URSET, the United Regency of Space Exploration and Travel has a top of the line Colony Vessel named Junomedra. With over 100,000 staff and civilians on board, Junomedra is one of the largest self-sustainable exploration ships in the Regency. It's mission: To explore the vastness of space, learn of new planets, stars, and colonize inhabitable locations.
Of course, the universe is not without it's dangers. Hostile Alien races travel the stars, hybrid races from cross breeding gone wrong, as well as self proclaimed pirates can be a danger to planet-side missions and in rare cases to the Junomedra itself. The crew and colony must protect itself while at the same time seeking out new lands and civilizations.
ALERT. ALERT. SECTOR SIX FIVE TWO B NEEDS SECURITY AID. SECTOR SIX FIVE TWO B NEEDS SECURITY AID.
"Oh crap." Covered head to toe in what looked like orange slime, the female figure nearly tripped as she stumbled over to the communication panel near the doorframe. She pressed the button. "No, no! Everything is okay down here! Security assistance isn't necessary! I've got it all under control!"
There was a bit of static before an annoyed voice responded. "It's eight feet tall, spits acid, ATE the Captain's favorite scooter, and is made of jello impervious to bullet rounds. We're sending Security."
"The scooter came RIGHT back out. And it's not acid, it's just spit! Just give me fifteen more minutes. I'll have him asleep and back in his cage without any more incidents."
"Fuck that, Teegan! Someone is coming to clean up your mess!"
"Well shoot." Teegan grumbled to herself. 'Clean up' usually meant killing her specimens. Jelly-spiders weren't easy to pick up out in open space. She'd have to catch it fast before someone else got to it. Thus, Teegan was pulling out that tranquilizer rifle from under her work table and running out of the room like the devil was on her heels!
Teegan rounded a sharp corner, following the jelly-spider's path of mayhem, and skidded to a halt, nearly colliding with a large, translucent sphere. The alien creature was suspended, motionless, within the force field, blurping contently.
Teegan released the breath she had been holding.
Above them, hanging upside down from an open ventilation shaft, was Officer Pivetta of URSET Security. The charged particles around her still gave off a haunting glow, leaving no doubt of who had captured the creature. The officer regarded Teegan with obvious amusement in her gray, ghostly eyes.
"Tell me, Teegan," Pivetta chuckled, "did you really intend to take out a jelly-spider with a tranq? You know better than that." Pivetta slid from her perch, the hard heels of her boots making a clicking noise against the floor.
"I picked up your conversation with headquarters, thought I'd lend you a hand before they broke another one of your toys," Pivetta approached Teegan, the force field floating silently behind her. "You can thank me by ditching work for fifteen-I'm dying for a cup of coffee."
"Actually, I meant to shoot the security personnel if they tried to hurt Pizza..." Teegan admitted sheepishly. Occasionally that happened. But most people thought it was because she was a really shitty shot. Circling around the force-field, she made sure the jelly-spider didn't have any burned spots, or worse, someone stuck in it's belly. 'Pizza' seemed to be content at floating around.
"Coffee sounds great right about now. Coffee and good shower." Pushing against the force-field with her hands, it slowly hovered it's way back in to her 'office' with a little pushing. A cage was opened and Pizza the jelly-spider was deposited right back where he belonged. This time with a new door-code that hopefully couldn't be hacked by prank playing medical personnel. Why did those jerks think letting animals loose was funny?
Teegan uselessly dusted off her hands as she pressed the com button. "Hey, Pizza is back in his cage. You can turn off the emergency lights now."
"I hope PIZZA stays there." After a few seconds the emergency alerts went off and the colors in the hall went back to normal.
"So Mocha Caramel Latte ooooor Mint Choco Chip Espresso?"
"Ha ha," Pivetta remarked dryly, not as amused by Teegan's joke as the other was. "You can keep the fructose and lactose for yourself, just fork over the espresso."
The two women followed the path of mayhem caused by Pizza in what could be called companionable silence. Neither of them was ever very good at making small talk, so most of the lunch and coffee breaks they spent together tended towards long stretches of silence, occasionally punctuated by the occasional snippet of conversation from their last meeting.
Though Pivetta did not consider them to be friends, per se, (they knew very little of each other's personal lives), but perhaps something more akin to two people with a mutual understanding of the each other's irregular social ticks: they worked well enough together when they needed, and they generally understood what the other meant without too much difficulty.
In a place like Junomedra, that was worth more than friendship, in Pivetta's opinion.
For instance, Pivetta knew that Teegan knew that this meeting was no mere coincidence; simply because Pivetta was not stationed in her sector, and that she would not go out of her way to clear the distance between her assigned sector and Teegan's to help with something so minor unless she had something more pressing to discuss. Pivetta was selfish in that regard, but they both knew that and at least she tried to make it beneficial to the both of them.
When they arrived to the break room, Pivetta fished about in her pockets to find enough credits to pay for both of their drinks.
If Pivetta was paying, then that was a sure fire sign that whatever favor she was about to ask for was a big one.
"So, what kind of syrupy concoction will you be having today?"
"I think today is a good day for Hot Spiced Chocolate Chai." she responded after standing there for almost five minutes tapping her chin and trying to make up her mind. Food was something that required -a lot- of thought. Most wished she put that much thought in to what she was doing with her creatures. ...if only they knew!
Once they had their drinks and found a table to sit at, Teegan was crossing her legs and popping off the lid of her mocha. She didn't seem to have any problem sitting there covered in orange jelly-spider goo, and to make matters worse she brushed off a glop to drop in to her cup and was stirring it up with a straw.
She glanced up to see Pivetta staring with that weird expression on her face. "...what? It tastes like peaches! Really good."
After a testing sip, Teegan leaned back in her chair. Tilting her head in a casual regard for her curiously generous companion. "I guess something interesting is up... Normally you don't wait until we sit down."
"Christ woman, your pet's a fucking riot. I swear, I'm just just *this* far away from braining him with my bare hands. If my Zbox 480 gets swallowed up by his slimy maw, he's going to be walking with the equivalent of his legs crossed for a *very* long time. I am NOT losing another fucking file of Ringworld: Conflict Evolved ever again!"
Marcin, not suprisingly, was not terribly pleased at the amorphous creature's little rampage. This was further driven in by the fact that hhis fingers had transformed into long, thick claws, crackling with electricity. He didn't hate the creature, but it occasionally angered him by escaping and rampaging across the ship.
He'd come close to simply killing it a few times. He had a grenade launcher with him is need came to be.
Alas, he didn't hate it; he was hoping it'd just be good amorphous, brainless sack and just head back to its cage.
"I thought you'd want to sit down for this one," Pivetta raised her shot glass to her mouth, and tilting her head back, swallowed its contents. The espresso left a bitter, burning trail down her throat.
"What I'm going to ask is no small favor-we could lose our jobs, maybe see some jail time if we're caught," at this Pivetta grinned. "But you don't need to worry about getting caught, so long as I'm around." It was true, Pivetta knew every inch of Junomedra, and could easily move around the massive station without being noticed.
"And I'll just tell you this now: you have every right to ask questions about the whys and wherefores, but I can't guarantee you an answer to every one." Teegan was starting to look annoyed with her, the woman was wordlessly urging her to please just get on with it.
Pivetta leaned in closer, "I need you to help me-"
Both of the women started when Teegan's comm-link crackled to life, bringing with it the voice of a very angry man.
Looking embarrassed, Teegan fumbled for her comlink flipping it off without replying to Marcin. Not that she was trying to ignore him, but... Well. The chances were, she owed him a new game and a batch of cupcakes. Marcin was going to be yelling at her for the next two weeks if he tracked down where she was. ...in fact as soon as she was done talking to Pivetta, she was going to need to find someone's quarters to hide at.
"Ehem. Sorry." She said sheepishly, stuffing the com back in her pocket and readjusting her seat. Her head tilted to the side as she regarded Pivetta curiously. Illegal things weren't really a problem to Teegan. Right and wrong had some pesky grey areas, and you could never really be sure of the difference until it was too late. Jail time, on the other hand, wasn't something Teegan wanted to find herself doing. She heard all sorts of prison horror stories from crew and denizens on Junomedra.
"Help you what now? We're not going to kill anyone are we? Killing people never ends up very well for anybody involved."