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CH05: S [D05|0237] Nights Full of Terrors

Chapter 05: Supplemental [ Day 05 | 0237 hrs. ] Nights Full of Terrors

[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent, Captain | Temporary Quarters | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ]

Sleep had been elusive for Carrigan Trent.  Not that he had much time for it in the first place since they had made their escape from the Savi and their monstrous vessel.  Not that it was any easier, staying in spare junior officers' quarters, as his own had been on the Sword.  The room itself was unusual, the narrow bed was strange.  Everything about the sterile room wasn't so much as wrong, as it was not right.

And it was too damn empty.  His own quarters felt cavernous and palatial in comparison, but they'd never felt this hollow, this cold.  Especially not after Heather had agreed to move in with him.  Heather who had been taken from him by those grey-skinned monstrosities.  Yet, still he had to sleep, so he tossed, and he turned and...

He was back in his native Kingston.  It was a lovely day, mid-May if he had to take a guess.  The air was warm, not yet hot but full of the promises of the summer to come.  What clouds were in the sky were light and white.  Looking around, he knew where he was.  Arrowhead Beach Park, which had once been park of Canadian Forces Base Kingston but was now part of a historical site.  The sand along the beach was whiter than he remembered, but Lake Ontario's Deadman Bay was glittering under the sun, inviting and cool. 

He was back home. 

But not because he was back in his home town, in a place he loved and thoroughly enjoyed.  But because, in front of him, was Heather.  Just as he was in civilian attire, she was wearing a lovely, lightweight confection through which her natural light shone.  Walking towards her, she turned around and her smile stabbed at him, reminding him of his love for her, and hers for him.  Theirs was the sort of match that was made in heaven, even though it was the most unlikely.  She was a Radiant, a member of an ancient species that had been hiding among Humans for centuries, the key to fighting the parasites.  She was small and delicate and the very embodiment of pacifism.  He was a tactical officer, a man trained and willing to employ a starship's weapons, weapons that could sterilize planets, against his fellow sentient beings.  He was scarred, without and within.  And while there was little she could do for his missing limbs, what she was had been a salve to his troubled soul.  She made him whole.

Grass whispered under his bare feet as he neared her, and his hands, both flesh and blood, reached out.  His fingertips brushed at her waist and she turned around.  She stepped towards him as he stepped towards her.  He leaned forward and his lips just touched hers...

And around them stark, dark bulkheads slammed down.  Gone was the grass, replaced by a cold deck.  Gone was the sun, replaced by harsh, unforgiving lights.  Her eyes widened in horror, and she screamed as she was pulled away form him.  His hands reached out, but he could not grasp her, his fingers frantically trying to get a hold of her but failing at every turn.  In a panic, he ran after her, screaming her name, until he ran headlong into a wall he could not see in any way that separated him, from her.  Her dress had been ripped from her, and her nudity, a sight that had brought nothing but love and desire to his mind, was one that now evoked terror and vulnerability and fragility.  Clustered around her were those grey-skinned humanoid Savi, jabbing needles and probes in her with merciless coldness.  Her voice was raw as she was shrieking in agony and terror.  His voice was hoarse from screaming his helplessness and horror even as he battered his hands to bloody meat wrapped around splintered bones against that invisible wall. 

And then came one of those monsters, those that had accompanied their boarding parties.  It made its way towards Heather and it ran its limbs over her in a parody of tenderness.  And then it drove its forelimbs into her abdomen even as it leaned forward and tore at her face with his mandibles, before turning back to the helpless Trent, sheathed in the Radiant's blood, her entrails dangling from his fingers, and the sight tore a long cry of raw, animalistic rage and horror and grief from the Human, a cry to shatter worlds as he watched the one person who had touched his heart be savaged.

A cry that still sounded when he woke up with a start, sitting up suddenly, sheathed in sweat and his heart beating the frenetic beat of a thousand drums against the walls of his chest.  He knew it had been a nightmare; it was not his first since this ordeal had started, and he doubted it would be his last. 

But that knowledge was cold comfort, and when he swung his legs down to the deck, he buried his face in his hands, one of flesh and blood and one not, and he sobbed harshly his fear, his rage, his despair, his helplessness, hot tears streaming from his eyes and down his cheeks.


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