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Bug Guts

Posted on Wed Jun 19th, 2019 @ 11:00pm by Lieutenant JG Clarissa Morton & Commander Titus Livius Drusus PhD

Mission: Starbase 332, Where Are You?
Location: Science Department - Biology Labs

Lieutenant JG Clarissa Morton was ecstatic. So far, she'd been left in the dirt, waiting on the astrometrics specialists to finish analyzing all of the star data they'd been collecting to figure out their exact location, but the call finally came to her to do something. Xenobiology was a useful focus of training on a Starbase, but when you were suddenly lost, people got less interested in which native species is most likely to eat you, and more interested in where they were. Curiosity was piqued as she stepped through the door to the biology lab she'd been summoned to, "You wanted to see me, sir?" She asked, somewhat surprised to see the Chief of Science standing there.

Drusus was in a hurry and he didn't waste time with anything resembling a preamble as Morton entered the lab. He held up a PADD and just started talking. "Lieutenant Morton, I've got a time critical assignment for you and we don't have time for you to do anything other than be briefed and get to work. Understood?"

"I... uh... yes," Clarissa stammered, surprised by the abruptness. "I mean, yes, sir. Sir. Where do I start?" She corrected. Decorum counted, after all.

"Excellent," the Magna Roman said, tossing the PADD to her. "A short time ago the USS Carthage was destroyed by a swarm of unidentified biological life forms." He pointed to the PADD, "That is all the sensor data on these life forms collected by the USS Yucatan, which barely managed to escape and limp back to us. Are you with me so far?"

Clarissa clamped a hand over her mouth... her friend Ramona had served on the Carthage, the other woman had been like a sister to her... Her heart broke, but she managed to maintain composure. She swallowed hard and lowered her hand, clearing her throat, "I'm with you sir," She replied, just a bit hoarsely.

"Good. Then here's the problem," he paused briefly, making sure he had her attention. "They're coming for us next. They have no weapons, but they move quickly and they're tough. They use claws with incredible strength and spit some kind of corrosive substance, both of which seem capable of inflicting extensive damage; enough to destroy a starship."

Clarissa cleared her mind as best she could and picked up the PaDD while Dursus spoke, looking over the readouts and scans. The creatures were terrifying to say the least, both visually and statistically.

"I've had an initial look at the data from the Yucatan, so I don't need the surface stuff. What I need from you, Lieutenant, is a deeper analysis. We need a way to defend ourselves from these things and the answer is buried somewhere deep in that data. I need you to find it."

Clarissa nodded, "Aye, sir. I'll find something. How much time do we have to find it?" She asked, finally looking back up at her superior officer.

"Not enough," Drusus replied. "They'll be here in a matter of hours so the sooner you can find something - anything - the better prepared we'll be. Any other questions?"

Clarissa worked her mouth for a moment as if working through a long list of questions before finally settling on, "May I use your lab equipment, sir? Mine has been down for maintenance for the last several house due to a power surge from the ion storm," She asked, grinning sheepishly.

Drusus narrowed his eyes at the unexpected request before glancing around the lab. "Yes, of course," he said as his focus returned to Clarissa. "Pull whatever resources or personnel you need, on my authority. I want a progress report as soon as I'm finished with senior staff." He started for the door and stopped and turned at the threshold. "Oh, and don't touch my good microscope," he said, then he was gone.

Clarissa started barking orders as soon as the Chief was gone, getting everyone into action to get the best crew possible for the research. Now, only one pressing bit of information remained... Which one was the good microscope?


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