Posted on 08/22/2019 @ 11:33am by
Lt Rai rubbed her temples for what seemed the millionth time.
Opening her eyes, they momentarily stung from the brilliance of the flashlight reflecting off the surface of the console she was working within.
Behind her, a mumbling made it's way into the room.
Startled, Rai dropped her flashlight, the item floating suspended, like everything else.
"Jada? is that you?"
Silence, followed by the mumbling, louder this time.
Sar couldn't make out the words. Nor could she figure out exactly where they were coming from. But one thing she could devise was the sound of their footsteps. Not scraping of limbs weightless against the walls. No, these were physical footsteps. And as they came closer, Sar's instinct to run grew. The language, whatever it was, was not recognizable to her as one of the federation. She was no expert, but the heavy-handed footsteps, the foreign speak...these were no friendlies.
Careful not to make too much noise, Sar turned her flashlight beam lower, pulling herself along the console front to where the room's access to the tubes was. Putting the flashlight tip in her mouth, she slowly felt for the handgrips, pulled the doorway open.
The heavy scrape the panel made was undeniable.
The footsteps turned, pounded along the floor outside the room. Sar panicked, dropping the panel and reaching out for the grip inside, scrambling to pull herself in. The whine behind her, a screech not unlike that of a squealing cavie, shot out in her direction. She cried out as the thing stung her, bit her. She turned, her shoulder stinging, arm and hand numb, warmth spreading across her uniform. Propelled further into the jeffries tube, she watched as the massive black being tried to come in after her, stopped by their own unyielding wide form. The light of her flashlight, now drifting without purpose close to the being, shone on its form, reflecting off the being's scales. For a moment she saw tiny eyes, a frothing mouth as it spouted what she assumed were obscenities.
Not able to reach her, the thing raised its weapon toward her.
She barely had a chance to raise her arms in defense when the beam hit her.
Later, when Sar opened her eyes, she hardly knew she was awake. Darkness surrounded her. Wetness surrounded her. She was laying somewhere cold, or maybe that was her own body heat escaping her. Sar tried to move, her limbs slow to respond. on the right, her arm didn't respond at all. She reached up with her other hand, feeling for injury, and when it found it, starting just above her right breast and continuing on over her shoulder and down her arm, she cried out. Pulling her hand away, she opened her eyes wide, trying to force them to adjust to the dark. Eventually they did, though the back of her head stung for it even more.
Below her, bubbles hung, suspended. It was the same above. Tiny bubbles of dark liquid, just floating. She reached out to one, squishing it between her fingers. It was thick, coagulated.
Panicking when she realized what it was, Lt Rai glanced around the tube, using her blood covered hands to grasp for purchase in the tube, pulling herself one-handed along it, trying to find identifying markers to figure out where she was going. The soles of her boots dug into the grooves along the floor, pushing her further, farther away though she suspected she was only leaving a trail of blood bubbles behind.
A mess for someone else to clean up. Not a concern right now.
She turned a corner, pushing off toward where she could see another panel opening. She braced herself for impact, trying to slow herself with her boots along the wall but she was going too fast now, too unfocused in her travel. She cringed as she got close to hitting the thing.
A hand grabbed her collar at the last moment, halting her forward movement. Pulling her back slowly, the Marine Commander looked her in the eyes checking for evidence of head trauma and shock. Then his eyes went to the more obvious wound, a deep cut that was leaking blood. Without saying a word he pulled out a knife as another marine pulled out some quick clotting material. As Joachim worked to cut the fabric off, the medic looked at the woman, "This is going to hurt a bit, but it'll stop the bleeding."
Joachim shot the marine a glance, having gave the order to limit speech to conserve oxygen. The Nobleman rested a reassuring hand on Sar's uninjured shoulder, telling her he actually did care.
Sar cringed as the fabric pulled away from her wound. It stung like a fury. If she embraced her betazoid half more, she'd be swearing up a storm. But the Vulcan inside merely warned her for calm. She closed her eyes, letting the cloth peel away, sticky with her own blood, feeling the warmth of the marine's hand on her shoulder, letting it warm her chilled skin.
But, as the blood was staunched and the medic peeled away more fabric to treat the second wound, Sar's eyes jolted open wide. Her left hand jumped to the marines, clinging onto his wrist tight. "We've been boarded. They're huge and covered in dark scales. I don't know what race they are - I don't even know how we will be able to understand them. Their language is foreign and the translators couldn't figure it out." Her body trembled, an equal measure of hurt and fear. Her vulcan half reasoned again for calm, but the batazoid...fear WAS logical, at the right time. And this, this was definitely one of those.
Joachim put a single finger to his lips before lowering it. A single finger tapped his rifle, telling her that they had already met some of the mystery lifeforms. He had been pleased he was able to deal with the zero grav as well as he had, but it was definitely a degradation, "Life support is down, we need to conserve oxygen."
Sar gulped. Life support. Of course.
She hissed as the medic pressed on her collarbone, where the second wound seemed to be. If she had a padd, she probably would have been brazen enough to tell the man to go to whatever version of the underworld he believed in.
The Lt took a moment to collect herself again, watching the marine break away to hold up his weapon, checking for any movement outside of their contained space. She needed to get to an active console. She needed engineers to work with so they could get power restored and the ship secured, at least on that end. The best chance of that was back in engineering. But that was where the aliens were.
Had they taken over engineering completely? Were they immune to the loss of life support? Her brows furrowed as she thought of any other solution where she could access the main power, but thus far the solutions were limited.
The medic said something to Joachim. He nodded in response. Sar risked the marine's criticism by speaking again. "I need to get back to engineering."
"What you need is a proper doctor," Joachim whispered back, a bit too distracted to be concerned about his request for silence. Shouldering his G-11, he attempted to catch a glimpse of whatever had moved down the hall. What I wouldn't give for some night vision goggles.
A paw tapped his shoulder, the caitian having better night sight than his boss did, and held up two fingers before pointing down the hall. Holding up a hand, Joachim silently told the Marines to take cover and get ready for another scrap. While he'd prefer to go around them, they were blocking the quickest way to sickbay.
Finger on the trigger he could just make out the shape of one of the attackers. They knew the crewmen were there but likely hadn't figured out that the crewmen knew. With a free hand up he decided the best introduction would be a violent one. The weapons were cut loose as soon as he closed his hand into a fist. After about a half minute of firing he silently ordered a ceasefire, moving down the hall with his saber in hand.
Sticking his blade into one of the creatures, he recieved no response. As he attempted to withdraw the blade he was set upon by the other mortally wounded creature. The creature wisely put himself close to Joachim, at this distance his men wouldn't risk taking a shot. Instinctively he struck out, only to be met by armored plate. Biting his tongue he took a shot to the chin as the creature's unintelligible screaming filled the corridor. Three sharp reports ended the noise, bullet casings bouncing off the bulkheads. Holstering the pistol he finally withdrew the blade and waved for the others to follow.
Sar watching half-lidded as the marines dispensed with the alien invaders, impressed with their skill, even with zero-gravity.
Somehow she had managed to slump against the wall, the mangled edges of her ruined uniform floating near her face, her body sliding toward the marines so slowly she barely moved at all. When Joachim waved to the others, Sar's eyes momentarily met his and she nodded, knowing the man would never agree to her going to engineering now. Not with so many invaders around. He wouldn't be foolish enough to think that the ones they had disposed of were the last. Pushing off from the wall carefully, Sar used her one arm to swim toward the men and women, ready to follow them where they intended. She wouldn't abandon her goal so easily, but perhaps in trusting in them, they would be able to work together to get the ship back up and running, scale alien-free...