Last week, the wonderful experiment by HuFleet’s science division went horribly wrong. Instead of reviving a dying star, creating a black hole, or opening a rift into a mirror universe, it instead caused the star to go “wonky.” This, of course, is a technical term used to describe the impossible happening right before your eyes against all possible logic. The exact nature of the wonkiness was as follows:
- The star’s colors started to wobble
- The ships in the area were unable to move, nor could the Impulsive tie a tractor beam onto the Inconceivable
- The star started emitting odd flares whose polarity was off by 90 degrees
- One flare passed through the Inconceivable, and communications were lost.
At this point, the obvious response is “What the hell happened?” which is exactly what Captain Tiberius demanded. Of course, when any ordinary human utters such a phrase, you might get commiserations of surprise, like, “Whoa! What was that?” or “I don’t know. Weird!” When a starship captain makes such an exclamation, he expects a scientific answer – fast. A HuFleet starship captain expects a practical answer. And Captain Jeb Tiberius?
He’s expecting his crew to be doing something about whatever the hell that was.
“Trying to reestablish communications,” the second ops officer reported.
“Analyzing the frequency of that…anomaly and matching shields to deflect,” Lieutenant LaFuentes called from Security.
Ensign Doall, who was trying to determine the answer to the big question, huffed in frustration. “Sir, these reading don’t make any sense.”
Meanwhile, at the helm, Lieutenant Cruz was working the controls and alternately praying and cursing. “She won’t budge, Captain.”
First Officer Smythe said, “Captain, we’re receiving injury reports from all over the ship. Falls, pulled muscles…”
“Were we hit?” Jeb turned back toward his First Officer. He took a step – and his foot flew out from under him. He landed flat on the deck.
“Captain!” One of the second-string crew in the bullpen shouted and ran to his aid even as Smythe was telling her to stop.
She got about three steps forward when suddenly, she toppled forward and landed on the Captain, knocking the air out of them both. She tried to shove herself off, but her hand slipped and she flopped onto him again.
“Ensign,” Jeb gasped. “Slowly.”
She pulled herself on her elbows so she was nose-to-nose and chest-to-chest with the captain. She paused to make sure she had her balance, then gently sat up. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened. It was like my foot got stuck.”
“Pulsie, what’s the status of the inertial dampeners?” Jeb asked as he carefully stood, dusted himself off, and make his way slowly to his chair. He held up a hand to stop his First Officer before he could ask if he was all right.
“Inertial dampeners are working perfectly, Captain,” the ship responded.
“It’s true,” Doall said. She had a scanner in her hand and had stepped slowly away from her console, moving with gentle, deliberate steps toward the scene of the fall. “The equipment is working according to specs – but inertia isn’t.”