Thread: Tension
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Career Officer
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 44
# 18
05-05-2013, 02:23 AM
In modern days, the stun setting on a phaser delivers a high electrical charge, which shorts out the nervous system, hopefully without long term effects. No matter the safety features, a gun is a gun: It is designed to kill.

The creatures Andrea and Selan currently find themselves against are insects that burrow into the spine and control otherwise friendly targets. Even more complex is that the insects are very resistant to traditional stun settings.

Andrea knew all this when she checked out the pulse compression phaser rifle from the locker. These creatures had been discussed at the academy. Except for recognition techiques no clear strategy of incapacitating the possessed humanoid had been agreed upon.

Andrea decided to take a lesson from history. When the Klingons were a threat in the Twenty-Third century Federation hand phasers had a stun setting that Starfleet jokingly called, “Klingon Stun.”

Ensign Yohan leaped across the engineering room from the balcony of the warp core, screaming like a Banshee. Andrea stepped slightly to the side and fired her weapon. While there was an electric shock involved, it was no where near as impressive as the distance Ensign Yohan flew as his body skipped off the warp core and landed in a heap on engineering level two.

Andrea knew that a hand to hand struggle would turn out badly. The parasites increase the strength and speed of their victims to such an extent that they hardly can be contained by a normal human.

Selan was not human. As Lieutenant Reiger advanced upon them he was met by a giant amber fist, knocking him cold and sending him instantly to the floor.

Alone Andrea would have been hard pressed to take Engineering, but an angry Founder evened the odds very quickly. Soon they had open access.

“Computer, recognize Petros, Andrea.”

“Password.” The computer replied.

“Access encryption program clock three.” A clock appeared on the screen.

“Freeze time. Use algorithm three.”

“Algorithm accepted. Enter command phrase.”

“Strike silent knives all monsters met.”

“Computer active.”

“Lock out all transporters and replicators to my command code. Activate protocol forty-seven and use Anestisine on all decks but engineering.”

“Working. All transporters locked. All Replicators locked. Protocol forty-Seven in progress, Anestisine levels at point one part per million and rising.”

“Hold at seventy parts per million.”

“You’ll kill them, or put them in comas.” Selan said as she scanned the unconscious group in engineering for signs of consciousness.

“These things would kill them with any less of a dose. Computer, activate command password routine four.”

“We had best transport these out into the corridor.”

“I turned the transporters off, even the shuttle transporters. Let me get a mask on, and we’ll open up this compartment.”

Andrea and Selan made their way through the ship as she saw the crew lying very still on the deck. They had to find the queen, destroying it would kill all the other insects and end the threat.

They also had to find… It. Selan had filled in Andrea on the creature and how it planned to enter our galaxy through the Granameir. Just the thought of that nightmare thing being real sent a cold snap up Andrea’s spine. There was no way it could be allowed to enter the galaxy.

It was nesting in cargo bay two. Most likely the queen would be there as well.

Cargo bay two was completely dark. The light invaded from the hallway as Andrea made her way into the darkness, the light on her weapon being swallowed up by the inky blackness of the infested bay.

“Come to me, child of my new home. Look upon me and embrace the truth of the universe. Embrace the terror of your future.”

“What is it with you all-powerful, ‘Things.’ Can’t you just die in peace so I can get on with my life?”

“Many show courage, in the beginning. To look upon me is to look upon your death.”

Andrea swung her weapon around, trying to get a bead on the creature. For a creature that size it hid remarkably well. “To look upon me is death? Untold ages in the ether and that is the best spooky line you can come up with?”

“Insolent gnat…”

“Seriously. What makes you think anyone would be afraid of a giant pimple like you? I fought the Borg. I’ve seen creatures that don’t even fit into three dimensions. I’ve watched your cockroaches turn my friends into puppets. I’m done being afraid of those that seek to harm me. You can rot in hell, whatever you are. Kill me or not, I will not fear you!”

“Fool!” The thing boiled down from the roof, vomiting itself into the tentacled form Andrea remembered. “I will burn your soul for all time!”

“Gotcha.” Truthfully something primal was turning Andrea’s guts out, a feeling this creature was elementally wrong for this world. The fact was she was able to ignore this response. Perhaps it was being taken by the Borg, or living with the nightmares that had haunted her since, but her reaction to fear was no longer revulsion, but an anger that burned through her so bright she thought light must be blasting out of her eyes.

She was also one of the best tacticians Starfleet had produced in recent months. From under the floor dozens of golden spikes rammed through the creature as it howled from the changeling’s attack. Andrea blasted the creature, her rifle set past safe limits.

Perhaps in times past it had enjoyed some kind of invulnerability from primitive creatures, but the repeated blasts of the rifle and the insane attacks of the Founder quickly set the creature to the defensive.

After it realized it could not physically harm Selan a hard tentacle caught Andrea in the chest and sent her flying across the entire cargo bay, bones snapping upon impact. As she fought to right herself, feeling multiple ribs broken, she caught sight of Sal’Ar Rei, curled up in the dark.

“Sal’Ar, help me.”

“We will help you, Andrea. We will help you all.” Sal’Ar looked at her with dead eyes, and a large insect crawled out of his mouth towards her. “Just don’t move; it will all be over soon.” Despite the fact that Sal’Ar was controlled by the Host Queen, Sal’Ar seemed supremely sad at what he was doing.

“We only wish to lift the burden of free thought from you. Through us you will serve He who shall not be named…”

“Sal’Ar Rei, we serve the Founders.”

The Vorta’s head twitched. Ingrained in every fiber of the Vorta is an overwhelming sense of duty and reverence to the Changlings that made them. It was as much biological as mental.

“We serve the Founders.” The insect was crawling up her leg. She couldn’t get her rifle on it in time. She pulled he dagger and made a few swipes at the thing, but her broken condition was not allowing her to put up any serious defense. “Serve the Founders! Serve the Founders!”

“We… serve…” Sal’Ar locked up, his body becoming rigid and shaking violently. The insect had begun to bore into Andrea’s back, but it also began to loose control of itself.

As quickly as it had begun, it was over. Neuro-toxin flowed through Sal’Ar Rei’s body, and as lethal as it had been for him, it was doubly so for the queen inside him.

The thing fell lifeless as Sal’Ar did. Andrea fought to roll onto her side, to get a bead on the thing that was fighting Selan.

Selan did not even look like a creature at this point. Sharp amber spikes protrudes from dozens of places on the creature as it screamed in protest, unable to grab her, unable to stop her from impaling him over and over. Two monsters, fighting in the dark.

Forever? For all the damage the thing was taking, it didn’t seem to be slowing down. Andrea began to wonder if the creature could be destroyed at all.

A blue blast of light came from the darkness, and struck the creature in its boiling center mass. Selan withdrew as a score of Jem’Hadar, released from the stasis imposed when it was discovered that only the Vorta could unlock the white for them to feed upon, freed by their god and sent against this most unholy of creatures.

“You… filth! Feculent ape! I cannot be defeated! No one survives me!”

“Shut up and die already, I have bleeding to do.” Finally angled so she could shoot from the floor, Andrea unloaded a steady stream of energy into the creature. She was beginning to lose the light in the room, a tunnel of blackness was forming around her.

“You will suffer as no one ever has. You will carry my new form into the cradle of life, and nothing will ever soothe your pain. Even when I burst from you, your soul will burn within me for all time!” A tentacle reared back, and a purple spike appeared at the tip. With all the force it could muster it threw the spike across the room and deep into Andrea’s chest.

“Scream, for all time.” The mass dissolved into a stinking mass of rotted meat, and then dissolved to nothing.

The screams that came from the darkness even gave the Founder pause. Against the wall, next to her faithful Vorta, Andrea writhed in complete, perfect agony as the spike burred itself into her chest.