"Red Darkness"
[previous post was "Tomorrow" by the dedicated Jayson]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 30148.2120

The corridor was dark, cold and empty, the only illumination having been from the flashing red alert lights.  Shar'El knew that something had been wrong with the environmental controls as there was an icy chill in the air.  Whatever had happened had also taken out internal communications as her previous efforts to contact someone, anyone had failed.  Even the main computer appeared to be off-line as none of the interfaces seemed to be functioning.

Had someone followed them back through the dimensional rift, and if so who and why?  Had the Akitashiinu decided to seek revenge on Captain Morningstar and his crew for what he had done or had it been the Yxidii who had seen an opportunity to test their strength against that of a Federation starship?  As frightful as either one of those possibilities had been, the ILO knew that given the endless possibilities found between dimensions there had been countless other possibilities.  During the travel through the rift, the ANUBIS could have encountered someone or something else possessing uncharted powers and abilities.

Shar'El's first duty had been to reach the command deck and hopefully run into someone in the process.  That the Intel Officer had fallen asleep in Sickbay had already been difficult enough for her to accept, but to have been left alone during a crisis had just proven to be more of a mystery that she could manage.  Had something happened to the other members of the crew, the ILO' being asleep having someone made her to not be targeted.

Every so often Shar'El would stop and quickly look over her shoulder, certain that someone or something had been following her.  As she studied the flickering shadows through narrowed eyes, the ILO could not help feel as if the darkness had somehow been alive and watching her every movement.

Images of some creepy creature suddenly emerging from the darkness filled the ILO's mind, thinking that something the likes of the Aaamazzarite or worst the Vykar would leap out at her at any moment.  If the ANUBIS had indeed become home to some dimensional entity, they could have easily been some sort of transphasic oversized parasites, or some multi-tentacled blood-sucking leeches.

Then again, if transdimensional creatures had indeed boarded the ANUBIS, there had been several far more dangerous possibilities to be concerned about.  The Yxidii possessed the ability to cloak themselves rendering them invisible to the naked eye, but this was not a skill unique to them.  Other races who originated from a different dimension controlled such abilities, and that idea alone had been more than enough to have the ILO become fearful of what could have been hiding in the darkness that surrounded her.

Not truly having wanted to run into Species 8472 or the Lokustat, the ILO increased her walking speed to having become a full out run.  What had happened to the other members of the crew and would she be joining them in whatever fate had befallen them?

Shar'El pushed herself through the partially opened doors to the turbolift and quickly instructed the computer to effect an emergency closure.  If something had indeed been following the ILO as she had suspected, this would grant the heart-racing woman the safety that she had been so desperately looking for.

Taking a moment to catch her breath, the Intelligence Liaison Officer leaned against the back panel, her hand unexpectedly coming in contact with a warm, gooey substance.  When Shar'El looked down at her hand the ILO was horrified to find it covered in what happened to be blood.  Pivoting on her heels to face the panel she had been leaning against, the terrified raven haired woman stepped back through the reopened doors, catching only a glimpse of bloodied arm that had been handing from the overhead emergency access of the turbolift pod.

IF Shar'El was to make it to the bridge she would have to use the Jefferies Tubes, a prospect that had not at all pleased the trembling Ensign.  Maybe it would have been best had she remained asleep in Sickbay instead of waking up to this nightmare.  After having dismissed her fears and insecurities, the ILO took in a long deep breath and headed for the closes access.

Once inside the Jefferies Tube, the ILO looked up at the darkened vertical tunnel and reminded herself that there had only been six decks for her to climb.  The length of the trek had not been the trouble, but the fact that it would have to be accomplished in near perfect darkness with Shar'El's imagination working overtime each step of the way.

Having done her best to gather her courage, Shar'El took hold of the first bar just as she felt a hand land on her shoulder which caused her to scream at the top of her lungs.

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Sickbay
Stardate: 30148.2120

Doctor Mizore jumped back from the screaming ILO, never having expected that her simply touch would or could have enlisted such a reaction.

"Are you alright?" Seska asked of the woman who had shut up from her resting position to be sitting on the biobed, an expression of absolute fear present on her face.

"Yes. No. Maybe," Shar'El replied through her shallow breathing, the ILO's eyes darting to each and every individual who had still been in Sickbay.

"You fell asleep, so Counselor Dalziel and I thought it best to allow you to rest," the aCMO explained sounding a little amused by the event.

"Asleep maybe," the raven haired woman sighed, "but I can assure you that it was not one bit restful."

Tiffany Reeve

Ensign Shar'El
Intel Liaison Officer