A little light relief from my main saga "Aftermath"
I've decided to do this every so often: take the "Word of the Day" from Dictionary . com and come up with (what I believe is called?) a drabble using that word as the title. (Someone please find me a Fandom Dictionary!)
Here goes. It's a doozy….
-To form into a ball/round compact mass
There is no force in the universe that unites men of science so much as an 'emergency'.
"Aye sure, I can whip you something up," said the Engineer, "I'm thinking a wee adjustment to one of the spare transponder regulators." He studied the dimensions on the screen in front of him, "I'll need to stick it in a sub-trithanium casing. For the weight. It'll be a bit of a tight squeeze, but aye. It can be done."
"How long will that take, Engineer?" Spock asked.
"About an hour, maybe."
"Dammit, Scotty. We've only got an hour and a half, tops. Spock and I will need at least forty-five minutes to make the final adjustments."
"A rough spheroid will be sufficient."
"Aye, sir," Mr Scott left sickbay briskly, where the three men had been gathered around one of the sickbeds.
The doctor glanced down at the patient, lying dead on the bed.
"Is this the right thing to do, Spock?"
"I cannot envisage any alternative."
"But what would Nyota think? And the Captain? I mean…you killed it."
Spock's tone of voice was sharp. "We are in this together, McCoy." He hesitated. "They must not know, of course."
The two men shook hands, somewhat awkwardly, and turned their attention to the task in hand. McCoy carried out most of the particularly delicate work, though Spock was able to assist in cleaning out what fur was stripped from the creature's body. Some had been lost due to the accident, but the rest was merely matted with blood.
Finally, Scotty reappeared, carrying the device. He set it down next to the newly scalped alien carcass. "Jesus, gentlemen, how can we live with ourselves?"
"Dismissed Mr Scott," Spock said. He did not look up from his work. Scott sighed and turned to leave. Before he walked through the doors, he glanced back at the dead alien. "Poor wee thing. Poor, bonny wee creature."
In truth, they were unsure of how they were going to keep this particular secret. Their solution was, inevitably, a ridiculous one. But necessary. They weren't even sure how it had happened in the first place.
The relationship between Lieutenant Uhura and Commander Spock had been out in the open for some time after the entire Nero "fiasco" (another example of McCoy's talent for understatement). Most of the senior officers had shyly called on the couple, congratulating them and offering embarrassing "advice" and even "sex tips" (a few of the more over-familiar yeomen).
Mr. Scott and Doctor McCoy, feeling that they had somewhat neglected their Vulcan crewmate, decided to visit.
Nyota was not in her quarters, and so Spock received them with a degree of awkwardness even the two humans couldn't help noticing. Then, suddenly, they noticed the chirping little creature in the corner of the room.
"What the hell is that?" Scott had asked, jumping to his feet.
"Hairy balls." McCoy said blankly. "Mr Spock you appear to have a couple of hairy balls in a cage."
"It's a tribble!" Scott beamed. "Cute wee thing. I take it it's the new geneo-stabilised breed."
"Sure, you'd be overrun with the little bastards otherwise." McCoy said, coming closer. "Ah, I see you've only got one." He opened the latch of the cage and reached in to run his fingers over the tribble's smooth coat. He grinned. "Listen to that purr, Scotty." He withdrew his hand.
"Mr Spock," Scott said as the two men glanced further around the apartment, "Have you been…hungry?"
A pile of empty cookie and potato chip packets were sprawled over the counter just beside the tribble's cage. There were even a few jars of empty peanut butter.
"I tend to require more sustenance when I reflect over a scientific hypotheses," said Spock. "Which is what I was doing before you gentlemen came to call." He hastily snatched up a pile of wrappers and threw them into the disposal chute. "And I-"
Suddenly there was a terrible grinding sound, before a jet of blood flew out of the disposal chute right against the walls – it reminded all three men of those, "D-movies" they'd once read about.
"Wh-what was that?" McCoy demanded, frozen.
Mr Spock swallowed, resigned. "I believe, gentlemen, that I have just thrown Lieutenant Uhura's newest pet into the disposal chute."
"Spock, didn't you notice you were holding a goddam hairy ball?
To Spock's eyes, the operation had been a success. McCoy had attached the artificial fur to Mr Scott's device beautifully. Spock had programmed in a few more modifications, so that the creature moved and purred like the original.
Spock, at this stage, did not care much for his dignity as he raced down the corridor with the counterfeit tribble under his arm. With three minutes to spare before the end of Nyota's shift, he stuffed the thing into its cage and closed the hatch.
Nyota came in through the door. He glanced one more time at the new tribble, content that it would suffice for the following few weeks until the chance came to discreetly replace it.
"How was your shift tonight, t'hy'la?"
Nyota raised an eyebrow at him. An alarming gesture. "Everything was fine, Spock, until I got a message from Disposal. Something about half a dead tribble?"
Spock didn't move.
"And then," she inched closer. "A few reports of our First Officer running around with what looked like a furry dildo. And then Disposal reported that they got the rest of the tribble."
She put her arms around him. "You owe me big time, mister."