Characters: Henry Foss; mentions Helen Magnus and Ashley.
Summary: Henry’s not as enthralled by the Nubbins as everyone else seems to be.
Word Count: 617
Written For: kayim’s prompt ‘Sanctuary, Any, Nubbins!’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Sanctuary, or the characters. They belong to their creators.
The Nubbins were undeniably cute, adorable even; the kind of creatures you just wanted to pick up and squeeze. With their round, bright eyes, big ears, tiny noses, and fat, furry bodies, they were, according to Ashley at least, the coolest thing ever to be brought back to the Sanctuary.
Henry wasn’t so sure. Oh, their camouflage abilities were pretty amazing, the ability to fade out of sight would be handy for any creature that got preyed on by something bigger and nastier, but it was a good trait for predators too, allowing them to sneak up on their prey without being spotted. So far, everyone was going on the assumption that the large and obvious predator that had arrived with the Nubbins was the creature responsible for the deaths of the crew, but in the absence of any definitive proof, Henry intended to keep an open mind. There was something shifty about the little critters.
Besides, he seemed to be allergic to them if all the sneezing was any indication. If he didn’t have to care for them, he’d steer well clear. Allergies were no joke.
When their two original Nubbins turned into a family of sixteen practically overnight, Henry decided that Nubbins must be related to Tribbles and he started to become concerned. Concern grew to outright worry when the whole little Nubbin family escaped, eating everything they could find. Well, everyone knows what happens when you feed Tribbles, right? Population explosion. Same rule applies to Nubbins and in short order the Sanctuary was being overrun with the little menaces. They needed to be captured and contained, but that’s no easy trick when you can’t see what you’re trying to catch, and they can fit through gaps far too small for a human. They were screwed.
After getting bitten by a Nubbin - and wasn’t that a humiliating experience? – Henry was only too happy to be pulled off the frontlines and set to work on a more effective way of rounding up the escapees. Technology was his thing, after all; who better to create a Nubbin-catcher? If only it had been that easy.
Instead, the situation just kept going from bad to worse; the population explosion continued unabated, the Nubbins got into the wiring, causing shorts in their equipment and eventually leaving them without power, and catching them one by one was not a viable option since they were breeding faster than they were being caught. Magnus soon became convinced that they shared a hive mentality, which made a lot of sense. A vast swarm of fuzzy abnormals all working together in an organised way was just plain creepy!
Everything they tried was met with failure, including releasing the predator in an attempt to drive all the Nubbins out into the open so they could be trapped. Sanctuary was at the mercy of an unstoppable horde of small, furry creatures no bigger than rabbits, and Henry was so tired of sneezing. How come he was the only one allergic to the damned things anyway?
Turned out that low temperatures slowed Nubbins right down. Below fifty degrees they practically stopped breeding, their rate of growth reduced dramatically, they ate less, and they became much easier to handle. It was a relief to be able to bundle the whole lot into a climate-controlled room and start putting the Sanctuary back in order.
Standing at the glass window to the Nubbin room, Henry decides that chilled Nubbins are his favourite kind; he’s not even so violently allergic to them once their pheromone production all but ceases. He smiles to himself as he watches the sleeping colony. Now he can safely agree with Ashley; these Nubbins are definitely cool.