Saturday, April 14, 2012

TAOM: Jared - The Trouble with Tribbles

Jared was not particularly thrilled; he had just been informed the day before Christmas that he was Chloe's secret Santa, and he had been traveling transdimensional space for hours searching for the perfect gift. Currently, he was in the Star Trek The Original Series fandom, sitting at a bar on deep space station K7, pausing from his quest for the perfect gift to have a little lunch. He was enjoying a particularly good chicken sandwich and a coffee when a jovial man with greasy black hair in a large fur coat walked up and sat down beside him.

"Excuse me sir, my name is Cyrano Jones, would you be interested in purchasing a tribble?" asked the man, pulling a strange, round creature covered in soft brown fur out of his coat, Jared thought it looked like a powder puff.

Jared took the creature from the man; it instantly began to make a soft trilling noise as Jared began to pet it.
This would be a perfect gift for Chloe! thought Jared, She loves soft and furry creatures.

"How much?" Jared asked the man.

The next day...

Jared was enjoying the Christmas party immensely. When everybody was passing out their secret Santa gifts Jared presented his gift to Chloe. To his surprise, when he lifted the drape over the cage he had put the tribble in, he noticed that there were now half a dozen of the furry critters in the cage.

"Oh, they're so cute! Thank you Jared, I'll cherish them all!" Chloe said, acting uncharacteristically girly.

"B-but, I only got you one!" Jared started to say, but she had already run off to show the other agents what Jared had gotten her.

"I must be imagining things, I wonder if this punch has any alcohol content." Jared said, examining his glass. "Oh well, I'm gonna get in line for karaoke."

The next morning...

Several agents were standing around the kitchen table, which was now currently occupied by two dozen tribbles of various shades of gray, brown or white, they were munching happily away at some cookies Jared had swiped. Most of the people there had a tribble in their arms and were either cuddling or petting the creatures.

"Those were my cookies..." Jared said mournfully over the sound of the tribbles' soothing trills.

"Kyaa~ where did they all come from?" asked Aster.

"I don't know; I went to bed, and when I woke up the cage was practically overflowing!" said Chloe.

Valerie, the society's empathic healer, walked up to the table. "Do you mind if I take a look at one of those Chloe? I'd like to study it."

"Okay, but only if you promise not to hurt it," said Chloe.

"I won't hurt a hair on its furry little head, wherever that is," said Valerie, and with that she picked one up and retired to examine it.

"Seeing as you're giving them away, mind if I have one?" Karissa asked.

"By all means take one; you don't honestly think I could take care of this many do you?" Chloe replied.

So one by one, agents began to take the furry little creatures.

"I love it, it's so cute!" Chrys said, sending up desu sparkles all around her.

"Finally: a pet that likes stolen cookies as much as I do!" said Tyler as he, toting his tribble, disappeared to swipe more unattended confectionery.

And within 10 minutes, all the tribbles had gone away with their new owners.

Later that day...

Aster was grossly absorbed in the manga she was reading, so much so she didn't even seem to notice the tribble purring on top of her head, or the 3 on her shoulders, or the 6 in her lap...

"THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!" shouted Emotion Marcus from somewhere in the Library.

"I-I-I t-t-think they're in th-the ventilation," said Thought Marcus.

Tash walked up to Jared. "Jared, I don't suppose you have a plan to take care of all of these tribbles? They seem to be multiplying well beyond our capacity to contain."

Jared looked up from his blueprints. "I'm working on it! I'm working on it!"

Tash sighed. "Well, we have a new Sue on the loose; could you take a break from your engineering and go after her for a moment?"

"Sure, just let me go find Chloe." Jared said, and then he ran off.

Tash turned around and accidentally stepped on a tribble. It gave a sharp squeak.

"Oh I'm sorry little fellow." A sigh escaped her lips. "What are we going to do about all these tribbles?" she said as she picked it up.

Adrian came storming through the commons area, a bundle of tribbles in his arms. His ears were flat against his head and his tail swished side-to-side in anger. "I want these tribbles out of my Library! I don't care if it takes every agent we've got; I want them gone!"

"What's wrong love?" asked Tash.

"It's these tribbles! They're getting past my booby traps! They've eaten more sweets in a day than Tyler and Drake do in a month!"

Jared and Chloe had suited up for their mission. The Sue was only a level 4; it was going to be a piece of cake as it seemed as if the Sue was rather dumb. The duo got in Chevila and Jared turned the key in the ignition, but nothing happened.

Hmmmm, I just serviced Chevila, why would she not start? Jared thought.

Jared tried turning the keys again but still nothing happened.

"Dang it, let me go check beneath the hood." Jared said, pulling the hood release lever.

Jared lifted the hood only to find a whole family of tribbles crawling all over Chevila's engine components, chewing through all of the electrical wiring that powered the truck's Society gadgets and electrical equipment."

He sighed. "I guess we'll just have to use your plothole generator for this mission."

Jared and Chloe returned from their successful mission and were leading their prisoner to the basement, careful to avoid stepping on any tribbles. While they were gone, the Library's rapidly growing tribble population had more than doubled.

"Why are you doing this? I only wanted to make the world a bit more perfect!" whined the Sue.

"Because you Sues are like tribbles; if we leave you alone long enough, you'll multiply." Jared said, throwing her in a cell.

The Sue landed by the tribble already occupying the cell. It shook violently and let out a high pitched trill. Chloe ran in and picked up the creature.

"It appears they don't like Mary Sues," said Chloe as she closed the cell doors behind her.

"But Cyrano Jones told me that tribbles like everybody..."

"Get that thing away from me!" shrieked the sue.

Jared was carrying a toolbox back to his lab to repair Chevila when a loud shout sounded from Doug's chemistry lab. "Get these thrilling hell spawn out of my lab right now!"

"I guess they don't like halflings either," Jared said.

Then an exasperated Charis came running out of her lab, burdened with a large load of tribbles.

"They're in the machinery, alright; they're definitely traveling through the vents," his fellow techie said as she passed.

Chloe turned to Jared. "Aren't there vents like that in Rhia's kitchen?"

Rhia was wheeling around her kitchen - being in a wheelchair didn't really phase her passion for cooking, and she was looking forward to making some dinner for herself - when she opened a cabinet and a mass of tribbles began pouring out into her lap.

"Tribbles!" was all she managed to shout as the tribble pile began pouring out on the floor and piling up to her waist.

Jared and Chloe, despite the warning on the door, barged in to warn Rhia about the potential danger to her kitchen.

Rhia glared at Jared, looking as threatening as one half buried in fuzzy puff balls can be. "You get these tribbles out of my kitchen right now!" she said as the tribble pile finally stopped at her shoulders. The cabinet they had fallen out of was now completely empty of both tribbles and groceries.

"They appear to be gorged." Chloe said, lifting up a tribble.

"Gorged! In my kitchen! Jared, I hope you know the cost of the groceries they've eaten is going to come out of your tech budget." Rhia said.

Valerie stuck her head through the doorway, burdened with another armful of tribbles.

"Jared, I don't think you grasp exactly what you've done; from what I've found out, it appears that tribbles are born pregnant," she said.

"Sounds like quite the time saver," Jared quipped. Chloe rolled her eyes.

Valerie was not amused, she shot Jared a look. "Most of the tribble's metabolism is geared towards reproduction; do you know what you get when you feed a tribble too much?"

"A fat tribble?"

"No, you get a bunch of hungry little tribbles."

"Well, Valerie, all I can suggest is that you open up a maternity ward."

Tyler was ducking and diving past all of Adrian's traps, swinging axes... tripwires... hidden trapdoors... until at last! A great pedestal of chocolate stood before him... except for the fact that instead of the chocolate that should have been there, there was a bunch of happily trilling little tribbles.

"What? They beat me to it? I don't like these things anymore."

Jared and Chloe walked by him, they had to find some way of dealing with the tribbles; Adrian was running out of patience.

"There must be thousands of them by now!" Jared said.

"1,771,561 to be precise." Came Phoenixia's voice over Jared's communicator.

Jared paused, stunned.

"That's assuming one tribble, multiplying with an average litter of 10, producing a new generation every 12 hours over a period of three days," she added.

"Show off," Jared mumbled.

Adrian stormed into Jared's lab. He wanted these tribbles out of his library and he was going to make sure it got done! To his surprise, there wasn't a tribble in sight. Instead Jared, Chloe, Ben and Shirley were sitting around a large television playing Jared's Nintendo Wii.

Adrian walked in front of the TV.

"Where are all the tribbles?" he asked.

"Uh, you'll have to ask Chloe; it was her idea," Jared said.

"Chloe, what did you do with all the tribbles?"

"Erm, it was Ben who actually carried out the process," Chloe said.

"Ben! You didn't nuke them, did you?"

"Certainly not; I have a heart you know," Ben said.

"No you don't; I tore it out a long time ago!" said Shirley.

"Besides, Jared is the one who built the device."

Adrian looked frustrated. "As much as I hate to break up this group shifting of blame, would somebody please tell me where are the tribbles?"

"Uh, I designed a large scale plothole generator, sir." Jared said.

Ben began to speak, "And I used it to transport the whole kit'n kaboodle back to the Star Trek fandom, sir, where they'll be no tribble at all." And with that Shirley screamed something about recycling dialog and proceeded to beat Ben with her Wiimote.

"I don't see any use for it, so I plan on dismantling it for parts now that the tribbles are gone," Jared said, then he noticed Ben and Shirley.

"Shirley no! You aren't wearing your wrist strap!"

Jared was hunched over his desk, filling out various forms and pledges promising he wouldn't bring anymore animals into the library without permission; he finished one and reached for another off of the top of his stack. Was it just him or did the stack seem actually taller? Jared sighed, the one thing in existence more prolific than tribbles... was Society paper work.

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