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Okay, Who Brought the Dog? Part 2

Posted on 19 Aug 2020 @ 8:05pm by Commander Terry Walsh & Kelinor Voseh & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Dijaat Parker & Lieutenant Jennin Rhula & Lieutenant Zayna Ryler

Mission: Ghosts
Location: USS Shran
Timeline: MD 4 || 1300 hours

Previously in "Okay, Who Brought the Dog?"...

***Engineering Team***

"With pattern enhancers that shouldn't be a huge issue. However, let's definitely use the ladders." Dijaat opened his tricorder and walked over to the turbolift that he'd been referring to and scanned it, "I'm not detecting any debris that will get in our way Commander," He said over his shoulder. "However part of the hull breach does expand through the turbolift shaft." He closed it, "I have no way of knowing just how extensive or the exact location because of interference."

Terry nodded. "No debris is a good thing, but as far as the unknowns, we'll just have to be careful. Especially with the interference from the nebula floating around in here. Ladders it is, then."

***Armory Team***

Joey knew how the Security Chief felt. She climbed inside behind her colleague and friend, and just like the first time, she was mindful of her EVA suit. "If we dig deep enough, we might be able to find the pieces to the puzzle and put it together."

Camia grunted in response and started down once again. "With a bit of luck."


And now, the continuation...

***Engineering Team***

"Let's get the turbolift doors opened and start down the ladder," said Terry. "And be careful."

Pocketing her tricorder but keeping it on continual scan, Zayna went towards the doors and looked for the best place to try to get a grip. "Are there any manual releases anywhere?"

"There should be," said Terry. He wished he'd thought of that earlier... "And then maybe we can find something to put between the doors to help pry them open for a better grip. Lieutenant Parker," Terry said turning towards the Engineer?

Dijaat withdrew his engineering kit, "Already on it," He dug around in the engineering kit and withdrew two cylindrical objects that had handles on them. The engineering officer then suction cupped them to the doors before twisting them into place. He pried the door open just far enough to get a crack before placing a bar and pushed into it.

The mechanical noise from the groaning pieces lasted a few seconds before it came to a stop with a narrow slit between the doors. He looked down and saw that the turbolift car was below them several decks having clearly fallen into its current place. "Okay, I think that's about as good as we're going to get." He stepped to the side, "After you two?"

Cringing at the sound, Zayna shook her head a little. "Oh this looks like so much fun," she said with a smirk. "I'll go second behind whoever wants to go first."

"Not bad," said Terry. "And I guess that's me." He stepped forward and looked down the shaft. "Glad that thing's not going anywhere any time soon. So which deck do we need to climb to before we start through the tubes and tunnels?"

"Not many," Dijaat answered as he waited for Zayna to go, "You can go between us Lieutenant," He informed her. "Engineering should be deck three or four, but it's been a while since I've seen the schematics for this class of starship."

Nodding, Zayna followed behind Walsh. "As long as we get close, Lieutenant, I don't think we'll mind walking a little at least. Just want to get there."

"I suppose I'm last," Rhula muttered softly. His glasses had slid down his nose but he was unable to fix it with the EVA helmet on. So, instead, he tilted his head back suddenly, trying to move them that way. It took several such tries before his corrective lenses were properly placed.

Walking wouldn't be an issue for Terry. The big guy was just glad that he didn't have to initially squeeze through tubes in the EVA suit. "Deck three or four it is then," he called back up from where he'd already started to climb down. "Here's hoping for a short and uneventful descent and a turbolift door that's easy to open from a ladder." But since when had anything been uneventful on this mission. Let alone on the ship. The light from Terry's wrist lamp bounced around the inside of the lift shaft. "So, what are the odds of getting at least some emergency lighting up and running when we get to Engineering?"

"Depends on how much damage there is to the warp core and other primary systems. I might be able to rig something together using an external power source, but it won't be nearly enough to power every emergency light throughout the ship." Dijaat answered as they descended deeper into the ship. "Any clues as to what happened to the ship in the first place?"

"I did wonder the same thing," Zayna stated as she continued to climb. "Honestly, I'd just take even dim emergency lighting if it takes away from the darkness. But yes, the question of what happened. I can't have just been the nebula."

"Then we should focus on Main Engineering and the Armory for dim emergency lighting, if we can get it," said Terry. He climbed several more steps down as he considered the other question. "All we know is that it was a Consortium ship that was declared lost. Hopefully all of the investigations will give us something more to go on as far as what happened."

Dijaat was pretty certain that he had sweated through his uniform underneath the EVA suit by the time they reached engineering. "Now, if you three would give me some time to work my engineering magic I'll get some lights on," He stated and went over to a station and started to pull it apart.

Main Engineering fell right in line with the confined spaces of the Ready Room and the Bridge...compact and functional. But it was still an oddity. The main room was circular in shape and had consoles mounted everywhere there was space around the circumference. There was also an observation area for monitors of various systems as well as a 'pool table' for use by the engineering staff. Off to the starboard side was the Chief Engineer's Office.

It was from inside the far end of this office that a faint, ghostly green glow lit up a small area near the floor. A panel was missing and the glow was emanating from inside. Nebula gasses had infiltrated many parts of the ship and interfered with tricorders and the Black Hawk's sensors. And Main Engineering was no exception. A low growl came from near the opened the panel and a thought ran through a mind. Eat! What else was there to eat?!

"Why do I get a strange vibe off of everything in here," Zayna said quietly as she rounded engineering. Her eyes went to her tricoder as she pulled it back out. "Gasses are just as bad here as on the bridge by these readings." Catching something from the corner of her eye, she stopped. "Commander? None of the gasses were green, right?" She nodded towards the office.

Back in the office, another thought floated through the mind. Footsteps! Several of them, in fact., not yet. Kelinor secured pockets and bags and set his comm to scan for nearby signals. Seconds later it stopped. Starfleet. Dammit! His stomach growled again and he wished he'd eaten before he left. He took a deep breath and calmed his surprised nerves. Nothing out of the ordinary. He powered down his portable generator and picked up his low-level, multi-spectrum light, causing the ghostly green glow to fly around the darkened room.

"Well, from what I've seen, some nebula gasses can be green," said Terry. "I haven't noticed any since we came aboard, but that doesn't mean that there can't be. Why do you ask?" Terry looked towards her nod in time to catch a glimpse of green glow flitting in and out of the doorway. "The hell?" Terry activated his comm, "Walsh to DiPasquale, get to Main Engineering as soon as you can. We have a...situation."

=^=On the way with news of our own, Commander,=^= Camila responded.

"Copy that. Walsh out." He turned to the others, wondering if any of them had any kind of security or protection-type training. An Engineer, a scientist, and a doctor...he chuckled to himself as it almost sounded like the start of a joke. "Okay, whatever that was, or is, let's not provoke it. Rhula, Ryler, you two give Parker some more light to work from and help where you can. I'll take up a defensive posture over there and wait for Security." Terry moved into a position behind a standing console where he could keep an eye on the office and the flying green light.

"Understood," Ryler said with a shaky breath before going over to give Parker more light. She was extremely curious about what the light was, but the commander was right in this case. Don't poke the beast.

Standing there, directing his wrist-mounted light, Rhula wondered how his career had brought him to this. I'm a trained scientist and physician. But, sure, I can hold a flashlight. The one thing that made it more acceptable was that it was to assist Lieutenant Parker. When the Chief Engineer had come into Sickbay for his onboarding physical, the Bajoran doctor had actually enjoyed interacting with Parker.

Dijaat had been working on trying to get the power back to the emergency lights at least and hadn't really been paying much attention to his surroundings when he heard some commotion coming from where Commander Walsh was located. He closed the engineering kit and headed out from underneath the console where he'd been working, "Is everything all..." He didn't finish his sentence and immediately went quiet.

***Armory Team***

There was a hatch off the left side of the tube where the two women were. Two pieces of orange colored cloth that were stained and ripped could be seen hanging from the seal. It was almost as if someone had tried to get into the crawlspace and the hatch had been closed from the inside. Odd as it were. That fact was momentarily confirmed when two severed hands floated up beside the women. With all of the other access doors closed, the hands had been floating up and down the tube.

Joey saw the tattered and stained remains of the cloth that hung from the seal as a sense of dread crept through her. Given what they saw on the bridge only moments ago, she knew the rest of the ship was going to be in similar shape, but nothing prepared her for what was about to happen next.

Something touched her with just enough pressure to be felt through her EVA suit.

She didn't want to look, because Joey had enough common sense to know what it was based on the hatch. "Camila..." she said, unable to keep the panic from her voice. "Please... tell me you've suddenly developed the ability to stretch your limbs well beyond their means and touched me."

Camila started to look at where Joey was when something thumped against her helmet, causing her to turn her head again. Then she screamed as she saw the severed hand in her face and jumped back. In the null gravity, she went back several feet and bumped against a wall while drawing her phaser. Then she took another look and swallowed bile. "Joey. It's...a hand. Two, actually."

In all her years in Starfleet, Joey had seen many things that had forever etched themselves in her brain. but nothing quite measured up to this. The little ship of horrors, though, was likely to give her nightmares for some time to come. "I had a feeling you were going to say that," she said just as the hand that bumped her crossed her line of vision. Even in the dark, she could just make out the shape of the bony fingers, and that had her squeezing her eyes closed. "Camila..." the Intel Chief began as shortness of breath began to kick in.

"Just breath and put it out of your mind," Camila tried to assure her, but wasn't feeling that way herself. Then again, none of her training had prepared her for half the things the Black Hawk had thrown their way. She reached out and batted the hand away from her friend. "You can open your eyes now, Joey. It's gone."

Joey took a breath in through her nose and blew it out through her mouth. Now wasn't the time or place to start hyperventilating, and as she began to calm down, she remembered that the ship had been missing for well over a year. That meant there were going to be plenty of surprises for them. "I'm okay," she assured Camila. "Let's just get where we need to be."

After securing the other hand in one of her tactical belt pouches, the Security Chief gave a nod and proceeded down to the next deck. "This should be it," she said as she fumbled with the hatch through her gloved hands. "I need a hand with this, and I hope it belongs to you and is still attached."

Joey carefully maneuvered herself to where Camila was and anchored herself the best she could in order to help get the hatch open. "Both of my hands are still attached. The others are back up that way, where I hope they stay," she said. "Ready on three. One... two..."

Camila pulled at the same time and they managed to get the hatch open with a grunt. "Now to not encounter any floating heads, or anything that could remove a head from a body."

The taller of the two women cast a glance toward her friend. "As much as I hope for the same, chances are we're going to encounter more of the nightmare inducing bodies and/or their unattached parts," Joey said, taking a few calming breaths in an effort to calm her racing heart. Why did Walsh have to pick her to join them on this expedition? Hopefully, he ended up with a severed hand on top of his bald head at some point. Or a leg giving him a swift kick.

It was a short walk from there to the Armory and Camila removed the manual door opener from the pouch on the belt around her shoulder. She sat down and attached it, then began to crank.

Joey waited patiently while Camila got the door open. Truth be told, after what happened moments before with the severed hand, she wasn't in any true hurry to get where they were going. Still, regardless of the seriously uneasy feeling she had, the Intelligence Chief had a job to do, and she'd see to it that it was done. "Want me to go first?"

"I got it," the Security Chief grunted as she finished cranking the manual opener, then began to push the door aside. The sight that greeted their torches was two bodies floating inside the sealed door. One had a hole through his chest and the other was missing its head. "Well...I didn't expect to find this, but it looks like they didn't abandon their post," she said as she shined the light on their gold collared uniformed.

The Intel Chief was right behind Camila, shining her light around the room. She wasn't at all surprised by what opening the door revealed, and for some reason, this didn't freak Joey out as much as the idle hands they encountered moments before. "Those wounds definitely didn't come from nebula gases or anything related," she said, shining her light at the headless body. "What the hell happened here?"

"A fire fight would be my guess," Camila said despondently. "Let's move these aside and get a count on the weapons." She took the initiative and began to move the one with the missing head.

"Gee, what gave that away? More questions, no answers," the taller woman muttered as she began to move the second body.

"I don't know, just a hunch," the ombre haired woman deadpanned as she went to the racks where the phasers were stored. The first thing she noticed as all the Type III and IIIb compression phaser rifles were missing. "Do you see any Type III's over on your side?" she asked before she moved to check the charging station and storage for the sarium-krellide power cells. "Or power cells. They're all gone over here." She shuddered as she remembered Allen Miller and what the Dolmoqour had made him do. It made her want a drink but she had promised the Chief Medical Officer she wouldn't drink.

She shined her light around her side of the armory and shook her head. "Gone," Joey said, moving closer. "Power cells are gone here, too, but that's not all. The isolinear chips containing the ship and Security protocols are missing, too."

"We need to get this back to Commander Walsh," Camila said as she looked around again. "Now."

Joey nodded her head and began to make her way back out of the armory. "If he and the others are still on the bridge. If they aren't, we'll have to wait for them to get back to tell him, or make our way to their location," she said.

"At least we'll be able to go up quicker than coming down," the ombre haired woman said. "Just kick off and float up."

"I suppose I should be thankful for small miracles, then," the taller woman said, unable to keep the sarcasm from her voice as she made her way back out of the armory and headed for the hatch they'd crawled out of not too long ago.

"Walsh to DiPasquale, get to Main Engineering as soon as you can. We have a...situation." came over Camila's combadge. She tapped it as she paused before the hatch and responded. "On the way with news of our own, Commander."

"C'mon, Joey. Danger calls." With that, she gave Joey a look and entered the hatch, then pulled herself upwards at a fast pace in the null gravity.

Joey wondered briefly what kind of situation they could possibly have on a ship that had no power, or life aside from theirs, on board. She slipped through the hatch and began to make her way back up.

With a sign and a grunt, Camila headed up the way they had came.

To be continued...


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