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Ensign John Kendrick - Down the rabbit hole


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I really loved reading Kendrick's sim here. It got a few comments in our Discord channel, and I had to agree with them. His internal monologue is great and really gets you to feel for him. And that touch of humor at the end right before he passes out is great. Well done, Ensign Kendrick.


((DaiMon Kaybay’s Mining Camp – North Tunnel))

While the young Bajoran doctor Rel examined the creature’s bite in John’s neck,  T’Lea checked her tricorder readings once more. John’s eyes drifted upwards to what appeared to be some kind of graffiti. He pointed his palm beacon up at the wall, hoping to get a better look.

Rel: Well I don’t think this is life threatening. You might feel some irritation though, I’ll give you something for that, hold still.

John was too focused on the graffiti to even notice doctor Rel injecting him with an antidote.  

Rel: That’s better.

The symbols appeared to be Vulcan, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to read them. Luckily for them, there was a half Vulcan in their presence.

Kendrick: Commander, my guess is those are Vulcan. Correct?

As he made circular movements with his palm beacon to draw the Commander’s attention upwards to the wall.

The commander’s headlamp took aim at the symbols John was indicating.

T’Lea: Indeed. It is Golic.

Golic? The name was unfamiliar to John.

Rel: Interesting. I don’t suppose this is a coincidence.

John watched as the Romulo-Vulcan frowned at the glyphs on the ceiling of the tunnel. As her headlamp shined on further down the tunnel, they discovered more of these symbols. 

T’Lea:  It looks like a math formula of some kind.  An engineering concept perhaps?  There’s more that way…

As the Commander started walking further down the tunnel, meanwhile making recordings of the ceiling with her tricorder, John followed her lead.

Rel: It seems to be less stable now, like whoever was writing it was doing so faster. 

Kendrick: A mysterious message written in the Vulcan language, deep inside a tunnel on a planet dozens of lightyears from Federation space. It just doesn’t make sense.

T’Lea:  I have no idea what it means.  It is definitely a formula for something, but it is beyond my expertise.  Let me send it to Dekas and the Captain.

John stopped as he watched Commander T’Lea fiddle with her tricorder, attempting to transmit the data to the Captain and Ensign Dekas. Her tricorder however didn’t seem to respond to her command entries.

She rolled her eyes at the blinking device in her hand. John could’ve sworn he heard her uttering a swear. Not very Vulcan-like he thought, but then again, the Lieutenant-Commander was also half Romulan.

T’Lea:  I can’t get a signal through, can either of you?

Rel: Nothing. 

John took off the tricorder from his belt and flipped it open. Little lights started blinking, indicating all systems seemed to be working properly – except the antenna.

John looked up as he put the tricorder back on his belt. He shook his head.

Kendrick: No, Sir.

T’Lea:  It must be interference from the cave.

The Commander glanced over John’s shoulders, back in the direction they came from, as if calculating their next move. 

Without anyone really noticing, John shook his head. Earlier that day the Captain had ordered Ensign Dekas to join the Lieutenant-Commander to explore the surrounding areas of the Jem’Hadar colony. But it was John's reaction to Second Osasad’Mon’s hostile attitude that forced Major Han to change those plans. If only he had kept his calm, Ensign Dekas would be here in the tunnel instead of him, perhaps solving this Vulcan puzzle as if it were child’s play. 

Suddenly he felt Commander T’Lea looking at him. He quickly shook off the regret that was taking hold of him again.

T’Lea:  Are you feeling well enough to continue?

He placed his hand on the back of his neck as he turned his head from left to right.

Kendrick: My neck feels a bit stiff. Almost like I was in a shuttle crash and I’m suffering from a whiplash.

T’Lea:  Are you sure you are not feeling any ill effects from the bug bite?

He glanced at doctor Rel, and with an almost boyish smile he tried to convince her he was feeling well enough to continue the mission.

Kendrick: I’m still feeling like myself doc. The alien creature doesn’t appear to have taken over any of my cognitive functions.

oO Although that would be a perfect excuse to explain my stupid behavior today. Maybe I should… On second thought, I better don’t. Oo

The Romulo-Vulcan officer looked at doctor Rel for confirmation. It was only now that John noticed her beautiful blue eyes. He quickly diverted his eyes back to the doctor, awaiting her evaluation.

T’Lea:  Is he?

Rel: As long as you are feeling okay, Ensign, I’m not worried. But let me know at once if that changes.

The Commander took a moment to consider their options. Having come to a conclusion, she looked at both John and doctor Rel. 

T’Lea: :: firmly :: Let’s finish what we started. This is obviously leading somewhere. 

Rel: Yes, ma’am.

Kendrick: :: nodding :: Agreed. If the Ferengi find out we discovered this tunnel, they might decide to send in more men to secure the area, making it more difficult for us to move in and out of this tunnel network without being detected.

The group continued into the cave, following the writing on the ceiling. After about ten minutes, the darkness around them seemed to recede.

They turned a corner and suddenly saw a blindingly bright light in the distance. It looked like a lamp or flashlight. Before John or anyone else could say anything, the light went out again. 

From behind him, he heard doctor Rel flip open her tricorder as she started taking scans.

Rel: I’ve got a life-sign. Humanoid. 

T’Lea: Response

The doctor tuned her tricorder for more specificity but shook her head.

Rel: I can’t tell what species. 

Kendrick: Whoever is out there didn’t come through the same tunnel as we did. If they did, we wouldn’t have had to push our way through these cobwebs.

As he spoke, he felt a scratchiness in the back of his throat. Perhaps the moist and cold of the tunnel was starting to get to him.    

John listened to the tricorder readings as they tapered off. Doctor Rel did her best to get them back but apparently wasn’t successful.

Rel: It’s gone. No sign of life now. At this range I should be getting full data, but I think the cave is still causing interference, maybe the tritanium is causing it? Based on this, I would say the life sign is moving away from us. 

John heard the doctor’s words, but it was almost as if they were spoken from afar, as if they were an echo of sorts. He felt beads of sweat forming on his forehead. Was the temperature rising in the tunnel or was the anxiety getting to him?

T’Lea: Response

John wiped the sweat of his forehead and nodded. Although he wasn’t feeling all too well, he was determined not to let it affect his job and the mission.

He took out his tricorder and tried to take some scans of the tunnel ahead as Commander T’Lea started to pick up the pace.   

Kendrick: Careful Commander. We don’t want to move too fast down here. These tunnels might have been equipped with defense mechanisms against intruders.

Rel: Like booby traps? We can’t be too far behind, I can’t see them being able to set up traps for us…

Suddenly John felt an excruciating pain coming from the bite wound on the back of his neck.

Rel: Ensign, stop!

As the pain got unbearable John couldn’t walk any further and dropped down to his knees. His hand reached for the back of his neck where he felt the bite wound swelling up.

Kendrick: Doc :: sounding miserable:: Doc. 

He barely managed to get the words out of his mouth. His tongue felt stiff.

Kendrick: What’s happening to me?

The bite mark on his neck was growing, changing color. It was almost as if something living was growing inside of him.

His face turned blue as he reached for his throat, barely able to breathe. This was it, he realized. He was about to die. Tears started to run down his face. Tears caused by pain as well as by the fear of dying. He would never see his family again, he realized. He would never be able to make amends with his father.

And then it felt like he was cut open by a knife as the bulge on the back of his neck burst open. Hundreds of almost microscopic tick-like creatures fell out of the wound, moving crisscross over his uniform. With a sudden retch, he started vomiting all over his uniform before landing on his hands.

As the little alien creatures darted away in the dark, John crawled towards the tunnel wall.

He turned around to rest with his back against the wall and felt the swelling in his throat starting to go down a bit. Perhaps he was going to survive the ordeal after all, he thought.

He looked down at his vomit-stained uniform.  

Kendrick: :: chuckles :: Looks like I made quite the mess. 

He looked up at both the doctor and Commander T'Lea.

Kendrick: Please don't tell the Captain.

And then he passed out.

T’Lea: Response

Rel: Response

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Oh, and the response from T'Lea in the subsequent sim is equally funny...

Kendrick: Please don't tell the Captain.

And then he slumped down leaving T’Lea to wonder...

T’Lea:  Did that jerk just die?

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