Steven sat in the captain’s office feeling as scared and as small as he felt when he went to the principal’s office in fourth grade. He liked Sarah, so he pulled her hair, what else was a nine year old supposed to do. It wasn’t because he was in trouble, he didn’t think he was, but it was the size of this room and the captain that made him feel this way. Thirty by twenty meters, seven to eight meters tall, and the desk was at least four meters wide. Sitting behind the desk was Captain Porroinen, a Zmaj. The captain was an imposing figure, standing five meters tall, seven meters long, four legs, two arms. Steven thinks he looks like a dragon except that he has no wings and a stubby tail, and is covered in short fur instead of scales, but his head with the horns and his eyes are exactly as dragons are depicted on Earth. The captain made Steven wait while he read the doctor’s report, knowing how his intimidating demeanor tended to cause subordinates to be more forthcoming with truthful information.
“Junior Tech Assistant McGilley, the report you submitted for the accident that occurred in your room, and I will read it in its entirety,” he said with a curt tone. “Curiosity killed the cat.” he said flatly. “Not only was that incomplete, but absolutely unacceptable. First I want to remind you that just because Junior Tech Miscity resembles Earth’s feline species, she is in fact a Perinjen from Mounyan and you will treat her with the respect she deserves.”
“Yes sir. I was really worried about her and wanted to get back to the infirmary as soon as I could. I planned to file a full report as soon as I was sure she was ok.”
“Your concern is understandable, but I will need a better explanation to tell the admiral, her father, who entrusted me to her safety. Now start with why she was in your room.” he said with the prerogative of a father asking about his own daughter.
“Yes sir. Three days ago Parla came up to me in the mess room and asked about a human subculture she had heard about called cat-girls. I told her I wasn’t familiar with it, but had heard of it and told her what I thought I knew. She asked if I could find out anything else and I said that I would search out some more information for her. Earlier today I was in my room recording a message to my mom using my video recording drone, Curiosity. I named it after one of the first rovers of my home planet.”
“I had heard that humans name inanimate objects. Are you saying this drone killed JT Miscity?”
“No sir, not directly. I had left my door slightly ajar and Parla was walking by and noticed. She knocked and I paused the recording and invited her in. When she entered, she stepped in between me and Curiosity, and per it’s programming, it moved around to the other side of the room to keep me in view. I brought up the info I had found on my computer and started explaining it to her. She bent down to get a closer look at some of the pictures and got in front of Curiosity causing it to move again. That caught her attention and while I was expounding the differences between eastern and western cat-girl culture, she started playing with Curiosity. She would put her hand up blocking its view and it would move, then she would block it again.”
“After a while, I realized she wasn’t paying me any attention and was just trying to catch Curiosity. When she swung around to try to grab it, when it moved back across the room, her tail knocked over a glass of water I had on my desk. She swiped at it a couple more times before it darted away. When she turned and tried to catch it as it flew by, she slipped on the water and hit her head on the desk. I heard a loud crunch and knew that she was hurt, so I picked her up and carried her to the infirmary. Doctor Baturba scanned her as I explained what happened and he said she was dead and took her into the OR. That is when I went back to my room and entered the report. I rushed back and waited for a few before someone came out to tell me that they were able to revive her, but that she would need surgery to remove a few bone shards. I was waiting when I received word to come to your office.”
“Did the video drone record what happened?”
“Yes, it should have.” Steven said as he pulled out his datapad and called up the recording. He sent the video to the captain and sat while he watched it.
The captain saw the events happen exactly as Steven had described. “The doctor says that your fast action in getting her to the infirmary quickly is what kept her from experiencing any neurological damage. I cannot see any fault of yours, but might I suggest you keep your Curiosity in check when you have guests.” He said that last part while giving the look a father gives a potential suitor of his daughter.
“Ye.e.s sir.” Steven stuttered out as he wanted to hide from the look he was receiving.
The captains desk beeped indicating there was a new message. “The doctor says she is out and in recovery and asking for you. Finish your full report, making sure to include the video, and then you are dismissed.”
“Yes sir, thank you sir.” Steven said as he got up and left. After filing the proper report, he headed to the infirmary to see Parla.
“The doctor says you getting me here quickly is what saved my life. I guess I owe you.” Parla said as she reached up and grabbed Stevens hand.
“You do not owe me anything, I thought it was my fault. I should have put Curiosity away.” Steven replied as he cupped her paw with his other hand. “I am just glad you are ok….”
Meanwhile, Quatittel was walking down the hall toward one of the labs near the infirmary, carrying a sample of fungus that has been found in some of the ductwork. Ze was hoping to find a way to kill it without having to remove it by hand, which would require crawling through miles of ducts throughout the ship. As ze passed the infirmary, one of zis eyestalks notices Steven holding JT Miscity’s paw with both hands. Zis third lobe, which was currently daydreaming about ‘things’, took notice causing zim to think “Maybe I was mistaken”.