We have detected a distress call that appears to have emanated from a Vulcan Expeditionary Group transmitter on the world below us, designated BC-01c. We are assuming the transmitter is associated with the lost VES Sonak, as no other Vulcan vessels are known to have entered the Black Cluster. We lost the signal itself one day ago, but are now in orbit around its origin. The distress call suggested immediate assistance was required as atmospheric conditions proved too hazardous for the expedition to continue, it also communicated that one of their team had already been lost.
Ensign Lock’s risk assessment of the planet surface was very thorough, finding that the planet is almost entirely dark, its magnetic field is anomalous, and its atmosphere is a silicate module. We categorised it as Class Y. A Demon world. Although this is unusual for a world so close to its parent star.
I am sending the shuttle Morgana to the surface under the command of Lt Astan with Lt Cmdr Valik, Ensign Kheled and Doctor Vale. Ensign Lock will remain behind and try to increase our sensor capacity, since our probe stopped transmitting about 50km down.Captain Masuda, Commanding Officer, Lyonesse NCC-2278.
Captain’s Log, Supplementary
The shuttle was attacked as it came in to land on the surface, the crew were able to make a landing and Lt Cmdr Valik made temporary repairs to the engine. Lt Astan evaluated that the mission was able to proceed and the remains of the base camp left by the Sonak were explored. Unfortunately our worst fears were confirmed when Dr Vale found two of the expedition dead.
This officer notes the bravery and courage of these men in discharging their duty in the face of attack by an unknown alien species. Let the record acknowledge their sacrifice.
The away party brought back the two for burial. Data shows that their mission was active and collecting data for about two weeks before they started having problems. There were objects which fell to the surface and a team was sent to investigate. The base lost contact when a storm came in and found their atmosphere was replaced by the storm itself. The last entry says they were under attack and tried to abandon their position paying the ultimate price. This means that BC-01C was a Class H world and is now reading as Class Y. What could have caused such a drastic change in so short a period of time?
An evaluation of the survey mission data suggested that there may have been microbe life forms on the planet when the Sonak mission was here, and they had some theories about an old civilisation having dwelt on the world at some point. Unfortunately no information was logged about where the Sonak was going next.
We have sent a probe down to the impact site, under modifications to shield its energy supply. The away team believe that this may have drawn the creature which attacked them. This probe made it through and scans of the impact site showed a crater which still contains the object which caused it. The object is round and smooth surfaced, we also believe we have found the bodies of the rest of the survey mission. It may be the interference, but there does seem to be some movement in the vicinity.
I can’t help but feel conflicted in light of this. The safety of the crew must be paramount, but we have a duty to return these people to their families after so many years of not knowing. It seems an away team should be sent to the impact site, but with so little information it is difficult to know if we might not find ourselves in a similar situation to that of the crew of the Sonak. Given the existing evidence, we might also find ourselves in a First Contact situation.