Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: Planet's Surface, Star System 133-05B, Expected Destination of Intergalactic Object
Timeline: 44 Hours Before the Arrival of the Extragalactic Object
The transporter beam finished whirring as the trio materialized on the planet's surface. The air was cool in the morning air, and there was the slightest hint of a breeze, too weak to blow away the fog. The overcast sky only seemed to add an additional layer on top of them.
The trio of Defiant officers looked very different from their usual selves. Instead of their bright uniforms and distinguishing features, they were instead all very similar looking. Their skin was a greenish hue, with noticeable gill flaps along the neck. The gills were, of course, non-functional. But their scans had indicated that those of the native species weren't much different either, a vestigial feature from a bygone era in their evolution. Wearing simple, and rather uncomfortable, clothing made of a vaguely burlap substance, the Defiant team now stood roughly a 2-mile walk from the village they were intended to enter.
Sam immediately pulled out his tricorder and began to scan the area, wanting to make sure they'd materialized far enough away from any of the native sentients to be able to sneak their way in and not raise suspicion. "Looks like we are all clear. I'm showing the village to be roughly due north-west of us, approximately three kilometers away," he said and scratched a spot on his chest where the irritating fabric was making him itch. "At least the weather isn't hot, I can't imagine how uncomfortable this stuff would be once you started sweating.", he added.
Ensign Edwards had his tricorder ready and made sure it was concealed. The only difference between this and any other assignment was the disguise they had to wear. But he did find it exciting. He'd only seen some simple structures, so far, hardly enough to determine how their culture works, but what he did see was a starting point.
"I would suggest we set out tricorders to silent and conceal them. They will still gather information that way and we can then look over it when we are sure we won't be seen or heard. Other than that, Ensign, I'd say we are ready. This is your circus, and we are, as they say, your monkeys," Sam said, looking to Thyra with a jovial smile.
Thyra nodded to Sam. "Understood." She pulled out the universal translator and calibrated it and then hit it under her clothes. "I would suggest we go in and keep low first. Let's observe these people first before we do anything."
The trio had been walking for several minutes when they finally came across a road. It was a primitive, poorly maintained road, one that was composed of mostly flat rocks placed in the ground near each other. But it was a road nonetheless. After a few brief minutes of walking, they came upon the object of their search.
A small village, composed of stone buildings, mud huts, and a few thatched buildings stood. The local inhabitants milled about, their greenish skin causing a few to blend in with the grasses of the fields they exited from and causing a slightly unsettling sensation of watching people appear from nowhere. A wagon, drawn by some sort of domestic draft animal wheeled past.
It was only a moment before one of them turned and spotted three strangers near the edge of their town.
"Elgoo falasa! Poli machee?" A man near them called out.
Ethan was startled when the translators weren't working. Instinctively, he raised a hand at the man, hoping that the man might realize that maybe they didn't hear him....hoping to stall for someone to get the translators working.
Sam noticed the ensign beside him tense up slightly when the approaching figure spoke and the translators didn't work. Instead of allowing panic to set in he turned to the approaching figure and gave a smile and a slight wave, with a perplexed look on his face, which he hoped would indicate confusion. He then turned to Thyra and spoke in a hushed tone, "Looks like showtime... I'd say let's go for a whole we are from a different area of the planet and speak a different dialect sort of thing," he threw out, hoping that was a good idea, and that it would work.
Ethan kept an eye on the approaching alien and nodded slightly. "Good idea, sir, but unless we all speak something other then Federation Standard, I don't know if it will placate them for very long."
Sam turned to the man, "Hence the reason I suggested that to Ensign Sh'shraaqir. As the resident language expert, she will be more likely to be able to understand and communicate. She can be the one who communicates until she gets enough to program the translator and we can go from there," he said, hoping he got the point across a little more clearly.
Ethan nodded. "Of course sir...my mistake." He turned back and watched the approaching alien.
Thyra looked to the native. The guys in her team were quick to take lead when they thought she might not be able to handle it. She sighed. "Stop bickering and let the professional go to work here!" She walked up to the man. She hoped by provoking him to speak more she could hear more of the language these people spoke. She was kind of spoiled by the universal translator, but she understood very well it didn't always work. She smiled friendly to the man. "I am Thyra." She put her hand on her chest indicated she was Thyra. "Thyra!" She repeated. She pointed friendly to the man, "And you?"
The being tilted his head in confusion. "Pelnaratoa. Glovaneek." The first words were utter nonsense. But after a moment, he placed a hand on his chest and spoke. "Clavin." A second gesture seemed to confirm the man's name. "Clavin."
Ethan leaned closer to Sam. "He said 'Clavin'. Are the translators working now?"
Thyra sighed. "That's his name." She then continued, "Clavin, nice to meet you, Clavin." She gestured around her. "Where is here? Here?" She tried to listen closely to hear what he would say. Maybe he didn't understand, but she hoped her gestured helped in replying.
Ethan started his observations of the locals. They were humanoids, about 2 meters in height, opposable thumbs. The buildings appeared to be standard construction, tall doors, some openings probably for ventilation. He hadn't seen anything that could be considered animals. All in all....for his first official assignment, he was thinking he'd done a good job.
Clavin nodded enthusiastically as understanding reached his ears. His words were not entirely understandable to the Comms officer, but she picked up most of them. "You speak gresill. Feleo to meet you. Where have you come from?"
Thyra was catching on to him a bit. "Oh Feleo....Nice to meet you too. We..." She pointed to her companions as she said, "We have come from the south to meet with you and your people here. We wish to trade and become friends."
Clavin smiled broadly, "Welcome! We enjoy trade, and making friends," he replied.
Ethan saw what looked like a market place. It wasn't that far away. Seeing how the others had managed without the translators, he decided that he would also try. So he started walking towards the market place and the first stall.
Ethan reached the first stall and looked over the wares that were available. The male behind the stall was yelling something he couldn't understand, Ethan guessed that the UT was still on the fritz. What Ethan saw appeared to be foodstuff.....something resembled an Earth apple. Ethan reached into his pocket and was able to run some scans, without pulling the tricorder out of his pocket. The man standing behind the stall looked at him...Ethan smiled and nodded, then walked towards another stall.
Sam watched as the other man wandered towards the market, but he chose to stay closer to Thyra and the alien creature. He was here primarily to study their biology and that of the rest of the planet as well. He would leave the anthropological research to the expert. Turning towards another gathering of the beings he was pleased to see them smile, and he surreptitiously activated his scanner and began taking readings of them, hoping he'd pick up some of the rest of the biota around them as well.
Ethan looked back towards his shipmates, making sure they were okay. He approached another stall. Here there appeared to be clothing of some sort. If he had something to barter, he would make a trade and bring back some clothes to study.
Sam's chronometer pinged quietly, almost too quietly, and he was glad he'd set it also to vibrate in his pocket when their mission time had expired. Reaching over he touched Thyra lightly on the arm. "I'm sorry, Ensign, but our time is up. We need to head back to the beam in location so Defiant can get us out of here," he said with an apologetic frown.
Thyra really wanted to talk more with Clavin, but they couldn't stay longer than necessary. She nodded to Clavin. "It was nice to meet you, Clavin, but my companion is telling me we should continue on with our journey. Maybe we can meet again someday."
"I understand, friend Thyra, come again soon," Clavin replied, with a slight frown of disappointment.
Once Sam was satisfied Thyra had finalized her discussion with the man he looked up and caught Ethan's eye, waving him back in their general direction. When they were all back together he began to head back the way they'd come. "That was amazing, Ensign!" he said after they were out of earshot of the alien man. "You truly have a gift, and you most definitely know how to use it. I have never seen someone communicate like that in my life."
Ethan nodded. "It would have been better if we had some of the local currency to barter with. I would have loved to get some of their clothes to study.
Ethan walked along with the others to the beam out point.