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Final Countdown

Posted on Thu May 13th, 2021 @ 3:10am by Lieutenant Nimeeh Vixil

Mission: Guilty By Association
Location: USS Dreadnought - Cargo Bay

There was an old earth expression that one could use when they found themselves in an impossible position, "stuck between a rock and a hard place". Every culture had their own version that meant something similar, on Trill, the most common vernacular roughly translated to "between the beetle and the block," though, for Nim, more personally, it had become "between the precipice and the cavern".

It didn't matter how often she went back to that same place, the cavern was still just as dark and damp. The very act of walking in made her skin crawl with fear, and the hairs on the back of her neck rise up. The smell of fresh blood and burning flesh still lingered on her senses.

Every time she closed her eyes, the vision of him appeared, the man with the weapon, no, the boy. That's what he was, a boy. A boy she couldn't save, a boy caught in the middle of a war he didn't start, a war he couldn't win.
She could still clearly see his face contorted in fear as he held the weapon toward them, his terrified eyes locked with hers as the aim of the weapon shifted. The briefest shimmer of the phaser beam between the barrel and his head. The sound of his fear filled scream cut short, only to be replaced by her own sharp intake of breath as a hand gripped her shoulder tightly.

"Lieutenant, are you alright?"

Nim glanced around, eyes wide. She was in the cargo bay, sitting on one of the crates of medical supplies that was waiting to be transported to the surface. She rubbed her hands over her face quickly and drew in a shaky breath before nodding.

"I tried calling out to you a couple of times, you didn't hear me."

"Sorry," Nim apologised. "I was distracted," she offered a wan smile and ran a hand through her long dark hair. "Everything has been checked off, I guess all we do now is wait for transport?"

"Aye Ma'am, that's why I'm here. We'll be starting transport in a few minutes. We'll be sending down a security detail first to make sure the area is secure, then we'll send down the medical teams. Thought you'd want to go down first to help direct people from the start?"

Nim nodded. "Our supplies have been sorted by priority." She picked up the PaDD that had been resting on the crate next to her. "This is the transport order for both staff and supplies."

"Understood Lieutenant, stand by, we'll have you surface side in a jiffy."

With another quick nod, Nim turned and started walking around the cargo crates again, mentally crossing off items from a checklist she had memorised, trying to distract herself from her own thoughts, her right hand absently rubbing the scars on her left wrist while she waited for her transport call.

This was a different planet.

This was a different war zone.

These were different circumstances.

It would not be the same.

History would not be repeating itself.

Would it?


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