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Reports from the Field

Posted on Sunday April 10, 2022 @ 9:47am by Trinity Anderson & Ewo’tOst Merrova [GM]

Mission: Trouble on Carina VII
Location: Carina VII, Agricultural sector

Being out in the rural area’s of Carina VII was a change of pace for Cathy, a qualified technician, thanks to some fairly major self-sacrificing she had been spared most of the fall-out from an earlier incident. She still had to play the role of aide however and out in the sticks. A quick glance to the ruined section of field to her left, was a reminder enough that her new home was in trouble, and this assignment, although a back step career-wise, would at least afford her the opportunity work her way into starfleet’s trust and further steer them towards the problem.

The familiar shimmer of a transporter beam had her straightening up and pacing over to greet them properly, thankfully she had opted for sensible footwear, the well sodden ground was a contrast to summery weather, thanks of course, to the still functioning irrigation system. Passing a hand over her eyes against the sun, which might have been mistaken for a salute she called a greeting to the two arrivals. “Lieutenant Anderson and Doctor Bacus. On behalf of the administration of Carina VII, and more importantly those who call this place home. Welcome.” Jerking a thumb with a clenched fist towards herself. “Anything you need. No matter how awkward. Let me know. Where would you like to start.”

The first thing Trinity noticed as she rematerialized on the Carina VII was the heat, next came the smell of fields, intermixed with a faint but present smell of decaying plants. She tapped at her left wrist, activating the thirty-minute count down on the wrist chronometer she had set prior to beaming down. It would notify her when it was the scheduled time to check in with Ewo.

Her gaze turned slightly to face the only person present in the agricultural field aside from Doctor Bacus. She smiled warmly. "Thanks for the warm welcome," Trinity replied as she began making her way to the woman. "Who do we have the pleasure of speaking with?" she asked.

“Cathy Magnasun. Acting attaché or something like that.” She dropped her arm as she stepped over to meet Trinity, and then offering her hand in a greeting. “Who’s the lieutenant and who’s the doctor?”

Trinity stifled a laugh at the idea of someone ever mistaking her for a doctor, but then again, she had been hanging out a lot with several people who had doctorates in various subject matter expertise. "I am the Lieutenant," she replied gesturing to herself, "and the good Doctor Bacus there is...well the doctor."

As she reached Cathy, Trinity took her hand and shook it firmly but warmly. "Pleased to make your acquaintance Cathy, although I suspect we both would have liked it to be under different circumstances." She paused taking a moment to take in the air and the moment of the planet. It had been a while since she had been off the more or less sterile environment of the Cardinal where environmental systems were controlled and kept consistent. It was a refreshing break to feel the humidity in the air, the gentle breeze of the wind and take in the various aroma of her surrounding.

She glanced at the dead plants then back to Cathy. "Can you tell me what happened here?" She gestured to Doctor Bacus, giving him the go ahead to start his scientific inquiry.

“The crops aged and died over the course of a few days which was a shock to the farmer concerned.” Cathy began, aware she was starting with the basics, force of habit. “There have been a few tests done on the crops, the most notable result was an enzyme that is not usually present, but it could be a mutation.” She pulled a face as if she wasn’t entirely convinced. “Have you had a chance to look over the gathered data Dr Bacus? I’m a technician by trade, but someone with a seasoned eye would be useful.”

“Actually we have only had basic data though, if you had a link it would be useful. I have had a chance to examine the geological data of the area. It's fascinating. Were you aware there are pockets of micro-monopoles? They contribute to the fertile growing areas. If they were interfered with perhaps…... Lieutenant Anderson would you mind assisting me in gathering samples yourself, then a secure uplink to the Cardinal would be advantageous, if that would be permitted Ms Magnasun?”

“Sure.” She gestured to her left. “There’s a track up there that’ll put us right on the edge of it, going further in definitely calls for sensible shoes, but please follow me.” Half turning and waiting for the visiting pair to follow.

"Of course Doctor," Trinity replied to Bacus. For a moment, a long forgotten memory of her as a high school student collecting plant samples for her biology class flooded her mind but she quickly shook it off. She was intrigued by both the comments of Bacus and that of Cathy particularly, although with her, Trinity was more intrigued by her mannerism when she had raised the prospect of a mutation.

Trinity started following Cathy. "I take it you don't believe the cause of the accelerated growth of the crops is due to genetic mutation. Any reason why you don't believe this to be the case?"

“It being a mutation I can accept, vague recollections from time in school mutation and adaptations are apart of life. But living things do so to survive, if I remember rightly.” She shot a glance across to Dr Bacus, who nodded agreeably as he commented. “That’s the basic principle, yes.” As they reached the edge of the affected area. “This is mush, about as far from survival as possible. I think it’s reasonable to suggest something else is affecting or acting on or maybe even interfering with the area in question, that and it’s not an isolated incident.” The Doctor had set a small cube like object he had been carrying on the ground and opened out the front an the top, wrinkling his nose against the off putting moldy smell, “It certainly is a theory, but what all theories need are facts and evidence.” He responded and retrieved three vials and stood up, extending one each toward Cathy and Trinity. “Sample time, I will make my way to the Center, I’ll need two from other locations, if you can log the exact point that would be helpful.”

Trinity nodded as she took the collection vial from Bacus. She had a poor sense of smell so between that and the rebreather she had on, she was not as bothered by the smell, though she could detect faint hints of it every now and then. She was about to start her search for a suitable spot to collect a sample when she paused and turned to Cathy. "One more question if you'll indulge me Miss Magnasun," she started. "Any unusual activity in the past few days within the colony and the surrounding space as far as you are aware?"

It was a very general and vague question, but it was partly because there was still the lingering question of the confirmed sighting of a cloaked vessel in the vicinity of Carina VII. They had confirmed that the technology was of Romulan in design, although they could not conclude definitively that it had been a Romulan starship. The tactical officer in her was concerned about the possibility of Romulan involvement in or around a Federation colony.

"Surrounding space no. Around the colony, what's in front of our collective faces, which is probably short sighted, but hey." The technician responded with a thoughtful look and a shrug, considering if this was a wise point to mention her concerns "Although, a friend of mine did try to reach out, and got shut down for it, granted we were outside of our standard methods , the follow up seemed heavy handed shall we say."

Trinity nodded curious by the response that the administrators of the colony had been heavy handed over concerns about the accelerated growth of the crops. That seemed strange to her, but she reasoned there were likely geopolitical considerations she was not aware of. After all, a colony that wanted to thrive probably was not too keen about advertising or publicizing that there were unknown phenomena that was causing rapid crop growth...and aging. It seemed Cathy was not aware of any Romulan involvement, which was not in and of itself the absence of their influence. Romulans were notorious for their underhanded approach, preferring to operate beneath the shadows.

"Thanks Cathy," Trinity responded. "I might have further questions, but I think for now I better do as Doctor Bacus commands and start taking soil samples otherwise face lectures from a passionate scientist."

She chuckled at her own joke and made her way to a random spot to examine a suitable place to take a soil sample.

"Oh yours are like that as well." Cathy commented with a grin nodded towards the visiting scientist who was at that point squelching his way tentativly towards the middle of the dead crops, before moving a short way from Trinity.

Meanwhile Dr Bacus, made his way into the middle of the crop mulch, treading gingerly and a little disapointed of the re breather cutting him off slightly from the sensory experience, a glance down at the tricorder in his right hand confirmed he was now in the center and dropping to a crouch used the tools to gather both a soil and mulch sample, before tracking back to where they first entered.

Trinity had no sense of where was right to take a sample, but she suspected it did not matter. Still, she visually inspected her surrounding until she found a row of the dead crops that seemed as good as any. She was now at the north east corner of the farm. She reasoned it was farther away from the samples Cathy and Dr. Bacus will be taking, so he bent down and placed the gathering device on the ground and took a generous quantity of the soil, which she collected as a sample.

Satisfied, she turned around to regroup with Dr. Bacus and Cathy.

Having taken her own sample in the vial and a little bit extra on her right forearm, thanks to over balancing and throwing an arm into the mulch to prop herself up. Cathy paced back to where they entered. “Hope I got enough Doc, if not there's a bit extra right here.” Wiggling an outstretched arm. “Can’t take me anywhere, it seems.” Bacus who was at this point a short way from both Cathy and Trinity, gave a shrug and before doing anything else began to reach into the satchel on his left side. “Ahh it’s quite okay, who hasn’t ended up in the substance one is sampling every once in a while.” Withdrawing a microfibre cloth, light blue in colour, and handed it over. “I learnt to carry a towel of some description, here and exchange.” Towel was swapped for sample vial, as he glanced over to Trinity. “Thank you very much as well ma’am, I appreciate it’s not you usual pace but I think we might have a friendly contact right here.” He commented honestly and no to subtly to the ships security officer.

Trinity smiled. "Glad to be of service doc," she responded. She wondered what answers further analysis on the soil samples would yield. For now, at least, it all seemed to be in Dr. Bacus' hands.

 

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