“Chief Science Officer’s log, supplemental. We’ve spent the last twenty hours reviewing our deep geological scans of Outre, giving us plenty of information to decide on where to start our expedition of the underground tunnels. We are now getting ready to get underway.”
Zipping up her excursion jacket, Reyas smoothed the creases out before putting her combadge back on her breast. Tying her hair up into a bun, she made herself more comfortable and ready for her mission ahead. The door chime to her cabin went off. Turning around she looked at the doorway, “Enter!”
The shiny silver door slid open and a familiar figure stood there. “I see you’ve taken over my cabin.”
Smirking at her husband, Reyas stepped forward and kissed him as she pulled him into the small room. Their brand new support craft, the Telemachus, was top of the range in everything but the small cabins for its crew were still the same in size as the Aquarius had been. “I am the commanding officer for this mission.” Reyas said after pulling away from her embrace. “So I thought I’d take the chance and move in for a while.”
McCallister looked around at how quickly she had turned what was designated as the captain’s quarters into her own private domain. Her own clothes, stacks of PADDS and bags of other items were loitering around on the floor and the spare bunk. Three coffee mugs sat on the small desk, two empty and one half full. A plate of a half eaten hasperat was next to them as well. He hadn’t realised how messy his wife could get. “I suppose so.” He ignored the disorder and looked at her in her excursion gear and gave her a smirk. “Whatever you wear you always look gorgeous.”
Rolling her eyes at how cheesey he would get at complimenting her, Reyas turned back and around to pick up the final bits of her gear. “So what are you doing here Captain? And why aren’t you in uniform?”
It was true that McCallister was out of uniform when he was meant to be. He was wearing his casual civilian clothes, a rare sight for the Odyssey’s captain. He wore a pair of black trousers with a white top under a navy blue jacket. “Well while you’re away I’m taking the boys on a camping trip for a couple of nights.”
“Aren’t you meant to be commanding a starship?” Reyas questioned her husband. She paused as she guessed what he had done. “Did you leave your new first officer alone up there?”
Raising his hands up in defence to show her she wasn’t right this time, McCallister explained the situation to her. “No, I’ve not. Max is in fact joining us.”
“Oh dear lord, are you starting some sort of fraternity with him, our boys and let me guess Tobi?” Reyas moaned. She had gone along with some of the adventures he had got up to with their sons and Tobi when they were off duty, but she didn’t think she could deal with Max joining them. “Aren’t you a little bit too old for that James?”
Shocked at how much she was mocking him, McCallister placed his hands on his hips. “Hey, I’m in my forties and still can do a lot of things.”
“You’re almost fifty darling.” Reyas quipped back. “Don’t kid yourself, I saw how exhausted you were after your last mission.”
“And you’re double my age, but I don’t comment on it.” McCallister answered back. “Plus in my defence, I did have to run an entire mission by myself.”
Giving him a deadly glare for bringing up her age, Reyas then smirked. “For someone who is over a hundred years old, I look pretty good.” She then went on to deal with the other point raised. “The only person you have to blame about your last position is yourself…and probably Starfleet Command too. Anyway, what are you planning to do?”
Moving closer to her and placing his hands on her hips, James smiled. “Well I thought a couple of days of camping may help smooth things out with the boys and help me build up a closer rapport with Max.”
“So basically you’re trying to make up for your loss of Bexa on two fronts?” Reyas said as she strapped her tricorder to her hip, shaking her head at her husband’s idea. “Are you sure you can handle both attempts?”
McCallsiter was certain he could and wondered why his wife was questioning that. “Sure, why not?”
“It’s just out of all of our boys, it’s been Theo that has been pretty angry at you and blames you for him losing Leeyum. Those two were super close as friends.” Reyas remarked.
Sighing with slight frustration, McCallister replied. “And he’s gotta get over the fact it wasn’t my choice for Bexa to leave and move her family back to the Alpha Quadrant.”
In the past week, since Cambil had resigned, she and her husband had made the decision to return to the Alpha Quadrant. When the Tereshkova arrived and dropped off the Telemachus, the whole Cambil family took passage with the Inquiry-class ship. Their departure had left a bittersweet taste in their mouths, especially for both James and Karyn. They were close with both Bexa and Napreem and the whole affair had left so much in the air between them. It didn’t help that when their sons, all of whom were close, found out what had happened, they got extremely angry with their parents, more so with their father. Henri, Theo and Alfie had ignored their parents for almost four days now, it hadn’t helped with Theo screaming at James one evening and then locking himself in his quarters for the evening. Out of the three of them though Alfie was slowly lowering his defences which James hoped would create a domino toppling effect on the other two.
“And teenagers don’t see it as easy as we do.” Reyas reminded her husband. “Theo, out of the three of our boys, has always been the quieter one, the more reserved and so is Leeyum. Bexa and I would always used to say that the two of them are like a pair of Miradorn twins. Completely inseparable and so completely alike. He’s going to need more time to deal with it.”
Frustrated that his wife was bringing up conversations they had recently had as a family, James shook his head as he let go of her. “I’ll say it again, it’s not my fault that Bexa and Naprem left. The sooner the boys see that the better. Even Max said that having some father-son time would help rebuild things with them. He was a counsellor, so he knows what he’s talking about.”
“For goodness sake James, is that why you’re bringing Max? To help facilitate you rebuilding your relationships with your sons?” Reyas said, almost raising her voice at him, “I’m not saying the camping trip is not a bad idea, in fact Max is right about it being a good idea, but you need to remember that in Theo’s eyes his best friend left because he thinks his father and his best friend’s mother had a falling out. He doesn’t know the true reasons why Bexa resigned and what happened between you two. So you need to tread carefully with him.”
Hating the fact he knew she was right, McCallister gave out a sigh as he rested against the small desk. “So basically, I need to have a heart-to-heart with him.”
Nodding once, Reyas agreed with the idea. “It might go a long way.” Finishing getting herself ready, she picked up her rucksack. “So who did you leave in command of the ship?”
“Tomaz.” He answered as he got up. “Everyone else, like you, is engaged with a survey of some sort and he was keen to get some more command experience under his belt.”
Reyas’ combadge then chirped and the voice of Lieutenant Abbej followed. “Hunsen to Commander Reyas.”
“Go ahead Tremt.” Reyas said after tapping her combadge.
“Sorry to disturb you Karyn but the team is assembled in the shuttlebay. We’re ready to go on your order.” The Betazoid chief engineer announced.
“Thank you for the update Tremt, I’ll be there shortly. Reyas out.” She tapped her combadge to close the channel and looked at her husband. “Duty calls. So, good luck with your away mission then.”
Kissing her on her cheek, McCallister smiled. “Likewise Commander Reyas.” He gave her a wink as she started to leave the cabin.
Turning around before she left the doorway, “You best not move anything around in my cabin.” She said, motionining at how she had left the room.
Saluting at her, McCallister chuckled and followed her out. He had no intention of tidying up after her but he was adamant she wouldn’t be leaving their brand new ship in a mess.
The planet Outré had many wondrous places to explore as such when assignments were being put together, Doctor Slyvexs was eager to take one. She had not been off the ship to engage in a job that wasn’t medical related for a long time, so leading a survey team to see if the large swathes of vegetation were worth investigating in more detail was a welcome break for the chief medical officer.
Her team was currently working through a large luscious green valley of shrubbery. She had split the team into smaller groups to scan specific plants; currently she was in a group with T’Rani and Lieutenant junior grade Jisaraa, an Orion security officer who had volunteered for the mission too.
“So ladies what do you think?” Slyvexs asked as she scanned a nearby tall plant. There were rows of them that stood almost a meter taller than any of them and long green leaves on them and what appeared to be a purple like vegetable growing from it.
Scanning with her own tricorder at another plant similar to the one the doctor was at, T’Rani looked over her shoulder at her Denobulan superior. “What do you mean doctor? On the plants or the valley?”
“Well, a bit of both.” Slyvexs said as she squinted her eyes as she continued to run her scans.
“This valley is enriched with this,” T’Rani paused as she considered her choice of words, “vegetable. It appears to have significant nutritional value.”
Jisaraa, who was kneeling down at another plant of the same variety, looked up from her scans, “I know I’m no botanist and I’ve never worked on a farm in my life, but doesn’t it strike you weird how much of it there is and how well organised this patch of it is?” The Orion questioned with curiosity.
“As our human comrades would say, bingo!” Slyvexs as she closed her tricorder with a simple flip of her wrist. “I’m starting to believe we’ve walked into someone’s back garden.”
“Doctor?” T’Rani said, raising her left eyebrow slightly. She wondered what the doctor meant.
“I’ve dabbled into a bit of gardening during my many years,” Slyvexs explained as she crossed her arms and looked around their setting. “If you notice a majority of the crops here are laid out in lines and are almost exactly the same distance from one another. That’s not natural selection there, that’s been artificially chosen. Plus this particular crop,” she said, taking hold of it. The vegetable itself, which looked like purple corn, is the most dominant in this patch of land. Plus,” She looked above, “there’s nothing that is above it to prevent sunlight, warmth and rain getting to it. It’s not competing for the resources it needs to grow.”
“It does appear that this valley has been made to house…well to be a large farming area.” Jisaraa suggested. “There’s a source of water with the nearby river too.”
“An interesting theory, if this land has been managed in such a way then it begs the questions who created it and why are they not here to harvest it?” T’Rani questioned.
“Who’s to say they live on the planet? This could be a farming world for some race we don’t know.” Slyvexs offered.
“Surely they wouldn’t have left something to lay claim to it?” Jisaraa as she stood up and placed her tricorder away. “Should we meet with the others and see what they’ve found?”
“Sounds like a sensible idea.” Slyvexs, stated with a simple nod as she looked around at their surroundings again. “We’ll need to return our data to,” She paused and looked at T’Rani, “who’s the new chief biologist on the ship?”
“Chief Petty Officer Mara,” The Vulcan replied. “She joined the ship at Starbase Thirty-Eight.”
“Oh you mean Anar?” Jisaraa said, recalling the first name of the ship’s new biologist. “She’s great, very down to Earth for a Cardassian and she enjoys our hazard team training quite a bit.”
Sylvexs nodded, she forgot that Jisaraa led the beta squad for the ship’s Hazard team. “Yes, let’s see if she’s found anything else on this planet from a biologist’s point of view. I’m sure she’s got other teams spread across the planet.”
“If someone did live here, where do you think they lived?” Jisaraa wondered aloud. “We’ve not seen anything else that would prove they lived on the surface.”
“My gut instinct is telling me that Commaner Reyas’ team who are about to go underground may find some more answers for us.” Slyvexs commented.
T’Rani then interjected her thoughts on the matter. “The possibility of discovering an sub-terrain civilisation is low, doctor, especially when we have conducted thorough scans of the planet and have not detected such life.”
“Never say never, T’Rani.” Slyvexs countered back with as she led them back the path they had used to find their fellow teammates.
“Come on Lukiz, you must be done by now?” Lenjir whined from where he was sitting.
Ignoring the unhelpful complaints coming from his friend’s direction, the operations manager carried on with his scans. “Cline, shut up.” Jen answered as he concentrated on the scans he was making. “I need to focus and I can’t do that if you keep interrupting me. You offered to accompany me, I could have easily asked someone else.”
“You told me this away mission would be exciting! Instead all you’ve done is scan that rock for almost half an hour.” Lenjir said. “Can we please either head back to the ship or the base camp?”
The two men were by a large cliff edge within a mountainous area which was one of the locations of sources of uridium on the planet. Jen had been eager to take on one of the survey missions to find out more about the natural resources this planet had an abundance of, so scanning the uridium ore to see how much was here was a top priority especially if they had the chance to mine it.
“No, now be quiet so I can concentrate on my work.” The joined Trill stated as he took more samples from the rock face. “You could go and get me the phaser drill.”
“Finally, something exciting to do.” Lenjir said in a sarcastic tone. Walking over to the ground vehicle they had used to visit this area, the Tiburon dropped the phaser rifle he had brought with him into the back and went straight into the trunk to find the equipment that his friend would need. Being in an extremely warm wilderness, he decided it was time to remove his excursion jacket, wearing just his vest in the glorious sunshine. The area they were in had spectacular fault block escarpments, so Lenjir could see why it was an area of interest but he was not someone who was into geology. He also knew his friend Lukiz was not into it either. As he picked up the phaser drill, along with the containers they would use to store their samples, Cline made his way back over to his friend. “So which one is it?”
Standing with the rock face only a few centimeters from his own face, Jen glanced over his shoulder and questioned his friend to clarify what he meant. “What are you on about?”
“Which host is it that enjoyed geology?” Lenjir said. “Anytime you get obsessed with something it’s because one of your hosts is interested. Is it Daubin? No, could it be Kesha? She was a scientist. Or was she the lawyer?”
“Timor was the lawyer, Kesha was the warp theorist.” Jen replied. “If you must know, it’s Denah who was a geologist enthusiast.”
“How much are you tapping into his experience right now?” Cline asked as he set up the phaser drill. He had always been fascinated with the Trill symbiosis joining and when Lukiz had agreed to become an emergency host when the Jen symbiont almost died with its previous host, Daubin, his interest only grew.
Shaking his head in disbelief at how much his friend liked knowing the ins and outs of his past hosts and their lives, Jen returned to his work. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not sure if I should feel lucky to have a friend like you who is this keen about my previous lives or slightly creeped out by your fascination.”
“The former.” Lenjir answered quickly as he finished working the drill. “Plus it’s best friend not just friend.”
Chuckling at that, Jen turned around and walked over to the drill. Noticing his friend had taken his jacket off, Jen copied him and as he unzipped he told Lenjir what he wanted to do next. “Program the drill to dig at least three meters in.”
“Just three meters?” Lenjir double checked. “That’s not very far. I thought this ore would be deeper underground? Surely the years of rock layers would be greater.”
“My thoughts exactly, but from what I can see from my scans this source of uridium is closer to the surface.” Jen said. “If we take some samples back to the base then I can get the team there to run an analysis to see if there’s any chance of getting more answers.”
“Okay,” Lenjir said before pressing the fire button on the drill. Noticing his friend was still looking at the scans he took, he spoke up above the noise of the phaser now cutting into the rock. “You look bothered, what’s up?”
“I don’t quite know,” Jen answered. “The scans of this area show the ore is quite easy to get access to. It’s almost as if someone purposely made it that way. The rock formations don’t appear natural to me.”
“If that’s the case then that’s even more reason to get these samples back to the base camp.” Lenjir said.
“Yeah and the sooner the better, it won’t be long until the sunsets.” Jen said as he switched his tricorder off.
“You make it sound like something bad is going to happen when that happens.” Lenjir said, with a worried tone. “I thought Commander Reyas said the planet is uninhabited.”
“She did, but you never know.” Jen said just as the drill finished its business, letting him walk over and take what he needed, leaving Lenjir to consider his words for a moment.
“I can’t see why we couldn’t have used your yacht.” Alfie complained for the seventh time that afternoon.
Ignoring the comment, James just rolled his eye at his son as he continued to help with the assembling of the tent they’d be using.
“Alfie has a point, dad.” Henri added as he placed a peg into the ground. “Being on the yacht is a lot more comfortable.”
“And would save us time putting up tents.” Alfie stated. “Plus why do we have to share one with you while Uncle Tobi gets his own one with Commander Duncan?”
Getting frustrated at their constant teenage angst, James finally gave in. “As I wanted to spend some quality time with my sons, is that such a horrible thing? And we’re not using the yacht as it is on standby to be used for an emergency. Is that clear?”
“Suppose.” Henri grumbled as he returned to putting in more pegs.
Alfie shrugged his shoulders as he carried on putting the tent up.
Captain McCallister was now on one of the equator islands they had scanned and was setting up the camp that he had brought his sons to along with his first officer and chief of the boat. A bit of male-bonding and getting back to nature hadn’t completely been received well by the McCallister boys, but they were all there. The only ones who had been the most vocal against it all had been Henri and Alfie, while Theo had remained quiet, giving his dad the silent treatment.
“How’s it going, captain?” Commander Duncan asked, as he approached the group and interrupted the exchange between his captain and sons.
“Well, for the most part.” James answered as he glared at his two sons who were complaining the most. Turning to his new first officer, he added more. “Max, listen while we’re off the ship and off duty we can drop the formality side of things. Call me James or JP. I don’t mind.”
“Sure,” Max said as he took a breath and added the captain’s nickname at the end of his sentence, “JP.” Pausing for a second, he shook his head. “That feels weird saying it.”
Chuckling at Max’s difficulty in getting used to the informal approach, James clasped the man on his shoulder. “Let’s get some beers and see if that helps.”
“Sounds good to me.” Max answered as they headed to where they had placed their food and drink. After being beamed down to the planet, the group had picked a decent area by one of the beaches. The white hot sand and the nearby calm sea seemed like a good place to build their camp.
The two men walked over to where the gear was, they would need to store it in one of the tents soon, but they had time to do it. Court was stood by, organising some of it when they approached.
“You alright Tobi?” Max asked.
“Yeah, I was going to get a fire started and perhaps start on cooking dinner.” Tobias answered as he looked up from the container he had been searching. “How’s the tent situation going?”
Looking back at the chaos that was almost their camp and then back, James answered honestly. “It’s getting there.”
Indicating over his left shoulder at the figure sat on the edge of the sand already in his swimming shorts, Tobi mentioned about Theo keeping to himself from them. “Is Theo going to be sitting in the water for the rest of the trip? I tried to get him to help me with the fire but he just ignored me.”
Sighing at how Theo was behaving, James couldn’t believe how his son was now trying to isolate himself from them. “Give me a moment.” He said as he left their company to see his son.
Theo was sitting with his back to the camp, his feet and legs in the water as he pushed the sand around him. Almost being childish in his behaviour, he picked the sand up and let it slip through his fingers over his bare chest. The feeling of the grains hitting his skin made him shudder to force it off his body.
“You okay?” His father called after him as he approached him.
Not bothering to look up at him and continuing to play with both the dry and wet sat around him, Theo just answered with a simple, “yeah.”
Taking a breath in, James ignored the petty behaviour that Theo was exhibiting. Knowing he needed to make an extra effort with him, he sat down next to him. “Okay, listen Theo I understand you’re cross and upset with Leeyum leaving and I know you blame me for it.”
“You goddamn right I do.” Theo said in an angry tone.
“That’s fine.” James stated. “You know I can’t share specifics with you because of the job I do and I hope that one day if you get the chance you’ll understand but Leeyum’s mum made the decision to leave the Odyssey.”
“You didn’t stop her.” Tobi remarked, still crossed with his father and tears started to form in his eyes. “Leeyum was my only friend. The only person who got me. Now he has gone and I’m alone.”
“It may seem that way, but you’re certainly not alone.” James said, continuing to remain calm. “Your mum and I love you just as much and so do your brothers and I for one would love to get to know you, because if your some alien that has taken over my son then I need to know now as that’s a security risk!”
Chuckling slightly at his father’s attempt at wit, Theo shook his head and rolled his eyes. “You could have stopped them from going, dad.”
Realising he may not win Theo over, James moved in closer to his son’s side. “I could have, but that would have caused more upset and unnecessary tension with Leeyum’s parents.”
“You and Bexa were best friends.” Theo threw at him.
Nodding in agreement, James couldn’t deny that statement. “Yes, we were and we were comrades. We taught at the academy together, she was my right hand woman for over a decade but Bexa made the choice to leave Starfleet.”
“Because of you.”
The truth did hurt James, but he kept cool. “Partly true,” He said back to Theo. “You need to understand Theo, that when you work for an organisation like Starfleet there are times when the line of duty can become blurred when you are superior to your friends. The higher you go up the chain of command, the more you are made of the less you can share with those that serve under you.”
“You share everything with mum.” Tobi spat out as he rubbed his eyes.
“Not true.” James answered in his defence. “There are some things that your mum is not cleared to know, just as much as Bexa wasn’t able to know. If I shared those things with them then I’d be locked away and you wouldn’t see me for a long time.”
“Yeah but I can’t see Leeyum now,” Tobi took a breath as tears slowly rolled down his cheek. “He was my best mate and just because his parents wanted to leave the Odyssey he has to go as well.”
“And that’s what it means to be a family, sometimes you have to give up things for those you love and sometimes those things need to be a fresh start. I’m sure once we establish more regular communication with the Alpha Quadrant you’ll be able to call him. In the meantime, why don’t you consider writing him a letter. Tell him what you’ve gotten up to, share something stupid that Alfie said or how you’ve pulled a practical joke on Henri. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.”
Sighing and washing his face, Theo eventually gave into his father’s suggestion. “Fine.” He paused, “But why did you have to bring Commander Duncan with you? You’ve moved pretty quickly to replace Leeyum’s mother.”
“When you’re a captain of a huge ship like Odyssey, it’s important to everyone on the crew that they see there isn’t a crisis with the ship’s leadership.” James honestly answered. “If I had it another way, I’d have waited but I’m afraid I couldn’t. I know it seems unfair and pretty disrespectful towards Bexa, however I promise you that she and I spoke about it. She was all for me announcing her successor as soon as I could. Now that Max is my first officer, I think it’s important I get to know him more and who better to help me then my own sons?”
Theo smiled slightly at that idea.
“Now, do you fancy helping your old man off this beach so we can go help your uncle start a fire?” James pleaded.
“As long as I don’t have to share a pod with Henri, he snores.” Theo said, trying to negotiate his exit strategy.
Laughing at the request, James nodded. “How about you help me up and then we’ll sort out who is sleeping in which pod with a swimming race between you three.”
“You know I’m going to beat them both.” Theo remarked. “I’m the stronger swimmer out of us three.”
“Really?” James questioned sarcastically, appearing as if he didn’t know that fact.
As Theo pushed himself up from the sand he instantly pulled his sand out of the sand that he had touched. “Ow.” He said in reaction. “What’s that?”
“What is it?” James asked as he watched Theo dig into the sand and pull out what appeared to be something made from gold.
“It looks like a badge, maybe a brooch.” Theo offered as he dug further into the sand and pulled out a rounded shaped object with an unusual pattern on it. He passed it over to his dad. “I thought this place was meant to be uninhabited?”
“So did I.” James said, now concerned about what they had just unearthed. Standing up, he walked back over to their main camp with Theo by his side.
Max instantly recognised that James had something in hands. “What’s that?”
“Is that gold?” Tobi asked as he looked at the artefact that James had.
“I don’t know, but it’s certainly not naturally made.” James answered as he showed both sides of the treasure they just found. He picked up his combadge, which was sat on one of the nearby containers, tapping it straight away. “McCallister to Odyssey.”
Straight away his chief strategic operations officer answered. “Lieutenant Tomaz here sir, go ahead. How’s the camping trip going?”
“Tomaz, how quickly can you send a shuttle to our coordinates?” McCallister asked.
A second or two passed before the Barzan replied. “At the moment sir most of our shuttles and runabouts are out and about on the planet or elsewhere in the system. Do you need an urgent beam up?”
“No, I just need access to a decent sensor array.” He looked over to where Alfie and Henri were, still trying to put up their tent, “what about my yacht?”
“It’s not being used sir, I think Lieutenant Tierra is undertaking some maintenance on it. Do you want me to send it down?” Tomaz offered.
“Yeah send Tierra down with it quickly.” The captain answered.
“Understood sir. Odyssey out.”
Max then approached his captain. “Do you think there’s something more here that we’ve missed?”
“I can’t help but ignore that this planet seems too good to be true with its access to rich resources and land that host millions, it just doesn’t make sense why no-one has claimed it yet.” McCallister answered. “I want to run some further scans of this area, even if I’m wrong.”
“It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Tobi offered, he as he looked at the item in McCallister’s hand. “Are we about to hunt for more buried treasure?”
“Possibly.” James offered as he placed the gold badge on the container between them all. “Once Tierra arrives with the yacht we’ll scan for more gold in detail and then see what else we find.”
Looking behind him where James’ sons were, Max then turned back to James. “Maybe we can enlist some help and make this camping trip interesting?”
“Good idea, Max.” James said as he went over to where Theo had headed to tell his brothers about his find, hoping that the three of them would be up for helping their old man solve a problem.
“Do you think he’ll win them over?” Hunsen answered, still looking at his tricorder as he led the group through the underground tunnels.
Chuckling at that question, Reyas pointed her wrist torch in the direction they were heading as their fellow teammates behind them laid down lighting. “I hope so, as knowing James he will refuse to leave until he has accomplished his mission.”
“Damn, taking on three hormonal teenagers like that is brave!” Hunsen remarked. “I’d prefer to take on a Borg Cube or two!”
Enjoying the chief engineer’s company as they made their way through the underground tunnels, Reyas continued to smile at his friendly nature. “Well it’s either that or I suspect Max may end up killing them from being so all incredibly stubborn. All three of them get that from James and sometimes the four of them can be a pain to live with.”
“So is that why you were keen to lead this mission, to get some peace and quiet?” Hunsen checked with his superior.
“Absolutely.” She answered honestly as they approached a part of the tunnel that appeared to widen. In the dark distance they could hear water running. “Is that a waterfall I can hear?”
“I think you’re right.” Hunsen answered and as they approached the cavern they were about to enter, the chief engineer had to stop himself from falling forward. Thankfully the harness he had on kept him secure as below him was a huge drop down but their torches were no longer needed. “Looks like we’ve struck gold.” He said, pointing towards the benemite crystal formations with his torch.
“You mean literally gold.” Reyas added as she indicated towards a nearby structure with her torch that wasn’t part of the cave and made out of gold. The beams of light reflected off and showed what looked like an underground settlement. “This doesn’t didn’t come up on the scans.”
“Damn, this is huge.” Hunsen said as the rest of their team came to the edge they were both on and started to shine their torches across the scene before them.
A buried alien settlement rested before them.