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Ensign Taelon - Skeletons in the Closet

Sal Taybrim

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(( Harkin’s Den - Backrooms - Starbase 118 ))
::The group followed their marine escort. It didn’t take long before they had arrived at the area in question. It wasn't exactly what any of them had expected.::
Flynn: It just looks like an empty room..
::Taelon unslung his tricorder as the others looked around, walking along the small room’s walls. It did look like just any other room. Clever, really. The owner had likely had people in here with no idea they were so close to something secret…
Darkly, he wondered how many other secrets the station had hidden behind seemingly innocent walls. He might not sleep tonight til he’d tested the edges of his quarters, just to be sure.:: 
Falcon: ?
Rozera: It seems they used it for private parties. The hidden door is behind that wall. ::She pointed.:: Be careful. We haven’t found its trigger yet, and it’s blocking scans.
::Antero walked to the wall mentioned and rubbed his hand over the surface, an action he instantly regretted as he felt the abrasive grime over his fingertips.::
Flynn: What are our options? Is there some kind of key to getting in? Or do we just blow it?
::Taelon looked at the tricorder, but it wasn’t helpful in answering Flynn’s question. It’d picked up the anomalies that he suspected were a tell, but that was all it said. He’d set it up to filter out any electronic feedback in an effort to have the lifeform scans be as clear as possible, and changing that would take time.
The lifeform scans said what they’d been saying the whole time, though: Flynn stood right where the trail cut off.
He looked over as echoing foot falls came towards them. It turned out to be two marines, one holding a large thermal cutter. The Andorian gave a half-shrug.::
Rozera: We’ll cut our way in. It’s fastest and hopefully won’t damage whatever evidence is on the other side. 
Flynn: ::He nodded:: I say do it. No time to spare.
Falcon: ?
::Rozera and the other two marines shooed the three officers back towards the hall - a good move, as the heat generated by the thermal cutter was considerable even at that distance. It was efficient, though, melting through the wall without generating sparks or even much noise. The hot slag was a shame, but the metal floor didn’t seem likely to catch fire. Taelon hoped, anyway.::
::Antero stepped back as the fake wall was carefully and efficiently taken care of. Taking a few steps closer with the job finished, a clear passage now revealed itself. Stepping in behind the marine, he coughed on a foul mouthful of dust. He looked to Taelon.::
Flynn: What do we have?
::Taelon managed to bite back his immediate urge to state the obvious, though it was a close call. He approached the void behind Flynn, peering into the darkness. The hallway beyond was dim, in bad need of repair, and dusty...though footprints on the floor told of recent use.::
Taelon: Looks like some manner of...storage? ::He looked at the doors suspiciously. They were oddly reinforced, weren’t they...?:: The readings we followed are from here...
::Flynn approached one of the doors hastily, and peered through its square pane of glass, still gripping his phaser. Taelon had started to follow him when Flynn’s eyes went wide.::
Flynn: We need a medics over here!
::He reared back and kicked the door open as the marines ran forward.::
Rozera: Lieutenant - 
::The protest faded from Taelon’s notice as the smell hit him - it blew out of the dark room like a wall, rank with the odors of blood, sweat, waste and fear. The Ensign gagged as his eyes started watering, and he stumbled as the marines shoved past him.
What lay in the darkness was worse, though. People were in the room, crowded together, barely moving. One or two lay so still he knew they were dead. A few tried to move away as Flynn approached, protests weak. 
All their eyes glimmered with one feeling - fear. Some seemed to tinge to hope as the light filtered in, but others seemed beyond even that. 
As reality hit him, the physical shock faded. They didn’t have medics here, and he didn’t have the equipment to help...but that wasn’t entirely at the front of his mind as he ran into the room, kneeling by one of the fallen. The woman rolled her head to look at him, her features sunken and bruised. She moved her cracked lips, but no sound came out. He put a hand on her shoulder as he hurried to adjust the tricorder. 
Taelon: It’s alright - ::He smiled, even as the grime and filth on the floor soaked through the knees of his uniform. The smell and darkness crowded in around him, but seemed secondary to the problem at hand.:: You’re safe now. 
::He looked to Flynn and Falcon as they worked, and the marines beyond them. His fingers squeezed her shoulder gently.::
Taelon: I promise. 
::There was one lone figure in the far corner - Taelon only saw it as his eyes adjusted. The captive sat curled up against the wall, knees to their chest, arms wrapped around them. They were so still Taelon thought at first they might have died like that, but as his eyes continued to adjust he saw the gleam of yellow eyes moving. Unlike the fear in the other captives, this one looked nearly primal. The hands were clawed, their bare feet the same. The alien whose life signs he’d followed in here, no doubt.
The look it gave the group wasn't like the others, either; this expression was deep, burrowing, primal fear, the sort that made cornered animals attack. Taelon swallowed, and looked away. The group continued to work as he carefully looked over the captives nearest him. Some were alive, but unconscious. Others clearly didn't understand him when he spoke.::
Rozera: =/\= We need medics and an evac team scrambled down here, now. =/\= ::She had her hand to her helmet, fingers moving as she switched through comm channels.:: =/\= And decom teams. It’s a mess back here. =/\=
::She lowered her hand, looking to Falcon and Flynn.::
Rozera: They’re on their way. 
Falcon/Flynn: ?
Rozera: We’ll get the other rooms open. Don’t worry. ::She’d lost the put-upon vibes to her tone - now she seemed resigned. The sight was a sobering one.:: Commander, with all due respect, I suspect Command would rather hear this report from one of your team. 
Falcon/Flynn: ?
Rozera: No one's used to finding this sort of [...] in their own backyard. Sirs.
Falcon/Flynn: ?
Sergeant Major Rozera A'daar
Starfleet Marine, Bravo Squad
Starbase 118 Marine Cont.
Ensign Taelon
Science Officer
Starbase 118 OPs
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