Star Trek Sim/ Star Trek RPG
USS Eagle, NCC 2185

Dr. Laleia-Lii, CMO
Log by Hana

Title: What's Behind Door Number One?, Part One
Location: The USS Eagle
Setting: The Captain's Quarters

Dr. La peered into the darkened room apprehensively, wondering what could be waiting to pounce on her.  She sensed more than one being in the room - one of them an extremely alien mind, radiating an overwhelming aura of evil.  The other mind felt ... familiar.  As she focused on it, she realized to her surprise that it was not the Captain - but before she could discern who it was, it had already slipped away.

Back-lit by the light streaming from the hallway, Dr. La felt the room grow even darker.  She clutched her phaser like a talisman, leaning forward and squinting into the blackness, but could still make out nothing in the room.  The most that she could make out were some faint noises, possibly figments of her own imagination.  She was acutely aware of her own small size, and felt even smaller than she actually was.  She called out nervously, "Captain?"

Anxiously reaching out with the edges of her mind, the Doctor could not sense a conscious Captain in the room.  The absence of his familiar mind sent a twinge of fear through her heart.  She gripped the phaser more tightly and muttered to herself, "That's not the Captain."

The evil presence in the room seemed to shift, somehow.  Dr. La winced imperceptibly, and then took a deep breath, reaching out once again with her mind.  She was not stupid enough to actually enter the darkened room, yet - not with an unknown enemy with such an alien, twisted mind.  She mustered her resolve and issued a mental command: You are not the Captain. Identify yourself.  The mind shifted away from hers, receding even farther into the darkness.

The Doctor pulled a flashlight out of her medical kit and activated it. She raised it slowly, her heart in her throat, terrified of what she might find.  The flashlight's beam revealed nothing, however - it was simply the Captain's room, as tidy as it usually was.  She pursed her mouth and quickly swept the beam around the rest of the room, revealing nothing unusual.  The entry way looked completely normal. Frowning, she shouted into the room.  "Captain, are you in there?"

Her flashlight beam did not reach far beyond the entryway and front room - she could not see the dining table.  Carefully, she probed beyond the flashlight beam with her mind. She found darkness, deception, and a mental hole.

She sighed and grumbled.  "I hate it when beings of absolute darkness take root in the Captain's quarters..."  Dr. La had seen enough ancient Terran "horror flicks" in Intergalactic Historical Cinema class to know better than to enter a darkened room alone. She fidgeted with the Communicator on her belt, cursing.  She looked up to see that the door was beginning to shut slowly.  It was now, or never.  Quickly, she stepped through the doorway into absolute blackness, the door nearly nicking her on the way in.

Activating her communicator, she spoke into it quickly, "CMO to Bridge, I believe I have just made a typical judgment error.  If you can hear me, I suggest you send Security personnel to the Captain's quarters."  She paused for a moment, thinking.  "I suggest you bring a laser torch."  The communicator crackled and buzzed.  Smacking it against her hand, Dr. La realized with a sinking feeling that the communicator was not working.

She held her phaser out in front of herself, and trying to sound more confident than she actually was, yelled into the darkness. "All right, I know you're in here.  I know you're not the Captain.  I don't know what you've done with him, but if you've harmed Nouri, I swear you'll get worse than the 'stun' setting on this phaser.  Show yourself!"

The lights went on.  Dr. La saw no one.  Desperately trying to appear larger than she was, she walked slowly down the entranceway.  A few chairs had been knocked over.  The bots that had been crawling all about the ship were mysteriously inert.  She cautiously approached a bot, nudging it with her foot.  It made a tiny noise, but remained still.

The Doctor looked around cautiously, and then knelt down.  "What's happened to you, now?"  She heard a noise and looked over her shoulder to see another nearby bot skitter under a chair to hide.  She frowned.  They're scared of something.  What could possibly terrify a bot?

She felt a sudden, subtle emptiness in her mind.  One of the presences had disappeared.  Narrowing her eyes, she reached out mentally once more.  Where are you..?  The consciousness in the room tried, unsuccessfully, to stay still.  Dr. La smiled grimly.  Come out, come out, wherever you are...  It stirred again, beyond the partition between the Captain's bedroom and the rest of the room.  The Doctor wandered carefully around the room, in a fashion that she hoped appeared aimless, casting her mind around.  The alien consciousness did not seem to sense her reaching out.  She slowly but gradually wandered closer to the partition, keeping a mental eye on it.

But it was not enough to prepare her for the other presence suddenly lashing out, returning to grab her from behind.  She fired her phaser wildly, shouting, as she was lifted off the floor.  "BOTS!  Hey, bots! Help me, you little heaps of scrap metal!" Phaser shots ricocheted through the quarters, bouncing off of metal walls and singeing furniture.  Dr. La kicked wildly, twisting and turning, lashing out psychically. 

A single, tiny bot - braver than the others - attempted to come to her aid.  Her phaser flew out of her hand, skittering across the floor toward the little bot.  Unfortunately, the phaser was larger than the bot, and of no use to it.  It shuddered indecisively, then went silent.

Dr. La could tell the creature was male - and smelly and slimy, to boot.  She wrinkled her nose in distaste, and kicked again.  The creature staggered for a second, but no more than that.  Dr. La gagged back bile and elbowed it.  "Let go of me, you REEK!"  Judging by how high she had been lifted off of the ground, it was at least seven feet tall.  Another vine swung toward her as she let out a second psychic shock, trying to get under the creature's mental "skin" - a difficult task, as its mind was so alien.  The vine shuddered, hesitating, but continued to try to make contact, large suckers swinging toward her.

The doctor focused.  The mind was like nothing she had ever encountered before, a roiling turmoil of torment.  It was trying to reach her own mind.  She concentrated, trying to exacerbate the torment, to tug harder at its mental strings and tangle the mental knot even more.  "I can cause more pain, or I can make it go away!  Your choice!"

Dr. La wracked her mind, trying to think of things that might terrify a plant, while the plant-monster continued its attack.  She projected a mental image of a forest fire, and the plant lashed back with a picture of her rotting on a compost heap. She giggled.  "Ooh, scary."  The doctor, having spent so many years in the medical profession, was no longer phased by decay.  "I've seen worse, buddy," she chuckled.  "Way worse."  She responded by imagining herself eating a crisp, delicious salad.

The plant-monster finally managed to make contact with the vine.  It attached with a sharp sting, and she yelped in pain and did her best to try to remove it.  It seemed to be trying to digest her mind.  She imagined the vine being melted off by weed killer, but it had no effect ... the pain intensified, and she began to see odd flashes of light as the plant rifled through her thoughts and memories.  She pressed back, to no effect.  The plant seemed to be looking for something.

She knew what she had to do, and winced at the thought of it, but it was necessary in order to outwit the monster.  She began to focus on her most painful memories, feeding them to the plant creature, knowing that a creature with such a negative aura thrived off of such things.  It fell for her ruse, gorging itself on painful memories.  The profound loneliness of her childhood, the fights she got into as an adolescent ... the plant sent out more mental feelers, to reach the dark crevices of her mind.

A fist connected with a nose.  She paused to admire the amount of damage one angry child could inflict on another.  The juvenile detention center on Moebius, the result of a few poor decisions made by a confused adolescent.  She had straightened herself out, but the criminal record had followed her, had tarnished the integrity of her word, had made people doubt her when, one day, it had been her word against another's...

She flinched at the painful memory that this unearthed, the most painful yet.  "You have two choices.  You can join Starfleet, or spend years in a Moebian prison..."

No family.  No friends.  Just life on a Starship and strict conditions for revisiting Moebius.  Exile is a harsh punishment for an inherently empathic race... Dr. La blinked back tears.  "Eat THAT, tell me how much you like it...!"

The creature seemed to like it very much, searching for more to feast on.  The doctor smirked, despite her pain.  "Yeah, pretty tasty, right?"  Was that a twinge of guilt she felt from the creature, as it feasted?  It seemed very, very hungry.

There was a mental burp, and it continued.  Now was time for the bait-and-switch.  The doctor quickly focused on her happiest memory.  She sensed sudden confusion from the creature, and personally felt a grim sense of satisfaction.  "You're in too deep now, aren't you?  Can't pull back.  I can feed you ANYTHING now.  You're like a snake - once you've started feeding..."  She closed her eyes and reached into her own mind, diving back into her happiest memory...

It is an ancient Terran celebration, one that Nouri introduced her to, held during the Terran Winter.  She loves the ridiculousness of dragging a live tree into the middle of an otherwise sensible household.

She is sitting under it, staring up at the lights from a perspective most humans don't normally have.  The world is fuzzy, since she has had a little too much of a Terran drink that Nouri called "Brandy".  The room is full of mostly humans, their minds all open and brimming with happiness.  If felt almost like the collectiveness of a Moebian society.  She felt a brief pang of homesickness that was quickly overwhelmed by the festive atmosphere.  She rose to her feet, floating through the roomful of colored lights and mind as contentment bubbled through the crowd.

Dimly, Dr. La felt confusion from the plant creature exploring her memories.  It did not understand the tree inside of the house, adorned with lights and ornaments, with feelings of ... happiness.


Hail the Captain of the USS Eagle

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