Something Wicked This Way Comes
By: TE Lawrence

From the Ship’s Log of USS EXCALIBUR (NCC-2005), November, 2312

Captain T.E. Lawrence had certainly been in worse situations, but at the moment, she was hard pressed to think of one. For now, all she could do was concentrate on keeping it together until she was found. She had no doubt that at this very moment, her crew was scouring the area for the lost landing party. More than likely, a certain colonel was spearheading the operation.

"Just don't… take too. . . long, T.J.," she said in a voice that was only a weak whisper. She fought to stay awake but Lord, it would feel so good just to close her eyes and rest for a few minutes. She was so tired!

'Excalibur," she whispered over her EV's communicator again. She had been trying to make contact ever since she'd gotten trapped beneath S329's surface. So far, her hails went unanswered, but she continued to try, if only to keep herself awake.

"Kora? Answer... my damn hail! Bleeding… I'm really... bleeding. Excalibur? Excalibur?" Her eyes slowly closed.

Captain Donaree didn't realize just how close one of the three creatures to her right had gotten until one of the Red Dragons beside her was hooked by it's claws. The marine screamed as the alien's pinchers cut his body in half. She whirled around to attack, but just at that moment the creature swung its tail in her direction knocking her to the ground. Several security officers and Marines immediately surrounded her, firing their phaser rifles and sending the remaining two aliens to their death. They picked up the Captain and dragged her to cover behind some large boulders.

"Thank you," she uttered as she tried to catch her breath. Through her EV communicator she contacted COL Floss aboard the Saratoga.

"Floss, Donaree here. I need some firepower down here now! There's a hell of a lot more of these creatures coming up from underground."

"Right away, Captain."

"And Floss, where is McQueen?"

"He's helping dig Lawrence out, sir. They found a tunnel that they think she's trapped in."

"Excellent! Send the fighters in. Donaree out."

Moments later, Colonel Morrison charged across the clearing with six of the Blue Devils behind him. They ducked in behind the boulders where Donaree and her team were once again firing at the oncoming enemy. Several of the Devils started firing at three of the creatures that managed to circle around behind their group. After the combined group took out most of the aliens closest in range, Morrison was finally able to get the captain's attention.

"We've come to take you to a safer location, sir."

"Thank you, Colonel. I've called for my fighters to lay down some heavy firepower in the area. I think it would be wise for us to vacate pronto."

Captain Donaree and the troops made it back to where a group of the Excalibur and Saratoga’s crew was trying to dig Captain Lawrence out of the tunnel. At the present moment, she wasn't communicating at all. However, when they'd first begun their excavation, sporadic and progressively incoherent messages had given them a frightening, although frustratingly limited, picture of Lawrence's condition. Dr. Natevera was certain of one thing, if they didn't get her out of there soon, she was afraid Lawrence's chance of survival would be limited. Everyone pitched in digging, working against time to save their friend. Several more of the aliens invaded the area and they frequently had to stop digging in order to defend themselves. McQueen kept a careful watch on his captain making sure she was safe.

"Captain, can you hear me?" Kora listened, but once again only silence greeted her. "God, she has to be okay!"

Morrison stepped forward. "Let me try, Doc. Maybe I can get through to her."

"Say anything you want. Just get her talking to us."

"Tanya! You speak up now!" Tyler ordered. His voice boomed through the tinny mike. "Come on now. I need to know you're okay."

They both listened intently. Suddenly Kora grabbed Morrison's arm. "Hold on... I think I hear something."

"T ...T...Tyler?" Lawrence's voice was barely a whisper.

"That's right, Tanya. You keep talking to me now."

"Find out her status," Kora quickly told him. She had a death grip on his forearm.

"Tell me where you're hurt, Red."

"Bad... leg... b...b...bleeding. Bone thr...through skin. Tired. I'm s... so tired."

Kora turned to Morrison. "She's bleeding out down there, Colonel. You have to keep her talking. You can't let her fall asleep." She could see the fear in his eyes when he nodded.

"Hey, Red, you have your nerve just lying around down there while we do all the work." Morrison couldn't quite keep the stress he was feeling from his voice.

"Ty...Tyler? I'm so c... cold."

"I know, just hang in for a little bit longer. We'll be there soon. Just think about how nice and warm you're going to feel when you’re back aboard the Excalibur. He shut out everyone and everything until his world consisted of just the two of them.

If he could keep her alive by sheer willpower, he would do it. "You have to keep awake Red. Do you hear me? You have to hang in there. Can you do that, Red? Can you hold on for just a little while longer?" His voice broke as his emotions suddenly overwhelmed him. He looked at the group working to dig her out and silently implored them to succeed. He couldn't lose his captain.

"Tyler? If I ... if I don't... you know... ff... If I don't make it..."

"Don't talk like that," he snapped. "You're going to make it. I won't let anything happen to you."

"I... I… T.J.?" Her voice was so faint now he could barely hear her.

Once again he turned toward the group that was digging the tunnel to reach Lawrence.

"You have to work faster! Dig faster!"

Several minutes later one of the crew yelled out, "I can see her! She's in a very small area... Oh God!"

"What? What is it?" Kit yelled.

"One of the creatures is tunneling in from the other side! I can see its head poking through!" It was one of his men in the hole.

"Can you get a good shot?" This came from McQueen.

"NO! There isn't enough room for me to get my rifle up. Oh Mary, Mother of God!"

Kit quickly looked at the officers and marines standing around her She spotted one woman who was much smaller than the rest. She pointed to her and beckoned for her to come forward.

"What's your name, Commander?"

"Travis... Kate Travis, sir."

"Travis, you're the smallest crew member here. Crawl in that hole and take out that bastard in there before it gets to Lawrence. Do you think you can do it?"

"I'll do my best, sir."

Kit turned to the dug out hole and ordered the marine to come out pronto. Kate started her crawl into the small tunnel holding the phaser rifle in front of her. When she reached the area where Captain Lawrence was lying, her mouth went dry as she stared in shock at the sight before her. The creature had tunneled through enough to have one of its pinchers on the captain's facemask. If she didn't make the shot right away, the captain would be dead in seconds. She took aim and fired at the alien's eye first. The creature let out an ungodly screech and jerked back out of sight. Kate was ready when he moved into the hole again. She fired off at least five shots in deadly succession. She knew it was definitely overkill but she wasn't about to take any chances with the captain lying there helpless.

Hearing the repeated phaser fire inside the tunnel, Morrison panicked. He couldn't take not knowing what the hell was going on anymore. He broke from the crowd and ran toward the hole. It took both McQueen and Nighthunter to hold him back.

"Sir, you can’t do anything right now but stay out of the way. Kate's an expert shot. She'll get the job done," Nighthunter assured him.

Morrison continued to struggle to get free. "She fired six rounds so far," he snarled as he finally managed to shove Nighthunter out of the way. "The damn thing's obviously not going down!"

"Stand down, Morrison," Kit yelled when he moved toward the hole. "There's not a damn thing any of us can do until Travis gets back up here."

"He can give me a hand up," came Travis' muffled request.

Morrison reached down and grabbed hold of Kate's feet and hauled out of the hole. She grinned up at him and pointed a grubby thumb in the air to show victory. A cheer filled the air and as she stood up, several of the crew surrounded her. Then it was back to business digging the hole larger so Kora Natevera could get to Lawrence and prepare her for beam up.

"I need to get meds down there to T. E. right away," Kora told Donaree and a very anxious Morrison. "I have to stabilize her before we can bring her out."

"Do what you have to, Doc. And tell her I'm waiting up here for her," he added quietly.

"Will do, Colonel. I'm sure she will be glad to hear it."

Dr. Natevera hummed tunelessly as she took another long look at the Captain's leg.

"Kora, will you stop hovering," T.E. grumbled. "I'm fine. Go do something else to keep yourself busy."

"Listen missy, you may be the Commanding Officer of this ship but at the moment you're in my personal little domain. I'm in charge around here. Now settle down and get some sleep."

"How can anyone sleep with all the yakking going on?" Morrison was stretched out on the bed across the aisle from the Captain's. He had a deep cut on his forehead and his left arm was bandaged.

Natevera turned around to face him. "That goes for you too, Colonel. I gave in and put your beds close by, but let me warn you, I can just as easily have them moved."

"You better be quiet Tyler," T.E. said with a laugh. "She has the temper of a Denedian slime devil."

Kora couldn't help but smile. "OK, I'll leave you two alone. Please, try and get some sleep." She headed for her office on the other side of the room.

The night nurse was in Natevera's office looking over the med doses when the doctor came in.

"ENS Sinclair, I'm going to turn in now. If you need me you know where I'll be."

"Of course, Dr. Natevera, but things have pretty much quieted down now. You've been up for almost twenty hours straight. You have to get some sleep before you end up in one of your own beds out there," Selina said with a warm smile.

"I would make a terrible patient," Kora laughed.

"Not any worse than our two star patients," Selina said with a nod toward Lawrence and Morrison. "If I didn't think I might end up in the Brig, I'd put both of them in stasis for the night."

Kora was still laughing at the picture Selina conjured up as she walked out of Sickbay.

Tyler was restless. He moved his legs several times and then sighed.

"What's the matter?" T. E. whispered.

"I can't sleep," he grumbled

"Me either. Hey," she said after a moment. "Do you want to blow this joint?"

Tyler sat up. "Are you serious?"


"Tanya Elizabeth Lawrence, I love your style." He was grinning as he quietly got out of bed. He helped T.E. get up and led her out of Sickbay. They were quite a sight with him holding her with his good arm and her hopping on one leg.

"Isn't this fun?" T.E. giggled as they slowly made their way down the darkened corridor.