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Getting Our Bearings

Posted on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 @ 8:13pm by Captain Osegan Trenna & Chief Warrant Officer Curtis Boucher Jr & Staff Warrant Officer Bryan Itajime
Edited on on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 @ 6:31pm

Mission: Searching for the Lost
Location: Alpha Remidian IV
Timeline: Mission Day 5 at 1145

Trenna and her team materialized in a small, muddy clearing. Strangely shaped purple trees lined the edge of the field, long branches draped with bright yellow fern-like fronds curled off from the trunks. She estimated the trees to be about twenty feet tall.

Pulling out his tricorder, Itajime began scanning for any signs of the team. As far as they knew, the only humanoids on the planet were from Altai or the survey team, which made scanning easier. At least in theory. "Something is screwing with the tricorder," he announced.

Osegan checked hers, as did the other members of the team. "Mine too," she confirmed. Grela nodded.

The sound of something approaching caused Itajime to lift his phaser rifle. He aimed it to the east, towards the source of the noise. He looked through the scope to find that it wasn't working. "Whatever's messing with the tricorders is borking the sight on my rifle."

He aimed the weapon at the ground and gave the trigger a quick tap. Nothing happened.

The Bajoran tapped her comm badge. "Talbot, Batchelder, our tricorders and phasers aren't working."

There was no response. Just silence.

Trenna looked at Itajime. "Shit."

Boucher sighed and pulled out a small device, “I always keep my granddaddy's compass around my neck for luck. If the magnetic pulls on this planet work like the ones back home we might be able to use it now.”

The med tech spoke in a slow self-assured southern drawl as though he were at a garden party. He offered the compass to the Captain. “Please be careful Ma’am. I can’t replace it.”

She looked at the device the medic had handed her. She'd seen some similar items in museums on Bajor, but at no point had she been trained in its use.

The young man ran a hand though his light brown hair and stepped forward. "Aside from the color of the trees this place reminds me of my uncle’s land back. Do we know anything about the wildlife around these parts, cause this looks like a great habitat for large predators."

The rustling sound continued, getting louder.

"You know as much as the rest of us," she directed at the young medic. She made a mental note to check his file and see how he'd managed to make Chief Warrant at such a young age. "And, given that sound, I'd rather not take time to postulate. We need to get moving."

Itajime, meanwhile, had been visually surveying their surroundings. "This way," he said sharply. There was more tree covering off to the west, and the sound was coming from in from the east. "Grela, bring up the rear," he ordered the junior security officer before he took off towards the treeline.

Trenna fell in line behind the Japanese security chief. Though Itajime had found himself in the undesirable position of filling in two roles, he was performing well so far.

The team made it about halfway to the trees before they heard the sound again. This time, it was coming from in front of them.

"Stick close," Itajime said as he veered to the north. He picked up the pace, careful to make sure everyone would be able to keep up. He constantly scanned the clearing, his eyes darting back and forth looking for dangers. Part of him wished that whatever was on their tail would roar, growl, screech....anything that would help him figure out what it was. Different types of animals called for different reactions. Of course, it could be humanoid, he thought. That would certainly make things more interesting.

The three figures continued to follow the new beings. They communicated with each other silently, using their natural pheromones. They split up and began to encircle the bipeds.

Their whole journey to the edge of the clearing they could hear the sounds of something. They were being followed, there was no question about that. Numerous thoughts about what was after them had run through Trenna's head. Few were good, but she still hoped it was some curious, friendly locals. That was certainly better than the alternatives.

Once they'd moved about 50 meters into the wooded area, she approached Itajime. "What're you thinking?" she asked quietly.

"Well," Bryan started, copying the Captain's lowered volume, "we don't have a lot to go on. Whatever was following us is probably still watching. Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that it didn't catch up with us. Probably means it's smart enough to observe us longer to try to figure us out. If it was acting out of pure instinct, we probably would have come face to face with it already."

"That's not very reassuring."

"I didn't mean it to be, ma'am. Just calling it like I see it."

"And I appreciate that," Osegan replied. "Finding the survey team is going to be more difficult without contact with the ship."

Itajime nodded. "And we're without an engineer to jury-rig some miraculous communications device."

"Or a tricorder made, somehow, out of a rock and a couple of leafy branches." She chuckled, a first since they'd materialized. "We should keep moving. Who knows how much ground we have to cover."

"And what's keeping an eye on us," Bryan added.

"Yep." She looked at Grela and Boucher. "Let's keep moving. We have a rough idea of where the other team is and the direction they were supposed to be searching. We can do our part, even if it's harder without working technology."

Put your head back down and was examining tracks in the mud, he picked up a dried branch as he stood and looked the captain in the eye.

"From the number of tracks I see we're walking through a nature path, our presence has frightened off the usual prey animals in the this area. Whatever is following us could easily be a predator looking for dinner and trying to figure out if we're on the menu." He explained in a calm but urgent tone, he rapped a small piece of bandage around the end of the dried stick and pull the small metal object from this boot. The flip the lid a small green flame came to life. He lit the bandage creating a makeshift torch.

"Fire will scare most terrestrial predators and if they're smart enough to see fire as a tool first contact protocols will be in order." The young man said confidently.

Trenna looked at the young medic and then at Itajime.

"That's right," the Japanese tactical officer answered in response to the Captain's unspoken question. "Not sure how I feel about there being personal fire making equipment on the ship though. We'll talk about that when we're back on Altai, Mister Boucher."

Boucher shrugged at Itajime, "If I went planet side on an unblemished world without a sharp blade and a source of fire, five generations of my family would be ready to raise hell."

"And if I allowed anyone to have contraband items on the ship without proper clearance, any respectable security chief would have me demoted or transferred," Itajime fired back. He looked over at Osegan, who gave him a stern look. "We'll discuss this when we're back on the ship."

"Lead on, Mister Itajime," Osegan directed. She followed closely behind the security officer.

Bryan led the team on in the direction of where the other away team would have materialized.

She wasn't quite sure how much longer they'd been on the move, but suddenly Trenna realized that she could feel the ground moving under her. It was slight to start, difficult to notice. But it was getting stronger. She looked around to see any visible cause. What she saw was a cloud of dust and a tree toppling.

"I think we've got trouble coming," she exclaimed.

Itajime looked in the direction the Captain was staring. "Shit," he said quietly. "Let's move! I don't want to wait and see what that is!" He began doubletiming it off to the right.

Osegan followed the acting tactical chief at a full run.

After putting about a third of a mile between themselves and the seeming trajectory of the inbound cloud, they stopped. "Cattle," Trenna said once the animals came into view.

"A stampede," Itajime responded.

She nodded. "Odds they got spooked by Talbot's team?"

"Or the survey team," the tactical chief offered.

"Let's head the way they came from and see what we find."

 

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