Accept the offer
"Sounds intresting. I suppose I don't have anything better to do."
You get directions to their research lab and head off.
On your way their notice a lot of fellow lionesses but no lions.
When you get to the lab you spot the first male you've seen since entering, The head researcher of the device. There are many lioness researchers as well, but all of them, without fail, are in secondary positions: lab technicians, interns, essentially every position that has to do work for less recognition or pay.You gave a soft frown at this but aren't entirely sure why.
After you introduce yourself, you point this out to him and he nods "Yeah, most of the species is female, males are quite rare, though they tend to make up for it in other ways. Whether or not the males like it they tend to end up in leadership positions. It's a strange arrangement, one we've been trying to break, but," he gives a soft shrug, "I guess all things considered at least we're aware of the dichotomy. It does make it a bit hard at certain times of the year to get research done though."
"Certain times?" you ask.
He nods "Everyone gets quite randy during the spring, though the females especially seem to lose it, though I wouldn't know about that as much, though I'm making the effort to learn, at least. Anyway I believe that you want to see the device in question?"
You gulp "No offense but I hope that I am out of here before then." before nodding and he takes you through a door, inside is a clear cylindrical vat. They pull a lever on what appears to you to be a rather complex control console, with lights seemingly flashing and blinking and noises buzzing at random, and a load of garbage is put in the collection tank. You are surprised to hear the air rushing in as well.
Soon a couple of bars of some sort are ejected from the bottom while a couple of pressure gauges read a little higher than before, at least that's what you think they are, the little needles dancing a bit closer to the red.
"The pressure gauges represent the elemental gases, while the bars are the elements from the input." you hear from behind you, though you almost want to laugh. The last time you heard of elements you were playing a children's collectible monster game, but then you took just another moment's thought. Unfortunately, you were no chemist, you probably couldn't have spelled 'periodic,' much less assembled the table. You cringed, suddenly this looked a little more complex than you'd hoped.
You look over the control panel seeing only the lever, any thought of complexity shot for just an instant. It simply couldn't be that simple. "How do you control this?"
"We don't know. We found it like this at the crash site" one of the lionesses responds "We think it is on a default setting".
"Crash site?" you ask, still rather incredulous at the whole situation.
"We had an alien ship crash and all aboard were dead. " Another one responds, whom you distinguish for a small silver hoop of a 'snakebite' in her left side of her lower muzzle.
You raise your eyebrows at this information before looking at the vat. As incredible as this piece of technology might be, you realized in that instant that essentially it was being run in the way a cave man might attempt to work a car. It does because it does. As much as you wanted this thing to run, to feel the small charge of curiosity on your mind satisfied, you also realized how potentially dangerous this piece of equipment might be. "Well there isn't an obvious cord or socket so it is probably a wireless link... I think. " you say. "Was their anything near it in the ship?"
"I think we have some pictures somewhere" the last of the researchers says. You sighed. You weren't an expert on this either, but you knew if an alien vessel had crashed on your world, there would have been pictures by anyone with a camera, phone, even pen and paper in the immediate vicinity within seconds. You also knew you'd have probably never seen it if one had, and certainly it wouldn't have been entrusted to someone who'd just come from some obviously entirely separate reality in a completely different body to make it work. In fact, the trail of this line of thought really just reinforces, again, that this obviously isn't your world. You stare back at the researcher that mentioned this for just a second.
"Well then? Where are they?"
Written by Catprog + Sal_Lilith on 18 June 2012