Haumea Colony

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Into Thin Air

Posted on Sun Apr 21st, 2024 @ 4:17pm by Caithlin t'Leiya & Captain Min Seong

1,321 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Crossed Wires

Caithlin eyed the security team - and the unknown Starfleet captain who'd arrived with them - appriasingly, back still against the tree she'd put it against after Nikedoros had been taken.

She was reasonably certain the aliens weren't going to be able to follow that with taking her, because the third thing she'd done in short order - after getting her back against something and drawing a weapon - had been to throw the switch on the small, localized transport inhibitor device she kept on her. Unlike the larger, fixed sort, it would burn out fast, but it should last a few more hours. She was less certain who this new arrival was, though, and it made her slightly slower to put the phaser she'd had out since the kidnapping away than she might have been with a more familiar visage. Finally, however, she did; after all she had called people here, and time could quite well be of the essence in this matter.

Min had indeed made the call. And that was while she was on the way to the site of Sofia's disappearance. It was one thing to have one higher up disappear, but another? Theories already scampered through her head about political intrigue and the like. But she had little idea what the landscape even was within the colony (or the planet, it seemed), which made her theorizing simply that.

And while she was eager to get answers, she was happy to stand back and let the security team do their work, opting instead to order the lieutenant in charge to report to her the immediate moment something was discovered. No, instead she paced the scene, eyes on every little detail that she could see with her naked eye. Naturally, it would come up fruitless. Abductions rarely left a trace that she could simply spot.

On her final scan, her gaze rested upon Caithlin. She tapped the shoulder of the nearby petty officer, making a small gesture toward the woman. The young man followed the gesture, before mumbling a confirmation and returning to his work. Min wasted no time, approaching the woman with a neutral gaze. When she was close enough, she elected to speak in Romulan. "I wish we were meeting under better circumstances, Ms. t'Leiya. Min Seong. I'll be stepping in for Captain Mahone for a bit. Was it you my people spoke with over comm?"

"Yes." Caithlin looked subtly around one more time, then finally stepped towards the captain. "We were there - " Caithlin's finger pointed human-style at the spot where she and Sofia had been roughly, when the first creature had appeared " - and the first of the creatures came from there." She indicated another spot. "It blended in very well; almost like someone's houseplant had come to life; until it was startled by someone with a dog and revealed itself. I could perhaps attempt a sketch of it; if anyone has something to do so with." Caithlin shrugged her eyebrows. "She attempted to communicate with it; but whatever it said was gibberish; until a second creature appeared and they closed on her. I tried to intervene and strike them, but they were able to vanish with her - I suspect via some type of transporter - before I could. Near the same time, the translator appeared to finally lock onto what they were saying and broadcast something along the lines of 'we want this one' as they grabbed her. This all occurred less than a few of your minutes before the call was placed."

"A sketch would help." Min concluded with finality, making a gesture to a nearby security crewman. Then, she switched to Federation Standard, if only to brush off the weird looks they were receiving. "But if it was someone who had a hard time communicating on a Federation colony, then I wouldn't be shocked if it was a race of people we had yet to encounter. Typically a colony like this has technology to compensate for potential first contact situations like this. I'm also wondering how they escaped detection if they were transporting - did they have weapons or appear hostile at all?"

"I did not see weapons, however, that means nothing as to having them or not." Caithlin's standard was less rapid on her tongue than her native language had been, but it was still a fair bit better than the level many Romulan refugees had yet to achieve - a subtle tell that she had been among the limited number of Romulans to have been taught such before the nova and the fall of the Empire. "As to hostile...That depends on one's interpretation. They did not fire on anyone or engage in wholesale destruction; however I would personally view grabbing one of our personnel while shrieking 'That one! We want that one!' is hostile in implementation. Whether their intent is hostile or not would be hard to surmise one way or another; it happened very quickly. I would certainly be cautious that they well could be, however. I would also confirm or implement widespread transporter inhibiting measures throughout all secure areas and as much else of the colony's populated areas as possible, in case she was meant to merely be the first of many."

Min stroked her chin in thought. "They could very well be hostile and now holding the Lieutenant Commander hostage. But that could indicate they intend to reach out with some form of communication. If they have a teleporter, who knows where they could have gone off to - Ensign!" she gestured toward one of the security officers, who came running over at the drop of a hat. "Scan the area for every conceivable form of transporter energy - and see if you can trace it back to anywhere on or off planet." She ignored the questioning look, waving the ensign off as she returned to the conversation. "Screaming and calling attention to themselves like that would also indicate that this may have been their first hostage - or at the very least, on a planet such as this. I wonder if they knew what they were getting into. To some degree - potentially, because they were quick enough to evade any attempts at retaliation - but I am thinking not so much, or else it may have been a much more... finessed situation. Regardless, once we get that sketch, hopefully we'll find a match. If not... Let's hope they haven't gone too far."

"Depending on the range of their transporter, they could be anywhere on the planet, or possibly even elsewhere in the system." Caithlin sighed, and held a hand out to one of the nearby crewmen with a PADD, as if in ironclad expectation that he would simply hand it over for her to use. After an awkward few moments, he did, and the former senator took the stylus and got to rapidly drawing a likeness that, while it would have won exactly zero artistic prizes, was accurate and detailed enough to give away that it's creator had had some training in such, if not much skill still; and a few moment later she flipped the screen towards Min. "Like this."

"We'll have to do a system-wide sweep." Which, in Min's mind almost meant scrambling the fighters. They had those. Made sense to use them, especially if a hostage was involved.

Her eyes snapped straight to the screen, in case that would give any answers. Unfortunately, it did not. The oblong-face of the alien only gave Min more questions than answers. But that could mean anything here. She reached for the tablet. "We'll get this down to science... And strategic operations. I'm sure if anyone's seen them, someone there will know at the very least where they came from."


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