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Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’Nos ] Attn. @Eirual @Nesota Kynnovan

In the bowels of this ancient Klingon shrine that resembled, in many ways, the archaic Earth catacombs, it was almost easy to forget where they were: Qo’Nos. Humid air billowed in the torchlight as they sliced through it on yet another narrow pathway, the band of tourists sticking close to the guide like baby ducklings for fear of taking a wrong turn in this labyrinth of sculpted tunnels. Without a guide or a proper map, one could likely get lost for days down here, especially since materials in the volcanic rock made it difficult to get a firm transporter lock and mucked about with tricorder readings.

Responding to an itch, Enyd wiped a hand over her neck. She mostly succeeded in pushing the layer of Qo’Nos dirt around in the sheen of sweat covering every inch of her body. Despite the stickiness, Enyd was thankful for her high-waisted canvas green safari trousers. The wind outside the shrine had been brutal, with red scratches already forming on her arms from the pebbles and foliage debris that had lashed across her bare skin—compliments of her short-sleeved cream-colored safari shirt. Her face and neck hadn’t been sandpapered into a pulp because of the beige pith hat she wore that featured a red scarf that draped down to her shoulders.

They’d been following the guide for nearly ten minutes now, his explanations in broken Federation Standard, and still, they hadn’t reached the actual well featured in the tour brochure. Enyd and a few of her crewmates had joined the official tour of the Well of Molor, the historic shrine to the hated tyrant whose downfall helped establish modern Klingon civilization. She’d been a bit hesitant to join the tour at first, and not just because it was yet another historical site with ties to Kahless the Unforgettable—and it was no wonder he was unforgettable; they had so many landmarks and artifacts from the man that it was unlikely he’d be forgotten for many centuries yet. No, her hesitation had been due to the outpost above their heads.

Featuring an organized black market that was officially condemned but unofficially appreciated by all, the Orion outpost was about as seedy a place as one could go on Qo’Nos. Prostitution and gambling didn’t concern Enyd as much as the arms dealing. Depending on the context, prostitutes could be some of the freest individuals, and gambling was also contextually based on whether it was nefarious or just in good fun. Since it involved Orions, however, it was likely that the meter leaned more toward nefarious than good, clean fun.

This tour was not the type to avoid the outpost either. No, in typical Klingon fashion, it barged through the outpost to make for the entrance to the network of tunnels that eventually led to the shrine. It was able to get away with the tour (mostly) without hassle as at the end of the tour, refreshments were offered (required) in the Orion-run cabaret, and all patrons of the tour were invited (expected) to partake of food and local entertainment before leaving the outpost. THAT was the part Enyd felt a tingling of nervousness itching at the back of her neck over. With her penchant for attracting chaos, she had no doubt that something potentially terrible was likely to happen if she stayed longer than was absolutely necessary.

Glancing at her fellow crewmates, Enyd forced a smile, “I hope you brought bread crumbs because I don’t know if we’ll be able to find our way out of here if we get separated.”

She realized that they may not be as familiar with the ancient Earth folk tales but, desperate for a bit of fun in the face of potential danger, Enyd couldn’t help the comment, and willfully chose to ignore the reality behind her statement.

Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #1
[Ens. Mia Dunne | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’Nos] ATTN: @Ellen Fitz @Nesota Kynnovan

Mia didn’t usually go in for the tourist things most of the time. As a scientist she felt they were usually a waste of time and she rarely got to see anything that really interested her, or if she did, she had no time to investigate it further as the tour guides always wanted to hurry people along. However, she’d been interested in exploring this Shrine to Molor and the tour was the only option. Plus, there were a few other crew members going. This might be a good time to get to know people outside of her department. The woman in front of her was making a joke about bringing breadcrumbs along, Mia chuckled a little as she pushed the hair that had escaped the ponytail away from her face. She'd dressed in her usual expedition type gear, Hiking boots, khaki cargo pants, a lightweight long sleeve shit, and a khaki pocket vest, and a matching soft hiking hat. She carried the minimal gear with her in a canvas bag slung over her chest. “Well, if I see a gingerbread house I am definitely turning around,” she quipped in reply, “I don’t fancy being fattened up for a fancy dinner.” She smiled at the other woman, who was covered in a layer of grime, for that matter the entire group was.

Mia stopped moving for a moment to inspect a crystalline structure embedded in the wall, “Oh look at this! I don’t recognize this crystal.”  She reached into her bag and pulled out a small jar and a tiny hammer, then carefully broke off a small piece of the crystal and put it into the specimen jar and secured it. Then she but both back into her bag and hurried to keep up with the group. Catching up to the other two crewmates she smiled slightly,  “You’re from Thuergy, Right?  I’m Mia, Ensign Mia Dunne. I’m in the science department.”
Ensign Mia Dunne

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Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #2
[Lieutenant JG Amanda Ashby | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’noS]
Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Eirual

It actually hadn’t been Amanda’s intention to join the official tour of the Well of Molor, especially not after what happened the last time she thought it would be a nice idea to go out on a trip with Commander Stark and Ensign Pierce. However, when the Chief Counselor made such a reservation on your behalf and stated that “it was illogical to be scared of the unknown based on one terrible experience” amongst many other things that could be considered encouraging and soothing in the Vulcan culture, one simply couldn’t deny the offer. Lieutenant Commander Hathev actually put in quite some effort as well by ensuring that the Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer, Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen, happened to be a part of the tour as well. While Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby hadn’t met the other woman before, she had in on good authority that the petite brunette was one of the best Diplomats aboard the USS Theurgy; otherwise the Chief Counselor would never have insisted that she’d go on this particular tour.

As she listened to the quips between Lieutenant Madsen and another woman, a rather busty blonde with a canvas bag slung over her chest, Amanda couldn’t help but grin. That comment about the gingerbread house reminded her of something she’d heard at Starfleet Medical Academy a couple of years earlier; “A gingerbread man sits inside a gingerbread house. Is the house made of flesh, or is he made of house? He screams, for he does not know.”. Back then it had genuinely made her wonder if some people only chose the Counseling field because they were behavioural experts themselves, and for a moment she was grateful that both women were walking behind her so they couldn’t see her stupid grin.

”I don’t know, I wouldn’t mind a fancy dinner.” As she spoke, Amanda pushed her green safari hat onto the back of her head and turned around before further accentuating the playful tone of her Martian-accented voice with a friendly smile. It was only at that moment, when the other blonde spoke up about a crystal, that Amanda noticed that the woman wasn’t walking beside Lieutenant Madsen anymore but instead lagged behind just a little bit to look at a crystal more closely; leaving little doubt in Amanda’s mind that the well-endowed woman was either part of the Science Department or just a very fanatical geology enthusiast. When the woman caught up with them again and introduced herself, Amanda couldn’t help but chuckle as her suspicion was proven correct. ”Your interest in that crystal more or less gave that away.” She held out her hand to shake Mia’s. ”I’m Doctor Amanda Ashby, Theurgy’s Resident Psychiatrist.”

Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #3
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’Nos ] Attn. @Eirual  @Nesota Kynnovan

At the sound of the woman’s voice trailing off as if she were slowing down, Enyd looked over her shoulder just in time to watch the scientist chip off a small chuck of crystal. Stopping in her tracks, Enyd braced as if the whole cavern would collapse around their shoulders for this small offense. But, when nothing happened except the increasing distance between their location and the tour guide’s, Enyd sighed. Perhaps it was as innocent an action as it was intended to be. Perhaps nothing at all unsavory would happen to them this time and everything would be perfectly marvelous.

“Enyd, Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen. Diplomatic corps.” She replied to Mia’s introduction, her eyes half on Mia’s face and half on the bag that now held the ill-gotten crystal that Enyd had a sneaking suspicion would somehow be a part of their doom. If they were to have any doom that is.

After Amanda’s introduction, Enyd smirked, “I feel like we are at the introduction to a punchline. There once was a diplomat, a psychiatrist, and a scientist on tour on Qo’Nos…” Clicking her tongue against her teeth at the potential for humor, Enyd gestured for the women to follow, “We should probably keep up with the tour. This place is only really kept ‘safe’ for tourists along the official route to the shrine. But it is a beastly labyrinth of tunnels, sinkholes, sunken lakes, and rivers. Without a guide, we’d just as likely end up some cavern creature’s dinner than have one.”

Enyd moved under the archway she saw the tour pass through and, looking both left and right, caught sight of what looked to be the back of one of the tall Klingon tourists at the end of a long corridor on the left that slanted ever-so-slightly downward. Smiling back at the women, Enyd nodded. “Found them. Come on!”

[Not so far away, hidden, in the labyrinth of tunnels]

“You think Lhung is going to be impressed with our haul?”

Pausing in his pilfering, Yurdz looked up from the corpse of his latest victim to stare at his taller but dumber brother, Grorgei. They’d been at this all morning with quite a stash to show for it and with more idiots wandering into their clutches every hour. They didn’t even have to attack the official tour the Klingons took the tourists on. They just lingered in the dark, moving through the various corridors and turnarounds the tourists ended up in whenever they got separated from the tour.

“Nothing impresses Lhung except himself.” Fishing around in the old Klingon man’s pockets, Yurdz stood up again, grasping the money purse he’d known would be there. “What did you find on the broad?”

Grorgei lifted an ornamental dagger along with a bejeweled flask. “I’m sure these are worth something.” He kicked at the woman’s body with an amused snort. “She smelled like a fucking targ.”

Yurdz tipped his head to the side, eyes meeting his brother’s. They shared a smile. It sounded as if more idiots were about to fall into their grasp.

Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #4
[Ens. Mia Dunne | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’Nos ]
ATTN: @Ellen Fitz  @Nesota Kynnovan

Mia looked a little embarrassed as she shook the Doctor’s hand. “Sometimes I tend to forget myself. And it’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to get out and about.” She sighed inwardly as she thought, ‘Yeah, six months in stasis will definitely keep anyone from getting out and about.” “Yes, my area of expertise, well one of them at least,  is xeno-archeology. I guess it is a little obvious.” She shrugged slightly and turned to the other Starfleet officer who had come back to join them.
She smiled at the diplomatic officer. And chuckled at them remark about the beginning of a joke. “It does rather sound that way doesn’t it, we might have to come up with a good ending for it.”

Enyd’s suggestion they catch up to the others was well received. She hadn’t meant to stay so long in one place and the tour had moved through to another area, just out of sight past a junction. She nodded to her companions as she spoke and a humorous smile danced on her lips, “A wise idea since we forgot the breadcrumbs.” She followed Enyd and shifted her bag a little so she could protect her sample until she had time to examine it in the lab. She continued to look around the caverns for more interesting samples that she might secure.  With her focus only marginally on where she was going, she stepped through the arch and turned to follow Enyd.  Something on the ground in a small crevice caught her attention. It looked like someone had dropped something metallic. She leaned down slightly as she neared it to see a sort of handle that looked like it was well used. “That’s odd,” She said as she stooped to get a closer look, “Looks like someone lost something. I wonder if it was one of the others in the group." She tilted her head as if trying to decide if it was wise to pull the item from its resting place. It did not appear that it had been there long. There did not seem to be any of the slightly brown discoloring she would associate with long term exposure.

Mia pulled the handle gently and was surprised when she held a deadly looking dagger in her hand, “Oh dear, I’m glad I found this. I would hate to think of a child finding something like that.” She stood again as she pulled her bag open and pulled out a cloth to wrap the blade in. “I’ll just hold onto this until we catch up and I’ll give it to the guide.” She looked up to see Enyd and Amanda were almost around a small bend in the tunnel.  She chuckled as she realized she'd been talking to herself and she moved to catch up with her companions.
Ensign Mia Dunne

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Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #5
[Lieutenant JG Amanda Ashby | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’noS]
Attn: @Ellen Fitz @Eirual

While the earlier gingerbread comment had left her somewhat confused, Amanda finally connected the dots when she heard the blonde-haired Scientist mention breadcrumbs. The two women were talking about Earth folklore; the story about the three red-hooded children who walked through a forest to visit their grandmother and her pet wolf, only to be distracted by a trail of breadcrumbs which lead them to a tall gingerbread tower which housed a sleeping princess called Goldilocks and her endlessly long hair.

Those Earthlings remained odd people.

The mentioning of cavern creatures pulled Amanda out of her thoughts, and she slightly raised an eyebrow in reply. ”From what I’ve seen of Klingon culture, I really doubt that there’s any wildlife in these caverns. They were either hunted to extinction or died out naturally a long time ago.” As she spoke however, in doing so almost perfectly mimicking Lieutenant Commander Hathev (or any generic Vulcan for that matter), Amanda nevertheless picked up the pace to catch up to Lieutenant Madsen. The woman had already walked under an archway and the last thing the blonde-haired Martian wanted was to get lost in these caverns just because their chatter had made them lose the official tour group; knowing the Klingons they wouldn’t only not send a search party, but they were like to charge them extra for ‘the extreme survival experience’ if they managed to either make it out of the caverns or stumble onto the next tour group by sheer luck. Not one to point out the negatives however, Amanda simply spoke up with ”Nevertheless, there’s no need to put that theory to the test!” while she scurried after the brunette Diplomat.

As she walked under the archway and heard Enyd mention that she’d found the rear of their tour group, Amanda quickly peered down the long corridor on the left and also spotted the back of one of the tall Klingon tourists. Breathing a soft sigh of relief, the blonde-haired Martian turned around to Mia (who was falling behind once more and was clearly only now moving to catch up with them), and presented the other blonde with her friendly signature smile. ”Come on Mia, there are no breadcrumbs here to lead us to a gingerbread tower!” Oblivious to how utterly she was butchering Earth fairytales, Amanda’s smile only grew bigger at what she considered to be a funny joke, and with that she turned around once more to look at the back of the tall Klingon tourist. ”Let’s go.”

 

Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #6
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’Nos ] Attn. @Eirual @Nesota Kynnovan

Enyd smirked at Amanda’s comment about endemic life. She didn’t comment on how even if the chance was slim, they were likely to meet the wildlife as long as she was involved. The Martian made further references to fairy tales, albeit a little oddly, as encouragement for Mia to rejoin them and Enyd chuckled. Now she wanted gingerbread and tea, neither of which she was likely to find in a palatable form within these caverns.

“Perhaps there will be a café of sorts at the end of the tour where we can find the Klingon equivalent to a gingerbread tower for us to enjoy." She winked at Amanda and tossed Mia a smile as she continued to lead the way down the tunnel towards where she’d last seen the tour.

Only it was the tour she’d seen, though Enyd was not to know that just yet; such mayhem is typically revealed at the last second and past the point of no return. No, it had been the pivoting back of a burly, young Nausicaan that had caught Enyd’s eye and now, unbeknownst to her, she was leading the three of them directly into a trap.

~~

It was another day of eating and pooping and eating and pooping for the ‘I’ghew. None of the females were interested in doing anything else, so for the time being, life for the dog-sized earth-chewing beetle-esque creature was reduced to meandering through the tunnels of this cavern, scooping up dirt and sifting through it for food. Occasionally the sounds of ‘er could be heard within the tunnel's walls. And without fanfare or clicks of aggression, the ‘I’ghew would turn and dig a new tunnel in pursuit. These stinging worm-like creatures liked to crawl out of sight but rarely escaped the jowls of the ‘I’ghew. In truth, the ‘I’ghew was content with anything juicy, wiggling, and small enough to fit in its massive claws, but the ‘er was it's favorite.

The ‘I’ghew cared nothing for the bipedal giants that occasioned through his pantry. His armored back was thick enough to protect him from the casual attack, and his girth made it difficult for anyone to tip him over to get at his less-armored belly. Presently this particular ‘I’ghew was chewing a perpendicular tunnel, set to burst into the Klingon-carved one within moments, perhaps somewhere between the Nausicaan brutes and the trio of adventurers. But it was difficult to tell as ‘er rarely fled the ‘I’ghew in a straight line, causing the ‘I’ghew to create weaving tunnels just large enough for a small Klingon to crawl through.

~~

Grinning over at Yurdz, Grorgei held up his hand and counted down from three. Then, with menacing growls, they leapt from the shadowed dark and held up their blasters, barrels pointed at the trio of women. It took only milliseconds for them to process that these were off-worlders but they moved forward with their plan, not being particularly interested in inter-galactic politics.

“Only death meets those who are lost in the dark here.” Yurdz had been practicing a series of catchphrases, using a different one with every set of victims. Most of them were shit. But Grorgei had to admit this one was fairly decent.

Re: Day 12 [1157 hrs] Maybe This Time It Will Be Perfectly Marvelous

Reply #7
[Ens. Mia Dunne |Shrine to Molor | Orion Outpost | Qo’Nos ]
ATTN: @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz

Mia chuckled at the gingerbread tower comment that Enyd had made. “A gingerbread cookie would suffice for me, a whole tower might me a bit much,” She quipped in reply as she lowered the dagger into her bag. She smiled at Amanda’s back. The woman had obviously mixed up some of the fairytales in an amusing manner. Mia heard a voice that was definitely not Klingon and glanced up to see a blaster pointed at her and her hand gripped the dagger tighter in response. She was shocked to find it was held, not by a Klingon, but that the aggressor was a Nausicaan. 

She stared at the ‘creature’ holding the gun as her brain registered several things at once. Three aggressors were facing them, a pair of Klingon boots belonging to someone laying on the ground who must have been their last victim, and a slight crumbling sound from somewhere above them.  Her shock at the sight was quickly followed by anger at the thought that she would die somewhere in the caves on what was supposed to be a pleasant and relaxing outing after her reanimation a few days back.

Mia took a step backwards in response to the threat in front of them. To say she was pissed that this way her fate was an understatement and she just yelled at the men holding guns in her face, “Oh Hell no! I did not just get defrosted to have you shitheads pull this.“ She waved her arms up in anger, “Damn it to hell and back! How dare you! Hiding out in caves and pouncing on unsuspecting tourists. Don’t you have anything more worthwhile to do, like, maybe go find a real battle to die in? Damn cowards!!”

Mia’s anger at the threat was a surprise even to her, and she had no idea that she still held the sharp blade tight in her hand.  She started quickly pacing back and forth in the small confines of the cave, making it hard for the Nausicaan to keep her in his sights. “Why, Just why did I think this was a good idea?” She said as she turned once more to her companions, “This was supposed to be a relaxing tour, I really hope this isn’t the Klingon idea of fun,” She grumbled.
Ensign Mia Dunne

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