Trek Among The Derelicts (Session 7)

It only takes a couple of hours to close the distance between us and the alien borehole. The thing is massive, easily a kilometer across, and it’s humming. The energy readings are all over the charts, and the closer we get to the thing, the more it seems to be affecting my tricorder’s ability to take relevant readings.

We’re almost right up on the borehole when I see something move at the edge of the rim. A silhouette, framed by the soft, purple rays of the setting sun. When she stands, I recognize her immediately. It’s the way she moves, sharp and precise. It’s also the hair, pinned up in a tight bun. It’s Vickers. It has to be.

I touch my phaser reflexively, but I don’t draw it. Section 31 is still Federation. Vickers is still human. We’re on the same side.

Or at least, we’re supposed to be.

(from prompting ChatGPT - Art from Bing)

The instant she sees us, she pulls her phaser and points it at us. “Don’t move!” She shouts, and I stop, staying rooted to the spot. I raise my hands slowly, showing her that I’m not a threat. Beside me, on my right, I know Reed is doing exactly the same as me. Vickers pulls out a tricorder and scans us both, long and thorough. When she bites her lip and starts backing off, that’s when I really start to get nervous.

“Crewman! You in the blue!” She shouts at me, gesturing with her phaser. “Left, ten paces.” When I hesitate, she shouts. “Move it, crewman!”

Reed and I look at each other as I move. He seems calm, unusually so. He even grins when Vickers points her phaser at him. His fingers start to twitch. His teeth click together, and suddenly I know exactly why she told me to move. I know exactly what is about to happen.

I start running. I draw my own phaser and prepare to point it at Reed the instant I’m out of lunging range. Already, his teeth are stretching, sharpening, his eyes going void black as he drops to a crouch, snarling.

There’s a hiss and a sizzling, squelching sound as the blast from Commander Vickers’s phaser vaporizes the infected crewman, leaving nothing but ash. Vickers closes the distance between us in an instant, grabs me roughly and yanks me around to face her. Her eyes search my features, and when she recognizes me, I see the barest edge of a smile crack across her lips.

“I know you,” she says, letting go of my arm. “The nosy science officer. Wynne, was it?”

“Wulfe,” I correct her, putting away my phaser and straightening my uniform. “I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume I’m not infected by the Nalaraan Parasites.”

Vickers side-eyes me when I namedrop the threat, then finally turns to face me fully again. 

“Nosy science officer,” she says it again. “No, you’re not infected. The Nalaraan spores are a bloodborne pathogen. It takes an open wound to transmit them.” She looks at the cut at the edge of my scalp. “You didn’t let him touch you. Good.”

“I may have–” I throw it out there without thinking about it. “I probably brushed Reed’s hand getting into the Peregrine. I definitely grabbed his uniform a couple of times.” 

“Bloodborne,” she reminds me. “Wound to wound. The spores die after a few seconds out in the open in an atmosphere. If there was any danger, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.”

“Right,” I grit my teeth. “I’d be a pile of ash. I get it.”

“Since you’re not a pile of ash, and you already know what we’re dealing with, I could use your help with this,” Vickers says, pushing something boxy into my hands. Turning it over, I realize that it’s Federation tech, but something more advanced than the usual field equipment. It’s probably black ops, experimental, a closely guarded secret. The device switches online easily enough, and a quick tap through the LCARS menu tells me everything I need to know about its function.

“It’s a transporter,” I look up at her. “Or, well, part of one.”

“The main unit is up here,” Vickers says, gesturing at a pad that’s been folded out in the sand. “The part you’re holding is the coordination unit. You tell it where you want to go, anywhere within five thousand meters, even if there’s a kilometer of solid rock in the way, and it’ll get you there. There’s enough juice in one of these for four jumps. Two out and two back.”

“Where are we going?” I ask her as she picks up a second coordination unit.

“Down,” is all she says, glancing over the edge of the borehole. “We’re going down.”

Our Officer:

Lt. Commander Elara Wulfe
Red (Health): 2
Blue (Bio-Science): 3
White (Technical): 2
Green (Agility): 2
Black (Shooting): 1

PADD with Starfleet Intelligence File on it.
PADD with First Contact Protocol on it.
Box of isolinear chips
Phaser (non-functional).
A standard issue tool kit
Fusion capacitor
Oxygen mask,
Distress beacon
Three transporter buffers
Type II phaser


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