Creatures in the Corner
Timeline: MD3 - 0615 (planet time)
The team had been jarred out of their makeshift beds in the temporary lab set up on an undeveloped parcel of farm land not far from the the medical tent and the two Danubes. Now it was time to get back to work.
Jack McBride had some soil samples already being analysed in the spectrometer and was looking at some slides while the analysis was being completed. "I can tell you one thing," he said to whoever was listening. "These things are part reptilian and part insect."
Taavis, using gloves to bring out a piece of broken resin she had found, placed the material under a microscope, looking in and adjusting magnification while putting it up on a screen. "There are a few species with mixed evolutions. Cardassians are half mammalian, half reptilian due to their evolutionary path." She sat up straight and checked that her screen matched the lenses. "If they are insectoid, to a degree, then we must be cautious. They will be voracious in breeding and will fight to the last to protect their nests."
Julie heard this and got up from her cot and put on her boots, putting her hair up and went over to the two and said, "It seems like it to me. We need to try and find a weakness or at least see why they are attacking. Do you two have any theories on that?"
McBride thought for a few seconds then said, "according to the colony governor, there hasn't been an attack since he arrived which was seven years ago and the last attack was a few years before that. Unfortunately there are no records going back farther than that but it sounds like they were dormant for quite awhile. That could be while they were breeding...maybe gestating. If that is the case....then they have either given birth or the eggs they laid have hatched and they are now needing to feed their young."
"That makes sense," one of the other scientists interjected. "I'm not an anthropologist but where I come from in Africa, the termites do that. You don't see them until they have young to feed then they come out of their hives to find food. And the governor said that what wildlife this planet had has disappeared so the colonists would be next on the food chain."
Taavis listened to them, and then motioned to the screen for her microscope. "The termite analogy would be an adequate comparison. This resin, as it hardens, becomes quite strong. Add more of it together, and like termites, they can build extensive hives and nests, coating cave walls with it for insulation and ease of movement." She then decided to come forth with more data. "According to Starfleet Intelligence this is not the first colony to try and build here. These attacks seem to happen, randomly, approximately every twenty years."
"Then they are hive oriented," McBride said. About that time the spectrometer stopped whirring and its monitor lit up, displaying the results of the soil samples. McBride stood up and went over to take a look. "The soil samples have traces of sodium hydroxide," he announced.
A distant screech emanated from somewhere in the mountains.
Taavis, her Vulcanoid hearing sharper than most, tilted her head. "That screech is getting closer."
Curious, McBride walked over to the entrance of the tent and peered out. A noxious odor came from somewhere behind the tent and he walked around to the side of the tent take a look just in time to see a Qir attack the security team about 50 yards away.
Hearing the screams and screeches of battle Taavis ran from the tent and rounded it, seeing Byrnes thrusting a farming implement into the side of a Qir. He was smacked away by its tail, but then came up and armed himself for melee, shield and ax in hand as he ran after the beast howling like a barbarian. "Shack!" Taavis took off after Byrnes, picking up the handle for the pitchfork, the metallic end still good as a weapon.
"Lieutenant....come back," McBride called out and....for some reason unknown to himself...took off running after her. He wasn't aware that he was running directly into the "heat wave" that was a Qir's cloak and he ran right into the leg of one that was headed toward Taavis.
The Qir dropped its cloak and grabbed the scientist, spraying him with mucus. As soon as its prey opened his mouth and screamed, it extended its tubule and sent it into its prey, turning the man's internal organs into liquid and sucking the liquid into itself to take back to the hive.
Julie saw what happened to McBride and it was a horrible site. The damn thing took his body too. There was nothing left except his kit that fell so Julie picked that up and ran to the forcefield.
"In here," a security officer waved to Julie then held the flap of the science tent open. As she darted through the entrance, the security officer deactivated the force field then reactivated it when she was inside. The remaining scientists were safe....for the time being.