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Keeping secrets...for now

Posted on Sat Jul 1st, 2017 @ 9:38pm by Lieutenant Beowulf "Wulf" Byrnes

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: tertiary corridor
Timeline: current


The first to arrive in the side corridor was Security, at which point Byrnes stopped them at the T in the passage. "Sorry for the call, folks. I already called the marines and told them it was a false flag. Just a collapsed wall, nothing dangerous. My team will shore up this passage and add a door to keep people out until we can affect repairs."

The Security lead man kept looking passed Byrnes, over his shoulder. "I can see the opening. Anyone get hurt?"

"Just my pride," chuckled Wulf. "I'm still damp from falling inside while checking it out. Condensation on the rock walls built up due to our life support and warmth, which caused the wall to break down faster and collapse. We'll deal with it." He then hardened his countenance. "On my authorization as Chief Engineer this corridor will be shut down and locked off against foot traffic. We have too many vital areas that need maintenance first, so this one will have to wait."

As they stood talking two engineers pulled a grav cart up to the passage, bulkhead plating on the cart, along with a door and an old style combo lock.

"Alright, Chief, we'll bite." Said the Lead. "I'll report it as a minor issue that engineering has dealt with."

Byrnes shook his hand. "Thanks. I owe you one."

The Security Lead gave a nod, his eyes looking into Wulf's, letting him know that he knew that Wulf was hiding something. But, for now, he would let it pass. "Any further complications, let me know. Lieutenant JG Maxwell."

"You got it, Maxwell, and thanks again." Byrnes kept his gaze steady while sharing the stare, letting Maxwell know he would not budge on this subject. He then used his head to get Maxwell to follow him over to speak privately. "Look, Maxwell, there's a grotto in that cavern, huge. I found plant life, insects, grasses, all bioluminescent. And, there seems to be a caretaker of sorts, a small lavender colored gal with a bow and arrow. I'm trying to determine if she's a threat, or just trying to survive like us."

Maxwell looked through his eyebrows at Byrnes. "So, what you're saying Chief is that you know of a possible hostile and you're covering it up?"

"Yes," admitted Byrnes. "See?" He unzipped his blouse, then opened it to show the puncture wound in his shoulder and through his shirt, a bandage over it. "She shot me to wound, not to kill, thinking I was there to destroy the grotto. I was warned that if we damage the grotto she would fight back. This is why I am doing what I am doing, to try and get to know her and see if there is a potential ally here. Someone who can grow food, provide medicines, the like. You with me so far?"

The Lead lifted his chin, his stance relaxing. "I am. So, I will report that engineering has found a possible natural cavern with a pocket of atmosphere, and until THEY, that means engineering, clear others to enter the area then this corridor is off limits. I won't lie on an official report, Sir."

Byrnes gave the nodding of understanding. "I'm not asking you to lie, Maxwell, just creatively omit certain things..for now. Nira, that's the alien's name, and she speaks broken Fed Standard, which means she has been inside this base for a long time. Living next door I'm sure she figured out how to get in here and do some research on us. All I can figure, since I have never seen her species before."

"Sir, that in itself is disturbing," replied Maxwell. "If she means us harm I will take you down for asking me to overlook a possible threat. If she can get in here, unknown to us, then that is a serious infraction that could end us all." He gave a sigh as he tried to decide what the right thing to do was. "Fine. Fine. I'll play along, but this is on you, Chief. If she gets in here and hurts someone, or damages anything then I will prosecute you to the full extent of Federation law, and Starfleet regulations. Are we clear?"

"We're clear," responded Byrnes, shaking hands again. "It's a small chance for diplomacy and survival and I have to take the chance."

The engineers had the wallplates welded into place and were now attaching the heavy duranium doorjam, the door itself looking like an old fashioned bank vault door. Two were welding the frame in place, another welding the hinges on.

Maxwell gave Wulf's arm a friendly slap. "Keep me informed, Sir. I will make a running tally of all you report, in my personal logs, for later review once we know one way or another. Fair?"

"Done," said Byrnes, turning and walking with the man back to the engineers and Security personnel. "Have a good day, Maxwell."

"You too, Chief." He waved his people to follow and they left the corridor.

Sirico stopped welding the hinges and pushed her goggles up on her head, looking at Byrnes. "Is he going to play along, Sir?"

Byrnes grinned at her. "For now, yeah. We need to learn about this gal, just like we need to learn about those damn dragons. We're floundering in a sea of unknown and that is never a good thing."

"I'll keep the secret, Sir." Sicily went back to welding while talking. "As will everyone else who knows about it."

Wulf's tone went a little harder. "What happens in engineering stays in engineering, unless we have no choice. Keep that in mind, all of you. Signal me when the door is finished and the lock is in place." He turned and left, heading back to engineering.



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