Star Trek: LOCI, Part 1

STAR TREK:        LOCI

 

By

Kevin Corrigan
Act One

 

 

  Credits fall away to a sweep of the stars.

 

Stars fade to complete black.

 

The blackness gives way to a large black circle surrounded by stars.  Slowly the circle becomes smaller and darts of sunlight streak the edge of the black disk. The scene is a lunar eclipse from the dark side of the moon.  The camera continues to draw back and the scene is bordered by the edges of a large viewing port.  As the camera draws back further more viewports are visible, the picture fills with a large open room, not dissimilar to 10 Forward, but it has a distinctly classroom feel to it. The viewports show the sun breaking at the edge of the moon as the ship follows the arc of an orbital trajectory around the moon.  The viewscreen fills with light and after a moment adjusts to show the sun with the Earth in the foreground (similar to the classic Apollo 8  photo of half earth on the horizon)

 

Teacher “Personally, I love this moment, it never fails to fill me with awe, coming out of the shadow of the moon, imagine how those Apollo astronauts must have felt being the first people to ever see this”

 

  A college Teacher is speaking to a class of 25 students on a large shuttle craft.

 

Teacher “Our flight will take us over moon city New San Francisco, and we will sweep down to Tranquillity Bay, now a protected Historic monument which still has Neil Armstrong’s actual footsteps in its dust”

 

“Can anyone tell me how long it took to put a man on the moon?”

 

Student 1 “It was a 3 day journey sir”

 

Student 2 “I thought it was 10 years from when they decided to do it?”

 

Teacher “Well spotted, very good, it all depends on where you start counting from doesn’t it.  Was it from when the Wright brothers first flew?- less than 70 years, or when the Ancient Greeks first dreamt of flight in the story of  Icarus?  – maybe 3,000 years?

 

  Cut to shot of  shuttle craft swooping down towards the surface of the moon.  It flies over huge domes covering New San Francisco.  Buildings, shops, parks and a few people are visible.

Cut to shot of students having moved much loser to the viewports.

 

Teacher “There’s New San Francisco, it was quite a metropolis in its day, the first city built by humans away from Earth.  It had everything then, it was a tourist attraction for low gravity freaks, a major mining town where Di-lithium crystals – so important to our exploration of space – were mined.  It had a university and tens of thousands of people lived there.  Now, its more of a curiosity, seeing those huge domes to keep in the air and warmth instead of climatic containment fields, its now a bit of a ghost town with only a few hermits and frontiers people scratching an existence.

 

Student 3 Why aren’t the mines still active?

 

Student 2 Well, for one there’s not much Di-lithium left there, its much more abundant in sector 7, the moons of Vulcan are a particularly good source.  Another reason is that the extensive mining caused a lunar quake because so much material had been dug out to get at the crystals, over 13,000 miners died under New San Francisco in 2162, people no longer felt safe there and, probably the most relevant reason is that our transporter technology has advanced sufficiently to be able to pick out individual Di-lithium crystals of 10cm girth down to a depth of 750km below most planet’s or moon’s surfaces.

 

Teacher Well done Lauren, a good answer.  There are 216 domes covering New San Francisco, as good today as when they were made in 2070.  Unbelievable really, all that transparent aluminium, despite its discovery in the 1980s, the company who made it was so scared of being sued by its Scottish inventor or his descendants that they didn’t make their first product until nearly 100 years later.  They were called Montydomes, though I must admit I don’t know why.

 

  Cut to shot from inside the dome looking up to the black sky with the school craft flying past against the star filled background with the half Earth coming into view.

A couple of frontier people look up as the craft flies over, they turn and look at each other with glints in their eyes.  Their grey, scaly skin barely noticeable as their heads are covered with hoods.

The school craft flies on past lunar mountains and craters and into the wide open space that is Tranquillity Bay.  Students are crammed up against the window as the craft slows down and lands approx. 100m from the lunar lander Eagle.  The Stars & Stripes are clearly visible.  The viewscreen zooms in on the flag and pans down to the dust on the ground.  Foot prints are clearly visible.  The students Ooo and Ahh, pointing to the sights.

 

Teacher I’m afraid no one’s allowed outside, even with an EVA suit.  Even if we weren’t due for lunch at Starfleet’s Spacedock Museum in 15 minutes, we wouldn’t want anyone disturbing the moondust.

 

  The school craft gently takes off and heads towards earth.  As it approaches an orbital path, the Spacedock is visible above the crescent of the Earth’s blue and white pattern.

 

Computer Approach to Spacedock Museum confirmed, automated docking sequence engaged.  Please remain in your seats until the manoeuvre is complete.

 

  The school craft slows and adopts a automated docking approach.

As the school craft enters through the massive doors, to one side are three classic vessels, the NCC 1701, the NCC 1701-A and the NCC 1701 – D.

Again the students rush to the viewports and gasp in awe.

The school craft ‘wobbles’ and comes to a sudden halt throwing some students to the ground.

 

Computer Emergency Stop Activated, mass distribution of craft altered

 

Teacher She means please stay in your seats, docking is a very precise and fragile business, unless you’d like to float back home.

 

  The students pick themselves up but stay glued to images in  the viewport

 

Teacher You can see why I wanted to come along on this trip, a chance to see Neil and Buzz’s footsteps and to view the restored remains of three of the most famous vessels in our history.  Its just too good to be true.  I have heard a rumour that the historical society enthusiasts are putting together Holographic displays on board the vessels so as visitors can experience some of the more famous events from their lives such as Kirk’s Corbormite Manoeuvre or Picard’s Encounter at Farpoint.  I am given to understand some Ferenghi traders salvaged the Enterprise D saucer and demanded 50,000 bars of gold pressed latinum before losing it in a game of dabo to the esteemed Captain Riker.  He is reported to have said “some things in life are just too important to leave to chance, or a Ferenghi.”

 

After lunch we shall have the chance to visit the ships.  Aren’t we lucky to get a sneak preview before the official opening of the museum next month?

 

  Cut to shot of school craft docking at an inner ring.

Cut to shot of bridge of NCC- 1701.  The turbo lift doors open and students pile out.

Teacher “Now settle down, don’t touch anything, make your way across to the viewscreen and we can listen to the guide.”

 

  A Ferenghi starfleet cadet stands behind the command chair and addresses the students.

 

Nog “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, my name is Nog.  Welcome to the Enterprise, registration mark NCC 1701.  She was a Constellation class ship carrying a compliment of 420.  She was originally captained by Christopher Pike who amongst his many discoveries made contact with the Talosians at Talos 4 which has since become a proscribed planet.  Captain Pike was followed by the legendary Captain James T Kirk whose five year mission made contact with more new lifeforms than any other being in Federation history.  He also avoided numerous galactic wars with many superior races through guile and, as he once said, “having the best damn crew in the Federation”.  He was also instrumental in bringing peace between the Klingon Empire and Federation.

 

Student 4 “Yes, we know all this can’t we just skip the talk and see the action?”

 

Lecturer “Jason, don’t be so rude and please be patient.”

 

Nog “That’s OK.  I know how exiting it is to be here.  I’m just learning my guide’s lines as well.”

 

“Well, what would you like to see?  Kirk’s defence at the hands of the cloaked Bird of Prey at Camp Kittimar? His defeat of Khan?  How about the return of Voyager 6?”

 

Student 3 “My dad says he’s the only one ever to beat Kobyashi Maru manoeuvre, how did he beat the no win scenario?

 

Nog “Well let’s hear the story from himself. – Strictly speaking this was on the bridge of the Enterprise A, but what the heck, the computers are now all interlinked on these historic ships”

 

“Computer, access Admiral Kirk training file for new crew of Enterprise A.  Run Admiral Kirk response to Lieutenant Savvy regarding Kobyashi Maru.

 

  Holodeck images form of Kirk and Savak.  Savak asks Kirk how he beat the no win scenario.  Kirk answers with a twinkle in his eye that he reprogrammed the computers so as he could win.  Savak accuses him of cheating and that he has never faced the no win scenario.  Kirk replies that “I don’t believe in the no win scenario”.

Programme freezes.  After a couple of seconds of totally engrossed students, Nog asks

 

Nog “Any other requests?

 

  Students shout out various requests. One is settled on and a holodeck image of all the original crew forms.  The bridge rocks under blasts from energy weapons and people are sent flying left and then right across the bridge.  The students whoop with glee as a typical episode unfolds

 

Kirk Fire, all phaser banks.

 

Spock Direct hit to their weapons systems, two Romulan vessels decloaking off port bow

 

  Kirk hits the intercom switch on his armrest

 

Kirk Scotty I need warp power now

 

  The scene fades with the original crew busily manning their positions & putting out fires.  The students faces are uncontrolled glee.

 

 

Act Two

 

 

  The scene is dawn at Cape Canaveral.  The ground is dark and the sky is just starting to become light.  There is some high cloud.  Silhouetted against the brightening sky is a large NASA shuttle.  The sounds and beeps of mission control gently become audible.  The scene slowly zooms into the craft and focuses onto the shuttle’s name as Mission Control mention it in the following commentary.

 

NASA “We are at T-minus 30 seconds, we have green lights on computers 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Fuel lines are disconnected and retracted.  Weather window is good, green light on fuel flow and liquid propellant levels, pre -ignition sequence is go.  T-minus 25 seconds, all crew are strapped and ready to rock and roll.  NASA’s first joint mission is ready and checked for take off.

 

“We have T-minus 20 seconds and all systems still show ‘go’.  Impulse drive is off line, mark one warp drive is off line.  On behalf of the union of planets Vulcan and Earth, we salute you Captains Singh and Barkwon.  It is indeed a great moment in our history to be putting both human and Vulcans into space from our little planet.

 

“Shuttle “Endeavour”, we are now at T-minus 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 Engines are firing, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, zero.  We have lift off, shuttle Endeavour is go.  You have cleared the tower and are looking good.  God speed and fair wind guide you.  Trajectory is on course.”

 

  The scene zooms back out as the shuttle arcs quickly upwards, liquid propellant burning brightly underneath it.

Cut to inside scene of shuttle.  A Vulcan and a human are at the main controls, busying themselves checking gauges against the G-forces.  Elsewhere inside the shuttle there are another 6 crew (3 Vulcan and 3 human) of both genders.

Cut to space view of Earth.  A small spot is approach.  It grows and it is soon apparent that it is the shuttle Endeavour still burning liquid fuel.  It jettisons its outer tanks and fires it main engine lifting it higher into space.

Cut to inside shot of shuttle.

The lack of gravity is apparent with objects floating attached to strings

 

Singh (to Barkwon) You guys sure are lucky with you’re ability to take off and land without the hassle of fuel tanks.

 

Barkwon Luck has little to do with it, we have developed a highly efficient energy conversion process from resonating certain crystal sources at their sub space frequencies.  We spent many years studying a whole range of substances and frequencies before deducing the optimum combination.

 

Singh Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply you are ahead of us through luck, I’ll have to teach you about idioms – no offence.

 

Barkwon No offence taken.  We are approaching booster separation in 38 seconds on my mark, … mark.  Ah, yes idioms, a fascinating subject, saying things that can actually mean something entirely different.  Do you have any favourites?

 

Singh Look out.  (Barkwon turns his head to look out of the window and a pen rebounds off his forehead) No, not look out of the window, look out for that pen floating your way.

 

Barkwon An excellent example Captain Singh, no damage done as the pen had insufficient momentum to cause me injury, however a more suitable phrase would have been “beware there is an object floating towards you

 

Singh We sure are going to have fun on this flight!

 

 

  Barkwon looks confused

 

Barkwon Do you think we will have time for such social studies in addition to our mapping mission of the Oort cloud?

 

Singh I think we might just at that.

 

  Barkwon looks pleased

 

Singh Booster separation in 10 seconds.  Booster engine has ceased.  Separation in 7 seconds, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, separation complete.  Houston this is endeavour, we are in Geocentric orbit, velocity 12,000 Kilometres an hours.”

 

Preparing to open cargo bay doors

 

  Cut to external view of large shuttle high above the Earth opening its cargo bay doors.

Slowly two appropriately sized nacelles extend out of the bay.

 

Robertson Warp nacelles have been extended

 

  When they have extended, doors below the shuttle open and two further pods are extended.

 

Robertson Impulse engines have been extended

 

Singh Would you like to do the honours?

 

Barkwon What honours are to be awarded?

 

Singh

 

(a little exasperated) Would you like to ask the navigator to lay in the course and the helm to fire up the engines?
Barkwon Captain, you should have realised from all our joint training that pride is not a state that affects Vulcans. I suggest, as you seem to enjoy such matters that you effect the commands.

 

Singh Thanks,  Razak, lay in a course for the Oort cloud.

 

Razak

 

Affirmative Captain, course laid in, bearing 178.45, 001.20.
Singh Robertson, ahead ¼ impulse power, take us out of orbit, when we are beyond earth’s micro gravity horizon take us up to full impulse power.

 

Robertson Affirmative captain, ¼ impulse power.  We will clear earth’s micro gravity horizon in 25 seconds.

 

Singh Ain’t it beautiful?

 

  Barkwon looks slightly confused not sure to look out of the window at the reducing Earth or the approaching moon.

 

Singh Sorry, its just that I’ve never actually seen the Earth from up here, and to be zooming off make’s me kinda homesick.  I also can’t quite believe we’ll be visiting the edge of our solar system before tea time.  I mean we’ll probably overtake some of the early probes launched last century!

 

  Cut to external view.  Endeavour picks up speed as it leaves Earth under the glowing power of its impulse engines.  Cut back to Shuttle bridge

 

Singh Shall we warm up the warp engines?

 

Barkwon Captain Singh, do you mean shall we engage the Warp drive?

 

Singh Yes.

 

Barkwon Robertson, engage the warp engines, take us to Warp 3 and drop us out of warp 100 million kilometres from the Oort cloud perimeter.

 

Robertson Affirmative Captain.  Engaging warp drive.  Warp field is forming, we are approaching Warp 0.5.  Increasing crystal resonance, now at 65%, Warp 0.7, crystal resonance 68%, Warp 0.8, crystal resonance 72% Warp 0.9.

 

  Endeavour begins to shake violently.  Singh frowns, perhaps slightly scared.

 

Barkwon Its all right Captain Singh, remember your training.  I’ve flown several of Vulcan’s old starships and they all rattle as they approach the Warp barrier.  As you develop your systems you will become quite adept at jumping to warp.

 

Robertson Crystals at 74%, Warp 0.95.

 

  A sudden jolt as Endeavour jumps to Warp – external view of the shuttle elongating and jumping into a point of light.

 

Robertson Warp 1 captain.

 

Singh I noticed.

 

Robertson Crystals at 82%, Warp 1.5, Crystals at 88% Warp 2 captain. Warp 2.5, Warp 2.9, Warp 3.  We are now at Warp 3, crystals at 91% captains.

 

  The humans, led by Singh whoop with joy and punch the air to the confusion of their Vulcan crew mates.

The shuttle drops out of warp.  Against the field of stars is a dusty cloud.

 

Singh There she is ladies and gentlemen, the Oort cloud, where so many of our comets and meteorites come from.

 

Barkwon I think we should manoeuvre to within 10million kilometres and begin scanning

 

Singh I couldn’t agree more.

 

  The crew start looking at computer screens and helm adjusts controls.

 

Singh Ahead ½ impulse Mr Robertson, bring us to a stop 10 million kilometres from its boundary.

 

  Cut to external view, the shuttle moves towards the cloud which soon fills the entire screen at 10million kilometres as it is considerably larger than the Sun.

 


Act Three

 

 

  Singh is lying in his bunk/ sleeping bag

 

Singh Captain’s log.  Day three of our mission is complete and we have mapped some 40% of the Oort cloud.  We have identified some 50 large meteorites which may contain enough potential energy crystals, metals and other items of interest to warrant closer examination by retrieval.  We have found slightly less oxygen and nitrogen than we expected based on Earth based observations but aside from that it just looks like a big cloud to me.  I must admit to looking forward to using the retrieval arm and explosives on some of the bigger rocks later in the week.

 

We have got along very well with our Vulcan colleagues, they seem to be both fascinated and bewildered by us.  I must admit to rather liking Barkwon, she is very much yin to my yang.  They seem to be having as much difficulty in micro gravity as we do though they don’t seem too bothered by it.

 

We shall move to the far side of the cloud tomorrow and begin scanning from Z1000 through Z minus 1000.  We shall be out of contact with Earth during this time as the density of the cloud will obscure us.

 

I wonder if I should ask Barkwon to dinner?

 

Singh Out

 

  Cut to external shot of shuttle moving up and over the cloud under impulse power.  Screen then follows shuttle over the massive cloud and stops as the shuttle stops roughly in line with the centre of the cloud.

 

Barkwon Begin scanning sector Z1000 Mr Robertson for metallurgical properties and Mr Razak begin scanning for energy crystal signatures.

 

Robertson Affirmative Captain, beginning scan for metallurgical properties sector Z1000.

 

Razak Affirmative Captain, beginning scan for energy crystal signatures properties sector Z1000

 

Barkwon Captain Singh, may I ask you a personal question?

 

Singh Well, normally I don’t fraternise on duty, especially in front of the crew.

 

Barkwon I am sorry, I did not mean I wanted to initiate mating rituals, as you know, I am already married.

 

Singh I was joking, fire away

 

Barkwon Fire away what?.

 

Singh No, I meant please feel free to ask your question.

 

Barkwon Why did you want to captain this mission and not one of the others to Jupiter or Alpha Centuri? As a friend and colleague of Zephram Cochraine I would have thought you could have chosen any of the more, dare I say glamorous? Missions.

 

Singh Well heck, this mission is just glamorous enough for me.  Sure I’ve always wanted to trek to the stars, I even joined Zech’s second flight to Alpha Centori but I ain’t no glory boy hero.  Zech and me go way back and are a lot more alike than people might think.  Neither of us really like the limelight, even when we were at University together and he wrote his thesis on faster than light travel and I built a proto robotics lifeform based on logical positivism circuitry, it was all we could do to get away from the glare of the press.  He kept going on at me to help him build his damn engines and, to tell the truth I’m an engineer at heart.  I just love working with machines, they’re so much easier to deal with than people.  I hope you won’t think me rude but it wouldn’t surprise me if I got one of our early missions with you because of your absence of emotions and my passion for machines.

 

Barkwon No offence taken.

 

Singh Zech persuaded me to help him put together the Phoenix in between producing miniaturised mechanics and power cells for artificial limbs.  Robertson there has one of my hands – don’t you Robertson.

 

Robertson Excuse me Captain I was checking an abnormal reading, what was your question.

 

Singh I was saying that you have one of my current products about you, your left forearm.

 

Robertson O, yes sir.  Would you like to see it Captain Barkwon?

 

Barkwon I would be most interested.

 

Robertson One moment, Razak, could you double check a reading for me.  Area Z033.

 

Razak Certainly
  Razak adjusts his instruments and looks intently into a personal binocular screen.

Robertson rolls up his uniform sleeve and there is an slight mark circumscribing his forearm just below the elbow. Robertson points to his elbow and then wrist

Robertson Flesh and blood.

 

Polymeric and titanium alloys with micro batteries and electo- muscular sensors. Most people can hardly tell the difference, most times I forget that its not actually me.

 

Barkwon That’s amazing, although we have similar micro technology I have not seen it brought together in such a fashion for the benefit of a single individual.  Your people’s altruism is fascinating, I find it difficult to understand why your people have had such a long history of war and destruction as well.  We were only able to truly advance scientifically after our purge of emotions and adoption of the pursuit of pure logic.  Curiously, you are also distinctly different in outlook from the Klingon approach.

 

Singh Well it sure beats the hell out of me too.  I’m not a philosopher, maybe its our ability to learn, adapt and add all the various distinctiveness from the myriad of races and cultures on Earth that helps us continually improve. It’s what makes us what we are, neither one thing or the other, the product of all our parts, good, bad, ordinary, crazy, inspired or whatever.

 

Barkwon An interesting theory Captain, I would be interested to discuss it further?

 

Singh My dear Barkwon, are you asking me to dinner?

 

Barkwon That would be an optimal solution Captain.

 

Singh Is that a yes?

 

Barkwon Yes

 

  Singh grins happily to himself

 

Razak Captains.  I have a strange reading at Z033.

 

Robertson (turning back to his control panels) Ah, you too, its not just my instruments then. (The captains turn towards the two control panels)

 

Singh Gentlemen, please let us in on your secret.

 

Robertson Sir, at Z033 I have discovered a very high concentration of elements, in particular platinum, gold, several unidentified metallic compounds as well as oxygen and nitrogen.  And…

 

Singh Yes

 

Robertson The localised temperature is approximately 300 Kelvin.

 

Barkwon Razak have you confirmed these readings?

 

Razak Yes Captain.  The region appears to be consistent with an M-class planet however its dimensions are approximately 1/98th of Earth or 1/94th of Vulcan.  In addition there are numerous energy readings consistent with our crystal search pattern, and over 2000 energy signatures I cannot identify.

 

Singh Woah there boy.  Are you telling me there’s an inhabited planet near the middle of this cloud warm enough to walk around on in our shirts this far from the Sun?

 

Razak No sir.  I am saying that the instruments have detected Oxygen, Nitrogen, various metals both identified and unidentified as well as energy patterns.  There is not enough evidence to suggest a life sustaining planet this far from your Sun.  One possible hypothesis is it could be spaceship, but it would be 10 to the power 12 times larger than anything previously encountered by Vulcans.

 

Singh You’ve encountered 17 other races so far, two of which you tell us are worth being cautious with – the Kling, Klingdoms?

 

Barkwon Klingons

 

Singh and Rimulons.

 

Barkwon Romulons

 

Singh If its a spaceship we should go back and get some help.

 

Barkwon But Captain, this is a mission of exploration.  To find out new things, go new places

 

Singh Yeah, where no man has gone before.  But I’m an engineer, not a soldier.  I came out here to have a look around and get my hands on some pure power sources and play with our retrieval arm.

 

Barkwon We should investigate.  There’s no evidence of hostile intent.  We have insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions.

 

Robertson Captain, something else strange, I could be wrong but I think it just disappeared.

 

Singh What?

 

Razak Confirmed Captain.  Sensors now show no unusual readings for Z033

 

Barkwon Explanation Mr Razak

 

Razak None Captain.  One moment it was there, the next it wasn’t.  I suggest we do a full diagnostic on the scanning equipment before proceeding.

 

Barkwon (turning to Singh who looks puzzled) Agreed?

 

Singh Let’s climb up to the top of the cloud and phone home.  See if Houston have any suggestions.  It’ll take about two hours for a reply.  While we’re waiting we can be double checking all the systems.

 

Barkwon Agreed.  Mr Robertson and Razak take us to 10 million kilometres above the centre of the cloud by the Z axis.

 

  Cut to scene of shuttle gently climbing up to the top of the cloud before sitting motionless.

Cut to scene of everybody working on circuitry below workstations.

 

Houston Endeavour this is Houston.  Thank you for the data.  We can confirm a slight reduction in Oxygen, Nitrogen levels according to current Earth based reading for the Oort cloud.  However we have no explanation for your readings and confirm you should check your instruments.  Shuttle Intrepid will return from her mission tomorrow.  We can have new crystals fitted within 24 hours and have her out to you by late Wednesday.

 

Decision to proceed beforehand is yours.

 

  Singh frowns

 

Barkwon Let us examine the facts.

 

All our systems check out and the anomaly appears to have vanished. We know an early Earth probe, Voyager 6 disappeared here some 50 years ago.  There was speculation that there may have been a mini black hole at the centre of the Oort cloud holding it together.  We had, for a period at least readings of unusual energy types as well as high concentrations of certain elements.

 

Possibilities:  it could be some kind of reflection which distorts its source, perhaps we are looking at ourselves ?.

 

It could be a wormhole or portal.

 

It could a very large spaceship which is now hiding perhaps behind a larger object..

 

Singh I’m not keen on option 3

 

Barkwon Neither am I, assuming it was indeed an incredibly large spaceship, that would indicate a more advanced civilisation than anything we’ve encountered before.  In itself that would be good, but as the occupants do not want to be identified it would suggest perhaps an invasion or conquering civilisation.  We would quickly be overrun.

 

Singh I like it even less now.

 

Barkwon My point, Captain, is if it were an advanced, aggressive civilisation we would have been destroyed by now and Earth overrun. We would have little chance at resistance.

 

Singh So you don’t think its that.

 

Barkwon I can’t rule it out but I think its unlikely.  Although Vulcans, and I believe Humans have theorised about wormholes we have never discovered a real one.  I would be very interested if it were such. However, again I think it is unlikely.  My most likely hypothesis is that its a reflection, perhaps a field reflection caused by the cloud itself.

 

Singh What about the reduction in Oxygen etc. found by Earth

 

Barkwon Yes, that would not be consistent with my hypothesis and I would need to adjust it, perhaps our presence on the far side of the cloud disturbed the field’s refractive index and unbalanced the mirror.  I am afraid the only way to establish a better hypothesis is with more information.

 

Singh You mean go in there where no one has gone before.

 

Barkwon. Affirmative.

 

Singh Well, were in this together now, we can’t unlearn our first contact with you guys.

 

OK, I agree, let’s investigate, it’ll make one helluva story when we get back home.  Jones, advise Houston we’re going in to check out the shaving mirror theory. Robertson, leave a buoy to mark our entry spot, its going to take some careful flying to get inside the cloud to area Z033.

 

Jones Aye aye Captain. Advising Houston of our plan.

 

Robertson Aye aye Captain, buoy deployed.

 

Singh Well ladies and gentlemen,  are we ready to rock and roll?

 

  The Vulcans look puzzled at Singh

 

Singh I want something special to listen to as we go in, Jones choose something to keep us happy.

 

Jones Aye aye Captain.

 

Singh Razak, will you take us in?

 

Razak Affirmative Captain. Switching to 1/64th impulse drive, manoeuvring thrusters on line.  Estimated time of arrival at area Z033 4 hours 22 minutes.

 

  Route 66 blasts out from the speakers

 

Barkwon You do have some interesting rituals Captain

 

Singh Why thank you Barkwon

 

  Cut to external shot of shuttle gingerly approaching the cloud and sweeping around a couple of large asteroids near its perimeter.

Cut to deep inside the cloud with the shuttle taking a very snake like course past numerous small asteroids and lumps of rock.

 

 


Act Four

 

 

  Scene of the inside of the shuttle.  Robertson is looking intently at his panel and adjusting dials and switches.  The rest of the crew are looking through the forward windows as the shuttle snakes through the cloud avoiding lumps of rock.

James Brown’s ‘I feel good’ is playing in the background

Singh Sure is one large roller coaster, we’ll be able to sell tickets.

 

Barkwon It just appears to be a nauseating experience the constant disturbance to the inner ear fluids.

 

Singh Nope, on Earth this kind of ride is fun.  Anyhow I thought you guys enjoyed being swung around on long space journeys.

 

Barkwon You are incorrect Captain, we suffer the same long term muscular skeleton damage as you if we don’t experience gravity.  We have developed a set of waypoint stations where we can disembark and recuperate on long journeys.  You are correct that our long range exploratory craft are fitted with centrifugal rooms where we are ‘spun’ around to create an illusion of gravity for our body.  However doing that for 2 hours everyday on a 30 day mission is not a pleasant experience and requires significant meditation beforehand to cope with it.

 

Singh Yeah, I suppose so, most things can lose their appeal if you do it too much.

 

Robertson Excuse me captains, I appear to have picked up those readings again.

 

Barkwon How far away are we?

 

Robertson Approximately 710,000 kilometres. Bearing 121.03 by 002.03, Z axis 135.66

 

Barkwon Can you adjust course Mr Razak

 

Razak Affirmative Captain, at present rate of progress and allowing for the increased density of obstacles as we proceed into the cloud I would estimate 12 minutes to contact.

 

Singh Okay people look sharp, lets not be silly or get sloppy, keep an eye on all your instruments.

 

Barkwon (slightly puzzled)But we would be doing that anyone Captain

 

Singh (quietly to Barkwon) Its called motivation and reinforcement of message, a human ‘ritual’.

 

  (James brown finishes).

 

Singh Okay Jones, that’s enough music, we’ve a job to do now.

 

  Cut to shot of the shuttle continuing to bob and weave around obstructions.

Cut back to shot of inside the shuttle.  Singh’s eyes suddenly focus on a point of the window.

 

Singh Razak, cut back on the engines, hold position here.

 

Razak Affirmative captain.  Impulse engines are now at zero, forward momentum dropping under reversing thrusters.

 

Singh Can you see it Barkwon

 

Barkwon Yes, its absolutely remarkable.

 

  Cut to shot of shuttle at rest to the side of an asteroid.  As the picture draws back another, larger, more irregular asteroid is in front of the shuttle.  At the top of the asteroid is a building with lights on it.  The asteroid is obviously a fragment of a planet but with surface structures still intact.

Cut back to shot of the Endeavour crew looking at the ‘rough’ side of the fragment.

 

Robertson Holy smoke.  Does this mean we’re not locals?

 

Razak I’m sorry?

 

Robertson We’ll, are these guys our forefathers?

 

Razak Why do humans jump to conclusions before there are sufficient facts to take into account?

 

Singh Gentlemen, let’s not bicker.  This is an amazing day, like Columbus discovering America or Cook discovering Australia.

 

Robertson Except there were Indians and aborigines already native to those lands.  I hope we don’t make the same mistakes as Columbus and Cook’s followers.

 

Singh Good point, let’s be careful, but just remember we’re the ones who have less advanced technology this time round.

 

What would you normally do in a situation like this Barkwon?

 

Barkwon Unfortunately we have not encountered such a phenomenon before.  My instinct is to investigate further.

 

Singh I was afraid you were going to say that. OK, Mr Razak, very, very slowly take us up and over the new land, keep a distance of 1000kilometers.  Jones turn on all recording equipment.

 

  Cut to scene of the shuttle approaching, and then climbing up and over the fragment under spurts of manoeuvring thrusters. As it clears the ridge where the originally sighted building is the scene fills out to show a city on the surface of the fragment.

There are lights but no obvious activity.

 

Mzebko Shouldn’t we ring the door bell?

 

Jones Captain, I can pick up no radio, video, digital or other telemetry.

 

Barkwon Have you sent out any messages as I believe Mr Mzebko is suggesting.

 

Jones Err, no.  What should I say.

 

Singh Just pretend its Houston.

 

Jones Aye aye Captain.

 

(in a faltering voice as she tries to think what to say next)

 

New City, this is the Earth Shuttle Endeavour.  We are on a joint mission of exploration with Vulcans to map the cloud surrounding your city.

 

We come in peace.

 

We mean you no harm.

 

We are from the third planet in this solar system and from Vulcan, approximately 170 light years away.

 

Do you read me, hello New City, this is the shuttle endeavour..

 

(only static is returned)

 

Mzebko Maybe they’re out.

 

Singh Maybe.

 

 

Cut to external shot of shuttle continuing to fly under thrusters over the city.

Cut back to shuttle bridge.  Barkwon focuses on an area in the distance.

 

Barkwon Captain Singh, that looks like a landing strip. (pointing to a site on the surface.)

 

Singh Would we have enough fuel to take off again?

 

Razak Affirmative Captain.  The fragment is only 1/97th of Earth’s mass.  We will need assistance to stay on the surface.

 

Singh You mean we should anchor up.

 

Razak Yes, the ship as well as any extra vehicular walks.

 

Singh Okay, lay in a landing approach and take us in.

 

Razak Aye aye Captain.  Landing approach logged in, taking us in.

 

  Cut to external shot of the shuttle descending towards the landing area.  As it drops towards building height it hits a force field and bounces off.  Cut to inside shot of crew being thrown to the side of the shuttle as it bounces away.

 

Barkwon Report all stations

 

Jones Communications on line captain

 

Robertson Scanning on line, we are moving away from the fragment

 

Mzebko Engineering equipment undamaged Captain

 

Razak We appear to have bounced off the fragment captain.

 

Thetid No damage to life support systems.

 

Singh Any other activity from the surface?

 

Razak Negative Captain

 

Robertson Negative Captain.

 

Singh Options ladies and gentlemen.

 

Barkwon Did anyone else notice the shape of the field we encountered

 

Razak Its doesn’t show on our instruments sir.

 

Barkwon But that does not mean it isn’t there.  Mr Razak, bring us about and bring us to a halt approx. 10 Kilometres from the surface.

 

Razak Affirmative captain

 

  Cut to external shot of shuttle arching into a U – turn and heading back to the fragment before coming to a halt.

 

Barkwon Mr Robertson, have we flushed our waste recently?

 

Robertson No sir, but I hardly think its a very nice calling card sending our waste matter down onto people who could be our new friends.

 

Barkwon Perhaps, but first of all no one has answered our hails, secondly no one appears to have seen our arrival, and thirdly they appear to have a pretty good defensive capability to stop it actually reaching the surface.

 

Singh I like your thinking Captain.

 

Barkwon Mr Robertson, would you mind emptying the heads?

 

Robertson Aye aye captain

 

  Cut to external scene of shuttle against the fragment.  A small valve opens on the shuttle’s underbelly and a jet of liquid shots out.  It freezes quickly and heads towards the surface of the fragment.

It too hits the force field and this time the shield can be seen to be several shields. Two form a gully leading down to the landing strip but from the far side.

Cut to inside view of shuttle

 

Barkwon Did you see the approach vector Mr Razak.

 

Razak Affirmative Captain.

 

Singh Can you fly us in on manual?

 

Razak I believe so Captain, as long as we approach within 3 degrees of the apparent angle and with insufficient velocity any encounter with the force fields on either side of the strip will only help us adopt the correct vector.

 

Barkwon Mr Razak, take us in.

 

Razak Affirmative captain.

 

  Cut to external shot of the shuttle flying past the landing strip and turning and descending to field.  It hits the field on one side and a few seconds later the other.  This continues until just above the surface when the shuttle lowers its landing gear and touches down.

 

 


Act Five

 

 

Singh Congratulations Mr Razak.

 

Can you tell me, was that a normal landing or were we shot down?  Hey, there’s gravity here, I was half expecting to float away.

 

Barkwon Curious.  I would have expected there to be only negligible gravitational effect from the fragment.

 

Razak Yes, I agree Captain, I estimate (as Razak drops a pen onto the floor of the shuttle) that gravity is approximately one Vulcan, plus or minus 2%.

 

Singh Well, that’s going to make taking off very difficult.  We don’t have any booster rockets to get us back up again, and I am not prepared to try impulse or warp drive from a standing start on the ground.  The last thing I want is to grab a large chunk of dirt inside our warp field.

 

Barkwon A wise precaution captain.  Well, we have enough power for 14 days, and our scans indicated significant quantities of oxygen, so we should be able to survive until a rescue shuttle arrives.

 

Mzebko And how will we get up to the rescue craft.

 

Singh We’ll work out that when we get to it.  Right now I’d like to check the shuttle’s OK and then we can get suited up to explore the airport, or spaceport or whatever this place is called.

 

Robertson Captain,

 

Singh Yes

 

Robertson We’ll, given that we’re experiencing gravity when we know there’s insufficient mass to generate what we’re feeling,

 

Singh Yes

 

Robertson And who, or whatever built this place were probably a lot more advanced than us,

 

Singh Yes, can you get to the point.

 

Robertson Well, I know I didn’t major in physics, but could they have built an artificial gravity device?  I mean gravity is just another type of field and gravitons have been identified.

 

Barkwon Our scientists have been working on that question for over 100 years.  Although we have established the theoretical constraints to construct localised artificial gravity fields, the energy conversions between the types of forces involved have proved too difficult.

 

Robertson But you said earlier you had never found a wormhole before yet this rock blinked in and out of our readings.

 

Barkwon I am afraid that does not prove the existence of wormholes, not the probability of artificial gravity devices.  Equally I am not discounting the possibilities as they fit the outline facts, however remotely.

 

Singh Okay, that’s enough rational deduction for me.  Everyone check out their systems and meet by the lower air hatch fully kited up, in one hour.  Please bring your scanners and recorders.

 

Mzebko Shouldn’t we be armed?

 

Singh With what?  I forgot to pack my six shooter and I’m not sure they’d be an awful lot of use against Mekon with ray guns.

 

Barkwon I’m sorry, who are the Mekon?

 

Singh An old Earth story, when we first fantasised about flying in space, we thought a race called the Mekon would try and overpower us.

 

 


Act Six

  Everyone is wearing an extra vehicular activity (EVA) suit and are standing in the bottom of the cargo bay by a square door in the floor.

 

Barkwon Is everyone on suit oxygen?

 

  The other five give the OK hand signal.

 

Barkwon Preparing to open pressure door, stand by for the rush of air out of the shuttle.

 

  Barkwon kneels down and turns the air lock handle through 180 degrees. The sound of clamps releasing is heard and the door falls down on its hinges.  Razak offers a ladder to Barkwon and they guide it down the door to the ground.

 

Barkwon Curious, I heard the clamps but did not hear the air rush out.

 

Robertson Could there be air pressure outside the craft

 

Barkwon Its possible, but we are not under their defensive shield so air may be able to escape.  I had presumed we would need to stay suited until we had entered through an air lock into their city

 

Robertson Perhaps they have different shields for different purposes.

 

Barkwon Again an interesting theory, but I should like to have more facts before removing my helmet.

 

Robertson O, absolutely, I wasn’t volunteering.

 

Barkwon Captain Singh, would you like to go first?

 

Singh Yep, I’ve always wanted to do this.

 

  Singh lowers himself into the hatch and starts to climb down the ladder.  Cut to external view showing Singh climbing down the ladder.  Just at the last rung, Singh pauses and then says

 

Singh It is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.  And Vulcankind.

 

  Singh steps off the ladder and beckons the crew down.

They gather at the bottom and set off towards what is the nearest building.  They look around as they walk, instruments hanging by their sides.

They go through an arch inside the building.

 

Razak Fascinating.

 

  The room is full of panels and instruments apparently working.  There are several doorways off this room.

 

Singh Doesn’t look like there’s a doorbell.

 

Robertson Is this customs or mission control?

 

Mzebko Who knows.

 

Barkwon Some of these symbols look familiar.  They seem to be a mixture of shapes and script.

 

Singh Can you make it work captain

 

Barkwon No doubt in time I probably could, but at the moment I have little more than guesses.

 

Singh Razak and Mzebko, take a look through there, Thetid and I will take that corridor.  Barkwon and Robertson, see if you can make any sense of this place, in particular whether anyone still resides here. Everyone stay in Radio contact, check in every five minutes.

 

  The crew split into the three teams.  Razak and Mzebko find many other rooms and eventually find their way out of the other side of the building.  Singh and Thetid find lifts and descend into the bowels of the fragment past enormous power generation plants.  There is no one else around.

Barkwon and Robertson examine the panels in fine detail.  The crew check in regularly.

The scenes fade and come back to Singh

 

Singh Okay everybody, lets meet back at the entrance and pool what we’ve discovered.

 

  They crew return to the entrance room.

 

Singh Razak, what did you find.

 

Razak The buildings are built on a geometric pattern of blocks and arterial roadways.  We did not discover any vehicles nor inhabitants.  The construction of the buildings is some sort of preformed alloy which can be moulded into a variety of shapes and sizes.  There appears to be plenty of recreational spaces and grass and other fauna is abundant.  We chose not to remove our helmets at this stage as the biological processes of the indigenous species may not be oxygen based.

 

Barkwon A wise precaution.  We shall bring out an experiment to establish the atmosphere composition on our next excursion.

 

As you can see, when I drop this piece of paper it flutters and flies back an forth until it reaches the ground.  It is obviously meeting air resistance to its passage and hence there is air here.

 

We have several suppositions as to the nature of this equipment.  We suspect they are all multi- functional but this one appears to be the command position.  These appear to be data access units.  We suspect that this may be a communications point.

 

Singh Excellent work ladies and gentlemen.  We have been down below and basically, well we’re sitting on the largest goddamn engine I have ever seen.  I wouldn’t like to guess its output, I’m sure I don’t understand what I’ve seen but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this whole rock was capable of warp drive.

 

Barkwon & Razak Incredible.
Singh Well, who thinks we should try the phone?

 

Barkwon I’m sorry?

 

Singh Which button should we press to get someone’s attention?

 

Mzebko What if one of them is the self destruct button?

 

  The rest of the crew look at Mzebko with half worried, half resigned faces

 

Singh We’ve come all this way, we’re hardly likely to blow the place up

 

Mzebko What happened to the rest of the planet then?

 

  The crew give each other sideways looks.

 

Mzebko No, don’t do that look on me, let’s press a button and get on with it, you’re not going to blame for not finding out.

 

Singh Good, would you like to choose a button Mr Mzebko

 

Mzebko No, I’ll go second if the first one don’t work.

 

  The crew gather round the designated work station

 

Singh What’s your best guess Mr Robertson?

 

Robertson Well, I’d try that one (pointing towards a green lighted area)

 

Singh Please be my guest

 

  Robertson touches the panel and all the lights go off

 

Mzebko Shit!

 

Razak That would be inopportune.

 

Singh Press it again Mr Robertson

 

  He does and the lights go on again

 

Robertson Strange place for a light switch

 

Singh Mr Mzebko, if you please,

 

  Mzebko stretches out a hand and touches another area of the panel.  This time the lights go out but come back on in a fuzzy orange glow.

 

Mzebko Great, emergency lighting

 

Razak I am not so sure. I suggest we go to the entrance and see the source of the light

 

  The crew make their way to the entrance and stand staring outwards.  The camera works its way around to their backs taking in the scene they are observing.

 

It is a red giant sun taking up about a quarter of the sky.  Their shuttle is silhouetted on the runway.

 

Robertson Are you seeing what I am seeing?

 

Razak That is correct Mr Robertson, it appears to me that a red giant has appeared where the centre of the Oort cloud was

 

Robertson Or we have jumped to somewhere else in the universe.

 

Barkwon Perhaps there is something more to your theories after all.

 

 


Act Seven

 

 

  The crew are back on the shuttle at their workstations.

 

Singh Do you think we are in any danger here?

 

Barkwon Undoubtedly there is some danger, we are in a strange place where our knowledge of the laws of the universe have been challenged.

 

Although the red giant should be emitting lethal doses of radiation our instruments are not picking up more than safe levels.  My hypothesis is that the shield which deflected us yesterday also absorbs the radiation.

 

Singh Obviously the power plant is even more powerful than I guessed.

 

Barkwon I suggest we get some rest and return to the entrance hall in the morning.  We can take the portable gas spectrum meter and establish if we can work without EVA suits.  We can then attempt other patterns to input to the panels.

 

Singh Yes, I think a dinner and a good nights rest will help.  I just hope we can sort out the return code before the rescue shuttle comes.

 

 


Act Eight

  At the foot of the ladder, Razak and Robertson are examining an instrument.  Robertson taps it and then says

 

Robertson Captain, I make it oxygen 19.3 %, Nitrogen 80%, CO2 and trace gases less than 0.7%.  if I didn’t know better I’d say they were expecting us.

 

Barkwon Thank you, you can come up and take off your suits now, I’m opening the hatch to the shuttle bay.

 

  Barkwon opens the hatch between the main quarters and the shuttle bay.  Singh breathes in the air and says

 

Singh Mmm, its actually very good, fresh even, no disrespect to the recycled air in the shuttle.

 

Barkwon None taken.

 

  The crew help Razak and Robertson off with their EVA suits and then make their way back to the entrance hall.  They huddle around the control panel

 

Barkwon Mr Mzebko can you press the same buttons again?

 

  Mzebko does to nil effect

 

Singh Anybody else like to try?

 

  Robertson, then Razak and then Singh try various buttons in various combinations to nil effect

 

Thetid Maybe this workstation only works from Terran to here?

 

  Mzebko tries again and loses his temper and strikes the panel with his fist

 

Mzebko What would really help is a guide.

 

  A whirring noise makes the crew turn away from the panel.  It turns into a drone and humanoid form appears out of thin air.

 

Rem Hello I am Rem, I will be your guide to Star Jack base.

 

  The human crew members step backwards in shock.  The Vulcans look puzzled

 

Razak Where did you come from?

 

Rem You requested my presence, I am able to guide you whilst you stay on Star Jack base.

 

Razak But you can speak English.

 

Rem I am equipped to speak over 270 million languages.  It took 4.5 minutes to decipher your dialect via my universal translator.

 

Robertson Universal translator?

 

Rem Yes, a programme which analyses the speech patterns of beings who are new to our culture and allows us to interact with them productively.

 

Robertson I’d sure like to see that device.

 

Rem I am afraid I cannot give one to you but you are welcome to study at Star Jack and devise your own.

 

Singh Woah, this is all going a bit fast for me.  Yesterday we explored the surroundings and found nobody.  We inadvertently appear to have jumped through a wormhole and now discover you who can talk to anyone.

 

Rem Have I done something to displease you?

 

Singh No, not at all.  Its just we’re not accustomed to all these new experiences, we need to take things one step at a time.  Like where are the rest of your people, how do we get back home and (shielding his eyes) can we turn that sun off?

 

Rem I am afraid there are no other sentient organic life forms on Star Jack base.  The carbon based population died of theta band radiation when the red giant star you see exploded 1.2 billion years ago.  The star has since settled down to normal levels of electromagnetic radiation emission and poses no threat at the present time.

 

Robertson How come all the grass is so well cut then.

 

Rem There are robot droids designed and equipped to manage the infrastructure of Star Jack city including general gardening duties.

 

Singh How come your shield didn’t protect your people from the Theta radiation?

 

Rem It was not activated at the time.

 

Singh Why not?

 

Rem It was sabotaged to coincide with the red giant explosion.

 

Singh Who by?

 

Rem That I have not been able to establish.

 

Singh Were you at war?

 

Rem No, this place was built by the Alphoids.  They were the first carbon based lifeforms to leave their home planet and explore the galaxy.  Initially they found no other spacefaring planets, so they established their own colonies throughout the galaxy. As their knowledge of the physical universe grew, their desire to explore faded.  Instead they chose to explore and develop their metaphysical side.  They became accomplished telepaths and found their reliance on technology diminished.  In time other space faring races evolved and made contact with Alphoids.  However as these races invariably had less to offer Alphoids than Alphoids had to offer them, Alphoids became more reclusive and eventually disappeared.  The Alphoids left behind Star Jack City and other locations of learning to benefit those that followed.  The ones who dies 1.2 billion years ago were not Alphoids, they were of many subsequent species.

 

Razak What about you? How did you survive?

 

Rem I am a droid sir

 

  The crew are again taken aback

 

Robertson But you seem so humanoid?

 

Rem The Alphoids were humanoid and manufactured us in their likeness.  We can be adapted to take on a variety of appearances if desired.  I could acquire some Vulcan ears if you prefer.

 

Razak Are there Alphoids on other planets?

 

Rem I do not know for sure sir, our communications devices appear in tact but there is no one here to make contact with other bases.

 

Razak Has no one ever called in since?

 

Rem No sir, you are the first in over a billion years.

 

Mzebko So where are we.

 

Rem At present you are on Star Jack city, about 22 light years from the galactic core at vector 001.3 degrees from the core

 

Razak About 45,000 light years from our location yesterday

 

Rem Correct sir.  I believe you activated the galaxy conduit control mechanism yesterday but it appears to be set up for the whole of Star Jack city rather than personal transportation at the moment.  It is possible that the red giant explosion damaged the circuitry.

 

Mzebko OK, I’ve lost the plot now, let me get this straight, a people were exploring space when we were still swamp stuff,  they developed technology which allows someone to jump through space over incredible distances, yet managed to get fried sunbathing but left their garden mowers working for over a billion years.

 

Singh It does seem incredible, but suppose Columbus had stumbled onto a modern America.  Would he have been able to comprehend space flight, warp drive, our friends from Vulcan, radios.

 

Mzebko It just seems like a little to much to take in.

 

Barkwon How far is your university?

 

Rem It is 30 kilometres from here in the centre of  Star Jack city.

 

Barkwon That’s more than a day trip, I suggest we get provisions from the shuttle and split into 2 teams, one to explore the university library sources and another to watch over the shuttle.

 

Rem We can be there inside a minute if you would like.

 

Barkwon Do you also have a rapid transportation system.

 

Rem We have a matter dematerialisation system and pattern transfer equipment which enables such transportation of organic matter over distances up to 15000 kilometres.

 

Singh Is that how you got here.

 

Rem Correct, I was at rest in the library until you called.

 

If you follow me onto the platform the main computer will take your instructions

 

  Rem walks across to the platform he first appeared on.  The crew hesitate.  Barkwon moves across to the platform

 

Barkwon I think we should test the process first.  If it is as you say I can come back and inform the crew and we can all follow.

 

Singh What if it has been damaged by the Theta radiation as well?

 

Barkwon I would hypothesis that Rem would have been damaged on his arrival, although I presume you do not contain any organic material

 

Rem You are correct sir.  I am a guide droid, my programming is limited to guide, protocol and linguistic functions.  However we are all capable of being linked to the main computer and can perform a limited range of emergency functions should the need transpire.

 

  Barkwon enters the platform

 

Barkwon I suppose I should say something memorable Captain Singh?

 

Singh You’re getting the picture.  Of course you could just cross your fingers – for luck

 

Barkwon Vulcans do not believe in luck, we prefer probabilities.

 

Singh Well I wish you high probabilities then.

 

Barkwon 100% probability would be preferable.

 

Computer, please take me to the University

 

  The sounds and whirring happens again and Barkwon and Rem disappear into thin air.

The crew look slightly worried and wet their lips.

The noise happens again and just Barkwon appears

 

Barkwon Incredible, one moment I was here, then for a fraction of a second I was aware of the effects of dematerialisation and suddenly I was in the main hall of the most amazing library.

 

Mzebko What if its a trap?

 

Singh I somehow suspect they would have been able to catch us earlier if they wanted to.

 

  The crew make their way to the pad.

 

Singh Well, to infinity and beyond?

 

Barkwon I do not understand Captain Singh

 

Singh I’m sorry another earth saying.  Please lead on.

 

Barkwon Computer, transport all of us to the library.

 

  The familiar sound appear and the crew dematerialise.

They re- materialise in the library


Act Nine

 

 

Singh We have got to study up on that.  It would mean not having to use booster rockets to get people or materials up into space.  We could explore all sorts of planets without having to work out how to land.

 

Thetid It would also enable us to join the rescue shuttle should we not be able to take off.

 

Rem I am afraid you will need to acquire the knowledge yourself and build your own version.  It was an overriding principle of our people not to interfere in the natural development of alien cultures.

 

It was of course hard to stand by and watch races destroy themselves but we believed greater harm and destruction would come from giving cultures access to technology or knowledge in advance of their capability to learn.

 

Barkwon That is a good principle.  It is one I know our colleagues are discussing on Vulcan with the leaders of Earth’s diplomatic corp.  As our knowledge and capability expands it brings us into contact with more and more races.

 

Singh Yes, but look at the advantages to our both our people of skipping all the sweat and blood of making discoveries we would have anyway.

 

Razak Sounds a little like the Alphoids.  You might become bored with travel and be blown away.

 

Barkwon We should decide what we will do.

 

Shall we devote our time to studying as Rem suggests to learn naturally how to do these advanced technological feats, or should we concentrate on devising a way of returning Star Jack city to the Terran system?

 

Robertson How about lunch?

 

Rem The device in the wall works on a similar principle to the matter transporter, except it reorganises base elements into a variety of combinations mimicking natural food types.

 

The only problem will be that the computer will not know what your normal food sustenance is and may get the composition wrong.  You are welcome to try it by trial and error if you wish.  Alternatively, if you have samples on your craft it can analyse them and replicate them at its will.

 

Robertson Wow, what next, you’ll be telling me that we can contact home from here

 

Rem I’m afraid not.  A normal message would travel through sub-space and take approximately a month to reach the system you originated from.

 

Singh That’s a lot better than 35,000 years it would take a radio message.

 

Rem Unfortunately, when we jumped through space, we also appear to have jumped through a time portal, we are approximately 16 years before the point in time when we left.

 

  Mzebko faints.  Singh and Razak go to his aid.

 

Barkwon That would fit with a classical space and time continuum theory.  I am however puzzled how a communication could travel so fast across the galaxy.

 

Rem I am afraid I am not a teacher droid and so can only offer a most superficial answer. I believe it is something to do with sub-space?

 

Barkwon I am not familiar with the theory.

 

Shania I believe you would like to understand sub space theory.

 

  Mzebko starts to come round, his eyes begin to focus from a blur onto Shania – a dazzlingly attractive woman

 

Mzebko O mama, come to baby.

 

Singh Mzebko, behave yourself.

 

(to Shania) I presume you are also a droid

 

Shania You are correct Captain Singh.  I am well versed in a great variety of teaching and lecturing methods and styles.  I can access all the library’s records and research.  However we have strict programmed instructions not to allow races that are not as developed as the Alphoids to have direct access to our technology.  They may learn and develop their own solutions.

 

Singh Let’s start with lunch

 

  Singh walks over to the hole in the wall.

 

Singh Computer, please can I have some water.

 

  A moment and a small noise later a glass of water appears

 

Singh Tastes good.  Let’s try something else.  Computer please can I have a steak sandwich with chilli relish, crispy onions and a beer.

 

Computer Please make another selection, the food requested is not in my database.

 

Singh Mmm.

 

 


Act Ten

 

 

  The crew are sitting at a table with various, unappetising concoctions before them.

 

Razak It appears to be protein based with high levels of carbohydrates.

 

Mzebko Yeah, tastes great to me.

 

Razak No that’s not what I meant.

 

Barkwon Perhaps we could get back to the matter at hand.  What are our options and what should we do.

 

Singh Well it seems to me we have an unprecedented opportunity here to learn and advance our races beyond our wildest dreams.  On the other hand we appear to be stranded some 60 years from home (assuming we could get enough crystals to power the shuttle’s engines for that long) and we’ve slipped 16 years backwards in time.

 

Robertson Maybe we could get the tunnel thingy working again and flip us back.

 

Mzebko And we could grab some of those clever devices and take them back with us.

 

Thetid I suspect the Alphoids would have included ways of preventing the theft of their technology, whether they were here or not.

 

Singh I agree, it would also be wrong and quite dangerous to return to earth or Vulcan with some super weapon like a ray gun.  It could upset our natural development.

 

Barkwon I concur captain.  It would appear that we are agreed in our goal to return home.  Do we wish to return quickly or after we have learned from the Alphoids?

 

Thetid Is there such a choice?  Without learning how their devices work how could we return.  Would it be any quicker to learn their approach to spaceship design and construction.  I believe we must be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time here.

 

Singh Shania, how long does it take to learn what the Alphoids knew.

 

Shania That would obviously depend on your capacity to learn.  The Alphoids evolved over a period of 12 billion years on their home planet and spent 500 million years exploring the galaxy.

 

Robertson Ye gods, what chance do we have

 

Singh The same as every new born baby does in entering his world, we don’t need to learn everything everybody has ever before learnt, only those things that take us forward and allow us to grow.

 

Barkwon A useful analogy captain

 

Singh Thank you.

 

Rem, why weren’t we able to make the device in the entrance hall work and take us back to our home system?

 

Rem I believe the energy required for such a conduit transport is very large and will require some time to restore.  In addition we have also restricted access to such control panels. We initially believed you to be Alphoids and allowed you normal access.

 

Singh Why was that

 

Rem Our initial scans of you indicated the presence of the Alphoids DNA sequence and brain wave patterns.  However our initial diagnosis was incorrect as you appear to be descendants of the original code.

 

  Mzebko holds his head in his hands in pain

 

Mzebko Captain, I can’t take no more surprises, now we’re their babies.

 

Singh Thank you Rem.  We need to discuss what to do.

 

Well, as Thetid says, it looks like there’s no quick answers.  We don’t appear to be in any immediate danger, there’s plenty of air and food and water to survive.

 

If we can work out how to access the control panels we might be able to re-open the wormhole again and from there get home.

 

We don’t know how long all this will take but we have willing teachers and helpers and we may be able to take home things that are of immeasurable benefit to our planets.

 

Barkwon I agree.

 

We should divide our time and resources to learn more about the Alphoids and their technology.  We should also ensure we can adapt their technology and build our own devices.

 

Singh Does anyone disagree

 

Mzebko Well, all things considered I’d rather be in Philadelphia.

 

But as we’re not and you’re all here to keep me sane, I say lets go for it.

 

Thetid I agree

 

Razak I agree

 

Singh Mr Robertson, what do you think

 

Robertson Well, to tell you the truth, this all seems a little crazy to me.  A super advanced race allowing themselves to be destroyed and leaving behind a bunch of robots which have a passing resemblance to faithful dogs.

 

That said, I have no other options to put forward.  I think we should try and find out more about these people, the Alphoids’ demise if we can.

 

 

 


Act Eleven

 

 

  There follows a series of mini scenes (popvox or montage) of each of the crew learning different aspects of Alphoids knowledge

 

Shania ………..the Alphoids once believed that everything was composed of either fire, earth, wind or water.  Gradually this gave way to seeing matter in terms of basic constituent elements in different states or phases such as solid, liquid or gas…..

 

….. the Alphoids realised that matter and energy were interchangable and recorded it in Chorlstoic’s seminal work the equation E = MC squared.  Three centuries later Monty proved the link between the electromagnetic and weak forces……..

 

……Although matter is measured is 3 dimensional space it wasn’t until Vinder in the 4th millennia after Chorlstoic that time was seen as just another dimension.  It was just 250 years later that the theory of multi- dimensional space was theorised, initially 17 dimensions were used to model super strings but this was a passing phase and 367 dimensions and 8751 dimensional theories followed.  The realisation that these extra dimensions were folded over and could still be accessed gave rise to sub space theory……

 

…….warp powered engines enabled the Alphoids to explore their sector where they discovered……..

 

……Gravity being another expression of the relationship between matter and time in multi-dimensional space gave rise to the theory of gravitons and gravity waves.  The ability to create the effect of planetary gravity within a localised area of a spaceship was due to the ability to mimic the gravity wave through the pulsed acceleration of lamda particles.  However this was hazardous to organic lifeforms and so new methods were developed in the following centuries.  The type employed on Star Jack base is resonating gravitons…….

 

…..matter is measured and codified into digitised form.  This is then sent into the energy pattern buffer and transported through a containment field where it reforms into the original patterns according to information stored in the containment field.   Where 2 transport devices send and receive patterns, it is possible to elongated the effective distance by a factor of 10…..

 

…..The Alphoids found the limitations of warp a barrier to effective travel around the galaxy and built a series of way stations where instantaneous travel over space was possible.  In effect they opened portals or gates between different regions of space.  However there was an effect on the overall gravitational structure of the galaxy which can be seen in the formation of two minor galaxies – the Magellan clouds – nearby and the early signs of spiral arms of our own….. Spiral arms are found in many other galaxies and is taken as circumstantial evidence for the existence of similar races and cultures elsewhere in the universe……..

 

……the Alphoids managed to penetrate the barrier at the edge of the galaxy and some craft did return.  However, to date we have received no reports back of contact with other galaxies.

 

 


Act Twelve

 

 

  The crew are seated at the table in the university with more palatable food in front of them

 

Singh How are you getting on with quantum physics Mr Razak

 

Razak The principles build logically on my previous knowledge.  I believe I understand the principles of sub space and matter dematerialisation.  I am afraid the equations on Gravity are beyond my skill level at present.

 

Barkwon It has been a most enlightening 3 months.  In many ways I am honoured to have had the chance to study here.

 

Singh Do you think you could build a sub-space communications device Mr Razak?

 

Razak Certainly, I would not claim to be able to achieve the level of efficiency or range that the Alphoids did in their day but I am sure we could build a device to communicate between Vulcan and Earth.

 

Singh That’s excellent.  Mr Mzebko do you think you could help him?

 

Mzebko Certainly, I have to say these three months have flown by, I actually feel better than I’ve done at any point in my life before.

 

Thetid I also feel in good physical shape.

 

Robertson Me too.  I reckon I’ve got a fair understanding of their gravitational theories.  I suspect it may take me a while to build something.  Its been very helpful knowing what things to steer clear of like lambda particles, apparently it killed millions of them before a less lethal method was found

 

Singh It sounds like we’re making wonderful progress, who knows what we could achieve if we could stay here longer.

 

Barkwon There’s nothing stopping us aside from our need to return home.

 

Singh Well, if we can get back to our homes, we can come back at a later date.

 

Robertson Have you noticed Rem, Shania and the others?  The almost appear eager for us to learn as fast as we can?

 

Thetid I have noticed their apparent happiness but please remember they are only droids.

 

Robertson Yes but they’re really keen for us to learn aren’t they?

 

Singh And your point is?

 

Robertson No point, just an observation.

 

Singh I think we all know you well enough to know when something’s troubling you.

 

Robertson Well, as you know Barkwon and I have been trying to research into the history, social and anthropological development of the Alphoids. And, it still doesn’t make sense to me.  I can’t find any personal diaries, no personal accounts of any life, only 3rd person observations from Rem and the crew.

 

Razak Which shows an absence of evidence for a hypothesis

 

Robertson But you’ve got to admit its damn peculiar

 

Barkwon Only if you view them from a human perspective.  One doesn’t ask why a plant doesn’t have a diary, why should we presume the Alphoids did.

 

Robertson Because we are like them, remember the DNA and the brainwave stuff Rem said, or at least we have a part of them in our DNA, an echo if you like, and we would leave a diary.  They evolved, started life in a primordial soup and managed to leap into space and explore the entire galaxy before their disappearance.

 

Maybe another race evolved quicker and overtook them, maybe even killed them.

 

Singh Are you falling in love with them?

 

Robertson Its just I can’t understand how a race could advance as far as they did and simply vanish.

 

Barkwon Star Jack city is evidence of their existence.

 

Robertson Maybe, maybe there’s more to this place than we know?

 

Singh What do you mean?

 

Robertson Just that it doesn’t all add up.

 

 


Act Thirteen

 

 

  More voxpops

 

  …the Alphoids used a variety of power sources for warp drive.  Di-lithium crystals were the main source for over 40 million years.  Single gravitons produced similar results but meant all ship’s systems were linked to a single power source……

 

  …logical positivism was used by many scientists during the meganothoric period.  It developed rational and objective experimentation to prove or disprove a hypothesis…..

 

  …..the Alphoids first discovered telepathy in quadrant A of the galaxy.  Although the Alphoids from quadrant A continued to mix and interact with other quadrants they began to develop their own customs and pastimes, and eventually laws and…..

 

  ….a small band of Alphoids cut their links with the Alphoids community at large and began to study the universe from their minds alone…..

 

  …..the Alphoids believed in pursuing leisure as much as science.  Among their many poets were Astec and Scurming.  Astec wrote the seminal work on life, “to be or not to be”.  Scurming delved into the dark side of his soul and how fellow Alphoids could inflict pain or suffering for personal pleasure……

 

  …..telekinesis was thought to be the stuff  of myths and legends until Quitark demonstrated the sub space link between the brain and matter in 4 dimensional space.  The Alphoids found telepathy the ultimate way to communicate word, tone and feeling.  With practice it became instantaneous and Zurtis was the first Alphoids to teleport himself through space……

 

Robertson Shania, did you say teleport himself through space.

 

Shania Yes.  It was about 800,000 years before the red giant explosion

 

Robertson Were the two events connected?

 

Shania I do not understand?

 

Robertson Did a Alphoids use telepathy, or some other mind technique to cause the red giant explosion?

 

Shania Not according to our records.  But it is theoretically possible.

 

  Robertson picks up a flip phone type device

 

Robertson Captain, I think I’ve found something about the Alphoids.  Its just a theory but it might explain a few things

 

Singh Okay, lets discuss it at the University hall with the rest of the crew at dinner tonight.

 

  Cut to scene of a rather splendid dinner table with the crew helping themselves to wine and tucking into good quality food.

 

Singh So Jack, what have you found.

 

Robertson Well, as I say its only a theory.

 

I think I know why the Alphoids didn’t leave any personal records.

 

They developed telepathic abilities and found they had less and less need of technology.  They all knew each other and could read each other’s minds so they didn’t need to write it down.  They could share everyone’s else’s experiences and knowledge by simply thinking about them.

 

  The crew look at Robertson quizzically.

 

Robertson I know it sounds mad but hear me out.

 

The Alphoids have been around before any of us.

 

They didn’t have any god or supreme beings.  It simply never occurred to them.  Nowhere in their historical records, or myths and the like is there a ‘maker’.

 

They evolved slowly over billions of years.  Just like us.  Except we evolved much quicker once we became sentient.  Because the Alphoids have been before us and left us their memories and experiences in our psyche, at a subliminal level.  Hell we even have similar DNA.  Our belief in God maybe just an echo of the Alphoids who have breathed life throughout the galaxy.  When they first explored there was no other space faring race.  Having visited planets and breathed their air, eaten their food they must have left traces of themselves behind.

 

We could be their children.

 

Mzebko This don’t look like heaven or the garden of Eden to me.

 

Razak It seems implausible to me as well.  How does this explain their disappearance?

 

Robertson It doesn’t.  But they never stopped evolving in all their years.  Before the red giant explosion they had almost completely dispensed with the need for technology.  They had developed sub space communications but used telepathy instead.  They had developed Warp capability and instant teleportal devices far in excess of our dreams but used their minds to transport themselves.  They were able to control and channel energy and forces which we are only just beginning to grasp in concept.

 

I think they might have evolved to,… to outside of this reality, you know, they may have done away with the need for physical bodies and …… well, who knows, they could be alive in another dimension if they still follow our definition of life.  Who knows what happened to them

 

Razak There are many gaps in your hypothesis and you have leapt from one conclusion to another.

 

Robertson I know there’s lots of gaps but just bear with me.  Suppose I’m right, we have taken about 15,000 years to advance as far as the Alphoids did in 150 million years.  From what you’ve told me it took Vulcan 30,000 years to develop from its stone age to warp drive capability.  Think what will happen now with our joint capabilities over the next 100 , let alone 1,000 years.  If we continue to evolve at the same rate we may disappear as well.

 

Singh Is that a bad thing?

 

Robertson No, its a great thing.

 

Thetid This knowledge is helpful, but unless we can return to our homeworld systems it is unlikely to be of benefit to our races.

 

Barkwon I agree with you Thetid.  How far advanced are we with the gravitational field device?

 

Singh Well, I’ve built what Razak and Robertson have been designing and initial tests show it works.  I’m not sure the power source is too reliable but if we convert the shuttle to Di-lithium crystals it should provide enough energy to power our needs.

 

Razak I have built a working sub-space transponder and receiver.  It is too large to be used as a personal device at this stage but miniaturisation should follow with improved understanding.

 

Mzebko With Robertson I have been able to build working models of both their basic transport device and food replicator.  They use the same algorithms to analyse and break down matter.  They only differ in its re-materialisation and beam projection distance.  I’ve managed to transport objects about the size of a baseball, even food like an apple – although that was of course was replicated first in a Alphoids device.  I wouldn’t like to try it on an animal or person until we have worked out all the possibilities like pattern degradation or system handshake protocols.

 

Barkwon Perhaps we are not that far away from having the ability to leave Star Jack city.

 

Singh Except we are still 16 years out of phase with our home worlds and 22,000 light years away and we haven’t worked out how to make Star Jack city jump back to the Oort cloud.

 

Robertson If I may make a suggestion sir.

 

Singh Certainly

 

Robertson Well, I do think we should try and get back home with what we’ve learnt and the new technologies we’ve acquired.

 

But I think we should explore the Alphoids empire some more.  The way stations Alphoids built are throughout the galaxy but there doesn’t seem to be a map of where they are.  There is one here, outside the library in the main square.  We could ask Shania or one of the others to explain it to us and ‘pop’ out to some of the other way stations in search of the Alphoids.  I think Star Jack city has become cut off from the main computer.

 

Mzebko I’m sorry I don’t follow you.

 

Robertson Rem and Shania and all, told us about the main computer when we first arrived.  But I noticed they seemed fine being able to interface to every system here.  It was only when they persisted with their ability to connect with the main computer did I realise that they mean a bigger, central computer, one that ran the Alphoids empire once the Alphoids no loner needed a computer.

 

I’m guessing, but I reckon the red giant explosion severed Star Jack city with the main computer.

 

I think Rem and Shania would like us to reconnect them

 

Thetid But droids don’t have desires.  That would be illogical.

 

Robertson I know they are droids but I think they are like we are.  Although they must have incredible strength, vast amounts of data, and the rest, I think they are yearning to return to their home as well.

 

Singh Would anyone else like to explore the galaxy in search of the Alphoids?

 

  There is general agreement to proceed.

 

Singh OK then, lets load what we’ve done onto the Endeavour.  If nothing else and we die in some far off distant land, it can carry home our findings, even in 50 years time its contents will be of use to Vulcan and Earth.

 

I suggest we set it on a automatic countdown of one week to head for home.

 

We should all write up our notes and personal logs.  Robertson, can you do a paper on the history of the Alphoids along with your personal theories?

 

Robertson Aye aye captain

 

  Cut to scene of the crew gathered around the portal in the main square.  It looks like an arch of rock.

 

Robertson Shania, what are the key principles behind the portal

 

Shania Sub space theory and general relativity theory gives rise to the possibility of wormholes.  In nature wormholes are an unstable phenomena opening and closely according to the Sparkson probability matrix.

 

The Alphoids developed a sub space energy vacuum which, when inflected opened a stable wormhole between two points in space.  However both points in space must have the same sub space inflexion frequency to ensure connection.  If only one end of the wormhole is forced to vibrate at a stable frequency the wormhole is one- directional.

 

It is possible to use the arch before us to open the wormhole over the time dimension, thus allowing time travel.  However the dangers in time travel are immense.  The consequential impacts of altering the time line can give rise to so called time paradoxes, say where an individual causes the premature death of a blood line predecessor.  This will cause the offspring never to have been born and so the person who travelled back in time to never have been born, thus prevented the untimely death of the predecessor.

 

However, later multi – dimensional universe theory allows for this possibility to occur as both altered and original timelines continues in parallel universes.

 

Mzebko Apart from the physics I’m sure we did this at high school and on countless TV shows.

 

Shania Another complication is anti -time where future events have a larger impact in the past.  The need to avoid such time fractures is paramount in any time travel journey.

 

Singh Thanks, I think we will avoid time travel for the moment, we’re already going to be 18 years too old if we ever get home.

 

Robertson How do you work the portal Shania?

 

Shania This device (pointing to a panel on the side of the arch) allows you to select various locations.

 

I am afraid it does not respond to droid commands and requires organic lifeforms to work it.

 

Robertson Why would droids not be able to use it?

 

Shania I am afraid I do not know why the Alphoids wrote such an instruction.

 

Barkwon (taps a few buttons on the panel) It has a similar layout to the first panel we touched.

 

(The portal humms into life)

 

Computer, please display location of current portals accessible via this portal

 

  The portal flicks through 5 images of the same location taken from different views.

It is bigger, and even more technological than Star Jack city.

 

Thetid It appears that the portal is connected to only one other.  I cannot see any other lifeforms.

 

Singh Do we need to do something else Shania?

 

Shania It would appear the only other portal able to communicate with us is zero, zero, zero, one.

 

Robertson Do they all have numbers?

 

Shania Yes, Star Jack city is zero, four, three, seven.  Before the red giant explosion there were 6, 235 portals.  I do not know how many there are at present.

 

Singh Well ladies and gentlemen, shall we boldly go to zero, zero, zero, one?

 

  They pick up their packs and walk through the portal.

 

 


Act Fourteen

 

 

Janeway Full power to the shields!!

 

Reverse us out Mr Paris, – dead slow.

 

Paris Aye Aye Captain, straight back, dead slow, manoeuvring thrusters at ¼ power.

 

Tuvok Shields are at full strength Captain, operating at 132% with power re-routed from the main engines and all non essential systems.

 

Janeway I’ll be damned if we get bounced around like that again

 

  Cut to external scene of Voyager surrounded by a spherical wall of charged energy.

Almost imperceptibly Voyager moves within the sphere of charged energy and its nacelles begin to pass into the dazzling wall of light.

Cut to scene of various internal views of Voyager as the energy wall sweeps through the ship.  As it passes through the crew they are caught in terrible pain and some attempt to walk backwards from the approaching energy wall until they meet resistance from a bulkhead..

Cut to external scene.  The ship then begins to emerge on the outside of the sphere and continues to reverse.  The scene zooms out to until Voyager is the size of a pin head.  The sphere of energy is by now also a (slightly larger) pinhead but it can be seen that in fact it is part of an immense energy barrier stretching thousands of light years left, right, up and down.  A barrier to forward progress

Cut to scene of  bridge.  Kim and Paris are being aided back to their positions by Tuvok and Chakotay.  Janeway is holding her stomach sitting in her command chair.

 

Janeway At least we went slowly through it that time.

 

Mr Paris, are you OK?

 

Paris Yes I think so Captain

 

Janeway Are we still drifting backwards from the barrier?

 

Paris Affirmative captain, we now have a velocity of ½ impulse, the barrier must have squirted us out and speeded us up, like spitting pips.

 

Janeway Take us to 100 million kilometres from the barrier Mr Paris

 

Paris We are already 134 million kilometres from the barrier Captain, I suspect the second pass through the barrier knocked us out for about 20 minutes

 

Janeway Okay, bring us to a dead halt, reduce magnification on the screen to wide angle by 10.

 

Tuvok We are already at the lowest setting captain.

 

Janeway Damn.

 

Well, we finally find a weak bubble in the wall and it nearly explodes the warp core on the way in and nearly kills us getting out of it.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we need a plan B, it’ll add 7 years onto our journey to go around this barrier and I’m already 10 years late getting home.

 

Chakotay, Tuvok, once all the necessary repairs are done please get the senior officers together to review the Enterprise – A logs with their journey through the barrier.

 

Chakotay Yes captain.  Mr Paris I’m sure the doctor will need all the help he can get after that shock.  Tuvok, I think engineering could use our help.

 

Tuvok Agreed commander.

 

  Cut to scene of Paris in sickbay administering hyposprays of pain relief to sick crewmen.

 

Doctor Mr Paris, do you think that before the next time we go into the barrier, the Captain will let me sedate everyone on board first so as they’re at least anaesthetised to the pain?

 

Paris Sounds like an excellent idea Doctor, except for they’d be no one awake to stop us becoming trapped inside the barrier or to figure out how to get us out again.

 

Doctor I’m sure those who enjoy having this amount of pain inflicted on them could volunteer not to have the anaesthetic.

 

Paris Anyone in particular?

 

Doctor Well the Captain seems keen on it?

 

Paris Look Doc, the Captain knows how much pain is involved, she wouldn’t take us into the barrier unless their was something to be gained from it.  We’ve been out in the delta quadrant for seven years and still have thousands of light years to go.  Cutting through the centre of the Galaxy will take years off the journey home.

 

Doctor Well Voyager is my home Mr Paris.

 

Paris Yes Doc.

 

  Cut to scene of engineering.  The whole section is a mess, green vapour is seeping from a pipe near the warp core, yellow hazard lights are flashing, crews are working on several damaged systems

 

B’lana I need some help on the intermix pressure valve now!

 

Chakotay, get over here now!  Reduces the energy drain to the shields before the circuits blow and we’re all turned into our constituent molecules

 

Chakotay I’m on it.

 

(wryly) I get the impression you’re enjoying bossing me about.

 

B’lana Look, now is not the time to pull rank, I’m in charge of engineering and you’re in engineering – not that you’d notice it from the state of the place.

 

“Mullins” quick, turn off the plasma conduit crossover in section 4, deck 3.  Its not set up to work that way for this long.  Check for any other Plasma Conduits overheating while your there.

 

Mullins Yes sir.

 

Tuvok I’ve restored main computer control to engineering, we should be able to get some diagnostics on the warp core.

 

  Chakotay and B’lana move to computer consoles

 

B’lana Well done Tuvok, we should be able to get the systems back on line now.

 

  B’lana moves her hand across the console, touching various buttons and dials.

 

B’lana Damn, I wasn’t expecting that.

 

Chakotay What?

 

B’lana Well, our systems were shook up when we went through bubble, it started releasing u-band radiation from the matter anti-matter reactor.  That stimulated the warp core which caused all the mess first time round.  It took us 45 minutes to get enough energy to the shields to enable us to reverse out.

 

In those 45 minutes enough U band radiation escaped to damage the integrity of the hull.  We need to barium sweep the ship to restore its integrity, only real problem there isn’t a convenient star base nearby when you need one.

 

Tuvok Its possible the Ancary at Stenus 9 had technology capable of helping us.  Unfortunately they are 8 months away at Warp 7.  Given your analysis I’m not sure the ship would survive to Stenus 9.

 

B’lana No, I don’t think it would.

 

I’ll think of something after we’ve restored order here.

 

 

 

 

Kevin Corrigan

 

 

Contact E:Mail     kevin.corrigan@postoffice.co.uk

 

or     kevindebbie@corrigan4.freeserve.co.uk

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