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Posted on 20 Aug 2015 @ 5:05am by Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant JG Perei

Mission: Answers
Location: Nestene IX
Timeline: MD 9 - 0945 hours

Alice pounded on the solid door as it was locked after the last Syndicate guard who so proudly shoved her inside. The room was dark and warm, almost akin to a sweat box. She'd never been a fan of the desert heat, especially in this building that had been transformed into a detention center.

She turned around to see that a single light overhead cast low levels of light on the occupants of the room, the disarmed Away Team of the USS Black Hawk. Like her, they didn't seem happy to be there.

Terry ran his hands over his shaved head and wiped the sweat off. He had been captured once before, but it was in a ship and not planet-side. This was different. Now, he was with an Away Team, in the Gamma Quadrant, on a god-forsaken desert planet, and locked in a cell with some blonde. He chuckled as he thought what his old buddy would say about the whole thing.

“So, who are you and what is this place?” he asked the blonde woman.

"My name is Alice Carter," she replied to the bald man, fighting back a sigh. "I had hoped to meet you all on better circumstances. After all, other than those I grew up with, I haven't seen any other humans." She looked at the woman with spots and the red-skinned woman for a moment. "Members of other species, sure, but no humans."

Smiling, she added, "I'm just glad to see that we're finally getting off this rock, and away from the Syndicate. You have a ship in orbit, yes?"

“Well...” Terry looked around the cell, unsure of whether or not to let Alice in on their little secret.

"No," Mackenzie replied. "We landed our runabout on the surface, near the settlement."

Alice shook her head, unhappy with that bit of news. She'd thought for sure these Starfleeters would have hatched a better plan. "Then you should prepare for a long stay."

"That doesn't mean we're not going to get out of here. It just means we'll need to work a bit harder to make it happen."

Alice began to look around, trying to spot any escape routes. "I don't suppose you would have anything in mind..." Her voice trailed off, realizing she didn't know her fellow cell mates. "If anything is going to work, it might be best if we at least knew each other. You know my name, and you know each other's. It's not fair to leave me in the dark."

"Commander Kos," Mac responded, before introducing the rest of the away team, motioning to each in turn. "Doctor Kij, Lieutenants Walsh, Reza, Perei, and Ensign Braxus."

Perei bowed slightly in greeting when her name was mentioned.

"As far as getting out of here, that might take a little work. What can you tell us about the routine of the guards?"

"They like to keep to the mines," Alice replied, focusing on the leader of the team. "Three, maybe four on the surface at a time, in addition to the two that man the communications station. They figure it doesn't take much to keep us in line up here, because, after all, where would we go? The desert is blistering in any direction, and few have survived past a day."

An idea struck her, and Alice began to cross the room. "There are other ways to move around, which hopefully the Syndicate are unaware of." She stopped and tapped her foot on the metal floor and was relieved to hear a hollow sound. "A generation ago, we built some underground tunnels between a few areas because of a year-long sand storm. They've been abandoned, and they don't leave the complex."

Kos watched Alice, cautious. "Where can the tunnels take us? If we can get to them in the first place, that is."

"Living areas," Alice answered, kneeling down and feeling around the metal plating. She found enough to grab and pull up, revealing a dusty hole. "And the Administrator's office, which I think the Syndicate now use to plan their operations here."

Jayla, who had been listening while examining the walls for any sign of weakness, turned at the sound of metal on metal. "Why wouldn't I look at the floors, too?" she muttered to herself, shaking her head. "If we're going through these tunnels, we should be careful," she said to the room in general. "If they've been abandoned for a generation, they could be in disrepair."

"Better that than waiting for the Syndicate to return," Alice said, looking up at the spotted woman. "The leader of the Syndicate is here, and we all know he's not terribly thrilled with a Starfleet vessel." She looked up at Kos. "And I assume he's meaning yours."

“Wait a minute,” said Terry. “Not to be a wet towel or anything, and I’m all for getting out of this hole, but if the Syndicate uses these tunnels, won’t they be the first places they start looking once they notice we’re gone?”

"As far as I know, the Syndicate don't know about these tunnels." Alice studied the man for a moment. "Though they will if they open the door while I've still got this hatch open."

Mackenzie studied the woman's face for a moment, before looking to Walsh. "We've got to trust her Lieutenant," she said. Looking at Braxus, Kos jerked her head towards the metal trapdoor Alice has holding open. The young engineer grabbed the door, freeing Alice of the task.

"Lead on," Mac said, her eyes locked on Alice's, her hand motioning into the shaft into the tunnel.



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