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The Fallen Queen Part 1

Posted on Wed Oct 18th, 2023 @ 9:56am by Nollel Livaam (*) & Dr. Izriel "Jaxx" Lonn

Mission: Fractures
Location: SS Mary Rose (derelict)
Timeline: 2424
2879 words - 5.8 OF Standard Post Measure

There had only been a few times in his entire life where Izriel had woken up in pitch black darkness. This was partially the responsibility of his mother's attention to detail and the fact that no room in her house was without some method of casting at least a pale ambience, no matter the time of day. It also had at least something to do with his penchant for falling asleep where he shouldn't, usually in the middle of personal study or an off-duty tendency to bring patient files home for additional scrutiny. In recent years, his wife preferred to sleep with some form of hallway light on and the arrival of their son had ensured that habit wasn't going to disappear any time soon. It was likely trite to say as much, but Izriel was usually a man perpetually surrounded by light.

Most of the time.

If he was called upon to the recall the times where he could vividly remember what a complete absence of light felt like, Jaxx would not have described any of the experiences as being particularly pleasant. This didn't translate to an admission of any particular reticence; he certainly wasn't afraid of the dark, but he also didn't prefer it and wasn't entirely sure why anyone would. It was confusing, suffocating, and even to a telepath, reduced the world to a level of mystery that wasn't exactly a comfort.

Especially to a telepath. Psionic interpretation relied more on the other senses than his people liked to admit sometimes.

Thus far, none of those experiences had amounted to anything quite like this. The disorientation of having been in a perfectly well-lit Sickbay one minute and then plunged into such pervasive darkness that even the swish of his own hand in front of his face didn't register as movement, was jarring in a way that the doctor had never been forced to consider before. It didn't take him long to realise that another aspect of his trepidation was the sudden, extreme loss of connection, the sensation of being utterly alone in a situation where there should have been at least several other people present. A power outage, even one that had knocked out emergency lighting, would have only been a concern from the point of view of easy navigation and the possibility that other life support systems had been similarly jeopardised. As the hair on the back of his neck rose, Jaxx exhaled slowly with the care of a man who wasn't yet sure if he wanted to be overheard.

A groping hand in the dark risked unwanted discovery in favour of seeking some sort of clarification of location.


Nollel awoke abruptly, her body shivering in the frigid darkness of the corridor. Panic surged through her as she struggled to remember how she ended up there, alone in the dark. Her disorientation was intensified by the eerie silence that enveloped her, broken only by the faint hum of something that sounded like the wind but she could not be a 100% sure .

As she pushed herself off the cold metal floor, Nollel's heart pounded in her chest. Her breath formed icy clouds in the air, emphasising the ship's bone-chilling cold which she was glad to be wearing her flight suit which seemed to at least keep her body if not her fingers warm. She strained her eyes in vain to see any signs of life or a way out. Her fingers fumbled along the walls, searching for guidance or reassurance. Confusion gripped her as she tried to remember what she had been doing, but the details remained elusive. She stayed silent as she fumbled along the corridor first tripping over something and secondly misjudging a turn and walking into a bulkhead.


He wasn't sure when it had first become obvious, preoccupied as he'd become with the way each breath seemed to burn his lungs. Jaxx understood the nature of the freezing temperatures, at least insofar as there didn't seem to be anything nearby capable of generating heat, but as he'd slowly picked his way around the scattered furniture, the Betazoid had become aware of two overwhelmingly prominent things. Firstly, wherever he was, there had been some sort of event that had reduced the room to chaotic disarray. Secondly, there was a breeze.

It took several minutes of standing there, paused amidst the rubble, for a third point to make itself known.

He could see. Kind of.

More than that was the revelation that vision was being aided by the very faintest illumination from far overhead. Not the miraculous survival of a light emitter but a far more ethereal glow that revealed itself as the remnants of filtered moonlight. Or starlight. From his vantage, it was difficult to tell, but as the very blurry outlines became slightly more distinct blobs, the doctor settled into the slow realisation that a portion of the overhead ceiling was completely absent. Through it, the eerie ambience did little more than to elevate the uneasiness but closer extension of his other senses permitted Jaxx to catalogue a series of additional clues. The slow trickle of water, possibly the result of the weather but more likely the simple displacement of a stagnant pool now overflowing. The return of a slight puff of wind strong enough to navigate the exposed hull when the blustering squalls swung direction back at a particular angle. Very, very distantly, he thought he could make out the susurration of insects, but consideration of the possibility prompted Lonn to renew his efforts to locate a door. If something had happened, and the ship was now, as it seemed, grounded and thoroughly exposed to the elements, he wasn't keen to stick around to find out what else might prowl around in the night. He winced as his shin made contact with the leg of a fallen table and felt his way towards the wall with hands that promptly began groping for a door release.


Noelle was ever practical in a crisis as she gripped along the wall finally finding a crease in the wall which signified a door. The thinking had been why Gregnol had put her in as Operations Chief temporarily as Trades had disappeared at the last layover with no words or reason. She forced her fingers into the cracks and slowly forced the door open. It was a second too late that she realised there was someone on the other side of the door attempting the same and she let out a scream.

"I think you may have taken several years off me."

As unpleasant as it must have been to encounter another shrouded figure in this gloom, Jaxx wasn't sure if he could ever describe the sensation of bleak isolation that came with the realisation that he hadn't sensed the other person either. Now that it was clear she existed, there was a trickle of psionic recognition but it was sluggish, much like the rest of his thought processes. The cold, perhaps, though it was early yet to be in any real danger of hypothermia. Holding out both hands flat, both to steady them both and ensure he presented no threat, the doctor squinted and tried his best to figure out who it was.

"Are you hurt?"

Nollel gripped the man’s hands in her own feeling just how cold he was like her. She blinked trying to see him clearer but all she could see was more of an outline of the familiar man. All that kept going through her mind was at least she was where we she was with the doctor of all people. It would only be better if she was stuck with Michael. “Nothing major. What about you?” She wondered back gripping his hand.

"Just confused," the Betazoid reassured, allowing her to apply most of the pressure at first before squeezing her hands once in response. "Nollel, right?" As the seconds passed, the ability to make out details improved and it hadn't been that long ago that the pair of them had spoken in Sickbay.

“Yeah Nollel.” The woman blinked a bit more to try and see more behind him. She did not need to ask who he was as she knew who he was from assigning a lot of his stuff when he first came on aboard. “Confused is an understatement.” She agreed. “Where are we?” She asked hoping that it would give an idea of what had happened.

"Still trying to figure that one out." Rather than move from the doorway, Jaxx opted to stand sentry, as if whatever lay beyond might be something best not discovered. "The last thing I recall, I was still on duty in Sickbay. This is not Sickbay," he determined. "It's the messhall but it's..." He exhaled to buy himself time to find the right words. "In pieces. Everything's upended. There's a..." Jaxx mustered his composure again. "A support strut has come down through the ceiling, torn its way right through. The hull's breached." The doctor rushed on. "No decompression, we seems to be grounded. I would feel at least marginally better if I could recall that happening at all."

Nollel looked up at his slowness with words and slowly pushed past him to take in everything that he had said. She could not remember any of this happening herself. "I do not remember it either. I was trying to track down a power surge and then I woke up cold and alone." She did not need to mention the dark as it was very obvious. "I do not remember this either but this is not new. This is old." She said slowly turning to the door and kicking a panel next to it and revealing an opening she pulled out a torch.

"There is quite an earthy smell." The slightly cryptic response was meant as agreement, since the slow return of sensation was making more and more things stand out. Recent rain, Jaxx theorised, but also the unmistakable stench of decaying fabrics and spreading mould. "And a decided lack of people." As he spoke and gave voice to the most prominent concern, the Betazoid noticed what his sole companion had done and groped inside the locker for a second torch. Banging it against his knee several times coaxed it into a tenuous beam that flickered slightly as if unsure of how long it wanted to stick around.

The woman nodded and slowly watched the beam of light hitting different surfaces and watched as the light caught the dripping of the water coming into the hole in the hull. "This is doing us no good, we need to get to the bridge." She decided thinking that would be a better course of action other than staring at the support strut that was not meant to be there.

"Think you can lead the way?" Angling the beam of light to illuminate his face, a somewhat grotesque distortion softened by his sheepish smile, Jaxx admitted, "I don't actually think I've seen it yet."

Nollel nodded rooting around in her pockets for a hairband. She tied her hair back in a pile on her head. "Yeah, I know the way without using anything technological to get there." She said thinking that they would not have any lifts or anything available to them.

"Far be it for me to promote an aggressive strategy but we might need to try and arm ourselves before we get too far." It wasn't Izriel's preference and certainly didn't play to his strengths but nothing about their situation lead him to believe that caution wasn't warranted. Their combined confusion was one thing, the state of the ship created a whole gamut of possibilities that he didn't feel like facing without some sort of protection.

Nollel had not considered that but it was a very good point. They had no idea what had happened to bring out all of the changes. "I had not considered that but you are correct there. We can go via the armoury... no wait this is deck four let's go to the wardroom there is a weapon store room there." She decided thinking that it would be the best way to get some weapons as it was on the same deck if she could orient herself enough.

It occurred to Jaxx that Jeassaho, and Leiddem for that matter, would have something to say to him about his lack of attentiveness during his security orientation but no sooner had the thought occurred to him, he found himself plunged into concern over their fate. Passing his torchlight over the interior of the messhall one last time to make sure they hadn't overlooked a stricken crewmate, the Betazoid backed out slowly and followed Nollel with the intent of scanning their retreat.

Further scrutiny only revealed more abandoned disarray. Whilst the corridor was traversable, it was not fully intact, strewn with dislodged doors and tangled circuitry. Another strut had pierced the ceiling but not fallen far enough to obstruct, though Jaxx advised caution the minute his torchlight located the overhead hazard. It was difficult to tell where the occasional creak came from, impossible to ensure the integrity of the infrastructure they were relying on to protect them from the elements. Still no people though.

"A working tricorder would be handy."

Nollel nodded her agreement but said nothing as she stepped under the struct and winced at how SS Mary Rose's final moments were as dramatic as they were. She glanced back but nothing was following them, it really felt like there was nothing other than the pair of them in the world until she stopped seeing something slumped on the floor - a body. "That tricorder would be very handy right now but..." She said shinning her torch more over the body or more precisely skeleton on the floor holding a tricorder.

Moving past her, Jaxx knelt beside the remains but stopped short of touching the body, finding no benefit to any additional confirmation of what was already blatantly obvious. Far from a fresh casualty, there was nothing distinguishing left, not even a scrap of uniform that would have given them some hint regarding identification. "Either we took a hell of a nap or something's caused several months worth of decomposition in the blink of an eye." The telepath stared grimly at the corpse, not finding it necessary to point out the length and proportions as being indicative of a male victim. "Since I'd say it's unlikely for a ship to come down quickly, I'd suggest that the problem here is our perception of time passed. Which doesn't make a lot of sense," he concluded, rising to his feet again. "Except for the fact that we already know the ship was experiencing some sort of temporal event." Jaxx looked Nollel in the eye. "It affected your husband, after all."

Nollel nodded slowly. She had been trying to not think on Michael as he was not here and she had no idea where or more precisely he was right then and there. “I know. Something was affecting him but right now he would want me to figure stuff out and not worry about him.” She said, sounding strained as she knew fully that she was worrying and not able to control it if she stopped.

"There's not much point worrying about any of them until we figure out where we are." Jaxx resisted the urge to add a very trite 'or when' to the end of that sentiment. He was no quantum physicist, an explanation of the how would likely have to wait. Right now, his concern was with the living, how many of them there might actually be, and removing them from what felt like a very tenuous situation. "Let's keep going."

Nollel glanced at the remains again and nodded. She could not identify who they were other than human but it could have been anyone or no one. "Yes... Yes, you are right." She soothed herself rising back to her feet and moving her torch along the corridor. "Does that tricorder work?" She wondered softly.

Having taken the flashlight between his teeth to free up both hands, Izriel tapped a finger against the keypad and then flipped the device over to open the back access port before giving up and smacking the thing against his thigh. It lit up, though that only accentuated the crack that ran across its screen. "Just barely. Should be enough to give us some idea." He held it up somewhat, having to bend back so that the beam of light could follow. "No life signs yet."

"Let's hope it like that." The woman said leaning over and taking the torch from his hand. It seemed more logical for her to shine them and for him to use the tricorder properly. "Go in front and I'll shine the lights around you to guide us both." She advised.

"Just flash me in the right direction," Jaxx quipped, a faint smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth as he remained otherwise distracted by his readings. With a glance upwards, he considered the corridor and its potential for further signs of decay and loss of life, and drew in a deep breath. "This way, right?"


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