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Posted on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 @ 11:55pm by Lieutenant JG Veronica Rios
Edited on on Thu Oct 17th, 2019 @ 10:03am

Mission: Shore Leave: Business As Usual
Location: USS Chaucer
Timeline: Chaucer's Final Moments, Exact Time Unavailable

"Alert! Warp core breach imminent."

The computer's voice and the klaxons echoed in her ears so loud she thought she'd go deaf. How could things have fallen apart so quickly? All 6 members of the engineering crew were gone in a flash. 6 people she had come to know well, who she'd shared this vessel with for the last 4 months. And now they were gone.

Liam was behind her, urging her forward. "Come on, V! We need to go. It's too late for them now, we need to get out of here!"

And they were running again. The trip up the Jefferies tube to deck 3 took only a few moments, but it felt like a blur.

"Liam, what about the others? We can't ju-"

The whole world went white. Had the ship blown up just then? She found it suddenly hard to think. Hard to remember what she had been about to say. It was quiet...she thought. Or maybe very loud. She had the vague impression she was falling. There was a sharp pinch in her abdomen. It felt weightless and yet so heavy on one side of her face.

But everything was just hazy. Just ideas of sensations, not the actual feelings.

Then it got a bit less blurry. Liam was there, saying something. Looking dashing as ever. She could never resist that face. it was amazing it'd taken them this long to get close to something.

What was he saying though? He seemed insistent. And then he stuck his communicator to her belt.

She opened her mouth to reply, but no words came. None she could hear anyway.

The hatch closed. Wait, hatch?

She noticed her surroundings. She was in an escape pod. But he was outside it. Why was he outside it?! No. He had to be with her. If he stayed on the ship, he’d surely not survive. The nearest escape pod was a deck and a half away! There wouldn’t be nearlly enough time for him to reach it. Why would he do this?

And then the last few words he’d said processed through her badly addled mind. “ enough air for the two of us. I’m sorry, Veronica. I have to do this.”

He’d stuck his communicator to her tattered uniform. “I’ve set it to transmit a distress beacon. Someone will find you. Just...don’t move. I wish there was more I could do.”

As the hatch closed, he mouthed words she’d longed for for the last four months. Words she hadn’t had the courage to say herself. Words she’d been waiting for him to say first. “I lo-”

And it was cut short. Even in this moment, she wouldn’t be allowed to hear them. Maybe it was a blessing. Because she already knew what would happen next. And she was helpless to stop it. A moment later, the pod blasted away from the vessel and she was thrown against the side of the pod, its trajectory becoming a rapid spiral. The last thing she saw before her eyelids closed was a brilliant flash of light. And then there was only darkness.


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