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Base Camp

Posted on 08 Apr 2021 @ 11:44pm by Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Story Teller

Mission: Extinction
Timeline: Mission Day 21 at 1500

The Type-8 shuttle Visitor softly landed on the planet's surface. The rear hatch opened, allowing a full security detail to depart, along with another drone pilot and several cases of drones. The lead officer, an Ensign, spotted Commander Di Pasquale, and approached her.

"Commander," she said. "Security detachment reporting as ordered." She then held out a padd, declaring that the Captain had sent down orders.

"Thank you," Camila said as she accepted the PADD and looked it over. "Get the drones coordinated with the pilot in the runabout," she told the other pilot." She turned to the rest of the personnel that had been sent down. "I want two teams of two each to spread out and check the surrounding buildings. Report anything that registers as living and if anything seems extremely out of the ordinary other than bodies lying everywhere, and get back here immediately. Understood?"

"Understood, Commander," the Ensign responded and directed the others to the Citarum and spoke with the other drone operator. A few minutes later, four drones left the back of the runabout and headed off in different directions and three groups of two personnel each came out and began to head for the city around them.

Jess headed out with Ensign Thi Ng, the Brikar that had been a steadfast officer against all odds and moved towards what appeared to be a multistory building which was slowly being overrun with vegetation and a yellowish looking vine that oozed some type of thick, sticky sap. He took a sample of it in a disposable evidence case and closed it before adding it to his Tactical belt, then looked at Thi.

"You want to do the honors of knocking or should I?"

"I got it," Thi said before he cocked a huge, rock hard fist and knocked the door off the hinges while Jess swept the immediate area with his tricorder in his left hand scanning and the phaser in his right seeking any active targets.

Thi swept the area as well with a tricorder that was built to suit his greater size. "Nuttin' here, Jess. You, me and dust made up of bodies, vegetation, minerals and other stuff."

"I'm getting the same. Let's split up and take a look around."

"Commander said we shouldn't split up," Ng reminded him.

"Fine," Jess said. "Let's start with this floor and head up."

"Why not start at the top and work our way down?"

"Because I outrank you by time in grade."

"Fine," the Brikar said. "Let's do this."

Thirty minutes and two floors later, the two Security personnel met on the third apartment on the third floor, having been just searching the previous two and finding nothing. As Thi broke open the locked door, Jess entered with their established pattern and Ng followed and began to search.

Soon, Thi called for Jess from one of the bedrooms. "Got something kind of personal, but it seems relevant," he said and held up a handwritten journal with a page open.

Jess came over and took it, squinting in the dim light.

I think people are blowing this out of proportion. Holding rallies, demanding vaccine treatment using uncertified drugs on us, throwing baubles at us. I really don't have more to write that wouldn't sound the same.

Jess skipped ahead a few pages seeing much of the same, then the handwriting seemed to have gotten worse.

They lied to us. Therrres no cureno vax. Just don care cause no one else does. why bother keeping a jornal?

It ended there and the hair on the back of the Ensigns neck stood up. "I think we need to get this back to base came," he said to the other officer.

"Let's mark the location and go," Thi said as he gave the area one more quick scan, including a young, very long dead female that sat in a chair at the table.

With that, the two headed back.

***

Joey looked over what had been declared base camp. There was a time when she'd have been involved with planning and preparations, but those days were over. Still, it was incredibly hard to let the Security officer inside of her go, but now the Intelligence side of her wanted to explore a bit and see what this new world had to offer. But, more than that, she wanted to know what happened to its inhabitants.

There was only one way that was going to happen.

With Quinn back on the ship with the data core, there was no reason to go back in that direction unless something was revealed that needed looking into. Until then, she was free to roam about, and that was exactly what she planned to do.

Joey checked her gear for the umpteenth time and took a quick look aroud. She'd seen some security officers head to the east. She and Quinn went south, and Camila and Angelica had gone north on their initial landing, so that meant she'd be going west.

The landscape was like the rest. Buildings were rundown and nature was beginning to slowly reclaim what once belonged to it. It was all very sad really.

Joey took a deep breath and began to make her way to the west. If there was anything out there worth finding, she would.

Ten minutes into her journey, she came across a dilapidated building... one that could only be discribed as a medical building of some sort. Joey made her way toward a slightly ajar weather worn door and gave it a rather forceful shove open. She paused to grab her palm light before moving forward.

Inside, it was far cleaner than the outside would seem to suggest. Well, on the other side of a sturdier looking transparent wall, that is. There were a few plants that had made an attempt at getting into the foray, but their attempt seemed as dead as the rest of the planet, as did the skeletal body she saw settled behind what could only be reception.

"What the hell happened here?" She mused out loud, hoping no one was going to answer her.

If there was something worth finding here, it would likely be located farther inside, only there was the transparent wall to deal with. Joey shined her light over toward a control panel on the wall that looked to allow access inside, but there was no door present that she could see. If there was one there, it was completely seamless, which meant she wouldn't be able to pry it open. Nor could she blast the controls to open it that way. That left her one choice. Blast the wall itself.

Removing her phaser from its holster, Joey leveled it at the wall and fired off a single, wide beam shot at level 8. She reholstered her phaser and made her way through the hole she'd made, not knowing what she was going to find on the other side.

Once inside, the Intel Chief noticed a rack of outfits that looked like the protective hazmat suits used on the ship, but far out of date. Next was a second room that had another secured door, or would have been secured if a suited skeleton wasn't jamming it open with its body.

Through all her years in Starfleet, she'd encountered many things, but what she saw in front of her was definitely a first. "I'm so sorry," she said softly as she approached the door. If she angled herself sideways and wiggled a bit, she'd make it through, and that's exactly what she did while being mindful of the remains at her feet.

Inside, the room appeared to be some sort of medical lab. Joey shined her light around. Another suited skeleton was seated slumped over a computer of some kind, but beside the computer was a number of transparent tubes, all sealed, but only one looked like it contained some type of liquid. Several sheets of a flexible substance was lying by it and the writing on them was slightly smudged, but listed each one as various test samples and ramblings about nothing making sense.

Joey frowned, shining her light on the list to look closer. "Sample eighteen, batch twelve. All standard tests negative. We've expanded into extended tests and even theories that we initially dismissed..." she said, reading what she saw, then moving further down the list. "Sample one hundred ninety-six. Despite arguments, we've began testing the population. We don't have a choice. It's getting harder to care about much and several colleagues have quit showing up. I've found that it seems to affect our... I can't think of the word. I'll come back to this sample later." She had no idea what any of it meant, but would make mention of this and see if a team could get in to dig further.

Another frown formed. Like always, the more that was discovered, the more questions were raised.

The Intel Chief took a step backward. She needed to get back to base camp and put the word out, and that's exactly what she was going to do.

***

Jess and Ng were just reporting back to the Security Chief when she looked up when one of the other Security drone pilots reported that Commander Geisler was coming back. "Thank you," she said as she finished examining the journal brought back to the runabout base camp. "Let me know when she gets here. I have a report to make to the Captain."

"Let you know when who gets here?" Joey asked as she approached base camp. "Are we expecting company?"

"Just you," Camila said as she looked up. "What do you have to report?"

"Just me, huh?" Joey asked as she moved further into the camp. "I found some kind of lab. There were test tubes, lists... I still don't know what any of it means. I'll put the details in my report for you to attach to yours."

"Wait," the Security Chief said as she looked around behind the Intel Chief. "Who was with you?"

“No one was with me,” she answered simply.

"Why did you not have a Security escort with you?" Camila asked.

"I wasn't aware I needed a Security escort," Joey replied with a frown. Why would she? She was former Security and SAR trained. No one could keep her safer than she could.

"Because this is the way now," the ombre haired woman said. "No one travels alone on an away team. No one is excluded from that. That and the fact that you're the Captain's wife and mother of his children, which would cause him to demote and skin me, not necessarily in that order, if something were to happen to you. So please, don't travel alone down here anymore. Okay?"

Joey looked thoughtful. She did get in touch with Ensign Mitchell about keeping an eye out for her husband and escorting him down should he make the journey down to the surface. She definitely owed him the same courtesy. "I won't travel alone anymore," she conceded. "I promise."

"Thank you, Joey," Camila said a bit softer. "We just can't take chances anymore. Did you bring back any samples?"

"No, I didn't," the taller woman answered. "That's a bit out of my realm of experience. Aside from that, if whatever was inside those tubes was responsible for whatever happened here, I'd much rather not be traipsing along with it outside of a secure case or something. I'll escort someone from Medical or Science in, and they can retrieve a sample properly."

"That sounds good," the Security Chief said. "For now, let's get the report together for the Captain and go see about the others."

 

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