Canopus Station
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Tangled In Chains, Part 2

Posted on Tue May 11th, 2021 @ 4:25pm by Lieutenant Kurt Bishop & Noq't

Mission: S2:3: Snow Drift
Location: Lutash System

Arrow runabouts could be configured for different mission types. The USS Pelta was kitted out to be a quick response anti-pirate vessel. The Pelta had four instead of two transporter pads. The ship also contained two small brigs. A small office could also be used as an interrogation room.

Lieutenant Bishop had done a quick inspection of the brig's security systems ahead of the arrive of its future residents. "Bishop to Mapleton, has the medtech had a chance to look everyone over yet?"

"No one is worse for wear. The pirates are awake now and ready to come over." Mapleton reported.

"What about the forth one? The body that was wrapped up?" Bishop inquired.

"The medtech looked her over. Her skin is burnt and she died from a the effects of a blast. Perhaps a grenade? Her uniform was shredded. I asked if he could estimate how long she had been dead but the body has a micro stasis field on her. She could have been dead years." She told him.

"We'll let the medical experts do an autopsy. As for the living ones, I want you to send them over one at a time, each with an armed guard. And I want Orianna, the ring leader, to come over last. Let me know when you ready to beam them over." Bishop instructed.

Bishop turned to Noq't. "I'm bringing them over one at a time so they can't look to each other for support. I also want to see if their stories are consistent. Ensign Dimorro will try and see if they are lying and read any emotions they are feeling."

"Ready here." Mapleton reported and Bishop instructed Dimorro to beam them over.

The transporter pad lit up and three figures appeared, one wrapped in blankets. Bishop looked to the young woman. Her eyes looked around quickly as she tried to take in her surroundings. She had long brown hair bound in a simple pony tail. Her face was covered in freckles amongst the cuts and bruises. Her ears were unusually long and slender. She wore a bronze bodysuit and boots with long red socks that stretched well above her knees. On her thighs and hips she had the same bruises and cuts in various stages of healing that were on her face, along with burn marks.

"Hello, I'm Lieutenant Bishop, acting chief of security at Canopus Station. You are officially under arrest and will be prosecuted under Federation law. You have the right remain silent with one exception, you will give us you identity. Once you do that, you will be brought to a holding cell and your restraints removed. Do you understand?" He told her.

She nodded that she understood. "My name is Wyoneth."

Bishop looked to Dimorro who confirmed her truthfulness. "Thank you. Who was she and what happened to her?" Bishop pointed to the corpse.

"Her name is Cyzal." Wyoneth replied as if the woman was still alive. "She was killed when the mining drone she was operating alongside overheated and blew up."

"Where did this happen? Is there a mine nearby?" Bishop asked but Wyoneth broke eye contact and stayed silent as she looked at the deck.

"Okay, we'll get back to that. Orianna, that is her actual name, correct?" Bishop asked and Wyoneth nodded in confirmation. "What about your third cohort? The one with the black hair?"

"Her name is Rinji." She told him.

"And I take it you are all miners by trade?" Bishop asked and Wyoneth started to balk at his questions again.

"Let's move to something else. Your injuries to your face and thighs? How did those happen?" He asked but the woman refused to even look up.

"Alright, you can stay silent. We'll figure out what you did. Ensign, you and this officer will escort Wyoneth to the first cell. Remove her restraints before putting her in." Bishop ordered.

After Dimorro returned to the transporter pad Bishop asked him what thought about her answers. "I could feel shame and a bit of fearfulness. They did something that they don't want to tell us."

Rinji was the next to beam over. Her interview went the same as Wyoneth's, with the exception that Rinji asked to see Cyzal's face. When Bishop removed the covering around the dead woman's face Rinji broke down in tears. The image of Cyzal's burned face and unkempt red hair was too much for her. Rynji begged to be allowed to touch her but Bishop refused as she may contaminate a possible crime victim.

Orianna transported over with another security guard and the medtech. Orianna's responses were similar to Wyoneth's. Mapleton and Roloq were the last to beam over along with the pirates' weapons. Bishop was not pleased that Roloq came aboard instead of going back to Canopus Station with Vashnaar. Noq't insisted, sighting a scientist might be useful in the situation.

"Mister Khang, scan the gas giant's moon for any signs of activity. We're looking for a possible mining site." Bishop instructed the pilot.

"There is an artificial structure on the moon's surface. I'm reading very low energy output and no life signs." Khang reported.

"Mapleton, Noq't, Roloq and I will beam down. I want two personnel watching the prisoners at all times. I don't want them to collaborate on a story. Dimorro, you're in charge. If any thing changes up here, contact me." Bishop gave his orders before heading to the transporter pad.

The foursome materialized in a dug out pit. The open space was well lit by floating orbs. Overhead was a metal canopy that covered work area. Tracked bucket drones, some filled with rocks and others empty, stood waiting. At one end of the pit there was an earthen ramp that went up into a bronze metal structure. The other end disappeared into a tunnel.

A small area looked to be a repair area for machines. Tracked buckets and drilling machines were in various stages of repair. Parts were laid out on tarps and tracks were spread on the ground. The same pistols the pirates used to try and hijack the shuttle were amongst the tools in the area.

"Their pistols were nothing more than repair tools. That explains why they never shot you, Roloq. Somebody in Sto'vo'kor does not want you there." Noq't joked.

In one corner pylons were set up to create a small parameter. Inside the area, blankets were strewn on the ground. In the center of the nest of blankets was the lid to one of the cargo containers. On the lid were water bottles, bowls, and spoons.

"I guess that's what passed for their living quarters?" Mapleton speculated.

"Mapleton, take Roloq and explore that structure. We'll explore the tunnels." Bishop told them as they broke off.

As the two headed into the tunnel, Noq't scanned the area with a tricorder. "They have dug miles of tunnel and filled them in after they were done."

More bucket drones were present in the tunnel. Tracks in the moon's soil created a work trail. Noq't continued to scan. Bishop called to Noq't. "Looks like there was an explosion at the end of this tunnel. Let's check it out."

The duo made their way to the end of the tunnel. The end of the tunnel was scorched. Large chunks of metal were imbedded into the walls. A small crater marked the epicenter of the explosion.

"I am reading biological material along this wall. They probably belong to the deceased female." Noq't informed Bishop.

"Looks like that part of their story checks out. We'll take a sample back to verify that." Bishop replied. "Let's do a quick check of the rest of the tunnels before we head back."

After several minutes exploring the tunnels, Bishop was prepared to go back. Before turning around, the two check one last tunnel. As they went around a corner, they discovered one of the mining drills had impaled a humanoid creature into the corridor wall.

The being was a bit larger than a human. It had pastel blue skin, lightening on high points of the face, and aqua green splotches. He had only small holes were his nose and ears should have been. Greyish blue plates ran up the bridge of what should be his nose and he had boney knobs on his head. His eyes were black. He was clad in a bronze jacket and trousers with olive green trim. On his feet were large olive green boots. He had a pistol belt and holster in the same green color around his waist. A pistol was still in the holster. He was clutching a twin iron rod in his right hand.

"Well, they didn't mention him." Bishop spoke. "The pattern on the rod matches the burn marks on their legs."

"If you were in their place, would you mention a dead body?" Noq't asked.

"No, I guess not." Bishop replied as he studied the mining drill. "This indigo blue splatter, I think this is his blood. I bet there is blood splatter on the drill operator."

"Your security team did not find any on them?" Noq't asked.

"They weren't looking for any." Bishop replied.

Noq't carefully pulled the dead alien's pistol from its holster.

"That's evidence! Put that back!" Bishop shouted.

Before Bishop could get the pistol back, Noq't fired off a shot. A beam of bright bluish white light struck the wall. The result was an impressive burn mark.

"It works, so why did not they take it with them? It would be more effective than a power tool." Noq't asked as Bishop took the pistol.

"Leave that alone!" Bishop told Noq't in an angry voice.

"Mapleton to Bishop!" Her voice came over the comm. "We just picked up a an energy spike. Are you alright?"

"We're fine here. Noq't was just doing the Klingon version of the scientific method." Bishop replied. "What did you find out?"

"The structure has a power plant but no bridge or propulsion system. From that, we think this is landing module rather than a ship. We found crew quarters that could hold up to eight people, although it looks like just one bunk was used. So there might be a crewman running around on the moon's surface or in the tunnels."

"We found the remains of that crewman down here. Did you find anything else?" Bishop asked.

"Yes, we found a cargo area with supplies and two bins full of metal. We also found a smelting furnace." Mapleton reported.

"What were they mining and smelting?" Bishop asked.

"I can confirm the metal is Uelynium." Roloq cut in. "Are you familiar with it?"

"From what I know, it has decent conductive properties. Some capacitors use that material but it isn't too common." Bishop replied.

"Impressive, Lieutenant. Yes, it can make a good industrial material except it can be difficult to find and extract. It is not used because there are better options." Roloq informed him.

"Just from a standard tricorder scan, I can detect metals that would be easier to mine. Why Uelynium?" Noq't asked Bishop.

"I have no idea. I'm sure our three would-be pirates can enlighten us." Bishop replied.


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