Post Mission Fishin
Posted on 15 Jun 2021 @ 5:21pm by Captain Patrick Jackson
After getting the all clear and being let out from quarantine, Patrick made his way to the Holodeck, his little tradition after a mission was done and debriefing was over. He checked the computer and confirmed it was empty. "Computer, activate Holodeck program Patrick Lake 3." A moment later a chime notified him that his program was ready.
He walked through the large double doors and smiled. It never got old to him walking into a forested lake in the middle of a spaceship countless light-years from home. He waited for the doors to close behind him and then took it all in. No hum of the engines, no people walking through, all the sounds of work, of daily routine and stresses gone from this isolated room.
Trees stretched tall in all directions around a small lake. He could easily see to the other side and in the middle of the lake you would be able to see all ends. A small boat launch was pushed out into the water a short distance and a small bass boat was tied against it floating and loaded to go. He walked over to the boat and untied it from the dock and got in. A moment later he was underway heading to the center of the lake.
It only took a few moments to get out into the center and set anchor. He reached for one pole but decided to use a different one. Normally he would try spin casting, but after all that went on, he just needed the quiet, not the fish. He set a fake worm on the end of the line and set a bobber a fair way up the line. The cast was far and the bobber was visible. He set the pole in the chair holder and leaned over, opened the cooler and retrieved a beer. Cracking it open, he put his feet up on the edge of the boat and watched the bobber.
The lake was very still. A few birds chirped in the distance and there was a gentle breeze that kept him cool and made just enough of a ripple in the water to softly rock the boat like a cradle. He finished his beer and got comfortable. His eyes got heavy as the quiet and restful area got ahold of him and a moment later he drifted to sleep.
A jerk on the rod woke him up. He grabbed for the rod and set the hook and started reeling in. He pulled the tip up and watched the rod bend. He had a big one on. He played it out, hearing the drag Zipp on the reel, he made an adjustment and started to gain ground. He had not caught a fish this big. Something in the back of his mind was ringing an alarm though. He kept playing the fish but looked around. Something was off. The sky had turned from a bright blue to a dull orange. Clouds had a gray and silver color to them and were no longer white or puffy.. The trees were no longer a vibrant green but a dull brown and drooping and all the sounds of nature had gone completely silent save for the water bumping against the boat from his struggle with the fish. Something was very wrong with the program.
The fish drew close when the boat suddenly rocked violently, nearly throwing him overboard. He saw just in time for a rotted hand to reach over the side of the boat, looking for a solid hold. A second later a head appeared over the edge of the boat. The eyes were hollow and the rotted skin sagged waterlogged off the bones of the skull with an artificial worm hanging out of its mouth.
Patrick jumped out of his chair toward the bow of the boat to get distance and raised his wrist to his mouth. "Phaser!" He yelled and stretched his hand out, a phaser materialized in his hand and he aimed for the head. He could not find it. The head was gone along with the hand. He looked hurriedly around. The sky was blue again, the trees bright green and the sounds of life were back just as they had before.
"Computer, end program." A moment later the boat disappeared and the lake vanished. He was left standing on the black floor of a box shaped room, the soft hum of the engines back. The room was empty except for him holding a phaser at the ready. There were only two answers to what had happened. He either was still infected with something somehow that passed all of medical's scanning and hallucinated the event here or he dozed off on the boat and the fresh horror he saw was trying to settle into his mind. It was best not to take chances.
"Computer, site to site transport. My quarters." He said. Five seconds of sparkling light later, he was in his quarters. He looked around and carefully made his way through each room, searching all areas just to confirm he was alone and secure. Once he was assured there were no zombies hidden under the bed, in the sonic shower, or anywhere else, he dismissed the phaser.
He went over and sat on a chair, looking put at the slowly passing stars. He took a Padd and left a message for Dr. Cahill. She should know he was going to isolate as a precaution until she could double check him. He went to put down the padd and paused. He needed his base covered. He decided to send a duty message to Staff Sergeant Vail. She was a medic/counselor and why this if biological was probably far our of her league, if it was combat stress manifesting, she would be more knowledgeable having seen combat.
He shook his head. He was a hardened combat vet. If he was beginning to struggle with putting down one up close and hearing them in the distance, what was that poor kid from the other planet going through? She did what had to be done, but while he was trained to push that away, she had none. She was going to need lots of help and hopefully she could lead a semi normal life after.
Patrick leaned back into the chair. They would be at Starbase 51 soon and maybe a little leave would do him good. He looked at his padd again, this time seeing he had a message waiting. Scanning through he perked up. "An XO?" He said out loud to himself. He read her file and nodded. "Thank you Colonel or Captain for breaking an arm to get me some good help." He said and smiled. Things were looking up.