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

To serve and protect – 16

Various
240011.12 and 240011.13
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240011.12.2100

“Ok sir, so we have divided it into three teams, one team will watch near the compound, one team will watch near where we think they are hiding and one team will stay in the trees here.” Skagath points to a mark on the map he has placed on the table. “They will be our backup in case we run into trouble that we can not handle.”

“I see, is there a particular place the compound team is watching?”

“We have been dropping hints that this row of houses will be expecting occupants shortly and we also stated today, after going through your reports from the asteroid, that the orphanage will be expecting its first occupants soon also.”

“I’m not exactly sure that was a wise idea Lieutenant. I will not condone putting those kids at risk.”

Skagath pats the captain on the back. “Neither will I lad, neither will I.” He leaned toward the Captain. “We didn’t have a chance to get to our working theory, so I might as well give it to younow.”

Kr’Antren nodded. “Go ahead.”

“After looking at the notes from the past findings when they discovered Blood Dilithium around the compound and reading through the reports from the asteroid Number One, the Doc, Counsellor Sia, and I came up with an idea that kind of fits into your findings from the asteroid. What if the Imperium is trying to play psychological games with not only the people of this planet but with the Delta Quadrant as a whole.”

Kr’antren raised an eyebrow. “Okay, I think I see where you are going.”

“You were always quick to pick up things, anyways. Knowing what they were working on, on the asteroid, makes this idea seem more possible and probably more likely. What if they are testing how much Blood Dilithium it would take to start affecting telepaths? Then once you have that figured out you could theoretically start making it look like telepaths are going mad. And if telepaths have gone mad then there is no telling what they can or would do. Then here comes the Ferengi to sell them the answer to the problem. May not be able to stop the telepaths but there is a way to protect yourself. On top of that, the Devore then start to work their regular brand of anti-telepath rhetoric.”

Kr’antren started to run a hand through his beard. “That’s something to think about for sure, and quite worrisome if you’re right.”

Skagath nodded, then rolled up the map and placed it in a tube sat on one side of the table, and then placed the tube into the rucksack on the floor beside him. “So are we ready to go, captain? Our team will be the ones watching the supposed hiding spot and the trails going into it. We have about an hour’s hike to get to our spot in the trees. We believe that they wait till the moons are at their highest to make their way in the forest.”

Kr’Antren picked up his smaller rucksack and swings it over his head and onto his back, then makes adjustments to it so it sits right across his shoulders. He then picked up the phaser rifle that was leaning against his chair, double-checked the readings and settings on it, and attached it to the front of his vest. “Ready when you are Lieutenant, you’re in charge.”

Skagath noticed the Captain double-checking his rifle and nodded. “Good, Good, I see you remembered  what I taught you.”

“Yep, never trust that a weapon is armed and safe. Always check it for yourself and that the best safety is the one attached to you.” He held up his trigger finger. “Never put your finger on the trigger unless you plan on using it.”

Skagath nodded again. “Good, Good. I wish some of the other folks on the Osiris would remember those rules as well as you did, so many folks want to be heroes these days.”

“Well Lieutenant, if that’s the case you know what is needed and I will back you up on it.”

Skagath nodded again, picked up, put on, and adjusted his rucksack. He then performed the same checks on the phaser rifle that he carried. “Alrighty then, the other two should be outside waiting on us. Oh ya, you might need this.” he handed the captain a device that looked like a small video camera  that had a monocled eyepiece.”You might need that if we are stopped by anyone.”

“What’s this?” Kr’Antren held up the device.

Skagath chuckled. “ That sir. Is one Starfleet-issued photographic device with a night vision ad-on. Remember lad, we are going to look at the planet’s nighttime wildlife along the river. If anyone asks, the rifles are in case the wildlife gets a bit too close and a bit too wild as some reported predators use the river banks as hunting grounds.”

“Damn, I knew I should have brought my camera. Well maybe I can clean up any pictures I get with this thing when we get back onboard.” Kr’Antren looked the camera over, wincing as he did so. “Ugh, so out of date.”

Skagath continued to chuckle as he shrugged his shoulders and started to head out the door.

Kr’Antren shook his head and followed the Lieutenant out of the door.

 

Roughly ninety minutes later they find an area with some tall trees and a good view of both river banks and across the river Skagath pointed out that the other side of the river has a set of cliffs and hills that start to lower in height and blend into the forest floor and river bank. He poked the captain on the shoulder and pointed toward the far bank at about the two o’clock position from them.

 “Well lad, there is a waterfall of sorts over there, empties into a small pool then it joins into the main river, from what we have been told the river is extremely low right through that area only about a foot or so deep which is allows folks to make their way across the river easily. The locals also tell us that there is a rather deep cave behind that waterfall. It used to be a mine shaft used to dig out a gemstone of some sort, nobody knows what gem was mined there as it’s been shut down for decades. Anyways that’s another story, for our purpose we believe that is where they are operating out of.”

Skagath pointed up into the tree, we need to get up there so we are less noticeable by anyone or anything out here. He then proceeded to climb the tree to a group of small platforms located in the tree’s branches.

Kr’Antren followed him up and joined him on one of the platforms.

“These are used by the locals as hunting platforms, so most folks would not think it would be out of the ordinary for folks to be up here as it is one of the hunting seasons for a couple of different animal groups. Quite well camouflaged too, we checked.”

Kr’Antren carefully got the rucksack off and placed it behind him like a seat back, then he took out the camera from a side pocket and puts on the monocle heapiece.” well let’s see what we can see, might as well get some pictures while we are here in case anyone asks.“

One of the other members of the team came down from a slightly higher perch. “Lieutenant, I’m going to go post up in that tree we discussed that overlooks the shallows.” He looked up at the sky. ”I would say we have about an hour before the moons are at their highest.”

Skagath looked up also, “Maybe less, be careful and quiet. No need to alarm them before we are ready. Remember, one flash when you see them, two when they go past, three when it is clear for us to move and set up.”

“Roger, sir.” He stealthily climbed down the tree and made his way into the surrounding forest and disappeared.

“He’s good, where did you find him?” he pointed with his head towards the security crewmen.

“If I told you, I’d have to kill ya.” Skagath chuckled, “Let’s just say he and a few others have some special skills and experience in places they can not talk about.”

Kr’Antren chuckled, “Got it.”

He went back to look through the camera. “So what was the rest of that about?”

“Well, if everything goes as planned tonight and they decide to make an appearance. We have a little surprise planned for them either at the compound or here.”

“Hmmmmm, are we expecting guests for breakfast?”

“That’s the plan, sir”

 

Skagath looked through his monocle and taking pictures with his camera noticed a red dot in the upper corner. “Ok then, so it begins. There on the move, Captain.”

Kr’Antren tapped a finger on Skagaths leg.

Both Kr’Antren and Skagath shift their cameras slowly toward the shallows. 

“Got’em, I count four,” Kr’Antren whispered.

“Agreed,” Skagath whispered

A few minutes later the woods went back to their normal nighttime sounds and Skagath saw the two dots in his monocle, he placed a hand on Kr’Antrens shoulder and squeezed twice.

Kr’Antren tapped on Skagaths knee in acknowledgment.

Another few minutes passed and Skagath saw the three dots, he squeezed the captain’s shoulder twice again and then reached down to the platform and knocked once.

A shift in the platform announced another person was on it as they then brushed past and continued down. Skagath then slowly got up on his knees. “Ok Captain, phase two. Here we go.” As they both made their way down the tree and followed the security crewmen slowly into the forest.

 

Over the next forty-five minutes, they made their way to a pair of trees, roughly thirty feet down the trail and off to one side slightly from where the first crewmen were located. “Lt, this one is yours. I’m going to join Chief Ukogh. I’ll plant four stun devices on this side of the trail by a few feet, as we had planned. Looks like we should have enough time to rest a bit and let nature return. I’ll double-check for any trail signs we left and make sure they are no longer visible.”

Skagath looked up at the sky and grunted. ”Set them to go off using the proximity sensor on the fourth one, let’s say five feet.”

“Sounds good, Daisy chained down the line from the fourth one. No delay. That would be my suggestion.”

Skagath looked at the trail and the distance between the two points. “Works for me, you guys are the experts in this area.”

The chief looked back at the trail and moved towards the other tree.

“Up we go lad, should be a platform up in the tree a bit higher than the last ones but way more camouflaged due to the closeness to the game trail they are using.”

Kr’Antren nodded and started to climb the tree, followed by Skagath.

 

As the sky started to turn the blueish purple of the coming morning the group perched high up in trees and heard a wild commotion coming down the trail. It did not sound like a group trying to sneak through the forest but one that was in a rush to get somewhere fast.

Skagath leaned into Kr’Antrens ear. “Guess the compound team didn’t get them all. Remember lad,   close your eyes when they pass under us or else you’ll end up like them for a few seconds.”

Kr’Antren nodded.

A few seconds later three figures ran under them along the trail. “Close them” Skagath hissed.

As four blinding lights flashed through closed eyelids followed by concussive waves of a low deep sound. As Kr’antren opened his eyes he could see two flashes of phaser fire hit two of the individuals while the third was already on all fours trying to shake the effects. The other two were laying on the trail breathing heavily and unable to move after being hit by phaser rifles set on stun.

Skagath stood and shouldered his rifle, Kr’Antren could see that he was covering the advancement of the two chiefs as they approached the downed threesome.

Kr’Antren patted Skagath on the shoulder. “Nice work, I’m going to go down and join the chiefs. I want to see who we are inviting to breakfast before I offer them the invite.”

Skagath chuckled, “Yaaa we don’t want to waste any of our good coffee on folks that don’t deserve it, now do we.”

Kr’antren made his way down the tree and trained his rifle on the three individuals on the ground as he approached from behind them.

“Well, sir, not our best work if we must say. Almost a waste of good stun devices.” One of the chiefs stated as they came to the first individual laying on the ground.

“Well, looky here sir. Looks like we got ourselves a Ferengi. We were worried for a second that the stun devices wouldn’t work if they were part of the group.” as he knelt down beside the temporarily stunned Ferengi and placed handcuffs on his wrists. “Now be a good lad and don’t try to run, if you do the Tellarite in that tree over there would have to shoot you, and he is probably a bit grumpy from having to be out here all night and there are no guarantees that he forgot to set his rifle on stun.” 

Kr’Antren looked down at the kneeling Klingon security chief. “Chief Ukogh, if I may ask? Can you explain why, about the Ferengi?”

“Well sir. “ as he started to pat down the Ferengi and remove anything he found on them. “It has to do with their physiology. Sometimes the stun devices are not as effective against Ferengi, usually, if we know we are working against then we have to change the settings on the devices.”

Kr’Antren nodded as he watched Chief Ngaizav handcuff and start to search the other two. “I can understand that chief. Well, shall we flip them over and see who we have.”

Chief Ukogh nodded and reached over and flipped the Ferengi onto his back. “Ahhh sir, I know this one. This is Hogo. He’s been on the construction crews working on the schoolhouse for the last couple of days.”

Kr’Antren shouldered his rifle and knelt beside Hogo. “Hogo is it? I’m Lieutenant Commander Kr’Antren, Captain of the USS Osiris. So what have you been up to? Things will go much easier for you if you talk now versus later.” He stood and approached the other two figures.

Skagath stood as he finished searching the pockets and other areas of the one he was beside. “Well sir, looks like we have two Imperium members. Not much on them besides rations, a small map of the compound and its surrounding area, and a couple of these.“ He held up what looked like a belt with small loops sewn on it, much like an old-fashioned pistol belt where the ammo was stored on the belt, most of the loops were empty but a few still held little metal tubes/vials with a flip top on one end.

“I’d be careful opening that, lad. Almost had a face full of it when I did.”

Kr’antren looked at him and then down at Devore laying on the ground. He then held the vial away from him a bit and carefully flipped the lid open, inside was ground Blood dilithium about the consistency of sand.

Skagath held up another belt similar to the first but meant to be worn across the chest. “The vials on this one hold small crystals about the size of a human’s pinky finger.”

Kr’antren turned and looked at the three individuals on the ground. “Where’s the fourth?”

Skagath looked back towards the compound. ”I’m figuring that the other team’s trap was either set off earlier or they were not all within range of the devices they had. These three high-tailed it out of there when they realized what was happening.” 

Kr’Antren nodded. “Well let’s round up our gear and take these three back to the compound and see what we can get out of them.”

Skagath chuckled. “Ahhhh hot coffee and breakfast followed by a round of interrogations. What a way to start a day! Ok, you heard the Captain, let’s get moving.”