live in bunkhouses much like this one. Small families share a building with another family it is the same building split in half by a wall with a small family dwelling set up on each side. Larger families have an entire bunkhouse. There are two communal kitchens built and operational with a third planned, everyone can eat in the communal kitchen, or for those  living in the  family housing they can use their cooking area.”

Kr’antren followed Talibah into the bunkhouse on the right, found an empty bed, and put his rucksack down on top of it. “Will this one be ok?”

“Yes sir, no one uses this one as Skagath is next to it and we have all found out he snores quite loudly when he is tired.”

Kr’Antren chuckled at this. “ Yes, he does, doesn’t he? I had forgotten about that. Well, won’t be the first time I’ve dealt with it.”

Lieutenant Talibah looks at the PADD that he had given her when he arrived and then back at the captain. “Sir, should we go over this and you can fill me in as I read.”

Kr’Antren nodded and headed back into the communal area located in the front part of the bunkhouse and found the table that she had been using as her makeshift work area. For the next hour, they sit and go through the information on the PADD and discuss the questions and ideas that had been noted during his meeting with Lieutenant Tazzeth and Ensign Ngin.

Lieutenant Talibah put the PADD down and sat back in her chair. “Well sir, from a Ferengi’s perspective it would make sense, they have no qualms about selling their mother if it meant they would make a profit. Though I shudder to think about what this would mean in the long run.”

“We had the same thoughts number one, we need to put an end to this before the wormhole opens as this would be the first time they could get this idea and the devices into the Alpha and Beta quadrants and beyond.” Kr’Antren stood and went to the replicator and ordered an iced Raktijino and then returned to his seat as he sipped on it.

“Agreed, and I think this may tie into the working theory that we have on what is going on here. But I’ll wait on the rest of the staff to fill you in on that.”

She then hand’s him a PADD. 

“What’s this?”

“A couple of award recommendations, an enlisted promotion order that needs your signature, and a few other things that need your blessing.”

He starts looking through the paperwork on the PADD, while sipping on his iced Raktajino. “No problem with these awards. The promotion is a bit early, are we sure they deserve it?”

“Yes, sir. It is a bit early but it falls within the acceptable window if the captain signs off on it. They deserve it, they have taken leadership of their small work crew of mixed local and Osiris crew and have completed their assignments ahead of schedule. If you notice sir I’m not the only one who thinks they deserve it.”

“Yes, I see that. I’m reading through those recommendations right now.”

“Ok, then. Everything looks to be in order on these,” he added his thumbprint to the various orders for both the awards and the promotion.

 

Lieutenant Skagath entered at about this time carrying an axe and a shovel over one shoulder, work gloves folded into his pants, and a good amount of dirt and what looked like wood chips in his hair and beard. “Well, well, well look what the cat dragged in. Come to get your hands dirty, lad? “

“About time you did some work, old man. Was going to say something about  looking a little soft around the middle.”

“Hey, I’ve put in my time and I’ve earned this.” As he patted his stomach area. “Well number one, we can put a red line through the fire pit area, it is now completed and stocked with a good amount of wood.”

She nodded and went to a board on the wall behind her and drew a line through a list that was written on it.

“What’s this?” Kr’antren pointed at the board.

“Oh, sorry sir for not explaining earlier. This is a list of the projects that we are either leading or working on as part of the project. We have Counsellor Sia working on the schoolhouse with a mixed crew. The crewmen that we were just discussing are leading a group working on the orphanage, which should be completed today or tomorrow.”

Kr’Antren looked at her. “An orphanage?”

“Yes sir, the number of families that have been separated and children left behind has been worse than we initially thought. We have been told through the administration team that there could be up to a couple of hundred children that have been orphaned by the imperium or by the blood dilithium.”

“Hmmmm, I wasn’t expecting that.” Kr’antren ran a hand through his beard. 

“Sir, Ma’am let me get a shower and a change out of this uniform, and then we can brief you, lad.” Skagath went and put the tools into a locker in the corner of the room and then headed towards the back.

“Sir, we are also receiving news that word of this compound is spreading in the surrounding systems and some may head here from them. The governors have opened their arms to help those that need it, though they had to fight it out with Rharpaz; Being a typical Ferengi he wanted to try to make money off of the deal. So they have made plans to copy this compound on the other side of the hospital if needed.” She turned from the board and returned to her seat.

Kr’Antren took one last look at the board and then got another iced Raktajino and retook his seat. “So tomorrow, assign me to one of the groups. Doesn’t matter which one, time for the captain to get his hands dirty.”

“No problem sir, we can do that.”

After another thirty minutes of small talk between the captain and his number one, they are joined by Lieutenant Skagath.

“Have you briefed him yet, ma’am”

Lieutenant Talibah shook her head.” Nope, was waiting on you. This is the chiefs and your work.”

“Ok then. Well, lad here we go. As you have read in the reports we found signs of movement around the compound after our first night on the ground.”

Kr’Antren nodded and grabbed his PADD to take notes.

“We saw the same types of movement over the next couple of nights, small teams. Usually three to four humanoids. We have found evidence of at least one of the groups staying throughout the day and observing the compound, that was on day three.”

Kr’Antren nodded.

Skagath looked over at the XO and she nodded in reply.”Sir, we believe that someone from the inside is guiding them. The routes they take and the hiding place they used, which was in a tree,  seem to follow the workflow. No, that’s not right. It seems to follow where we are not working. Meaning someone has to know the schedule so they know where to walk or not walk to not cause the trail to be noticed. The only ones who know the schedule are the members of the teams.”

“Makes sense, if you were going to spy on someone you would want someone on the inside.”

“Yes, sir. That’s what we were thinking. So the chief started paying attention a bit more to the tracks that were left. He has theorized that the “guide” is someone of smaller stature. Well, this made us look and watch over the past day and only two categories fit that bill. Either it’s a child or it’s a Ferengi. We do have a few Ferengi on the crews, I think it’s Rharpaz’s way of trying to make nice with his fellow governors and us. We do not have any children on the work crews but there are enough of them around, one or two could be up to no good.” Lieutenant Talibah looked at the captain. “We have also thought that if it is a child that they could be being threatened that if they don’t cooperate something will happen to their family or them.”

Kr’Antren put his PADD down and Looked at the two of them. “So what’s the plan?”

Skagath looked around the room real quick. “Well sir, let’s just say the crews will be told some wrong information this evening about the schedule for the next couple of days and tonight a select few crew including you and I will make our way out of camp. We have set up some stories about why and where we are heading and made those known.”

“Hmmmm, I think I see where this is going. No need to fill me in now.” he circled a finger in the air.

Skagath nodded.

“So Number One, where to next?”

“Well sir, we can go visit the different sites that are being worked on, then introduce you to the administration team and then the hospital.”

“Kr’Antren stood “Add the school and orphanage on that list.”

“Yes, sir. Stopping by the school would give Counsellor Sia a chance to fill you in on what she is seeing around the compound.”  she stood and picked up her PADD. “but first, lunch.”

“Lead the way, Number one.’