Breaking my subtle morph contact with Ship I trotted to the end of my quarters and called for Carpet who was never far from my door.
Leaving the port open I padded my way back to the viewing monitor.
‘What’s wrong Silo?’ Carpet asked the soft bio-shag rustling as he approached where I sat at my console.
‘I wish I knew. Ship and I were talking and she just stopped, no warning, she just stopped.’ I complained worriedly. ’Carpet, where's the
‘Deson’s in the Armory, Chumley was resting as you ordered and that Swarg’s back on deck.‘ Carpet clearly wasn’t thrilled with the Ensign.
‘Delia was last seen speaking with the Occupant of the escape craft the Intruder allowed on board Ship, but since yesterday none of them can be
found. Cim is preparing to leave Ship, if she hasn’t left already and Antar the Healer? Carpet sighed, ‘I’ve no idea.’
‘Thank you. Would you get Chumley in here please.’ I forced my voice to sound calm.
The ‘Intruder’ and ‘Occupant’ must be the ones who Ship had referred to earlier as ‘gone‘. But who was this Delia? My instincts told me
she was ‘gone’ with the other two. Turning back to the viewing screen and with a stroke of my fingers set the Auto-Scan and began a visual check
of the Yydryl shell.
Moments later Chumley entered my quarters and stood silently at attention waiting for my notice.
‘Chumley, have you had a chance to analyze the blood you found on the floor of the Recovery Bay?’ Eyes still glued to the full view of the Yydryl
on my screen I had my back to the door but my antenna tuned on the guard.
‘It’s Healer Antar’s blood.’
‘No Way!’ I spat, ‘Are you sure it’s Antar’s blood, I mean how did you analyze the it?‘ Giving poor Chumley no chance to explain I
‘I’m an idiot, that’s what I am! Why did I ask YOU to do an analysis? You‘re a guard not a doctor,‘ I giggled inappropriately, ‘but we
don’t have a doctor do we!’ I stifled another giggle horrified at myself. This was no time to get hysterical.
Interrupted by a pointed cough and a voice I didn’t recognize I should have been thankful. I was not.
‘Yes?’ I called over my shoulder all four of my eyes darting back to view screen where I was sure I’d detected a tiny flash of light break from
Ships inner shell.
‘Ensign Swarg here ATS Silo. I confirmed Healer Antar is missing after performing a full scan of Ship only moments after being apprised of
‘Yes, yes, whatever, thank you Swarg.’ I spoke over his pompous voice administering a verbal brush off. His inflated sense of importance set me
on edge and made me wonder why he was in my quarters.
‘And Chumley,’ I called to the guard, ‘You
still haven't told me how you confirmed the BLOOD WAS ANTAR’S!’ I barked.
‘I tasted it.’ He grunted.
Spinning on my heals I faced the huge Rigelian who stood there calmly blinking.
‘You WHAT!’ I bellowed at his navel and he took a step back.
‘I tasted it.’ He repeated.
‘Oh for Creators sake has everyone gone completely mental! Get out, all of you! Report to the bridge and don’t leave until I get there! Now go!
I shouted waving my hands before me to get them moving.
‘And Chumley’ I asked in hushed tones while waiting for the annoying Swarg creature to follow my orders and move beyond ear shot.
‘Yes Silo’ Chumley responded his lips quivering for all they were worth looking like two fat slugs fighting to lay along the same cleft above his
‘Don‘t you even THINK of crying!’ I bellowed again then ran my hands through my hair and spoke quietly and with all the kindness I could muster
real and feigned.
‘Wait. I’m sorry.‘ I breathed. ‘Chum, hun, really, just keep an eye on that Swarg fellow and get yourself off to the bridge. Go on now.
And Chumley,‘ I added laying my hand on his tentacle, ‘I’m counting on you.’
My moment of kindness was rewarded when he looked on me with pride before lumbering off to do his duty.
With a snort of disbelief I turned back to the console.
‘Carpet, what in the gwarks going on here!?’ I groused shutting down the monitors.
‘I wish I could tell you...’ Carpet answered softly as he lay a path before my feet.
‘None of this makes a bit of sense at all.‘ I cried out distracted and frustrated wondering if I’d find some answers to Ship’s silence on the
’Carpet, did Ship give you any hint she was about to stop communicating, and clue?’ I asked as I stepped over the threshold to the command
When Carpet didn’t answer I realized I’d left him off at the door and swore in that moment I’d have the fibers from the Yydryl halls extended
onto the bridge floor if it was the last thing I did.
Shaking my head in frustration I called out an order for Swarg to bring up a ‘live’ view on the monitor. The 180 degree wide floor to ceiling
portal wrapped around the lower bridge acting as a viewing screen as well as a window to space. As huge as it was I kept my antenna focused there
waiting to begin monitoring the Yydryl from the command post.
Slipping into a chair centered in the middle of a smaller raised deck I ran my hand over the palm console mounted in the arm rest and smiled when a
small holograph of the Yydryl materialized before me. Turning it this way and that with a twitch of my finger I played with the miniature Yydryl and
wondered if I’d really seen a flash of light off her shell.
‘Swarg, I’m still waiting on that live view.’ My eyes on the screen, my antenna now focused behind me I watched Swarg pull a face before
‘Yes ATS Silo.’ His replied snidely.
‘Get that look off your face mister or you’ll find yourself in the brig.’ I shot back in response to the oily insolence in his voice.
Turning in my direction Swarg all but stomped his way to the command chair where I'd come slowly to my feet.
For whatever reason Ensign Swarg wanted confrontation and I wasn’t about to disappoint him.
‘And by who’s orders will I ‘go to the brig‘?’ he snarled looming over me his eyes narrowing, his voice all but dripping venom.
Assuming I’d be intimidated by his nearness Swarg had completely invaded my space.
Wrong move Ensign.
‘By who’s authority?’ I repeated cheerfully, readying myself, ‘By Mine!’
Calling back on my mud-wrestling days and before Swarg knew what I was about I morphed my hand into the area below his security belt where my fingers
quickly found the weakest part of the Ensign’s anatomy. Grasping the two soft egg shapes nestled up under his groin I gave them a crushing
Dropping to his knees, his face gray and mottled, his mouth gaping open the Ensign choked back saliva and began a keening moan his head nodding to the
‘What are you about!’
I hissed snatching my hand back from inside the Ensign like I’d had been scalded.
There was something drastically wrong with Swarg, something grotesque inhabiting his body like a parasite, a thing so hideous I felt my throat clog
In my morph with the Ensign I sensed some type of implant so repulsive and invasive I knew I’d inadvertently stumbled on the problem causing his
erratic behavior, maybe even the problem we were having with Ship.
Chumley’s eyes caught mine as he entered the bridge and he read the situation perfectly. Drawing his weapon and taking aim on the creature huddled
at my feet the Rigelian guard moved with a speed belying his bulk, flew to my side, and positioned himself between me and the fallen Ensign.
‘Silo?’ He asked for a command.
Holding up my hand to stop Chumley from firing I told the guard to wait. ‘Hold on! He’s no threat at the moment.‘ Looking down at Swarg’s
shaking form I didn’t feel the least culpable for his condition.
‘Chumley, you said you analyzed the blood and found it was Antar’s by tasting it. What else can you taste?’ My voice conveyed my urgency and
though I was revolted I was in no position to be weak.
‘Everything.’ Chumley responded matter-of-factly.
‘Taste him.’ I commanded pointing at the Ensign wondering if I’d be able to keep my eyes open to witness what I’d ordered Chumley to do.
Swarg gazed up at me with a look of pure terror before beginning a mad crawl away from the guard and I while letting out little cries of fear.
In two steps Chumley had the Ensign by one leg and raised high above his head.
Dangling Swarg’s face only inches from his own Chumley smiled a mouthful of deadly green teeth, gave the Ensign a vicious shake, then a full face
lick with a tongue as long and thick as my arm.
Screaming and beating at the air the Ensign struggled to get away. Chumley obliged by tossing the terrified Swarg to the ground where he lay
‘And?’ I waited fascinated and relieved at once. I’d been sure Chumley was going to take a bite of the Ensign.
‘He’s dirty. He’s got something dirty in him. Something bad.’ The guard spat viciously wiping the inside of his mouth with his tentacle
then rubbing the spittle off on the front of his chest.
‘Good work, take him to the brig. Oh, and Chum,’ I said for the Ensign’s ears, ‘If he tries to escape? Eat him.’ I winked at Chumley who
looked at me queerly probably thinking I had something in my eye.
Running a hand over my mouth to hide a smile at the sour look on Chumley’s face I watched him prod the prisoner off the bridge and felt sure Swarg
would give us no problems while I figured out how to help him.
Returning to the command chair I flung myself down to poke at the intercom in hopes I’d find Deson in the Armory. While waiting for him to respond
I summoned a working droid and commanded it to get some rug fibers growing from the hallway onto the bridge without delay.
The next time I sat in this chair it would be with Carpet at my side.
[edit on 26-7-2009 by silo13]