JP | CSci & SciO & Various NPCs | Lt Lionza & Ens Kharg | "The Cave"
Reconstruction and Refocus
Cresting a ridge of jagged, unsteady rock face, Ayissa paused to wait for the rest of her small party to join her. Gulping for breath, she hoped the device she wore could keep up with the demand she was placing on it. If it could not, it should be evident swiftly enough. Wiping the back of a hand across her ridged brow, the scientist finally had herself centered enough to turn attention back to tricorder in hand. In an instant, all weariness was pushed aside, replaced by a flare of unbridled exhilaration.
Half-turning sharply, she nearly dislodged herself from her perch, looking back to where Lionza was just now coming to meet her. "Lieutenant! Look!" Was exclaimed, the display of the tricorder practically being shoved in the other woman's face. "The signal is emanating within three hundred meters!"
Maria also wasn't not used to this much physical labor. Finally making it where Ayissa was Maria was panting and sweaty. "300 meters. Into the cave." Maria said taking out her water and taking a healthy swig of it. "What are the chances our communicators will work down in there?" Maria asked nodding to the cave entrance.
"Slim to none." Kharg replied, her tone remaining far too jovial for the information she was giving. Withdrawing her device back into her own personal space, the Ensign set about placing one of their beacons, as they were stopped. "But these little delights are still working beautifully. If we get eaten by some hungry alien or slip and fall to our doom, the ship should still be able to recover our information."
Maria was grateful for these devices. "Good. Okay let's put one here and one right outside of the cave. And I want one of the security to stay outside the cave as well staying in constant contact with the pilot." Maria said looking around the group. "Myself, ensign Kharg and lieutenant zh'Neilvvh along with you two," Maria said nodding to the two security officers, "well be heading into the cave."
Now recovered from the climb, and with the plan more or less in place, Ayissa began the small descent towards the cave entrance. All the while trying very hard to remain a consummate professional as she was supposed to be, instead of scampering ahead to see what lay in store. Pausing a few paces away, there was a small thrill as she saw the soft blue-green glow of something bioluminescent a little ways in. Suppressing the urge to investigate further, she instead ensured that their beacon was placed, once again.
"I'll remain, and keep contact." The Bajoran Security officer intoned, resting a hand lightly on the phaser in her belt.
"If we are not back, or at least have not reported, in two hours, then something has probably gone awry." Kharg nodded, stepping just to the very edge of the aperture, straining her eyes against the darkness for a better glimpse of what lay within.
"Yes. Two hours. If you hear or see us come out of the cave start the emergency action plan." Maria said as she adjusted her wrist flashlight. "With these devices our vitals should also be being sent to your tricorder that'll also help keep track of us."
Giving a small salute, Fero nodded her understanding.
Taking that as a go-ahead, Kharg boldly took a few steps into the dark opening of the cave, impressed at how the matter of a few feet away from the outside made such a dramatic shift in illumination. It was unsurprising, given that there was no actual solar body supplying this planet, but still intriguing none the less. Adjusting her light to a dimmer setting, so as to not make her eyes strain too hard, the scientist took slow, exploratory steps. Approaching the soft blue-green glow, she found that it was given by some kind of lichen-like plant, clinging to the craggy rock face where a thin sheen of moisture lay over the stone itself.
"I wish we had time to take samples..." Ayissa breathed out sadly, fingers reaching towards the softly luminescent patch, but knowing better than to actually touch anything without analyzing first.
Maria finally walked into the cave running her wrist light marveling at the majestic of the entrance. "Ensign no touching please!" Maria said with a light chuckle as she walked over to the wall she was looking at. "Help me with collecting a few samples and scans. We have time."
"I think..." Ayissa mused, prodding at her padd once more, "that I would like to search just a little bit further, before we take the time to collect. We have no idea how deep this cave may go, and if the signal is coming from here... Well, I am probably more curious to find out what that is!"
"Hold on we can use these." Maria said pulling out decent size spider looking things. As these move through the cave it'll map things for us." Maria said tossing the four of them and watched them scurry off in four different directions. "Go ahead and explore ahead a little but not too far." Maria added as set about to collect samples and scan the moss like substance.
Resisting the urge to pout at the far wiser idea of having something non-living do the initial exploration, Ayissa took the allowance for a bit of wandering anyway. "Ensign Vrang?" She asked softly, casting a slight glance towards the Klingon security officer.
"Yes." Vrang nodded, taking a few steps to place himself beside her without hesitation.
After getting the base samples and scans Maria looked at her PADD and saw where Ayissa and her security escort. Sighing she looked at hers. "Let's go." Maria said finding the passage they had took.
Carefully sweeping her light before her, Kharg crept slowly through the cave. Shortly beyond where they had entered, the space narrowed to a passage that could fit one person through at a time. The silence was nearly deafening; broken only by their footfalls and drawing of breath.
It was unclear how long they wandered. With the agonizing slowness of caution, as well as the hybrid's noted refusal to actually keep track of the time, her mind too caught up in the delight and fear of adventure. Her companion said nothing, so neither did she; content to edge through the dark unknown.
As the tunnel curved slightly, a dim reddish glow began seeping through, casting everything around the pair in a sinister hue. Feeling the sudden weight of Vrang's hand on her shoulder, it took a great effort to choke back a frightened yelp, half turning to look at the Security officer instead.
Seemingly also unwilling to breach the quiet pall, Vrang jerked his head in the direction they had come, pulling on the woman's shoulder gently. Shaking him off, Ayissa felt the thrill of determination override her misgivings. The scans showed the signal should be right here. Drawing her phaser, the hybrid began inching forwards again, hugging the stone surface of the passage.
Turning once again, the area opened up once again, revealing a small cavern. An emitter rested near the rear, glowing a dull, slightly pulsing, crimson. Bathed in the eerie light, a body lay near the device, it's clothes and flesh decayed enough that it made immediate identification call but impossible.
Slowly Ayissa lifted her tricorder, ready to approach. Once again, she found herself within her fellow Klingon's grasp. This time, as they exchanged a mute look, the scientist accepted the warning. Retreating to the edge of the cavern, she spoke softly into her communicator. "Kharg to Lionza. I believe I've found what we're looking for..."
Lieutenant Maria Lionza
Chief Science Officer
Ensign Ayissa Kharg