It is a very scenic trip around the fjord. So far the dirt path on which Doc navigates deviates only slightly from the street map his sunglasses generated. But there are a few bridges on the modern map Doc wonders about, one of which is approaching quickly.
Doc slows down as they approach. There's no bridge, but the crossing is a wet little trickle of a creek. He takes the Jeep carefully down and up the rocky banks. The road continues on.
It is mid summer now but the temperature is in the high forties according to the Jeep's external thermometer. The trees and grass are bright green. Sheep and cattle wander the rolling foothills, dining on the season's bounty. A black Escalade is following behind. The water of the fjord is calm, as bright a blue as Earth will see in the coming centuries. Villagers stare in terror and wonderment as the Jeep cruises gently by.
Doc checks the rear view mirror again. He wouldn't have given it a second thought if he hadn't just passed a medieval farmhouse, but there is, in fact, a black Escalade following them.
The HUD sunglasses give the familiar "Welcome to Q-Net!" ding as the Younger Brother Pear has either come around the curvature of the Earth or launched a relay satellite. There is an immediate burst of static as the signal clears.
"Doc! Come in Doc!" Steve calls frantically.
"I'm here," Doc replies.
Brother Broderick looks at him funny.
"We're not the only ones in orbit. There's an Exkorean gunship up here."
"There's a black Escalade following us down here. I thought that seemed out of place."
"Are they attacking?"
"Not yet, but they're getting closer."
"Alright. I've sent Veroncia to take out the gunship. I'll tell her to get down there as soon as she can."
It is a very scenic trip around the fjord. So far the dirt path on which Doc navigates deviates only slightly from the street map his sunglasses generated. But there are a few bridges on the modern map Doc wonders about, one of which is approaching quickly.
The Jeep picks its way past astonished villagers towards the edge of Nidaros, honking politely and scaring the shit out of them.
Doc addresses his crew in English. "Okay, boys. We are doing this mission right. We are not killing anyone, and no one is getting hurt."
"Then why in the hell did we pack a fuckin' rocket launcher?" Mark asks. "Sorry, padre."
Brother Broderick doesn't understand him and is paying more attention to the world passing at the relatively terrific speed of 35 mph.
"Because I didn't us want to get caught with our pants down like last time. So, the story is that I am DaVinci, engineer to Pope Alexander II. Thunderhorse is Duke Alfonz of Bologna who is stricken with madness. We are traveling to the Abbey of the Morning Star seeking a nun who can cure him so that he can negotiate treaties in the Far East. We are traveling by divine providence in a carraige drawn by angels."
"They bought that horse shit? Sorry, padre."
"An' you kin lie straight up to a preacher, huh? Don't feel too bad about that, do ya?"
"You want to tell them the truth? These are superstitious people who will kill you without hesitation if they suspect you of witchcraft or wizardry. If we're going to do this without killing anyone, including preachers, we're going to have to lie to them."
"Alright, but I don't like it. Who am I?" Mark asks.
"You are Mark of Bologna, Captain of the Duke's guard and personal escore to the Duke himself. Not too much of a stretch for you, I hope."
"No, it's fine. The sooner we get this fuckin' mission over with the better. I don't like one bit of it. I thought we was gonna go shootin' up some tin suits and save some maidens or some shit."
"Who do you think is in those tin suits?" Doc asks, pointedly.
Mark shuts up for a while.
"[It is a strange language you speak,]" Brother Broderick says. "[It is not Italian.]"
Doc is quick to reply. "[It's Norman. The Duke's last task was working with emissaries from William the Conqueror. He's been speaking it ever since.]"
"[I see. We are nearing the place where the Nidaros empties into the Fjord. Follow the road that heads east around it.]"
They leave Nidaros behind. The road is a dirt path wide enough for a horse cart, but it is fairly smooth an not too muddy. The Jeep's four wheel drive and traction control system make easy work of it, and Doc is able to keep moving at a good pace.
"Whooo!" Brother Broderick's nervousness turns to exhiliration as Doc accelerates. "[It really is powered by angels!]" he cries.
Doc smiles at him. "Tell me about yourself, Brother Broderick What's your story?"
"[There's not much to tell. I am the son of Aerick, a fisherman. He did well enough to pay for my entry into the church where learned to read and write over the last three years. My studies are not yet complete, but I've been doing well. Primate Kristenson is a benevolent man and a good teacher. I hope one day to get my own parish to teach, and eventually become a Bishop. He says if I succeed in this task, I will be ready to go out on my own and start a new mission.]"
"Well, this should definately give you the experience you need. What do you know about the Abbey of the Morning Star and Abbot Nathan?"
"[I have visited there before. It is in the mountains to the north, on the top of Okkskoten. It is a hard life up there. What little soil there is to farm is in the valley below, and the bitter cold of the near constant winter makes growing anything difficult. They bring in seaweed and fish from the Fjords, but it is a long journey made difficult by the terrain.]"
"If it's so difficult, why did they build the abbey on the mountain?"
"[It was Father Nathan who built the abbey. He is a student of the Heavens. He built the tower on the mountain in the Winterlands so he could study the stars and aurora more closely. He has a particular study of the Morning Star, hence the name of the abbey.]"
"You mean Venus? The planet? He's an astronomer?"
"[Venus, yes. I have heard the Morning Star called that. She is the pagan goddess of Lust, no? I do not understand your other words, though.]"
"An astronomer is a student of the heavens. A planet..." Doc considers explaining the concept of other worlds, then remembers what happened to Capernicus and Galileo. "...is a wandering star. What do you know of Father Nathan and his studies?"
"[Not much. I am a student of the Bible and its history. What I know of the Heavens comes from it and my teachers. As I understand it, the Morning Star is Lucifer flying eternally above the Abyss, prosecuting those souls who wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only the love of His Son can save us from eternal damnation.]"
"Damn straight!" agrees Mark. "Sorry, padre," he repeats.
"[Father Nathan studies his movement, though I am not sure what he intends to divine. He tells a story of Lucifer trying to re-enter the kingdom of Heaven but God casting him down once again. He will tell it if you ask.]"
"I will," Doc says.
The Jeep continues down the road, winding its way around the beautiful fjord.
Name: Brother Broderick of Nidaros
Origin: Nidaros, Norway, Earth
Era: 1068 CE
A simple monk from a simple time, Brother Broderick is sent by Primate Kristenston on a divine mission to assist the Time Operatives in rescuing Thunderhorse's tribe from the Abbey of the Morning Star. He is young, nervous, and somewhat clumsy, but has a big heart and the simple dream of someday having his own parish to teach the word of God.
Level 1 XP: 0 Next: 1000 Skill: 0
Str: 10 (+0) HP: 4/4
Dex: 11 (+0) Chi: 1/1
Con: 11 (+0) Ref: 0(0) Fort: 0(0) Will: 0(0)
Int: 12 (+1) Atk: 0 Melee: 0 (Wood Axe -4) Ranged: 0
Wis: 11 (+0) Def: 10 Dodge: 0 Armor: 1
Cha: 10 (+0) Init: 0 (0/0) Move: 5
Languages: [Old Norse], Latin, German, Italian
Treat Injury 2
Goatskull Helm (Def + 1)
Wood Axe (1d8-1)
Incense (sage & sandalwood)
Doc turns down the Primates offer of lunch and a caravan.
"[Dear Brother, I thank you for your hospitality, but by God's divine blessing we have traveled far this day yet we are not tired. This miracle alone is enough to spurn me to God's greater glory and complete the task that His Holiness, Pope Alexander II, has set before me and he encouraged me to make all haste. Now if you could provide us with a good guide, we will be on our way. I'm certain His Holiness would be quite grateful for whatever help you could provide...]"
The Primate thinks a moment. "[I understand, DaVinci. I will send with you Brother Broderick. He is young but strong of mind, and is ready for such a task to lead him to inspiration.]"
"[Have him ready in twenty minutes. We have enough supplies to support him, and by the Blessing of Saint Peter we will make the ten day journey in an afternoon.]"
"[I shall be done,]" replies Primate Kristenson. He sends one of the guards to tell the initiate of his assignment.
Doc searches his pockets a moment. "[Here,]" he calls to the priest. "[A gift for your church.]" He presents him with a Twinkie.
The Primate marvels at the thing. He hands his bible and crucifix to the remaining guard, so that he can take it with both hands. "[What is it?]"
"[It's a cake,]" Doc says. "[Fresh from Rome.]"
"[Thank you, and bless you!]" The Primate is quite excited.
"[Please understand, Primate, the Pope would like to keep this quiet. Several treaties hang in the balance and agents of non-christian countries would love to have this information about the Duke.]" Doc shifts his eyes around and leans in close, speaking quietly and seriously. "[God alone know who's ears the Devil shares.]"
The primate nods. "[I understand.]"
Doc pats him on the shoulder. "[Thank you.]" He leaves the priest to his golden, cream-filled delight.
Doc turns his attention back to the Jeep. Mark is still fuming quietly while Thunderhorse rocks nervously, fists clenched and sweating. He opens the passenger door.
"We're getting a guide. I want Thunderhorse behind him." Doc leads him around to the driver's side and pulls the latch to move the seat forward.
Mark stops. "I don't know what we're gettin' into here, Doc, but I don't like it so far."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean the way that overgrown Injun kept on about Jesus bein' some flesh eatin' devil, you know? That shit ain't right. Now, I ain't no saint. Hell, I'd rather spend my Sundays in a brothel than a chapel. But I fer damn sure ain't killin' no damn preachers 'cause that thick-headed heathen ain't never heard no proper Bible stories."
"We're not killing anyone if we can help it. Now, get in the car and leave it be for now. Don't talk to him about it, not one word. He's unbalanced enough as it is, and we are very fucked if we don't stick together. We'll work it out later."
"Fine. But if this turns to shit, you better have me a damn good reason turn a gun on a priest. Otherwise I'm just here cause you got the only way out of this shithole." Mark gets into the car and does his best to ignore Thunderhorse.
Doc doesn't like what he's hearing, and he knows this is not over yet. It's the least of his concerns, though, as the curioius crowd begins to push forward, some examining the Jeep, some examining his clothes. A curious child pokes his ass with a stick while he's putting the seat back into place. The crowd is beginning to get big and loud. Some of them are becomming fearful. Almost none of them speak Latin, and they did not hear Doc's wild tale. The word "witchcraft" begins to float through the air.
"[Primate Kristenson!]" Doc calls.
The Primate is still studying the Twinkie wrapper. He looks up.
"[Your people are pressing close, and I think they are getting nervous. You may want to address them before they get out of control.]"
"[Yes, of course.]" Primate Kristenson slides the treat into the folds of his pallium, takes his bible and crusifix from the guard, and holds them aloft before the crowd. He speaks to them in Old Norse. "[Nidaros! Gather here and listen, for a miracle has blessed us this day!]"
The crowd hushes and gathers towards the church. A few linger near the Jeep, enthralled.
"[This man, DaVinci, is on a divine quest ordained by God himself, delivered by a vision to His Holiness the Pope. He was carried on the wind in a carraige drawn by angels! Their arriving here, before our church, from Rome is not witchcraft, but the Will of God! Saint Peter delivered him here, a two months journey in but a moment!]
"[He seeks a guide to take him north, the the mountains, where his sacred task awaits. What is this task, I cannot say by God's command, for it would endanger their quest to speak it. But one of us has been chosen to go with him!]"
"[Who?]" the crowd asks, caucaphonously.
On cue, Brother Broderick stumbles out of the church. A scrawny kid of about 19, he wears dirty brown robes and is carrying a small leather satchel, which he almost drops when he sees the Jeep parked outside. He immediately turns to go back inside but is stopped by the guard who led him this far. The guard gives him a little shove, and he practically falls down a couple stairs before he rights himself.
"[Brother Broderick!]" shouts the Primate. Broderick turns to the sound of his name. Kritsenson motions for him to join him before the crowd. "[Brother Broderick, it has come time for you to prove your devotion to God. You will join DaVinci on his holy quest and find Divine Enlightenment. May the Lord bless and keep you.]" The Primate gives a proper Latin blessing and begins leading the congregation in a hymn.
Brother Broderick approaches the Jeep slowly. Doc greets him with an extended hand, palm up. Broderick accepts it, grasping his forarm. "[Nice to meet you,]" Doc says in Latin. He opens the car door for him. Broderick is dumbstruck. Doc motions for him to sit in the passenger's seat. He does, cautiosly. Doc closes the door behind him.
Doc waves to the Primate and climbs into the driver's seat, shutting the door behind him. The muffled hymn can still be heard from inside the Jeep.
"[Brother Broderick, this is Mark and Alfonz, Duke of Bologna.] Mark, Alfonz, this is Brother Broderick."
"Howdy, padre," Mark says, extending his hand. Broderick shakes it.
"[Nice to meet you,]" he says. He's very frightened.
He turns to Thuderhorse. Thunderhorse snorts at him. He's even more frightened.
"[Don't mind the Duke, he's gone mad. We've got to get to the Abbey of the Morning Star to find a nun to cure him,]" Doc explains.
"[Uh... I... uhh... Go... the river, to main road north,] " he stutters in Latin. In Norse, "[I don't speak very good Latin, do you speak Norse?]"
"No," Doc says in English. The glasses speak in his ear. "Nei," Doc repeats. "Well, some." The process repeats its self.
"[Follow the river until you meet the main road, then head north. Do you understand?]" Broderick asks.
"Yes," Doc responds. He starts the car. The hymn stops suddenly and the crowd takes a collected sharp breath.
Broderick's eyes widen at the sight of the lights of the dashboard. The digital animation of the stereo hypnotizes him. The GPS display, although it is stuck on a signal searching animation that it is not likely to complete in this time or any other but Doc's own, fascinates the monk.
Doc turns the GPS off. He demonstrates the proper use of the seatbelt. He revvs the engine once, and the crowd parts. He puts it into drive and begins moving forward slowly.
"[There's no horses!]" Brother Broderick says with astonishment.
"Like I said," Doc replies, "it's angel powered. It's as good as having two hundred horses."
Doc accelerates gently to 25 mph. The crowd watches in amazement as the horseless carraige winds down the dirt roads of their medieval village, honking a good-bye.
"Thunderhorse!" Doc shouts as the viking throws a backpack towards the front of the car while grabbing for his assault rifle. "Rule #1! Do No Harm!"
Thunderhorse delays a moment, fury burning in his eyes. His will to murder the priest is quickly put down by Doc's forceful words, but he continues to stare at him like a dog dying to disobey his master.
Mark also seems to be riled about something, but his anger is directed towards Thunderhorse. "You ain't killin' no preachers 'round me, heathen." His hand is edging towards his pistol holster.
Doc turns to him. "Mark, now is NOT the time. We'll talk about it later, just relax right now."
Mark backs down and turns to glare angrily out the window. Some of the villagers who were edging forward back off dramatically.
Doc continues. "The only way to rescue the girls is by guile and smooth talk. If that doesn't work, then we resort to more drastic measures. Right now, we have the upper hand, but it would be foolish to play it too soon and bring their armies down on us when we might be able to just get in and out without a fuss! Now, both of you, stay in the Jeep unless I give the signal."
Doc takes a deep breath. He checks to make sure his .44 is strapped and secure within easy reach. He puts on his best smile and calmly gets out of the Jeep. The priest, busy reading through a Latin passage while unsurely holding his crusifix forward, stops what he's doing. The crowd holds their breath. The soldiers lean their halbreds forward.
Doc thinks a moment. The sunglasses can translate any speech he hears, but not what he says. He can set them to repeat what he says in any language for him alone, so that he can say it out loud. He decides to go for the Latin instead, as it will help in convincing the priest of the whopper he's got to lay on him. "Bonus dies!"
"[...it is?]" The priest replies, hesitantly and unconfidently.
Doc walks around the Jeep cautiously but confidently, stopping at the base foot of the church stairs. The soldiers' halbreds lean forward a bit more. Doc thinks quickly back to his medieval history classes in college and the long lists of kings, popes, and royal bathroom attendants he had to memorize. Ah, yes. It was in a book he read just today.
"[I have been sent by his Holiness, Pope Alexander II. We have with us a friend of his, the Duke of Bologna.]" He points to Thunderhorse, frothing at the mouth through the car window.
The priest says nothing.
"[The Duke has been stricken with a madness. His Holiness prayed for his friend, and was given a vision from God. Only the blessing of a certain nun from these lands will cure him. Once his madness is relieved, he will become an ambassador to the East. He is to aid the kingdom of Prestor John from being lost to the Muslims and pagans of the Orient.]"
"[...Who are you?]" The priest says at last. He's somewhat more comefortable now, but still very unsure. He seems to be buying it, though.
"[I am DaVinci, artist and engineer, servant of His Holiness. And what is your name?]"
"[I am Primate Kristenson. What is this...thing?]"
"[It is a horseless carraige, Primate.]" Doc replies. "[By divine inspiration I built it for this errand. It is drawn by the angels themselves.]"
The soldiers look at each other incredulously. Someone in the crowd chuckles. No one else can understand what they're saying. Primate Kristenson doesn't seem to buy it. Doc's hold on him is faultering.
"[How did you come to be here? These men tell me you simply appeared. Is it some kind of witchcraft? How do I know you are not an agent of Lucifer?]"
"[It was a miracle! As we sat in this carraige, His Holiness asked for a blessing from Saint Peter, and suddenly we find ourselves before your church! You must be blessed for Him to have brought us to you!]" Doc drops to his knees and throws his hands in the air. "[We thank you, O Lord, for this blessing and miracle, to deliver us safely on the winds into the arms of those who would assist us in our time of crisis!]"
This giant smoke donut blows straight up the Primate's ass with intricate precision. Doc can nearly see him blush. The priest motions for the guards to stand at ease. "[Welcome then, DaVinci, to Nidaros, and may God bless and keep you on your quest. Come, let us break bread together and celibrate!]"
"[Thank you, but our mission is dire. We must find a nun called Jazelle. She is at a tower governed by a man called Nathan.]"
"[Ah, yes. Abbot Nathan. A peculiar man. He runs the Abbey of the Morning Star on top of Oksskolten in Nordland. It is ten days north by horse or angel, I'm sure.]"
Doc sunglasses bring up a map of the region and plots a route. It's about 290 miles over rough terrain. The map claims it's a seven and a half hour trip by car, but it also claims there's a toll road, speed limits, and roundabouts. So it could be longer or shorter, depending on the actual road conditions, if there is one.
"[I beg you, stay and rest a while so that we might ready a caravan to come with you on your trip.]"
The party jumps into the Jeep and eagerly await their travel through time. Doc puts the time bomb on the center console. They all watch it intently.
Five minutes to go.
"Thunderhorse," Doc asks, "What kind of magic do the wizards use?"
"Well, as the story has been passed down through by village, when the wizards first came they were kind. They could heal ailments with herbs and scents and things. Then they began turning water into wine, right in your mouth! But it was all a trick to get the villagers to let them stay. Then they began to build a temple. In this temple, they performed rituals. Dark rituals. They buried the dead in the earth, sealing their souls in the ground rather than allowing them the release of fire to ascend into Valhalla. They began turning wine into blood and bread into flesh. The flesh and blood of their evil God, who had the power to raise the dead, and who had risen from the dead himself.
"For this God, who they called Krist, was once a man. A man not born to man, but of woman alone. And this man performed the miracles of the wizards. He strode across the sea without falling in, as the sea would not have him. He brought the dead from the grave. The kings of the ancient world saw his evil, and had him killed. But he rose again and ascended into Valhalla, where he overthrew the Sons and Daughters of Odin to reign over the Heavens, alone.
"The wizards performed their rituals to try to bring their God back to the world, so that he could reign as King of all Kings. They demanded that all the people of the village worship this God, or else he would deny even the most valliant of warriors access to Valhalla. Instead he would send them to Hel to be tortured for eternity by the dwarves, who had been corrupted by this God's evil will, unless they swore an oath to serve him.
"They said the old Gods are dead, but no one in the village believed them. Their God cannot defeat Odin or Thor. He is a troll beneath the Rainbow Bridge, nothing more. Whe the villagers told the wizards this, the wizards became angry. They summoned an army from the east, and had the village burned to the ground.
"The wizards' army had weapons the villagers had never seen. Their steel shined bright as the sun. They had shields as tall as a man. Great bows that could spit fire from a mile away. The Great Hall of the village was made of the strongest stone and earth, but the great wooden arms of the wizards' army threw flaming boulders at it, crushing the walls and burning its timbers. Our people had no choice, and fled to the north.
"That was the time of Haakon. When villages were destroyed in the name of the Krist. Stories came from throughout the land of great plagues cursed upon entire cities for not worshiping the Krist, of wizards who could defy death, heal their friends, and curse their foes.
"Our village lived in isolation from this world, but we knew in our hearts that Haakon, the Wizard who called himself King, was not dead and would come for our village if he ever found it. We did not allow outsiders into our new settlement, which is why I do not speak the language of this place.
"After a harsh winter when no grain could be grown, no game could be hunted, and no fish could be caught, we were forced to trade with a neighboring village. The year after, the wizards arrived again. This time lead by a man called Nathan. He came bearing the signs of an accolyte of Haakon; a golden cross on a staff and a golden ball of sweet-smelling steam swinging on a chain. Nathan came to proclaim our village under his rule, and he under the rule of the King of Kings. He said we should pay homage to the Krist at his tower to the north of the village. He was immediately cast out.
"Our elders considered fleeing the village before he returned, but his army returned at night as the council argued. I stood outside the Great Hall and fought alongside my friends, Axeface and Skullfucker. I killed five of his soldiers before we were overwhelmed. We jumped on our horses and fled for the woods. They pursued us, and they killed Axeface. Skullfucker and I escaped.
"We returned in two days to find the village had been ravaged and was overrun with Nathan's soldiers. They did not recognize us, as they did not see our faces in the dark. They were hard at work burying our friends and families. I saw them seal my father's soul in the ground, no doubt to preserve him until the wizards could raise him for their armies of the dead.
"Skullfucker and I found Oldbones, the drunkard, hiding in the refuse pile. He told us how all the women who were not killed, including Jazelle, were captured and taken to Nathan's tower where they would become Brides of Krist. So he and I swore to rescue them.
"But we failed. We had gathered all the men who had escaped the slaughter to a secret place in the mountains to plan our rescue. There were nine of us: Babycrusher, Bullcatcher, Silvertounge, Bearclaw, Fairhairson and Elder Fairhair, Oldbones, Skullfucker, and I. But as we rode towards the Tower, we were blinded by a great storm, no doubt brought apon us by Nathan. We became lost, and wandered the White Wastes for three whole years. Oldbones was the first to die from the cold, followed by Babycrusher and Silvertounge who fell into an ice crevasse. Elder Fairhair and Bearclaw killed each other over a scrap of rotting wolf meat we had found. We killed Bullcatcher when he went mad and tried to eat our remaining horses.
"Fairhairson, Skullfucker, and I eventually wandered right back into Hilton, defeated. The blizzard had lasted three whole years, and we had walked in a circle over mountains, through frozen woods, and across deadly glaciers, but we had not rescued our women.
"We rode right into the Great Hall and killed all the soldiers we found there. Deranged and hungry as we were, we fought furiously and slaughtered them all. Once they were all dead, we went about un-burying our fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers and releasing their souls to the sky in a great pyre. After this, we went to the tavern and drank for two years. This is when the Ritenrong found me.
"But now I am back and we have these weapons the likes of which the wizards have never seen. We will find Skullfucker and Fairhairson and lead them on this steel steed you call Jeep. We will ride into the heart of Nathan's city and wreak untold destruction upon him and his hateful accolytes! And we will rescue Jazelle, Helga, Girda, Skyla, and all the others, so that we may rebuild our village with the fruit of our loins!"
Thunderhorse ends his sentence with a great roar which shakes the whole Jeep.
Doc checks the clock. It's not there. Did it roll off the console when Thunderhorse shook the car? Doc looks around, but there's no sign of it.
Doc checks his watch. Two minutes overdue, and nothing seems to have happened.
Doc turns his attention carefully to the windows.
There's quite a small crowd outside, about a dozen people and more gathering. The best way to describe them is "dirty." Behind the crowd, strikingly, the skyline is gone, replaced by a speckling of ramshackle huts of stone and thatch.
"What the fuck...?" Mark mutters.
The people stare through the windows at them, deeply confused at what they see. The library outside of which they were parked has been replaced by a stone church.
Two men in chain mail come rushing out of the church, leading a priest in white linens who is carrying a bible and a crucifix. The soldiers point frantically at the Jeep and shout, while the priest tries desperately to search through his book to find some answer to what they are seeing.
"WIZARD!" shouts Thunderhorse, still riled up from his own tale. He stands as he shouts or at least tries to, hitting his head on the ceiling. He practically throws himself behind the back seat, leaning over and reaching into their weapons stash.
Too many questions are arising in Doc's mind about this mission, and he decides a quick trip to the library is in order. Sure, the entire planet is wired for instant information exchange, but Doc has always preferred the tactile experience of searching through physical pages. Besides, they've got some time to kill.
There is an old public library not far from the cathedral. He parks the jeep out front, careful to lock it after burying their armament beneath their camping gear. He checks the time bomb once more and sets an alarm for ten minutes before it detonates. They have to be back in the jeep by then, or else they may inadvertently take some bystanders for a ride, and worse, be stuck without a jeep.
Although Thunderhorse's literacy program is coming along, he is reluctant to enter into a place filled with so many "runes" as he calls them. The library is its self a converted church with vaulted ceilings, stained glass, and crosses. Thunderhorse remains in the vestibule muttering about wizardry and such, refusing to enter into the place further.
Mark has never been to a library, either. He stops to marvel at the number of books but is eventually drawn to the Children's Literature by the bright colors.
Doc heads straight for the historical reference section. He hadn't thought of the fact that they would all be in Norwegian, but fortunately his sunglasses can translate for him. They also tie into the library's searching program, making it quick and easy to find a handful of titles that might help him in his search.
Unfortunately, there's no king named Nathan in any historical reference. Nathan isn't even a Nordic name. He does find a few references to Haakon the Good but everything says he died at Fitjar in disagreement with Thunderhorse's tale of him being an everliving sorceror. He also finds a lot of information about Harald III, the last Viking King, his wars with the Saxons, and his death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
In their destination time, Norway would be briefly divided between Harald's sons, Magnus II in the north and Olaf III in the south until Magnus "unexpectedly" dies of ergot poisoning, leaving Olaf the sole ruler. Olaf made peace with the Normans who were presently conquering England, learned to read and write, improved relations with the pope, and built churches right here in Trondheim. He is buried here along with his father.
Doc can find no reference to Thunderhorse's home town of Hilton or the Tower of Venis where he says Jazelle was taken. He's not suprised about not finding an ancient village on a modern map, but towers tend to leave remains, have records of their construction or destruction, something like that. But there is nothing.
Doc's disappointement is multiplied when his eagerness to dig further is interrupted by his beeping alarm. The time bomb is going to go off soon. He pulls Mark away from the dirty magazines he's migrated to and finds Thunderhorse wandering near the river.
Doc's imagination is racing. What will it look like when they arrive? What has changed over the years? Who will they meet? ...Who will see them arrive?
The Pu arrives in Trondheim early in the morning. It's a small city, but not too quiet. It glows quite nicely in the rising sunlight. Veronica parks near the Nidelva and powers down.
"Okay, we're here," she says. "Doc, you wanna help me unload the Jeep?"
"Sure thing," he replies.
Veronica flips a series of switches. The cargo bay doors can be heard whining open. "Go back and release the magnetic tie-downs and I'll get the cargo arms ready."
Doc heads back into the cargo bay. Fresh air hits him as he opens the hatch. It's a pleasant 70 degrees or so out. The warm breeze caries the refreshing yet slightly fishy scent of sea mist.
He disconnects the magnetic tie-downs that held the Jeep steady through their space flight. As he does so, a pair of robotic arms unfold themselves from along the seam of the cargo bay doors. At the end of each arm is a robotic claw padded with thick layers of silicon. They stretch and flex synchronously as they go through their system tests.
"All the ties are loose," Doc calls back through the hatch.
"Okay, stand back," Veronica responds. She stares blankly at the controls, her mind now integrated with the ship. The robotic arms reach steadily down and grip the Jeep in the front and back.
Doc breaths sharply as the connect, but they don't warp the side panels at all. As they begin to lift it out, Doc can see that the fingers are lifting by the frame at the bottom. They carry the Jeep forwards and place it gently down just in front of the Pu where Mark and Thunderhorse scramble to get out of the way.
Doc heads out to join them while Veronica puts away the cargo arms and closes the shuttle's doors.
A passerby stops to comment, "That's a fine old antique."
"Thank you. I've had it for years."
"It has tires and everything. Fuel cell generator?"
"No, internal combustion."
"Wow, that is old. Does it still run?"
"We'll find out," Doc replies. He pulls the keys from his pocket. He hops in the driver's seat and turns it over. The engine bursts to life with ease.
"Impressive," says the old man. "Well, enjoy your morning!" He continues on his walk.
Veronica calls in on the com system as Mark and Thunderhorse climb into the Jeep. "I'm taking off, now. I'll see you guys in a thousand years."
The Pu lifts off again and rips into the sky.
Doc checks the time bomb. They've got a couple hours to kill. He puts the Jeep in gear and starts cruising around the old roads of the city. Hover cars dodge and weave around them, some jumping over the roof. Doc takes it easy and continues his leisurely tour of the city.
"So, Thunderhorse," Doc calls to the back seat. "Why do you speak German when you come from Norway?"
Thunderhorse is quiet for a moment. "I do not know what you are talking about."
Doc tries to rephrase. "You speak an old German dialect yet we're here in Norway to visit your past. Why don't you speak Norse?"
Thunderhorse looks at him quizically through the rear-view mirror, partially because of this linguistic confusion, and partially because mirrors are foreign to him. "German? I do not understand this."
"You know, the land of the Eider river? The Danube? The Rhine? Anything familiar?"
"Rhine? Rhinelanders? Yes, my grandfather's father's father was a Rhinelander. He moved his family north to the Winterlands when the wizards came."
"Yes. They came to his village carrying golden crosses. He was told to bow down before their evil god and pay homage to him, but he, like many others, refused. The wizards summoned armies from the south and burned down the village. My grandfather's father's father fled north to escape. They settled a new village in the Winterlands."
"So you continued speaking German without any Norse influence even this far north?"
"Norse? I think you speak of the other tribes near our village. They do speak another language, though I never learned it. Our village does not trust outsiders. We will trade with them, but do not allow them to stay. Fortunately, the wizards go no where without the banner of their god. We have killed many of the grand wizard Haakon's soldiers miles before they arrived."
"Wait," Doc thinks, remembering his European history. "King Haakon? Haakon the Good?"
"Ha! Is that how he is known among your people? To us, he is Haakon the Wizard.
"Haakon the Good. Hah. Time remembers fondly those who destroy their enemies."
"Boy, you said somethin' there," Mark says.
"But, he ruled a hundred years before your time," Doc continues.
"Yes. He never died. He is a wizard. Look, there is one of his temples, now!" Thunderhorse smashes his face into the window.
They drive past the Nidaros Cathedral.
"That's not a temple, ya' savage. That's a fuckin' church!" Mark chastises the viking. "Wizards, hell, are you talkin' about Christians? What kinda stupid fuckin'-"
Doc shuts him up with a look.
"I know this place," Thunderhorse says, face pressed firmly against the glass. "I know this place!" he shouts.
Doc pulls over and they all get out of the car to admire the scenery. It's quite a nice Gothic cathedral, although it's been a Lutheran church for hundreds of years.
"The way the river bends here. I know this. This is Nidaros! This is the site where the Great King Harald III was brought after he fell battling the Saxons! My village and Nathan's tower will be to the north of here."
"Who is this Nathan, anyway?"
"Nathan the Pickled. He calls himself King of these lands. Our village do not recognize him. He is just another acolyte of the ancient wizard Haakon. Neither do we recognize Harald's son Olaf, for he surrendered to the Saxons. We claim no king."
Doc checks his sunglasses, doing a quick internet search. "There doesn't seem to be any record of him."
"Hah. Then if time remembers only the victors, that means we shall be victorious this day."
Doc smiles at this. He checks the clock. One hour to go.
Doc and the Time Operatives spend the next few hours getting ready. There is much shuffling of equipment. They load Doc's jeep with weapons and materials from their previous missions, pull the old Flintlocks off the Pu, clean out Lightning's old saddlebags, etc.
Doc makes a command decision to leave the Sleipnirs behind on this mission. Even with eight legs, they won't be keeping up with his jeep, and it's best to keep everyone together. Thunderhorse is quite upset about this, but Doc manages to convince him it's for the best. Thunderhorse is the only one who's been able to ride them so far, and even to him it's a shaky proposal to simply gallop around on one let alone charge into battle.
After taking stock of the equipment at hand, Doc tries his hand at the giant gumball machine that is the replicator. Once again, the thing fails to produce anything worthwhile for him. Upon asking for a "machine gun" he got a toy replica, and "rocket launcher" was somehow misinterpreted as a package of Jolly Ranchers.
Fortunately, Veronica had built up some sway over the device through the course of the centuries. She is able to convince it to make a World War 2 era Browning .50 caliber machine gun and a 21st century SMAW rocket launcher, ammo and all.
Unfortunately, the bloody thing gets confused while processing the purchase and ends up charging Doc's personal account rather than the mission budget to the tune of $40,000.
Rightly pissed, Doc takes a quick nap. He clears his mind of rage against the machine and fills it with the comfort of having a signifigant arsenal. His nap is somewhat restless and his dreams filled with visions of guns and swords, but he sleeps well enough to clear the cobwebs from his brain and ready himself for the mission.
After an hour, the alarm goes off and he's up and ready. He gathers Mark and Thunderhorse from the galley and they march down the hallway. They ride the elevator silently to the shuttle bay, where Veronica and Steve await them outside the open maw of the Pu.
Steve approaches Doc. "Here," he says, handing him the ticking time-bomb.
Doc examines the small, inocuous thing. Three hours until it goes off.
"Take a spare, just in case. If you get into trouble you can escape to some other time." Steve produces another one from his lab coat pocket and hands it over. "And take this, as well." It's a small, black disk with a blinking red light on top. "It's a temporal tracking signal. If you don't end up when you're supposed to, I'll be able to find you. Don't worry, though. I've been through the calculations a hundred times."
"Thanks," Doc says, slightly less confident than he was a moment ago.
"I'll be right behind you, no matter what. Well, above you, I guess. At least in orbit around the same planet you're on. Unless there's some kind of gravitational distortion storm between now and the target time, in which case you'll be flung into the abyss of space. But the probability of that happening is so remote as to be unlikely. I'd say its 1 in-"
"Shut up, Steve." Doc says calmly, desperately retaining his confidence.
"Right. Sorry. Good luck."
The Time Operatives board the Pu. The ramp swallows them up. The shuttle bay begins to hum as the engines fire up. Warning klaxons and lights flood the bay. The magnetic couplings disconnect with a hiss, and the Pu falls away from the mother ship towards the Earth.
The ride down is as comfortable as can be, certainly more comfortable than the ride up on the Yeti. Doc is beginning to get used to the queasiness of space travel. Even the ride on a fireball as the Pu screams into the atmosphere disturbs him less than it used to.
It's a very quick trip as they've dropped to Earth at just the right time. Within moments, they're landing in Trondheim, Norway.
Click for animation because Blogger won't show it on the page, the fuckers.
"Great! We can travel through time and not get our ass shot off again?" Doc asks.
"I guess it depends on whether or not you're being shot at, but yes, we can travel through time." Dr. Ritenrong's enthusiasm continues uninterrupted.
He calls an electronic whiteboard down from the ceiling and begins drawing on it using his fingers.
"Now, we all know that an object such as a cup has a time-line with a beginning, middle, and end. It exists until it is destroyed. When we place our wormhole in it at any point on that time-line, the wormhole also exists from the beginning to the end, where the wormhole dissipates and is also destroyed. The wormhole connects all points of its time-line to the point opposite the zenith.
"Lets say we have another cup with a wormhole in it. We can insert it into the first wormhole, wait a while, and watch it arrive at the opposite end of the first time-line. If we then send it back through the wormhole, it will travel back through time, arriving before we put it in. We have now crossed a higher dimensional boundary, and altered the course of history. Now, the fun bit. If we put the cup that arrived from our first cup into the cup we just made before we send it into the first cup, what happens? Does the blue cup any longer have a beginning or end? Does it end where it begins? Yet there is a wormhole within this cup which spans both time and higher dimensional space. What happens if we step into that wormhole?"
He clears the board with a wave of his hand and continues. "Now, the blue cup, and the wormhole within it, do in fact have a time-line. It is created by us, it has a midpoint, and it's existence 'ends' with the recursion process we set into motion. However, it's temporal field is inverted! The beginning of the inverted time-line will send us back in time, and the end will send us forward, outside the existence wave of the cup! The closer we get to the middle, the further back or forth it will fling us! An interesting thing happens at the zenith, though. It leads to both the beginning and end of the universe, or perhaps just the localized galactic time-line, simultaneously. If we were to enter near the zenith, we may be flung to either end of time, or simply thrown outside of existence altogether. Or it may have already happened and the result was the big bang. I don't know."
He clears the board again, and with a series of gestures brings the previous drawing back.
"There is one other thing. The inverted time-line of the blue cup is spread out back and forth across the relative time-line of the black cup. It begins by disappearing into the future where it exists briefly before being sent back before it started, and then loops around. The start of it is in the future and vice-versa, so going in earlier will take us to the future, and going in later will take us to the past. So if we move the creation of the second wormhole and its nearly instantaneous insertion into the primary wormhole closer to the zenith of the primary, we can allow it to extend throughout the lifecycle of the primary wormhole before inverting it. This gives us plenty of time to more finely calculate and control our destination!"
He brings out a small plastic ball from his lab coat pocket. "For the last couple weeks, I've been working on this for months." He shows it to Doc and Veronica at the bar. Mark looks over his shoulder. Thunderhorse is distracted by the magic of the whiteboard.
The small sphere is split in two halves. One side is blue and has little finger friction ridges along the edge and a button at the top. The reverse side is white with blue micro-LEDs displaying the current date and time.
"The blue side is the dial and activation button. Turn it slow to change seconds and minutes, faster to change hours, days, and years. Clockwise is forward, counterclockwise is backwards, of course." He spins the blue side to demonstrate. The time display on the reverse side changes colors from blue to red as the clock goes further into the future, and then from red to blue to green as it goes back into the past.
"Press the button to set it." He does. The clock is set for 1068.
"Now it will take some time for it to prime. The further back or forth you want to go, the more fine control I need to calculate the destination position and the longer it takes. There is an emergency override if you have to get out of a situation quickly, but this is HIGHLY unpredictable. You will almost certainly not end up where you wanted to go. But if you must use it, just turn the dial clockwise and press the button repeatedly. I had to balance between safety of travel versus emergency response, so it won't always react instantly. What good is escaping a firefight only to be flung into fires of the primordial solar system? Anyway, only use it in extreme situations.
"Once it's primed, you can use the dial counterclockwise to delay the response if you want. The longer you give it, the more accurate the results, although the default time should be accurate enough. After about half the time has passed, you can't set it any further ahead, though. When these little lights travel the circumference, it will detonate."
"Detonate?" Mark asks, intrigued by explosions.
"Yes, detonate. These are one-time use devices. The blast won't hurt you. It will expand to fill a confined space up to about 8000 cubic feet, so I recommend using it in small, empty rooms. You can use it outdoors, but it will take everything around you with it. Don't worry, you will arrive in the same gravitationally relative space regardless of the continuity of the structure you use it in, although I can't guarantee results for weak or fluctuating gravitational fields. So wear a space suit if you're using it on an asteroid or something.
"Another word of warning. These things contain a small amount of anti-matter, which is used up harmlessly in the reaction. If the containment is breached, however, you have a problem which can be measured in megatons. It also contains a micro-radiothermal generator for powering the internal components. This can't go critical (by its self, anyway), but those componets will cause radiation burns or sickness if handled. If the core is exposed or goes offline, the antimatter containment will fail and you've got one of those megaton problems. The skin is made of nano-engineered titanim-carbon composites and will take exactly one hell of a beating. Do not push your luck."
"Is it possible to set it off on purpose?" Mark asks, excitedly.
"No, simply because I can't imagine any situation in which a thermonuclear hand-grenade might be useful."
"I see you've set the thing for 1068," Doc remarks. "That's Thunderhorse's era, isn't it?"
Thunderhorse quits doodling on Dr. Ritenrong's whiteboard at the sound of his name.
"Yes, it is," Steve replies. "Since he damn near got killed saving my life, I think we should do as you suggested, Doc. We're going to save Jazelle."
"PRAISE THOR!" Cries Thunderhorse. He pounds his fists on the whiteboard, shattering the digital image. The screen, unharmed, retracts into the ceiling.
"I'll set the timer ahead to twelve hours. That should be plenty of time for you to get ready and head to the surface."
"You're staying here, right?" Doc says. "If we lose you, we're fucked. You know that, right?"
"Yes, Doc, I'm staying here on the Pear." He answers. "But, I'll be taking the Pear back in time through traditional means and I'll be in orbit when you arrive in the past. Veronica, I'll need you to drop them off on Earth then help me navigate through the asteroid field. I've got the course already plotted."
"Yee haw! We're headed back to olden times? Like knights and stuff?" Mark says. "Can we bring our laser rifles?"
"And the Sleipnirs! I will ride an eight legged horse into battle!" Thunderhorse cries.
"As long as I can bring my Colt and my Jeep, I'm happy. I'm not riding through anyplace called 'The Winterlands' on horseback, eight-legged or otherwise."
"Sure, whatever. Just don't totally unravel the fabric of history, okay?"
Three weeks pass too easily on the Younger Brother Pear. Their orbit brings night and day every six hours or so. It feels as though they're travelling through time without Dr. Ritenrong's contraptions.
Thunderhorse spends his days with the Sleipnirs, getting to know them and letting them know him. He spends the rest of his time drinking in front of the TV making his way slowly through the infinite playlist of a hacked Q-NetPix account. Doc tries to steer him towards the greats and the classics, but more often than not it's Red Sonja, The Arena, Albert Pyun's Nemesis series, or anything else involving muscular women warriors.
Mark spends most of his time reading and playing Shoot Out! in the holobooths. He and Thunderhorse occassionaly hold Sleipnir races around the Obersvation deck, but the last time they did Mark got bucked off into the pond. Doc is glad that Thunderhorse holds domain over the television more than Mark, since when Mark puts something on it's usually the most grotesque, demented pornography he can find. He thinks it's hilarious, while everone else wants to puke.
Doc also finds himself lost in the holobooths for hours at a time, practicing his surgical skills and playing a game of world domination and politics called Riskopoly against people from across time and space, all brought together by Q-Net. He's particularly proud of the moment when he defeated both Napolean and Abraham Lincoln in a battle to control the oil and medicinal resources of South America whilst making a highly skewed trade agreement with Raboid615 (an Ursine alien from the moons of Epsilon Eridani Beta who is not a very shrewd negotioator) for control of European mining, leading Doc to total domination of virtual 22nd century Earth within 36 rounds of play. To be fair, who ever was personafying Lincoln was not doing a very good job and Napoleans are in general very easy to goad into making poor decisions. Still it stands on record as the sixth quickest and thirteenth most dominating victory on the high-score boards.
Steve, meanwhile, has been working diligently in isolation, trying to perfect a more useful time-device. He comes into the galley for dinner and tries to be conversational in attempting to explain his day's problems and achievements, but instead spews out reams of technobabble which makes sense to no one but himself. The best Doc can make out is "it's coming along."
The only people who can be seen doing any actual work around the ship are the androids. The Cook and Host of course do most of the actual day-to-day stuff, the Host having taken over the duties of the now transformed Maid.
Veronica had done a lot of work before she left to join the EDF. The once mangled and tattered EGU shuttle is now good-as-new, perhaps better. Doc's jeep is running better than ever, as she had torn its engine completely apart, cleaned it, and rebuilt it. She did this one or twice a century to keep it in good condition through Doc's three-hundred year absence. She told Doc that at first she wanted to replace the engine with a fusion generator and make it an electric, but not having the parts she had to wait until the technology came to be on Earth. By then she had grown fond of its simple internal combustion system and decided to leave it alone.
Veronica stops in only briefly between EDF missions. She was not particularly happy to see them the first time. She landed her SF-112 Starfire, the Maria Bochkareva, in the shuttle bay with an attitude only she could display while flying. She stormed up the to the galley to tell them all off about beaming transissions at her while she's on a mission. Apparently, the Host's attempts to contact her in the Neptunian system scarred off the Exkorean pirates they were trying to hunt down. Fortunately, the signal did not give away her position, but it did alert the pirates to the fact that someone was out there after them. Their sudden attempted escape and the ensuing chase threw off the mission timeline by a factor of hours and, as she put it, "cost the Earth taxpayers thousands of dollars in wasted time and ammunition."
Once that was off her chest she was quite pleasant. To Doc and Steve, at least.
After a quick break she was off again to help sweep the asteroid fields of the remaining Exkorean ships. Although the Sol Peace Treaty of 2177 had the Exkoreans promising to leave Mars and the Solar System forever by 2185, many Exkorean outposts still remained. They are not more than pirates and raiders now, but they still swear loyalty to their fallen empire. It's Veronica's job to wipe them out whenever they interfere with commercial shipping and transport. Civilians are, for the most part, on their own.
After a tough week of flying, Veronica slumps into a stool in the galley, slamming her helmet on the bar. She's still wet with synthetic perspiration. She peels her flight suit loose from her chest, unzipping it slightly and airing it out.
"Fucking pricks," she mutters loudly.
"Welcome home," Doc greets her, lifting his beer glass to her before taking a sip.
The Cook provides her with a frosty mug of Android Replenishment Fluid which is a mix of coolants, hydrolic fluids, ethanol, bio-corrosive acids, and specially laced with a ferromagnetic substance which scrambles her circuits in a delightfully intoxicating way. It's great for clearing the volitile memory, although it does tend to interfere with active programs such as speech macros and stabilization systems.
She lifts her glass in return and drinks down the blackish-green substance with ease. Two weeks ago Doc had to pump Thunderhorse's stomach because he had stolen a mere sip from her glass. The chemistry designed to remove foreign biological materials from her system had given the viking a rather severe ulcer. Doc, always looking for practice in his medical art, cloned him a new stomach. He went ahead and replaced his liver, too. It was the most sad and abused thing he'd ever seen inside a human body. It's preserved in a jar on his office desk to remind himself to go easy on the sauce.
"That dickhead Major Kwong still won't listen to me. I've told them a hundred times that the Exkorean base is near Ceres. But they won't listen. They won't scan. He tells me 'There's no reports of Exkor activity from Ceres,' but that's because they're hiding! It's a hidden base. He goes 'Well how do you know about it then?' and what do I tell him? That my real boss is a time-traveler in violation of a hundred-year-old treaty but he's got all kinds of useful information on the future and oh, yeah I'm an android more advanced than anything you'll see for another century at least?"
"I can see how that can frustrate your day," Doc answers sympathetically. "Can we scan them from here?"
"No, I tried. The asteroid field is too difficult to scan through and besides, they're cloaking their emissions. You have to send probes to do a sub-surface scan of every asteroid near Ceres, but without EDF support they just get shot down by the Exkors before they could return confirmation. I'm not wasting any more probes on other people's problems. Let 'em ffffffindout the hard wayeeee-" She ends the sentence with a rough digital burp, much like a failing DTV signal. She pats her chest and smiles, letting Doc know she's alright.
A few more drinks and some casual conversation later, they sit quietly together, watching the sun rise on the monitor.
"I never get tired of seeing that," Doc says.
They both turn as they hear something odd. The elevator door opens in the hallway, releasing a merry yell. They hear footsteps pounding around the corner, interrupted by a brief pause and a sudden thump intermixed with a jubilant shouting, something that could only have been a jump for joy.
"I've done it!" Dr. Ritenrong comes screaming into the galley, followed curiously by Mark and Thunderhorse whose body-builder porn he had interrupted. "I've actually done it!"
"What?" Doc asks.
"A new method of time-travel!"
Doc's 2008 Jeep Wrangler
2 door Convertable
Engine: 3.8 liter V6 Internal combustion
Transmission: 6 speed manual
4WD, Traction Control
AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, Power windows & locks
~200,000 miles; good condition
Crew: 1 Passengers: 4
Mass: 3800lbs Cargo: 1200lbs
Init: -2 Maneuver: -2
Defense: 8 Hardness: 5
HP: 19/32 Size: H
Top Speed: 200 (~114 MPH) SC: 4 AC: 4
Fuel: 18.6 gal @ 15/19 MPG FS: 40/792
Range: ~350 miles
SF-112 Starfire Maria Bochkareva
Single-seat Hypersonic Aerospace Fighter
Stardrive: Dual D-He3 Fusion MegaThrusters
Atmospheric Engine: VIATRUC Scramjet
Subsonic Engine: Manuseisium Repulsorlift
Crew: 1 Passengers: 0
Mass: 2,400lbs Payload: 1800 lbs
Init: -2 Maneuver: -8
Defense: 12 Hardness: 16
HP: 160/160 Size: H
Top Speed: 1.8%C SC: 21
Top Accel: 1.7 km/s^2 AC: 12
Delta-V: 5,434.27 km/s dV: 32606/32606
16x 100lb 200kT Nuclear warheads 16d12, 4000 ft radius, 19 critical, +500 dV per shot
Particle cannon: 12d8, 4000' RI, -50 dV per shot
2x Heavy Laser: 8d8, 4000' RI, -24 dV per shot
Economy-class General Use shuttle
Stardrive: D-T Fusion Thruster
Atmospheric Engine: Manuseisium Repulsorlift
Crew: 2 Passengers 6
Mass: 3,600lbs Payload: 2,000 lbs
Init: -4 Maneuver: -4
Defense: 8 Hardness: 6
HP: 96/96 Size: H
Fuel: 9600 lbs
Top Speed: 219.7 km/s SC: 15
Top Accel: 248 m/s^2 AC: 8
Delta-V: 220 km/s dV: 1318/1318
Whiskey SHITS Pu
Economy-class General Use shuttle
Stardrive: Dual D-He3 Fusion Thrusters (Standard)
Atmospheric Engine: Manuseisium Repulsorlift
Crew: 2 Passengers 6
Mass: 95 tons Payload: 20 tons
Init: -6 Maneuver: -6
Defense: 10 Hardness: 10
HP: 120/120 Size: G
Fuel: 20 tons
Top Speed: 1257.1 km/s SC: 15
Top Accel: 41 m/s^2 AC: 7
Delta-V: 1257 km/s dV: 7543/7543
MARV-IN Younger Brother Pear
Multidimensional Astral Research Vessel, Series I, November class
Superluminal Drive: XD Strange-Core
Stardrive: Dual D-He3 Fusion Thrusters
Crew: 8 Passengers: 20
Mass: 300 tons Payload: 2500 tons
Init: -10 Maneuver: -10
Defense: 10 Hardness: 12
HP: 360/360 Size: G
Fuel: 120 million tons
Top Speed: 53.8 km/s SC: 13
Top Accel: 1.78 m/s AC: 3
Delta-V: Near infinite dV: n/a
Top Speed: 55,000 C
Top Accel: 11 c/s
XD Delta-V: 3000/3000
1x Light Particle Cannon: 8d8, 4000' RI
2x Light Laser: 6d8, 3000' RI
22x 25kT Nuclear warheads: 10d12
136x Unarmed Torpedoes