Matt's Personal Log - Episode 32
Remember that nagging feeling I had? Well I was right – only I didn’t expect to be the very reason that things didn’t go so smooth! I can honestly say that I don’t know what’s come over me. Ask any of the people who knew me before – right, like that’s ever gonna happen – and they’d tell you I was the go-to guy for keeping up spirits on the hard runs we had. These days it seems like I’m ready to pop for any reason at all – or for none in some cases. Maybe I should take up meditation or something; maybe I just need to get laid. Whatever it is, I better figure it out right quick or I ain’t gonna be leavin’ this planet.
Did I mention I drew down on Alyr? Yeah, you heard me – on Alyr. Couldn’t even tell you why at this point, only that one moment we’re arguing and the next he’s putting his shot past me ear to make a point. Coupla days ago it was Thanos. Those are two dudes I’d never want to fight, so what the hell is getting into me?
The Starfleet crew was cool enough – for the military any way. (Yeah, I know, they’re not the military. Right, and they only carry that many weapons on their ships for the pretty colors in the night sky they make.) Anyway, Commander Lewis is the epitome of a military guy, which was rather disappointing when I found the Nelson was supposed to be a scientific vessel – I was sorta hoping her captain wouldv’e been a little more rational-minded. Hell, who knows? Maybe the guy that got torched in that pub was.
Our original liaison was with a Lieutenant Commander Kyra – related to Major Kyra of DS9 we believe. She seemed rational enough, and even though she had a pushy Lieutenant (Knox) with her, we seemed to be getting along. I managed to keep my cool through that initial conversation, and even though we invited the Starfleet personnel to a celebration with us that night, they didn’t bother to show. Alyr had a good night of course – he was the only one of us that found bedding for the night off the ship.
Next day I figured we’d head out and start south for the sunken Temple. That decision turned out to be the beginning of the end – I had asked Thanos to captain the second ship (the one we got in this port), but when he arrived it had been commandeered by a Starfleet crew. My anger just kept rising as we rowed across to that ship, and so when we arrived I just blew up on the Lieutenant in charge – some cute Bolian girl who didn’t deserve what I spouted. I eventually gave up on the whole issue and told her to keep the ship. I then led the group back to our little ship and we tacke dout of the harbor to continue on our journey – as far as I was concerned, Starfleet had just revealed that they had no intentions whatsoever of helping us.
Before we made it out of the harbor, Lewis contacted us demanding an explanation; I was about to tell him where he could stick his explanation when Alyr cut in and took over the negotiations. He managed to smooth things over initially, and then asked to be transported up to the ship to continue the talks. I initially figured he just wanted a chance to get some more replicated food, but no, his real goal turned out to be gaining access to their database and getting an idea of the Nelson’s capabilities; he seems to have got it into his head that we should capture the ship for our own.
Thing is, from what he’s mentioned to me about the ship’s capabilities doesn’t mesh with what I was told – while talking with Lt. Kyra, I had mentioned that our ship had been chased out of the system by some unknown attacker. She responded that they had no knowledge of this because the ship had answered a distress call a few days earlier and had left the system; they had only just returned a day or so before we arrived at the archipelago. Only Alyr told me that the ship is capable of dropping a station in orbit around the planet for running missions, and that allowed the rest of the Nelson to perform other duties as needed. Doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t have made use of that capability if, as we were told at first, they’d already been here for several months running their own surveys.
Anyway, Alyr finally got back to us and had managed to get them to use their sensors to find the submerged Temple. THey guided us in and a few days later we were anchored at the spot. Lewis contacted us and informed us they were making their submergible shuttle ready and would be a few hours before joining us. Me? I didn’t feel like waiting so I asked Paizu (our air bender) if he could make it so I could breathe underwater (yeah I know magic doesn’t exist but Arthur C. Clarke and all that). He said yes so overboard the two of us went. He was able to manage 10 fathoms, which is pretty good for a man his age if you ask me, but the Temple itself was another 10 fathoms deeper. He motioned for us to return to the surface and started up but I said to hell with it and continued on.
I managed to get to the dome of the Temple as the bubble of air around my head finally gave out – the immediate pressure on my ears nearly knocked me out and I lost a good amount of air when I tried to scream. I’d arrived at a door and worked frantically to open it – at this depth I’d get the bends if I surfaced faster than my air bubbles, and I didn’t have the air in my system to make that trip. The door was locked and needed a power source to open, so I jury-rigged something with my spare energy cell for my pistol. When the door opened I felt both fear and exhilaration when the water rushing in carried me with it – fear because I thought I might die, and excitement over the fact that the building was obviously devoid of the ocean suround it.
I managed to get free of the inrush of water and get the door closed before I filled the entire Temple. I feel I must’ve passed out for some time, because I woke in utter darkness. The air was stale but oh-so-sweet to my starved lungs. I needed light to see, and managed to work my PSG into a light of sorts, dim but enough to see by. It won’t help me in a firefight now, other than pointing me out in the dark to the enemies, but I was in an ancient temple surrounded by ocean water at a depth of 20 fathoms – what would I have to worry about?
In the light my shileds were giving off I discovered I was at the top of a flight of stairs leading even deeper. I started down them, as I had no where else to go, and somewhere along the way down I realized that the Temple must be pressurized as I was no longer suffering from the pressure of the ocean around me. The bottom of the stairway opened upon yet another surprise – a great hall of pillars stretching out into the darkness.
My old girlfriend would’ve loved it here; how many nights had she told me tales about finds like this in the Persian deserts? How many horrors had she claimed to fight in them? I’m asking these questions ‘cause I really can’t remember anymore, and I feel the answers could keep me safer than I expect to be.
I thought about sitting down on the steps and waiting for the others to catch up; I really did. But something in the darkness was calling to me. The Templar secret? Maybe. I hope so.