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.”
“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.”