parallels between this story and Beyond
the Frontier are not completely coincidental.
1 - Monday
were promised a free week after that mission, Sir!"
know that, Captain Fox. And I'm sorry for you and your team, but
nobody could have expected this crisis on Texarcota. You'll leave
of us have arrangements for the next days, Sir."
sighed. "You've got half an hour to cancel them all. Blame
BETA if you have any trouble."
I've got a problem with my arrangements for the next five
"You had no
permission to leave the base, Gooseman. So don't tell me that
your travel agency won't refund your tickets"
Sir. But Chief Engineer O'Malley is already on
does that fit in?" Walsh looked warily at the ST in front of
"She looks after
my cat when I'm on duty, Sir."
the cat to the kennel, then."
won't take him."
not?" Walsh's forehead creased in annoyance. "Make it
"They had him
the last time. I can't find someone to look after him for the
next week, Sir. My team is on this mission as am I, Captain Fox's
family is going on their planned vacation without him and Ms.
O'Malley as I said is already gone. I can't leave
my cat alone in my quarters for more than two days!"
make sure it gets water, food, and fresh litter every
"That won't do
it, Sir. He can't stay alone all that long."
sighed and clapped his hands on his desk. "You win. I'll
look after it till you come back. But hurry. You're already damn
Sir." Gooseman opened the door and reached around the
corner. "Here he is." He set a big grey plastic
container and a voluminous paper bag onto Walsh's desk. "I
taped the list of what he needs on the lid."
Gooseman was already gone. Joseph snorted. At least I now get
to know this ominous pet of his. He had a look at the list:
"Possessor's needs." Possessor! Why the hell should
he call a cat "Possessor"?
scraping noise from inside the box did not inspire confidence.
opened the container and a surprisingly small grey animal flashed
out of it and under the sofa. From what I've heard about
Goose's pet I thought it must be as large as a tiger! Walsh
shook his head and had a second look at the list: Water bowl,
dry food bowl, and the litter box... Okay, first the bowls.
should have started with the litter box! He checked the
calendar: Monday. Shit - the cleaning woman comes on
Wednesdays. He spent the next hour moving the sofa and
washing the carpet.
he located the cat as a little shadow on top of his wardrobe.
Somehow it seemed to have grown.
2 - Tuesday
alarm clock rang next to his ear. 4:30. Time to get up. He
started to push back his sheets
eyes flew open in shock. Sparkling green eyes met his from a
disconcerting 10 centimeters away. The cat sat on his chest,
claws sunk into the sheets, and was obviously not of the
opinion that it was time to get up now.
that's why he named it "Possessor"! He
As usual, Sheela awaited him with a pot of fresh-brewed coffee.
"Here's your mug and the daily mail" She broke
off and stared at him. "Oh Sir. That must hurt. Did you cut
yourself shaving this morning?"
made an undescribable growling sound and vanished into his
3 - Wednesday
Sheela's voice came from the speaker in his desk. "Your
cleaning lady just called. She said she won't work for you as
long as you keep free running predatory
please post an offer for the job."
said she informed the union about the conditions in your house,
4 - Thursday
Contact the supply department. I need three standard uniform
jackets and shirts with my rank insignia. One set is to be
delivered to my office immediately."
looked up from refilling the printer in the bottom of her console
and saw her boss standing in the door, wearing uniform trousers
and boots as usual. She couldn't see more from her position under
Walsh snapped. "This thing's scratchy."
jumped to her feet at his tone and saw the Norwegian pullover.
"What happened this time?"
forgot to close and lock my wardrobe yesterday evening."
5 - Friday
the beast is locked in the bedroom while this damn
politicians' reception takes place. Walsh rubbed his hands
together, put the key in the pocket of his dress uniform and took
his position at the front door to welcome the rotten assh
"Dear Senator Wheiner. Nice to see you."
"As usual at
events given by military members there aren't enough hors
d'oevres at all." Wheiner snorted and shook his glass,
slopping wine onto the carpet. "But I'm grateful, Walsh. I
told your personnel to use the pâté in the bowl in
heavily as if he had choked. "Please excuse me. And thank
you for your attentiveness, Senator."
can't all be sloppy military types, Walsh."
another two seemingly endless hours:
cat sat at the end of his bed, its tail curled around it, and
awaited him with raised ears when he entered the room. He dropped
himself next to the little animal and smiled weakly.
two have had our problems with each other, Possessor. But..."
Walsh stroked a careful finger warily over the cat's back and was
rewarded with a faint purring. "For this evening you get a
big chicken filet." His grin deepened. "Whatever else
has happened seeing Wheiner eat your food was worth
all the trouble you caused."
he noticed the cat puke next to his pillow.
6 - Saturday
took too long for this mission," was the only comment Walsh
gave the S5's when they had made their report and were standing
in line in front of his desk. "And there's your pet,
Gooseman." He pointed at the plastic box next to the door.
"Don't op" But the lid was already slid aside and
a purring ball of grey fur clinched to Goose's arm.
not, Sir?" An impertinent loud purring accompanied the ST's
question. The cat bumped its head under his chin.
monster is more dangerous than"
Sir?" Niko stroked the tiny creature heavily. "Dangerous?
I can't believe that."
it out of here. Now! And Gooseman"
ST turned towards him and four glowing, deep-green eyes focused
on Walsh's face. "Yes, Sir?"
want to talk to you later. You're dismissed, all of
He watched them leave
the office and opened a comm link to Professor Negata: "Owen
please I have to know! Have you ever tested
"What did the
commander say, Shane?" Niko asked.
shrugged. "The same as the people from the kennel last
She guessed, giggling.