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Posted on 20 Apr 2019 @ 10:22am by Ensign Trixia Sh'rhovek

Mission: Gremlins


[Main Computer Core]

"Yes, sir," Trixia said as she accepted the PADD from Lieutenant Bukowski.  She hurried out of the room to get to her next repair job.  While she walked she glanced down at the PADD.  Then she had to stop.  "Oh my god," she muttered as her antennae twitched in concern.  The list of repairs were just growing.  She had been all over the ship three times already, and it seemed like they had made zero progress.  "What's going on, the ship was perfect yesterday."

She didn't have much time to worry about that, she had a job to do… Well, lots of jobs, it seemed.  She scurried off to the next one, a malfunctioning sonic shower on Deck 2.  One good thing about being on a Nova was everything was close together.  It didn't take her much time to reach her destination.  But having a small ship also meant everything was more compact.  Repairs tended to be a bit more difficult than usual.

"H- hello?" Trixia said as the door to the quarters in question swished open for her.  She verified the name on the order - Commander Wainrwight.  Oh, great, the XO.  Her heart accelerated in anxiety as she realized if she screwed this up her career would be basically over.  The only way it would be worse is if it was the Captain…

She shook her head and gripped her microtools in her hand a bit tighter.  She had a job to do, and she'd do it well, dammit.  She strode over to the sonic shower, only pausing to awkwardly rap on the door jambs, just in case the XO was milling about the place for some reason.  When she reached the offending fixture, she breathed a sigh of relief and got to work pulling off the access panels.

[Much Later]

Trixia practically fell into her quarters, completely exhausted from the day's work.  Her hair was completely disheveled and her uniform tunic had been long unclasped in favor of a less stuffy undershirt.  A glance at the chronometer told her she had been on duty longer than she had thought.  It was practically Gamma shift already.

She fell against the bulkhead and rubbed her face in an attempt to de-stress from the day.  After a moment she pushed herself off the bulkhead.  She peeled off the uniform tunic and tossed it over a chair en route to the replicator.  She really needed a bit of comfort food, givent he way her stomach was rumbling.  "Mom's Tuber Root Hash with cabbage slaw and a small ice wine," she ordered.

She was mildly taken aback by the correct operation of the device.  She was expecting something like gagh or just an unidentifiable mass of jelly.  Knowing her day that would have fit in quite well.  Regardless, she took the plate of food and beverage to her little dining area.    Trixia ate her food to the sounds of Andorian pop music.  Keeping up with her favorite artists wasn't easy while on a mission, so she made sure to update her playlist whenever she was at a starbase.  When she finished, Trixia recycled the remnants and cleaned up a little.  Then she went to find where Axel had got to.  She needed a little fuzzy companionship after the day she had.

She had replicated a little cage to keep it in while she was on shift.  It wasn't like a normal animal what would need to be kept under control, but she still didn't want anything to happen to it.  "Axel?" she asked when she couldn't see the TribbleMatic right away.  She looked all around, and couldn't find the little electronic fuzzball.  Briefly panicking, she worried that she hadn't put it away when she left for her shift in the morning.  Still, where could it have gone?

Trixia spent the next hour and a half upending her quarters looking for her companion, without success.  Increasingly unlikely scenarios intruded on her thoughts, including tribble-napping Klingons, and a rogue transporter algorithm that sent it to parts unknown.  She had to pause a moment and remember Occam's Razor.  The simplest solution with the fewest assumptions is generally closest to the truth.  Which meant, it had escaped somehow.

It wasn't until she found the loose access panel that was just about the same size as the little tribble that she realized how it did it.  She thumbed the square piece of duranium and noticed how gravity let it fall back into place.  The panel led to the void between her quarters and the corridor, and eventually, the network of Jeffries tubes that crisscrossed the ship.  Given her shift that day was a good 12 hours long, it could be anywhere by now.

Trixia quickly re-donned her uniform tunic and grabbed a tricorder before leaving on her search.  She'd cover the ship systematically from stem to stern, taking all night if need be.

Come to find out she didn't need all night.  Deep in the bowels of Engineering, she was crawling on her hands and knees through a Jeffries tube when she caught sight of a brown shape dart across her vision.  "There you are," she said as she doubled down and chased it.

They played cat-and-mouse (well, Andorian-and-tribble) for a few turns of jeffries tubes before she caught up to it.  "Aha," she said as she touched a control panel and closed the access hatch ahead of the TribbleMatic.  It darted back and forth a few times before seemingly giving into it's fate.  Trixia crawled over to it and stopped short.  "Wait."  Axel was brown with black spots, right? This one was black with brown spots.  "Where did you come from?" she asked hypothetically.

Her hypothetical question wasn't answered as much as generated more questions when she opened the hatch in front of her.  A collection of tribbles in various brown-black color patterns were arrayed before her.  "What-" she began before the group began to scatter.  She quickly collected an armful of wiggling TribbleMatics, switching each one off as she grabbed it.

A few minutes later, a hatch in Main Engineering opened with a bang.  A yellow-uniformed officer crawling out of the Jeffries tube wasn't unusual, but she garnered a bit of attention in what she was carrying.  Trixia hopped onto the floor and glanced around for the right person.  Locating them, she made her way over, arms overloaded with fuzzy shapes.

"Lieutenant?" she asked Lt Jurgen as she came up on her, "I think we have a problem."  Trixia then proceeded to deposit her armful of deactivated TribbleMatics upon the console table.


Ensign Trixia Sh'rhovek
Operations Officer
USS Mark Miller


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