Rectilian vulture

Octavio Briswald’s field notes

April 9, 2114

Have accomplished virtually no work today, due to a wretched infestation of vultures.

Urubu’s atmosphere is noxious in the extreme, so Fitzmurdle and I spent the entire morning tweaking our xenospirators to the appropriate calibrations. This type of painstaking work is Fitzmurdle’s forte, and he was fully absorbed in the task, humming happily to himself over the needle-like tools. This explains why he failed to notice that the door to his quarters was ajar, and that his pet Denobulan lemur1 had seized the opportunity to escape into the main cabin.

Apparently, this newfound freedom made the beast nervous. And apparently, this attracted the attention of the native Rectilian vultures, whose conductive feathers are sensitive enough to pick up the distress of a small mammal even through metal walls as thick as our own. Unbeknownst to us, the vultures gathered, and waited.

The moment we opened the hatch: complete pandemonium. One after another, the vultures swooped into the main cabin, beating their bodies and wings against the instrument panels and knocking over specimen containers and equipment. Fitzmurdle and I, hampered by our breathing masks, could barely see where one bird ended and another began. Meanwhile the lemur was in positive hysterics, chased from one shelter to the next, cowering miserably wherever it could find refuge.

Eventually Fitzmurdle managed to grab one of the lemur’s scruffs, and hurled it bodily back into his sleeping quarters. We closed the main hatch and opened a wall portal, which was just big enough for us to push out one vulture at a time. If you think this sounds easy, you have obviously never tried to manhandle multiple enormous angry raptors through a small round window.

Notes will resume tomorrow, when we venture out again. The dicephalic lemur, sadly, is none the worse for wear.



  1. See field notes from February 26, 2113



Other mentions: Neelix compared Tom Paris unfavorably to a Rectilian vulture (VOY).