The creature known only as Junior is a member of a spaceborne species, existing entirely in the vacuum of space. In 2367 the crew of the USS Enterprise-D first discovered one such solitary creature orbiting the seventh planet of the previously uncharted Alpha Omicron system, where it had inadvertently revealed its presence by emitting an asymmetrical field of intense energy, with unknown radiation signatures. The creature appeared very streamlined, likening it to a space-going whale or fish, with a tapered body, grayish skin and an orange fringe. It possessed no obvious eyes or other sensory organs. Its physical structure was a mass of plasma energy contained within discrete boundaries by an outer covering, or “shell”, of silicates, actinides, and carbonaceous chondrites; however, the starship’s sensors had difficulty further penetrating the interior. The creature was slightly smaller than a Galaxy class starship, and appeared to communicate through radio transmissions.
When the Enterprise approached for a closer examination, the creature glowed bright green, then emitted a field of electrical discharges, holding the ship in an energy dampening field. Radiation levels aboard the ship suddenly began to rise to lethal levels. Enterprise returned fire in self defense, but even phasers only set to minimum power proved to be very injurious to the creature’s energy patterns. With only a single phaser strike, the creature was shortly dead.
Continued scans by Lieutenant Commander Data soon revealed that another distinct energy signature was present within the dead creature. It was about to give birth, and had understandably attacked the encroaching Enterprise as any mother would. Dr. Beverly Crusher was able to use the ship’s phasers once again to conduct a Cesarean section, removing the newborn from its parent using a thin beam at 3% power. Once free, the newborn immediately imprinted on the Enterprise as its mother, and attached itself to the secondary hull, where it began feeding on power from the fusion generators.
Soon dubbed Junior, it began a steady drain of the ship’s energy, which could not be allowed to continue without endangering the ship’s life support systems. The crew extrapolated the parent’s original course, leading them to a nearby asteroid belt. There, three additional full-grown creatures came out to meet the ship in response to radio emissions from the newborn. The asteroids contained meklinite, a substance which interferes with ships’ sensor scans and may explain why the creatures were not previously detected. The asteroids also contained quantities of kefnium, which also comprised an element of the creatures’ outer shells and may have been a significant part of their diet.
The crew of the Enterprise was able to remove the newborn from the hull (and “wean” it from its “nursing”) by altering their engines’ energy signatures to a different wavelength from the space-normal background radiation band of 21cm (in other words, “souring” Junior’s milk). As it left its surrogate mother, the other entities welcomed the newborn into their midst, and they all proceeded back into the asteroid field together. (TNG: Galaxy's Child).