When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones,
And I will try to fix you.
-Coldplay, “Fix You”
"I'm almost there. Is that reading still just ahead?"
There was a soft crackle, and Elaina felt a slight twitch behind her ear as the sub-dermal communicator activated. “Affirmative, Commander. Another meter or so ahead of you."
Elaina passed the beam of her palm torch across the walls of the Jeffries tube, then back in front of her. She cursed. "I'm at another wall."
"You do know how to use a map, correct?"
There was a slight pause before the other voice responded with a frustrated "Standby." An alert from her tricorder told her the radiation leak was even more intense now that she was closer to Main Engineering. She took the moment to catch her breath and cycle her implants, quickly tapping her fingers on her palm in sequence before reaching up to the separate activator at her temple. There was a barely audible beep, followed by a moment of vertigo as the biomechanical implants removed the building radiation particles from her body. She blinked her eyes a few times and shook her head, trying to clear out the last of the unwelcome dizziness that inevitably came from activating the devices.
"Lieutenant Commander, we're not seeing a bulkhead where you are. Confirm your location?"
Seurer rolled her eyes and passed the beam of the light across the wall to her right. "Five-Seven-Bravo, GNDN three-four-two-niner."
"Copy. There shouldn't be anything in front of you."
Elaina checked again. Sure enough, a large bulkhead sat in her way, with no apparent entry hatch allowing access beyond it. She crawled closer and took a better reading with her tricorder.
"Dock control, can you check my tricorder reading? This is...odd."
"Receiving. Hmm...that is damn peculiar. It would explain the energy drain in that part of the ship."
"But why the hell is there a portable holo-emitter in one of my Jeffries tubes?"
"There shouldn't be, sir. Can you disable it?"
"Hang on, let me see what we've got." She manipulated the controls of her tricorder, searching for a control system to shut off the holographic wall. She huffed in annoyance, snapping her tricorder shut. "Screw it, why not?" She crawled closer, then reached out.
The wall shimmered and flickered as her hand passed through the barrier unimpeded. Smiling, she crawled through the hologram to the other side.
A spear of light flashed past her head, hitting the wall of the tube and raining sparks of molten metal and plastic on her. She pressed herself flat on the floor of the tube and called out, "Hold your fire!"
There was a rustle of movement in front of her, and a nervous voice answered her back. "Who are you?!"
Seurer slowly pushed herself back up and lifted her head. "Lieutenant Commander Seurer, who..." Her voice trailed off as she recognized the disheveled man in front of her. "Seymour?"
Lieutenant Sonia's eyes were wide as he recognized the engineer. His phaser dropped with a metallic clang and he moved forward, mumbling incoherently. He threw his arms around Elaina once he was close enough, and the woman felt him shudder as he cried into her shoulder.
She gently put her arms around him and held him. "It's ok, you're safe.
STAR TREK: ONLINE
Everything was red.
Jessica turned around, taking in everything. Displays flashed "Red Alert" in bright red letters, in time with the steady strobing of the red lights on wall panels and in the ceiling. Engineers in red uniforms raced around the cramped compartment, working their consoles the keep the ship alive or fighting the bright, red fires that burned from open walls. The warp core thrummed steadily, pulsing red and blue lights meeting at a half-way point where matter and anti-matter collided violently, providing the power to the maimed ship.
"I have a visual!"
She turned her head towards the voice. A somber looking Vulcan engineer stood in front of her, then stepped to the side, allowing her to see the large display screen behind him. She took a step forward, and then another, and the screen grew until it was as large as the viewscreen had been on the bridge.
A Starfleet ship was flying through the star-dotted blackness, its spherical primary-hull blackened and scarred from weapons fire. Behind her a giant, cube-shaped ship loomed, growing larger as it closed the distance from the Starfleet ship.
This is like a bad dream from geometry.
The cube fired a sickly-green lance of plasma energy towards the first ship, then another. Mercilessly, it pounded the smaller ship. Explosions rocked it, and its nacelles flickered as the ship began to die.
Jessica turned around, looking at the rest of the gathered officers. "We have to do something!" she screamed.
No one moved; everyone just stood transfixed, watching her or watching the viewscreen, she couldn't tell. The dark room was illuminated from behind her with a bright flash, and she turned back around.
The Starfleet ship hung dead in space, another explosion having just ripped through her damaged hull. There was a brief shudder, and the ship seemed to collapse in upon itself before an even brighter flash erupted from it.
She screamed as the ship blew apart from the core breach, obliterating it completely.
Jessica bolted upright in her bed. Her mouth felt dry and her throat was raw, and she looked around in a panic as she took in the unfamiliar surroundings. After a few ragged breaths and looking around, she closed her eyes and sat still, holding her breath for a few seconds. She released it in a steady exhale and opened her eyes again.
The room was dark; not even the moon was shining outside her window in the night sky. The only illumination was a small alarm clock on the opposite side of the room that showed in large, red numbers that it was only a quarter past two. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could make out the shape of the wardrobe that stood next to the bed, one of its doors open to what seemed an even darker space. A small table stood next to her bed with a PADD on top, the small, dim activation light slowly flashing in its low-powered state.
She rubbed her eyes and stretched, yawning, then shook her head.
It was just a dream. Again.
She licked her dry lips. Deciding she needed a drink, she swung her legs out from under the thick comforter and over the side of the bed. As quietly as she could manage, she stepped down onto the hardwood floor and lightly walked across to the bedroom door.
It was the fifth dream she had had of Vega that she could recall. As she walked down the steps to the kitchen, she decided it certainly wasn't the worst one.
Two nights ago though...
Jessica shivered at the memory, though she was certain the cold, Rhode Island winter night was partly to blame. That dream had ended with her on the bridge of the Rafale, just seconds before it had been targeted and exposed to the cold, silent, and utterly terrifying vacuum of space.
She took down a glass from the cupboard, filling it at the sink. Greedily she gulped down the water, then refilled the glass and drank more. As her parched mouth soaked up the liquid, she hoped she hadn't woken the rest of the house up with her screams.
Though by now, she mused, the rest of the house should have been used to the screaming. If it wasn't her, it most certainly would have been...
The silence was shattered by an ear-piercing scream, and Jessica sighed. She took another gulp of water before tossing the rest and refilling it, and then made her way quickly back out of the kitchen and up the stairs. The screaming continued as she hurried to the bedroom next to hers.
Justine was lying in her bed on her side with her back towards the door, just as she had been the previous ten or twenty times Jessica had completed this ritual; she had lost count after the fifth time. And, as before, Jessica quickly passed through the door and went straight to the bed.
On the bed stand was an assortment of old glasses, each one filled with varying amounts of water. Jessica made a mental note to clean the room of them in the morning. For now, though, she focused on her friend as she sat down on the bed and placed her free hand on Justine's back. She gently rubbed the space between her shoulder blades, whispering "it's ok" again and again to her friend.
Justine began to shudder as she silently sobbed; Jessica stopped rubbing her back, opting instead to place a reassuring hand on her friend's shoulder. She had learned after the first nightmare not to rub her friend's back or run her hand through her hair.
I can't do much of anything, I think.
Lately it seemed that no matter what she tried to do to comfort Justine, it only made the situation worse. A touch, a smell, a phrase, and Justine would be in tears, sobbing even louder. It was the only sound she had made since the battle.
The only sound since Bridget's death.
Jessica winced as a sharp pain like a knife stabbed at her chest at the memory of her slain friend. She had stayed at her post on her own bridge, on the medical ship Merveille, during the battle over Vega. One of thousands of casualties from the bloody return of the Borg. But the only one that matters to us.
Justine's sobs trailed off, and Jessica felt the rise and fall of her small body slow as her breathing steadied.
Jessica leaned over and gave Justine a light kiss to the top of her head before she stood and walked back out of the room, softly shutting the door behind her.
"Jessica, is she alright?"
Jessica turned around, finding herself face to face with Justine's father. She shook her head, looking apologetic. "I don't know, sir. She didn't say anything; she just fell back asleep."
He frowned, sighing. "Merci, Jessica. Goodnight." He turned around, retreating to his own bedroom and closing the door behind him.
She took a drink from the glass she held. She felt like she was failing, and completely unable to do anything about it. Justine never moved from her bed, never ate the food that was brought to her, and hadn't said a word since Bridget's death. Mr. Dubois had hoped being home would have helped her in her grief, but nothing had come of it. He had desperately asked Jessica to come be with Justine, but even her presence wasn't enough to break Justine's coma-like shock.
"Take good care...of both..."
Jessica wiped her eyes, tears welling up as she remembered that last promise Bridget had made her take.
"I'm failing so miserably, Bridg...I'm sorry." She hurried into her room and shut the door, weeping.