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Things that go bump in the night...

Posted on Monday, 18 October 2021 - 6:39am by Petty Officer 1st Class Siana Ilian & Lieutenant JG Hayashi Hamura

Mission: Operation: Mirror of Madness
Location: Holodeck | USS Standing Bear
Timeline: Current


Nestled in a country estate, Raven Manor had remained formidable sight many years after it was abandoned. The secluded location had seen the old Victorian building transform from stately home to a hospital and everything in between. Until finally, in a state of disrepair, the doors had closed for the last time and the impressive iron wrought gates were chained together to keep trespassers out.

The once meticulously maintained gardens were now overgrown, weeds growing between the broken pathing that once led to the front of the property. Even in daylight, the plants were the only signs of life. In the distance the local wildlife could be heard, yet they never ventured closer than the nearby river bank. Not even a bird flew close to the three storied building.

Over time a small handful of people had enquired about buying the property, along with the sizeable piece of land it came with, yet nothing ever came of it. On even rarer occassions, a few brave soulds would even try to venture inside yet they were never heard from again. So it came to pass that Raven Manor became shrouded in superstition and legends as the years passed by.

They had been warned but still they came anyway...

A bolt of lightning cut through the night sky, illuminating the overgrown gardens and the outline of the towering building before darkness returned. Soaked to the skin from the pouring rain, the trio stood on the overgrown path, peering up at the building towering over them which was mostly shadow. "Isn't this a little..." Petty Officer Ilian tried to think of the right word as she glanced between her companions.

"Clichéd?" Amanda Edwards offered as she tried to wipe rain from her eyes. "Dark, abandoned spooky house? Middle of nowhere? Perfect hideout for a serial killer?"

Beside them, Bruce Miller grinned as he drapped an arm around each of their shoulders. “I think it’s perfect! And the algorithms I made will ensure every version of the programme is unique.”

“So there’s a version without the rain?” Edwards asked hopefully.

“It was a dark stormy night…” Miller chuckled as he bound up the stairs to the front door and, with a push, watched it open with a groan as the wood swung on the old hinges. Beyond there was more darkness and he glanced over his shoulder with an infections grin, “this is gonna be creepy as ladies! I love it!”

One by one they filed inside, grateful to be out of the rain as they dropped their backpacks on the floor just inside the door. Kneeling down, Siana dug around until she found the flashlights and handed them out, "I brought spares in case anyone forgets to bring their own. And candles for the main room where we can set up. Maybe we will find some actual candles orget some power for the lights?"

Above them there was a thud and all three aimed their flashlights up, as if it would let them see through walls. "Just an old house," Miller said after a moment, rubbing the back of his neck. "Lets get set up, more people should be arriving soon."

Behind Miller a creek could be heard. The bookcase that was to his back opened and Hamura stepped out in Vampire cape and tux. "Good Evening!"

As the bookcase creaked open and his chief stepped out, Miller could do nothing to silence his shriek as he jumped back, dropping his flashlight which rolled out of sight beneath an antique desk in the next room. “Real brave man,” Edwards muttered.

“Hey Chief,” Siana offered.

Hamura chuckled. "Hello all," then looking at Miller, "You okay there Miller?"

“Totally cool,” he replied, rolling his shoulders. “Nice costume. We still need to change.”

“After we set up,” Edwards told him.

Hamura pulled off the cape. "Well let me help set up then. This is a brilliant idea. I'm looking forward to this."

“Me too,” Siana agreed, “did you get time to check the code? The safeties are gonna work? Nobody wants a holodeck malfunction.”

"Actually all is good there but had an idea I wanted to run by you."


"Miller can you to that box there. Bring me what's inside."

Miller glanced around and spied the box. Crossing to it he lifted the lid and peered inside, letting out a startled yelp.

As the box opened a duplicate Hamura popped their head out, "Hello!"

”It’s... you!” Siana commented.

The Hamura in front of her disappeared. "Excellent deduction," Said the Hamura from the box. They, wearing a uniform, got out and strolled to Siana.

"Now then. The holodeck can be very helpful to us if you're open to it." Hamura patted Miller on the shoulder. "Sorry about that buddy."

“This is gonna be even crazier than I thought,” Miller decided.

Hamura laughed. "Can be. Now then Ilian. Shall we put our heads together and scare the lights out of the crew?"

“Erm its a murder mystery night?” Edwards piped up.

Siana grinned, “who says it can’t be both?”

Hamura laughed. "I love the way you think!"

“The invite said the evening was set on Halloween so to wear fancy dress,” Siana pointed out. “They should arrive within the hour so if we get the candles lit and food laid out, we go from there. The main event starts at 2000 hrs.“

"I think I liked my holo in that creepy tux," Hamura said. "Alright. Let's get to the candles and the food should be here soon." Hamura looked at Ilian. "So, I know you're fairly new here. How are you finding it all?"

“I joined the crew a while ago now,” Siana corrected them. “Although I wasn’t joined at the time.”

"Thus you are a new person, a new entity. How's the joining been? I know a friend of mine who went through it says it can be... frustrating and difficult. If you ever need to talk..."

“I mostly talk to myself,” Siana shrugged. “An old habit of a former host.”

Hamura laughed. "That's not a bad habit. It's how I work out engineering problems." Hamura said lighting a candle.

To be Continued...


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