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ST:TTV125 | "Glimmer of Hope"

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Stardate Unknown

Mischa's gaze drew as far up the alien structure as the dense fog would allow. Whatever it was, or at least had been, if nothing else was clear from her vantage point it was that this structure was ancient; evident from the degree of overgrowth as the wild jungle slowly reclaimed it's ground over the course of time.




"Well... in for a penny..." she muttered as she continued her cautious pace forwards; a torch in one hand while the other held her phaser ready alongside it.

 

Mischa's gaze drew as far up the alien structure as the dense fog would allow. Whatever it was, or at least had been, if nothing else was clear from her vantage point it was that this structure was ancient; evident from the degree of overgrowth as the wild jungle slowly reclaimed it's ground over the course of time. "Well... in for a penny..." she muttered as she continued her cautious pace forwards; a torch in one hand while the other held her phaser ready alongside it.


Her progress through the towering structure was as steady as it was silent. Still the sounds of the jungle were worlds away by this point, and the only sound was that of her own boots clacking softly against the damp ground - and the subsequent echo of each step which produced an unusual acoustic effect from the architecture. The torchlight only served to emphasize the eerie feel of the setting as it cast long drawn out shadows through the fog; tracing an obscure collection of distant dancing shadows through the structure.


After progressing deeper into the structure - so much so that even the jungle fog had thinned - Mischa holstered her phaser and paused to perform another scan, "What the...?" she tilted her head at the tricorder with a confused expression, then tilted the tricorder and patted it's side with her free hand. Her increasingly scientific attempts to diagnose the anomalous reading proved fruitless however, and the tricorder insisted on presenting the same reading - energy. Not only did it register energy here, but power; whatever the energy reading was, she quickly surmised that it must be generated by an artificial power source. This gave Mischa a feeling in the pit of her stomach that she had not felt in longer than she cared to remember... a feeling of hope; for if there was construction, and power... then there was the possibility of intelligent life... and help.


Continuing to follow the unknown energy signature on her tricorder, Mischa's pace subtly increased with anticipation whilst remaining ever cautious. She was deep inside the structure now - what she surmised to be some form of control centre - and knew she must be getting close to the source of the power reading as dim emergency lighting illuminated the path ahead, allowing her to replace her torch for her phaser while keeping the tricorder active as well. Even as deep as the structure now was, the jungle was unforgiving as giant roots tore across every surface; like a snapshot in time of a series of never ending claws working to tear open a meal.


Turning a corner, Mischa's eyes drew wide in awe as she was suddenly confronted with what she sought. She stood peering into a modest sized chamber - rich with the hum of power in the air - where light sparked and danced from a central generator of sorts set into the centre of the floor. As Mischa looked about the chamber, something caught her eye - movement - she quickly brought her phaser to bare and trained it on the corner of the room where she saw something. She squinted to focus in the still dim - and fluctuating - light before a soft glow began to emit from the corner she watched. This was accompanied by another, then another; each growing gently in intensity until they illuminated a small region around them and began to coast elegantly through the air. Mischa slowly lowered her weapon as she simply stood and observed the curious sight a moment; the creatures - about the size of a domestic canine in her estimation - appeared to be some form of bio-luminescent singe cell organism - large as they were still. She found the sight rather entrancing as it was the first sign of indigenous life who's first instinct was not to try and eat her, or worse.


Mischa could not deny the opportunity to perform a more detailed scan of the organisms as she watched them drift across the chamber. In watching this, her attention was drawn to on organic pod of some sort at the far end - which they were all moving either to or from - so she surmised to be a nest of sorts. Her continued study of the chamber also led her to the quick understanding that the pod at the far end appeared to be formed in, on, or around whatever control mechanism was in place. She knew in that moment that she would have to risk encroaching on it if she were to learn more and so referred to her tricorder scans of the creatures for guidance.


Though she possessed a basic understanding, Mischa was far from a scientist - let alone an expert in creature psychology - and so she sat with her back to the cold metallic wall and pulled a ration pack from her supplies which she chewed begrudgingly on whilst reviewing the data. The minutes rolled into hours, unless they didn't, without a chrono Mischa had almost no concept of the passage of time beyond her own biological clock at this point; and that was far from telling in such a displaced setting. She did not know how long she was sat reading the tricorder data, but was clearly engrossed in her conceited effort at technical study as she was interrupted by a soft shrilling noise from overhead. The sound was gentle - almost curious - but it's unexpected appearance made her jump; she looked up bringing her phaser up as well, and the sudden movement made the floating creature ascend quickly away from her. Mischa chuckled, "Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't see you there. My you things do like to sneak about don't you? I guess that's a benefit of just being a floating, err... wisp...?"


The wisp gave another curious sounding shrill as it edged closer. "You are the curious little thing aren't you!" she laughed again, "I guess there's a little more to you than giant single cells after all..." As Mischa spoke, the wisp continued to edge closer, coasting around to one side of her whilst remaining elevated. As Mischa watched, she noted that the behaviour was almost like that of a small animal looking for a treat. She eyed the half eaten ration pack in her hand and looked back to the wisp, "You... want this?" she asked, raising her hand slightly to hold the pack forwards to it. The wisp responded almost immediately as it coasted in a fashion that could almost be described as eager towards her hand. Though slightly fearful of contact with such an unusual alien creature, Mischa knew she would have to brave getting closer to their pod and it was better to learn any potential danger with one at ease, than with a group stirred up.


As she slowly opened up her hand to reveal the rations sat on her palm, the wisp slowed and came to a pause just short of her fingertips. She tilted her head wondering in that moment if it was sizing her up the same way she was doing of it, or if it sensed something it didn't like such as a scent from the surface. Her wonderment was short lived however as the wisp suddenly coasted forward to envelop her hand. Mischa's every instinct was to recoil but she resisted and held her resolve. As she looked down to her hand - engulfed in the gently glowing body of the wisp whilst it's tail slowly flicked back and forth beyond it - she could feel a tingling in her flesh. It was not painful or even worrying - almost gentle and reassuring rather - She watched as the ration pack seemed to slowly dissolve from her hand as the creature consumed it. Then as soon as it was all gone, the creature backed away with another soft shrill - though a distinctly different tone to before sounding higher pitched, "Errm... you're welcome...?" she offered for what she read to be a shrill of thanks. The wisp slowly turned and coasted away as Mischa watched with a soft smile on her face before turning back to her data. When she did however, her reaching hand paused as she looked at it. Mischa blinked in disbelief before reaching across herself with her other hand to retrieve the tricorder and scan her own hand. She looked almost in disbelief as she observed a faint orange glow from her hand and the tricorder confirmed it - her hand registered a similar reading to that of the wisps - apparently the creature left behind some form of residue on her flesh which would appear to carry the same base reading as the wisp itself, at least for as long as it was on her hand, which she sensed from the continued slight tingling would fade should it be cleared away; and this gave her an idea.


Not wanting to waste the presented opportunity, MIscha packed up her supplies and proceeded with haste across the chamber - being careful to avoid the intermittent flashes of energy from the central generator - she climbed a partially ruined set of stairs at the far end utilizing the protruding roots and vines to carry herself over the gaps of stairway. Standing at the top she was now face to face with the wisps pod, and could also see that beneath was it the remnants of a computer station, or at least something akin to one. She edged forwards in small shuffling steps as she watched the wisps for any change in behavior. But none came. The wisps continued to float about the place without seeming to mind her ever increasing presence at all - one even passed right over her shoulder. Mischa could not be sure if it was just a natural indifference, or if her currently glowing hand did the trick, but she was not about to second guess the first piece of good fortune she had known since landing here.


Working her way through the shoal of wisps, Mischa eventually found herself stood at a control panel. Working as quickly and efficiently as she was able to with her limited knowledge of such things, she set about systematically trying to decipher it's purpose. She was no more an engineer than she was a scientist, but if there was one thing Mischa knew - it was ciphers - and the way she figured it, translating the function of an alien console was no different to cracking a Tal Shiar encryption; just needed a methodical approach.


More time passed - at least she surmised that it did - and her work was slow, but the longer she studied the console the more truths it began to reveal, and the more worrying it's contents became for her. She could still not fully determine what exactly the generator was doing - but it was clear that the energy being generated was producing a field of some description around the entire planet. She knew, or at least hoped, that Starfleet would soon be sending a rescue party after them; and to have any kind of alien energy field surrounding the planet would almost certainly prove problematic. She knew it was possible to be inconsequential, but she also knew it was possibly not; maybe a forcefield or dampening field of some kind - it may even prevent a passing ship from even detecting them for all she knew. Whatever the risks were, she knew one thing for certain; they were far outweighed by the potential benefits of disabling it. Now all she had to do was figure out how and hopefully in the process before; exactly what it does...

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