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Enter the Wasteland

Posted on Sun Aug 13th, 2017 @ 7:39pm by Petty Officer 1st Class Kipp Lak & Commander Karen Myles & Lieutenant Jesse Davis & Crewman Recruit Jerant van Rijn

Mission: Mission 2: Echoes of the Dominion
Location: Holodeck 1
Timeline: 30 March, 2394 - 1130 Hours


It happened without warning and too quickly for her to do anything about it, one moment she was reaching for a cup of tea on her table and the next moment she felt the familiar pull of a transporter beam. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the bright sunlight, as far as the eye could see there was nothing but red sand. She looked up at the sky and squinted as it stung her eyes. "Vulcan." She was about to ask how when she heard something behind her. Spinning around she saw the Security Chief and the Captain's Yeoman standing next to someone she hadn't met.

"What the hell is going on here." She asked already beginning to perspire from the heat.

Kipp looked up from his seated position. He'd been meditating before whatever had just happened had happened. He looked around at the red sand dunes that spread to the horizon, split here and there by tall rock buttes. He unfurled his legs, his dark green kimono falling to cover his feet.

"Ma'am, I believe that is an excellent question," he said. He looked over at Lieutenant Davis and let his eyes settle on the last member of their foursome, Mr. Van Rijn. "One we will need to answer swiftly."

Jerant had been in the process of tying the laces of his sneakers, fully intent on going for a little run across an obstacle course. He was dressed in tight fitting dri-fit clothes that were lightweight and very much sweat absorbing. He blinked as he suddenly found himself crouching in what to him looked like an immense sandbox. Straightening he looked at the others, none of whom he could recall having met before. 'Looks like someone transported us away from wherever we were," he pointed out, "or whatever we were doing," he added, glancing over at Kipp's kimono. "But from the looks of things, we are on Vulcan, and going on the colour of the sand we're probably somewhere in the region of Gol. I grew up around here..."

"We couldn't a been transported all the way to Vulcan," JJ spoke up, wearing his full uniform since he'd been making his rounds on the ship. "That kinda distance is impossible. Holodeck, maybe?" He looked side to side before announcing "Computer, arch." None materialized. "Computer, arch!" He repeated, again to no effect. Sweat began to trickle down his brow as he directed his glance to Myles. He tapped his combadge.

"Davis to Bridge."

No answer.

"A holodeck seems plausible," Jerant mused, "but then why didn't the computer respond to your command? And this heat...I don't think we'll last long unless the safeties are engaged." he glanced around their small group. "How about some introductions, because I've never met any one of you before. I only arrived a few days ago. My name's Jerant van Rijn, I'm a linguist."

"JJ Davis, Chief of Security."

Kipp bowed. "We have not met, Mr. van Rijn but I handled your arrangements on the Firebird. I am Yeoman Kipp Lak, personal assistant to Captain Llwyedd. I believe you are correct. A holodeck seems most likely." He reached up and touched the sheen of sweat that was already evaporating. "Commander, what are your orders?"

Karen rubbed her forehead and fought back the urge to tell them now wasn't the time for introductions and chit chat, when asked for her orders she took a deep breath. "First we need to find some shade, preferably a cave or a dwelling." She cleared her throat. "And then we need to find a way out of this holodeck, so start thinking all of you, I want ideas."

She spun around looking for anything noticeable to walk towards, but nothing major stood out. Shrugging her shoulders she pointed to the west and said. "This way I guess."

They walked for a long time. The sun appeared to hover directly overhead, even though Kipp knew that was not the case. At least the sand underfoot was soft, more so than he had expected. He'd never visited the planet before but had heard endless stories. He looked up and for the first time noticed the effect the sun was having on the XO and JJ.

"One moment, please," he said and knelt. He dug around in the sand until he unearthed a jagged piece of lava rock. He tested the edge against his thumb and nodded. With quick, short strokes he sliced large swaths of fabric from the bottom of his pants. There was enough material there that even after cutting away four strips, it still fell past his knees.

"I suggest we cover our heads," he said. "I also think that there is some shade in the shelter of that outcropping." He pointed. It was still a long walk but there was a crescent of shade, or at least the illusion of shade at the base.

"Keep the rock," Jerant advised, "nights can get really cold and the le-matya come out then. They're very dangerous because they're poisonous. We need to be able to create some kind of fire, if we can. Even if we don't exactly have the materials now." He accepted one of the strips of cloth and tied it around his head.

"It's a good idea, but I don't think the safeties are off," JJ commented, still accepting his piece of cloth. "Way I figure it, the reason we were transported to the holodeck instead of space is that someone wants to keep us around, for some reason or another." He wiped a stream of sweat from his brow. "Doesn't mean they'll make it easy on us, though. Keep up the survivalist mindset, it's probably the best we can do at the moment."

"We can't know for sure that the safeties are on or off," Jerant pointed out, "and I'd rather not find out if you dont mind?"

Kipp listened to the arguments from both of them and decided he would keep the rock. He clenched it in his right hand and continued their journey. His keen eyes swept the horizon, looking for movement and finding none but the drifting sand. As they grew closer to the butte he nodded, rivulets of sweat slipping down his face. "Ma'am," he said and pointed. "There is cave there."

Karen looked where he pointed and gave a slight nod. "Good work." She took a deep breath,which sounded more like a pant. She had tended to agree with JJ there were far easier ways to kill someone than to use the holodeck so her own feeling was the safeties were on. However as pointed out there was no way to know for sure.

She motioned for them to follow the stopped short of entering the cave. "Davis and I will check to make sure it is clear." She looked to Kipp and Jerant. " You two wait at the entrance." She handed Kipp back the piece of fabric which she hadn't gotten around to tying around her head.

Looking to Davis she said. "Lets go."

"Yes, Ma'am," JJ replied, falling in alongside her.

Jerant looked to Kipp and shrugged. "I always thought the lowest of ranks were thrown to the wolves? Shouldn't we be the ones to get in there instead? We got no tools whatsoever, how is she going to see what's inside without light?"

Kipp appreciated the Counselor's Aide's practicality. "Commander Myles is protective of the crew. This is an honorable attitude and I respect her for that. I do not believe we will be spelunking and she and Chief Davis are likely to only venture far enough to ensure our safety. The light from the entrance should be enough." Kipp considered their current situation. "Do you have any expertise in computer software?"

"Nope, I'm afraid not. I do know about climbing things though, jumping across buildings and obstacles. Why?" The Betazoid hybrid tilted his head in curiosity, wondering what sparked the question.

Kipp sat down in the shade, his back against the rough rock wall. He saw a small insect, unfamiliar to him, burrowing into the sand. "I was remembering something that Chief Harlan said once. He was repairing a broken panel in the holodeck," Kipp said and gestured around them. "He was complaining about voice command programs. I thought maybe there was a way out of here via that mechanism. Perhaps the XO or Chief Davis will have some insight."

"Possibly...what did Chief Harlan say? Perhaps it makes some sense for us?" Jerant sat down too, taking the cloth from his head to wipe his face with it. "Let's hope the XO and Davis find some water inside that cave. It's really hot, but trust me, this isn't as hot as I remember Vulcan to be. if this were really vulcan, we'd be roast by now, unprotected as we are."

Walking back out of the cave Karen sighed slightly as she handed over a glass of water to Kipp and said. "Well if nothing else we know for certain this is a holodeck, and someone or something doesn't intend for this to kill us." The glass of water looked completely out of place in this environment. "There were two of them just sat on the floor in there." She took a deep breath. "Which is safe to come in." She motioned for them to go in.

Kipp stood and ducked into the cave. He sighed as the temperature dropped. He thought about what Jerantand the XO had said. It wasn't as hot as it could be and someone had left water for them. Inside the cave turned out to be more comfortable and less primitive than he had expected. The floor was a soft sand but there was a dim lighting system installed into the ceiling, answering Jerant's question, and a handful of small sleeping spaces carved out of the rock.

"It would appear that our captors predicted our arrival," Kipp said. He turned and faced the XO. "I assume we are not planning to wait here, doing nothing, ma'am?" He proceeded to relay the story about Harlan to the XO and JJ. "So perhaps one of you has some experience with verbal software programming?"

"Oh look beds carved inside a rock face," Jerant chuckled as he walked around to explore. Using a few protrusions as handholds, he climbed up the wall with ease, then somersaulted himself away, kicking up dust as he landed square on his feet. He felt a little tense, not knowing what to expect and not being able to sense anything beyond the three others here with him. And he did his best not to pick up on their emotions, but it wasn't wholly avoidable. "If we're captured and stuck here, why exactly are we four put together? And why this scenario? And who's to assure us that safeties are engaged to full?"

Karen watched as Jerant scaled the wall and jump away. "If you are quite finished." she said flatly. before looking to Kipp. "We need to find the holodeck interface panel, it should be hidden somewhere behind rocks or something else." She shook her head slightly. "Assuming it hasn't been completely locked out we can use to to get a better picture of what is going on."

She cleared her throat slightly. "Our aim is twofold, find out who activated this program and get out."

"Yes, commander," Kipp said. He spent the next half hour searching the rocks. His hands were nicked and bruised by the time he found the access panel. It was behind a large black rock that was out of place and when he touched it, it swung open on hinges. Behind it he could see the flashing face of the holodeck interface module. "Over here, ma'am."

Jerant stretched out and gave the woman a puzzled look. "I'm just trying to see how these lights are fixed. it's pretty weird to have lights like this in a gave...especially if whoever put us here is trying to pull off some realism." He sized up the wall. "it's just taking a little effort to get up there."

Karen returned the puzzled look for a moment and then replied. "I don't think realism was the goal." She took a slight breath as she walked to Kipp and knelt down next to him. "Thank you Petty Officer." She gave him a nod and then leaned in closer to the panel.

She began to hit a few commands, avoiding using her security codes for any reason. "This is strange, there seems to be two competing algorithms running here, every time one enters a new a new command pathway the other closes it." She took a deep breath. "One is responsible for keeping us locked in, the other is responsible for the water and lower than average temperature." She looked around for a moment.

"Can't we hotwire them?" Jerant asked, feeling useless for not having any kind of useful skill to help.

"Maybe, maybe not," JJ answered, moving in from the cave entrance where he'd been keeping watch. "It all comes down to our access codes, seein' as we don't have any tools with us to actually get into the hardware. And whomever trapped us in here could have set up failsafes - if we start messin' with the programs, we might find ourselves somewhere less hospitable." As he spoke, his eyes continued to sweep their surroundings, looking for any change. It was possible any attempt at escape could alter the program. Finding the access panel hadn't triggered anything as far as he could tell, but he stayed ready for action just in case.

"Well....try them then," Jerant urged, "mine are worthless...I'm not even sure I got any." He looked over at Myles. "Surely, an XO can override protocols?"

Karen sighed heavily. "I probably could, but that runs the risk of giving one of these programs my codes, and with them they could tamper with almost every single system on the ship." She took a deep breath. "As counter productive as it seems, our best option it seems right now is to stay put and monitor the program. If I can deactivate it without my codes I will do so."

She turned and looked at them all. "And there is the possibility we will be released by the crew or whoever set this up."

Kipp nodded. The Commander Myles was thinking conservatively and he thought it was a smart decision. Patience was almost always a good thing. He pressed his back against the wall, enjoying the coolness of the cave, and closed his eyes.


Lieutenant Commander Karen Myles
Executive Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Jesse Davis
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Petty Officer Second Class Kipp Lak
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Mr. Jerant van Rijn
Counselor's Aide
USS Firebird NCC-88298
NPC Savin


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Comments (2)

By Lieutenant JG Luka Stern on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 @ 10:12pm

I think these four make a really nice team together and look forward to them as a group in the future.

By Lieutenant Commander Yumi Han on Sun Aug 13th, 2017 @ 8:29pm

Geez, Myles is smart. I love her exasperation while Jerant tests her patience, lol. This was a really clever solution--keep your access codes hidden, and have faith in your crew to rescue you. No one will ever trick our XO with an offer from a Ferengi banker... ;)