Posted on Wed Jun 24th, 2020 @ 2:45am by Katya
Edited on on Fri Jul 10th, 2020 @ 5:35pm
Mission: Death in Paradise
A Mission Post by Katya
Mission: Death in Paradise
Location: Paradise Station
A group of Paradise Guards were walking with purpose through the Marketplace of the station, people scattering out of their way as they passed. The mood on the Station had changed considerably in the previous twenty-four hours, with the Security department taking an unprecedented tough stance on any kind of suspicious or disruptive behaviour. The full compliment of Guards had been spread throughout the station, with patrols increased and many patrons being randomly stopped and searched. They made no secret of the fact that they were looking for anyone of human appearance or in Starfleet uniform. After all, the Federation were no longer welcome on Paradise. And they were interviewing anyone who had interacted with the Pandora crew during their visit, trying to find out exactly what had happened while they were here.
But they also had another problem still to contend with - ensuring all of the Starfleet officers were off the station. Katya had given Captain Temple and his people the twenty four hours to evacuate themselves and they had complied, mostly without incident. However, not everyone from the Pandora had left Paradise yet.
Arriving in the sector, The Guards gathered at a communications console and Chief Katya appeared on screen. "We have had their Chief Diplomat and three others leave." She announced in a cold tone; it was as if she was speaking about some great annoyance.
"Sensors still showed one person of human genetics onboard, Chief." A Guard replied immediately, his voice stern even through the translator. His silver helmet bobbed slightly as he spoke, showing how emphatically he wished to share the news.
"Have you checked all levels?" Katya replied with a frown. "Their allowance to leave the station has expired."
"Yes, Chief." The Guard replied. "We have managed to isolate the human's location to this sector, but the sensor reading vanished."
Katya's tattoos moved and creased as her frown deepened. "Is it possible they transported off the ship? We have seen them use their site to site transport capabilities."
"Negative, Chief. No Federation transport activity was detected in this location either." The Guard answered. "We believe they have disguised their signature somehow."
Katya gave an irritated sigh. These Starfleet officers were like Tribbles - once the infestation began, they became impossible to remove.
From close by, a small maintenance team appeared, carrying a hover platform and various crates of equipment. They were small, squat aliens with round heads; the same species as Haj, the station's rather unpleasant Flight Control manager.
"Move along!" Cried Yag, the head of the maintenance crew, practically pushing a few shoppers out of the way as they approached. "Work to do!"
"This is the spot." Declared Grod, immediately dropping his toolbox on the floor with a loud thud.
Paradise Security turned quickly when they heard the noise, weapons at the ready.
"Put those down!" Yag shouted to the Guards - perhaps one of the only people on Paradise capable of ordering around the security personnel. "We're not those Starfleet devils!"
From her screen, Katya looked at the group and had to stifle a chuckle. "Yag, any news?"
Yag jumped when he realised the Chief had been watching from the terminal, and he offered a solemn bow of respect. "Chief Katya, my apologies. We believe we have found the source of the problem."
"Explain." The Guard insisted, while he signalled for his fellow officers to put away their weapons.
"We've had a ventilation fault in the oxygen supply units on the Entertainment level. We believe it's coming from the recycling station in this quadrant." Grod answered, wiping his round nose on the sleeve of his work uniform.
"Won't be a moment, Chief Katya." Yag said as cheerfully as his species would allow, "Just need to open her up and see what the problem is."
"Be quick about it." The Guard replied sternly.
The Guards all turned back to the communications console to speak with Katya while the Maintenance team got to work. Yag and Grod boarded the hover platform, holding onto the railings for safety as they ascended off the ground. Paradise employed the smaller aliens because they were able to get into the tight spaces and ventilation ducts, and because they weren't too heavy for the hover equipment. As such, it was only a short journey from the ground to the roof of the Marketplace.
Yag looked up to the hatch in the ceiling duct and frowned, as it appeared to be dented outwardly, as if something had fallen onto it from the other side. The hatch itself was strained at the hinges, the locking mechanism pulled from it's housing.
"Looks like a 23-19." Yag muttered, spouting the code for an equipment dislodgement. "Be prepared."
"Yes." Grod replied gruffly.
As Yag reached out and pried apart the lock from the hatch, Grod placed his hands onto it so they could slowly lower it down. However, as soon as the hatch was released, a tremendous weight was suddenly upon them and the two aliens could barely hold on.
"It's big!" Yag moaned as they struggled to stop whatever it was from falling out. The hover platform began to strain under the sudden burden of the excess weight.
"Could be looking at a major fault. 7-32." Grod said. He looked down to the others, "Let's get some more hands up here!"
But it was too late. The hover platform faltered under the pressure and momentarily shut off, just enough to drop Yag and Grod down and for them to lose their hold of the hatch. As soon as they were no longer holding it up, the hatch fell open and a large object came tumbling out. It fell onto the hover platform and sent them all sailing back to the floor.
CRASH! The platform hit the ground, throwing Yag and Grod off in the process. Sparks flew as the equipment crunched between the hard floor and the weight of the impact. Everyone stopped and watched the scene with alarm, the Guards running over immediately to see what had happened.
Yag moaned, his body in pain from the fall, cursing loudly in his language.
"What was that?" Grod growled, rubbing his aching arm.
Everyone looked over to the sight of the incident, a small billow of smoke and a flash of sparks still coming from the crashed platform. But lying on top of it was a humanoid figure, in an unfamiliar jumpsuit and EVA helmet.
The Guards stepped closer, weapons drawn, as they looked at the body. The helmet was transparent and it quickly became clear this was a human male, this mouth agape and eyes wide open in fear. But there was also no life from the man; he was staring out unblinking into nothingness. The smoke cleared as the Starfleet insignia could now be seen on the suit. Guards, maintenance team, and passersby all looked to each other in shock.
Turning back to Katya, a Guard reported to their Chief, as she watched on in confusion. "It's one of them, Chief. From the Pandora. But... he's dead."
Katya gasped, holding her hands to her mouth. "Another murder?"
"Hard to tell." The Guard replied, his round helmet turning back to look at the body. "We'll have to have their medical staff look at him."
"Get him out of sight and to the morgue immediately." Katya ordered. "And get that mess cleaned up." She sighed. "I will inform the Pandora."
The teams nodded in affirmation and the work began, Katya signing off from the console. In her office, she scowled and bunched her fists in anger. She slammed her hands down onto the desk, upset at the reality there was now a second body on her station, and the possibility that it was caused by another murder.