NCC - 86105
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SD241809.29 || Joint Log || "If You Look for Trouble..."

Posted on Sat Sep 29th, 2018 @ 10:59am by Lieutenant Colonel Kya'shina Tenatha & Brigadier General Jonathan Grey

Mission: Tremor Trouble
Location: Starbase Versailles

=^= Jefferies Tube =^=

Bright lights glinted in the gloom; enough to take a person's night vision, but not enough to actually illuminate anything. If you avoided the pin-prick glare overhead, the shadows morphed into vague shapes. Lines along the wall to one side were pipes, the other side was interrupted by the erratic corners and sweeping curves of random machinery, and one patch of the tube had a bulky assemblage of systems plugged into a layer of armor plating.

Only the barcode gave a clue as to what this plating was protecting, as any identifying marks had been carefully omitted by design.

A spark flashed in the darkness, giving a glimpse of long red hair.

"Ow! Fiddlesticks." hissed a shadow, shaking a barely-visible hand and smacking it against something else in the process. "Fiddlesticks!" it repeated, tucking the hand in close and scowling.

"Hurry up Claire!" whispered another shadow with shorter hair. The faintest glimmer of light around her waist made out the familiar shapes of a last-generation tricorder screen; the antiquated tech bulging with various add-ons. Were one talented in such matters, this mish-mash of technologies claimed to be able to block even the most modern of detection gear.

If you believe the marketing, that is.

"You hurry up." groused Claire, sparing a moment to glare at her partner before turning back to the task at hand; cracking the codes on this hatch in the armoured wall.

"That doesn't even make sense." the other grumbled, looking behind herself to make sure they were still alone.

Ignoring her malcontented partner, Claire poked at the padd in her other hand, her lips moving slightly as she read the instructions. Holding the padd to the side of the control panel allowed her to compare it with the picture, and she pressed three of the buttons in the indicated order.


With a scowl, she thumped the padd against the panel, which flickered in unison.

"Beep boop." announced the panel, closely followed by a clanking sound from the hatch. A slight whiteness in the dark marked a relieved grin as Claire pocketed the padd and grabbed the hatch handle. Much-neglected cogwork groaned in response, but obediently turned as pressure was applied; granting the two access to the room beyond.

If anything, the gloom was even deeper in here. The tricorder lit up brightly as it mustered all the mustard in an attempt to counter the various state-of-the-art attentions interrogating every square inch of the space they now intruded on.

The light from the tricorder brought the room into sharper focus, and the two girls (young women, really, but their malnourished figures were closer to large children) were suddenly able to see properly again.

At the same time, the girls were lit up as well, merciless in its unveiling of their rag-covered selves. "Claire" was by far the tallest of the two, with her long red hair marked by grime and dirt. Spider-thin fingers stroked one arm in a gesture of self-reassurance, her worried expression quickly changing to one of assured self-confidence when she spotted her partner looking.

Her partner, who went by the name "Wild Jess", had short hair of every colour. Bright streaks of red, green, and yellow were among the chaotic maelstrom atop her head. A devilish smile underlined two excited eyes as they flicked from item to item inside the room, eagerly seeking the most likely hiding spot for the much ballyhooed treasures.

The first thing they noticed was the desk. Big and expensive-looking, it seemed the ideal spot to begin their search. Rounding the sides, they peered closely at the drawers; trying to figure out if any of them were alarmed or booby-trapped.

Neither of them paid much attention to the name plate atop the desk, nor the name engraved upon it:

"Lieutenant Colonel Tenatha"

Kya had been fielding a short but intense list of complaints from Marines who thought they were too good to work in lockstep with Naval security officers, which had a twofold effect: those Marines regretted their arrogance, and Kya ended up in something of a bad mood. She hated to see people who thought they were better than others because of some stupid, arbitrary title.

When she reached her office door, she was ready for a few minutes of quiet...

...and realized that something was wrong the moment she stepped through the door. The lights were on. A service hatch was open. There were people. Her first instinct was...well, a court-martial/criminal offense, so she stifled that one and stared at them. They were small and thin, so she felt no immediate threat but remained wary. "What the hell do you two think you're doing?" she demanded, voice low and dangerous, red eyes flashing.

Two pairs of eyes flicked up at the sound of the door opening. Those same eyes widened at the sight of the marine walking in, and their owners shared a look of terror at the menacing growl.

Wild Jess was the first to unfreeze.

"Run!" she shouted, pulling a box from her bag. Her left thumb broke the seal on the bottom, and she hurled it onto the floor between them and the marine. A high-pitched noise rose sharply in tone as the box charged, before blossoming into a cacophony of whistles and screeches.

Sparks showered out from the sides of the box, bright and yellow in a fountain of stars. From the top came pulses of cracklers and whistlers; bundles of ignited chemicals designed to bemuse from a distance, and threaten eyebrow-removal at close range. All of this was paced by the bigger rockets that ricocheted off the ceiling and exploded in blinding flowers of light and noise.

Such was the madness when you set off a firework cake indoors.

Behind the desk, Jess grabbed Claire's arm and pulled her towards the open panel. "Come on! We gotta go!" she shouted, fear giving wings to her stick-figure legs as she forced her terrified partner towards the hatch.

Hissing at the sounds the assaulted her ears, Kya kept her focus on the fireworks going off. The ignition was close enough to fire for her to control and she held out her hand, focusing her native Sal'kiiran abilities to "grab" the tiny explosions and heat and push them in front of the open hatch. Cutting off their escape.

"You'll stop in your tracks unless you want these down your throats," she shouted over the noise.

The girls' feet skidded out from under them as they went sprawling to avoid hitting the wall of sparks and flares. Adrenaline surged through their systems as physics appeared to haywire, ignorant as they were of the Colonel's species and their gifts. All they knew was that their best exit was now blocked.

The two girls stared at the maelstrom in front of them, looking over to the Colonel in terror after hearing her threat. They noticed the door behind her, and glanced at each other. A brief nod was all it took, and the game was on.

Claire and Jess scrambled to their feet and sprinted towards the blocked door, a little more sure of themselves now. Pyrokinesis was something they couldn't spell, let alone outsmart, but this technique was an old fallback when dealing with shopkeepers and rich marks in a crowd.

The two girls split up, accelerating across the small space as if trying to pass the Colonel on either side. When they neared the Colonel, Jess angled directly towards the towering marine and charged straight in. Meanwhile, Claire stamped to a halt and threw herself to the side in a tumble, suddenly rolling across the floor in front of the Colonel.

This brought Claire in front of Jess, who stepped on her partner's back and launched herself up and over the marine, her eyes screwed shut. A rustle and a puff could be heard as Jess popped a packet mid-flight, releasing a thick spray of ground black pepper as she sailed above the Colonel's head.

There was a steady flow of curses in Kya's mind as the girls made a play for the door behind her. Her red eyes flickered between them, and she felt her skin heat like it did when the energy surged. She was already taking a step back into the doorframe when they changed course, bringing her to just narrowly missed the full hit of the cloud the upper one released.

Kya swung her arm up, catching the one trying to go over her head in a vertical sort of "clothes line" maneuver that caught the girl almost center mass and sent her flying backward, the way she'd come. Kya closed the last distance to the door and smacked the panel, locking it. "Bad idea, little girls," she growled.

Jess bounced off the Colonel's arm and hit the floor hard, tumbling to a stop. Her eyes were open, staring into the middle distance, but her body lay still.

Claire finished the tumble on her feet, and her head swivelled at the sound of her partner hitting the ground. "No!" she cried, the momentary glimmer of confidence draining out of her in an instant. The panicked youth darted across the floor to touch her friend on the shoulders, hands tapping lightly as if Jess were made of glass.

"Jess! Jess!" the girl exclaimed, feeling the fear and uncertainty threaten to swallow her whole. She looked up at the marine in terror, glancing around to try and spot a way out, but finding none. No options remaining, Claire tucked her head down and hunched over Jess, shielding her unconscious friend with her body.

"Please don't hurt her!" Claire pleaded, her voice muffled.

Kya rolled her eyes. "I'm not aiming to hurt either of you," she snapped, "but let's remember that you were the ones who broke into my office." She jerked her head in the direction of the prone girl. "Is she alive?" Yet before the girl could answer, Kya slapped her comm badge. "Security and medical to MCO's office."

"I...I...Yes ma'am." Claire stammered, keeping her head firmly down. Though faint, she could feel Jess breathing beneath her, deep and slow. It brought back memories of the two of them huddled together for warmth, sometimes on the streets and sometimes in low-life-support areas to lay low. The fear was familiar too, something Jess (were she conscious) would never have admitted.

With security and medical on their way, the Marine commander just stared at the girls, sighing and shaking her head. "You shouldn't look for trouble, kids. You'll always find it."

=^= End of Log =^=

Claire and Jess (NPCs apb Grey)


Lieutenant Colonel Kya'shina Tenatha, Marine Commander


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