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To The Rescue?

Posted on Wed Sep 23rd, 2020 @ 10:32pm by Lieutenant Commander Arthur Talbot & Ensign Atyhle sh'Paveress & Captain Osegan Trenna & Lieutenant Alan Pierce & Lieutenant Evaad Hessen & Ensign Geoff Martinsen & Chief Warrant Officer Curtis Boucher Jr & Chief Petty Officer Juliana Nuñez & Petty Officer 1st Class Finnegan Siosifa & Staff Warrant Officer Bryan Itajime
Edited on on Thu Oct 1st, 2020 @ 5:56pm

Mission: Searching for the Lost
Timeline: Mission Day 5 at 1345

"Can you get a message to the Altai?" Artie asked Anninaray. "Let them know we found you in cave roughly two kilometers west-north-west of our insertion point. Also let them know our communicators aren't working and we'll need help getting to an extraction site."

Dr. Franze nodded and turned her attention back to her telepathic connection to Lieutenant Hessen on the Altai.

Finn stared at the Betazoid scientist, not sure what he expected to see as she communicated with Hessen.

The planetside Betazoid heard in her mind the same voice as before. The connection was maintained and Evaad Hessen back aboard the ship received all the necessary information. To Juliana and the others, it appeared that nothing was happening. They had to trust that everything was going well.

While the Betazoids went to work, Artie joined Doctor Pierce next to his patient. "What do you think, Doctor? Is your patient able to be moved through the hazardous terrain? I don't see any possibility for the transporters to penetrate these caverns."

“He’s stable,” Alan stated. “He’s has severe spinal cord injury, I rather not move him."

He shook his head, “We don’t have a lot of options. If we could improvise a back board, I’d be willing to try it. I’d give anything for an antigrav sled about now.”

"Spinal cord?" Allison said, looking up from where she sat beside Commander Ishi. She pushed herself up, brushing dirt off her uniform in the process. "Lieutenant Allison Waverly," she introduced, extending her hand to the Lieutenant Commander who seemed to be in charge.

"Commander Artie Talbot," the man collared in red replied to the woman. He accepted her hand and gave it a firm shake. "I take it you're the woman in charge? I'm amazed you all lasted this long in the depths of this cave."

"I am now," she replied. "We had to severely ration our food and water. Commander Ishi's seen better days, obviously. I was trying to keep the civilians calm. Ishi, A'Shan, Tal, me...we've at least had Starfleet training. The others, well, they're not." She paused and brushed an errant strand of wavy brown hair from her face. "I probably look horrible."

"You look like a survivor," Artie said with a smile. He couldn't very well illuminate her as his tricorder light was fading, but it was still blinding enough in the low light. Before he could continue with her, he turned to the security officers and stated, "Siosfia, Nuñez, see if you can find something to fashion into a stretcher. Doctor Pierce, see if there's anything we need to tend to the rest of the team before moving them."

Finn nodded. "After you, Jules."

Pierce looked to the female security officer, "Nunez, you remember first aid courses from the academy?"

She replied with a nod.

He offered up a hypospray, "I need you to inject each of the these people with this, it's antibiotic. I have it set with right dose."

"Aye, sir." Juliana took the hypo and began injecting the survey team members. She always kept up with first aid re-certification and knew where to inject for maximum body uptake. Truthfully, anywhere would work -- she had even seen people administer hyposprays over clothing and the medication still getting where it needed to go -- but more than once had she seen someone suffer needlessly or have worse long-term effects than necessary because the first aid administrator injected necessary medication somewhere random, meaning it took longer to get where it needed to go. 'As close to the jugular vein as possible' was what she was taught, which meant the medicine was at the heart almost instantaneously, and across the entire body within seconds.

"Siosifa," Alan looked to the large man. "we need to make a stretcher that can keep this man's back straight and immobile. Any ideas?"

"That's your wheelhouse Doc, not mine," Finn replied. "Tell me what you need."

"We need flat surface roughly the size of the good officer here, now I Have what I need to immobilize his neck. So we just need a backboard and something attach him to it. Then it will take the two of to carefully move him out of these caves." He turn toward the commander Talbot.

Then, back to Waverly, Artie asked, "Don't worry though. Altai's got a sonic shower and a fully stocked replicator waiting for you on board. In the meantime, is there anything I need to know about you and the team before we start getting you out of this cave?"

The idea of a shower sounded fabulous, but not as good as some real food. "We're hungry, thirsty, and weak. We've all got some bumps and bruises, but Commander Ishi was the only one who got seriously injured." She looked around at her would be rescuers. "What's your plan? With comms out and tech failing, how are we getting off planet?"

Artie didn't have an answer for that, even though he had been thinking about it off and on since their troubles began. Communication with the Altai was good, but it was only through Doctor Franze, and that still left Captain Osegan and her team out in the cold. So far, the lack of reply from the Altai was slightly unnerving. It was time for him to take off the Command mindset and put on his familiar Engineering hat.

"What about your runabout?" he asked Waverly. "Prior to my current assignment, I was an engineer. If it's in decent shape, I could see if I can get power working, or even see if we can get it airborne."

It seemed like months had passed since the survey team had last seen the runabout. "It was a smooth landing. Textbook, even. Lieutenant Tal is a good pilot in addition to his hydrology work."

The Trill man gave a simple nod at his mention.

"We were using it as our base of operations. Until we ended up in these caves."

Before Artie could reply, he could see Doctor Pierce coming his way.

Pierce moved to commander and spoke quietly. "Sir, we need to get these people out of these caves, my tricorder is picking fungal spores they're all infected. I've got Nunez administering antibiotics, but we have to move."

The Commander frowning. The idea of moving was simple, but they had to have somewhere to move to. Already they'd had a couple unpleasant experiences on this world, and the cave had been the safest place so far. "Standby, Doctor," he simply ordered. To Waverly, he asked, "What drove you to the caves, and not to the runabout?"

"They didn't find you? That's lucky," she said in a near whisper. "They came after us. They're fast. And so quiet. Silent."

Artie shook his head. "The best we came up again was a flock of birds that went after Mister Siosifa, and then a herd of bovine-type creatures that nearly stampeded us. How far is the runabout from here?"

Allison looked at him, somewhat resentful that they hadn't encountered the hunters. "I don't know. We were out surveying, several kilometers from the camp when we realized we were being hunted. They might have followed us from the runabout., I just don't know. They were between us and the Irrawaddy, so we couldn't make it back there." She motioned around. "We ended up in here. I'm not sure why, but they don't come into these caves. We figured that out after day two."

He frowned, and took a moment to survey the cave. Their options were extremely limited, and the only thing he knew for sure was that they couldn't stay here. "Then we need to get moving. Pierce, find two able bodied people to help you carry that stretcher. I'll also need your sidearm."

"Nuñez, Siosifa," Artie then called out. "We're moving out. I need one of you to take point and the other the rear. I'll stick in the middle to help shield the survey team. Our destination is the runabout is a few clicks from here. Waverly knows the way, so she'll be with whoever's on point leading the way. Everyone's going to have to stay together and move fast."

Allison looked at the two security personnel. One was a largely built man with caramel skin and a mop of wavy black hair. The other was an attractive woman with brown eyes. "So, which of you is with me?" she asked. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she was hoping for the large man, Siosifa, since he looked intimidating and very capable of defending her should the predators return.

"What do you say Jules?" Finn said. "Want to flip for it?"

As soon as the security detail had settled on their positions, Artie started to gather the group together. "All right everyone, let's move out. Miss Waverly, take us to your runabout."

Allison took a deep breath and began toward the entrance of the caves. She was hungry. And sore. And need desperate need of a shower. The prospect of a rescue was welcome. But she still doubted their ability to avoid the creatures that had chased her team into the caves originally.

* * *

Why are we just sitting here? Geoff thought. He certainly tended towards cautiousness, but he also had a lot of respect for Captain Osegan and enjoyed serving under her. As such, he was struggling with the lack of urgency being displayed at present.

"There's got to be something we can do," he offered.

"There's not much we can," Ensign sh'Paveress pointed out. "Not without a way to actually contact the away team." She turned back to her console, reviewing schematics for the various small craft the Altai carried. The shen was hoping to find something useful in the computer's datacore that might give them a chance to send a rescue vehicle down to the team.

“Commander Talbot has found the survey team,” Evaad reported. Using the information Dr. Franze shared, he brought onto the main viewscreen a close-up of a sector of the planet’s surface. Two-point-two kilometres west-north-west of the insertion point, there was a cave entrance that their sensors could resolve. He marked it on the screen. “In there. She reports that communicators aren’t working and they’ll need an extraction site.”

"What about the Captain?" Geoff asked. It wasn't that he wasn't happy to hear that the survey team had been found and that the XO's team was okay too, but he was worried about the Captain. "Anything about her?"

Batchelder leaned forward in the command chair and looked towards the Betazoid Operations Officer. "Good question. You getting..." A headache came on suddenly. He winced in pain. He was tough, so he tried to power through it. "What are they saying about the Captain?"

The pain flared up again, even more than before. Then he felt nothing.

Not even when he fell out of the command chair and onto the deck.

"What the hell!" Martinsen exclaimed as he jumped out of his chair and to the side of the fallen Chief Engineer. "Medical emergency on the Bridge!"

The ranking officer lifeless on the floor, junior officers left to run the ship. It was a scene out of an Academy training holo. Except this wasn't a holodeck; it was real. Commander Batchelder was really sick or injured. And no one on the Bridge was higher than Lieutenant Junior Grade.

The medical team came and began working on the commander, so Geoff stood to get out of their way.

"What are your orders, Lieutenant?"

"My...orders?" Evaad asked, but he expected no reply. Indeed, he felt all of the eyes on him, and heard the minds of every bridge officer saying (with varying amounts of incredulity, concern, and acceptance) that he was the senior officer on deck.

He cleared his throat and considered what to do next. "First, to address your question, Mr. Martinsen, I'm sorry but I don't know anything about the Captain's whereabouts or status. As for what to do next...has anyone pinpointed the location of the craft the survey team used to land? Some kind of runabout, correct?"

He wasn't happy with the lack of information about Captain Osegan, but Geoff knew that he had to do his job. That the best chance to see the Captain return safely was for everyone to pull their weight. He returned to his station and pulled up the survey team's mission profile. "The Irrawaddy. Danube-class. Scanning for it now."

Martinsen focused on the task at hand, trying to push worries about Osegan out of his head. "Found it," he announced. "About eight kilometers northwest of the cave entrance."

"Ms. sh'Paveress, try to connect the runabout's computer with our own," ordered Evaad. "We might be able to use it to our advantage somehow. Maybe as a relay platform of some kind."

"Aye, sir." Athyle turned back to her station and entered a string of commands. "The runabout's computer seems to be in some kind of standby mode. It's not responding to traditional pings, but there are a couple backdoors built into small craft for situations like this. It'll take me a couple of minutes, but I'll get through it."

Geoff turned around and looked at the Betazoid Operations Officer, now in command. "If they were able to land a runabout, then whatever is blocking our communications and making transport locks impossible must not be effecting other systems. I can take a shuttle down there and start looking for the Captain."

Evaad nodded. "I'll signal the shuttlebay to prepare one of our shuttles, but we won't launch until we're in the runabout's computer. It could tell us something critical." He then looked at Tactical. "Ms. el-Pirani, how precisely can you target a planet's surface with the ship's phasers? Perhaps we can provide some support for our people, in case the creatures we warned them of with the torpedo flare pose a greater danger."

Petty Officer 3rd Class Najeema el-Pirani, new to bridge work by necessity as most senior security and tactical officers were busy planetside or elsewhere, furrowed her brow as she focused on her screens. Evaad could sense that she was doing her best, and didn't want to give bad information. Bad information would get people killed.

"It's the atmosphere that's the problem, Lieutenant," she reported. "It's thick enough that it refracts our targeting sensors. Not much, but enough that it introduces imprecision. Best I can give you is 150 meters. If our people are any closer than that to whatever or whoever it is you want to fire upon--"

"--then we risk hitting them," Evaad finished for her. "We might actually have a bit more flexibility than that for my idea." He sent some parameters to the Tactical station, as well as to Athyle at her separate console.

"Wait," Geoff said, getting concerned. "You could hit the Captain! This is a horrible idea."

“More horrible than the Captain getting captured on a planet where we’re already having trouble communicating with and retrieving our people?” Aythle asked out of turn. “If nothing else, we can configure the phasers on shuttles to be set on a similar stun setting. We could clear a path to our people that way if Tactical can’t be any more precise.”

Though he was still worried about this plan, Geoff had to admit to himself that his Andorian colleague had a point. If they did nothing, those...beasts would likely capture, or even kill, the Captain. And that wasn't a good outcome either.

"Set ship's phasers to stun," ordered Evaad, "and arrange for three shuttles to have similar stun-configured phaser arrays. We fire the ship's weapons, but we avoid firing closer than, say, one hundred meters from the Captain's position. Shuttles go down and drive the enemy off with more precise shots, and then pick up the Captain. Geoff, get down to the shuttlebay and stand by for launch. Athyle, are you into the runabout's computer yet? Verify that our shuttles won't plummet out of the sky the instant they enter atmosphere, and would be able to launch once they're landed."

"Standby," Athyle reported. She had managed to locate the runabout's transceiver, but not the runabout itself. It had taken her a few moments to redirect additional power to their transceiver in order to boost its output and input gain. "The runabout appears to be active, still, but it's sluggish in its responses. I attribute that to the interference caused by the planet's natural properties. I am seeing system indicators and not many errors. Our shuttles should be fine."

Eager to see the Captain again, Geoff sprinted to the shuttlebay and hopped in a shuttle. He still had reservations about this idea, but it was decidedly better than just standing by doing nothing. Since Hessen had given the shuttlebay crew a heads up, the small craft was already in the middle of pre-flight.

"Taking it to the surface, Ensign?" the shuttle tech asked when Martinsen approached the pilot seat.

He nodded. "Going to rescue the Captain," he confirmed. "I'll finish pre-flight."

"Alright, sir. Good luck," the crewman replied, getting up from his seat and exiting the shuttle.

Another minute or two passed.

"Martinsen to Bridge. Shuttlecraft 2 is ready for launch. Standing by for your command."

“Launch when ready, Shuttlecraft 2,” Evaad ordered. “If you experience any problems in the atmosphere, pull back up and return to the ship. We don’t want more people stranded. We’ll lay down covering fire before you approach.”

He closed the channel and turned to Tactical. “Develop firing solutions and standby for the firing order.” Petty Officer el-Pirani nodded and set to work. “Let’s hope this works.”

The shuttle began moving as Geoff activated the thrusters. His steady hand guided the small craft out of the shuttlebay. He aimed towards the planet and increased speed.

"Altai, I'm underway to to the surface."


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