After a couple of hours of hiking up the mountain trail, they finally reached the entrance to the cave. They took a few moments to catch their breathe and relax from the long hike, Damir scanned the entrance and checked the data. “Umm,” came his reply as he didn’t see this on the initial scans which caused Makayla to look up. “What’s the matter, Commander?” She asked as the umm sounded more concerning than what it was probably intended.
“There seem to be defenses in place, as there seems to be a forcefield of some kind at the entrance that wasn’t picked up on the initial scans.” Damir began as he looked around the entrance and noticed a sort of keypad. This caused Adams to raise an eyebrow but with the Tkon at work here, nothing should have surprised her.
“Do you think you can get past it?” She asked as he stood there quietly for a few moments before looking back at the Captain. “I am sure with both Jheria’s and Jeesa’s help I am sure we can bring that field down.” He said as the two walked up to him and started to study the padd on the mountain entrance that was almost covered with vines.
Time seemed to pass by slowly as they waited, “how is it coming?” Adams asked as she sat on a rock near the wall of the trail. “This is trickier than I’d expected, we have almost made a breakthrough though.” Jheria said before Damir spoke up, “Tkon really has made it near impossible to get past its defenses.”
Nodding she and the others waited, Ensign Morgan just stood there scanning the area to make sure no one had spotted them, though from the looks of things no one has ever visited the mountain as there were no visible tracks. “Got it,” came Jheria’s voice as she pressed a button and the forcefield came down as the group stood up. Dazra scanned the area to make sure there were no other defenses that could attack them as they entered were around.
“All clear,” Dazra replied as they entered the cave, looking around as they slowly walked taking in the sights of the cave which seemed to have a Tkon feel for it. “It seems that we need to travel further down the cave, from what I can tell there are three levels and the beacon seems to be at the bottom level,” Damir said though his readings were not so great, “it seems there are also more of those forcefields at each level, that might get harder to crack then the next,” Damir added as they traveled, being on guard as they made their way towards the area they needed to get to the next level.
“Lovely,” Jheria mumbled out loud looking around getting her bearings of the area. “Wonder why the Tkon had hidden a beacon in a mountain like this, wonder what other treasures we will find,” Jeesa commented as it was not every day you get to go treasure hunting for Tkon relics like this. “Well, they wanted to make sure no one would find it as you can probably guess by the forcefields,” Damir replied back in an almost condescending way but Jeesa just ignored it.
Adams just shook her head “alright you two, Jeesa was just trying to make conversation, there was no need for that rudeness.” Adams replied as they reached the second forcefield, Damir shrugged and began to study this one. Jheria finally found the console that was more hidden than the last one.
“This one is going to be a bit more tricky, I am sure I can crack it but it’s going to take longer as it seems that one wrong move can activate those defenses,” Jheria replied pointing to what seemed like phasers embedded into the cave above the forcefield.
Everyone looked up and Dazra took a deep breath looking around, “I suggest that we move over here out of firing range until they can bring it down without setting them off.” Dazra suggested as everyone but Jheria and Damir moved away from the area. Dazra was looking at the defenses above to see if it might have a weak point to disable them if they got triggered while the two worked on bringing the field down.
This was definitely taking longer than the last one until they finally were able to get the algorithm right and the forcefield lowered without activating the defenses. Adams let out a sigh of relief as they left where they were at and headed through the arch onto the next level and next forcefield.
Jeesa could sense a lot of tension between everyone, which was probably because they were clueless about what they might find at each stop. She could only imagine that each one will be more defensive than the last until they reached their destination.
Dazra went back to the entrance to check in with Ensign Morgan who she could tell was a nervous wreck. “I am going to stay back at the entrance with the Ensign, I’ll keep on the lookout here Captain.” Dazra said over the comm channel, “understood Lieutenant.” Adams replied back as she made a mental note not to bring Ensign Morgan on an away mission again.
They were beginning to see more evidence of Tkon technology as they walked, Damir scanned them and noticed they were malfunctioning. “We might have to come back and fix these as I am not sure if they are connected to the beacon yet or not.” Damir made the statement as they began to press on.
Jheria looked back at the Captain, “I might need to bring an engineer or two down here once we can figure things out. I have two trusted ones that can hopefully help me repair these systems.” She said as the Captain thought for a moment, “set up the pattern enhancers here so they don’t have to make that climb up the mountain.” Adams replied as Jeesa began to set them up, “they’re set up and ready sir.” Jeesa replied as they moved forward until finally reaching the second to last one. “Umm,” Jheria said as Damir was scanning the area.
“This one looks to have the same defenses and again will take more time to get the algorithm correct without setting them off. It also seems that these ones can aim in all directions whereas the first ones were just set to straight ahead.” Jheria replied as she took a deep breath.
The others moved back to a safe distance while the two began to work. Things were becoming tricker, but she was being careful not to set them off as she held her breath for what seemed like an eternity. Jeesa could tell she was nervous and anxious as she worked until the forcefield finally came down before she let out a huge breath and a sigh of relief washed over her. “I am dreading what the last one will be…” Jheria said as her voice cracked.
Adams and Jeesa joined them as she placed a hand on Jheria’s shoulder, “it will be ok you got this.” Jeesa said with a smile trying to be helpful and reassuring in this stressful time. Jheria looked at her and smiled, “thanks” she replied before they continued onto the last forcefield before they reached their destination.
They noted more malfunctioning consoles as they walked, “I hate to see what the last one entails.” Jheria commented as Damir looked back, “I probably would be prepared it could be way worse than the last few.” Damir said without a sweat, Jeesa shook her head at his bluntness, though it didn’t really bother Jheria as she was used to being blunt herself with her engineers at times though not always as there was always a time and place for it.
Adams made a note that she would have a conversation with Damir once they finished this mission and was back on board the Vesta. Having had enough of Damir’s attitude towards her crew, now was not the time or place to address it.
After walking a bit more they finally came to the last one, they could see the beacon in the middle of the room looked like it was powered off from what they could see. “Oh boy,” Jeesa said as she noticed it before the others who just looked at her as the oh boy didn’t sound very good.
They then looked at what she saw and froze, it seemed to be a small portal of some kind similar to what the USS Enterprise encountered but on a smaller scale. “Things have just gotten more interesting,” Adams replied as they all stood there as Damir scanned the area.
“This one might be a challenge, there is no console like the rest, I think that portal has some kind of control over it, it seems to be in a sleep state,” Damir said walking back to the group to figure out what to do next.