Paramount owns Star Trek Alan Decker created Star Traks. Brendan Chris created Silverado. Brendan Chris created Silverado. Brendan Chris created- Thank you. On with the show.

Author: Brendan Chris
Copyright: 2004

“Warp 7.6!” cried Ensign Yanick, shouting to be heard over the Red Alert Klaxon and the frightened cries of refugees.

“The wave will hit us in ten seconds,” called Fifebee frantically.

“Yanick, take us to Warp 9,” yelled Stafford.

Yanick gulped as she increased the ship’s speed to Warp 9, far faster than her barely broken-in warp drive had ever taken her before

A low rumble started to build from the ship’s superstructure as stresses increased. The rumble built up to a steady pounding.

“Wave will hit us in one minute!” reported Fifebee, “It’s still gaining!”

“Bridge!” came Jeffery’s panicked but still thickly accented voice from engineering, “We canna take this any longer! The engines are goin’ to overload!”

“Maximum warp!” Stafford ordered, “put the wave on screen!”

The screen switched to a rear view with the ship’s nacelles visible on the bottom of the screen. A massive, expanding sphere of energy was spreading out in all directions directly behind them.

“Warp 9.1!” yelled Yanick from the conn, “9.2!”

“Structural integrity at 80%” reported Jall, pushing a terrified refugee away from his station.

“We will be out of range of the wave in one minute, twenty seconds,” reported Noonan.

“Impact in fifty seconds,” reported Fifebee.

“Faster Trish!” Stafford snapped, “Or we’re not going to make it!”

“Warp 9.4!”

“This is Silverado’s maximum rated speed,” Noonan said, worry evident on his face.

“Coolant leak!” shouted Jeffery from engineering, “Ah’m tryin’ to lock it down!”

“Wave will impact in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”

There was a bright flash of light, then Silverado was gone.


Three days earlier:


Captain’s Log, Stardate: 56324.32

As we continue our exploration of this region of space, we’ve discovered….ABSOLUTLY NOTHING!!! Well, not in the past week or two anyway. Sure, we had our fun war game, got seduced and discovered that the whack-jobs responsible for half our problems live nearby, but the novelty is fading fast.”

“On the bright side, we’ve picked up some very interesting readings from a nearby system and have changed course to investigate!”


“Are you sure this is wise?” asked Fifebee.

“Sure it is,” said Jall with an easy smile, “have I ever led you wrong?”

“Don’t even start!” snapped Dr. Wowryk.

“Oh, you know you want me!”

Fifebee rolled her eyes. At this point, she knew better than to get involved. The best thing to do would be to wait until they got it out of their systems.

“So,” Jall was saying, “getting the urge to hop on a shuttle and see if the Matrians are looking for power-mad she-bitches?”

“Hardly,” said Wowryk coldly, “I’ve been far to busy wondering how it is that you could resist the charms of all those beautiful Senousian women. I’m starting to think you might prefer activities that are less than proper!”

“According to the Pope,” Jall shot back, “EVERYTHING is ‘less than proper’!”

Fifebee tapped at her panel. The three of them were located in Science Lab 1. In the center of the room was the Matrian Spatial Interphase Device, also known as a Dream Machine or M-SID. Despite Starfleet’s belief that the Matrians were just attempting to communicate, Stafford and Noonan believed a confrontation was unavoidable. Fifebee and Wowryk had been studying the effects the device had had on the crew for months and with Jall’s help they were finally ready to test out a defense.

“If either of you care,” she said, interrupting a cutting remark made by Dr. Wowryk regarding Jall’s personal hygiene, “the subspace bubble is ready.”

“Oh, sweet!” said Jall, “Now are we ready to test it out?”

“Yes. I will extend the bubble around yourself and Dr. Wowryk, then activate the SID.”

“What if it doesn’t work?” Wowryk asked worriedly.

“Then,” Jall answered, “we get the added pleasure of killing each other to escape Dreamland.”

“I can live with that,” Wowryk admitted, “what about you, Fifebee?”

“My holographic body is impervious to the effects. I will observe.”

“Gotcha.”

Fifebee activated the subspace bubble.

“Is it on?” Wowryk asked doubtfully.

“Yes. The bubble is functioning properly. I am engaging the M-SID now.”

Fifebee flicked the large switch on the lower portion of the device to the ‘ON’ position. A series of lights flashed to life on the device as it gave a soft hum.

“I am limiting the power output,” Fifebee said, “The effects of the device will reach only ten meters.”

“I don’t feel anything,” said Jall.

“Me neither.”

Fifebee tapped at a tricorder.

“It appears we are successful.”

“Who-hoo!” sang Jall, “Wait, why do I care?”

“We now know how to use the ship’s warp engines to protect us from the Matrian SIDs. “

“Oh, yeah. Goody.”

There was a sudden squeal as power built up in the subspace generator, then a shower of sparks as the generator overloaded and died. Thinking fast, Fifebee hit the cutoff switches for both the generator and the SID.

“Back to the old drawing board?” asked Wowryk.

“Hardly,” replied Fifebee, “there was an external subspace surge that interfered with the generator. The damage is easy to fix.”

Wowryk was running her tricorder over Jall and herself.

“We’ve each received small doses of subspace radiation,” she reported, “not enough to do any damage, fortunately.”

“Well, if we’re done here,” Jall said happily, “who’s up for martinis?”


Stafford was sitting in his usual spot in Unbalanced Equations when Jall, Fifebee and Wowryk walked through the door. Jall was in an uncharacteristically good mood, although Stafford wasn’t sure if that meant the experiments with the M-SID had been a success or a dismal failure. The three officers stopped by the bar to say hello to Steven, the always present, always friendly bartender, then split off in their own separate directions; Fifebee towards Ensign Puk, a Betazoid scientist with whom she was forging a new friendship, Jall towards his own little corner and Noel heading straight for Stafford.

Stafford was even more amazed to see that not only was Dr. Wowryk smiling, she was carrying two drinks.

“Good evening, Chris,” she said, handing him a drink with a smile, “I hope you’ve had a pleasant day,”

“Um, it’s been great,” he said cautiously, “We’ll be reaching the Horison system tomorrow. The star is a red giant, Fifebee thinks it could go supernova relatively soon. And the weird subspace readings we’ve been getting have the whole science team raring to go.”

“That’s very interesting,” Noel said, “And you’ve been feeling well?”

“Ok, that’s it,” Stafford said, “What did I do now?”

“Do now?”

“You’re either about to crush me like a bug, or you want something.” Stafford said flatly.

“Now why would you say…OK, fine,” Wowryk let the sugary sweetness fall out of her tone, although she remained reasonably friendly, “it’s about Simon.”

“Yes, what about him?” Stafford asked.

“I need you two to kiss and make up,”

Stafford shuddered.

“Look, Doc, I’m not that kinda guy,” he said.

“Not literally!” Wowryk objected, “Please! I mean I need you two to start being friends again.”

“I arrested him,” Stafford pointed out, “he’s not really thrilled about that.”

“He’s less upset with you than you think,” Wowryk, “he blames himself. He only leaves his quarters to work; he can barely speak to me. He’s depressed!”

“I thought you wanted him that way,” Stafford said coolly.

“He’s suffered enough,” Wowryk stated, “I am ready to forgive him and welcome him back into the flock.”

“What flock? We don’t have any birds.”

“The saying refers to sheep, actually.”

“We don’t have any sheep either!”

“I think you’re missing the point here.”

“Is this one of those God and Catholicism things again?”

“Yes.”

“‘Nuff said,” Stafford sighed, “So you forgive him. What’s the problem?”

“He hasn’t forgiven himself yet. I figure that reforming your friendship with him would be a great way to rebuild his self-esteem.”

“Don’t we have a counselor for that?” Stafford whined.

“You do forgive him, don’t you?” Wowryk asked.

“Of course I do. But I don’t like dealing with people who are mad at me….” Stafford trailed off.

“If you don’t take Simon for a boys night out tomorrow, I will be VERY mad at you.” Wowryk gave Stafford her best ‘burn-in-the-lake-of-fire’ glare.

“Yes ma’am.”


Lieutenant Jall awoke the next morning to the loud blaring of his computer wake-up call.

Groaning incoherently, Jall stumbled to his replicator.

“Bcn, gegs, test, anna cup of cufee”

“Command unclear, please repeat,” said the computer in its formal monotone. Then, back into its more matronly voice, “That means, honey, I don’t have a clue what the heck you’re trying to say!”

“Why, oh why did I program you to act like the Captain’s mothe?” Jall moaned, leaning his head against the panel, “Bacon, eggs, toast and a cup of coffee, please,”

“If you didn’t stay up so late,” the computer said primly as the meal materialized, “you wouldn’t be so tired in the morning.”

“Less talk, more eat,” muttered Jall as he started shoveling food into his mouth.

Feeling much more awake once he had eaten, Jall showered, dressed and left for his bridge shift. On his way out the door, he stopped to quickly check his reflection in his replicator panel.

“Aw, f**k!”


Dr. Wowryk had just finished her morning prayers at the small alter in her office when Lieutenant Jall came storming in, hands at his temples.

“Good morning, Lieutenant,” she purred, “May the grace of God grant you the peace you desire,”

“What?”

“Never mind,” Wowryk muttered. So much for trying for a more friendly, spiritual greeting, “How may I help you?”

“Look, Doc, first of all, you’ve gotta promise to keep this secret,” Jall said hurriedly.

“Of course. I am your doctor, after all. What’s wrong?”

Jall took his hands away, revealing faint Trill spots running from his temples, down the sides of his face and into his collar.

Wowryk looked at him.

“And the problem would be?”

“The spots!” Jall hissed.

“You’re half Trill. It’s normal for you to have spots. It’s odd that they weren’t there yesterday though. I wonder if this has something to do with the radiation….”

“Actually, no,” Jall admitted, “I’ve always had them.”

“Now I’m lost,” Wowryk admitted.

“I need you to cover them up! I get them removed every six months, but they keep coming back Give them another two days and they’ll be darker than, um, some really dark thing!”

“Why would you want to cover them up?” Wowryk asked, “You body was created by God. It’s blasphemous to alter it from his divine blueprint.”

“Divine blueprint? Give me a break!”

“Ok,” Wowryk snapped,”I couldn’t come up with a better word! But the point remains!”

“Look,” Jall said, “on the Trill homeworld, non-joined Trill are second-class citizens at best. I’m half-human, so my odds of being joined are almost zilch, which I’m fine with. But I’d rather have people assume I’m mostly human than a sub-standard Trill.”

“I suppose that makes sense,” Wowryk conceded, “It’s very vain, but it is your body.” She grabbed a pigmentation alteration device and started removing the spots.

“Thanks, Doc,” Jall muttered.

There were a few moments of silence.

“If you want me to get all of these,” Wowryk said, “you will need to disrobe.”

“Um, no offense Doc,” Jall said nervously, “but I don’t wanna get naked in front of you. If you could just get the ones on my shoulders and back that would be great.”

“Very well.”

Jall removed his shirt and Noel continued to work her way down, erasing the spots as she went.

“You know,” she said, “I don’t think anybody on this ship would really care about the spots,” she said.

“You’d be surprised,” Jall replied, “First question my mother would get from almost every Starfleet officer was ‘oh, are you joined’?”

“I guess that could be annoying. But don’t forget that Silverado is a bit different from other Starfleet ships. I doubt most of the crew would notice, and those that did likely won’t care. The senior staff knows you’re half Trill anyway. It’s right in your file.”

“True enough,” Jall pulled his shirt back on as Wowryk finished, “Thanks, Doc.”


Captain’s Log, Stardate 56325.02

“We’ve entered the Horison system to investigate some unusual subspace readings as well as to take some scans of the star. Starfleet has seen dozens of red giant stars go supernova, so we will focus our energy on the subspace anomalies.”

“Unfortunately, we’ve found some very, very bad news.”


“How many again?,” Stafford asked softly.

“4.3 billion, sir,” Fifebee said, her voice subdued.

“This isn’t fair,” Yanick objected, a tear in her eye.

The focus of their attention was the M-class planet that their sensors had detected. The subspace interference had disrupted their scans, but as they came closer to the system they had detected not only the planet, but also the fact that it was inhabited.

Normally, the discovery of an inhabited world was cause for celebration, an opportunity to learn about new cultures, ways of thinking or even a chance to welcome a new race into the Federation.

But not today.

“It should be noted,” Fifebee said, “that based on our sensor readings, it will be between two and two hundred years before the star goes supernova. That may afford the Federation time to effect an evacuation.”

“They’re a pre-warp civilization facing a natural disaster,” Noonan pointed out sadly, “the Prime Directive applies. There are signs of electromagnetic activity, indicating they have discovered radio, television and so forth, but no sign of any space travel at all. Even if we were to ignore the Prime Directive, Starfleet would not support us and we cannot evacuate 4.3 billion people ourselves.”

“There must be some precedent for this!” Stafford objected.

“There is. The species in question was left to their own devices and managed to escape two years before the supernova occurred.”

Even Jall had no sarcastic remarks to bring up.

“Then every person on that planet is going to die,” he said.

“And their deaths will be without honor,” T’Parief grunted.

Stafford, who was pacing in front of his chair, turned and delivered a hard, swift kick to the bridge railing.

“F**K!” he screamed.

“Indeed,” agreed Noonan, “Unless they discover warp drive before their star explodes, they are doomed.”

“Captain,” Fifebee said, her voice shaky, “I’ve detected the source of the subspace readings,”

“Who cares?” Jall snapped, “We’re kind of busy being upset here!”

“Onscreen,” Stafford said.

Jaws dropped across the bridge.

The object was huge. Massive. Over one hundred kilometers in diameter, it made Waystation look like a speck of dust. The main portion of the artifact was a smooth surface sphere. Three massive rings spun slowly around the sphere, each on a different axis. The entire thing orbited the planet in the approximate position where one would expect to find a moon or natural satellite.

“What the hell is that thing?” asked Jall.

“An excellent question,” agreed Noonan.

“Unknown,” Fifebee said, “it does not match any known object on record. The materials making up the artifact’s surface are likewise unknown. However, it is the source of the subspace disturbance. And the disturbance is increasing at a geometric rate.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong,” Stafford said, “But there is no way those poor people could have built this thing.”

“No chance whatsoever,” Fifebee replied.

“We split into two teams,” Stafford said, “Fifebee, Jall and Jeffery will be studying the artifact. Yanick, Noonan and Dr. Wowryk will analyze radio transmissions from the surface. Let’s learn what we can about these people. It may be our last chance.”


Fifebee was in Science Lab 1 and had been joined by Jeffery and Jall.

“I have no clue how that thing works, or what it’s supposed to do,” Jall said.

They had been studying the artifact for several hours now, and had learned very little.

“By following the power build-up rate,” Fifebee said, “I believe that whatever function the device is intended for will be carried out soon and will involve a huge release of energy.”

“Yer goin’ on supposition,” Jeffery said, “It could go off tomorrow, it could go off in ten years. We canna possibly know.”

“Look at the rotation of the rings,” Fifebee pointed out, bringing up a visual image of the device with the three rotating rings highlighted. “They NEVER completely align. Yet with each rotation, they come closer to doing so. Based on my calculations, the rings will be perfectly aligned in 45 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds.”

“I really don’t think we want to be around when this thing goes off,” Jall said.

“We have no idea what it does. It could be beneficial.”

“I highly doubt that. Big, mysterious artifacts are rarely good things.”

Fifebee checked her internal chrono.

“In any event,” she said, “the overnight shift will continue to analyze our findings. We should reconvene in the morning to continue our analysis.”

“Gotcha.”


Jeffery sat in his quarters, sipping whiskey. He didn’t want to admit it in front of the others, but the artifact had disturbed him in a very deep way. He had read reports of strange devices; the Dyson Sphere, a gigantic sphere enclosing an entire star, for example. Or the massive ring world built by the ancient Ithecans. But seeing one of these gigantic wonders with his own eyes gave him a new fear and respect for whoever could build something of such size and power.

His musings were interrupted by the door chime.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“Chis,” came the reply.

“Oh. Come in.”

Stafford walked uneasily through the door.

“How ya doin’?” he asked.

“Fine. You?”

“Fine.”

There was a moment of silence.

“Wanna come grab a drink?” Stafford asked finally.

“Not really.”

“C’mon. You’ve been spending too much time sitting in here by yourself. Let’s go.”

“How would ye know what I’ve been doing?”

“Well,” Stafford hesitated, “Ok, fine. Noel came to see me. She’s really worried about you. Says you’re spending too much time along, still kicking yourself over what happened with her.”

“But I-“

“I don’t want to hear it!” Stafford snapped, surprising both of them, “You’ve done your time. She’s forgiven you. It’s in the past. It was a stupid thing to do, but we don’t think any less of you for it! Now we want you to come back, so things can be the way they were before.”

Jeffery hesitated.

“Yer right,” he said, “I mean, compared to what’s going to happen to those people down there, our problems seem pretty stupid, don’t they?”


Jeffery and Stafford stepped into Unbalanced Equations. Yanick, Wowryk, T’Parief and Jall were all seated by the large windows, looking out at the planet. Wowryk stood to give Jeffery a quick hug, shooting Stafford a grateful look over Jeffery’s shoulder.

“Ah should be happy,” Jeffery said, as he looked down at the planet, “but it’s kinda hard right now.”

“Tell me about it,” Yanick said. T’Parief was holding her as tears continued to spill from her eyes to the carpet.”

“They have a chance,” Stafford said, “If they discover warp drive in time, they can escape, or at least the Federation will be able to render aid.”

“What are the odds of that?” Wowryk asked.

“Not good.”

As Silverado orbited the planet, they passed between the planet and the huge artifact orbiting it.

“Did you guys learn anything interesting about that thing?” Stafford asked Jeffery.

“Fifebee is giving our findings at the staff briefing tomorrow,” Jeffery said, “it boils down to ‘we don’t know what it is or what it does, but we think it’s going to go off in two days.”

“Two days?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Bummer.”


“And so,” Fifebee concluded in her presentation, “we don’t know what it is or what it does, but we think it’s going to activate sometime tomorrow.”

Jeffery shot Stafford a knowing look, causing Stafford to have to fight back a grin.

“And Mr. Noonan, what have you discovered?”

“We’ve analyzed radio, television and even some wireless data transmissions from the planet,” Noonan said, “They are in the middle of their first Computer Age, but have no spaceflight whatsoever. Apparently, they have only recently become aware of what is likely to happen to their star. At this point, only the planetary government knows and they are keeping the fact hidden from the general population while they try to formulate a plan.”

“They already have a planetary government?” Fifebee asked, “That’s unusual for planets at this stage of their development.”

“Indeed,” agreed Noonan, “the First Contact office will undoubtedly want to send in a team to determine their rating on the Richter Scale of Culture. “

“If there’s time,” Stafford said darkly, bringing another round of tears from Trish.

“So what do we do?”

“We’ll keep studying the planet and the artifact until tomorrow,” Stafford decided, “We’ll leave a probe behind so we can study the device from a safe distance when it goes off. We’ll contact Starfleet, they can send out a science vessel. Frankly, I want to get out of here as soon as possible.”

“Agreed,” rumbled T’Parief.


The next day, Stafford was sitting in his chair, staring at the artifact on the screen. Those rings just kept turning, over and over again. To his eye it looked like they were aligning themselves every hour or so, but Fifebee assured him that they were still almost a meter away from full alignment.

Fifebee and Jall had returned to the bridge to monitor the device in the last few hours before departure. Now, with little more than an hour to go, Fifebee was finishing final adjustments on the probe they were leaving behind.

Stafford was suddenly pulled from his musings by a loud beeping on Fifebee’s console.

“What is it?” he snapped.

“Power levels in the artifact are spiking,” she said, “Subspace distortions continue to grow at the expected rate, but I’m now reading neutrinos, veteran particles and chronometric particle fields.”

“Translate?”

“I think,” Fifebee said, “that thing is about to go up in a very large and impressive bang,”

“What impact will the detonation have on the planet?” demanded Noonan.

Fifebee tapped at her panel for several seconds, then looked at Stafford and shook her head.

Stafford swallowed, opened his mouth to speak, then swallowed again.

“How long,” he finally asked.

“One hour, five minutes,” Fifebee replied softly.

“Captain,” Noonan said, “The Prime Directive-“

“Does NOT apply! A supernova may be natural development, but THAT,” Stafford pointed at the artifact, “sure as hell IS NOT.”

He paced the bridge for a moment.

“Ok, f**k this,” Stafford snapped, “I’m about to do that whole breaking of orders thing now, so if anybody has a problem with that you better speak up. I’ll ignore you now and make a note of it later.”

“F**k the rules,” Jall said finally. There were nods of agreement around the bridge.

“Good man,” Stafford said, “all hands, this is the Captain. We’re detecting dangerous readings from the artifact in this system and will be leaving immediately. But we’re taking as many of these people with us as we can. Transporter rooms, give us a minute to make a very brief first contact with the local authorities and be ready to start beaming up as many people as possible. I need all available personnel helping with our new guests. They’re going to be frightened and confused. Fill the cargo bays, shuttlebays and guest quarters first, then start packing them into every open space we have on this crate! Stafford out.”

The next hour was a frenzy of activity.

The transporters on the ship, the shuttles and the runabout ran overtime, bringing up hundreds of frightened people. Every available Starfleet officer was explaining over and over again what was happening; the large device in the sky was going to do something really bad. Yes, we’re aliens. No, we aren’t here to conquor the planet. Yes, we’re evacuating everybody we can. No, we’re not going to perform experiments on you.

Stafford paced the bridge frantically as reports on the evacuation came in. He continued to pace until the bridge became so crowded with refugees he was forced to sit back down.

“Two minutes to activation,” Fifebee reported.

“We need to depart now,” Noonan said sadly.

“Another minute”, Stafford said, “we can still hold more.”

“Life support is being strained beyond specifications.”

“I don’t care! We only have a few thousand people out of more than 4 billion!”

“One minute.”

“Thirty seconds.”

“Transporter rooms,” Stafford said, “stop beaming people aboard. Prepare for warp speed.”

“Ten seconds.”

“Ensign Yanick,” Stafford ordered, eyes on the planet on the viewscreen, “Set course to Waystation. Warp 7”

“Aye sir,” Yanick forced out through her tears.

Silverado turned and jumped into warp.


The artifact swung around the bulk of the planet as its charging cycle completed. The three huge rings came into perfect alignment, then locked. The sphere itself opened on both ends revealing a massive energy core glowing with a brilliant blue light. The light exploded outward in all directions, washing over the planet in a nanosecond and rushing out to encompass the entire system.


“I’m reading a massive energy wave,” Fifebee reported, “The wave is comprised of a variety of exotic particles and is gaining on us!”

“Red alert!” cried Stafford, “Yanick, take us up to Warp 7.6!”

“Warp 7.6!” cried Ensign Yanick, shouting to be heard over the Red Alert Klaxon, and the frightened cries of refugees.

“The wave will hit us in ten seconds,” called Fifebee frantically.

“Yanick, take us to Warp 9,” yelled Stafford.

Yanick gulped as she increased the ship’s speed to Warp 9, far faster than her barely broken-in warp drive had ever taken her before.

A low rumble started to build from the ship’s superstructure as stresses increased. The rumble built up to a steady pounding.

“Wave will hit us in one minute!” reported Fifebee, “It’s still gaining!”

“Bridge!” came Jeffery’s panicked but still thickly accented voice from engineering,” We canna take this any longer! The engines are goin’ to overload!”

“Maximum warp!” Stafford ordered, “put the wave on screen!”

The screen switched to a rear view, with the ship’s nacelles visible on the bottom of the screen. A massive, expanding sphere of energy was spreading out in all directions directly behind them.

“Warp 9.1!” yelled Yanick from the conn, “9.2!”

“Structural integrity at 80%” reported Jall, pushing a terrified refugee away from his station.

“We will be out of range of the wave in one minute, twenty seconds,” reported Noonan.

“Impact in fifty seconds,” reported Fifebee.

“Faster Trish!” Stafford snapped, “Or we’re not going to make it!”

“Warp 9.4!”

“This is Silverado’s maximum rated speed,” Noonan said, worry evident on his face.

“Coolant leak!” shouted Jeffery from engineering, “Ah’m tryin’ to lock it down!”

“Wave will impact in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”

There was a bright flash of light, then Silverado was gone.


Round 2


Lieutenant Jall awoke to the loud blaring of his computer wake-up call.

Groaning incoherently, Jall stumbled to his replicator.

“Bcn, gegs, test, anna cup of cufee”

“Command unclear, please repeat,” said the computer in it’s formal monotone. Then, back into it’s more matronly voice, “That means, honey, I don’t have a clue what the heck you’re trying to say!”

“Why, oh why did I program you to act like the Captain’s mother?” Jall moaned, leaning his head against the panel, “Bacon, eggs, toast and a cup of coffee please,”

“If you didn’t stay up so late,” the computer said primly as the meal materialized, “you wouldn’t be so tired in the morning.”

“Less talk, more eat,” muttered Jall as he started shoveling food into his mouth.

Feeling much more awake once he had eaten, Jall showered, dressed and left for his bridge shift. On his way out the door, he stopped to quickly check his reflection in his replicator panel.

“Aw, f**k!”


Dr. Wowryk had just finished her morning prayers at the small alter in her office when Lieutenant Jall came storing in, hands at his temples.

“Good morning, Lieutenant,” she purred, “May the grace of God grant you the peace you desire,”

“What?”

“Nevermind,” Wowryk muttered. So much for trying for a more friendly, spiritual greeting, “How may I help you,”

“Look, Doc, first of all, you’ve gotta promise to keep this secret,” Jall said hurriedly.

Wowryk started to speak, then paused.

“I’m getting the strangest feeling of deja vu,” she said.

“You didn’t by any chance have a nightmare about exploding stars and big, weird alien gadgets, did you?” Jall asked.

“Yes, actually,” Wowryk said, shocked, “How did you know that?”

“I had the same one.”

“Wait,” Wowryk said, “Are you here about getting your spots removed?”

“How the F**K do you know about that!?”

“Because that’s what you asked me to do in the dream.”

“This is really screwed up,” Jall said.

“We should go see the Captain.” Wowryk headed for the door.

“Hold on!” Jall called, “What about my spots?”

“Oh, right,”


Stafford was standing by Fifebee’s console when Jall and Wowryk stepped out of the turbolift.

“Captain,” started Wowryk, “Jall and I just had the exact same dream. It could be the effect of an M-SID.”

“Not now, Stafford said hurriedly, “we’ve just detected an inhabited planet in this system. We’re trying to confirm, but if it is, you might want to pray to God that they’ve got the technology to escape this system before the star goes supernova.”

Jall and Wowryk exchanged glances.

“Captain,” Wowryk said cautiously, “Do you remember doing any of this already? Any feelings that maybe you’ve done this before?”

“No, dammit!” Stafford swore, “now please lay off the dreams until we’re done with this crisis!”

“Captain,” Fifebee said, a slight tremor in her voice, “It has been confirmed. The planet is inhabited by a pre-warp civilization. Population, 4.3 billion.”

Silence descended on the bridge as Jall and Wowryk again exchanged glances.

“How many again?” Stafford asked softly.

“4.3 billion, sir,” Fifebee said, her voice subdued.

“This isn’t fair,” Yanick objected, a tear in her eye.

Jall pulled Wowryk aside.

“I see two possibilities,” he said, “we each had a prophetic dream, or we just hit a temporal quasality loop. Now, I’m betting on the latter, but we can’t be sure.”

“I’ve read about temporal quasalities,” Wowryk said, “Why weren’t we affected?”

“We did get a dose of subspace radiation.”

“Would that do it?’

“I dunno.”

“What do we do?”

“We go through it all over again,” Jall said with a sigh of resignation.

“But we’re talking about the destruction of the ship! The deaths of billions of people!”

“Do you remember the ship being destroyed?”

“Well, no..”

“Look,” Jall said firmly, “We can’t turn that overgrown cherry bomb off. All we can do is run away. If it is a bomb we would have at least saved those three thousand refugees we managed to rescue from certain death. If it’s a time loop, we’ll try something different next time.

“I don’t like this,” Wowryk said sadly, “I don’t want to go through this all over again.”

“Me neither. But we have to.”


Fifebee was in Science Lab 1 and had been joined by Jeffery and Jall.

“I have no clue how that thing works, or what it’s supposed to do,” Jall said, working to remember his lines.

They had been studying the artifact for several hours now, and had learned very little.

“By following the power build-up rate,” Fifebee said, “I believe that whatever function the device is intended for will be carried out soon, and will involve a huge release of energy.”

“Yer goin’ on supposition,” Jeffery said, “It could go off tomorrow, it could go off in ten years. We canna possibly know.”

“Look at the rotation of the rings,” Fifebee pointed out, bringing up a visual image of the device with the three rotating rings highlighted. “They NEVER completely align. Yet with each rotation, they come closer to doing so. Based on my calculations, the rings will be perfectly aligned in 45 hours, 23 minutes and ten seconds.”

“Yes, then we get a really lovely explosion,” Jall said.

“We have no idea what it does. It could be beneficial.”

“Yeah, right,” Jall sighed, “if only I could believe that.”

Fifebee checked her internal chrono.

“In any event,” she said, “the overnight shift will continue to analyze our findings. We should reconvene in the morning to continue our analysis.”

“Gotcha.”


Warp 9.1!” yelled Yanick from the conn, “9.2!”

“Structural integrity at 80%” reported Jall, pushing a terrified refugee away from his station. He hadn’t noticed before, but the alien had really rotten body odor.

“We will be out of range of the wave in one minute, twenty seconds,” reported Noonan.

“Impact in fifty seconds,” reported Fifebee.

“Faster Trish!” Stafford snapped, “Or we’re not going to make it!”

“Warp 9.4!”

“This is Silverado’s maximum rated speed,” Noonan said, worry evident on his face.

“Coolant leak!” shouted Jeffery from engineering, “Ah’m tryin’ to lock it down!”

“Wave will impact in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”

There was a bright flash of light, then Silverado was gone.


Round 3


Lieutenant Jall awoke to the loud blaring of his computer wake-up call.

Groaning incoherently, Jall stumbled to his replicator.

“Bcn, gegs, test, anna cup of cufee”

“Command unclear, please repeat,” said the computer in it’s formal monotone. Then, back into it’s more matronly voice, “That means, honey, I don’t have a clue what the heck you’re trying to say!”

“Why, oh why did I program you to act like the Captain’s mother,” Jall moaned, leaning his head against the panel, “Bacon, eggs, toast and a cup of coffee please,”

“If you didn’t stay up so late,” the computer said primly as the meal materialized, “you wouldn’t be so tired in the morning.”

“Less talk, more eat,” muttered Jall as he started shoveling food into his mouth.

Feeling much more awake once he had eaten, Jall showered, dressed and left for his bridge shift. On his way out the door, he stopped to quickly check his reflection in his replicator panel.

“Aw, f**k!”


Jall stormed into Sickbay. Wowryk was waiting for him.

“Ok, it’s official. We’re stuck in a time loop.”

“Yippee for us,” Wowryk snapped.

“Let’s go see the Captain.”


Stafford was standing by Fifebee’s console when Jall and Wowryk stepped out of the turbolift.

“Captain,” started Wowryk, “Jall and I need to talk to you.”

“Not now, Stafford said hurriedly, “we’ve just detected an inhabited planet in this system. We’re trying to confirm, but if it is, you might want to pray to God that they’ve got the technology to escape this system before the star goes supernova.”

“The planet is inhabited with a pre-warp population of 4.3 billion, there’s a gigantic alien artifact that keeps blowing up the system and we’re stuck in a time loop.” Jall said quickly.

Stafford glared at him.

“Look, now is REALLY not the time for your stupid jokes!” He stepped back down to his chair.

“Well,” Wowryk said, “that’s not really the reaction I expected.”

“Just wait,” Jall said calmly.

“Captain,” Fifebee said, a slight tremor in her voice, “It has been confirmed. The planet is inhabited by a pre-warp civilization. Population, 4.3 billion.”

Silence descended on the bridge as Jall and Wowryk again exchanged glances.

“How many again?,” Stafford asked softly.

“4.3 billion, sir,” Fifebee said, her voice subdued.

“This isn’t fair,” Yanick objected, a tear in her eye.

Stafford looked at Jall.

“How did you know that?” he demanded.

“This is our third time doing this,” Jall explained, “only the evil bitch-doctor and I remember, because we were exposed to a subspace field pulse while we were testing defenses against the M-SIDs.”

“So what do we do?” Stafford asked unsteadily.

“In two days, the huge alien artifact you’re about to detect is going to release a huge energy burst, powerful enough to devastate this entire system. We’re going to try to escape with a handful of refugees, get caught by the wave and reappear here.”

“You mean in two days over 4 billion people are going to die,” Noonan said sadly.

“I-“ Jall choked up, “Yeah, I guess I do.”

Stafford snapped.

‘T’Parief, throw this prick in the brig. This is the last time I’m going to deal with his stupid pranks.”


T’Parief pushed Jall roughly into the brig and activated the force field.

“Look, I’m not kidding!” he insisted, “It’s going to happen!”

“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to put you in here!” T’Parief said with a leering grin, “Hey, when did you get the spots?”

“Aw, f**k!”


Wowryk was in Science Lab 2 with Noonan and Yanick. Yanick was sitting at one of the panels, wiping it repeatedly as her tears kept falling. Noonan was looking even more pale then usual as he worked at channeling the radio broadcasts from the planet through the Universal Translator.

“I’m telling you, he’s on the level!” Wowryk snapped.

“We are all very stressed out right now,” Noonan said, “Mr. Jall’s statements on the matter are only exaggerating the issue.”

“Right, but if we don’t start doing things different, we’re going to be trapped here forever…” Wowryk trailed off, then burst out laughing. And this wasn’t any normal laugh. It was the release of almost five days of tension, stress, sadness, regret and fear.

“Noel,” Trish wailed, “this isn’t a laughing matter!”

“Oh,” Wowryk gasped, “this is amazing! This is perfect!”

“Dr. Wowryk we’re looking at a planet of people that is very likely to be destroyed within the next century. This isn’t a laughing matter.

“You’re wrong!” Wowryk forced out between fits of happy laughter.

Noonan pulled an emergency medkit from the wall, injecting Wowryk with a sedative.


“And so,” Fifebee concluded in her presentation, “we don’t know what it is or what it does, but we think it’s going to activate tomorrow.”

Jeffery shot Stafford a knowing look, causing Stafford to have to fight back a grin.

“And Mr. Noonan, what have you discovered?”

“We’ve analyzed radio, television and even some wireless data transmissions from the planet,” Noonan said, “We were hampered by Dr. Wowryk’s breakdown, but we have established that they are in the middle of their first Computer Age and have no spaceflight whatsoever. Apparently, they have only recently become aware of what is likely to happen to their star. At this point, only the planetary government knows, and they are keeping the fact hidden from the general population while they try to formulate a plan.”

“They already have a planetary government?” Fifebee asked, “That’s unusual for planets at this stage of their development.”

“Indeed,” agreed Noonan, “the First Contact Office will undoubtedly want to send in a team to determine their rating on the Richter Scale of Culture. “

“If there’s time,” Stafford said darkly, bringing another round of tears from Trish.

“So what do we do?”

“We’ll keep studying the planet and the artifact until tomorrow,” Stafford decided, “We’ll leave a probe behind so we can study the device from a safe distance when it goes off. We’ll contact Starfleet, they can send out a science vessel. Frankly, I want to get out of here as soon as possible.”

“Agreed,” rumbled T’Parief.

“How is the good doctor?” Stafford asked.

“We’ve kept her sedated,” Noonan responded, “She will likely need counseling.”

“I imagine many of us will,” Stafford said.


“Wave will impact in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”

As the time counted to zero, Stafford’s last thought was of how much it sucked to have spent his last hour alive contemplating that Jall had actually been telling the truth about something.

There was a bright flash of light, then Silverado was gone.


Round 4


Dr. Wowryk awakened in her quarters feeling happy and full of positive energy. She quickly showered and ate breakfast, stopping to genuflect at the huge crucifix hanging from her wall. Walking to Sickbay she smiled and warmly greeted every crewman she passed, leaving more than one very confused ensign in her trail.

Kneeling before the altar in her office, she said her morning prayers then sat back to wait for Jall to enter.

“All right,” he snapped, “this time, the direct approach is definitely out!”

Wowryk grinned at him.

“What? What the hell are you so f**king happy about?”

Unable to contain herself, Wowryk seized Jall in a tight bear hug.

“Woah! Woah!” Jall objected, “I’m happy to see you too! Or at least I would be if I knew what the hell was going on!”

“I FIGURED IT OUT!” Wowryk finally shouted with joy.

“What? Figured what out?”

“The artifact! We’ve got it all wrong! It’s not here to destroy the planet! It’s here to SAVE it!”


Jall and Wowryk were in Science Lab 1. Jall started scanning the artifact the second the ship was in range.

“Everybody upstairs is going to be getting really depressed about now,” Wowryk said, “Can’t we tell them?”

“They’ll never believe us,” Jall said, “besides, do you really want to explain it to them again and again and again?’

“Yes!” Wowryk snapped, “This is GOOD news! It would make everybody so happy!”

“We need to confirm your theory first,” Jall said, “If you’re right, the planet itself should show some kind of chronotron signature.”

“Well look!”

“Stafford to Jall,” the Captain’s voice was subdued,”Get up here. We have a major situation developing.”

“Blow me, ass-wipe!” Jall shouted, then cut the channel. He turned to Wowryk, “I’ve always wanted to say that!”

“Very amusing. The scans?”

“Geological scans show evidence of upheaval about five hundred years ago,” Jall said, “consistent with a planet capturing a rouge planetoid.”

“Translate, please?”

“I think the artifact was placed in orbit about five hundred years ago,” Jall said.

“Fascinating, I’m sure, but not what we’re looking for!”

“Look lady,” Jall said, annoyed, “I’m just doing my job here. Unless you know of a better way to analyze a planet I suggest you shut up and let me talk!”

“How dare you!”

“Oh, I dare!”

“You ignorant, savage, unholy-“

“Yeah, I’ve heard all that before, you uptight bitch!”

“RUN THE DAMNED SCANS!” Wowryk snarled.

“The scans?” Jall smirked, “I finished those five minutes ago!”

Wowryk fumed.

“AND???”

“By my count, the planet has undergone fifteen separate repetitions of the time loop, with about five hundred years per repetition.”

“So they’ve been repeating the last five hundred years over and over again?”

“Essentially, yes.”

“And their civilization isn’t going to be destroyed by a supernova?”

“Nope. The star is going through the loop too, as is everything in this system.”

F**K YEAH!” Wowryk hollered as she jumped up, fists in the air. Jall watched, amused.

“So does this mean you’re going to start drinking and having promiscuous sex too?” Jall asked with a smirk.

Curbing her enthusiasm, Wowryk crossed herself and walked towards the door.

“Where ya goin’?”

“To see the Captain. Now that we have proof, he’ll listen to us.”

“Hold on honey,” Jall objected, “We need to take advantage of this opportunity while we can.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Jall said, “Haven’t you ever wanted to do something, just to see what would happen, but been too scared to do it?”

“Of course not! I would never want to say or do anything improper.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Oh, OK,” Wowryk admitted, “maybe just a little. But we have to tell them about this first. If we starting fooling around while everybody is depressed, it will just be a terrible mess.”

“Agreed,” Jall grinned, “Oh, just think of what we can get away with! And nobody will remember a thing!”


“This is disgusting,” Wowryk said as she and Jall rode the turbolift to the bridge.

“Hey, they won’t remember.”

“I will,” Wowryk muttered.

“Well, count yourself lucky.”

The doors opened, and Wowryk and Jall stepped onto the bridge.

Stafford was sitting in his chair, staring at the planet on the screen. T’Parief was the only other senior officer on the bridge, all the others were working in the science labs studying the planet or the artifact. Ensign Pysterzykz had been called up to man Ops, Ensign Menzies was manning the helm and Ensign Puk was manning the science station.

“Jall,” Stafford snapped as he turned around, “where have you-OH MY GOD!”

The rest of the bridge crew turned to watch in horror as Jall walked butt-naked over to the port auxiliary console and started tapping away.

“What’s up, Captain?”

Stafford’s mouth opened and shut several times as he tried to speak. Unfortunately, as Noonan wasn’t around to interpret for him, Jall had to wait for him to collect his wits.

“We are in the middle of a crisis, billions of people are likely to die and you are WALKING AROUND NAKED ON MY BRIDGE!!??!!”

“Sure am!” Jall walked up to the viewscreen, shaking his behind at Stafford, “You like?”

“F**k, that’s disgusting!” snapped Stafford, “That’s it! T’Parief, arrest this spotted…hey, what’s with the spots anyway…”

“Before you arrest me,” Jall said, “you may want to have Ensign Puk over there run a chronotron analysis on the planet.”

“And why the hell should I do that?”

“Because,” Jall said, sitting in Stafford’s chair, “you’ll find that this planet has been in a temporal quasality loop for the past 7,500 years, relieving their past five hundred years again, and again, and that they will continue to do so long after we’re all dead and gone!”

Stafford looked suspiciously at Jall.

“Ensign Puk, can you confirm that?”

“Scanning sir,” there were beeps and bloops as the Risan officer tapped at his panel. He looked up at Stafford.

“Confirmed, sir.”

Stafford stared at Puk in awe for several moments.

“YES!!!” he finally shouted, jumping up in the air. Sighs of relief were released across the bridge as everybody realized that 4.3 billion people would not, in fact, be dying anytime soon.

“Now get the f**k off my bridge until you get some cloths on!” Stafford yelled at Jall. Jall responding by jumping out of Stafford’s chair, giving the Captain a large hug, then bolting to the turbolift.

“Dear God,” Stafford shouted, “it was touching me! YUCK! YUCK!”

“I wouldn’t want to sit in that chair again if I were you either, sir,” T’Parief pointed out.

Stafford contemplated Jall’s bare backside sitting in his command chair.

“Burn it!” he ordered, “All hands, this is the Captain. I’ve got some really, really good news….”


“Now,” Jall said to Wowryk as he pulled his uniform back on, “you can’t tell me that wasn’t entertaining!”

“I would have taken a picture of Stafford’s face if I didn’t know it would be gone tomorrow,” Wowryk admitted.

“So, it’s your turn now. What do you wanna do?”

“Um, I don’t know,” Wowryk said, “I’ve spent most of my life repressing impure thoughts.”

“Uh-huh. Well, let Uncle Jall take care of everything. Here’s what we’re gonna do…”


Having learned that an entire race was not facing extinction, Stafford and Steven responded by declaring all but a skeleton crew off-duty and throwing a very large ‘It’s NOT the End of the World!” party. All 750 off-duty personnel, civilians, families and so forth could never fit in Unbalance Equations, so Steven quickly took over both the crew and officer’s mess halls in addition to his lounge. The synthohol was flowing free as everybody tried to forget the states of complete depression they had been in almost all day. The time had already slipped past 01:00h in the morning and nobody was showing any sign of slowing down.

“I can’t believe it,” Yanick said excitedly for about the 200th time, “They’re gonna be OK! That makes me SOO happy!”

“Aye,” Jeffery said, I’ll drink to that!”

Jeffery’s drink found itself being forcibly ejected through his nose as Noel Wowryk entered the room. Shocked crewmen exchanged glances and soft mutterings as the doctor walked by.

Noel was decked head to toe in leather. High heel black leather boots met tight leather pants, hugging every curve of her thighs and buttocks. A strapless leather bustier did little to hide her breasts. Normally hidden by her very conservative dress, they were now very hard to miss. Black lipstick, black nail polish, a leather cap and a horsewhip finished off her ensemble.

Stafford turned to Jeffery at least 3 times, ready to deliver a witty remark, but each time it died on his lips as Wowryk took one more step, her pants giving a sharp <SCRUNCH> sound with each movement. Jeffery was too shocked to even notice the burning as his whisky dripped through his nostrils. Fifebee, Yanick, T’Parief and even Noonan were too shocked to say a word.

Wowryk stalked up to Jeffery.

“Simon Jeffery, I presume,” she said sharply.

“Uh-huh,” Simon’s head bobbed like a hyperactive chipmunk as he nodded his head, “What-“

“Silence!” Noel snapped, “You will speak when spoken to! You have been a very, very bad boy. You must be punished!”

“Noel, I-“

“YOU WILL ADDRESS ME AS MISTRESS, YOU DISGUSTING LITTLE WORM!” Wowryk snarled.

“Y-yes….Mistress,” Jeffery stammered.

Noel looked at Jall, unable to remember what came next. Jall pantomimed pulling. Noel nodded, then returned her attention to Jeffery.

“Good boy!” Noel grabbed him by the back of his head, forcing his face to her breasts, then back up. Jeffery wobbled slightly, dazed. Wowryk snapped handcuffs on his wrists, then started dragging him out of the lounge as several crewmen started to applaud.

It was several moments before Stafford could speak again.

“What the F**K was that???” he demanded.

“Cool, huh?” Jall laughed, drink in hand, “it took me all afternoon to coach her to do that! I think she secretly enjoyed it more than she’ll ever admit!”

“Yeah, but she just…and Simon…and she,” Stafford frowned, “She’s not gonna…”

“Oh, no,” Jall assured him, “She’s just going to leave him tied up for a few hours.

“Charming,” muttered Stafford as he downed another drink, “what is with you two today?”

“Just chucking some inhibitions out the window.’

“Uh-huh. If you show up naked on my bridge again, I will forcibly amputate your reason for wearing cloths in the first place!” He stalked away from Jall.

“In another ten hours,” Jall said to himself, “you won’t have a clue it even happened!”


Wowryk met Jall in the lounge the next morning. Everybody else had either dragged themselves back to their duty stations or managed to snag a day off.

“So, how is Mr. Jeffery feeling this morning?”

“He’s still tied up on the rack you setup in the cargo bay.”

“That’s like, almost nine hours now!”

“I know,” Wowryk cracked an evil grin, “Oh, I’ve given him plenty of water. He’s comfortable enough. I guess you could say I’m getting my last bit of payback.”

“Did you use the paddle I replicated for you?”

“Of course not!’ Wowryk looked insulted, “I would never do anything of the sort! Really! The very idea that I would resort to spanking my boyfriend-“

“Squealed, didn’t he?”

“Like Yanick in a petting zoo.”

Jall and Wowryk shared a brief laugh.

“It’s almost a shame he won’t remember it,” Wowryk said thoughtfully, “I think he was enjoying it. And I never even touched him. Well, not with my bare skin anyway.”

“Living life on the wild side now, aren’t ya?” Jall smirked.

Wowryk sighed.

“I suppose my behavior was less than proper,” she said, “but then, I’m a lowly sinner. I can be forgiven the occasional transgression.”

“Uh-huh. Now you’re justifying yourself.”

“Don’t psychoanalyze me!”

“Hey babe, this is only the first trip!”

Their discussion was interrupted as the alarms started screaming.

“Red Alert! Senior officers report to the bridge!”


Stafford groaned as he pulled himself out of the turbolift. He was lucky enough that synthohol didn’t leave hangovers, but he was still running on one hour of sleep.

“Report!”

“Power levels in the artifact are spiking,” Fifebee said, “Subspace distortions continue to grow at the expected rate, but I’m now reading neutrinos, veteran particles and chronometric particle fields.”

“Translate?”

“I think,” Fifebee said, “This thing is about to go up in a very large an impressive bang,”

“What impact will this have on the planet,” demanded Noonan.

“It’s OK,” Jall piped in, “this triggers the loop. Everybody will be Ok.”

“Just the same, I want to get out of here. The last thing we need is to spend more time in a loop! Yanick, take us out of the system.”

Jall and Wowryk exchanged panicked glances. Jall’s fingers tapped frantically at his panel.

“Captain,” Ensign Sage’s voice came up from Engineering, “somebody just ejected the warp core!”

“WHAT?” Stafford spun around to T’Parief, “Check the command authorization! Who did that?”

T’Parief tapped at his panel.

“Jall did it, sir,”

Stafford turned to Jall.

“Why?”

“Well,” Jall said, “it’s really quite simple. Wowryk and I want to go through a few more loops. See, the last thing we need is for you to remember some of these stunts we’ve been pulling. Maybe on the next cycle we’ll leave.”

“You PRICK!” Stafford snapped, “Sage! Get that core back! We’ve got less than an hour before this thing goes off!”


Fifty-five minutes later the artifact sent out its wave of temporal energy, catching Silverado where it drifted, warp core floating nearby.


Round 5


Doctor Noel Wowryk stalked onto the bridge. Jall had already explained (in full uniform this time) the situation regarding the temporal loop.

“Doctor!” Stafford said happily as he walked over to her, “It’s great to see you!”

Noel hugged him briefly before kneeing him sharply in the groin.

“That’s for trying to sleep with me, you jerk!” she snapped as Stafford collapsed to the deck, gasping in pain.


Round 6


“Auto-destruct in thirty seconds,” announced the computer.

“Ok! Ok!” Stafford said, panicked, “I believe you! You can circumvent the security protocols! Good for you! Now turn it off!”

“Maybe,” Jall said, an evil gleam in his eye, “If you ask very nicely!””

“Please turn off the self-destruct!”

“Close,” Jall grinned, “but this time, try begging!”

“Burn in hell, you little-“

KA-BOOM!


Round 7


Jall stood on the outer hull of the saucer section in an environmental suit, magnetic boots holding him to the hull. He set a small magnetic mount onto the hull on which he perched a small, white ball. Pulling back into a swing, he brought the golf club down and smacked the ball with all his might. The ball flew into the port nacelle grill, skimming between the plasma vent guards and into the nacelle itself. The nacelle flickered briefly as its internal containment fields fought to stabilize themselves.

“FORE!”


Round 10


“We’ve reached the projected outer range of the artifact,” Yanick reported from the helm.

Stafford turned to Jall and Wowryk.

“I really hope you two are right about this,” he said.

“Have we ever steered you wrong?” Jall asked with a large smile.

“Oh, don’t even start,” muttered Stafford. T’Parief grunted.

“The artifact will reach full power in one minute,” reported Fifebee.

“Let’s take a look,” Stafford said, looking at the screen.

The bridge crew watched in awe as the three huge rings came into perfect alignment then locked. The sphere itself opened on both ends revealing a massive energy core glowing with a brilliant blue light. The light exploded outward in all directions, washing over the planet in a nanosecond and rushing out to encompass the entire system.

“The wave is a unique mix of neutrinos, veteran particles and chronometric particle fields,” Fifebee reported, “I will be unable to scan the planet until the wave dissipates.”

“I thought only chronotron particles were necessary for time travel,” said T’Parief.

“This isn’t time travel,” Fifebee said, “it’s more of a really large reset button.”

“We hope,” Stafford added.

They watched in silence as the wave spread through the system before dissipating.

“The subspace interference is gone,” Fifebee reported.

“For another five-hundred years, anyway,” Jall said, “At least, from our point of view.”

“Scan the planet.” Stafford ordered.

Fifebee tapped at her panel, then looked at Stafford with a wide smile.

“I’m picking up life signs, sir,” she reported, “Approximately two billion. No EM emissions of any kind. Atmospheric pollution count is down. I would surmise that they have indeed reverted to an early state of civilization, between three and eight hundred years prior to that which they had achieved.”

“Excellent. Prepare a report for Starfleet. I bet they’ll find this interesting.”


Captain’s Log, Stardate: 56345.3

“We’ve left the Horison system and the alien artifact behind us. Starfleet will be sending a science ship out within the next two years to investigate the device. Since it’s been here for millennia anyway, I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. With another five hundred years before the next ‘reset’, I’m sure Starfleet will have plenty of time to decide what to do when that day comes.”


Wowryk sat in the lounge with Stafford, T’Parief, Noonan and Yanick. After spending nearly three weeks primary with Jall, she was ready for a change in company.

“So it really took us ten cycles to get out of there?” Stafford asked, “I kinda thought we were smarter than that.”

“Circumstances were against you…us,” Wowryk said.

“What I don’t get,” Yanick said, “Is why only a few days have passed out here? I mean, shouldn’t it be, like, 5,000 years later?”

“Be thankful it isn’t!” Stafford said, “I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth!”

“Lieutenant Fifebee has a long, detailed explanation,” Noonan started.

“That means boring,” Yanick stage whispered.

“Which,” Noonan continued with a smile, “boils down to this: The effect the artifact had on an object was directly proportional to the time spent within the artifact’s influence. To an outside observer, the device only triggered once. We simply had the misfortune to arrive shortly before the trigger.”

“Perhaps there is some higher power,” T’Parief said, “who felt that it would be unjust for us to be misplaced by millennia. Possibly even the same power that created the artifact in the first place.”

“I believe God was watching over us,” Wowryk said firmly.

“We know!” everybody else said together before breaking into loud laughter.


Next: Don’t miss Part 1 of the Silverado Season 1 Finale as I finally start explaining all the weird stuff that’s been building up. Here’s a hint, the title is ‘Catfight, Part 1!”