Characters: Terry Hale
“Captain,” Yoshino said. “I believe we have been experiencing time distortions, caused by something on the planet. Possibly, the aliens have not fired because they are experiencing them as well. Come and look at these readings…..”
Hale stood as if she didn’t quite trust her legs. The episodes had left her bruised in more than a couple ways and she was wary of another, looking out at the planet in the viewports.
She bent her head to look over Yoshino’s shoulder and frowned over the readings. She wasn’t a scientist, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was impossible to mistake this. Right off the scales, the computer’s findings were far from vague and impossible to discard. The dreams were real, a slip back (or forward?) in time to moments of their own lives and confined to those boundaries. There were no wild treks through history or the comical paradox of a person looking into their own face…. This was immediate, and brutally intimate to each one of them, if her eyes were any judge of the people around her.
If these aliens were the source of it, what did they gain from doing this to us? Hale smiled crookedly at her own thought. It was egotistically naive. Did it really have to have anything to do with us? Ever since the explosion that took the upper decks and the tumble through space, the Phoenix had gone untouched. Insignificant now in their plans, perhaps, and so ignored.
What did they gain from these slips through time?
The possibilities, as the old line went, were endless. What mattered was stopping it. She muttered as much aloud, and Yoshino frowned in thought.
“Now that the readings have quieted I can pinpoint the exact source, but to get past these ships….” she trailed off.
Hale nodded. The moment they acted toward the aliens, they could no longer be ignored and so they’d be stopped. Everyone aboard was well aware how.
Straightening, she lifted her voice to be heard by everyone on the bridge. “Get this on the comm. I want every division head up here ASAP. You can all spare the time.” She left it to them to figure out how to make it work.
It was Yoshino speaking, her face thoughtful and calm. They were all reaching beyond the point of fear. Hale nodded for her to go on.
“I think I have an idea.”
Copyright (c) 1998 Alida Saxon. All rights reserved.