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Posted on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 @ 2:22am by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Lieutenant JG Sarah Wilson & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: The Jungle
Location: Cave

Rhenora woke up covered in a cold sweat, her mind reeling from whatever it was it had just experienced. Was it a dream? A prophecy? Some stupid interpretation that her mind had conjured up from something that didn’t even exist? Eyes wide with fear she looked around, trying to calm her frantic breathing and pulse as she took in the cave and those within it. They were safe - at least for now.

Tired. From two days worth of keeping watch over his beloved, his eyes closed and sleep took him without a fight. The darkness of space surrounded him as he floated in the cold vacuum. There was a light, not from any normal source, it was emanating from within himself. But it was fading.

He tried to look around, his movements sluggish as though he were treading mud. He could see a face in a distant gas nebula, the face of his current foe. The one who had trapped him and relieved him so mercilessly of his freedoms. The face caused him to grit his teeth in anger and he felt his light diminished more.

All the anger, all of the frustration circled around him, closed upon him like some large snake wrapping itself around him, strangling his life force. With each thought he could feel the snake coil and tighten its grip. And with each time the snake tightened, he felt his life force slip and his life diminish further.

Like a slippery slope he began to give up hope. And then he heard a voice. It was weak at first but it held his focus. Female, early forties, voice like a singsong bird from the marshland, she called out as if warning him. And then a length of rope struck him in the head, from out of nowhere.

He felt it. Strange how even in a dream he could feel the pain. Without knowing where the rope was from or what it may have been attached to, he pulled it taught and began climbing for all he was worth. Hand over hand, hand over hand, he pressed forward up the long rope, longing to see the face beyond the voice and hear once more the voice behind the veil.

And then there she was. Standing before him, her gown, a real veil, and a ribbon of rope tying their hands together in ceremony. She was short. She was blonde. Her hair fell in lockets of curls on either side of her face. When the magistrate removed the veil he peered into her eyes and for a moment could see a universe of stars all swirling around a bright glowing center.

She smiled. He smiled back. His light grew to an unyielding brilliance. So intense, the surrounding world was enveloped until all he could see was her and her face. The details magnified in a contrast of light and shadow. Without her lips moving, he heard his name once more. It was her voice, but it did not come from her. And on top of her voice, there was a faint humming noise, soothing, but unnatural to his setting. It was enough to unsettle him.

The dream crashed around him and his eyes shot open. He blinked and looked to where his bride sat, eyes open as well. He lightly smacked her on the arm, “Next time warn me before you throw a rope at my face will you?” Then he listened for a moment, the hum remained. He squinted his eyes, as though that would help him hear better, “Does anyone else hear that?”

"Say what?" She retorted as he seemed to half remember whatever he was seeing in his dream. She'd felt the same, dark dreams brought on by their precarious situation, playing on their fears. She tuned her ears and tried to listen, wondering just what she was listening for.

The gentle humming was growing louder and as it grew it became more irregular. The acoustics in the cave bounced the sound around but it was definitely originating from the darker recesses of the cave and growing closer. He rotated onto his knee and stood. "Sarah?" He asked of the good doc who always seemed close by when Rhen was awake. "Get Ronson."

Sarah picked up on the urgency and looked up, feeling as though something were very wrong. Rhenora also had the barest tinge of fear within her eyes. She asked no questions but hoisted herself to her feet, throwing an arm around the shoulder of her husband.

“What’s happening?” Sarah asked as she ran for the young Yeoman who was in turn trying to assist the injured Res who had arrived a short time earlier.


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