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Xenomelia Part II

Posted on Wed Sep 21st, 2022 @ 4:51am by Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Harris & Staff Sergeant Shayla Kunadt & Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren & Lieutenant Fathom Fellini & Lieutenant Junior Grade Selorina M'Kress & Lieutenant Junior Grade Mignon Mejia & Senior Chief Petty Officer Sha’Zen D'Tem
Edited on on Wed Sep 21st, 2022 @ 5:38am

2,042 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Shuttle Craft Roosevelt / Planet Igion
Timeline: MD004 1630 hrs

Last Time On Xenomelia Part I...

"Bridge this is Roosevelt requesting permission to depart." Shayla said into the open comm channel. "Permission granted Jumper. Safe travels and hurry home." The twangy voice of Captain Malbrooke could be heard in return. Shayla smiled and turned over her shoulder. "Alright ladies and gentlemen hold on to your butts here we go." With that the Roosevelt rose off the deck in the shuttle bay and turned toward the open bay doors. It passed through the blue glow of the forcefield and out into open space and the unknown.
And Now The Continuation...

Shayla took another look at her console and the readouts. "We are green across the board and on course. We have been cleared for atmospheric entry by the Jutrai. Is there a particular place that you would like to make entry?" She addressed the question to the woman who sat next to her and had overall command of the mission Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren.

"Come in low over the ocean to this point." Alyssa indicated where most of the feet had washed ashore. "I think this is a good place to start." She also wanted to take some scans with the shuttle to make sure the data they had was consistent with what was actually on the surface. She would prefer to do a thorough series of scans to get detailed information, but she was pretty sure that wouldn't be allowed. But if they came in over the ocean to land a short way from the beach, no one should complain...much.

Fathom had a seat by the window so she could get a good look at the ocean as they came in through the atmosphere. The information available on what lived there was so minimal that she was excited to see it for herself. Yes, they had a specific goal for this mission, but if she could get additional data on what lived underwater, it would be a definite bonus. They didn't even know if any giant sea creatures lived under water that might account for the lack of bodies. Although she really couldn't see any creatures eating everything but the feet.

Harris manned his station which he made sure was without a window. He did not have an interest in what was to be seen. Rather he had interest in what the sensor could see. "According to preliminary scans the planet is at high tide and there are no storms at sea. The modifications that Lieutenant Diari made are holding and the ship is ready to make waterfall."

Shayla nodded at what the Ensign had said. "Thanks Ensign..." She turned to speak to Alyssa. "Commander do you want to land on the beach to set up a base camp before we dive or would you rather just submerge the vessel? Either way we will be down there in about ten minutes."

Alyssa was briefly torn. Since the feet washed ashore, the most logical place to start looking was the ocean itself. And with all the activity involved in gathering them and doing a preliminary search, any information they could gather from the shore was probably gone. At the same time, she liked to start with a baseline, and the shore was the best place to get one. "Let's scan the shore for a klick, then go under water." There was no doubt they'd be monitored, whatever they chose to do.

As the shuttle flew in low, Sha'Zen observed the planet through one of the windows, the area they were entering was quite reminiscent of her own world. Jungles making way for sandy beaches. She looked around for native fauna as they neared the water.

"Lieutenant Harris," Alyssa said, turning to the other officer. "Verify the tidal pattern as we fly over. Let us know if you find any anomalies."

"Yes ma'am!" Michael said from his station as his hands went to work. First he pulled up the data on current analysis and tidal patterns from the colony database. Then he compared it to current scans that he made from the Roosevelt's sensors. Initially there was nothing wrong and nothing to report. However, as he dug deeper he saw something that was all too alarming. "It seems that up until recently the tidal patterns were diurnal. However, around the time the feet first began to wash up on shores it was observed that the tidal patterns changed to a mixed pattern. Now, this is something that could occur naturally however, it is very rare."

This was definitely odd. "So, let's assume this is not a natural phenomenon. Based on the tidal flow you see now, where could these feet have come from?" Alyssa would love to do a low-orbit pass around the planet, but she doubted the government would give them permission without a very good reason. "Also, is there anything you've noticed that might theoretically account for the change?"

Michael continued to look over the computer read out. "That's just it... If all of this data is correct the feet are coming from what the map shows is a land mass with no rivers or bodies of water of any kind. Which leads me to believe that either our sensors are wrong, or the map we have is. The only thing that could make a change this large in tides would have to be a change in the moon's orbit. However, something like that would have been observed by the Pioneer when we arrived. This is quite perplexing. I think a live visual of the area would clear things up."

Just as Harris finished his report Shayla spoke up. "Ladies and Gents welcome to Igion." The windows showed a white sandy beach and beautiful water lapping at it. "This is the specified coordinates that you wanted to scan for a possible base camp. Let me know when you are ready and we will make the dive." Shayla put the shuttle in hover and looked at the beach. It was stunningly beautiful and the Marine was suddenly conscious of her MARVEL suit, as she wanted nothing more than to swim at the moment.

"Let's do a quick visual scan of the area first," Alyssa said. "What the lieutenant reports varies enough from what we've been given to warrant a look." Plus it would give them a better idea of what was under the water as well.

"Lieutenants Harris and Fellini, I'd like you to check the ocean as we do a fly over. There's definitely something odd here." While they did that, Alyssa sent a quick message to the Pioneer to let them know why the shuttle was altering course.

Shayla took the shuttle into a low flight over the indicated area. She performed a maneuver that in the Marines is called on station. She circled the area at a low speed and low altitude. This would allow the scientists to take stock of what they saw with both their sensors and naked eyes.

When they were finished with the scans, Alyssa asked the pilot to land the shuttle near where the body parts were found. "I want to see if there's any indication of what may have happened--or if anything new has washed up. That will give us time to look over the new data and select a site for the base camp."

"Yes." Fathom turned to Michael. "I'd like to hear what you think of the new readings." She wasn't sure what to make of the changes--yet, but she was eager to discuss them and then get underwater to have a look around.

Michael wasn't ignoring anyone, although it probably looked as if he were. He was however, deep in thought. Truth was he had no idea what to make of these new scans. "I am not entirely sure what to make of this. If these scans are to be believed than the currents are always in a state of flux. From what I know this is only to be found on entirely aquatic planets. But there is something in the back of my head that says this is phony somehow."

Shayla executed a low flying manuver over the beach so the Chief Science could get a better look. "Commander from what I can see there is nothing here save for beautiful beaches. I don't even see a footprint, which just seems wrong."

"Perhaps, our new 'friends' aren't as forthcoming as they claim to be." Sha'Zen said from her seat.

"Ya think?" Fathom frowned. "I agree there's definitely something hinky going on here."

"I wouldn't put it quite that way," Alyssa said, unable to hold back a smile at the comments. "Tides don't change without reason, and we haven't found one yet. I'd like to land a short distance from the shore and divide into two teams. One will examine that data and look for what could be causing the changes. The second team is to search the shoreline for anything out of the ordinary." She, too, believed the government was keeping information from them. She had a hard time believing they could be this clueless by accident.

"Commander, I'd like to volunteer to join the second team." Sha'Zen said. "I have jungle warfare experience and I'm armed, if there is a threat, I'm the most suited to deal with it." Turning her attention to Kunadt. "I mean no offence, Sergeant." She said.

"Agreed. Anyone else have preferences or should I simply assign the groups?" Alyssa asked.

"None taken..." Shayla began as response then turned to Alyssa. "Commander I have secondary orders to stay with you." She was asked to make sure that all the scientists were safe, but Captain Tremble made specific mention of the Commander.

This mission may have not been in Michael's wheelhouse, but he could not resist a good mystery. Right now the reason for these tidal changes was a great mystery. One that he had interest in solving. "I would be happy to look over the data and I believe Lieutenant Fellini's expertise would be helpful here."

"Very well. I'll leave the two of you to see what you can figure out. Mignon, will you join me along the shore? Mabe we can split into two teams of two and each go a different direction," Alyssa said.

Mignon nodded. "That works for me."

"All right. We'll meet back here in two hours." Alyssa pulled her cross pack out of a compartment and checked to make sure she had everything she'd need. "I'm ready."

Mignon grabbed her pack. "Me, too."

"I'll accompany you, Ensign Mejia." Sha'Zen said.

Shayla secured the shuttle's command functions. This planet was friendly but one could never be too sure. She placed her helmet on and keyed a command into her wrist computer. The helmet stayed linked but retracted. The wrist computer also could summon the shuttle if needed. The Marine slung her rifle across her chest with her hand at the ready should it be needed. She knew that this was the point in the mission where she took the backseat. So she fell into step behind Alyssa. As the saying went Shayla kept her head on a swivel and was ready for anything.
To Be Continued...

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Fathom Fellini
Marine Biologist

Ensign Mignon Mejia
Alien Archaeologist/Anthropologist, USS Pioneer

Chief Petty Officer Sha’Zen D'Tem
Biologist, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Selorina M'Kress
Astrometrics Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Harris
Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Sergeant Shayla Kunadt
EVAC Specialist HQ, The Cure
USS Pioneer


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