Chapter Three: Trying to Make Contact

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The refuge Data for his crew discovered was comprised of a copse of trees growing next to a semi-circle of tumbled rocks, reaching about eight to nine meters in height. There was a nice hollow in the middle where they could put their backs against a wall of sorts.

"Worf, you and Data will stand guard," Picard ordered as he settled Deanna against the trunk of one tree. "Set phasers to stun, but don't use them unless absolutely necessary. For all we know, the natives are friendly here."

"Captain," Worf replied with a curt nod. His warrior side tempted him to change the setting on his phaser, but he had his orders.

Both android and Klingon moved to hide just inside the protective branches of their sanctuary. They made the necessary adjustments to their side arms, Worf keeping his at the ready while Data reholstered his. He was more curious about the natural inhabitants than he felt any need to neutralize them.

Instead, Data held out his tricorder, scanning the area. "I am detecting six individuals heading towards this location," he reported. "They appear to be humanoid in form, though one is decidedly larger than the others. I do not believe the larger entity is of organic composition. Scans suggest an artificial body, though I am having trouble do to some kind of mineral content masking my readings."

Picard looked up from administering to his unconscious companion. "Another android?"

"Unknown," Data replied. "However, scans suggest the other five share the same or at least similar physical characteristics of humans in that they are bipedal with upper appendages. Beyond that, I cannot tell due to the mineral compounds in the area. It is possible at least one of them is more animal in nature than the others."

The captain seemed a bit surprised at that. It wasn't unlike Q to show some form of mercy, even if the alien had a twisted sense of humor. "Let us hope they are friendly whatever they might be."

"I do not like it, Captain," Worf commented from his perch on a branch. "Recommend we neutralize these natives before they decide to harm us."

But Picard shook his head. "Data, do you detect anything that would suggest this planet has achieved warp technology?"

"I have not," the android responded.

"Then we can hardly go and attack a curious party of natives," Picard admonished. "Remember the Prime Directive. These people are likely primitive, having never seen an alien before in their lifetime."

Worf frowned at that but kept his phaser at the ready. "Yes sir."

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Hiro held up one hand, silently telling his team to hold up. Baymax had moved ahead a few paces before stopping, but when he did, he looked back to see what his primary patient was doing. "Let's not rush into things," the boy said quietly. "They're probably just as scared of us as we are of them."

"Oh, so now you're scared," Wasabi griped, but both of the girls hushed him.

Fred flipped his mask back into place the moment they entered the forested area. It was the best defense he had against a branch whacking him upside the head. That and he really just liked wearing it. "If I were in their shoes, I'd be scared too. After all, we do look pretty awesome and potentially scary."

GoGo shook her head at the mascot, rolling her eyes. "You think they're hiding in that area over there?" She pointed to a dense section of trees that pressed up against a rock incline.

Baymax tilted his head slightly in that direction. "GoGo is correct. The small group has taken refuge in that direction. It would appear that two members of their party have taken up positions in the trees. I believe one of them is holding a weapon of some kind, though I cannot be certain of this."

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