This episode is a little different. First, we’re going back in time, in more than way than one. This takes place in Ellie’s first year on the Impulsive. I’m also going to forego with the images. This one is a play off of ST: The Animated Series Episode “Yesteryear,” when Spock had to save his own life. What would be so terrible that she has to go back in time to change her life?
Captain’s Log, Intergalactic Date 676591.37
We’re in orbit around Tempora Nine, where the sentient time machine of an alien race has allowed Union historians to record our history. In a rare show of generosity, it has invited one team to actually enter and observe an event first hand. Gary Scrivno drew the long straw and, wouldn’t you know, he wants to see the American West! Yours Truly will be accompanying him, along with Ensign Doall, ‘cause she’s handy in an emergency—and she knows how to ride a horse.
Tempora 9 was one of those nebulous worlds that ancient astronomers would have fought over. Was it a planet, planetoid, dwarf planet? Unlike poor maligned Pluto, for which the author still has the feelz, Tempora 9 was too famous for such trivialities. It held the last remnants of a civilization that surpassed the Union in technology and age before falling into mysterious decline. That remnant was a time portal, a sentient machine able to access the time stream of the past at will.
For ages, it had been known as the Most Sacred and Revered Guardian of Time Past and Present. However, it looked like a big rock donut in the middle of a Utah desert, so HuFleet had dubbed it the Big Rock Donut of Time, or BRDoT (Birdot) for short.
The Guardian was sure it was too famous and important to care.
Our scene opens with two historians standing in front of the portal, recording equipment pointed toward the donut, with an Impulsive security officer, Leslie Straus, watching over. If this were a television show, you might see flickers of scenes from Earth’s past, just to let you know what was going on. But your imagination is greater than that, so imagine twisting lines of history of a thousand planets, weaving and unweaving, some threads being pulled into a new design for “display” for the recording equipment before being fed back into the whole. It was quite beautiful, really, for those with the processing speed to see it. As it was, the historians got little snippets on their recording devices to coo over, and Leslie was bored.
Suddenly, the BRDoT announced, “The travelers are returning.”
Captain Jebediah Tiberius and Historian Gary Scrivno hurried out, carrying Ensign Ellie Doall in a chair carry. Her face was contorted in pain and she was sweating. Her bare ankle was swollen and an angry red.
“Who’s the boy?” Leslie asked.
“Not funny,” Ellie muttered between clenched teeth. In order to blend in with the cattle run, she’d had to disguise herself as a man. Leslie had suggested the pencil mustache, and Ellie had gone along with it for giggles. Now, she was thinking she’d have been better off posing as a passing schoolmarm.
Jeb ignored them both. “Captain to Impulsive. Beam us directly to Sickbay. Tell the doc to have antivenin ready.”
The beam took all of them to the Sickbay. No sooner did they materialize than Gary and Jeb carried Ellie to the nearest bed and laid her down. Doctor Guy Pasteur rushed over, a hypospray with the right amount of imposazine for most earth venoms, but he paused in surprise when he saw Ellie shivering on the bed.
“You brought a boy out of the time stream, Captain?”
“Really?” Despite her pain, she managed to voice her exasperation.
Jeb glared at the normally staid, mild physician, who still hadn’t moved. “Doctor, treat her! I don’t know what this is about, but—”
Leslie cut him off by drawing her phaser. “That’s what I’d like to know, too. Gentlemen, please stay there. Mister Riss, ph’Tonna, please exit this room.”
“What the hell, En…” Jeb’s retort faded in his throat.
Leslie was wearing a senior lieutenant’s rank.
Ellie, delirium, pain, and frustration taxing the last of her patience, sat up and shouted, “Omigosh, Leslie! I’m not a man! It’s me, Ellie!” She ripped off her mustache and hat.
Leslie’s eyes grew wide. “Straus to Bridge. Go to Yellow Alert. Security to Sickbay. Commander Smythe, you need to get down here!”