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The Prophecies Of Cassandra

Posted on Oct 15, 2018 @ 6:17am by Commander Jacob Crichton & Lieutenant Eve Dalziel & Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Oct 15, 2018 @ 6:17am

Mission: The Uncertainty Principle

"The Prophecies of Cassandra"
(Cont. "Sight to the blind")


Stardate: 2.18.1014.2115
Scene: Turbolift

“...still… wasn’t funny…” said Kass.

Eve almost had the urge to laugh a second time, but it came out as a strained cough instead, which did not sit well with her ribcage. “Either we’re both dead, we’re both alive, or one of us is hallucinating.”

“We’re alive,” Kass replied in a resigned tone. “If we were dead, mah head wouldn’t feel like shit.” The Marine tapped her comm badge. “Thytos to Bridge.” Nothing. She tried again. “Thytos to Sickbay.” Nothing. Again.

“This day just keeps getting better,” Eve grunted. She looked up to the hatch at the top of the compartment, and to the flickering control panel.

“May you live in interestin’ times, and all that,” Kassandra struggled to her feet, eying the hatch as well. She swung one of her arms experimentally, feeling the shoulder with the other hand. She grimaced, then suddenly lifted up the arm and slammed herself into the side of the turbolift, hard. The motion was accompanied by a crunching, popping noise, a stream of rather inventive obscenities from the Marine, and a slight shaking of the turbolift. Kassandra leaned against the wall, making pained almost-whimpers under her breath.

“You alright?” Eve inspected herself, broken ribs, and she’d be black and blue almost everywhere, but she seemed mostly intact.

“Fine,” Kassandra said tightly, before leaning forward and vomiting. Eve started to speak, and Kassandra held up one hand. “I said I’m fine. Can you give me a boost? We need to get out of here.”

Eve made a stirrup with her hands and knelt. Kassandra put one foot in Eve’s hands and pushed herself upwards. Eve stood, augmenting Kassandra’s momentum. For one painful moment the Marine scrabbled with the hatch trying to open it, then suddenly the weight was off of Eve as the Marine tried to pull herself up through the hatch, most of her weight on one arm. Eve reached up, and boosted the Marine the rest of the way through via a firm push on her posterior.

“Hey now, gotta buy me dinner before you do that!” Kassandra said dryly as she leaned back down the hole to grab Eve’s hands.

“Now that’s a lie if ever I heard one. That’s just ‘hello’ to you,” Eve said, matching Kassandra’s light tone. The banter, stilted and out of place as it might seem was comforting, and better than giving in to worry. “Where are we going?”

“Marine barracks,” Kassandra said with a grunt as she pulled Eve up onto the top of the turbolift.

“Marine barracks?” Eve asked with an arched brow. “You’ll forgive me, but that doesn’t seem the best choice. I realized you’re worried about your people, but-”

“Ain’t that, I got good reasons: One, everything hurts, an’ it’s easier to go down n’ up at this point. Two, Sephian my corpsman is there, an’ he can give us first aid. Three, my Marines are down there, an’ they’ve got good old-fashioned field comms that we can send them t’ get set up so at least we all’ll be able to talk t’ each other on. Four, they’ve got augment armor, so they’ll be able to move debris an’ people quickly. Five, it’s near to engineerin’ an’ if there’s a disaster, I’m bettin’ that’s where it’s centered. My people may not be much at fixin’ starships, but they’re at least good at puttin’ out fires an’ luggin’ heavy shit fer people quickly.”

It didn’t take much additional mental gymnastics for Eve to grudgingly side with the Major. Since the comms were down, there’d be safety in numbers, and if Doctor Eden’s experiment had anything to do with their predicament, which all signs pointed to, there was the hope that Engineering could be the location of the solution, as well as the problem. “Lead on,” the Counselor agreed.

Kass turned, reaching for the ladder holds built into the wall of the turbolift shaft. Her hand curled around the first rung…


SCENE: Bridge

“Reverse course,” Jake Crichton said, standing a few feet in front of the CO’s chair.

**They always do that,** Kass thought absently. **As if them standing up means they know what they’re doing,**

These thoughts gave way instantly to a second, less comforting observation:

**Where the hell am I?**

There was a moment of horror as Kass realized she could not turn her head. Before her eyes (which, in the same moment, she realized she could not close) lay the PHOENIX’s bridge, as familiar as any time she had stood upon it. Yet it was different, somehow…. *removed*, somehow, as if it existed beneath some kind of plastic film; she could feel the outlines of what she was seeing, enough to understand what lay beneath, but it was beyond her reach, beyond her ability to touch.

So, she watched.

{{Our position remains unchanged,}} Byte reported from the Ops station. {{Sir, the warp core is showing renewed signs of extreme stress.}}

“How the hell can that be?” Jake said. “There’s nothing out there!”

{{Nevertheless,}} Byte said. {{If we do not power our engines down, I believe there is a serious chance of--}}

The android never finished his sentence. Instead, his console burst before him, spraying bits of molten metal into the hands and faces of anyone unfortunate enough to be standing nearby.

Kass raged against her non-body, trying to rush forward to protect the officers she cared for. Yet in spite of her efforts, this strange sensation of being *removed* somehow from events persisted. Distantly, Kass was aware she could not even see her own nose, nor her cheeks, peeking in from the corners of her vision.

**I’m not here,** she thought wildly.

Byte’s console was not the last to explode. Workstations all across the bridge seemed to burst in a cascade of destruction. A moment later, there came a sickening green heat, spreading across everything she could see. A plasma fire, spurting out from one of the critically destroyed workstations and spreading fast. The ship’s internal safety mechanisms should have put a stop to it… but of course, they were offline.

**Someone should have tested them,** Kass thought madly. **Someone should have-**

As she watched, the fire spread. Quickly, far more quickly than any oxygen-driven fire could have. The officers aboard the bridge were consumed. Kass watched, unable to close the eyes she realized she no longer had, as the people she knew were consumed by flame. Suddenly, looming up before her from out of the conflagration, came Jake Cricthon. His hair had burned away, his cheeks had started to run like putty, and where his eyes had once been, Kass could only see a pair of infinitely black holes….


Scene: Turbolift shaft

“Kass? Kass, Earth to Kass, are you okay?” Eve’s voice brought Kassandra back to the shaft in the turbolift. Kassandra swallowed, and examined herself with her sensor nets. Everything seemed as usual, although she wasn’t a doctor. Maybe she had a concussion. Maybe she was just getting woozy from the cut on her head.

Whatever had just happened, it wasn’t real. Though she hadn’t known it at the time. It had seemed real enough, but now that she was back, grounded in reality, she could identify the myriad of markers that told her it wasn’t so. She could *see* through her own eyes, rather than via the sensor nets that ran under her skin, being the main giveaway. It must have been the result of a concussion and some sort of internal worry about the situation on the rest of the ship.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” Kassandra squeezed herself in between the the rungs of the ladder and the turbolift. It was a claustrophobic fit, but quickly over. She tell that Eve was unconvinced, but chose not to elaborate.

**Or it could have been a premonition…** a nagging thought at the back of her head whispered.

Kassandra tried to shove back the nagging voice. The idea that it had been a premonition was ridiculous. She’d worked long and hard to rid herself of the superstitions that Marines were ridiculed for, and with that came a cynical pragmatism. She couldn’t have been seeing the future because people, credible people, anyway, just *didn't*.

**Or your gut trying to tell you something…** the thought had changed. Clearly her brain was determined that she accept what she’d seen and was helping her rationalize it. Kassandra did, and always had, prided herself on her gut.

“Dammit,” Kassandra said out loud with a sigh.

“What’s the matter?” Eve asked from above her.

“Just realized we should probably stop in Engineering first. Gotta figure out what they need, may need full suits, or special rebreathers dependin’ on the situation,” Kassandra lied. There was absolutely no way that she was going to tell Eve that she’d had some sort of fit due to possible brain damage, that now she couldn’t stop thinking about it, and *that* was why they had to change their plans. **And while we’re there, I can tell them to take the warp core to minimum power and cut everything else to emergency power only. Malin Argo thinks I’m about as worth listening to as a hyperspanner, but Asta and Lynette’ll give me a fair shake, and I can bully Maynell into doing what I want. As for Doctor Eden, well…**

Kassandra didn’t like Doctor Eden whatsoever, in fact, her feelings were actively hostile. Their one and only encounter had gone something like this:

* * *=(/\)=* * *

Scene: A Turbolift, earlier that day

Kassandra: Good evenin’ Dr. Eden. Name’s Kassandra Thytos, pleased t’ meetchya.

Dr Eden (looking down her nose at Kassandra): I beg your pardon? Was that even English? And before you ask, I don’t remember you.

Kassandra: No reason you should, I ain’t a former student or nothing.

Dr Eden: or anything.

Kassandra: What?

Dr Eden (enunciating slowly): You *aren’t* a former student or *anything.*

Kassandra (momentarily stunned): Ah.

(Awkward silence)

Kassandra (making an effort to speak ‘properly’): Uh, so, Dr. Eden, your work sounds fascinating-

Dr Eden: Does it now. Forgive me, exactly who are you? If you haven’t taken my class, you certainly aren’t a Starfleet officer, and you most definitely are not a trained astrophysicist or I would have met you at a conference, and you wouldn’t speak like you were suffering from some sort of brain deficiency.

Kassandra (backpedalling): Ah, well ma’am, I’m the MCO- that is- the Marine Commandin’ -Commanding- Officer. I uh, I command the Marines-

Dr. Eden (dismissively): I have neither the time, nor the inclination to discuss my research in simplistic enough terms that you’d understand it. Good day.

(The turbolift continues to descend. It takes Kassandra a moment to realize she’s just been called stupid, the silence becomes more awkward.)

Kassandra (trying to salvage the encounter, smiles winningly): Uh, so, did you catch the parrises squares finals? Quite the game wasn’t it?

(Kassandra fails her fellowship roll)

Dr. Eden (withering stare).

(Awkward silence)

(Kassandra gets off at the next floor to escape)

* * *=(/\)=* * *

Scene: Turboshaft, present

The long and short of it was that Kassandra’d quite cheerfully throw Dr. Eden out an airlock if she got in the way and possibly even if she didn’t, just for the satisfaction of it.

“You’re worried about Asta, aren’t you,” Eve asked gently, sensing a quiet in the Major that wasn’t her style and mistaking it for concern for her niece that she didn’t wish to share. “Of course we can stop in Engineering to check on her.”

Kassandra felt relief. She’d known that Eve would have figured out there she had a ulterior motive for the sudden change in destination and had worried that the counselor would push her on it. **Last thing I need at this minute is to get sidelined for med and psych evals.**

“Yeah, that’s it. Let’s hurry up.” Kassandra shoved open the hatch to the main floor of Engineering and waved Eve in. Now all she had to do was find Asta, Maynell, or Lynette, and get them to power down the warp core…


Scene: Engineering

“I do not require a babysitter,” Doctor Eden snapped at the Ensign trying to monitor her vitals.

Rokossovsky sighed, but persisted. Doctors always made the worst patients. Even non-medical Doctors. “You took a jolt from whatever the ship ran across. It’s important that we make sure you’re okay.”

The elderly woman huffed, but did not appear to be in any physical condition to move away from the earnest medic. “If I had wanted to be patronized, I would have stayed on the Bridge.”

The junior officer sighed and plastered on a smile. “Well, we don’t always get what we want, do we?”

Lorraine Eden snorted. “Indeed.”

Meanwhile, Malin-Argo had been moving around Engineering with a purposeful urgency. His orders were meant to bring control back from chaos, and safety from uncertainty. While he needed to be fully present to lead the various teams, he was not above lending a helping hand here and there to accommodate the injured they had lost, which had affected productivity.

He hadn’t intended to send Ensign Ryan or anyone else to the Bridge. They required every available person on task and dedicated. He absentmindedly touched his forehead. He wasn’t in pain or obviously injured. He remembered everything since the ship had shuddered violently to a stop in the middle of apparently nowhere and nothing. However, while Ryan was attempting to boot up LCARS, he’d seen something. Something he couldn’t explain, or even quantify. An out of body experience? He scoffed at the idea, but that made it feel no less real. Being a man of mechanics gave him reason to dismiss the thoughts, but the catastrophe he witnessed in his mind’s eye was too strong to ignore. It made him decide that command needed to have that information sooner, rather than later.

The Grazerite then heard the scuffling near the Turbolift over the chaos and din of the department under his command. Before he could further address the issue, the door parted clumsily and two officers hoisted themselves in, looking somewhat worse for wear. It was the Marine Commander and the Counselor.

Kass started to speak, her greeting stilted by the fact that she was bent over, taking in some deep breaths after the exertion needed for them to get here. The good shoulder that hadn’t been dislocated was now throbbing in pain. “Sorry ta drop in on ya like this.”

* * *=(/\)=* * *

NRPG: Woo? Post!

A joint post brought to you by:

Alix Fowler
Kassandra Thytos
Possible psychic, or crazy person

Susan Ledbetter
Eve Dalziel
A very rational Counselor

Shawn Putnam


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