Federation Embassy


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The Pieces of a Life

Posted on Sat Sep 28th, 2019 @ 5:18pm by Shiloh Curry & Soit Emla & Magdalena Villa-Encarnación & Sean Wyatt & James Gallagher

Mission: E1: The Price of Unity
Location: Beneath the Old Temple Quarter, Old Lakarian City Ruins
Timeline: Mission Day 8 at 1545

"Energize." Curry said, his Barry White baritone resonant.

Soit straightened his back and couldn't help but close his eyes. He wasn't crazy about the feeling of being transported- but that was mostly on precedent. The couple of times he had, once he was shooting and being shot at by something that looked like a rubber-faced saurian. And the second time, he'd been in underwear trying to hang a light. He smelled the familiar whiff of gunpowder, ozoneous, and then the descent of sparkling sprites. His clothes and hair felt fresh and tingly and then the drop of the matter stream. One world faded. Another appeared.

Shiloh pulled his phaser on instinct. The room was small, ruined and irregular. It was half-dark and half-bathed in a gaudy sodium yellow light that swung from what appeared to be an ad hoc sleeping space. What Shiloh inevitably focused on was an aged-looking, nude statue of a woman. Shiloh narrowed his eye and shuffled his feet to look around. Until that moment, he truly had no idea how squalid of conditions this Cardassian kid lived in. It stank of the hollow, turned earth scent most caverns with ambient moisture would.

"Federation science would kill to get in here," Curry observed as Soit broke ranks. "What is this, a tomb?"

"Why?" Soit asked offhandedly, looking back at the large man who barely fit the height of where he stood. Soit had beamed in with a collapsible box at his feet and a backpack empty on his back. He was expected to collect what he wanted to keep and then they needed to get back to the Embassy. A raging dust storm was churning hundreds of feet above them; the eye of the storm had passed only thirty minutes before. Yet down here, and they must have been very low, there wasn't even floury debris that hinted at the storm. Instead, it seemed to have its own regolith of dust.

Curry turned to Soit's helper, and his primary charge: Sean Wyatt. Soit had meanwhile moved to another far less stable looking crate where sat a lot of junk parts: it was the collection of another life, the stuff Soit had taken from Shoggat and his mother's home.

Sean took a moment to gather his bearings and look around. The statue and drawings on the wall were the first to catch his attention. Unlike the Commander, Sean didn't have a phaser on his belt. His first instinct was to pull out his tricorder and begin taking readings. As Sean opened his tricorder, the sound the device made while it scanned echoed through the chamber to the corridors that connected it with the ancient network. The room was filled with dust, and the tricorder's readings made it clear that nobody should live down here for an extended period of time – but Sean wasn't going to say that out loud.

The human boy moved slowly along the wall, collecting anything and everything the tricorder could scan. Once Sean saw Soit by his belongings, he closed the tricorder and secured it back in his belt. He walked over to Soit and stood beside him. "How can I help?" he asked.

Shiloh, meanwhile, touched his commbadge, "Curry to Operations." Shiloh eyed Sean, rolling a finger at the boy to keep recording.

"This is Operations.". Said a woman's voice, "How can we help Commander?"

Curry eyed some scrolled mosaic, "Current location is somewhere in the Old Temple district. We're gathering the stuff the Cardassian kid wants to keep. He's been staying in some kind of... tomb." The broad Black man turned to Sean. "I've got Sean Wyatt with me. He's going to uplink you and we'll start a visual feed." Shiloh again gestured to Sean, encouraging him to tap in the conversation. He did a phantom double-tap at his commbadge, indicating what he wanted Sean to do.

"Acknowledged. What've you got Chachito?"

Soit, meanwhile, complicated the process by answering Sean's question: "Can you help me lift this?" He pointed at the box with Shoggat's stuff.

Sean looked back at Shiloh, shrugged, and then quickly helped Soit lift the box from the ground. Once he finished moving the box, Sean pulled his tricorder out and began recording again. He tapped on his comm badge and eyed the Commander. "I'm establishing the uplink now. You should have a live feed from my sensor data. There isn't much we can get from this, though. Once we're done, I'd suggest sending a science team down here."

"Acknowledged Chachito. We're getting the feed."

Soit watched the Starfleeters with some skepticism. "You want to s send a-" A strange feeling oscillated through the room. Powdery dust shimmied from the ceiling. Then a real, rumbling shake tremored the space, "Boys, come here!" Shiloh's eyes went wide, and he went to meet them. Curry grabbed Soit and reached for Sean. Small pieces of plaster and rock fell- along with an ancient stone beam above them. There was a sucking feeling as air was drawn out of the cavern- enough that it felt stolen but it stabilized.

Shiloh looked above them. He reached into his pocket and tapped as a small disc-like drone. It chirped along with a few flashing a rim of blue-green light. The drone hummed to life and stabilized itself. It hovered above them and them emitted a strange blue, shimmering disc of energy: a personal forcefield. It hovered above them to block any falling debris. It was unlikely to be able to hold much.

"Villa to Curry, come in. Condition in your sector, red alert. Prepare to beam back."

Sean put his arm up over his head to deflect chunks of debris. A few speckles of dust hit his face, but he shook it off and ran over to the Commander and Soit. "What the hell..." he murmured under his breath. He knew the cavern was unstable, but nothing in his readings indicated it was about to collapse.

Shiloh eyed the stuff Soit had been gathering and picked up the heaviest of the crates, "Double quick time, Sean. We're getting out of here. Soit, get whatever you need, now." The Cardassian's wide, dark eyes were fearful.

"That wasn't an earthquake," Soit deadpanned, his eyes wide with alarm. He looked up and swallowed, "We have to go. Now." He didn't share how he knew that, he just grabbed the nearest part of Sean he could. It happened to be a belt loop.

"Ops, we could really use that beam out now," Sean said speaking into his communicator. He kept his tricorder open to keep the sensor feed open for as long as possible. What did Soit mean it wasn't an earthquake? Sean glanced at the Cardassian and raised an eyebrow at the thought.

"We're getting a lock!" The voice of the Director came over the comm. A rain of dust began to trickle from the ceiling, first in a few isolated places. But they began to pick up. Soit looked at his new friend, breath shallow with fear in his chest. Then, with a whiff of gunpowderous ozone, the matter stream fell over the three.

The old tomb alcove disappeared in a haze, replaced by the clean lines of the Ops transporter room. Arthur Dobson was working the controls with Magdalena standing by. There was a young medic as well.

Shiloh was on high alert and was quick to step off, "What's going on?"

"That wasn't an earthquake," Soit insisted from the transporter pad, his eyes still wide. Shiloh half-looked over his shoulder stifling his annoyance that the kid was interfering.

Magdalena met eyes with Curry and then sent a more sympathetic gaze to the two young ones. "Come on down boys, Chachito." She turned to Curry, "Report to Commander Kazadi ASAP. That was an explosion, not an earthquake."

Sean raised an eyebrow as he followed the Commander down the transporter pad. He glanced back at Soit before turning to Director Villa. "An explosion?" he asked. "How?" Sean didn't even know who else knew about the tomb, much less who would want to bomb it.

James watched and waited for the three men to disembark from the transporter. As they met the Director, he used his free hand to take out his medical tricorder while he held a medkit in the other. "You all didn't suffer any serious injuries, but breathing in all of that dust can harm your lungs. If you notice any discomfort or difficulty breathing, stop by the hospital."

"Thanks," Sean said as he smirked at the Ensign. "Ma'am, I'd like to help figure this out, if I can. I must've picked up something on my tricorder."

Soit snorted derisively at James- but not on purpose. He caught himself, his eyes opening with his mouth open a moment. His dark eyes shifted to Sean and the raised, questioning eyebrow of Shiloh, then back to James. Soit swayed, "I've breathed down there most of my life and I'm fine..." He looked up and tilted a smile, "I'm sure your pink lungs can handle a little dirt."

Magdalena too narrowed an eye at the Cardassian boy, her thoughts wondering. She eased a smile as she turned to Sean, "Chachito, report to Ops. We don't know how yet. We just detected it in the Ferengi Sector." She looked at James, "Please take our guest to wherever he'd like to go." Mags looked to Soit, "But not outside. It's dangerous outside."

Soit looked at the things of his they'd beamed away. "I'll take these to my quarters." He said reluctantly.

Shiloh took the opportunity to break for the Security Office, the doors hissing behind him.

Sean nodded at the Director and took off towards the main area of Operations. In minutes, the room began to fill with officers running to their stations. The room dimmed and alarms began flashing on almost every console. Sean had never seen anything like it.

That left Soit alone with James: the Cardassian boy eyed the young Medic with a wary gaze before he turned to pick up the first of his crates.


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