Obsidian Command

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Milk Run: Against the Wind

Posted on 14 Feb 2022 @ 1:03pm by Commander Bruce Kensforth

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Kalara City, north quarter
Timeline: MD11 ~1500HRS
980 words - 2 OF Standard Post Measure

The storm was picking up and continued to throw his instruments into disarray, now arranged on the secondary terminal to his right just in case the interference went away and he could get away from his visual reckoning system. Beneath his feet he could see the buildings of the village a few dozen yards below as he retraced his path back through to where he’d left Calliope. He let the map in his head to the leading and kept half an eye glued to the old-fashioned gravitational orientation orb on the screen in front of him.

It was days like this that made him wish he still had Elise to lean into, and made him question whether he was truly afraid of what Elise wanted or just afraid to commit to it. Afraid to let himself think he’d truly gotten past his demons and could be a decent husband and parent. But every time he’d thought about it, he’d thought about Rebecca and the children she’d had - orphaned when the last of the Nebuchadnezzar’s fighters had died. When her husband and eldest son had died. When he had survived when they hadn’t. If he was honest with himself, he was terrified of ending up like her. That’s all it was. He was absolutely terrified.

Bruce shook his head free of that, chalking it up to the alcohol. He wasn’t used to drinking as much anymore and while he’d gotten rid of his wild streak (supposedly) he was now a much more contemplative drunk - something he didn’t need right now. He doubled his focus on what he was doing. He recognized more familiar landmarks and then finally saw the start of the square he’d left Calliope in. He adjusted his altitude up a bit, turned the nose twenty degrees to starboard and then set her down on the street with room to spare at front and back. In the enclosed space, the engines countered the winds coming in and created a sort of vortex of clear air giving him a great view of the surrounding space. But he didn’t see Calli.

He powered down the engines, but left all other systems running and began a scan of the area. The interference was still out there and playing mary hob with his instruments, but he could still get a general view of things within fifty feet and the one thing that wasn’t there was Calliope. He tried to increase the gain on the scanners, and it had a ping, but it wasn’t the Commander - it was her tricorder.

Bruce got his bearings about him, sent the location of her tricorder to his own and then hurried out into the aft section to grab a pair of sand goggles off the replicator pad. The gusting winds blasted him in the doorway of the shuttle, but he muscled through and headed out into the streets to find his friend. She’d probably just fallen over, or maybe some local civilian had taken her in. Either way, he was sure he’d find her where the tricorder was. In this soup, he wasn’t surprised it was all he’d found.

It didn’t take him long to find Calliope’s tricorder, but despite his best hopes, she wasn’t anywhere near it. He called out to her loudly, projecting his voice to the point that his throat felt like it was bleeding from the effort, but no Calliope. Clutching her tricorder as if might be her only salvation, he went back to the Delta flyer and immediately began looking through the logs trying to find anything that would tell him where she’d went. The last visual log came up and he set eyes on a drunk, determined looking Calliope who flashed a peace sign and then disappeared from view.

He didn’t wait a single second. Bruce grabbed a phaser from the rack and was right back out to where he’d found the tricorder, now looking frantically up and down the street. He knocked on doors, called out even more and exhausted every avenue he could think of to find her. No one had seen her or cared to admit that they had.

This was the worst possible outcome for their little escapade on world. A barroom brawl or social faux pas would have been bad, but nothing too difficult to fix. But losing a Starfleet officer on the surface on the planet - one that wasn’t exactly on the best terms with the leadership on the station, or with the Fleet leadership, was just short of catastrophe. He didn’t care how many doors he had to knock on or what kind of Diplomatic nightmare he created, he needed to find her. He had to find her.

“Shit!” Bruce cried out into the ravaging wind, kicking a wayward clay vessel of some sort that was rolling in the street towards him. It shattered when it met his foot. He stalked angrily and almost frantically back to the Delta. He quickly packed his things away, took a moment to upload her tricorder and adjust the scanners again before he powered up the engines and lifted off into the air once more. Hell or high-winds, he was going to find Calliope.

Bruce threw caution into the raging winds around him, recreating his holographic floor and using the ships scanners to scan deeply directly beneath the shuttle. The interference was still there, but directly under the ship the signal resolution was about eight-five percent of normal. Meaning he could probably get some details on where she had gone. He started where he’d found the tricorder and started scanning his way slowly over the area, fighting the growing winds.


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