Bless the Maker
Location: Cargo Bay 2
Science, Medical, and Security were called to Cargo Bay 2. The mysterious craft, about three times the size of a standard shuttlecraft sat in the middle of the room showing extensive damage.
Caressa stood in the vastness of Cargo Bay 2, now engulfed by the massive craft. She had tricorder in hand, attempting to scan from the outside of the ship.
The tricorder gave nothing but feedback, unable to penetrate the craft.
Edruj took one look at the craft and began to scan her memory to see if she had ever seen a craft like this. In the meantime she opened her tricorder and found it to be useless. Rendered so by a field. A smile crawled across her face as she recognized the field around the craft. "It seems that this craft is employing an inverted nadon field. This is similar to a tactic employed by the Romulans to prevent scans of the interior of their ships. Perhaps what works on the Romulans works here?"
Caressa looked at Edruj. "I say give it a go. There is nothing we can do from here at this point." She looked at the new security officer. "What do you think?"
Edruj made her way to one of the Cargo Bay's terminals. She would configure the forcefield generators in the bay to create a tricaltrium pulse. A pulse of that type when modulated to certain frequencies always left the Romulans wondering what happened. It would take her a few minutes to get everything ready.
Dakota's dark eyes followed the Klingon science officer as she moved to the terminal. "I think someone's not waiting for my opinion," the security officer drawled. "She knows her work, though. If it doesn't work, we'll probably need to attempt entry. At that point, I'll have to insist on going first." After eight hundred years, little worried her.
A few moments later the pulse was ready and was put into practice. The field around the craft was disrupted but still no life signs could be picked up. The craft was still sending out the signal which had been interpreted as a SOS.
Edruj relayed the information from the sensors now that they could penetrate the scattering field. "I believe that Lieutenant Dakota is correct. We are going to have break in... Sensors show the ship to be empty and transmitting an SOS."
A moment later the craft began to hum before a side panel opened and a being fell out of it onto its hands and knees. It was robotic, and it appeared to have several 'wounds' leaking a bright purple liquid from the top of its head and its left arm. It spoke at first as a gibberish of tones before they took on something the translators could understand.
"You have answered my prayer."
Edruj practically gasped, something that was very unklingonlike. A cybernetic lifeform... This is a first contact indeed. she thought.
Caressa gasped and jumped back a bit. She wasn't ready for that. "By the Gods!"
Dakota instinctively shifted her body to be between this new being and the other crew just as it fell free. Her eyes snapped from point to point, taking it all in. So far, it hadn't made any aggressive moves but that didn't mean she let herself relax. Once they could understand it, however, she was intrigued. A robotic lifeform that prayed?
"Do you know where you are?" she asked, her voice low and cautious, but it hadn't done anything to make her destroy it, so she wanted to find out what she could.
"In orbit of planetary body 1000101101," it answered.
Edruj regarded the being's response and came to a hypothesis. It was possible that this being regarded the world as a computer, based on input and output. She decided to test the hypothesis. "Do you know what we represent?" Edruj asked the lifeform.
Caressa took the opportunity to scan it from where she stood, to not take an aggressive posture.
It looked from one to the other before 'blinking' its bright blue 'eyes'. "The Maker."
The response made the hypothesis stronger. The concept of a maker did not mean that the Being was not sentient and Edruj knew that. "Tell me when were you brought online?" She decided to treat it like a thing and see what response would be made.
"I do not have a reference for your standard of time." It stood to its full height of nearly seven feet. "My power systems have been compromised. Do you have an energy source here which I can use to recharge?"
Edruj glanced at Dakota, the Klingon did not want let this being have access to the ship's computer and she was sure the Security Chief felt the same way. However, a request like that should go through Security. Edruj turned back to the visitor. She had one more question that may decide everything. "What may I ask is your purpose?"
A moment later Dakota's badge chirped and she excused herself from the room.
"I was on my way to the planetoid body below to rescue my..." it searched for a word..."family. There is war on my homeworld and the last of us found this new home but the enemy located us and attacked while I was looking for others. They took our encampment but when I drew near they fired upon me and disabled my ship. They are called the Degans."
That did it, there was now doubt in Edruj's mind this being was sentient and not a computer. No computer would reference family. She turned to Caressa to see if the Doc had anything to add.
Caressa looked at Edruj, " I have nothing on the tricorder" Caressa turned to the being. "How can we assist you?"
"If I were able to recharge my system I could conduct self repair."
Caressa's badge chirped. "Doctor, what's going on down there?" Asked the Captain.
"Well Captain, It looks as if we have a rather tall cybernetic life form who is in need of assistance" see eyed the being and smiled. " He..well it was trying to assist its family and is being hunted by the Degans. The family members are on the planet below."
"I see. What kind of assistance is it...he...asking for?"
"Captain he is asking to re-charge. A engineering team could most likely help with that. I am out of my element here. As far as the other issue that needs a deeper dive." watching the cybernetic being. She looked at him. " Do you have a name or designation?"
The being put its hand on its chest plate. "10010001. I do not believe your language has much use for that designation."
"Alright, we'll set something up for him."
Edruj watched and listened as the Doctor had her conversation with the bridge. The Klingon scientist could only describe what was happening in one word. "vuQ!!!" (fascinating!) she muttered.
10010001, as it called itself, looked to Edruj. "You look different than she does. Is this common with your species?"
Edruj nodded in the affirmative. "I am Klingon and the Doctor is not. You will find that life comes in many different forms and shapes. In fact Beings such as yourself, that is to say cybernetic life is still new to us."
The door opened and a young engineer entered. She began adapting a wall panel and after a moment turned to them. "The Captain has ordered..our guest to tap in here."
10010001 walked over and put its hand on the panel. Thin cables extended from its wrist and began to draw power. "I've never experienced power like this. Not the strongest but different."
The engineer stood by in case she was needed.
"I am glad we could assist you. Is there anything that we can do to assist you further?" smiling as she was putting on the diplomatic hat.
"You and your fellow crew have been very helpful."
Caressa pressed her Comm badge." Capt. would you like to speak to 10010001?"
There was no reply other than very garbled static.
She looked at her Comm badge and then at Edruj and tried again. " Melanick to Capt Crow respond "
The same static. 10010001 waved its free arm in a carefree manner. "I do not require your Captain."
"Evidently, but something is not right" She walks over to a comm panel thinking her badge might be malfunctioning. "Melanick to Bridge please respond" She was really wishing she had a phaser and not a tricorder in her hand at the moment.
Caressa was met with the same. 10010001 looked over his shoulder. "I want to thank you, all three of you. You are responsible for helping me bring a new era of peace and tranquility to my home world ending millennia of civil war."
Suddenly it turned and looked at the panel it was attached to. "Your species is bothersome in your ability to delay the inevitable."
Ensign Moro who had been watching pulled a tool from her pocket and ignited the photon cutter. She quickly closed the gap and severed the wires emanating from the robot's wrists.
10010001 backhanded her across the chest sending her into the wall. "See what I mean?"
Caressa watched the young ensign fly across the room. " That was really not necessary. I personally don't like being used." She was at the com panel and made use of it. She used the tricorder, with the help of the com panel to emit a em pulse. She thought that maybe it might slow the being down at least.
The robot seized up but kept its eyes on Caressa. "And here I thought we were friends. No matter. When I recycle my system I'll reconnect with your ship's weapons, destroy the rebel camp, and then I'll deal with you meatsacks."
She was not going to give him the opportunity. She flew to the console in the middle of the shuttle bay. Her fingers moved swiftly over the buttons. She looked the Edruj. "Perhaps today is a good day to die!" She could not think of anything else other than decompressing the shuttle bay. She looked up as if talking to the gods. " Henry, take good care of them!" a tear streamed down her cheek. It was the thing she feared most, but it was what was best for everyone. She had placed the appropriate codes and looked at 10010001. " Have fun, this meatsack will see you on the other side! " Her finger was placed on the initiate button.
"Don't do that!"
Caressa gave him a evil smirk. "To late" She looked at Edruj and shouted. "Hold on tight" With that Caressa pushed the button. The sudden compression of the shuttle bay felt like her chest was being crushed. She would hold on as long as she could. She watched as the double crossing cyborg was sucked out into the depths of space. She watched as the Klingon held on. She tried to stay conscious as long as possible, so she could reset the shuttle bay but her world went black.
For the first time since schooling Edruj's scientific fascination came in conflict with her warrior instinct. She was frozen, fascinated by the scientific discovery before her, and she could not act when she should have. However, the decompression of the bay and the removal of the being changed all that.
The redundant systems in a Klingon's body allowed her to reinstate the forcefield in time. "It is indeed Commander and I apologize for not obliging him sooner."
Still unconscious, Ensign Moro's body had slid across the floor towards the opening but came to rest safely with Edruj's quick action.
A few moments later, the doors from the lift opened. Edra stepped out carefully, until she she realized the bay doors were once again closed. She carried a med kit in her hand that she'd grabbed on the way out. "Caressa! Edruj!" She called out as she searched the cargo area for the officers, and her friends.
Caressa was coming out of her haze. "Ha! It worked" She turned to Edruj. " Nice team work!" She saw Edra working her way through the cargo bay.
Edra heard the slight celebration and maneuvered around the large cases that had shifted in the vacuum. Finally, she saw Caressa. "Are you okay? Where's Edruj?" The report that the field had dropped had her convinced she was coming down here to find an empty bay. Thank the Prophets, she was wrong.
"Just thankful that worked." rubbing her head a bit. "Nothing like having all the air sucked out of your lungs. Is everything OK on the bridge?" Caressa was visually scanning for Ensign Moro. "Where is the Ensign? She was thrown quite a bit"
Edra saw the other woman pull her tricorder out. "Just stay where you are for a moment. I'll look for the others." Since Caressa didn't appear to have any serious injuries, she moved on and searched for the Science officer and the ensign.
"I am fine really." Caressa stood and started to brush the dirt off. She flipped open the tricorder and took readings where she stood." Do you see the others?"
Edruj rose to her feet next to the console. Although Klingons had redundant systems in their bodies, they still did not like atmospheric changes that quickly. The chaos of what had ensued caused her luxurious hair to hang wildly about her shoulders. "I am fine Doctor. Thank you." Edruj turned toward Caressa. "I have learned that teamwork is often the better way to go. However, I wonder if there are any more of whatever that was."
The ensign let out a groan from behind a stack of containers. The blow to her chest was probably indicitive of a few broken ribs. She tried to sit up and stopped. Yep, broken. God, she needed a drink right about now.
Edra heard the groan, and followed her ears to a nook behind some containers. She could see the look on the Ensign's face that bespoke of the pain she was in. "Caressa, over here!" The XO knelt down beside Moro and gently put a hand on her. "Don't move. We'll she what's going on." She started to scan her. By the time the Doctor reached them, Edra was able to simply hand the tricorder over to her for her assessment.
Caressa made her way over to the injured crewman, and accepted the tricorder. "You were doing great." She smiled at Edra. She scanned the ensign. "A few broken ribs, but we will have you up and running in no time" Casressa then saw the medical team approaching. She waved them over. "These fine gentleman are going to take you to sick bay." They worked at putting the ensign on the hover transport unit. Caressa was handed a padd, her fingers moving swiftly over the screen. "I have put in some orders and will be joining you shortly. Make sure that Chance gets this so he can start the treatment protocol." She smiled and then looked at the ensign. "I will see you in a bit.
Edra's badge chirped. "Commander what's the status down there?" Henry sounded calm but concerned.
Edra stepped away. She knew she could have read the tricorder, but didn't want to step on the doctor's toes. She tapped her com badge and answered. "Edruj and Dr. Melanick dropped the bay field purposefully. It sounds as if the AI they found wasn't entirely friendly. There are no casualties on our side, and only one serious injury that is currently being tended to. We'll report for a debriefing shortly." With that she nodded to both senior officers. "Meet me on the Bridge as soon as you're able." Seeing no objections, she turned and left.
Edruj stood there in the cargo bay as everything seemed to move slowly for a moment. She could not believe that this entity had gotten the best of her. Her curiosity had gotten the better of her weariness. This was something that would not do, she chastised herself silently for a moment.
Caressa stood and looked at Edra and Edruj. " I am headed to the bridge for a moment, then to sickbay. Is there anything more here I can do?"
"I believe our work here is done." Edruj said with a crooked smile. "I will join you. I must return to my station to see what can be learned about these beings."
Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick
Chief Medical Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Edra Crow
Executive Officer, USS Mercutio
Chief Science Officer, USS Mercutio
Ensign Evelyn Moro
Computer Systems Specialist, USS Mercutio