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Recovering Personnel

Posted on 30 Aug 2017 @ 4:09am by Commander Thiago Teixeira & Captain Harvey Geisler & Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Miller

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Finnea Prime
Timeline: MD 6 || 0705 hours

As Corwin, Moreau, and Kij headed off, Thiago motioned for Miller to come closer to where he stood with Zz'ardd. There were still Selubassari guards around, watching the workers. Slavedrivers, he told himself, not guards.

Allen watched the others go and turned to who was left in the pit and the Saurian before them.

"Lieutenant, I'd appreciate any other information you might have about--all of this," he said to the Saurian. "While we retrieve the others, of course. Lead on."

Wearily gesturing to those in the pit to come on out, Lieutenant Zz'ardd said, "It was all very sudden," he told the Commander. "I was off duty when the Selubassari invaded the da Gama. But they knew exactly where to get to us. And we weren't the only ones either. Deep Space Fifteen was overthrown. I've talked to some of the security that's here from there. They said they were just plucked out by the transporters. No warning."

This sounded strange to Teixeira. It shouldn't have been so easy for the Selubassari. Unless... "They had help," he said quietly. "Did you see them interacting with anyone differently than that rest of you? When they were taking you, that is. Maybe someone who got preferential treatment or was not handled as roughly. Anything?"

"They separated us rather quickly," the Saurian replied, shaking his head. "Any security who tried to fight back were stunned and kept sedated. At least until we got down here."

Looking past the Saurian, the Executive Officer focused on a trio of 'guards' stood. "What about once you here put to work Anyone noticeably absent?"

"I haven't seen anyone who isn't security," Zz'ardd replied. "And even then, they keep us split up among the camps, moving us every few days."

Not going to get enough information from him, he thought. It wasn't the purple reptilian's fault. The Selubassari had done a good job managing the the capture, to the point that the da Gama crew might not know much of what happened.

"You got any questions, Mister Allen?" he offered. Working in security, Allen might have some insight that eluded Teixeira.

"The station security was plucked out by the transporters," said Allen. "Did any of them say how the Selubassri managed to get through the station's shields with the transporters?"

"They were Federation transporters," said the lieutenant. "At least that's what they said." He wasn't there, so he couldn't speak for them. Instead, he looked towards the first person to emerge from the pit, a Betazoid crewman. This individual was not originally from the da Gama, but the starbase instead.

Allen's eyes went wide. "Federation transporters...that's not good at all." He looked at the crewman and was about to see if he could get a confirmation, but was interrupted by Commander Teixeira's combadge.

Before the questioning could continue, the Commander's combadge chirped. "Black Hawk to Commander Teixeira," came the Captain's voice.

"Excuse me," he said to Miller and Zz'ardd, moving a few steps away for privacy. "Yes, sir?"

"How's the situation down there, Commander?" asked the Captain.

"Well," he started. With very little actual information, Thiago still felt that there was a need to thinking about phraseology. "The situation here isn't good. The Finneans are being worked. Extensively. Slavery, sir."

Though Thiago couldn't see it, Harvey frowned. He assumed that he shouldn't have been surprised, but the Selubassari seemed keen on collecting their debt, whatever it was. "What about our people?" he asked. "Any luck finding the missing crew from the Vasco da Gama and DS Fifteen?"

"We have had some luck on that front, yes. We found some Starfleet 'working' with the Finneans, under the Selubassari. Corwin, Kij, and Moreau have gone into a nearby structure to tend to and retrieve some others."

"Must be one of the shielded structures," said Harvey. "We lost three of the combadge signals just a few moments ago, and that explains it."

"A Lieutenant Zz'ardd from the da Gama directed us to that building. It seems the infirmary is located there." He paused before changing direction. "There might have been a member of the da Gama crew helping the Selubassari. They were able to isolate security first and then beam the others out in batches. I think is a bigger problem than we first thought."

"Commander, I know it feels like this situation is continuing to get worse the more we look at it, but there's something you need to know."

There wasn't much Geisler could tell him that would make things look any better. Not when he was standing in the middle of a slave labor camp. "What is that?"

"There's not a single Selubassari ship in orbit, much less the system. And there weren't any when we arrived."

So? he asked himself. "They don't have cloaking technology," he stated. "Maybe they have ships on the way. Or they have some type of sensor scattering field."

"We know we can't penetrate their buildings," said Harvey. "But, with the Rakhari at the front door, wouldn't you want to protect your initiatives, given how invested the Selubassari are here? Sensors haven't picked up any Selubassari ships within ten lightyears."

In his present situation, Thiago didn't know if that was something he could concern himself with. He was faced with locating and recovering all of the Starfleet personnel under Selubassari dominion. "Definitely something worth looking into," he responded. "There's a lot of our people down here. I'm not certain how many will need serious medical attention, but they will all need to be assessed. Might want to notify Sickbay."

"Will do," replied the Captain. "We'll want to process them ourselves before returning them to duty to their ships."

"If we're going to keep them all on board, we should probably convert some cargo space."

"I'm already getting Operations on it." There was a beat of silence before the Captain continued. "As soon as you've pulled everyone out of there and started processing back up here, report in. Not all of this is adding up. Geisler out."

Meanwhile, Zz'ardd was helping his fellow security brethren to exit a pit. Like him, many had been malnourished and pushed to the point of dehydration, and it really showed in their lack of strength. "This is all for this group, Petty Officer," he told Miller. "I hope you brought a shuttle big enough for everyone."

Allen gently pulled one of the other officers out as he came up the ladder. They didn't look good at all and needed immediate medical attention. He glanced over to his senior officer that was still talking with the ship and then back to Saurian. "It could take a while with the shuttle," he said, taking a quick look around. "Especially depending on what the rest of the team finds in that building. How long has your crew been captive?" He knelt down and took another Starfleet officer by the hand.

"A couple weeks," said Zz'ardd, helping a Bolian sit on the ground. "Another week, and you'd see several of us start dropping like flies."

"Then we got here just in time," Allen said. "Maybe we can beam you guys and gals and Saurians directly to Sickbay. That would save a lot of time on a shuttle run. But the Commander is going to have to say for sure when he gets back here."

"We should continue to the other holes," said the Lieutenant. "At least, as soon as your Commander returns."

Having finished his conversation with the Captain, Teixeira returned to where Allen and Zz'ardd stood. "Progress?"

"This pit has been cleared of our personnel," Zz'ardd said, looking down into the pit once more. He'd slaved along side these Finneans for the last couple of weeks. He didn't need their frowning faces to tell him how displeased they were with Starfleet not lending a hand. "We'll need to check the rest of the dig sites and get the personnel from there."

Teixeira noticed how Zz'ardd reacted to the looks from the Finneans. "I know it's tough, Lieutenant," he said. "We're going to do what we can for them. But it's in their best interest if we can do it diplomatically. If we free them now, the backlash could make things even worse for them."

The Saurian did not agree, but he knew above all that it was not his place to argue. "What about extraction, sir?" he asked. "I doubt you brought down a fleet of shuttles."

"We did not. But the transporters on the Black Hawk work just fine," the First Officer replied. "Teixeira to Black Hawk, beam up the assembled group."

As the group of malnourished security officers were beamed away, Zz'ardd led the Commander and Petty Officer to the next hole. Gazing down inside it, the Saurian could only spot five officers, mostly Tellarites whose fur was matted with sweat and dirt. The heat had not been kind to them.

"We're here from the USS Black Hawk. Do any of your need assistance getting up here?"

The officers murmured amongst themselves before Lieutenant Zz'ardd quickly summarized the situation for them. The Finneans who heard Zz'ardd's explanation began murmurs of their own. Starfleet was leaving? Just pulling out their own? Did they not care for the Finneans? The Selubassari guards stepped in, working quickly to quell their frustrations as the Starfleet officers began to climb out of the pit.

Allen moved over to help one of the Tellarites settle on the ground. But he kept a wary eye out as he did so. The fact that Selubassari guards stepped in put him on edge. He had a feeling that he wasn't the only one who didn't want a rebellion at this point.

Zz'ardd helped as well. Well, as much as his limited and waning strength would allow. Before long the five officers had joined them on the surface. "Mister Miller, this group should be ready to beam up as well."

"Right away," replied Allen. He tapped his combadge, "Miller to Black Hawk, the next group is ready for transport." He watched as the group tired and weak officers were engulfed in the transporter light and then disappeared.

The next pit was nearly a hundred yards away. This pit was the deepest in the encampment, over two hundred yards wide at the narrowest point, and over one hundred yards deep. Inside was the most concentrated group of workers, many working on a ramp to allow larger equipment to come down near the bottom where a large meteorite had been uncovered. A good portion of it was still buried, but it was going to take more than shovels and picks to unearth it.

Allen nodded to the Saurian and headed towards the next dig site. It. Was. Huge. He could see more people and... "Uhh, huh, would you look at that," he said. Allen immediately removed his tricorder and started scanning. While waiting, he turned to Zz'ardd. "Did you know about that?" he asked gesturing to the object in the hole.

The Saurian shook his head. "We've found smaller debris," he told the human. "But nothing on this scale. I did hear of some big discovery, but I didn't think it was literal."

"Smaller debris...and then this," Allen said, his voice trailing. He held up his tricorder and tapped at a few more keys. "Commander Teixeira!" he called out. "You're going to want to take a look at this!" Allen's scans of the large, buried object revealed that it was duranium, commonly used in starship hulls. There were of course, other metals included in the...large duranium object. Metals that weren't native to Finnea.

Walking up to where Miller stood, Thiago replied, "What'd you find?" He saw that the security petty officer was holding his tricorder. "Nothing dangerous I hope."

Lieutenant Zz'ardd took the opportunity to peer over the Petty Officer's shoulder as well, curious to know what exactly he'd been forced to dig up over the last few weeks.

"No sir," Allen replied, "it's nothing dangerous. But it is odd." He double checked the readout on the tricorder just to be sure before turning to the Brazilian. "I've checked twice. It's duranium, Commander."

"Duranium?" asked Zz'ardd. "That's not from around here, is it?" he asked.

"No, I don't think so," said Allen. "At least as far as I know. Which makes this all the more...interesting."

"Interesting is one way to think of it," Thiago agreed, curious what other mysteries awaiting them still. But those things would reveal themselves in time. For now, they needed to focus on extracting the rest of the Starfleet personnel from the Selubassari work camps. "Let's get this next group," he said, motioning towards the next pit.

 

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