Curiosity Kills Part 6
Mission: To The Rescue
With a primal scream, she thrust the knife deep into the creature's skull.
It reared back it's head, glowing eyes leering at Millie. With a swipe of it's claws, it ripped through Patricia's throat, leaving her gasping for air amidst the bubbling of blood from her lips. The creature leapt, knocking Millie to the ground. It dug it's claws into her shoulder, pinning her down, and bared it's caged teeth at her.
Pushing back, Millie screamed.
Banks sat up, looking around but seeing no danger. She then looked at Millie and carefully put a hand on her friend's shoulder. "Hey, it's okay."
Millie woke up with a screech. Her head swiveled back and forth, as her conscious mind tried to reorient itself to her surroundings. She caught sight of her friend in the dim light from the fire's coals, and her lungs released a terrified mewl of helplessness.
"Just a dream. We're fine...well...we're as good as we were when we fell asleep."
Millie pulled her blanket up to her face, wiping away the sweat on her face, though she shivered in the darkness. "I--I'm sorry if I woke you."
"I need to get up anyways. Milk the cows and all that." Banks pulled herself to her feet hopping lightly to the front where the command seats were and sitting down. "I've been trying to think of a way to remove the forward phaser bank and give us a portable weapon of some sort."
Millie pulled herself off the floor, wrapping the blanket around her shoulders. She felt nauseous--and it had only increased in the last couple of days--so she stepped to their collection of water-leaves. She picked up one of the cupped leaves, sipping gently on the water. Quietly, she sat in the other chair, her mind still unsettled by the nightmare.
"You don't look good. How do you feel?"
Millie shrugged off the blanket for a moment, walking to the fire. "I'm fine. It was just the dream." She stoked the coals, shivering as she put another branch on the fire.
Banks kept her eyes on Millie. "What happened in the dream?"
Millie was quiet for a moment as she pulled the blanket around her shoulders and let the flames flicker back to life. "It was...the creature I killed. Except this time, the knife didn't kill it." Her eyes stayed fixed on the fire. "It slashed your throat, and I saw you die--and then it came for me."
"Did I at least fight back?"
"You didn't have a chance," she said softly, barely loud enough to be heard over the crackle of the fire. "It had claws, and slashed through your throat on one swing."
"Well, now you know that was make believe. I'd kick its ass in real life." Banks nudged Millie with a grin.
There was a miniscule smile for a brief moment on Millie's lips, but it soon faded. She sat on the floor next to Patricia's seat, quietly staring at the fire. "Nobody knows where we are, do they?"
"Probably not. It's why I said we need to consider long term planning."
Millie gently leaned her head against Banks' left side. "Tomorrow morning. If I can find water nearby--"
"When you find a steady water source we'll start doing some remodeling in here to hold more than a few leaves worth. I've been spending my time staring at the walls and noticing that we have some options to convert this into a long term shelter until I can heal up and build us one from scratch." She patted Millie's back. "Don't fall apart on me now kid."
Millie gave a quiet sigh, glad for the reassurance. "Is it okay to be a little scared right now?"
"Fear is nature's way of keeping you on your toes. I'm always afraid. Some people like you might call it paranoid but it works the same. I've spent my life knowing everything in my environment and knowing how to use it to keep me alive. You've done a great job so far carrying my slack."
Millie looked up at her friend. "You aren't slacking. You're injured--and thankfully not any worse than a broken leg." She paused, thoughtful for a moment. "I am glad that you and Edruj were so insistent on making sure I would not be vulnerable. I still feel woefully unprepared, but at least I can kill a snake, da?"
"You've kept us alive and you're learning. The next time you're dropped on a foreign world you'll know just what to do."
Millie gave a soft chuckle, leaning her head back against her friend. "Hopefully we don't make a habit of crash-landing on alien worlds without a medical kit or a way to call home." She gave another quiet sigh. Her whole body still ached, and she was still nauseous.
From their contact Banks could feel how hot Millie was. "I think you ought to rest today for your big hike tomorrow. I can scrounge up some wood later."
"On your leg?" Millie looked up at her friend. "I appreciate your enthusiasm, but until I can find medical supplies--or someone on this planet with medical knowledge--the more you can play it safe, the faster that leg will heal. It's still too soon for you to be moving around." She closed her eyes. "Soon as the sun is up, I'll get started. Firewood, water--see if there are other small animals nearby..." Her voice softly trailed off, her body succumbing to the ache and exhaustion.
Banks let her drift back into sleep and supported her through the nap. The waiting game continued but there wasn't much she could do about that.
Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova
Chief Counselor, USS Mercutio
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Mercutio