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Touched By Dark Fire

Posted on 20 Jan 2023 @ 4:14pm by Lieutenant Xu Chang Lau & Captain Jonathan Reynolds & Lieutenant Commander Aidan Datari & Lieutenant Michael Hawkins & Lieutenant C'Tora Kuroka & Lieutenant JG Harper Matthews & Lieutenant JG Allisara Glavien

Mission: Through the looking glass
Location: Bridge
Timeline: After pursuit and away team return
2862 words - 5.7 OF Standard Post Measure


Something about the bridge seemed familiar, comfortable even. She was standing in the turbolift, looking down from the back of the bridge, over the oak horeshoe tactical console down into the command chairs where the Captain was sitting. A blond women next to him, the pair in close conversation. The bridge itself was a busy hub of activity, likely to do with the fire fight she had watched from ten forward not long before.

During the battle she has felt something, like touching cold fire and a revelation of information had erupted within her. She had access to everything, everything that Xu had been, her memories, her wants, her fears and the overwhelming power she had felt as she had birthed her child. That one act had alone been enough to allow it access and it had taken her a while to figure out how to use this body... All of that had fallen into place and she could now feel her own power surging through this frame and she had a purpose.

She walked down the ramp, passing Harper and Datari who were deep in conversation at the tactical console, round the end of the horeshoe until she was facing Captain Reynolds.

"Captain... Please forgive the intrusion... Could I speak to you please?"

"I wasn't aware you had been released from sickbay," Jon said a little stunned to see Xu on his bridge. Of course this had been coming. But the timing was horrendous. However they were out of the frying pan now and he hadn't exactly much to do except wait for things to be fixed.

He stood up. Something sensed off. This was not the Xu he had known or playing holo RPGs with. "Ready room," he indicated. "You too counselor."

Letting the ladies enter first he indicated the couch opposite his desk. "Would either of you like a drink?"

"No, thank you!" Xu sounding meek and small and confused.

"After today, a bottle of wine with a straw would be god!" Cassie said, still feeling the chaffing from the ridiculous costume she had been forced to wear to uphold the ruse.

Xu sat down at the desk, Cassie remaining stood a little further behind, unsure why Captain Reynolds had wanted her present but she could read something in Jon's body language that something wasn't right.

"Captain... I'm starting to remember... I want to be useful!" the darkness starting to coalesce into true understanding and raw power.

"I don't think we should rush you getting back to work. I appreciate you want to feel useful but Amnesia is a hell of a thing Xu. That's why I have brought Cassie in as she's more experience with this sort of thing than me and can help get you the right support you need for proper recovery," Jon said.

"Perhaps we can start a staggered return to work once you feel she's ready Counsellor?"

"Yes" Cassie said but something in her seemed to agree with Xu. "Sometimes a complete return is an ideal shock method for restoring someone's memory!"

Why had she said that? All of her own training said otherwise but she couldn't seem to form the words to retract her words.

"If the Counsellor agrees then surely I can be more use out there at Ops!"

Xu smiled back at Jon, already sensing that he was suspicious.

"I'm not going to authorise that just yet. The counselor said sometimes," Jon said. Xu was pushing and she never used to push. Also he had sensed some confusion off Cassie when she had said that. Something was definitely off here.

Xu pushed further into the counsellors mind, pushing the blond out of the way until she was nothing more than a golem of her own will. The blond moved forward, lacking all form of recognition or emotion. "I would suggest you listen to her Captain!"

"I just want to help... to learn Captain... Jon!"

Xu crossed her legs as Cassie crossed the room slowly, a thrawl to the dark ones, to her.

"You never call me Jon and you ... you never suggest someone listen to someone other than you or another counselor for something in your field," Jon told both ladies. He was beginning to think this Xu had some control over Cassie. It was like she suddenly wasn't as there any more.

"My counselor is not in the business of letting her patients diagnose themselves. So what's really going on here?" he locked eyes with Xu. "Learn. Learn what? Who are you? I have been thinking it was too good to be true you waking up and your daughter not popping up to see if your okay."

"The more I think about it even Oliver has the willies around you."

"I want to learn... This universe is so rich and full of life... and another like me... I want to meet her just like you will meet the real me... eventually!"

Xu's voice faded away as she spoke, replaced by something angry, deeper, ancient but with the same playful eyes and delicate smile that Xu always used to display. "I want what is ours!"

Cassie had rounded the table and was stood next to Jon, looking down at him, glass eyes as a fist was raised and launched directly at Jon, connecting squarely with his jaw, Xu giggling like a school girl as she watched.

Jon took the punch and pulled his counselor into a move to restrain her. His own security training kicking in.

"Reynolds to Matthews. Cassie and Xu have been compromi .... owwww," he groaned as she managed to break his hold. Her weight on top of his cause the desk to be pushed back knocking all his ornaments off in a crash. Including one of the sacred house ones.

The blond golem started twisting, bringing her leg around in a powerful roundhouse kick, once again connecting with Jon, sending him over the fallen table while Xu stood, a pillar of calm in what was descending into a torrent of chaos.

Harper had felt a mood shift in the air long before Captain Reynolds called her. She had started to move away from Datari, the confusion on their face very evident as she picked up her phaser from beneath the tactical console. Moving down the ramp she approached the doors of the Ready room and rushed in at pace after Jons call.

She saw Cassie manhandling her Captain, her boyfriend and pointed the phaser at her. "Let him go. This is on heavy stun and I don't want to use it on you." she said taking a step further in. She noticed the eyes of Xu darken somewhat unnaturally which made her pause.

Xu giggled again, a girlish noise that wasn't backed up by the voice that followed. It was deeper, masculine almost and resonant.

"You are nothing before me... I am a god!"

A simple flick of her hand raised Harper from the ground, a second flick, this time an index finger sent the security chief backwards at speed, impacting with the doors leading to the bridge with enough force to contort them out of shape, creating a Harper sized hole as she form was projected across the bridge until it impacted the viewscreen, shattering the oversized monitor in a shower of tiny crystal shards.

Jon was on his feet again his boxer training kicking in and shoved Cassie into Xu harder than he liked to handle his female crew.

"You know," he stunned Cassie and hopefully this crazy version of Xu angrily. "Its one thing to bust up my viewscreen, another to hurt my girl but trashing the sacred chalice of the 13th house and creating a situation where my mother will yell at me - well you ain't no god that's for sure. Sadist more like."

Cassie hit the deck hard, Xu looked over her shoulder as the energy beam hit her before she turned back to the opening and proceeded to step through onto the bridge.

"You are all pathetic insects, standing in my way is a mistake!" the resonant male voice boomed across the bridge, her eyes locking with the Ops console as she walked forward, flicking her hand at the young officer sat at the console, she was cast so hard up and away that she impacted the lights above the command chains before falling like a rag doll, her broken form hitting the Captains chair awkwardly, her neck snapping audibly.

Harper had managed to get to her feet, albeit groggily. The impact to the viewscreen had been damaging but being thrown through solid doors was more painful. Her head was hurting, her body felt as if it was in agony. She had seen Jon throw Cassie at Xu and had taken the opportunity to stun the woman so she'd remain face down on the ground then fired at Xu herself. This proved highly ineffective.

She moved beyond her fallen officer from the Ops console and approached Xu as blood poured from an open wound on her head. She had to protect her Captain, that was her job and it was only compounded by the fact she loved the man as well. "Stop!" she yelled as she put her phaser up to its highest setting.

Another flick of her hand and Harper was once again lifted and propelled at speed towards the already shattered viewscreen.

"This is too easy!"

"Reynolds to sickbay. Doc I need you up here with the strongest knock out drugs you have. Also Lieutenant Harper needs medical attention."

He limped onto the bridge, not having realised how much falling over his desk earlier had hurt him through the adrenaline.

"Who are you? And none of this god crap,"

"I am the beginning of your end and that is all you need to know!" the danger in her voice echoing like thunder as she spoke even though her voice was back to the gentle, almost melodic tones of the women they had once known.
Xu took a seat at Ops, her fingers dancing over the console until she finally had the information she was looking for. "Although I do need to thank you Captain. You saved me all the effort of finding the one I seek!"

The sight of Reynolds coming out injured, with Xu attacking people. It wasn't like the Xu he once knew. His friend. The hurt that she was causing had to be stopped. Michael's eyes had fire in them, he was angry, he was outraged. He hated seeing that Ensign dead draped over the captain's chair. Without a second thought he was at the ops station where Xu was at, slammed her away from there, with a half tackle both hitting the floor. He trying to pin her down.

Xu laughed sardonically, already having captured what she needed. Now all she needed to do was play, fill the next few moments with a joy only she could enjoy at this moment. She batted Hawkins away, her strength knocking the wind from his as he crashed into the flight control station.

"Look at the boy who loves another, the boy who broke a heart, the boy with a broken heart!"

Michael let himself go limp when he hit the flight console, falling to the deck. He took a moment to get his breath, picked himself up, and dove for her again. His temper flaring even more "You bitch who are you!" he roared out, he was seeing a red haze. Broken heart, broken mind.

"Hit a nerve have I?" she teased playfully as she stepped to the side with ease, Hawkins bursting past her. "Did you know she's still crying now... She may even take her own life after you had destroyed hers!"

It was all happening so fast, Aidan wasn't sure what exactly was going on. His eyes darted from one to the other as he attempted to assess the situation. Still, part of him felt it was foolish to try and step in at this point, he'd only get himself hurt and it'd only disable him from helping others. So, for the moment he did nothing but rest his hand on his phaser.

"Enough of these games," demanded Jon loudly. "Release Xu and my Chief Engineer now."

"Enough of this. I grow tired of you!" her patience and enjoyment now spent. "I think I need to leave you with a single parting message!"

Michael flinched as if he had been slapped, his mind going to Iola. He couldn't stay with her, no not at all. "Silence woman!" he shouted and moved towards Xu once more. "I don't want to hear anything more from you." he growled.

Xu brought her arm up, as if cupping something between her fingers, a smile twisting her once sweet and innocent features.

"You had her heart, you broke her heart... I now hold your heart and I intend to squeeze and break your heart!"
Her fingers clutching nothing physical but Michaels reaction was real.

Michael could feel the grip on his heart, his hand going to his chest. He cried out, the agony was real, and it wouldn't stop. He slowly sank to the floor to his knees, tears streaming down his cheeks. He let out one more cry more like a howl then he collapsed his heart having burst within his chest. The breath left him and his eyes closed, his cheek still wet with the tears he shed.

Now, Aidan did move as he caught the body just before it fully hit the deck. "We need a medic!" he called out in the rare event he did actually raise his voice beyond simple calling out. "Quickly!" Even though he knew it was probably already too late.

Jon in all his career to date had NEVER had a situation turn so south so quickly. He could not believe what had happened.

Allisara dove out of the way as Michael's body sailed through the air before bouncing off of the helm station. Her eyes went wide as she saw the limp form of Michael being lowered to the floor. " Goddess protect us. " She said as she got back to her feet and inspected the helm station for damage. Being satisfied that there was no damage, she returned to her station. She tapped her combadge.
" Medical emergency. Medical team to the Bridge. "

Harper could hear muffled sounds. The ringing in her ears made it difficult to hear and her vision was going in and out of focus. She had taken some bad hits but still had came off better looking than the viewscreen. She arched herself to look over her shoulder to see the cracked and splintered screen creaking above her.

She felt out of breath and as she stood shakily to her feet she felt a pinch at her back. As she moved her hand round gingerly she felt something sticking out from her, a large shard of the viewscreen had made a home for itself in her lower back.

There was commotion on the bridge and she saw the body of the Chief Engineer fall. The echoing laughs from whatever Xu had became all too haunting in her ringing ears. Harper raised her weapon, she couldn't let anyone else get hurt and this was the only way she knew MIGHT stop them. It was set to kill.

There was hesitance, naturally because it was Xu, but she felt she had no choice.

Harper fired then lost consciousness.

The shot left the phaser, its aim true and the Dark one inhabiting Xu's body knew it had one last message it could leave. It withdrew from Xu's body, the darkness, the haze lifting in a second. Her eyes finally taking on the twinkle Xu had once had. A single tear started to cut a path down her cheek, she knew she was moments away from death and she had been aware of everything her body had been forced to do... She welcomed deaths release but not before she could send to Jon in a telepathic download. It was a tumble of information, images, sounds and a simple message: 'I'm sorry!'

The charged energy beam hit square in Xu's back, tilting her forward into Jon's arms, the spark of life now gone and the twinkle in her eyes once again extinguished.

Jon caught her and then his knees gave out as he suddenly received a barrage of terrifying images. Darkness, cold, webbing like substances. Pedestals, cages, Skeletons, a range of alien skeletons. He didn't realise he was starting to scream.

In his minds eye he then saw the 4 original goddess make a circle round him and everything started to become white again before he himself passed out remembering only that and the weight of the dead woman in his arms.

Lieutenant Michael Hawkins
Former Chief of Engineering
USS Andromeda

Lieutenant JG Cassandra Higgins
Ships Counsellor
USS Andromeda

Lieutenant Xu Chang-Lau
Golem of the Dark One
USS Andromeda

Lt.Cdr Aidan Datari
Chief Science Officer
USS Andromeda

Lieutenant JG Allisara Glavien
Asst. Chief Flight Officer
USS Andromeda

Lieutenant JG Harper Matthews
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Andromeda


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