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Crossing Into The Unknown

Posted on Sun Nov 20th, 2011 @ 11:54am by Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Lieutenant Artem Rihanoff & Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez

Mission: All Souls Descend. Season 2, Episode 6
Location: Orias Station
Timeline: After "Knocking at the Gate"

Lieutenant Commander Xal Ra-Movraii aimed down the sight of his phaser compression rifle with a narrowed eye, the small but powerful torch lighting the team's way as they turned round yet another cramped, dark and cold corridor. The air was staler than any he had experienced on a modern space station, and reminded him of some of the nastier conflicts of the Cardassian War, when they were tightly shut in small bunkers, squabbling for brief moments of air.

The team behind him contained the leaders of each of the shuttles that had arrived, the acting first officer deciding that keeping to just one team would be the safest approach until they could establish what had happened, and make more sense of where everyone was. One shuttle was docked, whilst the others remained in a standard orbit for evacuation by transport. Despite the cold, the Efrosian found himself wiping a bead of sweat away from one of his moustachios as they reached a door, much like the others from before.

All around, metal joints could be heard creaking, and what sounded like echoing moans - not quite well formed enough to be anything distinguishable - were carried by the damp air to their current position. It reminded him of some of the old ghost stories the marines would share around campfires during conflicts, and the thoughts of supernatural beings, far scarier than Cardassians or Jem'Hadar, made them feel more at ease with their real world enemies.

As things stood right now, Ra-Movraii wasn't sure that those stories were the best thing to be thinking about, as he could have sworn the doors vibrated as another metal howling noise reverberated, and the whole team aimed their rifles and phasers at the non-operational doors.

"Get them open," he ordered bluntly, not wishing to indulge the scared expressions in their faces.

Artem slipped his rifle down to the floor as he moved with the engineering kit to try to override the door mechanisms all the while his mind racing with the thoughts and images of the old Earth ghost movies that had once frightened him almost to death as a child. They didn't seem to b so far from the truth at this point.
Another howling creek mustered him from his musings and his composure shattered as his Russian tongue lashed out curshing loudly.

Jrez's teeth felt on edge. Everywhere around him he could hear the grating of metal on metal as the station slowly cooled. At least, that's what he repeatedly tried to assure himself that that was all it was - the sound of contracting metal.

It wasn't doing much good. Each new sound in the dark raised the tension another notch. He cursed himself. He'd been in far worse situations than this and come through but then he'd known what he was facing. Even the Borg were a known quantity.

That lack of sensor data had spooked him and he didn't mind admitting it. He couldn't work out what could have caused that but he couldn't let go trying. No matter how many dead-ends it ran into, his mind still insisted on turning the problem over.

The previous hosts were no help. You'd think the sum total of five lives would yield some sort of clue but no. This was outside the experience of all of them.

He was flying blind and Akina Jrez did not like flying blind. To many, his life seemed like a series of chances opportunistically taken but he planned every step before taking it. It was why he'd been such a successful trader; the risks he took were calculated ones. It was his engineering ability which gave him the edge, not luck.

All he could do now was hang on and hope for the best,

Feeling Doctor Delrisa positively trembling in her boots Commander Mason eased from her position sandwiched between the Doctor and Chief Jrez at his own request and moved toward the silenced doors at assist Rihanoff.

Together they tugged at the manual door release with limited success and opted for the straining option of shouldering than open between them. The exertion along with the eerie conditions in which they worked both the two officers out in fresh torrents of sweat. That, however was quickly chilled as a sudden, chilling gust of air blasted through the newly open door and struck forcefully against the away team before resending.

Mason reached for her flashlight and shone it into the think gloom. "Clear, though visible is next to nothing," she reported.

Soraya slid her phaser into a pocket and pulled out her tricorder. The small glowing screen was comforting and familiar; she much preferred it to the weapon.

"No heat signatures or organic compounds," the doctor said quietly. "No life signs at all."

"Charming place," Ra-Movraii muttered, before pulling out a glowstick and throwing it into the centre of the room, which lit most of it up in an eerie green glow, but it was enough to reveal the central shaft at the centre, which - if reactivated - would take them up to the station's command centre. "Get that thing operational with the remote power packs," he ordered, still holding his rifle up to cover them. "Once you're done, I want Lieutenant Rihanoff to stay sentry down here. Constant radio conta-"

His sentence was cut short by more of the loud metal scrapings, but he could swear they were sounding more like moans of extreme pain or anger than metal each time, and the vibrations could be felt more and more. "Get it done," he tried to say confidently, in an attempt to instil some security in the away team.

Jrez unslung his toolkit and the power pack. He walked towards the shaft. A new wave of noises brought him up short.

"There are people here," Soraya said. "It sounds like they're below us." Her instinct overtook her fear as she turned towards a doorway and disappeared, seeking the voices that she thought needed help.

Jrez could not but agree with that comment. He swallowed hard then completed the short journey to the shaft.

"What on Ef- Mason, get after her before she gets herself lost or killed!" Ra-Movraii barked, wondering how the CMO even earned her senior-grade lieutenant rank behaving the way she did. "There are crewmen with more sense than some of you people."

Bristling, Mason levelled her weapon and trotted after the Doctor, pausing only fractionally to ensure her wrist light was activated as she swiftly passed through and past the comfort of Ra-Movraii's glow stick.

"Doctor Delrisa," Mason called into the pressing darkness having passed from the watchful eye of the away party in the adjacent corridor. Switching her grip she pulled a tricorder from the cavernous pockets and fingering the controls to make the headstrong Doctor easier to locate and track. Theoretically in a cold, stale environment the womans heat signature should shine like a beacon on the handheld device....but to the dismay of the security chief her small screen showed no such thing. It couldn't even locate the party she'd left only moments ago.

Pocketing the useless device with a grunt of frustration Mason, with her jaw set firm strode cautiously into the gloom.

Jrez looked around at the rapidly departing back of the CMO. He shrugged in response to Ra-Movraii's comment. It was nothing to do with him. He had a job to do and he set about doing it. He pulled out a bundle from within the toolkit and rolled it out on the floor. From it he selected a hyperspanner. This he used to open up an access panel to the shaft's electronics. He shone his wrist light into the web of wires.

"Shouldn't take long," he called out over his shoulder. "Standard Federation construction. Looks intact. Just a matter of...." He didn't finish the sentance.

Next thing Jrez knew he was flat on his back. If I didn't know better, he thought, I'd say that shaft is alive. It just fought back when I tried to repair it.

He looked up at Ra-Movraii. "You're not going to like what I'm about to tell you," he said.

"I don't doubt that, Chief," the Efrosian muttered in response, still looking in the direction of the two departed women. "What's wrong?" He asked, turning towards Jrez.

"I think the shaft shut itself down. As with everything else around here, my instruments show nothing. I stuck my hand in because my own senses are the only ones working. All I can say is that the shaft didn't like me poking around inside it. It, quite literally, threw me out."

Ra-Movraii's eyes squinted with anger and annoyance at what the science chief had just told him. "Don't tug on my moustache, Jrez. Just take the-" The Efrosian was cut short by an ear-splitting scream, that reverberated from beyond the room the away team was residing within, but the stratops chief's ears failed to pinpoint the exact location, with the unholy noise apparently emanating from all around.

Immediately, the lieutenant commander picked up his rifle and aimed it in the direction of where the two women had departed. Quickly taking his hand away from his rifle, he tapped his combadge. "Ra-Movraii to Commander Mason. What's going on down there?" After a few seconds of silence, he went to tap his 'badge again, but a peculiar noise slowly began to rise from within it, a cross between static and an echo, but it was not that that got Xal's attention.

It was the thing that reached out towards him from above.

TBC

 

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