The Story of The Toxic Norns

The Lone Shee put down his genetic screwdriver and watched, fascinated, as the bacteria continued to grow and divide within his flask. This was unprecedented! He'd been to a lot of strange places recently but that last planet was just so ... well, alive. So alive, in fact, that every inch of the forest floor had writhed and slithered with the movements of a multitude of life-forms. The atmosphere had been damp and humid, and the air thick with the smell of a thousand digestive systems digesting.

As he cast his mind back he was struck by the link between life and death - wherever there is life in such abundance, death is not far behind. Maybe because of this the creatures of this planet had developed a resilience far beyond anything he'd encountered before. The remains of the fallen accumulate and feed the needs of the living, the fight for life goes on.

The Norns he'd collected from that world exhibited major digestive changes - they had grown up (and survived!) in that toxic environment and were capable of eating the detritus that carpeted the floors. Their immune system shrugged off infection that was normally fatal, and allowed them to eat the rotten foodstuffs they seemed to love. They actually showed little inclination to eat the 'normal' food on the Capillata, so he made sure that the plants, animals and other items he brought back from the planet all provided the necessary nourishment for these Toxic Norns.

The relatively sterile environment of the Capillata was no problem for some of the organic specimens, he found that without competition they soon took over and before long covered every surface. He was forced to adapt them for the sake of the other inhabitants, and it was at this point he made a mistake. It was while dissecting a particularly foul smelling plant that a bunch of small spherical things jumped out and bounced across the floor. He tried to capture them but they either disappeared into the solid ground or floated out of reach!

Ever since then these critters had appeared with blatant disregard for his authority and proceed to slink, slither, bounce or float around his ship! Would he ever be rid of these pointless squidgy things?