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In the Living Dark

Posted on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 @ 3:53am by Lieutenant Rhis Jhaeryn & Reiko Bayushi & Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Sun Cai

Mission: Of Persephone
Location: Underground, Golovin
Timeline: Current

Reiko slowly picked her way forward, leading the scientists and Cai back to where the girls had first arrived underground.

Unfortunately, several sections of the cavern path they had taken had experienced small collapses, drastically slowing the group's progress. Especially considering Cai's injuries, Reiko providing herself as support for the beautiful green girl to get her over and through some of the collapse rubble.

"I think we're almost there," Reiko tried to keep Cai going, knowing how difficult this was getting for her. "Would you like more Asinolyathin, CaiCai?"

"I'm fine," Cai lied through her teeth - but she really didn't like the idea of more medicine. She didn't know why.

Meanwhile, only dozens of meters distant, Rita was leading the small recovery team, tracking the visible radiation of the little chunks of pure dilithium. Before long, the entire group could hear the sound of moving water crashing on rock.

Rita intoned into her subdural microphone, transmitted near silently over the team's IHADSS visors, "Underground water source. Probably the origin of these tunnels. Watch your feet. Increasing amounts of debris on the deck."

"I see it," Sun responded, quietly moving over the debris as needed.

"Radiation levels lessening, Captain," Rhis said quietly, next to Sun. "Either we are moving away from the dilithium deposit, or there's more of that sensor blocking stuff that kept us from scanning below ground."

"Lets hope for the former," Sun said softly. "I didn't take any radiation meds before coming down here."

Suddenly, there was a young voice that called out, "Halt! Who goes there!?"

"Reiko?" Rita called back.

"No, I'm Reiko, not you!"

Sun could see Rhis rest her face in her palm at Reiko's response.

"Reiko-chan, it's Staff Sergeant Hernandez, come to my voice," Rita sounded amused and a bit relieved. "Is Miss Sun with you?"

"Shi," Cai's voice, though a bit weaker, responded.

Around the bend appeared Reiko and Cai, followed by three adults. Rita audibly sighed with relief, "Oh, you're all alright! ¡Qué alivio!"

"Not Exactly, RitaRita," Reiko said, still supporting Cai as the elder cousin leaned on little Reiko. One of the adult scientists had offered to assist Cai, but Reiko had declined, choosing to stay in immediate physical contact with the lovely green girl. The physical contact further enhanced Reiko's telepathic connection to Cai and allowed her to keep a running account of the other girls pain. It helped her figure out how not to move and cause more stress on Cai's bruised muscles. What she refused to disclose was just how much she herself was hurting, though not quite as much as her cousin was.

Reiko blinked as she suddenly realized whom else was there, "Captain!"

"CaiCai has bruised ribs and a possible separated rib. Something here is interfering with the tricorder, so I can't get precise readings," Reiko began to report. "I administered 45 milligrams of Asinolyathin six hours ago and another 45 milligrams fifty minutes ago, when we started our return trip."

Mei had frankly ignored everyone else and moved immediately to her daughter - and despite being a bit smaller than her, she did seem to engulf the poor girl. It was a rarer display of physical affection from the captain as she hugged the young girl - until reminded about the pain by a little noise from Cai. Then she backed off just a bit - and for a short time there was a string of Chinese between the two. Sure, Mei slipped and said some things in Mandarin from time to time, yes - but this was different. This was purposefully blocking out others. It even took Cai a minute to realize she was speaking Yue. The conversation wasn't private, of course, and for the most part it looked like it was just to catch up on what had happened on both sides. From Cai's response to some of the conversation was scolding, and from her side defensive - but then there was a bit that took her back for a second.

"Zi hou?" Cai repeated quietly.

"Saai." Mei said with a nod, putting her cheek to Cai's with one quick hug. She cleared her throat a bit afterwards and finally seemed to notice the others. She pulled herself away from her daughter and shifted back to being a commanding officer. "Sorry for the delay in getting here." She realized she had to fill them in. "We have a lot to catch you all up on." She sighed a bit and offered a bow. "I'm Captain Sun Mei Xiang, of the USS Shanghai - and this is Staff Sergeant Rita Hernandez, Marine Corps Executive Security and Lieutenant Rhis Jhaeryn, squadron leader of the Golden Dragons." She took a second, "We'll get you back to the surface - there's a SAR team securing the entrance. I take it you are our missing science team?"

"We are," spoke the shortest of the three. "I'm Amai Fuuko. These are Lang..."

"And Jordan," Hernandez finished the sentence. "We're here for you folks and these two girls. We just arrived back in orbit when we got word that there was a missing science team and two missing children."

"..but we're not chil..." Reiko started to object, before Rita cut her off, "Not now, Reiko-chan. There are more important things to worry about right now."

"More important, like this huge deposit of pure dilithium we're sitting on?" Rhis chuckled. "I imagine so. And that other thing that happened near the star."

Fuuko stepped over to the Captain and Cai, "Captain, we need to discuss these caverns. There's a huge cavern back there, with a lot of wildlife and fresh moving water. There's so much more to this planet that the survey team completely missed."

"It's immense," Cai added in, "And completely different than the surface. They're almost two different planets."

Sun narrowed her eyes a little bit and watched her heads up display. She glanced over to Cai for a moment. She took a breath. "I'm getting the feeling there is a lot in this sector our surveys missed." Mei said with a bit of a bite. She knew what she was about to say would sound like the cliche military over science, but she felt she had to say it. "I'd like to see it, and have that discussion. But we need to get you back to the colony as soon as possible. Rad levels are high here, and you crashed during a chroniton cascade. We need to get you and your team checked out as soon as possible." She paused and sighed. "That said... if its close, show us."

"Captain," Reiko spoke. "Ma'am, Cai and I need medical attention."

Amai Fuuko nodded, "We three are not hurt. Why not get these brave girls up top and seen to and we will take you back to the cavern we accidentally found?"

"Bayushi-chan," Sun said softly, with a little smirk, "I didn't mean to include you in the word 'us'. You and Cai are going to the surface." She paused for something realizing something was off, but her mind didn't quite wrap around it. "Rhis..." She started to give an order but something stopped her. Those that would have known Sun best would have guessed she would have ordered the girls back with another officer and moved back. "Get any scans you can of the area. If you," She motioned to the science team, "Have any scans, we'd like to take them back to the Shanghai as soon as possible." She pivoted a bit. "Girls, you're with me. Sergeant, you have our six."

"We will do this right." She said softly, and move to offer to take the Cai's weight off of Reiko - which, instinctively, Cai agreed to and leaned against her mother. "We'll integrate teams, and get this cave system explored. This is not a Fleet or Corps operation anymore." She motioned towards the entrance. "Let's get everyone back up safely."

"On the contrary, Captain," Rhis spoke up. "Under the Federation Charter, all matters regarding dilithium fall under Starfleet's purview."

Rita decided to perk up now, "I imagine that this discussion will be fascinating, sirs, but could we get the girls to a medic and have the discussion topside?"


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