Summary: T'Mari touched a crystal and nearly faints on an away mission to the planet
Timeline: Mission Day 22 at 1600
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Ensign Shep Hollingsworth landed the Type 6 shuttle, the Stewart in a small clearing by one of the sites marked on the map as being safe, then began to power down. In the back, Yeoman Reynolds opened her drone console and began to run a diagnostic on it and the three Type III drones she controlled.
"Everyone get their belts and check them twice," Shep called.
T’Mari picked up her things making sure she had what she needed. She hadn’t expected to be allowed off ship so soon, so she was looking forward to stretching her legs on the surface instead of on deck plating.
It was back to the planet for Dani, only this time things would be just a bit different. Unlike her first journey to the surface, this time would be more to monitor a patient that hadn't been released from sickbay all that long ago. This was definitely a first for her, but it was all part of what she'd signed up for when she chose her career path. "Mister Hawkingsson... if you feel anything that doesn't seem normal, tell me," she said, checking her gear for what felt like the millionth time, then checked the sensors on Conrad that would constantly monitor his vitals.
Conrad had been burying his face in the notebook, adding notes and placing new ones as he muttered to himself. Of course, he had heard the nurse. "Thank you, nurse." He had been surprised when he was asked to join a group planetside. He had already set a new page in his notebook for what he saw down there. "But I think I am fine," he added. Conrad had hardly noticed the trip down, simply focusing on his work. He hadn't got all his property back yet but he was sure T.A.M.I. was capable enough to keep herself safe and hidden.
"Nurse Blake," the petite blonde stated in way of correcting him. Conrad may not have meant it to be taken as such, but to be referred to as simply 'nurse' felt a little degrading to her. "And if you were fine, I wouldn't have been asked to tag along and monitor you. So, humor me, Mister Hawkingsson, and let me do my job."
"Of course Nurse Blake." Conrad said, he felt she was offended by his words and it made him uncomfortable.
T’Mari had been staying out of the way but she felt Conrad’s discomfort. She moved forward pausing by Conrad. “Would you mind if I walked with you?”
Conrad had heard someone walk up to him, he remembered the sound of the steps and it put the picture of the shrink into his mind. She was quite the looker, but his mind quickly shut down those ideas because love only caused pain and trouble. "You going planetside as well?" he asked, closing his notebook. He had not really payed much attention to who was onboard when they had taken off, so he was surprised by T'Mari's precense.
T’Mari nodded. “I wasn’t expecting to be going off ship so soon but I’m not complaining” She smiled warmly. “How are you now? Better I hope?”
"I am not bored out of my skull anymore, slight headache but I manage." he stood up and waited at the hatch. Conrad was curious what this place would offer in terms of discoveries.
Shep got up and checked his tactical belt before he headed back to talk to the drone pilot and the other Security person designated to watch T'Mari. He kept his voice low but gave clear instructions that she wasn't to be left alone, then headed over to Nurse Blake.
Dani nodded her head. "Fine," she said, offering Shep a smile. "Thank you for asking."
T’Mari sighed she felt like she was under a giant microscope, and for all intents and purposes she was. She just had to learn to carry on regardless.
Conrad saw the slight change in her body language from before and caught her sigh, something was up and her being a pregnant woman, he worried for her and the child's safety. But talking about it here felt it would be a highly offensive action and a gross invasion of privacy. "Did the food pallet I gave you agree to your taste?" thinking maybe he would have to bite the bullet this time and be social in order to help this woman relax.
“Ohh yes, thank you!” T’Mari offered a smile grateful that Conrad was willing to talk to her, not that he knew about her V’Shar background.
"Your welcome." He wondered why she was here however. "May I ask why you are with us?"
T’Mari smiled as she looked at Conrad. “Well I have a background in the Sciences as well as Counselling, I’m guessing that’s why I’m along.”
Conrad's face lit up for a moment before it became reserved, then it happened again. He was ecstatic that she was a scientist as well, but this had happened before and he wasn't willing to go there again. It was the first time since the incident that he was truly conflicted if he should open up to someone again or not. This was extremely disturbing to Conrad and he was at a loss of what to do.
T’Mari noticed the change but she decided it best not to comment on it. Conrad had kept his distance in Sickbay and she didn’t want to force her company on him. “I wonder what we’ll find here?” She smiled. “It’ll be nice to be on the ground again instead of the deck plates of the ship.”
Shep left the other Security personnel and opened the hatch. "Ladies first," he drawled. "Gentleman, last."
Conrad arched an eyebrow at that. One, that was definitely the way to respect women, two, if there were unforeseen dangers out there, sending out the most skilled in such matters should be sent out first. "Shouldn't drones go first?" he asked.
"Drones are already up," the drone pilot responded. He touched his console and a remote 360 degree view of the surrounding area around the shuttle was seen. "I have these three for backup once you exit the shuttle, sir."
"Sir?" Conrad looked confused, either he took that as aimed at him when it wasn't or he had missed something. But he shrugged and waited to get out of the shuttle and see what this place had to offer.
Leading on in-front T’Mari stepped out of the shuttle and looked around. She had to admit this place was going to be interesting to say the least! She looked back waiting for Conrad to step out of the shuttle and join her.
Dani made her way out of the shuttle and looked around. Her current location was definitely different than her previous one. Then again, an air field, base, or whatever it was, was one of a kind.
The other Security person, a surly looking Bajoran stepped out after the Counselor and looked around, then motioned for Conrad to come out.
Conrad had followed T'Mari out of the shuttle and he noticed the environment. It was a city in surprisingly good shape considering that the buildings were covered with flora and to some degrees rust. Something must have happened that killed off the population, or maybe the planet was abandoned? Conrad noticed that there were quite a few vehicles on the street, what was even more surprising was that they were lined up perfectly, with no damage that could be from an accident. So it wasn't a traumatic or panic end to the city. He could even see the remains in many of the vehicles, this was very strange. Calmly he walked up to the closest one and looked inside, the remains were sitting in the driver's seat and the seat was actually pulled back a bit like this person simply stop the vehicle, turned it off, leaned back, and gave up. "This doesn't make sense?" he mused to himself, rubbing his beard.
T’Mari was walking around casting her Counsellor’s eye over the scene, everywhere she went nothing was out of place. “What happened here? It’s like everyone just... disappeared. Things left where they put at the time, everything in its place. If there was a disaster here then there would be evidence.”
"More than just that..." Conrad began as he walked over to the next vehicle and saw the skeletal remains in it as well, just like before it was like they had simply laid back and died, no fuzz, no issue. "It's like they simply stopped caring, just stop everything they did then just quit living." he looked up into the air and then at T'Mari. "Has the air been screened for toxins?"
Shep secured the shuttle with the drone pilot inside, then stepped out after the others. "Don't go wandering off," he called loudly enough to be heard easily by anyone. Frankly, he didn't want to be back on this planet, but he had to babysit.
Conrad arched an eyebrow at the man. Did he seriously talk to them as if they were children? This annoyed him a great deal, just because people held power and authority didn't mean they could simply disrespect others. Sure, he was there for their protection, but he needed to learn tact. Conrad was about to say just that when he noticed something glinting around the neck of one of the skeletons, lucky for him the window of the vehicle were rolled down so he had access to it by reaching it. "Excuse me," he said to the dead person, reaching towards the fine jewelry and carefully pulled it out from the ribcage. The jewelry had fallen between the ribs when the flesh had rotted away. "Now what is this?" carefully, he unhooked the chain and stood up, looking at the fascinating crystal that adorned the necklace.
T’Mari looked at Conrad. “To answer your question, we’re not the only team to have been down here so I’d imagine they’ve tested the air for toxins. They wouldn’t allow us down here otherwise.” She walked over to Conrad. “These people just sat down and gave up living.”
"That is what I see as well. Rise the suspicion that it's was air toxins that affect the mind. To simply give up on life on a global scale is not natural. It would require something we have never seen before to mentally change the population of everyone on the planet, unless." he pocketed the necklace, reached into the vehicle again, and removed the skull from the vertebrae. Carefully he looked at the skull to see if there were any signs of surgical implants into the brain. But there was nothing, no implants whatsoever. "No marks." he shook the skull to see if there was anything in the skull, but there was nothing. "So it wasn't the intrusive technological reasons..."
“But to affect everyone on a planetary scale?” T’Mari looked at Conrad. “What can do something like that?”
Dani watched Conrad remove the skull from its body and frowned. That was a level of disrespect she couldn't even begin to fathom. That was once a living being, and to have their remains treated in such a manner... "That's what we're going to find out," she said. "A lot of pieces to the puzzle have been collected, and now they need to be put together," she said, looking at the tricorder that was monitoring Conrad's vitals.
"Any number of things, viral maybe. Who knows, the universe holds more secrets than one can even fathom." Conrad walked around the vehicle and placed the skull next to the remains of what looked like a person in their pre-teens. "Thank you for your sacrifice and we will find out what happened to you," he promised and closed the door. He didn't believe in gods or demons, but he was open-minded enough that there might be entities like that out there.
T’Mari stood looking around, “This whole place just gives me the creeps! Apart from our away teams it feels completely devoid of life! As much as it’s a more relaxing environment on my senses it’s... disturbing.” She stifled a yawn, before yawning a second time. “Heavens! I must be more tired than I thought!” She offered a smile before walking just a little more forward, but not too far from the shuttle.
Had Conrad missed the signs of her being tired? She was pregnant after all and her body must be working overtime to produce the miracle that she had in her belly. What she said about senses raised a flag in his mind, was she telepathic? He hadn't exactly asked for her abilities but she didn't really show any signs of being an active telepath. This caused him to start counting Pi in his head, he had learned that if he put 'noise' ahead of his real thoughts and with discipline, his mind could shield itself. "How much sleep have you goten? Have you eaten properly? Had enough water?"
This was Dani's field. She followed after T'Mari. "Lieutenant, let's go back to the shuttle so I can run a few scans," she said, gesturing back toward the craft. "I'm sure you and your little one are just fine, but it's always better to be safe, right?"
T’Mari nodded and turned back towards the shuttle before pausing to look at Conrad. “Thank you for caring about my welfare, I appreciate it. To answer your questions... Sleep wise I’m not sure, food... I’ve been eating like a horse! And water, yes I’ve been drinking plenty.” She smiled before continuing on to the shuttle with Dani.
Conrad nodded as T'Mari walked away, it got him thinking that he should get her some special tea that helped her sleep. Then it hit him that he was caring too much, he didn't know where it came from but he would have to be more careful. Last time he cared, he nearly died. With a sigh he started to look around some more, he noticed that each and every person had a strange crystal on or around them. Was this crystal something significant? Well, he would have to look into it. Calmly, he pulled out his notebook and wrote down what he observed, he even made detailed illustrations of some of the crystal designs.
T’Mari sat back onboard the shuttle letting Dani run some scans. “How do I look? Is everything alright?”
Dani kept her attention on the tricorder in her hand as the probe scanned the expectant mother. "So far everything looks good," the young woman replied. "I do think a more in depth exam might be in order once we're back on the ship, though. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to attach a couple sensors to you just to get some steady readings."
T’Mari nodded. “Whatever you think is best I’ll do.” She smiled warmly.
Dani returned the smile. "This will only take a second," she stated, pulling a small metallic looking object from her medkit and placed it against T'Mari's temple once she turned the device on and synced it to the same tricorder Conrad's readings were going to. With that done, she did the same to a second one and placed it to the lower part of her abdomen. "All precautionary, I assure you, but you're all set."
T’Mari nodded. “Thank you, I appreciate your help.” With that, she stood up and headed back out to Conrad. “Hey, sorry about that I’m all good.” She walked over to yet another skeletal body that was sat leaning up against s tr,ee like the person had just sat there to die. “Have you seen this?” She reached out and took hold of the necklace around the deceased person’s neck, moments later her mind made a connection. It didn’t happen very often but when it did it packed a punch.
Conrad had been working on taking notes and had even found statues with the weird crystal as well. He saw what she was reaching for before going back to note-taking. "Yes, everyone I see has one on their person or close by in one or another form."
T’Mari didn’t respond instead she promptly snapped herself out of her contact-driven state, scrambled backward, and sat on the floor, dropping the crystal in the process.
Ensign Codru Faaka, the Bajoran was at her side in a moment when she fell backward. He slapped his combadge while kneeling beside of T'Mari. "Codru to Blake. Possible medical emergency outside the shuttle about ten meters northeast of the shuttle. Lieutenant Rael fell."
Dani barely stepped off of the shuttle a second time before she got the call that the pregnant Lieutenant fell. Today was going to prove quite eventful for the young woman. Without wasting a moment, she arrived at the location she was given and crouched down next to her to look at the tricorder. Some of T'Mari's vitals were slightly elevated. "What happened?"
Conrad had heard her collapse but he wasn't trained or equipped to handle her, not when there were far more qualified people a stone's throw away. He had not seen what had happened, but he had seen the necklace that had fallen to the ground. As the nurse worked on the pregnant woman, Conrad used his pencil to lift the necklace up into his line of sight. The chain and prong were different designs but the crystal was more or less identical. Calmly he placed the notebook under his arm that held the pencil, reached to his belt where a few containers for specimens hung, he had been provided a few of them since he was there to find interesting samples. Carefully and with a little effort, he managed to open the container, place the necklace inside, and closed it. Calmly he walked up to the nurse. "Nurse Blake, I believe she was holding this." he offered her the container, if they needed to run tests, the more data they had, the better.
Dani looked up to Conrad and the specimen container he held. She accepted it from him. "We'll test it, thank you," she said, placing it into her medkit before she looked back to her patient. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant. We're going to have to go back to the ship so we can run some tests I can't do here. You've said you're tired, your vitals have spiked a bit and you fell. This is a bit concerning. And we just saw you for a fainting spell not too long ago."
Shep looked at Codru after Lieutenant Blake gave the order. "I'll have the drone pilot pack it up," he said. "Codru, help the Counselor and the Lieutenant, please."
"Of course," Codru said and waited for Dani to tell him what she needed done.
"Is it alright if I stick around? This place is fascinating." Conrad asked, he was here on their good graces.
T’Mari gave Conrad an apologetic look as she headed towards the shuttle. “I’m sorry this is my fault. I honestly don’t know what happened."
Conrad simply waved the apology away. "You need to take better care of yourself."
Dani walked with T'Mari, one hand gently resting against her arm while the other help her medkit. She hoped the counselor was fine, and would know that for sure once they got back to the ship and ran some tests. She looked toward Conrad. "I'm afraid that's not going to be possible, Mister Hawkingsson. We all came together, and we must leave together," she said.
"I see..." Conrad said a little annoyed at the situation that this outing had been cut short. He turned around and tried to take in the environment one last time. They stood on a street with what looked like four lanes for traffic, moss and flora were growing over most surfaces. The highrise buildings were in relatively good shape, even covered in thick vegetation and rust. Few windows had glass left and it looked like a good place to live before it all went to Eden in a handbasket. A gust of wind pulled a piece of paper across the street and the colorful side caught his attention. Calmly, Conrad walked up to where it had landed and picked it up. The letters were unreadable because he didn't know the language, but the theme was quite easy to see. It looked like a pamphlet for a theme park. "Interesting." he looked at the corner where there was a map representation, this would help in actually locating the amusement park. Without a word, he carefully rolled it up and placed it in one of the other containers he had on him, who knew what would happen if it left this atmosphere.
"Let's get back on the shuttle and head back to the ship. Lieutenant Rael's well being is pretty important," Dani stated. "Mister Hawkingsson, if you wish to return, speak with Captain Geisler and see if arrangements can be made."
The Bajoran aided Dani into getting T'Mari into the shuttle while Shep turned to look at Hawkingsson. "You're about to miss your only ride back to the ship," he drawled. "Lieutenant's orders."
Conrad frowned, he didn't like being talk down to. He sighed and headed towards the shuttle, it was only moments before he was inside as well.
Shep boarded the shuttle and sealed the hatch after the last drone returned, then powered the Stewart up and once more headed back to the ship.