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The Pens

Posted on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 @ 6:30pm by Commander Mercia Kavi & Commander Khelev ch'Koro [Halan] & Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele

Mission: The Perfect Hunter
Location: Blackwater Station

Chief Petty Officer Arokrol Udaa woke up with a start, his head was spinning and he started to cough and sputter as he took several lungfuls of air before closing his eyes, getting his mind to stop. The memories of watching the security officer with him get sliced to shreds and then completely losing consciousness flooded back to him. Whatever had done it was beyond fast and he'd hardly had time to look at it but now he was processing the memory... And that's when it hit him, there was a lot of noise around him and a lot of unfamiliar emotions and thoughts.

Arokrol opened his eyes, trying to blink as he adjusted. Things were dimly lit and he slowly sat up and looked around. They were in a cargo bay and from what he could tell there was about forty people milling about. It was no where near the station's crew compliment but it was odd. There was a Rigelian man sitting on the cot next to the one he'd been on and he furrowed his brow.

"Where am I?" Arokrol asked.

The Rigelian man looked up and at the betazoid, he looked him over before speaking, "This is cargo bay 7, it's on the lower part of the station. The experiments that brought you here are using it as a pen of sorts. It's very fascinating, from a certain point of view."

"The security officer that was cut down in front of me would disagree with you," Arokrol replied with some irritation, the man's curiosity was almost stomach churning. "What experiments? And what do you mean by pen? You make it sound like we're live stock."

"Ah my name is Rota, I'm the former director of this facility," The Rigelian smiled at him. "The experiments, specifically experiment 2513, was a failure. We were working towards a perfect genetic hybrid, 2513 was meant to be destroyed but they fought back and escaped. They've been using the crew of the station as food for the last six months, hunting down any stragglers and bringing them here. We are live stock. Those cultists showed up about a month ago, claimed they killed one of the experiments but I don't believe them."

The young Starfleet officer felt a shiver go down his back, the man wasn't lying and that concerned him. Before he could ask more the doors to the cargobay opened, he turned his head and he couldn't help but swallow hard.

Another officer was slumped over the shoulder of something he'd never seen before. It was about six foot tall, had the antenna of an Andorian, the ears of a Vulcan, some trill spots, Klingon ridges and looked like something out of a body building holo program. It's skin was a dark brown and it looked very angry, there was a female with him and was rather attractive he had to admit.

Everyone in the cargobay avoided them as they carried the officer over to Arokrol and dropped him on another cot. It was clear the officer was hurt badly and he wore the uniform of a science officer, and Arokrol recognized him from Gladiator.

"Wait!" The betazoid stood up and took a step towards the creature, who looked at him as if he were nothing. Arokrol reached out with his mind and realized both of these things were doing the same, they had betazoid DNA as well it seemed. ~Can you understand me?~

The male growled at him, but before he could do anything, the female knocked Arokrol on his ass and pinned him to the cargobay floor. She sent a clear message, that if he did this again she'd cut him to ribbons and he saw the picture in her mind of her cutting him up. Then, as fast as they'd come, they were gone and the doors were closed.

"Help! Are any of you doctors?" Arokrol called out.

Seera a redheaded Alcaren almost scoffed with no humor, "Most of us are in one form or another... this is a science station." she said as she moved forward. "Don't use your telepathy on them, they do not take kindly to it. There were four of my kind on the station, I'm the only one left." she said her grey eyes were almost hollow and empty. ~We tried to invade their minds to stop them, it injured one, but I was the only one who escaped, If you can call this escaping.~ She projected into his mind as she looked the man over.

"Well he's certainly tenderized, which is how they like their kills." Seera shuddered, telepathically she witnessed their kills before they ate. She loathed that any one should suffer it, but they tossed away any one who killed themselves first and went after another.

"Move him to a cot and let him be, He'll wake up and wish he hadn't soon enough. I'm Seera, neurosurgeon."

"I'm Chief Petty Officer Arokrol Udaa of the USS Gladiator, we were sent here to find a cult of blood worshipers responsible for the murders of many," Arokrol replied. "My team was working to shut down the weapon systems when I was grabbed, they killed one of the security officers. Our ship can easily take all of us, once they have things disabled. I don't remember his name but he was with the science team sent over. How many of these things are there?"

"I'm not certain, but standard operation is to incubate 20 to 30 specimens of each type to increase chances of viability." she said. "I don't know how many of these survived. They're not the only ones, they have... hounds." she said.

Alex was barely aware of what was happening as he was moved from the floor onto something softer, the uniform tied around his chest soaked through with his blood. The voices around him were twisting and mixing together, not like he was trying to listen. A groan of pain escaped him as he sluggishly came to before coughing, blood sputtering out the side of his mouth. "Wh-where..." he mumbled incoherently. "M'Gann... th-others..."

"We are in cargobay 7, where that is I can't tell you because I don't have a schematic of the station," Arokrol answered his first question, he reached over and gently touched Alex's arm. "Relax, I'm a betazoid. I can hear your thoughts, don't waste your strength trying to speak. I don't know where any of the others are, to be honest."

Alex rolled his eyes shut, wincing as memories came back to him. The creatures, M'Gann saving him from the one that tried to make minced meat of him, and her again trying to save him a second time as the creatures dragged him off. If he was just remembering or trying to show Arokrol, Alex wasn't sure. Maybe both. "Hurts..."

"I know, the Doc here says you'll be all right but we don't have a medkit or anything to treat the pain," The engineer replied and did his best to send soothing thoughts Alex's way. "Your best bet will likely to be to try and get some rest."

"Just relax, they thrive on fear, they love to feel it." Seera said soothingly. She looked around the room, people were milling, others stopped caring and were playing games in a corner, others slept. No one tried to escape any more, being hunted by one of the hounds was as bad as being taken for torture and consumption by the others.

Alex nodded, and soon drifted off into a deep sleep. He was so tired, mostly from the blood loss, but all the shock and adrenaline was crashing. He was worried about M'Gann; he hoped she was ok.

The Betazoid waited until Alex was fully asleep, he could only hope the rest would do the boy some good and when he was sure Alex wouldn't wake up he reached out and touched the doctor's mind. ~How many of them are there? What can we do to resist them? I'm attached to a ship that is part of a larger task group, that changes things for you.~

~It won't change any thing, we couldn't escape on ships when we had them. I don't know exactly how many were in this group, we incubated 20 to 30 specimens, and the hounds there are at least 20 of them. I think we killed three in the fight.~ She said. ~The cultists claim they killed one of the mutants but I dont know how true that is.~ she said as she sat on the floor and tapped a broken fingernail on the floor.

~You also realize how illegal this is,~ Arokrol gave the telepath a look, he'd been around for a long time and seen a lot of things but this was beyond trouble. ~You'll all be wanted by Starfleet Security.~

Seera met his eyes ~It's not that simple... We were recruited and sent here, there was no escaping, no leaving. The station automatically destroyed any unauthorized ship trying to leave. I signed on to be a neurosurgeon for civilian hospital on one of the outer colonies. I've been her for ten years, every one of us are trapped here, either work or die. Now it seems both are likely.~

~Ten years!~ Arokrol was shocked, he was about to say more when there was a loud bang behind one of the walls that caught everyone's attention. There were two more before there was a clear sound of phaser fire and then the panel fell off and hit the floor with a loud thud and out came a big blue Andorian in a Starfleet uniform with the rank of commander.

"Khelev!" Arokrol had stood up and just about ran over to the Andorian and offered a hand to P'Riri and smiled at her. "Sir, one of the creatures brought one of the science team down."

"Good to know they made it. These creatures are brutal," Khelev shook his head and took a second to look around the room. "Are these what's left of the station crew?"

"Yes, from what I've been told, most of them were forced here to work against their will," Arokrol took a deep breath. "The creatures are eating the people."

"Eating them?" Khelev's antenna went up in surprised. "We need to get them out of here, there's a path back to engineering. What do you three think, we move them or try and defend the cargobay until we can get beamed out?"

"How would you carry out such a thing?" A quiet voice asked. Mikaua had short brown hair that once shone in the light, but was now knotted and tangles and a bit dull. She sat in the corner, her eyes shut, listening to what was going on. When Khelev entered, she had jumped at the sudden calamity, but kept her attention on him from her sitting position in the corner. "The creatures will surely notice if a number of us disappear. They will certainly notice a stranger among their cattle, or at least hear it."

tbc...

 

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