Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Olympic: Mission 1 – Uneasy Alliance and USS Mackenzie: The Mackenzie Squadron – The Uneasy Alliance

05 – Uneasy Discovery

USS Olympic / Janoor III
03.06.2401
0 likes 393 views

 “Captain Dread?”  The nurse stood at the glass door to her office, a PADD in hand.  Helena motioned her in, and she took a seat, handing over the PADD.  “We’ve got some preliminary reports from our teams on Janoor III.  Alpha team is in Morgan Township, and Beta team is in Hills and Ponds Township.”  

Helena scrolled through the summary mumbling as she read.  As she got deeper into the details, she made notes on the PADD and bookmarked certain pages. She mused, “Morgan Township was founded twenty years ago, and Hills and Ponds Township was five years ago.  They came after the occupation and the end of the war.  And they’re both experiencing similar symptoms and infections…despite being on opposite sides of the planet and in entirely different ecosystems.”  She tossed the PADD, which thudded on the desk, startling the nurse, “Goddamn Dominion.”  The nurse looked blankly, and Dread explained, “It’s not hard to hypothesize what’s happening here.  The Dominion could have done something to these two places during the occupation, so when they eventually settled…well, it would take some time, but eventually, bad things would start to happen.”  She held up the PADD, “I’m taking this to Captain Crawford.”

 

“The crew on the Mackenzie found that yesterday and filed the report up the chain.”  Crawford sat on the couch in his ready room and handed Dread a PADD with an extended discourse.  “There is some evidence to suggest there is someone on Janoor III that stayed to fight the war.”

Helena took the PADD and sat on the couch across from him, “This is pretty serious, Pete.  Whoever did this, whenever they did this…they knew what they were doing.”  She pondered what they could do about it.  “We’d have to send science teams down to investigate the areas around the weapons systems to see if they could trace whoever this is somehow…and we’d have to use our security people.  Mackenzie’s gonna have their hands full with handling the Cardassians.”

Peter sighed, “And we’re still a new crew and getting to know each other.  You meet Catari yet?”  The Bajoran security chief had been running drills with the team.  He hadn’t had a chance to sit down with her.

The XO echoed his sigh, “She’s working through something.  Did a little research on my own.  She lost her mother before she stepped aboard.  I did her initial medical exam…tried to talk to her a little…she’s holding it close to her chest, Pete.”  Dread had seen it plenty in her career.  Trauma and grief had a habit of pulling people deep within themselves.  Pulling them back out often took more than a metaphorical tractor beam.

Crawford wondered, “Her parents and family suffered under the occupation of Bajor.  Given that she will be investigating a possible ghost in the darkness…I’d like you to work with her on the initial inspection.”

She held up her PADD, “You know how much work we’ve got going on with the Cardassian injured?  Not to mention…”

He cut her off, “Helena…you’ve got redundancy built into the medical department.  I’m not asking you to hold her hand…I’m asking you to walk with her.”  He had another reason for selecting her for the mission.

Dread guessed it in one, “It also helps that I’m half Betazoid.  You fight dirty, Peter.”  She wasn’t opposed to working with the young Bajoran officer.  She preferred to work with the medical side of people and not their heads or hearts.  She stood, “I’ll brief her and get to work.”  He wished her good luck as she left the ready room.  He turned to the windows and gazed out into space.

 

The initial scans hadn’t indicated who or what had been at work on the defense systems. Athena Catari stalked the area around where the first indications had been found.  Her security teams had been split to the different sites with science teams.  She’d drawn the short straw with the XO, Doc Dread.  Catari had found the doctor annoying, distracting, and far too interested in her situation than she believed the doctor had reason to be.  “Porter, trace what you can from this.”  She tossed the tricorder to him and the science team gaggle that surrounded him.  Picking up her PADD, she went to work as the various scans and reports the team was filing began to appear for her to evaluate and file to other teams for further examination.

Dread walked a distance from the security chief as she followed her scans.  There was some recent residual biological data that was unusual for the planet and its people.  She shifted through the tall grass, her medical tricorder tuning to the readings that had initially caught her interest.  Her original theory was losing ground as the evidence shifted towards a recent threat.

“Captain Dread.”  The voice of the chief science officer broke her concentration.  She turned towards Lieutenant Fowler, who showed her the scans, “There’s some interference from this cave structure just down there.”  Helena looked closer, and Sadie explained, “It’s not naturally occurring…this is something being generated by some kind of technology.  I’d need to get closer to identify it.”

Dread pursed her lips, “It’s always the way with science and security…gotta get close and poke it with a spanner.”  She shrugged at Fowler’s raised eyebrows, “I heal people for a living, Fowler.  I’m a doctor, not a poker.”

 

Dread, Fowler, Catari, and the assembled science and security team moved in concert toward the cave structure.  Tricorders were out along with additional sensor equipment while the security officers kept their hands on the holstered phasers and rifles as they swept towards the ominous-looking rocks ahead.

Fowler confirmed, “Interference is growing, pinpointing several emitters.  From a distance, they would have read as a naturally occurring phenomenon.  Working to identify.”

Catari watched her readings as they continued walking, scanning the various elements of the rock face to see where the entrance might be found.  The power readings alone suggested something advanced.  Suddenly there was movement ahead, and she put up her fist in a tight and closed motion.  Everyone stopped.  The movement continued until a young Cardassian boy appeared out of the tall grass, nothing in his hands.  She whispered to her team, “Keep ‘em holstered.”  She stared at the boy, “I’m Catari.  Who are you?”

The boy spat at the ground, “Damn Bajorans.  I won’t talk to you.”  His eyes shone with a deep intensity and seriousness that belied his young age.  Catari’s face burned red with fury and embarrassment.

Dread slowly stepped forward, “I’m Helena.  I’m her…captain.” She was experiencing an enormous amount of hate and rage from the boy, and it only seemed to grow.

The young Cardassian turned to focus on her and spat again, “Betazoids.  Just as bad.”  He pointed at Fowler, “You’re human.  I will talk to you.”

Fowler nervously chuckled and looked to Dread, her eyes wide, “Uh….captain?”  The boy was young, but the way he stood and glared at them…it had the hair on the back of her neck standing on end.  She felt they’d stumbled into a holodeck program with a malfunctioning plot system.  Nothing was making much sense to her at present. Helena hesitantly agreed, and Sadie stepped forward carefully, “I’m Sadie Fowler…a scientist.”

The boy leered at her suspiciously and leaned in to whisper to her, “I don’t trust any of you.”  After a moment of thought, he relented, “I am Gurat…and my father is injured.  I need help…and the people of this cursed planet would kill him on sight.”

Sadie glanced back at the rest of the team and then at Gurat, “Why do you think we wouldn’t kill him?”  She was truly at a loss to explain what was happening.  Who was the boy’s father?  And what did this have to do with the sabotage?

He sighed and pointed to their badge and uniforms, “My father taught me about Starfleet.  I recognize that symbol on your clothes.  He told me if I ever saw it, I would be safe.  He told me I could trust people like you.”

Fowler felt her heart in her throat.  Even as they were bitterly spoken, something was touching about those words, coming from a Cardassian child.  “I can help you…but I have to take my captain with me…she is the doctor and knows so much about how to help everybody – including your father.”

Gurat looked from Fowler to Dread as if deciding if he could trust her words.  He sighed, “Fine.  Walk in front of me, and I’ll direct you.  The rest of you stay here.”  Dread was amused at the boy’s directness but gave the rest of the crew an imperceptible nod.  Fowler followed her as the boy directed them.

As soon as they were out of sight, Catari tapped her badge and alerted her captain.  “I’d like to request a full security group armed and ready to rescue them if it goes wrong.”

Crawford sat on the bridge of the Olympic, cursing himself for not meeting with his security chief sooner.  He was starting to get a sense of her and her intensity.  “Hold off on that for now, Chief Catari.  We’ll get a shuttle down to you for monitoring and rescue purposes, but I’m not interested in storming into a situation we know very little about.  Count on Captain Dread…she’s not often a fool.”  

The channel closed, and Athena grumbled to herself.  Someone was going to be the fool in this scenario.

Comments

  • Oooo someone was still fighting the war. Is it an undercover Cardassian, Breen, or Vorta? A Jem’Hadar or even a whole team of Jem’Hadar hiding out? Or is it a simple Changeling living out in the open?

    May 22, 2023