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Ticking time bomb

Posted on Sun Dec 31st, 2023 @ 4:16pm by Lieutenant Commander Bonnie "Bon-Bon" Durnell & Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Commander Dean House & Lieutenant Commander Thriss Kla'ren & Lieutenant Commander Aurora Vali & 1st Lieutenant Kate Score & Lieutenant JG Blake Leone & Ensign Aubrie Fox & Ensign Kitiuas Thenis

Mission: Halloween
Location: Sunfire
Timeline: Enroute to Iota Geminorum

The first day en route to Iota Geminorum went fairly smoothly. The Sunfire was traveling at Warp 7, but they still had a good 24 hours of flight time before entering the system where the tribbles were kept. The creature still hovered over Rhenora's shoulder, an uncomfortable reminder of what was at stake. Towards the end of her shift, the Captain headed for her ready room, aware that she would have company even in her private office.

"Commander Savar, you have the bridge. Commander House, let me know if you come up with anything" she commented as she rose from her command chair.

Savar nodded crisply, "Understood Captain." As he moved to the vacated center seat.

"Still working on it. The Klingons are being particularly slow to respond..." Dean gave a little nod.

"Please remind all crew that any and all ideas on how to get out of this mess will be entertained, no matter how trivial" With that said she withdrew to the peace of the ready room. Ronson noted her mood and where she was heading and excused himself from his bridge post, ducking into the small room off the side of the ready room designated for the use of the ship's Yeoman. He brewed a particular blend of coffee he knew she would appreciate and slipped quietly through the small doors.

"Captain," he said by way of announcing his presence, sliding the coffee cup onto her desk accompanied by a salad, sandwich, and a sweet morsel. He looked at the creature. "Is there something that I could offer you to ease your hunger?"

The creature created a mouth and seemed to think about the act of speaking with it.

"Starving we are" it murmured, "to survive we need sustenance."

"I think the last time you took 'sustenance' from me it aged me a good 20 years" Ronson ran a shaky hand through his grey streaked hair.

The Captain mused for a moment as though considering her options. She hated seeing beings suffer, any beings, not if there was anything she could do about it.

"Ronson, I'm gonna need a few extra sandwiches" she murmured, rising from her chair and stepping over to the creature. "You may take what you need to survive, but understand this. If you continue to feed, and either myself or the child I carry are harmed or die, any chance of your kind receiving a sustainable food source will die with me. Do you understand?"

"Understand" it replied and Ronson looked terrified.

"Uhhh are you sure?" he stammered as he regarded the Captain.

"Someone has to show some trust, that's going to be me. And I won't ask anyone to do something I wasn't able or willing to do myself." Rhenora replied. "But Dr Wilson should be notified, as well as Commander Savar in case things don't go well". She held out her hands towards the creature and waited.

It moved forward, wrapping tendrils around her body and mind, tentatively tasting, gauging how much it could take without harming her.

Ronson backed away as the creature's hue brightened, he scurried back onto the bridge and stammered what was going on in the ready room to all and sundry.

Hearing what Ronson had said, Savar rose from the center seat and moved swiftly to Rhenora's ready room.

Back in the ready room the creature probed, nothing the lack of fear, the blossoming of hope and the feeling of resolution emanating from its food source. She seemed content that if this was to be her end she would accept it. This confused it. It proved further, taking what it needed whilst trying to leave her with enough to continue the journey. It fought with its own hunger. Here was a willing feed, it could take what it wanted without hesitation, yet to do so would sentence its entire race to starvation. It struggled with holding back, with only taking enough to ensure its own survival.

Savar entered to see the creature glowing a bright blue, with Rhenora enveloped within its tendrils. "Captain!" He didn't shout but his voice was raised to gain attention.

The creature noticed this new arrival and paused, before finishing its feed and releasing its captive. For the Captain, it was a bizarre experience. It was as though someone had inflicted a mortal wound and she could feel her life force draining away slowly, yet powerless to do anything about it. Almost as though she were an observer to the experience. There wasn't any pain, merely the feeling of being drained.

"I will survive," the creature said as it withdrew one tendril at a time, its hue now brighter than it was before. "As will your Captain". It spoke in perfect modern Bajoran, translated via the universal translator into modern standard.

It was at this point that Dr Wilson erupted into the room in a flurry of med kits. "Holy geez!" She exclaimed as she witnessed the final few moments of the feed.

She motioned for Savar to stand ready behind the Captain, and prepped her tricorders for goodness knows what condition the ship's CO would be in.

Savar nodded to Dr. Wilson, indicating he was ready for any task that he was called on to perform as he took up a position behind the captain.

The last tendril released and the Captain buckled at the knees, caught by the ever ready XO.

"You will find that she will recover readily. She is strong, as is her child. We have not experienced such compassion before. Even if you are all unable to find a permanent solution, we will release you. Your kind deserves more than to just be sustanance" the creature, now bright, bowed it's head. "Noone had ever showed us such kindness"

It took Rhenora a few minutes to regain her footing and strength, her hair now a little greyer and her face lined with a few more wrinkles. "I offered it... sustenance. As a show of trust," she murmured as Sarah deposited another hypo into her neck. After another moment or so she stood, patting him on the arm to thank him for his assistance.

"I really wish you'd consulted with me first" Sarah grumbled as she ran another tricorder scan over the Captain. "Ronson, grab a big plate of food, and a strong coffee"

The Yeoman nodded and scarpered.

The creature stood quietly watching this interaction with a new understanding. "Your kind does not prey on others, nor does it try to dominate."

Savar nodded at the captain's pat before he addressed the creature. "You will find there is much you need to learn about our kind and not just for sustenance. However, if you do require sustenance in the future, choose me and spare the captain. My species is extremely long-lived, draining me of some of my energy will not cause as much harm as it does the captain."

"Your kindness is acknowledged and appreciated. What I have drawn shall sustain me for several weeks. Long enough to return to our world on my own should I need to" the creature bowed its head in reverence of Savar's offer. "However I believe the phrase is 'I will keep you in mind'"

"Your Captain offered her mind as understanding. Whilst certain areas remained concealed, I was able to access her memories and her logic centres. The current solution of tribbles may be sufficient in the short term, but I believe there may be some moral ramifications. Commander House suggested synthetic hunters. We believe these to be our best alternative so that no moral anguish be suffered by your crew"

Having recovered her voice the Captain spoke from the lounge. "We are working towards that solution, as you now know we are waiting for the Klingons" she offered between bites of sandwich.


There was a shake of Dean's head a little bit, "Let's all just rush off at once. Aside from the fact we have jobs to do, The Captain has it handled and if not, well.. the Spectres just sealed their fate." Said loud enough to certainly be heard. Pressing the comm button on his console, "Commander Durnell would you come to the Bridge please."

Bonnie, had been caught sampling cucumber sandwiches from various cultures in the lounge. The most recent one was still lodged in the back of her throat as she tapped her badge. "Ooon min'oo, omma'er, oon my 'ay." then she closed channels and swallowed hard, followed by a sweet, milky drink to wash it down. After apologizing to the server, she ran out of the room, bumping into only one table on her way.

A minute or two later, she arrived on the bridge, all smiles with a bit of cucumber sauce still shining in the corner of her mouth. She walked down and around the bridge until she came face to face with Dean, "You called sir?"

[Deck Four, Cryptozoology lab]

Ensign Thenis was in her office, as she was not on bridge duty for that day, and was circumspectly monitoring the creature, using the internal sensors of the ship to gather data on it. She was currently feeding several of her arachnid and insects when suddenly her monitor beeped. She quickly closed the enclosure on her Sydney Funnel-Web Spider, then set a level 5 force field around the enclosure; last thing she wanted was the little beauty getting free. She then walked over to her station and brought up the data. There it was, it appeared the creature was “feeding”; as the computer ran her algorithm she had created. She frowned but was not surprised by the results. With a sigh she hit her comm badge =/\=Ensign Thenis to Captain Rhenora and Commander Savar, may I see you sirs in the Captain’s ready room?=/\=

Dr Wilson looked up as the communication came through. "They're both in the ready room, you're welcome to come up" she answered, making sure the Captain was seated on the couch and munching.

Kit got up from her desk, grabbed her PaDD with the data, sighed, and made her way to the Captain’s Ready Room.


"I did. Figured out a way that should ease some of your trepidation about the plan with the Tribbles." Dean lowered his voice just enough for Bonnie to hear him. Raising it back to normal now, "I need a little help getting the Klingons to respond back faster. Any ideas?"

"You're going an awfully long way, out of your way, just to appease me," Bonnie replied surprised. "I don't even want to know why at this point. If you want Klingons to respond faster, you have to make yourself an important target. They won't come to just any beck and call, you really have to give them reason." She stared at him hoping he would understand her meaning.

She wasn't exactly an expert on Klingon affairs though she did know a thing or two from her History lessons with her papa. Klingons were honor-bound and useful in a fight. The cream often rose to the top so to speak. Bonnie often wondered how their race had never destroyed itself and then she was reminded that they had almost done so many times. When a race places its military above all else, it's bound to suffer the consequences eventually.

"Well... I hate to disappoint you, but it wasn't going out of my way to appease you. It's not just weighing on you so I came up with an alternative." Dean held up a finger. "However, you did come up a little more prominently in thought." Now giving one of his signature grins, "Those faint of heart with language and threats of death and gore, best cover your ears."

She now felt silly for thinking she was the only one who cared about Tribbles while at the same time was grateful Dean had given her some consideration. She reacted by holding her hands over her ears for good measure.



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