Matt's Personal Log - Episode 19
Well, after sitting on Citadel Station for about three weeks, the others started to arrive. Everyone except for Tarak and his girls that is; they never made it to Citadel. The rest of us waited around for about a month longer, fixing some things on Alyr’s ship and updating others. I guess Tarak, Kylee, and A’lanna decided they were done with the rest of us, though I don’t really understand the reasoning – but I don’t have to. We’ve moved on.
Since Karr was still ill, we set out for the planet Icefall at Alyr’s suggestion. It was at this point that K’ara left us since Karr wasn’t following his mother’s wishes – you know, for a Vulcan, she didn’t think that through very logically; dispassionately maybe, but not logically. I mean, what the hell could he have accomplished in his condition?
After arriving at Icefall, we immediately got into some trouble. This time it was my fault, no question about it. But what else was I gonna do? Some (hot) chick had poisoned some guy and was toying with him as he was dying. At first I thought he’d only gotten ill, but it didn’t take long to figure out he was being poisoned. During customs we’d learned that assassination was kinda accepted on the planet, so I didn’t try to stop it, but I couldn’t stand by and watch the guy suffer – so I shot him. I figured that was a cleaner death than the one he was being given. Next thing I know, Cutter’s pulling me and Nova outta the bar we were in and then down some streets and alleys. Since then I’ve learned what was going on, and will probably handle any future situations differently, but I don’t feel any remorse for the way things went down. Hope there’s no hard feelings on the part of the assassin, however. Mainly ‘cause she’s an assassin, but also ’cause she was kinda cute.
Anyway, after leaving the bar, we happened upon a group of idiots sitting naked outside the Navigator’s Guild Tower. Let me explain – we only thought Jortunheim was cold; now that we’ve been on Icefall, not so much. So these people are sitting out there like Grasshopper in Kung Fu, trying to prove they’ve got what it takes to be a Navigator.
The Navigators have access to something called an Algorithm Engine – I call it the Magic Box (trademark). With one of these babies and the ability to compute advanced mathematical equations, and using the power source and engine of any other vehicle, a Navigator can take that vehicle across intergalactic distances at ultraluminal velocities. For example, as a demonstration, we were taken across a distance of four or five sectors (or 80-100 light years) in a matter of moments. We went to Deep Space Nine, walked around for a few minutes, and then back to Icefall, all in a matter of an hour or two. So, when we got back, I dropped trow and joined the rest of the idiots on the steps.
Somehow or other, I managed to forget all about the cold and was able to qualify for training as a Navigator. I say training, but mostly it was polishing up on some math (higher ended of course, I’m not talking trig), and learning how to fly a ship in space, with some added astrogation skills. That took about a month, during which Alyr spent some time looking for the stuff he’d wanted to come here for and Nova spent hanging out with me. (Even after that Modern Indoctrination Class I’d asked her to tend while we were on Citadel, she still seems to feel most comfortable around me – and I gotta admit, I do like the attention.)
After all the training and stuff, I was ready to stretch my skills and get on the road! THe Guild installed a Magic Box on the Starlight, and I was champing at the bit to get on the road. Alyr and the rest were all for it, especially Thanos. Who’s he? He’s a big Andorian with a chip on his shoulder about Humans, but he’s a good guy and a great pilot. Cutter’d hired him while we were on Citadel. Before we could leave, though, the Guild had a proposition for us. They wanted us to see if we could open trade with something called the Union of Allie Planets.
The UAP is a theocratic empire that inhabits a trinary star system on the far side of the galaxy from the Federation, the Empire, the Romulans – basically, everyone that’s currently looking to kill one or all of us. Of course we agreed to go, and with Alyr’s masterful negotiation skills, we get 1.5% of all trade done by Icefall with the UAP; not too shabby if you ask me!
On the way out to do the job, I figured I’d surprise Alyr by setting a course to DS9 first – he’d wanted to go there anyway, and it would be a longer stay than the first time I’d been there. Alyr knows the proprietor, Galaxina, of a brothel there called the House of Venus. Our first trip netted me a free session (yeah I know – the first one’s always free), but I do have to say that the experience was an E-ticket ride all the way! ‘Course before I could partake of the pleasures of the House, someone tried to kill Alyr by sniping him, but that’s getting boring! I mean, everyone tries to shoot him – I really hope the next attempt is more original than that; something along the lines of a scorpion in his bed or a whore with poison lipstick – something worthy of a pulp villain!
Soon enough we were on our way to the UAP. I did the calculations, gave ‘em to Thanos, and off we went – and stayed there. Now, the further the distance traveled, the more complex the calculations. And the travel isn’t always very quick; it is possible to actually increase the travel time normally needed, but that’s usually the result of bad computation or not sticking to the plotted course. Anyway, there we were, stuck in the negative space that the MB zaps us through, and time started to pass. First a minute, then an hour, and then a day. Since all of my previous trips through this space had only lasted minutes, we started to get concerned. After a week, we were going batty! (Funniest moment was when Alyr started bitchin’ about the delay – I pointed out to him that his warp drive normally took weeks and months to travel anywhere.) Worst thing about the whole experience was all the flutes we were hearing.
That’s when we remembered the warning we’d gotten – our course was going to take us through the space dominated by the Solid State Entity. We determined that we must be trapped by this Entity. It took a little while, but eventually we were able to find a correlating mathematical equation to the music we were hearing – turned out it was an audible representation of the number pi out to 100 decimal places. We tried responding with e, which had no effect. When we responded with pi to 150 decimal places, the music responded with a change to 200 decimals. This process went back and forth for a while, but eventually the Entity made contact with us.
The Entity (I call her Iggy) talked with us for a while and eventually showed us the way out – a wormhole about 5 ly away. When I asked if others had been trapped in her (I know ’it’s’ an entity, not a person, but ‘it’ came across feminine and I think of ‘it’ as a ‘her’), she responded that there still was. Upon further investigation, we figured out that the closest to us was also about 5 ly away, so we decided to check it out on the way to the wormhole – after all, there might’ve been some good salvage to be had, or even some brigandage to be done. As it turned out, the ship we found was of Cardassian make: the Galor, which happens to be the vessel all Galor-class vessels are derived from. The captain, Gul Sakht (or something close), was open to talking. We offered our help (in the interest of having at least one government entity not so pissed off at us), and eventually met them at the wormhole out of Iggy. In exchange we got 5 young Bajoran women, who will need some medical attention but are otherwise in reasonable condition – Alyr figures to use them in some capacity as stewardesses.
The wormhole wasn’t a straight shot through to a terminus. Instead, traveling through the ‘tunnel’, one would pass many branching ‘sub-wormholes’, all leading to different locations. The whole thing reminded my of a great tree with an immense root system, much like the mythical Yggdrasil – thus why I call the entity Iggy (she doesn’t seem to mind, either).
We traversed the wormhole and arrived in the trinary star system we’d originally set out for. The Galor never arrived, so they either didn’t succeed at the journey or they wandered down a different branch; Thanos’ skill is likely the reason we had such little difficulty. It did turn out that we were actually in a quintranary system (5 stars, not 3) – but we have no doubt we’re where we were told to be – the system included the red, blue and white stars, each with their own planetary systems, as we had been told. The other two stars each had their own planetary systems as well. We’ve set course for the white star at the center of this fantastic work of nature – soon we’ll be in negotiation with the government, and with any luck, we won’t be getting chased out of this system with people shooting at us. Instead, we might be able to set up our retirement funds.
’Til next time, cya/tts.