I was standing on the bridge of the new ship that the library had built for us as per Dallas’ specs.
It was a stupid design. A saucer mounted on a long neck to a large body. Two long shafts protruded diagonally out from the back sporting these things he called “nacelles”. They didn’t really do anything. Dallas called it the “Enterprise G”.
“I think mounting the bridge to the top of the saucer is a bad design,,” The librarian said, ” It is very vulnerable in a battle”
” This is way too big for just the three of us. ” I chimed in.
” C’mon guys! It’s been one of my fantasies, like forever, to sit on the Captains Chair of the USS Enterprise” Dallas whined.
“Why IS that captains chair so big? Is there a toilet built in?” I asked bending over and banging on the side. He just sighed and shook his head.
I straightened up”You did remember to add toilets, didn’t you?
“You guys suck!”
It was then that I realized the Librarian was wearing clothing, and she was standard human size. She was wearing a one piece jump suit made of some kind of shiny stretchable fabric.
” You are a different one. ” I said
“Yes.” she agreed
” How many of you are there?” Dallas asked.
” At this moment there are nine replications performing various tasks in the Library.”
” Which one are you?”
“I am replication seven.”
“You gotta be shittin’ me!” Dallas crowed. ” Seven of Nine!?”
“I can assure you that I am incapable of shitting you or anything else for that matter, and I fail to see the relevance of my place in the numerical order of things.”
“You have access to the Spengler database?”
“See if you can find information on an old TV show called ‘Star Trek Voyager’.”
She stared straight ahead for a moment, blinked and said “Now I understand”
Then she grew hair.
It was the weirdest thing I had witnessed so far that day. Blond hair just began flowing out of her head and a metallic something or other appeared over her left eye.
“Ummmmm…What’s going on?” I asked
” Seven of nine is a fictional character in the show Dallas mentioned.” She said ” Part machine and part human. Very bad design”
” But very hot to look at!” Dallas chimed in.
” You seem to be what was commonly known as a Trekkie.” Seven said
” No Dammit! We were called “Trekkers”, big difference”
Movin’ on out
“So how does this work?” I asked ” this Whip it thing”
“This ship is tethered to this gate” Sev said (I refuse to call her Seven) “It will send us to the location of the malfunctioning gate, but our time there is limited before the tether brings us back”
“How limited” Dallas asked as he fondly caressed the non functional controls on the captains chair.
“We will have approximately four of your hours to assess the situation.”
The bridge door suddenly opened and a smaller version of “Ted the Head” floated into the room and over to Sev.
“MOZZAMOZZAMOZZAMOZZA” It said
“The ships engineer is reporting that we are ready to leave” Sev said.
“Oh isn’t that cute!” Dallas remarked, “Looks like a female version of Ted!” He looked at the small floating head shaped object for a moment, stroking his goatee. “Ive got it!” he said ” I will call you “Heady lamarr”
I looked at Sev, she looked at me and gave me a very human looking shrug.
“MOZZAMOZZAMOZZAMOZZA” Heady said, then turned around and was absorbed into the back wall. The ship seemed to come to life as various systems powered up.
“There is a message coming in from the Spengler” Sev said. Captain Suzuki’s voice came on over the speaker. “Well gentleman, wishing you a successful journey and hope to see you back here in a few weeks”
“Thanks Captain” Dallas said “Keep some beer on ice for us.”
“Stay away from that plastic trollop” Alice said ” Over and OUT!”
Dallas looked at me with raised eyebrow. Sev said “is the AI on your ship damaged?
“I’m really beginning to think so”
“Ok” Dallas said, cracking his knuckles, “Lets get this show on the road.” He looked around him at all the blinking lights for a second. “So. How do we do that?”
” Heady is now the ship.” Sev said. “Just tell her what you want to do”
“Ok Heady, we want to clear the library and head to the broken gate.”
The ship started to move away from the library. “She’s supposed to let me say “make it so’ “Dallas grumbled.
It took about 20 minutes to get us clear of the Library. We drifted slowly in space then suddenly the library rapidly disappeared behind us. Within a few minutes the gate began to appear and I braced myself instinctively for impact. We flew right into the gate and everything outside of the ship went black. all the stars blinked out of existence.
” Do not be alarmed” Sev said “what you are experiencing is normal”
“Where are the stars?” Dallas asked.
“We are between universes” she said
“What do you mean between universes?” I asked
She brought up her hand and a rectangle of what looked like a white sheet of paper appeared. ” This will be a bit of a simplistic explanation.” she said “This is how you perceive your universe. straight and coherent, but this is what the universes are really like.” she crumpled up the white rectangle into a ball. Now add all the universes which exist in the same space time subset and you get an infinite number of connections between them.” the ball kept getting bigger as new crumpled balls appeared rotating around and through each other. The gates calculate a path through all of these overlapping points of the universes, and continues to calculate using quantum fluctuations a constantly changing path from one gate to another and therefore, with the ability to control time, makes all the jumps seem instantaneous.” The floating balls dissipated.
“But we are not instantaneous.” Dallas said.
“We are presently ‘between’ connections. Outside of space time. Because of the loss of connection between the gates, we are being sent through it’s last known good connection. These jumps have drifted apart from each other so it takes longer to get there. A calculation of seven to nine cycles is reasonable and doesn’t call for any time corrections.”
As if on cue, stars reappeared. Not the same ones we had just left but new ones, and a giant planet taking up half the sky.
” Well that is indeed fortunate” Sev said. “A minute earlier and we might have ended up inside that planet.”
She glanced sideways at the abject look of horror in both our faces, Then she smiled. “I am practising my practical jokes. I’m told it will make me seem more human.”