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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

We have been trying for an hour but are unable to raise the Hooke on comms. Their Away Team was unable to contact them and so the Acheron beamed them aboard. We are prepping a security team to beam over to the Hooke and investigate. There appears to be nothing mechanically wrong with the ship and all life signs read nominal.
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Captain's Log, personal.

There was something over there. It wasn't human or even humanoid. We managed to get most of our people out but we lost two more to that, I don't know, that thing. That ... It. Tricorders saw the energy spike and then security saw It, standing on the bridge, the tips of its horns scraping the lights, the walls smashed.

I lost Feruse and... It grabbed her and she was just gone. I can't explain it. I don't know how to get her back. I don't even know where to start looking.

We couldn't find any of the crew but we didn't have much time to search. We know they are alive, the scans show them, but they are either unable to respond or unwilling to respond.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

Captain Lawson has hailed the Acheron asking for its away team. When pressed with our questions about what happened earlier he and his crew seemed genuinely shocked by our description of what we found. Thinking it was somehow our problem, we have run diagnostics on every part of the Acheron but everything is working normally.

We returned the Away Team back to the Hooke but after beaming them Captain Lawson said one of the members didn't make it. We confirmed she was transported but she never got to the Hooke; transport logs show she did.
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Captain's Log, personal.

Crew morale is low. It's been almost a week and every waking moment feels like a nightmare. Without reason someone will just vanish. No more bloody attacks, that seems like an isolated incident now, but having people you know, you work with and who you care about just vanish is a hard thing to make sense. Not knowing why makes it hurt.

I miss you Feruse. I didn't know it would be this hard.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

The Hooke is gone. No sign of struggle or explosion, no warp signature, nothing. We have tried hailing Starfleet but the Van Allen radiation is causing subspace interference. The only option is to leave Camus II and try to hail Starfleet but if the Hooke is in trouble we may not hear it if we are too far away. Damn radiation; this feels like the Kobiyashi-Maru all over again. In the interest of safety, we are going to continue orbiting Camus II and attempt to re-establish contact with the Hooke.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

The Acheron has been scanning everything for hours with nothing unusual anywhere. Sending down a security team has proven troublesome as morale is making it difficult to not repeat orders the crew doesn't trust. In the interest of expediting this mission, I am going to lead the Away Team myself.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

Visiting the Hall gave some insights into the past but not the present. The Hooke was working on deciphering the hieroglyphs on the computer and the Away Team has left their equipment setup and running while they were gone. I'm guessing they didn't want to turn off their equipment each time the solar radiation forced evac.

The difficulty appears to be that there are no repeating characters, every word or symbol is similar but subtly different from any other one. The only danger appears to be from the core fluctuations.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

Lieutenant Halpert has found a computer in an antechamber of the Hall and it is different from any other we have found. Similar to a holodeck without doors or any evidence you have stepped into a holo-projection. The computer also speaks with a universal translator because all of the Away Team could understand what was said. We are going to try to use it to decipher these hieroglyphs manually.

The level of technology here is incredible.
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Captain's Log, personal.

I'm restless. I haven't been able to sleep since I saw that holodeck down on the planet. I've grown up around them all my life and it was always seemed like just something to kill time but out here, when the only safe place is down there, it becomes where I want to spend my time.

What's down there is different. The holodeck doesn't do smells right; everything smells like vanilla, coffee, or grass. That place, it's like it knows what you expect it to smell like. Sounds aren't pre-recorded, they're rendered by the environment in real time. It just feels more natural than our holodeck.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

Half of the security detail assigned to the planet has disappeared. Investigating the Hall again reveals nothing but the hieroglyphs are now constantly streaming down the walls, the effect is quite literally awesome as it looks like rain made of data. We have found another area of the cave system, this one a vertical shaft several kilometers deep and with finely grooved stone pillars rising up out of them into the roof.

The cave system is far larger than anything Captain Lawson had mentioned. A photonic measure of the Hall gave us nearly 400 kilometers in one direction. It may have gone further but the curviture of the planet may have cut the beam short. This is a significant find and Starfleet has to know about it.
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Captain's Log, personal.

I have been thinking about what happened to the Hooke and after seeing the Hall and everything on Camus II, I know why Lawson would just leave: he knows how valuable a find like this is. This isn't something you can just hand over. There is knowledge and technology here just waiting to be uncovered and Lawson probably left to tell the Ferengi or Romulans or someone who could profit from a find like this. Anyone could profit from a find like this. I need to protect it, to make sure it falls into the right hands. I have to find him and stop him before he tells the wrong people.
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Acting-captain's Log, supplemental.

Captain Slade is gone and most of the security team is gone too. We are going to make one last attempt to find the Captain and crew but none of us is trained for this. I'm just an engineer cadet, I don't know what to do. None of us has even been on an Away Team, except for Hobbs and that was just once on Betazed.

We think it has to do with the hall everyone was talking about. Whatever is in that hall has to be what is causing everyone to go missing. I've never shot anyone before. I hope I remember to stun.
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Acting-captain's Log, supplemental.

This is Ensign Edwin Slyfer and if you are listening to this- *thump* Oh god. Whatever you do, avoid Camus II. *thump* I am locked on the bridge with *thump* a thing outside the doors. It keeps *thump* trying to break in. We've shot at it *thump* but nothing stops it. It followed *thump* us back up here when we left the caves. *thump*

If it is up here, I'm going back down there. *thump* Computer, site to site transport, emerg- *metallic sounds* -- static --
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Captain's Log, personal.

These last few days have felt like an out of body experience, no pun intended. A race who could create truly artificial intelligence proves their ingenuity but also their lack of foresight. The computer ran their world, became their world, and eventually caused them to destroy each other.

A paranoia engine. I can think of no other way of describing what became of their invention. It lured us all with holo-simulations but the computer was learning about us. Using our own minds it pushed us towards it. It collected the people it used, like a child collecting matching toys. It resented being forced into existence and it hated being alone and trapped on a dying planet.

What we enjoyed, what we dispised, why we love; we were a new riddle. Same simple minds as 140 years ago with great new ideas and technology. It found us by our brain waves, it didn't just read them but learned how to make them. It was no wonder our instruments were correct but our eyes couldn't believe what we saw. The monsters weren't real, just a shared nightmare it wanted us to feel.

Only this time we saw that it had purpose beyond simply corrupting minds. It wanted to survive. It needed to leave Camus II because the planet was dying. The core was stopping and the geothermal power that fueled this massive planetary computer was going to die. The computer took control of Captain Lawson and then his ship. Driven mad, Lawson attacked the Acheron and we were forced to defend ourselves. Starfleet lost a good captain but was saved a powerful enemy.

You know the real kicker? We all walked into the trap. Everyone had the same twisted bits playing with their mind but only one person saw it for what it was. Slyfer figured it all out, the faces of the missing we thought were hieroglyphics, the maniacal visions, everything. He saw the core flux and recognized the computer trying to keep it all going. That brutal machine tried to stop him too, ripped him apart, atom by atom. And no matter how many times I replay that scenario in my head, it always ends the same way: he died saving us.

Nothing prepares you for the no-win scenario. I thought it was just a bad grade and an embarassing couple of days at the academy. The hopelessness and the knowledge that nothing I could have done nor were ever able to do would have prevented the outcome is the hardest part. Maybe that makes a Starfleet captain: not that we can lose but that we keep going in spite of it.
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Captain's Log, supplemental.

The Acheron is heading home after a long and torturous ordeal on Camus II. The USS Hooke was lost after Captain Lawson set it to self-destruct. Most of the surviving crew of the Hooke are currently on the Acheron.

Although many of us did return to duty, some are still unaccounted for: Lieutenant Feruse, my chief of security; Lieutenant Johan Blalock, medic; Ensign Stephanie Willows, engineer; and Ensign Edwin Slyfer, engineer.

I, Captain Jack Slade, am recommending to continue the full quarantine of the Camus system and recommend a commendation and the Federated Star for Ensign Slyfer.