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Lt Commnder Falcon/Rhino the hamster - The New Smell

Sal Taybrim

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(( Kaitlyn Falcon’s Quarters; Starbase 118 – 10 Hours into Transit Home ))


::The new smell was still there.::


::Rhino stuck his nose through the bars of his home, sniffing the air.  It was the new furry thing that Mom had brought, but what was it?  He could hear it, he could smell it, but it was nothing like anything he had heard or smelled.::


::Seen?  Well, considering he could not really see anything beyond the far side of his home, it was no surprise he could not actually see the new smell.::


::Mom had been gone a while.  This happened.  Sometimes he went with her, sometimes he did not.  When he did, it usually meant Mom was getting a new home, too.  Still, Mom always came back.  He always heard when she did.::


::The new smell made that noise again.  Rhino had never heard that before.  Squeaks, chirps, grunts, sure, but… Rhino had no concept of the noise he heard.::


::Was it an invader?  Mom had shown the new smell to him, though he was barely awake at the time.  If Mom brought it, though, it was not an invader.  His home had not moved, and Mom still said bye before she left.::


::He needed to know.  He needed to find out what the new smell was.::


::Rhino pulled back from the bars, turning to run down the ramp.  He had long ago learned that the lower door was bent just enough for him to get a paw on it, to get it to unlock.::


::Getting out of home was easy.  Getting in?  THAT was the trick.::


::The lock clicked, allowing the door to fall outward into another ramp.  He had to be careful; the bars were not the easiest thing to walk down.::


::The new smell was close.  Rhino paused, sniffing the air, and started toward it.::


::He found another home, just like his.  The smell was strong, as was the strange noise…  Rhino pulled back onto his hind legs, reaching up to grab onto the bars and pull himself up to see.::


::He was closer now, and actually awake.  It was… fur.  All fur.  It did not move, but it did make noise.::


::If this home was like his, then…  He could get in.  The lock was higher.::


::After working his magic, Rhino slipped into the other home.  He slid down the wall, landing on the soft floor and turning to approach the new smell.  It did not seem to notice him…  Maybe it did not see him?  Rhino started walking around the new smell, looking for its face… but there was not one.::


::Rhino was confused.  Everything had a face.  Mom did, and all the people Mom brought for him to meet.  They all had a face.::


Rhino: *Squeak?*


::The new smell stirred.  It shifted around, as if trying to see him with eyes Rhino could not find.::


Sasquatch: *Coo.*


::Rhino shifted back, head tilting.  So… the new smell DID know he was there.::


Rhino: *Squeak.*


Sasquatch: *Coo.*


::The new smell’s noise…  It was comforting.  Somehow…::


::Normally, a new smell meant something that was going to steal his home.  Or Mom.  Or at least, that was what he thought it meant; neither of those had ever actually happened.  But this new smell…?  It did not seem a threat.::


Sasquatch: *Coo?*


::Wait… did the new smell think HE was the threat?::


Rhino: *Squeak!*


Sasquatch: *Coo…*


::The new smell shifted again, this time starting to move.  Rhino turned to watch the new smell.  It went to a bowl, then came back, then stopped, then backed away.::


::Rhino stepped over, seeing…  SEEDS!  THE TASTY FLAT SEEDS!  Rhino looked to the new smell.::


Rhino: …..*Squeak?*


Sasquatch: *Coo.*


::Rhino grabbed the tasty flat seeds, stuffing them into his cheek pouch before looking to the new smell.::


Rhino: *Squeak!*


Sasquatch: *Coo!*


::Yeah…  New smell was all right…::


(( 11 Hours Later ))


::Aegis was docked, everyone was dismissed, and Kaitlyn was ready for some excellent sleep…::


::However, one look at Rhino’s cage immediately told her she was NOT going to have a restful night…  The lower door was WIDE OPEN.::


Falcon: ::Quietly.::  Aw, hell…  ::Louder, tired.::  Computer, locate Rhino.


::The computer had become quite adept at locating her occasionally wandering hamster, cutting down the time needed to find the escapee dramatically.::


Computer: Rhino is approximately four meters behind you.


::Well, that was quick.  And close…  Had he only just now gotten loose?  Kaitlyn turned, the first things to catch her eye being Sasquatch’s cage.::


Falcon: No…  You didn’t…


::Kaitlyn approached the cage, dropping to a knee and peering within it.  She spotted Sasquatch; the tribble was sleeping happily in the corner.  But there was no sign of Rhino…::


::She leaned around the cage, looking beyond.  There was nothing else there he could be hiding under…::


Falcon: Computer, are you sure about that?


Computer: Affirmative.  Rhino is .3 meters from your position.


::Kaitlyn looked into the cage again… taking a closer look at Sasquatch.  As she managed to see past the long fur, her mouth dropped in shock.::


::There, nestled within the ball of fur that was Sasquatch, was Rhino.  Curled up into a little ball, and sleeping atop the sleeping Tribble.::


::Kaitlyn fell back onto her rear, sitting there for a while as she tried to comprehend it.  Finally, she found her words.::


Falcon: Wow…  Everyone really DOES love Tribbles…



Rhino the Hamster

Sasquatch the Tribble




Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon

Chief Helm Officer

Starbase 118 / U.S.S. Albion



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