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Part of USS Issedon: Whisky Tango Foxtrot and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Two Down, Three to Tango?

Unknown Planet
~late Oct. 2400
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Lt. Maggie LeFebvre’s POV

The feckless blonde, mid-level Operations Officer was still sleepy. She’d pulled a night shift, and couldn’t sleep. Someone had found her in the officer’s lounge, madly flirting with the new Romulan Exchange guy. Too bad she was a people pleaser, because here she was, on a strange deserted island, instead of back on the ship, SAFE. 

She was now standing, long arm at her side long forgotten. Staring. At plants that her brain registered as…alive. But not in the regular, “plants have cells” sense. In more like the creepy, Little Shop of Horrors-Feed me, Seymour-run Audrey kind of way. 

“Holy shit.” She clapped her hand over her mouth as soon as it came out; she didn’t make a HABIT of cursing at work but this kind of warranted it, in her opinion. “Sorry.” She said, as the others looked at her. The Commander just shook his head, though, as if in agreement with her statement. 

She started to move forward a step, but as her left leg lifted, something happened. In a moment, long tentacles of…plant life? Pulled the Commander to his back, and away from the group, swallowing him whole. She fired a shot, but it was useless. He was gone. Great. How was she going to explain THAT? It was silent a moment before someone spoke. 

So. What should we do, you think? 

She swiveled her head towards the civilian scientist. 

“You tell me, Doc.” The man just shrugged. I guess we appease it. Any of you telepathic?

Why were men so useless?! She let out a long-suffering sigh. “We sent them back, remember?” She realized suddenly that she was the highest-ranking person left. Fantastic. Leadership wasn’t her strongest suit. Still, she could think of something. Quickly, she started issuing orders. “Andrews, send a message back to Captain Taylor. We need an empath out here. One of the Betazoids or something strong like that. You, Culver. Go with Andrews back to the ship. Cover his six like your life DEPENDS on it. Doctor Lucas, science me up a Universal Translator. You, new guy,” she pointed at Farr. “You’re coming with me. Powers, help Dr Lucas. When you have something that works, call me back.” She pulled off her ugly yellow uniform shirt, anddiscarded it near the door. She looked at Farr. “We’re going in.” She dropped to the floor, and combat-crawled in the direction that Ben had been taken. 

Finally, she heard his muffled screams. He seemed to be buried under piles of leafy tentacles. She called out. “Farr, any chance you brought a field knife?” The man extended one, and she started to cut away at the thick branches. She’d only gotten a couple of cuts in when she heard a voice cry out. 

STOP! You’re hurting it! 

Her brain quickly registered the voice as the chief Counselor, a telepathic Betazoid. She stopped, dropping the knife, the *clattering* as it hit the ground ringing out around her. It was quiet a moment, before she stood up, and crossed her arms over her chest. “The hell you mean, I’m “hurting” it?” She asked loudly, crossly. That’s a telepathic pitcher plant. It can FEEL.A WHAT?! Maggie’s head swam. 

“A telepathic PITCHER  PLANT?…” she paused as the man moved towards her, still clearly in distress. “STOP.” 

She held up her hand. “Explain.” She had heard the tales of a globulus being called thusly, but this wasn’t…that. “I mean…I don’t know how or why, but that plant has…powers.” The man said, softly. Maggie raised a manicured eyebrow, but thought a minute. It wasn’t as strange as other things she’d seen out here. “Fine. Tell it I am sorry. Was just trying to save the Commander.” She stepped forward, trying to inch her way out of the mass of fleshy vines. Just as she was nearing the group, the plant reached out to pull her under, too. She fought back, gripping and tearing at the vines with everything she was made of. Still, it proved futile, and she shut her eyes as she was pulled into an abyss. She landed harshly, the “clack” of her stupid, ugly uniform shoes against a hard concrete floor resonating against the walls. She opened her eyes. Where was she? She heard Ben’s voice. “Hello? Uh, Lt. LeFebvre. Where did you come from?” She whirled around. The man looked a little worse for the wear; his uniform shirt was missing, as was hers, and she could see bruises on his arms from where the plant had grabbed him. Same place as you. Tried to come after you…

She shrugged. 

Just to avoid the paperwork, you know?  The man nodded at her. “Thanks, I guess. What’s happening up there?” She glanced around; they were in some type of dimly-lit cavern, and she was actually a little creeped out. 

Counselor Bak is up there, said something about a telepathic plant. Specifically, a pitcher plant. You know, I heard those stories at the Academy, but…I thought that was some kind of phantom alien thing, not a real thing.

Ben’s brow was furrowed. 

“Yeah, that pitcher plant isn’t…this.You’re correct; that thing was some kind of matter that had cellular properties.  This is something else entirely. There’s more to this cavern…a hallway of sorts over there. Want to check it out? Where’s your uniform?” She made a face. He JUST NOW noticed? 

Same place as yours, probably. We’re going to die out here and you’re worried about UNIFORM REGULATIONS. Seriously? 

Ben made a face this time. “Fine. You’re right. We’re not going to die, though.” At least, he HOPED they wouldn’t. From the pocket of his pants that had miraculously stayed on, and found a small pen light. It’d do, seeing as they were without gear packs. She did the same, unearthing a small buck knife she kept on her person for safety reasons. 

 

“Of course you have a knife on your person.” Another face, and he shut up. Lead the way. Against her better judgment, she followed the man deeper into the caverns. She didn’t think she had another better idea, anyway. 

 

 

 

Comments

  • There is something darkly comedic here about the literal take on the telepathic pitcher plant, I think backed up by Maggie’s rather nonchalant reaction to Ben getting swallowed beneath all the tentacles. It’s a cracking read and I can honestly say I have NO idea what to expect next! I think the cuttingly sarcastic dialogue is the icing on this fictive cake.

    November 20, 2022