USS Adelphi

NCC-26849

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Post 12: Headway

Posted on Mon Nov 2nd, 2020 @ 2:22pm by Lieutenant Timmoz & Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril & Ensign Sheldon Parsons

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: Kilometers from the Island Complex
Timeline: MD01: 1115 hours

Primeval.

That was how Timmoz would describe the low light of their surroundings. It carried with it of the whimsical carefree of Nico's holodeck jaunt into the twilight woods of his native Vega Colony. Timmoz very much doubted they'd be breaking into hot springs.

No, this forest had eyes: the Orion's tetrachromatic eyes strained to adjust to its light levels, staring into the deep shadows that favored reds more than his native blues. So this is why Humans feared the jungle. Timmoz had come from a jungle: the cloud forests of Botchok. But their star washed their world in blues, not the red-favored wavelengths of this world. Timmoz felt... tense- an emotion he was unwilling to admit to.

The Orion eyed the blue light on his phaser: the stun setting. Gripping a Federation weapon still felt strange... a violation of some kind, an uncomfortable reminder of what he wanted to believe he once was.

And yet the killer urge of the Orion species edged at him- flip the setting. Flip the light to red. Flip to kill. The notion prickled at his spine like a fresh tease, like when he scented Nico's neck: a siren's call of power and safety. Those who cross you, die. Mercy is a quick death. That was the credo of the Syndicate. It was hard not to feel that now. It chafed against the last several years of gooey-saccharin Federation ethics.

They'd been shot at, shot down... and the ache in his wrist and hand somehow justified a need for revenge to the Botchoki pilot. Timmoz turned gaze to Tov.

Tov was silent as they moved through the alien jungle. Through his training, the sheer alienness of the world faded from consideration as he focused on finding danger. One piece of his mind always on the presence of those who were now assailing the runabout. With every step, they moved further away.

Tov felt eyes on him as Timmoz turned to look at him. He met the Orion's eyes and nodded.

"This seems far enough, let's set up the pattern enhancers and get our team out of there," Tov spoke in low tones. He placed the rifle he'd taken from the runabout aside and began setting up the first enhancer. Not truly familiar with the engineering side of things, his fingers fumbled with the controls a bit, taking precious seconds to set it up.

With a wave of relief, the whine of the pattern enhancers brought the runabout's pattern buffers. In a spritely sparkle of blues and white, Sor'aa, Parsons, and Isan materialized. Timmoz flexed his fingers on the phaser and nodded to the re-joined group. "Alright." He reached for the nearest enhancer and twisted it off. "Disable these and let's get moving," he gestured to the remaining enhancer cylinders. "We probably don't have much more than a twenty-minute edge."

"Understood," Parsons nodded. Even in the fading light of the jungle, the young engineer looked stiffer and more uncomfortable than his usual self. Perhaps it was due to the locale -- Sheldon never was one for the Great Outdoors. Or maybe it was due to almost being overrun by whoever it was who'd shot them down and tried to force their way into the Denali. The runabout had been left behind, all hatches secured and unassailable without some very sophisticated cutting equipment, but that didn't stop their attackers from trying. They'd fired their droning weapons for almost two minutes straight in a seemingly unending attempt to get inside while Parsons completed his transporter repairs. Now having beamed away, the engineer asked, "I wonder if our runabout will still be there when this is all over?"

"With what we know, it should be," Tov replied, then shrugged. "Though we didn't know they could shoot us down."

Timmoz smiled into a cheek, "They shot at us without making contact, with weaponry equal to our own. They're hiding on this planet away from the natives. I think them taking our runabout is the least of our worries."

Moving to the closest pattern enhancer, Parsons twisted the glowing tip of the pylon, ceasing its light. With the touch of a button, the enhancer folded itself up into a compact shape about the size of a large flashlight. He stowed the device in his backpack and ushered the others to hand the remaining enhancers to him as well. As the team's sole engineer, he was -- after all -- the best person to carry them. Falling into step with the others, the man looked behind the group with repeated, worrying glances -- sure that any second, the faces of whoever their pursuers were would appear in the dim jungle light. "Any luck with the tricorders?" Parsons asked, turning back to Timmoz and Tov as he kept putting one foot in front of the other. "Would be nice to know who we're dealing with out here."

"What I can tell you at the moment is they are fairly well disciplined." Tov looked Parsons in the eyes before turning back to watching their surroundings, rifle held ready. "I could try to invade their minds, but that would take time and I'd need to be close. It isn't what I've trained my mind to do." He shrugged again, a little uncomfortable. He had trained his mind with the focus of being a good hazard team member, which meant remaining unseen at most, finishing the mission. His culture tended to frown on utilizing their telepathy for combat and fouling others' minds, and Tov had never quite come to terms with it. He had yet to return home since beginning his Starfleet career, unsure of how he'd be received. "For the moment we should find a place we can either hide in or defend well."

"Agreed," Timmoz said after a moment's silent reluctance. The Orion's desire was to keep moving, something intrinsic to his ideas of survival. Somehow it equated to keeping an enemy off-balance and guessing. But he was no strategist. They needed rest. Timmoz again eyed the setting light on his phaser, brushing a green thumb over it. "Lieutenant," he turned to the Betazoid and met black eyes with brown. It was impossible to get more idea of the terrain: simply, it was dark and endless jungle. And it made for slow-moving. "Making camp's a priority now. When we fail to check-in, hopefully, the Adelphi will come to find out why. But we do still have a mission to get to that complex."

Tov nodded, looking away for a moment to scan their surroundings.

"Camping...in a dark jungle with people of unknown origin and motivation chasing us. So glad I joined Starfleet," Parsons spoke up sarcastically. He soon trailed off, though, as what sounded like a large predator rumbled from the shadows across the way. With his pack slung on his back now, the ensign's right hand was free to grab his phaser. He raised it, thumbing the settings to a very heavy stun. Parsons wasn't keen on killing whatever it was but he also wasn't keen on being attacked by it, either. "Something is out there..." he warned, backing away slightly. The tadpole in his throat suddenly grew into a full-blown frog as the lights on his phaser completely winked out. "Fucking dampening field," he whispered all too loudly. "Anyone got a sharp stick?"

"They can move or extend the field, that is far and away more advanced than we had thought..." Tov responded to no one in particular, he checked his own phaser rifle before slinging it over his shoulder. He reached with both hands to the small of his back, then his fingers were curled around the dark forms of twin, curved fighting knives. "Pick a direction and move, I'll cover our back trail and follow after a short while."

Timmoz too sheathed his phaser and from the small of his back, he too produced a blade- straight and very thin, like a stiletto. "Then they reveal how close they are," he murmured. He did as the Security Chief suggested: Timmoz picked a direction. "Keep your head down and stay between us, Parsons," he hissed as they maneuvered through the jungle. Timmoz's bearings were imperfect, going off of the runabout's last known coordinates compared to the compound. He was reasonably sure he was leading them in that direction, however.

"Does everyone have a scary knife but me?" Parsons' voice went high into the nasal register, his eyes growing wide at the wicked blades on display. He moved into the center of the group as ordered, having the good sense to shut the hell up as Timmoz led the way. With the dampening field playing random havoc with their equipment, the young man was having to draw on the basic survival skills taught to all Starfleet cadets. As the group walked, Sheldon took mental stock of his equipment. Rations? Check. Compass...also check, he nodded to himself, looking down at the hand-held device in his hand. It had acclimated itself to this planet's poles, so seemed to accurately depict North. Flashlight...check, he nodded, reaching down to activate his wrist-mounted lamp. Oh damn, he sighed internally, likely "loud" enough for Tov to pick up on. The wrist-torch -- like their phasers and tricorders -- refused to shed its light.

"I'm sure you have something as useful in your engineering case," Timmoz said as he deftly turned his blade in his hand. "Let's move. We need to stay ahead. For now, we assume we cannot get back to the Adelphi. We are on our own."

A Post By:

Ensign Sheldon Parsons

Lieutenant JG Tovan Astril

Lieutenant Timmoz

 

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