Challenge #01645-D184: Unwelcome Visitors
Federation ships may have phasers and photon torpedoes, but those are only a distraction for the real weapon: the swiss-omnitool that is the main deflector array. That thing can do anything, take out any threat. It just takes some time to be adapted to the current opponent. That's what the things everyone thinks of as weapons are for - to buy that time. -- RecklessPrudence
Throughout the galaxy, assorted species have learned one important lesson: Don't mess with the Federation. Some, like the Klingons and the Romulans, are slow learners. Though the Romulans note with some pride that they have learned before the Klingons did, and purposely avoided becoming one of the Federation's targets.
Other slow learners include the Cardassians, the Breen, and the Borg. And, lately, the Pelithant.
But then, you'd expect a species that's essentially a hivemind fungal colony to be slow on the uptake. As a sentient species, the Federation expects them to learn eventually, and in the meantime, are keeping their expansion in check. More or less. Some Pelithant spores make it through the embargo line. Some land on lifeless moons, and are allowed to persist. Others land on colonies and have to be... excised.
The New Amsterdam colony of Sector Fifteen is used to it. Especially on the outskirts of the southern continent, where the spores seem very prone to land. Settlers like Carin Smith are used to watching the skies for spore streaks, and then chasing them down before they have... trouble.
Like this one. People had missed one and now there were four pillars in the crater and the mycelium had spread in a five-meter diameter around them. Carin called in the big guns, the Fabricator. It beamed in, of course, and laid interlocking plates of durilium into the soil, half a meter away from the edge of the mycelium. After that, swarms of micro-bots exited the Fabricator.
Half went under the soil to encapsulate the mycelium. The other half built a dome over the top.
"Not quite sorry about this," said Carin as he watched the structure grow. "But this is our rock. You can have the moons all you like, but the planets are ours. Got it?"
The Pelithant swivelled to face Carin. Their tentacles waved and the universal translator said, "We... understand... we... do... not... aim."
They'd find a mutual solution eventually. This was a stopgap until someone figured out a planet-suitable deflector array.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Piolka]
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