No... A Sciencing We Will Go!
Posted on Wed Oct 19th, 2022 @ 1:29pm by Lieutenant Timmoz & Ensign Jyl-eel Tor & Ensign Noah Balsam & Lieutenant Margarar & Lieutenant Mothim-Ril & Lieutenant JG Chiara MD, PharmD & Ensign Mei Ratthi & Andrew Munro & David Mccolugh & Ensign Brian Davies
A Camping We Will Go
Location: Gentris IV
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1600
[MD 2: 1600 Hours]
"Watch the horizon line." Timmoz said. The tall Orion stood, dressed in sleeveless black, with the ropiness of his lime arms across his chest. "I think Kodak would be very angry if you scratched the paint on his nacelles." The Orion chuckled. "You'll feel some turbulence. We're passing into the planet's thermal envelope." The shuttle Opportunity jostled- Timmoz gripped a handhold on the back of the pilot and co-pilot's seat when the turbulence was rougher than he'd imagined.
"Sorry," Noah's voice cracked. He was white-knuckling his controls, his eyes unblinking where Timmoz told him to look.
Grinning with a sly bend of lips that suggested his double set of canines, Timmoz leaned down to the cadet's ear. "I hope you don't fuck the way you fly, Balsam," he cooed teasing velvet at the shell's of Noah's hearing. "Nobody likes it with a death grip. And that was a little rough for entry."
Noah was, meanwhile, counting in his head, his lips moving soundlessly. "OK... at-at 1,000 meters.... decrease thrusters and.... standby stationkeeping?" He asked up at Timmoz.
Timmoz bobbed his head again, slowly, "Unless you plan to blow the needles off all those trees. Yes." The Orion sidled into the cockpit and decided to sit down in the co-pilot's chair. But he made no moves for the controls. A few moments later, Noah's skinny hand, shakily, went for the throttle down lever. "Mmmhmm... switch to atmospherics.... you'll want your navigational flaps." Timmoz looked at the green of the trees. "Flaps, Cadet."
"Flaps... atmospheric maneuvering jets...." Noah stammered around, his fingers hesitating.
"Good.... use your navs to locate the landing spot Irynya was so kind to pick out for you." Timmoz craned his neck some... "Prep for landing struts."
"Yessir," Noah tapped at controls and the cabin lighting shifted to blue, the consoles before him flashing a blue landing icon.
Timmoz chuckled. "No one turns on the landing alert status Balsam." Again he craned his neck as he watched the details of the horizon. "Unless you're planning to crash..."
Noah glanced at Timmoz, fast and back. His lips were counting again and then his console summoned up the sounds of a proximity alarm. "Navs are-are locked on..."
"Good," Timmoz coaxed. "And your landing struts?"
Noah was sweating visibly and he nodded. "R-ready...." Timmoz's head incline said enough. "Going to thrusters to station-keeping...." The shuttle eased into a hover and very, very slowly began to descend. The bulge of a strange, rocky mountain face obscured behind trees until the sky itself was eclipsed by the towering forest The shuttle jostled.
There was a hydraulic hiss. Noah bent forward and started tapping at controls, while he breathed up and out at his bangs.
"Well done," Timmoz said. The Orion stood up and stretched. "I told you you wouldn't kill us." Timmoz's footfalls carried him toward the back of the shuttle. "Aft door?" A distant beep betrayed that Noah, who was probably still collecting himself, obeyed. With another hiss the aft doors opened and a ramp descended.
Timmoz strode outside into the filtered orange light of the Gentris IV star and set eyes on a small gathering. "Everyone who wants to go on a field trip had better get on," he said, addressing the scientists. Noah sidled up beside him. "Anyone not had better get off." Timmoz added with a nudge of his shoulder to Noah's. It kicked Noah into motion and he started down the ramp.
Margarar had been practically bouncing in her seat during the entire shuttle ride. Getting onto a planet that could have her on a shoreleave was nothing short of exciting. Containing her excitement was extremely difficult, but it did allow her not to complain about Noah's incompetent flying. The moment that Timmoz mentioned that people should get off, Margarar darted down the ramp at breakneck speed, nearly running over Noah and Timmoz. The moment she hit the ground, she bent down onto all four appendages, feeling the ground as preciously as one might feel a lover. Her head turned over to the others coming down the ramp. Margarar's normal generic, dull, "on duty" face broke into a toothy, relieved, and free grin.
"Anyone up for a race?" she asked with a playful guttural quality to her voice. Was there even a twinkle in her eye, as she spoke?
Noah leaned toward Timmoz and whispered. "Can, uh, we leave her here? Sh-she'll be so much happier out in the wild." The skinny one shouldered his bag into the groove between the shoulder round and his neck.
Timmoz's wolfish smile widened and he chuckled. "She does look happy. But she's a fully competent engineer." The Orion started to stride lankily down the ramp. "Five minutes until this shuttle lifts off," he was addressing Margarar as well as the scientists. But it didn't escape Timmoz that the plump girl with the pale spots approached Noah in a receptive way. And the youth was, as ever, completely oblivious.
"He fucks like he flies," Timmoz shook his head irreverently, muttering to himself. "Booska..." Timmoz sighed and approached the rest of the scientists. Timmoz gestured a wave at Margarar, waiting to see if any gleeful scientist would take up her challenge. "Five minutes, Margarar...."
Margarar growled her discontent. She was still "on duty" and Timmoz was the closest thing that she had to a friend. "If nobody is going to run, I certainly will...."
Timmoz approached Ensigns Mei Ratthi and Lieutenant Mothim. "You must be eager to stretch your wings as much as Margarar is to stretch her legs." He said to the Aurelian. He studied the new scientist. His Cluros smile in place, he extended his green hand, "Lieutenant Timmoz," he said to Mei.
She smiled and shook his hand, twice and firmly. "Ensign Mei Ratthi. It's good to meet you. Are you planning to stay down here for a while, or are you going back to the ship? Personally, I wish we could stay longer. There's so much to explore, you know? A whole world we've never really seen before with no obvious sapient species, but plenty of animal life. Makes you wonder what animals have evolved to be like. Especially in a forest like this." Mei stopped and ducked her head, tapping her forefinger against her thumb. "And I'm going to talk your ear off if I don't stop, so I'll do that and let you get on with whatever."
Mothim simply nodded at Timmoz's statement; the Aurelian had opened his wings and was standing there, still, as the very faint breeze - imagine that, real wind, not just holodeck wind - filtered through his orange flight feathers. The scientist shook his feathers out for a moment before giving a couple powerful flaps of his wings, rising about a dozen feet off the ground. Mothim didn't exactly grin, not with having a beak like his, but the joy was definitely there in his blue eyes as he looked back down at the rest of the team.
"That's a handy trick," Brian Davies -- ship's entomologist -- said. He'd been with the small group of scientists awaiting for the arrival of the shuttle. "Wish I could fly like that...I'm envious, boss," the young science officer called up to Mothim. To Timmoz, Brian turned and asked, "How long do you anticipate the shuttle survey taking? I'm all about sciencing for science sake but I'm told there's marshmallow roasting happening after dark. Will we be back by then?"
Timmoz had braced some with a raised hand when the Aurelian lifted off. He'd been about to answer Mei Ratthi. No he took the moment. "I'm sharing the seat with Irynya. Since I'm technically supposed to be on light duty," he alluded. He set eyes on Davies. "Just tap a badge and I or Irynya will come pick you up. I understand there are several day-sites you Blues plan to visit while we are here," Timmoz said. He glanced between the scientists. Davies in particular seemed eager. "That's a yes. We'll bring you back when you all want."
Nobody having taken up Margarar on her offer for a race, she called back, "Four minutes. I'll be back." With that, she ran off into the distance on all four of her appendages at a breakneck speed.
Cupped hands to amplify his voice called to Margarar, "Keep your comm on you!" He called. It wasn't particularly difficult terrain but it was still unknown territory. "Can't blame anyone for not wanting to race her. Anticans are well-known for running speeds. I'd love to see a Kelpien challenge her. Too bad Uralis no longer with us."
Davies nodded to Timmoz' explanation, happy he'd be back in time for campfire fun, and then watched Margarar take off at warp speed. "Yeah, no way I'd be able to keep up with her," he chuckled, watching with amazement as the Antican sprinted away. "I can barely run on two legs," Brian comment dryly. "Well, I've brought the essentials," the scientist said, holding up a briefcase-style carrying case full of instruments. "Guess I'll find a seat on the shuttle," he smiled before striding up the ramp.
"Please do. We'll depart as soon as you're all aboard and Margarar is back from her freedom run." Timmoz looked back at Noah and was surprised to see His Lankiness walking back toward him. "Please help Ensigns Davies and Ratthi with their belongings, Balsam." He looked up at the shadow of the Aurelian. "Mothim may be awhile."
Doctor Chiara had held back in the tree line as the shuttle landed. She watched the interactions of the science officers while waiting for their ride. For too long, she had worked in the maximum security level of a Federation penal colony. It was almost unsettling to know that every person around her was a free man, welcome to move as they pleased through the corridors of the ship, and now, the planet's surface. She shifted her pack and joined the scientists as they moved toward the waiting shuttle.
Andrew was scrolling through scan data on his PADD, undecided as to which facet of the biosphere he was going to focus his attention on. It was a little like going to a restaurant where everything on the menu looked appealing. The other scientists were within earshot but he hadn't been listening to the conversation. The change in background noise alerted him when they started to head toward the shuttle. Still undecided, he stowed the PADD in his rucksack and swung it onto his back before following. The jungle camouflage pack was a little scruffy from use and still bore the emblem of the Risian Hedony accompanied with 'Natural Sciences' text. It was comfortable and he'd come to favour its particular arrangement of pockets, straps and mesh for storing all the kit he liked to have on hand.
Timmoz meanwhile moved to quietly pick up some kind of rock or deposit scanner- that was his guess. His lungs screamed at this sudden exertion with a sharp pang in his diaphragm. He pushed out a sharp breath and hid the pain. The muscles about his ribcage tensed and for a moment he felt strangled. He reached into his uniform pants and popped a small pill under his tongue. The wave of dizziness had begun and subsided as the pill dissolved. He quietly gestured for a Yeoman nearby to take the gear up the ramp.
David had been tagging along figuring he could get some ingredients and maybe make a nice soup, or depending on what they turned up a stew. There wasn't much for him to do but he also figured scrounging would be a nice diversion, plus getting out into fresh air would be nice.
Noah approached the bartender. "Any gear Sir?" He asked- though he was already burdened down with a pair of bags.
"No, I got my load." a brief pause then David continued, "Maybe I could carry some of yours, they seem to have made you the dogsbody on this adventure."
Dogsbody? Noah hadn't heard the colloquialism but he could infer. He blossomed his too-wide smile. "No it's fine, I've got it so far. But thank you Sir." Noah chin jutted toward the shuttle and started to walk that way. "What, uh, is your field?" He asked, thinking the bartender was among the scientists.
"Foraging, the skill of the soldier back to the days of the Legions,." He responded, "I'm the bartender by trade but I've been around going to see what I can bring up, maybe make a nice stew out of it when it's all set and done."
Noah's mouth made the shape of, Oh, understanding, but made no sound. He sniffed- something down here was setting off his allergies. He could feel his nose blocking itself. "Wha-what's your favorite drink to make?" Noah asked innocently, unaware that that might have been asking a proud parent to name their favorite child.
That got a slight chuckle from the bartender, though he did hear the young man's congestion. "I can't name a proper favorite, know too many, though when we get back I'll make you up a proper Navy Grog to clear those pipes of yours, works every time.
Noah raised an eyebrow and followed the bartender in, "Grog?"
"Last call," Timmoz announced. And he turned and began to make his way back toward the shuttle's cockpit to do system checks. "Mothim, I need to know which site you want to visit first." He stopped when he heard rustling.
On the shuttle, Chiara knelt down to open the medical supply crate that had been brought from the ship. She took a quick inventory of test tubes and other paraphernalia, ensuring that all she needed was there. Sitting back on her heels, she clicked the crate shut with a satisfied nod. She turned to the seats where open spots were rapidly disappearing.
Bounding about the corner, running on all fours, tongue hanging out, Margarar rushed to the ramp. "Five seconds to spare," she told everyone with a ridiculous smile on her face.
Timmoz bowed his head in amusement at the Antican's antics. "The scientists need assistance with their equipment." He gestured at the group who, to Timmoz, looked like a bunch of wallflowers nervous to dance. "I'm getting the shuttle ready."
A Post By:
Chief Science Officer
Asst Chief Engineer
Ensign Mei Ratthi
Ensign Jyl-eel Tor
Ensign Brian Davies
Midshipman Noah Balsam