Star Trek - Section 31

Session 15

With the creepy wailing sound still carrying on the breeze, Ramsey and Thorus continue their study of the empty encampment. Besides the silent structures, wilting gardens, and tracks left by scavenging birds and rodents, Thorus notices empty spaces in outdoor tool racks, as if a number of implements are missing. In the administrator’s hut they find a computer that, while not physically damaged, isn’t working. Hoping to uncover information left by community leaders, Ramsey begins a repair-diagnostic on the computer though it will be hours before they know if it works.

In one of the neighboring huts they find a personal communications device with audio recordings (letters to family) left by a young mother. The playback details her alarm as neighbors, friends, and finally her husband went missing. Without explanation, the recordings – which had been made daily – cease. Les contacts them to say that a Klingon Bird of Prey is approaching, and that it’s sensor data identifies it as the Ice Fang captained by a man named D’Kar, known for harassing Federation outposts and convoys to such extent that even the Klingon Empire is calling for his arrest. Thorus advises Les to keep the Tarsus cloaked, and he keeps close watch as Ramsey continues to search for clues.

Before long a Klingon landing party, consisting of six led by a Lt. Klaag, discovers Thorus and Ramsey. Klaag meets Thorus’ challenges for a fight with grudging acceptance, only to be interrupted by the abrupt disappearance of a member of his party. After accusing the human and Andorian of trickery, Klaag and his men start searching the encampment for their missing comrade. Ramsey and Thorus, having detected both a subspace fracture in the vicinity where the missing Klingon as well as a harmonic interference that originates from the south, leave the encampment. Not far from the edge of the community they discover a tractor-cat which, apparently, ran driveless until it struck a rocky hummock. Its power cells are drained and deep furrows have been dug beneath its treads. They link into the now-functioning computer at the Administrator’s hut and learn that geologist Bryn Stewart had been investigating a site some 5 kilometers south of the encampment.

As the sun sets, the eerie moaning sound stops and Les contacts them to report that the sensor interference has also vanished. They have Les locate Stewart’s geological study site and ask him to beam them directly there. They discover a series of dirt mounds roughly 2 meters in height. A scan reveals egg-shaped, crystalline rocks within that stand a meter and half high although the tricorder cannot identify what the rocks are actually comprised of. After setting up the pattern enhancers, they order Les to beam one of the crystals up for study. As the beam engages, however, a wave of energy erupts from the crystal, throwing Ramsey and Thorus off their feet and kicking up a wall of wind and dust that rages out in every direction. Moments later they hear Les’ panicked report about the ship being thrown about and damaged (along with the Klingon ship). The crystal, now exposed, is nestled in the collapsed mound of dirt (which, tricorders confirm, is a man-made feature some 150,000 years old).

At a loss, they beam up to help repair the Tarsus and return the next day just before sunrise to find four Klingons camped out near the mounds. Lt. Klaag is missing and one of his men explain how Klaag touched the crystal and disappeared.

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Session 14

Before the two vessels have the chance to travel very far, Myrun and Peret hail those aboard the Tarsus to report that their prisoner died quite suddenly (Myrun insists that he is not to blame, and that he hadn’t even had a chance to interrogate him). Before anyone can respond, the Armstrong appears on long-range sensors, on an intercept course. Myrun, after declaring that he’s seen enough of the murderous crew of that particular ship, pilots his shuttlecraft straight for the Neutral Zone. Ambassador Corrik, after saying that he, too, considers the Armstrong’s crew to be compromised, asks Ramsey for the helm. Once piloting, Corrik takes them back to Toren space and into a nebula. From there, after cloaking the ship, Corrik flies them through a section of the Neutral Zone to further throw the Armstrong off their trail. From there, Corrik proposes that they travel to DS9. He is friends with a Vulcan researcher there whose crew of explorers will provide ample cover for the next stage of his plan.

Corrik suggests that Thorus concoct yet another set of IDs and new transponder for the Tarsus. Corrik intends to claim that he was rescued from Epsilon Ilaron by a pair of independent scientists, and to say that he has no idea what’s become of Ramsey, Thorus, and Ivers. Corrik will look into matters at Starbase 153, leaving the others to try and learn what Gul Enor is really up to in selling metagenic weapons to the Toren. Because Enor’s ship, the Outrider was recently seen at DS9, joining the research crew will give them the cover they need to carry out their investigation. Corrik’s friend, T’Larsh, hires Ramsey and Thorus who are claiming to be a physicist and chemist, respectively. (Though they leave Les aboard the ship, they bill him as a veterinarian, and T’Larsh is eager to add them all to his roster. Leader of a group of independent scholars, T’Larsh is coordinating the efforts of two dozen researchers from different fields as they scout the Gamma Quadrant, via the stable wormhole near the station.)

For their first task, T’Larsh hopes that Ramsey and Thorus can solve the mystery of what happened to geologist Bryn Stewart. Stewart, sent to collect soil samples at Tannos IV where a new colony was just settling, has not reported in on schedule and there has been no response from anyone on the planet. In an earlier message, Stewart mentioned encountering the Outrider but didn’t provide more information than that. Because Ambassador Corrik has made finding that information a priority, T’Larsh quickly supplies the Tarsus for the journey. Corrik and Ivers plan to remain at DS9 while they make discreet inquiries into the arrest warrants and the situation with Boqin.

After a relatively uneventful journey to the Gamma Quadrant, Thorus, Ramsey, and Les approach the Tannos System. As expected, their hails to the colony go unanswered. As they travel further into the system and pass Tannov V, however, their ship is struck by a forceful gravimetric shear. Ramsey manages to predict the next shears (which happen at regular intervals) and avoid any damage to the Tarsus. As they get close enough to the planet to establish an orbit, the shears – which appear to originate from the surface – abruptly stop. They discover a dampening (but not a jamming) of their sensors and find they can only beam down by locking onto the colony’s neutrino beacon. Leaving Les aboard, Ramsey and Thorus beam down and find the collection of pre-fab huts and equipment tents empty. Neatly plotted gardens are withering from neglect and cook-stoves show signs of having been abandoned in mid-use. They identify the largest hut in the settlement and start toward it, realizing that they can hear an eerie moaning sound off in the distance.

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Session 13

Following details from the message they received from Ivers, Ramsey and Thorus travel to Epsilon Ilaron IX-b. They know that the Federation outpost there has been abandoned following an accident though it was only manned by three people, and nothing so vital is being done there that new researchers have been assigned. Their destination lies at the end of the Neutral Zone where Romulan and Klingon space meet though as luck would have it they do not encounter any other vessels along the way. Thorus calls in a favor from a contact who prepares alternate identifications for the entire group (which now includes Les, Myrun, and Peret). Les digs up information on Epsilon Ilaron IX-b – it’s ice-bound and a favorite target of Breen pirates who set up quick-and-dirty chemical mining operations when they get the chance.

Once there, Ramsey lands the ship (after some trouble with the freezing temperatures in the atmosphere) near the research station. They detected the remains of a ruined Starfleet shuttle buried in the snow nearby but find no other vessels. Something inside the facility is generating a jamming frequency so, rather than attempt to beam in, they phaser through the ice on the exterior door and walk inside. A few steps in, they are met by one of the same gray-skinned and powerfully built aliens that they encountered before Ivers hired them. Ramsey incapacitates the alien with a single phaser blast and they quickly locate Ivers barricaded in the common room. Between Myrun’s and Ivers’ accounts, they piece together that the alien – which Ivers calls a Jem’Hadar – was aboard the Armstrong during the rendezvous with Ambassador Corrik, Consul Evius, and Senator Vecian. Ivers discovered the Jem’Hadar and that sparked violence among the crew – who had either been overtaken by conspirators or were themselves conspirators all along. Evius and Vecian were killed in the ensuing fray though Evius gave Myrun a final charge – to protect Corrik at all costs. Myrun, Ivers, and Corrik escaped and reached the shuttle bay. Iver and Corrik took one shuttle, Myrun another, and they split up to increase their chances.

The Jem’Hadar pursued Ivers’ shuttle and shot it down at Epsilon Ilaron IX-b. Ivers spotted a Breen encampment and beamed Corrik down near to it in the hopes that the Ambassador would have better odds with the Breen than with the Jem’Hadar. Thorus and Ramsey elect to take the facility’s snow-cat to the encampment, suffering no more misadventure than driving onto an ice floe along the way. They park on a bluff overlooking the Breen camp. Though the camp has a shield around it they can see mining equipment and thirteen pre-fab shelters, along with a ship. They rig the snow-cat to drive via remote control into the camp, if necessary and sneak into the camp to identify the shelter the Ambassador is in. They set up pattern enhancers and beam Corrik and themselves away without resorting to violence. Back at their ship they arrange to divide into two crews (taking the shuttle the Jem’Hadar commandeered). Peret and Myrun agreed to secure the Jem’Hadar prisoner and depart in the other shuttle.

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Session 12

Following a request from Boqin Tian, Ramsey and Thorus travel to Starbase 153 (taking along Peret, who asks for transport away from Toren space, and Les). Once there, they part ways with Peret and go to the administration level of the starbase to meet Boqin. Upon arrival, they are invited to report on their recent activities. After hedging about their whereabouts and doings, Ramsey and Thorus are left in the meeting room while Boqin escorts Les out for a background check. The next people through the door, however, are security guards who take them down to the security level for questioning.

They eventually learn that, in addition to being suspected as collaborators with Gul Enor (who is selling metagenic weapons materials to the Toren), they are wanted for questioning in the deaths of Senator Vecian and Consul Evius. They were killed aboard the _Armstrong _ and Ivers (named the main suspect by Boqin) is missing along with Ambassador Corik. Unable (and unwilling) to shed light on these events, Ramsey and Thorus are taken to the brig. Peret is in a neighboring cell. They spend only the evening there after which Thorus, still wearing his anti-sensor belt, manages to trick a guard into believing he’s a hologram. The guard, foolish enough to lower the forcefield, gets overpowered by Thorus who knocks him out and takes his uniform. Posing as starbase security, Thorus takes Peret up to the ship, locked down in the hangar by. Meanwhile, Ramsey tracks down a drunken Les and pays off his bar tab by repairing the cantina’s replicators.

They hack into the security system and release the security clamps and make good their escape, cloaking before the starbase’s tractor beam can snare them. Deciding that proving Gul Enor’s guilt can clear their own names, they have Peret send messages to her contacts within Central Command. As she is doing that, a message arrives, in Romulan. Ramsey reads it and discovers it is just the word “help” along with a set of coordinates that takes them near the Neutral Zone. There they find a battered Starfleet shuttle, one from the _Armstrong _ and aboard it is Myrun. They beam him to their ship and he tells them that he was there when a group of people (some in Starfleet uniform, some not) interrupted a meeting between Ambassador Corik, Senator Vecian, and Consul Evius (where Evius planned to tell them something about Colonel Lovok). Myrun says that Evius ordered him to protect the Ambassador which he attempted to do. In the mayhem, Ivers arrived to extract Corik though both Senator and Consul were killed. Myrun escaped with his life and he and Ivers took separate shuttles to improve their odds. In parting, Ivers entrusted Myrun with a message: Epsilon Ilaron IX-b, send Ramsey and Thorus.

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Session 11

With their false identification papers, Thorus, Ramsey, and Peret make their way back past the merchants’ quarter to the security office, passing a checkpoint near curfew. Their papers get them by and also satisfy the curiosity of the desk clerk at the office when they arrive. Posing as undercover security guards, they ostensibly file a report but actually access the security codes needed for the research facility. Codes acquired, they return to their ship and fly north. The research facility is located on (and in) a plateau surrounded by a settlement. It is here that the accidental release of experimental virus has killed several hundred Toren. A scan provides the layout of the structure as well as the fact that the central core of the facility is shielded against transporting. They beam into one of the outer hallways and subdue a janitor and then two security guards.

After shutting down a security alarm and a plasma-destruction failsafe system, they find inventory logs that describe where the virus is being stored. They also find comm-logs that refer to a point of contact for research materials: Gul Enor. After reaching the lowest level of the research facility, they discover storeroom thirteen, only to see that someone inside has accidentally killed himself with a poisonous gas. Thorus’ tricorder readings indicate that the room is filled with rexxyl tetrachloride, which could eat through their environmental suits in five minutes. Peret recognizes the lifeless form in the storeroom as a fellow Cardassian and suggests that he was trying to inject the poison into the barrels of virus to destroy it. They decide to carry out that very plan and go into the storeroom.

While Ramsey and Peret approach the barrels, Thorus sees a hard copy of metagenic research notes and gathers them up. Peret drops a vial of poison, adding to noxious mist in the storeroom, but she manages to finish the task alongside Ramsey and they flee shortly after. Ramsey turns the plasma system back on and they beam back to the ship, leaving the research facility to destroy itself in an inferno which collapses and kills many of the Toren trying to flee the plateau.

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Session 10

While waiting to see if another ship might respond to the cargo pod’s distress beacon, Ramsey picks up a communique from Ivers, directing them to the aid of a ‘friend’ working undercover amongst the Toren. The message is followed by details spelling out certain danger on Aidus 8-a, a colonized moon where Torens produce grain but – more importantly – where a research facility has been conducting tests suspected to be on metagenic weaponry. After waiting until a Starfleet vessel collects the cargo pod, they travel to the Toren Autonomy and risk a flight through the Class P nebula to avoid the increased patrols of Toren ships.

Once on Aidus 8-a, Thorus works up simple disguises for himself and Ramsey and, leaving Lester to guard the ship, they follow Ivers’ instructions to meet his contact at a tavern called Rallomere. Once there, after Thorus impersonates a silk merchant and cons a Ferengi textile trader out of a mechanical hand (left behind from the engineer, Nelkan), they confront the aggravating fact that the contact is, in fact, Peret Ghenor. She tells them that she has been working for the Cardassian Central Command but fears, after rumors of an Obsidian Order takeover and radio silence from her supervisor, that the government has been compromised. She believes that the Order is responsible for the Torens’ access to metagenic weapons-material. Already, weapons testing that has wiped out all life on the other Toren moon, and two accidents near this colony’s research facility has killed hundreds of civilians.

Peret, appalled at what the Order has done (to the Toren and to her peoples’ government), is determined to destroy the research facility or, at least, the materials inside it. She asks for Thorus and Ramsey’s help, explaining that first they must break into a local security office to obtains the codes necessary to infiltrate the facility. They decide to return to the Tarsus first to get supplies and environmental suits. Along the way, Thorus realizes they are being followed. More precisely, Peret is being followed. They sent her ahead, and then Ramsey sneaks up on the miscreant, who turns out to be a local security official posing as a merchant. After a brief skirmish, they take the Toren prisoner and remand him to Les’ supervision. Thorus uses the Toren’s identification papers to forge IDs for himself and Ramsey, and the three set off into the night, bound for the office they will break into.

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Session 9

Upon rendezvousing with Ivers and Ambassador Corik (aboard the diplomatic courier Armstrong, which Corik commissioned and outfitted with a skeleton crew), Senator Vecian explains his story in full. After hearing rumors that the Cardassians were plotting with the Toren, Vecian hired an investigator, a Romulan named Patireon. Patireon reported back that a Toren cargo ship, the Gosovan, had obtained a shipment from some Cardassians, but before sneaking aboard to learn more, he wanted Vecian’s all-clear, and extra supplies. Though Vecian approved the mission and the request for two field modulators, an engineering kit, and six plasma charges, he never heard back from Patireon. Fearing the investigator captured or dead, Vecian believes that it was Patireon’s discovery that led to his own betrayal within the Romulan senate.

Ivers and Corik want Ramsey and Thorus to pick up where Patireon left off. Corik outfits the Tarsus with a cloaking device to aid in the mission and advises them to modify one of the field modulators into a thoron field generator (allowing them to beam aboard the cargo ship undetected). The Armstrong delivers the Tarsus near the cargo ship’s expected route, and then Corik departs to deliver Vecian and his family to a safe haven.

Locating the Gosovan, they scan the area and detect a cloaked vessel 12 kilometers behind the cargo ship. When they do a more thorough scan, the cloaked vessel veers off and heads into the neutral zone. Leaving Les to tend the ship, Ramsey and Thorus sneak aboard the Gosovan. As per Toren custom, the crew observes a ship’s night and there are few people awake to interfere. They unlock a cargo container and discover it contains the components necessary to create a metagenic weapon. Deciding to jettison the cargo pod for evidence, they sneak to the engine room in the hopes of causing a core breach. Upon arriving, they discover two technicians and quickly kill them. They download the ship’s manifests and the research data on metagenic weaponry, then rig the core to overload.

After jettisoning the cargo pod, Ramsey and Thorus have Les beam them back to the Tarsus where they watch the Gosovan explode. Then, they remain near the drifting cargo pod, waiting to see if anyone responds to its emergency transponder.

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Session 8

On their journey from Risa to the Neutral Zone, Ivers has the crew drop him off at a Starbase so that he can report in to Boqin and, hopefully, divert attention away from the rescue mission. Ivers doesn’t want anyone, in Starfleet or Section 31, to know about the attempt until (and unless) it’s a success. He also tells Ramsey that he’ll be looking into Les Brady’s background before making a recommendation that Section 31 offer him a position. Brady, for his part, seems willing enough to go along with Ramsey and Thorus.

They pass the Toren Autonomy on their way, as well as both Starfleet and Romulan science vessels, but with their ship’s transponder set to identify them as a relief-aid ship, they are not hailed. Upon reaching the planetoid and landing at the coordinates supplied by Evius, they scan and discover an extensive network of caves. Once inside, they follow a set of obvious footprints which leads them into range of a motion-sensor. After some fiddling with the device, they notice a message in the form of a blinking light. After some cryptic communications back and forth, they are directed to the main tunnel where they meet Centurion Siral, the Romulan guard protecting Senator Vecian. She leads them to the furthest reaches of the main tunnel to where Vecian, his wife, and two small children have been in hiding.

They have hardly time to introduce themselves before one of the children seems to spot something in an adjacent tunnel. Though Thorus initially moves that way to investigate, Ramsey ends up collapsing that passageway as everyone else makes a run for the tunnel’s main entrance. Hampered by the children (Les takes a turn carrying one of them) the Romulan couple lets Siral and Thorus take the lead. When Siral ducks down a connecting passageway to check for a potential ambush, Thorus spots a waiting enemy through a hole in the tunnel ceiling. He climbs up and fights with a Romulan there while Ramsey finds another enemy hiding in a neighboring tunnel. Though he misses a phaser shot (still on a setting meant to blast rock) Ramsey does kill another assailant hiding in the shadows when he turns a wall of stone into rubble. He dispatches his original target as well, though Thorus’ opponent manages to beam away – giving Thorus a chance to beam to the team’s ship, which they could not do earlier owing to the interference from the caves’ mineral composition.

Ramsey ends up quarreling with Vecian, who wants to remain behind and assist Siral in fighting any remaining assassins. He convinces the Senator to remain with his family and leave the planetoid, but Siral insist on staying. Despite that, Thorus ends up beaming the lot of them into the ship without further ado.

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Session 7

En route to Risa, Ramsey, Thorus, and Lt. Evans receive a message from Consul Evius instructing them to go to the Three Birds Resort at Suraya Bay. They leave the Tarus at the small, costly landing field near the resort (keeping careful track of their expenses for Ambassador Corik who has offered to cover their bills). Inside the resort they are greeted by a concierge who recognizes them from a news report on the Metzov Station disaster. A group of Andorian art students gather to ask if they can do a series of paintings and sketches on the ‘space archaeologists’ – though they decline, Thorus offers to give a martial arts’ lesson to any of them that study blades (one student accepts and they plan to meet the following morning).

In their suite, they find Ivers’ comm device and it contains a recorded message from Evius instructing them to meet at the ruins of Fort Banris after sunset. They waste no time in transforming Lt. Evans into Nelkan, the Cardassian engineer. Once Evans is ready, they turn him loose on the resort to practice his role. Thorus and Ramsey retire to their suite only to have an old colleague of Ramsey’s show up at the door. Les Brady, a jovial drunk and once a junior-grade lieutenant, seems glad to have encountered an erstwhile shipmate. Thorus makes him a drink while Ramsey catches up with Brady, eventually hearing that the young lieutenant was caught in a dalliance with an Admiral’s daughter and placed on administrative leave (indefinitely). More morose with each drink, Brady admits that he’s more or less stranded on Risa until he finds work of some kind (or accepts a dismal posting to some god-awful place as punishment for his indiscretions). They offer him the hospitality of their suite’s liquor cabinet and head for the ruins of the fort.

Thorus outfits Lt. Evans with his own anti-sensor belt, to prevent the Lt. from being beamed away without warning. Despite this measure, Lt. Evans begins to worry about what’s in store for him and the possibility of sink holes. Thorus fails to sedate him with a hypospray, so Ramsey uses a phaser to stun him. They arrive at the meeting to exchange barbs with Myrun, who tells them Ivers is secured in the nearby step-well. Ramsey goes to retrieve Ivers while Myrun stays above ground with Thorus and Lt. Evans. Myrun, however, is communicating with someone – just as Ramsey and Ivers climb the stairs they see Thorus getting beamed away. Consul Evius, unable to lock onto Lt. Evans, beams Thorus into the brig of his ship. Back on Risa, Ramsey stuns Myrun and takes his comm unit, using it to deliver an elaborate ultimatum. Consul Evius releases Thorus from the brig (a potentially risky move, given that Thorus is thoroughly armed with knives of every kind) and explains that he’s scanned the seeming Cardassian and knows it’s not Nelkan. He confesses to his own desperation to uncover a Cardassian plot and says that, in lieu of interrogating Nelkan, someone with Romulan politics may hold the same information.

Evius tells them that Senator Vecian is on the run, targeted for having the audacity to suggest that the Romulan Empire consider an alliance with the Federation due to a shared threat. Vecian and his family, however, have been threatened and are on the run. Evius says that besides gaining whatever knowledge the senator holds, he’s a friend of Vecian’s and would like to see him safely delivered from harm. When Ivers, Ramsey, and Thorus agreed to help, Evius tells them that the senator is believed to be hiding on a rogue planetoid in Section O-8 of the Otorin Sector. Evius collects Myrun and departs. Ivers proposes they leave Lt. Evans on Risa for the remainders of his personal leave time, and Ramsey and Thorus tell Ivers that they just may have found a new recruit in the form of drunken Les Brady.

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Session 6

Boqin arranges for Thorus, Ramsey, and Lt. Evans to stop at Metzov research station and trade the shuttlecraft for a Danube-class runabout. For their rescue mission to retrieve Ivers, they will be posing as archaeologists and their new craft will be suitably outfitted with outdoor gear, cargo space, and a reasonable amount of firepower. Metzov station, however, suffers a disaster following an experiment carried out by one of their scientists. Two subspace fields threaten to destroy the station (which has 180 people aboard). They arrive and find Administrator Bonn and his XO, Trasker, trying to gather survivors to wait for assistance from the USS Quartermain. Unfortunately, the station has only 5 hours left, and the Quartermain won’t arrive for 8. Thorus and Ramsey beam over to the station, which has lost power, leaving Evans aboard the shuttle to monitor the situation. Evans retunes their communicators, phasers, and environmental suits to work within the expanding subspace fields (though all will work only at half-power).

Aboard the station, they help rescue some trapped people and learn that the research pods were designed to be detached in just such events. They explain to Bonn and Trasker that time is running out and urge them to evacuate everyone to the shuttles (which will work once the research pod is freed and the subspace field stops interfering with everything). Unfortunately, an explosion and resulting fire has cut off access to the shuttle bay. They help Trasker and some other volunteers close the hatches to the engineering section where the fire is spreading, but someone has to go into engineering to trigger the manual override for the last hatch. That person will likely be trapped, however, and Ramsey volunteers to go in Trasker’s place. Thorus, meanwhile, prepares phasers to overload which he will use to detach the research pod (normally they can be jettisoned but the initial explosion from the experiment fused the breakaway couplings). He drops the phasers into the boom arm, they tear apart the structure holding the research pod to the station, and as the station moves away from the subspace fields the shuttles are able to power up and fly to safety. Ramsey gets the fire suppression system working and they depart on the runabout they were scheduled to pick up. Bonn and Trasker thank them for their assistance and promise to praise them to their superiors. They leave behind the shuttlecraft and resume course for their rescue mission.

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