Kelterre II ((4 Feb: Kelterre II))

TO: DS-13/Command
CC: DS-13/Sciences, DS-13/Engineering
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.

Team 1:
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.

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Spoiler: Surface CapturesShow


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.

Team 2:
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.

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Spoiler: Surface CapturesShow


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.

Rescue Efforts:
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
Officers Involved in Action:

Team 1
CAPT Perim, Neema
CAPT Hollister, Lance
LCDR Althea, River
LCDR Sedai, Katriel
COL Lestrade, Gregory
Team 2
CAPT Welhuph, Daemedus
CMDR Hayasaki, Erika
ENS Shiarreal t'Lhoell
CDT Stern, Ulrich

((thank you for amazing AAR, Aev!))

Stardate: 92098.4Jules Verne status reportSubmitted: LCDR K. Sedai

Good evening, sirs. As requested, an update from the watery beyond.

We are at about thirty hours since becoming fully submerged and continue to experience no issues, no signs of structural integrity breach and sufficient power for life support and keeping the internal climate comfortable. Estimates place us at having ample energy reserves to last us for the predicted length of time that we'll be underwater, but we have agreed to run at minimal power expenditure for insurance's sake.

I have been reviewing the specs for our temporary home as listed in the vessel's databanks. This little water bastion is the U.S.S. Jules Verne, a Delta flyer class that underwent a series of small modifications to improve its independent exploration potential. The shuttle was expressly granted to the survey team for its improved underwater transit functionality and, despite its older age, is still quite capable, so no one here is fretting about our situation.

The survey team's chief scientist, LCDR Hig Umvor, awoke some three hours into the submerging and is almost fully recovered. He continues to have a bit of a persistent headache, but he is lucid and I am no longer concerned about nerve damage. He has been brought up to speed on what he's missed and spends most of his time resting in the mess. The rest of us have, of course, organized ourselves into shifts so as to have someone available to monitor comms and shuttle status at all times.

It is, admittedly, beginning to feel a bit confined, but we remain cognizant of the fact that it's a slightly larger than standard-sized shuttle as it is. Our one superfluous replicator request has been a deck of playing cards, so we are keeping occupied as best we can.

Nothing further to report. I will attach the Jules Verne specs in case of interest.

Sedai, Katriel
DS13 Counsel U.S.S. Jules Verne



Stardate: 92103.4Jules Verne recovery ops conclusionSubmitted: LCDR K. Sedai

Good afternoon, sirs. I am pleased to be writing this update from a cabin on the U.S.S. Asimov, returning to DS13, as recovery operations were successful. I'm grateful for the multitude efforts of the teams who worked to speed up the drilling crew's efforts.

For those of us in the Jules Verne, we were contacted by Lieutenant Callah's excavation crew early and instructed to stay within the shuttlecraft while digging operations were underway. The Asimov later made contact and informed us that digging ops had begun and would take roughly six hours to complete, though they were currently investigating ways to shorten the length of time.

An open comm line from the Asimov to the Jules Verne allowed us to stay loosely involved in the proceedings as the concepting team continued to test their ideas. It was Lieutenant Osiangli who eventually came up with the suggestion of simply removing the troublesome presence of the picoverbium compound by applying sufficient heat to melt it into a liquid state, neutralizing its resonance-enhancing effects and making traditional digging methods viable. Doing this would apparently shorten the dig length from six hours to less than one. After seeing the simulation data, Captain Quint authorized the strategy and requested that Lieutenant Commander Caspius retain overwatch, with permission to halt the operation if something had been overlooked.

LCDR Caspius prepared the Asimov to transmit thermal pulses that would strike the dig site and provide the necessary heat to melt the picoverbium compound while ground crews waited. When the first heat pulse was applied, it only penetrated one third of the way. LCDR Mandra suggested this would be sufficient for drilling through the first layer, after which heat could be reapplied, alternating with drilling until the cavern ceiling could be breached. With no other issues apparent, LCDR Caspius continued proceeding with the plan, though additional refinement of the thermal pulse beam allowed it to reach the entirety of the way on the second attempt.

While the drilling crews were cutting through the final layers of rock, the Asimov noticed the presence of a gargantuan aquatic lifeform circling the digsite vicinity. On observation, it appeared to pose no threat to the dig area, nor the personnel, and it completely ignored a bioprobe sent on intent to distract. I lost track of the conversation about the alien lifeform at this point because the cavern had been breached and we were able to pilot the Jules Verne up to the surface.

The survey team members are likewise aboard the Asimov, in transit to DS13. They will be regrouping with the remainder of their survey team there, taking a few days to recover from their ordeal and assessing what next steps will be for the Kelterre II survey mission. The Jules Verne shuttle, which was able to reach lower Kelterre orbit under its own power, has also been taken aboard the Asimov and is also slated for some minor repairs at DS13.

This concludes my report. I thank all of the involved officers again for retrieving us safely.

LCDR Sedai, Katriel
Deep Space 13


Officers Involved in Action:

CAPT Quint, Emery
CAPT de Drowvani, Trellain
LCDR Caspius
LCDR Mandra, Alina
LT Callah (npc)
LT Osiangli
COL Lestrade, Gregory
CDT Stern, Ulrich
AMB Drexia