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When a few members of the crew die in a mysterious way an investigation is soon underway, but they soon learn that something's are better left alone.
3rd - 5th, 7th, 10th & 13th June 2005
August 2372 (early season 3)
years ago on a M-class planet:
A little nine year old girl stood in front of a tall tree, looking up the blossoming flowers on it's lower branches. Dry leaves dropped from the higher branches. A green one landed next to her, she held out her hand and it started to go back into the air. It gently flew into her hand.
"S'lare!" a young woman's voice called from the house nearby.
The girl turned away from the tree, "coming." The leaf crumbled in her hand then she ran towards the house.
Voyager, the FVDA quarters:
Damien was sitting on a sofa while watching the TV, and stuffing his face with popcorn.
"Ah this is the life, no annoying servants whining and complaining," he sighed.
A voice screamed in the next room, "aaaaagh, what's that!"
Damien groaned, "he must have looked in the mirror again."
"My god, it's horrible!" the voice screeched.
"You'd think he'd be used to it," Damien muttered.
The screaming turned even more girly than before, "mummy!"
Damien growled as he stood up. He started slamming his hand against the wall. "Keep it down you mummy's boy!"
"Sir? Oh my god, help meeeee!" the voice screamed. His scream ended abruptly which was followed by a loud thud.
"Finally," Damien sighed. Another scream made him roll his eyes. "Computer, raise the volume by three points."
"Acknowledged," the computer responded.
A huge swarm of crewmembers were standing outside the quarters, all chatting away. Some were even holding drinks. One Security guy stood in front of the door looking nervous.
James and Tuvok walked down the corridor, towards them. "Since when do we jump at a FVDA death?" James asked.
"I do not know, crewman Parsons said this one was differently strange," Tuvok replied.
"Yes we know Justin is strange. The guy's immortal, he'll be ok by the time we get there you know," James said.
The two pushed their way through the swarm to get to the Security guy. "Parsons, report."
He turned to them, "oh Lieutenant sir. I apologise for this, as soon as they heard about his death, they swarmed to see. I cannot go back in or they'll get in too."
"You did the right thing," Tuvok said.
"I guess, but what's so different about him? He died just yesterday," James said.
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, "he did?"
James glanced away, "well some guy hit him over the head, with a tray. I'm still trying to find suspects."
"Indeed," Tuvok said, looking suspicious.
"I'm warning you sir, it's not a pleasant sight in there," Parsons said. "There seemed to be a struggle as furniture was damaged and overturned. But he doesn't have any physical wounds."
"Interesting," Tuvok said.
"We know it's not a pleasant sight. I've seen a clip of that video he did where there was clones of him. Now that's scarier than Janeway on fifty cups of coffee," James said.
"Indeed," Tuvok nodded in agreement.
"Eugh, if it's worse than this, I do not want to see it," Parsons said. He stepped out of the way. James and Tuvok walked in to the quarters. Parsons quickly blocked the door again.
"Oh, that is interesting," James commented, raising an eyebrow.
Tuvok managed to raise both of his.
James and Tuvok followed Matthews out of the office. "It's really strange, but what isn't on this ship, huh?" he said. They all stopped next to a body with a sheet covering it.
"What can you tell us?" Tuvok asked.
Matthews raised a PADD so he could read it. "The only wounds he sustained were an odd few bruises, but those couldn't have killed him. I believe they happened when he fell to the ground. He obviously died before the fall."
"So what did kill him?" Tuvok asked.
"His heart just stopped sir. I did an autopsy and there's no reason why it should have done so," Matthews replied. "Actually it seems like it happened a few times."
"That will be his so called immortality kicking in," James said.
Matthews shrugged his shoulders, "obviously he ran out of lives."
"So what happened to him?" Tuvok questioned.
"Isn't it obvious, he must have looked in the mirror while getting changed," James replied. He lifted the cover to reveal Justin's traumatised, pale face. "Or he accidentally got a video of Janeway showering."
"Or his monitor screen got stuck on a late night Big Brother 'Live' show," Matthews said. "Seriously though, I've never seen anyone suffer a heart attack just because they were scared before."
"I take it that clown episode didn't happen in this series's timeline," Tuvok said.
"No thank god," James said.
"This wasn't a usual heart attack though, yes his readings show he died terrified but that doesn't explain the heart stopping," Matthews said.
James raised an eyebrow, "didn't he plug McDonalds once, surely he ate too much of that stuff."
"Mr Taylor, please take this seriously," Tuvok muttered.
"Not if he had those new baguette things or the salads," Matthews said.
"Nah, he was taken in 2003, they weren't around then, I think," James said.
Tuvok shook his head, "please get started on this investigation, I will be on the bridge." He headed towards the exit.
"It's always me," James muttered. "Anyway everyone knows those baguette things have fatty meat in them, or mayonnaise. It wouldn't surprise me if they coated the salads with meat juice."
Matthews sighed, "I guess, but his cholesterol levels were low. Something else did this."
"Let's hope it wasn't that damn clown after all. We really need some original episodes," James said.
hour or so later, FVDA quarters:
The remaining FVDA crewmembers were having a little party. Music was playing in the background, everybody was either dancing or stuffing their faces.
"I can't believe it, who knew he just had lots of lives like a computer game," Gareth said.
Damien nodded, "if I knew that before, I would have hit him more times." He groaned as his stomach made a rumbling sound, "ugh I feel sick, what was in that cup cake?" He walked into the bathroom.
Myleene ran over to Johnny and his clone, "this is a wicked party, ey?"
"Yeah, it's bitching," Johnny said.
Johnny Junior groaned, "would you stop it with that accent."
"Aaaw, somebody's cranky," Myleene giggled.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that squealers dead, but aren't you guys worried that whatever killed him is related?" Johnny Junior said.
"Don't be silly, he dies all the time. Just because he died properly doesn't mean the way he died had any meaning," Johnny said.
"Related? A family member killed him?" Myleene said. The two Johnny's stared blankly at her.
"Bimbo," Johnny Junior muttered. "Nobody's explained how it happened, aren't you worried?"
"No, he probably just found that video of Neelix streaking down the corridor that I found," Johnny replied. He shuddered and was forced to put down his cup cake. "Boy we sure found some screwy video files that day, didn't we?"
"I guess," Johnny Junior said. The TV behind him switched itself on, but it only showed static.
"Ugh that damn thing's been playing up for a week," Johnny grumbled. He walked over to it and switched it off.
"I don't blame it, showing something that dodgy probably made even it feel sick," Johnny Junior said.
Damien stepped out, holding his stomach. "All right, who made those cup cakes?"
Myleene raised her hand, "I did, nice aren't they?" Everybody put their own cup cakes down. Damien rushed back into the bathroom.
The Security Office:
"Ok, why on earth was one of those guys watching that Pokémon movie?" James questioned as he worked on the computer. On its screen there was a list of video files. "Well it could have been the sixth one, that's the worst." He frowned as he read further down the list. "Why did they watch Deck two footage from a fortnight ago?"
Kathryn strolled in holding a cup of coffee. James didn't notice her, he played the video file. His eyes widened in panic, he pushed the computer to the side but it fell off the table and smashed on impact.
"Oh my, what did it do?" Kathryn asked.
James jumped in shock as he turned to her, "don't do that, especially after watching a horror movie."
"Horror movie? Ooh which one, I love scary movies," Kathryn giggled. She sat down on the chair opposite him.
"Oh just Neelix running down the corridor, waving his pants above his head and... eugh, dancing," James replied, still with his eyes really wide. "What are you doing here?"
"I was just wondering if anyone else has reported anything strange recently," Kathryn replied.
"What besides Justin dying for no reason and the timeloop just over a week ago?" James said.
"Yes," Kathryn replied. "Oh you know what, never mind, it's nothing."
"No, what is it?" James asked.
"It doesn't matter really, it's silly," Kathryn replied as she got out of her chair.
"No you scared me before, so sit," James muttered.
Kathryn stared blankly at him, she sat back down. "Chakotay mentioned those two men who were the victims in the timeloop, they had a feeling that something was watching them."
"Yeah, are you getting it then?" James said.
Kathryn looked nervous, "no somebody else is, lemme see, Harry yes."
"Ok well tell Harry that no one else has had this feeling for a week," James said. "When that girl died, the demons went back to wherever they came from."
"See, I told you it was silly," Kathryn said, smiling nervously. "So how's the mystery going?"
"Well I think I solved it," James replied. "Last week the FVDA people were watching a lot of video files, one was the Neelix streaking one. Justin must have accidentally played it a second time, and got so scared he died."
"Why would he? Nobody else died," Kathryn asked.
"I dunno, there is no other explanation. Nobody could have done this to him so it was obviously an accident. Unless Damien switched the video on from the next room," James replied.
"Damien? He was in the next room?" Kathryn questioned.
"Yeah, he was the one who found him," James replied. "I know I should question him but he's more of a pest than Tom."
Kathryn raised an eyebrow, "James, you have to start being professional some time."
"Why, it's a punishment job," James said.
Kathryn smiled as she folded her arms on the desk, "you should think about taking it up properly. I think you're better at this than sharing that station with Jessie on the bridge. Frankly it doesn't need two people."
James pulled a face, "well actually..."
The intercom interrupted him: "Damien to Security."
"Great, excuse me," James muttered. He tapped his commbadge. "Taylor here, what's the matter?"
In: "I think everyone at the party ate too much of Myleene's cup cakes."
James pulled another face, "why tell me this?"
In: "That doctor creeps me out."
"Ok, so what do you mean then, are they sick?" James asked.
In: "No I am, I went into the bathroom to..."
"Yeah too much info," James said. Kathryn nodded her head.
In: "Eugh, to be sick you imbecile."
"Ok," James muttered, not looking too happy.
In: "I heard something in the next room, so when I was finally able to go back into the main room, I found them all on the floor."
"Are you saying they're dead or just complaining too much?" James asked.
In: "Dead, can I still keep these quarters?"
Kathryn smiled, "I see your concern for your crew is showing."
"Yeah um, I'll be right there. Don't tell anyone else, we don't want a crowd like last time," James said. He climbed out of his chair while tapping his commbadge again.
"This is interesting," Kathryn muttered.
"What?" James said.
"All of the FVDA but Damien have died in the space of what, two weeks? Suspicious, no?" Kathryn said.
"He did say he wanted to get rid of them," James said. "Told you he must have played that video file for Justin." He stepped out of the room.
Damien stood nearby the main door with his arms folded, he was trying to avoid looking at the mess on the floor. The mess was in fact Johnny, Myleene and Gareth lying on the ground with the same traumatised looks on their faces, lying completely still.
"Come on, come out," he grumbled.
"It's coming, coming," Johnny Junior's voice stuttered.
"What's coming?" Damien asked.
The main door opened, James, Foster, Sid and Thompson walked in. Foster and Thompson's eyes widened in horror as they looked at the bodies. Sid just tilted his head to the side and pulled a face.
James sighed, "just like Justin."
"I know, why do I keep finding them?" Damien grumbled.
"Are they catatonic, or just dead?" Sid asked. Everyone ignored him.
"All right, is there anything else you can tell me?" James asked.
Damien shrugged, "no I told you, I just came in and they were like this. Oh but Johnny's clone is hiding in that closet." He pointed at the cupboard in the corner next to the window.
"Foster, Sid," James said. Sid ran over to the cupboard while Foster edged there, very slowly.
"He's still alive," Damien said.
"Oh, thank god," Foster muttered, he joined Sid at the cupboard. He opened it. Johnny Junior sat in there, shaking madly with his arms around his legs.
"Who made you the boss anyway?" Thompson asked huffily.
"Tuvok, he told me to investigate," James replied.
Thompson clicked his fingers, "damn, is this a good time to tell you that I'm allergic to uh... dead bodies."
Damien raised an eyebrow, "so much for joining Security, it seems to me that the basic requirements are be a nutcase or a big wimp."
"Don't you fall into both of those categories?" James muttered, narrowing his eyes at him.
Foster pouted, then shook his head. He knelt down, "hey Johnny, it's ok. Nothing's going to hurt you."
"Yes, if something tries I'll jump in front of you, or behind depending on how it attacks," Sid said.
Johnny Junior looked at Foster then Sid, "it doesn't matter, it gets you no matter what."
"All right, what does?" Foster asked.
James looked around the room as he went over to the closest body, which was Gareth's. Thompson remained near the door with Damien.
"I'm sure I'll figure something out," Sid said.
Foster rolled his eyes, "what did this to them?"
James took out a tricorder and started to scan Gareth's body. "Foster it's ok, give him time."
"Yeah good idea," Foster said. He glanced in Damien's direction. "Did he witness the whole thing?"
"No doubt," Damien replied.
"Then when he's recovered we'll have to talk to him again, he's the only one who knows what happened," Foster said.
James stood back up, "well we have a better idea already." Everyone but Johnny Junior glanced at him. "I detected telepathic activity, it was fading. No doubt Justin's was gone by the time he had the autopsy."
"Explain to me how telepathy stops someone's heart, and makes them die with weird looks on their faces," Thompson muttered. "And freaks out one of the victim's teenaged clone."
"I didn't say that I solved the whole mystery, idiot," James said.
"For now we should get them to the morgue, and Junior to Sickbay," Foster said.
"Good good," Damien said. He cleared his throat, "so can I join Security?" Everyone but Johnny turned to stare at him. "What, you can't get yogurts on this ship without a replicator, can you? Jeez I need the rations."
All of the senior staff had found themselves a place to sit around the table.
"So in conclusion, what has everyone learned?" Kathryn questioned. Chakotay stared at her impatiently, drumming his fingers.
"Chakotay's a number of things, like an idiot, lame brain, fat ape," B'Elanna said, rolling her eyes.
Kathryn grinned, "exactly. Now onto more important business."
Tuvok nodded, "thank you Captain. The mysterious death..."
Kathryn slammed her hand on the table, "no no, the matter of the coffee. I can't even get decaf anymore, what's up with that?"
"I think four deaths in the space of a day is more important," Tom muttered.
"Exactly, even if it is those annoying celebrities who should have been dead centuries ago," Harry added on.
"All right fine, let's talk about that," Kathryn groaned.
"Each of the recent victims had telepathic activity in their brains," James said. "Also according to Damien, they all died screaming."
"So murder one then," Tom commented.
"Probably, maybe the last three wouldn't have died if Damien had checked on Justin when he heard him," Chakotay said.
"I think you're avoiding the obvious," B'Elanna muttered. "The only one around was Damien for all of the murders. The only witness is a scared teenager who won't talk. Damien did tell James he wanted rid of them all."
"Maybe but how did he do it exactly?" James asked.
Kes nodded her head, "I highly doubt Damien could have made their hearts stop with no contact or drugs. All of their tests came out clean, their hearts were perfectly healthy."
"What about the 'they were so scared' theory?" Harry asked.
"It's the closest theory we have, but what on earth could have scared them so much?" Chakotay replied. Everyone but Tuvok was about to say something. "No one say stupid videos of Neelix streaking or Janeway showering!"
Kathryn looked appalled, "what, that's not very nice."
Jessie raised her hand a little, "what about a little program where they can see possible offspring of crewmembers, like say Neelix or Janeway."
Tom shuddered, "why would anyone abuse a program like that."
Kathryn glared at them both. Neelix was close to tears at this point.
"There's a program like that, I'll have to have a look at it," James said.
Tom grinned, "me too, I can see what a Tom and B'E... er Bertha kid looks like." B'Elanna started glaring at him too.
Chakotay groaned, "we're going off track again. Can't we have one meeting where we don't?" Everyone but the ones glaring shook their heads.
"I'd have you know that my children would be beautiful," Kathryn muttered.
"What, even the boys?" Jessie giggled.
"No, girls would inherit my beauty and be strong like me. The boys would be handsome like their dads, but would have to have my eyes and most of my personality," Kathryn said. Most of the room started sniggering.
Chakotay glanced at her with a smile, "that's nice of you to say." He then raised an eyebrow and frowned. "Wait, are you saying Peter Taylor is? Or are you saying he isn't and James unfortunately got his looks." he whispered.
Kathryn shrugged and tried to look innocent, "he wasn't that bad looking."
Chakotay shuddered, "thanks for sharing."
Kathryn smiled at him, "I'm kidding, you're much better looking. Besides James looks more like me anyway, that's why he is easy on the eyes."
"What are you two talking about?" Tom asked. The two blushed.
"Nothing," they replied.
The Doctor and James made their way out of the office, and over to Johnny Junior's biobed. "He's still a little shaken up but at least he's calmer than before," the Doctor said.
"Has he said anything to you yet?" James asked.
"Nothing relevant. He keeps muttering to himself 'not enough time' though," the Doctor replied.
"Right thanks," James said. The Doctor walked back towards his office. James stopped next to Johnny Junior. "The doc said you're ready to talk now."
He nodded, "it came."
"What did?" James questioned.
"It came like it said it would," Johnny Junior stuttered. He slowly looked up, shaking a little. "Seven days."
"I'm sorry I don't understand. Something did this to them, what was it and where did it go?" James questioned.
"I don't know, I was hiding," Johnny Junior replied. "I'd never seen anything like it before."
"You said it told you," James said.
Johnny Junior nodded, "seven days ago. I only heard it."
"Did everyone else hear it?" James asked.
"I don't know, probably. I watched it on my own," Johnny Junior replied.
"Watched what?" James asked.
"A video file Justin got a copy of, he saw it and showed it to the others, and then me," Johnny Junior replied.
"Do you know what it was under? I did get access to a video list your quarters played in the last few weeks," James said.
Johnny Junior's eyes widened, "no you can't watch it."
"I don't get how a video file is linked to their deaths," James said.
"If you watch it you'll figure it out," Johnny Junior muttered. "I wouldn't though, it must be deleted. Please, you have to."
"All right fine, but what was the file's name?" James asked.
Johnny Junior shrugged, "I don't know."
"Ok last question I promise," James said. "Where did Justin get a copy?"
"That planet we stopped at for supplies last week," Johnny Junior replied. "Please just get rid of it, maybe then we'll be safe."
"Affirmative. Mr Timberlake did join one of the teams that went to the surface. He got separated for an hour," Tuvok said.
"Something must have happened to him then. He probably was infected with a virus," Kathryn said.
Chakotay nodded, "it's a possibility. Some viruses can hide themselves pretty well."
"Ok but what about what Junior said? He mentioned that something got them," James said.
Jessie sighed, "yeah and you can't forget the fact that they died screaming, they looked terrified and Junior was traumatised because he witnessed it."
"Well it would help if the boy could tell us what happened exactly," Chakotay said.
"I don't think even he knows," James said. "And I'm sure he thinks he's next."
"What ever gave him that idea?" Chakotay asked. "If it's because he's a FVDA then we know what's happened, Damien infected them with something and set up this alibi."
"We're not going to solve this by playing guessing games," Kathryn grumbled. "Chakotay and I will take two teams to the surface, we'll find out what we can."
"Somebody should keep an eye on Damien, just in case," Chakotay said.
Kathryn nodded, "agreed, he'll join a team."
"That wasn't what I meant," Chakotay muttered.
"The video file," James said quietly. Everyone looked at him. "Junior mentioned that all of them watched a file Justin got a copy of."
"And, how will that help?" Chakotay questioned.
"It can't hurt to find it and delete any copies. Come on, we've had stranger things than that, right?" James replied.
"How will you know which one is the one he's talking about?" Kathryn asked.
"A few things, it should say it's a copy for one thing," James replied.
Jessie narrowed her eyes at him, "just don't watch it."
"I won't," James said. "For safety reasons I suggest after it's deleted, the computer systems should get a thorough virus scan."
"When I mentioned viruses, I didn't mean computer ones," Kathryn said.
"You can't seriously be suggesting that a video file infected with a virus killed him, are you?" Chakotay asked.
"No but it might have had something to do with it," James replied.
Jessie clicked her fingers, "ah ha, the video file is probably home made, and the creators are not happy about it being distributed."
"Maybe," Kathryn muttered like she didn't mean it. "Fine, check the file and delete it."
"Um check the file? Does that mean watch it?" Jessie stuttered.
"No not really. We need to know more about it, we can't just delete it as soon as it's found," Kathryn said.
"I'll run it through a virus scan but that's all I'm really going to do," James said.
Chakotay shook his head, "this is ridiculous. Somebody let me know when a sane theory comes along." He walked away.
The Security Office:
James was now working at the computer on the desk. On the screen there were a long list of video files. One of the files was selected. He narrowed his eyes as he read the name, which was just a bunch of symbols and accented letters.
"Computer, run a virus scan on the selected file."
The computer responded, "virus scan completed. There are no virus within this file. However there is a sector of the file that cannot be scanned."
"Great," James muttered. He keyed in a few commands, "scan again." He got up and headed over to the replicator.
The computer started to make a noise that sounded like a modem continuously trying to connect, and failing. He turned to stare at it after picking up a cup, then rushed back over to it. The noise stopped when he pressed one button.
"What the hell was that," he muttered, sitting back down. He pressed another button, a details page came up, but instead of the usual writing the screen started filling up with similar writing to the file name.
James looked at the top right hand corner of the screen, which was clear of letters. Instead a reflection of a girl stood far behind his own there. He quickly turned his chair around, but nothing was there. "Computer, how long is this file?"
"Thirty two point three seconds," the computer replied.
"Play the first ten," James said.
In: "Parsens to Taylor."
He tapped his commbadge, "what is it now?"
Tuvok, James and Parsens stood over Johnny Junior's stiff body, which was in a similar state to the other victims. "The Doctor went offline for ten minutes, when he came back he was like this," Parsens said.
"Who turned him off?" Tuvok asked.
"The computer seemed to do it on its own," Parsens replied.
"I should have deleted it, damn it," James muttered.
"Ensign, deleting that file couldn't have saved his life," Tuvok said.
James glanced at him briefly, "I wouldn't be so sure about that." He stepped back out.
Kathryn and Chakotay stood with two teams, in front of the transporter pad.
"Why should I get him?" Kathryn moaned.
"Because you were the one who said he should come," Chakotay replied.
Damien smiled as he folded his arms, "they're arguing over me."
Jessie and Faye stared at him blankly. "Not in a good way you know," Jessie pointed out.
Damien's face dropped, "don't ruin it."
"Come on, I don't want to be late for lunch or I'll be too weak to do anything," Lee moaned.
"But when I picked you up you were eating eggs, beans and chips, besides you're eating now," Chakotay said.
Lee took a bite out of a burger, "that was my brunch, this is my lunch pre-appetiser."
"Wow, I thought James ate a lot," Jessie commented.
Danny developed a smirk on her face, "so uh, what are we doing today? Getting supplies or begging to go through someone's space?"
"Actually we're going back to a planet to solve a murder mystery," Kathryn replied. "Well we think it's murder."
Lisa pulled a face, "eugh I don't want to do that."
"It's not like you have a choice," Kathryn muttered.
The two teams rematerialised in the quietest part of a busy market place. "Ok split up," Kathryn said.
"Yes ma'am, come on," Chakotay said. Lisa, Lee and Danny followed him, Lee was snacking on another burger.
Jessie, Faye and Damien turned to stare at Kathryn. "Ahem," Faye muttered.
Kathryn glanced at them, "huh, oh sorry, why don't we meet back here later." She ran off towards a market stall filled with coffee jars and other little things.
"Well where should we look first?" Jessie asked.
"Justin mentioned he got the video file from a rental store," Damien replied.
"Ok, where's that?" Faye asked.
"I don't know, I didn't hang with him," Damien replied, shaking his head. He walked away. The two followed him not looking too sure about it.
Chakotay's team meanwhile split up into two groups.
"Find the video store, why the hell do they have a store that sells files anyway," Danny muttered as she walked along the street with Lee by her side. Her eyes rested on a cosy little café on the corner. "Oh screw that," she said and headed towards it.
"But Danny, we're supposed to trace Justin's movements, we shouldn't take a..." Lee said, but then he noticed where she was heading. "Oh but lunch always comes first."
They both rushed into the café.
"We should try asking around while Danny and Lee find the store he went into," Chakotay said. He glanced to the right, then the left, both sides of him were clear so he stopped. "Lisa?" He turned back around and found her chatting to a tall dark man. She was clearly flirting with him, twirling her long hair in between her fingers. "Lisa!"
She turned her head, "what? I'm asking for info."
Chakotay marched over to her, "yeah right."
The man smiled, "I did see your friend actually miss. He wandered the market, visited a café down the street."
"How do you know this?" Chakotay asked.
"I remember he asked for directions, I was on my way there at the time," the man replied.
"Did he have anything with him?" Lisa asked, smiling sweetly at him.
"Yes, he had a little carrier bag," the man replied.
"Thanks, well at least we've got a head start on the others," Lisa said.
"Is he missing or something?" the man asked.
"No he died, we're investigating," Lisa replied.
Chakotay cleared his throat, "Lisa, enough."
"Let me guess, heart stopped for no reason and no motive for murder?" the man questioned.
Chakotay and Lisa burst out laughing. "Oh that's a good one," Lisa giggled into her hand.
"Oh he was a pain in the arse, but yes you were right about the heart stopping. How did you...?" Chakotay said.
"Wow, you two have been out of the loop for a while haven't you?" the man muttered. "Four people died last week because of the same thing. I thought everyone knew."
Chakotay groaned, "I see you can only successfully flirt with dumb guys." He turned back to the guy, "we're not from your planet, we don't even look like you."
The man raised an eyebrow, "I know, but your ship was here over a week ago, right? I'm surprised it wasn't even mentioned as the officials have been warning all visitors of an 'epidemic'."
"I wasn't told about this," Chakotay said.
"Tell us more about this uh, 'epidemic'," Lisa said.
Jessie and Faye were standing at a video store's counter, while Damien was browsing through all the small boxes on the shelves.
"Yeah he was really ugly, shaved bald head, annoying voice," Jessie was saying.
The woman at the counter nodded, "yes I remember him. He rented a file just last week."
"Which one?" Faye asked. The woman pulled a puzzled face at her. "He kept going on and on about a movie he saw, and wouldn't tell us the title."
"That file was an old cast off, it didn't have a title," the woman said. "It was dropped off by some teens, I was skeptical about renting it without even seeing it first but what could I do?"
"He hasn't returned it huh, shame," Jessie said.
"No he did," the woman said with a smile. She turned around to pick a black box off one of the shelves behind her. She placed it onto the counter, "I don't see what the big deal about it is though."
"You saw it?" Jessie questioned.
Damien snorted as he walked over to them, "I bet it was a porn video, Justin was a bit dodgy."
"Yes I watched it. It was only thirty odd seconds long and seemed badly home made," the woman replied.
"See told you, it was probably his porn home movie of him getting off with a hologram," Damien commented.
Jessie and Faye looked disgusted. "Eew, I don't want to see that," Faye moaned.
"Like she said, it'll be over before you know what's hit you. Lucky hologram," Damien said. He pulled a face, "actually no it's not, I hope he deleted it."
"I said a group of teens dropped it off, er... sir," the woman muttered. "It wasn't porn, if it was I wouldn't still have it."
"Then what is it then?" Jessie asked.
"I'm not sure, it's probably an unfinished documentary for school or something," the woman replied.
"Hmm, we'll take it," Damien said.
"Uh, why?" Jessie muttered.
Damien shrugged, "I don't know, maybe it'll help us solve what happened to Justina and the others."
"In thirty seconds of crappy film making? Right," Jessie said. "Look James has the idea that this actually responsible, so I don't think so."
"Oh if he told you that Janeway quit coffee voluntarily or Voyager flies on pixie dust, you'd believe him," Damien said.
"Would not," Jessie said with a pout.
Faye giggled, "pixie dust."
"Yeah um, we'll take it," Damien said.
"All right, but I'll give you a discount as it's short. One seventy," the woman said. She handed over the box to him, he glanced at Faye then Jessie.
"Money girls," he said.
"Ugh, I'm paying for my own funeral and gravestone here," Jessie muttered as she fished some alien currency out of her bag. She handed it to the woman.
"What kind of cheap funeral are you having?" Damien asked as he headed for the exit. Jessie pulled a face and followed him.
Faye giggled again, "pixie dust, that would be cool."
"I don't see why we had to get a second copy," Jessie muttered quietly.
Damien opened the exit door, "Slayer boy was going to delete it right, we're going to need it." He left the store, shortly followed by Jessie then Faye. As the door closed behind them the TV hanging up from the ceiling changed to show static.
The woman sighed as she looked up at it, "not again."
Chakotay and Lisa walked into the corner café. They failed to notice Lee and Danny at one of the tables. The two were sitting on a sofa that was resting against a long divider, the counter was on the other side.
"Why do we have to come in here?" Lisa moaned.
"We need to find out more about this," Chakotay replied. He stopped next to the counter, behind it stood a young man washing a few glasses. "Excuse me."
The man looked surprised, "oh a customer? Um what can I get you sir?"
"Sorry we're just here for information," Chakotay replied.
"Oh I'm sorry, I've already spoken to security," the man stuttered. He turned away to put away some glasses.
"We're not apart of Security, we are investigating a supposed murder mystery," Chakotay said.
The man sighed and turned back, "I'll tell you what I told security yesterday, I only saw them, I don't know anything else."
"Oh dear, you saw the bodies," Lisa said in a sympathetic voice. She leaned on the counter, batting her eyelids, "that must have been so traumatising."
"Yes I guess it was," the man muttered uncomfortably. "That's why I don't want to talk about it. The guy who did find them wasn't so lucky."
Chakotay frowned, "what do you mean?"
The man sighed, "he's in hospital."
"Did you see the four teens before they died?" Lisa asked.
"We both did yes," the man replied. He made his way around the counter to stand next to them, then pointed at the divider. "They came in, asked for a few drinks round about closing time. Georg served them, I had to deal with supplies in the back. When I came back, he had already found them dead."
"That's weird, wasn't there anybody else around?" Chakotay muttered.
The man shrugged, "no, it was closing time remember. Look if you want to find out what happened, why don't you ask Georg."
"Which hospital is he in?" Lisa asked. "Oh and where exactly were they?"
The man again pointed at the divider, "the table behind that, which has a sofa in front of it. And Hishanten hospital on the hills." He walked away.
"Ok, if the guy who didn't find them and just caught a glimpse is this avoidy, what's the finder going to be like?" Lisa muttered.
"Something must have happened to him if he's in hospital. Or something happened after the incident," Chakotay said. "Maybe he can tell us something more."
"If you say so," Lisa groaned. She headed over to the divider, then leaned on it, "no wonder this place is deserted, I wouldn't wanna eat at a place where four kids dropped dead."
Danny looked up at her, "what did you say?"
Lisa looked confused, she looked down at Danny who was sitting on the sofa. "Oh, didn't see you there."
"Did you say kids died here?" Danny questioned.
"Um yeah, right where you're sitting," Lisa replied.
Danny's eyes widened, she scrambled away from the table and got about a metre away from it. "They should have a sign or something."
"Oh supposedly everybody knows about this," Chakotay muttered.
"Yep, they died the same way as our friends did," Lisa said.
"Great, that's all you found out?" Danny said.
"So far yes, if everyone knows about this I'm sure the other team will have gotten more information," Chakotay said. "And we have a name of a potential witness."
"First name and location actually," Lisa said.
"Great, you two sort that out and I'll go back to the ship," Danny said.
"Mmm, that's good meat," Lee mumbled with a mouth full of food. He finished off a plate, and pushed it aside. "Ok, so dead kids huh."
Lisa pulled a face, "yeah, right there."
"So? Everyone dies," Lee muttered.
Danny put one hand on her hip, "hey, that was my lunch."
Lee shrugged, "what, you weren't going to eat it." Everyone groaned.
Kes sat down in front of the desk, then folded her arms on it. "How's it going?"
"I'm not sure," James muttered in response. "I found the file Junior was talking about but..."
"But it has no clues in it," Kes said.
"That's the thing, I don't know," James said. "I haven't watched it, I wasn't going to at first but when I was about to, I saw something."
Kes frowned, "like what?"
"Well it was a reflection of something that didn't seem to be there," James replied.
"Eugh, creepy," Kes muttered. "What do you think then?"
"Some people would say either a ghost or overactive imagination, I'm going with the second one," James replied.
"Really, why?" Kes asked.
"Ok one, you really shouldn't see ghosts at all. Two, my head's been playing a lot of tricks on me lately," James replied.
"Yeah but all of the stuff you've hallucinated about, dreamt about that you've mentioned has been based on reality," Kes said.
"Maybe," James muttered. "This file is at the very least related to what happened. Whether it's just as simple as somebody not being happy about people watching it, or as strange and complicated as I dunno, a ghost or a virus hidden in the file, I've still got to find out."
"So you're going to watch it?" Kes questioned.
"I told Jess that I wouldn't, I'll probably just watch the beginning to get the gist of it," James replied.
"And then what?" Kes said.
"Then like Junior said, I'll be able to figure it out," James said.
"Let's say it is responsible, would that mean you'd only have a week to figure it out before it kills you?" Kes asked.
"Well then I'll be more determined to find out," James replied.
"What if it isn't? What do you expect to find?" Kes asked.
"I feel like I'm being interrogated, what's with all the questions?" James asked.
"I'm just curious," Kes replied.
James sat back in the chair, "ok so I'll let you know when I find anything else."
Kes sighed and did the same. "Ok."
"Actually I was going to watch it, I'd rather do that alone," James said.
"Ok but if it's the first one, it shouldn't be a problem fending off who made it," Kes said. "The second one, get to Sickbay in case you have a virus or uh, I don't know."
"Believe me I don't know either. My experience with ghosts is leave them to it, and they'll go away," James said. Kes looked a little confused. "Don't ask."
"All right, maybe later," Kes sighed. She climbed out of her chair, then walked out.
James keyed in a few commands on the computer. "Computer, capture images from the current file every five seconds, then display one by one on the screen as a slideshow."
"Acknowledged," the computer responded. He took a drink from the coffee cup in his hand, watching the screen intently. "Image capturing complete."
The screen turned into static for five seconds. It then changed to a distorted black screen that looked like it was on a TV in bad reception area. An oval with a light blue glowing edge appeared in the dead centre.
Jessie, Faye and Damien were in the corner of a large library, inside a cubicle that had a large flatscreen TV attached to the wall.
"Oh come on girls, if I was really trying to kill you two would I be here watching this stupid thing with you?" Damien muttered.
"No but..." Jessie said.
"Ok so we're all agreed," Damien said cheerfully. He picked up a remote.
"Hang on, we may as well check how James is doing first," Jessie said.
"Suit yourself," Damien groaned. He sat down on the chair next to Faye, she was looking pretty nervous. "These things are shoddy," he muttered as he played around with the remote.
"Do I have to watch it, I don't really care about what's going on?" Faye stuttered.
Damien shrugged, "hell, neither do I. I just wanted to see what the fuss about this file was."
James was staring at the computer screen, it showed a black and white picture of a small dead forest. The screen changed to show the static again. He pressed a button on the computer, it changed back to the file information screen. He saw the reflection of the girl on the left side of it, her hand reaching out toward him.
He turned his head slowly to the left, he saw something in the corner of his eye. Then he felt something brush against his shoulder as he looked back at the computer. The girl's hand looked like it was pressed against the screen.
"Computer delete the file," he quickly said. The screen changed back to the video file list, the reflection disappeared.
In: "Rex to Taylor."
James sighed then tapped his commbadge, "Taylor here."
In: "How's it going?"
"I'm not entirely sure," James replied.
"Screw this," Damien muttered. He pressed a button on the video, the television switched on.
"You're playing it now?" Faye stuttered.
Damien shrugged, "actually I just wanted to watch a blue video screen, of course I am!" He pressed another button, the blue screen changed to the static one.
"I told you to wait," Jessie grumbled. She turned away.
In: "What, what's going on?"
"Oh Damien's playing the copy of the file Justin rented. He thinks it'll have clues or stuff," Jessie replied. Behind her the blue oval-ring had appeared. Damien was pulling a disgusted face while Faye was squinting her eyes and squirming.
James more or less leapt out of his chair, knocking the desk in front of him a metre and a half way. "No Jess, you have to stop it."
In: "But you said you weren't sure."
"I'm sure of something, you shouldn't be watching that," James stuttered.
"I'm not, James calm down, it can't be that bad surely," Jessie said.
"Well at least it's better than Justin's home video," Damien commented. The screen changed to show a black and white picture of a blood stained shovel falling to the ground.
"Is it over yet?" Faye asked, still squinting her eyes.
In: "Oh it's that bad, trust me. Just stop the damn thing and don't look."
Jessie nervously turned back, covering her eyes with her hands. "Guys, stop the video now!"
"Why, it'll be nearly finished soon surely," Damien said. He glanced at Faye. "What are you doing?"
"I won't see as much this way," she said.
"I'm really serious, stop it now!" Jessie screamed at Damien.
Damien's eyes widened as he glanced back at her. As he did the screen changed to show the dead forest. "Again with the believing everything he says. All right." He turned back around to pick up the remote. It just got to the static part, then switched itself off. "See, told you it would finish first."
Faye shuddered as a gentle but cold breeze surrounded her, "what's that?" She looked around nervously, "do you guys feel that?"
Jessie uncovered her eyes, shaking a little. She slapped Damien across the head. "You idiot, if you had listened to me."
"What's your problem? What harm can a little crappy video file do?" he asked, rubbing his head.
"Your crew died because their hearts stopped, for no good reason other than fear. Junior saw something that creeped him out, and that video started it all. If something happens to me and my..." Jessie snapped. Her commbadge started making a buzzing noise. She took it off, "James, can you still hear me?" The buzzing sound started crackling. She quickly tapped it.
Faye looked in their direction, "guys, there's..."
"Listen you silly bint. The only harm a file like that can do is infect your computer with a virus. What's your problem?" Damien asked, shaking his head.
Jessie was about to respond but was interrupted by her and Faye's commbadges making the sound when someone's contacting them.
"I don't like this," Faye stuttered, trembling. Jessie nodded, she re-tapped the commbadge. "There's something else here." She felt a clammy hand brush against her arm.
"Who's there?" Jessie said into her commbadge. "James if that's you, this isn't funny."
Damien smirked, "nothing like a little prank to keep the fire alive."
Jessie's commbadge started to hiss and crackle. A harsh cold female voice whispered through it, "seven days."
Faye looked down at her arm, a white hand had a hold of it. She screeched and pulled away, then ran over to where Jessie was standing. "Something is there, it's uh." She pointed at where she was before.
Damien followed her finger, "there's nothing there. The voice was probably James'."
"Right, that female voice was James," Jessie muttered, rolling her eyes. She turned to Faye, "what is it?" She leaned on the chair to look over it. Faye screeched again then hid behind her. "Faye what's the matter?"
"Don't you see it?" Faye stuttered.
Kathryn walked down the street, carrying a plastic bag humming to herself. She spotted a huge crowd dead ahead, all surrounding a corner shop. She picked up speed to get to it. "What's going on?" she asked a woman.
"Supposedly someone found the woman who owned this place, dead," she replied.
"Oh," Kathryn stuttered. A hand touched her shoulder.
"Kathryn, where's your team?" Chakotay asked, he stood by her side.
"We split up," Kathryn replied.
"Um, what's going on? Is that the video file store you sent the others too?" Lisa questioned.
Kathryn nodded her head, "I haven't seen any other stores like this."
"Let's check this out," Chakotay muttered quietly. The group made their way around to the back street. A shuttle was parked on the path, the back exit was open, and security officers were carrying a stretcher with a body bag on it. Three other officers were standing together, talking to two civilians who looked pretty freaked out.
"You say that three people left the store just minutes before you found the body?" officer 1 asked.
One girl nodded lightly, "they were aliens sir. Pink skin, flat heads."
"Yeah, two girls and a guy. One girl had dark hair, the other was ginger and guy looked really creepy," the second girl said.
"That's your team," Chakotay whispered.
Kathryn nodded, "we should meet up with them, maybe they know something."
Chakotay turned away and tapped his commbadge. "Chakotay to Rex." All he got was a light crackling noise from it. "Chakotay to O'Tani." Same again.
"That's weird," Kathryn said. She tapped her own commbadge, "Janeway to Voyager."
In: "Voyager here."
"Lieutenant can you try to contact Jessie, Faye or even Damien. We've had trouble contacting them," Kathryn said.
In: "Acknowledged Captain."
Faye frantically ran out of the cubicle, continuously glancing around her with her eyes wide. Jessie followed her, she took a hold of her arm. This made her jump a mile.
"Don't do that!" she screeched. Everybody in the library started staring at her. She quickly covered her eyes with her shaking hands.
"Faye, what are you seeing?" Jessie asked nervously.
"I dunno, it's playing, it's in my head," Faye stuttered.
"What is?" Jessie asked. She glanced briefly at a few people looking their way. "Ok, why don't we..." She guided Faye to the girls toilets nearby. As soon as they were inside, she stood in front of her. "What are you seeing?"
Faye jumped again and uncovered her eyes. "Oh god, I can't even hide from it."
"Ok we should get back to Voyager, this is getting too creepy for my taste," Jessie said. She turned away, tapping her commbadge. "Rex to Voyager." Again all she got was the crackling sound.
"This is getting ridiculous," she muttered. She froze as she looked straight forward into the large mirror, standing behind her against the wall was a pale, creepy looking girl. She had a soggy, tattered dress on her and had her straggly, long and drenched black hair covering her face. Jessie quickly turned around but saw nothing actually standing behind her.
Faye backed into the wall the mirror was on, pressing her hands against both sides of her face. "Oh god," she stuttered before sliding down the wall.
Jessie turned back to the mirror, the girl was staggering closer to her, one hand reaching out for her. "Faye, let's get out of here," she stuttered, then scrambled for the door. Faye still sat there, rocking her head back and forth with her hands across her face. "Faye, come on!"
A familiar voice yelled through the door, "Jessie, are you in there?"
"James?" Jessie stuttered, she tried to pull the door open but it wouldn't budge. "Crap, it's stuck." She turned back to see the girl pressing her hands against the mirror surface, her hair a little more parted revealing her pale white face. Her large black eye was staring right at her. Jessie rushed over to where Faye was and knelt down beside it, "snap out of it, come on."
A loud thud startled them as the door crashed onto the ground. James stepped through the doorway, "this is the last time I go in a girl's toilets." He rushed over to the two. "What's the matter with Faye?"
Jessie looked up at him, shaking and looking paler than before. "That file, something's here, don't you see it?" she said, pointing at the mirror without even looking.
James turned his head to look towards it, but it seemed normal to him. "No, but it's ok, I believe you." He held out both of his hands, Jessie took a hold of one but Faye was still covering her face. Jessie stood back up. "What was it?"
"A little girl, pale and wet. It was like she was trying to get out of the mir..." Jessie replied. A scratching noise behind her interrupted her. "What's that?"
"What's what?" James asked.
Jessie slowly looked behind her. The girl had moved to stand near her, and was running her nails down the mirror's surface. Jessie quickly turned back to James, "I didn't watch it, why is it doing this?"
James put an arm around her, "it's all right, we'll figure this out."
Kathryn sat down behind her desk, cradling a new cup of coffee. Chakotay stood nearby, looking a little worried. James and Jessie were sitting opposite Kathryn, Jessie still looked a little shaken up and was glancing down at her knees.
"So the video file store clerk said she saw the file?" Kathryn questioned. Jessie nodded her head. "And now she's dead, like the others."
"This doesn't make any sense, how can a mere file do something like this?" Chakotay said.
"Well we know it's linked, everyone who's died has seen it," Kathryn replied.
"Where is the file that was rented anyway?" Chakotay asked.
"I was told that Damien said he'd take it back but the store's closed off," James replied.
Chakotay groaned, "great, we'd better get it off him before he does any damage with it."
Damien had set up a little stall in the Mess Hall, he had lots of junk sitting on it. A few crewmembers who were standing in front of it looked more amused than interested.
"Come on over and get your hands on genuine lucky charms," he said. He picked up a small mirror, it had lots of finger prints and lip prints on it. "My old crewmember Johnny always got lucky with this, until he died." He put it back down, and picked up the file's box. "And this, oh yes, this is my best item. Here is the file that'll change your life."
"Oh brother," one crewmember groaned.
"Just watch it and you'll be lucky lucky for seven whole days. Why today I just watched it and I've already found old stuff I thought I lost," Damien said. "Think you haven't got time to watch this file, what are you too uptight and special to spare thirty seconds and get lucky fast?"
"My god, how dumb do you think the morons on this ship are?" another crewmember commented.
Damien ignored him, "just trade two day's ration and this baby's all yours. Copy and play to your hearts content, this thing will not ever run dry."
"How gullible do you think people are?" another crewmember grumbled. Almost everyone walked away, only one guy was left behind.
"Two day's rations you say?" Tom said.
"Nobody on the crew would be stupid enough to take a file chip off Damien," Kathryn said.
"True. James, did you find anything?" Chakotay sighed.
"I didn't watch it, but I programmed the computer to take images," James replied.
Jessie abruptly looked up, "what? What if that counts?"
"That doesn't really matter does it," James replied. "You were around when it was playing, besides we have seven days to solve it."
"Oh that's ok then," Jessie sarcastically said.
Kathryn looked uncomfortable, "let's hope that neither are you were counted as victims. We still only have seven days, we know that for sure. What kind of images did you get?"
"Forget the pictures, I didn't get the point of any of them. The one that got me was the reflection of the girl," James replied.
Jessie's eyes widened, "you saw it too."
"Yeah, it was like it was trying to get out," James said. Kathryn and Chakotay stared blankly at him. "Out of the screen. That was the second time, and I did feel something behind me. The first time I was just doing a virus scan, it or she was just standing still."
Chakotay rubbed his forehead, "you're trying to tell me that you saw something reflected in the computer, that wasn't there."
"And it was trying to get out yeah," James said.
Jessie looked back down at her knees, "it was in the mirror, coming closer."
Kathryn climbed out of her chair and leaned on the desk, "all right, there has to be a scientific explanation for this."
"We've already had the doc scan us, we're not hallucinating," James said. "The only thing that this could be is a ghost, or maybe a demon."
Kathryn shook her head, "James I've already had to just accept that vampires exist, witchcraft and invisible demons. That doesn't mean I'm going to believe that a ghost is haunting a video file."
"Kathryn, those situations have just proved that we should have a more open mind about mysteries like this," Chakotay said.
"If you say so, but if ghosts do exist, why is this one able to kill people. They should be non-corporeal," Kathryn said.
James groaned, "obviously the most determined ones find a way."
"Ookay," Tom raised his eyebrow. The computer in front of him remained on a static screen. "Looks more like a cheap student horror film."
The intercom beeped. "Seven days," the voice hissed.
"Huh, that seems to have worked," he said with a shrug. He pulled himself out of the chair and walked over to his replicator. On the way he stepped on something small. "What's that?" After one step a small shiny object on the ground caught his eyes. He knelt down to pick up the item, which turned out to be a pip. "Cool," he said, then put it onto his collar.
Neelix carried a tray to one of the tables, he put a few left behind glasses onto it.
Harry crawled out from underneath it, "hey Neelix."
Neelix jumped in shock, "Harry? What are you doing under there?"
"Yeah I lost my pip, have you seen it?" Harry asked.
"No but if I do, you'll be the first to know," Neelix replied. He walked away leaving Harry to sulk on his own.
Jessie kept fidgeting as she sat in the bed, with the cover tightly pulled up to her stomach. She relaxed a little when James stepped into the room, working on a PADD.
"You never actually saw your dad when he was um, you know, haunting did you?" Jessie questioned.
"No, I only heard him and that was faintly," James replied. He sat down beside her. "It's got to be something else Jess, we'll figure it out."
"You're still working? I thought you said you were going to bed now," Jessie muttered.
James glanced at her, "I am, not sleeping. I don't want to waste anytime. I'll work outside if you want to."
"No, I'd rather have you here," Jessie said. She lay back to rest her head on the pillow, she moved closer to wrap an arm around his waist. "If I have to rest, you should too. You'll be able to concentrate better in the morning."
"That theory never works out with me. Don't worry I'll be quiet and..." James said. "Computer lower the lights to 5%." The lights dimmed down. "I can work in this light."
"Are you sure? I can stay awake with you, I don't know if I could sleep after that," Jessie said.
James moved the PADD into his left hand, then put his right arm around her shoulders. "You should get some sleep, just try to think of nicer things. Or I could talk about something to bore you to sleep."
"What could I think about that could keep me distracted long enough?" Jessie questioned with a sigh.
"Clothes, make up, hair stuff, I dunno, I know you can do it," James replied.
Jessie narrowed her eyes and raised an eyebrow, "I'll think of something. Just promise you'll get at least some sleep tonight." She rested her head against him.
"I can't do that, I want to solve this, I don't want anything to happen to you," James said.
"Hmm," Jessie mumbled as she closed her eyes, with a small smile on her face.
"What are you thinking about?" James asked.
"The only thing that would keep me distracted for a while," Jessie replied, smile turning into a smirk.
"Ok, I'll just hope it isn't what I think it is," James muttered. He turned back to his PADD.
"It's not dirty, relax," Jessie said. "You've been hanging with Danny too much."
"Ok good, I'll be quiet now," James said.
hour or so later:
Jessie was now fast asleep, still with her arm around him. James was trying his best to fully concentrate on the PADD, but his eyes had other ideas. He shook his head, "god, stay awake you moron."
He climbed out of the bed, then made his way over to the computer on the desk. He groaned and put his hands over his face, "ugh, I need a coffee."
A dim light narrowly shone through the cracks in the door. "That's weird," he muttered, walking closer to it. The door opened for him. His eyes widened as they focused on the computer on the coffee table. It was facing him, it was on and it had the picture of the black and white dead forest on it. Something was different to the one he saw though.
"What the?" he stuttered, walking closer to it. He then noticed it, a hand was sticking out of the ground and was moving. The hand turned into an arm, then another hand and arm pushed it's way out of the soil. A black head pushed it's way out, then finally the whole body. This was when he decided to back away, the way he came.
The body pulled its way up, James recognised then what it was. The girl staggered towards him. She eventually got to the screen, her hands out stretched. Her hands pushed against the screen and came out of the screen itself. She lowered her head, that came through as well.
"Damn," he stuttered. He quickly grabbed a knife he left behind on one of the tables. He slowly stepped closer, holding the knife ready, trembling violently. He heard a bang and Jessie's muffled voice behind him. He quickly turned behind him, "Jessie?" A hand grasped his arm, he turned back to see the girl's hair covered face right in front of him. Her hair moved a little to the side, he could see right into her dark cold eye.
"They'll both die," she hissed at him. "Seven days."
James then found himself sitting in the bed again, he jumped and looked around the room. He looked down at Jessie, who was still sound asleep, then at the door which was normal this time. He sighed, "crap." He pulled himself out of the bed again.
Kathryn tossed and turned in her bed, then she bolted upright with her eyes wide open. She sighed as she pulled herself out of the bed.
The bedroom door opened for her. She walked over to sit on the sofa. "Computer lights 25%." The room lit up only slightly. She looked back at the window with a frown on her face. A hand slid onto her shoulder, she instinctively grabbed it and turned around. Nothing was there, she looked down at her shoulder.
"I must be still asleep," she muttered to herself. Then she made her way across the room, to the replicator. "Coffee black."
Kathryn strolled in, "computer lights." The room lit up. She continued on to the kitchen. What she failed to notice was somebody was sitting inside it, cluttering around with a bag, and some cups.
"What's that noise?" she muttered to herself. "Neelix?" She looked over the counter.
Faye jumped a mile, a cup she was holding went flying in Kathryn's direction. She quickly ducked. "Why do people keep doing that?"
"Faye, what are you doing in here and what are..." Kathryn questioned. She then spotted what was in the bag. "Is that my coffee!?"
Faye looked up at her with wide eyes, "the replicator wouldn't let me replicate anymore, it said I had my limit."
"What? It hardly ever tells me that," Kathryn stuttered. "How much have you had?"
"I don't know," Faye stuttered, shaking madly. "A lot, each cup wakes me up but only for a few minutes and then I'm tired again."
"Then that means you should go to bed," Kathryn said.
"I can't, she's in my head all the time, when I'm asleep she can do anything and..." Faye stuttered. She scooped up a bag of coffee granules with her hand. "And when I've had this much coffee I don't really notice her, it's like wooh! Who cares?" She brought her hand to her mouth and started eating the granules.
Kathryn quickly rushed around to where she was sitting, then knelt down next to her. "No stop that, you can't have that much coffee, it's mine for starters. Now who's in your head?"
"The little dead girl," Faye said, she started giggling. "She wants to kill me."
"Um, dead girl you say?" Kathryn said. "I hardly think someone trying to kill you is funny."
"I know, I can't help it," Faye giggled. She scooped up another handful of granules. "I have a few days anyway. Six and a bit days and then bam! She'll go out of my head and kill me. Unless of course I do her that favour she wants."
"What favour?" Kathryn asked.
Faye looked behind her briefly, then back to her. "Oh she doesn't like you, she hates people like you." She ate the granules in her hand.
Kathryn looked in the direction Faye had before, "what, why?"
"You hurt him," Faye said. "She wants you to die too."
Kathryn looked uncomfortable, "ok Faye, what's the favour? And who's he?"
Faye looked behind her again, "uhoh." She stopped shaking, then turned back with no colour in her eyes apart from black. Kathryn quickly backed off a little, Faye leapt forward and grabbed her. She pushed her hard into the counter. "I know what you've done!" she screamed, she dug her nails into Kathryn's face and pulled them down, leaving four deep scratches.
"What, what have I done?" Kathryn questioned.
Faye was pulled backwards by an invisible force, she landed on her back on the floor. She was shaking again as she sat back up, "see what I mean, I have to. I have to..." More coffee went down her throat.
Kathryn placed her hand on her face, "ok, why don't we go to my office."
Tom, Neelix and Ian were busy talking in the corridor. "Yeah it's really proved lucky for me, try it."
Ian squinted his eyes, "when did you get promoted to Commander?"
"See what I mean. I found one of these babies in my quarters. With these kind I can go up two ranks, neat huh," Tom beamed.
"Cool, I'm going to go watch it now," Neelix giggled. He ran off, "I can finally get Kes back."
"He's going to need more than luck," Tom sniggered.
Ian raised his eyebrow, "seven days of luck?" Tom nodded his head. "Fine I'll give it a go." He walked away.
Tom looked around for his next customers, the next person to come down the corridor was James. "Hey, fancy getting lucky?"
James pulled a face, "eeew no!"
Tom pulled the same face, "that's not what I meant!" He pulled out a small box, "inside this is a lucky charm. If you watch it, a voice says seven days and you have a lot of luck for a week. I sure did."
James rolled his eyes, "oh god, did you get that off Damien?"
Tom nodded, "yeah why? It isn't a lucky charm?"
"Well yeah it is, if you think dying a horrible death is better than getting to the age of thirty," James muttered.
Tom turned a few shades paler than usual, "horrible death, what are you talking about? And I'm nowhere near thirty!"
"Yeah right, you'll probably never get there anyway so don't worry about it," James said.
Jessie slowly stepped out of the bedroom, then made her way towards the bathroom. She looked at the mirror with fear in her eyes, slowly she walked over to it and turned on the sink's taps. It started to fill up with warm water, she switched the taps back off then washed her face with the water.
Her hand reached out for the hand towel nearby with her eyes closed still. She gently dried her face with it, and turned away from the mirror. The towel was placed back on the towel rack nearby.
The girl appeared in the mirror, she started staggering towards her. Her hands pushed against the mirror surface.
Jessie frowned as she glanced a little to the right. She shook her head. The girl's hands pushed out of the mirror, she placed them on Jessie's shoulders and pulled her towards her. One arm wrapped itself around her neck, she screamed as loud as she could but a hand went across her mouth.
thirty seconds earlier:
"You haven't sold that to anybody have you?" James asked.
"No," Tom lied, smiling uncomfortably. "I sold copies of it."
"You didn't find anything remotely creepy about it?" James muttered. "God you're a bigger idiot than I thought, and I already thought you were the biggest idiot anybody could ever be."
"No, and I just thought that you can't speak to your superior like that," Tom stuttered. "You will apologise to your Commander right now."
"Commander? Where did you get that extra pip?" James asked.
"I found it, told you it was lucky. Stop trying to freak me out," Tom said.
"I'm not, the thing that'll kill you will do that," James said.
The pair jumped as a loud scream echoed down the corridor. "What was that?" Tom stuttered.
"Crap, Jessie," James muttered, then he ran off.
Tom frowned, "you can tell by a scream?" He ran after him.
James ran through the main door, he looked around the room. Another scream got his attention, he ran towards the bathroom. He found Jessie sitting on the ground trembling, her arms around her legs, her face buried in between her knees.
James knelt down next to her and put an arm around her shoulders. "Jess, what happened?"
"I saw it again," she stuttered, looking up at him. "It's real and it's here."
Tom appeared at the doorway. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have left," James said.
"It's not, I'm going to die, aren't I?" Jessie said.
"No you're not, I won't let anything hurt you," James said. She rested her head on his shoulder. "I promise." He kissed her on the side of her forehead.
Tom bit his lip nervously, "what happened, is she going to be ok?"
James looked up at him, "this is the work of your so called good luck charm."
"You mean you weren't kidding?" Tom stuttered, eyes widening.
"I wish I was," James muttered.
"So what's the theory?" Tom asked nervously.
"A vengeful ghost who's only escape to the real world is through a screwy video file," James replied.
"Yeah it was pretty dull," Tom said.
"And it doesn't have to worry about the whole file being deleted as it has prats like Tom making copies," James said.
Tom pouted, "I thought it was a good luck charm, it seemed to work."
Chakotay raised an eyebrow, "wait a minute, do you have an extra pip."
"Yep, you can't boss me around now, we're both Commanders. Actually I have the Starfleet version so I should outrank you," Tom smugly said.
"Ugh god," James groaned. He pulled him closer and snatched the pip off him. "I'll have it for now until we find its owner." He put it on his own collar.
"Great, now we're the same rank," Tom moaned.
"Yes that's the biggest problem we have right now," Chakotay muttered sarcastically.
"Yeah, how can a ghost do anything to us anyway? Surely they are supposed to be invisible and unable to touch anything," Tom questioned.
"Oh believe me, some ghosts can touch living people," James replied.
"Not that it matters," Jessie said, still shaking a little. Everyone glanced at her. "The theory is that all victims were scared to death, she probably doesn't even need the ability to touch."
"But she did it to you," James said. "She can do it, but that's obviously not the point."
"No it's not. If Jessie was just scared for fun or something, then I hate to know what the bitch does to scare the victims to death," Tom said.
Jessie's eyes went a little wider as she looked up at James, then she looked back down at her knees.
"Tom, you're not helping," James muttered, glaring at him.
"Sorry but it's true. I'm going to get it too anyway," Tom said.
One of the doors opened, Kathryn walked in. Chakotay glanced at her, eyeing the scratches on her face, "what happened?"
"Faye," she said quietly.
"What, what's Faye?" Tom questioned.
"She's um, sick," Kathryn replied.
"Let me guess, she's seeing a little girl in a white dress," James said.
Kathryn sighed, "no, she seems to talk for her and she attacked me."
"I'm starting to like this girl," Tom said. Chakotay slapped him across the back of the head.
"So you say she's sick, why don't you just admit it?" James muttered.
"All right, if that's what you want. Something strange is going on here," Kathryn said.
"Well it's a start," James said.
Tuvok knelt down in front of Faye, while the Doctor stood anxiously nearby. She sneaked a little bag out of her pocket. Tuvok quickly snatched it off her, "no more coffee."
"But, she'll get me if I don't," Faye stuttered.
"I really doubt that. This'll all be in your mind. We can determine the source by performing a Vulcan mind meld," Tuvok said.
"I already know the source," Faye whispered. She looked briefly to the left, "she's watching."
Tuvok placed his finger tips across one side of her face. "My mind to your mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts."
"You're only angering her," Faye said.
Tuvok closed his eyes, he repeated the words. Faye's eyes turned black again, she opened her mouth wide and screamed in high pitch. The Doctor quickly knelt down to scan her, his program soon started flickering and then went off.
Tuvok still managed to keep a hold of her like nothing was happening. His eyes twitched and moved like he was dreaming. He opened his eyes to find himself now in a little bedroom, a little girl was sitting with his back to him at the desk. A doll started floating in the air, it flew into the girl's hands.
A young man burst into the room, and went over to the girl. He snatched the doll from her, "I told you to stop doing that."
A brief flash of light blinded Tuvok only for a second. He found himself this time in a school playground. A group of children were throwing insults at the girl and a friend, who was sitting on the grass, minding their own business. The most common words being used was 'freak'.
The boy who was with the girl stood up, "you'd better leave her alone or..."
"Or what, you'll set the little psycho onto us?" one boy sneered. The yelling continued, but was mixed in with a lot of laughing. The boy's laughter was short lived though, he put a hand across his neck as he struggled to breathe. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched him. He soon collapsed onto the grass. Two of the children screamed and ran away.
The Ready Room:
Kathryn, Chakotay and Tom were standing around nearby the window, Jessie was sitting nearby not paying any attention. James was busy working on Kathryn's computer, even sitting in her chair.
"I'm sorry but I don't believe it," Kathryn said.
"You're a scientist Kathryn, you should have an open mind. We only know what happens to our bodies when we die, but no one has proved what happens to our souls," Chakotay said.
Tom glanced in between the two. "I'm kinda on his side here, but we won't know for sure what killed them if nobody alive saw it happen."
James frowned as he looked over, he glanced back down on the computer. "Computer play camera footage from Sickbay, time 1350 hours," he said quietly.
"Unable to comply, password authorisation required," the computer responded. James just typed in a few more commands, the screen changed to show Sickbay. Johnny Junior was sitting on the biobed.
"It still could be anything," Kathryn said.
"I suppose but it does seem like a pissed ghost to me after what happened with you, Faye and Jessie," Tom said.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "that doesn't mean the case is closed." She glanced over at James. "What are you doing?"
James ignored her, he was watching the screen with wide eyes. Everyone heard screaming coming from the computer. He quickly turned the computer off. "Oh god." He stumbled onto his feet, still watching the screen.
"What's the matter with him?" Tom asked.
Kathryn's mouth dropped slightly as she saw the little girl standing right behind James. He turned around and saw her too. He could see an evil smile coming from behind the mass of hair.
"You cannot save her," she hissed.
James' fear and anxiety quickly turned to anger. He moved forward to grab her but she disappeared.
"Um ok, that was interesting. He's losing it too I take it," Tom commented.
Kathryn shook her head, "no, I saw her. She was there, and she spoke to him."
James turned around still seething, "ok I haven't wanted to hurt a kid since I was one myself."
"So five minutes ago then?" Chakotay commented, smirking slightly.
"Shh, don't engage when he's this pissed," Tom whispered.
James' eyes had narrowed, "I meant psychically, not emotionally and... Oh shut up, I'm not childish."
Kathryn sighed, "all of you stop it, this is serious."
"So you see this thing too, great. I hope I'm right at the back of the week long queue," Tom said.
Kathryn made her way over to James. "What did you do?"
"I checked Tom's old camera system, there was one in Sickbay," James replied. "I know how they die."
Jessie looked up, "how?"
"You don't want to know, I'm sure Tom does though," James replied.
Tom shook his head, "na uh, no thanks. It would spoil the surprise." Chakotay groaned.
Tuvok appeared in Sickbay. Johnny Junior was nearby, sitting on the biobed. The Doctor was in his office, but his program went offline moments later. The screen on the console went all static. Junior watched it with a look of terror on his face.
"Doctor!" he yelled.
Another flash of light blinded Tuvok. He re-opened his eyes and was now in the FVDA quarters, amongst the party they were having. The party had come to a grinding halt as the big TV had a picture of the dead forest on it.
"Interesting," he said.
He watched the girl pull herself out of the ground, stagger towards the screen and pull herself out of it at a quicker speed than James saw it. The FDA were running around the room screaming, Johnny tried to get the door open but it wouldn't open.
The girl slowly pulled herself onto her feet. Johnny Junior was the closest to her, he screamed and ran away. He crawled underneath one of the tables. The girl set her sights on Myleene first. Another flash of light blinded Tuvok.
Again he was in the FDA quarters but in a different room. The girl was standing by a computer, staring at Justin who was backing off towards the door. "Mummy!" he screamed hysterically. He heard Damien's voice faintly yell at him. "Sir? Oh my god, help meeeee!" he screamed.
The girl showed off her black eye, it got bigger as she stared at him. He fell to the ground. He lay there, with the terrified scream look on his face. Moments later he woke back up.
"Oh god what a nightmare," he muttered. He looked up and saw her again. Again he screamed hysterically. Seconds later he was dead. The girl sighed and started to stagger away.
"Wow, that's one nasty nightmare," Justin muttered, pulling himself back up.
"Aaargh," the girl groaned. She turned back around, causing more screaming. He collapsed again. She waited a while this time before turning and walking away. He started to get up, so she turned back round. "Don't you ever die," she hissed. He collapsed one last time.
Tuvok heard Faye screaming, this brought him back to reality. She still had the black eyes, she pushed him away roughly. The colour in her eyes returned, she fell backwards onto the ground.
in the Mess Hall:
Tom, Harry, Neelix, Claire and Ian were all sitting at a table, a few of them were looking around them nervously every now and then.
"That's what the Doc said I'm telling you," Tom said.
"So let me get this straight. You take a file from Damien without question," Harry muttered.
"I did a virus scan," Tom said.
"You watch this thirty second file."
"Hey I didn't make it, it's more like six five second clips."
"You hear a voice saying seven days, then discover that it probably came from nowhere."
"Actually I left the static part of the file of the file playing, I thought it was from there."
"So instead of thinking 'that was screwy and pointless, better delete it' you thought, 'hey why not show it to everyone'."
"Well you saw it, it's just a very short horror movie thing."
"And now you're telling us that Damien, Faye and Jessie saw it too, and now the girls are seeing things in mirrors and Faye's going really nuts because of it."
"Well some people can't handle horror movies."
"And this video file is linked to the deaths of the FVDA."
"Damien was told by James how they died as he had video footage of it."
"Yes the victims got a sequel to it, I believe it turned into a 3D presentation. Can't wait to see it for myself."
"Yep I can't wait until you see it too. Something attacked them not long later. The rest we know."
"Are you getting to your point anytime soon?" Everyone at the table stared at him angrily. "Guys relax. I really doubt a video file will start playing again seven days later, and something climbs out into reality to kill us."
"Well if it is then we'll all have that brief moment of happiness when it gets you. Then unspeakable fear settles in when we realise we're next," Ian said.
Claire groaned, "great, I don't know what I want more. Tom dead or to live longer than a week."
Tom pouted his lips, "no need to be cruel." Everyone stared at him again.
"Tom you've just probably killed us. You expect us to be nice about it!" Ian snapped.
Tom cringed, "I guess not."
Neelix sighed, "it's a shame too, I planned to do a barbecue this time next week. That won't happen if I'm dead."
"Suddenly I feel better," Claire commented.
"You know, true or not I've got an idea on how we could have some fun with this," Tom said.
"What have you got in mind?" Harry asked.
Tom looked around the room, he set his sights on Craig. He was sitting on his own, working on a computer. "Watch, and try not to laugh." He climbed out of his chair.
"Ooh a challenge," Ian sarcastically muttered.
Tom pulled a face as he went over to Craig's table. "Hey Craig, how are you doing?" He sat down next to him.
Craig groaned, "for god's sake Tom, no you can't look at the PADD."
"No no, I want to show you something," Tom said. "Do you like horror movies?"
"Is this your lame version of Scream?" Craig muttered.
"I take that as a yes," Tom said. He fiddled with the computer, it loaded up a list of video files. "You see that one?"
"Yeah, it's surveillance footage," Craig said.
"Well that's the supposed haunted file everyone is talking about," Tom said.
Craig raised an eyebrow, "the one that killed the FVA?"
"Oh yes but I don't believe any of it. I watched it," Tom said. "It is very scary and let's face it, you're never going to impress any girls if you're too wussy to watch it, all alone."
"Fine I will later," Craig said.
"Good for you," Tom smiled. "Do you want to know what I heard from James though? He said he saw how they died, wanna know how?"
"Sure, why not," Craig replied.
"It's ridiculous though, I think James made it up to scare me," Tom laughed. "After you see it, a disembodied voice says 'seven days', which I'll admit happened to me. Probably a prank or something." Craig's eyes went a little wide. "Then seven days later the video file switches itself onto a screen near you, on it's own and you can't get rid of it. Then the person in the movie appears looking right at you, edging closer to the screen itself and pulls itself into reality. Then it kills you, funny joke huh."
Craig was now as white as a sheet, "uh yeah, joke."
Tom patted him on the back, "real men like us don't believe crap like that, right. See you later." He got up and rushed back to his old table.
"What did Craig do to you? Are you planning on killing everybody on board?" Claire asked.
"Ohno, I pointed him to a different file," Tom sniggered.
"We're never going to get to the bottom of this by talking about it. We need to return to the planet," Chakotay said.
"For once I'm with monkey boy," James said.
Chakotay frowned, "don't call me that."
Kathryn nodded, "agreed."
Tuvok walked into the room. "Captain."
"Ah Tuvok, how did it go?" Kathryn asked as she headed over to him.
"I have come to the conclusion that she's being manipulated by an alien child. She did take over her body during the meld," Tuvok replied.
"So Faye's been possessed twice by a dead little girl who was trapped in a file, who's also intent on killing everyone," Tom said.
"Yes, apparently so," Chakotay said.
"Good, so glad we're all on the same confusing page. I thought she was supposed to be trapped. How is she doing this?" Tom asked.
"She's obviously restricted to 'haunting' the watchers of the file. The FDA were acting as normal as they ever got, so why is Faye and Jessie so different?" Kathryn questioned.
Tom raised his hand, "second question, why did you and James see her?"
"Yeah and why does she seem to hate you?" James asked. "Scrap that, I answered my question while I was asking it."
Kathryn did her death glare on him, but it obviously didn't have the same effect as the little girl's more literal death glare. "She said I hurt him. I never found out who she meant."
"The answers should be on that planet," Chakotay said.
"Yes, I don't see why Jessie and Faye are being affected this way and I intend to put a stop to it," Kathryn said. "Faye's drinking all my coffee but that's not the reason why I'm doing this, I swear."
"Uh huh," everyone muttered.
"Ok Tuvok, you and I will be the first team. Will you report to the transporter room?" Kathryn said.
"Yes Captain, but I recommend bringing Miss O'Tani with us," Tuvok said. Kathryn reluctantly nodded her head. He walked back out of the room.
"Well I'm going so count me in team two," James said.
Jessie looked up, "can I be on your team?"
"Wouldn't it be less stressful if you stayed out of the investigation?" Tom questioned.
"No, it's too creepy on my own," Jessie replied. She took a hold of James' arm. "Your team?"
"Of course," James replied.
Something beeped in Tom's pocket, "I'll join too, I'll be in the transporter room." He sped out of the room.
"Ugh great," James groaned.
Jessie pulled herself out of the chair she was sitting on. "You'd better not go too far with this, I want you in one piece."
"But Jess, I want you and the baby to be safe. That won't happen if I play it safe," James said.
"Our child needs a parent, I know I'm cursed, you're not," Jessie said.
"You don't know that," James said.
"I do, don't ask me how but I do and you know it too," Jessie said. "You're staying alive, that's another reason why I'm going."
"No we both are, I made a promise," James said.
"Don't worry, that one I won't hold against you. You can't promise as you don't know if you can stop this, be realistic," Jessie quietly said.
James stared blankly at her, "but Jess, I..."
"If you really want to promise something, promise me this; you'll get our baby out of me and put it in stasis or something an hour before it happens," Jessie said.
"You've still got days left, we've got time to figure this out and stop it," James said.
Jessie took a hold of one of his hands, "please James, promise me."
James sighed and looked down at the ground, "I promise." Jessie smiled, she kissed him on the cheek.
Damien marched in, not looking very happy. "Ok, who did this, it's not funny!"
Everyone stared at him blankly. "Did what?" Chakotay asked.
Damien held up a photograph of himself, his face was all blurred. "They all come out the same."
"Why did you take pictures of yourself?" Kathryn asked.
"Well, I like to look at them sometimes," Damien muttered. "Also I'm sure I saw something in that TV screen, that damn thing's crapped up I tell you."
James looked uneasy, "yeah well it has been through a weird week."
"Anyone like to own up, huh?" Damien demanded.
"It's a ghost, she wants to kill you because you watched that file, and you made two other girls who didn't want to see it, see it," James said.
Damien nodded casually, "uh huh, interesting. Enough about my problems, do you want any help?"
Craig sat down in front of his computer with a nervous look on his face. "There's no way a video can come to life," he stuttered, then reached out to play the file. His eyes quickly widened as he watched the screen.
On it a naked Neelix was running after two girls, waving his pants over his head. The girls ran off screaming. He stopped and turned to look at the camera. "Ooh, hello sexy." He tried to do a belly dance, then the footage turned distorted and went off seconds later.
Craig turned it off, now white as a sheet and trembling. "God I hope not."
Tom's voice came over the intercom, except it was muffled and croaky, "seven days."
"Oh god," Craig stuttered.
"I wonder if he fell for it," Tom laughed.
"You're a twat Tom," Harry muttered.
"Oh come on Harry, where's your sense of humour?" Tom said.
"It runs away whenever you're around," Harry muttered.
Kathryn, Tuvok and Faye were walking up a sloped path on the hills. Faye was about a metre behind holding a huge flask of coffee, with a straw coming out of it. She was constantly drinking from it.
"I believe she was trying to tell me something," Tuvok was busy saying. "I saw pieces of the girl's childhood, each of them told me the same thing. She was hated because of what she could do."
"And what was that exactly?" Kathryn questioned.
"Telepathy and a good awareness of what was going on around her. However she was filled with hatred, it all got to her," Tuvok replied.
"I see, it doesn't explain the file and why she punishes the watchers," Kathryn said.
"No but at least now we have a good idea what she does," Tuvok said.
The pair stopped outside a building. The sign next to it said 'Hishanten'. Underneath that it said 'mental facility'. "I think we know what happened to that witness, don't we?"
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, "indeed."
James, Jessie, Tom and Damien were walking around a housing estate. Damien read from the PADD in his hands, he pointed at one of the houses. "There."
"Good. Two of us should wait outside, we don't want to crowd the parents," Tom said. James, Jessie and Damien quickly pointed at him, he pouted. "Fine, who's staying with me." This time Damien was pointed at.
"Hey, I won't be treated like this. I'm, oh to hell with it, I don't care," Damien muttered. He sat down on a nearby bench.
Tom developed a smirk on his face, "good luck, have fun."
James and Jessie glanced at each other before heading for the front door of the house Damien pointed at. James knocked on it. A minute later a woman answered. "Yes?"
"Hi, we're from the ship in orbit. We were wondering if we could talk to you about what happened to your son. We'd really understand if you told us to get lost," James said.
"May I ask first why you want to know about this?" the woman asked.
"We believe that some members of our crew are affected by the same thing," James replied.
"Yeah, is there anything you can tell us?" Jessie asked.
"Only that for a week he seemed distant, and quiet. He and his friends stayed at school until late the night it happened," the woman replied.
"Did he say anything at all?" James asked.
"Nothing relevant," the woman replied. "Wait he did keep replying to everything with 'not enough time'."
Jessie frowned, "wait, where is this school?"
"Oh, it's just in the middle of Ohale Woods," the woman replied.
"Right thank you, sorry about your son," Jessie said. The woman just nodded, then she went back inside.
"You think the school has a clue?" James questioned.
"Yeah, they must have watched the file there thinking it was a school made video. I think we should check it out," Jessie replied.
"All right, what are we waiting for?" James said. He walked away, Jessie followed him.
"Think Faye," Kathryn said as the team sat around the hospital waiting room. "What else did you see in this file?"
"I'd think better on a cup of coffee," Faye said.
Kathryn stared at her in shock, "you finished your flask? Good god."
"Yeah it was nice," Faye giggled. "Um there was an oval thing, it kinda looked like her eyes except it was the wrong shape. It was kinda like 90 degrees wrong way. There was a bloody shovel. Worms wriggling in the soil. I think there was a woman in it. The last bit you all know, the dead forest."
"Is that all, was there anything else?" Kathryn asked.
"Oh yeah, a blurry view of a lighthouse and the sea," Faye replied.
"Blurry?" Tuvok said.
Faye nodded, "yeah, kinda like it was a window view."
"What else was there?" Kathryn asked.
"A man in the garden below, he's staring at you," Faye replied. She glanced to the side, "oh step dad."
"She told you that?" Kathryn said.
"Yeah," Faye shuddered. "Oh that's not good."
"What?" Kathryn questioned.
"She's angry," Faye replied. "The memory brings back some pain."
"Ok, we'd better find this place. It might give us another clue," Kathryn said, standing up.
"It'll only bring pain!" Faye snapped at her. She quickly shook it off, "oh I'm sorry, um coffee?"
"I think you've had enough," Kathryn sighed. "Come on." She and Tuvok walked away. Faye slowly followed.
"Painful, pain," she stuttered.
James, Jessie, Tom and Damien were trudging through a muddy path, surrounded by huge trees. Tom spotted a bit of colour ahead, "I think there's a building." He picked up speed, the others followed suit, more or less.
"Eeew, damn mud's covering my boots and pants," Jessie grunted.
"I know, it's gone through right to my rabbit socks," Damien said. Everyone started sniggering, "oh I didn't say rabbits, oh right. Make fun of the ex villain."
The group entered a school's grounds, it was brand new but old fashion style. Tom stopped in front of a stone well, "hey maybe little Timmy fell down there last semester." He leaned over the edge, "Timmy!"
"Hello?" a voice echoed back at him, making him jump back in shock. "I'm coming up to kill you."
"Oh god, this is getting to be exactly like the Ring," Tom stuttered.
Damien laughed hysterically as he moved away from the well, "I can't believe you didn't notice that was me."
James pulled a face, "exactly like the Ring. Should I ask?"
"No, you don't have the balls for a horror movie like that," Tom replied.
It was Jessie's turn to start sniggering, James stared at her. "I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at that. The Timmy thing. Good one Dam, how did you do that?"
Damien smiled, "it's one of my many talents."
"What, scaring Tom? Anyone can do that. He seems to think a movie about a kid called Timmy climbing up a well is scary," James said.
"Actually it is scary, and it's even more scary cos it's really close to reality right now. Next thing you know the little brat'll climb out of a screen, and scare the crap out of you," Tom said. He looked down the well with his eyes wide.
"What? You're right, that is odd," James said, raising an eyebrow.
"You stay down there ok, I'm too handsome to die with a twisted face," Tom said to the well.
The others groaned and walked away.
"Though if you're the Japanese one, it might not look as bad, but eugh, you're creepier," Tom said.
Kathryn's team were walking along a cliff top, which overlooked the sea. Faye stopped to point at the lighthouse in the distance, "we're here, that's it."
"So where's the building the 'viewer' looks through?" Kathryn questioned.
Faye looked around her, her eyes focused on a large old house sitting on its own behind a few large trees. "That's where she lived."
"Well, why don't we have a nosey around then," Kathryn said. The team headed towards the house.
An elderly man charged out of the house and headed towards them. Faye quickly hid behind Tuvok. "This is private property."
"Oh we're sorry, we didn't know," Kathryn said. "I'm Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager, and this is..."
Faye pointed at the man, "you, it was you, it was always you."
"Lieutenant," Kathryn said.
"If we don't purify this creature soon, she'll stay like this," Tuvok said.
Kathryn nodded, "I'm sorry sir, but we'd like to ask you a few questions about your step daughter."
"My step daughter?" the man said with a raised eyebrow. "She and her mother moved away decades ago. Why bother her now?"
"We need to know what kind of powers she had, and how to stop it," Kathryn said.
The man laughed, "you can't. She was a very unique girl, very talented. However she didn't use her talent for good. She was an evil little child, nothing like her mother."
Faye's eyes turned black again, but no one noticed it. "What about a video file, it's linked to her," Kathryn questioned.
"I don't know anything about that," the man muttered. "If I were you, I'd leave this girl well enough alone."
"We can't do that, there are lives at risk," Kathryn said.
"More will be at risk if you don't," the man said. "You have to destroy her legacy once and for all, only then would you be free." He shook his head, "but she'd stop you. Evil never stops."
Faye growled, Kathryn and Tuvok glanced back at her. The man started choking like the little boy did. A few minutes later he collapsed.
James, Jessie and Damien were going through the trees around the school. The ground got drier the further they went in. They passed a few dead large trees. Jessie looked ahead of her with fear in her eyes, "guys."
Damien and James did the same. Right ahead of them was the patch of dead trees and grass. Surrounding it were dead or dying trees like the ones they passed to get to the school. Surrounding that were the big green healthy ones.
"We're here," Jessie stuttered.
James nodded, "yeah, what do we do now?"
Tom ran up to them, a woman was following him. "Guys, don't leave me like that. It's creepy enough as it is without you." He spotted the familiar sight ahead of him. "Oh boy."
"I see you've seen our graveyard," the woman said. Everyone glanced back at her. "No matter what we did, every plant we tried to grow in that circle died. A lot of children have come here and ran back to the playground looking freaked out. This place always seemed to chill everyone to the bone."
"You don't mind me asking but what was this place before the school was built?" James asked.
"Oh a house was built just a few metres from where we are now. It had been empty for thirty years and the owners were long dead," the woman replied.
Tuvok knelt down beside Faye, she had her head buried in between her knees with her arms across the back of her head.
"What happened?" Kathryn asked.
"I do not know," Tuvok replied. He placed a hand on the side of Faye's face. She jumped and finally moved her head fully into sight.
"Oh my god," she stuttered. "How many people has she killed, before she died. She just looked at them and they would drop. Oh god, what did I do."
Kathryn put a hand on her shoulder, "you didn't do anything."
"It sounds like she had telekinesis, a very advanced stage of it too. Very impressive for a girl of her age, it's no surprise she abused it," Tuvok said.
"No surprise? Not every child would do the same, I know very few would," Kathryn muttered.
"She suffered a lot before then," Faye stuttered. "She felt isolated."
In: "Paris to Janeway."
Kathryn tapped her commbadge, "Janeway here."
In: "We've found the vocal point of the video file, it's really creepy here."
"Vocal point?" Kathryn said.
In: "The part the video file focuses on at the end. You should get here, I think this is where we should concentrate on."
"Agreed," Kathryn said with a shudder. She tapped her commbadge, "Janeway to Voyager. Transport us to the other team's co-ordinates."
Tom and Damien were busy playing tug of war with a shovel. James meanwhile had his own, he started to dig in the dead centre of the graveyard.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Jessie stuttered.
"No, but my good ideas always end up bad so..." James said.
Damien kicked Tom in the leg, he stumbled and Damien snatched the shovel away while he was hopping around. "Ah ha, check mate."
"Ugh, god you're a nerd," Tom groaned.
"Yeah yeah," Damien muttered. He started digging alongside James.
Kathryn, Tuvok and Faye rematerialised nearby. Faye freaked out as she looked around, "oh my god, this is it, this is where I'm going to die." Kathryn put an arm around her.
"Easy, take deep breaths," she calmly said.
Faye put a hand by the side of her head, "no not again." She fell onto her knees, her head fell forward.
She looked up to see inside the old house. The little girl was standing in the dining room when the step dad walked up behind her. He raised a shovel into the air, then swung. Faye cringed so she didn't see the actual blow, when she opened her eyes she found she was back outside, but it was pouring with rain. The step dad was digging a deep hole. The girl was lying nearby with a blanket over her.
He dumped the shovel, climbed out of the hole and pushed her in a box filled with rain water that was lying in it. He reached in to close it and started to push the soil back in, but he didn't notice the girl was moving slightly.
Faye threw her head back in shock, "he killed her."
"What?" Kathryn said.
"The step dad, he tried to kill her and buried her there. She was still alive," Faye said, pointing at where James and Damien were, well all she could see was a hole though.
Damien's shovel hit something hard, so did James'. "Hey we found something," Damien said. James knelt down and started brushing away the soil. The ground below them shook a little.
"Holy crap," Damien jumped, startled. "I'm outta here." He scrambled back up to the surface.
James stood up as a scratching sound came from inside. "It can't be."
Jessie stood at the surface, "James the girl's down there, get back up here!"
"It's ok Jess," James said, sounding surprisingly calm. Everyone had gathered around the surface of the hole. "She's just trying to scare me away." He knelt down and placed his hand back on the box. "It's ok, you don't need to do that," he whispered. The trembling and scratching stopped suddenly.
He used the shovel to push away more of the soil. He put his fingers through the cracks, and started to pull it open. It swung open when it got only a centimetre apart. Soil went everywhere and his sight was blocked for a few seconds.
"Well?" Tom yelled.
Inside the box lay the skeletal remains of the little girl, the palms of her hands were facing upwards like they were trying to push the box open. Her black hair covering her face. The water had all dried up, and had left dried up mud at the base of the box.
James put his hand out to push the hair out of her face. As he did so there was a brief flash of light in his eyes. Once it had died down, he looked around at his new surroundings. It was dark and damp, he couldn't see anything in front of him but he could feel a presence.
He reached his hand out, he felt a cold damp small hand take a hold of it. "That's it isn't it, you can't rest here."
He felt the presence come closer to him. The hand moved away from him as he knelt down, it went across the side of his face. He closed his eyes for a few minutes. When he opened them again he nodded his head, "I understand. Really I do, I get it. You feel lonely cos you're different. I used to feel that way, but it goes away."
"Seven days," the girl whispered, less menacing than she usually does.
"Don't worry, you won't have to stay here much longer," James said gently. "I'll help you."
The light blinded him again, he found himself back in the hole. He looked up at everyone.
"Guys, you have to help me get this 'coffin' out!" he yelled up.
"What, why?" Jessie asked.
The full awayteam were standing around a small fire, the coffin was lying there slowly burning to cinder.
"Her people can't rest until their body is destroyed," James said.
"How do you know that?" Kathryn asked.
"She told me," James replied.
"How do you know she wasn't tricking you into helping her out for a bad cause?" Tom questioned.
"She was just a lost little girl who couldn't control her power, didn't understand it or why she had it," James replied. "People treated her differently because of it. I can relate, I know what it's like to lose control."
Faye nodded, "she thought I'd be the best candidate to help her, she freaked me out way too much."
"You're telling me," Tom commented. He walked away muttering to himself.
"So why was she killing people on the seventh day, was it accidents or..." Jessie questioned.
"She only had seven days for each victim, or she'd lose the power over them. She'd lose control out of anger if they didn't help," James replied.
"Yes, just a helpless lost little girl," Damien said, shaking his head. "She gets away with murder, I like her. Such a waste." He walked away too.
"You gotta understand what it was like for her though. Trapped in the dark forever, it would drive anyone crazy," Jessie said.
James sighed, "yeah, we should get rid of all traces of the file after this, just in case. Only then we'll know the curse is lifted." He turned to Jessie, "so, do you feel any better?"
"Lots, as soon as she went in the fire the bad karma must have floated right off me," she replied. "Still a bit shaky though."
James smiled as he put an arm around her, "see I kept my promise."
Jessie smiled and looked up at him, "you really did. What you did, that was really brave."
"Not really, I just had a feeling that I shouldn't run. It's weird," James said.
Jessie moved around so she was facing him. "Still, that was amazing. I'm proud of you." She wrapped her own arms around him.
Kathryn was nearby fidgeting slightly, "there better be some damn coffee left." She rushed off, Tuvok watched her with a raised eyebrow.
Craig was sitting on his sofa quivering in fear while keeping an eye on his computer. He checked his watch, he sighed in relief. "Phew, few minutes passed." He got up, still shaking a little.
He walked over to the main door, it opened for him and he stepped out. Somebody shoved him out of the way as they ran passed. He stopped nearby him. Craig quickly recovered but then noticed who had bumped into him.
"What do you think of this?" Neelix drunkenly said, stroking his bare chest. He was about to drop his trousers when Craig screamed hysterically and ran for his life.
Tom walked turned the opposite corner while Neelix put his shirt back on. "Great show Neelix, that was fun." He handed Neelix a few rations, then walked back the way he came, smiling smugly to himself.
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