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Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #25
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

When Laura felt David think the words ‘Empty Night’ and the entire sentiment hiding behind a mere moniker, like a dark shadow cast by doubt and insecurities, she could immediately feel the cold shiver the revelation reciprocated. Like being told a spooky story, at a campfire, yet whatever it was they shared could convey the fear and insecurities much better than mere words, uttered in hushed voices under stars spangled skies. It was the bare inception of thought and emotions, carbon copied through an ethereal bond, or more aptly, simply coat their combined conscience as one. And only then, did the blond slowly realize, that the plane they shared with the alien, was not only superficial in shadowy manifestations and dancing fractures across the golden hue of a distant past. No, it was there with them as well, in their shared perceptions and ponderings, but subdued and quiet, like voices from far, far away.

Perhaps that was an epiphany even more startling, than the sheer presence of the dark voice, shaped like a humanoid, first one, then many. Twirling around in rapture, towards the sky. A sense of unity lost, conveyed, by the subtle commotions of an alien conscience, trying to find a common way of existence, of thought, of communication. Hadn’t there been a class about this, somewhere in the foggy haze of her past … their past, to be precise. She could feel David wondering the same thing, if only by association. They had learned of all the differing types of discourse, that were known to their alliance of planets. Some of them subtle and barely distinguishable as an actual, intelligent approach towards exchanging information. The two of them slowly realizing, that, potentially, that was what this was! An alien lifeform trying to bridge the gap of perception and reception. As it showed them a theme from its existence, likely one that defined its past or future, or simply as a whole.

In a last effort to make them understand, it seemed, the thing gave back a mirrored reverberation of their thoughts. Mimicry being the base form of intelligence, that probably transcended space and time. But it was that feedback, that ultimately proved to be more frightening than bridging whatever gap their existed, not only across the fabric of reality, but also that of intelligible communication. The blonde fell to the floor, the hard rock against her hip bones like a welcome reminder to this side of the looking glass. Palms against barren, cold obsidian, smooth like molten glass, soaking whatever reassurance and safety she needed, from the realms of gravity and perception. Hearing David’s voice, uttering a single word, in its much welcome, simplistic, audible capacity. She had almost forgotten what his voice sounded like, when it was not a mere manifestation inside of her head. It felt oddly glorious.

But then, the meaning sunk in, or the lack thereof. In better terms, Laura didn’t exactly understand right away, what the term meant: ‘Entropy’. It sparked a medical association, muscle entropy, or was it atrophy? How was she supposed to draw any kind of reassuring parallels in her mind, when she couldn’t even remember her real name, or his, for that matter. Slowly peeling herself off the reassuring ground, the blonde realized that he was feeling cold, not only by his body language, but because it reciprocated a similar sentiment in her as well. Not so much a cold, induced by a nervous reaction to external stimuli, but one that emanated from deep within. From emotions of uncertainty and terror, some of which not entirely obvious or conscious. Many questions sprung forth from shivering lips, as if a cloud of flying crows, intent to disguise and protect the man’s very soul and, to an extent, decorum.

“Well, we know for sure that the obelisk is on this planet. I believe that’s what the entity was trying to tell us by showing something familiar … or maybe it was relevant in an even grander scheme that I cannot put together.” Laura reiterated the facts, but soon coming up against the impenetrable wall of darkness, where once were memories, that served to build upon and create more knowledge and insights. Now she was a mason without a chisel, a painter without a brush. A human without a past. How could she possibly fathom a future. Though, there was distinct comfort in the fact that, whatever would come next, she would have David by her side, so they could walk through the valley of the shadow of death together and not be afraid. Somehow that held special meaning to her and not only by the words alone.

“Everything we’ve seen so far, seems real, as much as I do not want to believe we’re trapped on a planet that’s collapsing in on itself. Maybe it’s more like a metaphor. I mean, people swirling up into the sky does not exactly seem like a reasonable possibility to me either.” Though she could remember a couple of flying Vulcan marsupials in the updraft of the trade-winds on their desert homeworld. But to her knowledge, despite being somewhat fascinating, it had not been extraordinary enough for someone to carve into a rock pillar. There must’ve been some added meaning to it, given the exposed, central location, and the nature with which it had been repeated to them, because apparently, they didn’t get it.

“Do you know the story of ascension?” she asked him, reading the expression on his face as confusion, if anything. “I believe it’s a human myth, about the believers rising into heaven, to the side of their god, as some sort of gift for their faithfulness. While those who don’t believe, are left in a world ravaged by earthquakes, volcanos and daemons, rising from the abyss.” Certainly, there was no reason a human fairy tale should apply to this world, or what happened to its occupants. But just as the galaxy had been seeded with the same genetic base material, by the sheer matter of chance and probability, there was a transcending communality in whatever came after. No matter the planet, no matter the species. Somehow, she liked to believe there was something common they all shared. She did not know why, she did not know how.

“You said ‘Entropy’ …” Laura finally reflected. “Just … ‘Entropy’ … what does it mean?” Which still hadn’t been the correct way to voice what she really wanted to know. “What did YOU mean by it?”

There we go.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #26
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Hello Darkness, My Old Friend | Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

"Yes, the sheer terror at the idea of being on a planet that is being sucked into itself is the kind of thing that I am going to be having nightmares of for years to come, provided, of course, we do not get sucked into said black hole like phenomenon." There was a dry sort of amusement to his words. "If I happened to have been the praying sort - and obviously I don't remember - I would be fervently praying that what we saw was some kind of metaphor. People vanishing into the sky, dark obelisk, imploding planet, all of it. I am afraid however, that the odds just seem slightly against it. With the luck we've had so far." Again, there was a tight smile that shared more with a grimace than a look of pure mirth. He was trying, and there was a sense that he tried a lot around Laura. Which made him all the more sure that the two of them had some sort of connection in their lives that the couldn't consciously remember. 

As if inhabiting a shared mindscape wasn't clue enough?

David crossed his arms over his chest and watched Laura as she recounted unto him the parable, or fairy tale, or religious belief, or whatever it was about ascension. While he had hoped that the tale she wove, vague as it was, would trigger some sort of memory, or at least seem passingly familiar, he was drawing a complete blank, and David chewed on that for a moment. While there were some noticeable oddities about himself, he was also clearly, undeniably a human, like the woman across from him. Modified, perhaps, for reasons beyond his comprehension, but humans all the same. Therefore he should have some sort of common basis or understanding of such tales. Right? His frown deepened, and he shrugged his shoulders in a languid fashion, feeling them slump down lower than they had been before he'd started. 

"I can see how the parable might apply, given what we saw, and how this was a clear attempt to communicate on a level that we might be able to comprehend. Trying to form a basis for mutual understanding," he allowed after a moment of contemplation. A phrase tugged at the back of his mind, 'Darmok and Jallad,' but the rest of the phrase was missing. The context was a bit fuzzy, but it felt like something he had read that fit the situation at hand, and should be some sort of mutual reference point between him and Laura. Like the supposed parable should have been. Which just reassured his opinion that he had never heard the parable before today.

"But the specific tale is not ringing any bells. I don't know if that's because I never heard of it, or because I don't remember hearing it. I remember a lot of things that aren't related to who I am or how I got here on this planet, but who can say with brain trauma." Especially the kind of trauma that gets compounded by having just shared my mind with yours, he thought, but did not say. That should have made him highly uncomfortable, but even the intrusion from the shadowed man into the place had not been able to shake the deep, abiding reassurance he had felt when he had laced his fingers with Laura's and felt her mind merge in with his. 

Just like it could not deter the steady sense of comfort he felt in her presence, just having her near by. A connection that even the loss of memory associated with it could not dull its own intensity. If nothing else, she had his back, and he had hers, and they were not alone in this potential walking nightmare. In short, it could be far, far worse, were she not there. 

Rubbing at his chin now with a finger, while cupping the elbow of that arm in his other hand, David began to pace again, slowly around the room in which they stood. He stopped and turned to contemplate the blonde, disheveled as she was, with her questions. A small shiver rippled down his spine, and he took a breath to steady himself before letting it out slowly. "To understand the one you must understand the other." Which was nice and cryptic and damned annoying and it felt like the kind of thing he would take pleasure in saying. Wrapping himself and his words up with some cloak of mystique and mystery made him ever so slightly giddy, which was at odds with the situation they were in.

"Entropy:" he began, taking on the tones and mannerisms more akin to a professor standing in front of a classroom full of students, than a stranded officer on an alien world. It was easy to see him in such a state, if not for the fact that his clothes were torn, and covered with mud and matted blood. "scientifically speaking, a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. The point at which, in short, something fails, and falls apart. Also related to the heat death of the Universe. More linguistically speaking, the word can also represent lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder." He licked at his lips, and the professor personally receded, leaving behind the man dealing with something that scared him at a core level.

"The inevitable end of all things." The phrase held a certainty to David, that caused a dark, uncomfortable well to form in the pit of his stomach. "That sense of ending, of nonexistence. Everything slowing to a stop. That was what it felt like to me, watching that planet fold in upon itself. The inevitable end."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #27
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

„You know …“ Laura started out, letting her blue eyes trail through the dark surroundings, to find some kind of pursuit, that would help her shake that feeling of ache in her limbs, from being frozen in time against David’s side, just minutes ago. She could feel her body growing antsy, rebelling against the notion of standing still, if only at the growing revelation that they might be stuck on a planet collapsing in on itself. “… there is also a religious belief that, when you die, you’re stuck in reliving your death, and the moments leading up to it, for eternity.” she said off-handedly, not quite registering how menacing the idea could be to the man, in his current frame of mind. There were a lot of these tidbits in her head, about human and alien customs, now that she dug for them, as if coming across a glowing vein of gold, leading into the black rock of nothingness. She didn’t know why these memories were clustered together so densely, or how they pertained to her as an individual. Nor did she have the capacity to wonder, right now, why that was. There was a certain urgency, burning like a coal-fire, underneath her skin. A sentiment which the man’s elaborations didn’t help alleviate.

Walking over to the large table, they had rested their equipment on, the officer was unable to keep dancing around this room, around the obelisk and what it symbolized, or the idea of a shadow in the dark, that stuck with them like tar. “I think the mutual understanding is that we should get the fuck out of here.” she shot at David, shouldering the med-pack and picking up the makeshift torch once more. Turning it on, like the birth of a star, quickly blinded them for a moment, adding a nice ping, ringing in her head, to the sensation. ‘Fuck’ she had said … how did this hold any realm of significance. It felt foreign to her, the word, just like the name Laura did. It felt like something that had come out of her like a reflex, a knee-jerk reaction to a ridiculous situation. Yet unfamiliar all the same. She could still feel a sense of shared consciousness with the man, and how he drew a shred of comfort from the aftermath, that in turn kept her from trying to go up the obsidian walls around them.

“Why do you think these things are not related to you?” the woman inquired, walking past the man in a beeline, towards the large portal, obscured by a veil of water, that ran in strings down its entire opening, partly hiding the world beyond. A gentle breeze of spray, wafting her way, dancing across the soundwaves of torrential downpour. Taking in what little was observable, from the realm beyond, like looking upon a fissure in space itself, the blonde rested both her fists into the gentle curves of her waist on either side, turning her pate over her shoulder with a slightly incredulous look, at the non-answer. “You might not remember, but you do that a lot … those empty phrases that seem to promise grander revelations.” she chuckled lightly, as not to come across as passing undue judgment. Shaking her head gently, making those slowly-drying curls bounce with uncharacteristic excitement, as blue eyes settled on their watery counterpart in hue, once more.

The words of explanation that followed left much to be desired, in terms of being something better than just more of the same. She did not get an inkling of their meaning. Irking a brow, her head fell to an angle, as she continued to decipher the meaning, hidden beneath boulders and boulders of big words. But then David himself treaded back, summarizing his thoughts in a more readily accessible fashion, something that felt oddly familiar. Slowly turning, the blonde now faced the man fully, arms falling idly by her side, as she shifted her weight to one leg. “The inevitable end, huh?” she recited in a similar fashion of demeanor and tone. “Well, cheery.” A sarcastic quip, not revealing much in the sense of a solution, towards their predicament. “I guess if it’s the end of the universe, we have nothing to lose, really. But I am not going to sit around in a murky cave with a shadow monster, waiting for it to happen.” Laura said with a definitive tone to her voice, motioning ever so briefly past David, at the mention of the creature.

“We’ve seen the cockpit get destroyed in the flood … but we can’t say for sure the rest of the shuttle won’t still be there.” she started out, formulating a plan that aided her need for action, as much as it alleviated the sense of the inevitable, that had transpired. “I didn’t see any kind of technology here, that would help us get off this rock, at the ship, however, I am sure we have far better odds. Now, I know we have no indication where it is, but we can backtrack to the riverbank and go from there … I, for one, would rather keep moving, now that I’ve seen this.” She once more gestured toward the backwall of the grand hall. “Are you with me?” her voice had dropped to a tonal attitude, that barely managed to carry across the rushing of water outside. There wasn’t much else they could do, was it … or maybe she just couldn’t see it.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #28
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Blinded by the light (again) | Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

"Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it." The words seemed a natural response to Laura's observations on the nature of life, death, life after death, and all things wretchedly morbid. Seeing as he felt no strong connection to the metaphors of religion that Laura expected him to remember, the notion that he might possibly be stuck in an eternal death loop was rather harrowing. That she might be trapped there with him...had him conflicted. Misery loved company. He was sure he'd heard that before, somewhere. At the same time, he wasn't sure he'd wish this particular existence on anyone.

"Your skills of deduction are unparalleled, Laura," he noted dryly. "We mutually understand each other perfectly." He unfurled his arms enough to wave his fingers back and forth between the two of them, and then gestured in the direction of the obelisk. "I can't say for sure that applies to what this lot thought of. There's little help for it I suppose." No sooner had he made that observation than Laura decided that blinding the both of them was the right course of action by flicking the power stud on the dermal regenerator, their repurposed torch.

"Gah!" was about as intelligent as he could get, and he found himself pinching his brow, rubbing at his eyes and trying to get rid of the spots. It took a moment, and he crossed his arms back around his chest all the tighter, fighting back a scowl as the spots vanished from his vision. By the time he could see again, Laura was back at it. For a moment David pondered where, exactly, she got the energy for it. Between crashing, head trauma, falling into a river, nearly drowning, hiking through a dead city, and facing some sort of shadow ghost in a shared mindscape, really, they both aught to be dead on their feet.

Shipwrecked though they both were, each was a study in contrasts to the other, as ever. David was pale in complexation compared to Laura; his hair was darker, hers, lighter. His eyes shown with an alien depth, while hers were clear blue. And at the moment, he stood stock still with his arms crossed over his chest, while she seemed unable to hold still, pacing about the room, gathering the tolls they had brought with them from where they had washed up on the shore. He drummed his fingers against his arm, his head turning to track her. In truth, he wanted to pace about as well, but seeing her go at it was almost exhausting. So he planted himself to offer up a counter point to her frustrated exertions.

And yes, maybe he wanted to act like an anchor or rock for her. Would he admit to that? Probably not. But there were just the two of them, on a planet that might, or might not, be caving in upon itself. A little bit of grounding, David decided, could go a long way. So she could vent and pace and blow off steam, and he'd keep himself still, arms crossed, and attempting to project calm, not bone deep terror. It was that which kept him from wanting to analyze or argue over what he did and didn't remember. Given everything else that was coming to mind - all the little quotes and the like - he was fairly certain that there was something else wrong with him beyond having been hit on the head. Perhaps the same thing that would explain some of his more awkward physical enhancements was responsible for his apparent lack of shared culture with Laura.

Or maybe he was just crazy.

Turning toward the spot where the thing had lurked, David pursed his lips. "I suppose you might be onto something there. If it is the end of all things we may as well go out with a bang instead of just waiting." She seemed to take his words as encouragement - or perhaps she was simply on a one track mind. A plan was hatched on the spot, logic expounded up with every step and action.

A scowl flashed across his face and David found himself starring back at Laura, with his hands firmly planted on his hips. He thought, very, very loudly a few less than kind things about his current castaway companion, chief among them if she'd gone daft or been hit about the head. Of course, she had been hit over the head. So had he. So, perhaps that was one thought that he'd keep to himself and not voice aloud. Loath as he was to put himself back out into the storm, she had the audacity to ask that? "Am I with you, really?" He blew out a snort of air. "Oh please, you'd be lost without me."

Dropping the bravado, he did a sweep of the enclosure, checking to confirm that they had not left something behind (little as they had to leave in any case), and gently clapped Laura on the shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Of course I'm with you." What more was there to say on the matter? They were going back out into the storm to hike a long an alien river front in a world of darkness haunted by who knew what, that possibly was being pulled into a blackhole. "Wouldn't miss this for the world."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #29
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

Laura let David’s words wash over her like a calming mist, that prickled on her skin like tiny little bubbles popping, seeping into her understanding like warm moisture into skin. It wasn’t as much an understanding of meaning, towards his words, but rather a holistic appreciation of the sentiment posed. As it possessed an almost poetic quality, that seemed unique to the turquoise-eyed man. Just like the mentioned sense of deduction, was unique to her. At least in terms of the two of them, in a world that lacked proper examples to compare with. A nod validated his apt perception, generous yet curt, though the warm smile, gently drawing at her lips, like a dry brush stroke, conveyed a humbler understanding. Following his gesture to the veil of dripping water, and the foggy downpour beyond, the blond could make out the dark obelisk barely, if only even by memory. The ominous creatures ascending its side, like lizards up a ragged column, now becoming jumping boards and cradles, for the torrential precipitation.

„I don’t really think that was meant for us to begin with …” she remarked, slowly trailing her pate back to the line of connection between them. “… specifically, anyways.” After all, it wasn’t very likely, what was happening to them. And to attribute such foresight to a long-gone species, in a universe of endless possibilities, was both frightening and intriguing. Though certainly more the former, than the latter, in their current situation. Surely, in a history book or factual report, some years down the line, it would be purely inspiring and fascinating to someone. That time was not really now … not here. And even as the bright light subsided, leaving naught but a visual reverberation, like a flurry of ethereal butterflies following line of sight diligently, which only slowly faded from their oculars, the situation did not improve measurably. No, it was rather the light enkindled among the connection they shared - seemed to have shared for a long time - that broke through the thick of eternal darkness surrounding them.

Hearing David validate her point in return was a comforting sentiment, that made Laura feel ten pound lighter, on account of responsibility load. “Even if it isn’t, it very well might be, if we just sit around and wait for something to happen.” Which was the characterization of a self-fulfilling prophesy, was it not? Staying put at the fear of dying, thus inviting death to make a house call instead. There had been merit, to sticking it out in here, away from the rain, potentially any more alien creatures, that longed for human flesh. But that sentiment was coming to a limit, as patience ran dry, within the woman’s reignited muscle fibers. But it wasn’t just that, there was a fire burning in her conscience, that was fueled by an external power, like a fire, sparked from a magnifying glass. A spark that only grew in intensity and vigor, as the man audibly and reassuringly – as well as in delightful mockery – reassured his affiliation to her newfound cause. Their cause now, as the sentiment established.

A lighthearted laugh, escaped the woman’s chest, echoing back from the dark walls, that had stopped closing in on them. It was replaced by a bright sense of confidence and security, that dipped the night into a new day. More power to the restless spirit, creeping forth from a dark dungeon of fear and disillusion. “Good …” she conveyed, with a series of gentle nods, that relayed more meaning to the word, as well as an added sense of unfathomable gratitude. It was only until further reassurances came in, however, did she truly fathom the real implications. As was evident in the vigor, that did not only flush her muscles with adrenaline, but also her demeanor with renewed positive energy, that beamed from flushed cheeks and white teeth. Only now realizing that her previous conviction had been a façade, even to herself, erected out of necessity, now making space for a newer construct, solely strengthened by the sentiment of not being in this alone.

“Alright!” her laugh concluded, as the echo went on for one more encore, to reassure David as well, if only a fraction of what he’d been able to give her. “Let’s go make that ‘bang’ then.” she smiled. But even though it was a kind smile, a pretty smile, it did not accurately convey her gratitude. And as her muscles went ahead, while her mind still pondered, Laura could see the absolution in her gesture, as if unfolded. Soft lips casually brushing against the chiseled feature of his cheek, gently prickled by damp scruff, placing a whispered kiss onto the side of his face. The connection, more than the sum of its actions. Pulling back slowly, brushing plump cushions together with a bashful notion, the blonde quickly turned, before her face could flush to a brighter hue than the healthy pink, coaxed forth by of the chilled air. But there was a smile that remained on the forefront between them, even as her beautiful pate vanished from sight, as the plucky officer skipped onward and out into the rain.

Stopping right beyond the threshold, the blonde gasped, as within seconds her uniform was soaked. The water finding myriads of little channels down her skin beneath, into all the crooks and crevices. Letting the air escape through gritted teeth, she knew then and there, that it was too late to turn around … how poetic. Watching David appear by her side, she gave him a consoling look, before slowly moving forward and around the obelisk, trying to get the bearings from which street they had been coming into the square. Which was much harder to do now, than it had been with the creatures above dipping everything into a purple hue, and without the rain. Every street looked exactly the same, and after circling the monument once, it almost felt like as if they WERE all the same! She could not even say which building they had just come out of. Shit, maybe this had not been the best idea.

“Do you know …” Laura tried to convey past the torrential downpour, muffling everything into a constant white noise of rushing water and splattering drops. But just as she had started to break through the veil, her higher pitched voice carrying across the flood, something else asserted itself with far bigger prowess. A low grumble, echoing from the distance, paired with the staccato of rocks banging against one another. Looking down a long, straight road, branching off the plaza like all others, the mountains in the distance seemed to fall away … into a crevice beyond. Boulders tumbling down behind one another as an entire range of rock slowly vanished into the ground, revealing more of the dark stary sky. The gentle vibrations of the floor, slowly growing, ever so more apparent in the frozen muscles of the blonde’s physique. Where it resonated almost painfully against the tense fibers of her being. The topic of what the right way was, falling to the wayside, along some awnings and columns, that did not take the tremors as kindly, as both their fleshly beings.

“I think that answers your question …” she mumbled, slowly grabbing for David’s hand, though with decided conviction, as she started to move backward.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #30
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Run, run run-away | City in the Dark | Unknown planet ] Attn: 

The light hearted laugh that bubbled up seemed to fill the room for the moment, banishing the darkness to the shadows. Amazing, really, what a little laughter could do. It spoke to the human condition, he supposed, even if David felt like he was a stranger in his own skin. Laura's laugh dispelled the gloom, and had she left it there, at that, he would have been plenty happy and reassured that between the two to them they would be all right. Not all hope was lost, so long as they had each other. 

David wasn't sure if the surprise showed on his face, when Laura decided that she needed to do more than just nod and smile and be glad that he was going to be there with her for this. There was little chance that anything else would happen, that he would just stay where he was and let her go off on her own. Maybe it was that he'd taken the time to try to reassure her that she wasn't alone, that drove her to do it, but he had not, in any way, expected her to press her lips to his cheek. Sure, it was a fleeting moment in time, but it seemed to stretch out for David. The warmth of the contact, the fleeting flash of emotion that he sensed from her, the gratitude it conveyed. Just the act itself, of course, but that connection that lingered under everything that drove him now. David felt his eyebrows climb up toward his forehead and his jaw go slightly slack, before curling into the hint of a shocked smile.

Even after she pulled away, he could feel the heat of it, and he nearly laughed as she prompted spun to show him her back. She was trying to hide a blush. He wasn't sure exactly how he knew that, but he knew, and it pleased him on some base level that was best left unexplored. Bolstered by her own momentary sweet nature, David covered his mouth and cleared his throat, before falling in step behind the skipping - skipping - blonde. Truly she was incredulous. He shook his head with barely repressed mirth, that he was sure she could feel in front of him, and breached past the opening from their shelter and into the pouring rain.

Strangely enough, he found that he did not mind being wet, exactly. There was a sort of comfort in it, something barely remembered, by muscle, if not by memory itself. He liked the feeling of water on his skin, and he reached up, sweeping this close-cropped hair back from his forehead, slicking it away as water streaked down the lines of his nose. He did not like the way the clothes he wore hung heavy on him as the rain soaked them through in seconds flat, but he told himself that at least it was washing away the muck and dried blood from before. Find the small victories in life. As it was he nearly walked into Laura's back, as she had ground to a halt the moment the water hit her. A somewhat fetching look, a distant part of his mind decided, though he had to squint through the downpour to properly see her, even though she was standing right next to him. "Lovely weather, if you're a duck!"

She gave him an askance glance and he shrugged, offering up a toothy smile that he hoped was reassuring, even if it looked more akin to a grimace.  Both officers turned to try and make out their surroundings, David half a step behind Laura. He felt a chill creep into his bones as he cirled the obelisk, the alien structure jutting out toward the stormy sky. Everything seemed to blur, one into another, for him as well as her, and he found himself next to Laura again, leaning in, trying to hear her words, only to have the ground rumbled beneath him. Fears, dark, deep, and half realized rushed to the surface, triggering the bone deep flight or fight complex that all creatures seemed to posses. His heart began to pound away in his chest, as if the organ itself was trying to break free from the confines of his rib cage and make a run for it. Frankly, David didn't blame the racing little body part in the slightest. Flight. Yes, flight was the winning emotion there, as he and Laura stared, slack jawed at the crumbling wave of destruction. 

"Oh, fuck me," he swore, compounding it with the oath, "Empty fucking night, run. Run!" As if saying it, shouting it, would some how make them move faster, act faster. She grabbed at his hand and he did not fight her, seeking the reassurance of contact. Emotion and sensation flared to life, his concern for her doubling into her concern for him, a feedback look of mutual worry and fear. One step back, two steps, and then he was turning and pulling her, dragging almost, feet alighting along the rain slicked pavement, down a path between buildings. he couldn't tell if this was where they had come from or a completely different direction. For all he knew they could be running further from whatever surviving wreckage of their ship might still exist. At this point, as he felt, more than saw, one of the towers in the distance crack and crumble, only one thing really mattered:

That they ran away as fast, and as far as they could manage, directly away, from the ground, trying to swallow them whole.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #31
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

It was peculiar, how one thing that made life feel like an oppressive kingdom, incepted to mock you, hold you down, could be overthrown like a mawkish monarch, in a matter of seconds, when the army of darkness appeared on the horizon. A sentiment of blind direction and purpose, fueled by evolutionary conditioning, sending all systems into overdrive at the sole purpose of survival. Like a sorcerer’s spell, taking control of your body, your mind, setting you on a one-way track, that not only led you to stumble over rocks and crevices, but one that pushed all other notions over the precipice of your imagination. David’s hand in hers, tight and confirmative, like a profane tether, tying her to a sentiment, that was not only just in her head, though a part of it – a part of him – certainly was. At first, their shared emotions of terror and panic, felt overwhelming, to the point where her legs gave in, across a particularly rugged column, splayed across the road. But as much as the connection turned into a reassuring sentiment of unity, it also kept her going by a far more physical capacity, as he dragged her along and back onto her feet, challenging the rain in pacing, of the pitter patter.

And even though, at times, Laura felt like she wanted her hand back, to better steady herself, to reach out against that single piece of cold, wet obsidian – that this entire god-forsaken rock and its structures seemed to be carved from – there was an ethereal reassurance present, that she could not be safer or steadier without the connection, she and the dark haired man shared then and there, as they pushed through the crumbling town. It came to their advantage now, that the streets were wide and grand in nature, saving them from the first boulders and debris, breaking off the sleek facades, shattering like glass bricks around them. The ground reverberating with such vigor, little black pebbles danced across the sleek surface, like beetles. A haphazard glance behind, however, revealed that far beyond the plaza of the spire, the wide alleys were buried beneath the fully collapsing towers and buildings, into a wall of rubble, that eventually descended into the nothing beyond. A feeling of dread, previewed through the alien premonition, magnified and extended into reality, where it threatened to consume her faith, like the black hole, the center of this rock seemed to be comprised of.

“Oh god … OH GOD!” the woman cried, stumbling after her stronger counterpart, dragged along like a puppy in a rainstorm, after it had done its duty. Not knowing how long they had been running, the moist air burning in her lungs like acid, the duo finally reached the incline, surrounding the city, manifesting out of the rainy fog. Following David up the first stretches of a steep path, that seemed oddly familiar, Laura took the briefest of moment to gaze back to their impending doom. Curtains of rain, peeling away as if by torturous design, revealed the caldron of the city, half consumed into the darkness, the precipice glimmering with the falling spires and shattering rocks, reflecting like dark waves cresting against obsidian cliffs. Frozen in awe, the woman’s glance followed the alley they had followed in their escape, noting the clearing where it hugged the large spire, just as it snapped at its base, breaking into numerous larger pieces, as it slowly fell. A ghostly shriek, cutting through the air, muscles and bone. Delayed, as if bound by the speed of sound, despite its ethereal ring.

Being dragged further, by far more human endeavors, the rumbling slowly died down, pulling the rushing of the rain back to the forefront of perception. Having reached half the way of the incline, by then, the couple could take a moment to stare down, where the glimmering city ended into the stary sky, halfway through. Dropping to her side, against a slanted rock, letting her muscles relent, Laura whimpered out a sigh of relief. “This is impossible.” she muttered defiantly, hinting at the sheer physical implausibility of what they were witnessing - had witnessed for the better part of this nightmare. In a world where everything seemed possible and fate was out to get them, it was just too much. Even though the rain subsided slowly, turning into a mere nuisance, rather than a threatening downpour, no one but herself could tell whether there was just the faintest whisper of salty residue, running down within the streams on her cheeks. No one but the man holding her hand, sharing her every emotion, that was. In a defiant notion of contempt, becoming acutely aware of that very fact, the blonde – for the first time since waking up here – wished she would’ve been able to just let go, alone in a ditch somewhere. Without the interconnected scrutiny of someone in her head.

Rubbing the back of her wrists across the hollows of her blue eyes once, she pushed past David on the narrow path, staggering up the rest of the way hurriedly, slipping and stumbling more than necessary. Reaching the top ultimately, rain naught but a drizzle, the rocky plain beyond revealed itself to be intact, gentle lines of carved streams, flowing through it like veins of silver. Well, at least they were going the right direction. Though eventually, as was the nature of spherical objects, they’d walk right into their doom still. As fate went, it was almost poetic, really. A notion ratified by the faintest of sniffles, that followed acceptance and, eventually, regained composure. At least for now, as it was human nature, the immediacy of the situation made room for a quiet intermezzo of slowing heartbeats and easing muscles. A delusion, no less, but a welcome one.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #32
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Shadows in the | Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

In the face of utter oblivion, they ran.

Of course they did. It was what one did when starring down the abyss like that, and not only did it stare back, it laughed, mocked you and then gave chase. There was no other choice. There was no standing defiantly, shouting into the cold night as one went down with the ship. David and Laura had a chance, a small, smidgen of a chance, to survive what was coming for them (for everyone?) and David latched onto that infinitesimal hope like a life line, and let pure terror fuel his expeditious retreat. A bright point in the darkness, that there was a chance to escape it all. Thus when Laura faltered as they made their way over a fallen column, splayed across the road like a toy discarded by some angry child god, David summoned up the strength to haul her bodily to her feet while thinking positive thoughts. "Don't you dare stop now." He'd managed the words before they set off again pell mell into the encroaching night.

The driving force behind that small mote of hope, the thing it all hinged on, was the fact that if David was going to survive this, he wasn't going to be able to do it without Laura. Either they, together, were getting out of this, or neither of them were. Stand together or die apart, or so some part of him realized. That sense of need and connection flowed back through the bond. Only with each other would either have a chance. And David wasn't going to squander that chance, not right now, as his feet slapped down against wet pavement, driving into the dark, running from an even deeper darkness.

That said ground felt like it was going to shake apart under David did make him run all the faster. It felt like that would be just his luck, to take a step and suddenly find that oblivion waited beneath him, not just behind. But there was nothing else for it. Not for the first time David felt his oath of 'empty night' particularly fitting. If he could only remember where it came from, he had to wonder if it would provide some future clue to dealing with the issue at hand. Though running seemed like the best choice as they sped past rows of identical obsidian edifices. It seemed like the city would never end.

Despair threatened to over take him, save only for the connection with Laura, the bright link flowing between their clasped hands, and the shared mind scape. When one faltered, the other bolstered. He felt the moment when she made the mistake of looking behind them, seeing that gaping maw of nothingness swallowing the world beneath their footsteps, churning torrent of vacuum and dread. "No, no don't look back. Eyes front Laura!"

As much to keep her from stippling down onto the ground and being swallowed up as any sort of attempt to stave off existential dread, he'd called out the order to her, the plea in truth. That advice was followed right up until the point the duo seemed to crest a rise out of the bowl like city in the dark. They stumbled and staggered, panting. David's lungs positively burned with a need for more air. He swallowed in great, heaving gasps, bending forward slightly as he felt Laura turn, the shock of what she saw reaching him through their shared bond before the unholy shriek filled the night air.

He turned. It was stupid. Feeling the horror from Laura should have been enough to sate a life time of curiosity, but turn he did ,gaping at the destruction that lay in their wake. That gave him something of a second wind and he tugged at Laura, eager to put more distance between them and the endless nightmare unfolding across the city. What, by the Great Bird of the Galaxy, could cause something like that? All that came to mind, short of some divine malevolence, would be a black hole. If a singularity opened up in the middle of a city, it might look like that. Visions from shadow men notwithstanding, David desperately grasped at any sort of logical straws for a solid explanation as they fled.

Not that what he came up with was terribly reassuring.

Stopping, breathing, settling, the city rubble swallowed behind them, he again felt Laura's despair, and the resentment that bubbled up within her. His own scowl answered, and he nearly summoned up some indignantly pithy commentary about the easy option to be to roll over and die, but he swallowed that down, leaving his mouth tasting of bile and ashes. Instead, faced what they saw behind them, he muttered. "We're Starfleet. We do the impossible by lunch all the time." The words weren't quite as empty as the visage behind them, but they lacked the ringing reassurance he'd hoped to call forth all the same. Damn.

"If i never have to run uphill again it will be entirely too soon," he lamented a short while later as they finally crested the rise, each a mess of mud and sweat and damp rain. And, if he was to judge, tears, but David kept his peace there. He felt her struggling to come to herself. He looked back again, seeing without really seeing and wondered just what sins they'd forgotten when robbed of their memories by the apparent shuttle crash that they were each now paying for. Perhaps simply they were paying for the transgressions of a people long gone. That only really worked if you believed in some sort of divine order to the universe, and at the moment, all David saw was endless chaos.

Still. He wasn't alone. Half remembering some vague notion about a stiff upper lip, the man squared off his shoulders and moved to place his free hand on Laura's shoulder and squeezed tight. His chest brushed her back as he muttered, "Try and hold onto what little sanity we have left. I'm right here. We're in this together." He hoped the presence, as much as the word, helped. Pointing over her shoulder, still in the direction of directly away from what they'd left behind, he said, "Somewhere out there is our way off this rock."

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #33
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

The ratchet slate of impending doom was wiped clean with the sweat from David’s brows. As it precariously dangled from a chestnut hair, stray from the caterpillar’s fur, like morning dew, a mere brush of delicate digits away from being extinguished into the lush thicket and the glimmering skin beyond. A tapestry of warm hues in stark contrast against the dead tones of the world beyond, sparkling with the healthy suffusion of exhaustion, as veins and arteries beneath convulsed with the staccato of his fluttering heart. Beneath sheaths of velvet wings, burning with the radical makeup of oxygen, as it was compressed into his chest with heavy, panted breaths. Ribcage inflating like a pufferfish, ready to burst in anticipation, over the unfolding dilemma. All sentiments that seemed far more poetic than their real-world contemplations would prescribe. Yet in reference of her proxy-experience of the same, whatever David felt, experienced, desired, transpired in flowering prose, against the bleak property they found themselves in. His words like poems on the wind. Ethereal tidings in a slowly ebbing storm. There was no illusion that the progressing epoch spent together, drew baroque swirls and cherubs on the architecture of their spiritual connection.

Turning what surely was a simple objective act of bio-chemistry and compatible synapsis, to put it in the simplest terms afforded to Laura in this moment, into some sort of sublime masterplan. When the subjective appraisal would fill novels, from cover to cover, in the most sanguine rhetoric and the most mellifluous quotes. A tale for the epics, touched by the grand inspirations of eon’s past. A heroic’s chronicle, being touched by the gods, scorned by the giants, swallowed whole by the underworld … to be reborn as more than mortal souls. Which would put their anthology among the annals of fabulous history, as the true measure of the moments passed, sunk in as unbelievable nightmares, rather than hardships endured. Where naught grounded her more in this mythical play, than the gentle touch of a connection, that wasn’t even quantifiable by earthly means in the first place. As such was another key ingredient for the classical fable, the irony of the spiritual, weighed against the innate gravity of reality. Attesting the mere futility of seeking wisdom and absolution in one and the same place. For ‘knowing’ did not imply ‘understanding’.

And with such firm grip, slender digits snaked around his reassuring measure, on her shoulder. Holding his flesh like an epaulet, against the shallow decline of her neck towards the precipice of her shoulder. Celebrating a union that never quite felt absent anymore, never faltered in the distance between them, yet always amazed anew when delved into like a mountain of golden fleece. When sanity, as an abstract concept, became incarnate in a man, that occupied no memento beyond the day’s past. Still seemingly becoming the sole occupant of the realm of a future, that crumbled to the edge of nothingness. If this already was, the state beyond living, which they shared together, it would’ve been somewhat comforting. While the prospect of eternity remained an elusive promise, one of great merit and indulgence, which still only adamant assurance could aver. It became a supportive cane of emotional stability no less, keeping upright what this world intended to topple over, if only against the physical measure of his being.

“You’re right.” Laura manifested the physical realm, with a series of reverberations against the labia, of her coarse vocals. Reiterating a sense of reassurance in turn, patting against the ridges of his knuckles, as her soft palm slipped away. “We’ve made it so far. So, the path we’re led on, seems to become clearer and more obvious with every tempest and every abyss. The only way left being forward.” the blonde attested, finding refuge in the sense of complacency, a limit of options could afford. Which was, ironically, a rather astute notion to ascribe to an elusive thing such as fate, or destiny, which was virtually the lack of any options, altogether. One way, like a rope, from beginning to end, tethered firmly and strung tightly. Thus, letting her palm slip into his more calmly, invigorated by the sense of reassurance and predetermination, unearthed from broken rock and bleeding scabs, the woman tugged gently, ushering David along the precipice of destiny. Down the curved obsidian, towards familiar pastures. The very locus of their first reconnection after being washed down from the mountains just beyond. The ultimate terminus of their ill-fated venture. At least what this rock was concerned. Potentially this level of existence too.

See, for even in fate, the finis could be obscured still, by clouds of ignorance and delusion. Which lent a gentle ping of uncertainty, to newly invigorated steps. A notion undoubtedly, shared among the dyad of them. Just a few moves further, or what seemed like little progress in this gloomy, repetitive pasture, they reached a trench, carved gently through the plane, like a finger run through charcoal dough. Sprinkled throughout, not far from their perch, were metallic shards and shrapnel, like scattered veneer, bearing markings of their dutiful past … a higher calling. Undoubtedly the hefty remains of their treacherous cage, as it had crashed among the larger boulders at the bottom of the shallow canyon, the strewn-out glimmer led a path up the hillside that was barely distinguishable from destiny. And yet the riverbed was emptied out, while the rain had succumbed, a wave of relief washed over Laura’s mental shores. As proof beyond reassurance and confidence manifested itself in the shape of scraggly confetti. Out of this world not only by the very definition of the world.

“Well, I think we’re on the right way.”

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #34
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Shadows in the | Creepy Abandoned Building | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Given the chance to sit down, document and properly analyze the connection between themselves, and the myriad of ways in which each perceived the other through the nigh magical tunnel of emotional tumult and cohesion that existed between David and Laura (as they currently viewed themselves) the duo of Starfleet officers could likely pen a most enlightening and fascinating discourse to any reputable scientific or psychological journal in the Federation and any of its allied powers. The sheer volume of interconnectivity and how each knew the other, and could conceive the others individual perception as well as mutual union of thought was beyond David's ability to catalog in a satisfactory fashion for the scientific nature of his thoughts and mind. The sheer comfort, and near bliss of the connection with his counterpart, from an emotional standpoint, would overwhelm him if he allowed himself to dwell too long on the reassurance and acceptance of who he was, even if he himself did not remember that essential core nature of self identity.

Of course, the churning maw of unraveling reality that chased them across the dying world would have to be survived first, for any such endeavour to be undertaken. The odds, needless to say, were not inconsiderable, and would take some small miracle to surmount. Thankfully, having experienced the mirical connection between them, the shipwrecked scientist decided to put a little hope and trust into the least of all quantifiable, yet possibly most powerful of forces in the known universe: faith.

So then, to the matter at hand. David steeled his thoughts, less he spiral, happily, into the feedback loop that existed with the person who, at least for now, made up the totality of his world. Laura's panchet for the poetical seemed to extend beyond the realm of their shared mindscape into the more mundane nature of vocalized communication. Despite the dire nature of their circumstances David found himself smiling, again almost comforted by the ways he heard her speak, the words she chose. He was a far less eloquent man, or so he believed, lacking her passion for verse.  "Would that we find a few less abysses...abssi? What the heck is the plural of an abyss anyways?" He asked with a snort of laughter. "Hopefully it'll be slightly less hard going from here." Not as colorful as he'd like, wishing he could match his fellow castaway in the moment, but they were good words that got the point across. That would have to suffice.

Their hands joined once more, strengthening the physical connection as well as the mental web that wove between them. Bolstered, David gave her a gentle squeeze and focused on the simple, the basics. Putting one foot carefully, steadily, in front of the other, and blazing a path back across land traveled once before. She had been the one to take the initial steps, he following in her wake, half a pace behind, yet in synch. Feet rising, falling, as one. They set off together across the windswept land, the two trekking onward through the starless night. David could not say how much time passed, a moment, an instant, and eternity before they found themselves facing another trench. "Not quite an abyss," the words were wry with amusement, gallows humor perhaps, or simple defiance at the potential nothingness chasing them.

He stared down the gouge in the surface of the barren world, and nodded, seeing light catching off of debris. Wondering just where that light was coming from, but not putting too much thought toward it less his mind wander irreparably when time was of the essence, the brown haired man gave a small nod, a grin cracking his mud stained face. "Let us see just what we can salvage of this situation, shall we?'

Thus he began the descent, slipping into the trench that their craft and rent, and setting to follow it down to the point where the ship, or what was left, would like as not remain. He reached back up, and placed his hands upon her hips, lifting Laura down with him, pausing to make sure her footing was secure, holding her not scant inches from his body. It would be a hell of a time for either of them to fall and be hurt, and he treated her with a tender care and concern at odds with much of how he had projected himself. OR how he saw himself projecting himself. For through her eyes, he knew it was naught but a falsehood. Nothing he could do about that, with the one person that literal saw right through any facade he might chose to erect. Instead, he then turned, and trudged on, following the new, hopeful trail into the canyon.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #35
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

Each stormy summit of poetic staccato, followed by a valley of calmly swaying willow trees, passed over the pastures of their emotional landscape like shadows of fluffy clouds in golden sunlight. These moments of adrenaline-fueled action, of hummingbird hearts, replaced by the calming honey of their spiritual union in the moments of levity, carved in between the rugged cliffs of desperation. And as the veil of silk threads lifted, revealing the bleak landscape beyond, that wasn’t ravaged into the depths of Charybdis’ gullet, obsidian rock and glimmering dust became the flowery meadow of their mind’s desires. Where once maybe trees and shrubs grew thick in profuse vigor, now bloomed the promise of hope, like iridescent algae; in the dark of night. When compared to the resolute depth of cold nothingness, firm ground against crumbling illusion, the most desolate of pastures became Valhalla, at the feet of mere mortal souls. A sense of gratitude extending beyond that for one another, and onto the steady, shiny surface of their charcoal salvation, as it held them steady, above the profundities of death. As much guarding their sanity, as the shared inspiration of conjoined thoughts and emotions.

Letting David’s contemplations wash over her, as if baptized by the crystalline quality of their unguarded, uninhibited flow, Laura found herself uplifted, as if levitating upon the soothing current of his linguistic revelation. As words and phrases teetered over the gentle waves of emotions, casual and playful, like autumn leaves on a glimmering stream. “There might not be one …” she replied with an almost sarcastic flutter, to her plump lips. Only then to conclude with seceding levity: “… one, being all it takes.” Plush cushions pressed thin like pillows on a chair, under the weight of its overbearing fate, the blonde’s blue ponds glimmered like sparkling moonstone, in the depth of night. But she grabbed his lifeline like a rope in the dark, pulling on the strings of their connection like a tug of war. Drawing the same reassurance, like honey from a beehive, that she had extended to him in utter assurance, of having it returned to her, as soon as the tides would turn. A perfect lump of vibrant amber, warm like a fresh loaf of nourishing bread, feeding their insecurities and worries whenever need be, back and forth between them, in their ethereal feast of starlight.

The faintest of lights, that reflected of jagged scraps of metal like the most brilliant gemstones, glimmering in black rock. As if the stars themselves had become embedded in the hardened soil, lining up to an endless constellation, like a silver snake winding through the fabric of destiny, showing the one way forward. A reassurance that emanated from the lack of options far more so than the calming union of two minds committed to one other’s onward existence, as long as their hearts would beat in unison. As long as their synchronized steps carried them forward, ever forward, along the lure of sparkling confetti, in the depth of the ravine. The ever-present optimism handed around between them like the chalice of wine, the blood of the savior. Each sip, a trail of liquid gold over barren souls, like hot syrup, over frozen pastry. His choice of words, an unintentional play on the scraps and debris, left by their former vessel. Inadvertently collating their precarious situation, lined with the faintest of hopes, to a string of barely distinguishable remnants, of a hope long passed. Yet still, in the shiny flicker, burned an ember of Esperance at the illusion of what remained of their craft, being any help at all.

And in the grander comparison of black stone against dark abyss, the tiniest glimmer too sparked like a sun, over the recondite pasture of this world. Which she was lift down within, like a dancer in the ballet of life, the struggle of finding the sense and energy to endure it all. When obsidian walls, towering above their heads, became like comforting blankets, shielding them from the evil around. A singular way forward, along the trail of stardust, with the sparks of light it sparked from, watching over them from above. A thousand suns with a thousand worlds. Each facing the wrath of impending doom, in the unstoppable passage of time. A toothless beast, that got its way through perseverance, not power. They’d seemingly reached the end of time, for this world in particular, and at the sanguine sight of life still sparkling above, there was the hope that it wasn’t the end of everything, in the grander scheme. Because hope would be the last light that would go out, in the universe.

Within this barren solitude, they existed only for one another, like day and night, light and shadow. Within a world that strived on the extremes, in balance. David cared for Laura as much as she cared for him. Their souls tethered to the same string, orbiting one common center. Sometimes further apart, sometimes close to the touch, in a predestined dance, touching on the base power above all things in the universe: gravity. A sentiment beyond the simple physicality of this life-giving and life-taking force. As its idea permeated the very fabric of their connection, which wasn’t limited by the properties of mass and force. While a sense of calm descended upon the winding ravine, no end in sight, yet that being its own term of complacency. The journey having become the destination.

And just as that realization slowed their pace, warmed their connected palms and touched their souls, a glimmer of white sparked across the blonde’s face, as if painted on by the spirit of light itself. A reflection from the shale grey cube, perched upon a cliff beyond the next bend, like a toppled obelisk. When their path truly had become their destination. A breath escaped her heaving chest, as her lung collapsed with sheer relief. It reverberated past curved lips almost like a chuckle, stark against the bleak landscape, as dainty fingers drew tighter around the back of his hand. Reassuring. As the lump of vibrant amber was handed back to the man, to store it, warm himself on it, until it was time to do the whole thing all over again.

“You wanted to salvage something … let’s.”

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #36
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | There's a lady who knows | Obsidian Trench | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

Even gallows humor had its place, and at the moment that was the best humor they had available to them. David allowed himself a small chuckle as he watched Laura's full lips form her quip on the singular nature of an abyss and the lack of multiplicity in relation to its totality. It was funny enough in the moment, and he knew she would feel his appreciation for the word play even if he did not usher forth a full belly laugh. Handy, the ties that bound them together and gave insight into each others core being. Not for the first time he wondered if they would be able to survive this place at all without such connection. Not for the first time, he simply had to hope they would survive.

Soon too they were in the thick of the trench, chasing every sparking shine of possible metal debris that lit against the darkened, churned earth. Walls of glassy dark rock rose up around them, giving David the feeling that he was walking in a valley of shadow, sheltered away from the rest of the planet. Existence, such as it was, became that very narrow strip between to sets of peaks piercing the night sky. David knew plenty of fear, as if the emotion itself had manifested in that maw lurking beyond the ridge line. But he'd set it aside, as each glimmer of possible metal gave him new hope of getting away from the doomed planet. Thus, bolstered by home, and by Laura, he trudged on, doing his best in turn to bolster her.

The inexorable pull forward compelled the two of them, each caught in the other's wake. Not that David would complain. Without Laura he would be lost on this world, lost to a despair that lingered in his very bones. One that he had an inkling about, that it existed beyond the simple situation they found themselves in. A suspicion that without the other human his life would have been much bleaker, even beyond these stark confines and hopeful paths forward. Something to be analyzed later, if there was a latter. In the now, his soul sung in her presence, and he soldiered on, shoulders squared off, holding himself within a confident stride.

They turned a corner in the trench, hand in hand and slowed their gait, faces both tilting up in unison, to take in the view, the grey white structure atop the cliff side, nearly blindingly bright in the dark surrounding. Hope springs eternal, or so the saying went, and David felt it pass from Laura into him, felt the warmth suffuse his body, such that he leaned in closer, forming a line, tucking his arm around hers and letting their hips rest together as he stared up, soaking in the proximity of her, and the vision unfolding before them. If a way off the planet existed, it was within those duranium confines crouched like a Gothic gargoyle on the roof of salvation.

"Yeah. I'd say its time to get our hands dirty but we're already pretty dirty. Still," his face split into an eager grin, almost childish in nature that chased away shadows from his features. "Its time to see if either of us can play the role of engineer." A task that should have daunted David, given that he knew deep in his core that he was a man of science and not a trained mechanic, just as he trusted the red of Laura's collar denoted someone better skilled at giving orders than repairing warp cores. All the same they were Starfleet officers - he had little doubt of that - and they would simply have to rise to the occasion. Connected to Laura as he was, David refused to allow himself to dwell on the notion that he might somehow fail to rise, and thus leave her wanting in such a place and time as this.

There was the small matter of scaling the side of the cliff wall up to the remnants of the craft that had borne them to this interstellar purgatory where the only true sense of self they had was their shared connection that belabored scientific explanation and boarded on matters of the heart and faith. Realizing that he was starting to wax poetic again, David eased away from Laura a bit to look at the walls, though his hand stilld hers. For all their independent natures that grasp might have been welded in the hottest plasma. 

Up and up his alien eyes swept, until..."This way. I think it will be steep but I see a path up, winding around the side of the wall." Taking the lead again, he eased himself toward the embankment, where, given a trick of the light, what looked to be flat obsidian revealed itself instead as an uneven slope, with gashes reminiscent of stairs, though none uniform in nature. Tricky going, but a path toward their broken craft all the same. Lacking any better avenue for advancement, David set first one foot, and then another upon the sleak trackway, muttering something about a stairway to heaven under his breath. For truly the dark contrast of their surroundings, the climb up toward salvation, and the stars of the night above, the words seemed fitting to the scientist. Finding faith - if only in the one other person trapped with him - was an odd notion for one so analytically minded, and yet one he was embracing now. No atheists in foxholes, a saying he'd heard before, and there was no greater war than that with the Empty Night rushing across the planet to meet them.

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #37
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

Burying the putrid corpse of liberty, deep below six feet of delusions of free will, David and Laura stumbled across the barren cemetery of predestination. Where every conscious act of independence, every original thought, was the liquid fog across the unmarked graves, mimicking soft cotton to dance upon, hiding the cold obsidian below, meaning to trip them at every turn – to swallow them whole, like an open sepulcher, in a moment of blind belief. Yet what truly carried them across the spiritual boneyard, was the ethereal lantern of hope, dangling at the gates on the far end, like a firefly, beckoning them further. Sparking into bits and pieces of glimmer, as their path progressed, vapor seeping into the jagged canyon like wraiths, slithering down the cracks and crevices. Their enchanting sing sang mere silent whistles, against the charcoal pipes, as they sought to distract from the path ahead. Sirens, from an alien world, lurking in the dark, stalking their prey.

Braving on, against the dark valley, the two officers prevailed, until the flurry of glitter lead to its origin, like a trail of crumbs would, out of the dark forest. And though they were not brother and sister, lost in this sinister nightmare, their connection, their holding hands, did spark its very own enigmatic fairytale, in every amber glow, in every golden honey reassurance, encasing their souls for an eternity. Until it would be picked free from the dark stone by a plucky archeologist from the future, it would seem, if they’d not manage to escape this primordial desert themselves. Certainly at any rate, in centuries, they’d be dust and memories, the distinction being: in centuries. There was still a spark of life left in them, a glimmer of hope and determination, and a little bit of stubbornness too. For the blonde, at the very least, it felt as if giving up would go against her nature, even though she could recollect at least three or four instances in her recent memory where she’d tiptoed precariously with the precipice of desperation.  Only to be hauled back by the invisible lasso of their mutual connection.

Something that had become synonymous to their relationship, in a short yet challenging time. Like the sunrise had become synonymous for the start of a new day, as the sunset had for the end of one. And like the absence of either had become synonymous for this world trying to break their spirit. Ridding them of the mundane vestiges of humanity, that grounded them in their sanity. If it weren’t for the constant reminder of what a dawn looked like, along the ether of their connection, peering into the depth of memories unfamiliar, they would’ve lost their wits with everything else swept away in the currents. Washed down an obsidian syphon, spiraling into the eventual nothingness. In a way, the abyss existed in their minds just as much as it did in their visions and perceptions. In a dark corner it festered, ever since they’d woken up on this rock, like a growing menace, a black wolf, Gmork. As the fabric of their being, their Fantasia, was consumed by the Nothing, bit by bit. The Childlike Empress, befallen by this unspoken illness, up on that cliff in her ivory tower … the pinnacle of their salvation.

“We won’t be carried by the luckdragon, for sure.” Laura replied, sarcasm lining the saccharine voice of agreement. Where, despite their touch breaking, a semblance of her childhood memories remained, like a radio signal, traveling the vast nothingness for eternity, until it would – by the sheer laws of probability – find someone who’d listen. How the Neverending Story had been a part of her growing up, looking across the refugee camps of the Federation from their compound, feeling herself like a childlike empress, hidden away in an ivory tower too. So, the ascend to that fairytale place, was in many ways, a never-ending story coming full circle, like life did, when matter turned into ashes, turned into stardust … sparking into a new existence as the herald of life. As in some way, even if there was no real escape off this place, they would find their way back to where it all begun, and there was a sort of salvation in that, if anything.

“Your fantastic eyes are not for show, I see.” the woman chuckled gently, watching David’s every move in the dark, to mimic them like an extension of himself. And with every step up, every clambering across sharp brimstone, it felt like they ascended towards faith itself. With every foot of elevation, hope and levity returning, as if the thinning air was clouding their minds with euphoria. Mountain sickness never feeling so good – so right. As they crawled from the shadows of their valley of death, they were met by the faintest of starlight again, creeping across the horizon on the planet of the dark moons. Like hidden deities, looking down upon them. Every step too felt lighter, as they ascended, the shuttlecraft temporarily falling out of view behind some outcroppings of black rock. And as if their happiness was tethered to this inanimate hunk of metal now, too did their drive and spirits. But not their stubbornness.

So they pushed on, both of them, tethered together by an invisible rope, like the first expedition to the highest mountain of the world, any world. A mission driven by the sheer and unfaltering drive to do what seemed undoable, to go where no one had been able to go before. The unknown like a black hole of its own, pulling towards itself the spirits of the inquisitive, the explorers, the restless. Then, from the obsidian haze, broke the almost blinding silver of the hull, much closer than they could remember, as they crossed the threshold of the cliff. Erecting into the vertical, feeling dizzy by the sheer anticipation and exhaustion, Laura let a long exhale whistle from her dainty esophagus, and with it seemingly all the stress and torment of their short time here. Not even letting the fact that the front half was missing and the rest seemingly un-flightworthy, taint the impression of their own ivory palace. But at the same time, it was also kind of overwhelming … in a good way. Still, she was the first one to thaw off the very spot they heralded in the age of salvation from.

“Something in here still has to be useful.” she pondered. If anything, it would provide them shelter, and comfort. With its glistening, bright colors, reminiscent of the world they came from. Everything here and inside was a reminder of a different life, one they could only live through in the far recesses of their memories.  Memories that seemed to spring to life more vividly, as soon as the familiar muffled thud, of feet against carpet, overcast the gentle howl of evil. Even the random zap of sparks, hissing through the cabin, as they reacted with the oxygen in the air. The flicker of a light, in the back compartment, almost blinding to the eyes that had come as acquainted to this dark land, as had the purple creatures in the sky. Delicate eyelids and long lashes, twitching to constrict at every burst of photons, while blue coastlines drew closer around the dark depth of the ocean.

“Let’s fix that first …” she mumbled, scrambling ahead, across the chaos of furniture and cabin veneers. Finding an open access panel that seemed to be the culprit of the inadvertent lightning strikes. Rearranging some wires, few of which with burnt isolation, within a moment, there was a steady stream of light within the rather confined back compartment of their runabout. The wind and the menace of the world locked outside, beyond duranium walls … for now. It was peculiar, really … no, fascinating. To see the man in the light once more, the shadows drawing features on his face that did not exist in the murky dark. Features that were naught but a distant memory from a time before all of this. But there certainly were memories …

Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #38
[ Lt. Jg...Can't Quite Remember | Ascending | Wreck of the USS Tigris | Unknown planet ] Attn: @stardust 

With every careful step and each hand held found, David pushed onward in the valley of shadow, scaling the walls toward what he could only hope was salvation. It took effort, real, true effort, not to think, not to ponder on the possibility of the problem before them, that rescue might not happen, that what was left of their vessel, that broken runabout perched precariously ahead, would lead to naught but disappointment and dissolution. No, he clung fervently to the fever dream hope that within the battered shell of the Tigris lead a life preserver that would see them through this hellish storm.

He could feel it in Laura too, of course. That connection, bone deep - no, soul deep - gave him insight when contact occurred, and was maintained. Dark thoughts brushed away by the burning beacon of hope itself, springing eternal. Or at the very least remain kindled within their shared consciousness. Should they get out of this, he was looking forward to exploring this connection more. Another reason to hope. Another reason to make sure they did get out of this. A positive feedback loop was one that David was happy to indulge in as the trudged on through the dust and the shards, the rocks and the wil-o-wisps of gasses woken from the surface of the word. Or like as not, water burning off in the humid eve of the strange place, forming fog. 

Really, he knew he should stop attributing story like qualities to the very scenery around him, but it was damned hard not to. This had the prefect makings of some holo-novel; if only he weren't living it in the moment.

Onward, and upward, hand and foot, one after the other. Pain shot through his fingers as time and again he had to brace himself against the obsidian rock, the sharp shards scraping away at that oh so thin membrane that was his skin. Hopefully the damage would not be so great that blood would start to make his grip precarious. That would be just what he didn't need right then, as their angle of ascent had grown steep. He wished that they had a rope of some form - something physical to tether each to the other, not just the mental bridge that existed. 

Nevertheless, they persevered and prevailed, rising above the fog and the darkness. The steep track gave way, flattening out to the perch upon which their deliverance lay. It was a wreck, to be sure, but he could only pray to whatever gods there might be listening that something inside that hull would have a the way forward, off this forsaken relic of a world. He joined Laura, hand briefly brushing her shoulder, as they came up to the crashed Runabout, and forced their way into the hulk, but not before pausing enough, basking in the warmth of her prior praise, and the gentle twinkling of the stars above. That was the path to freedom. 


Laura's words echoed David's thoughts and the darker haired man nodded in mute agreement. Drawing in a deep breath, David surveyed the exterior damage and concluded that any hope they had would be in either the ability to generate some sort of stable shielding and lifting the ship up and off the planet, or, more likely, some device or beacon for calling for help. A communications buoy perhaps. They felt fairly high up so if something had survived, the scientist felt that their odds were good of getting a signal out. He hadn't remembered detecting anything that might block such a transmission before hand. "Yes, I think that between the two of us we're clever enough to find something of worth hidden inside this."

It was easy to project confidence when he was standing next to her, and the gaping maw of eternal nothingness was not bearing down visibly upon their exact location. For the moment they had their reprieve from entropy and David wished to make the most of it. And stepping up and into the husk of the ship brought about a sense of relief, and of coming home, a welcome and alient sensation for David. He felt a weight easy off his shoulders even as he brushed a dangling cable of some form out of his way. He ran his hands over the tubing, tracing its path and reaching up to secure it out of the way, like one might a curtain over a window. 

"As good a place to start as any," he agreed, setting about to tinker and take stock. As she moved to the access panel, David set about moving the debris to give them room to work with and move about. He grunted here and there, forcing sore muscles to work once more, to put forth an effort in their time of need. Soon he was separating out anything worth salvaging from the much. There was a hiss from behind him, some electric whirr, and then, light. He grinned, despite raising a hand to shield his eyes as they were slow to adjust. "Good job!"

Praise felt alien on his lips and yet perfectly right in the moment. At least, when directed toward Laura. Not for the first time, he wondered at the connection they shared and what deeper meaning it might foreshadow. Nothing could be done about that now, as he righted a table that had been in the back of the far compartment, giving them a space to work on that was relatively clean. He patted the top, and looked around. "I think...we need auxiliary sensors, or communications. Something like that should be back here. Not all of it would have been kept in the front compartments. For...for situations like this, actually."

The logic felt sound enough, in any event. For a moment he lamented that he himself were not Vulcan. He knew they were rather good at that sort of thing. Though he glanced at Laura, and something, some phantom of a repressed memory poked at his thoughts, forcing him to consider her as he pondered those logical beings. He smirked a bit, muttering, "I'll let you be the final arbiter of logic."


Re: USS Tigris: Planetfall

Reply #39
[ Lt. Cmdr. Something | Spaceship in a Heaping Mess | Unknown Planet | Unknown System] attn: @Brutus

The Duranium shell of the derelict back compartment of the runabout felt like a comfortable reprieve from the danger and deluge outside of it. Like a cabin in the woods during a winter storm, it did not only provide physical shelter but that of the mind. Where primal notions of safety and security dictated an ease of mind, when met, that could not be deterred by rhyme or reason. And it was only in this illusion of guardianship, that the mind could focus on more conducive – and long lasting - measures of rescue. Just as much as the absence of fear let lighthearted banter return to the meadow of their mutual experience, as if a long-awaited spring.

Letting delicate fingers dance over panels on the walls, taking tactile stock of the labels as if they were brail, Laura syphoned through the information presented. Rose petals quivering with every thought in her mind, as if trying to give voice to their motives, but then not quite. Environmental systems, electrical relays, navigational arrays, sensor equipment … none of which pertained to their more immediate dilemma. Finding her ears in extraordinary tune with what the man was saying, all while focusing on a different problem entirely, the blonde was oddly struck by David’s last comment, as it revealed a glimmer of knowledge, she could not quite place. A foggy memento of a past that seemed nothing more than a book she might’ve read or a holo program she could’ve seen.

“Wouldn’t logic be a universal concept that everyone can embrace simply by approaching it with … logic.” Cringing gently at the revelation of foley in her own argument, Laura simply recoiled to another corner of the compartment in order to search for more helpful devices. Resuming her search there, larimar hues scanned more of the burgundy labels. “For what it’s worth … there are a lot of things here that start with aux …” and she didn’t even have to finish that tangent, before her mind interpreted the rest of the visual cue before her. “Auxiliary Communications Array!” the officer proclaimed, hope and relief dancing in the summer rays of her voice. Deft fingertips quickly found leverage in the small crevice between the cover and the wall, prying the panel off without much consideration for additional damage to the already singed metal.

Beneath were a bunch of cables and processing units, some of which still lit up and not much superficial damage was discernible. “Alright … alright …” she muttered rubbing her hands together for warmth, muscles and tendons easing like molten glass. “… how to turn this on … how to …” Dainty finger soon found the only protrusion that looked remotely like a switch. And with a flicker of it, a small screen lit up with a number of coded errors rushing by as the system booted up before a round symbol with a sort of chevron in its midst briefly appeared. Momentary impatience having taken a hold they ultimately had access to the device. Tapping a few buttons in an effort to activate the beacon, Laura skimmed through the cues in the tiny frame before taking a look around the compartment, and the various sources of light and sparks within it.

“We don’t have enough power … help me shut down some of these electrical loads. Maybe that helps.” Moving back from her side of the wall, the blonde went about to flick every switch she could find to the opposite position, in an effort to turn systems off that really weren’t essential right now. Frankly, none of it was, outside the emergency transmitter. Some of the wall lights, however, seemed more persistent and potentially even designed to not switch off manually. Unceremoniously picking up a metal bar from the floor, the woman smashed the fixtures, dipping the cabin into further flashes of sparks before it got a decent bit darker and quieter. “Well … they’re not using up any more power now.” And with those words, as if she’d angered the gods themselves, a low grumble echoed through the broken off front, all while the floor began to tremble with the relentless convulsions of death, reverberating through the planetoid.

Staggering back over to the small console in the wall, the display had changed considerably, showing a few more options now. Hitting a few more graphics on the screen, the buttons soon vanished into a spinning emblem. “I got it! … I think.” She exclaimed, in lieu of any real concrete feedback. All while trying to keep her balance against the stirring deck. Then, another jolt shot through the fuselage, temporarily making them feel light on their feet, before the whole behemoth gave way a bit, slipping, as it tilted at a more precarious angle than before. Laura lost her footing, smashing against the wall before sliding a good portion down the scorched carpet, ripping a decent wedge off of it in an attempt to stop her fall. A sharp groan escaping her throat, as the tear finally stopped to grow.

She could feel her legs dangling over the precipice of the floor and the side of the cliff, where the cockpit had broken off, wind ruffling through her blonde mane. Beneath her, the canyon gave way into the endless depth of nothingness. Even though she couldn’t see it, didn’t dare to watch, she could feel the cold chill of it creep into her soul. Azure ponds alight with panic, she scrambled to take grab for another hold, David’s hand perhaps, as the entire structure further titled towards the abyss. But it seemed to no avail. And for a moment, it became real quiet … eerily quiet. The kind of calm and serenity that was not from this world, but rather from an ethereal world of acceptance. The carpet ripped another few inches, the woman’s torso slipping over the edge as well. But the shot of adrenalin, like sunrays through her muscles and nerves, was a fleeting sentiment, amidst the quiet torrent of inevitability.

"You have to look into the abyss! Don't look away!"

One last brief connection, as larimar ponds reflected the turquoise grandeur of David’s alien moons, and then it was over. As if snatched away from this realm of existence by a magical finger snap, Laura had vanished beyond the precipice of the deck plating, as the carpet finally gave way, nothing but a faint whistle of a scream echoing skyward from the void. And the silence carried on. It existed for what seemed like an eternity, even though it only seemed to stretch time onward, for a bit. The horizon had dissolved into the banner of night. Black satin embroidered with specs of diamonds. There was nothing left. Nothing but the subtle chirp of an electrical component, trying to assert itself against the current of destruction. The wall panel had become alight with a flurry of dancing fireflies. A message was coming through … first jumbled, then slowly emerging from a sea of static, like a beautiful Bond girl. A female voice, a familiar female voice, repeating the same line over and over …

“Rutherford to Lieutenant Morali, Lieutenant Morali, I am so glad I finally got you … you’re late for our lunch.”


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