A group of strange, ancient aliens begins abducting unsuspecting denizens of the Sanctuary colony vessel. Among the first victims is newlywed and Hangarville politico Yama Nels…

Dim Chamber <TCV Probos>

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A dark chamber with a low ceiling that seems to drip chains that ooze with a greenish-gray slime that issues from small refreshment pores in the ceiling. Arrayed in a formation that suggest a malignant black flower are eight round-edged examination tables that seem designed for just about any manner of life form – complete with restraints. Trays near each table are stacked with ominous-looking implements, bristling with sharp edges and cruel twists. Oval observation monitors glow bluely above the head of each exam table.

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The Laboratory door slides closed.

Yama tries to crane his neck to look around, hopefully for signs of a scantily-clad Teel.

Shog slurgs into the chamber, following its cohorts, carrying a metallic rod of some kind as it fixes its reddish-gold eyes on the human.

Nyarla says, “This speshimen has less insulting protrusions than the last.”

Kanak sloshes into the chamber first, the squishing sound created by its body rubbing along the thin layer of goo on the floor is almost obscene in nature and resembles the worst type of bodily gas problems imaginable, so much so that it would most likely make a Zangali blush.

Yama gulps deeply, Adam’s apple bobbing up and down like sea buoy. He looks queasily at the repulsive insects. He HATES insects.

Behind Shog slurbles Zatoth, its tail wurgling with slimy glee, its heavy-lidded eyes boring hungrily into Yama. “Nnnnnnnngh. Thish one….” It peers as it slimes up to a repulsive table beside the bed that Yama is restrained on.

Shog plucks a skittering beetle off its slimy hide and munches on it, tentacled mouth wriggling malevolently.

Yama frowns, face quickly turning green. “My por-portrusions are just fine, thank you.”

Kanak pats its thin fingers against its body with loud slaps. “Thish one should prove better, yesh?” It asks, gliding its way alongside Zatoth to peer down at the restrained human.

Yama looks at Shog aghast, and can take no longer. He lies his head back down.

Shog slurches forward, getting within a few feet of the restrained specimen. “What ish it?”

Nyarla’s tentacles writh and twist in anticipation. “I would like to do a compartive shtudy of these dry things anatomy. Thesh two were different.

One of Zatoth’s chin-tentacles flibbers, gesturing towards Yama. “Thish shpeshimen. Lesh unhygenic…” The slurgle trails off in a sickly gurgle as Yama’s fur arm comes within its greedy gaze. “Thish one’sh arm is shimilar to the other speshimen’sh…” It slides up and taps Yama’s arm, dripping massive amount of icky slime onto the fur and Yama’s unfortunate clothes.

Nyarla says, “Shome sort of hybrid?”

Gesturing to Yama’s mouth, Shog says, “It shpeaks. Shee how well it ish trained by itsh mashtersh.”

Yama squawks at both the tactile sensation and the ruining of his attire. “None of your business, that!”

“Gnnnrrgh.” Kanak says, leaning over to peer directly down at Yama with its bulbous head and beady eyes, a chin tentacle lightly tracing the texture of his skin while leaving a trail of good in it’s wake. “This one ish smooth.”

Nyarla says, “Thish one too ish impertinent. Perhapsh this one will sherve for my exshperiments?”

Shog swivels to regard Nyarla. “If your exshperimentsh can be conducted while presherving utmosht Thul shecreshy, then yesh, you may do ash you will.”

Yama winces, a sour taste entering his mouth as bile rises. “S’me arms.”

“And of mine, anshient?” Kanak asks, looking over towards Shog.

Zatoth angles three tentacles from its slimy, slug-domed head and switches on a sickly-blue light reminiscent of a bad porno show. It peers down at Yama, lowering its flaccid body. Several large bugs, black and skittering, drop onto Yama’s chest. The slime of course is now dribbling slowly over him.

Nyarla’s tail begins to thump slimily against the ground. “Yes, Great Anshient. It shall be sho.”

Yama spasms at the touch of the insects. A sheen of sweat coats his body, and the look of panic isn’t going anywhere. Yama asks, hesitantly. “What..wh’re you going to do?””

Shog drools slime as it turns eyes toward Kanak, beetles scribbling over the dome of its head and into snapping range of particularly nimble chin tentacles. Between munches, Shog asks, “Can you conduct your exshperimentsh with a minimal amount of permanent damage to the shpeshimen?”

Nyarla says, “When it ish shedated, yesh. I will be gentle. No tracesh will remain.”

Zatoth pokes out a pruny digit and thrusts its rather sharp end into Yama’s ear. “Thish one hash no earsh like the firsht…curioush. Oh Anshient One, we musht conduct further ekshperiments. Yesh yesh. Shedation for thish one?”

Kanak looks from Shog and then Yama before dipping it’s head. “I can try, Anshient.” It admits almost sheepishly as a bug jumps from his slime covered back to Zatoth’s.

Yama groans. “GET ME OU-“. *GLUB*

Zatoth immediately snaps up the bug with a tentacle and shoves it into his mouth, mmmm-ing rather slurgily.

Yama burbles furiously, squirming under the touch.

Shog ponders the human creature. “Mild shedation. I want it conshioush. Local anashthetic only.”

Yama shakes his head insistently, mouthing out “Full anesthetic” under the slime.

Nyarla says, “Yesh, Great Anshient.”

Kanak glurbs a bit and seeps over to the opposite side of Yama’s bed. “Why aneshtetic on thish one and not the one before?” It asks Shog.

Zatoth removes its finger, observing the slime on its nail. “Let the Inquishitorsh ekshperiment, my revered Anshient One. I will prepare the local i’dulhg.” Its tail wiggles unpleasantly as a slimish, slurby chortle of sorts shakes its flabby body.

Shog turns its gleaming eyes toward Kanak. “You dare to queshtion the Anshient One!?”

Yama’s eyes are wide, and he strains helplessly against the straps.

Nyarla slides silently to the tray of instruments, removing from it a solid-looking tube ending in a sharp barb.

Zatoth chortle-slurbs and, almost merrily, extends a stubby hand of sorts to Nyarla. “Ish it filled, Inquishitor Nyarla?”

Kanak’s jaw quivers, tentacles dancing wildly. “Of coursh not Anshient One.” It says as it undulates away from the table.

Yama’s burbling increases in tempo as Nyarla gets out the large instrument. The slime bubbles slightly.

Nyarla says, “It ish prepared.”

Shog glurgs at Kanak. “Shee that you do not. If the inquishitor wishesh to dishcush thish matter further, it can do sho out of the shpeshimen’s hearing.”

“But Anshient One, the shpeshimen wil – ” A long terrified paused from Kanak as it realizes its second mistake and then bows its head in submission. “Understood Anshient One.”

Zatoth nnngghs with unholy glee, tentacles dancing and tail wubbling. “Come Inquishitor. Give me the needle.”

Nyarla proffers the barbed thing in his stubby hands.

Yama’s eyes have been saucers throughout the encounter, and his eyes threaten to roll out of their sockets.

Zatoth slobbers and slombers slime from its wide, flabby and utterly disgusting lips. One wrinkled, stubby hand snatches the needle up and large gleaming eyes begin to peruse Yama’s prone form for a likely spot to inject the noxious substance contained within the syringe.

Kanak giggles a bit as it glides up next to Yama’s bed again and stares down at him. “We begin, yesh yesh.”

Yama works up the courage to say something, post-dip. “Who?”

Zatoth pauses as it swivels a slime-dripping head over to Shog. “Anshient One. A likely shpot?” It gestures with the syringe, waving tentacles and dripping more slime over Yama. By now, the unfortunate is almost covered.

Nyarla says, “Shtab it in the middle bit. With sho much flesh, it is unlikely to be fatal.”

Yama waggles his toes frantically. He manages to spit out on the sea of slime, “Organs there!”

Shog grungles. “Yesh. Where Nyarla shuggeshted.”

‘Organsh there?” Kanak asks to the assembled Inquisitors. “Good. Quicker to the brain it flows.”

Nyarla gibbles, “A nishe speshimen, thish one. Yesh…Yesh.” Its fingers tap together with an obscene smacking.

Zatoth curls its tail end and positions the needle. “Indeed I obey Anshient One.” Without regard for clothes or anything in its way, it casually pokes the needle just above Yama’s stomach in a nice soft spot, after prodding a few times experimentally.

Grimaces as the liquid encases his helpless form, this being the first compliment he finds hard to enjoy.

Yama grimaces.

Shog swivels its wrinkled, slimy head toward Zatoth. “Implementor, the future of our racshe reliesh upon you. Sheek within thish creature for that which the Ri’Kammi denied ush. We musht be allowed to rishe again!”

Yama gasps as the blunt instrument pierces his skin, inhaling a mouthful of slime.

Nyarla says, “Yesh, yesh, sheek it.”

Zatoth wrinkles down its head in a sort of bob to Shog. “The ekshperiments may prosheed. I will sheek what we need over here. Inquishitors. You may prosheed.” It waves the hand with the syringe after it withdraws the needle from Yama’s stomach and slimes over to the tray by the bedside.

Kanak dips its head quickly. “Yesh yesh. Sheek it.” A pause and its beady eyes focus on Yama. “You are lucky, shpeshimen. You have local u’lugh. I wish to know, will you shcrew your eye sockets closhed ash well?”

Yama sort of just lies there, in too much shock to move anything. He shakes his head dumbly.

Nyarla turns back to the tray, removing from it a delicate looking blade. His mouth tentacles writhe so violently that little bits of slime are flung in either direction.

Shog slithers forward, and pokes Yama with a finger, oozing slime onto the human’s exposed shoulder. A black bug skitters down Shog’s hand and begins slurping up the slime, tickling Yama as it consumes the oozant. “Why you have two different upper appendagesh?”

Yama gasps at the bug sensation, more than anything else. “Surgical.”

“Shurgical?” Kanak inquires further.

Shog wiggles his tentacles, slopping more slime onto Yama and sending the first bug – and a few more that drop onto Yama – into a slurvering frenzy of ooze consumption. “For coshmetic reashonsh?”

Nyarla slimes over to stand at the creature’s midsection. Delicately, its free hand trails to tug up Yama’s sweater.

Zatoth consumes two green, mouldy-looking fuzzy worms that happen to wiggle onto a tentacle. With nasal churtle-slurbling, it seems to be /humming/ in horrible slurpy fashion as it selects a large twisted and malignant-looking drill.

Yama strains to be heard over the slime’s affects. He his voice flows in a stream of words, disassociated from the Bosch scene before him. “No. Cut off. Demarian arms cheapest at the ‘doc.”

Shog grurgles. “Cheapesht? What ish cheapesht?”

Nyarla , meanwhile, creates an elegant incision in Yama’s abdomen, from just above the pantsline to just below the rib cage. A slight trickle of blood immediately begins to well from the line.

“The Demarian armsh, evidently, Anshient One.” Kanak says obviously, chin tentacles dancing methodically over Yama’s face.

The ancient Thul ponders the human curiously. “Cheapesht ish one who inshtalled thish Demarian arm?”

Yama continues rambling. “Less money. Trade goods, basic of economy and a civilization worth keep-“His eyes wander downwards, and he wishes they hadn’t. “Jesus H. Christ guzzling sodapop on a flatbed.”

Nyarla turns back to the tray, setting the knife down. As it turns back, a two pairs of wicked looking tongs are in its grasp, one to a hand.

“What ish shoda pop?” inquires the ancient one.

Yama’s eyes roll upwards, concentrating very much in attempt to wake up. “liquidrink.cheapestCostsLessAndWasaAllICouldGetOrI’dHaveTwoman-Arms.”

Zatoth slurbles to the head of the bed, the drill poised in one pruny-digited hand. A tentacle extends from the quivering mass of others to probe Yama’s skull. A large black bug with greenish purple spots drops right onto Yama’s nose, all ten legs splayed and grasping.

Shog fluggles, oozing a glistening slime like sap from a wrinkled and ancient tree trunk, and turns toward Nyarla. “Relieve it of the mechanical appendage for shtudy.”

The bile comes back with a vengeance at the site of the bug. At the thought of being armless once more, the vomit keeps coming.

Nyarla gently applies the tongs, peeling open the flesh to expose the abdominal cavity. Oddly, there’s not a lot of blood– perhaps the injection had some sort of side effect in this regard.

The bugs become quite excited by the excretion of bilious material by the human. They consider it a…gift. And swarm.

Slurping its way to the medical tray, vomit from Yama’s mouth catches Kanak on the area that would be deemed its chest. “Thish is most unlike the previosh shpeshimen.” Kanak admits before its tentacles jingle. “It ish burning!” It exclaims. “Acidic!”

Yama squirms for the first time in earnest, trying to break free of the straps. He thrashes his head hysterically, trying to fend off the demon-bugs.”

Zatoth finally locates a likely spot, somewhere to the back of Yama’s skull. Its wide, bulbous eyes squint through heavy slimy lids at Yama. “Inquishitor Kanak, shecure the shpeshiment pleash. I must drill.”

Shog jerks a chain, causing a bucket of slime to overturn from above and dump onto Kanak, soothing the burn. Some of the slime sloshes onto Yama, and causes the bugs to go into an even greater frenzy upon his chest.

A loop of intestine pokes its little head from Yama’s abdominal cavity as he thrashes around.

Yama doesn’t seem to be capable of more than shaking violently at the moment.

“Ah ah..” Kanak says in relief as the slime washes over it. “Ah..Thankshyou Anshient One.” It says before heading for Yama’s head and reaching for a restraint to bring across his forehead and safetly secure it to the table.

Nyarla , setting a set of tongs down on Yama’s restrained legs, gingerly pokes a slimy finger at the intestine. “Fashinating.

Zatoth nnngghs as part of the slime from the bucket gloops over its tail. An obscene jelly-jiggle follows as it watches Kanak secure Yama’s head. “Ahhhh. How shatishfactory Inquishitor.” With that, it probes with a tentacle and settles on a spot, setting the drill upon the slime-marked place. With a whirr, the unpleasant device activates.

Yama moans over the vomit as he sees Nyarla’s vivisection.

A flurry of beetles begins to march along Yama’s chin and neck, consuming bits of sputum and vomit.

“Thish shpeshimen ish indeed a good one. I believe it will releash us from our genetic impreshonment.” Kanak’s head wobbles quickly from side to side before looking down to focus on the operation to the side of Yama’s skull.

Nyarla says, “Shuch shtrangenessh.” It extrudes a finger towards the chest cavity, towards the just-visible heart muscle. “Look how thish pulshes.””

A faint shower of eerie bone dust flies into the air as Zatoth wields the drill with fanatic slimitude.

Shog narrows its eyes as it leans over to study the pulsing muscle. “What happensh if we shtop that? It sheemsh shwollen and infected.”

Yama screams impuslively. “No!-don’t!”

Nyarla says, “The pulshation is sho rhythmic, I shushpect that shtopping it would endanger the shubject.”

“But we will not know unlessh we try, Inquishitor.” Kanak reminds Nyarla.

Nyarla says, “Yesh, but if we shlay the shubject, we will be shurely dishcovered.”

Shog points at the muscle, slime dripping onto it. A bug leaps down into the cavity and begins to cleanse the heart of slime. Tickletickle. “What ish that?” asks Shog of the specimen.

Zatoth halts the drill and withdraws it in yet another cloud of dust. It picks up a long slime covered curved rod of sorts, unpleasantly stained with red, and pokes it into the small cavity left by the drilling. “Bashin!” it slurgles sloopily.

Yama’s throat is dry and empty as he sees what Shog is pointing at. “h-heart. t-t-touch n’idie.”

Shog ponders this for a moment, then asks: “Could you not get cheapesht replashement?”

“Perhapsh no one caresh about this particular shpeshimen enough to miss his passing or even realize he /is/ missing.” Kanak tells Nyarla while its chin tentacles weave back and forth idly, beady eyes focusing on both the operation and his fellow Inquisitor.

Nyarla reaches out, plucking the bug from the heart, beginning to chew with a thoughtful smacking sound.

Yama sputters, mouth raw. “Heart gone, die. Arm gone, live if bleed stop.”

Shog glowers slimily in Kanak’s direction. “Perhapsh you go to Shanctuary and find out, yesh? We let him live!”

Zatoth eyeballs the debate from its position at the head of the bed. It peers at the pulsating lump of heart. “Thish speshiment ish like one of thosh humanoidsh. The thing musht not shtop, no. Bashin, Inquishitor Kanack!” The last is an unpleasant drooly noise. Another bug hops onto Yama’s forehead and begins slurping busily at the slime thereupon.

Suprisingly enough, Yama does not look relieved. His skin has taken on a morbid, grey pallor.

Shog drips slime as he turns his attentin back to Zatoth. “Locate the gland and determine if thish shpeshimen ish of any ushe.”

Yama’s head drops stock-still as he knows the bugs have pierced his innermost thoughts.

“Bashin, Inquishitor Zatoth!” Kanak responds while sliding around the edge of the table and stopping beside Zatoth to peer at the tube within Yama’s head. “Finish the experimentashion before thish one ish notished missing.”

Nyarla , meanwhile, begins proding at the stomach gently. “Shomething is shtored here. Yesh, yesh, I shee! An unbroken line between head and tail…Thesh fluids musht be itsh primative intellectual core.

Zatoth slurmles its head in a revolting squishy sort of bow to Shog. “I am attempting shuch, oh Anshient One.” It grabs the basin from Kanak and positions it to receive a sluggish flow of squelchy liquid from the hole. Its tail wiggles. “Nnnnnghn. Foooooood.”

Yama attempts, quite miserably, to see what’s going on.

Nyarla’s tentacles wiggle, “What majeshtic beashts.” It prods the stray intestinal loop back into the cavity, pausing to pluck up a bug that was nestled beneath it. Popping the insect into its mouth, the Inquisitor retrieves the tongs it had set upon Yama’s legs, turning back to the tray.

Kanak heads for the medical tray and snags a small tube with an attached wire. The tube is adorned with dials and switches and seems to humm quietly.

When the flow of liquid has sufficiently filled the slimed up and ominous basin, Zatoth whisks it over to a low tangle of tubes, unpleasantly angled metal and dim blue lights, slurbling and burbling slime in its wake. It tugs down a pair of slimy wires and shoves them into the basin. Its tail suddenly droops as it peers to read the blue-glow of the monitor screen. “Thish one hash not what we need Anshient One…” comes the disconsolate blurgle.

Kanak’ tentacles droop. “Another one? Are we looking in the correct part of shpace for our needs? Shurely one of their kind can be usheful.”

Nyarla returns the tongs to the tray. It turns back, holding in its hands some sort of blunt, electrical device.

Zatoth wriggles its tentacles in a droopy sort of dance, picking off a green worm and consuming it. Reddish slime squirts as the bug pops gently. “Prepare it, Inquishitor. It ish ushelesh to ush.”

Kanak snorgles and slowly advances on Yama with the metal rod and wire aimed towards the hole in the side of his head. “I will prosheed, Inquishitor.”

Shog sighs slurpily, ooze creeping out of its mouth into the waiting snicksnackering mandibles of eager beetles. “Then we musht shend it back and sheek another. Inquishitor Kanak, wipe itsh memory of thish examination.”

Nyarla begins methodically pinching Yama’s flesh back together, running the little device over the cut. The incision is sealed as the device paces, no trace of it visibly remaining.

Zatoth waves a stubby digit to Kanak. “Yesh oh Anshient One. I prosheed ash shoon ash the Inquishitor has finished.”

Nyarla reaches the top of the incision, effectively sealing Yama’s abdominal cavity. It then tugs the sweater back down. “It ish done.”

Kanak slowly inserts the metal wire into Yama’s head slowly..

Several spurts of slime descend from the ceiling to shower over all present in a gloopinous, gelatinous stream.

Yama does his best slack-jawed yokel impersonation as his mind is set alight.

Shog slurgles over to a waiting console and pushes forward a lever that causes the table to glow blue and a buzzing sound begins to rise to a crescendo in the chamber. “Advishe me when the time ish right.”

Kanak withdraws the tube and wire from Yama’s skull and jiggles a bit. “It ish yours, Inquishitor.” It says as it slurps back away from the Human.

Nyarla turns back to the tray, depositing upon it the snubby device.

Zatoth taps several tentacles impatiently on its rather soft-domed head. As Kanak slurgles off, it reaches for a grayish plug and slorples over to Yama, plugging the hole.

Shog burbles and begins to draw back on another lever. “Ish all in readinesh?”

Zatoth performs a few more gyrations with a metal tube and a twisted piece of equipment, before slushing off in a trail of slime. The hole may as well not have existed, it’s plugged so perfectly. “Clean thish shpeshiment up!” it horlfs at Nyarla slurshily.

Kanak wurbles a bit before slinking backwards in a moonwalk-esque dance to fall alongside Shog. “It wash a good attempt Anshient One.”

Shog glubs, drooling slime. “We will find what we sheek. I am confident.”

Zatoth consumes several slugs, picking one off the tray of implements. “We will, Anshient Venerable One.”

Nyarla is already in the process of detaching two tubes from their holders on the tray, said trays extending upwards into the ceiling. He turns back to the subject, carefully spraying a little blob of goo wherever slime is to be found. He chases the goo with the second tube, which quite efficiently sucks up the goo, the slime, and any other bits of stuff on the subject.

Yama’s eyes widen once more in alarm as he sees very strange, random bugs about his disembodied self.

By the end of things, Yama looks spotless and as presentable as when he first was teleported in. More, in fact. Zatoth slurgs in approval, slurping. “Oh Anshient One, wipe itsh mind….” it slurbles respectfully. “And all ish in readinesh.”

Shog glowers at Kanak. “Didn’t you already wipe it?”

Nyarla sprays the ooze into Yama’s horrified face, the clear stuff completely coating him. He follows with the second tube, which sucks and buffs noisily against the man’s flesh.

“Itsh mind is already wiped.” Kanak says to Zatoth.

Yama beams pleasantly.

Zatoth watches in slurpy approval as Yama’s expression turns goofy. “It ish ready Anshient One.”

Shog glorgles, then yanks back on the lever, and all the world around Yama becomes enclosed in blue light…