Continuum-ing a special Star Trek inspired story to celebrate the show’s fiftieth anniversary. The grand finale.
Jen Air: Frontier of Forever, Part Sixteen
The lights seemed to be working again now, but the conference room was still very dimly lit.
“I can’t bring them back,” Alex insisted as Sturgeon kept moving back keeping his eyes open for anything following them. “Maybe I could conjure something that looks like your son and daughter but you know it wouldn’t actually be them, right?”
“Shut up, boy!” Sturgeon hissed angrily. His bulging eyes were fixed on the door they’d entered through, so it came as quite a surprise to him when a beam struck his hand from the side. He dropped the disruptor and fell back stunned, as Jennifer beckoned Alex to run to her.
But Sturgeon recovered quickly, dragging to boy to him again by the backpack, then holding a scalpel to his throat. “Stay back!” He demanded.
Jennifer didn’t take a step. She tightened the bridge of her nose, making her brows into a V. “You can’t kill him,” she said. “If you do, then all of this will have been for nothing.”
“I’m a desperate man, Miss Airhart, and if I don’t get what I’m after, then,” he pressed the scalpel in a little drawing a small amount of blood, “to hell with all of you.”
“Is this what your children would have wanted? You to become a murderer? Would they even want to see you like this?”
“Shut up!” He snapped. “Don’t you dare pretend to know anything about them.”
Alex shut his eyes, his whole face drenched in tears and sweat as he gulped. “Y-you said they were soldiers. Died in a war over oil…”
Jennifer sadly shook her head. “The world has a lot of faults I’ll admit. But you could have used your skills to help make it better. Helped eliminate the reasons for war so that no other parent feels what you do. Wouldn’t that have been a better way to honour them? Instead you thought only of yourself.”
“You’re naïve,” Sturgeon sneered. “People will never change. The world will never be better. These are all useless dreams.”
“Perhaps I am,” Jen sighed. “But, if everyone thought like you do there really would be no hope, would there? People have to keep trying, no matter what. Look to the future instead of just wallowing in all the mistakes of the past.”
Sturgeon probably wasn’t even listening. He retreated into a corner as Kaya and Tenley entered. “Back! All of you back! I mean it!”
“You know,” Kaya said, “I don’t claim to be really smart or anything but one thing I’ve learnt in life is this; it’s a hell of a lot easier to be bitter and cynical than it is to be nice. You’re just a coward.”
Tenley took in the scene, sniffing and taking a deep breath before taking a small step forward with her hands raised. “Alex,” she said. “I… I lied.”
The boy looked confused. “What?”
“I would care if you died. I’ve been alone all my life, so I know what that’s like. And if I was in your shoes, you know what I would do.”
He thought. And he did. Steeling himself, he raised his elbow, then struck Sturgeon with it a little below the waist. The surprised doctor loosened his grip enough for the boy to pull himself away and before he could recover Jen fired an orange beam into Sturgeons chest.
As the man lay still on the floor, Jennifer checked his pulse. Kaya asked, “is he…?”
“No,” Jen answered. “He’s alive.”
“Well, we better make sure he can’t escape this time.”
“There’s a problem,” Naomi started to explain when everyone had returned. “We’ve got some power back, but Will doesn’t think it’ll be enough for that machine.”
“Don’t worry,” Kaya assured her, “we ought to be able to get all the power we need.” She said, standing aside to allow Naomi to see Alex, and the warp core slowly pulsing behind him.
“Alright, but, what about that ‘entity’ out there? Won’t it try to stop us?”
Jen thought out loud, “hopefully so long as we shield ourselves and all the equipment against the discharges we’ll be okay. But whether or not we get home is still up to you,” she said to the boy.
“I,” Alex tried to stand straight. “I want to go back. Mom probably misses me, and… people have to keep trying, right? Got to look to the future or nothing will ever change.”
There were still were a lot of preparations to make, but with everyone helping the hurdles were soon overcome. Will, the Jedi and the Starfleet officer set about trying to connect the warp core to the buildings main power, but with limited success.
“I don’t get it,” the officer shook his head. “I’m reading barely a trickle coming out of this thing.”
The Jedi sighed. “I’ve checked and re-checked all the connections, but I can’t find a problem.”
Harley had been watching them go at it, sitting on a table gently kicking her legs. “Maybe you boys are going about it all wrong?”
“What do you mean?” Will asked.
“Well, you’re thinking like real engineers, but it’s from a TV show, right? So maybe you’ve just got to apply some telly logic.”
The Jedi and the Starfleet officer each considered it, then at the same time looked at each other and snapped, “reverse the polarity!” They laughed, and with that problem solved it wouldn’t be long until they were ready to go.
Jennifer meanwhile made sure Sturgeon’s computers were all still functioning, as Kaya yawned and stretched next to her. “Bet you’re glad you came out today, huh?”
Jen smiled gently, shaking her head. “I’ll be glad when I get home. I was growing some hybridised fungi inside the greenhouse and if I don’t get back it might grow to engulf the whole town.”
Kay wasn’t sure if she was joking or not. But there was one thing she was sure of. “Well, I’m glad you did.”
On the upper level, Alex and Tenley waited patiently, their legs dangling over the side while they held onto a rail.
“Did you mean what you said back there?” Alex asked.
“Of course,” Ten sighed. “Although I’d have hit him harder.”
“I meant the other thing.”
She frowned and wrinkled her nose, looking down on all the busy people below. “Look, I… I’ve done things. Really bad things.”
He shrugged. “I’m sure you had reasons.”
“Sturgeon had reasons. That’s not good enough.”
“But you know that. I’m not sure he ever will.” They both sighed, and continued to watch as Will chastised someone for not using the right tool. After a moment, Alex said, “if… if you do decide you ever want or need a friend, you… you can come find me, okay?”
Tenley tilted her head away, resting it on a bar and said nothing. A few minutes later Sayuri called up, “we’re ready to go!”
“A-alright,” the boy said, pulling himself up and starting to make his way to the stairs.
“Hey,” Tenley called out. He turned and squinted curiously at her. She raised her hand, splitting the middle and ring finger. “Live long and prosper.”
Alex grinned, returning the gesture. “Peace and long life.”
Up in the control room, Harry got confirmation from everyone that they were set. If this worked and they made it home, he would have some explaining to do. He was likely the first manager in history to have his entire building stolen while he and all his staff were in it. Lives had also been lost, so he supposed his inevitable firing was a small price to pay to get the rest home safely. At least the experience had been a memorable one. “Alright everyone,” he said over the intercom, “everything’s in position. Engage…”