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Into The Deep End Part 1

Posted on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 @ 12:39am by Captain Batai Dhej & Lieutenant JG Phaedra & Lieutenant JG Kevin, Lord Kilbane of Sanquhar & Lieutenant JG Auryn Bishop & Lieutenant JG Vox Graydon & Ensign Hope Martin & Ensign Cassidy Westphall M.D., Ph.D. & Ensign Gregory Ellis

Mission: Currents of Change
Location: Shuttlebay 1
Timeline: Current

=/\=Shuttlebay 1=/\=
Batai grumbled under his breath as he pulled at the collar of his modified EV suit. He was frustrated that he hadn't had enough time to get used to wearing it, especially since it would essentially be his second skin for a long period of time. Knowing he was wasting time, he tapped his combadge and said "Dhej to Bishop, Martin, Kilbane, Westphall, Graydon and Phaedra, please report to Shuttlebay 1 for the away mission." Closing the channel, he opened another one and said "Dhej to Bridge. We are about to depart, have you been able to confirm the meeting point with the Neeru delegation?"

The officer on duty quickly replied "Yes sir. The coordinates have been forwarded to the runabout. Bridge out."

Kevin entered the shuttlebay and made his way to where the Captain was.

"EV suits....oh, super...." he said slightly sarcastically. He manoeuvred his way into his and realised he'd perhaps put on a pound or two as it seemed a bit to 'snug'. Finally, encased in what he now felt was a kind of straightjacket, he looked at the CO and asked "Does my suit look big in this bum?"

Hearing the comment as she entered, Doctor Cassidy Westphall couldn't help but quip, "Hormones making you a little sensitive this month?" As she began to put on her own suit, Cassidy chuckled. A sense of humor was essential for those who served in Starfleet, especially aboard a ship like the Sirona, which was often called to go in harm's way.

"Well, you know how it is when 'Cat walk' season's upon us" Kevin replied, doesn't do to look frumpy in front of the judges now does it?"

Batai laughed at the interplay between the two new officers. He was happy they had the brief time of levity, it likely would be one of the only ones during the mission. Clearing his throat he said "The suit looks very becoming on you Commander Kilbane, That's a good thing, as it will be one of the only things we'll be wearing for the duration of the mission."

"I hope everyone remembers how to operate the onboard waste recycling systems," a lately arrived engineer added as he approached the group already wearing his modified EV suit Ensign Martin had a prepared. Auryn's suit was also equipped with a mobile utility tool replicator attached at his right arm. "Captain," Lt Bishop addressed to the CO, then turned to greet the other officers.

The big doors parted again to show Vox Graydon enter the shuttlebay, armed with a type-II phaser. He approached the EV suits and proceeded to gear up, making sure to place the phaser in an exterior pocket for such tools. He grabbed a helmet and then rejoined the group, looking the other officers over one by one, giving small nods.

Kevin looked at the officer who'd just arrived and noted the phaser he was carrying on his person. His whole attitude changed at once.

"Lieutenant, this is a joint Federation/Neeru project we're going into not a war zone where we're supposed to be fending off agressors. Till such times as we know there's imminent danger, or you're given specific order by the Captain or myself, you will not be carrying any weapons on this away mission...lose the phaser, that's an order."

Coming from a Security background himself, he wasn't impressed in the slightest that the Security Officer had turned up armed without first asking or seeking permission to do so.

Sensing that the situation may take a difficult turn, Batai stepped forward and firmly, but calmly said "As you were Commander Kilbane." After a pause, he added "The commander however does bring up an important point. We are meeting the Neeru for the first time, and don't want to necessarily come armed, when we have been asked for help." Thinking for a moment, he added "That being said though, Lieutenant Graydon, please ensure the runabout is stocked with phasers , which hopefully we won't need."

He was about to continue when the doors parted, and an out of breath young woman rushed in. Catching her breath, she said "Lieutenant Phaedra reporting as ordered. I'm sorry I'm late." Without waiting for a response, she walked to the rack of EV suits and began getting dressed.

Graydon kept a stoic face except for raised eyebrows at the dressing-down in front of all the officers. He was about to politely point out the many nonviolent uses for a phaser such as cutting duranium but he nodded to Commander Batai as the other officer rushed into the shuttlebay. "Very good, sir." He turned and walked up the shuttle ramp.

Kevin looked at the CO, then at the departing Security officer. Taking a deep breath he returned his gaze once more to the CO and said "If you'll excuse me for a moment Sir."

He to made his way up the shuttle ramp, and once inside he said to Graydon "Hold up Lieutenant."

Once he'd caught up with them he said "Look, I'm sorry about just now. I..." and he paused a moment, "...during my last away mission on my previous posting, we had a mission not dissimilar to our current one where the situation was a little bit of a mystery. Though we knew we were helping allies of the Federation, the duty Security officer at the time decided to go onto the away team armed, and all hell broke loose when our hosts became aware of this as it was prohibited. It caused a bit of a diplomatic rumpus as well, due to the fact that the people we were helping had a 'no weapons' policy which had been officially sanctioned from both sides 'before' the mission began. It nearly caused the mission to be scrapped I didn't want the same thing happening here that's all. No offence..." he said, putting his hand out.

Vox listened to the XO, nodding in understanding. He grasped the offerer hand with his own artificial, black gunmetal colored duranium hand and gave it a firm shake.

"No offense taken, sir. I should've inquired about taking arms before the mission started. It was..." He angled his head, searching for the right response, "... shortsighted on my part. It won't happen again."

Kevin nodded, glad that they were able to put the situation behind them.

"Right, You best store the phasers and I better get back outside" he said, turning to walk away. He only got a few steps when he stopped and turned back to face Vox, saying quietly "I'll tell you what's not detectable though, a 'bone' pistol with a wind back coil. I call mine Peter!"

He smiled, winked, turned and walked off.

Graydon's expression remained neutral as he listened. However, when the commander sauntered down the ramp, his face twisted into a puzzled look. He quietly tried to understand something he clearly missed. "'Bone pistol'?..."

Hope entered the shuttlebay spying Batai in the EV suit she held back a snicker. "Hello, sorry it took me a little bit to get back to the bay. I was working with my sphere to make sure it wouldn't malfunction under water." She smirked at Batai "How's the suit treating you?"

Rolling his eyes, he replied "It is rather snug Ensign, but not too bad. Thank you for your hard work on the modifications." Turning to the group he said "Before we board, I do want to let you know that the Neeru, from what I understand, are a very different type of people. Physically, they resemble humanoid sized Terran shrimp, and are fully aquatic. Culturally, they have a strong connection to the water their planet is composed of. It is referred to in many aspects of their culture." Pausing, he added "I will caution everyone to follow my lead when we first meet the welcoming delegation. Although they have been sharing the facility with the Federation scientists, they are still not overly used to outsiders. The crisis with the facility has forced them to ask for help, and they may not be overly pleased about that." Thinking for a moment, he added "Does anyone have any questions before we depart?"

Bishop cleared his throat to get the captain's attention. "Will our repair efforts be carried out strictly by us, or will the Neeru be attempting to assist us?" He glanced over at Hope, acknowledging her as co-lead for their task.

Hope gave an acknowledging smile to Bishop.

Looking to Bishop, Batai replied "That's a good question Mr. Bishop. From my understanding the facility is of both Federation and Neeru design. Their distress call indicated we needed to help with repairs, but I am unsure how much assistance the Neeru will provide. To that end, we have to at least inform them that they can help, especially in terms of their systems."

"The best way to determine what's required is for us to go down there and find out rather than speculate up here" Kevin said "I'm still a little bit unsure as to why the Neeru and Federation are not forthcoming with more detailed information on what it is that's gone wrong and that has my alarm bells ringing."

He turned to the Captain and said "Might I suggest that we don't all beam down at the same time Sir, instead, we do it in two, just to be on the safe side? I can beam down with Lt Bishop and reconnoitre the area and speak to the people down there and report back to you in, say, thirty minutes ?"

Glancing at a padd he was holding, Batai thought for a moment and replied "Agreed Commander. Perhaps it would be prudent to not have all of our resources tied up in the initial diplomatic overtures. Please transport directly to the facility. Your contacts will be the Chief Federation Scientist, Doctor Mora Sanderson, and Lellim, the senior researcher for the Neeru. Please check in as soon as you are able, with an initial survey of the damage and the wounded."

"Aye Sir" Kevin replied.

Turning to the Chief Engineer Kevin said "Ok, let's get to it Chief."

Turning to the rest of the group he said "The rest of us will begin our trip to the designated meeting point with the welcoming delegation." Walking forward, he lead the group into the runabout. Taking a seat at the co-pilot station, he said "Lieutenant Graydon, please take the conn, and set a course to the rendezvous point. Ensign Martin, take the auxiliary console, and monitor the modifications to the runabout to ensure there are no abnormalities. Phadrea, Westphall, you two will spend our short journey reviewing what we know about the Neeru physiology."

"Yes, sir," Cassidy nodded before boarding the runabout. She briefly made eye contact with Phaedra, eager to partner up and learn about the interesting physiology of the Neeru people.

"Aye, captain," Graydon said with a curt nod before slipping into the conn chair, the artificial fingers on his right hand making faint tapping sounds on the console as he brought the shuttle engines online and plotted a course through the atmosphere and to the Neeru meeting place.

Hope leaned over to Graydon. "Once we hit the water you will want to press these three buttons in this sequence." She pointed to a red, then, blue, then yellow button on the console next to him. "This will deploy the rudders and the flaps for steering. Otherwise the shuttle will operate the same as it does in space."

Graydon nodded as he watched Hope guide her fingers to the atmospheric controls. "Thanks for reminding me, ensign. I might have forgotten that last bit. I wouldn't want to be responsible for a sluggish or bumpy ride once we hit the ocean." His eyes focused on the console, raising the shuttle ramp and firing up the engines.

Tapping his combadge he said "Runabout Currie to Bridge. Cadet Ellis, we are requesting permission to depart. Also, please ensure you are monitoring the course of the vessel, we don't want to disturb any of the local wildlife if we can help it."

"Understood Currie," Eliis replied. "Adjusting sensors in your direction. You are clear so far. The locals are keeping their distance. I don't think they have noticed you yet. I do suggest silent running if possible sir."

Moments later the two teams left Sirona, both eager to get to work, and help how they could.

To Be Continued.


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