The worst that could happen
Posted on 08 Jul 2021 @ 2:40pm by Captain Patrick Jackson
He kept hoping that if he opened his eyes, things would be different. Every time, they were the same. He was still stuck in EVA mode, sitting in his chair and a hive of activity and voices around him, from Silver and Lee, the whole away team was there, busy working while he sat while they tried to save them and the other away team.
The shuttle bounced softly in the atmosphere and did its best to rock him to sleep, but sleep would not come. He dozed earlier, but as time wore on, sleep was escaping him. They were on a clock before power ran out in their nanosuits and they would be exposed to the virus that caused whatever those Bluegills had. Silver and the team were working hard to figure out a solution so they could return home, but time was against them.
It had been 11 hours since they activated their suits according to his chrono. He saw the minutes ticking and heard the tension in Lee's voice as they tried another last ditch idea. His mind was begging for this to work. He wished it would, but wishing could not solve the solution, but ended with another failure and the toxic spores were present. The words were distorted but tense. Desperate even. His heart sank. They had tried their best, he knew that, but when all options failed, it was his turn for action.
His mind screamed at him. He was afraid this would happen. Out of ideas and out of time. He had trained his mind for the last few hours for this event, but while his mind screamed in protest, his body stayed ridged. He would have given anything to have died on the ground in combat, they all get overwhelmed and die, somehow get infected and left, or just miss the shuttle entirely. They were out of options and now out of time.
He closed his eyes one last time. His mind begging for some alternative to arise. Nothing came. They were good people, good crew, and what more, non-combatants on the same team. A science mission to learn and save others from this fate. He knew his duty though. The virus does not get off planet. His mind screamed in rage, but no words came out. Just pain, pain at the only option left, and the duty he had to carry out. His only grace being he would not live very long in his own personal torment.
His eyes snapped open and he got out of his chair. He walked to the front, leaving his back to everyone. They looked at him, he had not moved in the chair for hours. They asked if he was OK. He was not. A single tear dripped down his cheek and took a breath. With one fluid motion he turned around and brought his phaser down on his comrades. Recognition suddenly appeared in everyone's eyes, the realization he was going to kill them. Through a watery eye he pressed the firing stud with his mind yelling.
"NOOO!!" Patrick yelled, sitting upright in his bed, his breaths deep and labored. He looked around, his hands empty. He was not in a suit, he was in bed. His sheet wet, his chest and hair sweating and dripping. He kicked his feet over the edge and slowed his breathing. "That did not happen. It did not happen. They saved the day. We all made it home." He said outloud to himself. A whisper faint in his mind, but there replied. oO But you were ready to ensure they didn't if you had to. Oo
The voice was right. He would have been the executioner if he had to in order to save the ship and crew from the toxin coming onboard. Though it didn't happen, he had prepared himself to do it, locked in his focus that had the time come, it would have played out as his nightmare. That focus did not come cheap. It left a scar deep inside himself. He could justify it all day long, Starfleet and the Marines may even say well done for saving countless lives, but he knew those were not lives he wanted to take.
The clock showed 0241. He would get no more sleep. "I need to work this stress out." He said to himself. He would workout until he passed out. He grabbed a shirt and shorts and got ready to leave. Before he left he realized something. A part of him died down there with that planet. As he walked out of his quarters to the gym he wondered which part died and what of him was still left?