But I digress. Having lingered in the Galley for far too long, Luke and I had a list of suspects that needed further investigation (don't know how, but that is another matter). In the meantime, we have decided to set our trap without bait. The idea being that the Beast will be accustomed to the cage being there. We're just hoping that nobody finds it.
Having smuggled the trap through the corridors, Luke stood guard at the entrance to the Jeffries tube while I took it in. We had decided to position it near my quarters because we knew it was in the Beast's territory.
I had just set the cage down and was positioning it when suddenly, there was a deep rumbling noise and the ship shook so violently that even though I was already on my hands and knees, I was knocked to the ground... and then the lights went out. All of them! Not even the emergency lighting cut in. I was in complete darkness.
Bugger, I thought.
"Are you alright?" shouted Luke.
"Yes, but I can’t see a thing! What was that?"
"I don't know. Comms are down. Hang on a minute though... I've got a torch."
I could hear Luke rummaging in his toolbox and then he entered the tunnel to shine his light at me. It wasn't the most powerful torch I've ever come across, but it reduced the inky darkness into being just spookily dark.
"How's that?" he asked, but I couldn't speak.
Ahead of me shone out two bright green eyes that stared at me with an eerie luminescence.
The ship rumbled and shook again, and the Beast suddenly leapt forward towards me. I screamed and buried my head under my arms, sure it was going to kill me.
I heard its paws thundering down the gangway towards me, beating dully against the metal decking, and then I felt its clawed paws prick into my back... but it didn't stop. It literally ran over me! I felt its paws on my back, then my left buttock, then my shin... and then it was gone.
"Jenny! Jenny!" screamed Luke frantically. "Jenny! Talk to me, Jenny!"
"I'm okay!" I cried, my voice shaking.
"What the hell's up?"
"I just met the Beast."
"What?" Luke exclaimed.
"It fled, running over me, toward you. Didn't you see it?"
"How could you miss it?" I screamed.
"I don't know, but it didn't come this way."
The lights suddenly flickered back into life. Relieved, I sat on my buttocks, waiting for my heart to stop pounding and looked down the Jeffries tube in the direction it had gone. I could hear Luke approaching.
"Where did it go then?" I asked.
The answer was simple. If it didn't go past Luke, it must have turned off somewhere. It had made its escape... or was hiding... somewhere between us.
Cautiously we began crawling towards each other looking for possible exits.
"Found something," cried Luke.
"Okay. Stay there and I'll keep checking to see if there are any other possibilities," and I continued to crawl until I met Luke.
"Nothing?" he asked.
"Nothing," I confirmed and then we both stared at the air vent opening.
"Where does it go to?" I asked.
Luke pulled out his datapad again and studied it. A broad smile broke out on his face and he passed the pad to me.
I looked at it and smiled.
"Bingo!" we said in unison.