Light's on but Nobody's Home Part II
Location: Starbase 945
:: ON ::
Feyd and Natasha made there way cautiously down the corridor, Feyd with his rifle trained toward the floor but at the ready, Natasha with hers held like she was holding a live viper that could decide to bite her any second. The two burly manly man marines ahead of them stalked ahead like hunting cats, muscles tense as spring steel. The first several doors they encountered were shut, and had to be manually opened, by he and Natasha while the marines held their weapons at the ready should anything unexpected come through it. When they arrived at medical, it was clear there had been some disturbance. All supply cabinets were empty, with the vast majority of their contents spread out over the floor, like someone was looking for something.
[Elsewhere on Starbase 945]
Kevin led the two Marines through the corridors on the docking ring towards the command hub. Air locks to the inner ring were closed and deactivated, requiring manual override and cycling to open. As they got closer to the command hub, evidence of conflict mounted. Damaged furniture, phaser scarred walls, and bloodstains. Eventually, they came across a body. The burn marks from a phaser strike was evident.
Kevin activated his comm badge, "Lance to Relor. We found a body."
[Starbase 945 Med Bay]
Relor tapped his comm badge in response, "On my way. You three stay here, see what you can find out. I'll make my way to the Command Ring."
"Negative sir, we all go or we all stay. No splitting up, my orders were clear." Feyd scrubbed a frustrated had through his hair...no point in arguing. "Fine, then we all go, there doesn't seem to be anything here anyway."
As they made to leave sickbay, a low moan emanated from the CMO's office. A man shape, that they had somehow missed, started moving toward them. The lights were out in the office, and as the figure emerged into the light, the group recoiled in horror. His skin...they thought it was a he...was raw and red from what looked like scratch marks, his eyes vacant and white. His hair had all but fallen out, and his movements were jerky, as if someone was controlling him with strings.
"Sir," started one of the marines, but he didn't have time to finish as the thing in a white lab coat suddenly lunged for him.
[Starbase Command Ring]
Kevin scanned the body with his PADD. The corpse appeared slightly desiccated but otherwise intact. Kevin remembered from academy operations classes that the starbase’s maintenance systems would eradicate flesh eating bacteria that would normally initiate decomposition. It would be difficult to determine time of death prior to Commander Relor’s arrival from the Med Bay. Kevin completed the scan and sent the result to Relor.
“Let’s move on,” Kevin ordered the two Marines. They were almost to the Command Hub and judging by the signs of battle, the crew had made some sort of stand there. Blood stains were in evidence, leading both towards and away from the Command Hub. Casualties from both sides had been removed from the area, Kevin thought.
The lead Marine hesitated at the corner of the intersection leading to the Command Hub and raised two fingers, then pointed in the direction of the Command Hub. Two hostiles, Kevin interpreted, as he moved up to peer around the corner to see what the Marine had.
Two starbase personnel in duty uniforms appeared to be trying to get through the closed Command Hub airlock. Littered around them were various cutters and saws, but they appeared to be trying to pry the airlock open with their bare hands.
Keeping his phaser rifle trained on the figures, Kevin activated the external speaker on his environmental suit, “Lieutenant Lance, USS Independence. Turn around with your hands raised.”
[Starbase 945 Med Bay]
Feyd flinched, much to his chagrin, just a little as the figure launched himself at the marine that was closest. He appeared to be going for the jugular area but with years of training under his belt, the Marine was ready, and managed to deflect him onto a less vital area. He cried out as the man's teeth raked the lining of his suit at the neck, then threw him bodily to the deck. Three crimson beams landed out as one, pouring lethal energy into him as Feyd, Natasha and the other marine fired into the figure. It lay still, and they took the momentary respite as a sign that it was time to hoof it to the command ring.
[Starbase Command Ring]
The two figures raised their heads in response to the order and turned away from their task towards Kevin. They both had the gaunt and haggard look that the Captain of the Mitzi had borne in the personal logs. Their mouths moved in wordless expression and they started moving towards the security party with their arms reaching out.
“Halt!” Kevin ordered, “Or we will shoot.”
The command had no noticeable impact on the two starbase personnel and they continued their advance.
“Stun only,” Kevin ordered the Marines, “One shot each.” Phaser beams lanced out from the Marine’s rifles, striking their targets center of mass. The figures twitched momentarily then continued their advance.
“Again,” Kevin ordered, adding a shot from his own rifle. The effect of the second shot was the same as the first.
“Heavy stun,” Kevin shouted over the comms, “Fire at will.” Several shots bolted out from the three phaser rifles striking the figures multiple times. The figures staggered and continued to try to move towards the security team but the concentrated heavy fire finally brought them down.
Holy Cochrane, Kevin thought, that took more than it should have. He keyed his comm badge. “Lance to Relor,” he said, a little more frantic than he had intended.
"We're nearly to you." Came the response as Feyd, Natasha and the two marines came around the corner. Kevin immediately noticed a small tear around the neck area of the bio suit of one of the marines. "You need to get that patched." He said and turned his attention to the Doctor.
Feyd looked down at the body, then pulled out his medical tricorder and scanned it. "He's still alive, but barely."
"This man was shot with enough phaser energy to take out a charging Targ." Kevin commented. "He should be vaporized."
"We ran into something similar in the med bay." Feyd said. "I'm detecting some kind of virus here. It's infecting the brain, muscle tissue and nervous system. If I had to guess, it's made the crew mindless, but strong."
Natasha looked panicked. "You mean...like Zombies?"
This is crazy, Kevin thought. He turned to the assembled Marines and ordered, “Let’s get the airlock to the Command Hub open.”
“What did you find in the Med Bay,” he asked Feyd.
“Nothing of value before we were attacked,” replied the doctor as he scanned the second body, “Similar results as the first.”
Kevin check with the other two teams. Ensign Takach reported arriving at the Science Labs without incident. One of the Marines with Lieutenant Kovitchka responded that the engineer was running diagnostics and was “too busy” to talk to the away team leader.
Kevin was about to report to Commander Ellis when a high-pitched scream pierced the environmental suit. Kevin spun about to see one of the starbase crew members had regained consciousness and grabbed Nurse Grimm by the leg and was trying to bite her. She was absurdly hitting the crew member with her pistol grip of her hand phaser. Kevin raised his rifle to his shoulder as three beams hit the crew member in rapid succession. Doctor Relor’s shots severed the arm of the crew member allowing Nurse Grimm to scramble away but the creature continued to drag itself towards her. A final shot from Feyd disintegrated the crew member’s body.
The team trained phasers on the remaining crewmember’s body. It too was starting to stir. “Doctor,” Kevin voiced over the comm badge.”
“I fired three kill shots at that thing,” Feyd replied, “Disintegration was the only option.”
The second crew member started to rise to its feet. A final shot from Feyd’s phaser disintegrated that body as well. “Until we are certain about was is causing this and can counter it,” he explained, “better safe than sorry.”
Kevin mind was firmly made up. Doctor Relor was a cold stone killer.