Twice a Year


"Hello, Niko. What are you doing here?" Zachary found Niko waiting outside Goose's quarters next to a big container made of grey plastic with small holes in it. 
"I'm waiting for Goose. I've promised to accompany him this time." 
"What ar--" A loud crashing noise from inside the apartment interrupted him. "What was that?!" Obviously someone was tearing the furniture inside to pieces. Another loud sound indicated something breakable smashing to the floor. Startled, Zachary looked at Niko: "Is Goose all right? Maybe we should tell Commander Walsh about his condition." 
"Oh, he's just fine." Niko assured him. "Believe me, Zach. Everything is all right with him." 
"But--" He started as something slammed against the closed door from the inside. Zach almost believed he could see a dent in the metal. A scraping noise followed. "Niko, what is going on in there?" He lowered his brows. "I won't ask again." 
She sighed. "Well, it's just that..." 
The door next to her slid open and Goose appeared, transformed into what she privately called "Steelman" -- his whole body seemed to be made of silvery steel. In his right hand he carried a hissing, spitting, struggling bundle of grey fur which he dropped into the grey plastic container. Niko hastily closed it and Goose stuffed the container under his arm. 
"May I ask once again what's going on here?" Zachary's voice expressed clearly his decreasing patience. 
"Possessor's half-yearly veterinary visit, Captain."