As I thought there was more to it than my ministering to a transgender alien's ovulation. Darned if I was going to make it easy for them to short me on leave.
I returned from shore leave to a ship still reeling from a mission against the Slugs. The mission was successful all told. The team extracted enough data from a Slug terminal to give us a grasp of their written language.
The mission got hairy for the recon team with a firefight lasting several minutes. Fortunately there were no injuries to our side owing to excellent marksmanship by the Chief and Mr. Nok. When the Tesla returned to teleporter range the Captain committed considerable power to port the team and three enemy cadavers onboard. He then hit the installation with six torpedoes and got out of there.
We have new orders.
En route there I am to use cybernetics to reanimate the Slugs after a fashion. These undead cyber-Slugs will then be replaced on the world where we found them. Apparently these gruesome aliens never leave one of their own behind and are expected to send a scout ship. Hopefully Tesla will not encounter any rescue mission.
Thule Base is supposed to provide me with specialized memory nodes for the cyborgs. Asking any further questions is above my pay grade.
We’ve never found a way to really hurt those Slugs. I’ve seen them in the last war waiting on the fringes of a battle picking up our ships and enemy’s as they were incapacitated. The battle ended by mutual agreement and very fast. The enemy can’t be trusted but they aren’t crazy and we were both vertebrates.
They are going to program the Question into these cyber-Slugs. They will then be reintroduced to their species which will then presumably find the Question and be wiped out.
I don’t know if I have the right to do that. Does the Hippocratic Oath extend to slimy horrors who eat humanoid nerve tissue? We are on a timetable. We have to get these things up and slithering and back to that outpost with their programming. I have to do the cyborging en route.
One slip of the electron scalpel would undo everything. One mistake. I’m dealing with several unknowns here. They couldn’t blame me.
In the next compartment a shipmate’s eggs are awaiting transport back home. I wonder if by following orders I will endanger those innocent offspring?
To quote the Chief, sometimes there ain’t enough Vacc Jack in the Local Bubble.