Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Captain's Personal Log USS Guadalcanal Stardate 0708.24

Stardate 0708.24
USS Guadalcanal
Captain Murphy
In orbit of Jibalia III

Type-two shuttlecraft Stalingrad.
Away team personnel:
Captain Mike Murphy
Science Officer Commander T'Par
Senior Helm Officer Lt Gallo
Chief Geologist Lt Cmdr Carstairs
Security Specialist Seward

I've never taken a shuttle through a frozen atmosphere before, but the Stalingrad made the trip well. Commander T'Par pinpointed the source of the artificial signal, and Lt Gallo managed to get us there without too many bumps and bruises. In minutes we dropped lightly to the surface and were scanning the immediate exterior of the craft. The extreme cold and lack of an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere made it necessary for us to wear environmental suits. No surprises there, and we were all outfitted appropriately. There was enough of a surprise waiting for us outside.

Moving around on the surface was easier than I thought. I'd expected buffeting winds, but in fact it seemed very calm. Still, we wasted little time sight-seeing. After ordering Lt Seward to scout the general area, the rest of us followed T'Par's tricorder to a small patch of ground a short distance from the Stalingrad. Then we got our surprise. Lt Commander Carstairs' geological tricorder detected what appeared to be a single, continuous shell, constructed of an indeterminate alloy less than a meter under the surface. I decided it was worth returning to the shuttle for a phaser rifle. I could seeT'Par's raised eyebrow through her environmental suit's faceplate as I pointed it at the ground, and part of me took secret joy in blasting away at the ground. The phaser beam tore through the ground very quickly until it hit the shell that Carstairs detected. The beam bounced off of that. Even on maximum power, the phaser beam didn't heat up the alloy. Oh well. I contacted the ship and told them we'd be coming back for some heavier equipment. I know it would have been quicker and easier to have Commander Lukara send another shuttle down, but for some reason I didn't want any more people coming down than was absolutely necessary. Just the kind of human intuition that T'Par would turn her pretty nose up at. So we all climbed aboard the Stalingrad and headed back to the ship.

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