"No vocal chords?" asked "Photon" Gomez,leaning back in his leather chair while he glancing over Seamus's report on EBE-001 (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity, not yet classified). "It was chattering away when we ungagged it."
Seamus had moved his chair close to the chief scientist's desk. "It was clicking and buzzing with its mouth and tongue, sir. I suppose it could get by speaking insectoid language  but I would think a spacefaring race would have a more complex means of communication - wouldn't they?"
"Well, they weren't carrying radios. So what does that leave? Telepathy?"
"That's what I'm thinking myself, sir." He indicated the bottom of the report.
"Mmm-hmm." Photon nodded. "Whups - the General's here for his update."
Seamus excused himself from the office and hurried past Genega, who let himself in and sat on the edge of the desk. "So, Gomez, what's a day of research got us?"
"We haven't been able to activate any of the alien weapons yet, but we've cut a few apart. Zager's found the energy collimating systems very interesting and feels they may be important in the laser weapon development."
"That's good. But so far these aliens seem to go down pretty easy with standard armament."
"Right, well, also we've got the HWP nearly repaired, and we've got a team analyzing the alien hull material, which seems to be piezomagnetic."
"No, piezomagnetic. We had to invent the word. Basically it seems to produce a stronger magnetic field under pressure."
Genega nodded. "And what's that report?"
"Seamus's autopsy report. Basically we think the aliens may have telepathic communication but also some form of clicking insectoid language."
"In Sectoid language, hmm?"
Photon didn't notice the slip. "We're analyzing our recordings, but there's not much. Obviously if we could have kept it alive..."
"Well, I'm just as interested in finding more about their motivation and command structure. The Bechtel contractors tell me the alien containment and observation room on Level 4 will be airtight in ten days. When that's finished, capturing one of these Sectoids alive will be our top priority."
Ricky "Worm" van der Wall let himself back into the computer room where they had set up the HWP control centre. HIs best friend Pios "Slice" Alparada was quick to tease him.
"Spending all that time with a chick like Dana, man, you're so lucky. I'm quite frankly jealous."
"I was so involved with my code, I didn't notice her. Although she did put her hand on my shoulder." He blushed.
"Aww, man, you could have played her right into a little private rendezvous. Opportunities like that don't knock very often. Now, if I had been there..." He wiggled his eyebrows.
"Yeah, yeah, I can guess, Mr. Cool. You've only had one more girlfriend than I have anyway. Now what are you doing with the Cannon HWP?"
"Just getting it serviced for the next test run. Come over here - that cute redhead is working on it, and you can totally ogle her through the vision system."
"Isn't that kind of rude?"
"Yeah, whatever. I've got to take a bathroom break. Can you mind the 'cockpit' for a while?"
Slice got up out of the semicircle of screens and control panels showing the HWP status.
"No problem, 'Mr. Cool'." Worm slid into the chair. He checked that the joysticks were dead and the systems nominal as Slice left the room. The monitors showed a pair of coveralled legs sticking out from under the HWP. He put on the headset, and heard the muffled grunts of the owner of the legs as they worked on the undercarriage. Next he knew, the attractive Heather O'Reilley crawled out and got to her feet, her hands dirty and her hair dishevelled.
"Whew! That's warmed me up." She unbuttoned the top of her coverall to let the heat out. "Now, next on the list, reseating the cannon shock adsorbers." She put one leg up on the HWP chassis and leaned over the turret, fitting her socket wrench to the hydraulic mounts, unwittingly giving the turret camera a good eyeful of her cleavage, which shook in a most distracting fashion as she swung the wrench back and forth.
Slice wandered back into the computer room with his cup of coffee. He saw Worm with his hands gripping the armrests, making strangled noises. "Did I miss something?"
 An example WAV: http://cmave.usda.uf...ml#stridulation