(( Starbase 118 - Alora’s quarters))
The alarm blared in her ears, it’s wretched voice hammered at her head. Warning! Warning! Warning! With every beat of that screech, Her own hands pounded at the doors, but they remained solid. Unyielding. Beyond, several figures stood, their eyes wide, mouth slack in shock. One woman was not paralyzed by the plight of those before her. Her body tensed, and her mouth opened and shut in jerky movements as she barked orders at those around her. It sent a few into motion, stumbling toward consoles, hands frantically clapping away at the consoles. The woman turned, her mouth set into a thin, grim line, her dark eyes hard, yet despairing. Despairing. That was the last Alora saw of Captain Davis before the blast doors slammed shut, cutting them all off from view.
There was a scream. Hi pitched, it pierced over the blast of each shot from the alarm itself. It was her. She was screaming. Another voice called out, the depths of its timber a sharp contrast to the screech of her own. Hands grabbed and yanked at her, dragging her back further into the room, every step punctuated with that same blaring sound that refused to quiet. Alora turned, her eyes lifting to a face, one that only hours before she had opened her eyes to see it smiling at her, eyes ebony gaze shining, his fingers tracing her cheek. Now it was set in stony determination, those eyes focused on something beyond. She turned her own to follow their path. A large storage bin had been freed of its burden, leaving its contents empty, hollow. Without a word, he shoved her within, the metal sides slicing into her legs, drawing blood. Desperately, she thrashed until she turned, that face now focused on her. Its hardness softened, sorrow now clouding that dark gaze before he slammed it shut. Hands clenched into fists and pounded at the metal door, then again - and again - and again - and again - the shriek of the alarm echoing through her mind.
Arms and legs flailed as Alora’s eyes flew open to be met with darkness. Fighting with the covers, she thrashed out, only to tumble from the bed onto the floor, her linens with her. Breath heaved in and out, her chest rising and falling in a rapid pace, body desperately scrambling for air as her heart raced and threw itself against the walls of her chest, attempting to break free from its prison while pain lanced through with every strike. Roiling, churning, and complaining mightily among the cacophony of the rest of her, her stomach heaved and she attempted to push herself up. The covers were her nemesis, sliding beneath her, hands and legs splaying in a desperate attempt to gain traction. Turning over, she kicked at the sheets, the wild motion only turning her stomach more, bile stinging her throat and staining her mouth. She barely made it to the bathroom, her face bowing beneath the frown of the toilet as she heaved, her stomach noisily announcing its rebellion, unrepentant. A moment later, it quieted, simply reduced to grumblings. Alora’s arm rested over the mouth of that commode, her forehead still damp where it pressed against it, her heaving reduced to gasps, which morphed into sobs. Her throat seared hot from its previous abuse only flared even further, constricting tightly with every gulp of air. Eventually, that too subsided. Eventually, she lifted her head. Eventually, she pushed herself to her feet. Clasping to the edge of the sink, Alora stared at her reflection, her skin stripped of its colour, lips cracked, eyes hollow. Bending over, she opened the faucet and allowed the water to run over her hands, then splashed it over her face. Peeling off her clothes, she turned to the welcoming embrace of the sonic shower, allowing it to relieve her of the remnants of the night, offering some glimpse of normalcy, however miniscule. She lingered there, loath to brave stepping out into the world, into the reality that only seemed to weigh heavy upon her. Yet, she also could not remain there. Within that reality, there was joy. Sometimes it was hard to remember, but it was there. She just had to look for it. She just had to remember it. She just had to embrace that spark that kept her going. Stepping out, she paused, staring once more at her reflection.
Licking her lips, Alora turned away to shuffle back to her room and pull out one of her uniforms and undergarments. She kicked aside the abandoned sheets, unwilling to deal with them for now, and tugged on her clothes, her mind unwilling, perhaps unable, to really formulate real thoughts, simply drawing her through familiar motions, moving her step by step toward reality.
Once dressed, she rose once more, and one last time faced a mirror. Slowly, colour returned, her cheeks and lips tinted with pink, her green eyes alight with a glimmer of life. She blinked at herself and shook her head, reaching up to rub her hand over her face. Finally, she turned and passed through the doors that led to her room. She paused, briefly, to regard the replicator, but her stomach twitched and she elected to forgo breakfast. Instead, her feet continued on their path toward another set of doors - doors that led to the outside world. A brief hesitation was interrupted by a continuation and the doors parted. Light from the hallway beamed a welcome and, after a brief pause upon the threshold, Alora took a deep breath, then crossed over to join the world.
-- Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239008AD0