Perching on the edge of his chair, McCallister was eager with what awaited ahead of them. Noticing everyone else on the bridge was sharing the same sentiments, the captain kept his cool and prevented himself from drumming his fingertips on the top of the arms on his chair. The low murmuring of the crew talking to one another in hush tones along with the gentle vibrations coming from the ship’s various power sources mixed in with the occasional computer beeps, created a calm atmosphere on the bridge.
“Anything, commander?” He called over to his wife.
Looking up from her console, Reyas shook her head before responding. “I’m still not able to penetrate the hull to determine if there are any lifesigns. The monotanium plating is extremely thick, they’re good enough to bounce our scans off of them.”
“They’re not answering our multiple hails, sir. I’m not detecting any active frequencies on subspace radio or any other channel.” Jen stated, anticipating the captain’s next inquiry. The joined Trill man turned around in his chair at the operations console. “That said sir, I am seeing multiple docking hatches. A shuttle with a small team could board via one of them and set up transport enhancers to help others explore the ship.”
McCallister considered the idea for a second. The former operations officer in him had already considered that as an idea. Looking directly at the holographic viewscreen before him, he gazed at the large vessel before them.
It was massive. The alien craft almost looked pitch black in colour, numerous scorch marks were scattered across it too. It’s unusual saucer like shape had several gaps in its almost perfect curves. At the aft of the ship, five huge cylinder shapes exited. All of them appeared to be some component of the ship’s propulsion systems.
“Cline, inform Hazard Teams Alpha and Beta to go over and secure an area for us to use to send additional survey teams over.” McCallister ordered.
The security and tactical chief just nodded and ordered his teams to head to the shuttlebay at once.
Donning her hazard team gear, Lieutenant Keli felt ready. Looking at everyone around her, she could sense they were as well. Jissara approached her, phaser rifle in both hands, “Keli, the captain’s orders were a bit vague by what he meant with us securing the area. If we find people on board and they open fire, do we return fire or depart quickly?”
As their runabout, the Arsenal, approached the alien craft (what they had named Goliath due to its size), Keli looked out of the view and considered the Orion woman’s question carefully. She had a point. For the first time, she had not clarified something, which was unusual for her, the notion of them getting off the ship and exploring an alien vessel had blinded her judgement somewhat. “The latter, we are guests.” Keli answered. “I’m sure the captain would prefer we make a diplomatic effort first.”
“That’s if there’s anyone actually over there.” Jisaraa mentioned; she proceeded to thank her superior and went over to prepare the rest of her team for their mission ahead.
Gazing back out of the Arrow-class runabout’s starboard side window again, the Coridanite just wondered who had built such a huge vessel and what its purpose was. Someone had already joked that, knowing their luck, they were about to step on to a Borg vessel and all get assimilated.
Closing her eyes, the assistant chief security and tactical officer hoped that would not be the case and they would find an abandoned craft.
The Arsenal eventually docked and once the airlock was secure, Keli gave the order for her team to go through and step onto Goliath at once. Somehow her technicians were able to open the alien airlock, it looked almost like a Cardassian airlock as two doors rolled away from one another allowing them to enter.
Everyone moved out, Alpha team first with Beta team bringing up the rear. All of them had gone in wearing full hazard garments. Their torches, those sitting on the top of their rifles along with their wrists, illuminated their path ahead of them. Straight away the teams found themselves in a long dark corridor with only one door at the other end. The door appeared to be similar in design with the airlock they had just gone through. Again moving swiftly the teams made their way down, checking every nook and cranny before approaching the door. Just like the previous barrier, the door opened easily. It would appear the onboard computer system was not in control of the manual releases, if there was an onboard computer. What awaited them took their breath away.
“Keli to Odyssey, we’ve entered a large area that appears to be…” She paused as she considered her words carefully. “Well a biosphere.”
“Repeat that again, lieutenant.” The captain replied. “Did you say a biosphere? Clarify.”
“Sir, it’s like a large arboretum here. We are literally standing on the edge of a huge valley with lush grass and a blue sky. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was back on Coridan or Earth.” Keli shared. She nodded to one of her teammates to begin taking readings. “We’re taking scans now and will transmit them to you.”
“Understood. Proceed with caution.” McCallister commanded.
Impressed with their new surroundings, Jisaraa stepped up to Keli with a tricorder in her hand. “We’re not detecting any photonic signatures.” She mentioned.
Taking her own scanner out, Keli agreed with Jisaraa’s assessment. Her tricorder then picked up an unusual power signature ahead of them. “Did anyone else detect that energy spike a few kilometers ahead of us?”
“I saw it.” Jisaraa confirmed.
A few others shared the same answer, Keli raising her rifle in her right hand and keeping her tricorder in her left, gestured for everyone to spread out and move forward. There was nowhere for them to take a defensive posture so she was not going to have them picked off if they were attacked.
Eventually they reached the bottom of the valley and found themselves following a small river. Just beyond it the energy spike was detected one more time. Before them, a small collection of rocks sat in the middle of the stream, forcing it to split around it. The energy spike came from them.
Approaching it with caution, while getting her boots wet, Keli hovered her tricorder over the rocks and noticed straight away they were artificial. Noticing something that didn’t look natural, a small grey lever was sticking out. Checking with everyone first, she pulled on it and to the left of them the ground started to shake as part of the grass was raised by the sudden appearance of a hidden underground path.
“Hazard Teams to Odyssey, we’ve followed a faint energy spike and discovered what appears to be a secret underground chamber.” Keli reported after tapping her combadge.
“What makes it a secret underground chamber, lieutenant?” The captain questioned, with a slight sense of humour in his tone.
“Well I don’t think anyone wanted to find it, sir. Permission to enter?” Keli asked.
“Granted, but keep others on guard by the entrance and have them set up transporter enhancers.” McCallister stated.
“Of course sir, we’ll keep an open channel and share with you what we find.” Keli answered.
“Good luck.” McCallister said.
Ordering her team to set up a guarded position as well as the enhancers, Keli was soon ready to walk down the stairs into another layer of this vessel. Still in their EVA suits, she wasn’t prepared to take any chance.
Not yet anyway.