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Lt. Commander Orson Marshall - Light Thinks It Travels Faster, But Dark Is Always There Waiting


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Probably one of the most unsettling SIMs I've rad in a time. Thanks @Jo Marshall I hate it


((Sickbay, Deck 2, Sasu Gol))


Every grind and thunk of the ship systems, or metal groaning under the growing cold, only made the Nurse try to suppress a shiver. Bear could only imagine the mental strength needed to hold off the emotional turmoil he'd found himself asunder. If Bear looked closer, he could see Diinr shaking.


Diinr: We detected a rapid increase of tachyons and gravitons shortly before the first of several "blips" the ship encountered, then several afterwards. Several of our colleagues within Sickaby rapidly descended into a particular type of hysteria we failed to diagnose or treat in time before…


He gestured to the room, to the splash of green dried blood on the biobed they'd found earlier, and glanced in the direction of the room with the spiralling brushstrokes. 


Diinr: In short, our crew turned mad within moments of being inside the Rift. 


Stoyer: We can find the others and get them help.


Bear wasn't sure if it was the bare emergency lights flickering across Diinr's features, or if the Nurse had wavered a little then. Did he know something they didn't? Where had the crew of the Sasu Gol gone to? They'd heard the scrambling through the maintenance shafts, heard the doors thumping shut with their clanging metal frame. There had to be others still on board.


However, something weighted in the man's statement seemed to catch hold of Alieth's attention, and frantic Vulcan fingers began tapping rapidly into her tricorder. 


Alieth: Wait, you said you were unable to treat them in time, so, you found a medical treatment?


Diinr: A treatment, certainly. 


Blue eyes narrowed in his direction, the twitch at the corner of one a product of the cold. 


Stoyer: Diinr, do you know if there are any other survivors?


No one could respond as the doors shattered open with a force capable of knocking through the bulkheads to make a spacious open plan starship design. The lights in the sickbay dimmed, allowing the darkness to sweep in from the corridor; a torrential tsunami of onyx, all limbs and fangs and eyeballs and things scarcely identifiable beneath the tide of blackness.


Alieth: Take cover!


Stoyer: What is that?


Bear didn't need to be told twice. There was no staring down the barrel of that phaser rifle to be shot on the other end of it. He hit the deck behind the bloodied biobed, the shadows surging overhead like shadows didn't, stretching throughout the Sickbay. Alieth's scream ripped through him like a razor blade, and as he looked over to her, the flashes of light made her actions stop and start. 


She'd reached forward, trying to grab the Vulcan nurse, trying to drag him toward the cover. But Diinr didn't move. 


Alieth: Diinr! Now!


Stoyer: He’s going to get hurt.


O. Marshall: Get down, you mad [...]!


The Vulcan simply stood there, watching the oncoming darkness as if it wasn't the most terrifying wave ever created. His eyebrows had lifted, surprise on his features there and recognisable, and the thought alone dropped through Bear like a boulder into a deep quarry. 


The tricorder in Alieth's hands beeped in a high-pitched tone and Bear shot his eyes to her as she advanced on the young Vulcan… only for the shadows to pick her up and send her flying across the room. She hit the opposite wall with a loud crack and slid down. 


Stoyer: Aleith!


Diinr: Don't you see, Lieutenant? Don't you see this is our fate?!


He laughed loudly as he stepped up onto the biobed and held his arms out, spread like wings, on either side of his body. The darkness curled around him, almost curiously, covering his Vulcanoid body like a shroud, a cloak of midnight black, of space, and everything children were afraid of when the lights went out. 


A roar resounded, reverberating from the duranium bulkheads; a deafening cry of a ship full of disembodied voices. 


On top of the bloodied biobed, the shrouded Vulcan grimaced, emotions running wild and rampant through the features that should be stoic and logical. Young as he was, Diinr's eye sockets had become thickened and hollow pockets of black, and up his olive skin, thick branches of black veins had grown. Where his green blood had flowed before, only black remained, and turned his flesh a hue of grey Bear had never seen before. 


Diinr: It demands sacrifice. ::His voice boomed with the slip of shadow, amplified by the swirling madness around them.:: You will become the next. 


Grabbing one of the flares from his holster, Bear sparked it up, and the end lit in bright red. All around them, eyes and faces festered and leaned out of the shadows, before retreating with a deep hiss. Diinr growled as he leapt down from the biobed, his feet landing in the deck with a heavy slam. 


…and then everything was still. Lights were back up. Shadows dissipated. Back to normal. 


Diinr was gone.


Bear pried his eyes open, willing his heart to climb down from the top note it remained on, his breath thick and ragged beneath his beard. Sure enough, sweat rolled down his spine as swear words in Bajoran and Federation rolled off his tongue. No flare in his hand. He pushed himself up from the floor using the biobed as leverage, onto shaking feet.


Somehow, Stoyer was on the other side of the room. 


Stoyer: Diinr?


O. Marshall: He's gone. 


He rubbed his hand over his face, threading his fingers through his beard, and remembered their other Vulcan had taken the initial whiplash. Grabbing the discarded medical tricorder, Bear climbed over the debris to where the Vulcan had landed. 


O. Marshall: Alieth, you still with us? Logic once for yes, twice for no.


Alieth: Response


On the other side of the room, Stoyer slowly got to his feet. Nothing looked broken from where Bear stood, or dislodged, save for some 


Stoyer: You guys ok? What was that?


O. Marshall: That was one goddamn crazy Vulcan. Is that what happens when your lot loses their minds?


Alieth: Response


He glanced back over to the green, bloodied biobed, and pieced the words together in his head. Every part of this felt wrong; being there, in the Sickbay room where it had all taken place only seconds before, made Bear's stomach roll. 


O. Marshall: He said sacrifices. More than one. 


Alieth / Stoyer: Response


O. Marshall: Human blood on the doorway. The Vulcan Doctor committing suicide. ::He pointed to the biobed.:: That. You tell me the logical path from there. The equations don't fit. 


Alieth / Stoyer: Response


O. Marshall: Just… a thought. Maybe he lured whatever it is here. Maybe it became… part of him. Or it became part of him. I don't know. ::His heart had started to come down from the rafters, blood no longer singing in his ears.:: Whatever it is, I want out of this room and off this damn ship. Where does the umbilical connect?


Alieth / Stoyer: Response




Lt. Commander Orson Marshall

Intelligence Officer

USS Gorkon


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