Like Kicking An Ant Nest
Posted on Thu Mar 12th, 2020 @ 9:10am by Lieutenant Commander Niamh O'Donoghue V1 & Lieutenant JG Alexander McConnell & Lieutenant JG Morgan Lindsay V1 & Ensign Ethan Edwards & Ensign Claire Lafayette & Petty Officer 2nd Class Jovani Carter V1
Short Trek: Dark Discoveries
Location: Abandoned Facility Orbiting Dwarf Dark Star
Jovani had taken point on the team, phaser rifle held at the ready he walked forward in a crouch so he could get a good look around the corner. They hadn’t seen anyone yet, but they’d seen plenty of scary shit. The walls seemed made of something organic, but they also seemed to have formed on top of existing structures. They’d also seen some alcoves that looked terrifyingly like nests of some sort.
Suddenly, from nowhere, a screeching wail filled the air, making the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. “What the fuck was that?” he asked, not expecting an answer. He’d held up his hand as soon as he’d heard it, stopping the rest of the team in their tracks. He pulled up his tricorder, attempting to get a reading on what was around the bend. “Still nothing…” he said, completely confounded by the readings they’d been getting. It was clear there was something alive down here, but the sensors just couldn’t find what it was.
As he was pondering that he heard a chittering sound, like thousands of sharp claws clicking on a hard surface, and the silence returned. Looking forward he strained his eyes into the gloom and then heard the sound again, but this time it only sounded like far fewer feet were involved. Still staring into the gloom he just thought he could see a darker patch in the gloom, and it seemed to be moving. When it finally came forward into the light it unleashed yet another of the blood-curdling screams and revealed itself in full.
It was nearly three meters in length, it’s skin was a glossy black that seemed to both absorb light and also refract it in strange, contradictory ways that made it hard to follow with your eyes. Its mouth gaped wide, and was filled with razor-sharp fangs nearly twenty centimeters in length, and seemed to be made of some sort of clear crystalline material. Its limbs were long, and thin, as was its body, and it had a long, curving tail that came up above its back and ended with a wicked sting. In all, it was a deeply disturbing image and troubled him in ways he didn’t quite comprehend.
“Back up, give it some room. I think it thinks we are intruding.” Jovani called out, waving the others back the way they’d come.
It had sounded like a wonderful idea at the time, but the instant the others began to move the creature screamed again and began to scurry forward. He’d kept the rifle trained on the creature and immediately fired. A beam of charged particles erupted from the end of the rifle and slammed into the creature, sending it tumbling back down the corridor, screaming in pain. What it didn’t achieve was incapacitating it, and within moments it had righted itself and began approaching again. At least it was a bit warier this time, crouching lower to the ground, and growling menacingly.
“Well shit…” he said, and immediately called out, “Go, go, go, get out of here.”
As the team turned to run Jovani looked over his shoulder and noticed a massive swarm of the things coming around the corner. "Fuck..." he said, as his heart dropped to somewhere near his navel.
Ethan kept running. "Fire. If we can set something on fire and throw it at them, they might stop....ants instinctually avoid fire."
"I don't think it would phase them, a phaser bolt barely distracted the first one" Alexander weighed in between breaths. Between glances over his shoulder, the lieutenant was constantly looking at his tricorder at the map the Defiant had compiled with her sensors. If it was correct one of the upcoming rooms look substantially more reinforced, Alexander hoped it would provide them with safety whilst they figured out their next move. "Take the next left then enter the second room on the right" he called out once he was sure.
Morgan ran on the balls of his feet, keeping his movement light as he concentrated on the directions being fed and the corridor/tunnel ahead of them.
The Doctor knew what was behind them...or at least part of his sub-conscious thought IT did. He came to the left opening and took the turn wide and slowed just slightly to make sure they weren't running into anything literally that might eat them. Morgan's foot slid as he pivoted and then caught again and he caught his balance, but not before he was passed. "You know what they say," he panted out as he caught his stride, "Nothing like an interesting away mission to fire up that sense of exploration..."
"You know...." Ethan brought up, "we don't know what we may be running into, or if those creatures will stop following us."
From where he was behind Ethan, bringing up the rear of the quickly retreating group Jovani piped up, "No, we don't, but running towards possible shelter is a hell of a lot better than the alternative..." he said. "Now keep moving," he added and then turned back and dropped to one knee, pulling a long-bladed knife out of his boot. He wasn't sure what he could do, but he had to do something to help the others escape, and falling back on old SecTac training was his first instinct.
As the nearest creature launched itself at him he held the knife up and felt it slam through the hard carapace and into the inner workings of the creature, and then a gush of hot liquid cascaded over his hand as the thing began to shriek and squirm in agony. Two things happened at that point. First, the swarm of creatures immediately stopped and crouched, studying the situation before them. Second, Jovani began to feel a horrible tingling, burning sensation in his hand from where the things blood had covered it. Looking down he saw that the skin was blistering like he'd been burned, and he felt like there were thousands of ants under his skin, all biting him at once.
Dropping the knife, and stumbling back upright he followed the rest of the group through the doorway and slammed it behind him. His last sight of the creatures was of them cautiously approaching their fallen comrade as if they weren't sure what had just happened. Standing, back to the door, gasping for air, and cradling his injured hand he shut his eyes and rested the back of his head against the cold metal. It was all he could do to keep from crying in pain, but he couldn't risk letting the pain get that much of a hold on him. This place was turning into a nightmare, they all needed to stay strong and get out of there.