Light's on but Nobody's Home Part IV
Posted on Wed May 27th, 2020 @ 8:01am by Lieutenant JG Kevin Lance
Location: Starbase 945
Leaving Doctor Relor in the medical bay to manufacture antidote, Lieutenant Lance led the three Marines through the deserted corridors of the starbase towards main engineering. He decided to follow the path taken by Lieutenant Covitchka. Speed was of the essence and he didn't want to waste time manually cycling airlocks. There was a risk in following the exact route but Kevin determined that the time saved was worth it. He started slightly when his communicator chirped.
“Ensign Takach to Lieutenant Lance,” came the science officer's voice over the communicator.
“Go for Lance,” Kevin responded.
“We have been unable to get the sensors back online but I think that I may have a way of finding where the base's personnel are,” Enisgn Takach replied.
“How,” Kevin asked.
“The sensors for the environment systems are still on-line,” Takach explained, “Most of the station has carbon dioxide levels so low that it indicates that they are abandoned. Only a few areas of the station have elevated carbon dioxide levels.”
Kevin considered this information, “Where is the highest concentration?” he inquired.
“In the reclamation section,” Takach replied.
Kevin check the schematic of the starbase. The reclamation section was adjacent to the environmental plant and main engineering. If the infected had concentrated in that section, Lieutenant Covitchka and her Marines could have been ambushed while she was trying to repair the subsystems.
“Feed the data on CO2 concentrations to our computer,” Kevin ordered. This would give the away team early warning of the location of the infected.”
“Aye, aye,” Takach signed off.
The requested information overlaid on the schematic of the starbase displayed on the HUD in Kevin's environmental suit. It showed that the path was clear almost all the way to main engineering, then the CO2 levels increased centering on the reclamation center. Kevin signal to the Marines to move out and they quickly covered the remaining distance to main engineering. When they arrived, they found the airlocks to main engineering open and two of the infected walking in a pattern around the entrance, almost like they were patrolling.
Kevin considered his options. Attack the two infected outside of main engineering would likely warn the others of the away team's presence. He could pull back and approach from a different direction but that would take time that Lieutenant Covitchka and her Marines did not have. He briefly considered the Commander's gut instinct to space the infected but Doctor Relor's antidote had shown that the infection could be cured. Needlessly killing Federation personnel was out of the question. He turned to the Marines. "Phasers to heavy stun," he ordered, "I'll initiate with a stun grenade then we breach the airlock. Three shots to any personnel standing."
The Marine acknowledged the order as Kevin pulled a grenade from its carrying case and programmed the settings. He waited until the two infected were close to each other then tossed the grenade and pulled back to await the explosion.