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For Better or Worse....

Posted on 05 Jan 2019 @ 5:25am by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Ensign Shay Mitchell & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: The Kalisa Conundrum
Location: Deck 12
Timeline: MD 1 || 1530 hours

Having finished with Ensign Khan in the Ready Room, Harvey decided to take a walk, hoping that the physical activity would clear his head. He was forgetting things, missing details, and seemed a bit lethargic. While it would be appropriate to turn over command temporarily to another member of the senior staff, which he had, allowing himself to walk about the ship, he couldn't stay away too long until there was news from the Away Team.

The corridors of the Black Hawk were quiet. Much of the crew was on duty, and those that weren't were not wandering the ship, tending to private matters above all. Or, more than likely, trying to rest. Harvey yawned, thinking he should have grabbed another cup of Wilkin's before starting to wander about the deck.

As the Captain of the ship moved down the corridor, the air began to grow stale, musty... a scent he'd experienced once before not very long ago. The lights above flickered once, twice, a third time before going out completely, being replaced by the red hue of emergency lighting. A layer of dust seemed to coat everything around him, and the occasional cobweb could be seen in different corners.

Things looked as though they hadn't been disturbed for quite some time. An eerie silence surrounded him. The kind of quiet that was deafening and very unsettling, but it was short lived when just ahead of him, a thumping sound against a door was heard. It only happened once before the unnerving silence greeted him once more.

Harvey's walk slowed, watching the ship age and deteriorate around him, only to jump at the sound of the thumping sound. "Hello?" he called out. "Is anyone there?"

Not a reply came his way. Harvey tapped his badge, about to call for security, but his mouth was left open when he didn't hear the confirming chirp of the badge. Cautiously, he started to move forward in the direction he thought he heard of the sound.

A second thump was heard against the door up ahead, followed by another. Whoever it was wasn't able to reply verbally, but why? The sound became more frantic, but for some reason, the individual on the other side wasn't able to do it on their own.

He didn't jump this time, but he did carefully approach the door. With the power out, he didn't expect it to open, nor did it open for him. "Hello?" he called out, feeling around the middle of the doorjab to find a groove to grab onto.

When he was at the door, the thumping turned to beating, then there was a voice. A voice he was all too familiar with on an average day, save for the gravely rasp. "He...lp, pl... ease."

Harvey paused. That voice... that tone... he recognized it. For whatever reason, he couldn't identify it. "Hang on!" he shouted, trying to pry the door open.

The pounding started to fade to dull pats. Whatever was going on on the other side was starting to take effect, but that didn't stop whoever it was from doing their part to get the door open. Between the two of them, it parted slightly, smoke pouring out into the corridor from the small gap.

Coughs roared out of Harvey's throat as his body did the best to reject the foul smoke. The certainty of death only strengthened his resolve, pushing the doors fully apart. "Hello?" he called out again, looking around the doorframe for the person who had been pounding on the door.

The moment the door opened, and a few seconds after, someone fell at his feet. A blaze was burning inside, having started at a console before spreading until half the area was engulfed in flames. The body on the floor was badly burned, the uniform melted to flesh and giving off a charred odor. Given the prominent swell at the abdomen, the body was definitely female, and she wasn't moving.

"Oh, shit," he muttered. Instantly, he slapped his combadge just before reaching for his wife. "Geisler to Sickbay. Medical Emergency, Deck Twelve!" Of course, no one responded, but that didn't stop him from grabbing under her arms and pulling her out the door. "Stay with me, Joey!" he shouted. "Sickbay! Security! Engineering! Someone respond!"

She was dead weight in his arms as he pulled her away from the door. Joey made no movements, made no sounds, she was just limp... lifeless. Smoke poured out into the hallway, mixing with the scent of charred flesh and burnt hair. It was impossible to know how long she'd been trapped inside, but she'd definitely succumbed to the horrors inside.

They were out in the corridor now, and Harvey kept going as fast as he could until they reached the nearest junction just a few feet away. As soon as he was there, he started checking for a pulse around all of her charred skin. "Come on, Joelle," he muttered, not finding anything. He looked at her chest, looking for the best method to apply CPR, only to discover that he had no memory of how to do so. "Damn it," he muttered, looking around for a medical kit in a supply locker. Dust was kicked up everywhere with every footstep. Finally he found one, but none of the tools appeared to be working. "Is anyone else here?" he shouted up and down the corridor. "Hello!?"

There was no response, but behind him, a finger twitched. It was a simple movement, but movement nonetheless. The twitching finger turned into an arm jerking. Slowly, Joey rose to her feet in one fluid motion and stood in the corridor, staring at the only other person within the vicinity. The distance between them wasn't vast, and she was easily able to close it relatively easily, though, her movements were a bit forced and not very coordinated. Being exposed to fire just did things to a person, and their motor skills. She stopped a few feet short of him, and thanks to the dim lighting, her cold dead stare was impossible to see.

Harvey sighed, unable to find anyone in the vicinity. He was going to have to get her to a muster area in hopes some of the crew had already assembled there. He also had to get in touch with the bridge and find out what was going on, but he couldn't just leave her. He couldn't give up on her so easily, not with all they'd been through.

The Captain turned and froze. Joey was... standing? She didn't have a pulse when he checked. Though it didn't make sense, he was certainly beyond excited. "Joey!" he cried out, starting to quickly move back towards her. "Let's get you to sickbay."

Joey's mouth opened as he grew closer, soot and blood mixed with saliva oozing down her chin. A gurgling like sound came from her as her airway was obstructed. She remained standing where she was, though, watching as the man came toward her. Her fingers twitched. Some kind if primal instinct was beginning to kick in. The need to survive in a world where there were no others.

At least... not yet.

It was then that she moved. Faster than should have been humanly possible. Her hands clawed at his uniform as her blood covered teeth snapped at his face, which was the only skin he had exposed presently.

He'd been prepared to embrace her, at least that's what he was doing right as they approached each other. This reaction, whatever it was, wasn't human in the slightest. "What the hell, Joey?" Harvey asked, trying to push her back and attempting to figure out what was going on.

She staggered back a couple steps. Another gurgling sound left her lips as her stomach shifted from one side, then to the other, showing there was still some kind of life inside of her. Joey didn't know pain, though, and despite the moving of her swollen belly, she was moving toward him again.

Harvey took a step backwards, trying to study her. Her twisting seemed highly unnatural, as did the movement in her stomach. Were the twins alive? Were they about to tear themselves into the world of the living? He wasn't sure he wanted to stay and find out. "Let's get to sickbay, Joey. We can help you." He continued to backpedal, staying outside of her reach.

She followed him rather clumsily, occasionally reaching out in an attempt to grab him. Her stomach continued to move, almost in a panicked kind of way, as if it were a silent plea from his unborn children to be saved from certain death. More drool oozed from her mouth, followed by another gurgle.

He continued to back away, unwilling to touch her in fear that she might harm him. For Better or Worse, along with the rest of his vows, echoed in his mind. As a doctor, he'd seen enough to know that he'd likely be vindicated in a situation like this. Not that he'd leave her, but he certainly wasn't going to put himself more at risk than he needed to in order to get her the help she needed. Harvey glanced behind him, making sure to take a turn to a turbolift.

Did the turbolifts even have power? How could he protect himself in a turbolift? Would she follow him into a Jeffries tube? Was he really alone on this deck. "Hello!?" he shouted behind him. "Medical emergency! This is the Captain! I could use some help!"

Joey continued forward, an arm lashing out every so often in an attempt to grab him, but he was too far out of her reach. She showed zero emotion except perhaps a hunger so deep rooted it was unlikely it would ever be satisfied. Another garbled, bubbling sound escaped her singed lips.

From behind him, a hand grabbed his shoulder.

Harvey screamed as he turned around, trying to shake the hand off of his shoulder. He wished he had a phaser for a brief moment, and then realized that Joey was still behind him. He quickly turned himself into a position to keep an eye on both figures.

Shay blinked when he screamed. He looked like he was afraid of something, but what? There wasn't anyone else in their current section of the deck that she could see. "Captain? Are you okay?" the Acting Assistant Chief of Security (for the moment) asked, bringing a hand to hover just above her phaser in case she needed it.

"What?" Harvey asked, blinking. In an instant, the dust and decay was gone. The lights were again bright, and the corridor not bathed in red. "I..." he said, looking behind him where his wife once stood only to find that she too had disappeared. "I... think I'm just a bit tired, Ensign. Long day."

"I think what I witnessed goes a bit beyond tired, Captain," the Ensign observed, allowing her hand to resume its normal position once more. There didn't seem to be a threat anywhere that she could see. "Come on. I'll escort you to sickbay. Just to be on the safe side."

He didn't want to go to sickbay. Harvey was determined that he was fine. Surely it was just an idle thought or fantasy that crept up in his mind. But... the sensations... the sights... even the smells. It was all so real. Glancing down the corridor, he saw the door he had forced open... to a maintenance closet. The Captain closed his eyes and held in a sigh. Maybe he should go to sickbay, if for both his peace of mind, and Ensign Mitchell's. "All right," he said softly. He opened his eyes and began to walk.

Something was clearly bothering him, but what? There was only one way to find out. "If you don't mind me asking, Sir, what exactly did you see?" the young woman asked him, gesturing for him to move toward the turbolift.

"Hmm?" Harvey muttered, his mind having again wandered back to what he'd just experienced. "It's probably nothing," he told her. Maybe it was time he saw a counselor, if only to keep himself from cracking under the Zone's pressure.

"Probably nothing means it could be something," she pointed out and turned toward the turbolift. Shay's number one priority was getting the Captain to sickbay in case he'd been injured somehow, but that thought was fleeting when she caught movement out the corner of her eye.

Whatever it was was ducked into an alcove up ahead. Now protecting the ship's Commanding Officer was a priority. "Captain," she began, pulling her phaser from her holster and leveling it in front of her. "I think we've been boarded. There's someone hiding down the corridor. Stay behind me, but stay close."

The Captain found himself regretting not implementing Lieutenant Di Pasquale's protocols, though reason seemed to take possession of him. "You sure it's not just an engineering crewmember performing maintenance in this section?"

Was it? Nothing good had happened to them since they'd been on this side of the barrier. "We've been boarded once before with people wanting to take the ship from us," the young woman told him as she took a step backward. Was he working with them? He couldn't be. He was Captain Harvey Geisler, Commanding Officer of the USS Black Hawk-A.

A battle raged inside her mind. The logical side knew he wasn't capable of turning on the ship and her crew, but there was another side that told her he was responsible. That he'd sold out the rest of them to save his own skin. Shay dropped to her knees and screamed, clutching her head in an effort to stop the chaos inside her mind.

"Ensign?" Harvey asked, kneeling beside her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Ensign?" He wasn't sure what else to do. He'd been hallucinating earlier. Perhaps it wasn't just him.

Shay felt a hand in her shoulder and removed her hands from her head to look whoever it was. She blinked slowly. "Captain Geisler? I... I don't feel so well."

The Captain frowned. Something was certainly not well aboard the Black Hawk. He wasn't surprised in the slightest. After all, this seemed to be the current state of affairs these days. He tapped his combadge, not willing to take another step on this deck in fear of what might befall them. "Geisler to Transporter Room One. Two to beam directly to sickbay."

 

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