A single light flickered in darkness. The lone beam of light came from a handheld device, and swung slowly across the otherwise darkened room. It wasn't a room at all, of course.
Erys looked around the shuttle, her resolve faltering. The power drain had happened all at once, without warning. One minute she was flying toward the Okinami at warp, the next she was drifting without power.
She couldn't even check to see what still worked. Handheld devices seemed to work okay, but main systems were dead. As far as she could tell, both the main core and backup batteries had been completely drained of all energy.
"Well... I guess I'm going to be late to the party." She sighed, and sat down to think of a way to get something working again.
The shuttle continued to drift for what seemed like weeks. In reality, it was only a few days until the shuttle was caught by a gravity well. Erys watched in horror as the shuttle began to fall toward the looming planet, slowly at first, then faster and faster. Flames erupted around the windows, and Erys could feel the sweat pouring off her as the entire ship heated up.
Clouds whipped by the window, almost too fast to see, and almost as quickly gave way to a vast ocean. Erys could see land, miraculously close to where the shuttle would land. She ran back to the rear cabin, and frantically grabbed whatever gear she could. The last thing she grabbed was an emergency transport band.
Wrapping the band around her arm, she triggered it. At first, nothing happened, and Erys could hear the shuttle groan as it fell at terminal velocity. Then, slowly, she felt the familiar tingle of a transporter beam. Her last sight as she materialized was the water filling the front window.
The beam released her, and Erys almost staggered as a wave of heat and humidity rushed over her. The forest closed in around her, seeming to suck the strength from her body. For a moment, she felt like she was back on survival training, and she fully expected to see the moon when she looked up.
Instead, she saw empty sky, and a bright blue-tinted sun. She shrugged and looked around, then started off in a random direction. With any luck, she'd either find some helpful locals or some water. She'd be greatful for either one at this point.
Erys walked for hours, and eventually came to a small stream. The water was crystal-clear, and she could see the rocks underneath. Erys reached for a container and plunged it into the water, letting it fill with the life-saving liquid.
A low sound caught her attention. She looked around, searching for the source, but didnt' see anything. A predatory animal, she hoped. Her own stomach rumbled, reminding her that she hadn't eaten in a few days. She looked back down to the stream and her now-full canteen.
She never saw it coming. Her last conscious thought was wondering why something had stung her neck.
A dull sense of pain brought her slowly to consciousness. Erys opened her eyes slowly, but still could see nothing. The room was completely dark, and eerily silent. She expected to hear something....anything... but all she could hear was her own ragged breathing.
She tried to move, and found she couldn't. Her hands were tied above her head, but her feet were free. She couldn't feel the floor, and her wrists were sore from supporting her body for.... how long had it been? And why was she cold? She couldn't feel any fabric... suddenly her only thought was to find something to cover herself. She kicked out, hoping to find something, anything... but all she found was air.
Slowly, almost unnoticeably, the lights began to turn on. Erys went limp, hoping they hadn't noticed she was awake. Alone figure entered, walking to a large desk directly in front of her. He sat, and looked at her, as if waiting for her to wake up. She just ignored him, and let herself hang limply.
"I know you're awake, my dear. There's really no point in pretending."
She looked up at him, not bothering to say anything. The Cardassian smiled warmly at her, as if they were about to share tea. "Tell me, dear. What was a Starfleet officer doing all the way out here, alone in a shuttlecraft?"
She opened her mouth to say something, but all that came out was a quiet croak. Only then did she realize it had been days since she'd spoken out loud. The Cardassian's smile faltered, and he glanced to a pitcher of water. "Oh, how thoughtless of me. You must be simply dying for a drink of water. Would you like me to pour you some?"
She nodded silently, her entire focus on the pitcher. Why hadn't she noticed it before? Why was she suddenly so thirsty? The Cardassian walked over with a cup of water and held it to her lips, and she drank hungrily, as if her life depended on it.
"There... that's better isn't it?"
"Good, good. So! Where ...were...we? Ah, yes. What were you doing way out here, alone in a shuttlecraft?"
"Looking....for my ship."
I see, and what ship would that be?"
She paused. She couldn't remember for some reason. She looked up at him with complete confusion. "I... I can't remember."
"Well that's a shame, isn't it? Do you at least remember your name?"
She nodded, then stopped and shook her head. Her eyes filled with tears. "I... I don't remember anything. Where am I? Who are you? Who am I? What happened to me?!"
The Cardassian simply smiled as he reached up and pressed a hypospray to her neck. As she fell into unconsciousness, he looked passed her, and she could almost hear something about being ready.
A tall, thin Romulan sat in a brightly lit room, working at a computer terminal. Other Romulans sat at other stations, or walked past on business. But this Romulan was the sole focus of the petite young girl who had just entered the room. The girl was wearing a brightly-colored dress that covered as little as possible. She walked toward the Romulan with sure, regal steps, and stopped before his desk. The Romulan continued working for a moment, then looked up at her.
"I am here to see Colonel Tal."
"And what would a slave want with him?"
She smiled sweetly, perching on his desk and leaning over seductively. "I simply want to please him. He asked for me."
The Uhlan frowned, then nodded toward a set of doors. "Through there. And watch yourself, whore."
She smiled again, as if she hadn't noticed the insult, and walked through the doors. As she left, the Uhlan couldn't help wonder where the small, dark-skinned human had come from. He'd never seen her before yesterday, but suddenly she was here, and always for that Tal'Shiar agent. He shook his head and went back to work.
The doors closed behind the girl as she stepped out of the turbolift. This part of the station was completely different. This part was filled with a multitude of people, all of them apparently having a great time. Ferengi were scattered throughout the large area, selling anything and everything.
One Ferengi noticed the new arrival, and motioned frantically at her. She seemed to glide as she walked toward him. He hissed at her, and motioned toward a nearby doorway. "Get over to the dabo table, huumon! We're losing prroffit!"
She didn't wait for him to finish, and cast a quite "Sorry, sir" over her shoulder on her way down the corridor. Apparently keeping the Romulans happy was a lot easier than keeping the Ferengi happy.