Should We Stay or Should We Go?

Doc sighs. "Why don't we just mark this spot with a time hole, jump into the Brother Pear and come back when we can fix things? Wouldn't it be more important to save the universe and then come back for these folks? Honestly Steve, unless you or Veronica can come up with something, I'm tapped out."

"I guess you're right," Steve answers. He finishes up his tea and puts a wormhole in the cup. "This cup was manufactured on Earth and transported to the Marriott while in orbit getting outfitted. If we time it right, we can get back on before she departs for Saturn and infiltrate the crew. Maybe then we'll have time to rewire the control systems or something, or maybe from there we can go back even further to the Vesta Shipyards and sabotage the ship from the start."

"Sounds good. We need to get back on track."

"Agreed." Steve puts on his HUD glasses. "Veronica?"

Steve pauses as she answers.

Doc puts on his glasses and joins the conversation. Her ghostlike face appears in the middle of the living room.

"We're getting off this ship. Can you-," Steve starts.

"We can't leave now! I've got to stop these bastards from kidnapping all these people!"

"I've established a wormhole. We can come back and save them later. Right now we need to get-"

"Later hell! Any later and they'll all be slaves! I shot my own squad mates to get this far!"

"Earlier. We'll come back earlier and stop the ship ever leaving drydock. We can even save your squadron. But right now it doesn't matter, since the galaxy will be destroyed anyway."

"What do you mean it doesn't matter?! It matters to me!"

"We're time travelers, remember? We can rescue your squad and everyone on this ship anytime we want. But it doesn't matter now because no one, not you or I or anyone on this ship, will continue to exist if we don't go save the galaxy."

"Fine," She says, dejected. "It's the first thing we do after we save the galaxy. I'm not going to allow any universe to exist in which these people suffer and that fucker Spaaz gets infinitely richer off of their misery."

"Don't worry about it. It will all be okay. We can fix the past, but we've go to make sure we have a future, first. Now, can you get us access to the Pear?"

"I'd like to get our equipment back as well," Doc interjects.

"Yes. Those weapons are future weapons to this era." Steve adds.

"What weapons?"

"Two railgun assault rifles, two Pulse ION pistols, Mark's cutlass, and a woodaxe," Steve replies. "I bribed the porter to stow them for us."

"Well," Veronica answers, "assuming the porter wasn't a pirate, they'll be in the hazardous cargo storage locker in the passenger bay you boarded from. If he was, they're long gone already. Do you still have those uniforms and access cards?"

"Yes," Doc answers. "The uniforms are in the laundry, though."

"I can get you access to the Pear with those key cards. You'll have to go through the maze. If you're going after those weapons you'll have to take care of it yourself. I can't help you there. Contact me again when you're headed for the Pear and I'll meet you on board."

Veronica's ghostly head disappears. Doc and Steve remove their glasses.

"Should we go after those weapons?" Doc asks.

"I don't know. If the pirates get hold of that kind of technology it might have dire consequences on the future we're proceeding to. That might be a risk we'll have to take, though."

"Well, how dire of consequences are we talking about?"

"Well, they're not that far advanced from now, maybe thirty or fourty years out. Worst case scenario would be like the Confederacy got hold of bolt-action rifles."

"That would be a significant advantage."

"If they had the means to produce them. The powerpack manufacturing process is complex. It might not even be possible for them to replicate it, yet. Hell, they might blow themselves up trying to reverse engineer it."

"So what happens if they can produce them and use them to their advantage?"

"Well, if they get lucky, they might be able to capture a remote colony, and from there expand their resources and take a planet. I doubt they'll ever have the resources to defeat the EDF outright, but they would be a much more significant threat, possibly weakening the EDF and allowing the Exkoreans to gain more territory."

"How does that effect our goals in the future?"

"The warship we have to stop is a Saliesk Warcruiser on its way to assist the Exkoreans, by then I guess they're the Saettans, in a skirmish against the Gallactic Alliance. If the Saettans have more territory than they should, the battle might not even take place. I have no idea, though. This is all pure conjecture. Maybe the pirates get too ballsy and are completely wiped out and the EDF winds up with more advanced weapons. We won't know until we get there. What we have to decide now is if it's worth the risk to get the guns back, or simply deal with the future as it comes?"


Doc said...

"Damn future! Nothing here is ever fucking simple or straight foward. I'd like to go get the guns because we are going to need them and I'd hate to risk them falling into the wrong hands. They only rotten thing is that neither one of these two are ready for combat. Hell, they can't hardly stand. I could give them some black coffee, soak their heads in ice water and give them a shot of B12, but I would wager any money on them being any help. Wait does the futuristic ship have a sobering booth like I used to read about in the SciFi books?"

If we can get Mark and Thunderhorse into shape, go for the guns. If not, head for the Brother Pear.


Doc said...

Sorry, that should read, "I wouldn't wager."