Part of USS Damascus: M1: Just A Gentle Touch and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

11) Facing of the blood demon

USS Damascus - Bridge
November 2400
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The quietness was anything but soothing to any heart on the bridge. They looked with horror at the screen as they saw an asteroid size red and white colored Crystalline Entity being formed by the remnants of an asteroid. The lights had changed to red as the ship responded to the impact as an immediate danger had occurred. But this danger was massively underestimated. The entity was defeated before by the Starfleet vessel USS Enterprise. But the Grissom-class ship was not made for combat, let alone face a massive planet-eating entity. 

“That is indeed a Crystalline Entity, Commander” Drata confirmed everyone’s fear “It is infused deeply with the blood dilithium. However, the way it moves is unnatural to our records. It should stay in one form, but this one can move freely from its standard form.” 

Silina had no idea what to do. Next, the ship was in no shape to battle such a creature. What were the Devore planning on doing with that creature? Sazra was a liability due to the intense effects of the blood dilithium, and there was the matter of a civilian ship with 120 souls on board that was going to be consumed by the Blood Crystal Entity. Silina blinks for a second. Did she think up a name for this new form?

“The ship shields have dropped to 3%, the hull on the front is barely holding it out, and our engines have taken a severe hit. We are dealing with ship-wide injuries and crew members trapped in collapsed areas. Commander, what are your orders?” Rami looked at her.

At the same time, Adrián had returned to the bridge. He made himself aware that a shock like that would mean a few things. One, the ship is free, two the ship is in danger and three the bridge is in total chaos. “Did the Devore attack us or…what the actual….is that what I think it is” He points at the screen.

“That is a Crystalline Entity formed from the asteroid that was just broken apart by the explosion of the Devore ship’s torpedo” Drata confirmed again. 

Looking at Drata, he pats him on the shoulder. “Thanks, Ensign. You can loosen up. Fear is normal” Adrián noticed a change in his behavior or, instead, his body language.

“Yes….sir” Drata said, trying to calm down a bit by breathing a few times in well.

Adrián walked to Silina’s side and placed his hand on his hip, “Well, Commander, what are we going to do about this? We got a few options….” In his eye corner he saw Silina frozen. Was it fear? Was it the sheer amount of being in command? Was this the pressure that Sazra had been feeling all these years? He poked the side of Silina. “Commander, stop choking. You are looking bad for the others,” He whispers to her.

The words of Adrián managed to get Silina back to her senses, and she looked at her side to him, seeing him look at the screen. She bit her lip and looked back at the screen. “What are the options, Commander Valerio?” She suddenly spoke, making everyone look back at her. 

“That is more like it” He whispers with a smile. “The options are, option one, we fix the ship, ignore the civilian ship and get the hell out of here. Option two, we use the engine we have left, and I get to work as fast as possible to get mister Shew some power to combat that shiny red crystal…or.” He didn’t like the idea, but there was one final option that he knew she would disagree with the idea he had in mind. 

“Or what?” Siilina looked at her side once again and now with narrowed eyes.

Looking back at her, Adrián swallowed for a second. “Or you get Captain Praugol to do what is needed. We both know that she is the most creative one among us all. She will find a way to get us out of this situation” He shrugged and crossed his arms. “We might have made a mistake by sending her to her room” He raised a hand before Silina could give a proper reply. “Yes, you were right that she is under the influence of the blood dilithium. She might have been a tad aggressive, but below that, she worries the crap about every single one of us.” 

Was that right? Was her mind clouded by what Sazra was trying to do in the first place? Silina looked down at the floor, trying to figure out what was happening. Then she realized what Sazra was saying earlier and looked up. “Now, time is ticking. Would you please let me resume my duties and get this ship to safety?” A sentence that Sazra spoke while on the bridge. “Oh no…” Silina walked to the turbolift “Commander Valerio you have the bridge” 

He blinked, looking at how she walked away and stepped into the turbolift “Where are you going?”

Silina turned around and looked at him, “To fix a mistake, fix the ship, Commander. We are running out of time. Deck two” The door closes.


Meanwhile – Captain’s Quarters


The room was dark. The ship was just hit by an enormous shockwave. Clothing on the floor that fell out of the basket and photo frames were spread on the ground near the wall. The room was a mess due to what had happened. But at the window, Sazra was on her knees with her eyes closed. Trying to breathe calmly, trying to regain her focus. 

“They betrayed you” A familiar voice came “They turned their backs on you the moment that they saw you were affected by the blood dilithium. Are you just going to allow this to happen? You worked your whole life for this, and now you let them take it away?” 

Letting a breath out “I am a liability. Silina did her job well to confine me” Sazra tried to remain calm, but her feelings were more a mess. Did something change? She could only assume now.

“Liability? My baby girl is not a liability. She is an excellent Starfleet Officer that made our family proud” 

“I am talking to you now” She sighed and opened her eyes as the reflection of the outside hit her eyes. The red pupils had returned as Sazra looked at a woman standing in the dark. “My mother is not here. She is at Trill, which means that you are a part of my imagination. You are the cause of my liability to this crew”

Another voice enters the room. “This is not how you speak against your mother” A male figure in the dark stepped forward. “Is this what became of the Praugol lineage? You call yourself a Starfleet Officer? Look around you. Your ship is not even able to defend itself so small, is it” The figure crossed his arms. “Go back to Trill, and maybe you will find a husband for yourself that deems you worthy” 

Her eyes cold red eyes glared in the direction of the darker male voice. “You are the last person I want to hear right now in mind head, father.” She slowly stood up as Sazra cracked her neck. “Because last time I checked, you died in that for that forsaken Dominion War” 

The man growled a bit under his voice “Does that mean you have to disrespect your father like that? Child you have no idea what you are doing or dealing with here” 

“I am dealing with a Crystalline Entity, it seems” She looked over her shoulder outside seeing the large entity being formed “That is affected by the blood dilithium. It potentially got baited here due the high density of the anomaly that formed the red crystals in the first place” Her facial expression was still cold “But it doesn’t make sense why the Devore is right here”

“Child, are you really that blind? In this waking nightmare, where all dreams come true. Your search for control, a way to pull through. When you are in love, you were in tears, to smother your fury and banish your fears. Do you still hear his scream? They have taken his soul, to these gods you can’t pray. They can break you, but not the blood-made promise that was made” 

Sazra looked back into the room, seeing that the two figures had disappeared. She shrugged and placed her hand on her hand “I am losing my mind” She muttered to herself as the door opened, and Sazra could hear footsteps walking in and the door closing.

“Captain, we need you” Silina was standing there, heavy breathing as she took a step back seeing the red eyes glitter in the darkness as they looked back at her “Captain?” 

“I heard you the first time, Commander. You are right. I am a liability to the crew due to the effects of the blood dilithium. I presume the shields have dropped?” She said calmly as Sazra looked outside at the creature now fully formed and moving to the civilian ship.

“How did you know…?” Silina was amazed by the observation of the dropped shields.

Sazra pointed at her eyes “These are red, no? I have reflections here. It is the only logical explanation, and my headaches have surged back” She shrugged a bit on that last one and lowered her hand. 

It was difficult for Silina to get a grab of the given situation, “We still need you, Captain. The ship needs you. The crew needs you. I need you” She lowered her head, struggling with herself “I was wrong, I ignored what you were trying to say, you were struggling with the effects, and I saw it as a compromise of your ability to command. But you were trying to get us back to safety, something I failed on doing so” She wanted to cry and now understood the amount of pressure Sazra had to endure as the Captain. 

Without making much noise, Sazra had made her way to Silina, who was talking to herself and placed her hand on her cheek, lifting it gently up. She looked with her red eyes into Silina’s “You talk a lot you know” Sazra gave her a soft smile and kissed her lips briefly “You are the one that kept me sane. I would have lost myself if I didn’t have you on my side and how you acted on the bridge is how I expect you to act. Keep in mind, you are my xo, and your primary concern is the crew members of this ship. If I am out of order, I expect you to put me back in line. Just don’t let it go to your head” She winks at her letting her hand go of her cheek.

“I…yes I will remember that. It is a lot all” Silina felt the warm blush on her face.

Nodding to her “I know, I have difficulty keeping those inner voices out of my head. But I do know what I have to do. Do you trust me to do what needs to be done?” Sazra looked now with warm and caring eyes at Silina. 

A lot has happened, and she did just confirm that she was hearing voices but her eyes locked onto that of Sazra “I do…” She mutters shyly.

“Good, let us go” Sazra moved from her side, and the doors opened having the security team raising their weapons “Oh please” she pushed a rifle aside and pass them to make her way to the turbolift. 

Silina quickly followed “Let her pass” giving out the order. 

Comments

  • Thank you for taking this campaign and making it your own with the definition of vaulting ambition. You've struck a compelling balance of high octane action with heightened character studies. Silina's hesitation under the weight of command is truly so natural; I'm sure she would have preferred a trial by fire as acting captain rather than a trial by blood dilithium crystalline entity! And Adrián questioning her capabilities certainly doesn't help her confidence, but I can live with it, because it gave us Sazra and Silina reunited. The fact you've taken the telepathic disturbance of blood dilithium and given us poetic Praugol family history drama is exquisite. Perfect choice.

    November 14, 2022
  • They are in a rock and a hard place right now, it is compelling how you portrayed Silina's hesitation under everything going on and not sure which way to go. I love how she realized what the Captain had said before and wanted to make things right. Now that is interesting for her to 'see' her parents even though they were not really there. Love the family history drama and gives things more of a realistic choice to portray.

    December 10, 2022