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Prologue - Search and in Need of Rescue?

Posted on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 @ 2:46pm by Commander Karsel`lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias & Sun Cai

Mission: Of Persephone
Location: Golovin Colony
Timeline: Current

Reiko squawked from the bathroom, clearly audible to the other two girls in the temporary shared bedroom Cai had with Reiko and Hiroko.

Cai and Hiroko had been in another room, with Cai calming down Hiroko after some of the sounds they could hear outside. Of course, the noise from the bathroom sort of broke that. Cai was used to going towards the sound of trouble, even if it was a little less serious sounding than some she had heard. Soon enough, she was at the door - Hiroko soon after her.

When the door opened, Reiko looked up from her spot seated on the floor, eyes wide. The girl looked considerably older,suddenly in her later teen years. A toothbrush stuck out of the corner of her mouth as she gaped at her two cousins.

The two weren't much better, with Cai wide eyed and agape, and Hiroko covering her mouth with both hands. Hiroko's muffled, "Reiko?" broke the silence, "What... happened?" She asked.

"Ripples in time..." Cai said softly, "Happened after I got here too. Just not as... pronounced." She gave a little nod.

Before Reiko could say anything to the other two, there was a chiming at the door, Reiko jumping to her feet, having a momentary fight with over balancing, the girl not yet accustomed to having a more developed chest. Toothbrush still sticking out the side of her mouth, she ran for the door.

Cai and Hiroko were soon after her, with Hiroko lagging behind just a bit as she noticed Reiko struggling with balance.

At the door, one of the Colony administrative staff puffed for breath, "Miss Bayushi, Miss Sun, we need your help. We had a flitter flying from the outlying weather control station go down and we lost sight of them. You have the only ships available right now as your Marines are under orders to stay in the colony."

Reiko nodded, "Mother said that I could take our runabout and help out if needed, but I don't know if Cai has the same clearance from her mother." The suddenly older than she was girl looked at her green cousin.

Cai noticed something she didn't know if Reiko had. The colonist hadn't noticed her change in age, or didn't seem too. Maybe she was thinking too much about it. "Depends on which one you ask." She paused for a second and gave a nod. "We can look for them." She gave a second nod, and a light bow. "If you need the help, we're happy too."

"Thank you!" the mouse-looking woman effused briefly. "We will transmit our sensor logs to your ships within the next several minutes."

Reiko nodded, "Alright. Why don't we take my ship?" She looked over at Cai. "It's better that we leave at least one functional ship here."

She smiled over at her cute cousin-to-be, "You should stay here, Hiroko-chan. In case our mothers return before we do. My mom has a homing system on her ship, so even if something happens, she will be able to retrieve the ship and us."

"Hai," Hiroko gave a quick bow. She wasn't as gung-ho to go as the others anyway. While she was curious, and willing to go, she knew she wasn't as experienced with this sort of thing as Cai.

"Okay, sounds like a plan." Cai said. "Hiroko stays in case Shanghai gets back soon. And in case we don't." She added. She looked over to the woman that had given them the information. "Thank you. Just send us what you have and we'll see what we can do." She then turned to Reiko, "Lead the way, and we'll start searching."

Reiko grabbed one of Cai's hands and began to walk swiftly, well, swiftly for such a short girl. Thankfully, both vessels were parked immediately behind the house. Reiko reached into a pocket and pulled out a keyfob, pressing a hidden button on the surface, the sudden sound of the thrusters priming and the engines spooling up shattering the near silence around them.

The hatch popped open before the pair arrived and ingress was swift. Once in the cockpit, "You can take lead, Cai-chan. I know that you have to have far more flight experience than me, especially considering who your moms are?"

Cai gave a nod. If anything, she was an experienced pilot for her age, if only because she had two fighter pilot parents. "I can do that," She found herself settling into the seat and eyeing Reiko from time to time, still a little confused. If anyone knew temporal issues she did, but still, it was odd. "Okay." She said looking at the controls, a bit of nerves flaring up. "Okay." She repeated, before finally starting to lift off the shuttle. Once they were in the air a bit, she gave a glance around the area. "Can you pull up the last known coordinates, and then keep an eye out for any signs of them?"

"Easy enough to do," the girl chirped in response. "Receiving data transmission from Colony control."

A brief moment later, "Coordinates inputted to the nav computer."

Then Cai heard Reiko in her head, "~When you're ready. Don't worry, my mom trusts you and I trust you. You will be fine.~"

Cai shivered at the sound in her head, before nodding a bit. She wasn't used to psychics, but she wasn't unused to them either. She nodded a bit more confidently and pushed the craft off and away. With everything go on around them, with the shadows lingering around them, the hybrid just decided to concentrate heavily on their destination. She followed the instruments, flying by numbers and keeping her eyes on staying safe for the time being, and getting to their target. She watched the scanners as well, a bit, trying to find any sign of the flitter. In virtual silence, she wasn't having much luck as they approached the destination, finally asking Reiko, "Anything?"

Out loud as the ship began to climb, "Cai-chan, I think we got hit with chronitons. My mother was partially grown with them and as a result, both she and I are adversely affected by them. Which is why she looks like she's your age when she's actually about forty years old now. It's not our first encounter with the stupid things."

"You're flying great and no, no signs just yet, though I do see a clearing at the indicated coordinates. We should inspect that and maybe set down there while we figure out what to do next?"

"Clearing?" Cai said with a little nod. She didn't remember a clearing, but she headed towards the location. "I'm not... unfamiliar..." She spoke with little pauses as she concentrated on flying and trying to spot the clearing. "...with chronitons. I mean, you're definitely right... some sort of time... particle..." She sort of trailed off as she seemed to spot the clearing in the distance. "Oh, there." She said quickly, before being a bit more confidently and moving the shuttle towards the clearing.

The Runabout landed deftly and without incident. Reiko was quick to stand and move aft, opening the hatch and gazing out at the dense forest around the clearing.

When Cai joined her, Reiko looked up at her beautiful green cousin, "It's amazing. No matter what celestial light show or other crazy thing you see out there in space, you're never not taken with awe at the sight of a big forest like this."

Cai hadn't said anything herself as they stepped out. She gave a little smile and nod. "Yeah," She said, "Especially when you're a spacer..." She said, referencing the fact that she spent most of her life aboard her mother's ship, and rarely planet side. She gave a couple other nods and then smirked a bit. "Okay, so I guess we find a tricorder and look around." She said with a little nod. There was a moment where she paused, though, before she asked. "Did you feel that?" She said, putting her hand on the inside of the hatch. "When the hatch hit the ground?" She asked quietly. She thought she was crazy, "It felt like the whole shuttle moved a bit."

Reiko shook her head as she began moving down the ramp after snatching up a pair of tricorders, "I didn't feel anything. We should hurry, there might be injuries."

"Right, right." Cai said quickly, taking a tricorder from Reiko. She stepped out onto the clearing and paused again. The ground felt normal to her, but she was still nervous for some reason. She flipped open the device and began scanning, just watching the readings hoping for something. But there was nothing out of the ordinary, it seemed. She did notice something. "Reiko," She said softly pointing out into the woods nearby. "I think I'm reading smoke this way. But no flitter. Might be a lead?"

Reiko paused briefly, aiming her tricorder in the same direction. Then she turned around and walked back up the runabout ramp.

When she suddenly returned back down the ramp, her hands held a small case. Opening it, she pulled out a Type II phaser, handing it to Cai, "My mother made sure that I knew how to use these and I bet your moms did too."

"It's a dangerous and unknown planet, Cai-chan. We are expected to get the job done and that won't happen if we're hurt or dead," the tiny girl told her taller cousin.

She looked towards the direction of the aforementioned smoke, "Let's go. Readings say it's only about a hundred meters."

"Of course," Cai said quietly, "Muqin was a marine too," though she was a bit preoccupied with her surroundings as the two moved through the clearing and past the tree line. It was fascinating how alien the trees looked up close. From a distance, they seemed relatively normally. But up close, the undertones of the barks, the textures, the patterns of what she imagined were technically leaves - everything was just eerily off to her. She followed the tricorder signals towards the smoke.

"Oh!" Reiko exclaimed."Should we be bringing a first aid kit?" She was precariously stepping over exposed roots and around scrub brush.

"We should, yes," Cai said with a little point into the air as she remembered. "I'll run back and grab it, give me just a minute." She held out a hand and then gave a quick nod, "Stay right here for just a second." Then, without asking, she jogged back to the shuttle. It wasn't far, but she was quick, and had a bit of a hop in her step thanks to her routine training with Mei. Before long, Cai was back with a small medkit hanging off of her shoulders, bouncing against her side lightly as she reached their spot. "Good catch. Back to it, then?"

As they finally spotted the smoke, Cai picked up the pace, stopping a few meters short of the location. Just inside the woods there was a piece of the craft. And in the distance it was easy to see where the flitter hit the ground though, dirt and small plants torn up and tossed aside as a trench was dug out of the earth. Cai narrowed her eyes, "Where is the flitter?" She asked quietly as she began to approach the sight, as it became rapidly apparent that the trench dug deeper and deeper as it stretched forward - with smoke rising from the end of the path, but no sign of the craft.

Reiko followed the older girl, glad that she had her lovely cousin along with her. She hated to think that she could have ended up out here alone, a prospect that terrified the young teen, "I am not getting any kind of reading down there. Let's go find out?"

"I suppose we have to." Cai said softly as they started to get near the trench. She didn't say anything else for a moment. She just walked along the trench. It cut deeper and deeper into the dirt until it finally revealed what happened to the craft. The trench opened up, the smoke rising from an open wound in the ground. Cai made a noise at the sight, nothing too clear as she slowed down and gingerly approached the end of the trench - still staying away. She could see into the opening, some sort of cave system below their feet, lit lightly by the burning debris below and sunlight coming through the opening. It wasn't clear due to the smoke, but it looked like a bit of a fall from there. "Xiaoxin," Cai said quietly, holding out a hand - quickly translating after she realized. "Careful."

Her eyes drifted down to her tricorder as she looked towards the opening, scanning lightly. The screen didn't change though. "My tricorder is messed up," She added, "I mean, you can see the cave right? My scans aren't showing anything."

"Mine aren't, either," Reiko said before lowering and closing her tricorder. "So it's not your tricorder or mine. Maybe there's something in the dirt blocking sensors?"

As the pair looked over the lip of the gaping hole, seemingly bottomless, the rocky outcropping on which the two girls stood suddenly snapped, sending the very dissimilar cousins tumbling into the lightless deeps inside the earth.

Off: TBC


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