STF

Shades of Black 一 Part III (Open to All!)

Posted Oct. 15, 2021, 7:08 p.m. by Chief Warrant Officer Hsull (Senior Researcher (Airborne Anomalies)) (David Stiles)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Hir Ra-Mhadreii (Chief Science Officer) in Shades of Black 一 Part III (Open to All!)

Posted by Chief Warrant Officer Hsull (Senior Researcher (Airborne Anomalies)) in Shades of Black 一 Part III (Open to All!)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Hir Ra-Mhadreii (Chief Science Officer) in Shades of Black 一 Part III (Open to All!)
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Thump!

Dull throbs pulsated through their skull as mangled fingers seized the table’s blunt edge. Hir paused. Shaky breaths accosted the air, sending pangs of fear prickling up their spine. Shhh! They bit their lip until a familiar, salty taste filled their mouth. Shut up! Drawing themself from the floor, inch by agonizing inch, they peered across the tabletop and into the murky recess ahead.

A lurid shadow crept through the lab, tackling any whistle or flash with gnarly, hooked claws. It was searching for something. And it was angry. Bellicose and bent, it ripped through every unbarred nook as the clatters and clinks of troubled gadgets saturated the air. Hir ducked, narrowly dodging a chipped beaker. What did it want? They frantically scoured their mind for any clue—just a hint—but the thunderous wails of their heart beguiled them.

Then, everything went dark.

Hir sank to the ground and braced their hands, ready to pounce. Their gaze flitted. To their right laid an impervious black. To their left, the feeble flicker of a mutilated terminal. They sucked in a slow, frigid breath that filled their lungs with anguish. They knew. The shadow was right beside them.

— Hir Ra-Mhadreii

Eeiik!

Hir stiffened and quelled the urge to tremble with faulty, duct-taped willpower. Fear arose in the scientist’s heart. It begged them to flee, but Hir knew the path to safety was inky and paved by peril. They would not be shadow chow. They would not retreat.

They had to fight.

Hellbent on escape, Hir scrambled to their knees and frantically swept their hands over the tile. They needed something to defend themself. A broke stylus. A vial of cyclohexane. The apple Ensign Konrad illegally sneaked into the lab. Anything.

A piercing, guttural shriek reverberated through the air.

Hir felt the pangs in their chest grow. They retracted their hands from the debris and lifted their blurred vision to the abyss. A dying flicker beckoned them to a nearby bench. Absent and utterly hopeless, Hir stumbled to grasp a tray too feeble to carry their weight. Clank! Horror froze their gangly limbs. Clank… they muttered a silent prayer, …CLASH!

And bolted.

Weak, wobbling legs struggled to keep them upright as they stumbled toward the bench with hands outstretched. The wails intensified behind them. Thoughtlessly, they seized anything in reach and yanked it behind them. But it served only to infuriate the beast. Turning to behold their assailant, they couldn’t discern more than a dismal figure, and ravenous beady eyes tinged a lethal yellow.

The odds of them becoming shadow chow were higher than ever.

— Hir Ra-Mhadreii

Hir floundered, carelessly seizing the bench edge to tear at every unlocked drawer. Vials. Beakers. Scales. Where was a bottle of hydrochloric acid when you needed one? Wait. Hir snatched a scale and whipped around to scour the laboratory. There! Hir took their shot and lunged toward the chemical locker.

CRASH

Fragments of shattered glass cascaded to the floor in perfect alarm. Hir had to act fast. Shoving their mangled fingers into the cabinet, they fumbled over rows of uniform bottles. Alkaline water. Iodine. Carboxylic acid, Sodium Hyd— they snatched the bottle and hastily unfasted its lid. “Damn. Safety. Mechanisms.”

Hir wasn’t sure if it was the noise, the lid hurling at light speed, or the shadow’s desire to sample Efrosian à la Hir, but it was about 0.2 seconds before their knees bucked beneath them. And the unlidded NaOH! solution slipped from their fingers. Hir reached out, but it splattered on impact and soaked their face in searing agony. They screeched… but so did the beast.

Hir staggered into the drawers and clamped a hand over their eye. But the beast refused to wallow in its anguish. It lurched, hooked claws tearing wildly at their skin. Hir yanked their leg and sloppily jostled the remnants of the bottle in its direction. Without delay, they rolled over and dragged themself across the floor. An eldritch cacophony of wails and aimless scratches filled the room. It told all they needed to know. The solution hadn’t killed the beast but erected a barrier that it could not cross.

With ragged breath and endorphins muting the pain eager to consume them, Hir pulled themself to the bench and slumped against it. They watched through a blurred lens as the beast fumbled with the barrier, sending howls to accost their ears. But they were too tired, too mangled to listen. Soothed by false security and the dull, throbbing ache of impending agony, Hir screwed their eyes shut and drifted into a restless sleep.


Hir awoke to the animated, high-pitched squeal of their roommate’s alarm. Why he insisted on blasting it every morning at 0500, they did not know. Groaning, they blinked the drowsiness from their eyes and untangled languid arms from their chest.

“Great gods, Elijah.” Hir reached to snag a sweatshirt from their desk. “Why bother with the dratted thing if you’re going to be up anyway?”

“I derive great pleasure from annoying you,” Elijah mused from the workstation he hunched over. “Sleep well?”

“I’ll be glad when I don’t have an alarm shocking me out of REM sleep.” Hir grunted. “You?”

“Please,” he shot them a coy grin. “You’re going to miss me.”

“‘Miss’ is a powerful word,” Hir slid off the bed until their toes touched the cold floor. “Are you packed?”

“Mhm,” the engineer hummed. “They got me listed for dropoff at DS19. Got a little break, then off to the Meraki a few days later. How about you?”

“I’m scheduled for transport in…” Hir consulted their watch “…three hours.”

“Then you should be thanking me,” Elijah grinned. “You might’ve slept right through.”

“Oh, don’t flatter yourself.”


=^=Lt. Commander Ra-Mhadreii, prepare for transport to the Leviathan.=^=

Hir quirked a brow and shoved the PaDD under their arm. Quietly, they knelt to hoist their bag onto their shoulder and tapped the badge. =^=Acknowledged. Standby.=^= A stolen glance guided them onto the transport pad, where they relinquished the bag to an adjacent spot. =^=Ra-Mhadreii to Leviathan.=^= They hesitated. =^=Ready for transport.=^=

=^=Copy that. Energising.=^=

Hir took in a slow, laboured breath and watched as the world shifted before them.

— Hir Ra-Mhadreii
OOC: The last part is a little rushed, but feel free to hop in!

Hsull along with K’Haat was roaming the ship, trying to familiarize themselves with the layout. They happened to be passing a transporter room when the beam began to coalesce and decided to wait and see who or what was about to appear as there didn’t seem to be anyone present to greet a newcomer, if indeed it was a newcomer. The news from Luna about Section 31 had disturbed Hsull greatly and he was trying to get his mind off that particular problem. Hsull stood just inside the door with K’Haat sitting beside him, hopefully this was an actual being appearing and not a crate of spare parts.

Hsull - CAARS

Hir blinked away the kaleidoscopic haze threatening to flood their senses. “D–n transporters,” they grumbled and pinched their nose. Clearing their throat, Hir knelt to snag their belongings before some overeager technician—they halted. Where was the overeager technician? Hir dragged their gaze around the transporter room. Strange, they knit their unkempt eyebrows into a bushy white line. A flash of movement tore their attention to the doorway, where two lone figures obscured by their nearsightedness beckoned them closer.

Stepping from the transporter pad, Hir approached them in a leisure glide. They soon discovered those ‘lone figures’ belonged to a golden Caitian and his feline companion. A crooked smile touched their lips. “Morning,” their voice rang out in a sonorous hum, “I’m Hir Ra-Mhadreii. I don’t figure you two are waiting for someone… or something?” A no encouraged a simple question, but a yes would send them down the corridors.

— Hir Ra-Mhadreii, incoming CSO

Hsull coughed politely behind a raised hand, “Not exactly, I’m CWO Hsull one of the researchers aboard and this is K’Haat, we were just trying to familiarize ourselves with the ships layout and noticed that there didn’t appear to be anyone here to greet a newcomer, so welcome aboard the Leviathan.” K’Haat continued to sit and stare at the newcomer, perhaps intrigued by yet another species. “They usually want everyone to stop by medical first for a preliminary screening, I can show where it’s at and get you started checking in. Is there anything I can help you carry ?, Actually if you prefer, you can leave your belongings here and they’ll beam them directly to your quarters.” Hsull thought it strange that no one was there to greet the newcomer other than the transporter technician, maybe a mix up in scheduling or something, he shrugged and scratched K’Haat behind the ears as he awaited the newcomers decision.

Hsull - CAARS


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