[USS Vanguard] Re: Rifts

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 16:14:45 +0100 (BST)

Commander Kieran Darkwater - Temporal Affairs Special Monitoring Station 
Omicron - Location Chrono-Lagrange Point 11 - Sol system
  "Brace yourself, Kieran, there's another fracture coming."
  Kieran's head snapped up from where he'd been dozing in the tall, black 
chair, quickly scanning around the circle of monitor screens.
  "Chronometric boundary event impact in nine seconds." the computer chimed in, 
needlessly, and Kieran's practiced eye locked in on the screen that showed the 
most evidence. On the screen, in the midst of a forested area, two armoured 
knights charged at each on horseback across a gaudily decorated list. Although 
their visors were closed, familiarity with the stream-fragment led him to 
deduce Baron Cynan was about to score another victory.
  The lances crashed together, Cynan's opponent was catapulted from the back of 
his horse, a shattered lance fragment protruding through his gorget, and the 
slightly blurred image seemed to split into two superimposed images briefly. 
Another screen appeared on the viewing wall, and the second image transferred 
to it, a collection of primitive hominids scattering into the woodland.
  "How many does that make?" Ana asked, as Kieran released a calming breath.
  "In excess of eighty." he shook his head, turning to look at the elongated 
plastic and metal encasing that held her body whilst her hologram wandered 
  "You're not usually that slapdash." she moved around to stand in his line of 
sight, and he turned his head upward to look at her tousled blonde hair and 
deep blue eyes. "How many?"
  "Eighty-four full-blown, multiple entity time-fragments." he gestured across 
one section of the wall, and the screens there clustered together slightly. 
"Four further inverted temporal loops," another gesture clustered a further 
section "containing no entities at all, which are apparently collapsing in on 
  "And those two?"
  "Those are the two remaining situations in which all the entities remain 
represented - Late 20th Century Earth and a time-normal alternate with no 
extraneous temporal activity."
  "That seems  your best bet." Ana observed, with a frown. "What's holding you 
  "It's... everything else is so completely out of balance, there's no reason 
for this one section to remain constant, even though the same themes continue 
through all the iterations."
  "Do we have to do this again?"
  "Do what?" she leant down, and saw a deep weariness in his eyes. "Kieran?"
  "Every event that impacts here seems to reset your memories - every time 
another reality fragments I have to explain all this to you again."
  "How did I get here?"
  "I don't know... you were here when I arrived." They fell silent for a while, 
watching a dark, dingy alternate timeline where Kent Kavan and a troop of 
visored, armed totalitarian policemen piloted single-person skimmers across a 
blasted wasteland in hunt of something.
  "What themes were talking about."
  "These worlds... there are themes running through them, or at least themes 
running through the people."
  "Captain Santos."
  "Reality as perception. Here, in the eighties hospital," he pointed to a 
screen, "the asylum officials are telling him that he's imagined it all, that 
he's teacher who's had a breakdown. Here, though, in the near-reality, they're 
explaining to him that he's been captured and conditioned by a hostile enemy 
faction for an extended period of time. In both instances he is strugging to 
reconcile his memories with what people he believes he can trust are telling 
about his reality."
  "They're all like this?"
  "Luke Miller looks for people to follow, to learn from. Cynan fights, against 
authority, for authority, as authority it seems random, but he fights. Chief 
Kavan is tied up in power struggles in almost every instance he remains in - 
where he isn't, it's because he's already won the struggle.
  Dr Quetan..."
  "What about you?" she interrupted, and he halted, turning to look at her, as 
the screens responded to the command - some went blank, but the overwhelming 
majority of them homed in on him in various guises and formats.
  "Alone?" she hazarded. "Persecuted, pushed to the fringes of society?"
  "Not always pushed." he admitted, candidly.
  "You have, presumably, tied these in with the fact that these are all the 
deep-seated issues these people naturally have, right."
  "I have, but that fails to reconcile itself with the people themselves. You 
and I see Dr Quetan as a healer and carer, but she herself doesn't define 
herself that way. Why should our perception of one Zena Quetan influence how 
she develops in all these timelines?"
  "Maybe, they're not based on how those people themselves..." she hazarded, 
  "They're based on my perceptions." he realised, slowly.
  "You're on the outside here, again." she settled onto her knees, photonic 
hands wrapping around his as he slumped in the chair a little. "You have to 
make another of those decisions... you have to put people's lives in your hand 
and make the choice. There's the reality that fits, you know it does - you have 
to close the others down.
  Drop the chronometric shielding and let reality in..."
  "What if you're wrong?"
  "No." he shook his head slightly, gripping the impression of her hand a 
little tighter. "What if I don't want to go back to there. What if I'd rather 
stay here with you?"
  "Then it's going to hurt when you do the right thing." she reached up to 
brush his cheek, gently. "But you will do the right thing, you wouldn't be the 
man I know you are if you didn't."
  "Alright..." he nodded, rising slowly to his feet, grasping his cane and 
leaning heavily on it as he settled his weight onto his weak leg.
  "Computer," His voice caught in his throat as he spoke, and Ana's hand rested 
gently on his shoulder for support. "Computer, shut down the chronometric 
shields. Discontinue tachyon support grid for alternate timelines."
  "Time support discontinued." came back the reply, and the screens began to 
darken. The loops disappeared first, one by one, then a rush of screens began, 
which gradually slowed until only the two primary images were left. Ana's 
holographic hand slipped into his, gently, and he felt her lips brush his cheek.
  "I'll see you on the other side..." she whispered, and everything dissolved 
into a grey-green light...
  Good to be back! Hey all :) 

 Yahoo! Mail is the world's favourite email. Don't settle for less, sign up for 
your freeaccount today.

USS Vanguard: http://www.ncv80221.net/default.htm
Vanguard Archives: http://www.freelists.org/archives/ncv80221
FreeLists: http://www.freelists.org

Trying to contact the USS Vanguard managers? Send an email to:

Other related posts: