CC: DS-13/Sciences, DS-13/Engineering
FROM: CDT Stern
SUBJ: Kelterre II
The USS Atlas and USS Asimov were dispatched to the Kelterre system on Stardate 92095.5 after the initial science team surveying the second planet in the system failed to report in. Due to the nature of Kelterre II's atmosphere (See planetary database) a modified communication satellite was placed into orbit to relay messages to the surface. This satellite was found to be damaged by weapon fire. Repair teams were deployed while two away teams headed to the surface via shuttle. After entering the atmosphere the shuttles picked up a distress signal from a shuttle not registered to the science team. Captain Welhuph led two shuttles to that location while Captain Perim continued on to the last reported location of the science team. The accounts of each team are detailed below.
A short while after separating from the two shuttles pursuing the distress signal the members of away team one touched down near the science team's Yellowstone runabout and a shuttle belonging to an unknown group. A quick survey of the area discovered a tunnel leading down under the surface of the island. Descending into the tunnel system the away team members passed by evidence of the science team. Gear and equipment lead the team deeper into the cavern system.
When the cavern opened up two force fields holding four members of the science team were located. A tricorder was modified to sent a short range EMP burst, effectively disabling the force fields. One of the fields was damaged beyond repair during the burst. The freed members of the science team reported that a group of mercenaries were operating in the area, and had moved further into the tunnel system. Lieutenant Commander Sedai remained behind to tend to the wounded while the other away team members set off to the purse the mercenaries and free the rest of the science team.
After a brief skirmish the mercenaries were defeated, and the remaining six members of the science team freed. A patrol was unaccounted for however, and used explosives in an effort to trap the team. The mercenary patrol was not aware of the high Picoverbium content in the surrounding rock. The resulting explosion collapsed a much larger section of the cavern than anticipated, trapping LTCMDR Sedai and four science team members behind the cave.
After loitering in the area of the distress signal for approximately three minutes a suitable location for landing was located. The terrain on this part of the planet consisted of ocean dotted with dozens of small spire like protrusions of rock.
After the landing area was secured the away team spread out and quickly located a crashed shuttle belonging to a group of mercenaries stranded on the planet. The shuttle was allegedly downed by a "Large sea creature" that broached the waves and rammed the low flying craft. The mercenary was detained and the away team utilized personnel floater devices to fan out and search the islands for the remaining five crew members. They were quickly located, and three were detained without incident. In two cases phasers were utilized to detain the mercenaries after they resisted rescue attempts. Once all crew members were located efforts focused on gathering data on the numerous flora and fauna located around the area. The away team withdrew from the area after tidal simulations showed the entire would be submerged in a matter of hours. Once in orbit efforts shifted to the developing situation faced by team one underground.
After the cave in all efforts focused on rescue. Tidal simulations for the area showed the caverns would be completely submerged in 2.7 hours. Clearing the rubble would take approximately eight hours, and drilling down from above approximately six. Kelterre's atmosphere combined with the amount of rock blocked any transporter attempts. With this in mind the priority was finding a way to keep the five people alive when the caves flooded. One of the science teams shuttles, A Delta Flyer, had been flown into a cavern connected to the blocked area then lost access during a previous cave in. The explosion resulting from the mercenary group cleared that path and allowed access to the shuttle, which was submerged in water. In order to survive the flooding the five stranded officers would seal themselves in the shuttle and wait for the waters to recede and rescue to arrive. Cables and hover sleds brought by the science team were used to raise the sled out of the water. The stranded officers are currently riding out the flood within the shuttle while we remain in orbit focused on rescue. The cavern will be fully clear of water on Stardate 92103.3.
Cadet Ulrich Stern
Deep Space 13