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Pyramid Scheme 5 - Reunited

Posted on Sat Jul 25th, 2020 @ 8:32am by Baroness 3rd Class Sarika & Commander Rita Paris & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox & Lieutenant Commander Thex sh'Zoarhi & Lieutenant Commander Sonak & Lieutenant JG Tovanna Mah & Ensign Tanaak Sado
Edited on on Sat Jul 25th, 2020 @ 8:32am

Mission: Heart and Soul
Location: Beneath Andoria
Timeline: 2397
Tags: Pyramid Scheme 5

As everyone found solid footing once more, the flooring resealed itself, and the walls partitioning off the landing party slid down into the pyramid from which they had initially projected. Scanners came back online, as did comms, and everyone appeared to be none the worse for wear.

"Report?" Paris asked of the assembled officers, assuming certain commonalities of experience.

Looking around, Dox and Thex looked to be just about holding each other upright as the red-headed Romulan checked her suit's systems and took a breath. "Our tunnel led down to a circular chamber... about 8 meters across with the blood grooves converging in the center. Unidentified, yellow mists leaking out. Each of us was... attacked with some form of massively overwhelming hallucinations. Pushed right past my defenses and... went out of its way to get me to succumb to... internal fear."

"Working my way past that fear seemed to be what was required to reinforce whatever that seal was." Dox finished, standing upright under her own power now, helping Thex while making eye contact to see that the golden commander was, herself, okay without breaking mission protocol.

Thex gave a grunt as Dox helped her up. " It wanted me and the armor. That thing can't survive in our world. It needed a host and a suit so it wouldn't die. Well, I think that's what it wanted." Thex said the memory already seemingly fading.

''I will provided a detailed report and analysis of our findings as soon as we are back on board the Hera, '' Sonak answered in turn. ''Essentially, what our Chief Helmsman reported is what we went through ourselves. Doctor Mah and Ensign Sado can provide their own expert report, and more importantly details about the emotional duress they endured. I myself was challenged by a problem of logic and morality, as of course emotional pressure was useless when applied to me. It was a fascinating experience. But thanks to the efforts of the Doctor and the Ensign, we managed to seal the breach from our end as well.''

"Outstanding," Paris observed, seeing the calming heartrates and stress level readouts in her own HUD that indicated the landing party were recovering, including Sarika, whom Rita overrode and snapped her helmet black in place before the cyberpirate froze. "Alright Thex, let's make our way topside, because you have a lot of sisters up there, and I think we're going to need to decide just what to do about all of this. And in this matter, you are the defacto ambassador for your family."

" First we need to think about what we're going to do about the things that were claiming to be my parents." Thex said noting the two phasers the group had between them. " Rita do you have any more weapons in the braces?" She asked her friend.

"I have multiple weapons concealed in my arms - primarily bladed, but my arsenal includes a stun blaster in my right palm. However, I would have to remove my suit to use them," Sarika offered, holding up her hands in front of her and unsealing the glove on her right hand.

"Weapons we have, for all the good it seemed to do. You miss the part where I shot them to no effect?" Rita reminded Thex. "If you just plan to take them into custody, that in and of itself is an interesting 'how do you propose to do that' question? At this point I imagine we can call for the Hera to stun the facility from orbit, but that's about my best option, given the circumstances."

Thex paused as she thought through the situation. " It may be that there depowered with the portal closed. Less energy for them to feed off of. " She said trying to run her hand through her hair before it bounced into her helmet. " I mean we can't just leave the here. Gods know how many of me they've processed.

"While I retain my doubts as to their capabilities, your logic isn't unsound. What do you saw we see if a right cross can succeed where a phaser could not?" Paris replied, clearly indicating to the landing party her intentions as she cracked her knuckles. "Engage hand to hand and let's see how many cranial impacts it takes to get to the center of common sense or a lack of consciousness, shall we? Insufferable powerful alien so-and-so's..."

Locking her phaser onto her belt, Dox looked over at Rita and grinned. "Aye, Commander." She said, with more than a little pleasure evident in her voice at the plan as the team began to make their way back to the open doorway to the labs that they had come through earlier.

Thex was racking her brain for an idea when a voice drifted back into her head. Stronger and clearer than it had been before. "Weaker now... your weapons can hurt them.... hurry not last long." The voice of the deformed her echoed in her head, but the message was clear.

"We can hurt them." She blustered out without thinking getting some odd looks from her friends. "The deformed me in the tank is talking to me- we can beat them if we hurry."

"Well, that being the case..." Paris flicked her wrist to produce a phaser rifle, and began double-timing it to where they'd left the trio of oddities who acted as caretakers for this place. After the ancient astronaut had seen of this place, she was very much in the mood to see just how much stun their 'hosts' could resist, the rifle shouldered and ready to fire at the first sign of them on her scanners.

''I recommend stun level 3, '' Sonak said as he adjusted his own phaser, ''and concentration of fire on one target at a time. As we do not know the extent of their resilience, we need to overwhelm each one until the stun effect hits the central nervous system before switching to a new target. Commander, you should call target for all of us.''

As the team made their way quickly up the stone-floored path that led back to the opening to the inner chamber where the trials had begun, the deformed woman in the dark, thick cloak that called herself the Caretaker dragged herself into view, blocking the doorway back into the complex.

"Yooooooooo.... have... SIlenced... the MASters!!! What have you DONE!?!" The distorted reflection of the Hera's Chief Engineer hissed at them, venom on her furious rantings as she fixed her singe, working eye on Thex. "WHAT HAAAAVVEEE YOOOOUUU DOOONNEEE!!!?!?!"

Sidestepping to remain in front of the azure engineer, Dox raised the classically styled phaser that Rita had tossed her earlier and squeezed the trigger as a streak of amber energy streaked at the raving creature who was knocked back off her feet with an unearthly squeal.

Flumping to the ground behind her, the caretaker fell, stunned. "Worked on her." Dox said coldly.

"Mr. Sonak's right, stay together, mark your targets, here comes our next target. Stun level 3, concentrate on target and... fire."

In the darkness, multiple phaser beams lanced out to a common point, where another form crumpled.

''Tricorders still can't read through the surrounding material, '' Sonak reported. ''We will have to rely on light-of-sight... or possibly telepathic signals.''

"Thex, how you holding it together, Lieutenant Commander?" Rita Paris asked over the open channel as they scanned the chamber for the next ancient, the officers stepping into flanking positions as they moved forward.

Thex was silent as she tried to reach out letting the feeling of dread guide her aim through the darkness. She could feel there hatred staring out from the abyss wanting to pouch and........

With an inhuman yell, one of the jellyfish-like beings lept from the darkness heading right for the andorian. A blast from Thex's phaser smashed into it as it still came straight for her. Right into the engineer's fist as it slammed into the strange flesh with the texture of month old pudding. Even still the creature flew back from the force of the blow as more phasers slammed into it till it stopped wriggling as it went into shock then unconscious as it crumpled to the floor. A smile spread over Thex's face as she finally replied to Rita. " I'm doing great my friend. One more to go."

Suddenly there was the sound of arcing electricity from behind the away team as Sarika handled the last of the threats with the stun blaster in her palm, bright red lightning arcing through the jellyfish as she gave it a nice solid palm strike, knocking it unconscious in more ways than one as it tried to come at them around their rear. "Threat neutralized. No motion detected."

Checking her own HUD, Dox nodded as she addressed the mission commander. "Confirmed, Commander Paris. No hostels detected, and with them down, that clears the last of the interference with communication. I have a clear signal to the Runabout again."

"Outstanding," Paris declared, opening a channel to the Hera. "USS Hera, do you copy? This is Commander Paris."

"This is the Hera, we copy you, Commander- go ahead," came the prompt reply.

"The away team has met with success. You may want to alert the Imperial Guard that they have a rescue mission to undertake... there are a great number of Andorians in need of medical attention down here. Lieutenant Commander Thex stands ready to liase with them on the site."

Clasping her friend's shoulder, Paris shoulder hugged the little blue sprocket from the engine room who loved to dance. "This is your moment, Thex. All of your sisters in here... they're going to be a political football, because cloning is illegal in the Federation, at least on this level. So they may have to fight for their right to exist, their right to enter society... hell, they might have to fight for their right to even be woken up. But they have something on their side- they've got you to speak for them. To advocate for them. To get them the same chance at life that you've had."

Thex returned her friends hug before looking around at the mess they were surrounded by. The facility seemed to be aging very slowly as they stood there as if their many years under the ice were finally catching up on it. " Better get some engineers down here as well. God's knows how long it's been since this place has had a maintenance check and let's get some cryo pods for these three I don't trust moving them while they could wake up. "

Walking over to one of the tanks she placed a hand on it's dusty service looking at the identical face staring back. This would take a long time, but she was going to help all of them. " It's okay your safe now." She said soflty.

The nightmare was finally over.



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