A Brave New World

Doc, Mark, and Steve pour out of the automatic door to the bridge and collapse into the hallway. A billowing cloud of black smoke chases them, while alarms of all kinds scream relentlessly.

The three lie there a moment. Veronica steps out casually, kicking Mark's legs out of the doorway.

She seals the door. "Initiate halon flood," she tells a com panel beside the door. The small panel displays some red warnings. There is a great hissing sound from behind the bridge door. The alarms die off one at a time.

Doc is the first to his feet. Soot splotches his face. Mark follows him up, exactly one half of his face is totally black, the other is slightly stained in vomit. Steve continues to lie down.

"Are we clear?" Doc asks.

"Yeah, we're clear," Veronica answers.

"Did we take a lot of damage?"

"Not sure. The damage analysis computer is offline. I'll have to go down to engineering to have a look. At a guess, though, I'm going to say yes, we took a lot of damage."

Steve finally struggles to his feet. He pants a moment. "I'll go with you. Doc, see if you can figure out when we are."

Doc heads back up to the galley. He calls out to the Cook, who is in the kitchen.

"Coffee, please, Cooky."

"Yes, sir, right away."

The Cook comes out carrying a fresh pot and a mug. His head is missing. The decapitated body places the cup down two feet to Doc's left and pours out a precise measure of coffee exactly four inches right of the mug.

"There you are, sir. Enjoy," the Cook says from the kitchen.

"Leave the pot, please," Doc asks.

The body of the cook sets the pot down gently a full inch from the top of the counter. Fortunately it doesn't break. Doc pours himself a cup.

Veronica calls up on the com. "Damage analysis reporting is back on-line. We're in the red here. Life support systems are yellow, main power is at 20%. We may need to dry dock. See if you can find one."

Doc decides to be straightforward. "Computer, what is the date?"

"Mission Time is 372 years, 11 months, 14 days, 16:13:52," the computer's voice replies. It has an English accent.

"What's the date on Earth."

"Unable to comply. Navigation imaging offline."

"Computer, turn on the monitor."

"Unable to comply. Fault detected in monitor hard-lines."

"Can you see infrared?"


"What about radio?"

"RADAR systems online. Analog radio signal detected. Earth origin."

"Put it on, please."

It's in German. The voice is too familiar:

"...by circumstances again and again to keep silent, the moment has now come when to continue as a mere observer would not only be a sin of omission but a crime against the German people -- yes, even against the whole of Europe.

"Today something like 160 Russian divisions are standing at our frontier. For weeks there have been constant violations of this frontier, not only affecting us but also in the far north, as well as Romania. Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories. During the night of June 17 to 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into Reich territory, and could only be driven back after prolonged exchange of fire.

"This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to counter this plot of Jewish-British warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevik center in Moscow.

"German people! At this moment a deployment of forces is taking place that, in its extent and scope, is the greatest the world hitherto has seen. United with their Finnish comrades, the fighters of the victory of Narvik are standing in the Northern Arctic. German divisions commanded by the conqueror of Norway, together with the heroes of Finnish freedom under their Marshal, are protecting Finnish soil. Formations of the German eastern front extend from East Prussia to the Carpathians. German and Romanian soldiers are united under Chief of State Antonescu from the banks of the Prut along the lower reaches of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea.

"The task of this front, therefore, is not merely the protection of individual countries, but the safeguarding of Europe, and thereby the salvation of all.

"I therefore decided today to once again lay the fate and future of the German Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers.

"May the Lord God help us especially in this fight!"

There is a thunderous applause.

Doc shuts it off. "Steve? Veronica?"

"Tell me there's a space dock out there," Veronica replies in a frustrated tone. "We've got a thousand structural micro-fractures and our ablative thermal shielding is down to less than 5%. We need one hell of a paint job."

"Sorry, I don't think there is one."

"You know when we are then?" Steve replies.

"June 22, 1941."


Doc said...

"Oh crap."

Great. The ship is on it's last leg and we have WW II going on below us. No chance of pulling into a filling station and having a greasy mechanic look under the hood then is there.

At least we didn't land in Roswell, New Mexico. That is at least one blunder in time we haven't made yet.

Call a meeting and brainstorm about what to do next. At least the coffee is holding out. We're going to need some.


Doc said...

"bursts of come" indeed.