Obsidian Command

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Milk Run: Wake Up Call

Posted on 14 Feb 2022 @ 10:20pm by Commander Thaddeus Zayne & Commander Bruce Kensforth & Major Declan Finn
Edited on on 27 Feb 2022 @ 9:42am

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Obsidian Command
Timeline: MD12 ~0200Hrs
1323 words - 2.6 OF Standard Post Measure

The terminal chirped shrilly in the darkness. Distantly in his mind, he heard it, but he just rolled over and tried to will it away. As if in defiance of his wishes, the terminal chirped a little louder and the overhead lights came on a fraction of a percent. He groaned through his closed eyes. If it was turning on the lights, that meant urgency. He sat up and looked at the clock on his bedside table. Two am. Great. This couldn’t be good.

Commander Thaddeus Zayne finally groaned awake and tossed the covers aside and got up. He wiped the sleep from his eye as she walked to the terminal in main living area and tapped the glass to shut off the notification and connect him with whoever felt this was urgent.

“Zayne here,” he said gravelly, “Better be good,” he added with uncharacteristic grumpiness.

“Sorry to wake you, sir,” Petty Officer Ikita offered quickly. “But I have an emergency band transmission from the planet. I think he’s asking for you, sir.”

He sighed, accepting that an emergency call from the surface of the planet qualified as one of the things worth waking him up at 2am for. “Put him through,” he grunted.

“I’m not sure he’s going to be able to hear you. The transmission is garbled. It’s coming from right smack in the middle of a massive sandstorm that’s kicking up all kinds of interference.”

“Understood. Put him through.”

“Aye, sir.”

A moment later, Ikita’s unnaturally chipper face shifted to the side as a smaller image and the main terminal was replaced by a staticy, grainy view of a man he’d never met before. “Thi… Co…de… en…forth, of the Ard-r,” the man said, his words staticy and near garbled. “C-e… to the su….ce with Com…. ane… equipme… ma…fun…tion… Delta… in the desert… Comm… Za… mis…ng. H..lp.”

“You get any of that?” Thad asked.

“Not really, sir,” Akita answered. “But… the signature matches Delta Flyer DF-11 that was checked out to Commander Kensforth of the Ardeshir. She’s under refit in the dock.”

Thad resisted the urge to snap at Ikita and remind him that he was the XO, who knew what ships were in their yards being refit. “Where is the signal coming from?”

Ikita brought up a map of the planet, showing the weather system, the city and the estimated location of the shuttlecraft based on the origination of the signal. The shuttle was well away from they city, which wasn’t a good thing. There were all kinds of creatures that wandered the wilds of Obsidian. The last thing he needed was for one of the docked ships to lose an officer on the planet after being eaten by some strange creature.

He listened to it again and again, closing his eyes now as he tried to just parse the words and pick up the missing bits. He’d dissected worse over the years, extracting every last bit of juicy intelligence from broken fragments of intercepted communications. He felt some hairs stand up on the back of his neck as he started to piece together the last bit. Thad was trying to understand the last bit, to understand why he was asking for him, when the understanding hit him. He wasn’t asking for Commander Zayne, for him. He was saying Commander Zane… was missing.

The former XO, recovering addict and barely functional individual was lost on Obsidian and they had a crashed shuttle as well. This was bad. This was very bad. He turned quickly to Ikita, “Have Flight Ops prep an Arrow runabout.”

“Yes, sir,” Ikita nodded.

“Zayne out,” he said, closing the transmission. He tapped the terminal again and said, “Zayne to Major Finn.”

As expected, it was a brief wait before he was looking at the disheveled and tired looking face of Major Finn, the Marine CO for the station. “Commander?”

“I just received an emergency call. We have a shuttle downed on the planet in the middle of a nasty sandstorm, and a lost officer. The shuttle’s off the beaten path. I’m not going down there with hand phasers and high hopes. I need a couple of yours to come with me.”

“I’ll grab Sergeant Eindorf and meet you in the shuttlebay,” he answered curtly.

Thad nodded, cut off the call and shot off towards his dresser to get dressed. Within three minutes he was out the door and headed to the shuttlebay. He got off the lift, expecting to see the runabout he’d sent for on the active deck, ready to go, and wasn’t disappointed. The ground crew was running frantically to get things going. By the time he was halfway across the deck, Finn and Eindorf exited another lift and were trotting over to join them with a third Marine in tow. All three of them were carrying heavy kit on their backs and were in desert camo’s that clashed wildly with his versy standard Starfleet uniform. He waved into the runabout and went in.

He stepped out of the way of a shuttlebay crewman hurrying out of the vessel and was heading for the pilots seat only to see that it was taken.

“Morning, sir,” a young Junior Grade nodded brightly from the pilots seat.

“Who are you?” Thad asked abruptly.

“Oh, sorry, sir. Lieutenant Blakely, sir. I’m not part of the OC staff. I’m on the Ardeshir, but since we’re under refit, I volunteered to be the relief pilot on whatever shift needed. Ensign Hardeep has kidney stones,” he chuckled as if that explained it.

“What do you do on the Ardeshir?” Zayne asked, glancing back to see the Marines coming aboard.

Blakely glanced back too, now looking confused. “I’m… Chief Conn Officer. I-I assure you I know my way around this runabout.”

“Good. You’re going to need it. We’re flying into a massive sandstorm,” Zayne said, turning now to Finn and the others.

“Sergeant Eindorf and Petty Officer Mammello,” Finn said, gesturing to the pale skinned man and then to the ebony-skinned one behind him. “Figured a Corpsman might come in handy.”

“Sure as hell hope not,” Thad replied, dropping into the secondary CoNN seat. “Take a seat. Lieutenant. Get us the hell out of here.”

“Yes, sir,” Blakely nodded brightly, clearing the shuttle bay personnel and in moments had the runabout in the air. “Where are we going, sir?” he asked as they were moving slowly through the docking bay and out towards the opening bay doors.

“They didn’t tell you why a Commander, Major and others wanted to leave at 2 am quick as a wink?” Major Finn asked in disbelief.

Blakely shook his head, his smile fading as he processed the realities. “No… they didn’t.”

“We got an emergency communication that there’s a down shuttle and a missing officer on the planet. The shuttle’s outside the safety of the city, so we’re going to go get him first. Then we’ll track down our missing officer,” Thad explained, realizing that there was a connection there. “The downed pilot’s one of yours, actually. Commander Kensforth.”

Blakely blanched and his jaw dropped, “Bruce crashed? Holy shit!” he exclaimed loudly, now looking like someone had just killed his favorite pet.

“Why’s that holy shit?” Finn asked.

It took Blakely a solid minute to reply, but when he did it was in a reverent whisper, “Bruce is probably one of the best pilots in Starfleet. I’m… it’s not hyperbole. This guy… I mean if Bruce crashed in that storm… well…” he shook his head, looking back at the three of them. “Then we’re about to have one hell of a time.”


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