Meridian Awakens To A Load Of TroubleMature

Someone aboard the Arizona vessel is in a bad mood. But who? And why?

The woman groaned and immediately put a steadying hand to the side of her head, where she was sure to find a gash big enough for her brains to leak out.  She winced but felt no wound, no blood.  She kept her hand pressed to the side of her head in hopes of relieving her splitting headache, but the only thing it did was to change the rhythm of the agonizing throbs.  She rolled to her back and opened her eyes but could only see a thick velvety cover of dark, as if her head were under an all-encompassing hood... There was a moment of panic, but the surge of blood pressure caused her head pain to swell enough to make her call out through clenched teeth.  Fortunately, the adrenaline surge of fear helped to assuage the sharp stabbing sensations inside her skull.

There was a powerful moment of sensory deprived vertigo, where her body seemed to plummet through the atmosphere toward its inevitable and ugly demise on the ground below, until she became aware of the hard concrete beneath her.  She grasped at it with such force she snapped two fingernails on her left hand, causing her vision to blossom with more pain.

Though she could see nothing she was aware of the gentle THRUMMING of the ship's engines, and suddenly she remembered where she was.  She had been talking to Diego Valezques in one of the small storage compartments aboard the U.S.S. Arizona when the proximity alarms had suddenly come to life.  Mere seconds later, there was a terrible impact, and both she and the Security Master had been thrown against something hard.  The wall, she supposed.

The fact that the ship was currently quiet disturbed the woman.  What had happened to the power?  Were they hopelessly adrift?  Shouldn't there be damage reports being given over the intercom?

She called out for Valezques but her voice was a croak.  Ugh.  She sat up and grabbed her head with both arms.  Her brain remained safely encased inside he skull, which was a good thing, but she would have bet her entire life savings that she had gotten a pretty good concussion out of the ordeal.  She fought the urge to puke and waited a moment for her head to stop swimming.  She wished she could find something to focus on but it was just too dark.  Instead she reached out, tentatively, with one arm and swept it from side to side in search of something to grasp.  She rapped her knuckles against something cold and hard with a soft GONG and pulled back her hand to shake away the pain as a torrent of curses flooded from her mouth.  Eventually she reached out again, and discovered the cold smooth iron of what was undoubtedly a handrail.

Okay Meridian, she told herself, the only handrail in this room was by the door, so it's probably just two stairs to the entry platform and a moment or two to find the door handle in the dark.  Now is not the time to panic.

She climbed the two steps and found the door handle easily enough.  To her immediate right should have been the light controls on the wall.  She ran one hand up and down until her fingers stumbled over the switch.  She flipped it and turned to look for Valezques but the room remained in complete darkness.

Damn.

Meridian cleared her throat and called out again, this time much more clearly, "Diego?  Are you here?"

She waited for a response but there was nothing, even her echo seemed to be eaten by the dark.

"All right, screw it," she grumbled and turned for the door.  She found the handle once again and turned it, and stepped through before fully opening it, but stopped dead in her tracks before taking another step.

"Oh shit," she said aloud, and thought, now is probably an IDEAL time to panic.

The End

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