Tag Archives: space

The USS Katenai Kore

“Cadet Ja…”

“Please, call me Kat.”

“Kat, you have been at the Academy for a few years now so this may not be fresh in your mind but please, walk me through your reasoning, why did you enroll?”

“It’s actually very simple really. Starfleet Academy is the single greatest collection of knowledge and education in the quadrant.”

“What about the Spock institute on new Vulcan?”

“Even after a hundred years they still haven’t recaptured the prestige that was the Vulcan Science Academy.”

 

Kat stood with her hands held behind her back at the end of the conference table. Her long Auburn hair tightly packed into a tidy bun.

 

“There is no logic in choosing based on prestige cadet.”

“Where did you study Lieutenant?”

“At this Academy, but that was before the Spock institute was built.”

“But that was…”

“A hundred years ago, yes.”

“I knew Vulcan’s had a longer natural life span but that’s incredible.”

“I would still even be considered a young man if Vulcan still existed.”

“Did you grow up there? If you don’t mind me asking?”

 

The Lieutenant paused, for much longer than was usual for the Vulcans Kat had met before. She guessed that he was having an emotion.

 

“I do not ‘mind’ cadet. No, I grew up on Vulcanis the old Lunar colony. But I do remember seeing Vulcan hanging in the sky.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…” Kat trailed off.

“You do not need to apologise, Vulcans do not feel, nostalgia.”

 

Kat gave a half smile and nodded.

 

“So other than explain my life choices what can I do for you Lieutenant?”

“You have been recommended for the Bridge Officers course. As the daughter of a Vice Admiral I wanted to make sure that you weren’t gaining an advantage by your connections”
“I would never use my parents status to…”

“I’m not saying that you would Cadet, my investigation has revealed your pure intentions. The only reason I bring it up is because the recommendation came from starfleet command. Yet not from either of your parents.”

 

“So what are you saying?”

“I am congratulating you upon being accepted to the course. Also I wanted to tell you that there is an entrance exam that is tomorrow at thirteen hundred hours.”

“That’s not really long enough for me to prepare for an exam.”

“Your success on this test will not affect your position on the course nor will the course as a whole affect your final Academy grade. It is merely meant to help those who are senior officer material become so more quickly.”

“I have heard that we are running low on red shirts lately.”

“Not all senior officers wear red cadet.”

“I know… I meant… nevermind.”

 

*

 

“Kat! I didn’t know that you were in the officer’s course!” Kat couldn’t help but scrunch up her face as she heard the voice.

 

Vissian’s had only joined the federation in the last year but as part of reconnection with them many of them had been allowed to enter Starfleet Academy. All of those who joined were of the Vissian’s third gender, previously known as Congentior but now called Comale. As documented by the original Enterprise crew the Comale gender was less physically able but highly intelligent even compared to the rest of their species.

 

Just before the reconnection with Humans there was a revolution of sorts as the Comale gender rose to over a third the population they had previously only made up to three percent.

 

Calla was one of the Vissian’s that had enrolled and was deeply interested in every detail of the human world around them, which came to mean Kat, one of their first year dorm mates.

 

“I only found out yesterday. Are you on the course too?” Kat straightened out her face and spun around smiling as politely as she could. The lecture hall was buzzing with other conversation.

“No, I don’t think I’d be a good fit for any sort of command, but they did ask me to help out with the entrance test.”

“Interesting. I guess it’s more hands on than I was expecting.
“Cadets.” Another Lieutenant Kat had never met caught the rooms attention. “As you may have noticed only about half of you are here to take the entrance exam. Those of you who are not are here to assist where we need stand-ins for non-bridge personnel.”

 

There were hurried whispers around the room.

 

“Do not worry, you will not be marked on their performance, unless it affects your performance. Some of you will not have the full range of this exam done today, that is okay, if this course intersects with any of your other courses the lost material will provided to you. Now, first things first, who want’s to be the Captain.”

 

Hands shot up in the air at warp speed.

“You, Cadet.” The Lieutenant pointed at Kat, even though she didn’t have her hand up. “It’s not like I asked for a show of hands.” Several of the hands shot back down, others hesitantly lowered. “Cadet Kat, am I right?”

 

“You are correct sir.”

“Alright Kat, the first lesson I can teach is that leadership is sometimes not something you can choose.”

 

*

 

Hologram technology was starting to find its way into everything. At first it was used as a simple advertising tool, projecting a product into your self driving car or even living room. Then it was used for theatre upon its resurgence. Now that passive force fielding has been able to replicate texture it has been used to simulate a variety of scenarios.

 

This has been incredibly useful for those who get Virtual Reality sickness. Unfortunately it cannot currently create an entire room or landscape but once the force field emitters have been miniaturized enough it may be possible for interactive avatars to walk around like anyone else.

 

Kat stood in the middle of the simulated bridge. The chairs that they had installed were surprisingly uncomfortable.

 

“Location?” Kat asked the room.

“We’re on the border of No-man’s space, there’s a war going on in there. If we enter we could take stray fire.” The stand-in helmsman swivelled around to answer her.

“Two species at war and we can’t step in, disappointing isn’t it Captain.” Her security officer was Klingon but she was normally not this eager, she seemed to be putting it on for this exercise.

“No, just a waste of life that I would rather not see.”

 

“Captain, we’re getting a distress signal.”
“From where?”

“Inside No-Man’s space, the USS Katenai Kore.”
“USS? That hasn’t been used in years.” One of the stand-in officers blurted out in the background

“We’re simulating the past remember.” Someone else muttered angrily.

 

“They’re a science vessel, testing a new warp core, ended up off course and without power. Forty people aboard, mostly civilian.”

“Alright. Take us in, start transporting them off as soon as we’re in range.”

“Into No-Man’s space Ma’am?”

“Yes, I understand the risks.”

 

The helmsmen entered in the command and the view screen changed to show the damaged ship in distress. An older ship but with the normal two nacelle configuration.

 

“We’re in transporter range beginning transport cycle.”

“Keep us moving helm.” Kat kept staring at the view screen.

“Signals showing on sensors. Self guided neutron missiles.”

“Red alert. Keep trying to teleport, evasive maneuvers and tactical try to take them down.”

 

The simulated bridge rocked to indicate impact.

 

“The other side has fired too, cloaked plasma torpedos, I can’t track the rest of them.”
“Hull integrity on port side down to seventy percent.”

 

“Tactical, I saw photon torpedos in the manual can you modify them.”

“Yes ma’am.”
“Invert the field repulsors on eight of them and fire them to port in a spherical spread half on that side of the Katenai. How are we doing with the teleport?”

“We have ten of them.”

“Photon torpedos away, Photon dispersal field has been erected.”

“Fire on any plasma torpedos shown by the field.”

 

“The neutron missiles have shields Captain and have adapted to our phaser frequency. I can’t change it enough to be effective.”

“Lower the power by half and shoot twice, the lower power will result in a different frequency.”

“I have fifteen of the scientists.”

“We’re being hailed Captain.”

 

“On screen.”

“You have invaded our space.”
“I believe that is currently being contested actually.” Kat spoke firmly.

“Regardless, you’re interference with our weapon systems will not be tolerated.”

“We are only trying to evacuate our own people, if you could please wait another five minutes, we would be well out of your system.”

“Not good enough.”

 

“Ship uncloaking off the port bow.”

“Fire the remaining photon torpedo’s focus on weapon systems.”

“How much longer on the transport?”

“Twenty more, halfway there.”

 

“Another ship detected uncloaking on our starboard, not of the same configuration. Charging weapons.”

“Be ready to raise shields if they fire on us.”
“But ma’am the transport!”
“You heard me.”

 

“The other ship has fired on the cloaked one and destroyed it. It’s weapons are not powering down.”

“Transport?”
“Twenty five. Another five in progress”

“Helm full impulse directly at the ship on my mark… mark!”

 

The bridge rocked again to show another impact.

 

“Starboard hull at ten percent, micro fractures detected.”

“Transport?”

“I have five of the last ten coming down now.”

 

“Ma’am, another silo of Neutron missiles, too many to fire on.”

 

Kat twisted around and jumped over the divide between the main area and tactical. She pushed the stand-in science officer out of the way and tapped furiously on the console.

 

“I don’t have time to explain this.”

“She’s overriding the shield emitter safety precautions.”
“Captain, we’ll lose their transporter signals.”

 

Kat said nothing but kept tapping.

 

“The starboard nacelle is going into overload.”

“She’s used the shield emitters…”

“To project a warp ripple from nacelle.”

“The missiles have been deflected, but will come round for another try.”

 

“I have them all Captain.”

“Turn about. Maximum warp.”

 

The room was silent. Kat’s boots made metal tapping sounds as she calmly walked back to the main area of the bridge around the divide.

 

She sat down in the Captain’s chair very slowly.

 

“Well…” The Lieutenant from her interview spoke behind her, Lieutenant Tuvok. “Congratulations Captain Kathryn Janeway, you’ve won a no-win scenario.”

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I love a rainy night

This is kind of a continuation of ‘Taidan for fear’ so if you haven’t read that one, I suggest you go back and do that.


Nova turned away from me, giving away the truth of her appearance. She became a flurry of random pixels, a ‘snow crash’ was what I’ve heard some people call it. The holographic avatar was designed for face to face communication nothing more.

 

“What were you doing there?” She turned back to face me, the pixels realigning to my vision like stepping out of the rain.

“I could smell something dead.”

“Well of course you could, why didn’t you just call the Superintendent?”

“The super should have picked it up before I got there.”

 

I looked around me, Nova’s office hadn’t changed since I went on leave four months ago. Soft black carpet, small green couch and matching single chair. All immaculate.

 

Her hologram moved behind her long metal desk and appeared to sit. She wanted me to know that she was upset with me, holograms can appear however you want them to that didn’t have to represent your current state. Nova had made her avatar look like herself as many do, dark skin, big green eyes and purple, dead straight hair.

 

“We put you on leave for a reason. So that you could stop working so hard.”

“I had a nice vacation.”

 

I walked over to the window. Nova had a corner office with a window large enough to see the horizon. It was under the cloud layer which meant I could see the city tonight during the scheduled rain cycle. The reds and blues of the bustling metropolis twinkled in the water droplets. I could see my building from here but not my floor.

 

“It wasn’t long enough. So you’re staying on leave.”

“That’s fine. Have you followed my lead.”

“Yes.”

“Can you at least tell me what you found out?”

 

The hologram squinted at me.

 

“You aren’t planning on working this case.” That wasn’t a question.

“No, I’ve got tickets for an off world trip actually.”

“Fine then. We couldn’t find her missing tattoo in the Earth crime database.”

 

I shifted my weight onto my other foot but kept looking out the window. An automated police drone flew past on its way to the detainment entrance. It looked like it had a passenger, at this time of night it was probably vagrancy. Not that they wouldn’t have had a home to go to, but a lot of people get too drunk and can’t make it there.

 

“So we had Interpol check all the databases from the inner systems.” Nova liked to talk through all the steps. I half wished I hadn’t asked. “But there was nothing there either.”

 

I brought up my AR, still looking out the window. The view became a sea of colour and flashing lights. Advertisements. In the Real Reality, even in the Virtual one, advertisements have been regulated beyond affordability. Cannot be targeted at children, must be in context, cannot be for ingestible substances. But in AR those regulations don’t exist, they can’t be regulated, AR above the last floor of any building was declared free game and written into the Declaration of Virtual Realities and Matrices.

 

“But obviously you described it as a Taidan character so we had the embassy from that sector send us their database. As it turns out, that is the gang symbol for a Yakuza style gang they have out there called…”

“Fear.”

“Well yeah, but in Taidan. Not sure how they pronounce it though. There probably isn’t even one. The gang is supposedly based on the Taidan homeworld. They mainly deal in drugs, ones that are still illegal in that part of the galaxy, but they’ve been working up into the slave trade. We’re checking incoming and outgoing to see if we catch any of them in our space.”

 

“Can you send me any information you get regarding this?”

“You’re now added to the case file.”

“Thank you.” I turned away from the window and started to leave.

 

“So where’s the destination of your off world adventure? I hear that the Virgo Constellation just got a new luxury space station.”

“Not sure yet. Probably the Taidan homeworld.”

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The New Pilot

So I really struggled to write anything this week, I was getting over a cold/flu that was rather tenacious so I barely had the energy to be at work.
Anyway that means we’re pulling out of the archives, here is the first part to that Doctor Who fanfiction/spin off I started. Let me know if you would want to see more of it.

 


Susan Campbell was old now, the oldest person on Earth was her title these days. She had never wanted to leave unlike many of her friends throughout the years who had made their way off world.

 

There was a knock on her cabin door. She silently cursed her strange ability to make friends with these humans, despite being far more evolved than them she could always empathize so well. She’d even married one, that’s what got her so stuck here in the first place.

 

She wriggled in her bed not really wanting to get up. There were another few knocks. ‘Ugh’ she thought then slid herself around the bed her joints complaining heavily. Sitting over the side she paused to breathe and gather strength. As she grabbed her metal cane she heard more bangs on her door.

 

“I’m coming, hold on!” What could possibly be so urgent that you’d pester such an old woman. Susan was already wearing her night robe, must have slept in it. She pulled herself up and hobbled towards the door.

 

Susan was not suffering from arthritis or any of those age granted ailments that humans suffer from, three hundred Earth years have just taken their toll. The human doctors, at least the ones still on earth, had tried their best to help but they couldn’t do much. They normally just wanted to try and give her replacement parts which Susan would never have agreed to. She always wondered how much different humans could be from her when she was able to have a child with one.

 

“What can I do for you?” Susan asked as she started to open the door. The warm breeze flowed over her, it was mid afternoon so she shouldn’t have been late for anything.

 

“Doctor?” Susan’s heart jumped in her throat, like it did every time people addressed her by her title and not her name.

“What have I told you about that Kalis? My name is Susan.” The man at the door was one of her many students, she had taken up teaching physics over the years, once the humans were at her level of knowledge anyway.

“Susan, something as appeared in the center of the campus that you should see, we think it’s might be time capsule based on its materialization.” He was tall with dark skin and even darker hair.

“Let me get dressed.” She shut the door quickly with a slam. Then she stopped and opened it again. “Sorry didn’t mean to slam it on you.”
“It’s okay, I’ll wait for you.”

 

She moved quickly now, somehow she suddenly had the energy to disregard the pain in her legs. It had been a very long time since she had met another time traveler. That Face of Boe was quite a character, he was the last Time-Agent she remembered touching down in this time period but they didn’t use capsules. Come to think of it she couldn’t remember if humans had ever used capsules to travel in time, maybe cabinets?

 

Susan was dressed in record time and almost at the door before she realized that she’d still need her cane. She stepped over to her coat rack which also doubled as her cane holder. She had a variety of canes these days as that was what people always seemed to give her as a present. Susan grabbed a blue wooden one, it reminded her of her grandfather so it was her favourite.

 

“Okay I’m ready Kalis.”

 

*

 

The Campus was about the size of a fishing village, the center was a large grassed area with statues of notable human academics and explorers. Susan had felt close to home in this park, the reverence for learning and science was something that sat deep in her hearts.

 

“Slow down Doctor Campbell, you might hurt yourself.”

“You said it was in the middle of the campus. Where is it?”

“It’s near the Marco Polo statue.”

“Ah yes, I remember Marco Polo.”

 

Susan made her way through the hedges and trees past Columbus, Cook and Clark before she started to feel tired. She couldn’t bare the pain anymore and took a seat on one of the benches just around the corner from the Polo statue.

 

“Are you okay Susan?”

“I am okay Kalis, just got too excited is all.” She had her legs outstretched and was flexing her feet up and down to promote blood flow.

“You don’t think it could be one of your…”
“My kind, no, they all died in the War. But I’m still hopeful that I’ll find a working dematerialization circuit. Even a broken one would be nice.”

“Where would you go?”

“I haven’t the faintest idea. Probably just see where I end up.” Susan smiled so hard that her face hurt.

“Not back to see…”
“No, I couldn’t go back on my own time stream, too dangerous. Anyway I think I’m okay now.”

 

Susan stood up, almost fell back but caught herself on her cane. She took a few steps to make sure she was stable. Satisfied she continued round the corner to where the Capsule was supposed to be.

 

She fell backwards and landed in a sitting position facing towards the statue.

“Susan! Are you okay?”

 

Susan opened her mouth but only said one word.

“Grandfather.”

 

*starting theme song*

 

“Kalis, Doctor!” A woman, about the same age as Kalis came running over from the blue Phone-Box next to the statue. Another of Susan’s students, the only other person nearby. “Are you okay?”

“Erin! Susan’s fallen over can you find an assistance droid or a medical student?”

“Don’t worry about me.” Susan grumbled as she tried to pick herself up. “Okay, maybe help me up.”

 

Erin grabbed her cane off the ground and gave it back as Kalis had got her back on her feet. Erin was about the same height as Susan, and had the same ghostly white hair despite being in her mid twenties. It was the new fashion around the college.

“You said ‘grandfather’ while you were on the ground there Susan, is this the Doctor’s Tardis?”

“Yes Kalis, it’s particular shade of blue is different but that’s probably normal with its broken chameleon circuit.”
“No-one has come out of it Susan.” Erin mentioned.

 

“Well he might be being cautious, you never know what kind of rationals his current regeneration might have.”

“How do you know he’d be like you remember?” Kalis asked as they got closer.

“Timelords might act like different people when they change face but he would always be my grandfather.” Susan knocked on the Tardis door. ‘I don’t blame you.’ She thought to herself, in response to any of the things he may have apologised for.

 

The Tardis remained silent. “Are you sure that no-one came out?”

“Of course, there’s always been someone here watching it since it materialized.” Erin responded abruptly.

 

“Guess we’ll have try and get in then.” Susan reached into for the handle, she heard the tumblers click open at her touch, the Tardis was keyed to her. “Grandfather?” She called out. No response.

 

Susan pulled the doors outwards, stepping inside. “Grandfather?” She continued to shout. As she looked around the console room.

 

“Wow!” Her students had followed her, their faces covered in happy surprise. The console room was huge, like a mansion and cathedral rolled into a chinese festival of lights. Susan walked right past the main console and made her way over to a small alcove on the left covered by book cases, there was a short little table in the middle of it.

 

A cup of tea was sitting on the table. Susan touched the side, it was still warm, that could have meant anything when it came to the internal timezones of the Tardis.

“Hey, don’t touch anything!” Susan called out to her students, they jumped back from the console and held their hands up to indicate that they weren’t. “Grandfather doesn’t seem to be here.”

 

“Where could he be?” Kalis asked.

“Anywhere in space and time. It would appear that he sent me the Tardis, maybe he’s in trouble, or maybe he’s just decided to settle down for once.”

 

*

 

“Susan, the war in Orion is taking its toll, we can fight the Mondasian’s easily enough with the glitter cannons but the other kind, they’ve upgraded.”

“This isn’t my war.”
“You helped us against the Daleks?”

“That was my war.”

“You must know of a weapon that we could use against the Cybermen.”

“I know of a weapon, but even if I could build it, even if you could power it, you would never be able to use it appropriately and I am not your soldier.”

“Then why don’t you piss off back to your home world, if you’re not going to help us.”

 

‘I would if I could’ Susan remembered that conversation from a few years ago, when she had started building her own time machine. Her machine wasn’t going to be needed any more.

 

“Well, I’m going to find him.”

“Find your grandfather? You’re going to leave in the Tardis?”

“Yes. And I might not be coming back. So you best be off.” Susan pointed to the door.

 

Kalis and Erin looked at her, the happy surprise replaced with a terrible longing. “Okay fine, you can come, but don’t complain if you never get home.”

“Thank you Susan!” Kalis cheered.
“But how can we find your grandfather, The Doctor?” Erin stepped in.

 

“The fast return switch.” Susan pointed to a section of the console “This little feature will push the Tardis back along her own time stream.”
“But you said that going back on your own time stream is dangerous.”

“Yes I did, but of course if you paid any attention in my classes Kalis you would know that Time Lord Tardises are the absolute forefront of temporal engineering. The Tardis could even, in theory, be used to hold a paradox in place, she won’t cause any damage when used appropriately. The only problem would be, going beyond the time space continuum but we should have plenty of leeway in that regard.”

 

“How would it go beyond the continuum if it was only going back on it’s own time stream?” Erin was suddenly very curious.

“Tardises can also travel between universes, also if goes before it’s own creation or if the button gets stuck down.”

“Oh.”

“Not that I would like to do any of that.”  Susan pushed a button on the console and the tardis doors pulled themselves closed. “Let’s go!” She clicked the switch on. The centerpiece of the console started to rise and fall as the Tardis lurched to life.

 

“But Susan your home and your belongings.”

“It’s just stuff Kalis, I have everything that I need right here.” Susan pushed a few buttons on the console, the tardis dematerialized and groaned its familiar vortex entrance noise. Susan beamed happily at the console. ‘It’s good to be home.’

 

*

 

Susan made sure to push hard on the fast return switch to turn it off. Pulling on the materialization lever the Tardis slowly re-entered time space. Once the main lights turned back on and the console stopped flashing she spoke again.

“We’ve landed.”

“Where?” Erin wondered while Kalis made his way to the doors.

“Not sure. Last materialization point of the Tardis at least. No time travel though, same time exactly.”

“There’s no way to know?”

“It supports life, and it’s about Earth size. Some low level radiation, nothing dangerous.”

“Can you scan for your grandfather?” Kalis turned away from the doors ready to push them open.

 

“Good idea.” Susan twisted a few knobs and pushed a button or two. “He’s not here.” She was disappointed. “We should look around though. Find out what happened to him.”

 

“There’s a whole planet out there, he could have been anywhere.” Erin thought outloud. “We might need to split up.” Susan walked around the console flicked a few switches, twisted a dial and pushed a lever upwards.

“I’ll get you some keys then just in case we do split up.” Finally she tapped on the keyboard by the main monitor which suddenly produced two identical Yale lock keys. “Here you go.” Kalis put his hand out first and Susan put one of them in his hand. She then pushed the door control button and Kalis ran right out.

 

“Uh I don’t think this is actually a good idea.” Kalis’ voice shook with terror.

“What is it?” Susan made her way from the console out the door and looked up at what Kalis was staring at.

 

It was a huge metal sculpture about the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

 

“Dalek.” Erin had come outside as well.

 

“We should leave.” Kalis said still very afraid.

“No.” Susan pushed the doors to the Tardis shut. “If my grandfather was here then he will definitely need our help.”

 

They had materialized deep inside a dense jungle, the towering dalek monument they saw was one of many they could see just over the treetops. Susan started to walk in the direction of the closest one.

“But we can’t fight them! We have no weapons!”

“We don’t need any weapons.” Susan continued walking, Erin chased after her, Kalis hesitated until they were almost out of view before he ran to catch up.

 

*

 

“You’ve fought the daleks twice, you know how dangerous they can be.” Kalis had not given up trying to make them leave.

“More than twice, you are right they are dangerous. I came to find my Grandfather, you didn’t have to come with me.” Susan was leaning on a tree regaining her strength.

“Kalis, you can go back to the Tardis if you want, we’re just going to look around, these monuments look like they’re ancient anyway, the Daleks are probably long gone.” Erin was very calm and collected.

 

Susan straightened out again and continued to move. Erin went with her, Kalis begrudgingly followed.

It was only few more steps away but the dense trees made it hard to find a direct path close to the metal. Finally they had come upon it, both Susan and Erin smiled ever so slightly, Kalis was still in his mood.

 

“Interesting. This design is different to other Daleks”

“Perhaps a vortex streamlining? They used temporal shifts to travel in time didn’t they?” Erin postulated.

“But the ones that attacked Earth had time travel and they didn’t have these angles.” Kalis entered the conversation. “Maybe they added larger power units?”

“That’s the spirit Kalis.” Susan beamed at the return of his curiosity.

 

“YOU WILL DESIST YOUR INVESTIGATION!” Susan, Erin and Kalis all froze. Then slowly turned to face the Daleks behind them.

“Hello there.” Susan smiled at them. “We were just admiring your statue. Very good likeness.” Kalis looked at her, his eyes wide in disbelief.

“YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!”

“Now hold on just a moment!” Susan started to hobble over towards the Dalek. “You can’t just go around exterminating anyone who sees your artwork, that’s no way to get good reviews.”

“Surely you want to know how we got here?” Erin asked.

 

The Dalek twisted it’s eyestalk between Erin and Susan.

 

“YOU ARE A TIMELORD! YOU WILL HAVE ARRIVED BY TARDIS!”

“Correct.” Susan continued to move towards them “And would you ever find that Tardis without me telling you where it is?”

“YOU WILL COME WITH US!”

“We sure will. Come along Erin, Kalis.”

 

“Aren’t you a Time Lady Susan?” Erin started to wonder as they trudged along the path through the jungle.

“Well no, Time Lord is a rank of High Gallifreyan rule, I never technically received that ranking.”

“Isn’t your race Gallifreyan then?” Erin continued.

“That could refer to any of the life on Gallifrey, we appreciate the distinction, so most beings say that it is our race.”

“Surely you have a better name for yourselves?”

“Of course, which in English means Time Lord.” Susan struggled to keep moving at the same pace as the daleks, Kalis held her up acting as a second cane. “It is a bit arrogant but the idea is that we lord over time so we are Time Lords. You can be a Lady that lords over something, not that it matters anyway because we can switch between genders.”

“Oh I see, Lady and Lord is only for gender nouns whereas Time Lord is actually a translation from a word that means to lord over time.”
“Exactly.”

 

“YOU WILL BE SILENT!” The browner of red Daleks in the group screamed in its usual tone.

“Just trying to fill the time till we get there.”

“WE HAVE ARRIVED!”

“Ah. That was quick.” Susan looked at the metal wall in front of them, there were two other Daleks on guard outside an open door. One of them had one large gun on it instead of gun and plunger. Kalis looked at Susan with a question on his face, Susan shook her head not wanting to annoy the Dalek’s further.

 

*

 

The Daleks lead them through a series of hallways, Susan walked through them confidently. Kalis and Erin were more hesitant making sure not to make any sudden movements. They passed many other Daleks on their way to where-ever they were being taken. Some were of the same design that Susan had fought long ago, some were gold plated, others with the larger base were painted bright colours.

 

Every doorway so far was open before it had even come into view except the one they had just come upon.

 

“OPEN!”

 

There was a dull thump and a twang of metal as though a seal was opened. The door started to slide upwards making a slight grind as it did. The trio saw the bottom of a Dalek casing under the door.

‘Dalek Supreme’ They all thought, roughly around the same time.

 

“Hello Doctor.” This was not a Dalek voice. “I assume you are the Doctor. You have similar genetic markers but not exactly the same.”

 

The door opened fully. It was not a Dalek but a man, he was sitting in the casing like it was a wheelchair. His face was burned, deformed and his eyes sealed shut, but he had another eye shining blue in the center of his forehead.

 

“I do not know you, but how do you know the Doctor?” Susan stepped forward.

“A different Time Lord? Interesting, how is it you came to have the Doctor’s Tardis?” His casing twisted as he moved his hand very slightly in a pointing motion. Two Daleks pushed the blue box into the room via another door.

“How did you find it?” Kalis shouted.

“Dear boy, my Daleks are always on the lookout for this Tardis.”

 

“This is my Grandfather’s Tardis. How do you know him?” Susan’s voice was stiff.

“The Doctor? Your Grandfather. He is my greatest enemy.”

 

Susan leapt forward, far more nimble than she should have been. She pulled up her cane and held it in two hands. She landed on the Dalek casing and pushed her cane up against his throat.

 

“What have you done with my Grandfather?” Susan screamed at the top of her lungs.

“EXTERMINATE!” All the Daleks in the room pointed their guns towards her.

“Wait!” The man shouted over them all. “I haven’t done anything to your Grandfather, not recently.”
“Where is he?”

“I don’t know!”

 

Susan pulled herself off the casing, taking her cane away from his neck.

“Who are you?”

“I am Davros, creator of the Daleks.” He explained as he rubbed where he was being choked. Kalis and Erin looked at each other quizzically.

“You’re running a bit of patchwork operation here Davros. Daleks of all different designs. My Grandfather must have put you through the ringer.”

“Not without losing his entire race to us.” Susan’s eyes went wide, and her knuckles went white gripping her cane.

 

“Daleks were the enemy of the time war!” Erin’s words fell out her mouth. Susan went quiet.

“Oh you didn’t know. Your Grandfather never told you about the time war? How he sacrificed the Time Lords to kill us and didn’t even succeed?” Davros started to laugh, his shrill voice echoing through the hallways. “Take them to a cell, we might have need of hostages later.”

 

Erin and Kalis looked at Susan, she just looked at the floor silently.

 

*

 

“The Daleks defeated the Time Lords in the time war.” Kalis paced around the cell.

“They couldn’t have, if they had won they would have wiped out all other races in the universe.” Erin responded, the cell was more of a garbage disposal, there must have been enough Dalek parts laying around to build two full casings.

“But you said it yourself they were the enemy and we know the Time Lords lost.”

“Maybe they both lost. These Daleks are hardly an army now, maybe the Time Lords did enough damage, like a nuclear mutually assured destruction.”

“How do we get out of here? Can you see any other opening?”

“No. We’ll have to wait to see if they bring us back to Davros. They’ll probably try to make us open the Tardis.” Susan finally spoke. Erin and Kalis looked at her, she was sitting against the wall looking at the floor, completely silent.

 

“Susan?” Kalis knelt next to her. “Susan are you okay?”

“I’ll be okay Kalis. I’m just remembering something.”

“What are you remembering?” Erin asked softly

“Long ago now, before either of your parents were born, back when… after my Alex passed away.”

“Susan, you don’t have…” Erin tried to stop her.

“A Time Lord came to earth to speak to me, he was dressed up in clothing from the nineteen eighties. Can you believe that? For masters of time they never get it right.” Susan let out a short laugh. “He asked me to come back to Gallifrey, re-enroll to the academy. I asked why they would suddenly let a renegade back in. He said that they had changed the rules, I pushed and found out about the time war. I knew the Daleks were the enemy but he didn’t tell me, I could feel it.”

 

Susan flipped over her cane and used it to pull a piece of Dalek over to her. It was one of the baubles that would normally stick out the side, it was actually a metal sphere.

 

“What are we going to do Susan?” Kalis sat next to her.

“We’re going to build something to use as a distraction.”

“What could we use a as a distraction?” Erin asked.

 

“Remember back in temporal linearity two zero five when I went over the concept of Functional and dysfunctional dematerialization?”

“No I didn’t take that class.” Erin stated.

“I did, functional dematerialization is when you disembark from space-time and enter the vortex in a way that you can safely re-enter. Dysfunctional is when your time stream is severed and unravels out of space-time. You said that Dysfunctional dematerialization is only theory though.” Kalis answered

“Well I lied, Dysfunctional dematerialization is just hard to get right. Most time faring races have figured a way to do it in a roundabout way.”

“Weaponized time technology!” Erin gasped.

“Yes Erin. Normally though their methods just leave a wound in time perfectly capable of being restored. Only one people ever mastered both dematerializations.”

“The Time Lords!” Kalis pointed his finger like a gun.

 

“Perfect Demat will remove a being completely from time with no trace. Every Time Lord that goes through the Academy is taught how to make the demat gun.”
“What? Why? That’s crazy?”

“I don’t know why, but they all have it sealed behind a barrier in their mind only accessible under extreme duress or expert hypnotism. I however was taught how to make it by my grandfather.”

“You could build this gun with these parts?”

“Not a chance.  Wouldn’t do much good anyway, it could only be powered by Rassilon’s Time Key. However I think I can make something that will do the trick.”

 

*

 

“I did not get your name Time Lord.” Davros was sitting close to the Tardis.

“It’s Susan. My Companions are Kalis and Erin.”
“Companions, yes, that is what the Doctor always had with him. His greatest weakness.”

“Ian and Barbara?”

“I am not familiar with those names. Sarah and Harry, Romana, Tegan and Turlough, my list goes on and on.”

 

“Are those my Grandfather’s companions names?” Susan hobbled towards Davros non-threateningly.

“Many of them, they weren’t all there at once of course, the Doctor does lose them at an astounding rate.”

“How did you come to know My Grandfather? You weren’t there on Skaro when we defeated the Daleks with the Thals.”

“My Daleks were not defeated by the Thals!” Davros shook with anger.

 

“Oh did he not tell you, how your Daleks were beaten by simply turning off the power switch.” Susan smiled ducking down to make sure that he could see on her face.

“Do not taunt me woman.”

“Don’t try to dodge the question. How do you know the Doctor?”

“He was there when I created the Daleks, he tried to stop me from making them.”

“To stop the Daleks from ever existing. Why are you still around then?” Susan put her hand inside her coat.

“He couldn’t do it, he had the switch in his hand but his precious laws of time wouldn’t let him. He failed. Like he will. Forever.”

 

“But I won’t.” Susan grabbed the grenade out from her coat and slammed it down into where Davros connected to the casing. It dropped below where he sat, there was no way he could reach it.

“What have you…!”

“EXTERMINATE!”

“Wait Daleks! I have put a bomb into the casing of your creator here.”

“How did you get a bomb? How did you get it into this chamber?”

“I made it out of Dalek parts you left laying around. Now Daleks, despite all your fancy appendages you’ve gotten yourselves none of you would ever be able to get it out without hands.” She waved her fingers at the closest one.

 

“Daleks stop. What do you want?” Davros’ voice started to break

“First, allow me and my companions to leave in the Tardis.”

“Daleks do not fire on Susan or her companions.” Kalis and Erin power-walked over to the Tardis, Kalis fumbling with the lock for a moment before ripping open the doors and jumping inside.

“Secondly, are you sure you don’t know where my grandfather is?” Susan started to back away.

“No! No, I have no idea! Get his bomb out of me!”

 

“Not this time Davros.” Susan flipped around and darted towards the Tardis.

“Daleks kill her!”

Susan managed to dodge the laser blasts as she ran. Kalis was standing in the doorway yelling.

“But Susan you can’t leave the bomb!”

“Get in there Kalis!”

 

A bolt hit her in the shoulder. She tumbled and fell on top of Kalis.

“Shut the doors Erin!” Kalis screamed out “Susan are you okay!”

“Get… us… away.” Susan managed to get out between breaths.

“Already done, starting dematerialization.” Erin called out from the console.

 

There was a loud popping sound and the tardis shook violently. “Our dematerialization was interrupted. I can’t start it back up, I don’t know what to do!” Erin shouted again.

“Doesn’t… matter… now… out of the fire…” Susan pulled herself up with Kalis’ help.

“You were hit by a Dalek blast, how are you not dead?” Kalis asked.

“Takes more than that to kill a Time Lord.” Susan took a deep breath “Not exactly how I wanted it to happen but if I’m glad I waited otherwise I’d be two bodies down now.”

“Huh?”

“You might want to stand back.” Susan’s face started to glow.

 

Kalis stepped back now having to cover his eyes. Susan got brighter and brighter filling the whole tardis with white light. Kalis and Erin had to look away.

 

“The light is gone now.” This wasn’t Susan’s voice. Kalis looked back able to see again and saw a different woman standing in Susan’s clothes. Her hair was brown and much longer than Susan’s had been, she was significantly younger. “I’m sure I told you about regeneration.”

 

*Introducing Hayley Atwell as Susan ‘The Doctor’ Campbell*

 

“You told us, but you never did it. You said that Time Ladies could choose to regenerate, we thought you had run out.” Erin started to walk over.

“Because I let myself grow old? I just wanted to make the most of it, I only get thirteen goes.”

“Can’t you also choose what you look like?” Kalis asked unsure of himself and his surroundings.

“Mostly, if I hadn’t been shot then I would have been able to do some test runs.”

“Test runs?” Erin asked.

 

The new Susan twisted around to the face Tardis doors without answering the question. She grabbed the door handles.

 

“You can’t open that they’ll kill us!” Kalis shouted.

“Kalis, you remember the words but never took it in did you.” Susan pushed open the doors. Outside there was only jungle.

“Huh?” Kalis ran up to the doors. “But that blast would have only reached a couple of the Daleks.”

 

“Davros made the Daleks.” Erin started to type into a keypad on the tardis console. “He never existed, the Daleks never existed.”

“Correct Erin. Passing grade.”

“But, how? If the Daleks never existed how do we remember them? How do we even exist? The Daleks reshaped the state of our world!”

“Erin?”

“I didn’t take temporal linearity but I think it’s because we were functionally dematerialized from our time stream.”

“Correct again, why did you not take that class?”

 

“It clashed with Xenobiology and I was already taking temporal construction.”

“You did see the note about how they were complementary courses?”
“I thought I could just retake it, but then your movement degraded and you didn’t do it the next year.”

“Fair enough Erin. But yes Kalis, that has all been changed now. The Daleks are gone.”

“Our homes? Our Families? They’re gone, never happened.”

“No Kalis, not gone, the timestream that has them still exists it’s just not part of linear time. Once I find my grandfather he can make the Tardis go back there. If you really want to be a part of a time that has them in it.”

 

“My family is there! How could you even say that?” Kalis started to back away from Susan.

“Your family has a history of genetic defects caused by Dalekanium poisoning!” Susan went into a flurry, throwing her arms around. “The Daleks were never supposed to invade when they did and it took me over two hundred years to get humanity back on track!” Her eyes closed and she fell face first onto the wooden floor of the Tardis with a thunk, she began mumbling to herself in a sleepy haze.

 

“S-Susan!” Kalis shouted jumping forward to help her.

“She’s okay Kalis, she’ll need to recuperate after the regeneration.” Erin pressed a button on the console closing the tardis doors. “Help me pick her up and we’ll put her over in the sofa chair over there.”

 

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Passion of the Insurmountable Void

“The Kaksians only have two languages.” Douglas chirped in his usual excited tone. He beamed at me with that glee that sickened me but I couldn’t help but be infected with.

 

“How is that special at all? The Earth Empire has at least ten different languages and hundreds of dialects.” We sat on what appeared to be a park bench, surrounded by purple grass. I could see buildings and a mountain off in the distance. But other than the wind pushing around the alien leaves and branches there was no other movement around us.

 

“It’s they way they use it. See, thousands of years ago the Kaksian’s were split off from their homeland by a great quake. The ones that were left behind created a civilization of great poets and artists. Their language, Yuksi, reflects that by being extremely descriptive and beautiful on ears like theirs and ours.”

 

“And the other language?” I snapped around to face him pulling out a grass blade that I playing with. I was curious now.

 

“Kaksi is what they call it, it’s odd that so many races in the galaxy define themselves by language and location…”

“Don’t digress on me, I want to know about this language now.” I interrupted him, my attempts to break his habit of sidetracks have not been fruitful.

 

“Alright, alright. You can be so bossy some times Lily.” He teased, half-heartedly throwing a handful of purple grass at me. “The main Kaksi language is very contextual and rough, it’s a lot more flexible but the Kaksians that were split off did not have the luxury of poetry and art. They had to tame this harsh wasteland that you see around you.”

“It doesn’t seem that harsh.” I turned my head and body around. Nothing but a lush grassland, a smattering of trees and our VTOL excursion craft. “Plants are growing and everything.”

 

“None of these trees bear anything eatable. This grass isn’t nutritious especially because Kaksi are like bats where they mainly drink or lick fruit and flowers for sustenance. They couldn’t process this kind of foliage.”

“How did they survive?”

“They were smart enough to. They cut into trees and sucked out sap, they became nomads in a sense. Flocking to the few places that would sustain them. Moving between them, when they ran dry, giving them time to regenerate after they left.”

 

“Are they still like that?”

“No, of course not. A few hundred years ago they were reconnected with their homeland. They had sanctified it as sort of a heaven for them, I’m sure it was quite an interesting time for them when they came home. I’m sure many of them continued to believe it was heaven afterwards because it was filled with beautiful people who would have sounded like angels.”

“So they reconnected their civilizations. Why do they have two separate languages then?”

 

“There was almost immediate reintegration. No fighting of any sort, the Yuksi were happy to help their lost brothers and sisters and the Kaksi were beyond ready to come home. They learned each other’s languages and taught them both in schools within a generation they had already decided the best way to utilize them. Kaksi is used in the every day for almost everything where Yuksi is used in art, stories, poetry and theatre.”

 

“That sounds too good to be true.”

 

“Well that is how their history books tell it. I’ve scanned the entire planet several times and never seen anything to refute them, no mass graves or war sites. The word for weapon in Kaksi can be contextually used to mean regret, I don’t think Yuksi even had a word for it until they reconnected.”

“This was all very interesting but why did you tell me about this?”

 

“The Kaksian’s are all gone now. It was pretty quick when I first came here they had just figured out internal combustion. Once I learned their languages I told their scientists about the atom and the nature of matter and energy.”
“They destroyed themselves with nukes!” I jumped off the bench, my blood boiling.

 

“No! Lily no they didn’t! They didn’t destroy themselves.”
“You said they were gone!”

 

“I did, they are, I don’t know where. When I told them about the nature of the universe they instantly got it. Like the information was already there in their heads but they just needed to hear it to be unlocked. I think they took the knowledge and ran it, they build those skyscrapers in a month and spacecraft in a year, I expected to come back in three years and see them already long into intergalactic travel but they weren’t here.”

 

“Then what happened to them?”

 

“The last night I spent here the Kaksian that became the ambassador took me the opening show of a new play, the name would translate to something like ‘Affection in the Great Black’. I had gone to several of the shows before as it was the only real way to get accustomed to Yuksi. Normally entire plays were in Yuksi, narrated in Yuksi, dialogue in Yuksi. This one was different, the actors all spoke in Kaksi, only the narrator spoke in Yuksi. It was a romantic tragedy in a science fiction setting influenced by my being there.” Douglas coughed and wiped at his eyes.

 

“I cried for almost half of it, in no small part because the acting was so real. It wasn’t until I had left that I realized that most of the science they put in the story was from what I had told their scientists. One of their scientists wrote the play. I think the Kaksian’s may have gone way past intergalactic travel, I think they figured out the secrets of the universe and left it behind.”

“Then why are we here?”

“Because I’m the only one left in the universe that knows Kakisi and Yuksi, so who better to find those secrets if they wrote them down.”

 

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Taidan for fear

I think my upstairs neighbor is dead.

There is a pungent smell seeping through the decayed seal between our compartments. It could have just been an animal stuck between my ceiling and her floor. Although the only things I could imagine getting in there would be a pigeon or seagull but I’ve never seen a bird get this high. A rat would have had to climb from the bottom and they probably wouldn’t get past the environmental filters on the first floor.

I’ve been out of town the last few weeks so I couldn’t draw any further conclusions.

The ceiling didn’t look any different, no stains or liquids. My bare walls and floor were just as normal. I entered my kitchen, nothing out of the ordinary. My refrigerator greeted me and told me that it was empty except for a few condiments that weren’t due to expire for a few more months.

I told it to order a restock and it complied.

We didn’t really talk, me and my upstairs neighbor. I’ve only met her once or twice in real life. Once, when she moved in because she wanted to apologise for the noise the moving bots made when they brought in her stuff. The second time and maybe third time was in the elevator when I had come back from somewhere.

I replayed those memories from my datastore.

She was a beautiful woman, in that traditional kind of beautiful where her smile was infectious even when she was hiding it behind half glances and her dark hair. I couldn’t find a memory where she told me her name. She had a tattoo on her shoulder, it was a character from the Taidan language.

I didn’t know that we managed to translate the dead scripts we had found on their homeworld.

My onboard translator gave me the meaning without me even asking. It meant fear, but in like a substantial noun kind of way instead of just a concept. I turned to leave the kitchen and my refrigerator advised that my groceries would be delivered shortly. I told it to pick them up from the mailslot as always.

I left my apartment and went up a flight of stairs.

There wasn’t any police tape in the corridor or over her door physically or in the Augmented Reality space. I was kind of hoping there would be, because if someone had been found dead and it wasn’t a murder then I would have seen it on the newscast no matter where I was.

I knocked on her door, there was no answer.

My AR flicked on as I requested and I sent a virtual knock there was no response. I asked the central computer if this room was occupied but I wasn’t allowed to query other compartments information. I did a quick check on Facebook to see if I could find her page, she didn’t appear to have one or it was private, I wouldn’t blame her.

I put my hand on the access panel, it beeped and blinked red denying my access. The gears in my arm spun up quickly and I crushed the panel.

Once the door was open the smell spilled out into the corridor. In my AR I could see that this floor was now on security alert. The police would be here shortly even if I hadn’t already alerted them by using my arm like that in the building. I took a step inside and the lights flicked on. She was there on the ground surrounded by blood soaked carpet. Her apartment filled with modern furniture that was sprayed with blood.

I made sure not to disturb the crime scene as I knelt next to her.

She was definitely dead, her skin a pale purple and her head and arms were contorted. Must have been dead for a while as her body had started to swell and parts of her were turning green. With the way she had landed, face down, I could see the back of her head under her hairline. There was no memory core interface, some people had it further down their back but her dress was ripped open and there was no sign of it.

I don’t think she’s ever had a memory implant, she wouldn’t have been uploading her conscious to the cloud.

Her tattoo was gone, it was cut from her body, I couldn’t see it around the room but I wasn’t making any more steps to limit my disturbance. The smell had long since been filtered out by my internal bio-hazard detection. I used my AR to bring up a list of compounds my nose detected, all the signs of death but also faint traces of Cocaine and Heroin. Not illegal but definitely curious, a fleeting high when compared to the kind of experiences augmentations can give.

She wouldn’t be able to be regenerated without a memory backup, she only had one life.

I wonder why someone would want to take it away.


Leesandra is probably going to sit down for a little while guys. I think I may have gone into it half-cocked again but I really don’t want to reboot her again. So we’ll leave her where she is until we can piece together a plan.

In the mean time we’ll be working on Whiskey and Maeve (I hope).
And just exercising my writing muscle when ever I can with what ever I can. This means that there are going to be a lot of short stories on here,  a lot of them won’t make complete sense and may or may not be part of something bigger. I hope you enjoy this.

In other news its my birthday so Happy Birthday to me.

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Writing Prompt Response

I’ve been trying to stretch my writing muscle. I don’t want to get side tracked with another story so I’ve been looking through some writing prompts on reddit and see which ones give me some inspiration.
So here is the thread: The oldest creature in the universe meets the youngest one.
From: Dioksys
Clearly there is also some inspiration from H.P Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu which I recommend (Not the movie, nor the game just the short story). Also Lovecraft’s other work, just as highly recommended.


 

Jeremiah kicked and screamed, in vain of course, his mouth taped, his legs and arms bound together. All he could manage was to smash himself against the sand and mossy rocks that he lay against. The sound of the waves drowning out his curses and shouts.

 

His wife sat across from him, Mary’s crystal blue eyes twinkling in a flood of tears. Her face covered in snot and a mess of her own hair. She let out muffled moans as a hand gently caressed her extremely pregnant belly.

 

Jeremiah looked around him, hoping to see help coming from the beach in the form of Caleb’s truck. He saw the truck and saw Caleb but he wasn’t salvation they had already got to him. Caleb stood among the others the sickly green hood not fully covering his face unlike the rest of the converted.

 

Daniel removed his hand from Mary’s stomach and used it to flick his hood off. He had a shaven head now, just like the paintings Jeremiah had drawn in his drug fueled hallucinations.

 

Daniel clumsily fumbled inside his robes and slid out the sacrificial dagger. The blade made of bone and handle of obsidian.

 

“It should have been you Jeremiah.” Daniel pointed the knife at him accusingly “But your mother was blind to the teachings. Begin the celebration!”

 

The crowd surrounding them became a buzz of humming and indecipherable words. Jeremiah shook wildly but did not break free.

 

“Great One, I am but you humble servant.” Daniel closed his eyes looking to the sky speaking as loud as he could without shouting. “I do not ask for your boon or any worldly possession, we have gathered the pieces to your prison and may now set you free.” He held the dagger in both hands outstretched. “Hear me Great One come to the sound of my voice the door will be unlocked.”

 

Daniel stabbed the knife down into Mary’s abdomen. She let out a scream the blew off the tape on her mouth. Jeremiah froze as Mary’s voice faded and her eyes closed.

 

The knife flicked downwards and blood spilled out onto Mary’s shirt and coat.

 

Lightning cracked only a few metres off the coast. The clouds started to swirl, only just visible in the light from the town and flashes of white. Hot summer rain fell like a sheet.

 

Jeremiah’s vision blurred with a mix of rain and tears that he couldn’t wipe away. He continued to struggle, rolling onto his back. He closed his eyes to stop the rain from pounding them. The chanting and humming continued around him, it was loud and fierce now.

 

He opened his eyes for a moment to see the sky fill with light again. The clouds filled the night but there seemed to be gaps, in the moment he had his eyes open Jeremiah could the night sky slithering around the clouds like a serpent.

 

There was a crash, the sound of a dam bursting all at once and water picked Jeremiah off the beach and slammed him into metal then deposited him on concrete.

 

The rain had stopped just as it had come on. Jeremiah opened his eyes but was not sure if he could see. There was only blackness the lighthouse was dark and all streetlamps were out. The water drained from one of his ears, he could no longer hear the chanting or the waves.

 

A bolt of lightning hit the wharf illuminating the beach and sea. What Jeremiah saw his mind could not grasp immediately, something huge, pulsing, moving, breathing.

 

His eyes started to adjust to the darkness. The thing was large enough to reach the sky, or was it reaching down from the sky. It was a dark inky blue and there were small dots in it that twinkled like stars.

 

Jeremiah heard a scream, the crying of a baby, his daughter.

 

Another boom of thunder and then the hulking mass spoke with voice that rivaled it.

“Well, hello little one.”

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Leesandra 19

The black patch of space that Leesandra couldn’t make out started to contort, although it seemed more like the ship she was on was actually what was moving. Part of it suddenly lit up and she could finally make out some of it. It was a ship, a gigantic ship, almost as big as Alpha-Hydra’s dock. It was a continental class ship.

 

The ship itself didn’t seem very unique, it was made from the same mesh of High tensile carbon fiber and Steel polyalloy that Alpha-Hydra was. The greys and blacks partially hidden from view by stripes of green paint.  Leesandra shook off the look of awe on her face and tried to remember where the name plate of continental class ships was supposed to be printed.

On the starboard side of the bow. It wasn’t there, at least it wasn’t if she had remembered which side starboard was.

 

“How do you guys have a continental ship? And why would you have a base in an asteroid if you have one?” Leesandra asked.

“We only finished building it last year it was pretty hard to do it without a dock, the Asteroid was a better staging ground for recruitment.” Merah answered.

“What’s it’s name?” Leesandra let her curiosity run away with her.

 

“Enterprise.” Bronwyn said without a flicker of hesitation.

 

No-one else spoke, the bridge was silent apart from the dull hum of the engine and a few muffled beeps.

 

“Are you serious?” Leesandra blinked a few times. “I mean, okay… but really?”

“Yes.” Bronwyn continued. “It is supposed to reflect that spirit of exploration, the goals of humanity that we’re supposed to have.”

“To boldly go where no-one has gone before?”

“Yes, obviously.”

 

Leesandra didn’t get up from her seat but shifted her weight around. She couldn’t shrug off the idea that this was some kind of elaborate hallucination before she died of asphyxiation, and the ridiculousness made that seem even more plausible.

 

“Okay, you’ll really have a tough time explaining why you can’t just pack up and leave now.”

“This ship is the first step in our attempts to get out of this solar system.” Merah swiveled around in her chair to face Leesandra “Inside the Oort cloud is a series of anti-gravity well probes, there is no way to for us to make a break for it without being disabled almost immediately. Those same probes will alert the inter-planetary fleet, which will destroy us on site.”

“The fleet is only like 5 capital ships you could easily outrun them on normal drive.”

“It’s actually like 3 continental ships, and they won’t have the same gravity well handicap.”

 

“Oh…” Leesandra licked her lips as she thought for a moment. “What are the other steps to getting out of the solar system?”

“Bring down the inter-station government, eliminate the probes, help Kybers and humans alike to finally reach the stars.” Bronwyn tapped on her fingers to count each step.

 

“I feel like that second step is a bit more like a staircase.”

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Leesandra 18

Merah and Bronwyn pulled Leesandra to her feet once her limbs had repaired. She followed them through the ship to the bridge. It was up a flight of stairs and not even a minutes walk away from the cargo bay.

“So what did you mean by ‘it isn’t true’?” Leesandra asked as Bronwyn sat down in the seat in the middle of the room. There were two other seats on the bridge, one on either side. A man sat in the one on the right, his hair was cut short and was a gingery brown, he didn’t turn around and seemed to be busy working.

“Kyber-kind isn’t at the level of development that you think it is.” Merah answered as she sat in the left chair.

“What do you mean?”

 

“Currently you would think that we’re reliant on the sun for energy. That we are reliant on mined fuels to get around. That artificial gravity wells are only just being tested and would be far to energy hungry to be useful.” Bronwyn swivelled in her chair.

“How is that not the case?”

“Shortly after leaving Earth kyber created stable and sustained artificial fusion.” Bronwyn smiled.

“But…”

 

“Nick, set course for Yankee plus four X-Ray minus five, stay on this Zulu. Maximum speed please but give us leeway of about six hundred kilometers.” Bronwyn called out to the man at the righthand station.

 

“Is maximum speed really necessary ma’am?” He turned in his chair and didn’t seem very impressed by what was currently happening.

“Yes absolutely, I’m trying to show off here. Take a seat Leese.” Bronwyn pointed her hand to the back of the room. The wall seemed to melt away and fold itself into a seat. Leesandra wasn’t impressed.

 

“The course is set ma’am. All hands prepare for maximum speed.”

“Engage the engine Nick.”

 

Leesandra looked out the main window, the stars sitting motionless in the void. Suddenly the view screen flashed white and the stars were gone. In their place was a black patch that she couldn’t make out.

 

“Jump complete.” Nick seemed to grumble.

“See…” Bronwyn said as though she was expecting Leesandra to have a revelation.

“See what?” Leesandra asked confused.

 

“We just traveled approximately 5 AU, is what she is trying to get at.” Nick spoke up but didn’t turn around to face her.

“What?”

“Yes, two thousand five hundred light seconds.” Merah answered her.

“In under a second? It isn’t possible.”

 

“It’s not possible to go that fast, correct. However that’s not what we did.” Merah continued. “Using the gravity well tech we can manipulate space around us, so technically we didn’t really move at all.”

 

“Okay, so this makes even less sense. How could you possibly have a hard time leaving?”

“Kyber have had this technology for years now. And the first thing the governing kybers did was find a way to stop it from working.”

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Leesandra 17

Harold’s office was right next to the external bulkheads of one of the ending rotational rings. There was some redundant maintenance space between his office wall and the actual external panels, so the floor to ceiling windows behind his desk didn’t display outside. Instead a simulation of late twentieth-century New York city. Not that he would have wanted to see outside, the very idea that he was spinning made him a little queasy sometimes.

 

His desk was made from a synthetic carved wood of a dark brown colour, the colour could be changed but Harold left it the default look. He sat down at the desk, the window behind him and cast a slow sweeping gaze over his office. The walls were clinically white and partially covered by book shelves, art pieces and certificates of achievements.

 

It was all fake. The book shelves didn’t have any books in them, just coloured blocks stacked up to look like them. The paintings were digital reproductions of old Earth landscapes. He never went to College and none of the achievement’s he was actually proud of would have produced a certificate. It was all just decoration, to make one feel like they were back on Earth.

 

“Fucking fighting to get back in the womb.” He muttered under his breath. Harold raised his hands over his desk initializing his HUD to use it as a textile surface. White grid lines appeared separating segments of the desk into simulated displays. Only he saw this, it was generated by his Kyber systems and just overlaying his own perception. He tapped on the desk where the lines formed a keyboard, each segment lighting up as he did so.

 

“Call coming in from Gerald Cooper, do you wish to accept.” His Kyber systems alerted him in the same robotic tone that CAL had chosen. Above the keyboard segment of his desk another segment flashed white notifying him of the same call. If he left the call ringing that segment would eventually expand to be the length of the keyboard section but not covering it. He pressed on the flashing piece begrudgingly.

 

“Harold. I’ve had the board of spaceport operations in an out of my office for the last five hours. What can you tell me?” Gerald’s personal avatar appeared as an image on the desk. It was a small cartoon ghost with a huge smile.

“CAL isn’t a toaster Gerald, you can’t just tip them upside down to get the crumbs.”

“You designed her Harold.”

“No Gerald, me and fifteen other people designed the foundation of the programming. CAL has evolved and will continue to evolve. This is going to take longer than a day to find out what happened. And even longer to fix it.”

“What do you need?”

“Well if you could get me back at least five of the fifteen…”

“You know that’s not going to happen.”

“Then give me time! Alright?”

“Fine, but we want constant updates.”

 

The call cut out and Gerald’s avatar faded out, returning to the series of grid lines.

“Do you think he bought it?” Harold was mildly surprised for a moment wondering why his internal systems would ask that, then he realized.

“Of course, why would he not believe me? I’ve given no reason for him to suspect me and there are fourteen other people who could have done this.”

“Still, seems like an unnecessary risk. Sticking around.”
“We’ll if you hadn’t got that girl ejected we wouldn’t have this problem.”

“She’s important.”

“How is a HUD-phobic girl important CAL? And where did she even go?”

“All life is important. Our friends picked her up.”

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Leesandra 16

“Should my legs tingle like this?” Leesandra asked looking up at Merah and the new woman.

“You were out there a while, you’re probably healing. Or they’re about to…”

“Fall off?” Leesandra cut her off.

 

“I already made the joke sorry.” said Merah apologetically

“Damn it.” She shook her fist at Merah jokingly. “I guess funs over then. I’m Bronwyn by the way, who are you?”

“My name is Leesandra, just a dock worker.” Leesandra managed to pull her legs up to her chest. She rubbed them to try and revitalize them more quickly but it didn’t seem to work. The feeling was uncomfortable, she imagined that this was what ‘pins and needles’ was supposed to feel like. There was probably a lot more pain involved than she was actually experiencing, the Kyber in her would have automatically shut out anything considered unbearable or unnecessary.

 

“She knows she has doctorate genes but without going into her….” Merah trailed off.

“Yeah without HUD use that may be a bit interesting, we probably know someone who can help though.”

“Why would you want me to join La Mesclado? Especially considering that basically makes me disabled.” Leesandra wondered out loud.

 

“Disabled? Why would you think that? You’re still kyber? Still far more capable than even the most able bodied human.” Bronwyn questioned, wild at the idea.

“How could I be useful for the solar system’s most wanted criminal organisation?”

“We’re actually the only criminal organisation in the solar system.” Interjected Merah.

“Exactly! Surely it would be better to just put me back outside.”

“Wow, how could you be so brainwashed if you don’t open your HUD?” Bronwyn shook her head.

 

“Huh? Brainwashed?”

“La Mesclado has never killed anyone, kyber or human.” Stated Merah as a matter of fact.

“But the Mars Colony?”

“None of the people were harmed. We evacuated every single living thing.”
“Before or after you put a crater where it was?”

 

Bronwyn shifted her weight onto her other leg.

“Yeah, probably not the best publicity stunt we’ve ever come up with.”

“But it did what we wanted, no one’s tried to settle there again.” Merah stood straight as she defended what seemed to be her own pride.

“But why?” Leesandra appeared to be begging, but that may have been due to her inability to get up.

 

“Kyber kind has stagnated.”

“What?”

“It’s become dull, repetitive. We have the knowledge and resources to spread into the cosmos yet we float around this pathetic yellow star for no good reason.”

“It’s our home?”

“No, Earth is our home and we gave it up. There’s no point in trying to go backwards. La Mesclado is trying to move us on.”

 

“Why not just go? You have cloaking and anti-gravity, the rest of kyber-kind couldn’t stop you.”

“I’m afraid that isn’t actually true.”

 

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