Jen Air: Frontier of Forever, Part Four

Our heroines arrive at the sci-fi convention.  Although I wrote this
story primarily because of Star Trek’s fiftieth anniversary and the
overall story is inspired by that series, other franchises are
mentioned.

Part OnePart TwoPart Three

Jen Air: Frontier of Forever, Part Four

The van parked and the trio jumped out, Jennifer leading the
way holding a smaller version of the antenna from the lighthouse, the
headphones back on and her eyes fixed on the tablet in her hands.  She gave the impression of knowing where she
was going, which was disconcerting to the other two who were expecting to be
doing the dragging instead of being carried along in her wake.

“Hey,” Kaya called, “slow down, kiddo.  We need to get our bearings.”  Tenley would really have had no problem
keeping up, but she stomped grudgingly behind.

Jennifer appeared to heed Kay’s advice, pausing a moment to check
all her equipment and rub and pat her antenna-gun a few times like someone
burping a baby.  In the meantime, Kaya
took in their surroundings.  They had
passed through the doors and were stood in a tiered, ring shaped promenade all
around which Ferengi, Jawas, and more pedalled their wares.  Around them Borg rubbed shoulders with Cybermen,
Thor shared a drink with Wonder Woman, and one olive skinned Orion slave girl skipped
toward the group.

“You made it!” She squealed, catching Kaya and Jennifer in a
hug.

“Sayuri?” Kay had to check.

“Not bad, huh?” She winked.
“And it’s really great to see you here Jen.  What do you think?”

Sayuri twirled, her loin cloth floating in front and behind
her as she showed off her jewellery, bangles and metal-kini.  “I-it’s,” Jennifer struggled to find words as
she took it all in.  The tinkerer
swallowed, settling on, “it is green.”

The Orion grinned.  “None
of you brought any costumes?  I’m sure I’ve
probably got something at my stall that would fit each of you. How about you,
Tenley?” She went over and knelt in front of the girl.  “I think you’d make an adorable little Vulcan.”

Tenley narrowed her eyes so that her completely black irises
filled their entire sockets.  “I am going
to cut out your tongue and then choke you with it,” she glared.

“Yeah,” Kaya sighed.  “She’s
more like a Dalek – Just perpetually angry at everything.”

“So cute,” Sayuri insisted, pinching Tenley’s cheeks as the
girl was visibly straining not to enact her threat here in front of everyone.  “Unfortunately,” the Orion sighed, standing
back up, “I’ve left dad manning everything by himself.  I’d better get back before he trades all our
stock for self-sealing stem bolts or something.
You all stop by after you’ve looked around and buy something, okay?”

And so they did.  Look
around that is, Kaya snatching a brochure from the Storm Trooper who was
handing them out, Tenley still grumpy as ever.
“Hey, come on,” the punk said, trying to get the girl to perk.  “Look around.
There’s some really neat stuff here.
Look, there’s Captain America’s shield!
This says it’s an actual prop from… one of the movies…”

Tenley rolled her eyes.
“I don’t read comic books,” she insisted.

“Okay.  But you still
like all your dinosaur programs and books, right?  Look over there,” Kaya pointed over to an
animatronic display.  “It’s one of them
Velociraptors.”

The girl sighed impatiently.
“It’s a Deinonychus,” she crossed her arms and explained.  “Actual Velociraptors were much smaller, and
they were all covered in feathers.”

“I doubt that thing would care very much what we called it,”
Kaya shrugged.  “Really can’t see it
taking much offense at all.”

“It offends me.”

“Alright, alright.
How about this… there’s a Q and A with some Disney writers.”

“Really?” Tenley paused, raising an eyebrow.  “Actually, that does sound good.”

Kaya squinted her eyes suspiciously.  “It does?”

“Yes.  It saves me the
trouble of having to hunt them all down to put an end to their putrid nonsense.”

“You’re really not getting into the spirit of things, are
you?”

“Well, while you’ve been trying to convince me, Jennifer has
wandered into a lagoon.”

“What?” After a moments confusion Kaya saw it.  The Creature.
Some vintage sci-fi exhibit.  “Jeez…
come on.  We better keep an eye on her.”  They found Jen stood in the middle of some
Martians pointing around with her antenna.
“Hey, Jen, what’s going on?  You’re
acting weird, even for you.”

The fair haired woman kept her eyes on the pad, continuing
her scans as she spoke.  “The source of
the pulses seems to be somewhere below us.”

“The pulses?” Kaya thought back.  “You mean the black holes you were on about?”

“Shhh!” Jen quickly shuffled the pad into her other hand and
pressed a finger on Kay’s lips.  “I-I don’t
want to cause a panic.  But, yes,
possibly.  That’s one of the things that
theoretically could generate these kind of particles.”

Kay whispered, “What else could it be?”

“I don’t know.  We
could stand here and speculate but the only way we’ll ever find out for sure is
to go down there and take a look.”

The former punk guitarist folded her arms, pursing her lips
as she glared and slowly shook her head.
“You just couldn’t be a regular nerd, could you?”

Jennifer looked up, squinting and confused.  “Excuse me?”

“Couldn’t just dress up like some bloodsucking alien warrior
queen and take a selfie with Robocop.  No
– you had to go and find an actual secret death machine that’s going to blow
this place out of the space-time continuum.”

“I didn’t put the death machine there!” Jennifer gasped
back.  “I mean, i-if it is a death
machine.  We don’t know what it is.  To be honest I doubt it’s a weapon.”

“Why?”

“If you wanted to destroy this building and everyone in it
there are far less complicated and costly ways of doing so.”

“Well should we warn anyone?
The police?”

“Right now all we have are some anomalous particle readings,
which I doubt they could make any more sense of.”

Kaya exhaled, loosening her shoulders.  “Alright.
If there’s a basement in this place we’ll find it and I’ll help get
in.  But when we’re done, you’re buying
me some Klingon Blood Wine, got it?”

Jen smiled and nodded affirmatively.  “Got it.”

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