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Part of USS Dragon: Abeloth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

ABELOTH – 11

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“All right team, we are wheels up in thirty minutes, time to conduct final system and equipment checks. ” Lieutenant Yatokii called out from his locker as he watched the rest of this specialized team. “Remember the environment of Deptrock 6 is harsh and according to preliminary planetary scans the atmosphere is barely breathable for most of us.”

Chief Ukogh looked in his locker and pulled out a phase rifle in one hand and his phasor in the other, looking over at Chief Ngiazav. “Been awhile since we have done one of these types of forays.”

“Indeed” as he holstered two phasors and looked at his fellow chief looking at the two weapons. “Thinking of over watch?” he nodded toward the rifle.

“I am, though I’m not sure. We never really discussed it during the mission prep. “He shook his head and placed the rifle back in the locker. “I’m a warrior, sometimes the battlefield changes and I would rather be ready for that change than not.” he nodded and made his way over to Yatokii.

“Lieutenant, if I may make a suggestion?”

Yatokii blinked as he looked over the Klingon in front of him. “Yes, chief”

“Sir, I know we did not discuss it but I think having one of the team set up on the ridge above the camp would allow for an over watch system and could allow for an early warning.”

Yatokii finished donning his body armor and then picked up his PADD, swiped through several pages and then read something that he found. ”yes, yes. I see. Go ahead and bring your rifle chief. We may need you if we find things have changed by the time we get to the camp.”

“Yes, sir.” As he made his way back to his locker, took out his rifle, placed it on the bench he stood in front of, reached into his locker, pulled out a medium sized tube, and emptied it into one of his hands. Straddling the bench and sitting down he picked up the rifle and held it up with the stock on the bench. Taking the item in his other hand, he hit a button on its side, held it against the top of the rifle, and tapped the button again. He stood and slung the rifle on his back.

Chief Ngiazav noticed the team medic had a bunch of medical equipment and items spread out all over the floor and bench looking at it with one hand pinching his chin as his other two were busily packing a field pack for the third time. “Ensign, remember we are not trying to fix everything. Bring what you need to help the most severe cases. “As he walked over and placed a hand on the pack. “This is too much; it will only slow you down. Remember, the mission orders.”

Ensign Zijai looked at the large Orion in front of him and nodded. “Ummmm yes, chief. Just nervous. First time you know.”

“I understand. Remember the mission and the discussions we have had. You will be fine,” he pointed at the two smaller pouches that were attached to the ensign’s body armor. “I think you know what you need and have already decided on It.,” he pointed at the spread out supplies. “This is just nerves.”

“Yes, chief.”

Chief Ngiazav nodded and walked to the next person as he noticed his fellow chief doing the same with the two intelligence officers assigned to the team.

 

“USS Dragon this is the Leviatan, we have dropped off obsidian.”

“Roger, meet us at the predetermined coordinates.”

The crew watched as the team of nine personnel formed a small circle for a minute and then started to make their way out of the area as the rear hatch closed and the runabout lifted off.

 

“Chief Ngiazav, lead the way.” as the team looked around and got their bearings. The day had just begun to turn to night as the darkness of the sixth planet’s night phase settled in. Chief Ngiazav turned to face the team and nodded. “Estimate six hours till we reach the ridge. That gives us another seven to eight hours of darkness to work with.”

The rest of the team picked up their gear and made ready to leave as the team’s science officer pulled out his tricorder and ran a quick scan. “We are good to go; I’m not seeing any signs of life nearby. Though this planet does have some fauna that is active at night more so than during the daytime.”

“All right then, yell if anyone hears or sees something. Let’s get moving then, shall we.” the chief started walking in the direction of the ridge.

“Lieutenant, I’ll take the rear, make sure nothing moves up behind us and cover any tracks that we leave behind.” Chief Ukogh said in a hushed tone.

Yatokii nodded as he took a deep breath through his helmeted mask and slowly let it out.

 

Several hours into the march, Lieutenant Simmons walked up beside Ngiazav. “Chief, stop. We may have an issue.”

Ngiazav comes to a stop and turns to face the Lieutenant. “What is it?”

“I’m showing a signature of some sort about 1000 meters ahead.” he showed the Chief his tricorder and the readings on it.”

“Damn it, we expected they would have something set up. Can you tell what its purpose is?”

Simmons shook his head.

“Great, we still have a few hours to go to reach the spot we picked on the map.” he looked around shaking his head. “Lieutenant Yatokii, Simmons has found something. Assessing now.”

“Understood”

“If it’s a scanning sensor of some sort; I dare say we are close to its max range.”

Ngiazav nodded. “Where there is one there are probably more. However, this valley puts us close to the way up to the ridgeline from what we saw. Maybe it’s placed here just for that reason.” he tapped a button on a small PADD attached to his forearm. “Going to take some time to get up the side of the valley to get up to that plateau. I was trying to avoid that as it puts us more in the open and the landscape is riddled with sinkholes and crevices that will slow us down.”

Simmons nodded. 

Ngiazav looked toward his right “Well that way is as good as any right now. Simmons you’re with me.,” he signaled for the rest of the team to hunker down. “Lieutenant, I’m going to take Simmons and we are going toward the right side of the valley, see if we can figure out a way around this. I would suggest hunkering down here till we get back.”

“Will do, I’ll have Ensign Yikyi move up to your position, maybe she can figure out a way to disable or create a work around.”

“That will be fine. Ensign Yikyi, i would not go much further than this point. We are not sure just what type of device this is or how far it reaches.”

“Yes, chief.”

“Ok Simmons, let’s drop our extra gear here, move light and fast. Besides we won’t need it for this and this group here” he uses a thumb to point behind him “isn’t going anywhere till we say so. Just bring what you need”

Simmons goes to place his rifle on the pile formed by his gear.

“I would suggest you bring that, Lieutenant. You may need it; we don’t know what is out there.”  Ngiazav said under his breath as he shook his head.

A chuckle is heard from somewhere in the group.

“Lieutenant, let’s make our way over to that stone outcropping over toward our left.  Would probably be better than staying out here in the open.”

“Agreed”

 

“Well lieutenant, we have some bad news” Chief Ngiazav silently came back to the group and kneeled down next to Yatokii. “We found three more of those devices, I’ll give these confederacy folks kudos they sure make things tough. I mean we are still several hours away from the ridgeline but it looks like they knew that this valley was a route to the camp. I’m sure these were put in place more to protect the mine than anything else.”

Yatokki nodded and then closed his eyes for a few seconds. “I would guess that they did the same on this side.” He pointed over his shoulder with his thumb.

“Would make sense.”

“Damn it, this makes things a tad more difficult. Any ideas?”

“Well Simmons had something he wanted to talk to Yikyi about.”  Ngiazav shrugged.

“Lieutenant, chief, I think I may have a work around. Yikyi is testing it on her equipment right now. We think that the sensors are an older model, maybe set up when the operation was first set up on this planet.”

Yatokii and the chief both look at the lieutenant with a look like they did not understand the significance of that.

“I kept on getting some strange readings on my tricorder when we were looking for a way around the sensor we found. I believe that many of the animals on this planet are subterranean in nature or if they are not they stay low to the ground.”

Ukogh made his way over to the trio.

“I’m not quite understanding, lieutenant. How does that help us?”

“It’s the planet sir; the harshness of the planet gave me the idea. It’s either too hot or too cold for many things to stay on the surface, the only thing protecting us from the freezing cold is our suits.”

“And?”

“Well chief, if you were setting up a sensor system, would you want it to go off all the time?”

“No, no I wouldn’t. That would drive me crazy if I was sending teams out to investigate every time the sensors went off.”

“Exactly, so how would you fix that problem?”

Ukogh chuckled, “I’d set my sensors to react to things at ground level or maybe a bit higher.”

Ngiazav looked down at the map on his PADD.

“I thought of it while we were on the side of the valley, chief.”

He looked at his PADD and then at the young lieutenant and then back at the PADD on his wrist. “The crevices?”

“Yes, the crevices. I got some weird readings, well weird as i could not say what caused them but i think the animal species of this planet use them to move around during the daylight hours.”

“Which means we could use them to move past the sensors.”

“Yes, that’s what I was thinking.”

They hear a scrambling of rocks as another body comes towards them. “Damn, I can’t see that far on my device.”

Ukogh looked at her with a raised eyebrow. “What are we trying to see? Do we not know where the sensor is?”

“Oh, yes. We know approximately, where it is located. I was trying to see if we could tell how it was set up.”

He unslung his rifle “Show me”

She motioned for the chief to follow her as she departed in the same direction that she came from.

 

“Move, move, move. Damn it, how did they find us?”

“Get down, get down… don’t move, turn off all unnecessary systems.”

“What gave us away?”

They watched as over the rise two Breen star fighter type ships, could be seen heading in their direction against the night sky.

“Not sure that they have, could just be a routine patrol.”

“Out here?  On this planet? “

“Maybe something else triggered one of the sensors?”

They watched from the crevice that they had all dove into as the Breen fighter started to perform a sweep of the area behind as its wingman started to work itself up the valley. Toward their location. 

“Stay down, don’t move.” Ukogh said over the team comms channel.

They could hear the low thrumming of the ship’s engines as it slowly passed over them.

“Don’t move; his partner is still down here. Patience, patience… “Yatokii whispered

Comments

  • Lots of stuff is happening! We get to know our crew a little more and the world they've landed on as well. I like the weakness of the scanning units - it gives them a chance to try something different. Although - if the tunnels are big enough to crawl or walk through...that means we got some big beasties to deal with if we surprise them! And the Breen are coming around to say hello! Whether they're there as routine or if they're checking them out...we'll have to wait to see! Dun dun duuunun! I am looking forward to more!

    June 7, 2023