It seems I am learning more and more about my characters as I write. As always, tell me what you think. Star Trek: Promellian Gap Garden in the Sky Chapter 1 Stardate: 52700.1 September 13, 2375, Time: 12:52:33 Tega Sevana checked herself in the mirror. Her body was seventeen again. Just because you were forty five doesn't mean you have to have a forty five year old body. At least not any more. She still remembers the excited call from her dad. It was five years ago. "Tega my girl!" he greeted. "How's frigate life treating you?" "Dad?" she asked aghast. "What happened to your eyes? They're... tiny! Can you see out of those?" "They are human sized eyes, he replied. "They allow me to blend in with the humans." "They look weird," she insisted. "Looking weird is totally worth what I found!" he countered. "I was part of a civilian crew hired to do some work on the Enterprise D. I tested the computer security and stumbled across a file I'm sending you. I need you to dump it on the public net." "Sure," she agreed, "I can send it from here. What is it?" "The Enterprise was somewhere between Marlonia and Ligos VII," he explained, "when a shuttle got caught in a molecular reversion field. When they used the transporter to rescue the occupants, they physically reverted to twelve years old. Mind you the occupants were between their twenties to sixties before the accident." "Did the subjects remain healthy?" she asked. "They remained healthy for a couple of days until they figured out how to reverse the process," he replied. "Why did they do that?" she asked incredulously. "I don't know," he shrugged. "Federation people are funny about that sort of thing. Regardless, I have a the engineers file and the doctors file. Once it's on the public net, it should only take a couple years to stabilise the process." Her dad had been right, of course. Within a day of it hitting the public net, over a million people were working on the process. A couple dozen fools jumped in right off the bat. One ended up twelve, the rest ended up an organic red paste. It was just as well, Gui-Xing Prime didn't need people that foolish contaminating the gene pool. The rest took a clue and used plants and then animals as test subjects first. Now almost any physical age was selectable. A transporter needed some extra positronic cylinders and an artificial molecular reversion field generator, but now almost everyone had the option of selecting their age. She fastened her dark red collar. Four pips. She was a captain now." "Your uniform looks all scaly." Tega turned to look. It was Sakka. She was the 4 year old Z'Niani that lived with them. Her photosynthetic skin was light green and It would be another five years before some of the more ornate markings on her skin began showing. It would be another ten years before a blossom would form in her grassy hair. "Your face is all young again, too!" she noted. "Well," Tega replied, "I don't turn into a tree when I die. So it's duranium scales to keep me alive, and rejuve to keep me young." "Kusha sprouted yesterday," Sakka noted. "Good, we were a little worried about her," Tega nodded. "Is Erich and Shad home from their sim games?" "Almost," she replied. "Why do Gui-Xing play sim games?" "Games have always been part of our life," Tega explained. "Before the cybernetic revolution we were obsessed with ball games of many different varieties. They proved to be an effective distraction to keep the populous from noticing the bad things our national leaders were doing to us. The cybernetic revolution undid all that. Sim games take real world problems and give us the ability to experiment with solutions." "Why are most of them war games?" she asked. "Because war is the biggest problem," Tega replied. "Because war is inevitable. It always has been. Playing nice and being diplomatic only goes so far. Sooner or later you run across someone who feels they have the right to attack you and no amount of talking will stop it. War simulations are the logical response to the problem. We have conducted trillions of simulated battles in competition with each other. Most likely, every possible battle situation had been played several times. The result is, we are better prepared to do battle now that the need has arrived." Sakka squirmed uncomfortably."I think I'll go play with the cat out back," she said and left. Tega strapped her pistol on her thigh, slung a small bag over her shoulder and headed out the front door to the front lawn. Kusha had indeed sprouted. The five centimeter tall sprout occupied the center of a well protected spot in the middle of the lawn. Give her another forty years and she would be a mature Z'Niani tree that would begin producing new Z'Niani like Sakka. Apparently, being being burned with plasma, squished by debris, and then frozen for a week in vacuum hadn't damaged the seed in Kusha's belly. At least she wasn't found by Ferengi loggers. "Afternoon, Aunt Tega." a pair of voices called. Tega turned. It was Erich and Shad. "Good afternoon," she replied. "Do we get a tour of your ship now?" Erich, the older boy, asked. "Sure, but I want to cruise the neighborhood first," she replied. "Hop in the convertible." The kids hopped into the back seat. Tega had the car flip the front seat over so she could sit backwards. She set a destination and the car gently rolled out. "So, Shad, how are your VR sim games going?" she asked. "The new Breen and Dominion weapons really turn the games on their ear. We found you have to launch all the torpedoes you can as early as possible, because you won't have time for a second volley. If you launch enough torpedoes early enough, you may survive. If not, you get blown up. With the new ship and shield modifications, everything is reverting to the previous state. "Excellent!" Tega nodded. "What about you, Erich?" "I've moved from fleet battles to Marine battles," Erich replied. "The Jem'Hadar shroud ability has been problematic for a couple years because we didn't know how it worked. Because we didn't know how it worked, it was hard to program the rules for the ability. Since you brought back that Jem'Hadar back, some of it's cells were cloned allowing us to figure it out. We were also able to properly simulate their physical capabilities. After loosing badly to them, my team cobbled together some visors that allow us to see them. They are still tough though." "How did your game against the town of Omid go?" she asked. "It was awesomely unhinged!" Erich replied enthusiastically. "It was a Random Select Game, we both played as Jem'Hadar. They have amazing physical abilities. It was close, but we won. "Is your team first place team yet?" she asked. "No," he replied shaking his head, "we're tied for one hundred twenty seventh place with about two point eight million other teams, which is not a bad rank for this point in the season." "Have you started your advanced tactics training yet?" she asked. "Yeah," he nodded, "a few weeks ago. We went up against Jem'Hadar with Atomic era weapons. We all died about a dozen times over before we killed our first Jem'Hadar. We're now only loosing at a rate of ten to one now, so we're improving." "Excellent!" she encouraged. "Do you plan on joining the marines?" "I'll probably spend ten years there," he said, "but I really want to be a genetic engineer. I think our species could be a lot stronger with a few DNA fragments from other races." "The Federation would not approve of that sort of thing," Tega cautioned. "The Federation is nice and all," he replied," but they are not the boss of me! Not while I can hold a pistol! Besides, you have Vulcan DNA fragments. They wouldn't want you either." "That is certainly a healthy attitude," Tega smiled, "and yes, I do have Vulcan DNA fragments. The Federation has banned people like me from Starfleet. They tend to be a bit backwards about that." She looked out the side of the car. At every family compound people were working on either their point defense weapons or their defector grids. "So, Shad, can you tell me what the two most important elements of our planetary defense system are?" "Sure," he smiled, "it is the Public Net and the Economy." "Explain," she required. "The Cyber Revolution destroyed banks and Fiat money, making rare minerals the money of choice," he began, "but people understood that energy was truly the only real money. It was not until Ardelia Stasny escaped Tarq, the Ferengi slaver, with Ferengi star ship technology stored in her head and dump everything on the public net that an energy base economy truly became possible. Micro-fusion generator technology was expensive at first, but as more people got micro-fusion generators, they got cheaper until micro-fusion generators became standard in every home. Then it was replicators and nano assemblers. With abundant energy and the ability to manufacture anything, it was just a mater of time before everyone built type IV Ferengi plasma phasers and mounted them in their back yards as point defense weapons. That's how we blew up Tarq's ship and got even more technology. With the continued downloading of important information onto the public net and lots of cheap energy over the last century, everyone has built verteron beam weapons with their own micro fusion generators in their back yards. According to current estimates, we now have estimated equivalent of one type IV of point defence beam per person on the planet. It's all thanks to cheap energy and freedom of information." "Very good," Tega nodded. "So is it true there are enough point defence weapons on the planet to knock the moon into subspace?" Erich asked. "Well," Tega considered, "take the energy output of a type IV beam weapon, multiply by five billion, consider that only forty percent will be capable of hitting the moon at any one time, well, I don't know about subspace, but I suspect it would leave a mark." The car stopped on a hill over looking the town. Tega got out and stretched. The boys stood either side of her. "The construction site down there in the middle of the river is our town's type XX verteron beam," Erich explained. "That thing has been in the planning stages since I was a little girl," Tega noted. "Well," Erich said, "about a day after we heard about the attack on the Lani, it became priority one. Construction has been non stop. Once completed, it will have an entire river to keep it cool." "What is that place?"Tega asked pointing. "That's the new antimatter factory," Erich said proudly. "So many locals were donating plasma in this area they added a new antimatter factory. Most of it goes to make photon torpedoes." "So why doesn't Earth have billions of planetary defence weapons?" Shad asked. "Earth people like to lay back and do nothing while their government takes care of them," Tega replied. "The inevitable result is that while the Federation has managed to ensure a remarkable quantity of legal rights and protections for its citizens, it fails to trust those citizens to independently protect those rights on there own and the ruling elite get more and more perks." "So having a half dozen 25 isoton photon torpedoes ready to launch from our back yard would be illegal?" Erich guessed. "Correct," Tega nodded. "That's silly!" Erich exclaimed. "I have to agree, it is illogical," Tega nodded again. "Are you ready to tour the ship?" Both boys nodded. Tega ordered the car to return home, and it gently rolled away. "Pretty Kitty Station," she sent via her cybernetic implant. "Pretty Kitty Station here," a response came. "This is Captain Tega Sevana. I have three to beam up." "Do you wish to be beamed directly on board the Chet?" the voice asked. "No, just put me near the ship in the dry dock," she replied. "Stand by," the voice replied. They waited a moment and then dematerialized from the surface of the planet.