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USS Tigris: Planetfall

[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | On the floor | Unknown Runabout | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Scent, is one of the most potent of the senses. The smell of frying bacon, or a cup of fresh coffee, can pull a person out of dead sleep. It can summon up a memory long buried, or leave you with a sense of something from the past, without really understanding what, or why. In this particular instance, the acrid smell of electrical smoke forced the man to slowly become aware of himself once more, pulling him out of the deep darkness into which he had fallen. The pungent smoke filled his nostrils, making his nose curl up and causing him to shake his head. 

As one sense awoke, so too followed the rest. His throat felt parched and sore, as if he had screamed himself raw, and not had a drink in some time. A clammy, cotton mouthed sensation that had him scraping his tongue against his teeth as he coughed. There was a faint, warbling noise in the background, a muted sort of alarm, that sounded like it was struggling to be heard. Over top of that was the cascade pitter patter of rain on metal, coming from all around. His face felt sticky, and warm, too warm, as if he was pressed against something hot. The man let out a hiss and pushed himself up, though the hiss turned into a groan of pain.

He rolled onto his side, and then onto his back, gasping and blinking. He could breathe, that was a good thing he knew. There was pain, in a lot of places, but nothing stopping him from breathing. Looking up, he could see a tangle of wiring and tubes, and what looked like a bulkhead hanging by a single magnetic hinge. With another groan, the man forced himself to sit up, wincing as everything around him spun. Head injury, he thought, pressing a hand to his forehead. It came away sticky, and looking at his fingers, he saw congealed blood. Not a fresh wound. He'd need to find a first aid kit to deal with that. 

The next breath he took in ended in a cough. The compartment was full of the acrid smoke. and he blinked away tears as he looked about. He needed to open the...the emergency....something. It was there on the tips of his bloodstained hands. Casting his gaze about, he found a half lit console off to the side, and turned to crawl towards it. He had trouble focusing his gaze. Long, tanned fingers reached out and probed at the touch controls, sliding along until he heard the weak, warbling alarm stop, and a new sound, a rushing, wheezing hiss fill the chamber. The smoke coiled and pulled up and away from the smashed forward controls, the source of the electrical fire as the emergency ventilation system (the word came back to him when he saw it on the console under 'life support impaired') kicked in.

Covering up another cough, the man sagged back against the console he'd used  and slowly pulled his knees up against his chest, resting his head on his knees for a moment and tried, very hard, to get his bearings. Think, think. There's something you're forgetting. Slow breathes. You know what to do in this situation just...think. What is it? As the smoke cleared out, he heard something shifting further in, and slowly forced his head up. Blood stained on half his face, matting in the thin beard he wore, he shook his head and squinted his eyes, peering out across the cabin. Was that a...leg?

Shock warped his features, and he swore something in a ragged breath, his voice sounding alien in the confines of the cockpit. On hand and knees he scrabbled over the wreckage, feeling his pants leg catch on a piece of debris and tear with a long rip and a fresh flash of pain. Ignoring that, he ducked down and got his shoulder under what looked like a broken chair, pushing it to the side with a grunt of effort. Bracing himself with one arm on the nearest - dead - console, he took in the supine form on the floor of the ...the...runabout! Yes, it was a runabout. The word came to him, with an understanding of what it meant, what it was. A ship. Short to mid range capabilities. And he was in it and so was... this person. 

Reaching down, he slowly rolled her over onto her back, not realizing that might have been stupid. He wasn't operating on full thrusters; his thoughts were slow, sluggish. If he had been thinking clearly he would have tried to find a tricorder. Taken a scan. Basic first aid training told him to never move an injured person until you had an idea of what was going on unless you didn't have a choice. But he'd reached out on instinct and rolled her over, looking down at her now.

A flash of lighting struck somewhere outside, throwing the cabin into stark relief. It cast deep shadows over half of the woman's face, but the other half was on full display. He could see the clear bruising over her left eye, mirroring the cut he had over his own. It was a nasty purple affair, by the look of it, washed out to near black by the bright, vivid light. She had a red collar on, unlike his blue, and while he knew that meant something, he couldn't think of it in the moment. The same went for the pips on her collar. They had a significance that escaped him. Who cares about pips, make sure she's okay! You need her to be okay...

"Hey, hey, wake up," he grunted at her, his voice still that parched rasp, as he jammed two fingers up under her jaw. There was a pulse there, pretty strong, if he was any judge of such things. Rocking back onto his knees, he darted his head back and forth, looking around the dimly lit confines of the damaged runabout, its primary lighting out, and consoles flickering. Only now did he realized the whole thing was tilted at an angle, throwing off his sense of balance as he struggled to his feet, shuffling off to try and find a medkit. He thought there was one behind the...the transporter station, before the doors leading frowned, then it came to him - equipment storage. If he couldn't find a kit here, there'd be one back there in the equipment storage. 

But there was a med kit, hanging by it strap to the port side of the transporter station. Stumbling forward, he wrapped his hand around the strap and wrenched it free. He stumbled back, and fell to his ass with a loud cry of pain. Rolling up, he cracked the case open and drew out the tricorder, its trilling beep's and whistles an artificial accompaniment to the rainstorm pelting down. He had to blink his eyes a few times to focus on the readings, and had trouble making sense of it. Scowling, he pulled himself around the console and back to where the figure lay, running the device over her prone form. "Come on come on, tell me something I can use, dammit."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

The mind was a fascinating place. It could be a prison and a refuge. And all that just by cutting its most vital parts off from the environment on a moment’s notice. A trauma inducing total isolation of the mind. Yet within this disconnected darkness, the deep quiet void, there was an undeniable comfort stemming from the omnipotent feeling of ownership over this sacred space called the subconscious. An old man, in a foggy mirage, telling her to listen to the sound of her inner quiet. His ears pointy and his brows slanted. But even as she felt safe and sound in this gentle haze the woman found herself slowly growing attuned to outside stimuli again. A gargling of noises, like echoes, slowly rising from the tranquility. And with it came a slew of emotions that had seemed subdued so craftily that she hadn’t even been sure she had any, just moments prior. Slowly she realized notions of fear, anguish, pain, disorientation. Every fiber of her internal being bracing herself against being pulled out of this tutelary cocoon.

Then, a voice, different from the older man, beckoning for her. But it wasn’t coming from a source deep down within, but rather a hard to fathom surrounding that the blackness slowly gave way to. Then, from the nothingness sparked an image, a motion, blurry and faint. A dark shadow, in a mess of lines and curves, that quickly retreated, making her question whether it had even been real. More and more noises joined the orchestra, the crackling of electricity, the pattering of torrential rain, the whispering of subdued flames … and then there was this voice again. The shadow had returned to her side, a comforting sensation even though the lonely void had felt rather safe as well. Slowly but steadily the woman became aware of her physical manifestation once more. Arms, legs, muscles and skin, burning and aching with pain and discomfort. Her lips, dry and torn, her eyes, slowly adjusting to the surroundings and the ever-shifting lighting.

"Come on come on, tell me something I can use, dammit."“Hyper-spanner.” the blonde managed to utter, though her voice got caught in the dry paper that her throat had turned into. The question hadn’t been to her, clearly, but her mind was in no state of her awakening to register this minute detail properly. She couldn’t even figure out which was her right and which her left arm. Trying to sit up a little the woman brought one hand to the part of her face that ached most. “Shit!” she exhaled with a loud moan, instinctively pulling her hand back. Somehow it didn’t feel serious, none of her ailments did. It was usually the things you couldn’t feel, that got you, the real trauma. “You punched me!” was her first, although not ill-meaning deduction of the pain. Sitting herself up under the console she had been lying the blonde held her breath until the full range of motion was done. Only then letting a relieved sigh rush from her lungs. Closing her eyes once more she tried to sort her thoughts and feelings alike.

Blue orbs opening once more, she focused on the man by her side. Jumping slightly at his startling eyes that almost seemed to glow in the half dark. Otherwise there seemed nothing immediately threatening about him. He wore a uniform … he TOO wore a uniform. Spacefleet, was it? No, Starfleet. It was the uniform of commissioned officers. Science – or medical – and … eyes fell down to her cuffs: red – Command. Great, she didn’t even feel like she was in command of her own bodily functions let alone the situation. But the revelation that his uniform seemed to imply a certain affiliation with the sciency arts was a relief. “Are you a doctor?” she asked, nodding at his tricorder for indication. Even if he wasn’t she hoped he’d indulge her and keep her in a similar illusion that had been a safe refuge just minutes before.

Hearing another electric discharge, the woman looked around the cabin hey were in, the wiring of the ventilation in the ceiling now more and more apparent. Cables and tubing hung from the cracks and beams like angel hair pasta. They were clearly in a small spaceship, a shuttlecraft, potentially a runabout, from the aged design of it. Though there was not that much left in place to draw a positive ID from. Looking back at the man, she realized, the same was pretty much true for him as well. “You are hurt.” She stated, sitting up straighter, taking the tricorder from him without asking. She felt fine, the machine would not tell him otherwise. Taking a scan of the him the results on the screen were all over the place. Even if she had been a doctor herself, they probably wouldn’t have made any sense. Resigning she relinquished the device back to its original owner. “Yeah, I can’t read that.” she had to admit reluctantly. Apparently, pride was a big deal for the … whatever she was.

“Do you have any idea where we are? Or how we got here?” The blonde didn’t make any attempt to get up and look out of the windows. She was afraid she’d pass out. So, all she could see where dark clouds and the occasional lighting, overcast by strings and strings of rain. They didn’t seem in any immediate danger, so she had no haste in getting on her feet. That was until the floor started to vibrate, then slip a bit and the entire confines they were trapped in tilted at a slightly steeper angle. Sparks flying from the doorway on the adjacent side of the cockpit as the bulkhead there seemed to split down the side. Then they were steady again, and only then the woman realized she’d held her breath through all of it. “That … didn’t feel good.” And even though she didn’t know what to compare her words to it felt like an understatement.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #2
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | On the floor | Runabout | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

A hyper-spanner? Why in the name of all things holy would he need a hyper-spanner? At least, he assumed she was talking to him and not just coming out of some engineering based delirium. It was certainly possible, he supposed. If he were to be any judge the woman on the floor had likely hit her head too. Tapping the side of the tricorder the brown haired man watched as the crafts other occupant seemed to pry her eyes open and take a look at her surroundings, before she flung an baseless accusation at him that brought him up short momentarily.

Letting out a derisive snort, the man recovered and  snapped back, "I did no such thing," and continued to worked the tricorder over her. He understood maybe half of what he was reading and liked the accusation about as much as the readings. Punch her? Really? As if I would do something like that. His thoughts were as caustic as his tone had been moments earlier. He turned to face her again the in gloomy, half lit confines of the crashed ship, but found the train of thought derailing as he looked into her eyes. They were the blue of an ocean that reminded him of...of something. Home, the brunette thought. Some notion of home at the very least, if not the proper, out right memory. Waves crashing on a rocky coast, the calm of the ocean in the midday sun.

She jumped slightly to the side and the moment broke, his face forming a concerned scowl again. "The more you move around the harder it is to make sense of this thing," he noted with a tone as dry as a dessert and utterly out of place in a rain storm. His brow furrowed as he paused his scans, drumming a pair of fingers on the back of the device. Was he a doctor? That didn't seem to fit right, after a moment's reflection, and he shook his head, wincing in the process. That did not feel good at all. "Er, no. I'm pretty sure I'm a ...physicist, I think."

Though his voice sounded heavy and strained to his own ears, the words sounded right, or at least, close to right. Maybe a bit too broad. He started to shake his head again and then stopped himself, having no desire to repeat the unpleasant feelings from just a moment before. He started to say something else, but another violent crackle of electric energy distracted him as much as it did the blonde with the bruised face.  Recovering himself again, he could do naught but stare foolishly as she snatched the tricorder right out of his hands and turned it around on him. 

One delicate eyebrow arched up on his blood stained forehead as he watched her scowl at the scanner. A smug sort of satisfaction passed across his weary features when she admitted defeat, and he deftly plucked the tricorder back from his fellow shipmate. He assumed they were of the same crew. Neither of them had shown signs of being bound prior to whatever had happened. Having depressed a few buttons, the scanner started humming with a different sort of tune as he tweaked the read out, pursing his lips.Those multicolored eyes flicked up from the display screen to look over at her/

"Haven't the foggiest idea," he told her cheerfully, adding with only a slightly sardonic lit, "But I can tell you that wherever we are, we got their by crashing. I don't think these things usually look like they've been torn up with their innards hanging about when they are in good operating order. Certainly they don't belch smoke all over the cabin." That at least was starting to clear, even if the labored wheezing of the environment system was mildly disconcerting. And then the whole damn ship shuttered and tilted to the side. 

He ended up back on his ass, instead of in the kneeling position he'd been, with the scanner laying on his chest. The man blinked rapidly and groaned, his head swimming for a moment. "I vote we don't do that again. All in favor, say aye," he purposed as he brought a hand up to his head, shut his eyes and waited for the room to stop spinning. After a few shaky breathes, he said, "If I read this thing right we've both got a slew of minor injuries, and head trauma. I think there's a dermal um...dermal..." for a moment the man in blue struggled to grasp the word, but he found it again, snapping his fingers. 

"Dermal regenerator. Provided we don't slide off of...whatever we landed on, I can use that to stop any bleeding and heal up the minor cuts. At least, according to this thing," He held up the tricorder and wagged it from side to side, before tossing it to her. "Point that thing at me and let it run for a bit, and then I'll read just how bad I've got it." Having made his declarations thus, he rolled onto his hands and knees and crawled back to where he'd dropped the med-kit, leaving him with his back turned to her, but within arms reach of the blonde, from her right side. The kit had slid over in that direction during the last shift of their positions.

One long moment later, he was sitting with his legs crossed and a throbbing deep in the back of his skull as he fished open the med-kit again, to take stock of what they had. Vials of clearly labeled medical injections, a hypospary to distribute them, the slot for the tricorder that he'd fished out. Physical bandages and splinting material. A protplaser, and yes, a dermal regenerator. He flicked it on and was gratified to see the tip start to glow with a blue white energy. "Do try to hold still," he suggested as he rounded on the blonde woman, reaching up to take her chin and attempt to do something about the damage he could see. At no point did he ask for a 'by your leave' or any such thing. He simple acted. With the intensity of the storm raging outside, and the state of their surroundings being generally poor, he decided to err on the side of getting things done.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

The man’s quick-tempered defiance was duly noted, though it did not immediately disperse the original suspicion. Why she had jumped to it in the first place, the woman didn’t know. Simply from a logical point of view, the odds of the bruise being inflicted by mere happenstance rather than directed, personal violence, was objectively overwhelming. And at this point the blonde had no measure of knowing, whether it had been part of a twisted subconscious humour she had always had, or a mere cause of the odd situation she found herself in. “That’s not how a tricorder works …” the woman grunted back, partly due to her physical hardship and part due to feeling agitated by his obvious troubles to decipher the readout, despite his teal collar. A physicist, oh geez, didn’t really need one of those right now. But concerning her red cuffs – and potentially collar – she couldn’t really say what her function was in the myriad of Command branches. She couldn’t even remember all of them on the spot.

Granted, she had no more luck reading the tricorder data either, as she attempted to scan the man. Something that triggered a momentary delight on her companion that didn’t go entirely lost on the blonde. But since she had to admit it was sort of justified, she let it go gladly. He was doing the utmost possible to ensure she was alright, it seemed. Which was certainly their more immediate concern. Only second to where they were and what level of danger they were in. From the looks of it, they hadn’t exactly landed in a controlled fashion in a tropical paradise. Something the science officer confirmed in his own straight forward – if not obvious - assessment. “I guess that depends solely on who’s responsible for maintenance.” she replied in a deadpan fashion, as it was customary when delivering a semi-humorous note, rooted in fact. She had actually been to remote spaces of the Federation where not everything was as impeccably clean and well-groomed as elsewhere in Starfleet.

During her last commission at Starbase 133, there had been a micro-leak in her quarters’ bulkhead, that was subsequently sealed with carbon gel and then considered fixed. So, for the better part of her posting, she had lied awake at night worrying about the cork to pop and her being sucked out through a hole the size of a coin. Oh wow … that was a memory! Sucking in a breath of air, the woman decided last minute, her plump lips already agape, that it probably was not the right moment to bother the man with such triviality. Also, just as she wanted to speak, the cabin shook violently and slanted at an even steeper angle. Only feeling her hands grip so tightly to the support structure of the console next to her that her knuckles turned pale, the officer braced herself until the floor seemed steady once more.

“Agreed.” she replied post haste, only to correct herself as soon as logical thinking reasserted itself. “I mean, ‘aye’ …” She wasn’t entirely sure if that level of deference was appropriate, judging by the pips on his collar, but she also couldn’t exactly judge her own, or draw the relation in that moment. Though more, usually meant better. “Head trauma …” the blonde repeated, almost absent mindedly. Maybe a symptom of said trauma?! She quickly snapped back to full attention, right when the man demanded it of her. Clearing her dry throat, the officer made a mental note of being thirsty, but pushed it back in the cue of pressing matters in order to follow his prompt first. Taking the tricorder back, she ran an automated bio scan on the man before her, the readings still making little sense. From what she seemed to remember of her training, he didn't show as entirely human, even though he clearly was. “I think this thing is broken.” She told him, only to hand the device back for him to make his own judgment. “I don’t think a person is supposed to look like that on the inside.” she surmised.

Sitting back, the woman relaxed for a moment, only to stiffen a little again as the man approached with that little white light thingy. Furrowing her brows, she had no way to evade him anyways, and it didn’t seem like an immediate threat. Feeling his fingertips touch her skin, however, an eerie sense of comfort and connection established almost immediately. Like electric current at the union of two plugs. She could feel a new sense of determination, but also as if her fear and concern had doubled, rather than been alleviated. It was a weird bag of emotions, mixed with the subtle tingle of the dermal generator. Or was it the touch? At any rate she hadn’t really been able to keep track of the time as suddenly it was over as quickly as it had started. No recollection of how long that had been, she looked back at the brunette with a curious sense of appreciation and concern. Sure, their individual situations may have improved, but not the general one. Where were they and why?

Slowly feeling like she was the master of her sense again, at least remotely, the blonde made her first attempt to get up, feeling like an elderly woman. “Do let me know if you need me to return the favor.” She nodded at the little flashlight device. Bringing her hands up to the edge of the console, they aided the woman in pulling herself up. Feeling a little bit dizzy, blood pressure struggling to adjust, she hung there for a mere few seconds, half erect, before attempting the rest of the struggle to stand fully. Taking a deep breath with closed eyes, to get a sense of her equilibrium, blue orbs subsequently tried to adjust to the view outside the two large front windows. Water running down the outside of the glass in obscure streams, distorting a raw, rocky landscape with dark clouds and lightning above. But that wasn’t the real revelation. “I think we might’ve jumped from the frying pan into the fire.” she said, using an old earth idiom. Because looking out the viewports, it became pretty apparent where her – and the runabout’s - inclination came from. Looking down the cliffside the clouds and lightning mirrored in a dark and violent stream, some good 50 feet below. Potentially a result of the torrential rain.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #4
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | On the floor | Runabout | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Outside the downed runabout, the weather raged. Rain pelted down, louder and louder through the hull of the crashed starship. Despite the damage taken so far, none of the water seemed to find it's way in to the craft, which was promising for the integrity of the vessel. Where the pounding rain and lighting did little to calm his nerves, the random threads of humor in the words of his companion did. Dour as he had been so far, the crack about the general maintenance of whomever was responsible for the ship they were in drew a derisive snort out of his mouth.  "Thankfully - or unfortunately I suppose - I'm a physicist not an engineer. I can't comment." He blew out a puff of air, cheeks swelling for a moment as he did so. "I don't suppose you know anything about shuttle repair?"

In truth there was little point in worrying about that right then. First order of business was to patch her up as best he could. He went to work on the regenerator, calibrating it based on what he'd seen while she turned the tricorder onto him. Her head trauma worried him, and it was taking an effort of will not to let that show. Head wounds were a dangerous thing. They could bleed ferociously, like the one he had (he was guessing based on the blood on his face). But her's was a violent bruse on the side of her cheek riding up to her temple. All the other cuts and scrapers were superficial. The bruising near the temple and across the cheek - where she had accused him of punching her - was the critical point to treat.

But before he could start, she made a comment about his insides not looking right. Color drained out of his already pale face, and those multicolor eyes flashed up toward the red collared woman at her voiced concerns. "I'm almost afraid to ask you to elaborate. It seemed to do a decent job on you." He took the device from the other officer and glanced over it, frowning. He had some concerns there, certainly, but closed it for the moment and set it aside. The scientist would worry about what the device said about himself later. He had a task to deal with.

There was a moment of pure electricity when he touched her chin, skin on skin. Like lighting riding up his arm, his eyes went wide again, and he paused, the regenerator raised half up. The warmth was..familiar, inviting. Welcoming. There was a mixture of equal parts relief and fear and it threw him off guard. Whatever he had expected when he grasped the woman's chin, this was not it, and something of it showed on his face. The slackening in his jaw, the almost shock of familiarity. Skin under his fingertips. Intimacy. Things that felt both alien and natural at the same time. Forcing himself away from his worry over her injury and the surprising sensation of comfort took an effort of will. 

But it seemed to him that he had plenty of will when he wanted it. There was a long slow blink, and then he pulled his eyes from the blonde, to the tool and set to work. Thrumming under his fingers, the white glow turned blue, and a thin, flat beam lanced out and began to work over her wound. While he could only do so much, burst capillaries in both the skin and the surface of the organs beneath were slowly knit and fused back together. Even to his relatively untrained eye, the color of her skin improved, with the bruising fading and something much healthier returning. From there, the repairs were much more simple and considerably less distressing, though he felt a moment of embarrassment when he had to hold his hand over her thigh to repair a long, but shallow gash. 

Turning the device off for a moment, he sagged back onto his rump, stretching his legs out and running the back of his hand over his sticky forehead. There was sweat there now, and it wasn't until he was finished that he truly appreciated just how nervous he had been. The calming sensation of her skin under his touch had distracted him from the deep worry. His left hand began to shake, and he promptly stuck it under one his legs, out of sight, until he could force some control back into his limb. Across from him, the woman slowly rose to her feet, and he found himself frowning again. 

"I know there's a nasty gash on my forehead that I'd appreciate some help with. But let me take a closer look at those readings you took and I'll let you know." While a lot of things felt fuzzy (he knew he was forgetting something, possibly a lot of something's, but he couldn't remember what), speech at least did not seem to be giving him any issue. However, instead of picking up that closed tricorder, he found his eyes lingering on the officer in red, as she stumbled her way to the windows to look out. Telling himself that was out of concern for her and not some other reason, he forced his gaze away, flipped the device open again, and with a practiced ease that spoke of long use, pulled up the readings and reviewed them, frowning. 

There was clearly something implanted behind his nose. He pressed two fingers up against his cheeks, near his sinuses, and pressed up against the roof of his mouth with his tongue. All of which revealed - nothing. Blowing a sharp breath out of his nose, he shook his head. Regretting that,  he shut his eyes and counted slowly back down from 10 toward 0. The room stopped swimming and he opened his mouth to speak but she beat him to it. Grunting, he opened his eyes and frowned up at her, clambering to his feet slowly and ambled over to her. Perhaps he should have kept a respectful distance - she seemed to be the kind of person that would be 'in charge'. But instead he found himself reaching out and standing right next to her, bracing himself with one hand above his head, and the other hand pressed out on top of the same dead console as she did, mere inches between them. 

"Well...this sucks," eloquently stated as that was, he had to shut his eyes to fight down a dizzying sensation as he had looked out upon the same raging river below. "So...can we even stay here? Should we move to the back of the craft?" Can we fix this? Can we move the ship? How can we tell if the position is stable? If they could get the ships anti-grav's working they could ease it back away from the edge. Sensors could at least tell them if the position was stable. Using the tricorder to suss that out might be a bit beyond him. Already his mind was racing to try and sort out what needed to be done, which was simply making his head swim in the much of...of...the word escaped him, and left him with a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach.

He sucked in a second breath, and turned his back to the scene, looking at her instead, and passing the dermal regenerator that he still had a grip on to the woman. "And can you stitch this up before it starts bleeding again?"

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

It was quite hard to imagine, whether the woman would’ve figured the outside or the inside to be safer. Because, as their surroundings looked right now, they could get electrocuted in here just the same. And even though she could not say if this was a lifelong psychosis or not, but she felt like it would be more comfortable to be outside, rather than in this confined space, when faced with various undetermined threats. As there was not much in the way of evasion, within the small cockpit, that was further scaled-down by various debris and dislodged chairs. Did she know anything about shuttle repair? Well …

“I know it’s not supposed to look like this.” she retorted sarcastically. It didn’t take an engineering degree to assess as much and the man had probably come to a similar conclusion on his own. Letting her blue irises switch from the colorful lights and the bio read-out to the man, it almost felt as if the specks of aquatic hues in his own eyes changed ever so lightly, as worry created fine lines around their sockets. They were obviously the most puzzling part about him, even before she had seen the seemingly weird bio scan. Then again, she was not a doctor and it could have been a perfectly normal one. “Well, don’t take my word for it.”

There wasn’t much she could 100% count on to be true right now. That was until he gently touched her chin that was, and a different level of perception opened up that felt much more comfortable and less reliant on knowledge and memories for verification. It was a plane of deeper understanding, she felt like, that unearthed a connection that wasn’t new, even though she couldn’t remember it. And she was somehow sure he couldn’t either. She could feel him retreating slightly, focusing on fixing her bruise, after sharing the same place inside her mind for a moment. It was a gradual distancing that only suddenly cut off as he retrieved his hand. Leaving the blonde somewhat flustered for a moment.

Eyes shifting to the slowly crusting blood on his forehead that was, at the fringes of the dried streams, turning from a deep burgundy red into a dark brown. “It doesn’t look that bad.” she replied casually, trying to make it seem less than it was. She doubted the bio scan gave a more worrisome image than the actual look of it. “Don’t … do that!” she reprimanded him, pushing his hand down as he tried to eject something from his nose, which clearly caused him pain. “Don’t want your brain to come out …” she concluded, probably garnering a rather incredulous look. “… I don’t know anything right now.” The woman justified with a dismissive wave.

Having used up almost all her physical reserves to stand up, the woman now also felt emotionally drained at the daunting sight. This didn’t exactly look like a planet that would be bountifully inhabited. At least not by a higher intelligence, because they would’ve been smart enough to move to a nicer place by now. “Not sure …” she mused, absent-mindedly, leaning forward a bit more to ascertain how much of a ledge was beneath them. It seemed almost as if the cockpit was actually hanging OVER the edge. And even though her priority right now was to make sure they would not incur any more injuries, than the ones they already had, the blonde obeyed his wishes to take care of the gash on his forehead first. Taking the device from him she turned it on and attended his wound, duly trying not to touch him. She wasn’t sure yet if she wanted to repeat the previous sensation. Wasn’t even sure if she could.

“Should we address the obvious elephant in the room?” she said quietly, barely carrying over the rain pelting down on the hull of the vessel. “Why don’t we remember who we are? I mean, do you? Could this have something to do with the tra…” she didn’t get to finish her thoughts. The man’s wound had been superficially patched up, but as the floor started to give way, there was no telling for how long. A fountain of sparks flew from the back of the cabin, as the cockpit broke off the runabout’s neck. Dipping at an almost right angle the exposed back let the rain pelt inside, as both officers were tossed against the forward bulkhead. Even before the final strut snapped, they were drenched, but as it did, the cockpit fell almost without any delay, merely bashing through a couple of rocky outcrops, before being stopped rather violently, by the surface of the river.

The streamlined front of the runabout’s cockpit dampened the drop somewhat, as it dove into the black water. It floated for a fraction of a second like this, upright, before the laws of physics tilted it back into the horizontal, and filled it up with water rapidly. This was the first moment that the woman even felt like she had time for a coherent thought. “Shit!” she exhaled. Instinctively grabbing the med kit, that was washed towards them, before they were already to their hips in the dark liquid. The back of the cabin dipped down and before they could use it as a way to escape, it was entirely submerged, trapping them in an air-bubble against the viewports. And the only thing she could think of was how contradicting it seemed, since she felt like she loved water.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #6
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | On the floor | Runabout | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

The man pulled his hand back and shook it, having been smacked across the knuckles like a schoolboy who'd been naughty. He scowled up at the blonde in the red under-tunic for a moment, the pursed his lips and gave her a short, tight nod. She had a point, regardless of how he liked her hands on approach. Even if the touch itself wasn't unfamiliar, he was equally sure he was not used to someone smacking him to get him to stop doing something. Opening and closing his fist a few times he shook out his fingers, which really did not hurt nearly as much as he was acting. 

"While I might be at risk of losing my mind, I doubt it would be through my nose. There's something implanted in there," he replied. The only risk of insanity was from that momentary touched they'd shared while he was focusing on her injuries. He would have sworn that, at least for an instant, maybe longer, that he had felt what she was feeling. Alien and wholesome all at once. Gone now with the contact, he reached up again for his cheeks only to stop, less he accidentally, well, snot out his brain somehow. Since she was worried about it.

Seemed pretty foolish to him, but she had a point. She - nor he - really knew anything just then. 

Looking down at the torrent of water below them, the physicist gulped, his Adams Apple bobbing up and down in visibly in his throat. That was a nasty long way down. He didn't mind the idea of the water so much as the fall. There was a bone deep confidence that he could swim just fine. Getting there from here did not at all sound promising. He drummed his fingers on the bulkhead above him, before turning to give his fellow castaway a better shot at his wounded forehead with the dermal regenerator. There was a soft, mellow hum that came with the activation of the device and the man shut one of his eyes as the tip of the device glowed brightly and went to work on the gash across his scalp. 

It did not escape his notice that she avoided actually touching him at any point during the exchange. From taking the regenerator out of his hand, to lining up her approach and applying its regenerative beam to his flesh, the blonde kept her fingers away from his skin. There was no attempt to hold his head in place as he had done for her, and the blue collared officer was left to trust that she had a steady, stable hand and would not accidentally jerk at the wrong moment and do something unfortunate. A tool that could heal could likely harm just as well, if misapplied. He supposed he couldn't blame her of course; he wasn't totally dense. Something extra ordinary had happened when he had grasped her chin. There had been a connection that went beyond the physical and he could understand if she wished to avoid that again.

"What is an elephant?" The brazen question was about all the scientist could interject into the conversation before the world around him fell apart. She was right, yes, they had both been dancing around the fact that neither could really remember who they were. He had not wanted to dwell on that. He'd fallen back on training, assess the situation. Get the other person out of danger. Apply first aid. Determine what they had on hand. Simple things like who she was, or, the truly existential question of who am I? Those could wait. But apparently wait no longer. 

He'd had just enough time to question the metaphorical source she'd chose to employ before there was the gods-awful groan of metal sheer. A welling grew in the pit of his stomach as the organ seemed to rise up from its confines and make a racing dive up his throat, as beneath him, gravity seemed to plummet. There was a crack of rock as the shelf they had been purchased precariously on gave way, and nature took its course. The planet exerted itself upon the tiny craft and the crumbling stone, and with an almighty rend, the craft cracked along its spine, showering the two officers with both water and sparks. 

Crashing back into the consoles behind them, the man felt a flare of pain along his lower back that momentarily stopped his heart with pure, unadulterated fear. He screamed. A full on terrified bellow of pure fear lanced up from the pit of his stomach and out of his mouth in what he might consider a most embarrassing fashion, if not for the aforementioned terror. They plummeted straight down, plunging deep into the current of the river with enough force to cut the cry off in a muffled 'whumph' from the man as his brain rattled about in his skull. 

It took a long moment for him to realize that he was not, in fact dead. His ears rang and his body ached, but he wasn't dead. By some miracle, nothing seemed broken either. He coughed and sputtered, spitting and swallowing water in a fashion that should have left him heaving for air. It was cold, and bracing, but it was not choking, and he could not for the life of him understand why he didn't feel the tell tale burn of water swallowed into lungs not meant to deal with it. Still, he blinked away the dampness from his eyes and shook his head from side to side as the water crawled up his body.

"Shit," he gasped, his momentary terror abting just enough for him to twist about and find the woman in the mess, his arm grasping out for hers, gripping tightly. "This, this is bad." He could feel the water pulling them along in the course of the river. "We're moving. Shit. Its the current. Pulling us away from everything." His head was on a swivel, back and forth, back and forth, trying to get a sense of direction, of bearing. Where was the Medkit? Were there any survival gear that he could get to before they drowned?

"Can you swim?" Could he swim well enough to escape a rapidly filling cockpit before...whatever happened next, happened?

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

A small smile tugged against Samantha’s plump lips. It was such an unnoticeable pull of muscles to the soft cushions, that it surely would’ve gone unnoticed if not for the stark contrast of the notion against the situation they were in. So out of sorts, it gleamed like a beacon across the dark grey soup they were dabbling in, perspective wise. And it hadn’t even been that subtle smile that threw a glimmer of hope into this gloomy alien world, but the off-handed, inadvertently humorous reply of the man to her query not to snort his brains out. Even more so since the deeper revelation of his addendum hinting at something serious and unusual. Whatever WAS implanted in his nose, didn’t seem to affect him as much as the situation, and as such should’ve taken a backseat to more pressing matters.

The blonde had time to think just for a moment, as this particular phrase had just sprung from her lips without her mind having much say in it, before the floor gave way and they fell down the vertical cliffside into the violent stream of black water. As the cockpit tipped over and the liquid rushed in, however, it was as clear as you could imagine. Obscuring the floor and the panels, refracting the lights that were still working, into randomly focused and scattered rays. But one by one the systems of the ship gave in, be it due to the influx of water, electronics’ enemy, or the fact that they had broken off the major energy sources, in the body of the runabout. Either way, bulb by bulb, they were dipped into more threatening darkness.

Feeling the man’s tight grip around her arm was a comforting pull, out of the momentary haze of panic and hopelessness. Blue eyes snapped towards him. Harsh shadows and beams of broken light crossing his face, like flapping tentacles. And since the connection was so strong, she needed for him to say that they were moving, before she could feel the swaying and the momentum of the cockpit in the water. Turning her head slightly, to the overhead viewports now at their side, with every strike of lightning beaming through the clear water, she could see rocks passing quickly underneath them. Some cropping out more, some washed flat entirely. This clearly wasn’t an old river by any geological standards she could remember.

“I … I think so.” the blonde replied, unsure. Tying the answer to the mere logical conclusion that it would’ve been irresponsible to send two people to a place like this if one couldn’t swim. But also drawing hope from the reassurance that it couldn’t be hard and that the man seemed to know how to aid her if she couldn’t. In that regard she trusted his abilities implicitly, without even knowing what they were. But regardless of the options, she wasn’t sure if they were any better off out there, than in here. The only problem being that the water still rose, although much slower. Some crack in the hull must’ve let the air pocket seep out slowly. Giving the bow, now the ceiling, a brief inspection, the woman concluded that finding and sealing the leak would not be a viable option.

Her eyes subsequently fell to a hatch that had the word 'EMERGENCY' written on it, below a console that was still above water, in their little bubble. Was it too outside, she couldn’t say. “We should get out there, if we want to risk it.” the blonde breathed, feeling her lungs fall short of the anxiety pressing on her ribcage. As if the weight of the entire shuttle cockpit was pressing down on the little bubble of air they shared. Which it kind of was. “But this place will flood quickly if we open it.” By now, feeling no more steady ground beneath her to perch on, she had to hold on to the handrail of the forward console to stay afloat. Soon it too would be submerged. At any rate they would have to make a swift decision, the same as they would have to make a swift exit once they did.

“Let’s take a quick look around for what we need.” was a logical point, but not really a practical one. The cockpit had turned into an almost entirely dark, violent whirlpool of bubbles and spray. A single remaining light fixture, illuminating their faces from beneath the surface. Looking over at the now familiar face of the man, the pale white hue suddenly turned warmer, the dark background shifting into that of a larger room. The raving sound died down into the subtle bursting and mumbling of the bubbles. They were in a much more confined body of water now, barely the size of a large bed, sitting across from one another. He just looked at her, silent, with a warming smile on his face.

The woman, seemingly astute to the inner physiology of her body, could feel her heartbeat slowing down measurably as her muscles eased up. She felt so comfortable in this situation, this dream, that everything that had happened seconds ago seemed nothing like a long-forgotten nightmare. A mirrored sentiment slowly grew on her own face as the corners of her plump lips curled into a smile in reply to his. If this was the last moment she’d be living in, it seemed, it would be fine. It would be fine.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #8
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | On the floor | Runabout | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Shouldn't it feel colder? Was the first truly rational thought that bubbled through the hectic myriad of emotions that assaulted the man as the world seemed to settle back into focus. Oh yes, he'd made note of the ship moving down the river and all that, but this little point of information struck him square between the eyes and teased a frown into his features. The water should be colder. Or more so it should feel colder than it did, because he was damned sure it was colder than it felt. That little bit of logic was not quite circular, but it was close enough to make him wonder if he had hit his head again and knocked something else loose between his ears.

Be that as it may, what cold he felt wasn't seeping into the skin the way the water was seeping into what was left of the runabout and its precious air bubble. For him it was a non entity, but he wasn't so sure that applied to his fellow castaway. She looked cold. Now maybe that was just his read on things, colored by the stark light of electrical discharge and the faint glow of what was left of the damaged vessels power. It was playing merry havoc on everything he was seeing, casting shadows about and washing the color out of his surroundings. Another panel flickered and died, only exacerbating the issue. 

He kept his grip tight, firm on her arm, out of fear as much as worry. Fear of losing the only other person around. Worry for her safety and his. Adrenaline from the terror of the fall had not yet bled away, causing his heart to race. At least she had confirmed she could swim. Or that she thought she could.

"I guess we'll find out," he noted, his tone about the only dry thing in the cabin. He tried flashing her a smile, to attempt to reassure. Fake it until you make it, the saying had went, and so he would project as much reassurance as he could manage. If she believed it, then maybe he could too. He took a deep breath to steady himself, and gave one, small, sharp nod. Whether or not it was seen was up for debate. But that said...there was training. Muscle memory. Even if it wasn't a conscious act on his part, he was doing what should be done in the situation, taking stock, and working out what they had and what they could manage. 

As she spoke, he followed her gaze, seeing the hatch emboldened with the word EMERGENCY in a language he read easily. Federation Standard, the part of his mind not current addled by fear or trauma informed him, albeit not as swiftly as he might have hoped. The same language that he and the blonde were speaking, and, utterly irrelevant at that point and time. Making no allusions to his mental tangent he instead noted, "If we don't get out of here, we will drown, and this place will flood. Once that hatch is fully under water it'll be that much harder to open. Flood the compartment fast, and have a chance of getting out and trying for survival out there," he gestured to the rain soaked, lightning lit world barely visible though the cockpit windows, "or drown for sure, in here. I know which choice I'd make."

The words hung heavy in the air for a long moment until she spoke. They were clearly in agreement, and he took that as a good sign. She made a suggestion about taking stock. Surely there was an emergency survival kit around there somewhere. The medkit...had it washed away. Before he could look for it though, he felt her gaze on his, and those eyes, so like the ocean, sought hers out. He met her gaze, eyes locked, and his went a little wide. Across from him, her face went slightly out of focus. She was seeing him, but not seeing him. 

He couldn't look away. Time was running out, and they needed to salvage anything they could out of this place. Emergency beacon, med kit, survival gear, maybe an emergency shelter. Food! The list went on and on, the more he thought of it, the longer he got. Yet he could not avert his eyes. For all this his eyes looked like reflections seen beneath the surface of the ocean, he was practically swimming in her gaze. Hell, she was smiling at him. And damn him, he was smiling back. There was a trust there, implicit and warm. It was familiar. He knew that smile, but he had no context for it. 

Something moved in the water, brushing against his leg. He jerked it back and looked down, breaking the contact. Letting out an oath, he turned back to the woman, and frowned. She was still kind of out of it. He snapped his fingers, and when that didn't work, he lightly brushed his hand over her cheek. The contact caused him to suck in a breath as he got a snap of memory, some bare insight of warmth and water. It felt good. Dammit.

Sucking in another sharp breath, he broke contact again. It looked like he got through. "Hey. I can't do this without you. Come on, we need to get out of here." He grabbed her hand and tugged her away from the console they'd been leaning up against, across the cabin. "Help me find the emergency kit. These ships have a few scattered about." In the depths of his subconscious the physicist was surprised at how concerned he was. He had the feeling that it wasn't something that happen often. Concern for others.

Well, it was happening now.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

There was a certain aspect to impending doom that you did not need to hear spelled out. Especially not in a readily pessimistic fashion that narrated the problems rather than facilitating solutions. The woman couldn’t deny herself a stern look towards the man beside her, through slotted eyes, for a moment. Not until he concluded with at least a seemingly definitive course of action. The blonde had a sense that she was usually someone who preferred a carefully detailed ploy over the straight-forward approach, but there was no place, and certainly no time, for the luxury of entertaining her sensibilities right now. “Glad we won’t have to argue over that one.” she replied, words hollow with the exhausted breaths leaving her hastily contracting lungs above a hummingbird heart. Truthfully so, they had been rather argumentative over their situations and actions in the short past she could remember. Which was still ringing in sharp contrast to what she had felt when he’d touched her.

There was this ominous echo of memories in her mind, that obscurely hinted at a different past than what she was remembering now, of their past 20 minutes or so together. But it was more the memory of emotions like safety, comfort, affection … rather than actual situations or encounters, to recollect. But it seemed like that sentiment was not going to remain a limitation in her mind for long. As the whole scenery shifted and she got caught in this daydream, that felt like a reality all of its own, the blonde was hard pressed to discern it from the dangerous situation she’d found herself in seconds ago, in terms of realism. But it all broke away as the notion seemed to partially escape through a newly formed connection into a sense of shared conscience. The imagery paling somewhat as the mutual sensations intensified. Now she could actually feel him there, instead of merely seeing his unmistakably handsome face. Yet, he ultimately managed to draw them from this dangerous illusion.

“Yes … Yes, of course!” the woman sprung back to action, shaking her head with an added sense of dizziness, that she really didn’t need right now. Looking around, feeling as if her eyes needed to adapt to the faint light once more, though she had never physically left the dark space, the officer noticed a dark box floating submerged in a ray of flickering light. Reaching down, not quite managing, she held her breath for a moment going under, blindly fishing for it. As her fingertips graced the handle, she jerked her arm forward to grab it quickly, before pulling up and emerging with an almost panicked gasp. Shit, her heart was beating so fast, she couldn’t hold her breaths as long as she thought she could. It didn’t help that the water was freezing, making her lungs feel shrunk in size. Only adding to the stress on her metabolism.

“I got one.” she heaved, sucking in a splash of water, that instantly made her cough. She wouldn’t be able to do this for much longer. Moving over to the hatch with the man, she didn’t really care about the dangers anymore, now she was wholly with him: Nothing could be as bad as dying in here. Holding on to a support beam on the opposite side of him, clinging to the medkit with her other, she gave an acknowledging nod for him to go ahead. And as soon as he had pulled the lever, causing the hatch to be propelled outward, she regretted that implicit trust. While water from the violent stream was flowing in, air was escaping just as forcefully. At the very least giving them a small window of opportunity. Following his selfless prompts to go first, the blonde hoisted the little case through the opening, using it as leverage, before using her other hand to support her weight at the rim of the opening too. With the added help of the man she managed to squeeze through, against the influx of cold water.

Slipping a bit to the side, half into the outside waters, she clawed her free hand to the edge of the opening. A flash of lightning illuminating the mere square meter of hull that was still sticking from the current. “Move!” she tried to yell against the roaring of the river, trying to pull herself up so she could assist him. All she could see were his own hands gripping to the opening. She couldn’t hold on to the cockpit, the medkit and assist him at the same time. “Oh screw this.”  she hissed, throwing the little box onto the little piece of hull that was not submerged, though it slid right off with the next wave – she didn’t care. Pulling herself up with both hands now, she managed to grab the man’s wrists, trying to aid him in moving from the hatch, that was now going under.

A final gust of air puffed from the opening before she found herself squatting on a raft, drifting down beneath the surface, pulling as hard as she could. Holding on to him, soon the woman too became submerged. But this added sense of levity seemed to have ultimately been the deciding factor in their ability to pry his body from the grip of the subsiding influx of water through the opening. A sudden sense of levity made them both drift back to the surface. Breaking through with a saving gasp, she gladly noticed him bopping a few feet away. But the struggle was not entirely over yet. The river ahead was a rough one. Hearing a muffled crash, they could see a few flashes of light and sparks beneath the surface behind them, temporarily illuminating scattering debris against a large rock in the current. They had not escaped a minute too early.

However, there was no way for them to fight the current and their destiny, it seemed. Several rocks, cropping out of the turbulent waters, separated them further and further and the woman got pulled down more than once. Momentarily losing sight of the only person she had known on this planet. She could feel herself growing weaker, having more and more trouble to stay afloat. Ultimately, she got sucked under so long that everything faded to black. The last thing she saw, a flash of light cutting through the bubbles frozen in liquid. Then, nothing … until she could feel the coarse quality of wet sand under her touch. Coughing, the woman almost choked on the small puddle of water, the side of her face rested in. Pulling her head up, spitting out a mixture of sand and liquid, she could feel her mind throbbing, hands clawing into the wet dirt. Eyes slowly flickering up she could see herself on a beach, next to the river, the rain seemingly having stopped and the currents coming to an ease here.

Her companion! Pricking her head up further, the blonde’s neck made an uncomfortable cracking sound, that had her wincing. Pushing both hands into the soft gravel, she pushed herself onto her knees. Using both hands to hold her skull together from exploding. She felt so week and dizzy she could’ve just rolled over and rested. Looking up once more she could see the dark void of space, peppered with stars, above. No moon, no sun. Aside of the gargling of water and far away, barely audible thunder, it was dead silent now. “Hello?!” she yelled out, her voice raspy and dry. She didn’t really know his name, neither did he, for the record, it seemed. “HEY! Are you there?!” her voice gaining a little bit in strength, the woman scrambled to her feet, still feeling slightly off balance. Fear slowly growing in the pit of her stomach. Fear for him and, by extension, herself, if he hadn’t made it.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #10
[ Lt. Jg...What's in a name? That which we call a rose... | Under the stars | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

As he waded about in the murky water that filled the cockpit, looking for anything of use and coming up distressingly empty on supplies, the man could not shake the feeling that there was a shared history with this woman that he was not remembering. The feeling of her skin under his fingers, he was almost positive this wasn't the first time that had happened. Never mind that weird feedback loop of emotions that he thought he felt from her. If I'm not hallucinating. This could all be brain trauma you know. Now that was an unpleasant thought. He scowled off at nothing, in the darkness, as he mulled it over, before a loud series of splashes pulled him from his less than reassuring internal conflict.

With a puff of air he let out a sharp sigh, and turned in the water, bracing himself against a now dead console, and watched the soaked blonde hold up the strap of a medkit. A genuine smile of relief flashed over his face. "Thank the gods," he muttered, with only a vague sense of which gods and why he should thank them. He held out a hand to her and grasped her arm when she started to flounder, making her way to him by the hatch. The one kit would have to do. Ta growing sense of urgency left the wet hairs on the back of his neck standing up and his heart racing in his chest. 

"Time to go," he declared in a tone that brokered no argument. Again, he was pleased to see that they seemed to be in agreement as to the course of getting out of this alive. She had the kit and had braced herself, so he sunk into the water and kicked his legs, getting a purchase on the much below, and forced his hands around the lever. It was stiff and slippery all at once, not wanting to move. It wasn't really meant to be used within a flooded cabin; how often did the inside of one of these things get full of water, after all? Which did little to ease the mans growing worry as he struggled with the latch. Then it snapped open, and he was very nearly sucked right out in the backwash. 

"Damn," he hissed and waved his arm at her, before grabbing onto her jacket and nigh on hauling her over. "Deep breath, and go. I'm right behind you." A part of him wondered just where the hell this asinine hero complex had suddenly come from, but there he was, ushering her out first. Some old saying, hopelessly chauvinistic came to mind, about women and children first, and seemed fittingly appropriate if culturally outdated. Irrelevant mental dribble aside, he kept right on acting on the principle, pushing up against her to help her up and out. Taking a deep breath of his own, he squared his shoulders, reached through the hatch hole, and started to move, only to lose his footing, the current knocking loose whatever debris he'd been balanced on.

His feet went out from under him and he dropped flat into the water, the grip on the hatch the only thing that kept him from being swept across the confines of the cabin and being smashed against the far wall. He floundered, legs kicking as he tried to gain some form of leverage. He tried to keep his head above the surface, to get his bearings and catch his breath but he only managed to swallow a lungful of water. Too panicked to really register the fact that this was not nearly as catastrophic as it should have been, he felt a hand on his and let himself be pulled along, until he could wrench his way out of the hatch, and the doomed ship. Something caught and something tore and then he was fully free, coasting along under the surface, kicking against the current and trying to reorient himself. 

They were both under the water, both struggling to find the surface. Soon enough they managed, each coughing and sputtering as they breached into the night air. Rain lashed down, lightning crackled, and then there was a booming crash as the remains of the cockpit smashed itself to pieces against a large protrusion splitting the surface of the coursing river. "By the depths..."

Whispered words did little to travel in the torrent of noise caused by the storm and the water whipping around them. Kicking his legs out, he started to swim toward her, only to have her swept away. Each fought the water, but the battle seemed futile, and before he knew it, he was knocked wholly under the water, with his leg snagging on something beneath the surface once more. Cursing his luck, he twisted and turned, trying to see in the nasty murk. His leg had jammed itself between two rocks below the water, and was stuck. Pulling on his pants, one arm in front of the other, he practically climbed down his own leg to get to the pillars and try to shift his foot out. It was impossible to ignore the burning need for air in his lungs and the rising panic. If he didn't get his foot free he would drown. 

But his foot would not come loose. He started in on the straps of his boots - if he could get those undone, he could perhaps slip out of the boot and swim for the surface. To no avail however; his movements grew to clumsy, and soon enough ,h e as gasping out for air again as his lungs forced what stale gas remained out in a stream of bubbles, and then sucked in. 

Instead of the flooding, choking sensation he expected to get however, the cool water filled his lungs and...that was it. No pain. No darkness. Fresh, sweet water, sweet oxygen filtered out of it, into his blood steam. His body felt a little cooler, as if it was adjusting to the water outside of it with the water inside of it, but that was that. He bobbed, buoyant, and quit his struggles, eyes wide in utter shock. 

He could breathe water. 

What the actual fuck?

This world shattering stroke of sheer luck only left him stunned for a few moments. Somewhere out there was the other officer, the woman from the crashed ship. And the longer he stayed here jammed between two rocks fighting the current, the further away she got. Scowling at the rock, he brought his other foot to bear now and gave a few, sharp kicks. No longer struggling to hold his breath, he was able to muster the focus to chip the thing enough to get his foot free. That sent him spiraling down the river, the swift underwater flow sweeping him along for a good 30 meters, if he were any judge, before he crashed against an outcropping and then started to float back up. 

Eventually he came to find himself laying on the shoreline - some shore line in any event - with his face turned to one side, and his stomach down in the silt and sand. There was a wet puddle in the sand, next to his mouth. As he slowly blinked his eyes open, he could feel grit on his lips, and a bit more of the river water trickle out as he exhaled, sending ripples through that little puddle. Every inch of him ached, though more than anything else, his right shoulder and left ankle hurt. For a long moment he contemplated just laying there; shutting his eyes again and letting the darkness come back to take him in. 

Then something heavy bumped against his sore ankle and he swore under his breath. Groaning, he pulled his arms up and pushed up ignoring the flare of pain from his shoulder, and rolled, onto his back, and then, into a sitting position, to scowl down at the metal case that had lodged itself against his foot. It took his waterlogged brain a moment to connect the case to the medkit he had used in the runabout. From there though, he remembered that he had not been alone. And that when he had actually last seen that kit, it had been thrown over a soaked to the bone blonde officer in a red under tunic. 

"Ah, fuck," the words felt slightly foreign to his lips, as if he knew them, understood them, and used them, but they were still not quite right. Reaching with his left hand he grabbed the kit and pulled it over. He looked left, then right, frowning as he realized the shoulder of his uniform had been torn. Not just the outer jacket either. There was a nasty gash along the skin that he could see, and some bruising around it in turn. "Great. Just great."

Shutting his eyes, he ran a hand down his face. The rain had stopped, and there was sand stuck against his skin. He brushed it off and blew out a long, low breath as he fought down a wave of vertigo and anxiety. He was here. The med kit was here. Logically the woman had to be around here somewhere. Darkness swam behind his eyelids, and opening them again did very little to help. The landscape was cast in shadow, and he slowly tilted up to stare at the stars.

That was when he heard the faint cry on the wind. It a voice. With a groan he forced himself upright and shut his eyes again, listening. For a moment, nothing, and then, yes, the loud, sharp cry. He turned his head to his left again and opened his eyes, starting to run toward the noise. He stumbled as his ankle flared in protest, and the run became a jumbled, shuffling sort of hop and skip, shambling along as he called out. "OVER HERE! I'm over here!"

Of course, the nasty, mean part of his mind told him that this too could be just another hallucination, but that didn't stop him from calling out again, and again, as he limped and scrambled his way toward the other voice.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #11
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

Coming to it, on the shores of an unknown planet, not even knowing herself, the woman felt a painful sense of isolation and loneliness, that was settling in all too well, with the ailments her body endured right then. She couldn’t even be certain if what little she remembered of the man, that had saved her from the shuttle cockpit, had been real, if anything of it had been. Or if they were, for a fact, memories of a time long ago, that only slowly started to come back to her. But then there was the bruise on her eye, which still stung now, that she brushed the sand away from her face. A bruise she had gotten in her dream, her memory, whatever it had been. But the man, he wasn’t there, she was all alone.

Yet even if that was true, she had to cry out for him even if he had just been an illusion, as to calm her mind, that there was still a chance she had not just woken up at the end of time. When all the lights had gone out and the universe had gone dark. She called out once more, the warm embrace of hope slowly fading away from her moist-clad features. Hugging her arms around her torso, feeling the faint sense of shivering commitment to the inevitable, the blonde couldn’t help but let out a solitary, heart-breaking whimper. Tears barely discernible, mixing with the water on her face, only striking a chord through the feeling of pressure in her eyes.

But then there it was, a voice against the ghostly quiet. At first it only sounded like an echo in her mind. The woman froze, holding her breath, focusing all her attention across the subtle blabbering of the complacent river behind her. The second time, the sound cut through her mind like a ray of light in this oppressive darkness. “I am here! I can hear you!” she yelled out, scampering to her feet, relief washing over her shivering features like warm honey. Staggering forward a little, feet dragging through the wet mud, the blonde climbed up a shallow rock outcrop on all fours, to get a better view in the direction of the voice. Reaching over the threshold, revealing the beach beyond, and the man staggering towards her across it, the blond collapsed to her knees.

Letting out another sniffle, brushing away the wet from her eyes, she had enough time to collect herself until he fully caught up. Placing her hands on his strong arms, against the wet fabric of his uniform, the woman pulled herself up in his aid, ultimately giving into a relieving hug. Pressing the water from each other’s fabrics, warmth into each other’s souls, she held on to this sentiment for a moment longer. The darkness fading into a golden hue, she didn’t care how intimate and strange it had felt before. After mere minutes of loneliness in this place she had longed for it. That light in the dark. His breathing the only sound filling her ears, with his heartbeat gently thumping across it. "I am so glad you are here." Unspoken words between them.

But then there was another sound, seeping from their surroundings, as if it was part of their little bubble. A distant howl, like an echoing bellow of an animal, or an alien whale song, in the air. And then there were two, potentially three, coming from behind the rocky tongues flanking the riversides and its beaches. Detaching her head from the man’s chest, the blonde looked into the direction of the eerie noises. A faint purple glimmer, flickering across the wall of rocks, as if it were a dying aurora. Leaving go of the hug, she managed to grab his hand and keep the sense of connection, but much more grounded in reality. She wanted to know what this was and felt much more confident in doing so with him in tow. A sign of life, maybe?

Alien Sounds: [Show/Hide]

Climbing up the rocky embankment, the woman had to ultimately use both hands to get ahead, alleviating the sense of disconnect with the memory of the very notion, that still burned hot inside of her. Making her way to the top first, the blonde stood up straight, outlined by the purple glow, as the man made his way to follow her. “You have to see this.” she whispered, overwhelmed, at the sight of five or six purple glowing lifeforms, the size of their shuttle, some twice as big, wafting through the air in unison, defying gravity. They seemed to talk to one another, dipping the valley beneath them in their ghostly glow. It made this place equally more beautiful and scary.

But there was something else about this valley they were now overlooking. What first appeared as jagged rocks and cliffs, turned into defined, artificial shapes in the light of the alien animals. The torn debris of a city, of sorts, spanning as far as the light could reach. Black on black, against the obsidian surface of the planet, with accentuate edges and spires, glowing with reflections of the spectacle above. A broken city in eternal darkness.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #12
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Standing in the shadow of giants | Ridge line | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

For an eternity, that was likely less than a standard minute, the man heard nothing in reply from his cries. Had he been going crazy? Of course he had to wonder. Head trauma was nothing to frown at, and there was every chance he'd taken even more than he'd already endured during the crash. A throbbing headache wasn't going to fade any time soon, and there was a faint ringing in his ears in the wake of his last call. Realization slowly dawned that he was straining to try and hear...anything.

And there it was. Over the ridge line. The rocks were muting the sound of it, reflecting it back upon the caller, but enough of it was cresting the rocks that the man on the shore could make it out. So he brought his hands up to his lips, cupping his mouth and ignoring the wince of pain on his shoulder and called again. And again, shambling forward as he did it. There was a need, a burning deep need to see her, to prove to himself what he was not, in fact, totally insane. The closer he got to the rocks, the smaller he realized that they were. He'd thought they were towering, but it was a trick of the eyes in the darkness that was the planet in the wake of the storm. His depth perception had been shot to hell, and in truth it was maybe just half again as tall as he was, twice as tall at best. Certainly not insurmountable.

Suddenly she was there, cresting the ridge, looking an absolute mess, and absolutely beautiful. A sight for sore eyes, as the saying went, and the bedraggled man swept his arm across his face, as if rubbing dust away to make sure he was seeing what he thought he saw, silhouetted against the dark sky. And then worry shot through him like a bolt of lighting, and he staggered to a stop as he saw her drop to her knees. Was she hurt? Had something happened?

The next few moments were a blur; he wasn't entirely sure how he got up to her, but he did. He was standing before her, panting for breath, fighting off exhaustion from all his body had been through under the water. Hands reached up, he reached down, and with a groan, hauled her up to her feet. He wasn't sure what he would have done after that, unable to pry those alien eyes from hers, but she threw her arms around him and held him tight, and that was enough for him. It should have felt awkward - they were caked in mud and gravel, soaked to the bone, coated in blood. It didn't matter that her hair was a matted mess of river water and probably blood; he pressed his head to the side of hers as they hugged, tangling fingers in that mess of hair, and squeezed tightly.

A deep, abiding sense that things would be right settled in. His heartbeat felt like it had matched up to hers, each beating in time. It had to be a trick of the mind. Yet he clung to her, and did not ease up. "I've got you. I've got you. It's all right," he thought, over and over and over as his breathing slowed into something reasonable. He fingers loosened, and he found himself smoothing her hair back, and part of his mind wondering what gave him the right to feel comfortable doing this with someone who, as far as he could remember, was a complete stranger. Yet he did take a sense of comfort from this moment, from holding her.

So of course that was when the eerie cry of something broke across the night and damn near made him jump out of his skin. He sucked in a sharp breath between clenched teeth, then let it out in a slow hiss as both officers turned to look back in the general direction from which the blonde had appeared. The glowing light worried the man almost as much as the noise, confirming that they were no longer alone on this strange world. As if they both came to the conclusion at the same time, they pulled away, though her hand caught on his, and he squeezed in, palm to palm. Neither were willing to give up the connection they felt, not in the wake of their unwanted river cruise.

Nothing else for it, he thought to himself as they picked their way forward, the ground taking on that ethereal purple luminescence. Another cry sounded in the night, sending a shiver along the mans spine. None of that set well with him. All he could think of was some vast, ocean going creature, swimming up out of the dark to gobble him up. Not exactly the most reassuring of mental images. It was all the worse for him when she let go of him, and a warmth seemed to bleed away from the contact. But, as he'd thought before, there was nothing else for it. Each needed both their hands to scale the wall. And when they reached the top, and hauled themselves to their feet, what he saw was...awe inspiring.

"Damn," he whispered, as if afraid to draw the attention of the beings. Deep in the dark recesses of his mind, where the primitive instincts dwelt, he felt a sense of fear and reverence. It took no small stretch of the imagination to conceive how a creature like this might be venerated by a less advanced species. Entities such as this were the stuff legends were made of, and he felt rooted to that spot, unable to look away from the ethereal giants that danced in the air. Oh yes, it was an experience that could easily be described as spiritual, if not quite bordering on out right religious.

Running his tongue over his lips, he swallowed to dash the dryness in his throat. At some point during it all, he'd slipped his hand into the other officers again. Without conscious thought, he'd laced his fingers with hers, seeking that base reassurance that he was not in fact alone. Pure selfishness on his part, and he knew he aught to be ashamed of himself, but he craved that warmth and affirmation, that feedback loop that seemed to exist between them.

Thus balanced again, he let his eyes sweep out past the creatures and their sky waltz, to the vastness that lay beyond. He let out a soft whistle, and then flinched, looking to see if the giants noticed him; thankfully they seemed to pay him and the other officer no mind at all. Setting aside the beautiful behemoths for the time being, he began to dissect what he was seeing, sorting out the odd shapes into something that made sense to his mind. A good five minutes past, where he simply observed and cataloged in silence, holding the blonde's hand the entire time as if it were commonplace. Finally, he broke his silence in a soft whisper, tilting his head to hers, but not taking his eyes from the scene playing out in front of him.

"That is a city. A ruined one, if I had to guess." Even at a whisper, his voice felt as if it were out of place in the setting they'd found themselves. His words seemed to carry an extra weight to them, in the wake of the alien song, and again he found himself swallowing. "I have no idea what we'll find down there, but it's our best bet for getting to some shelter. If another one of those storms comes up, I don't want to be caught outside by the river bank." His eyes darted skyward, and he watched the glow trail in the wake of one of the beasts floating over their heads.

"And if I'm being completely honest, I'm not sure I want to be out and about when something else comes roaming our way, that isn't as...benevolent as these creatures seem to be. Something that takes notice of two Starfleet officers." He wasn't afraid, not exactly that, but he was cautions.  As beautiful and wondrous as these creatures were, this planet was deadly, and he wanted - needed - to make sure the two of them had a place to shelter. Take care of the necessities, and then allow yourself a moment of pure, unadulterated awe.

With a resolve that straightened his spine and seemed to calm his erratic pulse, the man began to edge down, along the rock wall they'd climbed, toward the ruins ahead, gently leading the blonde by the hand.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #13
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

There was solemn comfort in their joined bodies. One that went beyond the sentiment of being the only two beings on a rock in the dark, it seemed. And while the potential of letting go of her emotions was an entirely implied option, the blonde woman had chosen to simply let the notion give her the strength to rise above it. An innate desire to keep composure, emanating from flesh and memory. A notion which, by the very defiance of it, evoked a sense of familiarity and comfort. Like a glimmer of her true self. That, which she had forgotten. Had it not been for the eerie cries, breaking their immersion in the moment, it could’ve gone on for the rest of time. She doubted there was a place she’d feel more secure in on this entire planet. A sentiment where she’d feel more in touch with those lost memories than she was here, now.

Following the sounds and the lights, the woman almost felt as if drawn by some magical siren’s song. Making her way up the low ridgeline to the overlook above the valley beyond. The floaty beings in the sky, for a better word of it, evoking a sense of calm, despite their size and number. The illogical emotion of being subdued, comforted even, by sounds that elicited pleasant memories. Even when you didn’t quite know what these memories were. For a human was just a biological machine, that drew conclusions from a large database of experiences. Only in the scarcest of situations, did it ever inspire actions that were not – in fact – mere REactions to sentiments of their past.

“So, this place is not just dead rock after all.” the blonde qualified her companions’ astute assumptions. There was a certain logic and allure to the prospect of exploring this remnant of a civilisation. Hopefully finding anything that would help them in their journey, be it physical or spiritual. “You’re right.” she conceded, not finding a single flaw in his logic. The riverbed had been jagged and irregular. It really looked as if the water had chosen this path more recently and was now slowly diminishing as the rain had passed. With all likeliness, a recurring storm could fuel a stream with yet another, entirely different, trajectory. A city, however, no matter how dilapidated, hinted at a sense of geographical stability, to an extent. Unless this destruction and the extinction of its inhabitants had been due to its location. Not a thought to dwell on pleasantly.

„Starfleet …“ the woman repeated, absent-mindedly, while connecting a familiar ring to what he had surely said in mere affect. “… that’s who we work for, right? It was on the shuttle’s side.” she deducted, feeling as if this minute little detail coming back meant that there was a possibility everything else would, in due time. A small chortle and a relaxed smile grew on her features, as she intended to take in this moment a little longer, with her newfound temporary complacency. But watching the man starting to climb down the rocks towards the city, she realised it was prudent to get a go on it. These visions of purple color and their soothing song would accompany them along the way. The subtle glow slowly but surely making every step and every grip on jagged rock more easily discernible.

“We need a way to call each other though … I feel like ‘Hey dude’ is too vague. Especially not knowing who or what else is lingering here.” the blonde addressed casually, following her companion on his way down. “What do you think about David?” It was the first name that had popped into her mind, when thinking about what would remind her of him. As they ascended further, the size of the buildings, lying in ruin, became more and more apparent as the beams, spires and pillars started to tower over them. They eventually ended up in a street, paving stones, buildings, boulders, all made of the same shiny obsidian that belied any sort of distinction between walls, floors and roofs.

Up until they had met their guardians above, the only color this planet had seemed to know was darkness. There also didn’t seem to be any kinds of utilities around. Like bags, pots, vehicles … anything aside the bleak surfaces of the buildings and their fragments. If it wasn’t for the familiar shapes of doorways, windows and roofs it would look just like a field of broken stone. “What happened here?” the woman asked, feelings a sense of discomfort creeping from impenetrable shadows, lingering in the buildings. Now feeling as if this place best be completely dead rock after all.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #14
[ Lt. Jg...David? | Boulevard of Broken Dreams | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Reunited, and he had to admit that it felt so good. Not being alone was a welcome boon. The trick from here was to stay that way - to keep from getting separated from the only other person on the planet (as far as he knew). He supposed that the creatures floating above them could be sentient, but he didn't know them. Technically he didn't know his companion either, but he assumed that was more a case of head trauma, because there was a steady familiarity about her, ghost like impressions just out of reach that he did, in fact know her. Just that he could not remember her. Probably. Maybe.

I fucking hate memory issues.

The words flitted over his thoughts, like something deep-seated in his soul. Something that went beyond this moment, and it jarred him slightly, as he rocked back on his heels for a slow moment. Then it was gone again. There was no real time to dwell on it in that moment. The woman had raised a point. He'd called them Starfleet officers without really thinking of it at the time, but she drew the dots that probably lead his subconscious to the decision, or the memory of it. "I think so yeah. It just felt right to say when I said it. Starfleet. That's us," he wiggled the fingers of the hand not latched onto her between the two of them, back and forth, indicative of them both.

They started down, and as they went, slowly, to keep from further injuring themselves (never mind how much the man wanted to scamper for the perceived cover of the ruins), the blonde woman kept up the conversation. She raised another salient point. 'Hey dude' would work, in and of the fact that there were just the two of them, but at the same time, it was rather impersonal. And if they were going to be together for a while in this - and there was every chance that it would take quite some time to be rescused, if they were rescued at all, then a name might be a nice thing to have. The one she chose however...

"David?" He asked, cocking an eyebrow and pausing to look back up the trail at her, his head slowly tilting to one side and his gaze glancing down. "David. Daaayy-vid. Da-veed." He tried a few variations of the name aloud, as if working his mouth around the words and searching for a sense of...something. A feeling that he'd said the name before, often? Maybe that was what he was after. He didn't get it. But nothing else came readily to mind in its place, and he frowned, biting down on his lower lip for a long moment.

"I...think it is a name," he decided after a moment, resuming his pace. "It didn't jog any sudden memories for me, unfortunately. Would have been convenient. But given the lack of a better name, and there only being one of me and one of you and presumably no one else around that speaks the same language we do, it should do as good as any other name. David," he said, and then, a bit more firmly. "David. David will do."

It still didn't feel right, but he muttered it over and over under his breath for at least another thirty meters of their descent, before pausing and working his jaw side to side. "Of course, we need to think up a name for you." His brow furrowed as he helped her over a particular rough spot of the path they'd set themselves upon, trying to dredge up any female names. One finally surfaced, though it wasn't a great name. He supposed he didn't know what a great name was, of course, so he shrugged and tossed out, "Do you think you're a Laura?"

Eventually settling the whole issue of names, such as they were, 'David' found himself starring up and up at the long, towering spires above them. The architecture was utterly unfamiliar to him, but then, almost everything was unfamiliar to the wounded man with the bad memory. Except the bone deep sense of comfort that he drew from the blonde's presence. It was just so...weird. He placed his hands on his hips for a moment, the worn medkit feeling like it weighed a ton, pulling on his should as he looked up, and up, and up. 

"Those are...big. Really freaking big," the words were not the most eloquent he'd said (or so he assumed). But they did sum up his gut reaction to the towering spires. He crossed his arms and rubbed his hands up and down, taking a sudden chill that had nothing at all to do with the temperature of the place. His foot grazed a bit of rubble, sending one black shard pebble bouncing down the street in front of them. Its 'tink-tink-tink' clattering seemed to echo far more than it had any right to in the oppressive emptiness of the ruined city, and 'David' froze up for a heart beat or two after, looking slowly over his shoulders.

The floating guardians stayed where they were. The two humans were too small to be worth notice. Small favors, he mused, well aware of the literal accuracy there. Shrugging at his companion, he said, "Short of breaking out that medical tricorder and trying to do a radiation scan or the like, I'm not sure. If there was a virus or biological weapon odds are that if it's still around we're already fucked. Er, pardon, we're likely infected already if it was airborne. And it'd have to be airborne to do something like this."

Another shrug, and he slowed his pace, coming up on one of the open doorways. "Neutron bomb could have done this. Wiped out all the living beings and left the structure except those guys," he jerked a thumb over his shoulder, back at the giant "are perfectly fine. Now, the could be immune to whatever was used to dust the population, but it's hard to say. I'm not seeing any bones in the street though, and that kind of weapon would likely leave something behind. Though to be of any use the radiation would have to dissipate very fast."

There were other things, nasty dark things dancing around the edge of his mind, just out of reach. But unlike the other memories he'd been trying to dredge up as they walked along, these he did not want to think about. Frowning, he looked into the darkness of the doorway, searching for an answer. But the darkness, if it stared back at him, did so without divulging any of its deep held secrets. "I can't figure out what any of these places are. A shop? A home? A hospital? It's too dark to tell."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #15
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus 

Watching the man try on the name, which she had selected, for size, the woman irked a brow slightly, stopping in her tracks as well. He basically blocked the way down, after all. As he went on to swirl the word around in his mouth, however, as if he was tasting a fruity wine, the blonde slowly had to grin. There was certainly a casual capacity about the man, that could be considered cute, and charmingly so. Waiting patiently for him to come to a conclusion, she was already certain he’d not have any other choice, but to concede to an option that was as good as any. They both didn’t have much frame of reference to the contrary. Sadly, their uniforms did not include name tags. She could, however, agree with the detriment, that it had not triggered any familiarities, that could’ve led to certain revelations, about the true name, of her handsome companion. And just as she was about to give him the option of finding a moniker himself, he gave in and accepted. That would certainly make it easier, since David was now kind of already ingrained into her mind.

Following him down the slope further, the city seemingly grew above their heads, like magical beanstalks. Letting him help her over a particularly steep incline, the officer almost slipped into his arms the last few feet, catching a moment of levity as he held her. “Fair enough.” she replied quietly, to his previous query, which now seemed to fall entirely to the wayside in favor of another moment between them, that transcended their surroundings and current predicament. A moment, that existed above everything else. His words, cutting through the enigma like a golden ray of light. Disruptive, but warming, all the same. Readjusting herself, a good bit away from his warming physique, the blonde pulled her uniform jacket back into place. The moist fabric finally becoming less sticky. “I am now?!” she replied, disbelieving, towards the fact that she was indeed named Laura. But she couldn’t say for certain, just as much as she couldn’t recall her real name. It didn’t ring a bell either. So, any further contemplation, or mouthing, of the name, was a waste of time.

Stepping down into the streets, shiny black spires towering over them, made the woman feel small. Yet she could still drew a certain sense of comfort, emanating from the man ahead of her, as she was drafting in his comforting wake. Hearing his thoughts, herself in awe of the columns and walls, seemingly expanding into the dark eternity of the space above, she didn’t fully register the meaning of it. “That’s what he said.” she replied dryly, not intending any double entendre … she thought. But it could’ve just as well been a sense of humour, that was just as much a part of her, as was the name she could not remember either. Looking back at him, however, the officer could see that he was fiddling with the strap of the medkit on his broad shoulder. “I can carry it for a while.” she alerted the man, reaching out her delicate hand, towards the strap.

As she had posed the question, however, the blonde had underestimated the color of the man’s undershirt, and the undeniable scientific proves it hinted at. Swallowing a lump in her throat, looking around the cityscape, as if she could see any of the dangers described, the woman drew a dark sense of comfort, from the revelation that anything was likely too late in that regard anyways. “Don’t say that.” she mumbled quietly, even though it was pointless, as he had already painted everything even darker, as it were. Listening to his further elaborations and theories, the blonde wished she wouldn’t have asked. That was somehow a lesson she figured she had learned before, but had only forgotten about. Not to ask something you didn’t want to know about. Stopping with the man at a doorway, impenetrable shadows beyond, the woman drew a little bit closer for comfort, though a faint whisper of air remained between them.

“I am not sure if the absence of bones in the streets should make me feel better … or worse.” she ultimately replied, tuning into his assumptions, her voice by now having degraded into something barely above a whisper. Placing a hand on his arm, pulling slightly, the officer urged her companion away from the entranceway, back into a seemingly safer distance towards the buildings, in the center of the streets, as they moved on for a bit. The welcome prospect of shelter, slowly becoming a haunted one. “They seem barely distinguishable form one another.” she conceded, letting eyes trail over the glossy black surfaces, indicating basic elements of buildings, if anything. “Though that’s not entirely true, they all look different, but just not in a readily descriptive way. I guess signage was not a thing here.” The blonde concluded. There was not even an inscribed stone or any sort of individual symbol of distinction.

That was until they passed a corner into a plaza, of sorts. Houses symmetrically dispersed along the rounded outlines, a crumbled building to the left revealing more of the city beyond and the aliens above, drifting off slowly towards the mountains. In the center of the open space, however, a large stone, like an elongated drop from the sky, frozen in black Obsidian, as it hit the ground. The two of them could probably barely reach around it, at the base, if they held hands. But the true distinction was, that this pillar had a scarred surface. Every crevice and cut, illuminated by the faint purple glow. They were symbols, however, of humanoid creatures with arms and legs, crawling along the sides of the stone, towards where it culminated in a sharp needle, against the stary sky. “This seems unique.” The female office remarked, circling the column around the other side of him, putting it into contrast with the sleek stones of everything they had seen so far. Obviously, this held a certain significance. “Something ritualistic, maybe?”

It was then, that a distant thunder, rolled through the streets, from the opposite direction to where the flying creatures drifted off to. Looking into the direction of the sound, there was still only darkness, against the faint glimmer of mountain ridges. "How long do you think it has been since the rainstorm?” she asked, trying to ascertain how long it could theoretically be, until another would hit. But there was also another oddity towards the horizon, a dark spot in the sky. Due to the considerable darkness, their irises had widened to the extreme by now, letting in as much light as possible, revealing even very dim stars in the sky, that you’d normally not even notice. So it was rather easy to determine, there was something in the sky, just above the mountains, that blocked out a circular section of the starscape.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #16
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | On the floor | Runabout | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

A certain amount of satisfaction settled into 'David's' shoulders as it appeared his companion too no better to the name he had summoned up for her than he had in turn to her suggestion. Nothing had shaken loose from her memories, which had been his hope, but at least they were in the same boat. He drew an odd sort of comfort from that. Not unlike that sense of comfort he had from her mere presence, a sort of familiarity to the bickering the thoughts would tend to indicate. He shook his head - it was going to give hime a nasty head ache if he spent too much time trying to sort it out. For now, things were simpler; he was 'David' and she was 'Laura' and neither of them felt any real attachment to the names but that's what they had to work with so that's what he would work with. 

Glad to have set that aside, he soldiered on into the city.  He let out a small snicker at her quick witted one off jibe in reply to his comments about the height of the towers in the abandoned ruins. Or what he hoped was abandoned? Somehow the thought that something might still be living there was more disturbing that the thought that no one might be left alive down there in the depths of the city. In any event, her humor, childish as it might have been, teased a smile across his lips. He looked back over his shoulder at her and wagged his eyebrows before shaking his head. 

Her offer to take the medkit was a welcome one. The container wasn't heavy, exactly, but his shoulder was sore and exposed to the elements and while he could slide it over to the other side...he let her take it from his shoulder. [color=deepskyblue["Thank you,"[/color] he told 'Laura' with a smile, a look of gratitude that felt a bit out of place. Something that was uncommon for him to express, he thought, although he had no real justification for the impression. It was there all the same and he wasn't going to over analyze it. She had paid him a kindness just then, whether small or large, she deserved his gratitude. 

Besides, no point in making the only other person on the planet feel like she were being taken for granted. That was just foolish.

The morbid discussion of what had happened to the occupants of the town had been as good a mental exercise for 'David' as it had been creepy. And there was no denying the creep factor. He shared his companions conflicted sense on the subject of bones, and the lack there of. He shrugged his shoulders and offered her a wane smile, the only comfort of the moment. A comfort soon set aside by curiosity. 

"Yes," he drew the word out softly, "Unique is a good descriptor. This looks nothing like everything else we've seen so far. not hard to be." There was too much intrigue in his voice for the words to be wry or sarcastic. He stood a few paces away, hands on his hips and looked up at the teardrop shaped stone, pursing his lips. What was it used for? This was clearly a an important point. Was it just street art? He looked around and shook his head. No, that didn't fit. All the streets seemed to run toward this central circle. Could it then be something ritualistic? He tilted his head this way and that, to try and make sense of it, to see if it triggered a memory.



"Clearly this...obelisk has some sort of cultural significance. Ritual is as good an explanation as any from what I can tell. My gut says I'm more hard sciences than something like anthropology, but..." his voice trailed off as the thunder struck, causing him to jump slightly. He'd become absorbed in the alien artifact, its eerie glow drawing his eyes from one marred marking to the next, trying to discern a pattern, beyond the obviously humanoid configuration of the pictograms. But now, with the thunder striking up again, 'David' forced his eyes away from the strange talisman and looked up, following 'Larua's' gaze and crossing his arms over his chest. 

"Impossible to say. I'm not sure how long I was unconscious for on the shore. Nor do I know when during that time the last storm stopped. I can say that it has been thirty two minutes and thirty seven seconds since we left the ridge and started out descent." The sheer precision of the statement surprised him, but he had a strange, bone deep awareness of that passage of time. Something sat wrong with him about that, no matter how right it felt. He cocked an eyebrow on his forehead and thought for a moment, and then said, "I was unconscious for  one hour, fifteen minutes, forty-seven seconds. The rain stopped somewhere during that time. I can't say for sure when. I'm not sure how I can say for sure how long I was out, on the river bank but...I can. What the hell?"

The surety worried him. It made no sense at all, but he was convinced of the accuracy. He started to say something else,but realized that his companion was starring off into the distance. So he shifted his position to stand just behind her, and let his gaze follow hers to try and sort out what it was she saw. It took him a few moments, but those inhuman eyes narrowed then widened. "Is that...a moon? or something else. I can barely make it out. Depth perception is shot to hell." Another rumble of thunder split the night air - he assumed it was night - and sent a shiver down his spine.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #17
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

Watching the full length of the dark obelisk, pierce the sky, in what could only be perceived through the reflective outlines of its sharp features, the blonde woman felt a deep sense of discomfort wash over her innards. One that was not entirely fueled by memory, or lack thereof, but rather a somewhat primordial abstract of self-preservation. An innate compulsion that steered any living being away from potentially destructive influences, which transcended cognitive rationale. Despite its subjective beauty and craftsmanship, the carvings and crevices did not convey a sense of comfort and tranquility. It even felt as if there was an added sense of ominous peril, radiating from within the monument, if only by a romanticised notion of fear, in light of the unknown. Trailing around the opposite side of it, the woman accelerated her steps, as her companion came out of view, until ultimately relaxing into the notion of seeing him again. Especially since the idea of him vanishing from existence, during the briefest of opportunity – especially given their previous separation – was not entirely inconceivable.

“Maybe it has some kind of significance to their eventual fate …” the woman wondered out loud, making her way past the rest of the perimeter, to meet up with the aqua-eyed man again. The ultimate thunder, however, destroying whatever sentiment of safety and peace, that had temporarily transpired. But the feeling of unease, was somewhat replaced by one of incredulous curiosity, as the man by her side so precisely recalled the time of his unconsciousness. Giving him a quizzical look, the woman wasn’t sure if he just made up a number to amuse her. “Are you serious?” she chuckled uncertainly. How could anyone remember the exact passing of time, while they were out of it? She herself found it hard enough to judge how long she’d been up, SINCE having passed out. Obviously, there was more ‘different’ to David, than what the tricorder had let on. And while it intrigued, it also worried her, a little bit.

Feeling her brows crease together, as if by some omnipotent force beyond her control, Laura also noted, and pointed out, the dark spot against the stars-spangled sky. “Lunar eclipse, potentially …” she mused, drawing from what seemed like mere superficial knowledge of astronomical phenomena. It would seriously be interesting to find out what their real professions were, given that nothing they had to deal with yet, had seemed to resonate on a deeper knowledge befitting an occupation. Turning her head 180°, towards where the alien floaters were slowly migrating to, the other side of the cityscape, she casually pointed at the equally dark horizon. “You’d think though, if that were the case, that we’d see a dusk or a dawn opposite of it … come to think of it …” she turned back to the man. “We’ve been here quite some time and have not seen any shift in a day/night cycle … the rotational period must be quite extensive.”

But regardless of some of the questions and problems they faced, others were more pressing. As the next thunder sounded, they could also see a flash of light, clearly across the mountains in the distance, where the stars vanished behind barely visible, dark clouds. “How long you reckon until we’re completely drenched again?” she asked David, somewhat expectantly, after his previous display of temporal prowess. Placing her hands to her hips, standing straight against the incoming storm, the blonde watched it for a moment, before icing her stature from the view. “Personally, I don’t want to be caught out in the open again, when that thing hits.” she conceded, walking past David with a reconfirming nod. “Maybe we just didn’t get struck by lightning out of sheer luck, the last time.”

Making her way to one of the buildings around the plaza, which looked the least crumbled, Laura took an inquisitive look inside, through the wide, rectangular hole, that acted as an imposing entrance. Beyond, the sheer darkness, only broken by the occasional glimmer of reflections against sharp edges of obsidian. It was like looking into the dark abyss of a geode. She got an idea then, however, feeling the weight of the med-kit still on her shoulder, since she had switched with David. Opening the box carefully, fishing out the dermal regenerator, she closed it again subsequently, careful that nothing else fell out. Watching the buttons on the device for a moment, making out the power setting, she reduced it to the lowest, before turning the device into a small torch, no stronger than a lighter. “This’ll do … just don’t bruise yourself anytime soon.” she remarked, somewhat dryly, still mustering what little humor she could, before plucking up the courage to explore this dark palace. Drawing confidence from the faint light, but even more so from knowing David alongside her within it. "I think we can at least hypothesise that this stone is not conductive."

Venturing through what seemed like an entrance hall, with a high ceiling supported on bulky columns, the floor was speckled with shards of black stone. Another lightning drew their shadows across the hall, framed by the confines of the entrance way behind them, before thunder rolled through the building like a gust of wind. A little bit deeper into the abyss, they came across a short corridor leading into a series of interconnected rooms, like a maze. The flash of lightning reflecting through intricate openings in the ceiling and outer walls, bouncing off columns and the floor, dipping the whole area in a brief web of pale rays. “I think here will be fine.“ Laura conceded, finding a few black blocks nearby that approximated benches and a table, albeit for someone slightly bigger than themselves. Which wasn’t at all comforting. It certainly beat the prospect of getting lost in the labyrinth beyond.

Placing the med-kit on the larger block, the blonde rolled her strained shoulder at the exciting new relief. Taking a look around, lighting their immediate surroundings. The moments between thunder-strokes remained oddly silent, now that the aliens had moved so far away and were muffled by the thick walls, they sought refuge in. But the silence was harder and harder to distinguish, as the closing thunder started to echo for quite a bit, every time, after it had originally struck. But then there was also something else … which, at first, also sounded like an echo. Ultimately, however, a distinct hissed whisper, from one of the other rooms, emanated. Unintelligible, but concise enough to warrant the officer to wave the torch in said direction frantically. “Did you … did you hear that?” Laura asked quietly, mirroring the hushed sentiment, but her words getting almost caught in her tense throat. A second whisper, but from a completely different direction, caused her to spin around. Nothing there either.

And just as she had contemplated, to take David and run out of there, a veil of rain descended down before the large entrance, kicking off the sound of rushing water, that would’ve drowned out any further whisper … probably. Bringing with it, an influx of chilled air, saturated with tiny droplets of water, rushing into he building. Turning in her position, lighting around them, the woman quickly retraced her movements after she thought she had seen something, only to find a large black shadow, cast against the high back wall of the entrance hall, humanoid, definitely, but it almost reached to the top of the ceiling, some dozen feet up. Freezing in shock, for a moment, she quickly lighted behind her, as if that’s where the shadow had been cast from, but there was nothing there. “Shit!” she hissed, panicked. The shadow was still there against the wall, unwavering. Then. Lightning struck outside and in the blue light cast against the wall … nothing. Just the black obsidian, overexposed in glistening white, a second of relief washing over her, before her eyes accustomed back to the faint glimmer of their torch. Holy shit, the shadow was still there, a portion of the wall where their torch couldn’t quite reach, though there was nothing between them and the stone, but moist, cold air.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #18
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | This little light of mine... | Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

The man currently calling himself David could hardly blame Laura for her bemused expression and the incredulity in her voice. To which, he could only shrug. What  he had done, the precision that he had rattled off something that he frankly should not have been able to know, was incongruous when compared to how he looked. One might expect that kind of accuracy and assiduity from a Vulcan, but even a Vulcan, David felt, would be hard pressed to know how much time had elapsed while he was unconscious. Such things simply were not possible. 

Except, they had been. 

"Yeah, I'm serious. I can't explain it, but I am certain its true." Again, he shrugged his shoulders and held his palms up, with no better way to explain that he was at as much of a loss as Lauren. Which frankly was more distressing for him than her. His mind was the one doing something weird, after all, not hers. Just what had been done to his brain? Whatever was going on, Laura seemed willing to just go with the flow of it, and that was good enough for him. Alienating the only other person on the planet (in so far as he knew) would be a pretty stupid thing to do. Plus it wasn't as if David could do anything to figure it out anyways. 

In any case there were more pressing matters at hand. The dark object in the sky, for one. Blotting out what little could be seen, a point of blackness in the already deep dark surrounding them. He was straining his eyes to make it out, and he had to shut them, giving them a moment to readjust while listening to Laura theorize. Giving a small nod of agreement, the man turned to watch his companion, instead of trying to suss out the dimensions of the strange dark blot on the sky. Of the two choices, that was the considerably more attractive route. "Feels like its too early to tell, at least to me. We're going to need more data before we can be sure about the rotational period. This place is capable of supporting life has to be within a certain range of a star. Could be that we're in a tidally locked planet, that has a small bearable 'twilight' zone but...I don't even want to think of the odds of that."

He promptly did contemplate the odds, but he shoved them aside. He'd been honest when he said he hadn't wanted to ponder them. They weren't great.

Pursing his lips, he looked up at the sky, in the direction the thunder had come from and helpfully provided, "It's going to hit sooner rather than later. Can't quite say how soon. I'm a physicist, not a weather man," he noted with a dry sort of humor in his voice. Telling how long utnil something would happen was...not quite the same thing as what he had done. She strode right on by and he found himself turning on his heel and falling into step behind the blonde, his eyes darting from her, to the buildings around them, the approaching storm, and back to her once more. "I'm not in any hurry to get caught out in the storm," he agreed

Laura chose a building and David hesitated outside of it for a moment, sweeping his gaze up and up. The alien eyes narrowed for a moment, and he scowled. But there was another crack of thunder, and he found himself

edging closer to the woman as she began to fiddle with the medkit. Curious as to what she was up to, he leaned forward an stuck his head into the doorway, blinking his alien eyes and looking about. Strange colors did not indicate a strange structure within the organs that would allow him to discern anything in the near total darkness of the interior, and he pulled his head back in time to see his companion come up with the dermal regenerator, adjusting the setting. He cocked an eyebrow over one of those pretty but apparently otherwise unremarkable eyes as he saw the tip flare and then the color bleed away to a small, gentle glow. 

She gave him fair warning and he rolled his sore, exposed shoulder, before giving a terse nod. "Noted. Now lets go. I don't want to be out here longer than we have to." There was something in his voice, not quite fear, but more concern. He was worried for both of their sake. The longer that he was here, the smaller and more isolated he felt, and the closer he drew toward his fellow castaway. The smile he gave her as she strode in, regenerator held in front of her, was small, but he hoped it was reassuring. On impulse, he reached up as he entered the building, slapping the palm of his hand gently against the top of he door frame. It wasn't an easy reach, he had to go up on his toes, but he'd managed. 

He couldn't say why he did it. Instinct. 

Even with the light of the impromptu torch, their chosen shelter was dark enough to send a chill down David's spine. It seemed to flow around the warbling light of the medical device, seeping up around their ankles, building on the edge of the illumination like a blanket ready to fall over them. He found himself closing in on Laura again, as if searching for the heat of her in a cold that he wasn't entirely sure existed anywhere but his mind. He had to pause, by the bench where she had lain the medkit, and spread his fingers over it, collecting himself. Something about the place was setting him on edge, filling him with a deep, abiding unease, and not at all giving him the reassurance of shelter and safety from the elements that one would hope for when seeking to get out of the impending rain.

Slowly, he spun in a tight circle, head twisting up, toward the high ceiling. He could just barely make out the craggy surface above, as if whoever had designed the room had left a texture to the high walls to cast more shadow, and swallow the light. Each step seemed muted to the dark haired man, as if something in the darkness was swallowing the sound. A hiss of air broke through the stillness of the moment, causing the man to miss a step and stagger off to the side, wiping his head around. Eyes wide, he wated, balanced with arms out. That put distance between the two castaways, and his next step widened it. Words cut into the night and he nearly jumped, before he realized they were from Laura. He turned to her, eyes slightly wide, and hissed out a, "What? Laura?"

Thunder split the night again, and then there was the sharp, pelting sound of water striking the outside of the tower they'd scurried into. The pitter patter came on strong and hard and drowned out all other noise, rushing in from the open doorway. The cold that he had imagined prior became realized in fact, manifesting around him, chilling him and sending out visible puffs of air in front of his face. Something made a noise behind him and whirled  around to face ...nothing. Then Laura called out and he was spinning again, tripping and stumbling, looking like a fool, a fish out of water, his gait a shamble as he pulled up next to her. He didn't see it, not at first, and looked between her and the wall, but then he did, and he made a croaking sort of noise in the back of his throat.

"What the actual fuck is that?" Was it a shadow? Was it something burned into the wall? It didn't waiver. It just...stood there, cast from something that stood between them and the surface behind it. Without thinking, David pushed himself forward, between Laura and the...shadow, and waved his hand in front the light, sweeping back and forth with his arm out stretched as if to try and hit something that wasn't there, flailing in the empty air while his pulse thundered in his ears. "STAY BACK."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #19
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

This planet simply turned out to be a box of riddles, that never stopped giving. Something that couldn’t even be explained away with their apparent amnesia, at this point. The barren, black rock, the alien creatures, the thunderstorms that almost seemed to have an intent behind them, the deserted city, the monolith, the dark moon … what questions had they really got answers for, yet? Even for their names they had to construct these make-shift shelters to take refuge under, that didn’t quite fit. But at least, they had each other, for better or worse, as some earth saying went. This whole experience would’ve been thousand-fold worse, if Laura had to endure it herself. And even though she had no reason to believe why it would, she somehow drew an added level of comfort from his proximity, that had only been surpassed by what she’d felt when they had touched and shared one mind for a moment, it had seemed like. Something akin to being hauled up, as little kids, in a makeshift tipi on the bedroom floor, a sturdy flashlight unwavering in its midst. That was the kind of comfortable emotions it had produced.

Watching the erratic flashes of light near, in a seemingly natural spectacle, illuminating the land and the clouds they emanated from, in ghostly white, the woman had remained enthralled by the display for a moment, glued to the very spot. Or maybe was it fear, that numbed her limbs. Either way, it wasn’t until David spoke up so closely to her, an urgent ring to his voice, that instantly warranted her full attention, that her perceptions thawed. As, with a nod, she ventured inside the adjacent building, which did little in terms of providing shelter other than they very basic physical notion of being shielded from the rain. In the grander scheme, of a place that would wholesomely embrace you in a feeling of content safety, it was utterly lacking. Regardless, however, the comfort of the man’s proximity prevailed even against the almost impenetrable dark. It obviously took him a little while longer to get acclimated though, maybe it had something to do with his enchanting, yet alien looking eyes? He had alluded to not being able to make out that dark moon as well as she had?

Either way, David had opted to take the cue, of a subtle whisper in the air, as a prompt to stumble into an awkward dance move, rather than to freeze in his steps. The shuffling of his feet making it impossible to discern whether the spooky notion had gone on or had subsided the moment he’d celebrated his embarrassing martial arts display. Spring loaded with agitation, he almost karate-chopped her throat, as she spoke up quietly, not trying to disturb him, or what had sounded like a voice on the wind. Though the handsome man already seemed plenty disturbed. “Relax!” Laura hissed back at him, now almost hitting the same ethereal tone as the ghostly voice on the wind had. The rain started to pelt down outside and even reverberated through the thick stone roof, some faint trickles and drops echoing from the far corners of the large interior, making it virtually impossible to discern any whispers or even their direction. At the same time, as the steady white noise was somewhat comforting, the dangers it potentially hid, were still unnerving.

“I thought I heard something … someone.” Laura clarified, now having to speak in a normal volume, as their surroundings had become polluted by sounds and echoes. The occasional flash of light and a loud bang, making their bones and muscles vibrate with the tension of their situation. But with her revelation, she probably did nothing to ease the man’s tensions. She would’ve gone and reached out to him, for that feeling of warmth and security, she had soaked up like a sponge when they had hugged after surviving the river. But she also remembered how isolated they had felt, detached from everything, and they both need their wits about them right now. Because she doubted their weird connection actually produced that protective shell, they had felt like being in. That would’ve been pretty awesome though.

At the lack of a psionic barrier, produced from their mutual minds, however, they were left with what little protection they had in terms of sticks and stones and their own inventiveness, she supposed. Which didn’t seem like great odds, given that they remembered very little about themselves and their capabilities, actually. But even as she had judge the tall man to be something of a scaredy-cat, in comparison to her considerable calm, the tides soon shifted entirely as he pushed himself in front of her, just as the shadow had appeared to be not an illusion or a trickery of light … though it kind of still was. Now Laura was startled, but not as much by the dark manifestation anymore, but rather the man’s explosive protectiveness. His very own shadow now shared a screen together with the other, both of them clearly overcasting one another. “David!” the blonde called out, reaching her free hand forward to hold him back from doing something stupid. “Stop!”

But the moment her palm landed on his shoulder, without thinking, touching the warm skin on his neck with the side of her hand, the roaring of the rain and the echoing thunder was muted out almost immediately. The two of them delved back into this eerie, quiet space where only the two of them seemed to exist in full color, against a muted backdrop that, at any rate, was only black and white. Watching her hand on his shoulder, feeling his anxiety and determination mix with her confusion, they instantly shared a more communal level of emotion again. But … there was also something else. This time, they were not alone in this shared level of existence. Hesitantly looking past him, a creepy feeling tucking at the back of her neck, Laura soon saw the shadow across the room, actually emanating from a tall, black figure, distorted, standing about halfway between them and the wall, it cast its shade on. Feeling her heart drop into the cavity of her stomach, she quickly pulled her hand back, breaking the connection, only to find the two of them in the dark once more. And even though they had never left, it was like her eyes had to adjust to it all over again.

She noticed David’s concern, a potential residue of their connection, and soon met his tantalising eyes, that almost seemed to glow against the dreary pastures. But the moment was fleeting as not only her body, but her thoughts, had come back to reality as well. Pulling up her hand with the dermal regenerator once more, the light casting past the man, there was nothing more on the wall but the side of his shadow … it seemed like they were alone again. Brows furrowed, her mind spun a thousand rotations a minute, trying to piece together what had happened. “What the literal hell …” she breathed, swallowing a lump, that seemed to have resided in her throat for the better part of this whole encounter. There was only one logical conclusion, and she didn’t quite understand why logic seemed to be such a warm blanked of reassurance to her, but maybe, if they deliberately re-initiated this weird connection, maybe they could see the creature again, or at the very least, where it had gone.

But her heart hadn’t quite crawled back up to its original position just yet. So, she'd definitely need David’s reassurance, at the very least, that he thought about the exact same theory. Which, ironically, another touch could've told her.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #20
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Me and my Shadow | Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Doing something stupid was apparently in his nature, as he'd swung out, blindly attacking the darkness, trying to take down whatever might lurk in the shadows. If there was anything there at all. He still couldn't tell. Was it just his emotions keyed up too much, just his imagination, running away with him? There was something just out of reach in the back of his mind that had taken over, forced him into action. Fear for himself? Fear for Laura, his only companion on this world? Instinct. The motions felt familiar, as if he had done them a thousand times before. If his collar had been yellow, that might have made sense. Muscle-bound thugs, body guards, trigger-happy security officers - that was yellow. Blue Reason. Calm. Everything that David seemed to be pushing aside in favor of instinctual, protective action. 

Fools rush in where wise men dare not tread, and he had swung head long into things, startling the blonde and causing her to reach out to him in turn, in an effort to calm or forestall his actions, he couldn't tell. Everything was happening too fast. He felt like a small fish surrounded by sharks in the water. As if something were circling them, just out of sight. The shadow had been enough to spook him into action. He'd swung out, spoiling for a fight as his heart raced, only to be shocked into an almost stupor by a touch on his neck from behind.

Time stood still. There was no better way to put it. Everything around them slowed, and grew distant. David could feel the racing of his heart ebb to a steady, stable beat. Thump. Thump. Thump. Stuck in a moment of time. The rain falling became a distant pitter patter, and everything snapping into focus centered around the two stranded humans. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. His heart beat slowly melding in to sync with hers. He could feel her confusion, the worry, the traces of her own fear mingled with the rush of anxiety, the flight or flight that had bubbled up inside of him.

But then he noticed it. It was still there. The shadow. Even in the muted, quasi head space that David and Laura seemed to share, the shadows was there. And not just the shadow. He didn't want to look up. He didn't want to see what he would see. But his eyes were drawn, pulled, forced to that one point, half-way between the two refugees and the wall across from them. David's gaze moved in unison with Laura's. As one, they saw the thing, the figure, wrapped in black static. It seemed to jerk in place, vibrating to David, humming with...

The connection broke as he felt Laura's fears spike and the arm withdraw. Time sped up, color seeped back into their surroundings, noticeable only due to their previous lack moments before. A flash of pain ripped in his chest as his heart resumed its breakneck pace, and the alien eyes grew wide as saucers for a moment, head moving side to side. Wind whipped around his back, from the open door, and he let out a low, weary noise from the back of his throat, like an animal, cornered and trapped. "Bloody fucking hell."

Swallowing, he pivoted to look at Laura. The eyes swept over her with an almost analytical cast to them, noting every little detail. Flushed cheeks, disheveled hair. Dirt and mud still caked to her uniform. He was no better off, his breathing coming in heavy spurts. Like he'd run a marathon as she tried to collect himself. Please be all right. Please don't let me be crazy. The two thoughts seemed to war with one another for prominence. Their gazes locked, and for a moment he simply marveled at how truly blue her eyes were. They seemed so much more real after what had just happened, and he needed that physical sense of being grounded in the here and now. In reality. 

That moment broke in turn when she raised the hand tool and used it as a torch once more, the light causing David to blink, and bring his hand up to shield his gaze. It wasn't as if the regenerator was all that bright, but that their surroundings were so dark. Blinking rapidly, face scrunched up, David watched the woman in red spin slowly, taking the place in. His gaze darted about, but the figure, and its's shadow were gone. Slowly, as if moving through thick molasses, he brought his arm down, and began to rub his hands together, straightening his shoulders and letting his breathing slow. He was still visible on edge, but trying to collect himself. 

"That happened, right?" He asked her after a moment, her own words having fallen into silence. He bit at his lip for a moment, indecision gripping him. His gaze fell to his hands, clenched in front of him, and then back to her. He looked like an old religious statue, come to pay penance before a higher being. "When we touched. You saw it too. I know you did." 

Twisting his position, he pointed to that spot. Where the...thing had stood. "Its gone now but...when we touched. It was there. And I could...feel you. Was that real?" He was a man of science and this seemed to be the realm of hastily written fiction, a bad horror novel from ages past. Something moving in the darkness, just out of sight? Behind the veil? Beyond that darkest of tapestries? And yet, science offered up plenty of examples, he was sure, of such creatures, moving just out of sync with reality. Science did not offer up a readily available explanation as to why her touching him would let him see such a creature however. 

"What the fuck is going on here?" Even as he asked the question, he knew the answer was going to remain out of grasp, as long as he kept the woman at an arms distance. He could not ignore that contact led to some form of twisted insight to their current location and circumstances. And more so...insight to her. He looked over his shoulder again, at the spot were the thing had been, and then took a step back from it, and another. Until he was standing next to Laura. As messed up as all of this was, David was aware of at least one true, undeniable fact: he trusted the woman next to him.

And so he held out his hand, palm up to her, glancing from it, to her, with a small tilt of his head, expression set, wary, but...willing.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #21
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

Even though humanity had branched beyond the solitary confines of ignorance, on their own little planet, branching into the surprisingly lively and populated galaxy as a whole, meeting countless alien species, fantastic phenomena and sheer unbelievable elements, there was still an air of surprise, left in the dark vacuum. Hidden away from galactic trade routes, scientific expeditions and interstellar folklore. And while live as a Starfleet officer, most of the time, merely dealt with the known and the quantified, there was always the allure and the potential, of encountering something entirely new. As a dream, a hypothetical prospect, it was enigmatic and tantalizing, but as Laura had to learn, in reality, it was a damn scary thing, that could make your blood freeze in your veins. When you met something that was not readily identifiable, by her, and didn’t give any indication that it would be by anyone else, dead or alive. Something that seemed to exist purely to terrify her … yet she was not alone in this, was she.

David asked her if ‘that had happened’, which was a pretty clear nod towards the manifestation, that had invaded their previously peaceful and calming shared level of conscience. Blue eyes falling to the notion of his hands, balling into a fist and releasing, as if to grab reality in an effort to anchor himself to it, the man looked up at her and she could feel an almost heart-wrenching sense of compassion, for what she could only judge as confused desperation. But at the same time, she felt glad that she had not been the only one seeing it, stuck in an alternate reality with a dark, distorted being, stalking her in her mind, alone. Even though he had practically told her that he could feel she had, the woman succumbed to the overwhelming urge to just let the reassurance pass out through her worrisome parted lips. “I … I did. I really did.” Not sure why she had doubled down on the confirmation, the words still rang true in her mind like an echo, and to an extent, surely, so in his. What they had shared, had now been tainted, and it felt like a part of her was now feeling more lost, as a result of it. Something that had been unique and comforting, between them, had been invaded, violated, by some ominous power.

“I don’t know?!” the blonde burst out, instantly regretting the vigor to her voice, that cracked like a whip, through the engrossing darkness, as it bounced off the sleek walls. “I don’t know what’s real and what not! This whole thing could just be one catastrophic nightmare.” Laura replied, slightly exasperated, as the stress of the situation and the anxiety of the separation of the link between them, had grown stronger with every time the rubber band snapped. Something was happening here, on this planet, that gradually expanded the scope of this little miracle they had discovered. Just as it did the dread of being without it. Like a sick addiction, that grew stronger and stronger, while withdrawal grew equally. She couldn’t even wrap her head around the more scientific explanations, to what was happening, as her mind seemed to rip into tiny shreds, like a worn-out flag, in a storm. Finding it hard to concentrate on anything, she could still feel that some of that torment was syphoning off into the direction of the man, she’d shared most of her recent memories with – if not all. He was everything personal she could remember about herself and the only thing that grounded her as real, into this fantastic pasture.

Then, something seemed to transpire, like winds changing direction to shift the clouds, and Laura felt a distinct sense of reassurance and confidence conquer her turbulent sea of emotions. Like a large sailing vessel, unimpressed by the powerful gusts and squalls, as it cut through the waves with a sense of empowerment, picking her up as it moved on, the two of them together. Just as David moved backwards a few deliberate steps, until he came to stand beside her comfortably. Looking over at him, the blonde noticed his aqua eyes, descending to his hand, held out as an offering in front of them, his palm showing the fine lines that could tell the stories of his life, that he did not remember. Brows knitting together, Laura felt an added weight to her chest, that soon felt like a shared impairment, a lump in her throat that quickly became a gleaming beacon of confidence. The only notion seemingly hers, and hers alone, being the sense of sadness and thankfulness, mixed into the vortex of troubled waters, that made up her conscience in that moment. Standing on a cliff just above it, looking into the fuming spiral, that descended into darkness … one final leap to salvation.

Lips parting with a muted plop, as soft cushion had gotten stuck with the saccharine on her breath, blue eyes reached David’s, before dainty digits laced in through his, invisible sparks discharging beneath their fingers. As their palms connected, a supernova seemed to erupt from where they joined, dipping their immediate surroundings in a warm, orange hue, blinding at first. The woman felt like she could feel the heat on her skin, shielding her eyes from the radiant bloom. A sensation akin to a hot summer’s day in broad sunlight, though they still remained internally chilled to their bones. Spreading the fingers of her held-up hand apart, letting rays of warm light pass through them, to give her irises time to adjust, Laura could slowly discern a dark spot within the glow, and her grip around David’s palm tightened. Even though letting go would’ve served a more helpful reasoning. Finally adjusting entirely to the new surroundings, they building they were in, looked completely different, dipped in broad daylight, all that was black, now glimmering golden. The black figure, a stark contrast and only reminder, of what they considered reality.

It remained steady, a few feet ahead of them, almost as tall as the ceiling, distorted like a flame in a storm. “You can see it.” the blonde stated, but her lips hadn’t moved, yet she understood that he had heard her. That was how this worked, didn’t it? Their touch acting like a funnel, that syphoned thoughts, emotions and ideas, through that small passageway, where their skins met. Back and forth. But just as a residual connection had remained, when the physicality had broken before, so transpired a sense of something else, in this realm with them. Something that was responsible for the cold within, as it remained excluded from the heat that touched their skins, like a flickering whole in their reality. “Can you feel it too?” she wondered, slowly easing at the steadiness of their ethereal companion, that hadn’t moved, besides the constant flux in shape and form. There was a certain sense of curiosity and intrigue, emanating their way, like a gentle breeze against the blazing gold. Next she wondered if it could feel them too, hear them, understand them … so she tried to think about what she wanted to know, hoping that maybe the answers would manifest themselves, like the dark shadow had. But her will alone seemed not strong enough and all she could feel in reply was David.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #22
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Blinded by the light| Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Comfort. Familiarity. Security. There was little to deny that both stranded Starfleet officers were seeking the same thing from each other. Reassurance. Safety. A sense of being grounded, routed in the same reality. For David, Laura was the only anchor that he could call upon in this strange place. In the face of the shadow man who had somehow breached the sanctity of whatever mental feedback loop the two humans possessed, that solidarity was ever the more necessary. For better or worse, Laura was his whole world at that moment. It was hard to care about a life he could not easily recall, a dedication to a service that he had no true emotional attachment to, just the rational understanding that it had to exist. But the inexplicable, though very real connection he had to the blonde officer...that was real.

So it didn't matter that he was, frankly, scared of what might await them, lurking in the darkness. David was far more afraid of what might happen should that connection be shattered, or lost. The very real possibility of being utterly alone on a planet was horrifying. Like being lost in the deeps of the ocean, alone but for the predators that hid in the murky depths beyond sight. Her comment about this all being a nightmare rang very true. And he might have believed it to be fact, save that even in his wildest dreams, David was fairly certain (as certain as a man with a muddled memory could be) that he could not have imagined the sort of emotional feedback loop that had been shared when Laura had touched him. That was genuine. That was real.

And that was what he put his trust in now, when he'd quietly held his hand out to her, standing by her side. 

There was an intense physicality to the rush of feeling that swelled within him. Not just the simple, welcome, human warmth of her palm sliding into his, their fingers spreading and then contracting, intertwining. It was not for nothing that to hold hands held such a cultural significance among much of humanity. It was more like being blasted by a hot gust of air, rocking the man back on his heels for a moment, so at odds with the wet, cold atmosphere that had permeated the building they'd taken refuge in. The color that rushed in caused his eyes to go wide, and for a moment he had to wonder just how much damage had been done to his brain during the runabout's crash.

He could see, and better than he had been able to even outside of the building, on the banks of the river after they'd been swept away from the original crash site. The feeble glow of the dermal regenerators diode could not compare to the brilliant gleam the room now took on, in bright golden and orange hews, making the walls seem to almost pulse with life. In truth it was almost utterly blinding, and he had to struggle to readjust his gaze. The lights warmed the room in ways that were purely mental, reassuring and welcoming, but utterly ethereal. Save for one point. As Laura tightened her grip on his hand, they both shifted their gaze to that figure that had scared them so earlier.

Words blossomed in his mind, as if they had been spoken aloud right next to his ear, yet he could also tell at the same time they had not been entered into the air, but that he was hearing them directly. He glanced from his hands to Laura, and then over to the shadowman, its figure towering high above. "I can see him," David agreed, also without speaking, knowing in an instant that the blonde had 'heard' him, had understood him. And then he thought about how tall the thing was, and realized that she could hear that too, as if he'd said aloud, "He's a tall bastard isn't he."

David darted his gaze to the figure immediately, and saw no response. Pursing his lips for a moment, he gave a little nod, as if confirming a suspicion, instead of just hoping that things had not gone tits up when he'd thought something nasty about the creature. But it stoically remained, a blot on the colorful mindscape that he seemed to share with Laura. Running his tongue over his teeth and dry swallowing, David continued to think answers toward Laura. "I can feel it yes. That emptiness. A cold that just bites into the world. It has no place here, and yet it is here."

And my, wasn't that poetic? Hard to say if that impulse came from him, or from his companion. There was really a feedback thing going on. He could feel Laura trying to get answers and getting no where. He could sense her frustration. The comfort she took from his presence. Her own worries and concerns about what was going on. It mirrored a lot of what David felt too, and he felt his lips twitch into the smallest of smiles. "So, let's recap what we've learned, shall we?

"Holding hands makes us see things. Things that aren't there, but are there. This place is really, really creepy. There's a man made of shadows. And we can hear each others thoughts. Also when we hold hands. Or touch at all, I think. Did I miss anything?"
He couldn't hide the fact that he babbled when he was worried, and there was plenty to be worried about But David felt a burning need to get to the bottom of this. Not to mention little things, like surviving the night, not dying of hunger, and finding a way off this rock. Getting his memory back might be nice too and ..."Sorry, thoughts are starting to run in circles."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #23
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

This moment of ethereal connection, was by now stretching on in measures far exceeding anything they could recollect from their short stint on this obsidian rock so far. The same way this little reality, they were thus creating, had become clearer and had manifested itself in a more visual capacity, to what they had already felt, every instance prior. That warmth, that security, that comfort … yet now it was an optical feedback too, one that made their pupils dilate, even though there were no real photons, bouncing off retinas, turning into sensory reflexes, interpreted by their brains. No, it was a mirage, fed directly into their consciousness, or emanated within it, that was not readily discernible. But it felt real enough to their bodies, so that their natural reflexes moved into effect. Just like his senses became her own, in such an innate way, that it was hard to differentiate what they were feeling as individuals, as their emotional landscape melded together. A word that somehow held some sort of significance to Laura.

They were caught in a bubble of an alternate reality, that painted their surroundings in a way that could’ve been, before this place became a barren rock, tormented by thunderstorms. That was what this was, wasn’t it? A revelation dawned in the blonde, though she wasn’t entirely sure if it had been David’s to begin with. Their thoughts and feelings were caught in a raging tornado, which they were both at the center and on the outside of. But there was a distinct feeling of normality, slowly developing above it all, like a caring umbrella. As if they were getting used to all of this, moment by moment, as the turbulent leaves, each a thought and an emotion in itself, settled down into the meadow around them. And from all that white noise, manifested the man’s voice, clearer and clearer. Though it wasn’t really his voice, wasn’t it, because a thought had no sound, it just existed. But still, in the prospect of making sense of all this, her mind seemed to prescribe David’s thoughts with his voice, to somehow differentiate them from her own now. Which may have been a skill she didn’t know she had.

“What is it?!” Laura formed in her mind, though not asking her companion, knowing he was as dumbfounded as her, but he certainly seemed less startled by the shadowy figure than her. He seemed to draw a comfort from its immobility that she wasn’t sure felt warranted, or foolish. But she had to agree with the assessment, that it didn’t feel like it belonged here. But was ‘here’ this bubble of the planets past they seemed to be in, or really that cold, dark reality they found themselves in whenever they let go of one another. Because it had certainly felt at home, among the shadows and crevices of the black stone. David narrated the facts back to her, on point with every minute detail. It sounded crazy, admittedly, when voiced like that, but that was a judgment form someone who was looking at the very thing, that made his thoughts too unbelievable. So maybe it was not such a crazy sentiment after all. The likelihood of two people, having the exact same illusion or dream, was rather slim, after all. Infinitely slimmer than if she had been stuck in this nightmare alone. Which now proved to be a simple variation of reality, instead.

Finally, Laura squeezed the man’s hand tightly, as a reassurance for his apology. A notion that had become entirely redundant, in their connected realm of conscience. His confusion had been as much hers as it had been his and thus the responsibility was split evenly. It almost felt like they were becoming one person, as their connection went on, and while that should’ve been exceptionally private and delicate, it was not! Simply because there were no secrets, they could have from one another, as everything they knew was either seemingly common knowledge, or a mere manifestation of their shared experiences. Something that felt incredibly freeing and reassuring. So yeah, she got it now, how David could feel so relaxed. Because it didn’t feel like anything could taint what they had found there, deep within the union between them. But the question of what this was, creeping at them with nonexistent eyes in its dark void, was still circling in the eye of the tornado around them. Like an echo of her voice, reverberating from many directions at once, until it focused to the direction of the shadow. Though, as it resounded for the last time, it was a hissed voice, that didn’t convey anything human. So sharp, it made the woman twitch.

It felt like a shockwave was emanating from the figure. First just in the form of its reiteration of the question, then a more tactile one, like a hefty gust of wind, then another, and another. Until with one burst, the shadow split into a hundred smaller ones, little versions of itself, that soon floated towards the ceiling in a spiral, like a slow-motion tornado. The shadows, which hit the ceiling, springing back to life at the base, in an endlessly ongoing motion of ascendance. It soon became rather apparent, that the display was an animated mirror, of the large stone obelisk, that they had investigated on the grand plaza, just outside the building. Upon closer inspection, however, there was one of the many shadows, small and dainty, that did not follow the communal notion. But rather stood at the base of the spectacle, no taller than a doll, unmoving and unwavering, as the vortex drew around it. Until the whole mirage collapsed in upon the little guy and he was the only one left, standing unimposing on the stone tiles, with cracks and shadows so large, it could hide in them entirely.

But forth burst another image almost immediately, a round sphere, that only upon closer inspection looked like a planet. As it slowly spun, above the still minimized shadow, the orb however, revealed a deformity on its flipside. An abyss that had consumed a quarter of the shape, swathes of land, the size of countries, surely, falling into the nothingness at its core, to just vanish. And while the previous display had conveyed a sense of loss and loneliness, this one now, instilled a cold chill of inevitable demise, in the two people, creating, and sharing, in this solemn reality. But even as they could sense one another, the imposed sentiments from the creature across the room grew stronger and stronger. A feeling of void manifesting inside of Laura and, so she was sure, in David too. As their stomachs felt empty and their souls threatened to be consumed by the black hole that formed in between. A sensation that became so strong and all-consuming, that the woman pulled her hand back, the bubble collapsing in on itself so forcefully, it threw her to the ground. Then it was quiet, considerably, the cold and the dark feeling like a traded comfort.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #24
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | It's the End of the World as we Know It | Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Reality seemed to be fairly subjective, at least when David and Laura touched. Was it a unique symptom of this place? Or some deeper connection that existed between the two castaways, ship-wrecked on a darkened world? Was it, perhaps both? A mix of something that had existed before the crash stripped the two humans of their memories, and a local agent in play? The weird obelisk like statue in the city square they'd seen before? Something in the building? That strange figure that seemed to exist and yet not at the same time? The possibilities were infinite in nature, or so it seemed to David, as the thought spilled back and forth between himself and the blonde whose hand he clasped tightly in his own. He had to struggle to keep himself from dwelling too greatly on the subject and creating a feedback look that would hurt them both.

Setting aside one impossibility, they were left then to contend with the others facing them. Melded as they were (the word ticked something in David's brain a well, to be probed later) the could perceive the being made of static darkness. The emptiness in this enhanced world of past light and warmth. The pale reflection of what had been, warring with the creature that stood like a hole in reality. Or in this case, the alternate reality their conjoined hands allowed them to visualize and, if not wholly transition into, at least discern and recognize for what it was. They understood it together, in an instant, and it was hard to determine which had concluded the situation first.

Did it even matter?

Irrelevant as it might be to the issue at hand, David still took warmth and comfort from Laura's acceptance of his apology. He felt both her physical reassurance, the squeeze and the touch, as well as the emotional acceptance that followed it. Almost as if it were such a trivial concern, easily forgiven and set aside in the face of the greater issue at hand, and the cloak of familiar safety that seemed to exist around them. The melding and merging of whom he believed himself to be, and whom she believed herself to be, into some tightly-knit understanding of the two, as one. Truly amazing and so easily accepted by its abiding depth and consistency.

As one, again, their perceptions of the reality they found themselves were drawn toward the hollow man, the blight before them. "Empty night," David felt the words more than saying them, attributing them to the being. It felt right, in some primal, primitive fashion. Even as he thought the words, felt his lips form them without sound, a different sound responded, reverberating within what felt like his very soul. As Laura twitched, so to did David, in precisely the same fashion. Eerily similar. Utterly in sync.

David struggled with what befell them, the image of shadows in a winding, almost mobius strip, folding in upon themselves, bursting out, dwindling down and swept back into the torrent of figures and darkness. The wretched obelisk raised its own form again, the specters dancing around it, dwindling once more, until one remained, and then combusting outward into a new vision of uncomprehending depth. The hole with in, falling in upon itself just as the shadow figures had before. The creeping cold. The inevitable end. The crawling march of all time and creation to that one, dark, boundless point of non-existence.

Their grip broke, and David staggered back away from Laura, and from the being of darkness, from the point of vision that had so battered his very sanity. He swallowed, eyes wide in the resolute darkness and pitter patter of steady rainfall. With his chest now heaving from the ordeal, he croaked out one dark, soul scouring word: "Entropy."

The cold bit at him, and he could not tell if it were real, or simply a reflection of what they had seen. Swallowing again, his throat dry, the man found himself longing to step out in the rain, tilt his head back and leave his mouth a jar, to let it fill with the onslaught offered from the clouds of this broken world. Instead he rubbed at this mouth with the back of his hand and then hugged his arms, rubbing warmth back into his body. It could not warm the cold chunk of ice that nestled in the pit of his stomach however. He wondered, after such a vision, if anything would be able to do so?

Facing Laura was something of an effort, a surprise to him, as to this point everything involving her had been easy. He now possessed a greater understanding of her, an a lingering sense of her emotions. More so, of who she saw herself as in that moment. A link of the soul, if he wished to wax poetic into the realm of the metaphysical and spiritual. Scientifically, the feedback was some sort of psychic backwash from the experience they had just endured. That seemed something that the scientist was more at ease at, better able to accept. Perhaps then it was that backlash that made the effort to look upon her difficult, for he knew she was haunted by the same vision as he, the fear that it had awoken with in. The inevitable end of all things promised by it.

"Do you think...that the planet we're on...that was what we saw? That this place is, crumbling in upon itself? would that even work? A micro black-hole at the core of the world, slowly devouring it? Some breach in reality?" His mind began to fill with the potential source for such an impossibility, and each cause more horrifying to consider than the last. "I'm not sure I believe in curses, but whatever this place is, its the best argument yet I've seen for a cursed world, if what we saw is true." For all his fear he spoke with an almost deadpanned calm, at odds with the words or emotions he struggled to contain. As if such expressive worry was momentarily stripped from him.

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