In Search of Womblets
"A what?!" said Mindo.
"A Dactarian womblet," said Ensign whats-his-face. Mindo didn't catch his name. He was some second-string helmsman or something of the like. Mindo didn't really care. What he did care about was the Dac-something wombat loose in the Jeffries Tubes.
"And why come to me?" asked Mindo. "Isn't that a job for security?"
The Ensign nervously scratched the back of his head and looked down. "It's a little..." he started. Suddenly, as if on cue, the lights dimmed and flickered. Mindo also recognized that "wurrrm" sound the ship made when something went wrong with the ship's systems. "...complicated," finished the Ensign.
"Define 'complicated,'" said Mindo, taking the PADD from Crewman Crismore that was the immediate report of a power fluctuation on Decks four through eight.
"It feeds on electricity," said Ensign Something.
Mindo nodded. "I see." He knew what this meant. Another quest into the tubes. Another wild goose chase... but with a womblet.
Mindo tapped his badge. =/\= Mindo to security. =/\=
Paperwork, weapon maintenance, paperwork on the maintenance, go over evaluation reports, paperwork on the paperwork... Times Meera missed just being a Sergeant and thusly the one NOT doing ALL the paperwork. And Security wasn't large enough to warrant her having an aide who's job was to filter the majority of it.
So when the call came in, Meera was more than happy to drop Form 341-A-698, Operational Readiness and Action Form, to answer. =^=This is Security, Meera speaking. What's the situation Chief?=^=
=/\= Ensign Something-or-Other lost his pet wombat... sorry, womblet, an animal that feeds on electricity. The womblet is believed to be loose in the Jeffries tubes. Care to meet me on deck four for an adventure? =/\= Mindo sounded slightly agitated, but the emphasis on the final word suggested excitement as well.
=^=Depends Chief. Are you looking at hand phasers or do you want me to break out the MAKO's?=^= Meera asked, referring to the normal hand phaser being an option, or those rifles that the Tornado was producing exclusively for Security as 'testing platforms for the viability of reusing and updating of an existing platform'. To all outward observers, the rifles looked like MAKO Pulse Rifles from the pre-Federation days of Starfleet, but anyone looking at their interiors would find they were as advanced as any modern phaser rifle, in a smaller and more easily managed package.
Mindo considered the idea of using the MAKO's, but the young Ensign was shaking his head. While Mindo would love nothing better than to vaporize the damn thing, he knew what he had to do. =/\= I think just the usual phaser on stun should suffice, though I know the MAKO's are still rather new. But I don't want to punch a hole in the ship. =/\=
=^=Didn't hurt to ask. How many people we gonna get on this? Not exactly flush in personnel on my end.=^= Meera said, standing up and heading to the armory section of her little office space, since it was also the security station for the ship. Yay double duty! At the very least she grabbed two hand phasers.
=/\= I think the two of us can probably handle it. Ensign Jeff here tells me womblets are pretty harmless to people. I figure stun it and take it back to Jeff's quarters. =/\=
Next to Mindo, the Ensign said, "My name's not Jeff." Mindo held up a finger to silence him. Just to reassure him, Mindo gave him a little nod.
=^=Well, you got a specific tube located? If so, I can meet you there. Otherwise, I'll meet you in Engineering.=^= Meera finishes, holstering one at her hip (she preferred the drop holster on her thigh personally, but that's mostly because then it wasn't in the way of the REST of her kit when geared up).
=/\= I'll meet you at the forward access panel on Deck Four. If you have an extra phaser, I could use one. =/\=
Mindo nodded to Crismore to take over in his absence. He then turned to the Ensign. "Don't worry Jeff. We'll get it back."
====Deck 4, Forward Access Panel====
Mindo arrived at the same time Deloria did.
"We've never been formally introduced," said Mindo, extending his hand upward. "I'm Mindo, Chief of Engineering."
Meera smirked, putting the hand phaser into Mindo's outstretched hand. "Oh we've met formally. It's actually finding time from all our paperwork and department fires to deal with to actually find time to get to know each other Chief." She says, checking her phaser to make sure it was ready.
"But for what it matters, I'm Meera Deloria, Chief of Security." She states, before kneeling to start opening the tube access. After a few quick code inputs and tugs to pull it out, the jeffery tube was opened to them. "You got a means to track this thing?"
Mindo held up his tricorder in response. With a nod, Meera ducked down and entered the tube. Mindo followed.
"OK," said Mindo, tapping on his tricorder. "I read him about two sections in, about twenty meters ahead. I've closed the access panels around the thing. According to Ensign Jeff, the womblet is a small creature, about the size of an Earth tarantula, or a horta larvae. Apparently he's also pretty fast."
Just then, the power began to fluctuate again, and the lights dimmed for a moment. "It should be pretty easy to apprehend," Mindo added.
Meera gave a nod, not at all concerned about Mindo being behind her. Sharp end of the stick, Marines were. "And hungry for power. Should make some of it easier to find. Can't be that many power lines running through these." Meera said. Oooh that inexperienced in the exact internal workings of a ship.
"It's probably feeding off of conduits," said Mindo as they approached the first access panel. Meera opened the small hatch and inside they found: nothing. There were exposed wires on the wall of the tube, electricity skipping and sputtering as they had been gnawed upon.
Meera couldn't see anything beyond gnawed wires and conduits, but waiting to see what Mindo had to say.
"That doesn't make any sense," said Mindo. "It should be right..." Just then, Mindo felt something brush past him. When he turned around he couldn't see anything. He immediately checked his tricorder. No readings. Following a hunch, he brought up the infrared display and saw a small blue glob with legs scurrying toward the way from where he and Deloria had just come.
"It has camouflage," said Mindo, already moving quickly to get it. When Mindo got to the access hatch and scanned the hallway, it was gone.
Chasing after the thing in the crawlspaces of the Jefferies tubes wasn't easy, especially when you couldn't actually SEE it. So, coming out, she had her weapon ready, and nodded. "Looked like. Any particular reason he got authorization to bring it aboard? especially since it could cause trouble AND be difficult to recover if it did so?"
Mindo gave a small shrug as he worked on his tricorder. "Perhaps our Captain was worried about other matters to really pay attention to some Ensign's pet. In any case, it's just down the hall, but it isn't moving." He looked up. "This way."
The small creature was only around the next corner, and when they found it, it no longer had its camouflage. It had brown, black, and yellow striped fur and small arms and hands. Its three-eyed face looked rather stunned.
Standing over it was another crewman, a Trill. She looked quite distressed.
"I accidentally stepped on it," she said. "Is it dead?"
Mindo knelt down next to it and scanned it. "No," he said. Just then, the little guy began to move again, slower this time. Mindo fumbled with his sidearm, but realized he wouldn't get it out in time.
With a quick flick of movement, Meera had drawn, aimed, set and fired her phaser, stunning the little bug. "Well then." She says, holstering her phaser again.
Mindo went over to it and gently picked it up. It was still breathing, which was good. It appeared hardly damaged.
"Thanks," said Mindo. "You're quite good at that."
"Combat reflexes honed in the heat of war." Meera said, shrugging.
Mindo stood up. "I should get this back to Ensign Jeff. I'm sure he can control it from there."
"Sounds good to me. That said, if you need any security work done, lemme know. Of course, if you want to get a better look at my ass, or other assets, we can talk about that." Meera said. "And hold onto the phaser till you get that thing back to his owner. Then bring it to the armory to be returned to storage."
"Will do," said Mindo. "Uh, rain check on the better look?"
Meera laughed. "It was a joke Chief. I try to avoid a bunch of the sterotypes, but there are some things that are just part and parcel of being an Orion." She says, giving a wave as she headed back to the Security office to turn her phaser into the armory, and get back to the paperwork.
Mindo stood in the hallway for a moment, not entirely sure if he should feel rejected or... teased. Chuckling to himself, he headed back the other way. Ensign Jeff would no doubt be anxious to get his pet back.