When Willoughby awoke, he was no longer in the 602 club, but back on Relay Station 634.
"What the bloody hell am I doing here? I thought this was a simulation."
At this point he didn't know if he had fallen into another of his highly detailed daydreams or not. It all seemed
so real to him again. There he was, staring out the view port at the large squid-like creature yet again.
He slapped himself in an effort to wake up, but it did nothing but leave a mild sting on his cold face. Perhaps
this has all been part of the same simulation, from the holodeck and Commander Surat, all the way to the 602 and the dish of calamari he was sampling.
He was becoming confused and disoriented. He broke into a cold sweat in fear of what he was witnessing.
"Is the Tricorne being destroyed or not?"
He did not know if he was witnessing a real event or not anymore, but regardless, he had to do something!
Willoughby checked the sensor readings from the console in front of him again and devised a plan.
"If I change the signal the relay station is sending, perhaps I can get the attention of the beast. Maybe I can even save the Tricorne if I divert attention away from it."
He knew he would be taking a huge risk and possibly putting himself in danger, but he was too focused now
to even care.
"I'm going to try it", he thought to himself.
With that, he changed the frequency and prepared to send the signal. He paused for a moment, then pushed the send button on the console.
The signal pulsed energy around the Relay station and Ensign Willoughby kept an eye out for the response from the squid-thing. However apart from a brief pause there was none. This only seemed to encourage the Ensign as he tried to boost the signal by rerouting as much power as he could to the communications array.
And this time as he pressed the send button the squid stopped dead in its tracks as if somewhat confused. It was a tense moment what would the squid-like creature do?! A drop of sweat trickled down along his ridged Bajoran nose.
Section by section the creature, whatever it was, released its grip on the Tricorne and soon the Starfleet vessel was completely free. It had some minor hull damage and its power had been heavily drained but otherwise it was fine.
However Relay Station 634 was soon going to next course and he could only hope that the Tricorne still had something up its sleeve so it could rescue him in time but he half thought that they might have forgotten him.
As the Tricorne listed, seemingly dead in space, the creature began to make it's slow approach toward the relay station. Whether it was looking for it's next victim or just merely curious, Willoughby could not determine. One thing was certain, if he survived the ordeal, he would remove the log entry that expressed his boredom. The squid creature drew closer, but the Ensign continued to transmit, hoping that the crippled vessel would somehow come to his rescue. Realizing that there was nothing to do but wait, Willoughby made his way back to the chamber where he had accessed the sensors so that he could see for himself the seriousness of his dilemma.
He began to think back on how miserable he was when his orders came down. He had heard his friends brag about the excitement of serving on one starship or another. He was embarrassed to tell them where he'd been stationed, knowing that every moment would be a monotonous grind. A strange smile began to spread across the young Ensign's face until he realized that it may be the last smile he would ever smile.
The creature was almost on top of the tiny station now. It began to spread it's tentacles out to a span that seemed a kilometer wide. Now he could easily see the other side of this beast. The tentacles had a fiberous underside where he had imagined the little round suction cups to be, and in the center of it's massive body was an orifice that Willoughby concluded must be it's mouth, surrounded by nine of the most evil eyes he had ever seen. It now struck him like lightning that this was nothing like the sea creatures he had seen pictures of.
Any last vestage of hope faded as the Tricorne was still completely dark. He began to lose sight of it as the beast drew nearer, blocking his view. The only part of the dead vessel left in sight was the tip of the port nacelle. The station began to lurch as the creature was now upon it. Willoughby's stomach had now taken up residence in his throat. He craned his neck to get a last look at the Tricorne's lifeless nacelle. Just it it disappeared behind the squid creature, he swore he saw a running light blink on, but now it was gone. All he could see was the dark underside of the gruesome creature that was about to eat him alive.
The station went dark. Willoughby could not see the hand in front of his face. He had experienced fear plenty of times in his short life, but never like this. The dim glow of the emergency lights popped on giving him a tiny bit of relief. The station was now trembling wildly in the creatures grasp. The Ensign made his way back down to the main control room. He thought to himself that when he was found, he should at least be at his station.