Tales From The U.S.S. Horizon—Episode 2: “Botanical Intrigue”

This was a Solo RPG session from the Star Trek: Captain’s Log

Security’s Log, January 25th, 2368:
Chief of Security, Lieutenant Commander Maxwell Phillips reporting. After things went quiet on Korvex Prime, Captain Reynolds was ready to send a recovery team. Our mission is to discover what happened, along with continuing the investigation of the Research Station.
Upon touching down, it’s amazing to see the beauty of Korvex Prime – a blend of majestic mountain ranges, lush forests, and vast open plains. It’s clear why the Xyranthians settled here. 
The research station was nestled in a Forest Valley. We managed to discover the first team was within but had been rendered unconscious. Ensign David Carter was still conscious but in a slightly catatonic state. Very peculiar. What happened here? Why was Carter the only one to remain, for all intents and purposes, unharmed? 
Dr. Patel was able to verify that the team was relatively unharmed. They had some scrapes as if there had been some kind of scuffle.  There was also a slight hint of citrus and spice in the air. 
I was tasked with attempting to communicate with Carter. I try my best, but he doesn’t seem to be all there anymore. There is something in his eyes though. It’s like somehow he’s been locked away within himself. How can we reach him? Maybe someone else will have better luck. 
After checking in with Crewman Jackson regarding the perimeter’s status, I find Captain Reynolds and Commander Chen talking privately. What are they talking about? Why are they talking in private? Did something happen?  They also seem to be close. 
I’ve been with the U.S.S. Horizon for a month now, and I’ve had time to see how the crew interacts with one another. But this time, it seems different. Is there something more going on that they’d like to tell us? 
I shake the thought away. Nonsense, Phillips. Got to get back to the here and now. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice something in the distance. I can’t quite put my finger on it. There was nothing there when I looked in that direction head-on. But I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something watching me right there. 
Perhaps I should talk to the Captain after all. 
As I was approaching Captain Reynolds and Commander Chen, Carter seemed to snap back to himself. He was stuttering and shaking. The man couldn’t seem to get a word out, but it was extremely evident that he was here with us right now. The only thing that he could do is stare at me. 
No not at me, His hand raises and points in my direction, Past me. 
I spun around and dropped to the ground as a plasma blast shot past me. With a thud, the air was knocked out of me. Good, take in that feeling. It’s what reminds you that you’re still here. 
I look up as I hear Dr. Patel shouting to Captain Reynolds. Carter was hit. 
Security’s Log, Supplemental: After the attack on us, the Captain deemed it necessary to have Dr. Patel send the team back onto the Horizon. Carter’s loss was too much for this mission. 
We still are at a loss as to what the hell happened here. Why was our team attacked in the first place? Was it a Xyranthian that had attempted a second hit on us and killed Carter? There are still too many unknowns here. I hope that we are able to uncover something here that can provide some sort of answer. One thing is absolutely clear – there is something here that someone doesn’t wish us to find. 
Captain Reynolds thought that it might be best to keep the numbers of our remaining team to a minimum. I honestly don’t disagree. We cannot have any more casualties. 
I took it upon myself to look into exactly where the shooter fired the killing shot. With the aid of my tricorder, I was able to detect a spot in the clearing where the blast may have come from. On the ground, there was a series of branches that look to have fallen out of the tree. There was a series of large footprints as well. 
“Commander Chen”, I called out using my combadge, “I think we may have where the shot came from.”. 
Commander Chen and Captain Reynolds came over and confirmed my thoughts. 
“We have the where. But we still don’t understand the why.”, Captain Reynolds explained. “Do we have anyone working on gaining access to the computer records inside the station?”, I asked. 
“Crewman Mitchell arrived down some time ago,” Commander Chen answered, “They are in the process of downloading the server. Apparently, it’s been encrypted.”.
“Maybe there’s something in there that this attacker doesn’t want us to find.”, I mention as I scan the surroundings with my tricorder. At that moment, it hit me that the only sound in the area was the chime of the tricorder.  “We can track the signature of the plasma blast. I’m assuming it’s a plasma rifle.”. 
Suddenly an alluring and enchanting sound begins to emanate in the distance. We followed the sound and the plasma signature to a nearby clearing. 
Upon entering the clearing a beautiful melody could be heard. There was also that smell again – citrus and spice. It was the same smell that we had encountered earlier. 
Following Captain Reynolds and Commander Chen’s lead, I drew my phaser in one hand and tricorder in the other. 
The stronger the plasma signature got, the stronger the smell got. A faint rustling could be heard now. 
“I don’t think I need this anymore.”, I holstered the tricorder. 
With each step, the smell began to take a turn almost as did the sweet melody. Stopping in our tracks, we located the source of the rustling. 
“Oh my…” Commander Chen said. 
The sight is something I will never forget. It was our Drakallian Attacker, there was no doubt about that. 
“Are those..” Captain Reynolds began to ask. 
It was being held down on the forest floor by vines with big red flowers on them. The Drakallian’s limbs were bent at different angles. The vines appeared to be slithering their way as they were enveloping the creature. 
One word could be heard as if it had been said directly into our minds. 

To Be Continued…

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