Let the Shakedown Begin

Posted on Sat Dec 23rd, 2023 @ 4:22pm by Commander Rosa Coy & Captain Kaylia Strenvale & Commander Jennifer Westlake & Lieutenant Commander Allen Yankovic & Lieutenant Commander Finchley Kerr & Lieutenant Commander Brianna "Raven" Davies & Lieutenant Aubrie Fox & Lieutenant Jocelyn Logan & Lieutenant JG Dan Murphy & Lieutenant JG Kell Asaa Dr & Ensign Theo Cauthon & Ensign Kesar & Ensign Harry Stevens & Ensign Karla Martell & Ensign Pashi zh'Vhohlehr & Ensign Alexandra "Alex" Fontana Tosto & Ensign Olivia Dersch & Thomas Mathews

Mission: New Horizons
Location: The lights flickered above the crew and when they returned they were brighter, newer. Suddenly there was noise, talking, and commotion near them. It was as if the station had returned to a full staff in full working order. The emptiness was gone, as was
Timeline: Current

They moved carefully and quietly through the corridor, weapons ready and tricorder always scanning for anything untoward. As they approached the turbolift that would take them to the command deck, Westlake paused for a moment. If this was indeed a trap - it would undoubtedly close in on them whilst they were in a contained situation - like a turbolift. Carefully she removed the panel and attempted to run a diagnostic on the system before they attempted to use it.

True to her word, Coy had remained onboard the shuttle, monitoring the communications and relaying back anything vital, just in case things went South. She was there for support of a fast get-a-way or simply as backup should the shit really hit the fan. Half an hour passed with no communication and she put down her solitaire as worry crept into her thoughts. =/\="Commander Coy to away team, please report in?"=/\=

Kell stepped a little aside so she wasn't blocking anyone's line of sight as they looked around.

=/\= "Asaa here. All's quiet on the front, how's it look back there?" =/\=

=/\= "Quiet, almost unnervingly so." =/\= Coy replied honestly.

=/\= "I would have to agree. It's not really eerie, per se, so much as irritating..." =/\=

Kell wasn't quite sure how to put the feeling into words. She moved along with the group, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Where would it lead, what would they see...

The turbolift system was operating and Jen ran a diagnostic to ensure it wouldn't plummet to the bottom of the shaft and kill them all. Stepping in she studied the controls and selected what she hoped was the command deck. "Everyone in."

Finchley entered the turbolift, still an uneasy feeling in his gut about the situation. Not one to ignore such a feeling, he looked around at the others, wondering if they felt as he did.

Kell noticed his perusal, subtly nodding her own suspicions in acknowledgement as she stepped to the edges of the lift and bracing.

[ Station Command Center ]

Once the turbolift got to its destination and the doors opened, the away team was greeted with a very unpleasant sight. The consoles, equipment, all of that was still consistent with what they've been seeing so far. In the past.

The unpleasant thing however was, the bodies, the blood. The staff and crew, which was around 15, were all over. Upper level, main level. Different ways of torture for each of them. Currently with a head count, there was only 7 out of the 15 in that command room.

Stepping out of the turbolift, the sight that greeted them was indeed one of horror. The decomposition of the mutilated bodies, the stench that hung in the air…all made for what was a madman’s torture chamber.

Kell moved out with some haste, not expecting to find anyone recoverable but at the least needing to analyze what they were seeing; and rather than contemplating its cause and method.

Turning to Commander Westlake, Finchley asked, “Sir, when was the last active message sent from here?”

"A long time ago, which goes with the era of all the equipment, but the bodies should be well and truly decomposed by now if this happened at the same time" Westlake commented, indicated the gory seen before them.

Finchley had moved over to one of the consoles. “The reason I asked Sir, is that if I’m reading the configuration of this deck properly, this is the Communications desk. Commander, there’s an open channel.”

"An open channel, after all these years?" Westlake looked confused but headed over to the communications panel all the same. Finchley was correct, there was an open channel, the auto-disconnect obviously hadn't kicked in after an pre-determined idle time. Very odd indeed.

Finchley bent down, level with the console and looked along it.

“Sir, the console panel should be completely covered in dust, the same as all the other consoles and panels here, but you can just make out that certain parts have been used, then a crude attempt to cover it over has been made” he said.

Looking a little closer, he added “Mid range…no…actually… make that close range…communication has been used.”

"So we're dealing with subterfuge" Westlake's guard was instantly up. She swapped the tricorder for her weapon in her primary hand. "Stay sharp everyone".

Kell analyzed each body, deciding not to disturb anything just yet. She was no newbie to horror, the medical profession had more than its share of gore, but modern techniques were much less invasive on the whole. Someone had more than a perverse interest here...

During her analysis, she keyed a message back to Coy to bring her up to speed, at least the highlight reel without the graphic, gory details, and to make sure the shuttle is secure from any lurkers.

"Someone run another life signs scan, level 3. I want anything just moved detected." Her words were tense as she glanced around the ruined control room.

"Westlake to Liberty, we may have a problem..."

"Acknowledged Westlake, what sort of problem are we talking about?" Coy responded from the shuttle. Behind her, the seal around the docking lock began to groan as if some force were aging the seal. Microcracks began to form, subtle at first, then more rapid over time.

Finchley began a trace on the communication console. Something seemed odd about why the panel was still active after such a long time. As he watched the information appear on the screen, his heart began beating a little faster…

“Commander, this console’s been rigged to forward any messages” he said to Westlake, “It would appear that the designated re-route is a science lab. Orders Sir?”

Finchley, upon farther inspection, would also notice that the said lab in question wasn't on the station. It was on the moon they were orbiting. The Transporter logs can also confirm that location and that several groups had beamed up and down there. The only thing was half of the logs said they were weeks apart from each other, and the last ones only a few days. At least a few days for when the computers chronometer currently says it is. After the bloodbath that had apparently occurred there in the Liberty's past.

“Sir, I would like to volunteer to beam over to this science lab, have a look around, see if it can be determined what’s been going on” Finchley said.

"Not on your own there Finchley. We'll all go once we finish here. I don't trust this place at all"

[ Shuttle ]

In the silence of the shuttle, Coy listened to the open Comm channel. During each pause she began to notice the groaning of the shuttle. At first she didn't think anything of it, but then the Engineer in side her reminded her that a solid connection should never make that noise. Just as she turned around to see where the noise was coming from, the alarm sounded indicating a pressure leak. "This is Commander Coy, I may have to detach and leave you all here. Something is happening..."

[ Station Command Center ]

Kell sighed, wondering if she was going to be running for a dock if something happened... "Has anyone seen any craft still attached here if we need it?"

Kaylia had been listening, and thinking. "Repeat that away team. You said another lab, right."

"Commander Coy, what do you mean something is happening?" Westlake asked as the station seemed to shudder around them

Fox tensed up and readied her Weapon.

Westlake waited for the answer and meanwhile started to formulate several plans including evacuations if necessary. Then there was the whole second lab issue. Whilst she had denied Finchley the opportunity to go down himself, it still needed to be investigated. If this 'something' proved to not be a massive issue, they would progress to the next lab.

Kell looked out a nearby port... "I can't see anyone on this side." She returned her glance to her forearm PADD. "I have a location on the other lab, assuming there's nothing else to do here besides last rites, I get no other bio signs up here. Do we need to retain the integrity of the facility, or we can just inter them here and set a short-range broadcast advising its memorial status?"

[ Shuttle ]

Coy heard the question, but her focus was on the noise. She stared at the seal and was glancing at her tricorder. "It's... it's aging. The seal connecting the station to the shuttle is agi..." But her comm link became distorted as the bubble of time they were currently in began to fluctuate around them.

Her heart stopped as she realized she had only minutes before the seal would collapse. And so she tucked away the tricorder and began putting on the last EV suit in the shuttle. Just as she placed the helmet upon her head, the seal cracked open.

The air pressure within suddenly rushed towards the crack, taking Coy with it. She was spun around and struck the bulkhead with a hard thud, her own body a plug for the leak. Dazed, she managed to reach up and lock her helmet in place, then tap her communicator. "If you're hearing this, the shuttle has been compromised. Hello... can anyone...." and then silence.

[ Station Command Centre ]

"Commander Coy? Commander Coy! Do you read?" The last words held tones of worry and fear.

"Everyone, back to the shuttle NOW!" Westlake ordered as she gathered the team and headed at a sprint back to where the shuttle was docked.

Kell practically held her breath, irked by the virtual plodding of the turbolift. 'Better than plunging to our deaths,' she thought, but wished it would go a bit faster nonetheless.

She poured out with the rest, moving with haste as best she could in the suit.

The team ran at full speed towards the shuttle, reaching it just in the nick of time. She bashed on the airlock. "Coy!!"

Kell saw the proximity alerts on her forearm PADD and flipped through... "The airlock integrity on the other side has failed. We'll have to override and manually open it now."

"I'VE GOT COY! She must've donned her EV suit, it's sending bio. Her life signs are stable but erratic." Kell studied the readings, looking for a porthole to get a look outside. "Whatever we're gonna do, we need to do it now!"

The lights flickered above the crew and when they returned they were brighter, newer. Suddenly there was noise, talking, and commotion near them. It was as if the station had returned to a full staff in full working order. The emptiness was gone, as was the shuttle on the other side of the airlock. As was Coy. From the perspective of the Liberty, the whole station had simply vanished momentarily only to return, shiny and new again. A time dilation bubble. The crew would now find themselves over 100 years in the past...