The Cat Purr Effect
Edgar leaned against the kitchen counter of their human-safe habitat on Verticum VI. The effect, or rather his lack of it, tormented him still.
“I call it the Cat Purr Effect,” he said, calling up an app on his pad. “Every person creates a multitude of magnetic fields. Certain people’s magnetic fields make them more attractive. It works like a cat’s purr. People love cats partly because their purrs encourage attention.”
Five sets of eyes turned to Mission Commander Donnie Glassock. He rolled his eyes surreptitiously. The team members knew instantly what to think.
“But Donnie doesn’t purr,” sighed Megan, feigning wisdom yet completely misunderstanding the analogy.
“I didn’t say they do. It’s only like a purr.”
“Be honest. What you’re really saying is you’re jealous of Donnie’s linguistic skills,” said Sandra. She paused to beam at Donnie. “The ICC named him Mission Commander for the First Contact Team and you’re still pissed about it.”
“No!” groaned Edgar, becoming frustrated. He held out his pad for all to see. “Look. This displays everyone in this room. The blue glows show most of us possess normal mag fields. The yellow glow is Donnie. He shows positively for the Cat Purr Field.”
“So this represents your lack of leadership ability and why Donnie’s skill and intelligence dwarfs yours?” scoffed Gina. The shuttle pilot glanced at Donnie for approval.
“Alright folks,” said Donnie. “I’m getting some sack time.” He nodded to Megan. She grinned lasciviously, accepting the invitation. The other team members followed Donnie out as though an invisible leash tied them to him.
“That’s not it at all,” protested Edgar to their backs.
Chuck the weapons man remained behind and pointed at Edgar’s display. “What’s that muddy brown spot?”
“Sub-normal,” sighed Edgar. “That’s me.”
“What does this have to do with the mission?”
“It could be critical.” Edgar brightened at Chuck’s interest. “The Privoni’s potential for violence is huge. You’ve seen their teeth?”
Chuck shuddered and nodded. The jaws of the dinosaur-like Privoni could slice a man’s arm off in a single bite.
“Donnie’s Cat Purr Field insures the Privoni remain peaceful toward us,” explained Edgar. “If that changes, we need backup.” He held up a small device.
“What does that do?”
“It influences human magnetic fields. It’s still experimental, but it should work.” He demonstrated the slider control. “You can’t slide it too far. You’ll get the opposite of the Cat Purr Effect.”
Megan returned, wearing a skimpy top and panties. She collected some ice with a smirk and left. Chuck watched her hips sway with envy. Normally, he got some action during missions. With Donnie around, his prospects disappeared. He eyed the device. “Can I borrow that?”
Edgar hesitated. “Be careful. It’s the only one, and it’s experimental!”
The screams drew Edgar to the habitat’s entrance. Still in his spacesuit, Chuck dragged the body of Donnie in from the airlock. Just the torso and one arm remained. “I don’t know what happened!” screamed Chuck as Megan and Susan howled over the body. Smoke drifted from Chuck’s gun barrel. “They just started attacking him, all of them!”
Edgar whispered at Chuck. “The device?”
Chuck shook his head. “Eaten.”
Edgar sighed. He never expected Donnie to be killed, and blame rested partly on him for using Chuck’s impulsiveness like that. Still, the positive test result proved efficacy.
He reached into his pocket. A second device nestled there, and he adjusted its slider.
Time for a new Mission Commander to step up.
More about Cat Purrs: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/features/why-cats-purr?page=2
Written for the Yeah Write Fiction challenge. Look here for more stories from this week’s collection: http://yeahwrite.me/fiction-poetry-writing-challenge-199/