“Ok ensign, we have a shuttle full of medical supplies and food here. I’m sure the doc would greatly appreciate it if we do not break any of it.” Sesias said as he took his seat next to the helm officer. “After we drop off the supplies we have been tasked to go investigate the village and see if there is anyone there we can offer assistance to.”
“Yes, sir, try not to break the eggs. Got it.” the young Andorian ensign said as he chuckled. “Mercy flight control, shuttle Sanctuary is ready for departure. “
“Sanctuary, you are cleared for departure. We do have a weather update for you on your destination. The latest weather report shows a major storm front building on the other side of the mountains from your destination. We would estimate it moving through that valley within the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours.
“Roger, that flight control. Thanks for the heads up.” Ensign Shrenen Ch’ethialrith looked over at Lieutenant Sesias. “You don’t get airsick do you, sir? Looks like the approach vector may go through a building cold front, things may get a bit bumpy as we head over those mountains.
“No, I don’t get airsick ensign. Go ahead and take us out. Slow and steady. We can get some atmospheric readings and scans on our way in. It should help Mercy figure out the weather patterns on the planet.”
“Yes, sir.” The shuttle gently lifted from its spot in the Mercies shuttle bay.
“Course and destination are laid in, lieutenant, looks like we have about three hours before arrival.”
Sesias nodded in reply. “I’m going to try to reach out to our contact on the ground, and let them know we are on the way.”
“Looking at these reports from flight ops it’s going to be one heck of a storm when it does hit. I’m going to go back there and make sure we have what we need in case this turns into a Medevac or a possible rescue situation.” Ensign Ch’ethialrith made his way to the rear three-quarters of the shuttle checking to make sure that the normally stowed equipment was onboard.
“Sanctuary, this is Chief O’Reilly flight control officer for the area where IzhPilash Menal(SnowRiver Cliff) Village is located .”
“This Ensign Ch’ethialrith on the Sanctuary, go ahead.” As he turned and looked at the Lieutenant.
“Sanctuary, the medical compound has suggested that you land there versus your original landing zone, they are worried that the building storm front may hamper operations. We are sending you the coordinates and pertinent information now. Looks like it will be a tight fit for your ship.”
“We received the coordinates, flight control. Let them know we should be there in approximately forty-five minutes.”
“Flight control, this is Lieutenant Sesias. Please add that upon our arrival make sure that the area is empty and that the more hands we have to help unload the quicker the better, we need to go look into that village and hopefully depart before the worst of that storm hits.
“Roger Lieutenant. We will let them know. You should be able to contact them in the next fifteen to twenty minutes on your current path and flight speed.”
“Roger, Thank you for the assistance flight control. We will let you know when we are ready to depart.”
The shuttle entered the planet’s atmosphere being buffeted by the winds as they skirt the edge of the building cold front and the mountains that tower above the valley where the destination coordinates given to them lie.
“Lieutenant, we will be arriving in five minutes. The hospital says that the landing area is clear and they have folks waiting to help with the offload. I’m going to do a flyover real quick to see the area and figure out the best way to approach it. According to the information they gave us it’s going to be a tight fit.”
Lieutenant Sesias nodded as he watched the small village perched on a cliff edge along a frozen river pass underneath, “That must be IzhPilash Menal, smaller than I thought it would be. But look at that even as small as it is it still took a beating. I count fourteen, maybe sixteen out of maybe twenty to twenty-two total buildings that show signs of impacts from various weapons” He let out a low whistle. “ I would not have wanted to be in that village when things went down.”
Ensign Ch’ethialrith nodded. “ Lieutenant, are you seeing what I’m seeing? That village looks to have been built from log homes and a few modular colony units. I bet it’s the largest village out in this region, probably why it was targeted.” He slowed the shuttle down and started to conduct a low orbital route over the village. “I would guess that the mess of tangled metal in the center was probably the modular units that housed the village’s main infrastructure and governmental offices. Looks like it took at least two or three direct hits
Lieutenant Sesias shook his head, “We are going to have to investigate that area ensign. See what is still there and what can or cannot be fixed. The people who are left are going to need whatever we can fix if they plan on rebuilding here. Also need to see if we can find any survivors down there.
“Lieutenant, the hospital sits on the edge of the village closest to that tree line. I’m going to approach from the south, so we can take a look and decide the best course of action for landing.” The ensign lets out another low whistle and a line of Klingon words under his breath. “ Look at that sir, even the hospital was not spared. I see three modular units in a horseshoe shape with a couple of additions built out of logs and stone much like the village. Looks like at least two of the modular units took smaller hits and that one addition is missing an entire corner.
Sesias nodded. “I would bet that those hits took out the hospital’s power and communications. Hmmmm, I think we may not have many survivors to look for in the village though. Over towards the tree line, I’m seeing what looks like a camp made up of tents and ramshackle shelters just inside the treeline.”
The ensign brought the shuttle into a banked turn as he looked over the landing zone. “Looks like a tight fit with those impact craters on one side, the building on the back side, and the tangled mess of the other building on the other side. The best course of action will be to come in from the tree line, hover, and gently move straight down. Going to try and line up the rear hatch with that set of doors on the building to the rear of the shuttle. Can you keep your eyes on that building on your side, Lieutenant?” As he started his approach and landing procedures.
“Will do ensign, take all the time you need. I don’t want to have to explain to the Captain why we scratched the paint on this shuttle.”
Ensign Ch’ethialrith chuckled. “ Me either, Lieutenant. Especially as I’m the one behind the controls.” he started his approach.
“May want to turn the heat up, lieutenant. It looks awfully cold out there and that wind is going to come through here like a freight train when we open that rear hatch.” He slowly started to drop the shuttle down into the courtyard.
“You’re looking good on this side, prob two to two and a half feet of clearance.”
Ensign Ch’ethialrith nodded. “Thank you, I can feel the winds trying to push us to that side so I’m edging a bit more to my side to give us some breathing room.”
They feel the shuttle touchdown, a bit harder than they probably would have liked.” I’ll blame that on a wind gust, Lieutenant.” the ensign said with a chuckle.
“Uhhh huuu, suuurreee Ensign.” Sesias got up from his seat and headed towards the rear hatch. “ Ok, let’s do this.” as he opened the hatch there was a line of hospital employees waiting to help offload the shuttle.
“Ensign, shut it down and come help me get this stuff out the hatch, looks like they have enough folks in place to get this done quickly.” As he started handing various pieces of cargo to the folks in line as they walked up the hatch.
“On my way.” They broke it down into two lines working to move the cargo off the shuttle as quickly as they could.
As they were finishing up the last of the cargo an older human gentleman rushed onto the shuttle. “Who is in charge here?”
“I am sir, Lieutenant Sesias. Chief of operations on the USS Mercy. How can we help you?”
“Morning Lieutenant, I’m Nurse Maher, retired Starfleet. The Mercy?” Scratches at a bit of stubble growing on his chin. “Hmmmm, Olympic class Hospital ship if my memory serves me right.Good, good. Glad you folks were close enough to help.” He took a second to look around the area. ”Lots to do to rebuild IzhPilash Menal.”
Lieutenant Sesias nodded as he reached an arm out toward the nurse. “Can you give us a rundown of the current situation? I saw the tents and shelters in the tree line as we came in.”
Nurse Maher nodded and shook the Lieutenants’ offered hand.Yeah, after the attack was finished we went out and found who we could and had them gather what they would need and told them to come here. Figured this was as good of a place as any to circle the wagons, so to speak. We have been scrounging what we could from the village since then.”
Ensign Ch’ethialrith looked over at the nurse as he was putting on a parka and handed the Lieutenant his.”If I may ask, how many people lived here?”
Nurse Maher looked up at the sky for a moment and took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, obviously trying to calm his emotions before answering the Ensign’s question. “ Well, when we first decided on the site we were close to 300 plus or minus a few. Lost a few over the year to various things, a couple of families decided this was not for them and went to one of the bigger groups. That brought us down to about 250 or so, and from what information we can glean from those that came here, along with who we have and haven’t found since the attack I believe we lost close to a hundred, maybe as many as hundred and fifty in the attack.”
Sesias scratched his scalp with his middle arm. “Damn, will you be able to rebuild? With who you have.”
“That’s the plan, Lieutenant. Though any help the Mercy can give would be greatly appreciated.”