« Last post by EchoMirage on Yesterday at 09:11:57 AM »
The ship had had an automated maintenance bot service once. The dysfunctional shells cluttered up their bays in the walls; only occasionally, a light flickered or a servo whirred in an attempt to resume their function. Still, there would be good parts to build several annoying scampering drones. Jerome plundered the bays, pulling the robots out like bunnies from burrows. They even protested meekly at time: "Please place this unit with its tracks facing the floor?" in a voice that reminded Jerome of a chubby bashful girl. "Don't worry, you will be remade into a more glorious purpose" he smiled.
The aliens and the women were not around, just Quan could be heard from the bridge, listening to psychedelic electronic beats. But then, the Lila was significantly larger that the somewhat cramped Prize. He chuckled at the thought of sitting on each others' heads with a pack of aliens. Who knew? Perchance they'd hire more hands someday? Or, he could use the extra bunks to store robots.
Sunny observed the strange joining raptly, commenting into her wrist comp and absentmindedly petting whatever Kotiri came close. In the same tone, she added in between sentences: "Autumn, stand back, if something goes wrong, run to the bridge."
Then, she proceeded to comment.
"Peristaltic movement of the appendage indicates small quantities of content passing to the human; flow is unidirectional, flow rate appears to be several grams per minute at most. Movements of the appendage indicate activity besides transfer of contents, likely related to the manipulators at its end."
"The human does not appear to be in pain; rather, eye movements and muscle tone indicate a state similar to REM sleep."
"The alien appears paralysed; muscle tone is high, but no movement is visible. Its eyes and most other sensory openings are closed."
To Autumn, it seemed an eternity, and visions of the Kotiri falling upon Sunny, to turn her into some strange creature, flooded her mind.
T'was then that Helia's voice showed some excitement.
"The transfer has stopped. The human's muscle tone is rising."
"The appendage appears to move further inside the human... and detaches from its former owner, without a visible wound. A lumen and manipulators similar to those on the end initially inserted into the human are visible."
"The alien awakens, and hands me the human."
Sunny caught the unconscious Irina; the difference in their build was pronounced by the contrast - the slender sinewy doctor appeared willowy next to the muscular captain.
"The appendage is fully withdrawn."
"The human's pulse is quickening; same is true for breathing."
She then smiled, and patted the captain's cheek: "Good morning, sunshine."
"Good morning" Irina replied sarcastically, then stood on her own, swayed, placed both of her hands on her own forehead, shaking it thoroughly then.
More confident than when she went into the storage room, she nodded to the other two women: "Let's take them home. We will be able to handle them now."