Time for a Vacation

Doc puts the Python on an autopilot course to Germany. They're facing the wrong way, so they'll have to complete a couple orbits before they come down.

Steve comes back on the com. "Okay, your afterburners are ready. Hey- wait. Why is the ship on autopilot again? Did you get clear?"

"We're hiding in traffic. I don't know if we're clear yet. We're going to take a little side trip to make sure they're off our backs and get some rest. We'll contact you again tomorrow."

"Understood," Steve replies, reluctant and rather put out.

The trips around the globe are slow, as the orbits and transfer lanes are congested. It takes almost an hour for the ship to begin descending. Meanwhile, the party finishes the bottle.

From the backseat, in a sickly drunken mumble, Mark sings:

"Turkey in de straw, turkey in de hay
Turkey in de straw, turkey in de hay
Roll 'em up an' twist 'em up a high tuc-ka-haw
An' twist 'em up a tune called Turkey in the Straw"
The ship descends smoothly to a landing zone in Munich, and the party exits the ship in search of a hotel. It's 3:00 am here, but the night clubs are still pouring heavy, thumping music out into the streets. People wander between bars dressed in glowing neon clothes and accessories. The entire town is like a giant rave. One musician plays a Tesla coil organ in a large open park. The lightning bolts sing out a loud, electric tune, lighting up the array of multicolored florescent tubes surrounding the performer as they strike.

After grabbing some sausages from a street vendor outside a particularly rowdy club, they find a hotel situated in a good compromise of distance to the ship and away from the noise. There is a suite available, and Doc takes it without hesitation. Everyone gets a well deserved, peaceful night's rest.

They roll out of bed about noon. After a quick pack-up, they all have a hearty breakfast in the hotel restaurant.

"Alright, boys. We've got to figure out how to plot the course of existence," Doc says after washing down some breakfast sausage with a good hot cup of coffee.

"Well, see, the way I figure it," Mark says, "we get a whole bunch of this future stuff together. Toasters, microwaves, dildos, and guns, you know? And we take it all back to the past, patent 'em, and sell 'em off as our inventions. See? Then we live like kings forever! And no one can give us shit, 'cause we got the good guns, right?"

Doc furrows his brows at him. "I meant the future of humanity. Stop the galaxy from being winked out of existence and all that? Remember?"

"Oh, yeah. I forgot. I really don't get all that shit."

"This creature," Thunderhorse chimes in. "that is said to destroy the world of worlds? Why do we not fight it directly? We wander from world to world, collect many weapons and allies, and bring the fight to it, as Thor fought the Frost Giants?"

"Well, because it doesn't exist in our universe. We can't even see it, let alone fight it."

Thunderhorse doesn't understand a word of this, and his quizical expression reveals it.

"It's invisible and invincible. We can't fight it."

Thunderhorse disagrees. "Anything can be fought." He turns back to his eggs.

"The only way to avoid the total existance failure of the galaxy is to make sure that no ship enters a particular spot in space. In this time line, there is a warship and apparently only one person in all of history can stop it. Alyss Valia. But she doesn't exist here. Why?"

"Because her dad's a kook?" Mark says.

"Yes, well, partially. He's a kook because he didn't get the opportunities he had in other timelines. If he had a college degree, VelociTech wouldv'e hired him instead of stealing from him. Where did his timeline go wrong?"

"He is crazy because his father did not discipline him," Thunderhorse says. "Had I a son who did not work or fight and instead studied scrolls and runes all day, I would box him in the ear until he put down the tomes and picked up an ax."

"Did your father do that to you?"

"He did not have to. I fought off the wolves along side him. Only the wealthy layabouts study tomes. We were not nobles, we had to fight for our living. Thus we had no time for such leisures as reading."

"You're right, there. If his family were still rich, he would have been able to go to college."

"So," Mark follows, "we go back and give 'im a bunch of money to go to school?"

"It's possible, that could work." Doc digs back through his I-Browse. "Dmitri said his family became miners and famers after World War 2, when his ancestor Sergi was captured while trying to defect. He said that his leg had been crippled when he got shot down by the Luftwaffe. That probably slowed him down. Maybe if we help Sergi escape the Stalinists, the Valias will be prosperous."

"What's a loft vaffer?" Mark asks.

"The German airforce from World War 2."

"World War Two?" He asks, incredulous. "You future folk sure know how ta' party."

Doc calls Steve up. "Hey, boss. How are ya?"

Steve answers. "Feeling better, are we? Any sign of the Exkoreans?"

"No, I think we lost 'em."

"Good. Get back here as soon as possible. I'm ready to go."

"Do you know where the Pear is?"

"I think so. It was definately at Alpha Centuari 40 years ago, which is when we will arrive. The Python can't get us there, though, we have to catch a ride on an FTL Transport."

"I think we've figured out the Valia situation."


"We either need to put up the money to send Dmitri to college, or go back to the 1940's to rescue his ancestors from the Stalinists."

"Well, seeing as we've spent nearly my whole account on this mission, I say option two is preferred. By the way, I'm billing last nights hotel stay and meals to your account, as well as all the alcohol you've been consuming. Take it up with the others if they need to chip in. I'm running thin here. I just got a whole lot of new equipment for us."

"Alright, I'll talk to them about it. We'll pick you up soon." Doc hangs up.

Doc pays for breakfast on his ID card again, since splitting the bill seems out of the question at the moment. They'll just have to sort out the money situation later. Doc also picks up two cases of Weihenstephan dunkel from a small shop near the parking lot. This should last us a day, he thinks.

1 comment:

Doc said...


New equipment? Yeah! Go get Steve and make plans from there.