Posted on Friday, 19 February 2021 - 5:09pm by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt
It was Adrianna’s first away mission since being part of Starfleet. She hadn't been expecting it, but the intelligence chief seemed to have it out for her. Adrianna felt it was because the chief knew about Adrianna's past first hand, but she wasn't about to say that. The excuse given was that the other Intel officers couldn't swim and the planet they were on first contact with was mainly water.
After a political faux pas, the team found themselves running through a town in different directions, heading back to a safe space so that they could regroup and be beamed back to the ship. The woman ran at full speed down an alley. She'd memorised the map of the city, just in case and at this point, was glad she did. There was a cave, where they'd said they'd meet. There were a few entrances and the signal would still be strong enough to still beam them out. Adrianna volunteered to head this way as she was a strong swimmer. It had felt more like a hazing though, as she wasn't given much of an option.
Reaching a low wall, she jumped up. Hesitating, she looked behind her to see a kingsguard hot in her heels. Adrianna looked back to the water around 10, maybe 15 metres, below. This was going to hurt, but she managed to nail the dive rather gracefully. Just before hitting the water, she gasped one last breath, knowing the distance she needed to swim to the cave from here.
The water felt like ice against her skin. It was a shock to the system. Her heart began to race and her extremities seared in a stinging pain as it reacted in protest. Adrianna fought her very being, to not let her body go into panic and started swimming, underwater to the nearby cave.
The water was clear, but progressively got darker and more difficult to navigate. Adrianna was running out of air. She arrived at the cave and pulled herself up into the main cave. It looks like she was emerging from a lake into the cave. Adrianna gasped a life saving breath as if her first. The team looked around to her. "I'm impressed, Baciami," the XO said, offering a hand. He hit his command badge, "we're all here. Ready to beam up."
Adrianna was breathing heavily, as she reached for his hand, "thank y-"
Her gratitude was cut short as a hand grabbed at her ankle and pulled her back down into the water. It was the kingsguard. He'd followed her.
Adrianna turned back around, scrambling to free herself. This race must have been built for swimming as she had struggled to make it, but he was still actively fighting the need for fresh air. The man pulled her further and further down into the cold, black abyss.
Adrianna kicked with her free foot, trying desperately to dislodge him from her. Realising it was no use, she attempted to swim in the opposite direction, back to the surface. It felt like her fingers weren't making any progress. There was no resistance between the water and her hands.
Adrianna was getting to the end of her personal best with holding her breath. She could feel the innate desire to breathe.
The woman suddenly realised she had a phaser and pulled it.
Light illuminated the water for barely a second as she fired. Her ankle was suddenly free.
There was no time to process that she had potentially killed someone just doing their job. That said, it was kill or be killed. The woman began to panic, forcefully started swimming.
With every stroke and kick, Adrianna became unsure if she was actually getting closer to the surface.
Adrianna could hold it back any more. Bubbles started leaking out of her lips.
Her lungs usual home for oxygen started being evicted in favour of salt water. The burn was real.
Adrianna began losing strength. Her body started feeling limp, surrendering to her misfortune.
When she awoke, Adrianna saw the XO, soaking wet, standing next to her. The CMO was faffing with the biobed. "You scared us there, Baciami."
Processing, Adrianna had a moment in her life she was unsure of. Piecing together the clues, Adrianna finally went to thank the XO for saving her. Instead, her awoken lungs forced her into a coughing fit, leftover salt water spurting from her mouth. She offered a small smile and croaked, "thank you for pulling me out, sir."
"Any time, Baciami, take a week off, that's an order," he commanded lightly, "Starfleet wouldn't have left you behind. I'm glad you're alright."
In her time, inboard, it was the first time a senior officer had said something kind and not just for professionalism.
Adrianna woke up the next morning and sat on the edge of the bed. She considered how far she'd come. The XO at the time had been the first, but now, she knew that she was respected and was part of the team as an equal.
Now she had found respect, friendship but most importantly, Adrianna had found love. She leant over and kissed Leopold's forehead as he slept soundly.
She had definitely found love.