Rinzik sighed. Here he was, working in an advanced science base, here to make all sorts of fascinating discoveries... and he was stuck doing military tech support.
-Data is corrupt. Discard? [Y/N?]-
He traced a tentacle over the logs. "We replaced everything. We ran every test. All of the comm gear is brand new, working perfectly." He tapped his beak on his desk, thinking. "And screwing up data at 3 meters, inside our base, no one even moving... even if we plug a cord in to eliminate the possibly of something in the air. It's not on our end, it's not on the other end, it's not any kind of jam, what haven't I checked..."
With a wide, vertically thin, almost wispy ribbony serpentine body, 8 tentacles (4 with venomous stingers, 4 with sticky suction pods), dozens of tiny feet, no real hands, and a razor-sharp beak, "gifted scientist and tech expert" wasn't the first thing most humans had in mind when they first saw Rinzik. It had taken him some time to get the humans to stop shooting at him on sight (the shield belt held out *just* long enough), and most still kept a good three tentacle lengths away when speaking with him... but they couldn't deny how much he had helped the base... his unusual thinking and inventiveness had saved it multiple times now, and they had finally let him move in and work more directly with them... well, near them anyway. Few trusted him, but the rest all certainly respected him... at a distance... with a hand on a holster.
"...wait. N. Definitely N. We have 5 saved now, bring them all up, graph it against our energy use..."
As he stared at the readout, all 8 tentacles shot up in a gesture of surprise, and all 3 lab assistants dove for cover.
"I just found our 'interference'. It's not the equipment. It's not enemy activity. It's not the lines when there are any. It's not anything in the system that we didn't put there. What's left?"
"Uhh..." came a nervous voice from under a desk. "The only thing that leaves is... the... electricity."
"Correct, or more broadly... the energy. The energy is speaking."
Three heads stared at him, at least one wondering if he had taste-tasted the local herbs.