No time to lose

R2D2 inserting his scomp link into a port

Previously…

‘Everyone into the Tardis,’ cries the Doctor herding us towards the open doors.

Artoo beeps excitedly and scoots across the flight deck. Cee-Threepio is less enthusiastic. ‘Surely we won’t all fit in there, sir,’ he says as he bustles after Artoo.

Cee-Threepio steps over the threshold, then steps back, looking curiously at the Tardis’ exterior. ‘Oh I see, Doctor. It’s bigger on the inside!’

Despite the urgency of the situation, I allow myself to smile; Artoo emits a low-pitched beep, which I’ve come to realise is his equivalent of an eye-roll.

The Doctor is already at the controls as I close the doors behind me. Artoo’s head is rotating anxiously and he’s waving his scomp link in the air. ‘Plug that in here,’ instructs the Doctor, pointing to a port on the console, ‘but don’t upload the coordinates until I say.’ The little droid beeps his assent.

‘What can I do, Doctor, sir?’ asks Cee-Threepio.

The Doctor flicks a switch giving us a view of the flight deck beyond the Tardis’ doors on the interior monitor. ‘Concentrate on that image, Cee-Threepio. Commit that ship to your memory banks.’ The Doctor whirls around and points his index fingers at me. ‘Now you, Jemma, get Mr Solo on the line. We need to make sure that Harris and Stevens are on board too.

I pull out the comms device. Han’s anxious face appears on the screen. ‘What’s happening, kid?’

I hand the device over.

‘So you’re the mysterious Doctor then,’ says Han.

‘That’s right. I’m the Doctor and everything’s under control.’ I glance down and notice that the Doctor’s fingers are crossed.

‘What’s the plan, Doc?’

‘It’s complicated.’

‘Try me.’

Artoo whoops and beeps loudly enough for Han to hear.

Han looks taken aback. ‘Okay, I’ll just concentrate on keeping the Falcon steady.’

‘Thank you, Mr Solo. Lovely ship, by the way. Now, let me speak to the boys.’

I peer around the Doctor’s shoulder as the worried faces of my two fellow cadets appear on the screen. ‘Now listen. Harris, Stevens, I want you to get back on board the ship and strap yourselves in.’

‘But Doctor…’ Stevens moves the device so we can see what’s behind him. The bright red ship doesn’t look exactly stable.

‘Trust me, Stevens. Take the comms device, leave the channel open and get back on the ship. I’m about to do something very clever and a tiny bit against the rules of the universe.’

The boys look at each other.

‘Well off you go!’ He waves them away with the back of his hand and passes the comms device to me. ‘Right,’ he says, rubbing his hands together. ‘Let’s get to work, Artoo!

I watch as Artoo activates the scomp link. For a moment nothing happens. I glance at the Doctor who holds up a finger. A moment later, things start to happen very quickly.

‘Geronimo!’ yells the Doctor.

The Time Rotor in the centre of the console begins to move and I feel the floor shudder. Artoo extends his stabilisers, rooting himself in position.

‘Oh dear, oh dear me!’ Cee-Threepio cries out, tottering on his feet.

Warning! Warning!

The alert’s coming from my ship. I wheel around and check the viewing screen. Red lights are flashing all over the flight deck.

Quantum Error!

The red lights continue to flash and the Time Rotor begins to screech.

‘Is something wrong Doctor?’ I shout over the din.

The Doctor’s hands race over the console, flicking switches and adjusting dials. I snatch out the comms device. ‘Stevens! Harris! Come in!’ But all that comes back is static.

What’s this Quantum Error? Has the Doctor’s plan misfired?
And what’s happened to the boys on the other ship?
Tune in next week for the final episode in the current series…

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: outerplaces.com, darstcenter.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

Greta’s Ark

what do you see 6 by chris hall lunasonline
John Towner@unsplash

TRACTION BEAM ZONING IN… LOCKING ON…. AND ENERGIZE!

– Thank you Mr. Attenborough, we really couldn’t have completed our collection without you.

– Ms Thunberg, it’s been a privilege to meet you. In my long career, I’ve had many fascinating experiences, but I never expected to meet someone from the future. I’m humbled that you singled me out.

– You were the obvious candidate. You’re certain we haven’t missed any of the 21st century earth species?

– You have a pair of every living species for your trans-space-time settlement.

– Excellent.

– You will be returning to us won’t you, Ms Thunberg?

– In the blink of an eye. Remember, I can be in two places at once.

– Ah yes, you explained: quantum superposition; only a theory in the 21st century.

– You will keep my little secret?

– Of course. Although perhaps I might be permitted to share it with Brian Cox?


Written in response to Sadjes What Do You See #6′ photo prompt.