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Behind Closed Doors

Posted on Monday May 23, 2022 @ 12:46pm by Madeleine De Saint Castine & M'Riz

Mission: Trouble on Carina VII

Maddie sat crosslegged on the bed in the small cramped space that doubled as both her office and her bedroom. A small tattered teddy bear was held against her chest, a picture on her lap, fingertips brushing the image in the frame, tears welling in the corners of her eyes and sliding quietly down her cheeks. 4 years. Even though it wasn't to the day, today four years felt like an especially long time. Elodie should be a bright, bubbly six year old now, full of golden curls and giggles. Instead, all Maddie had was a few images and a teddy bear.

She was so distracted, wallowing in her own moment that she hadn't heard the doors open or the initial call of her name. It was only the softer mention of her name, complete with the very familiar soft felinoid inflections, that she stopped, looking up, dashing the tears from her eyes. "Sorry," she apologised, putting the picture face down on the bed next to her, the teddy bear on top of it. "I didn't hear anyone come in. Is everything alright? Do you need help?"

"Everything's all right on my end," M'iz said a bit hesitantly as he noticed Maddie handling the...what was it called again? Oh, yes, a "teddy bear" (apparently coming from the nickname of a human who'd been a leader of one of Earth's nation states many years before, who had been an avid hunter but who had reportedly spared the life of a bear cub he'd come across on a hunting trip). "I was just checking in with a few notes on Carina VII I found that might be of interest to you. I can come back later, if this isn't a good time..."

Maddie forced a smile, one that clearly didn't quite reach her eyes. She drew in a breath and stood up. "No, now is fine, can I get you anything? What information have you found?"

"I'm fine, thank you," M'Riz said. "I managed to find the original system survey reports from about 20 years before construction on the colony began. They might not shed too much light on things, but then they might help provide a reference point, especially if something was introduced, either naturally or artificially, into the planet since then."

Dashing her hands across her eyes again, Maddie reached for one of the PaDD's he held and thumbed into it, "Why are so much of the original survey reports redacted?" she asked, clearly confused. "Look at this," She leaned across to share the PaDD with him. "Do we know what the history of this system? Were there any significant system events before it was inhabited?"

"Why so many reports were redacted seems to be the question of the hour," M'Riz said. "The history of the system seems to have been quite ordinary, not really any different than any other uninhabited system in the region. From what I have been able to dig up, the system almost seems dull by comparison, which makes the redacted reports all the more puzzling. It's almost like something bad was found, but for some unknown reason someone wanted to make sure that the system was claimed by the Federation and inhabited, no matter the cost."

"There have been instances in the past where there has been unscrupulous behaviour within the Federation, I mean, we definitely aren't completely above reproach..." She shook her head. "It just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me... It feels like something very big is missing, and once we fill in those blanks we're going to see a much bigger picture." She paused and looked across at M'Riz. "One I don't think we're going to like."


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