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Deep into the Frosted Wilderness

Posted on Sun Oct 10th, 2021 @ 6:35pm by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Lieutenant Deanna Celes & Lieutenant Ayana Hillis & Lieutenant Aiko Kato & Lieutenant JG Shoniara T’ghann Dex Dr

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Class-P Planet

The wind was blowing at a brisk pace, pushing the falling snow at a 45 degree angle, along with kicking up a good amount of that which was on the ground. The away team materialized on a clearing overlooking a small valley that sat between them and a mountain range. Shran looked right at home in this environment, almost one might say like a kid in a candy store. Ayana and Celes on the other hand were absolutely miserable in these conditions, though they weren't about to voice that fact.

Celes pulled out her tricorder and began scanning, hoping she could find something, anything that would justify them moving from this open spot to something that at least provided them cover from them wind, if not the rest of this harsh weather. As luck would have it she found exactly what she was looking for, the same anomalous signal that she had gotten when scanning from orbit. "Can't blame it on orbital interference now" she said as she showed her tricorder to Shran.

"Well done Deanna" he said, a grin on his face. "Let's get a move on, before most of you freeze to death." He started his way downhill, making it look easy as he descended.

The same could not be said for all of the others, especially crewman Weasley who managed to find the one place not to step and then slid down the hillside giving himself quite the frostburn.

"An interesting way to take the lead down" said Celes as she approached with Ayana.

"But he did make it down, and he looks no worse for wear" followed Ayana.

"Everything alright?" questioned Shran as he and the others approached.

"I'm fine sir" said Weasley as he stood and dusted himself off before leaning down and picking up his phaser rifle.

"Doctor, if you don't mind" said Shran as he looked at Weasley.

“Are you all right crewman?” Dex asked as she took off her glove to open her medical tricorder. “Let me just check you over okay.” She ran the bio sensor over Weasley, quickly snapped the tricorder shut and put it back into her pocket. ‘Surak it was so cold’. She replaced her glove. “Clean bill of Health crewman.” She shouted over the wind and nodded to Shran.

Shran nodded and continued on towards the mountains, Ayana and Celes quickly following. Ayana directed the other security officer to take up the point position. She wasn't taking a chance of anything happening to the captain under her watch.

As they neared the base of the mountains Ayana gave a sigh of relief, hoping this meant that perhaps they might be able to find a cave of some sort that would provide them a respite from the wind that seemed to cut through everything.

Celes again provided exactly what most hoped for, a destination that appeared to get them away from this terrible wind, if not the cold. They made their way to the cave and stopped a dozen or so feet inside. Celes looked at her tricorder readings and then to Shran. "Something is jamming by sensors" she said emphatically.

"Natural or artificial?" questioned Shran.

She looked at Shran and he nodded his understanding. He turned to look at Ayana, "I'd say someplace inside these tunnels we'll find some sort of Breen encampment. Let's be on guard."

Ayana nodded. She directed the two security officers to take the lead. She stayed close to Shran, making sure she was keeping as close to him as possible in case she needed to protect the captain.

Dex held back a little and brought out her tricorder again, she wanted to get a sensor look at the atmosphere inside the cave cognisant of the ‘Breen escapade’ on board the Washington. Although she agreed with the Captain that they should not employ her idea she was not at all sure that the Breen would attest to this philosophy. From what she knew about them so far the Breen would stop at nothing to kill as many of them as they could. Luckily there were no known contaminants in the caves air supply. She caught back up to them. “No viral contaminants in the atmosphere Captain”.

"Very good doctor" came his simple reply. Shran looked like a man deep in thought, or perhaps just being very cautious as they made their way deeper into the cave network.

Dex caught up to Kato. “How are you feeling Lieutenant?” She asked. She remembered that the officer had had a nasty incident with the Breen at the end of the Dominion war.

Aiko had been silent since they beamed to the surface, her attention squarely focused on detecting and responding to any Breen encounter. While she had mostly been passively listening to the conversations of her comrades, she found herself mentally struggling to be objective about the mission.

The knowledge of being on a planet that could be a beachhead for the Breen coupled with the freezing cold triggered memories of her days of captivity with the Breen in the closing days of the Dominion War. Strangely, her usual psychological tricks of trying to ground herself were not as successful as they used to be.

She was not in full panic mode, but there was a heavy apprehension she felt so vividly as if there was a weight pressed on her chest that belaboured each breath and forced her to take deep breaths.

She had almost missed the Doctor's question when she had asked and only caught on because Dex happened to be starring at her as if waiting for a response.

"Oh...sorry Doc," she stated with a forced smile as she wondered how she could possibly be sweating despite it being bone chillingly cold. "I'm doing alright...just trying to relish the freezing cold," she replied sarcastically.

"How you doing doc?" she asked.

“I am enjoying the change Lieutenant. Colder than Vulcan. I am conscious of you though with everything you have been through. Don’t be frightened to let me know if you are struggling, that is what I am here for.”

Celes had a look of satisfaction on her face as she managed to break past the jamming signal with her tricorder. She began taking scans and looked to Shran and Ayana. "Definitely detecting lifeforms in this cave, nearest is 1000 ft. and closing."

Shran gave a look to Ayana and she immediately moved to get her security troops into a tactical position. Shran looked back at Aiko and Dex and gave a hand signal for them to take cover, pointing towards a medium sized protrusion in the cave about 10 ft. from them. Shran moved so a similar protrusion with Celes as Ayana took position with her men.

Celes continued to keep an eye on her tricorder as the lifeform neared, and when it was coming near the bend of the path up ahead of them all, she was finally able to get a proper reading and determine it was in fact Breen, 4 of them. She was aware that she couldn't speak at this point without giving away her position so she sent the new information to Ayana and Shran telepathically. Shran looked at her and then her phaser, and Celes quickly pulled her phaser from its holster and readied it.

The foot falls began to lightly echo as the Breen troops came closer, though the light coming from outside was minimal, making this a bigger challenge than anyone wanted it to be. As they neared their silhouettes became clear, and Ayana fired the first shot, hitting one of the leads in the chest. The Breen fired and scattered as the other StarFleet personnel returned fire.

Dex hid behind a small rock outcrop as the phaser fire began. She looked at Aiko ready to protect and help if she needed it. She took aim and fired at a taller shadow which went down with a sharp cry. It was difficult to see and she was not about to fire wildly. Since her Pon Farr she was measured and thoughtful again and even in this situation it felt ordered.

“How many are there?” She called, hoping someone had an idea.

Aiko felt secure behind the rocky protrusion the Captain had directed her to prior to the firefight. Once the firefight began however, she reflexively moved over to cover Dex, her phaser aimed squarely in front of her as her eyes tracked their Breen targets. Unsurprisingly, the Breen scattered after their comrade fell and hid behind the rock outcropping.

However, Dex's fire managed to catch another Breen before he was able to completely hide. Aiko noticed that the fire of the security officers was largely meant to suppress and dissuade the Breen from moving too much as the officers manuvered closer and tried to enclose their enemy as best as they could given the terrain.

"There are two more that I can see Doc," Aiko replied Dex in a hushed voice. It was only then Aiko realized that her apprehension seemed to have disappeared and instead reinforced by adrenaline. "But our security team will get them soon enough."

She paused long enough to look at Dex to give her a smile, "Great shot by the way."

Dex was reassured by Aiko’s demeanour. She smiled “ Thank you Lieutenant, that’s the thing about being a good doctor. You have to be a good shot.” She ducked down as a blast shot over her head. “And how to know when to duck.”

Ayana and her security troops continued their suppression fire, keeping the remaining Breen pinned down. Shran sent a brief telepathic message to Celes and she sent a return message that she understood. The two took aim, and Celes fired multiple blasts, forcing the one Breen soldier to roll out from cover. As soon as the Breen was visible Shran fired, catching it square in the chest.

The remaining Breen tried to make a run for it but Ayana was quick to stop him with a well placed shot. Celes checked her tricorder once more and then gave the all clear. Ayana directed her security officers to check on the fallen Breen while she checked on Shran and the others.

"Well done everyone" said Shran. "We now have conclusive proof the Breen are here. We'll have to be on guard as well go forward."

Dex moved forward. “Is anybody hurt?” She asked.

"It doesn't appear so doctor." Shran looked to the back towards Dex and Aiko and then forward towards Ayana and her people before checking with Celes.

For her part Celes was scanning the area as best she could. She had broken the jamming signal, but her range was still limited. "I think we surprised a forward patrol. I'm not detecting any additional life signs at this time, but that could change quickly."

Shran nodded. "We should keep moving, swiftly and silently. We don't know how long before these will be missed."

TBC

 

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