<USS Avalon> So What Was Your First Clue?
- From: Rowanna Darkwolf <rowannadarkwolf@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: "avalon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <avalon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 16:49:55 -0700 (PDT)
So What Was Your First Clue? T’Leara, Chapman, Reese, Fielding 2011:09:21 The science labs of the Andromeda station were a good-sized complex, comprising several sections of the station over two decks. Most of them were simply empty, left abandoned as if the scientists and students using them had departed for a lunch break and never come back. A few, however, showed that something had gone seriously wrong. Broken equipment littered several labs; someone had carefully, methodically smashed everything they could put their hands on. In a few, they discovered corpses -- some clearly victims of murder, some clearly suicides, and some that were just dead, and no way to easily tell how. “Glad we’re almost done,” Matthew Fielding muttered to himself, not for the first time. “This whole place stinks.” T’Leara looked at him and quirked a brow as her sharp hearing picked up his comments yet again. “Indeed,” she concurred, if only to alert him that he’d been overheard as she continued her scans. Gavin Chapman remained silent, his expression stern, his weapon at the ready. He’d no idea what went on here, but he’d be damned if he’d let it happen again. He glanced at Stephen Reese, who only nodded. He didn’t need to be a telepath to know what was on Chapman’s mind. They had to protect these people, but how? How do you fight something that can make people do this? Fielding keyed the door to the last of the xenobiology labs, and got no response. He examined the door and the locking mechanism with a frown. “It’s been jammed,” he said. “From the inside. I can’t tell for sure from here, but I’m betting the controls on the other side have been fused -- like someone took a phaser to ‘em. Or even a rock.” T’Leara nodded, beginning to withdraw the tools she wasn’t technically supposed to have, as she stated quietly, “If you would open the repair access, Mr Fielding, we may be able to bypass the controls.” Chapman and Reese stood by, weapons ready, in case whatever was behind that door should be something better left there. Fielding allowed himself a brief smirk as he watched T’Leara go to work. “Could’ve used that kind of talent in my misspent youth,” he said. “Let me know if you need any help.” T’Leara’s brow rose higher in amusement, but she said nothing. Instead, she finished her work and stepped back, letting Chapman and Reese take point as the doors slid open. The stink of decomposing flesh rolled out through the doors, not for the first time. The one corpse in the room lay crumpled beside them; the trail of blood and hair along the bulkhead next to it revealed just exactly how the door controls had been smashed. The stench assaulted T’Leara’s senses, made hyperacute by her current condition, causing her stomach to lurch. The only thing that prevented her from being ill there on the deck was the fact that her stomach had nothing in it. Even so, Reese readied a hypo filled with anti-emetic, pressing it to her neck as he moved in past her, phaser raised in his other, searching the room for the culprit. Chapman eyed her critically, his eyes filled with concern, but said nothing. After a moment, he nodded and stepped forward as well, gesturing that she and Fielding should wait there until he and Reese and cleared the room. “Show yourself,” Chapman demanded to the room. “We’re from the USS Avalon. We’re here to help.” Nobody appeared. Reese continued to scan a moment, then, after a nod from Chapman, waved T’Leara and Fielding in to look around. In sharp contrast to the gruesome spectacle at the door, the rest of the lab was utterly normal, neat and with nothing out of place. The large workbench at the center of the lab was bare, except for two objects at its center -- black, pyramid-shaped, about 40 centimeters on each side. T’Leara scanned the pyramid-shaped objects, frowning. The scans placed them among some of the oldest, if not THE oldest, artifacts ever found. They were made of an indeterminate mineral compound, and covered with an unknown alien script. And one, it appeared...was empty...was this the cause of all of this? “I’ll need to examine these more closely,” T’Leara told the others, her curiosity piqued. Chapman looked at her as if she’d grown another head. “So it can do there what it’s done here? Not a chance!” “We’ll follow very strict safety protocols,” T’Leara assured him, casting about for a means of carrying them. “Because, of course nobody here thought to try that,” Chapman replied sarcastically. “I don’t think so!” T’Leara looked to the others for a reasonable answer. "Whatever was inside is already out,” Fielding said, his tone carefully neutral. “What more harm could it do?” He moved to one of the lab cabinets, locating small null-field box. “You cannot be serious!” Chapman exclaimed. “Give in gracefully, Chap,” Reese suggested quietly. “They’re not listening anyway.” Growling, Chapman took the box, shoved the things into it and locked it up tight. “Scanners get it first. And it’s irradiated. Completely irradiated. Then maybe...MAYBE..you’ll get a look at it. Got it?” And maybe I’ll blow the damned thing out an airlock and make sure nobody else gets hurt by whatever it is, he thought privately. Own an original piece of Hannah's art. www.cafepress.com/helpinghanstore
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