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Tomb of the Ancients

Posted on Tue Feb 6th, 2024 @ 6:50pm by Lieutenant Tracey Walker Jr & Lieutenant Commander Kevin Lance

Mission: Guilty Pleasures
Location: Various
Timeline: Current

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[Risa Arrival Control]

Trace exited the transporter room and greet Kevin as he stood in the waiting area. He had forgotten the man had just been promoted to Second Officer when he had invited him on this trip, but he supposed it didn’t much matter.

“Ready?” Trace asked.

“As I’ll ever be.” Lance replied, his continance giving away little.

“You got my checklist, right?” Trace prompted.

“Yes,” Kevin replied, his eyebrows furrowing. “Remind me why I need a spare pair of socks? Aren’t there replicators where we’re going?”

“If my hunch is correct, there won’t be any technology where we’re going. Best to be prepared.” he said, stepping out into the Risan sunshine.

"Let's see about getting transport," he called.

[Risan Wilderness]

It didn’t take long to obtain a shuttle transport to the dig sight. It was a ways up into the mountains, and the last couple of miles of the trek would need to be on foot, as the area was protected from development, including landing pads.

As the two men disembarked from the shuttle, they each hefted their backpacks. A trail head could be seen heading north into the woods at the base of a valley, and Trace headed for it. “We should be arriving just around sunset,” he remarked.

Kevin calculated the distance. Given that the Risan sun had just peaked, they would cover around twenty kilometers by sundown.

"What can you tell me about this place?" he asked before they had traveled far, "I couldn't find anything in the Federation database about a Tomb of the Ancients. Risan databases were similarly silent."

Trace was silent for a moment before he spoke. He needed a partner, and Lance was willing, but from their conversation earlier he wasn't exactly the kind of man who believed in folklore.

For most people, folklore was nothing but myth and legend, and was accorded such a stature among scientific facts. For those who studied such things, however, there were always truths that lie buried beneath colorful prose. It was the rare person who could tease prose from fact, and rarer still those who could make a career out of it. Still, revealing everything this early in the trek was sure to make Lance turn heel and find a beach to lay on.

"Well," he said finally, "Where we're headed is just an ancient Risan ruin. There are hundreds of these sights, some less accessible than others, and they're part of a decades long recovery effort by the Risan government. I suspect they invest money in it more because tourists like the idea of visiting ancient ruins as opposed to any real interest in the past. This city was part of a network of settlements that spanned from the highlands of the interior to the sea. A friend of mine is an archaeologist and runs the dig. He'll let us in, and from there we'll need to a little of our own exploring."

"The Tomb of the Ancients, well, that wouldn't be on any of the official books, if it exists. But if it does, and if I've interpreted the texts correctly, we'll find the entrance here. And if it doesn't..." He said, spreading his arms wide, "It's a beautiful day for a hike in the mountains."

Kevin acknowledged that the view was quite beautiful especially as Q was not interfering with the planet’s weather and seismic controls but he still kept a wary eye out for errant wildlife. Especially primeval ancestors of targs that he logically knew no longer existed but given his previous visit to Risan was a concern that was hard to shake.

Hoping to distract himself from irrational fears, Kevin asked Trace, “How are you enjoying your new duties? Did you not find security division enough of a challenge?”

Trace sighed heavily. "It's kind of a long story but I suppose we have time, don't we? I was never really much good at Security but as an Academy major it had the fewest requirements to graduate and get on a ship. I enrolled pretty late in life, as you can tell. I spent my youth as a Starfleet attaché, hopping from starship to starship as an advisor and expert in Xenoanthropology and Xenoarchaeology. Basically I would accompany crews on missions and do what I could to recover relics for Starfleet."

"Sounds like a pretty sweet gig, why'd you give it up?" Kevin asked.

"Well it wasn't by choice. I made the mistake of taking a commission from a representative of the Ferengi government. I knew better than to deal directly with a Ferengi but this guy said all the right things. Unfortunately, he was a rather unscrupulous broker, and I was framed for stealing a cultural treasure. Starfleet had no choice but to strip me of my stature. Professionally, I was ruined. So I did the only thing I could to continue my arrangement to some degree - enrolled in Starfleet and found the quickest path to getting onto a ship again. I managed to pick up enough throughout my career that passing my Engineering Officer's exam only took a little catching up. So here I am." Trace finished.

“I wasn't the best of students,” Kevin mused, “so coming out of the Academy, security was my only option. After the diplomatic mission to Alpha Pyxis V, I was able to get the mission’s ambassador to use her influence to get me a slot in Flight Control school.“

"Sounds exciting." Trace responded. "I did some flying back in the day, mostly freighters, nothing as fancy as a Delta Class. You must be living your best life."

Kevin gave a wry smile, "I'm getting there. Slowly but surely."

The two men continued to chat along the way, breaking for a quick bite before continuing on. As the sun began sinking behind the mountains, they climbed the final path up into a bustling camp.

Trace waved at one of the men, who came over to greet them. "Dr Walker, it's so nice to see you again!" He said, turning to indicate the front of the temple. "Well, what do you think? Is she not a beauty?"

Trace grinned. "She certainly is," he replied. "This is my crewmate, Lt. Commander Lance. He'll be my partner while we explore."

"Very good, very good. You know, I had to pull a few strings to get you into this site. I do hope it helps whatever paper you're working on." The man chuckled.

"Oh, of that I have no doubt." Trace said, patting the satchel at his side.

:off

Lieutenant Commander Kevin Lance
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Chuck Norris

and

Lieutenant Tracey "Trace" Walker
Chief Engineer
USS Chuck Norris

 

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