The worst part of this for Jim Kirk was having to watch as his two best friends hunted down these monsters without him. If he wasn't absolutely certain that he'd be catnip to the creatures the UAC people had become, and that they'd mutate him instead of eating him, he'd have insisted on going down and helping anyway. Instead he was stuck here on the bridge watching as one by one his people were killed, and in F'rik's case, eaten.
The ship's sensors weren't giving him much information on where all of the life forms in the facility were. The metal alloy the walls were made of were giving them fits, but he could at least track the transporter boosters the away team wore, and the comm equipment was working to show what the away team was hearing and seeing. Right now that included the hissy fit that Sam Grimm was throwing over having lost Sarge in the maze of passages near the genetics lab. "It's alright Sam," he told her. "He isn't going to let you leave without confronting you. F'rik' and F'rak' weren't able to finish their sweep in the genetics labs. Do you think that you and Spock can finish it?"
"I think we'd better stick together for now Jim, but yeah we'll finish the sweep," she told him with a huff at his attempt to console her. She wiped the blood and black nodules off of her hands on her pants. "These are going straight into the incinerator," she muttered as she removed her guns from their holsters.
"How far did they get Brat?" Reaper asked, taking his sister's orders about sticking together without arguing.
That should have shocked Jim because Bones was well known for his argumentative nature, but he knew that the doctor was blaming himself for the two brother's deaths and would want backup to protect Spock and Stormskies. He also wouldn't consider Dewy to be backup for the simple reason that the Horta was still very young. The only reason that he'd allowed the trio to come was because there wasn't any way that Sarge or any other mutant could hurt them.
That neither of the two vulnerable members of the away team would leave without being ordered to by Jim was something that they all knew, and Jim had run through the odds so many times in the last few hours that he would probably be able to recite them in his sleep for the next year. It never changed his decision though. Stormskies and Spock were needed where they were – as bait. "Just the main lab," Jim told him. "They were attacked before they could check any of the smaller labs."
"That means they didn't check the holding cell," Reaper said as he motioned Sam to lead the way.
"Holding cell Doctor?" Spock asked, carefully listening for any movement that was not accounted for by their group, and maintaining the standard sweep pattern.
"Right, where they kept Stahl," Sam remembered.
"And where Destroyer was killed," Reaper growled.
In the back of his mind Jim wondered what a holding cell/medical torture cell looked like. He'd had plenty of experience with the first, but the second half of the equation was something that he'd been fortunate enough to have skipped. "How are they doing Uhura?" he asked, making certain that the question was not broadcast down to Olduvai.
"Doctor McCoy and Doctor Grimm are both very agitated, but that's reasonable considering their history here. The Horta are all rather exited, for them anyway. It's nothing to worry about, still well within normal ranges for their species. Spock's vitals are as calm as ever," she said, throwing a glance at Kirk. Both of them knew that vitals were not a good indicator for Vulcans for emotional or physical distress. Vulcans were far too skilled at controlling what were autonomic systems for any other species. "Stormskies appears to be in distress, but I don't think that it's physical. She's bound to be upset after being taken and not being the one to kill her attacker."
Jim nodded in thanks, switching their broadcasting back on as the group finished their sweep of the genetics labs. There hadn't been anything there other than the remains of some very questionable experiments, ones that had long since died from the looks of the remains. The only thing left to check was the holding cell.
That was nothing like anyone but Reaper and Sam had expected. The room had bare walls that surrounded what appeared to be a simple hole in the floor. "Would this really hold a Human?" Stormskies asked. Dewy slid into the room and quickly decided that there wasn't enough room for all of them. He would go guard the entrance with Commander Spock.
"It'll hold a Human, just not one of us," Reaper said. "I can jump out of there if I had to."
Sam joined them at the edge of the cell, and shined her light over the interior. "Nothing here, let's go."
"STOP!" Kirk barked. "There's someone down there. I can see her clearly. It looks like she's injured."
"What?" Sam said. "Where?"
"Spock, anything pushing at your shields?" McCoy asks at the same time, knowing where this was probably going. This wasn't the first time some meddling telepath tried to muck things up for an Enterprise away team.
Spock closed his eyes, and Jim ground his teeth. It was hard, very hard for him not to say anything, but he knew that even if he did, most likely the away team still wouldn't be able to see the girl. The bridge crew could see her clearly, from the blood running from her dark hair and down her cheek to her obviously broken leg. Jim could see that the poor thing was scared to death, and while he wasn't a doctor, he did know that if she didn't get help soon she wasn't going to need it anymore.
Abruptly Spock opened his eyes, and Jim could see the flash of concern and worry before Spock could conceal it. "She is there Doctor. I believe that she is Betazoid and using her telepathy to keep those who have mutated from finding her."
"Shit," Bones muttered. "Spock show me where she is so I don't land on her." Wordlessly Spock pointed to the woman's location. Bones noted it as he slung his rifle over his shoulder. He jumped down on the opposite side of the cell, landing gracefully in a crouch. He was thankful that the system that electrified the cell walls had failed. The last thing his patient needed was to be jolted like that. "Ma'am, can you hear me? My name is Leonard McCoy. I'm the CMO of the Starship Enterprise."
"She is not responding Doctor," Spock said. He gripped the edge of the cell wall, eased his body over the edge and dropped down to the cell floor. "I believe that she may be too traumatized to understand that we are not her enemies."
"If you break your leg, so help me I'll make every physical that you have for the rest of the mission absolute misery you green blooded Hobgoblin!" Bones growled.
"I assure you Doctor that will not be necessary. Your noxious potions are quite sufficient in that matter," Spock returned the insult with the ease of much practice.
"Jim, are they always this bad?" Sam asked from where she and Stormskies had joined Dewy in guarding the door.
"Yep," Jim said with a grin. "As long as they're sniping at each other, all is well in my universe."
"Spock, can you knock her out? I don't dare try and treat her without being able to see her injuries," Bones asked. He'd pulled out his tricorder, but he couldn't make out the readings that he knew were there. Damned telepaths, always making his job harder than it needed to be.
Spock walked over to the woman, who tried to move away but was too weak to do so. He gently placed his hand over the necessary nerves, and pinched down. The woman fell unconscious, revealing her existence to McCoy. McCoy began scanning her the moment he saw her clearly. "Skull fracture, broken arms, left leg broken and right ankle broken, damn it all to hell one of those things threw her down here like a rag doll," Bones cursed, doing his best to stabilize her enough so that she wouldn't die on him while he examined her for bite marks.
"A logical supposition," Spock offered as he acted as a second pair of hands for McCoy. McCoy just huffed at him, too busy with trying to save the woman's life to verbally spar with his favorite opponent at the moment. Between the two of them, they did manage to stabilize her, although there wasn't much they could do for her down here. She needed to be up on the Enterprise. McCoy knew this, but there was no way in hell he was going to send her up there until he'd made certain that she wasn't infected. He was not letting that nightmare loose on his ship.
For once it looked like he was going to be able to save someone from this hell hole. There were no bite marks at all on the woman, not even any injuries that might have been a bite mark. She had to have used her abilities to prevent it as telepathy was one of the few things that he, and therefore the monsters, couldn't fight against, that is if they even knew what she was doing. No one knew just how much mental cognizance someone retained while they were still mutating, especially once they got to the zombie stage. Creepy fuckers had chased him with anything they could get their hands on, running straight into the hail of bullets he'd killed them with. Bones looked up once he'd finished his exam. "She's good to go Enterprise. Can you beam her to sickbay?"
"I don't want to risk it without a transporter booster Doctor," Scotty apologized. "The metal alloy's interference isn't as bad on that level, but with the three of you practically buried in it, it's much worse."
McCoy nodded and removed his own booster. "Bones, what are you doing?" Kirk demanded to know.
"I'll walk out to the dig site. You can beam me up there," he replied. "She needs to get to sickbay right now. We can't wait long enough to carry her out of here, even if it wouldn't aggravate her injuries."
Kirk ok'd the beam out and Reaper straightened up. He smirked at Spock and the Vulcan instantly realized why. There was only one way for him to get out of this cell, and that was for McCoy to throw him out. Strengthening his mental shields as he had no wish to receive any input from the doctor while he was in this place, Spock nodded for the doctor to proceed.
As much as Reaper would like to really show Spock just what he was capable of, using the Vulcan to do it wasn't the way he was. He'd never hurt a friend if he could avoid it. So instead of throwing the man up and out of the cell, he gently tossed him. It worked anyway and Sam was there to catch him. His twin was just as smart as he was and knew that someone would need to be there once the woman had been beamed out to catch Spock. Then he simply jumped out, landing next to the edge of the cell wall as gracefully as he had when he'd jumped down.
"The only thing left on this level is Carmack's office," Sam said.
Reaper nodded, knowing what she wasn't saying. There was one other thing that the two of them had to do besides account for every person here, and that was taking care of certain vials in Carmack's office. They didn't need them to change someone, if they ever decided it was worth the risk. All they had to do was bite them, the way Reaper had Sam. The only thing the vials were was a chance for someone to start the plague all over again.
They swiftly made their way to the head idiot's office, noting that the door had been ripped out of its frame. The room wasn't much different from the last time Reaper had been there. It was still trashed; with things thrown all over the room, broken scientific equipment, not even the table was still standing. The only things that were even remotely intact were the carousel holding the seven remaining vials of C24 and Carmack's desk.
As Dewy and Stormskies watched the entrance to the room, Spock watched the twins as they solemnly removed the seven vials. "This one's cracked," Sam said quietly. "It's empty now."
"These are all intact," Reaper told her, setting the ones he'd removed from the carousel on a table he'd set back on its legs. He moved to check the old computer, hooking it up to a PADD that he'd added to his gear. Searching through the files was much easier than it would have been all those years ago. He'd learned a great deal about hacking computers over the last two centuries, and even more about how to create, find or destroy certain types of information.
Right now Reaper was looking for anything on C24. That wasn't the only project that Carmack was in charge of, or involved in, but it was the one that scared Reaper the most. Thanks to his enhancements he speed read through the files in record time. There were numerous files. A few were on genetic manipulation on children. Reaper thought that it just figured that the sick fuck had been involved in developing the Augments. There were various new, (then) weapons designs, and information on the archeological dig. This he copied for Sam knowing that she had never lost her fascination with their adopted ancestors. The last file was the C24 project and that he destroyed with a sense of accomplishment.
Sam opened the six remaining vials that contained the C24 serum, carefully setting the caps down, each move slow and careful to ensure that nothing spilled. Then she pulled a small glass container out of the utility belt where she carried her extra ammunition. Each vial of C24 received a carefully measured dose of the liquid in her container. She didn't so much as flinch when Reaper came up behind her and slipped something into her utility belt. "Is it working?" he asked.
"We'll know in a minute," she said as she returned the container to its pouch. The three of them watched as the vials all began to slowly turn cobalt blue. Once the process was finished Sam smiled at her brother. "Done," she said with satisfaction.
Reaper quickly reached out and smashed all six vials down on the floor. "No more plague," he said simply. Just then they were interrupted with a call from Huey and Louie.