Welcome to the Multiverse

Matt Smith's Doctor Who

previously…

The Tardis door bursts open and Matt Smith’s version of the Doctor bounds over to me. ‘Jemma! Thank goodness you’re safe!’ He looks around the ship and spots the two droids. ‘Don’t I know you..?

Cee-Threepio and Artoo exchange glances. Artoo emits a series of excited whoops and beeps, while Cee-Threepio raises a golden arm to his forehead as if he is searching his memory banks. ‘Sorry, sir, I don’t quite…’

Artoo mutters something in beep-talk.

‘Okay, never mind that now,’ the Doctor turns back to me. ‘The Tardis has detected a quantum disturbance in this galaxy and it seems to have something to do with your ship, Jemma.’ He looks around, puzzled. ‘Where are the boys?’

I explain as briefly as I can.

The Doctor taps his sonic screwdriver against his head. ‘The Millennium Falcon, eh? Always wanted to have a go on that,’ he says with an envious grin.

‘That’s right,’ pipes up Cee-Threepio. ‘That’s where we’re waiting to go, isn’t it Artoo?’

Our surroundings flicker like they need re-tuning again.

‘This doesn’t look good,’ says the Doctor.

Artoo’s head spins agitatedly and he emits a stream of tech-babble in beep-talk.

The Doctor obviously understands. ‘Golly,’ he exclaims. ‘The ship has divided into two, you say!’  The Doctor whirls around, brandishing his sonic screwdriver in Artoo’s direction. ‘That would explain a lot.’

Artoo scoots over to the console and inserts his scomp link. He projects an image of a starship docked in the familiar cargo hold of the Millennium Falcon. If that’s our ship, it doesn’t look  quite how I imagined it, but then I’ve never seen it from the outside. Even so, a bright red fighter was not what I’d envisaged.

‘Are you sure that’s right, Artoo?’ asks Cee-Threepio. ‘I was under the impression that Miss Jemma’s starship was a rather pleasing shade of blue.’

The flight deck suddenly becomes less gloomy and comes more sharply into focus. Was it something Cee-Threepio said?

I look more closely at the image the little droid is projecting. The boys are on the ramp at the rear of the spacecraft and Han Solo is standing on the cargo deck holding something in his hand. All three of them appear quite animated.

Two ships, multiple dimensions…Harris’s version and mine…

The comms device in my tunic pocket buzzes urgently. Han Solo’s picture appears on its screen. ‘Jemma? Jemma are you there?’

‘Yes, Han, Jemma here.’

‘Look, kid. I don’t know where you’ve gone, but you need to get back to this ship of yours. Right now! There’s some sort of…’

I return my gaze to Artoo’s projection. Han is running anxious fingers through his hair, while Harris and Stevens cling to the sides of the hatch. The bright red ship is flickering, like it’s about to dematerialize.

‘Look, Doctor!’ I gasp, pointing to what’s happening. Artoo whistles loudly and cuts the image. The little droid turns to the console and starts to wave his clasper arm over the controls.

‘This really isn’t good at all, Jemma. We need to get the two versions of your ship back in sync.’

I turn my attention back to the comms device. ‘Don’t worry, Han, the Doctor’s with me. We’re on our way.’

Doctor who?’ I hear Han ask, but I leave the question hanging.

Cee-Threepio peers over my other shoulder. ‘Yes, sir, don’t worry, we’re coming!’

The comms link goes dead.

The Doctor starts to pace around, tapping his teeth with his iconic implement. Suddenly he stops. ‘That’s it!’ He waves the sonic screwdriver with a flourish. ‘Come on Jemma, there’s no time to lose!’

What’s happening back on the Millennium Falcon? Will the Doctor get Jemma there in time? And what exactly was Artoo up to at the console?
Tune in next week for episode 9

And if you we’re wondering what on earth (or off-earth) is going on,
you can catch up with the entire first series of Space Cadets
 here


Image credits: thegeektwins.com, outerplaces.com

The Quantum Anomaly

R2D2 and C3P0 on a barren planet's surface

previously…

I hesitate, wondering why the two familiar-looking droids have just walked past the ship without a glance. Then I remember; Captain James T Kirk and his landing party couldn’t to see our ship when they encountered it on a similar bleak planet.

I’ll have to go outside.

The rear hatch obligingly opens as I approach and I hover in the doorway as the ramp descends. It connects with the sandy surface of the unknown planet with a thud. Artoo’s head spins around to face me, and he utters a surprised ‘bloop’.

‘What is it, Artoo?’ asks his golden-coloured companion, barely glancing in his direction.

The little droid’s head spins around again, making a series of excited beeps causing his companion to turn around.

‘Oh!’ Cee-Threepio’s eyes light up. ‘Master Luke must have sent you to rescue us,’ he says.

And here I was hoping that they would rescue me!

Cee-Threepio’s arms jerk from side to side as trots eagerly towards me. ‘I take it there is a space-craft of some kind behind you?’

Before I have the chance to reply, Cee-Threepio has stepped onto the ramp. He glances over his shoulder. ‘Come along Artoo, don’t dawdle. You don’t want to get left behind again, do you?’

Artoo whoops with mild irritation and clambers onto the ramp.

‘It looks very dark in there, Artoo; you’d better activate your head torch,’ fusses Cee-Threepio. He turns to me. ‘I suppose it’s just a standard transporter?’

I need to take control of the situation.

Once inside, the two droids look at me expectantly. Cee-Threepio is right. The flight deck has become rather gloomy. I glance around at the walls, but they seem solid enough.

‘Is something wrong, Mistress? asks Cee-Threepio. He puts his hand to his mouth. ‘Sorry, we haven’t been introduced! Where are my manners?’

‘I already know who you are.’ I say, managing a grin. ‘I’m Jemma Kirk.’

‘Miss Jemma…’

Our surroundings flicker like a badly-adjusted monitor and the ship lurches disconcertingly. I slide into my seat, gripping the arms. I need help!

Artoo utters a surprised beep and shunts over to the ship’s console where he plugs his scomp link into one of the desktop ports. A moment later he utters a low whistle.

‘He’s says he’s picking up some very strange readings from your ship,’ Cee-Threepio interprets.

Artoo tweets and beeps. Cee-Threepio cocks his head and nods. ‘He says there’s a quantum anomaly, whatever that is.’

With a high-pitched screech Artoo pulls his scomp link from the port. A series of anxious bloops and whistles follow.

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, Artoo,’ says Cee-Threepio crossly. ‘Somebody’s cat? It sounds like you’ve got your wires crossed.

Then I hear a reassuring sound behind me. I spin around in my seat as a familiar blue box appears.

‘Well I never, what can this be?’ wonders Cee-Threepio.

Artoo makes a chuckling sound followed by what sounds very like a wolf-whistle.

What exactly is a quantum anomaly? And what’s all this about a cat?
How will the Doctor fare in this galaxy far, far away?
Tune in next week for episode 8…


Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #51

The challenge this week was torch.
Photo credits: thefactsite.com and character-online.com

Another Planet

glimmering lights

previously…

The floor is weirdly spongy underfoot as I make my way to my seat at the ship’s console. I strap myself in and grasp the arms of the chair. They seem solid enough. Calming my breathing, I close my eyes and focus. The ship is part of my imagination; the ship exists by the power of my mind. I hang onto these thoughts, visualizing the surroundings with which I’ve become so familiar.

Gradually I steel myself to open one eye. The ship has ceased shimmering and the walls are solid once again. I open the other eye and stamp my feet on the floor. All seems as it should be. The ship has stabilized. I let out a long sigh of relief.

I remind myself I’m in a cargo hold on the Millennium Falcon. I stare at the blank monitor in front of me, trying to piece together what it looks like. I see racking and boxes and a chocolate bar wrapper. I’m looking down at Han Solo, Chewbacca and my two crew-mates. I watch as they disappear through a hatch at the far end of the cargo bay.

I flick the switch for the outside monitor, only to find it’s already switched on. Why is the screen blank? I flick the switch repeatedly, while behind me I hear the swish-thud sound of the outer hatch closing. Then it occurs to me.

It wasn’t my imagination that created this particular voyage. It was Harris’s. Right from the start. I was just a passenger. What if…?

I cut off the thought and feel in my pocket for the communication device that Han gave me before he took my crew members on their tour of the his iconic ship.

… if Harris’s imagination is busy filling in the details of the Millennium Falcon and Stevens is busy sustaining them, where does that leave me? I’m not part of that story-line anymore!

The screen flickers into life. The cargo hold has gone. The Millennium Falcon has gone and I’m on the surface of a barren planet. The same barren planet where we first found ourselves on this ship?

Have Harris and Stevens been left behind in a galaxy far, far away..?

Then two figures appear on the edge of the viewing screen. As they get closer to the ship I recognise them. It looks like I’m still in the same Universe as the boys after all.

R2D2 and C3P0 on a barren planet's surface

What’s happened to Jemma’s crew-mates? Are they still on board the Millennium Falcon? Will Han Solo come to her rescue? Or will it be up to her new friends to try to help her?
T
une in next week for episode 7

And if you we’re wondering what on earth (or off-earth) is going on,
you can catch up with the entire first series of Space Cadets here


Image credits: Md Mahdi on Unsplash and thefactsite.com

Losing Control

Han Solo holding a weapon

previously…

I open my mouth to speak but, suddenly tongue-tied, I close it again. I look to Harris for help.

‘So you didn’t beam us on to your ship, Mr Solo?’ Harris says calmly.

‘Why would I want to do that?’ He glares back. ‘And less of the Mr Solo, kid. You can call me Han.’ He lowers his gun.

I find my voice. ‘We’re sorry for the intrusion, Mr So.., er Han, ‘but your ship has just saved us from the Death Star. We’re very grateful.’

Han raises a quizzical eyebrow.

A low-pitched roar comes from beyond the rear hatch. ‘It’s all right, Chewy,’ Han shouts over his shoulder. It’s just a bunch of kids.’

A huge furry head appears.

‘Chewbacca! Way to go!’ Harris says delightedly. He nudges me with his elbow. ‘We’re actually on the Millennium Falcon!’

‘Can I see round your ship, Han?’ Harris almost begs. ‘The Millennium Falcon’s my favourite ever starship and that flight in hyper-drive was awesome!’

Han gives Harris one of his lopsided grins, while Chewbacca tosses his head and roars gently in what I assume is agreement.

‘Okay kid, I’ll show you around this bucket of bolts, but then we’re going to have to find somewhere to drop you and your ship off. I’ve cargo to pick up in the Kessel sector and I don’t need any extra passengers.’

Harris and Stevens bound towards the exit hatch. I follow more slowly, wondering whether we’ll actually be able to leave the ship. We’ve never managed to do so before. But I’m curious. Not so much about the famous Millennium Falcon, although I am rather keen on its present owner, but it occurs to me that we’ve never actually seen our ship from the outside.

But what might happen if we do leave the ship? I stop in my tracks at the entrance to the hatch.

‘What’s that, kid?’ Han turns to me.

I hadn’t realised I’d spoken out loud. ‘Our ship is powered by our minds and guided by our imaginations.’ I say by way of explanation.

Harris and Stevens have already joined Chewbacca outside the ship. ‘Never mind all that now, Jem,’ says Harris impatiently.

‘Sounds kinda weird,’ says Han.

‘We’ll tell you about it later.’ Harris is almost jumping up and down with excitement. ‘C’mon, Han, let’s go.’

As I step onto the ramp my stomach lurches and my knees start to buckle. I sit down abruptly.

‘Hey, are you all right, kid?’ Han crouches next to me.

‘I just feel a bit light-headed,’ I reply, trying to put on a brave face. ‘Our ship suddenly feels… less substantial…’

‘Low sugar. It’s the after effect of being in hyper-drive.’ Han looks up. ‘Chuck her one of those Banquet Bars, Chewy.’

Chewbacca rummages in a nearby cardboard box and throws me a crumpled package. The wrapper reminds me of a Snickers. I know the Earth-based confectionery company has been a multi-global for centuries; maybe they’ve changed the name in this galaxy.

Chewbacca nods encouragingly as I tear open the wrapper and take a bite, while Han pulls a communicator from his jacket and holds it out to me. ‘Go back inside and rest. Call me on this if… if anything should happen.’ He looks at the ship, frowning slightly.

As Harris and Stevens disappear through the hatch into the corridor beyond, the walls of our ship start to shimmer around me.

I have a bad feeling about this.

Md Mahdi on Unsplash

Will Jemma be all right alone on the ship? Will it still be there when Harris and Stevens return? Tune in next week for episode 6…

And if you we’re wondering what on earth (or off-earth) is going on,
you can catch up with the entire first series of Space Cadets here


Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #50

The challenge this week was banquet.
Photo credit: Md Mahdi on Unsplash

 

Into Hyperspace

Star Wars Storm-troopers

Previously…

Without warning the Stormtroopers break ranks. Their faces are hidden behind their helmets but they’re clearly confused. The grey-uniform shakes his head in disbelief. ‘Where did it go?’ he calls out, waving his clipboard in exasperation.

Then it dawns on us. Our ship has cloaked itself like it did once before. They can’t see us!

‘We need to get out of here,’ says Harris, starting to push buttons on the control panel in front of him.

The viewing screen goes blank and I feel the ship start to move, but strangely I can’t hear the engines firing.

‘What’s happening?’ shouts Stevens, grabbing the arm of my seat.

All around us the ship begins to shimmer as if every particle is separating from its neighbour. I glance down; my body is becoming insubstantial too. My stomach heaves and I reach out to clutch Stevens’s outstretched hand. Air rushes past me. I grit my teeth.

Then with a jolt, everything stabilizes and comes back into focus. I hurriedly let go my grip on Stevens’s hand.

We hear an explosion coming from somewhere behind us and the ship judders. The sudden force flings us back in our seats.

‘Hyper-drive!’ yells Harris excitedly.

The ship continues to accelerate, but we’re blind. The viewing screen remains blank.

I struggle to turn my head in Harris’s direction. ‘Where are we going?’ My mouth moves in slo-mo and my words are elongated, drawn out by our superluminal speed.

A moment later the ship returns to sub-light speed and the viewing screen blinks into life. Expecting to find ourselves out in the enormity of space, we exchange puzzled glances. We appear to be crammed into a cargo hold. Inside another ship?

‘What the..?’ Harris removes his cap and scratches his head. ‘I wasn’t flying the ship?’

We hear running feet outside. ‘Get this damn thing open!’ an exasperated voice shouts.

We spin around in our seats as we hear the rear hatch of the flight deck open. A perplexed looking man, brandishing a gun appears.

‘Who the hell are you? And what are you doing on my ship?’

My heart misses a beat.

Han Solo holding a weapon

What next for our gallant cadets? Are they really on board the Millennium Falcon?
Will the Force be with them? Will Jemma swoon at Han Solo’s feet? Or will she remember her training and regain her composure?
T
une in next week for episode 5

And if you we’re wondering what on earth (or off-earth) is going on,
you can catch up with the entire first series of Space Cadets here


Photo credits: starwars.com

Inside Hanger 327

The Death Star from Star Wars

Previously…

We hurtle towards the menacing dark sphere. Harris clutches an imaginary joystick in his right hand, steering the ship left and right, following the little fleet of star-fighters. Something clicks in my mind, but before I get the chance to process the thought we face a massive barrage of fire coming from a group of enemy craft that are streaming towards us from the sphere. Harris’s thumb is a blur as he rapidly returns fire. Fortunately our shields are holding up, but one of the small star-fighters is not so lucky. Caught head on by the incoming fire, the little craft explodes and breaks up. A ruptured wing cartwheels past the side of our viewing screen.

‘We’ve got to make him snap out of it!’ Stevens yells over the noisy warning siren.

We slide around the console, clinging to the edge as the ship lurches violently from side to side. Stevens takes Harris by the shoulders and shakes him vigorously, then I pinch and twist his nose, but his stare remains fixed and his hand clenched, working the imaginary control.

‘Coffee!’ exclaims Stevens. A smooth plastic tray holding steaming mug, accompanied by a chocolate-covered jam doughnut, obligingly appears. Stevens wafts the tray in front of Harris.

Roused by the sweet and bitter aromas, Harris blinks. He reaches for the coffee and takes a sip. He grins and grabs the doughnut, taking a big bite. ‘What’s happening?’ he asks blandly, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

I glance at the screen. We’re almost on top of the sphere when we suddenly lose momentum. The ship starts to drift, while the battle continues to rage around us. Then we feel the ship move steadily sideways.

‘Who’s doing that?’ Stevens shoots a look at Harris. But Harris is still busy chewing, his right hand now gripping the coffee mug.

A dark faceless wall closes in around us. The viewing screen flashes a message:

WARNING!  TRACTOR BEAM: WARNING!

The viewing screen blinks again, then adjusts. We’ve entered a vast hanger. Huge slanting numbers painted on the floor read ‘327’. A number of other ships are dotted about the cavernous interior. Various humanoids dressed in flight suits mill about, and a group of what appear to be prisoners is being led away by two grey-uniformed officials.

A line of soldiers, in shiny white armoured suits and matching domed helmets, marches menacingly towards our ship. Then it dawns on me.

‘Harris, you were playing one of those Star Wars arcade games!’

Harris’s eyes widen. He frowns and shakes his head. But before he has a chance to reply, one of the grey-uniformed officials strides up, clutching a clipboard. He lifts the top sheet of paper and writes something down, then glares up at us. ‘Open your hatches for inspection,’ he commands.

The shiny-armoured storm-troopers advance another pace. They level their blasters at the ship.

‘Oh no,’ says Harris slowly. ‘This isn’t good.’

‘You’re dead right it isn’t! You’ve landed us up on the Death Star, you idiot!’ yells Stevens in alarm.

My instinct is to hide. But where?

Star Wars Storm-troopers

Will our gallant Space Cadets be arrested? Will they be made to face the Dark Lord?
Or will they suddenly wake up to find themselves somewhere else entirely?

Tune in next week for episode 4

And if you we’re wondering what on Earth (or off-Earth) is going on,
you can catch up with the entire first series of Space Cadets here


Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #49

The challenge this week was paper.
Photo credit: http://www.wdwnt.com

A Rude Awakening

interior of a space ship

Previously…

‘Wake up, Jemma. Wake up!’

Someone is shaking me by the shoulder. I open my eyes to see the worried face of Stevens looming over me.

‘What?’ I rub my eyes. Did I just doze off? ‘What is it, Stevens?’

‘It’s Harris. There’s something the going on with him.’

I shift my seat into the upright position and peer across the starship’s central console at Harris. He’s staring blankly ahead. His two thumbs are working away against his cupped fingers but there’s nothing in his hands.

‘Looks like he’s gaming in his sleep,’ suggests Stevens.

I lean over and wave my hand in front of Harris’s face. There’s no response. ‘Maybe he’s in some kind of trance.’

At that moment, Harris lets out an excited yell and punches the air. ‘Yesss! High score Harris!’ He beams at us, wide-eyed and triumphant, holding out his hand for a high five. Stevens leans over and obliges.

Red warning lights start to flash and the familiar rising wail of the siren blares. The viewing screen flashes a message.

WARNING! SHIP UNDER ATTACK! WARNING!

Shields, need to activate shields, I think to myself.

SHIELDS ACTIVATED

The message fades and is replaced by a view of our surroundings. The stars don’t look familiar at all. But there’s no sign of any immediate threat. So why does the ship think we’re under attack?

As if in response, a group of small star fighters flash past us on the right-hand side of the screen. There is a crackle of static from the ship’s console.

‘This is Red Leader. Good shooting, Harris! Cover me, I’m going in!’

‘Roger that!’ answers Harris excitedly, extending his right hand and curling his fist around an imaginary joystick. Our ship banks to follow the star fighters.

The view of the unfamiliar stars is replaced by one huge dark sphere.

The Death Star from Star Wars

Has Harris been recruited to the Rebel Alliance? Are the Cadets about to be caught in the crossfire? Tune in next time for the third episode of Space Cadets Series Two.


Image credits: Hanson Lu on Unsplash, StarWars.com

The Journey Continues

Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Series 2 Episode 1

The lights flash back on and I’m blinking in the brightness. Captain Kirk and Spock are gone. I glance across the star-ship’s command console; Harris and Stevens are wearing puzzled looks.

‘Hello, Cadets!’

We spin round in our seats to see our Professor emerge from the doorway at the rear of the flight deck. She trots over to us and perches on the edge of the console.

‘Are you all right, Professor?’ I ask. ‘The mind-worm, has it gone?’

She smiles serenely at me, her usual calm and confident self, touching a hand to her ear. ‘It’s if it was never there, Jemma.’ 

The viewing screen blinks into life revealing Matt Smith’s version of the Doctor pointing a frustrated finger at us. ‘You lot!’ He yells, wagging the finger furiously. ‘Get off that ship now! How many times…’

‘Okay, Doctor.’ The Professor flicks a switch and the screen goes blank. ‘It seems that we are free to leave.’ She shrugs. ‘Come, Cadets, let’s go.’

She stands and leads us to the doorway. A blast of fresh air suggests a hatch to the planet’s surface has opened.

We follow. Harris flexes his fingers and Stevens walks with a slight limp. My legs are stiff from sitting. How long have we been on the ship?

So much has happened, so many dangers averted; after all that we’ve been put through by our captor, can leaving really be this easy?

The Professor reaches the doorway. She stops and turns, blocking our path. Her face begins to fade and she grows taller. She is transforming into…

We take a collective step backwards.

A towering humanoid looms before us. One whom we all recognise. We saw him on the star-ship’s viewing screen when we first arrived. It’s the Zyborgatron and this is his ship.

The shiny silver mouth opens. ‘Return to your seats, Cadets. I haven’t finished with you yet.’

The ship’s engines start to hum.

~~~

What has the Zyborgatron done with the Professor? Could they be one and the same? (after all, we’ve never seen them together) and what are his plans for the Cadets?
Tune in next week to find out.

And if you we’re wondering what on Earth (or off-Earth) is going on,
you can catch up with the entire first series of Space Cadets
here

 


Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #48

The challenge this week was path.
Photo credit: Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Space Cadets #4

Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Previously…

“What’s that noise?” yells Stevens over the resonating sound.

“Sounds like the Tardis.” I reply, still wondering what happened to the Borg Cube which a moment ago had been poised to assimilate our space craft.

“The what?”

“It’s the doctor.” I say confidently. “That’s who I just thought of. You know how it works.”

“Doctor who?” the boys turn to be, puzzled expressions on their faces.

I roll my eyes. “Yes, that’s right. Doctor Who. From the British TV series. You know, late 20th, early 21st century? Goes around space and time saving people.” I raise my eyebrows. “Like he might be able to get us out of this mess..?”

They shake their heads. Then their eyes slide past me, widening. I spin around in my chair to see the familiar blue box start to materialize. Relieved, I try to jump up from my seat, but the safety belt restrains me.

Suddenly the ship is rocked by a huge explosion. Over my shoulder the viewing screen flashes on, showing a ball of flames and massive pieces of dark black debris scattering across the void.

“Gotcha!” cries Harris, punching the air.

“Way to go!” cheers Stevens, leaning across the console to give Harris a high five.

So that’s what’s happened to the Cube. “How did you do that?” I ask.

“Hit the red button,” Harris indicates the joystick in front of him.

I turn back to see the Tardis start to fade. “Come back, Doctor!” I cry. “We need your help!”

“We don’t need help from some old doctor. We’re fine,” says Harris smugly. “I just blew up The Borg.”

“Er, I’d not be so sure,” says Stevens pointing at the viewing screen.

black hole guardian.com

How will the Cadets escape from the Black Hole? And who imagined that??
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!

Space Cadets #3

Space Cadets by Chris Hall lunasonline
Source

Previously…

The music fades out as we leave the planet’s atmosphere. The viewing screen blinks.

[STARDATE: 2607.7 – DESTINATION: SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT]

The letters dissolve. The screen is filled with huge rocks, hurtling towards us.

“Asteroids!” yells Stevens.

The warning siren starts to wail and the red light flashes.

“Does this thing have shields?” I wonder out loud.

[SHIELDS ACTIVATED]

A medium-sized asteroid glances off the screen; the ship slews. Only our seat straps save us from being thrown to the floor.

“How do we steer?” shouts Harris.

A joystick, with a large red button on the top, sprouts from the console in front of him. He grabs hold and his eyes fix on the screen. His tongue pokes out of the side of his mouth; his gaming face. The control is hyper-responsive. Harris dodges nimbly through the asteroid belt, blowing rocks to smithereens with a dab of his thumb.

Then we’re through. The asteroids are behind us and all we can see is the inky blackness of space, peppered with bright pinpricks of light which are the stars.

All is quiet. We sit back and admire the view. My thoughts wander.

 

A huge black cube appears on the left of the screen. It glitters menacingly.  

[You will be assimilated]

Stevens peers at the screen. “The Borg Cube!

The ship is being pulled towards the vast angular vessel. Sirens wail, warning lights flash. 

“But that’s not real!” Harris protests as he wrestles desperately with the joystick.

The ship judders ominously.

[Resistance is useless]

Stevens turns to me. “Hold on. Remember what the Zyborgatron said?”

I think for a moment. “Something about the ship being ‘guided by your imaginations.’ “

“Okay, who imagined The Borg?” Harris growls.

“Never mind who’s responsible. Just think of something else; something friendly!” I yell. “Hurry!”

The Borg Cube fills the screen. Harris jabs the red button repeatedly.

The viewing screen goes blank.

 

Then I hear a familiar sound.

Tune into episode #4