Literary Challenge #36 : The Haunting of Deck 13
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Join Date: Sep 2012
01-09-2013, 12:23 PM
Captains's Log - Stardate 90606.63
I've received reports since the
launched of various events occurring on Deck 13, from missing items found days later in odd or bizarre places, to - quite simply - ghost sightings. As all the reports have been benign in nature, I dismissed them as exactly what they were - benign.
I'm not a superstitious person or Captain, but some of the details in the reports would raise eyebrows. Some of the non-resolved reports look like they will never find closure. On a hunch, I decided to do some research:
is a new ship and I have been graced with being his first commander. As a side note, that may explain the altercation I experienced with Captain Tammuz in Club 47 when I had to surrender the blasted hulk of my beloved
. Regardless, the ship's design is over a century old now, yet the
-class was conceived and constructed well enough to see their continued re-use and continuance. Sifting through the construction documentation, I chanced upon several accident reports.
These are not unusual by themselves: starships are built in space and the number of reports was well within expected parameters for a ship this size. But if there is any anomaly it is that the majority of them occurred on Deck 13. And it gets more interesting if one were to go the distance: 13 accident reports were filed within 13 days, 1 per day, all happening on Deck 13. No other deck experienced this coincidence. If I were superstitious then I would wipe the sweat from my brow learning there were no fatalities building
But that would make me superstitious.
I have yet to experience any shenanigans on Deck 13 but that doesn't mean anything. I gave this ship a shake-down as soon as I could so now it's time I had a walk-about.
Deck 13 was slowly being evacuated. Kathryn ordered personnel to leave the deck when she met them in person and catalogued their name on her PADD she strapped around her torso. Each was told not to tell anyone else where they were going and if asked, then to fabricate some excuse that would sound like they were staying on Deck 13.
The subterfuge was necessary because Kathryn was on the hunt for something on Deck 13. Her walk-about was fruitful in other ways: getting to “see” her ship in more detail and meeting more crew face-to-face for other than disciplinary or congenial reasons. This event gave her the idea to walk around the ship more often. But she’ll plan that later … she actually saw the “ghost” for a split second and was determined to catch it … so to speak.
By now, Kathryn had bumped into twenty-three crew and six civilians. Deck 13's hallways had perceptibly less traffic since she started the hunt. She stopped at an intersection and slowly looked around the corner.
I don’t believe in ghosts
, she whispered for the hundredth time she realized. Was she trying to convince herself?
But there it was: a humanoid figure, almost completely transparent except for a very faint distortion at the edges of itself. The apparition stood still … was it looking at her? One arm raised and seemed to be … scratching its head? Kathryn's eyebrow raised in that ever so Vulcan way she had seen so often. Its head seemed to turn to one side and Kathryn quickly ducked from view, hoping not to have been caught, if possible.
Seconds ticked away and Kathryn realized she was holding her breath. The “ghost” turned the corner and bumped into Kathryn and she staggered in confusion. Looking around she barely noticed the apparition move past and down the hallway her back was facing.
“Stop!” It was all Kathryn could think to say, but the form kept moving and she strained to see her ghost.
She took off her PADD and threw it like a frisbee toward the ground at the ghost's feet, the strap flailing. The ghost was tangled and quickly fell to the ground. Kathryn's mind was whirling at what she was looking at: her PADD was dancing near the ground with a blurry blob moving around and within the straps. As Kathryn got closer the transparent blob stopped moving until a face appeared from within its form, startling Kathryn.
The face blushed and sighed. “Captain. I can explain- “
Kathryn crossed her arms and shifted her weight to one leg, angry and waiting.
“Oh, right now, yes … you see, on my downtime I've been working on a side project, this stealth suit. I actually finished it several weeks ago while we were aboard the
.” Christa Harrington pulled back the invisible cowl and her head looked as if disembodied and floating by magic. She was disentangling her feet as she spoke. Kathryn just watched.
“Um … so I was just … uh-”
“Having some fun,” Kathryn interrupted.
Christa stood and handed the damaged PADD back to the Captain. “Yes, sir.”
Accepting the PADD and looking it over, Kathryn said, “Does anyone else know about this suit?”
Kathryn stood looking at Harrington’s worried face for several seconds as she mulled her options, then settled on one. “Lieutenant, meet me in my ready room in one hour and bring all data on this project with you. But first, hide your … head … and sneak back to your room.
ghost ends here, do you understand?”
With that, Harrington's head slowly disappeared. Kathryn turned on her heels toward the turbolift with a smirk on her face.
I knew I didn’t believe in ghosts.
Kathryn S. Beringer
The Dawn Patrol
Veritatum Liquido Cernene
Last edited by cmdrscarlet; 04-04-2013 at
. Reason: Added second stanza