Previous Next

Priapus (Part II)

Posted on Mon May 13th, 2024 @ 9:31am by Commander Grace Vetur & Lieutenant Commander Yivliph Ra-Gruvloveii & Lieutenant Commander Anahera Chernova & Lieutenant Commander Aaron Marcus & Lieutenant Zero & Lieutenant Amanda Rose & Lieutenant Percival Bálor Ph.D

1,564 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Standing By
Timeline: MD01


"In the safest area of the planet, subtropical conditions. Expect hot and humid" Percy informed them. "Priapus was charted first by the Federation during the Dominion War, but the star system is located in a no man’s land close to the fringes of the Romulan Star Empire. We waited well after the war to start sending people down there. It has ruins from an ancient civilization that we still know very little about, but a deep cavernous system is lined with starithium and deposits of iridium."

Percy pressed on "We've lost all contact with the Federation Archeological team that was down there. The iridium isn't much of a concern, but the starithium is a problem. It's a metallic ore with sensor deflecting properties. Even in orbit, our sensors won't be reliable at locating the archeologist, especially if they are down in the caves."


"Will tricorders work if a team is on the planet, or will they need to do some tracking?" Grace asked.

Percy shrugged "I think that's going to be a bit of guessing game until we are actually down there. I suspect in areas with heavier concentrations, no. In other places, we may be able to."

Grace nodded. "Thank you. That will give us an idea of what we may need when we get to the planet. Any other observations from previous reports?"

"Navigational hazards to even get to the planet," he replied. "We haven't had many opportunities to have people on the planet's surface. It's near the Bassen Rift, Captain. That alone means electromagnetic storms which, if they get bad enough, we'll need to break orbit and allow them time to pass."

"I want a list of options before we get there." Grace looked at the others gathered around the table. "That goes for the rest of you. Do you have any questions for Lieutenant Bálor?"

"Couldn't we reinforce the shields by realigning the deflector dish?" Anahera asked. "I've done so on smaller vessels."

"I focus on plants and plant accessories," replied Percy. He did know more than just botany of course, but the technical stuff was not his expertise. "I'd leave that in the capable hands of Zero or Nishikata."

As if mentioning his name invoked his presence, the doors opened and Zero walked into the Briefing Room. He paused for a moment, looking around at everyone, before nodding and proceeding to an empty chair. "I apologize for my late arrival. My alcove did not disengage until recently. I will make adjustments to allow for emergency disengaging when necessary."

Yiv nodded in acknowledgement, 'I'm sure the adjustments will suffice.'

Watching and waiting for his turn, Yiv leaned in. 'Two questions Lieutenant, how big is this archaeological team? And do we know if the Romulans have an interest in the world?'

"Two answers," Percy deflected. "It should be twelve from the roster I have looked at. We do not know, but the ore on that planet is useful and the planet itself has mysteries to it. The likelihood is there."

"More importantly, what do we know about these archaeologists. Do we have their last transmissions? Logs? Any indications of something unusual going on with them or the planet before contact was lost?" Amanda asked with keen interest.

Percy looked at Amanda. "That's where I need your help," Percy said with a nod. He also looked at Doctor Marcus. "Both of yours. We can get access to their logs and the last transmissions. I have personnel files, but I trust the two of you can find psychological evaluations and medical records."

"I've done a bit of research and it's rather disturbing how often these remote researchers snap or have some sort of psychological breakdown. I found one case from Earth in the 21st century in Antarctica where a Russian researcher tried to stab a fellow researcher for spoiling the endings to books" Percy shrugged.

Amanda thought to herself, It is likely that they encountered and had to deal with someone like you.

Aaron's face was as unflinching as the staunchest Vulcan. However, his brain was awash with thoughts. Because going through medical records is really going to save these people.

"Although snapping and murdering the expedition is more likely to be the plot of a holonovel," Grace said, feeling she needed to bring a touch of reality to what Percy was saying. "But knowing who was on the expedition and if there's anyone with medical or psychological needs will be helpful for when we arrive. There's every likelihood they'll need assistance and being prepared will give us that much of a head start."

"Do we know what kind of equipment and supplies the expedition has access to?" Anahera asked wanting to know what they'd be up against, if one or more of the expedition personnel had undergone some form of mental break.

All these questions Percy thought. He was not sure how Grace managed one of these briefings. "I'm sorry, I have not requested a full detailed list of what they had. I'm sure we can surmise tricorders, medical kits, and phasers," said Percy. "Given the nature of cave exploration, phaser drills and rock climbing equipment."

"It depends on the nature of the caves," Grace interjected. "And the size. There are a good number of caves and cave systems where I come from, and they vary greatly. I think we'll have time to do some searching and see if anyone on the archaeological team mentioned caves in one of their reports. We can also get a better idea of the terrain and what we might need." Although she had expected Percy to know a little more. But this was his first time giving a report like this. "If nothing else, we can scan the area where the archaeologists were once we arrive."

"Just get me access to the records and I can work up the psychological profiles and gain access to any records to the psychological profiles of the researchers. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy," Amanda replied with a knowing smile.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy? Grace thought, but was not going to ask. "Yes, that would be appreciated."

'It seems we have the basis for a plan of action,' Yiv observed, 'if we can follow up on some of the finer details asked for, we can allow our Chief Science Officer to begin assembling his Away Team.'

"Agreed," Grace said. "If there are no further questions, I'd like Lieutenant Bálor and Doctor Marcus to organize a team to go down to the planet. I'd like security to accompany them. For the rest, we'll have to see what we find when we get there." She looked around at the assembled staff. "Any questions?"

"I suggest we use the new Jungle Variant Uniform. It would make things a bit more comfortable for the Away Team." Anahera said. "Plus, I've been waiting for a while to use them under field conditions."

Percy nodded agreeing with each of those conditions. "Doctor, I would suggest we ensure anyone going with us is up to date on any and all vaccinations. I'd also recommend brewing us ointment for bug bites" stated Percy. "There's still a lot of unknowns down there in terms of plant and insect life." The plants were not so much of an issue for Percy, but the insects did make him think about an Entomologist he had briefly dated.

"Is there an injection that can temporarily made the blood unpalatable to mosquitoes and biting insects?" Grace asked.

Aaron could not believe what he saw and heard here. There was a group of scientists and their very lives were in danger but this crew was worried about insect bites. "I will make sure to bring some calamine lotion." That was meant to be part of his internal monologue but Aaron seemed to have said that aloud.

We probably could synthesize something from Amanda's blood. She's repellent enough thought Percy.

"Our first priority is to determine the status of the scientists. That will be science, medical, and security. Everyone else needs to be ready, depending on what we find. And while we're here, I think some additional scanning wouldn't go amiss," Grace said, noting the increased tension in the room, but not sure where it came from.

Percy looked at Grace. "You'll get an excellent opportunity to experience storms up close and personal though I wouldn't recommend staying in orbit. They can be particularly severe."

"Noted. Thank you," she replied. Although she did enjoy a good storm, it was best to observe one from a safe location--or a safe distance.

She looked at each of her senior staff in turn. "Any final questions or comments?"

'Let's get to it,' Yiv advised.

Amanda shook her head and prepared to head to her office to access all of the records on the researchers. She was anxious to do something that might be beneficial for the ship. It had been too long since anyone felt her worth.

Grace nodded at Yiv's words. "In that case, you're all dismissed."


Lieutenant Percival Bálor
Chief Science Officer

Commander Grace Vetur
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Aaron Marcus
Chief Medical Officer

Lieutenant Commander Yivliph Ra-Gruvloveii
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Commander Anahera Chernova
Chief Security Officer

Lieutenant Amanda Rose
Chief Counselor

Lieutenant Zero
Chief Operations Officer


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed