6w, 4hThe Good HiE List
Aboard the New Dawn
Captain C. T. Morgan sat at his desk, holding an ice pack to the side of his head, he had been the last man evacuated from the engine section when reactor 7 cracked open, the concussion wave had thrown him clear of the superheated plasma that flooded the corridor moments later, but steel bulkheads to the face hurt even at non-lethal speeds.
He was jerked out of his musing by a nervous knocking on the elevator door, putting on his the best smile he could despite the pain the old man called out “Come in.” At the beckon the elevator doors slid open and a nervous member stepped in, clutching a folder in-front of him like a shield, the Captain took in the newcomers rank and sighed “and you are Private Perkin, from sensor deck correct?”
Perkins relaxed a little, but not much “Yes Sir, We've finished comparing star-charts, and we're pretty sure that we know our location.”
Morgan was evidently delighted but restrained himself with practiced ease “That's lovely, but I know that they never send up Privates unless it's bad news. Let me guess, the wormhole took us to another Galaxy?” Perkins placed the folder on the desk and slid it across, stammering “N-not exactly Sir”
Morgan read the folder and the small smile vanished like oil down a plughole, the grizzled voice rang with calmly restrained annoyance when he spoke “please tell me that because of how hard I hit my head, that I am reading this wrong. That you have not spent 2 hours looking at every star we know of, and then come up to tell me that we are in fact currently orbiting Sol”
Perkins found his voice “I wish I could Sir, but the computer came back with an 89% match”
The Captain pinched the bridge of his nose “Cradle of humanity Sol? 8 planets, 4 rocky and 4 gas?”
Perkins looked a little shamefaced “Yes Sir” he looked about to finish, but then perked up a little
“Well there is one anomalous reading Sir... “
the perk disappeared when Morgan's eyes snapped up “Yes?”
“Well, the stars don't match up exactly Sir. The major constellations are all still there, but to find the closest match in placement, we had to wind back the clock.”
“Wind back the clock?”
“By simulating Galactic drift and star movement Sir. The closest match is near enough to 2012, maybe 15.”
Morgan clutched at the ice pack as if for comfort, and then asked exasperatedly “So not only are we back where we started, we've also gone a century and a half back in time?!”
Perkins flinched a little, but couldn't help correcting “Closer to one hundred and forty. Sir.”
Morgan nodded, then waved a hand “Okay. Just wanted to be sure that I knew how screwed up this mission has gone.” he pulled off a little salute “Dismissed” Perkins returned the salute gratefully and scampered out.
Morgan waited for a few seconds, mulling over the developments. Then he sighed and clicked the intercom “Captain to Engineering. Send CEO Li up to my office.” letting go of the button he just sank back into his chair and hissed in pain as the icepack shifted, the old officer muttered half angrily “a hundred and forty years...”
400 million kilometres away
Luna sat in her room, bandages on her wings, a sullen expression on her face and an icepack held to her head, she had been thrown across the room by the feedback from her spell after Celestia had smashed a telescope over Luna's head, breaking her concentration. Luna was so terribly busy feeling sorry for herself that she didn't even hear when a knock came at the door, it took another three attempts before the alicorn lifted her ears and looked to the portal “I beckon thee enter” she called out, reaching out with her magic to open the door, only to find that her horn didn't flare.
Celestia opened the door with her wing to find her sister becoming increasingly frustrated, heaping insults and swearing oaths of vengeance upon her malfunctioning horn, the smaller alicorn stopped as the larger entered the room and cried out in mild panic “Celly, mine horn does not answer me! What trickery hast thou wrought!?”
Celestia raised her eyebrow and spoke firmly “I've placed magic restraining bands on your horn Luna, you were acting very irresponsibly.”
Luna scowled, feeling up her horn to find 3 rings of rune-engraved iron sitting there “Surely thou jest sister? I acted as a Diarch should! That silver creature dared to blind thine student and besmirch mine night sky, surely you do not suggest I should allow such brazen insult to go unchalle- Ow!”
Luna's little rant was cut short when a pulse of Celestia's golden magic whipped up and across her sister's cheek, while the younger alicorn stammered and clutched at her reddening face the elder spoke again. “Stop Luna. I don't enjoy seeing you in pain, but it seems you cannot listen to reason otherwise. You acted as a foal might today, a powerful and immortal foal, you should have thought of the consequences before exercising your might so very brutishly.”
Luna stood, wings flared and mouth opening in protest, but found her haunches once again on the bed as Celestia's magical aura caught her starry tail and yanked it sharply down, The Solar goddess towered over the Lunar with wings flared while she continued her tirade. “You have terrified everyone Luna. I have had to cancel Day court today, after the Griffin, Dragon and Zebra ambassadors all stormed in, demanding to know why a certain alicorn decided today was the day to show the world just how powerful she really is”
Luna again opened her mouth to speak, now less angry and more ashamed, but again Celestia stopped her before her breath could even form words “The palace is going to have to be repaired, a group of dog-like creatures burrowed into the throne room after the ambassadors left, plying me with gems and pleading with me not to collapse any more of their tunnels.”
Luna wagged her chin soundlessly for a wile, but eventually sat down in defeat and sighed “okay, thou hast won. I am truly sorry for using my magic in such a silly way, may I have these damnable bands removed?”
Celestia shook her head “No, I will manage both Moon and Sun for the next few days while you are busy”
Luna raised her eyebrows and asked cautiously "Busy with what?”
Her bigger sister turned her head and flared her horn once again, on a bed of magic several dozen quills floated through, followed by a stack of scroll-paper that stood higher than Celestia's head “Busy writing letters. You are not to leave the palace until you have finished writing personal apology letters for every one of our citizens that were harmed or traumatized during your little stunt” she levitated a scroll of names in-front of Luna. “Then you are to go on a tour of the Griffin, Dragon, and Zebra lands and ask forgiveness from each of their leaders. After you have returned, you will have to track down the leader of these 'diamond dogs' and ask whether you can recompense him in any way for any loss of life his race has suffered from the cave-ins”
Words failed Luna for a moment, but by the time her voice found her breath and she raised an outcry Celestia had already gone, locking the door behind her. The moon Princess looked around the room, banged her hoof on the desk in frustration and finally sighed in resignation, trotting to her writing desk and fumbling a quill into her mouth, pulling over the first sheet of many.
New Dawn – Captain's Suite
Li sat across from the captain, flicking through a few documents on a holographic screen. He looked up occasionally, nodding, but for the most part the suited engineer simply let his Captain vent, the old veteran had been through a lot in the last 3 hours 15 minutes, a few minutes of ranting about the nonsensical situation they found themselves in certainly helped.
After 12 minute, 36 seconds of shouting and a sneaky gulp of scotch that Li pointedly ignored Captain C. T. Morgan sat down in his chair and smoothed out his jacket “Thanks for listening Li” he huffed gratefully, resting his head on the desk for a second.
Li took the opportunity to speak “It is no trouble Captain, you needed to let it out.” the engineer's voice carried no emotion or tone “This situation is most unusual.”
Morgan nodded, then sat up straight again “It is, we don't even have a plan for this situation, and I thought we planned for just about anything. I mean I'm damn sure I saw a plan of action to take 'in the event of space zombies' in the files” he let out an unconvincing chuckle “now can you give me any good news? Any at all?” he was pleading slightly, nothing so far had convinced him of anything but the fact that they were screwed.
Li surprised him, stating mechanically “Yes, I can give 3 pieces of positive information pertaining to the current crisis.” Morgan hurriedly motioned for him to go on “The first is that the engines are easily fixed. We have far more than enough replacement parts to get the ship up to full speed with minimal effort, reactor 7 is also functioning once again, reactor 3 is still open, but 9 of 10 reactors active is more than enough to keep the ship running with a surplus of energy." he paused to let it sink in"Second, we have recovered most of the leaked fuel lost through the reactors, a simple excursion allowed us to recover most of the frozen fuel for reprocessing. The third fact will require explanation, so if you have any questions it would be best to ask them now.”
Morgan was visibly sagging in relief from the first two positive facts “So we're not stranded, good. No questions so far.”
Li nodded, first stating “The third positive fact is. I have traced the energy field that captured us” Morgan nodded, but said nothing to allow Li to continue “I reviewed the sensor data from when we were dragged through the Wormhole, the electromagnetic distortion made it hard to track the trajectory, but traced the beam back to the source. As far as my calculations can tell, the capturing field came from the Earth. That is assuming that the sensor deck is correct in calling this the Sol system. I have unfortunately not succeeded in identifying the energy type.”
Morgan was exultant, but reserved “I don't recall the earth ever having a tractor beam capable of firing into deep space, especially not a century back”
The hole in Li's hypothesis only made the engineer shrug “I only state what I can extrapolate from the data.”
Morgan nodded and stood, as the CEO got to his feet the Captain dismissed him with a sharp salute “Thanks Li, I needed that. Get to engineering and see what you can do about that reactor.”
As soon as the man left, C. T. Morgan leaned down and pressed the intercom “Captain to all hands, bunker down and prepare for transit. Navigation, set course for the Third Planet.” waiting for an affirative before releasing the button, he thought for a moment more and leaned down again “Also, Captain to Security, roll out the armory, from now on consider the ship on high alert, I want us ready to fight at a moment's notice”
Celestia sat at the newly repaired telescope, gazing up towards Polaris. As she watched, the silver beast Luna had dragged from its universe wrapped itself in golden light, rapidly getting closer, and larger.
The white Diarch stepped back from the optical port and stepped from the room, slight worry in her eyes “What manner of beast have you called down upon us Luna?” she murmured, half to herself.