Wompat

Octavio Briswald’s field notes

May 06, 2115

We hadn’t initially thought much of the wompat, from a scientific standpoint. Fitzmurdle mumbled something about wanting to compare its embryonic diapause rate with that of the smaller Earth weasels; but how he proposed to do that, when we had been warned not to remove the creature from its clear plastic sphere, I cannot fathom. I suspected that he just wanted a companion for his blasted pet lemur, which seemed a harmless enough desire.

But last night, as I was stitching gold filigree onto the edgings of my trousers, I heard the most tremendous crashing thump. Fitzmurdle called out reassurance that nothing significant had broken, and I went back to my project unconcerned. But then Fitzmurdle shouted with much more alarm:

“Captain, come quick—there are four wompats!”

“I thought you just got one?” I asked, irritated; four wompats sounded like a viable breeding colony.

“I did! But there are now four wompats! No—five? Come, sir!”

I marched into Fitzmurdle’s quarters and was greeted by the most astonishing sight. Within the confines of the plastic sphere, the wompat was physically dividing and multiplying. There was so much movement and swirling of limbs that it was hard to see exactly how this happened, but in one instant there would be a wompat, and then, with a shuddering twist, suddenly there would be two. And as each new wompat divided again, soon the plastic sphere was full to bursting point with squirming, furry, scrambling beasts.

 
 

“It started when I dropped the sonosyncher, I think it startled them! Should I open the ball?” asked Fitzmurdle.

“Better not old chap—from the looks of things, they’ll just keep dividing till they’ve taken over the whole ship.”

“But they’ll suffocate—” said Fitzmurdle, but just at that moment the whole quivery mass of creatures gave one last heave, and with a shivering pop, collapsed back down into just one small wompat again. The animal shook himself off, and started licking his shoulder as if nothing unusual had happened.

In light of this new behavior, I have started working on a paper about the species, which will be titled The Trouble with Wompats: Morphogenetic mitosis in the Cardassian mustelidae.

 

 


Other mentions: Gul Madred's daughter kept a pet wompat (TNG).