• Published 27th Apr 2014
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Specimen 25467 - NachoTheBrony



"She needs a friend," they told him. She was Earth's first confirmed alien, and he rather became her father.

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1: Routine

Specimen 25467

Chapter 1: Routine

...buzz-buzz... buzz-buzz... buzz-bu*click.

Wake up, shored sailor: another day of ennui awaits you.’

Lieutenant, Junior Grade Michael Hengst blinked hard a few times before slowly sitting up on his bed: even if being in charge of Viques Island was a dead-end job, he was still the OIC and it was his responsibility to keep his crew in shape.

And talking about that, he reached behind his alarm clock on his bedside table, pulled his radio from its charging cradle, turned it on and, after waiting a moment just to make sure he wasn’t about to intrude into existing communication, pressed the send button and spoke:

“Night shift report! Over.”

“Morning, sir!” his radio cracked back at him, making him adjust the volume a tad lower. “Boat Three intercepted a pleasure yacht at twenty-three-o-nine, sailing from the civilian side of the island. Boat Six escorted around a cargo ship that saluted the south side from o-four-thirty-five to o-four-fifty-three. Report ends. Over.”

“Copy that, Ensign,” replied Mike, finally disengaging from his bed. “Forecast for today. Over.”

“Weather reports sunny in the morning, some clouds in the afternoon, and light wind all day. Traffic only reports a provision ship, ETA eleven-hundred at the resort’s dock to unload two DHS personnel, five invisible civilians and regular cargo. It should be at our dock at fourteen-hundred, and should carry that third freezer for our resident contractor. Over.”

“Copy that.” Mike said with a smile. “I’ll leave you the honours to announce that to the furball, but please do so after you wake up in the afternoon. Over.”

“My pleasure, sir. Out.”

Now with his day planned beyond strict routine, Mike rose out of bed.

Following his usual routine, he exited his bedroom, walked to the kitchen and made himself a “quick-puccino”: a shot of expresso from his timer-operated espresso machine, watered down in a half-cup of milk nuked to lukewarm. And quickly enough he drank it and dropped the cup in his sink, to then prepare a second quick-puccino, this one with a little sugar, and carry it to the second bedroom.

He knocked softly, then waited a couple heartbeats and walked into... girly: a fluffy pink carpet, lavender and baby blue wallpapers, lime green furniture and posters of fluffy animals and Disney princesses that were slowly being replaced with boy bands. And there in the far corner, tangled in the sheets of a four-poster bed that had put him behind by a pretty penny, was the female who kept him chaste and voluntarily nailed to this backwater island and dead-end post:

“Rise and shine, sweety,” he said, as he placed the cup on the bedside table, sat down on the table and gently leaned on the mass of sheets on the bed.

Out came a couple of deep breaths, then a soft whiny, and then a voice that, for the next few moments, wouldn’t truly fool a listener into believing ‘human’.

Faihv morrh meeehhhnuths, Hahhee,” weakly came a reply from in there.

“You need to drink your joe, furball,” he commented, half seriously, as he found that his daughter was upside-down on the bed again. He uncovered her head and found it to be an adorable mass of olive-green sweety under a nimbus of magenta tangle. “You are far too sleepy to enunciate.”

She had a couple of deeper breaths, then licked her chops, then tried again: “Five more meehnutes, Daddy.”

“No can do, Flora, unless you want to get to school with damp fur.”

That got out of her a grunt that sounded much more equine than human, followed by her putting her legs under her body and beginning to crawl out of bed. Mike assisted her by keeping the sheets on the bed, then watched as his quadruped daughter yawned large enough to bite a large grapefruit, stretched like a cat and then slowly clip-clopped to the door until…

“Don’t forget your coffee, Flora” he called, not incidentally stopping his daughter from using her mouth on the door’s pommel. He wouldn’t bother her about being naked, though, as he knew that, other than respecting human sensitivities, she despised clothing.
“Sorry, Dad,” she replied, as she returned, gave him a nuzzle, picked up her mug by biting the edge and, with strength and dexterity that no human lips had, slowly turned it from vertical and full to horizontal and empty without making a sound and without spilling a drop.

He then took the mug from her and watched her make her way again to the door, now with a closer-to-functional brain that allowed her to open it with her hoof.

As she took her morning shower first (after all, she took a good ten minutes to towel dry) he washed the coffee mugs and washed and reloaded the espresso machine, getting it ready to jolt them awake tomorrow.

After some ten more minutes, he received an “All yours, Dad,” and took his turn into their heavily modified shower stall…


And at 0629, Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Hengst and his daughter Flora exited their housing unit and begun walking to the base’s cafeteria, him displaying Summer White Service uniform, and her wearing the ugly pink-on-white, sailor-styled uniform of the only secondary school in the island. Four minutes later they were sitting on ‘their’ table at the cafeteria: him with some gruel and scrambled eggs from the food line; her with her ‘special nutrition’ that the cooks, bless their souls, had shaped today as blueberry-and-hay muffins.

As usual, he let her go as soon as she had eaten her almost tasteless breakfast so she could greet people, but at 0645 he pulled her back and told her that ‘it was getting late’ and she had to go to school.

And as his daughter sank into the VR room that connected her to a faceless robot at a school ten miles –and a world—away, Lt. Hengst turned around and went against the usual dread of ‘Summer White’ days:

Paperwork.


Six mind-numbing hours later, Mike temporarily emerged from the clutches of his greatest enemy and, after a quick uniform change to gym clothes, could peek into the VR room.

There was his daughter, diligently typing on her laptop by using a T9-type keyboard with keys as large as fists. Glancing up, he saw on the robot’s four screens that her classroom was in the middle of a quiz, with the three panoramic screens showing a 180-view of her classmates hunching on their desks, and her zoom camera zoomed into the blackboard, showing ten questions on South American history that he didn’t know if he had ever learned.

Who the heck was Cusco, anyway?

After a few minutes, the speakers delivered the teacher rapping the eraser on his desk, making the students look up.
“You can print your answers, Miss Hengst. And everybody, please put down your pens and pass your answers forward.”

After a round of groaning, including that of his daughter, the teacher began receiving the papers, including the one coming out of the chest of the Execubot’s integrated fax/printer.

“Homework,” said the teacher, eliciting some more groaning. “Read pages 137 to 144 and answer the questions in page 145. And now you can go to your PE class.”

His daughter then removed her diadem microphone, turned off the Execubot, turned around and, with practiced ease, caught the bundle of clothes he had just tossed her.

“Hurry up, furball, so I can help you dry.”

“Gotcha, Dad,” she replied, extending her school-regulated gym uniform over her desk, while he turned and walked out of the room to let her change.


A couple minutes later, they marched into the base’s gym and begun their workout:

First came stretches.

Second came some cardio, where he took his usual rowing machine and she took her special treadmill and begun running upright.
Then started the differences between their two workouts: on the ten-minute mark, her machine began beeping. She pressed a green button on it and dropped to all fours and the machine, following its program, slowly accelerated to a twenty-minute routine at speeds not usually sustainable by humans, and in fact going into all-out gallop at some points.

At the thirty-minute mark both their machines beeped them to stop, and after a short break for hydration and catching their second wind, they went to the weight room and, as he did some biceps, his soft-looking “daddy’s girl” took an abdominal machine and rapidly maxed it...

Ten minutes later, they were at the gym’s shower room, taking advantage of it being co-ed by him helping her to wash her back without straining her neck.

And minutes later, after he had helped her to dry (a much faster task if his daughter had an extra pair of hands), they were out and ready for more sit down time: him back in the office, her to her last couple of classes for the day.


At seventeen hundred, he could say ‘bye’ to the week’s only day of intensive office time, he could change out of uniform and go spend some more time with his daughter.

Following the radio of Seaman Martin, her watchdog for the day, he could find her at one of her mint fields. As he approached he was greeted by her ‘doing her magic:’ she had a full size scythe on her jaw, and was making it fly through bergamot mint like nobody’s business, while Seaman Lawrence, on his civvies, was a few steps behind her, bunching up the cut mint and loading it on a wagon. A wagon that, obviously, also happened to be hitched to his daughter.

He also noticed that she was chipper than usual, mumbling a catchy tune as her scythe moved much faster than usual. Mike waited until she finished the line (and dropped the scythe) before greeting her:

“Hey, Sweety; why so enthusiastic today?”

“Dad!” she exclaimed, pushing the release on her harness and then jumping at him. He intercepted her flying hug, then brought her down and hugged her gladly as she enthusiastically nuzzled his neck.

“So, what is it, furball?” He said after savouring her love for a little longer.

“Sharon just told me! This supply ship just brought my new freezer! I’ll be able to double my ice cream production, and just in time for me to try selling Yerba Buena Sherbet!” she said, finishing by nodding at the bergamot on her wagon.

“That’s great, Flora!” he replied, being excited about that peculiar sherbet she had tested on the base’s cafeteria last week. “Vieques Herbs Incorporated seems to be going full steam ahead.”

And he really hoped it was: her company was a very important step on the plan that the DoD had drawn for her independence: first it was for her to move into a small island environment rather than the underground lab that she spent most of her childhood. Next she stopped being home-schooled after elementary and began attending middle school through the Execubot, inside a small-town environment. Next step, although she didn’t know that, but her Execubot would be unavailable from her very first day at high school, ‘forcing the DoD’ to have her attend in person. And the very day that happen, the DoD would spam the media and try to gain a favourable image about them having correctly handled Specimen 25467, Earth’s first real alien. The ‘final’ step was something that the plans had drawn as unlikely but Flora herself had provided: for her to somehow gain financial independence inside the island, so she would be unlikely to leave, and thus be sheltered by the small-town environment.

They then held together for a while, until Seaman Martin cleared his throat.

“Come on, guys,” he said, making room for the scythe on the wagon. “You are paying me by the hour, Flora, and I like to give you your money’s worth.”

Mike was unhappy about ending the moment, but could agree with the seaman’s work ethic and stood up again.

Five minutes later they entered her factory and began washing the part of the bergamot that would go into the sherbet.


At nineteen hundred, Mike left his daughter to TV and homework at their housing unit, to go receive in person the logs concerning the supply ship. Thankfully, they contained no sensitive information, so he could rapidly return home and read them on his own kitchen table, while he watched his daughter watch TV.

And finally, at twenty-thirty, he herded her into her room, getting out of her a promise to not stay up too late.

When Mike eventually got to bed, he checked on her and found her asleep, curled in the middle of the bed. He gave her a kiss and covered her again, then left: in three more years he would sail again, but Flora would always be his daughter.

Author's Note:

1. While I have worked for a number of semi-militarized companies, including having been a merchant seaman, I do not really know more about real military life than you can get from the media. And while I did consult on some gross details (such as Shinzakura saving me from the embarrassment of placing a US Navy base on the British Virgin Islands), I didn’t want to bother people by consulting them on minutiae, thus resulting on me finding some slightly holey info that I then had to fill with Tom Clancy and imagination.

While I will ignore flamers, I will be glad to make corrections based on concrete suggestions, unless they toss a wrench into my outline. Same with my lingo, as I know that despite my best efforts, it shows that I’m not a native English speaker.

2. I know that the US Navy wouldn’t usually be ascribed to Coast Guard duties. I tried to convey it subtly through conversation without spilling revealing dialogue, but I’m confident that I failed. Therefore, here’s the deal: According to my story, the USN base exists for the protection of a ‘nazi scientist’ hotel existing a few miles north of it. Its safety is also the reason why the western side of Vieques Island is a restricted area.

In real life, there was a USN base on Vieques, but it was axed for budget reasons. And the real reason for not ‘developing’ the east half of the island: it’s a wildlife reserve.

3. For AAG readers: I gave ‘Flora’ a much different attitude than DJ, especially when it comes to ‘demonstrating’ humanity: as Uncle Sam wants to explore how is she different, she has not only been carefully researched upon, but also always encouraged to ‘be herself.’ Also, Uncle Sam wishes to avoid a “Lost Princess” scenario, so they have tried to always keep her happy.

4. For AAG readers: I made Mike older and ‘Flora’ younger than they are in AAG. Sorry, but I wanted to make the story work as father-daughter, not older bro and lil’ sis.

5. The Execubot is a technology that pretty much already exists: a bunch of cameras, a microphone and a loudspeaker installed on a mobile platform, controlled by somebody who may be halfway across the globe. UAV’s, anyone? My idea for the Execubot was about it being wheeled and man-sized, then being marketed to executives who don’t want to waste three days on several planes, and a load of company money, just to do a quick inspection visit to an outsource. Also, being marketed as a business machine, it makes sense for it to also be able to transmit written communication, thus both sides having fax/printers directly connected to the opposite side, and likely also being able to ‘bridge’ electronic communications such as whatever technologies like USB and Bluetooth exist at this time.


Take care.

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