STF

Marines boarding the Beacon of hope…when the past doesn’t match the present or the future

Posted Jan. 31, 2022, 3:28 p.m. by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Lieutenant River Styxx (OIC Marine) in Marines boarding the Beacon of hope…when the past doesn’t match the present or the future

Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Marines boarding the Beacon of hope…when the past doesn’t match the present or the future

The ship hung Just off the port now of the Atlantis gleaming like it was just off the assembly line. The hull looked almost like wet metal without the small pock marks or dings associated with space travel. The color was silver but so highly polished one wondered if they could almost see their own reflection in it if they were up close. Moving close enough to the hull to touch it, it would become apparent that there was a slight shimmer to the ship possibly indicating a shield or force field if some sort but without scans that could not be determined.

The overall design of the ship might be described at torpedo like. It was completely long and cylindrical with no wings or beams visibly linking one section of the ship to another. The ship was larger than a shuttle but with some careful maneuvering would don’t within the Atlantis hanger bay if needed. A rough guess was the ship was about fifty meters in length

There was no windows except for the large viewport on the front of the ship. There was also no seams in the hull that was readily visible. At first glance one might think it could have been poured as a single mold. Examining it from all angles, there did not even appear to be a door so the question would lurk of how did the visitors even get in and out of it.

All systems in the ship were registering cold which could leave one to believe all power had been shut down once the aliens had been beamed over to the Atlantis

Rough ship specs for now

To serve was the basic duty of any marine, to serve the federation, to serve their CO and to serve the Ship, planet or Starbase they where assigned to. So when the marines had found out what had happened to the captain they wanted to get even. Only their discipline and self control stopped them form acting instantly. So it was no surprise to any of them that River was being proactive and had a plan. She had called eight marines in totally and formed two squads from them one to accompany her and one to act as immediate back up.

The mission was simply get onboard the alien craft and rip it apart for information. River had thought about using the Atlantis hanger to do so but decided against it. If the ship was booby trapped, and River expected it to be if it imploded it could heavily damage the Atlantis. But if it was next to Atlantis it would only destroy Two shuttles and River and her Marines. That was a risk they had all agreed to take, it as part of the job.

As River’s shuttle approached the alien ship she turned from the viewscreen and looked at the marines she had assembled they were a good bunch. Talented committed and worked well together. That was something River needed

NE Private Shaw a masculine Human woman with a personality to match her armor was bulkier than the average marine owing to her Explosive ordnance training, a cartoon of a woman pushing a plunger and an explosion adorned her right shoulder.

Next to her sat NE Sergeant Fawn the team Medic. Although the Catian was young he had earned his rank, being decorated twice for valour. His armour was fairly common nothing to different aside from the medical symbol on both his shoulders.

Th next marine was shorter than the others but built like a tank. This was NE Private James Moreece a hotshot with a big mouth and a bad attitude. With his service time he should of been a Sargent by now, but his contact clashes with his Commanders had pretty much squashed all that. His armour was a testament to that with the slogan ‘Looking for my CO. look behind me’

The final member was NE Lance corporal Vashar. Like most Romulan she was not much one for talking, staying silent most of time only speaking than necessary. But she was one of the best shots on the Atlantis, quiet, accurate and deadly she embodied the phrase one shot one kill. so much so she had check marks on her armour to keep track of her kills.

“Right listen up” River barked through her armours built-in com “We are here to take that ship” she said gesturing to the vessel they were approaching “These a$$ holes have attacked our ship, attacked our crewmates, and Pi***d me right off. So I say its time for a little payback. From what I’ve seen these sods are a crafty bunch. so be on the lookout for traps and other hidden surprises. Watch out for each other and don’t be afraid to get a little rough with their ship, all I want is intel, I don’t care what the ship looks like after we’re finished with it. Understood” she snapped as a chorus of yes Ma’am spread through the shuttle.

“Lieutenant. five minutes” the pilot called River nodded and ordered an equipment check. Each marine checked the other armour to make sure it was sealed and all aspects were working. By the time it was done they neared the ship. The shuttle’s rear door opened and River and her Marines began their spacewalk towards the enemy ship.

River watched her surroundings then back to her squad. All of which were behind her. Even though she had done it many time River was still in awe of how quiet space was. It was good, it gave her time to focus with nothing to distract her. River had a feeling this mission was going to be nasty and she just wanted to be prepared as best she could be.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

Approaching the ship, scans would show there was some sort of shielding surrounding the vessel. From a distance, it was what caused the ship to appear to be one solid object. As the Marines moved closer, they would finally be able to make out some details such as what was a possible entry hatch and the large round pit that served at the engine. Readings would also indicate that while there was no power, life support systems were on and functional in the ship. The air was breathable and the interior had warmth enough to support life. All other electrical systems were powered down, however. It was as if the ship were just waiting for occupants to enter it and take it on another journey.

The hatch was a standard seven-foot by three-foot-wide opening or at least that was the dimensions of the thin line that outlined the metal hull.

Engineering spec update

As River approached she started making out the details of the ship and formulating a plan. Activating her com and changing her visor, with a few blinks, to scanning mode she began assessing the situation. =^= Fan out, find a way to take this shield down=^= She ordered simply

=^= What do you think, a sleeping Dragon?=^= Fawn asked through the com

=^= Maybe, lets take it slowly. until we know for sure=^= She replied getting ever so slowly closer to the ship. River didn’t like going in blind but she had no choice. She knew their guests wouldn’t talk, but being able to go back to them, knowing everything about them and their mission. would most certainly be sweet.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

The ship did not react to the troops circling around it. It acted as if still in power-down status however no one had actually made physical contact with it yet. Sensors like nerve endings created a web around it waiting for something larger than dust to activate the shields sensors.

Engineering spec update

River wondered what to do, getting any closer to a shield without a way to shut it down would most probably fry her and her team. She also had no idea if touching the shield would initiate anything. As she floated she was keenly aware that their propulsion packs were not unlimited and neither was their oxygen. As she thought her hand drifted to one of her combat knives. She carefully unclipped it and held it in her hand

=^= All Marines keep back for a moment=^= She said as she edged closer. River wasn’t a scientist but she knew newtons always and she knew that of she aimed true and put enough force into it, her knife would hit the shield. An easy way to test how sensitive it was.

As she let the knife go Private Moreece came in close and fast =^= Come on LT, let’s get this done=^= he said confidently

=^= I ordered you to stay back Private=^= She snapped through the com.

Lieut Styxx (OIC Marine)

As the blade penetrated the shield a slight dimple appeared and changed the barely visible field into a wash of blue as if one was watching a dip of water break the surface tension in a pond during slow motion. Internally the ship’s sensors processed the assault and activated the ray shielding. The blade and the kinetic energy it contained within deflected back into the direction it came only with tenfold force. River’s knife shot back like it was ejected from a projectile weapon, the blade careening through the inky blackness of space forever lost to space unless it struck a target that would alter its course.

Barely a half-second later the limpid like dimples rippled all over the hull of the Beacon of Hope. In a length of a human eye blink, these dimples erupted into long needle projections all over the ship. The length and width of these needle-like projects seemed to vary with some reaching almost ten feet out with others only several inches long. The width varied from sewing needle to sword, to spear. The effect would be disastrous for anyone within its reach. These projects would pierce the flesh with the ease of hypodermic needles.

Any nonmetal surface of a spacesuit would be penetrated such as fabric on gloves or the face shield of a helmet. Armor plating would hold up better resulting in only an impact injury with enough force to send the recipient spiraling out as with any forceful contact in space. The armor however if it contained any aluminum or aluminum would also have a disastrous effect. Contact with any aluminum no matter how minimal the quantity would create an oxidization effect instantly corroding it. The effect would be the complete disintegration of the material. In space, this would allow decompression of suits allowing the vacuum of space to seep into these microscopic or larger holes depending on how much aluminum the ship’s projections came into contact with on the armor.

The needle-like projections only deployed for a total of ten seconds before retracted back into the ship’s hull re-creating the mirror-like surface. This would be enough time however to make one thank whatever God they prayed to they were not in their reach, be writing in pain, or visiting their maker.

~Beacon of Hope reaction to the assault.

River only just managed to dodge her own blade as t cam shooting towards her. However, the shuttle was not so lucky the blade embedded itself in its hull making the pilot jump and thank all that was holy, that it didn’t go too far, or did it.

However while River was lucky Private Moreece was not he dodged One of the spikes but his armour was ripped open by another, the air hissed out of his uniform and he struggled feeling space leak into his suit. his breath became short as his blood boiled and he felt his skin ripple from exposure to space. He convulsed losing all control of his bodily functions and spent the last few moments of his life in intense pain.

In an instant River had rushed over to him Fawn close behind she had witnessed the impact and swore under her breath., Fawn tried to help his comrade but he knew he was to late to do anything. He couldn’t bear watching what he knew would happen. River knew what was happening and she could tell Fawn couldn’t help him. She knew what she had to do.

Drawing her phaser, she took aim and fired. And just like that Private Moreece wasn’t silently screaming, he wasn’t convulsing and he no longer felt the pain he had endured, He floated still and peacefully. River would retrieve him later. But right now her anger swarmed through her =^= That’s it. We board this ship, we kill anyone in our way, we destroy it then I kill one of those prisoners. I’ll make them pay for this=^=

=^= we all will=^= came the reply from her marines

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

As her team readjusted and pushed their feeling aside. It was something all Marines had to learn to do, when you where in an occupation that required dying frequently. you had to learn to put feeling aside and to carry on. You could morn after the mission was down. River lost count of how many times in her career, she stayed stoic then cried to herself or Abi in private.

River hit her com =^= Shuttle two I need a replacement=^= she said in no particular fashion. River was seething inside and she knew it was only beginning.

=^= Acknowledged, but he’ll take a few minutes to get to you=^= The pilot of the second shuttle replied.

As she waited River reviewed the sensor Data her helmet had picked up. It had happened so fast but with a few eye blinks she could slow the data down and pick specific details out. She knew the spike where pressure sensitive and that like all traps once the pressure was released they retracted, She needed some way to weigh at least one spike down. She tried to figure out how she would do that, then a thought crossed her mind. It was as morbid and would most certainly put her in some people’s bad books.

By the time NE Private Mor’rak arrived River had formed her plan. Private Mor’rak, was a tall muscular-built half Romulan Half Klingon. His armour was coved in deep scratches, a sign of his specialty, he was CQC expert and River had seen him in action. He had Klingon writing on one side of his helmet and Romulan on the other. Of course it was readable by the universal translator, but River had learned to read, write and speak in both languages. The words said this is who I am, half in Romulan half in Klingon.

He nodded at River and she returned the nod =^= Private help me with Moreece’s body.=^= She ordered.

=^= Do we have time to secure him, lieutenant?=^= Mor’rak asked

=^= We’re not securing him. we need his body to keep those spikes up.=^= She barked Mor’rak froze for a moment but followed his commander. The other marines were not so quiet exclaiming how horrible it was to do that.

But River had no time for their complaints, she would face the music another day =^= Shut it.=^= she snapped =^= If we don’t do this, we don’t get on board that ship, we don’t get what we won’t and those a$$holes continue to be cocky and smug. It would also mean he died for nothing. His body is a shell now and we need that shell. Shaw get your EMP Grenades ready, set a delay timer to detonate as soon as they hit the shield=^= River ordered as she moved Moreece’s body into place. She hovered above a spot she knew a small spike came out and got Mor’rak to do the same.

She looked at Shaw who nodded at her and got her grenades ready. Letting Moreece’s hand touch the hull. she waited for the spike too deploy and brought his body down on a large spike. It was sight she never wanted to see but it was something that had t be done. Once they were clear Shaw threw her grenades. If all went to plan the spike would stay up and the shield would be fried and down, for how long River couldn’t say but she figured it would be enough time to get into the ship.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

The spikes retracted without a whisper of sound in the silence of space. The vacuum of space ensured that. Moreece’s body impacted the hull as the spikes withdrew stopping the process. Since Moreece was impaled by one of the longest ones, it allowed over fifty percent of the others to completely retract. This created spaces for the Marines to place the grenade on the hull. As Shaw threw the grenades the effect was almost beautiful. The slight milky blue haze of the shields rippled as the grenades exploded into an electric blue so bright it almost burned everyone’s eyes. If Styxx was taking a video of the mission, looking back it would almost appear like a firework. The beauty was fleeting however as one looked at the gleaming silver hull as the headstone of a once strong and proud marine.

The retracted spikes created a maze the agile Marine could easily weave through to reach the now two hatches that shown by the indented metal on what before was a perfect hull. The placement of the doors however felt almost like a puzzle. Only one could be the real door. Like in the old Earth fable about the Tiger and the Princess, Styxx was given a choice. In the fable, a princess fell in love with a young knight. Her father the king disapproved but due to the love of his young daughter, he placed a choice to the young Knight. He brought the knight to the coliseum and told him that behind one door was the wealth of his kingdom and with it would come the hand of his daughter. Behind the other was death in the most unspeakable form of being ripped to shreds by the starving tigers behind it. Looking up at the dais, the young princess stared down at the knight and glanced at the door to the left, and then raised a fan to cool her body. The fable ended there. Was the Princess’s loyalty to her father and the fan a sign she put family over desire or did she go for love and give her young knight the advantage? Styxx was now the knight and faced with finding the doors to the kingdom or death.

Next to each door was a panel that obviously opened the door and showed if the door picked was the right choice.

Ships engineering

River surveyed the ship, her plan had worked even though it was a gruesome one. It was never something most people would think of but River was responsible for her Marines and she needed a way to get past the first defense. That’s why River was here she had proven she would do whatever it took to complete her mission, and she knew many others wouldn’t have been able to do it. It was times like this that she understood why her nickname was so appropriate.

As she looked at the two panels she decided to go with do both and hope the outcome wasn’t too bad, of course, she knew it would be but in the end she needed to get things done and this was the best way to do it. If she went for one panel and got it wrong someone would get hurt. If she went for both she was sure someone would get hurt but the other panel would be open and entrance would be able to be made.

=^= Shaw, Mor’rak. Take the furthest panel. Vashar you’re with me we’ll take the other. Fawn Stay back I have a feeling one of the teams is going to need your services.=^= River ordered through her com. Once her marines acknowledged they spit up and headed for the panels. weaving in and out the spike River felt like a rat in a maze and she had the feeling that was exactly what she was. Once she reached the panel she looked at the other team and signaled to go.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

As both officers laid their palms on the controls, the shielding shimmered and then dropped away. Two entrances appeared. Both had a space to step into that looked like it would lead into the ship. The small entry was large enough for two people not in suits to walk side by side but two people in suits would be a tight fit. Sensors would indicate that a thin membrane-like bubble covered the door but would be able to easily pass through it. On the other side of the membrane, it was atmospherically sound and able to support life with both air and temperature. The teams just needed to get through the doors. One door however did not actually lead to the interior of the ship. Upon stepping on the platform flames would shower the unfortunate soul. EVA suits would protect them providing only minor burns as if they were sunburned. If they did remove the helmet too early the flames would kill them.

Ship specs

As the door opened river backed away slightly before leaning forward and trying to get a bit of a look inside the ship. =^= Mor’rak you and I go in first. on three=^= She said sternly. River knew if there were any nasty her and Mor’rak were the strongest and the m sot lily to be able to endure whatever it was. She took a deep breath and looked over to Mor’rak =^= On three and for the love of all that is holy keep your helmet on. No matter what.=^=

=^= Three.. two…One=^= As soon as the words left her lips they both dropped in. River’s boost clunked onto the floor of the ship and as soon as she hit land she readied her rifle. Unfortunately for Mor’rak, he landed in the fire. He could feel the burns forming on his skin and he knew that if it wasn’t for his suit he would be dead. The burn would hurt but they would heal. He knelt down and stayed there enduring the flames. Thanking the maker that he was half Klingon the extra fortitude was of immense help.

After a few minutes his skin was raw but he stood up to endure the pain, his suits medical interface helping by putting a lather on his skin

=^= Mor’rak Report=^= River snapped

=^= I got a little cooked but I’m ok. My skin stings like a bitch though=^= He replied. River simply acknowledged and went back to scanning her surroundings, the ship was quiet and still but just as it was before that meant nothing. Dangers could hide in every corner and if the outside was like that, she dreaded to think what the inside would be like.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

The entrance that Mor’rak used suddenly shimmered and the hologram that was the walls faded into nothingness. The space was a decoy for someone to enter the ship and now primarily looked like a metal box that most likely would be used for storage instead of an entry point to the ship. The sides of the space were just single long paneled sheets of metal with no observable latches, buttons, or consoles to activate them or to open them. It was to anyone that was looking, just a metal closet of sorts. Its uses could be surmised as possibly a holding cell, a decoy entry ramp, a storage facility, or possibly a secure room for the occupants of the ship for communications. None of the scans or sensors that the Marines had could get past the metal walls to show anything on the other side.

The only thing that stood out was two black optical disks. One of the disks would still be radiating an energy signature denoting it was where the flames came out to stop any trespasser. The second if scanned would show it was a camera of sorts. Mor’rak could make a logical guess it was used to tape anyone who tried to enter the ship without permission, used as a possible live feed camera with images showing on a monitor in the ship of what was going on in there, or as some sort of communications port. Either way, there was nothing Mor’rak could do in there anymore but possibly renew his chances of being barbecued a second time.

Mor’rak once he was satisfied that the room was empty climbed back out and onto the hull of the ship. But as he climbed out he drew his phaser, flipped the camera off, and fired destroying it.

Styxx’s ramp was a ramp to the ship. Although the images around him matched Mor’rak’s identically, Styxx was able to enter the ship. The ship did have some sort of power still on because there were lights and climate settings capable of supporting life. The colors of the room ranged from tones of white, wooden accents, blues, grays, and blacks.

When Sytxx entered the ship she would see a large room that had a domed ceiling. Three large arches spanned the room. On the right side of the room, a bar with three seats faced what looked to be like a galley-type kitchen area. Next to that on the other side of an arch was a booth-type seating area with a large table around it. In the middle of the room was a large holographic projector sitting on the floor. It was easily seven feet long and about five feet wide giving it an oval shape. It was large enough that all of Styxx’s boarding party could stand around it with room to spare.

On the back wall, looking into the large oval-shaped room was a huge crystal-like structure that was blue in color much like the one on the device that was in the staff weapon. The energy field surrounding the crystal-like structure was immense and powerful. Only a direct blast from the Atlantis’ proton torpedos might take it down but then it would probably just destroy the entire ship along with it. Scans were able to be taken however through this forcefield. What it would show was crystalline solids with distinctive internal structures that produced flat surfaces, or faces like all crystals. These faces, however, like all crystals, produced the distinctive characteristics of the substance. When scanned, however, this crystal’s characteristic did not match any in the Federation geological database meaning it was a new type of crystal.

Next to the crystal was a hatchway that led to what appeared to be the cockpit of the craft. On the left side of the door was a hallway that extended back towards the aft end of the ship.

Ship’s engineering specs

OCC: I hope I gave you a good creative picture of the ship but if I didn’t I found some images that I am piecing together to show you what I saw. I have more but I was going to let you explore more if you chose to do so. ~ Kate

https://imgur.com/Ae0FfET Interior of Beacon of hope
https://imgur.com/mjzpFEj Hallway of Beacon of Hope

https://imgur.com/LflOyKW The sleeping pods on the Beacon of Hope
https://imgur.com/DgLKTjk The Ministry of Enlightenment
https://imgur.com/0mJWi0f The Ministry of Enlightenment
https://imgur.com/J5C8cE8 The Ministry of Enlightenment
https://imgur.com/EeHkgYh The Ministry of Enlightenment
https://imgur.com/5W8rLCE The Ministry of Enlightenment

OOC: Your art is amazing.

OCC: It is just pics I found lol I draw worse than I sing :rofl: Kate

IC: River looked around the room taking in the sight and scoffed. These people brought a yacht on a mission, a very well-protected one but it was still a luxury ship. Did they really think so low of the people they would encounter that they thought their trip would be in luxury? It would certainly match the arrogance they had shown. River began to search the area, noting the different access points and exit points and making mental note of the layout. As she searched she purposefully smacked her phaser stock into anything she could. It was petty and small but t felt good

“Shaw, Mor-rak search this area, plant charges around and on the force field if you can. Don’t be gentle and for the love of all that’s holy keep your heads on a swivel” River ordered as the two marines nodded

Vashar you’ll come with me we’ll take aft. Hopefully, we can find where these Arseholes slept. I want their personal logs” She barked looking towards the silent assassin.

=^= Styxx to shuttle 2 we have made it aboard. Send in two more marines and make sure they bring their demo gear.=^= River sad turning to Fawn last of all.

“Wait till the others get here then take on of the forward see what you can find out in what I assume will be the cockpit. Spike their systems and begin downloading if you find anything. Stay sharp” She said sternly River was certain more nasty surprises were waiting for them and she would be dammed if they caught them with their trousers down.

Once she was satisfied River headed for the rear of the ship, her rifle read and Vashar at her side. She knew that she didn’t need to tell Vashar to shoot first ask questions later because that was what she was good at, Killing. River felt confident to have her at her side. It was strange but River almost hoped there was still crew onboard. then she could get a little payback, maybe bring their head back to the Atlantis. She’d love to throw it at their guest’s feet and see what they did. She had done it before and knew the effects could be very amusing.

But for now River focused on the task at hand, securing, then dismantling them blowing to hell the ship they were on.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

As Styxx and Vashar moved towards the aft section of the ship, they would find a long corridor that had a set of steps leading down and back. The hall was without any decorations aside from the white running lights on the floor and the rectangular banks of red-lit panels above what looked like storage sections along the walls. Hitting them with the rifle butts only caused them to pop open revealing inconsequential items such as EV suits, generic tools, spare parts, crates, and containers. What might be of interest was that it seemed all these things were items crews took on extended trips in case of emergencies. What was most interesting was what was in the crates and containers which by far were the most numerous in the storage compartments. These crates and cases filled up almost ninety-nine percent of the available storage space.
While most were empty a few still held what would most look like silver squares, blocks, packets, and packages. The graphemes on the package were all similar and almost appeared as if you could categorize them: राशन मासु, राशन तरकारी, राशन फल, रासन मिठाई, and राशन अनाज. Holding one in your hand would let the person feel the textures all differed, to an extent, with the contents in the silver packages. Some were solid masses. Others held round objects. Quite a few of the packets and packages had the texture of a bean bag with small objects inside that felt to be no larger than the size of one’s thumb pad. Some were hard like a brick, while others felt squishy and had contents that seemed malleable. Standing back and looking more in-depth at the crates and containers, one would see the graphemes repeated on the outside with crates denoting a single set of the graphemes almost like a label. There were more crates and containers with the markings राशन अनाज and रासन मासु than the other two designations. The smallest amount of crates held the designation रासन मिठाई. Scans would indicate the contents were organic materials but were not able to identify exactly what the contents were specifically.

River looked at the containers and inspected the packets. She couldn’t read the labels but she knew a field ration when she saw one “Good thing they planned to stay for a long time. Mardusk will make sure they do.” she said simply slight amusement in her voice.

Vahsar just nodded and looked at the other containers, she never really understood people’s inclination for humour in tense situations. It only seemed to distract you when you should be focusing on the job and the next target

The only other objects in the storage containers that numbered in large quantities were bottles. Each one had different grapheme markings but again there were four main categories: बियर, रक्सी, रम, and व्हिस्की. This was also pretty well depleted as were the containers and crates but there were enough there to know whatever the liquid in the bottles was, they were also stockpiled for a long voyage. The colors in the bottles ranged from dark reds and purples to light golden yellows and ambers. Scans would indicate the presence of grains and fruits in liquid. Further analysis would show all the bottles had one chemical signature in common: C₂H₅OH, which was the chemical composition of alcoholic beverages.

The communication programs of the Atlantis would not be able to translate these graphemes yet because there was not enough information in the translation matrices to form a template.

Each of these sections looked the same from the outside save for the last four at the bottom: two on one side and two on the other. A black latch on the front of each of them seemed to be the only possible way to open them. Inside each one was the same basic white mattress with light blue lighting and white walls lined with hatches most probably for storage.

The first bunk’s personal items included vast quantities of the bottles lodged in the corners of the sleeping bunk. Yellowish stains were all over the blanket and mattress indicating the contents of the bottles had been spilled all over. As if needing confirmation of this one bottle was lying horizontally with a large spill mark near the pillow. There was also still some of the amber liquid pooled in the bottle but just low enough it was no longer able to spill out in its current position. In the compartments were articles of clothing. Small disks that looked like holoprojectors littered the bottom of one component. Flipping them over would reveal no switches or activation points except for what looked like a small place to scan one’s fingerprint to activate it.

Seeing the state of the bed made River bulk, She had always had to have a perfect bed with no imperfections. And she would defiantly not have any stains on it. If this was one of her Marine’s bed’s she would have punished them severally. How could you let a representative of your people sleep and live like a slob? And why bring such a slob on an important mission. She guessed they didn’t expect anyone to get onto their ship

The second bunk’s personal items were in stark contrast to the first. The bunk was exceptionally neat almost as if the bed had never been slept in. The blanket was pulled taut without a single wrinkle. Among the clothes were stacks and stacks of images on what looked like flexible planes of glass. These images were all hedonistic: Luxury items, delicacies, vehicles, palatial homes, jewelry, and images of gorgeous landscapes. All of these images contained at least one woman in each one that was blindingly gorgeous.

Seeing the pictures and the women in them River whistled “Someone has good taste.” she said flipping through the images and showing them to Vashar

“Lieutenant they are an enemy race. Members of which attacked us.” Vashar replied in her monotone voice

” True. Screw them then” River replied throwing the picture onto the bed.

The third bunk’s personal items had a far more feminine quality with tubes of what could be inferred as makeup and decidedly more racy intimates among the clothes. A bottle of the amber liquid found in the second occupant’s bunk was also in a compartment along with two small glasses.

River figured this was the bed of the tightly dressed woman who attacked the captain “Of course, a w***e would need to make up. Why would you bring make-up, of all things on an important mission?” River asked

“Arrogance and overconfidence.” Vashar replied, “Besides we do not leave without the tools of our trade” she added.

The fourth compartment, when opened, showed what appeared to be the standard white mattress meant for sleeping. The walls of the room were white with what again appeared to be compartments meant for storing items. The contents of this fourth component were again different like the other three before it. A a tan leather satchel hung from a hook. Inside it was a few items. The first was some strange mouse-like stuffed animal that was obviously a child toy. There was also a square black box that didn’t have any obvious buttons or switches to turn it on. The last item in the bag was a leather-bound book that was the size of a paperback novel. Opening it Styxx nor Vasher would understand the script. Since the communication matrix had no basis for the graphemes, it would take a far more in-depth approach to translate the language but it would be safe to assume this item could be a modern-day Rosetta Stone. Opening the doors, Styxx would find random articles of clothing. If she removed the mattress, however, Styxx would find something of interest.

Below the mattress, which was the only place one could hide something within the space, were what looked like an old-fashioned photo album with about a dozen small images and a small black PaDD with a compartment on the side. Clicking it open, Styxx would find what appeared to be something like earphones. The activation of the device again held a small depression for someone’s biometric to open it. The photo album’s contents were the most surprising. In it were images of a waterfall, a bench in a park, and an image of what probably was a large governmental building. The building was almost H-shaped with fluid lines and glass panels giving it the impression of a flame reaching up to the heavens. Below the image were parks, trees, flowers, and people mulling about underneath. The building was breathtaking in its design filling someone with the initial reaction of hope, peace, and tranquility.

The other images were also highly interesting and highly personal. There was an image of what seemed to be a man dressed in work clothes, outside but it was from the neck down. The clothes appeared to be non-descript with basic dark pants and a shirt resembling a possible uniform. When the picture was enlarged or stared at closely, one would notice the man’s hands were not soft and smooth but rough indicating years of actual hard work. There was an image of Jessa and some other child about five years of age dressed in some sort of ceremonial robes. The child was of an alien race that could not be identified. The two pictures that might be most valuable were of a woman that looked to be about twenty or late teens with long dark hair on a beach. The woman looked happy wearing a large smile. What was far more interesting than who the woman was, was the fact the picture had been cut to specifically remove the second person in it. The cut was not haphazard as if ripped like in a torn lovers’ rage but almost surgical in its precision. The image however was not pristine but with dogged edges and a few creases. The last image was of Jessa and the woman in the torn picture. They were sitting on a bench, in a park, under a tree that would match the still images of the same things. Jessa was very young in the image but it didn’t take a facial matching program to show it was her.

Ship Engineering Specs
(Yes this is a real language but we are pretending it is not for now. I used it because I liked the way it looked. Just in case you google it lol. )

Seeing the images river wondered how willing Jessa really was in all of this she seemed to look happy in the picture why bring a child on a dangerous mission and why was she so angry at this other person In the Photo, it was clear it was an attempt to erase the person form her memory, but Who was it. Was it her father or some other individual? If it was her father then that would mean she was altered at some point to read as Ian’s child. The thought made river angry, taking a child from her parent conditioning her to be a zealot, and then using her as a weapon against someone. What kind of cruel emotionless beings was she dealing with.

Pushing those thoughts out of her mind, for now, River looked at the writing in the journal, taking it over to the pristine bed she turned to Vashar “Grab me one each of those ration packets.” River said simply She didn’t know for sure that was what they were but they looked close enough that for now, she would refer to them as that. Once Vashar returned River use her knife to cut open the packs and tip to contents out onto the bed. Placing the packet above the pile of contents and scanning them individually.

Brown chunks of what looked like some form of meat in a gravy spread out over the white linens from the first packet. While the contents were not hot, a slight smell of something akin to cold beef could be noticed if smelled. The next packet opened revealed long, thin bright purple stalks. The color looked artificial but the stalks had small leaves on them resembling possibly alien celery, asparagus, or radish. The third package, slit open with River’s blade, emptied upon the bed white, small, ovals that appeared to be rice or grain. The fourth package was filled with yellow slices of what could be most easily compared to fruit with its hard rind and sectioned interior, fleshy areas. The last package was the one thing that could be snuck into the Atlantis’ dinner table without a second glance. It was a light brown-beige, lumpy, disk shape items with dots of dark brown, almost black, scattered throughout it. It smelled sweet and would instantly remind anyone of the one staple of any grandmother’s kitchen whether it be in a jar or coming fresh out of the oven.

“This word is consistent across all the packets,” she said pointing to the word राशन “so I would assume that would denote what the sliver packs. Like we do when we say water ration. Right?” River asked

Vasahr nodded “But that is in front of the other word,” she said

“Not all languages have the same grammatical structure as ours, Romulan certainly doesn’t have the same as English or Klingon. But the word is repeated on all the different packets so it must be a category of some kind” She said trying to explain her reasoning “The second word I’m guessing relates to what is in the package as it different on all of them. So if we scan the piles to see what they are” she said grabbing a tricorder from Vashar’s pack. Their helmet scanner was good but was not a precise as a tricorder.

=/\=Organic substance is unknown but analysis projects it is a meat or meat byproduct high in protein-containing amino acids and traces of zinc, vitamin B12, niacin, choline, riboflavin, and iron. Organic substance is unknown but analysis projects it being of plant matter. Organic substance is unknown but analysis projects it is a carbohydrate. Organic substance is unknown but analysis projects it being of plant matter with the presence of seeds. Organic substance is known as a cookie consists of sodium bicarbonate, gluten, NaCl, albumin, fat, and sucrose.=/\= The display on the scanner listed the contents of the packages one by one.

As she scanned the pile she made note of what the piles were “Just because they look like meat or fish or whatever doesn’t mean they are. But if we can figure out what they are, all of a sudden, if I’m right, we would have about six words from their language. Which we could then compare to each other to see common letters or symbols. Which in turn would give us a snippet of their alphabet. See where I’m going with this?” River asked her mind was working at a million miles an hour. she had never been a linguist but on Acheron she taught herself how to decipher languages to an extent, so she could at least use some of the intel she got from her foes against them.

Vashar thought for a moment and nodded impressed by her CO “Then if we have a bit of their alphabet we might be able to fill in, at least partially, some of the words in that book. And that might just be enough for the translation matrix to at least partially translate some of it.” she aid realizing what River was driving at.

“Exactly all of a sudden we could read these asshole’s secrets and all their logs.” River said a slight hint of hope in her voice. Of course, it might not work. but if it did it would be a huge advantage. But they were getting ahead of themselves, first, they had to see if they could figure out what was in each of the packets and maybe the bottles too.

Lt Styxx (Marine OIC)

OOC: Hope I explained River’s reasoning and mental process well enough

OCC: It was perfect ~ Kate

As the Tri-corder scanned River flipped the book to the last pages and grabbed a writing utensil. As the information came through River drew the symbol then wrote the English word associated with it underneath on the blank page. Once she had written the words she began to notice repeating letters and wrote them down in hand-drawn columns on both of the pages. She wrote the corresponding symbol of the alien language. First, she saw a t that letter being the most common in all the words. then so on and so on. in the end the list contained all the common letters in each word and River filled in the blanks to create the closest guess he could to what each symbol meant. She tested her decoder on the first word on each pack. Looking at the word studying the symbols then matched each symbol with her rough column.

If she was successful then she planned to feed the letters into the translator and see what the computer could do.

IC:

While Vashar and Styxx’s attention was focused on the piles of alien rations now covering Jessa’s bed, they did not immediately see several discs the size of their palms starting to appear out of a panel in the first occupant’s bed. Once it caught their attention, the Marines would see the discs were not attacking them but vigorously attacking the soiled spots on the bed. They were whisper-quiet but efficient in their work scrubbing stains and straightening the sheets. Looking at the rest of the bunks, the Marines would see more of the disc’s appearing from panels in the wall stacking the scattered images and replacing the contents back into the cubicles. Quieter than a pneumatic door, a panel raised in Jessa’s bunk and the discs came out to begin cleaning the piles of rations dumped on her bed.

Ships Engineering Specs

River saw the disks and quickly gather up the packets and put them inside the book, leaving their contents on the bed. She made sure to remember the order in which she had picked them up. The last thing she needed to was to mix up her only way to decode her enemy’s language. As she moved out of the way she looked to the most messy bed. Now being cleaned “Vashar grab that empty bottle. By the rim” she snapped as Vashar moved quickly swiping the bottle away.

“Got it why do you need it?” Vashar asked.

“I might be able to get some prints off it. A lot of their personal stuff seems to be finger print locked.” River explained “Once these things have done their job. See if you can find anything that looks like blush and pore strips. In that Harlots makeup bag.” she added. Vashar nodded and waited for the robots to finish. Meanwhile River continued to see if she or the computer could translate any more of the book she had.

Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)

The robots moved about the space like mini vacuums sucking up the dirt and stains, straightening the items that had been tossed from the closets, and shining a purple beam all over the area that would remind Vashar and Styxx of UV lights used to kill germs. The machines were efficient and fast finishing the bunks that had the least amount of dirt in a matter of minutes.

The computer screen analyzed the matrix Styxx had provided in the columns. Several letters were deciphered but the computer continued to flash error messages about not enough data to formulate a communication matrix. The rhythmic beeps of the computer indicating it needed more data and the soft whirring sound of the cleaning bots sounded almost like a melody in the quiet stillness of the ship. Down here, Styxx and Vashar were isolated from the Marines above them going through the main living space of the craft. It was almost peaceful down in the sleeping quarters. Others might be lulled into complacency yet Styxx and her team were not others.

=/\=Sir,=/\= a voice rang out from Styxx’s comm badge followed by the sound of weapons fire. They did not need the comm badges to know their fellow Marines were in trouble. The sounds of phaser fire, cursing, and explosions completed the end of the sentence the voice had started. As if the com badge spoiled its stealthy attack, a long snake like robotic mechanism fell from the ceiling. At first glance it appeared to look like a mechanical python but only for a split second. As the metal vertebra hit the floor, it seemed to liquify and morph like a pool of mercury into a new shape almost more terrifying. A dome rose out of the center creating a bullet shape with a small peak on the top and a flat bottom. All the material seeped into the shape letting it grow until it was almost the same size and width of Styxx. It was silver in color like the hull with the same slightly blue shimmer the ship had when the forcefield was activated. The object looked almost liquid, again like the ship indicating they might be made of the same material. If this was true, who knew what devices would lay beneath the surface. What they did know, was the device, like with everything else from the Galactic Union, was deadly.

As seamlessly as the object transformed from the mechanical robot into the bullet shaped droid, a circular blue sensor morphed on the front like a cyclopitic eye. Immediately it went from blue to red recognizing the occupants in the hall, by the bunk, were not identified as part of the crew. As fast as a bullet, a probe protruded from the sleek exterior spraying a stream of acid directly in the spot Vashar and Styxx stood. With all their training, the Marines would have had the ability to move from their spot if they were dextrious enough.

There were several places to go. They could fall back to the stair that led them down here but that would place them in the middle of whatever horror was occurring above. They could dive into the bunks and use the half a heart beat to regroup and launch an offensive. They could stand still and be murdered. All the years of Styxx’s training, and all the technological tools gave Styxx more options than the ones listed above. These would just be a few options that might flash through her mind however Styxx was often one to think outside the box. She was not the Devil of Archeron for nothing. Her cunning and skill would let Styxx come up with a million different ways to avoid the trap if she was fast enough to use them.

Ship Specs.

OCC: Typical STF fight rules apply here so you can show your amazing Marine skills? We each get one attack and one offense until a winner is determined? ~ Kate


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