((Field Hospital, Darime Colony))
Jo winced as she leaned over the console, peering at the various scans and sensor logs coming back. The shuttlecraft, for all intents and purposes, was dark. Shrouded in the darkness, in the shadow of what would have been the medical hospital, it was as close to a mobile operations unit as they were going to get.
Marshall: =/\= How about the shield and the turret? Is everyone in place to flip the big switch? =/\=
sh’Qynallahr: =/\= The turret is synched to my tricorder. The moment someone enters the tent, I’ll know, and trigger the turret. =/\=
Loxley: =/\= Alright then, let’s poke this hornet’s nest, see what buzzes out. =/\=
With a soft nod to herself, perhaps a quickly exhaled breath, and maybe a few words whispered to the Prophets of Bajor who were undoubtedly listening at every ungodly hour possible, Jo pressed the control. The communication waves began undulating on the monitor, roving up and down as it transmitted through to the Gorkon.
Marshall: =/\= Honey trap set. Places, everyone. =/\=
Feeling only a little like she’d channelled the spirit of Genkos from the Resolution, Jo darted out of the darkened and shadowy shuttlecraft and made her way to her designated spot on the compound. The plan they’d worked out left no one within the immediate vicinity of the booby-trapped tent. Flattening her back on the hull of the shuttlecraft in the shadows, Jo slid down it to sit on the floor, her wrists on her raised knees.
It had to work; they had little other option. No one wanted another ground assault. Somehow, she didn’t think the Pelians would survive another. Resting her head on the back of the shuttle, she settled in for the wait, imagining she was back on the Gorkon with a warm bath waiting, trading teasing flirts with Erin… She swallowed with the sobering thought that they needed to talk; the deep resounding feeling in her chest she was keeping something from her again, after--
Sevo: =/\= Got something in here. Footsteps. Is the turret ready, Pira? =/\=
The secure communication crackled with Ayiana’s voice. From her vantage point, Jo looked toward the tent, trying to see any movement for herself.
sh’Qynallahr: =/\= I’m reading movement near the tent, stand by. =/\=
Marshall: =/\= Don’t take any risks. =/\=
Her heart hammered as she listened to the communication link, internally deliberating whether to run over herself. Slowly she stood up, back still pressed against the shuttlecraft hull, and she reached for the phaser rifle. As soon as she heard the phaser fire, she bolted from the shuttle, sprinting across the sodden earth, and skidded into the tent.
Sevo: =/\= Well damn, I wasn’t expecting it to be them. =/\=
Pira and Ayiana were already there, crouched as they examined a body lying prone on the floor. Lox brought up the rear, entering just a second later. Everyone was fine. Everyone was safe. Jo puffed out a relieved breath and chucked the rifle onto the nearest surface. It landed with a clatter as she heard the murmured surprise from Lox.
On the floor was a young man, pointed ears poking up from beneath the wave of dark hair, and high angled eyebrows. Without forehead ridges, he looked Vulcan at first glance, and then Jo looked down to the gold Starfleet uniform. A frown carved immediately into her forehead as if Lox had taken up sudden plastic surgery on the closest body.
sh’Qynallahr: I don’t recognise this man. I’m familiar with the Gorkon’s security personnel, but not this man.
Loxley: A Starfleet uniform makes a good disguise. The medical staff down here will assume he came down on the shuttle, I’d imagine.
Jo clenched her teeth into the wall of her cheek as she approached, crouching down near Ayiana and Pira. Without pips on the uniform, nor an insignia to go off, she couldn’t place where he would be on the ship, but she knew all the officers in Operations, and he was not one of them. It only prompted the frown to glower.
Without needing to be asked, Pira removed the silver badge from the uniform and restrained the Vulcan with the security equipment she had to hand; namely a length of rope.
sh’Qynallahr: Can someone run the ID on the commbadge for me? Once we have a little more information, we’ll wake him up and ask some questions.
Marshall: Ayiana, can you handle that, please? You should be able to link in to the shuttlecraft database.
Wiping a hand over her mouth as she looked back at the prone Vulcan, Jo felt the disbelief rise. It couldn’t be one of their own. No one else had come to the surface with them before the assault. Unless it was a member of the Academy accompanying the missing cadets.
Loxley: Odd. Heart rate and blood pressure are unusually high for someone unconscious. What stun setting did you use?
Loxley: He should be out cold, but… ::The hybrid trailed off as he adjusted his scan.:: I’m picking up high levels of cryptobiolin, a combat enhancer.
The frown kindling across Jo’s brow increased as she stood up, looking at the readings on Loxley’s tricorder as if to confirm the conclusion for herself.
Marshall: What would a Vulcan need combat enhancers for? Maybe expecting to find someone in here and take them out...
Loxley: Wait, there’s more. Cervaline? That’s strange.
The confused look crossing over Loxley’s features prompted one on the blonde’s in tandem.
Loxley: It’s only used to prevent the rejection of transplanted tissues. And… ah, crap.
He turned his green eyes to the rest of the group, his expression very serious.
Loxley: He’s infected.
Cold didn’t so much creep through Jo as shoot like an asteroid through hab canvas. Her hands descended from her face to her hips, then up to cross over her chest as she exhaled a breath once more.
Marshall: Well. ::She hooked an eyebrow.:: Shit.
Loxley: Exactly, so either he’s a Pelian in a very impressive disguise, or he encountered the same thing they did.
It was like a viral shuttle crash; two colliding in midair, spraying the debris everywhere. The virus their scientists suspected could be nanites, infecting another species they believed couldn’t be infected. Did that mean they were at risk?
Marshall: What does that mean for us? We’ve been exposed now. Lox, you’re half Vulcan.
An undulating groan sounded from the floor, specifically from beneath the downed Vulcan. All eyes shot to him as restrained hands moved at a lethargic pace. The Vulcan was coming around.
Loxley: I should have mentioned that cryptobiolin is also pretty good for counteracting the effects of a phaser stun.
Like a parent protecting their child from a sudden stop in a shuttle, Jo stretched her arm out in front of Loxley and took a step back for both of them. The Vulcan didn’t stop moving on the floor, writhing from side to side, as if a resonating part of his brain told him he was under the influence of stun while the combat enhancers had awakened the rest of his limbs.
Jo went for the handheld phaser in her thigh holster, only to realise it wasn’t there. Instead, she dived for the phaser rifle thrown to the side.
A roar of Vulcan might bellowed as the man rose onto his feet, pulling his arms around to his front and snapping the ropes tying him in place. The gold Starfleet uniform looked a little too small for him, as though designed to fit someone shorter and slimmer than the tall and broad frame standing in front of them.
And unlike the Vulcans she knew, usually calm and collected, this one had rage simmering behind his eyes.
Marshall: Ohhhkay, let’s not do anything hasty right now. Just back up slowly.
The Vulcan stretched his arm out to the nearest officer and gripped his fingers into the blue of Ayiana’s uniform. He lifted her easily a few feet off the floor one-handed, and with the other, flipped over the nearest biobed.
Marshall: Or backup quickly. That’s a better option. Drop her! Bad Vulcan!
Lt. Commander Jo Marshall
USS Gorkon, NCC-82293