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Posted on Wed Apr 24th, 2024 @ 10:57pm by Lieutenant Tracey Walker Jr
Edited on on Wed Apr 24th, 2024 @ 10:57pm

Mission: Starbase 364
Location: Lucin's Cave
Timeline: Current



[Lucin's Cave]

Trace was fairly high strung and he knew it. Commander Lance had left him in charge of the contingent with orders to protect the equipment on the planet, so that those sent back in time would be able to return to the present. It wasn't the first time he'd been put in charge a team but it was by far the most critical mission he'd ever led. Failure would be catastrophic, and the gravity of his responsibility weighed on him.

He was pacing the cave, checking in every five minutes with the security guards posted on the entrance, the team of engineers responsible for watching the equipment, and then circling back to check the security checkpoint he had had set up at the rear of the cave. Every so often he would stop by and stare at the equipment. What he was looking at was anyone's guess.

Lucin was about to ask what, exactly, he was hoping to find when an eerie shriek split the air. Lucin froze, and for a moment, all of his apparent eccentricity vanished. Trace witnessed a look of stone cold terror on the little man's face, and he quickly stepped on a metal octagonal pad, different from the others.

"What are you doing?" Trace asked.

"I'm sorry," Lucin said, "I truly am, but you see, I only built this isolation ward for one. I must survive in order for anyone to return. If you want some advice from an old man..." he said, swallowing hard. "Run."

And in a shimmer of light, he was gone.

A chill ran up Trace's spine and he swallowed. Hard. "We have incoming!" He bellowed, sprinting toward the perimeter guards.

"I'm not reading anything on my hud..." One of the men said, but he never had the chance to complete his thought, because in a flash, his feet went out from under him and he was dragged by...something back into the shadows screaming.

"Contact!" Yelled the guard next to him, his phaser lancing into the black at skittering dark shapes. Trace drew his modified hand phaser, and shot at something moving just beyond vision, sweat trickling down into his eyes.

He tapped his comm badge. "Western unit, we need assistance on the East flank." He yelled, but only got static and the sounds of commotion coming from the other end of the communications line.

A creature lunged at him out of the darkness, and he sidestepped just as talons raked the air where his face had been. Instinctively, he shot two energy blasts into it as it flew by him, but they seemed to have little effect. He desperately tried to recall what he could of Gorn physiology, and, not for the first time, wished Geneva were here.

"Light!" He called out. "They can be blinded. Set phasers on the highest setting!"

Two more Security Guards died screaming, the Gorn that attacked them ripping the jugular from one man's throat and blinding the other one, before skewering him with it's talons.

Trace's whip snapped out, coiling around one of the creature's throats. With a heave, he yanked it off it's feet, then followed up with six blasts to the head. It shrieked in pain as the powerful phaser blasts tore into it's brain, then went still.

Quickly, he tapped in a few commands to his tricorder and set it to pulse bright light. The second Gorn hissed angrily, then backed into the shadows.

"They'll be back." Trace said, panting. "Let's regroup with the other team and regroup around the equipment."

"Aye sir...oh my God, are you ok?" He said, his eyes locked on Trace's leg. The engineer looked down at three wicked gash marks in his leg, blood everywhere. Strange, he hadn't felt anything, then he recalled one of the more exciting features of Gorn physiology - their talons secreted a numbing agent...and a poison, directly into the blood stream.

"I'm fine, let's move." Trace said.

Moments later, they found the second contingent of security guards had regrouped around the equipment as he'd hoped.

They didn't have long to prepare as the creatures launched a second attack soon after the first. Trace fought with phaser and whip, losing three more men before he finally succumbed to the poison. As he went down to one knee, and the darkness started to close in on him, he had one thought...why had he been so scared of committing to the woman he loved? Now that he was dying, he regretted such foolishness.


Lieutenant Tracey "Trace" Walker
Chief Engineer
USS Chuck Norris


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