Keep Calm, We're "Scientists."

Science Officer Fergus O'Malley stepped into lab 9 on B deck and was met with total pandemonium. His assistant, a weedy looking black man named Pickman, was chasing an artificial parrot around the lab as it squawked and hurled insults at him. O'Malley casually crossed the room towards a table in the center, stopping to let Pickman cross his path before reaching it.

"No, no, nononono. Come on, Trishy-poo. Be nice, come to daddy now!" Pickman said in that nasally tone that O'Malley had grown fond of.

"Crraawwwwkk!! Eat me, smeg head!" The parrot screeched.

O'Malley said nothing and, instead, looked down at the light bee that had been placed on a tray in the center of the table next to a glowing meteorite and a rack filled with vials of hybridized DNA with a strip of masking tape with the words "DO NOT INGEST!" written on it.

"Hello, Mr. Tanaka. How are you today?" O'Malley said in a cheerful Irish accent.

"Oh, just dandy!" Tanaka said sarcastically.

"Want a cracker, sweetie? Baby want a cracker?" Pickman withdrew a packet of saltine crackers from his lab coat and shook them to entice the unruly replicant animal.

"Stuff em up yer arse! Bwwaaak!"

"Great!" O'Malley said as if he hadn't registered Tanaka's response fully. "I hear you're having issues projecting your physical form. Let's take a look under the hood, shall we?"

O'Malley withdrew a small screwdriver from his breast pocket and began to tinker with Tanaka's light bee. The parrot flew into a shelf and began to knock off empty flasks and vials, sending them crashing to the floor. Pickman clumsily tried to catch them, but failed so spectacularly that the parrot began to laugh hysterically.

"Erm... do you need to take care of that?" Tanaka asked.

"Eh?" O'Malley didn't seem to be on the same planet as them. This didn't make Tanaka feel any better.

"The bird?" Tanaka said.

"Oh," O'Malley shrugged, "Pickman's got it in hand."

A loud crash indicated this was not the case.

"Hmm..." O'Malley scrunched his face. "I'm not seeing anything wrong with the projectors. When was the last time you updated your software?"

"I don't know," Tanaka audibly shrugged, "I've been busy..."

"Tsk, tsk. You should always update the software. Here, lemme see..." O'Malley opened the light bee and frowned. "Well that's funny."

"What? What is it?" Tanaka asked.

O'Malley jammed his finger into the delicate innards of the light bee and fished out... "A peanut!"

"What?!" Tanaka exclaimed.

"You had a peanut rattling around in here!" O'Malley marveled at the peanut for a moment before popping it into his mouth. Then, he snapped the light bee closed and tossed it a few feet to his left. Tanaka's body appeared before him.

"Sweet physicality!" Tanaka said, relieved. He felt his body, making sure everything was in the right place before smiling. "Thanks, man."

"No problem, Mr. Tanaka. Happy to help!" O'Malley beamed. "Thank you for the peanut!"

"I have no clue how that got in there." Tanaka scratched his head.

"It seems there's been a series of odd happenings on board ship. Socks missing, crispy bars being ejected from the vending machines when people pass by, and I hear that a man was temporarily blinded when his shower started spraying extra-hot curry sauce instead of water." O'Malley rubbed his chin in thought. "Very odd. No doubt your peanut is a result of the same phenomenon."

"What? You think there's something up?" Tanaka asked.

O'Malley shot him an sly grin. "This is space, Mr. Tanaka, there is always 'something up.' As you put it."

"Come to think of it, weird stuff has been happening around here," Tanaka said. "What do you think is going on?"

"I'm not entirely sure." O'Malley said as he went over to a computer console and started plugging in data. "I'm still trying to figure out what connects these occurrences."

"Brawwk! You smell of elderberries!" The parrot fluttered over to the table and landed on the glowing meteor.

"Trishy, baby," Pickman said in as calm a voice he could manage, "get off the ominously glowing space rock."

"Rrraaaaakkk! Suck my--"

Suddenly, a small, blue swirly thing opened behind the parrot and a writhing mass of purple tentacles poured out. They wrapped around the bird, which let out a surprised shriek as they pulled it into the unknown space anomaly before it closed. A few feathers slowly fell onto the table in silence and everyone stared in total shock, apart from O'Malley.

"Well, thank god for that." O'Malley said as he turned back to the computer.

"Aww... poor Trish." Pickman put his hands on his hips, looking more puzzled than bereaved. "She was my favorite."

"What the bloody hell just happened???" Tanaka exclaimed, feeling like he was the only sane man in the room at the moment.

"I think it was another example of the strange phenomenon we're experiencing," O'Malley said.

"So this thing can conjure peanuts and... whatever THAT was?"

"It appears to be some sort of reality altering field," O'Malley started, "But what is the trigger? What is the cause that leads to the effect?"

"Maybe we need more data?" Pickman said as he gathered the few feathers that were scattered around the room and stuffed them into his lab coat for safe keeping.

"A sound suggestion! Pickman, take the psi-scan and go with Mr. Tanaka."

"Wait a minute," Tanaka shook his head, "I'm not getting dragged into whatever crazy science experiment you two have cooked up!"

"It's not that simple, Mr. Tanaka. This is a shipwide occurrence. There's no telling what could happen to you next, but I doubt it'll be another, itty-bitty peanut."

Tanaka sighed and rolled his eyes, "Alright... I guess I can help. What do you need me to do?"

"Go with Pickman, provide backup. Given you're a hologram you may prove useful." He looked back to the console and smacked his lips, "It appears we have a situation in the promenade. I suggest starting there. I'll keep working here and update you on any further developments. And do be careful!"

"Lets go!" Pickman said as he raced out of the lab, leaving the psi-scan on the counter top.

Tanaka rolled his eyes, picked the psi-scan up, and followed Pickman. "I should've stayed in my bunk..."

So I've got a couple guys heading to the promenade, hopefully we all can start to get to the bottom of whatever is happening!

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