Posted Jan. 18, 2023, 10:19 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) (Luke Hung)
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) in Arrival on Planet Cryke
Posted by Ensign Kalani Alindor (Science Officer) in Arrival on Planet Cryke
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) in Arrival on Planet Cryke
Posted by… suppressed (19) by the Post Ghost! 👻
=^=That is an encouraging welcome.=^= Teller responded. He glanced at Kalani.
She bit her lip not sure what to say as the shuttle descended through the clouds. The first thing anyone looking out of the viewport would notice was the term spaceport was a loose one. The area designated as such was not much more than a spot without vegetation. From an aerial perspective, the jungle seemed to swallow up any traces of civilization. Only getting closer, did one see the shacks that would rate as buildings. In reality, most looked like shipping containers with holes cut into the sides for windows and doors. Several seemed to be stacked on each other but most were only a single story. The brightly painted container had logos and slogans painted on their sides that seemed to be flaking off in parts due to heat and humidity giving them a more run down appearance.
=^=Yeah, alert Erwin that we are arriving. Thanks.=^=
“Okay so I promise this is not as bad as it seems. Besides we are not staying here for long. Just picking up Erwin and then off to get the samples. This is going to be fun,” she said with a smile. “You are going to thank me for this.”
“That isn’t going to be difficult, since it seems that we are going to the dark side of the universe to get mugged. It seem that if we parked here too long we’d find the wheels stolen from our shuttle.”
“Arnt you a ray of sun shine” Nala said with a sacatic grin.
“Well at least it is a rental right and even if it is I had Jarred sign it out,” Kalani smiled larger than her joke before jumping up and heading to the back of the shuttle. As the doors opened the sweltering heat and humidity from the jungle swept into the ship like a typhoon. The air held the thick musky scent of dirt and vegetation.
“Says you,” Graham responded, “I’m the one who signed out the ship and approved this trip so if we get dead, they are going to resurrect me just so they can court marshal me and send me to a penal planet.”
Nala Sware in about three difeent languages as her frue emeditly became a pufy frizy mess. ” For good ness sake” She growled.
“Lanie Lou,” a voice with a thick accent called out that sounded vaguely Australian drowned out the sounds of the insects and birds announcing the arrival of the ship.
“Erwin,” Kalani yelled and descended the steps of the shuttle like the man was a family member or someone far more personal.
“Oh Lanie Lou, you aren’t living that down anytime soon.”
“Well he used to use Roo but he sounded like a bad scooby doo imitation every time he talked to meeee,” she let her voice trail off as Erwin approached her.
Sweeping her up in a large hug, he spun her twice before stopping and looking down at her. “How are you doing girl? Staying out of trouble?”
“Of course and on strict orders to stay out of trouble, especially since Vespa,” she laughed finding her feet so that she could actually stand up from being swung around.
“Yeah heard ‘bout that one.” Looking up Erwin walked up the shuttle with the purpose of someone who acted as if they belonged there. “Erwin Bindy,” he stuck out his hand to Graham. “So nice to meet you. When your girl here said she was in need I said indeed and come on over. So glad to finally have met you.”
“Teller,” Graham offered he didn’t think rank or his last name was particularly necessary. “I hear you are the man with the things we need. I appreciate it.”
“Liquor, booze, and anything else you can use,” Erwin guffawed and elbowed Teller in the gut playfully. Everything about the man said he was just a large affable bloke. The playfulness ended as he saw Nala.
Looking at Nala, Erwin tipped his large brimmed hat and stuck out his hand. “And who are you.” His voice took on a slightly smoother quality as his smile grew larger.
Nala was frantic trying to strategy out her now frizzy fur. She was a little startled by Erwin. ” Oh hi im Nala. Please don’t say it I know my fur is a frizzy mess” She said a slight bit of destreas in her voice.
“You look stunning,” Erwin complimented her. “Besides you are gonna be windblown soon enough so I would not worry about it. Ready Lanie Lou,” he hooked a thumb at the door. “I got the swamp speeders charged up, ready and packed. We need to get a move on because while we can do the trip at night the cetacean snakes are a might nasty when you run over them.” Clapping his hands and rubbing them together excitedly Erwin wrapped an arm around Nala. “You are with me. I am going to show you some gorgeous things you are never going to forget.”
” I ummm..” She said. She felt as if her face were three shades of red. She was vary thankfull for the thick layer of fur covering her. ” That sounds amazing” she said when she had reganed het composer.
Kalani looked at Teller wishing Erwin had not called them swamp speeders nor mentioned he had only procured two. That meant Teller was going to be hanging on the back unless he knew how to drive one. Graham was brilliant but part of Kalani wondered how much field work Teller did in the actual field.
Kalani Alindor science
“Well, sounds like you have the battle plan laid out.” Teller looked at him. “I presume these speeders arent too hard to handle. He presumed since he was the only one who could handle the shuttle he was going to be the one doing the driving here too.
“Ahhh nah mate,” the man drew out his words so it sounded almost melodic when he spoke. “C’mon an’ I can show you.” Descending the ramp Erwin led them a short distance from the shuttle to the edge of a dock. The term swamp speeder was now readily apparent. The craft did hover however but that fact was only apparent since it seemed to be floating. The elongated seat was large enough to hold a double rider but without any hand holds it meant one rider would have to hold on to the other. Two large solar panels were affixed to the sides of the speeder making them appear almost as if they were the wings of an aircraft. A large box on the back could reasonably be inferred as to be a battery of some sort.
“Oh my, seems like a very sturdy craft.” The solar panels didn’t really speak to a hell of a lot of power or endurance, but at least that meant under normal situations they wouldn’t get stranded from running out of gas.
Reaching to the side he grabbed Kalani’s shoulders and gave her a rough but affectionate side hug. “The Aussie Avenger and the Hawaiian Hurricane ride again. We should get a pic.” Fishing in his pocket, he pulled out a small recording device and handed it to Graham. “Ya’ mind mate grabbin’ a shot. Smile Lani Lou this is going in our scrapbook.” It was clear Erwin only expected a yes answer as he smiled broadly.
“No I don’t mind…” He happily took the camera and shot off a long run of photos. “You mind sending a couple to me. I’d love to have a record of this trip.”
“Wouldn’t have been easier just to bring the supplies here?” He questioned. This was going to pull them away from their shuttle for a protracted period of time.
“And what fun would that be,” Erwin looked almost hurt. “Besides, we are scientists. The cool kind and not the kind that sits in clean labs talkin’ bout things they can’t see as if physics is the only true science that holds the universe together.” Looking at Nala as he jumped on the swamp speeder, he flashed her a big smile. “Ready for some fun gorgeous?”
Nala smiled. ” Of course, I reedy for some fun this adeverter is going to be amazing” she said as she joined him on the speader.
“Yes, Gorgeous, Ready?” He looked to his partner who was not doing quite as well as she was getting progressively more fuzzy with the humid environment. “Feel free to tell me any other stories of the Hawaiian Hurricane.” He didn’t want to mention he enjoy climate control just fine. He didn’t ‘need’ it but he certainly liked it.
“Yes gorgeous are you ready.” He chuckled to himself.
Kalani bit her lips trying to not smile. Graham Teller seemed exactly like the kind of scientist that liked climate control and studying subspace particles he could not see but ran a million scenarios like they were sea monkeys to test what they would do. Kalani extricated herself and handed the recording device back to Erwin before leaning in to whisper at Teller, “don’t listen to him. Being clean doesn’t mean you are a nerd or a geek. So do you think you can handle this or do you want me to so you can take in the scenery?” The head nod at the swamp speeders told him they were ready to get going.
“I’m just more worried about the shuttle. I’m not exactly confident about security in the area.”
“it will be fine” Tigress said.
“Confident aren’t you.” Teller looked at her. “You aren’t the highest ranking person on this trip. If stuff goes wrong. I’m the one losing a stripe.”
“If something goes wrong you are worried about losing a stripe?” Kalani let out a laugh, “I would say you are the one that is super confident.” Grabbing Teller’s arm, she stepped off the small dock and onto the watercraft. It bobbled and rocked as if it were debating whether to stay afloat or sink below the lime green algae-colored water. “Besides I have been busted down a stripe. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds.” Patting the seat in front of her, Kalani waited for Teller to get on the craft. “You ready gorgeous?” Her tone was as playful at Graham’s was teasing Erwin’s speech.
“I haven’t,” That was very apparent given Teller’s notable youth and his relatively high responsibility and in turn rank. He had worked hard and was trapped in a distant corner of space to get those stripes.
“Oh, it is not as dramatic as it sounds. The Command Officer looks at you real sternly and then reads you the riot act. After that, they send you on your way. It is really a painless procedure.” Kalani played off the event with flippant sarcasm and a smile but that was the easiest way to do it. After the event it was painless. The event that caused the demotion smarted a lot more.
Turning his face to the side, Erwin looked at Nala. “Hold tight ‘cause I am ‘bout to give you the ride of ya life.” After speaking he pressed a button and loud screeches and grumbles sounded as the solar panels kicked on the machinery. Two seconds later the craft vroomed out into the water.
” Oh realy now” Nala said then burst into giggels as they took off.
Kalani wrapped her arms around Teller in preparation for the craft to move.
“You can um fix it if it quits right? I mean you know solar tech even though this is like older than a Vulcan’s great grandpa.”
The craft lurched forward and Kalani gripped Teller as if she were about to be tossed off the back. It was not Teller’s fault but the fact that the craft seemed to be more like bucking bronco than a machine.
The foursome rode the waves which at times were as smooth as glass to having the ability to capsize them. It carried them along the coast until Erwin turned into a cove. It did not take long for the vegetation to close in on them as if it were giant maw of green teeth. The crafts puttered along a narrow stretch of jungle river where dappled sunlight struggled to break through the trees and the sounds of growls, chirps, caws, and the occasional roar made up the ambient noise.
Stopping abruptly, Erwin grabbed Nala’s hand and pointed it into the jungle. A flash of brilliant blues, teals, and purples was moving in and out of the leaves. “Oh crikey, it’s she gorgeous. It’s the Maladarin Bird of Temptation. They have been hunted for their gorgeous feathers to make mating dresses for the woman and skorts for the men but tribes in this area for millennia. Of course, they are not really tribes not here on Crikey but the ancient customs of this planet still exist. A few breakaway groups have given up all tech and live in communes out among the wilderness but we aren’t likely to see any of them.”
Nala’s keen eyes cought the bird quickly. ” Oh it is beautaful i wonder if we could get close enuff to take a picture of one.” She said excitedly.
“Anything you want darlin’,” Erwin said letting out an ear-piercing screech followed but several hoots and howls. The leaves erupted and shook before two dozen of the birds stuck their faces out from among the leaves and ferns. “You got a camera?”
” Of course i do” She said pulling her camera from her backpack and snaping multiple pictures of the birds. ” Oh its going to bw so much fun to draw thes birds they are so beautaful” She said.
“They are gorgeous. Do you want to draw them now or wait,” Erwin asked as if they had all day to do nothing.
Kalani and Teller could overhear the conversation on the other craft as easily as if Erwin was talking to them. Leaning forward, she whispered near his ear. “I would not really worry about running into any of the natives. I mean it is a million to one. Million to one,” she spoke as if trying not only to convince Teller of this but also herself.
Kalani Alindor science
“Do you know what jinxing means?”
“Yes but this is different. This is going to be fun.” Kalani’s voice was upbeat.
It was as if Fate was listening and bored. No sooner did the words leave her lips than the single pair of beady bird-like eyes multiplied exponentially in the jungle foliage. The bird that Nala was looking to sketch let out a loud chirp that was echoed by more voices. It was as if the birds were calling more of their flock to the water’s edge.
Kalani seemed not to notice the rustling of the ferns or the increasing sounds of the bird calls as she fiddled with the hat on her head.
From Nala and Erwin’s position on the water, the birds were almost close enough to touch.
Kalani Alindor science
“Uhhh Lanie Lou do these birds normally act this way?” Teller’s voice held concern but not panic. He was more the physics type than biology but being the CSO meant be dabbled in the main three: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. All three fields could kill you but the difference between the three was biology tended to be more visceral with the Grim Reaper using his scythe instead of just snapping his finger to create a black hole or waving his hand to create a chemical combustion.
“What way,” she said casually finally looking up from playing with the brim of her hat. The sharp intake of air and the way she rapidly moved back causing the watercraft to bobble a bit was enough non-verbal confirmation Kalani was not comfortable with what was happening.
“What did you do,” she whispered hotly at Teller.
“Besides follow you and the local yokel into some alien aviary of death? Not much,” Teller’s voice dripped with sarcasm. As his eyes scanned the araa, it was becoming all too obvious the choices were slim to find cover. They could go under the murky green water and pray the birds were not aquatic or dive into the jungle on the other side of the river bank and hope to find some sort of shelter.
The sound of the voices made the chirping turn more into angry caws by the birds as they suddenly began to spread their wings and stare at the four people on the craft. The wing span of the birds had to be about three feet when unfurled and two large talon-like claws on the ends glinted in the dappled sunlight.
“Aren’t they gorgeous,” Erwin stated in a tone of awe. “Whadda think Nala love? Ever seen a sight like that?”
Kalani Alindor science
Nala stared in wonder her eyes practicly lighting up at the sight of the birds. Her hears twitched and piveted trying to catch all the sounds made.her tail swayed with a excitement. ” They are breathtaking” She said after a few moments.
As if on cue, one of the birds sweets song began to take on a more aggressive nature of trills and chirps. Hoping over from a long along the river, the bird jumped on the bike with Erwin and began to peck and pull at Nala’s colorful pink backpack.
Nala hisss ger ears lay back as she tured and tryed to strike the bird with her claws. ” What the hell set them off” she snaped.
Erwin did not even speak as he stood up and dove towards Nala catching her and diving off the end of the craft into the water with her pinned to his body.
Graham growled slightly. Birds of this size were generally more annoying than dangerous but one never knew. His hand rested on his type one phaser which was pretty unremarkable looking like a curved lump. Of course it was a curved lump that could vaporize an elephant in under a second. He changed the setting to wide angle low energy stun. A little bird or a flock of them wouldn’t need more.
Teller looked at the bird and watched it move behind Nala now trying to wrestle the back from her back. “Ensign,” his voice trailed off slightly. “Any chance these birds are carnivorous?” Few birds were or at least big enough to cause a problem to a living human.
Kalani let out a string of curses as she grabbed Teller around the waist and leaned hard to the side. “You can swim right?” The question was rhetorical and at the same time not as she pulled hard to the side trying to pull Teller off the bike.
The water was murky green that could only be found in swamp-like environments. They had no idea what they were diving into but they knew exactly what they were leaving as the flock of birds reacted to Nala swatting at them and descended upon the crafts. The claws of the elegant and delicate-looking birds were more like talons as they left long scratches in the metal. The scraping sound only amplified the uneasy feeling the caws produced as they swooped and dove toward the group from the trees.
“You have got to be kidding.” Teller’s tone was surly and belied more of his irritation with the turn of events than his sarcastic quip. “This is your plan?”
Diving into the water, he swam several strokes away from the craft before coming up and looking around for the rest of the group. Spotting Erwin dragging Nala to shore under one arm like a bad Tarzan movie, he found Kalani’s head bouncing up from underwater. “Come out for some field work. It will be fun she said,” he rolled his eyes and began swimming hard for the other side of the shore.
“What,” Kalani squawked before following Teller and making for the beach with a speed that would have made a swimming coach proud. Reaching the shore, she slowly exited the water breathing hard as she dropped to the sandy shore. It wasn’t until she heard the rest of the group exiting the water did she push up to a position that normally was reserved for sunbathing on a beach. Her face fell slightly as she looked at her three companions. “Uh guys you have a little something on your neck.” No sooner did the words leave her mouth did her own hand move to her neck. It did not take her long to find a slimy, squishy creature stuck to the back of her neck. As she pushed it a small trickle of blood mixed with the water running off her body.
“Oh god, oh god,” she jumped up trying to pluck the half dozen three-inch-long creatures attached to her body. While they might be on an alien planet, that did not mean at least the science officers could identify a leech when they saw one.
“Not cool Alindor,” Teller began to pluck the blood sucking creatures off his neck and arms. “Really really not cool.” It was clear he was less than pleased however no one in the group except Erwin seemed to be thrilled at the moment.
“Look it was not like I planned this. I got vehicles. I got us a nice quiet little boat ride to our destination but the three of you,” she plucked a leech from her tricep flinging it to the ground, “lost your mind and decided to go swimming in a murky river.” Looking at Nala, Kalani’s frown deepened. “Finding them in your fur could be problematic.”
Kalani Alindor science
“Leeches don’t do well getting through fur in the first place.” He looked at her, “She might be the best off of the lot of us.” On the other hand once they got through it might be truly hard to locate. “It shouldn’t be a problem once we get back to the shuttle craft. The medical tricorder should find them without a problem.”
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