Feb. 15th, 2009

margaret_walsh: (nights like this)
This facility is set up to contain the most intimidating of Hostile Sub-Terrestrials. We have been able to restrain HSTs of all kinds while we carried out what procedures we thought necessary.

I have always hesitated to de-classify the laboratory notes documenting the series of events that took place when we failed to keep custody of what appeared to be an ordinary chicken. Dalma DreaganCirc appears to be an undistinguished white hen with feather-mites - and with a temper so savage that we checked her for some kind of demonic influences before deciding that her characteristics were, unfortunately, all hers.

We had collected the two chicken-like HSTs known, respectively, as Dana DreaganCirc and Dalma DreaganCirc from a notorious “Dragon-breeding faculty” in Scotland. (This had been reported on suspicion of breeding or hosting the more common HSTs, of course. Dragons are not usually suspected during HST infestations.) We intended to take samples of all their stock. However, it is the chickens that concern us now.

Dalma DreaganCirc bore a name-tag confirming her identity. The other bird had no tag or distinguishing marks. (This would have raised some questions about whether the second bird, putatively Dana DreaganCirc, was really the intended target, but we had used a small subterfuge to obtain the HSTs, claiming to be collecting them for the owner. Staff at the facility could therefore be expected to give us the correct specimens.

(Agent Murphy has since suggested that only Dalma wore a name-tag in order to give their staff warning of which bird was approaching them in time for them to ready a tranquillizer gun or a net. This may well be the case. Dalma was, in fact, more dangerous than one might expect a HST of that kind to be – and it is not easy to inform the army that members of an elite unit have been injured by a chicken.)

However, I should remember that my purpose is to summarize. During our investigations we discovered that Dalma was considerably more intelligent than the other HST. Her performance in a Skinner Box was greatly enhanced when we replaced the rewards with O-neg carnivore-kibble.

Nobody admits to having given her the keyboard. However, this is standard practice when dealing with HSTs of a certain IQ range.

The creature proved to be able to recognize letters and to make herself understood in print; communications about, “Give me more liver” or “Get that giggling twerp out of here.” could, of course, be the product of Agent Murphy’s sense of humor, but they were reported by several agents. Gates has no detectable sense of humor and, according to the records, the creature communicated with him at some length.

From that point – some confusion has arisen over what took place. I suspect that Agent Murphy gave her the cell-phone but he claims that it was left in the cage accidently. I was unaware of that, at the time. My orders were misunderstood.

Electric shocks were given through the floor of the cage to motivate the HST to co-operate with us and, according to Murphy, the HST then changed into a larger beast, a quadruped – and it then made its escape wearing part of the cage and with Murphy’s cell-phone tangled into the wreckage. We were quite unable to trace the creature further than the border of our own property.

It seems possible that it returned to the breeding faculty and there is a major danger in keeping any HST with Dalma DreaganCirc’s DNA with certain reptiles, especially since the establishment is not as technically advanced as the Initiative Laboratory and their stock may well be “mucked out” in the traditional sense.

While it is tempting, very tempting, to send Agent Murphy to look for a homicidal chicken and to search any dung-heaps for dangerous eggs, I do feel that his sense of humor would be a handicap. The flu epidemic has left us shorthanded and I am therefore sending Agent Frobisher. He is inexperienced but, under the circumstances, his lack of imagination might prove to be a positive factor.

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