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

IOTD 011 – Into The Depths

Moon
12.27.2400 @ 0630
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The holographic Sokassia led them through the doorway and down a sloping pathway into a cavernous room with an array of consoles of various colors inlaid against the walls and massive screens all around.  He shuffled forward with his cane and tapped at one of the center consoles, “The entirety of the facility holds 5,028 items in stasis.  We recently experienced a loss of eight of those items and a complete shutdown of our planetary defense systems.  Our sensors have been impacted as well.”

T’saath scanned the massive screens throughout the room, “The eight items that were lost…they were stolen, correct?”

A nod, “Five of them were imprisoned Arretans.  Two of them were weapons devised by the Arretans, and the last was a unique blend of dilithium unrelated to the Arretans.”

Fowler was moving across the banks of consoles, scanning as she went, “Why can’t you repair the systems yourselves?”

The Vulcansah flickered in answer to her, “We can interact with the consoles as a part of our programming, but that is the extent of our abilities.  We can only go so far topside.  The observational tools used to verify the condition of the various rooms and facilities were damaged in the attack by the previous invaders.  I can only see half of the Island.”

Greer felt the unsettling thought rattle around in her mind, and she formed it into a question, “You said ‘objects’ in stasis.  By objects…what do you mean?”

He stared at her and rolled his eyes, “Your primitive language translation is rudimentary, at best.  Objects in our language mean animal, plant, alien, mirror alien, and various samples of minerals.”

T’saath snapped to face him, “Explain the term mirror alien.”

Sokassia rolled his eyes again, “It is what your crew in your shop has discovered.  They have been trying to reach you through your primitive communications.  Let me clear the disruption.”

A moment later, all of their communication badges beeped with voices, and the XO held up her hand, “I will answer.  Commander T’saath here.”

=^=Commander, Captain Harris here.  Good to hear your voice.  We’ve come across a small ship graveyard up here…and two of the ships are coming back as Mirror Universe ships.=^=

She replied, “Our host has confirmed that several items in stasis here are what he calls ‘mirror aliens.’  Current estimates from the caretaker run over 5,000 items – living and otherwise- stored here.”  She explained the hologram of Sokassia and what additional details they had learned from him.  For his part, he remained silent, observing.  Harris explained the Vulcan’s warning and the possibility of someone being sent.  “I’m sure they will dispatch someone to investigate.  It will take them some time to assemble a team.” She glanced at the hologram, “We know what was stolen, but the facility is not fully operational with sensors or defensive operations.  I believe we might learn more by assisting with repairs and investigating the site of the thefts.”  She asked Sokassia, “Would this be agreeable to you?”

He shrugged, “I do not imagine you’ll be able to understand the systems and mechanics involved, but you are welcome to try.  I can attempt to teach you, but it will be slow going.”

There was a pregnant pause on the other end, and her CO responded at last, =^=We’ve got an additional runabout crew ready.  We’ll have them depart and get the engineering teams assembled to come down in additional shuttles.  Lieutenant Greer, I’m sending Chief Katsumi to assist.  Harris out.=^=

T’saath returned to the hologram, “I will assign our engineering teams to you.  Can you identify where in the facility the thefts occurred?”

 

Fowler was doing her best to keep up with the Vulcan executive officer.  There was a certain tension within T’saath that she couldn’t quite identify – it had begun when the hologram revealed who he was and what the planet was – something had shifted in the XO.  The science team doggedly followed behind.  They took several turns, a lift, and another stairwell, until they arrived in a cavernous open space lit up and very empty.  Spaces on the floor were marked where items had sat while dust and debris had collected over the years.  The commander directed them to spread out and begin to investigate.  Sadie slipped out her tricorder and began to check out the larger spaces and the identifier assigned to each.  It was a slow process of scanning the text, translating it step by step, and inspecting each word to ensure the translation was correct and complete.  It took her and the team an hour, and as they finished, she motioned to the commander, “I’ve got a list of names.”  She sent her data to the XO’s PADD and ran down the list.

“Sargon was one of the originals that Captain Kirk and his crew experienced.  According to these records, Sargon had a son, Rimush.  A rebellious son, he was cut off from the family and exiled.  At some point, he married Tashlu.  In addition to the son, Sargon had another son, Manish, and a sister, Ehed.  The records suggest they did not marry.  The fifth is an interesting one.  His name was Shu, and he is classified as the protector of them all.  The writing on his tag is different from the others.  I would need to access the Island’s computer banks to investigate further why these five were imprisoned here and what kind of abilities they may have had.”

T’saath gave a quiet nod, and Fowler sent her team to the next chamber where the dilithium had been taken.  She slowly packed up her equipment, hoping the commander would say something…anything to help explain this mystery.  Finally, the Chief Science Officer broke the silence, “Commander…I know we don’t know each other well yet…but I…,” she thought of the best word to use, “…feel compelled to ask you how you’re doing.”

The Vulcan turned slowly to face the question, “Compelled?”

Fowler swallowed hard under the gaze of her superior officer and gamely attempted to explain, “We…hm.  Humans have a lot of reflexes built into us physically.”

T’saath put a hand up, “I am aware of human physiology.”

Fowler nodded quickly, “Wasn’t suggesting you weren’t, commander.  I was going to also connect those reflexes to human emotions – that we feel pushed…or compelled to ask about how someone is doing when they’re dealing with something.  I’ve studied Vulcans enough to know that while you are the champions at controlling your emotions and exerting power over them…it’s the stuff that comes out of the corners of life that can…hm…surprise isn’t the right word…startle?  Affect.  That can affect even the strongest Vulcan.”

The XO eyed her carefully, remaining quiet as Sadie explained.  A moment more of uneasy silence held between them.  Then she answered, her tone slightly softer, “It is a unique position to be in…standing in what would appear to be a site of Vulcan origin…but not have any idea about this place, its purpose, or even its existence.”  She searched the cavernous room for answers, clues, or anything that would bring clarity to the fog that seemed to surround her on all sides.  “He referred to the people he knew as Vulcanseh.  Vulcan history is a long and laborious tale.  How the Vulcanseh ended up here and how this place came to be – will take years of archeological research to complete and verify.”  Her eyes returned to Fowler, “We are a patient people, Lieutenant.  Our logic drives us to, as humans would way, take the long way home…or take the scenic route.”  She shook her head, “Yet I cannot deny my innate desire to have an answer before we return to search for what still waits for us in the expanse and its connection to this place.”  She gestured to the equipment, “We are so vastly different in so many ways, and yet in the simplest of things…we share the same desires from time to time.  Shall we continue to the next chamber?”

Fowler nodded mutely as the XO picked up her share of the equipment and walked away and onwards.  She stood there feeling as if something had changed between them at that moment.  That they had a shared story.  She smiled to herself as she followed the XO.  Vulcans were full of surprises.

Comments

  • This is a great little scene. I’m intrigued by the idea of the Vulcansah, and I got a bit of a chill when I realized that the items Sokassia mentioned included living people. T’ssath’s reaction to the term ‘mirror alien’ was very telling, and I liked the interaction between her and Fowler. Very nice!

    January 8, 2023