Captain Kirk holds up his hands. “So let me get this straight,” he looks at each of us in turn. “You imagine something and then it just happens?”
“Yes sir.” I can hardly believe I’m speaking to Captain James T. Kirk. “Apparently the ship is powered by our minds and guided by our imaginations.”
Spock raises a skeptical eyebrow.
“Well, that’s what the Zyborgatron said.”
“The Zybogatron?” Kirk frowns and turns to Spock who is scanning the console with his tricorder. “Anything, Spock?”
“Negative, Captain.” He tweaks the instrument again.
“The longer we stay, the more likely something else bad is going to happen again,” I say nervously. “That Klingon and the Professor…” I glance at Harris and Stevens.
The screen on the console flickers into life. The Doctor’s face appears. “Jemma! Are you still on that ship?” He knocks on the screen. “Get off at once!” We see him peer at the screen, head on one side. “Well I never, is that Captain Kirk?”
“No, just the Doctor; but never mind that now. The ship you are on is dangerous, Captain Kirk! You need to evacuate. Destroy it if you…”
The screen goes blank.
Kirk’s communicator chirps. “Go ahead, Scotty.”
“Sir, we have a problem… It’s the Klingon. He’s standing right behind me with a weapon in his hand. It seems he wants that ship you’re on.”
“Fascinating,” observes Spock. He puts the tricorder down. “Let me try something, Captain.” Spock reaches across the console to the keyboard the boys were using to play Space Invaders. He presses three keys, one after the other: Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
Everything goes black.
This has been the last in the present series of Space Cadets, leaving you, in fine tradition, with more questions than answers.
Fear not, Space Cadets will return! And, of course, we will be bringing you a Christmas Special – there has to be one, doesn’t there?
Meanwhile, the script writers and production team will be busy with some other projects. Stay tuned!
The Klingon waves his disruptor, gesturing for us to move away from the console.
“Mr. Kurn will take over from you now, Cadets,” the Professor says. She speaks in a flat tone, almost mechanically. Something’s definitely wrong.
The Klingon grunts something as he walks over us, his weapon is pointing directly at my chest. The Professor tries to say something, but suddenly she cries out and clutches at her left ear, wincing in pain. What’s going on?
We edge away from the console as a burst of static erupts from the speaker. A conversation is going on outside the ship.
“…Spock will give you the coordinates, Scotty… energize!”
Five new figures appear on the deck. It’s Captain Kirk and his crew.
“Hold it right there. All of you!” orders Kirk. The two red shirts close in, brandishing their phasers. One of them points his weapon at us. I glance at Stevens and Harris as slowly we raise our hands. Hold on, you’re supposed to be on our side!
The Klingon attempts to fire, but the disruptor jams. The red shirts rush to grab him just as the Professor collapses on the floor, holding her head in her hands. Dr. McCoy hurries to her side and whips out his medical tricorder. He waves it across her head and frowns.
“I need to get her straight to sick bay, Jim,” says the doctor. “It’s one of those damn mind-controlling worms of theirs!” He glares at the Klingon.
Kirk nods. “Okay, Bones,” he flips open his communicator. “Scotty, lock onto the doctor and his patient, and the security detail plus one prisoner.” He glances at the two red shirts. “Take the Klingon straight to the brig and make sure he stays there.”
Moments later they dematerialize, leaving Kirk and Spock alone on the deck with us. Kirk gestures to us to lower our hands.
Spock looks at Kirk and raises a quizzical eyebrow. Kirk turns to us.
“You kids have got some explaining to do.”
Will Bones manage to save the Professor from the mind-worm? What if he fails?
What was that Klingon up to? and what questions does Captain Kirk have for the cadets? Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!
“Yeah Jem, this one’s down to you,” Harris glares at me accusingly.
Stevens sighs loudly. “Can’t you just un-imagine the Klingon?”
“Or at least get him to drop his gun?” Harris chimes in.
I try to visualize the Klingon vanishing but nothing happens.
“What’s the Professor saying?” Stevens points at the viewing screen. We all peer at her face. She’s looking straight at us and she’s mouthing something.
The Klingon’s mouth begins to move as well. He seems to be shouting. Don’t they always shout?
Then they both disappear in an explosion of starry sparkles like they’ve dematerialized. But to where?
“What did you do Jemma?”
What did I do?
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief when more starry sparkles appear on the screen in front of us. The Professor reappears flanked by Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and a couple of red-shirts. I sense that something bad is about to happen.
The Professor looks confused. She points straight at us, then shakes her head. Mr. Spock consults his tricorder and raises a puzzled eyebrow. They all fan out, although apart from the Professor’s Special Space Machine there is little to see in this plain and featureless landscape. The Professor continues walking towards us, a hand stretched out in front of her.
“Why can’t they see us?” Harris asks.
Stevens prods the buttons on the console randomly. “Open voice communication!” he commands. We hear a popping noise. Stevens looks at each of us.
We shout in unison. “Professor! Professor!”
Something registers on her face; she turns around to look at the members of the Enterprise crew who, phasers at the ready, are still scanning the empty landscape.
Something’s wrongbut I can’t work out what.
“Professor!” Harris yells, banging on the screen which flickers and goes dead.
“No need to shout.”
We spin around. The Professor is standing in a doorway at the back of the deck which I hadn’t noticed before. She walks forward and smiles. “Hello, Space Cadets!”
The Klingon appears and stands next to her.
Slowly he raises his disruptor and points it at us.
Who’s side is the Professor actually on? What does the Klingon want? Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!
At last the shooting stops and the Doctor and I see the boys high five each other. Harris is busy with a keyboard. Over his shoulder I see him type: DS&HH and their score.
“Doctor, they’ve won!”
The Doctor squints at the screen. “Golly, 267984!”
“That’s the highest score in the known universe!”
“Clever,” the Doctor replies.
“The boys are always playing those ancient arcade games.”
“No me.” The Doctor examines his finger nails. “I’m clever.” The central column on the Tardis’ console makes a huffing noise. “Okay. The Tardis and I are clever.” He taps on the screen. “Look out there, Jenna.”
A view of the surface of a planet comes into view… and there’s the Professor’s Special Space Machine.
“I…” he eyes the column, “….we simply reset the time-stream to bring you back to square one, as it were. All the three of you need to do now is get off the Zyborgatron’s ship before any of you imagines anything else. Come on,” he strides towards the door.
“And the number I was waiting to see before I hit the green button, that wasn’t a stardate time, was it?”
“Oh that? That was a random number, a red herring; just something to keep your mind occupied, to stop you imagining something which would interfere with the Tardis’ navigation systems.” He touches his finger to his nose. “Clever, eh?”
I frown. “I thought I’d been doing something important.”
“Sometimes NOT doing something is equally important.” He opens the Tardis’ door. “Now, come along, Jenna. Let’s get you off the ship before anything else happens.”
Harris and Stevens are still celebrating.
“Did you see that?” says Stevens.
“Indeed we did. Well done, chaps!” The Doctor claps them both on the back.
I’m feeling slightly miffed. They brought on the Space Invaders attack, even if they did achieve a mega-score to defeat them.
“Right then,” says the Doctor, clapping his hands together. “Off you all pop.” He waves us in the direction of the ship’s door. “And I hope NOT to see you again!” He touches his hand to his head in salute, spins on his heel and bounds back into the Tardis.
I glance at the viewing screen as the Tardis takes off. “Look guys. It’s the Professor!”
We watch as she emerges from her Special Space Machine. Slowly she raises her hands in the air. Another figure appears behind her.
“That’s a Klingon, isn’t it?” says Harris.
The swarthy humanoid jabs his disruptor into the small of the Professor’s back.
My heart sinks.
Where did that Klingon come from? Are there more? Can the Cadets save the Professor? Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!
“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.
“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.
How will the Cadets escape from the Black Hole? And who imagined that??
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!
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.
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.
With apologies to the creators of Star Trek and Doctor Who
The doors to the holodeck swooshed closed. Ensign Marcus Bain felt a warm breeze ruffle his crew cut and the midday sun on his skin. Dressed in appropriate time-period leisurewear he plunged into the fairground crowd.
Garish colours, distorted sounds and the smell of fried food assaulted his senses. He checked the handful of notes and coins which had been issued to him with his slippery pale blue nylon outfit. There had been some orientation information on the pre-entry briefing screen, but he’d barely skimmed it in his impatience to visit late-twentieth century Earth.
He stared about at the crudely-made mechanical rides from which music blared and people screamed. The young ensign selected a ride at random and proffered a handful of coins. The operator raised his eyebrows and laughed, saying something Marcus didn’t catch, before showing him to one of the little rubber-rimmed cars which people were driving around the smooth oval-shaped rink.
Marcus had only just wedged himself into the seat of his little green car when someone bumped him hard from behind. He swivelled around, but the car had already reversed away. Then another slammed into him from the side. “You drive like a Klingon on Rackta,” he yelled at the driver who gave him a thumbs-up sign before driving off to bash a little blue car. Marcus clutched the steering wheel and depressed the single pedal on the floor. The car moved forward, describing a graceful arc.
He cruised around the rink, skilfully avoiding attempts by other cars to bump him. It was a bit like steering a star-ship through a meteor shower; not that he’d actually done that other than on a simulator. Marcus was oblivious to the hostile looks from the other drivers as he evaded their challenges and failed to make any contact himself. Then three cars came at him at once, one behind and two on either side, driving him edge of the rink. There was nowhere for his little green car to go. Marcus swung his car around to face them and stopped. He could feel the pressure from their cars push against his, which was tight up against the rim of the rink. The electric charges from the poles mounted on the back of the cars crackled brightly on the conductive mesh above their heads. The three guys scowled at Marcus. All were dressed in tight cut off t-shirts which revealed hostile-looking tattoos on their arms. He saw the man on his right crack his knuckles.
Marcus was up and out of the little green car before they had a chance to move. He hesitated for a few seconds, then seeing them hoist themselves out onto the busy rink and advance towards him, he set off at a run. The nylon fabric of his clothing slid unpleasantly over his skin as he looked around for somewhere to lose his pursuers.
Marcus noticed a door flapping open at the rear of one of the flimsy buildings. He dived through the door slamming it behind him. It was very dark. Marcus felt his way along a narrow corridor. His stomach knotted as he heard his pursuers enter behind him. Marcus groped his way along the passage until he found another door; he opened it cautiously and slipped through.
It was suddenly very bright; the walls around him were lined with mirrors which distorted and multiplied his reflection. He rounded a corner, hurrying past the grotesque versions of his reflected self into a mirror-lined corridor which twisted and zigzagged before opening into a large, triangular-shaped room. He heard a shout: ‘split up, get him.’ Heavy footsteps pounded on the wooden floor; the mirrors shook. Before Marcus could decide which way to run, three figures appeared each from a different doorway. Marcus was trapped.
‘Exit!’ shouted Marcus, remembering the escape command.
‘We’re not going anywhere,’ one of them grunted. The three men closed in on the now desperate Marcus, who knew he was not immune to blows from holographic foe.
‘Exit!’ Marcus yelled again. Why didn’t the program end?
Vworp! Vworp! The three men stopped and turned to see a large shape materializing in the middle of the room. Marcus sighed with relief. But what appeared wasn’t what he’d expected. Rather than an archway, it was a big blue box, taller than a man and a little wider than the double doors in the side which faced him. Perhaps this was a new version of the Arch? He wished he’d read the briefing more thoroughly. One of the doors opened and a figure in a long brown coat and an even longer stripy scarf appeared. He raised his broad-brimmed hat revealing a shock of unruly, curly hair.
‘Good afternoon, gentlemen,’ he said. He looked at Marcus, ‘You’d better come with me ensign.’
Marcus hesitated; his three would-be assailants stood open-mouthed.
‘Come along Ensign Bain, hurry up now,’ the man said, beckoning to him. ‘This way.’
Marcus hurried toward the blue box. ‘Who are you?’ he asked his rescuer as he drew level with him at the doorway.
‘I’m the Doctor,’ he replied, offering Marcus a toothy grin as he ushered him inside.
‘Doctor who?’ asked Marcus.
‘Have a jelly baby,’ said the Doctor, offering him a crumpled paper bag.
Marcus stared around him.
‘Welcome to the Tardis! Bigger on the inside, yes, I know,’ said the Doctor, beaming wide-eyed at Marcus. ‘Now let’s get you back where you belong,’ he said as he pushed buttons and pulled on levers at the central console.
Before Marcus could take stock of his surroundings, the Tardis materialized in the engine room of the USS Enterprise. ‘Home,’ said the Doctor, helping a dazed Marcus out.
‘Aye, another one, is it Doctor?’ said Scotty, the Chief Engineer.
The Doctor nodded. ‘Your virtual reality toy keeps causing a tiny rift in the space-time continuum. You need to fix it. I’ve better things to do than scoop up young ensigns on their day off.’
‘Aye, Doctor,’ said Scotty, ‘we’ll get onto it right away.’