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[Kinder Surprise] Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun

Posted on Saturday, 31 October 2020 - 4:54pm by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Commander Soral & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley

Mission: Operation: Ouroboros

"Do you believe in ghosts?"

The question hung in the air as Lieutenant Kingsley rose from the command chair, turning to face her relief for the graveyard shift. Which, in hindsight, might be oddly appropriate. They were now docked at Jupiter Station and like most of the crew, she was looking forward to a few days of downtime. It had been an uneventful few hours. With a few notable exceptions. Either something was happening on this ship (again) or the stress of the last few weeks was truly getting to the other members of the crew.

Over the past twenty four hours there had been 'sightings' - although many had only now been officially documented and reported up the chain of command. While there were some variations in terms of when and where, everyone seemed to report an apparition. Gone in a heartbeat or straight on walking through a solid wall, it was someone in a Starfleet uniform but details beyond that were non existent.

Rumours were starting to fly and earlier, when she had gone to grab something to eat, she overheard more than a few people talking about 'the ghost'. The last thing the crew needed was talk of ghosts. It was ridiculous! She had initiated a full scan of the ship, searching for any readings which were out of place and so far nothing. According to some research, people claimed the appearance of an apparition was accompanied by unusual energy readings and a drop in temperature - yet that was all unsubstantiated.

The now chief of Intel raised a brow at the question. She'd seen the reports sure, but hadn't considered it to be anything more than a side effect of the recent mission, or better yet, a story told at the bar that was so scary, people are now struggling to pee by themselves. "Not massively," came the reply, "I believe that there are things that cannot be explained, but I don't believe in ghosts, only the ghosts of memories." It was an honest answer. Adrianna paused though, "you're taking the reports seriously?"

"Personally, no. However, the crew are reporting more sightings by the hour, there will be an element of people seeing what they want to see. Tricks of light, that kind of thing," Alex pointed out. "The sightings seem so random... yet something may be causing it. I'd rather find out what before Commander Soral sees these reports and takes a personal interest in proving how illogical it would be for the crew to be seeing ghosts."

"That I understand. On Earth it would also be that time of year too- Halloween and all. The season of scary stories and disturbing horror films," Adrianna nodded, but was momentarily distracted by a notification on the computer. She looked down reading it a few times before reaching for a phaser, "in my opinion, it may be someone toying with the crew. Grab a phaser, there's a 'ghoulish intruder' heading our way."

While they had not exactly seen eye to eye on many things, Alex did not hesitate to follow the advice. "From where?" she asked, checking to ensure her phaser was on stun.

No sooner had she asked the question than a door behind her opened, Petty Officer Deeson walking through and her eyes widening to find two phasers aimed in her direction. "I come in peace?" the operations officer squeaked, breathing a sigh of relief when the weapons were lowered. "What is going on?"

Before anyone could explain it, they all saw it.

No door opened, not that there was even a door where the apparition appeared, passing soundlessly across the bridge. It wore a uniform, yet one that hadn't been worn in years and aside from a humanoid form, you could not see a face. Or feet. Watching it with her natural curiosity, she could entirely understand why the crew had been caught up in speculation of a ghost. But it couldn't be... could it?

Adrianna stood, jaw slack, stunned. Her hand slowly signed a cross as in Catholic ways and muttered something under her breath. She looked to Alex and asked, "who we going to call? Engineering, security, priest?" No sooner had she finished talking, her own curiosity caught her and she started following, silently, phaser armed to stun and aimed at the being. It was like stalking prey. Could this even be killed?

Grabbing a tricorder, Alex fell in beside the woman. "Maybe we need the ghostbusters," she suggested unhelpfully as her gaze constantly moved from the readings she was taking to the apparition. "There is an energy distortion, highly localised... But I don't understand, why is it even here? Deeson! Bridge is yours until we get back..."

As they followed it out of the Bridge, the apparition seemed to move faster now. Alex glanced at Adrianna before they seemed to come to an unspoken understanding and began running after it. Wherever it went might give them some clue as to what it was.

Gawd, ghost busters. That was an old earth film she hadn't heard of in years. The Italian dub for Bill Murray was weird. "Is it possible that it's the holodeck that's malfunctioning, or a holo virus in the EMH? Like the one they had on... Gawd i don't remember the name of the ship. The holodeck had a malfunction where the being imagined had life outside the holo."

Adrianna decided to give something a go... That was a lieutenant's uniform. "Lieutenant, identify yourself," she barked. The apparition froze in its tracks and turned around, staring blankly at the pair of them. Adrianna had to skid to a halt. She kept her phaser raised, "that's an order, lieutenant, identify yourself!"

The being opened it's mouth to speak but all that came out was a blood curdling scream. It echoed round the corridor with such piecing velocity, Adrianna was forced to drop her weapon and baracade her ears with her hands.

Enterprise. The answer to Adrianna's musings about the holodeck popped into her head even as the Intel Chief decided on a new tack. Inwardly, she was supposing that idea perhaps had some merit. A hologram of some sort would explain a lot. A hell of a lot.

"What the -" Alex gasped as the figure unleashed a scream which was the stuff of nightmares. It was beyond painful and she was sure her ears were going to bleed soon. In the sudden silence which followed, she tried to shake off the ringing which lingered as she saw the entity turn and resume it's path. "Are you alright?!"

She realised she may have shouted the question just to even hear her own voice, scooping up her phaser and passing Adrianna's to her. "Maybe a malfunction in a comms subroutine?" If, she added inwardly, it was a hologram. "Come on!"

Adrianna shook her head as if trying to regain focus. Her ears felt like they were on fire and the smoke detectors were still present in her ear drums. "Can you shut all things holo? EMH, everything. Comms too. Maybe," Adrianna asked as they began running after the now fleeing apperition, "If ghosts turn out to be real, I'm going to assume this guy was not Starfleet, rather a stowaway. If it turns out to be a holo thing, I'm going to enjoy tearing it to shreds." The spite came from the pain her ears were in.

Adrianna had to grab the wall to make the sudden turn in corner. "Please tell me XO is on the base having a tequila slammer," the Italian groaned breathlessly from the run.

"Doubtful," Alex replied as she took a second to study the tricorder, "taking out everything on this deck is out, there are so many protocols ... but if it's a hologram we can modulate the phasers to disrupt the particles... may I?"

She was already adjusting her own phaser, before holding out her hand for Adrianna's. "In theory, this wouldn't even feel like a mind stun setting to a person but I'd rather not test that out."

Adrianna handed over the phaser, "thank you. We need to do something." She kept her eye on the ghostly figure, as it headed to the XOs office. She cursed under her breath, "hurry!"

After a final few commands, she thrust the phaser back into Adrianna's hands. "Ready?"

The ghost opened the door and went through into Soral'd office. The pair weren't far behind. Adrianna stopped at the door and opened the door, phaser armed and pointing directly to a figure inside the room, barking to gain the ghoul's attention to pause it a moment, "Hey!"

Again the spectre turned, this close they could see that while the face had a non descript appearance there were eyes, nose, mouth... even the outline of ears. What mattered was that the mouth was opening and unleashed another blood curdling scream. The pain was no less this time, perhaps dulled from the damage already done and her finger depressed the trigger as the beam shot out to strike the figure.

It was only after she had pressed the trigger that she remembered Soral had said he would be working late to finalise reports... in his office. "Don't fire!"

Adrianna flinched at the shot released but her phaser was now facing the ceiling. She looked to Alex, her ears now very tender, taking a few steps back and sliding down the nearest wall to the floor, praying for the ringing to stop soon. The Italian didn't even hear Alex's command. She only heard a muffled noise, and now her head with spinning.

Soral had heard the screeching. He sighed as he stood and came face to face with the apparition. He raised an eyebrow. "Most inconvenient." He stared the ghost down. "Must you screech like that?" He watched as Alex and Adrianna came in. "Ladies." He looked at the ghost. "If you insist on haunting the ship kindly do so quietly," he said to the ghost as if he regularly talked to it.

"Soral, are you hurt?!" Alex called out as she peered around the - whatever it was - at her husband. She was fairly sure shooting your husband was very reasonable grounds for divorce. Then again, she wasn't the best shot. Maybe she had missed entirely. She glanced at Adrianna, "I'll get you to sickbay as soon as we can."

Soral sighed. He spoke in Vulcan and the entity screeched once and flew up at the ceiling. "Now then," he turned to the women. "I assume there is a reason you are firing phasers on a starship?"

Alex stared at him in disbelief. "That thing was why. What was that?!" she demanded. "And you have to answer me... I am your wife and I am armed."

He raised an eyebrow. "It is nothing more then the stray Katra, or soul, of someone who has left this life. The barrier between worlds is thin now, given that it's all Hallows eve. It is logical to allow it to haunt for the night and when the barrier grows stronger it will be gone." He sat back down at his desk. "There is no need for emotional overreacting."

Adrianna clumsily got to her feet, muttering something rather unpleasant in her native tongue about ghosts not being real, but insanity being real. She looked to the pair, "if it's all the same with you, I'm not going to listen to an argument about life, death, the in between, and the almost deads. I'm going to stagger to med bay."

Soral was by Adrianna's side. "I'll assist you. If you two ghost hunters are done for the night, that is."

Alex rolled her eyes, "yes dear."

" we go then." He helped Adrianna walk.

"I'll hold my tongue," Adrianna replied, "but I'm still in the mind set it was a holo malfunction."


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