With Luke's access level, we were able to ascertain that the quarters belong to Ensign Edward Wainwright: a young man of whom we could discover little else. He very much keeps himself to himself, never frequenting the Galley or anywhere else for that matter. So how do we find out what secrets lie in his quarters?
"We could just knock on his door," I said.
"And say what?" replied Luke.
"Invite him to join us in the Galley?"
Luke shook his head.
"From what I've heard, he won't even answer the door. Don't ask me how he ever graduated from the academy. He's a complete recluse."
"Have you ever met him?"
"I did a job with him once."
"I'd rather spend the night locked in a cell with a drunk xenophobic Klingon armed with a bat'leth."
"Oh, he can't be that bad," I chastised him.
"Maybe not," admitted Luke, "but he just doesn't like talking. He does a good job, but he says nothing! Everybody hates working with him; he makes you feel so uncomfortable."
"Okay then, so how are we going to get to have a look round his quarters? We can hardly go breaking in, can we?"
"No," he admitted.
"What about for some maintenance work?" I suggested. "Could we arrange a reason to get in there to fix something?"
Luke sighed despondently.
"He's an Engineer! Anything goes wrong in there and he can fix it himself. Come on, Jenny. Think about it. We don't even know if there is something in his quarters. It might just be that the Beast took refuge there in a moment of desperation."
"All the more reason to look."
"But we can't get in, can we?"
I had to admit that Luke was right, but then I had a thought.
"Can we scan his quarters for heat signatures? I mean, if he has a makeshift kitchen in there, that'd show up—"
"If he's cooking at the time."
"True, but if the Beast is taking refuge in there, that would show up too, wouldn't it?"
Luke thought for a moment.
"Yes, it would and from Engineering, yes, we could run a heat scan that would pick up anything warm-blooded, be it Wainwright or the Beast. That's not a bad idea," so we made our way to Engineering. We had some reports to complete anyway so it shouldn't be difficult to explain away our presence, but when we got there, we found Engineering was positively buzzing with activity. That's when we realised that we had completely forgotten about the power cut. Engineers were frantically working on why one section of the ship had lost power so suddenly.
As we walked in, Lieutenant Bryant called out to us.
"Ensign Brightman, glad you're here. Get on that terminal and run a continuity test on the circuits in section 469B. We're looking for an intermittent break somewhere. Terran, what are you doing here?"
"I was just going to complete the last of our test logs, sir."
"Okay. Get that done and then give Brightman a hand."
"Sir," and I set about completing the logs as quickly as I could. I was desperate to help Luke. It only took about five minutes but it seemed like an age.
"Well," I asked as I drew up alongside him.
He looked at me.
"Jenny!" he chastised. "This is important. I'm working!"
"Yeah, I know but think about it. Where is section 469B?"
Luke looked at me and shut his eyes in realisation.
"It's near our quarters."
"Which is where the Beast is. You're looking for an intermittent fault in that area. What if it's because of the Beast? What if the Beast has caused it?"
"Never mind that. What about the cage?"
Neither one of us had thought about removing the cage. An Engineer was bound to find it!
"Luke. Run the scan," I commanded firmly.
He sighed deeply, cast a furtive glance around Engineering and then began tapping away at the terminal, focusing the scan's attention on Wainwright's quarters.
The scan's results began to form, and the fuzzy red shape of a person illuminated on the schematic.
"Wainwright's at home," muttered Luke and then, to our amazement, another red blob lit up.
"The Beast," suggested Luke... and then another blob appeared.
"There's two of them!" I gasped and then another red spot appeared, and then another. Half a dozen spots of heat became a dozen, a dozen became two dozen, and then three. Wainwright's quarters lit up like a Christmas Tree. So many that we couldn't count them all. His entire quarters were speckled with little red dots of heat!
"Oh, my god!" I exclaimed and Luke quickly switched off the scan. He shook his head, concerned at what he had seen.
"What do we do?" he asked.
My eyes swept the room. Commander Jarrod was on the far side talking to Lieutenant Bryant.
"Now... we tell."
Luke looked pale. I could see he was worried about his career.
"This was all my idea. I'll talk to Jarrod and keep you out of it."
"No," said Luke resolutely. "We're in this together."