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Old June 25 2009, 10:08 AM   #41
Dingo
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X.S. Tech, Part III

“Sausage worshippers?” Janeway said as she took a swallow from a cup of coffee clutched in her right hand as she read from the PADD in her left hand.


“That’s what the report says.” Chakotay said as he eyed the PADD in his own hands.


“And Celes was injured by this a member of this Biff Tannen character’s gang?” Janeway replied.

“Apparently she was treated at this facility called X.S. Tech.” Chakotay said, “The species that founded X.S. Tech were bald, green skinned humanoid aliens very similar to the Ferengi with a high tech bend. They appear to enjoy selling technology to other races at high prices.”


“This X.S. Tech appears to be a civilization on a par with our own with advancements in some areas. Their achievements in cybernetics are impressive to say the least. This Bishop android described by the away team in their report is fairly advanced.” Janeway replied, “Telfer’s report stated that he’s more advanced than a Soong type android.”


“The report also states they found some sort of interstellar transporter device.” Chakotay said.


“Any attempts to use it?” Janeway asked.


“I was just getting there, Kathryn. Unfortunately something went awry during the demonstration that Tom and Dalby witnessed...” Chakotay replied as he continued to alternate his eyes between Kathryn and the PADD.


---


“Hey.” Marty said as he limped into the room where Tal Celes lay fighting for her life. He felt like he owed these people his life, those people so far away from their homes who risked their lives to help him and Doc. And one of them had been wounded by one of Biff’s gang.


Henry Kano turned around and regarded Marty McFly.


“I just wanted to thank you guys for everything you did for me.” Marty began.


“You’re welcome.” Henry replied almost absently as he checked Celes’ vitals.


Marty could tell that Henry cared about Celes as more than a teammate or something. He definitely had some feelings for her.


“Are you like seeing her or something?” Marty asked.


“No.” Henry replied, “We’re just friends.”


“Look. I’m so sorry. This is my fault.” Marty replied, “If Biff hadn’t gotten a hold of me. If I had been more careful on my survey mission she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.”


“Mate. It’s not your fault. You didn’t shoot her. 3D did and he will pay with his life.” Henry replied coldly.


---


Tom and Ken walked into the large auditorium with a large viewscreen and a robot sitting at a console with two glass tubes on either side of it. In one of the glass tubes was a blue furry alien creature with antennae and yellowish eyes.

The viewscreen flared to life and the alien female from the earlier presentations appeared yet again and said: “And now, for the world of living life with X-S, here once again is Chairman Clench.”


Chairman Clench appeared again onscreen and gestured grandly before he spoke, “By now you must be wondering how X-S Tech can help you seize the future. Well, wonder no more! Here to show you how is our most advanced cyberbotic performance unit to date.”


As he spoke the robot flared to life and began to gaze at the various human audience members, “Ahh, welcome, weary travelers, to the great big universe of X-S. You may call me sir. That is S-I-R which stands for simulated intelligence robotics.”


The small creature in one of the glass tubes began to whine.


“What do you want, Skippy?” S.I.R. asked


“Do you think that thing’s sentient?” Dalby asked Tom with a raised eyebrow.


“I don’t know. It seems to have a rudimentary form of communication or language.” Tom replied.


Just then Skippy chittered something that sounded like: “I want to go out there.”


“We should do something. This corporation is exploiting sentient lifeforms...” Dalby said.


“There’s nothing we can do about that.” Tom replied, “They kinda have us over a barrel. I mean Celes is injured and they’re treating her. Who knows if they’ll just stop treatment or worse detain us if we just start yelling about that exploitation. But we’re not just gonna do nothing.”


S.I.R. gestured towards the tube: “No, you may not get out. You're our... lucky volunteer! Now, dear friends, you're probably asking 'What can the galaxy's leader in sophisticated technology do for me?' Well, how would you like to travel anywhere, anytime at the touch of a button? Science Fiction? NO! Behold the X-S Series 1000. The first in a complete line of personal and commercial teleportation systems, capable of sending bright-eyed biological life forms like yourselves, and even lower life forms like Skippy, from one place to another instantly. In a moment I will break down our fuzzy little friend into a mass of molecules, send those molecules through the air above your head, and reconstruct them in the tube over here, as good as new! And now, witness for yourselves, the wonders of X-S teleportation. Phase one of the process has begun: disintegration into molecular components. Don't worry, it's practically painless!”


He began to work the console and then Skippy began to dematerialize: “And now to the second phase: the molecules are beamed to the receiving chamber where atom-by-atom, we construct our carefree traveler!”


Skippy began to appear looking just on the right side of burned and began to chitter his complaints which S.I.R. promptly suppressed: “And here's the little Skipper now! Oh shut-up, Scruffy, you're not burned. You’ve just got a healthy glow!”


Skippy chittered back some protests.


S.I.R. replied with a dismissive tone: ”Skippy, you-you've just reminded me of a feature that I absolutely love! With the mere touch of a button, the entire process can be reversed! Bon Voyarge!”


Skippy dematerialized again as S.I.R. continued to speak: “And this is my favorite: it can be suspended...indefinitely.”


S.I.R. continued as a white cloud hovered over his head: “My dear friends, you've just witnessed a small sample of the awesome power of X-S Teleportation.”


“Excuse me S.I.R. just what do you mean by small sample?” Dalby asked.


“Why mister...” S.I.R. began, “I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name.”


“Dalby.”


“Mister Dalby. I was just getting there. There's much more! Imagine if the trip were not merely the width of this room, but the breadth of a galaxy, the span of a universe! Well, imagine no more. Because soon, one of YOU will be taking that trip. One of YOU will seize the future with X-S! Bon Voyarge!” S.I.R. replied.


“OK that means one of us could travel to their home planet.” Dalby replied, “I see an opportunity here. Maybe they have a way to get us back to our world.”


“That’s insane. We don’t even know what star system X.S. Tech is in or if the Flyer could even reach it. And what if they detain you or they’re working with Armus.” Tom replied.


“Look. If we don’t take chances we’ll never get back.” Dalby replied.


Dalby removed his comm badge and began to mess with it: “If I get chosen I can be traced by my comm badge carrier wave signal from the Flyer. Give me yours.”


“This idea is still insane.” Tom groaned as Dalby modified the comm badge that Tom handed him as they proceeded into another auditorium. It was just after the auditorium door closed that Tom’s comm badge chittered to life.


---


Henry sat down with Telfer in the small coffee shop with its sterile decor. “Any changes?” Billy asked.


Henry glanced balefully at him, “No change. She hasn’t gotten worse and she hasn’t gotten better. I shouldn’t have agreed to let us split up like that. I could’ve protected her.”


Telfer said nothing. He felt conflicting emotions going through his head. Part of him blamed Henry for the command decision to split their small group to find the flux capacitor. But another part of him knew that if Henry hadn’t been on the scene Tal would never have made it to the hospital.


Clara came by just then. “Any news?” She asked gently.


“No.” Henry replied.


Clara joined Telfer and Kano at the table just then.


“She wouldn’t want you beating yourself up like this.” Telfer said.


“It is my fault she’s in that state. If we hadn’t split up. 3D would never have gotten the drop on Clara and her.” Henry replied.


Telfer knew that Henry needed to hear something comforting but he couldn’t think of anything, but Clara beat him to the punch.


“You know she loves you right?” Clara said.


Henry looked surprised: “How could you know that?”


“She confided it to me.” Clara began.


“Now you know she wouldn’t want you driving yourself nuts with guilt over this.” Telfer said, “And it is true. She does love you.”


Before Henry could reply, Emmett Brown came running over to them: “There’s some disturbing news I’ve got on another front. I found a tracking sensor in the DeLorean.”


“Wanker.” Henry replied before just about knocking his comm badge off his shirt, “Kano to Paris.”


“Paris here. Go ahead.”


“Tom, there’s been a tracking sensor discovered on the DeLorean. Armus, Biff, and the peanut gallery should be here at any minute.” Henry replied.


“I’ll go talk to Bishop see if there are any security measures X.S. Tech has.” Telfer replied. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Henry examining both his hand phaser and the homemade knife in his hand.


“If I should chance upon 3D, he isn’t going to survive the encounter. I promise that.” Henry replied.


Telfer felt his blood turn icy at Henry’s menacing tone as well as his heart rate rising. He knew better than to ask his friend about his seriousness. There was that part of him that agreed with Henry’s burning desire for revenge, however. Henry. If you find that bastard when they attack, kill him.

===

Up next the demonstration goes awry and Biff leads an attack on the X.S. Tech facility.
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