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Along the River

Posted on Wed Mar 28th, 2018 @ 6:55pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Commander Karsel`lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias & Major Dren Fyntar & Lieutenant Marcus Anvers & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes

Mission: Of Persephone
Location: Alpha Site Operations, Golovin

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A lot had happened in the last couple of months on Golovin. Since discovering the undergounds caverns and rich dilithium veins on the planet. There was not a lot of infrastructure available to take advantage of either, but there were a few crews of Starfleet vessels and civilians with nothing to do but repair and wait. So work had been set to creating that infrastructure and laying the groundwork to enhance the colony. This included setting up additional reactors, replicating additional supplies, construction, and a host of other tasks through the colony. The changes made to the colony in just a couple of months were impressive, but of course it still was a small settlement primarily built up of simple structures and prefabricated housing.

One of the new constructions was simply known as the Alpha Site for the time being. It was a simple operations center with little more a few labs, a meeting room, and some temporary living spaces for those on longer shifts. All in all, it wasn't the luxury of the starships even, but there was something about having one's feet squarely on the surface of a planet. Even an alien one. With this little base in place, the Marines were able to begin scouting the area and mapping it out a bit more clearly. The teams also secured the dilithium vein, and cordoned that off from trespassers. They weren't yet able to begin mining the area, but geology and engineering teams had been working to begin replicating and setting up that system.

It was the caverns that interested Sun the most, and what had her summer her senior staff down to the Alpha Site in the middle of an otherwise uninteresting day. So, the Captain of the Shanghai stood in her field uniform with her senior staff settling into the small meeting room.

Marcus walked in with a smile on his face, the blue medical bag over his face he could sense the excitement in the air. He was looking forward to finding out what this was about.

Kachiko followed the new Doctor into the lounge, adjusting her uniform and the ever-present phaser. She glanced at the lovely Captain before finding a seat, as usual feeling dwarfed by the chair.

Christine, late as usual, entered the room and glanced around at the others present. She smiled at Kachiko and Sun. The other must be the doctor she hadn't had a chance of meeting yet.

Kachiko took the opportunity to smile at the recent arrival, "Hello, beautiful." She knew that Christine DesCharmes had her heart set on another, but where the lovely Counselor sought to keep Kachiko's spirits buoyed, so too Kachiko felt in return. Especially considering that the lot of them were not only far far from anything remotely resembling home, but out of time as well.

Once everyone was in, Sun jumped in to the report without much warning. "Good afternoon. We're going to get into this quickly, so listen up. I won't be repeating a lot of this information." She adjusted and looked out across the crew, "As many of you know, we discovered an unprecedentedly large dilithium vein on this planet. Incredibly, the more we look, the larger the source seems to be. It seems Golovin not only has natural occurring dilithium veins, but in quantities we have only very rarely discovered before. Were Golovin populated like a major Federation planet, it would likely be able to fuel the Fleet on its own." She took a breath. "We are likely generations from the planet being able to support that sort of infrastructure - but Starfleet is very interested in setting up mining operations on the world now."

"That being said, this is an Initiative led colony. So, for now our geologists and engineers are setting up the ground work to tap the first vein we found, and do the necessary research on the veins to get that underway. Meanwhile, Starfleet is going to discuss the best way to handle the situation. The other COs and I agree that continuing the Initiative's mandate, while providing additional supplies for Seppala and Golovin, and the civilian assets on the world is the best way forward." She tilted her head to one side. "Starfleet is unsure, so far, how they'll proceed. It is an expensive endeavor, far from Federation space."

Sun straightened her field jacket and then continued. "But, I bring all that to your attention as background. In exploring these caverns, we stumbled onto an enormous underground ecosystem. Our understanding of the planet has since been turned upside down." She smiled a bit, "The cave system is filled with life, fresh water... there are bio-luminescent plants, fungi... You've each been asked to bring a data device. You have access to the files on these caves now; under the header Project Persephone." She seemed excited. Much more so than usual. "And one of our marines found this, just three hours ago..."

She hit a panel on the wall she was standing nearest. The wall shimmering as it revealed the view-screen behind it. On the view screen, was a simple image, taken from the Heads Up Display on the marine's helmet. You could see a nearby marine as well in the corner - but they were standing in a small, cave, though the rock chiseled. And in the gloved hand of the marine was a piece of clay. Pottery. For a moment, Sun's normal demeanor was replaced with a more genuine, excited tone. "This changes everything here. Take a minute, and then feel free to ask any questions."

Marcus looked at the pottery "Means with have a possibility of intelligent life, I am guessing besides the pottery we haven't found the people yet?" he closed his eyes focusing "I can sense some of our surface crews, but no one else. That much dilithium though it could prevent me from getting through the surface." he said "We have to be wary, if there is any native life here, we could end up accidentally breaking the prime directive." he said

"We are assuming that this means that the life indicated by this find is still around," Kachiko said. She felt that she was missing Karsel'lyn, whom was on enforced leave until she fully recovered from the injury she sustained when the upper bulkheads buckled and collapsed in on the pair when combating the Consortium ship. Currently, the green goblin was resting in the new Sun family home on Golovin.

"Should I task a Pathfinder platoon to start charting the extent of the cavern system?" Kachiko asked.

"Lieutenant." Sun chose to address the doctor first. "Our initial surveys of the planet showed no sign of sentient life on the world, either. If it is here, we need to find it, and find it fast." Sun spoke curtly. "The prime directive is paramount - and it is a bridge I hope we don't need to cross. But now we have to be sure." Then she turned to the Colonel, "We have had some marine search parties report additional branches off the main cavern, so we do need more hands to get the main cavern explored and mapped as soon as possible."

"From what I have been told, Captain," Kachiko responded. "The initial cavern discovered is hardly the only cavern known and likely not even the largest. It seems that we have a lot of exploring and mapping ahead of us."

"Since communications are disrupted below ground, I would like to recommend installing comm relays every so far below. Have engineers along to drill them up through the dirt and rock and break to the surface, so our underground explorers will always stay in contact with us up above."

"I don't think such an operation would be wise. If we do find a race here we will have to undo such work. I suggest a more mobile approach. Perhaps we have a few small communications drones along with us. No drilling, no chances of causing accidental cave ins as we go deep into what could be an occupied world."

"The historian in me agrees with you, doctor." Sun said softly. "Lets see about re-purposing some drones to serve as comm hubs temporarily. If we're still experiencing disruptions, or once we've made sure there are no sentient life forms, we'll place some permanent relays. I'd still like to assign some engineers to teams, though, so as soon as we're clear we can begin installing systems."

"On the other front," Kachiko smiled. "Colony systems are coming along real quick now." Kachiko was proud of the work that her Marine Corps Engineers had done down dirtside. "All primary systems are in place and online. Type-XX planetary defense phasers are installed and likely to be online within the next month."

Yes, the planet had suddenly become much more important than just a far-flung colony, what with the largest and richest deposit of dilithium ever discovered being here. As such, Starfleet was sure to ship a little bit of assistance with the hope of later supplying the Federation and Starfleet with the needed crystalline mineral. "There's been a little friction with the sudden influx of personnel and equipment. I guess that some people want this to be the quiet frontier colony and suddenly we are much busier than that."

"The mining facilities are under construction a good thirty-five hundred kilometers from the colony and we're establishing a mining base camp there," Kachiko sighed. "The distance should alleviate the concerns of the unhappy colonists."

"Again we should likely slow or stop construction, until we establish whether we have natives or not. Last thing we need is to accidentally dig into a sacred site. Like everyone here I know how important the dilithium is. But rushing into things could lead to more trouble later. We need to establish first that there is no native life here."

"Our teams are going to move slower here on out. However, just in case, we've pulled up duckblind schematics. We'll begin replication to hide those caverns to allow us time to pull out if needed. But, we won't use that tech unless we need to."

The Doctor simply nodded his agreement.

"On a more personal note," Kachiko smiled. "The quantum entanglement network is online and the Academy as well as the Vulcan Science Academy are offering remote classes to our youngest. A holosuite complex in the Colony central is set aside just for virtual classrooms. Reiko was accepted to Starfleet Academy and the Vulcan Science Academy and is already starting Med School." Yeah, it had been an incredibly busy six months. Thankfully, repairs to the Shanghai should be completed soon, the warship having suffered unusual damage at the hands of the Consortium.

"I'd like the Captain's permission to go down to the colony to inspect the medical facilities." he said "I actually can bring a few items below to help the students studying medicine as well." Doctor Anvers said with a soft smile.

"Of course. As of right now the medical center at Golovin Colony is effectively an urgent care facility. They're pretty limited - but will be expanding soon. Any thoughts or opinions you have on that would be welcome." Sun added.

Kachiko smiled at the new Doctor, "Hey Doc. Since we're going to be here awhile, I will have my Corpsmen report to you here on the colony. Also, my daughter Reiko is only about a semester from her Nursing degree, is already Emergency Technician certified and almost about to start Med School. I imagine that you could definitely use her help down here?"

Marcus nodded "I will be happy to have her help. I will wish to have a full meeting with any of those Medic trained anyway. I will insure all training is updated before we leave."

Attention back to the Captain, "I will have communication and Sensor drones deployed into the caverns, Captain. I will need to requisition additional industrial replicator hours to get enough for a wide network established."

"It might just be safest if most of the underground exploration is conducted remotely," Kachiko was concerned with cave ins, especially after Reiko and Cai endured their injuries from an unexpected cave in.

"I agree, we send probes and drones to make maps and scan for lifeforms and tunnel stability. We could put imagers on them so they can blend in better. Less likely anyone will see them. Having our Marines take these risks if there have already been cave ins is unwise."

"Agreed," Kachiko smiled. "On that note, Captain. We have a new incoming Company Commander. Starfleet wants me to continue working with you as an advisor and is placing me in charge of system defense."

"Even if we find intelligent life, we are staying put in one way or another," Kachiko was concerned about the possibility of having to uproot the fledgling colony, but was aware of two more nearby Class-M temperate worlds that the colony could be relocated to. "I have been and will continue to ensure that anything we install dirtside is able to be quickly broken down and packed out."

"A small issue," Kachiko sighed. "The colonists are starting to get a bit testy over the prohibition on new construction in colony just yet. Perhaps the Counselor could spend some time assuaging their anger?"

Christine breathed an inaudible sigh of relief. After listening to the science-y talk, there was something she could finally do. She gave a grateful smile to Kachiko, the counselor must have looked out of place. "I'll head to the colony, I do have a meeting with Kirkland and the others, they've requested my help."

"Good, that all sounds like it is going according to plan." Sun said. "Marine Recon teams will be pulled topside and will continue helping chart the surrounding continent - specifically looking for additional entrances and points of interest. Engineering teams will continue repairs to ships and setting up colonial systems. Defensive systems will still take priority for now." She took a breath, and then sighed. "Shanghai's Archaeology section will be beaming down shortly to excavate the site found by the marines. Its not a big team, so expect a meeting on their findings in a few days at the earliest." She glanced back at the image of the piece of pottery for a minute, then turned back around. She gave a nod. "As soon as Shanghai is repaired and the colony secured, we will be back to exploring Auriga-Perseus. We can't sit here and wait for the Protectorate to come find us, and we need to know more about where we are if they're going to be coming so we stick to our mandates and explore." She gave another quick nod. "Before we wrap up, any questions, suggestions, or business of any type?"

The hatch slid open and in entered the CAG, the tiny green woman looking exhausted. She paused at attention, having just caught the last of Sun's speech. "I have something,Captain."

"I just spent the last hour with the Commander of the Tira'Dashir. There's a thought regarding opening trade with the colony here and helping supply the lesser available supplies out here in the outer Perseus. Luxuries and other things to remind people of home."

"Also, the Syndicate senior Commander is on his way here, seeking a meeting with you, Captain,along with Colony leadership," Lyn held her peace regarding any family ties for now. Likewise, she held onto the box given to her by Touri, until it was just she and the Captain.

Mei shook her head at that, and took a deep breath. "I'll meet with them first. The other COs will likely want to join... then we'll clear the colonial leadership." She didn't seem to miss a beat, but did look out to the others. "Colonel, lock down the dilithium while they're here. And Doctor, could you see about getting some preemptive measures in place in case for any officers or civilians who will be working with the Orion Delegation."

"Colony defensive systems are all installed and online, Captain," Kachiko reported. "That was our first priority, even before the dig site. The dig site is within two days of completion, but testing is needed."

Doctor Anvers nodded "My staff is already at the ready. I will insure all needed precautions are taken as far as the Orions go." he said "I will prepare a couple pieces of extra equipment to give to the colony med center. As well as a box or two of supplies."

"Good, thank you. If there is nothing else..." Sun said quickly, pausing for a moment to see if there was anything else, before she added a quiet. "Dismissed."

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