“What the hell happened!?” Matthews demanded as he stumbled across the runabout from the rear compartment towards the helm.
“I don’t know, external sensors didn’t detect anything” Miller replied, her fingers hastily tapping across the controls.
The runabout rocked again from another impact causing the operations console to explode in a shower of sparks and debris, uprooting the chair Miller was sitting in from its mount and sending her backwards onto the floor.
Matthews spun round in his seat, his hand covering his eyes as he struggled to adjust to the now darkened compartment. The only light illuminating the room was now coming from a small plasma fire from within the remains of the operations console.
“Miller? Miller are you alright?!” Matthews said shakily, struggling to get to his feet and maintain his balance.
Miller groaned as she sat herself up, wiping particles of debris from her uniform with her hands as she did so.
“I’m fine, but if we can’t get the systems back online and the shields up… a console exploding in my face will be the least of my worries” she said as she extended her arm for Matthews to help her back to her feet.
Miller pulled herself up and Matthews made his way back to the helm.
“Main power is offline, we’ve got nothing. Weapons, shields, propulsion. All shot.” Matthews said. “At this point, I couldn’t even tell you if there’s ship out there.”
The runabout began to shake violently and suddenly veered to the side, as if being pulled by a powerful unknown force.
“Great, what now?!” Matthews exclaimed dragging himself back into his seat.
“I don’t know, but it can’t be good.” Miller replied as she fumbled with a panel next to the transporter pad at the rear of the compartment. The panel clicked open and Miller tossed it to one side before reaching inside and removing a small grey case.
Miller opened the case and removed a tricorder and torch tossing them both to Matthews. Matthews caught the tricorder in his right hand however the torch went sailing past him and bounced off of the bulkhead, clicking itself on as it landed.
“Nice aim” he said as he flicked the tricorder open, the torch now dimly illuminating the room.
“Academy softball pitcher of the year, don’t you know” she smirked as she removed a plasma extinguisher from the space behind the panel she had opened.
“It shows” Matthews said sarcastically as he moved the tricorder around, trying to ascertain what limited information he could from its limited range.
The tricorder pulsed and beeped in his hand as he moved around the room.
“I’m detecting some kind of residual subspace radiation, nothing harmful to us as far as I can tell,” the tricorder began to beep impatiently, interrupting Matthews. “There’s something out there.”
“What? A ship? Something… else?” No sooner had she said that the runabout settled, the shaking subsided and the chaos was filled with an eerie stillness.
Miller paused, her eyes slowly and cautiously looking about the room. Matthews lowered his tricorder and reached down, picking up the torch Miller had so haphazardly thrown to him earlier. He shon it around the room, it’s light shining through the smoke from the plasma fire that was now dancing its way around the otherwise still compartment.
“Come on,” he said walking over to Miller. “No use sitting here playing 20 questions in the dark. We need to get power back online.”
Matthews made his way to the rear of the compartment, forcing open the doors separating the flight deck from the living quarters and engineering section.
Miller ran her hands over her face, sighed and made her way through the partially opened rear door behind Matthews. In her wake the wispy smoke that resulted from the plasma fire in the operations console began to swirl and contort, creating the menacing outline of a figure. It had no features, and stood cloaked in darkness, the smoke in the room appeared drawn to it.
Miller began to feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, and a coldness crept into her, as if permeating her very being. She turned abruptly and faced the open door, but she saw nothing. The figure had vanished, absorbed back into the darkness, but the cold. The cold remained.
“Hey Miller, you coming?” Matthews enquired as he stumbled over a piece of debris blown out during the initial impacts.
“Yeah… I… I just thought I saw… nevermind, it’s nothing.” Miller replied, not convinced herself that it had been nothing.
Matthews flicked open his tricorder and it hummed calmly.
“I’m not reading anything mate. Not even that residual energy signal from before.” He said closing the tricorder.
“Yeah, probably nothing. Trick of the light or something.” She replied, trying to compose herself.
Matthews nodded and turned to continue through towards the rear of the vessel.