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Grotto Exploring Goes Wrong…. Again

Posted on Mon Sep 4th, 2023 @ 9:29pm by Ka'see 'Cassie' Anderson (*) & Executive Officer Jake Ford

Mission: Fractures
Location: Grotto
Timeline: 2nd February 20:00
1668 words - 3.3 OF Standard Post Measure

When Cassie could not sleep she choose the grotto as a place to try and calm her troubled or busy mind. It was where she was found staring at a shelf filled with artefacts before looking over coloured potions and labelled powders that were neatly arranged on tables. The contents hinted at the history and purpose of the spaceship, offering glimpses into its past and the intentions of its previous occupant and one day she really wanted to work out what it was other than to just collect things and what it was that made it impossible for Burnie to come into the room . She glanced up to see Jake sliding into the room activating the lights to a higher level than she had them. “Hey?” She questioned glancing at the chronometer wondering if she had missed something that they had arranged.

"Been looking for you," he explained. "It's late and you weren't showing for dinner. Don't worry; it's not like we agreed on a date or anything. I just figured we'd have been eating together." He paused and glanced around. "What are you doing down here?"

Cassie glanced at her chronometer and made a face. “10 pm. I could not sleep after my double shift so I thought I would see if I can make heads or tails of some of this.” It was not unusual for her to have days where she could not sleep but after a double shift of crawling through Jeffrey's tubes to try and work out a communication issue that was arising between the armoury office and areas of the ship.

"Some people like crosswords, some people like a good book...and you like to dive into a treasure trove of the antique and the wonderful." Jake looked around the grotto's shelving units. He'd not been down to this part of the ship in a long time. Possibly because it creeped him out a little. "Discover anything new? Ancient fortunes? Treasure chests filled with gold pressed platinum?"

Cassie looked at him trying to work out the expression on his face. "Afraid not. I have been looking through the Star Charts and wondering what hurt Burnie.” She had not found anything on it. “Nothing around that but these charts are nothing like I have seen before... I think they are from the other universe we encountered." She held it out to him to see. The placements looked similar but the names of the planets and powers were all wrong.

"The other universe?" Jake echoed, eyebrow raised.

"I forgot that you were not onboard then. I got to dress up as a Terran Officer." Cassie had been stubborn but it had gotten them out of an awful situation and allowed them to get back to the other universe.

"One of these days I'll ask you to dig out the uniform and model it for me," he remarked with a faint smirk. "But, these maps, how different are they to ours? Anything unusual?"

Cassie raised an eyebrow and turned to look at the man properly as he smirked a little at her. Well, that was certainly not what she had expected from him but she broke into her own smirk and shook her head. "I would need to study it a little more but there are a few things different. Like there and this does not exist in that sector." She would need to confirm for sure to check that she was not 150 years out of science data.

"Maybe one of these days we'll get a chance to do some cartography," he mused. "Would make a change from the usual, at least, and hey, the romantics among the crew will get to see a Constitution class doing what she was built to do: exploring the galaxy."

Cassie had to smile at that notion. "She was never very good at just exploring, to be honest." Cassie leant out to the nearest wall and patted it. "We used to get into loads of trouble when she was new. Mushroom planet, Starbase explosion, Ghosts, Virus on Gaganoo Seven, Vampire Cloud...." She shrugged thinking on the three years she had been onboard when the ship had been all new.

"Doesn't look like things have changed much despite the shift in ownership," he chuckled, thinking about the misadventures they'd been on during his time there.

"What about your adventures in Starfleet?" She knew he had been in less time than her but he must have gotten up to stuff. Everyone got up to stuff in Starfleet.

"I wouldn't call them adventures, to be honest," he answered, thinking about it. "Part of the reason I left was, well, because it was pretty dull. The last few years on the Mary Rose have had ten times as much chaos and adventure than I managed in any of my time in Starfleet. Not everyone gets to do battle with vampire clouds and ghosts, you know."

The woman nodded putting down the maps in her pile to take with her. “I know. The universe was very different then Jake. Five year missions were the normal length of being away from home and things.” She reminded turning to look at a table of items that had been scattered in the past and not touched since. “Have I ever told you how I survived the vampire cloud?” She wondered quietly.

"I don't think you have," he replied, leaning against a cabinet.

“It trapped me you know. I was in my quarters when it first attacked and it came in. And I stood there and it went through me. It was like plunging into an ice bath and for a moment I felt relief that all the chaos was over and then the cold went away and it left. It did not like my Vulcan blood.” She said as an explanation as to why she was stood there.

"Lucky for you, then. I can't imagine...must have been terrifying," he frowned, trying to understand. It wasn't a story he'd heard before, either as part of his time in the fleet or since knowing her. "I've not read any of the old Ishimura mission logs - if they still even exist somewhere."

“They are available. I actually have a copy you read if you want.” She had gotten a copy of them from Starfleet when she had returned to Earth. “You will not find the final mission logs though. Vampire clouds are classified even now due the destruction they can cause in second.” She turned and glanced at him stood there watching her intently. “Sorry… now you can see why I could not sleep.”

"It's all right. I just never really had the desire to dive into that part of history. Those Old Scientists, right?" he chuckled. "But it's part of your journey, so I guess it's important to respect that too."

Cassie put the device she had been playing with and moved over to him glaring up at him in a playful way. “I am an old scientist.” She said simply. “So yes please respect it.” She broke into a grin showing by her jesting side but more importantly her human side that had not been shown much recently.

"Well you can quiz me later," Jake nodded. "I don't mean that in a serious way. I suck at quizzes." He looked over more of the trinkets lining the shelves. Most of them catalogued, some apparently discarded before they could be studied. Part of him could understand why someone of a scientific mind like Cassie might want to spend time here. "So, about dinner..." he added, open-endedly bringing her back to the reason he'd come looking for her.

The woman nodded at the suggestion. She was tired and hungry now that she thought on it all. He was there to get her out of the grotto and she needed to follow the suggestion as it was good for her health to eat and sleep regularly. “I feel a bit of nausea but maybe I should have something. I can’t remember when I had food last.” Cassie nodded and set down what she was doing.

"Usually a sign that it's overdue," he said. "Maybe I can rustle up something back in my quarters..."

Cassie turned back to get everything she had brought to the Grotto and paused as a wave of nausea hit her and she clutched the cabinet nearby. She blinked for a second and turned to look at Jake, for a second she thought he looked like Sebastian. “Captain Deauvuex ?” She questioned before she blinked again and the moment was lost and she was not sure what had happened and made her ask that.

"What?" Jake frowned, thinking he'd misheard her. Seeing her confusion and taking it as light-headedness, he touched her arm. "Now I really do think I need to find you something to eat."

The woman nodded and glanced around the room one more time wondering if the device that had made Burnie ill had come back. “Yes please. Maybe whatever hurt Burnie has returned.” She wondered looking a little dazed as she reached for her tricorder but it dropped from her hands clattering to the floor.

Ignoring the tricorder, Jake reached out and held her more firmly in his grasp. "Easy. I definitely think we need to get you something to eat. And maybe a quick once-over by Evelyn." He slid her arm over his shoulder and lifted her smaller frame into a princess carry. "Never thought you'd be needing me to play heroic rescuer," he admitted, trying to add a little humour to the moment.

“I do not feel so k'oh-nar when you do this but I can walk.” She assured wrapping an arm around his neck. “I just need something to eat.” She did not need people fussing when she had just had a moment of confusion. With all the issues with the Grotto over the last couple of days it was not surprising to her scientific and analytical mind.


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