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Episode VII -- Unauthorized Zones

Premiered 20 March 2009

 

Multiple Choice -- Episode VII

Unauthorized Zones

 

David was in a noticeably shabbier hallway, deep in the bowels of the Galactic Federation Headquarters and approaching what appeared to be a hatchway on a modern day naval vessel. On the hatch, which was apparently seldom used, was a rusted sign which read:

“No Security Beyond This Door. 
Proceed At Your Own Risk. 
No Unauthorized Entry. 
Code 1139.783.12.”

David smiled slightly, and began unbolting the hatch.

*****************

Jeremiah was in his Senior Director’s Office watching the screen showing David stepping through the Security hatch. A wry smile on his face, Jeremiah reached for the “Security Alert” button – possibly the most prominent item on his console. But then, just as his hand reached the button, he hesitated.  With his elbow resting on the console, he sat with his index finger wavered in the air, occasionally rubbed by an opposing thumb.  Then his hand moved away from the console and his fingers touched his lips, as he took another look at the screen, which now showed David closing the hatch behind him. 

Jeremiah sighed heavily as if weighed down with a very difficult decision.  He leaned back, his hands coming up to press -- with considerable strength -- fingers against opposing fingers, his index fingers touching his lips.  For several long moments, he breathed heavily and stared into space.  Then, he noticed the manner in which his fingers and hand were held, and a puzzled expression crossed his face.  He moved his hands to see his fingers from different perspectives, including what looked like a prayer mode.  ‘Now, where,’ he thought, ‘had that come from?’

Abruptly he shook his head to dislodge the inconvenient thought, reached for the “Security Alert” button, and pressed it.  Not just pressed it, but did so with exceptional force, as if that would somehow intensify the act. For a moment, he continued to sit there, his expression one of worried expectancy.  Then he stood and walked back to a small wet bar.  Quickly, he splashed water on his face, waited for just a second (as if expecting something).  When nothing happened, he took a towel and began drying his face and hands.  He continued to dry his hands with increasing strength, wiping off all evidence of anything amiss… or potentially so.

************

David was moving through apparently little used passageways deep within the bowels of the Galactic Federation Headquarters. He was entering areas that were apparently part of the old machinery that may have once sent its energy to the “Upper Echelon Levels” above.  Now, all seemed deserted and totally lacking in maintenance. 

David continued to wander through the unintentional maze, carefully looking around for marauders, terrorists, new car salesmen, and other seriously deranged and aggressive types.  The semi-darkness with only the occasional hints of indirect lighting seemed to contain all manner of evil. Maybe even a door-to-door religious acolyte.

As he approached what appeared to be a stagnant pool of water within a rectangular, rusted steel encrusted opening in the floor, a large gate value suddenly opened automatically, and a rush of water began pouring into the pool.  David stepped back, only slightly wet.  He hesitated for a moment, studying the pool. Abruptly he smiled, shrugged his shoulders, and continued walking along what was presumably a passageway between the dark, hulking monsters of once proud engineering achievements

Rounding one junction, he saw a genuine light ahead, the kind that had current intent included in its message.  As he approached the lighted area, he found a hatch slightly ajar.  Approaching very cautiously, he began hearing voices.  Quietly, he stepped through the hatch, being careful not to open it any more than necessary.

An unknown voice – later to be identified as Michael – was saying, “…but aren’t there other timelines? Other possibilities?”

He (or she with a deep, alto voice) was then answered by a familiar one: Evyr’s. “Of course. But not with the Ta Ra Nee.”

“So… if we cause a change at the correct continuum coordinate, back on this… planet…”

“Earth.”

“Earth… then everything would be completely different?”

“It would have to be.” David noticed that Evyr's voice had taken considerably more authority, and was now anything but subservient. It somehow fit her much better.

David had begun to smile until he suddenly felt the blunt point of a weapon against his temple. He turned very slowly to see out of the corner of his eye, a substantial and intimidating individual in any reality.  The man who we will identify as Austin – not necessarily his real name -- was also smiling, but it was a smile laced with mischievous dire consequences.  Abruptly the smile vanished and he announced himself to the others.

“We have an intruder!”

Taking David by the arm, Austin moved him further into the room, where Michael – as it turned out, male -- and Evyr turned to stare open-mouthed at the new arrivals.  Evyr gasped upon seeing David.

Michael asked, “You know this man?”

“A SpinMeister Director,” Evyr answered. “My new superior on the project.”

“A SpinMeister Director moonlighting as a spy?” Michael sneered. “I didn’t know such high flyers would ever dirty their hands on such a lowly mission. Things must be getting uncommonly routine upstairs.”

David looked worried, until… as he looked closely at Michael and Evyr, his mood abruptly changed.  For just a moment, he laughed. Then with a wry smile added a comment, “Interesting.”

Michael, having some acquaintance with interrogations and negotiations, was not as easily dismayed.

“Is that right? You’re about to incur our most profound displeasure… and yet you find the situation… ‘interesting’?”

David kept his cool. “You’re part of the underground!”

Michael, keeping his eyes on David, asked Evyr, “What’s he talking about?”

“I have no idea,” Evyr replied… even while in her mind there was something about David’s statement that registered a deeply buried memory.

“The revolution,” David added. “The fifth column… rebels. Those opposed to the established rule and who are willing to risk… life and limb to change it.”

Michael was suddenly very careful. “Are you accusing us of… disloyalty?”

David gestured to each of their chests, where large facsimiles of what had once been known as Celtic Crosses were worn in full view.

“You’re all wearing Celtic Crosses,” David explained. When everyone just looked puzzled, with Evyr mouthing the question, ‘Celtic what?’, David added, “An ancient symbol worn by people would never submit to a… a tyranny.”

“Really? But you, of course,” Michael noted, “are not wearing such a symbol.”

David smiled. “It wasn’t necessary before. But that’s a minor detail. What you really need is a way to change the past.”

This received everyone’s attention. There was perhaps gain to be had from David – as opposed to the fleeting satisfaction of dispatching one of one’s enemies. Michael asked the obvious question, “And you have such a way?”

Evyr placed one hand on Michael’s arm. “Careful… he has a reputation for deceit and cunning.”

David laughed. “Spoken like a true, jilted lover.”

The chorus, in three part harmony, composed of Michael (baritone), Evyr (alto), and Austin (tenor), exclaimed, “What?”

“Perhaps later,” David teased. “Right now… thanks to all of the evidence so neatly provided by ‘Apprentice Evyr’, I’ve been able to do some homework.”

What kind of work?” Michael turned to Evyr, “Does he speak our language?”

“Only partially,” Evyr noted.

“It’s called research,” David explained. “It’s a chance to understand… to know the kind of truth that sets ye free.”

Evyr suddenly looked even more mystified, causing David to glance at her to see if some of what he was saying was triggering anything. When she merely bit her lower lip and said nothing, David shrugged his shoulders and continued.

“The… Ta Ra Nee… is only one timeline. But if history could be changed… not just rewritten or revised on paper by the winners… but really changed… at the source...”

Evyr, shifting to her critical thinking mode, said, “You’d have to first know the critical factor that spawned the Ta Ra Nee.”

David guessed. “The Mintakan attack on Earth, right?”

For a long moment, David looked expectantly at Evyr, but she said nothing, still very much wary of a man ‘known for deceit and cunning’.

“Or better yet,” David suggested, “the failure of the Earthlings to ask for help. That might easily be the critical bifurcation point when the timeline of the Ta Ra Nee, the tyranny, branched off from the other possibilities.” When no one objected, he added, “The real trick is finding a way back to such a remote time when the critical decisions can be changed.”

Evyr tilted her head back. “Do you have such a method?”

David asked, “Time is permeable, right?”

“Theoretically, yes,” Evyr replied.

“We could easily find ourselves in another timeline dimension based on different decisions from the past.”

“But it’s not known,” Michael inserted, “how to shift dimensions.”

“Not known,” David asked, “or held in secret?”

“Does it make a difference?”

“Possibly,” David replied. “But if you could this moment… you personally… Apprentice Evyr... enter a time vortex and possibly make the trip back… would you?

David’s gaze was intent upon Evyr, but she did not flinch. She considered the suggestion, and then with all the attributes of a firm decision, she answered, “Yes. I think I would… if only to make a difference. Or just to prove that I could make a difference.”

Michael was more skeptical. “You’d be willing to trust this man… this ‘master of cunning and deceit’?”

Evyr kept her eyes on David. “Somehow… there’s more here than…”

Austin had suddenly stiffened, as he held his hand to his head in the manner of listening intently to an internal communication device. Simultaneously, he held up his other hand for silence. Then he announced the news.

“Security forces.”

Michael frowned at David. “Brought your friends, I see.”

David held up his hands preparatory to denying everything, when Evyr quietly and pointedly commented, “I don’t think so.”

Michael turned to her in disbelief. “Are you kidding?”

“No,” she replied.

David looked at her with a knowing understanding. “We can make the leap now.”

Evyr smiled, half on faith and half on understanding. “You’re on.”

David turned to Michael. “And you can witness it… if you like.”

Austin was less interested in the observational opportunities and far more intent upon the dire possibilities. “We have to hurry.”

Michael, being the leader he was – using gut instincts and random intuition – made the final call. “Okay, SpinMeister Director. Lead the way.”

David led the others to the door and then retraced his steps to the pool and waterfall. There they encountered members of the Security Force, who quickly turned on the rebels to open fire.  Michael and Austin returned the advanced weaponry fire of the Security Forces with their homemade brand of jury-rigged weaponry. Accordingly, it was unlikely to be a prolonged firefight or one resulting in a stale mate. The revolutionaries’ return fire was more of the style that might make the superior forces hesitate, but that would never really cause any prolonged delay in the rebel’s inevitable defeat. It did allow, however, for David and Evyr to duck for cover, and set up for phase two (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Turning to Evyr, David ordered, “Do as I do!”

On a fast break, David ran headlong for the waterfall.  Evyr watched intently and gasped when he leaped into the waterfall and phased.  A broad smile crossed her face.

“Cover me,” she ordered!

With Austin and an amazed Michael covering her with a phalanx of fire, Evyr made her own break, leaping into the waterfall and quickly phasing.

Once Austin and Michael had made tracks (but without leaving any) back into the maze of machinery, one of the security guards with an ambitious streak took a running leap at the pool’s waterfall... his weapon at the ready as he chased two of the fugitives. The security guard ended up very wet, and very nearly drowning in the pool. His compatriots could hardly be bothered to help him, but eventually, upon reflection finally did pull him out. Obviously, the man had not known the code for this particular portal.

 

Episode VI -- Ancient Histories

Forward to:

Episode VIII -- Interstellar Space

               

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