Bugging Out – Sneaking off
by HoD Ro' Matlh & Ensign Israna Haan & Soghla' Marie St. Helene

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Title   Sneaking off
Mission   Bugging Out
Author(s)   HoD Ro' Matlh & Ensign Israna Haan & Soghla' Marie St. Helene
Posted   Thu Aug 07, 2014 @ 4:55am
Location   Another corridor on the station
No-one was paying any attention to either Israna or Marie. Most seemed to have found a new toy to play with. Marie felt slighted that no toy had been offered to her but she shoved that aside. “Look,” she said to Israna, “this seems as good a time as any to get moving. How about we go back to that first room and recruit the other...drone? They seem like tour guides or something. Maybe they can take us to the girl.”

At the first opportunity Marie and Israna slipped away from the rest of the away team. Both had seen a different child inside the clear cage and so they thought they were looking for two girls. In fact the entity that they sought was mildly telepathic and had the ability to appear as a thing that the observer would want to protect and nuture; a particularly effective survival trait.

Israna led the way, her keen scouting instincts guiding them back the way they had come. The station was linear in design, with long corridors running parallel and few side corridors. When they reached the second intersection however Israna indicated they stop. In the centre of the floor was a body. It looked human but had been torn open from behind while trying to run. It had a disruptor rifle in its hand. It certainly hadn't been there when they came this way a few minutes ago.

Israna stood silently and looked at Marie.

Israna whispered, not risking talking in a louder voice, "Marie. I don't trust that body on the floor, not after everything we have encountered today.... For all we know it could be one of those plant things in disguise as a dead person so we fall into a trap of examining the 'dead body'. What do you think?"

“Personally,” Marie answered, “I’m more concerned that there’s someone – or something – on this station which can take down someone carrying a disruptor rifle. That wound suggests a sneak attack or an ambush. The thought of neither one fills me with joy.”

"Well, we have to do something. Any ideas? I'm not the one giving orders around here..." Israna looks at the "thing" on the ground uncomfortably....

Israna crouched on the ground and took out her basic pistol. She only brought with her a pistol & a knife, and now she was regretting her actions. "Maybe I should have a careful look...."

Israna crawls over towards the body slowly, being silent as possible. The body was definitely human, the wound fatal and fast. There was a great deal of splatter meaning a lot of force and the person had been hit while moving at speed. It looked like it was running from its attacker.

A sound made both woman look up. Disruptor fire from further away, but still uncomfortably close. There was someone still alive on this station and they were in a fight. The question was, do they run towards it or away?

“Now I definitely don’t like the sound of this,” Marie said. “And yet.... When Jared scanned this station, did he find any life signs?”

"I wouldn't have a clue....."

There was disruptor fire again, this time closer.

"Okay. We leave and go see what the BLOODY hell that was, though I'm not a fan of that option, OR we stay here and examine....There might be some things round here that might be worth looking at. There usually is when we leave on bloody missions and find ourselves in situations like these..... OR we just run. Running sounds like a plan to me....."

There was one last fire, this time sounding as if it was right around the corner.

"Yea? Running?" Israna sighs. "Okay....."

Israna grabbed Marie's hand and ran towards the opposite corridor, reaching an intersection and ducking behind a wall.

Marie felt the grab then the tug on her hand. Her initial reaction was to pull away but Israna seemed to be acting with purpose which was more than Marie could say for herself right now. Even so.... Even so.... Marie distrusted...something.

She let herself be pulled along, quickly coming into step with Israna.

The pair almost collided with a team of armed men in uniforms rushing down the corridor towards the fighting. There is a moment of confusion before one of the men swears.

"We've got VIPs on station. Drake, you and your team get these ladies to the hangar. Tyrone and my team will reinforce Danes position."

Two thirds of the men moved off back the way Israna and Marie came while another six remained with them. The man who had been identified as Drake stepped forward and saluted.

Israna just stared in confusion. "Uhhhhhhhhh......." She looks at Marie and whispers. "Marie? I'll distract him while you run."

Israna then shouts out and grabs the man's hand, shaking it vigorously, before swaying her body slowly from side to side.

"Hi there! My name is Israna! Now what would a man like yourself be here for?" She then giggles like a love-struck teenage child.

Israna looks back at Marie, who is just standing there, confused also. Israna whispers. "Marie! Because you are my friend and I love you, I insist that you run! I'll use my womanly charms!"

The security office, Drake, Israna was holding, looked at the pair. One was wearing products from teh wearhouse and the other was wearing the sort of messy clothes you only get if you are really rich or really poor. He decided they must be clients, "I apologize on behalf of the corporation ladies but there has been an incident and it is imperative that we get you to the safety of your docked craft now. Would you both follow me?"

Israna looks put out and sulks for a bit. "Dammit.... That didn't work..... That woman's magazine lied to me!"

Marie tried not to laugh at Israna and bowed politely. “We would like very much to accompany you,” she replied in her most cultured voice, “but there is something we must attend to first. My young sister is traveling with us but she has wandered off. I fear, lest she come to harm; the more so now that you have warned us of danger.”

"I understand that, Ma'am," the security officer said, his team now forming up around the two women and beginning to usher them gently but firmly towards the Hangar, and I will alert command to keep an eye out for her but..."

"Lieutenant!" one of his men called.

At the far end of the corridor a shape appeared. It was black and shone like oil, part lizard, part insect, all teeth and claws.

"Tony, Butler. Get them out now!" Drake yelled and the two women were forceably grabbed and hauled by two of the security officers.

Israna felt being shoved by a security officer. She looked behind to see the creature, and run for it. She only had her pistol, and that wasn't going to help.

The rest of the officers had set up a v formation and began firing disruptors at the creature. The noise the weapons made told Israna and Marie that they were lethal shots. The creature stumbled and fell back from the first few shots, but as it did another moved around the corner, and another. The first was still not fully down and as the team began to spread their fire between enemies it got up again and began to move forward.

"RUN!" Drake bellowed and the two women were dragged up the corridor as fast as their escorts could move them.

Marie allowed herself to be pushed along but doubts assailed her. Those drone like things were there to show off what this station is selling. What if this is just more of the same? These soldiers made damn sure we saw that creature – if it was a creature – but they also made sure we didn't get to see them take it out. We heard plenty of bangs but...so what?”

Israna ignored everything and just focused on getting herself and Marie to safety. The soon they were away and found the rest of the group, the better. That is, if they can find the rest of the group. They went down a different corridor which lead entirely to a new section.

Israna sighed. "I shouldn't have wandered off...."

"It's all right miss," One of the soldiers responded with far less certainty than he should, "For now lets just.."

There was a short series of screams and the disruptor fire behind them stopped.

"Those things are..." The soldier said turning white, "A sort of security policy for this place. The Corporation uses them when it needs a place... sterilized. They must be bred here and have escaped. We need to get everyone out of the ship. They will kill EVERYTHING. That's what they are designed to do."

They were moving along quickly as they spoke, just the four of them. Now they were forced to stop. There was a thing at the end of the corridor, blocking the direction they were heading.

"Tony?" one of the guards whispered.

"I see it, but I don't think it sees us yet. We can't go back the way we came, we will have to move deeper into the station along corridor 17."

"But... That's towards the..." the other protested.

"Butler, get it together," the leader snapped. "At least that thing is still contained. The Biolabs have secure rooms. We can hold up there."

They four of them turned and began to move away down a long corridor as they did though the thing turned towards them as if sensing their movement. It let out a piercing howl, which was repeated by others further off and then began to run towards them.

Israna raises her voice at Marie as well as the guards. "A strategic plan right about now would be nice! Not a big fan of dying... I wanna be joined AT LEAST before I die!"

"Run or shoot?" Butler began calling aiming his gun vaguely behind him. "Run or shoot?"

"Both!" the other replied. But this is not as easy as it sounds and if one is looking where one is running then you cannot aim. Likewise to look behind is to slow your run.

Israna yells at Marie, "Well, got a plan yet?!"

“Yeah,” Marie replied. “We fight. It’s going to catch us anyway so we might as well choose our ground. Anyway, I don’t think the Corporation would let it kill us. I think this is all just another demonstration.” I just hope that we’re not part too, being served up for some other customers’ viewing pleasure!

“Dead customers don’t have a lot of money to spend,” Marie explained as she turned. Now’s the time to see if the modifications I made work, she thought as she drew her disruptor. “This mob’s all about making money. They make the Ferengi look like amateurs. So my thought is this: at worst, it belts us around a little then pretty boys here step in and dispose of it; at best, it just disappears.”

It occurred to Marie, even as she was speaking that these things were designed to eliminate unauthorized intruders on the station and Israna and she definitely qualified.

The two security guards took their lead from Marie forming up in front of the women and leveling their heavy weapons behind them. They began to rapid fire their weapons, but the approaching beast seemed to only be slowed by the deadly onslaught, that should have been reducing it to molecular dust.

The group fired at the part lizard, part insect. It screeched and charged towards them; the soldiers doing their best to hold it back. It wasn't particularly fast, but still fast enough to run down any human in it's way.

Israna stops shooting her pistol and took covers in the small indent of a door in the side of the corridor wall. Marie was still shooting. "Marie! The thing is coming for us! We have to move, otherwise we get trampled on!"

Maire continued to fire, the rapid fire of gunshots obviously two loud for any voice to be heard. The lizard thing was getting closer. The two soldiers knew they had to fall back to a safer area, but there was no area to fall back to.

Without thinking, Israna jumped out behind the wall, grabbing Marie in the process, before landing in the room opposite in a heap on the floor.

There was a loud crash as equipment clanked on the floor heavily. Israna, who was on top of Marie, cursed and got up straight away and went to shut the door. The soldiers followed as the beast charged towards them, closing the gap in a series of leaps.

Israna tried to close the door but at the last minute the thing put its hands through the gap and caught the door. With immense strength it began to force the door open again. Butler pushed his gun out through the gap and fired a short burst. There was a scream and the door was released, but when Butler pulled his gun clear the end was bent and warped as if eaten by acid. He threw it aside and pulled a hand pistol.

Israna turned around and looked at Marie, who was still crumpled on the floor.

"Marie, did I hurt you?" she held out a hand to her. "Sorry about that."

“While I’m not averse to having a woman lying on top of me,” Marie commented as she brushed herself down, “I prefer them not to have armour on. Actually,” she added softly, “I prefer them to have nothing on.”

There was a screech from the hallway. The thing had been joined by others. Something heavy began to hammer on the door. The soldiers backed away.

"Marie, it might not be our best chance, but I don't think we can defeat this thing. Not with just these soldiers, your 'modifyed' pistol and my normal pistol. Our best chance is if we run back and find the others. We need their help. It was stupid for us to run off, let alone me tagging you along. It will be risky. That creature could come charging at us. But we have to give it a shot. What other choice do we have? Wait here for that thing to break through the door and kill us all eventually?"

"I don't think we can outrun that 'thing'. Maybe this could help?" Israna pulled open the case she had been carrying since they had left the others. Inside was a suit which Israna grabbed out, playing with the fabric. The material felt cool to her touch yet strangely warming at the same time.

Marie snatched the suit from Israna. “You’ve already got armour on,” she complained harshly. “I want this one!”

Israna snatched the suit back.

"Mine is falling to bits! You have an AWESOME pistol! Mine is shit, so don't complain!"

Without even caring, Israna went behind a piece of sheet metal and tried the best that she could to change out of her old, broken armor and into the new, black power suit. She gave a twirl.

"What do you think!?"

She stared at her butt and thighs and rubbed herself down, feeling the fabric and a bit self-conscious.

"Does my butt look big in this? Honestly?"

“Too big? Your butt’s so scrawny that thing out there would pass you by as not worth the energy to chew you. At least I’ve got some muscle that the suit could enhance. Take it off and give it to me.”

Marie waited for Israna to comply. She counted to ten, albeit somewhat quickly.

“Now!” she yelled.

The beating on the door became louder and there was a sound of tortured metal as the door began to bend.

"There's no way out." Tony started to panic. "That's it. Game over! Game over, man!"

Israna growled. "Not if I can help it!"

You haven’t heard the last of this, Marie thought. That suit is rightfully mine.

The door burst apart and the room was suddenly full of writhing shapes. Butler fired his gun but it was torn from his grasp and his scream was cut short. Israna lept forward trying to force a way out and at first it seemed as if it was working. She knocked aside two creatures and made it to the corridor, Marie and Tony on her six. But the corridor was full of the creatures. Tony fired wildly but a creature simple lifted him by the face and pined him to one wall.

Marie fired at the ones closest to her and was rewarded by a small area in the carapace ripping open, and white icor spewed out onto the floor and began to hiss and bubble. Israna fended the things grapple attack like a phantom. Her speed was incredible, but none of her punches landed on anything vulnerable, and it would only take one of her block to fail and they would have her.

Suddenly the creatures all stopped as one.

They all turned and looked back down the corridor.

At the far end stood the small child they had both seen on the monitor. She stood in some sort of loose fitting dress with a toy hanging loosely by her side. Everyone's eyes were on her.

"The nightmare child," Tony whispered, suddenly more afraid of the small girl than of the corridor full of creatures bent on rending him limb from limb.

With a twist of its grip the creature holding Tony ended his life and the pack began to move down the corridor towards the girl. They were slow at first but then broke into a run, ignoring the yells and the disruptor shots at their rear from the two women. When they were only a few meters from the child, and the end seemed certain, she opened her mouth as if singing.

And like a wave tears apart a sandcastle the creatures fell apart before her. Those towards the back of the pack had enough time to turn before a wave of destruction over took them.

Now the corridor was empty, save for the fallen Tony and bloodied and acid burnt walls. The girl watched the two women with interest to see what they would do next.

Marie bit back the urge to scream. “Félicité,” she said softly. It came out almost as a sob.
She took one step forward, then another. Foot followed foot as she moved along the corridor. She picked up speed as she went until she was sprinting towards her sister. Childhood memories sprang into her mind: Félicité playing with her dolls; Félicité practising hiding from raiders; Félicité with her favourite food smeared all over her face.

Marie was crying now, tears streaming down her face.

Israna watched Marie run towards the girl that she called Félicité. But to her, it looked like her twin sister. Maire could be related to me, but that's not right. I am a Trill, and she isn't...... Unless......

Suddenly, Israna got up and sped towards Marie, the blue aura patterns on her leg lighting up bright blue as she started to run faster than what she usually could. She slowed as she neared Marie, not wanting the crash into her. Israna grabbed her hand and yanked her away just in time before Marie could make contact with the girl that she called Félicité. Israna gripped Marie's wrist and whole arm tightly with two hands. She grunted as the marks of the suit up her arm glowed bright blue. All of a sudden, Israna felt herself pick Marie and throw her on the ground behind her. Israna looked at her arms.....

"So this gives me extra strength....? Only? Just a simple enhancement suit...."


Marie hauled herself up from where she had landed. Parts of her were beginning to ache. At that moment she detested Israna but she fought to bring that emotion under control. It would wait for later. Breathing heavily, she said, “That is my sister. I don’t know who you see.”

Then a thought occurred to her. What had Israna said, 'just a simple enhancement suit'? “It’s that thing you’re wearing,” she yelled. “It’s causing you to have delusions. Thank the gods you took it; I can see clearly.”

Israna looked at the thing, it's eyes jet black. "Marie," she said softly. "It's not your sister. Please trust me on this. To me, it looks like my sister....."

Israna braced herself, eyes locked onto the child. Child's eyes locked onto her. "Marie, we have to get out of here. If I distract her, because I have this suit, you might be able to go find the rest and alert them..... It might be the only way.... Only, I don't know what I can do with this suit..... It might mean I can only pick up heavy objects, I am pretty sure. I will try and hold her off for as long as I can...."

Instinctively, Israna walked in front of Marie, eyes still locked on the child, who was watching as if they were ants under a magnifying glass. Israna smiled and motioned to Marie, "Go. I will stop her from chasing you if I can. This is the only way."

And then they were air borne. They did not feel a force just that they were suddenly both flying down the 100m corridor at a third the speed of sound. The IDF kicked in, trying to bring the pair to a safe halt. Marie hit the ground first and began rolling trying desperately not to break anything.

Israna hit the far wall with enough force to bend the metal. The frame of the suit protected her from the full impact damage but in doing so it exhausted the last of its power and the glowing strips fluttered and died. Marie finally came to rest next to her.

Israna got up slowly and walked. She should have had broken bones, but she didn't. Did the suit... Protect her. She looked over at Marie who was slumped on the ground and helped her up. "Marie? Are you alright? Anything broken?"

The child turned, having lost interest in them and disappeared around the corner at the far end of the corridor.

Israna sighs and picks up Marie, throwing her over her shoulder. She gets out her radio, which she had forgotten to use up to now, and radios in on her teammates. She tries every signal that she can get.

"Hello? This is Israna? I need immediate help! Repeat, I am calling in for immediate help! HELLO!?"