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Splash Down

Posted on Tue Jan 25th, 2022 @ 11:34am by Major Cornelius Tremble & Staff Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Edited on on Wed Jan 26th, 2022 @ 6:53am

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: Iticapkataki Island; Risa
Timeline: MD005 0845 hrs


At nine hundred meters, Neil prudently dropped his chin to his chest and pulled the rip-cord. After tensing through the harness traps digging in, he looked up to make sure the canopy had filled and got control of his risers.

It was old school and nearly as much fun as entering the atmosphere and then the free fall had been. With his HUD flashing FOLLOW ME guidelines, he steered closer to the island of Iticapkataki. Circling and losing altitude to get a look at the place they'd spend at least the next few days at.

It was shaped like a crescent moon, with the northern, upper tip being a narrow, high mountain point and the southern being a combination sand and broken choral mixture that was mostly flooded at high tide. The bay they were steering for was approximately half a click at its widest and a quarter that deep.

The arms of bay calmed the ocean and even from altitude Neil could see the bottom, picking out coral masses and the channel that led from the mouth of the bay to the single dock.

Aiming for near the middle of the bay, he circled in, getting wind readings and more basic information from his HUD until he was about 15 meters above the lazily rippling waters. Slowly rotating his neck, he popped his helmet lose and it broke away in four pieces. Then he crossed his ankles, took in a deep breath and pulled the quick release handles on his harness.

Abruptly released from the chute, he dropped the last twenty feet into the water, plunging fifteen feet below the surface.

Jayna opened her chute shortly before Neil did and allowed herself a few moments to watch him as his own chute deployed. Then she again focused on the island and the water below. She was still humming with adrenaline as she took in the view and the detailed information provided by the HUD. The mountain caught her interest as she visually mapped how to get to it. There should be time for a good hike while they were here. She looked around again, enjoying the momentary peace.

But she couldn't indulge herself for long. the display indicated the best place for her to land and she adjusted her course accordingly. She watched Neil shed his helmet and chute, then focused on the data outlining what would happen next.

Jayna took a slow turn around the bay for one last look, then lined up and pulled the release for the parachute. A shiver ran through her as she felt it fall away. She took a deep breath, crossing her hands and feet as she'd been instructed, and plunged into the water. She wasn't sure how deep it was, but fortunately she didn't reach the bottom. Once she slowed, she began to kick her way to the surface.

Neil broke the surface, shaking water from his eyes and face as he tread water. He had caught site of Jayna entering the water as he move to surface and he smiled, catching her smile.

Then he was looking about, making sure the chutes were disintegrating as they floated into the water. This drew his eyes to his body as he felt water starting to wrap his skin as his suit and the accompanying hardware from the jump likewise began to react to the salt water and washed away, leaving him in swim trunks and a waterproof musette bag. He continued to tread water until Jayna's head broke the surface and he dog paddled closer.

"Well, that was fun. Kinda makes you want to do it again, yeah?" he stated as he verified she was in one piece and then surveyed their surroundings again.

"I would love to do that again!" She grinned. "It was incredible!" She took a moment to orient herself and let her suit dissolve. While it did, she mentally adjusted to the feel of water and wearing just a swimsuit. Then she struck out for the beach.

Neil hadn't swum in a while, but it came back to him and he emerged on the beach five minutes later, letting water stream off him as he looked around.

He'd requested a semi-primitive camping area and even though Neil had been reassured several times, he still wasn't sure the Risians knew what primitive meant.

All and all though, things looked good. His eye was drawn to a set of white posts set about two meters apart that were flashing a welcome sign between them and a trunk below. Walking up the white sand beach, he opened the trunk and found towels and flip-flops. Chuckling he pulled out both and tossed a towel to Jayna as he slipped his feet into the footwear.

"Well, so far it doesn't look bad," he commented to Jayna. "Looks like as advertised. We've the beach and swim platform in the middle of the bay." Pointing up the rise to where the tree-line began he said, "You can see the thatched huts up there, and there's a salt water hot tub. We can sling hammocks at night or there's standard bedding stored away too."

Grinning, he said "There's a fully modern head tucked away in one of the huts...roughing it only goes so far. Tree leaves are not necessary."

"Excellent." She had wondered if they'd have to dig their own latrines. A functional bathroom was one comfort she definitely appreciated. And a hot tub would be nice after a hike. She rubbed herself off with the towel and then draped it across her shoulders before getting a pair of flip-flops for herself. "A hammock or sleeping mat is fine for me--unless it rains. I imagine the stars will be incredible here." She'd expected to build a lean-to if it rained, but after so many years in Starfleet, a hut would be greatly appreciated.

She gave Neil a mischievous grin. "I need to burn off some energy. So, unless you have something better in mind, I'd like to explore."

Buffing the water out of his hair, Neil eyed her and grinned, "Well, there are all sorts of choices. What suits you? Hiking. Snorkeling. There's gear for all that in one of the huts. Exploring wise, I think there's something like fifteen km of trails, some of which you'll want a machete for."

Gesturing out toward the bay, he said, "And there's the bay. Coral reefs and all sorts of life." Then he remembered something and checked the storage locker and pulled out a couple of water sealed water bottles. He tossed one to Jayna and said, "Speaking of life forms. Our hosts recommended we each drink a bottle a day. It's water, mostly, but has an additive that will turn our natural body oils into an insect repellant."

Then he winked at her, "I say mostly. I've used something like this before and walking through a cloud of bugs will still likely get you eaten. Even a blind squirrel gets lucky every once in a while."

She drank half the bottle before responding. "True. A good wood fire will help keep them at bay, too. Except for maybe the blind squirrel. I'm not sure what they think of wood smoke." She grinned as she considered the options he mentioned. "The choices all sound good--even the machete. Do you have a preference? I'm assuming we have time to do most of them."

Glancing up at the sun, Neil said. "Well, getting a look at the terrain and all is probably a good idea. We can check out the housing, get into some hiking gear and go exploring. There's supposed to be a waterfall slash freshwater swimming hole slash climbing wall a few klicks in, pretty much all of inland trails lead to it. So, we can do that if you're game."

"That sounds like fun." She was eager to see what their little paradise had to offer. She grinned. "Then maybe we could hike that mountain in the morning." After their drop to the island, she was eager to see what it looked like from up there. But for now, that waterfall was calling to her. "Give me five minutes."

A Joint Post By
Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


Staff Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

 

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