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[2006: MAR-APR] Diary of a Madman


Nerreht
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It was hard to determine who it was... Anybody could have been responsible... But then again, none of them had any reason to do it... After all, who wanted to be stranded on an uninhabited moon without any way to leave? Honestly?

Maybe that was a bad idea to start with... To send a group of officers on a recon mission on that moon was good, but sending them only with a Runabout and no possible back-up... Someone did a lousy job preparing that mission... But the preparation itself could not have prevented what happened.

Everything went as scheduled since the runabout left the station up until the landing on the moon. Every procedure had been respected, every possible scan made prior to entering the atmosphere. All systems good to go, not even a negligeable glitch to report. No trouble while navigating the atmosphere or the actual landing, everything going by the numbers. And even the routine systems check after the vehicule had touched the ground indicated that everything was fine. Everybody then got out of the runabout as it was left locked and secured and they all went on with the preliminary exploration of the surroundings.

Needless to say that it had been a surprise to everyone to hear a loud noise, sickeningly resembling an explosion, after a while. When everybody gathered where the explosion had occured, they found the runabout blown to bits... Up until that point, the surprise wasn't big since the runabout was the only thing on that moon that could create such an explosion... The priority at that point, besides praying they were having some sort of collective nightmare or hallucination, was to find out what actually happened for the runabout to blow up.

Thank goodness they had tricorders or their work would have been a lot longer to do... And yet, it took several days to even figure out that the spacecraft blew up from the inside out... Okay, maybe there was a technical issue that the systems check didn't notice for some reason... It could happen... Highly unlikely, but still plausible...

Lieutenant-Commander Lek Merhar, a Grazerite Science Officer and appointed leader of the mission, had shown great leadership skills through the events so far, keeping everybody straight and clear-headed. Such circumstances were not easy to deal with, but so far he had done a great job.

Lieutenant Robert "Bob" Wilks, manning Helm, OPS and COMM for the mission, was a main part of figuring out what had happened to the runabout. He wasn't as calm and diplomat as the team leader, but he definitely knew what he was doing. When he was concentrating, he had the tendency to stick out his tongue a little, which always made others laugh the first couple of times they noticed.

The twin bolian engineers, Ensigns Loria and Lario Kelell, were the first ones to mention anything remotely paranoid... But coming from Bolians, it wasn't that surprising since they all were stressed and easily afraid of things. And being Ensigns fresh out of the Academy, they didn't really have any experience and had an ease to jump to extreme conclusions.

There were a couple of others with them, but not worth mentioning... Why, you ask? Simply because they were the first ones to die under suspicious circumstances... After about a week, food was more than a luxury since pretty much everything they could eat were plants... The only one to actually not dislike it was LtCmdr Merhar since his nutritional needs were pretty much eating plants anyway.

Of course, lack of food lead to drastic measures... They were not about to kill someone to eat them, that was certain, but hunger brought other things... For instance, morale kept going down as tempers were rising... Needless to say that even with everybody's best efforts, some confrontations were going to happen... But nobody expected someone to actually die... Well... Dying being such a vague term, let's say murdered... Because you see, a skull bashed into a rock or a wooden spike thrusted through the throat weren't exactly natural causes...

And the circumstances of their presence on that moon being as they were, it began to be obvious that one, or a couple of them were responsible for what had happened, from the explosion of the runabout to the murders... It was hard to believe that any Starfleet officer could do such things... But Starfleet's history being what it was, it was possible... Even more so that since they had been there, they found no trace whatsoever of any living creature on that moon.

Paranoïa was setting in for everybody and tensions grew even more, everybody watching everybody's every single movement, nobody ever wandering alone, or even in pairs for that matter in case one person was left with the killer. One of these situations where they wished they could have a telepath or empath to figure it all out...

During the second week, only the four mentioned were left to suspect each other. Even the Grazerite was getting paranoid, which was explaining a lot about the situation since Grazerites always were a pacifist and diplomat species. And even knowing that, the others still had suspicions about their leader whose authority they didn't respect anymore. Lario Kelell was getting more and more protective of his twin sister, not restraining his outbursts when one of the other two came too close to Loria, almost coming to punches with them... Almost, since any attack on his part would give them the perfect excuse to kill him and he wouldn't be able to protect his sister if he was dead.

As for Bob, well, he was trying to keep busy doing something constructive, going further and further every day to try and salvage any part of the runabout he could use to either build something that would help them on a daily basis or, hopefully, build a crude transmitter to try and get some help... Not that he expected anybody to hear their call if he was to succeed, but at least he was trying and keeping his mind focused on something... Of course, if those [...]ed bolians actually did something other than complain and panic, like helping him do something, things might have gone faster... Sometimes he just wanted to punch some sense into those bald heads of theirs...

A couple of days went by and things escalated to the point of no return... Fights broke out openly using everything they could get their hands on. One would punch the other, a third would kick the first one, the fourth would throw rocks at all of them... The bruises were adding up rapidly, and yet nobody was killing anybody... Was it some sort of mental torture? Why would the killer put his/her own health in jeopardy by letting the others beat him/her up in such manner? But at that point, nobody cared... They only wanted not to be the next one to die...

"What are you talking about?"

:: The small man looked up straight in the eye of the person right in front of him ::

"Do you want to be the next one to die? I don't..."

"Why is it so important that you don't die next?"

:: The man grinned ::

"Because if I die next, I will not be able to tell you about the end of the story..."

"That story happened ten years ago and anybody could have found the official logs of the inquiry. It's not even relevant to your investigation! You're wasting our time!"

"If you don't like stories, why do you ask me to tell you what I know? Stories are all I know..."

:: The second silhouette sighed ::

"This is pointless... Take him away, guys..."

:: Two security goons came in and grabbed the little man by the arms and escorted him out. They walked through some corridors to finally stop in front of a standard size cell where the man was left behind the force field. Without hesitation, the small man headed to his bed and took out a book and a pen from under the matress. He opened it to a blank page and grabbed the pen ::

"I've got stories they don't want to hear... Too bad for them..."

:: As he began to write, the tip of his tongue stuck out of his mouth, as if he was greatly concentrating on his task... ::

Edited by Nerreht
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