Haumea Colony

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Uncharted Territory

Posted on Mon Mar 27th, 2023 @ 3:56pm by Ensign Davna & Lieutenant Colonel Shaun Bradley

Mission: Pressure
Location: Camp Vimy Ridge [Marine Headquarters]
Timeline: MD01 0730
2450 words - 4.9 OF Standard Post Measure

There is a misconception that exists, due to the divergent nature of the players involved, that Marines and Fleeters don't mix. "Oil and water, cats and dogs," the comparisons went on for ever. The truth was far more complicated, a difference in philosophy and operations lead to a natural competition, while the need for different facilities for training meant they often spent time apart. On ground colonies this was exasperated, with the Marines needing space to spread out, and work their training operations correctly while not endangering the civilian population. That was the case for Camp Vimy Ridge - named in jest for the cooler temperatures reminding on Marine of their home in the Canadian region of Earth, and the famous battle fought by the Canadians. It had stuck, and slipped its way into the formal report, resulting in the name being codified on paper at Starfleet Headquarters.

The camp was simple, at the core of the facilities was a central tower that had been erected. At the top sat the command centre, which integrated Marine Aerospace Control as well as Battle Command. It's base contained a large central armory and a small reactor to keep the facility independent. A mess hall was constructed around the base, with replicators and chairs on the ground level. Attached to the tower itself were the barracks, six hallways at two stories tall. Junior ranks on the bottom, senior on the top. A PT track was built around the central elements of the compound, and then the ground was cleared out to the edges. A firing range was found to the east, as far from the civilians as was reasonable, with the collection of Marine shuttles, transports and fighters stationed to the North, where forest had been cleared to give space. At the west was the entrance, a pair of guard posts that connected to the gate. To the south was the garages, which currently houses a collection of basic ground vehicles equipped for construction and support operations. MacTaryn had of course joked that he was sending a Chieftain to the base as a recruitment piece, after all kids loved to sit on the hull of the tank. Lastly, the entire base was surrounded by a one meter tall wall, with small towers spaced around at regular intervals. These were part of the shield system, which could deploy a forcefield up to four meters tall around the facility, or entirely shield if needed.

The base was small, and hardly had any defensive armaments, with a single CAESAR artillery piece having been moved off the transport ship when they had arrived, but was currently disassembled in the warehouse attached to the garages. It could be equipped as an anti-air battery, but the officers had agreed to leave it out of order, as it would make the civilian and Starfleet population more comfortable. All in all, the base was entirely self contained, and nestled in the forest, only a twenty minute walk from the colony proper. Unless you were right outside it, you would probably not even know it was there, which seemed to suit Starfleet just fine.

This early in the morning the base was mostly active with morning watch taking over, and the collection of other duty Marines doing their morning PT. It was calm, which honestly suited the Marines there quite find. An Albatross was on the pad, a gathering of Marine Corps Engineers loading it with survey equipment to begin a geological survey of the nearby mountains. They'd be swinging by Haumea to pick up a team of Civilian geologists who were very excited to have access to the Marine climbing gear. Master Warrant Jurzess Vidud was leaned against the gate post chatting with the Corporal inside, waiting as a group of school children were coming by that morning for a tour and he'd been asked to take care of them. In a past life his symbiont had been a teacher in the past, so he'd volunteered for the role, excited to work with the kids.

"Excuse me, young one." "Pardon me, kiddo." "No, I don't call kids hatchling. I'm Orion, not Saurian."

Through the pile of children marched the red-uniformed Davna. She gave them pats on the shoulder and offered strained smiles, but her determination made it difficult to do more. But the moment she laid eyes on the Trill Marine, her gaze turned sharp. "Hey! You there!"

She tossed ranks aside, as did the Daucin in her arms, who chirped at Vidud with a similar anger, waving his small arms in an attempt to intimidate. Davna stormed right up to him, frown all over her face. "I've been trying to reach the Lieutenant Colonel for the past hour! Where is he?"

The Warrant looked over at the Sergeant and Corporal that were inside the booth, who in turn looked back to him. A smug smile slid onto the sergeant's face, with the Corporal looking more confused that anything. Looking back to the Ensign, Jurzess pushed off the wall and started towards the gaggle. "Sorry little ones, I need to sneak past here quick," he said, moving surprisingly effortlessly through the crowd. "Sorry Ms. Evora, I know I promised, but this looks important, I'll be right back," he said, a very calm tone that was matched to a face that was far softer than one would expect from the imposing figure of a Marine Master Warrant. His arm snaked around the Ensign, and he tugged her off to the side.

"Ensign," he said, when they had a bit of privacy, though the facinated and locked eyes of children followed them as they went. "Sergeant, get them into the seating area please, I think we have those juice boxes." A brief pause, as the Sergeant clearly went to say something back, but was cut off, "No you don't have to share your crayon flavoured ones, the regular fruit juice will do just fine!" The pair exchanged a laugh, and he waved off. "Sorry about that, you were asking about Bradley. He's on a call with Command, is there something I can help you with?"

"Get him off the call," Davna near-demanded in a hushed voice and over the angry peeps of the Daucin, "This is more important than whatever he's doing. Way. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more important."

Waving her free hand toward the colony proper, she gave Jurzess a wild-eyed look. "The emergency to end all emergencies." Or, at least to end all emergencies on the colony. But in Davna's eyes, politics could wait. Her voice got lower, and her hand clamped over the Daucin's mouth. She leaned in real close, gesturing for him to do the same so she could whisper in the softest whisper she could. "The Captain is missing."

If the Warrant was shocked, it failed to register. He raised an eyebrow, looked back to the gate, then back to the Ensign. His eyes now narrowed, as he studied her, her expression and clear concern. Somewhere the gears turned in his head, and a collection of jokes danced on the edge of his mind about departmental teasing, but he pushed them aside as he wrapped his thought up finally. "There are two types of missing Ensign. Missing as in you can't find them, or missing as in..." he let the words hang, an implication and a waiting for response.

Davna didn't bother finishing the thought. "He's not in his home or his office. And his cabin is not how I expect him to leave it." She was vague, but her eyes narrowed as if that was supposed to mean something. "It's enough of a state that I need to speak with him before the rest of the colony finds out."

There was a long pause, as the Warrant officer stared for a moment, reaching up to rub his temples and sigh long and drawn out. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and straightened. With a push of his commbadge, he said to the air, "Master Warrant Vidud to Ops, over." A delay, and the response came back.

//"Don't tell us you're already sick of the gremlins Warrant,"\\ came back the friendly tone of whoever was monitoring communications.

"Protocol Six." It was a flat set of words, followed themselves by a long pause on the other end.

//"First Lieutenant Orosov, confirmed Warrant,"\\ a different voice responded. From inside the base there were two quick, shrill chirps and all activity paused.

"Marines, Protocol Six is now in effect." A few glances around, and even through the tree one could clearly see the Marines not currently with the children break into a dead sprint. What had been a small hive of activity of personnel going through the motions of a morning routine had evolved into a kicked hornet's nest of movement. The Warrant didn't wait for the Ensign but started to walk, expecting her to follow. She may be an officer, but on a Marine base that only meant you got salutes, not authority.

"Protocol Six is a Marine policy in place for a kidnapped Starfleet Captain," he explained, more for her understanding. He dragged her towards the students, and his demenour of cold Marine changed into that of a welcoming school teacher. Dropping to one knee he brought himself to the level of many of them. "The Ensign has asked us to put on a show for all of you, a bit of a training drill. You'll all get to see what it's really like to be a Marine!" Eyes lit up, and he smiled, pointing upwards as the sounds of fighter craft screamed by and up into the skies. "Those are Mark Two Valkyrie space-superiority fighters, piloted by some of the finest pilots in the whole galaxy. They're going to rush to the veeeeery edge of space now, and it'll only take them two minutes! Inside Sergeant Girbach is going to show you some really cool things. Have fun and I'll be with you soon!"

He kept walking, past the children now and into the facility. "You had better be damned sure he didn't fall asleep on a camping trip or fall down a cave tunnel," his voice came from the lead of the two, this time a little harsh. Marines rushed past, wearing the combat gear as they rushed towards the outside to await further others.

"If he had, I would have known about it," Davna stated curtly. That was likely not the last time she would have heard a 'did you lose the Captain.' She would have to prepare for that. "He would have made sure I knew where the pets were, and we're still combing through and looking for them."

Leading them up the stairs in the tower - there was no lift, Marines used their feet - the pair arrived at the top where the Marine Battle Command sat. A small office was off to the side, clearly visible was the Colonel through closed glass doors having a discussion with someone on the holographic comms. The centre of the room was dominated by a massive holotable, with seats around it and a collection of Marines actively working on consoles. Stairs lead to a top area, where sunlight poured in in the aerospace control centre above. Eyes darted towards the pair, but no one else moved. Opposite them the doors hissed open, and Colonel Bradley exited, a scowl worn on his face as it stopped opposite of the group. "Warrant, Ensign," he said, but approached no further than the entrance to his office, and instead turned and retreated inside.

When they entered, he was opening a locker, and had tossed his flight suit onto the chair, looking back at them. "I need an explanation."

Prepared, Davna pulled out the PaDD from her messenger bag and thrust it into Shaun's hands. "This is from the investigation on Captain Mahone's home - which I tried to contact you about multiple times but for whatever reason could not get through to you on - blood everywhere, no Captain. No pets. No trace or lick of evidence as to where he's gone off to. Last night, he told me he was going to be home all night. There's a security team tracking every potential everything we have down, but he's nowhere to be found on colony or in security's initial sweep of the surrounding area. Or on the Atala."

She started to count off with her fingers. "Not on the ship, not on our orbiting Station. No one's come to visit in the past 24 hours that would whisk him away. He's not with that 'weird shuttle' he thinks I don't know about, and he's certainly not anywhere we have contact with. The only place I haven't checked - yet - is the Silver Tongue, but I called ahead there and the staff said they hadn't seen him either."

Shaun accepted the PaDD and read over the reports as the Ensign talked to him, scanning over details. He was by no means an investigator, though he was familiar enough with the data to be able to piece a lot of it together. "You're dismissed Warrant, take care of the children please," he said, not looking up. Behind Davna the sound of boot heels clicking together briefly and then the door opening. "Privacy," he said next, and the doors turned black, polarizing light out. It left the pair in silence, as Shaun studied the report a little more, before placing it down. "Of course the Marine Corps will assist in any way Starfleet needs, I'll get kids in the air doing scans. And as per Captain Mahone and I'll have the intel team here pull the data we have access to to see if we can aid the search teams. Let me know who the next in Command is and I'll meet with them to support." He picked up the flight suit and folded it across the desk. There was a bit of a pause, as a thought slipped through his mind, and the subconscious part of his telepathic abilities felt something was left unsaid.

"Ensign, who's the next in line of Command?"

Davna did not hesitate. "Sir, you are."

Shaun stared for a moment, in his hands still resting on the flight suit, which he looked to, and then looked back. Gears turned in his mind, and then he sighed a heavy, deep bellied sigh. Reaching up, he pinched the bridge of his nose, and thought for a moment. "Maybe then it's best we finish this conversation at the Captain's office."


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