Challenge #01456-C361: One Muddled Mid-morning in a Mystery Vessel

"Do you want to know how I can tell this is a terrible idea?"


"I'm being the voice of reason!" -- OohLookShiny

(Image source) (Artist)

The assembled cogniscents spared a moment to regard Ambassador Shayde. Widely regarded as the specific embodiment of human insanity. They then looked to each other as if daring someone to say, How did we get so far astray?

"As th' great Montgomery Scott said, Ye cannae change the laws o' physics," insisted Shayde. "Well. Unless ye got special circumstances, ye ken, but this is no' one of 'em."

"And you would know this," said I'braxx. Ze was a more recent addition to Galactic Society and still equated insanity with lessened cognitive abilities.

"Hel-lo..." she gestured at herself, taking in night-black skin, smoke-white hair, and slightly demonic, glowing eyes. "Turned into a shadow elemental and used as a pawn by alleged gods. Of course I know this stuff. And I know it's reet dangerous."

"All right, so what would you do?"

"If I was alone, I'd shadow-hope right outta here an' whistle. But wi' you lot... I have tae figure out how this bucket works."

"And this is less dangerous than allowing the JOAT to do it?"

"Because JOATs fix as they figure. I can at least restrain meself, ye ken."

"...hey," objected the JOAT.

"You an' I both know it's true. This is an artifact from some other civilisation, and one that found out how tae bend the rules. And you do not want tae go around pokin' at an improbability drive. Ye'll wake oop wi' bits ye never had before."

"Improbability drive?" echoed T'konn.

"It's probably a human thing," whispered I'braxx. "Very possibly not what she's babbling about."

"Well spotted, an' keep yer lip tae yerself, thanks. Just because I'm bonkers does'nae mean I'm stupid..." As if defusing a bomb, she carefully undid the fastenings of a panel and removed it. "Eeesh. Cybiotech. An' it's no' lookin' healthy..." And, because she was also a JOAT, she whistled backwards.

Whipspin, the other JOAT, was instantly over her shoulder. "Oooh... That has to be a nutrient imbalance."

"Last time I saw sommat this bad was when some nutter tried tae use diesel on his light plane engine," agreed Shayde. "Same principle. Someone's been feedin' the puir thing weet bix when it needed fat bacon."

"This ship needs a doctor."

"Aye," she cooed. "I can heal 'er a wee bit, an' read her a wee bit, but... I just don't have enough 'oomph' tae do the whole thing."

"At least find out what it needs. We can probably work from there."

To the outside observer, Shayde fell silent whilst carefully caressing the ship's... innards.

"We," said Shayde.

"Er. Well. When I said that," began Whipspin.

"No. Wee. Th' liquid. She needs uric acid an' trace proteins, ye ken. Flush the toxins to a system she has tae deal wi' it. We all have tae tinkle down tha' intake funnel. Post haste. And then," She grinned and rubbed her hands in a way that made some cogniscents wish to use the funnel first, "it's time fer some guided jiggery-pokery."

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