Author: Alan Decker, Anthony Butler
Copyright: 2023

SECTION 29


A head-on confrontation with Lornstrum is too risky. She might get a shot off which could either hit you or draw attention to you both. Either way, it could affect the timeline. Your best option is to draw her away, which means using the time tunneler. You don’t have any coordinates in it, though.

Except where you just came from!

“Why would I go back to your ship?” you ask, lowering your hands and hoping she doesn’t notice that you just reactivated the device on your wrist.

“Why do you think you have a choice?” Lornstrum says.

“Crap! Get down!” you say, looking past her in a panic. You duck as she spins around to see what you’re talking about. It’s just the window you need to select the coordinates you arrived from and activate the time tunneler.

By the time Lornstrum turns back around, you’ve vanished into the future.

You reappear in front of Reginald Bain mere moments after you left.

“What the devil!” he exclaims.

“Sorry. Can’t stay,” you say, quickly selecting new coordinates. If you linger too long, Lornstrum is bound to track you down, and the last thing you want is her finding this Reginald. Based on your past history with her, she’d be likely to kill him just out of spite. “And if an angry woman shows up looking for me, hide!”

You activate the time tunneler again and soon emerge from the swirling torrent of time energy into a beautiful sunny day on the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters. After punching in your next destination, you take a moment to enjoy the lovely view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

“Here, Rosalyn? Really?” Lornstrum asks from behind you. “Are expecting all of Starfleet Command to charge over and arrest me.”

“No. It was just a pretty day,” you reply before activating the time tunneler again. You’re gone well before two young Starfleet officers out on one of their early dates would have walked past this same spot in your timeline. But 2453 must have played out differently here. It’s a shame really. That particular day and stroll with Reginald was when you first realized that you could see yourself falling in love with him.

The next stop on your time tour is much less scenic or warm. Rura Penthe in 2293. The prison is in chaos with loadspeakers blaring in Klingon about an escape. It’s perfect in two ways. First, no one is going to pay much attention to you in the midst of all of the excitement. And second, if Lornstrum comes barreling in, she’s likely to end up in a fight with one of the inmates. You have coordinates punched in for your next jump, but you’re hoping this one might be enough to make her give up.

Her appearance in the cascade of particles of a 29th Century transporter beam a short time later disabuses you of that notion.

“Dammit, Rosalyn. This isn’t an improvement!” Lornstrom snaps.

You decide to skip the banter and instead activate the time tunneler.

Next stop is a gleaming white office on a space station with a massive window looking out on several starships floating nearby. A grey uniformed man, an admiral by the look of him, with an equally grey beard rises up from his desk chair.

“What are you doing in here?”

“Sorry for the intrusion,” you reply, punching in more coordinates. “I’ll be gone shortly.”

“That isn’t an answer.”

“Fine. I’m jumping through time because a 29th Century Federation officer is hunting me down.”

He grimaces. “The 29th Century. Those people were the worst.”

“I know!”

And just to punctuate that point, Lornstrum appears. “The 32nd Century? Oh Great Bird! Just stop, Rosalyn! I mean look out there!”

“What? What’s wrong with out there?” the admiral demands.

“Those monstrosities are supposed to be starships? And what’s with the detached nacelles?”

“They’re for safety.”

“They’re ridiculous.”

“You both make excellent points,” you said. “Carry on without me.” And with that, you once again vanish into time.

Your next landing is on a sandy beach looking out over a beautiful ocean. You just picked Risa in a random year because it’s Risa. It’s always gorgeous. Unfortunately, you can’t stay. Lornstrum will likely be here soon. Although, if she wanted to give up after arguing with that 32nd Century admiral, you’d be more than okay with that. Just in case, though, you stage more coordinates.

Settling into a nearby beach chair is probably a bad idea. As nice as it is and after the day you’ve been having, you might just drift off for a nap. And sure enough, Lornstrum materializes beside you a moment later.

“Ok. I can’t fault you too much for this one,” she says, admiring the view.

“You could stay and enjoy it,” you reply. “Your timeship must be getting quite the workout.”

“It will last longer than whatever that thing is you’re wearing.”

“We’ll just see about that.”

“No, you absolutely will not.” The voice that just spoke is decidedly male, unfamiliar, and right behind you. You and Lornstrum both turn to see a tall man wearing a straw hat, a red Hawaiian shirt (with what appears to be a pattern of little Jean-Luc Picards), and white Bermuda shorts. “We can’t allow you to keep leaping around like this. You’re starting to damage the space-time continuum, and believe me, I know something about continuums.”

“Who the hell are you?” Lornstrum demands.

“Q.”

“Q who?”

“Sorry. That title has already been used. And it’s beside the point. It’s time for you two humans to step messing about with forces that are beyond your comprehension. Now make nice, so I can get back to my Mai Tai.”

You’re aware of the Q, but you’ve never actually dealt with one yourself. You could explain the whole situation and get his help restoring your timeline. The reputation of the Q doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, though. If you acquiesce to his demand, you could lose the ability to travel in time and end up turned into a cat or something. But defying him could be equally bad…or worse.

You need to decide before Lornstrum does!


If you explain the situation to Q and ask him for help, go to Section 5.


If you decide to make a run for it and try to disappear into time, go to Section 26.