As they observed the new canid, there was a communications chime. The captain tapped his communicator pin. “Picard here.”
It was Riker. “Sir, we –” He didn’t get a chance to complete his sentence as the ship was suddenly rocked. “Captain!” Riker yelled. “It’s Ferengi!”
“Ferengi? What the devil do they want?” Picard turned to them all. “Duty calls.”
As he departed, the ship went to red alert, and the lights dimmed a bit. There was hit taken, and the temporary surge knocked out the lights. “There’ll be casualties!” the doctor exclaimed. Engaging a small flashlight, she found her way to the door and, for a moment, there was power. This tripped the sensor. As the door slid open, unseen, two small and furry creatures ran out and the lights, again, were cut.
Spot, where do we go?
Follow, Porthos, follow!
That way smells bad, like wires are cooked. This way! We go to Sick Bay. Sick Bay is where Alpha sends me when there is danger. Do you think Alpha is in danger?
Do you think Metal Master is?
There was a shimmer in the dark as two figures beamed in. As the lights flickered on and off, they could be seen a bit. They had large heads with huge ears – Ferengi.
“This is madness!” the taller of the two complained. “The Rules of Acquisition don’t say anything at all about risking one’s life for salvage!”
The ship was rocked again as the shorter one considered his response. “Rule Number 62 says – the riskier the road, the greater the profit.” The lights flickered off and on again. “Let’s just get something fast. Get in, and get out, I always say.”
There was a sign of movement, low to the ground. “There!” yelled the taller one, pointing.
Security was coming. They’d have to act quickly. They scooped up the closer of the two furred things. “It is, I think it is called a cat,” said the short one. As he pulled out a communicator, he was attacked.
Humans ran by, and there were voices on communicators, calling for Security and reporting on intruders.
The bites on the Ferengi were hard, and they broke skin. And then the furred creature began to struggle in the shorter Ferengi’s arms and claw at him madly.
Bad smell bad smell TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF SPOT! NOW! DROP SPOT NOW!
LEAVE ME ALONE! DROP ME!
The tall one says, blah blah out. The short one says blah blah yes blah. Good smell Security smell phaser sound phaser smell Spot are you all right? SPOT!
Hurt, Porthos, I am hurt.
The dog began biting, and then barking, as the cat hissed and scratched. Both of the Ferengi were being roughed up. The shorter one threw the cat as far away as he could, and the animal hit a wall with a disturbing-sounding yowl.
“We have to get out of here!” exclaimed the taller one.
“Our profits!” answered his partner. Then he saw a Security team coming. “Yes! We’d better leave!”
They beamed out as phasers were fired.
The lights flickered again, and finally came back on for good. A Klingon, Worf, was on the Security team. He engaged his communicator. “The intruders are gone,” he reported, “but Spot appears to have been injured.”
In Sick Bay, Doctor Crusher responded, “We didn’t have any other casualties, thank goodness. I’ll be right there.”
She got there as quickly as she could. By that time, Data, Geordi and Wes had returned to the area. They stood by, off to the side. Porthos, also agitated, shifted his weight from paw to paw.
Beverly knelt down in order to run a scanner over her little patient. “Huh. They broke a few ribs. That can be fixed quickly.” She tapped her communicator pin. “Crusher to transporter; beam me directly to Sick Bay.” She held onto the cat, which looked up at her with golden eyes but did not scratch.
In Sick Bay, Beverly worked on her patient. The doors swished open, revealing Wesley, Geordi and Data. And, behind them, there was a canine visitor as well.
Good smell good smell Sick Bay smells why is there no Derellian bat here? Does not smell like Phlox!
Nurse Alyssa Ogawa came over.
Nurse says, blah blah sit blah blah Spot blah blah wait blah blah.
I am confused. Spot needs me. I will wait.
Nurse Ogawa crouched down to address Spot’s canine visitor directly. “I’m sorry but you can’t sit here with Spot. We have to work on him. You’ll have to wait outside.” The dog tilted his head but made no move to get up. She straightened up. “I guess Spot’s got a visitor.”
Doctor Crusher quipped, “So telling him visiting hours were over didn’t work?”
“I think he’s almost concerned,” replied the nurse.
“Doctor,” Data asked, “will Spot be all right?”
The doctor leaned over and worked a device that glowed a little. “Ah, there! Good as new.” She handed the bone-knitting laser to Nurse Ogawa. “I believe we can discharge the patient.” They let the cat onto the floor and the dog immediately started wagging his tail.
“Porthos appears to be relieved,” Data remarked. “I am as well.”
Good smell better smell smell of bones roasting just a little bit. Spot, how are you feeling?
Better now. Doctor is good. It is good when Metal Master is here. Metal Master does not get afraid the way we know, not the usual way.
Understood, but Metal Master seems to smell a little afraid anyway. I could smell young human Wesley’s fear, nurse’s concentration, doctor’s concentration, and masked one’s fear. I smelled your fear, too, Spot.
I am not af – you are right, Porthos. I was afraid.
I smell something from the Metal Master, too. You are right. There is a chemical change. It is subtle. It is slight. But Metal Master does feel fear. I miss Alpha, Spot. I think Alpha is afraid without me.
Spot came over and rubbed her face on Porthos’s shoulder.
We will tell Metal Master to get you home. I do not want you to go, but your Alpha needs you.