Part of SS Vondem Rose: In a Mirror, Lightly

Darkness

USS Vondem, location Unknown
2399
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Darkness.

Pain.

No, not constant pain, throbbing pain. All along her left side. Ribs, shoulder, arm, head.

Oh goddess her head was a mass of pain.

Darkness started to give way to harsh red lighting, punctuated by a harsher, brighter red that pulsed with a regularity she knew but couldn’t place. Then she could hear it, the muffled klaxon warbling in the distance. Other noises too but she couldn’t make out.

Then darkness again. Then the lights returned slowly. No, she was opening her eyes again. Why was blinking so slow? Somewhere she recalled she needed to stay awake, stay conscious, but why? It was important but why?

A dark figure approached and loomed over her, features nondescript, her eyes refusing to focus. A bright light shone in her face, then moved away, back again. Why? She reached out for it, to stop it, but her arms felt like lead, heavy and slow, easily swatted away by the figure who made noises at her she couldn’t understand.

Firm hands gripped her and forced her to roll over onto her back. That helped some with the pain, but her head still pounded. Then that red light pulsed and instead of it being some distant light source it was directly in front of her. It hurt with its intensity, its insistence on being noticed, an unspoken warning of something bad, but what? A slow and heavy arm moved to cover her eyes, to shield her from that light, only for it to again be swatted away as that figure from before did something.

A pinprick of pain in her neck, a warmth spreading through her being. Suddenly vague shapes, lights and sounds came more into focus. Not greatly so, but enough to make out the klaxon of red alert, the medtech over her, the scanner held over her head.

“Shields down, not responding.”

“Main computer is offline as well. Backups barely responding.”

“Nav is offline. Sensors as well.”

“Engineering is reporting primary and secondary power are offline. We’re on batteries right now.”

She could make out those muffled sounds from earlier, her crew giving status reports, footsteps of people moving around the bridge attending to the wounded or in one instance putting out a fire at an open conduit housing.

“Captain,” the medtech spoke to her directly, clicking his fingers to draw her attention. It was slow and a struggle to turn her head, but she slowly looked the man in the face. “How many fingers?” he asked, holding out his dark-skinned hand for her to count his fingers. One, two, three. Did a thumb count? No, why would it? It’s a thumb.

“Three and a thumb Abebe,” she replied slowly, carefully, the name coming naturally without thought. That was nice, at least something was going right.

“You’ve got a minor concussion ma’am,” he continued. “I want to get you to sickbay. Do you think you can walk?”

She coughed once, then tried to sit up, helped by Abebe, then slowly got to her feet before nausea and vertigo tried to bring her low. With help however she didn’t collapse straight to the floor but instead to a seat she hadn’t seen, but which felt familiar. Her seat, yes?

“No,” she answered Abebe’s question, then looked around the bridge. Yes, the bridge. The fire was out, that was a relief. The conduit housing was covered in thick white foam from the emergency canisters wielded by two of her crew. Fire suppression wasn’t working? “Report,” she demanded, though it wasn’t much of a demand at all. More of a single word bracketed by a cough at either end.

Abebe knew when he wasn’t going to be much help and waved someone over, who rapidly came into focus as they neared. “She’s concussed and needs to get to sickbay, but can’t walk at the moment. I’m going to help Simmons and then we’re both going to get the captain out of here.”

The other figure nodded, her green skin a sickly colour in the red lighting. Orelia, her first officer, yes? Yes. They’d served together for a while now. Sitting down next to her, she looked the other woman over, saw what looked like a bruise forming on her face, a couple of scratches too.

“Report,” she once again demanded, fighting her own eyes to stay open.

“It’s not pretty. You name it, it’s offline at the moment.” Orelia bobbed her head to stay in her own field of vision. “Life support is on batteries, good for a few days, but we’ll start moving crew to shelters soon enough to conserve what we can.”

She nodded in understanding. “Focus efforts on power. If Chief T’Ael can’t get mains…get the impulse reactors started. More than enough power.” She blinked, thinking through where all of that came from. If she thought about it it disappeared, but not thinking about what needs doing and it just came naturally.

At this point Abebe and another man, Simmons by context, reappeared in focus. “Ready ma’am?”

With a nod and extended hands, they both helped her to her feet with ease, her balance far better than earlier, but both men kept hold of her arms.

“I’ll keep her safe Captain,” Orelia said, getting to her own feet and walking with her to one of the doors off the bridge. “Gents, get her there safely. Turbolift only has enough internal juice to get you to deck six, so you’re walking the rest of the way.”

She stopped and looked down, seeing something on the floor in the rubble, giving it a prod with her foot. Rectangular, bronze in colour. “Orelia,” she spoke out, giving it another foot prod. “Fix that will you.”

Dutifully the other woman leaned down and retrieved the plaque, dusting it off and holding it up for inspection before looking at the spot on the wall where it had dismounted. “I’ll get it sorted right away,” she conceded as the ruined wall panel was gone, exposing the inner workings behind it.

Her own eyes lingered on the plaque a moment more. USS Vondem, Century-class. Then she smiled and stepped past into the turbolift with her escorts.