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2371; Starfleet Academy; "Climbing Accident"

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Nov. 7th, 2005 | 09:06 pm
posted by: colleenodonnell in en_fanfic

Since I've referred to this story in the RP, I figured I'd include the story behind it here. It happened in their second year of the Academy, during the weekend (when every careless accident happens).

Character Bios:

Colleen O'Donnell--*Just* turned nineteen, only a week earlier. She is a bit careless, she rushes into things, and she doesn't think as much before she acts. She's competitive, driven, and energetic, as always. She's got the 'it'll never happen to me' outlook at the moment.

John Wendell--Turned twenty a few months ago, a bit more mature than his first year but not by much. He still is every bit as competitive as Colleen and though he's slightly more concerned with his surroundings and danger, he'll forfeit all of that just for the challenge. He's willing to risk what he has in the hope of gaining something better, but he's a quick thinker. He's as sharp as can be, and will always find a loophole. He can basically sell ice to Andorians, and strategize anything at all.

Vereil Kate--They finally call her 'Kate', having been friends with her long enough to do so. Kate's cautious but fun-loving. Willing to take risks if they're important enough. She's security cautious because she's an aspiring security officer, but she's willing to compromise some of those beliefs in the name of a good time.

Richard Young--Rick's got his head straight on his shoulders. He's absolutely sure what is right and what isn't and he's considered overly-cautious by the other three. He'll say some things they don't approve of, thinking he's being helpful. But he's still a good friend. He's there when you need him and although he might be thinking of your physical well-being moreso than having a good time, he knows how to compromise and get out for a while.

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from: colleenodonnell
date: Nov. 8th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)

The next two days were very long. They had no option but go through their normal classes and wait. When Saturday finally arrived, the four of them were up at 0600 and ready to go by 0630. But sign-out wasn’t until 0800, so they figured they’d replicate the harnesses then. Expending all her credits, Colleen came up with two more harnesses. They didn’t have extra climbing shoes, and John was a size larger than Rick, so Rick decided to go in his hand-to-hand combat training boots. They proceeded to laugh at him until Kate emerged from their dorm with *hers* on, and then they decided it wasn’t so uncommon to think along those lines after all.
They got onto the transit and rode it to St. Hugo’s where they walked for a bit before getting to the official’s office. They received a clip-in point and skipped the information session and option to teleport to the clip-in point and make sure it was sturdy. They trusted the St. Hugo people.
They clipped in, and the auto-belay checked their harnesses. The green light came on, and they began climbing.
Then Colleen said to John,</i> “Race you.”
John could not turn down a challenge. He never could. “You’re on.”
Normally the auto-belay would just keep up with their pace, but for some reason it was sluggish. Neither John nor Colleen cared. They were experienced, and the chances of them falling were slim to none. Rick and Kate were farther down. It was Rick’s first time on a real ledge. And his second time climbing ever. Kate climbed when she was little, but hadn’t been climbing since primary school. So they were considerably lower than Colleen and John.
Colleen reached forty feet. Fifty feet. Sixty. Her hands were starting to get tired, and she felt the muscles in her arms tightening.
John’s legs were screaming for him to stop. He decided to take up running as a weekend hobby, instead of just hockey with Colleen. Because obviously the skating wasn’t keeping his legs in the amount of shape they needed to be in.
He saw Colleen pass him and became determined to catch up. He went faster, and got to the point where the ledge rocked out at a 75 degree angle with the horizontal. It wasn’t that huge of a outcrop but it was large enough to make it harder. As he hung by his arm, he felt his auto-belay jerk. He paused for a moment.
“Colleen, did you feel that?”
“Nice try,” Colleen said. “You can’t stop me from climbing. I’m beating you, for God’s sake! Hurry up. We might still tie.”
John shrugged and kept climbing. But the auto-belay didn’t feel right. He went slower. He noticed Colleen did not. Then she reached a point where he could see she wasn’t tall enough to reach. She was going to have to jump.
Colleen came to this realization about five feet from the top of the ledge. The auto-belay would catch her if she didn’t make it. She leapt.
John paused while she did. She was still too short, and had way too much momentum. What was she thinking? He watched as her hand grabbed the bit she wanted, but then slipped because of her lack of a foothold.
She hung for a moment, and the auto-belay system jerked again. She fell.
Colleen watched as the ground came nearer. It was happening so fast. She heard Rick and Kate scream her name, she saw John release his clamp and begin to rapell down, and she kept falling. Sixty feet. Fifty. Forty. Thirty. She was caught. But at that point she had so much momentum that the harness yanked her hip out of its joint, and she slipped half-way out of it. She kept falling the final ten feet. Then she felt a horrible impact, and darkness.

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