Canopus Station
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The Giving Tree 2.0

Posted on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 @ 11:17am by Bar'soon'fo'da'gree'nars & Lieutenant Commander Gerrin Rhonin & Master Chief Petty Officer Ryan Terry

Mission: S2:2: Best Laid Plans
Location: Engineering Module, Main Fabricator
Timeline: MD1: 20.15

Bar'soon poked at the screen, referring to the scrap of flexi he'd scrawled the code down on, and hit enter again.

"Acess denied. Clearance level insufficient for access."

Bar'soon kicked the main control console, and then ineffectually slapped at the holographic control pane.

"OH! You infernal machine! My clearance is for 'basic necessities'! NECESSITIES!!! What could be more necessary than a golden trumpet! It is required!" The blue-skinned alien prince looked around for his major domo. In his experience finding the manager usually got things sorted out.

Gerrin walked into the Main Fabricator to find a blue-skinned alien and stopped rather abruptly. The unknown wasn't catching him off guard as much as it was the day before. But the unknown in here... He turned to look at his companion, Master Chief Terry, with a look of 'this is odd' on his face.

"Oh! Finally!" Bar'soon said upon seeing Gerrin. "I have been sweltering before the mill stone of this infernal contraption for nigh on ten minutes trying to make it work, and finally they send an engineer to fix my troublesome woe!"

He then made a little presentational gesture towards the industrial replicator.

"So...you know...make it work. Chop chop, I have a line of pastry chefs to serened with my talent and I require a brass flouting instrument with which to inspire them! I used to do that all the time you know when I was home, every year at the solstice during the peasant races. I'd play the horn, and my guards would run down the crowd with poleaxes...oh what a festive time of year that was," Bar'soon sighed happily.

"Well aren't you the talkative one," said Gerrin. "I hate to disappoint you, but I'm not an engineer. Station security also wears this color. That being said, you would be who?"

"Who am I? Who am I? Have you not heard of me? I mean I tell people, but it's not like I can implant something in their brains to track their cognition. Apparently that breaks medical rules of ethics or some such. Its a barrier to good communication!" Barsoon said huffily, before taking a breath. "I am Bar'soon'fo'da'gree'nars, Third of my Title, holder of the lightning throne, guardian of the sacred skulls of Antiok and ruler of the world of Shishimi and all its celestial companions."

He let out a sigh.

"I feel dirty just saying it like a common plebian. Not even my faithful underling is here to say it on my behalf, I must sully my tongue by licking the words free of my lips," he shuddered, spitting out the last word. He then looked at Gerrin. "You sound informed. So not an engineer. But you do know how to make these machine work? Because it's not working for me, and it only ever seems to make wire."

Wherever Daihnaa was remained to be seen, but an incredibly tall human in a gold uniformed collar stood behind the Security Chief. He looked at Bar'soon and then at Gerrin. "Want me to move him, Sir?" he asked.

"I will not be moved by someone with hands like hams! Besides, I'm almost certain I've not gone against any of the rules. I've certainly done less than the fiend who went ahead and replicated all of the wire that is still spilling out of the replicator at the end of the bay," Bar'soon said, throwing a hand in the direction.

"Which is what we've come for," Ryan told the alien. "Now if you'd step aside, I wouldn't need to use these hams," he held them up and slowly made fists. "To move you."

"Well I never!!" Bar'soon huffed, and the imperiously clapped his hands...and waited. "Give her a moment. She's green you know, and my mother always said if someone was green they were untrustworthy but I do so hate my mothers still burning bones. I do it to spite her you see, and she says the nicest things about me. For instance, do you know my kidneys look adorable? I did not know that, but now I do! It was a revelation!"

Bar'soon! he thought. 'Funniest Home Videos 2390.' That Bar'soon. Gerrin turned to Ryan, "Let's call moving him Plan B. Mr. Bar'soon," he said, redirecting his focus, "I have a couple of questions for you. Did you fill out the correct paddwork to request permission to use the industrial replicator? If not, that might be part of why you're locked out. Next, how about the paddwork to requisition a horn or trumpet? Someone might not take to kindly to you tooting your own horn around the station as your trying to make people run." One of those was certainly a stretch and the other one could be seen as a close second. "Tell you what, you've already told us what you want, I can write that down. Why don't you go over to that table and fill out those padds I mentioned and give them to me. I'll personally make sure they find their way to the Security Chief's desk." In the meantime, he and the Master Chief could get what they needed.

"That sounds awfully...menial..." Bar'soon said the word with utmost distaste, looking to the table and the padds. Never before had he looked upon such a slippery slope as this: first a few forms, and before you knew it he'd be working for a living! The horror of it.

"I think you're punishing me," Bar'soon said, and then pointed down the room to its far end. "After all, someone has had that replicator making coils of wire for well over an hour before I arrived and I don't see you...huum, that's odd. All the wire's got up and gone."

Tik-tik-tik came from somewhere within the fabricator hall. The sound of metal claws connecting with sizzling discharge against the deck plate.

"Wires don't just get up and move," Ryan said, then stopped when he heard the odd sound.

"No duh, someone has to pick them up," Bar'soon said with a roll of his eyes so fierce the friction alone should have set his head ablaze. "Someone for whom menial labour is a way of life. Like you. Well. Like both of you. Look at you, strapping young...males...I think. You all look the same to me. I'm very inclusive. but yes, the only way for the wire to have moved is if someone picked it up. Or, you know, if an infovore parasite got into your computer systems and began to print itself physical instantiations."

"A what parasite?" Ryan asked as he looked at the Security man and back to the alien. "Describe it and how it works that a parasite can print a physical presence?"

"And you'll grant me full replicator access? I think that is a fantastic price to pay for my wealth of knowledge, a bargain. And after the conclusion of this negoaitiontion, I shall sit down upon my purloined throne and write a book, the Art Of The Deal. It'll be a huge success, just ask-..." Bar'soon trailed off at the looks he was being given.

"Well, I don't know all of the fancy terms, but I do know they are a data life form not unlike the Myriad who cultivate them in their ships data architecture. They use them as a passive defence system, as the infovores are drawn to uninfected data storage media into which they can expand. But you see, the insidiousness of the Myriad is keenly seen here, as the infovores are preprogram to use any native fabrication facility to forge bodies made of a...sort of....super wire. Very zappy," Bar'soon let out a cough, blue blood sputtering from his lips as he looked down as the burnt black hole in his chest from which a jagged twisted wire claw protruded.

"Like THIS!!!!" Bar'soon wailed as he was thrown across the hall, coming apart as his lower half was atmosied by the discharge. Leaving behind a fully formed Wire Wolve, electrical discharge making its metal bones glow black in contrast...

And now the air smelled of cinnamon. (Editorial note: the Shishimi, for all their lack of technology in regards to star travel, have made something of a meteoric advancement in biochemistry. And following the creation of the Lightning Throne in the 4th And A Half Dynasty of Wii, tonic's to ensure ones temporary corpse does indeed smell like roses became something of a fad.)

"What the never loving flock?" Ryan exclaimed when the alien got tossed and cut in half by the wire. Further unintelligible words came from his mouth when he saw the electrical wires discharging and in the shape of some animal. "RUN!" He bellowed and turned to vacate the area in a distance eating sprint.

What happened over the last couple of minutes, including the sound, wasn't good. Gerrin recognized the sizzling discharge from the earlier encounter with Wire Wolves. Before he could say anything, Bar'soon began waxing eloquent on a passive defense Myriad parasite before the top half of him was laying a good bit away. Gerrin followed Ryan's example and took off at a full run.

"Rhonin to Security!" he screamed as he tapped his badge and ran. "Evacuate the Industrial Fabricators and surrounding areas and lock them down! Damned electrical wolves are coming out of the replicators!" He didn't wait for replies but instead tapped it to close the channel and then again to open another one. "Rhonin to Ingram! The wolves are coming out of the Main Fabricator. Bar'soon says they're the product of a Myriad infovore parasite." Gerrin continued to run, hoping that he was faster than a Wire Wolf.

The two Starfleet officers were, in fact, faster than a Wire Wolf: but not by much. It kept stopping to sweep it's arcing claws against the replicators, opening them up to reveal blackened and smoking innards. Hazard alarms began to bleat as the truly noxious smoke from the wrecked machines began to curl up into the ceiling.

And then the heavy clunking of shutters began to rumble, as the life support system began to seal off the Fabractor hall from the rest of the station.

From the entrance to the hall two security guards stood, holding bizarre rifles of a familiar Starfleet design scheme. Part rail gun, part cross bow, the T-98 had been pitched Starfleet as a Borg Buster. And now with solid elemental silver darts on its rails, the two security officers provided Rhonin and Ryan covering fire. The rifles made a high pitched whine before firing with a smack of displaced air, sending a worryingly visible silver dart through the air to impact against...anything but the Wire Wolf.

Phasers didn't need to be lead to a target, they were literally point and click.

"Come on!" One of the guards said in frustration, adjusting their aim as another Fabricator died. "Hurry!"

"Shoot in front of them!" Ryan shouted as a suggestion as he ran past the guard at a near sprint, which was truly impressive for his size.

One of the guards took heed, lowered their aim, and fire. With a solid sounding thunk the dart struck the deck liner and sank in a meter ahead of the Wire Wolf. The effect was nearly instantaneous as the wolfs right forelimb came close to it, there was a brilliant flash of arcing energy. The wolf toppled that right forelimb now a useless collection of discharged wire and metal.

As he ran, the Engineer programmed his tricorder to give a brief EMP and hoped that would work. He restricted it to a ten foot radius, set it for three seconds, then tossed it back at the metallic monster as he continued to run.

Gerrin followed closely behind as they ran by the guards. Today had to the be one of the worst in his career. He looked over to Ryan as he tossed the tricorder back and hoped whatever he was doing would work. Something needed to slow these creatures down.

There was a pause.

And then the Tricorder let out a friendly bleep of activation.

What followed was the mother of all thunderclaps and a light bright enough to blaze through the closed eyes of those who had the misfortune of looking at it. The Wire Wolf was gone, as were three of the massive industrial replicators, part of the deck and the ceiling bulkhead. Later analysis would show that a perfectly spherical void had been chomped out of the air centred on the Wire Wolf.

"I'M BLIND!!"

Bar'soon walked into a wall with a thud, landing on his ass as the long drooping ear lobe that had been plastered over his eyes came free. His legs were regrowing, though apparently not at the same rate as his left as a foot shorter than his right.

Of all the things he'd seen in short lifespan, this was certainly not one of them. Gerrin briefly stared at the stumbling...man...whom he'd just seen cut in half. No security profile could have prepared him for the actual experience. Of course, what had just happened in the corridor made that list as well. Through bouts of catching his breath, "I, I think you'll be fine."

"Really?" Bar'soon asked, his tear-filled eyes slowly turning from white orbs to more colourful sparkling hue. "Oh! Oh I can see! Oh it is a joyous occasion to be sure! Quickly, a mirror, I need a mirror to make sure my clothes survived the assault!"

"No mirror on hand," said Gerrin. "But I'm sure that you can find a reflective panel around here someplace that would work." He turned to Ryan. "Nice work, Master Chief. I certainly call that 'thinking on your feet.'"

"Hello? Excuse me? I was panicking about my clothing? You know, pressing immediate issue," Bar'soon said, now tapping his foot which was now of an equal length to his other.

"Thank you, Sir," Ryan said as he continued to move in the general direction of away from where the Wire Wolf had been. "I suggest you contact the others and suggest using EMP's on those things, with a warning that it'll blow a hole in whatever it's on top of or around."

"Indeed," replied Gerrin. He activated his combadge and notified his security officers on the change in tactics. He also let the Captain know. "There are other, more pressing issues than your clothing," he said to Bar'soon. "An individual of your status can have someone tailor you some new ones. In the meantime, I recommend finding something to cover your lower half."

"Why?" Bar'soon asked with a bemused look. "You know where I come from it would be a great honour to be in the presence of myself and myself. People would line up for days, there would be fights for pride of place, riots would break out!"

He sighed happily.

"Oh...oh I do miss it so," he said wistfully as he sniffed the air. "Does anyone else small barbeque?"

Gerrin gestured to the area where Bar'soon's old lower half lay, still smoldering. "That'd be your ex," he said.

"Oh. Oh my," Bar'soon said, adding a little bit guilty. "I do smell delicious though."

Gerrin stopped for a moment and looked bewildered at Bar'soon. "Well, I somehow think that may be your opinion only."

"As though any other matter?" Bar'soon said incredulously.

One of the security guards spoke into their combadge, and walked over to Terry and Rhonin.

"Excuse Sir, Chief, Chief Ricci and Diplomat Lu'kat are setting up the lure and lightning rod in the agri dome. Captain Ingram has requested you aid them. He'd have called you directly but comm's range is down to about three frames in any direction, and that signal got relayed through at least four people before it got to me."

"Then we should go faster," Ryan said. "And leave that thing before. It smells."

"Relay back to the Captain that we're on our way," said Gerrin.

"Right away, Sir," Ryan said before he did just that.

 

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