Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

The Death of Us All

Charon Base - Engineering
8.12.2400 @ 1400
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The turbolift doors opened and Carolyn gave O’Shea the chance to step out and at least see what was waiting for them. She stepped out and found herself staring at the XO and the Ops Chief down the corridor.

Sesias turned towards the sound of turbo lift doors opening. “Well, Commander, look what the cat has drug in. Took you long enough.” He started to laugh.

Sorek heard the sound of a door opening and looked down the corridor as Sesias was looking as well. It was O’Shea and Crawford.

O’Shea stopped and looked at the XO and Ops Chief with a slightly suspicious look before relaxing. “Fancy meeting you here.” Before he could continue, his head turned sharply at a sound down the corridor.

Around the corner came the interim Science Chief, Walker-Halsey, and the security officer, Dougal.

Sesias looked at O’Shea and winked “Sorry folks, the third place prize is down the hall. You have won private accommodations with no view, with one meal a day included. Oh and no hot water,” in his best game announcer voice. He then walked towards the doc. “Can I help you with those, Doc?”

Theodora looked to all of them and then at the cases she held in each hand, “I suspect you’ll want an explanation.”

“Ye dinnae want an explanation lad,” Dougal said grimly, still shaken by what he’d witnessed.  

She explained how the presence had demanded them to remove the heart and brain of the two bodies in sickbay and what they had seen from there to this moment.

Crawford gasped and found herself trying to avoid gagging as her mind came to terms with what the woman had just said.

Carolyn shook her head and gestured to O’Shea to explain what they had to do.

O’Shea looked at Theodora and Dougal and the cases. “That would be unpleasant,” was all he said as a part of him wished they had done that instead of encountering the ghost, as that was the only way he could think of her, of Ruby. He paused for a moment before continuing. “Would have preferred that in some ways,” he began. “We have to fix the CiC as it was a mess and I assume it, well Death, gained further control over the station once we did as the power was sorted.”

Sesias looked at the two groups and listened. “Death? Did you come up with that or…?”

Dougal shrugged,  “Aye well, it’s as apt a name as any for the wee bastard.”  The big Scotsman said that with such venom that it even surprised him.  “Sorry,” he amended hastily.

“I will get to that, in one sec.” O’Shea remarked before continuing. “Once we did that,” gestured to Crawford, “we took a turbolift as it was our only option and ended up on Deck 6 where we encountered, for a lack of a better term, a ghost, or well a young girl’s consciousness, Ruby. She had been able to isolate that section away from Death as she called it when it tried to integrate, no Merge, that was the term it used, her with it. As it did the others. She asked us to stop it, and I intend to.” He paused for a moment and sighed. ”We then accessed the computer core on that deck and found her remains, wired into it. We were able to determine that the power systems here are degraded rather badly. We can use that to short-circuit this Death entity.” He looked to Crawford, “You likely have a better idea than I do on how to go about that.”

Sesias perked when he heard O’Shea’s story. Then he looked at the Doc. “Mmm, Doc, doesn’t that seem a bit odd. Shouldn’t the remains have deteriorated or rotted away by now, especially if these were part of the Colorado’s crew? And who hooked them up?” He looked at the other members of the away team, ending with Commander Sorek. “Looks like we have more questions then we do answers.”

Sorek stood by and listened as each person gave a report, followed by their feelings about what they had encountered. He learned long ago, that people with emotions often needed to talk, to help understand or face a difficult or overwhelming situation.

“It is clear that whoever or whatever this Death is, has hostile and hurtful intentions, and thus must be stopped,” said Sorek. “Based on what each of you experienced, what are your recommendations?”

Dougal glanced around, “Destroy the station even if it means it kills us.  We cannae let this evil continue ya ken it well enough as any of us.”

“That is an option, but only once we learn more and have no other choice,” said Sorek.

Dougal looked to O’Shea and then to Theodora silently pleading his case. Sorek was the XO, so you didn’t argue, especially as a junior officer,  but this was madness. Go back to the ship toss a few quantum torpedoes at it and be done with it.  What’s there to bloody learn? He thought to himself. The place is evil and it needs to be destroyed before it destroys someone else.

“Then I believe the only choice is to see what is on the other side of that door.” Sesias motioned towards the other door.

Sorek agreed.  The fact that he and Sesias were beamed there logically indicated the one controlling the situation wanted them there.  Glancing at the others, he moved forward and the door slid open.  Sorek stepped inside.

Main Engineering resembled a terrifying laboratory of old Earth proportions more than an archaic and outdated engine room. Most of the consoles and computers had been consolidated into a massive conglomeration wired and connected into one unit. That seemed slightly normal.  The jarring moment was looking from the computer to what was around it.  Transparent containers of brains in various states littered the floor at the base of the computer, bubbling and flickering with electricity, activity, and inhuman sounds.  They were connected crudely to the large computer by varying techniques, none of which made much sense at first glance. The containers were covered and as you looked closer you could see some of the brains were losing matter or breaking apart as they lay in the liquid-filled glass.  The more you looked the more you saw…and the more horror show it became.  The walls had been torn apart and various organs were connected into the network in the most inhuman manner.  Several hearts had been jury-rigged in and while some beat strong…others were fading.  The sound in the room was maddening as the sound of blood flowing, hearts pumping, and even the sound of lungs breathing somewhere in the room echoed through the catacombs of engineering.  The computer even had a pair of eyes tied in somehow, but they had long faded and were no longer useful.

Whatever the entity on the moon base was, it had proven itself to be dangerous, which was why Sorek had entered engineering alone.  If something happened, it would affect only him.  He was a disciplined Vulcan, but the scene spread out before him, would affect even a Kolinahr master.

“WELCOME.”

It was clear now to Sorek that the entity was using all of them for its own purpose.  He and Sesias had been given a logic puzzle to solve, telling him the entity needed replacements for dying brains in this chamber of horrors.  MacDonald was correct.  This place had to be destroyed.

“So what happens now?” said Sorek, addressing the voice.

“YOU WILL DIE.  WE WILL DIE.  WE WILL TRAVEL AND SPREAD DEATH.”

Unlikely, thought Sorek.

Sometimes having a slightly longer neck than most has its advantages, but this was not one of those times; Sesias took a look into the room the commander had entered and quickly withdrew.  “By the gods, if I had any doubt about your experiences, I don’t anymore. Crawford, you may want to stay here in the hallway if you had that reaction to just words.” The deep bass sound of the voice reverberated out into the hallway.

“THE OTHERS MUST ENTER IN.  DEATH AWAITS YOU.”

“Death awaits you, you bloody bastard!” Dougal shouted back.  His disgust was being replaced by a burning rage.  His hand fell to his phaser.  He would blast the demon if it killed him, but his phaser was gone.  He had forgotten that detail,  and thus starting to lose control like a Viking Berserker. Dougal took a deep breath trying to regain control and was met with some success. There were others here, and it was his job to protect them.

Crawford grimaced at the sound. Shit. She let out a sigh and spoke to Sorek through the door, “Commander, I think we’re meant to join you, sir.”

Since the entity was still in control, Sorek knew they had to play along if they had any chance of stopping it.  He motioned for the others to follow.

Walker Halsey continued her breathing techniques and stepped forward. “I will go next.  Follow carefully.”

“Lass,” Dougal cautioned. “We’ll be right behind you.” Absently Dougal wondered if this was what it was like for cattle being led to slaughter.  He said a silent prayer and hoped Aimee was safe on the ship.  One thing he knew for certain.  He would do everything in his power to destroy this entity even if it meant his death. Even if it meant ripping it apart with his bare hands.