Literary Challenge #11 : Hidden Agendas
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Join Date: Dec 2007
01-24-2012, 05:05 PM
“Captains log stardate… I don’t know, computer fill in the correct date. We’ve just got back from Camus II, Lieutenant Commander White and Lieutenant Ban are both in the sick bay, Gruv tells me they’ll recover. We were under orders to investigate the disappearance of a science crew, who were in turn researching an advanced civilization that was rumored to have the ability to exchange life entities’. I’ve enclosed the holo of the mission at the end of this entry. Commendations to Ensign Fletcher, and Lieutenants Corbin and T’alir.”
The holo came to life, a face filling the screen. “I think I got it.”
“Very good Mr. Fletcher.” He turned to show Captain Robin Locke clicking on an environment harness, to keep him warm on the surface. Everyone on the away team had one. He was quickly followed by an Andorian woman, the first officer.
“Captain, I must reiterate my initial protest.” She stated, standing by the transporter chief, her hands behind her back. The camera turned from her to the captain, briefly catching a glimpse of the Vulcan woman T’alir.
“I did my thesis on the society of Camus II in the Academy, and I did a paper on the science vessel Grendal, the one that was lost. I can’t not go.” The captain smiled, taking his place on the platform next to the chief of security Charles White.
“Standard procedure states you stays on board the ship.” Yanell countered.
Captain Locke replied quickly. “That’s the good thing about being a Captain. I get to bend the rules from time to time.” Fletcher fastened the camera onto his shoulder, the motion causing the picture to jump around until it was settled. He played with the controls, turning it with a button in his palm. It settled on the captain, as he preemptively answered the Commanders next question. “We all have phasers, our harnesses will keep us hidden from the Indigenous life with advanced senses, which we probably won’t even see. Besides, we’ll be in the ruins. Don’t worry.” The camera turned to take in the whole away team. Captain Locke and Charles White stood side by side, behind them Lieutenant Elaas Ban, a Trill, fiddled with his tricorder. Ban’s companion, the Vulcan T’alir stood with Vulcan calm. Fletchers own comrade in security, Dalas Corbin, stood behind him, eyes closed. She always hated transporters.
“Turn that camera off,” Ban ordered, the camera turning to him. “The transporter field isn’t good for it.”
“Sorry.” Fletcher clicked off the holo.
It resumed on the planet directly after transport. T’alir was in the middle of a sentence. “- no life signs, but there is movement.”
“Could be local plant life, compensate for that.” Ban stood beside her in frame, scanning the area. T’alir gave him a negative. “Must be an anomaly.”
White spoke from off screen. “Could it be robotic signature.”
Ban scoffed, as if the security officers comment was funny. The camera turned to take in the room. Small pockets of light broke through the ceiling, piles of snow collecting underneath. The remains of computers lay scattered about the gargantuan room, no visible way of holding the roof aloft visible. The material used was a dark, tarnished green. The Captain was off away from the group, Corbin keeping close.
“Hey Charlie, come look at this.” The Captain called. White came into frame a short moment later. The Captain was holding something in his hand. Fletcher made his way over and stood beside Corbin.
“That looks like a tricorder.” White took it out of his Captains hand. “An old tricorder.”
“From the twenty two hundreds.” Locke looked around. “We’re on the right track.”
The camera turned with Fletcher as the rest of the away team joined them. Ban held up a piece of cloth with a golden triangle emblazoned on it. “The insignia for the Grendal. “ The crew remained silent for a moment, the camera focused on the scrap of clothing.
The Captains voice broke the silence. “Alright, let’s stay together until we know what happened.” Everyone agreed. “Lieutenant, which way were the readings?”
T’alir focused her tricorder to the far side of the room. “That way Captain.”
“Alright.” The Captain led the group out towards the signal.
They walked for an hour, the holo feed recording the whole way. Fletcher was in the back, so the camera got the whole group. T’alir led them, her tricorder out in front of her, the Captain close behind. She stopped at an intersection, holding up a hand to signal a stop. Captain Locke coughed. “Lieutenant?”
“Movement Captain. From all around us.” The Vulcan turned, her eyes focused behind them. “Down!” She shouted, and in one quick motion drew her phaser and fired. Fletcher ducked, the camera catching a view of the ground. The sounds of phaser fire, shouts, and feet scrambling on the hard metal floor were all that was recorded until Fletcher screamed.
The holo went dark.
It resumed in a small, dark room, Elaas Ban sitting in front of it, blood seeping down his neck. “We were attacked by what I can only assume are the original inhabitants of Camus II. How they have survived this long or what has happened to make them these mindless husks of beings I can’t say.” He paused, looking over his shoulder. “Ensign Fletcher has passed, taking a sharp jab to the throat and temple. White was injured, but not severely. Lieutenant T’alir, however, is another matter.” Ban picked up the holo and carried it over. The Vulcan woman was lying down next to something else, long, red limbs hanging from a grotesque version of a humanoid life form. “This is a Camian.” The medical officer took one of the arms, its hand ending in a mass of tentacles. Pushing them back revealed a suction cup of sorts. Dropping the arm, he moved to T’alir, who had a red ring on her forehead. “The Camian grappled the Lieutenant while screaming. She was almost immediately rendered unconscious, and after several seconds of this contact the Camian fell dead where it stood, T’alir falling unconscious.”
Ban moved the holo cam back to the table and took his place in front of it. “We have found no further evidence of the Grendal or her crew, nor can we contact the Horizon, the material used to build this building is blocking transmission. The holes in the ceiling from the first room must have let us beam in, so either we need to retreat to that room or find a way outside.” Without saying anything further, he switched off the holo.
It resumed onto a view of T’alir, screaming and struggling as Corbin, White and the Captain held her down. The camera was hoisted on Ban’s shoulder. “Anytime Lieutenant!” The Captain barked. Bans hands came into frame, a hypo readied. Pressing it against the screaming T’alirs neck, it hissed.
“Again!” The Captain ordered. Ban did as told and this time there was a reaction. The Vulcan calmed, but didn’t slip into the medical coma she should have.
“She should be out.” Ban checked her pulse. “Her heart is still off the charts-“
T’alir groaned. “I can see them…” She whispered, her eyes wild. “They’re inside… We are inside.” Her eyes floated across the group. Corbin drew back. “Have you come to help them? We could use more minds.”
“What’s she talking about?” Corbin panicked.
White tried to calm her down out of frame. “It’s the medication.”
“No.” Ban corrected. “It’s not.” Taking out his tricorder, he scanned the Vulcan.
“What is it?” Locke leaned over the Vulcan. “What’s wrong with her?”
Ban took a breath. “I think she has a Camian, or Camian’s inside her.” The away team went quiet. The camera caught them all, confused looks falling onto Ban. “It’s simple. We have known about this phenomenon for a long time. The Vulcans themselves use a form of it.”
“What do you mean?” White asked.
“Synaptic pattern displacement. Vulcan’s have a way of cheating death by implanting their Katra, into another being. This is how Ambassador Spock survived his first death.” The camera went back to T’alir, her eyes still open, regarding the group. Ban’s hand came into frame, pointing at the red ring on her forehead. “I believe that’s what we’ve seen here. An iteration of the Vulcan mind meld. When the Camian latched onto her, I believe it implanted its Katra, or Katra’s, into T’alirs mind.”
The Captain Spoke. “That’s what it meant when the translations said they could exchange life entities.”
“Then why are they all out there trying to kill us?” Corbin’s voice was almost a shout.
Ban tried his best to explain, the camera turning onto the scared security officer. “The only explanation I can think of is after trading minds so often they went insane. Maybe they tried to hold to many spirits- Katras- in their minds at once. Either way, it led to the down fall of their society and subsequently the deaths of the Grendal crew.”
“Can you get them out?” White walked into frame, kneeling down next to T’alir. She caressed his face oddly. Ban’s hand shot forward, drawing him back.
“Not here.” The Medic pushed the Vulcan’s hand down. “I need to get her aboard the Horizon.” He showed them the readings on his tricorder. “Her vitals are failing. Her physiology isn’t built for a Camian’s mind. If it had been one of you, a human, that it tried to implant you would have died instantaneously.”
“So we need to get back to the main hall.” The Captain sighed. Ban gave him an affirmative. “Let’s try to get back.”
The holo went black.
It resumed to the sound of running feet. Captain Locke and Charles White ran ahead, White carrying T’alir. Corbin shouted off frame firing her phaser. Turning, the camera was in time to see one of the Camians latch onto her, scream, and press its arm against her head. Corbin didn’t have time to scream. Ban turned, grabbing the Captain who was making to go get the fallen crewman. “She’s dead!” He shouted, pushing Locke forward. He resisted, but the Trill kept pushing until they were out of sight.
“The main halls just ahead!” White called. It was the last thing he said before dropping T’alir. Ban and Locke reached him, five small red prints on his face.
Ban held T’alirs hands down as she laughed.
“I’m fine. “ White pushed Locke’s hand away.
The away team continued running until they reached the main hall. Ban stopped, the camera focusing on the crazed Vulcan. It looked up just enough to see the other two men firing at the Camians. The Captain touched his communicator. “Horizon, we need beam out for four now!”
Ban took T’alirs hand and placed it against his temple. “What are you doing?” Locke shouted.
“I’m a Trill Captain; I’m uniquely qualified in the multiple mind area. I just need to get enough Katra’s out of her to keep her alive.” Ban groaned as T’alir screamed laughter, her eyes wild.
The transporter beam engulfed them, causing the static. Visuals were down, but the audio continued. People barked orders, the older female voice of the Chief Medical Officer coming through. Most prominent though was Ban’s. “She’s dead Captain.”
The holo’s audio cut off and the screen went black.