Part of USS Mercy: Mission 3 – “Lost in Space”

All is not as it Seems

Bardor Bay City Observation Post - Deck 2
10.15.2400 @ 0700
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The turbo lift door opened onto an empty corridor on deck 2. If it wasn’t for the fact the team was missing, nothing appeared to be amiss. O’Shea stepped out into the corridor as he placed his tactical eye display on, allowing him to directly view an overlay from his tricorder. Glancing back at the new Chief Science officer, he spoke, “I’m not picking up anyone on this deck, but it’s best we stick together.”

“Agreed” Cezear reached down, checking to make sure his phaser was in its customary place, then reached across and pulled out his PADD while pulling out his recorder with his other hand. “ According to the map, there should be a meeting room about six meters ahead on the right side. Seems like as good of a place to start as any other.”

O’Shea nodded, “Seems like a perfectly good place to start.” Adjusting his backpack, he began to move forward down the call, scanning the passageway before then. Coming to a corridor just before the doorway, he stopped and checked both ways and was unsurprised to see the halls empty. “There should always have been at least one person here; this is damn odd,” he said as he continued forward before pausing at the closed door.

Tapping the panel for the door, it slid open, revealing a moderately sized room with a large meeting table with a holo display embedded in the middle of it. Most of the chairs, 4 in total, were tucked into the table though two were pulled out slightly. “Looks pretty empty but let’s see what we can find; there may be some data on the holo display,” O’Shea said as he stepped into the room, taking in the scene before him.

Cezear made his way over to the table, taking a seat in one of the chairs. “Where was that code that the Ensign gave us? Ahhh, here it is.” He typed in the authorization code to gain access to the system. “Let’s see what we can find, shall we? I would think the last meeting here would be as good as any point to start at. We can work backward from there.” looking through the console stopping on this or that page till he found what he was looking for. “Ahhh, here we go; looks like they recorded their meetings, audio only for the most part.”

The audio buzzed for a moment, and then it popped in. A man’s voice boomed, “What the hell was he thinking?  He knows the rules.  He knows Pottinger’s directives.  Why did he leave?”

A young woman’s worried tone spoke, “Jacob’s been doing a lot of pacing the last few weeks.  I think he was starting to lose it.” 

A slam of the fist on the counter startled O’Shea and Cezear as a new burly voice shouted, “Damn it, Joanne – why didn’t you say anything?  Unbelievable.  Don’t tell me you liked him or something.”

There was an unusual pause in the recording, and Joanne’s voice went from worried to confrontational as she yelled, “And what of it, huh?  Howard, you might be the team leader, but you don’t get to tell me who to like or not like.”

There was a sigh, and Howard shouted at her, “That’s exactly what I get to do!  This whole thing… runs on how honest we are with each other about what’s going on.  And you…you were not honest with us, Joanne.  This is certainly going into the report.”

A female voice broke in, irritated, “Would you two shut up?  We’ve got a real problem here.  Jacob’s out in our world and doing…who knows what to mess up this study.  We need to find him.  And get him back here.”

A meek male voice spoke up, “Gail’s right.  I’ve been tracking his medical status…he didn’t remove his remote sensor.  He’s stable…but there are some concerning readings I need to look into.”

“Peter…what the hell does that mean…concerning?”

“Nathan…I don’t know.  That’s why I need to figure out…”

Nathan’s voice pounded on the recording, “You’ve had time to figure this out, Peter.  We need answers.  Now.”

Howard’s voice spoke loudly, “Everybody, shut up.  Peter, get the answers.  Nathan, we need to inspect where Jacob broke out.  And no, we don’t report this…yet.  Pottinger will already be pissed that we didn’t find what she wanted.  We need this situation controlled and quickly.”

“And Joanne and I?”

Nathan muttered, “Keep an eye on the world out there.  Whatever we do now, we gotta watch out for any kind of issues.  What a cluster…”  The recording clicked off.

“Lieutenant Beattie, are you down here?” as they heard the turbo lift doors close.

“In here, ensign. First door on the right” Cezear hit replay on the recording. “Lieutenant O’Shea, did you hear what I just did? Did they say that one of the team left the post? And what does Pottinger have them looking for? I knew something was off about that report she gave us. What is she not telling us? “

Ensign Linwood walked into the meeting room just as the audio restarted, as she listened her draw dropped and her eyes started darting between the two lieutenants. “Ummmm, Sir did I just hear what I thought I did? Did they say someone left the post?”

Cezear nodded as he was quickly typing notes on his PADD. “Anything on the transporter logs?” he looked over at Lieutenant O’Shea. “I asked the Ensign to check the transporter logs before we came down. Just to put a checkmark next to the possible ways for the team to disappear list.”

“No, sir. Nothing out of the usual, from what I could see.”

O’Shea glanced at Ensign Linwood, “Good call having that checked though it sounds like he may have left through one of the airlocks. We should let the rest of the team know that Jacob left the post but let’s not confront Pottinger yet. One recording is not enough.”

O’Shea shook his head, “Had an odd feeling about this from the get-go. Can you access any of the mission documents or other records? I want to know what Pottinger was after. These missions are observational only, and if she ordered anything beyond that, it could be a breach of the prime directive. I need more information on this.”

Cezear looked over at Ensign Linwood. “Would you mind staying here for a few? See if you can pull anything else up. Have a feeling this console only has access to what transpired in this room, but maybe there is more that was said or done here. We will call for you once we have secured the labs.”

Ensign Linwood nodded. “Can do.”

Cezear made a copy of the audio file onto his PADD. “Have an idea about letting the rest of the team know about Jacob, especially Pottinger.”  Cezesr pulled up the audio file and made some adjustments, and then sent the new file to Pottinger and the rest of the team. 

“Captain Pottinger, we found something in the meeting room. Looks like one of your team, a Mr. Jacob, left the observation post. I’ve sent you a copy of the audio file.”He then looked at O’Shea, “That one ended just before the part about not finding what Pottinger sent them to find.”

O’Shea grinned. “That is toeing the line a bit there, Cezear; good call. I will get the original to Halsey.”

“Can’t show all of our cards at once, now can we?” he said with a slight chuckle and a shrug of the shoulders.

=^=Thank you.  I’ll examine it now.  I need as many details as you can find.=^= The channel clicked shut.

“Ok, let’s move on then.” O’Shea pulled up his tab and made a copy of the recording, and sent an encrypted message back to the Mercy for Halsey.

Something is off here. More then the missing team. Pottinger wanted something from this planet but not sure what yet. We will continue as ordered but you needed to be aware.

After a moment, he forwarded the message to Soruk and Dougal as well.

Turning back to Beattie and Linwood, he shrugged, “Best get on to the next room. I believe there are some labs down the hall.”

Cezear nodded. “Ready when you are. Ensign if you find anything, give us a shout, and of course, record it on your PADD, and send us a copy.”

“Will do, sir.” She looked around the meeting room. “Wonder if the room’s replicator still works; only one way to find out,” she made her way over to it.

“Best hold off on that Ensign until we have done a full check of things,” O’Shea remarked and swung his bag down, pulling out an emergency ration pack, “If your hungry, eat this. It’s a miracle of science.” With that, he stepped out into the hallway and made his way toward the nearest lab.

Opening the door to the lab, he quickly scanned the room and stopped, “We have found something here, Cezear. I have two bodies.”

“Crap.  Wasn’t expecting that.” he followed O’Shea just into the room and stopped. Looking down at his recorder. “Says, we are clear, but….” Cezear looked around the lab. “O’Shea, something is off. We have one body on the table and one at the console desk.” Cezear entered further into the room, scanning. “Ohhhh, Pottinger is not going to like this,” he pointed at the one on the table with his recorder. “This one is not one of the team members.”  he walked over to the other body at the desk. “This is Lieutenant Alison Thomas, Biologist. Oh shit, O’Shea. I’m no doctor, but this scan says she was six, maybe seven months pregnant.” Cezear looked at the slumped-over lieutenant, shaking his head.

“Well shit,” O’Shea said under his breath as he looked at the two bodies. “Any idea how they died and why they have a body of a local here?” Stepping closer he activated the console, he brought it online and began downloading the most recently accessed files. “We better have a look through these files but first I will notify Pottinger and the Doc. They need to know this.”

Cezear followed suit, downloading the most recent files. “Agreed, I definitely think we will need doc and probably a full medical and science team down here as soon as possible.    “

O’Shea skimmed through the most recent report by the late Lieutenant Thomas as he activated his combadge, “O’Shea to Pottiner and Doctor MacDonald, we have found the body of Lieutenant Thomas and one local in lab B-2. We are reviewing the reports now but the last one indicates a virus infected the team. I suggest we quarantine ourselves here until we can be sure none of us are infected.” After he sent the message he compressed the reports and readied them for transfer to the Mercy. ‘If there is a virus we will need all the help we can get,’ he thought to himself.

“The first question is was this virus already here or did they bring it here?” As he looked through the data as it loaded onto PADD. “Damn, according to what I’m seeing so far, and I’m just skimming through the data mind you, no symptoms were reported amongst the observation team till they left to find Mr Jacob. Bloody hell!” Cezear pulled up the observation posts command system, looked through the various pages till he found the one he wanted and entered a set of codes. “I hoped to never have to use that particular set of codes, O’Shea. But I agree with your statement. I just locked out all outgoing transporter operations, Mercy can send help but no one is leaving till we figure this out.”

As soon as Cezear hit the buttons n to confirm the codes a klaxon, similar to an old earth emergency medical siren, went off as light strips started to flash a purplish color.