A Cold Day - The Descent

An Ode to a Cat

"Doctor, don't fail me now..."

Assaulted as soon as they open the mess hall doors, the team is taken completely by surprise. In a moment of brilliance, the subspace beacon is deployed, causing one of the aliens to collapse to the ground while the giant cat charges Ion Stormwake, the human soldier. Dolvak the mystic is writhing on the floor as one of the aliens seeks to control his mind, and loses himself to the alien’s thrall. The Romulan dodges the incoming cat while Taban attempts to line up a shot, landing it while the cat shrugs it off and comes after him. Leaping up, the cat grabs Taban by the neck and then starts dragging him down the corridor. Varreth fires at the cat, burning a massive hole through the abdominal organs, which thus enrages the cat and causes it to drop its prey. The possessed Dolvak attacks Emony, who tries to defend herself with a plasma torch. Dolvak slams the torch out of the way, and slugs Emony. Emony attempts to attack the alien possessing Dolvak, who nimbly phase-shifts out of the way.

Arjin the doctor attempts to land a blow on the alien shifter, only to land flat on his face. Hogue is shooting at the cat, who is still standing although heavily wounded. The cat bodily slams into Hogue, but is then shot by Varreth and the cat’s head vaporizes in a field of plasma. Meanwhile, one of the aliens attacks Emony, who dodges the alien only to be clubbed from behind by Dolvak. Ion shoots, missing as his blast passes through the alien without effect, and Taban attempts to stun Dolvak despite his neck wound that has cut an artery.

With Taban bleeding out, and on the verge of death, he collapses to the ground. Arjin recovers enough to leap over and attempts to close the pulsing artery. Emony attempts to roll around the attacking aliens, only to slam into a wall. Hogue is still shooting, although his shots are simply passing through the alien beings.

Arjin, in a moment of medical brilliance, despite incredibly hostile conditions, manages to close the artery moments before Taban’s blood loss would have been too great to recover from, although his wounds are still serious and will result in death within minutes if not treated. The alien possessing Dolvak releases him and lets out a powerful shriek that renders all but Arjin and Varreth unconscious. As Dolvak recovers his mind, he states, “I’m free… oh,” as he drops to the floor. Luckily, Varreth strikes the alien in the back of the head with his rifle, incapacitating it, then shoots the remaining standing alien.

Arjin attempts emergency resuscitation of Ion, applying defibrillator paddles from his medical kit, and then shocking him back to life. Meanwhile, Varreth attempts to stab the incapacitated alien with his blade, although the creature slides out of the way, until Varreth gets in another blow that injures it. The alien lets out another psionic scream, although everyone awake manages to resist it, until the alien tries again. Arjin drops unconscious, having been unsuccessful in reviving Emony.

The other alien screams, and Ion drops. After a crescendo of psionic noise, Varreth is the only one standing. As one of the aliens opens its mouth, the Romulan lines up a shot and vaporises him, then follows up with the second standing alien. Ignoring the alien still writhing on the ground, Varreth begins first aid on Arjin, cracking his ribs but to no avail. The Romulan begins slapping him violently until the good doctor begins to come around. With the doctor hobbling over to save Taban from bleeding out, Varreth delivers a mercy blow to the last alien being before turning off the subspace beacon.

Arjin frantically attempts to rebuild torn and shredded tissue with the basic tools at his disposal, as Taban has less than five minutes before bleeding out. Varreth attempts to assist the doctor, but his efforts prove futile. Taban continues bleeding as the minutes tick by. Varreth stands by, handing the doctor tools to help, and Arjin manages to stop the bleeding two minutes before it would have been over.

With time less of a critical issue, the doctor begins repairing the deep tissue damage, and major blood vessels are still exposed and weakened. Varreth wakes up Dolvak, who moans, “What just happened?” “The dead remains are all around us, I think you can figure out what happened.” Varreth attempts to wake Ion, but is unsuccessful as Dolvak nonchalantly inquires if Hogue has anything valuable on him and trades his deck plating piece for the one in the unconscious Cardassian’s possession.

The doctor manages to repair enough of the critical damage that Taban is able to get up without shearing muscles and blood vessels. Dolvak attempts to replicate some food from the mess hall dispensers, but as the ship lacks power is ultimately unsuccessful. Arjin works on repairing some of the tissue damage on Ion, but fails. Meanwhile, the team respectfully thanks Varreth for saving their lives. After repairing various cuts and other injuries, the good doctor becomes fatigued. Deciding to exit the corridor, the team enters the mess hall, with Taban hanging at the rear as he is still in critical condition, but the hall is clear.

Emony attempts to power the replicator by interfacing it with the power cell from the team’s watercraft, without success, and tries again, this time shocking herself. The team discusses perhaps eating the cat for food, and the doctor scans for toxins before declaring the meat fit for consumption. Various party members help out, and they succeed in recovering the cat hide and manage to cut out roughly 200 kilograms worth of edible meat. It was a very large cat.

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