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On Approach

Posted on Sun Dec 12, 2021 @ 7:07pm by Lieutenant Commander Sunita Conlon & Ensign Goban Quinn & Lieutenant Commander Dr. Elisabet Intarrah Ph.D MD & Lieutenant Hadir Prenar & Lieutenant Jossen Kassus MD & Lieutenant JG Karl Scheer & Gunnery Sergeant Samantha Lowset

Mission: Episode 6: Discovery
Location: Type 11 Shuttle
Timeline: MD 01
2503 words - 5 OF Standard Post Measure

Karl eased the shuttle into it's decent, expecting everyone would want a gentler ride than what they had just experienced with the Eagle's approach to the planet. As he began his search pattern though he noticed things were not going to be as easy as telling the sensors, 'Hey this is what I'm looking for,' and the sensors replying 'That thing you're looking for is over here.' Karl called out to the XO, "Hey boss just an FYI, I've tried recalibrating the sensors but it looks like there's something in the atmosphere causing them to act all screwy. I'm going to take us to the last known position and start the search there."

Hadir sat in the seat opposite the XO. He checked and rechecked his rifle and related gear. "So whatever brought down the Aurora must have had the strength to take something down from orbit. Scans show the area is clear and ready for our arrival. But something makes my blood run warm." Cold blooded Cardassians changed the wording of this old Earth colloquialism to suit their needs.

Sunny nodded at Hadir, "I think we'll figure out more once we can find and examine her. These platforms are playing havoc with our sensors. Definitely be on your guard," she turned to the cabin at large, "Okay, team, mission is to find the Nova and her crew, assess their status, and either assist with repairs or make sure everything is locked down for a longer term salvage of the ship. We're expecting further ships to respond to the distress call, but they will likely be delayed by additional safety precautions in light of what we experienced entering the system. We're walking into the unknown, so I won't say look for anything unusual, but rather if Science and Security," she made eye contact with Hadir and Elisabet, "can keep an eye out for anything that seems immediately threatening that should be our priority. Medical and Engineering," she made eye contact with Jossen and Goban, "look for signs of survivors and tech.

Sam sat in the back of the shuttle with her team, they were all ready and armed. There was some chatter as they watched the small view screens pasted to the walls. Each screen was showing visual images as the shuttle flew over this platform world. They had heard that there were dinosaurs down there, but no one had really believed it. Every Earth kid knew what a dinosaur was, they had maybe grown out of it but they still knew and the fascination had extended to many academy cadets as well. To see them though, outside of the holodeck was something else. Very exciting for sure.

Karl's continued attempts at both a visual search as well as getting what little data the sensors would put out finally paid off, "Bingo!" he whispered to himself. "USS Aurora this is Lieutenant Karl Scheer of the USS Eagle respond," he called out over the comm but to no response. Karl repeated the call two more times before resigning himself to the idea that no one wanted to talk to him. He swiveled his chair to face the XO, "Well boss I got good new and I got bad news which one you want first? Ah who am kidding, good news I found the Aurora and we're on approach. Bad news, no one is responding to hails."

Sunny stood up and steadied herself on the two pilot's chairs. She addressed Karl, "Alright, Lieutenant, look for somewhere to put us down not too far away, but not too close. Until we're sure she's not going to spontaneously explode I want to make sure we have at least one operating vehicle down here."

On the ground, yellow telescopic eyes stared out of the shadows at the second strange sky event of the day. They bobbed side-to-side and shared glances as the nictitating membranes kept their view clear.

Karl found a suitable spot and very gently put the shuttle down, "See guys, it's not balls to the wall all the time."

"Good job," Sunny patted Karl on the shoulder, "Think if you stay with the shuttle you can get the sensors working a bit better?"

Karl turned his head to meet the eyes of the Lieutenant Commander and his famous sly grin ever so slightly pulled his right cheek up, "Ma'am are you asking if I can pull the guts out, rewire this whole system and put it back together with duct tape, bubble gum and hopeful wishes? Because the answer is yes."

"Commander Prenar, if you'd be so kind as to lead us out," Sunny stood to the side with a hand extended to give way to the security team.

Hadir stepped out with the other three security officers. He had hand picked Tim Jenkins, Amanda Ptak, and Helen Bourcier for this mission. They were the best he had and he was not going to be caught in the lurch on this mission. He indicated where he wanted everyone to deploy as he spoke. "Jenkins, Bourcier you take the right flank. Ptak borrow Ensign Brown from Engineering and take the left flank. I will lead through the center with Commander Conlon. I want regular checks on the perimeters, no one gets within three clicks. I understand we are short staffed for what we need to do here, but do the best you can. Keep the comm channels open and quiet unless needed. Understood?" Everyone nodded their heads and headed out. Hadir turned toward Commander Conlon. "Well Commander the planet is yours. Shall we?" He smiled and gave a mocking bow.

"Care for a stroll, Commander?" Sunny offered Elisabet a hand up out of her chair, planning to follow behind security close beside the science officer. Having now read her file, Sunny was confident Elisabet would be able to provide a useful commentary on whatever they were about to see.

Elisabet spoke. "To be honest, Commander.. I'm not in the mood for running into a T-Rex, Though I do have some advice for you. Stay out of the game trails." Lise noted. "These kind of predators have not been seen for millions of years, but we can compare their behavior with the animals they evolved into." Lise noted. "I don't think either T-Rex nor any other predator will bother us too much. They wouldn't know what we are.. They'd much rather eat the things they've been eating for millions of years." Lise noted. "Like most Earth Predators. We could fire a few warning shots or even make loud noises to scare them off. Predators prefer prey to be isolated. But most prey species on Earth make predator calls for help, and that's usually enough to ward off Opportunistic predators like wolves or even other big cats on earth.

"You heard the lady, if you see something scary, make yourself seem not worth the effort!" Sunny summarized.

As the crew dispersed Jossen began taking his initial scans. He was just a few yards shy for his medical tricorder to accurately pick up any life-signs on the Aurora but they were there albeit quite faint, likely due to a decreasing supply of oxygen and vital life-support systems. He wished the crew would move a little more quickly for there were any survivors their rescue window was closing. As they walked closer to the Aurora his tricorder began to pick-up an irregular life-sign, but just as quickly as it was detected it had vanished. "Curious," Jossen said quietly to himself, pausing momentarily to observe his surroundings without the tricorder to distract him.

Gunny Lowest had her marines spread out around the rest of the party. Their battle armour was next to pointless against energy weapons and might not work if they were bitten by a Rex but a general attack or a slashing attack should be turned away. No matter what though, rifles were ready and her HUD was scanning the area in a dozen different ways.

Sunny walked with the science officer toward the front of the pack but behind the security perimeter, trying to see any of the local creatures through the local plant life. It seemed that their descent from the skies had possibly scattered anything that was previously inhabiting the field.

Lise began speaking. "You know Commander. I'm hoping to find some. RAWR Dinosaurs rather than Bird Dinosaurs. I means. Scientists just make things so... not so fun and bird-like in regard's to paleontology. I'm kinda enthusiastic about this.. But I wouldn't set up a dinosaur park here... Totally bad idea."

The group moved together in the direction of the downed starship. Quinn whistled to get the attention of Brown, the other engineer, and they conferred over their tricorders as the group came to the top of a rise in the gently sloping field. They got their first good look directly at the Aurora.

It looked like someone had crumpled a paper model of a starship. The top was mostly intact, some scorch marks from the fast descent into the artificial atmosphere, but the bottom decks were crushed into the ground where they'd made a hard landing. Definitely not a controlled descent. Sunny guessed possibly as many as five decks had been compressed by the impact.

"Commander, it looks like we should be able to gain entry through some hull breaches on the ground level," Goban pointed in the direction.

"Alright, lead us in with Commander Prenar."

Goban nodded and conferred with the Cardassian.

Hadir had his teams regroup with Goban and himself. "We are going to have to make sure that life support is functioning..." Hadir began as he looked around. "...There is too much terrain here to cover with the people we have. So it is going to be best to simply make a bee line for the entrance. We will have security lead and cover the flanks. Marines can serve as the rear guard." He said to Goban.

From behind the blades of the tall grass, the yellow eyes kept their distance and watched the strange creatures that exited the object that fell from the sky, following calmly to see what was going to happen.

The group arrived at the ad-hoc entrance and started climbing in on the uneven deck. Sunny tried to organize their efforts, "Let's split into teams. An engineer, a science officer, and a medical officer with each team. Watch out for compromised sections, look for survivors, and start making notes for recovery and repair."

"Commander," the engineer Brown called for her attention and was pointing at the wall. There were scorch marks, and it definitely was not from the crash.

"That looks like phaser burns," offered one of the security officers.

"Commander Prenar, why don't you add a security officer to each team and two to watch our backs with the marines? Everyone keep an eye out for what they might have been firing at."

"I will join Alpha Team, Amanda join Bravo Team. Tim, Helen join the Marines and try to show em how its done." Hadir smiled as he could not resist a friendly jibe at the Marines. He checked his gear and took up a point position to lead Alpha Team out when they were ready to leave.

Karl had spent the better part of an hour with his head berried underneath the main sensor console taking things apart, rewiring, burning himself and letting lose a fairly long stream of curses every single time it happened but finally he had managed to get things reworked to deal with the planet's natural interference. He climbed back into the pilot's seat and started to bring systems back online, "Alrighty let's see what..." he was cut short when the sensors would power up.

Karl slyly turned his head to make sure no one was watching, no one would be of course as everyone had left to scout out the Aurora, and proceeded to very angrily kick and punch the console. "Oh now you decide to work," Karl remarked as the console powered up and quickly sat about his task of scanning for something, anything. A few minutes into his task something caught his attention, double checking his scans they were confirmed, "Oh no, that's not good." Karl quickly queued up the shuttle's COMM system, "Commander, I got the sensors working but you've got life signs moving in on your position quickly."

"How many?" was about what Sunny had time for, before people started firing out of the gap in the hull at the grass.

Lise picked up her Phaser and fired off a few bolts, She picked up the life signs moving in. For a moment, the life signs dispersed. "Let's go people. We don't want to give them another opportunity at us. They were probing us."

In the grass, one of their number cried out in anguish and thrashed on the ground. It was like the last group from the sky, attacking them with burning lights.

Their leader raised her head and let out called out a general attack. They grouped themselves and moved in to avenge their fallen number.

Sunny pulled out her tricorder and aimed it toward the field. It started beeping, as it picked out more life signs in the field, and the count quickly surpassed their party. Then they started swarming and moving toward them.

"Fall back into the Nova! There are too many!" Sunny grabbed the uniform of the overwhelmed engineer Brown and pushed her up the incline.

Leathery faces with feathery bodies, in a variety of heights close to their own, started bobbing out of the high grass in clusters. They fainted toward the left before falling back and having more come in from the right.

"Find a way up to the next level where they won't be able to follow! Stick together, don't let them get inside or lines!"

With the marines and security as a rear guard, the less combative Federation personnel pushed blindly into the dead ship. Goban found a Jeffrey's tube and wrenched the door open, ushering everyone in and up the ladder within.

Sunny ducked in and made sure everyone was going up the ladder. Finally it was her, Hadir, and Lise left. With a final couple of shots from Hadir and Lise, Sunny hauled the door to the tube closed and jumped up the ladder, followed by the other two.

They came out on the next level, in the dark, surrounded by heavily breathing crew-mates. Slowly, everyone started putting on their flashlights.

"Well," Sunny gasped in air, "it wasn't a T-Rex," she shrugged at Lise, "Hadir, let's do a headcount. Doc check for injuries. I think we're going to have to be a bit more careful with this search. Somebody see if we can raise Karl at the shuttle or if he's been eaten. I'm going to see if I can get some power back in this section. Quinn, Brown, with me. Somebody keep an eye out to make sure those things can't climb ladders."


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