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Checking In

Posted on Sun Oct 2nd, 2016 @ 3:53pm by Captain Julius Whitlam & Lieutenant Commander Anders Odegaard & Lieutenant Samantha Winters & Lieutenant Alice Rhodes & Lieutenant Mikela Reyes MD & Captain Melody Windsor

Mission: The Ties That Bind
Location: Seclusion

The sun was bright and harsh as Captain Julius Whitlam and his chief of security emerged from the Administration Building. "That could have gone better," he said to Odegaard as he shielded his eyes from the glare.

"Agreed." Anders commented in response to his Captain. "Makes you wonder if he'lol be the same once the Jem'Hadar show up."

The captain nodded and looked around for the away team, who were gathered not far from the building's steps. The pair crossed over to them.

"How did that go?" Melody asked skeptically.

"Not well," Whitlam replied with a frustrated shake of his head. "Olan is stubbornly refusing to evacuate. We'll go back in shortly and try a different approach. What have you all found?"

"Not much," Melody replied. "The general concensus from my team is that this place is 'weird'," She admitted. "Though, we did get pretty sternly shooed away from that barn building over there," She offered. "Something about disturbing what's inside," She explained. "Something is off as hell here, sir."

"Something's definitely wrong with these people," Reyes offered, pulling herself to her feet as her captain approached. "Something medical. I just don't know what's causing it. I'm picking up a bunch of chemical changes, I haven't had the time to sit down and work it all out yet, but this activity of theirs isn't just an obsession. It's even more than that. I fell in with a young girl. I left her over by our shuttle with a ration pack. Hasn't been eating well. She said she hasn't been able to catch their attention for days. Even her friends have been dismissive of her. She's got Trisomy 21. That might be keeping her from being... infected... or affected... or something... but I don't know why."

(Reyes: If that idea/inclusion is a problem, I can remove it. :) Hopefully I'll have time to write out an in-between post before this one goes up. WHITLAM: This is a great idea, I love it! Roll with it.)

Whitlam frowned and peered over at the building Windsor mentioned while he listened to the doctor's report. It troubled him. Chemical changes that seemed to affecting behaviour. He'd certainly observed the same kind of unusual behaviour, especially from the colony's administrator. "Olan said the colony can defend itself," he said, his mind ticking over all that they'd observed so far. "Not with weapons, though." He looked at the doctor. "Do you think it's possible that these chemical changes may be related to some kind of defensive measure?"

Mikela checked her medical tricorder. "The analyses aren't finished yet, but from what I'm seeing..." She glanced down the work in progress and shook her head slightly. "I don't know. I'm not... They're no stronger, no faster, nothing seems to suggest at first glance that they can shapechange or anything odd like that... No, this seems to have more to do with compulsion, reward center, maybe other things, but... no, I don't think they're any more able to defend themselves." She looked up at the Captain. "They might not even be inclined to."

The captain nodded and looked at the others. "Anything else to report?"

Popping out from behind the Marines, Alice struggled with a lump of mud on her boots. "Does not remembering how you got here count Sir?" With a sigh she gave up and looked up at her Captain with a half smile.

Whitlam frowned and cocked his head slightly to the left. "It might," he replied slowly. "Can you elaborate?"

Alice rubbed some dirt off her cheek as she started. "Well it took me a while, but I managed to get two merchants to talk. These two gentlemen came all the way down here from Tellar Prime, their charter world. They brought a lot of different things, but mostly mud. Quality mud from what I understand. The interesting part is where they have no idea why they decided to sell their mud here, or even HOW they got here. They even seemed confused at the idea of being questioned about it. Kept saying they were exactly where they were supposed to be. I did manage to coax their usual rout out of them, and they are a far far way from there sir."

The captain listened to the operations officer's account with great interest. It reinforced his growing sense that there was some kind of deprivation of free will among the colonists. Like they were being coerced, or controlled, by someone or something. He looked around at the colony and found his eyes focusing on the barn, which now had a couple of colonists loitering around in front of it. "Thank you, Lieutenant. That most definitely counts," he said.

"There's also the fact that without either over-taxing the transporters or filling all of our shuttles to capacity, a lot of these people won't be going anywhere any time soon unless I can get a dozen or so of my grunts down with spare parts for their shuttles," Winters said, piping up after listing to what everyone else had reported. "Every one of them has had random components removed that mean they won't even make it out of the settlement, if they can get off the ground at all. There have been power cells pulled out, drive coils removed, control panels gone missing..." she rattled the list off, counting down on her fingers. "The colonist in charge of maintenance on this rock - some woman called Pim - tried to put it down to scavengers. But unless you're planning on going somewhere, drive coils are no use to any scavenger. When I pressed her, or anyone else on it, they just insisted that they get back to what they were doing... like they'd be pulled in front of a firing squad if they didn't."

Whitlam shook his head and came to a decision. "Alright," he said, looking around and moving in closer to his officers. "There's clearly something on this planet that's keeping the people here. They're refusing to evacuate, they've stripped their shuttles and some don't even remember why they're here. Someone or something is keeping them here." He paused and looked over at the barn again. "I'm betting that it has something to do with whatever is in that building over there."

Melody merely nodded, she couldn't agree more and had a very strong urge to stomp right over to that barn and stun anyone who tried to stop her from kicking in the door and getting to the bottom of this. She was fairly certain that Whitlam wouldn't approve of that, though, so she kept the idea to herself.

"Captain Windsor," Whitlam said, looking to the marine commander. "I want to know what's inside that building. Do whatever is necessary to get in there and find out what they're hiding."

Melody blinked... she hadn't been expecting that order. "Uhm... covertly, overtly, or otherwise, Cap?" She asked, shifting awkwardly as he marines fell in behind her.

Whitlam considered the question for maybe two heartbeats before answering in a firm tone that betrayed none of the internal conflict raging inside him. "Use your judgment, Captain," he said. "Covert is preferable, but we don't have a lot of time so you may need to improvise."

"Aye, Captain," Melody replied with a nod. Covert was her preference as well... but she had a feeling it wouldn't play out that way.

"Commander Odegaard and I will go another round with the Administrator to keep him occupied," the captain continued. "We don't have much time, so do what you have to do. Any questions?"

"All good here Boss." Anders said with a nod to the Captain.

"Good," Whitlam said. "Let's get to it."

Captain Julius Whitlam
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Odegaard
Chief Security/Tactical Officer

Lieutenant Alice Rhodes
Chief of Operations

Lieutenant Samantha Winters
Chief Engineer

Lieutenant Mikela Reyes
Chief Medical Officer

Captain Melody Windsor
Marine CO


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