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Arrival

Posted on Tue Jan 13th, 2015 @ 11:31am by Lieutenant Helen Shire & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Ensign Beauford Stuckey Jr. & Ensign Nagara & Ensign Elden

Mission: The move
Location: Abandoned Space Station
Timeline: Current


The soft hum of the transporter beam lingered in the air for a moment as the landing party arrived. Once the blue energy had dissipated they where plunged into darkness save for the lights mounted upon their suites.

"Welcome to your new home ladies and gents," Shire said across the comm. "Our first priority is to restore power, search for any occupants and secure the station."

Nagara pulled her tricorder and began running it. She frowned, reached into her belt and pulled out a secondary attachment which she plugged into the device and began scanning again her face brightened a little.

"The station walls are shielded, probably against radiation or scanning, but it means that the systems are likely to be less deteriorated than we expected. I may be able to use the stations internal scanners to give a preliminary report, though we will still need a manual sweep."

Vasser nodded inside his helmet. He started to walk around the room to get his bearings. He then turned to look at the others. He counted heads. It seemed to be too many. He shook his head and then things looked right. He decided against mentioning the extra body that he had seen.

"I'll take all the positives we can Ensign," Shire smiled before turning to her small team. "Until we know what we're dealing with I'd like us to stay together and asses Ops, then spilt up depending on what we find."

Ensign Beauford Stuckey was not a great fan of environment tap suits. They made him feel unwieldy and ungainly. He also always felt hot and a little claustrophobic. Being transported onto a dark station with unforgiving looks about it didn't make that feeling go away.

He swallowed hard, trying to keep his composure. He was only six weeks out of the Academy. "Wh-what do we do n-now?" Damnit! Of course he would end up stuttering his way through his first away mission, but did he really have to on the first words he spoke? He never did as an upperclassman. Now as an Ensign he was bottom of the food chain again.

Ensign Elden Vasser shook his head inside of his helmet. "Take a deep breath, Junior. Our first task is to turn the restore the power. In order to accomplish that task, we will bring the fusion reactors back online." Vasser walked towards a door way. He stopped just before the door and opened a panel. After fiddling with it for a moment, the door opened. He stepped through the door and then turned back. "Are you coming or not?"

"D-don't call me J-J-J-...don't call me that." Stuckey said, following after Vasser, carrying his tool kit. "St-st-" He stopped and cursed under his breath. "Stuckey is fine, or BJ." The young man said as he came up behind the older Ensign.

Nagara tugged at Shire's suit, "Excuse me, miss, but I was told BJ was a human euphemism? Is the ensign making a joke I don't understand? Something about going to engineering for a Stuckey BJ?"

The Lieutenant smirked slightly at Nagara's innocent question. "I don't think it was intentional." She explained. "Some people like to abbreviate their names or call signs, its rather unfortunate Stuckey chose that version. Address him formally if you feel uncomfortable."

Nagara thought it would be a long time before she was ever comfortable addressing a male, perhaps never. But it was part of her role now and she would only be able to avoid it for so long.

Vasser rolled his eyes. "All right, Stuckey, let's go." Vasser started out the door again.

"Come along," Shire called leading the way. "Lets see what lurks on this tired old station."

Nagara tried to suppress the shudder at the term 'Lurks', but followed along respectfully. However after a short distance she spoke again, "'Scuse me, Ma'am, but I am detecting Durillium N coating on some of the conduits. It doesn't have a very high market value but it is not standard Cardassian construction either. It would explain why the systems are still intact, but it means someone else has been here between us and the Cardassians leaving."

The find instantly put Shire on edge as she shone of light about checking the darkest nooks and hiding holes. A question formed on her lips but Marion asked first.

Chief Marion was trying to process the various things going on. Looking for trouble. Then the readings were reported about the Durillium N coating on the conduits. What did that mean. Who would need to do that? Frank asked. "What does Durillium N do to Conduits"?

"Ah, Durillium N forms an inner diffusion or transitional layer of nitrides and carbides that supports the outer surface layer, composed of epsilon nitrides and carbides of the constituent materials of the alloy. It reduces wear and tear, prevents chipping and fatigue." Stuckey said, answering before Nagara, still bright red over the BJ comment. "The technology has been around for hundreds of years, but it's still useful."

Nagara nodded agreement, "The point is, sir, that it is not Standard Cardassian practice, nor even Federation. More likely to be a small group, like pirates, smugglers or refugees, who made a temporary home here for a while. They reinforced some tech to keep it running, but were not willing or able to invest large amounts in a proper upgrade. When we get to Ops I might be able to tell you how long ago and which systems were affected."

She stopped and turned around to Vasser, "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Vasser arched an eyebrow. "I didn't say anything."

"You asked me something," Nagara insisted, "but I didn't hear you properly."

"No, I didn't." Vasser wondered if Nagara's imagination was getting to her.

"But I was sure..." Nagara petered out, not wanting to contradict the other, but not doubting her ears had heard something.




Leading the team deeper into the station's empty spaces, puncturing the heavy blackness with their flashlights Lieutenant Shire arched her neck upward to size the vast space they'd entered. This must be the central column for the darkness panned overhead before vanishing into a impenetrable blanket of blackness.

She whistled lowly, "Wouldn't like to stand up there and look down."

Checking the preloaded map on her tricorder she continued onward for several more paces before halting abruptly, her spine stiff and body tense. "What was that?" she asked the others careful to keep her tone in check. "Did you hear that noise?"

Suddenly Nagara laughed. It was a horrible snorty laugh but there was genuine mirth in it. When the others looked quizzically at her she simply said, "I've worked it out."

"Worked out what Ensign?" Shire continued still looking around herself feeling unsettled, worse still since Nagara found the situation amusing.

"It's a Phantasm program," she explained. "My Great Uncle used them for all his old warehouses. Properties that are old or supposedly haunted sell cheap. You then install a Phantasm program that promotes the idea and you mostly get left alone."

Bewildered by the idea Lieutenant Shire gave Nagara her full attention, "A programme?" she repeated. "What sort of programme?"

"They range in complexity but usually include the same basic elements; vague radio chatter on the edge of hearing, lighting shifts to simulate shadows or movement. Sudden changes in temperature. Some of the more advanced include force beams for moving times around or Holographic projectors to make spooks appear."

"Seems a rather extreme idea for profit." Helen sighed resuming her map studying.

"They are totally harmless and easy enough to shut down," she hesitated, suddenly unsure again, "Unless... you know... it's not a Phantasm."

With a snort of dismissal Shire retook the lead, "Whatever it is we're soon find out. Come on."

TBC

 

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