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Creature Comforts

Posted on 07 Jun 2018 @ 7:47pm by Ensign Shay Mitchell & Lieutenant Ardok Brixx & Lieutenant Abbey Road & Lieutenant JG Charles Carmichael

Mission: The Search Begins
Location: Science
Timeline: MD 2 || 0915 Hours

After leaving the bridge, Shay stepped off of the turbolift and turned down the corridor with the little creature cupped inside her hands. It was moving around, no doubt trying to find a way to get free, and still chittering rather angrily at her, which brought a smile to the young woman's face. She could only imagine what that might be translated to if they could understand it, but somehow, she had a feeling learning that would be impossible. After all, they functioned on instinct, and that instinct pushed them to just survive. And that was exactly why she was on her current mission.

After the Captain mentioned having the ship fumigated, all Shay could do was think about the little lives (like the one in her hands) that would be lost as a result, and that was something she just couldn't allow. If it meant scouring every corner of the ship by herself until they were all caught, then that's just what the Ensign would do, but hopefully, she wouldn't be on her own.

She walked into the Science department and looked around. Things were still a bit chaotic after the drill that turned out not to be a drill, which meant there were multiple people milling about. Shay spotted someone and held her hands out, though the spidermunk couldn't be seen just yet. "Hey... do you think you might be able to help me?" she asked. "This was on the bridge assaulting the Captain, and rather than kill it, I thought maybe it would be better off hanging out in one of your... whatever you call the things you hold critters in."

Charles had been taking care of some of the after-action items left by his supervisor, including tweaking a computer inferface panel that had glitched out, corrupting three sensor readings and an experiment that had been running before the drill. He heard the Ensign enter, but his back had been turned to the arrival throughout the course of her conversation. Charles turned, and was about to say something, only to be absolutely startled when he saw the creature. He very much visibly flinched as he tried to collect himself. "What... Wha... What.....?"

The young woman blinked. Why did everyone appear to be so... afraid didn't seem to be the right word, but it was the closest thing she could come up with. "I'm not sure what it is," she admitted. "This one decided to assault the Captain, so I caught it and brought it here. I have reason to believe there are more on the ship." She looked to the chittering and squirming little creature. "Do you have a secure place I can put it? Or could you point me in the direction of someone that might know?"

Charles shrugged, still eying the creature quite suspiciously. Come to think of it, he might have seen one of those scurrying around the brig aboard Deep Space Fifteen. "Lieutenant!" he called out, looking for the Assistant Chief, who'd been left in charge in Djinx's absence. "Come take a look at this... whatever this is."

Brixx looked up from his PADD as he heard someone call him. He was quite happy about that 'disturbance' as he had been looking over several reports already. So this could be a welcome change. He stood up and headed towards the two fellow officers. He nodded to greet them.

"Ensign, Lieutenant, what is it?", he asked.

"This little guy... or girl... was assaulting the Captain on the bridge, and rather than have them exterminated, I choose to rescue Captain Geisler and this little one at the same time," Shay replied, exposing it a but so Brixx could get a better look at it. "I was hoping that it, and any others that were found, could find a secure home here instead of being exterminated. I'll head up a team to clear the rest of them from the ship after I'm done here."

As he saw that little animal, his eyes widened and he tilted his head slightly with curiosity. "What is that?" he asked but this was more a question he asked himself as the other officers.

"I... don't know what to call it. It's like a cross between am Earth chipmunk and a spider. I'm not even sure how long they've been aboard the ship," the young woman replied. "They would have had to come aboard the ship before we crossed over onto the side of the Zone. Do you think it's possible their memories were altered with everyone else's?"

"It's hard to say," Charles remarked on his own. "If we haven't seen these until now, then we don't have a foundation to hypothesize against. At least, that's the opinion of a cartographer, not a biologist."

"And I'm just a Security officer," Shay said, suddenly going a bit pale. "I... really hope this thing just webbed in my hand."

Brixx seemed to be totally absorbed in looking at that tiny animal. "This is absolutely amazing. Arachnida and Rodentia combined. I've never seen anything like that."

He slowly held his right forefinger towards the creature in order to give it the chance to sniffle. He was not a biologist either but this somehow seemed logical to him to try that out. And it indeed did and seemed to be totally peaceful. Brixx finally looked up again. "This little creature attacked the Captain, you said?"

"More like landed on his head, then ran around him when I tried to catch it," Shay stated, looking at the little creature. It was cute in a nightmarish kind of way, and if she didn't already have a cat, she'd ask to keep one of them after they'd all been captured. Still, the little critter continued to chitter and tried to get free, but she kept a gentle grip on it. "His name is Chip... or her... I don't know. Naming it only seemed fitting."

"Well, I guess we should run an initial scan. If it has some arachnid features, it might also be poisonous, so you'd better put it in a box.", As he was saying that the Bolian was already looking around and spotted an empty case of transparent aluminium that seemed appropriate. "Over there, Ensign."

"I seriously doubt it's poisonous, or it would have bitten me by now. Chip isn't aggressive in that sense," she said, following behind him as she eyed the empty case. "Shouldn't that have holes in it or something? I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm pretty sure I just prevented the Captain from killing them all. Don't you have a lab or something like that around here to contain specimens?" As she was just a Security officer, who spent the majority of her time on the business end of a phaser, Science wasn't something she was even remotely familiar with.

"Oh, don't worry, Ensign. I didn't plan on putting a lid on it.", the Bolian reassured the Ensign, who seemed to like that strange creature. Brixx couldn't help but also find it quite cute if it weren't for those eight legs. "But as far as I know, aggressiveness is not really sufficient proof for an animal not to be poisonous."

Shay looked a bit confused. Surely the little creature would be able to get out if there wasn't a lid on it, but who was she to argue? The young woman carefully placed Chip inside and noted that he... or she... did web her hand, to which she promptly began to pull away, though it was a bit more difficult than one would imagine. "If they've been on the ship as long as I think they've been, then I would say not. They've had plenty of opportunities to bite any living thing on board, and no unusual illnesses have been reported as far as I know, but perhaps you should call someone in from Medical to know that for sure."

"You mentioned that there were more than just this one on board, right?", Brixx asked while he watched the animal again.

"An assumption. Captain Geisler tasked me with finding any others and capturing them. That's my next task once I've left here," the Ensign responded, crouching down a bit to look down at her new little friend. "I'm going to get with someone from Engineering, and maybe Operations, to begin that process."

Brixx nodded to the Ensign. "Indeed. If there are more of these little fellows on board we might have a slight problem." Brixx activated a small forcefield around the case that kept it in the box but did not cut it off oxygen. "I guess we should call an exobiologist to have a closer look at it? I am not really an expert on that field either."

"I'll have to trust your judgement on anything you think might be best," Shay stated, still looking at the little thing before standing upright again.

Brixx again turned to the security Ensign. "Would you be so kind and keep me informed on your findings? If there are really more of them, we might need to know in order to solve that problem."

The young woman nodded her head. "Once the others, if there are any, they will be brought here to join Chip."

Brixx nodded contentedly. Teamwork was always the best way to solve problems. "Sounds like a plan although I hope that you won't be able to find too many of them. After all this is a lab and not a zoo."

"I'm aware this isn't a zoo," Shay stated, turning her attention toward the Assistant Chief. "Maybe, if it turns out they're not poisonous, we might be able to find homes for them. Sure, they're creepy and all, but there are people on board who would appreciate having one as a pet."

The Bolian turned towards Carmichael. "Perhaps we should also consult a medical officer and an exobiologist. I think Lieutenant Jennin Rhula might help us out here, but I think he might be off duty at the moment", Brixx said.

"Actually," Charles said, "I think he went on one of the Away Teams. I was supposed to work with him this morning on a project, and he had to cancel due to other orders. I'm not sure who else is gone, but we can always call sickbay and see if they have someone to spare."

As Brixx found that was a good idea, he tapped his communicator. "Lieutenant Brixx to sickbay."

There was a slight hesitation before Abbey remembered Dr. Kij was off the ship and it was down to her to answer. "Dr. Road here," she said after a quick tap of her combadge. "What can I do for you?"

"We have an unknown little creature here in the science lab and would like to have some medical evaluation on it as well. Perhaps you can spare some time and come over here?"

An unknown creature? That sounded exciting. "Sure, I'll be right there," Abbey replied, grabbing a medkit and heading out.

It was several minutes before Abbey made her way to the labs. She looked around for a moment before spotting a group standing around a small containment box that contained something furry. "Somebody call for a doc- oi!" she exclaimed, surprised. "What in the universe is that?"

"I'm not sure what it is, but it was on the bridge before I brought it here," Shay answered. "I thought bringing it here was likely our best option all things considered. I'm going to be looking to see if there are any others on the ship after I leave here."

"Of course they don't know what it is, Abbey," Dr. Road muttered to herself as she took out her tricorder and beginning scans. "They said it was unknown, didn't they?" She studied the readout for a moment. "It's definitely a mammal. But- and this is the best part- it's got two spinal columns!" Her brow wrinkled. "Wait," she said. "It's technically one, but it's split. That's fascinating!" It was if she were in her own world examining the little creature. She had certainly forgotten that anyone else was there.

Brixx stood a bit aside as the doctor started her scans on the creature. He was not an exobiologist and this was not his field of expertise. However, scientific riddles like that creature fascinated him, so he took in everything the doctor said. Although it was quite interesting, something else went through his mind.

"Can you tell us anything about what it eats?", he interrupted the doctor's conversation with herself.

He turned towards the security Ensign. "This might actually help you find others if there are any. They will most likely try to find something to eat."

"I don't think they're too picky. Rumor has it one went after the Captain's wife's donuts," Shay stated. "You'd have to ask him or her if that's actually true or not, though, since it came from Security, and she's former Security with plenty of friends still in that department, I'm willing to bet it actually happened."

"I have no idea what it eats," Abbey said. "There's bits in its stomach, but whether or not that is good food for it is beyond me. I could take a guess based on its metabolism, blood pH, and other clues, but we'd still have to try giving it something and then monitor its reaction. We could really use that exobiologist," she added, almost to herself.

"Well, I don't think that time presses on that issue. There should be an exobiologist available as soon as the next shift starts. This little fellow won't steal any more donuts and won't go anywhere as long as he ... or she(?) ... is in there," Brixx stated and shrugged.

"Promise me that you won't let anyone kill it. Or any others we might find," Shay said with pleading eyes. "They deserve to live just as much as the rest of us."

Brixx looked at her both in surprise and a trifle annoyed that someone believed he would be capable of doing something like that. "Of course not! I mean, why should we do that? Is this not what we are all here for, discover new lifeforms?"

Shay shook her head. "No, no... I didn't mean it the way it sounded... like anyone would do it purposely. I'm truly sorry it that's the way it came across," she said sincerely. "I've just noticed that there are more than a few people who are terrified of them, is all. I just want to see them as happy and comfortable as they can be."

Brixx scratched his bald head. "If we find out a bit more about its natural habitat, we could certainly try to make it more comfortable for it", the Bolian added thinking about the blank, empty transparent box it was in.

"Do you want me to scour the ship's database to see if anything comes up on them?" the young Security officer offered.

Charles brought over a small bowl of water and added it into the container. Though he'd remained silent during the last few minutes, he had kept his distance, but close enough to keep an ear on the conversation. He was curious about the little thing, and its potential on board the ship, but for now he'd just remain silent and observant.

"We could use this creature's bio-signs to scan the ship and find any others," Abbey suggested. "I think we've got enough data to program a scan."

"If you think that would make it easier to catch any others we have on the ship, then I'd say it's worth it," the young Ensign stated. "I've already got a general idea of how to do it, but something like that would help."

"Sounds good,", Brixx added. He would try to be of as much assistance as he could be. "I can also configure tricorders if needed if you transfer the data."

"Great idea," agreed Abbey. "I'll put the information in the computer under... um... it sorta look like a chipmunk with too many legs. What should we call it?"

"Spidermunk?" Shay suggested.

"Sounds as if we have a project name," Brixx agreed. "Although I always found it quite strange to give alien animals a name that more or less consists of names of animals from earth", he added grinning.

"In this case, it fits," the young Security officer said, looking to the little creature once again. "We'll use that for now, and if something better comes up down the road, we'll consider it."

Brixx nodded. Then he went to a neighbouring room and headed back with three tricorders. "That'll do for the beginning, I guess."

"Does that cover it for now?" Shay asked. "I need to get with someone about trying to catch any others that might be on the ship."

"I think we've got as much as we can," answered Abbey, transfering the data to the computer under the heading 'spidermunk.' "If we find any more, we'll keep them in the zoology department until we figure out where they belong."

"Here's hoping they're able to be caught alive," the young Security Ensign said as her brow furrowed. She didn't want to kill any of them, but even Shay knew the possibility was there.

Brixx handed the Security Ensign a configured tricorder. "If you need some help in 'hunting' them...erm finding them, I mean, I could help out. I have time. My paperwork can wait."

Shay accepted the tricorder from Brixx and offered him a smile. "I'll definitely keep that in mind, and will likely be calling you if we need your help. We might just need all the help we can get. For now, I have to see if there are more to be caught. I'll be in touch one way or another." With that, she turned on her heel with her next destination in mind.

 

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