Ens. Serren Tan - Multitasking! Creating Problems For Caitríona Cayne and Corliss Fortune At The Same Time

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David Adams

Aug 31, 2020, 3:33:35 AM8/31/20
to Gorkon
((OOC: I rolled a d20 on the Discord Gorkon chat to see how "awesome" Tan would be in the fight... ))

((Inside the Bunker, Asteroid Trueno, Bratax System))

Tan: So. "Frank Reynolds", huh. ::He paused.:: Really?

Reynolds: Did you like the song?

So that was her too. Figures. Tan just smiled and went back to his job, but at least some part of him was like... yeah, I knew it.

(( Later ))

Searching a part of the emergency bunker, they had found an odd pair of bunks, and an odd pair of storage lockers, that raised more questions than they answered.

Tan: I think this is a...medical station. Of some sort. Or possibly a rest area for the staff, I don't know. Either way something terrible happened here. ::he thought for a moment:: Still. Could be something useful in those cupboards, though?

Marshall: One’s empty, and the other…

Jo moved towards the next one and gave it a kick with her boot. The sound was different. There was something inside.

She gave him the "get ready to do the Vulcan thing" look, and he obliged, levelling Mister Pointy at the door as the XO got ready to open it. She did so.

Serren got a great view of the body as it tumbled out, limp and disgusting and very, very dead.

D. Reynolds: ::Whispered,:: Oh boy.

His whole face went white as a sheet. Serren's back straightened awkwardly, as though shocked by a current, but he couldn't look away. Not yet. Instinct forced him to look. To evaluate it until there was no possible threat. The image burned itself into his mind, as fresh and clear as the dead Ferengi wasn't.

And then smell. Not rancid and putrid, but a whiff of the beginnings of decomposition was enough. In moments he was joining Jo in hocking, heaving, the urge to puke irresistible. He hunched over, propping himself up using Mister Pointy, the hairs on his forearms standing up. A palpable shudder ran from his tailbone to his neck, shoulders trembling.

He felt colder than he had in the rain. He had never seen a body before, and in the Ring they didn't have animals so he hadn't even had the "training wheels" that most children had of pets or farm animals dying. The symbiont was little help; although Alleran and Death were old friends, and Marlee had autopsied Borg drones in the latter part of her life, for Serren this was a wholly new thing and his past selves were surprisingly little help.

As though they wanted to see how he would react.

Each host had to become their own person... Alleran and Marlee had made their mark, Safine was much more of a ghost, a translucent shadow in the back of his consciousness... but what kind of person would Serren become?

Cayne: What is it? 

Cayne, braver than he and with a stomach of iron, examined the scene with a courageously even-tempered, dispassionate, and clinical air. Quinn seemed to do much the same; it was him and Jo who were suffering. The other two were made of sterner stuff. He was grateful for their strength.

Tan: B-body. Ferengi. Male. Dead. I think, I mean, I'm not... I'm not qualified to make that determination, but...

Marshall: They’re definitely dead, ::Jo blew an exhale,:: or competing in the universe’s most intense staring contest.

She was doing what he had done earlier. Try to make light of their terrible situation. And... it worked. The body was not going to hurt them, it was not a security risk. And this was something where Cayne's skillset would be invaluable.

Tan: Mmf.

Tan held a hand over his mouth, trying to prevent his breakfast from making a cameo appearance. Fortunately, enough time had passed that it didn't. Still, his skin was bone-white, his spots starkly contrasted.

Cayne: It's hard to tell - I think I would have to take a closer look...


Tan was more than eager to step back and give her all the space she wanted to work. His face was still ghostly pale, the blood drained away. He felt vaguely lightheaded but fought aside the rising feeling of nausea. Everyone in the group was relying on him and his pointy stick. Now was not a good time to faint.

Their doctor had previously said she was "not much of a fighter", but if Serren had his doubts at the time, they came back tenfold at that moment. If she could stomach that, then fighting would be no sweat.  

Tan: oO I'll tell it to the counsellor when we're all done here. How... "fortunate"... she's going to be to hear all about this. Oo

Jo pulled out a tricorder. It made chirps and warbles, beeping softly, communicating a bunch of information that he tried very hard to interpret. The device was passed to Cayne. 

Marshall: You know how I made a joke about those tiny face eaters?

Cayne: Yeah... that's still a joke, right?

He wasn't laughing.

With the discipline gifted to him through a childhood spent in a rigorous academy training him for joining, Serren gathered the disturbed, queasy feeling and stuffed it into a mental box, slapped a label "ATTN: CORLISS FORTUNE (with apologies)" on it, and shoved it right to the back of his mind. The feeling of wanting to puke and pass out was officially now their counsellor's problem and something for future-him to work through.

Gotta be alive to get your head shrunk to the size of a pea after all.

Reynolds: In you go, Dyl.

It took him a brief moment to process what was happening, but when he realised Quinn's plan, it met with strong approval. The metal didn't look too strong, but any predator would prefer an easy meal to a violent fighting one, and if the adults were all overwhelmed, the creatures would be very unlikely to take all the effort to open the door when there was a fresh (ish) meal nearby. A number of them, no doubt.

D. Reynolds: Mum— 

Reynolds: I know. ::She cut off his protest and steered him inside.:: We'll be fine, but we need to do this without worrying about you. 

It was true. Having Dylan in a safe (ish) place gave him a lot of freedom to move. Morally and tactically it was the best choice.

It meant they couldn't withdraw, but at the same time, where could they possibly go? Back outside? They had busted their arses getting inside. And the little ones... well, at least he had a chance of fighting them. The T-Rex? No way.

Dylan, obediently and with clear bravery, got put in the cupboard and shut-in. Tan's heart went out to the kid... trapped in the dark, with at least one dead body in the next cupboard over and Starfleet officers fighting for their lives just outside. It must have been terrifying for him. Still, he did it.

Cayne moved closer to him and he straightened himself up, taking several deep, steadying breaths. He knew he probably looked a mess -- hell they all did -- but at this point, the time for casual confidence was long passed.

Marshall: Response

Tan: Time to make my Starfleet Pointy Stick Finding academy class teacher proud, Mister Pointy.

He felt Cayne resting her hand on his upper arm. A welcome touch, one that helped calm his frayed nerves. He inhaled again, shifting into a defensive stance, feet spread, spear held comfortably in both hands. The tip was too high -- he was used to fighting humanoids -- so he lowered it down, right to the height of a small creature's head.

And so, with spear in hand, he waited. His ears filled with the sound of sharp claws on steel. Seemingly all around them...

Marshall: Response 

Cayne: I'm seeing signs of life at 20 meters from our position... :::She kept glancing down:: 15 meters... ::Still looking:: 10 meters...

Serren squinted down the corridor. Ten metres... ten metres. Should be visible any second now. Any second...

Marshall: Response   

Tan: ::muttering:: Come on, come on, where are you...

Cayne: 5 meters... I don't...

Scratching of tiny feet on metal. So clear and nearby... they should have seen them by now. He gripped his spear tightly; the creatures couldn't be anything more than a few steps away, and yet, he couldn't see anything. Couldn't smell anything. The corridor was empty.

Then he realised.

The face-eaters were not in the corridor, they were too smart for that. They had been drawn in by the smell of decay and death, but the wily little monsters were more than aware of the living there, too. And they probably were aware that two-leggers had phasers and tranq-rifles and force fields and all those other confounding things that meant they could not be attacked directly.

Reynolds: They're in the vents.  

Clever girls.

Tan: I see 'em!

He gave an experimental poke at the ceiling with the stick. It was too blunt to fit through. But that metal didn't seem strong.

Reynolds: Cayne, make yourself useful. ::She took the tricorder from her and tossed it back to Jo.:: There must be something in that medkit that can make a tiny dinosaur's life miserable. 

Marshall/Cayne: Response

The metal above groaned ominously. The creatures were testing it, experimentally nipping at it with their jaws. They knew it was weak.

Reynolds: Try to hold them off as best you can, Tan. I'm going to search those bodies and see if there's anything useful on them.

Quinn began to search the bodies for anything they could use. Faced with the choice of fighting off a bunch of Romulan-bred dinosaurs in a narrow space armed only with a stick, versus actually touching a dead body, this was by far his preferred choice.

Tan: Yessir. Long as I can.

Marshall/Cayne: Response

Reynolds: Jo, if you've had any bright ideas... 

Marshall/Cayne: Response

Tan: Okay, here we g-

A section of the metal bowed, warped, and then fell out, dropping to the ground with a clatter, and following right behind it was a green-blue turkey-sized creature, wickedly sharp talons extended, jaws opened, dropping down on him from above. Belluchelodromeus.

Everyone else was injured. Frantically trying to find anything that would help. He was the only one with a weapon. It was up to him.

The basic principle of spearwork remained the same, even when defending from an attack from above. Set feet. Receive charge. Let them do the work. Tan kept the tip of the spear steady, jamming it into the dinosaur's mouth as it leapt toward him. It was a perfect shot, straight down its gullet, and it prevented the monster from latching hold of his vulnerable shoulders and upper body. The Romulan monster choked and gagged, teeth dripping black ichorous saliva down onto his uniform. Sharp claws scratched at his arms, slashing shallow but painful scratches into his biceps. Tan thrashed the stick around, slamming the creature against the wall, stunning it momentarily.

Bleeding from the mouth, the creature hissed, then turned and fled down the corridor, away from them.

No time to celebrate. Tan slid backward, keeping his stance as best he could, raising up the tip of the spear. Blood ran down his forearms, little thin rivers mixing with the black saliva. Two more of the creatures leapt out of the vent hole; the first one impaled itself directly on the tip, dying in a gory spray as the pointed tip slid into the monster's lower belly. The second fell down beside him, latching hold of his leg.

Tan kicked out but overbalanced, the skilled predator tearing him off his feet. He landed roughly on his chest, Mister Pointy, the body of the second dinosaur still impaled on it, clattering to the ground.

D. Reynolds/Reynolds/Marshall/Cayne: Response 

He scrambled to get into a less hopeless position, kicking out frantically. Then the dinosaur released his pants-leg and bit him straight on the butt.

((OOC: ...I rolled a "2" ))

Tan yelped as the razor-sharp teeth sank into his right buttcheek, a tender area, but one which was mercifully devoid of any critical organs. The dino's claws sank into his leg, holding itself firmly in place and ripping the black pants of his uniform to shreds, pointy claws drawing crimson red lines on the flesh below. It held the bite for a moment, as though injecting something, then -- perhaps satisfied he was crippled and would make a good kill -- it released the limb, teeth bared, aiming for his gold-collared neck. 

Being joined gave many gifts. Multiple lifetimes of memories. Increased confidence. A deeper voice. None of which mattered at that moment, but one did: increased dexterity, reflexes, and coordination.

Time to use what the grub had given him.

Serren flexed and pushed off the ground, rolling to one side and out of the way, the dinosaur's teeth missing his spotty neck by a millimetre. He gracefully backflipped into the air, kicking out as he soared, his left boot slamming into the creature's chin. He landed elegantly on his feet, back against the wall.

He wasn't just strong, he was fast too. But it was a desperate maneuver, and while it knocked the monster back for a moment and he was standing again, he no longer had a weapon.

Burning pain all the way up and down his right leg. Burning pain in his shoulder. Adrenaline dulled both. With an angry roar, Serren grabbed the open door of the cabinet -- the one with the body in it, not with Dylan inside -- and, fuelled by the fear of imminent slaughter, put his upper body strength to use and tore the metal sheet off its hinges. He swung the metal sheet up and down, clocking the dinosaur right on the head.

Once. Twice. Thrice. The thin sheet metal bent and twisted, then snapped. The dinosaur squawked, jerked, then apparently had had enough. It too ran away, scurrying after its friend, squawking and calling for it.


He limped over to the bloody body of the impaled dinosaur, tore Mister Pointy out, then made sure the monster was finished as painlessly as possible. With only a pointy stick the work was quick but gruesome.

The mental boxes addressed to Doctor Fortune were piling up, threatening to stress the attic of his head, but a youth of training and preparation had given him plenty of mental attic space. He could decompress later. Cook something. Talk it all over. For now, though, they needed to survive, and there was no time for fear and disgust when everyone's life was on the line.

D. Reynolds/Reynolds/Marshall/Cayne: Response

His breathing was ragged and worked, but he shook his head, rubbing his backside ruefully. He knew Dylan was still in the cupboard so he... narrated.

Tan: We're okay. I think I got the worst of it. My, uhh, leg got cut up pretty good. Arm, too, fortunately not as much. But I got 'em. ::a pained grin-grimace:: Still in the fight, sirs.

Some parts of him were looking like Trill hamburger meat, and the injuries stung more than a bit, but more alarmingly, the pain seemed to be spreading, seeping into his thigh and lower back. It itched, and the feeling seemed to come from below the skin, as though it were infecting his nervous system. He did a quick check; hands steady, if bloody and pale. Sight, okay. A slight ringing in his ears. Nothing too much.

He'd done his job, now he planned on letting Cayne do hers. They still had the medkit. It probably had enough stuff to help out with the injuries.

D. Reynolds/Reynolds/Marshall/Cayne: Response 

He cast an eye up to the vent above. 

Tan: They gave up too easily. That was just a few, and apart from that one, they fled at the first sign of true resistance. The others... they're either waiting or something scared them off. ::the itching spread and he subconsciously scratched at his lower back:: I think there was something in those bites. ::he considered:: Hey Dylan... did you say poisonous, or venomous? Or... both? 

Both would be terribly Romulan.

D. Reynolds/Reynolds/Marshall/Cayne: Response   

He nodded grimly. Maybe it wasn't black saliva... but venom. He was far from a specialist on Romulan dinosaurs. The ringing in his ears grew louder, frustrating and painful, and a slight tremor ran through his fingers.

Tan: More will be coming, I'm sure. Probably in greater numbers now that they have a taste for us. Found anything that might be useful, skipper? Mister Pointy is the hero we need right now, but if there's anything more useful in there... happy to give him a well-earned retirement.

Ow, ow, ow. Whatever it was, venom or something else, it really hurt.

D. Reynolds/Reynolds/Marshall/Cayne: Response 



USS Gorkon


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