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A Meeting Of The Medically Minded

Posted on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 @ 1:00pm by Lieutenant Arkady Sjet Dr & Lieutenant JG Taylor Aquilus

Mission: S2E2 - Vindeux
Location: Xenobiology Lab
Timeline: MD 101 12.34

“Are you sure?”

“Is as good a reason than not.”

Mallady shrugged at the Russian CMO’s reply, and the pair returned to looking into the open Jefferey tube cover. What had once been a locked hatch was open just enough to allow someone's hand to slip between it. And along its upper edge was a glistening wet smear drying in the Vindex’s climate controlled air.

“Besides,” Arkady said philosophically. “Will build character.”

“Unless he falls to his death,” Mallady pointed at out, her mandibles clicking rapidly together in what Arkady assumed was a chuckle and not a hungry sigh at the thought of carrion.

“In my experience, it is what the junior officers are for. Besides I cannot go, am important now. Captain would not enjoy finding new supplier of little pastries. And you cannot, as you are bug lady with the shoulders and spiky claws,” Arkady mused thoughtfully. “No…no for this we will need a nurse. New nurse. I will call him whilst you go replicate net for catching of laboratory assistant.”

“Okay,” Mallady said with a chipper set to her tone, her attendance flicking to and fro. “I’m just happy your not sending me on the hunt.”

“Doctor Sjet to Nurse Aquilus, you are required in the Xenobiology Lab. Bring torch with you,” Arkady said, before noticing Mallady was gesturing to him. “Oh, and bag of lunch.”

Finishing the Blood test he was running, Taylor smirked to himself at his boss's request and said "Acknowledged Lieutenant, on my way" before grabbing his trauma kit and replicating a chicken salad and walking out of Sickbay.

A few minutes of time pass and soon the trio are united in the Xenobiology lab. Its main feature is a large wading tank filled with odd shaped plastic items and puzzle pieces, though there were other containment enclosures around the walls. Dominating the lab space entirely was the CMO, a burly Russian of the 'hard knock life': or at least his many time's broken nose was. He quickly crossed the space and embraced Taylor's in a hug.

Hugging the gruff, fatherly looking man back, Taylor smiled at Mallady "Nice to meet you".

"Is time of welcomings, but is time of midget," Arkady said, taking the chicken salad lunch and putting it on the counter. "Have you met Petty Officer Mallady?"

A hand that looked a lot like a set of pincers waved, revealing a tall sharply angled frame of an insectoid. Human proportioned, with a few too many reverse canted joints, Mallady tried to smile in the human fashion. Mandibles made for rending do not make pretty smiles.

"Tell me, Mister Taylor, do you have the fear of the enclosed spaces?" Arkady asked philosophically, his arm now over Taylor's shoulder as he walked him towards the open maintenance hatch.

Gulping slightly and smiling wryly, Taylor turned to Arkady and said "Why do I feel like I'm about to be drafted?" before chuckling half with mirth and half with an impending sense of doom and nervousness.

"No, no, no," Arkady said patting Taylor on the back as he stood before the open hatch. "I would much prefer you think of this as volunteer mission. But without choice. Besides, it is of most importance that this is done. I myself cannot go, and Petty Officer Mallady cannot."

"Last time I went through one of these maintenance crawl spaces I pulled a claw off. Screamed like a larva," Mallady's mandibles chittered disagreeably. "I'm not doing that again."

"Do not worry. She took her anger out on Jem'Hadar soldier, beat him to death with his own arm. Most impressive." Arkady said breezily taking Taylors lunch bag and putting it on a low table. He then took the torch and examined it. "Very nice. You follow orders well. This is sign of goodness."

He directed the beam from the torch at the open hatch, as Mallady pushed the carbon fibre net into his hands.

"We will be in constant communication whilst you work, using internal sensors to direct your effort," Arkady informed him. "Trail should still be freshness to track."

Looking at the net with a quizzical expression, Taylor looked at Arkady and said "Why do I have a net? and what trail?! What have you signed me up for Arkady?"

"Is tiny little photochromatic Trillian cephalopod. Some children who come in here call Barney a 'cuddle fish'. Is very good at hiding, and at disabling complicated electromagnetic locks," Arkady grumbled. "Is as big as melon. You know what is melon yes? Well melon sized fun fellow has escaped tank, and entered the Jefferies tube network."

Arkady pushed the torch into his hand.

"You are to go in, follow the wet trail until you find Barney. Be careful, he is able to change his skin chromatophores to match the pulsings of the optic nerve. You will not see him with eye. We will see him with internal sensors, and will direct you."

"He's just a clingy little bundle of fun. No problem at all," Mallady pipped up.

Looking somewhat perplexed by the whole situation, but with a huge smile on his face, Taylor looked Arkady dead in the eye and said "So, you want me to crawl around in the Jeffries tubes, chasing an invisible lemon?" before just bursting out laughing.

"No. I want you crawl around chasing bored little problem solver who can turn invisible and cant outsmart best lock made to keep tank closed," Arkady patted him on the back. "Think of this as chance to build character. Do not want others to think you cannot catch tiny little squid with the cute face and big eyes?"

"You know what, Arkady, this sounds like a laugh, but could we make it easier? Maybe by switching off artificial gravity in the jeffries tube here?"

"I am Russian doctor, not Scottish engineer. Also is not crazy democracy, is ranked dictatorship and Mallady is my thug," Arkady commented with a level gaze.

"Hey! I thought we settled on minion?"

"Is not careful will become 'Critter'," "Arkady rolled eyes. "Okay is deal. You get in, and will see if gravity can be affected to make your job easier. But remember Barney is very important to me, and to the small children who visit him."

Arkady then leaned closer to Taylor, and in a very quiet voice that promised great deals of pain upon failure said: "You do not want to make children cry? Yes?"

That wasn't a question.

Looking slightly nervous, Taylor replied with a dejected sounding "I suppose not" before gaining some confidence and saying "But Arkady, the drinks are on you tonight" before taking the chicken and looking mournfully down the open tube.

"Khoroshiy mal'chik," Arkady said, watching as Taylor entered the crawl space, the deck grating rattling as he vanished into the bowels of the Vindex. He nodded approvingly and turned back to Mallady...and then noticed Barney's tank.

Within were the usual collection of rocks, foam toys for clever little sapient to figure out, and a little clay figurine of a man wearing an ancient style of diving suit. But amid the clutter of Barney's personal effects were strips of brown material floating in the water, along with white crumbs and strands of torn chicken.

And lettuce.

Arkady watched as one of the strands of torn chicken seemed to go to warp speed, vanishing into a little cubby hole between two foam cubes. And there, eating the remains of a sodden sandwich, was the googly-eyed purple trouble maker Barney.

"Should I call Taylor back?" Mallady asked, as she settled the lid back onto Barney's tank, adding a pair of weights pilfered from the gymnasium.

"No," Arkady said slowly. "I said will build character, this still builds character."

"And upper body strength, given there's a vertical shaft or two in there."

"Dah, dah..."


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