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Thread: Star Trek RPG - Mission #4: "Codex Aelyrr"

  1. #401
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    Rangin details the new set of coordinates to Transporter Room one, and sends Ens. St Croix the frequencies for tracking the zither and the current locations of the lifesigns in the local area.

    Then all he can do is sit back and wait for the scanner to confirm the two genomes and wonder who the person is?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  2. #402
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    Graham looks at the bartender, then around the bar, slowly, and back to the bartender. He sits at the bar. "We appreciate your help confirming that some of our colleagues were here earlier," he says drily. He gestures for Rawlings to approach. "But we'd like to make sure it was our missing colleague, not simply one of the other crew on shore leave. Was this the woman who was here earlier?" He gestures again for Rawlings to pull up an image on the tricorder.

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    Rangin refines the scan parameters but learns little more than he already knows about the solitary, stationary figure far below. There are limits even to the Yorktown's advanced sensors.

    The bartender looks at the picture Rawlings shows him on the tricorder's small display screen. The older blonde woman - Graham doesn't recognize her himself, although she is in Starfleet red - looks nothing like Kylah. The bartender says at once, "No, that's not her."

    The Captain rubs her chin and leans back in her chair. "I understand Ens. Kylah is a friend of yours, Mr. Rangin. Why don't you go along with the second Security team? You too, Dr. T'Var. Just in case."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 20 May 2015 at 10:40 PM.

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    Graham looks puzzled, turns to look at the bartender and then tricorder, and then says to Rawlings, "What about Ens. Kylah?"

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    Rawlings looks at Graham and raises an eyebrow. He coughs. "We have, uh, several Ens. Kylahs, as you know, sir. How about this one?" He brings up another picture, again of a woman in Starfleet red. She is black and has noticeable freckles on her wide face. Graham vaguely remembers her as being a warp drive technician, but doesn't recall her name.

    The bartender scoffs, "That's not her, either. How many officers named Kylah do you have missing, anyway?"

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    Graham shakes his head and sighs, gesturing with his hands at Rawlings like "what the hell are you doing?" then turns back to the bartender and asks, "Computer problems, I guess. Maybe you could describe her?"

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    The bartender sighs heavily. "You Feddies... well, she was short, brunette, nice curves. Soft voice. Pale skin."

    "Oh, that Kylah!" Rawlings says, winking at Graham on the side away from the bartender. He brings up her correct service-record picture on the tricorder screen. "Is this her?"

    "Yes...." says the bartender after a moment. "But she didn't look that good. She looked kind of tired, or worried."

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    Rangin's head flicks round from looking at the display to view the back of the Captain's chair where the suggestion came from. Eyes slightly wide and heart beginning to race, he freezes in situ as he tries to work out what he should say. One small part of him is terrified to move, not wanting to go in case it is Kylah, if he doesn't see her, if she is not there, then perhaps it never happened. The other part of him knows that he needs to face it, to find out what is down there. It was his scans that detected it, he should be there to discover the result, rightly or wrongly.

    "Yes Captain." his voice still calm despite his internal turmoil, "she is..."

    He quickly switches the scan for determining the type of humanoid to just that of detecting humanoids, perhaps a little something that Ens. Kylah would not like the rest of the ship knowing. It is something he is going to ask her, though, along with all the other secrets she had been hiding from him.

    "...on my way."

    He stands nervously, leaving the science station ready for someone to take his place and heads to the turbolift to join Dr T'Var in heading for Transporter Room 1.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Lt. Joseph Bancroft, the astrophysicist, relieves Rangin at the Science post. Ens. Nell Carmichael, a medic, takes the Life Sciences console. Rangin and T'Var get on the turbolift.

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    Collins turns to Jones "Could you bring up a picture of Kylah on your tricorder, please? Let's see if any of the people around here saw her go in or out."

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    Jones does so. There are only two dozen or so people along the street. Several glance at the picture and shake their heads; one man says with great certainty that he saw her at a club across town yesterday. Most passersby decline to respond, however, or walk the other way as you approach them.

    A gray-and-white aircar with THOTH CONSTABULARY emblazoned on the side drops from the sky. Two uniformed officers, in dark gray with silver badges, both Human, one female and one male, get out and approach Collins. The man says, "I'm Sergeant Marcucci; this is Officer Talbot. We heard about your missing shipmate. We have her on our watchlist, but no news yet. Anything here?"

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    Collins returns the officer's greeting "I'm Lt.JG Collins, this is LT JG Jones, and Ensign Kjaerstad" she says as she indicates her shipmates. "No, we haven't gotten anywhere yet. All we know for certain is this bar is the last known location of our missing ensign's communicator. Ensigns Rawlings and Graham are in there now to see if anyone has any additional information. Maybe they'll have better luck with the bartender than I did."

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    It's all Rangin can do to stop himself fidgeting nervously in the turbolift along his his more impassive colleague. Thoughts keep running through his head of what they will find. It's only a minute or so to get to the transporter room, meet up with Security and beam down. Only a minute or two, so why does it feel like he is wading through treacle and that time has slowed to a crawl.

    If she is there, what does he say, how should he react, after all she's the one who is in the middle of nowhere, the one with all the secrets, the one who abandoned him...the one he still hopes is safe and unharmed and generally furious about how she ended up there.

    All Rangin wants to do now is get it over and done with, for better of for worse.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Sgt. Marcucci says, "Ysobel's isn't a typical watering hole for Fleet guys - or gals - dirtside. Any idea why your missing officer might have come here?"

    The turbolift whisks the Coridanite xenobiologist and the Vulcan physician to a corridor just a short walk from Transporter Room 1. There, they find Ens. St. Croix and the three other members of her Security team; she introduces them as Spec/1 Fox and Crewmen Harbaoui and Wallach. Dr. T'Var has her medikit and medical tricorder, of course; what does Rangin wish to take other than his communicator?
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 21 May 2015 at 04:30 PM.

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    Graham's eyes narrow slightly, but he nods acknowledgment without comment. Worried...about what? Or who?

    The other Starfleet officer--can you describe him?
    Did they talk? Did you happen to overhear anything they said?
    Did she talk to anyone else in here? Go anywhere else besides this main room?
    Did she you speak with you? Did she ask you for anything? Directions? Help?

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    Rangin decides to treat it like any other away mission. In some ways that state of mind is what he needs right now: calm, dispassionate and relaxed.

    He picks up a tricorder and a phaser-1 to go along with him.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Nia keeps her gaze contained to mildly curious, but inwardly she's vacillating between concern and amusement. Five--no, six security officers, plus a doc and a... what's Rangin again? Right, a xenobiologist, because that'll be useful on the ground. All for one missing ensign barely past her first month's anniversary on board. She shakes her head infinitesimally. Note to self: in your next incarnation, try to come back as Elasian royalty.

    "Am I alone here, or is this overkill?" she says to Bennett in a nearly silent murmur, "I'll say this, the kid had better hope something happened to her. If Vargas's deployed half the security staff and it turns out she was just off buying a new tiara, he'll wrap it around her neck."

    In a louder voice, she turns to the aforementioned First Officer. "Excuse me, Commander?" she says respectfully. "Have we checked the transporter records as far as where Mr. Kylah beamed down to the planet in the first place? Did she have any specific reason for going to that particular neighborhood in Thoth? For that matter, do we know that she didn't ask one of the transporter engineers to beam her to Hathor?"

    Even as she speaks, beneath her panel her hand busily types on her communicator:

    COLLINS, LT JG - Evidence suggests Kylah in Hathor, town 70km SE from Thoth. Zither belonging to her located there, plus 1 lifeform. Thought you'd want to know. Any fast local transport should be checked. - ONN, NIA, LT

    On a whim, she copies Graham on the message. Nia bets that a man with his experience is probably doing the bulk of the witness interviewing--or intimidating, as the case may be.

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    "Excuse me a moment" Collins says when she hears her communicator beep. She reads Lt. Onn's message and replies Thank you, very helpful, will investigate. She hands her communicator to Jones so that he can read the incoming message as well, and turns to the local cops. "Sergeant Marcucci, what's the fastest way to Hathor? Something that could get us there in, say, five minutes or less?" Collins' demeanor is businesslike but polite. These local guys could be up and up or they could be on the take, she thinks, but best not to piss them off in either case.

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    The bartender describes the other officer in such a way that Graham knows it must be Rangin. He says, "They did talk, a little, but I didn't hear what they said. She was up and down a couple of times. She talked to me and also to a woman who was ill in the bathroom when she was in there. Those were the only places she went, I think. She only spoke to me about ordering drinks... oh, and about finding passage offworld."

    Bennett shrugs and says quietly, "A missing crewmember, alone, with her issues and a nonfunctioning communicator? You might want the same 'overkill' if it was you."

    Vargas says, "Thank you, Mr. Onn. We're looking into that. There's no record of anyone being beamed down to Hathor."

    The police sergeant thinks a moment. "We could take two of you there in our car, if you like, but the quickest way would just be to beam there."

    St. Croix, Rangin, T'Var and the others step up onto the transporter platform. "Energize," St. Croix says.

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    Collins quietly asks Jones to scan for residual transporter energy in the vicinity, then turns to Marcucci and asks "Do you have site-to-site transporter capability here?"

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    Nia acknowledges Vargas's comment, then turns to Bennett with a raised eyebrow. "News to me that she has 'issues,'" she murmurs. "But since she's new, you'd obviously know her better than I do, considering your job. All I know is the shipload of gossip that's surrounded her over the past couple of weeks--well, since she boarded, really."

    With a shrug, she glances down at the return message from Collins and places her communicator back on her belt. "Issues," she repeats. "Now you've made me curious. Not that it's my business. But trust me, I'm no ghoul. Whatever her problems are, I hope she's safe and well and survives to get chewed out by Vargas--or, if she's lucky, he'll let Cheverez do the honors." Nia purses her lips in thought before continuing. "Truth is, if something has happened to her under our watch--aside from the personal tragedy--there could be some serious diplomatic repercussions."

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    Rangin stands on the platform, breathing deeply to relax himself, trying to prepare for what he might see on the planet below.

    As St Croix calls out, he tenses ready to spring into whatever action is required, unwilling to be caught by surprise.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  23. #423
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    Passage offworld? What the hell... Graham thinks. And what the hell is Rangin doing coming back on duty like he has nothing to report...?

    Graham glances quickly at Rawlings, then back to the bartender. He realizes he has a message, but for the moment stays focused on the bartender.

    "Why would someone who just came in on a starship want another way offworld--did she tell you?" He leans a little toward the bartender and asks in a lower voice. "And did you give her any advice on how?"
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 22 May 2015 at 11:33 AM. Reason: spelling corrections.

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    Using his tricorder, Jones scans for residual transporter traces in the immediate vicinity and finds three, faintly, but none more recent than six hours before. Sgt. Marcucci says, "No, we don't have site-to-site transporter capability. But there's a public transporter station a few blocks away, if you can't use your ship's."

    Bennett looks regretful. "I shouldn't have said that - please forget it, and don't repeat it. I don't like to pass on scuttlebutt."

    The bartender shrugs. "She seemed unhappy - like she had something to hide, or to get away from. She didn't say anything specific about that, though. All I said was that we had lots of starship crews through here, and that there were several even then, when we were talking."

    St. Croix, Rangin, T'Var and the others rematerialize on a paved, weed-infested open area. Several run-down industrial buildings are nearby, but their eyes are immediately drawn to the crumpled form of Ens. Kylah.

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    Graham's increasingly confused--and agitated. What the hell is going on here?

    He glances around the room. "Who did she speak to of these crew? Anyone who's still here? Anybody you recognized?" He pauses a moment. "Did she leave with anyone?"

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    Collins's communicator beeps. When she answers, Cmdr. Vargas says, "We've sent down a second landing party to Hathor, about 70 km southeast of you. Scans detected an Elasian crystal there. Ens. St. Croix is in command."

    The bartender looks around. "No, she didn't speak to any of these people. She talked to someone from one of the free traders - I think it was the Scamp. Maybe the Wistful Penelope? Not sure. Anyway, I didn't notice when she left, or with who."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 22 May 2015 at 02:52 PM.

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    "Acknowledged," Collins says into the communicator, "Thank you, Sir. Collins out." She turns to the others. "Sergeant, we have another landing party in Hathor now. We appreciate any local support you can lend them. I don't know yet if there will be any follow up investigation, but may we contact you for assistance if need be?"

    After Marcucci answers, she will ask Kjaerstad to go in and tell Graham and Rawlings about the other group.

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    "Of course," the sergeant says, touching his cap. "Give me a second, and I'll pass the word to the Hathor police."

    Kjaerstad goes into the bar and quietly tells Graham and Rawlings about the second landing party.

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    "Thank you," Collins offers her hand to Marcucci to shake. She then turns to Jones "Do you think you'll get a different reading if you scan for transporter energy at the back of the bar?"

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    "Oh no, what have I done?" Rangin whispers to himself as he looks across at the battered and collapsed figure lying not far away. His worst fears have come to pass, Kylah lying there bloodstained, in an unfamiliar and ripped dress, awkwardly holding the bag that had her zither in.

    He cannot bring himself to move closer, whatever had befallen her, he wonders if it would have been different if he had not shouted at her, if they had talked, and then she would not be lying there unmoving amongst the dust and grime.

    But she was a responsible adult, capable of making her own decisions and those decisions had led her here. But as her friend, Rangin should have been there for her, to stop her doing whatever she had done that had led to this, regardless of what it was, or how he felt about her.

    Shaking himself free of the paralysis that his inner turmoil gripped him with, though his feet will still not move, Rangin pulls out his communicator and calls back to the ship. "Rangin to Yorktown, we have located Ens. Kylah, She's down, please standby."

    He looks across glassy-eyed to where St Croix is and, still unwilling to fully accept the truth in front of him, asks "Orders?"
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Well she didn't leave with Rangin, that's for goddamned sure, Graham thinks. Because he's back on the ship and she's nowhere to be found. Then after second he thinks, Or she did leave with him...and that looks even worse.

    When he's interrupted by Kjaerstad, Graham excuses himself from speaking with the bartender asks Rawlings and Kjaerstad to show Kylah's--real--picture to the other bar patrons and ask if they'd seen her earlier in the day (and any other relevant information if they had).

    He hails Yorktown to ask them to determine if Scamp and are still in port, as their crew may have had contact with Kylah--then remembers to check the message he received earlier.

    He's surprised it's from Onn. He's more surprised by the content--but appreciative. He even nods just slightly. Can't have too many friends who appreciate the value of back channeling information.


    Their "meeting" at the pool comes to mind and for a moment "back channeling" carries with it a very different possible meaning...

    Then he full processes the message. Looks afraid. Getting off planet. Somehow, in transit--running from...someone on planet?...Rangin?

    Any theory he can come up with is outlandish but there's not a lot that fits. And why the hell would Rangin leave her in this shithole bar and come back on duty without a goddamned word?


    He's too impatient to follow chain of command--at least I know I can trust St. Croix. He steps to spot away from other parts and direct channels her. "Graham to St. Croix--what have you found?"

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    T'Var quickly moves to Kylah's side and does a thorough medical scan. The doctor is confident the others will protect both her and the fallen ensign if need be.

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    Sgt. Marcucci shakes hands with Lt. JG Collins and says goodbye. He and his partner climb back into their aircar and soon rise out of sight. Jones says, "No, ma'am, my scan should cover at least 100m in every direction."

    Cmdr. Vargas acknowledges Rangin's report.

    Ens. St. Croix says, "Mr. Rangin, please scan the vicinity." She tells the other Security officers, "Fan out, gentlemen. See if you can find anyone who might have something to do with... what's happened." She answers Graham's call, and gives him a full report.

    From the Yorktown, Ens. Mary Three Crows next responds to Graham. "The Scamp is still in orbit. What was the other ship you mentioned? There was apparently a transmission glitch."

    Through her scan, Dr. T'Var learns that Kylah is concussed, with a hairline fracture to her skull, a broken wrist, two broken ribs and some minor contusions. Her condition is serious but by no means terminal. She is capable of being transported, or the doctor could treat her there.

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    "Okay." Collins replies to Jones, then opens her communicator and calls her boss. "Collins to Vargas, we're getting very little of use here right now, but the local police have been helpful, and will be available if we need them. Should we join the other team or return to the ship?"

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    Vargas says, "Prepare to return to the ship. Mr. Kylah has been found unconscious and we're now waiting for a medical update."

    Rawlings and Kjaerstad have by now shown Kylah's picture to everyone in the bar, as Graham ordered. No one remembers - or will admit to - having seen her other than the bartender.

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    "Acknowledged, Sir. Stand by for transport. Collins out." She puts away the communicator and heads for the bar entrance. "C'mon," she says to Jones.

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    T'Var contacts the Yorktown regarding Kylah's medical condition. "I would recommend transport to the ship for immediate treatment," the doctor says.

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    At St Croix's order, Rangin starts scanning with his tricorder, and leaving T'Var to take care of Kylah. He starts to follow back where she came from, figuring it would answer a few questions. He had found her, now his job was to find out how she got here in the first place.

    One thought did bring some slight relief. If he hadn't thought to look for her zither, they might never have found her, or if they had, perhaps when it was too late.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    There's a tight, cold knot in Graham's stomach when he hears the news. His voice is measured and flat as he responds to Three Crows. "Wistful Penelope, according to our source. Maybe an inaccurate recollection--check for phonetic matches."

    He direct messages Collins. "Permission to return to Yorktown, L-T? I have some...information...I'll fill you in on face-to-face."

    While he waits for a reply, Graham lowers his communicator and returns to the bar. He leans on the bar and begins almost offhandedly. "Thanks for your time. Oh, and we found our crewmate, by the way." He lowers his voice. "Pretty badly beat up." He holds the bartender's eye and adds matter-of-factly. "If there's anything you might have 'forgotten' to tell us that we learn from her, I'm going to be back, and you're not going to like it."

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    As she enters the bar, Collins hears her communicator beep. She reads the message and goes over to Graham. She taps hims on the shoulder and says "I have information, too. And we're face to face now. What's with the cryptic, Booker?"

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    With Collins' surprise entrance, Graham doesn't wait for the bartender to respond. He takes Collins' arm and gestures toward an isolated spot.

    Graham stands close to Collins and speaks in a low voice, not wanting to be overheard. He shakes his head. "There is some weird shit going on here, L-T. According to our friend over there, Kylah came in here, looking like hell, with Rangin, and..." He pauses. Asked about getting offworld. He decides to keep that to himself for the moment. "So what the hell is Rangin doing coming back on duty without so much as a word--or for that matter not saying fucking boo when she's reported missing..." His intention to draw Collins aside to see if she has any insight into her roommate's behavior is being rapidly sidelined by Graham becoming increasing pissed off. "I'd like to get back to the ship to...investigate," he says tightly.
    Last edited by general_urko; 23 May 2015 at 02:16 PM.

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    "They found her." Collins tries to reassure Graham, "They'll take care of her. I'm sure she'll be fine. What makes you think Rangin would know why...?" Then it dawns on her that Rangin must be the one to whom Kylah was referring when she bought the dress on OC3. "Oh! No, I have no idea why he came back without her. Yeah, we'll ask him later. Vargas wants us back on the ship, anyway. Let's go." She looks around for Rawlings and Kjaerstad and motions to them, and to Jones, to come along as well.

    Once all five of them are outside, Collins will open her communicator and call for the beam up of the landing party.

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    Three Crows checks with Anubis Starport Control and tells Graham, "The Wistful Penelope is still here but scheduled to break orbit in ten minutes."

    "Acknowledged, Doctor," says Chief Nguyen in Transporter Room 1. "Stand by." The physician and her patient soon are beamed back up to the Yorktown. Two medics arrive almost immediately with an antigrav gurney, carefully place Kylah on it, and move quickly through the corridors to Sickbay. Dr. Villa, looking worried, meets them there.

    St. Croix, Rangin and the others remain behind. Rangin's tricorder scan reveals several traces of Kylah's blood leading off the open plaza and towards one of the old industrial buildings. Some of the blood stains are visible to the naked eye and still wet.

    The bartender crosses his arms. "I've told you everything I know. You Feddies sure are a polite, grateful bunch, aren't you? Makes me glad to have helped you."

    Collins and her entire landing party beam up to the ship. Chief Nguyen tells her that Dr. T'Var and Ens. Kylah are already on their way to Sickbay.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 23 May 2015 at 11:07 PM.

  44. #444
    I'm the Cute one! =^.^= anyrose's avatar
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    "Thank you," Collins replies to Nguyen. She starts to leave the transporter room, intending to check in on Kylah, but turns back a moment. "Is everyone from the other landing party back?"

  45. #445
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    Nguyen says, "No, Ens. St. Croix and the rest of her party are still down there."

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    Rangin's fingers tighten on the tricorder, the knuckles turning white as he sees the trail left behind by Kylah as she had made her slow, tortuous path from the buildings. He shook his head in grim determination, whatever had happened to her is recent, possibly those responsible are still around and the clench in his gut urging him on to find them and carry out a similar act.

    Stopping to catch his breath, he knows that what he wants and what he should do are opposite. Find them, catch them, turn them over to the authorities for what they did. Doing unto them as they did unto Kylah, would only make him as bad as those perpetrators, or possibly Ens. Graham, who would no doubt take great delight in such a matter.

    "Mr St Croix," Rangin calls out quietly, "there's a good chance the attackers are still in the vicinity given how fresh some of the trail is. I'm going to find where Kylah came in from, it's somewhere over there," he gestures with one arm, "and try to work out what happened. Please find and apprehend the culprits."
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Collins walks over to the wall to tap the communicator "Collins to Captain Singh and Commander Vargas. Permission for Ensign Graham and me to assist Ensign St. Croix and her team?"

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    St. Croix says, "Understood. Go ahead." As Rangin follows the blood trail towards one building, he hears Crewman Wallach say, "Tricorder scan shows no one in the immediate area. There are several dozen people in the adjoining residential area, though."

    Singh says, "Permission granted." Collins and Graham beam back down at once, and find St. Croix, three other Security personnel - Spec/1 Fox and Crewmen Harbaoui and Wallach - on a large, weedy paved plaza surrounded by run-down industrial buildings. Rangin is walking away from them. Upon seeing Collins, St. Croix stands at attention.

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    "At ease, Ensign. Sit-rep, please." Collins says as she looks around to see what the others are investigating. She notices Rangin heading towards a building. "Graham, go" she points in Rangin's direction "Back him up." Collins then turns her attention back to St. Croix to listen to what the security officer has to tell her.

  50. #450
    Ape must not kill ape! general_urko's avatar
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    Graham stares at Collins for just a split second, catching her eye and wondering, first, whether she had something in mind, and then, whether he should say something along the lines of 'backing him up' is the last thing I have in mind... Then he decides against it, and after an instant he moves as quickly as he can move-nonetheless taking note of each bloodstain along a trail that tightens the knot in his chest with each drop--pulling up sharply to a position just behind Rangin and to his left.

    He leans in and glances at the tricorder over Rangin's shoulder. Graham growls from an inch away from his crew mate's ear, for no one else to hear but Rangin, his jaw tight. "You'd better have a goddamned...good...explanation...for why you were on the bridge while Kylah was crawling across this shithole alone, mister."
    Last edited by general_urko; 25 May 2015 at 10:26 PM. Reason: oops posted before finished

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