Which Way?

"Steve, if Veronica can do what Alyss can do, I'd like to schedule a short vacation. I'd like three days to visit a friend in Milwaukee, 'cause I owe her a slice of a good life and to make sure her dolls made it in one piece," Doc says as they finish getting their uniforms together.

"That could be arranged, I guess. We can talk about it later. Right now we need to prepare some lies," Steve says.

Doc is way ahead of him. He hands him the duffel bag. "Say we met at the Office of External Vehicular Interception as we both trying to get in touch with Veronica and hadn't been able to get ahold of her through normal channels. I need to schedule her physical exam as she is way, way past due and you've got some of her clothes from the Laundry Department by mistake. You only know their her's because she put her name in the waistband of her panties, not to mention he has a safety report that she signed off on that isn't even a part of the ship she is responsible for and you need to know if this is just a glitch or what.

"If that doesn't work, fess up to being old friends of hers and we did something silly to see her because when we used to work together years ago she was a hell of a prankster and would enjoy the joke of it all. With any luck, this will be a lie we don't have to tell."

"Hmm. Quantum Flux Monitoring is responsible for ensuring that there are no entangled particles in the plasma transfer to the fighter's fusion cores, so that if a fighter's core is breached it doesn't effect the mother ship's core and vice versa. There would be some interaction between our departments. It sounds like a plausible story. And the only way anyone would think she's still human is if she's been dodging medical exams somehow. Very good. I don't know about the panties, though. If anyone notices the clothes in the duffel bag they're going to notice they're not women's. How about we've just got back from some leave time and the lockers in the bathroom were broken?"

"That might work. Okay, where are we headed?"

"I don't know. There are two fighter bays, one port, one starboard. She could be in either, or neither. According to Schrodinger she's in both and neither simultaneously until we collapse the probability wave."

"That doesn't help. According to the map the tour guide gave us, the command section is nearly three miles across at the widest, and it's a fucking labyrinth."

"I know. I guess everyone is assigned a daily route to memorize and their keycards only opens the doors along that route."

"If I'm an EMT won't my card open up any door?"

"I would hope so, but it might only open doors in your assigned sector, or only during an emergency situation, maybe both. We don't even know what that sector is. The only map I can get is the one I recorded while on the tour. I'm not picking up any signals from the mainframe, so it must all be hardlined. We'll have to find a terminal if we're going to find a map. If I can get into the system, I might also be able to find out where Veronica is."

"Well, we know where the bridge is and there's terminals there. Do you think that would work?"

"It's the best chance we've got."

They leave the bathroom, disguised and ready. Immediately, there is a problem.

Doc realizes it immediately. "The fucking walls have moved."

"Shit," says Steve. "That's how everyone finds their way around. They don't. The computer only lets them go where they need to be by re-arranging the walls. Hell, the rooms themselves might even move around. We'd never know because of the gravity controls."

"Well, there's three ways to go."

"I expect one is your authorized path, another is mine, and the last is the VIP route out of here."

"How do we know which is which? "

"Look, those lights on the walls? Let's see your card."

Doc's card is medic blue with his rank's stars and stripes. At the bottom, there's three red dots in a triangular pattern. On the wall of the hallway across from the bathroom are three dim red lights matching the pattern. Steve's keycard has four green lights in a diamond pattern, the pattern to which is matched on the wall to the left. Their VIP cards have two yellow dots which match the lights to the right.

"Which way should we go?" Doc wonders. "The medical center might have patients with passcards we could use to get to the fighter bays. It might have computer terminals, too."

"The QFM office will definitely have terminals. I may be able to give our cards access to Veronica. If not, we'll definately have to find some cards that do. Which way do we go?"

1 comment:

Doc said...

Go to QFM and hope for the best.

Meta: Moving walls? You don't make this easy do you?