Continuum-ing a special Star Trek inspired story to celebrate the show’s fiftieth anniversary. Our heroines, along with everyone else at the sci-fi convention, have found themselves in another reality. But why were they brought here, and can they find a way back home?
Jen Air: Frontier of Forever, Part Eight
Doctor Sarkis did what she could. She had yet to come across any serious injuries. Just cuts and bruises and the odd dislocated shoulder, so they were mostly just cleaning and bandaging any wounds they found. Something Kaya and Sayuri picked up quite easily, helping the other nurses employed here.
After a few moments however the green skinned Orion approached the doctor. “They say there might not be enough antiseptic to go around,” she informed the others.
“There’s alcohol,” Kaya suggested. “I saw a stall selling replica Blood Wine and Romulan Ale. I’m sure they’ve got Saurian brandy and other spirits as well. That can be used as antiseptic, right?”
“You’re really not as fatuous as you look,” Jana commented.
“Never mind. Since there is no telling how long we’ll be here, it may be wise to gather any spirits you can find and store them in the nurse’s office. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to gather all the food and water in one place in case it needs to be rationed.”
“I’m on it!” Kay saluted. She then looked around for someone not doing anything, for which she was spoilt for choice. So she just randomly picked a person. “Alright, you, Brotherhood of Steel. Congratulations! You just got promoted to Quartermaster.”
The young man in a long red coat seemed stunned. “B-but,” he stammered, “I’m a scribe…”
“Take it up with the elder. If we make it back. Now move, soldier!”
“R-right,” he was swept along.
“I have a question,” Sayuri said quietly, sidling beside the doctor. “A couple, actually. When we arrived air was being sucked out into space, just before we were sealed in. If there’s nothing out there, shouldn’t we be running out of oxygen? For that matter, shouldn’t we be freezing to death?”
“I have no answers,” Doctor Sarkis admitted. “I’m sure Jennifer and the others upstairs will be working on it. For now, the best thing we can do is organise these people. Give them tasks to do, jobs, games… anything to focus their attention and avoid panic.”
But for some, it was already too late. A middle aged man in a shirt and shorts seemed to crack as Sarkis and Sayuri were about to split to find others who might need help. “Just a minute,” he grumbled. “Who the hell put you people in charge here?”
Jana looked at him. He might have been a physically imposing figure once, but now he seemed rather out of shape, the smell of fear and sweat oozing off him. There was a little girl huddled on the floor behind him – he was probably only at the convention because of her. “Sir,” she said, “please calm down. I assure you I am acting with the authority of the manager of this facility.”
There was a security guard nearby who backed her up. “The boss radioed that we should do whatever she says.”
But it wasn’t good enough for the man. His lips curled as he spat, “how do we know your boss and this Indian bitch aren’t behind all this? What is it, some experiment? Are we all just guinea pigs to you?!”
“Actually,” Doctor Sarkis sighed, not enjoying his breath. “I’m Egyptian.”
“I don’t care if you’re the freaking Pharaoh,” the man sneered. “I want answers from you, now!”
“Then I am afraid I must disappoint, as I have none to give right now,” The doctor informed him, turning away. “If you’ll excuse, there are others who may require assistance…”
Her dismissiveness, however, infuriated him. “Don’t you dare walk away from me!” He screamed and tried to grab her. Doctor Sarkis reversed the grip and spun around, using the man’s own momentum to flip him onto his back.
“Everyone is frightened,” she hissed, holding him in an arm bar. “So, I will forgive your outburst. I suggest you tend to the child with you and keep your mouth shut from now on.”
“Come on, man,” a nearby Klingon implored. “None of this is helping.”
“Daddy!” The girl cried between sobs, holding her arms out as Doctor Sarkis released the man. He sneered once again, but decided his daughter was more important than this fight right now and rushed to comfort her. Meanwhile, Sayuri checked on Jana.
“Are you okay?” The Orion asked.
“Fine,” the doctor exhaled, “but if we do not act quickly things may get a lot worse.”
“Hey!” A Ferengi yelled. “You can’t take that without paying!”
“Rule of acquisition three hundred and eleven,” Kaya said as she loaded more spirits into a trolley, “always offer a helping hand to those in need. You can’t profit from customers who are poor or dead.”
“You made that one up,” the Ferengi huffed, “there are only two hundred and eighty-five rules.”
Kaya would have pointed out that they were all made up, but as was becoming tradition Tenley was around to distract her. “I don’t understand why anyone drinks this stuff anyway,” the girl groaned. “I tried some of my mother’s drinks once. None of them tasted good.”
The punk loaded the last case she could fit on the trolley. “Alright, Scribe, you know where to go with this, right?” He nodded, and she patted him on his way before turning to the girl. “Don’t you have a job to do as well?”
“I’m doing it,” Tenley insisted. “This is the last area the boy was seen in.” Her eyes went up to the upper level, obviously considering getting up as high as she could to look around.
Then they heard the screams. Kaya turned just as a flange of Wookies and other Star Wars fans stampeded right by them. “What the hell?” She gasped, trying to see what they were fleeing from. There was one Twi’Lek who couldn’t keep up, perhaps struggling because of the prosthetic tentacles hanging from his head. It was not a burden for very long, as the raptor leapt on his back instantly slicing into him with its hooked claw as it bit down on his neck.
“Get down!” Kaya screeched, ducking her and Tenley and the Ferengi behind the stall. “Shit…” she gasped, her face suddenly very pale.
She had a radio she’d been given before leaving the control room, over which Jen’s worried voice cracked. “Kay… what’s going on? The security cameras have stopped working.”
Kay hurriedly unclipped the device from her belt and pressed on the button. “You tell me!” She rasped. “It… it looks the Velociraptor has suddenly come to life!”
Tenley gritted her teeth. “It’s a Deinonychus…”
The punk snapped her eyes on the girl. “It doesn’t give a crap what we call it,” she insisted, “it just wants to eat us!”
“Oh, I doubt that,” the girl assured. “You can see it’s already eaten. No, it’s probably just going to kill us to protect its territory or some such nonsense.”
“Thanks, Ten,” Kaya sighed. “I’m real glad you’re here to explain things like that.”
The radio cracked again. “Kay? Are you okay? Is everything safe?”
“We’re fine, Jen,” the punk answered. “But, if you could send someone with a real gun down here, that would be swell.”
“This dinosaur… what’s it doing now?”
“Hang on,” she turned around and very slowly raised her head over the table to. The creature was still eating, but then suddenly it lifted its head, yellow eyes fixing on the stall they were hidden behind. Kaya ducked back down, but it may have been too late. The creature was bobbing its head and stalking toward them. “Jen, we could use a hand down here real quick…”
The raptor opened its jaw and started to run, clearly intending to leap over the table and surprise its prey. But then the surprise was on it, as the predator’s eyes just caught a glimpse of something moving very rapidly toward it from the side before it was smashed in the jaw and sent flying.
Kaya looked to her side, but of course she was gone. Tenley couldn’t be in two places at once, although no one had even noticed her leave. She must have dashed behind all the other stalls to work her way around.
The raptor skittered to its feet, mouth snapping angrily in the girl’s direction. Tenley’s black eyes regarded it dispassionately, waiting for it to attempt another charge. Sure enough, it did, running and leaping right at her. The girl hit in the jaw again, this time using an uppercut. The creature staggered back, dazed, but quickly shook it off before trying again.
One had to admire its determination, if not really its intelligence as clearly this girl wasn’t like any prey animal. It had really only two methods of attack at this point, either bite or attempt to kick or slash at her with its claws, all of which Tenley read easily and so she avoided them while punching it repeatedly on the nose, forcing it back where she wanted.
It attempted a lunge at her throat which Tenley sidestepped and, taking hold of its arm, swung around and launched the creature into a pile of bed covers and pillows. These all exploded in a cloud of feathers as the dazed creature bit and slashed desperately all around itself. While not the best weapon, Tenley made further use of the pillows, taking one in each of her hands and spinning like a helicopter, striking the raptors face repeatedly in very rapid succession, more feathers filling the air around it as it was forced further back. Finally, Tenley launched herself at the creature, both feet striking it in the side and forcing it through a door which then closed over it.
It was a closet, the handle of which Tenley held as Kaya and the Ferengi ran across.
“Can’t they open doors?” The drinks seller asked.
“They can’t pick locks,” Kaya pointed out, and set to work ensuring Ten wouldn’t have to keep holding the handle up.
“You…” the Ferengi blinked, “you just beat up a velociraptor…”
Tenley winced irritably. “It’s a deinonychus…”