Drugs and Other Less Than Clever Ideas

"So, how's it going?" asked Jay as he strode over a small grassy hill to were Ransom was sitting, cross-legged on the ground, a thin glass tube held in one hand and his whirring multi-tool in the other. Spread out before him on the Arboretum's lush green floor was a myriad of mechanical parts from long disused systems on the ship.
Without looking up from his work, "How do you think?" He extended a finger from his grip on the tool and Jay followed the direction.
Not too far away, down the hill and over a small stream, raging Huzzards were chasing Artie and some of the other Dwarfers, hands outstretched and saliva dripping from their mouths, their spears and swords discarded by the sides of their huts. Some of the Huzzards were swatting at the empty air, as if butterflies floated above their heads.
"Uhm," began Jay as he surveyed the mayhem, "What happened here?"
"Don't ask," sighed Ransom, as he tried desperately to focus on his work.
"Truly fascinating..." muttered South as he closely examined a dazed Huzzard that had hidden itself in the strange floral bushes, afraid of an imaginary monster.
"Just, don't ask."

A Couple of Hours Earlier...

The assembled Dwarfers, some bearing the cakes lovingly made by Brett and menacingly laced with drugs by Artemis, began to trek down the halls and corridors to the Arboretum.
"So you found the tools, then?" asked Jamie as he jogged up to meet Ransom and Dr. South.
"Yes," replied South, "Jay pointed us in the right direction."
"This ship is in a disgraceful condition, Mr. Eastlick. Walls collapsing..."
"...Vents clogged..." chimed in South.
"...Lights flickering..."
"...Worryingly high populations of sentient rodents..."
"...Rodents which are of an unusual size, I might add..."
"Hey!" cried Jamie defensively, "I know she isn't perfect, but she's better than nothing."
"True," said Ransom with a nod, "Still, could have better labs."
"What would you need a lab for?" scoffed South, "I could do dimensional physics in a shed."
"Yeah, sure," a tired Ransom hit back with.
"Not get enough sleep last night?" asked Jamie as he noticed the bags on Ransom's face.
"I was trying to repair my dimension drive all last night."
"How did it go?" asked South, surprisingly genuinely interested.
"Not well, there isn't any K,2R-Agent-3O on the ship, we might need to stop and condense some dark energy soon."
"K,2R-Agent-3O?" Jamies asked, his face contorted in concern, "I'm an engineer, Ransom, and a pretty good one. I can't say I've ever heard of K,2R-Agent-3O."
Ransom, a slight worry falling over his features, looked to South for salvation. But he found only South's shaking head. "I've never heard of it either."
"Please don't tell me that it's not in this universe! You do have Energy Wells in space, don't you?" The other two shrugged. "Damn!"
"Hey!" called Artemis from the front of the group, "We don't want to alert the entire population of Huzzards that we are here, you know! Some of them might not be as willing to listen to our offers or please for mercy than those in the Arboretum."
"Over-Qualified my ass," muttered Ransom under his breath, "Stuck up pompousness, more like."
"How do you put up with him?" South asked Jamie. "We've been here only a few days and want to kill him if he shows us his 'over-qualifications' again."
"We usually lock him in a lab and let him break his way out."
"Right!" called Artemis, "Here we are! Now, allow me to do all the talking as I am the only one who is clearly qualified to do so!"
The floating brain-in-a-jar opened the heavy door to the Arboretum and a gush of warm air drenched the hot and stressed Dwarfers. Even in the manufactured nature of the gardens, it seemed like they could be back on Earth 3 million years ago.
"Are you sure you don't want us to say anything?" Ransom asked.
"Quite sure," Artie said smugly, "I'll be more than capable of handling a few genetically mutated lizards. You two can go along and play with your toys!"
"And that guy is married?" whispered South, receiving a snort of laughter and chuckle from Ransom and Jamie respectively. "Listen, I'm going to go check out this plant life."
"Yeah, that hill over there looks quite good, there's a little shed and everything."
"Oh look, you I can help you build you dimension engine!" South teased, but Ransom just laughed.
"I'm going to tag along with Artie," said Jamie, "Make sure he doesn't get into too much trouble."
"Fair enough," Ransom said as he and South began to climb up a little path to the shed on the hill. "What could possibly go wrong."

<Tag - Anyone. How do things get so out of hand?>

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