Serpentís Tooth 

By Karl

John Crichton stood at the central cooling unit of the galley, sliding trays of food out of the way. He knew that Rygel had one more because he had seen it at dinner.

"What are you doing, John?"

"Ah, Harvey! Couldnít sleep. Thought I would have another one of Rygelís Gredtruck things." He found it in the back corner of the lowest cooler. Obviously it wasnít meant to be found. "Poor Fluffy." John grabbed a spoon and, ignoring his specter, walked over to the table.

"Its Grettrack john and you realize they are much better served warm."

"Thank you, Julia Child, but I like them cold if you donít mindÖ" John smiled down at the confection. "It kind of reminds me of cross between tapioca and ice creamÖ

John took his spoon and swirled the yellowish brown gelatinous material around in what appeared to be an ivory container. He looked back up at his nemesis, his mouth full of the delicacy. "Rygel is gonna blow and gasket when he discovers I snurched the last of his Grittruck stuff." He laughed, causing a bit to fly in the direction of Harvey and laughed again. "Sorry! Itís really good kinda like a cross between tapioca and Ice cream, really."

"A gasket?" Harvey questioned his host.

"Ya. You knowÖhit the roof, explode, have a nuttyÖ Ca-mon son. Tapping his head with the handle of his spoon. "Youíve been in here long enough to know a few of these sayings," John expelled a sick laugh.

"Do you know what Grettrack really is, John?"

John turned away from his invisible friend. "No. And you ainít gonna tell me. Now leave", he said, pointing his spoon in the direction of the hatchway. "Go haunt someone else for a change." John turned back to the half eaten bowl. Strange that they would pack these things in such a fancy container?

"I canít, John, you know that."

Slowly John looked up from the Grettrack. As he raised his eyes, the enjoyment of his snack dissolved into a dead stare. "Ya, I knew that." He shook his head violently as if trying to extricate his demon and slammed the spoon back down on the counter.

"Well, Harvey, if your gonna frell with the bats in my belfry, hows about a little Q and A then?"

The rotting sarcastic smile grew slightly, "What is Q and A?".

"Youíre in my frelling head, canít you read my mind?"

"No, John. You see. if I could I would simply retrieve the information I seek from this poorly designed organ I inhabit and active my homing transponder." He shifted forward to be face to face with his host.

"You realize this conversation will be forgotten in the morning donít you?" He stretched back as if enjoying the freedom from Johns mind. He tilted his head as he looked down almost protectively at his prey. "Iím sorry John, allow me to ask the question again, what is Q and A?"

John raised his spoon to his nose and smirked sarcasticly at his personal demon. "Q and A. Questions and Answers. I ask you a question you answer it."

"Ah," the rotting smile expanded once more, "No! that would be outside of my parameters. I am sorry, John."

John moved his attention back to his late night snack. "So then what are you bugging me for?"

"I would suggest you slow the intake of the Grettrack. I fear your digestive system is not designed for its consumption." John raised the ivory-like conical vessel it sat in. He sniffed it again, something John had quickly learned to do out here in the Uncharted territories. It had just a slight smell of tapioca. "Smells good to me, Harvey, whatís your beef?"

His specter moved down once more to be at eye level with his host, as if to cherish Johnís reaction to what he was about to say. "John, Grettrack is the abscessed tooth of a Grettracklostrous."

"Holy shit! John stood quickly from the table, pushing the large ivory tooth away. The tooth fell to the floor and its contends spewed across the floor as it shattered. Johns arms passed through Harvey as if trying to grab him. "I told you not to tell me what it was!" He spat at the image of his one time captor. John looked back down at the mess. Two DRDís were already surveying the mess.

"Its large aquatic beast from the seas of Ardrose IV. They feed it a special diet that causes these abscesses, and the teeth are then pulled and sold on the open market. I am surprised they have reached this far into the Uncharted Territory."

John felt the waves of nausea as he listened to his invisible advisor. "Frelling rotting Serpentís Tooth!" John quickly walked over to the sink and proceeded to expel anything north of his colon. His specter stood there and, between Johnís retches, continued with the information on the late night snack. "They are considered a delicacy by many races, but are deadly to Sebaceans. " He knelt down to be closers to Johnís face. "You see, John, I fear with your physiology is so close to theirs that it could be dangerousÖ Iím doing this for your own good, John." He stopped mid sentence as he waited for John finish. "I donít wish you to be injured."

Once he was certain that John had removed the last of the contents of his stomach, he allowed him to rest. John fell backwards from the sink and looked up at his specter. He tried to speak, but found no words. He just stared at the image of Scorpius... "Good night, John, pleasant dreams," he heard as the image dissolved into thin airÖ



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