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Pod 5, Part 4 - ... And Conquer? Part 1 [PLOT]

Posted on Wed Nov 21st, 2018 @ 9:27am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Lieutenant Commander Rhiana t'Aegis & Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan

Mission: Mission 4: Riding A Pale Horse
Location: Crash Site
Timeline: 15 July, 2394 - 0600 Hours

[ON]

They had arrived at the edge of the forested area the previous evening just after nightfall and had decided to spend the night before trying to tackle dismantling the prisoners' vehicle. "They" being the Techlons, of course. Once again, the prisoners had not been part of the discussion.

As the previous nights, guards were set up to keep the camp secure and the prisoners from leaving, especially now that they were close to the vehicle. They had not been mistreated, mostly ignored though, but they had also been allowed to remain on the horse-cart and now should be rested enough for some intensive labour.

The sun had now barely begun to rise that the Techlon guards roused everybody. "Up, come on, let's get to work!" A quick breakfast was distributed, then all but two Techlons ventured into the forested area. The two remaining Techlons were to guard the horse-carts, for there was no path to the crash site. All salvaged parts had to be lugged back over the muddy ground to the carts.

After another half hour of slogging through the forest, disturbing a few critters along the way and getting mud on their boots, the group of Techlons and Starfleet officers finally arrived back at the crash site, only to find that the guard Luke had left behind was nowhere to be seen and the corpses of the lizard-birds were torn apart. Some pieces were missing, others infested with maggots and flies, the stench of rotting flesh strong.

Jensen, Luke's second in charge who had accompanied them to the escape pod site, swore loudly. "I guess those blasted creatures took our one guy despite his weapon and the surrounding carnage. I'll have to notify camp leadership when we're back. In the meantime, untie those two prisoners let's get started on this tear-down. I don't want to be hear any longer than necessary if those things are feeling bold.

Harlan and Stephens' hands were untied and they flexed their hands and wrists to get the circulation back. While they recovered, Jensen spoke once more. "Ok you two. You're hands are free, but I don't want you picking up any tools or such right now. Stand off to the side there and tell us what still looks usable. The rest of us will be splitting our attention between your work and the copse of trees here to make sure nothing toothy comes to visit.

The work began with Harlan and Stephens peering closer at the various pieces strewn about. Harlan spoke first. "Well we can probably assume nothing on the ground is worth keeping if it's torn or smashed open. Otherwise it looks like there are some exposed circuit boards on the side of that panel there that still have power." He gestured to a particular spot and one of the Techlons moved to examine them. "He's right, Jensen. These look usable yet, their solder is still good. At the very least we can probably use the metal filaments." He began to carefully disconnect some ribbon cords from the main boards and then set them in a neat stack near one of the draft animals.

Another tech spotted some boxes that looked intact, but they wouldn't open. "These things important? They look locked." He brought one of them over to the two Starfleet for a closer look.

Stephens looked around and the crash site, trying to figure out how in the world they had managed to survived with so few injuries. Of course, that was easier for him to say than Rhiana. She'd taken the brunt of the damage. He glanced down at one of the locked boxes.

"Most of these boxes are emergency supplies. That one has breathing masks for hostile environments. Not sure how useful it will be," Charles said. "That one over there," he pointed to a box half submerged in the mud. "Is full of rations. Not really flavorful but the are handy to have."

Jensen nodded. "Everything is useful to us. We have almost no manufacturing systems here. We've been trying to build an infrastructure for a long time with little success. The Refam took all of the good tools and destroyed the rest after the conflict."

"Huh." Harlan grunted. "Those Refam sound pretty lame. What'd they go and wreck all your stuff for? Seems like our stuff won't be much good for infrastructure, just basic survival, but we'll see what survived before we get ahead of ourselves."

"Because they are dangerous fools. See, when the colony ship ran out of supplies we had to land on this planet. The crew of the ship mostly wanted to build a normal, civilized society. But those Amish... they thought our misfortunes were all tied to the fact that we had become too dependent on technology. So they organized a coup and seized control. My ancestors fought back but, ironically, those Refam had the advantage and they were ruthless. They killed most of the tech experts and drove the rest off into the wastelands. They set up the anti-tech field somehow and here we are. We've kept some machines and tech going but not much," Jensen said.

"What a bunch of idiots," Stephens said as he made his way over to the escape pod remains. "I'm not saying technology is always a good thing but I wouldn't want to live without it."

"Anti-tech field, eh? Yeah we felt it's impact on our way down." Harlan said this part with a noticeable amount of disgust towards the wreckage. "That's some pretty impressive stuff and I'm sure the irony is lost on them that they are using technology to prevent other technology from returning to general usage. You guys know anything about where they might be keeping it or how to turn it off? If Stephens and I can recover some stuff from here and reunite with our other crew on the planet, we might be able to help take it down."

Jensen laughed. "Don't you think if we knew where it was, we wouldn't have already tried? Wherever it is, they keep it hidden. We've sent scouts in for years, some of them come back but none have been able to find it."

Stephens reached inside the escape pod and searched until he found one of the tech kits. "Harlan, I found some tools," he said. Three of the techlons perked up at the word tools, crowding around to look at the small, emergency toolkit that was basic to the Starfleet crew but a treasure to their captors.

"Wow! Look how new it is. No pitting or anything!" One of them said.

"Is that a tension ratchet?" Another asked. "I know my dad used one of those once before it broke."

Harlan peered at the tool. "Yea, you've got that tool right on. Most of our stuff is going to be pretty nice since it's from Starfleet or replicated with modern technology. Hopefully we'll have a lot more like that around here that isn't damaged. When we get back with this stuff, you'll have to show us what level of tech you've maintained out in the scrub lands."

"And you say you're not sure where that generator is, huh? Hmmm, we'll there's got to be a way to triangulate it's general location. Have you ever run across an area where things did work? If so, we could start to chart a perimeter and go from there."

Jensen settled down on one of the cargo containers. He sighed as he situated himself. "Mister, your idea is a good one. And it might even work. But we don't have anything that would triangulate. We're using 200 year old equipment that as had almost no maintenance. The good stuff... well it is being used for other things. And I can tell you that this no-tech bubble they've got is bog. Real big. You could walk for days and days and not make it all the way around. We've got some old power cells that we use to power the important stuff, medical, manufacturing, agriculture, but they are so worn out that they work about half the time if we are lucky."

Stephens made sure the scavengers weren't getting into anything dangerous and then slopped around through the mud to a half buried container. He was pretty certain what was inside. He used his body to shield himself from the guard and began prying it out. He heard something rustling nearby and looked up. A tall bit of grass was shaking. Was it the wind?

Harlan cried out as a flash of color bolted from the scrub. "Stephens! Watch it!" Harlan moved to try and knock his friend out of the way, but not before something brightly colored and scaly with a stub nose shot out and began to sniff at his foot. It was roughly the size of a lapdog, but with very fine scales and a tuft of hair on its head. It looks like an elongated armadillo with an attitude. "What the hell? What is that thing?" Harlan asked the Techlons.

In response to Harlan's questions, the Techlons scattered like roaches exposed to the light. Jensen looked torn as he turned to run. He paused and yelled at the two starfleet officers.

"That's a baby Ulrong lizard!" He yelled. "The mother won't be far behind..." The ground shook and the plants near Jensen burst apart, revealing a massive six foot long lizard that stood five feet high. It had four stubby legs, a long tail and a mouth with teeth like a saber tooth tiger. Before the man could move, the beast was on him, ripping him in two with the first strike. Blood ran down it's teeth and it turned an eye to Harlan and Stephens and let out an ear shattering shriek. The little lizard butted Harlan in the foot.

Harlan and Stephens both bolted in different directions trying to confuse the Ulrong mama. Harlan went for one of the Techlons shouting, "Shoot the damn thing!" while Stephens made to the ruins of the pod and attempted to shimmy back inside while looking for something to use as a weapon.

The lizard charged at Harlan, going full speed until its front feet sank into the mud around the crash site. Its head slammed into the much, sending a wave of mud and water in all directions. It shook its head from side to side, trying to get at Harlan, who had been knocked down by the impact of the sudden wave of water and mud. Stephens weathered the tsunami slightly better as the escape pod took the brunt. He heard a crack as one of the Techlons fired their rifle but the shot simply bounced off of the lizard's hide.

"This is a real shit-storm," Stephens muttered to himself. He scrounged around the pod, looking for anything that would be of use but nothing turned up. He glanced down and saw that the cargo container he'd been looking at had ended up wedged against the escape pod. Grinning, he leaned down and toggled the security access. It opened with a small hiss, revealing two pristine condition phasers. "Alright!" He yelled and the lizard's head turned in his direction. Meanwhile the baby lizard scrambled over to Harlan and continued to butt him with it's head.

Stephens grabbed a phaser and dialed it up. He grabbed the other one and yelled. "Harlan! Catch!"

Harlan reached for the phaser, but the slippery mud impeded his concentration and it bounced off while firing an errant blast that hit one of the other Techlons in the leg. The small lizard opened its mouth and took a chunk out of Harlan's calf muscle while the larger one charged in anger at the lights and sounds and rammed the pod with Stephens in it. The pod started to shake and rattle with the force of the impact. Harlan yelped and kicked out at the lizard, knocking it away for just long enough that he could grab the phaser and fire a single shot that took the larger beast in the hindquarters and caused it to droop. Harlan looked down and saw that the phaser was luckily on stun. He fired off two more blasts at the beast, which knocked it out for the time being. He fired one more at the smaller lizard as it chewed on a piece of himself. "Whew, take that you little bugger."

Harlan tried to stand despite the incredible pain in his lower leg and hobbled over to the stunned Techlon. "You ok, son? Sorry about that. I wasn't expected to go surfing while trying to catch that thing. Stephens! Get out of that pod and help us figure out what's going on!"

Stephens crawled out of the escape pod, standing unsteadily. "Don't you yell orders to me, Harlan. I'm still chief of the boat! Well, of the pod or something. Anyways," he said and then raised his phaser and shot the huge lizard one more time. "Just in case," he said and waded over to where Harlan was standing next to the stunned Techlon. None of the others were in sight.

"He's a brave one," Stephens said. "What do you think we should do with our freedom? You going to bleed out on me?"

"Nah I'll just grab some clotting compound from one of the med kits. I think we should either head back to Rhiana or figure out how to start finding our other crew. Let's hope this one can help us with either." Harlan bent down and gently tapped the young Techlon on the cheek. "Hey guy, you ok? You with us?"

The Techlon groaned in reply. Steven laughed.

"He'll be ok, sharpshooter," the chief of the boat said. The huge lizard behind them let out a snort. "Let's grab some gear and beat feet, Harlan." Both of the chiefs scrambled around the site, keeping one eye on the lizard and grabbing food and supplies. Moments later, helping the half-stunned Techlon between them, they walked away from the crash site for the last time.

[OFF]

Chief Petty Officer Charles Stephens JR
Chief of the Boat/Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Chief Petty Officer Arlan Harlan
Assistant Chief Engineer
USS Firebird NCC-88298


 

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Comments (2)

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Gianna Djokovic on Tue Nov 27th, 2018 @ 6:03am

This was a fun read! About time the good guys get a win! -Liam

By Lieutenant JG Murril Na on Thu Dec 6th, 2018 @ 3:31am

I agree with Liam. The second half, especially, whisked by. Also, yes it's good to get a win!