S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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The Stowaway

Posted on Thursday April 4th, 2019 @ 09:51 hours by Alexandria Farron

Mission: Pixie Dust
Location: Farron's Quarters, Deck 2
Timeline: MD01 - 2320 Hours
1125 words - 2.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Alexandria sighed heavily as the hatch to her cabin closed behind her. Her bed looked inviting, only a few steps away, but she didn’t seem to have it in her to even try to make it that much further. She leaned back against the hatch, bracing herself as the bulkheads swayed and her vision started to fade. Not good. She hadn’t been holding her breath for that long… only three and a half minutes, give or take a few seconds.

Normally Alexandria could go almost twice that before she started to grey out.

Believing even more that something was wrong, yet still not knowing what it was, Alexandria was at a loss of where to even begin. She felt the urge to squirm as her body began to burn from the acidic buildup of carbon dioxide in her bloodstream, but her artificial lungs gave her at least that one edge… they did not spasm. With enough practice and concentration, she could manipulate the rate in which they absorbed oxygen, and exuded carbon dioxide. Breathing was still an autonomic function, of course, but she was fairly certain that she could control it to a dangerous extent. Brain damage was not a desirable outcome, however, so she was not keen on putting that hypothesis to the test.

Alexandria’s lungs weren’t the only organs in her body that were artificial. Her kidneys, liver, pancreas, gall bladder and small intestine were all synthetic too. A series of infections and allergic reactions throughout her youth had rendered most of her major organs too damaged to reliably function by the time she was sixteen. They had not been replaced on a whim, as by now she would have been dead without them.

Everyone was acting crazy… delusional. Why? Had they ingested something? Was there something in the air? Some kind of energy emission or radiation, perhaps? That was the problem with having too many synthetic organs. They were controlled by computer programs, and had only a limited connection to her central nervous system. They were also not biological. They did not get infected, or become irritated by reactions to toxins or allergies. She no longer had some of the natural warning mechanisms in place to tell her that something was wrong.

That was why she was holding her breath. Something was affecting her body, and her cardiopulmonary system was one of the easier ones to check without tests or tech.

Not wanting to push herself further, Alexandria allowed herself to breathe, and as the room swam she felt her knees bend and her back slide down the hatch until she was sitting on the deck. Her heart, one of her few remaining natural organs, was racing… working in overdrive to restore the pH in her bloodstream. She felt like she’d run a marathon. All she’d done was hold her breath walking from the bridge to her cabin… the long way, avoiding the others, who were affected by who knows what. Alexandria was not overly athletic in the conventional sense, but she was keenly aware of her body’s capabilities. Something wasn’t right.

Alexandria had to at least consider the possibility that mental instability was just the common denominator among the crew, sparked by the sudden, emergency full-stop. Visible bumps and scrapes on many of the crew were also telling signs of head trauma. But none of that explained whatever was wrong with her. She hadn’t hit her head, and she was definitely one of the more well-adjusted crewmembers on the ship. Maybe one of her organs was malfunctioning. She shuddered at the thought of replacement surgery. She’d better make sure.

After shrugging out of the top half of her coveralls, Alexandria did the same with her baselayer onesie, leaving her bare from the waist up except for her bra. She had to reach under one of its straps to pull away a patch of fake skin… they couldn’t have installed the port in a more annoying place. She could feel it rub against her ribs as she plugged in the data connector. It was a feeling she had yet to grow accustomed to. The data from her synthetic organs started coming in as soon as she plugged the connector into a datapad. She could make little sense of the raw data, but in the past she’d never had to. She’d been told to plug in only once a week, to make sure her replacement organs were synchronized. There was a simple color coded gauge for the patient to read. Hers was green. Just barely. That meant she was still okay, right? She’d never seen any other color.

Alexandria pulled the plug, and replaced the patch of fake skin. She tugged her baselayer top back on, but chose not to get back into her coveralls; they’d proved quite uncomfortable to sleep in the night before. Sleep was all she could think about now. Her sleeping bag was still secured to the top of her bed, and she decided to keep it there, as it had saved her from the rather rough wake-up call it seemed everyone else had experienced. Alexandria had just started to slip into bed when she heard it….


Alexandria froze. Oh no.

A lump formed inside her sleeping bag, and within moments a cat had emerged. It was a familiar cat, fluffy orange fur, with a white belly. It was her cat.

“Twinkie?!” Alexandria said, both confused and horrified. “What are you doing here?” The cat only mewed in reply, It tried to brush up against her for snuggles, but she was quick enough to squirm away just in time.

Allegedly the cat was named after some kind of snack cake. Which was weird, but not really the issue. Being horribly allergic to cats was. Her grandparents had gotten him for her, to keep her company when she joined Starfleet. Twinkie had ended up staying with them, as their first meeting had… not gone well. Now she had to take medication hours before she could even go to visit them, if she wanted to survive the cat.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any of that medication handy at the moment…

“Noooooo!” Alexandria cried out in despair as Twinkie rolled around on top of her sleeping bag and started pawing at the fabric. There was no way she would ever be able to sleep in it again. In a state of utter and complete panic, she snatched up her pillow, as well as a loose blanket at the foot of her bed. She fled her room as if chased by a pack of wolves… and not one friendly cat.


Alexandria Farron


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