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Posted on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 @ 5:45pm by Commander Lorran Vos & Captain Jorvin

Mission: Echoes of the Damned: Pilot Episode.
Location: Latanna Surface

Vos finished packing up a crate of transporter pattern enhancers and sent the two crewmen who came to take it away along. Wiping his brow he noticed that they were almost finished breaking everything down and moving it. They'd brought along several anti-gravity pallets that they could load the heavy equipment onto and then push through the air for easy transportation. The lighter equipment was being carried in hands or on backs. There was a lot of the crew on hand to help with the move so things were going well. Many of the crew had already joined Mike and Podi in the S.S. West Ridge. Now there were about fifty people out in the meadow finishing up and guarding the tight perimeter they'd created. It was almost enough activity that they missed the disappearance of the Commander and Kathy.

One minute they had gone only a couple of meters into the woods, and then a security crewman saw a pair of shadows swoop in at great speed to carry them off. Yelling and phaser fire set to stun followed the retreating shadows into the woods to no effect, and the news spread almost instantly because of it. Shouts of "They got the Commander!" or "Kathy! Oh my god!" were prevalent and the situation was quickly devolving into a state of chaos.

"THAT'S ENOUGH! EVERYONE KEEP YOUR HEADS TOGETHER! TAKE WHAT YOU NEED AND MOVE IT TO THE WEST RIDGE! LEAVE THE HEAVY EQUIPMENT! DOUBLE-TIME PEOPLE, LET'S MOVE IT!" Lieutenant Commander Lorran's voice boomed out over the meadow. He was as concerned about the Commander and the bartender as everyone else was, maybe more since it now fell to him to keep these people together. He made a quick decision to get everyone to the safety of the colony ship, though it tore at him not to trudge off in search of Commander DeVuor immediately. Once everyone was safe, he'd organize a rescue team.

His decision soon turned out to be a sound one as a scream sounded around the edge of the group. An ensign was pulled down roughly into the tall grass and dragged away, followed by a crewman's muffled yell as something blindsided her going full speed and carried her down into a group of leafy bushes. Then Vos saw them then for the first time. Hunched over, moving like gorillas on their feet and knuckles, they looked like they could have been bipedal if they'd tried. They were big, powerful, at least as many of them as there were Starfleet crew, and moving across the meadow towards them and from both flanks as fast or faster than a full grown human sprinting full out. Their faces were what disturbed him the most, however. The creatures had no eyes or any other discernible facial feature except for a pair of lips peeled grotesquely back to reveal a mouthful of daggers. The lead creature seemed to orient on Vos and screamed in a voice that would have sounded almost human had it not been so full of feral malice. These were the creatures Henk had warned them about. Vos suddenly wished to the Prophets that he'd listened better.

"Anyone with a phaser! Cover the others! Fall back to the ship! NOW! MOVE!" Vos shouted at the top of his lungs as he drew a bead on the lead creature with his sidearm and fired. The phaser beam caught the creature on its shin, spilling it headfirst into the ground, but the others behind it just leapt over him and continued charging across the meadow.

Vos started to run.

Jorvin began ordering his men into position around the ships crew. The Marines began to run alongside the crew, phasers firing the entire time.
Jorvin himself ran alongside Commander Vos, firing first to the right then to the left. The creatures fell under his phaser fire, but more seemed to come.

Ardeth ran out of the treeline, panting while his face felt like a red dwarf star.
He promised himself once more that he should spend more time in the ships gym when, if, they returned.
He was about to yell about some sort of creature moving behind him, the reason for him running away, when he noticed everybody already knew and were running towards the West Ridge.

K'Tan roared a battle cry, picking up his Disruptor and on full setting he began unleashing a hail of fire as he retreated slowly, covering the others. The Klingon fired accurate bursts, perhaps too accurate for the adrenaline rush flowing through him. Hitting a creature square in the head he quickly turned to follow another. Allowing the others to run past him, he remained back to secure the rear keeping the area sprayed with accurate Disruptor bursts. A second creature took two shots, one in the torso the other in the head. At the scent of blood K'Tan went insane. Now in full retreat with the group he shouldered his rifle, drawing two Klingon longblades, in a firm backgrip. He muttered under his accelerated breath "Come here you filthy bags of fleas. He continued walking backwards, still facing their rear, now and then checking the flanks. Slowly reaching for his belt the massive Klingon primed a plasma grenade and grinned "Have a taste of this you mucksuckers!". With a final effort before diving for cover he threw it a little short of the creatures charging him, now he ducked, waiting for the blast to do it's job.

Cutting through the long grass Kristina broke into a sprint hearing through the sheets of rain the sound of rapid phaser fire, terrified screaming and foresaw the ensuring panic. She could feel a bubble of fear swelling beneath her normal calm facade as she eyed up the territory. There was a mass of movement presumably the aliens Henk had spoken of between them and the rest of the team as they hurried to the shell of West Ridge.
Skidding to a halt for a second she pulled an additional rifle she had gathered from one of the fallen Klingon's and passed her standard issue rifle to Henk. "I've decided to reconsider my earlier statement" she said quickly.

Henk looked at Kristina and grabbed the disruptor. He nodded and set the rifle to full setting. Then he took of.

Kristina caught his arm before he could take another pace holding him steady.
"No!" she hissed. "Think about what you are doing! There are too many of them between us and the ship, we'll never make it through. We need to find somewhere else to hide!"

Henk stood still for a moment and looked at the ship. He started to think where they could go. He saw something moving towards them and took a shot. The creature stopped just before there feet.

She flickered her eyes up at the corpse briefly glad now that she had given him a weapon."The ruins are properly our best chance. We'll send word to the others when we can."

“No not to the ruins. I know someplace better.” Henk said as he started to walk back. “With a bit of luck we will be there in an hour. Is easy to defend, only one way in.”

She had no choice now but to trust him even though it meant going back on everything she had previously thought of him. "Alright, lead the way. We'll cover you." she nodded for Tenyson to follow her example.

K'Tan tapped his comm badge just as the disruptor Grenade went off in a powerful flare in the middle of a small group of Aliens "K'Tan to Mason!". He swiftly moved to his feet examining the grenade's results as he proceeded to the Ridge slowly, keeping an eye for strays. Eventually he ran into an enlisted crewmember, a girl, crying and sobbing in fear. He reached down, gently picking her up, between two disruptor bursts, speaking "Up girl, this is no place to sit to be killed. Come let's find others and find shelter". Getting his disruptor pistol he set it in the girl's hands, "You're a warrior now, Petty Officer. The pistol is on maximum setting, shoot for vital parts. Heads, torsos, now move! I'll watch your back".
Falling back still K'Tan watched the girl in his care as he continued to pepper the dense rain with disruptor fire. A scream indicated he hit a creature but he had no time to examine. Grabbing the Petty officer, he primed another grenade, throwing it into the charging mob, just short of it as he pulled her into cover again behind a log.

Vos had set up a pattern of sprinting and stopping, sprinting and stopping, moving just behind the mass of people trying to get to the West Ridge. The ship was looming bigger now, but it always seemed too far away when he chanced a look back at it. The creatures seemed resistant to phasers, some of them going down only from full power bursts and many of them not being kind enough to vaporize like they should. Some, like the one he'd hit in the shin, were only down temporarily, and soon picked themselves back up again. They kept a steady, fast pace, all but ignoring the hail of phaser fire, and they were very quickly gaining on the crew. Vos stopped, turned, and fired again. He caught a creature that was too close for comfort behind him square in the face just as another jumped on top of a security crewman nearby and rode him down to the ground, attacking him with fists and nails and biting him much like the gorillas they were a crude parody of. Vos aimed and fired, knocking the creature back off of the crewman and pulled the dazed human to his feet.

"On your feet, crewman!" Vos yelled over the bass crump of a plasma grenade. He turned to see K'Tan just ten or so meters away with a teal-collared woman taking cover from the explosion. Vos aimed and fired at yet another incoming creature, catching it in the shoulder and spinning it around.

"K'Tan! Get moving!" he shouted. The Klingon seemed to have things well in hand for the moment, but there were just too many of the damn things and they weren't moving fast enough to outrun them. Vos fired once more before dragging the crewman he'd rescued along by the arm.

Leanne could here the sounds of battle approaching the ship, she gripped her phaser and started to look around to see who was standing with her. It was mostly science crewmen, her medical team, a few security personnel and the marines that had escorted them up. She jumped on top of a crate so that everyone could hear her.

"Everyone arm yourselves, med team get ready for incoming injured, we'll pull them back into the ship when they get here. Take up defensive positions behind the equipment crates and only fire if you know what you are firing at, we don't want any friendly fire." she turned to the Marines who looked like they where itching for a fight. "Do what you guys do best... don't let anything get through that isn't one of our own." She watched as the assembled group moved to get into position. She hoped that whatever it was would stop before it got to them.

Pale faced Tim Edkins held his phaser in a death grip and bit his bottom lip. Around him the teams were falling into a huddle leaving him standing stock still, then someone took pity on him and pulled him to safety. One years experience on board a starship was all he needed to make into the Institution, perhaps now that was asking too much as he watched with horror the drama unfolding before his eyes.

Jorvin shoved a new energy clip into his assault rifle and took a stand next to K'tan. "Not even a Klingon can hold off an entire army single handedly. How about I lend a hand?" Jorvin began to lay down some fire into the brush. He also used his photon grenade launcher attachment to fire off several grenades. The forest was lit up with the orange glow of phaser fire and photon explosions.

K'Tan looked at Jorvin, speaking rather calm "Captain, keep them in check on our rear right flank, I'll take rear left.". Turning to the teal collared crew member he spoke quietly "Tara, run ahead with the others, shoot any if you can, we'll watch your back, GO!". Changing his disruptor rifle's clip the Klingon lobbed off another grenade in a pack of attackers before moving uphill toward the ship and the others, motioning to Jorvin through sign language to follow quickly.

Jorvin began to back up the hill in unison with K'tan. He fired at several of the creatures killing them and fired a grenade before turning to run up the hill.

"Both of you, move it, no-" Vos was interrupted when one of the creatures rushed out at him from his flank further up the hill. The creatures were beginning to close around them as they advanced, sweeping out in two prongs to engulf as many stragglers as they could, namely K'Tan and Jorvin if they didn't hurry. Vos threw himself to the side, but the creature reached out and smacked his phaser away, hitting his arm hard enough for it to suddenly feel numb. He rolled and came up on his feet, reaching behind his back as the creature hissed and advanced toward him on two legs, raising its hands high in order to bring them both smashing down on his head and shoulders, but Vos surprised it by charging in instead of trying to run away. He drew the Klingon mek'leth he'd taken from K'Tan earlier and brought it around in a vicious swipe at the creature's armpit as it passed him, drawing sick-smelling, yellowish blood. It let out a high-pitched scream as it whirled to follow him, but Vos reversed direction, switching to a normal grip on the blade in order to slash the creature across the throat.

The monstrous thing hissed and choked, grabbing its severed windpipe, but even then it only seemed perturbed for but a moment. Vos used the opportunity to throw himself in the direction of his phaser, landing flat on the ground just in range of it. He grabbed it and shot to a sitting position just in time to catch the creature's next charge with a blast of directed energy. The creature dropped to its knees and then pitched forward. Vos had to scoot backward and pull his feet back or it would have pinned him underneath it. He scrambled to his feet.

Jorvin looked over at K'tan and saw one of the creatures about to overtake the man from behind. Jorvin took aim and fired, the creature fell just short of the Klingon.

Henk looked around and grabbed a thick piece of wood. “Does any of you have a knife?“ he asked.

Tenyson looked over briefly at Mason, silently asking permission. Bewildered, not knowing what he was planned, she nodded mutely turning her attention back to the melee.

Pulling a small blade from his thigh Tenyson passed it across and Henk began to cut away one of the creature’s some teeth. It took a minute but Henk managed to take the teeth and put them on the stick.
“Now we have a weapon if our phasers don’t work.” Henk said. “It’s better then nothing.”

"By all means you can use the stick. I'd rather you this," Kristina gestured to the Klingon blade she had collected earlier.

Henk stood up and began to lead them away from the scene, turning her back on her crew was a tough thing for Kristina to do, but there was no way they could make it to the West Ridge through the mass. After a few meters they heard a scream that wasn't coming from the fighting behind them.

Henk stopped still, stiffening like a tree. Both Tenyson and Kristina stopped likewise leveling their weapons keenly watching the tall grass that swayed in the rising wind.

"We're being followed," Henk whispered breaking the silence between them. "We won't be able to cover the distance in time."

Kristina shivered involuntary feeling the hairs upon the back of her neck rising, always a bad omen in her opinion. "Where is the nearest shelter?"

"The temple is closer," Henk confessed hating having to suggest it remembering how it spooked him and how the possessed child attacked the Doctor earlier. "We'll have to move slowly, I don't think those things have any eyes"

"For something that doesn't have any eyes, they stalk exceptionally well," she whispered. "The temple it is. Now nice and slowly, cover the rear Tenyson keep that weapon ready. You're going to direct me Henk, alright?" If it wasn't for the gathering darkness they would have been able to the fear etched in her eyes.

The two men nodded, and together the moved as one slowly across the meadow a flash of lightening and deafening rumble of thunder came from above lightening their route ahead.
Kristina's breath caught in her chest. Between themselves and the temple stood at least nine creatures, they were bent double clambering on all fours like gorillas. As Henk suggested they appeared not to have any eyes, no facial features other then the wide mouth she had seen him paw over.
However the lack of sight did not affect this creature for in an instant they were hurtling towards them with a frightening speed.

K'Tan looked at Jorvin, patting his shoulder in thanks. He spoke quietly to the man "Come Captain, it is time to rejoin the others. ", he turned to climb up hill, exchanging blows to the left, right, starting to cut a bloody swath through the creatures as he returned toward the Starfleet team. His motions with both combat blades were graceful and swift despite his obvious bulk.

Despite the Klingon's skill, it would test his every ounce of courage to even make it within range of the colony ship's defense perimeter. The creatures were faster, stronger, and possessed of a singular ferocity that even the Klingon could not match. It seemed that the warrior and the marine captain would be overwhelmed until a volley of concentrated phaser fire struck out across space to give them a little breathing room. Using the opportunity, both men sprinted flat out for the protection of the others.


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