((Rendezvous Point, Hendrikspool Jungle, Bajor))
Tomas and Erik arrived at the rendezvous 15 minutes behind schedule. At one point the vegetation had been thicker than previously encountered and it had taken a while for them to get through.
Tomas was surprised to find T’Lea and her team were not there. He had been expecting to arrive to the sound of banter from his ship mates concerning his poor navigation skills. Instead they had been met with silence, far too much silence for a jungle.
Erik: ::whispering:: Something’s off, it’s too quiet.
Tomas nodded in reply and fished his tricorder out of his rucksack. He tried to scan for his crewmates but something was interfering with his readings, possibly the impact material T’Lea had referenced earlier. He shut the tricorder off and listened, opening his mouth slightly to give him the best chance of hearing anything. Nothing.
Falt: ::whispering:: Something is interfering with my tricorder. It was working before so it has to be something nearby. Let’s backtrack slowly, hopefully the interference will clear and we can find my crewmates.
His father nodded in reply and both men started quietly moving backwards. Before they had gone ten meters there was a sudden crash off to their left. Both men instinctively froze. Something was pushing its way through the undergrowth, and it sounded large. Tomas tried to stay as still as possible, whatever was approaching was upwind so movement would be the biggest give away.
The rustling grew louder and got closer. Tomas looked for any visual clue as to what might be approaching. He felt himself relax as he finally caught a glimpse of something through the thick vegetation.
Falt: With all due respect sir, if you make much more noise they’ll be able to hear you on DS9.
Tomas regarded the force field device T’Lea wore with interest. It was an ingenious way of making a path through thick vegetation, but it was far from stealthy.
T’Lea: Sorry to have startled you. The tricorder sensors are not functioning properly, and I lost my comm. badge. We had to split up the search. Excellent timing though. I found more evidence of something rather large tearing through here at one time. The path is overgrown now, but it is straight and wide -- that way.
Almost on cue Lieutenant Kendrick and Commander Williams returned from separate searches. Tomas was pleased to see the Commander seemed to have recovered well after the explosion in the JAC lab.
Tomas opened his mouth to introduce his father to them all, but T’Lea beat him to it.
T’Lea: Is this your father? You look alike.
Falt: This is indeed my father, Erik Falt.
His father nodded by way of a greeting.
T’Lea: Greetings, Sir. I am T’Lea. It is a pleasure to meet you. This is John Kendrick, and Alexander Williams.
Erik: It’s good to meet you all, thank you for letting us tag along on your expedition.
Seemingly satisfied that the initial introductions had been completed, T’Lea addressed the group.
T’Lea: I’m going to be abrupt and start walking. You can continue your conversation as we go.
Erik: Of course
Falt: There are only about eight hours of daylight remaining so we’ll need to pick up the pace if we want to arrive at the possible crash site with useful light left.
((Crash Site, Hendrikspool Jungle, Bajor))
The group cut a path through the jungle, following the faint signs that remained from the crash. To Tomas their route was more like a scar than a trail, a faint long lasting mark of an old wound that the jungle had healed.
Aside from some differences in the vegetation, the only real indication something big had crashed through the region was the level route it had cut in the ground itself. This was most obvious in the gouges it had left behind in the small hills and ridges that crossed it’s path. This made the large mound that marked the end of their course even more distinct.
TLea stood at the foot of the mound. Tomas watched as she reached down and began digging into the soil with her bare hands. After excavating a few inches of rich, dark soil she reached a seam of what looked like charcoal.
T’Lea: I wish our sensors were working, but this is proof that a rather intense fire ripped through here at one time. What do you think?
She glanced at Tomas, possibly for confirmation, as she dusted herself off.
Falt: It certainly looks that way. It seems to be a thin charcoal layer so I’d say a short lived but intense fire.
Obviously keen to continue investigating T’Lea began walking up the mound.
oO For a scientist she’s really quite impulsive Oo
Unlike the rest of the jungle the soil was loose under her feet, slowing her ascent. She grabbed a small bush to steady herself which immediately uprooted in her hand, sending her sliding. She started up again, setting off a small avalanche of loose soil down the hill. As the ground slipped further it revealed a dull metal surface.
Falt: Without a working tricorder I can’t tell you it’s composition or origin, but it’s certainly artificial.
T’Lea had climbed back up to the spot where she had first uprooted the bush.
T’Lea: Well, frak me. It’s a ship, gentlemen. We found a ship.
From his position on the ground Tomas couldn’t see what she had found. However, he did hear the telltale sound of the old and battered starship shifting under her feet a split second before something gave way and the woman disappeared from view.
oO Yup, very impulsive for a scientist. Or an archaeologist. Oo
Falt: Take your time sir, you could fall through too.
Beside him his father was hurriedly hunting through his pack.
Erik: I’ve got a rope, hold on one second.
Retrieving it from the pack he threw it to the man.
Erik: ::nodding at Falt:: we’ll hold this end and anchor you
Tomas concentrated on keeping tension on the rope in case anyone else should fall. He was relieved to hear T’Lea’s muffled voice as her rescue arrived at the opening she had fallen through moment earlier.
T’Lea: It’s gutted. ::turning a flashlight on:: The ship has been gutted. There’s no equipment, no instrumentation. Nothing. The back half looks missing, like it was ripped off, or caved in.
T’Lea’s voice sounded as calm and composed as normal, albeit with an extra metallic quality from being inside the ship. Evidently the Commander wasn’t seriously uninjured.
Falk: ::calling up:: It would be wise to get the XO out of there until we can determine if the structure is stable enough to explore safely.
Erik: We’ve got more than enough rope left to lower some down to her if she can’t find a way to climb out herself.
Tomas left his father holding the rope and took his rucksack off his back. As he opened it to retrieve his medical kit - just in case the Commander needed it - he realised the jungle had fallen silent again. He’d been too preoccupied with the discovery of the spaceship to notice how long for.
He slowly stood up and came face-to-face with a Cardassian pointing an old phase-disruptor pistol at him. He slowly raised his hands as more Cardassians silently emerged from the jungle, surrounding them.
Falt: Sirs, we have company.
TAG / TBC
Ensign Tomas Falt
USS Juneau, NX-99801
Sent from Mail for Windows