Lt. Cmdr. DeVeau - "Scary Discovery"

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Amanda Nordstrom

Jan 1, 2019, 4:51:00 PM1/1/19

(( Planet Limbo, Day 14 ))

::Alora fiddled with the vine, then carefully stepped back.  She surveyed her work, then nodded before looking to Sachiko who had perched on a limb of a young tree.::

DeVeau: Third time’s the charm, right?

::Her first two attempts at a trap had been unsuccessful, but Alora felt like she might have finally gotten the hang of it.  Sachiko only offered her characteristic expression - eyes half closed.::

DeVeau: Why do you doubt  me?

::The feline answered with a yawn, then hopped down and trotted over to rub at her pet’s legs.::

DeVeau: Why do I feel like you only keep me around for the scritching, huh?

::Alora obliged, offering the cat a good rub behind her ears.  She might have stayed a moment longer, but the calico suddenly stiffened, her fur standing on edge.  Suddenly, she darted toward a copes of bushes, pausing just before she actually entered them. She looked back and mewed softly, then pounced within their protection.  While Alora was simply a human, she knew what Sachiko was trying to say, and she also knew better than to ignore the cat. Animals were far more in tune with their surroundings, and she was going to listen.  The young woman immediately followed, crouching down to stay hidden.::

::For a few moments, nothing happened.  Still, they remained, Alora’s back aching enough that she gingerly moved so she was in a better position.  After a few moments, she began to wonder if it was a false alarm, but Sachiko remained alert and ill at ease.  Alora decided to wait a little longer, and suddenly found herself glad that she had trusted the little cat. As she had witnessed in other nights when the deep rumbling had echoed through the forest, the birds, creatures that crawled and clacked, everything went silent.  Unlike before, however, there was none of that low, musical throng. Instead, she heard a rustle of underbrush, the sound of something moving through the forest. Careful not to make a sound herself, Alora peered through the leaves that gave her a scattered view. There, just beyond where she had placed her makeshift trap, a creature a little larger than the size of a horse came into view.  Then, she realised, it wasn’t one, but two, as the other was immediately hidden from view,then appeared as it hung back to sniff at the ground.::

::Powerful rippled through every muscle, their bodies akin to the shape of a lion’s, but more robust.  The enormous paws, however, surely boasted claws, which she was witness to when one took a moment to rake at the ground.  That explained some of the strange spots she’d found as she had traveled. Unlike a lion, the necks were elongated, allowing the animals to twist them around to peer behind them without turning their body.  Instead of a mane, there was a hood that extended from the sides of the neck. The fur that covered its body was short and white, with spots of orange that reminded her of glimmering goldfish. From its snout, just behind the nostrils, an appendage extended on each side, and undulated along its neck, perhaps some sort of machination for sensory input.  Alora watched in fascination, wishing she could get a closer look, but far more concerned with self preservation to be that stupid. As one turned and lifted paw, she realised that it’s shape and make up would mean that it could be absolutely silent if it so desired. The fact that they were not attempting to be so indicated that they were not hunting and, therefore, hopefully not hungry.  Alora still wasn’t going to go out there and try to engage - they were wild animals, unknown, and there was no way to predict how they would behave.::

::The creatures meandered through the area, taking their time, and Alora’s legs ached as she continued to crouch.  Unwilling to move due to their proximity, she dealt with the discomfort, the fascination with the new life helping to distract her.  Eventually, the two moved off, but still she remained until the birds began to chatter a new, and the normal rustling of smaller creatures indicated that it was safe.  It was only then that Alora rose, her legs complaining at having been cramped for so long.::

DeVeau: Well.  I guess that explains the claw sheath.

::Making her way over to her trap, Alora saw a pawprint impression that had only missed it by a few inches.  At least it was still intact, and it hadn’t been stepped on, engaged, and thus enraged the animals.::

DeVeau: I have a feeling they aren’t ones to be messed with.

::Sachiko, sticking close to her human, meowed softly in response.::

Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Science Officer
USS Veritas
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