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Kentucky Fried Andorian

Posted on Thu Jan 3rd, 2019 @ 5:21am by Lieutenant Meibei zh'Khessi
Edited on on Sun Jan 6th, 2019 @ 12:21am

Mission: Episode 6: War Crimes
Location: Deck 6, Jefferies Tubes
Timeline: MD135, 1629 Hours

Seeing Tara had quite unexpectedly left Meibei abuzz with happy excitement, and she couldn’t stop grinning as she left Engineering and approached the turbolift. She hadn’t seen Tara for days, and somehow, that brief meeting with the redhead Trill had simply made Meibei…happy. It was silly, it was ridiculous, and Meibei loved it. She hadn’t had such a strong crush in years, not since her very first assignment, and the thrill of it was exhilarating. In her heart, Meibei knew that someone as refined and brilliant as Tara wouldn’t fall for a colony rube like Meibei, and so she wasn’t expecting anything. But still, the flirting was wonderful fun, and Tara was a great friend. After all the drama of the past few weeks, with the sabotage and the traitorous captain, such friendship was a welcome distraction.

As such, Meibei was humming to herself as she found the Jefferies junction entryway near her quarters, opened the hatch and climbed right in. She didn’t really mind getting her white dress dirty or ruffled in the tight quarters of the Jefferies tube. It was easily mended, after all, and Meibei wanted to check out at least one EPS junction before she went to bed. Her legs were a bit sore from a night of dancing on the starbase, but even so, that twinge in her antennae spurred Meibei on. It was only one junction of thirty that would need to be checked, but she’d feel better for at least doing one.

After a couple of minutes of crawling, Meibei found what she was looking for. She sat back against a bulkhead and reached up, tapping a small control above her head that retracted a panel. It was perfectly innocuous, really. A single large grey cylinder diverged into two smaller grey cylinders that continued onward to one of the port phaser emitters, and it looked perfectly functional. Still humming, Meibei opened a panel on the tube wall opposite her, pulled out a toolkit and got to work.

Everything was as expected. Meibei ran the tricorder scan and it looked perfectly fine. She poked a small instrument into an access point of the intersection while she scanned again, and the readings were as expected at the tiny change of electroplasma charge. The diagnostic required Meibei to stay for a good five minutes or so, monitoring the readings, but she didn’t mind. The Jefferies tube was wonderfully quiet and private, after all, and the faint vibration of the metal against Meibei’s back was rather pleasant. The duranium was cold against her blue skin, but she didn’t mind in the slightest, sighing happily at the sensation.

It was only a good three minutes in, while Meibei was thinking back to that bizarre (yet hilarious) Vulcan comedian on the starbase, that she noticed something odd. The quiet solitude of the Jefferies tube was being disturbed by an increasingly loud thrumming sound, while the cold metal against her shoulders was now vibrating at an uncomfortable frequency. Meibei frowned, but the tricorder showed that everything was perfectly fine. She adjusted the tool that was attached to the EPS junction to tweak the electroplasma charge, and just as it should, the tricorder showed the EPS flow to change as expected.

“Well, that’s odd,” Meibei mumbled to herself. The thrumming was getting louder, and now she realised that she was starting to sweat as the Jefferies tube warmed up. The tricorder still showed that everything was perfectly normal. “So what are you up to, hm? Let’s have a look see…”

Putting the tricorder down, Meibei simply reached up into the EPS junction and felt around, her purple tongue sticking out in concentration as she moved her hands around the large, warm tubes. It took a good thirty seconds before Meibei’s searching hands happened upon something. It was rectangular, small and metallic, tucked out of easy sight on top of one of the smaller tubes. Confused, Meibei poked her head up into the uncomfortably warm space to see what she was touching.

Except that she was touching nothing. To her eyes, it was as if Meibei’s fingers were pressed upon thin air, yet she felt it! But how…

“Uh oh,” Meibei whispered, her mouth dropping open in belated realisation. It was getting even warmer now, uncomfortably so, and her skin prickled at the intense heat, the thrumming getting even louder. “But the tricorder...oh no, no no no!”

There was no time. The tricorder scans couldn’t be trusted; the invisible little box had been affecting it somehow, and also the electroplasma flow...the electroplasma that came directly from the warp core. Suddenly Meibei seized a large box out of the toolkit and connected it to the Jefferies tube. Just like the tricorder, the little diagnostic screen merrily reported that everything was fine, but Meibei ignored the lying little bastard and instead started working the tool’s controls.

“Come on, come on, I can fix this, I can fix this,” she said frantically, her breath coming hard and fast as she worked. “Okay, you dirty cheat, if I can’t stop you, then I’ll just redirect you! You aren’t coming anywhere near my warp core...stupid cheater...come on, come on…oh, shut up, you!”

Her combadge chirped, but Meibei was too tightly focused to respond, her hands working desperately as she brought up another tool to the EPS junction. She was sweating profusely now, the Jefferies tube now more akin to a furnace, her antennae moving back and forth in panic. It was a war now, a war between Meibei and the evil little box that was trying to overheat the electroplasma into a horrific firestorm, and it was a war that Meibei was losing, but she kept working desperately. She couldn’t stop it, but she could make the explosion smaller, that wouldn’t wreck the entire saucer!

“Come on, come on, come on!” Meibei shouted as she worked, until finally a mighty roar from further down the tube shook her away. A great eruption of blue flame ran down the tube towards her at impossible speed, and Meibei screamed as the flames engulfed her…

...and after the flames passed, the screaming never stopped.

 

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