((Field Hospital, Darime Colony))
Rain clouded the skies as Jo wrapped her hands around her familiar coffee mug and made her way down to her team. They gathered in a larger area, mostly above ground instead of in the traditional Pelian way of constructing part of it underground. Surrounded by crates and containers on all sides bearing the Starfleet Medical insignia, and as far as she knew, there was no more to come. What they had there was meant to see them through the next phase of the development.
Off in the near distance, several anti-gravitational pallets hovered above the rain-soaked ground, carrying silver metallic crates and containers similar to the Starfleet embossed variety, but bearing the insignia of the nearby Romulan colony. Around them, pointy-eared medical staff stood, consulting a variety of equipment as each in turn deployed with a shunting sound as it dropped to the ground.
Jo took another slug of warm coffee and turned to her crew of three, hoping the buoyant attitude remained staunch and sincere.
Marshall: Thanks for coming and bringing your brains. I hope you all ate breakfast this morning. It might be a while before the next one.
Marshall: Let’s keep this short and sweet. In light of the medical emergency taking place down here, the Federation has sanctioned the building of a dedicated medical facility to contain the infection, ::she pointed to the grid sectioned off on the ground, each with a standing forcefield erected to designate zones,:: and we’re organising it. We’ve got habitation units from the Gorkon, and as much medical supply as the industrial replicators could get us.
Marshall: Thankfully, we’re not alone. ::Gesturing over her shoulder with a lift of the coffee mug, she took another swig before continuing.:: Owing to our experience working with the Romulan colony populations in the Tyrellian sector, the population settled here has asked if they can help. They seem to be immune from the infection, as do anyone other than the Pelians, so the Federation has agreed to make this a joint venture between the two.
((Excavation Site, Darime Colony))
In the distance, the sky was grey and oppressive, but it was a paler shade of miserable over the archaeological site. No rain (yet), but the wind still whipped through the lowlands of the mountain forest, shaking the leaves of trees and bushes, rattling through the stacked crates and cases of equipment and finds.
Earthworks cut into the undergrowth, deep into the rich and fertile dirt, exposing roots and ruins alike. Foundations and crumbling walls in a blue-veined stone sprawled out in an area the size of the Gorkon’s saucer. Some of the flooring reminded her of the mosaics of ancient Earth, still bright and vibrant despite age and mud. It was like nothing else seen elsewhere on the colony; so far it remained a mystery as to who built them and exactly when.
A group of buildings huddled along one edge of the excavations, squeezed in between the trees. Cabins and on-site laboratories for the archaeologists to work and relax inside, all currently standing empty. Around the perimeter was a holographic barrier in bright yellow and amber, warning of a quarantine and instructing no unauthorised personnel to pass that point.
The Starfleet officers standing just inside the perimeter were authorised. The rain still drying on her coat, Quinn walked up and offered them a small, terse smile. She was feeling harried, and it showed in subtle ways; the slight crease of her forehead, the tiny lines carving in at the edges of her hazel eyes.
Reynolds: Thanks for waiting. ::She breathed out a sigh and adjusted her uniform, pulling up the collar of her coat against the wind.:: It’s been all go this morning.
Reynolds: You might already be aware there’s been an outbreak of sickness on the colony. The doctors managed to trace it here; the workers and scientists involved in the excavations are the Patient Zeros of the outbreak.
Reynolds: Well, that’s the thing. The only people who’ve shown symptoms are Pelian, and the preliminary tests show that they’re not just the only ones infected, no other species are even carriers. So it’s not jumping species, but—::she gestured toward the exposed bones of another civilisation::—these ruins pre-date the arrival of the Pelians by millennia. I’m told the early estimates are that they're at least two thousand years old.
Reynolds: Thus the mystery. We’re hoping there’s something in these ruins that can shine some light on the nature of the disease. What it is, why it’s affecting the Pelians, what treatments there are... anything that could help the doctors treating the sick.
Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds
Lt. Commander Jo Marshall
USS Gorkon, NCC-82293