World building and scene building. So important. Sil you did a great job doing both to kick off this mission. I enjoyed the tension created by the situation and between characters. Nice work!
((Ring, Unknown biodome, Away team main camp))
OOC: I haven't described the city deliberately, leaving it for anyone who wants to add details.
I know I might have over-described the NPC's but I couldn't resist
Torlek frown, again. He looked around the temporary base set at the entrance of the abandoned city. They had set up a small temporary base near their beam in point.
They were supposed to survey the surroundings.
Torlek insisted they beamed enough resources to sustain the large away team of eighteen, for at least five days in the field.
They started well, set up shop quickly, beginning to explore the city in groups of four or three. There were some difficulties, some areas looked shielded, others interfered with their scans. Communication with the Grace wasn’t stable. Still they managed to make some progress, signaling the buildings they entered and taking notes the old fashion way, by writing in PADDs their observations.
Everything looked normal.
That is usually when things go wrong.
First they noticed Wyss and her team didn’t report in. As the hours passed and contact wasn’t made Torlek sent three teams in search of them. To no avail.
He always found the redhead engineer quite the character, but she was also a fine officer and not one who would derelict her duty.
But it was by the next day when he decided to send a larger detachment that things turned weird. Torlek lead the team, leaving only four of his team in camp, they tried to track the movements of the missing crew.
As they embroiled themselves on the streets it was clear this was an almost worthless effort.
The only sound was theirs, and they barely managed to clear a block of buildings. There was no sign of their missing shipmates.
The matter worsened when they met at the designated checkpoint. Six more were missing.
Torlek recalled the rest and returned to base camp. They now had lost half the away team. Nine crewmen were missing.
And there he stood. Less than 30 hours since their arrival.
He started walking to reach the crouched man, who was working on an improvised comm station. He put his hand on his shoulder.
Smith: Take a break Mr. Clarkson.
The Ensign looked up at him, but returned to work. Three tricorders were jury rigged to a PADD. They were trying to improvise a signal booster.
Clarkson: Just a minute more Sir.
Torlek squeezed his hand just slightly, just enough for Clarkson to know he was serious.
Smith: I won't say it again.
The man turned, his eyes darting red.
As he stood, all the near two meters of height, he rose slowly like a wave.
The Ensign was one of the engineers, but really didn't look the part. Torlek always wondered if he was able to crawl into a Jefferies tube with that size.
The Ensign faced him in the eyes. Torlek stood his ground as he saw the man’s eyes water.
Clarkson flitched first, as tears began to form and he wasn’t able to control one that streaked down his cheek.
Torlek kept his gaze fixed at him, in a neutral tone he spoke again.
Smith: Ask Doc for something to sleep, pass your work to Hammond and get in your tent. I don’t want to see you here in the next four hours. Now that is an order.
Clarkson, composing himself, nodded.
Clarkson: Understood Commander.
Torlek let Clarkson walk a few steps in the direction of their camp, before walking to Hammond.
Smith: I told Clarkson to get some rest, take his place if you please.
The little Lieutenant nodded.
Hammond: Yes sir, shall I try and hail the ship?
Torlek shook his head. It's been hours since their last contact.
Smith: Keep the channel open, but don't bother trying for now. I am sure the Captain is calling in the cavalry.
Hammond nodded and turned, heading to the work bench. May was at eye reach, he nodded to Torlek, and so he stepped closer to him.
May shook his head. With the phaser rifle resting in his arms, the security Ensign almost whispered his reply.
May: Not a goddamn thing. No movement, no noise… Nothing.
Torlek raised his hands and waved to the camp.
Smith: Give me the rifle, I will take watch now. Get some rest and keep an eye on Clarkson, I don't want him to go and do something stupid.
May handed the rifle and shook his head.
May: That's why I don't agree with romance between crewmates.
Stig, Clarkson's companion, was one of the missing. He was one of the quietest officers on the Grace. Torlek wasn't even sure if he ever talked to him.
Torlek shrugged, he didn't see any trouble in relationships.
Smith: No man is an island. Relationships are the cornerstone of society.
May tapped Torlek's shoulder before moving on.
May: Always the diplomat Commander.
Torlek smiled at him, with a final nod, pointing at the camp.
Smith: One tries. Now go and get some rest.
Lt Cmd. Torlek Smith
USS Grace Hopper
as simmed by:
Lt. J. G. Vitor S.Silveira
USS Juneau, NX-99801