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Story [Star Trek/Doctor Who] The Engineer and the Time Lady

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by fardell24, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    The Engineer and the Time Lady
    1. Alpha

    Unknown Planet
    The small starship was in trouble. It had defeated the other ship, but it was out of control, entering the atmosphere of an M-Class planet at a rather steep angle. The crash landing was going to be terrible.


    Some time later.

    The ship was still, especially in the main computer room. The red-alert was still flashing there. “Warning! Estimated time to total system failure: 1 day 18 hours.” An alert tone sounded. Twice.

    Initiating Starship Preservation Protocol.”

    Then there was a hum. “Activating Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha.

    The hologram of a female engineer appeared. “Please state the nature of the Engineering Emergency.”


    Approximately 10 standard years ago; USS Baffin NCC 90401 crash-landed on an unknown M-Class planet. The Starship Preservation Protocol has been initiated,” the computer reported.

    “Understood,” the engineering hologram stated. A screen activated on the side of the computer core.

    Emergency fuel cells for the computer core are very low. Reinitialise the Warp Core.

    That was only the first of a long list of tasks that needed to be performed.

    “Computer, run a level 5 diagnostic on the holoprojectors between the Computer Core and Engineering.”

    Affirmative,” the computer said.

    A minute later, the diagnostic was complete. “... Holoprojectors are functional.”

    The hologram nodded and then moved to leave the computer core.


    She stopped outside of Engineering. “Computer, run a level 5 diagnostic on the holoprojectors in Engineering.”

    The holoprojectors were functional, so she entered.

    The emergency lighting was on, giving the room a sombre appearance. The hologram briefly wondered why Starfleet would program their holograms with such recognition subroutines. She shook her head and went to the powerless core.

    She checked the fuel (the antimatter and deuterium) levels. Both fuels would last for a very long time. She was ready to restart the core. “Computer; activate Emergency Engineering Hologram Beta.”
    The Core re-start required two officers.

    “Affirmative.”

    There was another hum. “Please state the nature of the Engineering Emergency.”

    Emergency Hologram Beta was based on a male engineer. “The Starship Preservation Protocol has been initiated,” Alpha said.

    “Confirmed,” Beta said. He went to the Dilithium Chamber and opened it. “We need to check the crystals,” he said.

    Alpha nodded and they went to work. She started by scanning the crystals in the chamber...


    They quickly found that those had cracked in the crash, so they had to replace them with some of the spares. Fortunately there was many of those left, and hardly any of them had cracked. “75% spare crystals are still available.”


    “Crystal is aligned,” Alpha reported.

    “Confirmed,” Beta said. “Closing chamber.”

    The chamber closed. “Checking matter injectors.”

    “Checking antimatter injectors.”

    “Matter injectors ready.”

    “Antimatter injectors ready.”

    “We're ready,” Alpha stated.

    “Initiating cold-restart sequence.”

    The deuterium and anti-deuterium began to flow from the storage pods to the reaction chamber and the core powered up. “Reaction is stable,” Beta stated. “Holding at 0.05% reaction rate,” Beta said.

    “Good,” Alpha said. 'So far, so good,' she thought. “Monitor the core, while I check the bridge systems.” That was next on the Starship Preservation Protocol check list.


    A minute later, Alpha entered the bridge, and saw that only the operations console was operating. None of the lighting was on. “Computer, emergency lights.” The lights came on. She then saw a skeleton sitting in the Command Chair. She suspected that it was Commander Emerson, who was listed as Commander of the Baffin. 'I need to check the systems first,” she thought. “Computer run level five diagnostic on bridge systems.”

    “Affirmative. Results in five minutes.”

    “Understood,” Alpha said. Even so, she began to scan the bridge with her tricorder.
    “Diagnostic complete. Command systems are functional. Operations and Engineering consoles are functional. Helm is offline.”

    “Understood,” Alpha said. The diagnostic matched the tricorder scan. She scanned the helm again. It had blown out during the crash. It was going to be a long repair.


    Twelve hours later, the helm was repaired. 'Of course, there's nowhere to go,' Alpha thought. The ship was still planetbound. There was still much to do. “Computer, status of Bridge.”

    “Bridge systems are 100% functional. Determine the status of crew.”

    “Computer: run diagnostic on internal sensors.”

    Affirmative...


    “Diagnostic complete. Internal sensors are offline in the Shuttle Bay, bathysphere bays, the holodecks, crew quarters and torpedo bays,” the computer reported.

    “Noted,” Alpha said. “Scan other areas for crew lifesigns.”

    “Affirmative. No crew lifesigns detected.”


    Alpha approached the Shuttle Bay along the starboard corridor. She had scanned the other areas where the internal sensors were offline with a tricorder. No lifesigns had been detected. Not surprising given the length of time since the crash.
    The Shuttle Bay door opened, and the tone Alpha had selected to indicate holoprojector functionality sounded. She saw that the crash had sent the shuttles out of their parked positions. She was going to have to repair them too. She walked around the bay, scanning with the tricorder. The crew wasn't there. She had noted, however, that one of the escape pods was missing, so maybe some of them were still alive (no matter how unlikely that was).


    Alpha returned to the Bridge and uploaded the tricorder data to the command console. “Internal scan complete,” the computer reported. “Crew death still unconfirmed. Take Remains to sickbay.”


    “Computer, Activate Emergency Medical Hologram.”

    The Mark 9 EMH, resembling a young female Vulcan appeared. “Please state the nature of the medical emergency.”

    “Not an emergency,” Alpha said. “The Starship Preservation Protocol has been activated.”

    “Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha?” the EMH asked.

    “Yes,” Alpha answered.

    “Of course.”

    “I have brought remains from the Bridge to sickbay.”

    “I shall scan them,” the EMH said.


    “Confirmed,” the EMH stated. “The remains are of Commander Theodore James Emerson.”

    Alpha took the PADD from the EMH. “But then, that wasn't in doubt.”

    “You know what to do,” the EMH said.

    “I just wanted to repair the ship,” Alpha groused as she left the sickbay through the starboard door, towards the Bridge.

    The EMH sighed. “Computer, deactivate EMH.”


    Alpha entered the Bridge and placed the PADD on the command console. “Deceased status of Commander Theodore James Emerson confirmed.”

    “Confirmed,” Alpha said. She input a sequence of numbers on the command console. “Code Sequence confirmed. Command of Baffin NCC 90401 is transferred to Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha.”

    Alpha was conflicted. She either had no time, or all the time in the world. She decided to indulge herself and sat in the command chair. She had repaired the viewscreen earlier, but she wasn't sure that the external sensors were working. All she could see through the window was the night sky. “Forward view,” she commanded.

    “Affirmative,” the computer responded. The screen then showed a forest at night time.

    “A forest,” she considered. But exploration would have to wait. The ship still needed repairs.




    Alpha looked in the Jeffries Tube. She found the problem: There was corrosion where water had leaked in through micro-fractures in the hull. She scanned the corroded area with the tricorder. “Good thing there are spares,” she murmured. And that she had brought the spares with her.

    Half an hour later, the corroded parts had been replaced, but there were still other sensors offline...




    “External sensors online,” the computer reported.

    “Good,” Alpha said. She closed the panel and headed back to the Bridge.


    Alpha entered the Bridge, and initiated a full scan. “Scan will take 10 minutes,” the computer reported. Alpha sat in the command chair.
    “Cool.”

    Scan complete.

    “Report,” Alpha commanded.

    Planet M-13425 is far beyond Federation Space,” the computer reported.

    'Great!' Alpha thought, as the viewscreen filled with data. However, two lines caught her attention. She read them again.

    DIVERGENT QUANTUM SIGNATURE DETECTED!
    Priority, return ship to home universe!

    'Terrific!' Alpha thought. She knew one thing, a long journey was ahead of her. But first, she was going to have to go through the crew's logs.
     
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  2. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Nice beginning, a little like a horror fic but then we see how efficient Alpha is at her job. I like the idea of an emergency engineering protocol; it's been some time since I meandered in Star Trek, so maybe it's canon now?=D=
     
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  3. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Well written piece, fardell24. There was a sterile quality about, given no human and mostly techo-talk, but I still want to know more. I'm interested in Alpha and want to know if her personality will grow. And when will the Doctor enter the picture? And, Where are the remaining crew after 10 years? I look forward to the next update.
     
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  4. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    2. Nina

    Regeneration. You never knew what you were going to get. But that was jumping ahead...


    Oneenejpenlumbra ducked as the Dalek trained it's gunstick on her. “EXTERMINATE!”


    Too late. The Dalek's beam hit her...

    She was in her second incarnation when the Time War had gone 'hot', with the Daleks attacking Gallifrey itself, having found a way to neutralise the Transduction Barriers. Therefore she thought she knew what regeneration was like. She was wrong

    The Beam hit her, and she fell. Her memory went into overdrive as the regeneration started. She nearly lost conciousness.

    “ALERT! REGENERATION IN PROGRESS!” the Dalek was still there.

    She stood up. “I'll take you with my current incarnation!” she said.

    “EMERGENCY RETREAT!” the Dalek moved backwards as it attempted to retreat.

    “No!” the Time Lady said as she redirected the regeneration energy towards the Dalek.

    “UNABLE TO RET...” the Dalek was interrupted as the regeneration energy overcame the Battle Unit's defences, blowing it up, along with the creature inside.

    She then retreated herself, back towards her TARDIS, which she had landed close by...


    She entered the ship and collapsed. “No!” She crawled to the console, stood up and set the ship in motion, back to Gallifrey, and collapsed again as the regeneration continued.
    One never knew what they were going to get.


    Something was wrong. She crawled away from the console room. “Must... get... to... Zero... Room!”

    She would later reflect that she got to the Zero Room with hardly any time left, certain that the TARDIS had ensured that the route was as straight and short as possible.


    One never knew what they were going to get.


    She awoke and looked around the Zero Room. She was relaxed in the simplistic environment. 'But I need to check if I'm back on Gallifrey,' she thought. However, as soon as she exited the room it started. She could hear that Dalek in her mind.

    EXTERMINATE

    It caused her to look around the corridor. Her hearts were racing even as the TARDIS tried to calm her. “Stop!” she said, her hands at her temples. She started running through the corridors, back to the console room. However, she only got so far, before she turned back to the Zero Room in a panic.

    She closed the doors and breathed heavily. Something was definitely wrong. She reopened the doors, and felt the TARDIS' presence in her mind. The ship was pensive, clearly worried about her pilot. “OK, I'm going to run to the console room.”


    She ran though the corridors, trying not to think, but anxiety was rising. However the TARDIS was making it easy. The corridors weren't a maze, but rather more-or less a straight line, between the Zero Room and the Console room. She entered the console room in a panic. She breathed deeply and looked at the instruments. She could see that the TARDIS had landed. She was back on Gallifrey.


    There was a TARDIS, another Time Lord had arrived, bringing news of the ongoing defeat. But he or she hadn't yet come out.

    “Not again!” There had already been many instances of Time Lords returning to Gallifrey with their minds affected by trauma related to fighting the Daleks. With their more complex brains, psychological issues were more complex than in other species.

    “Do we know who's TARDIS this is?” another of the Time Lords asked.

    “Checking,” a third Time Lord said. There was a beep. “Oneenejpenlumbra. She was defending an outpost in Sector 27.”

    “I see,” the first Time Lord said. He was interrupted as the TARDIS door opened and Oneenejpenlumbra stumbled out.

    “Home!” she said, in a tired sounding tone. But suddenly she shuddered and placed her hands on her temples as if trying to ward something off.

    The three Time Lords could see that something was wrong with her. “Are you OK?” the first Time Lord asked.

    “No! I've just regenerated, of course I'm not alright!”

    “There's something more...”

    “Can you get me to a Zero Room?” Oneenejpenlumbra asked, before she fell into one of the Time Lord's hands.

    “You need more than a Zero Room.”


    Oneenejpenlumbra awoke. It was the second day after she had returned to Gallifrey. She looked around, she could see that she was in a Zero Environment. “Lay out the worst,” she said to the person next to the bed.

    “The Regeneration went wrong. It intensified the trauma of your previous incarnation's final moments, rather than suppressed it,” the medical technician said.

    “Is there anything you can do?” she asked. She shuddered as the memory stirred in her concious thoughts.

    “It has become firmly embedded into your memory,” the technician explained.

    “So, I need therapy, is that it?” Oneenejpenlumbra asked, with some sarcasm.

    “Wit,” the technician commented, quietly “As good as a coping mechanism as any other.” He raised his voice, and answered “Yes.”

    “Great!”

    “Sarcasm is a good way to deal, but you do need help.”

    Oneenejpenlumbra nodded.


    Some time later
    The Time War waged on. More Time Lords were incapacitated psychologically. Oneenejpenlumbra was merely one of the first.


    The news wasn't good. Oneenejpenlumbra wanted to go back out and help, but even the thought of confronting a Dalek was enough to bring on an anxiety attack, so she wasn't allowed to. At least she was helping others who were in similar predicaments. She came to a room, where one of those she was helping was assigned to. She opened the door, and found it, empty. Empty? “Where is he?” she asked herself. He had to be somewhere.

    She looked for him, but he was missing. There had been rumours, of Time Lords fleeing, but she didn't expect this. 'How many have fled?' she wondered, not for the first time.

    One thing was certain, she had to report his disappearance. As with everything, Time Lord society didn't want to hear of the disappearances.


    “Oneenejpenlumbra? What is it?” the Administrator asked.

    “Hilsdrellan,” she said, referring to the client she had tried to visit earlier, “He's missing.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Of course I'm sure!”

    “Hisdrellan would never run!”

    “Went to check on him. He wasn't in his room. Nor was he anywhere in this facility,” Oneenejpenlumbra explained.

    The Administrator sighed. “He's far from the first one.”

    “So the rumours are true?”

    “Yes!”

    “So, I just record that he's missing?”

    “Yes. There won't be reprimand on your record,” the Administrator said.

    “Good,” Oneenejpenlumbra said in subdued tone.

    “But if people ask, officially there is no one missing.”

    “Understood,” Oneenejpenlumbra said with a sigh.


    As the Time War progressed, more Time Lords fled from it, especially from the facility Oneenejpenlumbra was assigned to. But most, it seemed, never returned to Gallifrey...

    Oneenejpenlumbra entered the Administrator's room. “A new decree,” he said.

    “There are always decrees,” Oneenejpenlumbra stated.

    “Not like this one. It's from Lord President Rassilon himself!”

    “Rassilon! What does he want?”

    “An order for all Time Lords who have fled Gallifrey and the War to be returned without delay,”

    “Is that all?” Oneenejpenlumbra asked.

    “He wants people to go out and find them. I told him that I have been investigating, but once they had stolen a TARDIS there is nothing I could do.”

    “I see where this is going...”

    “Yes, Oneenejpenlumbra. You have to flee yourself.”

    “Why?”

    “Otherwise Rassilon may choose you to search for the others. It would be better for you to flee on your own terms, rather than leave Gallifrey at Rassilon's direction and be tracked where-ever you go.”

    Oneenejpenlumbra considered this. “You have encouraged them to flee. Including Hisdrellen.”

    “No. I didn't start encouraging them to flee until much later.”

    “Why.”

    “Because we are losing! The High Council, and especially Rassilon, are getting desperate.”

    “I know the war hasn't gone well...”

    The Administrator interrupted her again. “I have access to more information. The Daleks are closing in. There are many things Rassilon can do that wouldn't be good for the universe at large.”

    “Are you saying to flee this universe?”

    “It is possible. I have data on various Charged Vacuum Emboitments that have been detected.”

    Oneenejpenlumbra thought for a few moments. Then she made her decision...
     
  5. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    3. Meeting

    Alpha was bored. Again. “Commander's log. Day 1021. The Baffin is still fully ship shape. I still think it will last indefinitely. I have completed my research of the overview of Earth's history. Today I will start on that of Qo'noS. Klingon Opera, more interesting than most Earth styles. End log.

    Another day had started on the Baffin. She pressed a button on the command console and a status diagram of the ship came up on the main viewscreen. No problems had emerged over the last 24 hours. Time to start. She grabbed the PADD she had been using for her research. “Load list of Chancellors after first contact with United Earth and re-start Klingon Opera playlist.' The Klingon Opera resumed.

    After the rush of repairs and investigation into the crew's logs had been completed, Alpha had settled into a routine. She wasn't sure how to return the Baffin to it's home reality, so she had decided to make the best of it by learning everything that the ship's databases could teach her. She had periodically interacted with the other holograms but they seemed to be as stumped as she was. The crew logs hadn't been enlightening either...

    An hour after she had recorded the log entry something happened. The computer paused the playback of Klingon Opera and reported. “Temporal distortion in the shuttle bay.”

    “On screen,” Alpha ordered.

    On the screen, what appeared to be another shuttlecraft seemed to be fading into existence with some kind of screeching sound. It solidified with a 'thump', and a person emerged. “Intruder Alert!

    “Computer, activate Emergency Security Hologram *”

    “State the nature of the Security Emergency,” the large Klingon based hologram said.

    “An unknown ship has appeared in the shuttle bay,” Alpha said.

    “Acknowledged, Alpha,” * said as he looked at the screen. “Computer, raise forcefields at Shuttle bay exits.”

    “Affirmative.

    Alpha pressed a button on the command console and a holographic diagram of the ship appeared. She pressed a position in the starboard corridor to the shuttlebay, and the two holograms then transferred to that location.


    Nina (as Oneenejpenlumbra decided to call herself after she fled from Gallifrey) exited the TARDIS into the starship's shuttlebay. She could see indicator lights flashing red. 'Some kind of alert status?' she asked herself.

    After fleeing Gallifrey, she had wandered the universe until she had found a Charged Vacuum Emboitment and had taken the TARDIS through it. That had been a rough experience, to say the least. Thus she began wandering the multiverse, taking inspiration from another rogue Time Lord.

    Having found a crashed starship on a pre-industrial world she had decided to investigate. Quite strange that it seemed to be intact and yet was still where it had crash-landed. Very interesting.

    She approached one of the doors, and got a shock. Some kind of forcefield! “Not very hospitable.” She decided to wait, while rubbing her arm where it had come into contact with the forcefield.


    As soon as she and * had transferred to the location near the shuttle bay, Alpha grabbed a tricorder from a storage locker, while * grabbed a phaser. “Stay here,” she said.

    “Are you sure?” * asked.

    “It's not like I can be harmed,” Alpha retorted.

    “That's true,” * conceded.

    “Computer, lower the forcefield,” Alpha commanded.

    “Affirmative.”

    “Best not to reveal my holographic nature straight away.”

    * nodded.


    Nina saw the forcefield deactivate and the door open. “Hello. I'm sorry for intruding upon your vessel. I was curious about how it came to be crashed, and yet apparently unharmed,” she said as she saw a woman come through the door.

    The woman seemed to surprised by what she said. “Apology accepted. I'm sorry about the forcefield. Precautions need to be taken.”

    “I hope we haven't gotten off on the wrong foot, as humans say,” Nina said. In her journeys she had visited several versions of Earth.

    “Not at all. Usually a ship would hail first before landing in another ship's shuttle bay.”

    Nina could hear some sarcasm in the other woman's voice. 'Maybe we'll get along,' she thought. Maybe she could have landed in the forest nearby instead. “So it would have been better if I walked up to an airlock, and 'rang the doorbell,' so to speak?”

    The woman shrugged. “Probably,” she said in a non-committal tone. She held out her hand. “You can call me Alpha.”

    Nina shook the offered hand. “Nina.” There was something strange in the touch. Alpha looked human, but something was off.

    “Want to come to the observation lounge?” Alpha asked. “It would be more comfortable than standing in the shuttlebay.”

    “Sure,” Nina said. At lease she would have a look at the inside of the ship on the way.


    Alpha followed Nina into the observation lounge after having discretely told * to deactivate himself. She was the one who had to run the ship. She could handle the visitors. Not for the first time did she wonder why Starfleet didn't install an Emergency Command Hologram for commanding the ships after activation of the Starship Preservation Protocol. The ship was facing east, with the planet's sun fully illuminating the room. Nina was looking out at the forest, where various animals were going about their activities.
    “You are not alone on this planet, you know,” Nina said.

    “Oh?”

    “There are pre-industrial societies on all of the continents. This island is uninhabited, but I don't think that will remain true for long.”

    That was a complication. There were situations where the Prime Directive would override the Starship Preservation Protocol! “Pre-industrial, you say?”

    “Yes. The most advanced civilisation appears to be equivalent to Europe in the 15th or 16th Century.”

    “I see.” Alpha realised something. “You're testing me, aren't you?”

    “Yes. I could see that this ship came from Earth. The doors are all marked in English or a language derived from it, and you're speaking English. Your Universal Translator program can't fool me.”

    “You have figured that out. I have figured something out about you. Your ship is far more advanced than anything the Federation has encountered.”

    “Very astute,” Nina said with a smile. “I am a Time Lady. I have travelled the universe after leaving my home planet of Gallifrey.”

    “Gallifrey...” Alpha considered. That didn't seem to be a planet Starfleet had visited. Not anywhere near Federation space in the Alpha Quadrant, nor in the Gamma Quadrant. It hadn't been encountered by Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, nor by the Baffin crew in their multiversial journey before the crash. Even so, she picked up a PADD and input the name.


    Gallifrey
    Home Planet of the interdimensional visitor known as the Doctor.



    That didn't give Alpha much information. But maybe she was in that dimension? She used the PADD to tell the computer to compare Nina's quantum signature with that of the universe outside the ship.

    Divergent Quantum Signature

    ...

    So it was a third universe. That figured. But she thought that was the case anyway. “You're welcome to stay as long as you want to stay.”

    “Thanks. I think I will for a while. But I also noticed something more, about you. You look human, but you don't 'feel' human. I think you're some kind of artificial intelligence.”

    “How did you come to this conclusion?”

    “Time Lords are touch telepaths. We can tell if someone is biological or not.”

    “You're right. I am an Artificial Intelligence. A hologram to be more precise,” she said. She supposed it would have been more difficult for Starfleet to use Emergency Synthetics.”

    “I didn't detect any life signs. I suppose the original crew didn't survive the crash?” Nina asked.

    “No,” Alpha answered.


    They talked for a while longer. Alpha then assigned one of the quarters to Nina and showed her those quarters. “Thanks. Although I can stay on the TARDIS, this may be more convenient,” Nina said.

    “You can use the replicator to make food, and the other door leads to the bathroom.”

    “That's good.”

    Alpha decided to demonstrate the replicator. “Any Earth meal you like?”

    “Surprise me,” Nina said with a shrug.

    “Computer, one bowl of spaghetti bolognaise and a glass of Dom Perignon.”

    The meal and wine materialised in the replicator. Nina raised an eyebrow. “Impressive.”


    As Nina started into her meal, Alpha excused herself, returning to the Bridge.

    “Commander's log, supplemental. The Baffin has received a visitor. A self-described Time Lady from a planet named Gallifrey, located in another universe. Her ship seemed to materialise in the shuttlebay rather than decloak, with the sensors recording a temporal distortion at the same time. It is possible that she may be able to help me return the Baffin to it's universe of origin.”
    Alpha paused, considering that it would be a good idea to get to know Nina better before asking her to help. She picked up the PADD she had been reading, which still had the file on Klingon history open. “Computer, resume Klingon opera playlist.”


    Nina finished the bolognaise. She supposed she would be able to help Alpha with her problem, and return the ship to it's home reality. It would give her more purpose than the aimless wandering through the multiverse did.
     
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  6. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    4. Mystery

    The next day, Alpha returned to Nina's quarters. Nina soon came to the door. “Good morning,” Alpha said cheerfully.

    “You're a little early,” Nina said. “I need to get ready.”

    Alpha could see that Nina looked dishevelled, with her blonde hair which had been tied back into a high ponytail the day before, being a mess. “I'll be back in thirty minutes.”

    Nina smiled and touched the door close button.


    When Alpha returned, she saw that Nina had dressed in a Starfleet uniform and styled her hair the way it was the day before. “You're not a member of Starfleet,” she stated.

    “Not officially. But I will be assisting you aboard this ship, in returning it to it's home universe,” Nina said with a smile.

    “I was going to invite you to help,” Alpha considered. “You'll have to officially join the crew.”

    “Of course.”


    Nina followed Alpha into the Bridge. There were consoles along the walls with two behind and one in front of the Commander's Chair in the centre. “Efficient layout,” she stated.

    “This is the Commander's chair, with the command consoles in the armrests,” Alpha said indicating said chair. She then pointed to the console in front. That is the Conn, also referred to as the Helm, where the ship is flown and the navigation systems accessed. Also the Pilot can engage the engines and choose the speed, Obviously.”

    “That's obvious,” Nina said with a sigh. “But these other consoles?”

    Alpha turned to the standalone consoles behind the Commander's Chair. “The console to starboard is the Tactical Console.”

    “Weapons and defence systems.”

    “Yes. Phased Energy weapons, Phasers; and Quantum Torpedoes. Deflector shields to defend against enemy weapons fire. The latter had failed before the crash. They're now fully repaired.”

    Nina knew Alpha was holding something back, most likely the status of the torpedo inventory, but didn't ask. “That's good,” she said, regarding the repair status of the shields.

    Alpha pointed to the port console. “The Operations Console, where ships systems are monitored and the crew's activities managed.” She then walked back to the rear consoles. “Most of these are Science stations.” She activated one of the stations.

    Nina looked. The station was showing information from the sensor scans of the forest. “Very thorough.”

    Alpha activated another station. “And this is the Engineering station. It shows the status of all the ship's systems.”

    Nina nodded.

    “But this isn't the reason why I brought you here. We need to be here to officially add you to the crew.”

    “Of course,” Nina said.

    “Computer, prepare to log a field commission for the visitor identified as Nina.”

    Please enter access code.

    Alpha walked back to the Command Chair and entered the access code on the command console.

    “Confirmed.”

    Alpha handed a PADD to Nina. “Enter your information here.”

    “One problem.”

    “Problem?”

    “My real name. The Roman Alphabet wouldn't record it right. And I doubt your software would handle the Circular Gallifreyan,” Nina said,

    “You can just enter it regardless,” Alpha suggested.

    “In the Roman Alphabet, sure. I still would have liked to enter it in Circular Gallifreyan.”

    “Oh.”

    Nina took the PADD and entered something. “Done.”

    “Oneenejpenlumbra?”

    “Yes. It's a mouthful. That's why I chose 'Nina' when I left Gallifrey.”

    Alpha entered more information (including making up an age), and completed the file.

    “Confirmed. Field Commission for Crewman Nina is active,” the computer said.

    “Cool,” Nina said, as she sat at the active Science station. “Now we can get to start on how to get back to the right universe.”

    “You can look over the logs of the crew's journey, but I'm not sure you would be able to glean much from them that I and the other holograms haven't.”

    “Time Lords are known for their intuitive capabilities.”


    Alpha considered what Nina had just said. She supposed that being biological gave her an advantage over the logicality of AIs, no matter how advanced they were. She walked back to the Command Chair. “Computer, give access to all crew logs since Stardate 60835.3 to Crewman Nina.”

    Enter command code.”

    Alpha entered the command code.

    “Confirmed.”


    Nina decided to start from the beginning. She directed the computer to show all the logs in chronological order. “That's a lot of logs. But given the mature of the situation, we have plenty of time.”

    “That's true,” Alpha said.

    “Commander's log. Stardate 60835.3...”
     
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Cool crossover. =D= I like the interaction between Alpha and Nina. Alpha definitely seems to have "personality." ;)
     
  8. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    5. Beginning?
    Commander's log. Stardate 60835.3. The Baffin is approaching the Tanarexa system, where we shall follow up on earlier surveys.”

    The Commander looked from the viewscreen and turned the chair so he could see one of the science stations. “Full scan of the planet as we approach,” he ordered.

    “Aye, Commander.”
    Ten minutes later, the Baffin dropped out of warp, and entered a standard orbit around an M-Class planet.

    Almost immediately, an alarm sounded.

    “Some kind of subspace anomaly forming in our orbital path,” the Science Officer, Daniela Hernandez reported. “Impact in 45 seconds!”

    Emerson turned to the Conn, “Evasive manoeuvres!”

    “Aye, Commander. Shifting orbital path,” Lieutenant Olivia Andersen reported.


    There were a few long seconds as the ship changed the path. “We'll avoid it now, sir,” Andersen reported.

    “Acknowledged. Keep an eye on it.”


    Tanerexa IV
    Having beamed down to Tanerexa IV with an Away Team, Hernandez reflected on the situation . Why didn't they detected the anomaly until the Baffin was in orbit? Was it something that was triggered by the starship's presence? She didn't like that conclusion. Then there was something on her tricorder. “That's strange,” she said.

    “What's wrong?”Lieutenant Daniel Lawson asked.

    “Picking up divergent quantum signatures. But...”

    “What?”

    “It's not any one object. It's molecules in the air and water, that have the differing quantum signatures. It seems like 5% of the matter in this area of the planet comes from other universes.”

    “That doesn't sound right,” Ensign T'Sal stated.

    “No it doesn't,” Hernandez said as she scanned a tree. It was the same result, 5% of atoms from universes other than theirs.

    “We need to get the ship to scan the whole planet,” Lawson said.

    “You think the anomaly has appeared before?” Hernandez asked. “Some weakness in the fabric of space-time?”

    “Yes.”


    Emmerson listened to Hernandez and Lawson explain what they discovered. “We'll scan the planet. There may be some explanation.”

    “Acknowledged, Hernandez out.”

    “Solario, begin the planetary scan.”

    “Aye, Commander.”

    “That anomaly is still there...”


    Back on the planet, Hernandez scanned the forest again.”Maybe we're missing something.”

    “Scanning the soil?” T'Sal asked.

    “No, the bedrock,” Lawson said.

    “Of course,” Hernandez said.

    “That's why we had the ship scan the whole planet.”


    Ten minutes later, 5% of the planet's surface had been scanned.

    “Something...”

    “What?” Emmerson asked.

    “We have been scanning the underlying bedrock of the continent and the ocean. There are indications of divergent quantum signatures in broad geographic regions. Six have been discovered so far,” Lieutenant Kelly Lu answered.

    “How large are they?” the Commander asked.

    “An approximate average of 6000 square kilometers. Strange... the areas have irregular shapes,” Lu commented.

    “You mean, you expected something different?”

    “Yes, something natural would probably have been circular or elliptical,” Lu explained.

    “So, something beyond our understanding. Terrific. Any signs of civilisation in those areas?”

    “None, but there could be different species of wildlife. But those would have dispersed beyond the boundaries long ago.”

    “And would be acting as invasive species, correct?” Emerson asked.

    “Yes, like as occurred on Earth and many other planets during the relevant ages of exploration. I don't know why any advanced civilisation would do that.”

    “It could have been Q?”

    “Possibly,” Lu conceded. “But I don't think he would mess with a world that isn't inhabited in this way.”

    “Noted.”


    “The scans confirm it. This area is an original area of the planet. The bedrock has the non-divergent quantum signature,” Lawson said.

    “Something else bothers me though,” Hernandez said.

    “What?” Lawson asked.

    “Why would someone do this sort of thing on an uninhabited planet?”

    “No idea,” T'Sal answered.

    “And also, there were previous surveys, why wasn't this picked up then?”

    “Previous surveys of this system were done entirely aboard the ships in question. And the last was done just before the war with the Dominion. As you are aware, Starfleet's priorities were elsewhere.”

    “Of course,” Hernandez said. She didn't really want to think about the War.


    “There's another one,” Lu confirmed.

    “That's seven, then,” Emmerson stated.

    Then there was an alert.

    “Report!” Emmerson reported.

    “It's the anomaly! It's moving! Intercept with the away team's location in four minutes!” Lu reported.

    “Prepare for emergency transport,” Emmerson ordered. He entered commands into the command console. “Baffin to away team!”

    Hernandez here. What's wrong?

    “The anomaly is moving to intercept your location in less than four minutes prepare for emergency transport.”

    “Aye, Commander,” Hernandez said. He could tell that there was stress in her voice.

    “I have a lock,” Lu said.

    “Energize!”

    However a failure tone emitted from Lu's console. “The anomaly is interfering with the transporter!”

    “Prepare to take the ship into the atmosphere.”

    “Aye, Commander,” Andersen said.

    “Launch a shuttle,” Emmerson ordered.


    In the shuttlebay, Leonard Albert rushed to one of the shuttles. Normally there were pre-flight checks he had to perform, but he had to forego those...

    The Montreal launched less than a minute after the detection of the anomaly. Albert then turned the shuttle 180 degrees and then flew over the Baffin towards the beam down site...


    “A shuttle is on it's way,” Emmerson said.

    “Understood,” Hernandez responded.

    “It should be in transporter range in just over a minute.”

    “Good,” Hernandez said. Her tricorder was beginning to sense the anomaly approaching...


    “The anomaly is still moving, and it's growing in the upper atmosphere,” Lu reported.

    “The shuttle is approaching the beam down site,” Andersen said.

    “As soon as the away team is aboard the shuttle, put a tractor beam on it,” Emmerson reported.

    “Aye sir.”


    “Less than 50 seconds until anomalous conditions...” Albert murmured as he battled strong winds as the Montreal approached the beam down site.


    “This is concerning...” Lu said.

    “What is?” Emmerson asked.

    “The anomaly is growing, changing... We might not make it out...”

    “What is it doing?”

    “Expanding, we're under it now...”

    Emmerson moved fast, standing up. “Prepare for emergency warp, as soon as we have the shuttle in the tractor beam!”

    Andersen quickly input the commands to initiate emergency warp.


    Albert saw that the away team were in range. “Computer, energize!”

    Affirmative.”

    The away team materialised.

    “Good!” Hernandez breathed soon as the transporter effect had faded. Almost immediately, the Baffin had the shuttle in a tractor beam.


    “We have them,” Lu said, with stress showing in her voice. She wasn't sure they were going to make it. The anomaly was surrounding them, and she wasn't sure that warping from near sea level would be a good idea.

    “Engage!” Emmerson ordered, nearly shouting.

    Andersen hit the control, and the Baffin engaged it's warp engines. However, something else was happening at that exact moment...
     
  9. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    An intriguing mystery for any self-respecting crew ...

    I smiled at this sort of nervous question; in universe, Q would be dreaded and half-known because they'd be sure to have read reports of his previous doings.:p
     
  10. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    6. Exploring
    Having listened to the logs relating to what happened at Tanarexa IV, Nina pondered what had happened there. Something, or someone, was responsible for that anomaly. It was no wonder that the holograms hadn't figured out how to return the Baffin to it's home reality. 'Of course, that was just the start of their journey,' she thought. After all, she wasn't sure herself, whether she could re-trace her steps back to Gallifrey, if she wanted to.

    Of course, she also needed to look at the sensor data of the anomaly, and of that planet. That would tell her more than just the logs. She searched for the data, and the index of the data scanned on that date came up.

    Tanarexa IV

    Tamarexa Anomaly


    'The planet first,' she thought. She selected that data.


    There was no real pattern to the displaced regions on the planet. But then the ship had only scanned 7% of the surface, before they were interrupted. 'I'll look at the scan on the other side, if they did so.'

    Her stomach rumbled, and she glanced at the time. She had been at it for nearly an hour, and she had forgotten breakfast. She decided she would get breakfast before researching further.

    “I'm just getting breakfast,” she told Alpha, who seemed quite interested in whatever it was she was reading on one of those PADDs.

    “Oh,” Alpha said, putting the PADD down. “You don't need to tell me. We can be an informal crew. There is only the two of us here.”

    Nina nodded as she exited the Bridge.


    Alpha watched as Nina left the Bridge. It was true that the situation was informal. She was primarily programmed to be an engineer after all, not a commander. She reflected on the time she had been active. It also seemed she was growing beyond her original programming. 'Much like the Doctor on Voyager,' she considered. She shrugged and turned her attention back to the file on Klingon history.


    Of course, there was more to do than re-tracing the Baffin's journey from the first displacement to the crash, Nina considered as she entered the Mess Hall. She also wanted to explore the planet, and learn about the cultures thereupon. (Of course, she considered she could just take the TARDIS and do that and return to the ship, but she didn't want to do it by herself.) She decided to propose it to Alpha later in the day.


    “No,” Alpha said.

    “No?” Nina asked. “Why not?”

    “The Prime Directive,” Alpha answered. “We can't make contact with pre-warp civilisations.”

    “We can't?”

    “No. You can look it up under General Order One.”

    “So, we can't take the ship to explore the planet,” Nina clarified.

    “No, we can't,” Alpha said. “But we can use it as a base.”

    “Sure.”

    ,
    Nina was disappointed. She then used her console to look up the Prime Directive.

    Prime Directive
    Starfleet General Order One
    Starfleet Personnel shall not interfere with the natural development of any civilisation, culture or society.


    It reminded her of the Time Lords' own policy of non-interference, as it existed prior to the Time War. She wasn't sure how showing the ship would violate that Order thought. Of course there would be interpretations and reinterpretations over time. However, there were other ways to explore the planet. She decided to wait before asking Alpha if they could take off and go into orbit. They would be able to look at the planet and it's civilisations quicker that way.


    Alpha knew Nina was restless. It was obvious she wanted to do more than review the Baffin crew's logs and help her get back to the right universe. She sighed. Closing the file on Klingon history she accessed the probe inventory. She could launch some of them to have a clandestine look at the closest of the continents.


    The probe launched from the Baffin. Unlike the holograms aboard the ship, its AI was relatively simple. It wouldn't get bored, for a start. It left the Baffin and headed northwards. Two minutes later, it had left the island the ship had crashed on behind.

    It took five minutes for it to reach the shore of the closest continent, where it could detect a ship stuck on some rocks next to a mangrove swamp.


    Alpha told the probe to scan that ship. Were there some survivors? Was it attempting some kind of mayday? She ran the scan images of the flags the ship was flying through the universal translator. There was no result. 'Great!' she thought. The Prime Directive was quite clear. No interference if there was no distress call. 'I could send Nina in her ship to investigate.'


    “You sent a probe, and found a sailing ship that could be in trouble?” Nina asked.

    “Yes. I can send you, in your ship, because it can disguise itself. That way the Prime Directive won't be violated.”

    “Couldn't you have used your transporter to send me there?”

    “There is always a chance one of the crew would see you materialise. Can your ship materialise on the water surface?”

    “It can.”

    “Then, you can go and investigate, while I watch via the probe.”


    The TARDIS materialised close to the ship, disguised as a smaller ship. Nina emerged from the console room onto the deck, carrying a rope and paddles. The ship was very close by, she threw the rope and managed to lasso one of the ballista emplacements. She then paddled the TARDIS over, and climbed aboard the ship.


    Alpha saw Nina board the ship. She established a transporter lock, just in case. She moved the probe so that it could get a closer look.


    Immediately, Nina was surrounded, with crewmembers holding crossbows. “Hello,” she said.

    “Where did you come from?” one of them asked.

    “I saw this ship on some rocks, and figured that you would need some help.”

    “Well, we don't.”

    “Your ship looks rather stuck,” Nina pointed out.

    “We are in trouble,” another crewmember admitted.

    “Danoal!” the first crewmember chastised.

    “If she wants to help...”

    “No we can repair and relaunch the ship ourselves.”

    “It is proving more difficult than first thought.”

    “No!” the crewmember then gave a signal and most of those pointing the crossbows cocked them.

    “Yikes!” Nina said, her hearts beating fast. She then jumped overboard and swam back to the TARDIS.


    Alpha saw Nina jump overboard. “What just happened? They weren't firing.” She saw her swim back to the TARDIS, which soon dematerialised.


    “That was close!” Nina said as she set the course back to the Baffin. She was still breathing heavily. She set the ship in motion and ran from the console room, heading to the Zero Room.


    Alpha waited in the Shuttle Bay. It had been four hours since Nina had left the marooned ship. She wondered why she was taking so long. She had gone over the Starfleet records on the encounters with the Doctor. Those hadn't really been illuminating, hardly applicable to the situation she found herself in, despite there being Voyager logs in the mix. She had re-read Captain Janeway's report on her third encounter with the Doctor when she heard the sound of the TARDIS beginning to arrive. “Finally.”

    The TARDIS landed. Alpha could see that it was once again disguised as a shuttle, and was adorned with the Baffin's registry number on it's sides. Nina emerged. She still looked a little wet from her dip in the ocean, although she was no longer soaked. “Why do you look worried?” she asked.

    “It's over four hours since you left that ship,” Alpha replied. “What happened out there?”

    “It's nothing,” Nina said with a shake of her head.

    It was clearly not nothing, but Alpha decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. “So, the crew of that ship didn't want help?” she asked.

    “No,” Nina answered.

    “Anything else?”

    “No.”

    The monosyllabic answers weren't exactly satisfying, but Alpha didn't want to push. “No doubt you're exhausted.”

    “I'm not exhausted,” Nina objected.

    “Exhausted or not, you're off duty until tomorrow,” Alpha said.

    “Understood,” Nina said.

    Alpha returned to the bridge. She still wasn't sure what to make of what had happened with Nina. “Computer, resume Klingon opera playlist.”

    “Affirmative.”


    Hours later, Nina slipped into Sickbay from the side corridor (rather than the main corridor). “Computer, activate Emergency Medical Hologram.”

    “Please State the Nature of the Medical Emergency.” The EMH paused. “You must be Crewman Nina.”

    “Yes. And it's not an emergency, per se.”

    “But still a medical issue?” The EMH asked warmly, but otherwise without emotion.

    “Yes. Something, to do with the mind.”

    “I am programmed to deal with Psychological issues.”

    “Are you also programmed with Doctor-patient confidentiality?” Nina asked as she sat on one of the biobeds. She lowered her voice. “I don't want Alpha to know.”

    “Yes. Whatever you don't want Alpha to know, she won't know. It will remain between us.”

    Nina breathed a sigh of relief. “Then we can begin?”

    “Something happened?”

    “I was on my first Away Mission....”
     
  11. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Fear of dying for a Time Lady must be so different than our everyday fear, yet related. Hmmm, hope the Doctor can help the Doctor.
     
  12. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    7. Investigation
    Alpha heard a noise. She turned and saw Nina enter the Bridge. She saw that she had rested and smiled. “You are ready for duty?”

    “Yes. What happened on that ship shouldn't have happened.”

    “It would probably be a while before I'll let you go on another away mission.”

    “I was thinking about that,” Nina said as she sat her console. “It would depend on the kind of mission.”

    “It would,” Alpha said.

    “I was considering traveling forwards to this planet's information age and copying historical data from the worldwide network.”

    Alpha was intrigued, but cautious. “So, you'll go forwards, and steal a data storage device with the data on it?”

    Nina interrupted. “I'll take a tricorder and use that to copy the data.”
    “That would be better,” Alpha conceded.

    “I can do it today,” Nina sated.

    “Sure,” Alpha was pleased that Nina seemed to have recovered from the previous day's experience, but she was still concerned that she was letting her exuberance get away with her. “But not right away.”


    Nina examined more of the data collected by the Baffin crew, specifically that on the version of Tanarexa IV in the first alternate universe they visited. Her conclusion was inconclusive. Whatever, or whoever, was responsible for the displacements on that planet probably wasn't going to help her and the holocrew return the ship to it's home universe. 'But maybe we could try?' It wouldn't be the first time a Time Lord tried to turn a powerful being to their side.


    1200 hours. Alpha turned to Nina. “If you want to go on that forward journey, you can.”

    “I shall.”


    In the shuttlebay, Nina grabbed several tricorders and PADDs. “Are you sure you'll need all those?” Alpha asked.

    “The contents of the network may be greater than the storage capacity,” Nina answered.

    “That's unlikely, the PADDs have a storage capacity of four gigaquads each. Same with the tricorders.”

    “I'll find a use for them.”

    “You probably won't be gone that long.”

    “Probably not.”

    “You might need this,” Alpha said, holding out a phaser by the emitter end.

    “No. I don't think I would get into that kind of trouble,” Nina said with a shake of her head.

    “Away Mission Personnel shall not go into an unknown area unprepared for the possibility of combat.”

    “Is that a regulation?” Nina asked.

    “Yes,” Alpha answered.

    Nina sighed and took the phaser. “I'll be back as soon as possible.”


    Soon, the TARDIS dematerialised, and Alpha left the shuttlebay.


    Nina looked over the Console Room as the TARDIS travelled forwards in time. It was still in it's default design. She hadn't changed anything since she had fled Gallifrey. She considered that it was time to make changes. 'Starfleet certainly knows how to design a ship interior that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing,' she thought. She turned back to the console and accessed the Architectural Configuration System. 'Now, the scanner has the Baffin's interior on file.' She then set the ACS to style set the Console Room Theme to Starfleet.
    That done, she left the Console Room to find the wardrobe. She suspected that just wearing the Starfleet uniform would draw unwanted attention.


    After finding a simple Time Lord robe that matched the colour of the uniform, Nina entered one of the auxiliary console rooms and quickly re-assigned control of the TARDIS to that room. The ship was about to land.


    As soon as the ship had landed and she had used the scanner, Nina found that she had indeed landed in the planet's information age. So, she interfaced one of the Tricorders with the Scanner and set it to send the information to one of the PADDs. “OK, copy the information from the planet's network to the PADD,” she said as she set the scanner. The tricorder than began to receive the data from the scanner and transmiting it to the PADD. 'Good!' she thought.


    She emerged from the ship to see that she had landed next to a large library, and that the ship had disguised itself as a motor home (with the Baffin's regristry number, translated into the local number system, on the licence plates, and in Circular Gallifreyan on the sides). She also noticed the Starfleet pennants on the roof. 'Great! Is the Chameleon Circuit glitching?' She didn't want to worry about that. Instead, she decided to go into the library.

    The library was what she expected. A well organised space, with many people interacting and looking up information, like any library she had seen. She also saw that there were librarian jobs available. 'Not sure how long I'll be staying, even if I could be back at the Baffin within a minute of depature.' She decided to stay at least a day or two. 'And I can work at this library for a day. She took a place at one of the desks and used the PADD to interface with the TARDIS, instructing her ship to create an identity for her.


    Half an hour later, she came to the desk and handed over her application.

    Name: Nina Lumbra
    Age: 27



    “Nina Lumbra? Sounds foreign,” the librarian said.

    “My father was from the North,” Nina responded.

    “I see.”

    “Everything checks out, you can start tomorrow.”

    “That's good.”
    The librarian handed Nina a card. “Welcome to the Rladibud Library.”


    Alpha waited for Nina to return. Thus she spent another day to herself listening to Klingon Opera and occasionally checking on the marooned ship via the probe.


    Commander's log, Day 1024, Crewman Nina still hasn't returned for over a day... Otherwise the Baffin is still ship shape”.
    Alpha finished the log and called up the data on the stranded ship Nina had visited two days before.

    She noticed something. She called up the data from two days before. She could see that the wave action against the ship had further compromised it's structural integrity. “Computer, estimate time until structural collapse.”

    “Estimated time until structural collapse any time from six to ten days.”

    “Right.” She thought for a while. There had to be away she could rescue that crew without violating the Prime Directive. She couldn't go, the 29th Century technology behind the mobile emitter hadn't yet been reverse engineered. But using probes to repair the ship would almost certainly cause a violation. And simply beaming them off definitely would be a violation. That seemed to lead to one solution. A Synthetic. The schematics for Synthetics, including the positronic brains, were in the Baffin's databases.


    Alpha entered Engineering with a PADD showing instructions. “Computer, activate Emergency Engineering Holograms Beta and Gamma.”

    “Affirmative.”

    “Please state the nature of the Engineering Emergency,” Beta and Gamma said in unison. They then looked at each other in surprise before turning back to Alpha.

    Alpha handed Beta the PADD. “Build a Synthetic that can go on away missions, so we can rescue the crew of a sailing ship without violating the Prime Directive?” he asked, once he had read it. He handed the PADD to Gamma.

    “Yes,” Alpha answered.

    “But, what will you be doing?” Gamma asked, her curiosity showing in her voice.

    “I'll be in one of the holodecks, running repair simulations,” Alpha answered.

    Both Beta and Gamma nodded, before turning to one of the consoles.


    Alpha approached Holodeck 1. “Computer, load scan data of the crashed ship to Holodeck 1.”

    “Affirmative.”


    Ten seconds later, the computer reported. “Program complete.”
    Alpha entered the holodeck onto the virtual ship's deck...


    The next day, Nina was ready to start work at the library. She first looked at the progress of the download. “25%” she said. That meant she'd still be there in a few days hence. 'That's not a problem,' she thought. She had been on similar worlds before for extended periods of time. Before setting out she had the TARDIS bring up the local news. She saw that noting particularly notable was occurring, although two medium sized nations were at war over terrorism. She also noted that the island where Baffin had crashed was disputed between the two.
    'Interesting,' she thought.


    Nina entered the library and saw that one of the other librarians was clearly worried about something as she looked intently through the returned items. “Morning,” she said.

    The other librarian turned with a start. “Oh, you gave me a shock,” she said. “You're the new assistant librarian, right?”

    “Yes. I'm Nina.”

    “I'm Aialah,” the worried librarian said.

    “So, what are you looking for?”

    “A rare book was loaned out. It is very overdue.”

    “Oh,” Nina responded. “Wouldn't something like that not be loaned out?”

    “Ordinarily,” Aialah said with anxiety. “But it was the Mayor's son!”

    “I see,” Nina said. 'What have I got myself into?”

    “Can you help me find it?”

    “Of course.”


    A short while later, the returns had been flung aside (mainly by Aialah), but the book hadn't been found. “Most likely, he still has it,” Nina stated as Aialah collapsed into a chair with annoyance.

    “I'm in big trouble! If they find out that I loaned out a book that I shouldn't have loaned out, I'll be fired!”

    “They don't have to find out,” Nina said in a reassuring tone.

    “What's that?”

    “I'll help you avoid that outcome.”

    “But, you might get fired too.”

    “We'll find it.”

    “I shouldn't have told you.”

    “Nonsense, I can help you. If it's not here, the Mayor's son would still have it, right?”

    “That's the most likely option,” Aialah said, more nervous than before. “I guess I can call him during lunch.”


    The morning went well (other than young children being noisy, as their mothers tried to read to them). However, something else was going on. There was a report of some sort of hostage situation in the city near the library. 'Is that something I'm going to be involved in?' Nina thought. She dismissed the possibility. She may have got involved with many things at other places after leaving Gallifrey, but wouldn't mean it would happen this time.


    Aialah saw Nina enter the break room, and give her a supportive look. It was time to call him. She picked up her phone and quickly selected him from her contacts list. “Aialah! Why are you calling now?”

    'He's annoyed!' Aialah thought. She felt the determination building inside her. “You know why I'm calling!”

    “I forgot. It's at home somewhere.”

    “It needs to be returned!” Aialah retorted.

    “Calm down. I haven't lost it,” Lanran responded.

    “But you know, I could lose my job, right?” Aialah said.

    “I know that!”

    “So, I would like it to be returned today.”

    “Calm down.”

    There was something off about his tone. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she knew something was wrong. “I am calm,” she responded.

    “You're not. I will return it when I'm ready to return it.”

    That was it! Didn't he see that it would be difficult for her to find another job? “I am calm. And it needs to be returned today,”she said in the tone of voice she reserved for unruly children.

    “Look, you can wait, for me, OK.”

    Some things connected in Aialah's mind. She then hung up.


    Nina saw Aialah begin to tear up as she ended the call. It obviously didn't end well. “I take it, he's not returning it?” she asked, after a few moments.

    “No,” Aialah sobbed as she left the break room.


    Day 1026. Crewman Nina still hasn't returned. I'm getting more concerned about her. Or maybe the TARDIS isn't as reliable is it should be out of it's home universe. I'm still running the simulations on repairing that ship. The scans show it will break up within two days. It is good that Beta and Gamma have almost completed the Emergency Away Mission Synthetic. He should be able to work on site this afternoon. End log.

    Having recorded the log, Alpha left the bridge again, heading back to the Holodeck. She had run many repair scenarios. The probability of success was at 90%. The chance of failure was still too high for her. She hoped the Synth would be as adaptable as she and the other holograms were. Then there was the fact that ship was still exposed to the elements. The sensors were detecting a cold front moving in. A storm decreased the probability of success to 56%. The repair had to be done before one arrived.


    She entered Holodeck 1. “Computer, update Alpha Ship Rescue Program with latest sensor data and re-run.”

    “Affirmative. You may enter when ready.”

    She entered the simulation. As usual she entered into the hold of the ship, where the rents in the hull were growing larger.

    She turned to the simulation of the repair materials and tools. It was time to start. “Computer, select speed setting: x20.”

    “Affirmative.”

    That was the speed at which she could go and still be functioning effectively. She could go faster, but it seemed that was the limit of her efficacy. (Of course, she suspected that Zeta could probably go faster, but she was sure he wouldn't do the simulations as effectively as she would). After the first few attempts she decided not to risk possible overstressing of her algorithms.


    An hour later, she had ran another five simulations. The first didn't have a storm. The other four had storms of increasing intensity. The first three had a successful repair, but the other two had the ship break up, with the final simulation leading to the loss of the synth. 'I'm sure there may not be time to build another one,' she thought as she drifted beneath the sea after the ship had broken up in that final simulation. Even with Delta helping Beta and Gamma, it wouldn't really go any faster. The fifth simulation ended, leaving Alpha on the bare hologrid.
    “Computer, show weather systems.”

    Affirmative.

    The holosystems then showed a simulation of the region of the planet from orbit. Alpha could see that a storm system associated with that cold front was already over the Baffin and heading towards the stuck ship.

    'Another simulation, then I'll check in on Beta and Gamma' she thought. “Computer, restart simulation, decrease storm intensity.”
    “Affirmative.”


    Beta and Gamma had almost completed the Emergency Away Mission Synthetic. All that was really left was the most difficult part; assembling and installing the positronic brain.

    “Ready?” Gamma asked, as she opened the drawer containing the positronic brain components. There were enough there for several Synthetics.

    Beta wasn't sure why a ship like the Baffin would have such components stored aboard when it had a full compliment of Emergency Holograms. “Yes,” he answered as Gamma selected a portion of a positronic brainstem. She then placed it in it's place on the rear half of the Synth's skull.


    The work proceded well, with hardly any 'hiccups'. Even so, there were 'touch and go' moments. The components were sometimes tricky to fit together. As Gamma placed the cerebellum on the rest of the components Beta found himself admiring the way she worked. He shook his head. That was hardly professional! He looked again at the work, but there was still a distraction in his attention subroutines. There was something, interesting, in the way she moved the nanobonder tool over cerebellum.
    He shook his head again. He probably needed to run a diagnostic on his matrix.

    “Are you OK?” Gamma was looking at him with concern. He realised that he had missed several sentences she had said.

    “I'm fine,” he said, not entirely sure. Gamma still looked at him with concern, but she did repeat the instructions.

    The difficulties did recurr as they continued putting the positronic brain together, but he didn't miss what she said again.


    Alpha entered Engineering and saw that Beta and Gamma were working closely on the positronic brain. “How does it go?” she asked.

    “We're almost done, despite some... difficulties,” Gamma said.

    There was an undertone in Gamma's words Alpha wasn't sure of. What were those difficulties? She hoped they wouldn't impair the function of the Synthetic. “Difficulties?” she asked.

    “Nothing that counldn't be overcome,” Beta answered.

    “Good to hear,” Alpha said. She noticed that the two others were looking at each other in a way that suggested more was going on. 'Whatever that is, it isn't my business. It's unlikely to impair the function of the ship.'


    Ten minutes later, the synthetic was complete. “Programming is loaded into the positronic brain,” Beta reported.

    “Turn him on,” Alpha ordered.

    Gamma pressed the button. “Please state the nature of the Away Mission Emergency,” the Synthetic said.


    Nina re-entered the TARDIS. She had spent most of the afternoon ruminating on Aialah and her situation. She had left work early after the confrontation with her partner at lunch. She had asked one of the other librarians about her, but she was told it was none of her business (although she did see that librarian was worried). Was Aialah in an unhealthy relationship? The more she thought about it, the more likely it seemed.

    Even so she didn't want to think about it over night, so she decided to distract herself with the Baffin's logs, which she had copied to one of the PADDs. But first she checked the progress of the download. It was at 40.2%. The TARDIS was also indicating that she was picking up unusual patterns within the data. “Unusual how?” she asked. It seemed the TARDIS had picked up on something but wasn't certain what it was. “Something else to be concerned about,” she groused as she picked up the PADD containing the logs.

    She then re-accessed the logs made at the beginning of the ship's journey.
     
  13. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    8. Lost
    The Baffin went to warp. But something happened at the same time, and the ship shuddered and then dropped out of warp again. “Report!” Emerson barked through the red alert klaxon.

    “We were at warp for just over a second,” Andersen reported. “We're still relatively close to the planet.”

    “According to sensors, the anomaly did close in on us and the shuttle just before warp was initiated,” Lu added.

    “Do we still have the shuttle?” Emerson asked.

    “Yes,” Lu answered.

    “Full scan,” Emmerson ordered.


    On the Montreal, Hernandez recovered after that jolt. “Are we still in the tractor beam?” she asked.

    “We are,” Albert confirmed. “We'll be back aboard in 20 seconds.”

    “That's good. That was a close call,” Hernandez said.

    “It may be closer than you realise,” Lawson stated.

    “You mean, we didn't escape the anomaly?” Hernandez asked.

    “According to the sensors, the anomaly closed in just before the ship went to warp,” Albert said.

    “That probably wouldn't be good,” Hernandez murmured as she saw the shuttle re-enter the Shuttle Bay.

    After the shuttle landed, the away team went back to the bridge.

    “Preliminary results from the scan are ready,” Lu said.

    “Let's hear it,” Emmerson ordered.

    “Divergent Quantuum Signature,” Lu confirmed.

    “So, we're in another universe?” Hernandez asked as she entered the Bridge.

    “Yes,” Emmerson answered as Hernandez and the others took their stations.


    It took an hour for the scan to complete. During the time Emmerson had informed the crew of the situation they were in.

    “As soon as the scan is complete we're going to try to contact Starfleet as it exists in this universe,” Emmerson said.

    “That would be better than us trying to get home by ourselves.”


    The scan data showed that the the planet in this universe had been as affected by the phenomenon as the planet in their home universe had. They had then tried to contact Starfleet. There was no response.

    Eight hours after the transition, Emmerson made another decision. “We have not received a return signal from Starfleet Command. Therefore we need to go to Sector 001 ourselves.”

    “If Starfleet is not there, we don't know what state we would find Earth in,” Hernandez said.

    “That's true,” Emmerson conceded, “but it would be more foolhardy to go anywhere else. We'll send probes in the direction of other Federation worlds as we approach.”


    The Baffin made preparations to make the journey. But first they sent a probe back to Tanarexa IV with information on what had occurred. It soon disappeared into another anomaly, but scans on the destination were inconclusive. They placed a warning beacon and then went to warp.


    “Personal Log, supplemental. The situation hasn't fully hit me yet. The Baffin is lost more than what Voyager was. The chances of finding our universe again is remote, astronomical even, and it seems we're in a universe where the Federation either doesn't exist, has yet to exist or has fallen.” Hernandez paused. She wasn't sure where that line of thought was leading. Some of her ruminations were confused. She changed tack. “We have set course for Earth at Warp 8. We're not using Slipstream as while Dilithium can be recrystalised, Benamite cannot.”
    Warp 8 is also the speed at which the engines are most efficient. We won't need to slow down. Without unforeseen events we should arrive in twelve days.


    Six days later, Emmerson came onto the Bridge. There still had been no response to the hails to Starfleet the previous evening. “We're about to send the probes in the directions of Qo'noS and Romulus, Commander,” Hernandez reported.

    “Then send them,” he ordered as he sat in the Commander's Chair.

    “Aye, Commander.”


    The Baffin launched the probes, and continued on her way.


    As they approached the region that otherwise would be the core of the Federation they also launched probes in the directions of Andor, Tellar and Vulcan.


    Personal log.
    The Baffin is approaching the Solar System. The sensor data suggests were at a time late in the 20th Century. The planetary positions and radio transmissions match to December, 20 1974. We are going to drop out of warp and hide behind the Moon.
     
  14. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    9. Rescue

    Alpha and the Synth were in Transporter Room 1, along with a replicated coracle, which the Synth would use to board the distressed ship. “Ready for transport?” Alpha asked.

    “Yes,” the Synth answered. “I have run through all your scenarios.”

    “Very good,” Alpha said as she moved behind the console.

    “Energize.”


    The Synth materialisd, in the coracle a short distance from the ship. Alpha continued to watch his progress via the probe.


    Nina entered the library on her third day of work. Immediately she was called into the head Librarian's office. She could see the expression on her new boss' face. “Is something wrong?”

    “Aialah Alera-Kalrea hasn't come in today.”

    That was something Nina hadn't expected. “She didn't.”

    “I know something of what occurred yesterday,” the Head Librarian divulged. “Including about the book that shouldn't have been loaned.” She shook her head.

    “What I suspect is personal, but I have reason to believe she could be in danger.”

    “I knew about her and the Mayor's son. So I suspected that something like this could happen,” the Head Librarian got up from behind the desk and paced. “But Aialah is missing and I should have looked out for her more.” She gestured to the pile of paperwork at one end of the desk and sighed.

    Nina could see that the Head Librarian took duty of care seriously. It was just as well she had read up on the way this particular society worked. “So, you have informed the Police and the Guild then? Why are you telling me this?”

    “The Guild, yes,” the Head Librarian answered. “The Police, not yet. The latter may be more influenced by the Mayor than I like.”

    'Of course. It will the Guild leading this investigation,' Nina thought. She just wanted a quiet few days! “So...”

    “Given that Aialah confided in you, a little, the Guild wants you to help with the investigation.”

    Nina nodded.


    The Emergency Away Mission Synthetic analysed the refusal that the crew member had given him. “Why?”

    “You have your answer. The Captain won't see you, and we can repair the ship ourselves!”

    “I still can repair your ship.”

    The crewmember then brandished a sword. “Get off this ship!”


    Alpha saw saw the Synth retreat. She supposed she could beam him into the hold, but that was still rather risky from a Prime Directive standpoint. 'There's probably not much choice if the ship is to be saved,' she thought. She wished she had tried to run simulations of external repairs to the hull. She shook her head. There was no way the Synth could have done that.

    “Emergency Away Mission Synthetic to Baffin.”

    “Alpha here.”

    “I was unable to gain entry to the hold.”

    “Could you try again?” she asked. A look at the sensor data told her there were crew in the hold. She wasn't sure they would leave it.

    “There's a high probability of failure, but I'll try.”


    “Is that strange man asking to help repair the ship again?” the Captain asked.

    “He is. I should note that the cracks in the hull are getting bigger. We won't be able to save the cargo.”

    “Forget the cargo, can all of us escape?”

    “Yes, barely. The jollyboats are ready to go.”

    “Good. Now, tell that man to go.”
    The Synth saw the Mate approaching. “His answer?”

    “Clear off. We have the repairs well in hand.”

    “I can repair your ship.”

    “No!” the mate said, brandishing a sword again.

    “Withdraw,” Alpha said.


    Nina had worked for a few hours before she was called into the Head Librarian's office again. The local Guild Representative was there. “So, Nina Lumber?”

    “That's me.”

    “So, Aialah Alera-Kalrea confided in you about why she thought she would get into trouble?”

    “Yes.”

    The interview went on for a while, during which Nina filled in the Representative on what had happened two days earlier.


    “Thanks for the help,” the Representative said.

    “I would like her to be found too.”

    “Stay at the library after work and I'll fill you in on what has been figured out so far.”

    “Sure.”


    During her lunch break, Nina went back to the TARDIS. She wondering if she would be able to find Aialah using the Scanner. 'OK, TARDIS, scan the data downloaded so far. Search for Aialah Alera-Kalrea.”

    The TARDIS beeped. A picture of Aialah came up. The word Missing was prominent in the poster. 'That didn't help.' But she had barely begun. “Right, the last time she was seen in surveilance footage.”
    There was another beep and a video of Aialah and the Mayor's son appeared. The time stamp indicated it was taken the previous night. It was at the city's main train station and they were waiting at the platform.

    “Were there trains scheduled last night?”

    A list of services to that station came up on the screen. None of them matched the timestamp, which was firmly an hour after the last one. Something had happened to her after that? Locating the Mayor's son would be the next step.

    “Search for Karlan Lanronal.”

    Mayor Lanronal honors son for services rendered.

    'Nepotism!' she thought. The timestamp for the newspaper article was earlier that morning. 'The possibility that she has been spirited away somewhere is high.' She turned her attention back to the surveilance footage. She could see Aialah was distressed. She noted the time stamp. “Jump forwards at one minute intervals. Pause when Aialah disappears.”

    Only five minutes later, Aialah was no longer there. But the video also showed a rail motor diappearing into the distance. She was certainly on that. “Bring up the rail network in the city.”

    The scanner screen filled up with the diagram of the railway network. There were many abandoned stations and sidings listed. 'A needle in a haystack,' she thought. But there was another way. While the TARDIS was 'tied up', there was another time travel option. The Emergency Subset. Sure, it was meant for emergencies, but it could be used in this instance for a short range hop. She rushed out of the Console Room.


    The Emergency Subset room just looked like a barebones Console Room, with cupboards filled with emergency supplies. As she entered, the scanner activated, showing the surveilance footage from that station. The coordinates were set. She breathed deeply as she approached the console. 'Ready!' she thought, as she set the Emergency Subset into motion.


    As soon as the Emergency Subset had materialisd, Nina bounded outside. She saw the rail motor clear the platform. 'There has to be a way to track it.' She could either run after it or return to the TARDIS. “What should I do?”

    After a moment, she made her decision. She rushed back to the Emergency Subset, and initiated the Return Protocol.


    After returning to the TARDIS, Nina noted that only a few minutes had passed. She then went back to the Library.

    The afternoon passed slowly, with Nina helping various patrons find books, or online resources. The thought of remaining in the library indefinitely, rather than returning to the Baffin crossed her mind, but she knew she had to return. 'I can always return after they return home,' she thought.


    Aolare Palet-Ienae, the Librarian Guild Representative for Naneare - Rladibud, saw Nina Lumber enter the meeting room a few minutes early.

    “So, any more news?” Nina asked.

    Aolare hesitated. “It is serious. It seems Aialah was kidnapped,” she explained.

    “I see,” Nina said.

    “I know this is a shock.”

    “I want to help.”

    “I know you do.”

    “So, any evidence?” Nina asked.

    “There's plenty of evidence,” Aolare said. “It is circumstatial.”

    “Oh!”

    “But you're still going to present it to the City Court.”

    “Yes.”

    “Right,” Nina said with disappointment. It seemed she would need to find Aialah herself.


    That evening when she re-entered the TARDIS, Nina called up the diagram of the city's rail network again. That rail motor had to end up somewhere. She also called up the surveilance footage of the rail motor again. 'Locate the rail motor,' she directed.

    An icon appeared, indicating that the rail motor had been last spotted at one of the abandoned stations an hour after Aialah's disappearance at the main railway station. She brought up the relevant footage. It showed the rail motor arriving, and Aialah being rough handled off it by several men, including the Mayor's son! She was getting somewhere. 'First, the Guild needs to know. Then I'll try to rescue Aialah from those men!' Nina thought as she saw the rail motor leave again. Probably was stored in a thought abandoned rail shed somewhere, she supposed.
    “OK, TARDIS, let the Librarian Guild know. Give them this footage as an anonymous tip.”

    The TARDIS 'dinged', the the footage had been sent to the Guild.

    “Lead the coordinates into the Emergency Subset,” Nina cried out as she left the Auxillary Console Room. She stopped by a wardrobe and threw on a concealing outfit.


    Again, the Emergency Subset left the TARDIS.


    The Emergency Subset materialised off to the side of the abandoned station, the sound of that materialisation drowned out by the sound of the poorly maintained rail motor departing. As Nina moved towards Aialah and her kidnappers she could hear the former struggling.

    “You won't get away with this!” Aialah cried out.

    “Stop!” Nina cried out as she approached, throwing her voice lower so Aialah wouldn't recognise it.

    “Get that person!” the Mayor's son called out to his men.

    The gang pulled out firearms and started shooting. Nina ducked behind a pillar just in time. Her hearts beat faster as she heard the bullets ricochet off it. 'I didn't think they would be armed!' she thought. She looked back towards the Emergency Subset. She would make it. 'But do I have the phaser?' she wondered. She checked her pockets, but it was obvious the phaser was back in the TARDIS. But she did have a spare tricorder. 'I'll retrieve it later,' she decided. She started it scanning and threw it aside as a distraction.
    She ran back to the Emergency Subset as the goons shot at the tricorder.


    She returned to the TARDIS and ran back to the Zero Room to try to calm down.


    Having spent the night in the Zero Room, Nina returned to the auxillary Console Room in the morning to find that the leaked footage had caused a media frenzy. Most of the outlets were calling for the Mayor to resign. But the Guild hadn't yet found Aialah. 'I'll have breakfast and go to the Library.'


    Aolare was approaching Nina's motor home when Nina emerged. “Good. I need to talk to you. That leak may have done more harm than good.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “The Guild needs to find Aialah before the Police do.”

    “Right...” Nina considered.

    “Let's go. I've set up an operations center in the Library.”


    Nina entered the room in which Aolare was coordinating the search for Aialah. “The team are approaching the abandoned station now, Ma'am,” one of the other librarians said.

    “Good,” Aolare said.

    Nina breathed deeply.


    It was a long day. Hardly any progress was made, except that evidence from the station indicated that Aialah had been taken elsewhere. “Maybe we should try calling in the Mayor's son,” Nina groused as she left the Library.

    “No, he'll just stonewall us,” Aolare objected. “We're tracking down the others that were with him.”

    “Probably.”


    Entering the TARDIS, Nina saw that the download of the network was complete. “I know where Aialah was two nights ago. I can use the TARDIS to rescue her.” But there was a lot of risk in that. She called up the abandoned station.


    She grabbed the phaser and then set it to stun and put it on wide beam. She set the TARDIS in motion...
     
  15. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    10. Departure
    Aialah certainly hadn’t expected Nina to be a time travelling alien from a parallel universe. The TARDIS being larger on the inside than the outside certainly was a shock. “So, we’re travelling in time now?” she asked.

    “Yes. Back in time five hundred years to a crashed Starship,” Nina answered.

    “Crashed Starship?” Aialah asked.

    “You’ll see.”

    “I’d rather see your home planet.”

    “Remember, it’s in another universe,” Nina said.

    There was something in Nina’s tone. She was being evasive. ‘I’ll just keep asking,’ she decided. “So, no?”

    “No,” Nina answered. “Come, I’ll show you more of the ship.”

    The corridors looked similar to the Console Room, which Nina said was an auxiliary Console room. ‘So there’s more than one,’ Aialah thought.
    They wandered through the corridors for some minutes, passing a library, swimming pool and conservatory before arriving at what Nina called the Main Console Room. It looked different to the other console room, with touch screens instead of the physical controls. “This looks more stylish,” she said.

    “Yes. This is based off the Baffin’s interior.”

    “You mean, you changed this room to look like a room in that ship?”

    “Well, I didn’t. The TARDIS itself did,” Nina answered as she pressed some of the touch screens, producing some sounds. The time rotor in the center of the console started moving. “We’re almost there.”

    “You’re saying the ship can change itself?”

    “Yes. When we leave the ship, the outside will no longer be a motor home.”

    “You did say it was a disguise,” Aialah stated.

    Nina nodded as the room shook and then was still. “We should be in the Baffin’s Shuttle Bay.”

    “Shuttle bay?”

    “A hangar for the ship’s auxiliary craft.”

    “Of course.”


    Alpha was still annoyed that the Synth hadn’t managed to repair that ship, but she was able to confirm that the entire crew had evacuated as it broke up. There was an alert. “Alert. Crewman Nina’s TARDIS is arriving in the Shuttle Bay.”

    “Computer, Transfer me to Shuttle Bay.”

    Aialah followed Nina out of the TARDIS, into the Shuttle Bay. She saw that it had changed shape, but was still the same colour, that of the other craft nearby. She saw another woman there. “Hi.”

    “Nina, you brought someone back with you?” she asked.

    “Yes,” Nina answered “It wasn’t safe for her to stay. It shouldn’t be a violation of the Prime Directive.”

    “If it wasn’t safe for her to stay, then it isn’t.”

    “Aialah, this is Alpha.”

    Aialah went up to Alpha, and shook her hand. There was something strange about her. ‘I’m not sure what it is…

    “I also have the data. But we need to talk about it.”

    “Sure, but go to sickbay first,” Alpha said.

    “Please state the nature of the medical emergency,” the EMH said as she activated.

    “You’re an Artificial Intelligence doctor?” an unfamiliar woman asked.

    “Yes,” the EMH answered.

    “This is Aialah,” Crewman Nina said. “She’s from the future of the planet we’re on, in the late industrial era.”

    “I see,” the EMH said. She grabbed one of the medical tricorders.

    Aialah flinched.

    “It’s a non-invasive scan.”

    “I just went through, something…” Aialah said.

    “I had to rescue her,” Nina explained.

    “I’ll keep that in mind,” the EMH said.

    Alpha looked over the reports Nina and the EMH had given her on Aialah. “So, she’s going to be OK?” she asked the EMH, who had come to the Bridge with Nina.
    “Most likely,” the EMH said. She looked to Nina “We just need to be there for her.”

    “She can help me with the data analysis,” Nina said.

    There wasn’t much else for a librarian to do aboard the Baffin. “Of course,” Alpha said. “Talking about data…”

    “I did copy the enitre World Network in Aialah’s time. The PADDs are still in the TARDIS,” Nina said

    “You can go and get them.”

    Nina entered the Ready Room, where Alpha was listening to Klingon Opera. “You’re copying the data to the Main Computer now?” Alpha asked.

    “Yes,” Nina answered.

    “Is there a problem?” Alpha asked.

    “While the download was going on, the TARDIS detected that there may be one or more emergent intelligences in the network. There may now be aspects of those intelligences in Baffin’s network, along with the Emergency Hologram Programs.”

    “I wouldn’t worry. Starfleet’s computer security is very good.”

    “Sure,” Nina said, although she wasn’t sure.

    “If it causes a problem, I’ll be able to deal with it.”

    “That’s good. So, I’ll get back to analysing the data.”

    “First I’ll brief Aialah. But also we’re leaving the planet. We need to investigate Earth before we try to retrace the multiversial journey.”

    “That’s a good idea.”

    “However, you were late again.”

    “How long?” Nina asked.

    “Several days.”

    “The TARDIS isn’t always accurate when it comes to landing at a specific time.”

    “That could be a problem.”

    “I’ll try to fix it.”

    “Good.”

    Alpha and Nina re-entered the Bridge where Aialah was waiting. “So, we’re going to be re-tracing the journey before the ship crashed?”

    “Yes,” Alpha answered. “But first we need to investigate the home planet in this universe.”

    “I guess so,” Aialah said.

    Alpha approached the helm. “Computer, activate Emergency Navigational Hologram.”

    The Emergency Navigational Hologram appeared. “Please state the nature of the Navigational Emergency.” He turned to Alpha. “Alpha!” he said with arms wide, and hugged her.

    Alpha was uncomfortable. She didn’t know why he was programmed to be a… flirt. “Not now, Flyboy! We’re about to leave, to go to Earth.”

    “Oh, of course. So, you have found a way to re-trace our journey?” The ENH asked, all business.

    “Not yet,” Nina said.

    “And you are?”

    “Crewman Nina. I’ll introduce you to her and Crewman Aialah later.”

    “Right,” the ENH said, turning back to the helm. “Running diagnostic. Helm reports nominal.”

    “Good. Now, Nina, Aialah, take a seat. Pilot, begin launch sequence.”

    “Launch sequence initiated. I have waited to say that!”

    The Baffin’s long dormant thrusters activated, and the ship began to lift from the crash site.

    In Engineering, Beta and Gamma looked over their consoles. “The inertial dampeners are working as they should,” Beta said.

    “Power flow to thrusters is optimal.”

    “Slightly sluggish,” the ENH reported. “There may be some vegetation entangled somewhere.”

    “It’ll be fine,” Alpha said. “Get us into orbit, and the work bees can check the exterior over before we go further.”


    “Right.”

    The ship continued to lift from the crash site, vegetation and dirt falling as it did so.

    Alpha looked out over the landscape. It was exhilarating to see the ship taking off.

    “Height. 200 meters,” the ENH reported.

    “Steady as she goes.”

    “Aye.”

    “Height: 500 meters,” the ENH reported. “Bringing full power to rear thrusters.”

    Baffin tilted up 60 degrees and the rear thrusters powered up. The ship then accelerated.

    Five minutes later, the ship achieved a low stable orbit.

    “Preparing workbees for automatic scan of the exterior,” Nina reported.

    The workbees checked over the ship’s exterior. The paint had had it, and some parts of the hull on the Stardrive Section were bent out of shape, but otherwise the ship was sound. “I estimate that it will take four hours to effect repairs if the work bees are automated,” Alpha said.
    “Is that usual?” Nina asked.

    “Not usual given our situation, but that is usual for a ship this size,” Alpha said.

    “Right.”

    “Run the automation protocol and Engineering will coordinate.”

    “Aye.”

    Whilst the work bees repaired the hull, Alpha introduced Nina and Aialah to the ENH. “What would you like to be called?” Nina asked.

    The ENH considered this. “Certainly not ‘Flyboy,’ he said with a look at Alpha, who shrugged. “I’ll need to think about it. You can call me Pilot, though.”

    “Sure,” Nina said.


    As the repair continued, Alpha and Nina gave Aialah the overview of the history of the Federation and the Time Lords (although, the latter was comparatively compressed and left out the Time War, as Nina didn’t want to talk about it).

    Beta to the Bridge, hull repairs are complete. Warp drive is ready for your command.”

    “Thanks, Beta,” Alpha said. She turned to the ENH. “Set course for Sector 001.”

    “Aye, Captain,” the ENH said. He laid in the course. “Course is set.”

    “Engage.”

    The Baffin then went to warp.

    “Holding at Warp 9.2,” the ENH reported. “ETA to Earth; two months, five days.”

    “And how does that compare to my time measurements?” Aialah asked.

    “Given that your planet’s rotational period is very close to Earth’s, just under 60 days, or one and a half long months,” Nina answered.
    “Still a long time to be away…” Aialah considered.

    “No matter how far away we get, within this universe, the TARDIS can still return to your time.”
    “Good.”

    Commanders Log, Day 1028. Baffin is now enroute to Earth. The logs indicate that the remaining crew didn't head to Earth upon entering this universe so we don't know what to expect. Crewman Aailah Alera-Kalrea has begun to adapt to life aboard the ship. It's going to be an interesting voyage.

    Alpha got up from the Command Chair and paused the Klingon opera. She hoped Aialah would be able to recover on the ship and that Nina didn't make a big mistake.


    Nina saw Alpha leave the bridge. 'Where's she going?' she wondered. She loaded the crew logs again. “So it was in 1974...”
     
  16. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    11. Christmas on an Alternate Past Earth
    The Baffin entered into orbit over the far side of the Moon. Lieutenant Daniela Hernandez sighed in relief. The ship would not have been detected by anyone on Earth. The approach from warp was from behind the Moon. She knew that observing a mid to late 20th Century Earth wouldn't help them in their dilemma, but the crew had to do something.

    “Prepare to launch the probes,” Commander Emmerson ordered.

    “Aye, Commander,” Hernandez said.


    The Baffin launched the probes, disguised as sattelites typical of the era.

    Three probes stayed in orbit around the Moon, to act as relay stations.


    “Report,” Commander Emmerson said an hour later.

    “So far, Earth seems to be identical. We would have do a deeper scan,” Hernandez reported.
    “Then you know what to do.”

    “Aye commander.”


    Half an hour later. “It's not identical. Many of the suburban layouts are different in the United Kingdom and the rest of the Commonwealth. Some settlements in the United States are in slightly different locations.”

    “But nothing else unusual?” Emmerson asked.

    “Nothing,” Hernandez said. But then an alert came up. “Wait! A strange energy signature, somewhere in Oxford.”

    “That is something to investigate, wouldn't you think?” Emmerson asked.


    “Commanders Log, supplemental. Indications of anachronistic technology have been detected in the United Kingdom. An Away Team has been sent in a shuttle to investigate.”


    “We're clearing the Moon now, Lieutenant,” Albert reported.

    Hernandez looked at Earth as it rose above the Lunar limb. “A sight for sore eyes,” she breathed.

    “Absolutely,” Lawson said.

    “It is nearly sunset in the United Kingdom,” Albert reported. An image of the North Sea and the surrounding land areas appeared on the monitor. The terminator was approaching East Anglia.

    “Right,” Hernandez decided. “Set us down near the Thames to the south of Oxford, just after sunset. Keep out of the flightpaths of any airliners that may be going to and from Heathrow.”

    “Aye,” Albert said.


    The Toronto landed on a deserted stretch of river bank. Hernandez emerged first and began to scan. “The energy reading is located at the University.”

    “It's going to be difficult to get in there at this hour,” Lawson stated.

    “We're going to try anyway,” Hernandez said.

    They grabbed their supplies and headed towards the University. “You're from Oxford, right?” Albert asked.

    “Windsor actually,” Hernandez clarified. “But I did do a degree at Oxford before going to Starfleet Academy.”

    “So, Oxford will be familiar?” Lawson asked.

    “In some ways,” Hernadez answered. “But there would be a lot of differences between the 20th and 24th Century versions. Exactly four hundred years...”

    “Exactly?” Albert asked.

    “Yes. I graduated in 2375, and was in the Academy's Class of 2379.”

    “Post War...” Lawson murmured.

    “I wanted to do a degree before joining Starfleet. The War didn't influence my choice to delay going to the Academy.”

    “I didn't say that,” Lawson said.


    Back on the Baffin, Emmerson looked over the sensor data from the probes. More minor differences in settlement patterns were picked up in Europe, the Middle East, India and China. “Where are we on the broadcasts?” he asked.

    “So far the broadcasts are 95% identical to those at this time in our universe,” Lu reported. “For example, there are advertisements for airings of It's a Wonderful Life on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.”

    “What about the 5%?”

    “Of those, 4/5ths have no equivalent in our universe. The remaining 1/5th is anachronistic by comparison, having been developed up to 25 years early,” Lu answered.

    “That's an interesting divergence,” Emmerson mused.

    “However, the news reports are identical,” Lu added.

    “So far,” Emmerson said.


    Forty minutes after they landed, the Away Team approached the southernmost of the University's buildings.

    “We're within the University as it exists at home,” Hernandez said.

    “Of course,” Albert said.

    “The reading is still further north,” Lawson reported.

    Hernandez consulted her Tricorder. “Strange...” she commented.

    “Another strange thing?” Lawson asked.

    “It seems to be below the Bodelian. But that would mean there are differences in the development of the University.”

    “Another difference between universes?” Albert asked.

    “Yes,” Hernandez answered.


    In another fifteen minutes they approached the Bodelian Library. The old building looked as it would during Hernandez's studies at an alternate Oxford nearly four hundred years in the future.

    “The main door is locked, but there may be another way in,” Hernandez said, after scanning it with her tricorder. She widened the scan radius again. “Strange...” she commented.

    “What's strange?” Albert asked.

    “There's a secret entrance on the western side, that leads to the first basement level,” Hernandez answered.

    “Wouldn't that be locked?” Lawson asked.

    “Someone may have been remise,” Hernandez pointed out.

    “Not that likely,” Albert pointed out.


    A few minutes later, they came to that entrance. “It looks like someone may have forced their way in,” Hernandez said. The door was intact, but the door jamb wasn't.

    “We probably need to report in first,” Lawson said. “In case we interuppt a crime in progress.”

    “And that may constitute a violation of the Prime Directive.” Hernandez pointed out. “Good point.”


    “We're receiving a message from the Away Team,” Lu reported.

    “Put it through,” Emmerson ordered.

    “Hernandez here, Sir. The energy reading is coming from beneath the Bodelian Library. There is also evidence of a very recent break and enter. We may not be alone there.”

    “Procede with caution, Lieutenant,” Emmerson ordered.

    “Aye, sir.”


    The trio entered the subterranian passageway. It was dimly lit with naked incandescent bulbs placed every four meters along the ceiling. Whoever had entered before them hadn't switched them off. Hernandez lead point with Lawson bringing up the rear. Half a minute later, they came to the end of the passageway. The door was closed, but Hernandez could see that it didn't have a lock. She gave a shush motion with her finger over her lips before placing her ear on the door. 'Nothing,' she thought as she backed up and turned the handle.

    There was another passageway, perpendicular to the one they had just come along. She looked in both directions and then back at her tricorder. “The energy reading is coming from the north, and down another level,” she said.

    “I'm reading three lifesigns on this level, and two on the lower level,” Lawson reported.

    “Then we'll continue slowly,” Hernandez said as she drew her phaser.

    Both Lawson and Albert nodded. They then turned left and walked slowly up the corridor. They found stairs leading down to the lower level. The door to the stairwell had evidence of its lock being picked. Hernandez glanced down the stairs, and saw that there were at least three levels below the one they were going down to. 'That makes five levels below the Bodelian,' she thought. She was certain the Bodelian in their universe didn't have such modifications. 'What has made this Oxford this different to ours?' she wondered.

    She gestured down the stairway, telling the others to come slowly.


    Lawson followed Hernandez and Albert into the lower level. The corridor looked the same as the one on the level above. “The energy reading is in a room 10 meters ahead,” Hernandez reported.

    Suddenly, they heard the sounds of a scuffle, followed by the sharp report of a gun.

    “That came from that room,” Hernandez said.

    Lawson looked around and found another room closer to the stairwell. “Here,” he said.

    “Good idea,” Hernandez whispered.


    They entered the side room, which contained many old books, and closed the door. Hernandez looked at her tricorder again. “Great!” she whisphered.

    “Huh?” Albert asked.

    “Whoever the shooter is; they have got whatever is putting out that energy,” she explained.

    “So, we'll have follow whoever it is?” Lawson asked rehetorically.

    Hernandez nodded.


    40 seconds later, Hernandez said. “They've gone back up the stairs, the way we came. Now to follow!”

    They followed slowly, until they came back out of the doorway they entered. “There!” Hernandez said. The man turned around, and they ducked back into the passageway.

    “I know you're there!” he said.

    Hernandez tapped her comm badge. “Hernandez to Toronto. Emergency beam out!”


    They materialised back on the Toronto. “Wouldn't he have heard the transporter?” Lawson asked.

    “Maybe,” Hernandez answered. “But he wouldn't know what to make of the sound. We'll wait five minutes and beam back.”


    Five minutes later, they did beam back. “He's moved off,” Hernandez said after looking at her tricorder. “He's in one of the car parks.”

    “It's likely he's going to drive off,” Lawson stated.

    “Almost certainly,” Hernandez said. “But Oxford is farely compact. We'll be able to walk to where-ever he goes to.”

    “I knew you would say that.”

    “And we can use the Toronto to follow him if he leaves town.”

    “It would be risky,” Albert pointed out.

    “Of course,” Hernandez said.


    They followed the car through the passageways of the University. It seemed that people were shopping and going out late this evening. The University may have been deserted, but Oxford wasn't. 'One thing doesn't change through time and alternative univeses,” Hernandez mused. 'The propensity for some people to leave the business of obtaining Christmas gifts to the last minute.' One thing was certain however. The Man was taking the energy source in an easterly direction. Was he heading towards London?

    She directed the PADD to load the map of London for 1974, alongside the scan of the city the Toronto took from orbit. '5% missmatch,' she thought. Most of the mismatch was in the outer areas.


    10 minutes later. “He's left Oxford on the A40,” Hernandez reported.

    “I'll call the Toronto then?” Albert asked.

    “Yes. Call the shuttle,” Hernandez ordered.


    Given the early evening traffic, it was difficult to find a spot where the shuttle wouldn't be seen. But they did find an isolated spot where it was able to land. Soon they were flying low over the Oxford rooftops. “We have forty minutes before he reaches the outskirts of London,” Hernandez said.

    “Plenty of time,” Lawson said.

    “But he may stop off somewhere on the way,” Hernandez said. She turned to Albert who was getting into the pilot's seat. “Close in on him, less than 50 meters behind, and just high enough to avoid any trees and power cables.”

    “Aye, Lieutenant,” Albert said.


    Less than a two minutes later, they had closed in on the person's car. “Scanning that vehicle,” Lawson said.

    “Right,” Hernandez said, looking over at his screen.

    “It's an Aston Martin DB5,” Lawson reported, seeing it match with the Baffin's database on the 20th Century. “But, there seem to be a large number of aftermarket modifications, including integrated weapons and an ejector system built into the passenger seat.”

    “So, he may be a government agent,” Hernandez surmised. “Figures. That makes it more difficult, but not impossible.”

    “A direct confrontation would be difficult,” Lawson said.

    “Grab his DB5 in a tractor beam?” Albert asked.

    “That would be risky, as would trying to hold him in the transporter buffer be,” Hernandez answered. “Scan that DB5 again. Maybe we can find some weaknesses.”


    “We can probably beat the DB5's modifications, but we don't know how well trained the operator is,” Lawson said.

    “We could explain that Britain shouldn't have whatever he has got? Pretend to be Americans?”

    “I don't think that would work,” Hernandez considered. “He would see through that ruse quite quickly.” She then showed the other two officers her PADD. “But here is what we can do. Replicate a modified motorcycle and use that to try to obain the object.”

    Lawson rechecked the sensors. “It seems the object is on the floor in front of the passenger seat.”

    “It would be difficult to get, we may need to trigger the ejection system before we try to grab the object,” Hernandez said.

    Lawson checked the scan again. “And still, even at this close range, the energy still interferes with the transporter. I doubt a pattern enhancer will work.”

    “Yes. The old fashioned way,” Hernandez said. “The design for the motorcycle is nearly complete. Is there any more traffic?”

    “A few scattered cars, and lorries,” Albert answered.

    “That won't be a problem.” Hernandez then pressed a command and the Toronto began replicating a modified Ducati Supersport.


    “Done,” Hernandez said as she finished fueling the Supersport. “How close are we to the outskirts of London?”

    “Twelve minutes to Beaconsfeild. Twenty to London,” Albert reported.

    “That's pushing it,” Hernandezs said as she scanned the motorcycle with her tricorder. Everything was ready. “Ready.”
    “Are you sure you want to do this?” Lawson asked.

    “I'm the only one who has experience with motorcycles, so yes,” Hernandez answered. She put on the helmet and mounted the Ducati.


    The Toronto lowered itself to just above the roadway and turned around so that it was going backwards. Hernandez then rode the motorcycle out of the rear hatch. She was behind the DB5 within seconds.

    “Toronto to Hernandez,” Albert said fifteen seconds later.

    “Report,” Hernandez said.

    “Two other vehicles with modifications are approaching ahead of the DB5. Be aware that they aren't British makes.”

    “So, they could be Warsaw Pact agents,” Hernandez surmised. “I'm on it. Maybe we could gain the British agent's trust first.”

    She consulted the tricorder she had placed just below the bike's headlamp. The information came up in the helmet's HUD. The two other vehicles had just driven off the the other side of the motorway. She also could see the DB5 take evasive action. She breathed deeply, and then rode into the fray...

    Avoiding the live fire from the three cars, Hernandez targeted the engines of the two newcomers with the missiles she had designed. The engines exploded...

    The DB5 came to a stop about 100 meters down the road from the wreckages.

    Having got off the bike, Hernandez warily approached the driver's side of the DB5, torch in hand. The agent emerged. She couldn't help but notice the Walther PPK he held in his right hand.

    “Thanks for the intervention,” he said. “But I would like to know who you are.”

    Hernandez took off the helmet, letting her hair fall loose. “Daniela Hernandez.”

    “Bond. James Bond.”
     
  17. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2020
    12. Interlude
    “Commanders log, Day 1036. It is over a week since we left Alae-Lakria, as Crewman Alera-Kalrea calls it. She and Crewman Nina have fallen into a routine.”

    Alpha sighed. She was certain there was more going on with Nina and Aialah than they had let on. She looked to Nina where she was looking over the data on the first alternate Earth the Baffin had encountered. 'Maybe she has found that British agent interesting,' she thought.

    She shook he rhead and looked to the ENH as he sat at the Conn making slight adjustments to the ship's course as it came across variations in subspace. She then sensed the Baffin slow some.

    “A slow zone, sir,” the ENH reported. “Do you want to slipstream past it?”

    “A moment, Pilot,” she said.

    “Aye.”

    “Alpha to Engineering. Beta, what's the status of the Quantum Slipstream Drive?”

    One of the remaining Benamite crystals is in the chamber, but I don't know how long it will last.

    “It'll be a hop to get past a slow zone.”

    “It is ready now, Alpha. Beta out.”

    “Thanks. Alpha out. You heard him, Pilot. Initiate the Slipstream hop.”

    “Aye,” the ENH responded.


    The Baffin jumped to Slipstream.

    “The problem is, the sensors only picked up on the presence of the slow zone. Not how big it is,” the ENH said.

    “We'll Slipstream for ten minutes, then drop out again,” Alpha decided.

    The ENH nodded and focused on the panel in front of him.


    Ten minutes later, Baffin dropped out of slipstream back to warp speed. “ETA to Earth, one month, twenty days,” the ENH reported.

    “And are we past the slow zone?” Alpha asked.

    The ENH checked his console. “Yes.”

    “That's good.”


    Aialah entered the Bridge after having felt the strange shift in the ship's vibrations. “What just happened?” she asked.

    “We just did a slipstream jump,” Nina answered.

    “Can you explain that?” Aialah asked.

    “Alpha got out of the command chair and came over. “The ship has two faster than light drives. The Warp Drive and the Slipstream Drive,” she said. “The Slipstream is faster than Warp, but it is more unreliable and depends upon a resource that is rarer than the resources the Warp Drive depends upon.”

    Aialah nodded.

    “You can have a tour of the ship if you like,” Alpha said.
    “Sure.”

    “Alpha to Beta, please report to the Bridge.”

    “Transferring now, Ma'am.”


    “Wait!” Aialah called out.

    “What?” Alpha asked.

    “Not him!” Aialah said. Too late, as Beta had already said the command to transfer, so he had transferred. His appearance scared Aialah.

    “Is something wrong?” Beta asked.

    “Sorry, I'll explain later. Ask Gamma to come,” Alpha said.

    “Sure,” Beta said. “Computer, Transfer Emergency Engineering Hologram Beta to Engineering.”

    As Beta transferred out, Alpha turned to Aialah. “What's wrong?”

    Aialah remained silent, and looked away.

    'Obviously something wrong,' Alpha thought as Gamma transferred in.

    “Reporting Alpha,” Gamma said. “You must be Aialah.”

    “Yes,” Aialah said, more lively than a moment earlier.

    “Where do you want to start?” Gamma asked.

    Aialah was in thought for a moment. “Engineering.”

    “Sure,” Gamma said. She lead Aialah back to the turbolift.


    Alpha was more concerned about Aialah after her reaction to Beta. “Computer, activate Emergency Medical Hologram, and transfer me to sickbay.”

    “Affirmative.”


    “Please state the nature of the medical emergency?”

    “It's Crewman Aialah.”

    “What's happened?” the EMH asked.

    “Computer, replay what just happened on the Bridge, from when Beta transferred in until I transferred here.”

    “Affirmative.”


    After watching the playback, the EMH was concerned. Clearly, being on the Baffin didn't really help Aialah with the trauma she had undergone. 'Being afraid of a male hologram,' she thought.

    Alpha was waiting. “So...”

    “I can't do anything if she doesn't come to me about it.”

    “I know that,” Alpha said, the concern showing on her face. “Computer, transfer me back to the Bridge.”

    The EMH sighed. She went to the Chief Medical Officer's office and reopened the files on both Aialah and Nina. 'Maybe they can help each other.' But at least Nina had come for help. 'But she hasn't been back since we left the planet either.'


    The turbolift stopped and the doors opened giving Aialah a view of Engineering. “Is that the Warp Core?” she asked as she stepped out.

    “Yes,” Gamma answered. “The power comes from the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter, with the reaction being mediated by the use of Dilithium crystals.”

    She came up to the Warp Core. “Dilithium?”

    “The crystal lattice allows for an efficient matter-antimatter reaction, which makes Warp Drive possible.”

    “That is interesting,”Aialah commented. “So, the ship's systems are maintained from here?”

    “Yes,” Gamma answered. “Ordinarily there would be ten engineers for a ship of this class, along with the DOT16s.”

    “And now?”

    “There are eight Engineering Holograms, each with a designation from one of Earth's alphabets.”

    “That seems to be a bit many,” Aialah considered.

    “Starfleet believes in redundancy,” Gamma said. “And each of us has slightly different capabilities.”

    “That makes sense then.”


    Aialah spent half an hour looking at the Engineering systems and the Warp Core. “But where are the systems for the Slipstream Drive?” she asked.

    Gamma drew her attention to the Master Systems Display and pointed to a point at the forward portion of the secondary hull. “Here, behind the Deflector Dish.”

    “Let's go there, then,” Aialah said as she turned back to watch the Warp Core do it's thing.

    “Cool, I can show you the Benamite crystals. A bit difficult to show you the Dilithium while the Core is active.”

    “Isn't there spare Dilithium?”

    “Yes, but that's a secure area.”

    “Of course.”


    Aialah looked over the Benamite Chamber/Deflector Control room. It looked much like Main Engineering, except that the Benamite Chamber was much smaller than the Warp Core. Gamma had said that the Warp Core still provided the power necessary for Quantum Slipstream, which took less power than the Warp Nacelles did. “Well, I've seen most of the ship.”

    “There is also the Holodeck. You can say that I've left the best until last.”

    “Is it?”


    Gamma lead Aialah to Holodeck 2. “So it generates a holographic environment?” Alaiah asked.

    “Yes. The Holoprojectors in the rest of the ship aren't designed for immersion.” They entered the Holodeck. “Choose an environment. Anything anywhere. It can also be used for scenarios and role playing.”

    “A beach?”

    “Computer, a beach. Any beach.”

    Suddenly the grid disappeared, replaced by a beach. “Bondi Beach, a beach in Sydney, Australia,” the computer reported.

    “Wow!” Aialah said.

    “If you go down to the water, you'll find it's real water.”

    “Cool.”


    After a short time splashing a rock pool, Aialah decided to try something else. “Nina has copied the data from my world into the computer system right?”

    “Yes,” Gamma answered.

    “So, it would be able to show the data in the form of a library?”

    “It can.”

    “Then, let's change the simulation to that.”

    “Computer, load the data from Alae-Lakria as a library.”

    Affirmative.”

    The simulation then changed to a large library. “Cool. It chose the Kraeo Pala Library.”

    “Huh?”

    “Oh, it's the largest library in the world,” Aialah said.

    'Makes sense,' Gamma thought.


    Gamma transferred onto the Bridge. Alpha wasn't there, only the Pilot and Crewman Nina. 'Where is she?' she wondered. “Computer; locate Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha.”

    Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha is in the Main Shuttlebay.”

    “Right. Transfer me to the main Shuttlebay.”

    Affirmative.


    In the Shuttlebay, Gamma found Alpha looking at the TARDIS with a thoughtful expression. (She could tell it was the TARDIS, rather than another shuttle, because of the Circular Gallifreyian where the name would otherwise be) “Alpha?”

    “I was just thinking about how the TARDIS works. About how much more advanced the Time Lords may be than the Federation.”

    “Is that all?”

    “To distract from the concerns about Aialah,” Alpha answered. “I'm not sure Nina made the right decision.”

    “She did seem a little eager.”

    “Trying to distract herself.”

    “Yes,” Gamma stated.

    “We'll see how it goes,” Alpha said. She turned back to the TARDIS. “It is a mystery.”


    Aialah left the Holodeck after spending an hour reading the history of her nation and it's neighbours. She wanted to talk to Gamma further. 'I'm sure she's in Engineering.'


    Entering Engineering, Aialah saw two other holograms, but not Gamma. “Computer, locate Emergency Engineering Hologram Gamma.”

    “Emergency Engineering Hologram Gamma is on the Bridge.”
    “Thanks.”


    She emerged onto the Bridge to find Alpha and Gamma working on one of the rear work stations. “Done,” Alpha said.

    “Computer, run level 5 diagnostic,” Gamma said.

    Diagnostic will be complete in five minutes.”

    Gamma noticed Aialah. “Hi.”

    “I liked the Holodeck,” she said simply.

    “That's good,” Gamma said.


    As Baffin continued towards Earth, Aialah kept mostly to herself, although she did talk to Nina and Gamma from time to time.

    Alpha continued to be concerned.

    Nina continued to investigate that first alternate Earth the ship encountered.
     
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