The communications systems

Marci tried to stay clear of most of the members of the landing party as they went about their work. Everyone seemed to know exactly where to go, engineers and ship's officers alike - including the ship's chief communications officer that Marci was supposed to be training with.

He was setting up his equipment on the planet to ensure that any communications from the ship or elsewhere would be amplified and transmitted to the crew's comm links. The atmosphere didn't seem to cause any resistance; but everything the team was doing was in line with standard operating procedure.

"Can I help you with anything, chief?" Marci asked.

"Why don't you go check out the communications computers inside." He said with a tone that said Just go somewhere that isn't here. Then added, "maybe it will help with your special assignment."

Marci excused herself and went looking for the computers inside the structure. When she found them, she began searching the log. There wasn't much to give them clues from the voice files, but there were some corrupted video transmissions that were saved on the system, if she could only get them to display on screen. After a few hours of work, one of the videos was cleaned up enough for her to play back.

Marci stood in awe at what she saw on the screen.

"Captain." She said. Quietly at first, until she realized that she was alone. Then she started shouting as she sprinted out towards where she'd left the crew. "Captain. Captain Cusworth." As the away team became visible, Marci noticed that everyone who was in earshot was looking at her as if she was crazy. She put her social anxiety aside, she needed to get to the Captain - quickly.

"Captain!" She said again as she approached. Then gasped for breath "Alien." Another gasp. "Lifeforms." Gasp. "Not inside." Finally she regained her composure. "They taped themselves, Captain, playing with the controls on the communications computer. I don't think they knew what they were doing." She took a deep breath. "You have to see Captain Cusworth. They're so..." She hesitated, looking at the people standing around with mouths gaping. "They're so small Captain. Little aliens."

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