In order to complete an Academy assignment about warp technology, I decided to pick Midas's brains. With his specialist field being in propulsion, he was bound to be able to assist, so I gave Beastie a tickle under the chin and then set off down to engineering where he was stationed.
Sure enough, there he was. With the consent of his commander, he helped me unravel the finer points of warp technology that were confusing me. Indeed, at one point, I had four engineers around me merrily discussing the various aspects of warp frequencies, pulses and eddies. I found it quite difficult to follow at times as the techno-babble flew through the air like a super-charged racquetball! But I got there in the end. I thanked everybody for their help and was about to leave when Ensign Ketterick piped up, "Don't forget your cat."
What an odd thing to say?
I turned and looked at her quizzically. She pointed towards the Chief Engineer's office. Frowning with curiosity, I approached the open doorway and looked inside.
There, sitting in the middle of his desk with one leg in the air while she cleaned her tummy, was Beastie.
"What?" I exclaimed aloud and scratched my head, obviously confused.
"What's wrong?" asked Midas.
"But ... but ... but I left her in my quarters! How'd she get here?"
Midas cast me a funny look.
"She's often here," he explained.
"Yeah," added Ketterick. "I think she likes Lt Commander Logan's aftershave," and she laughed.
I screwed my face up, perplexed by the conundrum.
"But I know I left her in my quarters!"
Engineering ground to a halt as everybody stopped what they were doing to look at me.
"Well, she's here now," replied Ketterick.
"No. That's impossible! I mean..."
Midas looked deeply concerned and then smiled warmly at me.
"She must be faster on her feet than you give her credit for. She's obviously slipping past you without you knowing."
"Unless the vents in your quarters—"
"No, the vents are secure," I interrupted. "Trust me, bearing in mind that's how she remained undetected on the Drakonia for as long as she did, I make double sure that they're properly fixed."
"Then she must be slipping past you. The doors will not open at her command."
I sighed. He was right. That must be what was happening, but I don't see how. I always make sure she's settled and secure before I go.