Posted on Sunday, 12 June 2022 - 5:22pm by Lieutenant JG Ethan Connelly
Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: Science Department
Circling the central workstation of the laboratory he had chosen to work, Lieutenant Connelly paused in midstride before resuming his path. At random intervals he again paused, waited and then continued on his way. Throughout, he kept a watchful eye upon the unidentified lifeform within the stasis field as it followed his movements - seeming to flow like a wave before becoming a non descript 'blob' before once again effortlessly and smoothly resuming motion.
Identified only as ‘626’ - the creature remained largely a mystery. When not in motion it maintained a near constant mass and general form albeit with no discernible features. Yet it was aware and for the second time he had been in its presence he found that it seemed to gravitate towards those nearby. Why?
He had no answer to that.
How? Again, that was to be determined. Yet it was undoubtedly aware of him and his movements despite having no apparent sensory receptors. It was fascinating.
What he did know, from the limited information within the databanks, was that the former crew of this ship had considered 626 to be indestructible. There were documented tests where it had been subjected to the vacuum of space for increasing periods of time with no adverse affects. It had been - sadly - subjected to all manner of ‘tests’ to discover if it could withstand weapons fire, extreme ranges of temperature and much more beyond. All of them failed to destroy 626 although it was noted that the creature became less active and struggled to maintain a cohesive form as the days and weeks progressed.
“This was nothing short of torture,” Ethan sighed, shaking his head as he sat so he was eye level with the ‘experiment’. “I assure you, we are not of their universe and do not condone the torture of others to enhance our knowledge. I do no know if you can hear or understand me, but I give you my word that nobody on this ship wants to harm you.”
He raised an eyebrow when, in response to his words, the lifeform seemed to change colour. The dark hues shifting to blues, greens and purples before drifting back towards the darker tones.
“Fascinating…” making a note to consult with Lieutenant Vali, Ethan glanced over his shoulder when the doors to the laboratory opened and a man, weighed down by several equipment cases, all but fell through the floor.
“Sorry to intrude but…. Do you know where I can find Ensign Warrington?”
Ethan turned in his seat to face the young petty officer, “I am not. Nor do I know -“
“There you are! Where have you been?” A voice, laced with a heavy British accent, cut in. An older man with unruly grey hair and glasses appeared, a weather beaten lab coat covering his uniform. The pockets of the coat were bulging and as he watched, Ethan could have sworn something in the right pocket moved. Striding up to the over burdened petty officer, the man scowled. “Those samples need to be stowed away and some of that equipment you are about to drop is priceless! Do I need to do everything myself?!”
The petty officer paled, swallowing hard and looking in real danger of throwing up whatever he had recently eaten. Ethan frowned as he moved to intervene, thoroughly confused by this point.
Distracted by hearing someone calling his name, Ethan looked to his right and found Petty Officer Ilian rushing towards him while the other doors leading into the main lab closed in her wake. She appeared out of breath, as if she had been running for miles before she skidded to a stop in front of him, holding out her hand for him to take the PaDD she had carried.
“Transfer orders. From Command. There was a buffer issue on a comms relay station and - well - sorry… boy. I need to get back to the gym… Anyway! You have new crew. Some are due later today but a few arrived a little while ago. Including -“
“Professor Richard Ignatius Warrington the Third,” a clipped English accent interjected as he stepped around the petty officer ferrying his prized possessions, glaring at the young man as he did so. “Xenobioligist. I’m sure you’ve read my work. I believe it is still required reading at the Academy. Now, where is….”
He paused, adjusting his glasses as he looked down at a piece of paper, “ah, yes, Lieutenant Alex Kingsley?”
“Lieutenant Kingsley is off the ship,” Ethan informed him, reviewing the transfer orders to ensure they were in order. He paused, reading again to be sure he was reading it correctly. Ensign? He glanced the man’s collar and sure enough. One pip. “I -“
“Not much good being Chief Science Officer if you aren’t on the ship!” Stern admonished. “Fortunately I am here now.”
“Actually, Ensign, I am acting Chief Science Officer until she returns. Your paperwork all seems to be in order,” Connelly commented, “but as you can see we were not prepared for your arrival. But let me show you to our xenob -“
“Oh, I found my own way, Lieutenant,” Warrington assured him, “I will get it up and running by the end of the day. Now, you, follow me!” Warrington barked out, gesturing for the petty officer to trail after him, “and for heaven sakes do not drop anything!”
Ethan watched in stunned silence as the pair left, the door finally closing and leaving an almost blissful silence.
“What a -“
“I would not recommend ending that sentence,” Ethan warned with a good natured smile. “He may hear you. And I may be duty bound to report you.”
“Just pointing out there is apparently a good reason some people are older than time itself and are Ensigns,” Siana pointed out. “And also, Kingsley is gonna kill him.”
Ethan arched an eyebrow, “I cannot comment but hopefully it will not come to that.”
Perhaps, he realised, he now had two reasons to speak to T’Lanna Vali.
Behind him a workstation began to bleep, demanding attention. Walking over Ethan studied the data with a deepening frown. Apparently he now had more pressing matters to attend to now that the analysis of samples he had taken from Dr Selin’s quarters was complete. Most troubling…
“If you will excuse me, Siana, I need to see the Captain about some tea.”