Author Notes: Hi! This is my new story, which I hope you'll like. This story is TR friendship, and is set somewhere in season four.
Disclaimer: I don't own Enterprise, or anything related. This story was inspired by River from Firefly, which I also don't own.
Noctes et Dies
Lieutenant Reed's eyes surveyed the ruins, taking in every detail. It had been twenty four hours since T'Pol had detected the world on which they now stood. The planet was interesting for everyone on the away team. As usual, Captain Archer was wandering around, enjoying the experience of being on a new world. Ensign Hoshi Sato was absorbed in the various symbols and glyphs that had been delicately carved into the rough wall; yet another language for her to attack. Commander Tucker was setting up some equipment in a corner, designed to analyse the curious power signature that had been detected - his equipment co-ordinated with the scans that T'Pol was making back on the Enterprise. Malcolm, meanwhile, was just intrigued as to how long it would take for T'Pol to be forced to retract her earlier statement of the planet being uninhabited. Enterprise's luck had been too good lately, and the strange ruins did nothing to settle Malcolm's nerves.
"What do you think Hoshi?" Archer smiled as he watched his linguistics officer almost glow with excitement.
"This dialect is very complex, sir, with almost no point of reference." Malcolm smirked. From any other person, that statement would have come out in a tone of defeat – Hoshi was relishing the challenge.
"Malcolm?" Reed switched his focus over to Trip, "Help me with this would ya?"
Reluctantly, Malcolm tore himself away from his vantage point. He aided the Commander in silence, furtively sneaking glances to the entrance. It wasn't too long before Trip had had enough, "Fer cryin' out loud Mal! Stop being so paranoid! There's a reason why they call it 'uninhabited'!"
Malcolm offered a half smile, "When have you known me not to be paranoid, Commander?"
"Well, there was that time on Risa…"
Malcolm shot his friend a glare that could have frozen a volcano.
The four humans had been on the planet for coming up to six hours, and would soon be returning with their preliminary data to the Enterprise. If the data proved interesting, then it was likely that the Starfleet ship would be in orbit of the planet for a couple of days at the least. Malcolm had been on edge the whole time, and was secretly hoping that the data would prove incredibly dull so that they would never return. There was something about the ruins that just didn't sit right, as Trip would say.
"Alright people!" Archer finally called out, "Let's get back to the shuttle."
Malcolm lingered so that he would be at the back of the group. He had just grabbed a bag stuffed with Hoshi's recording equipment, when he froze. If he hadn't been on edge, he doubted he would have noticed it – a very high pitched, constant whistling. Frowning, he turned, and was shocked to see the whole back wall - glowing. Before his mind could fully register this fact, however, he found himself flying backwards through the air, before his body impacted with the opposite wall, shortly followed by his head.
Trip heard Malcolm's yell, turning only in time to see his friend slam into the ruins at a very high velocity, then slump to the floor, unmoving. "Malcolm!" Trip yelled in panic, running back to where he lay, and skidding down next to him. Without looking, he could sense Hoshi and the Captain right behind him. "Malcolm?" Trip called again, trying to rouse the armoury officer. He reached out and lifted Malcolm's head from its odd angle against the rock, disturbed by the amount of blood that he felt through the thick dark hair.
Hoshi contacted Enterprise, instructing them to prepare a medical team, while Archer looked warily around for attackers. All three breathed with relief when Malcolm began slowly stirring, and soon a pair of crystalline blue eyes were blinking up at them, confused and unfocused, "Ow." Malcolm murmured under his breath as he attempted to move.
Archer crouched down and placed a hand on his shoulder, "Stay still Lieutenant. We're going to transport you off." Malcolm groaned in protest. Archer continued, "What happened?"
"A big moving wall of air, sir." Again, he attempted to move, only to be pushed down by Trip.
Both Archer and Trip smiled shakily at the dry comment. Hoshi stepped forward, "Captain? Doctor Phlox sent orders that Malcolm has to be taken by shuttle. Apparently, the transporter could be risky for someone with a severe head injury."
Malcolm smiled weakly – at least there was one good thing out of the incident; he really didn't feel up to being chopped down to his particles.
"Lieutenant…" Doctor Phlox warned his charge in an amicable tone as Malcolm tried yet again to convince them he was fine.
"Doctor, I have a small headache," Okay, a slight understatement, but he really hated sickbay, "Why can't I just go back to my quarters?"
"You heard the Doc, Malcolm, concussions are bad, and you must have a big one, however thick your skull is." Trip smiled.
"I only wish to keep you in for observation overnight. I would prefer to be around to wake you up if needs be." Phlox assured him.
"Lieutenant, I will see you tomorrow, if the Doctor releases you. We'll be going over the information of the planet, and I would like to hear what happened in full detail." The Captain smiled warmly, "Goodnight Malcolm."
Malcolm glared at the retreating back of his captain. Now he would never get out of here tonight.
Malcolm's heart pounded in his ears, and his breathing came ragged. Colours, flashing images, all swirled around him. Glimpses of faces he had known, and then forgotten. Red eyes, black earth. Alien races darted and flickered. And, god, the sound - voices, so many voices, screaming, yelling, whispering. Falsehoods and reality glided hand in hand as lies were spoken and truths were thought. There was a cry, a single voice and-
Malcolm's eyes flew open, his hand shot out to grab the wrist of the attacker. A sharp cry of pain brought everything into focus. He was back in the darkened sickbay, attempting to break his doctor's wrist. Hurriedly letting go, Malcolm sat up, "I'm so sorry, Doctor, I-" He didn't get any further, as a wave of nausea overcame his senses and he doubled over, hitting the floor on his hands and knees, vomiting what little he had left in his stomach from the breakfast hours before.
Phlox stayed with him, not seeing the point in fetching a bowl now. When Malcolm's retching subsided, he fell back, exhausted. Phlox injected a hypospray, "I had to wake you. You were having quite a violent nightmare. And don't worry; vomiting is to be expected from a head injury such as yours." He smiled, "Let's get you back up Lieutenant. I have given you a sedative that should ensure a dreamless sleep." Sure enough, Malcolm's body was already closing down.
As the Doctor left to tend to his animals, Malcolm's last thought remained with the horrible image he had been left with just before he had awoken. A man, lying motionless on the floor, with blurred images floating in and out of shadows. His throat was slit clean, and blood slid silently along the flooring. Drip, screaming, drip, blood, drip, black…
Malcolm's eyes slid shut.
To Be Continued…
Author Notes: So, what do you think? I hope you like this story enough to stick with me! Any reviews or comments are greatly appreciated:)