Seifer, Gabriel and Kyle were getting closer and closer to the life form readings. Seifer could see movement behind a bush that was in front of them.
“Over there” Kyle said, as he pointed in the direction of the movement. The 3 of them slowly crept up towards where they last saw the movement. Seifer’s tricorder was beeping wildly, when what they had seen moving jumped towards them. It was a large squirrel; it was squeaking wildly and was completely freaked out.
“A squirrel? But there are no squirrels on this planet!” Gabriel said.
“There’s more over there!” Kyle said, as he pointed towards the direction the squirrel had ran off in. The 3 of them saw several animals watching them. Among the group were a rat, a rhino, a tiger, a horse, a lemur and a walrus.
“What the hell is going on?” Kyle asked. Noticing that the Walrus appeared to have torn clothing on it’s back; Seifer had a pretty good idea.
“I have a bad feeling about this”, he said.
James and Christine slowly walked towards the direction that they had read the life signs they had discovered. After having walked for 20 minutes they saw something.
“Over there!” Christine said as she saw something moving that had run behind a building. The two of them ran towards it and when they came to the area it had ran to, what they saw was confusing.
“A raccoon?” Christine said.
“What’s an Earth animal doing here?” James said as he walked up to it. It looked terrified.
“It’s okay, we won’t hurt you,” he said in a soothing tone. It seemed to understand him, and slowly walked over to him, allowing him to pick it up.
“Commander! There’s more” Christine said in shock. Turning around, (still holding the raccoon), James saw that 4 other animals, a hippopotamus, a chipmunk, a gopher and a hyena were watching them.
“I have a bad feeling about this”, James said to himself.
The alien commander sat in his command chair.
“Is it confirmed?” he asked angrily.
“I’m afraid so sir! Our scout ship has been destroyed by a federation starship in close proximity to the second colony they were targeting” his tactical officer said.
“It would appear we’ve underestimated them. What is the statutes of the initial colony?” he asked.
“A success. Wait a second. Were detecting another federation ship in orbit of it, they appear to have landed people, they must know what we have done by now. The ship is not of any known federation design, it must be new,” the officer said.
“They cannot be allowed to let anyone know of our plans, prepare to engage and board them. We can then attack the seconds colony ourselves.” The commander said.
“Yes sir, laying in a course” the tactical officer said.
“It’s not good Captain, we haven’t found any humanoid life on the colony. It appears that somehow, everyone on the colony has been turned into animals.” James reported.
“Very well, unfortunately we have not had success in reversing the effects on the affected crew members of the Lexington. Until we can, we recommend you come back board.” Captain Strife said.
“Captain, I have one of the colony members with me, she seems to have taken to me. I’m not I feel comfortable leaving her here. I assure you that it’s safe; the virus does not appear to be contagious. ” James said.
“Alright commander, but she’s going to have to stay in sickbay, so he can study the effects on her in hopes of finding a cure” Leon said.
“Yes sir, we will be returning shortly.” James said.
James held the young raccoon in his arms, gently petting the animal, which seemed to comfort her. As the team boarded the shuttle, they had to make sure that the virus had not gotten inside of it. As everyone got inside, Christine initiated full decontamination procedure.
“Were going to have to dock in shuttle bay 3, we will have to go through decontamination. The bay will be depressurized before we dock. After we dock, an umbilical cord will connect to the shuttle, from which we will take to a decontamination room.” Christine said.
“Sounds interesting” James said as the shuttle took off.
James gently petted the raccoon that sat in his lap, and she quietly warbled.
“I think she likes you”, Seifer said.
“It’s strange, she seems somehow familiar, almost as if she knows me”, James said.
“We are approaching the ship”, Kyle said.
“Take us into shuttle bay 3” James said. The shuttle approached the empty bay, which had been decompressed. As the shuttle landed, an umbilical style walkway connected to it from the side of the bay. Everyone got up and exited the shuttle though the walkway into another room.
“What happens now?” Christine asked.
“We will be scanned for any trace of the virus before were given the go ahead to remove out suits. Once that’s been done, as long as it’s safe, we remove them and go though decontamination before we go back into the ship.” Gabriel responded.
“Will she be safe?” James asked, referring to the female raccoon.
“She will be okay” Gabriel responded. The room they were in went semi dark, and scanning beams scanned each of them. The raccoon panicked a bit, but James was able to calm her down. Patrick Lowell sat in his office, monitoring the scanning. The scanner beeped slightly, indicating trace amounts of the virus. Checking the scans, he saw that it was dissipating and was no longer a threat, and that standard decontamination would remove it.
Gabriel walked over to the computer panel and read the information.
“Looks like there are traces of the virus on our hazard suits. However it’s not enough to pose a threat, standard decontamination of removing affected clothing then going though the decontamination chamber should be enough.” He said.
“How do we know it’s not a threat anymore?” Seifer asked.
“It appears that, to have an effect it must have a concentration of at least 200 parts per million in the air, its concentration is only at 12 parts and it is dissipating. The virus appears to have a very short lifespan, as if it does it’s work then dies off.” Gabriel said.
“Perfect for an invasion”, James said.
“An invasion?” Seifer asked.
“Think about it, release the virus into a planet or ship, it turns the inhabitants into animals, leaving the planet fully available for invading, all cities and buildings intact” James said. The 5 of them considered the situation for a few seconds before proceeding with removing they’re clothing and placing it on a container. Stepping through a small airlock, they entered the decontamination chamber.
“This will only take a minute”, Patrick said, as he activated the chamber.
In the briefing room, Captain Strife, T'kal, Cody Stephens and Samuel Xavier discussed the situation. On the large monitor, they had the briefing room of the Iwo Jima and the Lexington displayed in conference mode. The Lexington had since rendezvoused with the Iwo Jima at the second colony.
“What is the condition of your ships?” Captain Strife asked.
“We have moderate damage, but we have it under control” Captain Trevor Park responded.
“We have been able to repair most of the damage from the attack” Alice Mitchell responded.
“The situation we are in in very serious. We haven’t been able to detect any more scout ships, but Megan Wiley, me stealer cartography officer tells me that there appears to be a much larger vessel out there somewhere. At least check they were on the move, but they appear to be using stealth technology, which is making them hard to detect. We are attempting to reconfigure our sensors to detect them,” Leon said.
“Captain Torme?” Alice Mitchell asked.
“I’m afraid we were unable to reverse the effects of the virus on him. He’s completely an animal now, but Mr. Stevens believes that he can communicate with him, telepathically” Leon responded.
“Very well” Alice responded.
“We’ve been in contact with Starfleet command. Their ordered are for you two to remain on guard at that colony. We are to stay here in are try to find a way to reverse the effects of the colony on it’s inhabitants. We are also to wait to see if anyone tries to take over the colony." Leon said.
“Good luck” he said, as the other two captains acknowledged their orders and ended the transmission.
“Ms Wiley, continue to scan for that ship, in the mean time, I will be in sickbay”, Leon said.
The away team sat in sickbay, having been examined by Doctor Lowell when Leon walked in.
“How are they?” he asked.
“The virus has completely dissipated with no adverse affect.” The doctor responded. Walking over to the team, Leon asked them about the surface.
“We found nothing but animals down there. It was very disturbing.” James responded.
“I see you brought up a companion?” Leon said.
“She was scared, and she’s young, Doctor Lowell tells me she about 8 months ago physically. She seems to know me somehow, I couldn’t just leave her there” James said.
“Have you been able to establish who she is?” Leon asked.
“Not yet, but I’d like permission to bring her to Counselor Stephens, Seifer has offered to attempt a mind meld with her if Cody can’t communicate with her. I’d like to stay with her, as she seems comfortable with me.” James responded.
“Permission granted. Remember though Seifer; mind melds are difficult even on a trained mind. Your only half vulcan, and we have no way of knowing how it would effect you” Leon said.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be careful” Seifer responded.
“Very well, I’ll be on the bridge if you need me”, Leon said.
The mother ship approached the system.
“Have they detected us yet?” The commander asked.
“No sir” the tactical officer said.
“Excellent, do we have enough of the virus prepared to infect the entire crew?” he asked.
“Yes sir”, the medical officer said in a confident tone.
“Good. Then it’s time to put the plan into motion!” the commander said.
In Cody Stephen’s office, James sat down with the raccoon in his lap, petting her gently. Seifer sat and watch as Cody gently petted the raccoon.
“So who are you? How is it that you seem to know me?” James asked.
“It’s amazing, her thought patterns are very coherent, and she can definitely understand you.” Cody said.
“Who is she?” James asked.
“She says her name is Rachel Simons and that she was a 34 year old trill”, Cody said.
“Rachel? Is that really you?” James said. The raccoon nodded her head happily.
“I have to admit you look so cute like this”. The raccoon protested a bit, but seemed to enjoy the complement.
“How do you know her?” Seifer asked.
“When I was stationed on starbase 43, she lived there was a civilian. We were good friends. Eventually we were both stationed to different places, she was moved to a colony and I was station on the Magellan before here. We lost contact with each other after that, I was unsure exactly which colony she had moved to. Now I know.” James responded.
“Small universe” Cody responded.
“I guess that’s why you ‘took to me’ so easily” James said to the raccoon.
“We should the Captain know that we have been able to make contact with her”, Seifer said.
“Good idea” James said.
“Conrad to…” suddenly the entire ship rocked, and light flickered on and off, as the red alert klaxons sounded.
“What the hell?” Cody said.
“Bridge! What’s going on?” James said, but there was no answer.
“The com must be down!” Seifer said.
“Common, we should get to the bridge!” James said as the ship was again rocked.
On the bridge, smoke poured from the ceiling, and debris littered the floor.
“Where did they come from?” Leon asked.
“Unknown!” Samuel Xavier responded.
“We’ll have to worry about that later! Take evasive maneuvers and prepare to return fire!” Leon ordered. The ambrosia circled around the massive ship, and fired a volley of torpedoes at it. The ship again returned fire. The Ambrosia rocked heavily and light started flickering.
“Main power is offline! Switching to backup’s, shields down to 16%”.
“Fire at will!” Leon ordered.
James and Seifer ran toward the turbo lift as the ship was hit heavily, throwing both of them off of their feet. The entire corridor started to go dark.
“This isn’t good” James said.
“Captain I’m picking up transporter signatures! Were being boarded” Samuel Xavier.
“Get us out of here Mr. Jank!” Leon said. Just then all of the lights, except for the red alert lights went off. And everything went quiet.
“All system is going offline!” Samuel Xavier reported. The Ambrosia lay dead in space, as the alien mother ship set course for the other colony.
The deck was dark, only the lighting from the pulsating red alert lights lit the area. Seifer and James picked themselves up off of the floor.
“The main power must be out” James said.
“What should we do?” Seifer asked.
“We have to get to the bridge,” James said. Behind them they could hear someone running towards them, it was Cody.
“Are you guys okay?” he asked.
“Were fine, where is Rachel?” James asked. Out of seemingly nowhere, Rachel ran towards him and climbed up him and sat on his shoulder.
“I guess that answers my question”, he said.
“There are intruders on board, I can sense them”, Cody said.
“They must have erected a dampening field somehow, we should try to find it and shut it down”, James said.
The bridge was dark, you could smell smoke in the air. The bridge crew picked themselves up.
“Report!” Captain Strife asked.
“All main systems and backup systems are down, only basic emergency power and life support is functioning. There appears to be a dampening field in place,” Samuel Xavier reported.
“Do we any idea where how many of them boarded or where they boarded?” The captain asked.
“No sir. We will have to search deck by deck, but the turbolift system is down.” Samuel Xavier reported.
“Then were going to have to use the crawlspaces,” The Captain said.
“Agreed.” Samuel Xavier said.
In engineering, the warp core was dark and everyone was a carrying flashlight around to see what he or she were doing. With the red alert light being the other source of light, it was very hard to see where to go. Catherine Annox pressed several button on a console, but it was offline. Picking up a tricorder, she scanned the area. John walked over to her and gave his report.
“The systems do not appear have sustained significant damage. There appears to be a dampening field within the ship causing the power loss,” he said.
“Do we know where it’s coming from?” Catherine asked.
“We can’t tell for sure, but it appears to be coming from somewhere on deck 38”, Janice Bates reported.
“Deck 38? That’s where the primary life support system is!” Catherine said.
“That’s quite a climb without turbolifts, but I don’t think we have much of a choice” John said.
“Agreed. John and Commander Bates make your way up there, take whatever arms are necessary.” Catherine ordered.
In sickbay, Doctor’s Lowell and T’kal were trying to figure out what to do.
“With the power systems off like this, we have little options for getting to injured crewmen.” Doctor Lowell said.
“Then we should concentrate on getting the scanners and emergency transporter back online.” T’kal said.
“Agreed, Mr. Saotome, how much do you know about these systems?” Patrick asked.
“Not much, but I’ll do what I can”, he responded.
It took some effort, but Megan Wiley had been able to force open to doors to Stellar Cartography. As she walked down the dimly lit coridor, she thought she heard something.
“Who’s there?” she asked.
“It’s me!” Christine Peters answered.
“You scared me!” Megan said.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to. I was on this deck when we were attacked. I was looking for anyone to find out what is going on.” Christine said.
“According to the sensors, we were boarded. I detected a dampening field just before power failed all over the ship” Megan said.
“Common, lets see if we can find someone” Christine said.
James, Seifer and Cody crawled through the crawlway. Rachel was sitting on James’ back. She started making noises as if something were upsetting her.
“What’s wrong?” James asked.
“There’s someone near here, someone that isn’t a part of this crew, she can hear them.” Cody said. Holding his phaser ready, James slowly crawled towards the source of the sound.
“I can hear it too, its right over there” he whispered. Suddenly, out of the dark something jumped at the group. Reacting quickly, James fired his phaser, causing the attacker to fall back. Crawling towards it, and getting to a area where he could stand up, James stood over the alien, as Seifer and Cody crawled to there and stood up beside him.
“I don’t recognize the species”, James said.
“Either do I”, Cody responded. Seifer had an almost terrified look on his face, and was feeling just above his rear end.
“What’s wrong?” James asked, shining his light on him.
“I’m not sure”, Seifer said. Suddenly there was a loud ripping sound from the area Seifer was feeling. James shined his light on the area and gasped when he saw that Seifer had sprouted along orange tail with a tuft on the end of it.
“A tail?” Seifer said, sounding terrified. James suddenly felt very itchy on his chest. Feeling inside of his shirt, he jumped as he felt fur. Shining the light down, he was that the fur was black with a few patches of cream mixed in. Cody was about to say something when he felt itchy as well. He looked on his arms, and saw black fur growing in.
“I don’t like the looks of this” Seifer said.
“I have a feeling we’d better find the rest of their boarding party and fast.” James said.
Leon, Kyle Gates, Brandon Jank and Samuel Xavier walked down the coridor of deck 5, having climbed down to there.
“Transporter room 1 is on this deck, if we can get it operational we should be able to located the source of the dampening field and beam to it to shut it down.” Leon said.
“Do you hear that?” Samuel said.
“Hear what?” Kyle asked.” There’s something just ahead of us.” Samuel said. Leon felt very itchy around his head and neck and had started to scratch it when he saw something move in the dark just around a corner.
“Wait, I saw something. And it didn’t look like any of our people” he said.
“Captain is you okay?” Kyle asked.
“Why do you ask?” Leon asked.
“Your head” he said.
“What about my head?” he asked as he felt it. He nearly jumped when he felt long stringy hair all around his head.
“What the hell?” he asked himself.
“Captain behind you!” Brandon said as he saw something running toward the Captain. Quickly, Leon turned around, and seeing the attacker that was running towards him, he fired his phaser, striking it, causing it to fall back with a thud. The 4 of them ran up to it.
“Any species you recognize?” The captain asked.
“No sir.” Samuel responded.
“Commander! You ears!” Leon said. Samuel felt his face. Nearly jumping when he didn’t feel his ears one the sides of his head where they should be, he felt the top of his head. He had been feeling itchy there.
“What the hell?” he said, as he felt two long furry ears on top of his head. Brandon realized that his chest was feeling itchy, and lifting his shirt up, he saw that he now had a pelt of brown fur on his chest.
“What is going on?” he said.” The boarding party! They must have released that damned virus. We have to stop them, before this gets much worse!” Leon said.
“Is anything happening to you Ensign?” Leon asked Kyle. Kyle felt his face, and found that his ears felt different. Rather then being into heir normal position, they were now much further up and where much smaller and rounded. As he reached his hand up to feel them, he noticed that he had very thin webbing between his fingers. Looking at it in horror, all he could say was
“I’m afraid so”.
John and Janice Bates crawled though the crawlways as fast as they could. It was very dark and they only had their wrist lights to light the way. Having climbed up several decks, John shined his light on a label, showing them which deck they were on.
“Deck 50. 10 down, 12 to go” he said.
“It’s so hot in here. I feel dizzy”, Janice said.
“We can rest if it will help”, John said.
“That’s sounds like a good idea,” Janice said.
“It seems odd that we haven’t run into anyone else yet,” John said. Janice, sitting was holding her feet, which were aching severely. Finally taking her shoes off, she gasped in horror as she saw her feet. They looked different. As she held them, they suddenly started to grow. Her toes had merged, instead of 5, she only had 3, and each tow had a large black claw at the end it of it. On top of each food was a coating of orange fur. As she cradled her feet, the orange fur started growing up her legs and her legs seemed to be getting longer.
“What the hell is going on?” John said as he watched.
“The life support system. That’s why they got into it. That virus, they must have released it somehow.” John said.
“And disabled our power systems so we’d have no way of stopping it”, Janice said. As John was about to respond, he noticed that the skin on his arms and legs was starting to look very different then normal. It looks dark and had darkened on a greenish tone and leathery texture. He noticed that his chest felt strange as well. Pulling up his shirt, he notice that the skin looked clammy and yellow, and appeared to be forcing into what looked like reptilian plates. Turning towards Janice, he showed her what was happening to him.
“It’s happening to me too.” He said. Janice picked herself up. Realizing that they were running out of time, she began up to climb up to the next deck.
“Looks like we’d better hurry!” she said.
Having had little luck in getting the sickbay systems back online, Gabriel, Patrick and T’kal had decided to search he deck for injured crewmen. Gabriel Saotome walked down the corridor looking for anyone he could find. He came to what appeared to be a damaged section. He could hear something in the distance, but he wasn’t sure what.
“Hello?” he said, hoping to get an answer. The pulsating lights of the red alert indicators was not bright enough to get a clear image of what which it was, so he walked causally towards the source of the sound. Finding a damage section of the corridor, he saw a source of light behind some debris. He could hear heavily breathing. Pulling out a phaser, he slowly walked towards the source of the breathing. Doctor Lowell and T’kal walked down another corridor. Hearing what sounded like a scratching sound, T’kal pointed her light in the direction of it.
“There is someone or something over there” she said. Pulling out his phaser, Patrick slowly walked towards the source of the sound. Shining his flashing on it, he saw what it was. It was a beaver!
“A beaver? Where did a beaver come from?” he asked. He suddenly became aware of a pulling sensation at the base of his spine.
“What is going on?” he said. T’kal shined her light on the area just in time to see a long red tail with black stripes rip itself out of Patrick’s pants. Holding the tail, Patrick gasped.
“It’s happening to me as well. They must have gotten the virus onboard somehow. Shining his light towards T’kal, he saw her face looked different somehow.
“It’s happening to you as well!” he said. T’kal felt her face, it having been feeling strange and itchy for the past several minutes. She felt fur, and a muzzle. Her ears were now at the top of her head and were rounded and furry. Her teeth were incredibly sharp. She had noticed that she could see much better in the dark, it seemed that her eyes had changed as well. In the distance, they both heard what sounded like weapons fire. Both of them took off, running towards the source of the sound. Gabriel stood over the body of his attacker. T’kal and Patrick arrived, and looked at him.
“What happened?” T’kal asked.
“It attacked me, a member of a boarding party I assume?” he asked.
“Gabriel, your face!” Patrick said.
“What about my face?” he answered as he felt his face.
“Gak!” he said, as he felt his ears. His ears didn’t feel anything like normal, they felt like earflaps. Further feeling his face, he felt a muzzle and a small cold nose in place of his normal mouth and nose.
“What the hell?” he said.
“It would seem that they have release the virus into the ship.” T’kal said.
“We have to find a way to reverse it!” Gabriel said.
Megan Wiley and Christine Peters walked down the corridor. They had been fortunate enough to find several crewmen. They told them to find as many people as they could and stay in Stealer Cartography while they searched for more people. As they rounded a corner, Megan suddenly felt a wave of dizziness.
“What’s wrong?” Christine asked.
“I don’t know, I feel strange!” Megan responded. As she finished that sentence, the back of her pants was ripped open, but a long bushy tail that had red fur and a white tip at the end. Before she could react, black fur sprouted all over both of her hands and fingers, followed by red fur, which grew up her arms.
“What’s going on?” she said, terrified by the changed her body had just undergone. As Christine was about to respond, her pants were ripped open by a slender, long, brown, furry and streamlined tail. She held the tail, petting it in horror, as fur started to grow on her hands and her fingernails grew into claws. Her chest felt incredibly itchy, she lifted her shirt up to see a pelt of brown fur completely envelop it.
“I think we’ve have a new problem!” Megan said.
James, Seifer and Cody walked down the corridor of deck 2, one deck below the bridge. It was very dark, only the pulsing red alert lights lit the way.
“How are you doing?” James asked of Cody. Cody had since shrunk quite a bit, and his voice sounded younger. His entire body was covered in fur. The fur was white on his chest, feet, hands and face, and was back elsewhere, except for a white stripe that went down his back.
“It’s so warm in here, and I feel strange and a little silly”, Cody responded.
“How about you Seifer?” James asked. Seifer’s body, like Cody’s has since become covered in fur, except his fur was orange. He had lost a bit of height and his hands now looked much more like paws. His face had changed. His mouth and nose had grown into a short muzzle and his teeth had become very sharp and pointy. He was starting to have trouble talking.
“I feel very strange, I’m not sure how much longer I can go”, he responded. Petting him on the head gently, James tried to comfort him.
“However this turns out, we’ll find a way to reverse it.” He said.
“What about you?” Cody asked. James’s own changes had progressed considerably. His entire body was covered in brown fur with several patches of cream. His ears had become rounded and were now at the top of his head. His face had grown out into a short muzzle. His finger had decreased in length slightly, but his fingernails had become incredibly sharp, as had his teeth. He seemed to have developed a slight musty odor.
“I’m sorry if the smell bothers you guys”.
“It’s okay, considered what I’m obviously becoming, it’s actually rather tame” Cody said.
“Doesn’t bug me, it’s actually kinda neat” Seifer responded, giggling slightly. Rachel chittered, and rubbed up against James.
“I’m not sure what I’m becoming”, James said. Rachel again chittered.
“She says you almost look like a ferret”, Cody said.
“A ferret? An earth mammal” James said.
“We should be able to get to the bridge from a crawlspace just ahead. I believe I can use my phasers power to power the operation console, so we can at least get an idea of what’s happening”, James said. The 4 of them headed in the direction of the crawlspace.
Leon, Kyle Gates, Brandon Jank and Samuel Xavier had entered the transporter room. The captain worked on trying to get power back to the room. Brannon felt the long brown tail that had since grown from the base of his spine, as well as the brown pelt of fur that had since covered his body.
“This is creepy”, he said. As Captain Strife worked on the power circuits, he felt his tail, which had since grown swishing back and forth. It was long with orange fur and a bush at the end of it. He had been feeling itchy, and when he looked at himself, he saw why. Orange fur had grown all over his body. He felt his face, and could feel the beginnings of a muzzle starting. His fingernails were longer and starting to get very sharp.
“Okay, I think I can get the console and transporter back online, but I’ll need the power cells from all of our phasers” he said. Samuel Xavier walked over to the captain. His changes had progressed as well. His entire body was covered in white fur, and his hands were smaller, his fingers having had become thicker, and pads having grown on the bottom of his hands.
“You’re not going to eat me? When this is done are you?” he asked.
“Don’t worry Sam, I’ll keep myself under control, you have my word.” Leon responded.
“How are you holding up Kyle?” Leon asked. Kyle’s blue skin had since turned brown and a light coating of brown fur had grown all over him. His legs were growing together, such that he had to remove his pants. His arms had decreased his length considerably and the webbing on his hands had become so thick that his hands looked more like flippers.
“I don’t think I have much longer,” he said.
“Hang in there, were going to get out of this.” Leon said. Connecting each person’s phasers’ power cell to the power grid, he initiated the startup sequence.
“It looks like it’s working, but it’s going to need about 15 minutes.” He said.
John and Janice Bates had managed to climb all the way up to deck 38.
“Okay this is it. Primary life support is very close. How are you doing?” John asked. Janice had progressed considerably. Her entire body was covered in red fur. Her legs were very long and powerful. She has sprouted a long and powerful tail. Her body was now built for hopping, but the ceiling wasn’t high enough to do so. Near the bottom of her chest was a pouch. Her fingernails had grown long, dark and thick. She examined herself, rather upset with what was happening.
“How am I supposed to function like this?” she asked.
“I don’t know, but we will find a way”, John responded. Removing her tricorder from her pouch, she scanned for life signs.
“Well I guess this isn’t all bad,” she said to herself. John’s changes had progressed as well. All of his skin had turned a dark green color, except on his chest, where it had turned a yellow. His chest looked completely different then normal. It had what looked like smooth plates all over it. All of his hair had fallen out and his face was starting to grow into a shape similar to a beak, but much more reptilian then avian. The skin on his back had hardened and had expanded considerably; it had grown into a rounded shape, forming a soft shell. He was starting to find it difficult to move quickly. After he had finished examining himself, he asked her what she was reading, as he could hear her tricorder beeping.
“There are 6 life forms by the primary life support generator, and I am picking up what appears to be generating the dampening field.” She reported.
“6 against 2? I don’t like those odds very much” John said.
“Either do I, but we have to do something, perhaps we can surprise them.” Janice said.
“Sounds good to me, lets do it” John responded.
Gabriel Saotome, T'kal and Patrick Lowell had returned to sickbay. They had brought the intruder with them. The alien lay on a bio bed. T’kal scanned him with a medical tricorder she had managed to get working.
“His physiology is very different from anything I have ever seen, but he appears to be alright. We should be able to question him,” she said. T’kal’s changes are been proceeding quickly. Her entire body was covered in orangish fur. Her fingers had thickened, but were still useable. Her fingernails had lengthened and become very sharp. She had since sprouted a long tail with orange fur and a tuft of fur at the end. Gabriel walked over to the side of the bed. His changed as well had proceeded. His body was covered in a pelt of golden colored fur. His muzzle was long and fully developed and he had a long tail.
“Can he be woken up?” he asked. Patrick walked over to the other side of the bed. His changed has extended as well. Red fur with black stripes covered his body, his face had grown out into a short muzzle, and his fingernails were longer and much sharper.
“I don’t think we have much choice, do it”, he said. T’kal injected the alien with a hypospray. The alien woke up and looked at the 3 of them with a look of shock in his eyes.
“I see the virus is already well underway”, he said.
“Who are you and why are you doing this?” Patrick asked.
“My people are planning to take over your federation, planet by planet, ship by ship. By turning the inhabitants of the planets into animals and crews of the ships into animals, it would become much easier for us.” He said.
“I’m surprised you’ve told us all of this so easily”, Gabriel said.
“I do not agree with that my people are doing. I am not part of the boarding parties. I suck over while they were beaming over, I was trying to get to your sickbay, so I could stop the affects of the virus, perhaps even reverse it” he said.
“I see, were sorry for shooting you, we had no idea” T’kal said.
“No need to apologize. My people have set up a dampening field near your life support system, that is how they distributed the virus,” he said.
“If we can get there, we destroy the dampening field and get the cure for it into the air system.” He said.
“How do we do that?” Patrick asked.
“I have something with me that can get past the dampening field, I can get your transporter operating, we can use it to get right to the area. As for the cure, I don’t know how effective it will be, but it’s worth a try.” He said.
“Very well then, lets do it!” Patrick said.
Megan Wiley and Christine Peters stood in the stellar cartography room, looking at their crewmates in horror. Megan’s entire body was covered in a pelt of fur, she felt very warm so he had stripped down to her tank top. Her fur was white on her chest, black on her hands and feet and was red elsewhere, except for a white tip at the end of her busy tail. Most of the people in the room were undergoing similar changes; a couple of them had been completely changed into animals. One was a porcupine and another was a snow leopard. Christine stood up behind Megan. Christine’s body was now completely covered in a pelt of brown fur, and her ears were now at the top of her head. Her face had grown out into a short muzzle. Her toenails were claws, and her toes were webbed.
“We can’t just sit here waiting for this to finish, we have to do something.” She said.
“I agree, but I can’t think of anything we can do other then try to get some power to these sensors to try to locate the source of the power drain.” Megan responded. She too had been feeling warm and had stripped to her tank top and a pair of shorts. She walked over to the console and opened the area under it up.
“Lets give this a try.” She said.
James, Seifer and Cody had made it to the bridge. Their changed seemed to be complete, as they appeared to have stopped changing. Cody has since had to discard his pants. He had shrunk so much that his shirt covered his entire body anyway. He had since grown a long and fluffy tail that was black with 2 stripes running down it. He looked like a young humanoid skunk. James had since grown a long cream colored tail with a black tip. He looked like a humanoid ferret. Seifer changed had gone much further. He had completely changed into a lion, and seemed to have decreased in age; by his appearance he was a cub. James and Cody worked on the operations console, having managed to get it working with their phasers’ power generators. Rachel sat on James’ shoulder. Cody had to stand on top of the chair to reach the console. Seifer, in his current form was unable to do anything. So he stood watching the 3 of them. James worked on the back console, while Cody worked on the main one.
“Looks like there is a dampening field on deck 38, right by the Primary life support.” He said.
“There doesn’t seems to be much damage, the hull breaches are in control, it doesn’t look like we lost anyone, but the life sign readings are very strange” Cody said.
“How so?” James asked.
“I’m picking up only animal like readings, so appear to be humanoid like us, but other appear to be full animals, like Seifer or Rachel” Cody said.
“It looks like that virus has been busy” James said.
“Wait a second, I’m detecting a beam in close to the source of the dampening field, 7 life signs, wait a second, I’m picking up 2 more life signs approaching the area. I’m picking up phaser fire.” Cody said.
“It looks like were about to be saved” James said, smiling.
Captain Strife stood between a cougar and tiger, which were both growing at the three of them. In front of them were 3 aliens, both armed with weapons. Behind them 3 aliens lay unconscious. Leon looked very much like a humanoid lion, mane and all.
“How much longer do you think you can hold out Captain?” one of the aliens asked. Leon growled,
“You’ll never away with this!” he said.
“Whatever you say, Captain. Finish them off!” the middle alien said. As he gave that order, he fell down, unconscious. Behind T’kal stood. One of the other aliens lunged at her and she struggled with him. The other was about to shoot her when a kangaroo hopped precariously down the corridor, and jumped at him, knocking him back. Him got up to attack her, and she countered with a punch to his face, knocking him out cold. T’kal managed to knock down the alien that she was fighting with, when he reached for his weapon (which had fallen). From the dark, a humanoid turtle ran towards him, pointing its shell towards the alien as he fired the weapon, the blast knocked the turtle forward, but he was otherwise all right. Leon took this opportunity to jump on the alien and knock him out with a single blow. The doors to the life support system opened, and what looked like a humanoid dog, with golden colored walk out, carrying two unconscious aliens. Inside the life support room, a humanoid white rabbit worked on the generator that was creating the dampening field. Finally having enough, he pulled his phaser and blasted it, causing it to go dark, which in turn restored power to the ship. In the view space, the ships lights all came back on and it’s engines lit up. The Alien who had been in sickbay, who they learned whose name was
“Pa’chang” smiled as the lights came back on.
“Good, now I can get the cure into the air. I’m not sure how well it will work, but it’s worth a try”, he said. The COM system suddenly beeped.
“Annox to Captain Strife? All power systems are coming back online, is every all right?” she asked.
“In a matter of speaking Catherine. Are you alright?” Leon asked.
“It’s kind of hard to explain.” She said as she looked at her hands, which looked like the paws of a cat. Looking at her reflection in a reflective surface, she saw that her face looked just like that of a cat. She managed to look behind her only to see that she had a tail that was very much like a cats. Continuing, she told him about her changes.
“It’s alright Catherine, it’s happening to all of us. But I think we have it under control. What is the status of the engines?” Leon asked.
“They suffered some damaged in the attack, but aside from some damage on several decks and a couple of minor hull breeches, we seem to be in one piece”, she replied.
“Excellent, assemble damage control teams as soon as possible, we are going to work on finding the ship that attacked us”, Leon said.
“Common, lets get this ship back under control, and find that mother ship”, Leon said to the people around him.