Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 3 – Island of the Damned (IOTD)

IOTD 009 – The Island is Open

Moon
12.27.2400 @ 0600
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 A stark landscape marked by scattered elongated towers across a grey and rough ground.  The distant sun glowed through the clouds, casting amorphous shadows that lay menacingly on the ground. T'saath stood on the firm surface.  This wasn't a listless moon.  This was a place that had seen life.  She worked her tricorder over the surface.  The New Atlantic runabout's sensors had detected some kind of underground network of either tunnels or structures - it wasn't able to get a complete lock.  They had circled the large moon in the runabout using every variation of sensor scan to get a better idea of what the moon held.  The Mackenzie's initial scan on arrival had been bounced back, and the transporters were useless.  She read what the tricorder was telling her.  It was hardly logical.  Multiple power sources?  What had this place been?

“Commander, we're mapping an extensive underground structure.”  Science Chief Sadie Fowler worked with her team and their scanning devices and sensor pack collection across the surface.  “We're thinking this moon isn't man-made, but it was made to be whatever it was…or is.”  She shook her head, “Each spire has a sensor network connecting it to the moon's interior.  Whoever made this put a lot of thought into it.”

T'saath glanced at their engineering teams led by Assistant Chief Moore.  Greer had shown a drive and passion for discovering the truth about this place, and engineers' natural curiosity gave the team their best chance of successfully identifying the original use of this place and what had gone wrong recently.  Greer stalked carefully with her engineering crew with their various scanners, detectors, and engineering sensors towards the closest spire.  As she walked, she frowned, “You hear that now?”  They stopped.  There was a resounding low thrumming sound that muttered just below their feet.  She cocked her head to the side but motioned them onwards as the sound grew incrementally as they walked closer and closer to the spire until it became clear it was coming from the towering statue.  They walked around the base and measured it to be four hundred feet in circumference.  it was an incredibly massive creation that seemed to stretch far beyond understanding.  The calculations in the runabout had put it at nearly 5,000 feet, and they were at a loss as to how it managed to stay standing…or any of them, for that matter.  They counted fifty of the spires across the planet, each shape and size the same.

“Lieutenant, I think I found a door.” One of the ensigns was scanning a discolored portion of the facade, and the tricorder was beeping erratically.  “The space behind this is hollow.”  

Greer walked up to it and felt around with her hands cautiously but carefully, “It's warmer than the rest of it.  Figuring out how to open the damn thing…that's the trick.” T'saath walked up and surveyed the space, and Moore gave her a glance, “I'm sure it's harder, but maybe the Old or High Vulcan might work to open it?”

The Vulcan XO stepped close and put her hand on the space.  Suddenly there was a rumble beneath them, and a holographic image of a young man flickered into view.  It spoke in an Old Vulcan language. T'saath quickly reworked the universal translator, and the voice filtered into understanding, “…you have come at last.  The alarms have been going on for quite some time.  I am unable to discern the conditions within The Island and will require your assistance, Vulcansah.”

She stared at him, “I am called T'saath…who are…were you called?”

An odd look crossed the man's features, “You…do not know me?”  He looked around, noticing the rest of the crew for the first time, “Who are these…akansu k’shatrisu?”

She glanced to the others, “He means outsiders…aliens and off-worlders.  He's putting two phrases together.”  She turned back to him and spoke in Vulcan, “What do you call them that?”

The man stared at her and straightened his stance, “You appear Vulcansah, but you do not know who I am.  You associate with…them.  Who are you, and why do you come to The Island?”  T'saath let out an uncharacteristic sigh and explained who they were, why they were here, and what little they knew of the place.  The man listened patiently, his eyebrows raising and lowering as the story was told, and as it ended, he let out a holographic sigh, “It is the year 2400?  I fear our inner computers have faulted.  Allow me a moment.” He closed his eyes, and a rumble underneath them soon settled.  He opened his eyes, and the once-young figure transformed into an elderly figure with glasses and a wrangled staff to support his now-foundered gait.  He regarded them, a sad smile having replaced his placid appearance moments ago, “I am Sokassia.  Welcome to The Island of the Damned.”  He gestured to the world around them, “This is where we placed the worst and darkest secrets under the care of the Protectors.”  He looked up at the spire, “There are fifty of them.”  He shook his head, “At least…they were…until someone deactivated them recently.  I do not know how they managed it, but they did.”  He shrugged at T'saath, “She looks like our people, the Vulcansah…but I do not sense her power has developed…or that it is hiding.”  He shifted closer to her and narrowed his eyes, “My sensors only detect so much these days…but I do not think you are Vulcansah.  A pity.  I had hoped you could help us.”

Fowler spoke up, “Sokassia…what makes you think we can't help you?”

He chuckled deeply, “My sensors may not be as strong as they used to be…but even as a group, your inferiority is staggering.  This pretender may be of minimal help, but I do not detect the required superior intellectual ability within any of you.”

Greer and Fowler laughed out loud and covered their mouths quickly.  Sokassia regarded them with annoyance, and Sadie shook her head, “I think that's the first time I've ever heard someone refer to a Vulcan as lacking superior intellect.”

The shimmering hologram stared at her, “Vulcan?  What is this… Vulcan?"  T'saath patiently explained a brief history of her people, the Romulans, her planet, and a short list of Vulcan practices.  Sokassia shook his head and nodded it intermittently until she had finished.  He gave her a look over, “Some of this history and practice you speak of rings familiar to us.” He considered a moment longer, “You may yet be useful to this situation.”

The Commander held firm, “My crew comes with me.”

He glanced at them with a look of indifference, “I doubt they will be of any help, but they may tag along to observe the classical intellect of superior beings.  Perhaps they will learn something.”

The human crew stared at him, muted in fury at the direction of their XO, who hoped she wouldn't have to prevent any of them from murdering their host.  They each stepped through the open door and into the dimly lit hall.