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[sb118-garuda] (PNPC) Andrew Davenport - From Bad to Worse


Sedrin Belasi
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(( Deck 4, Crew Quarters ))

:: Andrew hadn’t had much of an opportunity to add personal effects to his quarters, so when he stepped out into the corridor with the intent of eating breakfast in Ten Forward, he had no warning to prepare him for what greeted him. ::

:: The ceiling of the corridor was overgrown - completely - by a series of what looked to Terran vegetable plants. Tomatoes, specifically. His mother had been a gardener, once upon a time, and there was no mistaking the plants for what they were. Although the overripe, too-green fruits littering the floor didn't much resemble the tomatoes he was familiar with. ::

:: Except, these weren't like any tomato plant his mother had grown. For one thing, they were massive. For another, they were growing over the ceiling with so much speed that the reporter could actually see it. It was like watching clouds drift across the sky on a windy day. Except weirder. Actually, a lot weirder. Things like this were the reason he had never even considered a career in Starfleet. ::

:: Further down, many of the plants were wide enough to fill the entire corridor and long enough to touch the floor. But, the part that really bothered him, was that they were moving. ::

:: Near-panicked officers in less-than pristine uniforms were rushing through the corridor in an attempt to see to their jobs. He saw several armed security and operations officers trying to work their way through the corridors, edging away from the largest plants wherever they could. Except, as that group rounded the corner, another lone ensign, trying to edge around one of the plants, inadvertently bumped into another of them. It apparently didn’t like that. As the young gold-collared Bolian realized her mistake, the plant slammed into her with considerable force, eliciting a scream of terror from the woman. She turned to run only to have her ankles pulled out from under her. ::

DAVENPORT: Okay…

:: At the sound of his voice, the ensign's eyes found him, and the desperate plea was clear even before she voiced it. ::

PREN: Help me!

:: She was being pulled towards an open ceiling panel by the time Andrew got to her. He’d intended to pull her free, but when he grabbed the ensign’s outstretched hands and lowered his center of gravity to get a little more leverage, he realized how ill-conceived that plan had been. Two seconds later his own feet were off the ground while the plant snared him as well. He almost screamed, but the Bolian took care of that for him. Instead, he closed his eyes and braced himself for what he was sure was going to be an unpleasant ride. ::

:: The missing panel was just large enough for his shoulders to squeeze through. The monstrous tomato plant somehow lifted them into a dark, narrow tunnel, and even more limb-like vines dragged them deeper and deeper down some kind of narrow shaft. When it dropped them, the majority of its body had slumped back down into the corridor, blocking out the light and any any chance of escape, at least through the same hole they’d been pulled in. Plunged into darkness and surrounded by the damp, sharp scent of the plant, Andrew fully expected something worse to happen. But when that something never came, he allowed himself to relax. At least as much as he could. ::

:: He took several slow breaths while tentatively reaching around him to feel the walls of their makeshift prison. There was no light, but the smooth metallic walls made him think they were in some kind of ventilation shaft. The woman he’d tried to save was hyperventilating, her rapid breaths echoing loudly through the narrow shaft. ::

DAVENPORT: Hey! Settle down. Panicking isn't going to help.

PREN: I...I’m sorry.

:: Andrew scoffed. ::

DAVENPORT: For dragging me up here? That’s all right. By the look of that corridor, we might be better off. I’m just trying to figure out why it took us up here. We’ll skip the how for now, because I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that one.

:: She reached for his arm as she began to breathe more deeply, gulping down slower breaths. ::

PREN: I… I think we’re in the ship’s ventilation system.

DAVENPORT: Yeah, I think so too.

:: He was still feeling along the floor, looking for anything he might be able to use to find his bearings. Instead, his fingers found a complex weave of small, interwoven vines. He couldn’t see in the dark, but they reminded him of the morning glory he’d used to pull out of his mother’s garden. What was something like that doing up here. ::

:: More disconcerting, the tiny vines reacted to his touch, curling around his fingers, gripping tightly. Andrew was able to pull his hand free, but with more effort than he’d care to admit. Some of the vines snapped and popped rather than release him. An artificial plastic scent struck his nose as some kind of moisture splashed over his wrist. ::

PREN: There are more plants in here.

DAVENPORT: I noticed. What’s going on?

PREN: I don’t know. Someone called me up to ops, except the turbolifts were all shut down, so it took me a long time to get up here - my quarters are all the way down on deck 19. These plants are everywhere. And. I… I think they’re eating people.

:: Andrew laughed. ::

DAVENPORT: Last I checked, plants didn't have teeth.

:: That didn't seem to help. ::

PREN: I… saw one that did.

:: That shut him up. Okay. Massive mobile plants with strength to match and an apparent hunger for humanoid flesh. It was starting to get just a little more terrifying than it was absurd. ::

DAVENPORT: Do you know how to get out of here.

:: There was a pause, then the sound of a commbadge.::


PREN: =/\= Ensign Pren to transporter room 1. Can you beam me and one civilian out of here. =/\=

OPERATOR: =/\= Sorry, Ensign. We just lost power to the entire system. Do you need help? I can send security, though they're hands are pretty full at the moment. =/\=

PREN: =/\= Um… no. I think we can get out. Pren out. =/\=

DAVENPORT: So…

PREN: I've been up here before. During the Garuda’s last refit we had to replace a lot of these shafts to make room for other systems. I think I can get us to another access panel. Except…

:: She trailed off, prompting Davenport to prod. ::

DAVENPORT: Except what?

PREN: Except there’s probably a reason that plant brought us up here. Crawling around up here might make things worse.

DAVENPORT: Worse than sitting up here in the dark and hoping someone comes along to save us?

PREN: When you put it like that…

:: Andrew gave her the time she needed to collect herself. ::

PREN: If we’re where I think we are, the nearest panel will be about 70 meters this way, but we’ll need to drop down to get there.

:: She started down the corridor, where the thinner vines were growing more prominent. Andrew followed here, desperately trying to ignore the growing sense of unease that came when he realized he could no longer feel the metal of the ventilation shaft underneath. After Pren’s comment about plants with teeth, he couldn't shake the sense that he was crawling right into some great beast’s stomach. ::

PREN: Here’s the drop.

:: She said after a few moments of the slow crawl. ::

PREN: It should only be about two meters. I’ll go first. If… you don’t hear anything from me, something went wrong.

:: Andrew wanted to say something. Volunteer to go first, maybe. But self preservation was a powerful instinct, and one he wasn’t ready to shake just yet. ::

:: He heard her drop more than he felt it. It was a soft sliding noise followed by a considerable bang that drowned out any sound of the Bolian’s impact below. After a few seconds she called up to him. ::

PREN: It’s not so bad. More plants down here. They help break the fall.

:: That was encouraging, Andrew thought as he reached the edge. His eyes strained to see below, but there was still no light. ::

DAVENPORT: I’m coming down then.

:: A moment later, his feet were slamming hard against the bottom of the shaft. It really wasn't that bad, and the anxiety he’d been feeling was slowly starting to abate. ::

PREN: Just a few more meters this way.

:: He followed her, encouraged by a sliver of light in the distance. He could see Pren’s slender frame as she crawled along the shaft. And the thickening weave of vines still lining every surface for as far as the limited light would allow him to see. ::

:: The sliver of light, it turned out, was the panel they’d been trying to reach. The vines, growing in knotted coils, had somehow forced the side panel open a few centimeters. ::

DAVENPORT: Can you get it open?

PREN: I think so…

:: It took some effort, but the panel eventually gave way to her efforts. She gasped a moment later when she saw what it opened up to. Andrew peered over her shoulder. ::

:: The thin vines were growing from an absolutely enormous mass in the center of what appeared to have once been some kind of biology lab. The plant, which vaguely resembled an enormous pitcher plant, now filled the room, while hundreds of vines of various sizes shooting out from it in all directions. Some of them appeared to even be linked into the ship’s power grid. ::

DAVENPORT: Maybe we should try another--

:: Andrew had just enough time to start his thought before the vines surrounding them folded into a net-like lattice that plucked them from the ventilation shaft and down into the lab. More vines began wrapping around them, slowly cocooning, like a spider wrapping a fly in silk. That was the last thing Andrew was aware of for quite some time. ::

(( OOC - If anyone needs something to do, feel free to get involved! ))

===

Andrew Davenport

Press Observer

USS Garuda

simmed by

Lieutenant Evan Delano

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