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It Takes Three...

Posted on Tue May 7th, 2019 @ 11:16am by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathon Hayter [Hawkins] & Lieutenant Commander Mel Torma

Mission: Jarland
Location: Science Lab 3 - U.S.S. Gladiator - A
Timeline: BACKPOST

/// ON ///

Taking his time strutting around the corridors of the new starship, Lt. Colonel John Hayter couldn't help but admire the new, slightly larger hallways and more modern design. He wasn't upset that he wasn't going with them, but he was jealous, to say the least. But he was not in charge of a small regiment of marines and now helped with the instructors assigned to the island. No... he was here for a personal matter and he was going to get to the bottom of it. He wasn't leaving till he had an answer.

As he came around the final corner on the science deck, he came to the lab in which the computer had claimed that she was at. So it wasn't a surprise when he entered the lab, there was the two figure form of Mel.

"You seriously planned on not coming by before you shipped out on your deployment?" John questioned as he through his hands up in the air.

She turned, one form after another, to look over at John. "What? What no! No I was going to check in. I've got plenty of time still don't I?" and then something dawned on her.

"I don't, do I? Wait, what time is it?" she asked, starting to get a little worried.

"1815ish?" John answered as he looked at the closest form. "You said you wanted to do it one more time, but NO. You chose to enjoy work and not enjoy some alonetime with me!"

Oh the face she made. Somewhere between amused and disgusted. Amused at John's hopeful attempt at a joke, but still... he was single. No. That's just... eww..

"Oh ewwww, John I hope this is some idea of a joke. Oh Dia, bleh..." she even made the BLEH face, lolling her tongue out as though to banish a fowl taste. "You're *Single*. Sorry but..." she didn't finish that thought, at least not out loud.

Her other silent form walked over to John, and gave him a smile, "You're a grand friend, a companion through the crazy trip through the Federation. But you aren't Dalacari..."

"... boyfriend material. Sorry, it's not you, it's actually me." she offered with a smirk.

A long confused look came over the marine's face as he blinked slowly at her. "No, four eyes," he started off, still trying new ways of jokingly insult her. "... How many times do I have to explain this to you that having dinner on a weekly basis alone with me, in your Dalacari swim suit, is not dating, its hanging out as friends. Plus, my furball loves ya. You seem to be one of the very few she enjoys being around more than me."

Mel paused, considered, and then gave John a pair of smirks, "Dinner, sure, but you're not allowed to tell people you're seeing twins." she chided playfully, John's seriousness and choice of words having caught her off guard momentarily.

"I value our friendship." the other Dalacari form started, "and you're one of the only people I've met that properly prepares..."

"... a steak." Dalacari, being evolved from predator stock, enjoyed their steak very, very rare. "Also, you have an adorable little furball." she admitted as the pair closed the distance. One of them reached up to gently brush his cheek. "Though, it's a shame there's only one of you." she teased... before that smile spread across her features, revealing the tease.

"You aren't you such a sweet heart," the marine replied as he looked around the lab. "So, what's ya working on in here?"

Mel offered a pair of smiles, before moving over towards her latest specimen sample, "It's fascinating. It's has many of the qualities of a plant, but it lacks chlorophyll like a plant. Hence the black color." she motioned to the black vine.

Her twin started talking next, "The vine itself grows in mass when exposed to radiation or heat. So I'm keeping it in a sealed...

"... containment field for study. If I didn't this room would fill with the vine in about thirty minutes."

"There are many plants out there that aren't the normal color, so I could understand the color, but why is lack of chlorophyll a problem? Does it not produce its own waste, like other plants which gives off oxygen and other things," John muttered, slightly understanding where she was coming from, but he didn't completely understand the fascinating part.

"Because this plant like organism doesn't respond to sunlight. It responds to heat. Any form of heat it can somehow metabolize into energy to grow. Even in ..."

"... a vacuum it could possibly propagate. The containment field it is in now restricts the amount of energy it could receive so it doesn't in essence starve to death but..."

"... it's just a wholly fascinating specimen. Also, from the scans, completely inedible." to that, she laughed in stereo. "Even to marine tastes."

"You are just saying that to prevent me from trying it out," John countered as he rolled his eyes before chuckling. He took in a deep breath before looking closer at the speciman. "What good is this then? Are you trying to find a way to grow plants in a vacuum? Possibly have the Gladiator grow the trees on the hall?"

"Actually I wanted to have it added to the list of dangerous possibly invasive species." she corrected.

"It's a dangerous species that leeches the heat from a region in an attempt to grow as much..."

"... as possible. It could wreak havoc on an ecosystem if left unchecked." she continued. "So I want to..."

"... have it put on a watch list for interstellar travel."

"Wow..." John raised his eyebrows as he looked over at both of her. "What safe guards do you have in place for it to not wreck things on the Gladiator?"

"Oh, I put a 'Do Not Touch' sign up on it." she started, then gave John a look that was fifty percent sass and fifty percent 'Really?'. Then they pair smiled. "I've got Science monitoring for sudden increases in biomass or sudden drops in thermals." she mentioned.

"Plus, it's enclosed in this examination suite, which should contain it should it decide to ..."

"... explosively expand. I'm also limiting my research so I don't constantly expose it to light, heat, or..."

"... any radiation. Though, I can't kill it, cause to study it I need it alive." she sounded exhausted.

John chuckled as he nodded slightly. "A 'Do Not Touch' sign... That is funny." He sighed slightly as he looked at the pair one more time before waving her by. "Alrighty, our ride is here and should be prepped and ready. I had change of plans. Let's take a trip down to the planet instead of transporters."

"Oh that sounds nice. Alright then, let's go." and with that, Mel and John took a tour out of the science department and headed out to the shuttlebay. About halfway there, Mel stiffened up, like she stepped on a nail or something.

"Oh Dia!! I forgot to turn off the observation equipment!" and Mel turned and sprinted back towards science. "John, get ready to call security, just in case." as she nearly bounced back to the science department.

"... Wait... What???"

~ Fin ~

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