Levrance felt as if he would never experience warmth again for the rest of his life, and considering his circumstances, 'the rest of his life' was a relatively short amount of time.
He was leaned up against the wall of a small cavern. His body slumped over itself, one of his arms curled around his chest and the other laying limp by his side, bent in such a frightening way that the bone broke through the skin. His ribs on that same side were broken, forcing him to take shallow breaths only, and Lev couldn't even look at his leg without feeling burning nausea rise up in his stomach. He resembled a rag doll that had been abused too much, and then thrown in the corner.
His clothing was ripped all over, his bare skin, the deep claw marks across his chest and their newly formed, weeping scabs exposed to the brutal cold that spilled through the cavern's small opening. He remembered that he and a small away team crawled in here. There's no possible way for him to crawl back out without puncturing a lung.
Levrance shook, his body's vain attempt at warming himself up, but some part of him knew that he was dying. When he thought about it, it felt as if the cold of the cave sank into his very soul. He had to hold on, though. Mira would come back with a rescue team. He clenched his good fist in determination., he believed in her.
Each labored breath produced a small puff of warmth and moisture. He thought he saw images in each breath. They were memories—most importantly, they were a convenient distraction. He would not think about death, not when he had Mira, and so he watched the puffs that came out with each exhale.
He saw his tricorder readings, reporting signs of life deeper into the cave in one breath. He saw the fork in the cave, where he and his team each split into four groups of two each in another breath. He saw Mira's hair very clearly. He closed his eyes, and in his mind, he could almost reach out and feel her gentle, loose curls tumble through his fingers the way they always did. He remembers that he followed behind her as they traveled deeper into the cave. He remembers finding the source of those life signs, and before either of them could do anything, it had sliced open her face. That hair he remembered so fondly tumbled out of her torn hat, the beast picked her up by her hair and threw her so hard. He saw blood paint her lips, he saw the skeletal structure that formed her jawline through the blood and torn flesh, but her hair was so bright and her screaming so loud--
His eyes snapped open, he instinctively gasped, which made his broken body spasm in pain. He had dozed off. It was only a dream. An especially cold draft crept through the cave opening. Lev only felt it in his legs and on his torso. He must've slept longer than he thought, he felt nothing in his fingers and toes. A quick glance confirmed—they were blackening. He knew he would lose them, and if things continued the way they were, he'd lose his leg too. But things wouldn't continue this way, he thought. His face tightened into a grimace. He believed in Mira, no matter what.
After they had finally escaped from the beast, after Lev took a brutal beating, it was Mira who carried him here. It was Mira who found that none of the other officers were responding. Mira made the plan to leave Lev here while she would try to contact the Legacy. It will be Mira who will come back with the geologists to cut the cave open and the rescue team to beam him out.
The wind picked up outside, it interrupted his thoughts with a howl that sounded like an old train speeding by him. But Lev was not afraid. The cold would eat through his body, but Mira kept his spirit alive. She's probably on the Legacy right now, he thought. She'll come back, he thought. He smiled to himself and closed his eyes again. Soon he'd be with her.
Miles outside of the cave the wind blew hard. A blizzard had rolled into the area. The tiny opening that constituted the cave's main entrance would be covered by snow soon, and all other landmarks would be buried as well. The snow banks grew and grew, everything was white. Lying on a nondescript pile of snow was a young woman, wearing a claw-torn Starfleet outfit and covered in blood. Her phaser rifle was long gone. Her blonde hair blew in the wind like a small flag, saying 'here I am'. She did not breathe. Her blood had long since stopped pumping. On the walk back, Mira had been searching for a hill high enough to contact the Legacy. The climbing was too much, her fractured rib had punctured her lungs and blood blossomed on the front of her shirt. A strong wind blew snow over the body, as if Nature would give her a burial.
Soon, he'd be with her.