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April - June 2007
The latest team sat inside the Delta Flyer which was flying towards the planet.
"Ok I get Craig and Nathan, maybe James, but why am I here?" Daniel muttered, with his feet up on the station right at the back.
"I was with you until me. What do you mean?" James asked.
"Somebody's trying to get rid of us, or we wouldn't be in a shuttle," Daniel replied.
"With a guest star on it," James said.
"Somebody's going to die," Craig said in a sing song voice.
Nathan looked at the others, confused. "Hmm, a new guest star or the regular die-er," Daniel muttered to himself.
"We'll see soon enough. We're getting ready to land so nobody try any last moment thing," James said.
Craig rolled his eyes, "all right, enough already."
Daniel smirked as he lowered his feet so he could lean on the console instead. "What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything," Craig groaned.
"No but he did say a little too much," James said. The shuttle shook lightly. "There, landed. That was too easy."
"You're right. Oh god," Daniel muttered.
"I know, James being right," Nathan said.
"No, well yeah," Daniel said. James turned to raise an eyebrow at the two of them. "But this means something else is going to happen instead. There's no such thing as an easy shuttle mission."
Craig headed for the door, already holding a rifle. "Come on you wussies, we're not going to kill ourselves." He disappeared outside, slamming the door behind him.
"Craig called us wussies? Times really have changed," Daniel muttered.
James got up to collect a rifle as well, "don't be fooled by the brave act. He wants to die so he can stalk my sister again." He followed Craig outside. Daniel shrugged and did the same.
"Over my dead body he will."
Nathan sighed, "we don't even know what we're supposed to be doing." He finally followed the others, "are all missions like this?"
Ryseek guided the team through the thick forest into a small clearing. There stood a small rundown cottage. It looked like it had been abandoned for at least a decade.
"Eugh you don't live here, do you?" Nikki whined, twisting her face.
"No but I have stayed here during the crisis to avoid infection," Ryseek replied.
"Something doesn't sit right with me here. You know about this, but you're not ill like the others," Harry muttered suspiciously. "How do you..."
"Know what's happening then?" Ryseek sighed. His hand reached out to open the door to the cottage. "I'm one of the few survivors, and one of the first known to get infected."
The team reluctantly followed him into the cold, dark cottage.
Zare accidentally walked through some cobwebs, she quickly tried to brush it off. "So if you know how to survive it, why call us for help? Eew."
"Back when I was infected the disease was on a minor scale. There was only one way to be infected and treated. Now with different sources for infection, it's difficult to know," Ryseek replied.
"You knew all this but failed to tell us until we got here and now we're struck in this dump, unable to help," Zare grumbled.
Ryseek's eyes shifted nervously, "well you see..."
"She's right. What was the point? I bet if our ship finally manages to contact us it would just infect them too," Harry said. "What do you want us to do exactly?" He frowned. "And how exactly did you contact your friends about this? Our fleet may already be infected now."
"No no. I did that before the virus spread to the televisions, radios and whatnot. There was no way to contact them afterwards so I could warn them," Ryseek said quickly. "It would be safe for your ship to transport you from here, the virus wouldn't have migrated to anything as advanced as that, especially out here in a dead zone. I'm sure they'll do that if they don't hear from you. Besides there is something to do here."
"Here it comes," Evil C muttered.
"Well the virus started right here," Ryseek quietly said.
The team stared blankly for a minute or so, they all then ran out of the cottage more or less at the same time as each other. Ryseek quickly followed them.
"Wait! It won't affect you!"
Zare swung around and roughly pushed him to the ground. "You said we'd be safe here in this so called dead zone!"
"We are, I swear," Ryseek stuttered. "There was only one way to be infected back at the start, and it's not even here anymore. It is safe."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"I er, we... the source was removed for research. That is how it all started," Ryseek muttered.
"Let me guess. It was you who did that," Evil C said.
Ryseek's eyes twitched nervously, his head glanced away. "No, there was..."
"And you had the nerve to blame it on these aliens curiosity, when it was yours," Zare said. "Now we're trapped here, brilliant. This is probably the reason why your kind aren't allowed to interfere with them."
"You don't understand. There were victims before me. I came here to investigate a threat to our planet," Ryseek said, he pulled himself to his feet.
"Well done, there is now. Ironically the one who spread the virus survived," Zare said. "Maybe that's the cure."
"Oh no, it's another Ring parody, isn't it?" Harry groaned, rolling his eyes.
Nikki pulled a confused face as she folded her arms. "Hang on. He said it started with a news article right? Why would an alien spy get a reporter job, isn't that like interfering? It couldn't have been him that did that."
Zare and Harry looked at one another. "Huh, that's weird. She's right. I thought Nikki had no, well brains," Zare said.
"It's probably because we had that other dumb girl in our team," Evil C muttered.
"Speaking of which, where is that dumb girl with the accent?" Harry asked.
He, Zare and Ryseek walked back into the cottage again. They immediately found Jade sitting in front of the TV, watching a black screen with writing on it. She was squinting her eyes in a vain attempt to read it.
Ryseek's face turned very pale, "can't be." He rushed over to read it himself. "You will die in two days, if you want to live you must..." Zare then hit her fist against the top of the TV, it turned to static. "Oh no."
"You stupid girl. Weren't you listening," she muttered. "No TV, radio or books on the matter!" Jade looked at her with a clueless look on her face, ok with her normal expression.
Ryseek covered his face with his right hand, "well at least I already know the cure for this one, despite someone cutting the message off, AGAIN!"
Zare frowned, "what, I was helping."
Jade held her stomach, groaning a little. "Ugh I don't feel too good."
"Wait, why would we even want to cure her?" Zare asked.
"We could be infected too now," Harry replied with a worried expression on his face. "Was that the original virus?"
"That was it in its primary form. I don't get how it's possible, it was taken away from here. With it being a dead zone, I don't know how it could have been re-transmitted," Ryseek said.
"So we've got two more days of her and we're rid of her," Harry said. "What about us?"
"We're ok. We didn't see the transmission from the beginning, she must have." Ryseek knelt down next to Jade, "did it start with a message?" She nodded, then quickly turned away from everyone to be sick. Everyone groaned and turned away from her as well.
Nikki stepped through the doors, Evil C was just behind her. "Ok I don't get this, you said..." she said.
"I know. I was so sure. That was what infected me. It'll only transmit the virus if you were around for the whole thing," Ryseek said. He pressed a button on the TV to turn it off, then another button. A square disc only about ten centimetres wide popped out from under the screen. "Great, it was recorded again. Only the girl and I can study this."
"For the love of god. I thought you already studied it," Harry groaned.
"I have, but I stupidly destroyed the copy I had before it mutated. The one I copied to let my teammate look at was taken by the authorities. I need to see if there's any clue to the mutated version of the virus. Perhaps this girl can help."
Harry laughed slightly, "she could only help you if the cure was to swear and burp at something. Or throw up I guess."
"Eeew, gross," Nikki whined.
Ryseek stood back up again to face the rest of the team. "It's not safe for the rest of the team to help analyse the transmission. It's not even a good idea to look at my notes from last time, so there's only one thing you can do."
"What's that?" Evil C asked like he didn't want to know.
"This place is connected with the virus somehow. I ran out of time before I finished investigating, I stumbled on the cure by accident. Once I was cured I stopped working, you could continue with that," Ryseek said.
"How, there's nothing here?" Zare grumbled.
"On the contrary, this is or was a small library of a nearby village," Ryseek said, pointing to a nearby door. He handed a device to Zare, "scan each book with this, it'll translate it for you. You have to speak a few words into it first so it knows. Nothing in there should effect you, translating it probably makes you immune to it."
Harry edged to the door, then slowly opened it. "Oh god," he said when he flipped the light switch on. Zare and Nikki rushed over to look too. Inside there were a dozen bookcases crammed into a tiny room, books had filled up all of the shelves and most of the floor as well.
"This'll take a while," Harry muttered.
The second awayteam were looking around the alien town, well almost, Nathan was too busy looking at what remained of a newspaper.
"This is weird. Where is everyone?" Daniel asked.
"Probably in their graves, maybe you should look there for a new brain," Craig muttered.
"God that's lame," Daniel rolled his eyes. "We detected lifesigns so not everyone is dead."
"Yeah well it doesn't mean that all of the survivors are supposed to be running around the street, just so we can talk to them," Craig grumbled.
James rolled his eyes as he turned away from them. Nathan meanwhile turned one of the pages, both of his eyebrows raised and a smirk appeared on his face. "Sweet."
"They probably ran away when they saw Mr Fake Angst Boy coming," Daniel said.
Craig clenched his fists, he stepped up to face him. "What did you say?"
"Ok, that annoys you?" Daniel smirked, turning to face him. "This should be fun."
"Your voice alone annoys me," Craig muttered.
"Yeah well I can't help that, I'm sure in a few years you'll hit puberty and your voice will sort itself out," Daniel said.
Craig shoved him roughly, "you're all talk watcher boy."
"Oh yeah, I take back the puberty comment after that," Daniel said. "Give it ten years then."
"What, are you scared or something? Huh, huh?" Craig grumbled, pushing him again.
Daniel smirked at him while tightly folding his arms. "So it's true, little boys do push people who they fancy."
"Right, that's it," Craig grumbled, raising his right fist.
James groaned, he walked over to the two and punched them both. They both fell onto their butts.
The pair angrily looked up at him, holding their bruised cheeks, and I'm not just taking about their face ones.
"What did you do that for?" Daniel snapped.
"Your so called fight was boring me," James replied.
Craig rolled his eyes, "must have been going on for too long, any he's involved in last five seconds."
"Are you trying to insult me now, with that?" James shook his head in disbelief.
Daniel shrugged, he pulled himself to his feet. "Told you, acting like a child."
Nathan was too engrossed in his newspaper to notice the last few minutes. An article on the far right caught his eye. Most of it had been cut out, leaving only the headline. It was in the alien language so he couldn't read it. He shrugged as his eyes went naturally back to what he was looking at that took up the rest of the page.
Craig stood back up, glaring at both James and Daniel as he did. They didn't notice as they had their backs turned, that one alien had just walked out of one of the buildings. His bearded face lit up as he spotted them. A smirk grew on his face, he tip toed slowly up to them. His smirk turned into a mad grin as he got closer.
At the last second James grabbed him by the arm without even looking behind him, and threw him over his shoulder. Craig and Daniel looked on, very amused at this. Nathan was still looking at his paper. The man sat up a little, James wasn't done though. He took out a knife, knelt down to place it against his face.
"Is there a problem?" he laughed.
"Why were you sneaking up on us?" James asked.
"Oh come on. I was just having a laugh," the man replied.
"And that we did," Daniel smirked.
James straightened back up, and put the knife away again. "It wasn't even funny, what I did was."
"Did you want something?" Craig muttered while folding his arms.
The man jumped to his feet surprisingly quickly. "My name is Birch. I am one of the spy's that was sent to this continent."
Daniel frowned, "Birch as in tree, or..."
"Yes I'm a tree," the man said, laughing squeakily. All three of the listening team members pulled a face like somebody had just put on the Umbrella song.
"Ok, somebody more annoying than Damien," Craig muttered.
"I saw more of you guys earlier with my pal Ryseek," Birch said. "Oh by the way, you look really out of place."
"Damn it, our alien disguises," Craig said.
"Not that it matters, not many people are around," James said. "Anyway, our guys?"
"Now now, I'm not allowed to tell you anything but I am allowed to tell you that I know," Birch said. The team stared blankly at him. "Oh sorry, old habits. I used to run a singer's website."
"Oh, what happened. He or she killed you?" Craig questioned. "Or is going to anyway, we can only hope."
"Don't make me ban you," Birch said.
"Who should hit him first?" Daniel asked.
Birch shook his head, "sorry mates, did it again. Nobody respected my authority so I banned everyone, well almost. Then I gave away stuff for free, then bitched at others who did it too. Fun times." The team continued staring blankly. "Anyway she released the music I gave away, we were both shocked when it didn't sell. Mystery that. Silly blighters who I banned kept saying she should have just sold ones I didn't gave away as she had loads of songs, that would have been stupid. She has been on ice for months now but that's over."
"Um," was all the team could say.
"The ice broke, now she's selling the same thing here. Another reason why I'm here guys, to spread the great name of Birch. I mean, erm," Birch said, looking confused. His forehead wrinkled up as he tried to use his brain. "What was the name of my singer?"
"Oh please. No singer's career could be that tragic," Craig said.
The five men stood in silence for a while, waiting for something to happen.
"Yeah, nobody would be stupid enough to have somebody like that run their website," Daniel said.
Again, they stood in silence.
"I work for free," Birch winked at him.
And again, this time it was broken by Daniel giving him a smack. "Don't ever do that."
"Oh come on, realistically they'd of just delayed the album if Bitch here gave it away," James said.
"They did, a few months," Birch said, obviously not noticing the erm, accidental mistake with his name.
Another silence, a cold breeze went passed and tried to turn Nathan's pages over. "Ha nice try," he said while turning back to it.
"And it was still the same thing that you gave away?" James questioned.
"Yep, oh don't worry it will be different, but it won't be, there will be another release that we'll change our mind about later," Birch replied.
Another silence. Nathan tilted the newspaper a little, "neat, it's a 3D holographic newspaper."
Craig laughed, "he's just messing with us, of course." James and Daniel nodded in agreement, for once anyway.
"It's true boys," Birch said.
James sighed, "yeah sure, next thing you'll be telling us is that they got the tracklisting wrong on the back. Or despite having a few extra months, they still didn't sort out the rights to the only track you didn't give away, so they replaced it with the one they gave away years ago."
"Wow that's amazing dude, you must be like psychic or something. Have you visited before, are you a fan?" Birch giddily asked.
"Yep, messing with us," James said.
"You are so banned," Birch grumbled.
Daniel cleared his throat impatiently, "our team, you saw them."
"Right right. They met up with my old buddy Ryseek. I did overhear something about communications problems. He took them away somewhere," Birch said.
"Well we wouldn't be here if we didn't already know about the communications problem," James said.
"I thought as much," Birch said. He handed a small device to him. "Here you go High Sprung."
James rolled his eyes, "right. You expect us to use a device given to us by a stranger, a complete loon one might I add."
"Dude, you don't trust me do you? Good thing I banned you," Birch said. "They could have sent smarter guys but they didn't, shame." James narrowed his eyes, Birch patted him on the arm. "Chill dude, have a sense of humour."
"What else is he going to call us?" Craig muttered to himself.
"Seriously, these people don't know about aliens so why would one trick you like that?" Birch said. "It's just a transmitter. Ryseek and I had some trouble contacting our own continent, so I made this. It hasn't worked for us, but it should get to your ship."
Nathan finally turned around to join in, he snatched the device off him to look at it.
"So why aren't you with your partner?" James questioned.
"Partner? We're not being gay together," Birch laughed again. "We had a disagreement about the virus. He went a little..." He rolled his eyes several times and squeaked, "cuckoo, cuckoo."
"So like you then?" Craig said, raising an eyebrow.
Nathan groaned, he put the device in his pocket and went back to his newspaper. With a sigh he put the paper under his arm and walked away.
"Nah mate. He claimed that this little lurgy was supernatural. He's just lead you here for nothing. Your other friends will have their ears talked off now about mystical nebulas, shapeshifting vampires or some crap like that," Birch muttered.
"So what is this virus then?" Daniel asked.
"Oh it's just a OTT flu, doc's are working on it supposedly," Birch replied.
James frowned in confusion, "OTT flu? It was described as a plague."
"Ugh," Birch rolled his eyes. "Ryseek probably described it that way. I would just get out of here before you're infected too."
"What about our team then?" Craig questioned.
James turned around to look for Nathan who wasn't anywhere in sight now. "It'll be too late," Birch said.
"Where's Nathan?" James muttered. The rest of the team turned around as well.
Jodie's station beeped at her, waking her up so to speak. "We're getting a transmission from the surface."
Tom looked around, "finally, let's hear it."
Jessie's eyes widened in panic, "no, don't!"
In: "Nathan to Voya..." His transmission was cut off as the lights began flickering on and off. All of the computer screens filled with the same alien text Jessie saw earlier. The lights went off completely, the only light came from the blue writing.
Jessie looked around the bridge frantically. "Oh god, don't look at the screens."
"What?" Tom muttered in confusion.
"I think we're infected," Jodie blankly said, squinting her eyes.
"Power down the bloody ship!" Jessie yelled.
Tom looked around, mouthing, "how?" The stations turned completely blank, the whirring sound of the engines died down. "What just happened?" he asked in the complete darkness.
Kevin knocked his station, then turned his chair around. "It appears that somebody did what Jessie said." Someone at the back flashed a torch directly in his eyes, he covered them with his hand. "Hey, watch it!"
"Sorry," a sheepish voice mumbled.
More torches were turned around all around the bridge. Tom walked over to stand next to Jessie. "Jess, what's up with you?"
She turned her head toward him. "I don't know."
Nathan shook the transmitter in his hand, and tried speaking into it again. "Hellooooo?" James rushed over to him, Craig and Daniel slowly followed.
"What are you doing?"
Nathan turned around, "they cut me off. That was rude."
"It must have only worked for a second," Daniel said.
James sighed before looking back over his shoulder briefly. He frowned, then turned around fully. "Where is that Bitch guy?" The rest of the team turned around as well to find Birch had disappeared.
"How did he, how?" Craig stuttered.
James snatched the transmitter off of Nathan, staring intently at it. "Why did you do that?"
"I was just testing it. Unless the other teams has one of these babies, I couldn't test it by talking to them. What's the problem?" Nathan muttered.
"The problem was Birch," James said, raising the transmitter in front of his face. "Something about the guy didn't seem right."
"Something? Everything wasn't," Craig said.
Daniel eyed the newspaper under Nathan's arm, "what's that?" He snatched it off him, Nathan quickly tried to grab it back. James snatched it off them before a tug of war begun. He pulled a face as he looked at the page Nathan was so engrossed in.
"Gross Nath," he groaned while crumpling it up in his hands.
"No!" Nathan whined, reaching out for it way too late.
"What?" Craig said, raising an eyebrow.
"Page Three girl," James replied, shaking his head. Daniel and Craig smirked at Nathan.
"Oh please, you wanted to see it too," he grunted.
"Ok guys, we're not getting anywhere here," James muttered.
Daniel shook his head, "that's not true. We know our team met up with the contact, the virus is blown out of proportion."
Craig pulled a disgusted face at him, "oh come on. If it's just a flu, how come so many people are dead?"
"And why is everyone but Birch hiding?" James added on.
"He said it was OTT," Daniel said.
Nathan fidgeted slightly. "Are you done with that now?" he pointed his finger at the paper still in James' hand. He groaned as he chucked it to the ground, Nathan quickly grabbed it.
"Look I don't trust that guy, he gave us that transmitter for another reason," James said.
"For once I agree with him. The town's deserted and vandalised, something's definitely weird about this virus," Craig said.
"Ok let's split up," Daniel suggested. Craig and James both groaned. "What?"
"That's a great idea, but a better one is to shoot ourselves now to save someone else the trouble of picking us off," Craig muttered.
Daniel narrowed his eyes slightly, "or I could just shoot you, everyone wins."
"Why don't you two stick together then, at least then your attacker will just stand and watch you squabble like little girls," James said.
"Aaaw man, she's all wrinkled now," Nathan whined as he stared at his paper again.
"And if somebody attacks us two, they'll go for the Page 3 girl," James muttered, shaking his head.
"Better not," Nathan said.
"Why don't we do this differently, Nathan with Craig, you and me," Daniel said. "If he stays with me..."
"I have no problem with that," James said.
Daniel groaned, "no, we'll not accomplish anything."
"Fine. Craig you go look for Birch, and we'll..." James said.
"Nope," Craig groaned as he walked off. Nathan blindly followed.
"You know you should take that as a compliment, he's just trying to copy off you," Daniel said.
"Compliment?" James muttered.
"Yeah you're right, what was I thinking," Daniel said.
Flashlights were being randomly shone around the room as Engineers rushed around. B'Elanna climbed down the ladders, barking orders everywhere.
Tom squeezed through the partially open doors, holding a torch of his own. "B'Elanna?"
She sighed as she made her way over. "Don't ask Tom. There's no reason why the power went off, or why strange writing appeared on the stations. Though we didn't have much time to explore the second one, did we?"
"Jessie doesn't have authority to power down the ship, does she?" Tom awkwardly asked.
"No. She was messing with magic earlier, you know trying to fix Bryan," B'Elanna replied. "It was probably her, I'd keep an eye on her, well eyes actually."
"Yeah but she was freaked, she said she saw the alien writing thing in a hallucination," Tom said. "Do witches even get visions?"
"I wouldn't know," B'Elanna muttered. "If it was her doing then we don't have much chance of fixing it, do we?"
Tom shook his head and folded his arms. "Yeah. I'll ask her when she calms down. I just wish I knew what the alien writing thing was about. It happened right when Nathan contacted us."
"You might not have to ask her, if she calms down it may just undo itself," B'Elanna said. "As for the alien writing, the only theory is that somebody down there was tapping into our system."
"But you said there was no reason for..." Tom said.
B'Elanna groaned, "I told you, we didn't exactly have much time to check it out. Where is Jessie anyway?"
"Nursery. I figured somebody should check up on the kids," Tom replied.
Jessie walked down the corridor, clutching herself protectively. An unknown crewmember followed behind, lighting the way.
"Eugh, I hate the dark," she mumbled.
The crewmember stopped in his tracks, breathing heavily. He frantically looked around him, swinging the torch around.
Jessie turned around frowning. "You're not scared of the dark too, are you?"
"There's something here," the man stuttered.
"What, like what?" Jessie asked, she looked over her shoulder. The guy shakily raised the torch to help her see. A dark figure ran around the corner, the pair jumped at the same time. "It's ok, it could have been a crewmember."
The guy's eyes widened as a hand crept across his shoulder. He screamed and ran over to hide behind Jessie. She jumped in shock, then looked around to the spot he was at before, snatching the torch away. A voice started sniggering as she raised it, it shone on a familiar face.
"Damien!?" she screeched.
He laughed at the two. "What? Lights go off and you get all edgy. I'd of been a fool to ignore it."
Jessie stepped forward to push him roughly. "It's not just a power down!"
"Oooh really?" Damien smiled deviously. "Are we being invaded by aliens, demons, vamps? Oh, ghosts huh?"
"I don't know, but let's hope you're a victim of it," Jessie muttered. She attached one of those devices that opens the doors, to a door nearby and pulled it open. Inside they could hear lots of kids voices yelling, crying or talking.
Jessie slipped through the door, the crewmember nervously followed, keeping a keen eye on Damien. He smirked then mouthed, "ghost kids." The guy looked into the room, then back to find Damien right in his face. "BOO!"
He stumbled back, but got stuck in the door.
Jessie placed the torch alongside two others on a table that barely lit up the room. "Amy, Sasha?"
One of the teachers, Jacqueline walked over to her with Sasha. "Mummy, what's going on?" Jessie knelt down to pick her up.
"Amy isn't here," Jacqueline said.
"What? How long's she been gone?"
"My guess is before the power cut, because every exit was blocked until now," Jacqueline replied.
Jessie groaned, "just great, thanks for nothing." She went back towards the door. "Damien, pull him out will you?"
"Heaven no, it's funny," Damien whined.
"There's another door on the inside wall that goes to the school. It's already open," Jacqueline said. She turned around, "Duncan, your mum's here."
Duncan appeared from one of the dark corners. "Mum, something weird's going on."
"Tell me something I don't know. We should go, can you do something for mum?" Jessie asked.
"Ok," Duncan casually shrugged his shoulders. He moved forward to push the guy out of the door. He shuddered afterwards, "mum he's not coming." He pulled a face at Damien as he stepped out.
Jessie followed him. "Why, what's wrong?" Duncan took his mum's hand to pull her down the corridor. He looked behind him at the crewmember. "Duncan, what's the matter, that guy's harmless." He pouted his lips as he looked up at her. "Never mind, let's find your sister first."
"She got scared of the funny writing and she hid under the table. She didn't have time to run out," Sasha said quietly.
"What are you saying then, is she still under that table?" Jessie questioned when she stopped.
Duncan kept trying to pull her along, "mum, come on!"
"Duncan honey." Jessie knelt down in front of him. Sasha kept clutching on her arm. "I haven't seen you this scared, what's wrong?" She placed her hands on both sides of his face. "Duncan?"
"I saw someone," he quietly replied. "Grab the teacher right before the lights went out. Now she, she looks weird."
"Weird how?" Jessie nervously asked.
Duncan pointed back at the guy, "that guy too."
Jessie sighed, "what was she doing before then?"
"Working on the computer blackboard, alien writing appeared on it," Duncan replied.
"Mummy," Sasha moaned, tugging on her arm. "Amy."
"You think she's in the nursery still?" Jessie questioned.
"She probably was until you opened the door, she's sneaky like that and tiny," Duncan muttered uneasily.
"That's great," Jessie mumbled. She looked around when they each heard a few kids voices yelling.
Miral and Johnathan were amongst the children who were escaping the nursery. Jacqueline appeared at the doorway. "What's the matter?" Miral bumped into the crewmember, for once she looked pretty scared.
"Aaaw, what's wrong cutey?" he asked. She kicked him in the leg and ran off squealing.
"Crap crap," Jessie muttered. "Tom's kids, I forgot." She got up so she could quickly rush after Miral first. The tiny girl squirmed in her arms when she was caught. "Duncan, get Johnathan," Jessie said, while trying to calm the little girl in her arms down.
Duncan rolled his eyes, he ran after Johnathan to catch him, which didn't take long at all with the height difference between the two.
"No, creepy teacher!" he whined.
"Great, let's go find Amy and get back to the bridge," Jessie sighed in relief.
Miral growled while still squirming, "no no, daddy annoying."
Jessie pulled a face as she knelt down to pick up Sasha as well with her other arm. Miral tried then to get free, she kept a tight hold of her. "It's ok, dad asked me to babysit."
Another teacher, Grace rushed out of the nursery to collect the other kids who escaped. When she was done, Jessie stopped her.
"Did you see where Amy went?"
Grace sighed as she held one of the runaways in her arms. "Before the lights went out she got scared and hid under the table. The lights off scared everyone else, but she got unnerved by something else."
"Never mind. If you see her, I'll be on the bridge," Jessie said.
"Sure," Grace said.
"Where's Bryan?" Jessie asked.
Grace frowned in confusion, "Bryan?"
Jessie groaned, "the teenager that should have been with Duncan."
Grace shook her head, "no, he was only with two girls."
"He said he was going to the bog mum, can we go?" Duncan moaned.
"Ok ok." Jessie walked away with the girls, Duncan dragged Johnathan with him. Grace watched after them, shaking her head. "I should have took that job in New York."
Damien meanwhile had gone inside the nursery to look around. The rest of the kids were huddled in the corner where the lights were, looking a bit nervous. The other teachers stood around the other side of the room, looking twitchy.
A faint blue light caught the corner of his eye. His head turned to look for the source, it turned out to be a small alien symbol on the blackboard. He stepped closer to it to get a better look.
One of the kids ran up to him, he tugged on his leg. He looked down just as the one symbol turned into a few, and flashing on and off. "What?" he asked, pulling a disgusted face.
"Don't do that, teachers looked too."
He frowned at the child, "yeah so?"
"Creepy person got them. Come out of the board," the boy pointed at the blackboard.
Damien squinted his eyes as he turned back to the board. The symbols were gone, the board was completely blank once again. His head soon turned toward the teachers, "weird."
Only a few people were sitting around the table. Jessie had Sasha sitting on her lap, Duncan sat beside her on a chair of his own. "I don't get it."
"You told me to power down the ship, then it happened. B'Elanna found no reason for it, something's wrong," Tom said.
"Something's wrong, that's our series slogan isn't it?" Jessie said.
"No that's 'better late than never'," Tom groaned.
Jessie shook her head, "never mind. My Amy's missing, all of the kids seem scared of most of the teachers, and that guy as well."
"No," Tom said, looking around the room frantically. "Has anyone seen Miral?" He exclaimed in pain, then cringed, "ow! Never mind." He looked under the table to see Miral sitting here, smiling cutely.
"You little devil's angel." He picked her up. She grew a huge pout on her face when he gave her a little kiss on the cheek. "Where's your brother?"
on the Bridge:
Johnathan sat in the Captain's chair, kicking his little legs gleefully. "Report lowly minion."
Kevin looked up from the helm and back at him. "Wow Captain Paris, you've shrunk haven't you?"
Jodie appeared out of the Jeffries tube entrance at the back of the bridge. She walked around to the centre of the bridge. "I think we have an intruder aboard."
"Woah," Johnathan looked up at her with wide eyes. He jumped down from the chair, then ran to the open Conference Room door.
"What's his problem?" Jodie muttered.
Kevin glanced in her direction, "intruder?"
"All the way there and back it felt like someone was watching and following me," Jodie said, while rubbing the back of her neck. "Has the life support been affected too, it's really hot in here."
"Yes and no. Yes it is affected as it's freezing, no it's obviously still working a little which is more than I can say for everything else," Kevin muttered.
"Whatever," Jodie groaned. "I hope all kids don't react like that way around me."
"Oooh why, thinking of making little Jodie and whoever you're dating Juniors?" Kevin smirked.
Jodie was too distracted by the darker end of the bridge to hear him.
Johnathan ran to his dad, tugging on his arm. "Dad, Jodie is one of them."
"One of what?" Tom asked carefully.
"Weird people, like teachers," Johnathan replied.
Jessie frowned in his direction, "Jodie?"
Tom looked very confused, "ok I must be an episode behind. There's so much going on, someone explain."
Jessie looked at him, sighing. "I told you. All of the kids were freaked out by some of the teachers."
"They saw a symbol on the board," Damien said as he appeared at the doorway.
Jessie and Tom glanced over, Duncan looked up with a nervous expression on his face. "What?" Jessie said.
"How much is this information worth to you?" Damien smiled smugly.
Jessie got out of her chair and walked over to him. "Your nose intact, tell me."
"Fine," Damien groaned. "I saw a blue symbol on the board. Some kid told me the teachers saw it before lights out, then something came out and grabbed them."
"What I saw was similar," Jessie muttered to herself. "No I can't get visions, why did I see this before any of it happened?"
Tom covered his face with his hand, "no wonder this episode is causing huge writers block."
"Maybe you're doing it," Damien replied. "You and me should team up sometime and..."
"Duncan do your mum another favour," Jessie groaned.
Duncan quickly got off his chair, Damien backed out of the room before he got the chance.
"Ok let's break this down for the people who are me," Tom said as he climbed out of his own chair. "Virus on a pre-warp continent. Team beams down who we can't contact or beam back. Jessie walks onto the bridge after hallucinating or whatever, probably cos of her spell."
"What I saw was similar to what happened on the bridge before the blackout, and the writing Damien said. I did see something in the console, I figured it was just a reflection," Jessie added on.
"Right. Another team is sent via shuttle. Nathan manages to get through to us. You panic and tell us to power down. Consoles go weird texty, lights off, then all of the power but life support goes off," Tom continued.
"Do you always have to dumb the episodes down," a bored Duncan groaned.
"Hey it wouldn't happen if the writer didn't have millions of lame ideas for this episode, and tried to mix them ALL!" Tom snapped. "Anyway, kids get scared of random people."
Jessie shook her head, "it's not random people." She carried Sasha, and lead Duncan out of the room. Johnathan pulled a face before following her.
Tom finished his ramblings, looking more confused than he did when he started. "Well they said it was likely supernatural. I bet this doesn't have a plot. God I hate this show."
Miral watched him with her big blue eyes, she gave him a swift kick in the left ankle and ran out. He exclaimed again, and started hopping about on his good foot, holding the bad one.
Harry, Zare and Evil C were surrounded by hundreds of open books, each of them obviously hadn't slept. Nikki was busy sleeping in a pile of books nearby.
"Ryseek could have brought some coffee to this dump," Evil C muttered.
Zare eyed him, "why does everyone like that crap anyway?"
Harry yawned while he scanned the next book with the device. "This thing is ingenious. Who'd of thought that it could decipher an entire language, its written language just by hearing a few of its words." Zare and Evil C narrowed their eyes in his direction. "Well excuse me for having an interest in something."
"You've already said that twice," Evil C muttered. "I found it a little interesting too, a hundred books ago."
"Too bad we can't take it back to Voyager," Harry said.
Zare rolled her eyes, "oh my god." As she was sitting in the middle of the two it was easy to give them a light slap each.
The door opened, a very worried Ryseek stepped inside. "How are you doing?"
"Not good, we haven't found any book even close," Harry replied.
Ryseek sighed, "I have bad and good news. Which do you want first?"
"Good," Harry replied, fearing the worst.
"Well I haven't shown the symptoms for the virus, so I didn't get infected. This means you four are in the clear as well," Ryseek said. "I know I said you were anyway, but this virus is full of surprises."
Zare groaned, "the bad news is probably that the Jade girl hasn't died yet."
"No it's worse," Ryseek said. "I was too busy researching to notice right away. She's developing unusual symptoms."
"How is that worse?" Harry frowned.
"See for yourself," Ryseek muttered as he disappeared out of the door. Harry and Zare got up first and followed him. Evil C eventually followed suit. They all stood in front of the door, looking toward Jade.
She sat on the mucky sofa, stroking a brand new baby bump. "Aaaw, Leroy is going to be so happy. Unless it's Jake's, then he won't be."
The awayteam's eyes were now very wide. Ryseek raised his shoulders meekly, "if you watch you'll probably catch it growing."
"Growing?" Harry stuttered, he couldn't take his eyes off Jade. "What do you mean?"
"I really doubt that your unborn offspring grow that fast," Ryseek replied.
"No, it takes nine months usually. She looks about five," Harry said.
Evil C started blankly for a moment, then glanced at the others. "Am I the only one reeling from the 'two guys willingly slept with her' part?"
"That's what booze is for," Harry muttered.
"You'd need more than that," Zare said, pulling a disgusted face.
The second awayteam had split into pairs again. One half were looking around some of the abandoned shops.
Daniel slapped the tricorder in his palm, grunting angrily. Meanwhile James was looked in the direction of the burnt out TV store and newsagents.
"All this technology and it never does any good," Daniel grumbled. "Maybe we should just go back to Voyager."
"Yeah," James mumbled, only half listening. "What do you make of this?"
"What?" Daniel walked over to his side. "Odd but." A scream in the distance interrupted him, he and James rushed to find where it came from.
A young alien woman ran toward them, trembling violently. Daniel put his arm around her. "Hey, what's the matter?" She pointed ahead of her at the empty shop nearby.
"My friend, she she... oh my god!" She then collapsed in his arms.
James went forward into the shop while Daniel gently lay the girl on the ground. "She fainted."
"Stay with her," James said quietly as he stepped inside. Right in front of him lay a heavily pregnant girl, twitching violently, her face cringing in agony. He knelt down to hold her still. Then he noticed a lot of blood pooling around her closed mouth, and pouring from her ears and even her eyes.
She screamed as the pain intensified, blood from her mouth went everywhere. Then her body just went limp.
"No no," he stuttered. As he backed away a little, the baby bump on the girl started growing before his eyes. "What the?"
Meanwhile Daniel managed to wake the previous girl. She gasped at the sight of him, and kicked him in between the legs. Daniel cringed as he covered himself, he could only watch as the girl made her escape, screaming hysterically.
Back in the shop, James had backed off into the wall, now on his feet again. His eyes were very, very wide. "Oh god." He pulled a knife from behind his back as he now faced a scrawny, scaly demon with very long bloody claws, and spiky teeth. It was drenched in the young woman's blood.
"How did you... how..." he stuttered, without blinking.
It answered by swinging its claws at him. He ducked and kicked it away. An ear piercing scream came from it as it leaped on top of him, pulling them both to the ground. It bared its teeth as its head went down to his neck. As he tried to push it away, it slashed its claws down the side of his face and neck.
The knife was raised and quickly plunged into the demon's back just as it was about to bite him in the face. It only managed to scratch with the teeth before it screeched again, seconds later it went limp.
Daniel limped in, he stared at the woman's body, or what was left of it anyway. "What happened in here?" He looked down at James, his eyes widening. "What the?"
"Yeah," James grunted as he pushed the demon off of him.
"You seem to bring these guys wherever you go, huh?" Daniel commented.
James got back onto his feet. "No, it came from her," he pointed at the body.
"What? How, how did it..." Daniel stuttered.
"That's kinda what I said," James muttered. "She either spent the night with one of those things, or..."
"Or what? A demon parasite." Daniel looked at the body, grimacing at the state of it. "I can see why the girl freaked then."
"Lucky for her she didn't see it," James said as he gently felt the scratch down his face and neck. "At least we know it was supernatural like they thought."
"Yeah but if this is the virus, how come we haven't seen any of these guys until now?" Daniel questioned.
B'Elanna paced the command centre, drumming her fingers on her leg. "Repairs are pretty much on the nada side. We don't know what caused it, there's no reason why it's down."
"So we can officially blame Jessie now?" Tom uneasily said. "She has gone all spell-o-rama on us, you don't think she's evil again because of that age spell, do you?"
"She'd have black eyes then wouldn't she?" B'Elanna groaned.
"We can only hope," Chakotay's voice startled everyone. He climbed out of the Jeffries and helped a pregnant girl out with him. Tom's eyes widened in horror.
"Woah, how many is she having!?"
"Tom!" Chakotay snapped. "Listen to her for a second."
The girl steadied herself with the banister. "You see um, I'm late."
"No kidding," Tom said.
"By one day," the girl finished.
"One day? I hope you just mean you discovered you were pregnant nine months ago, after one day of lateness," B'Elanna muttered.
"No," the girl mumbled. "I was a little sick after the lights went out, and felt a little bloated. I woke up this morning like this, only a little smaller."
"Ok this was confusing before, oh migraine," Tom whined.
"Where is our witch anyway?" Chakotay asked. Annika raised a hand to wave it at him. He shuddered. "I meant Jessie!"
"She's looking for her other daughter again. She went missing yesterday before the blackout," Tom replied. He beckoned his head toward Sasha sitting in the Captain's chair, and Duncan standing around nearby.
Jessie walked down a corridor holding her own torch, this time on her own. "Amy? Come out honey."
In the distance a wall panel flashed on only for a second. She pointed the torch in its direction, her eyes wide in panic. "That can't be good."
Bryan strode across the bridge, glancing at everyone he passed like he owned the place.
Faye let out a sigh when her station beeped. "Got word from Engineering. They're almost ready for the power transfer."
"It must be a lengthily procedure, Voyager's been dead for less than a day," Bryan said as he took the helm.
"It is, if you're colourblind and stupid," Faye muttered. "I told them it was a blue button, and where it was."
Foster smirked away at her, "we always thought that the Leda would blackout first with those guys in charge."
"I wonder what happened," Bryan said.
"I don't know. Something really bad, I can feel it," Faye said.
"This is very odd," B'Elanna said, eyeing the pregnant crewmember.
Kevin meanwhile climbed out of the turbolift looking a little frazzled. "Guys, you won't believe what I..." he trailed off when he spotted the girl. "Woah."
"Yeah that was my response, what did you see, heard or whatever?" Tom questioned.
Kevin brushed his hair up with his fingers to show off a new bleeding scar. He placed his hand over it. "There was something in the wall panel. I went to look, the next thing I knew I was getting clawed in the face."
"You were attacked, by what?" B'Elanna asked.
"It was probably just someone's pet cat," Damien muttered.
Chakotay's eyes darted over to where he stood. "YOU!"
"Not me," Damien said, pointing at Tom. Chakotay charged forward. Damien ran over to hide behind the nearest person but it was only Duncan. He gave him a quick elbow in the ribs before casually walking away. Tom was his next shield.
"Come on you pansy, a bratty kid and a pushover ain't gonna," Chakotay grumbled. Damien pushed Tom at him, then ran off to the Ready Room.
"Thanks for the tip!" He then crashed straight into the door and fell on his butt.
Chakotay threw Tom off of him, while Damien scrambled back to his feet. They both started a chase around the bridge.
"Um. The claw by the way came out of the wall," Kevin said. He stepped over to the pregnant girl. "Very strange." The girl clawed his face with her nails, leaving a few scratches.
"Bitches, filthy meddling freaks!" she hissed. Her face softened like nothing happened.
"Um ookay," Kevin muttered as he felt his latest wounds. He walked over to Jodie, "ookay, she's having." She stared at him with wide eyes, he backtracked only half way.
"What's your problem?" Tom asked as B'Elanna helped him back up.
"We have extra company," Kevin said as he walked over to them.
"What, console monsters? Whatever next," Tom muttered.
"Didn't you see it?" Kevin questioned, beckoning his head at the pregnant girl.
Tom looked over at the girl. Damien ran passed behind her, Chakotay did as well a second later. He failed to notice Damien accidentally fall down the Jeffries Tube hole and kept on running.
"Yes and? No girls like your chat up lines," Tom finally replied.
"I didn't even chat her up," Kevin said. "That kid she's carrying." He mouthed the word, "demon."
Annika frowned, "she's carrying a lemon?"
Tom's eyes widened, "what? She got knocked up by a demon? Are you sure?"
"Oh yeah," Kevin replied. "Jodie's not pregnant either is she? I felt something from her too."
"Well the kids freaked out around her, teachers and probably will with this girl too," Tom said. He glanced in the girl's direction. "Have you ran into any kids?"
"No, why?" she replied.
"You're forgetting the guy who scared them too," B'Elanna said.
"God damn it! So close," Tom groaned.
Chakotay finally stopped chasing nobody, he looked around. "Hey, where did that rabbit lover go?"
The only light getting into the dark, eerie corridor came from the wall windows which showed the nearby planet.
Young Amy walked down it, her eyes wide with fright. "Daddy?" she cried, pouting her lips.
She stopped in her tracks when something hissed amongst the darkness. "Uhoh." Her direction quickly changed to get away from where she thought the noise was coming from. Her head turned around only briefly. A shadowed figure jumped out in front of her, snarling and growling at her. She didn't even look back.
The little girl screamed and ran away. Damien turned the corner, she bumped right into his leg. They both jumped in shock.
"Owie," she moaned.
"What the?" he muttered, pointing an open tricorder down at her. "Oh, you." She looked up at him with her wide eyes, then she ran to hide behind him. "Eeew no, get away," he stuttered like she was a bug, looking down at her. When he looked up he came face to face with one of those demons, baring its teeth.
"Help," Amy squeaked.
"No no, I can't die here, not now. The nearest host is her," Damien mumbled, backing away slowly. The demon swiped its claw at him, knocking him to the ground.
Meanwhile Jessie was still looking around for her missing daughter. "Amy?" she called down the corridor. "Come on Jess, hurry up and find her." Suddenly she appeared in between Amy and the demon. "Oh crap." The demon swiped at her, she ducked quickly. Amy ran over to clutch her leg.
Damien groaned from the floor, "that's demon. Good god, each kid you have is dumber than the last."
Jessie rolled her eyes as she picked up her daughter. The demon charged again, it crashed right into a shield now surrounding the two girls. It shuddered, screeching it went for Damien again.
He crawled backwards as fast as he could, then tried to get to his feet. The demon was almost on him when something punched it in the face, knocking it far back. Jessie and Damien turned their heads to look at the direction of the fist.
"You owe me again Damien," Ylara muttered. She turned around to finish off the demon with a sword. "I thought this ship was supposed to be demon-less," she scoffed, placing one hand on her hip.
"The Slayer brats are demon magnets, jeez," Damien said.
Jessie quickly gave him a broken nose. "The demon attacks started when a mystical virus came through the communications systems. Can't be a coincidence."
"Mystical virus? Nice to see I'm in the circle," Ylara grumbled.
Damien placed his hand over his nose, groaning in pain. "You mean loop, don't you?"
"Where's daddy?" Amy asked, looking up at her mum.
"Daddy's on the planet," Jessie replied. The scenery blurred around them, only for a few seconds. When it cleared up they looked around, all confused as they were now in the town on the planet. James and Daniel were nearby, also looking confused.
"Huh?" Damien said. "Ok, I own the universe." Everyone stared at him with raised eyebrows. "I have enough rations to buy millions of yogurts. Everyone with me are dead. Nope, it isn't working."
"When did you guys get here?" James asked, ignoring Damien.
"Just now. We didn't even transport. She just said where you were, and here we are," Ylara replied.
"I also told myself to hurry up and find Amy, I appeared near her," Jessie said. "The power cut happened after I told Tom to power down. Oh god."
"Power down?" Daniel mumbled.
"Nathan contacted the ship," Jessie said. "It transmitted the virus to the ship, power's down but the damage is done."
Tom paced back and forth across the bridge. "Jodie was looking at opps, now the kids are scared of her. The teachers looked at the blackboard, this thing infected everyone who saw the writing."
Harry lifted the book he was reading with one hand, the device in the other, smiling in triumph. "Here, a story that matches."
"A story?" Zare raised an eyebrow.
"It matches perfectly. 'Monsters' who live in another dimension, they infect the ones who seek them out. In other words the readers of this book. People probably assumed the book itself would kill them, like it's told in the story," Harry said.
"You mean the book is about the possible haunting of itself?" Zare questioned.
"Yeah. The demons use the books as conduits. The ending left it with the possibility that the TV programs about them became sources as well, dooming everyone," Harry replied.
"That does sound familiar," Evil C said. "Fifth Voyager's totally ripped off that book." Zare and Harry stared blankly at him.
"How are the demons coming through? It's very strange," Jessie questioned.
James pulled a face, "you may want to cover Amy's ears."
The pregnant girl sat down in the first officers chair. "I just felt sick, I told you."
"Did you sleep with any demons?" Chakotay bluntly asked.
"Eeew," the girl moaned.
Harry closed the book with a sigh. "It ended with a pregnant girl who became a conduit herself of a different sort. She gave birth to one, the demons had access to the real world."
Zare now looked very worried, "Jade. She looked very pregnant."
"Oh god," Evil C muttered.
Jessie, Ylara and Damien stared at James, half in disgust and half in shock. Little Amy had both her mother's hands blocking her ears as she stood on the floor, Jessie kneeling behind her.
"She gave birth to a giant demon?" Damien muttered.
"No no, the last time I checked labour doesn't end with the child fully grown, ripping the mum apart in the process," James said.
"If anyone's still reading this after that comment, they should get an award," Ylara said, pulling a face.
Jessie moved one hand from one of Amy's ears to rub her stomach. "Willing to go through another Caesarean, absolutely not."
Damien looked at her and James in disgust. "Good god, stop getting a room so much. Are you trying to make an army of annoying cutesy demon magnets?"
"Shall I?" James questioned.
Jessie shrugged, "I did it before, my hands are full."
Damien quickly hid behind Ylara, she rolled her eyes and took two steps to the right.
"Never mind, where were we?" James asked.
"Leda," Tom said. "They must know the basics right now. What would they do?"
"No offense but most of us are not even there. If somebody other than unknown crewmembers or Faye was aboard, I'd worry about them giving us a power transfer," Chakotay replied.
"Engineering's finally ready," Faye said.
Bryan's eyes twitched, "who are you talking to?"
"Never mind," Faye shrugged.
"Well that's ok then. We just need to figure out how to get rid of this virus before powering back up," Tom said.
"That'll be difficult as we'll need power to even look at what we're dealing with," B'Elanna said.
"I wouldn't be so sure," Kevin said. "We've got demons and we know how they're here."
Tom looked on, worried. "You're not suggesting watchers, are you? We're not desperate."
The lights switched back on, the engines began making their whirring sound again. Everyone looked panicky as the alien writing spread across all the stations, and the viewscreen.
"Oh crap. Jodie block any communication to the Leda and back!" Tom ordered, closing his own eyes.
"It's too late," Kevin muttered, doing the same anyway.
"Ok we're desperate now. Kevin talk to the watchers. Jodie shut down any communications systems we have," Chakotay said.
Jodie cringed, "ok but why me?"
"You're already infected," Tom replied.
All of the stations shut back off, the writing disappeared. Chakotay sighed in relief. "Ok we know that people who looked at the consoles are infected. Kevin, get Ylara to see the watchers instead. You gather any that were infected, keep them separate from unaffected ones."
"Er, I'm in charge here," Tom grumbled.
"Yes and look at the mess you made. You weren't supposed to meddle with these people," Chakotay scolded.
"Ok, on it," Kevin said, he stepped into the turbolift. Jodie reluctantly followed him.
"Maybe we should just blindfold everyone else, just in case," Tom said.
B'Elanna nodded, "I'll start working on a way to kill the virus like any normal one."
"For example? We can't exactly set up a firewall," Tom questioned.
The stations all switched back on. Everyone turned to glare at Tom, he smiled nervously. "I should stop talking, shouldn't I?" Chakotay responded by giving him a punch in the face.
"Um, a firewall won't help us now," B'Elanna said.
"Yes well, I wonder how long we have until we die horribly," Chakotay said.
The pregnant girl groaned, "uhoh, it's making noises. Ow." Chakotay looked over at her, frowning.
"Ok she looks bigger than before. Let's hope no other girls are in this state."
Ryseek read the book while Harry and Zare looked on. "Unbelievable. This was a teen horror novel. It's fiction, but it's frighteningly familiar."
"This may seem like an odd question but how old is that book?" Evil C asked.
"It's a very old book, why?" Ryseek replied.
Zare shrugged, "maybe the writer was inspired by something."
"No, it can't be that old. These people haven't been in the technology age for that long," Harry said.
"How stupid of me, of course. This book is from my continent," Ryseek said. "How did it get here?"
"Ok, I was asking that cos maybe the book itself was inspired by real events. You know an event lost in time," Evil C said.
"I doubt it, there would be records of such an event. The real mystery is about the book being here," Ryseek muttered.
"Perhaps your friend brought it," Zare said.
"No, he wasn't a book guy. He had trouble reading and writing well," Ryseek said.
Nathan and Craig had rejoined the rest of the team, Nathan had found another copy of the same paper which wasn't crumpled up.
"Maybe we should relieve Tom of duty after this," James muttered.
Amy pouted her lips as she looked over at her Uncle Nathan. As Jessie was standing holding her at his side, she could see the paper easily. "That lady's clothes has shrunk."
Jessie frowned and looked over as well, she gasped. "Eeeew Nathan!"
James stepped over to snatch the paper off him yet again, Nathan growled at him and tried to snatch it back. James rolled his eyes, he ripped the bit with the model on and gave it back to him. "God if you don't want the girl, don't take my paper!"
"Yeah right, if I wanted to look at almost naked, fake looking women I'd ask Annika to strip," James said. "I think she would as well."
"Oh god, horrible images," Daniel mumbled, shaking his head. "Give me that!" He snatched Nathan's picture away, only for it to get snatched back, and so on.
Jessie shook her head, "what did you want the paper for anyway?"
"A bit of it was cut out in the last one," James replied. He pointed at one of the articles.
Craig walked over to have a brief look at it. "Good luck reading alien babble."
Jessie smiled sneakily, "hmm. This article should be in English." The article changed into English writing.
"Ok, you know you should just say 'the virus is now cured' so we can all go," Craig said.
"I tried before you and Nath came back," Jessie muttered.
"Yeah. All of the stuff she's done are based on real spells, she just doesn't have to do the lame ass chanting," Daniel said. "Transporting, glamour."
Craig grunted, "who made you a witch expert?"
"Don't start again or you'll both be in coma's," James said.
Ylara looked over, "you'd better not, I want that job."
Craig shrugged his shoulders, "if you wanted to be in a coma, all you had to do was ask."
Jessie rolled her eyes, with her only available hand she gave him a slap in the back of the head without even looking. She started reading the article, "hmm that's odd."
"What? Maybe you shouldn't read it, the virus could spread that way," James said.
"That's what I mean, I don't feel any different. In that vision thing it was the alien writing that gave me the creeps," Jessie said.
"I guess that makes sense. It can't be a direct translation or the words would be scrambled, it's not the original text," Daniel commented. "What does it say?"
Jessie breathed in deeply and out, she started to read the article outloud. "Illiterate reporter's Publishers found dead. Azari Publishers were hit by a tragedy this week when the workers involved with the Jia'an report were killed in a two day period. The victims; Shuya's, female twenty three, body was found mutilated in a dumpster, while Ryian and Lizan, both male twenty nine died of heart attacks in the office.
The concerned report was hit by huge criticism for its bad grammar, spelling and most of all its supernatural theories about three similar deaths two weeks previously. It has caused further controversy as it describes deaths similar to the publishers and previous victims. The writer of the report, who remains anonymous, was being hunted by police on suspicion of murder but was also found dead by a heart attack. His team-mate in the case, who helped in the unofficial investigation the report was based on is still on the run."
"Bad grammar? Why would they publish something like that?" Craig questioned.
"His team-mate, report, anybody else adding things up?" James questioned.
"You're not suggesting that the other away team met up with the dead dude who wrote the report?" Nathan said.
James stared blankly at him. "No, the one we met was the dead one." Jessie glanced between them, looking confused.
Craig rolled his eyes, "uh no, he had the transmitter. We don't know what happened to the other team."
"Uh yes. Birch told us he saw his mate with them. If he was alive and the other was dead he wouldn't have seen them with him," James said.
"If he was dead, he couldn't really tell us, could he!?" Craig groaned.
"It was probably a trick, that transmitter did spread the virus to Voyager after all. Also don't forget that he didn't believe the seriousness of the virus. The other guy was supposedly freaked. Why would he write a story and sell it to a publisher for quick cash?" James muttered.
"It was a report not a story, the other one wrote it," Craig said, rolling his eyes again.
"I agree with him actually, and it's very painful to agree with this asswipe. Remember its team one who's missing. They were the tricked party, tricked by a demon pretending to be a dead guy. Birch probably had no clue he was dead, and just assumed," Daniel said.
Jessie turned to Ylara and Damien, "that shuttle's still here, we should get back to Voyager. There might be a spell I can do."
"Oh yeah, make yourself more powerful and evil, brilliant," Damien said.
"Why not, and the first thing I'll do is team up with the almighty Damien. Get a grip," Jessie grumbled.
Nathan chimed in with the original away team's argument. "Why did Birch give us the transmitter then? The other team are probably in a safe place, away from the virus trying to figure out a cure."
"Or they could be long dead. Guessing isn't going to get us anywhere, we know who the dead one is and that's..." Craig muttered.
"Oh for," Jessie muttered. She handed Amy to Ylara and marched forward to stand in the middle of the other men. "We haven't got time for this, ok I take that back cos whatever I say happens." The four looked in her direction, Nathan quickly checked his watch, then gave her a thumbs up. "Yeah thanks Nath," she sarcastically said. "We've got a killer virus on the loose, a missing away team, demons are being born via a few who are infected. I can do any spell I want, and I'm so glad the time one didn't kick in or we'd be dead now."
"Shame," Damien added on.
"Let's hope this one is a spell. Who gives a crap about which of the aliens are the dead ones, it doesn't matter so just shut the hell up about it ok!" Jessie snapped. "If that didn't work then anybody who even peeps about this subject will get me saying something like 'such and such needs a vasectomy'. Understood?"
Each of the guys stared at her with wide eyes, Damien just seemed smug. "She didn't include me, how unfortunate for you guys." Jessie glared in his direction. "I bet it's not even a spell."
"Um, that doesn't include me does it?" James sheepishly asked.
Jessie shrugged her shoulders, "oh I don't know, it doesn't affect a certain thing we do and you've done your job."
"Oh. Oh god," James mumbled.
"So Captain Jessie, what do we do or talk about at least?" Nathan questioned.
Jessie smiled, almost sweetly which freaked a lot of the guys out. "Captain Jessie, cool. We're going to split up, one team will go to any area that seems safe from TV signals or whatever to look for the other team. Another is going back to Voyager with me."
"Ok so which one's Amy going to be in, either could be unsafe for her," James questioned.
"I don't know," Jessie said. A lightbulb switched on in her head, "oh I know. Find a hardware store that sells headphones, and blindfold her. Tell her it's a peek-a-boo game."
James didn't look too sure, "um... ok. So who..."
"She'll come back with me. Daniel you're with me too, Nath and Damien as well. Damien's raised demons before, so he better be useful, Daniel's a watcher," Jessie replied.
"Watcher of what?" Nathan smirked.
"James, Craig, Ylara, you guys are the search and rescue team. Go go," Jessie ordered.
"Um, headphones?" James said.
"I'll do that," Jessie said. "No squabbling while you're away from me, I'll know about it."
"Um how?" James questioned.
"You always have that look on your face that says you've done something. Get going," Jessie replied.
Craig folded his arms, "ok just because she has witch powers doesn't mean she's the boss."
"Craig I may have no problems with you not being able to ever have kids, but shut up," James muttered. Craig groaned, he and Ylara began walking away. Ylara first handed Amy back to Jessie. "Be careful ok, no evil."
"I will, you too," Jessie said. Amy cried as she turned around, so she turned back.
"It's ok sweetheart, I'll see you later. Be good for mummy, and try to annoy that funny looking man you'll be with," James said.
Amy looked over at Nathan, Daniel and then Damien. "Which one daddy?"
"Either's good," James replied, he turned to follow the others.
Jessie sighed, "ok Nathan, Daniel, where's the shuttle?"
"Can't you just wish to be on Voyager?" Daniel asked.
Jessie laughed, "oh yeah. We are on Voyager."
James glanced back just in time to see the other team disappear. He turned back to his. "Who's got the tricorder?"
Craig pulled out a tricorder to begin scanning the area. "Damn it, this thing isn't working still. I knew this wasn't a good idea."
"It may be more useful than you think. Let's keep walking, keep scanning. If it dies down then we're getting somewhere," James said.
Craig shook his head, "whatever, but if I get infected by the virus I'm haunting you."
The first team sat around the main living area, each one looking more worn out by the second.
"We've really hit a dead end haven't we? Why didn't that author make a sequel?" Harry grumbled.
They all jumped in shock when they heard an ear piercing scream outside the house. Everyone rushed out the door.
"Who is that?" Nikki asked. She pointed at everyone, counting quietly. "Who's missing?"
"Jade. When did she sneak out?" Zare said. She ran back into the woods, the others quickly followed her. "Over here!"
"Ok this isn't good," Tom mumbled, his eyes averted to his and the Stuart children sitting in the Conference Room chairs. Each one of them wearing a blindfold and ear muffs.
"I know, just under 90% of the ship is infected," Doctor Jones said. "The victims who were infected first have been hallucinating, Security had to talk one off the second level of Engineering."
"I don't know why suicidal ones pick that spot. It's not like they're going to break the core when they jump on it," Tom said. "Look Doc, surely you must have a cure."
"This isn't a medical virus, my scans show that. Whatever's causing it isn't in my field of expertise, which makes a change," Doctor Jones said.
Johnathan cried out, he pouted his lips. Tom jumped to attention and looked at him. "What what?"
"Miral hit me again!" his son snapped.
"Did not," Miral replied cutely.
"How could she do that Johnny, she's blindfolded," Tom questioned. "The earmuffs don't work at all, do they?"
"She can follow the sound of his voice," Duncan replied. Miral crawled over to hit him as well. "Hey!" She quickly sat back and put on her cute face.
"What?" she innocently said.
Tom groaned into his hand, "this seems cruel somehow."
"It beats the alternative. Are you sure they didn't see anything before you did that?" Doctor Jones questioned.
"B'Elanna did, and yes I'm sure. They were in here, I really doubt they were looking at the only screen here," Tom replied. "B'Elanna did you make sure your program was fire walled before activation?"
"Yes. All that I can do now is keep an eye on that pregnant girl," Doctor Jones said.
"I wouldn't, it's a demon," Tom said. "I already have Kevin watching her, just in case."
Jessie appeared holding Amy, Tom nearly wet himself but he did manage to fall off the chair. Miral giggled despite not seeing it. "Hi, can you keep her with Duncan and Sasha?"
"Um, um, ok, er..." Tom stuttered.
"Yeah, I can just say things and they happen, as long as they were a spell to begin with," Jessie meekly said. "That was fun, here." She handed Amy to him.
"Oh great, curing viruses isn't a spell is it?" Tom questioned.
"Nope, but I'm going to see what I can do before this phase wears off," Jessie replied. "Ok um, I'm back in my quarters." She disappeared again. Before Tom could compose him she appeared again, scaring him off the chair yet again, "oh that's not going to get old." Again she was gone.
Craig's tricorder started working normally again once they reached the forest. "We're in a dead zone."
"Great, let's hope it's you first," Ylara said.
"We're not in the dumb zone Ylara, I'll let you know when," Craig said.
James shook his head, "Craig, she's from the past remember. Can you detect any human, Porséan or whatever Zare is, lifesigns?"
"It's nice that we still don't know what species she is, being exes and all," Craig said. "About a kilometre away."
"I never dated Zare, good god," James muttered.
As they made their way through the thick of the forest they heard the same scream the other team heard. "Oh no, can you feel that?" Ylara asked uneasily.
Craig was about to make a wise crack but James quickly cut in, "yeah, it's another one. It's got to be." He and Ylara ran ahead leaving Craig pouting.
"Yeah the annoyingness of you," he said to himself. Ok maybe not that wise after all. He ran after them.
Meanwhile Zare reached a small clearing, her expression changed to horrified when she discovered what was left of Jade. "Ugh, that can't be good." The others caught up with her, Ryseek and Nikki looked like they were going to be sick. Harry looked close to fainting.
"The demon's loose," he managed to spit out before collapsing to the floor.
"Look on the bright side, Jade is easier on the eyes now," Evil C said. "Plus she can't speak." The others stared blankly at him, well just Ryseek and Nikki.
Zare raised her hand into the air, "shush for a second!" She slowly turned her head, closing her eyes. "It went," her eyes opened. "That way." She ran off in the direction she was facing. "Wait here!"
"Do we have to?" Nikki moaned, while covering her mouth with her hand.
"Weren't you a Tolg, surely you've seen all kinds of dead people," Evil C said.
"I was only there for a few months," she whined in response.
James and Ylara ran through the thickest part of the woods, unintentionally splitting up. The only thing between them were a couple of big, bushy trees. They both had stopped to avoid getting too far apart. Something rustled the trees, the two heard that and light growling.
"It's here," Ylara whispered.
James only nodded, he looked around, trying to figure out its location. The rustling kept moving like it was running around them. There was a brief moment of silence before it pounced out of the trees onto one of the two Slayers.
Unknown to any of them, Zare was nearby. She heard the commotion and ran towards its source.
"Crap, Ylara," James muttered, he pushed through the trees separating him and Ylara. She and the demon were in the middle of wrestling each other. He noticed a knife lying out of her reach, so he went over to get it.
Something else then pounced out of the trees, and knocked him to the ground.
"Eeew, oh god. You're getting blood all over my new clothes!" Ylara yelled at the demon. She rolled out of its grip, then jumped onto her feet. The demon was just as quick as her, it swung its claw at her. Her leg went up high to kick it in the face. It stumbled back, not really that affected. It lunged forward to grab a hold of her.
The two heard something else jump out of the trees, they of course expected it to be another demon. Lucky for them it was Zare. "Two? That's weird," she shrugged her shoulders, kicking the demon attacking James off of him. Then she went for the one with Ylara.
James got back up, so did the demon. It tried to swing at him, he grabbed its arm and punched it in the face.
Ylara meanwhile threw the demon over her shoulder just as Zare got to her. "Huh, never mind." She went forward to kill it with a biggish knife she brought out. "You should really arm yourself you know."
"I did," Ylara protested, pointing at her knife.
The demon James was fighting was soon killed as well. The three Slayers stood next to each other just as Craig entered the scene. "Why was there two?" Zare questioned.
"I don't know, let's hope there's no more," Ylara replied.
Craig eyed both demons, then the team. "I missed all the fun, damn."
"Where's the rest of your team?" James asked Zare.
She sighed, "come on, I'll show you. One of us is dead, after creating one of these things. Don't ask." She lead the way.
"Oh I've already seen it," James said. "Who died?"
"That annoying girl, I wouldn't worry," Zare replied.
the Stuart's Quarters:
Daniel and Li'Chin were the poor schmucks, well Daniel anyway, who were stuck reading the spell books. Nathan stood nearby the door like he was on guard. Jessie and Damien were in the middle of a conversation.
"I thought that time you skinned Wesley Crusher was awesome," Damien said. "You should teach me to be a warlock."
Jessie just blinked at him. "Um, how did we get onto this topic?"
"Well you know, more spells equals Evil Mrs Stuart," Damien replied.
"No, it feels different this time," Jessie said. "Though skinning you does sound like fun."
Everyone jumped as the door Nathan was guarding suddenly had a huge dent in it. Only a little bit of it was open, part of a claw went through the hole and tried to fully open the door.
"Um, did you say these demons use humans to grow their young?" Li'Chin stuttered.
"Yes, what?" Jessie questioned.
"I've heard myths, they're easily killed and unlike a lot of other demons, they lack any kind of sentience," Li'Chin said.
"That's great, how does that help us!?" Nathan yelled as there was another thud against the door.
"Most of the crew are infected with a virus, Chin, do you know anything about that?" Jessie snapped.
"No but..." Li'Chin squeaked.
Jessie sighed, "Nath, stay away from the door."
"Hell no, I'm the only one capable of fighting the guy. Trust me," Nathan grumbled.
Daniel looked up from his book, "ha, yeah sure."
"Damien!" Jessie snapped, startling the rest of the life out of Damien. "What were we saying before you started kissing my non existent evil ass?"
"Um well, I got my demons from alternate dimensions where demons roamed free. One in particular was very intent on getting into this one," Damien replied. "I don't see how that helps us really."
"Sounds familiar," Jessie muttered. "Voyager was invaded by demons like that, they used what they called weak humans as conduits, and destroyed the bodies to get through here. Oh god."
"It's the same dudes?" Nathan questioned just as the door broke down. He ducked as the demon attacked.
"Uh," Jessie stuttered. "The demon is dead." Nothing happened. "Ok erm." The demon went for her, she raised her hands and a shield appeared around her. It turned around to attack Nathan again, he was pushed into the wall.
Damien shrugged, "well, nice knowing you." He started to slip out, Jessie grabbed his arm. "Ow, ok ok."
"Daniel, Li'Chin?" she questioned.
"Nope, nothing useful," Daniel replied.
"It's not the same guys. Those ones were sorta intelligent, but it's a similar idea. We need the doc, last time he got something to drive them out," Jessie said. She turned to face the demon and Nathan, "first. Um, explode demon? No, vanquish?" The demon turned to dust like it was a vampire, covering Nathan with most of it.
"So, the doc?" he said as he brushed the dust off him, coughing slightly.
"Yeah," Jessie said, she headed for the door, looking at it in distaste. "I only got this replaced about a month ago."
"It won't work," Damien muttered.
Jessie stopped, she turned to face him. "What?"
"They use humanoids as conduits and destroys the host, but similarities end there," Damien said, rolling his eyes. "You people are so naive sometimes."
"How do you know that for sure, we have to try," Jessie said. "Nath, go tell the Doc to use the cure from the rift incident. He'll know what it means." Nathan quickly left the quarters.
"Fine, don't listen to me. I'm the genius here," Damien grumbled, folding his arms in a huff. "It's not like I didn't work for them once."
"What?" Jessie snapped.
Damien looked at her with wide eyes, "did I say that out loud? Oops, oh well."
"So what else have you not told us?" Jessie asked.
Damien smirked at her, "you do realise that I'm the villain here. I only share what I want to share, mainly just to rub it in your faces and make you cower in my presence."
"Fine," Jessie said. She grabbed his arm and dragged him into one of the bedrooms. With her other hand she reached out to turn the computer on. "Maybe you'll share information once your own life is in danger, huh?"
"You can't make me," Damien said.
"Oh really?" Jessie grumbled. She pushed his face down near the console so his eyes were mere millimetres from the screen. The alien writing scrolled across it. "Now, I'm sure that's enough." His eyes were quick to close.
"I'm not infected," he muttered.
"Hmm fine. So in a few days you could be healthy, or dead. We don't know for sure. Do you want to take that chance?" she smiled smugly once she let him go.
He grunted as he stood back up. "You're a crazy woman!"
"It's been eleven years, and you didn't realise that already?" Jessie muttered. "Now let's try again. What else could be useful here that you know?"
Damien growled slightly as he folded his arms. "That was a waste witchy. Those demons are what my old trading partners called pets. I know nothing about this virus, you're on your own."
"I know this, this virus in all its forms is those pets trying to get into this reality, just like those other demons were doing. That cure the doc got from one of them banished their sorry asses, it should work the same way," Jessie said.
"If you say so, I'm always right, get used to it," Damien said.
"Sure, and I wear dresses every day," Jessie rolled her eyes.
"That shuttle is returning Tom, with Porséan and other lifesigns. Our other team," B'Elanna said.
Kevin stumbled out of the turbolift, holding his bruised head. "Um guys, bad news. That demon baby thing escaped me. Good god it was huge."
Tom groaned, "can this get any worse?" Chakotay gave him a smack.
"Don't ever say that!"
B'Elanna rolled her eyes, "it's a wonder he doesn't have brain damage by now."
"Strange," Chakotay said, looking at Tom's unconscious form on the ground. "That was Tom, wasn't it? Don't you have to have a brain to get damaged."
Naomi stepped out of the other turbolift, "er guys. The doc wanted me tell you he's trying a cure. Obviously he couldn't tell us over the comm. I don't know why it was obvious, but he said it was."
"Great. All we do now is wait and see," Chakotay said. Tom groaned from the floor.
Lieutenant Commander Paris' Log Stardate: Um, it has a 5 at the front I'm sure. Damn fives are everywhere. Anyway Doc Jones has used the stuff he used on those demons in the End of the Day episode to cure the virus, or banish those demons causing it anyway. Jessie has told me that Damien gave her the tip off, but he also worked for the other guys so we've locked him in the brig yet again. Hey at this rate he'll be beating James' record. Speaking of the brig, Chakotay has took over the Leda at least until he goes psycho again. His escapes were getting very tiresome anyway, and so is the wait for new episodes. Good god, we'll be trapped here FOREVER!
Back to the virus, unfortunately we cannot distribute the cure to the continent already infected. We have given the cure to the more advanced guys, hopefully they could do something smart ass to sort it. We're back on our search for the Enterprise, I hate to say it but we could do with some real action around here, not some lame mystery...
Jessie appeared in the Ready Room, scaring Tom almost to death yet again. "Yep, doesn't get old."
He didn't look happy as he pulled himself up using the desk. "Are you going to do that every damn hour now?"
"No no, it's no fun if you expect it," Jessie smiled. "See you later. Ahem, I'm back in my quarters." Nothing happened. A pout grew on her face, "aaaw man, its run out! Now I have to walk all the way back home, I don't feel too good either." She stropped out of the door.
Tom sighed in relief, "phew, now anyway. Computer continue log."
Last but not least, Jessie's little power trip has run out at last so I don't have to have her scaring me, er I mean surprising me anytime she feels like it. I'm now going to...
Jessie quickly stepped through the door, "booo!" He screamed like a girl as he fell off his chair, or rather the chair fell over, taking him with it. She smiled, "I can still do it."
Damien stood behind the forcefield, not looking very pleased at all.
"I'm going to get that bitch, mark my words. I will have my revenge if it's the last thing I do all over again," he muttered angrily. "She'll get what's coming to her."
"Shhh," Foster shushed him.
Craig walked him, eyeing him in a smug way. "And he's back. For how long I wonder."
"It won't be long," Damien snarled.
"How did you get out the last time anyway?" Craig asked.
"Like I'd tell you. All you need to know was that it was pure genius, and cunning," Damien replied.
"No it wasn't. You just asked to use the bathroom," Foster said.
"Ah, but nobody checked up on me, did they? Outsmarted," Damien smirked. "I'd be careful Anderpap, that psycho who hacks off limbs was looking to escape as well."
"Yeah whatever," Craig said. The ship shook a few times, the red lights started flashing. "Oh great, what now?"
In: "Paris to all hands, keep your cool. One of the unknown crewmembers manning tactical on the Leda saw Annika, and panicked. Itchy trigger finger. Standing down from Red Alert."
Craig rolled his eyes, "we need better people in command. I hate to know how Tom would handle a real crisis."
The only light came from the fire burning the tactical station, and the flickering stations that weren't burnt out. The ship rumbled, a station behind the command chairs exploded, sending sparks and more smoke everywhere. Several crewmembers were in the middle of fighting different kinds of demons, using sharp weapons.
Jessie knocked one out, then quickly turned to the station behind the command chairs. Duncan hung around behind her, unknown to her a crewmember dropped to the ground nearby him with a sword sticking straight through him. Duncan picked up the sword that the crewmember dropped as he fell. A demon ran over to him, he turned around in time to stab it. Jessie swung around herself to push it to the ground. She turned back to the station, "80% so far!"
Tom looked around from the Captain's chair looking frazzled as somebody fought two demons in front of him. He turned back to look in front of him.
Jessie continued to work at the station, a demon appeared suddenly, it ran passed behind her. She gasped as a blade went through her chest, only briefly, the demon ran off. Jessie fell forward, Tom jumped out of his skin as her body slumped over the station.
"Mum?" Duncan's voice cried out as everything went black.
James awoke with sweat across his face, his eyes widened as he sat up. He glanced to his left side where Jessie lay, sleeping peacefully.
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