Human Idioms – Herding Cats

Steven and Quatittel were making their way down a maintenance duct, along with two other teams, working to corral the uninvited guests. Each team was carrying a freight bag that was large enough to cover across the duct and strong enough to contain their quarry without tearing. Or at least they hoped so, the beasts have been able to rip into the metal panels but the bags are supposed to be tear proof.

“We have been at this for two days.” Steven said exasperated. “Every time we think we got ‘em, they find a way out.”

“The plans show that there is no way out. We should have them trapped this time.” Quatittel said trying to sound assuring, but ze was not so optimistic. They thought they had them twice before, just to have them escape by feigning an attack causing one to shield themselves in anticipation, but they run around instead. This time they hoped the bags would help.

“It’s like herding cats.” Steven said with an exhausted sigh.

“I thought you said cats were domesticated by humans to be pets? Why would you need to herd them?” asked Quatittel.

“Well, first, cats domesticated themselves, or at least as much as they wanted to be. Second, that is just an idiom that means trying to get disobedient individuals to do something they do not want to do.”

“That is appropriate, they definitely do not want to be captured. Speaking of cats, you and JT Miscity seem to be getting along well.”

“Yeah, she is great. She is super cute like a kitten. And she is so spirited and full of enthusiasm that is feels good being around her. I really like her.”

“She does seem more energetic when she is around you.” Quatittel replied with a resigned tone as they passed through another bulkhead, “They destroyed this door panel trying to get it open. When we close this bulkhead door we will not be able to open it from this side.”

“At least they won’t be able to open it either if they get by us. Did you ever figure out what they are?”

“No. They appear to be a species that had not been cataloged yet. Video shows that there were three stowed aboard one of the shuttles and escaped into the duct work while it was being unloaded.” said Quatittel as ze reached back through the bulkhead door and set a ten instant timer giving zim enough time to get back through before the door closed.

Dialogue started coming through their communication devices “This is team two, they tried to go through an electrical panel here. Wires are hanging out everywhere emitting sparks. It is going to take us some time to fix this before we can pass.”

“This is team three, we see them up ahead. They are trying to tear through a panel.”

After that they all heard a small blast echo through the ductwork followed by a hissing noise.

“They cut a hydrogen gas line! Everyone get out.” yelled someone from team three.

No sooner as that was said the door behind Quatittel and Steven finished latching shut.

“Shit!” Exclaimed Steven.


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