NOVEMBER 2003

Authors: Cmdr. Cerise Rae & Lt. Cmdr. James Fletcher
Title: Above the Clouds #1 "A New Beginning"
ON:

[Ready Room]
[USS Casey]

Commander Cerise Rae hummed a quiet little tune to herself as she flipped through the various duty assignments and the active crew roster. Taking the time to jot down a few notes of relative importance she pondered over the thought of changing things around a bit.

Of course she would seek the advice and opinion of Lieutenant Commander No'Cho as she didn't want to seem like she was trying to undermine her new crew yet again.

Her recent introductory meeting with Lieutenant Commander Hope Thornton went rather well but she understood that the good Doctor was a bit uneasy around her. She would, in time, have to come to fix that. Glancing back down she noticed a new arrival had come aboard - one Cadet Ryan King. Rae made a mental note to speak to him as soon as she could.

And speaking of speaking to people she turned her attention back to the viewscreen of her computer terminal where she had received a note from General Brett Michaels less than half an hour ago. He wanted to speak with her. Figuring she had put him off long enough, she rose from her chair and made her way back towards the space dock.

[USS Milton]
[Fletcher's Quarters]

James had returned to the ship to take a final look around. She was still easily capable of spaceflight, but simply unable to live up to current Starfleet safety standards. If she was lucky, she may get sold to a civilian organisation.

Checking his messages, he found several of the crew had already been told, and seemed to be expecting him to fix whatever was wrong. Another two messages were from Amy, but one interested James more that even that... a message from General Michaels, on the Starbase. Puzzled, Fletcher rose from his chair and headed for the docking port...

[General Michael's Office]
[Starbase 11]

Since the news of Admiral Carl Meherrit's decline in health reached the heads of StarFleet Command, General Brett Michaels found his job three times more tasking. Mostly due to the fact that Meherrit was behind in his respective duties and they were turning to him to fix it. Needless to say he was not amused.

His first standing order, however, was to remedy a growing situation in nearby Cardassian space. A situation involving a planet known as Josk. A planet that was apparently in danger. From what he could tell StarFleet was relying on the hopes of a select few and if they listened worth a damn those select few would be making an appearance before him shortly.

And almost as if on cue, he heard the familiar chime of the door and he barked out a gruff 'enter' as the rather annoyed looking brunette all but stomped through the door.

One down, one to go.

Just as the doors began to close, they sensed the rapidly approaching man, and opened again as Fletcher quickly slipped through.

"General." He nodded, before turning to the nearby female officer. "Commander."

"Take a seat, both of you, now," Michaels nearly barked with authority.

Sharing a small glance the two guests moved to the closest chairs and sat down. Satisfied with this, Michaels moved back around behind his desk and picked up the PADD he had been previously looking at.

"Are either of you aware of a planet called Josk?" Michaels questioned.

Josk, now there was a name James hadn't heard for a while. A name that brought back some very unpleasant memories...

"Yes sir." Fletcher answered, obviously uncomfortable.

Twirling her thumbs about, Rae merely raised an eyebrow. Sure she had heard of the place before but she never visited it. She was ceasing to see the relevance of her being here.

"Tell me what you know about it and leave no details out," Michaels spoke again, taking his own seat.

"Well sir," he began "It's a planet on the edges of Federation space, near the Cardassian border. It's people were protected by the Prime Directive, too primitive for contact. When the Dominion War started, they invaded and occupied the planet."

After a pause, he continued.

"As you both know, the first few months of the war didn't go well for us, we always seemed to be on the retreat. Eventually though, the Fourth Fleet engaged the Dominion near Josk and defeated them. By this time the planet had been under their control for almost two years."

Fletcher became more emotional as he spoke.

"The Appalachia was part of that fleet, and I was one of the first to go down to the planet after it was freed. You've all heard stories of what Bajor was like during the occupation, but this was even worse... The entire population was enslaved, starving. Most of them had Cardassian diseases, their immune systems couldn't handle them."

During all this Rae had kept a pensive gaze locked on the other man occupying the room. This was beginning to remind her of her adventures in Romulan terriority and amazingly enough she was beginning to see where this was going. Michaels was setting them both up. However she awaited for Fletcher to continue.

"The Federation council decided that, since the Prime Directive had already been violated, and the Joskans had already seen the Dominion's high tech equipment, there was no problem in helping them out. Most of the fleet made orbit of Josk, we continued to conduct raids against nearby Dominion bases and shipyards, but we'd always come back to Josk to supply aid and assistance."

"Eventually we were ordered away, we left the Mentu in orbit to continue the aid mission while the rest of us moved onto the Chin'Toka system. As far as I know, she's still there."

Sitting quietly with his eyes still trained to the PADD in his hand, Michaels again rose from his seat. "A number of hours ago I was contacted by StarFleet Command regarding the Joskan situation.

It appears the USS Mentu has been destroyed. Possibly a warp core breach but I am uncertain at this time. StarFleet requests the Casey to temporarily assume it's current mission of aid and support until a more suitable vessel can make it's arrival known."

Fletcher was stunned. After a few moments, a single question entered his head...

"Survivors?"

Michaels shook his head. "None, and the Joskans have no idea what happened. None of their ships were nearby when it happened."

"What are our orders then Sir?" Rae asked, her eyebrow raising again.

Michaels reached down in front of him and lifted two additional PADDs. Glancing over them momentarily, he handed them forth. "Fletcher is to accompany you to the planet where he will interact with it's occupants. During this time he will also assume the role of Command Officer."

BAM! It was like getting smacked in the mouth. Command Officer, surely this was a joke? Stunned, James looked over at Rae.

"Are... you sure sir? The Casey already has a Commanding Officer. In fact, isn't this her?"

"In fact it certainly is," Rae interjected, equally shocked. "More so I haven't even technically been in command for more than 24 hours and this is something StarFleet is fully aware of. Neither of us are qualified to lead that vessel into a situation like this."

Michaels waved a hand in request of silence. "I am well aware of that Commander. However StarFleet is not willing to compromise. The situation is grave. I trust both of you are capable enough to sort this problem and be under way shortly."

Keeping her comment to herself, Rae glanced over at Fletcher, trying to access his thoughts.

"General," Fletcher began, "I haven't been near that planet in four years. I don't know the current situation."

"All relevant information will be sent to you before you go." Michaels responded. "Our engineering teams should have already started installing an Industrial Replicator in the Casey's cargo bay, should prove useful. I expect you to be gone by this time tomorrow."

Rising from her respective seat, Rae nodded her head. "Understood Sir." Turning her attention back to Fletcher she attempted to convey her wishes to speak with him the minute they were out the door.

Fletcher nodded to Rae, then stood as well.

"You are sure a ship will be sent to relieve us?"

Michaels leaned back in his chair. "As soon as we find one that is up to the task, yes. Dismissed."

The two officers turned and left the room.

Once outside and far away from the corridor as to not be overheard, Rae finally broke the silence. "So Commander, what are your true thoughts about all this?"

"I... can't understand why Starfleet's done this. You outrank me! How is this supposed to work?"

Rae smiled slightly. "Apparently they believe you're the right man for the job and between the two of us you are far more experienced in this culture than I. However, that does leave us with the fact that despite you being given temporary command you are not experienced with the Casey itself.

More so considering that I too lack that skill just yet I am going to suggest that you take up on the experience of the Casey's current Executive Officer. He shall lessen the burden for you."

James was still apprehensive with Rae. He just had to ask...

"Doesn't it bother you? I mean, If I take command, and your XO keeps his job, what will you do?"

Rae paused for a moment and then continued with her steps. "I suppose in a way it bothers me but if you had any idea what I've dealt with in the years of my career you'd understand that I'm use to the unexpected. And with Commander Nirva gone for the time being I suppose I could take up residency in engineering. That is, after all, what my first assignment was."

"Well, if that's OK with you then it's OK with me. I just wonder how the crew is going to react when they hear about this..."

OFF

A JP by:

LtCmdr James Fletcher
Acting Commanding Officer
USS Casey NCC-52620

and

Cmdr Cerise L Rae
Acting Chief Engineer
USS Casey NCC-52620

OCTOBER 2003

Authors: LtCdr. Nirva Jesso, LtCdr. Korvark, LtCdr. Hope Thornton MD, Ensign Suta MD
Title: "Just Desserts", Shoreleave #9
ON:

<<USS Casey, Science Lab 1>>

Korvark finally came down from that point of anger which he went to when he blindly wanted to destroy something, perhaps it was age that was tempering his anger, or his time with Gronk his pet tribble, what ever it was he saw the blood on his hands and the mess of the com panel and formed a quizzical look on his face, he had still some growing up to do.

The sound of the doors opening made him jump, a guilty look forming on his face as he looked around an saw Nirva enter.

Korvark hid his bleeding hand behind him to try and hide his guilt.

Jesso looked around the room with a puzzled look on his face.

"What happened?" He asked, confused.

Korvark had a guilty look as he looked away then shuffled aside to reveal the smashed com panel.

"The com panel, it broke", was all he said as the blood from his hand dripped down onto the floor for all to see.

Then Korvark blurted it out needing to share his pain, "The Capt. is leaving"

Nirva actually staggered back slightly at hearing that.

"Are... you sure? Who told you?"

Korvark glared back at Nirva, it was a reaction of pain, of weakness in his own mind of what he felt of the whole situation.

"I was reporting in just before, Cdr. Walker is gone too, the ships computer told me I had to make a dept. report, I thought to Pike but it said it was to Rae. On top of that, the events Hope and I witnessed in Adm. Mehrrit's office told me that fat slug wants Pike out of the way."

Korvark enhanced this by balling his bleeding fist and smacking it into his other hand, he then looked up in guilt, "Sorry bout the panel."

Jesso smiled.

"No problem, that's easily fixed. Maybe you should head down to sickbay? Get that hand looked at?"

Korvark looked down at his hand noticing the blood for the first, then looking back up at Nirva, "What about Pike?", as he walked towards the door, "Come with me I ...I need to talk to someone about the Capt."

Nirva walked along side the Klingon scientist.

"I don't think there's anything we can do. If she really is leaving then all we can do is try to make the best of it."

Korvark was downcast in his demeanour, Pike was like a mother to him, a thought he kept to himself and felt lost and deserted but knew that what will be was, "How shall we see her off then?"

Just then they entered the sickbay where Suta and Hope were discussing something.

Suta noticed the two walk in the room immediately. Hope was on her way to her office, when Suta directed the two to biobed 1. He ran a tricorder over the Klingon's hand. Noticing the small fragments of Com station pieces in the wound, he looked up at the Science Officer.

"Have you been battling the computers again, Lt. Commander?" He asked with a dry sense of humour.

Korvark gave Suta a smarmy look, "Yes the com panel fought me for seconds before I defeated it when I strangled it", eyeing him meaningfully. Korvark then looked to Hope accusingly.

"You know don't you; you know she's leaving, can't you stop her?"

Hope gave Korvark a dark look, which was rare for Hope.

Thornton: Korvark, even if I knew the reasons, and I'm not saying yes or no, I can't give out any details. That's up to our Captain. Er I mean ex-captain.

Korvark looked skyward momentary, a room full of bright professionals but no one with an answer, "What do we do about the Capt. then, she's still leaving, we can't let her fade away like she was never here"

Suta continued to auto-suture Korvark's hand. He had silently listened to Hope's denial, not adding anything. But now he looked up. "If we truly respect and admire someone, we will keep them in our hearts and they will not fade away."

Jesso had been standing back, in a nearby corner, listening to the conversation. Now he spoke up.

"That's a nice thought. But it just doesn't feel like enough. That said, I don't know what else we can do. It's not like we can make a difference."

Hope didn't like that thought. "I think we can, Jesso. Amanda has meant a lot to us and we should be able to find some way in our own humbleness to show her we care and will miss her. I know I speak for everyone who's served with her." Hope looked at the others for their opinions.

Korvark moved his hand involuntary as he felt a jab of pain at Suta's handiwork, "My people honour those who live, those who die, we also honour them in times of celebration. She should be made to suffer that fate for the good of her crew."

Nirva slowly walked towards the others.

"That's an interesting idea..."

Korvark perked up," I can bring the painsticks, we each get one and have her run the gauntlet?", he was joking of course.

Hope smiled at this. "And of course I'd have to be the one handling all medical situations along with Suta."

Suta looked around at the all the suggestions. "I was under the impression that celebrations were supposed to be pleasurable events, and that medical assistance should not normally be required."

Nirva grinned at that. "Well, not normally no."

Hope thought of a funny idea. "Let's send the captain off with one of our famous food parties. Maybe even a food fight can be ordered."

Korvark grinned this he understood, "Its settled then", jerking his hand free of Suta and feeling the near seamless work he'd done on his hand, "We capture the Capt., make her stand amongst the crew and suffer the adulation of her friends, can't cannot think of a more fitting fate HA!"

Nirva spoke up again. "Well, you could have thought of a nicer way to say that, but it sounds like a good idea. Don't know about the food fight though... Not after what happened last time..."

Korvark looked at Nirva wondering what he'd said wrong then shrugged, his mind already thinking of ways to get Pike back, perhaps a transport beam into the mess hall with the crew all waiting, Korvark caught Hope looking in his direction and just smiled at her growing horrified look on her face when he pictured himself spanking her for being a bad Betazoid.

"Perhaps just a simple celebration meal, at least to lure our ... victim to the appointed area. Whatever happens afterward would just be an outgrowth of the gathering," Suta suggested.

Hope nodded. "I agree. Now to try and do all this without the captain getting wind of it all. We need to get her there. Any suggestions?" Hope looked at the others.

Nirva spoke. "Well, we could always get someone to distract her, keep her on the base until we can get things set up?"

Suta looked at Hope. "The person who would most likely succeed in that would be a close friend, do you not agree, Dr. Thornton?"

Hope looked at Suta. "Actually, I was about to suggest the same thing. There's a few things I need to sort out with her before she leaves, so this can be the right time to do it. Just tell me when and where and what time. I'll make sure I get Amanda there."

Nirva thought for a moment. "The Mess Hall...? It's a bit on the small side, but we could use it?"

"I am certain we could make do. I shall contact Lysandra. I am certain she will wish to assist. We could also ask one or two other trusted officers to help us in setting up the Mess Hall," Suta suggested.

Hope looked at Jesso. "So when do you want me to leave. I can go find Amanda now and have her to the mess hall in a few hours, unless you think that's too soon?"

Jesso leaned against the wall and grinned. "I think we can throw something together by then... just keep her distracted for a while."

Hope smiled. "I'm off then." Hope walked out of Sickbay.

<<A few hours later>>
<<USS Casey, Mess Hall>>

The lights are off. The spacedock interior outside the ship throws a soft blue glow on everything. In the near darkness, several people huddle together and carry out whispered conversations.

"Careful, don't knock over the table."

"You're stepping on my arm!"

"Sorry, who are you again?"

<<Outside the mess hall>>

"Hope, why are we coming here? I wanted to stay on the base."

Hope just pulled Amanda with her. "I forgot a PaDD I left in the mess hall. It happens to be yours. You don't want all the crew to find it do you?"

Amanda sighed. "I guess not"

Hope smiled. "Come on."

"They're coming. Get ready. One Two Three.."

All: *as the two women enter the room* SURPRISE!!!!

The lights shot up, and there was most of the crew, packed into the small room. There were tables laid out with food, and a banner across the ceiling which read, "Farewell Captain Pike, We'll Miss You!"

OFF

A JP by:

LtCmdr Nirva Jesso
Chief Engineer

and

LtCdr. Korvark
Science Officer

and

LT CDR Hope Thornton MD
Chief Medical Officer

and

Ensign Suta MD
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Casey

SEPTEMBER 2003

Authors: Lt. Cmdr. Hope Thornton MD and Lt. Cmdr. Nirva Jesso
Title: In The Realm of the Senses #84
ON:

<<Starbase 11, Medical>>

Nirva quickly approached Dr Thornton, still with tears streaked down his face. He hoped she was able to hear him.

Nirva: Is it true? Has a cure been found?

Hope was busy working on the child when she heard Nirva in her head. It was the sweetest thing to hear in awhile. Hope turned around and looked at Nirva.

Thornton: Yes, a cure has been found. If you hold on for a moment, I'll get a hypo for you. Is there any other crew that you know of who need to be treated?

Nirva: Elani... she hasn't got much time left.

Hope walks over to where the hypos were with Nirva following behind her.

Thornton: Where is she? I'll have to accompany you to her to make sure she can handle the cure.

Jesso led the doctor over to the unconscious Bajoran, he moved to Tamra's side and took her hand.

Nirva: Elani, it's OK. The doctor has a cure for you. Just hold on...

Hope walked over to Elani. She felt for a pulse and barely got one. Hope took out her tricorder to check Elani's vitals.

Thornton: We better pray that this will take affect for her soon. She doesn't have much time.

Hope takes the hypo and administers it to Elani.

Thornton: If it's to work, it will take about 10 minutes. While we're waiting, let's get you cured too.

Hope gives Nirva his injection while they wait to see if Elani makes it or not.

Nirva: Thanks. How long does it take to work?

Thornton: It varies. Some it works right away, others it takes a little longer. Hopefully no more then 10 minutes. I'm just not sure if Elani has that much time. Let me know if you start feeling some changes.

Jesso shook his head.

Nirva: Nothing yet.

Suddenly he noticed something... the smell of the room. Sweat, blood and chemicals. His sense of smell had returned. Jesso shrugged slightly, he hadn't even realised he had lost it.

Thornton: *Sensing Nirva's sense of wonder* Is everything ok?

Nirva: Huh? Oh... yeah. Just got my sense of smell back. *sniffs* Although, I kind of wish I didn't.

Hope laughs at that. The smells around weren't the best, but Hope was used to it.

Thornton: OK, let me know if there's any other changes.

Hope takes out her tricorder and checks Elani. Her vitals were improving slowly.

Thornton: Elani seems to be accepting the cure, but she still needs to be monitored. I just hope she wakes up soon.

Nirva: You're not the only one...

Jesso kisses Elani's hand.

Nirva: Come on... Wake up...

Hope keeps a vigil with Nirva on Elani's vitals which keep improving by the minute. Hope just wished Elani would come to fast.

Thornton: Let me see if I can revive her.

Hope picks up another hypo and puts it to Elani's neck. Elani slowly opens her eyes.

Jesso smiled, his face lit up.

Nirva: Hi. Are you OK?

Tamra just looked around, confused. She tried to speak but nothing happened.

Nirva: Of course... it'll still take a while for her senses to come back?

Hope was glad to see Elani's eyes open. She turned to Nirva.

Thornton: I need to go check on other patients. *out of the corner of her eye, Hope sees Sherry fighting with the Captain. Is that Captain Pike over there?

Nirva: Yeah, it is. I wonder what's happening.

Thornton: I don't know. I probably should go over and check. If Captain Pike has this virus it could affect...

Hope stops before she gives out Captain Pike's medical history.

Thornton: I'm going to go over and check on the Captain. Let me know if any more changes take place.

Nirva: ...All right, I will.

Hope gave Nirva a smile and then walked away leaving him alone with Elani.

Jesso brushed Elani's hair away from her face.

Nirva: It's all right... Everything's going to be all right...

There was a distant roar... the sound of a great wave... and Jesso's ears popped. One second later his head was filled with the screams and cries of a packed Medical Facility. His hearing had returned.

OFF

JP by

LT CDR Hope Thornton MD
Chief Medical Officer
and

LtCmdr Nirva Jesso
Chief Engineer
USS Casey NCC-52620

AUGUST 2003

Author: Lt Cdr Hope Thornton
Title: Shoreleave #88
ON:

==Hope's quarters==

Hope was sitting in her quarters waiting for her dad to bring Kayla back. Hope was trying to prepare herself in how to tell Kayla that her grandmother was dead. As Hope sat there in thought, the doors to her quarters opened and in ran Kayla followed more slowly by her father.

Kayla(npc): Mommy...guess what, guess what?

Thornton: What Honey?

Kayla: Grandpa wants to take me to earth and visit the different amusement parks.

Hope looked at her father who gave Hope a sly smile.

Thornton: Let me talk to your grandfather about this. Go to your room for a moment.

Kayla: But mom...grandpa said it would help me to not grieve over grandma's passing.

Hope lifted her head sharply and looked at her father who gave Hope a guilty look.

Ian(npc): She caught me at a week moment and picked it up.

Kayla: I'm sorry mommy for going into grandpa's thoughts. He was so sad.

Thornton: *Sighing* It's okay honey. Why don't you go to your room for a little while so grandpa and I can talk.

Kayla skipped off to her room. Hope motioned for her father to sit down.

Thornton: OKay daddy, what's this about earth?

Ian: Hope, I think it would be good for her. A group of girls from Betazed in training like Kayla are going on this trip. I'm going as one of the sponsors and supervisers. I want to taike Kayla with us. It'll be good training for her plus she'll have a lot of fun.

Thornton: I don't know dad. I've only had her around for a few months.

Ian: Honey, I know you love your daughter, but she can't be cooped up on a ship all the time. Plus she needs to be around these children at least some.

Thornton: I suppose you're right. I just hate to be separated from her again.

Ian: I know, honey, but it won't be for long. Then you and she will be back together again.

Thornton: OK. I'll let her go, but you have got to promise me you'll watch out for her and I want her writing to me each night.

Ian: *Laughing* Yes mom.

Kayla came running out of her quarters before Hope could call her.

Kayla: Yay. Thank you mommy.

Hope laughed. She should have known Kayla would listen onto the conversation.

Thornton: Come on. Let's get you packed. *Hope turns to her dad* How long before you leave?

Ian: Two hours. Why don't we get Kayla's things together and go to the station for an early dinner before our transport leaves?

Hope liked the idea. The three of them went to Kayla's room and helped her pack and get her things together.

== an hous and a half later==
==the starbase==

Hope, Kayla and her father were just finishing up their meal at Catala's. Kayla was starting to get sleepy. It was getting close to the time when Hope's father's ship was about to leave.

Thornton: Let's go for a walk for a bit.

They left Catala's and walked down the promenade. They stopped at one store and walked in. Kayla ran to the area that housed the toys.

Kayla: Mommy, can I get something?

Thornton: Sure honey.

Kayla looked through the toys and picked up two matching teddy bears holding a heart. The heart came apart to make the bears separate.

Kayla: Mommy, I want these.

Hope and Kayla went up to pay for their purchases. Hope had also grabbed a few other things. After they made their purchases, it was time for them to head to the ship that was to take Kayla away.

Once they arrived, Hope pulled out a special package for Kayla.

Thornton: Don't open this until you're on Earth.

Kayla: I won't mommy. *Kayla pulls out one half of the teddy bears* Mommy, I want you to have this part. When we get back together, we can put both halves back.

Hope tried to hide the tears from her eyes as she hugged Kayla. She then hugged her dad telling him again to take care of Kayla. Hope watched as they disappeared and then went over to the observation lounge to watch their ship leave. As soon as it was gone, Hope made her way back to the Casey and instead of going to her quarters she decided to head to sickbay to do nothing.

OFF:

LT CDR Hope Thornton MD
Chief Medical Officer
USS Casey

JULY 2003

Author: Ensign Suta
Title: "Portends" Shoreleave #61
ON:

<< Delirium Dream >>

Suta came to consciousness in a strange place. It was misty and unclear. He slowly walked around, cautiously exploring. His senses told him nothing.

Then a cool wind blew some of the mist away. And he saw a figure before him. It was a giant snake, with many different colors and patterns on her long back. She was slowly coiling, back and forth. The effect was hypnotic.

The realization suddenly hit him - He was dead. Dropping to both knees, he spoke reverently.

Suta: Great Mother, how can I serve you in this afterworld?

Great Mother: Rise, my child. You have not passed yet.

The Selay officer didn't know what to say or ask. Fortunately, she continued to speak.

Great Mother: You have endeavored to honor me by coming to this strange dangerous place. My eyes have seen you. I will, therefore, grant you two blessings.

Suta: Thank You, O Great Mother.

Great Mother: Do not thank me too quickly. Blessings bring about change, and change can be difficult and out of your control.

Suta: I see.

Great Mother: The first is this: You have it within you to be a great healer. Your assistance to the other healers is admirable, but you should be healing WITH them, not just assisting them. You would bring more completeness to the universe to do so. I want you to complete your studies and become a full 'Doctor'.

Suta: Yes, Great Mother.

Great Mother: The other blessing is this: I approve of the mate you have chosen.

Suta: I am gratified, Great Mother.

Great Mother: Hold onto her. For it will not be a simple thing. This warm-blood you have chosen has spirit, and you will both need that. This pairing is the first of it's kind that this universe has seen. And the first to walk down a path always find obstacles. But if you persist, you will triumph.

Suta: We shall.

Great Mother: Once you finish your Gararna, you will discover a sign of the changes that I have foreseen. That is my bond to you of these things. But now, it is time for you to return now.

Suta: How shall I find my way?

Great Mother: Lisssten...

As if from a great distance, Suta began to hear something. It was very soft at first, but gradually got louder.

...a .....ta .......uta .......suta .......Suta

He recognized it immediately as Lysandra's voice, calling to him. It was his beacon back.

Great Mother: Go to her, my child. And remember, my eyes always watch over you.

Suta bowed reverently, and turned and walked into the mist, following the voice of his mate.

<< Reynola IX, the Woods >>

Suta awoke, this time in the real world. He realized the giant spider was still dragging him. But the fact that he woke up at all meant that his system was fighting a winning battle against the venom that had been pumped into his system. But he was still very weak. Suta made no attempt to alert the spider to the fact of his consciousness.

Suta remembered the dream, in all it's vivid detail. But now he had to deal with the problem at hand. He had to file it away for the present, and review it later.

And then he heard something that sounded like it was from the dream. It was Lysandra's voice, calling to him. But it seemed far away, and faintly electronic.

Gibbons: =/\= Suta!

Suta saw a quick flash of light ahead of him. And he realized what it was. It must be where he had dropped the Com badge.

He had to get it! Testing the muscles in his arm very slowly, he found he could move them but it took alot of energy. His timing would have to be perfect.

The giant spider was pulling him along the ground. His legs and hands dragged on the ground, leaving a vague imprint. They got closer and closer. And as they passed by the badge, Suta scooped it up in his taloned hand. It was subtle move, designed not to draw attention to it. A very serpentine move.

Suta waited until they brushed against some dry tree branches. The noise covered up his clicking the badge on, so a Com channel was open. Hopefully, they would be able to home in on the signal and rescue him.

Suta thought to himself, "Find me, Lyss. Find me!"

OFF:

Ensign Suta
Physician's Mate
USS Casey




home page
next page