The Engineer and the Time Lady

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by USS Fardell, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    The Engineer and the Time Lady
    1. Alpha

    Unknown Planet
    The small starship was in trouble. It had defeated the other ship, but it was out of control, entering the atmosphere of an M-Class planet at a rather steep angle. The crash landing was going to be terrible.


    Some time later.

    The ship was still, especially in the main computer room. The red-alert was still flashing there. “Warning! Estimated time to total system failure: 1 day 18 hours.” An alert tone sounded. Twice.

    Initiating Starship Preservation Protocol.

    Then there was a hum. “Activating Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha.

    The hologram of a female engineer appeared. “Please state the nature of the Engineering Emergency.”


    Approximately 10 standard years ago; USS Baffin NCC 90401 crash-landed on an unknown M-Class planet. The Starship Preservation Protocol has been initiated,” the computer reported.

    “Understood,” the engineering hologram stated. A screen activated on the side of the computer core.

    Emergency fuel cells for the computer core are very low. Reinitialise the Warp Core.

    That was only the first of a long list of tasks that needed to be performed.

    “Computer, run a level 5 diagnostic on the holoprojectors between the Computer Core and Engineering.”

    Affirmative,” the computer said.

    A minute later, the diagnostic was complete. “... Holoprojectors are functional.”

    The hologram nodded and then moved to leave the computer core.


    She stopped outside of Engineering. “Computer, run a level 5 diagnostic on the holoprojectors in Engineering.”

    The holoprojectors were functional, so she entered.

    The emergency lighting was on, giving the room a sombre appearance. The hologram briefly wondered why Starfleet would program their holograms with such recognition subroutines. She shook her head and went to the powerless core.

    She checked the fuel (the antimatter and deuterium) levels. Both fuels would last for a very long time. She was ready to restart the core. “Computer; activate Emergency Engineering Hologram Beta.”
    The Core re-start required two officers.

    Affirmative.

    There was another hum. “Please state the nature of the Engineering Emergency.”

    Emergency Hologram Beta was based on a male engineer. “The Starship Preservation Protocol has been initiated,” Alpha said.

    “Confirmed,” Beta said. He went to the dilithium chamber and opened it. “We need to check the crystals,” he said.

    Alpha nodded and they went to work. She started by scanning the crystals in the chamber...


    They quickly found that those had cracked in the crash, so they had to replace them with some of the spares. Fortunately there was many of those left, and hardly any of them had cracked. “75% spare crystals are still available.”


    “Crystal is aligned,” Alpha reported.

    “Confirmed,” Beta said. “Closing chamber.”

    The chamber closed. “Checking matter injectors.”

    “Checking antimatter injectors.”

    “Matter injectors ready.”

    “Antimatter injectors ready.”

    “We're ready,” Alpha stated.

    “Starting cold-restart sequence.”

    The deuterium and anti-deuterium began to flow from the storage pods to the reaction chamber and the core powered up. “Reaction is stable,” Beta stated. “Holding at 0.05% reaction rate,” Beta said.

    “Good,” Alpha said. 'So far, so good,' she thought. “Monitor the core, while I check the bridge systems.” That was next on the Starship Preservation Protocol check list.


    A minute later, Alpha entered the bridge, and saw that only the operations console was operating. None of the lighting was on. “Computer, emergency lights.” The lights came on. She then saw a skeleton sitting in the Command Chair. She suspected that it was Commander Emerson, who was listed as Commander of the Baffin. 'I need to check the systems first,” she thought. “Computer run level five diagnostic on bridge systems.”

    “Affirmative. Results in five minutes.”

    “Understood,” Alpha said. Even so, she began to scan the bridge with her tricorder.
    “Diagnostic complete. Command systems are functional. Operations and Engineering consoles are functional. Helm is offline.”

    “Understood,” Alpha said. The diagnostic matched the tricorder scan. She scanned the helm again. It had blown out during the crash. It was going to be a long repair.


    Twelve hours later, the helm was repaired. 'Of course, there's nowhere to go,' Alpha thought. The ship was still planetbound. There was still much to do. “Computer, status of Bridge.”

    Bridge systems are 100% functional. Determine the status of crew.

    “Computer: run diagnostic on internal sensors.”

    Affirmative...


    Diagnostic complete. Internal sensors are offline in the shuttlebay, bathysphere bays, the Holodeck, crew quarters and torpedo bays,” the computer reported.

    “Noted,” Alpha said. “Scan other areas for crew lifesigns.”

    Affirmative. No crew lifesigns detected.


    Alpha approached the Shuttlebay along the starboard corridor. She had scanned the other areas where the internal sensors were offline with a tricorder. No lifesigns had been detected. Not surprising given the length of time since the crash.
    The Shuttlebay door opened, and the tone Alpha had selected to indicate holoprojector functionality sounded. She saw that the crash had sent the shuttles out of their parked positions. She was going to have to repair them too. She walked around the bay, scanning with the tricorder. The crew wasn't there. She had noted, however, that one of the escape pods was missing, so maybe some of them were still alive (no matter how unlikely that was).


    Alpha returned to the Bridge and uploaded the tricorder data to the command console. “Internal scan complete,” the computer reported. “Crew death still unconfirmed. Take Remains to sickbay.”


    “Computer, Activate Emergency Medical Hologram.”

    The Mark 9 EMH, resembling a young female Vulcan appeared. “Please state the nature of the medical emergency.”

    “Not an emergency,” Alpha said. “The Starship Preservation Protocol has been activated.”

    “Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha?” the EMH asked.

    “Yes,” Alpha answered.

    “Of course.”

    “I have brought remains from the Bridge to sickbay.”

    “I shall scan them,” the EMH said.


    “Confirmed,” the EMH stated. “The remains are of Commander Theodore James Emerson.”

    Alpha took the PADD from the EMH. “But then, that wasn't in doubt.”

    “You know what to do,” the EMH said.

    “I just wanted to repair the ship,” Alpha groused as she left the sickbay through the starboard door, towards the Bridge.

    The EMH sighed. “Computer, deactivate EMH.”


    Alpha entered the Bridge and placed the PADD on the command console. “Deceased status of Commander Theodore James Emerson confirmed.”

    “Confirmed,” Alpha said. She input a sequence of numbers on the command console. “Code Sequence confirmed. Command of Baffin NCC 90401 is transferred to Emergency Engineering Hologram Alpha.”

    Alpha was conflicted. She either had no time, or all the time in the world. She decided to indulge herself and sat in the command chair. She had repaired the viewscreen earlier, but she wasn't sure that the external sensors were working. All she could see through the window was the night sky. “Forward view,” she commanded.

    “Affirmative,” the computer responded. The screen then showed a forest at night time.

    “A forest,” she considered. But exploration would have to wait. The ship still needed repairs.




    Alpha looked in the Jeffries Tube. She found the problem: There was corrosion where water had leaked in through micro-fractures in the hull. She scanned the corroded area with the tricorder. “Good thing there are spares,” she murmured. And that she had brought the spares with her.

    Half an hour later, the corroded parts had been replaced, but there were still other sensors offline...




    External sensors online,” the computer reported.

    “Good,” Alpha said. She closed the panel and headed back to the Bridge.


    Alpha entered the Bridge, and initiated a full scan. “Scan will take 10 minutes,” the computer reported. Alpha sat in the command chair.
    “Cool.”

    Scan complete.”

    “Report,” Alpha commanded.

    Planet M-13425 is far beyond Federation Space,” the computer reported.

    'Great!' Alpha thought, as the viewscreen filled with data. However, two lines caught her attention. She read them again.

    DIVERGENT QUANTUM SIGNATURE DETECTED!
    Priority, return ship to home universe!

    'Terrific!' Alpha thought. She knew one thing, a long journey was ahead of her. But first, she was going to have to go through the crew's logs.

     
    SLWatson and Galen4 like this.
  2. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Fascinating. I’d love to see where this goes.
     
  3. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    2. Nina

    Regeneration. You never knew what you were going to get. But that was jumping ahead...


    Oneenejpenlumbra ducked as the Dalek trained it's gunstick on her. “EXTERMINATE!”


    Too late. The Dalek's beam hit her...

    She was in her second incarnation when the Time War had gone 'hot', with the Daleks attacking Gallifrey itself, having found a way to neutralise the Transduction Barriers. Therefore she thought she knew what regeneration was like. She was wrong

    The Beam hit her, and she fell. Her memory went into overdrive as the regeneration started. She nearly lost conciousness.

    “ALERT! REGENERATION IN PROGRESS!” the Dalek was still there.

    She stood up. “I'll take you with my current incarnation!” she said.

    “EMERGENCY RETREAT!” the Dalek moved backwards as it attempted to retreat.

    “No!” the Time Lady said as she redirected the regeneration energy towards the Dalek.

    “UNABLE TO RET...” the Dalek was interrupted as the regeneration energy overcame the Battle Unit's defences, blowing it up, along with the creature inside.

    She then retreated herself, back towards her TARDIS, which she had landed close by...


    She entered the ship and collapsed. “No!” She crawled to the console, stood up and set the ship in motion, back to Gallifrey, and collapsed again as the regeneration continued.
    One never knew what they were going to get.


    Something was wrong. She crawled away from the console room. “Must... get... to... Zero... Room!”

    She would later reflect that she got to the Zero Room with hardly any time left, certain that the TARDIS had ensured that the route was as straight and short as possible.


    One never knew what they were going to get.


    She awoke and looked around the Zero Room. She was relaxed in the simplistic environment. 'But I need to check if I'm back on Gallifrey,' she thought. However, as soon as she exited the room it started. She could hear that Dalek in her mind.

    EXTERMINATE

    It caused her to look around the corridor. Her hearts were racing even as the TARDIS tried to calm her. “Stop!” she said, her hands at her temples. She started running through the corridors, back to the console room. However, she only got so far, before she turned back to the Zero Room in a panic.

    She closed the doors and breathed heavily. Something was definitely wrong. She reopened the doors, and felt the TARDIS' presence in her mind. The ship was pensive, clearly worried about her pilot. “OK, I'm going to run to the console room.”


    She ran though the corridors, trying not to think, but anxiety was rising. However the TARDIS was making it easy. The corridors weren't a maze, but rather more-or less a straight line, between the Zero Room and the Console room. She entered the console room in a panic. She breathed deeply and looked at the instruments. She could see that the TARDIS had landed. She was back on Gallifrey.


    There was a TARDIS, another Time Lord had arrived, bringing news of the ongoing defeat. But he or she hadn't yet come out.

    “Not again!” There had already been many instances of Time Lords returning to Gallifrey with their minds affected by trauma related to fighting the Daleks. With their more complex brains, psychological issues were more complex than in other species.

    “Do we know who's TARDIS this is?” another of the Time Lords asked.

    “Checking,” a third Time Lord said. There was a beep. “Oneenejpenlumbra. She was defending an outpost in Sector 27.”

    “I see,” the first Time Lord said. He was interrupted as the TARDIS door opened and Oneenejpenlumbra stumbled out.

    “Home!” she said, in a tired sounding tone. But suddenly she shuddered and placed her hands on her temples as if trying to ward something off.

    The three Time Lords could see that something was wrong with her. “Are you OK?” the first Time Lord asked.

    “No! I've just regenerated, of course I'm not alright!”

    “There's something more...”

    “Can you get me to a Zero Room?” Oneenejpenlumbra asked, before she fell into one of the Time Lord's hands.

    “You need more than a Zero Room.”


    Oneenejpenlumbra awoke. It was the second day after she had returned to Gallifrey. She looked around, she could see that she was in a Zero Environment. “Lay out the worst,” she said to the person next to the bed.

    “The Regeneration went wrong. It intensified the trauma of your previous incarnation's final moments, rather than suppressed it,” the medical technician said.

    “Is there anything you can do?” she asked. She shuddered as the memory stirred in her concious thoughts.

    “It has become firmly embedded into your memory,” the technician explained.

    “So, I need therapy, is that it?” Oneenejpenlumbra asked, with some sarcasm.

    “Wit,” the technician commented, quietly “As good as a coping mechanism as any other.” He raised his voice, and answered “Yes.”

    “Great!”

    “Sarcasm is a good way to deal, but you do need help.”

    Oneenejpenlumbra nodded.


    Some time later
    The Time War waged on. More Time Lords were incapacitated psychologically. Oneenejpenlumbra was merely one of the first.


    The news wasn't good. Oneenejpenlumbra wanted to go back out and help, but even the thought of confronting a Dalek was enough to bring on an anxiety attack, so she wasn't allowed to. At least she was helping others who were in similar predicaments. She came to a room, where one of those she was helping was assigned to. She opened the door, and found it, empty. Empty? “Where is he?” she asked herself. He had to be somewhere.

    She looked for him, but he was missing. There had been rumours, of Time Lords fleeing, but she didn't expect this. 'How many have fled?' she wondered, not for the first time.

    One thing was certain, she had to report his disappearance. As with everything, Time Lord society didn't want to hear of the disappearances.


    “Oneenejpenlumbra? What is it?” the Administrator asked.

    “Hilsdrellan,” she said, referring to the client she had tried to visit earlier, “He's missing.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Of course I'm sure!”

    “Hisdrellan would never run!”

    “Went to check on him. He wasn't in his room. Nor was he anywhere in this facility,” Oneenejpenlumbra explained.

    The Administrator sighed. “He's far from the first one.”

    “So the rumours are true?”

    “Yes!”

    “So, I just record that he's missing?”

    “Yes. There won't be reprimand on your record,” the Administrator said.

    “Good,” Oneenejpenlumbra said in subdued tone.

    “But if people ask, officially there is no one missing.”

    “Understood,” Oneenejpenlumbra said with a sigh.


    As the Time War progressed, more Time Lords fled from it, especially from the facility Oneenejpenlumbra was assigned to. But most, it seemed, never returned to Gallifrey...

    Oneenejpenlumbra entered the Administrator's room. “A new decree,” he said.

    “There are always decrees,” Oneenejpenlumbra stated.

    “Not like this one. It's from Lord President Rassilon himself!”

    “Rassilon! What does he want?”

    “An order for all Time Lords who have fled Gallifrey and the War to be returned without delay,”

    “Is that all?” Oneenejpenlumbra asked.

    “He wants people to go out and find them. I told him that I have been investigating, but once they had stolen a TARDIS there is nothing I could do.”

    “I see where this is going...”
    “Yes, Oneenejpenlumbra. You have to flee yourself.”

    “Why?”

    “Otherwise Rassilon may choose you to search for the others. It would be better for you to flee on your own terms, rather than leave Gallifrey at Rassilon's direction and be tracked where-ever you go.”

    Oneenejpenlumbra considered this. “You have encouraged them to flee. Including Hisdrellen.”

    “No. I didn't start encouraging them to flee until much later.”

    “Why.”

    “Because we are losing! The High Council, and especially Rassilon, are getting desperate.”

    “I know the war hasn't gone well...”

    The Administrator interrupted her again. “I have access to more information. The Daleks are closing in. There are many things Rassilon can do that wouldn't be good for the universe at large.”

    “Are you saying to flee this universe?”

    “It is possible. I have data on various Charged Vacuum Emboitments that have been detected.”

    Oneenejpenlumbra thought for a few moments. Then she made her decision...
     
  4. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    3. Meeting

    Alpha was bored. Again. “Commander's log. Day 1021. The Baffin is still fully ship shape. I still think it will last indefinitely. I have completed my research of the overview of Earth's history. Today I will start on that of Qo'noS. Klingon Opera, more interesting than most Earth styles. End log.”

    Another day had started on the Baffin. She pressed a button on the command console and a status diagram of the ship came up on the main viewscreen. No problems had emerged over the last 24 hours. Time to start. She grabbed the PADD she had been using for her research. “Load list of Chancellors after first contact with United Earth and re-start Klingon Opera playlist.' The Klingon Opera resumed.

    After the rush of repairs and investigation into the crew's logs had been completed, Alpha had settled into a routine. She wasn't sure how to return the Baffin to it's home reality, so she had decided to make the best of it by learning everything that the ship's databases could teach her. She had periodically interacted with the other holograms but they seemed to be as stumped as she was. The crew logs hadn't been enlightening either...

    An hour after she had recorded the log entry something happened. The computer paused the playback of Klingon Opera and reported. “Temporal distortion in the shuttlebay.”

    “On screen,” Alpha ordered.

    On the screen, what appeared to be another shuttlecraft seemed to be fading into existence with some kind of screeching sound. It solidified with a 'thump', and a person emerged. “Intruder Alert!”

    “Computer, activate Emergency Security Hologram *”

    “State the nature of the Security Emergency,” the large Klingon based hologram said.

    “An unknown ship has appeared in the shuttlebay,” Alpha said.

    “Acknowledged, Alpha,” * said as he looked at the screen. “Computer, raise forcefields at Shuttlebay exits.”

    Affirmative.

    Alpha pressed a button on the command console and a holographic diagram of the ship appeared. She pressed a position in the starboard corridor to the shuttlebay, and the two holograms then transferred to that location.


    Nina (as Oneenejpenlumbra decided to call herself after she fled from Gallifrey) exited the TARDIS into the starship's shuttlebay. She could see indicator lights flashing red. 'Some kind of alert status?' she asked herself.

    After fleeing Gallifrey, she had wandered the universe until she had found a Charged Vacuum Emboitment and had taken the TARDIS through it. That had been a rough experience, to say the least. Thus she began wandering the multiverse, taking inspiration from another rogue Time Lord.

    Having found a crashed starship on a pre-industrial world she had decided to investigate. Quite strange that it seemed to be intact and yet was still where it had crash-landed. Very interesting.

    She approached one of the doors, and got a shock. Some kind of forcefield! “Not very hospitable.” She decided to wait, while rubbing her arm where it had come into contact with the forcefield.


    As soon as she and * had transferred to the location near the shuttlebay, Alpha grabbed a tricorder from a storage locker, while * grabbed a phaser. “Stay here,” she said.

    “Are you sure?” * asked.

    “It's not like I can be harmed,” Alpha retorted.

    “That's true,” * conceded.

    “Computer, lower the forcefield,” Alpha commanded.

    “Affirmative.”

    “Best not to reveal my holographic nature straight away.”

    * nodded.


    Nina saw the forcefield deactivate and the door open. “Hello. I'm sorry for intruding upon your vessel. I was curious about how it came to be crashed, and yet apparently unharmed,” she said as she saw a woman come through the door.

    The woman seemed to surprised by what she said. “Apology accepted. I'm sorry about the forcefield. Precautions need to be taken.”

    “I hope we haven't gotten off on the wrong foot, as humans say,” Nina said. In her journeys she had visited several versions of Earth.

    “Not at all. Usually a ship would hail first before landing in another ship's shuttlebay.”

    Nina could hear some sarcasm in the other woman's voice. 'Maybe we'll get along,' she thought. Maybe she could have landed in the forest nearby instead. “So it would have been better if I walked up to an airlock, and 'rang the doorbell,' so to speak?”

    The woman shrugged. “Probably,” she said in a non-committal tone. She held out her hand. “You can call me Alpha.”

    Nina shook the offered hand. “Nina.” There was something strange in the touch. Alpha looked human, but something was off.

    “Want to come to the observation lounge?” Alpha asked. “It would be more comfortable than standing in the shuttlebay.”

    “Sure,” Nina said. At lease she would have a look at the inside of the ship on the way.


    Alpha followed Nina into the observation lounge after having discretely told * to deactivate himself. She was the one who had to run the ship. She could handle the visitors. Not for the first time did she wonder why Starfleet didn't install an Emergency Command Hologram for commanding the ships after activation of the Starship Preservation Protocol. The ship was facing east, with the planet's sun fully illuminating the room. Nina was looking out at the forest, where various animals were going about their activities.
    “You are not alone on this planet, you know,” Nina said.

    “Oh?”

    “There are pre-industrial societies on all of the continents. This island is uninhabited, but I don't think that will remain true for long.”

    That was a complication. There were situations where the Prime Directive would override the Starship Preservation Protocol! “Pre-industrial, you say?”

    “Yes. The most advanced civilisation appears to be equivalent to Europe in the 15th or 16th Century.”

    “I see.” Alpha realised something. “You're testing me, aren't you?”

    “Yes. I could see that this ship came from Earth. The doors are all marked in English or a language derived from it, and you're speaking English. Your Universal Translator program can't fool me.”

    “You have figured that out. I have figured something out about you. Your ship is far more advanced than anything the Federation has encountered.”

    “Very astute,” Nina said with a smile. “I am a Time Lady. I have travelled the universe after leaving my home planet of Gallifrey.”

    “Gallifrey...” Alpha considered. That didn't seem to be a planet Starfleet had visited. Not anywhere near Federation space in the Alpha Quadrant, nor in the Gamma Quadrant. It hadn't been encountered by Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, nor by the Baffin crew in their multiversial journey before the crash. Even so, she picked up a PADD and input the name.


    Gallifrey
    Home Planet of the interdimensional visitor known as the Doctor.



    That didn't give Alpha much information. But maybe she was in that dimension? She used the PADD to tell the computer to compare Nina's quantum signature with that of the universe outside the ship.

    Divergent Quantum Signature

    ...

    So it was a third universe. That figured. But she thought that was the case anyway. “You're welcome to stay as long as you want to stay.”

    “Thanks. I think I will for a while. But I also noticed something more, about you. You look human, but you don't 'feel' human. I think you're some kind of artificial intelligence.”

    “How did you come to this conclusion?”

    “Time Lords are touch telepaths. We can tell if someone is biological or not.”

    “You're right. I am an Artificial Intelligence. A hologram to be more precise,” she said. She supposed it would have been more difficult for Starfleet to use Emergency Androids, even if the decision regarding Data's rights had gone the other way.

    “I didn't detect any life signs. I suppose the original crew didn't survive the crash?” Nina asked.

    “No,” Alpha answered.


    They talked for a while longer. Alpha then assigned one of the quarters to Nina and showed her those quarters. “Thanks. Although I can stay on the TARDIS, this may be more convenient,” Nina said.

    “You can use the replicator to make food, and the other door leads to the bathroom.”

    “That's good.”

    Alpha decided to demonstrate the replicator. “Any Earth meal you like?”
    “Surprise me,” Nina said with a shrug.

    “Computer, one bowl of spaghetti bolognaise and a glass of Dom Perignon.”

    The meal and wine materialised in the replicator. Nina raised an eyebrow. “Impressive.”


    As Nina started into her meal, Alpha excused herself, returning to the Bridge.

    “Commander's log, supplemental. The Baffin has received a visitor. A self-described Time Lady from a planet named Gallifrey, located in another universe. Her ship seemed to materialise in the shuttlebay rather than decloak, with the sensors recording a temporal distortion at the same time. It is possible that she may be able to help me return the Baffin to it's universe of origin.”
    Alpha paused, considering that it would be a good idea to get to know Nina better before asking her to help. She picked up the PADD she had been reading, which still had the file on Klingon history open. “Computer, resume Klingon opera playlist.”


    Nina finished the bolognaise. She supposed she would be able to help Alpha with her problem, and return the ship to it's home reality. It would give her more purpose than the aimless wandering through the multiverse did.