It took a few minutes for all the sand the Atragons’ powerful engines had kicked up into the air to settle back down, some of which formed a thin coating across the ship’s hull. Captain Hachiro Jinguji was the first to exit the bridge and make his way down the set of ladders which gave access to the main hold, which basically made up 90% of the entire vessel. It was here that Lyanna got her first glimpse of the submarine they’d be using. The ‘Sea Quest’ was probably slightly larger than the Runabout they needed to search for, but hardly looked any different to submarines that had been travelling under oceans for the last 400 years.
During the next couple of hours Ensign Stuart helped the Japanese Captain and his crew unload a small camp, which they setup along one side of the ship. She was slowly getting to know this small group of individuals. There was Max Wallerstein the human pilot who’d landed the ship. He was in his late 30’s and had piloted Freighters and Cargo Tugs before being hired to fly the Atragon. Max’s main distinguishing features were his purple beard, not natural of course; and the holographic Chinese dragon tattoo on his right arm that swished its tail every so often. Phoebe Andrianakis another human; the cook/medic was only in her mid 20’s and usually had a smile on her face. She was now being assisted by a female Trill Lei Rahs who’s fiery red hair stood out like a beacon. She’d be the one at the helm of the sub along with a Joshua a Betazoid; he’d not been forthcoming with any other details. Heard but as yet unseen a Benzite Engineer by the name Hoydock.
All of their equipment and supplies including the rather unusual and unique Maritime Rescue Transporter, or MRT Atragon; had been purchased by Hachiro and his elder brother Akihiko. The group had been together just over a year now, a civilian rescue team that could rush to the aid of any subterranean complex or underwater vessel in an emergency. They’d already saved the lives of 22 workers from an underwater mining facility on Segra Delta and 3 from a storm damaged Drilling Rig somewhere near Harpers Rift during their short time in operation. All lives that would have not been possible save without the aid of their submarine Sea Quest.
“So when do we get going?” The Orion asked the Captain as he came past carrying a pair of fold up wooden chairs that he placed next to a long table already in position under the larger of two tented structures.
“We dive at dawn, Miss Stuart.” He answered in his usual polite manor. “It will be starting to get dark here in just over an hour, and I much prefer launching when I can see everything going on.”
“I understand” She unfolded one of the chairs; whilst he did the other one Hoydock arrived at this point with another four of the chairs. “How many more do we need, boss?” he asked Hachiro.
“Another three if you would, thank you.” They both bowed to each other, the formal habits of his captain slowly rubbing off on the Benzite who very much respected each other. The blue skinned Benzite male was taller than everyone else and wore black overalls; and although he was wearing breathing apparatus that the vast majority of his species required in a standard oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, he’s was mounted as part of a head piece.
Lyanna turned around as she heard the familiar sound of a federation transporter beam and sure enough on a small ridge just above the beach the figures of Commander Salan, Lieutenant Bolka and Ensign Devron appeared. The lieutenant had a Tricorder attached to a long strap and slung over one shoulder. The captain walked over to meet them, bowed and then shuck their hands. “So glad you could join us for our evening meal.” He looked over towards Phoebe. “How long?”
The head of a woman in her mid 20’s with olive skin and black haired poked out from behind a tent flap. “Ten minutes no more. Grab a seat.”
True to her word the meal was all prepared and being served up just ten minutes later. It consisted of a mix of traditional Japanese and Asian foods, with the odd Greek twist thrown in for good measure. Hachiro sat at the head of the table with his four crewmembers along one side and their Starfleet guests along the other.
Commander Salan noticed the Japanese captain no long had the white naval cap with him, and intrigued enough to learn more he enquired about it. “Yes it’s the genuine article the Asian man replied. “One of my ancestors was a Destroyer Captain under the command of Vice Admiral Takeo Takagi during the Battle of Midway amongst other campaigns.”
“Your planet has changed greatly since those times.” The Vulcan said solemnly. “But endured a lot to get where it is now.”
“Indeed it has, mm yes.”
Jason having never met a Benzite before noted that this particular one opposite him appeared to really enjoy the Asian foods on offer and was tucking in heartily. Giving the occasional grunt and signal of approval to the cook Andrianakis sat next to him. He then turned to his collogue to his right. “Enjoy your trip down?” he asked Lyanna.
She put down the half eaten Shushi Roll in her hand, and looked at him. “With all due respect to Max over there.” She whispered, leaning in close to Jason. “I have never felt so helpless in my life!”
“Really” Jason looked back.
“It’s a good thing their ship has padded seats with harnesses fitted. It shakes like no bodies business on planetary entry, and doesn’t half fall fast.” Lyanna looked over towards the pilot to see if he’d heard any of what she’d said before continuing. “Part of me wanted to leap up, throw him out of the chair and land it myself.”
“And the other part?” he quizzed.
“Wanted to jump out and take my own chances with gravity!
“You make a lousy passenger.” Jason laughed, and gave the Orion a nudge with his elbow. Before returning his attention to the Yakitori; on the plate in front of him.
After the mini banquet the four Starfleet officers thanked their hosts for the meal and their hospitality before beaming back up to the corvette where they would sleep in preparation for the underwater operation first thing in the morning.
USS Jaxartes Transporter Room 14th February 2401
At 05:30 ship time the three of them where standing in the transporter room waiting for the lieutenant ready to head back down to the planet’s surface. Along with them was the Chief Engineer. Bellbrooke had hoped to be back running his Engineering Repair & Maintenance Team on Starbase Bravo but Salan had asked him to stay with the ship just a little longer; but if you’d have asked anyone who normally worked under him, they’d probably say they were getting along just fine without him.
Bolka was just down the corridor with Ensign Cho. The Bajoran was showing the young Korean something on a PADD in her hand. “Read this follow those instructions. Tell no one, understand?” The ensign nodded, took the PADD from the lieutenant and walked away.