*Episode 1-2: Portable Holes

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OOC Date: April 11, 2011
IC Date: January 15, 2128

Genesis sensors pick up a distress beacon originating from an unknown alien spacecraft that matches none of the ship's few records. A team is sent over to investigate.

The EAV Genesis - Bridge

A multi-leveled, half circle room serves as the ship's bridge and central command point. The door is built into the center of the flat side of the half circle, and the first level of the room runs the edges much like a capital D. Three steps lead down to the second level, the 'hole' of that D, and a railing separates the two except where intersected by steps.

The upper level of the bridge contains all of the communications, scanning, science and navigation systems, each station set with a swivel chair for the crew member that mans it. At the center of the arcing wall of the half circle room is a plasma screen that curves with the contour of the wall itself, that screen massive, serving as a view port for whatever view is called up.

The lower, central level of the bridge contains navigation, piloting and weapons, at the center of which is the Captain's chair. Each station is also set with a swivel chair, the Captain's being the largest, for when the bridge is actively manned by the crew. The lighting in this room is bright, though not so bright as the corridor outside, and the room is carpeted in the black and green of the Earth Alliance.

For those among the crew who are beginning to acclimate to a regular schedule again, it's nearing dinnertime. With only a skeleton crew active, it still feels like a ghost ship. The unsettling silence of the mostly empty, cavernous ship is suddenly and unexpectedly broken.

"Distress beacon of unknown origin detected," Eve announces over the entire ship's com systems. "Command staff, please report to the bridge." And then the lights shift red all throughout the ship, a state of alert initiated as the sensors have detected another craft within range of communication, which also means it's within range of detection and potential engagement.

[COM] Ramesh says, "Officers and security to the bridge, Miss Kurokawa, I want you in Engineering."

The Captain and Commander, having been in the conference room and XO's office respectively, are the first to arrive on the bridge. The display has already brought up an image of what appears to be a badly damaged and derelict ship, the design of which is completely unfamiliar. Given the extremely limited exposure to other species and their technology, that's probably not a surprise. What very well may be a surprise is what follows.

"Adam dominant," states the clipped, sharp tone of the ship's other computer, the one that takes charge in situations like this - situations of potential danger. "My database has no information on the craft. It is completely foreign. Shall I initiate invasive scanning?"

Ramesh furrows his brow. "That means that whoever they are, or were, even the Givers were unfamiliar with them and had never encountered them. That's unsettling, considering that they've mapped the entire galaxy and visited much of it." He glances sidelong at the other officers as they arrive, then answers Adam. "Passive scans only, for now. I don't want to do anything that might be taken as hostile."

"Passive scan initiated, Captain," Adam answers curtly.

Checking his wrist-comp and heading through the doors of the bridge, Eyulf happened to have been on the same deck and is rather quick on the bounce to get on sight when security is called. With Adam talking and the displays showing the derelict, Sgt. Halle stops up short, checking the view, and then works to key up the sensor reports as they come to his own unit, stopping his fiddling once he is close enough "Sergeant Halle reporting, Captain." standing at attention.

In the empty black void of space, it's hard to put into perspective the size of the ship on display. It could be the size of a shuttle, or it could be far larger than the Genesis. The ship, itself, looks as alien as alien can be - it's long and attenuated, vaguely organic with sinewy curves rather than sharp, clean edges. It's clearly made of metal, but it's almost like it was poured and cast rather than pieced together. Spindles and spires jut at odd angles from strange places, no apparent logic in the asymmetric design, and yet as a whole it seems to make sense in a disturbing, nightmarish sort of way. Whatever words one chooses to describe it, comforting would not be one of them. It currently gives off no light, as if it's simply floating dead in space.

Pramiti enters onto the bridge via the lift, just after Adam becomes dominant, and she briskly heads for the science station. Her fingers dart over the controls as her eyes scan the console and the sensory data, as she tries to assist Adam with the scan, and draw what conclusions are possible from the scientific knowledge gained from the Givers.

Having only one deck to traverse from the Armory to the Bridge, Dominic arrives in next to no time just ahead of the Gunnery Sargent, equipped with the proper equipment required by the situation and known information. Upon entering the bridge, he says nothing and moves straight for the security station, taking the post. Once he's at his station, he looks around at the others arriving as he awaits further orders.

Dr. St-Sirois arrives in the bridge at a slight jog, coming up from a deck below. Stepping through the doors rapidly, the good doctor moves off to the side of the top level, gripping onto a rail and looking down at the events with quiet attention.

Eisley stands not far away from Ramesh, though her position on the bridge when the Captain is present is roughly opposite him. As scans on this ship are initiated her hands clasp behind her back, shoulders squaring her into alignment akin to parade rest but a critical one, with a thinned, thoughtful mouth and slightly narrowed eyes. As others file onto the bridge behind she more or less ignores them, intent upon studying the -very- alien vessel that occupies the view screen just now. For the moment she seems content to allow Adam to scan, waiting with glacial patience of information to start pouring in from the sensors to be translated by the computer and then reported back.

Pramiti announces, "Passive scan complete. No heat signature, no immediate signs of life. No signs of motion. The ship appears to be derelict, but as an alien vessel it is difficult to draw such conclusions. I do not believe we can gather data about its technology or interior structure without an invasive scan."

A further moment passes, and then, after clicking a bit more on the science console, Pramiti adds, "The ship is roughly 5x the size of one of our shuttles."

Ramesh tightens his jaw as he stares at the screen, considering his options. "Very well, Miss Bharti, commence invasive scan." It's clear that he's not happy to do it, just because there are no immediate signs of anyone being home doesn't mean that the new neighbors don't have their curtains closed. Peeking in people's windows can be considered rude. The folds his arms, still standing beside the Captain's chair for the time being.

Eyulf just looms where he is, watching the display, eyes flicking to his wrist-comp to check over anything from Adam her can get, silent other than his initial comment.

The doctor glances down at the captain, then back up at the ship on display. He sticks his tongue into his cheek but says nothing.

At the science console, Pramiti begins running an active scan. As the results come back, she goes silent, and begins pulling up several computer programs; various mathematical and science-looking things. She doesn't respond for a few minutes, instead focusing very intently on the scan, and on the computer programs.

"Captain." she says after a moment, slightly hesitatingly. "This ship seems to be completely beyond our technological level, or even the givers. I do not have a basic physical understanding of the universe sufficient enough to even guess at what most of them do at a glance. However, based on the mass readings, and the gravitron readings the sensors are giving out, I would venture to speculate that…" She swivels on her chair and points to the screen. She points towards the back of the ship. "The core, right about there. Seems to be a ten to the 19th giga-electron volt object with a Schwarzschild radius of several feet." She pauses again.

"A black hole. Which, if I may speculate, is probably how the ship gets around. I also detect no signs of life, though I do detect organic signals. They may be bodies. Frankly, I don't know."
Dominic continues to stand at his station, listening.

[COM] Mono says, "Holy fucking shit, she's right! They have a fucking black hole in a box! I'm picking it up here in Engineering. Captain, Commander, we HAVE to get a look at that in person."

Eisley turns about slightly as the science officer elaborates, one brow lifting. The other joins it in a moment, giving her an expression that is first inclined toward thoughtfulness, and then toward something much keener. Sharper. The latter is turned quickly on Ramesh. "Captain," she observes, "this could in fact be our -actual- point of first contact with an alien race. Alternatively, it could be an opportunity for us to acquire something new for the arsenal." Win, win! There is something slightly wary about this presentation though, as though she were willfully dodging around the idea of just how much trouble that floating blob could represent.

At last, Dr. St-Sirois pipes up from his position on the rail at the back of the bridge. "Anything on the atmospheric composition? If we get a look at anything, it would be better if the air wasn't cyanide." He makes this observation incredibly deadpan, as if years in medical school were building up to his saying that cyanide is bad.

Ramesh turns to look directly at the science officer, now, his expression thoughtful and calculating. "Miss Bharti, Miss Kurokawa, do you think it's safe to get close enough to look at it? To study it up close?" He nods in agreement to Eisley, and then again with the doctor. "If our two technical experts think it's safe enough to get close to it, we'll have to consider that."

"I would like to volunteer to be the Sec-Op on that sort of endeavor should we decide to go aboard…" Eyulf pipes in. "The Security Chief should be in a monitor position to keep a birds eye, much like The Captain, for this situation." looking somewhat apologetically to Dominic.

Dominic looks to Eyulf, shaking his head. "I don't think so Gunny. Nice try. I am pulling rank and saying fuck you I'm going." He says before he returns to his station. "I'll be happy to assign you to clean the Armory in the meantime."

Pramiti turns towards Dr. St-Sirois. "Currently no atmosphere is present. Probably due to a lack of power. Since we don't know what they breathe, containment suits would be safest. I'd just use the ones used for space walks." She frowns and glances at the console again. "However, I can't begin to speculate on safety. Its a black hole. There is nothing more dangerous. I have no idea how that ship works, or how stable that device is, or whether those bodies are dead. I'm not making any guarantees. On the other hand, this is an excellent opportunity. I would just recommend excessively paranoid caution."

Eisley's attention shifts to Eyulf as well and one slender brow curves upward. "Gunnery Sergeant Halle," she says, voice even but sharp. His formal title is snapped out like the crack of a whip, dispassionate as the same. "We have no standing protocol for contact with alien vessels. As such, there is nothing to volunteer -for.- When the appropriate course of action has been decided, including who - and what - may be sent to the alien ship, you may be assigned. Or not." Her head tilts about two degrees to the right as if in query, or possibly to see if he wants to challenge this particular ruling.

The doctor nods at Pramiti. "Thank you, commander," he says, before going back to leaning on his rail in contemplative silence.

"You can do more than recommend it, Miss Bharti," Ramesh states with a faint smile. "You can exercise it in person. Eisley, I want you to take L'Anse, Halle, St-Sirois, Bharti and Kurokawa over via shuttle. Let the ladies take a look at the technology while the doctor inspects the organic signals. The Marines will provide support. At the first sign of anything hostile, you're to immediately abandon the ship and get back in the shuttle. Understood?"

Eisley straightens right back up as the Captain's orders come, shifting from straight parade rest to something far, far more formal. "Aye, sir. Doctor, Lieutenant Commander?" Her attention shifts from Ramesh to St-Sirois and then Pramiti in turn, in the moments that it takes to address them by title if not by name. Kurokawa is probably included by default, as she seems to be listening via comms. "Can you be ready and in the shuttlebay in… 20 minutes?" This is both a genuine guess and a sincere question. There is no baseline for this.

[COM] Mono says, "I've already had my orgasm, smoked my cigarette and am halfway in my containment suit at this very moment, sir. You bet your ass I'll be there. Sir."

Pramiti nods her head. "Yes sir." she replies with a salute, before turning to Eisley. "I'll be ready, sir. I'll start suiting up after making a quick stop by the science lab." She heads for the lift.

"Yes, ma'am." Dr. St-Sirois nods smartly at Eisley, straightening up from his riding the rail. He turns for the lift, then pauses before turning back to the senior officers. "Sir, ma'am… sidearms?"
Eyulf grunts at Dom's threat of armory cleaning, one eye half narrowed until it's ordered he'd be along as well, nodding to both the Captain and Commander in turn. He doesn't speak though, being a grunt at the moment, but folds his hands behind his back.

Dominic looks up to the Captain as he speaks to the Commander, nods. "Yes, sir. I'll send word to my guys to get ready." He says as he starts to send word down to the Armory to get everything ready for the away team. He frowns and narrows his eyes at Eyulf after a moment. "You. You do not tell me what I need to do, I tell you. You will stay here to monitor and keep a bird's eye on our progress." He leaves no room for debate before he speaks into his wrist comm as the Commander gives the meeting point and time. "Bring all the equipment to the shuttle bay. We leave in 20." After the confirmation, he moves away from the console.

"I want you in full power armor, First Lieutenant," Ramesh states as serious as a heart attack. "Alert and at the top of your game."

After just a moment of consideration, Eisley nods at St-Sirois. "If Lieutenant L'Anse has cleared you for firearms, then you can stop by the armory and sign out a weapon. 20 minutes, ladies and gentlemen. Wear something comfortable." And then she, too, heads for the doorway.

Dominic stops in his steps, looking back to the Captain, trying hard to suppress his grin and excitement and nods once. "Aye, sir." He says before he heads down to the Armory.

Nodding, Dr. St-Sirois quickly salutes the commander and quickly heads for the exit. As he leaves, he briefly goes into a jog to add to Dominic, "You've cleared me for firearms, right, First Lieutenant?" in a quiet, rather discrete little voice.

[COM] Mono says, "I'd like permission to take my assistant, Recruit Shevchenko, Commander?"

[COM] Commander Eisley says, "Permission granted. 20 minutes, ladies."

Dominic smirks as he looks back to the Doc and nods. "Of course. You've completed the requirements, Doc." He says with a grin. "Can use all the extra guns I can get."

No more than 20 minutes passes, and the assembled away team is in their suits and boarding the shuttle. The power armor in particular is rather impressive, all sleek and black and imposing, with a chain gun mounted to the shoulder and ceramic blades attached to the wrists. The rest of the suits are basic containment suits, the kind one would wear on a space walk or in an air lock. The shuttle launches and in a matter of moments has found what appears to be an air lock on the alien ship. The umbilicus extends and create a seal, the sound of the air pressurization hissing away in the void. Two Marines begin to torch cut their way through the alien vessel's door, and a few moments later they've broken through. They turn and look at Dominic, awaiting orders to enter and secure the immediate area.

As Dominic enters the shuttle bay, dressed in the power armor, he looks like a kid who has just been given the best gift a kid could ever get. He is practically skipping to the shuttle. As they get closer to the ship, the more serious he becomes and gets his weapons ready as the Marines cut through the hull. He looks to the two marines and nods once. "Let's do it." He says, giving the go ahead for them to move on.

Crouched in the shuttle as it connects to the unknown vessel, Dr. St-Sirois grips a handle in the landing draft with a faint air of excitement. Over his shoulder, the physician carries a rather comprehensive medical kit, about the size of a duffel bag rather than a mere first aid kit, combining with the environment suit to make him look like an astronaut going camping. On his right hip, a standard officer's handgun is holstered, safety on.

Pramiti is in her containment suit. Attached to it, space-suit style are some scientific scanning equipment, some sample pouches, small probes, and so on. You never know what you'll need. A standard handgun is also holstered to the suit, but clearly, her focus is the equipment. She stands well to the back.

Behind the Marines is Commander Eisley, all suited up in the less than flattering containment suit, zipped up from top to bottom. On this particular mission she's going light, for all that she's going heavy; she also has a handgun, though she wears hers in a less standardized thigh holster, which probably speaks volumes about where she learned to shoot and how she's kept in practice. As she waits for the hull of the alien craft to be cracked she fidgets slightly, checking and rechecking the seals around her wrists, which allow nothing through but, due to a lack of other cuffs to play with, they will have to do. "Remember, gentlemen; you are -not- to fire at the first thing that moves."

"Stop shaking. Stop shaking. Stop shaking." Illyanna's murmurs can be heard the mask of her suit, throughout the trip, as she clutches a black pack to her chest while she sits in the corner of the shuttle. Spaceflight - not for the faint of heart. Even after the shuttle has docked, and the armored marines file out to start cutting through the alien ship's hull, Illyanna shows no real desire to leave her seat.

The two Marines - also in power armor - engage their gravity boots and storm forward into the vessel, assault rifles equipped with flashlights pointing around to get a good look at the area. When one of them finally speaks to give the all clear, his voice is a bit shaky. "It's… All clear, sir," he informs Dominic. "And it's fucked up, too. I've never seen anything like this."

As Dominic and the others move forward and enter the alien vessel, what is clearly metal on the outside is completely organic on the inside. The walls, floor and ceiling are laced in vinework of a sinewy, dark substance that would resemble roots except that they are smooth and slick. Strange, spidery plants - at least they look like plants - dangle down from the ceiling above. Even through all of this, it's clear that they are inside of a ship. There are hallways, doors, control panels and furniture, all of the trappings a vaguely humanoid creature would require.

"Fucking unreal," Monoko whispers into her com as she looks around in fascination. And yes, she has a gun.

[COM] Pramiti says, "Eve, does the video feed data match up with the organic signatures from sensors?"

Dominic engages his gravity boots and moves in after the other Marines, his eyes scanning over the area before him. As the Commander's voice is heard over the comms, Dominic replies as he moves. "Yes, ma'am." He says, echoed by the two Marines. Once they've entered the room they just cut into, the two others fall in behind the one who gets paid more to get shot at. His eyes widen slightly as what he sees registers in his head. "What the fuck?" He says slowly. He carefully and deliberately moves forward, keeping an eye out for any signs of danger. "What is this stuff?" He asks, looking down at the plants.

"Negative, Lieutenant Commander," Eve chimes soothingly in reply. "It appears that what you're seeing is no longer alive. Carbon indicators suggest that it was, as recently as a year ago."

"Oh, what the hell is this?" Far from his enraptured expression when he got that recorded look at a Giver days ago, St-Sirois seems more exasperated by this ship's unique characteristics. Still, he observes the formalities of science. He steps along, inch by inch. A half-step to the side, to take a look at Pramiti and whatever her reaction is, and then something of a gawk towards the ceiling.

"I fucking hated botany," he murmurs.

"…I believe that is the ship, L'Anse," answers Eisley. She moves in behind them and steps off to one side, kind of, leaning slightly to peer around suits of power armor at the strange, twisting growths. Light from the helmet of her suit chases a wide beam of white light over the ropes and sinews, making it very easy to tell what exactly she is looking at in any given moment. "Kurokawa, can you guesstimate which direction your black box is from here?"

Illyanna still has no desire to follow the others into an alien vessel, preferring the relatively familiarity of the shuttle. But ultimately, she decides the company of her shipmates is preferable to an empty shuttle - with the door wide open, and reluctantly exits to follow in the rear of the party. The girl is not brave, but hey, she hasn't been issued a gun. You can't blame her for being a bit apprehensive.

"Pramiti," Monoko calls over to the science officer, "If you want to check all of this shit out along with Doc, I'll take my sidekick and see if she can hack into the systems and get them online, then go looking for the singularity." She gestures for Illyanna to get herself inside the ship and follow along. "It's back that way, sir," she answers Eisley, pointing towards the rear of the ship, the area that Adam and Pramiti had indicated contained the black hole.

Dominic moves further into the room, keeping an eye on the area around him. He looks around the area, still in utter amazement. "You mean the aliens are the ship?" He asks to no one in particular. "Bloody hell." He says before he turns towards the others. "We should all stay together. We don't know what may be hiding here that we can't detect. We should all go together." He says before he returns his attention to watching the space around them.

Pramiti listens to Eve's reply, then replies to the group, "I think these plants were an organic life support system. They had to serve some sort of function. I'll begin taking samples immediately." And she does so, putting them into neat little sample containers, before adding,

"Offhand, I'm going to have to wonder if there will be any systems to hack now that things seem to be…dead. I'm most curious to see if they have an organic computer." She nods to the First Lieutenant. "As you command, sir."

"There will be no splitting up," reiterates Commander Eisley, pushing out some of her own wary amazement and trading it in for some of the cool command voice. "Until the ship has been secured and it is deemed unlikely that you will get eaten by a stray pod person, we're all going to stay together." At least she has a good reason for this order, right? "If Seaman Shevchenko can bring any of the systems online now that might aid the process along. The rest of you can gather samples of… that …along the way."

With at least a somewhat practiced eye, Dr. St-Sirois steps along the hallway, looking for the telltale signs of… well, what he'd consider the most important parts of an Earth plant. Stamens, pistils, and so on. In the absence of any context, he simply begins cuttings of any part that looks distinctive and quite a few that don't, using a set of stout shears from his bag of many things and putting them in containers not dissimilar to Pramiti's.

Glancing back briefly, the doctor looks towards Illyanna and raises an eyebrow through his containment suit. "You okay there, seaman?" and for once teh doctor manages not to sound dryly sarcastic.

Illyanna is slow to respond to Monoko's call and Commander Eisley's words, taking one ponderous step after another in her containment suit towards the Japanese engineer. Of course, now that she's properly inside the alien vessel, she can't help but lift her head and look around the organic walls and ceiling of the place, only to turn a startled look to the doctor. "Huh? Yeah… yeah I'm okay. This is just all kinds of creepy…. thanks." But she does hear, and almost as an afterthought, she hurriedly unzips the pack she holds, retrieving a data tablet from within. It's not a standard model, with several unidentifiable attachments on it, including a red, flashing tab of some kind come out from its side. "Alright, Eleven." She says as her fingers fly over the tablet's screen. "Let's see if we can get a data signal and wake 'em up…"

The diminutive engineering chief grinds her teeth and barely manages to contain a foot stomping fit when Dominic nixes the idea of splitting up, thus delaying her exploration of the ship and discovery of her ultimate prize, the singularity. Eisley chiming in agreement makes it worse, but she holds it together. Barely, but she does manage. She looks around and finds what looks likely to be a computer terminal - as likely as anything might be in the little green house of horrors - and gestures for Illyanna to follow. "I think this might be a computer. Let's see if we can put a charge into it and bring it online. Check for a signal here?"

Pramiti almost chokes at Illyanna's words. "Errr…" she says into her comm. "Perhaps we should wait until we are back in the shuttle to activate the computer systems…" she says. "After all, this ship has been stable for about a year, and seems to be alive…I'd hate to be recognized as an intruder and…uh…" She pauses. "Antibodied." She pauses again. "I'm just sounding a note of caution."

As the others spread out to collect their samples. The three marines move out to cover as many of them as possible. Dominic never drops his weapon, but always keeps it moving and searching. His heart pounds within his chest, but he keeps a calm and cool appearance. "Keep an eye out, boys." He says over the comms to his marines. At Praimit's words, he nods once again. "I agree. Best not to take any undo risks if it can be avoided. We can stay back in case."

Eisley might possibly just be along to curtail fun. She's the senior executive babysitter on the ship - still! - after all, after all these long years. She loiters near the mouth of one of the corridors, looking off into the organic warp of plant-ship-stuff as if half expecting something to come barreling down it. The fingers of one hand curl and uncurl reflexively, well away from her pistol but in a motion eerily similar to preparation for drawing. "There is no way of knowing what actions we take here might be foreseen as hostile, or that might wake it up or trigger some defense mechanism. I would rather engage them up front if they are still active enough to be triggered, rather than stumble into something later when attempting to manipulate a small black hole."

"Bearing in mind that we're the first humans ever to walk through an extraterrestrial starship," Dr. St-Sirois says cautiously, without turning from his botanical work on the living spacecraft, "please inform me at once if you feel unusual or experience anything medically suspicious."

Illyanna turns from side to side with her tablet, trying to get a signal. No luck. At Mono's gesture, the redheaded girl moves to follow to… "/That's/ a computer terminal?" She peers down at the lump of disembodied meat. "Yuck." Nonetheless, she looks down at her tablet and resumes typing away on the screen with frightening speed, while bringing her tablet right up close to the alien machine. "Don't worry, I'm just trying to get a data signal here. That's a far cry from flipping the 'on' switch." She notes to the concerns being voiced, but Eisley's command assures her to continue. The tab continues to flash red rapidly, though once or twice it turns to an orange light. "Scan all known data frequencies, search for sector matrices and I/O patterns. Isolate and alternate-scan for nutrino signals." She keeps talking to either herself, or the tablet she calls "Eleven".

Mono lifts a hand, gesturing for Illyanna to pause. She looks from Pramiti to Eisley. "I doubt we'll be able to do anything from outside," she offers. "If we're to have any chance of salvaging any technology from this ship, we'll need to try to get it online and at least minimally functional, and that is going to have to be done from inside. If you want us to hold off, we will, but we're pretty much useless without any power or systems to work with. Like Doc, I never liked botany." She nods and shrugs, waving vaguely about the room. "Let us know when you're done and we can actually be of use. We can't go check out engineering, and we can't turn on the systems. We're basically standing here with our dicks in our hands." Okay, so they're females, and therefore technically lack dicks to be holding, but the analogy seems appropriate to her. Must. Control. Fist. Of. Death! When Eisley gives the go ahead, she nods to Illyanna - who was already on it anyway - and awaits to see if she finds anything. The programmer's data tablet begins to scroll with a stream of alien lettering, apparently having connected to something.

Dominic wanted to get his name in the history books and that he has along with the others. He remains on alert as he scans the area, the lights from his helmet and weapon. As the Doc speaks, he replies over the comms. "Roger that, Doc." Again, echoed by the other two Marines.

"For all we know." Pramiti agrees with the doctor, "They could wage warfare genetically." She sounds rather chipper while saying this. Other then that, she works silently to gather samples, letting the computer-techs do their thing.

"Sir," one of the Marines calls out, "I think I see something floating down near the end of this hallway." While they may all have gravity boots, the ship's gravity is not online so anything that was already there has been floating freely for some time.

"Proceed, Seaman Shevchenko," says Eisley. She tries very hard to sound bored, senior-most officer to junior-most enlisted, but it's really hard under the circumstances. Her facade of perpetual calm is pretty thin right now in the face of all of this. While Mono there might go spouting off in defense of her desire to hack the plant, so to speak, the Commander merely nods, permission for this very thing already decided upon and granted. The best part about this is simply that if something goes wrong, everyone knows who to blame. As the Marine calls attention to the hallway, however, she turns in that direction, frowning slightly. The CSec gets a look that is hard to interpret through layers of power armor and encounter suit, but this tilt of her head might possibly be permissive too… if one can overlook the fact that she unfastens the safety catch on her holster.

At the marine's report, Dr. St-Sirois pauses, gently tucking his shears into his bag and buttoning it closed. With an almost discrete shuffle, the doctor presses his shoulder up against the wall, as if preparing to take quick cover. He looks around towards whatever floating object the marines have identified.

Very quickly, St-Sirois looks back to the other officers and enlisted. "Let's hope that's not true, Commander Pramiti," he says, a bit quietly.

At the end of the hall floats what appears to be a humanoid body, but it will take further inspection to verify.

Dominic perks up at the words of the marine. While he doesn't move from his position, he looks in their direction, a concerned look on his face. "Are you able to make out what it is?" He asks the Marine, his eyes looking to the Doc as he moves, smirking slightly in amusement. Not every day do you get to see a doctor play soldier.

Not that anyone else can see the influx of alien data, but the tab at the side of the tablet starts blinking green rapidly. "Helllllooooo there, sexy." Illyanna deadpans over the comm, ensuring everyone now knows. "Eleven, store data in sector 0788 and backup in sector 0912. Engage security protocol from OS." Only after issuing those commands, does Illyanna turn towards Monoko. "Hey, just got a handshake, Mono." She resumes typing away at the screen now. "Trace data flow to input origin, Eleven."

St-Sirois is too far away to see what that object is. He's keeping a discrete distance; letting the guys with power armour do the recon.

Pramiti, likewise, stays in the back and lets the computer-techs and the marines do their thing. Meanwhile, she babbles into her com at Eve.

[COM] Pramiti says, "Eve, let me know if you detect any changes in the sensor readings."

Mono leans in a close to watch as Illyanna begins to gain access to the system, or at the very least to a bunch of gibberish it could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few years to decode. The tablet indicates that there is a weak power source keeping the computers minimally online, somewhere in the back of the ship - the same direction as the singularity. "We have a live signal," she calls out. "There's still minimal power somewhere near the back. We won't know if the ship is mostly dead or simply in hibernation until we get there."

The Marine begins to slowly make his way down the hall towards the floating object. "It's definitely a body of some kind," he reports back as he nears the corpse. He suddenly jerks back, reflexive. "Shit! What the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?" He's backpedaling now, assault rifle lifted and trained towards the body that does nothing more offensive or hostile than float there.

"As you command, Lieutenant Commander," Eve answers Pramiti. "At present, everything seems to be stable."

Dominic watches the marine move down the hallways and starts to move immediately at the sound of distress in the marine's voice. "Hold your fire, marine. I'm on my way." He runs the best he can towards the marine. "Jackson," He addresses the third marine. "Hold your position and be ready to cover." He makes his way down the hallway towards the body and the marine.

"A body? Don't move! Don't anybody fucking touch it!" A fairly atypical burst of profanity from the doctor and he's out of cover like a gunshot, practically jogging towards the 'body of some kind' apparently floating in space. He slows down quickly as he catches up with the marines, his face screwed up in determination. And his right hand casually unbuttoning his holster, flicking the safety catch on his pistol.

Quickly, St-Sirois pulls his hand up, turning on the light on his wrist unit. "Nobody touches this body unless I say so. Or unless it tries to kill me."

Eisley moves a few steps in the direction of the other - more interesting - hallway. "Be careful," she councils the technical duo. For a moment she very nearly goes on: the draw of breath to speak more words is audible, but then so is the exhale. That thought is let go of. Anyway, she's rapidly distracted by the Marine as he comes scrambling back toward them. "Might I propose that -that- is an alien life form?" A tiny drop of sardony is employed here. Just a hint, enough to counter the man's surprise. "And possibly a deceased one at that. And…" And then both the CSec and the doctor start for the body at once and she sighs, very quietly. "Stand down, L'Anse. Cover the doctor. We have zero reason to suspect that this ship and its crew are hostile, so let's not go making more enemies than we need to, all right? If it starts to kill him, then you can shoot it. I promise."

Illyanna looks up from her tablet as people start swearing and running. The hell? But she's a computer geek at heart - and all the action aside, she's reluctant to move away while the data stream continues. She does step back though, a bit behind the lumpy alien computer as cover without stopping her work!

Pramiti tries to get a better look at the body while staying behind the Marines. She is curious, after all, and she does have a biology background. She's mostly patiently waiting to see the black hole at this point.

It isn't readily apparent whether or not the body is supposed to be that particular shade of sickly yellow, or if being dead for an extended time has made it so, but either way it is indeed in a rather stomach churning color on the surface. The skin is papery, like flaking parchment, and the body is vaguely humanoid in shape in that it has two legs, two arms, a torso and a head. It's the head that makes it clear what disturbed the marine. The head itself isn't particularly remarkable, it has sunken, milky gray eyes that are a bit larger than a human's, two narrow, vertical slits for nostrils and a horizontal one for a mouth. There are no ears that can be seen. No, other than being disgustingly jaundiced and freakishly alien, the head itself isn't terribly interesting. It's the thing bored into its skull that commands attention. The only way to easily describe it would be as something like a crustacean or an insect, segmented and with a protective exoskeleton. The middle and back end of the body seemed to stick out the top of the alien's head, as if its own head is burrowed down into the brain. Eight limbs, slender and spiderlike clutch at the top of the bald head and hold on, dug into the skull itself. Just looking at it, it's easy to tell that it's a parasite or a symbiote of some sort, likely puppeting the body when it, or they, were alive.

Dominic stops immediately at the Commander's orders, dropping to one knee next to one of the walls of the corridor and readies his weapon in case the Doc should need support, one eye shut as the other focuses down the sights. "Inquiring minds wanna know, Doc." He says after a few moments.

Once one gets past the freakishness of the puppet and master duo, one then notices the severe gashes across the torso of the main alien body, as if hacked into or clawed up. It clearly was in a fight with something else, which begs the question - where is that something else?

"I think, perhaps, at this point it would be prudent to raise caution levels." Eisley is ever calm; this is a suggestion, and though it might be an obvious one it is probably precisely for that reason that she says it now. She turns a bit to look toward Illyanna. "How much longer do you think that will take?" No pressure, honest.

Arriving at the body, the doctor examines it for a few moments without laying a finger on it. He holds his hand up to his masked mouth, an ancient gesture of trying to hold something in. But he still does not lay so much of a finger on the body, not until he reaches out a gloved hand to take the alien by the wrist, holding it aloft, testing.

"One larger alien… if you've seen a twentieth-century science fiction film, imagine that." St-Sirois pauses. "One smaller alien, connected to the first through the skull… forcefully, I should guess. A parasite or a symbiote, certainly. Likely cause of death, serious sharp-edged trauma on the torso. Dead some time, if his physiology is anything like a human's. If not, could still be alive. Really impossible to be certain without instruments." A pause. "Claws, I think."

Illyanna glances up after a moment, not realizing Commander Eisley has just addressed her. "Huh? Oh! Yeah, just… hang on." Back to the tablet. "Display progress bar estimate." Tap, tap, tap. "48 seconds, give or take." She looks up once more at Eisley. "Haven't traced the center processor yet, though. Should I… keep looking?"

"We need to get to the power source if we're going to get the ship running," Monoko states.

Eisley considers her options for a few of those 48 seconds. "Is there anything in particular you would like to do with that?" Her next question is directed toward the doctor and his new specimen. "Though I am sure this might present a marvelous opportunity to study your first alien life form, time is rather precious right now." Somewhere in the back of the Commander's head a clock is ticking away, eating up these moments. She might appear calm, but she is also keeper of the schedule. "I am extremely reluctant to leave you here, and we are not taking that back to the Genesis."

Jerking his head upward, St-Sirois looks over at Eisley. His eyes narrow from behind his mask.

"Commander, this thing has a weird alien parasite in its skull. Somebody clawed it to death…" a pause, and a quick glance at something that catches his eye. "And… no, those are broken… some blunt force trauma here as well, like a widening object caving in his thoracic cavity." The doctor practically jogs towards Eisley, planting himself in front of her. "Whatever happened to that thing, I'd like to know whether it could happen to us. And given that we have a ship full of stasis pods and all sorts of isolation equipment, I'm confident we could get it on board even if a year's exposure to hard vacuum didn't kill anything on it that might threaten us."

Dominic turns and follows the Doc as he moves towards Eisley, the other marine following suit. He stops a few feet behind the two, nodding at the Doctors words, looking to the Commander. "It would give us an advantage if we can know what we're going up against." He adds for his own input.

Eisley's groan is audible, through her suit, over the communication link. "Do you promise to feed it and take it for a walk every morning, Dr. St-Sirois? My primary concern is that it may -not- be entirely dead." Tick, tock. Tick, tock. By now Eleven there has probably finished its dipping into the data stream, thus throwing her timetable even further off. So there is another tiny pause for reflection, but she does finally relent. "…fine," she relents. "I expect you to take -every- isolation precaution, Doctor. And you have to wait to package it for transport until -after- we have cleared the rest of the ship. I am extremely interested in anything that this ship might carry that will assist us going forward, but I have zero desire to compromise the Genesis in the process. Are we clear?"

"Download complete." A chipmunk's voice announces from Illyanna's tablet. So /that's/ Eleven. The programmer hits a few more touch-screen keys, then looks up between the folks talking about the alien corpse, particularly Commander Eisley, and Mono, her own buddy and commanding officer. "So….."

"Perfectly, ma'am." St-Sirois's quick reply comes, and while the technical staff finish up St-Sirois goes back to examining the body. Taking the opportunity he has to learn as much as he can.

"We need to get to engineering if we want to get any tech off of this ship," Monoko restates, "But I get the impression that we're looking for whatever killed that, now?"

Dominic shakes his head as he looks to Mono, but speaks to the Commander. "I would recommend that we get to engineering so we can get power back to the ship. It'll make the search for whatever did that much easier." He then turns and looks to the others that are present before he looks to the marine who went down the hallway, making sure that he's alright and doesn't need to go back to the ship.

"Negative," answers Eisley. "Now we will proceed to engineering. We do not necessarily need to find whatever killed that so long as it does not find us first." This is the bestest, most pragmatic compromise that she can come up with at the moment. "We do not have a great deal of time to devote to this. While we sit here, snuggled up to this floating seed pod, we are vulnerable. We have no shields, no cloaking technology, and we are not moving. So… we should move." Dominic gets a nod, and then she gestures in the direction previously indicated, likely in the hopes that engineering is in fact in that direction.

"Trace data link with continuous ping, Eleven." Illyanna notes to her tablet, before lowering it to her side so the she can get ready to move. Of course she's not taking the lead, are you crazy? That's what those big, burly marines are for, dammit.

Mono now has a direction and purpose! She presses on past the dead body and down the hallway, deeper into the ship as she heads towards what will hopefully become engineering. It only takes a few dozen yards and turns of corridors to find more bodies, most of which are similar to the first one, but one of which is quite clearly a Giver complete with its own cranial adornment. Apparently this symbiotic species isn't picky about its puppets. And then the biggest revelation comes - the thing that killed all of the crew of this ship. It's clear immediately what it was, even though it is dead and badly mangled.

It's shovel shaped head gives it away.

"Oh fuck," Monoko whispers.

Dominic nods his head to the Commander and starts down the hallway, taking the lead. He and the second marine move carefully down the hall as the third takes up the rear. He looks at each of the bodies that they pass, but then returns to the area ahead of them. He stops as he sees the creature with the shuttle. "Doc…" He says, his voice a little grave. "…you're going to want to see this."

St-Sirois stays back for a few moments while the rest go on, only abandoning his dead charge once the tail end of the brigade is passing him by. The doctor walks with an affected nonchalance, his right hand resting on his handgun even as he calls ahead, "That creature has almost certainly been dead for some time. Whatever killed it is unlikely to be here, or at least here alive…"

The sound of profanity, a call from Dominic, and St-Sirois moves forward again at a light jog. Passing bodies, and eventually encountering the important one.

"Well now that's interesting." He glances at Eisley, not even bothering to ask.

As Illyanna is bravely bringing up the rear of the group, she doesn't immediately notice a different body in the area possibly identified as engineering. Besides, she's making a conscious effort to avoid getting too close to any of the alien corpses, cuz really, she literally has no idea where they have been. All the excitement upfront piques her curiosity enough that she comes up behind Dominic, and tries to peer over his shoulder. "Hey, cool, a different xeno. Maybe this was a cruise ship or something."

"No," Monoko whispers in reply to Illyanna. Her gaze is fixed intently upon the shovel head alien body floating just off the ground about five feet away from her. "It's one of them," she says in a dead, flat tone. "The ones that killed our families and destroyed everything we ever loved. That is a Devourer." And then she does something that will be very familiar to Doc - the charges forward, unleashing a string of profanity in Japanese and begins to kick the creature's head again and again.

Eisley, by contrast, greets that particular sight with hard interest. She doesn't speak for several long, awful moments, but devotes all of them to staring at the drifting body of the thing whose cousins probably ate hers. This silence stretches out like elastic, thinner and thinner until there is almost a snapping point. "I suppose you should collect both of them, Dr. St-Sirois. One of each specimen, for your… collection. Perhaps someone can tell me why all three of these races came together he… -Lieutenant Commander Kurokawa.-" Oh. There's the snap.

Dominic continues to stare at the dead creature, amazed to actually see one without having it try to kill you first. He just blinks for a moment before Mono charges the creature. "Stop." He says to her, moving to try to pull her off the poor defenseless corpse. "You might damage it." He tells her, trying to bring her back to reason.

Illyanna's reaction to the Devourer's identity is hardly as dramatic as Mono's. She just falls silent and stares, even as the Japanese engineer starts kicking at the shovelhead. She probably wants to do the same, but that's where the programmer from Ukraine differs from the engineer from not-Japan. "Uh…" She glances towards Eisley briefly. "Is there a bug on the gecko's head, too?"

St-Sirois looks like he's almost in a daze. He doesn't even notice Mono's frenzied attack on the long-dead creature: instead he simply strides forward, arriving more-or-less as Dominic is trying to pull her away. He reaches out a hand to try and grab the Devourer by the wrist, pulling it towards him, once again giving it a quick physical examination, to determine at a glance just what might have killed this thing.

"You can kill them, anyway," he states, simply. Quietly. Almost to himself.

Oh there's very little that the tiny engineer can do you to damage the creature - its head is a weapon, the most dense and hardened part of its body, and that's precisely where she's kicking it. Maybe she's causing abrasions to the skin, but that's about all. Even with the metal gravity boots she does very little damage to the thing, which is both impressive and frightening. The data files don't do it justice.

She gets a few more kicks and screams of anger and anguish out before she staggers back away from it and slumps against a wall, gauntleted hands lifting to cover the clear visor of her containment suit. Screams and profanity turn to sobs.

The creature has a truly mind-boggling amount of carnage done to it, it took far more damage than any living thing has any right to, and still it died fighting. Cause of death, at a glance, would likely be blood loss due to massive trauma from what appear to be - for lack of a better word - laser burns. They shot it to hell.

One of the Marines shakes his head in disbelief. "Did one of those bastards kill the entire crew of this ship despite all their technological advances? I mean, they had fucking laser beams."

Aside from that invocation of Mono's name, Eisley manages to be… mostly calm. She does look to Illyanna as this question is asked, but the only response she gives there is to shake her head, a gesture that both negates and indicates that now maybe might not be the time for a proper answer. While this section of the ship and the body are secured she moves over to the wall, to that same section that the engineer has made load-bearing, and there she crouches. "Hey," she murmurs, voice quiet, intended for one target but probably spilling elsewhere anyway. "It's all right to hate them. It's all right to want to murder every last fucking one of them. I promise." The words themselves might not be soothing, but the tone is. Then again, this is Mono; who knows what will make her feel better?

Illyanna frowns. Not necessarily because Eisley indicates her question be deferred. No, she just doesn't like seeing her commanding officer and friend fall to pieces like this. As the XO moves to counsel Mono, Illyanna raises Eleven to chest level again, and starts to tap at the touch-screen. "Still pinging?" She asks, to which the chipmunk voice replies "Affirmative". Clearly, the devourer is left to those more suited to examine it, as Illyanna starts glancing around the chamber for another 'computer'.

The unthinkable follows. Mono's hands drop from the visor and her arms wrap around the Commander's shoulders, the young engineer basically collapsing into the taller, older woman much like a child might. Unless, of course, Eisley drops her like a bad habit. This is Eisley; who knows how she will react to such an emotional and personal action?

Up the hallway, a faint light glows from a larger, central chamber. It looks like Illyanna is pretty close to the source of the signal.

Dominic looks around the area as everyone does their thing. As he looks at the faint light, he tilts his head slightly. "I think we should get moving soon. We've got to get the power back on." He says, hoping to get the mission going. He doesn't like to stay in one place for very long, especially when it's on an alien ship with a Devourer on it.

How does Eisley react..? Surprisingly graciously. She doesn't drop Monoko. On the contrary, she actually hugs the younger woman back, communicating a different sort of reassurance than she speaks, though they run in the same vein. "It's okay," she murmurs again, and this may -not- carry far beyond the pair. "Come on. I need you to get back up now, okay? You have a wormhole to find, and maybe some laser guns to reverse engineer, and maybe in a couple of years we can go back to Earth and kick their ugly shovelheads in. But right -now- you need to get up." Again, the words are not wholly soothing. They're maybe a little bit violent, considering, both the tone is quite the contrary. It really is an uncharacteristic show of emotion for her, at least when she's on the clock, but maybe exceptions can be made. Anyway, she tries to stand up, and in doing so attempts to help Mono to her feet.

Once she's on a job, Illyanna starts to ignore everything else. She spots the glow from the adjoining chamber, glances down at the tablet, and back at the chamber. Yes, she's getting a stronger data link. She starts heading that way, checking her tablet every now and then as she, for once, takes the lead towards the glowing chamber ahead of everyone else. "We're getting hot, guys." She says over the com-link. "Eleven, initiate multiple access pathways protocol. I want to see the control grid." A short pause. "That's alright, let me take over." /Now/ Illyanna is really typing away on the screen, her fingers a blur over it.

The doctor is still in another world. St-Sirois's finger runs along the firm, unyielding skull. "Holy hell," he murmurs underneath his breath. Mono and Eisley collapsing into each others' arms, marines trying to set priorities, engineers doing engineering; St-Sirois has quite another task on his hands. His breath is actually coming more slowly.

"Commander," St-Sirois finally says, voice re-asserting itself, "I can see to picking out useful specimens here if the rest of you want to go on to the power core. Get us out of here sooner."

Mono straightens and nods, sniffling once and lifting her hands to wipe at her face only to get the clack of gauntlets against visor, apparently having forgotten but she's in a containment suit can't actually touch her face. She nods once. "I want me a motherfucking black hole." Onward stalks the little engineer.

As Illyanna nears the core, the ship begins to hum and lights flicker on. The systems are barely functioning, but there's basic power and light at least. Fully illuminated, the place looks like a war zone. Body parts of various aliens and what is likely blood strewn all about. Once the ship is entirely searched, no other Devourers will be found. It only took one to do this.

In the center of what must be engineering is a box crafted from a strange black metal that neither education nor databases can identify - it's an entirely alien element. The box is no larger than a microwave, completely square and covered in unintelligible carvings. Upon approaching it one gets the sense of unreality, but whatever is inside that box simply cannot be. It's very disconcerting just being in its presence.

See? Black hole distraction. It seems to work. Eisley follows along after, though she gets only a few steps before pausing to consider the doctor's request. She looks up and down the hall, off in the direction that Illyanna is going and then back from whence they came, ever-thoughtful but narrow-eyed for her part as well. Her answer comes with a point at one of the Marines. "You. Stay here, cover the doctor while he works. We're all accounted for, so nothing should be coming down that hallway. But just in case… sentry rules." For whatever reason she wants to be present when they deal with the black hole, and soon absents herself thataway.

Dominic gives the marine that was assigned to the Doc a reassuring look. "You've got this." He tells the man before he heads down with the rest of the group. The further into the ship they go, the more amazed he becomes. "Who would have thought we'd be here when we woke up this morning." He muses over the comms.

Because it has to be said, Illyanna utters the triumphant phrase, "Let. There. Be…" And as the lights flicker to life, illuminating the place with its grotesque display of alien gunk and remains, her sentence ends with a whimper of disgust. "…Ugh." She frowns. This is gross. Looking down to Eleven again, she reads off the screen now. "Power reserves at 4.6 percent… but I'm not sure what the hell that box is." She pauses and looks backwards at the approaching Eisley. "I have control access, ma'am."

Monoko pulls a piece of equipment from her belt and begins punching buttons, looking back and forth between the box and her gadget. "It's the singularity," she states quietly, but starting to regain some of her confidence and strength. "I have no idea what that metal is, but apparently it somehow stabilizes the black hole inside of it. It's completely safe and dormant." She punches a few more buttons and takes a few more hesitant steps towards the box, both drawn to it and repelled by it at the same time. "And it isn't hooked up to the ship in any way. It's just… Sitting there. Why the fuck do they have a black hole in a box sitting in the middle of their ship? It's not doing anything. Or maybe it doesn't have to be hooked up to anything to do whatever it does."

Eisley stays near the doorway, maybe so that she can keep an eye on the hallway that leads back to where the doctor works. Perhaps she just wants to be close to the exit in case of emergency. Either way she loiters there, hands settling in the small of her back, and there she waits for… yes. As the lights come up she also looks around with some visible dismay, no less reassured by the appearance of the interior now than she was in the faint, flickering light that they brought with them. "Carefully, Seaman Shevchenko, poke around and see what you can find. Bonus points if you can pull everything off - safely - and bring it home for study in a safe, controlled, mobile environment." And then there is Mono. "I have a staggering lack of faith in the words safe, dormant, and black hole being paired together in the same statement."

A snort is the most immediate reply from Monoko at Eisley's statement. "I have no idea how it works, but it does. It's completely contained. We really need to get this aboard the ship so I can figure it out." She turns and looks at the Commander, a solemn, honest expression upon her features. "I am prepared to beg, if need be." This is Serious Business to the little engineer, she's willing to do just about anything to get her toy back on the ship. Doc got to take some toys home!

Illyanna has already downloaded the ship's database. She now has full control of what systems remain intact with what little energy the ship still has. It won't last for very long, though.

Illyanna pauses to peer at Mono as the tiny engineer marvels at the black hole. "It's a black hole. It's probably their garbage disposal unit." She deadpans, before turning back to Eisley with a nod. "Already downloaded their entire system, ma'am." She allows a momentary smirk at the XO, a hacker's smug pride. Back to the chipmunk-sounding Eleven. "I can't do much more with the minimal power levels, though, so…"

"…then I'm afraid you'll have to make do with what you have," Eisley answers with a little nod. "Given the residual power left on the ship, there is likely not much you -can- do with it. if you have the database, then you have the important bits, surely." It will be a moment before she can respond to Mono, and she does so with a staggering amount of neutrality. It isn't quite deadpanned, but it is fairly emotionless. "All right. But you have to promise me that there will not be any more incidents like the last one. Double-check your math -before- you turn this thing on."

The away team gathers as much salvaged equipment as they can the time they have left, then make their way back to the shuttle. The bodies of four separate alien species have been recovered, several of the least damage to looking laser based weapons are collected, and of course, the black box is taken from the pedestal that it rests upon. It's a rush job, but they are efficient about it.

Soon the Genesis is back at peak FTL speeds, the husk of the alien vessel long behind them.

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