31: Put On Some Coffee

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The observation lab was alive with all forms of electrical equipment and devices, each humming and blinking to it's own rhythm.

On a circular table at the center of it all rested the sphere encapsulated crystal, held aloft by a three-pronged triangular stand. The crystal glowed brightly as it remained surrounded by the ocean water inside the sphere.

Doctor Marshall entered the lab carrying a large box bearing an assortment of cables. Setting the box on the ground beside the central table, the doctor turned his attention momentarily to the observation tube which currently housed their unconscious guest.

"How are you doin?", the doctor asked rhetorically as he scanned the environmental and medical display on the tube's curved surface ensuring their guest was still in stable condition. According to the readout, the creature's heart rate currently hovered around 38 beats per minute, while his body temperature remained a constant 38.7 degrees. The doctor had no idea if that was "normal" or not, but at least it had stabilized.

Doctor Marshall stared at the creature and stroked his moustache, pondering what its next move should be. How would the creature react once it regained consciousness, if it regained consciousness. Would it panic and bang against its clear prison, putting even more stress on the tube's outer walls? Would it remain calm? Would there be any way to communicate with it? Those were just the immediate questions. Other, possibly more important questions, like, "Where did it come from?", "How did it get here?", or "Is it even from our system?" would come in time -- the doctor hoped.

"Hang in there.", the doctor muttered quietly.

"Syndi, let me know if his condition worsens."

"Yes doctor."

"While we wait,", the doctor said as he spun to turn the table behind him, "let's take a closer look at your crystal here."

"Syndi, I want a high-res 3d scan of that crystal.", the doctor ordered as he began hooking up the variety of electrical apparatus surrounding the table.

"As well as thermals and chemical makeup. And run a full spectrum scan. I want to see what we can't."

"Yes doctor.", Syndi replied.

One by one the doctor flipped on the various pieces of equipment. Lights and displays danced to life.

"Doctor, the 3d scan is complete.", Syndi reported.

The doctor grabbed a nearby headset, which resembled an oversized visor, and placed it on his head. The clear visor was large enough to easily surround his glasses. It was constructed of a single piece of transparent acrylic which wrapped from one side of his head to the other.

"Send me the scan.", the doctor ordered, "Right here.", as he tapped the right side of the visor, causing a colorful heads up display to materialize a foot or so in front of his view above the table.

"Yes doctor.", Syndi replied.

An instant later an exact duplicate of the crystal appeared beside the original, which remained safely encased in its protective sphere.

"Excellent.", the doctor said admiring the copy which was indistinguishable from the original.

"Syndi.", the doctor called out again. "We're gonna need some thinkin' music."

Syndi's holographic bust produced the slightest smile, "Thinking music. Yes doctor.", she answered.

A moment later, a four count cow bell played over the lab speakers which led into the intro to Mountain's song "Mississippi Queen".

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